Evangelistic Outreach Ministries

By Dr. Calvin Ray Evans

Special events are always remembered by the dates on which they occurred. That is why in studying the Bible, chronological records are important. There are people who have given their whole life to study the Scriptures according to time sequences. When you read your Bible, it’s broken down into chapters and verses, but when the Bible was originally penned, it was written as entire books. Those divisions came later in history, to make it easier for us to understand. As the King James translators were putting the books together, they did not put them in chronological order. So some things that happened at a particular time in one book also happened at the same time in another book.

 For example, a lot of things which took place in Chronicles and in Kings were happening at the same time in the books of Samuel. It was the same time period, just different authors writing about the same thing as they were moved upon by God. We have one Gospel recorded by four writers and they are all writing about the same events. So, when you read about the healing of the blind man in Luke’s writing, you find out that same blind man in Matthew’s writing was Bartimaeus. It was the same miracle recorded by the two different men as God moved upon them by the Holy Ghost. That does not take away from the Word of God; it gives strength to the Word of God.

 Another example of how dates are important is found through studies of the history of the Passover. We know that April 15th was the date that is accepted as the day Jesus died. But did you also know that April 15th was the same day that the firstborn in Egypt died when the blood was not applied. On April 17th was the day of the resurrection. But did you know that April 17th was also the date that was marked through history as the day when the children passed through the Red Sea to the other side – a type of the resurrection. So dates are important.

 Now, when you read the Bible it is important to realize that just because it may take five minutes to read a chapter, the events recorded may take place over years. Many times there were years that passed from the time one chapter ends and the next chapter begins. I want you to open your Bible to Genesis 21 and we’re going to look at one such passage.

 We know when Isaac was born, Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90. We know from Scripture that Abraham lived to the age of 175. And we know that Sarah died at the age of 127. We know before Isaac was born there was another child born and his name was Ishmael – born to Hagar the handmaid of Abraham and Sarah. That child Ishmael was born – according to Scripture – when Abraham was fourscore and six years old – or 86 years of age. So there were 14 years between the birth of Ishmael and the birth of Isaac.

 Abraham’s life is an interesting study. He was in a place called Ur when God spoke to him the first time and said, "I want you to move by faith out of Ur." And he started looking: "For a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Do you know that until just a few years ago they said the Bible was incorrect because there was no such place anywhere? But they have now found the old remains of the city of Ur. So it’s just the way God had recorded it in Scripture.

 Abraham starts on this journey of faith. As he travels, God speaks to him and says, "I’m going to give you a son. And out of that son all the families of the earth shall be blessed." However, when they got old, Sarah was still barren. Let’s face it, I don’t know of any 90 year old women who have given birth to children. Because it seemed impossible for Sarah to have a child, her handmaid gave birth to Abraham’s son, Ishmael. He thought surely this is the one. But God said, "No, I promised you and Sarah a son." So he was born and they named him Isaac.

We know after the child was born they started on a journey and there was a separation that took place in the family. Isaac had just been weaned – it means he had stopped nursing. Ishmael was at this point about 16 to 19 years of age when the departure occurs. Ishmael goes down into the land of Paran and there he settles and takes a wife. We wind up one chapter realizing that Ishmael is now a grown man with a wife. So, if he is a grown man with a wife then that means Isaac is growing as well.

Finally, we see Hagar and Ishmael at a well and God directs them to the place they are to go. God promises another nation out of him which today – in many Arabic nations – the majority can trace their bloodline back to the seed of Ishmael. The Jewish nation goes back to the seed of Isaac, the promised son of Abraham.

 We find out when they separate Isaac is no longer nursing. So, he’s growing. He’s getting older. Isaac and Ishmael are now separated – Ishmael winds up in Paran and Abraham is in Beersheba. The first thing he does is make a covenant with Abimelech; "And [Abraham] planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days." Mark that down – "many days." He wasn’t there just a little while. He was there "many days." In fact, all of this occurred somewhere around the time period of 1864 B.C. The year 1867 B.C. was about the time that Isaac was born. He’s about three years old when they start the journey. He comes to the land. He plants the grove. So now Isaac from the age of three is there in the land with his father many days. How long? Well, we know that Sarah dies shortly after the event of the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. After she dies, they go to get a bride for Isaac and he’s 40 years old when he marries.

 So we see that when Isaac is three to four years old, Abraham plants this grove. And he’s there many days. After many days then we read where something occurs in Scripture: Genesis 22 – and let’s look at this: "And it came to pass after these things," - after what things? After he had lived in the land of the Philistines for many days – after that period of time: "That God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac..." You may be saying to yourself right now, "Wait a minute, preacher. He had another son named Ishmael. How can Isaac be his only son?"

 Look closely in your Bible. Do you see the word son? The word "son" is italicized in your Bible. The word is italicized meaning when the King James scholars translated the Bible this word was added to give us a more clear understanding. In their knowledge they were polite enough to italicize any word they added which was not in the original text. They did so in an attempt to say it was his only beloved son – Isaac – because Ishmael was no longer with him. He had many sons, but he only had one son that was the beloved son and he was saying, "Take thine only Isaac – that son." Do you know the Bible says that as Christians we are "the sons of God?" But the Bible says that Jesus was: "The only begotten of the Father!" That seems like it contradicts itself but it doesn’t. We’re all God’s sons when we are saved. But there was only one Jesus. There was only one beloved Son. He was the promised Son. He was the promised Messiah. He said, "Take that son; thy beloved son." In other words, "Take Isaac, the only Isaac that you have and be willing to offer up Isaac. Get thee into the land of Moriah." This is the same Mt. Moriah where the Temple was built. Mt. Moriah was the place where Jesus was crucified.

 He goes on in verse three: "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off." How long was it after Jesus died until the resurrection? It was three days! "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering." Undoubtedly – probably on the donkey. He took it off the beast and laid it upon Isaac. Oh, Hallelujah! For years the burden of the judgment and sacrifice was on the beast. They would bring sheep and heifers and turtle-doves. But now God – when the father, Abraham, gets to Moriah – takes the burden off the beast and puts it on his only Isaac. Thank God for Jesus; that One who was born of a virgin; that on Mt. Calvary over 2000 years ago takes the burden of judgment off of the beast. No longer is it a heifer; no longer is it a lamb; but thank God, Jesus became the Supreme Sacrifice and the burden falls on the Son.

 The Bible then says, "He laid it upon Isaac; and took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" How did he know there was supposed to be a lamb? How did that happen? That meant somewhere along the way, he had seen his father time and time again take the wood, take the fire and offer the lamb.

 Now, all my life I thought Isaac was a boy when he was offered. Frank Klassen was an engineer and architect who quit his job and spent ten years of his life dedicated to the study of the time frame of the Jewish calendar and drawing graphs and charts. He coupled up with a man named Edward Reese. For 25 years Edward Reese spent his time studying the chronological charts of the Bible. Remember, I mentioned to you earlier that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born? They have calculated that year to be 1867 BC. Now, Isaac was old enough to ask the question. A four or five year old kid doesn’t ask questions of this nature.

 "Now," you say, "Wait a minute, preacher. If you’re saying he was older – Abraham called him a lad." I imagine he did. Abraham was 100 years old when he was born. I would be a lad to Abraham. Some of you reading this have the right to look at most men and call them a lad. It is all relevant to your age and the age of the person you are talking to.

 They calculate the time that this happened as 1834 BC. When you subtract 1867 and the year 1834 you have a difference of 33! Do you know how old many Bible students think Jesus was when He was crucified and offered for our sin? Most feel He was 33 years of age!

 This means Isaac was a man who was not fighting his father even though he knew he was the one to be sacrificed. But why could Abraham do that with such confidence? I’ll tell you why. Because he had a promise from God that said through Isaac a great nation would come up. We find in Hebrews that he believed God and knew even if he was to slay his son, that his son would rise again. He knew if Isaac did not live then there could not come a nation from his seed. He knew that God could not lie.

 Look at verse eight: "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns."

 Abraham bound Isaac when he was 33 years of age and his father was 133 years old. It wasn’t a physical challenge. The Bible says they went together and when the time came Isaac stretched out his hands. He said, "Bind them. Dad, bind them."

 Let’s get this right. Jesus didn’t die on Calvary because nails held Him there. He willingly stretched out His hands and they nailed Him to the old rugged cross and He bled and died. He was bound willfully. He had determined in the Garden of Gethsemane the same thing that Isaac determined. If it was the will of the Father, He was obedient to the will of the Father.

 There is one other question that I would like to call your attention to. Where did the wood come from? Where did the wood come from that would fuel the fire and consume the sacrifice? Where did it come from?

 I mentioned earlier when Abraham got to Beersheba he planted a grove. Before this, there were no trees. Why did he plant the grove? You can’t have sacrifices without wood. When those trees started growing he began cutting them down to build a fire to sacrifice a lamb to please God. The wood undoubtedly that he took with him was from the very same trees he had planted with his own hands. As you start thinking about that, Chuck Lawrence put it right in the song when he penned down the words: "He grew the tree that He knew would be used to make the old rugged cross."

 When Abraham planted those trees he may not have known what he would use them for one day. As far as he could see was fuel for a sacrifice of the lambs that he would bring. He had no idea what it would lead to one day. It wasn’t that way with God! He knew what Abraham planted and what it would result in one day.

 What you plant today 30 years from now will either bring you grief or it will bring you glory. Let me give you two quick examples. Recently, I was at Billy Fields camp meeting. He said he got to a revival and there was a lady who came night after night. Almost every night she wept uncontrollably. As she left the services she would say, "I’ve come every night thinking, tonight I’m going to get saved. When I get saved I’m going to go all the way with God." Still, she left every night without the Lord in her heart.

 The last night of that revival – if you can imagine this – she brought a dress to change into out of her good dress because she was expecting to be saved and she wanted Billy to help baptize here before he left. Now, that’s somebody who is intent on giving their life to God. But guess what? She didn’t get saved. She never used the dress. She never went to the baptismal pool. Billy was so baffled and he asked the pastor, "I don’t understand what this woman’s problem is?"

 The pastor with tears in his eyes said, "Well, I’ll tell you what the problem is." He said, "Back 20 or 30 years ago she was just getting out of high school. Her dad was older when she was born. He had a concern for the girl and he wanted her to have some source of income so he bought a bar. She has made her living all of her life from that bar. When she gets saved, she knows the bar has to go."

 He looked at Billy with a tear in his eyes and said, "Her daddy thought he was taking care of her. But instead he planted the very thing that has grown into a wall which now keeps her from giving her life to Jesus."

 What you plant will bring you grief. There are many parents I know that if they had it to do over, they would do it so differently. Like a man I talked to one time, he said, "Preacher, 30 years ago when I was lost and my kids were little they would beg me to go to church on Sunday. ‘Please, Daddy, go to church with us.’ They’d beg me to go to church on Wednesday. I would always tell them, ‘I don’t have time.’" He would say, "I love drinking. I love playing poker. I don’t have time. No time for God." He said, "Here I am 30 years later now and I’m saved. I call my kids on Saturday night and say, ‘Why don’t you come to church?’ They tell me, ‘Daddy, I don’t have time.’" He said, "I planted the seed in their heart. But if I could do it over it sure would be different." Almost every waking hour of every day his heart is filled with grief because he planted the wrong thing in his children’s hearts.

 I know I’m not going to get a lot of positive feedback on this next point but it’s true. When you’re perfectly healthy and you say you’re a Christian and you love the Lord and you stay at home on Sunday night and Wednesday night and come about every third Sunday, you’re sowing seeds in your kid’s hearts. You are telling them church is not important. God is not important. They see those things and that grows up years later. Right now we want to look at this generation and say, "What’s wrong with this generation?" I’ll tell you what’s wrong with this generation. We’ve got a bunch of hit and miss people who profess Christ; that have no commitment in their life and no love for church and no love for God. You’ve got to show your family that God means more to you than anything in this world. If you can’t attend church or read your Bible, the Lord understands. However, the problem to which I refer is one of personal rebellion to things that you feel are right. God knows when you can’t come to church. But God also knows when you won’t come.

 Abraham said, "I had no idea, Lord, when I planted this grove that I was fueling the fire of judgment on my own son. But, God, you gave me the promise and I’ll cling to that promise no matter what the devil says."

 I’m certainly far from being a perfect man. But I serve a perfect God. I want to do my best to please God in all that I say and do. God knows when we can’t. I realize that. But God also knows when we’re playing games with Him. Right now – with the condition of this country – it is no time to play games with God. It is time to plant something good and say, "Lord, we have an opportunity here and if You tarry in your coming 30 years from now it can make the difference in this nation." So I’m going to plant something good because I don’t want grief. I want glory.

