Sunday, October 30, 2011

NATIONAL PUNISHMENT

Most people are well aware that God sends punishment and judgment against individuals who disobey His commandments. But have you carefully considered that God also sends punishment against nations who rebel against Him and forget His commandments?

America has been blessed by God because of the many years when people accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and kept His commandments. For many years, America enjoyed great spiritual liberty as many ministers were faithful to preach the full gospel of salvation and the power of a holy life.

But as a nation whose motto and creed has been “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all”, the majority of Americans have departed from these righteous principles.

As a result and a consequence for the sins of the American people, this nation will suffer. It is inevitable that in times of war, innocent people will suffer physical hardships and perhaps even death. In the social war against abortion, innocent children have been murdered and innocent young girls have suffered irreparable damage. In national and civil wars, innocent people have been hurt, wounded and killed. In spiritual wars, there are also causalities. Innocent people are offended, trespassed and often destroyed.

My burden today is to cause you to consider the inescapable consequences of sin. There will be individual punishment for sin. There will also be national punishment for sin. When it comes you will be affected.

Psalms 9:17
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

The individual wicked person shall be punished.
All nations that forget God shall also be punished.
God has been rejected by the majority of Americans, even those who profess to believe in Him. People acknowledge the existence of God but refuse to submit to His laws.
They will not escape their punishment for removing God and His laws from the family, their religious assemblies, schools, courts and all levels of government.

Deuteronomy 4:1-9
1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
4 But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.
5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

People have forgotten God. People have forgotten the gospel of Jesus Christ.
People have forgotten righteousness, mercy and judgment. They have forgotten the rewards of obedience and the punishments for evil.

Ecclesiastes 8:11-13
11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

It is the nature of man to have a short memory. In training a young child, it is essential that you correct disobedience quickly. The Bible teaches us that consistent, timely correction is necessary to properly train a child. But because God does not always execute judgment speedily, people tend to thing that their actions had not consequence. Adults are treated differently than children because of the principle of accountability.

Deuteronomy 28:45-58
45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

Verse 58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE Lord THY God;

Deuteronomy 32:28-30
28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?

America has become a nation void of counsel. Our homes have been corrupted by ungodly Hollywood television programs. Our schools have been corrupted by atheist and perverted men and women who know not the righteous laws of our God. Our courts have been corrupted by men who have forsaken the laws of God. Our government has been corrupted by men who will not serve “under God.” They have rejected God. I believe that the time is near at hand when God will rise up and punish America for its national sins.

Psalms 33:8-12
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Who can escape the consequences of refusing the counsel of the Lord?
Can the individual sinner escape his punishment?
Can the nation that forgets God escape its punishment?
I say, NO!

Isaiah 1:2-9
2 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.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 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.

What happens to a sinful nation? What happens to a sinful individual? They will not be corrected. They refuse to acknowledge that their sins are destructive. They hurt one another and trespass against each other and take pleasure in their evil deeds. They will not listen to reproof or correction.

Verse 5 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 putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

What profit comes from punishment of those who are set to do evil. They can not be persuaded to change and repent. After so long a time, the longsuffering of God will be turned to punishment. The mercy of God will turn to judgment.

Verse 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.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 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.

We know that when punishment comes upon a nation, God will bless those who remain faithful. We must remember that physical life is not as valuable as eternal life. We must remember that after God has punished the people for their sins, He will reward the obedient with greater riches and blessings.

Matthew 21:42-46
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

God punished the nation of Israel for her sins. Will he not also punish other nations for their sins? Will America escape the punishment for all her sins? The sins of America are great. America was given as great opportunity to have and to hold the holiness of God and the beauty of salvation. America has traded her righteousness for wickedness.

Matthew 24:4-14
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Regardless of the failure of nations. Regardless of the sins of Israel and America. God still has a plan for the salvation of souls. God still wants righteousness to reign in this earth. God will always have a remnant to be a light in the darkness of a sinful nation.

Acts 10:34-36
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

God will not leave us without grace. We can stay saved regardless of the conditions in which we must live. Men can take our physical life, but they can not take our spiritual life unless we submit to their way.

Philippians 2:12-15
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

This is the perfect will of God that we “may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”

The world will be judged by our holy standard. Because we have been faithful and obedient to the Lord and His laws, the world is without excuse.

Proverbs 14:34
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Proverbs 29:2
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

We may mourn the sad condition of our nation,
But let us not forget to rejoice in the God of our salvation.
It is the will of God that you suffer in the flesh so that you can be saved from sin.
Prove yourself to be obedient, regardless of the conditions in your life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WHO IS A WISE MAN?

