It Shall Be Well

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Audio of Sermon:

Sermon Notes: Isaiah 3:10-11 (KJV)  Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  [11]  Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

When we find divisions among mankind we divide along the lines of economy, or skin color, or gender, or persuasion. But when God looks at humanity He divides according to His Kingdom:

The Righteous
The Wicked

God’s People Are To Be Righteous Like God Is Righteous

Not long after Adam lost the Garden we find two brothers, one righteous and the other wicked. Cain was wicked. His brother Abel was righteous. Abel was righteous because he sought to please God, whereas Cain was wicked because he sought to please himself. When Cain brought his offering to God the Lord refused it. The Lord spoke to wicked Cain saying:

Genesis 4:6-7 (ESV) … “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  [7]  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

The righteous “do well”.
The wicked “get by”.
The righteous seek the image of God in their lives.
The wicked seek their own image.
The righteous do what God says because they love God.
The wicked do what they want to do.

The Scripture declares in 1 John 3:10-12 (KJV)  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  [11]  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  [12]  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

Cain refused to do righteousness, and refused to love his brother.
Cain was of the wicked one, a child of the devil.

Rather than repenting and aligning himself with God he murdered his brother Abel. The wicked despise the righteous. The darkness hates the light. And yet the darkness cannot silence the light, for the Light lives on forever with God Who is light. We are told in …

Hebrews 11:4 (KJV)  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Even though Cain took Abel’s life, Abel lived on with Christ. Why? Because God has made a precious promise to those that are His:

It Shall Be Well With The Righteous

Isaiah 3:10 (KJV)  Say ye to the RIGHTEOUS, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

In all of our lives – whether righteous or wicked – we have times where we are in the valleys. Pain takes the child of God and the child of Satan. We age. We hurt. We have times that are bad along with the good times. But God has promised to those who are His:

It SHALL be WELL with him …

God watches over His people, those made in His image. Though a Great Flood takes all of the earth Noah and his family rise above the disaster. Why? Because Noah was righteous. The righteous “shall eat the fruit of their doings”. The righteous DO righteousness. God looked over the world and throughout all the world He found only Noah. The Bible says:

Noah found Grace in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:8)

Noah was made in the image of God, and though all around him people chased after their own image Noah loved God. God came to Noah.

Noah, build Me a boat.”
Noah, make it this size.”
Noah, do exactly as I say.”

How did Noah reply?
If he were WICKED he would have said:

Lord, that seems a little too much for me.”
Lord, my friends will laugh at me”
Lord, does it need to be that big?”

Noah didn’t do any of those things.
Noah did not argue with God.
God’s Word came to Noah, and God bestowed Grace on Noah.

Genesis 6:22 (KJV)  Thus did Noah; according to ALL that God commanded him,
SO DID HE.

Noah was righteous, and enjoyed the fruit of his righteousness. When the rains came, the world died, the wicked drowned, but Noah and his family rose above the disaster.

Say ye to the RIGHTEOUS, it SHALL be well with him!

God had told Pharaoh to “Let My people go, so that they can worship Me in the wilderness”. Pharaoh refused. He is the King of Egypt, a God unto his people. He will not let them go. So God’s Word came to His people.

Take a lamb without spot or blemish.”
Bring it in your home the 10th of this month.”
Kill it on the 14th of the month.”
Put it’s blood on the doorposts and lintel of the home.”
Eat the lamb roasted, and prepare unleavened bread”
Be ready to go, for the Destroyer is coming”

How did Israel respond?
If Israel were WICKED they would have said:

Why does it need to be without spot or blemish?”
Any lamb will do.”
Why keep the lamb in the home?”
Blood is messy – let’s not put it on the doorway”

No, Israel did not debate with God. The righteous do as God says do.

Exodus 12:23 (KJV)  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

Isaiah 3:10 (KJV)  Say ye to the RIGHTEOUS, that it shall be well with him:
for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

Though it may seem at times as if the wicked is winning, God has promised those who love Him that it “shall be well with them”. There is a crimson line that stands between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous have faith in God. The wicked have faith in themselves, in their abilities, in what they can do. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)  PURGE OUT therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

God’s people realize that they are made in God’s image, and realize that only God can give light and life.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (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.  [5]  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  [6]  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the very image of God. When we see Him, we see what God wants us to be. We were saved the day we realized we were wicked sinners, deserving of eternal damnation. But then we saw Jesus. We saw Jesus perfect and holy. We saw Jesus born of a Virgin, entering into humanity for us. We saw Jesus, Eternal God made flesh, coming to earth to save us because God loved us. We saw Jesus high and lifted up, suffering and bleeding on Calvary’s Cross. Jesus died, not because He had sinned, but because we had sinned. We had departed from the image of God but Christ, the expressed Image of God, died for us.

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God …

The Image of God became the Image of Man so that He might bring us to God. The Righteous died for the unrighteous, the Christ for the wicked.

Romans 5:6-10 (CSB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 How much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.

It Shall Be Well With The Righteous ALWAYS

There are times when darkness threatens us. Our loved ones may betray us, as Joseph’s brothers betrayed him. But is SHALL BE well with the righteous. Thrown into prison, Joseph was enslaved in Egypt. Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife because he would not sleep with her, Joseph was thrown into prison for 13 years. I am sure those were dark and terrible years. Yet Joseph knew that God loved Him. God loves His Children. God protects His Children. When the time was right, God brought Joseph out of prison, and made him vice-ruler of Egypt.

The darkness may come, but God has promised us that it SHALL be well with the righteous.

It shall be well in sickness.
It shall be well in suffering.
It shall be well in betrayal.
It shall be well though the darkness toss us in a pit of lions,
Or in a fiery furnace.
It shall be well.

It may not seem well now, but it shall be well. Has not God said:

Romans 8:28-32 (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.  [31]  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  [32]  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

If you have received Christ as Savior and Lord, all things work together for good.
If you love God, all things work together for good.
The Bible does not say that all things are good,
but that they all WORK TOGETHER for good.

God delivered His Son to death for you, dearly Beloved – how shall He not freely give us ALL THINGS.

Lazarus may lie on a dunghill and eat the crumbs that fall from the table of the master. He may lay in dirt, with only the tongues of the dogs nursing his wounds. But when Lazarus dies the angels carry him to Heaven, to where he rests in the arms of Abraham. The rich man who had not Christ lifted up his eyes in hell, being in torments.

Oh Beloved, you may suffer now, but look up and trust Him Who loves you. It SHALL be well with you. Though Job suffered he trusted God, saying ….

Job 5:19-27 (KJV) {God} shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.  [20]  In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.  [21]  Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.  [22]  At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.  [23]  For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.  [24]  And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.  [25]  Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.  [26]  Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.  [27]  Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.

The Bible tells us that Job’s ending was more blessed than his beginning.
What a great testimony this is! Praise Him forever!
Walk WITH God, IN God, and FOR God. Don’t be as the wicked.
Do NOT be a pebble in God’s shoe!

It Shall Be Well With The OBEDIENT Righteous

Salvation is all of God. Disobedient Jonah cried out from the belly of the Great Fish:

Jonah 2:9 (KJV)  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. SALVATION IS OF THE LORD.

He was in the belly of the fish because, though righteous, he behaved as if he were wicked. God called, and he ran. Salvation is a free gift of God, but once saved you must do as He says if you wish to be blessed. The Bible tells us who are His that we are

Romans 8:29 … predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son …

We are to be like Jesus. We are to be like the One Who saved us.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Our text tells us:

Isaiah 3:10 (KJV)  Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him:
for they shall eat the fruit OF THEIR DOINGS. 

The word “DO” is found 416 times in the New Testament.
Those who are righteous – saved by faith – DO as our Lord says.
Israel was in a bad state because they were NOT DOING what God told them to do.

If you read Isaiah 3 – the rest of the text – you’ll find it to be quite dark. For instance:

Isaiah 3:1-4 (KJV)  For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,  [2]  The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,  [3]  The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.  [4]  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Jerusalem is the city of David.
Judah is the tribe of David.

But God has said to His Beloved:

I will take away your bread.
I will take away your water.
I will take away your military leaders.
I will take away your law enforcement.
I will take away your preachers.
I will take away the wise, and the talented.
And I will put babies in charge of your nation.

Why was God not blessing His people? Their DOINGS were against God! God will support NOTHING that is not in His character.

Isaiah 3:8-9 (KJV)  For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and THEIR DOINGS ARE AGAINST THE LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.  [9]  The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for THEY HAVE REWARDED EVIL UNTO THEMSELVES.

God promises to bless the righteous. He said “it shall be well with them … they shall eat the fruit OF THEIR DOINGS.”

The righteous are to DO righteousness, not evil. The righteous are to follow the Lord our God, to heed His Word, to lift His banner high. As C.H. Spurgeon said:

The Christian has a bank that never breaks … the believer has an arm to lean on that is never weary, never feeble, never withdrawn …”

God loves us, but calls us to love Him, to commit to do for Him. What we sow we shall reap. The Scripture says:

Galatians 6:7-10 (KJV)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  [8]  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  [9]  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  [10]  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Salvation is all of Christ, but once in Christ we are to DO for Christ. We are to be light in the Lord. Though we have not touched upon it, let us look at the second part of our text:

Isaiah 3:10-11 (KJV)  Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  [11]  Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

The righteous who do well will eat the fruit of their doings. You will one day be with Jesus in glory forever. But the wicked it shall be ill with them, for the reward of his hands will be given him. God gives to each person according to their doings. If you do wickedly, you will receive the curse of wickedness. The unbeliever may seem to prosper now, but it SHALL BE ILL with him. Judgment day is coming. When the righteous die, we receive the fruit of our doings.

