Sunday, January 30, 2011

Missions: The Heartbeat Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 1-30-2011

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Introduction:
I will spend more than one week dealing with this magnificent subject because of its relevance and importance to the local church.

A. When the Lord ascended back to Heaven in Acts 1, promised his disciples the power of witness when the Holy Ghost came upon them and then commissioned them once again to go into all of the world and preach the gospel. This commission is to both the individual believer and also to the local church. There are almost 6 ½ billion people on planet earth today with the majority of them never having heard a clear presentation of the “good news” of salvation.

B. In the Apostles’ day, they “turned the world upside down” as they preached the gospel, made disciples, and then sent these disciples to preach. Through the ages since, there has been a steady decline in missions outreach. There were, at times, spurts but from the leaving of their first love down to Laodicea, the burden for souls has been in serious decline. The population has increased while soul winning has decreased.

C. Missions should play a vital role in the local church. I often differentiate between a mission minded and a mission hearted church. One thinks missions while the other gets the job done. Missions Hearted churches should be the rule of the day for missions is the heart beat of God. The Lord placed more value on a man’s soul than the wealth of the world.

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

D. The Lord placed more value on one lost soul than ninety and nine in the fold.

Luke 15:4-5 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

E. What is the “value of one?” If there was only one man who ever lived on earth, God would have sent His only begotten Son to die for ONE! What is the value of a soul if that soul belongs to you or me? If God so loved the world that He gave His Son sacrificially in order to reconcile the world to Himself, what should we give? That brings us back to the message for tonight: missions.

F. Today, churches no longer hear the heartbeat of God! Missionaries wear the phones out calling churches with little or no results. Pastors who will not return calls or be courteous to the missionary are not fit to fill the pulpits of churches. Most denominations have somewhat of a mission’s outreach but fundamental Baptist churches use a more biblical approach. Here are a few things that we need to know about biblical missions.

1. The local church should be personally acquainted with their missionaries.

2. The local church should be praying for each and every individual missionary.

3. The local church should be providing for the support of missionaries.

4. The local church should be providing for the personal needs of missionaries. They come to the local church and need food, a place to stay, fellowship, and knowledge that they are loved and cared for. They are God’s special people.

5. The local church has the responsibility of reaching their Jerusalem and Samaria. The word “both” in Acts 1:8 means to do missionary work both at home and abroad at the same time. Some churches are all for soul winning at home with little or no foreign mission’s outreach. Others are heavy on the foreign mission work with little or no soul winning at home. There is to be a balance so that every creature has a preacher.

6. The missionary is personally responsible to the pastor of his home church, not to a denomination’s mission board.

7. The missionary raises his support through deputation. This is a blessing to both the church and the missionary.

8. The missionary is to establish an indigenous church. The church is to be self-supporting and self-sufficient.

9. The missionary is to establish an autonomous church. They are not under the control of the missionary’s sending church or mission board.

10. The missionary establishes a church and trains a national to take over the work.

11. The mission church then becomes a mission hearted church, soul winning and sending out missionaries.

G. At this point, I want to make a comparison of two contemporary churches of Asia Minor that will give us some insight into the problems that have assailed the local churches in these last days. These two churches, Thessalonica and Laodicea, existed at the same time. One was assailed with persecution and poverty while the other was basking in peace and prosperity. History often repeats, therefore, let us take note and resolve in our hearts to get the work of the Lord done in Laodicean times.
1. Thessalonica Had Persecution – vs. 2 – “in a great trial of affliction”

Laodicea Had Peace – Rev. 3:15 – “neither cold nor hot”

2. Thessalonica Had Peace With God – vs. 2 – “the abundance of their joy”

Laodicea Had Peace With The World – Rev. 3:16 – “spue thee out of my mouth”

3. Thessalonica Had Poverty – vs. 2 – “their deep poverty”

Laodicea Had Prosperity – Rev. 3:17 – “I am rich” (Therefore, it was not a financial problem, but a faith problem)

4. Thessalonica Had Liberality – vs. 2 – “abounded unto the riches of their liberality”

Laodicea Had Lukewarmness – Rev 3:16 – “So then because thou are lukewarm” (Therefore, it was not a Saviour problem, but a saint problem)

5. Thessalonica Had A Servant’s Heart – vs. 3 – “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves”

Laodicea Had A Selfish Heart – Rev. 3:17 - “(I am) increased with goods”

6. Thessalonica Had A Love For Souls – vs. 4 – “Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints”

Laodicea Had A Lust For Satisfaction – Rev. 3:17 - “(I have) need of nothing”

7. Thessalonica Had Spiritual Blessing – vs. 4 – “the fellowship of the ministering to the saints”

Laodicea Had Spiritual Blindness – Rev. 3:17 – “and knowest not … blind” (Therefore, it was not a partiality problem, but a personal problem)

8. Thessalonica Had A Reward – vs. 5 – “but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God”
Laodicea Had A Rebuke – Rev. 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten”

H. Now, let’s break down these verses and I believe that we will find the blessing of God in the area of missions. Missions are to be a blessing to the local church, not a burden!

1. The Present of Missions - vs 1 - "bestowed"

a. Missions is a Gift Bestowed

b. Missions is a Grace Bestowed

2. The Poverty of Missions - vs 2 - "deep poverty"

a. Trials and Afflictions abounded unto Joy

b. Deep Poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality

3. The Paradox of Missions - vs 2 - "affliction-joy, poverty-riches"

a. They saw Problems and Poverty as Divine Possibilities

4. The Power of Missions - vs 3 - "power ... beyond their power"

a. Here we find their Tithe (cannot give until you tithe)

b. Here we find their Power of giving (gave of what they had)

c. Here we find the their Faith of giving (beyond their power - tapped another Source!)

