Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Cities of Refuge: Ramoth

Temple Baptist Church - 7-31-2011

Joshua 20:1-9


A. The Cities of Refuge - Things We Have In Christ

1. We Studied Kedesh – Holiness

2. We Studied Shechem – Shoulder

3. We Studied Hebron – Fellowship

4. We Studied Bezer – Fortress

5. This Morning We Will Study Ramoth – Heights

B. This present evil world that we live in causes us to look forward to the day when we will be finally home by either rapture or death.

1. The World Is A Place Of Sorrow - 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.

2. The World Is A Place Of Sinfulness - Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

3. The World Is A Place Of Spiritual Persecution - 1 Corinthians 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

4. The World Is A Place Of Spiritual Depression - Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

a) Because of Disease

b) Because of Disappointment

c) Because of Discouragement

C. Some Times You Just Want To Get Away From It All - Psalm 55:6-7 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.

Ramoth – “Heights”

1. The Lord Lifted Us Up When We Were Lost – Psalms 40:2-3 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

2. The Lord Will Lift Us Up When The Enemy Approaches - Exodus 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

3. The Lord Will Lift Us Up When We Are In Trouble - Psalms 121:1-8 A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

4. The Lord Will Bear Us Up When We Are Weary - Isaiah 40:27-31 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

5. The Lord Will Lift Us Up When We Are Forsaken - Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Isaiah 49:15-16 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

6. The Lord Will Lift Us Up When This Life Is Over - Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

1 Corinthians 15:52 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.

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

I Believe With All Mine Heart!

Temple Baptist Church - 7-31-2011

Acts 8:35-37


A. Once again, we take a short look at the salvation experience of a man from Ethiopia. It is important at this point to say that everyone must have a salvation experience! A time and a place where we personally came to the Lord Jesus Christ as a lost sinner in need of a singular Saviour! A New Birth is necessary for salvation and, eventually, being with the Lord eternally in heaven.

B. Saving faith is much more than just a mental assent to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. True saving faith always produces a new life in Christ accompanied by a life change. Many claim to know Christ but their lives do not reflect the validity of their profession.

C. James 2:18-20 says, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Did you know that:

1. The Devil believes in God! Luke 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. (The Devil and his devils believe in God’s person, power, and sovereignty!)

2. The Devil believes in the Gospel! He knows Jesus Christ; he understands the death, burial, and resurrection! 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (The Devil tried to kill Christ before Calvary and tried to circumvent Christ’s glorious resurrection and, when he could not stop either Calvary or the resurrection, he has tried to blind the minds of the world!)

3. The Devil believes in a real heaven and a real hell! Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (He knows that one day he will be a permanent resident of a Christless hell with no hope of ever getting out.)

D. The Bible Belt is full of churches. Almost every side road in South Carolina has from 1-5 or more church signs at the intersection of every main road. We have every flavor of church here: Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Protestant, Catholic, or off-shoot of one of the aforementioned are to be found in the “Bible Belt.” In the same “Bible Belt,” there is a liquor store on almost every main intersection. The Convenience Stores all sell both liquor and Lottery Tickets and well as many of the restaurants. Most “Christians” have a “Hope So Salvation” while many of the churches are “open for business” only one service per week. Most “Christians” attend few services but never miss a vacation or ball game.

E. The Devil has better “religion” than these “Christian” folks.

1. Satan knows that he is lost. The “Christian” does not know that he is lost because he was born into religion.

2. The Devil knows which bible to fight against. The “Christian” does not know which bible to use.

3. The Devil is in church every time the doors of the church are open. The “Christian” only comes when it is convenient though he never misses a vacation, family diner or reunion, or ball game and, yet, misses church as often as he or she wishes.

4. The Devil hates the gospel and the new birth. The “Christian” proclaims a love for both but has no testimony of salvation to back up that proclamation.

F. The problem with these “Christians” is that many have a head full of biblical facts but not heart full of biblical reality! Out of the heart are the “issues of life.” Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. The problem with most folks is a heart problem and a Cardiologist cannot fix it. The Ethiopian Eunuch was told, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest!”

G. I am so glad that I have “believed” with all my heart! As “mine eye affecteth mine heart,” my faith affects my life! There are many things that I believe with all of my heart and it is good to reflect upon some of them. When you believe with all your heart, it will change:
1. Your Loving – Love not the world!

2. You Longing – Seek those things that are above!

3. Your Life – A new creature!

1. I Believe With All My Heart That The King James Bible Is God’s Word! 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.”

It is not the best translation off of the best text. It is not one of many. It is infallible, inerrant, the every word perfect Word of God. If man disagrees with it, he disagrees with God for God declared the bible to be perfect. If it is not perfect, it can only contain the Word of God as all true Scripture is given by inspiration of God and, if it is inspired (and it says that it is), then it is the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 refers to 2 Timothy 3:15 and the “holy scriptures” that Timothy had were not original manuscripts. God called them “inspired!” Theologians can like it or not like it; liberals can like it or not like it; the Devil can like it or not like it! I believe it in my heart and you will never convince me of anything different. If God called them inspired then they were inspired! I am not a Ruckmanite and I do not believe in double inspiration but I am a bible believer and I do believe that the bible that I hold in my hand is inspired because biblical preservation (which is an act of God) demands that the inspiration be intact! This King James Bible is the foundation for my salvation and faith. This King James Bible was instrumental in changing my life. I preach this bible with all confidence this morning! If I preach it, it will accomplish that which God intends for it to accomplish and the work will be of God. This King James Bible holds within its pages all of my hopes. This King James bible calms all of my fears. If saving faith comes by hearing the Word of God (and it does), then how can you be saved without it? Would not a flawed bible bring about a flawed salvation. If we are born of incorruptible seed by the Word of God, then how can we be born of corruptible seed that only contains the Word of God? Preposterous!!! I thank God for the Word of God that effectually works in the heart of both sinners and saints. It is the Word of God that converts the sinner and it is the Word of God that cleanses the saint.

