Temple Baptist Church - 2-15-2015
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.