Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Valley of Unbelief

Temple Baptist Church - 6-28-2020

Mark 9:14-29




A.  Here, we find our Lord and 3 of His disciples coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration and finding confusion.  The scribes, enemies of Christ, were questioning the other 9 disciples.  Within the context, they were probably asking the 9 disciples, “If you are followers of Christ, why can you not help the child?”


B.  The eyes of the world and especially those who are God haters are always on God’s people to see how they both act and react.


C.  While they were on the mount, a man with a dumb child had come to the other 9 of His disciples for his healing and they were not able to help the child.


D.  The child’s father has come to the Lord and He was able to heal the child.  When the 9 disciples ask the Lord why they were not able to cast the “dumb spirit” out, He said that this healing required prayer and fasting.


E.  What I want to look at this morning is the mixture of faith and unbelief found in the father in verse 24 and the reaction of our Lord Jesus in verse 25. 


F.  We live in a day of the Oxymoron


1.  Oxy-moron (oxús, “sharp, keen, pointed”)[2] (English oxy-, as in oxygen) + μωρός (mōrós, “dull, stupid, foolish”)[3] (English moron (“stupid person”)). Literally "sharp-dull", "keen-stupid", or "pointed-foolish"[4] – itself an oxymoron, hence autological; compare sophomore ((sophós, “wise”) + μωρός (mōrós, “fool”) literally “wise fool”)


2.  Social Distancing.  Social – collective, gathering and Distancing – Space between two points, Gap.   


3.  New Normal – New, not existing before and Normal, usual, average, or typical state of condition.


4.  Believe and unbelief makeup another oxymoron as believe destroys unbelief and unbelief destroys belief.  Believe-to accept as true or to be sure of something and Unbelief-skepticism or absence of faith.


G.  Unbelief is a New Testament word is only found 16x.  It is found 2x in Matthew, 3x in Mark, and 6x in Romans. 1x in 1 Timothy, and 4x in Hebrews.


1.  Unbelief is sin - Romans 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


2.   Unbelief is displeasing to God - Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


3.  Unbelief limits God – Matthew 13:58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.


4.  Unbelief makes the possible impossible – Matthew 17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.


5.  Unbelief can bring failure – Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;


6.  Unbelief can cause one to quit on God – Hebrews 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.


H.  A man of unbelief who got what he asked of the Lord Jesus?


1.  The Man’s Devastation. Verses 18, 20, 22


a.  I think that we all understand the love of this father for his afflicted son.  


1)  Many families have children (I call them special children born to special parents-gifts from God) born that have either mental issues or physical ones.  Asperger’s Syndrome is one that we see often in our day.  Down’s Syndrome is another of the challenges that some families face.  Then there are children born with special physical needs such as Muscular Dystrophy. 


2)  I will not even try to name everything that special needs children can have but I believe that the key word is “special!”  I have no doubt that this father loved his son and had done everything that he could to give him as good quality of life as possible.


b.  The son had a dumb spirit or indwelling devil that “taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away.”  This had evidently been going on for years.


2.  The Man’s Faith in the Lord.  Verses 17, 20, 22


a.  His disappointment in the Disciples. Verse 18-19.  He brought his son to them and, in his disappointment, they were helpless.  Though they could have healed the son, they were not is a spiritual condition to do so.


b.  His faith in Jesus.  Verses 17, 22, 23-24a  This man, like us, knew and believed that with God all things were possible.  I do not know how far he had traveled to get to Jesus but his faith brought him to the Lord.


3.  The Man’s Honesty in Unbelief.  Verses 22-24.


a.  “but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us ... And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (If you can, if you have compassion, if you want to help is what the man was saying.)


b.  Unbelief to some extent is found in all of us at times.  How many times have all of us said in our hearts and often in our words, “I know God can, but I do not know if God will?”


c.  In Psalms, we find a pattern of faith, hope, discouragement, and help.  I did not search the entire Bible but in the Book of Psalms (Israel’s Book of Worship) and tried to take these words in Psalms in context:


“How long” is found 15x in Psalms

“Why” is found 24x in Psalms

“Help” is found 22x in Psalms

“Forsake” is found 8x in Psalms


d.  There are times when we “come to the end of our rope.”  When this man brought his son to the disciples, I believe that he came hoping, praying, asking, but in unbelief.


e.   When he saw the Lord, he came the same way: hoping, praying, asking, but in unbelief!  “and said with tears, Lord!”  An oxymoron: “with tears … Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!”


Now I want to get to the moral of the story.  This is not a story of the UNBELIEF of a man.  We all come to this place.  It is a story of the FAITHFULNESS of his Lord!


4.  The Lord’s Compassion.  Verses 25-27


a.  First, let me say that I found no rebuke from the Lord.


Psalms 78:38-39  But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.  (39)  For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.


Psalms 103:13-14  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  (14)  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 


b.  The Lord gave them man the desire of his heart.  He cast out the dumb spirit and healed the man’s son.


c.  The Lord remains faithful in our unbelief!  2 Timothy 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.


1)  The Lord will be faithful when we are tempted - 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


2)  The Lord will be faithful when we serve - 1 Thessalonians 5:24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


3)  The Lord will be faithful when we are in trouble - 2 Thessalonians 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.


4)  The Lord will be faithful when we witness - 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.


5)  The Lord will be faithful when we are doctrinally attacked - Titus 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


6)  The Lord will be faithful when we stray - Hebrews 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 


7)  The Lord will be faithful when we fail - Hebrews 3:1-2  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;  (2)  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.


8)  The Lord will be faithful when we sin - 1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


9)  The Lord will be faithful when we die - 1 Corinthians 1:8-9  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (9)  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


Conclusion:  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.  (God is a faithful Creator!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Remove Not The Ancient Landmark, Which Thy Fathers Have Set

 Temple Baptist Church - 6-24-2020

Proverbs 22:28




A.  Happy Father’s Day!  We sometimes make less of Father’s Day than we do of Mother’s Day, but both are equally important.  How many times have you heard someone say, “If it had not been for Mother, I would not be here!” 


B.  I have got good news for you.  “If it had not been for Father, you still would not be here!”  I heard a woman once say, “If we women could have children without you men, YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE!”  Enough of the foolishness! 


C.  I want you men to know just how important that you are this morning to the home, the church, the work force, and this great nation.


1.  The home would be weakened without the father.  The home needs the father’s steadfastness, wisdom, and strength to operate properly.


2.  The church would be handicapped without the father.  The church cannot be run by women, regardless of what the “new fangled religionists” say.


3.  The workplace would be is crippled without the father.  There are jobs that women just simply cannot do due to lack of physical strength and male drive.


4.  The nation would be extinct without the father.  I know that we have women in the military this day, but an army entirely made up of women would not go far in battle.  Women are no physical match for men.


5.  We, as fathers have a moral obligation to our wives and children that the Lord has given to us. Teaching them God’s holy Word.


6.  I want to look at this verse this morning to get the meaning of it and then try to glean some truths from it.  I will also make application to the Word of God, which is the landmark that our fathers have set.  The Bible sets the boundaries within which we are to remain and distinctly marks the difference in things right and things wrong.


7.  Fathers, our children need the Word of God more than anything else that we can give them!  It is of the utmost importance that they not only know which Bible is God’s Word but also are taught the Scriptures that they might not “sin against God.”


8.  Let us look at God’s Command to the fathers:




1.  “Remove not” – This is something that we refuse to do or this is something that we do. 


a.  The ONLY reason that we move the “landmarks” of our property which have been set by surveyors is when we either sell or give the land away.  Then we have the land re-surveyed.


b.  Too many in our day are willing to either sell our cheaply or just give our spiritual “land” away! 


c.  If the Word of God is removed from our homes, it will be the fault of us fathers.  


d.  If the Word of God is removed from our churches, it will be our fault, the fault of its pastor and its people.


e.  “Remove not” is a commandment!  “Remove not” is an “absolute negative,” meaning never for any reason!  The Holy Spirit did not put this verse here just to take up space and, the verse stands alone which makes it self-explanatory. 


f.  Landmarks were anciently set to distinguish one man's land from another, to secure property, and preserve from encroachments; but some were so wicked as either secretly in the night to remove them, or openly to do it, having power on their side, pretending they were wrongly located. 


g.  To remove a landmark was not only prohibited by the law of God, but also pronounced an accursed thing.


Deuteronomy 19:14  Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.


Deuteronomy 27:17  Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.


2.  “The” – the word the is a definite article! 


a.  Words are important in Scripture and need to be taken as such.  To the new preachers, churches, and colleges of our day, the importance of singular words makes little or no difference.  A definite article is used before either singular or plural nouns referring to a member of a group.


1)  The word “the … landmark” refers to something singular in nature.  We endure a war of attrition spiritually.  The world and the liberal theologians do not try to remove every Old Path or Landmark of biblical Christianity at once as the God’s people would not stand for that.  Over the years, they keep chiseling away at the Landmarks of Christianity a little at a time so as to get God’s people accustomed to the dark.


2)  The Sanctity of the Scriptures.  The verbal, plenary inspiration, and preservation of the Scriptures.  To believe that God only gave perfection to the original manuscripts is to BELIEVE NOTHING!  That means that in the beginning man had God’s Word but now only has a manmade replica of it. 


a)  Many replicas have been made of the Mona Lisa painting but are worthless compared to the original.  We have THE “Mona Lisa” in our King James Bible!  Bible believers are called cultic by the liberals.  Book worshippers, worshippers of paper and ink.  The liberal left is good at labeling the conservative right in everything from politics to the Bible!


b)  The Word of God is not to be “tampered with” in any sense of the word.  It is to remain in its position of final authority, otherwise, we have no authority and every man can do that which is right in his own eyes.  We fathers have the responsibility of keeping God’s Word in our homes.  The welfare of the home hinges upon God’s Word.


c)  The King James Bible is not a bible.  The King James Bible is the Bible!  Liberals have tried to discount and defame this blessed Bible, but it still stands as the “benchmark” of all so-called bibles.  We fathers have the responsibility of making sure that our children know which Bible is the right one.  The King James Bible!  The very Word of God!


3)  The Sanctity of Marriage.  Marriage is honorable in all according to the Bible.  It was the first institution that God created and the most important as it typifies our relationship with Christ, which cannot be broken.


4)  The Sanctity of the Believer.  God’s people have slowly conformed to the image of the world instead of to the image of Christ.  Without holiness, no man will see the Lord!


5)  The Sanctity of the Local Church.  What does “not forsaking” mean?  There has been a movement away from the local church in our nation.  God said “not,” an absolute negative.  Only being providentially hindered (God allowed something to stop you from attending) is permitted by the Lord.


6)  The Sanctity of Life.  Our nation is a Baby Killer!  God gives life at conception and pro-choice is before conception, not afterwards.


7)  The list could go on and one!


b.  One Landmark at a time eventually leads to the destruction of all Landmarks.


Jude 3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  (God is not going to deliver the embodiment of Truth again!)


3.  “Ancient” – refers to something of antiquity or of ancient history. 


a.  This is something that is known and has been known for a long period of time.  This does not refer to anything new or recent.


2 Peter 1:19-21  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


b.  The Word of God has been preserved by God from the original autographs to the Bible that we now hold in our hand.  The right Bible off of the right line of text! 


c.  I have a Bible as old as eternity past because “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God.”  The Word is still God!  That statement will make the liberal cringe!


d.  This old King James Bible was good enough for our fathers, it is good enough for you and me, and it is good for our children.  It was before all things and will continue to be when time is no more.


4.  “Landmark” – landmark is singular in number.


a.  LAND'MARK, n. [land and mark.]  1828 Webster's Dictionary

A mark to designate the boundary of land; any mark or fixed object; as a marked tree, a stone, a ditch, or a heap of stones, by which the limits of a farm, a town or other portion of territory may be known and preserved.


b.  An indelible Mark by which something may be known.  We have surveyors place stakes and ribbons in strategic places for reference.  By this, we know the boundaries of our land.  By the Word of God, we know our spiritual boundaries.  It is of no wonder that this new generation do not want the standards set by our Bible.


c.  By which something may be preserved.  Surveyor’s stakes are left there to preserve the boundaries and they are to be left alone.  This speaks of a specific boundary, not just any boundary. 


d.  As a norm, we at least mark the four corners of our land, but this refers to only one landmark.  Surveyors place their secondary markers about one specific marker from which they take measurement.


e.  Our children deserve a benchmark that is both settled and unmovable.  Everything is shifting today:  morals, mentors, as well as “churches” and “Christians.”  They need the stability of God’s Word!  They need an unmovable anchor!


5.  “Which our fathers” – this lets us know who set the landmark. 


a.  This is just not any landmark that we come upon, but it is one set by those who we know, love, and respect. 


Deuteronomy 6:4-9  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.


b.  “Fathers” – this is a plural word!  Not a landmark set by one father, for this may or may not be a right one, but a landmark set by our fathers who agreed with one another!  Separated by thousands of years, they were in perfect agreement.


c.  “Our fathers” – this is in reference to specific fathers.  Not just fathers in general.  There have possibly been billions of fathers since the beginning of time with not all fathers either spiritual or ours.  This blessed Book was written to Israel and by application to the child of God.  These are our fathers!


2 Timothy 3:13-15 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


d.  As Isaac re-dug the wells that Abraham dug previously, we are also “digging where our fathers dug!”  These are our Christian forefathers who stood for these precious truths and passed them down to us.  By “digging where our fathers dug” and calling these “wells of truth” by the same names, we can give them to the generations to follow.  The Bible worked for them, it works for us, and it will work for them.


6.  “Set” – to place in a permanent position. 


SET, v.t. pret. pp. set.  1828 Webster's Dictionary to compose, as a book, to dispose or put in order, to establish, found or institute, to possess, to cease;  To put or place; to fix or cause to rest in a standing posture. We set a house on a wass of stone; we set a book on a shelf. In this use, set differs from lay; we set a thing on its end or basis; we lay it on its side.  To put or place in its proper or natural posture. We set a chest or trunk on its bottom, not its end; we set a bedstead or a table on its feet or legs.  To put, place or fix in any situation. God set the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament.


1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.


Hebrews 6:17-19 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath: 18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;  (The Word of God still has the power to convert the sinner, comfort the saint, and convey our children in the right way.)


Conclusion:  Fathers, let us stand in such a way in front of our wives and children as to lead them in the way of righteousness.  If they wander, we must give to them a place to return to that has not moved!  A place where they can find the Lord and the help that they need.  God bless each of you this Father’s Day!