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Monday, February 19, 2018

THE DESIRE TO BE LIKED AND LOVED

WHY TRIMMEST THOU THY WAY TO SEEK LOVE?



Jeremiah 2:33, "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.”?

It is an easy thing for a child of God to desire to be liked and loved. No child of God desires conflict. Yet, the truth is there is a built in conflict between the flesh of man and the Spirit of God. When you trusted Christ as your personal Saviour the Holy Spirit of God came in to dwell in your body. He is your constant companion. He not only regenerates you but he teaches, guides, comforts, and even convicts. Why, because of the battle from the flesh to quench the Holy Spirit!

Here is a pastor who feels alienated from his people. He has been faithful in the preaching and teaching of God’s word. He personally loves to be loved. He personally desires to be accepted by his members. He finds himself at odds with those he has given his life to serve. He has won them to Christ. He has nurtured them in the Lord and yet he finds himself under pressure to conform to their ways. Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?

Here is a lonely college student who has surrendered to full time service and left home to attend Bible College. He finds peer pressure did not stay at home but followed him to college. He stands for and does right. Yet, he finds those around him for various reasons are playing college and playing church. He wants to be loved. He wants to be accepted. He wants to be liked. Thus the pressure to conform exists almost daily. Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?

Here is a struggling parent with a rebellious child. The child threatens to leave home if the rules of the house are not changed. It is very easy for parent to trim their way to seek love.

Here is a little gal in high school and she is not in the in crowd but she is a godly young lady. The pressure begins to heighten on her. It would be very easy for her to trim her ways to seek love and acceptance.

Here is a lonely teenage boy. He does right because he wants to do right but the pressure begins to mount. The peer pressure is almost too much to bear. It would be very easy to trim his way in order to seek love.

Here is a college young lady who wants to date but she is too straight laced they say. It is tough and a very easy thing for her to trim her way to seek love.

Here is a young widow. She is lonely and she faces it day in and day out. The emotional pressure is almost too much to bear with the empty spot at the dinner table, the bed, and the sofa. It would be very easy for her to trim her way in order to seek love.

Here is a young man in college. A young lady has shown him some attention but she is always critical and self-centered as well as selfish. It is very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.

Here is a businessman who’s an honest man and a shady deal is offered to him. It is very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.

Whether it is the love of money, a girl, a boy, a church member, an employee, a son, a daughter, or a boss if you trim your way to seek love you will regret it one day.

BIBLE EXAMPLES

By the way you are in some good company! Paul did take a Jewish vow. Peter went fishing naked looking for acceptance. Peter cursed and denied his Lord, his faith, and his church looking for love. Barnabas fussed with Paul and chose his nephew over God’s will for he was looking for love. Solomon did the same thing in taking many wives when God said one wife for one lifetime in Deuteronomy 17:17 for he was seeking love. Demas did the same thing by trimming his way in order to seek the love of the world. John Mark did the same thing by turning back trimming his way in order to seek love. King David trimmed his way when he stayed home from leading his army into battle in search of love.

FULL TIME SERVANTS

Here is a struggling youth pastor taking a stand for right. A child complains to his parent. The parent becomes upset with the youth pastor. Pressure is put on the youth pastor and it would be an easy thing for the youth pastor to trim his way to seek love.

Here is a choir director giving his all to proper music and the pressure to liberalize his music standard comes against him. It would be very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.

A LOCAL CHURCH

A church takes a strong fundamental stand for soul winning, standards, bus ministry, being independent, pastoral leadership, and an inspired King James Bible. The pressure comes from family members and other churches. It would be very easy for them to trim their way to seek love.

A WARNING FROM GOD

God asks the question, “Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?” It is possible this thought was Jeremiah’s first sermon after his ordination. The scope of his sermon was to show God’s people their errors. God’s people were charged with the sin of idolatry. God’s people had broken their covenants and had degenerated from their good beginnings. 

Jeremiah let them know that they were without precedent in changing loves. He let God’s people know they had willfully and obstinately changed their lifestyle, which in the end their idols would be unable to help them.

The same is true today for whomever or whatever you have traded for your God will not be able to help you in the end. Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?

Here is an allusion to someone who becomes a lewd woman: a painted up face, a fancy hairdo, a mini skirt, and an attire of a harlot. Here is sinful courting and God asks why? God pleads with them and asks in verse 31, “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel?” and “Have I given you a land of darkness” and “Why do you reject me” and say, “We are lords we will come no more unto thee?”

Jeremiah 2:32, “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”

In verse 33 God said you have encouraged the wicked by trimming your way to seek love. God says to them the blood of the innocent will be on your hands for trimming your way to seek love. God says in verse 35 to them just because you think it is ok does not make it ok! 

In verse 36 God tells them they will become gadabouts. Why, because they trimmed their way to seek love. In verse 37 God continues by saying to His people you will not prosper and all because you trimmed your way to seek love.

For some strange reason we think that if we trim our way that the world will love us! Not true! They will use us and despise us in order to get out of us what they want! “Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love.”



Sunday, February 11, 2018

THE FIRE IS GONE-NOW WHAT?

WHERE THERE IS SMOKE THERE CAN BE FIRE



Matthew 12:20, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.”

Please take note of verse 20. It does not say, “A flickering flax shall he not quench.” It says, "smoking flax!” It does not say slightly burning flax for it says smoking flax. God is saying as long as there is smoke there is a chance for a fire.

What is God saying here? He is saying the smoking flax shall he not quench. In all of our lives we have had the fire to go out at one time or another. There have been times in your life and my life when the fire has gone out. It may be that sin; heartache, discouragement, or bereavement has caused the dowsing of the fire. What our Lord is saying here is that as long as there is smoke there is hope for more fire.

God did not say as long as there is a flicker for he said the “smoking flax shall he not quench.” If the fire appears to go out in any church it simply means there had to be fire there at first. Placed there by God Himself and the smoke that remains means that the fire can blaze again!

It also means if the fire appears to no longer be burning and the warmth of the fire is no longer in existence that as long as there is smoke God is saying he will not quench the "smoking flax!"

I am speaking to those who use to have fire in your marriage where the fire appears to have gone out! If you have taken the marriage vows and both of you are still living there is still smoke there! There may not be any fire, but there is still smoke. 

That in itself means if you will give yourself to the Holy Spirit he can fan that smoke.  He can stir up the fire again in your marriage no matter how feeble the flickering. No matter how dead the spark seems or however cool the flame may appear. It can burn again as long as there is life!

As long as there is life there is smoke and the Holy Spirit desires to fan it and pour oil on it to bring back the fire. Oh, it may not warm as many people at first or like it once did but it can warm someone. It may not shine as far as it once did but it can shine some! I am not saying that if you have lost the fire you will get it back like you once had it but you can get some fire back. It may not be as bright as it once was but it can still shine some.

The church may not be as large as it once was, but it can still grow. One of my favorite songs my dear late friend Dr. Paul Duckett Jr. used to sing was, “Dear Lord take up the tangled strains that we have wrought in vain. That by the skill of thy dear hand some beauty may remain.” I love it!

It may be that the fire appears to have gone out of your life. It may be that sin; heartache, illness, discouragement, or bereavement has seemingly snuffed out the fire. “Preacher I have lost the fire I once had!” Ok, but as long as there is smoke God wants to fan it. God wants to pour oil upon it to rekindle it and cause the fire to burn once again.

A man may not be able to pastor any more, but he can teach a Sunday school class. The school may not train as many as it once did but it can train some. The marriage that once burned with holy passion may not be what it once was, but it can be salvaged to become a warm and happy marriage. 

There is not a marriage that cannot be salvaged! “But preacher I have lost my love.” Wait a minute are you still breathing? Hold it are you still alive? Then there is smoke there and if you will let God fan it then a flame will come again. Jesus said, “The smoking flax he will not quench.”

There are people reading this article who feel the fires seemingly have gone out, but thank God there is smoke and soon there will be fire if God is given a chance to fan the smoke. I have in these going on 46 years of ministry counseled thousands of couples having trouble with some being serious some frivolous, but all necessary counseling. Some had smoke where fires once burned and I attempted to fan the smoke and pour oil on the smoldering smoke to make the fire burn again.

I am referring to marriages that seem to have lost its fire, but there is still smoke there. How do I know there is smoke there? It’s simple you are still breathing! I am speaking to parents, pastors, preachers, students, and teens that have lost the fire you think.

There is no person whom God cannot use again. There is no marriage, ministry, pastor, preacher, college student, or parent that cannot be salvaged. Jesus is saying, “Ok if you have no fire then I’ll look for some smoke and when I find the smoke I will not quench it. I will not put it out!”

In some cases the devil gains entrance into our lives because of bad decisions. Those bad decisions begin to extinguish the fire. The fire becomes a flicker after a while when pride creeps in and we refuse to reverse by swallowing our pride and admitting we are wrong. 

After a while there is nothing left but smoke. But after men have long given up hope for you to make it and long after others said you will never recover enter Jesus who says, “I see smoke. I see hope. If you will let me fan it and pour oil on it soon the fire will return!”

The fire of joy, a smile, or happiness may be gone, but praise God if there is smoke there can be a fire once again. A man addicted to porn whose life was once spiritual and who was on topside for God with no seeming fire. 

Wait is the man breathing? He is still alive? Then as long as there is smoke God wants to fan it and pour oil on it to get some fire back. Oh, it may not be the same brightness but at least Jesus said he would not quench it.

Here is a life that kept people out of Hell by soul winning; a life of value, and a life of productivity, but the fire seems gone out? There are no flames of soul winning, no red-hot prayer life, and no red-hot service for God. Nothing here but a flicker of a flame or just smoke. 

Hey, wait a minute Jesus has not given up on them. He will not quench the smoke. He will fan the smoke and create a fire. He will pour oil on it and cause the fire to burn. No, it will not burn as bright but it will burn!

Dope has captured you? The old life has come back to haunt you? The fires of evangelism are gone? The bold giving of tithes and offerings has vanished? The soul winning fire is nothing but smoke now. The prayer life of fire is nothing but flax now. The Amens and shouts are but smoke now. You sit here defeated with no excitement for the things of God. 

Yes, you used to stand to your feet and wave your Bible over a truth being preached from the pulpit but not any more. Nothing but smoke now! Wait a minute? Jesus said, “I will not quench that smoke but I will fan that smoke!”

If the fire has gone out at least the smoke is still there and God promised that he would not quench what is left. If you will let him he will fan what is left. He will pour oil on what is left to start up a small fire once again.

Broken marriage? Deserted wife? Deserted husband? Deserted child? Teens have you blown it? College student have you messed up? The question invariably comes, “Preacher can God use me again?” Oh, yes God can use you again! 

Please pay attention to this article former college zealot, former teen zealot, former preacher zealot, former bus captain zealot, former Sunday school teacher zealot, or former soul winning zealot for God will fan the flax and it will burn again!

Oh, wasted life with nothing but simmering smoke left please turn back to Jesus and allow him to fan the smoke. Please let him pour oil on it. It is not over for Jesus can use you again! It may not be to the extent that you have been accustomed to but he will use you again!

Dear mission man, divorced man, divorced lady, backslid teenager, or expelled college student God can use you again even though there is only a simmering smoke for God can cause the flames to come again.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

BEWARE OF THOSE WHO BROADEN THE TENTS OF FUNDAMENTALISM

MODERN DAY BALAAMS



II Peter 2:1, 14, 15 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”

Jude 10-11, “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”


Cain was the one who killed Abel and the one who offered the bloodless sacrifice. Korah was the one who rebelled against Moses and the earth in judgment swallowed up Korah and thousands of others. Now in between Cain, who was a murderer, and Korah, who was a rebel, is the man named Balaam.

The verse mentions the error of Balaam. Revelation 2:14, “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” He is speaking to the church at Pergamos in this verse.

·      The way of Balaam (II Peter 2:15)
·      The error of Balaam (Jude 11)
·      The Doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14)

It is very obvious here that Balaam did something real bad. God said so and that must take precedence over any view we might have of Balaam.

The truth about Balaam is strange in that it is very hard to find something wrong with Balaam. He was a good man in the Bible. Balaam was actually a courageous preacher. He never trimmed his message even though he was in a foreign country and even though a king had attempted to persuade him to trim his message. 

Here is a man who never left the words of God. He delivered the message he was supposed to deliver. He made this statement, “If the king himself could give me his own house full of gold and silver I still will not trim my message. I will preach the truth.”

The truth is I would rather spend time in this article exposing the sins of Korah, Judas Iscariot, Demas, or Pharaoh. You cannot help but admire Balaam. He was a decent man. He was a good man. Yet, he committed a sin that was so awful that Peter wrote of it, Jude wrote of it, and John wrote of it.

For the sake of the future of fundamental Baptists everywhere I do not mind exposing someone who does not preach the truth. Men like John McArthur and R. B. Theme who were proponents of the blood of Christ dissipating at the foot of Calvary must be exposed. These and others teach that the death of Christ and not the shedding of the blood of Christ save souls from going to Hell. 

I remind all of us that when the death angel passed over the Jews that it was not the ones who killed the lambs but those who applied the blood to the door posts whose first born were spared from death.

Dr. Steward Custer of Bob Jones University and other Professors in our Bible colleges who have pointed us back to the originals for inspiration and mocked II Timothy 3:16 by literally changing the word “is” for the word “was” and placing an emphasis on the originals and not the preserved inspiration of the Holy Scriptures for all tongues and nations.

It is tough to say something about those who give a clear presentation of salvation, believes they have the words of God and preach those words of God. I do not want fundamental Baptists to waver even a little bit. My desire for independent Baptists is for them to be grounded in the Scriptures.

With that in mind please pay careful attention. There is nothing found in the Scriptures that Balaam did that we would call real wicked. There is no record of Balaam ever selling Jesus out or a brother for thirty pieces of silver. There is no record of the sin of David in the life of Balaam. There is no record in the life of Balaam of false doctrine.

Here is the kind of a man Balaam was. The truth is he is the kind you might vote in as pastor of a great church. May I tell you about him? His ministry was largely in a foreign land. He was hosted in that country by the king himself. The king attempted to cause Balaam to trim his message. 

However listen to this statement by Balaam when King Balak said I want you to trim your message. Balaam said, “The word that God putteth in my mouth that shall I speak.” WOW! That is a great statement by Balaam.

Yet, the truth is when God spoke of the sins of the people in II Peter 2:14-15, Jude 11, and in Revelation 2:14 He mentions the error of Balaam. The king said, “Balaam I want you to trim your message.” Balaam answered, “Whatever He (God) sheweth me that will I tell thee.”

See the picture? There was not a Christian in the land. He was in a land without any Christians that would be like being in Russia and the Czar saying you preach what I tell you and you answer, “I’ll preach only what God tells me to preach!”  Balaam responds, “How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed and how shall I defy whom God hath not defied.”

May I tell you what else Balaam said? “Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth.”? Wow, he would pass the test of a pulpit committee. He sounds very fundamental to me and Balaam did preach exactly what God told him to preach.

·      Balaam believed in the words of God
·      Balaam preached the words of God
·      Balaam did not trim the words of God

Balaam said, “I have received a commandment to bless and I cannot reverse it.” He said, “I will not reverse my decision to obey the commandment of God.” What else did he say, “All that the Lord speaketh that must I do.”

Before you set in judgment too much on Balaam I want to remind you He is in a foreign country and is being entertained in the palace of the king and the king attempting to get him to trim his message. Balaam answered, “All that the Lord speaketh that must I do.”

Twice Balaam says, “If King Balak would give me his house (palace) full of silver and gold I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord. But what the Lord sayeth that will I speak.” By the way Balaam never relented. To the very end he refused to trim his message. He spoke what God told him to speak. He refused to let the king tell him what to say.


WHAT WENT WRONG WITH BALAAM?




Obviously the question must be asked concerning Balaam what in the world went wrong with him. God never said that Balaam was a false prophet. The truth is Balaam was not a false prophet. He was a true prophet. God never said Balaam preached error for he did not preach error.

So, what was the problem with Balaam? Please pay attention! The Israelites were on a journey toward the Land of Canaan. On that journey they came to the land of the Amorites. A man named Sihon was the king of the Amorites. 

The Israelites sent word ahead as they had done before and they said, “We want to pass through the land and can we pass through your land on your highway? We’ll drink our own water. We’ll not cause you any trouble. We’ll not go off of the highway. All we desire is to do is to pass through your land.”

Sihon the king sent back word that he would not allow them to pass through the land. Sihon went to war against Israel. The Bible says Israel defeated him in war and actually slew the Amorites.

Here is the picture! The nation Israel comes to the land of the Amorites and they want to pass through. God’s people have no desire to cause any trouble. The same is true about God’s people today. It is our job to be honest, pay our debts, be congenial, and be nice, and courteous as we pass through this world. 

However, it is not our job to mix and mingle with the Amorites or the world or in fact the religious world. We are travelers just passing through!

God’s people had won the battle with the Amorites. The next place to pass through was the Moabites. The king of the Moabites was the man named Balak. The truth is Balak was scared. Imagine how he must have felt with his neighbors the Amorites are all dead and it was the same Israelites who are approaching his country. Balak was worried that he and his people would be killed too.

The truth is God’s people did not want to hurt any one. They just wanted permission to pass through the land. Every once in a while some idiot will say, “Well how in the world are we going to change the world if we don’t mix and mingle with the world?” 

Wait a minute! Our job is not to change the world. Our job is reach every one we can with the Gospel and take as many of them out of the world that we can! The world is going to Hell! We want to take as many as possible out of the world and into Heaven!

BEWARE OF THOSE WHO BROADEN THE TENTS OF FUNDAMENTALISM

That is one reason the Moral Majority movement by Jerry Falwell failed and eventually was shut down. Be leery of those who broadened the tents of fundamentalism to include every stripe of the so-called religious world. 

Fraternizing with Evangelicals and neo-fundamentalists will cause our young people to end up mingling and even marrying the wrong crowd. Some of our friends on the Left Coast are bragging they are following the Falwell doctrine of inclusiveness with every stripe of a liberal religious crowd. They emulate Rick Warren and his cohorts. The compromise of music and dress is opening the door to pleasing the kings of this world.

Balak the king of Moab said they are going to destroy us. Balak had heard of this man of God named Balaam. He was known as a great evangelist, great preacher, and a great man of God. So he sends messengers to Balaam and these messengers bring with them rewards of divination or an honorary Doctor’s Degree from Balak’s leading University. 

These messengers tell Balaam that the king wants him to come and place a curse on the Israelites that are passing through. They said to Balaam we have noticed that whosoever you curse is cursed and whosoever you bless is blessed.

Balaam made a mistake and let them into his house and they spent the night. Refuse to let the Left Coast Falwell, Warren, and Emerging church gurus into your homes. Balaam goes to God to ask God what he should do. God tells him, “No! Don’t go!” Balaam’s response was, “If the king offered me his palace full of gold and silver I will not go.”

The messengers go back to King Balak without Balaam. The Bible says that Balak sent more honorable messengers the second time. In fact he told them to tell Balaam if he would come and curse the Israelites on top of his degree we will give him anything he desires.

Here come the new messengers. God has already told Balaam not to go. Again, he has them spend the night and he goes to God again! Balaam decided to go. God did not want Balaam to go but God in essence threw up His hands and said, “Ok, ok, go!” So, Balaam goes to Moab.

King Balak takes Balaam to a certain place and tells him to curse the Israelites. Balaam replies, “I have to speak what God tells me to speak.” He is stubbornly staunch in his stand!

·      The word that God putteth in my mouth that shall I speak
·      Whatsoever he sheweth me that will I tell them
·    How shall I curse him whom God hath not cursed and defy him whom God hath not defied
·      Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth
·      I have received a commandment to bless and I cannot reverse it
·  If Balak would give me his house full of gold and silver I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord.
·      But when the Lord sayeth that will I speak

King Balak says, "Ok let us go over here to another place and look at it from a different view. Now will you curse them?" Balaam said no I must preach the word of God. King Balak comes a third time and takes Balaam to another vantage point and demands Balaam curse the people of Israel and Balaam says, “God told me to bless the people of Israel and I am going to obey God.”

Please forgive me but I must wonder why in the world did Peter say Balaam was a bad man? Why did Jude speak of the error of Balaam? Why did John the Apostle say in the Revelation to the church of Pergamos, “I have some what against you because you have gone after the doctrine of Balaam.”

Balaam believed the word of God, preached the word of God, and never trimmed the word of God. So, what then did Balaam do that was wrong?


SEVEN SINS OF BALAAM

·      He asked the messengers to spend the night (II John 11)
·      He asked God what to do when he knew already what to do
·      He talked to new messengers from the same place a second time
·      He asked the second messengers from the same place to spend the night
·      He went to God a second time to receive a second “No!” answer
·   Running with the kings (Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Jerry Falwell were ruined by spending too much time with Presidents and the elite)
·      Sponsorship of a bad crowd to preach the truth


GOSPEL PREACHERS HAVE FIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

·      To preach the truth
·      To identify with those who preach the truth
·      To bear fruit personally
·      To organize the local church to bear fruit
·      To take care of the orchard for the future of fruit bearing


Dr. Bob Jones Sr. responded to those who were critical of his criticism of Evangelist Billy Graham. Someone said Billy has a lot of fruit and Dr. Jones Sr. retorted, “Yes but he is destroying the orchard.”

It is a shame as to what happened as a result of Balaam’s actions. Go to Numbers 24:25 and 25:1-3 you will find they intermarried because Evangelist Balaam mingled with the wrong crowd. In our day it would be the independent fundamental Baptists watering down their associations while claiming they are true to the word of God.

A modern day Balaam hollers he believes the King James Bible is the word of God but leaves the door open to be able to run with the wrong crowd. It is not enough for a person just to preach the truth. Balaam preached the truth but without separating from the wrong crowd he destroyed God’s people by breaking down the barriers of association while preaching the truth.





Tuesday, January 23, 2018

THE HIDDEN LIFE

MY LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD



Colossians 3:3, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

 This verse does not mean what the average preacher interprets it to mean. May I note that God does not frown on a sincere man who makes a sincere mistake about a Scripture while teaching a Bible truth? I have for years taught this verse was speaking of the soul. However, it does not say so! It says that your life is hid with Christ in God.

 All of the sermons I have ever heard concerning this verse would be on this wise, “Your soul is hid with Christ in God.” However, it does not say that! Also I have heard, “Your spirit is hid with Christ in God” but it does not say that either! It simply says, “…your life is hid with Christ in God.” 

 It means the world cannot see our life. They are on the outside and it looks dull to them. To the world the Christian life is hidden. The reason is they cannot see with whom we are hidden. The Scripture says in essence we are hidden with Christ in God. It may be a dull looking house, but if a groom is in that dull looking house with his new bride it’s a pretty good place to reside. It may not look like much on the outside, but that doesn’t mean there is no joy in there. So, if your life is hid with Christ in God you have it made!

 This really all depends upon who is in there with you. The Christian life looks pretty boring unless you realize whose in there with you! WOW! Somebody say amen! Inside you are hid with Christ with God if you are born again. It looks pretty dull but it is not.

 Please take note of that life that is hidden.  Let us take and conduct a tour into this hidden life. May I introduce to you Mr. John Doe an unsaved man? He is on the outside looking in.  When he looks at the Christian life he sees no flashing neon signs. The old King James Bible has no pictures in it! There is no fancy cover on the outside of the King James Bible. “Mr. Doe you are on the outside and you can’t see it. Now, Mr. Doe let me take you on a little tour! Let me show you inside the Christian life. You see our life is hid with Christ in God.

 “May I show you a Scripture Mr. Doe? II Corinthians 6:8-9, 'By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;' You see Mr. Doe we are not very well known as the world counts being known. We are not famous on planet earth, but there are billions in Heaven who know us real well. So, we are unknown by the world and well known by the real world. 

 "The magistrates and the kings of this world do not know us, but we are well known by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Mr. Doe we are unknown in your world but well known while hid with Christ in God.

 “II Corinthians 6:9, '…as dying and behold we live…' you see Mr. Doe from your viewpoint outside looking in it looks pretty dull. It looks like a dead kind of a life.” Mr. Doe interrupts and says, “You have to listen to those Christian songs? You have to listen to all that screaming preaching? You have to listen to those Bible studies week after week? You have to give 10 % of your income plus offerings to that church? No rock or rap music? No movie going? No liquor or alcohol?” Yes, “Mr. Doe the Scripture says it looks '…as dying and behold we live…' 

 “I have to tell you the truth it looks like death to me!” My reply is simple, “When you are hid with Christ in God it is not death but it is life.” II Corinthians 6:10, "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." It looks sorrowful out there but in here is a lot of rejoicing going on Mr. Doe. 

 "When politicians come to church most of them are so uncomfortable. We laugh and cut up and they don’t know how to act. Mr. Doe looking at the church building it looks dead but really it is not a place of death but rather of life.

 "Mr. John Doe come on inside and you will see the happiest bunch of people you have ever feasted your eyes on in your life. II Corinthians 6:10 says, '…as poor yet making many rich…' Mr. Doe if you took the average Baptist congregation and held them up by their heels and shook them you wouldn’t get enough money to buy a decent car. Yet, Mr. Doe, it says, ‘…as poor yet making many rich…’ 

 "Mr. Doe our job as a local church is to go throughout our Jerusalem and beyond making people rich with a home in Heaven, living on streets of gold, living in a mansion debt free, making them heirs, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ the Son of God. You can’t see it from your viewpoint but that doesn’t make it a fantasy just because you can’t see it.

 “Inside this place called a local church Mr. Doe the book looks dull, the building looks dull, the sermons sound dull, the music seems dull, the preacher looks dull, the orchestra sounds dull, and the Sunday school looks dull but it says we as poor are yet making people rich.

 “II Corinthians 6:10, ‘…having nothing, yet possessing all things…’ Mr. Doe you look at us and it appears that we have nothing, but the truth is we have every thing. Here is what you do not see from the outside. We are hid with Christ in God. Come on in Mr. Doe and let me show you and conduct a tour for you so you can see for yourself? Our joy, our peace, and our rejoicing are hidden from those on the outside. Pay careful attention Mr. Doe!

THE BOOK CALLED THE SCRIPTURES
  
 “Let me show you Mr. Doe the book we read and believe. It is called the King James Bible. This Bible has always existed! There never was a time when those Scriptures did not exist. These are the eternal Words of God. Every Word always was in existence, before there was ever a man, a world, a mountain, a valley, a hill, a bird, a fish, or a beast of the field there was the Word!

 “Please listen carefully Mr. Doe! When all the other books have been burned this old King James Bible will still exist. When every book that has ever been written has passed away these Scriptures will endure forever. This book we call the Scriptures always was and always will be! You see Mr. Doe that is why it is so good in here, but it doesn’t look good from out there! 

 "We are hid with Christ in God and Mr. Doe once you get in here you will see an eternal book called the Scriptures. That is one reason we are so happy Mr. Doe. This is not some dumb magazine published by some heathen. Hey, Mr. Doe, pick out your best novel and try to gather a crowd to teach that novel to for 2,000 years on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Then gather a crowd to go into the entire world to spread the news about that novel on a Thursday night and see how long it lasts!

 “Let Hollywood put their best movie in one place in one location and run the same picture for 50 years and see if they’ll have any one returning after 50 years to see the movie let alone have the crowd grow.

 “Mr. Doe this old book called the Scriptures is alive and it is eternal. Heaven may pass away and earth may pass away but God’s Words abide forever.”

THE BOOK OF LIFE
  
 “Mr. Doe, Robert Glynn Gray Sr. is written in that book. In Luke 10:20 we are told to rejoice because our name is written down in Heaven. Mr. Doe it is hard for you to understand what is happening unless you come in here with us and see it.  You say the Christian life looks dead but we are not the ones committing suicide, getting drunk, on dope, at the tavern, and having nervous breakdowns. 

 "The world will not last but my name is in the Book of Life and it will last forever. Our life is hid with Christ in God. From the outside you cannot know the joy of knowing that you have a reservation for a home in Heaven.

THE BOOK OF SINS 

 “Mr. Doe please look at my record in Heaven and take time to read all the sins listed under my name? Now, Mr. Doe there is a reason we happy in here. It is because we have an eternal book of Scriptures called the King James Bible. We have our names written down in another book called the Book of Life. There are also no sins listed under our names in Heaven. 

 "Mr. Doe there is not a nightclub out there that can compare to having no sins recorded under your name in Heaven. There is no joy that the world has to offer to compare to knowing that you are going to miss Hell and be in Heaven forever. It may look dead in here from out there but when you get you name in the Book of Life and all the sins removed from the Book of sins. WOW! Then you can shout with us Mr. Doe!

 “From out there it looks a little dingy in here doesn’t it Mr. Doe? Haven’t you ever wondered, as you would drive by our church building why all those people attend three times a week? As you drive by you see not flashing neon signs on the church building. Inside you will find no pictures of Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, or Jayne Mansfield, but Mr. Doe inside of this place our life is his with Christ in God.

THE BOOK OF WORKS
  
 “Let me show you another book in Heaven it is called the Book of works. What is listed under my name in Heaven? All of the righteousness of Jesus Christ! Was Jesus kind, good, and sincere? Mr. Doe that is why we have so much fun in here and you can’t see it from out there where you live. We have an eternal book of Scriptures, names are written down in the Book of Life, we have no sins recorded under our names, and we have Jesus’ righteousness written under our names in Heaven. You see sir our lives are hid with Christ in God! 

 "The reason we are so happy is because we have an inerrant, preserved, and perfect inspiration in this book of Scriptures, our names are written down in the Book of Life in Heaven, no sins are written under our names in Heaven, and we have Jesus’ righteousness written on our record in Heaven.

“Sir, you can’t compare a drink of liquor, a Hollywood star, a Hollywood movie, a rock concert, a rap concert, a tavern, or country and western music to having your sins paid for and an assurance of Heaven.

A LOCAL CHURCH
  
 “Mr. Doe we have fellowship inside here and it is called a church. It is a called out body of baptized believers. The fun we have we remember! We have Christian schools, a Bible College, Sunday schools, preaching services, teaching services, fellowshipping, caring for each other, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and soul winning. Sir, there is not a country club in the world to compare to God’s local church.

WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN TO LIVE FOREVER
  
 “Sir, our lives are not only hid with Christ in God now but they will be for all eternity in Heaven. Pain, cancer, aids, swine flu, headaches, heartaches, back trouble, surgeries, pneumonia, and funerals will not exist in Heaven and you wonder why we are so happy. Mr. Doe can you see past what you think is dull and dead to see the life that is unseen by your world? Folks driving by just can’t see it can they? 






Sunday, January 7, 2018

DO NOT READ THIS IT COULD CHANGE YOU!

CONQUER THE WORLD'S GRAVITY



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


The Scripture says “be NOT conformed” rather “be ye transformed.” The secret is the mind and in the renewing of the mind by being transformed and not conformed to this world.

The book of Romans is divided up in to two sections, chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-16. The pivotal verses are found in Romans 12:1-2. In the first eleven chapters of Romans we have doctrine. In chapters 12-16 we have practical living or application of the doctrine to a real world.

Paul is saying the redeemed ought to live this way because of the wonderful doctrines in the first eleven chapters. An example would be the doctrine of “justification.” Paul is saying, “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God” or because you are justified by faith that you “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”

Someone says, “I’m addicted to movies, pornography, or to internet pornography.” I don’t believe it for a minute! You can quit it right now and walk away from it. It’s not addictive like narcotics or liquor. You can quit that junk if you would produce enough character, decency, discipline and Christianity. The Bible says we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.
God is saying because you are justified be not CONFORMED to this world, but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Why…

·      Because of propitiation
·      Because of justification
·      Because of sanctification
·      Because of predestination
·      Because of election

Plus all of the other great doctrines found in Romans chapters 1-11. Then Paul goes on to tell us in the rest of the book of Romans what it means and what kind of a life we are supposed to live as God’s children.

God has given to the Christian a little world within a world with our local church, Christian schools, and Christian colleges. If you are in one of the Christian schools and are living a loose moral life you are a traitor to the cause of Christ, to the school, to the college, to the local church and to your pastor. Nobody ought to ever cause themselves to be expelled from a Christian school because of being immoral loose living, bad music, pornography, or sexual promiscuity. No member of a local church should ever be involved with immoral activity for you are in essence a traitor if you do.

Thus we have a little world within a world. This bigger world we live in is a godless world and we are forced to interact. Some have to interact with worldliness at home, or in a secular business, or a secular school, and unfortunately sometimes there are students in the Christian school who are worldly and you find yourself having to interact with them. However, I would be ashamed of myself if I were thick with the wrong crowd in a Christian school. I’d be ashamed of myself to be thick with the wrong crowd in a Christian college.

Now, we are required in some ways to interact with a godless Christ-less world. May I point your attention to whom this passage was given? The passage of, “be not conformed to his world but be ye transformed” is a passage written to the Christians in Rome. They were corrupt, pagan, skeptical, and a perverted people. The entire environment was not only un-Christian but also anti-Christian. The Bible says this book was written to the saints in Caesar’s household.

We have this admonition, “be not conformed to this world.” What does that mean? It simply means dress like a Christian and not like Paris, or Hollywood, or New York. It simply means males ought to have haircuts that look like a male and not the Beatles or Justin Bieber. God is saying to his people I would rather you have Dr. Lee Roberson as your hero than Arnold Swartznegger. I would rather you have Jack Hyles as your hero than Garth Brooks.

Then he says, “be ye transformed” or as different from this world as Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration. This my friend was written to Christians of Caesar’s household in godless anti-Christian Rome, corrupt, pagan, skeptical, and perverted Rome. Yet to the saints in this foul corrupt environment Paul writes these words, “be not conformed to this world but be ye transform.”

No Christians in Rome had a Christian school to attend. They had no Christian grade school, junior high school, high school, or college to attend. Yet, God said to these people in the middle of godless anti-Christian Rome it is possible for them to not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul is saying it is possible to live in the midst of a Roman moral quagmire without lowering your flag of purity. Please listen! That means that it is possible today also to do the same. It is possible today to live in a society controlled by TV, Hollywood, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and the Internet and still live for God via the renewing of the mind.

It is possible to live in this sex crazed, Hollywood infested world, HBO world, Cinemax world, Showtime world, and hip-hop music, and be not conformed to this world. If it is possible for the saints at Rome then it is possible for the saints of today!

Paul said it is possible in this horrible morally polluted atmosphere to breathe without poisoning the souls of the Christians in Rome. It was possible to walk in its septic streets without soiling the white garments of saint-hood. Paul tells them not to be creatures of circumstances or happenstance, but to take a stance for God.

Stand up at work for Jesus while others curse him. Stand up for Jesus at school while others mock him. Paul is saying to these saints in Rome do not do when in Rome as Romans do, but when in Rome do as Jesus would do. He is saying to them be not the slave, but the master of your environment. He preaches not the doctrines of conforming, but the doctrine of transformation.

Paul is saying to the saints in Rome man is not to become a creature of his circumstances or the toy of his surroundings, or a piece of clay molded by his peers, but he is saying do not be conformed be ye transformed. It bothers God when his daughters are quick to take up the hairstyles of modern day Romans. It bothers God when any of his children are quick to pick up the modern appearances and so desperately want to be accepted by the modern day Romans. 

It probably occurs because God’s people spend more time reading “Glamour Magazine” than the Bible. Young Christian ladies spend more time in “Sixteen Magazine” than in their own Bibles. It bothers God when his sons are so quick to get a tattoo or pierce their ears simply because of the modern day Romans.

God is telling his children they are not to copy this pagan world. There is a difference between dressing appropriately and going gaga over the latest styles and so quick to embrace them simply because we want the Romans to love us. We are not to pattern ourselves after this modern world. 

If the world lies on a beach in their underwear then God’s people ought to do the opposite. If the women of this world wear their shorts and man’s apparel then the Christian ladies ought to do the opposite. We are in the world but not of the world!

He tells the redeemed in Rome you are to be more than a product of your environment, more than a result of geography, more than a piece of merchandise molded and made by surroundings, more than a manufacturers object of weather and meteorology. You are not to be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed that ye may prove what is that good an acceptable perfect will of God.

It thrills God to see his children around town reflecting Scriptures rather than society. When he sees the boys with decent haircuts and without their pants hanging down to their ankles with their underwear showing. God loves it when he sees his young ladies dressed in modest clothing without a vampire look. I thank God I belong to a church where members dress right and people around town know they belong to an old fashioned baptist church.

It may be difficult to not be conformed to this world but difficult is not spelled “I M P O S S I B L E.” He says do not drift, but steer! He says do not float, but swim! He says do not descend, but ascend. He says do not blend but transcend. He says do not condescend but apprehend. He says do not be a slave to dust be its master. He says swim the tide.

God is saying to his children in Rome be like the lily in the mud which transforms sordidness into beauty and stagnates into fragrance. He is saying to them do not bow your knee to the god of fashion, the Bael of conformity, the deity of compromise, the altar of timidity to the prince and power of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Christians who are conforming to this modern Roman world and not transforming it doesn’t bother you because you do not care what God wants you to do any way, but those who do care will keep on transforming and not conforming.

Conquer this world’s gravity! Be a lily in the mud, a daisy in the gutter, a flower in the wilderness, a stream in the desert, and a rose amidst needles and thorns. If you have to flee to the catacombs flee singing! If you are appetizer for the lions then die praising God. Throw your shoulders back and chest out, lift up your head, and hold your banner high to let everyone know you are a child of God!

Emerson said, “Whoso would be a man must be a non conformist to their present world!” If the Bible is true, if God be real, and you desire to be a man then do not conform to this world and see what happens? Show me a famous Christian who was a conformist to their present world? Show me one in history?

The Hall of fame list includes John Bunyan who spent twelve years in the Bedford Jail. Why, because he would not stop preaching the Gospel on the street corners! He had a blind daughter who would come to the Bedford Jail and say, “I’ve some good news daddy. They will let you out of jail if you promise to quit preaching the Gospel on the streets.” He was a non-conformist!

John Wesley was a non-conformist to his present world! Read his diary sometime and you will read, “Kicked out of church after church after church…” We garnish his tombstone and crucify the people who are like him today!

·      John Bunyan a non-conformist
·      John Wesley a non-conformist
·      Peter a non-conformist
·      Paul a non-conformist
·      John the Baptist a non-conformist
·      James a non-conformist
·      Savonarola a non-conformist
·      Martin Luther a non-conformist
·      Cromwell a non-conformist
·      John R. Rice a non-conformist
·      Lester Roloff a non-conformist
·      Tom Malone a non-conformist
·      Lee Roberson a non-conformist
·      Shadrach a non-conformist
·      Meshach a non-conformist
·      Abednego a non-conformist
·      Daniel a non-conformist
·      J. Frank Norris a non-conformist
·      G. B. Vick a non-conformist
·      Curtis Hutson a non-conformist
·      Carl Hatch a non-conformist
·      Jack Hyles a non-conformist

Why, because they refused to let the devil tell them how to behave and what to believe. In my 46 years of preaching, as of the writing of this article, I have stood for the King James Bible, Jesus’ blood as the only cleansing agent for sin, the local independent Baptist church, salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Christ, the new birth, sinless life of Christ, vicarious death of Christ, bodily resurrection of Christ, the pre-millennial pre-tribulation rapture of the saints, old fashioned separation from the world, old time religion, soul winning, holy living, Pastor led church, and eternal security of the believer for which I am not about to quit now because of current society!

I John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

II Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…”

THIS IS DEDICATED TO YOU LEFT COAST LIBERALS WHO LOVE RICK WARREN AND DESIRE TO BE JERRY FALWELL JUNIORS...

For you sweet little Christians who love Rick Warren's and Jerry Falwell's  looseness  and to all the independent Baptist mimickers on the left coast there is more to the Bible than just Psalm 23.

God said, “Touch not the unclean thing” and “Keep oneself unspotted from the world” and “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” and “The saints shall someday rule the world” and “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world but thou shouldest keep them from the world” and “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world” and  “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” and “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” and “They who have turned the world upside down have come here also” and “Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world even our faith” and “Ye are a holy generation a royal priesthood” and “That he might deliver us from this present world” and “I have overcome the world” and “The friendship of the world is enmity with God” and “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world” and “Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world.” WOW! I think you had better talk this over with God!

You can live in a godless home and still be transformed and not conformed. I can prove it for some of you reading this article are living in godly homes and you are being conformed and not transformed. Thus, it must not be the home as much as it is you!

Paul told the Christians in Rome that is was possible in their morally polluted atmosphere to breathe without poisoning their souls. Now, if it is possible for the Christians in Rome then it is possible for the Christians in you city to live for God.

You can work in a godless factory go to a godless school, live in a godless home, live in a godless neighborhood, and still be transformed. It is a shame that some of the bus riders from the ghettos of your area live better Christian lives than those who have moms and dads who sing in the church choir, served on the deacon board, teaches Sunday school, serve on the church staff, or are faithful church members. Be ye transformed and not conformed!

It matters not who you are and what you are; you can live for God wherever and whenever. Factory workers can live for God. If they could do it in Rome and Paul expected them to do it in Rome then so can any of us! The Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible expected them to live for God in Rome, which means we can also live for God in our Rome.