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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 16 Feb 2014 Before the service Sibusiso Mbelu gave his testimony. This young man from Durban shared how he had got involved with smoking, then dagga then wunga (a mixture of dagga, other drugs and rat poison). God set him free. He related how God takes that which is nothing to shame the wise 1 Cor.1v27. He had been despised by his family, community and himself when God gave him another chance. God takes that rejected by man through which to glorify himself. A friend gave him a little packet of wunga and he became instantly hooked. At first he was able to maintain his studies at school in grade 8, but within a year he was using his transport money for drugs and stealing from home. His habit caused him to steal off the streets and pickpocket, eventually being arrested and put in jail. His family were compassionate and tried to help him. They sent him to a rehabilitation unit but when he returned home he went back to wunga. He lied to his family, broke promises he made and stole from them. Eventually they had to say he could no longer come home. He slept in a fowl run. A friend told him of Kwasizabantu Mission and he wanted to come. He had to work to gain money for the taxi but he spent it on wunga again. The drugs had a hold of him. He didn't like it. He regretted afterwards but he'd still do it. Eventually he got up one morning without telling anyone and made his way to Kwasizabantu Mission. He thought he was going to a rehab but he was told there is no smoking here, no drugs and no help except for Jesus. The first few days were awful with withdrawal symptoms. Then he heard God's word and he realised he had to repent. He knew he had to confess his sins. He cleansed his heart and brought all into the light, then he could see a glimmer of light coming towards him. He could see hope. Then he experienced how Jesus could help and had the power to transform a criminal. He never believed his life could continue and that he could even continue with his studies but that is how the Lord is helping him now. He thanked Erlo Stegen for helping him and others like him. Some young people grow up here and take Erlo Stegen for granted but he is so grateful for what he has done for him. He asked for prayer for those coming out of such darkness. He was thankful for the love and care and many mothers he had found here. He concluded by saying that nothing gives you an excuse to use drugs e.g. they don't give the love I need back at home. Nothing gives you the right to use drugs. Don’t go to friends and do what they say you should do. Erlo Stegen commented: The gospel is the power of God. Don't be ashamed of it. Psalm 73 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. What will your end be like? The psalmist, the Lord’s servant, had nearly lost his foothold because he saw the prosperous lives of the arrogant. They were healthy and did not have the difficulties that he had. He tried to understand it all but could not until he went into the sanctuary, then he understood their end. "There’s a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). A believer can see the ways of other people and think they have everything but think of the end, what will the result be of their actions, e.g. if a boy has many girl friends. What helps is to go into the sanctuary and seek God. Isaiah understood things better when he did this; also in Isa 6 he saw a vision and the seraphim were calling Holy, Holy, Holy. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips and lived among such people but God touched him. The Lord is Holy. You go your own way but you will meet this Holy God in the end. You think you will be ok and that you will get away with it but your stubbornness will end eventually. You might jump out of an aeroplane and enjoy the experience flying through the air, but what will your end be? People say they do not believe in God but every time we write the date we acknowledge His birth. People often cry out "God help me!" when in trouble, and say "God only knows", then they have to cover themselves by saying afterwards but they do not believe there is a God in heaven. This is what happened when a man said those words at the UN. Another man on a plane had just told Erlo Stegen beside him that he did not believe in God or heaven and hell but when they experienced bad turbulence and everything went flying and the plane just dropped on the way back to Durban from Cape Town, he cried out, "God help me!". Such people are foolish. People mock Christians but when in dire need they call on them for help, e.g. in the army Christians are constantly mocked for their standards, but there was an example of when in a landmine accident with a car crushing him, and hot oil pouring from the engine all over him, a man cried to the Christian he had mocked, for help. Even Joseph Stalin pointed to heaven on his death bed as he could see things others could not see. Even a man who is your enemy may call you to help him at his end. The Zulu people say "Tell the truth like a dying man". You see things differently then. You can be arrogant. Deny God but your end will come. You can harden your heart but when you die you'll see things in a different light. People can say they have confessed all their sins but they sometimes lie. God has a way of wringing the sin out of a person like that and on his deathbed he may yell out his sins to the embarrassment of others. Jesus came to take away your sins. An inyanga (witchdoctor) asked Erlo Stegen to pray for him and first he counselled with a co-worker and confessed his sins. But as a servant of the Lord you need discernment to know when a person has truly confessed all. He and his wife were asked to stay a few days but they said they had to get home. Later Erlo Stegen was asked to go to the death bed of this inyanga. There he was calling out his sins with the Holy Spirit convicting him, awful things that were defiling. He was shouting that the true and faithful witness was there when he committed these sins. He spoke of abusing and spoiling girls. He heard the blood of people he had killed accusing him. He was possessed. A girl went to tell him to confess to a counsellor and not shout everything out but he grabbed her leg. He went into death like that knowing his sins were not cleansed. Are you on a slippery place where you can't keep your balance? There's a battle for your soul. The Lord calls you and heaven wants to welcome you but at the same time the devil wants to get you. If you don't repent it may be too late when you want to. A girl in Europe was living a bad life, committing many sins, but she said she just could not stop. She was sent to a reformatory. She felt like someone was telling her to fill the cup but she wanted to stop. God does sometimes hand someone over to the sinful nature. No sin will enter heaven. Not the smallest sin. The devil catches people like a fisherman. He has a lure and a hook. Get rid of sin as soon as possible. You know your sins. If you don't understand, watch someone on their death bed. Then you'll come to your senses. You do not know when you will die or how your end will be. Come to Him now and let Him cleanse you completely because not one small sin will enter heaven.

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