Wednesday, January 16, 2013
We Are Not Alone
Temple Baptist Church - 1-16-2013
A. In the Book of Colossians, Paul is writing to a church that he has never been to and to a people whom he has never met. The communications were a little hampered in those days because the cell phone and texting were not yet invented so it was easy to feel a little sequestered from the rest of the world.
B. In hard times and in hard places where little results are evident, if not careful we begin to think that we are alone and all of our labor is in vain. The world is going down like “a one egg pudding” and churches along with the people we once served with are deteriorating and defecting.
C. Epaphras visited Paul in the Roman prison and brought encouraging words. Not only was Paul hearing from churches such as the one at Philippi but also from churches that he did not plant nor possibly did he know they existed.
D. Paul, in these verses, thanks God for them and tries to encourage them in the Lord. This sermon will go out to hundreds of people with many of these people members of good churches that are trying to “hold the line” in these last, evil days. I want this to be an encouragement to them as well as to our people.
1. The description of the Colossian people.
a. Saints – In a day of lost church members, I thank God that there are those who are saved and show it: people who know that they know that they are saved. We have “family” all around the world who go through the same things that we go through and many suffer far beyond our comprehension. (Pastor in Iran)
b. Faithful – In a day of unfaithfulness, I thank God that there are those who just keep on keeping on when it comes to faithfulness: people who love not only God but God’s house and support it. Without you, the doors of the church would have to close. Many churches have gone to one service a week because of lack of interest. The one service is a feel good, ear tickling experience where everyone goes home thinking well of themselves.
c. Brethren – In days of division where we who are saved are naturally divided from even family member who are not saved, we find division within the “faith.” We may be separated “upon the walls” as they were in the days of Nehemiah but these brothers and sisters are alive and doing well. I go to other churches on occasion when out of town and feel right at home with the family of God.
d. Faith – In days of mixed faith, as people now place more trust in the government system than in the Lord, faith is still placed in the Lord. He will take care of us. There are churches that are holding to the King James Bible; adhering to the Old Paths of doctrine and practice; and are fighting against the worldliness that is creeping into the local churches.
e. Love – In days of “self-love” or “selfishness,” I thank God that I can not only come to church and find my friends and family who love, but also fellowship with other pastors and brethren in our community. One of the ways you know that you are saved is because of the love of God that is in you for the things of God as well as the people of God.
f. Fruitful – In days of gleaning here in the Bible Belt, I thank God that there are churches and missionaries in other place where the harvest is still fruitful and that fruit is “fruit to our account.” Some mission fields are difficult and render few souls while others are fruitful ones with many coming to Christ but ALL of the harvest is equally important.
2. The blessing of the Colossian people.
a. Paul received encouragement by them – vs. 2
b. Paul was thankful for them – vs. 3
c. Paul was given an example from them - vs. 4-6