Sunday, January 25, 2015


Temple Baptist Church - 1-25-2015
Titus 2:9-10
A.  By way of interpretation, the word “servant” spoke of those who were subservient to another: one who was a slave or bond servant. 
1.  We do not have anyone here tonight who is either a slave or a bond servant but I used the word subservient when defining the word servant
2.  Subservient means to be submissive, obedient, or compliant. 
B.  By way of application,  the word servant in our day could imply employed.  Most of our men and women work for others and are not self-employed.  As an employee, you serve for pay.
1.  I thank the Lord for the jobs that I have had over the years because the Lord used those jobs to care for my family.  They paid the bills, put a roof over our heads, bought automobiles for us to ride in, put food on the table, clothed my family, gave us not only the necessities of life but many of the desires of our hearts such as ice cream and hamburgers at a fast food joint to vacations, etc.. 
2.  The love of money is the root of all evil but money is a necessity if we are to have those things that we need and want.  2 Thessalonians 3:10  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
C.  It is not the will of God that we should be “wards of the state.” 
1.  I understand that many of you are retired and thank the Lord for you being able to do so.  By “wards of the state,” I am speaking of those too lazy to work.  Those who live off of handouts from the government.  Our nation is rapidly moving in a socialistic one with “Big Daddy” government offering more and more freebies. 
2.  When you get “hooked” on handouts from the government, you become more subservient that you know!  You become a slave to the system because, if they give it to you, they can take it from you and you have to now meet their criteria for being supported. 
D.  I want to couple these verses in Titus with other places in scripture that deal with the subject in order for us all to get some help.  You see, I am also a servant to you!  Just what kind of servants should the children of God be?
1.  We are to be obedient servants.  “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters”  If they pay our salary, then we are to be obedient to them.  I know that some bosses are easier to work for and with than others but we are to do our very best to get done those things that they require. 
1 Peter 2:18  Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 
2.  We are to be well-pleasing servants.  and to please them well in all things  Not just pleasing, but well pleasing.  This speaks on not only doing our job but also going the extra mile to do the little things that we are not expected to do.  My dad always told me to give my employer 8 hours work for 8 hours play.  In order to do that, you have to do the little extra things when you are on the clock instead of sitting around because you are caught up.  I don’t mean that you have to work yourself to death but do such a good job that your employer will be glad that he/she/they employed YOU! 
Ephesians 6:5-8  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;  (6)  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;  (7)  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 
3.  We are to be servants with bridled tongues.  “not answering again”  Everywhere I go, I have to listen to disgruntled workers who air their complaints both openly and publically.  I know that not all jobs pay a good living and not all jobs are what you want to do in life to earn a living, but they are jobs and YOU applied for them!  Stay our of groups of people who stand around complaining and talking about their employers or bosses.  If you don’t like your job don’t complain, QUIT!  If you work there and continue working there, then the choice was yours and you knew what the job was.
4.  We are to be hard working servants.  “Not purloining”  The word purloining is one that we never hear in a conservation in our day but it is good word to be used in this verse because it carries the meaning of sequestering oneself, to embezzle, or to keep back something.  It means to give all that you have or to do the best that your ability allows. 
Colossians 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
5.  We are to be faithful servants.  “but shewing all good fidelity"  Fidelity means to be faithful, loyal, reliable, trustworthy, dependable, devoted, committed.  When I worked in the mines, they gave us 7 sick days and 7 personal days to go along with our regular vacation days.  They told us not to take these days unless we were sick or had a problem that had to be attended to.  At the end of the year, they would pay us for every unused sick or personal day.  That made for a great paycheck around Christmas.  Here was their reasoning: they did not hire extra people just to take our places when we want a day off!  They hired us to do our job; they hired us to be there every day!  I remember going year after year and never missing a day’s work because they hired me to work.  As God’s children, we should be dependable!
1 Timothy 6:1  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
Conclusion:  “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
(8)  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
1.  It shows the world that our Christianity is real!
2.  We earn a good living plus our attitude and behavior brings with it the blessings of the Lord on our lives as well!

