Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Clean Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 8-31-2014
2 Samuel 12:15-25; Psalm 51
A. 2 Samuel 11 is the great chapter dealing with David’s sin with Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12 is David’s exposure and chastening. It is in chapter 12 that we find David fasting and praying before the Lord for seven days before the death of his child. Psalm 51 is David’s great penitent prayer to God and I personally believe that this prayer took place as David fasted and lay before the Lord for seven days.
B. There is so much to this story that I will only deal with a few things so as to get the message across this morning.
1. The Progression and Product of a Dirty Heart. We often hear the phrase that someone “fell into sin” but I believe that the opposite is true. People “walk into sin” on step at a time! David’s Sin Was Great! A man after God’s own heart failed God so miserably in 2 Samuel 11 in committing multiple sins with two of the following sins unto death! 1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. (A “sin unto death” is any sin that God placed under the sentence of death.)
a. The sin of being out of the battle or Spiritual Inactivity – 2 Samuel 11:1at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
b. The sin of lust - 2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
c. The sin of adultery - 2 Samuel 11:4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
d. The sin of lying and covering - 2 Samuel 11:6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
e. The sin of murder - 2 Samuel 11:14-15 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. (15) And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
2 Samuel 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
2. The Mercy And Grace Of A Loving God! Though David’s Sin Was Great, God’s Forgiveness and Restoration Was Even Greater! Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
a. The Lord did not let David continue in sin - 2 Samuel 12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
b. The Lord exposed David’s sin - 2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
c. The Lord spared David’s life - 2 Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
d. The Lord chastened David - 2 Samuel 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
e. The Lord restored David - 2 Samuel 12:24-25 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. (25) And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
3. The Purging and Product Of A Clean Heart. Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (In Psalm 51, we find several requests that David made of the Lord while on his face before Him that brought about both a Clean and Productive Heart.)
a. David asked for mercy and forgiveness based upon God’s lovingkindness - Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (Only God can be merciful in sinfulness and God is certainly better to us than we deserve.)
Psalms 51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
b. David asked for cleansing based upon confession - Psalms 51:2-4 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (The result of confession is cleansing according to 1 John 1:9. Confession is honesty and agreement with God about sinfulness.)
Psalms 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
c. David asked for peace in spite of chastening - Psalms 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
d. David asked for the restoration of salvation’s joy - Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Sin separates from God while walking with God brings about fullness of joy!)
e. David asked for a clean heart and a right spirit. Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Only God can forgive, give mercy, and remove the guilt of sin.)
Psalms 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
f. David asked for the continued fellowship that comes through walking with God - Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (David was a man after God’s own heart and knew the wonder of walking with his Lord. “The sweet psalmist of Israel” was one of his titles.)
g. David asked for the Lord to open his lips - Psalms 51:15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. (Sin will close the lips in both worship and witness!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Pulpit

Temple Baptist Church - 8-27-2014
Titus 1:3; Nehemiah 8:4
A. As the Apostle Paul instructed young Titus concerning the setting “in order the things that are wanting,” the first order of business is the pulpit. Paul mentions the “preaching” of God’s Word in verse three and refers to it as a commitment and commandment.
1 Corinthians 9:16-17 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation (stewardship) of the gospel is committed unto me.
Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
B. The pulpit is one of if not the most important parts of the local church. It is there that God’s Word is taught and preached. If the pulpit is not right, then the church has no biblical foundation to build upon for the local church is the pillar and ground of the truth.
C. The actual word “pulpit” is found only one time and that mention is in Nehemiah 8:4. It means a tower or an elevated place. We would call it a rostrum in our day and still most often called it the pulpit. Because it is the Only Mention on the subject, it is important that we take a few minutes and look at the context surrounding the word.
1. The Importance of Preaching – vs 1 “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate.” The People of Gathering – All the people gathered themselves together as one man. All the people, not a few. Times have certainly changed. Gathered … together … one man. Complete unity of purpose. The people of God gather at the local church and should do so with purpose and unity. The Place of Gathering – before the water gate. Water in the bible is a beautiful type of the cleansing agent of the Word of God. Ephesians 5 speaks of the washing of water by the word. The water gate was the only gate that did not need to be repaired because God’s Word needs no “fixing up!”
2. The Person of Preaching – vs 1-2 “And they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. (2) And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.” The Old Testament Priest and Scribeand the New Testament Preacher. God has given to the local the pastor-teacher for the purpose of leading, guiding, teaching, and preaching God’s Word.