2. I Believe With All My Heart That Jesus Christ Is God! Acts 8:35-37 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

He is not “a god” nor is He one of many “gods.” He was not an angel who volunteered to become our “saviour.” He is the one and only God and beside Him there is no Saviour! He is almighty; He is sovereign; He is holy; He is gracious; He is good; He is impeccable; He is immutable; He is omniscient; He is omnipotent; He is omnipresent; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things; He is Lord of Lord and King of Kings; and He is coming again as He said. He was before all things and He will be after all things; He is the Alpha and the Omega; He is the First and the Last; He is the Beginning and He is the End and you cannot live without Him! He that cometh to God must believe that He is! You will never be saved until you come to the revelation that Jesus Christ of the New Testament was Jehovah God of the Old Testament! The Virgin born Son of God was the Creator of all things and even while in the womb of Mary, He was the Sustainer of all things. By Him were all things made and by Him all things consist! You can discredit Him but He still exists and, one day, you will stand before Him as the earth and heaven flees from His face. In that day, every knee SHALL bow and every tongue SHALL confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father! All I can say is GLORY, GLORY, GLORY!!

3. I Believe With All My Heart The Gospel! John 20:27-29 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. (28) 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.”

Jesus Christ died for my sins according to the scriptures. He did not swoon; He died! Jesus Christ was buried in a garden tomb. Jesus Christ rose again according to the scriptures. It was a bodily resurrection from the dead! Because He was sinless, His sacrifice was accepted! Because He died for me, I can have salvation; because He resurrected, I may live also. It is the gospel that must be preached to every creature for it is the gospel alone that can save and if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. The devil hated Christ; the devil hated the gospel; and the devil fights the spread of the gospel because it is the only method of evangelizing a lost world and bringing sinners to Christ.

4. I Believe With All My Heart That The Old Paths Are Right Paths! Jeremiah 6:16a 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.”

They are tried paths; they are true paths; they are bible paths; and they are right paths. I am an old-fashioned, King James Bible toting, fundamental, separated, independent Baptist preacher and will not apologize for it. The new-fangled churches with the modern, worldly ways are not the will of God nor are they the ways of God. They make the House of God a comfortable place for the world to sit in. They are comfortable because they recognize the dress standards; they are comfortable because they recognize the music; they are comfortable because they can applaud the preaching; they are comfortable because there is no Spirit to convict them of sin; they are comfortable on the pews because God is absent for He is a holy God! God never intended for sinners to be comfortable in the presence of a thrice holy God. When a church is right with God, sinners will get right with God—not God get right with the world and with them. Men try to bring men up to God’s level while bringing God down to their level. The ground is only level at THE FOOT OF THE CROSS where God is elevated and men are humbled. Separation from the world; separation from the liberal; separation from the apostate; separation from unbiblical worship are positive things, not negative things. It is only through separation from this sinful world that we may gain a vision of who God is and find His perfect will for our lives.

5. I Believe With All My Heart That My Doctrine Is Bible Doctrine! 2 Timothy 3:13-14 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”

I am not following a man nor am I in “line with a denomination!” I have studied this blessed old Bible for myself and know what and why I believe with all of my heart. I am not confused nor am I crazy! If the Bible says it is so then it is so and if the Bible says that it is right it is right! I am a Baptist because Baptist doctrine is right! My being a Baptist does not affect my interpretation of Scripture or adaptation to my doctrine; the Scripture convinces me of my doctrine and makes me a Baptist. I believe that the old men of God who taught my doctrine were correct and I stand by it. The Lord said to stand fast in sound doctrine and to teach sound doctrine. Doctrine is a positive thing. Satan always does away with sound doctrine by teaching his disciples that the bible and sound doctrine are “majoring on the minors,” but preaching and teaching sound doctrine is the major and, without it, sinners will not be saved nor will saints come to spiritual maturity.

6. I Believe With All My Heart That Our Lord Is Coming Again! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

While the “oil less” virgins slept, the Bridegroom came and the door was shut. He is coming soon; He is coming as a thief in the night for His own; we that are saved are leaving and those who have heard and reject the gospel will be damned! I am expectant and I am excited about the prospect! I am not looking for the signs; I am listening for the shout! “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” is my reason for living and my blessed hope for which I look for. He is coming as He said and we are leaving as He said. Look around you and see prophecy fulfilled on every side. Blind Bartimaeus could see the signs of our times but people (including the so called saints) go about their lives as if He will never come. You had better be ready for the Son of Man cometh in an hour when ye think not!

7. I Believe With All My Heart That There Is A Real Heaven! John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Heaven is not fictitious places concocted in the minds of religious fanatics. As sure as there is a God, there is a heaven! It is perfect and it is home. It is promised; it is perfect; it is pure; it is peaceful; and it is permanent!

8. I Believe With All My Heart That There Is A Real Hell! Revelation 20:13-15 “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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

As sure as there is a God, there is a hell! He is just and righteous; He is holy and His holiness demands divine justice for the sinner who rejects His wonderful salvation. Hell burns forever and they who go there will never die!

Conclusion: Sometimes, it is good to reflect upon what and why we believe. What I believe, I believe in my heart and with all of my heart. I know who God is; I know what I believe; I know that I am saved; I know where I am going with I die; I know that God called me to preach and put me in this church; I believe the bible with all of my heart and I am satisfied! I find in it no fault at all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Husband God Wants You To Be

Temple Baptist Church - 7-27-2011

Ephesians 5:25-29


A. We dealt with “The Wife God Wants You To Be” in our last study and now, we will deal with the “better half” or the “worst half” as it sometimes seems to be. The wife cannot be all that she needs to be unless the man of the home is what he needs to be. We are “heirs together of the grace of this life” and, therefore, we must work together in the will of God if the home is to be right.

B. I preached on Father’s Day on the subject “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” Though good men may be a rarity in the worldly homes, they should be the general rule in the Christian home. Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (Ladies, if you have one and I am talking about a good one, you had better hang on to him tight! We need men that are strong instead of effeminate. Men that act like men, walk like men, talk like men, and make decisions like men! As the women get tougher in our society, the men get softer. Today, men get their hair “done” instead of cut! I will stop there because I could spend the evening on that subject. I think you “get my drift!”)

