Saturday, May 31, 2008

God’s Grace In Missions

Temple Baptist Church - 5-28-2008

2 Corinthians 8:1-6; Revelation 3:14-19


A. In Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthian Church, Paul teaches the church to give within the realm of God’s grace to the necessity of others. In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul instructed the church to take up an offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem.

A) Because of Famine - Acts 11:27-30
B) Because of Persecution – Acts 8:1

1. This was not the tithe! The tithe belongs in the local church of membership. (It is not to be given to missionaries, evangelists, TV preachers, or to even other good causes.) It was a collection to relieve the financial stress of the persecuted Jewish believer is the sending church. I always find this interesting. As a rule, the missionary contacts his supporting churches when money is needed and I am not entirely against that—as long as the indigenous principle is not hurt—but here we find the mission churches taking a love offering for the Jerusalem Church.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

2. This offering was commanded!

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (In other words: you do not give, I will gather!)

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

B. I am not sure of what had previously transpired between the Corinthian Church and Paul, but—evidently—Paul felt that the Corinthians were hesitant.

1. Possibly because they felt that they were being asked too much! Paul clearly said in the first epistle “as God hath prospered.” Paul, in these verses, sets forth some principles of the grace of giving to encourage the Corinthian saints.

2. Possibly because they felt that they were to give while others did not give though Paul clearly ordered the churches of Galatia to give also. (1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8:13-14)

3, Possibly because they did not understand how true giving is precipitated! “The grace of God!” People do not understand how God’s people can give as freely and abundantly as they do because it is a grace and grace must be proven! “Prove me now herewith!”

C. I believe that we are now experiencing some of these same problems today and this lesson given to Corinth is a great lesson for our churches today. We live in the Laodicean Church Age with all of its characteristics. Unfortunately, many of the characteristics of this age have crept into and often permeated the local church.

1. Twenty years ago, the fundamental Baptist movement had less churches, more missionaries, and less finances and yet it only took a missionary app. 1 year to go to the field fully supported.

2. Today, the fundamental Baptist movement has more churches, less missionaries, and more finances and it takes a missionary 2 ½ - 4 years to go to the field partially supported. SOMEBODY DROPPED THE BALL! When a football is fumbled, you must then line up at that point and try to get the ball back.

D. I want to look at some of the distinct characteristics of the churches of Macedonia and draw a stark contrast to the Laodicean Church. A comparison of two contemporary churches of Asia Minor will give us some insight into the problems that have assailed the local churches of the last days.

1. These two churches, Thessalonica and Laodicea, existed at the same time.

2. One was assailed with persecution and poverty while the other was basking in peace and prosperity.

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.let us take note and resolve in our hearts to get the work of the Lord done in Laodicean times.

1. Thessalonica Had Persecution – vs. 2 – “in a great trial of affliction”

Laodicea Had Peace – Rev. 3:15 – “neither cold nor hot”

2. Thessalonica Had Peace With God – vs. 2 – “the abundance of their joy”

Laodicea Had Peace With The World – Rev. 3:16 – “spue thee out of my mouth”

3. Thessalonica Had Poverty – vs. 2 – “their deep poverty” Look at the word poverty! (lest I steal) What an attitude in their deep poverty

Laodicea Had Prosperity – Rev. 3:17 – “I am rich”
(Therefore, it was not a financial problem, but a faith problem)

4. Thessalonica Had Liberality – vs. 2 – “abounded unto the riches of their liberality”

Laodicea Had Lukewarmness – Rev 3:16 – “So then because thou are lukewarm”
(Therefore, it was not a Saviour problem, but a saint problem)

5. Thessalonica Had A Servant’s Heart – vs. 3 – “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves”

Laodicea Had A Selfish Heart – Rev. 3:17 - “(I am) increased with goods”

6. Thessalonica Had A Love For Souls – vs. 4 – “Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints”

Laodicea Had A Lust For Satisfaction – Rev. 3:17 - “(I have) need of nothing”

7. Thessalonica Had Spiritual Blessing – vs. 4 – “the fellowship of the ministering to the saints”

Laodicea Had Spiritual Blindness – Rev. 3:17 – “and knowest not … blind”
(Therefore, it was not a partiality problem, but a personal problem)

8. Thessalonica Had A Reward – vs. 5 – “but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God”

Laodicea Had A Rebuke – Rev. 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Durable Riches

Temple Baptist Church - 5-25-2008

Proverbs 8:17-21


A. Interpretation of context must always be given before application. The context is “Wisdom” that comes only from the Lord. The Lord is “Wisdom!” He is all wise and said, in 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.”

