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INTRODUCTION: Take your Bibles this morning and open to the Book of James chapter 4. We are in a series through the Book of James that we are calling “Living Faith”. And I pray God has blessed you as we have studied this book together. And today I want to talk to you about the Sin of Presumptuous Planning. The Sin of Presumptuous Planning in James chapter 4. Now planning is all a part of life. There is nothing wrong with making plans. As a matter of fact, people here, you have your appointment books and calendars filled with plans, I am sure. Fathers plan financially how to provide for their families. High school graduates plan what college to attend and what jobs to pursue in the future. We plan our vacations, we plan family activities. As a matter of fact, pastors make their plans for their ministries. As I turn to the scripture, I find out that in the Bible, God’s servants planned. The apostle Paul planned to make missionary trips. In Romans chapter 15 verse 24, Paul planned to visit the believers in Rome on his way to Spain. Even God makes plans. The Bible says in Job 42:2, “No plan of yours can be forted.” When God makes a plan, you can rest assured that plan is going to come to pass. And so planning can be good. Someone has said, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” And I think that is so true. The Bible, as a matter of fact, encourages good planning. Jot down Proverbs chapter 20 verse 18, the Bible says, “Plans are established by counsel, by wise counsel wage war.” And again in Proverbs 27 verse 12, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself; but the simple pass on and are punished.” And so we need to be wise in the way that we plan. We need to try to foresee things and plan accordingly. Yet, there is a kind of planning that is a sin. There is a planning that is condemned in scripture. And that is the kind of planning that James is talking about here in James chapter 4 verse 13. These are plans that are dishonoring to the Lord. These are plans that do not really take into account God at all as they make their plans. And what we see here in James chapter 4 is a man who plans some things, but he makes some serious mistakes in his planning.
Transitional Statement: And I want you to see these mistakes. I want you to see them so that we don’t make those same mistakes as we plan for the various things of our life. First mistake is this . . .
I. AN ATTITUDE THAT WE SHOULD NEVER TAKE. Look at James chapter 4, look in verse 13, “Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.” Here is an attitude that we see in verse 13, the very first verse in our passage. And what is that attitude? It is an attitude of self-sufficiency. What James is describing here is a man who is a businessman, and he makes a very astute plans. He knew exactly where he was going, he knew how to get there, at least he thought he did. But he makes all of his plans in an arrogant attitude. He feels self-sufficient. He feels as though he does not need God’s help as he makes these plans. And so we see in verse 13, the way it is introduced, notice where it says, in my King James Version it says, “Go to now”. That is the only place this is used in the New Testament, and actually it is used in one other place I should say, and it is a very strong introduction. We could say, “Now look here.” It implies disapproval. It conveys a sense of urgency. “Look here, those of you who are planning without praying, those of you who are making your plans without God. Look here.” I want you to notice what this man planned. First of all he planned the period in verse 13, “Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow.” He has got his schedule out, he has got his calendar out, he has planned out his year in advance. He has counted out 365 days. He plans the period. But also he plans the place. In verse 13 again, “We will go into such a city.” Now this was an age of founding cities. And so he spread out his map and he looked at the trends of business, and he said, “Here is a growing city. Here is a place where I can go and I can make money.” He plans the procedure. Again in verse 13, “And buy and sell and get gain.” He said, “I am going to go into this place, I am going spend a year there. I’m going to buy, I’m going to sell, I am going to get gain.” He knew just what he was going to do, he was a merchant. He had already studied the charts, he had already studied Wall Street magazine and Fortune 500. He knew what to do. He knew the trend of economics. He’s quite confident that if he goes to this place that he could make some profit. And he plans to profit he said, and get gains. Notice that phrase there. This man is out to make money. There is nothing wrong with getting a profit. But sometimes people make it their focus to get rich. That is not a good goal. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:4, “Labor not to be rich.” Now there is nothing wrong with if you labor and God gives you riches. There is nothing wrong if God blesses you with wealth, but that shouldn’t be your motive, to be rich. The Bible says that it is He that gives you power to get wealth. God is the one in control of that. Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong with what he did. There is nothing wrong with planning ahead. There is nothing wrong with saying “I am going to go into a certain city”. Everyone has to live somewhere. There is nothing wrong with good business, diligence, planning to make a profit. But you say, “What is the problem then?” Look down in verse 16, really we have the attitude, “But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.” In other words, it is the idea that I can do this on my own. I don’t need God’s help. It is the attitude of self-sufficiency. And that is the attitude that James condemns here. No doubt that some of you have read the poem by the agnostic called “Invictus” which means victorious.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
And then the last phase,
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
That is the attitude that this first century businessman had. “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. I make my plans and I will do what I want to do, and I’ll do it without anybody’s help.” James says that is the attitude that we should never take. Never think that in and of yourself you can do what you need to do. Every once in a while I will meet students that have a plan for their whole life. I mean from graduation to the grave. They know exactly what they are going to do, they have got it all mapped out. And the only thing is, they have never really thought about God.