3. The Interval of Preaching – vs 3 “And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.” From approximately 6 AM until noon or 6 hours! They now only remained under the reading of the Word of God for 6 hours, they were all attentive! This shows a sincere desire, a hungering for the Word of God.
4. The Place of Preaching – vs 4 “And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose.” It was an elevated place for visibility and ease of hearing, not for elevating the man who preached. I have often heard it called the “sacred desk.” It is for the purpose of reading the Word of God while giving the people the rightly dividing and understanding. It is not a place of opinion but a place of truth.
5. The Unity of Preaching – vs 4 “and beside him stood … on his right hand; and on his left hand.” No, I am not going to pronounce the names of these 13 men. I will let you do that but I did want to mention that these men stood with the man of God as he brought the Word of God to the people. The pastor needs to have the men of the church standing with him.
6. The Respect of Preaching – vs 5 “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up.” At times we stand when the reading of God’s Word is being done. Many preachers also ask God’s people to stand in reverence to the reading of it but do not ask the people to stand during the preaching as the bible is often read then too. But there needs to be a holy respect for the work of the pulpit. So many today lightly esteem God’s Word.
7. The Result of Preaching – vs 6 “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” The magnification of the Word of God and the glorification of the Son of God.
8. The Holiness of Preaching – vs 9 “This day is holy unto the LORD your God.” Normally, we associate preaching with the Lord’s Day though we do have Wednesday night and revival night preaching. It is holy because it is all about God and His Word. Notice that it is not holy unto us but holy unto the LORD your God! He set aside the time and place where His name is glorified and His Word magnified.
9. The Happiness of Preaching – vs 8, 10, 12 “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading … (10) the joy of the LORD is your strength … (11) And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” What a thrill and blessing it has been down through these years to sit at the feet of my pastors and hear the Word of God with understanding!
10. The Faithfulness to Preaching – vs 13 “And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.” They all came back!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eternal Life

Temple Baptist Church - 8-24-2014
1 John 2:25
A. In our verse, I find it important to re-establish the fact that the child of God is forever saved! I do not want to make this message hard to understand but it is one that needs to be understood!
B. The doctrine of eternal life has been attacked by both man and devil about as much as the doctrine of the scriptures! No man has or ever will be able to merit salvation through personal righteousness nor will man ever be able to maintain his salvation through the same. It all goes back to Romans 10:3, which says: “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” What righteousness is essential to salvation? The absolutely perfect righteousness that can only be found in Jesus Christ. What righteousness is essential to remaining saved? The same: the absolutely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Romans 3:21-28 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
C. At this point, let me say that if you lived a perfect, sinless life, you would still die and go to hell for all eternity because you did not come to God through Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) Salvation is not of works according to Ephesians 2:8-9 but salvation is a salvation THAT WORKS according to the bible! I do not work to continue to be saved; I work because I am saved.
D. Once again, let us go to Genesis 2 and look at the first mention of life in Adam.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Adam became a living soul, not just a living body, through the breath of life from God. Living means more than just physical life. Adam became spiritually alive or a “living soul.” By spiritually alive, I mean that the soul of Adam could not be seen because it is spirit.)
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
E. God has eternal life and the breath of God gave to Adam eternal life. His body died 930 years later but Adam remains to this day and will live forever. In John, when speaking of the Word, the scripture sets forth this same principle.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (Life can come only from God and the life that God gives is not only life but spiritual light! To declare that there is no God, one must reject the very light of God that makes man so special.)
Luke 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (Children carry the attributes of their parents. Eternal life was such an attribute of God given to Adam.)
Genesis 1:24-26 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. (25) And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Notice, in the context, every living thing brings after its kind but—when speaking of the human race—God made man in His image [an image resembles] and likeness [to fashion after or to compare to]. Man is not an animal!!! He is different in his genetics as well as his makeup.)
1 Corinthians 15:38-39 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. (39) All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
F. God created Eve in Adam when Adam was formed. Though Eve had not yet been formed from Adam’s rib, she was in Adam.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (God created Eve when He created Adam.)
Genesis 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; (2) Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (They were both named Adam until God brought forth Eve. All of our children are also named in Adam until they are brought forth.)
