Sunday, March 30, 2014

The ‘Therefore’ of 2 Timothy 4’s ‘Therefore'

Temple Baptist Church - 3-30-2014
2 Timothy 4:1-4
A. I am finished with the “Inspiration of the Scriptures” in the last chapter but, once again, you need to remember that chapter divisions are not the end of or a change of thought!
1. Rightly dividing the word of truth is essential to biblical interpretation and biblical interpretation must be made before practical application can be preached. One of the foremost rules of bible interpretation is the Context Principle. So many so-called bible scholars cause confusion by taking a verse out of its context and making it a pretext.
2. 2 Timothy 3:16 has been a prime example! These chapters have nothing to do with the original manuscripts. They are dealing with the apostasy and deception of these last days and assuring a young pastor that THE SCRIPTURE THAT HE HAD was both reliable and profitable. Chapter 4 is a continuation of chapter 3 and when you see a “therefore” or a “wherefore,” the context continues and you need to interpret the continuation within that context.
3. Chapter 4 begins with the “therefore” which continues the context of inspiration of and confidence in the “holy scriptures” that Timothy had in his possession. Chapter 4 gives the admonition to the preacher to “preach THE word.” You cannot preach what you do not have and, therefore, Paul is referring to the inspired scriptures which were profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. These inspired scriptures are the criteria for the throughly furnishing of God’s men!
4. To interpret these verses any other way is to do grave injustice to the word of God and cause confusion concerning a perfectly clear portion of the scripture! You do not need the Greek to interpret the English!
B. Wickedness permeates society and, unfortunately, most churches.
1. Worldliness and apathy have always been and always will be enemies of God’s local church. When worldliness and apathy come in, holiness and service go out.
2. Deception and false doctrine have always been and always will be enemies of God’s local church. Rightly dividing the word of truth and adhering to the Old Paths are not options!
3. Chapter 4 describes our times as most people in local churches will no longer “endure sound doctrine!”
Ezekiel 12:1-2 The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Zechariah 7:11-14 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. (13) Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: (14) But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.
4. Because of their lusts, they “heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” They desire teachers instead of preachers. Teaching informs the intellect and gives information to be processed but demands no decision to be made. Preaching appeals to the heart of man and demands a decision to be made.
5. “Having itching ears” refers to loving to have their ears scratched or tickled. They desire to be entertained or feel good about themselves. These “ear tickling” preachers never reprove or rebuke because their congregations will not allow these things. They become hireling prophets.
Jeremiah 5:30-31 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; (31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Four things are found here: 1) the prophets fail to preach truth 2) the priests departed from the Law and led contrary to it 3) the people loved to have it so as God’s word was neither adhered to nor wanted 4) the question: what will you do?)
6. Most preachers of our day only exhort! There messages are intended to make people feel good and religions while leaving out the preceding admonitions of reproving and rebuking that keeps God’s people right with Him.
7. The result is the turning away from truth unto “fables.” “Fable” is to teach fiction of a myth. Fiction can be partly true and partly false or made up. A “myth” is a fairytale.
C. Lost church members who are religious but will not hear the word of God are both enemies to themselves as well as God’s local church. Sinners are welcome and saints are expected because both need help: the sinner needs to be saved and the saint needs to grow. Here are the dangers:
1. Sinner die lost without hearing the truth. It is the truth that makes us free and God’s word is truth. They may get a little religion, get baptized, and join the local church but, as the parable of the sower, they do not endure long. I was saved 38+ years ago and I still remain in church and serving the Lord!
2. Saints are destroyed without hearing the truth. Their live become shambles and their usefulness nil!
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
D. Now, let us look at Paul’s 7 fold admonition to Timothy:
1. Preach the Word!
a. The charge of preaching. God’s called men have a command to preach the word of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
b. The accountability of preaching. Acts 20:26-28 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) 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.
c. The importance of preaching.
1. Sinners will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment - Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
2. Saints will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ - 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2. Be instant! To preach without worrying about the consequences. Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
a. In season – to deal with problems when they arise.
b. Out of season – to proactively or preventively deal with problems before they arise.
3. Reprove! To admonish or tell a fault. To correct gently but uncompromisingly. Colossians 1:28-29 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
4. Rebuke! To censure or chasten. Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
5. Exhort! One old preacher said, “Reprove them; rebuke them; and, if anyone is left, exhort them! God’s people need to be encouraged. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
6. Longsuffering! Herein lies the key to preaching. Too many preachers are harsh with God’s people and use the word of God as a club to beat them with. I call this “in your face” preachers who never learn to handle God’s children gently and with love. 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
7. Doctrinal! A preacher must be settled in the doctrine and uncompromising in its preaching. This is God’s word and needs to be treated as such. 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Homecoming 2014: Why I Love The Church

