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Leading Family Members to the Lord, Jn 7:3-5

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Family members can be some of the hardest people to lead to the Lord.  And religious family members are often the hardest family members to reach.  Jesus’ brethren did not initially believe in him in Jn 7:5.  However, you see them in the upper room among the 120 in Acts 1:13-15.  I don’t have “the” answer that works in these situations every time.  But I can tell you what’s worked over the years when dealing with good church members and family members who weren’t saved.  Leading family members to Jesus requires:

Persistence – Acts 17:2 – Paul preached to the Thessalonians several times before “some of them believed,” Acts 17:4.  Some people need to hear the gospel over and over again.  

My father was very religious.  Every month, for many months (probably two years or more), I would drive home to visit him and we’d talk about the gospel in the conversation.  We had many discussions.  In time, he was saved.  

My Methodist neighbor was like a Dad to me.  Almost every afternoon after work I would sit with him on his back porch and on many occasions we talked about the gospel.  It took him about four years to get saved.  

A Lutheran fellow used to listen to our radio broadcasts and when I stopped by his restaurant for a meal we’d talk.  There were some days that he was mad at me for preaching the gospel the way I did.  We visited often.  One night my wife and I went by to see him and his wife after the restaurant closed.  It was that night that he and his wife finally got saved.  Persistent, Spirit-led conversations are necessary.

Prayer – Rom 10:1 – Paul prayed for Israel “that they might be saved.”  When dealing with neighbors, friends, family members, coworkers, and the like, we need to pray for them earnestly and regularly.  We need to be sensitive and responsive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in dealing with people close to us.  

We had a neighbor who had been a Korean War naval pilot.  He was Presbyterian, but he attended the Naval chapel on base and served as an usher.  He came to church for a dozen special meetings over the years.  One day, after we had moved to our new residence, he was on my mind so clearly that I knew the Lord wanted me to go visit him.  It turns out that he had just been diagnosed with brain cancer.  On that day, he was troubled about where he was going to spend eternity.  That day, he responded to the gospel and got saved.  Years of praying for him softened his heart and allowed me to be led by the Spirit to witness to him on that special day.

Perception – what religious people are trusting has not given them eternal life and is not going to get them to heaven.  Often, you have to find the “key to unlock the door to their soul.”  I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.  Kim Phuc said of witnessing to her mother, “I am not sure that my approach was correct; perhaps every young believer charges ahead through a locked door instead of quietly searching for the key.”  

When you’re engaged in conversations about the gospel, folks will say something that will give you just the right opportunity to respond.  Prov 16:1, “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”  When you listen to them carefully, they will reveal their heart.  The Lord will lead you to quote a verse of scripture or give an illustration that directly responds to their heart.  

An old friend of mine (he was 40 years older than me) was an Episcopalian.  Despite the difference in our ages, we were buddies.  We hunted, fished, traveled, and played tennis together.  I witnessed to him many times over the years and he came to hear me preach a few times.  One day he asked me to come to his office to help him write a letter.  Before we started the letter, he told me about a television program he had seen the night before.  The storyline was the perfect setup for an illustration of salvation that I gave him when he was through telling me about it.  He was visibly moved.  Then, I asked him, “Can you think of one reason why you couldn’t receive Jesus Christ as your Savior right now?”  He sat back in his chair and thought about it.  He replied, “Old Pal, I can’t think of one reason.”  I said, “Then, why don’t you take my hand and receive Jesus Christ?”  And he reached across the desk, took my hand, and prayed right there to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior.  He was 86 years old.

Patience – Jn 4:7-26 – Jesus took his time with the woman at the well.  Sometimes, when we are talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, we are so urgent to get to the decision that we rush to the conclusion and lose the opportunity.  

Think about fishing, for example.  When you get a big fish on, you loosen the drag just a bit to keep from breaking the fish off.  This gives you time to “play” the fish until you can land it.  When you do get to talk with folks about the Lord, converse with them. Let the conversation develop naturally.  

