Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Resurrection

Temple Baptist Church - 3-31-2013
John 20:1-18
A. This morning, we will once again celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. What a glorious morning we read about as Mary, out of whom our Lord cast our 7 devils, came to the garden tomb and found a resurrected Lord as well as an empty tomb. Countless times God’s people have read this account with joy, weeping, and hope!
B. Often called the “Capstone of Christianity” because Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God by the bodily resurrection. Only God can give life to the physical body! He breathed life into Adam and all men are born inherently with Adam’s life.
C. Jesus Christ is called the firstfruits of the Resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
D. Because of His glorious resurrection, the believer has a blessed hope beyond the grave. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
E. There are several other resurrections mentioned in Scripture and I want to look at them for a few minutes as each has its importance to mankind.
1. There was the resurrection of the Old Testament saints found in Matthew 27: 51-54. These O.T. saints went to Abraham’s Bosom and remained there comforted until the death of our Lord. The Lord went to Abraham’s Bosom and, at the resurrection brought these saints to heaven with him. He brought “captivity captive” and gave gifts to men.
2. There is the resurrection of the believer found in the New Birth (John 3:3-7; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:1-6). At the moment of salvation, the believer is born again into the spiritual realm and endowed with a new life in Christ. No resurrection, no New Birth!
3. There will be the resurrection of the bodies of the dead saints at the rapture of the church. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:52-58). When the Lord comes for His church, the body of Christ, those who have died in the Lord will have their bodies resurrected and we will all be changed. We will be given a glorious body like unto His that will be eternal in nature.
4. There will be the resurrection of those believers who are martyred during the Tribulation Period. (Revelation 6:9-11) These will be the souls under the altar crying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
5. There will be the resurrection of the “two witnesses” during the Tribulation Period. (Revelation 11:3) These two witnesses will lay dead in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days and come to life again. They will ascend into heaven is the sight of the world.
6. There will be the resurrection of the unsaved dead at the Great White Throne Judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15) Those who have denied or rejected the Lord will one day stand before Him, be judged according to their works, and be cast alive into a lake of fire for all eternity.
F. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is both the foundation and capstone of our faith. I am excited about the prospect.
1. The Prospect of Eternal Life With Christ! 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.
2. The Prospect of A New Body. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (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.
3. The Prospect of God’s People. Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
4. The Prospect of a New Heaven and a New Earth. Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
5. The Prospect of the New Jerusalem. 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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ye Are Complete In Him

Temple Baptist Church - 3-27-2013
Colossians 2:9-11
A. There is much controversy within major denominations concerning our position in Christ. It has been debated for years and will never be settled until such a time as everyone finds their doctrine bible based alone. Such questions arise as:
1. Is salvation through faith alone or is it mixed with human merit? This question even arises on occasion within the independent Baptist ranks as some believe that salvation before Christ and after the rapture is a mixture of faith and works.
2. Is our position in Christ secure? Can a saved person ultimately be lost? Is our security in Christ works based or faith based? Does the believer have to endure in either works or faith in order to be ultimately safe or does his security rest in the finished work of Christ alone?
B. There are those who break down these views into two distinct groups: Calvinist and Armenian.
1. The Calvinist believes that the sovereignty of God requires salvation to be totally of God to an elect few. The elect are predestined and have no choice in salvation. Those elected are therefore secure.
2. The Armenian believes that salvation is through faith but kept through human merit. Therefore, the believer can ultimately be lost through either sinfulness or loss of faith.
C. The true bible believer is neither Calvinist nor Armenian and believes that salvation is by grace through faith. Man has a choice to believe or disbelieve and salvation is eternal in nature. Herein we stand.
