Heaven Yes! Hell no! The Truths and Tricks of the Devil | Religion instead of Relationship
Religion – Wants to show and tell what they know through actions.
Relationship – Wants to show and tell you what Jesus has done.
The Danger of Religion (Matthew 5:20, NKJV; 1 Corinthians 8:1, NKJV; Matthew 9:9-13, CEV; Matthew 12:10-14, NKJV)
Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter in the Kingdom of Heaven. These Scribes and Pharisees tithed, many could quote the first 10 books of the Bible, and were very religious and learned men.
Righteous: self-righteous – they did not feel they needed Jesus.
They were so knowledgeable of God’s Word, yet so far from Him. (Romans 1:18-32, CEV)
The Pharisees thought they knew everything about God. They did everything they could do to crush the Truth because they wanted to be worshipped instead of worshipping God. No one has an excuse for not believing in God. When we don’t honor God, and thank Him for all He has done, we are in danger of being useless, stupid, and have darkened minds.
Ways to honor God or dishonor God. (Psalm 15:4, NCV; Psalm 69:30, NCV; Proverbs 3:9-10, NCV; Exodus 20:9-10, NCV; Hebrews 10:24-25, CEV; Exodus 20:12, NCV; Matthew 15;4, NCV; Leviticus 19:32, TEV; Psalm 37:34, NCV; John 5:23, NCV; 1 Corinthians 6:20, NCV)
We honor God when we honor those who honor God. We honor God when we sing and give thanks to God. We honor God when we tithe and give God the first tenth of our income. We honor God when we come to church on Sunday and make it a special day for the Lord. We honor God by honoring our parents. We honor God by honoring the elderly. We honor God when we wait for Him, when we honor His Son Jesus, and when we honor our own bodies.
How to abide in our relationship with God. (John 14:6, NKJV; John 15:5, NKJV; John 15:7-8, NKJV; Joshua 1:8-9, NKJV)
Your relationship with God must start with Jesus. Our relationship continues and we abide in Him. The right relationship with Jesus brings much fruit…Love, Joy, Peace. We abide by learning and obeying the Word.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:00):
Man, I love that last song that they talked to the powerful name of Jesus because our series will continue today as Heaven, Yes and Hell, No. And one of the greatest tricks of the devil is to substitute religion for relationship. They’ll say I believe in, I know there’s the man upstairs and the others talk about God. But they won’t start talking about the power of Jesus Christ to access God Himself. What I want to talk about today is relationships. Basically, relationships versus religion. You do know that relationships are probably one of the most important parts of life period. Whether it’s your marriage, friendship, work, school, hobbies, sports, church, almost every aspect of your life, if it’s gonna be successful, if you’re going to be happy, it’s greatly dependent upon relationships. When your relationships are right with God and your relationships are right with your family, it seems like you can almost go through anything.
James Greer (01:20):
But you can, when your relationships are not right with God and your relationships are not right with your family, no matter what else is going on, it just seems like things are not right. There’s so many people that come to church and that are religious. But because they don’t have the right relationship with God, it seems like they’re just, they’re missing joy. There’s so much on TV right now. I’m just, man, I’m almost wanting to stop watching. They say well, you know, the man has faith. What does that mean? I’m not trying to get politically correct on anything today. But I am gonna make a statement which I said I wasn’t gonna make because I was gonna try to stay out of it. I have loved ones and family that have had abortions and I love them and God will forgive them and God has restored them bar none. Amen?
James Greer (02:24):
I don’t believe that God wants babies born and to lay there and die. I think that’s not God’s will. So I believe that if you’re saying that I have faith in God but yet I want babies born and to die, I believe that’s contrary to what God’s Word says. I think that’s religion without a relationship with God. I think we’re in a time in history that you’re going to have a great divide. You’re going to make a decision whether you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and your faith through that brings you to God or you just have a religion. So religion will destroy you. When I’m out so many times, people say well, your religious? I say no, no, no. I’m not very religious. Religious will destroy you. And when they start talking about religion, I always pull out my little wordless book. And I say no, I try to make it simple. I’m not very religious but I have a relationship and I tell them about I’ve sinned, I tell them about the blood of Jesus Christ, I tell them how He washes away my sin. I tell them one day, I’m gonna go to Heaven. I tell them till then I keep growing. And they say that sounds kind of simple. I say amen, my relationship with Christ was simple because I’m simple.
James Greer (03:42):
I wanna tell you something dangerous though, that people forget. Way too many people are trying to find fulfillment from things that only, they can only get from God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. They’re trying to find fulfillment through their mate and through their job and even coming to church instead of finding it through Christ when it talks about that Jesus is one who says He gives you abundant life. Matthew 6:33, it says seek Him and He’ll take care of everything else. So if you’re trying to find fulfillment and you’re trying to find joy and you’re trying to find it even through your mate and through your job or whatever, you can’t do that. In fact, a second thing, the danger, you continually try to love somebody without first being loved. Relationships whether first of all, husband and wife, but this is what happens even in relationships.
James Greer (04:36):
I was talking to somebody last night and they just kept saying, you know, they seem like they just always want their way. They want to talk about just what they want. And they just drain me. Now that that wasn’t married. That’s with just friends. But you can be married and you can drain each other. One person just giving and giving and giving and the other one’s just trying to take it in, taking it in. And what you do is when you’re trying to love somebody without first being loved by God, you drain each other. That’s why 1 John 4:7 says beloved, let us love one another. You know why? For love is of God. And everyone loves is born of God and knows God. Let me tell you something. You want to have a better relationship? Say amen. With friends and with your mate, do you want a better relationship? Say amen. You get it from God and then you go to them. But instead, you keep trying to draw it from them, draw it from them, draw it from them. You’re sucking them dry and then you’ll dry up.
James Greer (05:34):
Third, three things, three things. One, you’re trying to get fulfillment from something other than God. Number two, you’re trying to love somebody without being loved. And number three, you don’t understand this principle. Most people do not understand that love does not bring joy. You know, everybody loves some people but they don’t want to be around them. Amen? Or is it just me? I have people I love but man, I almost pray God, I hope they don’t come over. I won’t say that. You know, sometimes I come up this side and go out the other way. I mean I love them. I want them to come to church. I just don’t want to visit with them.
James Greer (06:26):
So love doesn’t bring joy. Only learning, even in marriage, you say well, I just love them but we’re just not happy. Learning to communicate love correctly and the other person accepting it and receiving it is the only way that you can have joy in a relationship. Oh, that’s strong. Learning to communicate love correctly and the other person receiving it, receiving that love is the only way you can have love in a relationship. Because one person can be communicating love and they really love them and communicate and communicate and the other person doesn’t receive it. You still don’t have joy. But when they both try to communicate love correctly, then you have joy. I love 1 Corinthians when it’s talking about love and it’s talking about different ways. 1 Corinthians 14:11 says if then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone else is saying, one translation says I’m a foreigner.
James Greer (07:39):
But if you look it up, it says the other person thinks you’re rude and harsh. You may not be rude and you may not be harsh but the other person can’t grasp, you’re not communicating correctly what you’re speaking, what you’re saying for he is a foreigner. He is rude. He’s harsh to me. And so you’re really trying to tell them that you love them but you’re not communicating the right way. And so the other person thinks you’re rude and heart. And in your heart, you really love them. Amen? I’ve done that before. I’ve tried to tell somebody, man, you don’t know. I love you. I care for you. I want to try and do the right thing. And they just think I’m mean. I know y’all never done that. I just gave you three insights and I hope you wrote them down. They’re not in the notes. And man, it could change your relationship. I’m not going to charge extra for it. I might. When you go out, put something extra in the plate. Not really. Okay. Let’s look. Religion instead of relationship. Religion tries to be good enough. Religion tries to work hard enough. Religion’s all about do, do, do. Relationship’s about it is done. Jesus paid the price. Religion is often what I know and it’s about knowledge. Relationship with Jesus is based on who I know.
James Greer (08:56):
Religion wants to show and tell what they know and what they do. Relationship wants to show and tell what they know Jesus has done. They show and tell all about Jesus. Religion, listen, religion’s about rules. I’m gonna talk about number one is I’m going to talk about religion and I’m gonna talk about how dangerous religion is without relationship. In fact, religion will ruin your relationship. Religion without relationship will destroy relationship. Be careful. Religion focuses on change instead of being changed. When I was young and I’d come to church, I mean all I heard is how bad I was. They didn’t have to tell me that. I knew it. Every Sunday, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. No wonder I finally got to where man, I don’t need to go to church anymore. They’re so religious. I’ll never be that religious. Guess what? They were right.
James Greer (10:05):
I need to focus on, they needed to focus on change and I needed to focus on change. Matter of fact, Jesus went through that time and time again. We’re going to talk about the people that were around Jesus and how religious they were. In Matthew 5:20, it says for I say to you, me and you, to those that were closest to Him, that unless your righteousness, there’s what self-righteousness. After you’re born again and you’re a Christian, you can be righteous before God. We are, but ours is because of Jesus Christ’s righteousness, not ours. And your righteousness and sees the righteousness of scribes and Pharisees, you’ll by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Man, if you didn’t really understand that and you knew what scribes and Pharisees said man, you’d never go to Heaven.
James Greer (10:54):
Because listen, their righteousness, they had approximately 600 plus laws, religious laws they tried to keep. They had ceremonial separation from the Gentiles. They didn’t want anything to do with them. They didn’t want them to come close to them. They’re the most prejudice suckers you’d ever seen in your life. They considered Gentiles and others unclean. The scribes and Pharisees tithed of every penny that they had. Some of them could quote the first 10 books in the Bible. I can’t even quote the first four or five words. But say the first 10 books? That’s pretty religious. Amen? But 1 Corinthians 8:1 tells us that knowledge without relationships puffs up. So there were very knowledgeable but they didn’t have a relationship so they became very prideful. Instead of helping people come to know Jesus, they turned people away from Jesus. So they just continued that lifestyle. They couldn’t understand. They missed what Jesus was doing. In fact, in Matthew 9, if you could just talk about the whole thing, Jesus was leaving. He saw some tax collectors.
James Greer (12:01):
Oh, they didn’t like them. They were sitting paying tax. Jesus said why don’t you come with me? And he started talking to Matthew and he said, Matthew got up and he went with them. And in Matthew 9:10, he said later, Jesus, his disciples, they were having dinner in Matthew’s house. Did you know that Jesus went into the house of tax collectors, drinkers and sinners? Did you know that the scribes and Pharisees, they didn’t even want him to touch Him, they were so religious. The Pharisees, they asked Jesus’ disciples. You know what they said to them? Why does your teacher, why does Jesus, why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners? I mean I know all the time, I bet people say why does Journey Church have those kind of people coming to church? I know they do. I just love it. They come here because they don’t welcome them there. Amen? I’m glad that anybody can come to our church. Aren’t you? I don’t care where they win. I don’t care what they look like. I don’t care what they’ve done. I’m glad that sinners come to Journey Church. Amen?
James Greer (13:06):
Jesus heard and answered them. Healthy people, whole people, people that don’t have a need, they don’t need a doctor. But sick people do. They weren’t talking about just physical sick people. They were talking about people that had emotional problems. We’ve got a lot of sick people here. Matter of fact, one of our mottos is I mess up, you mess up, we all mess up. Matter of fact, if you come to Journey Church and you’re not messed up, you won’t fit. Now I know a lot of y’all fake it and you act like you got it all together but you don’t. That’s why I don’t even fake it anymore. I just tell you I don’t have it together. Amen? Hey, y’all, don’t say amen too much. Y’all getting into this way too much. My wife said the other day, you got some young men. They were so nice before they met you. I said honey, I don’t think that was a compliment. She said it wasn’t supposed to be.
James Greer (14:17):
Let’s move on. I didn’t appreciate that too much. I looked around. It could be true. But verse 13, verse 13, he said, Jesus said, He’s talking to the disciples. He said, go and learn what the scripture means when it says instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful. What Jesus is saying is look, these scribes and Pharisees, they give Him their tithes, they quote the scripture but they treat people terrible. He said I want y’all to learn different. I want you to come to church and I want you to learn something different. I want you to learn what it means to be merciful. I didn’t invite the holy people, the people that got it all together, people that are self-righteous, they say they don’t have a need to follow me. I’m inviting the sinner. When I read that, I said guess what? Everybody in this church is invited to follow Him.
