Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who Is The Lord?

Temple Baptist Church - 10-31-2010

Exodus 34:1-8

Introduction:

A. As Moses stood before the Lord on Mt. Sinai, the Lord passed before him and proclaimed the name of the Lord to him. The Lord God wanted Moses to know just who He was!

B. No doubt Moses knew a lot about the Lord because the rejected the riches and power of Egypt for the reproach of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Hebrews 11. For a man to reject the position, possessions, and power that Moses rejected for persecution tells me that he knew something about the Lord 40 years prior to the Burning Bush.

C. Moses then went down to Egypt in the power of the Lord and watched as God delivered Israel from the hands of the Pharaoh. Moses stood on the west side of the Red Sea with his rod extended and watched as Jehovah God open the Red Sea from the east with a blast of His nostrils, led the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground, and drowned Pharaoh and his army in the sea.

D. Here, we find God giving to Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai. Before He gave Moses the Law, God wanted Moses to know just who He was. I want us to look at this proclamation from the Lord for a few minutes as to give us all a better explanation of who He is.

E. You and I as believers know much about the Lord. We were taught as children to know Him; to love and respect Him; to receive His as our Lord and Saviour. Sometimes we need to get a fresh glimpse of just who this God is that we love, respect, fear, and trust for our salvation. Our humanity often blurs our vision of Him. Our circumstances often shroud our understanding of just who He is.

F. Before we look at these verses, I want us to understand that God is an unchanging God. He said, “I am the Lord, I change not!” He is not changed by the failures of our humanity nor is He changed by our direness of our circumstances. As He was to Moses, so is He to every child of God. The world has done much to diminish His Person, His Presence, and His Power in the minds of both the lost and the saved. The god of this world has blinded their minds!


1. Who He Is! He is the Lord God! He is Jehovah God! The self-existing One! The Eternal One! He is the immutable One! He is the Alpha and the Omega! He is the Beginning and the End! There was none before Him and there will be none after Him and there will never be one like Him! He is the Creator of all things! He is the Possessor of all things! He is the Beginning of all things! And He is the End of all things! He was there in the beginning when He laid the foundations of the world! He will be there at the end when He changes the world! He does not have wisdom, He is Wisdom! He knows the end from the beginning! He does not have knowledge, He is Knowledge! He does not try to be good, He is Good! He does not try to love, He is Love! He does not need power, He is Power! He needs nothing and yet He owns everything! He is not in competition nor does He have any competitors! He is the Way of Salvation and He is the Door to Heaven. “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour!” You may not acknowledge Him this morning but you can’t ignore Him! You may not want to live with Him but you can’t live without Him! “Moses, I AM THAT I AM!” Moses, I am the Lord! He does when He wants; He does how He wants; He does where He wants; and He asks no man for advice! He is omniscient! He is omnipotent! He is omnipresent! He fills the universe; He measured the seas in His hand; He is everywhere all of the time and He lives in my heart! I guess S. M. Lockridge said it all when he gave his dissertation titled “My King:”

The Bible says He's the King of the Jews. He's the King of Israel. He's the King of Righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of Glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that's my King!

David says, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork." No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.

Well, He's enduringly strong. He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. That's my King!

He's God's Son. He's the sinner's Saviour. He's the centrepiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He's august. He's unique. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's pre-eminent. He's the loftiest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He's the supreme problem in higher criticism. He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He's the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion. That's my King!

He's the miracle of the age. He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He's the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meek.

Do you know Him? Well, my King is the key of knowledge. He's the wellspring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the pathway of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway of glory. He's the master of the mighty. He's the captain of the conquerors. He's the head of the heroes. He's the leader of the legislators. He's the overseer of the overcomers. He's the governor of the governors. He's the prince of princes. He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King! That's my King!

His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

Well, I wish I could describe Him to you. He's indescribable. He's incomprehensible. He's invincible. He's irresistible. I'm trying to tell you, the Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your hands. You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.

Well, the Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him. That's my King!

He always has been, and He always will be. I'm talking about, He had no predecessor, and He'll have no successor. There was nobody before Him, and there'll be nobody after Him. You can't impeach Him, and He's not going to resign. That's my King! Praise the Lord! That's my King!

Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory. The glory is all His. Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, and ever, and ever, and when you get through with all of the forever’s, then amen.

2. What He Is!

a. God is Merciful! Psalms 103:8-13 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. (9) He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. (10) He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (11) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. (12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (13) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (I am glad, this morning that I have not gotten what I have deserved! Mercy is divine deliverance from justice. If God struck me down today, I would deserve it! If God put me in hell this very moment, I would deserve it! Don’t you ever think that you are good enough to be saved and go to Heaven outside of the marvelous mercy of God who laid all your sins and iniquities upon His precious Son, Jesus Christ! God is Merciful! God is Merciful to you!! If you are here lost this morning, it is of the Lord’s mercies that you are not already dead and in an eternal hell. You need to be saved today.)

b. God is Gracious! Ephesians 1:6-8 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. (Grace is different from mercy. Mercy means that we do not get what we deserve. Grace means that we get what we do not deserve! God has been so good to this poor old sinner! He has saved me; He has led me; He has fed me; He has protected me; He has given to me life more abundantly; and He will one day take me home to Heaven for all eternity! God is Gracious to you this morning! You have been blessed far beyond anything that you have deserved! God is Gracious!! It is by God’s marvelous grace that you can breathe His free air, eat His food, wear His clothing, live in His home, and ride in His automobile.)