I went to see an old fellow (83 years old) who was baptized in a Baptist church when he was five years old.  I cooked him some quail and took it to him for lunch.  We chatted a good while before the conversation turned to the Lord.  Then we chatted a long while about the Lord and salvation.  After about three hours, this fellow realized that he had been trusting his baptism rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was saved that day.  And not only did he get saved, but when he went to the nursing home, he became an avid witness for the Lord.  

Preaching – Acts 8:35 – ultimately, we must preach the gospel.  Through the conversations that we have about the Lord, we don’t really need to discuss the differences in religion and so forth.  We just need to preach Jesus.  It’s through the preaching of Jesus Christ that people come to a saving knowledge of him.  

Peter preached Jesus and Cornelius and his household were saved, Acts 10.  Philip preached Jesus and the Ethiopian eunuch was saved, Acts 8.  It’s through the “foolishness of preaching” that people get saved, 1 Cor 1.  The gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” Rom 1:16. You can’t make people believe, but you can preach the gospel.  

Conclusion: I believe that these five things can be helpful to you if you will follow them and trust the Lord to help you reach your family.  Ultimately, they must believe the Lord Jesus Christ and that’s not something that you can make them do.  But you can do these things you’ve heard tonight.

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Battle for the Truth, Dan 8:12

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Let’s read Dan 8:1-12.  The interpretation of the vision Daniel saw is in Dan 8:19-25.  The interpretation reveals the coming work of the antichrist.  Look again at Dan 8:12, when the antichrist comes, he will “cast down the truth to the ground.”  

Like Pilate, you might ask, “What is truth?”  In Jn 18:37-38, Jesus said, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.”  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?  

Truth is clearly defined in the Bible.  In Jn 17:17 Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  Ps 119:160 says, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever.”  In Jn 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  And he is the Word of God, Jn 1:1, 1 Jn 5:7.

The battle between Jesus Christ and the devil is for the truth.  Truth has always had an enemy.  Jn 8:44, the devil “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for his is a liar, and the father of it.”  John wrote in 1 Jn 2:21, “I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”  

The devil cannot stand the truth and has not changed his attitude about the truth to this day.  Until the devil himself comes to personally and visibly fight against the truth in the Tribulation, he uses anyone he can to fight against the truth.  The devil uses people like:

  • False teachers – 2 Pet 2:2 “by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”  
  • Ungodly men – Rom 1:18 “who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”
  • Foolish Professors – Rom 1:21-25 “who changed the truth of God not a lie.”
  • Transgressors – Is 59:12-14 “In transgressing and lying against the Lord… truth is fallen in the street.”

All of these will take you down if you are like the weak Christians of our day, 2 Tim 4:4, who “will not endure sound doctrine; but… shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  

The battle is for the truth, therefore you must:

Know the truth – Jn 8:32 “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  To know the truth you have to read and absorb the truth.  Meditate on it and think about it.  The Holy Spirit will bring these words back to your memory and these words will speak to you and guide you in your life, all along the way of truth.

Gird yourself with the truth – Eph 6:14 Loins girt about with truth.  In spiritual warfare, we stand against a liar and against his lies.  Having a Bible and not be girded with it is like having a license for concealed carry and not carrying.  When you need the truth, it needs to be with you.  Read the word in the pages of your Bible so that you can find what you’re looking for where you saw it.  The Holy Spirit works in a unique way when you read the words in your Bible rather than on your phone or on a computer.

Be valiant for the truth – Jer 9:3 “but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth.” Jer 9:5 “they will not speak the truth.”  The approach to the lost and weak of the world today is to ask to see their Bible.  The trouble with those who are falling away is that they are not valiant for the truth.  When you don’t take a firm stand for the truth, and fight for the truth, you can see the truth taken away from you.  With a loose grip on your Bible, the Bible will have a loose grip on you.  Don’t let them take this book out of your hand or out of your heart.

