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2 Corinthians says, “God has given us this task.” How many know if the scripture said God has given us a task we need to pay attention to? He said, “God has given us this task of reconciling people to him for God was in christ.” I want you to pay attention to this verbiage here. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them.” isn't that an amazing announcement? “and he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” What a powerful thought process! that god empowered Jesus when he was on the earth! The great news is after that God empowered us as we're on the earth. God is making his appeal through us. see i'm making an appeal right now through this sound system. I'm the one speaking but it's the sound system that's amplifying what I'm saying. I'm making an appeal through the sounds. God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to god!” “for God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through christ.”

Father, thank you for your words today. Father, just open our ears, open our spirits, let your presence hover over us today. go through the airways today in the name of jesus. We thank you for the miracles that you're already doing right now in our midst, and those that you're gonna do in Jesus' name.

Last week we were able to witness hope. i watched, last week we had a teen life challenge come in. If you don't know what teen life challenge is, it is a program for men and women adults. Also there's a program for teens when they have a life crisis. addictions and strongholds in their life that they can go into this program for nine months or 18 months. They have an amazing amazing success rate to see deliverance. to see freedom. to see people continually walk free of those addictions. It was just wonderful to see the hope in those young men's eyes last week as they stood on this platform. They told those stories. they told their stories, and they sang of the deliverance power and they worshiped god with us last week. I saw hope arise in some of your hearts, that God still does what God still does. that god still does what he said he would do. hope rose up in your hearts, that he still delivers. that he still sets free and that he still breaks the chains of bondage.

while I was sitting or actually standing in worship. it was before they ever got up. I was standing in worship and I heard the holy spirit tell me, “be a carrier be a carrier.” At that moment I thought, he wants us to carry the light. He wants us to carry the message, he wants us to be carriers of the good news! how many know that time is critica?l we're living in critical times right now. We've been seeing daily images on the news, and we've been hearing the stories on the radio. the travesty of the war in ukraine. the refugees and and all of those bombings, and their houses are being destroyed their economy's destroyed. their families are destroyed, they're divided. I heard one lady say yesterday she was crying and weeping and telling of the devastation. she said these words, “i don't even know where my son is.”

just such devastation, and such heartbreaking. Here's my question to you today today. We've seen that week after week after week those images on the news. We've heard their stories week after week, but what if our spiritual eyes could be opened and what if we could see what is happening all around us on a daily basis. between the spirit of light, and the kingdom of darkness. if we could see the warfare and the tug of war, and the devastation that's taking place. the bombing of satan on those that are all around us. maybe on your family. maybe on you. maybe on your loved ones the families that are being destroyed. the lives that are being blown up and torn up all around us. What I want to ask you today is, can you hear the cries of those in your own shadow?

See we hear the cries of those on tv and and they're pleading and they're crying out because they have no power in themselves. they're saying give us supplies, give us food, give us artillery, give us weapons. help us, because we are in a war that we can't win by ourselves. may i tell you, we can't even hear the cries of those in our own shadows. on our own jobs, in the schools we go to, because we are spiritually blind most of the time.

Here's what the scripture says. second corinthians chapter 3. it says if the old way which brings condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way which makes us right with god? In fact , the first glory it's talking about in the old testament is the fact that the first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. wouldn't it be great if we were as excited about the new way? if we were as excited about this message that god has given us as we were about getting a new car? we'd be all up on facebook! wouldn't it be great if we were that excited? in fact, “that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. ``If the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new which remains forever?” listen to what he's saying there. Those words are important, “since this new way gives us such confidence we can be very bold. We are not like Moses who put a veil over his face so that the people of Israel would not see the glory even though it was destined to fade away.” Here's my first question. I'm going to explain that a little bit. My first question is, are we contagious or are we innocuous? we know the charlton heston story right? of Moses going up to the mountaintop and talking to god. God gives him the ten commandments. We know that when Moses comes down the mountain because he's been in the presence and the glory of God he's just illuminated. He's just shining. The glory of God is being reflected in the person of moses. Moses comes down the mountain as one that has come down from god. The scripture says that he puts a veil over his face. so that the people would not have to look into the glory of the shining of god, even though that glory was fading away day after day. the longer it had been. the glory faded away. The glory of the old law was just there to show us the error of our way. little by little it faded away because there was another covenant to come. there was another, better covenant. a better way. a more glorious way, that would never fade away. That is the covenant of Jesus christ. When he comes down from the mountain of God and the scripture says, we are not like Moses that puts a veil over our face. the holy spirit said to me to be a carrier.