c. God is Longsuffering! 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (God has been so gentle and forbearing with the preacher! It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not all consumed. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord! One day, His longsuffering, mercy, and grace will all come to an end.)

d. God is abundant in Goodness! Psalms 103:2-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: (3) Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; (4) Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (5) Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Every need, His hand is supplying. The Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from the Lord.” All that I have, all that you have, all that I ever will or hope to have, all that you ever will or hope to have comes and will come from the Lord. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!)

e. God is abundant in Truth! Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (What the Lord says is the way it is. He cannot be wrong for He knows the end from the beginning. He cannot lie because H alone is high and holy. What is truth? Jesus Christ is the Truth! This Book is right because it is His Bible. It is forever settled in heaven; heaven and earth will pass away before on jot or tittle passes from the Word of God. It is settled if you believe it or not. Unbelief does not either change or nullify the Word of God.)

f. God is Forgiving to the sinful! Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (No matter what you have done; no matter who you are; come unto the Lord and He will give you rest here and heaven on the other side.)

g. God is the Judge of all the earth! Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (One day, if you do not get saved, you will be judged in your sin, be cast into the Lake of Fire, and spend all of your eternity in a devil’s hell. It is not the will of God that the wicked perish. It is your choice.)

Conclusion: “And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” The Lord God is worthy of our praise, both here and throughout all of eternity!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knowing The Unknowable

Temple Baptist Church - 10-27-2010

Ephesians 3:17-19

Intro:

A. Paul feared that the Ephesian believers would faint because of both the report of Paul’s trials and the reality of their tribulations. The Holy Spirit gives us insight into the prayer life of the great apostle. Paul prayed a three-fold prayer that ends in a doxology of praise.

1. A Prayer For Spiritual Continuance In The Inner Man From The Lord - (To rely on His strength and not the arm of flesh)

2. A Prayer For Spiritual Communion In The Inner Man With The Lord - (To experience His abiding presence and sweet communion)

3. A Prayer For Spiritual Comprehension In The Inner Man Of The Lord - (To know our Savior’s love which constrains us to love and serve Him)

B. Tonight, I want to look at these two verses which speak of the love of Christ. The love of Christ cannot be known in its entirety, but it can be comprehended! (Two words are used here: comprehend and know)

1. To Comprehend with all saints – to understand or to be taught

2. To Know the love of Christ – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel 1a) to become known 2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of 2a) to understand 2b) to know 3) Jewish idiom for intimacy between a man and a woman 4) to become acquainted with, to know

C. You see:

1. When Hard Times Come – you had better know the love of God so that you can trust Him.

2. When You Cannot See What Is Ahead – you had better know the love of God so that you can trust Him.

3. When You Do Not Understand And Things Look All Wrong – you had better know the love of God so that you can trust Him.

TO COMPREHEND WITH ALL SAINTS

The Incomprehensibility Of God’s Love

1. The Breadth Of God’s Love – 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (His love is from Pole to Pole. His love is from the East to the West. His love is from Wall to Wall. The Love of God covers every man, woman, and child. There are none exempt and there are none excluded! There is not a race, color, or creed rejected! His love is for the whole world! I cannot understand it, but I believe it!)

2. The Length Of God’s Love – Psalms 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. (God’s love is not only universal in its scope; it is longsuffering in its forbearance. God is compassionate, gracious, longsuffering, and merciful. I did not deserve to receive it nor do I deserve to keep it. The Lord has been far better to me than I deserve and I am eternally grateful for it. I cannot understand it, but I have seen it!)

3. The Depth Of God’s Love – 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (The wickedest man in the world is a candidate for His great salvation. It matters not what you have done; it matters not what you have thought; it matters not where you came from! His love goes to the deepest in sin and despair. I cannot understand it, but I have received it!)

4. The Height Of God’s Love – Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (His wonderful love is far greater than all of our sin put together. God’s gracious love is always there and you cannot sin your salvation away. He will forgive 70 times 7 and never exhaust his love or forgiveness. I cannot understand it, but I have experienced it!)

II. The Knowledge Of God’s Love

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

1. Knowing the love of Christ comes from knowing Him in an intimate, personal relationship - John 13:25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (He walks with me and talks with me, He tells me I am His own!)

2. Knowing the love of Christ comes from knowing the joy of sins and failures forgiven - Mark 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (I am so glad that God not only loves but also, in His love, forgives.)

3. Knowing the love of Christ comes from knowing His companionship and comfort in the trials of this life - Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

a. He Stood By Paul In The Storm - Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

b. He Stood By Joshua In Battle - Joshua 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

c. He Stood By Stephen In Persecution And Death - Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

d. He Stood By Paul When All Else Forsook Him - 2 Timothy 4:16-17 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all me forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (He has stood with me in my darkest hours!)

4. Knowing the love of Christ comes from knowing His abiding presence through each day of this life - 1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (He is always there! There is never an hour of the day when the child of God is alone.)

5. Knowing the love of Christ comes from knowing that no matter what comes, you will live eternally with Him - Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God. (I am His and He is mine is more than just a catch phrase. It is a reality. I may never fully understand the love of Christ in this life but I do know it. He loves me; He loves me; He loves me this I know. He gave Himself to die for me because he loves me so!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Casual Church

Temple Baptist Church - 10-24-2010

Exodus 3:1-6

Introduction:

A. As we get to the last of the last days (the Bible calls them “perilous times” and this present world “evil”), I see more and more the effects of the world upon the local church. A man once said that “I looked for the church and found it in the world. I looked for the world and found it in the church.” I remember well going to church as a little boy back in the 50’s. Church was different then. People were different then: church was a hallowed place; a respected place; and a holy place.

