Believe It! See It! – Part 2 (17 Feb 2008)

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Benjamin Carson

Special Music

Joyful, Joyful
Praise the Lord, O Heaven’s Adore Him/Holy, Holy, Holy
Rush of Fools – Undo
O Bless the Lord My Soul

Solo/ Anthem
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

The Message

Message by: Robert A. Schuller

The New Testament opens up with the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ. And then Jesus Christ’s jumps from there quite quickly to Christ being baptized and being tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness. And then He begins His ministry. He calls His disciples and there in Galilee He delivers the greatest sermon ever preached beginning with the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” And He goes and gives us the greatest sermon ever preached.

And following that sermon He goes into the city of Capernaum and there the centurion of the city, almost every city in the time of Christ had a centurion. And there was a centurion in Capernaum, which is where Peter’s home was. Which is where Jesus spent most of His life during His ministry in Capernaum and there was a centurion there. And a centurion is a Roman commander who oversees a hundred troops. That’s a lot and this centurion comes to Jesus and he says, “Jesus I have a servant who is sick.” And Jesus says, “I’ll come right over.” And he goes, “No, no, no You don’t have to do that.” Then he goes on to remind Jesus of what an important man he is. He goes, “You got to realize Jesus I’m a centurion. I understand how these things work. You see I just tell this guy to do this and he does it. And I tell my other lieutenants to go do this and they go do it. And I tell my servants I want this and they bring it.” He says, “I don’t have to do anything I just give the command and it’s done. Jesus You don’t have to come to my house, just give the command and I know that my servant will be healed.” Christ is dumbfounded. The bible says that He was astonished at the words of the centurion. When Jesus heard this, He was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth I have not found anyone with such great faith.”

Faith: what is it? In Hebrews it says, “It’s the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The centurion couldn’t see his servant being healed but he believed it. He knew that if Jesus simply said the words he would be healed. He had that deep commitment and belief where he knew that he would be healed. And later Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it will be done for you. Just as you have believed it and the servant was healed at that very hour.”

Some people say I believe it when I see it. I’ve got to confess I’ve been guilty of that. There have been times in my life where I have just through my arrogance and my lack of humility people have come to me and said I’m going to do this that and the other thing and I go I’ll believe it when I see it. Anyone here want to make that same confession today? If you haven’t said it, you’ve thought it; same thing! And as a result of that we just haven’t believed it. But the truth is when we believe it we see it. And that’s what the bible continues to tell us. That’s what faith is all about that when we believe it we see it.

I can’t tell you how many people that I talk to in the course of a year who just do not believe that they're going to go to heaven. And if they’re going to go to heaven it’s just going to be by luck. They just aren’t convinced that they have the opportunity, the means or the will to go to heaven. And I explain to them and share with them the fact that they can have what I call a ticket to heaven. And would you like a ticket to heaven? Is there anyone here who would like a ticket to heaven? We have got thousands of tickets to heaven. It is my goal to give away a billion tickets to heaven! Now you may be laughing but I actually have my ticket. And you have yours and few others have yours. How many people have their tickets? You don’t have to pull it out right now you can just keep it handy. In fact, my wife’s grandmother passed away in August. She was a hundred and almost a hundred and one years old. And in her casket she’s holding her ticket to heaven. And the ticket to heaven is just a piece of plastic that we’re giving away. But the piece of plastic has words on it and it’s the words that have meaning and it’s the words that are the ticket, it’s not the piece of plastic. The words on the piece of plastic says, “Anyone who comes to me I will in no way cast out - Jesus Christ.” That’s the ticket to heaven. You sign it, you accept it, and you believe it.

And I have a dear friend of mine who lives in a gated community in Mission Viejo. In fact he’s my chiropractor. He wrote a book with me entitled “Possibility Living: How to add years to your life and life to your years with God’s health plan.” But I go to his house on Friday mornings and what happens is I turn around the corner and guess what I see. I see a guard shack and two big gates and before I can get through those gates I have to get a pass from the guard. I’m not getting through those gates unless the guard let’s me in. Well I’m on his permanent list, because I’m his permanent friend I guess. And so I pull up to the guard shack and I say I want to go see Dr. DiSiena. Now often they’ll say sure go ahead. But other times they’ll say, well just a minute what’s your name? Robert Schuller, Robert Schuller? I go yes. Oh are you your father’s son? And I say yes, oh well just a minute, you’re on the list? I go yes I am. Well let me check and they close the door and meanwhile my anxiety’s going up, okay are they going to let me in? Do you know what I mean? You go to a guard gated community you just never know if the guards going to let you in. You just don’t know, you’re going and I’ve had it happen numerous times they come out and they said I’m sorry you’re not on the list. I am on the list. I come in here every week; I’m on page two. Go to your computer and check page two. And they’ll go to their computer and they’ll check the computer, oh sorry Mr. Schuller. Here you go, have a nice day and they give me the pass. I got through. I’ve gone to other communities where I’ve been turned away. It’s a terrible feeling getting turned away. Having the gates closed.