my mind went to all that we've recently heard over the past three years. I don't know about y'all, but I'm virus fatigued. I'm done with all this stuff. my mind went to the infectious rate of the global pandemic. how infectious it was. how easily it spreads. how contagious it is. I decided I'm just going to go over. I began to look up the top 10 pandemics.I just looked over there and I saw a little bit of coronavirus. covid 19 literally named covid virus that happened in 2019. so they made it covid 19. That's really how it got its name right. We know it started in China in 2019. They say that in just a few months of the first evidence of an outbreak, that there were a hundred thousand infections, and there were over 30 000 deaths. we've heard all of the stuff. it's so contagious you got to wear a mask. well guess? mask they're just useless, because they're particles in the air. let's isolate for a while. Then let's stay six feet apart. Well, let's get a vaccine. Well, let's get a booster for the vaccine. let's get a booster for the booster. then let's get a booster for the booster for the booster.then all of a sudden there was it's close kissing cousin that came out. it's even more infectious than the last one!

But the truth of the matter is that the last record that I saw was 6.1 million people who died from covid. Influenza was so infectious that 25 to 50 million people died. they don't have a real grip on it but between 25 and 50 million died of HIV aids. 36 million died from the bubonic plague. 150 to 200 million people died. Smallpox over its 1200 year existence, 300 to 500 million people died, because it was so contagious.

I want to talk to you today about something that's more contagious than all of these pandemics. than all of these infections combined. something that has spread faster than all of them together. I want to talk to you about the truth of the gospel of Jesus christ. I look back and I begin to look and see all of those that have tried to stop the spread of the gospel of Jesus christ. I look back, and there were actually 11 Roman emperors that tried to stop the spread of christianity. The Romans literally saw christianity as an opposition. as danger to their empire. one actually tried to boil John the beloved in oil. He said this man is just a danger to us if he keeps on like he's going. He's going to infect many. so they tried to boil him. They couldn't even boil him at all, so they had to exile him. He continued to write and he had the vision and he wrote revelations for us! amen! We see Stalin came along in the 1920s. I don't know if you knew this or not. Stalin grew up in a religious home. Stalin grew up in church. Stalin grew up in religious schools, and he would get kicked out of one school and to go to another. Finally he got to the point where he hated religion, and he decided that he would adopt Marxism and the marxist theology. Karl Marx wrote that the beginning of our or communism begins where atheism begins. communism begins where atheism begins, and we see that they closed churches that they seized properties. They arrested christians. They eventually started killing christians. they begin to burn the bibles, or outlaw bibles and all religious literature. and they begin to militantly enforce atheism. But… christianity is still alive and well in Russia today!

Muhamad tried to stamp it out. hitler tried to stamp it. I pulled up an article from china. In China they are closing churches and jailing pastors. even rewriting scripture, but the article headline says China's communist communist party is intensifying religious persecution as christianity popularity grows. a new state translation of the bible will establish a correct understanding of the text. listen, there was a pastor just a few years ago. I'm talking just like two or three years ago. He stood in his pulpit one day. he leaned over the pulpit and he asked his people if this church was gone tomorrow and disappeared off the face of the earth would there be any impact in our city? would our city even notice that we are gone? three months later that very declaration came true. They arrested Wong Yi and his wife, and a hundred members of the church. threw him in jail, and the prison sentence that he is facing is a 15 year sentence for propagating the gospel of jesus christ.

