Time to Get Happy by Pastor Don
I typed the closed captioning for this sermon from December, 2007, slightly editing it to make it a bit more readable. The words in brackets [ ] are what the congregation said. This sermon blessed me as I typed it, and I pray it blesses you.
Amen. I want you to get your Bibles and go to the book of John. The book of John in the fourteenth chapter, we want to look at a few things. I wrote down what the Lord said to me. Two things jumped out at me last night and this morning and I want to share them with you from the book of John. The first thing that was spoken was, “it’s time to get happy.” [amen] It’s time to get happy. And the second is this, “Jesus is at the end of your tunnel.” [amen] So it’s time for you to get happy.
We’ve been teaching on the End Times and I’m noticing on the faces of some people that they are not smiling at the end of the teachings. We have been talking about End Times, Days, and things and all, and some people get concerned, get a little alarmed, get a little long in the face. But the Lord wants you to know it’s time for you to get happy. Hallelujah! For Jesus is at the end of your tunnel! [Thank you Lord!] Hallelujah! Hallelujah! UMM, UMM, UMM. Yeah, I’m just smiling cause it’s so true.
There’s some of us that just feel life is a drudgery or is a long dark tunnel. And we hear stories of people that have died and in their moment of death they’re going into this dark tunnel. And they’re being swished either up or down.And as they’re being drawn to their place of habitation….I have books on it, 101 Death Experiences and other books. I have a book on my desk called, To Hell and Back. When you talk to and interview doctors, and people that have died they tell you that in their dying they’re taken into this long dark tunnel and then some come out the long dark tunnel into utter darkness. They describe it as a darkness so thick they can’t even see their hand in front of their face. They say they hear sounds and noises in this place where the presence of God has been withdrawn from them, not because God wants to punish them, but because they have rejected God.
The Bible is very clear about it. Anyone who will call on the Name of the Lord, anyone that wants to go to Heaven can. All they have to do is want to go to Heaven. But those that reject the Gospel, will be drawn into this darkness and their spirits will be swished to a place of utter darkness, with varying degrees of experiences but all negative.
But that’s not you. [amen] You’ll be taken into a tunnel that will take you to light and at the end of that light, Jesus is at the end of your tunnel. [hallelujah] If you don’t know that today, then there’s no reason for you to leave this building not sure that Heaven is your home. And that salvation has been decreed for you.
I spoke to a mother yesterday. She said they had a wonderful Thanksgiving, it was a beautiful Thanksgiving. She lives downstairs and her daughter and her son-in-law live upstairs with their three kids. And they said the Thanksgiving dinner was just gorgeous. It was wonderful and everybody got along. Their son-in-law was there, and they all had a great, great time. And he went upstairs, and his wife and young daughter went with him, and they laid down on the bed, and were watching television. The daughter just sensed something and said, “Mommy, something’s wrong with Daddy,” a young man in his early 40’s. And the little girl says, “Mommy, something’s wrong with Daddy.” And the mother says, “No, but he’s just resting. He’s OK.” And sure enough this young man in his early 40’s was gone. And as I ministered to the mother on the phone, she said to me. “Pastor Don,” she says, “but we know where he went.” I said, “What do you mean sister?” She said, “Well just this year he’d accepted the Lord. And we’re confident.” She says, “We’re confident he made it in.” Jesus was at the end of his tunnel. And I said, “There are no words as a pastor, as a friend, there are no words I can give you, with the passing of a man who left his wife, and three kids.” And in the prime of his life. Young, in his, young 40’s. And she said, “No words are necessary.” She says, “We’re going to cry and we’re going to grieve, but we’re not going to grieve like the world grieves.” [amen] If you don’t believe there is a Heaven. There’s no way a mother with three kids whose just lost her husband can, can stand before friends and family and sing “When we all get to Heaven.” There’s no way.
We need to realize death and sickness will come to us all. It doesn’t have to stay. It comes though. And when it does, it doesn’t always send an invitation that says exactly what hour and what manner in which it shall come. But when life snatches away a loved one, we need to realize either we believe what the Word says, or we don’t. Either there is a Heaven beyond the veil. Either at the end of our tunnel there is Jesus or else we are hopelessly lost. We are worse than psychotic. We are evil, deranged people. But praise God, there is a Heaven. It’s a wonderful place. And all you have to do is to just invite the Lord into your heart. It says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And if you don’t believe it, don’t believe it. But if you do, it’s the best insurance blanket guarantee you have in this life.
