Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Kind Of Church Do We Want At Temple?

Temple Baptist Church 3-25-2012

Psalm 84


A. We have read one of my favorite passages concerning the house of the Lord. In them we find:

1. Verse 1 – Our Loving

2. Verse 2 – Our Longing

3. Verse 3 – Our Living

4. Verse 4 – Our Lingering

B. I fell in love with the church when I got saved and have not changed in my feelings for it. It has been the “center piece” of our home both before and after I was called into the ministry. In 1983, my family left our home, families, and friends for the ministry that the Lord called me to. We left not knowing where we would go or even what the Lord had for us to do but knowing that the God of our salvation knew. Four years later, we came here to Laurens.

C. A quarter of a century has passed since my family first came through the front doors of this church.

1. I have no regrets. I would not pastor another church! The greatest people on earth grace these pews. We are not a huge church nor are we a rich one but we are a blessed one! The Lord has been good to us and for that I am appreciative.

2. I have no other desires. I am looking for nothing else. As far as I am concerned, I will spend the rest of my life in Laurens County. My family has two homes: Kentucky from whence we came and SC where we live. We have two families: our blood kin whom we love with all of our hearts and our spiritual kin which we love with all of our hearts also.

D. Not only do we have no regrets or desires, my family is happy here. It has been 25 good years.

1. We have laughed and we have cried.

2. We have married and we have buried.

3. We have gained some and we have lost some.

4. We have won some here and many on the field to the Lord.

5. We have not dipped our colors nor compromised our standards.

6. We have stayed in the old paths with the old black Book.

7. We are getting a little older and a lot closer to Heaven.

8. We are continuing in those things that are right and holy.

9. We are excited about serving the Lord and the prospect of His coming.

10. We are, by God’s grace, expecting to serve the Lord until He calls us home.

11. We will continue to love one another and keep unity in the church.

12. We are committed to the fight for right and the souls of men.

E. For 25 years, we have strived together to have consistency in purpose.

1. We Live In A Hard Time

a) A Time Of Great Adversity – Satan

b) A Time Of Great Temptation – Sin

2. We Live In A Hard Place

a) Everyone Is Religious

b) Everyone Is Satisfied

3. We Have A Hard Job Ahead

a) We Are Responsible For The Upholding The Truth

b) We Are Responsible For Dispensing The Truth

F. I believe that consistency in purpose needs to be maintained in order to have a church that is pleasing to the Lord. Here are just a few things that I believe that we need to have at Temple.

1. A Church Where The Word Of God Is magnified.

Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

2. A Church Where The Son Of God Is Glorified.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

3. A Church Where The Old Paths Are Adhered To.

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Jeremiah 18:15-17 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; (16) To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. (17) I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

4. A Church Where Worship Is Welcome.

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

5. A Church Where A Godly Testimony Is Maintained.

Exodus 3:4-6 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. (5) And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (6) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Today’s churches have gone casual while I find no place in the Bible where God’s people ever came casually into His presence.)

6. A Church Where A Family Attitude Evidenced.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

7. A Church Where Missionaries Are Loved And Welcomed.

2 Corinthians 8:3-4 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; (4) Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

8. A Church Where Sinners Are Loved And Welcomed.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

9. A Church Where Are Children Can Grow Up Spiritually.

Psalms 84:2-4 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. (3) Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (4) Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

10. A Church That You Never Have To Be Ashamed Of! A church that you can invite your friends, family, and neighbors to. A church that you can identify with when people ask you where you go to church. A church where you do not have to apologize for either God’s people or God’s man. We have a good church with wonderful people. Let’s keep it that way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

David: A Man of Great Failure

Temple Baptist Church - 3-18-2012

2 Samuel 11:1-25


A. Over the past few weeks, we have looked at some of the positive aspects of David character and what I see, I like! He was a man’s man while also being a godly worshipper of the Lord and a compassionate king over Israel. He was a special man.

B. I love the Bible and have many favorite chapters and verses but there is one story that I would call my “not favorite” one. In these verses that we will read, we find one of the saddest days recorded in the Bible. A day when a great man of God fails! I read of the faults and failures of other men such as Noah, Moses, Peter, and Demas but this one is so different for me. The “sweet psalmist of Israel,” a man after God’s own heart, the king of all Israel has fallen! After killing a giant and his “ten thousands,” he succumbed to the desires of his flesh.

C. It is not an event that needs to be broadcast to either the church or the world. So many times, when the failure of a Christian is great and the man or woman notable, the sinfulness becomes public in the news. What a shame and disgrace when the papers and TV stations make public such failures. Those who fail may not be of our “stripe,” but they are linked to our Lord Jesus Christ by the words that they speak and the faith that they profess.

D. To many times, the fallen is among true Bible believers as I believe that Satan has “pulled out the stops” in his attack upon men of God, churches, families, and a “Christian” nation. So often, it is a fellow believer or even a pastor who is the spreader of gossip and the bearer of the bad news. I have a problem with the gossip that goes on in our churches and pulpits. I believe that it is our obligation to pray for them, not spread the “bad news” across the land. The less who know of such failure the easier it is to do “damage control” and ultimately make restoration.

E. God recorded the event in such detail as to show the church both the cause and effect of such failure. God recorded it so we will read it; God recorded it so that we will heed it. You may look at the life of David and say, “This will never happen to me,” but take heed lest you or I become prey to the same sinful ness that captured the heart of God’s man.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

F. One would not think that our failures could have positive affect upon our lives, but we will find that the Lord brought something clean out of an unclean situation.

G. David’s sin brought about some bad changes: he was never the same as before. You can read David’s life and see that there was an innocence lost. The man who kept the sheep on the hillside surrounding Bethlehem while writing the Psalms was no longer! Yes, he would rise from the “dust” of failure to serve his God again, but he would never be the same. It is not that God cannot or does not forgive, it is that now, when he slays a giant or kills his ten thousands, the world will only remember Bathsheba! With Noah, it was his drunkenness; with Moses is was his anger; with Peter it was his denial; with Demas, it was his forsaking; with those of us who have fallen, the reproach and damage is ongoing.

H. The question that I want to answer this morning is this: What does personal failure have to do with being a man after God’s own heart?

I. First of all, let us look at the sin of David.

1. There Was Great Failure (I have personally known pastors, evangelists, and missionaries as well as laymen and women who have fallen into gross sin and it is both devastating and heart breaking.)

a) The Condition Of The Sin – 2 Samuel 11:1 – David was out of the battle! (The moment you quit serving the Lord and become a pew sitter, you became a potential liability!)

b. The Carrying Out Of The Sin – 2 Samuel 11:2-4 – David looked, lusted, and took Bathsheba. (David exposed himself to seeing the wrong things and, instead of correcting the problem of downcast eyes by directing them back to the heavens and God, he lingered in his gaze, hungered in his heart, and became defiled his life.)

c. The Covering Of The Sin – 2 Samuel 11:5-27 – David not only killed Uriah the Hittite, but also others who died with him. (Sin must either be confessed or covered and the covering never stops.)

d. The Continuance Of The Sin – 2 Samuel 12:14-15 David continued unrepentant for at least 9 months. (There is a finishing of sin before the judgment as a general rule. God gives you all of the “rope” that you need to hang yourself!)

2. There Was Great Consequence

a) Consequence Of Loss Of Power And Peace With God – 2 Samuel 11:27 – The Lord knew and David knew! (There was no peace with God or power of God on David’s life as he continued to try to serve the Lord in his sin.)

b) The Consequence Of Loss Of Testimony – 2 Samuel 11:14 (before Joab); 12:1 (before Nathan); 12:17 (before household); 12:18 (before his servants); 12:20 (before Israel). (Be sure your sin will find you out!)

c) The Consequences Of The Sin

1) Loss Of Respect From All Of The Above

2) Defilement Of His Concubines – 2 Samuel 12:11-12

3) Loss Of Testimony Before The Wicked – 2 Samuel 12:14

4) Death Of His Child – 2 Samuel 12:18

5) Continuance Of The Sword Of Chastisement – 2 Samuel 12:10 (Rape of his daughter by his son, death of that son by another brother, Absalom’s rebellion and ultimate death!)

3. There Was Great Restoration – Psalms 51 (We will not go into that as of yet.)


1. There Is The Capability Of Great Failure
. (Even in the life of David! We can as easily go from service to sin if not careful.)

David was a man of content who became discontent.

David was a man of character who became a character.

David was a man of worship who failed to worship.

David was a man of war who lost the war with the flesh.

2. Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out. (Even the best-hidden sins will eventually come out if not dealt with.)

3. God Will Bring About Chastening and Consequences In Our Lives. (Our sin neither goes unnoticed nor escapes His perfect judgment.)

4. Though Failure Sometimes Brings About Chastening (both short and long ranged), We Can Get Right With God And Still Be A Person Useable For The Lord. (In the New Testament, God said nothing concerning Bathsheba and only said that David was a man after God’s own heart. Though there are certain failures that will limit our usability, even those with these failures can find a place of repentance and service.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Suffering in Contentment

Temple Baptist Church - 3-14-2012

Philippians 1:12-14

A. Paul wrote the Epistle of Philippians from prison
. Throughout the Pauline Epistles, there are several references to his being in prison. I once heard the Book of Philippines called “Jailhouse Joy.”) Paul made no complaint as far as what is written in the bible is concerned but I do know that he was human and more than likely had “his moments.” No matter how spiritual we are, we do have moments of weakness where the flesh prevails. We are all familiar with this particular verse though:

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

B. Spirituality in the midst of suffering is a thing of rare beauty. Here, we find the resignation of Paul to God’s will in his life coupled with the knowledge that his suffering was not in vain.

1. Suffering is not a sign that God has forsaken us. He will never leave nor forsake us. 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.

2. Suffering is not a sign that God does not love us. His love for His children never diminishes, no matter what happens. Romans 8:35-39 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. (38) 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.

C. Paul, in the perfect will of the Lord, was imprisoned for preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Sometimes we suffer because we are Christians. Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

2 Timothy 3:10-12 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (11) Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2. Sometimes we suffer because it is common to mankind. Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. (Life is hard! We are born into sin and begin to die the day that we are conceived. Trouble is a way of life so get used to it.)

D. I know that sometimes hardship or suffering is a direct result of sin; there are times when it is simply, as the man born lame, just for the glory of God; all suffering is a direct result of the fall of man and the curse of sin upon Adam’s race but not necessarily because of personal sinfulness. Many people ask the question, “Is this trouble I am having because of something that I have done?” A good “rule of thumb” is this: if the Lord “spanks” you, then He will let you know what He “spanks” you for. I never just spanked one of my children without letting them know specifically what they were being punished for.

E. Paul recognized that his imprisonment was a result of the world’s hatred for Jesus Christ and the gospel but, regardless of the cause of suffering, there are some things that we can know that will help us when they come.

1. Every Christian experiences trials and suffering! Genesis 47:8-9 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? (9) And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. (I know that I have said this already but the first thing that people say when troubles come is, “Why me?” “I don’t understand why this had to happen to me!” Troubles and problems are a way of life and the older we get them more frequent and severe the trials. Fiery trials are spoken of in the bible.)

2. Normally, trials and tribulation are intermittent and short lived. 1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (The interpretation of this verse has to do with the chastening of the Lord but, in application, weeping endures for a while but the “sun is coming up in the morning!” These problematic days that so often come can be light, medium, or very tough in nature. Thank God storms come and then they just blow away and the sun peeks through the clouds.)

3. Trials are always purposeful. 1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

a. Temporally, we are renewed in the inward man. Strengthened in our spirit.

b. Eternally, we are rewarded in the eternal man. An eternal weight of glory!

Here are some things that sufferings can accomplish:

1. Our trials are a testing of our faith. Psalms 66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

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

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (I could give you many verses and stories along the same line as these verses but it would be a message by itself. In the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, it speaks of the 4 grounds which are an analogy of the heart of man. Verse 21 says, “Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” A strong faith will cause the believer to continue and come out the other side as “gold.”)