1. Wisdom is Knowing God
2. Wisdom Is Fearing God
3. Wisdom Is Reverencing God
4. Wisdom Is Obeying God
5. Wisdom Is Serving God

B. The fuel situation in America, coupled with the loss of the American Dollar against the Euro and Yen, have caused a serious financial “crunch” on all of us. Not only are fuel prices continuing to rise but also everything from groceries to the necessities from A to Z are skyrocketing. Most of us are or will have to cut back seriously in some areas as these prices continue to rise.

C. This financial “crunch” has made all of us more money conscious. If we learn nothing else in these days, we learn that the “unrighteous mammon,” as money is called in the Bible, is but a perishable thing and “certainly make themselves wings” and “they fly away!”

1. The Perplexity of Riches - Natural Man Does Not Understand True Riches
2. The Priority of Riches - Riches Can Become Your God
3. The Paradox of Riches - Rich Are Poor And The Poor Are Rich
4. The Problem of Riches
a) Their Desiring - Temporal Riches Do Not
b) Their Deception - Temporal Riches Deceive
c) Their Duration - Temporal Riches Do Not Last
d) Their Destruction - Temporal Riches Can Destroy

D. My fear is that we get our eyes on “uncertain riches” and lose our understanding of “durable riches.” The Lord said, “I will fill their treasures.”


1. The Riches of God’s Goodness - Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (God’s goodness is an enduring goodness.)

a. God’s Goodness To The Sinner - Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Psalms 33:5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

b. God’s Goodness To The Saint - Psalms 23:6 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.

Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou [art] my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Psalms 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

2. The Riches of His Salvation - Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (God’s salvation is eternal! If we have nothing else to “rejoice” about, we can rejoice forever in the Lord.)

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

a. Our Future - John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

b. Our Fellowship - 1 John 1:3-4 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

3. The Riches of His Eternity - Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (God’s promise of Heaven is durable! This world is not my home, I just a passing through!)

a. A Perfect Home - Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

b. A Perfect Body - 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

c. A Perfect Environment - Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

4. The Riches of His Supply - Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (God’s promise to feed his “sparrows” shows the durable riches of His supply to His “sheep!”)

a. Spiritual Supply - 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

b. Physical Supply - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

5. The Riches of His Presence - Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Not matter where I am or what I am going through, He is there! He knows and He cares! That is worth more than all of the world to me!)

a. His Presence In Promise - 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.

b. His Presence In Problems - 2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 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. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

6. The Riches of His Assurance - Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am His and He is Mine!)

a. Assurance Of Scripture - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

b. Assurance Of Salvation - 1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

7. The Riches of His Faith - James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (A man once said that you could take all that a person has away from him, but if he has his faith, he can make it. I sometimes waver because I am human, but I BELIEVE GOD!)

a. A Faith That Brings Help - Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

b. A Faith That Brings Hope - Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day – 2008

Temple Baptist Church - 05-26-2008

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Introduction: First of all, I want to recognize all of our church members who served in the Armed Forces. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to both this nation and my family.

A. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember our war dead.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery . The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971. On this day we need to pause and thank God for the men and the women who served our Armed Forces to bring Liberty and Justice for all to our country. May we truly pause and remember their sacrifice, their service, and their blood.

B. In all of the American wars, either by our country or within our country, over 45,000,000 men and women have served in wartime with app. 1,175,000 war dead and app. 1,500,000 wounded in action. That is a tremendous number of young lives that have been given and forever changed while affording us the freedom that we now enjoy.

C. Freedom in a privilege, not a right! There are many in this country who enjoy the freedoms while misusing them. We do not have the freedom to do wrong in this land. We do not have the freedom to live here and defame this land. America has had some sordidness in its history and still is not a perfect land, but it is my country and I say, “Love it or leave it.”

D. War is not something that any sane man or woman wants, but we find in our text that war is sometimes a necessity. Men who will not fight will not remain free. Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” It is the cry of the patriot and is the prerequisite for freedom. In order to live free, men must sometimes die.

