Stay in the Ship

Stay in the Ship
Acts 27:30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

I. Get in the ship—How do I get in the ship? John 14:6
a. The first thing you need to do to get into the boat is to [accept Christ] as your Savior! Jesus said with utmost confidence, “I am the way, the truth, and the life….no man comes to the Father except through me.”

So…the first step, in getting into the ship is believing Jesus Christ. Jesus has already instructed us in what we need to do. Repent! Be born again of the water and the Spirit. Sometimes that first step can be a little shaky as far as we are concerned. We want to do it our way instead of the way Christ has told us.
[Tell story about getting into the little 8 foot flat bottom boat..]
b. The second thing you need to do is to [trust Christ] to do the work of salvation.
Ill- There is a story about a Kindergarten class that went to the fire station for a tour and some instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. He said, “First, go to the door and feel the door to see if it’s hot. Do you know why we feel the door?” A little boy raised his hand and said “To see if there is fire on the other side”. Then the firemen said, “Next fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you ought to fall to your knees?” One of the little girls said, “Oh yes , you get on your knees so you can start praying to ask God to get you out of this mess!”
TRUST? You mean we have to trust Christ to do the work? YES…and we have a verse of Scripture to assure us that if we do our part God will do HIS! I John 1:9.…“If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here is the promise…If we confess, our confession will be responded to in two ways…
1. He will forgive us of all our sin! Hallelujah!
2. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness…any thing that is not like Christ will be dealt with when we get into the boat! Go ahead…get in the boat!

II. Stay in the ship…How do I stay in the boat?
In I Timothy, Paul, the apostle writes to the young Pastor, Timothy, who is facing a heavy burden of responsibility in the church at Ephesus.
Ephesus was a city famous for its Temple and worship of the Goddess Diana. Its Temple employed prostitute priestess’s and priests who offered sacrifice for money. In I Timothy Paul urges Timothy to stay true in the midst of all this paganism. You know, I do not need to tell you this but if you take a close look at society today…we are becoming more and more pagan by the minute. Not only that it is trying to get into the church! We may have standards but do we have the right scruples? Sin is Adultery, fornication, unnatural desires, lying, cheating, stealing, worship of other Gods.

Paul makes several “charges” (instructions) to young Timothy in this epistle.
1. The First Charge Is Found In Chap. 1: 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
Christians today need “staying power” – especially in our increasingly pagan society.

2. The Second Charge Is Found In Chap. 1:18,19 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
1. War a good warfare
2. Don’t shipwreck your faith.
a.) Remember what God has done for you.
b.) Remember the examples of those who have shipwrecked their faith.
3. The Third Charge Is Found In Chap. 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

1. Don’t be distracted by strange doctrines and beliefs
We live in a day filled with “strange doctrines”. We have “political correctness” without “biblical correctness!”

III. Love the ship—How do I love the ship? Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Love the fact that you are truly born again baptized in Jesus Name filled with his Spirit! Love the fact that it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses you from all sin!
Moses in His song to the Lord pointed out several things and verse 2 has enough information for a sermon in itself!
What is the Lord doing for Moses?
1. The Lord provided strength to Moses. Sometimes, we need to be replenished in our spiritual journey…Moses was singing a song to God and thanking Him for the strength that God had provided. I have needed the very breath of God to strengthen us over the last year!
2. The Lord provided a song…sometimes God has drilled a truth home to me at different times with a song.
On the CD Greater Vision, there is a familiar song “He loves me” some of the words are:
When I’m sad, He loves me,
Even when I’m bad, He still loves me. (In that while we were yet sinner)
When it seems no one cares for me,
I talk to Jesus, He loves me.
So…the Lord was a strength and a song to Moses!
3. The Lord was Salvation to Moses.
What had Moses been saved from?
Well for 1, Pharaoh. Two…bondage in Egypt. Three…The wilderness….Four…the Red Sea …. Five …. Plagues … Six… Moses was saved from the scrap heap of insufficiency. He told God that he was a nobody, “Who am I that I should go?” He told God that he was an ambassador but had no idea who it was that was sending him, He told God that He was slow of speech, “Lord, I have a thick tongue…I can’t deliver the message properly!”
Moses was saved from several things even himself. What have you been saved from? My friends, if you are here this morning and you are saved you need to thank God for the boat. Stay in the ship. Stop rocking the ship! Make the ship more Christ like! Love the ship! How Pastor Duke???
Love one another as Christ loved. Start by loving your Pastor, His wife, his family, each other and most of all love Jesus Christ.

