We Win

Understanding the importance of accepting Jesus as your savior.

Linn Winters
Feb 10, 2019    47m
In this sermon Pastor Linn Winters helps us understand the importance of accepting Jesus as your savior. As he closes out the series The End, it's Just the Beginning, based on The Book of Revelation, he explains what end times will be like for those who haven't given their life to Jesus. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 00:26 Hey Cornerstone. How are you guys doing? Okay, fifth and final week of the conversation about end times. If you've been listening to the title real closely, it says, The End is Just the Beginning. And the really, really cool part about today is, is that as dark as it's gotten, as out of control and chaotic as things have become. Jesus is going to step into the scene and it literally changes the entire conversation, everything turns on that moment. And, are you ready for this? In the end, you and I win. And I'm just telling you, it's a good Sunday. I hope you leave here just absolutely celebrating, I hope you leave here pumping your fist in the air and going, look, I don't even care, I don't care how dark it gets. Because my God promised me, in the end, I win. Okay.

Linn Winters: 01:18 Hey, I don't know that we always talk about this, or think about this on a Sunday, but you realize that while you and I are in this room, there's two other Cornerstone campuses that are doing exactly what we're doing, but they're doing them in different locations. And because you and I have chosen to be a church that says, look, we're going to leverage our influence. We're going to leverage what God has trusted us with for more than just us, for more than just Chandler, and more than Ahwatukee, and more than Gilbert. And so we've reached out, and while we're in this room, there are people, there are families whose lives are changing in this very moment because you have been bold enough and generous enough to reach beyond ourselves. And I just thought it'd be super cool today for them to know that we were praying for them. So I just want to take a moment, can we do that? And just pray for our San Tan and for our Scottsdale campus. Hey, Dearest Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for the privilege of what you're doing in this place. But God, even more than that, they thank you for challenging us, and pushing us to be a church that says, look, this is bigger than us, this is greater than us. And God, we just pray today for our campus in San Tan, and our campus at Scottsdale. God, would you move in those rooms in the same way that you move in this room. And God may lives be transformed, may people know Jesus today, because we pushed out into communities that didn't have a church like us. God, we this pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Linn Winters: 02:45 Okay, so I'm guessing like five years ago, something like that. A gal comes up to me after church and says, Linn, you probably don't know this, but we've got a gal coming to church who is a player on the ASU women's basketball team. And she is a senior, and this Thursday night is her final game, and then she's going to move back. I think it was to Washington, and Cornerstone has just been such a huge factor in her life this last two, three years while she's been going to ASU. And I heard her say, it would just be so cool to have my pastor at my final game. And I said, you know what, I think maybe I can work that out. So sure enough, there I am, Thursday night Wells Fargo Arena. I've got the little program in my hand, and there's Jenny's name right there. She starting forward, for the ASU women's basketball team. And for all of you that don't maybe know basketball, forwards are the ones that tend to play down toward the basket, but out on the edges. And they tend to be some of the taller players on the team, and they rely on the guards to get them the ball, so that they can have an opportunity to score. So the game starts, that night we're playing Cal Berkeley. And from the very, very beginning, ASU was outmatched, I mean it was just obvious. And so just literally with every minute that went by, you just watched Cal Berkeley just pull a little bit ahead, it was like we were running in sand. And so, it gets to halftime and we're 14 points down. Now guys, you need to know in a women's basketball game, don't tend to be that high, 14 points is a mountain. And so they go into halftime, I'm sitting there thinking about Jenny at that point. I'm going, what a just kind of a crummy moment. I mean, here she is, forever her story is going to be my final game as a collegiate player, and we got our booties kicked. And worse than that, you ready? Worse than that, I invited my pastor to watch. Alright? So now they come out after half time, more of the same, Cal beating them up and moving on, and the deficit gets right around 20 points. I watched the ASU coach call a timeout out, the team comes over to the sideline. When they get done, they've swapped positions, they've asked Jenny not to play forward anymore but to play guard. So she is going to play the remainder of the game, ready? Out of position, which I'm just saying that's just crazy. But something happened in that moment, I watched, it was just as if Jenny willed that team to victory. That she didn't say it, but she should have, get on my back because we're going to win this game. And I watched, I watched her drive right down the center of the court, and go for it. I mean just go through all the defenders hand slapping, whoosh ball in the net. I watched her give passes to her teammates at just the perfect time so that their teammate was in position to take super simple, easy shots. I watched one step back and take three pointers, and just nothing but net. And as the game continued, you just watched ASU get closer and closer and closer. And guys like, you know, the cheer that went up in that arena when ASU tied Cal Berkeley, and people went crazy. And guys when the game was over and you looked up at the scoreboard, you ready for this? ASU won that game going away. So apparently we've got 12 ASU fans in the room, the rest of you must be U of A right? I'm just saying.

