Sunday, January 22, 2017

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.

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