Charles Swindoll, in his book “Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back,” tells the story of a farmer who wanted to impress his hunting buddies. So, he bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find and he trained his dog to do things no other dog on earth could do—impossible things that would surely amaze everyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a while a flock of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits. Several ducks fell in the water and the proud owner shouted to his magnificent dog, “Sally, Go get ‘em!” The dog leapt out of the boat, walked on the water, picked up a bird and returned to the boat. As soon as he dropped the duck in the boat he trotted off across the water again and grabbed another duck and brought it back to the boat. The owner beamed with pride as his wonderful hunting dog walked across the water and retrieved each of the birds one by one. Unable to resist the opportunity to brag a little he asked his buddies, “Do you notice anything unusual about my dog?” One of them rubbed his chin and said, “Yow… Come to think of it, I do notice something different! That silly dog doesn’t know how to swim!”


You have come to Peniel. Today will be your Peniel. The bible says that Jacob wrestled until he was blessed. But the blessing that he received left him with a limp the rest of his life. I would rather limp with Jesus than walk tall with world. Struggling is a part of the true child of Gods walk.

So many people in this life want everything without any effort.
We see the doctors home and say (I’d sure like to have a home like that) but we don’t want to go to school for 15 years so we can make that kind of money so we can buy a home like that.

We see that young man walking through the mall, it looks like his muscles are about to bust out of his shirt, and we say (man I’d like to have muscles like that) you can if you go to the gym 5 times a week and pump iron till it feels like your arms and legs are going to fall off.

You attend church and see someone that is really used of God. You think I wish God would use me like that. Are you willing to fast, pray, be faithful, seek God, study his word, obey him when it doesn’t make sense, be persecuted and publicly criticized and humiliated? Many believers have the attitude that just because they are saved and in the family of God, that now God is supposed to give them everything they ever dreamed of without any effort, work or discipline on their part. The fact is, it costs what it costs and it never goes on sale.
YES God wants to prosper you and bless you, but you’re going to have to go through something.
Sometimes you have to struggle, Sometimes you have to fight.
There is something in the struggle that is necessary to becoming what God has ordained us to be.
The children of Israel found that out. God left giants in the promised land on purpose

1- Because they needed to learn how to fight
#2 Because giants distinguish the difference between professors and possessors.
#3 Giants expose the grasshoppers.
In the struggle You get to know your God, you realize that God is your only help. You get stronger, you put down roots, You become aware of the necessary and unnecessary things in your life. Struggling produces thankfulness (example ) someone survives a tornado, their house is gone their car is gone but they are so thankful that they are still alive, the family is together.
When you know you had to fight for what you got:
a. You appreciate it more
b. You won’t let anyone take it from you
The struggle qualifies you for rest Listen to what Jesus says in
Mt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Paul says in
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Last but not least The struggle qualifies you us for the reward:

The struggle, the fight, the warfare, the praying, the waiting , the enduring, is as important as the blessing or reward
While we are looking at the reward, God is looking at the development that is taking place through the struggle.
Faith is forged in the furnace of adversity.

The first generation children of Israel forfeited their inheritance because they would not fight
Many of Gods people have forfeited their destiny their promises, just because they refused to fight.
When the heat was on they bailed out, backed down, laid down their swords and conceded to the enemy.

As long as everything was going smooth they were right there shouting with the army, enjoying the blessings, but when the struggle came they caved in and gave in to discouragement and fear and doubt. They left looking for the R&R somewhere else.

If you will be truthful today: what has made you what you are in God is the struggle
What you had to fight for,
What you had to fight against
What you had to overcome
The caterpillar goes through a process of metamorphosis through which it changes from an earthbound crawly worm, into a beautiful butterfly.
This process involves struggle
To cut the struggle short would rob the butterfly of it’s destiny.

The baby chick in the egg goes through a process of growth inside of the egg until it begins to outgrow the egg, then it must peck it’s way out of the egg. This struggle strengthens the baby chick and prepares it for life outside the egg.
One of the best thing about your struggle:
It qualifies you to help others.
When you been through something you can help somebody else
When you’ve stood your ground and fought your battles and conquered your giants you are qualified to help someone else through their battles. Jesus did this at Calvary. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus struggled with his flesh. He knew what he would have to do in order for you and I to have eternal life. His flesh cried out but he conquered it and willingly went to the cross. On the cross he cried out in the struggle he was going through, his body in pain stretched to the limit, crying out Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

After defeating the giant of self he cried out and said Father forgive them they know not what they do and then he gave his life for us. Satan thought he had won the victory but Jesus’s death brought the victory. Let me say that in a different way his death paid for the victory. Three days later he raised himself from the grave and hell was defeated and your sins were paid for in full. He took your place..
In the last 2 years I have struggled more that at anytime in my spiritual walk with God. I always stated that you never give in during the struggle. I found myself in a struggle like none other and found my self wanting to give in telling God that people were not worth what I was having to go through. I told my wife and family I am ready to chuck it all in then one day in prayer after feeling that every one had forsaken me God spoke to me and said remember what I said in the flesh while I was on the cross Father forgive them they know not what they do. If they were worth my sweat blood and tears then they are worth yours.
The devil wants to make it all about you, give you tunnel vision (he wants you to focus all your attention on the struggle).
But God wants you to realize that even though the devil sent it to take you out, God is going to use it to take you up, and when you get up you will be able to help somebody else get up.
2Co 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, (that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God)

Remember these when you are about to give up
Yes I may be going through a struggle but I am growing through my struggle, developing some spiritual muscles, developing some compassion, some patience, some endurance.
Some long suffering.
Yeah I may be struggling right now but don’t feel sorry for me, There’s something in the struggle I need to become what God has ordained for me.
Pray for me, not to get out but to go through.
God did not deliver Daniel from the lions den ( he delivered him through it).
God did not deliver the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace he delivered them through it).

David needed Goliath
The children of Israel needed the giants
The 3 Hebrew children needed the fiery furnace
Sampson needed the philistines
And we need the struggle
There is no testimony without a test and no victory without a battle.
A victorious life is not a problem free life, it is a life in which we overcome our enemies by virtue of struggle and fight.

Finally let me say: The struggles don’t last forever
Weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning
If you want your healing you must sometimes struggle for it
If you want the Baptism of the Holy Ghost fight for it
If you want truth you have to hunger, thirst, and seek for it
I know one thing Satan does not want you to have it
But its yours for the taking just like the promised land was for Gods people Israel.
Who’s ready to take it?


There are many cases in the bible that catch my attention in regards to the great knowledge of God. What amazes me at times is his way of sometimes disguising his knowing. In the garden of Eden God asks Adam and Eve “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? ” God knew all the time what they had done. Then why is it that he hides his knowledge? Is it because he wants to know how long we will keep up our pretense for our sins? Then there is Judas that walked with Jesus for 3 years, was his Secretary/treasurer, entrusted with power from God and we find after all this time of being in fellowship with Christ Jesus at his last supper states Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me . Jesus knew all the time what Judas was and yet he allowed him to walk with him till that day that Judas would decide where his loyalty really was. Many people have been filled with his wonderful Spirit but after awhile fail to continue in living for him and fall away. We may ask why did God fill them with his Spirit if he knew they would not continue with him? I believe the answer is that he wanted to allow them to reveal their real self. Today I would like to speak on the subject:
God Knows
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
If there is anything that we need to know to day is the fact that God knows all there is about each one of us. Not only does God know but he also understands you.
A. It is not self-knowledge, but God’s complete knowledge that is chiefly important

“Here To Eternity”

“Here To Eternity”

There is a known fact that says “Man has an insatiable fascination with the hereafter and the afterlife”
People get caught up with Channeling –A desire to communicate with the dead – This occurred all through ancient times and is spoken of in the O.T. yet it was forbidden by God according to Deut 18:10-12, 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:
Then there is the belief in Reincarnation where many believe that we live more than one life some even believing that we come back in other forms such as animals or insects. Someone coined this phrase don’t step on an ant, it might be your aunt.

There was a story about a frog that consulted a fortuneteller. The fortuneteller was gazing into a crystal ball, and he says to the frog: You are going to meet a beautiful young woman. From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compelled to get close to you—you will totally fascinate her.” The Frog: replies “Where am I, at a singles club?” No No the Fortuneteller says you are in her : “Biology class.”
One minute he thinks he’s in heaven the next he’s headed for hell. In today’s world there appears to be a religion for every persons idea, ideal, fancy, or fascination. Just believe something and there is a religion to fill the bill. No thoughts as to whether it totally violates the word of God.
Christian Science, founded by spiritist Mary Baker Eddy, teaches that “there is no death.” “Heaven and hell are states of thought, not places. People experience their own heaven or hell right here on earth.”
Edgar Cayce, a spiritist and New Age prophet, said that “the destiny of the soul, is to become One with the Creator” and that no soul is ever lost.
Mormonism, founded by occultist Joseph Smith, argues, “The false doctrine that the punishment to be visited upon erring souls is endless…is but a dogma of unauthorized and erring sectarians, unscriptural, unreasonable, and revolting.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses, founded by Charles T. Russell maintains that the wicked are forever annihilated because “the teaching about a fiery hell can rightly be designated as a ‘teaching of demons.’”
Unitarian Universalism confesses the following: “No Unitarian Universalist believes in a resurrection of the body, a literal heaven or hell, or any kind of eternal punishment.”
But in spite of all these religions and philosophies, In 1991 a Gallup poll showed that 78 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. The problem is, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend church. They freely admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. The fact is no one thinks they are going to Hell even though they live for themselves rather than God. My thoughts are why would these people even want to go to heaven.
We must understand that God has placed us here for a reason. That reason is to choose eternal life or eternal death. The word Eternal means – Having no beginning or end, existing outside of time, forever, perpetual, a unlimited duration, everlasting.
The Truth of God’s Word teaches us… that God is Eternal
1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Not only that but God is The Great “I AM” – The forever Present Self-existent One, The One who Is (Ex 3:14; John 8:58) and the word says that God is Light (1Jn 1:5) Einstein’s E=MC2 formula says essentially reach the speed of light and time stands still…
In the beginning God-before time God, In matter & space God- You must understand that God existed long before anyone can imagine… He is a Transcendent God.
Not only is God eternal but written within the Truth of God’s word we are taught that God Created Man as a Eternal Being
Genesis 1: says So God created man in his own image…
Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. Since Man was created in the natural likeness of God with intellect, emotions and a will… man was also created in God’s moral likeness but this was lost when he chose to sin by disobeying God/s command.

Adam became a living soul/being… distinct from all other creatures – because of God’s image & God’s breath of life
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Listen to this This is an amazing discovery, Dr. Wernher von Braun, says he has “scientific” reasons for believing in life after death. He explained: “Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction. All it knows is transformation. If God applies the fundamental principle to the most minute and insignificant parts of the universe, doesn’t it make sense to assume that He applies it to the masterpiece of His creation—the human soul? “
A Swedish doctor says he discovered the human soul weighs 21 grams. He placed beds of terminal patients on sensitive scales and saw the numbers drop when the patients died.
Jesus tells of two men who have crossed over into eternity… in Luke 16: One is named as Lazarus and the other is described as a rich man. Both of these men’s destiny was determined by what they had done in this life. One went to the bosom of Abraham and the other to hell. Both crossed over and ended up either in Hell or paradise.
According to this story every unsaved person goes directly to hell (hades, sheol) a holdng prison awaiting his court appearance before the judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. There the unsaved will be found guilty and sentenced to eternal death in the Lake of Fire forever. Which was Prepared for the Devil & his demons. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Remember the movie “Ghost”… an evil man died & demons came and dragged him off? In the bible, God uses phrases like: fire is not quenched, where the worm dies not, everlasting destruction, flames of fire, torment, outer darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth where the real you is still alive (your body had dropped dead but you continue to live)… at the blink of the eye, you’re there… same personality, same cravings, same addictions, same lust, same emotions of fear, same memories of sitting in church… But now it’s Too late .

In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as “The Hell Club” in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club’s notorious annual meeting, Boyle deemed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, “You must go with me!” As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. “Where are you taking me?” The cold voice replied, “To hell!” The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he’d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. “There is no rest in hell!”
There was seen on a bumper sticker in Spokane, WA the following words Eternity—Your Choice: Smoking or Non-smoking!
The facts are that there is no truth in the false teachings of : Universalism, Annihilation , or Limbo / Purgatory – which allows a second chance to merit heaven – Remember you only have one chance to choose.
There was an old Scottish mountaineer who had lived a full but not exactly saintly one and now was on his deathbed. He summoned his weeping wife. “Sara,” and he said, “go to the fireplace and take out the third stone from the top.” She did as instructed. “Reach in there,” said her husband, “and bring out what you find.”
Her fingers touched a large Mason jar, and with some effort she pulled it up. The jar was full of cash.
“Sara,” said the old man, “when I go, I’m going to take all that money with me. I want you to put that jar up in the attic by the window. I’ll get it as I go by on my way to heaven.”
His wife followed his instructions. That night the old mountaineer died. After the funeral his wife remembered the Mason jar and went to the attic. There was the jar still full of money and by the window.
“Oh,” the widow sighed. “I knew I should have put it in the basement.”
Revelation 21:1-4 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
A week ago there was a new discovery. What was it? A new planet with the ability to allow life to live on it. Could it be ? Will it be ? Is it? I know only one thing for sure Scientists says its so far away man could never reach it in this lifetime. What about the next life? Well I know this that if it is and we are to go we will need a passport. You see even Crossing into Heaven Requires a Passport
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,. We must understand that we can only enter heaven with the correct credentials… proving our citizenship is there.
We must be Spiritually Born into God’s Family in order to receive ~ Our Passport!
In John 3:3 Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Romans 8:17a Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… we may also share in his glory.
Death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
On his deathbed, British preacher Charles Simeon smiled brightly and asked the people gathered in his room, “What do you think especially gives me comfort at this time?” When they all remained silent, he exclaimed, “The creation! I ask myself, ‘Did Jehovah create the world or did I?’ He did! Now if He made the world and all the rolling spheres of the universe, He certainly can take care of me. Into Jesus’ hands I can safely commit my spirit!”

Former Senator Dwight W. Morrow searched in vain to find his railroad ticket as he was on a train leaving New York City. “I must find that ticket,” he muttered. The conductor, who stood waiting beside him, said, “Don’t worry about it, Mr. Morrow. We know you had a ticket. Just mail it to the railroad when you find it.” “That’s not what’s troubling me,” replied Morrow, “I need to find it to know where I’m going.”

In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat, “Cheshire-Puss…would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” replied Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
But I hope today it matters to you where you are going. Today you need to choose because tomorrow may be too late.
Mark Twain Said Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Lets make the undertaker sorry this morning. You are here today but tomorrow eternity.


There is a Balm in Gilead

There is a Balm in Gilead

A balm is a healing ointment. Jeremiah is asking about the famous healing lotion made from the commiphora tree of Palestine, the resinous gum we know as Myrrh. (you know the Christmas story – Gold, Frankenstein and Myrrh…er…..Frankincense and myrrh…). Jeremiah is making a spiritual reference to the healing power of God. In the New Testament, baby Jesus will be given this balm to show healing does exist with him. That’s the good news.

Before 1865, African-American spirituals and slave-songs were sung throughout the south. These songs told the gospel and conveyed scripture to people who couldn’t read, and were used for everything from teaching English and counting to new arrivals, to keeping time in a threshing house, to communicating news about the underground railroad (“This Train is Bound for Glory”, and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” were both underground railroad songs). One of the great old hymns to come out of that era was “There is a Balm in Gilead”. An oppressed people who, like Israel, had been captured, enslaved, and ill-used were answering Jeremiah’s question with the New Testament assurance that healing was here to stay. How can we find that assurance today? Let’s look at the song:
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