B. Today, most of our churches have been heavily affected by these days of Noah and Lot (sinfulness). They have been affected by the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians 2 (false doctrine) and the false profession of 2 Timothy 3 (wicked church members). They have been heavily affected by the apathy and blindness of Laodicea.

Just prior to the Great Awakening, Richard Webster writes, "A vast change was visible in the churches of New England: the discipline was relaxed, the doctrine diluted, and the preaching was tame and spiritless." Webster asserts that preachers of the day were more a part of the problem than the solution. It would be more than 40 years between Webster's comments and the revival of religion known as the Great Awakening.

C. We come to Temple Baptist Church for a particular reason this morning.

1. We came to see the Lord!

2. We came to worship at His feet!

3. We came to allow the Lord to make a difference in our lives!

4. We came here because we both needed and wanted something from the Lord.

5. Many times, we go away unfulfilled and empty because of the effects of the things previously mentioned.

D. I want to look at these verses in Exodus for a few minutes. How should we come to the Lord and what effect should His presence have upon us as His children? Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God, and God revealed Himself to him.

1. I still stand in awe as I read the account of this meeting.

2. It has thrilled the souls of men for thousands of years.

3. It still fills us with a sense of the burning presence of God that filled Moses!

E. This is going to be a tough message this morning. It is going to be a straight message but one greatly needed in these times of shifting, rock and rolling churches. “The Casual Church!”

Three Aspects Of Moses’ Meeting With God

1. Moses Turned Aside In Anticipation Of God - We are to be holy in our Anticipation – “turn aside, and see this great sight” Moses came to the “burning bush” to see God! We are here this morning to see God and to worship Him in spirit and truth. God spoke to Moses out of the bush and He should speak to us in God’s house.

a. Moses came to see God! “this great sight!” El Bethel! I came to God’s house to find Him at home! I came to meet with Him for a while this morning.

b. Moses came to see a Burning God! “burned with fire!” I came to watch Him burn in my bosom for a while. I came to sing, shout, praise, give, adore, and worship Him!

c. Moses came to see an Incomprehensible God! “was not consumed!” He never burn out nor does Hi burn up! He will set every heart ablaze this morning if we will let Him. If we will seek Him!

2. Moses Was Holy In His Approach To God - We are to be holy in our Approach “put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” Notice with me that this was not something that Moses did naturally. It was a command of God! There was a time when the church was a place of holiness; a place where sinners were convicted; a place where old fashioned preaching brought about old fashioned repentance and salvation; a place where God was worshipped in a godly manner. Most churches have worldly bibles; worldly methods; worldly music; worldly dress; and worldly worship. (The Charismatic Movement destroyed the old Pentecostals! They were once known by long dresses and piled up hair. Today, Pentecostals are worldly in their dress because of the popularity of the Charismatics. Protestants and liberal Baptists followed suite! Because of dwindling numbers, they all lowered their standards to accommodate these worldly, shallow “believers.” Now, the Neo-evangelicals and Community Church Movement has affected the rest. Laid back worship, worldly bibles and music, casual—comfortable dress, and “cool” preachers are drawing the masses of unsaved men and carnal believers. Churches that were once good ones have followed suite again. “If you can’t beat them, join them” is the cry of the worried pastors! The people call themselves “Christians” any yet they look like the world, smell like the world, act like the world, and think like the world.)

a. A Wrong Approach Has Compromised The Church’s Purity – if we are to “abstain from all appearance of evil” in our daily walk, we certainly are to do so in the church.

b. A Wrong Approach Has Cost The Church Its Power – without holiness no man shall see the Lord.

c. A Wrong Approach Has Confused The Church’s Purpose – We are supposed to be different from the world, not like the world. (Come as you are, do as you will, and leave as you came—unrepentant, unsaved, unfilled, and unusable!)

3. Moses Was Holy In His Attitude Toward God - We are to be holy in our Attitude “Moses hid his face…afraid to look upon God” Today’s churches are operated so as to make people feel comfortable and casual. A “laid back” atmosphere is not a right attitude toward meeting with God. I find no place in the Bible where God’s people were ever casual with God. I find no place in the Bible where the unsaved were comfortable in their sin before a thrice holy God!

a. He was humble before the Lord – He hid his face” Moses knew who and what he was. Moses knew Who and What He was!

b. He was fearful before the Lord – “He was afraid” This God that Moses faced was a consuming Fire that was never consumed. This perpetual “I AM THAT I AM” who spoke to Moses was the God of heaven and earth! A thrice holy, all consuming, all powerful, everywhere present, all knowing God!

Conclusion: I find no place in the Bible where saints were “casual” nor sinners “comfortable” in the presence of a holy God. The “god” of this world does not “fit the bill” of the God of this Bible. We are not here today to be entertained; to have our conscience soothed; or to feel good about ourselves. We are here to worship in spirit and truth; speak to God and have God speak to us; then leave here a better Christian who is better equipped to serve the Lord in this “present evil world.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Pastor’s Prayer

Temple Baptist Church - 10-20-2010

Ephesians 3:13-19

Introduction:

A. As we end the Positional division of the Book of Ephesians, it is of no casual interest to this pastor that the Holy Spirit ends these chapters with a threefold exhortation through the prayer of God’s man. We can certainly thank God every day for our position in Christ Jesus: saved and eternally secure. But, we also need to realize that we live in this present evil world during the most perilous times that have ever existed.

