Sunday, August 25, 2013

PERFECT LOVE

 Matthew 22:35-40
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

What are the two greatest commandments?  Love God & love your neighbor.

If you keep these two commandments, you will be perfect because by keeping these two you will obey all the rest.  If you break any other commandment, it will be because you have broken one of these two. 

New Testament salvation is totally about our relationship with God and our neighbor. 

If you love me, you will want what is good for me.   You will want to help me in a way that is good for my soul. 

You cannot love me with a perfect love unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is the power and grace of the Holy Spirit which enables us to love God and our neighbor with a perfect love. 

Matthew 5:43-48
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 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.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

This perfection of love is the power to show forth the fruit of the Spirit in every relationship and situation, all the time. 

Galatians 5:22-26, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Do you really love others at all times?  If you do not have the Holy Spirit in your heart, you will be a part time Christian, and that is not pleasing to God.  Sometimes you have the patience and grace to do it right and sometimes you don’t.  That is because sometimes you obey the voice of the Holy Spirit and sometimes you walk after the flesh.  This is not perfect love.  That is a carnal condition and God wants you to crucify your flesh so that you can love God and your neighbor at all times. 

The Apostle John was filled with the Holy Spirit and he understood what perfect love really means.  He lived a sacrificial life for the benefit of others.  Read  and study carefully the exhortations of John and you will understand perfect love. 

1 John 3:1-5:3
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 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.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Chapter 4

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Chapter 5

1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

This love is so powerful it will make you able to love your enemies and be patient,  kind and merciful to them.  King David had this testimony that he loved his enemy. 

Psalms 35:11-14
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

In his day, in his dispensation, David pleased God.  Most of the time David did that which was right in the sight of God.  But because he did not have the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit, he failed to love with a perfect love at all times.  He had to repent from time to time.  People who do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit will find that they need to repent from time to time.  Perfect love will give the child of God victory over the lust of the flesh and he will not need to repent from time to time. 

An un-sanctified experience is the foundation for the doctrine that all men commit sin from time to time.  The “sin more or less everyday” doctrine is the result of not being sanctified or walking in perfect love. 

Are you able to walk in perfect love?

 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

OCCUPY TILL I COME


I want to talk to you about the necessity and the benefits of working.  What opinion do you have of a man who will not work?  I am not talking about someone who cannot, but rather, someone who will not and does not want to work.  We do not admire lazy people. 

There is also another problem with this principle of “work”.  If you go to work for the General Motors Company don’t expect to get paid by the Ford Motor Company.  If you are working at something different than what you were hired to do, you will not get paid what you are expecting to be paid.  To be properly paid, you must work in the right field for the right company. 

Too many people are working for themselves and for Satan and expecting Jesus to pay them. 

Matthew 25:26
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

What are you doing with the talent and ability Jesus gave you when repented of your sins and entered the Kingdom of God.  All of God’s children have some ability to work in the Kingdom. 

Romans 12:9-11
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

These three verses contain several action words.  They require effort and activity. 

Working is healthy.  Working is profitable.  Working is a godly principle.  God has always charged us with the duty of working to gain those things which have eternal value. 

Genesis 2:15
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

God gave Adam some work to do.  He had chores to do in the Garden.  It is not good for children or men to be inactive with no responsibilities to work.  Too many children are being raised with no assignments to perform any household chores and duties.  Too many adults are expecting someone else to do the work that they should be doing. 

Luke 19:12-27
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

What does the command  “occupy till I come” mean to us?  The Strong’s  Exhaustive Concordance gives us this definition:
NT:4231 GREEK> pragmateuomai (prag-mat-yoo'-om-ahee); from NT:4229; to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade:

The cure and remedy for sleepiness and lukewarmness is to be busy with the activities of the Kingdom of God.  Inactivity leads to a sleepy, lukewarm condition.   Jesus tells us that we need to “busy oneself” with the activity of buying and selling this wonderful Gospel which He has given to us.  We must be helping people trade their sins for salvation.  We must help people trade their sorrows for joy.  We must help people trade their fears for peace.  The salvation  of others depends on us doing the work of ministering this gospel to those who are lost in sin. 

We live in a society where laziness and irresponsibility is widespread among the people.  It started in homes; spread to the church; and, then throughout the whole society. 

Exodus 20:8-10
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

If you do not work for God, Satan will work on you.
If you do not perform the work which God has assigned to you, you will be lost.
We live in a sleepy, lukewarm society where people have not been told, taught and trained to do the work of God. 

Where are the examples of:
Men answering the call to become missionaries and apostles
Men taking up the duty of prayer and fasting
Men studying the Bible to show themselves approved unto God
Men teaching their sons to work
Pastors teaching their congregations to do the work of winning souls

Psalms 62:12
Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

When God rewards you according to your works, what will your reward be?
Will He say, “Enter in thou good and faithful servant”?
Or, will He saiy, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”?

Proverbs 18:9
 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Proverbs 24:27
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

There is a good principle in this verse.  We might re-word it by saying “Earn it before you spend it.”  Make sure your work in the field is sufficient to pay for the house you are building. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 

God will bring every work into judgment.  What we do today and what we do in this life will be judged on that Great Judgment Day.

