Sister Deena Potts Homegoing Service

At Riverview Baptist Saturday March 25 2017, 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

Deena Potts Obituary

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Confessing Christ

Preached To The Saints at Riverview Baptist the Morning of March 26, 2017
798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

Matthew_10_32t33CONFESS

Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)   Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.   [33]   But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

That which makes a Church a “Church” or a Christian a “Christian” is that we have an uncompromising love for Jesus Christ. We love Christ because of what He has done for us. We love Jesus because of WHO He is. We love our Lord.

No Church wants to be known as Laodicea, the lukewarm Church that Jesus said

Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

No one wants their Church to be spit out of the mouth of Christ. God has been good to every Christian. God has through Christ been given power, as the Scripture says

John 1:12 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Receiving Christ and loving Him causes us to be “born of God”.

1 John 5:1 (KJV)  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Those who are born of God love Him Who caused us to be born. We are saved not by causing God to agree with us, but by our agreement with God in Christ.

Loving Jesus Means CONFESSING Jesus

Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)   Whosoever therefore shall CONFESS me before men, him will I CONFESS also before my Father which is in heaven.   [33]   But whosoever shall DENY me before men, him will I also DENY before my Father which is in heaven.

The Lord calls those who are His to CONFESS Him before men. What does it mean to CONFESS Him?

The word translated “Confess” is the Greek ὁμολογέω homologeō which is a compound verb. “Homo” means “the same thing” and Logeo means “to speak or say”. Put these two words together

Homologeo” means “To say the same thing about”

Every time you see the word “Confess”, “Profess”, or “Profession” in the King James Version of the Scripture the word “Homologeo” or “Homologia” is used, which is really the same Greek word. Salvation comes when we “Say the same thing” that God has said.

We are saved not when Christ agrees with us, but when we agree with Christ. Our Lord commands that we “say the same thing” that He says. We are to say this out loud, before others, and without shame. Salvation comes the day that we CONFESS Christ as our Lord, and agree with Him that “He rose from the dead”. One of the clearest of these Scriptures is:

Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)  That if thou shalt CONFESS (Homologeo) with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  [10]  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth CONFESSION (Homologeo) is made unto salvation.

When we CONFESS or SAY THE SAME THING That Christ Says
God, seeing our hearts, saves us.

We are to be confessors of Christ.

We are to “say the same thing” that our Lord has said.

The world will not like this!

  • We Are To Agree With Christ Though All The World Disagree With Us. We are to take Christ’s side in every dispute, regardless as to what position this puts us in. Jesus told us:

Matthew 10:24-26 (KJV)   The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.   [25]   It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?   [26]   Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

We are to stand with Christ even when attacked for our faith. The Pharisees – the religious leaders of that day – said of Jesus:

Matthew 12:24 (KJV) … This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

The religious crowd mocked Jesus, saying that He cast out devils by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. The religious crowd will mock YOU.

If Christ was attacked for doing good, we who are Christ’s shall also be attacked for doing good. Do good anyway. Do God’s work even if all the world stand against you because you love the Lord Jesus. Say the same thing that Jesus said – HOMOLOGEO – regardless as to what others may say. Expect to be attacked, but do not fear them. His truth will stand in the end.

  • What Jesus Christ Tells You, Do Not Hide It In Your Heart. Tell Others. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:27-28 (KJV)   What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.   [28]   And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

What Jesus whispers in love to you, tell others in love. He speaks to His people.

John 10:27-28 (KJV)   My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   [28]   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

The Holy Chain of salvation is:

His Sheep hear His Voice

His Sheep follow Him

His Sheep have eternal life

His Sheep NEVER perish

One link of this golden chain is attached to Christ, the other end to me. Christ speaks to me as I read His Word, as I pray, as I look upward, as I get into my prayer closet. My prayer closet can be in the middle of Walmart, or at the hospital as I wait on a dear member to be treated. I open the Book, read, stop, meditate, and ask. And Christ speaks!

What I tell you in the darkness – in private – speak in the light.
What I whisper in your ear tell to others.
Shout it from the housetops! Tell others.
My truths are not to be hidden for fear of others.
Do not fear them, but fear GOD Who can destroy!

The Devil says “Don’t rocks the boat. Compromise. Say nothing. Go along and you’ll get along. But Christ has spoken to His people. He has spoken on MARRIAGE:

Mark 10:6-9 (KJV)   But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.   [7]   For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;   [8]   And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.   [9]   What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Christ has spoken on SIN:

Luke 18:20 (KJV)   Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother.

Christ has commanded LOVE:

Mark 12:29-31 (KJV)  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:   [30]   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   [31]   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Christ has spoken on HATRED:

Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)   For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:   [15]   But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We will NEVER be at one with the world, dear Church, but we MUST be at one with our Christ. Jesus does not call us to a debate, but to HOMOLOGEO, to SAY THE SAME THING that He has said.

You Who Believe Are Valuable – Loved Of God
Is God Valuable To You?

Matthew 10:30-31 (KJV) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.   [31]   Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Oh how God loves us! Oh how Jesus loves us!

Jesus tells us not to fear those who can only kill the body, but to fear God our Father. But we are also to remember that we are of great value to God. He has numbered the hairs of our head. He knows the smallest things about us. And God paid the greatest price for us.

He gave His Son for us.

Jesus said John 15:13 (KJV)   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus laid down His life for us. He willingly went to Calvary, being punished for our rebellion, being beaten for our failures. Jesus died a criminal’s death though Pilate could find no fault in Him. Barabbas – a convicted murderer – was released whereas the crowd cried out for Jesus “Crucify Him”. The Bible declares the love of God in that wonderful text:

Romans 5:6, 8 (KJV)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [8]  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The Father held us in higher esteem than He did His only Begotten Son.
Christ held us in higher esteem than His own life.
How do we who are saved honor our Lord?

Matthew 10:35-36 (KJV) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.   [36]   And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

We are told hold Christ in the highest esteem.

There are a large number of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other idolators who come to Christ every year as missionaries reach out to them with the glorious Gospel of Christ. Many of these are forsaken by their families, rejected, and some even killed because they call on the name of Jesus. But they all have the same attitude that the Ethiopian Eunuch had when the Evangelist Philip told him of Christ:

Acts 8:32-37 (KJV)  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:  [33]  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.  [34]  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  [35]  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  [36]  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  [37]  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

This is what it is to confess Christ. It is easy to join a Church, easy to speak well of Christ, but will you do as He says? The Eunuch believed on Christ “with all thine heart” and so was baptized as soon as possible. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:21 “baptism is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God”.

As a Pastor I have had two strange questions put to me about baptism. Someone asked to be baptized in private, on a non-Church day. Someone else living in sexual sin with her boyfriend asked to be baptized at the Church. I refused both requests. Why? Because baptism is a confession of Christ, a confession of a good conscience before God. I cannot baptize someone in active sexual sin. And baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. Jesus commanded we be baptized, and so to confess Christ is to be baptized PUBLICLY!

Confession Of Christ Is To Love Christ FIRST

Matthew 10:37 (KJV)   He that loveth father or mother more than me is NOT WORTHY OF ME: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is NOT WORTHY OF ME.

Christ demands not our left overs, but our fervent love.

We are to love Him more than anything else. He gave the most for us. God expects us to love our families, and to honor our parents. But we are to love Christ more.

In a sense none of us are worthy of Christ. He alone is worthy. But Jesus calls us to love Him with our whole hearts. He does not demand that we forsake our families. Christians should be the best parents. He does not demand that we forsake our businesses. Christians should be the best employees. But Christ demands that we are to love Him more than all others. If we love Him more, we will love our families more. If we love Him more, we will love our businesses more. When we love Christ more, confessing Him before men, then we are best blessed.

Matthew 10:38 (KJV)   And he that TAKETH NOT HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOWETH AFTER ME, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.

The Great Pastor C.H. Spurgeon once wrote:

What Christ is to you on earth, you will be to Him on the day of judgment. If you thought everything of Him, He will think everything of you.”

Jesus calls those who are His to “take up his Cross and follow after Him”. Jesus declared:

Matthew 10:39 (KJV)   He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

We are called to lose our lives in Christ. Confession of Christ is to say the same thing about Jesus. He is our Shepherd. He is our King. He is our Lord. He is our Savior. He is the One Whom we trust and follow. He is our Christ. I want you to read His words with me one more to time:

Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)   Whosoever therefore shall CONFESS me before men, him will I CONFESS also before my Father which is in heaven.   [33]   But whosoever shall DENY me before men, him will I also DENY before my Father which is in heaven.

Years ago in West Tennessee a man visited our Church. At the end of the service he whispered in my ear, “How long has that fellow been coming to this Church?”. Surprised I said “A long time – he is one of our Deacons”. The man whispered, “I work for him – and never knew he was even a Christian”. What do you think Christ thinks of this?

If we confess Christ before men – before this world – then He will stand up and confess us before the Father in Heaven. He will say “this one was with Me on the earth. This one love Me, and He is mine, Father, He is mine!” And to these who have received Him as Lord and Savior He shall receive us to glory as Children of His Kingdom.

But the coin has a flip-side. If we deny Christ before men – refusing to confess Him – He will deny us before the Father in Heaven. What does that mean? A flippant faith that only acknowledges Christ when it convenient will not be blessed of God. We are called to serve Christ wholeheartedly.

If God is God, serve Him.

If you think the idols are gods, serve them.

But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Because we love the Lord.

Do you?

Posted in Belong To God, Following Disciples, God's Children, Sermons Preached, Witnessing | Leave a comment

If You Endure To The End You Shall Be Saved

Preached To The Saints At Riverview Baptist the Evening of March 19, 2017
At 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

Matthew_10_1t4_16t22

Matthew 10:1-4 (KJV)  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.  [2]  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;  [3]  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;  [4]  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Matthew 10:16-22 (KJV)   Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.   [17]   But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;   [18]   And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.   [19]   But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.   [20]   For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.   [21]   And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.   [22]   And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

A lot has passed in the first 9 chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus has healed the sick, given the blind eyes to see, caused the crippled to walk, and has cast demons out of people. He has already battled several times with the Pharisees and Scribes.

And now He calls His “Apostles”. We read in verse 2 “now the names of the twelve APOSTLES are these”. This is the Greek ἀπόστολος apostolos which means “one sent forth with orders, specialized messengers”. The word Apostolos occurs over 70 times in the New Testament. Lander Roark notes in his word study that in ancient Greece and Rome the Apostolos were envoys sent out to establish the dominion of an empire. These Apostolos were sent to territories to conquer, subdue, convert, instruct, train, and establish new subjects in the culture of that empire. Jesus sent His Apostles out with a very specific commission. He …

Matthew 10:5-7 (KJV) … commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:   [6]   But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.   [7]   And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

They preached a Kingdom message. “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. God has come in the flesh. The promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are now being fulfilled in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ. These Apostles were pilgrims and pioneers. They were NOT to go to the Gentiles nor the mixed breed Samaritans, but were FIRST to go to God’s Israel. If they were rejected where they went Jesus told them:

Matthew 10:14-15 (KJV)   And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.   [15]   Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Christ came preaching His Kingdom in the first 9 chapters of Matthew.
Christ now sends these men out to preach His Kingdom.

Those who will not hear are not forced. We force no one to allegiance with Christ. They must decide, and if they die in their sins, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT than FOR THAT CITY.

The Darkness Will Fight The Light

These are Jesus’ words, and His commission. Jesus told His Apostles:

Matthew 10:16-17 (KJV)   Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.   [17]   But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

The darkness would not like what these Apostles represented. Jesus warned His Apostles that they would be attacked, hated, beaten, judged harshly. Jesus wanted His disciples to know that what He was asking them to do was to go to battle with the darkness of a fallen world. That it would be a bad time. They were not going out to party, but to conquer through love and to take the Messiah’s message outward. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:18-22 (KJV)   And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.   [19]   But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.   [20]   For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.   [21]   And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.   [22]   And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

I want you to read verse 22 again with me, and focus on those words.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
BUT he that ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.
Light Endures! The Saved Endure.

The First Mark Of The True Believer Is Christ’s CALLING

Jesus Christ is the Builder of His Church. He calls people into His Kingdom. No one comes to Christ until called – and once called, you choose whether to answer the call or not. Christ called His Apostles, and He calls all who will hear to come to Him. That’s what’s going on in this text. Jesus called the Apostles.

Matthew 10:1 (KJV)  And when HE HAD CALLED UNTO HIM his twelve disciples

Jesus called them. In fact, He called some of them more than once. We read that Jesus called:

Matthew 10:2 …. The first, SIMON, who is called PETER, and ANDREW his brother

The first two on Matthew’s list that Christ called Apostles were Simon Peter and Andrew. But the Bible tells us that this is not the very first time these men were called by Christ. Earlier in Matthew we read:

Matthew 4:18-20 (KJV)  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  [19]  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.   [20]  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Simon Peter and Andrew were called by Jesus to be disciples, then called again to be Apostles. But is this the only time that these men had contact with Jesus. No, not at all. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, as was John. The Bible tells us that these men heard John the Baptist speak on Jesus.

John 1:40-42 (KJV)  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  [41]  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  [42]  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

You own what you name. Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter or Cephas which means “A Small Stone”. Peter and Andrew were called more than once – I think THREE TIMES – to follow Jesus. Jesus calls people to follow Him. We like Andrew may take others to Jesus, but Jesus must call them just as He called us.

Christ calls unto salvation whosoever will.
Jesus loves us, and calls us to love Him.

Romans 8:28-30 (KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the CALLED according to his purpose.  [29]  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  [30]  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED: and whom he CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED: and whom he justified, them he also GLORIFIED.

People have debated, argued over, and twisted the words of the Apostle in this text. Yet the clear sense of the text is this. Jesus Christ called you, dear Christian, and called you with PURPOSE. You were not called to drift aimlessly on a cruise ship, and the Church is not the “Love Boat”. You are called to cut bait or fish for Jesus!

Nothing can happen to you outside of God’s purview. You are Predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Do you know what that means? It means that you who have answered His call will one day be like Jesus. You will have an uncorrupt mind like Jesus. You will have a glorified Body like Jesus. You will be an adopted Child of God because of Jesus. You will stand before God:

Called
Justified
Glorified
Forever in His Presence!

Praise God for that. God calls to salvation. Christ calls to salvation. The Spirit calls to salvation. We are not called to be evil or darkness, but to be like Christ.

2 Timothy 1:7-10 (KJV)  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;  [9]  Who hath saved us, and CALLED US WITH AN HOLY CALLING, not according to our works, but ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  [10]  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Every Christian is called by Christ to follow Christ. There was a time in your life He said to you “Come, follow Me” and you followed. You were called on purpose. You were called with purpose. You were called to follow Him first. Several years ago (June 28, 2006) then President Barack Obama stated:

Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just.
We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation,
and a nation of nonbelievers.”

A lot of people got upset over that (myself included), but it is true. Cultural Christianity is now dead in America. Of course, it’s always been dead. Jesus came to call us to life, and purpose, and the cultural Christian only takes the name of Christ when it’s convenient to do so. Christ never came for that. He came to call people:

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) … a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who CALLED you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV) {God} has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

A Christian is called into the Light that is Christ.

We are called to be friends of Christ (John 15:15).
We are called to be a house of prayer (Mark 11:17).
We are called to be servants of all (Mark 9:35).
We are called to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34).
We are called to fellowship with Christ daily (1 Corinthians 1:9).
We are called the Children of the Living God (Romans 9:26).
We are called by the world foolish, but by God His own possession (1 Corinthians 1:26).
We are called to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15).
We are called into Christian liberty (Galatians 5:13),
and are called to love one another and to cherish God.
We are to walk worthy in our calling (Ephesians 4:1),
because God has not called us to uncleanness but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
We are called to eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12),
and are called to follow in Christ’s steps when suffering (1 Peter 2:21).

When we look at the Apostles and their calling we see that some were common fishermen, but at least one was of royal blood. One was good with money, another a retired government worker. They came from all walks of life, and were both white and blue collar – but Jesus called them all. In the last Book of the Bible we read:

Revelation 22:17 (KJV)  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

The call unto salvation is whosoever will. Christ calls. His Apostles call. The Church calls. The Spirit calls. And whosoever will answer that call and follow Christ will be saved!

