Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Truth

Temple Baptist Church - 8-26-2015
2 John 1-4
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  As John introduces this second epistle, he begins with the mention of truth. 
 
1.  In the later days of the apostles, apostasy very quickly spread and was found on every hand.  False prophets became false teachers. 
 
2 Peter 1:19-2:3  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:  (20)  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  (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.  …  (1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2)  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  (3)  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.  (Thus, in 2 Peter, we find truth and false truth.  It is the truth that exposes false truth.)
 
2.  What is the work of a teacher?  To instruct of to educate someone.  Their job is to give facts or truth.  With the rise of false teachers, there must also be a pseudo-truth or false truth.  Therefore, we find that truth is a relative term.  In false teaching, there are two types: 
 
a)  Ignorant teachers who simply teach the “facts” that they have learned from another.  These are false teachers but not necessarily apostate as the apostate once held the truth and moved away from their former position.  Such false facts are found in many of the text books being used in schools or churches.  In churches, there are many teachers who use incorrect, fallible modern bibles or use Sunday School material written by liberal or lost writers.  Many of these false teachers are ignorant of truth. 
 
b)  Apostate teachers are more dangerous.  Those who know the truth and continue to preach doctrine contrary to the truth.  These are not ignorant, they are willful!
 
Romans 1:18-22  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  (19)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  (20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
 
c)  I said that truth has actually become a relative term in the day in which we live. 
 
1)  Relative means comparative: reasonable as compared to.  In other words, truth can change with the times.  Real truth is absolute:  complete and unconditional.  It does not change with the times.  If it was true 100 years ago, it was true 50 years ago, and it is true today. 
 
2)  A man once told me, “I am on the side of right!”  Sounds great does in not?  But with this man, right was perceived right.  In other words, it did not necessarily have to be right, it just had to seem right to him.  We live in days with no right or wrong.  It is right if you think it is right and wrong if you think that it is wrong.  RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG!
 
d)  Therefore, there must be a right standard; an unmovable truth; a final authority from which all things are measured and upon which all judgement is rendered.
 
B.  This will take a few weeks to preach because of the importance of the subject.  Therefore, we find:
 
1.  The importance of Truth or a Benchmark from which all things are measured.  It is imperative that we know that we have the Word of God.  Not an errant, fallible book that contains the Word of God but the very words of God!
 
a.  Our salvation depends upon it.  Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (If salvation comes through faith in the Word of God, then we must have it in order to be saved.  Satan hates the King James Bible!)
 
b.  Our sound doctrine depends upon it.  Titus 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.  (God expects us to be doctrinally correct and gives us the truth of God’s Word to anchor our doctrine in.)
 
c.    Our Christian growth requires it.  Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.  (Christianity is based upon spiritual growth and those building blocks are founded in the truth of God’s Word.)
 
d.  Our daily guidance necessitates It. Psalms 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  (Wisdom comes from God.  If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God.)
 
e.  Our exposing of false teachers relies upon it.  Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  (In order to expose and refute error, you must have truth.)
 
Conclusion:  Over the next few months, we will be looking at the apostasy that faces the local church today, the false teachers who infiltrate the local church, and the Word of God that protects us from them.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Joy of Souls Saved

Temple Baptist Church - 8-23-2015
1 Thessalonians 2:18-20
 
 
Introduction:
 
A. One of the most important works of both the local church and the individual believer is that of witnessing or soul winning.
 
Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
 
1.  We have the power of witness, “after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
 
2.  We have the commandment of witness, “ye shall be.”  Matthew 28:18-20 is often called the Great Commission or Great Commandment.  The believer is an epistle written of God and read of men.
 
3.  We have the realm of witness, “both” or at the same time at home, our nation, and the rest of the world.  Every creature needs a preacher!
 
B.  In our text, we find the great desire that Paul had to lead the lost to Christ and to have fellowship with those who are saved.  One of the greatest of Christian joys is:
 
1.  To see people come to know the same Lord that we know; to be going to the same heaven that we are going to.
 
2.  To be able to see the changes that the Lord makes in their lives that reflect the change in our lives.
 
3.  To have the privilege of knowing them, serving the Lord with them, fellowshipping with them, and worshipping with them.
 