Temple Baptist Church - 3-30-2014
Ephesians 5:22-33; Matthew 16:15-18; Psalm 84:1-12
Introduction: Hebrews 10:25-27 are possibly the most quoted verses concerning church attendance and, like biblical separation, has been preached as a negative. Psalms 84:10 is in direct contrast to the end time professing Christian. Hebrews 10:25 says, “As the manner of some is.” The word manner means a custom or habitual practice.
A. Today, more is said against the church than for the church. Many local churches have brought this problem upon themselves by their wicked and unscriptural behavior.
1. Some say that the church is full of hypocrites.
2. Some say that the church has become a social organization.
3. Some say that the church no longer portrays the love of Christ.
B. There has been a great forsaking of the assembling in the past few decades with the majority of America unchurched at the present.
1. Church attendance is at an all time low with more churches and professing Christians than ever.
2. The faithful few that make up the nucleus of the local church have become fewer in number, especially Sunday and Wednesday night crowds.
C. The majority of the average church’s visitation program is spend visiting people who professed to be saved and either make shallow excuses for missing church or have become disgruntled over some petty problem and now are permanently excused from faithful attendance.
Many Of These Have Religion And Not Salvation
Many Of These Are so Worldly And Carnal That They Cannot Know The Will Of God.
1. We have the love of Ephesus.
2. We have the deadness of Sardis.
3. We have the lukewarmness of Laodicea.
D. But I still love the local church! In spite of its shortcomings and problems.
Here are some reasons why we should love the church:
1. It Is The Place That God Loves - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
2. It Is The Place Of Worship - Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
3. It Is The Place Of Preaching And Teach God’s Word - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
4. It Is The Place Where God’s People Gather - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
(The greatest people on earth are there!)
5 It Is The Place Where Sinners Are Both Sought And Loved - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
6. It Is God’s Instrument For World Evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
7. It Was There That I Heard The True Gospel Preached And Was Gloriously and Eternally Saved – Luke 18:10, 13-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican … And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
8. It Is A Place Of Comfort And Spiritual Joy - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
9. It Is An Encouragement Filling Station - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
10. It Is Just A Little Bit Of Heaven On Earth - Psalms 84:1-12 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A One Verse Refutation Of Calvinism

Temple Baptist Church - 3-26-2014
1 John 2:2
A. Verse 2 is an interesting verse. God is talking to “my little children” about their relationship with Him and each other and, in the middle of it, the Holy Spirit inserts the phrase:and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” I believe that He does so for two reasons:
1. To awaken God’s children from the apathy that seems to settle over them concerning souls that die without Christ. I got to witness to a 50 year old man who was up by my driveway yesterday doing some work on the telephone boxes along the road. Today, he called me and want us to pray for you. Thank God we are saved but the vast majority of the world will die lost while we relish our fellowship together.
2. To once again remind us that Christ died once for ALL. The damnable doctrine of Calvinism or Reformed Theology has taken a terrible toll on many Baptist Churches. It is the major doctrine of the Presbyterian Denomination which builds its doctrine around John Calvin’s teachings. It has gained popularity among Baptists, both SBC and independent over the past few decades.
B. We need to wake up but, tonight, I want to take a look at the heresy of Calvinism that has affected so many. Calvinism is simply explained in the TULIP or TULIP Theology:
T – Total Depravity (Calvinists teach this as Total Inability. Man has no ability to place personal faith in Christ.)
U – Unconditional Election (Salvation is totally divine with no human responsibility or choice involved.)
L – Limited Atonement (Jesus Christ died only for the elect few.)
I – Irresistible Grace (Man has no power to resist the drawing of the Holy Spirit when salvation’s call is extended.)
P – Perseverance of the Saints (Those chosen through pre-destination and election are eternally saved and this salvation is shown through their perseverance.)
C. At this point, I want to say that I agree with none of these tenets of the Calvinistic faith. Some men are called 5 Point Calvinists; others are called 3 Point Calvinists. We are neither.
D. Calvinists teach that you are either Calvinist or Armenian in theology. This is based upon the premise that you either have eternal salvation (Calvinist) or you can lose your salvation (Armenian). We ARE NEITHER! We believe that the saved are eternally saved but have no connection to Calvinism.
E. Some of these verses will be repetitive but will refute the TULIP Theology.
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1. This Verse Destroys the Calvinist Doctrine of Total Depravity or Total Inability (this is what they teach). Christ is the propitiation for not only the saved but also for the whole world and the difference is that some chose to place their faith in Christ and most did not! It is a choice, not election.
John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
2. This Verse Destroys the Calvinist Doctrine of Unconditional Election. If Christ died for the whole world and the whole world is not saved, there must be conditions to salvation.
John 3:16-21 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. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (With all thine heart is more than just a mental assent to who Jesus Christ is, it is a saving faith that affects the life of the believer.)
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
3. This Verse Destroys the Calvinist Doctrine of Limited Atonement. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the WHOLE world, not just the saved. What is it in the words “whole world” that is so utterly confusing to the Calvinist?
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 3:16 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.
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
4. This Verse Destroys the Calvinist Doctrine of Irresistible Grace. Evidently, if Christ died for the whole world, most of the world has resisted His grace by not choosing to come to Christ for salvation. The grace of
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
5. This Verse Destroys the Calvinist Doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints. Perseverance is different from preservation. Perseverance is something that is done by an individual while preservation is something done to an individual by either something or another person. The Bible does teach preservation but not perseverance. In our verse, we find that the saint is saved, not on probation. There are bible examples of men who did not persevere: Lot in Genesis 19:30-38, Demas 2 Timothy 4:10, etc. Perseverance is a work of man while preservation is the work of God.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. (We can cite many verses concerning the preservation of the saints but not the perseverance of the saints.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jesus Christ In The Tabernacle - The Golden Altar of Incense

