Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Trial of Your Faith - Trials and Perpetual War

Temple Baptist Church - 3-1-2015
Hebrews 11:32-40
A.  The true Christian life is a hard one spiritually.  The world hated our Lord and the world hates His children. 
1.  The true Christian life is one of constant battles.  It is one of self-crucifixion and cross bearing.  It is a life of reproach and persecution.  There is a song that says, “It’s a battlefield, Brother, not a recreation room; it’s a fight and not a game.” 
2.  Most professing Christians desire a life of no strife, but the Christian life is one of wars.  We fight battles WITHOUT!  We fight battles WITHIN!  Our Lord said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”  (Matthew 10:34)
B.  Wars are perpetual in nature and all are involved in one of three ways. 
1.  Ecclesiastes 8:8  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.  (The interpretation of this verse is that of the day of death.  No one can retain the spirit in the day of death and no one will miss that appointment.  By application, I want to note that there, for the most part, is no discharge during a period of declared war.  Men who did not get out of the military shortly after the end of WWII ended up freezing in Korea!  In our spiritual conflict, no one is exempt and no one is excused!)
2.  In war, you can be one of three things:
a)  A combatant – There is a possibility of Fruit
b)  A captive – There is a possibility of Fainting
c)  A casualty – There is a possibility of Failing
C.  Spiritual warfare is:
1.  Is Intense - 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.  (Satan and the flesh give no quarter.)
2.  Is Intentional - 1 Corinthians 9:26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.
2 Timothy 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  (Fight the enemy, not everything that moves!)
3.  Is Involvement - 2 Corinthians 7:5  For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.  (You are in it, like it or not!)
4.  Is Important - 1 Timothy 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.  (Our faith, family, and friends are at stake!)
5.  Is Intrepid - Hebrews 11:34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight.  Turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  (It takes intestinal fortitude to win!)
1.  The Outward War - 2 Corinthians 7:5  For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
a.  Satanic Powers - Ephesians 6:11-13  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Identify your target – we do not want anyone killed by “friendly fire!”  Satan is the enemy!)
b.  Scriptural Perversion – 2 Thessalonians 2:3  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;  (The enemy is both real and here!)
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.
c.  Slipping Positions - Ezekiel 22:23-31  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.  There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.  Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.  Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.  And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.  The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.  (I looked in the world and found the church.  I looked in the church and found the world.)
Isaiah 30:8-11  Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:  Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Jeremiah 5:30-31  A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;  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?
d.  Sadistic Persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
1 John 3:13  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Luke 6:22  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
2.  The Inward War - 2 Corinthians 7:5  For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.   The greatest battles that we are face are ones with the flesh.
a.  Our Flesh - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.  (Your own worst enemy!)
1)  The Heart - Jeremiah 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
2)  The Flesh - Romans 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
3)  The Mind - 2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
b.  Our Fatness - Revelation 3:16-18  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  (Take your spiritual temperature!  Lukewarmness is a creeping enemy that affects all of us at one time or another.)
c.  Our Failures - 1 John 1:8-10  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (Like falling off a bicycle, you just get back on and keep trying.  Eventually, you will fall less!)

No comments: