Sunday, March 26, 2017

Delivering Your Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 3-26-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2


A.  As Paul finishes the second Thessalonian epistle, he encourages the saints to “hold the lines,” not to “lose their grip,” to adhere to the Old Paths while the world is spiritually shaking and the lost religionists “falling away” from where Biblical Christianity once stood.

B.  Last week, we took a short look at allowing the Word of God to have free course and to be glorified.  Regardless of the liberals who say that we are “majoring on a minor,” you cannot make too much of the Bible.  If God magnified (to make larger than life) the Word of God in Psalm 138:2, then we can do no less!

C.  The second part of this admonition deals with the deliverance of God’s men from unreasonable and wicked men.  Deliverance is something that must be done by a third party.  There are times when God’s men need both divine and human help.  If they do not get both, they may fall from their steadfastness and—if they fall—you and the local church may spiritually fall also.  We MUST both stand and stick together.

D.  We must understand that there are unreasonable and wicked men in many churches.

1.  Unreasonable—given to argument :  tending to argue :  having or showing a tendency to disagree or argue with other people in an angry way, disputatious.   Men who will neither listen to the Bible or reason.  These will withstand and try to upstage God’s men.

3 John 1:9-10  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  (10)  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

2.  Wicked men—those who seek to harm God’s men physically, spiritually, and family wise.  Some churches have men who are wicked and hatful towards God’s men.  When they cannot get to God’s men, they will try to hurt their families.

2 Timothy 4:14-15  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  (15)  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

1.  Your responsibility to deliver your pastor.  Proverbs 21:31  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.  (The first part of this verse gives human responsibility.  We cannot simply say that we trust God to protect God’s men and then do nothing to help him.  We cannot lie in the middle of the road and ask God to not let us get run over.  God expects us do the best that we can and then trust Him with what we cannot do.)

a.  By standing faithfully with him.

b.  By not listening to slander.

c. By putting down rumors.

d.  By informing him of problems or undercurrent.

e.  By standing with him and BY him when problems arise in the church.

f.  You need to deliver him when problems arise in the church.

2.  God’s deliverance of His men is a reality that must not be overlooked.  2 Timothy 4:16-18  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.  (17)  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  (18)  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

a.  When men will not stand with God’s man, I am thankful that the Lord will never leave nor forsake him!

b.  Let us do that which is our responsibility and not stand by and allow God’s men to stand at the battle front alone.

Homecoming 2017

Temple Baptist Church - 3-26-2017
3 John 1-4


A.  I have often said that pastoring a church is a Bitter - Sweet Experience.  I love what I do.  I always wanted to do something for a living that I enjoyed and now I have that blessed privilege.  Pastoring is not always glory, but is always worthwhile.  I have no horror stories to tell and have no complaints to offer.  It has been like a good marriage: good times and hard times but that is what makes for a strong marriage, isn’t it?  You never learn how to love until your love is tested.  I married Barbara for live and we came here to stay.

B.  I also want to say that the sweetness far outweighs the bitterness.  I want to use the word bitterness in a right way though.  I am not bitter at anyone or any situation but, sometimes, there are hard pills to swallow in the pastorate. 

C.  Not everyone in the church will either do right or end up right and this brings sorrow to the heart of a true pastor.  I want everyone to do well and live for God.  I often think of these verses:

1.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of losing families to sin.

                        2   Sometimes there is the sorrow of losing families because of God’s Word.

3.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of losing brethren through death.

4.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of seeing the church become apathetic.

5.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of trying to help and being rejected.

                        6.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of having people falsely blame and avoid me.

                        7.  Sometimes there is the sorrow of preaching falling on deaf ears.

D.  We have a great church!  I love every one of you and apologize for none of you.  You have made my pastorate worth every mile of the way.  I am yours and you are mine.  I want our church to remain a great one and that requires constant vigilance.  Maintaining what we have requires a continuing continuance!  These past 30 years have been a joy to this pastor!

