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The Powerlessness of Unbelief (Matthew Sermon 81 of 151)

The Powerlessness of Unbelief (Matthew Sermon 81 of 151)

December 07, 2008 | Andrew Davis
Matthew 17:14-20
Faith, Prayer, Miracles, Demons

Introduction

So turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 17. We continue our study in Matthew, with verses 14-20, and I think it's gonna be helpful for you also, if you could open to Mark 9:14-29. I'm gonna be really looking at both of these passages in order to get a fuller understanding of what happened in that account. So Matthew chapter 17, verses 14-20, and put your finger there and stay also in Mark 9:14-29.

I can hardly imagine what it must have felt like for this young couple, newly married. The man I knew in the first engineering job I had just out of college. Now they were on their honeymoon, they'd been married for just two days, and they had gone to Hawaii for their honeymoon.

They were body surfing there, off the coast of Oahu, when suddenly a particularly violent wave drove this young man head first into the sand of the beach, jarred him violently, and injured him in a way that must have been terrifying to them both. He lay there on the beach paralyzed, unable to move, unable to feel, unable to wiggle his fingers, or his toes. Soon he was whisked away to a hospital, his weeping bride was stunned, wondering if now - they've been married for two days - she was married to a quadriplegic and would be feeding her husband the rest of their married lives together.

And as he lay there in that hospital bed I think their future must have looked bleak indeed. They were not Christians, they didn't know the Lord. It was a devastating time for them. Thankfully for them, he'd merely suffered a temporary shock to his spinal column, a temporary shock to the system, within days he would recover all of his functions, all of his feelings, and went on to lead a normal life.

But I think about that paralysis, that feeling of utter helplessness and I believe it's a picture of us in our sin, apart from Christ. A picture of absolute powerlessness. Now, what is power? Well, there are different kinds of power, there's political power, military power, there's physical power, the power of beauty, there's electrical power, nuclear power, economic power, and others besides. Power is the ability, the force to make a change, make an effect in the world, and people like to see themselves as powerful, that they can make a difference in the world, that they can make an effect.

But the Bible actually portrays us as spiritually powerless, actually helpless, apart from Christ. We are powerless to change our own nature, the nature of our hearts. We are powerless in the face of our own sinfulness, powerless in the face of disease. We have been proven again and again as a race to be powerless in the face of death, the final enemy. We are powerless to throw off the demonic oppression of Satan's kingdom and its opposition to us. We are powerless to improve our spiritual standing with a holy God.

We need a savior. And that is precisely why Jesus Christ has come, amen? Because we are powerless apart from Him. Romans chapter 5 and verse 6 says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Oh, feel the weight of each of those words. Christ died for the ungodly. That, my friends, is us; it's you and me.

Now, in today's passage, we're gonna see Christ coming face-to-face again with human powerlessness as he has so many times in his ministry. We see the powerlessness of a boy who is demon-possessed and thrown frequently into the fire or into the water. We see the powerlessness of his father who's desperate to save the life of his tormented son, we see the powerlessness of his disciples who through their lack of faith seemingly can do nothing about it.

But in the end, we see the powerlessness of the demon to oppose Jesus Christ. We see the powerlessness of disease to resist Christ's healing power. We see the powerlessness of darkness to resist the light, the powerlessness finally of unbelief, to resist the faith that Christ intends to give each and every one of us even today. The final lesson on this passage is this: If you believe in Jesus Christ, then nothing will be impossible for you. That is the power of faith.

From the Mountaintop to the Valley

Descending from the Mountaintop

So this encounter with Christ stands as a timeless testimony to the power of faith to overcome our powerlessness. But let's set it in its context. Here, in this account, we see Jesus and his three chosen disciples going from the mountaintop down into the valley. I told you it was coming. Remember we can't stay up there on the mountain top much as we'd like to do it, we have to come down into the valley.

And so, they're descending from that incredible experience that they had, the mount of transfiguration where Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone as radiantly as the sun. And his clothes became brilliantly white, and they had an encounter with Christ that they could never have imagined, and a glimpse of that pure heavenly glory that they will be gazing on for all eternity. They also had an encounter with Moses and Elijah, a true mountaintop experience, but friends it couldn't last. 