Linn Winters: 06:34 So here's why I tell you that story, because that's an awful lot like what's happening in The Book of Revelation. That you and I look in on the game, and we go, uh oh, the wrong team is winning. I mean we just looked absolutely outmatched, this is going to end really, really bad. And then it's as if Jesus steps onto the court and says, get on my back, we're going to win this thing, I refuse for us to lose. And guys, I'm telling you that the things that we're going to cover today is God literally turning the tables, and when we close the book, we win. And guys, I'm just telling you, this may be the best conversation that we ever have.

Linn Winters: 07:19 So here we go. Grab your bibles, go with me to Revelation chapter 20, literally the very back of your Bible, the end of the Bible. And God is going to give us a peek in how prophecy ends, where this thing all kind of lands when he's done. Revelation chapter 20, so here's the first major event this scripture is going to describe for us. It's the millennium. you're not going to find the word millennium in the Bible, it's a Bible teachers word. But it really just means this, milli meaning thousand, an annum means year. And scriptures about to describe a moment in which Jesus sets up his throne here on earth, and reigns on earth for a thousand years after the tribulation. And the description of that thousand years is right here in Revelation chapter 20. So here we go. And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss (some of your versions are going to say bottomless pit) and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss (the bottomless pit), and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." So clearly he's talking about tribulation saints. In other words people, who during the tribulation, figured out that Antichrist wasn't true, and they had given their lives to Jesus. They've lost their lives, they been beheaded scripture says, because they decided to become Christians during the tribulation. And God places them in authority, for these thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

Linn Winters: 10:50 Okay, so here's what scripture describes for us. It says the first thing that happens is that Satan, we'll put a little tail on him so you know who he is, Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit. Now here's the deal, you realize that's a horrible description of Satan, Satan is actually the most beautiful of all of God's creation. And ladies, if Satan were to appear in this room right now, he would literally be the most handsome man you've ever seen, you would swoon. He is literally perfect in appearance, okay? And we put little tails and stuff, he looks nothing like the Sun Devil, I'm just saying, okay? But Satan is bound, and he's thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. He's unable to tempt people, he's unable to harass people, he's bound.

Linn Winters: 11:49 In the meantime, on the earth, people are living during the millennium. Who are these people? So, these are people who have lived through the tribulation, they gave their hearts and lives to Christ, when Jesus came back, they were . So think about this, remember we said that the rapture, the taking of the church. And the second coming, we're almost like opposites of each other. So remember when the rapture happens, at the beginning of the tribulation, God catches all the Christians, right? Gathers them all up, takes them to heaven. He leaves people who don't believe, he leaves people who have rejected the story of Christ, right? They go through the tribulation. But some of them realized during the tribulation, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, we made a mistake, and they turn in faith to Jesus. The second coming is the rapture in reverse. So when Jesus comes in the second coming, the ones who get taken, and yes, the scripture says destroyed, are the nonbelievers. Are the ones who have rejected Jesus all the way to the end and refused, even on his return, to change their hearts. So who's left on the earth? Christians, believers who have lived through the tribulation, they've huddled up in corners, they've helped each other survive, and now they're alive. And during this thousand years they're going to be married, they're going to be having children, they're going to be having grandchildren, and the earth is going to repopulate. During the thousand years, Jesus is going to set up his throne on earth, and he's going to reign physically, physically here on earth. And he'll be king during that thousand years, a thousand year reign. While that's going on, here's something that's interesting, you and I, we're going to be in heaven. But it also appears that you and I can come down to earth, that we can go back and forth. Because remember, we've got our new bodies. So we're going to be able to go back and forth, and you hang out at Joe's Crab Shack if you want, you know, head back to heaven, right? So millennial reign.