What is your criteria for accepting someone as a trustworth and wise person?
Can Satan tempt you to believe a person who is wise in the ways of the world?
Is it possible to have so much confidence in a person who has been mightily used of God that you will continue to follow them eventhough they have fallen from grace?
What is wisdom and who is a wise man?

James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If you have not received wisdom from above, from the Holy Spirit, then you do not have the wisdom which is needful to be in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The wisdom of the world is not the same as the wisdom which comes from heaven.
There are many men and women who are educated in the scriptures and have minds full of religious ideas and doctrines; but, if their heart is not first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy, then they do not belong to Jesus Christ.

IF YOU ARE NOT HEAVENLY MINDED, THEN YOU ARE NO EARTHLY GOOD.

Genesis 3:1-7
3 Now the serpent was more subtil (i.e. crafty, cunning) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Satan will usually begin his deceitful work by asking questions. Beware of foolish questions.
2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.(i.e. procreate, conceive and bring forth strife and division)
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

God did not say “neither shall ye touch it” but that is wisdom and godly counsel.
It is wisdom to “avoid” the things which lead to temptation and sin.
The commandment of God was: Genesis 2:17, “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
God gave that commandment to Adam and Adam gave it to his wife. Adam may have said, “God has commanded us that we must not eat of that tree. Leave it alone, don’t even touch it.” If Eve would have refused to touch the fruit, she could have avoided sin.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan tempted Eve with the desire to know something that was hidden to her. She did not know evil. Satan did not emphasize that she would know “evil.” He emphasized that she would know everything like God.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Satan will come to you in the thoughts of your mind and present ideas which may seem like wisdom, but Satan is crafty, deceitful and a liar. All that he says to you is evil. He is a liar and the father of all lies. Don’t follow the voice which makes you proud of your own wisdom.

Before Adam and Eve disobeyed the command of God, they had no knowledge of evil. They were unlearned and had never experienced the knowledge and understanding which comes from knowing the way of sin. They were uneducated in the way of the world, which is the way of sin. Their spiritual eyes were completely blind to the experience of rebellion and knowing things contrary to the peace and purity of God. But Satan introduced them to the wisdom of the world. By following Satan’s advice, they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and then their eyes were opened to understand evil; whereas, previously they had only known the wisdom which is from above.


1 Corinthians 2:4-16
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:

The wisdom that cometh from above is not clothed in philosophy but in power.
It produces humility not haughtiness.
It is first pure then peaceable. It does not cause division and strife.

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Our faith is not founded on philosophy but on the power of an endless life.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

The wisdom of the perfect, they who are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, their wisdom does not come from the princes of this world which produces nothing.

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

I pray that this wisdom not be hidden to you, but revealed to your heart and mind.

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart 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.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that

The spirit of the world will bring the wisdom of the world
The Spirit of God will bring the wisdom which is from above.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 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.
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.

James 1:5-8
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

We must seek wisdom from God. We must submit every piece of information which comes into our mind to be examined in the light of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. If some idea or doctrine or activity or any such thing can not stand in the light of truth, it must be cast aside regardless of how popular it is or how right it may seem in our own eyes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE JOY OF THE LORD

Nehemiah 8:8-12
8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

How many of you would like to have more joy in your life?
We like joy. We like to participate in those things which make us happy and full of joy.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Everyone wants to know the “joy of the Lord” and rejoice in the strength of it.

But my dear friends, the joy of the Lord is based on a certain reality of cause and effect.
There is something specific which must happen before the joy of the Lord comes.

Verse 12 tells us that the reason for this great joy is: “because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.”

Read verse eight and the last part of verse twelve again. Here is the cause and the effect. The cause is an understanding of the preached words of God. The effect is the joy which fills the heart and soul because you have seen the salvation of the Lord.

If you will hear the message of truth and then go out into this world and do the will of God, your heart will be filled with the joy of the Lord.

Sorrow is the result of failure, and failure comes in many forms of life experiences:
Failure of health, heart failure, vocational failure, marriage failure, financial failure, etc.
Sorrow will come, but woe to that person whose life is full of sorrow with a good measure of the joy of the Lord which strengthens the soul and satisfies the heart.

Psalms 98:1-6
98 O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
2 The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
5 Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King

People will make a joyful noise when they come to a full knowledge of the salvation of the Lord.

