Sunday, October 26, 2014

O What A Saviour!

Temple Baptist Church - 10-26-2014
Jude 24-25
A.  We are approaching Thanksgiving and my thoughts are turning to the things that I am thankful for.  The greatest thing that I am thankful for is eternal life and the hope of heaven with Christ forever.  Jude 24-25 are two of the greatest verses in the bible concerning God’s eternal salvation and love.  I want to look at these two verses for a few minutes this morning.
B.  To set the backdrop for these verses, we need to get a quick overview of this little epistle.  In verses 1-3:
1.  Jude is writing to the saved and exhorting them to not only continue in the faith but to also earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. 
2.  It has been committed into our hands upon whom the ends of the world is come and, since it will not be delivered again, must be kept pure!
C.  In verses 4-19, Jude describes the spiritual apostasy or “falling away” that would come in the last perilous times and its possible affect upon God’s children.  Spiritually, we live in the days of Noah, Lot, and Laodicea at the same time.  Wickedness, both physical and spiritual, permeate our society.
D.  In verses 20-23, we find a spiritual contrast between the true believer and the apostate.  The contrast is stark!  We struggle with the flesh and strive to remain true to the One who gave himself for us.
E.  In verse 24, we find several things:
1.  Salvation is all about God!  “Now unto him!”  We live in the days of self-righteousness when most professing “Christians” mix personal merit with faith for salvation: good works, baptism, church membership, etc.  You can never be truly saved until you come to the end of self and place your faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  Any mixture of works or personal merit destroys the grace of God and, therefore, the salvation of God.
2.  The mercy of God in our sinfulness!  “Able to keep you from falling!”  In the Book of Lamentations, we see that it is of the mercies of God that we are consumed.  We stumble but God keeps!  Salvation is not the grace of God and then the perseverance of the saints.  Salvation is the grace of God and the PRESERVATION of the saints!
3.  The grace of God in our presentation!  “And to present you faultless!”  My friend, the word is “faultless,” not “forgiven!”  Forgiven means that we are guilty but the penalty is removed.  Faultless means completely free of offense.  Heaven is all about the grace of God!  As mercy is not getting what we deserve, grace is getting what we do not deserve.
4.  The realization of our position!  “Before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!”  I cannot describe what that moment will be like when we stand in His presence in our eternal state of purity and joy!  I can only say, with the songwriter, “O that will be glory for me; glory for me; glory for me.  When by His grace I shall look on His face; that will be glory; be glory for me!”
F.  What will we do in that moment when we stand before Him in all of our perfection and realize what has taken place?  I believe that the answer is actually found in both verses 24 and 25.  Both of these verses comprise what is called a doxology. 
1.  A doxology in the church is a liturgical expression of praise: praise that is both purposed and planned.  We come to church with the purpose of singing to and talking about the One who saved us by His marvelous grace.
2.  But, in the bible, it is rather a spontaneous response to the Person and Goodness of our great God!
1.  It is Unto Him: Our Doxology will be a recognition of what He has done!  “Now unto Him … To the only wise God our Saviour”  Psalms 100:3-4  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (4)  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  (Now unto Him says it all!  We will praise and glorify the Lamb of God forever for what He has done!  I have never gotten over being saved and a child of God and eternity will be filled with His praises!)
2.  It is All About Him:  There will be a recognition of His infinite wisdom in dealing with us!  “To the wise God our Saviour!”  Ephesians 1:3-10  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  (4)  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  (5)  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  (6)  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  (7)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  (8)  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  (9)  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  (10)  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  (These verses say it all!  His wisdom in reconciling eternally sinful man with a thrice holy God with the purpose of receiving us unto Himself!  Here, we find three couplets :)
a.  “Glory and Majesty” – The glory and majesty of His Person, works, and great salvation.  O, what a Saviour!  There was none before Him, there is none like Him, and there will be none after Him!  Do you know Him?
