Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dying Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 3-25-2020
Hebrews 11:20-22


A.  A man once said that dying was the “acid test” of faith.

1.  Death – an event that cannot be evaded.

2.  Death – the door to eternity.

3.  Death – an enemy feared by most.

4.  Death – either friend or foe!

B.  To the unsaved, death is a foe.  Death for the unsaved is devastating.  Hebrews 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1.  A Life without God is a life without purpose.

2.  A Death without God is hell for eternity.

C.  To the saved, death is a friend.  “These all died in faith.”

D.  To the Lord, death is precious - Psalms 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

E.  The 3 Fathers of the Nation of Israel were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Abraham, the Father of Faith, was the most spiritual of three though we still see his faults in Genesis.  Isaac was less spiritual, and little is said about his life.  Jacob was a supplanter, a man of the flesh that God chose to bring forth a nation.

F.  Joseph, a beautiful type of Christ who came unto His own and His own received Him not, yet He gave His life for those who rejected Him.

1.  Isaac died in FaithHe blessed his Children in Disappointment.  Verse 20. 

a.  Isaac Resigned himself to God’s will.  and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.”  He knew that the birth order was wrong and he, no doubt, was disappointed in the actions of his children but put them in God’s hand.  Isaac knew that, though it was not the design of his will, it was the design of God’s will to bless the supplanter, Jacob instead of the eldest, Esau.

b.  Isaac Recommended his God to his children.  Jacob and Esau may not understand God’s workings, but God could be trusted.

c.  Isaac Remembered his God would accomplish all that He promised.  God had a will in the life of both Isaac and his children. 

2.  Jacob died in Faith:  He blessed his Grandchildren in Worship.  Verse 21.

a.  Jacob Blessed his grandchildren.  He stressed the importance of family in this life and leaving a model for them to follow after he was gone.

b.  Jacob Believed God’s leading in blessing them outside of their natural birth order.  God can use the oldest, but he can also use the younger children.  Though most of the patriarchs were the first-born, at times the Lord changed the birth order.

c.  Jacob Bowed unashamed in his worship.  God’s people should never be ashamed of their Lord and worship before both saved and lost.

3.  Joseph died in Faith:  He blessed his People in Hope.  Verse 22.

a.  Joseph had Forgiveness.  If any man ever had a reason for bitterness and a chance for revenge, it was Joseph!

b.  Joseph had Foresight.  He made his funeral plans before time.  We are all going to die if the Lord does not come soon.

c.  Joseph had Faith.  Joseph knew where “home” was though he would never live there in the remainder of this life.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Keeping Your Pastor In A Right Perspective

Temple Baptist Church - 3-22-2020
1 Corinthians 4:1-21


A.  Many people never understand their pastor.  Paul, when writing to the Corinthian Church, rebuked the divisions that were brought about through this ignorance.  The Corinthians’ perspective was off.  Not having a proper perspective of God’s man will cause you to do one of two things.

1.  It will cause you to elevate your pastor to a plane of perfection that he cannot fulfill and, if he falls, you will fall with him.

2.  Or, it will cause you to lower your pastor to a position of disrespect and, therefore, render his influence ineffectual and he will not be able to help you.

B.  You need a pastor!  God made it that way!  Sheep without a shepherd will soon lose their direction, scatter, and fall pray to their enemies.  God’s people are like sheep. 

Matthew 9:36 says, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  I want to look at the person and position of the pastor tonight in order to help you better understand what God is doing in your life.

1.  The Pastor Is God’s Man – vs. 1 - Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

a.  Be careful how you treat him.

b.  Be careful how you talk about him.

2.  The Pastor Is A Man – vs. 6 - 1 Corinthians 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

a.  He has feelings.

b.  He has faults.

c.  He has failures.

3.  The Pastor Is Your Man – vs. 8 - Jeremiah 3:15  And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

a.  He is your gift.

b.  He is your friend.

4.  The Pastor Is A Hated Man – vs. 9-13 - 2 Timothy 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

a.  He is hated because of the stand that he takes.

b.  He is hated because of the Word he preaches.

c.  He is hated because of the Lord he represents.