C. Because good men are hard to find, good homes are hard to find. So many churches are filled with women who come to church without their husbands. There are some men who come alone but the majority are women. When I speak of good men, I am not necessarily speaking of a nice, well-mannered man. Though men need to be such, I am talking about a real man’s man. As few girls today are being trained to be biblical wives, neither are the young men being trained to be biblical husbands.

D. I just want to look at a few areas of biblical manhood and how to be a good husband and father tonight.

1. Godly Men Love their families! – vs. 25 A love that is shown! Show that love to your wife and children. Saying “I love you” to a family member means very little when it is only lip service.

a. A husband’s love is a sacrificial love – vs. 25 “even as Christ loved…and gave himself” (He is to place his home above self!)

b. A husband’s love is a sanctifying love – vs. 26 “sanctify and cleanse it” (He is to protect his home from both physical and spiritual enemies!)

c. A husband’s love is a selfish love – vs. 27 “He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (As his home glorifies the Lord, it also brings about a right pride to the husband! He is proud of his wife, his children, and his home.)

2. Godly Men Give Their Lives for their families! – vs. 24 Be there with them and for them physically, spiritually, financially, and time wise! Learn to spend quality time with all and each individually. It will show your love while building fond memories. (It is of interest to this preacher that the Lord compared the love and care of the husband for his wife to the love and care of Christ for His church! Now, we find in these verses a few characteristics of that relationship.)

3. Godly Men Sanctify their families! – vs. 26 Separate them from the effects of and conformity to the world! Separation is a two-edged sword: separation from the world and separation to the Lord. Abstain from the appearance of evil while saturating them in the Word of God. (The husband is to shield his family from the world and lead them to the Lord. Faithful, godly men are a rarity in these days. They are the “glory” of the children and should be a proper, biblical example to them.)

4. Godly Men Are Responsible for their families! – vs. 27 Their outcome is to be important to us men! We are responsible for their protection, provision, and perpetual care. We will one day stand before the Lord with our families. (Men are to take charge and the oversight of the home. Genesis 3:16 says, “he shall rule over thee.” The husband is to take the oversight thereof as the pastor does in the church. The man will have accountability for the home. Genesis 3:17 says, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife!” The Lord did not confront Eve because she was not the head of the home. The Lord confronted Adam! Adam blamed God for the sin; Eve blamed the Serpent; and the only honest one was the Serpent as he said nothing. He is not a dictator but a loving shepherd of the home. My wife and I work together and her input is of great value in our decision making but the final authority is still in my hands. Decisions should be biblical and consistent in the home. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Through good and bad times, the Lord should always be first and the bible should be our guide. He is both responsible for the decisions and direction of the home. )

5. Godly Men Cherish their families! – vs. 29 (They need to be precious to us! Outside of Christ, our wives, children, and grandchildren are the most precious thing in the world. Thank God for them daily; pray for them daily; and never take them for granted. Be there with them and for them as you are important to them.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2011

Psalm 23:6


A. In verse 6, we find the end of our finite life and the beginning of eternity. We are not here long and we have found that happiness is both knowing the Lord and living for the Lord. For Christ, who is our life, has promised both His care for us in this world and His care for us in the next. Eternity for each of us is quickly approaching so I believe that we need to live in light of it. Either we will die or the Lord will come and, in either case, eternity will begin for each of us.

B. Eternity is a subject that is beyond our comprehension. Everything that we see has both a beginning and an end. To fathom the endless boundlessness of eternity past or future is beyond our reasoning. It is a doctrine that must be grasped by faith alone.

C. One of the “devices” of Satan has been the development of “science falsely so called” does not recognized the concept of eternity. This man made science speculates and sets forth the beginning of the universe in the “Big Bang Theory” (a theory is an unproven hypothesis). This theory is absolute foolishness concocted in the minds of unsaved men who need a beginning without a God! Before allowing the following quote, I want to put out a little disclaimer: I am not a proponent of John Calvin and his doctrine of election and predestination but, as with all theologians, John Calvin does have some truth and made the following statement: “Nobody seriously believes the universe was made by God without being persuaded that He takes care of His works.” Manmade science is not true science. The word “science” means knowledge and manmade science is “theory!” Science: “A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.”

D. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER!” Between the pardon of the cross in Psalm 22 and the pronouncement of His coming in Psalm 24 is the promise of His eternal care in Psalm 23. I want to look at eternity through the eyes of the Bible for it is only through the Bible that eternity is revealed.

1. There Must Be An Eternal God! 1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (One of the most profound verses in the Bible is found in Psalms 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”)

a. The Bible declares that there is no chance or succession (none before Him and none after Him) with God. He is both infinite and infinitely the same. He is immortal and He is immutable! In this verse we find that “thou are God” is from infinity past to infinity future with no beginning, no end, and no interruption. He not only has life but John 5:16 declares that He is life!

b. The importance of this doctrine is found in several ways:

1) If God were not eternal, He could not be immutable in his nature; therefore He could not be trusted.

2) If God were not eternal, He could not be an infinitely perfect Being; therefore, He could not either expect nor could He give perfection.

3) If God were not eternal, He could not be omnipotent, almighty; therefore, He could not be depended upon in all circumstances.

4) If God were not eternal, God would not be the first cause of all; therefore, there are some things that He could not have done.

5) If God were not eternal, then the question of the infidel, “Who or what made God?” would be a valid one.

6) “He that cometh to God must believe that he is!” (Hebrews 11:6)
c. The doctrine is God is inexhaustible so we will leave it at this: God is God, God always has been, God always will be, and—therefore—He can be completely trusted!