If you did little, you will receive little.
If you did much, you will receive much.
If you did nothing, you will receive nothing.
If you did wickedness, you will receive wrath.

Oh Beloved, come to Christ. Give yourselves to Him. Live for Him, and let Him live through you. There will be a payday someday. Live for HIM!

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I Am Part Of God’s Symphony

Audio of Message:

Sermon Notes: 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1We live in a country of unprecedented freedoms. You can go where you want, when you want. You can do what you want as long as it is LAWFUL.

You can LEGALLY be a cross-dresser.
You can LEGALLY date a man if you are a man.
Or a woman if you are a woman.
In many states, you can LEGALLY marry someone who is the same sex as you are.
You can LEGALLY go to nightclubs, and “pick up” someone.
You can LEGALLY be sexually immoral, and ruin someone’s marriage.
You can LEGALLY go to Las Vegas and hire a prostitute.
You can go to Colorado and LEGALLY smoke marijuana.
You can LEGALLY go to Oregon and help someone kill themselves.
You can LEGALLY drink alcohol until you are unable to stand.
You can LEGALLY go to the local Walmart, buy a U.S. Flag, and desecrate it.
In many states you can LEGALLY murder an unborn child.
You can LEGALLY despise another person’s color as long as you do not act on it.
You can LEGALLY destroy public monuments because of their history.
In Florida you can LEGALLY enter this country illegally.
And in certain cities illegal immigrants LEGALLY use healthcare facilities.
You can LEGALLY use foul and blasphemous language.
You can LEGALLY record a song that glorifies rape and gangsta life.

We have unprecedented freedoms in our country. The Apostle Paul had unprecedented freedoms as well. He said:

All things are LAWFUL unto me

Paul was in a unique position. Rome ruled the world, and Roman citizens had unprecedented freedoms. Most Roman households owned more than one slave, and Roman citizens had access to all kinds of free slavery. Every conquered people were subject to enslavement. The Romans could do just about anything they wanted to do. The Jews were enslaved, in bondage as a nation.

Paul was a Jew. Paul said “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city” (Acts 21:39). Before Paul was Paul he was SAUL, a high ranking Jew. He testified:

Philippians 3:5 (NLT) I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.

Saul was a full member of Israel, a ruling elite, a man with power. But Paul was also a Roman Citizen. Paul told the Centurion Commander in Acts 22:28:

I was BORN a CITIZEN of Rome”

Paul was born in the city of Tarsus in the Province of Cilicia. Tarsus was one of the few cities of Rome that was considered a “Free City”. Those born in that city – even if Jewish – were considered Roman Citizens with all the rights of the Roman citizen.

Paul was a free man. He was free to enter the Temple, free to go where he wished as a free man. He was free as a Roman citizen. A mere Jew could be conscripted to carry a soldier’s pack, and his home could be commandeered and taken over. The Roman citizen could not be commanded. The Roman citizen had freedom to move about the empire unhindered. When Paul said:

all things are LAWFUL unto me”

he wasn’t boasting, but being truthful. Paul could do ANYTHING a Jew or a Roman could do. EVERYTHING was LAWFUL to him. Yet Paul said:

All things are lawful unto me, but ALL THINGS ARE NOT EXPEDIENT:

The word translated “EXPEDIENT” is the Greek συμφέρω sympherō, a very interesting word. The word means “to bring together so as to make beautiful”. If you listen to the word you’ll note it sounds like “Symphony”, and there’s a reason for that. The word “Symphony” comes from the Old French “Symphonie” which came from the Latin “Sumphonia” which means “to be harmonious”, which the Romans took from “Symphero”. Our word “Symphony” comes from this Greek word. Paul said:

All things are LAWFUL to me, but not all things ARE IN HARMONY

If you’ve ever seen a Symphony you know that it is PLAYED by a collection of musical instruments operated by skilled musicians. No one musician follows his own path, but each member of the Orchestra follows the Conductor. Every musician has the ability and the right to play his or her instrument any way they want to – but not as part of the Orchestra or as a contributor to the Symphony. If you would be part of the Orchestra and thus part of the Symphony you must follow the Conductor. To not follow the Conductor is to play out of tune, and such playing not only DISTRACTS but DESTROYS the Symphony that is being presented. It is much like it was when I marched in the military. If I did not keep time with those around me, I caused the entire flight to stumble.

All things are LAWFUL, but all things do not make a SYMPHONY.
I can do what I want, but I detract from what God wants, and ruin what He is doing.
No member of the Orchestra wants to ruin the Symphony.
The Corinthians were ruining God’s Symphony.

The Corinthians Were Not Showing The Love Of Christ To A Watching World

The Apostle said 1 Corinthians 6:1-5 (KJV)  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  [2]  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  [3]  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  [4]  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  [5]  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

The Church is called by Christ to be a body of believers who glorify God. Jesus said:

John 13:34-35 (KJV)   A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.   [35]   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Someone once said that God gave Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, but Jesus gave the eleventh commandment to His Church on Mount Calvary. Jesus said that a lost world would see the validity of the faith of Christ through the love that we show to one an other. God expects us to love our enemies. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:44-45 (KJV)   But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;   [45]   That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We are to love those who do evil to us. But in the Church we must ESPECIALLY love one another. The Corinthians were not doing this. When they got into arguments among themselves (and this will happen) they began to bring civil law suits against one another. They carried their cases before unjust or unrighteous judges, worldly men in worldly courts, who saw the battles going on in the Church.

You say “But I would never do that”! Maybe not. But how many of us have been in Church fights or disagreements where we went home, got on the phone, and told our unbelieving friends about it? Then we later invite them to Church and wonder “Why won’t they come to Church?” Perhaps it is that you have played out of tune and ruined God’s Symphony, hitting sour notes or going off on your own score.

The Symphony of Grace is only beautiful when it is in one accord
and under One Conductor, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Bible says of Jesus:

1 Peter 2:23 (NIV) When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Jesus focused on staying in tune with God’s Order and God’s Orchestra. By carrying their dirty laundry out of the house the Corinthians made the Grace of God seem to be nothing but vain wishes and hopeful thinking. The Apostle told them:

1 Corinthians 6:7-8 (KJV)  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?  [8]  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

If someone in the Orchestra plays a sour note, do not step away from the Orchestra nor follow that person. Instead keep your eyes on the Conductor. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Though it may be LAWFUL to take a fellow believer to court, it is not in harmony with God’s Symphony. Suffer (or allow) yourselves to be defrauded, trusting God. God will sort it out. God will fix the problem. Just love, and keep loving. Serve, and keep serving. Do not become part of the problem, because you then rob yourself and your Church of the blessing.

There is a blessing in following God.
But there is a curse in NOT following God.

The Apostle warns: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  [10]  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Those who do evil – as God defines evil – SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Those who reject the Law of God which is the Law of Love will be cast away from God’s Presence at His Judgment. Who shall not enter Heaven?

Fornicators – the sexually immoral
Idolators – worshippers of false gods
Adulterers – those who destroy marriages
Effeminate – those who prostitute themselves
Abusers of Mankind – those engaged in same sex
Thieves – those who steal
Covetous – the stingy or greedy
Drunkards – abusers of drugs or alcohol
Revilers – troublemakers
Extortioners – hold up artists

God knows who these people are, and will lead them to conversion or will remove them from the Orchestra. God will fix the problem. We are not to be part of the problem, though we are legally able to do so. Of everything listed above as sins that damn a soul, most of this list was legal in Rome and is legal in America today.

Yet these things bring bondage.
Sin binds the soul.
Sin harms the body.

Though it might be LEGAL, it is not part of God’s Symphony.
We should not play with it.

The Apostle said: 1 Corinthians 6:11 (KJV)  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

God indwells His Children. He washed us from His sins in His own Blood. He sanctified us, setting us apart as His people. He justified us, making us right with Him. We are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. He is or Lord, our Conductor, our Leader, our King.

I Am To Be Christ’s

Corinth was the capital city of the so called goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. The prostitutes worked in that temple gathering funds for their goddess. Greek Geographer Strabo wrote around 20 AD:

The temple of Aphrodite was once so rich that it had acquired more than a thousand prostitutes, donated by both men and women to the service of the goddess. And because of them, the city used to be jam-packed and became wealthy. The ship-captains would spend fortunes there, and so the proverb says: “The voyage to Corinth isn’t for just any man.”

The Corinthians had fallen prey to this evil. The Apostle wrote:

1 Corinthians 6:13-17 (KJV)  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.  [14]  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.  [15]  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.  [16]  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  [17]  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

It was lawful and even encouraged to visit the Temple of Aphrodite. But Paul said “though it be lawful, it is not part of God’s symphony”. It is darkness, and evil. The day the Christian becomes a Christian God indwells our bodies. We are in union with God. Therefore we are no longer to be in union with darkness. We are:

Colossians 1:13-14 (KJV)  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  [14]  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

We no longer belong to the devil, but belong to God. God lives inside us. We are to live with Him and with one another, glorifying Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Sexual immorality – called “fornication” in our above text – is a sin that destroys our bodies. The sexually immoral contract diseases that the sexually righteous do not. The Bible says:

Proverbs 6:32 (NKJV) Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.

Sexual immorality is winked at in America today, but it is destroying our society. It is destroying families. It is destroying Churches. The Apostle encourages the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  [20]  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Your body belongs to God. Though it may be LEGAL, ask yourself “Is it part of God’s Symphony?” If not, put it away. Love Him Who loves you. Glorify God in your Body and in your Spirit, because we who are saved belong to God. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. He is our Conductor, our Lord, our God!

May Jesus touch your hearts with His Word.

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FIVE SIMPLE STEPS TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.

great article from a wonderful Christ follower

jesussocial

Like the early church we still have have the momentum of the Holy Spirit in us to keep flying the flag of Christ high by continuing in their prompt willingness to share the Gospel.