Transitional Statement: So there is an attitude we should never take, but I want you to see the second thing. There is . . .
II. AN ASSUMPTION THAT WE SHOULD NOT MAKE. Look in verse 14, James says this, “For whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” You see this man assumed that he was guaranteed tomorrow and that everything would turn out just the way he planned. But he failed to comprehend many things.
Transitional Statement: What is one of the things that he failed to comprehend? He failed to comprehend . . .
A. The Complexities of Life. Did you know that things are not as simple as we would like for them to be things don’t always turn out the way we think they ought to turn out. People don’t always live happily ever after just like in fairy tales. And there are times when our dreams are dashed. There are times when the things that we desire to accomplish, when the plans that we made come to nothing. I have met people before, very discouraged, some on the verge of suicide because they planned out their life, they planned things and it just didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, the opposite happened. And you know I have met even ministers in ministry where they have studied and prayed and things just didn’t turn out the way they think they should turn out. And do you know what happens? People get bitter, people get angry, they get angry at life, they get angry at God because our plans have all fallen through. There are some people, maybe here in this room this morning and that you are living with an anger against God, a bitterness in your heart against God. Oh, you probably don’t show it. We know how to mask that, we know how to suppress those feelings and paint a smile on our face and blend in with all the rest of the Christians, but I wonder how many people here because things have not turned out the way you think they should turn out that inside of you there is seeding within you a resentment and an anger against God. Maybe my kids did not turn out the way I think they should have, my business did not go through the way I thought it should. I am not being successful the way I thought I would be at this time in my life. I thought I would have this, I thought I would have that. I thought I would be here, I thought I would accomplish these goals. And none of those things have happened. And deep inside you there may be some resentment that is churning in you. We fail to comprehend sometimes the complexities of life. Things are not as simple as we think they should be, and they don’t always turn out. I was reading where that forty years ago futurists peered into their crystal balls and they predicted that one of the biggest problems of the coming generations would be what to do with all of their time. In a 1967 testimony before a Senate subcommittee, it claimed that by 1985 people would be working just 22 hours a week and they could retire at age 38. (Laughter) Anybody here age 38 and retired? Don’t raise your hand, we don’t want to know who you are. (Laughter) Things don’t always turn out the way we think, the best laid plans.
Transitional Statement: We fail to comprehend the Complexities of Life but also there is another thing that we fail to comprehend, that is . . .
B. The Uncertainty of Life. Look again in verse 14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.” You are not guaranteed tomorrow, do you understand that? You do not know what tomorrow is going to bring. None of us here can predict the next day, the next moment. We are not guaranteed any of those things. The Bible says in Proverbs, “Boast not thyself for tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” We don’t know the tragedies that might happen that are looming just ahead. How could we have predicted a 9/11? How could we have known that a Tsunami would come and kill so many, that a Katrina would come and change people’s lives? I remember one morning, I think I may have told you this before, but I woke up and turned on the news and there was a girl that we knew in our youth group. She was crying and she had a picture of her mother and she said, “Anybody seen her? Please let us know.” That morning her mother got up and she got ready for work and she drove to the place where she normally worked every day and went to her desk, just like she did every morning. She worked in Oklahoma City and she worked at the Federal Building and that morning a man drove a truck in front of that building with a bomb in it. And that bomb exploded and you all know the history of that. And they found this little girl’s mom eight days later, they excavated her body, pulled it out. We do not know what a day is going to bring. We do not know what trouble is going to come. And James says, “Listen, you are not guaranteed tomorrow.”
Transitional Statement: You fail to comprehend the Uncertainty of Life, but here is another thing that you don’t think about when you make your plans. You fail to comprehend . . .