E. I want to look at the subject of “War” as found in the Scriptures for a while this morning. God has much to say on the subject: on both physical and spiritual warfare. And, by the way, there are causalities in both kinds of war. Men and women have died to give us our Bible. Men and women have died in order to give us religious liberty. Our spiritual heritage has been paid for by the blood of Christ and the blood of believers through the ages.

1. War Is A Necessary Thing – Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

a. God taught Israel to war - Numbers 1:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first [day] of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. (God said that, when the men were old enough, they were to go to war!)

b. God taught King David to war - Ps 144:1 Blessed [be] the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, [and] my fingers to fight: (David was a man after God’s own heart and was a man of war. If you do not believe that spiritual men can be warriors, just ask the enemies of Israel what they thought of King David.)

c. Without the fight we are enslaved! - Numbers 10:9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

d. Without war we perish! - Psalms 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away.

2. War Is A Good Thing – Exodus 15:3 The LORD [is] a man of war: the LORD [is] his name. (God is good and God is a man or war!)

a. We must war for our nation - Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God. (We must not give up on America because it is a good land; a God given land and is under constant attack from both without and within. We must fight our outside enemies! We must fight our inside enemies!)

b. We must war for the Faith - 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. (The Word of God is under constant attack but we stand and fight for it. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)

c. We must war for the Old Paths - Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. (The old ways of holiness and separation are under constant attack but we stand and fight for them. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)

d. We must war for our Families - Psalms 78:5 -8 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. (Our families and our children are under constant attack and we must stand and fight for them. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)

3. War Is A Perpetual Thing - Exodus 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn [that] the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation. (I once had a bumper sticker that said, “Eternal vigilance is the price for liberty.” The fight will not end until the Prince of Peace comes.)
Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

a. So, until then, let us fight Advisedly - Proverbs 20:18 [Every] purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

b. So, until then, let us fight Fearlessly - Psalms 27:3-5 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

c. So, until then, let us fight Continually - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:

True Repentance

Temple Baptist Church - 05-21-2008

2 Corinthians 7:5-11


A. The Apostle Paul, through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, had written the first Corinthian epistle is response to what was transpiring within the body of the church. Though given in both truth and love, it was a stern rebuke! Though an Apostle and great man of God, Paul was still a man; therefore, he feared the reception to the letter that he had sent. (How many times God’s men go home after a tough message and wonder: was I too tough? Did I preach in the right spirit? Was the message received in the manner it was given? WILL I HAVE A CONGREGATION WHEN I GOT BACK?)

B. Paul was comforted by the coming of Titus who gave the report of the reception and turning of the people. The people received the Word of God as it was and responded with contrition and repentance. Paul was elated! (How many times do God’s men come back to the church wondering: will I have a congregation when I get there and find that everyone is there and the church is intact!)

C. Thus we find the Apostle Paul. The message was received and the people got right with the Lord. I want to look at the reason for Paul’s reaction of joy when Titus gave his report. The report of “True Repentance.”

D. The Corinthians were sorry, not angry! Vs 7

1. Their Earnest Desire – They corrected their sin.
2. Their Mourning – They were sorry for their sin.
3. Their Love – They were not angry with God’s man. They loved him all the more.

1. There was Reception - 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Proverbs 13:1 A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

2. There was Realization - Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

3. There was Repentance - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Psalms 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.


1. Sorrow for any thing done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.

2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.

3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.

4. Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.

5. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. Matthew 3:7-8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

6. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.


1. Godly Sorrow – 8-10 (It Brought Repentance and relief) Repentance not to be repented of that brought about an end of the chastisement (for a season).

2. Salvation – vs 10 (Not spiritual salvation but physical salvation)

a. It Brought Forgiveness - 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

b. It Brought Protection (death) - Pr 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

3. Carefulness – vs 11 (To be anxious or to take thought)

a. It Brought Removal Of Sin
b. It Brought Avoidance Of Sin

4. Clearing – vs 11 (apologia-to clear oneself) They made things right. Have you ever heard someone say, “If I have done wrong” or “If I have hurt anyone?” This is an admission of guilt with a sincere apology. When we pray, we do not say to God: “If I have sinned, please forgive me.”

5. Indignation – vs 11 (Sore Displeasure or hatred for sin.) Most of the time, we continue to sin because we love it. When we see our sin as God sees our sin, we have a hatred similar to His divine hatred.

