Wednesday, February 26, 2020

No Turning Back

Temple Baptist Church - 2-26-2020
Hebrews 11:13-16


A.  We live in spiritually destitute days; days of Laodicea; days of 2 Tim 3:1-5, days like Noah’s Day; days like Lot’s Day; days of falling away; days of spiritual casualties.

B.  These are days of spiritual blindness.  Spiritually blind because the eyes of many are on the things of the world instead of upon the things of God. 

C.  “THESE ALL died in faith.”  Every born-again believer will go to heaven, regardless if they die “in faith” or not.  Dying in faith has nothing to do with being saved; it refers to living a life of continuance in the things of God.

D.  Salvation is faith in Christ, not of works lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 settle that once and for all.  Salvation is repentance from sin and faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Salvation is all of God!

E.  The past can be important to us when we learn from it.  If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat it.  Looking back can be for learning or a longing!  BUT:

Luke 9:57-62  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  (58)  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  (59)  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  (60)  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  (61)  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.  (62)  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

F.  No plough is equipped with a “rear-view mirror.”  On our vehicles, rear-view mirrors are a matter of law.  It is essential that we have them to look behind us for observation of circumstances and guidance in danger.  I have often said that Nashville, TN looks best to me when it is in my rear-view mirror!  Then, I put my past (when I had to fight the traffic of Nashville) behind me and press on down the highway. 

G.  It is the same with the highway of life.  We can learn from our past and stay out of present danger by regarding the past but must be careful lest we ponder it.  The Bible speaks of many of God’s people who, for one reason or another, fell to the wayside and were “put on the shelf” spiritually.  Thank God for Grace!

H.  Dangers of turning back.

1.  There are those who follow apostate teachers or preachers.  Galatians 5:7  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  (Paul, when writing to the churches of Galatia, spoke of doctrinal error brought in by the Judaizers after he had left the churches.  These “foolish Galatians” got caught up in the doctrinal error of having to keep the Law as a part of their salvation.  They did not continue “in faith!”)

2.  There are those who love this present world.  2 Timothy 4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.  (John said: )

1 John 2:15-17  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.  (16)  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  (17)  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

3.  There are those who become spiritually fearful.  2 Timothy 4:16  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.  (We must stand with others that they may not have to stand alone!)

2 Timothy 1:7-8  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  (8)  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

4.  There are those who do not choose to follow the Old Paths.  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.  (People in our day want the contemporary worship that has an alure to the worldly.  I choose to remain in worshipping in the “beauty of holiness.”)

2 Timothy 1:14-15  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.  (15)  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

5.  There are those who cannot stand spiritual adversity.  Matthew 26:56  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.  (There is a price to be paid for those who love and live for the Lord!  Do not think that you will be either popular or accepted.  The world rejected Christ.)

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.

6.  There are those who never spiritually grow up.  Acts 15:38  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.  (Some, as John Mark, eventually grow up and return to the fields of harvest but, unfortunately, most do not.)

2 Timothy 2:24-26  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  (25)  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  (26)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

7.  There is the question for each of us.  John 6:66-67  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  (67)  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 

8.  There is the answer that must be chosen by us.  John 6:68-69  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  (69)  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

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