Linn Winters: 14:19 Here's the part of this conversation that's just kind of a little bit mind blowing, right? It's the part you go what? At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released again. He comes back, he begins to tempt these people. Not us, right? Our fates already determined. He tempts these people and literally thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people living in the millennium, think about this, seeing Jesus in person. I mean there's no doubt he is real right? I've seen him in person, I've been able to ask my questions. And yet thousands upon thousands, the scripture says, as many as the sands on the seashore, will turn against Jesus and rebel, and they'll have one final battle. And you and I are left to go, wait, wait, wait, God, wait, wait, wait, wait, you had Satan where you wanted him. Look, why are you letting him out? Because this wasn't the final chapter, this was simply a different chapter. Let me see if I can explain that. From the very beginning of time, God's ultimate goal has always been that men and women would follow him. And he has been willing over the course of time to change styles and methods. Think about this. How many people know the church like 40 years ago? Okay, there's three old people. Alright, so church like 40 years ago there were choirs, everybody had to sit in church, you had to wear a tie and a suit to church. And today, I mean, that's totally different, right? Today we've got, you know, rockstars like Ben and stuff like that going on. And people all come. What's happened? The church has changed style, not the message, the style, in order to reach a different generation. You realize God has done this all through history, so go all the way back. Adam and Eve, what was the style that God used then? He said, okay, Adam and Eve, you're going to be parents and your job as parents is to teach your kids about me. And when your kids become parents, they're job is to teach their kids about me. Problem, it didn't work very well, and there were all sorts of families, all sorts of parents who did not take it seriously, and did not raise their children to fear and know God.

Linn Winters: 16:45 So God said, okay, we're going to shift styles. We're going to change how I try to reach people, and have them believe. So he went to a thing called judges. So when you hear judges think Samson, okay, so you realize judges were likely old testament version of the avengers. Okay, and what was supposed to happen with the judges, you are supposed to go, wow, what a remarkable, unbelievable person, I mean, look what happens when God uses you. And everybody in the community was supposed to be attracted and say, man, if that's what God does, I want that God. Judges. Problem is it didn't work very well. So God said, okay, here's what we're going to do. We're going to change styles again, we're going to do kings. I'm going to set up kings, and it's going to be the responsibility of the king to take my commands and make them laws. So literally this will be the government holding you accountable to be a Christian. Okay, so think King David, think King Solomon. The problem is there were some really crummy kings, and it didn't work well. So then God said, okay, I'm willing to change styles to reach people. Let's try prophets, and the prophets would just literally declare the word of God. Think Southern Baptist preacher, okay? That was the prophets. Just hell fire brimstone, turn or burn, you better follow God. And the problem is they burned, and beat up the prophets. So then Jesus said, God said, all right, we'll change styles again. Let's do the church, and it will be the job of every person who goes to church to tell their neighbors about me, and to live in such a remarkable way that people who don't believe will be attracted to the church, and want to hear the story of Jesus.

Linn Winters: 18:33 Here's the problem, it's not working so well. You get that you and I, as the church, are falling further and further behind. We haven't done our job like we should. When you get to the millennium, this is God's shifting the gear one last time. Have you ever wondered and said, hey, what would have happened if Jesus hadn't gone to the cross? What if he just would have set up a throne and ruled the earth, I wonder how things would have turned out, if he had just set up his kingdom? And Jesus says, okay, we'll try that. I'll set up my kingdom, people will be able to see me, they'll be able to ask me questions. Let's see if that turns people to God, and then it turns out not so good. But here's the deal, God is going to be able to stand in front of all of mankind for all of history and say, I tried everything. I tried every method you could ever think of, to try to give people the opportunity to come to me. And still in spite of that, people resisted, people resisted, people resisted, millennial reign of Jesus.