5. The Prayer of Missions - vs 4 - "praying us ... receive"

a. They begged the Missionary - "prayed...much intreaty" (reversed today)

b. They gave to the Missionary - "we would receive the gift"

c. They fellowshiped with the Missionary - "fellowship of ministering"

6. The Priority of Missions - vs 5 - "first"

a. Gave themselves unto the Lord - "first...to the Lord"

b. Gave themselves unto the Missionary - "unto us"

c. Gave themselves Abundantly - "not as we hoped"

d. Gave themselves Obediently - "will of God"

7. The Proof of Missions - vs 8 - "prove"

a. Their giving was Proof of their love

b. Their giving was Proof of their sincerity

8. The Pattern of Missions - vs 9 - "our Lord Jesus Christ"

a. The Example of His Giving - "rich ... poor"

b. The End Result of His Giving - "ye ... might be rich"

9. The Performance of Missions - vs 10-11 - "expedient"

a. The Planning of Giving - vs 10

b. The Performing of Giving - vs 11

10. The Partnership of Missions - 14 - "equality"

a. You give unto their necessity and

b. When you need it, they will give to you

11. The Promise of Missions - vs 15 - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

a. God meets the needs of His Children!

b. Let us do more for missions in this coming year of 2011!


Your Adversary The Devil

Temple Baptist Church - 1-30-2011

1 Peter 5:8-9

Introduction:

A. Some years ago, I preached a message titled “You Bad Devil You.” We will never fully understand, this side of eternity, the wickedness and power of the one that God calls our “adversary.” “Adversary” means “opponent.” He is against us! He is against all that is good! He is the “arch enemy” of God and hates God with all of his being. He cannot touch God so he goes after all that God has made.

B. Peter knew much about the wickedness, purpose, and power of Satan as he had “sifted” Peter as “wheat” in the Book of Luke. Our Lord said, “Satan hath DESIRED to have you, that he may SIFT you as wheat,” I thank God for the next verse that says, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” As much as Satan hates us, God loves us!

C. Here, in 1 Peter, Peter warns the Jewish believers of the person, purpose, and power of Satan. He had borne the brunt of Satan’s attack and now continued to “strengthen” the brethren. We, as God’s children, need to fully understand the person, purpose, and power of our enemy. Satan is active today just as he was in the days of the apostles. Here is a “short” look at Satan:

1. Satan’s Desire - “your Adversary”

a. Need To Realize That You Have An Enemy

b. Adversary - An enemy or foe; one who has enmity at heart.

2. Satan’s Danger - “a roaring lion”

a. Need To Realize That He Is A Formidable Foe - Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

b. We Are No Match For Him In Ourselves

3. His Disposition – “the devil”

a. Devil – One who slanders or falsely accuses - Revelation 12:10 And I heard a great voice in the heaven saying, Now is come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren has been cast out, who accused them before our God day and night:

Job 1:9 And Satan answered Jehovah and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

b. Satan – One who withstands - 1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

1 Thessalonians 2:18 wherefore we have desired to come to you, even I Paul, both once and twice, and Satan has hindered us.

c. Serpent – cunning - 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

d. Dragon – power and cruelty - Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

e. Lucifer - Light Bearer - 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Ezekiel 28:14-19 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

4. Satan’s Determination - “walketh about”

a. Satan Never Gives Up - Revelation 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

b. Satan Never Gave Up On The Lord Jesus - Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

c. Satan Never Gave Up On Job - Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

d. Satan Never Gave Up On Peter - Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift you as wheat:

e. Satan Never Gave Up On Paul - 1 Thessalonians 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

f. Satan Will Never Give Up On You - 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

5. Satan’s Devouring - “may devour” - 2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

a. Through Temptation - Matthew 4:1-11

1. Tempts In The Area of Provision - 3-4 God won’t take care of you

2. Tempts In The Area of Protection - 5-7 You are on your own

3. Tempts In The Area of Promotion - 8-10 Higher paying jobs that take you out of His service

b. Through Pride - Luke 22:31-34 Self Reliance (Though good is intended!)

c. Through Unrepentant Sin - 1 Corinthians 5:5

d. Through Unfulfilled Marriages - 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 The Devastation of Infidelity!

e. Through Unforgiveness - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Eph 4:31 - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

f. Through Anger - Ephesians 4:26-27

1. The Command of Anger - “be ye angry”

2. The Condemnation of Anger - “your wrath”

3. The Continuance of Anger - “sun go down”

4. The conquering of Anger - “let not” - your power!

g. Through Not Acknowledging The Truth - 2 Timothy 2:24-26

1. They Oppose Themselves (hurting others, but self more)

2. They Oppose The Instruction of The Pastor

3. They Are Taken Captive At Satan’s Will

6. Satan’s Defeat - “resist steadfast in the faith” (Remember God’s Hedge)

a. Resist Him - James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

b. Resist Him Steadfastly - 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.

c. Resist Steadfastly In the Faith - Ephesians 6:13-18 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth (God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holiness of life); And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (serving the Lord); Above all, taking the shield of faith (trusting god), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation (knowing you are saved), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (praying hard), and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (watching);

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Renewing Of The Mind

Temple Baptist Church - 1-26-2011

Ephesians 4:17-24

Introduction:

A. The verses tonight show a contrast between the “old man” and the “new man” or the two natures of the saved. The natural man or the lost man has only one nature and that is a sin nature. The saved man has two natures: the natural or old nature and the new nature that comes with salvation. Thus, we have the natural man (who is lost), the carnal man (who is saved but worldly), and the spiritual man (who is saved and living a consistent life for Christ). The natural man cannot be a spiritual man and the spiritual man cannot be a natural man but the spiritual man can be a carnal man.

B. Verses 17-19 show the relationship between the natural man’s walk and the natural man’s mind.

1. The Vanity of their Minds. Vain: not yielding the right outcome or of no avail.

2. The Darkness of their Minds. The absence of the light or illumination of God is the perpetual state of the unsaved man’s mind.

3. The Ignorance of their Minds. The natural man cannot discern or know spiritual truth.

4. These are the results of the condition of their Hearts.

C. When salvation comes, then comes the struggle between the old and new natures. In verses 20-21, we find a clear contrast between the philosophy and teaching of this world and that of Christ. “Ye have not so learned Christ!”

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

D. We that are saved have both the Word of God and the Spirit of God! We are now “taught of God” how to live in this world and still be a light in the darkness of sin. Before our salvation, we were under the controlling influence of the world. Now, we find that the saved man’s spiritual walk and the renewing of his mind work hand-in-hand. Between the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new man is the renewing of the mind.

E. I want to look at the mind for a few minutes tonight. This is not going to be a complete study of the mind for that could not be done in one sermon but some things that will help us to “put off the old man” and to “put on the new man.”

1. There Must Be A Renewing Our Minds - Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ( To make over! The world’s philosophy has molded the minds of the lost. They are blinded by the “god of this world” into thinking as the world thinks. Outcome based education shows both the process and results of satanic thinking. The teacher now gives a “s” or a “u” instead of A, B, C, D, or F. There is no longer the point system of grading that we used in our childhood. Children and adults are being programed to accept sodomy, adultery, etc. as acceptable lifestyles. Our minds have to be “renewed” or made over again by the Word of God so that we will think right. Otherwise, we become conformed to this world.)


2. We Must Gird Up The Loins Of Our Minds - 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (To bind up in order to protect. Weight lifters [serious ones] wear a belt around the waist. It is tightly wrapped in order to protect both the back and the loins. A “loose mind” is one that tends to wander from the things of God. As frontlets keep the mule’s mind upon his business, so the girding of our minds keep our minds on God’s business.)
3. We Must Pattern Our Minds After Christ - Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (A mind of humility, obedience, and service. Philippians 2 speaks of the incarnation, obedience, and sacrifice of Christ for us. We are to have this same mind. Humilty or know just who and what we are; obedience, being doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves; and sacrifice, giving our lives in Christ’s service. Heavenly minded instead of earthly minded.)

4. We Must Learn To Capture The Imaginations Of Our Minds – 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (As children, we were taught to let our imaginations flourish. We had little in the way of toys when I was young so we made use of our imaginations. This was not a bad thing. Not all imaginations are sinful. As we grew older, we continued to entertain ourselves by letting our minds drift into a world of imagination. It is a departure from the real world; an escape mechanism; and is dangerous spiritually. We are to cast down and bring into captivity every thought that is contrary to sound doctrine and our obedience to God.)

5. Learn To Quench The Fiery Darts of the Devil - Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Our minds are constantly “bombarded” with carnal thoughts. The word “quench” means to extinguish. One of the best ways to put out a spark of fire is with a good dousing of water! The shield of faith: faith coupled with the Word of God. Believing what God has said and immediately putting away the temptation to sin.)

6. We Must Arm Our Minds Against Hardships - 1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. (This world is hard! In our generation, we have become accustomed to a life of comfort. We expect everything to work out right and are “floored” when things go wrong. We are to endure hardness as good soldiers. When you know that life is hard, you can make it! We can grit our teeth, set our jaws, fix our eyes, and withstand everything that the world throws at us. Toughness is a state of the mind! Ron. We need to arm our minds with a spiritual toughness that we are going to take all that Satan can throw at us and, through the power of the Spirit, come out of our hardships better instead of bitter.)

Conclusion: The battle that we looked at tonight is an old one. We find the fiery darts of Satan in the beginning as he turned the thoughts of Eve from the revealed will of God. Paul gives us a little glimpse into his personal battle with the flesh as he was continually tempted to give into to its sinfulness.

Romans 7:21-25 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Voice On One Crying In The Wilderness

Temple Baptist Church - 1-23-2011

John 1:6-23

Introduction:

A. As we enter this new year, I believe that God’s people understand the times in which we live.
I am not necessarily talking about the wickedness, etc., but rather the “hour” in which we live. Preachers have been fervently preaching about the coming of the Lord for years and I am personally shocked that we are still here. We understand that God allotted 7 thousand years of time from the beginning until eternity begins. There were 4 thousand years until the coming of Jesus Christ which is 4 days in God’s time. There have been 2 thousand years since Jesus Christ which is 2 days in God’s time. There will be a 1 thousand year Kingdom Age which is 1 day in God’s time. That shows me that we are at the end of the 6th day and the Rapture is eminent.

B. There were 400 “silent years” from Malachi to Matthew leading up to the First Advent. There have been 400 “silent years” since the translation of the King James Bible leading up to the Second Advent. The Bible also says that Israel will “sleep” for 2 days or 2 thousand years and that God would raise them up to walk in His sight which is the Millennial Reign of Christ.