Irrespective of the age we find ourselves in, ie in terms of the technologies available today we can still keep up and share the Gospel with those around us beginning with family and friends. What great joy and privilege to share the greatest gift of love with people around us, on a personal one on one basis. Here are some five (5) simple steps to follow.

1. ASK PERMISSION

It could be on a bus, train, mall or even on a picnic, and you can start a simple conversation with a smiling ‘Hello’ , be polite and ask , ” Can I share a GoodNews with you? Just five minutes of your time please” or ,”…

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Walk In The Light Of The Lord

Isaiah_2_2t5_Walk_In_The_Light

Audio of Sermon:

Sermon Notes: Isaiah 2:2-5 (KJV)  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  [3]  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  [4]  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  [5]  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Audio of Message: 

Israel was in bondage because she had drifted from God. Northern Israel had fallen to Assyria, and Southern Israel was about to fall to Babylon. How did God encourage His people?

He told them of better days to come. He spoke of the Coming Millennial Reign of Christ, a time when peace would rule on the earth.

Let’s meditate on what our Lord said:

Isaiah 2:2 (KJV)  And it shall come to pass in the last days,

the latter days, at the end of the Age
when the old passes and the New King reigns

that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills;

the “High Places” will be reserved to our God.
In the Millennial Reign of Christ God will not be incidental, but the focus of our lives.

and all nations shall flow unto it.

God will be revered under the Leadership and Throne of Christ.
Those of His Church shall receive glorified bodies at the Rapture
So that we are able to glorify our God forever!

The Bible speaks of the coming of our Lord and His Rapture of His Church:

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NKJV) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

What a glorious day that will be! In those coming days of glory the world will be changed.

Isaiah 2:3 (KJV)   And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob;

People will want to gather together in love, glorifying God.

and he will teach us of his ways,

During the Millennial Reign of Christ people will want to hear the Word of God.
They will be taught of God.

and we will walk in his paths:

During the Millennium people will not walk in the paths of darkness nor sin.
We will walk in HIS paths, where our God leads.

for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

And Jesus will rule from Jerusalem.

How will the world be during that wonderful time? The Lord tells us:

Isaiah 2:4 (KJV) And He {Jesus Christ our Lord} shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:

Jesus said in John 5:22-23 (NKJV) For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

All Judgment belongs to the Son. He will rule the world.
What is the result of His righteous rule?

and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  

War will be ended during the Millennial Reign of our Lord.
Israel was in bondage, first to sin, then to the sinful pagan.
But where God reigns there is nothing but peace.
Where God rules there is fairness.
Where God rules racism is gone.

Looking forward to this great day, God issues a command to His people. He says:

Isaiah 2:5 (KJV) O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

If during the Millennial Reign Christ brings peace,

If in Heaven there is no domination of sin nor or hatred,

If these things are true because we walk in the light of the Lord,

Then let us NOW walk in the light of the Lord.

IF what blesses the world THEN is obedience to the Lord,
THEN what blesses the world NOW is obedience to the Lord.

God’s People Are To Walk In LIGHT, Not Darkness

On Wednesday nights we are working our way through the Book of 1 Corinthians, one of my least favorite books of the Bible to preach through. I didn’t say I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with it – and love it – because My Lord wrote it. But it is a hard book to preach.

The Church in America today is like Corinth, and no one wants to hear the truth.
That makes it hard to preach. But I’ll preach it anyway.

The Corinthian Church had gotten away from Walking in the Light of the Lord and began to let worldliness creep into the Church. The Apostle told Corinth – and the Church today …

1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NKJV) I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with SEXUALLY IMMORAL PEOPLE. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or COVETOUS, or an IDOLATER, or a REVILER, or a DRUNKARD, or an EXTORTIONER—not even to eat with such a person.

Sexual immorality is darkness. God calls His people to one man – one woman marriages, just as it was with Adam and Eve. His people are to walk in LIGHT, not darkness. God calls His people away from homosexual, lesbian, transgender, or promiscuous heterosexual relationships. These things are darkness, not light. Come, let us walk together in the light of the Lord.

No believer is to be SEXUALLY IMMORAL – a violation of the 7th Commandment.
No believer is to be COVETOUS – greedy, a violation of the 10th Commandment.
No believer is to be IDOLATROUS – worshiping false gods,
a violation of Commands 1&2.
No believer is to be a reviler – hateful to others. This violates the Law of Love.
No believer is to be a drunkarda misuser of alcohol or drugs.
And certainly no believer is to be an extortionermanipulating others for gain.

You say “But truly no believer would do these things”. Believers have, and did. The Corinthians did so. A famous Old Testament example of such things was God’s own King David. David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). And David is a perfect example of why we do not walk in darkness.

David COVETED.
He saw another man’s wife.
David EXTORTED.
He took that man’s wife.
David was SEXUALLY IMMORAL.
He slept with that man’s wife.
David was IDOLATROUS.
He worshiped himself and his power.
He did not glorify God.
Then David MURDERED the man from whom
He coveted, extorted, took.

But God punished David.

2 Samuel 12:10 (ESV) Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

the Lord told David.
If you walk in darkness, you will stub the toe of your soul.
If you walk in darkness, you will hurt yourself.
If you walk in darkness, it will hurt others around you.
Remember what you learned in Bible School, that precious Song …

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little feet WHERE YOU WALK
O be careful little feet WHERE YOU WALK
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little feet WHERE YOU WALK

Worldliness has crept into many Churches today.
Worldliness has crept into many of our beloved Baptist Churches.
Worldliness has crept into our beloved Convention.

The world has taught the Church how to compromise with the darkness, and the Church has listened. Oh Beloved, if you do darkness you will reap darkness. If you do light, you will reap light.

The Church – just like Israel – is called to look forward, to be prophetically minded.
The Church – just like Israel – is called to walk in the light of the Lord.

If we will THEN rule and reign with Him, we must NOW walk with Him.

Walking In Light Is The Normal State Of The Believer

Isaiah 2:5 (KJV)  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

As someone once said:

There is a big difference between an EMPTY profession and a GRACIOUS reality!

The dangerous “hope so” salvation is often prompted by the double minded person. God tells us:

1 John 1:6-7 (NKJV) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

God saves us from the dark world to walk in His world. We who are His are translated beings.

Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV) {God} has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

The Redeemed are Translated, and the Translated are Redeemed.

And we who are His are Redeemed to walk with Him. “Let us WALK in the Light of the Lord”. Walking implies activity and union. If we walk in the Light we walk WITH GOD and WITH OTHER BEINGS OF LIGHT. As we walk with God, we walk with God TOGETHER.

He said “Let us WALK”. Walk implies continuous activity. The Bible does not say “let us SIT in the Light of the Lord”, but “Let us WALK in the Light of the Lord”. Jesus said “My Father works, so I work”. We walk – we work – with our Father.

We Walk ONWARD With Light There may be times when darkness and depression come in our lives, but we do not live in darkness. Children of light may have times of sorrow.

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) …. Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

The believer is not to focus on the darkness, but on Christ, our “Dayspring from on High” (Luke 1:78). We lose loved ones. We all suffer the pangs and sorrows of death. But those of ours who have gone on ahead into His Presence are not lost, but held in the arms of Christ. We do not sorrow as the unbeliever does who has no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13), but our focus is on Christ. Jesus told us:

Matthew 6:22-23 (NKJV) The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Where is your spiritual “eye” focused? If on the darkness, you will be in darkness. “Come, let us walk in the Light of the Lord”. Has He not promised

John 11:26 (NKJV) And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

Then asks …

Do you believe this?”

If you believe this, then focus on this. Let your life be all of

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) … LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We Walk Onward In The LIGHT OF GRACE And LOVE

Isaiah 2:5 (KJV)  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

The unbeliever is in the state of darkness.

Ephesians 4:18 (NKJV) … having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

This is where you were, dear believer, but no longer are.

Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV) For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We no longer hesitate between two opinions, but we desire to walk with our God in His light.

We are to walk loving one another as Christ has loved us.
We are to walk in love with our God, praising Him, magnifying His Name.
We glorify Him, not ourselves, but Him.

We know that the Lord’s Prayer:

Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) …Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.   [10]   Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.   [11]   Give us this day our daily bread.   [12]   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.   [13]   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The Kingdom of God cannot come while His people are walking in darkness. We must walk in the light of His love, caring for one another, loving one another. We are a forgiven people. We are purchased by the Blood of His dear Son. We are His Children. Sin to us is a horror, a killer, a murderer of the innocent, a terror that we will not walk by. As C.H. Spurgeon once said:

We are no longer bound to this earth! We are borne along by the irresistable force of eternal love. God has achieved His purpose in our blood washed souls; walking in the light we are now in harmony with His master purpose, and we cry,

Father, glorify Your Son!

May the Spirit of God bring you to know the joy of walking in His Light. May God bless you all!

Posted in Belong To God, Cross of Christ, Holiness, Love One Another, Sermons Preached | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Come Now!

Isaiah_1_18_Come_NowSermon Notes (Audio at end of text): The message of Isaiah is seen in his very name. Isaiah means “Yahweh Will Save”. God will save. God loves to save. When Christ came, where did we find Him? When He was young we found Him in the Temple teaching the Rabbis and Elders. His mother said:

Son, did You not know You were worrying us. We have looked all day for You?”

To which Jesus replied:

Luke 2:49 (NKJV) … “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Jesus came to do the Father’s Business. He started in the Temple, but moved outward to the people. Jesus came to correct His Church first, to get worship back on track. But the Church – God’s Temple – does not exist just for itself. It exists to point the world to God. It exists to rebuke sin, and to draw others to salvation in Christ.