b.  “Dominion and Power” – The kingdom of nature as well as the kingdom of heaven belong to Him!  With his dominion goes the power: He made it and He sustains it!  In the Model Prayer, our Lord taught us to pray:   “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”  (Matthew 6:13) 
c.  “Now and Forever” – Our praise in heaven will be spontaneous because, in our life, we cannot imagine the thrill, the joy, and the thanksgiving that we will experience at that time.  We will praise Him forever.  Now, our praise must be purposed!  As we are to “let our requests be known to God” with thanksgiving (that is to thank God in advance for how He answers our request), we are to praise the Lord for all He has done for us here and for what He has promised to do for us in eternity.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Temple Baptist Church - 10-19-2014
Titus 1:3-14
A.  The Book of Titus is the third and last of the Pastoral Epistles.  First and Second Timothy along with Titus were written to young preachers concerning the operation of the local church.  Verse 5 gives the reason for the epistle: Titus is to set in order the things that were wanting and ordain elders in the local churches on the island of Crete.
B.  The first order of business was to ordain qualified men for the work of the ministry and the operation of the local church.  If the head is sick, the whole body will be sick.  The pulpit is both essential and visible!
C.  There are several names and descriptions given to the pastor of the church that explain the aspects of his ministry.  The bible refers to him as:
1. Elder - This speaks of his wisdom and maturity.
a.  He is a father figure - 1 Timothy 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;  (By interpretation, this verse speaks of the older men of the church but, by application, the bible ascribes this title to the pastor of the church.)
b.  He is an authority figure - 1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  (The same as the preceding verse: by interpretation, an older man but by application, a pastor.)
2. Bishop - This speaks of his office as an overseer of the work of the church.  We get our word “scope” from this word.  Bishop means to observe or to oversee.
3. Pastor - responsibility to care for the flock and to lead them in the Lord's will.  Pastor or pastors are Old Testament terms that mean one who tends to the flock and are synonymous with the word shepherd.  The only use of “pastor” is found in Ephesians 4:11, which reads, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
4.  Shepherd – We understand from the 23rd Psalm that the Lord is our Shepherd.  In Hebrews 13:20, our Lord Jesus is referred to as the Great Shepherd.  The pastor is the under shepherd that watches over the Great Shepherd’s flock until He comes to take His sheep home with Him.
5. Preacher - duty to boldly preach the whole council of God's infallible, inerrant and inspired Word.  The word “preacher” is found only in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament.  The Book of Ecclesiastes is one continue discourse or sermon showing the cycle of life and the vainity of things that are temporal.  The summation of the discourse is found in chapter 12. 
Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  (Preaching brings about a conclusion to be either accepted or rejected but a decision is required!  Remember what I have said so many times: teaching informs the intellect with a set of facts while preaching demands a decision to be made.)
6. Teacher - This reminds the pastor that he is to instruct those given to his leadership.  The pastor-teacher is one of the two gifts that the Lord gave to His church.  The first part of the Great Commission to win the lost while the second part is teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
7. Servant - to devote his life to ministering to the need of others.  Servant means to be brought into bondage or to enslave.  In Philippians 2, the bible says that Christ took upon Himself the form of a servant and was pictured as such in the washing of the disciple’s feet.  A pastor who does not serve is not a pastor!
8. Steward - he is in the business of caring for the property of another: The flock of God!  God has given to the pastor a trust: His little children!  The pastor needs to be mindful of this and careful with his handling of the flock of God!
D.  I want to look at verses 3-14 and take a look at God’s reason for ordaining elders in every church.
1.  To preach the unsearchable riches of God’s Word – vs. 3
a.  Preaching must be Corrective yet Compassionate - 1 Corinthians 16:24  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. (The Book of 1 Corinthians is a corrective book.  Every chapter is a rebuke for their carnality and misuse of liberty and, yet, it is the only book that Paul concluded by telling them that he loved them.)
2 Timothy 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
b.  Preaching must be Doctrinally Pure - 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.
2 Corinthians 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
c.  Preaching must be Uncompromising but not Harsh - 2 Timothy 2:24-26  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  (25)  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  (26)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  (While preaching to and instructing those who will not hear and heed, God’s man is to be gentle.)