C. Malachi prophesied of the coming of the “spirit of Elijah” just prior to the First Advent and it was fulfilled in John the Baptist in these verses that we read this morning. I believe that there will also be such a “spirit” just prior to the Second Advent. God has always had His voice and it is being heard today.

D. I have several Old and New Testament heroes that stand out to me personally with John the Baptist being one of them. John was not acceptable in his day as far as his person.

1. John was not Charismatic – John did not miracles. He was a preacher, not a performer!

2. John was not Social – John lived in the wilderness. He ate locust and wild honey. He was a preacher and he was not popular!

3. John was not Elegant – John dressed in leather and camel’s hair. He was a preacher and a plain man!

4. John was not Popular – John did not compromise the message. He was a preacher, not a pleaser!

E. Not only is he a hero of mine, but he was highly regarded by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:7-15 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

F. We live in a day of “plastics” but John was REAL! He was the “real deal” of that day and the Lord used him to prepare the way for our Lord Jesus Christ.

G. I believe that the “spirit of Elijah” is still evident in these last days just prior to the Second Advent. I want to be a part of that voice! I want you to be a part of that voice!

1. It Was The Voice! Not a voice but THE voice. There are a lot of voices clamoring for our attention in these last days.

Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

I have never seen as many “churches” springing up as we have today. There are little signs everywhere in front of home with the names of their ministries on them. Denominations galore can be found, especially here in the “Bible Belt.” Someone asked me one day, “How do I know which one is right?” We want to be God’s Voice, speaking from God’s Word. In order to be to be God’s Voice, you must have the right message and our message is right. We are the Voice of God in these last days.

2. It Was The Voice Of One! We are not the only ones who are “holding the ropes” in these last days.

1 Kings 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (Elijah thought that he was the only one standing but the Lord had others. I do not know where they were when Elijah went to Mt. Carmel but they were where God wanted them.)
1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

I thank the Lord, this morning, that there are men of God who still stand in the “Old Paths.” These are men who, though they may be scattered around the world, still preach from the right Bible. They are God’s Voice and their Voice is ONE with ours.

3. It Was The Voice Of One Crying! It is to be a distinct cry. It is to be a loud cry. It is to be a persistent cry.

Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

It is so easy to get discouraged in the way and, in so doing, our voices become quieter and less persistent. The numbers are not our business, they are God’s. Our work is to continuing to cry loudly in these last days. Someone will hear and heed! It is a cry of urgency; a cry of compassion; a cry of salvation. Cry aloud and lift up your voices.

4. It Was A Voice In The Wilderness! A wilderness is a dry place where there is little water. A wilderness is a non-productive place of little value.

Zechariah 7:8-14 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, (9) Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: (10) And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. (11) But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. (13) Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: (14) But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

We live in a time when people refuse to hear the Word of the Lord. Their hearts have been hardened through sinfulness. So many people have become reprobate at early ages. This world has such a pull and Satan has blinded the minds of the people to the things of God.

5. It Was The Voice Of The Straight Way!

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Zechariah 7:11-13 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. (13) Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:

God’s way is a singular way; God’s way is a narrow way; God’s way is not the popular or easy way; but it is still God’s Way? It is God’s Way and the Only Way to Heaven!

Conclusion: There have been 400 Silent Years since 1611! Phariseeism is the rule of the day with salvation being of works and not of grace! We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth! We are the “voice of one crying in the wilderness” saying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Ministry Of Teaching

Temple Baptist Church - 1-12-2011

Ephesians 4:11-16

Introduction:

A. In these verses that we have been preaching through, we find the purpose of teaching the Word of God and doctrine to God’s people.

1. The Purpose of Spiritual Growth - Perfecting

2. The Purpose of Equipping For Service – Work of the ministry

3. The Purpose of Strengthening The Church – Edifying of the body

4. The Purpose of Safeguarding Against Apostasy – Tossed … carried

5. The Purpose of Compacting The Body – Fitly joined together

B. In Matthew 28:18-20, we find the command to teach “all things” and this takes a variety of teaching ministries. In the local New Testament church, I find:

1. The God Called Teacher - Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (The elder or pastor is to be “apt to teach” in order to be qualified. If a pastor cannot teach his people, he will be ineffective in the ministry of “perfecting” the saints. They will remain children spiritually.)


2. The Gifted Teacher - Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Among the many gifts given to the church are those who can both rightly divide the word of truth and articulate what they have studied to others. We have classes for all ages because people have to be taught on their age or level of understanding.)

3. The Grown Up Teacher (Mature Christian men and women)

a) Spiritually Mature Men - 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (Women are not to teach men - 1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.)

b) Spiritually Mature Women - Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Young women need to be taught by older, godly women who not only know right but also behave right!)

The Necessities Of Teaching

1. The Priority Of Teaching

a. It’s Prominence – the word “teaching” in one form or another is used 178X while “preaching” in one form or another is used only 153X. The Great Commission contains both preaching and teaching.

b. It’s Position – is one of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:28-31).

c. It’s Power – it is God’s way of influencing our next generation of leaders. Timothy is a prime example of being taught by both his mother and grandmother (1 Timothy 1:1-5) as well as men of God (2 Timothy 3:15).

2. The Profile Of The Teacher.

a. Efficient In The Word—It is the source of truth and knowledge.

b. Enthusiastic in the work.

1) A mediocre teacher tells.