1. Paul tells us of the ever present, strengthening power of the Holy Spirit. Verse 16

2. Paul tells us of the unsearchable, incomprehensible love of God for His children. Verses 17-19

3. Paul tells us of the unlimited, available power of God that works within and for us. Verse 20
B. Paul ends the Positional portion of Ephesians with both a prayer and a doxology of praise. His fear is that the Ephesian believers might become discouraged and quit because of what Paul had suffered. God’s man is often attacked because if Satan can smite the shepherd, the sheep will scatter. Though the pastor is just a man, he is invaluable to the local church. The church cannot properly function without him. God made it that way. I know it seems that I am “blowing my whistle” for a moment but I cannot over emphasis the importance of the pastor in the local church! People often fail to realize the value of the gift that has been given to the church, them personally, and to their family.

C. When God’s people watch the pastor’s family suffer, they can be easily discouraged and the weaker believers may choose to leave the church. For this cause, the Apostle Paul “bowed” his knee in prayer to the Lord for the church’s steadfastness. A pastor’s desire is never to burden the church but to be a blessing.

D. I know that the past 3 ½ years has been a burden upon our people but you have handled it well and, when all is said and done, you—as well as my family—will be stronger for it. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is my prayer for you.

1. Paul prayed for the church to be strengthened - – Vs. 14-16 The Pastor needs to know where their help comes from. It is the pastor’s desire to be a source of stability and strength for the church but, ultimately, the Lord is going to be their strength.

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. (The best thing that I can do is to continually point you to a personal relationship with the Lord. The joy of the Lord is still our strength. This is an inner strength, not bodily strength. Strong men often fail spiritually when faced with prolonged adversity.)

a. Strength that enables them to perform their duties when they do not feel like doing so.

b. Strength that enables them to resist temptations. Temptations to either quit or to indict God. A strength that enables them to both hold on and hold out until the end.

c. Strength that enables them to bear their crosses daily. Do right if the stars fall from the sky. Just do right.

2. Paul prayed for their faith to be enlarged – Vs. 17 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith will keep you when you do not know what lies ahead.

a. Faith to trust the Lord when you do not understand - Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (One of the toughest positions to be in is when your heart cries, “Why, Lord?”)

b. Faith to move mountains of opposition - Mark 11:22-23 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (23) For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Either real or perceived mountains. Objects or circumstances that seem insurmountable.)

c. Faith to stand when having done all - Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (When there is no place to go and nothing else that you can do.)

3. Paul prayed for their rooting and grounding in love – Vs. 17-19 Now abideth faith, hope, and charity but the greatest of the three is charity. Love is greater than faith or hope because it brings about spiritual understanding as to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wanted them to understand the incomprehensible love of God for them.

a. The love of God that desires only the best for His children - Romans 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

b. The love of God that protects His little children in every circumstance - Romans 8:35-37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

c. The love of God that goes beyond all of our faults, failures, and fears - Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

4. Paul prayed for the fullness of God in their lives – Vs. 19 To be filled with God is to be emptied of the world. To be filled with the world is to be emptied of God.

a. The fullness of His grace to Live - 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.

b. The fullness of His comfort to suffer hardship - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

c. The fullness of His peace to rest in Him - Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Assurance

Temple Baptist Church - 10-17-2010

Isaiah 32:17-18

Introduction:

A. One of the most important aspects of eternal salvation is that of assurance. Without assurance, the child of God is rendered almost useless in the work of the Lord. So much is preached on this subject and needs to be so.

1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (A wise man once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” In times of lack of assurance, never doubt what God did for you when He gave you assurance.)

B. A lack of assurance can come from any one of several causes:

1. Lack of assurance can be caused by dire circumstances in the life of the believer. “Would God allow something like this to happen to one of His children?” is a question often asked. We, as God’s children, are not exempt from dire circumstances.

2. Lack of assurance can be caused by willful sin in the life of the believer. “Would a child of God do some of the things that I have done?” would be another question asked. God’s children are not to live in willful sin but they are not perfected yet and there are numerous biblical examples of such sinfulness.

3. Lack of assurance can be caused by a lack of biblical teaching on the subject of salvation and eternal life. Many believers, after their salvation by grace through faith, are taught that they must now live a life acceptable to God in order to remain saved. Because of the sinfulness of our bodies, this is impossible and, therefore, places doubt in the minds of the saved as they do see sin in their lives.

4. Lack of assurance can be caused by making multiple professions of faith. In periods of doubt, the new profession is made and then the believer becomes confused concerning if and when they got saved.

5. Lack of assurance can be caused by ignorant preaching. I have heard many pastors and evangelists who preach in such a way as to make a believer doubt. Then, you get pastors, deacons, their wives, Sunday School teachers, and good godly saints to make multiple professions of faith. They gender questions such as: did I believe right; did I repent right; etc.
C. First of all, as a pastor, I want everyone in this church to make sure that you are saved! I would hate to have someone go to hell off of the pews of this church. Make sure that you have been saved. Secondly, as a pastor, I want every believer to have blessed assurance of their salvation. I never want one to doubt or become confused. God is not the author of confusion but of peace. God will never confuse you. Feeling saved today and then lost tomorrow is not a work of the Holy Spirit.

Frances Jane "Fanny" Crosby
(1820-1915) she wrote over 8,000 hymns.

Putnam County, New York.

Died: February 12, 1915, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Buried: Bridgeport, Connecticut.

About her blind­ness, she said:

It seemed intend­ed by the bless­ed prov­i­dence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dis­pen­sa­tion. If per­fect earth­ly sight were of­fered me to­mor­row I would not ac­­cept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been dis­tract­ed by the beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing things about me.