First – we have to look to the Holy Spirit for revitalization and renewal. When we feel like the plans for peace we have offered bounced right off the clouds of heaven, or the life work we have given our talent toward has produced mediocre results at best – we need to pray for ourselves and the revival of our mission and our call. Every Christian is called of God. Whether you are called to be a witness as a mechanic, a teacher, or a listening friend working on an assembly line – you are called to be there. Don’t let the joy be leeched from you by those around you with bad attitudes or the determination to be self-absorbed pessimists. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to work in you and make the life you are living a worthy pursuit of hope and healing.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.”
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Second – People of faith need to stop relying on the messengers and start living the message. The ministry have specific roles we fulfill, but it s not our call to be the community. That’s your job. We need to stop letting other people (leaders, theologians, popular authors) read for us, think for us, determine our beliefs and be the witness for us. We need to take responsibility in our relationship with God and learn to use resources as guides, not crutches. Why do you need a doctorate to live as Christ taught? Jesus called a bunch of fishermen, peasants and tax collectors? Christ didn’t come to make us a collection of sheep led by the educated elite. Christ came to make us a community, lead by a vibrant, personal relationship with our Creator. You don’t have to be Peter, or Dr. Paul (or even Dr. Phil – thank goodness!) – Be you, use your brain and the resources God places around you, and share the gospel where you are.
Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend; And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Third – seek God’s wisdom and will. Our trust should not be in our own intelligence, experiences or credentials. Our trust should be in God’s wisdom, and God has placed that wisdom all over creation. Stop discounting the steady stream of God in the world around you and start listening and learning all that God can have you know. But Remember this, Kneeology can be better spiritually than Theology.
Fourth- Remember this God is not dead he’s alive.
It appears today that many have forgot that God even exists. In their minds there is no God or he has died. I have news for you he is alive. Jesus is alive and just waiting for you to come to him in faith and ask. The enemy will try to convince us he is not real, he is dead, or he is to far above us to hear us, but I am here to let you know he is alive he is well and he’s just waiting for you to approach him in faith.
If we need healing for:
Our body — Our Spirit —– Our mind he is here
We need not to succumb to the gloom and doom of Jeremiah, because we know that healing of God is here. We need not reflect the cultural despair of T.S. Eliot because we know how to be near God. We can be people of Gilead with a life witness worth shining for the entire world to see. Today is the day for you to receive. What will it be? Will you continue to live in your little dark world or come out into the son shine of Jesus Christ.



Earthquakes, Floods, Wars rumors of wars all around us. Pakistani uprising Iran trying to get nuclear weapons. We are living in perilous times. But in spite of all of this we are living in the greatest times man has ever seen. In every age there have been great events and there has been men or women that God spoke to to bring to fruition his will. Some God has shown dreams, visions, burning bushes and even spoke to them directly. One does not know the moment that suddenly God directs his attention to them speaks to them and in that moment a decision has to made. I would call it their moment in time.
Endtime Ministries Editor Rev Irvin Baxter made a startling statement on recently. It was entitled 2 billion people to die. If you have access to the internet you can go to my church web site and click on prophesy menu then click on the 69 billion to die. Even more startling was when Bro. Baxter stated that he felt it would be within the next 2 years. I listened as he told how he was awakened at 5 am and felt the Lord telling him that 2 billion people would die soon and he wanted him to warn people about it. Is God using Bro Baxter to bring a warning to a people that appear to be headed in a direction of the lake of fire. Even in church I see people that can sit during the move of God and not even be moved. They appear to represent the song I shall not be moved. There was a time that they were moved by the power of God but now they are the spiritually dead that occupy a space in a chair but appear to be somewhere else. If you are here today and know that you are not where you used to be with God I pray that God will raise you up and get you on the right path again.

Last Monday the Lord spoke to me about this message. I had my mind set on just teaching again this Sunday. But God said I want you to preach and all of a sudden the sermon he wanted me to bring just started coming to me. At the end of what he gave me I looked at the message and was amazed.
Luke 19: 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
This moment is for you Today is your moment in Time
Zacchaeus, only wanted to see Jesus he had heard many things about him. Trouble was when he got to the place where Jesus was people had crowded him out and as he was so short he could not see above them. Looking over to the side he saw a tree and so he climbed up the tree to be able to see Jesus. All of a sudden his moment came his moment in time that lives on in the word of God. Jesus says Zacchaeus, come down for today I must abide with you.

As we read our bibles we find that many men experienced that one special moment when they came face to face with the Lord and their lives were changed forever.

Just think for a moment when it came what would have happened if they had not responded or if they failed to answer that call.

When Jacob ran from the presence of men he came to Beth-El and it was there that a man appeared to him and the bible tells how that he wrestled all night and in the early hours the man told him to release him. Jacobs words I will not release you until you bless me. Jacobs moment came and he had responded. NO! He would not let go till God blessed him! Maybe we should allow this story to speak to us today and tell God I will not let go till you bless me . Is there anyone here that needs a blessing this morning? Well bless the Lord and he will bless you!

