Central Christian Church Message Podcast

How Close is God? | The God Within | Pastor Cal Jernigan

October 18, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
How Close is God? | The God Within | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Show Notes Transcript
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[00:00:00] Well, good morning central and welcome to each and every one of you and welcome to each and every one of you, wherever you are on any of our campuses, we are delighted to have you with us. Also, this weekend is really special because we actually have another campus. We have a whole bunch of guys up in Williams at what's called elevate.

[00:00:18] Uh uh, from the Cardinals, uh, it was a guest speaker this weekend and I was up there at camp. To be with you today, but man, just an incredible experience. So welcome to all of you wherever you are. And it's good to be with you. We're going to continue today in a series that we started a couple of weeks ago, we're calling it the God within.

[00:00:37] And what we're doing is we're trying to understand the holy spirit. We're trying to understand how to experience the holy spirit, how to get it right. It's really easy to kind of get it wrong. And so we want to make sure we're just grounded in scripture and that we stay focused. Uh, we're going to continue that today and I want to do right now, something to get us kind of move in the direction I want us to move.

[00:00:59] And that is, I want to ask you a series of questions. Now you might not have an answer to these questions. You might go. I have no idea, but I want to ask you four questions and you don't need to answer out loud. And if I don't answer out loud, but I do want to ask you seriously to try in your, in your head, in your heart, answer the question as best as you can.

[00:01:17] Here they are number. When in your life, did you feel closest to God when in your life? Maybe it was a kid. I was a teenager. I was a college student. I was a whatever. When did you feel closest to God? And again, you might go, I'd never felt close to God. That's an honest answer. But when did you feel closest to God?

[00:01:36] Second question. What were the circumstances surrounding that memory? What was it a certain place? Was it a certain time where you with certain people, what caused that to happen? Third question. All right. What emotions do you associate with that memory? So when you think about that, what, like, what did this, the feeling feel like when you go?

[00:01:59] I remember when and you fill that fourth question. When was the last time you felt that when was the last time you felt. Um, I have in my hands here, I have so many everybody's probably had in their hands before I have a pair of binoculars. And, um, you know, it's interesting you use these things for certain, in fact, it's kind of funny.

[00:02:22] I don't know if you ever thought about this, we call this a pair of binoculars. Uh, just so you're tracking. All right. So, uh, ocular his eyes by, uh, so to, uh, this is where does it sound? So this is seeing in stereo. Which is why it's called binocular. You're seeing with both eyes, you always think of stereos, auditory, but, um, you, you, it's funny because we call it a pair of binoculars.

[00:02:50] Now, technically you got to understand, um, these are a pair of monoculars to get the wording right now. A monocular is what you see on the old movies where the captain of the. You know, he's standing on the bow when he pulls that thing out and collapsed, and then he stretches it out and he's looking out on the horizon goes, yep, that's a ship.

[00:03:10] And then he's pulled it back up. That's a monocular, this is a pair of binoculars, but it's just funny because we call it a pair of binoculars and I digress. All right. But the purpose of this is whenever something's. And you want to experience it more intimately. So you use these, so you would use these you're at a football game.

[00:03:31] You're up in the nosebleed section and you're watching what's going on in the field, asking yourself why didn't I just stay home and watch this on television. It was so much better or you're out hunting and you're looking or you're bird watching or for some of you you're at the opera. And I have no idea why you're here, but anyway, you got to understand.

[00:03:50] W what you want is what's out there to seem closer to in here. All right. So I'm going to try to pull that this direction or I'm okay if I'm going that direction just as long as we get closer, but here's what I want you to understand about binoculars. They never change the distance between you and what you're observing.

[00:04:10] This is a very important thing I want you to, I want you to make a mental note of this. It never changes the distance. What it changes is the perception. Of the distance, the perception of the distance. Why am I talking about binoculars? Why are we talking about any of this? Here's what I want to ask you.

[00:04:29] All right. How far away is God? How far away is God? Where, where is he? I mean, if I want to see him, where do I look? Hey, you see, and again, depending on your own personal experience, you might go, I don't know, man. He's out there. He's up that clouds or something. I don't know. Some people would say he just out there in the universe, he's out there way beyond, you know, the Milky way is way out there.

[00:04:54] Uh, some would say, um, he's in the Bible, God is just in the Bible. That's it? You know, like if you want to find God, you find him in the Bible, he's somehow in the book he's in the Bible. Others would say, no, no, he's in some other dimension. He's like, I don't know, man. It's like a fourth to fifth of six, seventh dimension.

[00:05:14] Where is God? And. How do you, how do you, how do you see him? Yeah, it's interesting. How far God away, how far God is away from. You really matters when you pray, because sometimes you can pray and you can feel like I'm just praying. I'm just throwing wind out of my lungs. I'm just casting, wind into wind.

[00:05:35] It's just been floated off, you know? And it's just like drifting away somewhere. It's never gonna connect anywhere. It's just blown up. Others would say my prayers are like putting a prayer in a bottle, putting a cap on it and throwing it out in the vastness of the ocean, hoping somewhere, somehow some miracle happens where it finds its destination and God actually, here's what I'm trying to say.

[00:05:58] See the distance between you and God matters because you might right now this very moment, right? Wherever you are, be filling incredibly. And maybe you're not, maybe it just feels that way. If you've walked with God for any amount of time in your life, you know, that there's those moments where you feel intimately close, unbelievably close, like the distance is so, so small often it's like when you're at a camp, for those of you who are students, you know, or maybe if you're a member that's like, for me, that's where I became a believer was at a camp on a mountain.

[00:06:32] I have a mountain top experience. And we often say that the guys up in. I've in Williams. This weekend are experiencing a mountain top experience. And I just came from them yesterday. I promise you they're they're like on a high, but it might not be a mountain topics. It might be like in a worship service where you just go.

[00:06:50] I just feel so close to God when I'm right here, it might be an event in your life where, you know, there's like a birth of a baby. You just, I, God thought this is incredible. It might be when you pray, it might be. When you serve, it might be, you know, when you meditate might be just when you're reading your Bible.

[00:07:12] Also want to say this. If you've walked with God for any amount of time, you also know that just as there are those times that he feels incredibly close. There's also those times where you go, he feels incredibly distant. The Psalmist in Psalm 13 says how long, oh God, how long, how far away are you? How long until you finally show.

[00:07:31] And any of us who have walked with Godfrey and amount of time would be able to say, I felt that to where is God? Exactly. And how in the world am I going to close the gap? If you've ever gone with us to Israel and a number of you have, um, one of the things I love to do is I love to explain the difference between what we call FIC places and thin places thick and thin, thin places are those.

[00:07:58] Places where you go and we call it the quote unquote holy land, although it's really not, but we call it that because this is where Jesus walked. And I want to go there because I want to experience what Jesus, I want to walk. But it's changed so much and it's so different than in the days of Jesus, but there's places like for me, this is just for me, maybe if, for you, if you've been there, whenever I'm on the sea of Galilee and the sea of Galilee is straight out of the gospels man, whenever I'm on the sea of Galilee, I'm on the very seat that Jesus walked on and I feel so unbelievably close because a lot of things happen on that sea or around the perimeter.

[00:08:35] And when I'm on the sea of Galilee, the thin space is so it's like, God, you're just, oh God, I feel so close to you also when I'm in Bethlehem, which, and again, I've been there a lot of times when I'm in Bethlehem, always take groups to what's called the Shepherd's fields. The Shepherd's fields are outside of Bethlehem.

[00:08:53] They're quickly disappearing because of the settlements, but the Shepherd's fields are these places out there on the, on the hillside where there's not building and, and you can so easily. You know, on this dark night, all of a sudden this angel appeared and he, you know, glory to God in the highest, and then a whole host of angels.

[00:09:12] And they said, behold, you know, a baby is born and you can see it and you can, you can feel it, you can touch it. It's so thin a fake place by contrast for me would be like in the city of Jerusalem, in a church called the church of the holy stuff, liquor. It's one of the most bizarre churches I've ever been in, in my entire.

[00:09:31] It's a church built over the place where they believe Jesus was crucified and where he was buried. And I'm telling you it's as GoDaddy as it could be. It's like seven different denominations have a section of the church. It's as bizarre as it gets. And it feels, God feels as far away as he has ever felt when I'm in the church of the holy sub flicker.

