Sunday, June 5, 2016

Despise Not Prophesyings

Temple Baptist Church - 6-5-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:20


A.  In the First Century churches, the gift of “prophesying” or foretelling, was still a viable gift as the canon of Scripture was not yet finished and people did not have Bibles in their hands.  The gift of prophecy, foretelling the future, was one of the partial or passing gifts that aided the children of God in their understanding of what would take place in the future, especially these last days.  With the completion of the Word of God, these partial or passing gifts diminished and then vanished.  The gift of prophecy was such a passing gift.

1 Corinthians 13:8-10  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  (9)  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  (10)  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

B.  Today, the only thing that I can predict concerning the future is that which is predicted in the Bible.  The Bible is and has always been right and its predictions have come true in our day.  One again, let me say that you can read the headlines in today’s newspapers within the predictions of the Bible.

C.  I want to make an application tonight.  There is another aspect of prophecy that is viable today: forth telling.  The commission of preaching has been given to God’s men.  I do not know what lies on tomorrow and neither do you so I cannot foretell but I am commanded to forth tell the Word of God.

D.  Today, we are experiencing an old problem.  A newfangled look at an old fashioned problem if you would.  I want to use a few verses that will adequately describe what we are experiencing.

Isaiah 30:8-12  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:  (9)  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:  (10)  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:  (11)  Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.  (12)  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:  (By “smooth things” and “deceits,” it means to make the sermon palatable or, in our day, a “Smoothie!”  Do not make a bump in the road that will wake us up or a burr under the saddle that will make us uncomfortable.  We want to come to church and be comfortable in our sinfulness.  We are not going to change.)

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?  (There is an abundance of religious charlatans to choose from who will make sure that you are neither uncomfortable nor offended.  Men of polish who know how to say and what not to say; men with neither call nor conviction; Satan’s best!  Now the question is asked: “And what will ye do in the end thereof?”  A personal question; a probing question; a plausible question as we are God’s children.)

Ezekiel 33:30-33  Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  (31)  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  (32)  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  (33)  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.  (People talking about God’s men while inviting others to come hear him and, yet not heeding what he is preaching all at the same time.) 

2 Timothy 3:1-8  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  (2)  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  (3)  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  (4)  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  (5)  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  (6)  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  (7)  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (8)  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  (Modern day religion at its best is well noted in this passage.  A people whose lips do not reflect their lives.  They know the right words and have all of the right answers but their hearts are worldly and wicked.  They never come to the knowledge of the truth because they resist it.)

2 Timothy 4:1-5  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  (2)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (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;  (4)  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  (5)  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

E.  Now, that crowd does not come to Temple Baptist Church and, if they do come, will not stay for long!  The message is to us, not them!  Our text commanded God’s children to not despise (to set at naught, to look down upon, to find despicable) the setting forth of God’s Word to the people of the churches.  We live in days of teachers with little preaching.  Churches that still preach the Word of God straight have lost their popularity as the churches with compromised pulpits have grown by leaps and bounds.  A good example of this is the New Spring Church.  This “virtual church” that stands for nothing (just look at the worldliness of the services and those who attend them) is bringing in thousands.

F.  The reason for this mass exodus from fundamental, Bible preaching churches is that the masses despise prophesyings or preaching.  Preaching is of vital importance in the churches and should never be despised by the children of God.  Is old fashioned bible preaching relevant in our day?”  Of course you and I know that it is but most people will not stand for straight preaching or sound doctrine. 

G.  Preaching is important to both lost and saved!

1 Corinthians 1:17-21  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  (18)  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  (19)  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  (20)  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  (21)  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  (The lost despise the preaching of the cross though it is the only way of salvation!  To the unsaved, our preaching is foolishness.  To the saved, we glory in the cross of Christ as it is the power of God to not only convert but also to change lives!  Preaching pleases God!)

1.  Preaching Keeps The Saint Pure - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (Reprove means to “bring to light” or to convict.  Rebuke means to “censure” or to “pass sentence.”)

a)  It Is To Be Done Sharply - Titus 1:13  This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

b) It Is To Be Done Authoritatively - Titus 2:15   These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

c) It Is To Be Done Lovingly - 2 Timothy 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2.  Preaching Encourages The Saint - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3.  Preaching Brings Joy To The Saint - Luke 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (Joy because it saves); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted (Joy because it comforts), to preach deliverance to the captives (Joy because it delivers), and recovering of sight to the blind (Joy because it restores sight) , to set at liberty them that are bruised (Joy because it sets free)

4.  Preaching Gives Understanding To The Saint - 1 Corinthians 1:22-24  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;   But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (Preaching helps us to handle problems right in the light of God’s Word!)

5.  Preaching Gives Hope To The Saint - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

H.  What kind of preaching does the church need?

1.  The Church Needs Need Bold Preaching - 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,  (Men of God who are not afraid to preach the Word of God to the people of God!)

Isaiah 58:1  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Jeremiah 1:6-8  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

2.  The Church Needs Broad Preaching - Acts 20:26-27  Therefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.  (Reproving, rebuking, and exhorting!  Most churches leave the first two out in order to produce a “positive” reaction among their people.  Thus the churches become worldlier and spiritually anemic.)

3.  The Church Needs Spirit Filled, Powerful Preaching - 1 Corinthians 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  (By powerful preaching, the bible is not referring to loud preaching or a demonstration of some sort but preaching in such a way as to give the Word of God its power to convict, convince, and convert the sinner.)

4.  The Church Needs Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (Preach the word!  We are not politicians nor are we a political party; we are a church.  Our work is the work of the gospel.)

5.  The Church Needs Compassionate Preaching - Jude 22-23  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  (Preaching is to be straight, not mean spirited.  Men of God are not to be “brawlers” nor are they to “strive” with the people.)

2 Timothy 2:24-26  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

I.  Now, what is the individual’s Biblical responsibility to the pulpit?

1.  Allow Biblical Preaching – 2 Thessalonians 3:1  Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:  (Allow the preacher to preach and let the Word of God go where it needs to go!  Everyone in this congregation has some pet peeve or besetting sin that they had rather not be preached on and, if the preacher let up on all of the in order to not make someone feel uncomfortable or mad, he would become like these ear tickling charlatans that we so often preach against.)

Hebrews 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.  (To allow or to put up with!  Appreciate God’s man preaching all of the bible instead of just what applies to others.)

2.  Pray for Biblical Preaching - Ephesians 6:18-19  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  (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,

1 Thessalonians 5:25  Brethren, pray for us.

3.  Receive Biblical Preaching - 1 Thessalonians 2:13  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

John 15:2-3  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  (3)  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4.  Apply Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (Make a personal application to the message of the pulpit.  Know this: God’s men love you and they are not perfect but they desire the best for both you and the church.  If the “shoe fits,” wear it!

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