D. The believer’s position in Christ is set forth in the words “ye are complete in him.”
1. We are complete in Christ for the world that now is. 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (Practical Salvation is what Jesus Christ does through us and involves both a conversion—which brings about the new creature—and either obedience or lack of obedience to God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is difficult for us to realize just how secure that we are in Christ! Nothing that we do can separate us from the love of Christ! [Romans 8:38-39])
a. He gives us His Spirit. John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
b. He gives us His Word. Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
c. He gives us His Power. Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
2. We are complete in Christ for the world to come. 1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (Positional Sanctification is a work of God in salvation and is totally void of human merit. Notice the wording of this particular verse: “As he is, so are we in this world.”)
a. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We are not “gods” neither are we the “only begotten” sons of God but we are the sons of God by faith. 1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
b. Jesus Christ is with God. Our Lord now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven as he “ever liveth” to make intercession for the saints. You and I that are saved are also seated with God in heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
c. Jesus Christ is faultless before God. Our Lord is the sinless, absolutely pure, and forever holy Son of God! We are “hid with Christ in God” positionally and, in Him, is not sin. The seed of God remaineth in us and there is a part of us sealed until the day of redemption that “cannot sin” according to 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
Jude 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,
d. Jesus Christ lives eternally. He is the eternal Son of God. He does not have life, He is life! We that are saved have eternal life. We are not on probation; we have salvation. We are kept by the power of God through faith, not by our obedience or goodness. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Never Forget Who You Serve!

Temple Baptist Church - 3-24-2013
1 Timothy 6:13-16
A. As we get toward the end of the Book of 1 Timothy (one of the Pastoral Epistles), we find a doxology. Paul gives doxologies in several of his epistles. A doxology is an expression of praise, sometimes spoken as it is in this epistle or set to music and used in a worship service.
B. This particular expression of praise deals with certain attributes and titles given to God alone.
1. These are often hidden from the eyes of the world because of unbelief. Not being experiential, we find that faith is essential in seeing God as He is. The world denies the attributes and position of God though His “fingerprint” is everywhere.
a) Nature declares the glory of God on every hand. The perfection of the universe is found in its precision. The balance found nature as every plant, animal, bird, insect, and bacteria are essential.
b) The very existence and makeup of man declares the glory of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made are the words given in the bible to describe him. I stand amazed when I watch the wonder of conception and birth. The DNA that so intricately forms each individual is beyond comprehension. I sat the other day observing two of my grandchildren play and saw the absolute perfection in every detail of their makeup: the same and yet completely different in every aspect.
2. Paul is writing to young Pastor Timothy because of the possibility of forgetting just who and what this great God is that he served.
a) Circumstances often shroud His person. In times of trouble or perplexity, it is easy to lean upon our own strength instead of “tapping” the unlimited resources found in God alone. We row and bail while the Master of our “seas” remains in the ship un-approached.
b) Business often shrouds His person. It is so easy to be so busy serving that we forget to spend those invaluable minutes with Him.
C. These verses are a reminder to the pastor of the church as well as to the saints. Never forget who and what He is! Paul does not set forth all that is God in these verses, but gives a short reminder in two areas.
1. He Is Sovereign.
a. He is the ONLY Potentate! “mighty ruler” The Lord is not a ruler, He is the Ruler. He made it all, He sustains it all, He owns it all! He has no rival in the universe. Do not worry about Him being overruled or overpowered.
b. He is King of kings. He rules and overrules in the affairs of men.
Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Colossians 1:15-17 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
c. He is Lord of lords. He is pre-eminent. He is Lord of all.
Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2. What He is. He is eternally the same.
a. Immortality – “deathlessness” Eternal in life. John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The Lord does not have life, He is life! “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” He neither diminishes nor dies. “I AM THAT I AM” gives the biblical description of Jehovah God. “I AM” means to “continue to exist” and comes from a word meaning “to breathe.” Therefore, the Lord not only exists continually but that existence is a living one. Something inanimate can exist. He is not only eternal but also eternally the same.
b. Purity and Holiness. God dwells in an inapproachable light. 1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Absolute in purity; absolute in holiness; absolute in righteousness; absolutely just in all His ways and decrees! He is the Standard of all that is right; He is the Benchmark from which all are measured; and He imputes holiness and purity to you and me! Oh, what a Saviour!
Conclusion: Let us never forget who He is; who we are by faith; and who we serve!