Romans 10:9-13 (ESV) … if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  [10]  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  [11]  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”  [12]  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  [13]  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Everyone can be saved, if they will but hear His call and follow Him.

The Second Mark Of The True Believer Is ENDURANCE

Jesus called twelve, and twelve responded and began to follow Christ. But notice Jesus said:

Matthew 10:22 (KJV) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: BUT he that ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.

Matthew_10_1t4_MrEDDo not miss these words. The proof of salvation is not what you do on the OUTSIDE, but what has occurred on the INSIDE. I have noticed people dressing up their animals, putting hats and coats and little britches on their little dogs or pot bellied pigs. You can dress up a dog. You can put a pig in a fur coat and call her “Miss Piggy”. But no matter what you do, a dog is still a dog, and a pig is still a pig. When I was a little boy I watched a show called “Mr. Ed”. Do you remember him saying “Hello Wilbur”? I still know the theme song:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

Now that was all good tv, and clean entertainment. But in reality a horse will always be a horse! And a lost person can dress up and call himself a Christian, but unless God has changed you, you are still lost. Jesus called twelve men to follow Him:

Simon Peter
Andrew
James the son of Zebedee
John the other son of Zebedee
Philip
Bartholomew
Thomas
Matthew
James the son of Alphaeus
Lebbaeus Thaddaeus
Simon the Canaanite
Judas Iscariot

Jesus called these twelve, and all twelve followed after Him – but not in their hearts. If I were to pick the one that would betray Jesus out of this bunch I would have picked Simon the Canaanite. After all, the Canaanites were such bad people that God gave their land to Israel, and told Israel to run them out! Of course the Canaanite would betray Jesus! Wouldn’t he?

Dear friends, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Christ’s betrayer would be:

Matthew 10:4 … Judas Iscariot, who ALSO betrayed him.

Don’t skip over the word “ALSO”. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, but that ALSO indicates that more than just Judas betrayed Jesus. Every Apostle betrayed Jesus when He went to the Cross. They betrayed Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asked them to pray with Him, to be with Him in His time of need.

Matthew 26:38-39 (ESV) …. “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”   [39]  And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Did they pray with Him? No. No. We are told in Matthew 26:40 … he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

Jesus prayed alone. And when the soldiers came to get Him, Jesus stood alone. We are told in Matthew 26:56 “all the disciples left him and fled.” Jesus stood alone, betrayed. He faced the Cross with none to help. Peter, the Chief Apostle, who said “I will never forsake You – I will fight to the death for You!” … it was Peter who denied Jesus before a crowd:

Matthew 26:74-75 (KJV)  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.  [75]  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

I dare say every Christian who has ever lived has at one time denied Christ. Before you say you have not, think carefully. You have at times done what He has said not do. You have at times not loved God first, nor your neighbor as yourself. You have denied Him in works. And you, like Peter, have wept bitterly. Jesus knew Peter would fail. He knows we will fail. But if we fail, we who are genuinely His ALWAYS COME BACK TO JESUS. Like Salmon, we return to our birthplace. We swim upstream struggling, but we get back to our Lord and Master.

Not Judas Iscariot.
Judas Iscariot never loved Jesus.
And Jesus knew this when He called Judas.

Jesus said: John 6:70 … “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and YET ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL?

Jesus called all twelve, and all twelve followed. But one of those twelve WAS NOT SAVED. How do we know if a person is a brother in Christ? Jesus said “You shall know them by their FRUITS” (Matthew 7:20). It is not FRUIT that shows the inward change of Christ, but FRUITS, PLURAL. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Those Who Are Born Of God Are OVERCOMERS

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God OVERCOMETH the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that OVERCOMETH the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that OVERCOMETH will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that OVERCOMETH shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation 3:5 He that OVERCOMETH, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Twelve men were called by Christ, but one of those twelve outwardly followed but never gave his heart. Judas Iscariot sold the Master for 30 pieces of silver, but he was never saved in the first place. The proof of salvation is PERSEVERANCE. Those who stay with Christ are the Children of God. Those who stay with His Church are of His Church. But those who are here today, but tomorrow gone like a fog when the sun rises were never His Children in the first place.

1 John 2:19-20 (KJV)  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  [20]  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

There is a difference between the Cultural Christian,
the Nominal Christian,
and the Genuine Christian.

The Genuine stays with Christ and His Church. The false believers do not stay when the darkness challenges. The pretend light, the picture of a candle, the dollar store imitation does not lighten nor fight the dark. Dark goes to dark.

After Judas betrayed Jesus he did not go to God repenting. He instead went back to the dark Pharisees and Priests and tried to give the 30 pieces of silver back. Then rather than repent he took the coward’s way out. He killed himself.

Matthew 27:5 (NKJV) Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and HANGED HIMSELF.

His death accomplished nothing but sent him to hell sooner. Would that he had repented. The other eleven men repented. They ran toward Christ. Not away, but toward.

Job 17:9 (NASB) Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.

All betrayed Jesus, but those who are His sheep return to their Shepherd. Those who are His love their Lord forever! Oh Beloved, remember that God called all of Israel to follow Him out of Egypt, but ended up disowning all of that first generation but Moses, Joshua and Caleb. Why? Because many heard the call, but their hearts remained in Egypt. Those who belong to Jesus do not have their hearts in Egypt, but in Christ’s Kingdom. We love Him so!

We love Him on the mountaintop. We love Him in the valley. We love Him in pleasure. And love Jesus all the more in suffering. We love Him because He is our only hope.
We love Him because we belong to Him, And He belongs to us!
Praise Him forever! Because He is worthy!

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Jesus Is Able

Preached To The Saints At Riverview Baptist the Morning of March 19, 2017
At 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

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Matthew 9:27-31 (KJV)  And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.  [28]  And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.  [29]  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.   [30]  And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.   [31]  But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

Jesus had just finished raising a little twelve year old girl from the dead. The world laughed at Him when He said “The child is not dead, but sleeping”. The world has always laughed at Jesus, undervalued Jesus, honored Him out of the side of their mouth. The Bible says “they laughed Him to scorn” (Matthew 9:24). The world and the worldly know nothing of Jesus. They are blinded by the devil. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (KJV)  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  [4]  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The world has eyes, but cannot see. Jesus stood above a dead girl and said “Talitha Cumi” which means “Little Girl, Rise”. The dead little girl heard Jesus and rose to follow Him, coming from death to life. “Lazarus come forth” (John 11:33) and the walking dead outside the tomb could not believe their eyes. Jesus spoke, and the dead came to life. Those who think they are alive without Christ are dead, “For in Him was LIFE; and the LIFE was the LIGHT of men” (John 1:4). People saw Jesus with their eyes but could not believe.

But two blind men who could not see HEARD Jesus. And they chased Jesus until they got what they wanted.

Suffering Leads Us To Jesus

One of the most common questions I’m asked as a Pastor is

Why does a loving God allow suffering in the world?”

I always tell them that this is Adam’s fault. He brought sin into the world – and death by sin – by disobeying our Loving God. We suffer because of sin. I grieve over the suffering and death of children, of people I know. But I also know this.

Suffering Draws Us Toward God.
And that, dear friends, is a good thing.

We were made in the image of God to walk with God. What God gave Adam in the Garden of

Eden was not about “STUFF”.
It was about RELATIONSHIP.

God gave Adam a perfect Wife. God gave Adam a perfect environment. But what God gave Adam above all else WAS HIMSELF. The world fell into sin because Adam rejected the Presence of God in favor of making himself god. When we draw away from God we bring pain into our lives and into the lives of others.

Matthew 9:27 (KJV) … Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him,

Who followed Jesus? Two blind men. Many of the narratives in one Gospel is told from another perspective in another Gospel. But this account is unique. Only Matthew records it. Two blind men follow Jesus. Why are they following Jesus? Because they are suffering. They are blind.

Matthew 9:27 (KJV)… two blind men followed him, crying, and saying,

  • These Men Were Sincere In Seeking Christ The Bible says that they were “crying and saying”. To “cry”, the Greek κράζω krazō, which means to “cry out loud, to shout, to speak with a loud voice”. They were LOUD. They wanted Jesus’ attention. They weren’t worried about what others might think. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:6 (ESV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

You cannot hope to be blessed by God if you are not vigorous in seeking HIM.

