Fan the Flame (2 Timothy Sermon 1 of 9)
October 04, 1998 | Andy Davis
2 Timothy 1:1-7
I. Introduction: Our Place in History
I'd like to ask all of you, if you would, to turn in your Bibles to 2 Timothy, we're going to be considering 2 Timothy 1:1-7. I don't know if any of you saw the Herald Sun article about me? There was a little bit of misinformation there. I'm not going to be covering all 83 verses, this morning, so just rest easy at my pace that would take about nine hours and I know that would push it a little much. The Puritan's used to preach that long, but I'm not going to do that to you. We're just going to look at seven verses this morning. But it does open me up to say to you that that is my style and my strategy in preaching. I don't think that God wastes anything. Everything's in this book for a reason. And so we're going to go through this whole book and we're going to try to see whatever God would say to us. We'll never exhaust all the truth. But we're going to be going verse by verse. So let's look at 2 Timothy.
I love to study church history, and I love to have a sense of our place in history I feel as a pastor, it's important for me to constantly remind you where we fit into the flow of what God has been doing and what he will be doing, because we as Christians are always somewhat caught in the middle between eternity past and eternity future, we're living in a constant tension between what God has done in Jesus Christ and what God will do in the future in Jesus Christ, as Christians, we are preaching A History. A Biography, of Jesus Christ who came and lived His life here on Earth. And who did miracles and teachings and died on the cross for sin, who rose again on the third day. And who ascended to heaven. That's a history and we're preaching that gospel history. We're also preaching a promise, that that same Jesus one day will return to this very Earth, that He will end this universe as we know it, bring in a new universe, and bring each one of us to our eternal destiny, whether heaven or hell.
And so we here, at this moment in time, are caught in eternity past and eternity future. And it's good for us to understand that, it's also good for us to understand that we have received from the past, a charge. A commitment to the Gospel and to the purity of the Gospel. We have it like a relay race like an Olympic torch for a short time and it's our duty to pass it on undimmed to the next generation, if Jesus Christ should tarry. And that is our charge. And so I think the timeless charge that God gives us today is boldness and faithfulness in preaching the Gospel. Boldness and faithfulness in the gospel. And as I looked through the scriptures. I couldn't find any place better than 2 Timothy, for establishing that message in our hearts. 2 Timothy is Paul's final word to the church, somewhat of his last will and testament and throughout its verses over and over, comes that charge, to Timothy and through Timothy, really to all of us, to be bold and faithful in preaching the Gospel.
I'm going to read the text and then I'm going to divide my comments this morning into three sections. I'm going to be giving you a brief, I really should say re-introduction to Paul and Timothy, all of you are well familiar with these two. But then I'm going to be looking at Paul's motivational methodology, how he got Timothy ready to receive a weighty charge, the charge of continuing in Paul's apostolic ministry after Paul died and went to be with Jesus. And finally, I'm going to look at the first charge that he gives to Timothy, namely that he should fan, his spiritual gift into a flame. So let's look at the first seven verses and then begin our study.
Starting at Verse One, "Paul an Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear son. Grace, mercy and peace to you from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve as my forefathers did with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers, recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I've been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded it now lives in you also. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you, through the laying on of my hands, for God to not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power of love and of self-discipline."
II. Paul and Timothy: Leaving a Spiritual Heritage (verses 1-2)
Now, Paul begins his letter here in a very interesting way, "Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus." Now, why is that interesting? Certainly, isn't interesting in that all his other Epistles begin this same way? But it is interesting in that he's speaking to his dear friend, Timothy, who he calls his son or his child in the faith. An apostle is someone who is sent with a mission, with a message, and with a sense of authority from the one who's sent him. And Paul definitely had that sense of authority. He had it from his sense of the origin of his apostleship. He believed that he was an apostle called specifically by Jesus Christ for a task. “He says Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God." Now, this is a fascinating thing, Paul throughout his ministry kept going back to the fact that he received his apostleship specifically from God. And that it was the will of God that had transformed his life.
What had been the will Saul of Tarsus? It had been to crush the church. And to seek to destroy Jesus Christ. What was God's will for Paul? To build the church by the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Now, whose will won? It was God's will that transformed Saul of Tarsus. And he says, I am "an apostle…by the will of God." Now, don't get me wrong, Paul wanted to be an apostle, but it was God's will that transformed his heart. It was God's will that changed him on the road to Damascus. And so he says in Galatians 1:1, "Paul, an apostle, sent [that's the word for apostle] not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead." so there's his authority. Now again, Paul is writing to his good friend Timothy, now why is he reminding Timothy of something he knew so very well, that Paul was an apostle, called by God.
Liberal scholars say this proves that Paul couldn't have written this. I think that's foolish. Because throughout this letter, 2 Timothy, there's a sense of seriousness. A sense of earnestness. Blood earnestness, in the preaching of the Gospel. And he's going to begin by saying, "Now Timothy, you know who I am, and you know how I've lived my life. I'm going to give you a serious charge." And so right from the onset he starts by establishing his authority.
And he says that he's "an apostle of Christ Jesus, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus." This is a clear reference to the Gospel message. The gospel message is a promise of life in Christ Jesus. It's a promise of life to those who are dying, who are dead in their transgressions and sins. And there is life in no other name. And as we go out here from the walls of this church, our Church, First Baptist Church, we have a message to bring to people here in this community, people in the universities, people all around us. Which is the only message which can save them from eternal death, apart from God.
Jesus made this promise of life time and time again, He says in John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly." He also says in John 14:18, "Because I live you will live also," a clear reference to His resurrection. I'm going to be raised from the dead. You also by believing in me will have eternal life, the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, and Paul lived for that promise, he preached it everywhere he went. That was the purpose of Paul's apostleship. That was the message, committed to him and he was faithful to it.
But there was another purpose that God had for Paul, it's one that it's easy to forget. "For it has been granted to us on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also suffer for Him." Philippians. And so, God willed that Paul be a savor of life everywhere he went, but also a savor of death. And you could see the death in Paul, in the suffering he went through everywhere he went. You know the man who laid hands on him, prayed that he might receive his sight, that he might be filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized him a man named Ananias, one of those unsung heroes, in church history.
He was afraid to go to Saul of Tarsus when Jesus came to him. And Jesus commanded him to go. And then He gave him a prophecy about Saul. Who we know as Paul. He said, "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." Now how'd you like to have that prophecy hanging over your head? I will show him or I'll show her how much she must suffer for my name. But it has been granted to all of us on behalf of Christ, to believe in Him and also to suffer for Him. And so Paul was suffering, as a matter of fact at this very moment, he knew that his death was imminent because of that kind of suffering, he was sitting in a Roman prison, a dungeon. This was nothing like that comfortable house arrest he had at the end of Acts 28, when friends could come and go and visit and he could do some evangelism, it was comfortable.
No, this was nothing like that at all. For the Emperor Nero, that insane man, had burned half the city of Rome and was blaming it on the Christians. This was the first in a long series of Roman persecutions of the church. And Paul would die under that persecution, under the evil of Nero. So he's sitting there in prison, he's alone, he's cold, he feels that everyone in Asia has deserted him, and at that moment, he's writing to Timothy, and he's demonstrating that suffering.
Timothy: Paul’s “son” in the faith
Now who is Timothy? Timothy, he calls his "dear son in the faith" or his beloved child. Isn't that a precious way to think of someone? A beloved child in the faith Now, we meet Timothy for the first time in Acts 16:1-2. Timothy was a believer in Jesus Christ through the ministry of the apostle Paul. I think he was converted on the first journey through Lystra in Asia Minor. Oh by the way, at that time, on that occasion Paul was stoned and left for dead. Some people believe he actually did die and God raised him from the dead. That could have been Timothy's first glimpse of Paul, what a picture. The preaching of the Gospel, maybe even a healing of a crippled man, Powerful. But at the same time, the picture of Paul lying almost dead by the road. That was Timothy's first introduction to the ministry of the apostle Paul.