4.  And one day, just like today, spend an eternity worshipping our wonderful Lord together.
 
C.  What is the value of a soul.  It is of: 
 
1.  Infinite value to God - Genesis 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
 
2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
 
2.  Infinite value to heaven’s inhabitants - Luke 15:10  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
 
3.  Infinite value to the owner - Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
 
4.  Should be of infinite value to us who are saved - 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20  (19)  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?  (20)  For ye are our glory and joy.
 
D.  I want to look at the soul winner for a few minutes tonight.
 
1.  Soul winning is bases upon a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.  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.  (You can never win souls until you have experienced forgiveness yourself!)
 
2.  Soul winners need to have:
 
a.  A right testimony
 
b.  The joy of the Lord
 
c.  A working knowledge of the Scriptures
 
d.  A compassion for the lost
 
e.  Availability and Readiness to witness
 
f.  Versatility
 
3.  Soul winners will be rewarded:
 
a.  In eternity - Daniel 12:3  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
 
b.  In this life - John 4:36  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
 
4.  Soul winners are wise:  Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
 
5.  Sour winners are glad - 1Thessalonians 2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

The Power of God

Temple Baptist Church - 8-23-2016
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
 
 
Introduction:
 
A.  Once again, the greatness of God’s house is not found in either its money or its beauty. 
 
1.  Though money can be greatly used to further the gospel, the Bible calls it the “unrighteous mammon.”  So many churches have put their wealth in everything except the furtherance of the gospel while the world remains unreached and lost.
 
2.  Though it is wonderful to be able to have a beautiful church that honors God, too often such churches have squandered God’s money by being overly ornate.  In most of those churches, the Lord is a Stranger because He is not welcome!
 
3.  The glory and praise of the house of the Lord is found in the recognition and worship of its God.  We looked at the greatness and sovereignty of God over the las couple of weeks.  This morning, I want to look at another attribute of God found in David’s praise. 
 
B.  After God’s greatness and sovereignty, we find mentioned first His power.  The reason should be clear: God cannot be great or sovereign if He is not omnipotent!  Ask the average person if God can do anything or all things and their answer would probably be “Yes.”  But this is not a heartfelt perception.
 
1.  The world has a warped view of our wonderful Lord.  The world sees Him as “god” but not as “God!”  If men see Jesus Christ through human eyes and mind, they get a worldly perception of Him.  To be properly seen, the Lord must be seen through the Bible by faith.
 
2.  Often, the believer has such a view of Jesus Christ.  We see Him as “God” when things go right and as “god” when circumstances change and doubts arise!  As faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, so our perception of Jesus Christ must (and I re-emphasis MUST) come from God’s Word.  Our faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  Whom having not seen you love!  Whom having not seen you believe!  We must believe what the Bible says about Him in order to perceive Him right.
 
C.  I want to take a short look at God’s power for a few minutes this morning.  Nothing new but always profound and powerful when looked at through the eyes of the Bible.  I actually want to look at four things.
 
1.  God’s Power Kinetically – Let me explain in a simple manner.  Kinetic Energy is simply energy in motion or the amount of energy that is needed to do a certain amount of work such as the energy needed to propel a rocket at a certain speed.  Kinetic Energy is an exact measurement.  (KE = 0.5 x m x v2)  God does things exactly!     I do not want to get into physics but our God is the God of physics.  Let me illustrate biblically.
 
a.  Genesis 1:1-5  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (2)  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  (3)  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  (4)  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  (5)  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
 
b.  Here we see power in action or Kinetic Energy.  God did several things in these verses: He created the heaven and the earth, He created light, and He divided the light from the darkness.  God used the exact power needed to do these things and no more.  Also, when speaking of God’s power, He does not labor physically but speaks or wills something to be done and it is done.
 
c.  God uses His power in our lives every day to get things done in us and for us.  It is God’s power in motion to benefit His children.  God uses all of the power He needs to use and no more than He needs to use.  He supplies all our need, not our want.  Thank the Lord He often gives to us the desires of our hearts because He is loving and gracious.
 
d.  God is active in our lives though we oft times forget it.  God uses His power to feed us, protect us, clothe us.  God is active in our lives for in Him we live, we move, and have our being. 
 
d.  This leads us to God’s Power Potentially.
 