And so, I look at all these situations as I get older, and I came a conclusion, especially now, that the Word of the Lord to us is it’s time for us to get happy. It’s time for us to recognize we believe what we say. We believe what we teach, and therefore, this world does not hold us down and destroy us. If we can just get the true concept of I believe what I said, I believe what I read, I believe what I see. There is a better place for me, but in the meantime… Lord have mercy, in the meantime, I have Jesus at the end of my tunnel. And therefore it’s time to be happy. It’s time to be happy.
I know some people come to church because they have problems. But wouldn’t it be better to get the concept of your mind you come to church because you’re happy? [amen] And you come to be happy with happy people. Or you at least come happy so that you can lift up some people that aren’t happy. Lord have mercy. And that’s really worth it.
The Apostles at their most difficult time, at their most unhappy time (mentioned in the 14th chapter of the book of John.) Jesus comes to them and He tells them He’s going away. He’s told them as many times as He could that He was going to the cross. And that He would be crucified and turned over to the Gentiles. And that He would be tried. And he brings them together for a Passover supper.
I have a hard time with the confusion of the holidays, but the reality is that, the Word “Easter” itself, is a pagan word that shouldn’t even be in a Christian’s vocabulary. I have trouble with it because Easter hides the significance of the time period and the spiritual events that occurred. We should be referring to it as what it is. It is Passover. And it is the time of the angel of death passing over the house of the Jews, as a picture that if we accept Jesus and call on His name, and bring Him into our lives, then death, daily death. How many of you all know what I am talking about, daily death? There’s some daily death going on. Isn’t there? Somebody’s sitting in here now, their checkbook just died yesterday. Well at least you know what I am talking about. When your checkbook dies, is when it goes to more zeroes and minuses than it had pluses. So there’s some checkbooks in here that have died. There’s some marriages that are trying to die right in here today. And there are some opportunities that have died, some jobs have failed, some mates have been lost, some different situations, and so what we end up with is this reality that death is around us daily. But, at the end of your tunnel is Jesus. And if Jesus is at the end of your tunnel, it means that all of the little deaths in daily life are inconsequential and unimportant. They seem like big stuff when you’re going through it, but the reality is, Frank Sinatra put it kind, he says, “What will it matter a hundred years from today?”
If death is real, and the grave is real. And if the grave is the end and it’s eternal, then yes, it’s going to matter a hundred years from today because you’ll be rotten bones and dust and nothing good came of it. But, if there is a tunnel and Jesus is at the end of the tunnel, then guess what? The little deaths that you’re dying, these problems that you’re facing, the difficulties with our children, the difficulties with the figuring out the End Times will matter not at all. And death itself, physical death when it comes and visits upon us, it doesn’t matter either. For it is only a door that opens us to the way of the tunnel where Jesus is waiting for us. Eternity is longer than a normal, natural life span. The question is, do we believe it? Are we ready to face it? Can we open our hearts and say, “If my time is now, I still greet it with happiness for I know who’s at the end of my tunnel.” This is not an excuse to run out and die because there’s too much work to be done. But in the meantime, Jesus is at the end of the tunnel, just as He was for the Apostles.
And in the 14th chapter, He says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” When I go, He says, “I will have you come unto me.”…”In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.” He gives us a promise, that at the end of the tunnel, not only is He going to meet us and greet us, but He’s going to meet us and greet us with our heart’s desire. If you haven’t started designing your eternity, you need to do that. I’ve sat down and pictured it. Pictured in my mind what my corner in Heaven is going to look like. And what’s it going to be? And guess what, there are no nasty people in my corner of Heaven. [laughter] Hallelujah. There’ll be some people I didn’t thing should make it in, that got in. But there’s no nasty people up there. And, and in my corner of Heaven, I realized something, if I can believe for Heaven tomorrow, why can’t I be happy about it today? Let me say that again. If I can believe for Heaven tomorrow, why can’t I be happy about it today?
So let’s look at some scriptures because Jesus is constantly trying to get a message over to the Apostles that greater things are going to happen, on their way to the tunnel where they’re going to meet Jesus, there’s some stuff that has to go on. In verse 12 of Chapter 14 He says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name,…”that’s in the Name of Jesus, “…that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” And then He says an amazing thing in verse 14. And let’s read it together, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” What a bold promise. It should make you happy. The fact that you have not accessed it or learned how to access it, that’s not what you should be happy about. You should be happy that it’s promised to you.
