EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 21-Jun-2009


by Robert Daniels


What I would like to do today is to ask all of us a question.  I think that it is a very important question.  The question is, “What is the desire of your heart?” 

Each one of us has to look at our own hearts.  We cannot look at somebody else; we have to look at our own hearts.  What is the desire of my heart?  What do I love the most?  Is it the things of this life, this world?  Do I see that I have a desire to love God above all? 

We see judgment day approaching very quickly.  It is almost here.  We do not have the luxury of time anymore to relax and plan the future, or this or the other thing.  Time is quickly, quickly running out. 

God commands us in the Bible to examine ourselves because our evil hearts can deceive us into thinking that we are saved when we are not truly saved.  So we have to honestly look at ourselves. 

We know today that, wonderfully, God is still saving a great multitude and I could be one of them.  We do not who God’s elect are.  We do not know and it is none of our business.  We have to look at our own selves.  Am I ready to meet God?  Are you ready?  Each one of us has to point the finger at ourself and not somebody else.  Am I ready to meet God?  We have to honestly ask this question, because this world that we live in is very attractive. 

What never ceases to amaze me is that many people who profess to be a child of God, from the moment that you start talking to them about the timing of the end, they get very nervous.  They get very, very nervous and say things like, “Oh no, this cannot be; it cannot be.” 

Is there a possibility that they love this world too much?  Could it be that they love this world so much that they cannot bear to lose it and to see it all burned up and destroyed? 

So this is why I ask this question.  What is the desire of my heart?  Do I desire the things of this life more than the things of God’s Word, the Bible?  This is very important. 

We are going to look at some people in the Bible whom God tells us about.  Let us look at Philemon.  Philemon is right before the book of Hebrews.  It only has one chapter.  We are going to look at verses 22 through 25.  I have looked at this before, but I think that this is worth going over because we are living in the day when we know that judgment day is almost here.  It is almost here.  It is only months away.  It is not something like twenty years.  No, it is just a little more than 22 months away.  So we have to honestly look at ourselves.  Am I ready to meet God? 

It says in Philemon 1:22-25: 

But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. 

Here, God is moving the Apostle Paul to say these things and he is telling us about someone who is called Demas.  God tells us a little bit about him.  He was a fellow laborer with the Apostle Paul in the Gospel.  Demas was a fellow laborer in the Gospel.  We know that Paul was a true believer and here God mentions this person called Demas.  From the looks of him, he seems to give all appearances that he was a child of God because God calls him here a fellow laborer in the Gospel. 

All of us in this room claim to be children of God, but we do not know each other’s heart.  I do not know your heart and you do not know mine. 

Let us go to another verse and look a little bit more at what God tells us about him.  In 2 Timothy 4, God gives us a little bit more information about him.  We read in 2 Timothy 4:9-10: 

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world… 

Do you see what God tells us about him?  He tells us first that Demas was a fellow laborer with Paul the Apostle.  He was a fellow laborer, but Paul did not know his heart.  Here God tells us a little bit more about him in that he had forsaken the Gospel.  He was not a child of God.  Why?  Because he “loved this present world.” 

Demas is a picture of those in the churches who are not saved.  He is a picture of those who are in the churches who claim to be a child of God and yet they are not saved. 

Do you see how important it is for us to examine ourselves?  We are not saved because we intellectually know these things or because we have come out of the church.  These things do not make us born again.  They do not.  

Demas gave many signs that he was a child of God, in that he was with Paul, and yet God tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as He moved Paul to write these things, that Demas “loved this present world.”  You see, he loved it. 

Only God knows the “secrets of the heart.”  As Christ brought the Gospel—and Christ is God Himself—He would look at the Pharisees and make a judgment call, because He is God.  He knows the “secrets of the heart.”  He could look within the hearts of the Pharisees and He could know that they were not saved.  He knew their thoughts and He knew what was going on in their hearts; therefore, He would accuse them.  In Matthew 23, He stated that they were “like unto whited sepulchres,” and then He goes on to tell them that they were not children of God. 