These men shouted after Jesus. If you’ll notice the text, Jesus did not immediately stop when they cried out. Jesus kept on going. We read later in the text that “when Jesus was come into the house”. The Lord had a destination, had a place He was going.

Some people think that Christ stands hat in hand waiting for the blessing of our presence. This is not true. We need God – God does NOT need us. Don’t expect to be blessed if you are half asleep in your faith. Don’t expect pardon and blessing from God if you’re more afraid of what others might say than you are of God. The Bible says:

Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”

These men weren’t afraid of what others might say. They wanted to be blessed of Christ, so they cried out to Christ.

Matthew 9:27 (KJV)… two blind men followed him, crying, and saying,

  • These Men Persevered Though The Way Was Hard They were not distracted by anything, but “followed Jesus”.

When I was a little boy we played a game similar to Pin The Tail On The Donkey. I don’t remember the name of the game, but we drew a line on a road or walkway. Then your “friend” would tell you where to step, while your “enemies” would shout conflicting instructions to you. You had to stay along the line and reach the goal to win.

Oh, did I mention you were blind folded?

Imagine this. Blindfolded, with just the words of your friend to keep you on the path. All the while the enemy team yells conflicting directions, all intended to get you to fail.

That’s what it was like for these blind men. They have no eyes. They have ears, they can hear, but cannot see Jesus. They walk after Christ. They listen for His voice. People get in their way, and they walk around these people. Maybe they cry out to the crowd. “Do you see Jesus? Where is He? We must have Jesus!” A malicious little boy calls out. “He’s over here”, just to watch them stumble and fall. Another cruel person says “There’s no Jesus here. He’s gone. You need to get gone, too.” But they don’t listen to the negative. They cannot look, but they can hear. They hear Jesus’ voice. Jesus the Pharisees who followed after Him but were spiritually blind men:

John 10:26-30 (ESV) 26 … you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,a is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.

These men are persistent. Blind, stumbling, they hear His Voice and follow Him. They are like Jacob of old who, wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, said:

Genesis 3:25 (ESV) …. I will not let You go unless You bless me.

These men were persistent in their seeking of Christ. If we would persist in seeking Him, being persistent in prayer, we would always experience the blessing of His Presence.

Matthew 9:27 (KJV)… crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

  • These Blind Men Came To Christ HUMBLY They approached Christ demanding “Mercy”. They did not come as many come to God demanding their rights. So many people come before God demanding their rights before His Throne. If God gave us what we deserved, we would deserve HELLFIRE and BRIMSTONE. In America we feel that we are ENTITLED to only the best. But each and every one of us are sinners.

But God will give us mercy if we cry out to Him.

James 4:6 (ESV) {God} gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

The best way to NOT get a blessing from God is to go before Him DEMANDING. These men wanted their eyesight. They wanted to receive a sense that most of us take for granted. But they didn’t go to Jesus saying:

Lord, everyone else has eyesight. We demand You give us eyesight too!”
It is our RIGHT as humans to SEE!”

We have no rights before God other than to His mercy. As Dr. D.A. Carson wrote in The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God:

Mercy is coupled with other attributes of God in Psalm 86:15, “You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (ESV). God’s mercy is rooted in His love for us. He is merciful, in large part, because He is love (1 John 4:8). As sinners, we DESERVE punishment (Romans 3:23). God’s righteousness requires punishment for sin—He wouldn’t be holy otherwise. Since God does love us and is merciful, He sent His Son (John 3:16). The fullness of His mercy is seen in Matthew 27. Jesus is brutally beaten and murdered on our behalf; Jesus received our just condemnation, and we received God’s mercy.

Because of His love for us, God wants us to be with Him. His mercy is required for that to take place; there is an inseparable connection between God’s love and mercy. Jesus laid down His life and became the sacrificial lamb (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29) so that God’s mercy could be extended to us. Instead of punishing us for our sin, God allowed His Son to take the condemnation in our place. That is the ultimate act of God’s mercy (see Ephesians 2:4–5). To our eternal benefit, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13b).”

These men went to God humbly. They cried after Jesus for MERCY. And they acknowledged Jesus as Messiah when they said “Thou SON OF DAVID, have mercy on us”. The “Son of David” is a title reserved for the Messiah. Jesus is Lord. He is the Son of David. There is no other Messiah outside of Christ. There is no other way unto Heaven. There is no other way to be blessed, but through Christ. The great C.H. Spurgeon preached:

We must plead after this fashion, ‘O God, if You destroy me, I deserve it. If never a comfortable look should come from your face to me, I cannot complain. But save a sinner, Lord, for mercy’s sake. I have no claim upon You whatever, but oh, because You are full of grace, look on a poor blind soul that gladly would look on You.’”

Too many people are never saved because of pride and arrogance.

Too many people think “God would be quite blessed if He receive Me. Why, Heaven would receive another Angel if I go there!” May I remind you that Angels are both GOOD and EVIL. The GOOD Angels are submitted to God. The GOOD Angels spend their time serving and glorifying God, not being served by Him.

  • These Blind Men Came To Christ DIRECTLY

Matthew 9:28 (KJV)… when He was come into the house, the blind men came TO HIM:

The only place you can be saved is by coming to Jesus.
The only way you can be blessed is by going to Him Who loves you.

Jesus was not the only person in the house. We at least know that Matthew was there, for he is recording this event. They didn’t come to Matthew and say “Matthew, you’re one of His first Apostles. Would you speak to Him on our behalf?” No, they didn’t.

They didn’t call for a “Priest” or a “Father” and say “Now you go to Jesus for us”. No, they didn’t do this. Listen to me.

They didn’t turn to a Preacher and ask “Is there some ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ I can repeat after you to get a blessing from Christ?” No, they didn’t. They went DIRECTLY to Jesus. They came TO HIM. I can and do pray FOR you, but you need to go TO HIM if you want to be blessed.

Notice How Jesus Responds To These Men

Jesus always asks good questions. Here’s some of the questions that Jesus has asked up to this point in the Gospel of Matthew:

if you greet your brethren only, what is unusual about that?
Do not the unbelievers do the same? Matthew 5:47

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matthew 6:27

Why are you anxious about clothes? Matthew 6:28

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye yet fail
to perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? Matthew 7:2

Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16

Why are you terrified {at the storm}? (Matthew 8:26)

These blind men come to Jesus begging, crying, shouting for mercy. They have chased Him down the street for I don’t know how long. And Jesus asks them:

Matthew 9:28 (KJV) … Believe ye that I am able to do this?

I want you to notice what Jesus did NOT ask them.

  1. Jesus did not ask them “are you men WORTHY of this? Have you been good men?” So many people say “I will not come forward to be saved until I am worthy”. If that is the case, dear friend, then you will die and go to hell. None of us are worthy.

Romans 3:10 (NIV) There is no one righteous, not even one.

1 Samuel 2:2 (NLT) There is no one holy like the Lord.

Mark 10:18 (ESV) No one is good except God alone.

Jesus knows this. Jesus said “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32). Jesus does not ask these men about their characters, nor how they lived their lives up to this point. He asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

  1. Jesus does not ask them “What have you done to CORRECT THIS PROBLEM?” He doesn’t ask curious questions, nor does He speculate. Jesus just asks them about the placement of their faith. “Do YOU believe that I – I alone – am able to do this?”.

Faith is the bucket by which God blesses us. We lower the bucket into the well that is Christ, believing that He will fill it. Is our focus on Jesus?

A man came to Jesus once with a son that was possessed of a demon. Jesus asked “How long has this been happening to him?” The father replied:

Mark 9:21-22 (NKJV) … “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

The daddy said “IF You can do ANYTHING”. This indicates that he came to Christ, but had doubt. He had seen his baby for years perhaps do self destructive things. Could Jesus help? Could He? Jesus told the daddy

Mark 9:23 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “IF YOU CAN BELIEVE, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Can you believe in Christ? Do you believe that He is able to do this? Could the father believe? The Bible says:

Mark 9:24 (NKJV) Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

I have often wondered how they made suspension bridges across great chasms. I was reading one time that one met method is to shoot a thin but strong fishing line across the chasm. Then you send someone to the other side. You then tie a piece of stronger twine to the fishing line, and have your partner pull the twine. Then you tie the twine to rope, and then rope to chain, then chain to cable, until the heavy cable is pulled across the chasm.

