It's great to be here. My name my name is Kevin Miller and I am one of the preachers here. Although I'm not always here. Last Sunday I was down in south coastal where Alex is from preaching the word. Did Ogechi and Alex and Calvin not do an amazing job sharing their lives?
I'll share about this a little bit later, but about 27 years ago, my brother came into my house, my older brother Steve walked and said I'm getting baptized. And I had given up church by that point. And I just thought, church, Christianity, baptism, that's fake, that's not real. Boy, to sit up here and hear Ogechi and Alex and Calvin. Jesus can have a very real impact on your life if you do it the Bible way. Can I get an amen?
You know, I love this church so much and we do, we have deep relationships here in this church. We know each other so well. And I travel a bit now as lead evangelist, but I love coming back because this is my home. But as such, we know each other. And today is going to be a day where we reveal secrets of the church.
The Day the Secret Ended
We are going to put the church's stuff out there today. Scandalous today. That's what today's gonna be. The title of today's sermon is the day the secret ended. We're going to talk about God's revelation of his secrets.
You know, the Bible says in John, chapter one, verse 18,
"No one has ever seen God but the one and only son who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father has made him known."
One of the great purposes, maybe one of the one or two purposes of the coming of Jesus, as explained in the scriptures, is that Jesus was coming to make known what had been previously hidden. It wasn't a secret that God wanted to keep actually who he was and what he was all about, but sort of the coming of Jesus and the revelation of God's nature in our world was a little bit like waiting for Christmas Day over 5000 years. God was excited. He was getting ready for it. But it was a secret that he was going to reveal. And we're going to look today at the day it was revealed. In the Bible, there was a day where people got up for the first time and explained. They explained, this is who Jesus is, this is why he came and this is what it means for you and for me.
Take a look at Matthew chapter ten. Jesus is actually training his disciples. This is when Jesus was alive and he's talking to his disciples. And look at what he says here. He says in verse 26 of Matthew ten:
"So don't be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. For what I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight. What is whispered in your ear proclaim from the roofs."
You know, the writers of the New Testament, the New Testament, the Bible that we have growing up, I thought it was mysterious myths and vague poetry that sort of told you vaguely about the deep things of God. And there is amazing poetry in the Bible. There are great prayers in the Bible. But essentially what the Bible is, and especially the New Testament, it is just the testimony of eyewitnesses. Jesus told his guys, I am coming down here to reveal myself to you. And what I whisper in your ear, I want you to proclaim to the rest of the world. And that message that they wrote went from 33AD in Jerusalem in the Middle East, and it's reached us all the way here in Boston, Massachusetts in 2023. Jesus told them that they were to make the secrets known.
Two Types of People
Now there seems to me to be two kinds of people in the world, the kind of people that know how to keep secrets and then those who cannot. Now, there's a bitter root here in the congregation. You might turn to your neighbor and ask them, what kind of a person do you think I am? I clearly know the kind of person that Murphy thinks that I am. Barbara Owens will not speak to me on Sunday mornings when I'm preaching because she thinks there's things I might say that you will immediately go and use in the sermon right now.
I just got back last night at 01:00 A.m.. I came into my home at 01:00 A.m from Broward County, fort Lauderdale, Florida. We had a church builders conference that I was kind of leading and hosting for 40 and under 35 and under church leaders kind of in our family of churches. And it was a great time. And in a place like that, you're doing a lot of teaching and talking, and you're hearing about what's going on in people's churches. Nothing like gossipy. They're not telling me the details, people's lives. People are asking questions, well, how would you handle this and how would you handle that? And that was Thursday and Friday and yesterday during the lessons, two different brothers came up to me and said, hey, can I talk to you for real quick? They both at the same time, came up to me, can I talk to you real quick? I know we've talked about a lot of things, but please don't repeat.
One brother came in and said it, and then the other brother was my college roommate, who I know very well, and he went, yeah, you better say it to Kevin another time. And I said, be quiet, you people. I know how to keep a secret. My own children, they don't trust me more than they could throw me.
And yet God kind of is and isn't like me. He does actually keep a secret, but he has this grand design. I buy Christmas gifts, you know, in November, and then I tell my son what I got him. I just can't help it. And my wife just is bothered by me all the time with that. And I try to do it. And sometimes I legalistically, I don't tell them, but I kind of tell them, you know what I mean? Anyway, but that's not about me.