Trials and Finances

Temple Baptist Church - 1-25-2015
Philippians 4:10-19
A.  We live in a materialistic world and the lust of the eye associated with it is devastating many of our families. 
1.  People were happier many years ago when they had less!  Everyone was poor where we came from though “being poor” varied from family to family.  We had less money and things but also had less expectations or riches.
2.  Young people, can you imagine a world without Walmart, Ingles, BI-LO, McDonalds, Frappe’s (or whatever they are called), Starbucks, one car per family if you owned a car, etc.
3.  Hollywood called them “Happy Days” and they were!
B.  Today, monetary expectations are high: “things” have been mace accessible to even the poorest of families. 
1.  We live in a day of two income families that have taken the mother out of the home.  Many of our mothers are “locked in” by the lifestyle of the family and the debts incurred. 
2.  Kids now have cars and electronic devices of every description.  Where we walked, they ride; where we used our imaginations they have more than we could ever have imagined.
C.  Many families suffer a breakup because of the stress of monumental debt caused by “keeping up with the Joneses.”  The bible has much to say on the subject:
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. 
Psalms 37:16  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
1 Timothy 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
D.  God has a biblical plan for finances and those who remain within these bounds are both satisfied and happy.
E.  It would do us well to realize that there are:
1.  Periodic trials in our finances - Philippians 4:10-13  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  (These are periods of ups and downs in finances that go along with life.)
2.  Personal trials caused by irresponsibility in finances - Luke 15:13-14  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. (These are hard times caused by us personally through bad financial decisions.)
F.  Personal trials caused by irresponsibility in finances.  These trials are self-induced.
1.  These can be caused by Laziness - Proverbs 6:6-11  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.  (Just too lazy and trifling to earn a living.  We live in a “hand out” society as our nation moves more and more into a socialistic system or welfare state.  Free education; free food; free medical; free, free, free.  Nothing is free because someone is either paying for it or the nation is borrowing to pay for it.  Over 18 trillion dollars in debt and 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities?  What is it about spending that the government doesn’t get.  My suggestion: GO GET A JOB!)
2.  These trials can be caused by Discontentment and Excessive Spending.  Fiscal irresponsibility!  1 Timothy 6:7-8  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (8)  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  (Too much debt and excessive spending will put you in a bind that you may not be able to get out of.  We live in the day of “flashing” the old credit card instead to waiting until you get the money.  The “gotta have its” turns into the “can’t help its” which is a disaster looking for a place to happen.)
Proverbs 30:8  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
G.  Some can be unexpected and catastrophic.  They are not something that you cause.  Loss of job or unforeseen bills such as doctor, mechanics, replacement of broken down appliances, etc.  These are unexpected and unplanned for.
2 Corinthians 8:1-2  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  (2)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
H.  What to do when financial hard times come:
1.  Continue To Tithe Your Income And Give A Love Offering - Mark 12:42-44  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living
Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
2.  Learn To Be Content With A Little Less Instead Of A Lot More - Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 
3.  Plan To Stay Out Of Debt, Not Incur Debt - Romans 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  (You have to get out of debt the same way that you got into debt – one dollar at a time!)
Proverbs 3:27  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
4.  Continue to trust the Lord to take care of your needs - Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Young Men