2. Our trials have a strengthening effect on our faith. Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (The more we suffer, the more we grow in faith as we see the Lord meet our needs and give the grace and comfort needed. “For I have learned” says it all: there was a time in Paul’s life when he possibly was not contend in his particular state. We are not born “super spiritual” believers as we are babes in Christ but as we experience, we learn, and we grow spiritually.)

3. Our trials help to purify our lives. Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Heavy trials will drive the believer to their knees because God’s help is imperative. It is a shame that it takes events like these to bring us into close communion with our wonderful Lord but that is our humanity at its worst. With prayer comes soul searching because we all understand that answered prayer and a pure heart go together. When we need God the most, we seek Him with all of our hearts.)

4. Our trials can also be a means of chastisement. Psalms 6:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Hebrews 12:5-13 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Chastisement is a loving Father’s means of bringing the wayward “sheep” home upon His shoulders. It is a sign of relationship and love. Without holiness, we cannot see the Lord and His desire is that we have a close relationship with Him.)

5. Our trials prove the sufficiency of His marvelous grace. 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (Whatever comes our way, our Lord is with us and for us. It way may get rough but we will come out a winner either way.)

6. Our trials show us who our real friends are. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (We could discuss all day the “comfort” that Jobs three friends gave him but the bible accurately says that they were his friends. Job was the greatest man in the East and only three men came to comfort him. A friend is born for adversity. That is why we are here! That is why we assemble together: to exhort one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching. We need the Lord and we need each other because He made it that way.)

7. Our trials enable us to help others as they travel the hard roads of life. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 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. (Many times I have to tell someone who is grieving, “I don’t know how you feel.” The older that I get, the more that I can tell them, “I know how you feel because I have sat where you sit.” We have brothers and sisters to help us bear our burdens as they walk along beside of us.)

8. Our trials humble us. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Trials take away our self-sufficiency and teach us to lean upon Christ. None of us like trials and tribulation but they are a way of life and can strengthen us. You can come out of a valley either better or bitter. It is up to you.)

9. Our trials make up long for our heavenly home. Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. One day, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.)

What is a believer to do when your world caves in and there seemingly is not light at the end of the “tunnel?”

1. Do not give up on the Lord
. Psalms 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Never give up in any situation. God is God in the valleys as well as upon the mountain tops. Proverbs 3:5-6 should be our life verses when in trouble. Trust the Lord when you cannot track Him; trust the Lord when you cannot see His workings; trust the Lord when the heavens seemingly are made of brass; trust the Lord when there seems to be no hope at all; just trust in the Lord with all of your heart.)

2. Make sure that you have a good, Christian attitude. Psalms 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. (The verses that follow this one say, “Neither be thou envious … trust in the Lord … delight thyself also in the Lord … commit thy way … rest in the Lord … depart from evil … wait on the Lord!” I want to look at these things for a few minutes. We know that the Lord holds our future and He loves us; therefore, our attitude should be reflecting the faith that we hold. It is so easy to be discontent, fretful, or disgruntled. A disquieted soul becomes a reality and we become bitter against the Lord for our circumstances.)

3. Continue to do good. Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (Live for the Lord! Just continue to do right in the light of wrong doing others have done to you. Read Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.’s book “Do Right.” We do not fight fire with fire. I am old enough to have learned that doing right may not pay good dividends in the immediate but those who do right normally come out better than those who do wrong. I believe that the Lord rewards good.)

4. Delight in the Lord instead of indicting Him. Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Isaiah 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, min, body, strength, hopes, and fears. To delight is to take pleasure in. When He seemingly does not care and supposedly will not help. He does care! “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”)

5. Commit your way unto the Lord. Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (This is another very difficult task. We must learn to go with the storm instead of fighting it. When caught in a current that is too strong to swim against, you swim with the current while angling across it to escape. In Acts 27, we find the words “And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive!” Sometimes you have to “let her drive” and trust the Lord with the outcome.)

6. Learn to rest in the Lord. Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Resting in the fact that He loves you more than you will ever know and holds your life in His hands. Nothing can touch God’s children without Him allowing. A good rule is to change what you can change in a right way and trust the Lord with what you cannot.)

7. Learn to wait upon the Lord. Psalms 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. (Possibly the hardest of all when in a trial is to wait. I am the impatient, “get ‘er done” type. Waiting requires patience and only tribulation worketh it. We may get in a hurry but God does not and every effort to push Him is in vain. He is never late nor is He early and time does not affect Him as it does us. He knows the end from the beginning. Bucking in the traces will not get the job done.)

8. Rest assured that He will be there with and for you. The Lord said that He would never leave nor forsake us and His word is true. Just hang in there and, after you have suffered for a season, the trial will end—the sun come up—and things will be better.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The End of the Commandment

Temple Baptist Church - 3-11-2012

1 Timothy 1:3-7


A. We saw the imperative of sound doctrine in our first 2 messages in 1 Timothy and I want to re-enforce that tonight
: it is of the utmost importance that—as a pastor—I guard the doctrinal integrity of this local church! Paul left Timothy in Ephesus for that very reason.

B. We saw the result of unsound doctrinal in the teaching of “fables” and “endless genealogies” which gender questions instead of giving scriptural answers. Preaching and teaching is to give us answers, not gender questions. God’s men are to guard against and stay away from such.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; (4) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, (5) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: (21) Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest city of Phrygia Pacatiana.

2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Titus 3:9-10 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (10) A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

C. Tonight, I want to look at the “end of the commandment” for a few minutes. We understand the importance of sound doctrine but we also need to know the desired results. They are listed in our text.

1. Charity out of a pure heart. Knowledge of God’s Word and of the Lord Himself brings about love, not Phariseeism! Though Phariseeism is not “legalism,” it does try to place the believer under bondage instead of liberty. I believe in soul liberty, the personal accountability of the believer and individual priesthood.

a. Charity out of a pure heart brings acceptance - Romans 14:13-16 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. (14) I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (15) But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. (16) Let not then your good be evil spoken of: (You do not have to agree with someone to love them and you do not always have to be right to get along.)
b. Charity out of a pure heart brings forbearance - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (You will have a right perspective of self which gives a right perspective of others.)

2. A good conscience. Knowledge of God’s Word and Person brings about assurance and a conscience that is free, not doubt and guilt. I have sinned but God has declared me “justified” and will present me “faultless” before the throne of His glory! I sleep well at night as I rest my head upon my pillow and my heart in His wonderful care. I am His and He is mine!

a. A good conscience is an assured one - 1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (Sound doctrine shows the love of God for His children and brings about blessed assurance. False doctrine brings about doubt.)

b. A good conscience is a peaceful one - 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. (Sound doctrine not only gives assurance, it dissolves our fears. There is no fear in love and I can assure you that God loves you more than anyone else in the world could.)

3. Faith unfeigned. One that causes the believer to place his life and eternity into the hands of the One who owns it.

a. Faith unfeigned is an affective faith – Ephesians 2:8-15 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (11) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (Faith unfeigned is a real faith: one that affects the heart and transforms your life. No transformation means no life. Our faith affects our lives.)

b. Faith unfeigned is an effective faith – Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (It is a faith that causes the child of God to step out in the unknown with the One who knows where we are going. “By faith” is used 15x in this 11th chapter of the Book of Hebrews. As we walk with God by faith, our faith is rewarded. The reward comes after the “step” takes place and proves the Lord. It is a faith that causes the believer to remain faithful to the house of the Lord and the doctrines of the faith. Unfeigned faith brings forth spiritual stability.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This I Pray

Temple Baptist Church - 3-7-2012

Philippians 1:3-11


A. I often read the prayers of Paul and gain some interesting insight into the heart of a great man of God
. What a miraculous change God wrought in a man who was the greatest enemy God’s people had up to that point in history. Humble but strong; either a person’s best friend or greatest enemy; totally sold out to the Lord in all that he did or hoped for. “For TO ME to live is Christ!”

B. Now, we look into his closet of prayer and, therefore, into his very heart as he took his innermost desires and concerns to his Lord.