Who were those most often about Christ but the sick, the sinful, the separated from God?

Sin is a terrible thing, for it draws God’s Creation away from God.

In Isaiah’s day Israel, a nation founded by God, had drifted from God. The nation was divided. Northern Israel was in captivity to a pagan nation, and Southern Israel was not far behind.

In our nation, our Blessed America, we have wandered far from God. The nation is divided. We are in captivity to pagan forces. We are in utter confusion, having to “define” bathrooms, to “redefine” marriage. What has led us to this?

Just as it was with Israel, we have wandered from God. What is the solution to our national problems? God calls out:

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

God calls out to whosoever will “Come now! Come to Me. Come reason with Me. I am the Almighty, the YAHWEH, the Eternal God Who made you.”

Come Reason With God Concerning Sin

Are we better under the reign of sin than we were under the reign of God?
No, I do not think so.
Our country has become confused and convoluted.

People are revolting in the streets, destroying public property, racists abound on both sides, and love is no where in sight. There is no longer any discussion, but shouted worldliness on all sides. There is no longer any rational or reasonable discussion, but whoever shouts the loudest is deemed the victor. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 14:33 … God is not the Author of Confusion, but of peace …

That which grips our country is not REASON but UNREASON.

Kathy Griffin holding up the bloody head of a seated President, giggling, but later unrepentant and angry because she was rebuked for it.

Senators openly calling for the assassination of a Seated President.

Federal courts not following the Constitution, but the whim of the people.

God calls out. Come, let US reason ..

Come to God and discuss the matter. How shall we get from confusion to peace? We need to come to the Almighty God. To REASON with Him. We’ve tried reasoning with the world, and with Satan. Several years ago the then seated President Barak Obama stood with the redefinition of marriage. For two hundred years our nation believed marriage to be one man, one woman. We believed the Bible, which says:

Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The world reasoned. “Get rid of the Defense of Marriage Amendment. Give marriage a broader definition. It will not effect anything but just those predisposed to this lifestyle. Compromise with what God has written in His Word, and it will be fine.”

So we reasoned apart from God and His Word. Has it effected others? Absolutely. Bakers and Florists are being told that they must cater to weddings outside of their faith. Churches are being told they must cater to what God has not said is right or true. The religious rights of citizens are being trampled, all in the name of “tolerance”.

Sin is destructive.
It is sinful to do what God says not to do.
It is also sinful not the love and share God’s call to the sinner.

Sin Robs Us Of Our Design And Potential

Isaiah 1:2 (KJV)  Hear, O HEAVENS, and give ear, O EARTH: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

When God cries out, notice that He cries out to the Heavens and the earth. The Heavens are in the hands of God. He controls the Heavens:

Psalm 19:1-2 (ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

The Heaven and the earth declare there is a Creator, a Designer, a Loving Father Who made all things. We are told in:

Job 12:7-10 (ESV) But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

There is the hand of the Creator in all of creation. We see God’s hand in the intricacy of every living thing. God created a self sustaining world, an amazing Sun, and populated this world with wide varieties of amazing creatures. God cries out to Creation itself which testifies of Him, saying:

I have nourished and brought up CHILDREN, and they have rebelled against ME.

Sin is rebellion against God. Sin makes us less than the animals. Sin makes us not animalistic, but WORSE than the creature. We were created in God’s image to rule and reign over creation. We were created by God to be over the animals, to have dominion for God’s sake.

Yet sin makes us dumber than the ox or the jackass.

Isaiah 1:3 (KJV)  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

America is America because of the faith of our Fathers.
We were founded on the basis of Christ.

The ox knows his owner, and sin has made us forget our God. The jackass knows his master’s barn, and if released in the wild will return to it for blessing. But sin has coarsened us to where we do not know God, nor the blessedness of God. When God said

My people do not consider

The word “consider” is the Hebrew בִּין biyn which means “to have understanding, to discern”. The lowly ox and jackass have the basic understanding that they do not belong to themselves, but to another …. and yet sin has caused us to think that we belong to ourselves. We do not. We belong to God. We were made by God. We were made to be not animals, but loved of Him and loving toward one another.

Sin drags a people down.

The world says “What does it matter? What is the harm? As long as you’re happy!”

But God says:

Isaiah 1:4 (KJV)  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Sin does several things if unrepentant of.

  • Sin is a burden that weighs us down. God said:

Isaiah 1:4 (KJV) “a people LADEN with iniquity”.

Sin is a weight that gets heavier with time. I can pick up a 40 pound bag of concrete, but I sure wouldn’t want to carry it around. Sin is HEAVY. Sin is AWKWARD. Sin is COMPLICATED.

Sin stops even the believer from following Christ. Sin will destroy your ministry!

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and SIN WHICH CLINGS SO CLOSELY, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sin caused God to send His Only Begotten Son to the Cross. Sin hurts us. C.H. Spurgeon said:

Say to a man, “You are not to be punished for your sin, and you may live in it”, what worst thing could you do to him? … Here is a bleeding wound in my arm; the surgeon says he will allow it to bleed, but he will remove my sense of faintness and pain; he will leave the mortal injury, but take away its attendant inconveniences so that I may bleed to death and not know it?”

  • Sin Is A Leaven That Grows, A Rash That Spreads. God said:

Isaiah 1:4 (KJV) “a SEED of evildoers”

When you go to the store you can find all kinds of SEED in different, brightly colored packages. The SEED rarely produces the beautiful picture on the outside of the package. Such is it with sin. Sin like other SEED comes in seemingly attractive packages, but when sown NEVER LOOKS AS GOOD AS PROMISED!

The Lord said: Matthew 16:6 (KJV) …. Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

It is sinful to be self-righteous. It is sinful to be holier than thou. It is sinful to be a hypocrite. “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy, to be two faced” (Luke 12:1). Do not be a hypocrite nor self righteous. Come to Him. Christ came to give Himself for sinners, and we are all sinners.

Romans 3:10 (KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

This is why God calls us to Himself. “Come, let us REASON together” is what God says. Come to Christ. Come knowing you are a sinner. Come knowing that God is willing to be gracious, willing to restore, willing to lovingly bring you from darkness into light. Sin unrepentant is sin spreading. Many Churches have winked a blind eye at sin. The Corinthian Church winked a blind eye at sexual sin. The Apostle told them:

1 Corinthians 5:6-11 (KJV)  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  [7]  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  [8]  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  [9]  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  [10]  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  [11]  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

If someone hears the Word of God and comes to Him to reason with Him, that person must repent of sin. Sin is no plaything, but a tool of the devil to enslave God’s Creation.

  • Sin destroys the children. God said:

Isaiah 1:4 (KJV) children that are corrupters

Sin takes the children far from God. God commanded His Israel to teach the children of God. He said:

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  [5]  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  [6]  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  [7]  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

When the children are exposed to sin, it makes them corrupt, and the next generation of corrupters. As the twig is bent, the tree will grow. The child must be taught that he himself is not the center of all things, but that God is. Sin makes self the most important thing, but God is most important. The child to love the Lord, to sit at His feet, to hear His instruction QUIETLY, to submit to Him is the child that will grow to be a stable and honest adult. The child taught that he is the center of the universe will give us more of Charlottesville, more rioting, more instability, more idiocy.

When I was young my mother and grandmother taught me about

David and Goliath,
the three Hebrew Children,
Daniel in the Lions den,
Joseph and his coat of many colors.

Sadly many adults today have no concept of these Bible stories for
they were raised in a household where God’s Word was not spoken.

Is it any wonder that godlessness prevails in their lives now?

  • Sin Invites The Anger Of God. The Lord said:

Isaiah 1:4 (KJV) they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,
they are gone away backward.

Sin brings the anger of God upon a nation. The Psalmist wrote:

Psalm 38:1 (ESV) O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! 2 For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

Sin brings with it sickness and loss of blessing.

Psalm 38:3-4 (ESV) There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

When 9-11 happened the nation cried out “Where is God?” The better question would be “Where are we in relationship to God?” Sin provokes God to anger. Our God is Holy, Just, Righteous, Pure. He despises to look upon sin. When God sees sin, He is prompted to judge sin.

What angers God most about sin is how it destroys His creation.
God made us to dominate, not be dominated.
God made us to be His Children, not Satan’s playthings.

Isaiah 1:5-7 (KJV)  Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.  [6]  From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.  [7]  Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

Sin untreated brings sickness to a nation. From the bottom of the foot to the top of the head sin causes

wounds
bruises
putrefying sores

A nation without God becomes desolate

burned with fire
devoured by strangers

Beloved, this is our nation. The Church of God must stand against sin and with God. God has a remnant who lovers Him and stands with Him. Praise God for His Remnant! Praise God for the righteous in Christ. The Lord said:

Isaiah 1:9 (KJV)  Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

God Will Make A Difference With A Faithful Remnant

The “Lord of Hosts” stands with His people. He tells us that it’s not too late. God’s Church can make a difference. God still calls with His Gospel. God still saves by His Christ.

We are not called to RELIGION, but to a RELATIONSHIP with our God. The Lord said:

Isaiah 1:13-15 (KJV)  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  [14]  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.   [15]  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

The sinner need not expect to be heard of God. The Pharisees had ritual, but no relationship with God in Christ. God does not hear the prayer of the sinner, unless it be the prayer of repentance. God said:

Isaiah 1:16 (KJV)  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Surrender your sin to God.

1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  [9]  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Repent of sin. Hear God. Come, let US reason, says the Lord. Ask God to purge you of anything that is unpleasing to Him, and live for His pleasure. God does not save us so that we can more freely sin, but saves us so that we might be His people, His light in this present evil age.

If you are Christ’s, then as Christ did the good, YOU do the good.