As I said before, we are not children of God because we intellectually know these things.  This does not make me a child of God.  God has to give me a new heart.  If He does not create within me a new heart, I am still yet in my sins. 

Do you remember Cornelius in the book of Acts?  From all appearances, Cornelius seemed to be a child of God, and yet he was not saved until God gave him the Holy Spirit. 

So, you see, this is how we honestly have to look at ourselves.  If we have any doubt or we know that we are not a child of God, today is still the “day of salvation.” 

So we can see where Demas’ heart was.  He “loved this present world.”  Do you remember Judas the Apostle?  When the apostles sat at the table with Christ, did Christ not say “one of you shall betray me”? 

Did the other apostles know which one it would be?  He was part of the twelve and yet they did not know.  Did the apostles say, “Aha, it is Judas!”?  No.  What did they say?  They said, “Lord, is it I?,” and so should we as we point our fingers at our own selves.  “Lord, am I ready to meet Thee?  Am I born again?” 

Until Christ made them to know that Judas was the one, they did not know.  Christ called Judas a thief.  Judas loved this present world.  He loved this present world, you see. 

Do we love this present world?  Many claim to be children of God and yet their heart is right here, right in this life.  And when you start to speak to them about the end of this world, they are just totally beside themselves, because this is where their hopes and their dreams are.  This is where they find their happiness. 

This world is beautiful, is it not?  It is a beautiful world that God has created.  This is a wonderful place.  But if you are a true believer, you know that a day is coming, October 21, 2011, when this world is going to be totally burned up.  Everything that we see is going to be destroyed, so we should not get caught up in this world like the unsaved are.  This is all that they are going to get.  How sad this is. 

Let us look at another issue.  Let us look at Israel.  We could easily look down our long noses at Israel.  As God led them out of Egypt and into the wilderness, one of their problems was that their hearts had never left Egypt.  The desire of Israel’s heart was to go back to Egypt.  They always wanted to go back, because their hearts had never left Egypt. 

There are many places we could look at in the Bible, because God consistently repeats how Israel murmured and complained.  They complained and complained and complained about God and their situation.  But let us look at Exodus 16:2-3: 

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 

You see, they were always worried about their bellies.  All they were concerned about was “poor me” and they never trusted God.  Their concern was right here for this world.  All that Israel worried about was themselves.  They always wanted to go back. 

This is like the people of our day.  They just cannot bear the thought that God is going to destroy this world.  They are just like Israel.  Their life is right here. 

Look at verse 8 of the same chapter, Exodus 16:8: 

And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. 

This is who they were murmuring against.  They were never satisfied with what God gave them.  They were always complaining. 

If you will turn over to the book of Acts, God gives us a little bit more information on this.  We will break into that wonderful message that God moved Stephen to bring.  We will pick up the context in Acts 7:38-39: 

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness… 

God refers to Israel as a congregation, as “the church in the wilderness.” 

…with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

You see, “in their hearts” they “turned back again into Egypt.”  Their hearts never left Egypt.  They always returned to Egypt in their hearts.  Always.  Even after blessing after blessing, after blessing, after blessing that God would give to them, they were never satisfied.  They were never satisfied.  Finally in the New Testament, God tells us that they perished in the wilderness “because of unbelief.”  They perished “because of unbelief,” because their hearts never left Egypt.  Their hearts were still yet in this world. 

How sad this is, and many people are like this today.  They cannot bear losing this world, just like Lot’s wife.  She came out of the city and yet she was destroyed because her heart was still in Sodom.  It was still there.  Even with all of the sin and the evil that was going on in Sodom, her heart was still there. 

This is why I ask the question, “What is the desire of your heart?”  Is it to be with Christ, which is far better, or is it for this life?  Remember that God tells us, “Love not the world.”  This is God’s warning to us in 1 John 2:15-17: 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It cannot get any plainer than this.  So what is your heart’s desire?  Is it for the things of this world?  As you know, we live in a very materialistic world.  We have all of these nice things around us.  There are wonderful vacations that we can take.  There are beautiful homes with all the things that money can buy.  We can see how the world goes after all of this.  But those who claim to be children of God—those who ought to know better—are also going after these things.  And the churches have designed their gospels around this.  They speak of the “carnal Christian,” someone who has one foot in the world and one foot in the church. 

We cannot be this way.  “No man can serve two masters.”  We cannot.  God clearly tells us, “For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”  We cannot have both; yet there are those who are trying desperately to have both, and it is not going to work.  You either serve God and God alone or you serve this present world. 

How sad it is that many are going after the things of this life, because God refers to this world as “this present evil world.”  As we look at the world today, we can see sin multiplying to no end.  Yet there are those who just cannot bear to lose it.  They just cannot bring themselves to accept this and they say, “Oh Lord, I love You, but do not come right now.  Please, not on my watch.”  Many are like this.  But, you see, if you are truly a child of God, God has opened your understanding to see this. 

This reminds me of the book of Ecclesiastes where God tells us, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”  Do you realize that God wrote the book of Ecclesiastes through the eyes of a rich man?  God used King Solomon.  King Solomon had all that his heart desired; yet when he looked at it, it was all vanity.  He had a thousand wives.  He had silver and gold.  In modern-day language, he had the homes, he had the mansions, he could afford the planes and all these things, but what is all of that?  It is nothing. 

So we have to look away from these things.  Look away from them.  These things are temporary things.  You know, we could live on a lot less than we think.  God gives us the example of Lazarus and the rich man.  What did the rich man have?  He really had nothing.  At the end of the day, the one who had nothing of this world, the one who was looked down on, was the one who had everything.  He had everything, because he was a saved person who was in glory with God; yet the rich man had nothing.  The rich man was the man whom the world would admire and want to emulate.  A lot of people want to identify with the rich men of this world, the athletes, etc.  They wear their T-shirts and their sneakers, etc., but that is nothing.  It is nothing, and we never, ever ought to go after things like this. 

Let us go to Matthew 6:19-21, where God tells us: 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

So what is the desire of your heart?  If the desire of your heart is for the treasures of this life, then that is where your heart is.  If your desire is for Heaven and you are truly born again, then that is where your heart is.  But you cannot have it both ways, you see.  The treasures of Heaven are far greater.  They are eternal, and so there is where our treasure should be. 

Again, verse 21, Matthew 6:21: 

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

This is the Word of God.  He is telling us that the desire of our heart is where we are.  This is where our heart is.  We can put on an act, but God knows our hearts.  We can deceive each other, but we cannot deceive God.  God knows all things.  He knows all things. 

Let us turn to Hebrews 12 where it talks about Esau.  Hebrews 12:14-16 is speaking about the two brothers, Esau and Jacob, and it says: 

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 

Where was his heart?  His heart was on the things of this life.  That is where his heart was. 

It goes on in verse 17, Hebrews 12:17: 

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he [Esau] found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. 

Do you remember this?  If you read the account in the Old Testament, Esau cried, “Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.”  He despised God’s blessing of eternal life.  Why?  Because he loved this world.  He loved it. 

So we had better watch out!  What do you love the most?  Is it a parent?  Your wife?  Your husband?  Your children?  No, this should not be.  It ought to be God.  We need to seek after spiritual things.  This is what we ought to be looking and seeking after. 

In Colossians, God tells us what our affections ought to be, what we are to love, what we should desire, what we should seek after.  If you are a true believer, God has opened your eyes to the great truth that our affections should not be on this world; they should be beyond this one.  We know that the end of the world is fast approaching.  Wonderfully, there is still time.  There is still time to cry for mercy.  So in Colossians 3:1, God tells us: 


In other words, if you are born again. 