I want to give you some good news! Before 1949 there were 3 million catholics and one million protestants in china. In the early 2000s there were approximately 38 million Protestants and 10 to 12 million catholics, and that doesn't even count the underground churches that are thriving all over china. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is contagious, the good news of Jesus Christ is infectious!

I want to be infectious! I want to be contagious! Second Corinthians chapter 4 verse 3 says, “if the good news we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden from people who are perishing. satan who is the god of this world blinded the minds of those who don't believe. they are unable to see the glorious light of the good news. they don't understand this message about the glory of christ who is the exact likeness of god. We don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is lord. We ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, “Let there be light in darkness has made his light to shine in our hearts.” That we could know the glory of god that is seen in the face of jesus christ. we now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure and this makes it clear that our great power is from God not from ourselves.

Number two: we must be carriers of the solution.

Let me give you some news. We are not the solution, but we are carriers of the solution. the holy spirit said to me, be a carrier. I believe he wants us to carry his light and carry his message and I want to say things like carrying his anointing. carry his authority, and carry his power, but most christians go, “oh but i don't know.”

I'm not sure about all that. I'm not Jesus!

Listen, people tend to shrink back and draw back when we say things like that. carrying his word. carrying his message. carrying his power. carrying his anointing. in his authority. But listen, may I remind you that Jesus came in, and he said, “I didn't come in my own authority. I didn't do this without the power of my father. He's the one doing the work.`` We are just the syringes that deliver the vaccine!

we aren't the answer, but we have the answer. We aren't the vaccine but we're the delivering mechanism of the vaccine. The world is sick and we have the answer: we have this treasure in earthen vessels. if this good news, be hidden. it's hidden to those that are dying. desperate their homes are being bombed, and they're starving to death, and their marriages are failing, and their children are addicted and lost.

The lord often has me throw myself under the bus, and when I felt like I was going to share this next story, I had no idea what weekend it was. all of you are going, “it's the happening weekend.” yeah it is! but there's a small little thing going on across town called, wrestlemania. I had no idea. years and years and years ago, when i worked in the secular world, the most embarrassing and the most humiliating thing. one of the most tragic, shameful memories that i have. I was in the workplace. I worked with a gentleman. He was a tall skinny guy with dark hair. His name was james. James and his wife. This was back in the day of the old sportatorium. Has anybody ever gone to the old sportatorium? He and his wife and their crew loved to hang. they weren't just they weren't just your average fans. They were true blue sold out fans of wrestling. I mean they were the crew. They were there all the time, and the next thing, James's wife got hooked up with the wrestling crew, and began to sleep with wrestlers.

all hell broke loose. their marriage fell apart, and just devastation in their home. James was terribly disturbed obviously. one day, I can't even remember that morning. I don't think he actually showed up to work. two or three hours into the workday we got the news that James had gone to his wife's job, and he got her to come out into the hall. He pulled out a gun, and he shot her and killed her. Then he turned the gun on himself and he killed himself.

Man you can just imagine the chaos and the pandemonium. the heartbreak and the people weeping and crying in our office. I was a young christian. I was a young believer. I had just taken over the youth group. I was just a little young buck. people were crying and all up in arms in our office. for some reason all of these people in our office began to gather around my desk, and they said Robert, would you pray?

I said yeah I'll pray, and I looked away. I ducked my head, and what I really said at that moment was, yeah I'll pray by myself. I'll pray in silence inside because I'm embarrassed.because i don't want to make a scene. Do you understand what I'm saying? I had an opportunity. One of the greatest shames of my life. is that I had people there surrounding me in my shadow. They were broken, it was hard, their hearts were aching. they were cringing and caving inside because of the tragedy that had just taken place.

I could go to church and play a good game.

Number three: are we really of any use to god?

Are we really of any use to God? Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10 says this, “for we must all stand before Christ to be judged. we will each receive whatever we will each receive. whatever we deserve for the good or the evil we have done in this earthly body.” jump down to verse 15 it says, “Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves.”

I wish you could underline that in your bible. “will no longer live for themselves instead they will live for Christ who died and was raised for them. so we have stopped evaluating others from the human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. how differently we know him now. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person, and the old life is gone. a new life has begun. verse 18 says, “and all of this is a gift from god, who brought us back to himself through christ. and god has given us this task of reconciling people to him. for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. no longer counting people's sins against them, and he gave us this wonderful message.”

Can we say that a little better? God was in Jesus reconciling the world to himself. Now God is in us reconciling the world to himself through the message of reconciliation.

verse 20 “So we are Christ's ambassadors. God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead. Come back to god.`` Listen, if you're in the house today, I'm saying come back to god. “for God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sins so that we could be made right with God through christ.” What a thought process. We have the message of reconciliation. We have the task of delivering the message of reconciliation. The reconciliation is simply said. it's the restoration of relationships between God and man. That's what reconciliation is. It's the restoration. We were divided because of sin. we couldn't get to god because of our sin. We were at odds with God because of our sin. Now we have a message that Jesus has made a way where we couldn't do it to ourselves. we couldn't make it right on ourselves. We now have the message that God no longer holds our sin against us. That's good news. We have the task of reconciliation!

God said be a carrier. As I was just consuming the word, and just thinking about this passage of scripture in this message, I was reminded of a passage in the scripture that we often just read over.

The lead up to it is, just about everybody knows king david in the bible. king david one of the greatest kings that ever lived. here we have king david in the bible, and he's getting older in his life and king david had some scoundrels for children. isn't it funny we love our kids even when they're being heathens. we want to kick them in the backside, but we still love them right? He had some heathens for children, and one of his sons was absalom. Absalom was a crafty one. He would come into the kingdom every day and he would sit in the gates. He would wave at people. He'd do the princess wave, and he would shake everybody's hands and kiss them on the cheek and tell them how great they were. Before long Absalom won the heart of the kingdom. Absalom was a handsome man. The scripture says he was a handsome man. He had this huge head of hair. The hearts of the people just went after absalom, and so one day absalom rose up and declared himself as king. He had those around him declare him as king.

Whenever news got back to king david, king david knew that his days were numbered. He knew that there was trouble in the kingdom. He had to get out, or he would most certainly be put to death. so he began to flee. They packed up as many things as they could grab in a hurry and a few thousand people slipped out and began to run and get away from israel. they went all night and they were weary,and they were tired. They went to a place in a forest and they refreshed themselves. The next thing we know, Absalom and the armies of Israel begin to come after david. we see that here they are in this forest and the war broke out. a fight broke out. The scripture says, on the first day there were 20 000 soldiers that were killed. There were actually more soldiers that were killed by the forest than by the sword. That's kind of crazy. But what we see is that before they went out David had made captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. He had three main captains, he divided his soldiers up in three groups. He said these words. “be gentle with a young man.'' The scripture says that twenty thousand died. We find absalom on the back of a donkey. if i'm gonna declare myself king and go out to battle i ain't going to be on the back of no donkey. Anyway, he's on the back of a donkey. They're in the woods and he goes underneath the tree and the tree catches his hair. The donkey keeps going and he's hanging there underneath the tree like this and he's not doing the holy ghost dance. He's swinging there from the tree and he just stalked like chuck. So he's there and one of the soldiers runs back to one of the captains and says hey I saw Absalom and he was hanging by his hair, and the captain said, and you didn't kill him? what is wrong with you? and the guy looked back at the captain and he said “I ain't killing him. I heard what the king said if I would have killed him. you'd be killing me. I ain't killing him.” So the captain goes out. He takes three darts, and he stabs it into the heart of the son of the king, absalom. Then 10 soldiers surrounded him and slew him. They threw him in a pit and covered him up with stones.

