Why I Need To Be Part of A Church | Sandals Church


– Hi everybody, welcome to Sandals Church where we are all about
this vision of being real. So no matter where you are
or how you heard about us, this is a place for you here. And if you’re wondering what does this vision
look like in my life? Head on over to sandalschurch.tv where you can figure all of that out. Thanks so much for joining
us today, hope you enjoy. (upbeat techno music) – Good morning Sandals Church. (congregation whooping and applauding) Man, it is so good to be
back with you guys today. Last week I was in Ireland
hangin’ out with the Irish. Got some fun stories to
tell and if you’re Irish I feel like I know you
a little bit better now. Super glad to be back
though at Sandals Church, my home, hopefully your home and we’re wrapping up, can you believe it, we’ve already gone through
the whole book of Galatians. We’re wrappin’ up the
book of Galatians today. Our series called “Confused”. And we’re gonna talk about,
today, Galatians chapter six, why is it that we need church? People have all kinds
of ideas about church, you might have ideas about church. Even if you’ve never been
to church, you have ideas. I need church, I love
church, I hate church, the church wounded me,
the church helped save me. Like we all have these ideas about church. And Paul wraps up his letter
to the church in Galatians talking about why I need
to be a part of a church. Look some of you man, you took
a huge step of faith today, or you’re watching online and you’re like, you know what, I need to pursue God, I need to connect with
God and so you reached out to Sandals Church and
that’s a great first step. But we don’t want you
just to be a watcher. We want you to become a
part of Sandals Church. And that’s God’s will for your life. He doesn’t want you to go on
your spiritual journey alone. He wants you literally to
be married to his church because the Bible calls the church, literally, the Bride of Christ. Jesus loves the church,
died for the church, prayed for the church and
is hopeful for the church. And I don’t know what
you’re experience has been but God has so much more for you than what’s happened in the past. So let’s take a look at our notes and we’re literally just gonna, we’re gonna read through the scripture and we’re gonna read through it together and then I’m gonna pray and then we’re gonna go verse by verse because I want you to be
able to unpack everything that Paul has to say about the church. So it begins in Galatians six,
“Dear brothers and sisters, “if another believer is
overcome by some sin, “you who are godly should
gently and humbly help “that person back onto the right path. “And be careful not to fall “into the same temptation yourself. “Share each other’s burdens, “and in this way obey the law of Christ. “If you think you are too
important to help someone, “you’re only fooling yourself. “You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, “for then you will get the
satisfaction of a job well done, “and you won’t need to compare
yourself to anyone else. “For we are each responsible
for our own conduct “and those who are taught the
word of God should provide “for their teachers, sharing
all good things with them. “Don’t be misled, you cannot mock God. “You will always harvest what you plant. “Those who live only to
satisfy their own sinful nature “will harvest decay and death
from their sinful nature. “But those who live to please the Spirit “will harvest everlasting
life from the Spirit.” This is one of my favorite Bible verses. “So let us not get tired
of doing what is good. “At just the right time
we will reap a harvest “of blessing if we don’t give up. “Therefore whenever we
have the opportunity, “we should do good to everyone, “especially to those of
the family of faith.” Let me pray for you today Sandals. Heavenly Father, I just pray Lord for every person that’s here. God I know there are people
on the verge of giving up. There are people on
the verge of giving in. God, life is hard and some of
us are ready to give up hope. Some of us are ready to give in Lord, and just believe what everybody
else is believing, God. But I know, that so many of us Lord, are on the verge of blessing. And if we just hang in there
and we just keep trusting. If we just keep trudging forward, I know there is a blessing for us Lord. And so help us today, together
Lord, to rally together and to encourage one
another to keep the faith. We pray this in Jesus name, amen. I want you to write
this down in your notes, I need to be a part of the church because, the church is my spiritual family. Paul begins today’s
message with these words, “Dear brothers and sisters.” Look this is not a place you attend, but this is a family you are a part of. We love you, I love you. Last week I was in Ireland all week and I don’t know if
you’re a good traveler. I’m not a good traveler. My missionary nickname is Princess. That’s just the name that I’ve earned. If I ever get a tattoo that’s what it’s gonna say, Princess. I don’t do well, I don’t travel well. I’m allergic to everything. And it was like day six with no sleep. How many of you have ever done that where you’re literally just
watching the clock at night? You ever done that? And I had done that, it was
hot and I kept tryin’ to, I kept trying to figure out the thermostat but in Europe they have a different way of keeping temperature so I don’t understand their system. I was messing with it all night long and I couldn’t get the
air-conditioning to work and so I complained to
the hotel in the morning and they said, “Oh no, we don’t have “air-conditioning in
Ireland, it’s just a heater “that you were messing with.” (congregation laughing) Gah! You ever been far away and you’re like, “Ah, I want to go on vacation.” and then you’re on
vacation and you’re like, “I just want to be at home. “I just want to be in my bed.” Like the very thing you
couldn’t wait to get away from you can’t wait to get back to. I’m so just grateful man, I
can control the thermostat. I speak it’s language,
it understands mine. My bed, my smells. You have smells, you don’t
know you do but you have ’em. And I got home, I was
jet-lagged, I was tired. My son said, “I want to go to church.” And my wife said, “You wanna go?” I said, “Of course, I want to go.” Some of you didn’t know this
last week, but I was in church, right in the back, watching you. (congregation laughing) Listened to Pastor Adam preach. And man, he had a word from God for me. He had a word from God for me. Man, I don’t know where you are today, but this needs to be home. This needs to be home for you. When I was as far away from
God as I could ever be, I was in the United States
military, serving in the Army, and I was invited to church with a friend. I had not been to church in a while. I’ll never forget. I walked in to church and they
were singing Amazing Grace and I just started weeping, because I knew that’s where I was supposed to be. The church is your
bothers and your sisters. Not the knuckleheads
you grew up with, right? Not the one that tortured you, punked you, lied to you, stole from you. A new set of brothers and sisters. They’re different, you know why? Ephesians 2:19, because they’re
members of God’s family. They’re members of God’s family. You see the church is the family of God where we learn how to
act like children of God. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but people are jacked, amen? Anybody’s family put the
word fun in dysfunction? (congregation laughing) Like you need therapists
full-time in your house, right? You need a reality TV show, that’s how jacked your family was, until the word family gives you a twitch. It triggers you. You’re like, I gotta
get away from my family. Hey here’s a new kind
of family, listen to me. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, it’s not just your family, it’s the world. Like in America today we’re talking a lot about racial reconciliation. We’re talkin’ about the
problems we have in America. And a lot of our problems tend
to be white verus nonwhite. And you think man, it’s
just a skin problem. Let me tell you something. Racism isn’t a skin
problem, it’s a sin problem. I went to Ireland last week. I don’t know if you know this,
some of you haven’t traveled. They’re all white. Like they’re all white people. The whole island is white people. And there’s an occasional
guest, a traveler. (congregation laughing) Now I mean, they’re so white, some of you didn’t know this, there are shades of white. I saw people so white they were either a vampire or translucent. There are white people in Ireland that if they went to
the beach in California they would just go puff. (congregation laughing) It’s like, wow! And if you’re white, this
is why we have skin cancer, we don’t belong here. We belong with the clouds, right? And the rain. The sun is not our friend. I was there and I couldn’t believe it man, I started pickin’ up on things. You figure, they’re all white, they all love each other, right? No, you see, in Ireland your last name tells whether or not you’re
Catholic or Protestant. Well, they’re all Christians
so they love each other? No, they hate each other. They’ve been killing each
other for hundreds of years. Can’t stand each other. There’s Northern Ireland,
there’s Southern Ireland, there’s the Republic of
Ireland and there’s the Ireland that belongs to the United Kingdom and they’re in this conflict and this famous band in
the ’80s called the U2 sang this song called
“Sunday Bloody Sunday”. And that song has got a cool riff but it’s literally about
the violence that took place where literally Northern
Irish killed Southern Irish, shot ’em dead as they were
marching for civil rights. And I literally would travel
through the city of Belfast where it’s separated by a
wall, like 50 feet tall wall and on one side you have Catholics and on the other side
you have Protestants. And on one side there’s a Protestant guy who’s killed a bunch of
Catholics and he’s a hero. And then you go on the other
side and he’s a terrorist. And then on the Catholic side, there’s a bunch of guys that have killed a bunch of Protestants and he’s a hero, but on the Protestant
side he’s a terrorist. You see racism is not a skin
problem, it’s a sin problem. We don’t need color to hate each other. We have sin in our hearts and the family of God
teaches us how to get along. Like some of you grew up in homes and the reason you’re so tweaked is you feel like your mom and
dad should have loved you, should have provided for you, should have cared for
you, and they didn’t. And you know why? They’re sinners. They’re self-centered
rather than God-centered. They’re broken people and
the church is the place where we come and we get fixed. And God heals us, through other broken people and the work that he does in our lives. It says, “Let us not neglect
our meeting together, “as some people do, but
encourage one another.” How many guys, you’re
just encouraged too much? Like every day you wake
up and people are like, “You’re special. “You’re so special.” Like you get on the 91
freeway and everybody’s like, “Oh, hey, we didn’t know you were here.” (congregation laughing) Like, we all need encouragement, right? My son and I we went surfin’. We went surfin’ and I
caught more waves than him, ’cause I’m better than him, I’ve been surfin’ before he was born. And so I caught a wave
and apparently some ladies made a sound when I caught the wave. And he didn’t want to tell me ’cause he didn’t want it to go to my head. But he told his mother which is good ’cause she needed to hear it. (congregation laughing) And I caught this wave and
apparently this girl goes, “Woo-hoo!” And I didn’t hear it
because I was shreddin’. But I hear my son tell his story and he says, “The one girl
says to the other girl, “‘Why did you go woo-hoo?’ “and she said it was
because it was a nice wave “and she goes, ‘And?'” Apparently, I wasn’t there,
’cause I was shreddin’, (congregation laughing) but the one girl said to the other girl, “He’s kinda hot.” (congregation laughing) Hey, when you’re 48 you will settle for kinda anything, amen, amen? I told my wife, kinda hot! (congregation laughing) You need to write that down. We all need a little
encouragement, you know! You’re kinda loved, right? You’re kinda special, you’re kinda hot. We all need that, everybody
needs that encouragement and that’s why we come together, because you know what? A lot of us at work, we
feel like we’re failing, in our marriages we
feel like we’re failing. Anybody raising kids, oh that’s fun. I mean, you feel like
you’re failing as a parent. You feel like you’re failing at work. You feel like you’re failing at life my favorite thing to do is
get in a community group with a newly Wednesday couple and they think they’re terrible. I’m like, “You got nothin’.” (congregation laughing) “Come here, little whipper-snapper. “Let me talk the you
about long suffering.” Right? “Let us not neglect our meeting together.” Let me tell you something. The weekends you don’t want to go to church the most is
when you need it the most. Did you know that there’s
a spiritual battle, you wake up in the morning? I woke up this morning, I kid you not, you ever have this where you sleep so hard you wake up in the morning
and you don’t know who you are or where you are? I woke up this morning, I’m like, why is the alarm going off? What is it that needs to happen today? Who am I? People are like, “What’d you
take before you went to sleep?” I’m like, “Nothin’, I just
died for a few hours.” And sometimes man, we feel
like we don’t have time, you know, I don’t need church,
like we all need church. We all need to be encouraged. You need to hear, “Hey man,
you’re gonna get through this. “You’re gonna make this,
you’re gonna survive this. “You can do this.” That’s why those of us who involved in the marriage mentorship
is so important, man. You know, our best marriage
mentors are the ones who had the most troubles. They had the most troubles. You come in crying, you think
you’re headed for divorce, like nah, that’s nothin’. “Let us not neglect our meeting together “as some people do, but let us encourage one another, especially.” Circle that word. “Especially now that the day
of His return is drawing near.” This is what the Bible says. The closer we get to the return of Christ, the more we need each other. I don’t know if you’ve noticed
but people hate the church and they hate Christianity. People are so critical of the church, so critical of Christianity. I literally was reading an article on the way to church today about a 26-year-old missionary who was killed on a remote island just outside of India and
people were mocking him. This young man died, he
was shot with arrows, just this last year. Do you know why he was on that island? Because he was a Christian missionary who was trying to share the gospel with one of the last known
isolated tribes on earth. People made fun of him. That’s ridiculous, he’s
just like the terrorists who blow up buildings in New York. That’s what people were saying. You see, to the world
there’s no difference between people that blow
up buildings in New York and you and I sharing our faith. What does that say? That’s why we need each other. That’s why we need to be encouraged. That’s why Paul says,
“Therefore, whenever we have “the opportunity we should
do good to everyone.” Look, you should be a good person, but Paul says especially to
those of the family of faith because you know how hard
it is to be a Christian. Next my church family can
help me on the right path. Look, there’s a way that
you are supposed to live and there’s the way you actually live and they’re not the same path. See the world is stupid. They say all roads lead to the same place. Try that on the way home. (congregation laughing) All religions are the same. Next time you go to
the doctor’s, just say, “Prescribe me anything, all medications “treat the same illness.”, right? That’s not the way it works. That’s not the way it works. You need the right medication
to treat your specific illness or it could kill you. It could kill you. “If another believer is overcome by sin.” You know, that can happen. Some of you think there’s nothing that could ever separate me from God. I just talked to, this weekend, one of our licensed ministers
I hadn’t seen in a while. A licensed minister, somebody
who’s been prayed over, hands have been laid on,
he has been entrusted with the ministry of Christ. I said, “I haven’t see you in a while.” He said, ” I haven’t been.” He said, “My marriage
is about ready to end.” I said, “What happened?” He said, “My wife cheated
on me, I cheated on her.” You think it can’t happen to you. I’m talkin’ to a minister in our church, a licensed minister who has fallen away. “If another believer is overcome by sin “you who are godly
should gently and humbly “help that person back
onto the right path.” I didn’t say, “You know
you’re goin’ to hell, right?” I didn’t say that. I said, “I’m glad you’re back.” “I don’t know if I can
help fix your marriage. “I don’t know if we can save that. “But I know Christ can save you. “I’m glad you’re back.” You know what he said, he said, “I can’t believe I came this weekend “when you preached this message.” I said, “That’s how I know there’s a God “and that’s how I know he loves you.” You see, some of you today, you feel like this
message is just for you. That’s because God died
just for you on the cross. He knows right where you are, he knows exactly what you need to hear. Let me tell you something. You can’t live for Jesus
apart from the church of God. You can’t do it. “If another believer is overcome by sin, “you who are godly
should gently and humbly “help that person back onto
the right path and be careful.” Circle that word! “Be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” You see, when someone is drowning and you dive into the water
to save ’em, you can both die. You better be careful. You can be trying to help a
problem kid and lose your kids. You can try to help
somebody else’s marriage and lose your own. Man, do you know that there
are people in our church who have been led to faith in Christ by people who no longer go to Sandals and have denied their faith in Jesus? Can you imagine that? The person who led you to
Christ no longer believes. What happened? They got disconnected from the church. Well, I don’t need church. Then you don’t know yourself. Do you know why I was
in church last weekend? Because I know I need church. I know where I need to be. When I was in Ireland, do you