When faith is weak, focus that faith on Christ. If it is but fishing line strong, shoot it across the chasm of doubt to the Lord. As He draws that line to Him, tie a stronger cord, trusting Him and Him alone. Jesus healed that child, and Jesus will bless the blind men.

Do YOU BELIEVE That I AM ABLE To Do This?”

Matthew 9:28-29 (KJV)  …. Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.  [29]  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

When the blind men said “Yes, Lord” to Jesus, Jesus said “According to YOUR faith, be it unto YOU”. Do YOU believe that Jesus is able to heal you? Do YOU believe that Christ is able to save you? It is YOUR faith in HIM that ultimately will make the difference. The Bible says:

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Your grandmother – like my grandmother – may be able to pray that you will be led to Christ. But your grandmother cannot believe you into Heaven. Your sainted father, or loving aunt, or precious wife cannot get you into Heaven. If you want salvation from Christ them you must believe that HE IS ABLE. There are a lot of people who come to Christ and are never saved, never healed, never blessed. They come to Jesus but have no faith in Him. The question of salvation and blessing is

Do YOU believe that “Christ died, the just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God”
? (1 Peter 3:18)

Do YOU believe that Jesus is able?

He is able. He is worthy.

Jesus touched these men. The Bible tells us that:

Matthew 9:30 (KJV) … And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Their eyes were opened. Jesus told them “Tell no man”. Adam Clark in his commentary states that if Christ had been fully manifested as Messiah at this time the people would have tried to proclaim Him king. In John 6:15 they tried to make Jesus King by force, which caused Him to retreat into the mountains. Jesus is King, He is the King of Glory. But at this time He has come to seek and save the lost, to be the Lamb of God without spot or blemish.

Yet these men told anyway.

Matthew 9:31 (KJV) But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

The blessed men told when Jesus told them not to do so. Today we are supposed to tell. If Christ has blessed you, tell someone. If Jesus has opened your eyes to His glorious Kingdom, share this with someone. Give your testimony. Tell others.

For Christ is able to save them, too!

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

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Pray The Lord Of The Harvest

Preached To The Saints At Riverview Baptist at Prayer Meeting March 15, 2017
At 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

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Matthew 9:32-38 (KJV) As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 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. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

I was asked a question once by another Pastor, one that made me think. The question was:

Where do you find yourself today?”

I didn’t know how to answer, but have pondered that question for a long time now. Where do I find myself today, right now.

Our Lord Jesus found Himself every moment of His life walking with the Father, and living by the Spirit. He followed God. He is God. But as part of the Trinity, Jesus always found Himself working in union with that august Body. The Bible says that:

Matthew 9:36 (KJV) …when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

A sheep without a shepherd will get in the worst trouble. Sheep have no natural defenses against the predators. Sheep have no pointy horns. Their teeth are better suited for munching on grass rather than tearing flesh. They have no claws, but only hooves, soft as our fingernails. They have no speed, and if they are not periodically shorn they can eventually die from their ever growing fleece.

Sheep must have a shepherd.

Love Jesus, Not The World

When Jesus looked at the multitudes “He was moved with compassion”. This Greek word (σπλαγχνίζομαι splagchnizomai) means “to feel pity, deep sympathy for, a yearning for someone to be uplifted”. This is a deep hurt. I believe that as Jesus spoke these words tears flowed freely down His beautiful face. I believe that our Lord wept when He saw the state of the people, a people who should have been close to God, but were not.

Why were they in this state? All you need to do is read the context of our text. We read:

Matthew 9:32-33 (KJV) … behold, they brought to {Jesus} a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

A poor man was “possessed by a devil”. Why was he “possessed”? Probably because he allowed his life to drift in that direction. I want you to think of your life – your soul – as an empty cup. What you put into that cup is what manifests through the Body. The Bible says:

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

What you ingest physically effects the physical nature of your body.
What you ingest spiritually shows in the physical output of your body.
What Are You Feeding Your Soul?

In 1978 Evangelist Billy Graham wrote in his book The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power In Your Life”:

AN ESKIMO FISHERMAN came to town every Saturday afternoon. He always brought his two dogs with him. One was white and the other was black. He had taught them to fight on command. Every Saturday afternoon in the town square the people would gather and these two dogs would fight and the fisherman would take bets. On one Saturday the black dog would win; another Saturday, the white dog would win – but the fisherman always won! His friends began to ask him how he did it. He said, “I starve one and feed the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger.”

Why was this man “possessed with a devil”. We are not usually born that way. There are instances where are people are born damaged, and have limitations from birth. But this man was, the scripture says, “POSSESSED with a devil”, the Greek δαιμονίζομαι daimonizomai – Demonized, the Possession of Satan. You don’t just stumble into something like this. God gave you a soul at birth, and for most of us we own our souls till we give them away. You can give your soul away.

Some give their souls away SEXUALLY.
Some give their souls to ALCOHOL or DRUGS.
Some give their souls to GREED or MONEY.
Some give their souls to ANGER.

God ultimately owns our souls. He has said:

Ezekiel 18:4 (ESV) Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

God gave us our souls, but our souls still belong to Him. We can put what we want to put in the cup of our soul, but every putting has a consequence. Everything we put inside that is not of God can lead us to possession by another!

This poor man has trod a terrible road away from the Lord. He is now possessed by a devil – demonized.

Free will abused is no will at all.
This man no longer has a will.

They brought him to Jesus”. They had to lead Him to the Lord. His will is gone. Unlike the blind men that we studied this morning, men who chased after Christ though the road was dark And unseeing, this man was “dumb”. He couldn’t speak. He couldn’t make a coherent sentence. He probably could barely think. He listened to the world, and walking down that spider-hole was now engulfed.

1 John 2:15-17 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

When you love the world the world – possessed of Satan – will trap you. The solution to this trap is Jesus. Jesus can break the hold of the devil on a life. “They brought” – people who loved this man brought the possessed man to Jesus.

Matthew 9:32-33 (KJV) …. they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake …

In the Presence of Christ “the dumb spake”. Think about this.
A child spends years learning how to speak.
This man INSTANTLY speaks!
Whereas he was bound by Satan, now he is released.
There is FREEDOM in Christ.
There is JOY in Christ.
There is PEACE in Christ.
There is HAPPINESS in Christ.
There is POWER in Christ.
There is FAMILY in Christ.
There is a KINGDOM in Christ.
There is ETERNITY in Christ.

Again, there is freedom in Christ – not freedom to sin, but freedom FROM sin. There is family in Christ. The best mind I have ever had was when I gave my life to Christ. The best life I have ever had was while following Christ. I remember as a young Christian I loved to listen to Andre Crouch, a wonderful Christian singer now with our Lord. He sang …

Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there’s no other,
I know that you’ve got mountains,
That you think you cannot climb,
I know your skies looks so dark,
That you think the sun will never ever shine,
But in case you don’t know it,
I tell you God’s Word is true,
Everything He has promised,
I know that he will do it for you.

Jesus touched this man, just as He touched all who came to Him and will touch all who come to Him. But notice what the text says next.

Matthew 9:33 … and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was NEVER so seen in Israel.

Israel is God’s Chosen people. It is the people of whom the Lord said:

Deuteronomy 7:7-9 (ESV) The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.

God loved Israel. The Bible tells us that God was Shepherd to Israel, saying “You are My Sheep, the Sheep of My pasture” (Ezekiel 34:31). Yet Israel wandered from God. In a similar vein America was founded by Christians, by people who loved the Lord Jesus. “Pilgrim” is a Christian designation. Those who came over on the Mayflower loved the Lord. The first rule of law in the Americas was “The Mayflower Compact” (I have given you a copy tonight) which states in part …

Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic …”

Israel was founded and chosen by God. America was founded and chosen by God. But when Jesus looked out on the people He saw them as “Sheep without a Shepherd”. Why?

