Sunday, April 30, 2017

Be Not Weary In Well Doing

Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:13


A.  By way of introduction, I want to take a short look at another verse of Scripture.  Paul, when writing to a young pastor—Timothy—said, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2 Timothy 1:15) 

B.  Asia Minor was originally called Asia.  As the great Apostle Paul planted churches in this area, they soon began to apostatize.  Churches like Thessalonica, who continued to “hold the lines,” no doubt felt the pressure to let up also.  Paul understood the possibility of this great church getting spiritually weary in the work of the Lord. 

C.  We, in the Bible Belt, also feel the same pressure.  Whereas good churches were the norm in the South, today they are an anomaly.  Good churches have become like “hen’s teeth,” scarce.  The clear majority of Protestant churches in our area are long gone along with most of the SBC ones.  Independent Baptist churches are also giving in to the peer pressure of worldliness and the push for “numbers.”

D.  Though I hate this for our families, community, and nation—there is nothing that I can do to change them.  Paul’s concern was more for the church at Thessalonica than for the churches of Asia that were already gone.  My concern is more for Temple Baptist Church!

E.  We often sing the little chorus “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.”  One of the verses says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.”  To stand fast in these last perilous times, we must be willing to stand alone if necessary.  Discouragement and peer pressure are the enemies of well doing.  Years ago, at a preacher’s fellowship, a friend of mine preached on the subject of “Nobody Gives A Rip!”  He has been out of the ministry for years!  I have news for him and you: there are still good churches and good people that care.  You and I are not alone in this thing.

F.  Our verse uses the phrase “be not be weary in well doing.”

1.  “Well doing” indicates a desire.  I believe that the church at Thessalonica had a burning desire to do well.  True Christians and good churches have a desire to be obedient to the Word of God as the love of Christ constrains them.

2.  “In well doing” indicates more than just an acknowledgement of what “well doing” consists of.  The church at Thessalonica was certainly doing well.  Well doing is well doing!  (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)

3.  “Weary in well doing” shows the spiritual attrition that takes place over a long period of time.  When writing to the church at Ephesus, John indicted them with having “left their first love.”  This is not something that takes place in an instance of time but over an extended period.

4.  “Brethren, be not” brings the plea down to an individual church over which the pastor and flock have control.  Thessalonica could not control the churches of Asia but could control their own church.

G.  The phrase “well doing” is found six times and these references in the New Testament.

1.  Well doing takes patient continuance.  Romans 2:7  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  (Patient continuance!  Stay with the Bible; stay with the stuff; stay with patience.  Our reward is eternal, not temporal.)

2 Corinthians 4:17-18  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  (18)  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2.  Well doing silences the critical tongues of the unsaved.  1 Peter 2:15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: (Do not quit doing well because of what people say about you.  I have found that most people know what right is and know that you are doing right.  This makes them uncomfortable when around you.  The world must see Christ in us as were are epistles, written of God and read of men.)

1 Peter 2:12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

3.  Well doing can bring about persecution in the will of God.  1 Peter 3:17  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.  (Though none of us like persecution, it is a reality in the life of all of God’s children.)

Matthew 5:10-12  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecuteyou, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  (12)  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

4.  Well doing has a reward.  Galatians 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  (Temple, you are doing a great work.  You love God; you love the Bible; your love your pastor; you love each other; you love and support missionaries; you have been a lighthouse on the side of the road for the past 30 years.  You have not wavered; you have not faltered; you have not quit!)

Isaiah 40:29-31  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  (30)  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  (31)  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

5.  Well doing places the child of God in the protective realm of God’s faithfulness.  1 Peter 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (I had rather be in the will of God in the jungles of Africa than out of the will of God in Laurens, SC!)

Proverbs 21:31  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

The Joy Of The Lord

Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2017
Nehemiah 8:10


A.  I am contemplating making this verse my life verse!  “Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet!”  This verse is a Baptist preacher’s dream.  We often quote the last part of the verse without taking it in its proper context.  J  Smile, God loves you!

