I was retired until I met my wife. just everything changed. I'm telling you nothing is the same anymore. it's in a good way. I'm really excited about what God's doing in our lives. We have a passion to build the kingdom of God and to really motivate others to do the same thing. it's not all about us. It's about working together in the kingdom of God to build the kingdom. Our desire is to help this church to become unstoppable for God so I've entitled this little presentation this morning unstoppable.
I just want to be unstoppable for god. You know the new testament church was unstoppable? they were unstoppable. Jesus said wait in Jerusalem to receive power. don't don't try to do this without the power of the Holy Spirit. in John chapter 20 they got saved in the holy spirit Jesus breathed on them and said to receive the Holy Spirit. so the holy spirit came to them at salvation. That was the transition between the old covenant and the new covenant. The disciples couldn't be saved until they confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart that Jesus rose from the dead. That was the means of salvation through Jesus Christ, right? So Jesus shows up in the upper room, comes through their locked doors to have an encounter with them and he breathes on him.
Thomas wasn't there that day if you remember. Thomas didn't get to church that day. You know, when you miss church you may miss something pretty important. there's some people that are missing church today and they're missing out because God had something special for them. a word for them, and they're not even going to hear it because they didn't bother to show up or they didn't bother to tune in online. God has a word and so you don't want to miss church. all the disciples got saved except thomas. It was a week later before Thomas said “unless I put my hands in the wounds in his side and his hands i'm not going to believe and so when they meet again the next sunday jesus shows up and and thomas confesses him lord. Then he got saved.
Then Jesus said listen there's more to it than just salvation. There's power and if you go away to Jerusalem and you just pray and go have a 10-day prayer meeting I'm going to send the holy spirit and he's going to empower you to do what I need you to do. They were basically the youth group at the time. they really were. Those disciples were pretty young dudes and God was entrusting them with the salvation of the world. They couldn't do it in their own ability and you can't do it. I don't care how old you are. It’s in the power of the Holy Spirit. You’ll receive power after the holy spirit comes on you and you shall be witnesses. This is my strong conviction! that when the people of god get behind the man of god empowered by the holy spirit they'll be unstoppable!
People say my wife nancy has a gift of evangelism. Can I tell you that there's no gift of evangelism! There's a gift of evangelism, but there's no gift of evangelism. Paul told Timothy, “do the work of an evangelist.” In other words, equip people to go out and share the gospel. That's what she does. She has her own little non-profit ministry called go harvest. She doesn't talk about a whole lot but she takes ladies out and takes them on missions trips and teaches them how to lead people to Jesus, and just has a blast doing it. It's just fun. They just go out and they have fun because it's fun to lead somebody to Jesus. There's something exciting about that.
All heaven rejoices when one soul gets saved so we can cause a party in heaven when we get people saved. amen! There is only one reason that the lord hasn't come back. There is not one prophecy in scripture that's holding Jesus back. The only reason he hasn't come back is that God's not satisfied with the harvest. there's still some people that need to give their lives to Jesus, because God's not willing that any should perish. He's going to do everything. he is patient. he is long suffering, because he's he wants everyone to come to salvation. he wants us to do our part
The church is in the harvesting business, that's what we do. That's our mission. It's called the great co mission. That's how we've defined that. To go into all the world and preach the gospel. make disciples of all nations. it's the co mission. it's not just my mission or someone else’s. It's what we do together. co-means it's together we do this, and so we fulfill the great commission by working together.
Anyone who doesn't want the church to grow lacks vision and out of the will of god. you know what, i only had two kids because. I started out as a youth pastor in my younger days and most of the time we didn't get paid a whole lot back in the day, brother. I grew up kind of poor. My dad would start churches and go take little churches and build them up, and then go do it again. That was kind of the way we grew up so we grew up poor and I think I have a world record. I'm not sure, but I think I have more brother-in-laws than anybody in this place. probably in this country. I have 32 brother-in-laws. I'm one of eight kids. I had four sisters and they all got married, but that's only four right? My wife Nancy is one of 11 kids so that means she has 10 siblings, some brothers, some sisters. all her sisters were married so that's what? 14? That still leaves a lot of people. didn't get to 32. my first wife was one of 17 kids and so some of them had some of those girls they couldn't get it right the first time so they had a couple. All right, well let me get back to my notes. good thing i got my notes. I said that for a reason I can't remember.