G. Now, I will make a biblical statement that will need a little explaining: life does not begin at conception because life was there before conception. Now, before someone says that I do not believe that the life of a child begins at conception, I do because God gave all of us life through Adam and not one child conceived since Adam and Eve was a mistake or unknown to God. We were all in Adam!
Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
H. Now, let us look at the phrase “eternal life”26x and the phrase “life eternal” 4x.
1. First Mention of eternal life is found in the New Testament, Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (Give up the world, come and follow Christ.)
2. All mankind will remain in one eternal state or the other. Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Hell and heaven are both eternal.)
3. Eternal Life is a result of believing, not personal merit. John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Believing the record of the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation brings eternal life.)
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
4. Eternal Life is just that and cannot be lost. 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. (Shall never perish is an absolute negative! Never for any reason. Not possible.)
5. Eternal Life comes through a personal faith in the record given in the Word of God. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God [Romans 10:17].)
6. Eternal Life can be assured to the believer. 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (Knowing that you are saved eternally is not presumptuous, it is God’s will for His children.)
1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
7. Eternal Life is the life of God and manifested in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 John_1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

Things I Fear - Hell Without Heaven

Temple Baptist Church - 8-24-2014
1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Revelation 21:1-2
A. There are many misconceptions about this place called heaven because it has been long described by the natural man through sensual eyes.
1. By sensual, I am talking about that which can be perceived by the senses that God gave man. Heaven has become a place where sensual desires are to be met. Plenty to eat and there will be eating throughout eternity; loved ones united as a family and loved ones who are saved will be united; a place of retirement and leisure; a place where little, chubby Cherubs play their harps. The bible describes heaven much differently because heaven is a spiritual place, not a fleshly one.
2. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God because: 1) both are sinful through Adam’s disobedience (Romans 5:12) and 2) the life of the flesh is in the blood and our eternal life is not in our blood but because of His blood.
B. Our text applied shows us two things:
1. That the natural man or the unsaved has no concept of what heaven is going to be like. He can neither receive nor understand spiritual things until he or she is saved and has the Spirit to reveal truth to them.
2. That the saved man can and does understand spiritual things to some degree as they are spoken of in the bible. He or she has the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
C. Those things said, let us take a biblical look at this place called heaven. When speaking of heaven, I am speaking of the abode of God, not the heavens that we can see with the natural eye. In the bible, there are three heavens alluded to.
1. The firmament or expanse of our atmosphere that surrounds the earth and gives protection and life sustaining air that we breathe. A wonderful place where the birds fly and clouds reside while bringing life giving rain.
2. The celestial or universe where we see the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies in an incredibly large expanse called outer space. Humanly perceived as limitless and, yet, measured by the span of God’s hand.
3. The third heaven which is unseen. The abode of God. A place where God’s throne sits and the angels cry holy, holy, holy in His wonderful presence. A place where the saints of God now reside in perfect peace and harmony.
1. Heaven is a place of Indescribable Beauty!
a. Throne of God - Revelation 4:3, 5 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald … (5) And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
b. The Crystal Sea - Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
c. The River of Life - Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
d. The Tree of Life - Revelation 22:2-3 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
e. The New Jerusalem - Revelation 21:2, 10, 11 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband … (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (11) Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
f. Walls of Jasper - Revelation 21:11-12a, 18 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; (12) And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel … (18) And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
g. Gates of Pearl - Revelation 21:12-13, 21 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (13) On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates … (21) And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
h. Foundations of Precious Stones - Revelation 21:19-20 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; (20) The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
i. A Street of Transparent Gold - Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (The street is singular: a boulevard with the median being comprised with the river of water of life running through in middle of the tree of life.)
j. Lighted by the Glory of God - Revelation 21:22-23 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
k. Need I go on? I have not touched the “hem of the garment” this morning because heaven is greater than the finite mind can conceive!
2. A Place of Immeasurable Comfort - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
3. A Place of No More - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (One of the greatest things about heaven is what will not be there. The list would be almost limitless if we all put things together but here are just a few things that will not be there.)
