Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Importance of The Local Church

Temple Baptist Church - 1-21-2018
Hebrews 10:22-27


Introduction: 

A.  In the Lord’s physical absence, He gave the believers the local church. 

1.  I cannot over emphasize the importance of Temple Baptist Church along with other local churches.  The Lord chose the local assemblies of God’s people to do the work of evangelism, missions, teaching, and fellowship.

2.  The reason for this message is the de-emphasizing of the importance of what we are doing this morning, faithfully assembling in a local, autonomous, indigenous, Bible believing, New Testament local church!

B.  Instead of following the clear command of “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” There has been a serious decline in church attendance in the past few decades and this decline is simply a fulfillment of Scripture.  It has been prophesied that in the last days, there would be a falling away and we are certainly in the middle of it. 

C.  The “form of godliness” has permeated the ranks of the professing believers with little or no conviction or desire for holiness of life.  The local churches, for the most part, have left the godliness of the Old Paths for the worldliness of the New Paths.

D.  Most churches have decent crowds on Sunday morning, but the Sunday night and Wednesday night crowds have dwindled to the point of calling off services. 

1.  “As the manner of some is” has become the rule instead of the exception with more and more of the once faithful now either slack in their faithfulness or completely out of church. 

2.  My Bible still says, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. “ (Matthew 18:20)

E.  The Importance of God’s House.  The phrase “The house of the Lord” is used 213 X  in the Bible.  The phrase “house of God” is used 87X in the Bible.  That is a total of 300 references.  This does not include other references such as “temple” and “tabernacle.”  God’s house is a place of great importance.  Our Lord called it “My house!”

Matthew 21:13  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

1.  The Emphasis of God’s House - Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Why the emphasis?

                        a)  It is a place of rallying when you are down.

                        b)  It is a place of relying when you are devastated.

                        c)  It is a place of renewing when you are defiled.

                        d)  It is a place of revival when you are defeated.

2.  The Excitement of God’s House - Psalms 122:1  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

3.  The Encouragement of God’s House - Psalms 27:4  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Psalms 55:14  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

4.  The Enrichment of God’s House - Matthew 13:54  And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

F.  Here are just a few thoughts on why we need to be supporters of our local church.

1.  The local church assembly is a divine requirement which must not be forsaken: Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”   (The exact opposite of this verse has become the norm, “as the manner of some is,” in these last days.)

2.  The local church is the divine institution of truth: 1 Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth(The “ground of the truth” is the foundation upon which all is built while the “pillar of the truth” is the strength that holds the building up.)

3.  The local church is the primary place to fellowship with God’s people:  Acts 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  (Fellowship and breaking of bread are anchored in “the apostles doctrine.”)

4.  The local church is the place where believers are to meet corporately with the Lord and worship Him in the ordinances:  1 Corinthians 11:20, 26  When ye come together therefore into one place…For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”  (“Together … into one place.”  The local church is the “house of prayer” and place of worship in the beauty of HOLINESS!)

5.  The local church is the only institution that God gave the gifts of Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers:  Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.  (In His absence, God gave men of God to oversee the work of the local church.)

6.  The local church is the place where saints can receive divinely authorized feeding and spiritual care:  Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  (The local church is a place of doctrinal instruction in rightly dividing the Word of Truth.)

7.  The local church is the only means by which one can biblically exercise financial stewardship:  Malachi 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Tithes and offerings belong to the local church as the means to maintain the church property, care for the man of God, and carry forth the Great Commission of missions.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Seven Things We Have In Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 1-17-2018
2 Peter 1:1-4


Introduction: 

A.  We have spent a lot of time in the first 4 verses of this vital little book of the Bible, so I want to do a little summation tonight before we move on to the next verses.

B.  If the world only knew!  When we try to win them to Christ, they act as if we are trying to give them a dose of castor oil.  If the world only knew the blessings and joy of being saved!  In our world, the lost have equated salvation with religion and religion is enough to turn anyone away from Christ.  If they would only be saved, then they would know the truth about salvation.

1.  In Christ they will have the forgiveness of sins.
2.  In Christ they will have the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3.  In Christ they will have the peace of God that passeth all understanding.
4.  In Christ they will have a life that satisfies.
5.  In Christ they will have a conscience that Is pure.
6.  In Christ they will have joy unspeakable and full of glory.