In this holiday season, have you ever noticed the joy that comes on a little kid’s face when you tell them that Christmas is coming? I mean, you tell them Christmas is coming and you tell them that phony baloney about the fat guy, and you don’t even own the house, ain’t got no chimney, but he’s supposed to come down it. But they still get happy about the promise of it. But Jesus would not lie to us. He is telling us there is a promise that all we have to do is ask in His name and He will do it. How do we do that? How do we access that? And look at verse 26, He says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” In other words then, the Holy Spirit is coming. He is the Spirit of Truth, He is the Spirit of Wisdom, He is the Helper, He is the one who comes alongside, the Paraclete. And He’s saying this Paraclete who comes alongside is going to help you, and He’s going to cause you to remember everything Jesus said. So there must be something important about words. There must be something about words we need to remember them in order to be happy. I’m talking happy. Can you say “Happy”? [Happy] Happy. He wants you to be happy.
In chapter 15, he gives us a clue. He says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear…” What? [fruit] “…bear fruit…” The reason He is going to give you everything you ask for is because you’re going to ask in His Name. And if you’re asking in His Name, His purpose in giving you what you ask for is so you can bear fruit. [amen] That’s what He says. He says, “…He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear….” what? [more fruit] “…more fruit.”
I didn’t understand this pruning stuff, personally I didn’t like it. I like the concept that, in order for me to bear more fruit and to do more, I’ve got to lose limbs and legs and stuffs gotta be chopped up. I didn’t like that idea. Until we had a Philodendron in the house. And I came home one day. The Philodendron was about 12 feet long. Literally 12 feet long. It went up the wall, and four feet over the wall. And I loved that Philodendron. My wife attacked it. She chopped off anything that wasn’t the right color. Lord have mercy, I’m preaching to you now. Anything that wasn’t the right color, anything that was shriveled up and half dead, she began chopping and chopping. And as she’s chopping stuff is flying off of that thing. Stuff I though she should have left on she cut off. And the next thing I know, I only had a four foot plant. [laughter] Ten feet of that bad boy was just gone! And so I gave her the finger (Heather’s note – pointer finger) and the lecture. You know, “You have no right to kill my plant. We’ve had that since we were married and whatever.” And she says, “It’s not dead.” And I said, “No you killed it, it was this long. Now it’s this long.” “It’s not dead.” “I said but it looks pitiful. A little pitiful four-foot plant.” She said, “It’ll be back.” The bad boy started to grow. He started to sprout. Next thing you know, he right now takes up one third of the living room. [laughter] And he’s growing across the carpet. I think he’s about to consume the front windows in the rest of the house.
When Jesus begins to prune you, you should get happy. Because He’s cutting away your dead stuff. He’s cutting away the stuff that can’t grow. He’s cutting away stuff that’s drinking up the water, but He can’t use it because it’s what? It’s dying. It’s no good. It needs to go. So when the Lord begins to prune some things you really have fallen in love with, it’s time to get happy. When some of your friends don’t call you anymore. It’s time to get happy. Lord have mercy. There’s some people that don’t come by anymore, don’t call anymore, don’t borrow money from you anymore. You should be getting happy. Come on, there’s some places you usually go, that your GPS won’t go there anymore. You should get happy. I can remember when I decided I’m not spending any more money on drugs. I remember that just as clear. I said it out loud, “I’m not spending any more money on drugs.” Next thing I know, they were bringing it to me for free. Then I said, “You know what, obviously this is demonic.” When a dope dealer starts giving you drugs for free, you know the devil is the only one that encourages him to do it. Because the reason he’s a dope dealer is to make money. Anybody out there? Am I by myself? So I said, “Well, I wonder what would happen if I, if I go through a period, of I’m just not doing anymore drugs.” So I decided I’m not going to do any more drugs and told the dope dealers. Who were thoroughly my friends. Oh, I love you Don, you are my friend. We party together, [crying sounds], they disappeared. They disappeared. What was God doing? Pruning me. So then, after they were all gone, then I decided well, maybe I’ll go back to using drugs. I couldn’t find them. [laughter] These guys had all been pruned out of my life. Thank God for the pruning process. And its, in order to I could bear what? More fruit. I could bear some good fruit. OK, look at me, sanctified and go, “Good for you!” [Good for you!] [laughter] Good for you.
Well, so the pruning process is so you can bear more fruit. And then look at verse 4. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot.…” do what? [bear fruit] “…cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do…nothing.” Nothing, zippooooo. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” Let’s read verse 7 together, come on. “If you abide in Me, and my words…” and my what? [words] and my what? [words] and my what? [words] and my what? [words] “and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” So remember, he says ask in My name and I’ll do it. And then He says, let My words abide in you. And if My words abide in you, isn’t this wonderful? If His words abide…what???