2.  God’s Power Potentially – Potential Energy is energy at rest.  A car that is parked or a motor not started.  Once again, let us look at a biblical illustration.
 
a.  Genesis 2:1-2  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  (2)  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
 
b.  God created the heaven and the earth and all that in them is which was kinetic energy  or power but, on the seventh day rested.
 
c.  By “rested,” He “ended” His work.  He was done and there was no more to be done as far as creation was concerned.  God was not tired, God was not at the end of His power, He was simply done!
 
d.  By God’s Potential Power, He could have created a limitless amount of universes!  But He ended His work because He was finished, not limited!  God’s power was not expended nor was it diminished. 
 
3.  God’s Power Unlimited – One of God’s attributes is that of omnipotence.  It means unlimited power!
 
a.  Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 
b.  All power in earth, all power in the universe, and all power in the heaven of heavens where God abides belongs to God.  Psalms 62:11  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
 
c.  God can do anything, anywhere, at any time, forever.  Luke 1:37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.
 
d.  God has power over things in heaven.  God has power over creation.  God has power over human government.  God has power over authorities.  God has all power and nothing is impossible with Him. 
 
e.  God is able to meet every need and take care of us in any difficulty.
 
4.  God’s Power Limited – How can limitless power be limited power?  God has no weaknesses; He has no limitations; He has no doubts or worries. There is nothing that He cannot do; nothing that He does not know; there is no place where He cannot be found; and He knows the end from the beginning so we have absolutely nothing to worry about!  Right?
 
a.  Psalms 78:41  Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
 
b.  God’s power can be limited in salvation when men reject Him.  God will not force men to be saved.
 
c.  God’s power can be limited in protection when men defy Him.  Too often, we step outside of God’s area of protection.
 
d.  God’s power can be limited in provision when men do contrary to His Word.  Men fail to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Then the Lord will add all these things unto us.
 
e.  God’s power can be limited in the predicaments of life when men fail to trust Him.  Men step outside of God’s will sometimes when problems come.  These are the times to stay in church, be faithful, and trust.  Never jump ship in the midst of the storm!
 
Conclusion:  God is omnipotent and is to be greatly praised!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Sovereignty Of God

Temple Baptist Church - 8-16-2015
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
 
Introduction: 
 
A.  David told Solomon that he needed to get to know the God of David: Jehovah God.  Last Sunday, we took a short look at the eternality of God.  Infinite and perpetual in nature and being.
 
B.  This morning, I want to look at the sovereignty of God and it may take more than this morning to complete.  David beings with “Thine, O LORD.”  This is one of the most important doctrines in theology.  As one old preacher said, “He either is or He ain’t!”  You cannot have a true God without sovereignty!  The Bible declares God sovereign in all matters.
 
C.  By the sovereignty of God, it is to be understood that—as Creator of all things both visible and invisible—God is both owner of or and ruler over all things.
 
Colossians 1:16-17  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  (17)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
 
D.  The Sovereignty of God!  You will not find either of the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty” in the Bible but the truth is set forth from Genesis 1:1—where the bible declares that “In the beginning God … God said”—to Revelation 22:21 where it says “Amen!”  As God has said, “Let it be so!”  As God has willed it, it shall be!  In God’s sovereignty, he causes things and also allows things.
 
E.  Since the word “sovereignty” is not a bible word, let us look at its definition for clarification:
 
Sovereignty – Free from all external control; reigning or royal authority; the dominion of a monarch, the complete authority to govern a state; exclusive in right to control one’s thoughts and actions; autonomous; greatest in status, authority, and power; supreme; exceptional in quality.
 
F.  The doctrine of the “Sovereignty of God” is one of both the least understood and the most misunderstood.
 
1.  Most believe that things happen per chance instead of providence.  I do not believe in luck.  I believe in the providence of an all-knowing, thrice holy God!
 
2.  Many believe that God’s sovereignty over rules mans ability to choose.  God made man a free moral agent and gave man the ability and obligation to choose.  This does not do away with God’s sovereignty.  It amplifies it.  God can do as He chooses and if He gives man the choice of salvation, then it is because He is a sovereign GodThe doctrine called Calvinism is both heretical and damnable! 
 
G.  Because He is sovereign:
 
1.  He Requires No Counsel - Romans 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
 
Isaiah 40:13-14  Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?  14  With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
 
2.  He Seeks No Advice - 1 Corinthians 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
 
3.  He Lacks No Wisdom - James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 
4.  He Asks No Permission – Job 33:13  Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
 
5.  He Answers To No Man - Romans 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
 
H.  God’s sovereignty is a subject that cannot be completely explored in one message so I want to look at just a few things He is sovereign in:
 
1.  God Is Sovereign In His Creation – Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 
 
John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 
Hebrews 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
 
Psalms 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  (Everything in nature contains the “finger prints” of God.  You can believe it or deny it but you cannot stop it or change it!  You were not there when the foundations were laid:  God was there!)
 
2.  God Is Sovereign In His Counsel John 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
 
Proverbs 1:23-30  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.  24  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;  25  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:  26  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;  27  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  28  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:  29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:  30  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.  (You can take it or leave it but you cannot alter it!  You may reject it and or change it here on earth but it is forever settled in Heaven.  You will hear it again!)
 
3.  God Is Sovereign In His ConversionJohn 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.
 
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. (Salvation is God’s way or not at all.  It is His way or the highway!  The “Highway to Hell!”)
 
4.  God Is Sovereign In His Circumstances Romans 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
 
Job 23:10-14  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.  11  My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.  12  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food13  But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.  14  For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him. (He controls all that happens!  Although tough to accept at times, Romans 8:28 is still in the Book!  Proverbs 3:5-6 still apply!)
 
5.  God Is Sovereign In His Consequences John 3:16-18  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.  17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
 
Luke 16:22-23  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  (It is either Heaven or Hell!  In God’s sovereignty, He gave men a choice.  Then, man’s choice leaves God no choice!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Christian and Idols

Temple Baptist Church - 8-12-2015
1 John 5:18-21

 
Introduction:
 
A.  As John ends his first Epistle, he leaves a stern admonition to God’s children: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”  I want to look at this admonition for a few minutes as it applies greatly to the Laodicean Church age in which we live.
 
B.  In verse 18, we find both Positional and Practical Sanctification. 
 
1.  Positional Sanctification is found in the first part of the verse: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not.”  This cannot speak of sinless perfection in the child of God for the previous verses dealt with the “brother” that sins.  I preached on this subject when I preached on chapter 3.  There is a part of the child of God that is preserved or sealed until the day of redemption for which I am eternally grateful.
 
1 John 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
 
2.  Practical Sanctification is found in the latter part of the verse: “But he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”  Though we have a sinful flesh, we still have an obligation to live for Christ to the best of our ability.
 
1 John 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
 
C.  In the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Bible written by Moses, we find three aspects of the Law: Moral Law, Civil Law, and Ceremonial Law.  The Moral Law is found in what we call the Ten Commandments.  The first part of the Ten Commandments deals with our relationship and obligation to God.
 
The Command of Idolatry - Exodus 20:3-6  Thou shalt have no other gods before me(4)  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  (5)  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  (6)  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
 
 
1.  No other gods.  The word “gods” is often applied to magistrates.  It simply means to rule over.  Romans 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
 
Romans 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
 
2.  No graven image or likeness.  Graven is to hew of make something.  Likeness is a manifestation or embodiment of something.  A woodcarver was asked how he took a log and carved it into a bear.  He said, “I just take a log and cut away everything that doesn’t look like a bear.”  We see the log but he sees the bear.  One man’s idols may mean nothing top us but they are powerful in his or her life.  He takes stone, wood, or forms plastic and fiberglass into an image to be revered and worshipped.
 
3.  No bowing to or serving of such.  Bow is to make one stoop or to worship something.  It speaks of having a high place in a person’s life to which they pay homage.  To serve in a biblical sense is enslavement.  The sin becomes the master.
 
D.  Idolatry, in the heathen sense, is one of great ignorance!  To worship something that they made with their own hands; something that they have to carry about or set up; something that they can even destroy if they wish.  It is utter foolishness to worship an idol or image that they make.
 
Psalms 115:4-8  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands(5)  They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:  (6)  They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not(7)  They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.  (8)  They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
 
1.  They are the work of men’s hands!  If you can make your god, then you have to carry your god with you and take care of it.  Not much of a god!
 
2.  They are lifeless!  They cannot hear you when you pray, they cannot see you when you fall, they cannot protect you when in danger.  They are of no use at all!
 