6. Fear – vs 11 (Dread or terror. Reverence for one’s husband!) Fully understanding both the displeasure of the Lord and the consequences to follow.)

7. Vehement Desire – vs 11 (A passionate desire or longing to both do right and be right.)

8. Zeal – vs 11 (A hungering and thirsting for the things of God)

9. Revenge – vs 11 (To punish in order to maintain right) This is not to get vengeance personally as vengeance belongs to God.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finishing Your Course

Temple Baptist Church - 5-18-2008

2 Timothy 4:1-8


A. We live in the days of “falling away.” People, who were once faithful to the church, are leaving in a mass exodus. Most churches, in areas where the gospel has been preached for many decades, are in numerical decline. I am speaking of churches who are still holding to the “Old Paths” of doctrinal, personal, and ecclesiastical separation. Compromised churches will draw some of these disgruntled church members but these who leave good churches do not, as a rule, join churches of equal or greater separation. You have two types of “finishers.:

1. Those who ARE “finished” (they have dropped out of the race for whatever reason);

2. Those who “finish” (they continue to serve the Lord until He comes or they go home).

B. Why are there so many spiritual fallouts? Many who “Fall Away” are lost church members - 2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

1 John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

C. Most true believers, who do not finish their course, become spiritual fallouts for one of three reasons:

1. They Do Not Finish Because Of Defilement - James 1:13-16 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

2. They Do Not Finish Because Of Discouragement - Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

3. They Do Not Finish Because Of Distraction – Luke 9:57-62 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain [man] said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

D. Every believer has a personal race to run!

1. Our Course’s Initiation - Ephesians 2:1-4 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2. Our Course’s Importance - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

3. Our Course’s Individuality - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: (Acts 20:24 - above)

E. Most, unfortunately, do not finish their course in this world but there is a simple formula for doing so.

1. Finishing your course brings Joy - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

2. Finishing your course brings Reward - 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

3. Evangelist Dean Shook wrote the song, “It’s Been Worth Every Mile!” “It will be worth it all when we see Christ!”

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.


1. Keep Your Feet Running YOUR Race – Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Keep Your Hands Busy In The Work Of The Lord. Busy people have little time to get into trouble! Do not keep your eyes on every one else’s race! Narrow sightedness makes for straighter plowing.)

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (Idle hands are the devil’s workshop while busy hands do not have time to get into trouble.)

2. Keep Your Confidence In Jesus Christ – Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (If your eyes are upon the world, you will be discouraged! If your eyes are upon men, they will discourage you! If your eyes are upon Christ, you will stay the course!)

Psalms 118:8 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Man is not your Saviour!)

Psalms 118:9 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. (Government is not your Saviour!)

Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (The Lord is our Saviour!)

3. Keep Your Ears Open To The Word Of God – 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (Heeding the Word of God will keep our path straight and secure! Without heeding God’s Word, we will wander and stray. Make God’s Word a vital part of each day!)

4. Keep Your Mind Stayed Upon The Lord – Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalms 104:34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD. (Our Lord should be the center of our though life!)

5. Keep Your Body A Holy, Living Sacrifice – Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Distance yourself from the things of the world while keeping your daily walk harnessed by the Word of God.)

6. Keep Your Eyes On The Skies And Your Hope In Heaven - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (Just the thought that the Lord may return any moment causes the child of God to find encouragement in this present evil world.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Learning To Rest

Temple Baptist Church 05-07-2008
2 Corinthians 7:1-6; Psalms 116:7


A. Though a great man of God, the Apostle Paul was still just a man and his humanity shows up in certain passages. I believe that the Holy Spirit placed them there for our admonition and encouragement. We live in tough spiritual times as Satan seemingly throws more and more at us. I believe that he knows that time is short and is pulling out all of the stops in his effort to destroy, defile, discourage, deter, and defame God’s children and sound churches.

B. There are certainly more against us than are for us in these last days. We have become the enemy as evil is called good and good evil. An old song says, “Troublesome times are here; filling men’s hearts with fear.”

C. In Psalms 42:5, the psalmist asks the question, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance.” Disquieted: to tremble, move, rage, shake, quake, to be afraid, perturbed.

Psalms 18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, [even] into his ears.