If ye then be risen with Christ… 

And how were we raised with Him?  We were raised with Him when we became born again.  Remember, we are spiritually dead before we are saved.  It is as if Christ raised us from the dead, spiritually.  We come to spiritual life, which is something that only God can do. 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above… 

Do you see the things that you should be seeking after if you are a true believer?  It is not the things of this world.  Yes, I know that we need a home—we need things in this life—but this is not where our heart is.  This is not where our heart is, and we should not get this confused.  This is where our heart ought to be: 

…seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 

So this is where we ought to have our attention.  This ought to be our number one priority.  Remember that God tells us in Matthew 6, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”  It is not second.  It ought to be our number one priority to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, which is the righteousness of Christ.  “Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” so we are to seek His righteousness.  “Seek those things which are above,” and then it goes on to tell us in Colossians 3:2-4: 

Set your affection on things above… 

Do you see how He is pointing our attention “on things above”? 

…not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Then God goes on to tell us that we are to mortify the deeds of our bodies. 

So this is where our affection ought to be.  This is where our love ought to be.  We should be consumed with seeking first the Kingdom of God.  We are to “seek those things which are above,” where God is reigning. 

As we know, we came into this world with nothing and we are going to leave with nothing.  I have yet to see somebody leave this world with all of their goods.  The Pharaohs of Egypt tried to.  They were buried with all of their riches, but what good is that?  They are not going to know that it is there. 

So we see what ought to be our priority.  It is not to build our bank accounts or to have a big house on a hill or to worry about our retirement or to worry about this or that.  Our consuming passion ought to be, “Am I doing things God’s way?” 

We know that not one of us is guaranteed another day, another hour, another moment.  We do not know.  We do not know if all of us will still be here to see the Lord return on May 21, 2011.  We do not know this.  The only thing that we are guaranteed is our next breath and that is it. 

So with the life that God has given us, we should be using it to serve Him, not to serve our own interests or whatever the case might be.  We are not to fulfill the desires of the flesh.  Our bodies put demands on us, but they are never supposed to be satisfied. 

So our attention ought to be on things above and not on us or someone else.  Our attention needs to be on Christ, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”  This is where our heart’s desire ought to be.  In Him we see “greater riches,” which are spiritual riches that no one can take from us. 

God goes on to tell us how He opens the floodgates of His blessing.  We are going to be the inheritors of the new heaven and the new earth very shortly.  Very shortly, we are going to be in this brand new universe, which is something that we do not deserve.  We do not deserve this.  Not one of us deserves to be saved, and yet God in His mercy has saved us.  If we are saved, He has freely given us all things.  It is not some or a little bit.  He has freely given us all things and we are going to reign with Him throughout all eternity with all of His blessings, blessing after blessing after blessing after blessing. 

This world does not come close to what the new heaven and the new earth is going to be, and this is where our focus ought to be.  It ought to be on spiritual things, not on physical or material things, things that have no meaning.  The rich man never has enough.  He has more than his heart desires and yet he wants more and more and more and more.  It is never enough. 

But when God has saved us, then we come into the greatest blessing possible.  There is nothing greater than this, so we are to look away from this world and to look at Christ.  This is where our focus needs to be.  God gives us the example of Israel always complaining and always wanting more.  When we read the Old Testament, we can see how gracious and patient God was towards them, and yet it was never enough.  So, you see, we have to look at our hearts and ask, “What is my heart’s desire?” 

Let us turn over to Psalm 37:4.  Here God tells us: 

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 

What is the desire of the new heart?  The new heart is going to desire God, and God will fill it.  He is going to give the child of God “the desires of thine heart,” because the new heart that God has given to us is going to desire spiritual things.  The new heart is going to desire the things of God.  The unsaved person does not desire these things.  His desires are right here in this life. 

But here God tells us that He is going to give the true believer the desire of the new heart because God indwells us.  This is why the true believer has an ongoing desire to be obedient, because God indwells that person.  Psalm 37:4-5: 

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

The desire of a true believer’s heart wants to do things God’s way.  He wants to do things God’s way.  “But for a moment” we are in this life, and yet that desire is there.  We want to do things God’s way no matter what. 

We might be laughed at.  Our families might treat us as outcasts.  You name it; anything could happen.  But an actual believer will never leave God, because he is being “kept by the power of God.”  It is not in what he does.  He is “kept by the power of God” and he is going to desire God. 

