“YOU’LL KNOW BETTER”                                 By Pastor YAU

Text: John 16:7-13                                                   December 3, 2006

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   A guided tour:  A tourist has these to say, “While I was in London, I took my first sightseeing tour in an open-top double-deck bus. During the fascinating 2-hour ride, the tour-guide pointed out famous landmarks and their history. I was amazed to see things I had walked past the day before without noticing or knowing the meaning or importance of them. Stories about Lord Horatio Nelson, William Shakespeare and the old office of the shipping company of the ill-fated Titanic shed new lights and meaning of the city. (I add this last point. We also took that tour while we were in London in 2005. The Titanic old office is now a popular Texas steak house.)

2)   You may know better: You may take a trip to a new place, a country or a city, have a map in hand and wonder around for a couple of day and still don’t know much about the importance or the meaning of the places you have been. Until a professional tour-guide or an old timer of that place comes to your assistance and tells you story after story of the places, buildings, history and the significance of them to the local people, then you suddenly realize how fortunate you are to be there to know all about these and begin to appreciate the meaning of things you never know before. This is the same about getting to know God through His word, the Bible.

 

GET ALL THE HELP YOU CAN: If you want to learn the best of any thing, you need to get all the help you can. You won’t learn the best by “do-it-yourself” instruction. If you really want to know God in the Bible, here are some very useful help you need to know.

1)    It begins with a strong desire: No one can learn anything well with a half-hearted attitude. The stronger your desire is, the better you will learn and understand. This same principle applies in learning and knowing about God in the Bible. Too many people complain that they just don’t know God enough to believe Him and their problem is they never have that real desire to know Him. A casual attitude about getting to know God is like blousing through windows of shops or flipping through pages of books, you won’t really get to know what is on the inside by doing that. Usually the level of desire matches the level of importance we have in our mind. We all will try very hard or do our best to learn and to know something if we see it as important to us. There is nothing more important to your life than getting to know God.

2)    Allow His Spirit to work: Knowing God and the Bible is not the same as knowing math or physics. As Jesus pointed out to the Samaritan woman that God is a spirit, no one, on his own human ability, will truly know God or understand the Bible. It must be the work of the Holy Spirit as Jesus said, “But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) Anyone who is serious about getting to know God must allow the Spirit to work in his heart, to lead him to the right path, surrender his own pride and accept the truth in the Bible instead of his own knowledge. He needs to keep his heart open to spiritual insights even they are in direct contradiction of his worldly wisdom. When a man insists on his human pride and knowledge, he is resisting the work of the Spirit and there is no way he may truly know God and believe Him.

3)    You may need a good guide: Remember about taking that tour in London both by yourself and then with an experienced tour-guide and the difference it made? This is also true in getting to know God. If you are really serious about knowing God, ask someone who has personal experience and close relationship with Him. His personal knowledge about God may shed new light on the kind of God you never know before. If you see the way getting to know God is like a path of search the truth, it is always helpful to have someone who knows where to go and how to get there.

4)    You also need a good church: I add “good” before church because there are too many “no good” churches all around plus many other religious organizations called themselves “church” but never really churches in the biblical sense. Majority of people who had made decisions for Christ did so through the ministries of churches. The church has been instrumental in spreading the gospel message, in teaching the truth of the Bible, in reaching people for Christ and serving the needs of millions both physical and spiritual. If you are sincere in seeking to know God, go to a Bible believing church, sit in the worship services and Bible study classes, make friends with those who know and serve God and you will find out first hand what does it mean to know and believe God. The church is the only God appointed agency where you learn to know God.

 

WHY MANY STILL DON’T KNOW? No one knows all the reasons why so many people still don’t know about God and not believe in Him.

1)    They don’t feel the need: Knowing God is something spiritual and people who care only material and physical don’t feel they need to do that and this is by far the most common reason many people still don’t know God. These people neglect the spiritual side of their nature as human beings and will suffer loss in their heart feeling life is either empty or meaningless even if they make it to own the whole world. Jesus warned people like these in Matthew 16:26 when He said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” The difference between man and animals is man has a soul and he needs to meet the need of his soul as much as his body.

2)    They are too busy: This is the second common reason people don’t know God. These people do feel the need of taking care of their spiritual needs but are just too busy because of their physical needs. People in this category are in constant struggle but mostly put their physical needs over and above their spiritual needs. They will tell you they are too busy right now but will find time later to seek God when they have a better life, more money, after kids go to college or when their jobs are not as demanding. They just brush it aside and wait for the future to get better. Knowing and believing God is not on the top of their priority list.

3)    They take the wrong approach: Some of the people who still do not know God because that take the wrong approach: they want all their questions about God be answered to their satisfaction before they make that decision to seek God. The problem of these people is they never stop having more and more questions and they will never be completely satisfied with answers given by preachers or their Christian friends. No one, including God, can make them happy with answers to their never ending questions. They think they are so intellectual and seeking to know God is not in tune of their intellectual capacity. These people will never get to know God because God doesn’t live in intellectual world like matters. He is the creator of all matters and is beyond matters.

4)    They have never heard: There are millions and millions of people, intellectual or otherwise, in our community or on the other side of the planet earth who do not know God because they don’t know there is a true God, the Creator of the universe. These people do not have the opportunity to know God because of political and/or religious persecution. The other reason they never heard the gospel is because there are not enough Christians fervent or care enough to dedicate their lives to be messengers for Christ in bringing the salvation good news to these people. Jesus called us His witnesses to the utter most part of the world but so few are willing to answer His call. Start with your family and friends, people you know. Tell them about your experience with God and the joy of salvation.

 

YOU CAN HELP THEM KNOW BETTER:

1)   Be proud of what you have: Most of the local people will be happy to tell tourists about the history of their town and country, stories of important landmarks or famous people, special meaning of their food or culture when they feel proud of what they have. The same applies to Christian witnessing. If you are proud of your faith, your God, your church and your relationship with Jesus, you won’t wait till people ask but find opportunity to tell them. Christians need to feel proud and excited about our salvation experience and feeling can’t wait to tell others about that. If you don’t have much, you have little to tell. Grow your spiritual life and you will have so much to tell. Look at the Mormons: even though what they believe is so wrong but they are so excited and fervent to tell others.

2)   Be willing to learn: People believe that “knowledge is power” and there is good reason on that. When you have good knowledge on things you do, you are more confident in doing a good job. Same applies in telling people about God. We need to learn more about the Word of God, the techniques of sharing and witnessing, the proper approach and attitude in answering questions and walking close with the Lord everyday. The more you know your subject, the better you give the correct answer.

3)   Be dared to share:  Most people are proud of what they know but some are timid to share what they know. They are afraid of not knowing what to say, feel embarrassed when not able to answer a question, shy of talking to people or strangers or just don’t care if someone is going to be lost forever. We all know the importance of practice in doing things better, so, telling others about Christ and your personal experience is the same thing: be dared to start telling and tell more and you will do better each time you try. No one was born a natural witness. It is all about learning from doing. If you have learned, then you need to practice what you have learned.

4)   Be fervent to go: You can’t help a tourist to know about your town or country or share with someone about God if you stay home or inside the walls of your church all the time. You have to go to those who need your help. Reaching out is the key to make a difference in helping people to appreciate your country and culture or to know God and be saved. Begin with people close to you: your family, friends, classmates, coworkers or neighbors. In the Great commission, the key words are “go and tell.” No going, no telling.

CONCLUSION:

1)   If you are truly seeking: You need to get all the help you can get to know God if you are a true seeker. Jesus promised those who “seek and shall find.” (Matt. 7:7)

2)   Why you still don’t know God? Ask yourself this question and see if you have any problems or taking the wrong approach. God is knocking at the door of your heart. Are you willing to open?

3)   Can you help?  Yes, you can. Just look around you and see so many lost souls. Ask God to give you courage and willingness so you can tell someone about God and lead him/her to salvation and an abundant life.