3.  They cannot be trusted!  Those who make them are as lifeless and as helpless as their idols.
 
E.  Some so-called Christian denominations are still big on statues to which they bow and pray to.  I have discussed this with them but their spiritual eyes are blinded to a simple biblical truth:  you do not make images, you do not bow to images, and you do not venerate images.  Such worship is contrary to clear scripture and is to be separated from.
 
F.  Idol worship is foolish, is it not?  Idolatry in the life of the child of God is one of even greater ignorance!  We know the true, living God: a God that loves us, saved us, leads and guides us, protects us, feeds us, shelters us, clothes us, is merciful to us!
 
G.  Dr. Billy Kanoy used to say that there are idols that are metal and idols that are mental.  An idol is anything that we replace God with or place between us and God.  God’s children must be on guard concerning idolatry in their personal lives.
 
1.  We need to see our sin as God sees it.  1 John 5:17  All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.  (I get the feeling that believers too often think that God winks at the “Little Foxes” in their lives that spoil the vines.  Mighty oaks from little acorns grown.”)
 
2.  We need to know that eternal life positionally gives us no freedom to sin practically.  The child of God is obligated to guard against sinfulness.   1 John 5:18  We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  (We, as believers, have not been made free from sin in order to live in sin.)
 
3.  We need to remember who and what we are.  1 John 5:19  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.  (As God’s heritage, we become God’s ambassadors to this world.  Epistles written of God and read of men.  It is important to know that we are in this world but not of this world.)
 
4.  We need to know the importance of having a rich, spiritual life.  A life of prayer and dedication to God’s Word.  We then will have the knowledge needed to keep our life spiritually directed.   1 John 5:20  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.  (Either sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin.)
 
5.  There is always the possibility of living an idolatrous life.   1 John 5:21  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (Watchfulness and vigilance is required for the child of God to keep his/her life properly prioritized.)
 
1 Corinthians 10:14  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hindrances To The Work

Temple Baptist Church - 8-9-2015
Romans 15:15-33

 
Introduction:
 
A.  We are in a literal war as we try to carry the gospel to a dying world.  In our verses for tonight, we find Satan hindering the great Apostle Paul as he traveled and preached the gospel.  In Genesis 3, we find Satan, in the form of the serpent, withstanding the Word of God.  Why does God allow this?  That is one of the questions that we leave in the hands of an Almighty God.
 
B.  Satan hindered Adam and Eve, Job, King David, and numerous others in the Bible.  One song says, “It’s a battlefield, brother, not a recreation room; it’s a fight and not a game.”  As we try to serve the Lord here at Temple, Satan has time and time again caused division.  He is good at what he does because he knows human nature and has had much time to practice his art. 
 
Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 
1 Timothy 1:18  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
 
C.  I believe that it was Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. who said, “The door of opportunity rests upon the hinges of resistance.”  Paul, writing to Timothy, said, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”  (2 Timothy 2:3)  We are likened to soldiers who need to be both armed and determined. 
 
D.  Satan hinders God’s people, God’s men, and the local churches:
 
Zechariah 3:1  And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
 
E.  I want to list just a few of “Satan’s devices” this evening as he and his allies will stop at nothing in order to deter the work of the gospel!  He is serious!
 
1 Peter 5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 
1.  There Is The Hindrance Of Unreasonable And Wicked Men - 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3  Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:  And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
 
2.  There Is The Hindrance Of Worldly Persecution - 2 Corinthians 1:8-10  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
 
3.  There Is The Hindrance Of Satanic Oppression - 1 Thessalonians 2:18  Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
 
2 Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
 
2 Timothy 4:17  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
 
4.  There Is The Hindrance Of Religious Sinners - Acts 13:45  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Acts 14:2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
 
5.  There Is The Hindrance Of Doctrinal Impurity - Galatians 1:6-9  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  (7)  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  (8)  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  (9)  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
 
6.  There Is The Hindrance Of Unethical Preachers - 1 Corinthians 9:11-12  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
 
7.  There Is The Hindrance Of Wicked Church Members - 3 John 9-10   I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
 
2 Timothy 4:14-18  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;  Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
 
8. There Is The Hindrance Of An Unforgiving Heart - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;  (11)  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.