B.  One thing that I find strangely missing among the people of God is that of joy!  We are to be enjoying the things of God.  Yes, I know that we have problems but thank God, one day, troubles and sorrows will all end and we have an eternity to enjoy the “riches of his grace!”  Our sinfulness and, too often, our situations rob us of the joy of the Lord.

C.  Believers begin to endure church, the tithe, the brethren, and the Christian lifestyle!  We should enjoy the Lord, the Book, the brethren, the church, the tithe, the preaching, and the life!  Many lose the freshness of their salvation; the first love of the Saviour; and the excitement of their service.

D.  Joy is important to the child of God.  Without the joy of the Lord, you will become unfaithful; without the joy of the Lord, you will fail of the grace of God; without the joy of the Lord, you will fall to the wayside!  The joy of the Lord is your strength.

1.  Joy goes beyond our circumstances!  In Nehemiah’s day, these who went home to rebuild the walls ran into dire circumstances and strong resistance.  The people came back to Jerusalem in the perfect will of God and found problems on almost every hand. 

2.  God gave deliverance through tribulation, not from it!  God never promised His children a Rose Garden but He did promise them victory in this life.  The key to victory is a faith that brings about the joy OF the Lord!

3.  Acts 20:24  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.

E.  Now, let us look at some things found in our text that will give us the faith and desire to finish our course with joy.

1.  The Place of Joy – Vs. 1  “the water gate”  The place of assembly!  The place of preaching and teaching!  What a wonderful Bible we have and what a marvelous privilege to be able to hear its preaching.

2.  The People of Joy – Vs. 1-7  “all the people…as one man”  Unity in fellowship.  How sweet to gather with the people of God.  You are my family; you are my friends!

3.  The Preaching of Joy – Vs. 8  “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading”  It was read distinctly!  It was explained explicitly!  It was understood universally!

4.  The Purpose of Joy – Vs. 9-14  holiness…strength”  A holy, happy people is the result of Christian joy.

5.  The Publishing of Joy – Vs. 15  “publish…proclaim”  Joy causes the world to both see and seek what the child of God has.  Yes, we have problems and sorrows but we also have hope.

F.  What joy does:

1.  Joy changes Duty into Delight!  1 Thessalonians 2:18-20  (18)  Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.  (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?  (20)  For ye are our glory and joy.  (Is it drudgery or a delight to live for God?  Is it a duty or is it a desire to live for God? 

2.  Joy changes Persecution into Privilege!  Acts 5:40-42  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  (41)  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  (42)  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

3.  Joy changes Burdens into Blessings!  Philippians 1:12-14  But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;  (13)  So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;  (14)  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

4.  Joy changes Trials into Triumphs!  James 1:2-4  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  (3)  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  (4)  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


1.  Christian Joy Is Found In Salvation - 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.  Christian Joy Is Found In Hope - Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

3.  Christian Joy Is Found In God’s Word - Nehemiah 8:12  And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

4.  Christian Joy Is Found In Church - Psalms 42:4  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

a.  The Joy Of Singing - Psalms 95:1  O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

b.  The Joy Of  Praise - Psalms 27:6  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

5.  Christian Joy Is Found In A Finished Course - Acts 20:24  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.

6.  Christian Joy Is Found In The Saviour - 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:

Psalms 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

7.  Christian Joy Is Found In Eternal Things - Psalms 16:8-11  I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Peter 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Jude 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

God’s Entitlement Program?

Temple Baptist Church - 4-23-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12


A.  The Bible is always relevant and our text for tonight clarifies questions concerning welfare and entitlement. 

1.  We live in the day of “Entitlement.”   Such is the cracked foundation of a socialistic governments.  I called it “Robin Hood Economics.”  The character, Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor and became a hero to many people.  I remember watching Robin Hood on the TV many years ago. 