The Valley of Humiliation

So now, they descend down into the valley of humiliation. Mark's gospel as I've told you, records this event with a little more detail than Matthew's, so we are gonna be running parallel, side-by-side. But according to Mark's gospel, Jesus's enemies were there and they were attacking the nine apostles that Jesus had left down in the valley.

They were coming after them, Mark 9:14, “When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.” These are the scribes, the teachers of the law. They were Jesus' sworn enemies. They had, it seems, orchestrated this whole test, they brought this demonized boy and his father to the apostles to see what they could do. And as usual these scribes, these teachers of the law were looking merely for an opportunity to discredit Jesus, and this time by testing his apostles. Jesus' apostles had miserably failed, bringing temporary disrepute to Jesus and his ministry.

The Plea of a Desperate Father

And so we see the plea of a desperate father, look at Matthew 17, verses 14-16. “When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said, ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples but they could not heal him.’”

Powerlessness Breeds Desperation

So the powerlessness of this man to handle this situation brings about desperation. The love of a father for his son is among the strongest there is in the world. The father's anguish over his son is heightened by three factors: First, this son was an only son, his only child. The only child this poor man had. Secondly, the son was suffering terribly, he was in agony, and his life was threatened every day, and it had been going on like this for a long time. And thirdly, there was nothing the man could do about it, he was utterly powerless before it.

And so this man has great anguish for these three reasons. Now, he had heard of Jesus' reputation as a healer, but now perhaps his faith has been damaged, not destroyed, but perhaps damaged by the failure of his apostles, to drive out the demon.

The Son’s Desperate Condition

Now, the son's desperate condition is interesting in the original language, and in Greek, the King James version actually brings it across a little more faithfully. It says there that he was a “lunatic,” and it's related to the Greek word for the goddess of the moon and they believed that epileptic seizures were brought on because they had, in some sense, offended the moon goddess and they would wax and wane with the patterns of the moon and that's what the word literally means. Lunatic.

But clearly the issue here is this man is having seizures. And the man rightly believed that it was brought on by a demon. Now, when we go from the word lunatic to epileptic seizures, we who live in the city of medicine, we may leave out the supernatural impact of the demonic. We may think that demons don't bring about illnesses, but they do, and they certainly do here in this account. This is brought on by a demon. Look at Mark 9:17 and 18, “Teacher I've brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground, he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid.”

Now, I can't imagine what an epileptic seizure would be like. There have been some in our church whose children have suffered through them. Perhaps you yourself have this kind of malady, but I can imagine it would be a terrifying thing to go through this. And the powerlessness of the father watching this.

But even worse, there's a malevolent side to it, a wickedness, a demon, that's bringing it on. And this demon isn't merely robbing his son of speech, the demon is trying to kill him. He's looking for an opportunity. Jesus said that Satan is a murderer, and he was a murderer from the beginning. This demon is just following suit of his dark lord and master, he's trying to kill, to murder, this man's son. 

And he does it by bringing on convulsions resulting in the boy throwing himself often it says, “Into the fire or into the water.” The fire might be a cooking fire in the house or any other kind of fire that might be around the yard. The water could be a river, a lake, a pond, a well. It could come on at any moment. Imagine being this boy's father, you never know if this moment might be his last. There's just nothing you can do about it. It's been going on since childhood, a desperate case.

Coming to Christ for Mercy

And so he comes to Christ for mercy. Matthew 17:14-15, it says, “A man approached Jesus and knelt before him, ‘Lord have mercy on my son,’ he said.” He bows down before Christ as before a king, and he calls him “Lord.” This was actually common. It doesn't mean that he necessarily fully understood who Jesus was, but he certainly understood that he was great and had great power.

However it seems that his faith is already as I've said, been somewhat damaged. Look at Mark 9:22-23. There it says, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Let me read that a little differently: “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” And let me put a little inflection in Jesus's answer, “‘If you can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” What do you mean if you can?