Isaiah 40:10-11  Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.  (11)  He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
d.  Preaching must be Bible Based - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Jonah 3:1-2  And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,  (2)  Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee(First Mention of Preaching in the bible.)
e.  Preaching must be Relative to the Congregation - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  (Seven times, Seven distinct messages, to seven individual churches.  Each message was relative to the church to which it was written.  Preaching to people who are not here may get a hearty amen but it does nothing to help our people.)
2.  To oversee the work of the local church and to keep things orderly – vs. 5
a.  Order has to do with priority.  As Dr. John Waters always said, “Keep the main thing the main thing.”  We are not to lean too heavily in one direction while letting up in another.  Priority has to do with balance.
b.  Order has to do with succession.  Some things need to precede other things.  There is an old saying, “Never get the cart before the horse.”
1.  Orderly in Assembly – set times for worship; consistent times for worship.  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.  (The bible does not tell churches how often to assemble other than on the Lord’s Day but I believe that churches need to be consistent in their assembly.  Church services are canceled based upon the whims of people and the lost notice it.  If a lost person wants to come to Temple, I want the doors open on a regular and consistent basis.  I do not want them to come to church and find it dark and empty when it has been lighted and full.  Most churches that do not assemble regular or often are full of people who do not want to go to church!))
2.  Orderly in Chain of Command – Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church; the pastor, the overseer of the church; the deacons, servants to the church; the saints, the backbone of the church.  Colossians 1:17-18  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  (18)  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  (The bible sets the proper chain of command or authority in the local church.  It is not to be run by deacon or trustee boards nor is it to be run by mob rule.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, the bible is the rule of the church, and the pastor is the overseer of the church.  This is not rule by dictatorship but it is orderly under the authority of the bible.)
1 Peter 5:2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3.  Orderly in Worship – come with singing and praise (100) as these are preludes to worship; bring an offering; 1 Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.  (We certainly need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our midst as we worship but He will never cause the child of God to get out of order!  In many churches, you never know what to expect as people “worship” individually.  I want you to have the freedom to worship as an individual but church worship is corporate worship!  It is to be done orderly because it is to be done biblically!  Not, if it feels good, do it!  Pastors in our day are “leading from behind” as they find out which way the crowd is going and get in front of them.)
4.  Orderly in Purpose – magnify the word of God; glorify the Son of God; edify the saint of God.  Matthew 28:19-20  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  (You cannot glorify the Son of God without magnifying the Word of God and you cannot magnify the Word of God without glorifying the Son of God.  These two things always work together.  I have been told that we worship ink and paper.  If you believe that we have the perfect word of God in the King James Bible, you are labeled a Ruckmanite.  Liberals have always turned to demonization in order to discredit.  Look at the politics of our day.  We magnify the word of God because God does!  As we magnify the word of God, we glorify the Son of God!  You cannot have one without the other.)
5.  Orderly in Priority – educate the saints; win souls in our Jerusalem; support world-wide missions.  Matthew 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  (Our first priority is to share the gospel and win the lost: both at home and on the mission fields of the world.  Then, we are to baptize the believer and incorporate them into the local church.  There, we teach them to observe all things as God commanded.  We are not here to entertain “goats” but to feed “sheep!”)
Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
6.  Orderly in Operation – everything is to be done decently; everything is to be done orderly.  The church is not to be run haphazardly.  It needs to be run like a faith operated business.  (The local church is God’s business and needs to be run as such.  We are to be careful with God’s tithes and offerings; we are to carefully maintain God’s property; though the work of the Lord is faith based, it must also be planned in its operation.)
7.  Orderly in Obedience – hear the Word of God; heed the Word of God; bear the Word of God.  2 Peter 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  (Hear what God says; heed what God says; share what God says!  We are ambassadors for Christ; epistle written of God and read of men; the only bible that most will hear, the only light they will see, and the only salt that will cause them to savor the things of God.)
3.  To set a godly example for the flock to follow – vs. 6-9 – One of the important parts of the pastorate is that of leading.  Paul said,Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)  You cannot and should not follow a man that you cannot respect!
