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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Live Long, Live Strong

Sunday, 12 August 2018
 

These are notes on the sermon, Live Long, Live Strong, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 12 August 2018, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

God’s heart is for you to live a long, fulfilling life with sustained health and strength!

We hope these notes will help you understand:

  • The revelation that will cause you to live long and see many good days
  • 4 practical keys to long life from God’s Word
  • The importance of believing God’s Word and His promise of long life above worldly statistics and human experience

In this sermon, Pastor Prince talks about how living long and living strong is a blood-bought right for God’s people, and how we can claim it and live it out in our daily lives.

Introduction

When God looks at the world, He sees 3 groups of people: Jews, Gentiles, and His church (made up of both Jews and Gentiles).

“Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.”
— 1 Corinthians 10:32 NKJV

When we read the Bible, we need to rightly divide the Word—know which portions are written for which group of people.

Even though some portions of Scripture are written to the Jews, we as Christians can still apply them to ourselves if they are blessings or promises of God in Christ. Because all of God’s promises in Christ are yes and amen (see 2 Cor. 1:20).

There’s a teaching now that says that the inheritance of the church are spiritual blessings. It’s true that we get spiritual blessings, but God’s blessing which can’t be seen produces that which is palpable and visible.

Spiritual blessings produce palpable results.

God’s favor produces visible results. It produces promotion. It gives you a place in a company if you’re looking for a job. Favor is a spiritual blessing, but it is seen in its result.

Wisdom is another spiritual blessing that produces visible results. God gives man natural resources and the wisdom to create material things with them.

  • Man has taken trees and made them into furniture.
  • Man has taken sheep and sheared them for wool.
  • Man has taken copper and harvested it for electrical appliances.


God gives us raw materials and He wants us to ask Him for wisdom to cultivate them. There’s a place for us to cultivate what God has given us.

  • God gives us marriage, and it’s our part to cultivate each other.
  • God gives us skills, and it’s our part to cultivate them.
  • God gives us desires (to serve in a certain area/ministry), and it’s our part to cultivate them, e.g. if you desire to be in the mission field, involve yourself in it!

Godly discipline is necessary under grace.

There’s a process of cultivation that’s necessary. There’s discipline that’s necessary. And it’s wrong to think that to apply discipline to cultivate the gifts that God has given us is to come under works/the law. Your prayer should be, “Teach me more, Lord, about how to impact kids, how to impact people who hear my music.”

Pastor Prince’s personal testimony
Pastor Prince shares how there was a time he wanted to flow more deeply and powerfully in the gift of healing (one of the spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12). He asked God to teach him, and God started to give him words of knowledge that have blessed the congregation.

Jesus destroyed the power of death at the cross

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”‭‭
— Hebrews‬ ‭2:14-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus, through His death, destroyed the devil who had the power of death. By doing so, He released those who through fear of death were subject to bondage.

The reason we are subject to the bondage of fear, sickness, depression, and addiction is that we are fearful of death. The root of every fear is actually the fear of death.

The main reason Christ came was to die for our sins. But He also came to destroy death.

The main reason Jesus came was to die for our sins so that God could be righteous in receiving sinful men.

The blood of Christ has removed all our sins judicially.

Understand that the perfect sacrifice has been made. There has been a once-and-for-all sacrifice, a sacrifice that’s better than the blood of bulls and goats offered upon a thousand altars.

Because of Jesus our perfect sacrifice, we can have a perfect conscience.

Now, our hearts can be liberated. A sanctified conscience leads to a liberated heart.

If your heart is not in love with Christ, you’ll find something else to idolize. Your heart was created for Jesus, and only He can truly fill it.

Today, we can have a perfect conscience even though our behavior isn’t perfect. Even though our thoughts aren’t perfect. Because we have Jesus, our perfect sacrifice.

Only when you have a sanctified conscience can you have a liberated heart.

When your heart is free, you won’t serve God to score points. You’ll serve out of love.

Another reason Jesus came was to destroy death.

God hates death. It was never His plan for man to die.

Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb—even though He knew He was going to raise him from the dead—because He knew that it was never the Father’s plan for man to die (see John 11:33). It was never the Father’s plan for death to tear apart loved ones. To cause so much pain.

God hates death. Death is an enemy.

“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
— ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭15:25–26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Under His feet” — Refers to the body of Christ. Jesus already conquered death, but this passage is talking about death coming under the feet of the body of Christ. This means that as the world gets darker, the church will get brighter. Because as Jesus continues to reign, more and more enemies are being brought under His feet.

What are the other enemies? Poverty. Sickness.

We’ve seen this in church history: the gospel being restored, grace gifts restored (baptism of the Holy Spirit), revelation of God’s healing restored, and God’s people breaking out of the poverty cycle and becoming a blessing to people around them.