The Danger Of Falling

Temple Baptist Church - 3-24-2013
Jude 24-25
A. Today is Homecoming Day at Temple Baptist. It is sometimes hard to believe that 26 years are now gone!
1. March 22, 1987, my family walked through the front doors of Temple Baptist for the very first time in the perfect will of God! I have never doubted for one minute that the Lord sent us here and sent us here to stay as far as I am concerned. I am certain of God’s call to this place.
2. It has been a wonderful experience for me and my family with no regrets concerning the church. There are things that I would change if I could change them but they are done, gone, and under the blood of Christ. I, like all others, have made mistakes in my handling of certain things but, alas, experience is still the greatest of teachers.
3. This morning, I want our eyes upon the future and anchored here together as God’s people. There have been many ups and downs, heartaches and tears, victories and failures, souls won to Christ, good families added, people leaving and many now long gone through the veil of death.
4. I want to say to the church this morning that I have no sad tales to spin! The Lord has been so good to all of us and we have no right to offer up one complaint to Him! I want to look at these two verses this morning and make a practical application.
B. The interpretation of these verses deals with the individual believer and his security. Though we all fail the Lord, here we find the promise of our presentation to the Lord as “faultless.” Not forgiven but faultless! Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.
C. By application, the Lord will present to Himself the church not having spot, wrinkle, or any such thing.
1. The church belongs to the Lord and is His to both build and keep. But, as with the individual child of God, there is a possibility of the local church failing. Many churches have already fallen prey to the wiles of the Devil in these last days and are no longer holding to the Old Paths wherein the good way is. They have chosen the popular way of worldliness and compromise instead of trusting the Lord with His ways.
2. We are an independent Baptist church! Though we are not alone in the fight for right, we are an independent. In this light, we are accountable for who and what we are, not for the success or failure of others. We can blame neither time nor others for our success or failure.
3. God does not define success or failure as we do. Success is not necessarily in numbers nor failure in the lack thereof. We often say that quality is to be desired above quantity. Success is being what God wants us to be and failure is to conform to the world and its ways.
4. Our church is a good church, a separated church, a mission’s hearted church, a soul winning church, a doctrinally correct church, and a unified church. My fears do not involve the past for it is history. My fears involve the future because the last chapter in Temple Baptist Church history has not been written. Many churches that once stood for the things of God have given up the battle.
5. We must be careful here at Temple lest we also fall to the same errors and forsake the Old Paths for the paths of least resistance. Being right and staying right is not always the easiest but it is not only always the best, but also the right thing to do.
1. We can fall by allowing our first love to grow cool - Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
2. We can fall by allowing apostates to feel comfortable in our midst - Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
3. We can fall by allowing sinfulness and worldliness to destroy our testimony in our Jerusalem - Revelation 2:14-15 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
4. We can fall by allowing a spirit of ecumenism to grow among our congregation - Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
5. We can fall by allowing the deadness of formality to become an acceptable way of worship - Revelation 3:1-2 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
6. We can fall by allowing contentedness and satisfaction destroy our hungering and thirsting for righteousness - Revelation 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
1. We will trade our biblical preaching for the ear tickling teaching of compromise.
2. We will trade our worship in the “beauty of holiness: for worldly, contemporary services that are worldly and excite our sinful flesh.
3. We will trade our King James Bible for a version. This is a Bible, not a version.
4. We will trade our visitation program for carnal entertainment.
5. We will trade the praise of the Lord for the popularity and praise of men.
Conclusion: I once read this on the bumper of a car: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!” If we fail to examine our selves in light of both God’s Word and past history, then we too will fall. May the Lord help us to remain in the will of the Lord until He comes for His Church!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Believer Beware!

Temple Baptist Church - 3-20-2013
Colossians 2:6-8
A. Much is said about the spiritual deception of the last days. There is the spiritual deception of the unsaved.
1. Deceived by Satan - 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. (Satan has done a “job” on the unsaved in this world. From the individual alway up to the top officials in government, the philosophy of humanism has led man to believe that he is his own god and is accountable only to self. We go door-to-door and are amazed at the lack of concern and hardness of heart of the people. Satan has done well!)