Timothy was a believer, his mother was Jewish and a believer, his grandmother a believer, but his father was not. He's father was Greek. And so Paul adopted Timothy and in fact took him under his wing and began to train him to disciple him. And we see a beautiful picture of Discipleship in the way that Paul dealt with Timothy. Turn over, if you will, one page to. Chapter 3 verse 10. In 3:10, he gives us a beautiful bifocal picture of the goal and the pattern of discipleship. In 3:10. He says, "You However, know all about My teaching and my way of life." Let me just stop there. "You, however, know all about my teaching and my way of life." Paul committed to Timothy, a body of doctrine, the teaching of Paul, it was the gospel and more, but also a way of life how to live as a Christian. And he married the two, he lived it out in front of Timothy. This is true discipleship, this is what I'm calling from mature believers here in this church, live out your Christianity in front of those who are not as mature. Disciple and train some people.
I'd like to ask, any of you. Do any of you have spiritual children, I don't mean are your children Christians? Let's not even talk about people who are your actual sons and daughters, have you led anyone to Christ? And how much more have you trained them? Brought them up in the faith, prepared them for ministry. Sent them out and seen them bring others to Christ. That makes you a what? Spiritual grandfather or grandmother. It's my vision within 10 years that these pews would be filled of spiritual grandmothers and grandfathers, people who know how to lead people to Christ, disciple them and send them out. Win, build and send. That's what I want to see, but that's what Paul did in Timothy's life.
Now Timothy had some strengths and some weaknesses. Probably Timothy's Greatest strength was his sincere, genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Which poured out into a life of faithful service to Him. I love Philippians 2:19, and following. Paul commends Timothy, in very high language he says, "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy too soon. I have no one else like him. Who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself. Because as a son with his father, he has served with me in the work of the gospel." What high words of praise. Timothy doesn't look out for himself, doesn't care about his own interest. He cares about the interest of Jesus Christ. He wants to build Christ's kingdom. That is the heart of Timothy and that was his greatest strength.
But Timothy also had some weaknesses, I can think of three. The First was his youth. He was a young man, inexperienced. Perhaps, many could think not ready to take on the mantle of responsibility that Paul was putting on him here in 2 Timothy. Now don't think he was a child, he probably was in his early 30s at this point, but it says in 1 Timothy 5, "Let no one look down on you because you're young." Also realize that Jesus died around that same age as well. But it still was somewhat of a burden to be carried around by Timothy in that he was young and inexperienced. Secondly, he was a sickly person, he was frequently given to illness. He had a weak stomach and other troubles. But perhaps the greatest weakness that Timothy had, was the fact that he was naturally shy, and timid, perhaps even in some settings, cowardly. And throughout this book in 2 Timothy, Paul is calling Timothy to preach the gospel with boldness in the context of persecution and suffering. To stand up and be counted. He can't be a leader unless he's willing to do that. Those are his weaknesses and his strengths.
And then Paul gives him a benediction, "Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Grace to cover all of his sins. Mercy to cover all of his weaknesses, and peace to encourage him along the way. Now, that's our brief introduction to Paul and Timothy.
III. Paul's Motivational Methodology (verses 3-5)
What about Paul's motivational methodology? How did Paul try to get Timothy ready to receive the weight that was going to be laid on him? I see four ways.
a) Constant Prayer
He starts out in verse 3 with constant prayer. Constant thankful prayer. He says, "I thank God as night and day I constantly remember you, in my prayers." Now, again, picture Paul, he's sitting in this dark dungeon. Perhaps with a small circle over his head letting in air and light, he was using that light to do the writing. At that moment, he knew he was about to die, he says in 4:6. "I'm already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure." He knows he's going to die. At that moment he could have started to look inward and feel sorry for himself, or start to think about his own misery. But he gives people, all of us, a pattern of Joy and contentment, how to behave in a situation like this, when your circumstances aren't the best.
I know in this church, I heard a story, I don't know the man's name, of someone, I think he's gone on to be with the Lord now. But when he was home bound and shut in, he couldn't get, out bed-ridden, but he used to call people in this church and encourage them, and say, "I can't do anything for you, brother, but I want you to know I'm praying for you." Continuing to minister right to the end, and that was Paul.
