October 22, 2019
"The story goes of three riders who were riding through a desert. And when they had come to the end of themselves and had run out of food and run out of water, they encountered three other riders who were riding in the opposite direction on their camels. And the three riders who were coming to encounter these three men said, "well, what's it like on the other side of the desert?"
- How much are you putting in your backpack and will you be happy or will you be sad when you reach the oasis of Eternal Life with Christ?
00:13 The story goes of three riders who were riding through a desert. And when they had come to the end of themselves and had run out of food and run out of water, they encountered three other riders who were riding in the opposite direction on their camels. And the three riders who were coming to encounter these three men said, "well, what's it like on the other side of the desert?" And the three riders said "between here and the oasis that you'll find in a two day ride, there is a dry river bed. And in that dry riverbed, there are stones take the stones. And when you get to the oasis, you'll be happy and sad." And then the three riders rode away. Well, sure enough, about a day's journey, the three riders in the desert came to the river bed and there were stones just as they had been told. And one of them took some of the stones and put them in his backpack. One of the riders took as many stones he could, and he filled his lap even though he was tired and wary. And their stones were heavy. He filled everything he had in his saddlebags that were beside him. And one writer said, "you know what? I don't have the energy to pick up any stones." Well, in one more day, just as they had been told, they came to the oasis and they were happy and they were sad because when they came to the oasis, they looked down and saw that the stones were rich gold nuggets. They were happy because they had some. But they were sad because they didn't have more. And so it is with the book of Revelation. When you read it, you're happy and you're sad. You're happy because of the love of Jesus that's in your heart and that you get to win it at the Great Victory Party. But there are those who are sad because they didn't pick up the gold along the way.
02:00 Chapters 22, verse seven says this, "And behold, I'm coming quickly. Blessed is he, his backpack is full of gold. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." And then verse 12 says, "For behold, I'm coming quickly and my reward is with me to render to every man according to what he has done." The story goes, and I believe it's historical of Augustine, you know, now, one of the most, you know, noted and famous, you know, writers and followers of Christ that ever lived. But one time, Augustine was a womanizer. At one time, Augustine had elicit relationships with women. But Augustine went to England where he received Christ at a crusade and then Augustine went home a new man. And he went back to one of his old, you know, stomping grounds.
02:53 And as Augustine was walking down the road, one of his old girlfriends came up behind him and she tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around to see one of his old girlfriends. And she said, "Augustine Augustine, it is me." And Augustine simply turned around and looking at her eyes. And he says, "but it is not me." He had literally become a brand new man in Christ. He had picked up the gold. He had filled his backpack in his heart with the gold of Christ. And even though this person made herself available to him, and she said, "it is I." He said, "it is not I. I have a brand new heart." And so 2 Corinthians 5:17 concludes today when it says, "if any man is in Christ, he's a brand new creation. All things have gone. Behold, the new has come." My question to you today is this, the gold is in the river bed. How much are you putting in your backpack and will you be happy or will you be sad when you reach the oasis of Eternal Life with Christ?