C. The Brevity of Life. Look again at verse 14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James says life hangs by a brittle thread. Life is like steam from a tea kettle. Life is like a puff of smoke. Life is like breath on a frosty morning. It is here today and then it is gone. It leaves us. As you sit here and listen to me today there is but a heartbeat between you and death. And someone has described that heartbeat as a muffled drum, beating a funeral march to the grave. Some has said the wood of the cradle rubs tightly against the marble of the tomb. Every year millions die, some by disease, some by disaster, some by decay, but millions die and time goes by quickly. When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept. When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked. When I became a full grown man, time ran. And when older still I grew, time flew. And soon I shall find in passing on, time gone. It goes by swiftly, swiftly. Our days on earth are as a shadow, the Bible says. Job said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.” “Remember that my life is but a breath,” Job said. “My days are consumed like smoke” said the psalmist in Psalm 102:3. “My days are like a shadow that lengthens and I wither away like grass.” I remember one time right after my brother and I had gotten saved, we were teenagers and we began to witness to our friends, tell them about the Lord. I remember on one occasion we were witnessing to a young man, he was sixteen years old, his name was Doug. We started telling Doug about the Lord and Doug said, “You know what? I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me. What do I want to hear any of this for?” And we said, “Doug, you never know what could happen. You don’t know, you could die. What would happen if you . . .” He said, “You know look, I don’t want to hear about any of this. I’ve got my whole life in front of me.” And not too long after we witnessed to Doug, he went to school, he would carpool with some guys. School bell rang and they ran out to get into the car to go home. Doug got to the car first and jumped into the passenger side, three guys jumped in the back and the driver began to drive and that was a wet rainy day. They went around a curb, the car lost control, wrapped around a pole the collision was so hard that the three guys in the back seat were thrown out of the car. There was only one person that died in that accident, it was Doug. It was Doug. Sixteen years old. Death is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Death could come to anyone at any moment. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. And James says you fail to comprehend the brevity of life. Life hangs like a brittle thread and you are going to die. It will come very soon. I am not trying to sound morbid. It is just a reality. Listen, if there is something you want to do, you better do it today. Don’t wait to hug those children, don’t wait to love your family, don’t wait to do those things that need to be done. Do them today. Because time passes by so quickly, as a matter of fact, one man wrote this, “If I had only forgotten future greatness and looked at the greener things and reached out to those around me and smelled the air and ignored the forms and self-styled obligations and heard the rain on my roof and put my arms around my wife, perhaps it is not too late.”
Transitional Statement: There is An Attitude We Should Not Take, that is that we can do what we do without the Lord. There is An Assumption We Should not Make, that is that we are guaranteed tomorrow that all of our plans, or everything is going to turn out just the way we think it should turn out. But then here is the third thing, there is . . .
III. AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT WE SHOULD NEVER FORSAKE. We should not forsake. And what is that acknowledgment? Look in verse 15, look what James says. He says, “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” What is James saying? There has to be an acknowledgment, there has to be a submission to the sovereignty of God in your life. We ought to say, “If the Lord wills.” Now, some of you may have picked up, maybe in a history book, letters from Christians that were written perhaps hundreds of years ago. I have discovered this in some of my reading, that at the end of these letters there would be two words, D. V. The question is why would these Christians end their letters with these two letters D. V.? And it stood for two words, the Latin Deo Volente, which means the Lord willing. Now that was not just a meaningless cliché. But it was a heartfelt submission. It represented an awareness of the absolute sovereignty of God in their life. These Jewish Christians understood what James was saying because they understood the Old Testament scriptures and all through the Old Testament we learned that God is absolutely sovereign over our lives. Over the course of events in this world and that every plan we make should be subservient to the exhaustive sovereignty of God in our lives. All of it. Jesus said this in Matthew 10, “Are there not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are more valuable than many sparrows.” Jesus said a bird cannot fall to the ground unless it is acknowledged by God, or lest it be by the will of God. He said the very hairs of your head are numbered. The average person has a hundred and forty thousand hairs on their head. Just thought you might want to know that. Some more, some less. But I want to tell you something, God numbers every one of them. When I combed my hair this morning and some hair fell out, God knew exactly what numbers they were. That is not hyperbole my friend. That is Jesus telling us that God is sovereign over the very details of our life. I heard Dr. Rogers say one time that grass can’t grow unless it be by God’s permission. I think that is right. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, another great preacher, said this, “I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom, more or less, than God wishes.” That is so true. I don’t believe a mosquito can bite me unless it be by the will of God. You say, “You believe he is that sovereign over those details?” Listen, if a mosquito bites me and I catch some disease and I die and I get to heaven, God is not going to say, “What are you doing here Jerry?” (Laughter) “Well, God, a mosquito bite me.” “You’re kidding me? Man! I am sorry, I did not see that. Man, where is that mosquito?” (Laughter) Zzzzit! You know he’s gone. (More Laughter) That is not going to happen! There is nothing in our lives left to chance. There is no such thing as luck. There are no accidents, only acts of providence. And friend, God does not leave your life to chance. And the Bible in the Old Testament affirms this exhaustive sovereignty of God. In Isaiah chapter 5, sometimes it does it in scripture in the most incidental way like here in this passage in Isaiah chapter 5, the prophet Isaiah predicts the invasion of the Assyrian army as a result of God’s summoning whistle. Isaiah describes the battle ready conditions of this army. And this is what he says in 5:27, “None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken.” God said when this army comes in, not one shoelace will be untied, not one shoelace will be broken. God was sovereign even over that detail. Nothing is left to chance, not even a broken shoelace. We all know the old saying, “For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost.” That reminds us that details are important. God is sovereign over those details. Jesus said, “A sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground unless the Father permits it.” And “the very hairs of your head are numbered.” Someone says, “Well, God is in control of those things, he is in control of those objects and animals and things like that, but is he in control of the heart of man?” Jot down Proverbs 21:1, “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turns it whithersoever he will.” God says he turns the heart of a king whichever way he wants. Now it is hard for us in a democracy in America to understand what he is saying here, but you have to remember in these days a king was an absolute monarch. He did whatever he wanted, he did not have to answer to anyone. If he wanted you to die, you were dead. He was absolutely totally in control. And the stubborn will of the most powerful monarch on earth is directed by God, this verse says, as easily as a farmer directs the irrigation canal on his farm. God directs his heart. That is comforting because there are times in our life when we feel ourselves or our future is in the hand of somebody else. Their decision can determine our success or our failures or our plans. A government official can deny a visa, a professor can determine the academic success of a student. A supervisor can block or promote a career. And it seems at times as if we are at the mercy of man. But God says that is not so. Because God can turn the heart of the king to do the thing that he wants. I remember reading one time about George Washington. You know George Washington wanted to join the British Royal Navy when he was seventeen years old. And his mother said, “Okay, fine do it.” And he got all of his things together and he went down to the harbor and he threw all of his things on board the frigate and was ready to go out to the boat. And all of a sudden a rider came and said, “George Washington, you can’t join the British Royal Navy.” He said, “Why?” He said, “Because your mother changed her mind at the last minute.” She refused to sign the consent form. Had she signed that form, he would have been fighting for the British. Instead of being the leader of the army for our independence. You say, “That was just an accident, right?” No. Those things are not left to chance. As a matter of fact, if you look in the Bible in Exodus chapter 34, look in Exodus 34 let me just show you this passage real quick. Look in verse 23, something very interesting is going on here in this passage, God says to the nation of Israel, “Three times a year you are to come and worship me. All of your men and children you come and worship me. Three times a year.” Look in verse 23, “Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.” Look at verse 24, “For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.” And now to grasp the significance of what is going on here, let’s kind of recast it into the present setting. What God commanded Israel to do was to shut down all commerce, to shut down all the military for three days furlough. And everybody was to come and gather together in a giant Christian assembly to worship for three days of the year. No military were at their posts, no watching radar, no security in the nation, they were absolutely vulnerable for three days of the year. No one to protect them as far as man was concerned. But do you know what God said? God said, “Nobody is going to come into your land. Nobody is going to bother you.” Do you know why? Because God was at watch, that is why. And God is in control. You see, do you know what keeps our country safe? Thank God for our military. Thank God for them. But I want to tell you it is God that keeps us safe. It is God. For those three days God says, “Nobody is going to come into your land. No enemy is going to invade you. Why? Because God is the one who is in control, that is why. He is sovereign over these things. You say, “Well, what is the application to us? What should we do?” Listen, it should cause us to make our plans in all humility. We should not have a fatalistic attitude that says, “Well, if God is in control then whatever will be.” No, that is wrong, that is an unbiblical response. We are responsible for our actions, we are responsible to plan. We are responsible to do the right thing. And yet while we do all of this planning and while we do all of these things, we have to remember that ultimately God is in control. And when you make your plans, make your plans in humility. Don’t let go of your responsibility. But also don’t let go of his sovereignty. Here is an excellent illustration of this. Let me show you one more passage this morning, look in 1 Chronicles chapter 20, let me just show you this. Look at 1 Chronicles, actually chapter 19. 