The day the secret ended, that's what we're going to be talking about today. Look at Luke 24. This is not the day, but this is Jesus talking about this the coming day that he was about to end some huge secrets, some things that he wanted revealed about himself were about to come. And he's talking to his apostles, his disciples. Right here in Luke 24. We'll start in verse 40, although I don't think verse 40 is on the screen, but in verse 40, it says:
"When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet, and while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, do you have anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, this is what I told you while I was still with you, everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."
We're hoping that some of that happens to you today, that your mind is open so that you can understand the Scriptures. But let's keep reading.
"He told them, this is what is written. The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. 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. I'm going to send you what my Father promised" He's talking about the Holy Spirit. "But stay in the city until you've been clothed with power from on high."
You know, Jesus comes to them here at the end. This is the end of the Book of Luke. This is in some cases, the end of Jesus story as a physical man here on earth. And you see what's happening here. He died. They saw Him die, but they never got it. The apostles, even Jesus inner circle, thought Jesus is coming as God. Even once they believed he was God, they kind of got that. He's got it. He's going to take on Rome. He's going to conquer the world. He's going to end our oppression. He's going to do all these things and then he gets crucified. What? That wasn't what they thought was going to happen. This man who was calming storms and driving out demons and raising the dead, how would he let these weak, injust, unjust Romans do? They didn't get it. So then he dies. They lose hope for a couple of days until he comes back. And for about 40 days, he's coming back, showing them his hands and his feet. And that's what you read about right here. And he's like, Look, I'm alive. And this is what was written. This is what I've been telling you was going to happen. And they're like, whoa. And they're talking about it. And then he says, but we're not done yet. He says, this is what was written about what happened with me. But I'm now handing you a message.
That's what Jesus is talking about. That repentance for the forgiveness of sins because of what happened is going to be preached. All through the Gospels, the story of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the story of Jesus. Jesus talks, he forgives some people, but he did not start spreading the message of reconciliation yet. That message did not start. Why? Why didn't it happen during the actual Gospel story? And we get confused with this. People that want to follow God, but are confused and don't really know the Scriptures will see a scripture about, like Jesus healing a paralytic and forgiving him, and they'll say, oh, Jesus, forgive the paralytic. God forgive me. I guess it's done. No, that's not done. Actually, Jesus didn't start spreading the message yet because in the Gospels, he hadn't died yet. But once he died and raised in this particular moment, Luke 24, he tells them, look, now that this is done, you guys are going to take this message. Starting where? He gives you a hint, Jerusalem. This thing was going to launch in Jerusalem, and he says, this is going to happen. The Holy Spirit hasn't come yet, but it's about to come. Amazing.
You know, Jesus came to start a message, the message, and he didn't do it through social media. He didn't start at the universities, the armies. He didn't go to the generals and start with the armies and get it out that way. Didn't go to the kings or the artists. He just started with a group of common but committed eyewitnesses. That's who these people were, right? God's plan to reveal Himself to the world, right? He wanted to tell the whole world. And we read about this in the Bible, and that's what the New Testament is. It's the account of the people that saw him. That's what it claims to be.
Put a picture up there. This is me. That's me and my mama right there. I am a mama's boy, and you have to be, because I put that woman through torture growing up. I did. There was an old song, my older brother and I, in the summers when we were kids, and there was an old song out there, and we would drive my mother to anger places because we were so just devious, and she would kick us out of the house in the day. Just go play. Get out of the house. And we would sit on the other side, outside the door at the screen, and we would sing that. You remember that song? She's a maniac, she's a maniac, maniac. We would just torture this woman.