2. If There Is An Eternal God, There Must Be An Eternal Heaven!

a. Heaven Is A Place Of Permanence - 2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (I believe that I understand the interpretation of this verse. It speaks of an eternal body that will one day replace our temporal one but that body will be “eternal in the heavens!” Eternal means perpetual, endless, ceaseless: no beginning or end. Heaven has always been there and it always will be there! Nothing can or will destroy it. It will not decay or wax old. Eternity is beyond our comprehension but it is a reality. The “heaven of heaven is eternity” just as the “hell of hell is eternity.”)

b. Heaven Is A Place Of Perfection - 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. (Perfect in beauty; perfect in wonder; perfect in every aspect; absolutely perfectly perfect as only a wise, all knowing, perfect God can make it. No sin will corrupt it so it is a pure place. You and I will find no imperfections there. I love our home but, if I could rebuild it, I would make some changes because hindsight is often better than foresight. 100,000,000 millenniums from now, Heaven will still be just right! We will be forever satisfied with our “long home.”)

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.

c. Heaven Is A Place Of Peacefulness - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 22:1-3 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (No more problems, sickness, no death, sin, or anything that will upset or annoy. Ours will be an eternity completely without any problems at all. All will be peace forever more.)

d. Heaven Is A Place Of Promise - John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (“ARE,” not were or will be. The Lord may have been a carpenter here on the earth but He is not “building” mansions it heaven!)

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (The antecedent of “one” is “continuing city.” “I go away to prepare a place for you” was the offering of His precious blood, not the building of a mansion. He shed His blood and then, as our High Priest, offered that eternal blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant in heaven. “That where I am, there ye may be also.”)

Conclusion: “I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever!” Since the Lord Jesus is there, it will be a precious place. Since it is the Father’s house, it will be absolutely perfect. Heaven is called a lot of things. Some call it heaven, some call it paradise, some call it dreaming, I call it home. One day, we will be at home, home at last.

The Cities of Refuge: Bezer

Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2011

Joshua 20:1-9


A. So far:

1. We Have Studied Kedesh or “Holiness” - In Christ We Have Positional, Perfect, and Permanent Holiness

2. We Have Studied Shechem or “Shoulder” - In Christ We Have Strength and Burden Bearing

3. We Have Studied Hebron or “Fellowship” - In Christ We Have Fellowship or Communion

4. Today We Will Study Bezer or “Fortress”

1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (I have seen some great “rocks” in my time: The Rock of Gibraltar, Stone Mountain, stood on Bald Rock, etc. but none of these rocks are like unto our “Rock.”)

B. Our Fortress is the Lord Jesus Christ! One of the most important things that we can do as a Christian is to learn to trust Him. Paul, toward the end of his life, said, “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” The Christian life is a learning adventure. We gave to Christ the safe keeping of our souls but it is sometimes hard to give to Him the safe keeping of our lives.

Psalms 40:1-4a I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust!
1. There Is Safety In God’s Person - Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (It would do us well to remember that we are “hid with Christ in God!” He is our Refuge; He is our Hiding Place; He is our Portion in the land of the living; He is our “safety net” as well as our Anchor in the storm; He is sometimes all that we have and He is always all that we need!)

Psalms 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 27:5 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.

2. There Is Safety In God’s Word - Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (In this verse, we find that our “hiding place” is found in God’s Word. It is the Bible that guides us through troublesome times. It is the Bible that protects us in our trials and tribulations.)

1. In Our Fortress We Have Sanctuary – A Fortress Is Built For Habitation

a. The People Of The Sanctuary

1) The Saved - Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

2) Not The Self Righteous - Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

b. The Place Of The Sanctuary

1) We Are In Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2) We Are In God The Father

John 10:29-30 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

3) We Are In Heavenly Places

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

4) We Are In A Secret Place

Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

5) We Are Hedged About

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

2. In Our Fortress We Have Security – A Fortress Is Built For Protection Against An Enemy

a. In The World We Have Peril

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

b. In Christ We Have Protection

1) The Lord Is Safe

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

2) The Lord Is Sufficient

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

3. In Our Fortress We Have Serenity

a. A Place Of Confidence

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

b. A Place Of Comfort

Psalms 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4. In Our Fortress We Have Safety

a. Safety From Slander - Psalms 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Sometimes, people will slander you. You stay right and the Lord will protect you from wicked tongues. I have been talked about about as much as anyone around here and have only tried to serve the Lord over these years. My family has been slandered by wicked tongues and we are still here and are loved and respected in this county. God will protect you. You just let the Lord defend you and He will do a good job.)

b. Safety From Enemies - Psalms 143:9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (For whatever reason, people will turn on you and do you wrong. Yes, they will attack you; malign you; hate you for no reason at all. The Lord our Refuge is also the Lord our Hiding Place! I hate it when I lose so-called friends but sometimes “mine own familiar friend” will raise his or her hand against me. They will turn on you. I am so glad that the Lord never turns away from us! He hides us from those who seek to destroy us. My family has been “hidden” for over 4 years as wicked people tried to destroy us but we are still doing fine because the Lord has “hidden” us.)

c. Safety From Situations - Psalms 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Calamities befall all of us. A calamity is a great misfortune or disaster such as a flood or serious injury; a grievous affliction, adversity, or something that causes great misery. God’s people are not exempt. We get sick, have wrecks, lose jobs, and have other sorts of disasters come our way. It indeed rains on the just and the unjust. God will be our shade from the heat and our safety until these things are “overpast.” “Overpast” means to bring through or to carry over. The Lord does not leave us in the hard times.)

Conclusion: “Safety is of the Lord!” Yes, we have trials and tribulations; troubles on every side because that is life, but the Lord will never let troubles destroy us. He is there with us and for us.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Wife God Wants You To Be

Temple Baptist Church - 7-20-2011

Ephesians 5:21-24


A. I am not going to begin a series on the home tonight as my aim is to preach through the book of Ephesians but it is impossible for me to accomplish my goal without dealing with these verses throughly. Bro. Craig Ledbetter, missionary to Ireland, prefaced a message on the home with this insight:

“We are a “homeless” generation! Fifty years ago it would have been impossible to conceive of the devastation to family life that is spreading throughout the world. One magazine article stated, “We are fast becoming a homeless race. We are born in hospitals, raised in daycares, taught in schools, married in churches, we vacation in resorts, we entertain our friends in restaurants, we die in hospitals, and are buried via funeral parlours. To most families, home is a dull place that family members resort to for the minimum of sleep, a rushed meal, or to wait for the return of the family car before heading out again! The homes that we do have, that we live in, are crumbling under the weights of sin, and human failures!”

