Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blessed? Rejoice? Seeing As God Sees!

Temple Baptist Church - 10-5-2014
Luke 6:20-26
 
Introduction:
A. In our text, we see that the message is to the disciples (20) and not to the unsaved. We find similar words in Matthew 5:1-12 in what we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” As I introduce the message, we find that the passage is filled with things that, as humans, we would take issue with. The problem is that the flesh does not see the spiritual or we do not see in our humanity what God sees in His deity.
B. The passage is broken down into 4 “blessings” and 4 “woes.”
C. 4 Blessings:
1. The blessing of poverty. (Vs 20)
2. The blessing of hunger or want. (Vs 21)
3. The blessing of mourning. (Vs 21)
4. The blessing of persecution. (Vs 22)
D. 4 Woes:
1. The woe of riches. (Vs 24)
2. The woe of plenty. (Vs 25)
3. The woe of laughter. (Vs 25)
4. The woe of popularity. (Vs 26)
E. Now, if we are honest, as humans—we see the exact opposite. To us:
1. We would choose riches over poverty and, therefore, riches would be the blessing and poverty the woe.
2. We would choose plenty over hunger and, therefore, plenty would be the blessing and hunger the woe.
3. We would choose laughter over mourning and, therefore, laughter would be the blessing and mourning the woe.
4. We would choose popularity over persecution and, therefore, the popularity would be the blessing and persecution the woe.
F. There is a great message in these verses for the believer! You see, we are a heavenly people, not an earthly one. Not one of us would be excited by the prospect of poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution because these are not the things that we naturally seek after. Yes, we love live and the want the best but too often the “best” is what brings us problems and grief.
1. It is riches that turn our hearts to the world while poverty turns our hearts to God!
2. It is plenty that makes us fat, lazy, and lukewarm while hunger drives us to our knees.
3. It is laughter that brings about worldly pleasure while mourning shows us our frailty and necessity to number our days while serving the Lord.
4. It is popularity that brings about compromise while persecution shows a Christ likeness as He was hated of the world.
G. In verse 13, the Lord said to rejoice, not to seek these things. Why rejoice!
1. Because you are saved instead of still lost! Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
2. Because you are different from the world instead of still like it! Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
3. Because your reward is in heaven and eternal instead of earthly and temporal! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
4. Because you stand in good company instead of bad company! 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,
5. Because you must be getting more like Christ! Luke 9:58 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.
John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When He Shall Appear