But the facts are that when the time comes for us to meet Jesus Christ in heaven we have a ticket to heaven. And the ticket to heaven is Jesus Christ. It’s very clear: “Anyone who believes in me will have eternal life.” Those are the promises of Jesus Christ. And as we continue to believe in Him we know that we will see Him someday face to face. And that is a reality that we can all be confident of and assured of. And if you’d like a ticket to heaven just to give you that extra bit of insurance or conviction or help you build your faith, just write to us we’ll send you one, we’ll send you five, we’ll send you ten. We have sent these out by the thousands, if you want to give them away. Just write to us, we’ll give them to you. Just sign your name to it, stick it in your pocket like I do. I keep it with me all the time and it reminds me of my assurance; my ticket to heaven.

There are people who go through life and they say you know I believe in Jesus Christ and I think I’m going to go to heaven but I’m not sure I’m good enough. So I’m going to live as good as I can and maybe I’ll make it. And they think they have a temporary pass into heaven. Well the facts are that when you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior you receive a full time pass into heaven that you will go to heaven and it’s not retractable. You don’t have to worry about it. It’s nothing you have to stress over. Am I going to be good enough to get into heaven? I can’t tell you how many people stress over being good enough to get into heaven. And that is something we never have to do as Christians.

It reminds me of people I golf with. They get so stressed out over the way they play! I golf with nothing but a bunch of hackers. A hacker is somebody who shoots in like the high nineties. A good score, their best scores they might get in the low nineties. You know like they have goals like I have, I’m going to shoot my age someday and that’s why I want to live to be a hundred and twenty. We were golfing this one day and just before we started a guy was making the turn which means he just finished golfing nine holes and was getting ready to golf the second nine holes. And I said how you doing? He says oh not too good. Well, our big line when we golf is hey you know at least we don’t have to make a profession out of this thing; at least we’re not pros. I said how you doing? Oh not so good. And I said well it doesn’t matter unless you’re a pro! And he goes, I am. Well and I just kind of raised my eyebrows and walked away.

The good news is that there is only one pro when it comes to heaven and His name is Jesus Christ. He is the professional who did it perfectly. So we don’t have to do it perfectly! We cannot live a perfect life. We can do it, we can strive, we can try but the facts are no matter how hard you try it will never be good enough to earn your way into heaven. It doesn’t happen that way. It’s a gift. Plain and simple, it’s a gift. Anyone who comes to me is the promise. I will in no way cast out. That’s it, it’s that simple.

Fifteen eighty six in a little town in Heidelberg Germany a catechism was written. It’s called the Heidelberg Catechism. It’s actually one of the professions of this faith, of this church. Something we use to teach. It’s been something we’ve been using for four hundred and fifty years. And the way they used to teach was very simple. They ask a question and they give an answer. And so the Heidelberg Catechism opens up with this question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? That’s the question. The very first question. What is you only comfort in life and in death? And the answer is this: that I belong. Oh, isn’t that beautiful? That I belong! That I’m a member! Not to myself, mind you. It says that I belong not to myself but to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ that not a hair on my head can fall without the will of my Father in heaven so that all things work for my salvation. Therefore, I am wholeheartedly willing and ready to live for Him. So when we become members we don’t sit there and try to earn our way in, we’re already in! We do things because we just want to make it better. We want to make the world a better place, we want to make our friendships better, we want to be used by God to serve people, to love people. And that’s what Jesus told us to do. Love one another as I have loved you.

And so we are called today by Christ to become members of His family. To receive our tickets to heaven as a gift from God. Nothing that we can earn nothing, that we can purchase, it is a gift. Today I want to encourage you to first and foremost accept the invitation to know Jesus Christ and to be a part of His family. To simply say a prayer and you say yes Jesus, I want to belong. You simply come to Him and say I want to be a part of Your family. And then if you want to become a part of the Crystal Cathedral, you can join the Crystal Cathedral as well. You can go online, you can attend one of our member’s classes here in the Cathedral if you live nearby, there’s many ways that you could participate in the life of this church. The key is to belong. So today I want to invite you to come and to profess your faith in Jesus Christ. To say yes to Him. Join the fellowship of believers who know that they truly will see the beauty of God forever.

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