B. To these words I can only say, “Amen!” One of the most vicious attacks of Satan in these last days is upon the structure and spiritual effectiveness of the home. As goes the home, so goes the church! As goes the home, so goes the nation! The home was the first institution that God made when He brought Eve to Adam. This should reveal to us the value of our homes to both the Lord and society.

C. The home is a “nest” for the raising of our children. The home is a refuge for our families from the wickedness and confusion of the world. The home is a daily “Sunday School and Church” for the development of our spiritual lives. I may catch a little “flack” for this statement but I believe that the home is the most important structure in your life! Yes, church is important but you are only in church a couple of days a week and, then, just for a few hours. You spend more time in bed in one night than you spend in church on the average week.

D. The scriptural preface to these verses is that of the filling of the Holy Ghost which leads us to know just how important it is for the husband and wife to be right with the Lord in every aspect of their lives. To be right with the Lord is to be right with each other. To be right with the Lord is to be right in God’s order. Thus, the filling of the Holy Ghost is the strength of the foundation of the home!

E. Now, I want you ladies to pay particular attention to what I am going to say. I believe that the Lord began with the woman in the home because He is a God of order and, in these next few verses, He is going to set forth the order that God intended in the home. The world has called the real man (the man that God intended for men to be) chauvinistic! The world always slanders what God sets forth and approves of.

F. The woman of today is nothing like what God intended when He created Eve. What I will say now will possibly make someone angry, but it needs to be said.

1. She was not intended to be career orientated or in the work force. Today’s woman has established herself in the work force and the home is forever changed. Ask your daughter what she wants to be when she grows up!

2. She was not intended to be independent. Today’s woman is self-sufficient and can make it without the man.

3. She was not intended to be masculine in her deportment. Today’s woman is tough instead of soft, mannish instead of feminine.
4. She was not intended to be either brash or bold. Today’s woman will not drop her eyes and can be as crude as any man.

5. She was not intended to be in competition with the man. Today’s woman wants to excel in business and sports.

6. She was not intended to be a sex object for the lustful eyes of other men. Today’s woman dresses and carries herself in order to attract man’s eyes. She has little morality, restraint, or purity.

7. She was made for Adam! She was made to be his helpmeet; she was made to complete his life; she was made to fulfill his desires; she was made specifically to love him, bear and love her children, and to guide the home! Period! Nothing more and nothing less! When the woman is what God intended she is the greatest asset and blessing (outside of Christ) that the world will ever know.

G. I want to set forth the structure and priority of the home:

1. Jesus is the “head” of the man. 1 Corinthians 11:3a “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ”

2. The husband is the “head” of the wife. 1 Corinthians 11:3b “and the head of the woman is the man”
3. The husband and wife are the “heads” of the children. Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

H. It is as simple and profound as that! Keep the order right and you keep the home right.


1. Submission Is Her Duty – It takes a Lot of Love for God! Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Though submission through “duty” may not be the best scenario, it is still a command of God and should be obeyed. Ladies, calling your husband “lord” is the will of God in your life. Submission produces two things: Obedience to God’s Word and Trust in His Providence. Proverbs 3:5-6 become a reality in the life of the submissive woman as God protects her as she obeys His command.

2. Submission Should Be Her Desire – It takes a Lot of Grace! 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

It takes a lot of ‘grace” in order to have a proper home. Biblical grace is defines as “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life of the believer.” God gives grace where He guides and His grace is abundant and all sufficient. BUT, submission should be much more than just duty. Submission should be accompanied with desire. The Lord told Eve that her desire was to be toward her husband. Lady, if you have a good man who loves you, provides for you, protects you, and is faithful to you—you are indeed blessed and loving him should not be a chore. Our homes, unfortunately, have been “hollywoodized” instead of “biblicized!” The elder women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands (Titus 2:4). If you love your husband, then biblical obedience will not be a real problem. No, he is not perfect; no, he is not always right; but if you will leave those two faults up to God to work out, you will be a happy lady.

3. Submission Will Be Her Delight – It will bring a Lot of Glory! Proverbs 31:28-31 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (30) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

1) Your life will bring glory to your husband! 1 Corinthians 11:7 “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” I find it interesting that the “glory of the children” are their fathers; but the glory of the men are their wives. That leaves me to one conclusion as there is no mention of what is the “glory of the woman:” the glory of the woman is the Lord! 1 Peter 3:4 “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Corinthians speaks of the woman’s long hair being “her glory.” 1 Corinthians 11:15 “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” The “long hair” of the woman speaks of her voluntarily taking a place of submission to her husband which brings glory to her Lord.”
Conclusion: The woman can be the world’s greatest blessing (Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.) or curse (Proverbs 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.) It is simply up to you! Ladies, be all that God wants you to be and you will fulfill your “sole” purpose for being here: a “helpmeet” for your husband. It will be worth it all here in this life and will certainly be worth it all one day when you see Christ!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Secret Of A Peaceful Death

Temple Baptist Church - 7-17-2011

Psalm 23:4-6


A. We have looked at the secret to a happy life
coupled with the ingredients that make up such a life. I want to take a short look at this thing of death or, as David described it, “the valley of the shadow of death.” I find that an interesting term and one that shows the doctrinal understanding of the Old Testament saint. David knew that death was not harmful; death was not permanent; and death was accompanied by the Lord Himself.

B. The Valley of the Shadow of Death is not:

1. A Fictitious Place. It is a reality soon to be experienced by each of us if the Lord does not return soon.

2. A Final Place. We will “walk through” the Valley and come out the other side to one place or another. Either heaven or hell.

3. A Fearful Place. To the child of God, there is to be no fear in death.

C. Some people are afraid of shadows. Shadows, in themselves, cannot harm you. Sometimes there is a reason to fear though. You sometimes need to fear what is casting the shadow. THREE THINGS THAT MAKE UP A SHADOW: 1) There must be a Real Object 2) There must be a Light 3) There must be a Place of Reflection

1. The object of the Valley of the Shadow of Death is the Lake of Fire. There are two types of death mentioned in the Bible: 1) Physical death (Hebrews 9:27) 2) Spiritual death (Revelation 21:8)

2. The light of the Valley of the Shadow of Death is the Bible. In order to have a shadow, there must be illumination. (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

3. The reflection of the illuminated object of the Valley of the Shadow of Death is the heart of man. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

D. Death is a reality! Ignore it and it will not go away. Try to escape and die anyway. Death is a Place of Appointment - none can escape. Death is a Place of Helplessness - none can prevent. Death is a Place of Separation - none can cross the gulf that is fixed. Death is a Place of Hopelessness - none can change it. Death is a Place of Permanence - no second chances.

E. Our trek towards death is a walk that begins at conception (still births, etc) and ends at the end of our lives. Preparation for death is made during life, not after the fact. I want to see a few things that make up a “peaceful” end to this life as we are ushered into the eternal presence of our Lord.

1. A Peaceful Death Requires Acknowledgement – “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” - Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

That day is coming for each of us and life teaches us that we are but temporal creatures. This “vapour” that goes faster than a “weaver’s shuttle” is rapidly coming to an end for each of us. As I look around, those who were here when my family first came to Laurens are either gone already or have greatly changed with age. I was in my late 30’s and now am in my mid 60’s. I have buried family (both physical and spiritual) and friends over the years. You had better acknowledge that all of the diets, exercise, and plain old “not thinking about death” will not make it go away.

2. A Peaceful Death Requires Commitment – “Yea…fear no evil” - 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.

Death is not an evil thing! God loves you and I more that we can ever know! He wishes no evil upon His children and has allowed death to simply be the DOOR through which we walk into His presence. Jesus is that DOOR and it is He that swings wide our entrance into eternity. To the lost, it is the unknown but, to the saved, it is our escape from this life of sin, sickness, and sorrow! Death is the fulfillment of our purpose for being here.

3. A Peaceful Death Requires Contentment – “for thou art with me” - Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Commend – to present or to commit the keeping of)

“If Jesus goes with me I’ll go; anywhere! It’s heaven to me; wherever I be if He is there!” Our Lord promised that He would never leave nor forsake us! Where I go, He goes; where He goes, I go. The Apostle Paul called death gain and proclaimed that it was “far better” than life here. Here we find the contentment that comes only through faith and trust in our loving Saviour! His presence and peace will be with us when we close our eyes in death and death will be a sweet release from this “present evil world.”

4. A Peaceful Death Requires Expectation – “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” – Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Carried! What an insight into death was given in this story, not only concerning heaven and hell, but also the confidence that we have in the process of death and delivery.)

Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” If it is “precious” to the Lord, then it will be “precious” to us! We will be guided, protected, and comforted when our time to die comes. I believe that! When the saint dies, it will be alright. We do not have the grace to die until it comes time to die. God will give “dying grace” at the exact moment that we need it and we will find that that grace will be sufficient to carry us through the “valley of the shadow of death.” It is then that we will find that death is truly a “shadow” and, thank God, not the “substance” of eternal death.

5. A Peaceful Death Requires Excitement – “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!” - Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, (4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; (5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (7) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Solomon described death as “man goeth to his long home.” This is our short home but one day, we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever!” No sin, no sorrow, no sickness, no parting, no disappointments, no discouragement, no devil, no necessities, and no more curse. Home forever and ever and ever and ever and, when you get through all of those “forever’s,” say, “AMEN!”

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. (Peace is found only in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Ingredients For A Happy Life

Temple Baptist Church - 7-10-2011

Psalm 23:1-3


A. I preached on “The Secret Of A Happy Life” a couple of weeks ago and we saw that a happy life for the child of God comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you can live a happy life outside of Christ, you are not one of His! Period! When we find fulfillment outside of Christ, we are convicted, chastised, or both.

B. This evening, I want to look at the “ingredients” of a happy life. What does happiness in this world for the believer mean? First of all, I deem it important to explain what wrong ingredients are.

1. Prosperity is a wrong ingredient! Thank the Lord for money! That may seem to be a contradictory statement but I thank the Lord that He has met my needs over the years. While the love of money is the root of all evil, money is not evil in itself. Money is amoral. It has no morality as it has no life or capability to do wrong. It is a tool to be used for the betterment of our lives. I was not born rich and have not made a fortune in my lifetime. My wife and I tithe and give to missions, pay our bills, buy our food, purchase the necessities, go out to eat on occasion, and actually have a few dollars in our pockets. Money cannot purchase a happy life. It may purchase momentary happiness but the happiness is gone as quick as the money is.
2. Property is a wrong ingredient! Isn’t it nice to have things? Once again, this is not a contradictory statement. We have certainly been blessed with more than we need. My things are not all new things. I have a 22 year old truck, a 12 year old van, a 35 year old house, and a used four wheeler which I appreciate much. I have nothing to complain about. What I have is fine and, when it no longer gets the job done, the Lord will allow me to have another. Property will not bring about happiness of life in itself.

3. Position is a wrong ingredient! It is nice to also advance in the job place but you can be the CEO of the largest corporation in America and be miserable. When you just “punch a clock,” you can clock out and leave the work behind. The sleep of a hardworking man or woman is sweet. The CEO often brings his job to the home because he has more to worry about than just self.

b. Enough said on that subject but we need to know that happiness is not found in things. The ingredients to happiness for you and I is found in these verses that we read.

1. Happiness is found in Salvation – verse 1 I will not spend time on this point because we looked at salvation in the first 5 words of the Psalm but I will say, “If you are not saved and right with the Lord, you will never be happy in this world or the world to come!

2. Happiness is found in Contentment – vs. 1-2 “I shall not want.” You can be saved, have all that the Lord provides for you, and not be happy if you are not content.

a. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (Contentment with your things! If what you have is neither enough nor is it good enough, you will always be seeking either more or difference.)

b. “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Contentment with your circumstances! I have often said that life is hard and often unfair but that is just life. Like it or not, you will have troubled times as well as good times; you will have poverty as well as prosperity; you will be hated as well as loved; you will be sick as well as healthy; you will weep as you will laugh; that is called life.)

You and I will never be happy in this life until we are content with what and where we are! The Lord feeds us and He leads us. Both provision and providence are in His hands.

3. Happiness is found in Restoration – vs. 3

1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (There are times when we, as God’s children, begin to stray. Happiness is not found in the life of straying but thank the Lord that happiness is found in the act of restoration! He restoreth my soul. I can repent, get right with God, but then it takes an act of God to restore my soul with the “balm of Gilead” that only the Lord can apply.)

4. Happiness is found in Righteousness – vs. 3 “paths of righteousness”

a. Paths of Righteousness are for our sake. 1 Timothy 6:6 Godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (Peaceful lives are found in godliness, not sinfulness. Sin will cause the child of God to have a life of turmoil and tragedy! The wages of sin have never changed: death! A clear conscience makes for a soft pillow. We will never be happy while walking at a guilty distance from the Lord.)

b. Paths of Righteousness are for His sake. His name’s sake!

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Our lives, as Christians, are to glorify the Lord in this present, evil world. We are the only Bible that the world will read and our “epistles” will either lead them to Christ or drive them away. Our life is to reflect the Lord’s leadership, provision, protection, and our satisfaction.)

Conclusion: I will sum this all up in one statement: Happiness is the Lord!

The Cities of Refuge: Hebron

Temple Baptist Church - 7-10-2011

Joshua 20:1-9


A. The Cities of Refuge show us some of the things that we have in Christ. I fear that we often take these things for granted. We come to Christ by faith, are gloriously saved, and then basically “forget about it.” We know that we are going to heaven one day but trudge our way through this life thinking that we have to make it on our own.

B. The Lord never ceases to work both in us and on our behalf. He never slumbers nor sleeps and is every watchful as well as helpful to His children. We will never fully understand what happened the moment of our salvation. We were saved and now safe and secure. We are provided for, protected, and constantly though upon by God. “He thinketh upon me!”

C. The Lord knows our every thought; He knows our uprisings and our down sittings; He compasses my path and my lying down and is acquainted with all my ways. He hears what I say; He is behind me as well as before me; His hand is upon me. He has hedged me about; He cares about my cares; He loves me in spite of myself; He is a wonderful Lord; a glorious Saviour; a compassionate High Priest; a marvelous King; a wise Counselor; my Prince of Peace; and the soon coming Lover of my Soul! Do not take Him for granted!

D. In Kedesh we find His holiness: 1) Positional 2) Perfect 3) Permanent! In Shechem we find His care for us: 1) He Cares for The Wandering Saint 2) He Cares for The Helpless Saint 3) He Cares for The Old Saint 4) He Cares for The Weary Saint 5) He Cares for The Burdened Saint 6) He Cares for The Dying Saint

E. This morning, I want to look at the third of the Cities of Refuge: Hebron. The word “Hebron” means fellowship. I find that amazing! A holy God wants to have fellowship with you and me. It is hard to believe that He would even recognize me, much less want to spend quality time with me. The Lord desires you!

F. God initiated fellowship with sinful man in eternity past as He pre-determined our Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins that we might spend a glorious eternity with Him.

1. Fellowship Initiated By God - Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Fellowship was initiated by God in eternity past through Christ Jesus.)

a. He Bought Us Before We Knew Him Or Even Knew About Him

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ

b. He Sought Us Before We Sought Him

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2. Fellowship Was Broken By Sin And Restored By God

a. Fellowship Was Broken By Sin In The Garden - Genesis 3:9-10 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

b. Fellowship Was Restored By God through Sacrifice - Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

c. Fellowship Was Eternally Broken By Cain Through Disobedience - Genesis 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

d. Fellowship Was Eternally Established By God At Calvary - Colossians 1:20-22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in you mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

3. Through Calvary We Have:

a. There Is Fellowship With God The Father - 1 John 1:3 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.

b. There Is Fellowship With God The Son - 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

c. There Is Fellowship With God The Holy Ghost - Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

The Results of Fellowship With God


1. Blessed Assurance

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

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.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Blessed Assurance

2. Answered Prayer

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

3. Peace of Mind and Heart

Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

4. Confidence and Trust in the Lord

Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

5. Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,


1. Fellowship With The Lord Brings About Separation From The World

1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Colossians 3: 1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

2. Fellowship With The Lord Brings About Love With The Saints

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

3. Fellowship With The Lord Brings About Soul Winning

Philippians 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

4. Fellowship With The Lord Brings About Suffering

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Through Creation, He Shows Us His Glory - Creation For Our Seeing

Through Calvary, He Shows Us His Grace - Calvary For Our Salvation

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Secret of A Happy Life

Temple Baptist Church - 7-3-2011

Psalms 23:1


A. If we took a poll tonight concerning just how many of us want to have a happy life, I believe that the vote would be unanimous! The world is looking for happiness in all of the wrong places and so are many of God’s children.

John 6:33 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.

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

B. The Lord gave us a wonderful world to live in and I enjoy many of the things of life. I love life and try to have a thankful heart for it but life at its best is hard. Life is both hard and unfair at times which create in the heart of the believer a longing for home. Things do not bring about either happiness or contentment!

C. True happiness is found in the Lord!

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

D. In Psalms 22-24, we find a trilogy. A trilogy is a series, sequence, or cycle. These three Psalms operate hand-in-hand to describe our life in Christ from salvation until our Lord comes again to receive us unto himself.

1. The Cross of the Saviour- Psalm 22 portrays Christ on the cross and then gloriously resurrected. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone! I am glad that I am saved; I am glad that I am secure; I am glad that I am sanctified; I am glad that I am His and He is mine!

2. The Coming of the King - Psalm 24 portrays Christ as our soon coming King. Our blessed hope is the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ! When He comes, all trials and troubles will be over.

3. The Care of the Shepherd - Psalm 23 (between our salvation and heaven) portrays Christ as our Shepherd. It is in this little Psalm that we find His watching over us and caring for us! Only eternity will reveal to us all that Christ does for us and is for us in this life. Christ, who is our life!

E. In the firs five words of this blessed 23rd Psalm, I want us to see the “Secret of a Happy Life.” It is both a secret and a not so secret. It is a mystery to the unbeliever but is beautifully laid out for the believer to both know and obtain. Before we can begin to grasp the happiness that is only found in Christ, we need to take a close look at the first five words of this Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd!” Herein lies the secret of a happy life!

F. In these five words, I want us to see 5 things:

1. In These Five Words We Find Singularity – “The Lord” - Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (Notice the repetition of the word “all.”)

True happiness is found only in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ! A double minded man is unstable in all his way. Salvation is straight and narrow, not broad and wide. As the world continues to seek happiness in things cursed, the child of God finds true happiness in the Lord Jesus Christ. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways! You will never find true happiness or fulfillment outside of Christ if you are His.

2. In These Five Words We Find Sovereignty – “Lord” - Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Lord – to exist; to be the same.)

The Lord is eternal, immutable, impeccable, all knowing, all powerful, all wise, and all present. He created it all; He owns it all; He sustains it all; He makes all of the decisions; He needs no advice; He needs no help; He is the LORD! To quote Dr. S. M. Lockridge, “The Bible says He's the King of the Jews. He's the King of Israel. He's the King of Righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of Glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords … He's incomprehensible. He's invincible. He's irresistible. I'm trying to tell you, the Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your hands. You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.”

3. In These Five Words We Find Submission – “Is” - John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Not the Lord was my shepherd and not the Lord will be my shepherd but the Lord IS my shepherd. Living for the Lord is not “has been” nor is it “will be” but rather “I am!” For to me to live is Christ! TO ME! It is a personal choice that we make each and every day of our lives. He will not force you to live with Him; He will not force you to live for Him; but He can force you to love WITHOUT Him!!!

4. In These Five Words We Find Satisfaction – “My” - Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I am His and He is mine! What a dynamic statement! In Christ we find fulfillment; In Christ we find satisfaction; In Christ we find success; In Christ we find happiness!

5. In These Five Words We Find Security – “Shepherd” - Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

When you come to the place that the Lord is all that you have, it is then that you find that He is all that you need! He leads us; He guides us; He feeds us; He watches over us; He hears and speaks to us; He comforts us; He delivers us; He protects us; He loves you and I as much as He loves His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ for He gave Him for us! As Dr. Lockridge said, “That’s my King!”

The secret to a happy life is found only in “The Lord is my shepherd!”

One Nation Under God!

Temple Baptist Church - 7-3-2011

Isaiah 33:22


A. Here we are again approaching Independence Day. When we think of July 4th, we think of a lot of things: hot dogs and hamburgers, Bar-B-Q, boating, family get-togethers, etc. All are fun and I am glad that we can enjoy these things. We enjoy them because of July 4th, 1776. America declared its independence from Great Britain and became the one of the greatest nations that has ever existed. We are blessed this morning to be born an American. Never be forgetful of the fact that you are more blessed than anyone else in the world.

B. What made America great? There are several things that make us stand out from an internal perspective but sometimes an unbiased look is good. The French statesman, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) studied the workings of democracy in the early part of the 19th century in order to understand America’s success. He then wrote:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, and it was not there.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good. America will cease to be great.”

C. Now the question arises, “What makes America good?”

1. We Are Good Because Of Our God – It is still “one nation under God” and if that ever changes, we are history. Our God is not Allah; our God is not Buddha; our God is not made of wood, stone, or precious metal; our God is Jehovah God: the God of Israel and the God of this bible. The Lord, He is good!

2. We Are Good Because Of Our Goal – To goal is to grant to every citizen total equality! We are a melting pot. We have, as American citizens, every race, color, and creed. Our people are from Europe, Africa, Asia, Asia Minor, North and South America. Our people are diverse in their heritage and yet we are the same in our unity and goals. We are Americans!

Over the main entrance to the Statue of Liberty, we find these words from Emma Lazarus’ poem, “"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Within the Declaration of Independence we find these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, which among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

3. We Are Good Because Of Our Government – A government by the people and for the people. Our officials are elected and, if they do wrong, we can “unelect” them. A government with checks and balances: no one man or one party can dictate to our country. We have liberals, moderates, and conservatives. Our three branches are totally separate as well as totally united. We have Executive, legislative, and judicial. We have elections every two years. Our forefathers were very special to set up a government so special.

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge (Judicial), the LORD is our lawgiver (Legislative), the LORD is our king (Executive); he will save us.

James Madison, the chief architect of the constitution prepared the three branches of Government based on the wisdom gained from the scriptures.

4. We Are Good Because Of Our Freedom – We have freedoms that are protected by the Constitution. We can go where we please; say what we want; believe what we want to believe; worship how we want to worship. We are FREE! Eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty!

5. We Are Good Because Of Our Blessing – We have great natural resources; plenty to eat; natural protection (oceans on either side); plenty to do when we are bored; plenty of room to seclude ourselves in when we want to be “bored.” From shore to shore, we have more than any nation has ever had and are rich beyond the world’s imagination. They come to America because it is a Utopia to them.

D. Because we are good, great, and blessed, our Accountability Is Great – To whom much is given, much is required. We are accountable for where we live; what we have; what we believe; and how we behave! Let us never forget the God who gave it all to us!

E. I want to look at a few things that we cause America to go down. God has promised blessing to the nation whose God is the Lord and damnation to the nation that forgets God.

1. America Will Go Down When It Forgets God! Deuteronomy 8:11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

Deuteronomy 8:19-20 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. (20) As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

2. America Will Go Down When It Becomes Materialism Becomes Their God! Deuteronomy 8:12-14 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; (13) And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; (14) Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

3. America Will Go Down When It Becomes Prioritized With Pleasure! 2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

4. America Will Go Down When It Becomes Proud! Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

5. America Will Go Down When It Becomes Preoccupied with Sex! Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Jude 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Conclusion: I do not have to tell you that America, at this point in time, is in big trouble with God! Pray for those in authority! Pray for America!