He Ran and He Ran

jesus_knocking_at_door

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Heaven is described in numerous similitude’s and numerous examples and Christ in his life was always wondering how he could liken the kingdom of heaven to things on earth. To put the heavenly thing in an earthly context so humanity would understand. Christ wanted to make the truths of the gospel simple so he always compared it with something. This is where we get the parables from. The kingdom of heaven is like leaven and he describes making bread or the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.

He Ran and He Ran

I have picked up what the bible has taught in regards to parables. How do you understand the term he ran and he ran? Some say he kept on running. In the bible it talks about running and this is a similitude by Paul and others the journey to heaven as running. We would like to consider running. The opposite of running is not running.

A Desire to Enter In

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

If that is what the desire does, what does the slothful do?

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

The slothful man has desires. He has two desires. One is to do something and the other is to sit on his couch. This slothful man would love to do everything on his couch. This desire of his couch will kill but also the desire of wanting something but having it not also kills him. The desire of the slothful kills him. How many desire heaven? I pray that this desire will not kill you. Heaven a place, to be desired. The Psalmist writes more to be desired than fine gold and sweeter than honey. The desire is good to have. We are here as we have a desire to be in heaven. We have a desire to be with Jesus Christ. We have a desire to have those things which God has prepared for us.  We will consider the slothful man. A slothful man may attempt to plant a garden but will not continue by reason of his slothfulness. He will start but as the heat of the day comes he will stop as his desire for the couch overrules his desire of the garden. What is the garden of the slothful man? It is full of briars, thorns, nettles and stinking weeds. Doesn’t the tender plant languish from lack of water? Doesn’t the fruit wither and go sour? Is this the garden of the slothful man where those things which are rare and do not grow of their own accord which need care, whither and die whereas those things which are natural to grow flourish? Weeds and thorns?

The Fruits of the Spirit

I’ve seen gardens like this. There are things in your heart that happen normally. You don’t need training to cry or be disobedient. Those things which are of God, the fruits of the spirit, they need the care of the garden. The slothful man desires to have the fruits of the spirit but these will languish in his garden from lack of care. He may start to plant them but may not continue. Perhaps you have started on your desire to heaven. You have pursued your desire for Jesus Christ and you have put yourself in the way of his ministry, you have put yourself in the way of the fruits of the spirit but then you grew cold. Maybe there was a sermon where you wept but now you sleep. Maybe God touched your life once but now it’s just a memory. This is the condition of a slothful man. His desire will kill him. Have you ever been moved but not now? You were touched but not anymore? You were in a condition of spirituality but now it’s just a form? If this rings in your mind then we will consider this is the garden of a slothful man.

Half Heartedness

Half starts but doesn’t finish. You may have felt in the beginning it was all my heart but the end was not carried through. You might say as long as I give the last half of my heart to God I will finish. The heart that is slothful at the beginning and at the last half is given to God, does this bring eternal life? Have you ever known a slothful man to sleep on after his alarm has gone off? He says this is comfortable I will sleep another ten minutes and he misses his train by ten minutes. Does the last half avail anything? He almost made it. Almost is to miserably fail. Almost is utter failure. I almost made my garden. I almost finished. I almost run the race and we look for credit but unless you do win there is no credit. No one obtained an Olympian gold medal for almost winning. This is like probation. There comes a time when probation will close and the last half of your heart avails nothing. The Lord hates half heartedness. It doesn’t matter which half it is. God doesn’t like it.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Psalms 119:2 Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.

Even the humble creature rebukes slothfulness. Wisdom says consider the ant thou sluggard. Think about this little creature, the humbleness of creatures. I’ve never seen an ant half heartedly working. This last half of the heart is in Luke 13.

Luke 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

I frequently use this text but it has so much application for us today because these people had half a heart to God and it was the latter half. They wanted to go and they do but the door had already closed.