 A few years ago, they called me and said they felt that Dad had suffered a heart attack. They ran several tests and did a catheterization. They told us that his valve was damaged and had to be replaced. They felt he needed to be transported to another hospital for the surgery.

 It was a Saturday evening and they needed someone to transport him from Ashland to Lexington, Kentucky for the surgery. They started down the list calling nurses who could make the trip for his transport. There is a limited list of people who can transport the cardiac patients in the condition he was in.

 So finally they came down the list and they called a lady. They said, "We have a patient here – Calvin Evans – we need to transport him immediately down to Lexington Hospital." She said, "I’ll be there immediately." So she rushed to the hospital. They met up with her and they were loading Dad up. The ambulance drivers really didn’t expect to make the run. So they start talking to this nurse. They said, "Ma’am, what would make you come out on a late night like this; leave your family; go all the way to Lexington, Kentucky after you’ve worked all these hours?" She looked back with a tear in her eye and said, "When I was a little girl about 12 years old, there was a preacher who came to our church to hold revival. He told me Jesus loved me. I went down front and that preacher met with me and led me to Jesus."

 She said, "I’ve loved the Lord now for all these 30 years." And she said, "That preacher is the man we are transporting. When they called I wouldn’t have thought any less than stopping everything to try to help him."

 Let me tell you something, folks. Sometimes you’re out there doing good and the devil tells you it doesn’t make any difference and you’re not blessing any lives and you’re not helping anybody. But you don’t know the lives you are touching.

 I was in revival meeting in a service and was privileged to meet five precious women – I’d say the youngest one was 60 years of age – probably the oldest one was 80. They came in and introduced themselves and their husbands. Somehow each of those women managed to get free from their husbands long enough to hug my neck and whisper in my ear – five times I heard this, "Preacher, my husband’s never been to church, but he watches you every Sunday morning and listens to the program. When he heard you were coming down to this little church, he said, ‘I want to go to church with you tonight.’" I stood there and watched one of them sit in the back and weep like a baby. They didn’t come forward and get saved that night. But I tell you folks, you don’t know when you’re sowing some good in the lives of people. I don’t have the power to save anyone and you don’t have the power to save them either. The seeds you plant today don’t come up until the future, but keep sowing, keep planting because the harvest is coming. There are folks who have planted and watered and planted and watered for years and years and years. What we plant will bring God glory in due time, but right now keep going for God.

 For Abraham to fulfill the covenant with God and to please God, he was willing to kill what he loved the most. Now I’m going to bring this down to a level that you can understand very easily. There is a realm of God’s love and grace that nobody experiences until they reach a point when they’re willing to say, "The sin – the wrong that I love – I’m willing to kill it. I’m willing to kill the sin that I love for God to bless me and use me." When you kill those things that have you bound, you will experience a realm of joy that cannot be put into words. What is it that keeps you from Jesus? What is it that’s been sown in your heart and has grown up now and keeps you from following the loving Savior? Why don’t you slaughter it today? Why don’t you have it killed today on an altar and say, "I’m going to leave it?" May God Bless You!

 Special acknowledgment is given to Frank Klassen and Edward Reese for their many years of faithful service to publish a King James Version Chronological Bible to help give us a better understanding of the order of events that took place in the Bible.

 Having read this sermon, if you feel you have not received Jesus into your life and experienced this great miracle of the new birth, why not pray this prayer:

 Dear God, be merciful to me a sinner. I know that through Your grace You love me. I know Jesus died for me. I confess my sins to You, and repent and forsake all of them. I do now, by faith, gladly accept Jesus and trust Him as my personal Lord and Savior, and from this moment on I will live for Him and serve Him. I will reveal Him by publicly confessing Him to others. All this I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Did you pray? Did you really mean it? If so, we would like to hear from you so that we can rejoice with you. Please write or call us at 1-800-767-8713.

 Plan of Salvation

  1. Repent – God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30-31).
  2. Believe – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (Acts 16:31).
  3. Call on the Lord – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
  4. Confess Jesus Publicly – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).

Preachers: Print the above sermon and use it in your ministry. The Lord will get the glory. All we ask is that you pray for us, and let us know it is helpful. Please contact us and let us know of those being saved or helped. Return to our www.calvinevans.org Web site for more sermons.