I know how to ski. My parents would take a skiing in the wintertime and they put me in ski school. They would put me in ski school in the morning. We were on vacation from like nine to twelve. I'd be with this school of strangers and a guy teaching me, and the adults would go off and ski on the mountain. And then they come pick me up at noon. We'd have lunch and then we'd all ski together. And that was kind of like the thing, but I didn't want to do it. So they would drop me off of the area. I'd go with the ski school for a minute, but as they were skiing down the mountain, I would just ski off as like an eight or nine year old. And then I knew I got to get back to the place that they do the pickups at a certain time. And I would do this every day for the seven day vacation. And I'd go up on the mountain by myself, which is frightening when I think about it. And I would kind of try to learn how to ski, and the end of the day would come to say, tell us what you learned. And I would lie to them and tell them how I was learning to ski and all this kind of stuff and all this kind of stuff. And then one of the last days of vacation, my mom and I are on the ski lift, and we're going up. You know, we get on the ski lift, we're going up, and the girl on the next ski lift, so it's like ten yards away, is from the ski school, and she turns around and she knows I've been skipping ski school because I was afraid. I didn't want to have to talk to strangers. And she literally turned around on the ski lift, and she's going, <chicken noises> that's what she's doing. And I'm just kind of sitting there going, OOH, this could be a problem.
Hey, mom. And my mom's like, what is going on here? And I went, oh, this girl, she's from the ski school, she makes animal noises all day long. I was like, what I do to appease her is I just make random animal noises back. And so all the way up the ski, me and my mom are going like, moo, and we're doing all these stupid things.
In no way was I a trustworthy eyewitness. I wasn't. I was not to be trusted. I had false motives and was deliberately spreading lies. And people struggle with the scriptures for the same reason.
Now, what we have in the scriptures, the archaeology has only been a friend of Christianity over the last 150 years. What we have in these New Testament scriptures here in 2023, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we're reading is what they wrote. What we're reading is not an evolution of bad something, we have something from 1200. That's the first thing we have. No, no, no. We have manuscripts from 90, 110, 120. What we have is what they wrote.
Now, that doesn't mean that you need to believe what they wrote. But these guys weren't claiming to be believers of Jesus. They were claiming to be eyewitnesses. You know, like, I can believe in Jesus sincerely and be wrong and still be a good guy, as we sort of vaguely define it in the modern world. But if you're an eyewitness and you're saying, we saw him raise from the dead and you need to believe in Him or you aren't going to be saved, and you know it's wrong, like, you know that it actually didn't happen, what kind of man or woman does that make you? People died believing that because the apostles, the eyewitnesses, told them that Jesus told them that they need to stand up for their faith as he did. And if they do that, they will live for eternity. And believing the eyewitnesses, people did that. But what if they were lying about that? What kind of people does that make them? And then the question becomes, what did they do with it?
Every one of those people died confidently going, kill me. I believe that I will live beyond this realm. Would liars be doing that? It's hard for me to believe that they would.
Now, maybe they were just insane. Hospitals are filled with people that claim to speak to God, right? And I'm not making light of that. Mental health is a real maybe that's what they were. Maybe all twelve of them and 100 beyond them all had the same hallucination at the same time and then wrote about it. And just that thing that they wrote just happens to be the most incredible document that's ever been written by humans in the history of the world.
Insane people with unbalanced and mental health problems wrote this? It's hard for me to believe that. I actually think that it's trustworthy and true.
And what was their main message about? What was this thing that they're talking about here in Luke 24 that they're revealing? Two of the major things he says is forgiveness and repentance. Forgiveness of sins and repentance will be preached.
Do you know what forgiveness is? I mean, it's awesome. Calvin was just baptized. We're going to talk all about this today. But forgiveness, you know, people just die under the pressure of guilt, shame and regret. Forgiveness cleanses you from that. It allows you to live from a... I live a more moral life today, 27 years later than I did the day that I came up out of that water. But I still sin. I mean, I still have weakness. God came up with a plan. It's not hypocrisy, it's sincere. But I can live with mercy in my life.
It's life changing. It allows joy and it allows fulfillment. Right? This is one of the things he talked about. He talks about repentance is going to be preached.
You know what repentance is?
That's a very Bible word. That's a religious word, right? But all it really meant was a 180 degree turn. Most times you ask somebody, what does repentance mean? They say, oh, it means to feel bad about yourself. No, that's not what repentance means. Now, sometimes change involves we're going to talk about this too. It involves moments of feeling bad about yourself, getting honest about those things. But that's not what repentance is. Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of direction. It's changing, man. People want to change in our world. People need to change in our world, but people don't know how. Jesus said, this is going to be one of the secrets that I reveal, is how to change. God gives us the ability. It's called repentance. And these men were given a message here in Luke 24 that then we're going to turn to Acts, chapter two, and that's where we're going to stay for the rest day because Acts chapter two is the day. Acts chapter two. These men are in Jerusalem.
