Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Dangers Of Failing

Temple Baptist Church - 12-9-2012
1 Timothy 4:13-16
A. As we finish chapter 4, I want to preach one more message on the importance of standing right and staying right. Notice a made a differentiation between these two things.
1. You can “stand right” without “staying right!” I have known men of God who were fundamental in doctrine but ended up on the sidelines and out of the ministry because of personal failure. They stood right but did not stay right. I have known good church members who were doctrinally correct but now sit at home blaming everything and everybody instead of being faithful to the Lord’s work.
2. You cannot “stay right” without “standing right” though. I believe that staying right requires standing right. Those who stay right are more often than not ones who have stayed by the stuff doctrinally. Doctrinal incorrectness always leads to doctrinal disobedience.
B. The interpretation is to the pastor but the application is to each of us because every member of this church is equally important! Hebrews 10:22-25 teach us the value of faithfulness and the last day’s trend of unfaithfulness (as the manner of some is).
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (25) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1. “As uncertainly,” in a race, this means not staying the right course. You cannot take shortcuts or get off the course when running a race.
2. “Beateth the air” or “shadow boxing, means to have a lack of direction or personal priority. You can call this much to do about nothing. The context of our study concerns prioritizing our lives in the spiritual realm which protects us in the physical realm.
3. “By any means” means that there are many areas of life where failure can result in getting out of God’s will for your life. “Castaway” simply means that the end result is to be disapproved.
C. In Hebrews, the Holy Spirit uses the phrase “fail of the grace of God.” Failing of the grace of God involves division and defilement according to verse 14. People are constantly using the doors of the church as “revolving doors” because of division. Constantly divided against or from the pulpit and the pew will produce instability and, therefore, movability.
Hebrews 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
D. I thank the Lord that we do not lose our salvation when we fall from our steadfastness though.
Hebrews 10:38-39 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (39) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
E. How to remain “steadfast” in days of “falling away.”
1. By remaining in love with the Lord - Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (It is easy to be so busy serving the Lord that we forget to have a relationship with Him. Not to love Him right is not to love the things of God right! Sinners, saints, supplication, and service!)
2. By guarding against apostasy and apostates - Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (We need to be careful where we find our spiritual fellowship and instruction. We must continue to judge their unrighteous works and purge them from our church.)
3. By keeping ourselves pure in an impure world - James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (We need to guard our five senses by which we perceive the world. Abstaining from the appearance of evil is a necessity in these last days.)
4. By saturating with and meditating upon the Word of God - Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 119 speaks of the cleansing work of Scripture: Psalms 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.)
5. By remaining faithful to church and the things of the Lord - Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (One of the most important of all of the “stabilizers” is that of faithfulness to the house of the Lord. One of the first signs of falling away is unfaithfulness to church. In a time of deemphasizing of church, we need to be more faithful than ever.)

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