Temple Baptist Church - 1-18-2015
Titus 2:6-8
A.   We have looked at the responsibilities of the aged men and women with regard to their example and teaching.  We need godly, faithful, sober, wise older people in our churches because they are the salt of the local church.
B.  Tonight, I want to take a biblical look at the young men in the local church.  Unfortunately, in many churches, they are scarce!    You will find more young women trying to be faithful and bring their children than you will young men trying to spiritually lead their homes and train their children.
C.  Also, many of the young men with families may be faithful so some degree in attendance but are not involved in the work of the church.  As the older men get feebler and, therefore, unable to carry the work load, the work of the church is hindered.  Most of the men involved in getting the work of the church done are over 60!
D.  I want to exhort our younger men to get involved in the work of the church!  When I was a young man and a new convert, I was thrust into the work of the church because of a church split that found many of the workers of the church leaving.  I drove a church bus, taught a SS class, let the singing, maintained the grounds and buildings, and knocked on doors because there were few to do these things.  Like many, I worked long hours, drove a great distance to work, had a young family and still found time to serve the Lord.  I am glad!
E.  Younger men, if you do not “step up to the plate,” the church will die within the next few years because the older laborers will be gone!
1.  We need young men who are strong.  “Young men”  1 John 2:14  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.  (Young men have strength to labor.  I feel good but am slowing down.  I often say that a hard day’s work and a glass of cold water would probably kill me grave yard dead!  In my youth, I could work long hours, spend time with my family, work at the church, go soul winning, etc. but those days are gone.  Young families, the local church need for you to step up and shoulder the work.)
2.  We need young men who are useable.  “exhort to be”  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. (So many young men have no desire to serve the Lord.  Serving the Lord seems to be an “old man” thing.  I remember well the example of a young man who had a thumb cut off shaking my hand at church when I was small.  He was a steadfast, godly young man and I will always remember him well because of his right hand.)
3.  We need young men who are a right example.  “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works” 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. (I have seen bumper stickers that said, “Real men pray.”  Real men are not afraid to be an outspoken example of biblical Christianity.)
4.  We need young men who are doctrinally grounded. to be sober minded” 1 John 2:14  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.  (Young men who will stand in the gap, make up the hedge, walk in the Old Paths, be an example, and be faithful.  Young men who have heard and accepted God’s Word; who have read and studied God’s Word; and who can teach their families and other’s God’s Word.)
5.  We need young men who live consistent, godly lives.   that cannot be condemned” 1 John 2:14  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (Young men who will step up and replace those of us who are older now and are slowing down or leaving this world.  The local churches are in desperate need of young men who are willing to live clean lives and serve the Lord in the local church.  Young wives and mothers, you can work and teach in the church but the greatest thing that you will ever do is be the supportive wife and godly mother in your home.  Your husband and children can never be all that they need to be unless you are all that you need to be.)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seeing God in a Right Perspective - The Importance of the Holiness of God

Temple Baptist Church - 1-11-2015
Isaiah 6:1-5
A.  One, if not the, greatest problems facing the churches of our day is a lack of the fear of the Lord.  This is a problem in both the lives of the saved and lost.  No longer do most churches recognize the absolute holiness of a thrice holy God!  The holiness of God is an attribute that is essential to God and to man.  Without perfect holiness:
1.  God would be as imperfect as man and there could be no salvation. 
2.  God would not be just and there can be no biblical fear of God.
B.  R. C. Sproul makes this insightful observation from Isaiah 6:  “The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy.  Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy.  He is holy, holy, holy.  The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice.  It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
1.  The Bible definition of the fear of the Lord is found in Psalm 19:9 which says, “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
2.  It is of small wonder that the world is in the shape that it is in when people no longer have a fear of the Lord.  Sin is rampant and “that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  (Genesis 6:5)
C.  The church is also in a mess for the same reason!  Even God’s people do not have a right perspective of the holiness of God.  Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (Holiness has now become “legalism” in our economy and God’s people see no real need for living in a biblical manner.)
D.  The Bible asks this question–Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?  For thou only art holy:  for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are mad manifest.
E.  God is infinitely and immutably holy.  In our text, the prophet Isaiah got a vision of the holiness of God and it was life changing!  Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 
1 Timothy 6:15-16  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  (16)  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.  (Not “a” light but “the” light.  Notice the definite article “the” when speaking of God’s light.  It is one of a kind!  Not a dim light; not an average light; not a bright light; but THE light.)
1 John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (God not only dwells in “the” light, God IS light: a light with no darkness at all.  No shadows and no gray areas but a brilliant, all exposing, all revealing light that lights not only the world but every man who is born into this world.  To deny God is to deny the light that God has given to man.)
F.  The Holiness of God is unequaled–Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.  (God is unequaled; God is unparalleled; God is one of a kind; God is indescribable because He is beyond the realm of our experience.  God is infinitely holy!)
G.  I want to look for a few minutes at the importance of the absolute holiness of God.
1.  The Holiness Of God Is An Unreachable Standard For Personal Righteousness - Romans 10:3-4  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  (4)  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.  (No man or woman can attain perfection!  There are some who believe that they can but the bibles declares that all, both saved and lost, are sinful.)
2.  The Holiness Of God Makes Salvation All Of GraceEphesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to
his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy
3.  The Holiness Of God Is Our Seal Of Eternal Salvation - Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
4.  The Holiness Of God Changes Our Conduct and Attitudes In Worship – Psalm 96:9 O worship the LORD          in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
5.  The Holiness Of God Brings About Holiness Of Life – 1 Peter 1:15-16  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  (16)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Aged Women