Acts chapter two. In the beginning of the chapter, the Holy Spirit comes down just like Jesus promised it would on this day. This is about 50 days after the crucifixion of Jesus. Pentecost. Acts chapter two. Let's turn there. We're going to look.They begin 50 days later to reveal the secrets the day the secret was revealed.
Secret #1: Jesus is the One
And I have three secrets that I want to talk to you about today. Could I talk to you about three? There's probably more than that, but secret number one jesus is the one. Jesus is the one.They preach about a few different things. They talk about the Holy Spirit is coming. But in Acts chapter two and verse 22, Peter is preaching for the first time in the history of mankind that Jesus was the Messiah, that he died and resurrected. Now, we grew up around all of this. If you grow up in New England, if you went to church, you see the crucifixions and you know, the holidays and so it's just old hat, but this was the first time.
"Fellow Israelites." Listen to this. "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him as you yourselves know," they'd heard about it. "This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge. And you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus."
There have been a lot of great teachers, there have been a lot of great men, but there's nobody that died and raised from the dead. And this is what they are saying they saw and is true. And the secret of it is this is how we know who God is. What is God like? How does God think? How does he feel about us? What does he want for us? The idea was that Jesus came to make him known. It's secret number one. Jesus is the one. If you're going to be saved, you have to put your faith in Jesus.
There's a teacher, a theologian who teaches in seminary, and his name is Timothy McKnight. And Timothy, he teaches seminary students and he teaches a class on it. And the first week of school he writes about this. He always does a survey for the students. And it's a survey just about what they think Jesus is like. You know, what was that in their silly kind of questions? What do you think he was like? Was he outgoing? Was he an introvert? What was he on the enneagram? Was he a dog person? Was he a cat person. Do you think he would have liked pizza? It's all kinds of was he controversial? Was he this? The first week of school, he always does this, and the students fill out the paper and then they go on with the class. And then the third week, he does a second survey. And the second survey is not, what was Jesus like? What do you think Jesus like, but what are you like? And you can go like so it's all the same questions, more or less, but now it's about you. What are you like? And what Timothy McKnight writes about, he says it happens every single time in an overwhelming to an overwhelming degree, that whatever they said Jesus was like mirrors exactly what they are like.
But that's not true. Jesus is not like you. Jesus was Jesus. Jesus was like Jesus. And it's our job to dig in and figure out what that was and what that looks like. He came to the earth, he healed, he did miracles. He was a revolutionary. But we have a way of kind of making God in our own image. Jesus came here as a man. He does love you, but Jesus ain't you.
And if you're going to get saved and become a Christian, you've got to figure out who this Jesus Peter is up here preaching. And the first thing he's preaching about is Jesus is the one. He is the one. And to know him is to be in awe of Him. We're trying to be like him, but we're not like him, but we're trying to be like him if you call yourself a Christian. Put your faith in Jesus. He's the one. And that's my question to you. Have you put your faith in Jesus? Have you put your faith in Jesus? Have you started to figure out who this guy really is? He's not just like you. He's better than you, but he loves you, and he came here to save you.
Secret #2: Conviction is the Key
Secret number two is conviction is the key. Conviction is the key. As Peter preaches through this sermon here, he gets to kind of the back end, the near end of the sermon in verse 36, after he's kind of established that Jesus is the one, he says this:
"Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this. God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter, the other apostles, brothers, what shall we do?"
We'll stop right there for a moment. You know, as he's preaching about Jesus, he's also establishing the fact that he was crucified and you crucified him. Wait, what now? Now, these people at this point, the sermon, there were miracles happening. There were other things. These guys that are listening believe it. And as they believe it, and you think we believe it, but as they believe it, Peter turns and said, but you did this to him. And the response that they have is telling. It says that they were cut to the heart. They were, as we call it in church here. Don't touch that. We've been warned in fear of our lives to touch that microphone right there. Don't do it. But they're what we call convicted. So we say we say convicted. You might hear that walking through. How you doing, man? I was convicted. Okay. Of what exactly? Rough week for you at court? No, a different kind of convicted. I was caught. I feel guilty. I feel a tinge of shame, or maybe more than a tinge.