My friend, Mrs. Joseph F. Knapp, com­posed a mel­o­dy and played it over to me two or three times on the pi­ano. She then asked what it said. I re­plied, “Bles­sed as­sur­ance, Je­sus is mine!”

Bless├Ęd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Refrain

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Refrain

Assurance Comes From God

1. Assurance By His Word. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again for my justification. He said that He would save me if I ask and I asked. Either I am saved or His Word is a lie. Just taking God at His Word. God said and that settles it, if you believe it or not!

2. Assurance By His Presence. An inner witness. Christ in you, the hope of Glory. The inner witness of the Holy Spirit of God.

3. Assurance By A Supernatural Understanding. I have no problem believing the doctrines of the faith as they are taught in the Bible. The Bible is an open book to the child of God. The simplicity which is in Christ Jesus.

Assurance Comes From A New Life

1. Has there been a definite change in your life?

2. Are you sensitive to sin?

3. Can you enjoy and live in willful, presumptuous sin?

4. Are you rebellious toward God's Word?

5. Do you enjoy or endure God's House?

6. Do you love the brethren?

7. Do you have a sincere desire to serve God?

8. Do you have an inner witness?

9. Do you believe God's Record?

10. What are you trusting to get you to heaven

A Convenient Season

Temple Baptist Church - 10-17-2010

Acts 24:24-27

Introduction:

A. A convenient season! Felix heard the Word of God and trembled at its power. He was afforded a “season” of salvation as the Apostle Paul reasoned with him from the Word. There is no record of Felix ever getting right with the Lord after his encounter with Paul and God’s Word.

B. There are several instances in the New Testament where people came close to being saved, but failed to come God’s way.

1. The Rich Young Ruler - Matthew 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (He came to be saved but placed his possessions above his Saviour. The things of this world have kept many from coming to Christ. You cannot serve God and mammon!)

2. The Scribe - Mark 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. (He was close to being saved but the questioning stopped short of salvation. Did he get saved? No one knows for sure but I will say that to be “not far” from being saved is to be eternally lost.)

3. King Agrippa - Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. (Almost! Almost? Almost saved is entirely lost. Agrippa understood the cost when he said “Christian.” Almost saved but eternally lost. I am sure he regrets his choice made that day.)

4. Felix - Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (This period of decision for Felix covered a period of app. 2 years! At the end of two years, Felix left Paul bound which shows his rejection of Paul’s Saviour.)

C. The most important thing that you and I will ever do is to come to Christ and be saved.
1. Salvation is far greater than the riches of the whole world. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

2. Salvation is far greater than being the most popular person in the world. Many actors and athletes have achieved great recognition in this world but lived lives that were empty and vain. Everybody in the world can know and esteem you but if you die without Christ, you have lost everything.

3. Salvation is far greater than being healthy in body. You can live 100+ years in perfect health and it will be nothing compared to an eternity with a new body.

4. If you die without Christ, you have missed everything.

D. There are several misconceptions concerning salvation:

1. You can get saved any way you want. Salvation only has one way: repentance from sins and faith in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the only way that man can be right with a holy God.

2. You can get saved any time you want. We have no guarantee that God will every convict out soul again if we turn away for salvation today. Salvation is only made available when the Holy Spirit convicts and draws.

3. You have plenty of time to be saved. No one knows what tomorrow (or the rest of this day) will bring. We have only the promise of today. We may live long or we may die today. Jesus Christ may come today and then all opportunity for salvation will be gone.

E. You see, salvation is never convenient because it always has to be now. You always have to turn from the world to Christ. It always has to be God’s way. You see, convenient means: suitable, advantageous, commodious, or easy!

F. I want to look at this man, Felix, for a few minutes and see what was available to him and

1. Felix’s Interest In Salvation – vs. 24 – “and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.” (There was a time when Felix was curious about spiritual things. I have seen people who were antagonistic towards the things of God. We meet people every week who are disinterested in the things of God. When one is interested or at least open to the gospel, there is opportunity to be saved.)

2. Felix’s Conviction In Salvation – vs. 25 – “Felix trembled” (The Holy Ghost dealt with his heart. When salvation is rejected, conviction wanes. When God knocks, open the door. When God calls, answer the call.)

3. Felix’s Procrastination In Salvation - vs. 25 – “Go thy way for the time” (For whatever reason, Felix would not believe on Christ when convicted. He sent God’s man away. He rejected the pleading of the Saviour. What a dangerous thing. I have had a man to tell me that he wanted to hear no more about salvation. I left that day and he died without Christ some years later. Satan’s number one tactic is found in the words “tomorrow” and “later.” He knows that one day, you will die, Christ will come, or you will be eternally hardened.)

4. Felix’s Misconception In Salvation – vs. 25 – “when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Felix wanted God on his terms, not God’s terms. ‘I will call for thee?” “Don’t call me, I’ll call you?”)

5. Felix’s Motive In Salvation – vs. 26 – “He hoped also that money should have been given him” (Felix evidently wanted something other than the person of Christ and His wonderful salvation. Many come to church to get what they can get or to simply have their problems alleviated or their conscience soothed.)

6. Felix’s Season In Salvation – vs. 26-27 – “wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. But after two years” (Felix heard on more than one occasion and still found no “convenient season.” In these later occasions, I find no more “trembling.” He evidently casually heard, easily rejected, and became immune to the gospel. You can preach and preach with no change or acceptance.)