Linn Winters: 19:40 The next big event that comes up, is called The White Throne Judgement. Now, you remember that we talked earlier, and we said during the tribulation Christians, right? The church, will be in heaven and we're going to face a thing called the Bema seat. All that we've done is going to be thrown in a fire, what last comes out, that's our reward. This is the judgment for everybody else. Okay? It's called The White Throne of Judgment, and Revelation chapter 20 describes this judgment, so here we go. Verse 11, here's what it says, Then I saw a great white throne, and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. I saw the dead great and small standing before the throne, and the books were open. Another book was opened, (so books and another book) another book was opened, which is The Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it. And death and Hades (Hell) gave up the dead that were in them. And each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death, and Hades, were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in The Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire."

Linn Winters: 21:22 Now, here's the first thing you've got to get. Not only this passage, but dozens of passages of scripture say, that hell is a real place. And look, I get it, I get that there is some of us, and we just go, look, I don't think I want to agree with that, I don't think I like that. I mean, I hear all this about a loving God and a good God and a kind God. And I just can't get my head around the idea that a good and kind and loving God would actually create a place called hell for the people who rejected him. I just don't think I want to believe that. I get it, I understand the struggle. But you get that just because you don't like it, doesn't make it not true. And guys, I'm just telling you over and over again, Jesus himself said, there is a place called hell, and people who reject me, eternally end up there. And whether you and I would say, hey, you know what, if I were God, I wouldn't have created a hell, I wouldn't have done that. It doesn't change anything. I don't like taxes, anybody with me, anybody? And I'm just telling you, man, I would love a life where there are no taxes. That would be good. Right? And if I were president, you know, I might just head us in that direction. But here's the deal, here's the deal, by the way, I'm running in 2020. No, I'm not. Alright, so here's the deal. Me not liking taxes, even though I go, hey, if I was in charge, I wouldn't do that. Me not liking and/or agreeing with taxes, doesn't change the fact that taxes are real. So imagine this, what if I just said, hey look, here's the deal. Since I don't agree, and since that's not what I would do, I choose to ignore taxes. I'm just saying, not a good plan, right? Not a good plan! Because my agreeing, or my approving, doesn't change reality. And what you really have to ask yourself is not, do I like the fact that there's a hell? What you have to ask yourself is, since there is a hell, how should I live? How should I behave?

Linn Winters: 23:57 So, let me tell you about taxes. Here's what I've decided, personally, to do about taxes. I make sure that every year they deduct a little bit more than what my tax responsibility is going to be, you could do it differently, but that's how I do it. Because here's the way I think, I don't want to get caught at the end of the year with a horrifying bill that I have to scramble to...I would rather give the government just a little bit more than I should, and get something back. Okay? And you can argue with me and say, Linn, you know...It's okay, I'm just telling you that I'm at least living with the reality that taxes are real. And my question to you is simply this, since hell is real, how should that change how you behave and live? How should it change how courageous you are about telling your friends, who still haven't figured this Jesus thing out, if there really is a place called hell?

Linn Winters: 24:59 Okay, white throne judgment, who's there, who's at the white throne judgement? So all Old Testament
believers, right? So everybody in the Old Testament who had faith in God, faith in the Messiah, they're all there. Everybody who lived in the tribulation, and gave their hearts to God, they're there. Everybody who lived in the millennium, and didn't follow Satan at the end, they're there. And every single nonbeliever, every person who pushed Jesus away through all of history is there. In essence, everybody is there except the church. Because you and I, the church, have already been at the Bema seat, we've already become the bride of Christ. Scripture then says that this judgment happens around two books, and then there's another whole set of books. Okay. Alright, so the first book is The Book of Life, okay? And then it says, there's a second set of books. I mean there's just a bunch of books, right, book of life, Book of Deeds. So here's how this works, the first book that's going to get opened up is The Book of Life. And they're going to look and say, hey, did you believe, did you put your faith in Jesus Christ? And remember I said, hey, there's going to be old testament saints there, well old testament saints didn't know the cross, they didn't understand it. But you realize Old Testament believers got saved the same way that you and I got saved. Here's how, they believed that one day God would send a Messiah, he would send a savior, and that savior would die for their sins. You and I become Christians by looking back and saying, I believe God did send a savior and I believe he did die for my sins. But the reality is everybody has come to God by looking to a cross.