[00:09:52] Cause none of this seems holy to me at all, but those are my experiences. My question to you is when is it? And when is it thick when you feel like you can just reach out and touch God? And when does it feel like no matter how hard I grasped, I would never be able to find them. No, all of this is incredibly important to the subject of the holy spirit.

[00:10:15] So what I want to do today, and I'm going to move quickly. I want to, I want to show you something in. I want to, I want to show you the flow of something that maybe you have never connected. Maybe you've never seen this before. I promise you if you pay attention, you're going to understand something about God that maybe for the first time in your life you get, and the light is going to go on and you're going to go.

[00:10:37] I see that. I'm going to plead with you to allow me to throw a bit of scripture at you. I want to do a quick Bible study with you because I don't want you to, I don't want to tell you my ideas about this. I want to show you from scripture. I want to take you on a certain journey and I'm going to pray right now that God suspends time supernaturally, and that might sound really, really weird to your ears, but I'm going to pray that you will forget about time for the next few minutes.

[00:11:08] It was just put it out of your mind and that God will allow me in the next few minutes to explain something to you and something supernaturally happens in our presence where you walk out of here and you go, man, I just got that. Let me pray. So God, it's a, I'm literally, I need a miracle right now. I know I have no power to make this make sense.

[00:11:30] I believe to the bottom of my toast. This is. And this is what you're doing, but God, I I've got, I've got to do, I've got to do my best to communicate. And yet that's so inadequate. So God just opened people's eyes to see what you've been doing. And God, I pray that we get it and then it will change everything if we do so important.

[00:11:52] So bless us that I am father. I pray in Jesus name. All right. God might be different than what you feel. That's what I need you to understand. Okay. So here's what we're going to do. I need you to take your Bible and we're going to just do a, uh, real quick, uh, we're going to open your Bible now last week, if you were here, Caleb, let us in like the opening verses of the Bible.

[00:12:13] We started in Genesis one last week and the spirit of God was hovering over the water. So we talked about the breath of God. I want you to go to chapter two. All right. It's just the next chapter after the. It's that easy to find. Just open your Bible page one and I'll go to page two. All right. And I want to explain something to you, and this is going to be important that you understand.

[00:12:35] So I got to start at the beginning. All right. So I'm going to start with the story of Adam and Eve as this recorded in Genesis chapter two. Now the story of Adam and Eve is kind of chapters one, two, and three, and then it kind of broadens for, so I'll show you in just a moment, but I want to read to you from, from Genesis chapter two, we're going to begin with verse 15.

[00:12:54] I'm just going to read this as this record it. Okay. So here, here's what it says. Now, the Lord, God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it. And the Lord, God commanded the man. You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat from it, you will certainly die.

[00:13:15] The Lord God said it's not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable. Now the Lord, God had formed out of the ground, all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. And he brought them to the mandatory, what he would name them. I want you to see this. I don't know if you, if you ever understood how things got named that.

[00:13:33] According to the scripture, it was a task of Adam. Just what are you going to call that? I'm going to call that a hippopotamus. What did you call that? That that's that's funny. I was a good call that a giraffe. What's that? That's an. They didn't name. The animals is really important. You see that that's what he was tasked to do.

[00:13:49] He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, whatever the man called each living creature. That was his name. So the men gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and of all the wild animals, but Cassius, but for Adam, those suitable helper was found. Let me translate for you. He's looking at all these animals and birds and fish and stuff.

[00:14:08] And he's I going? No, no. None of that stuff looks good to me. None of it. He never saw any reflection of himself in any of the animals, social, what you need to see. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. And while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs. Then he closed up the place with flesh.

[00:14:25] Then the Lord, God made a woman from the rib and he, that he had taken out of the man and he brought her to the man, the man said, so he took one look, he took one, look at this female. Who is naked, just so you know, okay. He takes one look at this woman and he says, this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.

[00:14:52] She shall be called woman for, she was taken from the sight of man. That is not what he said, what he said was, wow. This, this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my foot. She shoved me called why man, you know why she was called woman? Cause he lived there doing wow, man. And that's how you got your name ladies.