You know, the tricky part of being spiritual is that to be spiritual means you have to be convicted. Sometimes you ever been in the church and you're sitting there and when I was young in the faith, I used to do this all the time. The guys preach it, and you're like, he's preaching right at me, and everybody must know how terrible I feel. And then it's like, we're going to have a fellowship break. And I would be like, if I talk to anyone, they're going to know how messed up I am. And you're trying to take the shame and, like, get rid of it.
But the reality is to get saved, to be spiritual, secret number two is conviction is the key. Before you can embrace the good news, you have to accept the bad news.
You know, it's amazing in church, all three of them did it. Calvin, Ogetchi, and Alex sharing about some of the darkest moments of their lives. We do that in here, and when we do it, we all go, very good. We're all like, all right. They got it because they got convicted about who they were and are before Jesus.
You can't be a Christian without getting convicted. And convicted, in this particular, look at this. Look at Exodus, chapter 34. This is the most often quoted Old Testament scripture in the Old Testament. So it's the Scripture in the Old Testament that is more often quoted than any other scripture in the Old Testament. Am I making sense? Okay. And its exodus. 34. And this is an amazing passage. It's an important passage. This is like before Jesus, an incredible revelatory picture of who God is. And this is what he gave to the Israelites to know him. This is when Moses was just saying, reveal your nature to me. And he said, I can't totally reveal my nature, but I'll reveal. I'll cover your face, your eyes, so you can't see me, because if you see me, you'll die. But right at the end, I'll pull back, and you can see a little glimpse of the back of me. Verse six, it says:
He passed in front of Moses proclaiming, this is what he said as he did it. "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation."
I heard a preacher talking about this and of course I separated it, I think. So the first section, you're like, yeah, God, that's God be that way to me, God. You know, just and that is God. He is abounding in love and he's compassionate and gracious. Never as a preacher, as a human being, as a teacher, as a Christian, as a disciple. Never have I ever tried to explain away the first part. What you got to understand about God, he's not that compassionate. It doesn't really mean you got to understand. But if you go to that second part of this revelation here, how many times have you or me tried to explain away the second part? God is serious about sin. Sin has consequence.
It does. He's not saying the children are guilty for the parent's sin, but it affects the children. And anybody who's had children and been sinful knows, like, what that's like.
You know, being convicted about who we are as people. You know, one way to say we ask the question here when we study the Bible with you, are you saved? What do you mean, am I saved? I was born going to church. I was born in America. I was born period. Of course I am. That's sort of how we're conditioned to think. It's certainly how the Jews here in Acts chapter two were conditioned to think. They were God's people. And now Peter is up there going, Jesus came. Yay. The messiah came. Yes, he loves you. I knew it. And you killed him. Wait, what? You know, it was like, Nuh-uh. Yah-huh.
And they ask a question, what do we do about this? These are faithful people. They believe. But they're not asking. They're not saying, thank God we're saved. They're saying, what do we have to do? Faith alone does not get you saved. Saying a prayer does not get you saved. Even though that is the most prominent teaching in the Christian world today. It doesn't. These guys had all that, but they were realizing, we need forgiveness and we don't have it yet. How do we get it?
Secret #3: The Toll Must Be Paid
Point number three. Secret number three is the toll must be paid. The toll must be paid.
Acts, chapter two, verse 38. The very next verse, Peter replies to this question. What do we have to do? Peter says:
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you. It's not just for some of you. It's for every one of you. In the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins."
This is how Jesus forgives our sins through his death. This is how his sacrifice gets personal to you for the forgiveness of your sins and you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise, this promise of forgiveness is for you, your children, and everyone else, all who are far off, even 2,000 years later, for all whom the Lord our God will call.
Secret number three is that a toll must be paid. There's a bridge that has to be crossed for us to get to God. It's like Grand Canyon size. And it's Grand Canyon size because you're sinful and you're mortal. Like, I can't jump high enough to get to heaven, and I don't just have a birthright to it. Something's got to take place. And it says that Jesus made a bridge for us, and he is the bridge, actually, but he made a bridge for us through his death and burial, and we can cross that bridge to get to heaven. But on the way, there are a couple tolls that have to be paid if you're going to get there. Secret number one is that Jesus, he is the bridge. Secret number two is that you got to be convicted to understand that you needed a bridge.