One day Jesus was having a conversation with a woman at a well and his disciples had gone to walmart to get some food and i told the first service. I don't understand some things in scripture. I don't think I'll ever understand why it took 12 disciples to go get food while Jesus just waited there. I mean, it takes that many men to go shopping? They came back and they found Jesus talking to this woman at the well and they said to Jesus “Jesus take some food. we want you to eat.`` Jesus says to them in John chapter 4 “the thing that keeps me going, that motivates me is to do the will of the father.” He says “I know I need food but man right now I'm sharing hope with somebody.” That's what really motivates me, that's what keeps me going, that keeps me from burning out because I'm sharing jesus. When you share Jesus, you don't burn out sharing jesus. you get burnt out being religious. you get burned out doing a whole lot of things that don't matter for eternity. you don't burn out sharing Jesus because that's the most exciting thing that can happen in your life. Jesus said “man the thing keeps me going is to finish his work and the work was all about the harvest” john 4:35 jesus said, “do you not say four months more and then the harvest? I tell you to open your eyes and look at the fields. they are right for harvest.`` Jesus said, “don't look for some future time because the time is now.” There's no better time than right now to be involved in the harvest. you have some great opportunities coming up and you just need to jump in there and just do it. see what god will do through you
God's agenda must become our agenda. We need to discover the activity of God in our community and partner with God in what He's doing. you'll see phenomenal results. One of the things that makes my wife so effective is her prayer life. She just prays for hours. She prays for hours in the spirit and God just does some amazing things. I told some guys the other day. I said, “she leads about 150 to the lord every year, but it's actually at least twice that.” If you call her to do business she's going to end up finding out if there's something she can pray with you about and talk to you about the lord. That's just what she does and she's motivated me to do those things.
I believe that God wants to reach this community even more than you do. He gave his son to die on the cross for those that are lost. I was a pastor for a lot of years and God always would give me a vision. God calls pastors and gives them a vision for the church and for the community. You come from all kinds of backgrounds and you've experienced church in so many different ways. some of it was not so good, some was good. Some were really radical. some could have been a little more radical. you get all kinds of shapes, but i'm going to tell you that it's important to get behind the man of god. help the man of god, so that you can fulfill the vision that god gives to the church through the leadership of the church. through that man or woman that god has appointed and then the rest of god brings us by his divine appointment to this place so that we can help the man of god. I want to encourage you, to catch the vision of the house. I didn't say it first, but I'll tell you this. Anybody causing the pastor problems is out of the will of god. it doesn't matter that you always agree. my wife i've been married for 10 months and we've had a couple of times we didn't agree. we're still married, we're going for one year
I was married for 49 years the first time and I'm shooting for 49 this time. see how that works. We all have gifts and talents to work in the body of Christ in the kingdom. first corinthians 12:28 “and in the church, God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers. then workers of miracles. also those having gifts of healing. those able to help others.`` Now that's not a complete list. there's even more in the rest of that scripture, but there's just a lot of gifts. As you read in Romans 12 and in First Corinthians 12 where you'll find a couple of longer lists, at the end of that dissertation on what the gifts are, Paul always gives a dissertation on love. You know first Corinthians 13 the love chapter comes right smack in the middle of what the gifts are and how they're to be used. Right smack in the middle it says “but you better do it in love.” if you don't do it in love, it's just a bunch of noise. it's just a bunch of nothing. That's why these outreaches are really important, because people don't care what you know until they know that you love them. it opens the door to their heart when you minister to them and when you help them.