know where I was on Sunday? In church, do you know why? That’s where I need to be. A bunch of my friends, no judgment here, they’re going to play golf
at a world-class golf resort. Somebody said, “Well,
I’m going to church.” And I said, “I’m goin’ with you.” You know why? I can play golf anytime. I only have so many opportunities
to worship the Lord. And I went, I went. Music was too loud,
the room was too small, the pastor whistled, he’s Irish,
he whistled when he talked. (congregation laughing) Think about Lucky Charms with whistling. And you know what, I cried, I cried through the whole
message, it was so good, so good. Be careful not to fall into
the same temptation yourself. Years and years ago, back when pornography
was still in magazines, some of you don’t know what that is, but, (congregation laughing) back in the day when we use to take the horse and buggy to church, we had pornography in magazines. And I was discipling this
guy and he was struggling and his divorce was ending and I was counseling him and
he had an addition to porn and one day he came in and he put a stack of porn on my desk. He said, “I’m done with this!” He put it on my desk. So I had to take a look,
just to make sure that, you know, that if it
was indeed pornography. And it was! I went and got my secretary and I said, “Hey, I need you to get this outta here!” And she’s like, “Why?” I was like, “‘Cause it doesn’t affect you, “get it outta here!” And she’s like, “What do
you want me to do with it?” I said, “Burn it, I don’t
even want to see it again.” Isn’t that amazing? In counseling a man not to look at porn, I found myself looking at porn. What happened? We have three things that challenge us. Number one, you don’t
have these in your notes, but you can write them down. It’s our own sinful desires. Look, I know this is hard
for many of you to believe, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had women at our church tell me, “You’re not a man, you’re a pastor.” Look, I’m still a man, I still have eyes. And I can still fall and still stumble. Each and every one of
us has sinful desires and I don’t know what your issue is. It might not have anything
to do with your eyes, but listen to me, you know your sin, God knows your sin, oh and
the devil knows your sin. The devil knows your temptation. Some of you never thought about this. When Jesus fasted for 40
days He had not eaten. It’s why the devil tempted
Him to turn rocks into bread. And you see some of you
singles, it’s been too long. You’ve waited too long. You’re ready to give up on your purity, you’re ready to just give
in and just have sex, right? Intimacy is click away on your phone and the devil’s tempting you because it’s been too
long and you’re hungry. Ah, the devil knows. God hasn’t brought him in has He? “Let me suggest one
and he’s good looking.” We have our own sinful desires. Next, we have our spiritual ignorance. Some of you don’t know a thing about the faith you proclaim to believe. You have no idea and you literally are led by everything that’s said. You’ve heard me say many times, I can’t stand on Netflix
when you go into religious they always have these, you know, searching for the real Jesus. Do you know why they’re
searching for the real Jesus? I’ve told you this many times, ’cause they don’t like the one that came. They are spiritually ignorant. So many churches are selling out and giving in to contemporary
culture and cultural pressure. Listen to me, I would rather
you be sexually abstinent in this life so that you can
inherit the kingdom of God in the next life, than
preach you a false gospel. If god doesn’t care about your sex life, why does he mention it in
every single book in the Bible. He cares about what you and I do. Next, some of us, we’re
under spiritual attacks. We have sinful desires, we
have spiritual ignorance, but some of us are under spiritual attack. Look, God has a plan for your life but so does the devil. Look some of you parents are like, “I don’t know what got into my kid!” What if it is something
that got into your kid? Pray over ’em, pray over ’em. And if you can’t do it
while they’re awake, do it while they’re asleep. That’ll freak them out. Can you imagine you’re
asleep and it’s like, “Jesus, Jesus!” Parents, aren’t kids so much
better when they’re asleep. I mean you forget how beautiful they are, then they’re unconscious
and you’re like, “Ah.” And then they’re awake and
you’re like, “Ah, ugh.” Look my church, next point, can help me stay real
with myself and others. Man, the world believes
your BS don’t they. Whatever you’re into, it doesn’t matter how destructive it is. It doesn’t matter how destructive it is. We approve it and celebrate it. Our world is so upside down. Our world is so broken. Our world gives you bad advice
in every area, in every way. Nobody tells you the truth. Nobody tells you there are consequences. Nobody tells you in the world that if you change your gender and they cut you with surgery that for the rest of your life, for the rest of your life
you have to be on hormones that don’t belong in your body and you have to be on psychotropic drugs, for the rest of your life! Nobody tells you that! And some doctor speaks up and he’s banned from medical practice, because he told the truth. We don’t want the truth. You see my church can help me stay real with myself and others. Galatians 6:2 through 3, “Share
in each other’s burdens.” I want you to circle that word burden. There are some things you
can’t carry on your own and you need people to
come along side you, who love you and can help you through it. There’s a guy in my small
group whom I love dearly. In his early 30s I invited
him in my small group when I heard the news he was a newly wed, he’d been married for less than a year and I found out his wife left him, for another man, in the
first year of his marriage. Broke my heart. I reached out to him, ministered him, started to disciple him, eventually brought him
into my community group. Do you know why? Listen to me if you’re
going through a divorce, no one should go through
a divorce alone, ever. After last service I