Isaiah 32:13-20
13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:
14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

Too many people spend too much time wondering where they should work and with whom shall they work.  The Bible tells us to “sow beside all waters.”

Sow the seed.  Share this gospel.  Tell others about Jesus and salvation.

John 4:34-38
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

John 9:3-5
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Galatians 6:4-5
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

James 1:25
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

1 Peter 1:17
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Revelation 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I challenge you to examine your own heart to make sure you have the grace of the Holy Spirit to do the work of God and occupy until the Lord returns. 

THE REMEDY

Webster definition of “remedy”:

1 : a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease
2 : something that corrects or counteracts
3 : the legal means to recover a right or to prevent or obtain redress for a wrong

The truth is the remedy for error.
Salvation is the remedy of sin.
Walking in the Spirit is the remedy for walking in the flesh.  That is to say, being full of the Holy Spirit is the remedy for being full of self. 

I have had a burden for several years to understand why the church of God as we see it today is different from the church portrayed in the book of Acts.  Also, it is very apparent to me that the church of God is different today than what it is portrayed to be in the writings of the ministry we refer to as the Sixth Seal ministers. 

It is my burden and desire to understand why the church of God is in such a weak condition as we find it today. 

I am very familiar with many groups which call themselves church of God.  I am not judging or condemning the people in those various groups.  Jesus Christ will judge every man according to the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Satan has trapped some groups with fanatical standards which add to the instructions of the Bible.  Others have been snared with compromise as they have attempted to be inclusive of everyone and avoid scriptural standards and judgments.  Then there are many shades of opinions and beliefs in between these two which cannot fellowship others who disagree with their particular identifying doctrines.  A few of these controversial doctrines are the subjects of divorce and re-marriage, pastoral authority, tithing, modest apparel, women cutting their hair, women preaching in the church, etc.

I believe I have identified the two most important reasons why the church of God is in the weakened condition we find today.  The second reason is the direct result of the first reason.  The first reason being the “REMEDY” and the second reason being the “RESULTS”. 

I hope that you will pray about this message before you reject it.  I have prayed for you that you will have ears to hear this message.  I have prayed for you that you will be willing to humbly and honestly look at your own personal experience of salvation and see if this message is true. 

We live in a time when people have lost confidence in the church of God.  They have lost confidence in the ministers of God.  The reason for this loss of confidence can be found in the two reasons I am going to point out to you today. 

Jesus gave His disciples many commandments.  He instructed them in the way of salvation and eternal life.  But there were two commandments which provided the necessary protection to enable the disciples to endure to the end.  I will share these two commands with you today. 

Satan has attacked the church of God to hinder and prevent the ministers and saints from possessing the grace and doing the work which are required in these two commandments. 

Here is your first instruction which Jesus gave to his disciples.

Luke 24:46-53
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. 

Today, many people lament the absence of power in the church of God.  We are living in that period of time in which the parable of the ten virgins describes the church.  Matthew 25:5, “ While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”

We are living in that period of time in which the apostle John described thusly:
Revelation 3:15-17
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

It is time for a spiritual earthquake that will shake our souls and wake up the righteous.  If the righteous will wake up and trim their lamps, the world of sinners will see the light of salvation.  However, this will not happen unless people are first equipped with the power and infilling of the Holy Spirit.  This is still the commandment of the Lord.  “I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

Jesus repeated this commandment just before His ascension back into Heaven to sit upon the Judgment Seat to give to every man his rewards according to his attitudes, motives and works.

Acts 1:1-14
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

I want to draw your attention to the specific commandment which Jesus gave to His disciples.

Luke 24:49   And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Is the church of God which we see today a powerful church?  Does it “turn the world upside down.”  Are people going to church to be healed or to the physicians to be healed?  How many people in America have witnessed the true church of God in action?  How many people in Africa and third world countries have heard the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ that delivers a man from all sin and all bondage. 
Acts 17:6
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Acts 5:14-20
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

The reason why the disciples in the morning time had such a powerful ministry is because they tarried at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from heaven.  They waited, just as Jesus told them to wait, until they received the Spirit of promise. 

The reason why the church of God is in its current condition is because ministers and the people are not receiving the Spirit of promise.  Where the Holy Spirit is, there is power.  Where the Holy Spirit is not, there is not this power.

Here is the second part of the REMEDY.

Good intentions are not enough to obtain this power to do the work of the Kingdom of God.    The must be a performance of these commandments. Paul expressed this essential attitude when he spoke to the Corinthian church.
2 Corinthians 8:11-12
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.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 

Too many people are professing to be willing and ready, but there is little or no performance.  We have congregations without pastors.  We have no full time missionaries, no apostles dedicated to going forth with this gospel.  It seems all of our young people are only concerned with good jobs, nice homes, nice cars and good food.  Where are the people who are willing to give up their vocation and walk worthy of the vocation which God wants to call them to? 