2) A good teacher explains.

3) A better teacher demonstrates.

4) A great teacher inspires.

c. Exemplar in his or her ways.

3. The Purpose Of Teachers.

a. The Perfecting of the Christian – “perfecting of the saints”

b. The Performing of the Commission – “work of the ministry”

c. The Profiting of the Church – “edifying of the body of Christ”

4. The Promise To The Teachers.

a. The Word will not return Void (Isaiah 55:10-11)

b. The Work is not in Vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)

The Qualities Of Teachers:

1. They Must Be Saved! This may seem trite but I have known a lot of churches that have placed people in positions as teachers who had no clear testimony of salvation! I have also seen men and women who had no testimony teaching young men and women to follow their worldly ways.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2. The Must Be Faithful! I do not want teachers who are unfaithful to the church! If they do not have enough God in them to be faithful, they do not have enough God in them to teach. Faithfulness is a requirement for stewardship and teaching is a stewardship. (Stewardship is an administration or dispensation.)
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

3. They Must Be Godly! Teachers teach by example as much as they do by word. The world says “Do as I say, not as I do.” The Bible says “Do as I do!” We want our young men and women to know what God says about their deportment. We need young men who will make godly, gracious, good and loving husbands and fathers. We need young women who will make godly, gracious, chaste, and loving wives and mothers. Young people who will structure their homes after a biblical pattern and raise their children for the Lord, not the world.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What Will Cause You To Quit And Why You Can’t!”

Temple Baptist Church - 1-16-2011

Job 3:1

Introduction:

A. One of the most popular books in the Bible is the Book of Job
. Job is a book of mystery to us and leaves many questions unanswered as to why God’s people suffer. Here, we find a godly, upright man who feared God and hated evil with all of his heart. He not only lived for the Lord, he sacrificed for his children and served as an example of godliness to all of the people of the east. A man noted and revered comes into hard times through no fault of his own.

B. We understand the conversation between God and Satan as well as what transpired afterward. Job lost his all of his children as well as his herds. In chapter two, he lost his health. Through all of this suffering, we find that Job maintained his integrity! (1:20-22; 2:7-10)

C. What I want to bring to our attention this morning is chapter 3:1. In the beginning of his problem, Job worshipped God and maintained his integrity but in this verse, we find that he cursed his day. He is no longer worshipping nor has he maintained his integrity. He is overcome with pain and grief; he is cursing the day that he was born. We find many references to this in the next chapters when he said that it would have been better for him to have had a still birth and never to have seen the light of day.

D. I thank God that I have read the last chapter of the Book and know that the goodness of God brought about a glorious end but Job did not have that benefit. All he knew was that he had lost all and the Lord had seemingly forsaken him. I understand to some degree where Job was spiritually. How many people have we seen that trusted the Lord in the beginning of their problems but later “failed” the grace of God?

E. There are several things in the first 2 chapters that I believe led to where Job was in chapter 3:1. These same things cause God’s children to give up on God when problems come.
Four Things That Will Cause You To Quit

1. The enormity of the situation! The combination of devastation and duration of Job’s problems where almost overwhelming. Life is full of problems. Job certainly had more than his share and all at once.

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

a. We face them in one form or another almost every day. But, there are problems and there are PROBLEMS! There are times in our lives when we have problems that are enormous in size and extend over long periods of time. These problems “wear” on us spiritually, physically, and financially. They seem to have neither explanation nor end.

b. One messenger after another showed up on Job’s “doorstep” with increasingly bad news, ending with the death of all ten of Job’s children. Job worshipped God and did not charge God foolishly. In chapter 2, he lost his health also. Now, he is both grieved and in physical pain.

c. People often get out of the will of God in these circumstances and quit. Our life expectations are often unrealistic as we think that we will go the Heaven on flowery beds of east when in reality life is hard. When you realize that life is hard, you can make it!

2. The explosion of the spouse! When everything collapsed in his life, the one nearest and dearest to him said, “Curse God and die!” It would do us well at this point to remember that what Job lost, his wife lost. It was her children and possessions also. One of the hardest things for a man to handle is the devastating effect of problems upon his immediate family. Men and women are “heirs together” of the grace of this life so when problems come, they should draw closer to one another.

a. In times of great problems, it is a time when families should pull together and lean upon one another but many come apart at the seams during these times. Instead of family telling you to hang in there and everything will be alright, they begin to give up while giving to you the worst case scenario.

b. Families are born to stick together. We you lose everything else, you should still have your family. I have seen so many families disintegrate when problems come instead of drawing strength from one another.

3. The encouragement of the saints! I say that sarcastically! What wonderful friends Job had! “Our brethren have discouraged our heart” became a reality for Job in the next weeks.

a. I do believe that they were truly his friends because, when they saw Job, they rent their mantles, threw up dust, and said not one word of seven days and seven nights. I heard one man say that they could not have been independent Baptist preachers! Many times, when in adversity, your friends will forsake you.

b. Then, at other times, your friends will say the wrong things. It is not that they are mean spirited, it is just that sometimes they do not either know the entire truth of your situation or do not know what to say.

c. Much discouragement comes from those who are to stick closer than a brother!