prayed with an old woman. She said, “I’ve got cancer and
they said it’s in my lungs.” Nobody should battle cancer alone. We prayed together. You know what she told me? She said, “Pastor, I’m
afraid to tell my son, “’cause I think it’s too much for him.” She’s dying of cancer and
she’s worryied about her son. We prayed together. I don’t know what you’re going through but if it’s too much, God doesn’t want you to carry it alone. Even Jesus Christ, on the
night that He was betrayed, before He was crucified, do you know that He asked His disciples to pray for Him and with Him. If Jesus needed prayer
support, what do you need? “Share in each other’s burdens, “and in this way obey the law of Christ.” The whole book of Galatians is
that we’re not under the law. We no longer have to religiously follow these 613 commands of God
in the old Hebrew Bible, but we do have one commandment and it’s love God and love one another. That’s the law. And loving others means
we endure difficult stuff. It’s why nobody can last
in marriage any more. They think it’s all about
honeymoons and Instagram. They don’t understand
that it’s actually work. And I hear young people,
“I want to have a kid, “so the kid will love me.” I’m like, (lip sputtering). (congregation laughing) Look, it’s not that
raising kids aren’t fun, but it’s 99% hell for
the one percent heaven. I’ve spanked my kids on Christmas morning. They were too blessed. I had to bring them back
down to earth, right? (congregation laughing) You’re just like, “What is
wrong with you, you’re melting? “It’s Christmas morning!” They’re like, “Waah! I’m
gonna ruin this as well.” (congregation laughing) You know what love is? Love is loving even when it’s hard, even when it’s difficult,
that’s what love is. That’s what Christians are called to do, because that’s how God loved you. Let me tell you how
hard it was to love you. Jesus had to die on the cross to love you. Paul says, “If you think
you’re too important “to help someone, you’re
only fooling yourself. “You’re not that important.” We took a boat ride from
Belfast to Scotland. And man it was scary. It was choppy, we were on a little boat. There was about 20 of us. And the guy knew that
some of us were pastors so he told this story, he
said, “Hey this is where “the song Amazing Grace was written.” And I was like, “Whoa, why?” And he’s like, “Well, “because this is
notoriously treacherous seas “and he thought he was
gonna die on his ship “and he cried out to God, “that if God would spare him,
he would give his life the Him “and so he wrote the song Amazing Grace.” And I was like, “You suck,
do not share that story.” And so he encouraged me,
he said, “Well don’t panic “because if we capsize
I’ll call the Coast Guard.” And then he laughed. I said, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “I am the Coast Guard.” (congregation laughing) So I was on this boat and
I was seriously looking at everybody and I was
like, who could I save? And so, I’m like, just
some of the little people because bigger people are gonna
have to fend for themselves. I mean, what’s the point
of us both dying, amen? So we got onto land
and this super rich guy behind me that’s on the trip, he’s like, “Oh man, thank God,
I can’t believe we landed.” He said, “I knew the Lord wouldn’t kill us “because there was a
bunch of pastors on board “and He would never kill you guys. “So, I knew I was good.” (congregation laughing) It’s like, “Bro, I am not that important.” And you know what, neither are you. This is why, you guys all lie. “Well, I’m just lookin’
for a ministry at Sandals “that uses the unique gifts and talents “that God’s given me.” You’re not that special. (congregation laughing) You’re not that talented. Listen to me Captain Importante, go serve with the two-year-olds. If you survive, Jesus loves you and if you don’t, it was your time. (congregation laughing) Go change a diaper, in
the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, right? Amen? And if somethin’ smells like crap, it’s not the diaper, it’s you, it’s you. “Share in each other’s burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ.” If you think you’re too
important to help someone else, you’re only fooling yourself,
you’re not that important. Look, the church is the family of God and what that means is we serve. It doesn’t matter what your gifts are. Tammy says, “Will you vacuum?” I’m no the like, “That’s
not like my spiritual gift, “I’m a pastor, I’ll speak over the carpet. “Be clean!” It doesn’t matter what your gifts are. You need to serve your family. You need to get off your butt and serve. That’s what you need to do. Galatians 5:26, “Let us
not become conceited.” You see, that’s why so many Christians, they want to turn the
church into a classroom where they just study
principles they never apply. Let me challenge you to do something. So many of you are far more
educated than you are obedient when it comes to your faith. Just start serving, start being a part. “Let us not become conceited.” Why, because it’s so easy. “Let us not provoke one another. “and let us not be
jealous of one another.” You see, the church is
the last place on earth where people will call you on your crap. Next, my church family provides me with a place to develop
my God-given potential. Do you know the reality is
most of you have no idea how incredibly gifted you
are at helping save souls. You see, some of you waste your whole life trying to figure out what
you’re supposed to do. “I don’t know what career avenue I have.” Let me tell you something,
it doesn’t matter what you do for a career
as long as you bring glory to God and you serve His church. This week in Ireland, I was
at this super fancy restaurant which meant I wasn’t payin’. (congregation laughing) and I was with this
really rich Japanese dude and he was sharing me his story. He tole me a story, in the
1980s he came to his parents in Japan and he said, “I don’t fit here. “I don’t belong in this country.” And if you saw him, I don’t
know that he fits in America. He’s bizarre, he’s a bizarre dude, but he’s super talented,
he’s super gifted. We never lost Taro, you
could see him a mile away with the clothes he’s wearing. He told his mom and dad,