Religion And Self Righteousness Possessed The Leaders

Matthew 9:34 (KJV) But the PHARISEES said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

The Pharisees – men who should have known and cherished Christ – accused Christ of ministering healing through Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons. They repeat this accusation when Jesus does a similar healing in …

Matthew 12:22-28 (KJV) Then was brought unto {Jesus} one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the PHARISEES heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Jesus was casting out sickness, sin, and devils by the Spirit of God, not by Satan or by Beelzebub. The reason that the Pharisees were so against Christ is that they had no relationship with GOD but with RELIGION. They were RELIGIOUS. They were SELF RIGHTEOUS.

The leadership of Israel had ceased to love and follow the Lord. They loved and followed themselves. Beloved, we must all love and follow the Lord, lift Him up, honor Him. He is worthy of all praise and obedience. The reason that Israel has fallen to captivity, the reason that Israel is in a terrible state, is because her leaders (who should have loved Christ) rejected the Messiah.

There is a place in the Scripture that has long puzzled me. It is a place where the Bible tells us that King David – a man after God’s own heart – numbered his troops. The Bible tells us that:

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel”
(ESV – 1 Chronicles 21:1).

The devil whispered in David’s ear. King David had had an extraordinary role in leading Israel up to this point. He had heeded the Lord, and won every major battle he fought against the enemy. His forces grew. Then the devil whispered to the King:

If it wasn’t for YOU things wouldn’t be so good.”
“Number your troops so you can see how WELL you have done”

A person only has the right to number what belongs to him. Israel belongs to God. God commanded a census of Israel in Exodus 30:12, but never commanded this census. When David ordered the census his General Joab begged him not to do it.

1 Chronicles 21:3-4 (ESV) … Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my Lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 4 But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem.

Joab realized what David was doing was allowing pride to creep in. He was like many a Mega-Church Pastor who suddenly knows more than anyone else. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV) So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but GOD WHO GIVES THE INCREASE.

Joab warned against a census, but in the end obeyed his king. He went out and counted Israel – though he did not count Levi or Benjamin

1 Chronicles 21:6 (ESV) …. for the king’s command was ABHORRENT to Joab.

Joab is like so many Christians today. Rather than refuse to sin and to follow the way of sin, we try and blend in. Joab did a little sin. But with God “little sin” is still sin, and sin brings death.

What happened? God was displeased with this thing, and He struck Israel (1 Chronicles 21:7). David realized his folly. So God gave David three choices …

1 Chronicles 21:11-12 (NKJV) … ‘Choose for yourself, 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”

David cast himself on the mercy of the Lord, and chose three days of plague. The Bible tells us that “the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell” (1 Chronicles 21:14). That has often puzzled me. Why did the Lord kill 70,000 men in Israel when KING DAVID was the one who made the fault?

Because leadership effects those led.
Leadership effects those who are led.
Leadership effects those who are led!

The Pharisees along with the Scribes should have been leading Israel to Christ. Instead they were ignoring Christ and exalting themselves. They colluded with the Sadducees to have Christ executed. God’s people should have been Christ focused. When God’s people stop following after Christ, it has an effect.

When a husband will not lead his wife to follow Christ, the marriage is polluted.
When the parents will not lead the children to follow Christ, the family is polluted.
When the pastor & deacons will not lead the Church to follow Christ,
the Church is polluted.
When the Church will not lead America to follow Christ, America is polluted.
The Solution: Pray For Leaders, Pray For Light

Israel has fallen. So Christ looks at Israel, fallen Israel, and weeps. Then He tells His disciples:

Matthew 9:37-38 (KJV) …. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; 38 PRAY ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

The leadership is corrupt – pray that God will raise up new leadership. A leadership who will do as Christ said, who will share the Gospel, who will “love thy neighbor as thyself” while promoting Christ. The world is in darkness. The world does not need agreement. Darkness does not need to be added to. The world needs light.

And in truth, the world WANTS light. The world does not need RELIGION, but to be shown what a RELATIONSHIP with Christ looks like.

You are called, if you are His, to make a difference. To follow Him. To not be part of the problem, but part of the solution. And that Solution is Christ. May God establish our hearts to both pray and be the laborers He expects us to be!

Posted in Sermons Preached, Witnessing | Leave a comment

Christ Saves Sinners

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist, 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia TN on
March 12, 2017

Matthew_9_9t13.jpgMatthew 9:9-13 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.  [10]  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  [11]  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  [12]  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.   [13]   But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

An interesting truth about the Book of Matthew is that it’s writer was not called to follow Christ up until chapter 9 of the Book. His calling is in Matthew 9:9, just prior to the Pharisees first attack on Christ’s ministry.

I want you to notice the difference in what Jesus said to Matthew,
and in what He said to the Pharisees.

To Matthew, Christ said “Follow Me”

Matthew 9:9 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he SAW A MAN, ..

People think that men wrote the Bible. The Bible says that ..

2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) 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.

Matthew doesn’t write “Jesus came and saw ME”. He writes as if in the third person. He steps outside ofg himself and writes, as God leads him to write.

Jesus saw A MAN”.
Matthew is but a man.
There is nothing special about him.

Matthew is “A MAN”. It was “a man” that God made from the dust of the ground. It was “a man” that was told

Genesis 2:15-17 (ESV) The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

It was “a man” who ate that which was forbidden. The Bible says:

Romans 5:12 (ESV) … SIN CAME INTO THE WORLD THROUGH ONE MAN, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because ALL SINNED

Sin is upon every man because Adam sinned. Sin spread on the whole world because Adam sinned. Sin is on every man, woman, and child because Adam sinned. Sin is on creation itself, it’s corruption causing disease and death because of Adam’s sin. The Apostle said:

Romans 8:18-23 (NKJV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Sin like oxygen is upon every person, every animal, and every creature on this earth. Why? Because Adam was the steward of perfection, and he surrendered his stewardship to the serpent or Satan. Sin entered the world, and with it brought death and disease and disaster.

Sherry and I came home from Church last Sunday Morning and found a Red Tailed Hawk in our screened in back porch. The thing was HUGE and agitated and pretty frightening. It kept flying into my screens which, to give them credit, never tore loose. I think the creature got in through our little dog door that my pooch Scooter uses. Sherry asked “How are we going to get it out of here?” I opened the screen door and told her “Let’s go eat lunch and leave it alone. It will find it’s way out.” So that’s what we did. When we came out later that afternoon to return to Church the Hawk was still with us, along with THOUSANDS of black feathers on my porch floor. These feathers won’t there before. Feathers and blood dominated my sanctuary. I figured out what happened. The Hawk saw a Crow and, wanting a “Unhappy Meal” the Hawk chased the Crow into the porch through the dog door. When we came home the Crow was in hiding, and we didn’t know it was there. The Hawk knew. When we went into the house Mr. Hawk decided that it was a good time to feed … and the Crow didn’t have a good time.

This is what sin has done to creation. It has brought death and destruction into what should have been perfect. That beautiful red frog is poisonous – do not touch it. That pretty ivy hanging yonder will hurt you – do not handle it. Matthew is “a man” but he is also, like all of us, a sinner.

Matthew 9:9 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, …

Jesus saw a man named “Matthew”.
The name “Matthew” means “a reward”.
This is not Matthew’s given name.

The name Matthew was given at birth was “Levi” which means “Associated, Joined, or Attached To God”. The “Levites” or the Children of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah, were a family that God chose out of the other eleven tribes of Israel to be the Priests of Israel. The Levites received no inheritance of the Promised Land for God was their inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9). When Matthew was born his daddy called him “Levi” – I think – because he hoped his child would be as attached to God as the Levites were attached to God. He wanted his son to grow up holy, righteous, a Child of God.

Levi is now Matthew.
Attached To God” is now “Seeking Reward”.

God should have been his portion. God made us to walk with Him, to learn Him, to know of Him. The reason we are given eternal life is so that we can gain GOD. Jesus prayed:

John 17:3 (ESV) And this is eternal life, that THEY KNOW YOU, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Eternal Life Is Not About WHAT You Get But WHO You Get

Eternal life is about having a relationship with God. Eternal life is walking with God and talking with God and being in God’s presence. Jeremiah said:

Lamentation 3:24 (ESV) “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

and the Psalmist David declared …

Psalm 73:26 (ESV) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 119:57 (ESV) “You are my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep Your words.”

We are given eternal life so that we can walk with an Eternal God,
the Great I AM, the Creator of all.