The church of Jesus Christ will keep getting more victorious until the rapture—when we get a new body never to die, never to fall sick. We’ll be forever young! When that happens, death will be put under our feet.

Death is a consequence of sin

Before Adam sinned, God told him, in Genesis 2:17, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” In the Hebrew, the phrase is, “dying you shall die.”

Death is a consequence of sin.

The revelation that will cause you to live long

How to live long is found in the revelation of the rapture:

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
— ‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭4:15-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

To be “alive and remain” — Denotes power. The power to remain alive. It’s one thing to be alive when you’re 10, 20, 30 years old. But to remain alive speaks of power, health, and long life.

The rapture generation are people who have learned how to remain alive. We are this generation.

There was a man in the Bible who remained alive until he saw Jesus. His name was Simeon.

“And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
— Luke 2:26 NKJV

It was only when Simeon held baby Jesus in his arms that he passed on (see Luke 2:25–35).

There’s a Simeon generation who will remain alive and see the 2nd coming of Christ.

It’s not true that, “God has timings for people to die.” There are things the Bible tells us we can do to live long.

For example:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.””
— Ephesians 6:1–3 NKJV

“The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.”
— Proverbs‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The fear of the Lord is the worship of the Lord. When we worship the Lord, we will live long.

The devil will always point you to exceptions. He’ll point you to that one good person who loved the Lord and died young. He’ll point you to that one evil person who lived long.

Don’t depend on human experience. Depend on the Word of God.

How long you want your life to be is up to you!

How do we define “long life”? The number of years that define “long life” is different for everyone.

For the believer, what “long life” means is up to you.

“With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
— ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Long life” is whatever satisfies you.

King Hezekiah was dying of an illness, and he cried out to God for a longer life. And God answered him, giving him 15 more years to live (see Isa. 38:1–5). Just because Hezekiah asked.

God is for you—He wants you to have life

God wrote the Bible for our success. In a world where moral lines are blurred, where man does what is good in his own sight, we need to go back to the Word of God.

His Word will help us navigate this life. It will show us the things that have negative consequences on our bodies.

God’s heart is for you.

There was a time when men used to live for hundreds of years. It’s in the book of Genesis. The longest living man was Methuselah, whose name means, “when he dies, it will come.” What will come? Judgment. The flood. And God made him the longest living man who ever lived. He lived even longer than Adam.

This is the mercy and long suffering of our God.

God’s heart is so big. He’s not willing that any should perish. That’s why He sent His son as a Savior. And whosoever believes in our Lord Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life (see John 3:16).

What many people CONSIDER "long life" today is less than what God can give you.

Sometimes, we pray that we will live to be 120 years old. But actually, 120 years of life was a sentence God spoke in judgment:

“And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.””
— ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Actually, God wanted man to live longer than that.

People have accepted that 70–80 years is a normal lifespan, but that’s also under God’s judgment in the old covenant:

“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
—‭‭Psalms‬ ‭90:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Psalm 90 was written by Moses about the children of Israel who were under God’s judgment. Verse 10 is sandwiched between two verses that speak of God’s judgment:

The verse before
“For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh.”‭‭
— Psalms‬ ‭90:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The verse after
“Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.”‭‭
— Psalms‬ ‭90:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

But today, we no longer live under God’s anger and wrath.

“… So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.”
— Isaiah 54:9 NKJV

Isaiah 54 comes after Isaiah 53, which speaks of Jesus as our sacrifice.

So Psalm 90’s description of a 70–80 year lifespan for people under God’s judgment does not apply to us.

Faith to live long comes by hearing the Word of God.

Preachers need to preach at the level of God’s Word—not at the level of people’s experience. We can’t deprive the next generation of the truth because of people’s experience.

What about the Christian martyrs?

Paul died by beheading, but look at how he spoke about his death:

“… the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
— 2 Timothy 4:6–7 NKJV

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” — It was only when he had completed his mission, fulfilled his purpose, that Paul decided to die.

Paul was stoned more than once before and didn’t die. He got up because he still had a mission to complete. He still had things to do.

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.”
— ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:21–25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What Paul was actually saying here is, “I’ll hang around for your sakes.” For Paul to be able to speak like this shows POWER. He had power to live or to choose to die.

Paul chose martyrdom because it was the fastest way to go. He probably encouraged his executor and all the prisoners before he died.

What about the other martyrs?

“quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”‭‭
— Hebrews‬ ‭11:34–35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection” — there were people in the early church who were so in love with Jesus that they wanted to be with Him. These martyrs chose being with Jesus over life.

If you are feeling suicidal or depressed, this part about choosing to be with Jesus instead of carrying on living is not for you.