Jesus gave the disciples a very specific command which must follow their being filled with the Holy Spirit.  This is what He said:

Luke 19:12-13
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

What does the command  “occupy till I come” mean to us?  The Strong’s  Exhaustive Concordance gives us this definition:
NT:4231 GREEK> pragmateuomai (prag-mat-yoo'-om-ahee); from NT:4229; to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade:

The cure and remedy for sleepiness and lukewarmness is to be busy with the activities of the Kingdom of God.  Inactivity leads to a sleepy, lukewarm condition.   Jesus tells us that we need to “busy oneself” with the activity of buying and selling this wonderful Gospel which He has given to us.  We must be helping people trade their sins for salvation.  We must help people trade their sorrows for joy.  We must help people trade their fears for peace.  The salvation of others depends on us doing the work of ministering this gospel to those who are lost in sin. 

In summary: The problem with the church today is that there are too many people who are professing to be full of the Holy Spirit and they are not.  Secondly, there are too many people who are sleeping instead of occupying.  They study, meditate, pray, go to church and yet they do very little of the business of winning souls.  They think they are rich and increased with good; but, the gospel see is still in the barn and the sheaves are still in the field. 

The harvest is ready.  Where are the workers?

Luke 14:16-24
16 Then said he unto him, 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.

Will you miss the marriage supper of the Lamb?

If you would make heaven your eternal home, you must be filled with the Holy Spirit and busy doing the will of God in sharing this gospel with the world. 

Luke 12:42-43
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

You have heard this gospel and you are responsible for what you have heard.

Will you be a doer of the word and not just a hearer only?

Will you receive the Holy Spirit and occupy until Jesus comes?

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

THE CURSES OF GOD

We live in a world where it has become very unpopular to believe that God will severely punish people for their disobedience to His commandments.  The trending religious philosophy is to teach people that God is such a loving God that with great mercy He will forgive every one of the sins, even though they do not confess, repent and forsake their evil ways.  It has become the popular believe that God’s love is so strong and unconditional that He will not send anyone to hell for their sinful deeds. 

 The God of all heaven and earth is a just God.  He will reward righteousness and He will punish wickedness.  He will bless those who obey and He will curse those who disobey.  Let the Bible be true and every person who teaches contrary to its holy precepts be cursed.  The apostle Paul said it this way:
Galatians 1:8-9
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

According to the Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, the word Accursed: SEC: NT:331 means: “anathema (an-ath'-em-ah); from NT:394; a (religious) ban or (concretely) excommunicated (thing or person):  KJV - accused, anathema, curse,  great.”

Paul was teaching that certain things and people which are an abomination to God are cursed.  They are excommunicated and put away.  You don’t have to read very much of the Bible to see that God hates some things; and, because God hates certain things, He also hates those who do those things. 

Psalms 7:11, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

“God is angry with the wicked every day.”  Does that statement line up with your belief about God?  God is merciful to them who repent, not to them who rebel.

Hosea 9:15, “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

Can you comprehend that God hates revolters?  Those wicked people who rebel against the commandments of God, to these God said, “I will love them no more.”

Deuteronomy 32:19-20
19 And when the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

The word abhorred, as it is used here, means to despise.  God despises wicked, rebellious people. 

Romans 1:17-18
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

God’s wrath and God’s love are not contradictory.  His wrath is against the wicked and His love is enjoyed by the obedient.   Good and evil are contradictory; but, love and wrath are not.  Some children believe that their parents hate them when they correct them.  The love of the parent for the child compels them to correct their wrong doing in hopes of bringing them into the right way.  Correction is an act of love; but, the disobedient hates correction. 

John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

By your own conduct and choices you have made yourself God’s friend or His enemy. 

Are there examples of God’s curses upon people in the Holy Bible?  Let us look and see. 

Genesis 4:8-14
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Genesis 9:22-27
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

The descendants of Ham and Canaan surely became the servants of the descendants of Shem and Japheth. 

Deuteronomy 11:26-28
26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Can the reality of this message be stated any more clearly?  God has made it very clear that if you disobey His commandments, you will be cursed.  History has proven it true many times.  However, sadly to say, people do not learn the lessons of history very well.  The lust of the flesh causes people to believe that it will be different with them.  Many people believe that God’s love is so unconditional that He will bless them even though they disobey God.

Proverbs 3:33
The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

Jeremiah 26:4-9
4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
5 To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;
6 Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
7 So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.
8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

Individuals, families, cities and nations have been cursed because they have rebelled against God and forgotten His commandments.  What are you doing?

Revelation 22:1-7
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

In the City of God, the church of God, there is no curse.  If you are in fellowship with Jesus Christ, you are blest.  If you are saved, living free from sin, hold fast to your crown of salvation and let no man, no temptation, no spirit take it from you. 

Whether your life is blessed or cursed is dependent upon your choices.  You can be blest or you can be cursed.  It is your choice. 

God is faithful and just.  He will reward you according to your attitude and actions.  He knows what you deserve and He will give you exactly what you deserve. 

He will bless you if you keep His commandments.

He will curse you if you rebel and disobey.