Temple Baptist Church - 3-23-2014
Exodus 30:1-10
A. We have seen Jesus Christ as:
1. The Gate to the East – Jesus the Way
2. The Brazen Altar – Jesus our Sacrifice at Calvary
3. The Laver of Brass – Jesus our High Priest and Cleansing
4. The Golden Candlestick – Jesus our Testimony and Light
5. The Table of Shewbread – Jesus our Provision and Communion
B. This morning, I want us to look at the Golden Altar of Incense: Jesus our Intercessor.
C. One of the aspects of the work of the High Priest was to daily offer incense before the Lord. This was not the work of the priesthood in general but of the High Priest alone.
1. Once a year on the Day of Atonement when the blood was placed upon the Mercy Seat, incense was to be burned “that he die not.” Leviticus 16:12-13 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: (13) And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
2. Each morning when he dressed the lamps and each evening when he lite the lamps—perpetually: a beautiful type of our prayers: morning, evening, and continually. Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. (8) And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
D. At this point, as we get into the Old Testament type, it would do us well to, once again, have an understanding of the priesthood of the believer.
1. God gave the Old Testament saint the prophets and priests. The prophet gave prophecy or foretelling because the Word of God was not yet complete. We have the Word of God in all of its fullness and purity; therefore, there is no need for the prophet. The priest represented man to God because the High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ, was not yet given. Humanly speaking, there are no “priests” in our day because Christ came and died for our sin, was buried, rose again bodily, ascended back to heaven and fulfill that priesthood once for all when He offered His eternal blood. We need no man to intercede for us because we are priests and can go to God in prayer anytime of the day with Jesus Christ, our High Priest, doing the interceding. I will deal with that in a few minutes.
2. God gave the New Testament saint apostles, evangelists, and the pastor-teacher. The apostles were transitional until the completion of “that which is perfect,” the Word of God. There are no more apostles! The evangelist is the biblical missionary that allows you and I to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and the pastor-teacher is the under shepherd that takes the oversight of the local church.
E. Now, the Golden Altar of Incense: it was dual in nature.
1. The Golden Altar of Incense was made of shittum wood, a beautiful type of our Lord’s humanity. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. 100 percent man!
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Our High Priest understands our problems.)
2. The Golden Altar of Incense was overlaid with pure gold, a type of our Lord’s divinity. As He was 100 percent man, He was 100 percent God!
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (Our High Priest can do something about our problems.)
F. Now, let us look at the work of our High Priest at the Golden Altar of Incense as He represents us to God the Father.
1. Jesus Christ, our Apostle and High Priest. Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (As our Apostle, Jesus Christ represents God to us; as our High Priest, He represents us to God the Father. By have this dual office, He fulfills His work in both dispensations: the Old Testament saint’s promise is fulfilled and the New Testament saint’s performance assured. The High Priest took the golden censor, filled it with coals from the Brazen Altar [a type of Calvary], and then put incense on the hot coals to be offered to the Lord.)
2. Jesus Christ, our Mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (Mediator – go between or to reconcile. God cannot compromise His holiness nor can man perfect his holiness; therefore, Jesus Christ is our “Buffer” as He knows our infirmity and understands God’s holiness.)
3. Jesus Christ, our Intercessor. Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Jesus Christ prays for us. Intercede - to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble)
4. Jesus Christ, our Advocate. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (You do not need the Greek to understand the English but the root word for “advocate” is “paraklētos.” That same word is used in John 14:16 where our Lord said, “ And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” The word “Comforter” is the same word. It gives us the mean of “to come along side of” or “consoler.” He is our Comforter!)
Conclusion: The Golden Altar is a beautiful type of our Lord Jesus Christ as He alone could fulfill the work done there.