So Paul was receiving some therapy in a way by his outward focus. But in a way, he's also preparing Timothy, he's saying, "Timothy, I want you to know, I constantly pray for you. I'm always praying for you," and furthermore he's committing to all of us. A theological principle. We only thank people or thank ones, for things that they are responsible for. Anything you thank God for you're in effect making a theological statement saying that God is responsible for it. And when Paul thanks God for Timothy Salvation, He's saying, God's responsible for it. When Paul thanks God for Timothy's faithfulness in the ministry, he's saying, "God you're the one who motivated him to do it." When Paul thanks God for Timothy's readiness to take on this charge, he's laying it all to God, and saying it's to your glory. Thankfulness. Constant thankful prayer.
b) Personal Example
Second of all, he cites a personal example. Now do you see how this dovetails with what I was talking about earlier. Paul lived out his Christianity in front of Timothy, and he's saying I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience as my forefathers did, as night and day I serve him. He had a clear conscience. I think it's a good thing to have your sins forgiven in Jesus Christ. It's a good thing also, if there's some grievous sin in your life, to experience the grace and forgiveness of God for where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. But I think it's an even better thing to have a clear conscience before God. And Timothy, Paul is charging Timothy to keep a clear conscience before God. The fruit of Paul's clear conscience, you can see at the end of this letter. He says, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Essentially, "I stayed at my post until the job was done. My conscience is clear." And in a way, he's motivating Timothy to do the same, "Timothy. I'm not asking to do anything I didn't do. I'm asking you to follow me as I followed Jesus Christ." Keep a clear conscience and be ready.
c) Cultivating Deep Relationships
The third and I think most beautiful one here is the cultivating of deep relationships, in verse four, he says, "Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy." Isn't that beautiful? Recalling your tears. I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. We are delighted to be here and to be able to serve with you but it was hard for us to leave our friends in Louisville, Kentucky. They were tears and it was difficult.
Now, we live in a technologically advanced age, in which you can always get on a plane or drive. But it's never quite the same when you move out of the community, you're never really with them again, and it is sad. I remember a time when I left Japan, we had been missionaries there for two years, and I for a full year met with one of the rarest of all things in Christianity, a Japanese Christian man, it's very rare. And God had done great work in Hiroichi's life, and I used to meet with him for discipleship at a big Japanese pharmaceutical company. We met every week for lunch, and we went through experiencing God, and when the time came, he'd never really been that emotional or showed me much emotion, but we just had a prayer time and I committed him to God. And when we got done praying, I noticed that tears were streaming down his face. I'll never forget it.
See, when we serve with the Lord Jesus, we bond together in love, and when the time comes and God calls us apart, there are tears, and there's evidence in the book of Acts of this kind of crying when there's a time of separation. But do you see the deep love that Paul had for Timothy and the deep love Timothy had for Paul, and it really was mutually, he said, "I remember your tears and I want to have joy to see you again." Now, I think that's so important. I think we have to be open and honest with each other, and we have to confront each other if we see each other in sin, challenge each other to be faithful in preaching the Gospel, but before any of that happens, there has to be a sense that this person really loves me. And Paul did, that he poured his life into Timothy, and Timothy knew, that yes, there's some serious charge is coming here, but this man loves me, he really does.
d) Constant Encouragement
The forth aspect of the motivation is constant encouragement. Constant encouragement. Now, I think Paul was constantly finding something in people that God had done and saying, "This is a good thing that God's doing in you." And he does it with Timothy here, he says, "I've been reminded of your sincere faith. Which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice." We'll talk about them later. Not this morning, but when we get to Chapter 3. "Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice, and I'm persuaded now it lives in you also." Now, really, I think you have to understand from the Apostle Paul, you don't get a higher compliment than that. He says his faith is sincere. You really could translate it from the original un-hypocritical. He's not a hypocrite Timothy. He's a true believer.
Now, that was especially poignant, to Paul at this moment, because He says later in this chapter, everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me under this persecution. They've all left. They're running away, they don't want to come visit me in prison, nobody wants to be with me. But Timothy you're a true believer. So he's encouraging is finding something in Timothy. So you see how Paul prepares Timothy through his motivational methodology. He cites his constant prayer, thankful prayer for Timothy. And his own personal example of faithfulness and clear conscience. And he shows that love he has for him, that cultivated deep relationship that he has for Timothy.
