Temple Baptist Church - 5-11-2016
A. We have spent a lot of time looking at these “creepers” who war against the faith once delivered. God’s people love the Word of God and would never intentionally do injustice to or malign it. These people who destroy the doctrine of infallibility and inerrancy of the Scripture are enemies of God’s Word and, therefore, enemies of God. We do not contend with good, godly people who love the Lord and His Word.
B. The Holy Spirit takes a couple of verses to give to us a vivid description of these wolves in sheep’s clothing that the Bible prophesied. **Matthew 7:15-23 The Bible tells of their coming and then says that we can know them by the spiritual fruit that they bear or a lack of bearing. The fruit that the Holy Spirit brings forth is the same in every believer.
Ephesians 5:18-21 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
C. Three types of people normally visit a local church:
1. The Casual Seeker:
a) These are looking for nothing and will not stay, even if they find something. By something, I am not speaking of entertainment for many of them are looking for that. By something, I am not speaking of sermonettes that do not offend or help a lost sinner to come to Christ. By something, I am talking about the Word of God.
b) Since good churches are Biblically oriented instead of seeker-sensitive oriented, first time visits by casual seekers are often last time visits. Over the years, I have seen so many come and go. They come one time and, during the service, they either look bored and disinterested or like a fish out of water. Some have actually gotten up and left before the preaching even started. These harm only themselves.
2. The Committed Seeker:
a) These are looking for a good, fundamental, Bible believing church. These are not looking for some light sermon nor do they have a need to be entertained. These are looking for a church that will give them the help that they need from the Word of God that will enable them to live for Christ in this present, evil world.
b) These care about what we preach; these care about for missions; these want to find a church where they can fit in and get involved; these love the Lord and the Bible and, therefore, become the heart and soul of the church. These are truly “pearls of great price!”
3. The Self-Serving Seeker:
a) These are looking for a church where they can be somebody. They are not looking for a large church where there are a lot of “somebodies” already because they will have to come in on the ground level of the “hierarchy” of the church.
b) They are not seeking a church with their particular theology because they have none! They cannot agree with anyone, much less the Bible. They are not joining a church, they want to find a church that will join them. They will try to cause the church to change its doctrine and way of doing things to align with what they like.
D. These are “spots in your feasts of Charity.” Not meals that are eaten at the church but feasts of charity. That is the uniform love that God’s people have for one another. That is the enjoyment of God’s people as they gather in the church. We feast upon that brotherly love that permeates our church. It thrills my soul to come to Temple Baptist Church and watch our people come in! These creepers are like spots. Spots are only noticeable to those who are observant!
1. “These are spots” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they do not fit in. They may like us but they do not love us. If you love someone, you desire to be around them. If you love someone, you want to be a part of them and they a part of you. They are arrogant! They feast without fear.
2. “Clouds they are without water” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they are counter-productive. They give the hope of rain but never produce. Instead of helping a church, they are detrimental to the church’s welfare. They are self-serving; they are divisive; and they do not benefit the congregation.
3. “Carried about of the winds” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they have no spiritual stability. You can check up on them and they have probably been in most of the good churches in the area. Good people have a way of sticking in good churches. These are like the large, green flies that are hard to swat because they never light anywhere for long.
4. “Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they are either fruitless or their fruit does not remain. They may try to line up or blend in for a while but eventually their true values will show up. I have watched as people come in, try to adapt, get pharisaical in their judgment of others, leave, and then lose all of their “water fountain” convictions when they join another church.
5. “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they are like the waves of the sea that cannot be tamed. They make a whole lot of noise and put on a pretty good show. The next time you go to the ocean, you may notice that the waves have not changed. They are just the same as when you left them the last time. Nothing deters them; nothing touches them; they will never conform to the beliefs of the church and they eventually stir some kind of controversy up.
6. “wandering stars” In our feasts of charity, these “spots” stand out because they are wandering stars. Wandering stars are never found in the same place. When they “shine” and no one pays the proper attention to them, they find another place to shine. By the way, the stars do not shine in the day time and, when a church is functioning in the “light” of God’s Word, the stars become invisible. If they cannot change or rule in the church, they will eventually move on to some other poor, unsuspecting congregation. These have an unteachable spirit as they know more than the pastor and are more intelligent than the membership of the church. They cannot be helped, therefore, if they cannot rule or change the church, they move on!