Sunday, December 4, 2022

A God That Judgeth in the Earth

Temple Baptist Church - 12-4-2022

Psalm 58

 

Introduction:

 

A.  Psalm 58 is one of the many Imprecatory Psalms. 

 

Psalms 5, 6, 12353740525456575859, 69, 79, 8394, 109, 137139 and 143 are considered imprecatory. As an example, Psalm 69:24 states toward God, "Pour out Your indignation on them, and let Your burning anger overtake them."

 

B.  The large number of imprecatory Psalms show us that such praying is not an anomaly but somewhat a norm in certain instances.  Imprecatory is both like precatory praying but with the intent of the opposite outcome.

 

1.  The majority of our praying is precatory in nature.  Precatory – an expression of a wish or a request.  A prayer in the form of supplication, a wish or desire for someone.  In a will - expressing a wish or intention of the testator. 

 

LII (Legal Information Institute) - Precatory means recommended, expected, or expressing a hope or wish.  Precatory expressions are commonly used in wills and trust and are not binding.  The word “supplication” is found 60 times in your Bible.  One verse that we use often is:

 

Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 

2.  Imprecatory – to invoke evil upon or a curse.  To call down calamity, destruction, and or God’s anger upon somebody or something perceived to be an enemy of God.  Psalm 58 is a classic example of imprecatory praying.

 

Psalms 58:6-9  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.  (7)  Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.  (8)  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.  (9)  Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

 

C.  This Psalm may seem contrary to the New Testament as we read these verses:

 

When I think of Psalm 58:6: “Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth,” I think of the time when I was preaching on loving your enemies and inadvertently said to turn to this verse.  Some of the congregation beat me to the verse and began laughing and so did I when I read it.  I said, “No, don’t do that!”

 

Matthew 5:43-44  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  (44)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

Luke 6:35-37  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  (36)  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  (37)  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

 

D.  I believe that the Bible gives a clear directive that there are times when imprecatory praying is warranted. Let me show you a few examples of how and when to pray imprecatory prayers.

 

1.  When there is a constant refusal and mockery of the gospel.  We need to be careful at this point as we do not know if or when God is done with someone spiritually but, there is a time to move on which leaves this area or person void of have the gospel presented again.

 

Luke 10:11-12  Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  (12)  But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

 

Acts 26:28-29  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.  (29)  And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. 

 

Neither Festus nor Agrippa were given another chance as far as we can discern.  Paul moved on!  There comes a time to just move on.

 

2.  When someone continually preaches a perverted gospel and troubles the people of God with it.

 

Galatians 1:7-9  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. 

 

When they did not learn better or repent of this, Paul twice said, “Let him be accursed.”  There comes a time when these false teachers and preachers become willfully ignorant or rebellious to the truth of the gospel.

 

3.  When certain people or nations continue to persecute those who preach the gospel.  

 

Galatians 5:11-12  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.  (12)  I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

The gospel becomes an “offense” to them, and they refuse to change their minds toward both the gospel and God’s preachers.

 

4.  When men withstand and mistreat God’s men who preach the truth of God’s word to them.

 

2 Timothy 4:14-15  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  (15)  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

 

3 John 9-11  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  (10)  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.  (11)  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  (7)  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  (8)  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  (9)  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

 

Revelation 6:9-10  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  (10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

There are some people who hate and try to destroy both the man of God and the work of God (the local church).  These become enemies of the gospel of God and put to death His people.

 

5.  In reference to God haters in general!  Not just people who have not heard of the love and person of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

1 Corinthians 16:22  If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

 

I apply this also to those who depict our Lord in a sinful way such as the recent “transgender Jesus.”  These people are probably reprobate and as wicked as they can get.

 

6.  In asking God to bring about His wrath upon ungodly religions that damn the souls of people to hell with their heresies. 

 

Revelation 19:1-3  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:  (2)  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.  (3)  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

 

Conclusion:  There are times when we righteously call for God’s Justice when things will not change that must to be changed both people and circumstances.

Emmanuel – God with Us - What Christmas Means To Me!

Temple Baptist Church - 12-4-2022

Matthew 1:18-23

 

Introduction

 

“The most wonderful time of the year!”  Thanksgiving through Christmas and the introduction to a New Year: 2023.  I do not argue with people over Christmas.  I just enjoy knowing that Christ Jesus, the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth, was born to die for me!

 

A.  Christmas of 2022 is upon us!  I sometimes think back to the many Christmases of time past, and I have now seen 74 of them.  I do not remember them all but, as I reflect, I see how the meaning of Christmas has changed for this preacher.

 

1.  The wonder of Christmas as a little boy – the earliest memories were not spiritual ones but rather the worldly aspect of Christmas.  Presents under the Christmas Tree and thoughts of a sleigh with Reindeer pulling a little fat man with white hair and beard who wore a red suit.

