Temple Baptist Churc h - 7-19-2009
A. The Book of James is a “look into the mirror” for all who read it. If I had to pick a key verse or verses of Scripture for this little book, it would be these:
1. It exposes who we are - James 1:23-24 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (One of the main reasons for people not liking the Word is God is found here. This Bible that I hold in my hands removes from each of us the façade that we have placed over ourselves. In James, we behold our “natural face” in the looking glass of God’s Word.)
2. It exposes what we are - Hebrews 4:12-13 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. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
B. It is important to know who and what we are because, without such knowledge, man will never realize his need for the Lord. As long as he or she thinks that they are alright in the sight of God in themselves, they will never turn to the Substitute for salvation.
C. The passage that I read this morning deals with the subject of death.
1. The Brevity Of Lives.
a. Swift Days - Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. (I was once young and now I am getting old. My generation is swiftly passing off the scene.)
b. Few Days - Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. (As the days pass so quickly, I realize more than ever the brevity of life.)
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.
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.
c. Passing Days - Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (As we now place flowers on the graves of our loved ones, someone soon will place flowers on ours. Tracy!)
What is your life? It is short at best and shorter at worst!
2. The Imminence Of Death.
a. We Will Die - Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (My day is coming and so is yours. I have watched as many have died and each time have wondered what it is like to know death.)
b. We Will Decay - Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (These fleshly bodies will go back to the dust from whence they came. No mortician can stop the process.)
c. We Will Not Return - 2 Samuel 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him. (Pay no attention to the “Out of the body experiences.” When you die, it is like water spilt upon the ground.)
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;
What is your life? It will end in death!
3. The Importance Of Salvation
a. With The Sinner There Is The Unconcern – vs. 13 – To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there….
b. With The Sinner There Is Uncertainty – vs. 14 – ye know not what shall be on the morrow
c. With The Sinner There Is Unbelief – vs. 14c — It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
What is your life? What if your life ended today? It may end today!
4. The Accounting Of Judgment
a. For the saved 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. (What we do and how we live after salvation is of the utmost, eternal importance. In our temporal life we gain eternal things. ”He is no fool who gives us what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” [Jim Elliot]).
b. For the Unsaved the Great White Throne Judgment - Revelation 20:12 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. (There is eternal life after death for those who reject Christ! “Life is short; death is sure; sin the cause; Christ the Cure!”)