Luke 2:25-32
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

When your eyes are opened to the truth and you can see the way of the Lord, you will rejoice. If you can not rejoice than Satan has blinded your eyes to the goodness and mercy of the Lord.

Luke 15:4-7
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

There is no greater joy than to participate in the salvation of one soul. The more often we bring people to Jesus, the more often we will be full or rejoicing. Do you want to have your heart flooded with joy more frequently, then bring people to Jesus more frequently.

Galatians 6:1-4
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

When you see someone gets saved, it makes you rejoice. But your rejoicing is greater if you had a part in bringing them to salvation. If you are just always a spectator, you joy will not be as deep as those who labor for the salvation of souls.

Let us look at some scriptures which speak of the joy of the Lord and see what caused these people to have such joy.

Matthew 13:20, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;”

Matthew 13:44, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Matthew 25:21, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Joy is the reward of the performance of a righteous decision.

If you want to find joy and have joy, then you must find Jesus and follow Him.
If you want joy to fill your life, then you must fill your life with the work of God.
If you want joy to make you strong, then you must labor to serve others and do good to those whom the Lord brings into your life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Lion in the Street

In the long ago year of 1958, there was a book with the title “The Ugly American.” It was a political novel written by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer about the “loud and ostentatious” behavior of Americans who travelled to Southeast Asia. “Loud and ostentatious” seemingly has become the standard conduct of most Americans. America appears to making strident and arrogant progress in the fulfillment of the Apostle Paul’s predictions in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

We are also informed that this end time era will be one of spiritual blindness and sleepiness. People will be spiritually lethargic and unaware of their condition or imminent danger. They are like a door on its hinges, they swing with activity but go nowhere. They are like an indolent person whose tossing and turning upon his bed accomplishes nothing. They have various excuses for their slothfulness because “there is a lion in the streets.” Proverbs 26:13, “The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.”

There is a lion in your street. Which lion is roaring outside of your door? Why are you afraid to trust Jesus and go forth without fear. Why are you afraid to trust him with everything in your life. Yes, there is a lion in your street and you will not open the door and go forth into this ugly and perverse world and live your life for the glory of God only.

The song poet said, “Then away to the work I will go, And join in the reaping of grain.” Another said, “To the work, to the work we must go.” But human reason justifies our fears. In the heat of summer it is too hot. In the frosty days of winter it is too cold. In the pleasant days of spring and fall we are too busy.

What lion is preventing or hindering you from doing the work which The Lord has assigned? But my companion needs me; my children will not like it and rebel against me, my boss will not let me, my health will not allow me,

Luke 14:16-24
16 A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

There are so many people who “say” they will follow Jesus, but they never get around to making that full consecration to do His will instead of their own personal plans. What are you doing with the Gospel?

I have become convinced that there are too many un-sanctified people in the church for God to put His approval and glory upon it like He wants to do. Many claim to possess two works of grace and yet they do not manifest the fruit of the Spirit. Then there are those who have not been taught that there is a Second Blessing; therefore they do not seek it. Many have been taught that the doctrine of two works of grace is heresy and should be opposed. The congregants follow their teacher.

So we have come to the Seventh Seal and when it was opened "there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." A half an hour is a short space of time. It encompasses the last 80 years in which we have fought against the spirit of apostasy. It is described in Matthew chapter 25 as ten virgins who slumbered and slept. Matthew 13:24-25, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."

Romans 13:9-14
9 Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Will you wake up and conquer your lion, your fears and unbelief. Or, will you sleep and slumber and be lost.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

GO AND SIN NO MORE

There are several people whom I associate with daily who hold a significantly different view point on man’s relationship with God. There are three positions represented by me, my religious friends and the Pope of the Catholic Church who claims to be the Vicar of God. The Pope believes in “infallibility.” I believe in “possibility.” And my religious friends believe in “probability.”

The Pope believes that in all his decisions as the Deputy of God, he is infallible. He can not be wrong or commit sin. He believes in his infallibility. I believe that after a person has received the grace of God unto salvation, it is still possible for him to exercise his will to disobey God and fall from grace, forfeiting his salvation and eternal life. I believe in the possibility of sin. My religious friends believe that, after you are saved by God’s grace, if you live long enough (and for most folks this is often less than a day), you will commit sin. They believe in the “probability” of sin.

Our burden today is to make a clear distinction between these contrary beliefs. I want to make clear the difference between “If any man sin” AND “When any man sin.” I want to explain the difference between the “possibility of sin” and the “probability of sin.”

There is a very important difference between the belief that “you must not sin” and “you should not sin.”