That's one of the strengths of my wife. She's always building people up, and she's an encouragement, and she wins their heart, and they're just open to the gospel because they just know that she cares. They know that she loves them, and she expresses that love and shows that love. I'm going to tell you that helping is big business. i want to tell you this. Paul told the church a number of times. He says “don't grow weary in well-doing, for in due season you will reap a harvest if you don't faint.” I believe that there's a harvest that's about ready for this church. i'm telling pastor robert this morning, i said, “i remember when you moved out here there was nothing there. i said “why are you going to Forney?” I mean it was just a spot on the map and now look. This is a great harvest that God is bringing to you so that you can fulfill the purpose of God in your life. Matthew 10:41 says “anyone who receives the prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward.`` In other words, if you help a prophet you get a prophet's reward. If you help a missionary you get a missionary's reward. If you help a pastor you get a pastor's reward. there's no helper's rewards in heaven. if you're not helping someone you get nothing. That's kind of the way I see it. you've got to help somebody to get the reward. so if you help the pastor you get a pastor's reward. I saw a little cartoon on Billy graham. He is a good little preacher, and led thousands. They estimated he probably led more people to Jesus than anyone else in history. just through the media and everything. tremendous man of god. I would submit to you that there are people in heaven today. I saw the cartoon that was welcoming Billy Graham into heaven and all these throngs of people and they were clapping and cheering. Billy Graham had this great reward, but there's a whole lot of people that came alongside Billy Graham to help him. There were people that prayed for his ministry, and there were people that gave to his ministry. the people that ushered at his crusades, and people that sang in the choir. You don't have big crusades without a whole army and host of people helping behind the scenes. Those people are going to get the same reward and the same welcome to heaven that Billy Graham got because they sowed.
if you help a man of god. if you help a righteous man you get a righteous man's reward. Robert said that I had helped build the camp down there at lakeview and when I was asked to do that I was just volunteering my time to help the district superintendent. I'd had a little experience in commercial kitchens during a time when I was kind of running from the call of God in my life. I knew a little bit that the plans that they had for the kitchen and the dining hall weren't going to work. they had been feeding like 200, 250 at the other camp and now we're going to feed a thousand. it just wasn't going to work. so i told the superintendent that and so we redesigned it. I put a committee together. Long story short, that's what I was doing. Then one day we were driving out there to the camp and he said I need somebody to run this place. I'd worked for him for five years before. I wasn't sure I wanted to work for him again. I loved the man but I worked hard. I worked building buildings. building a gym and stuff. We did ministry at night or when we had a chance because during the day we were building buildings. I remember one day i was up to my waist in sewer water and i'm thinking, “wow i just graduated from college, and i got a degree, and now i'm in sewer water up to my waist. this doesn't compute.” but we just did whatever we had to do. I didn't want to go out there and help. I kept turning them down and finally I couldn't.
I was between churches. I just preached on weekends, so he said, “I really feel like you need to help me.” I couldn't get an interview at a church and I thought well it's not working out so well being a pastor. Maybe I should do something else. Let's pray about it. My wife and I prayed about it and God spoke to me about going out and helping the man of god. I had no vision for the camp. I had no vision or burden for the camp. God said, “Go help the man of god.” so that's what we did. What happened was, God began to give me a vision for the camp. God began to give me a burden for the camp. I remember one day I was up in the back end of that multi-purpose building and a thousand kids around the altars. They cried to god and I was just weeping. I said, “God, I'll do this as long as you need me to do it.” this is what it's all about. Here's what happened. When I helped the man of God, I had the same vision.
God put it in my heart, and I still have a heart for camping ministry. I'm just saying that if you're feeling a little weary, or you don't have a vision for the future, get behind the pastors. begin praying for them every day. pray and bless them, that god would indeed expand their territory. see what god will do and the transformation that'll take place in your heart and in your life as you help them.
I'm going to ask my wife to come. She's got some things that she's going to share and we're going to talk about this morning. Luke 16:12 says if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's who should give you that which is your own. If you want God to bless your ministry, you help and do ministry with someone else's ministry.
My first wife used to be an awesome woman of god and at our wedding we decided that you know we're going to talk about our spouse. I spent 49 years with my wife. We have 49 years of memories. We had two kids together and all kinds of grandkids. She spent 42 years with her husband. actually, god spoke to her one night that at our wedding we need to honor our spouses that had passed away. That's what we did. We had a picture of her and her husband on the communion table, me and my first wife on the communion table. I told our family, “Listen, your dad will always be your dad. I'm not trying to take his place, and we're going to honor your dad, and you can talk about your dad anytime you want to. we're gonna have good memories. then i told my kids, you know you can talk about your mother anytime you want to talk about her.
She has motivated me to win souls. On our honeymoon we had 12 people to the lord. if you come into our house you're a candidate. We dedicated our house to the lord. So anybody that comes, we just talk about jesus. We've been rehabbing here recently and the guy who came to look at it about a week ago thought he was coming to find a house and he found jesus. That's just kind of the way we roll, so I want her to share a little bit about her life and where she came from. just talk a bit about some methodology that she uses to just lead people to Jesus
Praise god! You know he's been merciful to me, and he just blessed me a second time with another amazing husband so I feel incredibly blessed. We can do life together, and we can do ministry together. He's just been amazing. There's no better life to live than serving christ. God's just really been good, and I have a passion for evangelism. I want to make an eternal difference. i feel like if i'm here on earth i want to make an eternal difference, because the only thing we're going to take to heaven with us is souls and our time here is so short so the only thing we're taking with us and the only thing we have left is time so i want to make the best use of my time that i possibly can for the kingdom of god so i want to keep hell empty and heaven full. The harvest right now is so ripe and so ready, and god has got to use all of us. If you have that treasure inside of you then God has divine appointments for you. He has people for you to rub up against to be by. That he's going to put in your path that you can share Jesus with. if you have fear about doing it then that's a sure sign that you can do it. The devil always tries to tell the lie, “you can't do that.” He always tries to tell us, “you can't say that.” yes you can. it's always the opposite of whatever the devil's trying to tell you so if you have fear about it pray with somebody to get rid of that. to get rid of the fear because that's a sure sign that god wants you to speak the word of god to somebody. otherwise the devil wouldn't be trying to bring fear into your life about that. there was a scripture that says, “it's not by our works lest any man boast.” So I was a religious person. I thought that I had jesus. I thought that I was good with god. I was for four years doing all the good work in the community. I lived in Carrollton Texas, and I did every volunteer work there was. trying to work my way to heaven. All my girlfriends were christians, but not one of them would question me or ask me or share that treasure that they had inside of them with me.
Finally one day I got up. I kept looking and longing. I knew that my life was good. I had everything that I needed. I knew that there was something empty inside of me. I went to church all the time and I even prayed, but I did not know jesus. I didn't have a real relationship with a living god. That makes such a difference, because just knowing about a god really does nothing for you. I really believed I was okay with God but I found out I wasn't okay with god. I never heard the gospel till I was 26 years old. I just got up one Sunday morning and decided I think I'm going to try a different church, and to praise God. I went to a spirit-filled church on Beltline road. That was the first time I sat in the last pew of the church. I had no clue what they did there, but that was the first time I heard the gospel. I never heard that I needed to be born again. that i needed to actually ask jesus to come into my heart, and to forgive me of my sins. that i needed a savior. Now, I believe in Jesus, which most people do. when you're out talking to people when you're out talking to people i like to ask them, “do you know god, or do you just know about god?” Most of the time they will be very honest with you and they'll say, “I just know about god. I don't know god.`` You know, they will be honest. they'll tell you that.
So that's an easy way to begin a conversation with them. I talk to them about the Lord and I try to make it easy at whatever level they're at. Sometimes I just quote scriptures and talk about scriptures if I perceive in my spirit they've got some church knowledge. there's a lot of people out there that don't even go to church, or haven't even been inside a church. That's why we got to go to them. This is an amazing church that they're doing outreach. they're going out to get lost. I'm excited about the outreaches here that y'all are going to be doing. I just believe God's going to really bless that, so that's a great opportunity to get out there and help win the lost to christ. you have that treasure inside of you that you can give away to somebody.
