Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Temple Baptist Church - 2-25-2015
1 John 4:1-6
A.  Last week, we took a brief look at the spirit world.  Though many descriptions are given to fallen angels, called spirits, and also the spirits of men, they fall into only two categories:  good and bad, of God or of Satan!
B.  Our context is written to those who lived in John’s day and, prophetically, to those of our day. 
1.  The spirit of antichrist began in heaven with Satan’s rebellion, escalated when Satan tempted Eve in the Garden, and has consistently remained until this day. 
2.  The spirit of antichrist stands against everything that Christ stands for and does all that it can to destroy everything that God loves and every person for whom Christ died.
3.  As long as we are in the present, evil world, we will continue to war against our flesh and our spiritual foes.
C.  In John’s day, “this is that spirit of antichrist!”  God’s people have always fought that spirit “tooth and nail!”  Satan is ever present; his fallen angels always active; his people hating God and God’s children.
D.  In our day, “ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is!”  We understand what time it is and should live with excitement and expectance.  Until we go home, John gives the believer hope through biblical exhortation.  Exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the day approaching.
E.  Now, let us look at that exhortation:
1.  Keep on the firing Line!  whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world”  I said this morning that you are a combatant, captive, or casualty in war.  To many have given up the fight and now set on the sidelines while blaming others and things for their failure.  The battle is real, the enemy is focused, and we are the “bad guys.”
2.  We are Overcomers!  and have overcome the”  Though the battle is not yet over, we are already victors through our faith.  We will see that again in chapter 5.  The war is over and the battle is the Lord’s.  All we have to do is trust Him and continue to follow the path of truth and the trail blazed by our forefathers.
3.  Our Lord is greater than Satan!  greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world  He is greater in His person; He is greater in His power; and He will neither leave nor forsake His own.  Satan can only do what he is allowed to do because we, as Job, are hedged about.
4.  We are of God!  Ye are of God, little children  The world follows the path of the world and hears the voice of the world.  They will not change their direction until the Lord changes their hearts and lives.  We are of God and KNOWETH that he HEARETH us.  Words with “eth” endings imply a continuing present situation.  The world hears the world and the world will not HEARETH us not.  They have never listened and will never listen.
5.  Hereby we know the Truth!  Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error”  We know the truth because the truth is the opposite of error.  A good “rule of thumb” is to see which way the general trend is heading and go in the opposite direction.  And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!  We have the Word of Truth; we have the Spirit of Truth; and we have the love of the Truth in us.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Civil Obedience

Temple Baptist Church - 2-22-2015
Titus 3:1
A.  Tonight’s message will certainly not be a new one because the bible deals with the subject several times in the New Testament.  We live in times where the government is often unjust and dictatorial but this is not a new phenomenon.  2000 years ago, the Holy Spirit breathed these verses because many had been falsely led into civil disobedience
B.  Am I, as an American that loves his country and salutes the flag, happy with the direction our nation, state, county, and city is heading?  The answer is an obvious and resounding “NO!”  Am I preaching what I feel at times, the answer is a resounding “NO!”  I often get angry and frustrated at the inept governing that I see but Word of God is clear and we are to follow it without question.
C.  Unfortunately, some preachers are leading their people into civil disobedience and rebellion against authority.  We will look tonight at what the Bible says about civil obedience.
1.  Civil Obedience And Duty - Romans 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Titus 3:1  Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Proverbs 24:21  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
2.  Civil Obedience And Condition - Acts 5:26-29  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
3.  Civil Obedience And Submission - 1 Peter 2:13-17  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Titus 3:1  Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,  (Magistrate - A public civil officer, invested with the executive government of some branch of it. In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States.  But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like.)
4.  Civil Obedience And Taxes - Matthew 22:17-22   Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?  But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?  Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.  And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?  They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.  When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
TRIB'UTE, n. 1.  An annual or stated sum of money or other valuable thing, paid by one prince or nation to another, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace and protection, or by virtue of some treaty.  The Romans made all their conquered countries pay tribute
5.  Civil Obedience And Respect - Exodus 22:28  Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
Acts 23:5  Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Ecclesiastes 10:20  Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
Jude 8-10  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of (An elevated office, civil or ecclesiastical, giving a high rank in society; advancement; preferment, or the rank attached to it)  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation (to speak evil against or to condemn), but said, The Lord rebuke thee.  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
6.  Civil Obedience And Supplication - 1 Timothy 2:1-2  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Jesus Christ: A Waiting Saviour