1.  I want the Lord to always be welcome in our church.  This may sound like an odd but the Lord is only welcome in churches who want Him to be their Lord.  We are not here to soothe our consciences nor are we here to be seen.  We are here to exalt Him and bow before Him in worship.  We are not here to be seen but we are here to see Him.  His presence is both welcome and wanted.

2.  I want us all to continue to experience a uniform Christian love in our church.  No big “I’s” or little “U’s” here.  From the pew to the pulpit and the pulpit to the pew, I want us to love one another with a whole heart fervently.  Our love is an overlooking love.  We are all imperfect; we all have both good and bad days; but we learn to look past the fault and see the need of each other.  As a pastor’s family, we need you as much as you need us.

3.  I want the Bible to continue to take precedent over all else in our services.  For us to magnify the Bible as God magnifies it.  To allow its free course and leaving it unbound.  We are often belittled or mocked because we continue to hold to the Old Path of Biblical Authority.  I will not spend any more time here as you know where I stand and I know where you stand.  We stand unified.

4.  I want to be a constant encouragement to you and for you to be encouraging to me.  We often take a beating in this world but the church is a place of refreshing and consolation.  It is a “filling station” that gets us through the remainder of the week.  That is what we worship on the first day of the week so that we get the week started off right.  We have Wednesday service to get us over “hump day.”  As the camel said on the commercial, “Hey, hey, Mike!  Know what day it is?”  With a scowl he replied, “Its hump day!”  Our encouragement of each other is what gets us over the humps in life.

5.  I want to remain your pastor as long as the Lord gives me strength and my mind holds out.  I have seen men of God who still had the mind but the strength was gone and I have seen pastors who had the strength and their mind was gone.  I never want to be a burden on the church.  I want to be a continual blessing!  I am yours as long as you will have me.

6.  I want to one day give an account for each of you with joy when I stand before the Lord at the Judgement Seat of Christ.  I want you to do well; I want you to be faithful; I want your soul to prosper and be in health; I want you to stay put and share with each other the love of Christ.

Conclusion:  Happy 30th Anniversary!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Free Course

Temple Baptist Church - 3-19-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:1


A.  Anytime you have a 2nd or 3rd of a book in the Bible, it prophesies of the end times and the rise of apostasy.  The theme of 2 Thessalonians is the “falling away” and the revealing of “that Wicked” one: the Antichrist.  We are there!  Apostasy is everywhere and the spirit of antichrist permeates our society.

B.  As the Apostle Paul brings this little book to its conclusion, he uses the word “finally.”  It is both the summation and conclusion of the epistle.  “Finally, brethren, pray for us!”  If you have ever prayed for God’s men, you had better pray for them now.

C.  Two things are mentioned here: a) Pray for the preacher to preach the Word of God and b) that he will be delivered from “unreasonable and wicked men.”  I will only deal with the former this evening.  This prayer is for God’s man, not for the preaching.  When the Word of God is preached, it will flow unrestricted.  It will have “free course” and stem the “tide of apostasy” of these last times.  What restricts the “free course” of God’s Word is when the men of God no longer preach its fullness with uncompromising power from the pulpits of our churches.

D.  I could spend the entire sermon on the purpose and importance of preaching but I believe that you and I already know these things.  The most important aspect of a church service is the preached word.

1.  Many churches build their church upon singing programs.  While singing is important in both worship and a prelude to the preaching, it is not to be the single most important aspect of a worship service.

2.  Many churches build their church upon youth programs.  The number one question asked of this pastor by prospective “church members” is “What programs do you have for the youth.  I am all for working with our youth and trying to do things with them but I do not find “youth programs” in the Bible.

3.  Many churches build their church upon entertainment and extra-curricular activities.  I know churches that always have to have something going on.  (Ladies Meetings, Youth Meetings, Camps, Seminars, Sweetheart Banquets, Plays, etc.  I am not against these things but Biblical churches are built upon the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.)

E.  While these are not entirely wrong, the main thrust of the church or the primary purpose of the church is preaching and teaching God’s Word.  The local church is called the “pillar and ground of the truth.”