Pray! ask God to provide those opportunities. I ask God every day for a lost soul. I want to hear god. The two things I ask God for is… I want to hear his voice and I want to win the loss. God's been so good. He's answered those prayers. Just the other day, maybe about a week or two ago, we went into a Mexican restaurant. I always look at the person's name, because names have meaning. There was a man there by the name of James, and I said, “James, did you know that your name is in the Bible?” and james said “it is?” i said, “yeah!” i said, “james there's a whole book about your name and with your name on it there.” he was just amazed, so we started talking. he said, “you know somebody sends me this devotional on my phone.” he said, “there's a scripture on the devotional. You might think this is kind of strange, but I have a chalkboard in my house, and I write the scripture down each day on my chalkboard. I thought, wow, that isn't that interesting. He has a love for the word of god, but yet he doesn't even own a bible. We talked more as he waited on us. He came and he went, and things settled down in the restaurant. when he came back i said, “james have you ever been born again? do you even do you understand what that means?” and he was like, “no.'' I figured he wasn't because when you're not born again you usually don't read the bible. I know I didn't read the bible before I was saved. James went on to give his life to the lord. praise god for that! there at the restaurants, i told him. i said, “james i'm going to bring you back a bible.'' So about a week later, we went back. took him, took him a bible, and i marked out the book of james, and some other stuff for him in there to read. We ran in there, gave it to him. We didn't stay that day to eat there because the restaurant waiting line was just too long. we decided let's just walk across the parking lot we'll go to schelotsky's next door.
we'll go in there and have something to eat. we went in there and it wasn't wasn't very busy. (the girl there) i'd asked the holy spirit just to show me something about her. The lord showed me several things about her so I shared it with her. she looked at me and she said, “oh my goodness are you a fortune teller or something?” she said, “how did you know all those things?” when she said “fortune teller” i was like, oh my gosh no! i said, “no honey you don't ever have to go to a fortune teller, you go right to jesus because god can show you your future. he will tell you things. he will talk to you. the bible says that my sheep hear my voice, so you don't ever have to go to a fortune teller.” thank god she never had gone to one, because i asked her.
it really opened her up to me to be able to talk to her about the lord. She had about 10 minutes where she had nothing to do but just stand there, so I just stood there with her while we were waiting for our order to be filled. I got to share with her about the gospel and about salvation. made it very easy for her to understand, and she looked at me and she said, “well I need to be saved.” she realized that she hadn't been born again, so praise god! She prayed. gave her life to the lord. Then our order was ready.
God is a good, good father! The harvest is so ripe right now. People need hope so desperately. it's going to take all of us to do it. so if you would pray and just ask god to give you and put people in your path this week. put somebody in my path that I could talk to about jesus. put somebody that needs it. It's a great joy to share the gospel. you don't have to worry! I prayed with a girl after the first service. she had a little bit of fear, but god showed me she is going to win people to the lord. she said, “you know i just have fear about it.” i said, “honey don't worry when we get saved we give up our rights. you don't have to worry about what people think about you. When I came to Christ I gave all that up.`` The only person I have to worry about pleasing is my heavenly father. it's my heavenly father, because it's not about me anyways. I've given up all my rights, because I want his will to be done each and every day in my life so that I could make an eternal difference here on earth. so i can take as many with me as possible. i just want him to say, “good and well done my faithful servant.” you have that treasure inside of you! I want to encourage you today that you have jesus! that gift, if you know him, and have that personal relationship with him you have that inside of you. you can give that treasure away to somebody else. I always wondered why my girlfriends that I hung out with all knew Jesus, but they never shared it with me. I always wondered about that. it could have saved me a couple of years looking for god. trying to do all the good works in the community. you have that treasure to give away.
When I first met Nancy, and we first got engaged, my kids had not met her yet at that point. I was taking her to denver. My son planted a church in denver. When we were in Denver, I wanted to meet some of my friends that I had made in Denver while we lived there. I took her back to the place where I used to live, and it was a 55 and older community. I used to play a lot of pickleball and pool and cribbage. I was retired, I really was! i wanted her to meet a guy that i had met. He was like 90 years old, and so we met and we talked and Nancy and I left, so we're back on the road traveling, and she says, “So is he a christian?” I said, “I don't know. never got that far in conversation.” she said, “he's old! he's gonna die! and you never told them about jesus?” i said, “no, i just didn't get there.” Then about two weeks later I'm sitting at my daughter's up in Oklahoma, and Jim calls me. We talked and I finally said to him, “Jim, so we spent all the time together doing things. I apologize, because never once did I talk to you and ask you about your relationship with the lord. I said do you have a relationship with the lord? '' He said, “no.” Long story short, I led him to jesus.