We are not given eternal life just so we can be without pain – though that is a good benefit. We are not just given eternal life so that we can have a glorified body and live forever – though that is a great benefit! We are given eternal life so that we can forever be with God. That we can know Him and cherish Him and glorify Him.

Matthew should have been Levi, but Levi traded what was best for the lesser. God should have been his reward. Instead, Matthew is off from his family. He is like the Prodigal Son who is eating the food fit only for the hogs. He is like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus saying:

Luke 18:18 (KJV)… Good Master, what shall I do to INHERIT eternal life?

His words are interesting. “How do I INHERIT eternal life?” An inheritance is only given to a relative of the deceased. Jesus told this young man:

Luke 18:22 (KJV) … sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and COME, FOLLOW ME.

How do you have eternal life? You cannot let the things of this world be your reward, your gods, that which you live for. Whatever stands between you and God will damn you forever. Get rid of the gods. Get rid of anything that keeps you from your Creator. “Come, Follow Me” says Jesus.

Matthew 9:9 (KJV) … Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

Matthew was sitting at the “receipt of custom”. He had forsaken his God for earthly riches. But then Jesus saw him, and he saw Jesus. Jesus said “Follow Me” and Matthew immediately got up from that tax table. “He arose, and followed Him.” This is the way of salvation. We get up, get away from what was binding us to this world, and follow Jesus. Matthew Followed Christ To Be Saved.

The Pharisees & Scribes Followed Jesus To Find Fault

Matthew 9:10 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat IN THE HOUSE, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

When Jesus told Matthew “Follow Me”, Jesus went from that place to Matthew’s home. We discover this by looking at the account of Luke, who wrote:

Luke 5:27-29 (KJV) {Jesus} went forth, and saw a publican, named LEVI, SITTING AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM: AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, FOLLOW ME. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And LEVI MADE HIM A GREAT FEAST IN HIS OWN HOUSE: and there was a GREAT COMPANY of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

Jesus went to Matthew’s house. When you are saved, Jesus goes where you live. Has He not promised?

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Christ is not a part time Savior nor a half way Lord. He walks with them who love Him. He went to Matthew’s home, and Matthew HAD A PARTY! Oh, what a great day it is when you become friends with God! Oh what a glory it is to know Christ in God, to know His love, to know He is ever with His people!

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
|Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Matthew was saved by faith in Christ. So he came home with Jesus, threw a party, and invited all of his friends. Guess what?

His friends were sinners!
His friends were fallen tax collectors!
And Jesus sat and ate with them all.

We read:

Matthew 9:11 (KJV) And when the PHARISEES SAW IT, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  

The Pharisees SAW IT. How did they see it? They crashed the party. They came in uninvited, but not to learn of Christ. They came to CRITICIZE. And they did like most of Satan’s emissaries do. When someone is doing the work of Satan, they do not go to the SOURCE. They don’t go to JESUS, but sneak around JESUS and instead go to His DISCIPLES. This is the way the Devil works. He slanders in the darkness, never in the light. He sneaks. He insinuates. And he never goes to the one he is trying to destroy, but goes behind his back, murmuring.

How is it that YOUR Master is EATING – yes EATING with THOSE sinners!”
Doesn’t Jesus know what sort of people He is eating with?

Matthew 9:12 (KJV) But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

The Surgeon cannot stand in a room apart from the one he is operating on. The Doctor must be with the patient if there is ever going to be healing. Our Lord Jesus came to heal the sick. Our Lord Jesus came to save the lost. He said:

Luke 5:32 (KJV) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus came for the sinners. He came for those who are broken. He comes calling them, saying “Follow Me”.

Luke 19:10 (KJV) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

If You Think You’re Not “A Sinner” Then Jesus Doesn’t Say “Come” But “Go”!
If you think that you are right before God Jesus did not come for you.
If you think you’ve got it all figured out, Jesus does not say “Come, Follow Me” to you.

What did Jesus say to these Pharisees?

Matthew 9:13 (KJV) BUT GO YE and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

To Matthew, a sinner repenting Jesus said “Come” but to the self righteous Pharisee Jesus said “Go”. Christ has nothing for you if you think you are right before God. If you read:

Romans 3:23 (ESV) … for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …

and say “Not me. I’m good. I’m ready to meet God!” then Christ has nothing in you. Your righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) but you do not see nor smell your stench. Christ has nothing in you. Jesus says to you who think you are better than others:

GO YE and LEARN what that meaneth, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice”. Pharisee, you know your Bible. Go back to your Bible. Open it up. Look what God wrote in Hosea:

Hosea 6:4-7 (KJV) O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

God wants His people to know Him. God is the Gospel. The Gospel is not about ME, but about HE. I am broken, but He is not. He was broken so that I might be healed. Jesus told the Pharisees “Go and learn. Read the Scripture. Read what God said in the Old Testament”. God does not desire sacrifices, but gave sacrifices for sin so that He could give MERCY.

What does God want of us?
To admit that we are ALL sinners who need Jesus!

The Pharisees – the self righteous – are the WORST sinners. Their sin is worst because they do not see it. It is like the Box Jellyfish in the ocean. They swim to it, embrace it, and die in it. What is good?

Micah 6:8 (KJV) {God} hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Acknowledge your sin. Acknowledge you are a sinner, just as all are sinners. Acknowledge that only Christ can heal you of your sin. Then and only then will you hear Him say “Come, Follow Me”.

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

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Look To Jesus

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist at 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

matthew_9_18t26

Matthew 9:18-26 (KJV)  While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. [19]  And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. [20]  And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: [21]  For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. [22]  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. [23]  And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, [24]  He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. [25]  But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. [26]  And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

We are in the Miracle Narratives of Christ as we study through the Book of Matthew. What makes this narrative unique is that Jesus is on the way to heal one person when – in the middle of His travels – another miracle occurs. A woman with an “issue of blood” comes up and touches the hem of Christ’s robe and is healed.

Yet this is not a coincidence. There are similarities between the two events, and God brings both events together. We are told in Matthew 9:20 that “a woman, diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years came to Jesus. In the Gospel Parallel at Mark 5:42 we discover …

Mark 5:42 (NKJV) … Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age.

The woman’s “issue of blood” began the same year that this little girl was born.

The little girl suffering was “twelve years old” and the woman’s issue of blood had tormented her for “twelve years”. This is no coincidence, but God tied these two miracles together to show us a picture of faith.

In The Struggles Of Life, Look Unto Jesus

There are many horrors that come to people in this life, but one of the greatest of these horrors is to have a child suffering. There is something within us that thinks that our children should outlive us. I don’t know why that is, for death grips both young and old. Each year in the US approximately 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years old are diagnosed with cancer. Age is no protection against the corruption of life. Adam introduced sin into the world and death by sin. Medical science cannot cure sin – but Jesus can!

Matthew 9:18 (KJV)  WHILE {Jesus} spake these things unto them, …

Jesus had been asked by the Disciples of John the Baptist “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, and your Disciples do not fast?”. Jesus explained to them that He is the Bridegroom of His Church, that He came not to patch up the old garment of religion, but to make all things new.

Matthew 9:16-17 (KJV) No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Jesus is not a new patch on an old garment
Nor is He new wine in old bottles
Jesus came that we might have LIFE
ABUNDANT LIFE
Jesus is not a BAND-AID but a Miracle!

Revelation 21:5 (KJV)  And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new …

He sits on a Throne.
He makes all things new.

Jesus came to make all things new. He is the Bridegroom of His Church, a people saved by Grace, a regenerated people, a people who have a Master Who has conquered death. Jesus is not a patch, but the solution for sin. He brings in the Kingdom of God on the earth.

As He is speaking the Bible tells us that

Matthew 9:18 (KJV) “there came a certain ruler”. Who is this “Certain Ruler”? The Gospel says …

Mark 5:22 (KJV) …. there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, JAIRUS by name..

Jairus was well known by the Pharisees. He is one of the Rulers of the Synagogue, the local Church of Jesus’ day. As a Ruler of the Synagogue Jairus is an important man, well respected, well known. And what he does next shocks the audience.

Matthew 9:18 (KJV) … there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him,

Jairus worships Jesus. Mark tells us that “he fell down” to worship Jesus. And Luke reports:

Luke 8:41 (NKJV) …. he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house ..