Isaiah 1:17 (KJV)  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed {correct oppression}, judge {more accurate, bring justice to) the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)  learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Help someone in need. BE THE LIGHT of God. Tell someone that God calls to them. Play the Golden Trumpet of the Gospel.

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Christ came for everyone. His Blood was shed for whosoever will. Share this beautiful song with all who will hear. If the sinner dies in his sins he will go to a devil’s hell. This is not God’s fault, but the sinner’s fault. God is ready to forgive, to bestow Grace, to lovingly forgive sin for Christ’s sake.

It is each person’s choice.

Isaiah 1:19-20 (KJV)  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  [20]  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

May Christ lead someone to repentance and new life through this message!

8:30 AM Service: 

11 AM Service:

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Natural Or Spiritual?

1_Corinthians_2_14t16

Audio of Sermon:

Sermon Notes: 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  [15]  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  [16]  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

There Is A Natural Man And There Is A Spiritual Man.

The word translated “natural” in our text is ψυχικός psychikos which means “sensual or fleshly”. The Psychikos person is focused on the flesh, on logic, on the five senses – touch, taste, smell, hear, see. The Psychikos man will not receive truths from anything higher than his five senses. His attitude is “show me, then I’ll believe”.

The Psychikos or Sensual person is self focused. The ME is the center of the universe. This person is said to be “in the flesh”. The Apostle spoke of the fleshly person in:

Romans 8:5-8 (ESV) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The lost person – the person without Christ – lives according to the flesh.

They live according to the thought patterns that Jesus spoke against.

Our Lord said: Matthew 6:24-33 (ESV) No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles {the unbelievers} seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Psychikos or Sensual person is the person continually making self the center of all things.
This is natural for the lost – but UNnatural for the saved.
God calls His Children NOT TO BE FLESHLY – living according to the five senses
– but to be SPIRITUAL.

The word translated “Spiritual” in our above text is πνευματικός pneumatikos, which means “Spirit led”. Psychikos means to be “led of the senses” but Pneumatikos means to be “led of the Spirit”.

You can be Psykikos – from which we get our word Psychotic or Psychosis,
or you can be PneumatikosSpirit filled and at peace with God.
You can be flesh oriented, approaching life from feelings and senses,
or you can be Spirit oriented, approaching life with God at your side.
A locomotive engine on the tracks stays steady and strong,
But a locomotive engine off the tracks goes no where.
The Christian is called to be God oriented, Spirit led, and Bible fed!

It Was The Spirit Of God Who Led You To Salvation

If you are saved, born again, then you are saved because you heard the Gospel, and the Spirit revealed the Gospel to you. The Apostle writes:

1 Corinthians 2:2-5 (KJV)  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  [3]  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  [4]  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  [5]  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

And then states:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV)  But as it is written, EYE hath not seen, nor EAR heard, neither have entered into the HEART {FEELINGS} of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  [10]  But GOD HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO US BY HIS SPIRIT: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

It is the Gospel that is the very power of God unto salvation. But how can the Psychikos or sensual person hear the Gospel? They cannot. But God reveals them to us by His Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who opens the eyes, who enables the lost to see Christ as Lord and Savior. We who are saved have …

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 (KJV) … received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  [13]  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost {Pneuma – Spirit} teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  [14]  But the NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Those who are in the flesh – Psychikos – CANNOT RECEIVE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The lost cannot understand God. But the Holy Spirit opens the eyes as the Gospel is preached. It is not I nor you that save a soul, but the Spirit of God Who saves. What did Jesus say?

John 6:63-65 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

If you are saved, you are saved because God opened your eyes to the Gospel.
The Spirit enabled you.
He lifted the fog of flesh.
Those who are saved are not saved because of their works,
but because of the Spirit’s work and the Son’s work.

It Is The Spirit Of God Who Indwelt You At Salvation

1 Corinthians 2:12 (KJV)  Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, BUT THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Once a person hears the Gospel – through the Spirit – and receives the Christ – the Spirit of God indwells that person. The Bible is very clear on this. We read:

Romans 8:9-14 (ESV) You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Only those who are led by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God. The Holy Spirit saves the believer by opening our eyes to the Gospel. But then the Holy Spirit indwells the believer so that we can walk with God.

If you are born again you are to be Spirit led. The Christian is commanded to …

Galatians 5:16-25 (ESV) walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

It is normal for lost people to live abnormally and sinfully, but it is abnormal for a believer to live this way. The Spirit of God indwells the believer so that we – submitting to Him – will follow the pathway of righteousness and love.

The Holy Spirit is given to the believer to lead us in the truths of God’s Word. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). Those who are saved by Grace are REGENERATED – made new – born again. The Scripture declares:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) … if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

If you are in Christ you are a new creature. We may live in the human race, but we run according to our Christ and His Spirit. We live for Him.
We are to be Pneumatikos, Spiritual.

In the previous chapter the Corinthian believers began to fight among themselves as to who was the more perfectly converted. They debated among themselves, arguing …

1 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV) … every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Some came to Christ under Christ’s preaching, and felt they were superior to the other believers. Some came to Christ under Peter’s preaching – that’s who Cephas was – and felt they were superior because of it. Some came to Christ under Apollos preaching, a famous Evangelist of that day. They felt they were superior. And some felt superior because they came to Christ under Paul’s preaching.

The truth is, it did not matter who preached,
but it was the Holy Spirit who in every case made the difference.
The Apostle preached the Cross of Christ,
but it is the Spirit of God that opens the eyes of the lost.

The Holy Spirit Is Given To Us
To Guide Us In God’s Truth

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  [16]  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

When the Apostle said “We have the mind of Christ” he was not speaking of the Corinthian Church. He was speaking of the Apostles, including himself. The reason that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to His Church was …

John 16:13-14 (ESV) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Holy Spirit – also called “The Spirit of Truth” – came to guide God’s people “in all truth”. What is truth? Jesus prayed prior to Calvary for His Church, saying…

John 17:14-17 (ESV) I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

The Holy Spirit came to guide the Church in the Word of God, His Bible.
The Corinthians were not God focused nor living by the Spirit.
If we are walking together in TRUTH there will be NO division.

1 Corinthians 3:1 (KJV)  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto SPIRITUAL, but as unto CARNAL, even as unto babes in Christ.

This is amazing. The Apostle said:

I cannot speak to you as if you were PNEUMATIKOS {Spiritual}
But I have to speak to you as you are SARKIKOS {Fleshly}
As if you were BABIES in Christ

Paul doesn’t call the Corinthians Psychikos – a word reserved for the sensual and lost, but he calls them Sarkikos or Fleshly. What is the difference? The Christian is saved by God the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit. We are saved to be above the petty things of this world. We are saved to be world changers, to live for Him. We are not saved to be PART of the world, but to be God’s Light IN the world. We are to put off the old man – that old dead way of life – and put on the New Man, to be like Christ.

How did Paul know that the Corinthians were Sarkikos and not Pneumatikos, fleshly babies and not Spirit led believers?

Because they were divided.
They were like babies playing in a sandbox.
Fighting over the Tonka toy.
Tossing sand.
As babies mess on themselves,
They messed on themselves.
And they even stunk to the world.

1 Corinthians 3:3-5 (KJV)  For ye are yet carnal: {SARKIKOS} for whereas there is among you …

envying,
and strife,
and divisions,

are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  [4]  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  [5]  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

It is God Who saves the soul. It is God Who receives the glory. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (KJV)  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  [7]  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

God must give the increase.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;

Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;

The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see.

Where there is disruption and division, God is not. But where God’s people gather to cherish His Word, to heed His Spirit, there is unity and peace. We glorify Christ. We follow the Spirit’s lead. It is all of God, and none of my strength. All glory to Him!

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (KJV)  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  [22]  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  [23]  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

If you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s, then you are God’s. You belong to Him. Live for Him. Read His Word. Seek His face. Glorify Him. This is the Way of the Christ.

May God touch your hearts to know Him as He is.

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The Obedience Of Faith

Matthew_28_8t10_Obedience_Of_FaithMatthew 28:8-10 (KJV)  And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.  [9]  And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him.  [10]  Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Audio of Sermon: 

Sermon Notes: The first person to see Jesus in the Garden of Eden was Adam. Adam was formed of the dust of the ground. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life. God gave Adam the command to not eat of the forbidden. Adam disobeyed God, and “by one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”. Eve was made later, and suffered because of Adam.

The first to see the resurrected Jesus was not men, but women.

Why is that?

It is because these women loved Jesus.

God told Israel:

Leviticus 26:21 (NKJV) … if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.

But also,

Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV) I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.

The two Marys loved Jesus very much. A Mary anointed His feet with a broken Alabaster Box before the nails ever pierced them. Though Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea sought the body of Christ and helped with His preparation for burial, it was the Marys that washed His wounds, and rose early on the first day of the week to finish His preparation.

Though these women were not Apostles nor Pastors – and would never be so – they teach us a great deal about the type of faith that God wants us to have.

God Expects Our Faith To Be Obedient To Him

A Faith that is not OBEDIENT does not please God.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please {God}: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The Marys came to the Tomb and did not find Jesus, but found an Angel of God. I suspect this was Gabriel, the same Angel that announced the birth of Christ. Gabriel told the Marys:

Go QUICKLY, and tell His Disciples He has risen from the dead (vs 7)

You must GO QUICKLY and TELL.

What you saw, you share.

They were to GO QUICKLY.

When God tells us to GO we are to GO QUICKLY. This is the way of true faith. What is the main example of faith that God gives us in the Scripture but our Father Abraham. God told Abraham:

Get out of your country, leave your family and your father’s house.

Go to a land I will show you.

And I will make you great, and bless the world through you.