Pastor Prince ministers to people who are depressed or suicidal
Pastor Prince shares a time when he was depressed as a teenager because of spiritual condemnation. He shares how he could feel the oppression like a heavy weight in his mind. He encourages people to know that the deeper their depression, the stronger the call of God on their lives.

“If you're going through all these things, if there seems to be no future and no hope...allow others to pray for you. Share with a pastor, a counselor. Talk to us. We love you, and more than we love you, God Himself loves you. He has destined something great for you. Your life is too precious.”

What about the martyrs? [continued]

“quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”‭‭
— Hebrews‬ ‭11:34–35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

not accepting deliverance” — The traditional understanding of this portion is that the martyrs didn’t accept the escape that the enemy offered them. That’s not accurate. The word “deliverance” is the Greek word “apolutrosis,” which is always used to refer to the redemption Jesus wrought at the cross for us.

It’s the same Greek word “apolutrosis” that is used in these verses:

  • “In Him we have redemption through His blood…” — Eph. 1:7 NKJV
  • “… lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” — Luke 21:28 NKJV
  • “… you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” — 1 Cor. 1:30 NKJV

The YLT is the clearest translation for Hebrews 11:35.
“... others were tortured, not accepting the redemption, that a better rising again they might receive.”
— ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:35‬ ‭YLT‬‬

This verse means that the martyrs didn’t want to accept redemption’s blessings of protection and long life. It was a choice they made, just as Paul died only when he chose to die.

4 keys to long life

1. Understand the power of the tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”‭‭
— Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We are not creators—only God is. But we can enforce our blood-bought blessings with our tongues.

There’s spiritual authority that will not be released until we speak.

We have been given the power of attorney to use the name of Jesus. We use this spiritual authority well when we speak words of life.

The devil has programmed death into the human language much more than life. For example, “I’m dying for this piece of cake...”

The devil wants us to think it’s a small thing. It’s “just a phrase” or “just a saying.” But the Word of God says that the power of death and life is in the tongue.

Stephen, a martyr of the early church, only went on to be with the Lord when he SAID, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59). He only died when he said that.

Watch what you say. Don’t curse your loved ones with “short life.” Don’t take these things as mere expressions.

There’s a real-life example of a young Jewish boy, Svee, who said “AMEN” to living to the year 2004 back in 1917. In 2004, he was 102 years old and still alive. All his peers who had laughed at him for saying “amen” had passed on.

2. Partake of the Holy Communion

“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”‭‭
— I Corinthians‬ ‭11:29–30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Those who take the Lord’s supper worthily are those who know the reason we separate the bread and wine.

  • The bread represents Jesus’ body that was broken for our health and healing.
  • The wine represents Jesus’ blood that was shed for our forgiveness. Because of Jesus’ blood, God doesn’t see sin on us.

The verse says that taking the holy communion without this discernment results in “many weak and sick among you, and many sleep”— so the opposite is also true. Many will be strong, healthy, and live long when they partake worthily.

3. Be righteousness-conscious

We need to be righteousness-conscious. When we are sin-conscious, we are negating what Jesus did at the cross for us.

“and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; for Aaron shall be gathered to his people and die there.” So Moses did just as the LORD commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.”‭‭
— Numbers‬ ‭20:26-28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The high priest Aaron could only die after he was stripped of his garments. The garments are a picture of robes of righteousness. Today, don’t let the devil strip you of righteousness-consciousness.

4. Keep seeing your invisible God

“Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.”‭‭
— Deuteronomy‬ ‭34:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”‭‭
— Hebrews‬ ‭11:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Why was Moses not afraid of the wrath of the king? Moses was not afraid of the visible king because he saw the invisible one—Jesus.

Don’t just see your visible circumstances. See your invisible God.

Don’t just see your boss. See Jesus. He can move the hearts of your boss, colleagues, prospects, clients, and team.

This is how Moses endured.

The word “endured” in Hebrews 11:27 is the Greek word, “kartereo,” which means “remained the same.” Vine’s commentary notes that this word carries the idea of physical power. Moses stayed steady and strong.

“With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
—Psalm 91:16 NKJV

show him My salvation” — In the Hebrew, the word “salvation” is “Yeshua,” which is the name of JESUS.

In the gospels, no one stayed dead in Jesus’ presence. When Jesus went to funerals, He raised people from the dead. In the Old Testament, Jesus was represented in the bronze serpent that the children of Israel fixed their eyes on and LIVED, after they’d been bitten by serpents.

When you feel like you’re alone, remember that Jesus is with you.

Encourage your children to see Jesus with them—when they’re afraid, stressed, being scolded by their teachers. If your kids are young, tell them to see a young Jesus. A Jesus who is their friend. Our children are looking for superheroes who are real. Show them Jesus.

It’s the same for us. Don’t just see your problems, see Jesus with you.


We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2018
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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