[00:15:20] That's not true. That's not true. That's not true, but you know what is funny? Okay. I th this, okay, this is, uh, you won't find this funny. I find this hilarious. The Hebrew, the Hebrew name for man is each, everybody say that each, each that's it. You said, man, when you said each, you know what the word for woman is each y'all,

[00:15:47] she's just got to get excited. When you say you like. So she has just translated. That's what you need to understand. Okay. Where's it having fun here. All right. So keep going, keep going. Uh, so that is why a man leaves his father and his mother, and is United to his wife and they become one flesh that what look 25 Adam and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.

[00:16:13] He was like, cool. Now I want to show you something. God said, no, you gotta, you gotta understand. You gotta read Genesis one and two. Because it's kind of, it replicates with Genesis chapter one, verse 28, you know what it says, you know what it says to watch. This is what it says. God said, all right. So God blessed them.

[00:16:30] These men, man, and woman each and he Shaw. And he said to them, be fruitful and increase in number of Alicia and would not understand what he got just said, well, what'd he say, Adam, what you're thinking. Thumbs up, man. He's like, oh man, Adam, you can just eat. Enjoy it. You guys just to be delighted in each other.

[00:17:01] They'll shame, no guilt, no nothing. None of it. It's just, and then he says be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds in the sky. And over every living creature that moves on the ground. In other words, you guys, Hey man, have fun. Enjoy. Put you in a garden, man, just knock yourself out.

[00:17:18] Literally what a wonderful life is awesome until we get to chapter three in the Bible. And in chapter three, the antagonist enters the antagonist to Satan and he brings an offering called sin and he brings temptation, which is now they're tempted to do what God said not to do, which is to deal with that tree.

[00:17:42] And. And they've they bite on the bait. And as soon as that happens, um, the distance starts to happen between them and God. And I need you to see this. This is why we're spending time here. Distance inners, when sin enters God in sin, do not, cannot, will not co-exist. This is important. And so if you read in chapter three, After they did what they shouldn't have done.

[00:18:14] Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God, as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And they hid from the Lord, God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord, God called to the man, where are you? And he answered, well, I heard you in the garden. And I was afraid because I was naked.

[00:18:31] So I hid now that says a lot, you see, God would show up and they would all hang out in the garden because it was intimate. It was personal. There was nothing bad about it and then send an ERD. And all of a sudden, God comes walking into the garden and Adam and Eve were nowhere to be found. Why are they so far away, SIM distance them from God?

[00:18:53] And so God's cry. Cry it out. Hey, Hey Adam, where are you? Eve? And then finally he from behind a Bush. Hey, over here, over here, man. What are you doing? . From whom from you, why I'm naked, how do you know you're naked and the story unfolds. All right. Let me show you what happens. There's always consequences. The Bible says, uh, you know, the wages of sin is death.

[00:19:25] Let me explain it to you. It's right here in chapter three in. Versus 23 and 24. So the Lord, God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken after he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way of the tree of life.

[00:19:46] You see, here's, here's all you got to get out of this story. I need you to understand is that, which is incredibly cool, incredibly personal, incredibly intimate, and incredibly close gets destroyed. By this thing called sin and sin always separates us from our creator. That's what you got to get. And there's consequences because as soon as the separation comes, the distance begins to grow.

[00:20:12] And here's something I want you to think about that maybe you've never thought about. I think our sin bothers God more than it bothers us. I think God was devastated by what happened in the garden more than Adam and. That distance just destroyed so much good. And I think God, his hard just broke over that and then listen carefully.

[00:20:33] Look at me, please. And I think the distance between you and God right now is breaking God's heart. And the same thing with me, God goes, this is not what I want. It is not what I wanted. So how far has God. Now, if you keep reading, which I don't, we don't have time. So if we keep reading through the book of Genesis and the book of Exodus, you're going to discover that sin exponentially just starts increasing.

[00:20:56] Okay. There's more and more stuff. And I don't have time to go into all of it. It just gets worse and worse and worse. And the distance between man and God gets greater and greater and greater until people are running around going. I have no idea where God is. So God decides to show up in a way that's tangible.

[00:21:11] And I want to show you how that works now. For the sake of time, I'm going to read to you and I'm going to take you right to scripts. I'm going to show you where I'm getting this. You can follow. If you have time to find it fast, or you can write the scripture down and check to see if I've in any way twist to this.

[00:21:25] All right. Exodus chapter 19 verses 16 to 21 says this. Now the people of Israel have been traveling around the desert on what's called the Exodus. All right. And all of a sudden there's a mountain over there and something funky is happening on the. Like what is happening over there? Here's what's happening on the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud over the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast everyone in the camp trembled as one would then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God.

[00:22:00] They stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke. That's the. Mount Sinai covered with smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke build up from it like smoke from a furnace on the whole mountain trembled, violently as a sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.

[00:22:21] Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went. The folks, if you could just picture the, see, this is, this is scary because of Matt, it looks like it's on fire and there's a voice and Moses has been come up and nobody else was invited.

[00:22:44] That's what I need you to see. Now, if I had time to show you the entire context, it basically says don't cross that line. You cross that line. You die. Moses. You're. Moses, you can come up here. What happened up there you go to chapter 24 verses 15 to 18. When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it.

[00:23:01] And the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai for six days, the cloud covered the mountain. And on the seventh day, the Lord called him Moses from within the cloud to the Israelites, to the glory of the Lord, looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went up on the mountain and he stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.

[00:23:22] We again, go through it quickly. You know what happens up there quickly? God gives him the, the plan book to get it right to, to fix what happened in the garden. We know them as the 10 commandments, he gave him that right there and he gave him the 10 commandments and he says, look, if you want to be right, this is what it's going to take.

[00:23:43] This is what holiness looks like. And he gave him the 10 command. And so Moses comes down a lot happens. All right. But here's what I need you to understand this. What just, all you need to get from the scene is this, the people at the foot of the mountain that are kept back, even though Moses got to go up, they're not going, look, look up there, look up there.

[00:24:03] The glory of God, God is out there. That's where God is. He's he's on the mountaintop. It can't get any better than this look. I'm right up there. That's where God is. Now. What happens is we go through time and I'm going to go quickly. God's going. I don't want this distance. We got to do something. So to speed it up, God basically says here, Moses, here's what I want you guys to do.

[00:24:25] I want you to build me a mobile home. I want you to build me a mobile home. I want to travel with you all. I'll lead. You I'll do it by what I did up here by, uh, by fire and smoke fire at night and smoke during the day. And I'll guide you guys, but here's what I need a home. I need a tent. In fact, we'll make it to them.

[00:24:45] We'll call it a. Uh, tabernacle and it will be our tent of meeting Moses. Instead of you having to come up here and meet ascending up here, I'm going to descend to where you are and I'm going to travel with you. So they created a tent and this is all scriptural. They built a tent and God was like in the tent and they would pack it up and they would move it and he would go with them, guiding them.

[00:25:11] And here's what I need you to understand. We're going, God, we know where God is. He's in the. Look right there. He doesn't get any better than this. It just doesn't get any better than this. Keep going through the Bible. You get into the time of David and the Israelites occupied the city of Jerusalem. And they begin to build on the city of Jerusalem.

[00:25:29] And David builds a palace because David is king. And one day he's up in his palace. He looks out the window, he's living in a panel, wood palace, and he sees God's down there living in a tent and he goes, this is not right. It's just not. And so he, he prays to God. He says, God, I want to build you a house of permanent dwelling, a place where you can always be.

[00:25:53] And God's like, okay, not that cruise, but okay. But you're not the guy to build it because your hands are so stained with blood. David you've killed so many people, your son Solomon can build that. Speed through the story. Solomon builds a temple that don't miss this important, a temple in Jerusalem where God will now live permanently, where God has a home, no longer a motor home.

[00:26:18] All right. He's he's not in a tent, he's in a home and they built this simple. Here's what I need you to understand. Follow this. Okay. In the building called the temple, there were several sections, but the back section was a designated section called the holy of Holies or the most holy place you see in the back of the building.

[00:26:38] That's where God was. He was in the back of the, in the holy of Holies. Here's what you need to understand, depending on who you are, depends how close you get. They had courtyards. And depending on who you are, you can only go so far. That's as close as. But if you were a little bit more holy, you could get a little bit closer.