Philippians 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (The elder’s example exposes those who walk to the contrary.)
Hebrews 13:7  Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
1 Timothy 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  (Paul admonished young Timothy to be an example of the believers.  It is a qualification of the office of a Bishop: 1 Timothy 3:1-7.)
a.  First of all, I want to admonish you not to expect perfection from God’s man.  He is just a man; he is still an imperfect specimen.  1 John 3:2  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.  (The Lord is still working on me just as he is on you.)
b.  In 2 Timothy, Paul mentions 7 areas of life and ministry that God’s people need to “fully” know about the pastor’s life. 2 Timothy 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
1)  His Doctrine – an elder or past must be doctrinally correct.  His doctrine must conform to the bible, not the bible conform to his doctrine.  I have often said that God never called a man to preach false doctrine.  John 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.  (A man who preaches false doctrine is not a God called man.)
2)  His Manner of Life – This speaks of purity.  1 Thessalonians 2:10  Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:  (You should not be able to discern moral impurity in the life of the pastor.  His life should be an example to be followed by both parents and their children.)
3)  His Purpose – What does the elder or pastor desire?  John 21:15-17  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.  (16)  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.  (17)  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.  (He is not there for the “filthy lucre: he is not there for the power or to be lord over God’s heritage; he is not there to be popular; he is there to be obedient to God’s call and for the spiritual prosperity of God’s people.)
4)  His Faith – Does he quit when the going gets tough?  2 Timothy 2:3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  (The pastor should be an example in endurance in hardship.  It is easy to run and take another pastorate elsewhere but God’s man is to endure and remain faithful to his church and people.)
5)  His Longsuffering – Does he get “short” with or “mad” at his people when things do not go as he wishes?  2 Timothy 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  (One of the greatest attributes of the pastor should be that of gentleness!  People are people and sometimes they do not do as they should.  My advice to every pastor is to just keep on keeping on and temper your relationship with the flock with the next on the list.)
6)  His Charity – Does he love his people?  2 Timothy 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  (The pastor needs to love you better than Butter Pecan Ice Cream!  That statement says it all.)
7)  His Patience – Does he have a right attitude when things go contrary to his desires?  1 Timothy 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:  (The end of the “commandment” given to Timothy was to continue in love, good conscience, and un-hypocritical faith.  That takes patience!)
4.  To watch for false prophets and doctrinal error – vs. 9-14
a.  Over the past 4 decades that I have been saved, I have seen a constant, serious decline in the fundamentalism of the local church. 
1)  It amazes me, though I am familiar with what the Bible says on the subject, that we have come to the place where we now stand.  Fundamentalism is a good word!  Fundamentals are foundational things upon which we must stand and upon which we must build.  The words “fundamental” or “fundamentalism” have become words much maligned by those who would lead us into liberalism. 
2)  At this point in our introduction on apostasy and apostates, let me draw a line of distinction between an apostate and an ignorant believer.
a)  The heresy of the apostate is willful and destructive.  The apostate is a teacher instead of a student and a leader instead of a follower.  He cannot be taught doctrinal correctness because he has willfully rejected truth.  He will not follow the teaching and leadership of the pastor because he is a leader looking for others to follow him instead of the pastor.  These are to be rejected.
b)  The ignorance of the believer.  Often, people migrate to a good, fundamental church by ignorance or wrong reasons.  By ignorance, I mean that they are looking for a church and find a good, fundamental one by “accident.”  Or, they leave a liberal church for wrong reasons: i.e., something that is not a doctrinal or sinful reason.  These are not leaders and they are not teachers.  They are followers who have followed the wrong men out of ignorance and they are teachable when shown the clear truth of the bible.  These are to be accepted.
b.  2 Thessalonians 2 uses the phrase “falling away.”  It is from this phrase that we get the commonly used word “apostasy.”
APOSTASY – to defect from or to renounce a former belief or position. 
c.  One of the important works of the elder or pastor is to protect the flock and, therefore, the local church from the mutation from or the rejection of the fundamentals of our faith. Apostasy is a satanic conspiracy!  It is a planned attack!  It is a manned attack!
d.  This apostasy has evolved through several mediums of which I will name two: 
1)  The arising of False Brethren and Prophets.  We are now generations into the recruitment and infiltration of lost preachers who now permeate the pulpits of churches.
a)  They are well disguised - Matthew 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
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)  They are articulate and well educated - Matthew 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mark 13:22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
c)  They are well thought of in religious circles - Luke 6:26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
d)  They are heretical - 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.
1)  They left the Word of God - Isaiah 8:20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
2)  They left the Traditions of the Church - 2 Thessalonians 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
3)  They left the Old Paths of Separation - Jeremiah 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein(Their churches are characterized by worldly dress, worldly music, worldly philosophies, and worldly “converts.”)
2)  The advancement of the Laodicean Church Age and, therefore, the apathy of its people. 
a)  The “Church” has taken a back seat to the materialistic world and the temporal outweighs the eternal.
b)  The apathy of the majority of Believers.  Though they realize to some degree that things are wrong, they are comfortable in the pews and do not wish to be disturbed.
c)  The acceptance of shallow, charismatic, philosophical “teachers.”  God’s people no longer allow strong doctrinal preaching. 
2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
d)  The avarice of the Local Church Pulpits.  Preachers are afraid of losing both members and money!  Men who once stood strong in fundamentalism have allowed their churches to compromise and are strangely silent!  Most of the old “bastions of the faith” are gone!  Churches and schools that once stood for truth and separation are now gone.
e)  True believers and churches are now defamed!
1)  Bible believing churches are called cultic.
2)  Bible believing churches are called divisive.
3)  Bible believing churches are called unloving.
4)  Bible believing churches are called ignorant.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blessed? Rejoice? Seeing As God Sees!

Temple Baptist Church - 10-5-2014
Luke 6:20-26
A. In our text, we see that the message is to the disciples (20) and not to the unsaved. We find similar words in Matthew 5:1-12 in what we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” As I introduce the message, we find that the passage is filled with things that, as humans, we would take issue with. The problem is that the flesh does not see the spiritual or we do not see in our humanity what God sees in His deity.
B. The passage is broken down into 4 “blessings” and 4 “woes.”
C. 4 Blessings:
1. The blessing of poverty. (Vs 20)
2. The blessing of hunger or want. (Vs 21)
3. The blessing of mourning. (Vs 21)
4. The blessing of persecution. (Vs 22)
D. 4 Woes:
1. The woe of riches. (Vs 24)
2. The woe of plenty. (Vs 25)
3. The woe of laughter. (Vs 25)
4. The woe of popularity. (Vs 26)
E. Now, if we are honest, as humans—we see the exact opposite. To us:
1. We would choose riches over poverty and, therefore, riches would be the blessing and poverty the woe.
2. We would choose plenty over hunger and, therefore, plenty would be the blessing and hunger the woe.
3. We would choose laughter over mourning and, therefore, laughter would be the blessing and mourning the woe.
4. We would choose popularity over persecution and, therefore, the popularity would be the blessing and persecution the woe.
F. There is a great message in these verses for the believer! You see, we are a heavenly people, not an earthly one. Not one of us would be excited by the prospect of poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution because these are not the things that we naturally seek after. Yes, we love live and the want the best but too often the “best” is what brings us problems and grief.
1. It is riches that turn our hearts to the world while poverty turns our hearts to God!
2. It is plenty that makes us fat, lazy, and lukewarm while hunger drives us to our knees.
3. It is laughter that brings about worldly pleasure while mourning shows us our frailty and necessity to number our days while serving the Lord.
4. It is popularity that brings about compromise while persecution shows a Christ likeness as He was hated of the world.
G. In verse 13, the Lord said to rejoice, not to seek these things. Why rejoice!
1. Because you are saved instead of still lost! Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
2. Because you are different from the world instead of still like it! Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
3. Because your reward is in heaven and eternal instead of earthly and temporal! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
4. Because you stand in good company instead of bad company! Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
5. Because you must be getting more like Christ! Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.