Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day – 2012

Temple Baptist Church - 5-27-2012
Romans 5:1-11


A. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember our war dead. As we cook out, travel, or just relax for the day—let us spend the day in remembrance of those who gave their lives for that freedom so relished and cherished by our nation.

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

B. Memorial Day:

1. It is a time of remembrance. As far as the accuracy of such a count goes, no one will ever know the real statistics of those who died or were wounded in all ways (I also count those of Law Enforcement who have given their lives; a count which has risen by 13% this past year alone). The best numbers that I have including Afghanistan to this day are: a) Total dead in all wars: 1,343,812 b) Total wounded in all wars: 1,529,230. Almost 3 million men and (unfortunately) women total have either died or been wounded in all wars. All who have either served or had a loved one who served gave some while many of these gave all. 

2. It is a time of reflection. Where would we be today had these not died? What language would we be speaking had it not been for these who fought so bravely? They were scared just as we would have been. They wanted to live just as we want to live. They had families, parents, spouses, children and grandchildren just as we have. They deserved life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just as we. There are over 3 million serving (either active or reserve) today in our military with over 25 million VETS living in our land. As we sit in church, there are those still in harm’s way.

3. It is a time of thanksgiving. We are the most blessed nation on the face of the earth! More than we even understand because this bounty is all that many of us have ever known. We take this blessing of freedom and plenty for granted but it was not always this way. Thank you for serving. Thank the Lord for supplying.

C. The Courage Of Our Military To Die And Our People To Sacrifice – “Give me liberty or give me death” has been the motto of every American fighting man in all wars. I gave some statistics of those who died but could not count the countless millions who have served in all branches of the military. They lay behind the bodies of their dead brothers while the bullets whizzed past their heads and returned fire. They still join up; they still fight; and they still die. Their crosses are around the world from Normandy to the South Pacific to North Africa to Arlington National Cemetery where the Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) stands. Upon that sacred Tomb are engraved these words: “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.” The willingness of our nation to sacrifice – families have sacrificed their sons and daughters; they have sacrificed their moneys and possessions; they have sacrificed their personal desires for the betterment of the nation as a whole.

D. I want to say again this year that freedom in a privilege, not a right! Freedom was not always for all! Freedom has never been free! There are many in these countries that enjoy the freedoms while misusing them. 

1. We do not have the freedom to do wrong in this land.
2. We do not have the freedom to live here and defame this land.
3. America has had some sordidness in its history and still is not a perfect land, but it is my country and I say, “Love it or leave it.”

E. New Hampshire has a slogan on their license plates that reads: “Live Free Or Die.” A nation that will not fight will not remain free! Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” It is the cry of the patriot and is the prerequisite for freedom. In order to live free, men must sometimes die.

F. I want to read two oaths to you:

1. Oath of Enlistment into our military:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

2. The Oath of U.S. Citizenship and Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution
I hereby declare, on oath,
· that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
· that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
· that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
· that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;
· that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
· that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
· and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.
G. Our text for this morning tells of Another who gave His life freely that we might live: our Lord Jesus Christ. As men and women sacrificed for our physical Freedom, He sacrificed for our spiritual Freedom.
1. Christ Loved Sinners - John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (A love underserved; a love not accepted by most; a love so often not returned by saints; a love that is eternal in spite of our continued faults and failures.)
2. Christ Left Heaven’s Glory - 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (The Richest of the rich became the Poorest of poor that the poorest of poor might become the richest of the rich! Born in a stable and, as a grown man, He slept under the stars with a stone for a pillow; He gleaned with the poorest of the poor in the fields of the rich; the Glory of heaven and Israel’s long awaited Messiah rejected by those He came to save.)
3. Christ Lived To Die - Romans 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (For those who are helpless and hopeless, “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”)
4. Christ Longs For Us - John 14:3 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. (We are saved, sure, secure, and sealed until the day of redemption. One day He is coming as He said for those whom He has redeemed.)
Conclusion: Tomorrow we will remember our war dead. They died that we might live free. Today, we remember our Lord’s death. He died that we might live eternally free with Him.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fulfill Ye My Joy

Temple Baptist Church - 5-23-2012
Philippians 2:1-4


A. “Here we go again!” Sometimes, I almost feel like I am “beating a dead horse” when I preach on certain subjects. In the Pauline Epistles, commonly called the Church Epistles, the subject of unity within the local church is mentioned many times. I feel that this is for several reasons:

1. The reality of disunity and division among God’s people.
2. The importance of the local church to both the believer and this lost world.
3. The emphasis God’s Word places upon personal responsibility in this area.

B. Division and disunity are two of the greatest enemies of the local church. This tactic is as old as the Garden of Eden in that Satan caused division between man and God as he questioned God’s motive in disallowing Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This first mention of division effectively wrought division as Adam and Eve hid from the presence of the Lord.

C. The church can withstand problems and persecutions as long as they remain outside the walls of the church but when a local church splits and splinters, it takes generations dying out to undo the damage if it gets better then.

D. I call internal problems in the church The pastor’s nightmare!” I have preached and will continue to preach against division with the local church body because it is imperative that we remain united and strong as the work of the Lord is of the utmost importance. 

1. I can stand the assault of the world as long as I can come home to my wife and a peaceful home! To fight the world on the outside and come home to bickering and fighting is a terrible thing.
2. I can stand the assault of the world as long as I can come home to Temple and find love and fellowship. To have Satan attacking on every hand outside of the church and come home to division within the church is disheartening!

E. Satan has pulled out all of the “stops” in his unending efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the local church. The most important unit on the face of the earth other than the family is the local church. Satan hates the local Church! We must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices and one of his best is that of division. 

F. There are a multitude of Baptist churches at this time that are without a pastor with some of them having “run the pastor off” because of division. At times, wicked people get in the church and divide but, more often than not, saved people get their priorities wrong and strive, one with another.

1. Church Division Comes Through Carnality – James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

2. Church Division Comes Through Biblical Ignorance - Ephesians 4:2-7 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

3. Church Division Comes Through False Brethren - 3 John 9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

4. Church Division Comes Through Satanic Influence - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

G. Division causes much damage to the local church by:

1. Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church. (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and unforgiveness in their hearts. They are Achans!)

2. Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church. (Missions has been damaged because of gaining a family and then loosing a family through spiritual nonsense!)

3. Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church. (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)

4. Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church. (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents. It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)

5. Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church. (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)

6. Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church. (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)

7. Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints. (Malice and unforgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)
What Division Will Do
1. Division Damages The Believer.
a. It Will Divide You From The Pastor – Your Friend
b. It Will Divide You From The Pulpit – God’s Message
c. It Will Divide You From The People – Your Brethren
d. It Will Divide You From The Peace Of God – Your Joy
e. It Will Divide You From The Place – God’s House
f. It Will Divide You From The Purpose – God’s Harvest
2. Division Brings Reproach Upon The Name Of Christ
a. It Brings Division Into The Local Church
b. It Brings Confusion Of The Church’s Purpose
c. It Brings Reproach Upon The Testimony Of The Local Church
d. Ultimately, It Damns Sinners To A Devil’s Hell
How To Stop Division!
1. Always Give Others The Benefit Of The Doubt - 1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (How often do believers receive an evil report about someone and then think the very worst. I have learned well over the past 3 years what can happen when one does not give another the benefit of the doubt.)

2. Learn To Forgive And To Forget - Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (There are times when people will hurt you. Our Lord said to forgive those who repent 490 times! If you forgive someone 490 times, the 491st time will not be hard either. Where you have people, you have problems and where you have problems, you have hurt feelings. Learn to forgive as you would like to be forgiven!)

3. Keep Your Eye Focused Upon The Purpose - Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Keep the main thing the main thing! Our wants, likes, and dislikes are not really all that important. We need to become expendable! Willing to sacrifice our wants and desires for the betterment and advancement of the gospel. While we fume and fight, sinners perish!)

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

4. Esteem Others Better Than Self - Philippians 2:1-4 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Place others before self. If your way works and their way works, then use their way. I learned a long time ago, in management, that if I have an idea and one who works for me has an idea, use his if they both will work. He will work a lot harder to make his idea to work than he will to make yours work! Learn to be considerate and kind.)