James Greer (15:09):
Amen? He said I want to be merciful. Merciful means undeserved forgiveness, unearned kindness. But in the truest sense, it even means more than that. It means missing out on the punishment that we deserve. It means pardoned from what we’ve got. Mercy, when you show mercy to somebody, that means in compassion or forgiveness shown towards somebody whom is within your power to punish and harm but you don’t do it. It’s the very nature of God. Mercy is the power to act divine favor and compassion. Mercy in the truest sense, it says hey, instead of giving somebody what they deserve, I’m going to give them what they need. Man, that’s the kind of God we have. Amen? Jesus saying man, I want these scribes and Pharisees, I want them to go and I want them to learn what the word mercy means. They still didn’t let it go.
James Greer (16:04):
They kept following Jesus around. In Matthew 12:10 to 14, I’m just going to kind of tell you about it. They came in. There was a man that had a withered hand and the religious people, they’re gonna say man, can’t you imagine? Here’s Jesus. He can heal it, man. Heal it. No, no, no, no. Jesus, you do know it’s the Sabbath? You do know it is unlawful, isn’t it, to heal this guy? Jesus, you’re not going to do that? We’ve got rules and regulations against healing on Sunday. Do you really think they cared about the person or they cared about their pride? They cared more about their own personal than they cared about the person. They said you know it isn’t lawful? They wanted Him to answer where they could accuse Him. They were looking for something to find wrong with–and do you know there’s people that come to church and they’re just looking for something to find wrong with church? There’s people that come to church just to find something wrong with me, find something wrong with you, find something wrong with the class? If you come to church to find something wrong with me, you don’t have to look very long. And everybody said amen. It’s okay. You come to church to lift up the name of Jesus, man. You come to church to see Jesus change life. They came to the Sabbath. They were in here. Man, wouldn’t it be great if somebody had a great need and the Holy Spirit fell and changed their life and changed their marriage emotionally, physically, financially and you went out and a changed life and we should all be excited? Amen? No, not them.
James Greer (17:41):
I love Jesus turned it around on them. Said hey, man, if you had a sheep and he was in the ditch, wouldn’t you go get him out of the ditch? You know what He says? Therefore, it’s lawful for me to do good. Therefore, it’s lawful for me to do good. He told the man stretch out your hand. Jesus was not intimidated by religious people. Don’t let religious people intimidate you. You focus on your relationship with Christ. He stretched out his hand and it was restored as whole just as the other one was. I love when Jesus talks about the word restored because the whole Gospel is called the Good News. And when you talk about Good News, the Good News means Jesus went about restoring broken relationships. That’s what the Good News is all about. You had a broken relationship with God, Jesus restored it. You had a broken relationship with your mate, Jesus restored it. Jesus goes around restoring broken relationships. Amen? That’s what relationships are about. But it’s this danger, number two, you gotta be careful because there’s a great danger. There’s a great danger of having knowledge of God’s Word and being so close and having a lot of religion and not having a relationship whether it’s in church, whether it’s in society, whether it goes from a city to a state, to a country.
James Greer (19:17):
From heaven, God shows how angry He is with all the wicked, evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth. And see, there’s a lot of people that know the truth but they’re trying to crush it. They know everything that can be known about God because God has shown it all to them. Do you know what the Pharisees thought? They knew everything about God. It’s hard to have a great relationship with somebody that knows everything, isn’t it? Have you ever known anybody, no matter what you say, they know something more than you? I mean it doesn’t matter whether it’s fishing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hunting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling. It doesn’t matter what you do, they know everything about it and they know more than you. And that hurts relationships. They didn’t know everything. They did everything they could do to crush the truth because they wanted to be worshiped instead of worship God. Pride in a relationship always crushes the relationship. God’s internal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all He has made. That’s why those people don’t have any excuse. Uh-oh. Did you know nobody has any excuses for not knowing God?