F.  The list could go one but I think that you get the “gist” of what I am trying to preach.  Let us look at these few simple things in order to get the reason for the Word of God having “free course.”  When speaking of water, “free course” means allowing the water to flow unrestricted.  It would mean to let the water seek its own level and run where it will.  Power companies dam up rivers and creeks in order to harness the power of the water by changing its natural course.  Grist mills often cut channels to redirect the natural flow of water to turn the wheels and grind the meal.

G.  The Word of God is not bound; therefore, when it is allow to flow unrestricted, it becomes effectual in the lives of God’s people.  The only way that Satan can “bind” the Word of God is to effectively stop its preaching.  He is trying to do so today in society through such things as the “Hate Crime Bill.”  In Canada, it is against the law to preach against sodomy.  America is following suit.  Same sex marriages, etc., are secretly directed at the Word of God.  Someone told me yesterday that I would get in trouble because of our church sign which said that sodomy is not an alternate lifestyle.  Sodomy is sin!  Sodomites do not mind terms such as “gay” or “homosexual” but the Bible term “sodomite” has free course and exposes the very depravity of the act.

H.  The greatest tool that Satan has that effectively restricts the preached Word is the people of the church: the pew!  Most of the denominations today are liberal and filled with apostasy for this reason.  As the times of not enduring sound doctrine approached, the churches filled up more and more with lost people.  These individuals soon became the majority in most churches and, therefore, had a majority vote in church decisions including the calling of a pastor.

I.  I do not want to deal with these liberal compromised churches for this reason: WHEN SOMETHING DIES IT NORMALLY REMAINS DEAD!

Revelation 3:1-2  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  (2)  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  (I find it interesting that God did not say to resurrect the things which have died!  I am not saying to stop trying to reverse the satanic trends in the churches but I am saying that once something is gone, church people will rarely let it be resurrected.)

J.  Satan has always deliberately attacked the Word of God from “Yea, hath God said?” in Genesis 3 to the “falling away” of the end-time church.  He is trying to destroy the preached Word in our churches today!

1.  How Do Churches Restrict The Free Course Of God’s Word?

a.  By Hearing And Not Obeying – I made the statement not long ago that most church members like “Buffet Preaching.”  Many things are on a food bar but there are many that I never sample.  I pick and choose what I like.  I often do not eat some foods because I can eat them at home.  Sometimes, I like the foods that I reject because I simply like others better.  On occasion, I do not eat certain things because I do not like them!  Most sermons are heard but unheeded!  I guess “if they had been here, I would have got them!”  Eventually, the preacher will quit preaching on certain subjects because no one wants to hear or obey them.

b.  By Bucking Every Standard Of The Church – I have found that most people will try to find out just where the line that marks the border of liberalism is and then put their toes to the line and lean over it as far as they can.  Standards are an area of constant attack.  Most churches of our day have absolutely no standards for dress.  People come dressed like they are going to Six Flags.  Worldly, immodest clothing permeate churches.  You can seem more bosoms and legs in church than you can at Wal*Mart.  There was a grand time when a woman’s ankles were covered.  Those were days of greater morality!  Dress standards also need to apply for outings and youth meetings.  Church outings are for our people and youth meetings are for our youth but others are welcome to come but are not welcome to “come as they are.”  I know that lost people often attend church functions and they do not know better but many know what the church standards are and simply reject them.  If they want to enjoy these things with the church, they should dress and act accordingly.

c.  By Unfaithfulness In Attendance – God’s Word is ineffectual in the lives of those who are not there to hear!  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves has become more of “as the manner of some is!”  Churches are closing their doors on Sunday night and Wednesday nights because of lack of attendance.  I blame most of this on the pulpit because, if the pastor’s family wanted to come to church, there would be the two or three where the Lord is in the midst.  Apathy will cause a preacher to stop preaching and start entertaining in order to get the people to come more often.

d.  By Rejecting Doctrinal Truth – Doctrinal truth must be “endured!”  Sound doctrine is a must in the local church but there is often a mixed multitude on the pews.  2 Timothy says that the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine.  Therefore, the man of God is to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  You correct some people with either a reproof or a rebuke and they are gone.  They are looking for churches and pastors who will allow them to remain in their sinfulness and rebellion by keeping his mouth shut.  If a pastor “likes his job,” he must be careful not to offend these “goats.”

e.  By Running Off Preachers Who Preach God’s Word – This is not a problem here but many preachers go through several churches before they find one where they can stay and minister in the Word.  A good man of God will not be limited in what he can or cannot preach.  Endure the preached word if it comes from God’s Word and “Amen” the preacher even if it hurts!  Then run off the crowd who wants to run the preacher off!  Let godliness become the majority in the church and the preached word will take care of the rest.

2.  What Will Be The Effects Of Restricting The Free Course Of God’s Word.

a.  Our Preachers Will Either Leave Or Quit Preaching The Whole Counsel Of God – God gives churches men that are “suited” to them.  Men who love the Lord, love the Word, and will love and be a part of your family as well as the church.  Good men of God are hard to find.  You will never keep a good pastor and preacher by restricting what he can preach.  God’s man will preach or move on.  Then, more often than not, God’s man will become discouraged and just “slack off” a little.  Then, our children will not hear the clear message from God’s Word.  Where we had a choice, their choices will be made by us.

b.  Our Pulpits Will Become Sounding Boards For The Will Of The People – Good preachers will leave and Pulpit Committees will find preachers of “like un-precious faith!”  Good men of God have become a rarity in these last days.  Hireling prophets abound along with many men in pulpits who have no divine call.  These are men who go into the “ministry” for various reasons and look forward to the day when they can retire.  They preach what the people want to hear and make sure that they step on no “toes” in the process.  The pulpit then becomes a “mirror” for the will of the people and not the “mirror” of James chapter one that makes us behold our natural face.

c.  Our Principles Will Become Distorted And Eventually Die – Bible principles will diminish and God’s Word will be compromised or changed.  Look around you here in our county.  How many good, Bible preaching, God loving churches do you know of?    I personally know some families that know nothing about the Lord and act just like religious, lost people who are “pillars of the assembly” in their churches.  (One of my deacons and her husband.)

d.  Our People Will Become Worldly And Rebellious And Good, God fearing Christians Will Leave – Christian Schools have suffered this problem for years.  As the need for money grows, standards are let down and as standards are let down, good people move on.  I know separation is a “bad subject” in these worldly times but the Bible still says to separate from the standards of this world.  As the church gets more worldly, the world gets more religious because they can now fit comfortably on the pews with no conviction power because God’s Word has been diverted or restricted.

e.  Our Purity Will Become Tainted And Sinful Living Will Permeate Our Pews – Instead of good, godly people who love the Lord and one another, there will be people who are ungodly, worldly, and care nothing about the things of the Lord.  Now people can shack up and be good church members.  Sodomites can now sit comfortably on the pews.  Sinners will always be welcome here at Temple Baptist but they cannot join our fellowship without getting saved and, if they get saved, shacking up and sodomy, etc. will be history in their lives. 

f.  Our Posterity Will Sniff Out Our Hypocrisy And Will Leave Never To Return – Churches are losing young people at a record pace because of the hypocrisy and double standards that they see.  Kids are really smart!  I look around and grin a little but, really, they are very intelligent.  They may not always do right but, for the most part, they know right from wrong and look to God’s men and God’s people for examples.  Unfortunately, to most of the young people in churches, their parent’s lives, church standards, and preachers fail to give a proper example and—with their lives—say, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do!”  We, as parents, are to set the godly examples for our children and allow the pulpit to reinforce what they are taught at home.

g.  Our Purpose Will Come To A Standstill And Our Churches Will Become Social Clubs – Sinners will neither be welcome nor saved.  Missions will die and sinners will perish.  Most churches have neither a visitation program nor a strong mission’s outreach.  Churches become hospitals for the sinfully sick; rest homes for those who have spiritually “retired;” safe havens for “goats” and “false prophets;” and generally despicably lukewarm and apathetic.

h.  Our Power Will Soon Be Gone And We Will Become The Spiritually Anemic – May God help us to remember that it is God’s Word and allow God’s men to faithfully instead of fearfully preach its “whole counsel!”  We have a great church.  We have a special church.  Let’s keep it that way.