Answer with the truth – Prov 22:21 “That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.”  In Dan 10:21 the angel said, “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth.” This book is not a fairy tale.  In Dan 11:2 Daniel said to Darius, “And now will I shew thee the truth.”  Daniel wouldn’t answer the king until he knew the interpretation, 2 Pet 1:20.  He didn’t venture a guess.  So many have been taken down with lies.  The world doesn’t need your opinions or your observations; they need the truth.  So, answer them with the truth.

Conclusion: if you are lost, the question is “Will you believe the truth?”  Acts 28:24 some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.  In 2 Thes 2:10 they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.  In 2 Thes 2:13 salvation is through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.  If you are saved, you must take a firm stand in the battle for the truth against those who lie against the truth.

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Do All Things With Charity, 1 Cor 16:14

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Two Wednesday’s ago, I preached on Four Imperatives for Life from 1 Cor 16:13.  These imperatives are Watch, Stand Fast, Quit like Men, and Be Strong.  Tonight, we are going to discuss the next verse, 1 Cor 16:14, which says “Let all your things be done with charity.”

“Let” expresses a command or an order.  So, we are commanded to do all things with charity.  Paul wrote, “all your things,” not “some things;” so, you don’t pick and choose.  Everything we do, we are to do with charity.

Based on its characteristics in 1 Cor 13, charity is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Rom 5:5.  This is the love that fulfills the new commandment of Jesus Christ, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another,” Jn 13:34.  

In 2 Pet 1:4-8, charity is added to faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness as the ultimate ingredient in a fruitful Christian life.   And charity is something in us that should abound.  In 2 Thes 1:3, Paul wrote, “the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.”

Do all things with charity.

Charity doesn’t govern what you do.  It is possible to do great things without charity, 1 Cor 13:1-3.  And if you do great things without charity you are nothing and the things you do profit you nothing.

Charity governs WHY you do what you do.  In 2 Cor 12:12, Paul wrote, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”  What was Paul’s motive?  His motive was love.  2 Cor 12:15 says, “the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”  Contrast Paul’s motive with the motive of those in Matt 7:21-23.  The folks prophesying, casting out devils, and doing many wonderful works in Jesus’ name are working iniquity.  They are like Simon in Acts 8:18-23.  When you do all things with charity, your motive for doing them is love, and nothing else.  There is no selfish motive.

Charity governs WHEN you do what you do.  In 1 Jn 3:16-18 we’re not to shut up our bowels of compassion when we see a brother have need.  We can’t be like the person in Jas 2:15-16, that sends them on their way in peace without giving them those things that are needful for the body.  In Prov 3:27-28, we take care of the need now and not tomorrow.  When you do all things with charity your are more aware of the needs of others and more desirous to help.

Charity governs the WAY you do what you do.   In 1 Cor 8:1 Paul wrote concerning things offered to idols, “we all have knowledge.  Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”  Paul knew that he could eat things offered to idols and it wouldn’t be a sin.

However, if a brother with a weaker conscience regarding things offered to idols saw him eat something offered to an idol and he was emboldened to eat, as well, it would be a sin against Christ, 1 Cor 8:10-13.  Therefore Paul wrote, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”  Charity should govern the way we do the things we do so that we do not offend our brothers and sisters in Christ; but rather edify them.

Conclusion: we do what we do with charity for the sake of others whom we are to love.  Charity should govern why we do everything we do, govern when we do everything, and the way we do everything.

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When Your Children Go Astray, Prov 10:1

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This sermon is how to move on when you have a child who is a fool, on a path of destruction, running from God, doing abominable things, and so forth. 

Feel the pain – It’s going to hurt.  Prov 10:1, A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Prov 17:21, he that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.  Prov 17:25, A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.  And there is nothing you can do that will get rid of this weight and pain.  You’re wasting your time to try.  You keep thinking that you can fix it and make the pain go away.  You can’t.  It’s like falling off a horse with your foot caught in the stirrup.  The longer you go the more torn up you get.