Temple Baptist Church - 1-4-2015
Titus 2:3-5
A.  To lay a proper foundation for tonight’s message, we need to reiterate a couple of things.
1.  Paul begins this chapter with the importance of maintaining sound doctrine but God’s Word takes a usual turn at this point.  We normally classify sound doctrine as being major doctrines such as the virgin birth, the blood, the resurrection, God’s Word, etc., but we are now reminded that the entire bible is sound doctrine!
2.  We dealt with the older men in the church and now, in verse 3, we find the word “likewise.”  When giving order to Titus concerning the responsibilities of individual classes of people within the local church, he places equal responsibility on both men and women.
3.  I may spend a little more time with the ladies of the church because of the amount of information given in these verses.  Only one verse was given to the aged men.  That does not mean that they are more spiritual because they aren’t.  I believe that the Holy Ghost emphases’ the importance of the woman here. 
4.  Men need a “completer,” not the women.  The men are to be in authority in the home, church, and nation.  I am not here to argue the point but to make a biblical observation.  Most preachers get in trouble here because what the bible says is not politically correct in our day.
5.  The key to its importance is the last phrase “That the word of God be not blasphemed.” 
B.  Godly women become sound doctrine in the local church according to the context! 
1.  When the ladies take unscriptural roles in the local church, it cannot spiritually prosper!  I want to open this portion of scripture by saying that we have a wonderful bunch of ladies at Temple Baptist Church.  I can never over emphasize the important role that women have in the church. 
2.  The role of the woman is not in the areas of leadership such as pastor, deacon, or evangelist!  In chapters 2-3 of 1 Timothy, Paul—through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—makes it perfectly, biblically clear that there is no such thing as a God called woman pastor or deacon!  1 Timothy is one of the Pastoral Epistles written to young pastors to set forth the will of God in the authority and running of the local church.  Churches with women preachers and deacons must be willfully ignorant to ignore the clear commandments concerning the call and qualifications for these offices.
1 Timothy 2:11-3:2  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  (12)  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  (13)  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  (14)  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  (15)  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.  (3:1)  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  (2)  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
C.  We live in the last days with few godly, biblically obedient women to be found.  The woman with a meek and quiet spirit is a rarity!  Most homes are run by the wives instead of the husbands.  Most churches are in the same condition.  The problem is three-fold:  a lack of biblical salvation, a lack of biblical teaching, or a lack of biblical obedience!  Let us take a look at the character of the biblical, aged woman along with her responsibilities.
D.  The aged women (notice the bible did not say “old women”):
1.  The aged women are to behave in such a way as becometh holiness – vs 3.  I used to hear men and women speak of their mothers and grandmothers praying and reading the bible.  I have heard of more than one testimony from a preacher telling of how, when he was still living in sin, he would come home and hear his mother praying for him.  Not many children in our day ever know of moms or dads praying and reading the bible.
2.  The aged women are not to slander through gossip – vs 3.  There used to be an old saying, “Telephone, telegraph, and tell a woman!”  Not that men do not gossip because I still go to a barber shop to get my hair cut.  Dear Lord, give us some precious ladies who know the value of keeping things to themselves.
