Temple Baptist Church - 10-2-2019
A. I find the phrase “provoke unto love and to good works” disturbing!
1. Provoke defined – to incite; to stir to action; excite; stimulate; arouse.
2. The love of God is shed abroad in the hearts of God’s children by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
3. Love is the first aspect to the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
B. In the end-time, Christian love has become problematic. The reason is given in Matthew, chapter 24, where our Lord prophesied of the end time and His soon appearing:
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (We find less that assemble, less who have charity, and less who are willing to do the work.)
C. When we get to Revelation, chapter 2, we will find that, even in the Apostolic Age of the Church, the saints were guilty of “leaving their first love.”
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
D. The child of God should love the things that God loves by default! What is the problem? It is found in 1 John 2:15.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (As the love of the believer leans more towards the world, it leans farther away from the things of God.)
E. God’s house, the local church, is vitally important to God’s children! It is of no wonder that Satan hates and tries to destroy good, Bible believing churches.
F. There is a great forsaking of assembly these days.
G. I want to “provoke” us, me included, to love the church. If we do not love the church right, we will not love the brethren right; if we do not love the church and brethren right, we will not assemble and labor right!
1. We should love the local church because God loves it - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
2. We should love the local church because it is God’s House of Worship - Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
3. We should love the local church because it is where God’s Word is taught and preached - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
4. We should love the local church because it is where God’s children gather - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
(The greatest people on earth are there!)
5. We should love the local church because it is a place where sinners are sought, loved, and welcomed - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
6. We should love the local church because it is God’s instrument for world evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
7. We should love the local church because it is where many of you heard the gospel and were gloriously and eternally saved – Luke 18:10, 13-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican … And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
8. We should love the local church because it is a refuge, shelter, and joy in our times of trial - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
9. We should love the local church because it is a place of encouragement and spiritual filling - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
10. We should love the local church because is is just a little bit of heaven on earth - Psalms 84:1-12 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.