Don’t blame yourself – Prov 13:1 – A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.  You can’t make a scorner obey; he’s not even listening to your rebuke.  Prov 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.  He’s not filled with ways that you taught him.  He’s not going in the way that you trained him.  He’s a backslider and so he is being filled with HIS OWN ways.  Prov 27:22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.  How can you truly blame yourself for that?

Believe the truth – Prov 15:20 – a foolish man despiseth his mother.  Your child may say he loves you; the reality is he despises you.  You see him as he was (my little boy) or as he could be (he has so much potential); you don’t see him as he really is.  He’s a mess.  And he or she is going to reap for it.  Prov 30:17, the eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.  This is the truth.  Prov 13:8 poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction.  This is the truth and you’re trying to stop this truth by intervening.  You’re only making it worse.  Prov 9:7-8, He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee…”. This is the truth and you need to believe it.

Follow wise counsel – Prov 15:22 without counsel purposes are disappointed.  Prov 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel.   You need strong people in your life who can counsel you without getting emotionally involved.  You must trust that God will use them to provide you with counsel that will protect you and help you to make sound decisions regarding your involvement with a wayward child.  You don’t need a person on whom you can dump all your grief so that you can go another round with your child.  You need wise counsel and you need to follow that counsel.

Relinquish control – Deut 21:18-21 – there comes a time when you “lay hold on him, and bring him out,” v.19.  You need to let go.  Otherwise you’ll get drug into their life and they will take you down and other relationships in your life will go down with you.

To relinquish is to voluntarily yield control and possession of.  It’s okay to do that.  He’s no longer your responsibility.  Spending less time with him, the less influence you have.  But God can still influence him.  With you out of the way God can work in your child’s life without distraction and with your child out of your way God can work in your life without distraction.  You have to let go of how you thought it could have been.  These children are God’s after all.

Stay close to God – Jas 4:8 – Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.  Dealing with a wayward child draws your heart away from God.  Letting go of your child so you can get close to God feels like a loss of opportunity to influence, protect, and talk with  your child.  You don’t have to experience loss.  Relinquishing responsibility and control is very different.  You have to come to the realization that your child doesn’t need you; he needs the Lord.  God will let you know when he wants you to do something for your child or say something to him.  Praying for your child is your greatest opportunity to have an influence in his life.  Jer 32:17 there is nothing too hard for the Lord.

Conclusion: As hard as this may seem, you need to follow these six things.  They will help you.  Furthermore, if you are a child, you need to seriously consider what you’ve heard tonight.  If you even have one thought about going astray, forsake that thought tonight.  Don’t put your parents through this hell on earth.  You will never understand the torment you’re putting them through until your own children do the same thing to you.  And then it will be too late for you to make it up to your parents.  By then, they may already be in the grave.

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We Are Commanded to Beware, Matt 7:15-20

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In several places in our Bible, we are commanded to beware.  We are to be on guard against someone who or something which can destroy us and our faith in Christ.  When you see this word, you should carefully consider of whom or of what the Lord is warning you to beware.  Today, we’re going to discuss these things and people to beware.  We are commanded to beware:

Of False Prophets – Matt 7:15-20.  False prophets are hard to detect if you only look at their appearance because they “come to you in sheep’s clothing.”  They are hard to discern because they speak with good words and fair speeches, Rom 16:17-18.  By their robes, salutations, and prayers most people wouldn’t expect them to be false prophets, Mk 12:38-40.  Unless the Lord had shown you in the Bible, you wouldn’t know that they devour widow’s houses and make their long prayers only for pretense.  You wouldn’t know that they are going to receive greater damnation.  Since they are hard to detect by their appearance, the Lord said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  Check the fruits of the Pharisees, for example.  They demanded that the Lord be crucified and they tried to stop the spread of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Check the fruits of the Roman Catholic Church, for example.  They preach a false gospel of works, they martyred millions of Christians, and to this day they stand against missionaries who are trying to lead people to Christ in other countries.