2. Soon to be deceived by the Saviour - 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (According to these verses, all who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ this side of the rapture will be eternally lost! Once again, the Left Behind Series needs to be “left behind” because it teaches a second chance beyond the rapture which is unbiblical. If you are lost when the Lord comes for His church, you be lost for eternity.)
B. It saddens my heart to know that Christ died for the sin of the world and the world rejects an eternality with Him. We can only warn and witness to them and the decision will ultimately belong to them. But, there is also a spiritual deception of those who know the Lord as their Saviour. I want to look at this deception for a few minutes tonight because it concerns us as end-time believers.
1. The Possibility of Spiritual Deception. I want to use an unusual couple of verses to make an important application. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
a. The proper interpretation of these verse are obvious to even the casual observer. God made Adam and gave him commandment concerning the forbidden tree. Then, God made Eve from the rib of Adam. The Serpent beguiled Eve and she ate but Adam knowingly ate because he desired his wife: a beautiful type of Christ dying for His Bride, the church.
b. The practical application that I am going to make goes along with the type, figure, or shadow of the Old Testament teaching on Adam and Eve. Adam is a type of Christ and Eve a type of the Church. God commands us but the church (“Eve”) is always subject to spiritual deception.
c. Spiritual deception has always been since the days in the Garden of Eden but, in these last days, has escalated dramatically. The believer and the local church is being constantly bombarded on every side by unbiblical teaching and ungodly example. Many good churches, pastors, and believers have departed from the Old Paths, the King James Bible, personal holiness, and holy worship. The deception is real and dangerous.
2. The People of Deception.
a. False teachers - 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
b. Wolves - Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Acts 20:29-30 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.
c. False brethren - Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
3. The Program of Deception
a. Philosophy: the word comes from two root words which mean “fond of wise things” or the “love of knowledge.” Intellectualism has invaded the local church through schools of higher learning. I have often said that virtually every denomination has fallen through the teachings of their own seminaries! I want to give you a verse to help with this situation.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (Textual critics have done much to destroy the faith of God’s people in the King James Bible. We need to continue to believe the Bible and mark as apostate anyone and everyone who disagrees with it!)
b. Vain deceit: empty delusion. These are things that have no biblical foundation.
1) The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements are notorious for this such thing and they place their “experiences” and emotions above the absolute authority of the Bible. If you experience is not biblically supported, then it is vain and deceitful!
2) The Baptist churches have done the same thing by using unbiblical means to attract lost souls. They have caused the local church to lose its holiness, be filled with worldliness, in order to reach the world. The church is to contrast the world, not be conformed to it! (Romans 12:1-2)
c. Tradition of men: the transmission of ordinances. The Bible says to hold fast the traditions that we have been taught, therefore, tradition are not necessarily bad unless:
1) They transgress the commandments of God by violating His Word - Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
2) They are taught as biblical doctrine which is the commandment of God - Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
d. Rudiments of the world: rudiments means to “keep step” or “keep rank.” It has to do with the elementary or principal order of things.
1) This often arises in our day by misapplying the biblical teaching of the priesthood of the believer. Each believer is an individual priest through the application of the blood of Christ. We have access to come boldly before the throne of God’s grace to confess sin, make supplication for others, individually worship, and to fellowship with God. We need not confess our sins through a knothole to some sinful man but can go directly to God.
2) The misapplication of this doctrine comes when it is taught that we are not under biblical authority or the right “order” of things. Some colleges do not teach pastoral authority or local church authority by saying that you are an individual priest and accountable only to God. This breakdown in biblical authority is contrary to the Bible. The order of biblical authority is found in government, the home, as well as the structure of the local church!
4. The Protection of Deception. How do we know when we are being taught or led in an unbiblical manner?
a. By personally studying the Word of God – 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
b. By personal observation and biblical comparison – 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
c. By following the biblical teaching of your pastor - Ephesians 4:11-14 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;
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;