If you can do anything Jesus. Well therein lies the rub, friends, isn't it? Can Jesus do anything about your situation? Don't we come to him about the same way? “If you can do anything Jesus please do something, some little thing, let me know that you're there.” If you can. And so we see the struggle of this father.

The Plight of the Faithless Disciples

Focus on the Disciples’ Failure

We see also the plight of the faithless disciples. He says, “I brought him to your disciples but they could not heal him.” The focus here is on the failure of the disciples, literally they had no power to heal, they were powerless before this case. They were stripped, they were exposed, they were weak, they were helpless, ashamed, defeated, humiliated. This was a stinging setback for them.

Realize it was couched as a test by Jesus's enemies. Jesus isn't there, he's up on the mountain, coming down. And so they're kind of left alone, in their own mind, they're far more alone than they really were. It's an especially poignant failure because it's done in front of Jesus' enemies who are trying to discredit his ministry, and Jesus had given them power over the demons to drive them out.

They'd already been over this. They were qualified to do this, they'd been given supernatural power to do this, they'd been sent out to do this. Mark chapter 3:14-15 says that, “Jesus appointed twelve, designating them apostles, that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” They had the power to do it.

Now, we don't know what they did, and we don't know what they didn't do, but one thing it seems that they didn't do is they didn't pray. Now, this is rather striking when you stop and think about it. Okay, afterward, you know after the account, and we'll come back to this later, but at the end, they come to Jesus, after Jesus had gone indoors they ask him privately, “Why couldn't we drive it out?” And Jesus answers, and I think this is the proper reading: “This kind, can only come out by prayer.” Now just mull that over for a moment. A demon possessed boy is there, and they don't even pray about it. Instead of calling on Almighty God they tried the technique that they had developed on that earlier mission trip. You remember?

They went out and they had that demon thing, that technique down, and that was a great day. This is not a great day. There are great days and there are not great days. This was not a great day. That was a great day. Luke 10:17, “They returned back filled with joy saying, even the demons are subject to us in your name,” what a great moment that was for them, but now they can't do anything. Powerless.

The Root Issue: Unbelief

The root issue here is clearly unbelief. In Matthew, “Why couldn't we drive it out?” They asked. Jesus said, “Because you have so little faith.” And we're gonna discuss this more fully in a moment, but the bottom line here is that they failed to trust in God's power working through them, they didn't look to God at all. They felt they were alone 'cause Jesus wasn't there, they couldn't see Jesus.

Well, the overwhelming majority of Christian throughout all history would not be able to see Jesus and would have to trust him not seeing him. Having not seen him, we love him, we're not gonna get to see him. And they needed to be able to rely on Almighty God, his invisible working power, whether Jesus was physically there or not, and frankly for much of the rest of their own lives, they would have to do that.

They relied instead on themselves, maybe like that Ali Baba thing, they were looking for that magic word, “Open Sesame.” If they could just say the right word, the demon would come out. And so, there are Jesus's enemies looking on, and they try to drive the demon out and nothing happens. And so, beads of sweat start to form on the head. They look around at one another the top three apostles had been drafted for some trip that Jesus was on. And so who's in charge? Is it Andrew? Is it Thaddeus? I mean who's gonna step forward now?

Whose turn is it? And so it starts to go badly, and then it gets worse. I don't know what the demon said, but we know in the book of Acts, a demon beat up some people who were unqualified to drive out, the seven sons of Sceva, they got beaten up. And so this is going very, very badly. They begin to argue, perhaps, among themselves, their faith nowhere to be found.

Jesus’ Stinging Rebuke

And so Jesus comes down off the mountain. The father encounters him, “I brought him to your disciples. They couldn't drive him out.” And now we get Jesus's response. What an amazing response it is.

“Oh, unbelieving and perverse generation. How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” Some commentators say Jesus is talking about his enemies, the scribes, talking generally about the Jews at the time. I think yes, and yes. But do you really think the apostles were not meant to hear that as a rebuke? I think it was for them and for us. Oh, unbelieving and perverse generation, unbelieving, not as though they were pagans, but where was their faith?

How many times does Jesus say, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?” He says to Peter, “Where is your faith?” What happened to it? Did you leave it behind in this particular encounter? “Oh, unbelieving and perverse generation.” “Perverse” means they've gone off the right path. This shouldn't shock us. Jesus called Simon Peter “Satan” at one point, “Get behind me Satan. You're a stumbling block to me.” Romans chapter 4, speaking of Abraham, it says that God justifies the ungodly, or the wicked. Wicked Abraham. That's what the text says.

The standard is absolute perfection. We are an unbelieving and perverse generation and we stand well-rebuked by Jesus here. Have you ever failed to trust Jesus? Have you ever turned away in unbelief? Have you ever sinned? I really believe all sin is a failure of faith. If Jesus were standing right there, you wouldn't have done it. It's a failure of faith friends, “Oh, unbelieving perverse generation.”

Then he says, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” Oh, that I would not be a burden to Jesus. Weary of bearing it, he says in Isaiah 1, “I'm weary of bearing you, carrying you along.” How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?

And then the beautiful statement, “Bring the boy here to me.” Thank God for Jesus. When we look our weakest, our frailest, he shines in his power. There's nothing he cannot do, there's no situation that's going to leave him nonplussed, doesn't know what to do. “Bring the boy here to me.” Not to get too allegorical here, but can I urge you to just do that all the time? “Bring the boy to Jesus.”

Whatever it is, bring the problem to Jesus, bring the struggle to Jesus, bring everything to Jesus. By the end of this sermon, I'm gonna urge you to bring your unbelief to Jesus. Bring it all to Jesus, he'll make it better. He'll take care of it, he will address it, he will heal it, he will show his power. “Bring the boy here to me.”

The Power of Our Sovereign Lord

So we see the power of our sovereign Lord. Look at verse 18 in Matthew 17, “Jesus rebuked the demon, it came out of the boy and he was healed from that moment.” Oh, how crisply are those three statements made! Ding, ding, ding. “Jesus rebuked the demon, it came out of the boy and he was healed from that moment.” Wow! Awesome power, the power of Jesus. 

The Power of Christ Hidden

Now, his power was hidden as he came down off the mountain. He's not radiantly shining brightly anymore. He looks like an ordinary man. The power is hidden again, he's God incognito again. To his enemies, perhaps to that desperate father through his tears, perhaps a little even to his own disciples, he looked like an ordinary man. So the encounter with the desperate father makes sense, in Mark 9 where he says, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can,” said Jesus. Do you know who you're talking to?

Who is He, this Jesus? He's the second member of the Trinity. He's the only begotten Son of God. Through Jesus, God made the universe. By his power he upholds all things in the universe. By the word of his power, he sustains them. Is there anything that Jesus cannot do? If you can. If you can do anything. Oh, he can do everything. He is omnipotent. Christ is the center of God's pleasure. Angels hide their faces before him. We will gaze for eternity on his glory and never grow weary of it. The Apostle Paul, who revealed so much to us of Christ said, “I just want one thing, I wanna know Jesus. I wanna know him. I wanna know his power, the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings. I wanna know Christ.”

And so Christ reveals his power, once again. I say to you, there's not a man, a woman or a child here today that properly esteems the power of Jesus Christ. None of us does. We all underestimate what he can do. We all say, in effect, “If you can do anything, could you help me?” Well, He can do all things.

Christ Reveals His Power Once Again

And so Christ reveals His power. He's already done a river of miracles in Palestine. Should be enough for us. He's already done it, but here's another one. He's all but banished the demons and disease from Galilee for a brief three-year period. Just rebukes the demon, it comes out of the boy and he's healed from that moment.

I like Mark's account, it gives it a little bit fuller. Verses 25-27, Mark 9. “When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He's dead,’ but Jesus took him by the hand, lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.”