“You know, I don’t fit here. “I feel like God’s
called me to California.” His parents were poor
and a minority in Japan. Only one percent of
Japanese are Christian. He said, “I feel like God’s
calling me to America. “And we’re supposed the
start a church as a family.” His mom and dad said, “Well,
if God’s really into that, “He’s gonna provide a way.” And Taro went as a 15-year-old kid and raised $6,000 and flew
his whole family to America. Here’s the bizarre part, he
lands in Sacramento, California and he ends up going to the only school in Sacramento with an English as a Second Language
program, my high school. So, here’s this super rich dude, telling me a story and we were
in the same school together. It blew my mind. I didn’t think anybody successful came out of my high school. (congregation laughing) And he was like, “Bro, I can’t
believe you went to Johnson!” He’s like, “You’re white.” I’m like, “I know!” He’s like, “Those guys were crazy.” I’m like, “I know!” He was sharing me this story, so he came to America,
no money, dead broke. They wanted to start a church and reach Japanese people
for Christ in California. And they had to figure
out a way to survive. He said, so they opened
a sushi restaurant. Now in the 1980s nobody ate sushi. Listen to me, white people, you did not like sushi in the 1980s. (congregation laughing) Now you’re like, “Oh,
I’ll have a little sushi, “I’m so sophisticated.” Right, okay in 80s white people’s idea of ethnic was Taco Bell,
like that’s just how it was. (congregation laughing) Now you all eat sushi, like, “Hi, I’m gonna have some sushi.” But nobody ate sushi in the 80s. And so he started this restaurant and here’s what they prayed for. They said, we gotta figure out how to raise a thousand dollars a month so we can support our church. Listen to me, they didn’t start
with, “How can we be rich?” They started with, “How can we
support the kingdom of God.” Do you know the name of his restaurant, if you go to the Sacramento,
San Francisco area, it’s the largest sushi restaurant chain in Northern California,
it’s called Mikuni’s. Now you won’t know this but in Japanese Mikuni’s
means kingdom of God. Last year he sold 60
million dollars in sushi and gave two million dollars,
literally, to outside sources, that’s not even his tithe,
that’s just what he gave over and above, off of
the top, to the Lord. And that’s why he’s in
Ireland, because he’s there to figure out how he
can help plant churches for a bunch of white people
who he can’t understand. (congregation laughing) Amen? (congregation applauding) What would happen instead of lusting and desiring after everybody
else’s life, you just said, “God, what do you want
the do with my life?” What if you said, “God I
want to build your kingdom “instead of my kingdom.” You see, a lot of you guys like, “Well, I’d be faithful
if I won the lottery.” I literally think there’s
an angel in heaven whose sole job is to
hear dumb prayer requests and they sound like this, “God, if you let me win the lottery, “if you let me win that 100 million, “I’ll give you five million.” And that angel’s like, “Ah, Father, “we have another dumb prayer request. “This guy says if you
give him 100 million, “he’ll give you five and this guy says six “and this guy says six,
and this guy says six, “seven, do I hear eight? “Do I hear nine, nine, nine,
10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, “12, 12, 12, 13, 13,
sold to the cheap person “who gave 13 million.” Here’s what I think
the Lord’s telling you, “Why would I bless you with more “when you can’t be faithful with less.” ‘Cause you know, statistically in America, as we get more money we are
less generous, less generous. The people who have
more are less generous. Why would God want you to be worse? “Pay careful attention to your own work, “for then you will get the
satisfaction of a job well done, “and you won’t need to compare
yourself to anyone else. “For we are each responsible
for our own conduct.” This is one of the first verses that implies we will all stand before the judgment throne of God and you will be held
accountable for what you did. God gave you gifts and abilities and he’s gonna ask you on judgment day, not how much money did you make? But what did you do
with the money you made? Last point, my church family
give me the opportunity to financially support the
teaching of God’s word. Do you know why I was in Ireland? Because 25 years ago Ireland was rocked with the priest sexual abuse scandal. Ireland was 99% Catholic and
now they are 99% atheist. In two decades Ireland
went from one of the most Christian religious
countries in the world to one of the most highly
concentrated areas of atheism, because of the church that was supposed to protect them, wounded them. And now guess what’s happening? There’s a resurgence, there’s a stirring in young Irish hearts. There’s a longing for
the spiritual emptiness that’s now been two decades and they’re not gonna go
back to the old church but they are willing to go back to Jesus. And there’s a movement and
that’s why I was there, to see how Sandals could help, to see what Sandals could do. Look, this next passage of
scripture’s gonna be difficult, but my job is not just to
preach the easy passages to you. I’m supposed to preach
all the passages to you. And here’s what Paul says,
look, you have a job to do. You’re supposed to work. You’re supposed to support yourself and you’re supposed to
have enough left over to support those who
teach you the word of God. “Those who are taught the word of God “should provide for their teachers.” That’s you, that’s you and let me say, not just you, now there’s
more people around the world that watch online for free
because of these people in here. And I want to encourage you
if you’re watchin’ online, there’s more of you than there are of us and we need you to give, if
you’re taught the word of God. And people like to complain, “Oh, you know what’s wrong with America? “We took prayer out of school.” I’m like, “Well, we
still pray at Sandals.” “Ah, you know what’s wrong with America? “Our kids don’t study the
Bible anymore at school.” “We study the Bible at Sandals. “Maybe instead of complaining “why don’t you start contributing.” “Oh, ’cause I’d rather
just rant on Facebook “than actually sacrifice.” “Those who are taught the word of God “should provide for their teachers, “sharing all good things with them.” All good things! Look, when the Lord blesses you, you’re like, “Well I worked hard.” Well, who gave you the work ethic? “Well, my parents.” Well, who gave you your parents? Who gave you your mind, your abilities? Does anybody remember
gettin’ in the smart line? The super talented line? Does anybody remember gettin’ in, I want awesome parents who
sacrifice for me, line? Everything you have,
everything you have is because of what God gave you. It’s like when my kids were little they would ask me for money so they could buy me something nice. “Dad, I’m gonna get somethin’
nice for you this year. “So, I need you to be generous.” (congregation laughing) “Those who were taught the word of God “should provide for their teachers, “sharing all good things with them.” Underline these words, “Don’t be misled.” because many of you are. “Don’t be misled, “you can not mock the justice of God.” Look, you might be a little richer now because you don’t tithe, but you’re gonna be a lot poorer forever on the other side because you didn’t. “Don’t be misled, you cannot
mock the justice of God. “You will always,” the Bible
says, “harvest what you plant.” Let me ask you, what do you plant? You see, some of you are plantin’ corn, but you’re praying for a different crop. You know what comes up? Whatever you plant. Verse eight, “Those who lived only “to satisfy their own sinful nature “will harvest decay and death
from that sinful nature.” You gotta choose in this
life what you invest in and you have no idea
what Paul is saying here because the English
translation is so much softer than what Paul’s saying. Paul’s saying if you invest
in your sexual desires and your physical
desires, in money, wealth, you’re gonna inherit a rotting corpse. Years and years ago, Tammy and
I, we invested in a property. ‘Cause I was a pastor, it’s like, we’re not gonna have any money. So we’re gonna try to flip houses. I know nothing about flipping houses. I know nothing about real estate. I’m terrible at both, it was
a bad idea, but we did it. We bought a house from this
woman, she was a hoarder. The house was disgusting, it was awful. The whole time my biggest fear was, God, please don’t let there
be a dead body in here. Please don’t let there be a dead body. It smelled, it reeked, we
worked, we ripped the walls out, the closets out, we did everything. We rebuilt the house, you know,
put it on the market to sell and made no money at all, but thank God we got it out of our hands. Thank God we sold the house, I’m done. Four days later the
real estate agent calls, “Hey Matt, there’s something
wrong with this house.” He’s like, “I know you sold it “and I know it’s not your house anymore, “but you gotta come over here. “There’s something dead in this house.” And I’m like, “I knew
it, it’s her husband. “She killed him and ate his arm.” (congregation laughing) So I go over to the house
and sure enough, you know, let me tell you something, we have senses. We can hear, we can see, we can touch and we can smell, right? Do you know that literally biology says that your most powerful
sense is your smell. Literally, it makes memories that are cemented in your brain forever. When you’ve smelled something that’s dead you’ll never forget it. I walked over to the house,
there’s this young family, I said, “I’m so sorry. “I’ll put you up in a
hotel, we’ll find the body, “I mean, the problem and
then we’ll deal with it.” And here’s what happened man, this woman, I didn’t know this, she had 11 cats. And you know where they were living? They were living in the
air ducts in the attics. That’s why we never found ’em. So when I tented the house before we sold it, we killed 11 cats. I’m not proud of it, I
didn’t do it on purpose. Don’t send me email. (congregation laughing) So I had to go back to the attic, ’cause you can’t, you can’t
find on Yelp, collect dead cats. There’s not like a search
on Google for that, right? So I go up there and it smelled so bad I went and bought Vaseline,
you know Vicks VapoRub, stuffed it up my nose, didn’t help. And I’m goin’ up there and
I got all the cats up there but there was one cat left
and it was stuck in this eave. And so I called this guy
in our church, Mike Parsio, because he has no sense of smell. I’m like, you’re the perfect guy. God has gifted you and empowered you and I’m gonna use you
for the glory of God. (congregation laughing) So it was weird, it was an older house and we couldn’t use a ladder, so I had this idea, so I’m
gonna get on your shoulders and I’m gonna pull this
dead cat out of the eaves. So I’m on his shoulders,
he has no sense of smell. He doesn’t know what’s goin’ on. I’m trying to yank this dead cat that’s swollen and
bloated out of the eaves. And if you’re a little sensitive you might not want to
listen to this next part. So I’m pullin’ and I’m pullin’
and I’m on his shoulders and I finally (yells) and I just rip. It’s whole head and spinal
cord out of the dead cat, boom, like this, and
there’s this dead cat head right next to me (yells)
and there’s this spinal cord and maggots are pouring out (glugging). I can still feel them (glugging) all over. And I’m on Mike’s shoulders holding a dead cat head. (yelling) All he sees, ’cause he can smell nothing, he just sees it’s raining
maggots. (lips tinkling) I’ll never forget it, I’ll never, and you now will never forget it. (congregation laughing) Listen, this is what Paul
is saying in verse eight, “Those who live only to
satisfy their own sinful nature “will harvest decay and death.” In the Greek it is a rotting,
pussing, maggot filled corpse. Listen to me, what are you
gonna do on the day of judgment when you stand before God and
what you inherit is maggots. Here you go, you’re like, “Thank you.” Can you imagine? You wasted your whole life on stuff and all you get is rotting maggots. “But those who live to please the Spirit “will harvest everlasting life.” From what? “From the Spirit.” Doesn’t this verse make