C.  You can tell them that Jesus loves and died for them; you can tell them that hell is a fearful reality; you can beg and plead and they continue to walk the same road.  It is the “broad road” and the “wide gate” where the many of Matthew 7:13-14 walk.  It is heart breaking to see so many people that we know reject our wonderful Saviour.
D.  Sometimes, we that are saved forget what we have in Christ and take for granted His great salvation.  In Hebrews, Paul said, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”  It is truly a “great salvation” and should be cherished by those redeemed from:

1.  A Life Of Despair
2.  A Life Of Defilement
2.  A Life Of Destruction
3.  A Life Of Damnation

E.  We have so much in Christ but, in our verses for this morning, Peter set forth some wonderful truths concerning our COMMON salvation.

1.  We Have A Like Precious Faith – vs. 1a

a.  Faith Brings A Relationship With Christ That Is Precious – “precious faith”

1 Peter 2:4-7   To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God,and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Galatians 4:6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

b.  Faith Brings A Fellowship With Saints That Is Common – “like precious faith”

Jude 3   Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Titus 1:4  To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

2.  We Have An Unquestionable Standing – vs. 1b

a.  You May Question My Personal Righteousness - Romans 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

b.  You Cannot Question His - 1 Timothy 6:14-16  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

3.  We Have The Grace To Endure – vs. 2a

a.  Grace That Is Abundant – 1 Corinthians 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

b.  Grace That Is Available - 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

c.  Grace That Is Multiplied - 2 Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

d.  Grace That Is Sufficient - 2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

4.  We Have The Peace To Trust – vs. 2b

a.  Peace In The Midst Of The Storm - Mark 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

b.  Peace In The Midst Of Sorrow - John 11:21-23  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

c.  Peace In The Midst Of Confusion - Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

5.  We Have The Power To Overcome – vs. 3

a.  Power To Overcome The World - 1 John 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.

b.  Power To Overcome Evil - Romans 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

c.  Power To Overcome Satan - 1 John 2:13  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

6.  We Have The Reality Of A Changed Life – vs. 4a

a.  A New Life Of Faith - Romans 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

b  A New Life Of Holiness - 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

7.  We Have The Hope Of Eternal Life – vs. 4b

a.  Hell Is Gone – Revelation 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

b.  Heaven Is A Reality - John 14:2-3  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Entrance Of Thy Words Giveth Light

Temple Baptist Church - 1-14-2018
Psalms 119:129-136


Introduction: 

A.  First, I want to give a special thank you to Dr. Tom Wallace as much of this message came from one that he preached titled “Why Read The Bible Through This Year?”

B.  As the New Year begins, I want to look at the key role that God’s Word will have in your life this year.  As most churches, we encourage our people to read through the Bible at least once a year.  This is not an insurmountable task, as some would suppose. 

C.  For the average reader, it will take seventy-two hours to read the Old Testament and eighteen for the New Testament.  Ninety hours out of 8,760 hours that the Lord has given us in a year doesn’t seem like too much. A tithe of our time would be 876 hours.

D.  The Bible is filled with history, geography, science, engineering, music, philosophy, poetry, religion, drama, politics, struggle, suffering, prophesy, advice, warnings, direction, helps, encouragement, examples, and covers every conceivable area of human knowledge and experience.

E.  The Bible is a masterpiece on social problems, on economic issues, domestic settings, foreign relations, emotional disorder, mental disturbance, physical health, fiscal management, and spiritual victory.

F.  The Bible has the answer to the crime problem the divorce tragedy, the moral slide, the evolution debate, the liberal drift, the pornography blight, the aids epidemic, the abortion question, the teen delinquent problem, the illegitimate birth situation, the world energy problem, the world hunger problem, the birth defect burden, the pollution fear, the alcohol plague, the drug disaster, and the terror threat.

G.  The Bible also answers questions such as:  Where do I find out about heaven, and about hell? Where can I learn how to be saved? What will the millennium be like? How will the world come to an end?  The Bible is a reliable source of insight on these and many other subjects.

H.  One man wrote a song about the Bible and one of the verses goes like this:

                        How do we find out what is right from wrong?
                        How get the power to make us strong?
                        How grows our faith from a tiny seed?
                        Open the Bible and read.

 I.  The Bible is our instruction book for living.  The prophet Amos wrote, “For they know not to do right sayeth the Lord.” (Amos 3:10a) He did not say they did not want to do right, or that they did not intend to do right. He said they did not know what was right, and because of it, it cost them dearly. Their houses were spoiled. An adversary stole all the integrity, character, decency, and morals. They were like a lamb that had been mangled by a lion. All that was left was two legs, and a piece of an ear.

J.  The Bible tells us what is right and what is wrong.  It is not what I think is right, or the way I feel about it, or what some learned theologian says is right, but what the Bible says about it. The Bible tells us that God is right, and the Bible is right. I must get into the Bible and find out what is right, so I too will be right.  If I do this I will be able to think right, then I will do right, do right in a right way, and do right at the right time, do right for the right reason, and do right with enthusiasm. I must do right in a right way lest I make right wrong.
  
What will it do for me if I read my Bible through this year?

1.  IT WILL RESULT IN PROSPERITY.  Prosperity is promised repeatedly in the Bible to those who understand and obey the teachings set forth therein. However, the promised prosperity covers a lot more ground than money and finances.  Success and prosperity will come in the spiritual, the physical, the social, emotional, the mental, domestic, as well as the financial area of life.


3 John 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  (There is a hint of at least three areas of prosperity in this one verse.  He touches on the financial, the physical, and the spiritual.  The Lord wants His children to prosper.)

Joshua 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Deuteronomy 29:9  Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. 

1 Kings 2:3  And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:

Isaiah 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Psalms 1:2, 3  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

1 Timothy 4:15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

2 Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

James 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 2. IT WILL DEVELOP AND BUILD FAITH.  Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   D. L. Moody said, “For years I prayed for faith and thought that someday faith would come down and strike me like lightening, but faith did not seem to come, then one day I read Romans 10:17.” (Many in this day are basing their faith on experience.  It is not safe to build one’s faith on feeling or something that happened to us. The devil is very subtle and deceptive, and has led away a multitude in this way.)
a.  First, it is through the Bible that we are saved.   Ephesians 2:8, 9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

b.  Second, the Bible develops a faith that will please God.  Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

c.  Third, the Bible will quench the fiery darts of the wicked.   Ephesians 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

d.  Fourth, it is through the Bible that we find the secret to answered prayer.  Matthew 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

 3.  BIBLE READING WILL GIVE VICTORY OVER SIN.  David said, in Psalm 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.”  (Someone once wrote, “This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.”)

a.  Reading the account of Achan will help one to think about the seriousness of stealing and deception.

b.  Reading the account of David’s act of adultery and murder with the awful fourfold judgment of God upon him and his family will help one to think about the consequences of such sin.

c.  Reading the account of Ananias and Sapphira will help one see the seriousness of lying about the things of God. 

d.  Reading the account of Absalom and the resulting heartache and tragic end surely will keep a person from rebelling against authority.

e.  The terrible outcome of Lot’s turn toward Sodom resulting in the awful exposure to wickedness, the loss of his wife, and the resulting incest with his own daughters, should keep anyone from turning away to the world.

f.  We are told that the things that happened to the people in the Old Testament times were recorded and shared with us for our examples.  1 Corinthians 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition.

 4. IT WILL GIVE PEACE.  Peace comes in three stages.

a.  First, there is peace with God.  Isaiah 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

b.  Second, there in peace of God.  Philippians 4:6, Paul said, “ and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

c.  And third, there is peace with others.  Psalms119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.  (The word “nothing” covers a lot of area.)

5. IT WILL ASSIST YOU IN GETTING PRAYERS ANSWERED.

a.  Jesus taught in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

b.  John wrote in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.

1 John 3:22  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

c.  Doubt is the major enemy of answered prayer and reading the word of God expels doubt.  Romans 10:17“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

 6. IT WILL BRING IMMENSE JOY.

a.  Jeremiah the prophet of old cried out, in Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” 

b.  Jesus Himself said, in John 15:11,  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

c.  We read in 1 John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full”

d.  In these verses it is clear that joy comes from hearing the word of the Lord.

7. IT WILL MOTIVATE US TO SERVICE.

a.  The Spirit of the Lord uses the word of the Lord to build a fire in our heart.  Jeremiah 20:9  But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.