James Greer (20:50):
If you’re here today, you have no excuse for not knowing God. See, really the truth, excuses are nothing more than self-justification for failure. And the greatest excuse you’ll ever make is saying I’m not going to come to know God. The greatest excuse you’re going to ever make says well, I was hurt or God didn’t do this for me and if he’s God, why didn’t He do that? You can keep doing that but one day you’ll end up in Hell and you’ll wish you were in Heaven. No excuse for not believing God. The very nature itself shows you there’s a God. Lots of people know about God but they don’t know God. See, verse 21 says and they know about God. There’s a big difference about knowing about God than knowing God. But they did not honor Him. They did not what? They don’t honor Him. Say honor. We’re going to talk about honor and how important it is. They didn’t honor Him neither did they thank Him. Their thoughts are useless and their stupid minds are in darkness. I love Jesus. Sometimes they just don’t mince words. He said, you know, you better be dang careful because when you don’t honor God, sometimes it’s dangerous because you come, you become useless, stupid and dark.
James Greer (22:07):
In today’s world, we don’t honor much anymore. Biblically, you should honor those over you. Unless somebody over you asks you to do something against God’s Word, you honor them. You honor the position even if you don’t honor the person. When you go to work Monday, you honor your boss. Amen? If you’re a Christian in Journey Church, I want our students, I want our people to learn honor. Honor means to value. It means to respect. Husbands, we are to honor our wives. Women, you are to respect your husband. It means they’re there to have value, to respect, to highly esteem, to thank they’re precious, very valuable. It’s to build up, to believe the best of them. Without honor, it brings dishonor. It’s a tree that’s just ordinary and common. You’re just ordinary. You’re just common. You’re dishonoring. You’re tearing them down. You believe the worst. You’re devaluing them.
James Greer (23:16):
So they didn’t dishonor God. They began to dishonor God and you’re going to see the dangers of dishonoring God in a minute. But I want to give you some ways to honor God first. Okay? The first thing you can do to honor God is to honor those that have already honored God. In Psalm 15:4, it says this. They do not respect hateful people but honor, do what? Honor those who what? Honor God. Value those, respect those. They keep their promises to their neighbor even when it hurts. Man, God said listen, when you find somebody that honors God, that keeps their promise, you should show them honor. You should respect them. You should show them value. You should say man, there’s not many of those people around. I need to honor them. Second? Honor God by the way we sing and give. Uh-oh.
James Greer (24:09):
Have you ever seen people that come to church and look like they just sit and sour and soaking? They sit and they [inaudible]. I say that word. Stop it. It just seems like their butt’s glued and they can’t move. I know. It just came out. Their butt is glued and they can’t move. But anyway Psalm 69:30. That was not in the message. I told you if you came to church, you can find something wrong with me if you stay very long. I will praise God in a what? Song and I’ll honor Him by giving thanks. Do you know I think during the worship service, it’s not just for us but it’s the way we can honor God? What have we started over right now? And we said man, I want to honor God. I want to honor God by the way I sing. I want to honor God by the way I get thanks. What if you honored God during the praise service by saying hey, God, not only the way I want to sing to you but while I’m singing to you, I want to give thanks to you and I want to bring honor to you and we’re honoring God? Would that not change the way you worship God? Amen?
James Greer (25:17):
Well, let’s do it. It says I value you, God. I want to respect you, God. You’re precious, God. So next time we come and we began to worship, let’s do it right. Amen? Third, we honor God with our tithes and offerings. Proverbs 3:9 says honor is precious. It’s valuable. The first test of your income is very valuable to God. It’s not yours. But when you give to the Lord of your wealth, the first fruits of all your crop. But you know why? I love it because God always said then your bars will be full and your wine barrels will overflow with new wine. Fourth, we don’t talk about this one much today but we honor God when we come to church on Sunday. You’re here today. Amen? I’m glad to see, I see new people every Sunday. I’m so excited about that. I’m telling you. No, really, I’m loving it. We’re so far ahead of the curve. They keep telling about the corona curve. Really and we’re ahead of the curve. We’re spiking on the curve. I believe you should be careful. I think you really distance when you can and wash your hands. But I’m telling you, at Journey Church, we’re so far ahead of the curve, it’s unbelievable.