Of Dogs – Phil 3:2, of evil workers, of the concision.  The concision are those who were preaching circumcision for salvation.  They believed a man’s righteousness was in what he did, rather than in what Christ had done for him.  Today, there are still those who preach salvation by works and you need to beware of them.  You also need to beware of the philosophies and vain deceits, Col 2:8, of dogs and evil workers.  They prey on young believers to devour them and turn them away from the truth.  In the Sunday school lesson, we covered many of the philosophies and deceits they use to corrupt your faith in Christ.  See Beware of Philosophies and Vain Deceits.  Some of our children have been devoured by the deceits of these dogs because they didn’t beware and guard themselves against them.

Of the Leaven of Pharisees – Lk 12:1.  The leaven of Pharisees is hypocrisy.  You need to beware of pretending to be someone in Christ that you are not.  Hypocrisy works like leaven.  You pretend a little, at first, and after a while your whole life is a facade.  You present yourself to others the way you want them to see you; not the way you really are.  Jesus said that the Pharisees outwardly appeared righteous but inwardly they were full of hypocrisy and iniquity, Matt 23:28.  By contrast, Jesus complimented Nathanael because he was a man “in whom is no guile,” Jn 1:47.  Some Christians are so hypocritical that they don’t even know that they are hypocrites.  They have played the game so long that they think the game they’re playing is reality.

Of Covetousness – Lk 12:15-21. Covetousness is the desire for possessions.  This desire results in the neglect of your soul.  The more this farmer prospered in the field, the more he bankrupted his soul.  I have seen covetousness destroy many Christians.  They are rich in this world and poor in the next.  Look what happened to the soul of the Israelites in the wilderness as they lusted exceedingly, Ps 106:14-15 and Ps 81:11-12.  God “gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”  He “gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust.”  I have seen the Lord do this to covetous Christians.  You get what you want and lose what you could have had.  Sad thing is, you don’t know it, and won’t know it until you see later how much you gave up to get what you wanted.

Of Unbelief – Acts 13:38-41.  You must beware of unbelief.  Jesus justifies every person who believes on him.  He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to save your soul and justify you.  All you must do is believe him.  If you believe on the Lord, you are not condemned.  If you believe not, you are condemned already, Jn 3:18.  Beware of unbelief.  It will damn your soul to hell.  And once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t let anything or anyone cause you to doubt the truth of the words of God.  Don’t let them cause you to quit believing what God said. 

Conclusion: When the Bible says, “Beware,” you need to beware.  False prophets, dogs, hypocrisy, covetousness, and unbelief will rob you of your fellowship and walk with the Lord.  Unbelief will rob you of your eternity in heaven if neglect your soul and reject Jesus Christ.

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Like Minded Phil. 3:13

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 Philippians 3:13-15 &16 
  Introduction: The Apostle Paul here is exhorting the brethren to be like 
 minded in these things, to have the same mind. We can be like minded and not 
think alike. The question here is what kind of mind is this that Paul speak of? 
It is a mind that is focused on Christ and that is pressing toward the mark for 
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, vs 
 God saved us and called us. Called us unto his his eternal glory by Christ 
 Jesus. You and I should should have this mind that Paul speaks of, it should be 
our main focus. It should be on the forefront at all times. So this evening I 
would like to take our focus off of the Presidential election, Congress, Senate, 
and anything else that is taking the preeminence over 
 Christ and put our attention on Christ. 
 
 If we are going to be like-minded and have a mind that’s focused on Christ like 
the Apostle Paul had then we must: 
 
I. Know Christ- Phil 3:7-8 “for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 
my Lord”. Nothing else mattered to Paul except Jesus Christ. Paul counted all 
things but loss in order to know Christ in a more excellent way. Forget 
politics, forget religion, forget playing games with Christ. Stay in the BIBLE 
and stay in PRAYER. 
 
A. Have to be committed- Paul was 100 percent committed, everything that he had 
or could possibly have. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” 
- II Cor 11:25-28- That is a true commitment to know Christ and have others know 
Him too. 
- IF you spent your whole life getting to know Christ and living by what He says 
and the thing learned, you would have lived a life well lived with zero regrets. 
Thats a fact. You know why? You would have been in the perfect will of God for 
your life. 
 
B. Must be willing to lose some things- Phil 3:7 - “But what things were gain to 
me, those I counted loss for Christ”. “I count all things but loss” Paul was 
completely in, no regrets. You might loose some things for getting to know 
Christ more and more. How? You will conform to His word and change the things 
that are not pleased to God and you will do the things that God is well pleased. 
And the world, your family, and co-workers will not like it. 
 
II. Speak of Christ- Phil 3:20 “for our conversation is in heaven”. Instead of 
talking about politics, possessions, plenty, money, wealth, acceptance, 
position, honor and fame, talk about Christ. Romans 8:5-6 “For they that are 
after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the 
Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be Carnally minded is death; but to be 
spiritually minded is life and peace”. 
If your going to boast about anyone boast about CHRIST. Tell others how good he 
has been to you and to you family even in the midst of anything that may be 
happening around us. Speak about how He is mighty to save the lost. 
 
A.-Speak of His resurrection- Phil 3:10“and the power of his resurrection”. 
The power to raise Christ from the dead shows that God has the power to raise 
men from the dead. The believer shall experience the great resurrection power of 
God and be resurrected from the dead. 
John 6:40- “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth 
the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him 
up at the last day. 
I Corinthians 15:3-4 “ for I delivered unto you first of all that chi I also 
received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and 
that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the 
scriptures”. 
-Hopefully by speaking this, people would come to know the Lord. 
 
III. Wait for Christ- Phil 3:20- “from whence also we look for the Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ”. The next event in Prophecy is to be taken out of this earth, 
to be raptured out of here. Are you patiently and actively waiting and looking 
for Jesus Christ? 
A. Coming in the Clouds- I Thess 4:16-18 Keep looking up for the return of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. Be waiting actively and not idly. 
 
B. For the Blessed Hope- Titus 2:12-13 “Teaching us that , denying ungodliness 
and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this 
present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the 
great God and our savior Jesus Christ. 
 
-Waiting fo the Lord Jesus Christ to take us out should be comforting to you and 
I, it is the only hope that we have as a Christian. 
I Corinthians 15:19- “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all 
men most miserable”. 
David Looked up: Psalm 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my 
meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee 
will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning 
will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. 
 
Conclusion: I’m trying to put your focus back on Christ and His goodness instead 
of the news and it’s sadness. Focus on Knowing Christ more and more, focus on 
speaking about Christ when the opportunity is right, and wait for Christ by 
knowing He could come at ANY minute. Live a life that is focused on Christ. 
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Four Things to Flee, 1 Cor 6:18

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Four times in the New Testament we are told to flee.  When we encounter any of these things, we are to hightail it out of there.  We aren’t to negotiate or placate; we are just to run away as we would run away from someone who was coming toward us with evil intent.  We are to:

Flee fornication – 1 Cor 6:18 – fornication is the physical sexual relation with someone to whom you are not married.  If you are ever presented with this opportunity, run, just like Joseph did.  Aware of how common this sin is, deal with it ahead of time by controlling your thoughts, your eyes, your desires, and your conduct.  It is good for a man not to touch a woman.  The union created in fornication affects your relation to Christ in the body of Christ like no other sin you can commit, 1 Cor 6:13-20.  And it can rob you of your inheritance in the kingdom of God, 1 Cor 6:9-11, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:5.

Flee from idolatry – 1 Cor 10:14 – idolatry is the worship of other gods.   Fleeing idolatry is the right thing to do for a person raised in the Roman Catholic Church.  The Eucharist is worshipped as God, and genuflection is a violation of the second commandment.  Get out of there; flee.  