The Flood

Consider Noah in his time and the flood. For 120 years he called the people. There were two types of half hearted people. Some went to build the boat. Some thought I will be in on this with Noah and I will build the boat and they start building but they didn’t get in. The last half of their heart wasn’t given to God, only the first. The other class mocked Noah and didn’t want to go in. But when the door was closed they thought perhaps he is right and the mind started thinking if the world is engulfed in water then maybe I am lost? This desire I want to be in, I want to go to the ark and when the clouds started gathering the desire intensified. The mind was being tormented and when the drops started falling they couldn’t but help knock on that door.

The desire of the slothful man kills him. That desire that drives him to the ark and he knocks and he says open but it was said the door is shut and no one can open it. It was open and no man could shut but now it is shut and no man can open. What is the difference if you are ten years or ten minutes late? Can you see that almost is an absolute failure but worse because you have an anticipation you will make it but don’t? That anticipation of almost making it to heaven will drive you mental.

Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they do not enter therein. Almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost.  {1SM 399.2}

Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer [is] a wise son: [but] he that sleepeth in harvest [is] a son that causeth shame.

When do we live? What time is it in earth’s history? Is it not the harvest? Are you sleeping? Have you got the heart of the sluggard and are you sleeping? He that sleeps now causes shame. Incredible shame. The person who slept in the harvest had ploughed his field. He was half hearted. He thought I should plough. So he ploughed and put in his grain and put in his effort and energy into this field and when the harvest came, he was sleeping. What did all that work accomplish in his first half of work towards god? Absolute shame. This was the garden that was desired to be planted. Many of us have a desire to be in heaven and we have started but do any of you dare not to finish? Do any of us sleep now although we have planted in the past? The son that sleeps in the harvest will have absolute shame. The desire to have a harvest but I had a desire for my couch so I went there and slept and the first and second desire has killed me, oh shame.

The Other Half of Half Heartedness

This man is not sleeping in the harvest, he is awake;

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he begin harvest, and [have] nothing.

He is wide awake as he has no food. How can you sleep if you have no food? The hunger pains are driving him to be awake and these hunger pains are caused because he was sluggish in the first half. He thought I won’t plough as its cold, my blankets are warmer. Which condition is yours? Do you desire to start for God and dare not to finish? Or do you dare to come in after it is too late? This poor man that was begging, if you say to him here is the harvest, do you think he would beg? If you said here is the harvest he would with all his strength and all his might harvest as that harvest will bring him food? The latter part of his heart was intensive for God but his sluggishness at the beginning prevented him from being fed. It is uncomfortable to plough your field spiritually speaking. It is uncomfortable to walk over the hill of Calvary.

I’ve never seen a person bring his couch to the foot of the cross and sleep. Do you think anyone could put their couch there and watch the son of God dying? Men were trembling and the earth went dark and rocks were rent. There was no time for sleeping. It was the opposite to sleep. Perhaps the scenes of Calvary are too uncomfortable as you will leave and go to your couch. It is uncomfortable. You will not find anywhere in scripture where the Christian path is pure ease. It is easier than that shame of knocking at that door. It is easier than begging in the time of the harvest. It is easier to plough in the cold than to be in utter remorse at the end of your life.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

To go over Calvaries mountain is far better than to be destroyed with the wicked. You will have no praise from the wicked as you are almost there. The wicked will not congratulate you at your almost accomplishments, in fact, it will be worse. Heaven and those around you will look upon you with shame that you started but didn’t finish.

The Harvest Is Past

Those who sleep or begin the harvest but don’t finish, either one avails damnation. Here is the awful cry;

Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

Sluggishness has two evils. The first evil is sluggishness neglecting the time in which to work. The second evil of sluggishness is that it brings forth untimely repentance. Will you agree that those who stood at the door of the ark had some feeling of repentance? That they were sorry as they didn’t listen to Noah? That they regretted their decision to mock and scorn him. Do you think those who come to the door of heaven after the master of the house had risen and shut the door and those without began to knock and say Lord, Lord. Do you think those people have repentance? Just like Esau. This is untimely repentance, the condition of the sluggard.

Are You a Sloth?

How do I know if I am slothful? Do you sleep? The slothful man loathes doing the work that needs to be done at the time. Something has to be done and you really don’t want to do it. That is a condition of the slothful – I really don’t want to do it. The second scenario is that the slothful will make a delay.  To put something off for a small matter. There is a meeting and you may say the Lord wants me to be at the meeting and I will go. But something small happens and you say I can’t go. The sluggard will allow trifling things to prevent him from obeying God. I tried to change my diet but some of these things prevented me. I tried but my couch was there. Small difficulties arise and you use them as evidence you shouldn’t do it.

You allow them to stop what God wants you to do. A slothful man does half the job. Only half the work. He is commissioned to do something and he is loathed to do it and he rushes it and it is half done. Another condition of a slothful man is that he misses the season. I was asked by a few people how I grow broccoli with no moth not eating it. I tell them you have to plant in early autumn so that you are harvesting your broccolis’ In the middle of winter as that moth can’t live in winter but if plant them in winter I will be harvesting in spring and moths will eat it.  A slothful man delays harvest. He will plant them but he will end up worms. Who is to blame? Him as he missed the season to plant his broccolis. This is the attitude of the sloth, doing the work half as you don’t want to do it or do it too late. Slothful comes because of carelessness. Carelessness comes from senselessness. When you don’t sense the need then you don’t care for the need. Because you don’t care for the need you are slothful for the need. One produces the other. I pray the Lord will give us a sense of the time we live and that our senses will be awoken that earth is almost finished. If God will give you that sense, oh blessed. What do you say? Will you sleep on? Will you continue to desire for your couch? Or will you forget that desire and desire heaven and act on it? Not to give up but to run and to run. Will you run and run? Or will you just run?

He Ran and He Ran

There is a man who ran and he ran. We are not just talking about running but running and running.

Jeremiah 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

If you have been tired just running, how are you going to run and run? If you have been tired to keep up with the simple things, how are you going to run with the big things? Can you run with a horse? There was a man who could run with a horse, his name was Elijah unfortunately he ran the wrong way but the Lord in his mercy helped him. Can you run and run or will you only run? Or will you lay on your couch? Have you ever watched a snail? Have you seen a snail hop up and run? Although we are a snail at heart we can be a horse to run and run. Those who want to receive the prize are the gems in God’s kingdom. Some in Sabbath school didn’t get the gem as they didn’t run fast enough. But when they knew they had to run and run as three seconds was only allowed to get the gem, it didn’t take them long.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

The word so is likened to someone who wants to win. There must be a diligent program that they must enter into. The comparison of running is not just running, but running and running. This is the comparison as the man is the only one who will win.

1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

If we desire heaven, what is required of us to be in heaven? Is not temperance required of us to run and run? To abstain from that which is harmful. The things that poison our blood and destroy our vital force are never indulged by athletes. The servant of God is temperate in all things. Going to bed on time, wake up on time, and worship on time. The diligence that goes into running a race yet the Christian faith unfortunately is full of sluggish men. I have never seen sluggish men crowd in the Olympic dome to run. The athletes are all fit yet the church is full of sluggish people. Why? Do they have a senselessness of what the crown is all about? Have they lost a sense of what we can achieve on this earth?  Have we lost a sense of the prize, the high calling? Have we lost the sense of what we can achieve on this earth through Jesus Christ? If we have lost the sense, we will be sluggish and the person who has lost the sense of the joy of winning the gold medal will not run as the others.  Oh that we will be wiser than the children of men in their running that we will be more diligent than those that run for the corruptible.

Endurance

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Is this race long or short distance? It is a long distance race. The run to heaven is an endurance run. It is a long distance run. It is not a short sprint to heaven. Let us run. Will you? Will you let us all run by putting away your couch or burning it? It is better to burn your couch as it is better than burning on it. Get rid of your comfort. Pray for the Holy Ghost to give you the strength to go over the hill of Calvary.

Hebrew 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Fleeing is a different type of running. A person can run and a person can flee. What is the difference? It is the speed in which they do it. The sense of their danger is apparent. Those who were to flee to the cities of refuge were to run at an exceeding pace that came from an intense sense.  The sluggard has no sense but is happy to rest on his couch in the summer. This fleeing comes by sense. I can’t give you the sense of the time in which we live. Ask God to give us the sense of the danger we are in. Elijah came and the armies surrounded him, he had a sense of God’s protection but he other sense didn’t and he asked God to open his eyes and he could see the fiery chariots. May God open our eyes to see our chariots and the devil. The devil is very fast and light footed. He is nimble.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

Run from the avenger and to the hope set before us.

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The word press, if you press through something, it gives our minds that nothing will disturb or pull us off. To press, to push. The sluggard doesn’t press through things. Some difficulty arises and he says well I tried and turns back to his couch. The man who has his sense awakened by the Holy Spirit will run fast and press through every obstacle. Notice what we must press through, this uncomfortable Calvary experience.

1 Corinthians 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

There is no couch for the apostle.

1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day.

To be the filth of the earth. To be persecuted and defamed, ridiculed and hailed down, will you press through all this? Will you run just as fast? All manner of things people have to say about you. Be joyous and glad the bible says. A happy man can push fast through these uncomfortable things.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

This run is fast, fleeing, flying and pressing through obstacles and ongoing. He ran and he ran. He didn’t run and stop as there was a problem, he ran and he ran. W ill you run and run?  This is the type of running needed. Fast persistence enduring running. A minute doesn’t exist as 60 seconds anymore. Time seems to have halved itself. We are going east to conference next week. Many will be running and driving to get there. I pray that we don’t drive west. We can run with energy and endurance but we can run the wrong way. Jesus says I am the way. When we run we must look where we are going.

Consider Him

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

What is called for us to run? Consider Jesus. Not to run not to the world, or to the flesh, or to the devil the angel of light but to run to Jesus. We can get confused with our flesh and think it has virtue. We can run with our ideas listening to our flesh and run the wrong way. We can get ideas in regards to evangelistic ideas and think I’ll do missionary outreach in a worldly way to reach those out there and run with them making them like the world. We can run with false doctrine and run to the angel that is fallen. The bible says in the latter times men shall run to and fro. Do they know where they are going? Running around all over the place. God is calling his people to run to him. Run to Jesus disregard your flesh, your feelings and the notions that don’t come from God’s holy word. Disregard other things. We must daily look to Jesus. Study his word and pray. Lord stand before me so I can run to the light of heaven. Running on its own is of no avail if you are running in the wrong direction.

Lay Off Bad Habits

If you want to run to get the jewel in a few seconds don’t carry a heavy bag. If you run, lay off the habits that destroy our body. The habits that destroy the power of the body that make us sleepy and drowsy and destroy our mind. 80% of the world consumes coffee. Caffeine destroys the nervous system of your brain. Lay off the sin that so easily besets. Caffeine destroys brain power to look to Christ. When you run, we should block our ears to those around us. My servant hears but hears not.  Block your ears to what people have to say to where you are running.  Christian in Pilgrims Progress was burdened with his guilt and he was weeping and crying and he had this family and his wife and all his neighbours were ridiculing him. The more he read his book the bigger his burden got until he just had to run, flee from the wrath to come.

Christian just ran and has he ran his neighbours said you have your family what are you doing?  You are leaving these things behind no don’t do it. What did Christian do? He blocked his ears and he kept running. When you decide to run and run, block your ears. Don’t listen to what people have to say about where you are running to. Run and run. When you have a sense of our decrepit condition, when you feel weak and destitute of any good thing, do you feel like running? When you see your misery in all its misery, do you feel like running? When you are sick or have an ailment, do you feel like hopping up and running? When I was young and I saw people with bent backs and I would think stretch and run not knowing of their osteoporosis condition. I would think run.

