Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Wrath To Come

Temple Baptist Church - 6-7-2015
1 Thessalonians 1:10


Introduction:

A.  I could not end chapter one without dealing with this last phrase.  In verses 9-10, we found that:

1.  God saved the Thessalonian believers to serve the Lord, not to just sit and relish their salvation.

2.  God saved the Thessalonian believers to wait for the Lord which speaks of their patience in service.

B.  Paul ended the verse reminding them that the Lord not only saved the Thessalonian believers to something, He saved them from something. Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

1.  Death is an appointment that none will miss (the saved will if the Lord returns in their lifetime).  Saved or lost, death is a reality.

2.  Judgment is an appointment that none will miss though there are two separate ones.  The Judgment Seat of Christ is the judgment of the saint’s works, not sin.  The Great White Throne Judgment is the judgment of the unsaved’s works and is their sin.

C.  The wrath to come is both Jacob’s Trouble or the Tribulation Period and, later, the Lake of Fire.

1.  Hell is a Real Place.   Luke 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

a)  Hell is not the fantasy of some religionist’s mind.

b)  Hell is not a fear factor used by preachers to manipulate people.

c)  Hell is not something to be joked about or made fun of.

d)  Hell is a fact to accept.  The One who said, “I am the truth” declared it.

2.  Hell is an Eternal Place.  Matthew 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

a)  There is no possible escape.

b)  There are no second chances.

c)  There is no time limit.

3.  Hell is a Terrible Place.   Luke 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

D.  Paul mentions the wrath to come for two reasons:

1. To ensure that these believers never forgot where they came from and the blessing that the Lord bestowed upon them in light of it.

a.  We are to thank the Lord for our salvation from sin.

b.  We are to thank the Lord for our salvation to heaven.

c.  We are to thank the Lord for our salvation from hell.

2. To ensure that these believers never lose their burden for the lost multitudes of people around the world. 

a.  Hell is too often a reality realized too late.  That is to the shame of believers who are not active in soul winning and missions around the world.

b.  People still go to hell if they are not saved!  I thank the Lord for two people, one lost and one saved.  The saved man witnessed to me and invited me to the church that Barbara and I were eventually saved in.  The lost woman, as a lost person, invited us to the same church.  She got out and we GOT IN!

c.  May we never lose our burden for souls in our family, community, work place, schools, county, state, country, and around the world.  They cannot be saved without a biblical witness!

The Cause and Effects of Contemporary Worship

Temple Baptist Church - 6-7-2015
1 Chronicles 13:1-8


Introduction:

A.  Over the past several decades, we have seen the rise of contemporary music which has been the “springboard” for the rise of contemporary worship. 

1.  Along with this move has come a sweeping lack of holiness in these churches.  We have fought to keep these things out of the house of the Lord and the battle has been long and hard.

2.  That same battle has been lost by most denominations and local churches!  The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians is in full swing!  They are falling, the Lord is coming, and we are leaving.

B.  I want to look at this Old Testament example because of its spiritual relevance to our day.

1.  The Ark of the Covenant (sometimes called the Ark of God’s Presence) was the most holy article found in the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  It was so holy that only one man could go to the Ark that was within the veil once a year and then only with the offering of blood.  No other was to see the Ark, much less handle it. 

2.  For several hundred years, the Ark was an object of great reverence.  As the holiness of the priesthood began to decline, we find that the reverence for the Ark of God’s Presence also declined sharply.

C.  I want to give a little biblical history leading up to the story that we just read that will some light on the spiritual lapse by a man after God’s own heart.  The same things that led up to David’s debacle or worship have brought us to our place of contemporary worship.

1.  In 1 Samuel, we find Eli as the high priest in Israel.  1 Samuel 3:1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.  (God’s Word was “precious” or “scarace” in those days.  In other words, God’s people rarely heard from God in spoken words. God’s Word is precious or scarce in our day also.  With the popularity of the perverted versions of the Bible on the market to the lack of men who are willing to preach without compromise.)

2.  The priesthood was corrupted by wicked men who knew not the Lord.  1 Samuel 2:12  Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.  (I fear that many preachers across this land have never been saved.  Why do I believe this?  Because God’s men do not “fall away” or go into apostasy.  God’s men believe God’s Word and hold to its tenets!)

3.  In 1 Samuel 5, Israel took the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front where it was captured by the Philistines.  The ark remained in the country of the Philistines for 7 months (1 Samuel 6:1).  God plagued the Philistines and they returned the Ark to Israel on a cart drawn by two cows.  The Ark was placed in Kirjath-jearim and remained there for twenty years (1 Samuel 7:2).  (Israel did not care that the Ark of God’s Presence was not in its right place.  In our day, spiritual things and a walking relationship with the Lord are not wanted.  People like to have their religion and continue in their old lifestyle.)

4.  God raised up Samuel to lead Israel.  In his older days, Samuel made his sons—who did not agree with him—judges over Israel.  1 Samuel 8:1  And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.  (We live in a generation when the younger generation have turned from the God of their fathers and have turned from the traditions of the fathers.) 

5.  Israel desired a worldly king like the nations that surrounded them.  Israel had always been a Theocracy where God ruled but Israel rejected both Samuel and the Lord by desiring a king. 1 Samuel 8:6  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.  (People, in our day, desire to be led by men instead of led by the Word of God and God’s men.)

6.  Israel’s king offered sacrifice in the stead of the prophet of God. 1 Samuel 13:9  And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.  (Today’s worship is “will worship” as men now lay aside biblical worship for worship that appeals to their flesh instead of their spirit.)

7.  David, a man after God’s own heart, is caught up in “will worship.”  1 Chronicles 13:3  And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.  (People no longer want the right Bible nor right preaching.)

D.  How do you get from the holiness of biblical worship to the worldliness of contemporary worship?  We just described it through the history of Israel from Eli to Saul!  That is how worldly contemporary worship has risen to its popularity among Christianity today.  Now, I want to look at our text for a few minutes:

1.  They failed to seek God’s will in their worship.  “We enquired not” was not only the fault of Saul but also of David and the people.  You cannot worship God in spirit without truth!  John 4:23  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.  (Their worship rejected the tradition of the fathers.  Those traditions were biblical ones!  Church has sure changed over the past several decades.  They had handled the Presence of God in a manner inconsistent with God’s commandments concerning the movement of the Ark.  The Ark was not to be touched or seen!)

2.  David knew better!  Many modern day, contemporary worshippers have been raised better!  They have sat in good churches, under sound doctrine, and have experienced biblical worship but now reject these things. 1 Chronicles 15:2  Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.  (There was a time when God’s house was held in high esteem; God’s Word held in high esteem; God’s man held in high esteem.  Times have changed!  Churches have become casual and non-convicting.  Come as you are, worship as you like, leave as you came, and never experience the joy of the holiness of change of life.)

3.  They were indifferent and careless concerning God’s presence among them.  1 Chronicles 13:7  And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.  (I have no doubt that the “new cart” looked good to them.   They thought that they were doing right because of their lack of biblical perspective.  God is still a holy God!  He is to be treated with that respect!) 

4.  Their flesh was stirred though out of the will of God.  Dancing, shouting, and singing do not represent biblical worship unless they are done in a right way.  1 Chronicles 13:8  And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.  (Contemporary music has led to contemporary worship which has led to contemporary people.  This new worship produces a new salvation which produces a new “Christian” which is like the world and not like Christ.)

5.  Their method of worship “stumbled.”  People are being led wrong.  1 Chronicles 13:9  And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. (When the method is wrong, the result will also be wrong.  The product is not one of holiness, separation, and sanctification.  By their fruits ye shall know them.  Modern worship is producing worldliness instead of godliness.)

6.  They used a “new cart” for transportation.  This may have sounded both good and religious to the King and his people, but this mishandling of the Ark brought about the displeasure and chastening of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 13:10  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.  (In simple laymen’s terms, THEY HAD GOTTEN CASUAL WITH GOD!  They had gotten accustomed to God.  Casualness with a thrice holy God brings about the judgment of God, not the blessing.  God is not pleased with the contemporary worship of our day as it reflects the will of the world instead of the Word of God.)

7.  They got angry at God!  1 Chronicles 13:11  And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.  (They call us legalistic, narrow minded, etc. because we still hold to the old Bible, the Old Paths, and reject their music and methods.)

Conclusion:  David was a saved man and understood right from wrong but, too often, good people get caught up in wrong things spiritually and pray a price for it.  David turn to the Lord.  1 Chronicles 13:12  And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me? (He reflected on what he had done and brought the Ark of God’s Presence home when he returned to Due Order.)

1 Chronicles 15:12-13  And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.  (13)  For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Value of Patiently Waiting for Jesus

Temple Baptist Church - 5-31-2015
1 Thessalonians 1:6-10


Introduction:

A.  As we close out the first chapter of the Book of 1 Thessalonians, we find a church that was fully engaged in the work of the gospel.

1.  They followed the Apostle Paul’s example (1:5) and teachings (1:5-6).  They were confident concerning the men of God who led them to Christ.  They were confident in the Word of God that powerfully worked in their lives and wrought a great change.

2.  They were ensamples (1:7, 2 Corinthians 8:1-5) of suffering coupled with joy, poverty coupled with liberality, giving themselves to the Lord first and then to the missionary.

3.  They were burdened for the souls of men (1:8), both in their “Jerusalem” and the “uttermost part” of the world.

4.  They were a living testimony of the saving grace of God before the people of Thessalonica (1:9).

B.  They were dedicated to the Lord and busy in the work of the gospel.  They were “turned to serve,” not sit!  God saves His people to work and uses them to carry the burden of the work of the gospel because “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?”

C.  Now, I want us to notice the important word “and” in verse 10.  It is a conjunction that shows the equality of the joined phrases.  It is vital that we know that we are saved to work but it is just as important to know that we are saved to wait!  The church at Thessalonica understood the necessary balance of these two aspects of the Christian life.

D.  I want to look at the value of waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ.  We live in the last days: days that show us the eminence of His coming.  Jesus Christ could come today but, unfortunately, as the Israel slept when He came the first time—the church sleeps today.

E.  I wonder how many of us either prayed “Even so come, Lord Jesus” or looked up to heaven this morning and asked the question, “Will this be the day our Lord returns?”  I would probably be safe is saying that very few saved people ever do that.  We work but we do not wait!

F.  It is of the utmost importance to us spiritually and also to the world that we expectantly wait for the Lord’s return.  What does waiting do for God’s children?

1.  Waiting on Jesus Christ causes the believer to keep his priorities right.  1 John 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

2.  Waiting on Jesus Christ causes the believer to have comfort in loss.  1 Thessalonians 4:17-18  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.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

3.  Waiting on Jesus Christ teaches the believer patience in tribulation.  James 5:7-8  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.  Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

4.  Waiting on Jesus Christ brings about a burden for the lost.  2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

5.  Waiting on Jesus Christ produces self-judgment in sinfulness.  1 John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

6.  Waiting on Jesus Christ keeps a peace of heart.  John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  (2)  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

7.  Waiting on Jesus Christ keeps the believer in love with God.  Jude 21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

8.  Waiting on Jesus Christ will renew the strength of the believer.  Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

9.  Waiting on Jesus Christ will keep expectancy and excitement in the heart of the believer.  Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (A new body, new heaven and earth, and the New Jerusalem.)

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  (The older we get; the more problems that we endure; the more we long for home!) 

The Message

Temple Baptist Church - 5-31-2015
Matthew 3:1-3; 21:23-46


Introduction:

A.  Over the past few weeks, we have been taking a biblical look at one of the greatest men every born of woman, John the Baptist, the fore runner of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1.  We looked at John, God’s messenger.

2.  We looked at John, the man.

3.  This morning, I want to look at The Message.

B.  As with any First Mention, God will never change His mind on the subject so the message of Christ MUST never change!  In verse 3, we find the two points to the message that John preached:

1.  The Way of the Lord.

2.  Make His paths straight.

C.  In Matthew 21:32, our Lord Jesus indicted the Pharisees with these words: “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.”

1.  The message: “the way of righteousness.”

2.  The choice: “Ye believed him not.”

3.  The indictment: “when ye had seen it … repented not … that ye might believe.”

D.  John the Baptist’s message actually had two points and they were not even alliterated!  His message was Repent and Behold!  In the First Mention Principle, we find the same message.

Genesis 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  (1.  Repent – “doest well” vs. “doest not well.”  2.  Behold – “well” was to bring the right sacrifice which was an atonement that looked forward to the Lamb of God at Calvary.)

E.  God’s message preached by John the Baptist was called the “way of righteousness” and it has never changed!

Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

1.  Repent - Matthew 3:1-2  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,  (2)  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  (The argument has raged over the past few decades over repentance.

a.  Is repentance necessary for salvation?  Yes!  Jesus said, in Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  No repentance, no salvation!

b.  Is repentance a work?  No!  Therefore, biblical repentance is not the sinner quitting sin because that would constitute works being necessary for salvation.  If repentance was quitting sin, then it would be a good work because it would be something that you did.  Salvation is an act of God, not man.

c.  What is biblical repentance? 

1)  Repentance is not quitting anything.  Repentance is a change of heart and mind that always results in a changed life.  It is a realization of what and who you are coupled with a knowledge of personal helpless in relation to salvation. 

2)  In Hebrews 6:1, Paul speaks of “repentance from dead works.”  A person will never be saved as long as he/she is trying to be saved.  Sinners are bankrupt or destitute of personal righteousness for salvation.    “Dead works” cannot save! 

3)  Repentance calls for an acknowledging of the truth.  (2 Timothy 2:25)Knowing that the Word of God is right so that hearing can be done in faith.

4)  Repentance is also a turning to God for salvation.  Acts 20:21 says, “Repentance toward God.”  That show a turning from the world to God since they are “polar opposites.”  Once again, lest anyone not understand, repentance is not a work but a condition of belief toward God.  When a sinner realizes that he/she is a sinner, repentance is a change of direction as they turn to God. 

5)  The Bible calls true repentance “godly sorrow” not to be repented of.  (2 Corinthians 7:10) Once you repent, you will never change your mind!  You do not repent, be saved, change your mind and sin, be lost again, repent, and be saved again.

2.  Behold - John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

a.  One cannot turn to God in repentance until that believe that He is!

1)  He is the one and only God!  Isaiah 44:6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

2)  He is the only Way to heaven.  John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

3)  His finished work—His death, burial, and bodily resurrection—called the gospel, is full, free, and the final payment for the sin of the world.  Mark 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

4)  He will eternally save all who come to Him by faith.  Romans 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Conclusion:  John’s message is the same message that Bible preachers preach today!  It not only is the only way to heaven, it is still the only thing that will get you there.