Temple Baptist Church - 3-24-2010
A. The believers at Ephesus were “born in the fire” so to speak but had remained faithful to the Lord. Ephesus was noted for the great Temple of Diana, the goddess of the Ephesians. They were persecuted greatly for their faith in Christ Jesus. In Acts 19, the religious fervor of idolatrous Ephesians was made evident when—for the space of two hours—thousands chanted “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”
B. Throughout the centuries, God’s children have been faithful in the fires of adversity. It seems that the more the children of God are persecuted, the more faithful they are to Him and His cause.
C. A lack of faithfulness has always been a problem to many though and it seems that faithfulness has fallen on hard times now-a-days. Even in David’s day, he prayed, “Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” (Psalm 12:1). I know of men whom I thought would never stop serving God, but sadly they’ve fallen by the wayside.
D. The Laodicean Church Age has also taken its toll on Christendom. In these days of plenty, pleasure, and lack of persecution—it is easy to be “at ease in Zion!” Our Lord asked a question that needs to be looked at tonight: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
E. Faithful men are a rare commodity these days. Proverbs 20:6—“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find?” There is a real shortage of faithfulness. Now, instead of sporadic cases, unfaithfulness seems to be the “rule of the day.”
1. Marriages are failing because of unfaithfulness.
2. Ministries are failing because of unfaithfulness.
3. Friendships end in bitterness because of unfaithfulness.
F. What does it mean to be faithful?
1. Dependable—Your greatest ability is dependability. When it’s time for you to be at a certain place, people can count on you being there!
2. Reliable (reliable car?)
3. Trustworthy / Honest
5. Unfailing (consistent)
G. I have used this illustration often but it fits the message again tonight.
1. A husband or wife that is faithful to their mate 23 hours a day is not really faithful. A husband or wife that is faithful to their mate 364 days of the year is not really faithful.
2. An employee that is absent from work one day every week is not a faithful employee.
3. A Car that will only start 3 out of every 4 times is not to be depended upon. The list could go on into the night but I believe that we get the picture.
H. Faithfulness is NOT a natural virtue, otherwise why would God admonish us to “be thou faithful.” Let’s make a renewed vow to be faithful:
How much do we depend on the Lord? How much can He depend on us?
1. We Need To Be Faithful To The Lord
a. Faithful Out Of Love
b. Faithful Out Of Fear
c. Faithful Out Of Debt
2. We Need To Be Faithful To Our Family
a. Husbands To Their Wives
b. Wives To Their Husbands
c. Parents To Their Children
d. Children To Their Parents
3. We Need To Be Faithful To Our Church
a. Faithful To Attend
b. Faithful To Give
c. Faithful To Labor
d. Faithful To Exhort And Edify
4. We Need To Be Faithful To Our Fellow Man
a. Faithful In Example
b. Faithful In Prayer
c. Faithful In Witness
5. We Need To Be Faithful To Our Country
a. Faithful To Be A Good Citizen
b. Faithful To Be A Good Intercessor
c. Faithful To Be A Good Voter
Conclusion: Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? (May the Lord help us to be faithful in these last days!)