so much more sense. Many of you, you’ve heard of this verse, Galatians 6:9, your whole life. “So don’t get tired of doing good “for in due season we will
reap if we don’t give up.” You know what happens
when you’re discouraged? Maggots look appealing. And that’s what some of you guys, you’re jealous of your neighbor, well they got more maggots than me. I wanna have maggots. I want to be filled with maggots. I want maggots all over me. “But those who live to please the Spirit “will harvest an everlasting
life in the Spirit. “So let’s not get tired
of doing what is good. “At just the right time we will
reap a harvest of blessing.” If we don’t give up. I know today there’s somebody
that’s ready to give up. I’m done, I’m done. I’ve done it God’s way
and it hasn’t worked. I’m gonna do it my way now. What if tomorrow is your blessing day? Listen, some of you know this
that have been to Sandals, when I proposed to Tammy
my opening line was, are you ready to be poor your entire life? (congregation laughing) Not a good opening line
but it’s the one I chose. This weekend, this weekend, Tammy and I are writing
a check to Sandals Church that’s more than we made
our first year of marriage. And here’s why. God blesses you if you don’t give up. Don’t give up, don’t give
in, and don’t sell out. Don’t sell out, it’s just
maggots, it’s just maggots! Don’t sell out, don’t sell out! Because God listens to the prayers of a Japanese kid who can’t speak English and he says, “I wanna
build the kingdom of God. “So I’m gonna create an entree “that white people will
think is disgusting.” And God’s like, “I’ll make them like it.” “Therefore,” last verse,
“whenever we have an opportunity “we should do good to everyone.” You know what he’s talking about? Christians should be the most
generous people on earth. Wait for it. Especially to what? “Especially to those in
the family of faith.” Why did Tammy and I write the church, the check to Sandals Church? This is my family of faith. I want to be with you guys forever, man, forever in this life and the next life. This is Tammy and I’s one and
only church we want to serve. I want to preach until I’m old and you guys are like, “Good job, “but we need you to not talk
in the microphone anymore.” (congregation laughing) You know what, I’m not gonna leave. I’m gonna be your grandpa, right? Grandpa’s are a little weird. You never know what they’re gonna say, but you love ’em. Everybody loves ’em
and that’s gonna be me. I’m gonna be gassy and
we’re all gonna pretend you didn’t smell it. (congregation laughing) Listen, I want to encourage
you to give today. How many of you guys have
bills to pay, raise your hands. You have bills. Let me give you one bill for
Sandals Church this month. One bill, it’s our electric bill. Sandals Church electric
bill this month is $33,000. Now if you sell solar, I don’t want your business
card in the offering plate. (congregation laughing) I know you, I know you’re like,
“This is the Lord’s will!” No. Listen, Sandals is a big
church and we got big bills, because we have a big family. But this is what we do. If this is your house, you
need to pray about giving. God’s not gonna bless what you don’t give. He only blesses what we give. So let’s give today, let’s give today. And I’m gonna pray two things. Number one that you give, number two, God blows your socks off with blessings for those who give and for those of you who give regularly, thank you, there’s not a
Sandals Church without you. We don’t exist, we don’t
exist without your giving. So I’m gonna ask the ushers
to prepare for offering and I’m gonna ask for the offering today and I’m super glad that
you’re here and I love you. Let’s bow our heads and close our eyes and prepare for offering. Lord Jesus, it’s such
an honor to give to you. I never thought 21 years ago that our church would be this big and that Tammy and I would be able to write a check of this size Lord, but you’ve blessed us and God, I want you to be able to bless everyone in this room the same way. You said in your word, “No eye
has seen, no mind has thought “about the incomparable blessings “that you have for those who love you.” Lord and there’s so many blessings that are waiting for people in this room, but they’re ready to give
up or they’ve never trusted. So God I just pray that your
Holy Spirit would prompt them to do whatever your
Spirit prompts them to do and I pray that you would
move in their hearts, even those watching online,
even if they’re far away. Move in their hearts
for this little ministry in Southern California called Sandals. Lord, bless this offering
and bless those who give. We pray this in Jesus name, amen. I love you guys, God bless. – Here at Sandals Church
we really do believe that this vision of being
real can change the world. Because Sandals Church is a nonprofit that operates from donations
from people like you because when you donate, your
money goes to creating places for people to be real all over this world. So man, I would love for
you to be part of that and you can make a donation today by clicking the link on this video or going to donate.sc. So join us and join what God is doing through this vision of being real and have a great day. (upbeat music)

6 Comments

  • If it wasn't for the way you word things and are so blunt I wouldn't have believed in God for this long I love you Pastor Matt

  • We need more real ness in the church today

  • I live in Kansas and I have been a Sandles fan since I found a YouTube video, like 2 years ago. I love this church.

  • It's all about devide and conquer, UNITE AND BE STRONGER FOR IT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

  • This is gay.

  • I spent a good portion of my life studying apologetics. I find most denominations have some serious doctrinal issues.
    How will there be a true Revival when we can't agree on basic doctrine?
    I have set forth a basic list of doctrines that will amaze many people but is as close as I could come to earnestly contending for the faith that was ONCE delivered unto the Saints.
    Contact me if you want to discuss it.
    It won't be boring!

    Pastor Mike

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