No more remembrance of sin No more politicians
No more worries about uncertainties No more taxes
No more sleepless nights No more IRS
No more bills to pay No more abortion
No more doctors to see No more racism
No more hospitals to visit No more tear dimmed eyes
No more arthritis No more fear
No more ibuprofen No more loneliness
No more broken bones No more Dr. Kevorkians
No more incurable diseases No more heat by day
No more suffering No more cold by night
No sightless eyes No more hunger
No cripples No fat bodies
No retarded children No diets
No more jails to build No more poverty
No law officers No more storms
No more guns No more thorns
No more devil to annoy No more chiggers
No more funeral homes No more mosquitoes, ticks, fleas,
No more headaches No more heartaches
No more death No more confusion
No more strife and contention No more division
No more nursing homes to preach in No more broken families
No more disappointments to weep over No more temptation to sin
No more Discouragements to hinder No more fighting
No more dismal failures to condemn you No more wars
No more wicked thoughts to fight No more hurt feelings
No more filth to see No more devil to annoy
No more sinful flesh to fight No more wickedness to shun
4. A Place of All Things New - Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Nothing old or taken for granted. In the eternal moment of heaven’s timelessness, all will be forever as if we had seen it for the first time. That first glimpse of awe and amazement; the thrill of seeing the unthinkable, the unimaginable before our eyes. Oh, that will be glory!)
5. A Place of Fullness of Joy - Revelation 21:3; Psalms 6:11 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Psalms 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
6. A Place of Absolute Holiness - Revelation 21:27; 22:15 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life … (22:15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
7. A Place of Uninhibited Worship - Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Conclusion: We could go on this morning but I believe that heaven is beyond my ability to know and describe! Heaven is a Prepared Place for a Prepared People!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Salvation’s Progression

Temple Baptist Church - 8-17-2014
Titus 1:1-2
A. As we get farther down the road time wise, we will find a greater lack of desire for Christ coupled with a progressive deterioration in society.
B. The signs of false salvation: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
1. The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2 is in full swing. The last days are now being manifest on every hand:
2. The Laodicean Church Age has been here for generations.
3. The prevalence of a religious experience that does not produce a change of life.
4. The demonization of good and exaltation of evil. Good is called evil and evil good.
5. The forsaking of the good way (Old Paths) for the way of popularity and worldliness.
C. The signs of biblical salvation: Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
1. A change of life - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. An obedience to God’s will - Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
3. A desire to live a life for Christ - Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
D. As we open our series on the Book of Titus, Paul ascribes 4 attributes historically common that accompany salvation:
1. Faithaccording to the faith of God's elect.” God’s people have a special faith that is peculiar. James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
a. It is Historical Faith. Galatians 3:6-7 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (This distinct saving faith can be traced back through the millenniums. This not some newfangled faith that fits the heretical teaching of our day but a consistent faith that has biblical basis.)
b. It is a Common Faith. Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Romans 10 says that there is no difference in saving faith. All come to Christ as bankrupt sinners, trusting Him alone for salvation.)
2. Acknowledgement of Truth – and the acknowledging of the truth.” God’s people have a special unction from the Holy One: the blessed Holy Ghost that lives with them.
a. God’s people are Teachable in Doctrine. 1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (The natural man cannot receive or discern spiritual truth because it is spiritually discerned. Sheep are followers by nature while goats are more individualistic. God’s people have an unction from the Holy Spirit and know all things because He leads into all truth.)
b. God’s people are Historical in Doctrine. Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (For centuries, biblical doctrine has been historical doctrine. The word of God and biblical doctrines are consistent. There have always been heretics, but in these last days, there is another Jesus—another spirit—and new doctrines. I do not believe in Baptist Succession but I do believe in Biblical Succession! True bible believers have always believed the same doctrines!)
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
3. God’s people are characterized by Godliness – which is after godliness
a. Saving grace teaches Godliness - Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (I believe that God saves eternally. The bible declares this to be so because no man is able to merit salvation nor is he good enough to maintain it. I have heard most of life that eternal life becomes license to sin. This is a false assumption. Saving grace produces godliness of life. Not perfection but a changed life.)
b. Saving grace produces a Desire for Godliness - 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (Repentance, which finds its foundation in godly sorrow, is a willful turning from sin to God. God’s people are neither sinless nor can they be in their wicked flesh but they have a desire to be like Christ.)
4. God’s people are characterized by Hope – In hope of eternal life” When the word “hope” is used, it is not that we hope we are saved but rather a blessed assurance: our blessed hope! Hope is a trusting expectation for a certain thing to happen.
a. A blessed hope of Heaven Forever as our Home. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
b. A blessed hope of the soon Return of our loving Lord. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;