[00:26:58] The inside the holy of Holies, only the high priest. Only one time a year on the day of atonement, got to go inside there and make a sacrifice for the people of God. But God was always there. You can count on him. Where's God, he's there. He lives in our hood. He's right there. And people go, I can't get any better than this military.

[00:27:18] What happens when you put God in a building? Listen. You start making all kinds of rules about who gets to God, how close can you get to God? What, what do you got to do? You, you come up with rituals, you get certain rights, rights, rules, and rituals, sort of growing up all around the presence of God. And people started getting more and more and more distant from God.

[00:27:41] And he goes, this is not what I want. I don't want rights rituals. I want relationship. So God did something incredible. He changed course and enter into the new Testament, kind of show you something in the new Testament. Um, John, one 14 says this, the word, the word of God, God, the word became flesh and blood and moved into the next.

[00:28:12] We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one of a kind glory, like father, like son generous inside and out, true from start to finish. You know what it literally says. He tabernacled among us. Do you understand what's happening? God with us Emmanuel, God became one of us. He said, I'm not living in a building anymore.

[00:28:33] I'm living in a person and I'm going to be with you. And I'm going to move with you. I'm going to, I'm going to come. This is what is called the incarnation. This has God becoming one of us. It's an incredible thing. He's hanging out with us. It's as if, and I've said there's so many times, if you want to know what God is like, and you want to get it right, don't go to rites, rituals and religions, go to Jesus and look at him.

[00:28:59] Why can't I say that? Hebrews one three says this. So the sun is the radiance of God's glory. The. Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being. He's exactly what God who was all alive, all along. That's who that's, who God is. Jesus is your Instagram instant photo of that's what God's like, because God left the building in order to person.

[00:29:35] And, and, and, and Jesus walked and we could just walk with him. We could see him and you go, it just can't get any closer. It can't get any better than this. It's as good as it could ever get. God is literally one of us, but here's the problem. When he took on one of us in this, he took on the limitations, you and I live with, you know, what you live with.

[00:29:59] You're limited by time and space, just like. You see I'm with you guys right here now, because I'm not it Williams. I was in Williams yesterday. So I can only talk to the guys from here. I'm not there because of I'm here. I can't be there just like you can't be there. If you're here, you're limited and time.

[00:30:21] Uh, I can't get there. Uh, and so time and space. So, so here's what you need to understand is just what you don't want to miss. Right? If Jesus is in Galilee, he cannot be in Jerusalem. If Jesus is alive in the time of king Herod, he's not going to be alive in the time of queen Elizabeth. The second of England is limited to time and place.

[00:30:43] So Jesus came at a certain time in a certain place, and it was awesome for the people who got to be there with him at that time. And in that place, that's so much for you and me and the rest of us could only tell stories about what it was like for the. You know, the early adopters who got to hang out with them and God's going, oh, I'm going to do better than that.

[00:31:06] I want you to listen very carefully here. I want to explain to you now why the crucifixion devastated the early followers of Jesus when they killed Jesus, they killed God in their minds. In other words, every cool thing we've experienced just died with Jesus. Now what you're going to discover. It didn't that all along what God was doing was securing your right to come into the very presence of God.

[00:31:44] But the thing that's keeping you and me out is our sin. The death of Jesus is what dealt with the sin of the early followers. Didn't understand that they just felt the loss. We had him right here and they killed. And God goes, no, no, no. I'm going to show you something. So in Luke 24, it says this, this is Jesus talking about Jesus.

[00:32:08] Listen. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. He told them, this is what is written. The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. And, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

[00:32:29] I am going to send you catch those catches. I'm going to send you what my father has promised, but stay in this. Until you have been clothed with power from on high, hang on. But, um, what I'm about to do is going to bring forgiveness into your lives because you're going to pay for your sin, but something's coming something really good is coming.

[00:32:52] Hang on. Don't go anywhere. Hang tight is what he's saying. What's that other thing? Well, let me take you back, John. 14, 16 to 18. Jesus said, I will ask my father, look here. And he will give you another advocate to help you and to be with you forever. The spirit of truth, the world cannot accept him because it neither sees him or knows him.