4. The envelopment of solitude! Job, in chapter 3:1, is now overwhelmed with the magnitude of his problems. This man who “worshipped…sinned nor...nor charged God foolishly” in chapter one; this man who retained his “integrity” in chapter two; has now cursed his day in chapter 3. Job’s mind is no longer on God or those who surround him but upon himself. He now suffers from self-isolation. One thing that will cause you to give up quicker than anything else is when you withdraw from the fellowship of others.

a. There is strength in the presence of others of like precious faith. You can withdraw from brethren even though you are still among them physically. I have found that you feel so alone in a crowd.

b. I have seen so many people, when trials come, isolate themselves from others who love them. This self-isolation gives a person a sense of abandonment and causes him or her to think that others do not care.

Four Things That Will Keep You From Quitting:

1. The Goodness Of God
– Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (God has been better to all of us than we deserve.)

2. The Sovereignty Of God – Job 2:9-10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. (10) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. (God controls our circumstances. He knows the end from the beginning.)

3. The Testimony Of God – Job 13:15-16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (16) He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him. (He SHALL be my salvation)

4. The Reward Of God - Job 42:12-13 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. (13) He had also seven sons and three daughters. (God will more than make it all worth your while, both in the world and the one to come.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

We Are Baptist! - Part 4 - Baptists Are Biblicists

Temple Baptist Church - 1-9-2011

2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12

Introduction:

A. We have seen what Baptists are not in the first message
. That certainly needed to be clarified because many people who claim to be Baptists are everything except Baptists.

B. We have seen that true Baptists are separatists! It is for this reason that our forefathers died in the fires of persecution. Not for being offensive but for being non-conformists!

C. I want us to see that true Baptists are actually Biblicists. We got our name from the Roman Catholic Church who called us Anabaptists. The Anabaptists were separatists who rejected infant baptism and believed that the outward, external church should consist only of saved and baptized believers. They would re-baptize those who professed Christ who had previously been baptized as infants. The preposition ana means “again,” thus Anabaptists were those who “baptized again.”

D. Let us look at the word tradition for a few minutes. Most churches follow traditions or some sort or another.

E. First, we need to understand what a tradition is: The word tradition comes from the Latin word traditio which means "to hand down" or "to hand over." It is used in a number of ways in the English language:

1. Beliefs or customs taught by one generation to the next, often orally.

2. A set of customs or practices. For example, we can speak of Christmas traditions.

3. That which is brought forth into the present from the past and repeated over a long sequence of time. For such acts or practices, once performed, disappear unless they have been transformed into some manner of communicable information.

F. The Bible says much about traditions, both pro and con:

1. Pro: Not all Baptist traditions are bad ones - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (These traditions are beneficial in the running of the local church and keep down confusion and chaos.)

2. Con: Not all Baptists Traditions are Bible based and some are detrimental - Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
a) Breaking Of Unbiblical Traditions Often Bring About Censure - Matthew 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

b) Unbiblical Traditions Become A Problem When They Contradict Scripture - Matthew 15:3, 6 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?...And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Mark 7:8-9 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

G. Examples of traditions that are not bad:

1. Commemorating The Lord’s Supper At Certain Times: some churches observe the Lord’ Supper on the fifth Sunday while others either each week or at various times. The Bible says, “As oft.” Whenever the church decides to observe the Lord’s Supper is up to them and others can vary and be just as biblical. We observe it on the fifth Sunday but do not teach it as a commandment of God.

2. Joining The Church: this was started for a very good reason. It was to keep church hopping trouble makers from stirring up trouble and then simply going to a sister church and starting over. They were required to bring a “letter of recommendation” from the church that was left. This was not a generic form from Broadman Press but an actual letter giving either recommending the precious believer or exposing the troublemaker. In the New Testament Churches, people were saved and assembled! “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” I find no place in the Word of God where anyone ever “walked down an isle and joined a church.” I am all for someone walking down an isle, giving a testimony of saving grace, and placing their stamp of approval on the church by joining but we have people at Temple Baptist who have been with us for almost 20 years who never “joined.” They are faithful tithers, soul winners, Sunday School teachers, choir members, youth workers, etc. I know that many will disagree with me at this point but all they have to do is give me chapter and verse (plain verses and not “I believe this meant”) and I will reconsider where I stand. I do not censure them for where they stand.

H. What separates the “true Baptist” from virtually every other religion or denomination is their source of authority. Four things can be your authority spiritually:

a. The Church – that is Catholicism

b. Personal Experience – that is Pentecostalism

c. Human Reason – that is Intellectualism

d. The Bible – that is Fundamentalism

I. BAPTISTS ARE BIBLICISTS!

WHAT ARE BIBLICISTS?

1. Biblicists Stand For Inspiration And Preservation Of Holy Scripture.

a. Holy Men Were The Vessels - 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

b. Holy Spirit Was The Vehicle - 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

The King James Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired, perfectly preserved Word of God! If any other so called Bible were on the same plane with the King James, then neither would be inerrant, infallible, inspired, or perfectly preserved—therefore, not the Word of God but containing the “words of God.”

1) Perfect Scripture Is Essential To Salvation

2) Perfect Scripture Is Essential To Spiritual Growth

3) Perfect Scripture Is Essential To Service

2. Biblicists Stand For The Final Authority Of Holy Scripture In Both Faith And Practice.

a. The Bible Is Final Authority For Evangelizing The Lost

b. The Bible Is Final Authority For Operating The Church

c. The Bible Is Final Authority For Rebuking The Sinful

d. The Bible Is Final Authority For Building The Saint

e. The Bible Is Final Authority For Correcting The Apostate

f. The Bible Is Final Authority For Building The Home

g. The Bible Is Final Authority For Raising The Children

h. The Bible Is Final Authority For Encouraging The Discouraged

Conclusion: I have an opinion and you have an opinion. Everyone has an opinion except God. God has no opinion. He has absolute Truth! True Baptists hold His Word to be Final Authority for both faith and practice.