In the New Testament, covetousness is idolatry, Col 3:5.  Covetousness is evidence of discontent.  In Ex 32, the Jews were discontent in the wilderness and with Moses.  They told Aaron to “make us gods.”  When discontentment rears its ugly head, flee.  Covetousness is the desire for something that God doesn’t want you to have or the desire for something that God doesn’t want you to have right now.  

Idolatry is also being your own god.  This idolatry starts in the heart.  Flee from it. 

Flee the snares of riches – 1 Tim 6:11 – there is a lust to get rich quickly, Prov 28:22.  There is a snare in that.  Poverty will come upon you.  In all labour there is profit, Prov 14:23.  Flee Debt.  Flee the temptation to buy something now that you haven’t budgeted.  Prayerfully consider each purchase.  “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,” Lk 12:15.  Often, as riches increase, the worry and the dependence on those riches increase.  Your trust shifts from the Lord to the money.  That’s a snare from which you must flee.

Flee also youthful lusts – 2 Tim 2:22 – In youth there is a lust for hasty success, Prov 19:2, without adequate knowledge, and without adequate training.  Flee from this.  In youth there is an ambition.  Ambition is a lust to succeed in a big way.  Flee from this.  Your success is in finding the will of God and doing it.  In youth there is a lust for recognition.  Flee from this.  This kind of pressure can destroy you as you succumb to peer pressure.  It’s also a youthful lust to run your own show.  Only God can direct your life successfully.  Let him guide you and lead you.  Flee from the desire to run your own life.  Otherwise, you’ll make a mess.

Conclusion: The right response to fornication, idolatry, the snares of riches, and youthful lusts is to flee.  There is no other response that will work.  The lusts are too powerful.  Just take off and get away from them as fast as you can.

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We Are Of The Truth, 1 Jn 3:19

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We, who are saved, are of the truth, 1 Jn 3:19.  Men of corrupt minds are “destitute of the truth,” 1 Tim 6:5.  They tell lies and we know “that no lie is of the truth,” 1 Jn 2:21.   We are of the truth through:

Belief of the truth – 2 Thes 2:13 – “salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”  Truth is found in the “word of the truth,” Col 1:5.  Jesus said, “sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” Jn 17:17.  We heard the truth and believed the truth when we heard it.  Therefore, we have salvation.  We are sanctified through the Spirit.  Those who will be damned are those “who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thes 2:12.

Knowledge of the truth – 1 Tim 2:4 – “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”  When you are saved and you read and believe the Bible, you come unto the knowledge of the truth.  This Bible is the truth and standard for everything.  Those who don’t believe the truth of the Bible are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 2 Tim 3:7.  When a person finds himself or herself out of line with God, he can get right with God through “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,” 2 Tim 2:25.

Love of the truth – 2 Thes 2:10 – “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me,” Prov 8:17.   When you love the truth, you love everything that is true.  You love Jesus Christ, you love his children, and you love things above Col 3:1-2.  You cease to love those things that are not true, like lies, the pleasures of sin, ungodly things and even your own life in this world, Lk 14:26.

Manifestation of the truth – 2 Cor 4:2 – not “handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth.”  We manifest the truth and preach the gospel so others will come to the knowledge of the truth to be saved.  We love the truth so much that, even if it costs us our lives to tell others, we will not spare anything for them to know and believe the truth.

Conclusion: perhaps you have not yet believed the truth.  Jesus said, “I am the truth,” Jn 14:6.  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31.  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” Jn 8:32.  You should now believe the truth and be saved.  Perhaps you have believed the truth but you don’t know the truth, yet.  Start reading, receiving and living by the truth.  And you will know for sure that it is true.  Perhaps you know some of the truth now but you don’t love it.  Love the truth, stake your life on it.  Perhaps you believe and know and love the truth, manifest it.  Tell others so that they may believe the truth.