5. Stop Gossip Dead In Its Tracks - Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Never, never let your ears become garbage cans for the poison of others. If someone wants to talk about someone else, just say, “Hold on a minute! Let’s you and me go to talk with them and tell what you heard.” It will stop an amazing amount of gossip! Gossipers never want to be exposed because they do not know for a fact what they are repeating.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Fall of A Nation And Sodomy

Temple Baptist Church - 5-20-2012
Leviticus 20:13


A. On May 8, the state of North Carolina voted on the Marriage Amendment and voted 69-31 percent in favor of marriage being defined as the union of a man and a woman. It was a slap in the face to the sodomite crowd as well as the Democratic Party. I included the Democratic Party because, though they pretend to be for one man and one woman, they are in favor of giving sodomites their “rights” to be treated as a married couple with all of the social benefits that go along with such a union. Thank God for the “Tar Heels!” They became the 31st state to do so. I may not be either a Duke or UNC fan but I am proud of those who withstood the bombardment by the social liberals.

B. I am glad that Billy Graham made public his stand against sodomy in his support for the amendment. 

"Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern. I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected … At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear — God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment.”

C. As everyone now knows, President Obama and Vice President Biden “came out of the closet” in support of one of their most important voting blocs: sodomites! Heretofore, these two politicians had refused to show the public where they stood on the subject but now voters can vote either for or against them in November knowing exactly where they stand. The President and Vice-President’s “Coming Out Party” did some things both good and bad:
1. It strengthened the “Gay Agenda” by throwing the confidence and support of America’s most prominent people into “bed” with the sodomites. It will certainly influence some of their followers to become more vocal in their position.

2. It will further embolden the sodomite crowd in their tireless efforts to push their sin on American society by becoming both socially acceptable as well as setting forth an acceptable alternative to heterosexual unions.

3. It further solidified the press (both written and spoken) behind their agenda (as if they were not liberal enough as it was).

4. It brought millions of dollars in to the support coffers of President Obama and the sodomite agenda. The “Gay Movement” has asked every sodomite as well as sodomite supporters to give liberally to his re-election campaign.

5. It influenced America’s youth because of the liberal mindset of both public schools on the grade, elementary, and high school levels as well as the socialistic teachings of secular colleges from which President Obama gets his radical support.

6. It has brought about a maligning of all churches or organizations that stand up for biblical relationships. Good has certainly become evil and evil has become good. Morally upright people have become immoral while immoral people have become upright and the victims.

7. It gives more credence to the Hate Crime Bill in its relationship to sodomites. Now the real reason for the Hate Crime Bill has been brought to the forefront. It is not about white and black; it is not about male and female; it is about same sex relationships and benefits.

8. I am sure that more things can be enumerated but I think this is sufficient.
1. It has identified clearly prominent re-election positions as to where they stand both politically and socially. Heretofore, the President and Vice-President were vague at best on this issue as they straddled the “Political Fence” while catering to both sides of the issue. NC was the 31st state to vote against the sodomite agenda with more to come. That is over 60 percent of states already reporting being in favor of biblical marriage with some of these “swing states” having voted for President Obama in the last term. Senators take notice please as your seat is up for vote in November. Don’t make the same mistake that the Obama Care supporters made and were ousted.

2. It clearly defined both sides of the issues at stake. You are either for same sex marriage or you are against it. There can be no middle ground as the ballot is either “YES” or “NO”. It has caused an otherwise non-committed populace to have to publically side one way or another.

3. It shows the liberal bias of both the news media and the polls that they present to the public. The polls show the greater percentage of people to be in favor of same sex marriages but this is inconsistent with the percentage of states voting to define marriage as one man and one woman. 

4. It has awakened the slumbering moral conscience of or nation by showing the people of America just how far our society and government have meandered from what God said in the bible. It is a “wakeup call” for every church going American of all denominations. Eternal vigilance is still the price for liberty!