Abraham Moved Quickly, But Not Perfectly

Abraham moved immediately. He followed God without hesitation, but he did not follow God perfectly. He took some of his family with him, and because of that Lot brought trouble into his life.

The Marys faith was more obedient than Father Abraham’s. The Angel commanded “Go Quickly”, and they went quickly. They obeyed. They did not add to what he decreed. They went.

They also did not debate the Angel, nor think of reasons why they were not qualified.

God told them “Go”, and they went.

Moses Moved After Much Debate

When God came to Moses and told him – worthy and humble man that he was –

I have heard the cry of My people Israel.

Go to Pharaoh and tell Him “Let My people Go!”

Moses immediately began to argue with God.

Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, that I should bring Israel out of Egypt?

God said “You are My Messenger. I chose you. Now go!”

But Moses continued to argue.

I am not eloquent. I am not worthy.

I am slow of speech, and slow of tongue!

But God said I have chosen you, and I made your mouth.

But if you fear Aaron your brother can speak for you.

He can be your spokesman.

It would had been better that Moses heed God. Making Aaron his spokesman led to trouble, to idolatry, to rebellion.

The two Marys lived in a time when women had few rights, and were treated poorly by men. When the Angel said “Go Quickly” they, like Moses, could have debated God. “Who are we but women, lowly, disrespected by society? We are not Apostles – who are we to tell them?” But they did not debate God. God bless them, they did as the Angel said and went when God said GO.

To Honor God Is To Go When He Says

So many blessings have been lost because of delayed obedience. The Angel told the Marys “Go quickly”. Not to choose when they FELT like going, but to GO when God said go.

Israel Refused To Go When God Said Go

I am reminded of that fateful day when Israel stood at the bank of the Jordan River. Joshua and Caleb told Israel to cross as God had decreed, but Israel refused to listen.

We are as grasshoppers in the sight of those people.

Oh that we had died in this wilderness!

Why did God bring us to this place to be victims, to fall under the sword?

Let us revolt and return to Egypt!

When God says “Go quickly” He means us to do so. When God says “come” He means right now, not later. God told Israel:

Numbers 14:29-31 (NKJV) The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.

At this point Israel chose to go forward, but it was too late. The people said:

We will rise up and go NOW, for we have sinned against God.

But it was too late. They did not go when God said GO, and now they could not go. So they wandered 40 years until all that God said came to pass.

Oh, blessed are the Marys who went when God said GO. They did not wait. Waiting can rob you of the blessings of God. There are many who will never cross the Jordan of faith, and so will never enter Heaven.

2 Corinthians 6 (NKJV) We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you,

And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The Bible says “Come to Christ. Come today.” But some say “Not today. I will go another day.” I know a young man that I spoke to of Christ, a young man dying of cancer. I begged him to get his affairs in order. Cancer is a blessing as it gives you time to make your salvation sure. He spent his days living evilly, hatefully, and unrepentant. Now his heart is hardened, and His Maker calls. Will He see Christ?

1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Go quickly. Do not allow your emotions to hold you back.

Matthew 28:8 (KJV)  And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with FEAR AND GREAT JOY;

The Marys were not hampered by their emotions. Fear has kept many from making an open profession of Christ. Fear has kept many from sharing Christ with others. They departed quickly, both fearful and joyful.

They left the Tomb joyful – but their joy will soon increase!

Why? Because …

The Obedience Of Faith Brings Us Jesus

Matthew 28:9 (KJV) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ALL HAIL.

I have often heard people say “I’d love to go to the Holy Land”. I’ve often said it myself. But do you know the “Holy Land” is where Jesus is – and Jesus is where His people are obedient!

Please note that the Marys did not meet Jesus at the Tomb. The text tells us:

as THEY WENT to TELL HIS DISCIPLES

This is when they saw Jesus. I have had people tell me:

I do not meet Jesus nor feel His presence in my life.

Alright then – are you being OBEDIENT to Him?

Are you doing what He says?

Are you reading His Word daily?

Are you seeking to worship Him and glorify Him?

Do you do as He says in Church attendance?

Do you do as He says in giving?

He has commanded your Baptism – Have you been Baptized?

Do you follow Jesus, or expect Jesus to follow you?

Have you forgiven and shown love to your enemies?

Are you in a state of prayer, living for Him?

Or are you more concerned about what others say?

Salvation is a free gift of God, but obedience is expected.

The Marys heard the Word of God, and moved to obey that Word.

It was then that that met Jesus. Or actually,

Jesus met them!

Word Study When Jesus met them the King James text says He said “All hail!”. That’s not correct. Jesus said χαίρω chairō, which means REJOICE or BE FILLED WITH JOY. This is the same word that the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, the Mother of Christ:

Luke 1:28 (NKJV) … “REJOICE (χαίρω chairō), highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

The Virgin Mary was to REJOICE because the Savior was coming. God would come to this earth through her. The two Marys were to REJOICE because death, the devil, and sin have been defeated. How do we know? HERE IS THE SAVIOR! He has risen, just as He said. REJOICE.

Obedience brought the Marys to a place of rejoicing. Someone once said:

The joy of the Lord is the gladness of heart that comes from knowing God, abiding in Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22 (ESV) … the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. The obedient believer is the joyful believer.

We are commanded:

Philippians 3:1 (ESV) … Finally, my brothers, REJOICE in the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (ESV) … REJOICE always,

We rejoice IN CHRIST. In Him death is defeated. In Him life is eternal. Jesus says:

Rejoice, for I do not call you SERVANTS, but I call you FRIENDS

A FRIEND Who will never forsake you

A FRIEND Who will never leave you

Matthew 28:9 (KJV) … Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. 

Thomas would doubt the Risen Christ. Why? Because the message Jesus went to His disciples was:

Matthew 28:10 (KJV) … go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Go into Galilee, and THERE YOU SHALL SEE ME”. Not at the empty tomb. Not sitting at home watching Charles Stanley or Joel Osteen on television. GO TO GALILEE. The obedient went to Galilee … all but Thomas.

I don’t know where Thomas was.

People are always asking me:

Where is so and so. I haven’t seen them in a while?

I’m sorry, I don’t know where Thomas is. I didn’t know it was my day to watch him. Thomas missed the meeting, the Church service in Galilee. He stayed at home. He wasn’t there. Everyone looked around and said:

Where’s Thomas?

The Bible just tells us:

John 20:24-25 (NKJV) Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, WAS NOT WITH THEM WHEN JESUS CAME. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

Thomas, we were at Church the other night when Jesus came. We have seen the Lord. Thomas replies:

Nuh Uh!

I don’t believe it!

Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails,

and put my finger in the print of the nails,

and put my hand into His side,

I will not believe!

Well Thomas, you didn’t believe in the first place. If you had believed in the first place you would have already seen Jesus. You would have touched Him when the others touched Him. Obedient faith touches Jesus. Go back to the Marys once more.

Matthew 28:9 (KJV) … Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and HELD HIM BY THE FEET, and worshiped him. 

The Marys touched Jesus before any of the Apostles did. They HELD HIM BY THE FEET and worshiped Him. They felt Jesus’ body. He was not a ghost, a spirit, a hoo doo. They worshiped Jesus because God is to be worshiped. Christ is the God Man – God become Man to save us from our sins.

So we worship Him.

We glorify Him.

We honor Him.

We love Him.

So Thomas saw Jesus last. Had Thomas never been obedient he would have never seen Jesus at all. So Thomas finally showed up – and Jesus came just as He said. This was the SECOND time Jesus appeared in Galilee. But Jesus is gracious. He told the Marys to tell the Disciples:

Matthew 28:10 (KJV) … go tell MY BRETHREN that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Thomas was a chucklehead, but he was still a child of God. Jesus did exactly as He said. Though we be faithless, He is faithful. He loves us, though we misstep. He came to Thomas and said:

John 20:27-29 (NKJV) “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

When we obey the Lord quickly, we are rewarded for our faith. When we delay in obeying we lose our blessing. Let us go quickly, obeying Him in all that He commands.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

Posted in Belong To God, obedience, Sermons Preached | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Greatest Ebeneezer

1Matthew 28:1-8 (KJV) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the {Tomb}. [2] And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. [3] His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: [4] And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. [5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. [6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. [7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. [8] And they departed quickly from the {Tomb} with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Audio of Sermon:

Sermon Notes: Today we will let the Stone rolled away preach, cry out to us, shout a message of Hosanna to Christ our King. Jesus said before His crucifixion:

Luke 19:40 (KJV) …. I tell you that, if these {children} should hold their peace, THE STONES WOULD IMMEDIATELY CRY OUT.

The stone rolled away is an Ebeneezer from God. What is an Ebeneezer?

An Ebeneezer Is A Stone Of Witness

In the days of the Prophet Samuel Israel had been defeated by the Philistines, a godless people. Why was God’s people defeated? It was because God’s people had compromised with the world. Israel had turned from following their Lord, and God will not bless disobedience.

God will not bless disobedience.
God will not bless disobedience.
God is Light, and He will not bless darkness!

The Philistines were coming once more, and Israel was frightened. The people cried out:

What shall we do? This is greater than us!

The Preacher Samuel told the people (1 Samuel 7:3/ NASB) “If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth {the little pocket gods} from among you and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand {of your enemy}.”

The people put away the false gods from among them.
They stopped worshiping man, money, sex, and power.
They chose to rise up and worship the God Who loved them.
They listened to the preacher rather than giggle and smirk,
raising their eyebrows and closing their ears.

The Preacher Samuel said:

Step out in faith

Samuel took the Blood of the Lamb without spot or blemish and offered it to God.

The enemy gathered,
the bullies came,
but God thundered,
and confused the enemy.