When sickness comes in the home, pride goes out the door. This was an important man, a well known man. But here he lays himself down at the feet of Jesus.

  • Suffering Makes Us SELFLESS, Whereas Prosperity Makes Us SELFISH. Jairus was selfless when He came to Jesus. He wanted relief, the healing of his daughter, and what others thought or said no longer mattered.

Each and every one of us have experienced trials and tribulations in this fallen world. Sometimes trials come through the hands of evil people, such as ISIS or other misguided religious groups. Sometimes trials seem to just fall on us. Sickness comes. Disease strikes. When sickness comes we have a tendency at times to lash out in pain. Sometimes pride makes us demanding. It is good to remember in our horrid moments …

Luke 14:11 (ESV) For everyone who EXALTS HIMSELF WILL BE HUMBLED, and he who HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED.”

Jairus could have come unto Jesus demanding.
After all, he was a person of position.

But Christ has the Greatest Position. He is God in the flesh. He is “The Word made flesh who dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jairus put aside all pride and fell down before Jesus. The Creator says:

Isaiah 66:2 (KJV) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but TO THIS MAN WILL I LOOK, even to him that is POOR AND OF A CONTRITE SPIRIT, AND TREMBLETH AT MY WORD.

God honors those who understand that He is God. Christ honors those who realize He is the Great I AM. We are not gods, but God is God. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. It is He of Whom God the Father said:

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) But OF THE SON HE SAYS, YOUR THRONE, O GOD, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

Christ is Emanuel – God with Us. He is worthy of worship. Jairus worshiped the King of Kings.

  • Jairus Focused On Jesus In Prayer.

Matthew 9:18 (KJV) …. there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 

Mark 5:23 (NKJV) and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”

Jairus begged Jesus. He sought God’s face in prayer, and did not give up. If the Lord did not intervene this little girl was as good as dead. Both Mark as well as Matthew record the desperation of Jairus’ words. “My daughter is dead – is lying at the point of death. Jesus, YOU are my only hope!”

When bad times come and our health is threatened where do we place our faith? Is our faith in the doctor, in a procedure, in a financial institution … or is it in God?

James 4:10 (KJV) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

And also …

Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV) Call unto Me, and I WILL ANSWER THEE, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Let me ask you parents and grandparents – do you plead for the salvation of your children as strong as Jairus plead for his child? Why not? Do you not know that God can take your child anytime? Jairus “besought” Jesus – begging Him for her life. Shall we do any less?

  • Jairus Believed That Jesus Could. He said …

Matthew 9:18 (KJV) … but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 

Jairus said: “You lay hands on her Jesus and she SHALL LIVE”. That is faith. He believed Jesus was able, and would not entertain any doubt. Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death, but he wasn’t out pursuing doctors and other gods. He had his eyes only on Jesus.

One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.”

Jesus calls us to rely on Him, to take that leap of faith into His arms. Cast your cares upon Him, for He careth for YOU! Let your focus be His Will no matter what might come. Trust Him.

When We Feel All Alone, Look Unto Jesus

Following Jairus’ plea we read:

Matthew 9:19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. [20]  And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

The crowd witnessed the plea of Jairus. As Jesus rose to follow Jairus to his home this crowd of “disciples” – followers – trailed around and after Jesus. In the midst of this crowd was a woman who had “an issue of blood”. What this literally means is that she had a discharge of bleeding. She could not have children. According to the Law of God:

Leviticus 15:25-27 (NKJV) ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

The disease that this woman had made her unclean, ceremonially unclean according to the Law of Moses. If she were married her husband could not touch her. If she had children prior to this event her children could not embrace her. It was if she were a leper – anything she touched was unclean, and anyone who touched her was unclean.

Matthew 9:20 (KJV) …a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years ..

This poor woman had suffered this disease – whatever it was – for twelve years! She had tried everything to get relief. We are told in the parallel Gospel that she ….

Mark 5:26 (NKJV) … had SUFFERED many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.

She “suffered many things from the physicians”. There are good doctors, and there are bad doctors – but Jesus Christ is the BEST Doctor. He is the Great Physician. He can do what no others can do. I respect doctors, nurses, and hospitals – but make sure you invite Jesus into the process when you are sick and go to the medical profession. Doctors do not know all things, but Christ does. This woman “spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse”. Humans cannot fix all things. But Jesus can! Jesus said:

Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

God does not despise the lowly, but embraces them. He lifts up the weak, and those who will come to Christ and Christ alone. The Bible tells us that this lonely, forsaken woman ..

Matthew 9:20-21 (KJV) … came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: [21]  For SHE SAID WITHIN HERSELF, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

She “came behind Jesus” because the Law forbade her from touching anyone, lest she make them unclean. So she quietly reached out believing that “If I can but touch His garment then I shall be made whole”. Her faith was rewarded. The Bible says in …

Mark 5:29 (KJV) And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Immediately the woman was healed! Mark tells us that Jesus asked “Who touched Me?” The disciples said “But Lord, there’s people all around You touching You. How can we tell who touched You?” But Jesus can tell. He looks around and sees that certain woman. Look what the Bible says:

Mark 5:33 (KJV) But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Saving Faith is not hidden.
Saving Faith falls down before the Savior.
If your faith lies down to hide, then your faith is a lie.

2 Timothy 2:19 (NLT) … “The LORD knows those who are His”

John 10:27 (NLT) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

If you are Christ’s then you may be saved in secret, but it will not stay a secret. There are many in our world today that think they are saved, but are ashamed to stand up for Jesus. This woman made her faith known. Our Lord has said:

Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV) Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Light cannot hide itself among the darkness.

If you are born again by faith in Christ you must shine for Christ.

Upon standing up for her faith by kneeling down unashamed to Jesus the Lord told her …

Matthew 9:22 (KJV) {Jesus said} DAUGHTER, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 

When Jesus called her “Daughter” He was acknowledging that she is of the household of God, a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 3:26).

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart;
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

Why Did God Have This Healing Come
In The Midst Of Jairus’ Need?

As this certain woman was being healed, I can imagine Jairus standing off to the side watching and waiting. The faith that he has in Jesus is being tested. If I were the father of a dying child I can imagine how he felt. Maybe I would want to say, “Jesus, please hurry – let’s finish with this lady and move on”. But Jesus is in no hurry. He healed this woman, and we read:

Matthew 9:23 (KJV) And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Oh Jesus, you’re too late! If You had been here on time my daughter would not have died!” I can hear them now, mocking Jesus, finding fault with Jesus. But Jesus says,

She is not dead. She just sleeps!

Mark tells us in chapter 5:35-37 that Jesus sent everyone away but Peter, James, and John. These three men would be the leaders of Christ’s Church, and Jesus wanted them to know that nothing is too hard for Christ to do. Then we read:

Matthew 9:25-26 (KJV) But when the people were put forth, {Jesus} went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

Christ is able! Our God is able! He can raise the dead. He can give life to the spiritually dead. Christ is able! The great Evangelist Billy Graham once said:

Faith literally means to give up, surrender, or commit. Faith is complete confidence. Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear.

Do you know Christ? Do you have faith in Him? Will you approach Him with your needs, and believe He is able to abundantly provide to those who trust in Him. There is nothing our Lord cannot do. Trust Him. Believe Him. Bring your lives to Him, and believe.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

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Revivals From Riverview Days 4 & 5

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist, 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

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March 7th Message:

March 8th Message:

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Revival Messages From Riverview, Day 2

Bro. Jimmy Minor gives his testimony March 6, 2017 to the Saints at Riverview Baptist
798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

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Revivals should make us think. A Revival is not a circus event nor a movie. It is not entertainment. It is God working in the midst of His people, making us examine ourselves, making us think. If you come away from a Revival saying “That was good” but without change you have missed the point. A Revival should ignite the soul, set on fire the Saint, make us look up and reach out. 34 people were at day 2 of the Riverview Revival, and we were blessed of God! Join us tonight at 7 PM!

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Revival Messages From Riverview

Preached by Bro. Jimmy Minor to the Saints at Riverview Baptist Church March 5, 2017
798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

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Brother Jimmy is preaching revival at our Church this week. Please come and join us tomorrow at 7 PM. We’d love to see you!

Morning Message

Evening Message

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