Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another ‘spirit,’ Which Ye Have Not Received

Temple Baptist Church - 10-30-2016
2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4

A.  We have looked at the shaking and troubling of the saints by the beguiling of Satan.  As I preach through verse 2, I may have to take more than one night on each aspect because of the general misunderstanding that we find all around us.
1.  God is not the Author of either confusion or division.  He is the Author of absolute Truth and peace. 
1 Corinthians 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2.  I want to look at the three things that Satan uses to shake and trouble the saints of God.  Another “spirit” of disobedience, another “word” or message preached, and another “letter as from us” or Bible.  I will deal with these three methods of confusion and disunity one at a time because of their complexity and importance. 
3.  We are under the same attack today as the saints were from the Garden of Eden, to Paul’s day, and throughout the age of the church.  We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices because they have never changed.  Pretend of be one of us and subtly begin to confuse our confidence in what God says in the Bible.
B.  Another “spirit” was the spirit of Satan that came from the serpent.  Satan’s attack is a subtle one.  Another spirit, one of deception that brought about disobedience to God’s clear command: The Word of God.
C.  The world has altered its perception of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.  They do so by attacking God’s Word and God’s character.  In the same breath, the Holy Ghost introduces “another spirit, which ye have not received.”  In doing so, they have not only attacked the Son of God but they have also attacked the Spirit of God.
D.  Genesis, chapter 3.
1.  This “another spirit” is a spirit of deception.  Subtil - Clever and indirect.  A slow moving encroachment.  Spiritual deception must involve time and deceptive change for the spiritual norm of sound doctrine.  Churches and people do not apostatize over night!
Genesis 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 Corinthians 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that disagrees with the Word of God.  When one exalts their belief, or teaching from some person above the Bible, they disagree with God.  The Bible declares itself perfect.  The Bible declares itself the final authority for faith and practice.  If it is in error, then Jesus did not what He was talking about when He declared His Word correct.
Genesis 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Romans 3:3-4  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
3.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that is disobedient to the Word Of God. The Holy Spirit authored the Scripture!  The Holy Spirit that I received never goes contrary to Scripture!  The Holy Spirit of God that I received causes me to be obedient Scripture.
Genesis 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
2 Peter 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
4.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that leads into doctrinal error.  Satan always adds to or takes away from the Word of God.
Genesis 3:3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
1 John 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
5.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that calls attention to itself.
Genesis 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
John 16:13-14  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
5.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that never leads into holiness.  Churches are becoming more and more worldly in their music and worship.
Genesis 3:7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
6.  This “another spirit” is a spirit that has driven the ecumenical movement of our day.
Romans 16:17-18  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Conclusion:  The “another spirit” of our day is not the Holy Spirit that I received when I was saved!  This “another spirit” is a troubling spirit.  It is a shaking spirit. 