How do you get His Word to abide in you? You don’t have to go around memorizing Scripture but you ought to. Because why? If you would memorize the Scripture, then it can abide in you. And when you get in a tough situation, I’ve learned something. When I get in a tough situation, since the Word abides in me, the Word comes forth. So when my back is pressed to a wall, some words start coming out. “No weapon formed against me will prosper.” And I start stepping forward up out of that mess. Because why? The Word abides in you. Then therefore you can use it.
But there’s a problem, you have other words that you’ve used for a long time that have possession of your mouth. So until a sufficient amount of Word of God abides in you, you will keep having the same fights at home. You will keep having the same confusion on your job. You will still have the same doubt and unbelief in your head, and you will pass it on to your children. And your children will pass it to their children. Until you realize that the Word must abide in you. In a difficult situation, the first thing that should happen is some Word comes bubbling up out of here. A symptom comes in your body, some Word should come bubbling up in here and goes like this. It goes, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Wait a minute, the devil is the oppressor who brings the weapon of sickness and disease into my body, and therefore you go, “By His stripes, [clap] I receive my healing.”
The problem is so many people belong to Church, I don’t want to get ugly, but I have to tell the truth here. So many people belong to Church, they come into the Church, the Word doesn’t abide in them. And then, when they get in a tight spot, all of a sudden they want to have faith. Why do we teach kids to ride bicycles when they’re kids? [conversation] All of that, so that they can not only learn to drive cars, but there’s something about learning things when you are little. Here’s what God said, He said this, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart.” Why won’t he depart? Because when he gets the Word in him, it abides in him, and as he gets older he’s got some resources to pull on.
So many people I know, and lately with so many people dying young and so many problems, I just want scream into the Body of Christ, you better learn faith before sickness comes so faith can work for you. My wife made pumpkin soup the other day. You know, pumpkin soup sounded weird to me. But it was delicious. But how did she learn how to make the pumpkin soup? She spoke to someone and got a recipe, was it your sister’s or something? Cause somebody got a recipe to her and she kept the recipe. And then when she had these pumpkins that people brought to our house and left them, she said, “What am I going to do with these pumpkins?” It abided in her that she had a recipe for pumpkin soup. Made it and could apply it. But if it wasn’t in the drawer, come on somebody, if it wasn’t in the drawer, she can’t access it, and if she can’t access it, she can’t bring it up, and if she can’t bring it up, she can’t use it.
We need to realize the Word of God is a sharp, powerful, edged sword. But if you don’t get it into you now, when real trouble comes, what will you have to draw on? His Word will not be abiding in you. When you get sick in the hospital an amazing thing happens. Your ability to focus and concentrate goes. Cause you’re in physical pain, and, and you’re in a different environment and you can’t focus and concentrate. There’s someone in the bed next to you moaning and groaning, there’s people coming and going, and all kind of confusion. Trust me, what you need to do is have the Word so abiding in you, so that no matter what’s going on around you, you’ve put in some Scriptures that you can pull up into your mind that is under attack. And they will just reverberate. That the Word will be so in you that it abides in you, that in the middle of the night, you can quote Scripture to yourself, while you’re asleep. Lord have mercy! I’m trying to, I’m trying to, I’m trying so hard. I see people get desperate to be healed, and desperate to be saved, but they neglected in their youth and in their young adulthood, and there’s nothing in there but HV TV. Nothing in there but a home improvement products, and all the crap that ain’t going to help you when you’re flat out on your back in need….[amen] I mean, my goodness, what’s that, that home, learn how to build this…knowing how to put a sink in is not going to help you when you, when you’re body’s in dysfunction. When your mind is starting to go. There better be enough Scripture left in there.
I sat with my mother, she’s in her 90’s this morning, and she was asking me where I was going, and I just quoted a song. She said, “Well what song should I sing?” She’s thinking that this morning she’s going to get up and you know and go sing somewhere. It’s Sunday morning. Everyday is Sunday to my mother. And she says, she says, “Well, what song should I…” I said, “Well, why don’t you sing, “I know who holds my hand.” [yeah] And she sat there for a minute and thought and she said,… “I know that song.” Then she began to recite the lyrics of it. Listen, that’s because the word of that song has abided in her for 60 years. So even though there’s other things she cannot bring up in her memory banks, she could bring up, “I know who holds my hand.” Lord have mercy! When it’s time for us to get happy, It’s time for us to realize that there’s some Word that abides in us, that will bubble up, at the time that we need it, in difficult situations. Jesus is at the end of your tunnel.
The CD ended here. So many truths in this teaching blessed me. I pray that they bless you as well.
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone