Sermon delivered January 17, 1998

by Pastor Donald Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Bible quoatations are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

Shine in '98

Are you a worry wart? One day I was visiting a church member in Michigan. She shocked me by saying that cancer is caused by potato chips, sunshine and electric shavers. Have you ever thought that If everybody keeps stacking yesterdays National Geographics in garages and attics instead of recycling them, the weight of all those magazines will sink the continent 100 feet someday and we will all be inundated by the oceans. Some people in America worry about that.

Worry warts! Some people actually believe that pickles cause cancer, airline crashes and crime. They tell us that about 99.9% of cancer victims had eaten pickles sometime in their lives.... So have 99.7% of those involved in car and air accidents. Moreover, those born in 1839 who ate pickles have suffered a 100% mortality rate. Barry Siegel, "World May End With a Splash," Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1982

Look at II Samuel 5:17 ff. David had legitimate justification to worry. The diabolical Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel and came up to exterminate him. They invaded the Kingdom with a powerful force. David was in a quandary! Now what? He consulted his Almighty God.

Whenever you face a crisis, go to God. "Those who surrender their lives to His guidance and to His service will NEVER be place in a position for which He has not made provision." Ministry of Healing p. 248 - EG White.

The Lord answered David's prayer and the Philistines were soundly defeated. If God sends you into a situation He will stand by you.

II Samuel 5:20 "David....defeated them. He said...The Lord has broken out against my enemies..." One reason David was an exceptional Bible character is that he unselfishly gave God the full recognition.

The problems of life don't go away for long. The Philistines returned and this time they brought reinforcements. Their numbers filled the whole valley- see verse 22. David's zealousness has stirred up a hornets nest. These evil men are back to slaughter every man, woman, and child and take over the whole land. Now what?

II Samuel 5:23 "So David inquired of the Lord."

I like David. Again he sought guidance from His divine heavenly Friend.

Verses 24,25 "God answered, 'Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam (mulberry) trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.'"

David and his men hid behind the mulberry trees. They vowed to do nothing until God deployed his forces. Silently David and his confederation waited for the sound of Angels. Angels tread light. They can walk on clouds. Finally David began to hear a sound like the march of a mighty army in the air, up at the head of the mulberry trees.

That sound gave them faith! How do we get faith? Romans 10:17- "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word."

Like David, we must wait until we hear God's signal. That sound got louder and louder until it caused fear in the hearts of the enemy and they ran zigzagging through the brush in confusion. Leviticus 26:36- "the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them." David was given the victory that day.

II Samuel 5:25- "So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer." The secret of David's success was very simple; he did precisely what God told him to do at the time that God chose.

As Christians we must not attempt anything until we know that God is ready and leading the way. In Acts 2:2 the disciples waited in the upper room for the promise of the Holy Spirit. Finally it came with a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind. After that they went out and conquered the world.

Adventists are a church waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have been preparing and watching and waiting for God to signal the last mighty move when the loud cry will be given and the last warning message will go forth.

I believe this is the moment. I think if we listen closely we can hear the sound of rustling in the tree tops indicating that God is moving out. The iron is hot and now is the time to strike it with vengeance. If God is moving out for us, it must be time for us to move out for God! I believe that we can hear footsteps.... Footsteps of an approaching God. Events in this old world are telling us that time is short. Now is the time for the final message to go forth in power. All around us are signs, Great Unmistakable evidences that the hour for action is here. It is near midnight and as a waiting church we need to launch the final movement.

Matthew 25:6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'

Never before has the technology valuable to the finishing of the work been so available. The gospel is now being preached by satellite, by fax, by web page. Our McDonald Road web page now has close to 500 pages of information on it. Just two weeks ago from midnight Friday until midnight Saturday, a 24 hour period, over 2000 "Hits" were made on our web page by people reading sermons, studying the Bible or other religious needs.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

God is opening up doors for the finishing of His work. I believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church has the message for this hour. I believe that God is now moving and opening up the way for great things to happen. Truth seeking people are joining our church. Every day in the world 1977 people are baptized and join the SDA church! We have what the world so desperately needs.

One day a Kiwanis club in Dallas Texas was very concerned about all the things coming on the world and so the called the FBI Headquarters in Washington DC and asked for a representative to come and explain what was coming upon America. The FBI directed them to contact a SDA minister! Elder John Hayward was contacted. And he gave a lecture on last day events. God is moving out to finish the work.

Romans 10:13-15 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'"

Do you hear the sound of movement in the tops of the mulberry trees? Are you moving out for God? One of the saddest statistics of our day is that 95% of all church members have never led anyone to Christ. Bearing fruit is essential to Christian discipleship.

Benjamin Franklin learned that plaster sown in the fields would make things grow. He told his neighbors, but they did not believe him. That year he went into the field early in the spring. He traced some letters in the soil and put plaster into them and then sowed his seed in the field. People were very much surprised to see, in brighter green than all the rest of the field, the writing in large letters, "This has been plastered." That settled the argument. Those bright green letters rose up just above all the rest until they were a kind of living billboard. They knew the truth of his words by the fruit of his field.

John 15:8- "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Jesus is the vine and we are the fruit producing branches. But we can't produce much fruit while we are hiding behind the mulberry bushes. It is high time to move out for God.

The time is right to give the last message. We have the message the world desperately needs. No other church has the truth that this church has. I am a fourth generation Adventist! I love this church. I am trying to carry on the good that my great grandmother Gettys started way back in the 1800's when she joined the SDA church. I have personally checked this church out and it is the closest church in the world to the Bible.

Don't leave the church. The storm of the last days is no time to jump ship. Stay in the heart of God's last day church. Strengthen it. Hold an office. Be a teacher. Help do something. And invite others to this place of joy and safety.

High in the towering mountains of New Hampshire is a pass known as Crawford Notch. The Samuel Willey family moved into that Notch and built a home there. One night in June 1826 a terrible storm swept over the mountain. The next morning the family of seven looked out and through the mist and fog they were terrified to see a large part of the mountain detach itself and come crashing to the valley floor far below. To prepare for another such disaster, they built a cave-like shelter to which they could run for safety. After two months with no rain the parched mountain soil was dry to an unusual depth. On the night of August 28, 1826 a violent and destructive storm swept through the Notch. The river rose 24 feet in one night. Some time in the night the family left their home for the safety of the cave. But before they could reach it an avalanche of thousands of tons of earth, boulders, gravel and rocks swept them away.

Strangely enough, a great stone ledge divided the avalanche splitting it into two streams of debris that went by on either side of the house. Their home was the only place that remained untouched.

Rescue neighbors later came and found an open Bible on the table. The dog was there whimpering. But the entire family was gone. They had forsaken the only place which was truly safe.

I believe we have the only true message for a doomed world. Don't you? Let's tell them where the place of safety is. Now is the time to shine for Jesus. With Net 98 coming this October, let us do all we possibly can to witness. Yesterday is past, and the future is coming on us like an avalanche.

I believe that God is moving. We can hear the sound of an approaching God. Now is the time for us to move out for God. We have the bread of life. There's enough Bread of Life to supply the whole world, but are there enough volunteers to distribute it?

Opening Hymn: 202
Scripture Reading: Romans 10:13-15
Closing Hymn 375 Work for the night is coming


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