For Such A Time As This

Temple Baptist Church - 1-9-2011

Esther 4:1-17

Introduction:

A. The three books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther record God's dealings with the Jews after their captivity in Babylon
. But while Ezra and Nehemiah deal with the remnant of the people which returned to Jerusalem, the book of Esther is concerned with those who stayed on in the land of their captivity.

B. The book of Esther is a drama, not of FICTION but of FACT! It is set on the stage of real history, and involves real people. Esther is the main figure in this drama, and her elevation to the throne is the focal point on which the story hinges.

C. Through the disobedience of a Queen, Vashti, Esther is elevated to a place of prominence and power from which she, through the unseen but powerful hand of God, delivers His people. I think of Joseph in Egypt when I think of Esther.

D. The Book of Esther is one of two books named after a woman: Esther and Ruth.

1. Ruth was a Gentile who married a Jewish Prince and Esther was a Jew who married a Gentile King.

2. Both of these books set forth a descriptive portrayal of the Providence of God at work: preparing years before for events that eventually take place.

3. The foresight and foreknowledge of God are shown in both the dilemmas and outcomes of both books.

E. The Book of Esther is one of two books that make no mention of the Lord: Esther and Song of Solomon.

1. In both of these books, we can see the “unseen hand of God” working in the background for both the protection and benefit of His people. This book reveals that “unseen hand of God” delivering His chosen people from a diabolical enemy!

2. I have found that when God seems so far away He does His most wonderful work. He sees; He cares; and He works in the lives of His people.

F. He does not always miraculously work on our behalf but allows His power to work through us. He does not always instantly “fix” our problems but allows us to “step by step” walk through our valleys and come out the other side victoriously. I often say that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts!

G. In the days just prior to the First Advent, we find that the greatest preacher ever born of woman “did no miracle.” (John 10:41) In light of the Second Advent, once again God’s people do no miracles! We find just God’s chosen, beloved people standing in the gap for the Lord, their nation, and their people.

H. Verses 13-14 are probably the most recognized verses in the entire book.

“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews…For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

I. These evil devices recorded in the book of Esther that were hatched in the mad mind of Haman did not take God by surprise. God knew what to do. All He needed was a willing soul wherein He could work. You and I are not here today by chance or accident! We are here, in this time, because of the Providence of Almighty God!

1. The World In Which We Live Is Prophetically Dark: God said that it would be this way!

a. It Is Sinfully Dark! Never, since the days of Noah and Lord, has such sinfulness reigned. Once again, “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually!” There is seemingly nothing sacred anymore. Sin that was once hidden in the darkness of the night is now openly practiced in the light of day. There is very little shame anymore. Sin has always been rampant but never has there been a day when it has been more acceptable!

2 Timothy 3:1-8 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. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

b. It Is Spiritually Dark! “Christendom” is a shallow fa├žade that is enveloped in the sinfulness and philosophy of this “present evil world.” The title of “Christian” is now being placed upon the heads of people who know nothing about Christ likeness! Hypocrisy is the rule of the day.

Titus 1:15-16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

c. It Is Scripturally Dark! Very few preachers or churches stand for the Word of God anymore. So preachers and churches have compromised in every area of separation (doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and personal). They have gone the way of the world in order to bring the world into the church. We are to remain separate from the world and take the gospel to them! We do compel them to come in but are not to adopt their dress, philosophy, music, or methodology! Many have gone out from among us because they were not of us while others have become “Demas” in their love for this present world.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Amos 8:11-12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

2. “For Such A Time As This!” A time for the true Christian to stand! As Esther stood and “if I perish, I perish!”

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (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. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

a. Stand In Christian Testimony!

b. Stand In Adversity!

c. Stand In Unity!

d. Stand In Purity!

e. Stand In Temptation!

f. Stand Before Your Enemies!

g. Stand Before Your Family!

h. Stand Before Your Church!

i. Stand Before The World!

j. Stand Before The Lord!

k. “And having done all, to stand!”

Conclusion: We have been born “for such a time as this” and the Lord will help us to stand tall and firm in these last days as an undying testimony for the Lord before a lost and hopeless generation!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

We Are Baptist! - Part 3

Temple Baptist Church - 1-2-2011

Matthew 28:18-20

Introduction:

A. In these last days, we often hear the so-called Christians say, “It doesn’t matter where you go to church as long as you go.”

B. I want to make it clear tonight that it is all important where you attend church! You need to know that you are eternally saved through the blood of Christ and then be in a good Bible preaching church.

C. The Bible says much about doctrine. It says to remain under sound doctrine. It says to separate from unsound doctrine. It says to preach and teach with all longsuffering and doctrine. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you!” You cannot be obedient to this verse in a doctrinally unsound church.

D. I feel that this message is one of great importance. I have been preaching on the local church so I believe that it is essential to identify what we are, Baptist, and why we are Baptist.

E. There is much ignorance concerning Baptist churches, both concerning its origin and eschatological purpose. There is much ignorance, both biblical and historical, being preached and taught on this particular subject.

F. We have dealt with what Baptists are not. Not everything with Baptist on the sign is a good Baptist Church. We are not reformers, Protestant, a denomination, Baptist Bride, Calvinist, Arminian, nor are we negative! We are Baptist!