 

2.  It did not take this preacher long to get over “Santa” though.  We normally got one good toy for Christmas, but I was a little disappointed that “Santa” was CEO of Fruit of the Loom!

 

3.  As I grew older, Christmas became a time of cooking cookies, candies, and other great smelling things.  It was a time of buying and receiving presents; a time of family breakfast at mom and dad’s house and Christmas Dinner at Barbara’s Mamaw’s.  Buying and hiding toys from the kids; having to get up right after midnight because someone could not wait until morning to open gifts.  That someone was almost always Barbara!

 

4.  Today, I still enjoy having Christmas with my family.  I still have hobby I call eating which requires pants with pleating!  But, in 1976, Christmas changed for me and took on an entirely new meaning.  I had always seen Manger Scenes and heard the biblical account of the birth of Christ, but that year the meaning changed forever.

 

B.  Salvation changed both my life and my perspective of Christmas forever.  I want to look at a few portions of Scripture this morning that tells what Christmas means to me.

 

1.  You see, He was more than just a Babe in a manger.  He is Emmanuel: God with us!  Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

a.  He is not just “a son of God!”  He is Almighty Jehovah God!  Mary was not the “mother of God” but rather the mother of the physical body of our Lord.  Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things and made the womb that gave Him birth.  His goings forth was from everlasting to everlasting.  The Creator of all things became a man!

 

b.  He is not just God born in the flesh!  He is Emmanuel: God WITH us!  Though pure, sinless, and separate from sinners, He walked with sinners; He ate with sinners; He was a Friend of sinners; He died for sinners.  He is with us which means to be identified with us through His birth and for us through His life and death.  He is our God!  That is what Christmas is to me.

 

2.  He is more than just a Babe in a manger.  He is the Christ!  Matthew 16:13-17  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  (14)  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  (15)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  (17)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

 

a.  So many who celebrate Christmas have no spiritual comprehension of Who that Babe, born so long ago, was.   They may say that He was Jesus, but Jesus is not a reality in their lives. 

 

b.  Simon Peter said, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Christ means “anointed” and comes from a root word meaning “consecrated.”  Hallowed, blessed, holy, sacred, sanctified, set apart!  To me, Jesus Christ is so special because He is so special to God the Father.  Jesus Christ is most wonderful, unparalleled, matchless Person that has ever or will ever exist!  He is so much more than just a Babe in a manger.  He is the only begotten Son of God sent to this world with a marvelous purpose in mind.  That is what Christmas is to me.

 

3.  He is more than just a Babe in a manger.  He is my Saviour!  Luke 1:46-47  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  (47)  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

 

a.  Jesus Christ was born to die!  He came into the world the seed of the woman in fulfillment of His promise; He came into this world to hang on an old rugged cross and pay for the sin of the world; He came into the world to save sinners.

 

b.  He was Mary’s Saviour because she was a sinner!  She was neither immaculately conceived nor was she was immaculate as a person.  Yes, she was a woman blessed of God to bear the seed of the Holy Ghost and bring forth the Messiah.  Yes, we do called her blessed for she not only was chosen for such a task, in spite of the reproach, she was submissive to it.  In Luke 1:46-47, said, “ And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  (47)  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

 

c.  Paul said, “Of whom I am chief!”  He came to die for me and 46 years ago, He became my Saviour.  He is my wonderful payment for sin as He became the propitiation for my sin.  He paid my price and purchased for me an eternity in heaven with Him.  That is what Christmas is to me.

 

4.  He is more than just a Babe in a manger.  He is my Lord!  John 20:28-29  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  (29)  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

 

a.  One of the most exciting portions of Scripture is found here.  Old “Doubting Thomas,” as he is so called, confessed with his mouth what he believed in his heart as he said, “My Lord and my God!”  So many people will call Him their Saviour but fear to call Him Lord.  I believe that a person accepts Him as their Lord and Saviour when they are saved.  Lord does not mean you give up something to be saved; Lord does not mean that He is Lord of every area of a person’s life; Lord means that the saint recognizes who He is!  So many want Him as their Saviour but are not willing to accept Him as their Lord.

 

b.  He is my Lord!  No, I am not sinless and must confess with the great Apostle Paul that I am “chief of sinners” and “in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing!”  I am a miserable failure at best, but I desire to love my Lord.  I desire to live for my Lord.  I long to be with my Lord!  You see, He is so much more than just the sinner’s Sacrifice, He is the saint’s Joy and Rejoicing.  He is my Lord and my God because I am one of those blessed ones who have not seen and yet believe.  I have not seen the wounds in His hands, feet, and side and yet I believe.  I have not looked into His matchless eyes and heard with my ears His gracious words, yet I believe!  That is what Christmas is to me.