[00:33:18] But you know him for, he lives with you and Kessel words and will be in you. What? Yeah, I'm going to send my spirit. Who's going to take up residence, not in a building, not in Jesus in you. All right, John 14, 26, but the advocate, the holy spirit, whom the father will send in my name will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.

[00:33:45] I'm going to send you a ton of help. I'm going to send you, I'm going to give you a gift. That's going to change everything. John 16, seven listen carefully, but very, truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. What yeah. It, why, why, why, why? Unless I go away, the advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.

[00:34:13] You know what he's saying? Cause you think it's good now it's about to get incredibly good because I'm going to give you a gift. And by the way, the word advocate, like what is advocate? It's a word parakaleo in Greek. It's a compound word. Para is alongside. Uh, callejo is to call it's someone who's called the long side of counselor comforter.

[00:34:35] This is somebody who's going to be is going to speak on your behalf. He's going to stand up for you is going to be your friend. It's the holy spirit. And I have to show you this because if I don't show you this, I can't make next week. Makes sense. You got, this is what you got to get guys. He's in. You.

[00:34:53] He's in, you know, now, listen, you've got to listen very carefully. This part, this is so important. We get this wrong first Corinthians three 16 and 17 says don't, you know, that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit dwells in your midst. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person for God's temple is sacred.

[00:35:14] Now catch us and you to gather our, that temple. She here's what we always want to do. This is incredible. God's going to live in me. God is in me. I am the temple of the holy spirit. He never said that. He never said that. He said, and you I'm going to live in you together. I'm going to build my temple. You see, this is why it matters that we gather this is why it matters that we do this.

[00:35:49] But because he, Jesus said where two or three come together. There I am. What does that mean? It means, I say at home all the time, and I'm just all by myself and I'm living this independent American life and I don't need anyone. I just need me and God. Nope. Together. We become the temple of you. See, when we're together, we get to sing songs like G God's spirit.

[00:36:09] You are here. You are among us because two or three of us have come to. And we become the temple with the holy spirit dwells. Incredible, incredible. So how close can God get now I got to close. I want to take you back to the binoculars. Listen very carefully. It's important. All right. So binoculars give the appearance of something being closer than it actually is.

[00:36:36] It gives the perception of closing distance. Here's what I need you to understand. God, isn't interested in you looking at him through a pair of binoculars where it makes him look closer than he actually is. He wants to be closer than he actually is. You see in the old Testament, go look, look, I'm the mountain.

[00:36:56] I see it. I see a cloud. I, I see a concert. There's a fire. In fact, funder, and lightning's coming. He's up there. Look over there in the tent. See a way of there. The, the, the, to the Colonnade at the very front. See the tabernacle. Yeah. He's way up there. Over there. On the other side of the hill, just on the other side of the Kidron valley over there, right there in the temple.

[00:37:16] He's in that back back room, the holy of Holies. See that guy away over there. That's the Jesus. That's God he's walking. God wants to be in us right in our. This becomes the temple of the holy spirit. We, when we come together, when we walk out of here, by the way, this becomes another building. That's not holy you're holy, because you have the spirit of God inside of you.

[00:37:45] I'm going to close with one verse in one quote, quote, first, here we go. Awls you said we never, we never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul closer than our most secret. What's your most secret thought? How tightly do you hold that? God is closer than that to you. James four says, draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

[00:38:15] Why is that true draw near to God and he'll draw near to you. Here's why it's true. Listen carefully. And I close with this. All of us, all of us are as close to God as we want to. The distance between us and God is not God's issue. It's our issue. He's done everything to remove the distance. It's us who determine how close we are to God.

[00:38:42] When the implications of this begin to Dawn on you, it will transform your life. I'll pick this up next week. Let me pray. So God, thanks for, uh, thanks for these folks and a lot to chew on lots of hangs. But God, if we get this wrong, we're going to battle. We're going to get some really bad theology and that theology at least a really bad faith and bad religion.

[00:39:06] And God, I don't want us to get it wrong. So thanks for the word as clear as it is. God, when we come together, you show up, it matters that we gather it matters that we live in community with one another. We're a part of the body that you've. So God through us do incredible things. Thank you for being this close.

[00:39:29] No binoculars needed. Plus you father in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you guys.