Here's the thing. I call this my eternity rope. In that, this rope represents eternity. For us, we have a beginning. This red represents our existence here on this earth. you know when you think about god. God is eternal from eternity past to eternity future. no beginning. no end. it's just hard to comprehend that in our finite minds. This represents our life here on earth. Jim was getting right near the end of his existence here on earth at 90. That's a long life. He may have five more, maybe 10, maybe 15 years. we know that there's not that many years left and so we live all of our lives sometimes for this little part at the end of this life. We forget that this is just the beginning of our existence, that we go off into eternity, and eternity goes on, and on, and on.
during world war ii my dad was a backslidden presbyterian preacher. he got caught up in a very liberal theology. he had been born again, but he just kind of gone and doing his own thing, and so when all the guys were going signing up for for for the military and he was in canada. he was a itinerant preacher. horseback riding in the winter time up in northern canada. 50 below zero. he had to go see three churches. he was a true circuit rider preacher back in the day. he decided to go sign up for the military, and he joined the Air Force, and got trained, and became a pilot. piloted four engine bombers. the british lancaster bombers, with the gun turrets on the top and the bottom. he was had flown many bombing missions over europe and over the enemy and one night coming back he had one engine on one side that they called a runaway prop. it just let loose of everything, and it was going at uncontrolled speed and he just couldn't hardly control the plane. He was supposed to press a button and it would feather it, and stop it from doing that. that didn't work. About that time the other engine on the same side did the same thing. At that time it was about 10 000 feet. Which is not really high, but when you're headed towards the ground it's not a good thing. He told his crew to come and bail out the front. three of the guys bailed out. three of his crew members never showed up. his flight engineer who was a young man that idolized my dad would go on leave with my dad. My dad could have led him to the lord if he had just taken the time. if he'd have been living right. if he'd have been thinking about more than just the pleasures of the moment of the season. if he'd just fought beyond himself. if he'd had an eternal perspective instead of a temporal perspective. He could have led that young man to the lord but that night that young man never showed up. He never came with my dad's parachute to snap on his harvest harness so my dad went down with the plane. The plane burst into flames and they found my dad a little bit later sitting on a gas tank from one of the wings. my dad had crawled through the inferno and god spared his life. those other three young men my dad heard crying out of the flames. out of that wreckage, the one young man that he could have led to the lord is crying out to the only one who he thought ever loved. He was crying out, “mother, mother, mother, mother!” the son, and the screams began to get silent. At that moment my dad understood that hell is a real place and he remembered the scriptures. He knew what the scripture said, “their screams and torment go up forever and ever.” They were just for a moment in that burning wreckage of that plane but when they go to a lost eternity without Jesus it's forever.
It impacted his life. My dad became a great soul winner and led thousands of people to the lord after that. I want to challenge you. just catch a vision of heaven. catch a vision of the lostness of man. just the lostness of man. what it means to be lost forever. Would you bow your heads with me this morning? You may be here this morning and you just need Jesus in your life. maybe you haven't surrendered. maybe you've never been born again. The bible says, “unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” you have to have that spiritual birth. be reborn spiritually. so if that's the need in your life. if you've never been born again. if you've never asked Jesus to come into your life or maybe you've just walked away from the grace of God in your life. you need to make a new surrender to god. I'm going to invite you. When you pray, something supernatural is going to happen. you're going to be born again. just pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, I'm sorry for my sin. I'm sorry for doing life my way. I surrender to you. forgive me for my sins. I receive Jesus as my lord and my savior, and with your help I'm going to live for you. I turn my back on my old life and I receive a new life. I surrender to you. Thank you, Lord god. I thank you that right now heaven is rejoicing because of those that have accepted the Lord into their life this morning. God, I pray that you would just direct their steps. God, I pray that they will become mighty men and women of god. God, I pray that this body of believers will become a mighty force for you. that you would empower them with your holy spirit, and they would become unstoppable for you lord. That they would get behind the vision of this house. God, I pray that there will be a spirit of unity that enables this church to move forward like never before. God, I pray that your blessing would be upon this body, and upon these pastors.