But secret number three is that on that bridge, you have to actually decide to cross it by paying a couple of the tolls. And paying the tolls doesn't mean that you earned you go to New York City, you ever see those huge bridges, like the Washington Bridge? Is that one of the bridges there? Just George Washington Bridge, and it's massive. You just stand there like, Whoa. And when you have to pay your easy passes, you go across it. Do you think I earned my way across that bridge? No.
Human beings have had to take boats across that bridge, but because of my strength and power, paying that toll, now I can just get across it about 90 seconds. No. You don't think that somebody built that bridge and that wasn't you? You didn't, like, earn your way across it. You didn't get across it because of your strength.
But there's still a toll there, and some people get tripped up with that, with Jesus. Are you saying that if there's tolls, if there are some conditions, doesn't that mean that I'm earning my salvation? What, are you kidding me? No. He says there's two conditions here.
Faith is one of the conditions. He doesn't mention here because he's been talking all about Jesus, but he says, Repent, change your ways. This is not something that you should do. It's not something that you might do. If you want to be saved. It's something you have to do. You have to become a disciple of Jesus, and then you have to be baptized. Baptized? Yes. You have to be immersed in water and then raised up out of that water like we just saw Calvin do. And if you do that, you're saved.
Well, that doesn't make any sense. I get it. I don't think so either. It wouldn't know what I would have come up with. Why do you have to get dunked in water? That seems strange. I don't know, but Jesus said it. And if secret number one is true that he's the one, that it doesn't really much matter, that it doesn't make sense to you. It's what he said. You repent and get baptized.
You know, I think about it a little bit like this. Becoming a Christian, it's not like marrying God. It is marrying God. It is getting into a covenant relationship. This was the night. This was the night that Melissa and I were engaged to be married. Yes, she still looks the same, but I've changed some. But, you know, I think about our relationship with God a little bit. It's like getting married to your spouse. Building faith is like getting to know God. It's like getting to know your girlfriend and your boyfriend, right? Oh, you come home for your date, and you gotta get the she was amazing. I used to have this shrine of cards that Melissa used to send me when I was in college. It was just up on my wall. I was like, this girl is amazing. You know, I used to tell the brothers I described Melissa to my Christian household before I had ever met her. And I said, I think this is the kind of girl that I'm dreaming about. But number one, I'm not sure she exists. And then number two, if she does, why would she ever be attracted to me? And that's a challenge. But as you get to know your significant other, you're like, wow, that's like faith. You're getting to know God, you're falling in love.
But falling in love is that being married? No, it's not. No, it's not. A lot of people fall in love with no commitment or anything. Then you get engaged. That happens. I think getting engaged is a little bit like repentance. You know, you got to meet each other's families. That's not easy, right? We were looking for apartments. I don't like it. She liked it. I didn't like that apartment. Getting our accounts. We joined our bank accounts.
She was way ahead of me. I was like, I didn't even know what was going on in terms of they gave me a paycheck. I had no idea what was going on. One time we were working on our finances with our administrator, Gary Slabanick. We were talking. I didn't even know what I made. And I remember she asked a couple of questions that hurt my feelings because I didn't have any. When you get engaged, secrets revealed, guys. When you get engaged, your lives have to change because they're coming together. That's not easy. Taking two separate lives and putting them together into one life. It means it's hard. Can I get a quiet amen from the married people? It is. It's hard. That's kind of like repentance.
Change isn't easy.
Now, that night when we got engaged, it was an awesome night. One of the best nights of my life. Was I married yet? No, the next picture. This isn't my marriage. Yeah. Secrets revealed, guys, this is Josephus and Katrina's wedding day. Katrina looking like the bride, just beautiful in white. Just amazing. She was coming down the aisle and then I looked. I looked. And this is true, right? We know. This is why the marriage is such a big deal. Because all of a sudden the door opens and we all turn to look at the bride, and then what? We all do. And when we all turned to look at Josephus, he was crying like a baby. Now, he didn't do it wasn't a Jonathan hislp cry. That was even beyond that day. But is Jonathan in here right now or am I just gossiping and slandering about him? I don't even know. He's not even here.
