Temple Baptist Church - 3-24-2013
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.
HOW TO FALL
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.
THE RESULTS OF FALLING
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!