Thanksgiving - 2016 - I Am Thankful For A Saviour Who Died For Me

Temple Baptist Church - 10-30-2016
John 3:16; Genesis 22:1-14

A.  This morning, as we approach Thanksgiving Day in a few weeks, I want to continue the thought of spiritual blessings. 
1.  Normally on Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the many temporal blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us.   Life is hard at best and has not always been good to my family but the Lord has always been good! 
2.  So often, the Lord gets the blame for every result of sinfulness but I want to thank Him for His eternal goodness to this old sinner.
B.  Last week, we looked at the love of the Father: “For God so loved the world that He gave.”  This morning, I want to look at the love of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us.
C.  We have read one of the most beautiful of Bible passages.  It is prophetic of our Heavenly Father (Abraham is the type) offering His Son (Isaac is the type) in the land of Moriah (Calvary) for our sins. 
D.  In verse 7, Isaac asks the question, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  Here, we see a wonderful typology: 
1.  Isaac is a type: he is a type of the sinner who deserved to die replaced by the “ram caught in a thicket.”
2.  In verse 13, The “ram caught in a thicket” is a beautiful type of the substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ, nailed to the cross for our sins.
E.  In verse 8, Abraham answers prophetically, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  A prophecy fulfilled in John 3:16 as God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for the sin of the world.
F.  Both the New American Standard Version and the now popular English Standard Version (ESV) insert the words “for” himself.  These are the two modern perversions that many so-called fundamentalists use.  If God offered for Himself, then God would also be a sinner!  God offered Himself, i.e., God offered His Son to die in our place.
G.  I have often been asked the question, “If there is a God, how do you know that your God is the real and only One?” 
1.  Our God is the only God who was willing to die for mankind instead of mankind dying for Him. 
2.  Our Bible is the only Word of God because it shows the true nature of man as he will never be able to reach a state of perfection and, therefore, can gain salvation through personal merit.
3.  It is the only Bible that gives the creation account in detail.  It is scientifically, medically, historically, and geographically correct—giving information in a time when it could have been known no other way that divine revelation.   
4.  Evolution is a farce!  Evolution is both scientifically and logically impossible.  Evolution “flies in the face” of true science.  It is “science falsely so called.” 
H.  What love our Lord Jesus Christ has shown the world at Calvary. 
John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
I.  Ephesians 3:17-19  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  (18)  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  (19)  And to know the  love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
1.    We can never fathom the love of God that was displayed in John 3:16 where God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son!  Only eternity will reveal the depths of God’s amazing love and grace.
2.  Though God’s love is fathomless, according to these verse, it is knowable!  I am so glad that I know the love of Christ and it constrains me to live for Him.
1.  The Breadth Of God’s Love – 1 John 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world(Jesus loves me, this I know, because the Bible tells me so!  His love is from Pole to Pole.  His love is from the East to the West.  His love is from Wall to Wall.  The Love of God covers every man, woman, and child.  There are none exempt and there are none excluded!  There is not a race, color, or creed rejected!  His love is for the whole world!  I cannot understand it, but I believe it!)
2.  The Length Of God’s Love – Psalms 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.  (Jesus loves me even when I am not lovable!  Thank the Lord for 1 John 1:9!  God’s love is not only universal in its scope; it is longsuffering in its forbearance.  God is compassionate, gracious, longsuffering, and merciful.  I did not deserve to receive it nor do I deserve to keep it.  The Lord has been far better to me than I deserve and I am eternally grateful for it.  I cannot understand it, but I have seen it!)
3.  The Depth Of God’s Love – 1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  (The wickedest man in the world is a candidate for His great salvation.  It matters not what you have done; it matters not what you have thought; it matters not where you came from!  His love goes to the deepest in sin and despair.  I cannot understand it, but I have received it!)
4.  The Height Of God’s Love – Romans 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound(His wonderful love is far greater than all of our sin put together.  God’s gracious love is always there and you cannot sin your salvation away.  He will forgive 70 times 7 and never exhaust his love or forgiveness.  I cannot understand it, but I have experienced it!)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thanksgiving - 2016 - I Am Thankful For A God Who Loves Me

Temple Baptist Church - 10-23-2016
John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-19

