Sunday, January 29, 2017

Being Faithful In 2017 - Faithful To The Old Paths

Temple Baptist Church - 1-29-2017
Jeremiah 6:1-30


A.  This will probably be my last message in this mini-series and I know that this is a much preached on verse but I know of no other better for my subject matter for this morning.

B.  The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied the impending destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in this chapter. 

1.  They had forsaken the old ways of their fathers!  The ways of their fathers brought about blessings upon the Nation of Israel but sin brought judgment.  As Moses gave the blessings and cursing to Israel, Jeremiah gave these same two choices to God’s people. 

2.  They knew where they had come from because, though he admonished them to seek and choose the old ways, he did not have to explain what those ways were.  Jeremiah was admonishing them to repent and to turn back to God.

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

C.  I have spent several weeks preaching on the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2 as we are experiencing it in our day.  We, as bible believers, certainly know the times in which we live but it is still disappointing to this pastor to see the changes in my short ministry.  America is swiftly becoming a heathen nation.  It may have “In God We Trust” on its money but the God of the bible is being quickly rejected by the masses. 

D.  There are a lot of things that disappoint believers in our day but one of the greatest disappointments is the condition of the churches of America in general.  Virtually every denomination or movement has changed drastically over the past 30 or so years. 

E.  Now look at the direction that most Independent Baptist Churches have taken over the past 2 decades.  I will not spend a lot of time on their liberalism as I have spent much time preaching on the subject but I will say that I reject apostasy in any form!  Apostasy simply means to stand away from a former position.

F.  I want to look at these Old Paths for a few minutes to give all of us some needed encouragement.  Let me say, at this point, that I am in no way disappointed in the direction that Temple Baptist has chosen to go!  We must maintain what, where, and who are!

1.  Our path is Sovereign.  “Thus saith the Lord”  We did not write this blessed old Bible. This is the way that God has set forth in His Word.  Though the Old Path may be old, they are still relevant.  They are just as applicable in our day as they were in the days in which they were written.  The were written by an all-knowing God who saw us at the same time that He saw them.

2.  Our path is a Selected.  “stand … see … ask”  They are Selected.  What we are is a personal choice.  We are free to leave and yet we have remained.  The last statement has always been a troubling one: “But they said, We will not walk therein.”  What a sad choice when they knew what God said and rejected His leading. 

3.  Our path is Sure.  “old”  Watch out for anything new!  I know that times are changing but our ways are old ways.  We trust the Lord with our future as we did in our past.  Both our Bible and our beliefs are unchanging.  We have the blessing of seeing what God wrote to these people thousands of years ago, and were privileged to see the end result.  The Old Paths are sure and our footing is solid.  On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

4.  Our path is Safe.  “paths”   A good path is well marked because it has been well trod.  Our forefathers followed Christ.  We follow Christ.  They ended up with a well done.  We will end up with a well done.  The Bible says that the horse is prepared unto the day of battle but safety is of the Lord.  We have had our share of trials but, through it all, the Lord has protected us and we remain with a good church!

5.  Our path is Serene.  “the good way”  The world rejects the Old Paths but they are good ways!  Our Fathers walked in it and it worked.  I am now approaching my three score and ten.  It has been proven by those who have remained with us, our beloved church Family.  I can tell you with perfect assurance that it still works.  To this day, I have no regrets about the path that God has led my family to travel.  We did not know that we would stay in South Carolina but it is now home.  It was good, it is still good, and I believe that it will remain good.

6.  Our path is Satisfying.  “walk therein”  Come good or come bad!  By the grace of God, we will love the Lord, love our church, love sinners, and love one another until the day that He calls us home. I am satisfied with the Lord!  We have had a great life and God has been good to us.  I would not change it.

Conclusion:  Too many churches that once stood where we now stand have chosen the paths of least resistance.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said that the door of opportunity swings on the hinges of resistance.  I want us to end this year with the same mind that we started with.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Falling Away

Temple Baptist Church - 1-22-2017
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12


A.  The “falling away” mentioned in our text is not the decline of the morality of the world.    This is to be expected because we know what time it is and human nature without God will always bring about moral decline.  You can expect sinners to be sinners and wickedness to increase.