2.  In our day, we could change the spelling just a little and call it “Robbing Hood” or “Trickle Down” economics.  The act of taking away from those who have rightfully earned (it matters not what you think about rich people, if they earned it or inherited it, it belongs to them!) and give to those who refuse to earn!  You have the “makers” and the “takers” in a perpetual war with one another. 

3.  At this point, I may catch a little “flack” from the entitlement people but I want to see what the Bible says about the subject.  Why is it so important to us in our day?  Because we have been given the same ideology through the years. 

B.  Entitlement defined:  the condition of having the right to have, to do, or to get something.  The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something.  A type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group.  (Merriam-Webster)

C.  Socialism is a slow, creeping plague that begins slowly but brings a nation down quickly in the end. 

1.  Why, because a “welfare state” cannot work.  Fully socialistic nations have proven this beyond a doubt.  We have a hybrid “capitalistic-socialistic” state or nation.  While a little more stable for a while, it will eventually become unsustainable.  I do not want this to become a political sermon but the subject matter is important enough that God dealt with it. 

2.  As the dependent population grows, the productive population begins to decline and you end up with more takers than makers.  You must begin borrowing money to feed the poor who will not work and, at that time, you have crossed the line.  Eventually, money must be borrowed to sustain the economy and the economy begins to collapse.  America?  You got it!

D.  Now, let us take the text to its context: Paul is writing to a local church.

1.  I watch a local church in our city who has a “food bank” giving out free groceries all the time.  On a certain day of the week or month, they bag up free food for all who come.  The church parking lot is full of people who will not attend that church.  It is also full of people who live off welfare and food stamps!

2.  People call the church all the time asking for money for food, gas, utilities, etc. and I question them thoroughly.  Very few ever get help because they have family or other sources from which to get help.

E.  What does the Bible say about entitlement?  Nothing! 

1.  We have seen the bumper sticker that says that the Christian’s “retirement is out of this world.”  Heaven is not going to be saved people sitting on the bank of the River of Life with their feet dangling in the water while talking or just doing nothing. 

2.  I have often said that heaven will be a busy place and this eternal earth will be busy also.  God did not make man to just do nothing but eat and sleep.

F.  What does God have for us?

1.  God established the principle of labor before the Fall.  In Genesis, chapter 2, before the fall, God gave Adam a job!  Genesis 2:15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  (In the perfection and innocence of the Garden of Eden, God established the principle of work.  Adam did not get a “free ride.”  I do not know exactly what needed to be done in the utopia called “The Garden of Eden,” but Adam had a specific work to do.)

2.  The Command of Labor.  In Genesis, chapter 3, after the fall, God gave commandment that a man is to work for a living.  This was not the establishment of a Biblical principle but a clear Biblical command to work.  Genesis 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  (Not only was the man to work, he was to work hard [sweat] and long [till thou return unto the ground].)

3.  The Satisfaction of Labor.  Psalms 128:2  For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.  (Someone said that if you work a job, in about two weeks, you will suddenly come into some money.  I can honestly say that all that we have ever had came through hard and continual work.)

4.  The Sleep of Labor.  Ecclesiastes 5:12  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.  (You do not have to rock hard working men and women to sleep at night!)

5.  The Mindset of Laziness.  Proverbs 26:13-16  The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.  (14)  As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.  (15)  The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.  (16)  The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.  (A man who will not work has more excuses for not working that “Carter has little pills.”  Constantly turning in one’s bed is because he/she has slept enough and needs to get up and go to work.)

6.  The Curse of Laziness.  Proverbs 24:30-31  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;  (31)  And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  (A lazy person takes no pride in their home!  The condition of what they have is a reflection of their character.)

7.  The Poverty of Laziness.  Proverbs 24:32-34  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.  (33)  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  (34)  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.  (Poverty comes slowly but surely to those who are too lazy to work a job.)

8.  The Cure of Laziness.  Proverbs 20:4  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.  (He may beg but deserves to go hungry!)