But it's an amazing moment that came together they got married and that's and getting married is like baptism. It's a ceremony. It's in front of people. It is something physically, you are making vows. And when you go down into that water I always thought it was amazing before the wedding. I don't want to get graphic here, but, you know, I did. I kept my eyes to myself. But once those vows were made... All right, that's enough.
That's enough. Hey, that's in the back Bible, folks. It's all good. As the Bible says at that point. All right, I'm running out of time. I've already run out.
My wife there are things that you have to do and then there are things that you get to do. You understand? My wife loves the fall. We were driving up to Parker's Maple Bar. It's this restaurant out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the woods, and we always go up there in October to see the leaves and have some breakfast with the whole family. We're driving up there. Melissa loves it. It's just like heaven for Melissa. She just loves the leaves and the changing. She's just like, isn't this beautiful? Isn't this just wonderful? It came up, my son is in there and he went, yeah, you know, it's okay. What's your problem? He went, well, you don't have to rake them. That's what he said, you don't have to rake them. And I get it. I got Caleb in the house for two years before he goes to college, and we're going to work him into the boat on that one. I'm not raking. He rakes. I got him for a couple of years, then he goes, but it's real. He has to rake the leaves. And that kind of affects his enjoyment of the beautiful Mother Nature, which I get. I don't think that's wrong. I get it.
There's things you have to do, but then there's things you get to do. I mean, the truth is, when you get married, when you're getting married, there's lots of things you have to do. You've got to get blood tests or you've got to look for apartments, you got to find a church, you gotta plan a honeymoon, you gotta get tuxes, you got to pick out rings, you got to join your account. I mean, you have to do these things. But when you're about to get married, let's get that done.
I get to get that done. We're looking for a partner. You don't feel that way, so there's a murmuring, at least for me. I was like, yeah, I mean, who has to go get a blood test? But I did. Let's do this thing. Let's get her done.
Acts, chapter 22. We got two more scripts and we're done. Acts, chapter 22.
"A man named Ananias came to see me." This is Paul talking about his life. Verse twelve. "A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, brother Saul, receive your sight. At that moment, I was able to see him. Then he said, the God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will. He's revealed his secret to you and to see the righteous one, Jesus, and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you've seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up. Be baptized and wash your sins away. Calling on his name."
For Paul, how did he get rid of his sin? The final step in that process was he got baptized. He went down into the water sinful, and he came up out of the water cleansed. Because God does a miracle through your faith in that process. But Ananias says, what are you waiting for? Do it. Get this done.
I was talking to Calvin, and I met Calvin a couple of weeks ago, and I said to him, man, you got baptized kind of quickly here. He was like, yeah, man, it was awesome. And I said, maybe I was flexing, but I was like, yeah. I started studying on a Tuesday night and I was baptized the following Tuesday. I didn't say it quite like that, I was just saying it. And he was like, whoa. And I was like, yeah, man.
No, no. What I actually said to him was, you know, before I ever met a disciple, God had stomped me out. I was so humbled in my life at that point that they just had to they were just showing. I was like, let's do this right now. I'm done.
But, you know, seven days. No, don't baptize you in seven days. That's not long enough. It might not stick. Well, here I am 27 years later. What are you waiting for? He ends his sermon in acts chapter. Acts two. We'll end right here, verse 40, it says, "With many other words," this is back to that first day, "with many other words he warned them and he pleaded with them, save yourselves from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted this message were baptized and about 3000 were added to their number that day."
What Are You Waiting For?
Here's how the day ended. The day the secrets were revealed ended with Peter warning and pleading to go do it right now. And that very day, 3000 people did what Calvin just did in front of us. What are you waiting for?
You know, 2,000 years ago, there were people that accepted their message. This message of this is what God wanted to reveal. This is the secret about him. Jesus is the one. Get convicted. It's okay if you're convicted. That's a sign that you are spiritual, not that you're not. If you go, oh, I'm convicted. I got to do something about this. That's a great sign that your heart is soft, but that's not the final step.
The final step is be baptized and get your sins forgiven and change your life. There's no reason to wait if you understand it. The day the secret ended for humanity, that was 2000 whatever years ago. But that day could be today for you. But you've got to make a choice that I'm going to let this matter for me. I hope you make that choice.