IV. Paul's First Charge to Timothy: Fan Your Gift into Flame (verses 6-7)
And that constant encouragement and then he's ready to give him that first charge, and that's in verse 6. He says, "For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you, through the laying on of my hands."
Now, what is this gift of God? He doesn't say what it is, but I'm just going to cut to the heart of the matter and tell you I think it's his spiritual gift. It's his special spiritual gift that Jesus Christ had given to him. Now, it could be seen that this was the Holy Spirit. The gift of God was the Holy Spirit. Obviously the two are very closely related. Now the laying on of hands, something that Jesus had done in healing, moved over into the church in the book of Acts to be connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Do you remember I told you that this man and Ananias came to Paul, when Paul was first converted, Paul couldn't see and Ananias laid hands-on on Saul of Tarsus and Saul could see again, and he received the Holy Spirit at that moment and he was baptized. And throughout the book of Acts there's this connection between the laying on of hands and the coming of Holy Spirit. Paul himself laid hands on people in Ephesus and they received the Holy Spirit. But I think that this is actually referring to Timothy's spiritual gift.
If you look over back one book in 1 Timothy 4. There's a parallel passage here, which refers to Timothy's spiritual gift. In Chapter 4:13-14. He says, "Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture to preaching and to teaching [And then he says] Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid hands on you." Our minds are being taken back to this occasion, in which Timothy perhaps knelt before the elders of the church, and the elders gathered around and laid hands and Paul was there, and there was a prophetic message spoken about Timothy, perhaps that Timothy would be carrying on Paul's ministry, after Paul was finished. I don't really know what that message was, but there was a prophetic message about Timothy. And there was, at that moment, I believe a spiritual gift given to him, and that gift was the preaching and teaching of the Word.
And there in 1 Timothy 4, he says that he should not neglect His gift. Back in our passive in 2 Timothy, he says that he should fan his gift up into a flame. I think that's two sides of the same coin. The fact is that each one of you who listens to me this morning, every one of you who is a believer in Jesus Christ. Each one of you has a Spiritual gift, at least one. Now what is a spiritual gift? A spiritual gift is a special ability. A spiritual ability which God has given to you which Jesus Christ has weighed out to you, and apportioned to you, it says in Ephesians 4. For the purpose of building his body into maturity. You all have one. It doesn't belong to you, it's yours only temporarily, when you die, you'll have to give it back, and God will ask you what you did with it? Spiritual gift. So each one of you has a spiritual gift.
And this church will be healthy and growing to full maturity in Christ as each one of you uses your spiritual gifts, and it will not be healthy and will not grow to maturity if you don't. It's not up to me alone to use my Spiritual gift and build the church into maturity and health. All of us have to use our spiritual gifts. Your gifts don't belong to you alone, they belong to each one of us and to God. And so it is possible for a spiritual gift to lie in neglect, like an un-weeded garden just sitting there. Now, I'm not saying that that was the case with Timothy, just because Paul is exhorting Timothy to fan his gift up into a flame, doesn't mean that Timothy was neglecting his gift. But just that he should be vigilant not to do so. Vigilant. But I love this picture of fanning a fire up into a flame. Even into a bonfire. It speaks to me of zeal and passion, of as I mentioned before, blood earnestness, seriousness in the gospel ministry.
The Christian life is not a trivial life, it's not insignificant, the Christian life on the other hand, is the only thing that matters in this world, it's the only thing that builds for eternity. As I'd mentioned, when I preached to you before. So we have to be serious about this life while we walk in joy. And we have to make the most of every moment, using our spiritual gifts. But fix this picture of a fire into your mind, that inside of you, a flame can burn up as you add fuel to it. Zeal and passion. In the ministry that God's given to you. Woe to us, if anyone comes to us and says we're a cold lifeless church, Heaven forbid, we should be on fire for Jesus Christ. On fire through the Holy Spirit in all that we do. Passion and zeal should characterize us.
The Example of George Whitefield
I love the picture of this great evangelist, George Whitefield, many of you perhaps have never heard of George Whitefield what a tragedy. George Whitefield, actually taught John and Charles Wesley everything they needed to know about doing revivals and street preaching. It was George Whitefield who did it. But Whitefield was not the organizer that the Wesleys were as they started Methodism. And so we don't know as much about him. But he died before the American Revolution, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean 13 times in a sailing vessel. To preach the gospel both to England and to the 13 colonies. Talk about zeal, took his life into his hands to do that. Went up and down the colonies, really unified the colonies through his preaching.
I'm captured by the story of his death, an incredible story. Up in the area where I used to live, Newburyport, Massachusetts, he died young in his mid 50s. Burned out for Jesus Christ. He was lying in his death bed. People heard that he was sick perhaps even dying, and they wanted to hear him one more time, preach the gospel. And he got up out of his death bed, and came to a window and put the window up. He had a candle there to give light, it was night time, and he began to preach his final sermon. And he preached with all the strength and zeal he had left. Whatever he had left he gave. And the candle burned down, there was a pool of wax at the bottom and then it, it extinguished and went out.
He finished his sermon and closed the window, and laid down and by next morning he was dead. An incredible picture of fire and zeal, surpassed perhaps only by the Apostle Paul himself, for Paul said, "I'm already being poured out like a drink offering." That's what Paul uses, poured out for Jesus Christ. Zeal in the ministry. I want that to characterize our church. I want it to characterize my life. I want to be characterized by a sense of burning passion to serve Jesus Christ. And I want Him to be glorified by all of that. And I want you to want that too, as I'm talking about it now. I want you to move along with the flow and in the spirit. Keep in step with the Spirit, don't resist, or quench the Spirit's fire. But move with it. But we need to know finally how that fire burns because there's been a lot of misunderstanding about that, in church history.
Earlier this year, there were terrible forest fires down in Florida. I know you remember, just went on and on and on. Nobody could put it out. That's not my picture of the burning of the spirit's fire. For God did not give us a spirit timidity, but of power of love and of self-discipline. There's a structure to the passion of the fire, it's not a raging fire that burns and destroys but rather one that burns for glory, for the glory of God and for the building of His church. Too many people think I am a Spirit-filled person and therefore I can hurt anyone that I want, I can insult people I can be rude to people, all in the name of zeal and passion. No, it's not that way.
But first we have to understand more than anything, it is not connected in any way with cowardice. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity. Christianity has nothing to do with cowardice. You really should translate it that way. Faithless cowardice. Next week I'm going to talk to you about how to overcome fear in preaching the Gospel, if that characterizes you or even if it doesn't, please come and listen, because I'm going to show you some things from 2 Timothy and how God can move us past that. But the power of the Spirit comes in a controlled way to build and to strengthen His church. And it's controlled by love and self-control, self-discipline. The ability to rein in all your passions and everything you do for one purpose.
As I conclude today, I want to call each one of you, to go to God today in prayer. And to ask Him to show you. What your spiritual gift is. You might as well know what it is now, if you don't know it, because He's going to ask for it back on that final day. Don't be like that, foolish servant that took that talent and stuck it in the ground and never used it. Find out now what it is and ask God to begin lighting a flame of passion in your heart. Draw us all together. Ask God to draw us all together with a sense of passion in serving him. Let your fire burn with love, not burning each other, so that we are rude or unkind to each other but rather building His church in love, and self-control.
We come now to the part of our service called; an invitation. For the most part, we tend to think of this as reaching out to those of you who have never given your life to Jesus Christ. You know, I've been speaking for the most part, to Christians, this morning, but it could be that there are some here who don't know the indwelling Holy Spirit. Who do not as yet have a spiritual gift. Who have no life in Jesus Christ. I bring you back to the beginning of my sermon, the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus reaches out to you today. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. If you're not in Jesus Christ today, you're dead in your transgressions and sins. But today can be for you the day of new life in Jesus Christ. Let today be the day of today you hear His voice do not harden your hearts, come to faith in Christ. All of you who are Christians, we're going to have the music playing. Come forward and pray if God calls you, or kneel right where you are, or in your hearts begin praying and asking God to show you how He wants you to serve in this church.