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Four Imperatives for Life, 1 Cor 16:13

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In 1 Cor 16:13, Paul gave the Corinthians four imperatives to follow.  These four orders are particularly important to us in these last days.  You know how you keep Phil 4:8 before you to guide your thoughts.  It’s an easy verse to remember.  Your thoughts must be true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.  You know how Jesus said that he is the way, the truth, and the life.  It’s an easy verse to remember.  In the same way, you want to keep these four things before you to guide you through every day that you live for the Lord.  The four imperatives are:

Watch – “watch ye.”  To watch is to stay awake.  1 Thes 5:6, Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  2 Tim 4:5 Watch thou in all things.  We have to be like a shepherd who watches over his flock, alert to every possible harm to the sheep.  We need to watch for each other.  We need to watch for lost souls to whom we can preach the gospel.  We need to watch for the return of Jesus, Titus 2:13.

Stand fast – “stand fast in the faith.” To stand fast is to hold your ground.  1 Cor 15:58, says, “unmoveable.”  As in Col 1:23 we need to be grounded and settled.  Everything around us is getting further and further from the Lord.  We cannot lose our ground. 

Quit – “quit you like men.”  1 Sam 4:9, quit yourselves like men, and fight.  You quit yourself when you perform something to the end, you clear yourself of your duties by full performance.  Bob Jones, Sr said simply, “Finish the job.”  Everyday you work, you want to finish the job that God has put before you.  

Be Strong – “be strong.”  Eph 3:16, we are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.  Eph 6:10, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  David said, “I will go in the strength of the Lord God,” Ps 71:16.  No matter the condition of your health or the physical strength of your body, the Lord always strengthens you to be able to do what he wants you to do for him.

Conclusion: Everyday you rise, run these four imperatives through your mind and recognize that these are four things that must be done for the Lord each day.

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Why You Don’t Walk in Newness of Life, Rom 6:4

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Many Christians are saved and they’re glad to be saved. But they don’t walk in newness of life.  They don’t enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promised.  Why don’t you walk in newness of life?  You don’t walk in newness of life because:

You don’t want to die – Rom 6:3-11 – death by crucifixion is painful, agonizing, and excruciating.  It’s not instant.  Men have suffered for days on the cross before dying. You don’t believe that sin is killing you.  You don’t believe that dying to walk in newness of life is better than living with the pleasure of your sin for a season.  I have watched Christians change their habits when they were diagnosed with a deadly disease as a result of their sin.  You can let the cross kill you now and start walking in newness of life, or you can keep on living to your sin and let it kill you later.  One way or the other you’re going to die, either a defeated servant to sin or a victorious servant to God.

You don’t want to fight – Rom 7:23 – Gal 5:16-17 The fight is protracted, but you are assured of victory and strength through Christ and the Spirit, Rom 8:13.  However, sin won’t give up, Rom 7:15-20.  It’s easier for you to give up and live in bondage to the flesh, Rom 6:16.  Lots of Christians are good with that.  My back pain.  Chiro to fix it.  That’s like miraculous deliverance, which is what most Christians want.  However, he said The roller.  I wouldn’t do the roller at first.  I would just live with it.  However, it became so painful the I couldn’t sleep.  Now the roller.  It’s painful, it takes daily work, it didn’t seem to be working at first, but now I’m getting relief.  I must keep doing the roller and stretching from now on.

You don’t want to win – Rom 7:24 – 8:4 – victory in Jesus is not sweet to you.  Rom 8:18, 8:31-32, 8:37.  Pleasing God is not more important to you than pleasing yourself, Rom 8:8.  That’s the attitude of the generation of the last days, when perilous days shall come, 2 Tim 3:1-4.  However, if you ever get a taste of the victory, and the freedom from bondage to sin, you will be forever grateful that you died to yourself and put up the fight.

Conclusion: to walk in newness of life, you have to do all three of these.  You must die to walk in newness of life.  You must fight to walk in newness of life.  You must win to walk in newness of life.  Sin shall not have dominion over you, Rom 6:14.  You’ve got to get the upper hand and then keep it.

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