D. Far from an "alternate lifestyle," the Bible specifically places homosexuality and homosexual behavior on the abomination list. BUT, fifty years ago, it would not have ever reached a public referendum much less have gotten 31% of the vote in the Bible Belt. I thank the Lord that there is still a moral majority in our country who, though they may remain for the most part politically quiet, still stand for morality and right. God bless America!

E. America has followed in steps of Sodom and Gomorrah in many ways with the end result of perversion of all kinds. The following verse shows the cause, the effect, and the result of willful disobedience to God:

Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, (1) pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And (2) they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore (3) I took them away as I saw good.

F. Though many of the Gay Rights supporters go to church, the Bible is clear in its language concerning the sin of sodomy:

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (God labels such sin as an abomination and places the participants under a death sentence!)

G. America is permeated with sodomy as we are in the “Days of Lot” that precedes the Second Coming of our Lord. (Luke 17) We need to see as God sees:

1. The Seriousness of The Sin - Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

2. The Sinfulness of The Saints - Genesis 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 

Judges 19:22-23 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. (23) And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. (Notice that in both references, God’s people call the Sodomites “brethren!” Even God’s people have been “brain washed” with “political correctness” on what God calls an abomination. Sodomy is neither normal nor is it an alternate lifestyle acceptable to God.)

H. Bible believing people have become the “bad guys” in the fight against sinfulness in our society. They call us intolerant (and we are) and try to use public opinion to force acceptability. They blame God as the creator of sodomy by claiming that sodomites are born that way. Sodomy is a learned behavior! God created Adam and Eve! Sodomy is acquired behavior, not an inherent one! 

I. Sodomy is now acceptable:

1. By Law - in most places, it is still on the “books” as unlawful. Sodomy is a felony offense anD yet the law is not enforced. It is not only no prosecuted, it is protected by the Hate Crime Laws of our nation. The FELON has become the FRIEND in the court system.

2. By Public Opinion - Sodomites are heralded as martyrs and heroes on television; Sodomites are accepted as good citizens and parents; Sodomites are portrayed as people to be emulated. Because of Hate Crime Bills and fear of reprisal, little negative is mention concerning them.

3. By Liberal Churches – Sodomy is a forgotten subject in America’s pulpits. The Liberals receive them and ordain them and so-called conservatives refuse to preach against their sin.

J. In Romans chapter 1, we see that sodomy is the end result of a reprobate mind. I want us to take a simple look at 4 triplets:
1. A Three Fold Rejection
a. Rejection of God’s Revelation - Romans 1:19-24 – Heathenism – (Psalms 19)
b. Rejection of God’s Word – Romans 1:25-27 – Humanism
c. Rejection of God’s Person – Romans 1:28-32 – Atheism
2. A Three Fold Progression
a. Idolatry – Romans 1:22-23
b. Promiscuity – Romans 1:24
c. Sodomy – Romans 1:26-27
3. A Three Fold Judgment (gave them up; gave them up, gave them over)
a. A Darkened Heart – Romans 1:21
b. A Seared Conscience – Romans 1:24
c. A Reprobate Mind – Romans 1:28
10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed
1. Sodomy Is Not Marriage
a. Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.
b. The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.
c. Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing. “Things that are different are not the same” applies here as well as with the bible variations.

2. Sodomy Violates Natural Law
a. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.
b. Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.
c. Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. In the Epistle to the Romans it is stated that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)

3. Sodomy Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother
a. It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent.
b. The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model. Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.

4. Sodomy Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle
a. In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual, cross dressing, and transgender variants.
b. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.
c. Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.

5. Sodomy Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right
a. Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s. This is false. Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.
b. First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.
c. Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.

6. Sodomy Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union
a Traditional marriage is purposed (procreation) and those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. Traditional marriage’s result naturally tends to create families.
b. On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families. Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.

7. Sodomy Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage
a. One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents. This aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the State.
b. Homosexual “marriage” does not provide such conditions. Its primary purpose, objectively speaking, is the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.

8. Sodomy Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society
a. By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.
b. In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.
c. In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.

9. Sodomy Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution
a. In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”
b. If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? The railroading of same-sex “marriage” on the American people makes increasingly clear what homosexual activist Paul Varnell wrote in the Chicago Free Press:
"The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality."

10. Sodomy Offends God
a. This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.
b. Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis:
Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
c. Traditional marriage was taught by our Savior, Jesus Christ, in Mark 10:6-9: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; (8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (9) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Conclusion: Now, what does God say? Not what I say nor what man thinks but what God says:

1. They are under God’s death sentence - Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (The Aids epidemic is now doing what the laws of the land will not do.)

2. They are to be rejected by the church - Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. (They are more than welcome to come and hear God’s Word but they cannot be members of God’s church!)

3. They are to be driven out of the land - 1 Kings 15:11-12 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paul’s Desire For A Church In Adversity

Temple Baptist Church - 5-9-2012

Philippians 1:27-30


A. Paul is in prison not knowing if he will live or die and his concern is for the church at Philippi! What a dedication he had to his people. I believe that this was for several reasons:

1. His love for the people and desire for their welfare.
2. His love for the local church knowing its importance.
3. His love for the sinners that only the church could reach.
4. His love and commitment for his Lord Jesus Christ.

B. Paul fully understood the importance and purpose of the local church. Today, its importance is minimized but, in the early days, it was maximized. The local church is God’s instrument for the exalting of the Saviour, the edification of the saints, and the evangelization of sinner.

C. Though the “fires of persecution burned brightly in their time and place, the opportunity for the church to be a “lighthouse” could not have been better. The lights of the Christian and local church never shine as brightly as it does in a sin darkened place.

D. There are several things in these verses that Paul desired for the well-being of the church at Philippi:
1. That their conversation (testimony) be pleasing to the Lord. (The word “conversation” is an interesting one in that it means to communicate. We communicate with this lost world through a life that is changed, not by a life that continues to conform to it. Romans 12:1-2.)

a. Our past conservation - Ephesians 2:1-4a And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, (God saved us out of our past disobedience, not saved to us to continue in it. Our past conversation changed at Calvary. We continue to be in the world but can no longer be of the world.)

b. Our present conversation – “becometh the gospel of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (We now have a new life, a new love, and should have new longings. The world reads the “epistle” of our lives as we publicly confess Jesus Christ and His great salvation. The world reads our “epistle” and should see Christ in us.)
2. That they steadfastly stand together as a church. (Satan has so viciously attacked the unity of the local church by bringing division, thereby baffling its progress. Tanker trucks use baffles to confuse the motion of liquids therefore impeding its forward progress in order to help trucks to control both their speed and stopping ability. These baffles cause a confused motion. If Satan can divide us by having disagreements, hurt feelings, or people pulling in different directions, he has destroyed the effectiveness of the church.)

a. Steadfastly in spirit - Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (Enjoying the company of one another! The early church found their fellowship among the saved while today’s church finds theirs in the world. There was a time when the only way to get most Baptist to fellowship or come to church was to feed them but, in our day, many of them will not even stay to eat. They are in a hurry to get out of church, go home, and shut out the rest of the world.)

b. Steadfastly in purpose - Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (The edification of the body is the purpose of the assembling of the local church. We assemble and we flourish.)
3. That they continue to evangelize both at home and abroad.

a. The command to evangelize - Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Our purpose is to win the world to Christ, not to let the world win us away from Christ. As Rome burned as Nero “fiddled,” the world perishes as the church sleeps.)

b. The plan to evangelize - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (There are churches that support only home missions because of the condition of America while there are others who forego home missions for the foreign fields. We are to do both which means at the same time and leave the end results in the hand of the Lord.)
4. That they face adversity with confidence.

a. As the world hated Christ - John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (The most hated man who ever lived was Jesus Christ. I am talking about the Jesus Christ of this bible, not “another Jesus” which the world perceives and preaches.)

b. So the world hates Christians - 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (To be Christ like is to be hated and rejected by the world; to be worldly is to be loved and accepted by them.)
5. That they glorify Christ in their suffering.

a. Suffer with understanding - Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (If we are His and we are, then Satan and the world will hate us as it hated Him. My wife always said, “Popularity has its price.” So does biblical Christianity!)

b. Suffer with unashamed - 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (I am not ashamed to be an old time Christian and am not ashamed of my Lord.)

Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Isaiah 24:15 Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.