G. We have also seen that Baptists are separatists! We preach doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and personal separation. Not at all popular in our day but all three concepts are both biblical and commanded.

H. I want to look at a few things that make Baptists distinct from churches or denominations:

WHAT MAKES BAPTISTS DISTINCT?

1. Biblical Authority. The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. No decree of men or any council of churches can supersede the Bible. Four things can be your authority spiritually:

a. The Church – that is Catholicism

b. Human Experience – that is Pentecostalism

c. Human Reason – that is Intellectualism

d. The Bible – that is Fundamentalism

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (God’s Word is the final authority for both faith and practice!)

2. Autonomy of the Local, Visible Church. The local church is an independent body accountable only to the Lord Jesus Christ who is its Head. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. The local church is both self-governing and self-sustaining. It is independent in nature and indigenous in nature.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

3. Priesthood of the Believer. Priests represented man to God and were intercessors. Apostles represented God to man and were ambassadors. Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No human mediator is needed between God and man.

1 Peter 2:5-10 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, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

4. Two Ordinances. The local church practices only two ordinances, Baptist by immersion in water and the Lord’s Supper or communion.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:23-32) (These are Ordinances, not Sacraments!) Sacrament defined: a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it. These ordinances are for identification and remembrance.

5. Believer’s Baptism. Baptism has no saving grace but symbolizes the believer’s death, burial, and resurrection with Christ. Baptism is total emersion and sprinkling or pouring is not acceptable as baptism. Baptism takes place after the salvation of the believer and is a testimony of God’s saving, changing grace in the life, therefore, pedo-baptism is heretical.

Acts 8:36-39 And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

6. Individual Soul Liberty. Every individual believer has the liberty and responsibility to believe as his own understanding dictates within the framework of the Word of God. No one is forced to assent to any belief against his or her will, however, this doctrine does not grant a license to sin or to continually oppose the practices of the local church based upon Scripture.

Romans 14:5-8 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

7. Two Offices. Only two Biblically mandated offices exist in the church: pastor and deacon. These two offices exist within the local church. The pastor is the under shepherd and is to take the oversight of the church. He is not a dictator!

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.

The deacon is a servant to the church and has no authority.

1 Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

8. Separation of Church and State. God established both the church and civil government, giving each its own distinctive sphere of operation. When operated within the realm of Scripture, these two establishments compliment one another. The state has no business in the affairs of the church. The church is not a political institution but its membership is responsible to be both good Christians and good citizens.

Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

1 Peter 2:13-17 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

9. World Wide Missions. It is the commission of the church to go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature. Every creature needs and deserves a preacher. The church is not the local welfare center. It is a soul saving station and base of operations for world wide evangelism.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Conclusion: We are Biblicists first and then we are Baptists. If the Baptist errs, the Word of God will not. Our authority is the Bible!
Temple Baptist Church - 1-2-2011

Philippians 3:13

Introduction:

A. It is hard to believe that 2010 is gone and a New Year has begun. “My how time flies when you are having fun!’’ J It seems like just yesterday that 2010 started. Court was over and we were waiting on the AG’s Office to make their decision to “get out of town” and now the DSS has gotten “out of town too.” It was a good year for my family as well as a good year for the church.

B. The Lord has added to the church and there is a wonderful spirit of love and fellowship here. This has been one of the best years at Temple since I have been here. I am proud, in a right way, of where the Lord has brought us from over the past couple of years.

C. Last year is now history and we are facing a New Year with a blank slate. We cannot change those things that we have done but we can certainly learn from them. We learn from our victories and our defeats. I often say that “today is the first day of the rest of our lives.” What we do with the days ahead is up to each of us personally. What we do with the days ahead is up to the church corporately!

D. I am excited about what this year will hold for us. This may be the year that the Lord returns. What a blessing that would be! I am glad that I do not know what tomorrow holds but I am glad that I can face it with hope. I heard a man say once, “Let us make peace with our past and press on in the future.” If you are lost, get saved! If you are sinful, get right! If you are disgruntled, get with the program! If you are sitting, get to serving! If you are living godly and serving the Lord, KEEP ON!

E. I believe that the Lord is still looking for men and women to stand in the gap for our families, for our friends, for our nation, and for the world!

A. The world needs men and women:

1. Who cannot be bought;
2. Whose word is their bond;
3. Who put character above wealth;
4. Who possess opinions and a will;
5. Who are larger than their vocations;
6. Who do not hesitate to take chances;
7. Who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
8. Who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
9. Who will make no compromise with wrong;
10. Whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
11. Who will not say they do it" because everybody else does it";
12. Who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, adversity as well as in prosperity;
13. Who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
14. Who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
15. Who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."

B. This Coming Year Satan Will:

1. Try To Discourage Us

2. Try To Distract Us

3. Try To Defile Us

4. Try To Divide Us

5. Try To Destroy Us

6. Try To Deceive Us

C. What We Need To Resolve:

1. We Need To Resolve To Be Faithful

2. We Need To Resolve To Be Holy

3. We Need To Resolve To Be Unified

4. We Need To Resolve To Be Watching

5. We Need To Resolve To Be Trusting

D. Some Things You Can Count On Next Year

1. God Will Still Be God And Will Not Change

2. The Bible Will Still Be Right

3. Satan Will Still Be Active

Conclusion: Let us face this New Year with a resolve in our hearts to make it the best year that we have ever had! Let us face this New Year with excitement and hope in our hearts! May the Lord bless each and every one of you in 2011!