7. Felix’s Rejection In Salvation – vs. 27 – “willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.” (Constant refusal of salvation brought about hardness of heart and, ultimately, final rejection of the Lord’s salvation. Felix died lost! No hope, no help, no more chances, eternally damned to a devil’s hell. My question is this: “Was it worth it, Felix?”)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boldness And Access

Temple Baptist Church - 10-13-2010

Ephesians 3:12

Introduction:

A. In this verse, we find one of the greatest; one of the most blessed; one of the most important; and one of the most profound theological truths found in the Bible. You and I, as God’s children, have not only the right to approach our Heavenly Father but also have an obligation to do so.

B. Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon (started the Great Awakening) titled “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” God is truly angry with the wicked every day but, because of Calvary, I can preach a message titled “Saints in the presence of a Loving God!”

C. Because of Calvary:

1. He can be Approached – Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

2. He can be Touched - Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (One of the most often asked questions is answered in this verse. He cares! He cares for us. He cares about what we care about.)

3. He can be Reasoned With - Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

4. He can be Depended Upon - Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

D. We are now commanded to:

1. Come Boldly - Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Boldly is not irreverently! He is still the Lord Jesus Christ and is to be reverenced as so. But, He is [1 John 2:1-2] our sacrifice [propitiation], standing [My little children], security [and if any man sin], and supplication [Advocate with the Father]!)

a. Boldly With Our Confession - 1 John 1:9; 2:1-2 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. No matter what we have done, He has already paid the price and wants us to confess and forsake our sin.)

b. Boldly With Our Circumstances - Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. (If nothing is impossible with God, then we need to come to Him in our darkest hour. He is an ever present help in time of need.)

c. Boldly With Our Cares - 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (He cares for us and also cares for what we care for. I have already dealt with this but I cannot emphasis it enough. He cares! He cares!! He cares!!!)

2. Come Continually - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

a. Pray When Times Are Good (We often forget to pray when life is good. We need the fellowship of the Lord; the guidance of the Lord; and the help of the Lord every day.)

b. Pray When Times Are Bad (We often are so burdened down when life is hard that we fail to pray. An old song say, “Sometimes burdens so heavy to carry drive me down to my knees.” Don’t jump ship during the midst of the storm. The Lord is still in the ship with us and will stand by us.)

c. Pray, Pray, Pray! (Get up praying, pray while at work, pray before bedtime. Morning, noon, and night will I lift up my voice to thee, O God.)

3. Come Believing - Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

a. Believe God For Your Provision - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (You are worth many sparrows! God will add “all these things” to the lives of His children. It is He who feeds us and takes care of us. Jesus never fails.)

b. Believe God For Your Protection - Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. (Safety is truly of the Lord. The angel of the Lord encampeth about His children.)

c. Believe God For Your Problems - Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (The Lord will do as He promised. It may not be my time or my way but it will come in His time and in His way.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pastoral Authority

Temple Baptist Church - 10-10-2010

I Peter 5:1-4

Introduction: I want to preach on this subject tonight, not because of our church where the pastor is respected and obeyed, because it is a subject both rejected and neglected! I heard a man once say, “Anything with two heads is a freak and will soon die.” So it is with the local church! God has a chain of command in the family; God has a chain of command in the government; God has a chain of command in the work place; God has a chain of command in the local church.

A. One of the most misunderstood aspects of the local church is that of pastoral authority. This problem has evolved for several reasons:

1. The operation of the local church has changed. The mission of the church has changed and churches have become social clubs. Instead of soul winning, saint feeding churches—they have evolved into entertainment centers for the unsaved or carnal believers.

2. The chain of command of the local church has changed. Most churches have become mirror images of other denominational churches. They are now operated by deacon and trustee boards or “mob” rule. This problem has evolved through the following problems.

a) The pastors of the local church keep changing on a regular basis. Some are voted out by the “once a year” evaluation of the pastor’s ministry while many have pastors who change churches more often than they change automobiles. God gets the blame for most of these moves when, in reality, it is because of either better salary and benefits or the pastor has used up most of his sermons. Pulpit Committees contacting pastors of another churches in order to fill their pulpits is a travesty. These pastors belong to other churches and, the last I heard, they were to be God called. When a pastor believes it the will of God to leave a church, I believe it to be the will of God for him to be honest with his present church and resign prior to seeking another.

b) The respect for the pastor of the local church has degenerated. The office of the pastor has been brought down to a “supervisor” status and we all know that everyone complains about the “boss!” Pastors are now spoken to on a first name basis instead of “Preacher,” “Pastor,” or simple “Brother So-in-so.” I was taught in the army to “salute the uniform,” and not the man.

c) The office of the pastor has been corrupted by hirelings. God called men are getting fewer and father between. Men of character, conviction, compassion, and call once filled the pulpits of our nation. I have seen a great change in the quality of men going off to Bible College these days and these men have little capacity to stand for the things of God.

B. We must learn to “Be Careful With God’s Man.” I want to forewarn our people again that God will hold the church responsible with the Pastor that God gives to them. I will give an account at the Judgment Seat of Christ for each of you according to Hebrews 13:17. You will not give an account of God’s man at the Judgment Seat, therefore, you will give an account of him in this life. Every person who mistreated or maligned the man of God in the Scripture paid the price. You may not always understand what God’s man does or agree with what he does, but—as long as he is not teaching heresy or living in open sin—follow him and leave his discipline and guidance to God. You will be glad that you did!

C. Most church members do not want a Pastor. They want a preacher to give a generic, offend no one message and visit the hospitals and funeral homes. They want preachers who are “Yes Men” and obedient to the will of the people. God called pastors have God given authority!

