Temple Baptist Church - 8-16-2020
A. Paul’s final exhortation to the believers at Ephesus was to stand fast. Ephesus was a thriving city in Asia Minor with wealth and idolatry on every hand. The Ephesian believers had been saved from a life of plenty and sinfulness. In the city of Ephesus stood the Temple of Diana (her Greek name was Artemis), which was one of the most revered of Roman goddesses. The Temple of Diana was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
B. Christianity was openly rejected, and believers persecuted in the city (Acts 19). Here in our text, the Apostle Paul encourages these precious people to:
1. Be strong in the Lord. Vs. 10. Our need for spiritual strength, found only in the Lord. The battlefield is no place for sissies or cowards.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
2. Stand against the wiles of the devil. Vs. 11. Our need to know our enemy and his tactics.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
3. Withstand in the evil day. Vs. 13.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) 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.
4. Having done all, to stand. Vs. 13.
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; (Falling away – to be removed from a former position.)
C. We must:
1. Fight the Good Fight - 1 Timothy 6:11-14 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (13) I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; (14) That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (We are to fight those things that attack what we believe.)
2. Fight the Right Fight - Timothy 4:6-7 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (The weapons of our warfare are spiritual, not carnal. Our fight must follow the parameters set forth in the Bible. We do not operate outside of our Christian testimony.)
D. We are in a War!
1. Spiritual war is Inevitable. The battle for spiritual things has always been, from Genesis, chapter 3, to the present. The world hates God, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the local church, and us! Many professing Christians never noticed. That should tell them something.
2. Spiritual war is Unending. Unending so long as time endures, there will be a battle between good and evil, God and Satan, the world and us. Many professing Christians fight for the right for a while but eventually give up and quit.
E. We are in a War!
1. It Is An Intense War - Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (It is life of death!)
2. It Is An Intentional War - 1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (Fight the enemy, not everything that moves!)
3. It Is An Involved War - 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (You are in it, like it or not!)
Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.
4. It Is An Important War - 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (Our faith, family, and friends are at stake!)
5. It Is An Intrepid War - Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight. Turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (It takes boldness, resolve, and intestinal fortitude to win!)
1. We are in a War for our Nation.
a. America has moved away from God causing God to move away from America. The question must be asked, “Why should God bless America if America refuses to bless God?”
b. The so-called “silent majority” had better become vocal because there is a time when silence becomes both condonement and enablement!
c. We also live in a land of plenty as well as an idolatrous nation. By idolatry, I mean both idols made of metal and idols that are mental.
1) America, despite our financial woes of this day, is still the Utopia of the world! The people of every nation look at America as being the epitome of wealth and luxury: Utopia!
2) Along with the blessing of plenty goes the curse of idolatry! An “idol” is anything or anyone that comes between us and the Lord. What we love and live for is the “god” of our lives.
3) If you have not noticed, this year thus far has been devastating to our nation. Two things that you DO NOT DO: give the government either money or power as it will abuse both!
d. We are losing the War for America! While the majority remain in silence, the far left socialistic anarchists are both visible and vocal.
2. We are in a War for our Church.
a. Fundamental, Bible believing churches have become the enemy of the state. The state does not like us for the same reason that they do not like President Donald Trump; they cannot control either us or our thinking! Religion will bow to government where sound, fundamental, Bible believing churches bow only to Christ and His Word.
b. So-called fundamental, Bible believing churches all around have capitulated concerning their music or any type of biblical separation from the world.
c. Preachers and preaching have and is changing to all exhortation instead of godliness. Old fashioned, Old Paths churches are now silently scoffed at and forsaken.
d. We will not lose the War for our church! As long as this pastor is in this pulpit and our people back the pastor, we will not fail nor fall.
3. We are in a War for our Faith.
a. There has been infiltration by false teachers for many years now. Through institutions of higher learning (that is a joke) and many false shepherds who now fill the pulpits.
b. Biblical inerrancy has been under attack for the past 140 years by the introduction of the Minority Text that is now accepted by the Majority of the people.
c. Either the Bible is right or these false teachers, who say that the Bible (it declares from Genesis to Revelation to be inerrant, infallible, inspired, and preserved) is wrong are right. We will remain with the King James Bible without apology!
d. Our children need to know the truth and to see the truth in action. You and I have the biblical responsibility to hold to and maintain the Old Paths. These are the right way and the good way.
Conclusion: I know that I am preaching to the choir this morning, but I want the world and the church to know that we are NOT FOR SALE!