Temple Baptist Church - 9-17-2014
1 John 3:1-3
 
Introduction:
A. Notice the wording of our verse: “when he shall appear.” The next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church. The word Rapture is not found in your Bible. Rapture comes from the phrase “shall be caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we which are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” These four words are actually one word in the Greek: arpazw harpazo har-pad’-zo, which means to catch up, take by force, catch away, or to pluck, to claim for oneself eagerly. Harpazo is the Greek equivalent of our word Rapture.
RAP'TURE, n. [L. raptus, rapio.]
1. A seizing by violence. [Little used.]
2. Transport; ecstasy; violence of a pleasing passion; extreme joy or pleasure.
B. Bible “gaps” are found throughout the scripture and the Second Coming of Christ is one of them because it is in two phases: the rapture of the church and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Revelation.
John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (These two resurrections are separated by 1007 years!)
1. In the Rapture He will come as a thief in the night where He will catch away those who are alive (saved) and remain (not dead). 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. (2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
2. In the Revelation He every eye shall see Him as He comes to set up His kingdom on earth for 1000 years. Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
C. The Rapture is that event in the future known in the Bible as the blessed hope of the believer - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
1. It is eminent (Brand New Feeling In The Air)! 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
2. It is encouraging (hard times almost over forever) 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
3. It is exciting (just watching the Lord work and prophecy fulfilling) Revelation 22:20- He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
D. The “last trump” holds tremendous Scriptural truth concerning the rapture. John heard “as it were of a trumpet talking with me” in the Revelation. The first mention of trumpet speaks volumes concerning its meaning and use.
Exodus 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether [it be] beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. (It was used to gather Israel into the presence of God.)
In Roman days, when a Roman legion moved, there would be three blasts from the trumpets:
1. The first would tell the troop to take down their tents, and to prepare to move
2. The second would alert them to fall in and line up
3. The third or last trumpet would be the signal to move out
4. We are leaving at the "last trump"
E. The Rapture will be in fulfillment of His promise.
1. Before Jesus went to the cross, He promised His disciples that He would return for them - John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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. 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.
2. When Jesus ascended back into Heaven, angels told His disciples that He would return - Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
3. He later reaffirmed this promise to the Apostle John - Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
F. The Rapture will be in fulfillment of His purposes.
1. His purpose was that we might be with Him - John 14:3 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.
2. His purpose was to receive His bride unto Himself - Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
G. The Procedure of the Rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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.
 H. The People of the Rapture.
1. The Dead in Christ – 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we
shall be changed.
2. The Living Believers – 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1. The Rapture In Truth – We are premillennial, pre-tribulation rapture saints.
a. The Denial of The Millennium - 2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
(1) Post Millennialism
(a) In Christian eschatology, postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after or post- the thousand year "millennium". Although some postmillennialists hold to a literal millennium of 1,000 years, most postmillennialists see the thousand years more as a figurative term for a long period of time (similar in that respect to Amillennialism). Among those holding to a non-literal "millennium" it is usually understood to have already begun, which implies a less obvious and less dramatic kind of millennium than that typically envisioned by premillennialists, as well as a more unexpected return of Christ. (These teach that the world will get progressively better, revival will break out, and then the Lord will return to sit upon the throne of David.)
(b) Postmillennialism also teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout history up until the second coming of Christ. This belief that good will gradually triumph over evil has led proponents of postmillennialism to label themselves "optimillennialists" in contrast to "pessimillennial" Pre-millennialists and A-millennialists.
(2) A-millennialism
(a) A-millennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God will not be physically established on earth throughout the "millennium", but rather that Christ is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, that He will remain with the Christian church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension.
(b) A-millennialism also teaches that at Pentecost, the millennium began, as is shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what was happening, and that, therefore the Christian church and its spread of the good news is Christ's kingdom.
(3) Pre-millennialism
(a) Pre-millennialism in Christian eschatology is the interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible which sees Christ's second coming as occurring before or pre- his literal thousand year reign on earth (Revelation 19) which some envision to be centered literally on King David's throne in Jerusalem. This is a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.)
1 Kings 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
(b) Pre-millennialism is distinct in that it usually interprets these "thousand years" literally; other views often interpret this as a figurative term for a long, undefined period of time (particularly, Amillennialists and many postmillennialists). Premillennialism also holds this period of one thousand years is eschatological, and has not yet begun.
(4) The correct position is Pre-millennialism.
b. The Denial Of The Pre-tribulation Rapture
(1) Mid-tribulation Rapture – Matthew 24:15-21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 175-170 – greatly persecuted the Jews and offered a sow on the altar.)
(2) Pre-wrath Rapture - Zephaniah 2:2-3 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. (A relatively newer version of the mid-tribulation rapture theory.)
1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
(3) Pre-tribulation Rapture – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 4:1 (At the end of the Church Age and prior to Revelation 6:1 and the revealing of the Antichrist.)
(4) The correct position is Pre-tribulation Rapture. The Church of Believers is absent in Revelation 4-18. The Church is mentioned 17 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but after John (a member of the Church) is called up to heaven, at the beginning of chapter 4, he looks down on the events of the Tribulation, and the Church is not mentioned or seen again until chapter 19, when she returns to earth with her Bridegroom at His glorious appearing. Why? The answer is obvious: she isn’t in the Tribulation. She is raptured to be with her Lord before it begins! (The Church will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. They will then return to earth in Revelation chapter 19 with the Lord.)
2. The Rapture In Type
a. Manifested In Enoch - Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
b. Manifested In Lot - Genesis 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
c. Manifested In Elijah - 2 Kings2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
d. Manifested In Paul - 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
e. Manifested In John - Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3. The Rapture In Time
a. The Analogy of God's Time - 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
b. The Allotment of God's Time - Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Six thousand years from the beginning to the Rapture and the seventh one thousand years is the Millennium or Sabbath Rest.)
c. The Achievement of God's Time - Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
d. The Acknowledgment of God's Time - Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Matthew 24:4-8 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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;
2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
4. The Rapture In Triumph
a. A Wonderful Change - 1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
b. A Wonderful Reward- 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.
c. A Wonderful Wedding - Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
d. A Wonderful Expectancy - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
(1) Expectancy should produce watchfulness - Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
(2) Expectancy should produce comfort – 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) Expectancy should produce abiding – 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.
(4) Expectancy should produce patience - 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.
(5) Expectancy should produce service – 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.
(6) Expectancy should produce purity – 1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Things Jesus Left The Church

Temple Baptist Church - 9-14-2014
Acts 1:1-11
 
Introduction:
A. Many years ago, Dr. Harold Sightler preached this message at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC and I think that it is worthy to be preached in our church also. Dr. Sightler was truly a “Prince of Preachers” and my pastor for several years. I will always be grateful for the privilege and never forget my years of sitting under this great man of God.
B. I sometimes feel that the local church and believers in general have forgotten the enormous task that was left to be finished and the empowerment of the local church and the believer. We are not alone in this task as it is His unfinished business. Sinners still die without Christ, the only Way of salvation, and the lost still go to hell for eternity.
C. In Acts chapter one, we find the last of the post resurrection appearances of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is now ready to ascend into heaven and there to sit on the right hand of God as our High Priest to ever make intercession for us. Before His ascension, he sets forth the empowerment of the believer and task of evangelizing the world. The church was to:
1. Exemplify Christ to the Lost. We are His epistles read of men.
2. Evangelize the World. We are to share the good news of the gospel to all.
            3. Edify and Encourage the Saints. Thus the importance of the local church.
D. In order to properly equip the saints, the Lord—before His ascension—left some things to the church. He left:
1. An Un-Paralleled Gift - Acts 1:4-5 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (5) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (The Promise)
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (The Person: Expedient – good, profitable, better)
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (The Permanence)
2. An Unchanging Message - 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.
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. (An unchanging message that changes our destiny, our lives, and our desires.)
3. An Unshakable Testimony - Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (10) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (11) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
John 14:3 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. (We know both whom and what we believe and it cannot be shaken.)
4. An Unlimited Power - 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.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
5. An Unending Commission - 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.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Romans 10:14 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? (Notice the word “how” in this verse. Impossibility is implied here. No preacher, no hearing, and no believing.)
6. An Unfailing Promise - Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.