James Greer (26:25):
We got a friend of, oh, Steven, there he is. I think. Is that you back there, Steven? Steven’s going to a family member. I think it’s his wife’s sister or brother. They’re getting married and they’re going to LA. They’re flying, the family’s flying over to the wedding, right? They found that when they fly to LA go to the wedding, they get to sit out in the car. True story. They’re gonna let, I think the couple is getting married if I’m not correct and both the families in the church and they’ve told them nobody else can come in with them. There’s places down the street that even like record stores that if you wanted to go in. you can’t. Most of the restaurants are only take out. You still can’t come in and worship God. We’re ahead of the curve. Amen? It’s an honor to be able to come to church and if you’re not careful, see, Satan will change your mind and you’ll forget it. I thank God for y’all coming every Sunday. I thank God that we can come to church and we can honor God. I know in Exodus 29, you say no, no, that’s just in the Old Testament. No, no, God wants us to honor Him today.
James Greer (27:31):
It said work and get everything done during six days each week. But you know what it says after that? But the seventh day is day of rest to honor the Lord your God. I think, you know what I think? I think we need to change as Sundays be special. I think we need to honor God that day. I think we need to say it’s valuable. It’s valuable to us but it’s a way that we can honor God. I think when you get too busy to come to church, you’re too busy. And if you want to tell me and everybody else that you’re too busy to come to church, you might be telling God you need to slow down and He might slow you down. So be careful. Be careful what you say and be careful what you wish for.
James Greer (28:20):
Hebrews 10 tells us, you know what? During these times, you better keep on. We should keep encouraging each other to be thoughtful, to do helpful things. You know why? Some of you have given up the habit of meeting to come into worship. But we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other especially since you know that the day of the Lord is coming. It’s getting closer. You do understand that Jesus is coming back real soon? Amen? Well, you better start encouraging them to get back in church. I’ve gotta rock and roll. So y’all are gonna have to really listen. Okay? I’m going to put it in about fifth gear. Yeah, I had one of them cars. Anyway, anyway.
James Greer (29:09):
Fifth, fifth, we need to honor our parents. It’s still today, young people need to learn to honor their parents. Exodus 20:12, it says honor your father and mother so that it will, you will have a long life. Ephesians 6:1 and 3 says honor your mother and father where things will go good. In Matthew 15:15, it says honor your mother and father where you’ll live a long life. I’m telling you, young people still need to honor their mother and father. Amen? Six, honor the elderly. I’m gonna tell you, at this church, if an elder person, an older person comes, stand to the side and let them go first. Open the door and get your butt out of the way. I’m serious. I see some people act like they’re gonna knock them down. You gonna might get knocked down. I mean honor them. Leviticus 19:32 says show respect to older people. Honor them. Reverently obey me. I am the Lord. God is telling you to honor older people. Value them. Respect them. If you’re not careful, we’re in a society that no longer honors older people. They want to do away with them. That’s not biblical. And everybody say amen. We can honor God by waiting on Him, by loving His son and honoring our body. I’ve got to skip that. I gotta get right to the thing.
James Greer (30:24):
The danger of religion without relationship, the danger of not honoring God. We’ve got to go fast. Romans 1:22, you began to claim that you’re wise and you’re really a fool. You don’t worship the glorious eternal God. You worship idols. It goes on and God says I let these people go their own way. I let them do what they want to do. I let them have their filthy thoughts and shameful things. I gave up the truth, they gave up the truth for God for a lie. They worship God’s creation instead of God. So what did they did? They began to want to be worshiped. This is talking about today. Instead of worship God. The same thing happened to Lucifer and say let them follow their own desires. And what was their own desire? They turned from God, they turned from God, they turned from God, they turned from God. Are y’all ready? And God said okay, do your own thing.
James Greer (31:21):
It got so bad, they didn’t even want to have sex the natural way. Said women having sex with women. The Bible says that wasn’t natural. Verse 26, men behaved in the same way. Men stopped wanting to have sex with women. They had a strong desire to have sex with other men. God said listen, now women are wanting to have sex with women and men are wanting to have sex with men. And God said that was unnatural. I’m going to tell you something right off the bat. At Journey Church, homosexuals and gay people are welcome here. You do understand that. But God’s word says what it says. One of the best letters I know, it’s Eric Elder who was in a gay homosexual relationship for many, many years. He finally got out of it and he married and had kids and he writes the best letter. And he uses Romans as an example. He said I was a Christian, practicing Christian except for Romans changed my life. He said when I got to verse 27, it said they did shameful things with each other and what has happened to them is punishment.
James Greer (32:45):
His translation says they bring upon themselves punishment. He said so many people said God’s punishing. He said no, He’s not. He said I’m bringing undue circumstances into my life that didn’t have to be there. He said that changed his life. He broke it off and he got married. God gave him wonderful children. He said after his wife died, he had that same tendency. He wanted to go back into that relationship. He said it was not bad. He said they enjoyed him. He said but because I knew I was going to bring undue heartache into my life, into that relationship, I decided not to. I want you to know though what’s going on in America today is many people have been blinded to God’s Word and God’s truth. That’s not a natural relationship. Anybody at Journey Church is welcome. But you gotta be careful about saying you have a religion without a relationship with God. God’s word is the ultimate authority and it’s the truth in spite of what you hear on TV and despite what others say.
James Greer (33:58):
To have a relationship, it’s got to start with Jesus Christ because Jesus said I’m the way and the truth in life. And no man comes in the Father but by Him. You can have a religion but you don’t have a relationship unless you come to Jesus. If you’re here today and you’ve had religion but you don’t have a relationship with God and you want to come to Him through Jesus Christ, we’re gonna give an invitation in just a minute, and I beg you to do that. Maybe you’re here and you have a relationship. Maybe you’re married but you’re trying to get your relationship from each other. And today you say hey, I’ve been trying that enough. I need to surrender my life to Jesus Christ. I want to get my fulfillment from Him. May even say but see, you’re not abiding in Christ. In John 15:5 says I’m the vine, you are my branches. He abides in me and I in Him, you’re gonna bear much fruit. But without me, you can do nothing. There was a time that you had fruit, you had love, you had joy, you had peace, other people, you were influenced for God but now you don’t.
James Greer (34:56):
You got to learn to abide because if you abide in me and my word abide in you, see, you abide in Him because His word abide in you. You ask anything and it’ll be done unto you. You’ll bear much fruit. The right relationship, you have answered prayer and you have fruit. You learn God’s word and you obey God’s word. You fill your mind, let it direct your will, transform your actions. You abide in Christ and you’ll have fruit and your prayers will be answered. But nobody but you knows if that’s the life you’re living. Is it religion or is relationships? You know what? Only you know that. I can tell you one thing. God wants what’s best for you. And He does not want you to leave here today with a religious view. He wants you to leave here today with a relationship that’ll give you the fruit that you need where there’s love and joy and peace.
James Greer (35:59):
Maybe you have a prayer that’s not answered and you need to come and have somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Would you stand and let me start out by praying with you? Darrell, if you’ll come to the front and others. Father, I thank you for your Word. It’s true and it’s powerful. God, help us learn to honor. First to honor you. Honor you with our words, with our voice, with our talents, with our finances. God, those that are married, help them to honor each other and to value each other and to respect each other. God help them to get their fulfillment from God, to get their love from God where they can love each other. Those that are aren’t married but yet they want to have nice, good relationships, hey, don’t drain the other person dry. Hey, get your love from God and then love them.
James Greer (36:48):
It’s not what you can just get but what you can give. See, that’s what being a Christian is all about. It’s not what God wants from you. It’s always what God wants for you. That’s why you’re here today. God has something for you. He has love. He has joy. He has peace. Man, He has forgiven, forgiveness. He’ll forgive your past. He’ll give you a brand new start. Maybe you need to come and join the church today and be part of this family. A great day. Maybe you need to follow through in public baptism. Maybe you need somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Maybe you need to build that new relationship with God. Whatever it is that God lays upon your heart, I pray that you’d let Him have His way this morning. It’s in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us in worship today. If you still want someone to pray with you, we have people on standby right now that are willing to pray with you and for you. Join us next Sunday as Pastor James continues his series Heaven, Yes, Hell, No at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30. This coming October 31st, we’re hosting our first Halloween drive-thru event and we want all of y’all to be a part. So y’all come and be a part of this first event ever. See you.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.