Linn Winters: 27:25 Okay, so if you've done that, if you've placed your faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross, your name is in The Book of Life. But now there's a whole bunch of crowd there that hasn't done this, and so now the books of their deeds are going to be open. There's going to be a huge screen in heaven, and all of a sudden their life is going to begin to play. Now, why would God do that? Why would God take all the deeds of their life and say, hey, let's take a look and see where you stand. When you talk to somebody who goes, you know, I don't think I need that religious stuff, and I'm not real big on Jesus. And you say to them, hey, well, what are you planning to say when you get to heaven? How are you figuring you're going to make it? And they'll answer you and say, I'm going to be okay on Judgment Day, because I've been a good person. So God's going to go, okay, okay, so let's just take your life, let's take every lustful thought, let's take every hateful word, let's take every moment you were mean, we'll just play it. You get that somewhere we've gotten it in our minds that if we do enough good things, that somehow that makes up for the bad things. Let me ask you a question. How many good things do you have to do to cancel out one bad thing? I mean, do you have to do three good things and then that cancels one bad? And, do you have to do like six or seven good things to cancel out a medium? And how many good things do you have to do to cover something that's really, really bad? And you know what the answer is? You have no idea, because there is no such scorecard, that's not even the game. That system doesn't even exist. See, what you need to understand in this moment is, is that when when you and I sin, it's like getting a stain on our shirt that you and I don't have detergent to get it out. I don't care how many times you wash it, I don't care how many good deeds you put on top of it, you cannot get that stain out, it's impossible for you. That's why every one of us needs a savior. It's you and I taking the stained shirt, giving it to Jesus and saying, please put this under the blood of Jesus, pay for that stain. And he is the only one, you ready? He's the only one that can remove it. You can't do enough good things, to outweigh the bad. Let me ask you a question. How many sins keep a person out of heaven? One. Which is why you and I need a savior, because I guarantee you there's not one of us that can stand in front of that screen, and have nothing come up. And guys, here's what I'm guessing, I'm guessing that nobody's going to make it to the end of their life, right? They are going to start showing that movie, and think about this, they're going to be showing every dirty thought, every moment of prejudice in our life, every dark thing. With God, God watching the movie. Jesus is going to be watching the movie. How embarrassing is that going to be?

Linn Winters: 31:07 So when we're getting ready to start Cornerstone, I ended up having to move back to Arizona. And I ended up having to move into my mother's house because we didn't raise very much support, we were super broke, and I'm just telling you it was humiliating. I'm a fully grown man, I've got a wife, I've got a son, and here I am living with my mom. That was a hint for some of you by the way. And I don't want to point anybody out, but millennial. So I'm living with my mom. And on this particular day I said to my mom, hey mom, there's this amazing movie, it's a remarkable movie, and you need to watch it. I rented it, this was back in the day. I rented it and I've got to return it this afternoon, but I want you to watch this movie with me. She goes, Linn, I'm so busy. I don't know, I don't think I have time. And I go, no, no, mom, I'm telling you, this has to be the most hilarious movie I've seen in like years. And so finally I talk her into coming downstairs, and this will give you a timestamp, I put the VHS, okay, so the movie starts. Anybody want to guess the movie? What About Bob? Now here's what I had forgotten about, What About Bob, there's a moment in which Bob is pretending that he has tourette's syndrome. So now for about five minutes, it's just never ending, he begins to spew the most dark, despicable, cuss words you have ever heard, and it just doesn't stop. And think about it, I am now sitting next to my saintly mom, and I'm just like ahhhhhh, and I'm sinking lower and lower in my chair. My mom finally put me out of my misery, she said, I think I'll go wash the dishes. Thank you Jesus. I turned off What About Bob.

Linn Winters: 33:12 That's what this is going to be, you get that right? That people who said, hey, I'm going to deed my way to heaven, I'm going to be good enough to get to heaven, I'm convinced they won't even make it through the movie. That sitting there in the presence of God himself, they'll be four minutes in and they'll go, I'm done. Go ahead and turn it off, I understand. Do you want to hear something really interesting? A lot of the people asking to have to turn the movie off, are going to be religious people. Matter of fact, Jesus said, on that day there's going to be people who taught children in Sunday school. There's going to be people who stood in church, and sang the songs. There's going to be people who prayed to me, and read their bibles. And on that day I will say to them, depart from me, I never knew you. Because, you ready for this? Because they never actually took their stained shirt, and brought it to the cross, and asked Jesus to be a savior. Instead, they depended on being good religious people, they were hoping their deeds would get them into heaven. And they would say to you, hey, I was baptized when I was a baby, you know, I did catechism, I went to church, you know, I even dropped some money in the Salvation Army, I did all those good things. And do you understand at the end of the day, religious deeds are simply good deeds, and nobody wants their life being compared out of The Book of Deeds. You want to be able to say, I'm in The Book of Life, because I gave my life to my savior.

Linn Winters: 35:00 There was a baptism that you and I didn't see today, it's a guy by the name of Jamie. Two weeks ago he went to our offices, and he gave his testimony. A week ago, I think today, he died of a heart attack. If Jamie had told you his story, here's what he would have told you. He would have told you, I grew up in a religious person. I grew up in a church that said, do good deeds, do good deeds. I mean that Jesus guy is okay and, that's alright, but the way you really get to heaven is by being a good person. And then he talked about how someone here at Cornerstone, a gal at Cornerstone, invited him into the room. And suddenly it made sense, and he asked a savior into his life, and for the first time he found life. We got his testimony.

Jamie: 36:00 I was actually raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I was baptized at 14 years old in that faith, but it didn't mean anything to me personally. It was just something that I felt that I kind of had to do. As soon as I turned 18, I started rebelling. I did a lot of things that I'm not proud of, and it just kind of got old. You know? It got old. I had actually been wanting, to circling back to church. I was tired of my life being the way that it was. So I met this woman who was a Christian, and just in passing and she said, hey, you know what, I'm a Christian, you know, maybe you want to try going to church with me? I was sitting in church, and for the first time in my life I felt the Holy Spirit in me, and at that moment I believed. And at the end of the service, he invited all those in attendance that wanted to accept the Lord to say a prayer, and I said a prayer that morning. I feel like my life has a purpose now. Before I just kind of thought that Jesus was just a character in a book, you know, something that people prayed to, but now Jesus is a part of my life. Today I declare my faith in Jesus Christ as my personal lord and Savior.

Linn Winters: 37:38 How proud are you of you a member of Cornerstone, a person sitting in this room, who invited a good religious person to figure Jesus out, and everything changed. Which then takes you and me to the question, how many people do you know who are counting on being good enough, to be their ticket into heaven? And what do they need to hear you say about being good? See, my guess in a room like this. We've got people in this room that say, Linn, I mean, that's been my story. I mean, I was raised in church, my parents got me baptized as a little kid. I'm telling you, I love God, that's why I'm here. I get it, but if you're counting on this, if you're saying, hey, I'm going to be good enough, that it's going to outweigh the...It's not until you find a savior. It's not until you say, I get it. I can't fix this thing that's broken in me, but Jesus can, and everything in the story changes. You don't want to stand in heaven, going through The Book of Deeds.

Linn Winters: 38:58 Final chapter. Scripture says, that then God creates a new heaven, a new earth. It actually says he just burns the old one up. He just says, we're going to be done with that. We're going to start this thing over clean and new. This isn't the remodeled earth, this is new earth. And every single thing that was wrong, when you look at this world right now and you go, I can't believe how people treat each other, I can't believe that evil wins, I can't believe that injustice stays injustice, in this moment God sets everything right. Finally. Matter of fact the Bible says, the lion will lay down with the lamb. That there will be no need for the sun, because the presence of God will be so powerful that there'll be continuous light. You and I won't need to sleep. Some of you are going, oh crud, I thought you said it was going to be better, that's like my favorite part about being a human is sleeping. But remember new bodies, we're not going to need to recharge. And guys more than that, you ready? Everything that was broken, every harm that has ever happened, will be made okay. Matter of fact, it's at this point in scripture where it says, you ready? And he will wipe their tears away. Here's what's interesting, I guarantee you've heard pastors say, hey, you get to heaven, there's no more tears in heaven. That's not what scripture says, scripture says, that when God creates it new. Because now everything's all right, all the scales are balanced, everything has been redeemed, tears are no more.

Linn Winters: 40:42 And guys, you want the answer? We win it. It's as if, you ready? It's as if God goes to the last page of the Bible and says, you win. You win, look at the scoreboard, you win. Jesus got up off the bench, came into the game, said, get on my back because I will us to win. And I'm just telling you, we win. Remember when we started this series? Remember when you started and we said, hey, the Bible says that if you and I understand the future, it'll change how we live in the present. Remember that? And we said, you know, when you think about The Rapture and the fact that Jesus could come back any time. That's going to leave you in me and a moment of saying, hey, I better be living my life as Jesus could return at any moment. So the important things are going to be important, and the unimportant things are all going to sink to the bottom. But in light of we win, I believe this idea, this knowing that no matter how bad life is, no matter how broken my situation is, I win as long as I'm with Jesus is absolutely a game changer.

Linn Winters: 41:58 Matter of fact, grab your bibles with me really quick, go with me to First Corinthians. If you're not familiar, go to the back of your Bible. start working to the left, First Corinthians chapter fifteen. First Corinthians chapter fifteen, here's what it says, verse 51, "Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." Rapture, right? We've talked about that, rapture, the catching up of Christians. "For the perishable must clothe itself in the imperishable." So our earthly bodies now get recreated in perfect bodies. "And the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal within mortality, then the same that is written will come true. Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where Oh, death is your victory. Where Oh, death is your sting. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is in the law. But thanks be to God, he gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord." And then you ready? Therefore, because you know you're ready because you know that we win. Because you know that the God who is powerful enough, think about this, powerful enough to step into history with this world absolutely fractured, with Satan winning the game by a huge margin, because that's the God you serve who can step onto the court and change the score. He's that powerful. Because you know that. "Therefore my dear brothers and sisters stand firm." So when your marriage is on the rocks, and your spouse is acting like a vicious, horrible person. And I don't care what the lawyer writes to you, stand firm in that moment, you do what Jesus would want you to do in that moment. Don't you dare get down in the mud. Don't you behave like...you stand firm, and you behave like Jesus in the worst possible moment of your life. You stand firm, because you know, you ready, with Jesus I win. I win. Gals, you're on a date, and your boyfriend is pressuring you. Stand firm. Say, ah, no, no, no, no, no, I'm trusting God, that he will actually bring me a real man. Stand firm. When you've got a habit, and that habit has beat you and beat you and beat you, and it feels like you've gotten up more times than you know how to get up, stand firm. Because the God who has the power to literally take history and turn it on a dime, is the same God who has the power for your life. Why would you give up, when he's on your team? Stand firm.

Linn Winters: 45:26 My guess in this room, there's some of us who when we were describing earlier the whole Book of Deeds, and being good religious people, and trying to explain to God that we want to go to heaven because our good outweighs our bad. There's some of us who'd go, Linn, you just described my life, and it suddenly makes sense that I don't want the story of my life played in heaven. I'd much more rather be in The Book of Life, because I chose a savior to wash out the stains of my life. And so the cool part about that guy's is that's just a prayer away. So I just want to give it a moment for anybody in the room to say, you know, I'm just not even sure. I'm not. You know, I've always liked God, I've loved him, but I'm not sure I've ever chosen God. Why would we leave today with that undone?

Linn Winters: 46:17 So I just want to invite us to bow our heads for a moment, and have a prayer. And for anybody who has even an ounce of doubt, you could just pray this simple prayer with me today, it goes something like this. Dear Jesus, I have absolutely no desire to have my life play out in heaven. To try to get to heaven by my goodness outweighing my badness. It's a game I will never win. So I choose this day, I choose this day to ask a savior, to take every bit of my sin and wash it away, to save me, to write my name in the Lamb's Book of Life. This I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286