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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1129

Loved By God

May 25, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1129 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Oh God, give us such a sense of what His love means to us! God help us to be examples of those who have that kind of gratitude. When people come in here they don’t need to see a bunch of religious people practicing their religion. They need to see, they need to feel the love of Christ, who can reach to the lowest of the low.

You know, the examples that we refer to so many times…but you think of that woman who was brought in the very act of adultery. You know, like we’ve said, I don’t where they managed to leave the man out of the picture. It wasn’t something she did by herself, was it? Bunch of hypocrites! But anyway, they threw this woman down. They didn’t care anything about her. They just wanted to discredit Him.

But He saw…of course, He saw right past what they were trying to do. But what was the bottom line when He got to the end? And He asked her, “Has no one condemned you?” (NIV). And she said, no one, Lord. What did He say? “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (KJV).

It wasn’t an indulgence. It’s not a…it’s not this sentimental, I just love you so much, you can do anything you want. This was a love that’s gonna transform her life, that’s gonna turn her into a different path. She found something in Him that she had never seen in any of those self-righteous, religious people. Oh my God.

You think about, you think about the woman at the well. I mean here’s a woman who wasn’t even a part of Israel, but somehow they had enough of a moral sense about them that even she, there in a heathen situation, was an outcast. The hunger in her heart had driven her to seek something! Oh, I feel so unloved. If someone shows me affection, I just…maybe that will satisfy. I’m gonna run after that. And she ran after it, and after a while it was obvious that wasn’t right, and she’d run to somebody else, and run to somebody else, and run to somebody else, and obviously it wasn’t long before everybody knew what she was.

Everybody looked down on her. Of course, they weren’t any better, were they? But she was an outcast among her own people. She needed, like everybody else, to get her water from the village well, but she was so, in such a condition in the eyes of everybody, that she had to go there when no one else would. She couldn’t go with the other women. They’d be pointing and talking, and she knew how they felt. She felt the emptiness and the hardness of their spirits, and the condemnation.

But there she met Jesus at the well, and He engaged her in conversation. And what made it so amazing was, first of all, He wasn’t a woman, He was a man! That was…for a man to just engage a woman like that in conversation, that would have been unusual enough, but He was a Jew! And everybody knew how Jews felt about Gentiles! And Samaritans, they were half-breeds. They were sort of half and half and just despised, looked down upon! A man, and dealing with a Gentile woman, and a fallen woman…obviously she wasn’t there just because…well, I just need some water. This was the only time she felt like she could go. She had to just sneak out.

And here’s a man who engages her in conversation, and she doesn’t feel that same condemnation, and resistance that she feels, that alienation that she felt from everybody else. She didn’t feel that from Him, did she? What a testament it was to the God who had sent Him, that He could reach out to her with such mercy. And it wasn’t that He was overlooking her sin. He told her plainly what her sin was.

Oh how afraid we are to be honest. We think that if we uncover and if we’re honest about what we are that that’ll ruin it. We get that from one another. Oh we’ll put on a front with each other. I’m this. I’m that. And we don’t dare let anybody see what’s really going on, because then they wouldn’t like us anymore. Aren’t you glad that it’s not like that with the Lord?

( congregational amens ).

And who are we to put on airs with Him and pretend like He doesn’t know. Good grief. He knows you inside and out. He knows the ugliest thing there is about you and about me. And if we’re honest, there’s some pretty ugly stuff that goes through our minds and our hearts. And only someone with His character and His love could possibly reach beyond those faults, and long to wrap His arms around us.

That’s the Gospel, folks. It’s not that God’s so angry with the world, and by God, you better straighten up, or He’s gonna cast you into hell. This is, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” only begotten Son, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV). Oh God! God, touch our hearts with a sense of what…of His love and what it’s about.

I’m almost at a loss here just trying to put it into words, but over and over again…I mean, you saw it in that one letter that Brother Carl read about that man who’s now in Mexico. You think that would have been somebody high on somebody’s list of prospects for the Gospel? He was high on Somebody’s, and it was Somebody in Heaven who looked down and saw that man.

You know there are people in churches today that’ll wind up in hell. Not all of them, obviously, but some, many of them. And there that man will stand before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, with all of his crimes, and all the things that were wrong, and he’ll stand there, and Jesus will say, come in. Welcome, good and faithful servant. Why? Because he measured up, because he worked his way out of it, worked his debt off? No, because he came, what? Just as I am?

My word! Almost everything that was said and sung this morning was this theme. Just as I am! That is all the Gospel is looking for, is for people to just come and say, Lord, here I am. I ‘am’ helpless. Sin has got a grip on my heart and my life. I can’t beat it. I can’t get rid of my guilt. I can’t overcome it. I just…but I need a God who’ll love me unconditionally, who will do for me what I cannot do.

And that’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what a price that Jesus paid. You know, we are so prone, when someone says something wrong to us, or does something wrong, how do we react normally?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. We’re angry. We’re upset! They shouldn’t have said that! They shouldn’t have done that! And here are all these people who are supposed to even be His followers, and they insulted Him. They did everything possible during His ministry to reject Him. He came to own. His own didn’t receive Him. He came down to the end of His ministry, and He stood there looking over the city of Jerusalem, and He could see it there and there was something in His heart about all the rejection.

He thought back over the centuries, how He had reached out to them through prophets, and prophets, and more prophets, and constantly, oh, why do you want to die? Why do you keep persisting in the way you’re going? I love you. I would wrap My arms around you. Why will you not turn your hearts to Me?

And now He comes to this point. And if had been you or me, man, we would have said, I’ve had a belly full of this. They have insulted me for the last time. I’m gonna call down fire. I’m gonna rail on them with every judgment, every judgmental thing you can think of.

Now I know there’s nobody here that would ever think like that or feel that, but the truth is we everyone have that in us. You push the right buttons, and man, we are full of hell and anger. But there He was looking at centuries and centuries of rejection, and wickedness, and sin in the face of His love, and what did He do? He wept. It was not anger. It was grief. It was sorrow.

You look at what He did on the cross. The ultimate rejection and humiliation, and He said Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing. And there was a man hanging next to Him who deserved what he was getting, but there was something in him that God enabled him to recognize who Jesus was in sufficient measure that he turned to Him and said, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

It takes divine revelation to look at a man dying on a cross, being rejected by everybody and say, You’ve got a kingdom coming, but that’s the God we have. God can penetrate the darkness of the darkest heart. And I tell you, then it’s what happens when that heart…what that heart does with that light. Does it say, no, I will not, I will go my own way? That’s kind of what happened with the other man, wasn’t it?

( congregational response ).

But here’s this man, and Jesus said, “…Today you will be with me in paradise.” You think about it. He had no opportunity to get out and serve God, to do anything to make up for His life. His life was a ruin. Everything was about it was wrong, and he was getting what he deserved. And there he hung, dying, and yet there’s a voice of hope at that late hour that says, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

What a Gospel we have! What a hope we have! What a Savior we have! What a love God has revealed, and we know it so little. I just can’t even imagine what it’s gonna be like to suddenly step into that atmosphere and to realize. But doesn’t the Lord want us to enjoy some of that now, and to reckon on it, and to learn to rest in it? To know that we’re loved, not to constantly feel like, oh God, I messed up. He must not like me now much.

Oh, His love! Well, Carl referred to it in his prayer this morning. David used the expression a number of times about God’s unfailing love. What an amazing, awesome thing that it is. I thought about also Psalm 103. There are some tremendous words that we have often referred to.

Let’s start in verse 8, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Folks, I just sense in my own heart and my own life that we, those of who know Him, need to learn how to reckon on His love and on what He really is about, to see Him not as some distant monarch to be terrified of, but a Father who loves us, and who longs to just wrap His arms us and say, I love you. And I tell you, those who are holding back because they think they’ve gone too far or the problem is too deep, there’s no such thing.

( congregational amens ).

There’s no pit too deep. You know, Paul’s testimony was, “…That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” But He didn’t stop there, did He? He said, “…Of whom I am the worst.” God saved Paul who counted himself as the very worst sinner on the planet. Why? Because he had not just gone out and vented his lusts, fulfilled his lusts, and the lusts of the flesh and all that stuff. He had actually engaged his whole being in opposing God, and killing those who served Him!

But God had a different plan. God saw that man and said I’m gonna save him. You think Paul might have been just a little bit grateful after he got his eyes open? You wonder why he had such a zeal and such a passion for the Lord that had reached down to the lowest of the low. Yeah! Paul said, God did that to make me an example of what He can do.

You know, down through the ages God has done that. There have been people that you and I would have written off, or just imagined that nobody could be like that. Nobody could…God wouldn’t be interested in somebody like that. That might be the very one that God is most interested in.

You know, I don’t remember the name of this man, and it wouldn’t probably be sensible to say it if I did, but there was a…I’ve heard a number of times reference to a rather famous mass murderer who has since come to the Lord, and actually has an ongoing relationship with Brother Jim Cymbala.

You know, there’s a lot of preachers who are gonna be in hell, but he’s gonna stand there as our brother one day. And I will stand there gratefully and proudly. I don’t care what he did down here, because every one of us, at best, is a sinner saved by grace. What an amazing thing it is to see the grace of God that can turn somebody around like that, and reach their hearts! Oh praise God!

I don’t know. I’m gonna go ahead and read that letter. I think Carl can maybe see why I wanted to be the one to read it. But this one is addressed to Bishop Enlow.

( laughing ).

I will ignore that part. And I’ll summarize parts of it, and I don’t want to give names and places so much. But, he’s been in prison for many years, and he says, “About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, stage 4 lymphoma. They say I took too long to report it, but I was trusting God still.

After about 6 months of chemotherapy, which was worse than the cancer, I was told that the cancer had spread, and I needed more chemo and also radiation. I cried, prayed, and decided to stand on the promises of God for my healing through the blood of Jesus Christ. I refused all treatment and was sent to…” a certain place which was, I guess an infirmary in prison. “…Given three to six months to live. That was two years ago. Glory to Jesus!”

So, the Lord knows what the outcome, what the plan is. But he says, “I am writing to let you know how truly blessed I am when I watch the Midnight Cry services on Sunday on the Church Channel. I picture myself right there with the choir, my hands also raised, and I see the joy and reality of Jesus on everyone’s face. This infirmary is just a windowless, concrete room so I never know if it is rainy or sunny outside. Midnight Cry is my only fellowship. I’m grateful.” I thank God for the encouragement, because a lot of times we sit here and feel like we’re just going through motions, and what good is it doing? But I tell you, it’s not us.

( congregational amens ).

We have absolutely nothing. But I just pray that God will take the feeble efforts, and just take and get His words to people that are in need. Now listen to the background. Let’s see what a wonderful candidate this guy is. “I was raised in a New York orphanage, and was kicked out at 17 years old with no family and no place to go. So on the streets of New York I became highly involved in gangs and crime, a leader in sin.

“And I have spent most of my life in prisons from coast to coast, even in California with a fellow named Manson. There I came to the knowledge of Jesus, and I studied my Bible, even obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in theology. But there is a big difference between the knowledge of God, and actually knowing Him personally. So upon release from prison I was seven times far worse than the worst, and under the three-strikes law came back with a life sentence with no possibility of parole. ‘The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.’ That’s the Amplified version.

“I was what I was—I was what I was, but I am not what I was. To most, a life sentence, along with a diagnosis of terminal cancer would be the end, but God, the Father to the fatherless, in His great mercy through the loving power of the Holy Spirit, embraced me and promised to never leave me. He is faithful even when we are faithless. There are all kinds of prisons. Mine is just a little more obvious. Born with the odds against me, I have been born again, and will someday soon trade in this prison number for a crown. I live a simple existence the same day over and over, only with God’s promises every morning new. Please forgive me if I’ve taken up too much of your time.”

You can take all you want. “I know you are busy. I just felt in my heart to write and to tell you how much just watching your Sunday services mean to a guy the courts once called ‘the definition of bad.’ Now, well, I am content to be the one who feels the pain rather than the one who causes it. God is not through with me yet, and while I serve Jesus, not time, I thank God for you…” He called me Bishop Enlow again.

( laughing ).

“…And all who know that Jesus is Lord.” And he does request that somebody would communicate with him, and give him some fellowship by communication. But I also wanted to read a couple of poems that he enclosed that are something. He has one called “Lost and Found.”

“While traveling within my mind,
I stopped to see what I could find,
In a place called lost and found,
Where lives lay scattered all around.

“Just as I entered through the gate,
I saw the section labeled ‘Hate,’
Where people who are sad and lost
Pay in fear the highest cost.

“And down the road to my dismay,
I saw the games that people play,
No longer needed by those few
Who know what greed and lies can do.

“Then to the right I saw the sign
‘Broken Hearts’ and I saw mine.
But on it was a tag marked ‘Claimed’
And Jesus was the buyer named.

“I picked my heart up off the ground,
And heard it sing the sweetest sound,
So folks could hear from miles around,
I once was lost but now I’m found.”

That’s hard to even read, isn’t it? Thank God for His love. “These Hands.”

“These hands that now a Bible hold,
Once held a gun in crime so bold.
From handcuffs tight there still are scars
That can’t be seen from behind bars.

“These hands so often clinched to fight
Have found in darkness God’s sweet light,
And now in Jesus’ name are raised.
Only He is worthy to be praised.

“These hands that gambled, cheated and lied
Now cling to the One who for me died.
His hands were nailed to Calvary’s tree,
For God so loved the world and me.

“These hands that shot drugs in my veins
Now worship God. He lives and reigns.
Though locked in prison I may be,
God holds these hands for eternity.”

It’s pretty hard to add anything to that, isn’t it? Folks, we need to just bask in the reality of God’s love. Pray that God will open hearts to it, because there’s nobody who’s beyond this. If only they would just let go, and just let Him come in and let Him, let Him deal with everything that’s wrong. He has the power to bring people out of the lowest place that there is, and to set their feet on a rock. Folks, I will stand there proudly with somebody like this.

( congregational amens ).

I won’t look at him and say, what about all those things that you did. There are no backseat people in the kingdom of God.

( congregational amens ).

If you’ve got a past, you don’t have to sit in the back row. We have the same righteousness.

( congregational amens ).

What was said about the exchange? We give him all the brokenness that we are and all that we have, whatever it is, and He blots it out as if it never happened. And He gives us Himself and His righteousness. That’s the Gospel, folks.

( congregational amens ).

There’s times when it’s right to scare people with the reality of sin and judgment to come. But I’ll tell you, it’s not that…God doesn’t want us to serve Him that way. He wants us to love Him and to love one another, and to drink from His love. It’s real. Look what it has the power to do.

I don’t know what else to say except to say that God’s love is a reality, and if you don’t know it this morning, I pray that God will make Himself real to you, that it won’t be just some basic thing you say, ‘God is love.’ But you’ll be able to say with this brother, ‘God so loved the world and me.’ And if you’ll let go and open up, He will change your heart forever. To Him be the glory.