A.  As we begin the Thanksgiving Season, I began to reflect on the goodness of God. 
1.  I am thankful for so many things that God has given to Barbara and I in this life.  The old song “Count Your Blessing” takes a long time to perform.  God has been good to all of us. 
2.  For the next few weeks, I want to reflect some spiritual things that I am thankful for.  We often say that “God is good all of the time,” and He is.  Good times, bad times, uncontrollable circumstances, times of understanding, and times when we do not understand—God is still good!
B.  John 3:16 has often been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell!”  It is the most famous and the most often quoted verses in the Bible.
C.  One of the most blessed truths found in the Bible is that of the love of God for sinners.  John 3:16 is possibly the most noted and quoted of all verses of scripture and the least comprehended. 
1.  When I see the world, I see the sin and sorrow that permeates it.  My heart is saddened by what is taking place in the world and across this great nation this morning.  With the reject of spiritual light comes great spiritual darkness.
2.  When God sees the world, He sees sinners in need of the Saviour!  As we get closer to Christmas, our hearts should be joyful because of the gift of God given on that night some 2,000 years ago.
D.  One of the most misunderstood of Bible doctrines is the Love of God.  God is Love! 1 John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1.  God the Father’s Love is a Universal Love – 1 Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  (God sent His Son to die for all mankind. There is the misconception that God does not love all of mankind.  We refer to this as Calvinism.  It is a damnable heresy!)
2.  God the Father’s Love is a Limitless Love – 1 John 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  (There is no sin for which His Son to die for.)
E.  To properly cover the love of God would take more than one Sunday Morning message but I do want to tell why I am so thankful that God the Father loves this old sinner.  One of my favorite passages is found in one of my favorite chapters of the Bible:
John 1:9-12  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  (10)  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  (11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  (12)  But as many as received him, (I can type David Johnston in here) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1.  God the Father’s Love is a Providential Love - John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (God the Father knew me before I was conceived and loved me before I came to know Him.)
2.  God the Father’s Love is a Sacrificial Love – 1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (God the Father gave His Son to pay for my sin before I even committed it.)
God the Father’s Love is often Undesired - John 1:10-11  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  (11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
3.  God the Father’s Love is a Personal love - John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  (God the Father did not just love the world, He loved me!)
4.  God the Father’s Love is a Transforming Love – 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (God the Father knew what I would become when I was saved.)
5.  God the Father’s Love is a Contemplating Love - Psalms 40:17  But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.  (God the Father cares about every aspect of my life.)
6.  God the Father’s Love is a Correcting Love - Hebrews 12:5-8  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.  (God the Father made provision for my faults and failures as a child of God before I even failed Him.)
7.  God the Father’s Love is an Unchanging Love - Jeremiah 31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  (He planned to love me unchangingly throughout eternity.)
8.  God the Father’s Love is a Bestowing Love - 1 John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (God the Father knew that one day I would be like Him!)
9.  God the Father’s Love is an Influential Love – Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  (God the Father knew that I would one day be a witness for Him.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

To Hear or Not To Hear

Temple Baptist Church - 10-16-2016
John 5:24-29

A.  This has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture. 
1.  It describes two different types of people with two different eternities at stake.  To so many, life comes through evolution and there is no eternal purpose for it all.  To dies is to cease to exist.  Man just becomes another animal.  This has been the teaching of humanists for many years. 
2.  I remember a “Forest Fire” commercial on TV years ago that said that man was the most dangerous “animal” in the forest.  Man is no an animal!  Man was made in the image of the Creator and is different from all other living creatures on earth.
B.  Man’s body is temporal but his spirit is eternal.  In the Sermon on the Mount, out Lord set forth two types of travelers with two vastly different final destinations.
Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
C.  Here in John 5:24-29, the Lord set forth important truths concerning our life, death, and eternity.
1.  Two Appointments.  Vs. 28-29
a.  The Appointment of Death.  Job 7:1  Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
Job 14:5  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
Job 30:23  For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
b.  The Appointment of Judgment.  Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2.  Two Hearings.  Vs. 25, 28
a.  The Hearing Ear Of Salvation - vs 25  “and they that hear shall live”
1)  The Appointment of Salvation - “hour is coming and now is”  2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured         thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2)  The Agent of Salvation - “my Word”  Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3)  The Acceptance of Salvation - “dead shall hear (those that are lost), they that hear shall live (they that hear are saved)”  John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
4)  The Assurance of Salvation - “shall not come into condemnation”  John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
5)  The Attribute of Salvation - “death to life”  John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
b.  The Unhearing Ear of Damnation – “and they that will not hear shall die”  (No, this is not the King James Bible statement but often what the Bible does not say which is the opposite of what it says is also an invaluable truth.)
1)  In the beginning, Israel heard the Word of God.  Exodus 19:6-8  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  (7)  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.  (8)  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.  (There was a time when the Bible Belt of America heard and received the Word of God.  Revival fires swept across the south and then spread.  Thus it is with the individual.  God not only gives us ears that can hear but also hearts that can understand.)
Romans 10:15-17  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!  (16)  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  (17)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2)  Later, Israel WOULD NOT hear the Word of God.  Zechariah 7:11-12  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  (12)  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  (There came a time in the Bible Belt of America when the people heard and understood the Word of God but refused to obey it.  Thus it is with the individual.  It they do not come to Christ, eventually they will harden their hearts by refusing the Word of God, pulling away from the conviction of the Holy Ghost, and refuse to sit under the preaching of the gospel.)
John 5:38-40  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.  (39)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  (40)  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
3)  Finally, Israel COULD NOT hear the Word of God.  Romans 11:7-8  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded  (8)  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.  (Today, the Bible Belt no longer hears the Word of God.  As Israel sleeps, as England and the British Isles sleep, so America sleeps!  Thus it is with the individual.  Their ears no longer hear the message preached.  The message has not changed.  It is the ears and hearts that have changed.  Because, when they heard they refused!) 