1. Notice the place of his praying. “My bonds.” Paul was incarcerated. He was imprisoned wrongfully with his only fault loving sinners and trying to keep them out of a devil’s hell. You and I would be screaming, “I’m innocent! I’ve been framed! Get me a lawyer! Let me out of here!” Paul has no thought for self as we will see in these verses.

2. Notice the joy of his praying. “I thank my God!” “Making request with joy.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks.” I am sure that Paul was not thankful for being falsely incarcerated in a dark, damp prison. I am sure he was not too happy with the “water and bread of affliction” that was normally fed to prisoners. Prison in those days was a little different from the “day rooms” that are made available today. I am sure that Paul was not thankful for the abusive language and maltreatment that he received at the hands of God’s enemies. But, in the midst of affliction and heartache, Paul found something to be thankful for and readily gave thanksgiving to the Lord. Joy has been defined in acrostic fashion as “J – Jesus first O – other second Y – you last.

3. Noticed the objects of his praying. “All the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” His heart’s desire was for the welfare and edification of the church at Philippi. God’s man loved God’s people. I have a problem with pastors and missionaries who do not love the people that the Lord allows them to serve. I fear that too many preachers have forgotten that the ministry means “to minister.” Not to “be ministered to.”

C. Now, for a few minutes, let us look at the content of the prayer:

1. He prayed for their labor of love in the ministry. “Fellowship in the gospel.” Many times, the work of the Lord is a lonesome work as many believers place self and self-desires ahead of what the Lord wants and commands us to do. Fellowship within the church and fellowship in the “white already to harvest” world in which we live. Our Lord’s prayer request was for “labourers” to be sent into the God’s vineyard. The labourers are truly few and getting fewer all of the time with less and less men and women surrendering to the Lord’s will. Churches everywhere with no pastor; mission fields with none to go plant churches; our Jerusalem dying without Christ and without hope with only the cults “compelling” them to come in.

2. He prayed for their unity in love. “ Love may abound yet more and more.” As sound doctrine is the foundation of the local church, love is the glue that holds it together. I reiterate that the greatest enemy of the local church is division in the pews and that is a constant problem. A pastor can preach on the subject until he has worn it out and still have someone get mad or get their feelings hurt the next day. It is a never ending dilemma that must be dealt with and the success of the local church is up to you individually. Get mad or get hurt and you become an arm of Satan. Our Lord told Peter to “get thee behind me Satan!”

3. He prayed for their sanctification. “That ye may approve things that are excellent.” Living above the “snake line” by choosing the superlative. Snakes do not go above a certain elevation. This invisible line of elevation is often called the snake line. Many hunters and campers are keenly aware of this fact and intentionally pitch their camps above the snake line. Good is good; better is better; and best is best! So many of us choose the good or better over the best because it is convenient or is the easiest path to trod. I have often said that we need to give “God the benefit of every doubt.” If we choose the superlative, then we will live with a clear conscience and no regrets.

4. He prayed their lives would reflect the glory and praise of God. “Unto the glory and praise of God.” May each of us live in such a way as to never bring shame or reproach to the name of Christ as we are called “Christians.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

David: A Man Of War

Temple Baptist Church - 3-4-2012

Psalms 144:1-2; 1 Samuel 18:6-7


A. Over the past few weeks, we have seen David
—a man after God’s own heart—a man of contentment, character, and worship. Life is made of “building blocks” that make us the man or woman that we now are. It is so important to become the kind of man or woman that is pleasing to the Lord.

B. I find it of great interest that David was a man’s man! I know that this may not seem right to some but, as a man, I look up to the “warriors” of our day. I thank the Lord for men like those in Seal Team Six who efficiently and effectively removed a threat to world peace and security. I am not glad that a man died without Christ but I am glad that social justice was done!

C. In today’s society, men are expected to be on the soft side and violence has become taboo. Our Lord asked a question of the Pharisees concerning what they expected to see when they saw John the Baptist: Luke 7:24-25 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? (25) But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. (John was not dressed in “soft raiment” nor was he “gorgeously apparelled.” John was a man both outwardly and inwardly. John did not shake!) Today’s “men of the cloth” are portrayed by the world and especially Hollywood as men of softness. As I read and study the bible, I find that men of God were tough men. I do want to reiterate that they were tough men, not hard men.

D. David, a man after God’s own heart, was possibly the greatest warrior who ever lived! He was a man of war from his youth. 1 Samuel 16:18 says that David was “a mighty valiant man, and a man of war.” Jesse knew the dangers of shepherding (David killed a lion and a bear) and yet entrusted David with his sheep. In Ecclesiastes 3, the bible says that there is a time to hate, a time to kill, and a time for war! Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8, 11 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

E. The Bible declares God to be a “man of war!” - Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Psalms 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

F. I want to look at three things about David’s manhood:

1. David Was Revered By His People - 1 Samuel 18:6-7 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (This is literal! In David’s day, one hundred thousand plus would die in one battle in one day.)

2 Samuel 23:8-22 These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 9 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: 10 He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 13 And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. 14 And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! 16 And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. 17 And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. 18 And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. 19 Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three. 20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: 21 And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. (David was mightier than all of these. While these “mighty men” cowered with the crowd, David arose and slew the giant, Goliath!)

2. David Was Feared By His Enemies - 2 Samuel 17:7-10 And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. 8 For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 10 And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men. (The enemies of David knew what “metal” he was made of: fearless in adversity and mighty in battle. He was both respected and feared as a man. Because of the news media and public outcry, our military can no longer fight with the ferocity necessary to cause great fear in the hearts of our enemies. For the same reasons, a man can no longer carry arms or protect his home in such a manner as to keep it safe. Boys have become soft and soft boys become sissy or effeminate men.)

3. David Was Right With His Lord - Psalms 144:1-2 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: (2) My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. (The Lord taught David how to fight and aided him in the fight. You can be a “man of war” and be right with the Lord.)

Now, I want to look at David’s Warfare: I will read a lot of scripture tonight but I feel that it is necessary in order for you and I to get the setting for our message. 1 Samuel 17:1-53

1. David Knew Who To Fight – 1 Samuel 17:26, 29 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (David always fought the right enemy. A man once stated that “The church is the only army in the world that shoots its own soldiers in the back.” How sad but how true. So many good men are divided by things that do not matter and unified by things that they should be divided over.)

a. David Never Fought God’s Man

1) David did not harm God’s man physically - 1 Samuel 24:10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’S anointed.

2 Samuel 1:14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed?

2) David did not harm God’s man spiritually - 2 Samuel 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

b. David Never Fought God’s People - 1 Samuel 28:1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.

1 Samuel 29:9 And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.

c. Our Fight Is Against The Devil And His Work - Ephesians 6:12 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.

1 Peter 5:8 your adversary the devil

Zechariah 3:1 Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

Luke 22:31 Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Matthew 13:39 The enemy

John 8:44 He was a murderer from the beginning

Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 the wiles of the devil.

James 4:7 Resist the devil

1 John 3:8 the devil sinneth from the beginning… the works of the devil.

Zechariah 3:1 Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

2. David Knew How To Fight

a. He Fought With Courage - 1 Samuel 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. (He was fearless in his attack upon the giant!)

b. He Fought With Conviction - 1 Samuel 17:26, 29 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (He fought with the knowledge that he was on the right side!)

c. He Fought With Confidence - 1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. (He fought in the name and power of the Lord!)

d. He Fought With Continuance - 1 Samuel 17:48-51 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. (He fought until the enemy was DEAD!)

e. Fight The Good Fight - 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

f. As A Good Soldier - 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

3. David Knew When To Fight – God’s men do not just fight for the sake of fighting. I do not want to leave you with the impression that David went around killing people just for the fun of it. A man after God’s own heart fights when his cause is just. He fought when no one else would! This had been going on for forty days!

a. David Did Not Move Too Slow - 1 Samuel 17:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

1 Samuel 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

b. David Did Not Move Too Quickly - 2 Samuel 5:22-25 And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. 24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. 25 And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.

c. We Are To Fight Now - Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Conclusion: We will never be a man or woman after God’s own heart until we become a “Man of war!” Ephesians 6:13 says, “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.” The courage to withstand and having done all, the courage to continue to stand!