Temple Baptist Church - 2-22-2015
Revelation 3:19-22
A.  In chapters 2-3 of Revelation, we find John writing to the seven churches situate in Asia Minor. 
1.  These were contemporary churches (existing at the same time) and these admonitions, though written to individual churches, were to be circulated and read by all.  Churches have individual problems covered by these churches but any or all churches can follow their progression.
2.  Not only were these seven actual churches contemporary with each other, they were also a picture of the Church Age from the days of the apostles until the rapture of the church.  From the first love of the Apostolic Church of the first century: a “loving church” that became the  “leaving church” (which lead to the falling away and entrance of apostasy in the next four churches-the fifth church, the Church at Philadelphia had no rebuke and is a type of the Puritan Age in which the King James Bible was translated and held dear which led to great revivals and a mission outreach unparalleled) to the “lukewarm-ness” of the present day church of the end time: the Church at Laodicea .
B.  At the end of the Church Age, we find Christ outside of the church knocking on the door. 
1.  He is certainly outside of the average church in the Bible Belt today and His cry is to the individual, not the church.  Churches that have apostatized and become worldly will not allow the true Jesus Christ to enter.  Individuals can still open the door and fellowship with the Lord but they are the exceptions and not the rule.
2.  The reason being that the average church would not welcome Him because He would change the way they operate and who is operating the church.  He would cast out the perverted bibles and fill the pulpits with men who would still reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  Jesus Christ would not be a welcome Guest!
C.  Now that the interpretation has been given, make some applications. 
1.  Jesus Christ is Israel’s Saviour.  Isaiah 43:3  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.  (He loves Israel and will come as their Lord for all of eternity.)
2.  Jesus Christ is the World’s Saviour.  John 4:42  And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
3.  Jesus Christ is Our Saviour.  Luke 1:46-47  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  (47)  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
a)  He saved us from our sins.
b)  He saved us from ourselves.
c)  He saved us from our fears.
d)  He saved us from eternal death and hell.
D.  I believe that these verses speak of Christ’s desire to have fellowship with us in a day of apostasy, lukewarmness, worldliness, and general apathy.  There are several things that I want us to notice in verse 20 concerning this Saviour who wants to have fellowship with us:
1.  He is an available Saviour – “Behold”   Every child of God has the privilege of a personal relationship with the Lord.  We use the words “personal Saviour” because that is exactly Who He is.  In a world that has no time for Him, He always has time for us.
2.  He is a waiting Saviour – “I stand”  I am thankful for much this morning but one thing that makes me glad is that the Lord never gives up on me!  I may, at times, give up on Him but He patiently stands with me and for me as he does for you also.
3.  He is a present Saviour – “at the door”  Never leave thee!  Never forsake thee!  These are words spoken and quoted but too often forgotten.  I do not know much about the song but I will quote one part of it:  “You’ll never walk alone!”  He stands at the door of your heart and mine.
4.  He is a seeking Saviour – “and knock”  The Lord not only desires our fellowship, He initiates it!  We often say, “When I could not come to Him, He came to me” and that is so true.  The Lord sought you out when you were not seeking Him.  Fellowship is the same.  He actively knocks at our heart’s door and awaits our loving response.
5.  He is a pleading Saviour – “if any man open the door”  Knocking and seeking is the work of the Lord but He will not force His love upon us.  Fellowship is and always has been a “two way street.”  You cannot have fellowship with a brother or sister who rejects your advances.  Fellowship is a friendly relationship with others who share the same interest and desires.
6.  He is a promising Saviour – “I will come in to him”  The communion of and with the Lord is promised to any and all who will open the door!  He will come in; He will fellowship with us based upon the blood that was shed at Calvary and applied to the Mercy Seat in heaven.  That is a promise!
7.  He is a communing Saviour – “sup with him and he with me”  Notice the “two way street” once again in this statement.  We sup with Him; then He sups with us!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Trying The Spirits

Temple Baptist Church - 2-18-2015
1 John 3:24-4:3
A.  There are so many spirits in the world clamoring for the attention of both religious people and the children of God. 
1.  Mankind has always been enchanted by the suspected presence of “spirit” beings.  Many legends and myths show man’s curiosity as well as lack of knowledge on the subject. 
2.  Since Satan’s rebellion in heaven, there has been a perpetual warfare in the spirit world.  From Genesis 3 until God ultimately banishes these evil spirits to their eternal home, hell, the battle rages.
B.  I do not want to do a study on Angelology but will take a quick into the spirit world because of our verses for tonight. 
1.  If our eyes could be opened to that which cannot be seen, the spirit world, I believe we would be shocked.  Devil possession was rampant during the life of our Lord and I find no place where that has been changed. 
2.  The bible speaks much of spirits and devils.  Lying spirits, spirits of divination, familiar spirits, possessing spirits, evil spirits, principalities and powers, etc. 
C.  People can be both possessed by spirits and influenced by spirits.  I believe that our text speaks of the latter.  Theological error emanates a wrong spirit.  Men can be possessed and influenced by:
1.  The Spirit of God - John 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
2.  The spirit of antichrist which is of the devil - 1 Timothy 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
D.  I want to look at three simple ways to try the spirits in order to know right and wrong doctrine; right and wrong prophets or preachers.
1.  Try the spirits with God’s Word.  John 8:31-32  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  (32)  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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.  (The Holy Spirit of God will NEVER lead contrary to the Word of God!  Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the scriptures could not be broken.  People always say the Holy Ghost told me to do or to say this or that but many times what these people are doing is against the scripture.)
Deuteronomy 13:1-4  If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,  (2)  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;  (3)  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  (4)  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  (We often say believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.  They may seem to do great miracles but, if they violate the scriptures at any point, they are not of God.)
2.  Try the spirits by the fruit that they bear.  Matthew 7:15-18  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  (16)  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  (18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  (Does the spirit produce godliness or worldliness?  Many of the new churches of our day are becoming more and more worldly while claiming to be doing things by the bible.)
Matthew 12:33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
3.  Try the spirits by the Holy Spirit that dwells within you.  John 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  (10)  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  (11)  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  (12)  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  (13)  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Some Things That Will Shut Our Mouths

Temple Baptist Church - 2-15-2015
Titus 2:15
A.  Over the past few decades, biblical Christianity has become the “silent partner” in America.  Satan and the world has done a “number” on biblical Christianity over the years while elevating false religions of every description.  You never hear anything negative about anyone’s religion unless they are true Christians.  Jesus Christ is defamed and maligned while nothing is ever said about Mohammed, Confucius, etc.
B.  I do not expect the world to be a friend to the bible or Jesus Christ but what bothers me is the silencing of God’s people.  Most believers have become “closet Christians” while the sodomites, athiests, agnostics, and generally wicked people are out of the closet and vocal about their beliefs (or lack of beliefs).
C.  Christians have been somewhat forced into silence.  Titus, chapter 2, sets forth the biblical responsibilities of God’s children.  They are to be biblical examples to those who are around us but, more importantly, to those who follow us.  We are not trying to be in the face of loved ones or the world.  We are trying to allow our lives to reflect Christ.  I want to give the application first though this is not the norm for me.  The application is to each and every child of God.
1.  Sinfulness of life.  Sin will shut your mouths.  You cannot speak, exhort, and rebuke when you are doing the same things as those you are speak to!  You cannot tell others to “Do as I say do and not as I do.”  Your lives should speak, exhort, and rebuke the world and, no, you will not be popular when you live a sold out life for the Lord and neither will you be well like but some will respect you for it.
Matthew 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (When our lives become compromised or sinful, our mouths are effectively shut because serving the world by holding on to it will cause us to despise and turn loose of the things of God.)
2.  Family members who are not either saved or right with the bible.  This is one of the biggest enemies of our public witness.  One of the hardest things to do spiritually is witness to lost or worldly loved ones.  Most of us were raised in church so we come from “church families.”  When the Lord saved you, in many of your families, there is a division to some degree spiritually.  They think that you have gone too far; they think that you have joined a cult or something; they will apply pressure for you to be like them instead of them being like you.  Some of the things they do you biblically cannot do and the things that you do, they will not do.  Their question is:  We are “saved” and go to church; how come you are different from us?  Too often, your family can wield the sword of division very effectively!
Matthew 10:32-39  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  (33)  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  (34)  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  (35)  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  (36)  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  (37)  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (38)  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  (39)  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
3.  Friends whose evil communication corrupt good manners.  We are not to be more afraid of what our friends think that of what God says.  Our old friends will come around and question our changed lives.  The world wants us to be like the world but the world cannot be like Christ until they are saved.  We work with the world; our children go to school with the world and yes, in so-called Christian Schools too.  Most “Christian Schools” are actually private schools with a Christian emphasis.  They are a mixture of both saved and lost children and the school is used as an evangelistic tool instead of a “nest” where our children are kept separate from the world and taught.  Work places are full of the unsaved and they will curse around you; they will tell you off colored jokes; they will try to get you to go when you should not go.  You speak right and live right, they will flee from you and your friends will be those of agreement.
Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  (The answer is “no” unless one keeps his mouth shut and you can rest assured that the world will voice their opinions.)
D.  Our verse for tonight commands that we speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority, not caring what people think (let no man despise thee).  Nor for the interpretation: Paul is writing to the pastor!  He is writing to young Titus.
E.  Pastors are to SPEAK without fear.  Our churches are the voice of God in this world, the voice of one crying in the wilderness.  We are the fore runners of the second coming of Christ as John the Baptist was the fore runner of the first advent.
Ephesians 6:19  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
F.  Pastors are to  EXHORT faithfully.  “And so much the more as you see the day approaching” is so relevant to our times.  God’s people are to be united with their voices.
1 Corinthians 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
G.  Pastors are to REBUKE with all authority.  With the bible as our basis for faith and instruction in our way of life, we have the authority of God on our side.  I do not like the signs signed –God I see on the sides of the roads.  They need to just put the scripture there because God has already signed it!  We should be just as vocal about the wrong of this world as we are about the right.  God’s people have been silenced in part because of the example of silence that “speaks so loudly” from the pulpits.
H.  I want to look at a few things that have silenced the voices of our pulpits:
1.  Pulpits have been silenced because of compromise.  Compromised pulpits are the result of congregations made up on people who want to be like the world and have the world in the churches.  Everything is contemporary!  Times have changed!  The bible has become relative in a wrong sense!  The people love to have it so!  People are stirred emotionally, having their flesh fed instead of their souls.  Churches have become “seeker sensitive” instead of “Holy Ghost sensitive.” 
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?
2.  Pulpits have been silenced because of attrition.  There is a constant war between the pulpits and the pews of American.  Preachers who preach on sin have become “judgmental” and sinful people leave the church for the “stand for nothing” ones.  The war is a war between our flesh and our spiritual man.  The general nonconformity of the pew to the pulpit has caused good men of God to give up.  They have become light and the people love to have it so. 
2 Timothy 4:14-15  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  (15)  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
3.  Pulpits have been silenced because of fear of reprisal.  It has not only become politically incorrect to preach on certain sins but, in some places such as Canada, it is now against the law.  Many pastors are afraid of losing their “jobs” if they deal with the sinfulness of their pews. 
Acts 5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Having Confidence Toward God

Temple Baptist Church - 2-11-2015
1 John 3:18-21
A.  One of the greatest tools or devices that Satan uses against God’s children is that of doubt. 
1.  Satan cannot take away your salvation for that is of God and, therefore, eternal. 
Ecclesiastes 3:14  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.  (One of the things that will help the believer to have blessed assurance of salvation is when he/she realizes that salvation is an act of God.  We bring a “bankrupt” sinner to Christ and He saves that desolate soul forever through belief in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.)
2.  Satan will do his best to destroy our confidence in what the Lord has done for us but too often using our fleshly nature as his “weapon of choice” when attacking God’s children. 
Matthew 16:22-23  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  (23)  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.  (Peter has just made a profession of faith in who Jesus Christ is and, in the next verses, has the unmitigated gall to rebuke Him!  Our Lord knew who the perpetrator was: it was Satan, not Peter!  Satan used the fleshly nature of a saved man to make an attack upon the finished work that our Lord was going to do.)
B.  A lack of assurance of salvation is one of Satan’s choice attacks because it renders the child of God virtually useless and, therefore, ineffective in the work of the Lord. 
1.  Dr. Harold Sightler said that the most wanted of all of his books was the one on “Blessed Assurance.”  Why should men doubt what God has spent so much time emphasizing?  GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE BOTH SAVED AND ETERNALLY SECURE!  Satan has certainly had some help in the area of lack of assurance and much of that help has come from well-meaning men.
2.  The attack upon biblical repentance has caused preachers to try to define their terms.  When God told men to repent, he did not have to get our a Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and explain what He meant.  The people understood!  Repent or perish!  It is not a work but it does work!
3.  The attack upon believing has caused preachers to make salvation difficult.  We hear the words “easy believism” too often said from the pulpits.  Believing is easy!  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!!!  That whosoever believeth in Him!!!  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God!!!  Salvation is a faith operation, not a works operation!
3.  An obsession with numbers in church.  Pastors, evangelists, and missionaries equate the power of God in their ministry with how many are saved or rededicate their lives to the Lord.  I am all for people getting saved and dedicating their life to the Lord but pulpit and revival preaching has too often been geared to professions.  Pastors getting saved, pastor’s wives getting saved, deacons getting saved, deacon’s wives getting saved, church members getting saved, etc. has become the driving force of preaching.  Church is for saved people, not the lost!  The local church is the assembling of saved people!   The pulpit and its preaching is to be geared to building up the members in their most holy faith, not evangelizing to the lost.  We are to grow in the faith and then preach the gospel to the lost in the highways and hedges, the streets and lanes.  Thank the Lord with someone lost comes to church and gets saved.  Thank the Lord with a lost church member gets saved.  But the work of the pastor is to make sure people are saved and then make sure they have assurance, not doubts!  Conviction is the work of the Holy Ghost, not mine.
C.  God wants you to know that you are saved and, therefore, have your confidence in God!  What creates an “assured” heart?
1.  The Assurance of the Bible – the bible is the foundation upon which our faith is based.  So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. 
John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (If you believe the record of the bible, you will be made free!  One of the areas of freedom to be enjoyed by the child of God is the freedom from doubt!  I may doubt myself at times but, if I take God at His word, then all doubts will flee.  Our salvation is founded in the word of God and, when you take God at His word, then you will have a biblical, blessed assurance that no devil can shake.  God said it and it is true!)
2.  The Assurance of the Inner Witness of the Holy Ghost – At the moment of your salvation, the blessed Spirit of God moved in!  You do not get saved and then get the Holy Ghost later as some would have you to believe but He is the seal of our salvation and indwells immediately.
2 Corinthians 1:22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.  (Chapter 5 of 1 John speaks of the inner witness that the believer has.  I have Someone who speaks to me, convicts me, comforts me, guides me, and communes with me!  I am never alone; I am never forsaken!  I am His and He is mine for as long as time shall endure!)
3.  The Assurance of Faith – I know that this is just too simplistic for some but the Apostle Paul said a “mouthful” in one verse and I want you to see it again and again. 
2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  (Whom, not what!  Have believed, not am believing!  Persuaded that He, not me!  Salvation is faith in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross, was buried, and rose again according to the scriptures for our justification.  Present doubt does not negate past belief.  Eternal life is the only kind of life that God gives and it is He who keeps it.  [1 Peter 1:5])
4.  The Assurance of Good Works – Salvation always works and causes the child of God to have good works.  We are not saved by good works but biblical salvation ALWAYS produces good works.  We are a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
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.  (I have read that the translators of the King James Bible had a problem with the canonization of the Book of James because they thought that it taught a salvation of faith mixed with works or human merit.  James was simply contrasting a profession of faith where no works are evident with the biblical profession of faith where faith is accompanied by works.  Salvation works!)
Conclusion:  People need to get saved and get it settled.  They will never be effective for God as long as they let Satan and the flesh dictate assurance of salvation.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Looking For That Blessed Hope

Temple Baptist Church - 2-8-2015
Titus 2:13-14


A.  Titus is the third of the Pastoral Epistles: books written to young pastors setting forth the workings, doctrines, and personal sanctification of the believer.

1.  1 Timothy sets forth the structure and workings of the local church.  The key verse is 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.”

2.  2 Timothy sets forth the importance of doctrinal teaching and purity of the local church.  The key verse is 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.”

3.  Titus sets forth the personal responsibility of the believer to live for the Lord in the light of His coming.  The key verse is Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

B.  I will not spend time this evening to set forth the eminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but those who are knowledgeable in the scripture can discern the times in which we live.  The world is in chaos, our nation is in serious spiritual decline, wrong is right and right is wrong, the New Testament churches are the enemy, and Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world while true Christianity is about as scarce as “hen’s teeth!”  Enough said.

C.  We have been looking at Practical Sanctification in this chapter and the Holy Ghost ends the chapter with our blessed hope, the Second Coming of Christ.  He is coming in two phases:  for His Church and 7 years later in power and glory to set up His kingdom.

D.  I want to look at our verses in two ways.  By way of introduction, we see:

1.  In the price of salvation, we find Calvary – “Who gave himself for us” 

1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversationreceived by tradition from your fathers;  (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

2.  In the people of salvation, we find Cleansing – “Redeem us from all iniquity”

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

3.  In the product of salvation, we find Conversion – “Purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” 

1 Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

E.  Now, let us take a look at those who will be found looking.  Tonight, the world spiritually sleeps; tonight, most churches are spiritually asleep; tonight, most professing churches are spiritually asleep.  Very few people are actively looking for the Lore to return and these verses give a description of that few.

1.  They are a Living People – “Peculiar people zealous of good works”  The word peculiar means to be beyond the usual.  If something has a peculiar smell, it is a smell that is distinctive and outside of the norm.  The word means odd or strange.  I have heard the word used many times as a child in reference to people who were odd or strange.  People who did not fit a mold or fit in.  That is what God’s children are to be.  When the world is around us, we should stand out of the crowd because we are not of the crowd.  We may stand in the crowd but we are not of it.

2.  They are a Loving People – “The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”  Much is said about Jesus Christ here in the Bible Belt but there are fewer and fewer people who live a life that reflects a true love for the One who died for them.  People who give a pre-eminent place to the Lord in their lives and place His will above their own.  People who speak of Him and witness for Him.  Whom you love, you spend much time around.

3.  They are a Longing People – “Blessed hope and glorious appearing”  It is not that God’s children do not love life and want to live here as long as they can but these special people  know that heaven awaits them along with a new, eternal body to dwell in.  There are 7 “no mores” found in the last chapters of the Book of Revelation and heaven is as much about what is not there as it is about what is there.  A prepared place for a prepared people.  They long for home!

4.  They are a Looking People – “Looking for”  We that are saved are an expectant people.  I know that the second coming of Christ has been prophesied and preached for years but I look around and expect His coming.  I may die of a natural death but I expect His coming.  I heard someone once say that we should plan as if the Lord would never come and live as if He would come in the next moment.  As the world slept at the first coming of Christ (they sat in spiritual darkness), so our world sleeps spiritually.  He is coming because He said that He would come.  That is our blessed hope!  Heaven is home.  I have moved much over the years but one day I will move no more.

1 Corinthians 15:19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.