1 Chronicles chapter 19, let me show you this passage. Now what is going on here in 1 Chronicles 19, a very interesting story here in the Bible. David, who is a gracious and kind king, wants to show favor to a neighboring king. In verse 1 it says, “Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead.” Verse 2, “And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him.” So here is this man his father dies and now he is the king, and David says, “You know, I am going to show kindness to him because his father was so kind to me.” And David wants to send these messengers just to comfort this man, just to be a blessing to this man who is in mourning over his father’s death. And someone begins to whisper in his ear. The Ammonites. Look in verse 3, “But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee?” He said, “Listen, do you think that is really what he is doing? Do you honestly think that he wants to honor you and your father?” They started slandering David. They said, “Listen, these guys are spies in the land. He is spying you out that he might come in and take you out, and take control over this country.” And so what happened is that these messengers were shamefully treated. Look in verse 4, “Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.” In other words, he shamed them. That is what they would do to military prisoners if they wanted to shame someone. They sent the message back to David, “This is the way we were treated.” David said, “Look, just stay there until your beards be fully grown. Just stay in Jericho.” And David gets his armies together. Now when the people hear that there is going to be a fight, they hire some of the charioteers from Syria. Look in verse 7, “So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots.” And so here is the enemy now, and they are hiring all of these people for the fight. And David sends out Joab, his general. There is a great big battle that is going to happen, huge battle. And the forces are a raid against Joab and David’s forces. And look in verse 10, “Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose out of all the choice of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.” In other words, he divides his forces in half. He takes the best against the Syrians which are very formidable, and he uses the rest under the leadership of Abishai, his brother, and they go against the Ammonites. And look at verse 12, “And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.” So what is he doing? He is getting ready for the battle and he develops a brilliant strategy. He divides his forces up, he says, “Listen, if the Ammonites are too strong for you, we are going to come and help you. But if the Syrians are too strong for us, then you come over and help us. So he has got his strategy ready, he is ready to fight. But look what he says in verse 13, “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God,” and watch this, “and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.” What was he saying, we have got our strategy, we have planned this battle out. But really the outcome is in God’s hands. Let God do what is good in his sight. That is the attitude that James is after. Make your plans. Be careful. Be prudent in all the planning that you do. But ultimately remember this; God is sovereign over all of our plans. And he is the one who controls the outcome. The Bible says in Proverbs 21:31, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.” Safety is of the Lord. And so there is the acknowledgment we should never forsake. Always acknowledge in all of your planning that God is sovereign, that he is in control and the outcome is in God’s hands.
CONCLUSION: I’ll close with this. Napoleon, some of you know of him, this man from history, military genius. Did you know that on the morning of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was describing to his commanding officer his strategy for the day’s campaign? He said, “We will put the infantry here and we will put the cavalry over there and we will put the artillery here in this spot.” And Napoleon said, “At the end of the day, England will be at the feet of France and Wellington will be my prisoner.” And then the commanding officer spoke up. He said, “But sir, we must not forget that man proposes and God disposes.” And Napoleon with the tip of arrogance of this little dictator pulled himself up to his five foot two stature. And Napoleon said, “Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes.” Victor Hugo, the novelist said, “From that point, Waterloo was lost.” For God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned. And on the night of the battle, it was Napoleon who was the prisoner of Wellington. Friend, remember that in all that do, God is the one who disposes. Do you know the key to peace in this life? Submit yourself to him. Submit yourself to the providential hand of God. Go ahead and make your plans, plan well, but remember God is the one who is in control. And you ought to say, James says, you ought to say “If the Lords wills. If the Lord wills we will do this or that.” Let us pray together. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. Father, I pray that you will help us to see these truths and to apply them to our heart and our lives. And Father, help us to realize that you are in control, and every plan that we make and everything that we do, help us to always be submissive to your will. Lord that is the thing that distinguishes us from the world. Your people, Father, are completely submitted to your will and to your hand and the affairs of our life. And Father, I pray that you will help us to be drawn into sweet submission. Lord, if there is someone here today that is battling against God, battling against you in their life, not submitted to what you are doing, Lord that you will bring them into sweet submission. That Lord they would come like Joseph and say, “They may have meant it for evil, but you meant it for good.” May they feel the peace of that submission in their life. And Father, if there is some here today that do not know you as Savior, Lord, help them to come to you today, may they realize that your will is for them to be saved. That you are not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and may they come to you today. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed, I want to give an invitation in just a moment. This altar is open for any believer that may need to come, maybe God has spoken to your heart. Maybe there is an area in your life where you have not yielded to God, you are not submissive and you find yourself growing resentful. You need to come in sweet submission and say, “God, your will be done, if the Lord wills.” Maybe you are here today and you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior. Today Jesus waits for you, he says “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest.” If you are here today and God has touched your heart and you want to come and you say, “Man, how can I know that I can be a Christian?” We will have ministers here ready to pray with you and show you. We will take you aside and show you from the Bible how you can become a Christian. And maybe you are here today and you say, “God has put upon my heart to make Ellendale Baptist Church my church home.” We rejoice with you. If that is God’s will for you, you come if God is leading. Let’s all stand together as Brother Tommy leads us in our hymn of invitation. You come my friend and you do as the Holy Spirit leads you here this morning. Whatever God says, you do.
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