#287 (27/05/07)
Make a Leap of Faith Today

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

It’s my honor to speak with Governor Tim Kaine, the 70th governor of Virginia as he joins our service via satellite to address this congregation regarding the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech University.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" God is My Strong Salvation "
“ His Eye is on the Sparrow ”
" Clap Your Hands! "

" It is Well With My Soul ”
DANIEL KIRKLEY – “Make it Beautiful”

The Message

We have had a very interesting few weeks here at the Crystal Cathedral. Palm Sunday was quite an amazing day here! In the first worship service, we had five pastors baptizing people for thirty minutes. At the second service, we had five pastors baptizing for twenty minutes. So we had five pastors baptizing people here for a total of 50 minutes! People have asked me how many people were baptized? I don't know. We just baptized a lot of people and that's all I know. It happened because Evel Knievel came here and shared a stirring testimony which compelled the Spirit of God and released His power in the Cathedral and the presence of the Holy Spirit was evident.

The next morning I called a dear friend of mine to try and get some advice. I said, "What do you do after you have a Sunday like that?" So I called Richard Mouw on Monday. Richard Mouw is a terrific friend of mine. He happens to be the President of Fuller Seminary, and he is just a wealth of knowledge and information. He knows the history of the church like no man I've ever known. He knows what is going on in communities throughout the world; in South America, in Africa, in Europe, in Australia, and in the United States. I said, "Richard, where do we go from here? What happened? What is happening?"  He replied, "Robert, it sounds like your church is having an awakening. An awakening of the Holy Spirit of God, which takes place when the spirit is released. It's like an Acts 2 experience. I knew what he meant by an Acts 2 experience!

Let me precede this by setting the stage. Christ has risen from the grave, He's met with His apostles, He's walked around with them, He has talked with them in Galilee and everywhere else, and He has now ascended into heaven. He has left His apostles. The apostles are terrified because they witnessed Christ being crucified and buried. They knew they were probably next on the list because there was a desire to eliminate this hierarchy that was taking place called Christianity. So they were in the same place where they had celebrated the last supper. They were in the upper room and they were hiding there in a state of fear.

This is what happened in Acts 2 when the day of Pentecost came. "They were altogether in one place and suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them, every single last one, was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now they were staying in Jerusalem, God-fearing Jews, from every nation under heaven. And when they heard this sound, they came together in bewilderment because each on heard the disciples speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked, are not these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our own native language?" (Acts 2:1-8)

With that, Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can read the account in the second Chapter of the Book of Acts, and it concludes this way: "Therefore, let all of you be assured of this: God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, brothers, what should we do? Peter replied, repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call. And those who accepted his message were baptized. And about three thousand were added to their number that day." (Acts 2:37-41)

That is an Acts 2 experience. Speaking in tongues was not a language that was unintelligible. The speaking in tongues was a language that was very intelligible where people heard the gospel of Jesus Christ spoken in a way and in a form and a manner which they could understand and realize. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that is my calling; to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ in such a way that your ears can hear and your hearts can receive the positive beauty and understanding of God's grace and love for you today. Because this much I know, there is a lot of pain in the world today. I look around at society today and I realize how much pain there is in this world. We know that sin is alive and real and it has negative consequences and causes pain and grief in our world today. We are at a time where we need to come and repent and be baptized.

That is what Acts 2 is all about. Repentance is simply changing our ways and realizing that it does not pay to run away from God but it is time to turn and run to God. The fact is that every single person listening to the sound of my voice no matter where you are can make that leap of faith. The scripture I have for you today is:

"I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

The biggest leap of faith and the biggest jump you make today may not be on a motorcycle jumping a few hundred feet. But the biggest leap of faith you can make today is to leap into the arms of your Savior, Jesus Christ.

The very last person I baptized on Palm Sunday was a young man who I was told was pacing back and forth across the back of the church. He was struggling, "Can I make this jump, I don't know." I thought I had baptized the last person, and I turned to walk away and all of a sudden I heard someone say, "One more! One more!" He came running down the aisle saying, "One more!" I said what's your name? He said, "My name is Trigger Gumm." He had made big leaps before but this was the biggest. I said, "Trigger, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." It was very interesting that he was the last person to be baptized that day. You see, Evel Knievel has many jumping records; and they have been broken. They have been broken by a man named Trigger Gumm. He's a four-time world Guinness record holder for the longest motorcycle jump. So Evel's jumps and his records are history. But yet, what will live on are not his records, but rather, the testimony that he gave us on Palm Sunday and the lives that were touched and transformed as a result of that day. The first person to be baptized here that day was the former record holder. The last person that day was the current record holder. But it pales in comparison with the reality that each and every single one of us has been called by God to leap forward and to leap into His arms in faith, and accept the gospel of His grace and His love today.

Another event of the last few weeks was the tragic events at Virginia Tech. The Governor of Virginia asked Churches across the nation to have Services, and so we did have a service here in the Cathedral during that tragic week. We had 32 candles and as I read the name of each victim, a candle was lit and I thought about all of the families, brothers, sisters, parents, children, grandchildren of those victims. I was overwhelmed with the realization of how much pain there is in our world today. People face trials of all sorts; some from violent crimes. We ask ourselves the question, "Why does God allow such things to take place? Why does God allow evil in the world? The answer is we have to remember that God had a choice. He could have made the world in such a way that we wouldn't have a choice to love or not to love. But, He decided to make us His children, a family. As such, He gave us the freedom to choose to love or not to love. The saddest thing of all is there are people for various reasons and various times, who choose not to love. In the Bible we read words that show us the comfort of God for His children and the support, guidance and love that God has for us.

One of the most popular and well read scriptures is in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. Many people have memorized this Bible verse. If you haven't, I would encourage you to do so.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son;
that whoever believes in Him will not perish
but will have everlasting life." John 3:16

The scripture later continues in that chapter:

"Jesus and His disciples went out into the countryside,
where He spent time with them and baptized.
Now John also was baptizing because there were
so many people constantly coming to be baptized.
(John 3:22-23)

So, today, I invite you to experience the presence of God, confess your sins, confess your love, confess your trust in Jesus Christ, and say YES to Him; just as Evel Knievel, Trigger Gumm, and hundreds of other people here in the Crystal Cathedral did recently.

Pray with me:

Dear Heavenly Father: You have called Your people today. I thank You, Lord that we have responded to you. We have chosen to repent from our ways and to come to You and be in Your presence. Thank you, Lord, for Your cleansing spirit which fills us with overflowing joy and hope. We know that with You we can do all things. We thank You, Lord and praise Your name.


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