3.  The aged women are not to “given” to much wine or to be enslaved to banqueting or pleasure – vs 3.  The Proverbs 31 woman is characterized by putting her family first and hard work.  I am not against a lady having a good time but, if she has a family and home to care for, she has her hands full.
4.  The aged women are to be “teachers of good things.”  In order to be able to teach, one must first have learned!  Many of the women of our day have not been raised to take care of a husband, children, and the home.  The next couple of verses deal with the teaching of “good things.”
E.  Here are a few of the “good things” that need to be a priority in such teaching.
1.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “sober.”  Notice that the first thing God command the man to do was be sober.  It is the first thing that an older woman is to teach the younger.  I want out young ladies to have a good time but life is hard, not a game to be played.  Sober means to keep your eyes open and vigilant because your chastity, husband, and family is under attack.
2.  Older ladies, teach your girls to “love their husbands.”  As the man is commanded to love his wife, the young ladies need to learn to love their husbands.  I believe that an over emphasis has been placed on the physical aspect of marriage (and this is a very important of the marriage relationship).  To love someone is to give oneself to them completely.  God said that the woman’s desire was to be unto her husband.  Other than the Lord, the husband is to be the most important person in your life!  Take care of him!
3.  Older ladies, teach your girls to “love their children.”  One would think this to be a natural thing but it is not.  It must be taught!  Too many women love their children wrong by giving them an improper place in the home.  They love their children more than they do their husbands.  They fail to correct and properly teach their children about salvation and life.
4.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “discreet.”  “Discreet” means not like to be seen or noticed.  Too many pastor’s wives are always in the forefront.  I thank God for my wife who is a “background” person.  Discreet also carries the meaning of being safe.  If you are not in front, you are probably not going to be shot!
5.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “chaste.”  “Chaste” is an unusual word.  It means to be pure and clean but it also means to be innocent.  A lack of knowledge of evil.  A young lady can be a virgin and yet impure in so many ways.
6.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “keepers at home.”  I know, in the age of the working woman, this is not popular so I want to do something out of the norm for me.  “Keepers at home” is one word in the underlying Greek.  I am not trying to impress because “keepers at home” should be obvious in the English also.  It means to be “a stayer at home” or to be “domestically inclined.”
7.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “good.”  And, no this does not come naturally to either boys or girls.  Clean, pure, sweet, valuable, virtuous, etc.  Nothing any sweeter than a good young lady!
8.  Older ladies, teach your girls to be “obedient to their own husbands.”  Understand, at this point, that ladies are to obey God first in all things but do not let that become an excuse for disobedience.  I still put the words “to obey” in the marriage vows.  This is God speaking, not this preacher.  We live in days of independent, unruly women.  They are out of order. Ephesians 5:22, 24  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord … Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Conclusion:  Ladies, your role in the home and the church is more important than you think.  To disobey these verse is to give occasion for other is speak evil against God’s Word.