The Christian’s Joy

Temple Baptist Church - 3-19-2017
Habakkuk 3:17-19


A.  Joy and happiness are two entirely different things.  Happiness is based upon happenings while joy is often despite circumstances.  Let me give you some Biblical examples.

1.  God the Father’s joy was found in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son! Isaiah 53:10-11  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  (11)  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  (I am sure that God was not happy watching sinners beat and crucify His Son.  The Father’s joy was found in His love for sinners like you and me!  I will never fully understand that joy but I take joy in it.)

2.  God the Son’s joy was found in the shame and reproach of the cross!  Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher ofour faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (I am sure that Jesus was not happy with the shame and reproach that He endured.  I am sure that He was not happy that He became sin for us.  His joy was found in His love for the Church that He purchased.  I will never fully understand that joy but I do take joy in His Church.)

3.  The Sinner’s joy is found in the finished work of Calvary!  Galatians 6:14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  (Because of the great load of sin that he bore.  I do not relish the thought that my Lord had to suffer so because of my wickedness but I am sure glad that He did.)

4.  The Saint’s joy is found in the soon appearing of the Lord, our Saviour!  Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (It does not make me happy that sinners will perish but it is with Great joy that I will be with Him for all of eternity.)

B.  Too many Christians live lives or gloom and sorrow.  They recite Murphy’s Law more than they quote the Bible.  When you ask, they can give you a list of everything bad that has ever happened to them.  Many times, you do not even have to ask!

C.  Yes, sometimes the provision will be slim.  The crops will fail and there will be no “herd I the stalls!”  Joy should not depend upon what we have physically, but in what we have spiritually.

D.  I want to look at several things found in these verses that only the child of God can fully understand.

1.  THE PARADOX OF THE SAINT’S JOY – Habakkuk 3:17-18  “although…yet”

            a.  A Joy that does not depend upon our circumstances.

            b.  A Joy that does not depend upon our surroundings.

            c.  A Joy that does not waver because He does not waver.

            d.  A Joy that does not change because He does not change.

            e.  A Joy despite life’s ups and downs!

f.  A Joy the world does not understand and, unfortunately, many of God’s children do not seem to understand.

2.  THE PROBLEM OF THE SAINT’S JOY – Habakkuk 38  “rejoice in the Lord”

a.  Too many time, God’s children try to find their joy in the things of this world - Mark 8:34-35 And when he had called the peopleunto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

b.  We are in Jesus Christ, therefore, we should find our life in Him - Colossians 3:3-4  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

3.  THE PERSON OF THE SAINT’S JOY  - Habakkuk 3:18  “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord”

a.  The Bible says, in 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

                        1)  Joy in someone we have never seen.

                        2)  Joy based on our faith in God’s Word.

            b.  The darling Son of God!

            c.  Our wonderful Saviour!

            d.  Our soon coming Lord and King!

            e.  Our beloved Bridegroom!

            f.  The Lover of my Soul!!!

            g.  Life was miserable until I met Him and I am forever changed!


a.  The Joy of being saved and knowing it! - Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

b.  The Joy of Christian fellowship! - 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  (What a thrill to know and love God’s people!)

c.  The Joy of faith! - 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  (Believing that God can do the impossible!)

d.  The Joy of soul winning! - Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

e.  The Joy of faithfulness! - Acts 20:22-24  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.  (Many never know this joy because of their unfaithfulness!)

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

f.  The Joy of hearing His Voice! - Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Revelation 1:12a  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.  (He walks with me and talks with me.  He tells me I am His own!)

g.  The Joy of His presence! - Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Daniel 3:24-25 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and thatall the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

h.  The Joy of His appearing! - Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

i.  The Joy of seeing His face! - Job 33:26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.