Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finishing Your Course

Temple Baptist Church - 4-13-2014
2 Timothy 4:1-8
 
Introduction:
A. We live in the days of “falling away.”
1. People, who were once faithful to the church, are leaving in a mass exodus. Most churches, in areas where the gospel has been preached for many decades, are in numerical decline.
2. I am speaking of churches that are still holding to the “Old Paths” of doctrinal, personal, and ecclesiastical separation. Compromised churches will draw some of these disgruntled church members but these who leave good churches do not, as a rule, join churches of equal or greater separation.
B. Why are there so many spiritual fallouts?
1. Many who “Fall Away” are lost church members - 2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2. Many are apostates - 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
1 John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
3. Some are saved and become spiritual fallouts for one of three reasons:
a) They Do Not Finish Because Of Defilement - James 1:13-16 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
b) They Do Not Finish Because Of Discouragement - Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
c) They Do Not Finish Because Of Distraction – Luke 9:57-62 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. (Ye cannot serve God and mammon.)
Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
C. Every believer has a personal race to run!
1. Our Course’s Initiation - Ephesians 2:1-4 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
2. Our Course’s Importance - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
3. Our Course’s Individuality - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
D. Many, unfortunately, do not finish their course in this world but there is a simple formula for doing so.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
HOW TO FINISH YOUR COURSE
1. Keep Your Feet Running YOUR Race – Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Keep Your Hands Busy In The Work Of The Lord. Busy people have little time to get into trouble! Do not keep your eyes on every one else’s race! Narrow sightedness makes for straighter plowing.)
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (Idle hands are the devil’s workshop while busy hands do not have time to get into trouble.)
2. Keep Your Confidence In Jesus Christ – Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (If your eyes are upon the world, you will be discouraged! If your eyes are upon men, they will discourage you! If your eyes are upon Christ, you will stay the course!)
Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Man is not your Saviour!)
Psalms 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. (Government is not your Saviour!)
Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (The Lord is our Saviour!)
3. Keep Your Ears Open To The Word Of God – 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (Heeding the Word of God will keep our path straight and secure! Without heeding God’s Word, we will wander and stray. Make God’s Word a vital part of each day!)
4. Keep Your Mind Stayed Upon The Lord – Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 104:34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD. (Our Lord should be the center of our though life!)
5. Keep Your Body A Holy, Living Sacrifice – Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Distance yourself from the things of the world while keeping your daily walk harnessed by the Word of God.)
6. Keep Your Eyes On The Skies And Your Hope In Heaven - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (Just the thought that the Lord may return any moment causes the child of God to find encouragement in this present evil world.)
Conclusion:
a. Finishing your course brings Joy - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
b. Finishing your course brings Reward - 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
c. Evangelist Dean Shook wrote the song, “It’s Been Worth Every Mile!” “It will be worth it all when we see Christ!”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Love And Light

Temple Baptist Church - 4-9-2014
1 John 2:7-11
 
Introduction:
A. Last week, we looked at the litmus test of obedience. Obedience to Christ does not keep us saved but it does give us the assurance that we belong to him according to verse 5. Yes, you can be saved and walk at a guilty distance from God at times but, if you belong to the Lord, He will chasten you. No chastening; no salvation!
B. Another sign of true conversion is that of love. I am not talking about love in a general sense because lost people can love.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
C. The love of God causes the child of God to love the things that the world does not love. I am talking about love in a spiritual realm:
1. Love for God: the world has not love for God. They only try to use God!
2. Love for the word of God: the world has no love for the bible. They will not read it or come to hear it being preached.
3. Love for the local church: the world has no love for the local church or they would be in church tonight. They only use it to either soothe their conscience or get something from it.
4. Love for the children of God: the world has no love for God’s people. They may like and respect us but, if they loved us, they would want to be around us corporately.
5. Love for the lost: the world has no love for drunks, drug addicts, rapists, murderers, thieves, etc. We go out into the highways and hedges inviting them to come and sit in church with us and our children!
D. The best description of charity or brotherly love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
E. In 1 John 2:8, we see that when the darkness of a lost soul comes to end through the light of God’s salvation, this love of God that caused Him to die for the sin of the world is manifested in the new believer.
1. It is a visible love - John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
2. It is a sacrificial love - John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
3. It is an initiated love - 1 John 4:10-11 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
4. It is a pure love - 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
5. It is a fervent love - 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
6. It is an abounding love - 1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
7. It is a serving love - Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
8. It is an overlooking love - 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jesus Christ In The Tabernacle - The Veil

Temple Baptist Church - 4-6-2014
Exodus 26:31-33
 
Introduction:
A. We have seen Jesus Christ as:
1. The Gate to the East – Jesus the Way
2. The Brazen Altar – Jesus our Sacrifice at Calvary
3. The Laver of Brass – Jesus our High Priest and Cleansing
4. The Golden Candlestick – Jesus our Testimony and Light
5. The Table of Shewbread – Jesus our Provision and Communion
6. The Golden Altar of Incense – Jesus our Apostle and High Priest
B. This morning, I want to take a look at “Jesus, The Veil.” It was the veil that separated sinful man from the holiness of God. I want to take a look at this veil of the Tabernacle: a veil is a covering used to separate, cover, or conceal something. Veils are still often worn in the Middle East by women to conceal their faces. Rebecca. Many of today’s brides use a veil as a covering during the marriage ceremony. Tell the story of Barbara’s veil!
C. The description of the Tabernacle’s veil:
1. The color Blue – Heaven, our Lord came from heaven.
2. Purple – Royalty, our Lord was and still is Jehovah God.
3. Scarlet – Sacrifice, our Lord was the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.
4. Fine Twined Linen of Cunning Word – Righteousness, Our Lord was the fullness of the Godhead bodily: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost: one God manifesting Himself in three persons and these three co-equal in all attributes and power.
5. Hang It Upon – Calvary, our Lord hung upon a wooden cross covered with the work of deity with four sockets of silver, a beautiful type of redemption.
6. Shall Divide – Buffer, our Lord was the Apostle (He represents God to us) and High Priest (He represents us to God) of our Profession.
D. The Importance of the Veil.
1. I want to say this in a right way this morning but the veil was a “buffer” that separated the sinfulness of man from the all-consuming holiness of God. The Old Testament veil was symbolic of Jesus Christ to come.
2. At Calvary, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain from top to bottom showing that the way into the Holy of Holies was opened up through the rending of the body of Jesus Christ, out Apostle-High Pries-Mediator-Advocate!
E. I want to go to Exodus 33:18-23 for a few minutes to pull out three truths concerning the meaning of the veil.
1. The absolutely unapproachable holiness of God.
2. The absolutely ungodliness of man.
3. The absolutely underserved goodness and grace of God.
a) Stand upon the Rock.
b) Placed in the Rock.
c) Covered by the Rock
1. The Sin That Separates Us From God - vs. 20“Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live”
a. He is absolutely holy - 1 Timothy 6:16 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.
b. We are absolutely sinful - Habakkuk 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
2. The Saviour That Reconciles Us To God – vs. 21-22there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock … And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by”
a. God loves us - 1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
b. Christ died for us - Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
c. Christ intercedes for us - Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
3. The Grace That Reveals God To Us – vs. 19 – “I will make all my goodness pass before thee”
a. We See The Glory Of God In The Face Of Jesus Christ - 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
b. We See The Grace Of God In The Salvation Of Jesus Christ - Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
c. We See The Goodness Of God In The Provision And Protection Of Jesus Christ - Psalms 107:8-9 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (9) For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Conclusion: Jesus Christ is our Veil, rent at Calvary, who opened to us the very presence of God!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Test of Obedience

Temple Baptist Church - 4-2-2014
1 John 2:3-6
 
Introduction:
A. 1 John is a blessed little book that does several things:
1. It encourages and sets the parameters for fellowship with both the Lord and each other.
2. It shows the right way to recognize, confess, and find cleansing from our sin.
3. It gives certain tests that will bring either assurance of salvation or conviction and the need of salvation.
B. Along with salvation comes a change in nature that brings about a change in life. God gives life to those who belong to Him. No change equals no life in Christ! Too many people have prayed the prayer but never got the heart right. Salvation is a heart matter, not a mouth matter.
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.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
C. The Book of James describes salvation as accompanied by good works.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (I am not talking about sinlessness for we will fail the Lord and do so intentionally at times but I am talking about a desire for holiness and obedience that is a part of our spiritual makeup.)
D. In the previous chapter, we found the possibility of not being in fellowship with the Lord and, therefore, not in fellowship with the brethren. I mention this because there is a battle with our sinful flesh that goes on for as long as we live in this flesh and the possibility of losing that battle at times. I want to look at that familiar passage again found in Romans 7:
Romans 7:12-25 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
E. Saved people may have failures and thank the Lord for 1 John 1:9 but they have a desire to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ! Obedience is not only the desire of the Christian but also brings about blessings from the Lord.
1. The commandments of God bring about the blessing of assurance of salvation. Vs. 3-5.
a. We need to ask God to examine us - Psalms 26:1-2 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. (2) Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
b. We need to practice self-examination - 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2. The commandments of God are not grievous to the child of God.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
a. God’s commandments keep us from the defilement of sin.
b. God’s commandments keep us from the destruction of self.
3. Keeping the commandments of God show the love of the saint for Him.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
2 John 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
4. Obedience to the commandments of God show proper submission to Him.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
5. Obedience to the commandments of God gets our prayers answered.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
6. Obedience to the commandments of God brings about spiritual maturity.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (2) For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The ‘Therefore’ of 2 Timothy 4’s ‘Therefore'