Don’t Let The Church Lose Its Purpose In 2015

Temple Baptist Church - 1-4-2015
Matthew 28:1-20

A.  As we enter the New Year, I want to look at some very familiar verses in Matthew’s Gospel.  In the first 8 verses, we find the resurrection of our Lord and the women’s confrontation with the angel of the Lord.  In verses 9-10, we find the disciples meeting with our Lord in His post-resurrection appearance.  In verses 11-15, we find the lie that was told and commonly reported.  In verses 16-20, we find our Lord’s appearance on the mountain giving the Great Commission or Great Commandment before His ascension.
B.  In verse 17, some worshipped but some doubted!  I want to look at these verses and say that “some do and some don’t!”  We live in the last days and the Great Commission or Commandment is still valid!  I find God’s purpose for the local church divided into 4 different categories in verses 17-20.  God’s purpose for our existence as we gather together here at Temple Baptist Church.
C. Most local churches and denominations have become confused as to their purpose for existence.
1. They have become social clubs (Where the elite of society join in order to be seen and promote their careers. Notice how few doctors, teachers, lawyers, business men, and politicians join true New Testament churches.) 

2. They have become entertainment centers.
(Their programs and music reflect the mood and priorities of the world.)
3. They have become safe havens for the sinful.
(Sinners, both lost and saved, are not confronted with their sin and, therefore, continue in them.)

4. They have become banks where the tithes and offerings of the saints now rest in CDs.
(God never intended for money to remain in the bank while a world is dying without Christ and missionaries are struggling to get to the field.)

5. There was a time when the church was a place for the rich to show off their elegance in clothing fashions but now it is the reverse.
(Today, the church has become a place where people wear casual clothing.  There was a day when they wore their “Sunday Best!”)
D.  Though many faceted, the work or purpose of the local church is a simple one.
1.  It has been made complex and confusing because of the reliance upon the programs and ideas of men. I am all for good programs as long as those programs promote in a godly fashion the work of the church; not replace it. 
2.  Man always thinks that God needs help and tries to improve on His plan for the church.  I am always reminded of Israel bringing the Ark of the Covenant home on a new cart.  I am sure that looked great in their sight but not in God’s!
E.  There are a lot of reasons for this travesty but I fear that the main reasons are:
1. Money! People think that God is broke and has need of them begging for Him. I do not beg for money! God said that if he were hungry He would not tell us. The offerings are God’s business and so is the upkeep of the church. We teach our people that God will supply all of their need and then beg for Him.  The “root of all evil” is still money!

2. Numbers! Men equate numbers in the church to both blessing and spirituality. Not always so! I have seen huge churches that were as worldly as a professional football game. Churches that are full of lost members. Then I have seen some of the largest churches in the area that are twice dead and plucked up by the roots. If God was looking for a church to join He would pass right by.
F.  I want to look at the 4 main Purposes of the Church:
1. Exaltation – “They worshipped him: but some doubted. (worship)
2. Evangelization – “Go ye therefore … Baptizing them” (soul winning and missions)

3. Edification - “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”

4. Exhortation – “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1. Exaltation or Worship – They worshipped him: but some doubted.– Church is all about Christ!  It is of Him, through Him, and to Him!  Most church members are not personally involved in Exaltation and Worship.
Psalms 100:1-5 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

a. The Worship of Praise – “joyful noise”

b. The Worship of Singing – “singing”

c. The Worship of the Understanding of His Person – “know ye”

d. The Worship of Thanksgiving – “thanksgiving”
2. Evangelization – “Go ye therefore … Baptizing them”   The mission of the church is to win the lost, both here and abroad.  Most church members are not personally involved in evangelism.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

a. Go – Both at home and abroad. God is still looking for Christians who are willing to sell out for God and work in His harvest.
1) God’s Command Demands It - Matthew 28:18-20

2) God’s Compassion Desires It - Matthew 9:35-38
b. Preach And Teach
1) They Deserve To Hear - Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

2) They Must Hear Before They Believe - Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
c. Baptize - Upon their profession of faith. Not infant sprinkling because they cannot yet accept Christ Jesus be faith. Being baptized is not problem for people when they are truly converted.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:36-38 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.

Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
3. Edification or Education – “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”  Most church members are not personally involved in Edification and Education.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

a. Through Bible Preaching – teaching is not a substitute for preaching. Powerfully preaching the Word convicts the heart!

b. Through Bible Teaching – preaching is not a substitute for teaching! Teaching sound doctrine stabilizes the saints!
4. Exhortation or Encouragement  “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Most church members are not personally involved in Exhortation and Encouragement.
a. The Exhortation of God’s People - Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

b. The Exhortation of God’s Word - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.