There is one word that defeats the devil and his forces. That word is…

Liar!

The devil and death are liars. They have no power above God. Jesus said “The devil is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44)”. The enemy was beaten that day, beaten by God. God’s people honored God as He should be honored, and the darkness fled as a whipped dog.

Samuel set up an Ebeneezer that day, a rock of testimony, a stone of help, a reminder to Israel of the goodness of God.

The Old Testament Ebeneezer stood as a testimony that God is faithful to defeat the enemies of those who love Him.

The New Testament Ebeneezer is that stone we see rolled away from the Tomb of Christ.

This Tomb Stone Was Set Because Of Unbelief

The Old Testament Ebeneezer was set because of faith, Samuel’s faith. But the New Testament Ebeneezer was a stone set on the tomb of Christ because of unbelief. The Bible tells us that when Jesus died and was placed in the Tomb, a huge stone was rolled into the doorway, effectively sealing it off. The Pharisees and Priests remembered that Jesus promised to rise from the grave. These unbelievers went to Pilate and said:

Matthew 27:63-66 … “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

The devil hears every sermon, every Word Christ spoke. The devil led the darkness to roll a huge stone into place, to sealed the stone in place with Pilate’s seal, and placed a guard of soldiers in front of that stone to keep it in place.

This is the trinity of unbelief – STONE, SEAL, and GUARD.

Unbelief separates man from God. Jude wrote:

Jude 5 (KJV) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward DESTROYED THEM THAT BELIEVED NOT.

Unbelief may say with the lips “I believe in God” but the heart is far from God. Unbelief invites the displeasure of God. Unbelief calls God a liar, and mocks His promises. The Bible warns:

Hebrews 3:12 (ESV) Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an EVIL, UNBELIEVING HEART, LEADING YOU TO FALL AWAY FROM THE LIVING GOD.

The unbelieving heart – just like the Ebeneezer of the Tomb – stands between humanity and the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

The PHARISEES had ritual, but no belief.
The SCRIBES had knowledge, but no belief.
The ROMANS had power, but no belief.

So they rolled the stone, the Ebeneezer, against the mouth of Christ’s Tomb. The government put a seal – which could not be broken without violating Roman Law – on the stone.

Police Line – Do Not Cross” says the yellow tape.
Christ dead from the Cross” says the Pilate tape.
No access to Jesus” says the guard at the Tomb.

Matthew 28:1 (KJV) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the {Tomb}.

At the end of the Sabbath Mary and Mary go to finish ministering to Christ. His body was hurriedly prepared for His funeral. These Marys came to do a good work, and “brought sweet spices that they might anoint Him” (Mark 16:1).

But they knew they couldn’t get into the Tomb. They knew that Jesus’ enemies had sealed the Tomb. They talked amongst themselves.

Who shall roll away the stone from the mouth of the Tomb
FOR IT IS VERY HEAVY” (Mark 16:3-4)?

The Stone is VERY HEAVY. There is a Stone that stands between man and God, a Stone of unbelief, a Stone of sin. When the Stone was placed on the mouth of that Tomb, it was placed there because Christ died for our sins. Sin is a barrier that keeps us from God.

Isaiah said: Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) … your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

The Bible teaches that an immovable stone stands between us and God, and that stone is our sin. We are shut into a living tomb. We are born into this world sinful creatures.

1 John 3:4 (ESV) Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; SIN IS LAWLESSNESS.

We are born into this world sinners who may be moral, sinners who might try to do good works, but sinners none the less. We are “dead in trespasses and in sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Satan led our forefather Adam from Paradise to spiritual death, and we have no ability to roll the stone away from that grave we are in.

This is why Christ died. Christ died not because HE was a sinner, but because WE are sinners. The Bible says:

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God …

Jesus died for our sins, and rose again to lead us in righteousness. Jesus said that He …

Mark 8:31 … must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

We could not roll the Stone away ourselves, but Christ rolled the stone of sin away by His death. As C.H. Spurgeon said:

Our sins were the great stone which shut the mouth of the {Tomb}, and held us captives in death, and darkness, and despair. But OUR SINS ARE NOW FOREVER ROLLED AWAY …”

The Marys came to the Tomb expecting nothing but barriers. What did they find?

This Ebeneezer Is A Stone That God Rolled Away

Matthew 28:2 (KJV) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

There was an earthquake the day that Jesus died: We read:

Matthew 27:50-54 (KJV) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

There was an earthquake the day that Jesus “yielded up His Spirit” unto the Father. No man took His life, but He laid it down. As He left this earth the earth moved, and dead saints rose from their graves. I used to think the scariest thing to see would be a herd of Jehovah’s Witnesses on my front door step (I jest, of course, for I respect their dedication though not their doctrine). But can you imagine

Uncle Bob raising from the grave, come knocking on your door?
Or Aunt Lillie, trailing fresh dirt, come to supper?
I love God’s sense of humor!

This would make Otis Campbell smash every bottle of Moon
he had stored in his basement!
(If you’re not an Andy Griffith Fan, this will make no sense to you).

Now the earth moves again.

Three days ago the dead rose and walked among the living, as the Light of the World gave up His brilliance. Now once more the earth moves. The Centurion who said “Surely this must have been the Son of God” – I’m sure – had a flashback. This time the Commander of men probably ran home and crawled under his bed!

The earth moved.
The Angel of the Lord descended.
The Stone was rolled away.

If Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins had not been acceptable to God
then that Stone would still be in place.

Hebrews 10:12-18 …. when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For BY A SINGLE OFFERING HE HAS PERFECTED FOR ALL TIME THOSE WHO ARE BEING SANCTIFIED. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Why did God send two Marys first of all to this Tomb? If two men had come there might have been a whispering that these men – and perhaps others – had rolled the stone away. But God sent two Marys, the – may I say it – weaker vessels. They could not move that heavy stone.

The Stone Rolled Away Tells Us That God Is Satisfied In Christ

When the Angel of the Lord moved that Stone he broke the seal of the Law that was on that Stone. It was a violation of Law for that Stone to be moved.

All of mankind are lawbreakers.
But Our Lord Jesus fulfilled the Law.
He lay in that Tomb the Lamb of God without Spot or Blemish.
He walked from that Tomb the Satisfactory Payment For Our Sins.

Matthew 5:17-18 (KJV) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of God. Being perfect and sinless, God in the flesh, He laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13). Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas (see John 19:25) stood by the cross of Christ with His mother Mary, watching Jesus die.

Jesus died as our Passover Lamb, the Lamb without spot or blemish. Jesus came to this earth to be “the Savior of His people” (Luke 2:11). He died at the end of the Passover as our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT) … CHRIST, OUR PASSOVER LAMB, has been sacrificed for us.

When the Angel of the Lord rolled the stone away, He broke the seal of the Law on that tomb. Christ Jesus paid for our sins. Jesus died for me. And those who receive His Promise:

John 3:14-18 (KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Matthew 28:2 (KJV)… the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and ROLLED BACK THE STONE FROM THE DOOR, AND SAT UPON IT.

The Angel of the Lord rolled back the Stone and SAT upon it.
The Holy Spirit of God rolls back the stone of unbelief and sits on it.
The Angel of the Lord rolled back the Stone to give us access to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit of God rolls back the stone of unbelief so we see Jesus.

Matthew 28:3-4 (KJV)… His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: [4] And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

This Angel came from God’s Throne room. As the Holy Power of God shined through this Angel his countenance (appearance) was like lightening, his clothing white as snow. As this representative of God SAT in front of these mortals …

The unbelieving guard shook, and became like dead men. If Christ is not yours and you are not His one day you will stand not before an Angel, but before GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF. On that day you along with all unbelievers will cry out:

Revelation 20:11 (KJV)11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And run, but there will be no place to hide. The Angel says not a word to these unbelievers. They become like dead men, but there is no comfort for them. They rejected Christ. Death and hell await those who reject Christ. The Angel barely glances at them, but then we read:

Matthew 28:5 (KJV) And the angel answered and said unto the women, FEAR NOT YE: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Do not fear” you who seek Jesus. There is no fear for those who are His. Christ knows and loves His sheep, and His sheep know and love Him. We need not fear the Angels. The Angels are our guardians while we love Jesus. The Angels are our protectors. The Angels know we seek Jesus Who was crucified. Jesus killed death and sin the day He died.

Matthew 28:7-8 (KJV) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. [7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead

Do not fear. Jesus has risen, just as He said. Tell others. Go tell His disciples He is risen from the dead. Go rejoicing. Jesus has defeated death. Jesus has defeated sin. Jesus is alive forevermore. And we who believe in Him will live with Him …

Forevermore!

May God lead you to trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior this very day!

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The story of three sunsets

Love this message!

Scott's Blog

I was on vacation. When else throughout the year do I have time to wait for the sun to set? A tragic but true fact.

So I wasn’t even thinking of trying to see the sunset but someone suggested it.  So my wife and daughter waited to see the sunset over Lake Erie. It took forever to see. After much waiting, it finally set. It was worth the wait.

sun1.jpg

Several wonderful things happened while we waited. We got to be together. We go to walk along the beach. And we relaxed enough to take in a beautiful moment full of the grandeur of God.

The second sunset we saw was not as amazing to see but occurred in the same unexpected way. it happened without trying and on a different lake. This time it was Chautauqua Lake. We just finished identifying a flowering bush as a rose of Sharon bush…

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Saul To Paul

1_Corinthians_6_9t11_Cross

Audio of Sermon: 

Sermon Notes: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

I love the Gospel of salvation.
I love the Cross of Christ.
I believe that no one can get to Heaven by their own works.
Our works are like the Tower of Babel, a foolish attempt by man to reach God.