Temple Baptist Church - 3-30-2014
2 Timothy 4:1-4
 
Introduction:
A. I am finished with the “Inspiration of the Scriptures” in the last chapter but, once again, you need to remember that chapter divisions are not the end of or a change of thought!
1. Rightly dividing the word of truth is essential to biblical interpretation and biblical interpretation must be made before practical application can be preached. One of the foremost rules of bible interpretation is the Context Principle. So many so-called bible scholars cause confusion by taking a verse out of its context and making it a pretext.
2. 2 Timothy 3:16 has been a prime example! These chapters have nothing to do with the original manuscripts. They are dealing with the apostasy and deception of these last days and assuring a young pastor that THE SCRIPTURE THAT HE HAD was both reliable and profitable. Chapter 4 is a continuation of chapter 3 and when you see a “therefore” or a “wherefore,” the context continues and you need to interpret the continuation within that context.
3. Chapter 4 begins with the “therefore” which continues the context of inspiration of and confidence in the “holy scriptures” that Timothy had in his possession. Chapter 4 gives the admonition to the preacher to “preach THE word.” You cannot preach what you do not have and, therefore, Paul is referring to the inspired scriptures which were profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. These inspired scriptures are the criteria for the throughly furnishing of God’s men!
4. To interpret these verses any other way is to do grave injustice to the word of God and cause confusion concerning a perfectly clear portion of the scripture! You do not need the Greek to interpret the English!
B. Wickedness permeates society and, unfortunately, most churches.
1. Worldliness and apathy have always been and always will be enemies of God’s local church. When worldliness and apathy come in, holiness and service go out.
2. Deception and false doctrine have always been and always will be enemies of God’s local church. Rightly dividing the word of truth and adhering to the Old Paths are not options!
3. Chapter 4 describes our times as most people in local churches will no longer “endure sound doctrine!”
Ezekiel 12:1-2 The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Zechariah 7:11-14 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. (13) Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: (14) But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.
4. Because of their lusts, they “heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” They desire teachers instead of preachers. Teaching informs the intellect and gives information to be processed but demands no decision to be made. Preaching appeals to the heart of man and demands a decision to be made.
5. “Having itching ears” refers to loving to have their ears scratched or tickled. They desire to be entertained or feel good about themselves. These “ear tickling” preachers never reprove or rebuke because their congregations will not allow these things. They become hireling prophets.
Jeremiah 5:30-31 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; (31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Four things are found here: 1) the prophets fail to preach truth 2) the priests departed from the Law and led contrary to it 3) the people loved to have it so as God’s word was neither adhered to nor wanted 4) the question: what will you do?)
6. Most preachers of our day only exhort! There messages are intended to make people feel good and religions while leaving out the preceding admonitions of reproving and rebuking that keeps God’s people right with Him.
7. The result is the turning away from truth unto “fables.” “Fable” is to teach fiction of a myth. Fiction can be partly true and partly false or made up. A “myth” is a fairytale.
C. Lost church members who are religious but will not hear the word of God are both enemies to themselves as well as God’s local church. Sinners are welcome and saints are expected because both need help: the sinner needs to be saved and the saint needs to grow. Here are the dangers:
1. Sinner die lost without hearing the truth. It is the truth that makes us free and God’s word is truth. They may get a little religion, get baptized, and join the local church but, as the parable of the sower, they do not endure long. I was saved 38+ years ago and I still remain in church and serving the Lord!
2. Saints are destroyed without hearing the truth. Their live become shambles and their usefulness nil!
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
D. Now, let us look at Paul’s 7 fold admonition to Timothy:
1. Preach the Word!
a. The charge of preaching. God’s called men have a command to preach the word of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
b. The accountability of preaching. Acts 20:26-28 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
c. The importance of preaching.
1. Sinners will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment - 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.
2. Saints will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ - 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2. Be instant! To preach without worrying about the consequences. Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
a. In season – to deal with problems when they arise.
b. Out of season – to proactively or preventively deal with problems before they arise.
3. Reprove! To admonish or tell a fault. To correct gently but uncompromisingly. Colossians 1:28-29 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
4. Rebuke! To censure or chasten. Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
5. Exhort! One old preacher said, “Reprove them; rebuke them; and, if anyone is left, exhort them! God’s people need to be encouraged. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) 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.
6. Longsuffering! Herein lies the key to preaching. Too many preachers are harsh with God’s people and use the word of God as a club to beat them with. I call this “in your face” preachers who never learn to handle God’s children gently and with love. 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
7. Doctrinal! A preacher must be settled in the doctrine and uncompromising in its preaching. This is God’s word and needs to be treated as such. 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.