Hadassah would never have been known today and would never had movies made about her had her moment in time not came and she listened God speak to her thru the voice of Modecai who was sent by God. Mordecai spoke and said who knows but that you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this. Yes Esther had her moment in time and can anyone wonder what would have happened had she not accepted the challenge and call that God had for her. Facing the possibility of death she goes before the King and today is remembered for her bravado in facing down death for the sake of her people.
One day Peter is mending his nets and all of a sudden a man looks him in the eyes and tells him Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Peter simply got up from where he was and began to follow Jesus.

The man named Saul was on the road to Damascus when God spoke to him. A bright light blinded him and a voice spoke to him Saul Saul why persecutest me, Saul responds Lord who art thou and the voice cries out I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. Lord what will thy have me do. Go to Annianias and he will tell thee what to do. Saul listened to that voice and later he tells how he was told to be baptized calling on the name of the Lord. Later we read him say I am glad that I speak in tongues more than any of you. Saul became known as the Apostle Paul all because he obeyed that one moment in time when God spoke to him and called him.

Even Jesus had that moment in time. Jesus was God because that is where the Lord chose to dwell but Jesus was also a man just like you and I. The man had to have his moment also. It was not when he went into the Temple, it was not when he called his disciples, it was not when he ministered, it was not when he responded to the true call and purpose for his being here.
It was when he hung upon the cross, blood dripping from his body, nails in his hands and feet, crown of thorns upon his head, people chanting and reviling him, and while his hands were outstretched and his body lifted up he looked up toward heaven and the man Christ Jesus cried out Father forgive them they know not what they do. Afterwards he gave up the Ghost. As the Spirit looked down on the man I can see the smile upon his face spiritually and the Father was well pleased because the man had met the challenge and had finished for all mankind the terrible judgement that was upon the human race.

I remember my call when I was getting ready to go to work in my police capacity at the Saenger theatre in Pensacola and God spoke to me. I had just got dressed in my uniform but I fewll down on my knees and asked my God to forgive me. Later God came to me in a vision and showed me what he would have me do. I am here today to tell you God wants to speak to you and when he does that will be your moment in time. I believe he is speaking to some of you at this moment.


Jer 18:18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Have you come today to get a blessing or to be a blessing? I hope that all of us are here to glorify Jesus the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I know that many times we come to the house of God and we come searching. Some for a blessing, some for healing, and sometimes I have those that stop by just for money. Today I want to direct you to the one that is able to really bless you. As a matter of fact he is loaded with blessings for those that will come to him in faith. Trouble is sometimes we come and are unable to receive because we lack the one ingredient that is needed. Faith! Faith to God is kinda like water to the pump that we use to have in the old days. To get the water flowing we had to use a little of the water we had in hand. It is to those that lack that little water or faith that I want to speak to this morning about coming back to Jesus and letting him rub some balm into our lives. Why are you here today? Is there anyone here that feels all alone and that even God had forsaken you and will not hear you?
Old saying is laugh, and the world laughs with you. A new saying is Cry, and you are probably reading the book of Jeremiah. This gloomy prophecy about the conquering and exile of Israel is enough to send anyone searching for some spiritual Prozac. Jeremiah is torn between two great loves. He loves God and serves God as a prophet with great passion. He loves the people of Israel and he is terribly sorry to see what they will have to go through.
Questioning God, Jeremiah asks, “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there?” – In other words: “God, aren’t you here anymore?” Have you been there before? Is that how you feel this morning? It seemed a good question for Jeremiah and for us as well when we look at a world at war, countries in crisis from disease, drought and oppression, religion that chooses legalism over compassion, and humanity lost in materialism. It is not hard for us to see Iraq, AIDS, Darfur, church crisis and the latest celebrity obsession and say, “God, aren’t you here anymore?”

The Poet T.S. Eliot looked at the state of culture and society when he wrote “The Rock” in 1934 which said:
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

T. S. Eliot seems to re-order Jeremiah’s question. The problem is not that God isn’t with us anymore – but that we as a people and a nation are no longer near God. We have changed the life transforming power of Christ to a set of rules and rituals. We have traded having a knowing relationship with God for just a knowledge of God. We come to church to fulfil a duty.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, – “wow – Pastor Duke’s sure in a gloomy mood – he’s been reading to much email or listening to too many problems. Maybe a nice pat on the back might cheer him up…” well have no fear. I have a great joy and hope today and so can you – because the New Testament reminds us we are blessed when we weep – for we shall be comforted. We need only look at history to see our future.