On that day there was a man named himaz. He said, “hey joab let me run and carry news to the king. He saw that the trumpet was blown and that all of Israel fled and we had victory.” joab said “one of these days you can carry the message but not today. then he turned and he saw another man cushio from Ethiopia and he said ``take word to the king” he bowed himself and he began to run. He was a runner and he began to carry the message to the king. himaz, he's like one of our teenagers he won't give up. “can i go please let me go let me go carry a message to the king.” and and the captain looks at him and he says

“why do you want to run when you don't have a message?”

he kept on and kept on. please let me let me go. let me run and finally he wore joab down and joab said okay run and so we see the king is sitting in the gates and listen i can only imagine the heart of the king was just so griefed so heavy. he was in so much anticipation. he was waiting on news, and listen there was no good news. It was either, we're gonna win and my son's gonna die, or we're gonna lose and I'm gonna die. Which news do you want? So we're sitting there going, what am I gonna do? What news is coming? all of a sudden, one of the men the watchmen on the tower called out and said, “hey there's a runner that's coming.'' He's all alone. David said to him, “if there's a runner that's alone then he must be bringing news. and so we see this runner and he's coming, and then all of a sudden the watchman on the wall said, “oh wait a minute, i see another runner.” david said, “oh he must have news too, and what we see is that the second runner was so fast man. he must have had all of his dry fit reebok stuff on. he must have had the colors on. He must have had all of his stuff together. He looked just like a member of mustang creek!

and he overtook a himaz and he showed up.he said, “oh king, the war has been won!” the question that the king waited on. The king said “what of the young men? oh i didn't see what happened to your son! I don't know, I saw a great tumult. I saw a great commotion, but I really don't know what happened. The king said step aside, then another runner came. He said long live the king all of your enemies have fled before you. He said, “but what of my son? he said, may all the enemies of the king be like that young man. and he knew immediately that his son was dead and he began to cry out, “my son, my son, absalom, my son!”

Listen, what are we doing about the king's son? What message are we caring about the king's son? I'm telling you we have the gospel! We have the glorious gospel! We have the light of the world. We have the cure to the disease of sin. We can look all throughout history, and we can see all the way back to Jonah, and Jonah refused to go and share the gospel. Then he went into nineveh and he began to say three days and nineveh is gonna fall. the whole city repented and turned to god. we see that there was a woman at the well, and she went back to the city and said come see a man that's told me everything i've ever done. the whole city turns out to see and to meet jesus. We see that on the day of pentecost Peter, a wild man, a loudmouth man, and a rebellious man stand up on the day of pentecost. He was ashamed just a few days before. He stood up and he declared the gospel and 3 000 were saved in one day. I'm telling you this is the most infectious thing that there is on planet earth! It's the good news of Jesus christ! It's the most glorious news. We have a vaccine. We have an antidote. We have a delivering savior. We have one that can break the chains! We know the answer! What about the son!

How many in the house would say I want to be a carrier, I want to be a dispenser?

I want to bring the vaccine to a dying world.

Father, we're asking you today.

father for courage, for strength. so that we can carry out the task of reconciliation. so that we can deliver the news that our sins are no longer held against us. Father, we can deliver the news that there's a cure to the disease. that there's hope where there was hopelessness. God, we're asking you for help today.

help us today god to have courage church.

He has made a way for me, he has made a way he has paid for my sins, he's made a way of reconciliation today. If that's you in the house and you'd say I don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ my heart is broken and my life has been devastated by the enemy.

We admit that we are sinners, that we need a savior, that we deserve death but Jesus took our place. Jesus was your plan to reconcile us to fix our relationship with you and because of him.

We can be adopted today, we can be grafted into the family today because of Jesus our sins have been paid for.

We believe that Jesus is the answer and we call on that mighty name today. today our names are being written in heaven and we are your sons and daughters in Jesus name.



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