This is what a true believer’s heart desires.  We desire spiritual things.  We see the emptiness of this life.  We see that the things of this life in sum total are all vanity.  They are nothing. 

So do not be caught up with the niceties of this life.  All we need is what?  We need enough to keep soul and body together.  If we have to eat beans and rice for a few more months, so what?  So what if we have to shop at the secondhand store.  Kids today, if they have to buy their sneakers at K-Mart, they say, “We’ll be laughed out of town!”  So what?  We need to look away from this world. 

Do you see how sin is multiplying?  It is crying out to God for judgment and yet there are those who are running after these things, just running and running after them.  I can speak about my home.  95% of the stuff in my home is just junk!  It is just junk!  We do not need it.  As far as I am concerned, we could just throw it all out into the trashcan. 

When God has saved you, you see the absolute vanity of this life.  As I said, it all comes down to where your heart is.  What is it desiring?  If it is not desiring God, then you have nothing.  All you are doing then is just waiting around to be destroyed, and all of your hopes and all of your dreams are going to go up in smoke in just a few months. 

So we have to look away from these things and seek after God.  We need to cry out to Him for mercy if we are not saved, while today is still the “day of salvation.”  But these days are running out, day after day. 

When we were first speaking about going to Brazil, it was a few months ago.  Now we are just two weeks away.  Where did that time go?  Before you know it, it is going to be the end of the year.  By God’s mercy, if we are still living, we are going to be here this time next year and we are going to have less than a year to go. 

Time flies.  Time is just moving right along.  Whether we like it or not, this world is going to end, and there are many people who are in total denial of this.  But we know that God is going to save His elect and that salvation is still possible.  We can still turn away from our sins.  If we see that we still have a longing for this world, God is still a gracious God and He is still saving people. 

So we have to listen to the Bible.  The Bible is the truth.  It is the absolute truth.  It is God who is speaking to us through the pages of the Bible, so we had better listen to it. 

On May 21, 2011, salvation will no longer exist.  It will no longer exist.  At that time when unsaved man sees all of the true believers being caught up to be with God while he is left behind, then man in his pride will begin to see that he was wrong.  When he begins to see all of the things that are going to be going on at that time, then he is going to say, “Oh, it is too late.  It is too late for me.” 

Questions and Answers

Robert:  Does anybody have any questions or comments?    

Question:  Earlier on, if I recall correctly, you said something along the line, “Are you ready to meet God?”  I do not understand.  Could you maybe explain?  Since this kind of summed up that part of your teaching, how do I get prepared?  How do I get ready to meet God?  Along this line, I was also thinking, “Well, I cannot do anything about getting saved except to cry out to God and pray that He sees me and has mercy on me.  There is nothing I can do other than this.  I cannot even humble myself.”  So how do I get prepared?  What did you mean? 

Robert:  What I mean is that we take the attitude of the Ninevites and just simply cry out to God for mercy, as the Bible tells us.  It may be that He might save me, but I do not know this.    

Question (continued):  So this is what you meant by being prepared to meet God? 

Robert:  Yes.  We cry out to God for mercy like the Ninevites did.  We know, according to the Bible, that God says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  So what are we going to begin to do?  We are going to start reading the Bible and praying and beseeching God.  He tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace.” 

Do you remember the two blind men and blind Bartimaeus?  They could not see Christ, which was a picture of us before we are saved.  We hear that the end of the world is almost here, so what do we do?  We do what they did.  They just simply started crying out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.”  They could not see Christ, but they did hear Him.  The Bible says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  So when they heard that He was coming by, they just started crying out to Him.  Wonderfully, they got the attention of Christ.  In this, we see a picture of salvation.  Christ walked over to them and asked, “What will ye that I shall do unto you?”  They said, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”  Mercifully, God gave them physical sight.  We need spiritual sight, so we are going to be like blind Bartimaeus or the people of Nineveh and beg for mercy.