1 Timothy 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-11  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  (11)  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

A Better Resurrection

Temple Baptist Church - 4-23-2017
Hebrews 11:32-40


A.  Over the past few weeks, we have seen the Cross of Christ.  A place called Calvary.  A suffering Saviour.  A wonderful redemption.

B.  We have been at the Garden Tomb very early in the morning on the first day of the following week.  We have seen an empty tomb and a risen Saviour. 

C.  We have seen the Priesthood of Christ as He applied the blood to the Mercy Seat and is now seated at the right hand of God as our Advocate, ever living to make intercession for the saints of God.

D.  This morning, I want to look at the result of the Gospel: Christ’s death according to the Scriptures, His burial in a garden tomb, and His glorious bodily resurrection according to the Scriptures.

E.  Hebrews, chapter 11, has often been called the “Hall of Faith.” 

1.  The word “faith” is found 24 times in 40 verses in chapter 11.  Most of these 24 uses are preceded by the words “through” or “by.”  God’s people have always lived through and by their faith.  That is what makes them exceptional! 

2.  We do not have to see to believe.  We do not have to have everything our way to believe.  We endure, often not having seen the promise but persuaded of it and embrace it! 

Hebrews 11:13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, andconfessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

3.  The faith life is one of tribulation, persecution, and perseverance!  The end result of the faith life of God’s people, from the blood of Abel (the first man to die did so because of persecution for his faith) to the un-named multitude of those who have accepted Christ and died for their faith, is a “better resurrection!”

Hebrews 11:32-40  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and ofthe prophets:  (33)  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  (34)  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  (35)  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  (36)  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  (37)  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (38)  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  (39)  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  (40)  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

F.  One thing that the Bible constantly affirms is that eternity awaits each of us!  God breathed into Adam the “breath of life.”  He gave animals and plants life but the life that God gave Adam was eternal in nature. 

1.  The key word in the Book of Hebrews is “better,” which is used 13 times in 13 chapters.  Paul is writing to the saved Jews and contrasts the Old Testament economy with the New Testament economy.  Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and everything is better. 

2. “A better resurrection” indicates more than one resurrection and draws a stark contrast between them.

John 5:28-29  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  (29)  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life (saved); and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (unsaved). 

1.  The Power of the two Resurrections is the same. “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.”

a.  The Resurrection of Life, which is better, is the resurrection of the children of God: it is to die in hope.  1 Thessalonians 4:16  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:

Job 14:15  Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.

b.  The Resurrection of Damnation, which is to be shunned, it the resurrection of the unsaved: it is to die without hope.  Daniel 12:2  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Revelation 20:11-12  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  (12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

2.  The Period of the two Resurrections is different.  In John 5:28-29, not only is the theology right concerning the two resurrections, the order is also right! 

a.  The resurrection of life at the Rapture of the church and pre-tribulation.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are aliveand remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  (16)  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:  (17)  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.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

b.  The resurrection of damnation 1,000 years later at the end of the Millennium and the beginning of eternity.    Revelation 20:12-13  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  (13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

2.  The People of the two Resurrections are different.  “life … damnation”

a.  The Resurrection of Life is for those who have placed their faith in the finished work of the gospel.  John 11:25-26  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (26)  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

b.  The Resurrection of Damnation is for those who have rejected Christ and the gospel.  2 Thessalonians 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

3.  The Purpose of the two Resurrections is different.  “life … damnation”

a.  The Resurrection of Life brings the blessedness of an eternity in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ.  John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

b.  The Resurrection of Damnation is for punishment of sin and an eternity in hell without Christ.  Revelation 20:14-15  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  (15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

4.  The Product of the two Resurrections is different.

a.   The Resurrection of Life brings joy and peace to the children of God.  Jude 24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

5.  The Resurrection of Damnation brings the horror and suffering of an eternal hell.  Matthew 13:50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

5.  The Permanence of the two Resurrections are the same.

a.  The Resurrection of Life is eternal.  Psalms 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

b.  The Resurrection of Damnation is eternal.  Revelation 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Conclusion:  Our resurrection is eternally better!