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.

D. The Holy Ghost spent this entire chapter vindicating the man of God before the Corinthian people. There were those in the church who maligned God’s man to the people in his absence. Verse 2 says, “bold against some.” Verse 6 says, “revenge all disobedience.” Verse 11 says, “let such an one think this.” Paul was God’s man sent to the Corinthian Church.

Let us look at the subject of “Pastoral Authority” in these verses.

1. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Tempered – vs. 1

a. Tempered with Gentleness - 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,

b. Tempered with Meekness - 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used Boldly – vs. 1-2

a. Boldness is not Dictatorship - Boldness keeps him from becoming a “Door Matt.”

b. Boldness is not Meanness – God’s man is to be loving and compassionate.

3. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used For Edification – vs. 8

a. God’s men are not to destroy the Lord’s Heritage.

b. God’s men are to build the Lord’s Heritage.

4. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used In Discipline – vs. 10-11

a. Paul identified the offenders – A pastor’s ear is to be always “to the ground” because this age old problem of disrespect and attack is always possible.

b. Paul isolated the offenders – vs. 11 “let such an one” He did not “take it out” on the rest of the church.

5. Pastoral Authority Is To Remain Elevated – vs. 12

a. God’s man is not just another man. He may look like just another man, but he is different.

b. God’s man is elevated. He holds the office of a Bishop or, as we call them today, a Pastor.

6. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Recognized As God Given – vs. 18

a. The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent! He is not a volunteer! He is not self-elevated to the office!

b. The Pastor is God Selected, God Called, God Anointed, God Equipped, God Led, God Chastised, and GOD PROTECTED!

The Fall of A Nation

Temple Baptist Church - 10-10-2010

Psalm 9:17

Introduction:

A. In a little over a month, it will be mid-term election time. I believe that this election is one of great importance concerning the future of our nation.

1. Over the years, America has gone from a republic to a democracy of sorts. The reason I say “of sorts” is that our government is both a republic and a democracy. It actually has characteristics of both. This is true because it is in a transitional stage from republic to democracy.

2. It has gone from capitalist to socialist of sorts. Once again, “of sorts” means that our system is a strange combination of both capitalism and socialism. This is true because it is in a transitional stage from capitalism to socialism.

B. The last election virtually destroyed our system of checks and balances as one party now has the power to “ramrod” their agenda through both Congress and the House of Representatives, contrary to the will of either the other party or the will of the people. This message is not about politics but rather about the path which our nation has chosen to take.

C. Our text verse is horrifyingly clear! God declares that all nations that once knew God and choose to “forget” Him will be turned into hell. National judgment is eminent unless America turns back to God! Not Allah, not Buddha, and not any other god! Little “g” gods! People can say what they want about “religious freedom” but God is not the least bit impressed with our religious tolerance nor will his judgment be mollified!

1. Wicked Nations Will Be Judged - Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Godly Nations Will Be Blessed - Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

2. Wicked Nations Are Unhappy Nations (Russia, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) - Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Godly Nations Are Happy Nations - Psalms 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

D. Our nation has changed and most Americans do not know the history of this great nation. History books are being re-written to reflect a different beginning. Someone once said, “History is always written by the survivors.” Humanism has replaced Christianity and humanists are revamping history to give an entirely different perspective to its readers (our children)!

E. Many lies have been told about our nation’s beginning and I will not even try to deal with them all but here is one that we need to understand. The lie that our forefathers were Deists!

F. A Deist is one who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion. He follows the light of nature and the logic of human reason as his only guides in doctrine and practice. A Deist is a “freethinker.” Our forefathers where not Deists!

G. Let us look at a few of our forefathers this morning and put their faith or lack of faith to the test. I will simply run the evidence “up the flagpole” and let you decide if this nation was founded on Christianity or not.

Mayflower Compact 1620

Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

The First Prayer in Congress offered in Congress September 7, 1774 by Jacob Duche

O - Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them 0f the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved bands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, 0 God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honroable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst The people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask In the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.

Amen

THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION

City of New York, October 3, 1789.


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to "recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His Providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

PROCLAMATION by the Continental Congress

WHEREAS, in just Punishment of our manifold Transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all Events to visit these United States with a calamitous War, through which his Divine Providence hath hitherto in a wonderful Manner conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the Race is not to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong: AND WHEREAS, notwithstanding the Chastisements received and Benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a Sense of their Guilt, or warmed with Gratitude, or taught to amend their Lives and turn from their Sins, that so he might turn his Wrath: AND WHEREAS, from a Consciousness of what we have merited at his Hands, and an Apprehension that the Malevolence of our disappointed Enemies, like the Incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the Scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is Reason to fear that he may permit much of our Land to become the Prey of the Spoiler, our Borders to be ravaged, and our Habitations destroyed:

Congressional Resolution, March 20, 1779

THAT it be recommended to the several States to appoint the First Thursday in May next to be a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending Calamities which we have but too well deserved: That he will grant us his Grace to repent of our Sins, and amend our Lives according to his Holy Word: That he will continue that wonderful Protection which hath led us through the Paths of Danger and Distress: That he will be a Husband to the Widow, and a Father to the fatherless Children, who weep over the Barbarities of a Savage Enemy: That he will grant us Patience in Suffering, and Fortitude in Adversity: That he will inspire us with Humility, Moderation, and Gratitude in prosperous Circumstances: That he will give Wisdom to our Councils, Firmness to our Resolutions, and Victory to our Arms: That he will bless the Labours of the Husbandman, and pour forth Abundance, so that we may enjoy the Fruits of the Earth in due Season: That he will cause Union, Harmony, and mutual Confidence to prevail throughout these States: That he will bestow on our great Ally all those Blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the Rights of Mankind, and promoting the Happiness of his Subjects: That he will bountifully continue his paternal Care to the Commander in Chief, and the Officers and Soldiers of the United States: That he will grant the Blessings of Peace to all contending Nations, Freedom to those who are in Bondage, and Comfort to the Afflicted: That he will diffuse Useful Knowledge, extend the Influence of True Religion, and give us that Peace of Mind which the World cannot give: That he will be our Shield in the Day of Battle, our Comforter in the Hour of Death, and our kind Parent and merciful Judge through Time and through Eternity.