Our Matchless Christ

To many, Jesus Christ is only a grand subject for a painting, a heroic theme for a pen, a beautiful form for a statue, and a thought for a song; but to those who have heard His voice, who have felt His pardon, who have received His benediction, He is music, warmth, light, joy, hope and salvation, a Friend who never forsakes, who lifts us when others try to push us down. We cannot wear Him out; we pile on Him all our griefs and troubles. He is always ready to lift us; He is always ready to help us; He addresses us with the same love; He beams upon us with the same smile; He pities us with the same compassion.

There is no name like His. It is more inspiring than Caesar's, more musical than Beethoven's, more patient than Lincoln's. The name of Jesus throbs with life, weeps with all pathos, groans with all pains, stoops with all love. Its breath is laden with perfume.

Who like Jesus can pity a homeless orphan? Who like Jesus can welcome a prodigal back home? Who like Jesus can make a drunkard sober? Who like Jesus can illuminate a cemetery plowed with graves? Who like Jesus can make a queen unto God out of a lost woman of the street? Who like Jesus can catch the tears of human sorrow in His bowl? Who like Jesus can kiss away our sorrow?

I struggle for a metaphor with which to express Jesus. He is not like the bursting forth of an orchestra; that is too loud, and it may be out of tune. He is not like a sea when lashed into a rage by a storm; that is too boisterous. He is not like a mountain wreathed in lightening, canopied with snow; that is too solitary and remote.

He is the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, a gale of spices from heaven.

~ Billy Sunday

 

Conclusion:  Yes, Christmas has changed for me.  I look back at my youth and Christmas with many fond memories but now I look forward to Christmas with hope that one day—just like today—my Blessed Hope will return and take me to heaven where I now belong! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

An Introduction to The Person and Work of Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 11-30-2022

John 5:17-29

 

A.  In our context, we find the religionists questioning the Lord Jesus Christ concerning one of His miracles.  He came to the Pool of Bethesda and healed an impotent man who was lame and could not walk.

 

B.  Because of the human impossibility of this man’s situation, he remained in the same impotent state while living in the public’s eye for 38 years.

 

C.  That a miracle had been performed could not be questioned.  This lame man was walking and publicly talking of his healing.  Not able to perform such a miracle themselves, the accusers of Christ did what most would do.  They found fault!  Not with the man who was healed, but with the One who healed him.

 

D.  Verse 16.  The first thing that the world tried to do was to persecute and or kill the Son of God!

 

E.  Verse 17.  “But Jesus answered them.”  Our Lord neither knew nor showed fear as he addresses these religious zealots.  The Lord took this opportunity to introduce Himself and the work that He came to accomplish.  His work was a spiritual healing, not just a physical one.

 

F.  The Lord could have destroyed those for whom He would die but did not.  The Lord could have been just to scold those who did not know Him, but He did not.  He would have been just in both cases.

 

G.  The Lord chose this opportunity to introduce Himself to them.  In His discourse, H told them who He was and told them what He was about.  In doing so, the Lord told them of 3 appointments that were essential to life eternal that was to follow.

 

H.  Our Lord explained three appointments.  Two that they would not escape and one that would make the other two an eternal joy:

 

1.  The Appointment of Salvation.  Verses 24-25.

 

a.  The Unhearing Ear.  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  (These hear but they do not listen!)

 

Ezekiel 12:2  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  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

 

Acts 7:57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

 

b.  The Hearing Ear.  Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Matthew 11:15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 

John 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

2.  The Appointment of Death.  Verse 28.  “All that are in the graves”

 

Job 7:1  Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

 

Job 14:5  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

 

Job 30:23  For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  (2)  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 

3.  The Appointment of Judgment.  Verse 28-29.  “All … hear His voice … come forth”

 

(Here we find one of the “gaps” found in the Bible.  These two resurrections are 1000 years apart.  The Judgment of the Just [those who have done good – heard the gospel and accepted it] will take place at the Rapture of the Church just prior to the Tribulation Period also called Jacob’s Trouble.  The Judgment of the Unjust [those who have rejected] will take place in Revelation 20:11-15 at the end of the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ.)

 

a.  The Judgment of the Just – 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.

 

1 Corinthians 3:10-11  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  (11)  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

b.  The Judgment of the Unjust – The Great White Throne Judgment. 

 

Romans 2:4-6  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  (5)  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  (6)  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

 

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.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

How Excellent Is Thy Name

 Temple Baptist Church - 11-27-2022

Psalm 8:1-9

 

Introduction:

 

A. This is another of the Davidic Psalms.  David was a great king in Israel but also a man after God’s own heart.  David was a man of great worship!

 

B.  From his youth, David had a wonderful relationship with his LORD.  The 23rd Psalm, which we will look at later, is a short story of the life of this great man of God. 

 

C.  From “The Lord is my shepherd” to “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever”, we find the LORD’s guidance, provision, and protection.

 

D.  In his worship, Psalm 8 shows his personal perception of the LORD.  It is the spiritual perception of the true worshipper of God. 

 

E.  The Psalm begins and ends with the same wording: “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”  Within these two statements we find a proper biblical perspective of the LORD.

 

1.  Verse 1.  The Glory of God.  Here we find God’s glory placed above the works of His hands.  How glorious are the heavens?  A few statistics that we get from the geniuses.  They are glorious in both their:

 

a.  Magnitude; the enormity of the heavens.  Unfathomable to the human mind but spanned by His hand.  According to some astronomers (so you can take it or leave it), our galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, probably contains 100 to 400 billion stars, and is about 100,000 light-years across. That the observable Universe is 150 billion light-years in diameter and, humanly speaking, limitless beyond with at least 5,500 galaxies.

 

b.  It would take 450 million years for our modern spacecraft to just reach the center of the Milky Way.

 

c.  There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on earth.  (I am sure that they took the time to count both and compare?)  God compared these two long before the first telescope was invented.

 

Genesis 22:17  That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

 

b.  God’s glory exceeds the glory above that of the heavens!

 

2.  Verse 2.  The Gentleness of God.  The Bible speaks of us as “babes and sucklings”.

 

Psalms 103:13-14  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  (14)  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 

3.  Verse 3.  The Great Power of God.  “And God said” says it all.  God spoke and it was done and done perfectly.  He has never had to correct His creation.  The omniscience and omnipotence of God!

 

Psalms 19:1-3  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  (2)  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  (3)  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

 

4.  Verse 4.  The Grace of God.  That God should love a sinner such as I, how wonderful is love like this!

 

Job 7:17  What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?

 

5.  Verse 5.  The Gift of God.  This verse is Messianic in its prophecy and speaks of the coming of Israel’s Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians 2:9-11  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  (10)  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  (11)  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

6.  Verses 6-8.  The Governing of God.  God owns it, God guides it, God sustains it.  The heavens and the earth and all things within belong to Him.

 

Colossians 1:15-17  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  (16)  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.

 

7.  Verse 9.  The Great Name of God

 

a. Our powerful God. " O' Lord"

b. Our personal God. "Our, Lord"

c. Our praise to God. " Excellent is thy name"

Three Sevens in the Christian Life - Part 3 - Seven Results of Lack of Spiritual Growth

Temple Baptist Church - 11-27-2022

2 Peter 1:8-15

 

Introduction: 

 

A.  We saw:

 

1.  Seven things that God left the Saints.  The Lord has given to us all things pertaining to both life and godliness.  Verse 3.

 

2. Seven things that we need to Add to our Faith.  These are spiritual building blocks that lead to spiritual maturity.

 

3.  This morning, I want to look at the 3rd set of sevens: Seven Results of Lack of Spiritual Growth.

 

B.  Spiritual growth is both a responsibility and a blessing.

 

1.  Verse 8.  The blessing.  If we add these things that God gives us the ability to all, we will abound in Christ.

 

2.  Verse 9.  The lack of blessing.  If we fail to add these things, we are blind to spiritual things and the rewards that go along with spiritual growth.  Therefore, we live in the days of 2 Timothy 3 where the professing “believers” have:

 

(a)  Verse 13.  Complacency where they are comfortable and having no desire for change.

 

2 Timothy 3:5-9  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  (6)  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  (7)  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (8)  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  (9)  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

 

(b)  Verse 15.  Instability where they cannot seem to become faithful or useful.

 

Proverbs 20:6  Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

 

C.  The Results of Lack of Spiritual Growth:

 

1.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Barrenness.  Verse 8.  “barren”  John 15:1-2  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  (2)  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

 

God wants us to produce spiritual fruit.  John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  (God wants us to be productive.)

 

2.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Ignorance.  Verse 8.  “unfruitful of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”  2 Timothy 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

1 Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  (God wants us to grow in knowledge.)

 

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Hebrews 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

 

3.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Blindness.  Verse 9.  “blind”  Revelation 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18  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.  (God wants us to see afar off.  Short sightedness vs. Long sightedness.)

 

4.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Fearfulness.  Verse 9.  “and cannot see afar off”  Psalms 53:5a  There were they in great fear, where no fear was:

 

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  (God wants us to rest in Him.)

 

5.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Lack of Assurance.  Verse 9.  “hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins”  1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  (God wants us to know that we are saved and saved forever.)

 

1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

Isaiah 32:17  And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

 

6.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Spiritual Failure.  Verse 10.  “shall … fall”  2 Peter 3:17-18  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  (18)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

Ephesians 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  (God wants us to stand.)

 

7.  A Lack of Spiritual Growth Produces Loss of Reward.  Verse 11.  “entrance … abundantly”  Matthew 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 

2 John 8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  (God wants us to receive a full reward.)