The church of God has always stood on the belief that Jesus meant what He said when he told people to “Go and sin no more.” He did not say “Go and sin more or less.” He did not say “Go and try the best you can not to sin.” We do not and must not make any allowance for sin. You can not commit sin and still be saved. If you commit sin, you must repent and be born again, because sin kills the soul and separates from God.

Romans 6:1-2
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The apostle Paul asked a very important question and then he proceeds to answer that question in the rest of this chapter. People who want to believe that a person can not live with continuous victory over sin like to skip the teaching of this sixth chapter of Romans. They want to go to the seventh chapter of Romans and teach that Paul was not able to continuously do what he wanted to do in living free from sin. In the seventh chapter of Romans, Paul taught that his experience under the Old Testament Law was one of failures, not being able to obey God continuously.

Romans chapters six, seven and eight ought to be read together so that a complete and accurate understanding of Paul’s message can be known. Under the Old Testament Law, Paul could not always do what he wanted to do; and, sometimes he would do what he did not want to do. But, under the grace of salvation in Jesus Christ, he was delivered from that bondage to sin.

Romans 6:12-15
2 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

If you are tempted to commit a sin, and you yield to that temptation and commit that sin, has that sin become a ruling power in your life? If you yield to sin then sin has ruled over you. But as children of God we must not allow sin to have dominion over our will.

We do have God’s grace to resist sin.
We have the desire to say no to sin and reprove it.
We overcome sin and keep our heart pure and holy.
This is victory over sin. The Bible clearly teaches that we must be perfect in the sense that we are holy and pure, free from the evil of sinful conduct.

Romans 6:16-18
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

The desires of the flesh and the cares of this world are such strong influences upon our hearts and minds; in order to stay saved, we must be fully consecrated to love God more than any other person or thing. We must not make any allowance for the probability of sin. We must not think that after a person is saved from his sins, if you live long enough, you will eventually commit sin again.

Let us hear and believe the teaching of truth found in the Holy Scriptures.

2 Corinthians 8:7-11
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

There must be a performance of those rich heavenly gifts which the Lord Jesus Christ has given to you. You must a sacrificial love for God and all the work of God which He assigns to you.

In doing His will instead of your will, you will keep yourself from sin.

John 5:13-14
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

If it was impossible to live free from sin, then Christ would have been cruel to this man to require it. If the man was not able to go and “sin no more” then Christ would not have told him to do it. We do not serve an unreasonable Lord.

John 8:10-12
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

It is possible that not every word which Jesus spoke to this woman was recorded. But it is also possible that Jesus was winning her heart by His lovingkindness.

This is the message the prophet Jeremiah gave in Jeremiah 31:3, “Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jesus showed His lovingkindness to this woman and to me and to you. It is up to her and me and you to respond with the mind of Christ. The desire to be like Christ in everything that we do and say.

Ephesians 4:28-30
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Can a person be saved and continue to steal? NO.
Can a person be saved and continue to lie? NO
Can a person be saved and continue to be hateful? NO
Can a person be saved and continue to be proud and boastful? NO

The Apostle John said in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

If you have been cleansed from all unrighteousness, how much unrighteousness is left in you? Not any!!!

Hebrews 10:1-4
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

There is a grace, a benefit, a power available in the gospel of Jesus Christ which was not available to those who repented under the Law of Moses. Under the Law of Moses, if a person lived long enough, he would probably commit sin. But under the Law of Grace it is possible to live holy for the rest of your life and have no more conscience of sin. Sin is a choice. It is the exercise of your will to do that which you have knowledge is evil and contrary to the will of God.

The tenth chapter of Hebrews also tells us that sin is willful. If we sin willfully, then the sacrifice we had for our sins, which is the blood of Jesus Christ, is no longer in effect. Our sacrifice no longer remains, if we have willfully chosen to disobey God’s commandments.

Hebrews 10:26-27
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Revelation 3:10-13
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It is important that you be careful to not let any man or spirit rob you of your crown of salvation. Satan will try to take away your faith and your hope. He will accuse you and tempt you to lose confidence in your relationship with God. But our Lord Jesus Christ has assured us that we should “go no more out” from the presence of the Lord.

Revelation 21:1-4
21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The wages of sin is death.

Once we are saved by faith and the grace of God, there shall be no more death.
Entering into sin again is not part of the plan.

We are not infallible.
It is possible for us to chose to sin and forfeit our salvation.
We should not have the belief that we will probably sin sometime.