5.  The Pastor Is A Loving Man – vs. 14-15 - 2 Corinthians 12:15  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

a.  He loves the Lord.

b.  He loves the Word.

c.  He loves the saints.

d.  He loves the sinner.

6.  The Pastor Is Beseeching Man – vs. 16-17 - Hebrews 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.  (Paul used the word beseech 24 times in the Book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles.)

a.  He desires only the best for you.

b.  He desires only the best for your family.

c.  He desires only the best for the church.

7.  The Pastor Is A Concerned Man – vs. 18-21 - 2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

a.  He watches over you.

b.  He worries over you.

Jesus in the Midst

Temple Baptist Church - 3-22-2020
Matthew 18:20


A.  This morning marked 33 years that my family has been at Temple Baptist.  We have enjoyed being here and still thank God for calling us to this church.

B.  Temple Baptist is an unusual church.  One that loves the Lord, loves each other, and loves those who choose to join us.  Temple is “inclusive” instead of “exclusive!”  If you want to be a part of this church, you can; if you want to serve in this church, you can; if you want to sing in this church, you can.  You are limited by your desire to serve or not to serve.  We have no “big I’s or little U’s.”  Everyone here is treated the same and loved equally.

C.  Temple Baptist is a missions hearted church.  Since we came in 1987, Temple has put over $3,000,000.00 on the mission field.  Missionaries are both loved and wanted; they are a blessing and not a burden!

D.  Temple Baptist has loved and taken care of this pastor and family.  We have more than we expected and more than we deserved.

E.  Temple Baptist has been blessed of God for these things!  Never take for granted the great church that you are a part of.  Ever be vigilant as Satan, as a roaring lion, seeks to devour and destroy us.

F.  I want to look at our verse for this morning because it shows that the Lord attends the local church also, if it is God’s church.

Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 

1.  He is in the midst of a Biblically Grounded Church!  I fear that most churches have gone from Bible based to “denominationally” based.  Though I am a fundamental, independent Baptist preacher in a fundamental, independent Baptist Church, I am and will remain a Biblicist first!  Churches can carry the right “tag” but not be Bible based and properly grounded.  It does not matter what the “tag” says unless it lines up with the Bible!  I have heard for years that it does not matter where you go to church as long as you go.  That is satanic, not Biblical!

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.

2. He is in the midst of a Christ Glorifying Church!  Praise from the lips and lives of those who know what the Lord did for them.  Knowing where they are now and understanding where they might have been if He had not intervened. 

Psalms 30:10-12  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.  (11)  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;  (12)  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Psalms 22:3  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

3.  He is in the midst of a Grateful Church!  I often ask the Lord to help us to keep our hearts and minds stayed upon Him as we leave the world with all of its troubles in the parking lot.  

Psalms 100:3-4  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (4)  Enter into his gates with thanksgivingand into his courts with praise: be thankful unto himand bless his name.

4.  He is in the midst of a sacrificially Giving Church!  One of the greatest proofs of our love for God is how we give.  Giving out of a heart of thanksgiving. 

2 Corinthians 8:1-2  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  (2)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

5.  He is in the midst of a Glad Church!  The Lord loves it when His people are excited, expectant, and encouraged because it is “church day.” 

Psalms 122:1  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

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.

6.  He is in the midst of a Gathering Church!  He loves it because He is in the midst of it!  I kn0w that I love being in church so I can only imagine how much the Lord loves it.  I believe that churches that gather less and less grieve the Lord because He cannot be in the midst.  Our assembling should be “and so much the more!”

Acts 2:46-47  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  (47)  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Importance Of Soul Winning In The Local Church

Temple Baptist Church - 3-15-2020
Proverbs 11:30


Daniel 12:1-3  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.  (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.  (3)  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

A.  The Laodicean Church has lost a very important aspect of its reason for existence.  Propagation of the Gospel!  Soul winning characterized the early church and Jerusalem knew who the Christians were!  In Apostolic days, the local church had a zeal for souls!

B.  I have lived in the Bible Belt for almost 37 years now and can only remember 2-3 instances where someone approached me with either a tract or a verbal witness and tried to win me to Christ.  None within the past 30 years!  As a matter of fact, no one ever invites me to their church and, yet, almost everyone in our county is affiliated with a church of one variety or another.