Psalms 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: [O] bring thou me out of my distresses. Lamentations 1:20 Behold, O LORD; for I [am] in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home [there is] as death.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

Psalms 18:4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

D. I know that we are to be super spiritual and fear nothing but that is not always the case with God’s people. We are frail and weak. We are but dust. We are sometimes “disquieted” within our souls as Paul was. In verse 5, Paul was disquieted because of:

1. His Flesh – it is weak, wicked, and wearisome!
2. His Foes – we are attacked, maligned, and persecuted.
3. His Fightings – it’s a battle field, Brother, not a recreation room; it is a fight and not a game!
4. His Fears – though we are to be spiritual enough to rest in the Lord, we are often—as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4—troubled and perplexed.

E. We become disquieted because:
1. Our Battles are Long and Hard
2. Our Way is Rough and Weary
3. Our Tongues are Bitter and Complaining
4. Our Spiritual Eyesight becomes Dimmed and Limited
5. Our Hearts are Ungrateful and Selfish

F. Our discouragement is:

1. Sinful
2. Infectious
3. But, thank God, Curable

G. As children of God, we need to learn to rest! Humanly speaking, it is hard, but spiritually speaking—it is possible.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


1. You Will Not Find Rest In Your Circumstances (Though they may improve temporarily, they will continue to change.)

2. You Will Not Find Rest In Human Reasoning (The world has no spiritual answers for God’s children.)

3. You Will Not Find Rest In Self-Pity (This will only cause the valley to deepen.)

4. You Will Not Find Rest In Sinfulness (God will not allow His children to enjoy sinfulness.)

5. You Will Not Find Rest In The Things Of The World (They do not satisfy the inner longings of the saved.)

6. You Can Only Find Rest In The Things Of God!


1. We Can Find Rest In Our Salvation - Isaiah 32:16 -18 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; (If the whole world sinks, you are still saved and Heaven bound!)

2. We Can Find Rest In The Scriptures - 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

3. We Can Find Rest In Our Sleep - Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Psalms 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

4. We Can Find Rest In Our Service – 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.

John 6:19-20 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

5. We Can Find Rest In Our Spirit – 2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

6. We Can Find Rest In Our Sanctuary - Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Psalms 84:1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

7. We Can Find Rest In Our Saviour - Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

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.

Psalms 91:1-7 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall over thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

The Cycle Of Life

Temple Baptist Church 05-04-2008

Ecclesiastes 11:8-12:14

Introduction: In our text verses, we find the “Cycle of Life.” My, how time flies and our perspective changes!

1. I remember, while in Grade School, looking across the street at the High School and thinking how old and mature the students were. I couldn’t wait until I could cross the street and be grown up.

2. I remember, while in High School, going to Western Kentucky University for “College Days” and seeing the students there and thinking, “My, how old they are! How mature and grown up they are!”

3. I remember the neighborhood that Barbara and I grew up in was full of young families with kids everywhere. The kids grew up, the families on the street grew old. Later, we went back to the same neighborhood and saw kids on the streets again as the older died and the young families moved back in and raised children. Now, the streets are once again empty of children.

4. There was a time when teens were old in my perspective; young people in their 20’s and 30’s were old; middle aged where ancient and the grey haired were virtually gone. My perspective is still changing as I grow older and, in less than two weeks, will hit 60.

5. My wife used to say that I could hug any girl up to 9 and any woman over 60 but nothing in between. That has certainly changed! Now, she has to be at least 80!

6. We look around at the saints that have been gone for some years now, the saints that are now the aged ones, and the youth that are just getting started—and see the reality of the “Cycle of Life.”

A. Life Is Fragile as a vapor - James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

B. Life Is Swift as a weaver’s shuttle - Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.

C. Life Is Mysterious as the wind - Job 7:7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.

D. Life Is Full of troubles - Job 14:1-2 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

E. Life Is Temporary in nature - Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage [are] an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.