When you have that problem you can’t run. The condition prevents it. Even if you feel I’m going to die what can I do? Satan presses mental conditions upon us and we may think how can I run or see straight? When we are in a horrible condition and we have a long way to go, despair can stop you from trying. Perhaps we think we will go to the tombs in a horrible place and stay in this filthy condition and be by myself and moan myself away.

The Demoniac

Mark 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Amongst the Tombs

Here is a poor man with a mental condition but not just his own but brought on by the evil spirits. People tried to help him but couldn’t they tie him down as he broke the chains and he walked around the tombs. When we go to the tombs here in Australia it’s very pretty with nice flowers and nice gardens but in Jewish tradition it was an unclean place. You didn’t go there to put flowers down. It never happened. When a person died you were called unclean if you touched that body and you had to wash yourself for seven days before you could go back into the town.

No one went to the tombs to the see the graves of their loved ones. Some go regularly. They put flowers there. I don’t see the point in that as the dead don’t know anything.  Nevertheless that is what our society does. Society of this nation was different. This was an absolute unclean place. They would cut into the mountains and put dead people in the caves. Here was this wild man and he is howling and screaming at night through the tombs. He was cutting himself and was disturbed. Do you think he could run in the right direction? This poor soul didn’t know where anything was. When we find ourselves in an absolute unclean state and we feel so decrepit, here we see Jesus.

Jesus Came through the Storm

The day before Jesus was on the other side of the lake and was in a boat and went through a wild storm and though all these problems and the next day he comes across the lake for one reason;

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

He ran and he worshiped him. Jesus came to this man through the tumultuous sea to come to the graves. What Jew does that? What Jew crosses the sea to the graves with much trouble? Not just graves but swine also. This to the Jew was the most rubbish heap on the planet and Jesus made such an effort to go to the rubbish place. When he goes there this man saw Jesus and he ran and worshipped him. This demoniac represents sinners. Our whole human organism has been deranged. Satan has put his mark upon us. The following represents the sinner. The prodigal was a great way off;

The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

The father saw this sinner, this prodigal son who had been feeding with pigs in the land of the gentiles. When he saw him a great way off, what did the father do? He ran.  The sinner and the father both ran. ‘He’ ran and ‘he’ ran. When you want to run and run know that the father is running and running so you and the father are running together.  O blessed Lord that he would do this. He knows it’s a great way to heaven. He knows that the travelling is a long distance run and he wants to shorten it for you so runs and shortens it. Who runs faster? While we were yet sinners, Calvary was not far from any of us. Why should we sit on our couch? Why should we be a sluggard when heaven will run to us if only we will go to it? The whole city that the demoniac came from was more demoniac than him. He knew he had a problem as it was the cause of his distress because when he saw Christ he ran to him.

Jesus Ran

Christ ran to him.  He crossed the seas to come to the rubbish heap. He ran a long way. When the town came they were concerned about the pigs that were plunged into the ocean. They didn’t care about the demonic but about the pigs. They came to Jesus and they prayed him to leave. That is the worse prayer to every pray. Jesus never said a word but hopped in the boat and left. They were demoniac. They told heaven itself to go away because their poor pigs died. They had to get off their couch and they had to come out to the tombs for this man and they told him to go away as their desire for their couch exceeded their desire for Jesus. The demoniac saw them and said I want to go with Jesus. We all need to be missionaries so he was sent back to Decapolis to be a missionary to tell everything Jesus had done.

Heaven has come to you and me. I can tell you it has. Heaven has run with exceeding pace. You can read in Psalms that when the cross came the father came down with speed.

Psalms 18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness [was] under his feet. 10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

God is faster than you. If you run to him you will find that the distance that is so far, is so close. I pray that you will run and run as he will run. May the Lord help us to burn our couches and run with endurance.

Amen.

Posted on December 19, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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