Now, the demon, upon seeing Jesus, writhes and convulses. He is in fear of Jesus. He knows what Jesus can do. Oh, he knows the great power. It's the light of the glory of Christ's spiritual being, it's not physical anymore, but the demon's eyes, his dark eyes, stabbed by the brilliance of Christ's deity. And he is in terror of Jesus, as they always were. Afraid that he would send him to eternal punishment before the time. Some day, that demon will be cast into the lake of fire, the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. That's where he's going some day. And so the demon recoils in terror and abject hatred, gives the boy one final kick before he leaves him. The hatred of this demonic power, but he must obey Jesus, amen? He must obey him, because all authority in heaven and earth is Jesus'.

The Healing Was Permanent… But Temporary

So out he comes. Do you think he ever entered that boy again? I tell you, he didn't. It was a permanent healing of that particular demon. And yet it was just a temporary healing. You know why? Because that boy is now dead. All of the people that Jesus healed are dead. All of them. Their bodies long since decayed, long since turned dust.

All of Jesus's miracles are just signs. They're signs of a future reality when there will be no demon possession, there will be no disease, there'll be no mourning, no crying, no pain, no death. It's all going to be gone. He's going to heal the world through faith in his name and that New Heaven and New Earth will be called rightfully, the Home of Righteousness. Not disease and death and sorrow and sadness. This was just a symbol, a sign of a coming reality. The true healing of every bodily disease and infirmity is the resurrection of the body at the final day.

And so Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, “So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there's also a spiritual body. And so it is written: ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being,’ the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.” Jesus has come to raise you from the dead, not merely heal you of one particular malady.

I believe that there's got to be a small number, or maybe even a larger number than we can imagine, of people that Jesus brought here today, that he might raise you from the dead spiritually. Now. That he might speak a word into your heart of who he is, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And that light can shine in your hearts even while you listen to me talk, as though God himself were making his appeal through you. I urge you, be reconciled to God.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Trust in him for the forgiveness of all of your sins and you will live forever, and you will have a resurrection body, and there'll come a time you won't know any disease, any pain. Death will be a thing of the past. Trust in him, that's the healing he wants to work in you. Oh, let him work it. Trust in him.

The Primacy of Faith

Well, the account ends with the issue of faith, the primacy of faith. We've already seen it. Look at verses 19-20 of Matthew 17, “The disciples came to Jesus in private.” Why do you think they came in private? What do you think? A bit embarrassed, I'm thinking. “Jesus, why couldn't we drive him out? What did we do wrong? We gotta go to the technique school again. Exorcism 201. Okay, 101 was only enough for that time. We need to get the advanced exorcism. What did we do wrong? Why couldn't we drive it out?” He said, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move.’ Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The True Lesson Here: Overcoming Unbelief

True lesson here is overcoming unbelief. The great enemy here is not the disease of demon possession. There's a far greater enemy than that. That disease and all of the physical diseases cannot condemn your soul to eternity in hell, but unbelief can. To not believe in Jesus is a sin, perishable by death.

So, he's got to heal this issue of unbelief. And again and again, Jesus deals with the unbelief of his disciples. He rebukes them after he rebukes the wind and the waves. He said, “Why did you doubt?” Thomas, you know, after the resurrection, he heard an account from the other apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead. He said, “I'll tell you what, unless I put my finger in his hands where the nail marks were and put my hand on the side, I will not believe it.”

So, a week later, Jesus gave him what he asked for because he was an apostle and he had the right to see it with his own eyes. So, though the doors were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus comes and stands in their mids and says, “Peace be with you.” And he goes right over to Thomas and says, “Okay look, look and see. My hands. Look at my side. Stop doubting and believe.” And Thomas says, “My Lord and my God.” And Jesus says, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Is that you today? You've not seen and yet you believe that Jesus has risen from the dead. Good! You believe that, do you believe him for more? Or should I say, do you believe him for less? He who raised Jesus from the dead, can he not take care of your problems, whatever problems you hauled in here today? What's troubling your mind? What's concerning your soul today? God raised Jesus from the dead. What could be greater than that? You trust him for that, but not for your financial problem, not for your job problem, not for the problems going on in your family, not for your academic struggles, not for your struggle with sin. Oh, you'll trust him for resurrection, but not for those other things. How foolish. We are of little, little faith.