B.  The “falling away” described in verse 2 is a spiritual decline.  A wrong spirit (disobedient to the Bible), a wrong word (a changing message from the pulpit), and a flawed authority (letters as from us).

C.  This chapter describes the times in which we now live. 

1.  Over the past 3 decades that I have been saved, I have seen a constant, serious decline in the fundamentalism of the local church.  By the way, fundamental is a good word that has been maligned in the spiritual sense.  Fundamentals get the job done in sports, at work, at home, and in the local church. 

2.  It amazes me, though I am familiar with what the Bible says on the subject, that we have come to this place of spiritual decline.  Us that are older remember the “good old days” when people all had a King James Bible and believed that it was the Word of God.  We remember when pulpits were not afraid of “naming sin.”  As morality failed and worldliness came into the churches, the message from the pulpits had to change also.  When the message changed, the Bible also had to change because it was the Authority and the people would not accept it.

D.  The phrase “falling away.”  It is from this phrase that we get the commonly used word “apostasy.”

APOSTASY – to defect from or to renounce a former belief or position or to stand away from a former position.

E.  Apostasy is a satanic conspiracy!  It is a planned attack!  It is a manned attack!  It is paving the way for “that Wicked,” mentioned in verse 8, to step into the limelight and be fully accepted by the religious but unsaved.  This apostasy has evolved through several mediums of which I will name two: 

1.  The arising of False Brethren and Prophets.  We are now generations into the recruitment and infiltration of lost preachers who now permeate the pulpits of churches.

a)  They are well disguised - Matthew 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

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.

b)  They are articulate and well educated - Matthew 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

c)  They are well thought of in religious circles - Luke 6:26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

d)  They are heretical - 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 indamnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1)  They have left the Word of God - 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.

2)  They have left the Traditions of the Church - 2 Thessalonians 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

3)  They have left the Old Paths of Separation - Jeremiah 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.  (Their churches are characterized by worldly dress, worldly music, worldly philosophies, and worldly “converts.”)

2.  The advancement of the Laodicean Church Age and, therefore, the apathy of its people. 

a)  The “Church” has taken a back seat to the materialistic world and the temporal outweighs the eternal.

b)  The apathy of the majority of Believers.  Though they realize to some degree that things are wrong, they are comfortable in the pews and do not wish to be disturbed.

c)  The acceptance of shallow, charismatic, philosophical “teachers.”  God’s people no longer allow strong doctrinal preaching. 

2 Timothy 4:3  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;

d)  The avarice of the Local Church Pulpits.  Preachers are afraid of losing both members and money!  Men who once stood strong in fundamentalism have allowed their churches to compromise and are strangely silent!  Most of the old “bastions of the faith” are gone!  Churches and schools that once stood for truth and separation are now gone.

F.  True believers and churches are now defamed!  I have covered this issue many times but have found that one of the best teaching tools is repetition!  We have not move nor have we changed!  They have and, yet, they say that:

1.  Bible believing churches are called cultic.  We are not a cult!  We are Bible believing people who still hold to the old paths of inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures.

2.  Bible believing churches are called divisive.  We are divisive!  The Bible both creates and DEMANDS division. 

3.  Bible believing churches are called unloving.  We are not unloving!  We love both sinners and saints.  We also love the Lord, the Bible, and the Old Paths.  These three things take precedent over everything else.

4.  Bible believing churches are called ignorant.  We are neither ignorant of what God says nor are we ignorant of their devices!  We have a good grip on what the Bible says and reject any theology or teaching that is contrary to Scripture.


1.  We Must Learn To Identify Them!  1 Timothy 1:18-20  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.  (How do we recognize them?  By measuring their ministry by God’s Word.)

1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

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.

2.  We Are To Mark Them!  Romans 16:17-18  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  (This goes over like a “lead balloon” today.  Naming names is a vital part of “marking” the apostates.  Without naming them, they remain safe from discovery.  Wolf hunting is a vital part of the pastor’s ministry!)

MARK - AV-mark 2, take heed 1, look on 1, look at 1, consider 1; 6
1) to look at, observe, contemplate
2) to mark
3) to fix one’s eyes upon, direct one’s attention to, any one
4) to look to, take heed to thyself

3.  We Are To Avoid Them!  Romans 16:17-18  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 

2 Corinthians 6:14-18  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2 Thessalonians 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

2 Thessalonians 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

1 Timothy 6:3-5  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

2 Timothy 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

2 John 10-11  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

4.  We Are To Reprove Them!  Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

Ephesians 5:8-12  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Being Faithful In 2017 - Faithful In Service

Temple Baptist Church - 1-22-2017
1 Corinthians 15:51-58


A.  I have been preaching along the lines of being faithful in 2017.  In these last days, unfaithfulness in on the rise and can be seen all around us.

1.  Church attendance is down.  There is a lackluster attitude about being faithful to God’s house.  A disregard of Hebrews 10:25!

2.  Church services are down.  Many churches have quit having Wednesday night Prayer Meeting and some have canceled Sunday night services.

3.  Church servants has diminished.  25 years ago, there was the 75-25 Rule.  75% of church members did nothing while 25% did everything.  Then it turned to the 80-20 Rule; then the 85-15 Rule.  Today, I would dare say that it is at least a 95-5 Rule!  Many good people come to church and never do anything in the church.

B. Now for the question: Are you faithful to serve? 

1.  I believe that this is a penetrating question as it goes to the heart of our priorities in life.  I fully understand that people have jobs to work and it takes a lot of money to keep up today’s households.  I fully understand that people have children to care for and need to spend quality time with family. 

2.  But I also understand that verse 58 of our text applies to each of us!  If you have 10 jobs to do, one man may be able to do them all.  2 men can do them twice as easily.  3 men can do them even better.  I guess we can stop there but the Bible says, “Two are better than one.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9a) 

3.  There is also an earthly proverb that says, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”  People who are not busy in the Lord’s work are normally more worldly in their thinking and their actions.  We become “too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.”

C.  Let us look at our verse for a few minutes.

1.  Notice its context is found in the word “Therefore.”  Verses 51-57 describe the Rapture of the Church.  We understand the times and, as the old songs says, “It’s just about home time.”  The “god of this world” has blinded the minds of the lost but we are not ignorant.  Hebrews 10:25 is the “and so much the more” of assembling together and mentions “as ye see the day approaching.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-56 speaks of the same thing.  This thing is a lot closer to being over than most people think.

2.  Notice the people to whom the verse was written: “Beloved brethren.”  The Lord does not want us to work as slaves; He wants us to work as sons!  1 Corinthians 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”  One of my instructors in Bible College, Dr. Dan Truax, spend most of his adult life in Africa as a missionary.  He was always trying to get every one of us “preacher boys” to go to Africa as missionaries.  One day, as he was getting ready in chapel, he said, “Before I preach tonight, I need to dispel a rumor that has been going around.  Some are say that I want everyone to go to Africa.  This is not true.  I only want all of the saved people to go to Africa!”  Every child of God needs to be active in the work of the Lord.

3.  Notice the qualifications that will get the work done.  “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding.”

a.  Service takes stability - Psalms 92:13-14  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.  (14)  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

b.  Service takes immovability - 1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

c.  Service takes responsibility - Ezekiel 22:30  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.

d.  Service takes fortitude - 1 Corinthians 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

4.  Notice importance of the work.  “The work of the Lord.”  Though God needs no one, He chooses to use His people to do His work.  He could, according to the Bible, make the “stones … cry out.”  He could let the angels preach the gospel.  He could make the ravens do His work.  It is His work and He graciously allows you and me to do it for Him.

5.  Notice the rewards to follow. “Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. In our day, people often say, “Let no good work go unrewarded.”  First, our labour is not in vain because it reaps temporal blessings along with souls won to Christ.  Secondly, not one good work done for the Lord will go unrewarded at the Judgement Seat of Christ.  “It will be worth it all, when we seen Jesus!”

Conclusion:  Let us be strong, steadfast and unmovable.  Let us be busy, always abounding in the work of the Lord.  Let us be understanding that these things are eternal, not temporal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Reproach of Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 1-18-2017
1 Peter 1:17-21


A.  Peter’s epistle to the “strangers scattered” (the dispersed Jews) is a work of Art that only the Holy Ghost could set forth. 

1.  They are estranged from their homeland because they turned to Christ while Israel rejected Him.  They are “strangers” because of the hatred of the Gentiles.  (It is the same today as every nation votes against Israel—the only true democracy found in the middle east and our closest ally in that region). 

2.  They are “scattered” because to group up would call attention to their existence and persecution would follow.

3.  They are hated because they follow Christ.  They do not understand why that after they came to Christ by faith that troubles followed.  They are persecuted because of the world’s hatred of Jesus Christ!  We too live in a Godless nation!  The most “looked down upon” people in America are those who are truly born again through faith in the finished work of Christ alone.  We suffer the reproach of Christ!

B.  The words “reproach” or “reproaches” and the word “Christ” are only found in three verses in the Bible.  Reproach means to revile, rail, or taunt.

Romans 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.  (In this verse, we find Christ reproached.)

Hebrews 11:26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  (In this verse, we find the reproach of Christ.)

1 Peter 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  (In this verse, we find being reproached for the name of Christ.)

C.  In order to fully understand these three instances, I want to: 1) look at the in the order of their mention 2)  look at their relevance to the true believer in Christ.

1.  Christ Reproached.  The world and religion hated and continues to hate Jesus Christ.  It needs to be noted that the Christ of the Bible is not the “Christ” of the world.  The most hated man in all of history was the Biblical Christ!  The “Christ” found in most religions and denominations of our day (called “another Jesus” in 2 Corinthians 11:4) bear little or no resemblance to the Biblical Christ.  

Romans 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.  This is a quote from the Old Testament.

a.  They hated Him because of who He was: Lord! 

Luke 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  (If He is Lord, then He alone is to be bowed to and worshipped.) 

b.  They hated Him because of what He said: God’s Word!

John 7:43  So there was a division among the people because of him.  (If it is God’s Word, then it is right.  If it is God’s Word, then it is the final authority and must be followed.)

c.  They hated Him because of what He did: the Gospel

Luke 23:39  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  (They wanted a King, not a sacrifice.  The Lamb of God was crucified: a propitiation for sin but a reproach unto the self-righteous Jew.)

1)  In one form or another, most religions or denominations add human merit to the Gospel.  The Gospel or Good News is that salvation is a finished work through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. 

2)  The Gospel condemns all mankind as helpless, hopeless sinners.  The Gospel declares that salvation is through Christ alone! People add human merit to grace when they believe that they can be good enough to be saved.  People add human merit to grace when they believe that they can live good enough to stay saved.

2 Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them

2.  The Believer Reproached!  We are mocked and often taunted.

a.  Because of who we are: Christian!  One who is like Christ.  They hate us because they hated Him first.  We remind a lost, religious world of the One whom the lost, religious world rejected.

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

b.  Because of what we believe: King James Bible!  The Word of God is our final Authority for both our faith and our practice or doctrine.

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.

c.  Because of what we do: Separatism!  Separate from the world.  We do not mix and mingle with false doctrine.  We do not mix and mingle with sinfulness.

1 Peter 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

3.  The Believer’s Choice: Hebrews 11:24-26  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;  (25)  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;  (26)  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  (In this verse, we find the reproach of Christ.  Esteemed!  Esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all that the world can offer.  Deny self and take up the cross.  For to me to live is Christ.)

Hebrews 13:12-13  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  (13)  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

a.  “Let us go forth therefore unto Him” is the choice that we will always have to make.

b.  “Without the camp” is the place where we will always find Him.

c.  “Bearing His reproach” is the price that we will always have to pay.

John 15:18-19  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

1 John 3:13  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

2 Timothy 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Conclusion:  Salvation is reconciliation.  Christian is identification.