1. The Days Of Youth - 11:9-12:1 (These should be days of Decision!) REPENTANCE

A. Days Of Rejoicing - “in thy youth” - vs. 11:9a (Days of health, little responsibility, fun and laughter)

B. Days Of Realization - “thee into judgment” - vs. 11:9b (For all these things God will judge in the end)

C. Days Of Removal - “sorrow from thy heart…put away evil” - vs. 11:10 (Sin’s result is sorrow, regret, and bondage)

D. Days Of Remembrance - “Remember now thy Creator” - vs. 12:1 (The time to set your heart and serve is when you can give the most)

2. The Days Of Manhood - 12:1-12:5 (These should be days of Determination!) RESOLVE

A. Days Of Wickedness - “evil days” - vs. 12:1a (Satan is working hard to defile, defame, and destroy your family)

B. Days Of War - “have no pleasure in them” - vs. 12:1b (Spiritual warfare is essential)

C. Days Of Work - “strong men shall bow themselves” - vs. 12:3 (There is much to be done and little time to accomplish it)

D. Days Of Walk - “afraid of that which is high” - vs. 12:5a (The key to spiritual victory is the fear of the Lord)

E. Days Of Witness - “because man goeth to his long home” - vs. 12:5b (Give your family and friends the witness of a good profession)

3. The Days Of Old Age - 12:5-12:14 (These will be days of Deliberation!) REFLECTION

A. Days Of Realization - “man goeth to his long home” - vs. 5b-7 (The only important thing is serving the Lord)

B. Days Of Reflection - “dust…dust...spirit to God who gave it” - vs. 12:7 (Life is temporal and you won’t be here long)

C. Days Of Regret - “all is vanity” - vs. 12:8 (Years wasted cannot be brought back)

D. Days Of Resolve - “whole duty of man” - vs. 12:13-14 (Dedicate your life to the Lord and live only for Him)

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2008

2 Corinthians 7:1-3


A. I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul has to ask the Corinthian Church to “receive us” in this seventh chapter. “Receive us?” I thought he was an intricate part of the Corinthian Church.

1. He helped to birth it into existence.
2. He personally led many of the members to Jesus Christ.
3. He had consistently preached the truth to them over the years.
4. He loved them in spite of their failures and shortcomings.
5. He faithfully led them in the right path as a church and for God’s glory.
6. He lived a clean, consecrated life in front of them and their loved ones.

B. So many pastors, when problems come, are placed on the outside by people.

1. It becomes “us” and “them” during trials.

2. When problems come, the oldest tactic of the devil is to make sure that the pastor is to blame for the problem. Every family that has left the church wrong over the years has placed the blame on the pastor!

3. The pastor is a vital part of the “us!”

C. The Apostle Paul’s answer to them was clear and concise:

1. We have wronged no man – God’s man will not intentionally hurt his people.
2. We have corrupted no man – God’s man will not intentionally lead his people astray.
3. We have defrauded no man – God’s man will not intentionally rob his people or steal.

D. In verse three, the Apostle Paul reiterated his undying love for the people at the Church of Corinth.

1 Corinthians 16:24 My love [be] with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1. Paul fully expected to live with them. My family came here to stay.
2. Paul fully expected to die with them. My family expects to be buried in Laurens if the Lord does not come soon.

E. The Apostle Paul did not speak these words to hurt the people at Corinth, but to simply let them know that he was theirs and there for them! He wanted them to know that and love him as he loved them. (So much is preached on this subject because the Bible has so much to say concerning it.)

F. The Apostle Paul expected something of the people just as the people expected something from him.

1. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Respect - Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. (I owe my pastor respect as God’s Gift to the church.)

2. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Love - 2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. (A sad but true commentary on the local churches. I owe my pastor affection that he may be strengthened by the knowledge that the members of the church are with him and love him.)

3. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Trust - Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation. (I owe my pastor trust that he may be free to serve the church unhampered by fault finding. I personally have never gone wrong by standing behind and following my pastors.)

4. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Fervent Prayers - Romans 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me; (You had better strive fervently in prayer of God’s man. I owe it to my pastor to pray for him each day, that God may bless him and make his service a blessing as well fruitful.)

5. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Protection - 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. (I owe to my pastor the protection of kindly silence by refraining from repeating the slander or unkind gossip that would burden him and prevent him from doing his best work. When someone speaks against the pastor or tries to place doubt in your mind about your pastor, mark them and avoid them.)

6. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Co-operation - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. (I owe my pastor enough time to help in his work, when and where he needs me.)

7. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Encouragement - 2 Corinthians 7:6-7 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. (I owe my pastor encouragement when vexations and annoyances make his work difficult, or when he feels discouraged.)

8. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Appreciation - 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (I owe my pastor a kindly word of appreciation when his ministry is especially helpful to me.)

9. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Attention - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; (I owe my pastor the courtesy of attention when he preaches that he may not be annoyed by my careless actions.)