What Is Faith?

So what do we mean by faith? Well, I've meditated on this. Now, faith can be small or it can be great. You can be of little faith or, like the Roman centurion, “I've not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” So faith, actually, can grow. It's possible for faith to grow. It says in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, “Your faith is growing more and more.” It is possible for faith to grow.

Well, then what is this issue of the mustard seed, okay? They said, “Increase our faith,” and he said, “I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’” So in some sense, faith can grow. In another sense, it's not a matter of size or amount, it's a matter of getting out of the way and letting Almighty God do what he intends to do. That's what it is. It is not faith that moves a mountain, it is God that moves the mountain. And he does it by people who will believe in him to do it.

And faith, you know there's all kinds of faith movements. The “name-it-and-claim-it” thing. You know what I'm talking about? “If you have enough faith, you can have anything.” And it reverses your relationship with God, where he becomes your servant and you're the king deciding what's best for the universe. “Please let us know where we're heading, okay. I'm interested in knowing where we're heading as you run the universe.” Aren't you glad you don't run the universe? God runs the universe and he's not surrendering that control to any of us at any time.

What then, is faith? Making God do what you want? Not at all. If God is intending to move a mountain, I mean a literal physical mountain with mountain goats and with shrubs and dirt and rocks, he can move that mountain whether he has you believing in it or not. But the issue is, do we wanna get involved in what he's doing? And if you have even a mustard seed of faith, you can get involved in the great things that God is doing.

And so therefore, I think it's an idea that you take and apply to every situation of your life. An omnipotent God is here and means good for me. He's promised me these things in the Bible, I'm going to trust him and he will do what he thinks is best. That's what faith is. And if it means the literal moving of a mountain, then praise God.

The Remedy to Unbelief: How Faith Grows

How then, does your faith grow? Be in the Word. Where did faith come from? Faith comes from hearing the Word. Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Memorize it. Saturate your minds in it. And then, the promises you find in it, trust him for those things. Bring them back to God in prayer. “Show him his Word,” said one puritan, “He's fond of his writing." So show it to him. Say, “Lord, you said you would do this. You said that if I'd prayed for wisdom you'd give it to me. Now I'm trusting you to give me wisdom.” Venture out. See God do great things and your faith will grow. It could be that your faith isn't growing, 'cause you really don't need it to grow much. You got it covered, just like the apostles who didn't need to even pray.

Now, I know some of the manuscripts say, “This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting.” I think that's a later addition. You know, we don't have the original Matthew and Mark, and so they're copies. And I think a monk or a group of monks who thought a lot about fasting, stuck it in there. I do think this, that fasting can focus us in prayer. I think it can be helpful. I just don't think it was originally there.

I think it's even more poignant to say, “You know, you need to pray about this. You should have asked God.” And that convicts me. How many problems come, in my life, 'cause I didn't ask God at all. I didn't bring him into the midst of it.

The Rewards of Faith

And so, what are the rewards of faith? Well, the moving of mountains. Immense joy when the boy is healed and walks away. When the sinner is converted, the one you've been praying for for all those years, when he or she is finally converted, the joy you get. When the inland regions of China are finally evangelized and Hudson Taylor can look with satisfaction on what began in his lifetime and is consummated right before Jesus returns.

Oh, the moving of mountains. Let me tell you something, the moving of a literal mountain is as nothing compared to this. The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Now, that's a bigger mountain than even if the Himalayas were moved a 100 miles to the north or south. And God is moving mountains.

He's doing it in his church, he's doing it in lives all around us. The question is, are we involved in it? When the Berlin Wall fell, you know how many Christians had specifically prayed for an end of communism in Eastern Europe? And they gave thanks to God, that mountain moved. Are you trusting God for anything? Are you trusting God? Are you ready to be blessed by the answers to specific prayer, and to receive the joy that God will give and the glory that he gets as a result? Please close with me in prayer.

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