3.  Two Eternal States - vs. 28-29
a.  Eternal Life - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
b.  Eternal Damnation - Revelation 20:11-15  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  (12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  (13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  (14)  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  (15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Bundle Of Life

Temple Baptist Church - 10-9-2016
1 Samuel 25:28-29; Ecclesiastes 11:8-12:14

A.  In our text verses, we find the words “Bundle of Life.”  When I think of a bundle, my mind sees an enclosed bag. 
1.  Something that is bound up so that the things that are inside are kept safe.  When I think of a bundle or bag, I think of a container whose contents are not revealed until the bundle or bag is opened. 
2.  Hebrews 12 speaks of the “race that is set before us.”  I believe that each of us has been given a “Bundle of Life.”  I do not believe in luck but I do believe in providence.  In Ecclesiastes 11-12, we find verses that hold to this truth.
B.  My, how time flies and our perspective changes!
1.  I remember, while in Grade School, looking across the street at the High School and thinking how old and mature the students were.  I couldn’t wait until I could cross the street and be grown up.
2.  I remember, while in High School, going to Western Kentucky University for “College Days” and seeing the students there and thinking, “My, how old they are!  How mature and grown up they are!”
3.  I remember the neighborhood that Barbara and I grew up in was full of young families with kids everywhere.  The kids grew up, the families on the street grew old.  Later, we went back to the same neighborhood and saw kids on the streets again as the older died and the young families moved back in and raised children.  Now, the streets are once again empty of children.
4.  There was a time when teens were old in my perspective; young people in their 20’s and 30’s were old; middle aged where ancient and the grey haired were virtually gone.  My perspective is still changing as I grow older and now I am 68 years old.
5.  We look around at the saints that have been gone for some years now, the saints that are now the aged ones, the young couples getting married, and the youth that are just getting started—and see the reality of the complete “Bundle of Life.”
C.  As I reflect back, I see that:
1.  Life Is Fragile as a vapor - James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
2.  Life Is Swift as a weaver’s shuttle - Job 7:6  My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
3.  Life Is Mysterious as the wind - Job 7:7   O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
4.  Life Is Full of troubles - Job 14:1-2  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
5.  Life Is Temporary in nature - Psalms 39:5  Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
In Ecclesiastes 11-12, I see three phases of life: youth, manhood/womanhood, and old age. 
1.  The Days Of Youth - 11:9-12:1  (These should be days of Decision!)  REPENTANCE
a.  Days Of Rejoicing - “in thy youth” - vs. 11:9a (Days of health, little responsibility, fun and laughter)
b.  Days Of Realization - “thee into judgment” - vs. 11:9b (For all these things God will judge in the end)
c.  Days Of Removal - “sorrow from thy heart…put away evil” - vs. 11:10 (Sin’s result is sorrow, regret, and bondage)
d.  Days Of Remembrance - “Remember now thy Creator” - vs. 12:1 (The time to set your heart and serve is when you can give the most)
2.  The Days Of Manhood - 12:1-12:5  (These should be days of Determination!) 
a.  Days Of Wickedness - “evil days” - vs. 12:1a (Satan is working hard to defile, defame, and destroy your family)
b.  Days Of War - “have no pleasure in them” - vs. 12:1b (Spiritual warfare is essential)
c.  Days Of Work - “strong men shall bow themselves” - vs. 12:3 (There is much to be done and little time to accomplish it)
d.  Days Of Walk - “afraid of that which is high” - vs. 12:5a (The key to spiritual victory is the fear of the Lord)
e.  Days Of Witness - “because man goeth to his long home” - vs. 12:5b (Give your family and friends the witness of a good profession)
3.  The Days Of Old Age - 12:5-12:14  (These will be days of Deliberation!)  REFLECTION
a.  Days Of Realization - “man goeth to his long home” - vs. 5b-7 (The only important thing is serving the Lord)
b.  Days Of Reflection - “dust…dust...spirit to God who gave it” - vs. 12:7 (Life is temporal and you won’t be here long)
c.  Days Of Regret - “all is vanity” - vs. 12:8 (Years wasted cannot be brought back)
d.  Days Of Resolve - “whole duty of man” - vs. 12:13-14 (Dedicate your life to the Lord and live only for Him)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Blessed Are The Persecuted

Temple Baptist Church - 10-2-2016
Matthew 5:10-12

A.  Persecution: is it a curse or a blessing? 
1.  Through the eyes of humanity, we see persecution as a terrible thing and many avoid it at all costs.  The reason that the many avoid it is because they have never had to pay a price for their confession of faith.  We live in comfortable days in which we have neither persecution nor need of anything.  We have fat bodies instead of fat souls. 
a)  Psalms 106:13-15  They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:  (14)  But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.  (15)  And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
b)  I have often said that fat bodies make for lean souls.  God’s people are good people and I hate to see them suffer.  I hate to hear that some missionary or child of God has lost their life simply because that they have professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
c)  I certainly am not a “fan” of suffering and pain either.  I do not pray daily for the Lord to send me a “messenger of Satan” to buffet me or some religious zealot to persecute me.  I do not long for the day that our own government will label us the enemies of the nation and try to regulate what we preach, teach, and live. 
d)  I am sure that believers throughout the ages have hated to be stoned, sawn asunder, burnt at the stake, crucified, etc. just for trying to live their lives in quietness and peace for the Lord.
2.  Through the eyes of the Bible, we find the blessedness of those who are persecuted.  Again, a Beatitude is a state of blessedness and is not based upon what is happening to us at the moment.  The local church has actually been blessed in many ways during hard times of persecution.  Persecution causes self-examination; persecution brings holiness; persecution causes the chaff to separate from the wheat; persecution brings about unity and love in the body.
1.  The history of persecution.  AdaptationThe Old Paths!  God’s people have suffered persecution from Genesis 4 to this day and we are not ashamed of their testimony and hold to their paths.
a.  Cain killed Abel in the very beginning.
b.  The Prophets in the Old Testament
c.  Our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary
d.  The Apostles and the Church in the New Testament
e.  An estimated 70,000,000.00+ have died since the death of our Lord.
f.  One statistic says that a Christian is martyred every 5 minutes in our day.
g.  And we think that we may not have to suffer?
2.  The Reason for Persecution.  IdentificationIdentification with the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ instead of the world.  Because of a godly life that condemns an empty profession.  
1 John 3:12  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
John 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
3.  The Rejoicing of Persecution.   AssociationWe are partakers with Christ’s sufferings as He is touched with ours.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
2 Timothy 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
4.  The Glorification of PersecutionMagnification!  As we suffer after a godly manner, we bring glory to our Lord.
Philippians 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
1 Peter 1:7  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:
1 Peter 4:14-16  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  (15)  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.  (16)  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
5.  The Reward of Persecution.  Exultation!   If we suffer with Christ, we will also reign with Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Mark 10:28-30  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life
6.  The Promise of Persecution.  Exhortation!  We have suffered very little to this point but the persecution is on the horizon for those who will not capitulate.  Our government is getting ready to “turn up the heat” upon those of us who will not accept sinfulness by becoming politically correct.  We are not hateful.  We are not unloving as we love all people.  Yes, the sinful is welcome to come and sit upon our pews.  They are welcome to hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
1 Peter 4:12-14  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  (13)  (14)  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.