We are not to be self righteous, nor to self justify. The grand theme of Scripture is:

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

The Apostle Paul – a Pharisee converted on the Damascus Road – thought that he was going to Heaven, even as he persecuted Christians. Striding in self righteousness down that Damascus Road it was his intent to destroy more Christians. On that day Jesus knocked him down, saying:

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
When you hurt the Christian you hurt the Christ.
When you hurt the Child of God you hurt the Father.
When you harm His little ones – of whom I am one – you harm Him.

Saul replied: “Who are You, Lord?”

I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting!”
On that day Self Righteousness lost himself.
On that day a Pharisee saw the fair Christ.
Saul repenting was invaded by God.
On that day Saul became Paul.

The works that Saul was trying to do to be saved, he put to the side for Christ. He wrote in …

Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Saul became Paul when he realized that attendance is not enough. Saul lived his life in the rituals of the Law, but Paul lived his life with Christ. Attendance is not enough. Being here is not enough. We are to be in the moment – every moment – of our lives with Christ. When I was in school I usually attended faithfully, but really wasn’t there. I watched the clock. I daydreamed while the teacher taught. I was there, but I wasn’t there. Some weeks we have small crowds at our Church but the power of God is there because we’re not just attending, we are in the moment with Christ. Other Sundays we may have bigger crowds, but it sems to me as if there is less of the power of God present. Why? Because we are just attending. Attendance is not enough. We must be in the moment with Christ. We must be here to worship Him. We must hear His Word, and seek His direction. We must not just be filling in a blank or checking off a bucket-list item, but we are to be God intentional.

God Gives Us Grace – His Free Gift – So We Can Walk With Him

Paul told the Church at Ephesus:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

God loves us, and our best life NOW is to walk in His Presence NOW. This is why He tells us:

Titus 3:4-6 (NKJV) But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

God is KIND. God is LOVE. He calls us to come to Him to be saved. When we come to Him He comes to us. He lives inside us who are Christian.

We are His Garden.
We are His Temple.
We are His House.
We are His Children.

We do not work our way to God, but God worked His Way to us. We receive Him, and live by His Word. As someone once said:

We do not have a law to obey, but a Christ to follow.”

Galatians 2:21 (NKJV) I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

Salvation is a free gift from God. When a person is saved God forgives our sin, purges our sin, but God also comes inside us, to be with us.

You cannot be saved and not be changed.
Saul became Paul when he was saved.
When you are born again, you are born again into God’s image.
And though imperfect, God works in you to make you like Him.
To be like Jesus.

Unrighteous People Do Not Go To Heaven

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

Those who are “unrighteous” shall not go to Heaven.
Those who are “unrighteous” have no inheritance in God’s Kingdom.
Now what is “unrighteous”?

Simply put, to be “unrighteous” or “not right” is to do whatever God says NOT to do, or to NOT DO whatever God says do. To be UNRIGHT is to live your life unpleasing to God. The Bible says:

1 John 5:17 … all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS is SIN

God is light, and IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL (1 John 1:5/NIV)

Christ is the Light of God. We are told in 2 Corinthians 4:6/NLT:

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

To come to Christ is to know God. When you come to Jesus He covers your sins, and tells you what is sin and what is right. God defines right and unright. God defines good and evil.

I was reading something today on the internet, something astonishing. Did you know that by human standards there are now 63 genders? That is according to man’s definition. The so called sexual revolution has utterly destroyed and confused humanity. What has God said?

Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God says what is right is that I made TWO genders, male and female. But man, drawing away from God, has redefined us into 63 genders. You can choose to believe man’s definition, but God says that is unrighteous. What God has said is right. To us belongs confusion of face, but Lord, righteousness belongs to You! (Daniel 9:8). Righteousness is of the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:6 (NKJV) … this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. {Jehovah Tsidkenu}

Psalm 11:7 (NIV) For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.

It s no wonder that people are so confused today. You can never be spiritually balanced until you know know yourself as God created you.

The unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God – but the righteous shall see His face. The unrighteous walk a wandering confused path,

but the righteous walk covered by His shadow.

The righteous have an INHERITANCE. INHERIT is a Family Word. We who have received Christ shall one day INHERIT Heaven, because God is our Father and Christ our Savior.

Do Not Be Deceived Or Tricked

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? BE NOT DECEIVED:

The Apostle warns us against being deceived. Who would deceive us? The Bible tells us that

2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV) …. Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Revelation 12:9 (NKJV) …. the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world …

The Devil – also called Satan – is the Deceiver. The Devil twists the Scriptures. The Devil tested Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) by twisting Scripture out of context, by taking what GOD had said and remaking it into what HE THE DECEIVER says. The Deceiver leads humanity to reject the Word of God,

John 3:19 (NKJV) … the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The Deceiver would have us believe a LIE to be the TRUTH,

DARKNESS to be LIGHT,
GOOD to be EVIL,
and EVIL to be GOOD.

The Deceiver wants us to believe that God is withholding the best from us. But that is not true. When God forbids a thing or an action, then it is for our own good. Just as the mother tells the child not to touch the hot stove, God tells us which things and behaviors we should avoid, lest we be hurt by them. The things that God forbids us do are for our own good. The things that God commands we do are for our own good. God is not depriving us, but LOVING us when He sets boundaries.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) …. Be not deceived: neither FORNICATORS ….

The “fornicator” is the single person who prostitutes themselves, or who sleeps around. The Bible says marriage is honorable for all, and the marriage bed is pure, but God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral (Hebrews 13:4/NIV). Sexual sin is to be avoided as dangerous behavior.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) … nor IDOLATERS …

An “Idolator” is someone who worships a god other than the God of the Bible. This god can be a imaginary god, or money, or even self.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) … nor ADULTERERS …

The “adulterer” is the person who breaks the covenant of marriage. A married person who has sexual intercourse outside of his or her marriage is an “adulterer”.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) … nor EFFEMINATE …

Those who are “effeminate” – the Greek μαλακός malakos – were young male prostitutes who hired themselves out to other men for sexual relations. The term used for these young boys was “Catamites”.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) … nor ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND …

An “abuser of themselves with mankind” is the Greek ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs which means “one who lies with a male as a female, a sodomite, a homosexual”. In my lifetime I have seen tremendous battles over same sex marriage, where both sides vilify the other. The truth is that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman, and considers any other lifestyle to be against God’s design. The Apostle spoke of homosexuality in:

Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV) … God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And the Apostle told Timothy:

1 Timothy 1:9-10 (NKJV) … the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for SODOMITES, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

You may not agree – and that is your right as an American. However I – in love to you – must speak what the Word has said. I pray you hear my unhating heart, and hear the Word of God and His Spirit. This lifestyle is no better than the other lifestyles listed by the Apostle.

1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV) Nor THIEVES…

Those who steal (κλέπτης kleptēs) from others shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV) … nor COVETOUS …

God forbids “coveting” in the Tenth Commandment. To “covet” (πλεονέκτης pleonektēs) is to want what someone else has, and to act on that want. God says:

Exodus 20:17 (NKJV) You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV) … nor DRUNKARDS

Those who are drunken, intoxicated, who drink or drug so as to modify their behavior (μέθυσος methysos) will not inherit God’s Kingdom. The Bible says that if you belong to God:

Ephesians 5:18 (HCSB) don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:

1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV) … nor REVILERS …

A “reviler” (λοίδορος loidoros) is a troublemaker, an abusive person, a person who hunts to make disharmony. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 7:15 (HCSB) …. God has called you to live in peace …

Colossians 3:15 (CEV) Each one of you {who is born again} is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.

1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV) … nor EXTORTIONERS, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

An “Extortioner” (ἅρπαξ harpax) is a blackmailer who holds something over your head to rob you of something. So God gives us a list of 10 abnormal and unrighteous behaviors.

Sexual Immorality
False Worship
Cheating On A Spouse
Young Boys Prostituting To Older Men
Sodomy or Homosexuality
Theft Of Property
Coveting & Plotting To Get The Property Of Others
Drunkards or Drug Abusers
Troublemakers and Rioters
Extortioners

Those who engage in these behaviors as if they were normal are told you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This may make you mad. This may upset you. This may challenge your world view. But this is what God’s Bible clearly states.

But what if you DO these things? How can you “inherit the Kingdom of God”?

Read the next line.

1 Corinthians 6:11 (KJV) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

I do not hate anyone. I am sure that some believe me hateful for saying this and affirming the Scripture, but there is no judgment in my heart. You can do as you will. As an American, you can do whatever is lawful, and I will not interfere. However God Who loves you tells me to love you enough to tell you what HE HAS SAID.

If you are to go from Saul to Paul God will take care of you.
The way of the Deceiver is to justify the hot stove,
to tell you the Methamphetamine or Ecstacy or Marijuana is actually good for you,
that the bad sexual behavior is just a way of finding yourself.

That’s not true. God tells us not to behave in a certain way because though it may be lawful, it is not necessarily expedient. It may be legal by human standards, but by God’s standards it is dangerous. This is why Paul tells the Corinthians:

And such were some of you.

Every Christian did some or maybe even all of these things. But once we came to Christ, calling on His name,

We were washed.

God washed us of our sin. He cleansed our souls, and gave us a new beginning.

We were sanctified, or set apart from the world.

The way we were, we are no longer. God lives in us. The Holy Spirit abides in the believer.

We are justified, or made right with God.

The Christian, born again of God’s Spirit, is brought into a unity with God. We are His and He is ours. We have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and He is now at work in us. So no, we do not judge you. We merely state what God has said. If you belong to Him, you will do as He says. If you belong to Christ, you will not do what He has forbidden.

May God help you to see the distinction.

Posted in Blood of Atonement, Cross of Christ, Sermons Preached, sin, sinners, Witnessing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment