Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In Times Like These

Scripture:  2 Timothy 3:1-5 (King James Version)
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

"Our text is verse 1, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."  Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost spoke these words of prophecy over 1900 years ago.  I am sure that we all agree; we are seeing these things come to pass.  We are now in the last days...perilous times are here.  Times are hard, they are difficult and they are grievous.  Every day we see, hear and read about these things that Paul mentions in the verses above.

The purpose of this message is not to dwell upon these things that are working against us...but, rather to dwell upon those things which are working for us in these last days.  Years ago we used to sing a song entitled "In Times Like These."  It goes something like this..."In times like these you need a Savior;  In times like these you need an anchor.  Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds, and grips the solid rock...This rock is Jesus...yes, He's the one."
In these last days; these perilous and grievous times; in times like these...there is great encouragement for the faithful people of God.  Not only are we experiencing fulfilled prophecy concerning these perilous times, we are also experiencing fulfilled prophecy concerning glorious times.  In Acts 2:17 it states, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...."
                     Today, we see, hear and read about how God is moving by His Spirit.

In times like these we have the Presence of His Spirit.
                                                In times like these we have a Blessed Hope!

In times like these we can be Encouraged.  We don't need to be looking down but looking up.  I'm not looking for the Great Tribulation...but, I'm looking for the Rapture.  I'm not looking for the Anti-Christ but, the Christ.  I'm not even looking for signs...I'm listening for the sound as mentioned in
1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God..."

In times like these we have God to go to.     Friends, there is a God in Heaven.
                                                            He is alive and well.
                         He is a God of all power and all wisdom...an unchanging God.

In times like these we have the Bible.  Paul encouraged Timothy in the last part of this same chapter, verses 14-17.  "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

In times like these we can Pray.
                                          In times like these we can Trust God.

In times like these....
God wants us to have faith.
God wants us revived.
God wants us to be on fire for Him.
      In times like these God wants us to be ready....and in times like these we can be ready!

In times like these Gods people have each other.  God wants us to be at peace with one another and to love one another.  He wants us to be empowered with His Holy Spirit and to work together in victory.  God not only desires that we be born again but commands us to help others find the way of salvation.  We can and need to be worshipping, working, witnessing and winning others to Jesus.  In times like these we can be healed, holy, happy and Heaven bound.  In times like these we can be looking, loving and longing for Christ's return.

In times like these we have an Anchor.  This anchor holds and grips the solid rock.  This rock is Jesus......and yes, He is the only one.  In Him we have all we need....whatever we need.

In these times....

                                        Are you ready?
                       Do you have Jesus as your anchor?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Set Your Spiritual House In Order

Scripture:  Hebrews 9:27 (King James Version)
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...."

"God has laid this text on my heart and I have been moved by God in a very definite way.  He has let me know that there is someone reading this today that is not ready to meet God.  He wants you to sincerely seek God for salvation, because God is soon to call you out to meet Him.  I admonish you not to put off setting your spiritual house in order.  "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...."

Benjamin Franklin once said, "death takes no bribes."  When your time comes all the money in this world cannot buy you one more hour.  All the doctors, the drugs or even a preacher's prayer will be to no avail.

Death also takes no holiday.  It may arrive any day, any hour.  A tombstone on one particular grave said, "I expected this, but, not just yet."  The Psalmist David knew how sudden death could come.  In
1 Samuel 20:3 he states, "...as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death."  Death is sudden and death is certain.

But, the Bible says that life does not end with death.  Our text declares: "...after death the judgment."  The Bible makes it very plain that there is a day of judgment.  You may say, "I have done the best that I can.  I have helped my neighbor, paid my debts; never done anyone any harm.  I believe in God, say my prayers and I even to to church.  I haven't committed any serious sins."  All of this may be very commendable, but, the Bible says that one sin will damn you; one sin will condemn you at the judgment seat and one sin will keep you from Heaven.
    John Bunyan said, "One leak will sink a ship and one sin will destroy a sinner."

One sin put Adam out of the garden...
One sin caused Cain to be a marked man...
One sin caused Moses to be barred from the Promised Land...
One sin caused Absalom to lose his life and inheritance...
One sin caused Gehazi to become a leper...
One sin cost Samson his life and rulership...
My friend, if you have not repented and sought forgiveness for your sins...this one refusal and neglect...will keep you from making Heaven your home.

A Christian was seeking to persuade a business man who was not a Christian to attend a Gospel service at his church.  But, the man replied, "I don't go to church and I'm not interested in going.  I spend my time on Sundays settling my accounts."  The Christian very earnestly replied, "So, Sir, on the day of judgment, God will be settling accounts with you."   There is an accounting day coming when all who reject Jesus Christ will have to answer to Almighty God!   The scriptures declare in
Ecclesiastes 11:9, "...walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."

Yes, there is a judge to face.  The principle of personal accountability runs all through life.  Children are accountable for their conduct and must be disciplined.  Adults are accountable to the law and to their employers.  All of us are accountable unto God.  "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

But, thank God there is hope.  John 3:16 gives us hope when it says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  Romans 5:8 also tells us of Gods love, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  In other words, God wanted to emphasize how much he loves us; therefore, He did not wait until we repented, but provided the Savior in advance.  The only delay in your salvation, your eternal life, is your delay.
                         God will save you the instant, the very moment you ask Him.

The Bible clearly teaches that the only way to Heaven is to ask God to forgive your sins and to have faith that Jesus died for you and paid the full price for your salvation.  You cannot save yourself by keeping laws, helping neighbors, giving money, joining a church or just by being good.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
You must repent of your sins, believe on Christ as Savior and Lord, accept the gift and praise the giver, and turn from sin to the Savior.

You must be saying, "Well, I know all this, but I will give my heart to God later."  Friend, don't wait until the eleventh hour.  Many people have said the same thing, waiting for the eleventh hour...only to die at 10:30.  Delay is dangerous!  Please don't put it off any longer.

Talk to God.  Ask Him to come into your heart and forgive your sins.  Tell Him you are ready to turn from your life of sin and misery and are ready to accept His salvation.

                                                           A Prayer for Salvation
Dear Lord,
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent.  I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me.  I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life; to cleanse me and make me whole. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Jesus.  I accept you and want to spend all of eternity with you.  Thank You Lord for saving my soul!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where To Praise The Lord

Scripture:  King James Version
Psalm 34: 1-3
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."
"My last sermon was from this same scripture; entitled "When To Praise The Lord."  
The answer to the question, where do we praise the Lord is automatically...Everywhere.
The Bible admonishes us, "In everything give thanks." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) If we are praising God in everything then we would have to praise God everywhere.  If the praises of God are continually in our mouth and we bless the Lord at all times then we would have to praise Him everywhere.

In our previous message we said there are two times to praise the Lord....when we feel like it and when we don't feel like it.  We praise Him in pleasant times and we praise Him in painful times.  There are also two places to praise the Lord.  We praise the Lord in private and in public.  Jesus said if you are ashamed of me I will be ashamed of you. (Mark 8:28 and in Luke 9:26)

***Praise to God is worship.  Praise is dedicated gladness...rejoicing before the Lord.  We should thank God and praise Him for His blessings and benefits, but first and foremost we should praise God for Himself.  Thank God for God.  Praise the Lord for Jesus.

We are to praise God in church.  Psalm 135 tells us to "Praise ye the Lord...ye that stand in the house of the Lord."  The psalmist says in Psalm 35:18, "I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people."
We are to praise God at home.  Psalm 149: 5-6 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth."
We are to praise God before the brethren.  Psalm 22:22 says, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee."
We are to praise God before the unbeliever.  Acts 2: 46-47 says, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."  The psalmist said again in Psalm 126:2 "......then said they  among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them."

Paul and Silas praised God in jail at the midnight hour.  The jailer and his whole house were converted to Christ.  Read this amazing story in Acts 16th chapter.

**One of the greatest ways to witness for the Lord is to live a life of praise to God before those who know Him not.  The devil is made happy when Gods people go around complaining, grumbling, growling, fretting, frowning and fussing.  When non-believers take note of this behavior they say "if that's what Christianity is all about and that's the only happiness they have I'll stay the way I am."

We are to praise God before our enemies...even the devil himself.  In 2 Chronicles, the Bible records a great victory that was won by praise.  King Jehoshaphat and Israel had 3 enemy armies moving in on him.  King Jehoshaphat said we don't know what to do but our eyes are upon thee Lord.  God said, "Stand still the battle is the Lords. You won't have to fight in this battle.  Be not afraid for the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:15) King Jehoshaphat and his people obeyed God.  They began to worship and praise God.  They stood and praised God with a loud voice and the Bible says the Lord set ambushments against the enemy and they were smitten.  It goes on to say that God's people gathered the spoil and it was so much. (verse 25)

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."( 2 Corinthians 10:4)
Praise is a weapon of our warfare that breaks the strong hold of the enemy.  There is power in praise! God comes down when we praise Him.  Resist the devil and he will flee.  We resist the devil when we praise God and believe Him for victory.

You do not know how God is going to work out your need but believe He is and begin to thank and praise Him for doing it and victory will be yours.     Amen?

Again......Psalm 34: 1-3
" I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord:  the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."