C.  That makes salvation possibly the “BEST KEPT SECRET” in the Bible Belt!  Why?

1.  Because of a LACK OF SALVATION – The woman at the well said come see a man; the Ethiopian Eunuch went away rejoicing; the lame man leaped for joy; the blind man said I was blind but now I see; yet people in our day claim to be saved with no outward expression or confession.

2.  Because of a LACK OF CONCERN – People are too busy with their own affairs

3.  Because of a LACK OF REALIZATION – Hell is real, still hot, and sinners do go there for all eternity!

4.  Because of a LACK OF PRIORITY – Church priority now is numbers, not souls!  Many churches have a “statistics board” visible in the front of the auditorium displaying attendance and offerings but do not have a visitation program.

5.  Because of a LACK OF WISDOM – The Lord that “adds to the church” through the salvation of the lost!

D.  The early church and soul-winning: every day, publicly and privately, they told people about Jesus Christ.

Acts 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.  (Amid fearful circumstances [they were threatened with stoning], they ceased not to preach Christ!)

E.  I am not against inviting people to church.  I am not against membership campaigns that churches may carry out.  These things are necessary tools in reaching people by getting them under the sound of preaching.

1 Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

F.  This may offend some, but church growth should not be the primary goal.  We should be winning souls no matter how many people we have in our churches.

G.  There are several misconceptions concerning soul winning that I want to look at this morning that will give each of us help in this area.

1.  SOUL-WINNING IS A COMMAND, NOT A SPIRITUAL GIFT - Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

a. We should carry out the command.

1)  It is not a suggestion to consider; it's a command!

2)  You don't need to pray about whether you should do it. You just DO it!

b. We should teach our converts - Matthew 28:20   Teaching THEM to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded YOU!

2.  SOUL-WINNING IS CHIEF, NOT SECONDARY - 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

a. It was the motivation of Christ.

1) He came into this world to save sinners.

2) He lived without sin so He could die as a sacrifice for sinners.

3) He died on the cross for sinners.

4) He rose again for sinners.

b. It is the mission of the church.

1) Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

2) 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

3.  SOUL-WINNING IS CHARITY, NOT SOLICITATION - Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (To solicit means asking or pleading for, especially in reference to receiving payment or money.)

a. Soul winning is the offer of a FANTASTIC gift – “eternal life”

b Soul winning is the offer of a FREE gift – “gift of God”  (Free but not cheap!  It is free, but it's not cheap!  It was paid for by the most precious substance in the universe -- the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  You can't buy it. You can't earn it. You can't work in order to get it.  You can only get it by receiving it as a free gift from God by faith in Christ Jesus.)

4.  SOUL-WINNING IS COOPERATION, NOT SINGLE EFFORT - 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  (It is everybody’s job, either by visitation, giving out tracts, confrontational witnessing, and missions.)

a. We cooperate with our Savior - 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

b. We cooperate with other soul-winners - 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

5.  SOUL-WINNING IS CONTINUOUS, NOT SPORADIC - Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

a. It should be daily - Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  (I believe in organized visitation but we are to be soul winners everywhere and every day.)

b. It should be deliberate - Mark 1:17  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.  (When I go fishing, it is planned!  I do not accidentally end up in a boat on a lake.  Fishing is a deliberate act.  Fishers do not catch fish by accident!)
Conclusion:  Years ago, Dr. Jack Hyles, years ago, wrote the following little poem:


Like a fire with no glow,
Like a winter with no snow,
Like a river with no flow,
Like a conviction without a "NO,"
Like an oar without a row,
Like a wind without a blow,
Like a pitcher without a throw,
Like a harvest without a sow,
Like a trip without a go,
Like a kneader without dough,
Like a Santa without a Ho,
Like excess without overflow,
Like a foot without a toe,
Like a gardener without a hoe,
Like a cock without a crow,
Like a con without a pro,
Like a high without a low,
Like a truth without a know,
Like a fast without a slow,
Like a buck without a doe,
Like an actor without a show,
Like above without below,
Like a to without a fro,
Like violins without a bow,


Romans 10:13-15  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  (May God bless OUR beautiful feet.  The beautiful feet of the winner of souls!)