Done in CONGRESS, this Twentieth Day of March, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Nine, and in the Third Year of our Independence.
JOHN JAY, President.

John Adams - Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the United States

The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws. There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.

Samuel Adams - Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton - Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

Benjamin Franklin - Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building

no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from tis unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one of more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.

Thomas Jefferson - Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States

Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for your to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage all you virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind.

I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.

Richard Henry Lee - Signer of the Declaration of Independence

It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.

James McHenry - Signer of the Constitution

Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

Jedediah Morse - Patriot and "Father of American Geography"

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.

William Penn - Founder of Pennsylvania

It is impossible that any people of government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God's, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar's.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.

Benjamin Rush - Signer of the Declaration of Independence

The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.

By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published. . . . All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself. "The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." [Matthew 1:18] Remember that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful.

George Washington - "Father of Our Country"

While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

The [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.

Daniel Webster - Early American Jurist and Senator

I] we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

Noah Webster - Founding Educator

The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible. . . . The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. . . . For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts.

James Wilson - Signer of the Constitution

Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

Robert Winthrop - Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry who early in the days of the Revolutionary War said, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" would later say after Independence was declared.......”It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that the great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

John Quincy Adams

* The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity”

Thomas Jefferson

The reason that Christianity is the best friend of government is because Christianity is the only religion in the world that deals with the heart.

Conclusion: We are not a Muslim Nation; we are not a Hindu Nation; we are not a Buddhist Nation; we not a Judaeo-Christian Nation; are a Christian nation! Satan has blinded the minds of the people, history is being re-written, Christianity has become generic, and what can the righteous do?

1. We can pray! 1 Timothy 2:1-3 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

2. We can vote! Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. (The only way to get the wicked out and the righteous in is to vote! Voter Apathy is killing our nation.)

3. We can be visible! Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (14) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Neither the Republican nor the Democratic Parties are salt and light. The Tea Party is not salt or light. We are salt and light!)

4. We are America’s only hope

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Survive Spiritually In These Last Days

Temple Baptist Church - 10-3-2010

Galatians 1:1-5

Introduction: Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus Christ is delivering us! Jesus Christ will one day deliver us completely! Verse 5 says “GLORY”

A. In Paul’s introduction to the Galatians Epistle, he used the phrase “this present evil world.” Paul also made reference to this “evil world” in Ephesians 2:2-3, when he said:

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

B. We live in the most evil times in the history of man. Today, we have:

1. The wickedness of Noah’s Day - Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

2. The perversion of Lot’s Day - Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

3. The prediction of Timothy’s Day - 2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

4. The apathy of Laodicea’s Day - Revelation 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

C. This is an evil world! Our world is:

1. Evil because of its direction – course of this world (Its course is downward! Things are progressively getting worse with the problem escalating with each day. As an avalanche going down a steep hill, morality is deteriorating more and more each day!)

2. Evil because of its god – the prince of the power of the air (Satan is truly the “god of this world” and the multitudes are spell-bound by his ways! Sinful people follow him while ignorant people worship him.)

3. Evil because of its spirit – disobedience (Disobedient to God, disobedient to God’s Word, disobedient to parents, disobedient to teachers, disobedient to law enforcement, disobedient to their bosses.)

4. Evil because of its sinfulness – lusts and desire of the flesh and mind (Murder, rape, sodomy, drugs, alcohol, lying, stealing, cheating, etc. These are wicked days. “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually!”)

D. How do we cope with this evil bombardment? How do we both survive and flourish as a child of God is such surroundings? Believers are falling to the wayside in record numbers. They may remain in the churches but are falling apart at home. They are discouraged, defiled, defeated, and devastated. How do we finish our course? How do we keep the faith?

1. By Being Delighted In God – Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Worldly attraction brings about spiritual distraction.)

Psalms 43:4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

a. Look for good in everything - Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

b. Look for God in everything – Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

2. By Being Dedicated To God - Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. (Total surrender to God brings about victory over sin, self, and Satan.)

a. Surrender to God our way – Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. Surrender to God our will – Luke 22:42

b. Surrender to God our worries – 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

3. By Being Directed By God - Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (God will never lead you in a wrong path. His way is the way of safety.)

a. We should depend on His direction – Psalms 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

b. We should delight in His direction – Job 23:10-14 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. 13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

4. By Being Diligent For God – John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (Idle hands are the devil’s workshop! I have been told that since I was a child.)

a. Diligently love God – Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

b. Diligently live for God – John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

5. By Being Dependent Upon God - Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Have faith in your salvation faith as well faith in your Saviour. God loved you enough to save you. He loves you enough to take care of you.)

a. Trust God With Your Problems - Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

b. Trust God With Your Provisions - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

c. Trust God With Your Protection - Psalms 56:3-4 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.