SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH

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SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH

 

SIN ATTACKS US EASILY. 

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

WE ARE NOT DOOMED TO FAILURE IN LIFE.   OUR WEAKNESSES CAN BE OVERCOME.   BUT, WE NEED TO CONFESS THEM AND TURN FROM THEM THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LORD.  

Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

 

 

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 

 

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

CHRISTIANS ARE AGAINST SIN.   THEY DON’T WANT IT IN OTHERS, AND THEY DON’T WANT IT IN THEMSELVES.   YET, IT EXISTS.   MOST PEOPLE WILL CLASSIFY SOME SINS TO BE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS. 

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IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE SOME SINS THAT HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE AMONG CHRISTIANS IN CHURCH.  THESE ARE NOT CONSIDERED SERIOUS SINS BY THE PEOPLE WHO DO THEM, OR OTHER CHRISTIANS WHO WATCH.

AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE MAN WHO COMMITTED ADULTERY IN 1 CORINTHINS 6.  THE CHURCH ACCEPTED WHAT HE DID AS “NORMAL.”   IT WASN’T, AND IT SET PAUL DOWN ON THEM WITH SOME SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.  

WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, FEW CHURCHES TODAY HAVE ANY STANDARDS THAT THEY ENFORCE AND EXPECT MEMBERS TO ABIDE BY. 

THIS IS WHY SO MANY LOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD FIND CHRISTIANITY COMPLETELY UNINTERESTING.  BECAUSE WHAT THEY SEE FROM CHURCH PEOPLE IS THE SAME THING THEY SEE IN MORAL PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.

 

LET’S EXAMINE SOME OF THE SINS WHICH HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE IN TODAY’S CHURCHES. 

 

1. FEAR

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear is a spirit that can overwhelm your life.  

  • AFRAID OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN NEXT.
  • AFRAID OF THINGS THAT ARE ONLY ILLUSIONS. 
  • AFRAID TO DEPART OF THE USUAL.
  • AFRAID TO STEP OUT BY FAITH.
  • AFRAID TO TRUST GOD MORE THAN DOCTORS.
  • AFRAID TO SPEAK UP FOR THE LORD.
  • AFRAID TO FAST.
  • AFRAID TO DO ANYTHING THAT LOST PEOPLE MIGHT USE AS AN EXCUSE TO CRITICIZE US. 

 

2. APATHY

Apathy doesn’t necessarily mean the lack of emotions.  It is more a lack of action.   People can get riled up and even furious with some things.  They see needs, and their hearts are emotional about those needs.   But, without action, all of that is nothing but apathy.

Apathy is against the very nature of Christians.  In order to be apathetic, you have to fight the Holy Spirit in you.  That creates real problems for you and others.

It goes against the extremist nature of Christians.  Yes, Christians are extremists.  How can it be otherwise.  Extreme in commitment.

  • EVERY PART OF US SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO CHRIST. Mark 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Christians are compelled by other commands which are extreme.

  • EVERYTHING WE DO SHOULD BE FOR THE LORD. Colossians 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
  • ALL THAT WE DO SHOULD BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL, NOT OUR OWN. Colossians 4:12  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

OF COURSE, THE WILL OF GOD INVOLVES REACHING OTHERS WITH THE GOOD NEWS.  SO, APATHY WOULD HAVE IT THAT WE LEAVE THAT TO OTHERS.

 

 3. GREED

This is exposed most clearly when a national election rolls around.   The world talks the pulse of different demographics, and evangelistic Christians is an important group of people.  Without exception, each of the past 8 elections, so-called Christians have chosen who they will vote for on the basis of how the candidate will make them better off financially.  In some cases, they voted for an openly immoral, ungodly behaving person.  In other cases, they voted for a person who promised to promote ungodly principles if they are elected.  But, the large majority of so-called Christians were not ashamed to admit that they voted to better themselves financially rather than voting for the person who stood by good morals.

 1 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.

 SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM ARE POLITICS OF GREED.  PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE WAYS OF HELPING NEEDY PEOPLE.  NOT SO.  THE POOR WANT IT BECAUSE THEY WANT THE WEALTH OF THOSE WHO WORKED FOR IT.   

Proverbs 1:14-19  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

 

 

Proverbs 15:27  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

GREED IS THE REASON WHY SOME CHRISTIANS DO NOT OBEY GOD.   AS A RESULT OF A LACK OF OBEDIENCE, THEY DON’T GET MANY PRAYERS ANSWERED, AND THEY MISS OUT ON MANY BLESSINGS. 

EXCUSES ABOUND.

  • I HAVE BILLS.   (WHO DOESN’T).   PEOPLE WHO TITHE USUALLY HAVE FEWER BILLS BECAUSE THEY LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE ABOUT USING MONEY WISELY.
  • MY WIFE CONTROLS THE MONEY, AND THAT’S WHY I CAN’T TITHE.  (IF YOU ARE THE MAN OF THE HOUSE, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR WIFE DOES, GOD WILL HOLD YOU PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE).
  • I HAVE TO HAVE A CUSHION, AND IF I GAVE WHAT I SHOULD, I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO HAVE IT.  WELL, GOD CAN GET IT REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO KEEP A CUSHION.  BUT, INSTEAD OF BEING REWARDED ONE DAY FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS, GOD WILL HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT HE HAD TO JUDGE YOU ON THIS EARTH BECAUSE OF YOUR UNFAITHFULNESS.

GREED MAKES A PERSON SUBJECT TO MANY MORE TIMES OF SADNESS, BUT A PERSON WHO GIVES FROM THE HEART IS A HAPPIER PERSON.

2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

4. WORRY

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

What does worry accomplish ?  It does not solve any problems, bring you peace or happiness.  Instead, worry is a villain that takes away all those things.

Worry makes you sick or depressed, or angry.  It does nothing constructive at all.

The great philosopher Van Wilder once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”  That’s right. But Van Wilder isn’t the only one who talked about worry. Jesus said you shouldn’t worry about anything (Matt. 6:25-34). But Jesus wasn’t serious was he? I mean, really Jesus? Anything?

Matthew 6:25-33 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

He was serious. You see, worrying is symptomatic of a larger issue…lack of faith. And for followers of Jesus whose primary mission is to show the glory and nature of God to the world, worrying is a problem.

 

5. FLATTERY & PRAISE

IT WAS THE DOWNFALL OF THE PHARISEES.  

John 12:42-43  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

YOU CANNOT BE A POWERFUL WITNESS IF PRAISE OF MEN IS WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK.  Paul and Silas were not praised by anyone.  Instead, they praised God, and He gave them blessings for doing so.  If they had been waiting for a pat on the back, they would not have seen the hand of God work as He did. 

If your identity is tied to man’s praise, you’ll be eternally discontent.

Many people are just plain out fickle. They’re for you one day, against you the next. They love you when you agree with them, dislike you when you don’t.

It’s hard to point people to Jesus if you need their approval.

PEOPLE TODAY WILL DESPISE YOU IF YOU ARE GOOD.   SO, DON’T EXPECT THEM TO LISTEN AND EXALT YOUR REPUTATION.

2 Timothy 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

THEY WILL NOT BE WILLING TO SAY A LOT OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT YOU.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to point lost people to Jesus if you need their approval. because they are not usually going to give it you.  They are lost because the are not impressed enough with the Lord or their own sinful condition.  So, why would they flatter you when they don’t respect the od you serve ?  Don’t expect flattery from the world, and don’t seek it.

JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD IT RIGHT.

John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.   HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT ABOUT HIM.  HE CARED ABOUT WHAT GOD THOUGHT OF HIM.

 

6. BECOMING TOO COMFORTABLE WITH THE PRESENT… SLUGGISH.

Many in the church are satisfied with doing nothing or very little.  God wants us to use our talents for Him, not the world. 

Consider a man lying in bed with medical tubes in him.  This is understandable if this was a means to getting better.  But, what if the man wanted people to feed him, give him medicines just to feel pleasure, bathe him, wash him, massage him, and he was doing nothing at all ?   Not the Christian life.  Yet, some seem to take comfort in doing that spiritually.  That is what the Bible describes as being a sluggard, or lazy. 

 

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

 

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

 

Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

 

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

LAZY WITH EXCUSES:

Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

–Some are afraid what people in their own homes might say if they do God’s will.  Afraid of being criticized, afraid of retaliation, etc.   Some have been afraid to come to church at times because family didn’t want them to come, and they they feared what family might do to them. 

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

Proverbs 29:18  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

There is nothing wrong with comfort so long as it comes from God.  God’s comfort can come from God using another person, through God’s Word, or directly by the unmistakable touch of the Holy Spirit.  But, we are talking about another kind of comfort that ruins our relationship with God by leading us to a lifestyle that displeases God. 

Comfort might be the source of the “church approved” sins family. When the church becomes comfortable, Christianity starts to die.

 

PAUL IS PROVEN TO BE A REAL CHRISTIAN BY THE DISCOMFORT THAT HE ENDURED AND OVERCAME. 

2 Corinthians 6:4-10  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  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;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

  

THE CHURCH CAN NOT BE GROWING SPIRITUALLY AND AT THE SAME TIME BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE THEY ARE. 

THE CHURCH CAN NOT BECOMING MORE SPIRITUAL WHILE BEING SATISFIED WITH WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR THE LORD. 

THESE TYPES OF COMFORT SEEMS ACCEPTABLE TO MOST CHRISTIANS IN MOST CHURCHES. 

 

7. LACK OF LOVE

***People have differing ideas of what love is.  Some say that spanking your child is evidence that you don’t love them.  The Bible says that if you love your child, you WILL discipline them.  Some people say that loving the brethren is proven by praying for them.  Others say that praying is just the beginning, and that actions are important too.  We need a Biblical view of what love is, not our own–or the world’s– definition.

BIBLICAL DEFINITION IS:

1 John 3:17  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 ?

  –ARE THERE MORE THAN MATERIAL NEEDS ?  YES !   WHAT OTHER NEEDS COULD THERE BE ?  ARE CHRISTIANS FAILING TO VEEN LOOK AT THOSE NEEDS OF THE BRETHREN ? 

OUR ACTIVE PRACTICAL FAITH IS TIED IN WITH OUR ACTIVE LOVE. 

James 2:14-18  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

MOST IMPORTANT IS LOVING GOD.  HOW MANY WOUOLD AGREE WITH THAT ?

THIS IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF LOVE TO HIM–

1 John 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

 

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

 

1 John 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

 

1 John 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

 

Matthew 22:37  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.

LOVE MUST HAVE PRIORITIES.  YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR OWN CHILDREN MORE THAN OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN.   YOU SHOULD LOVE YOU WIFE MORE THAN YOU LOVE SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE.  IT IS NOT THAT YOU SHOULDN’T LOVE OTHER CHILDREN OR OTHER PEOPLE.  BUT, THERE IS A PRIORITY.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE SHOULD LOVE GOD.

THEN THE BRETHREN.

THEN THE LOST.

 

8. MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM

PRIORITIES ARE IMPORTANT.  WHEN WE STAND UP FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN STANDING UP FOR A NATION THAT WILL PASS AWAY.

WHAT COUNTRY ARE WE A PART OF ?   WHAT COUNTRY DID ABRAHAM SEEK ?  IS EARTHLY COUNTRY AS IMPORTANT AS THE HEAVENL.Y ONE.   WHEN LOYALTY TO OUR EARTHLY COUNTRY COMES HIGHER THAN LOYALTY TOWARD THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WE HAVE MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM

When your allegiance is torn between your country and your God, American ideals begin to shape your faith more than God. And you transpose American values onto God, believing God would be an American and think like an American.

Celebrate American values. That’s great. But, at the end of the day, your citizenship is not with America. It’s in heaven.

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Philippians 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:   [“CONVERSATION” literally means “CITIZENSHIP”]

 

9. LYING & GOSSIPING

 A CHRISTIAN’S WORD SHOULD MEAN WHAT IT SAYS.  

Matthew 5:33-37  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 

2 Corinthians 1:17-19  When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?  But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

 

SO, LYING IS A DEPARTURE FROM THE TRUTH.  WE ARE CALLED TO SPEAK TRUTH.  IF PEOPLE CAN’T TRUST YOU ABOUT LITTLE THINGS, HOW CAN THEY TRUST YOU ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF ALL–SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, FAITH. 

Ephesians 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

GOSSIP IS SPREADING INFORMATION THAT IS NOT BENEFICIAL… EVEN IF IT IS TRUE.              

1 Timothy 5:13  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

1 Peter 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

 Lying is the elephant in the room no one sees. Lying is so socially acceptable, even in Christian circles, that it often goes undetected. We’re desensitized to it.

And here’s why this is dangerous for Christians.

Here’s what Jesus is saying. You should live with such high integrity that your word doesn’t need attachments to make it legitimate. So, typical phrases like, “I promise,” “I swear,” and “I swear on my mom’s grave” should never come from your mouth.

How serious is this? Jesus says anything more than our word is from the evil one, Satan. That’s real.

 

10. SINFUL PRIORITIES.

 PREACHING SALVATION BUT LEAVING OUT ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS.

Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

   

 

Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    WE KNOW WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, BUT WE DON’T DO IT IN GOD’S ORDER OF THINGS.   WE CHOOSE OUR OWN ORDER.

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

PRIORITY OF SELF.  IF EVERYONE DOES IT, IT IS OK.  *Everyone is different, and therefore will do things differently.  Everyone has their own objectives in life.  Everyone sees things differently.  Everyone loves God in their own way.  Everyone prays in their own way.    –Very few people stop to think about the implications of statements like these.  Do these statements line up with what the Bible says ?  Yet, they are widely accepted and heard in most churches.

Many churches have made these statements more important than the Bible, which commands us to do specific things.

 

WE NEED TO JUDGE OTHERS.   BUT, MANY DO SO WITHOUT JUDGING THEMSELVES FIRST.

Matthew 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

SUBMITTING TO OUR OWN WILL.       SUBMISSION TO GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SUBMISSION TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE.

John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

WHY DID JOHN SAY THIS ?   IS IT A GOOD REASON FOR US TO FOLLOW THE SAME PRINCIPLE ?

Colossians 3:18  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  

WHEN THE PRIORITY IS YOU, THEN YOUR PURPOSE FOR BEING ALIVE IS LOST.   WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP YOUR HUSBAND FULFILL GOD’S CALLING FOR HIM ?

Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

QUIT SUBMITTING TO YOURSELF OR TO THE WORLD’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A REAL WOMAN IS.  SUBMIT TO GOD’S DEFINITION, AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO PAY A PRICE LATER ON.

1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

PRAYER.  DOESN’T GET THE RIGHT PRIORITY.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

 

Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:

I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN GOD’S LIFE.  PRIORITY OF OUR OWN FEELINGS, NOT THE FEELINGS OF GOD.

Hebrews 12:3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

**AN EXAMPLE IS IF SOMEONE GETS OMITTED FROM AN INVITATION.  IT IS WRONG TO HOLD THAT AGAINST THEM.  OR IF SOMEONE MAKES A COMMITMENT, BUT DOESN’T DO IT BECAUSE THEY FIND OUT THAT THEY WON’T GET THE GLORY OUT OF IT.  (We are supposed to give GOD all the glory !)

WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT ?  Because our Savior’s thoughts are more important than ours.  Our Savior’s feelings are more important than ours.

 

**THE DISCIPLES COULD HAVE BEEN TORN AGAINST EACH OTHER IF THEY HELD THE ATTITUDES THAT SOME CHRISTIANS HAVE.  “How come Peter and John get to spend more time with Jesus than I do ?”   “How come John gets to sit beside Jesus, and I don’t ?”   We should be totally ashamed of ourselves if we ever start thinking about people wounding our sensitive little egos, while not taking into account that all that we do should be for the glory of God.

DISCIPLES ARGUED AMONG THEMSELVES AS TO WHO SHOULD HAVE THE PRIORITY.

Mark 9:34  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

AFTER THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN ANY MORE.   IF WE RELY UPON THE SPIRIT OF GOD, WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS TYPE OF JEALOUSY AND CONCERN FOR OUR OWN FEELINGS.

IS THE LORD JEALOUS THAT YOU HONOR YOUR OWN FEELINGS MORE THAN HIS ?

Deuteronomy 32:21  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

WRONG PRIORITY TO HAVE FAMILY OVER GOD.   ***What if you stayed at home instead of coming to church ?  You say, “My family would be hurt if i didn’t stay with them..”  Well, isn’t God going to be hurt when you put your family ahead of Him ?

YOUR TIME.

YOUR FEELINGS    — IS GOD THE PRIORITY IN THESE THINGS ?  WHY NOT ?

YOUR PLANS.

NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD !

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“SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
February – March 2016

THE CALLINGS OF GOD

This is a multi-part series.  On this page you will find links to all audio files in the series as well as the outlines for the entire series.  Scroll down for study outlines.


 

The Callings Of God: Part 1 – 12-6-15 Sunday Morning
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The Callings Of God: Part 2 – 12-6-15 Sunday Evening
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The Callings Of God: Part 3 – 12-13-15 Sunday Morning
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The Callings Of God: Part 4 – 12-13-15 Sunday Evening
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The Callings Of God: Part 5 – 12-16-15 Wednesday Evening
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The Callings Of God: Part 6 – 12-20-15 Sunday Morning
Download

 


 

Luke 2:15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Luke 2:18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CALLINGS OF GOD ?

CALLED TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD.

1 John 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.

CALLED TO BE SERVANTS TO ACCOMPLISH SPECIFIC THINGS IN LIFE.

ABRAHAM. CALLED TO A NEW WAY OF LIFE. DEEPER THAN HIS PARENTS. HIS PARENTS WERE BELIEVERS, MORAL, GOOD POPLE. BUT THERE WAS AN EVEN BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

AARON. DESPITE HIS FAILURES, GRACE CALLED HIM TO SERVICE.

Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

CALLED TO A LIFE OF OVERCOMING POWER.

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

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SHEPHERDS

Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Luke 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

THE SHEPHERDS BECAME EVANGELISTS !  THE SHEPHERDS BECAME A VOCAL GROUP ! THEY WERE PRAISING GOD. IMAGINE THE IMPACT TO PEOPLE PASSING BY. IMAGINE THE GLORY GIVEN TO GOD !

–CALLED TO A SPIRITUAL VOCATION. THE SHEPHERDS PROBABLY NEVER SAW THEMSELVES AS EVANGELISTS OR CHOIR MEMBERS. NOW, THEY HAD A SPIRITUAL JOB TO DO.

**BIBLE DOES NOT SAY HOW THEY SOUNDED WHEN THEY SANG. BUT, TO GOD, IT MUST HAVE BEEN A BLESSING. THEY DIDN’T TURN PROFESSIONAL AND WERE NEVER KNOWN AS THE SHEPHERDS QUARTET. THEY HAD TO KEEP THEIR DAY JOBS.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, [vocation= calling, or invitation]. Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

–CALLED TO GROW IN USEFULNESS AND AUTHORITY FOR GOD’S GLORY.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

–CALLED TO USE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN.

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

SERVANTS ARE OBLIGATED TO FOLLOW THE COMMANDS OF THEIR MASTER. ARE WE TRULY SERVANTS, OR PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY STEAL FROM THE GOD THAT WE THINK WILL DO NOTHING ABOUT IT. ***LOOK AT WHAT THE CHURCH DID DURING THE 60’S. IT JUST WANTED MORE COMFORT, MORE SOCIAL ACTIVITES, AND FORGOT TO OBEY GOD’S COMMAND TO REACH THE LOST. NOW, 3 GENERATIONS LATER, GOD HAS MADE AMERICA PAY THROUGH VIOLENCE, FEAR, AND INSECURITY.

–CALLED TO BE HELPED BY GOD. FORGET TRYING TO FIND IT YOURSELF. ACCEPT GOD’S CALLING TO COME TO HIM.

Luke 13:12 And when Jesus saw her, he called [her to him], and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

GOD DOES NOT HEAL EVERYONE DOWN ON THIS EARTH WHO ASKS FOR HEALING. BUT, HE DOES HEAL WHEN THOSE HE CALLS TO BE HEALED RESPOND IN FAITH.

–CALLED TO BE BLESSED PHYSICALLY NOW. CAME THROUGH OTHERS. SOMETIMES GOD USES OTHER PEOPLE. PEOPLE WHO REMIND US OF HEALTHY LIFESTYLES, OF BETTER DOCTORS, OR MEDICAL HELP. GOD CAN CALL THROUGH ANY MEANS HE CHOOSES. DON’T LIMIT GOD. WHAT IF THE BLIND MAN REFUSED THE CALLING, SAYING HE WANTED IT DIRECTLY FROM GOD ?

Mark 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

–PAUL WAS CALLED TO A POSITION OF AUTHORITY. PAUL, AN APOSTLE.

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

HE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO WORK HIS WAY UP. GOD CALLED HIM FROM THE DIRT OF THE DAMASCUS ROAD. HE CAN CALL YOU TO IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL ENDEAVORS THAT REALLY COUNT IN ETERNITY !

–BELIEVERS. CALLED TO A LIFE OF HOLINESS.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

–BELIEVERS. CALLED TO PEACE. GREAT INTERNAL PEACE.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

–BELIEVERS. THE PLACE YOU FIND YOURSELF IS USUALLY WHERE GOD CALLED YOU. BORN A JEW. DON’T TRY TO BECOME A GENTILE. BORN A GENTILE, DON’T TRY TO BECOME A JEW. BORN A SERVANT, DON’T BECOME A MASTER. DO YOU HAVE ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF EDUCATION AND OPEN DOORS IN BUSINESS ? USE THEM FOR THE LORD. IT IS YOUR CALLING.

1 Corinthians 7:17-24 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

***IF YOU ARE YOUNG, ACCEPT IT. IF YOU ARE OLDER, ACCEPT IT. YOU WON’T CHANGE FACTS. USE WHATEVER YOU ARE TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE LORD. WHATEVER CALLING YOU HAVE, USE IT !

1 Corinthians 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

USE AGE AS AN ADVANTAGE ! YOUNG, OR OLD.

Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Philemon 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

***********************

ANNA

ANNA WAS A WOMAN WHO WAS A WIDOW AND SHE USED IT TO FOCUS ON THE LORD.

Luke 2:36-38 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

–MANY ARE CALLED AWAY FROM DANGER. TYRANNY SURROUNDED JOSEPH, MARY AND JESUS. THEY WENT TO EGYPT. GOD BLESSED THEM WHEREVER THEY WENT SO LONG AS THEY LISTENED TO GOD’S CALLING.

Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

–WE ARE CALLED INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE CALLED TO THIS ? IT IS LOST WITH ALL THE OTHER CALLINGS OF THE WORLD. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US CREATES A HUNGER FOPR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.

–WE ARE ALL CALLED TO BE A TESTIMONY FOR THE LORD.

Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

 Luke 21:12-13 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

–WE WILL BE CALLED TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES, AT JUDGMENT.

Luke 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

***********************

 CALLED PEOPLE:

SHEPHERDS WHO WERE OBEDIENT TO THEIR CALL.

DID SOME REMAIN IN THE CITY, PARTYING ? IF THEY DID, THEY WOULD HAVE MISSED THE MESSAGE, THE ANGELS AND BLESSINGS.

THE WISE MEN.

THEY HAD TO BE SURE OF THEIR CALLING TO TRAVEL SUCH A LONG DISTANCE TO SEE JESUS.

THE CALL OF GOD IS NOT JUST TO PREACH OR BE A MISSIONARY. IT DEALS WITH EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES. GOD IS ALMIGHTY AND CAPABLE OF MAKING HIS VOICE KNOWN, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

IN MANY CASES, GOD’S CALLING IS NOT EXPECTED OR PLANNED FOR. GOD CHOOSES THE TIME AND PLACE. HE CHOOSES PEOPLE TO DO HIS WORK.

THE CALL OF MARY.

A CALLING THAT MADE NO REASON OR LOGIC TO THE HUMAN MIND.

Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

THERE WAS AN ACCEPTANCE OF THE CALLING FROM GOD.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

THE CALL OF JOSEPH.

A CALLING THAT HAD TO SET ASIDE ALL THE INFLUENCES OF MAN AND CONCERNS OVER WHAT THEY MIGHT THINK.
THE CALLING OF GOD CAN BE MISUNDERSTOOD BY MANY PEOPLE. MARY WAS PREGNANT.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

THE CALLING OF GOD CAN SOMETIMES BRING SUBSTANTIAL inconvenience into your life. but, remember, we are supposed to be servants.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

–WE ARE CALLED TO DEPART FROM THIS WORLD’S WAYS INTO A BETTER LIFE…ETERNAL LIFE !

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

PAUL WAS CALLED TO SALVATION. AND YOU ARE, AS WELL.

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

THE CALL OF JESUS.

WHY DID HE COME. HE FULFILLED THE FATHER’S PURPOSE TO PROVIDE SALVATION FOR THE LOST.

THE CALL TO REPENTANCE. PETER REMEMBERED THE WORDS OF JESUS.

Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

–THE CALLING FOR ALL MEN TO REPENT. THIS WAS THE PREACHING OF JESUS. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO REMIND YOU OF WHAT JESUS SAID.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

–WE WILL BE CALLED TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES, AT JUDGMENT.

Luke 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

THE CALLING GOD HAS FOR YOU. TO BE SAVED. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO YOU, JUST AS HE DID TO PETER.

 

“The Callings Of God”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
December 2015

GODLY CONFIDENCE WINS

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FALSE CONFIDENCE IS THE CONDITION OF MANY TODAY.  PEOPLE ARE DEPENDING UPON THE GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR SAFETY.  THEY THINK THE GOVERNMENT CAN STOP ALL HARM FROM COMING TO THEM.

Proverbs 25:19  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. 

 

CONFIDENT IN SELF.

Philippians 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

 

1. OUR CONFIDENCE IS IN GOD.

THERE ARE TIMES WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD.

A. THE WORLD DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IT.

Isaiah 36:4 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

B. IT IS BASED ON THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.

PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THE BIBLE, OR RECEIVE WHAT THEY HEAR THE BIBLE SAYING, CANNOT BE CONFIDENT IN GOD EASILY.

Ephesians 3:11-12 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.

SOLUTION: STUDY THE WORD.

2. CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN OTHER CHRISTIANS.

A. WE CAN ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES.

DON’T BE FOOLISH AND HAVE CONFIDENCE IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF NOT BEING SPIRITUALLY MATURE OR SPIRITUALLY STABLE.

2 Corinthians 7:16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

B. A TRACK RECORD IS IMPORTANT IN DISCERNING WHERE WE CAN PLACE OUR CONFIDENCE.

2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

WE KNOW THAT WE CAN PLACE OUR ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD BECAUSE HIS TRACK RECORD OF LOVE FOR US AND FAITHFULNESS TO US IS PERFECT.

C. THERE IS CONFIDENCE IN THE FAIRNESS AND COMING JUDGMENT OF GOD.

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

3. BELIEVERS WAIT FOR GOD’S WILL WITH CONFIDENCE.

A. THERE IS A TEMPTATION TO BE AFRAID IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. THE WORLD PANICS.

Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

–CHRISTIANS HAVE GOOD SENSE–UNLIKE THE WORLD THAT IS GOING CRAZY.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

–PEOPLE ARE MANIPULATED INTO FEAR BY THE MEDIA AND NOT UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNS GOD IS GIVING EVERYONE.

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

B. CONFIDENCE IN PRAYER—TODAY, IF YOU NEED SALVATION, OR NEED HELP TO GROW SPIRITUALLY, YOU MUST COME WITH FAITH.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us:

“Godly Confidence Wins”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
112215

VALLEYS OF LIFE

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1. THERE IS A VALLEY FILLED WITH GIANTS.

THEY ATTEMPT TO BREAK YOU DOWN, INTIMIDATE YOU, MAKE YOU FEEL AS IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE. JUST LIKE GOLIATH TRIED TO DO.

Joshua 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

WHO ARE SOME OF THESE GIANTS ?

  • THE WORLD’S VIEW OF THE NEWS
  • DEPRESSION. CAN BE HORMONAL, HABIT, UNWILLINGNESS TO TURN THINGS OVER
    TO GOD AND LEAVE THEM THERE IN HIS HANDS (LACK OF FAITH).
  • DEFEATS OF THE PAST. THEY COME AND HAUNT YOU, SAYING YOU CAN’T WIN.
  • BLINDNESS. CAN’T SEE ANY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
  • ANGER AND HATRED. THINGS NOT COMMITTED TO GOD WITH A WILLINGNESS
    TO CHANGE.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

God didn’t leave us here for a lifetime of defeat ! That would be an embarrassment upon His Name, and would be miserable for us ! He gave us power over ALL the power of the enemy, and we need to use what He gave to us !

2. THERE IS A VALLEY FOR JUDGMENT.

GET OUT OF IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT USUALLY HAS SEVERAL CITIES IN IT. GOD SAYS GET OUT OR BE JUDGED WITH THEM. (Modern Law: “Accessory to a crime” “To be convicted as an accessory to a crime, the person must possess an awareness of the crime, either before or after its commission.” ).

A. IT HAS A HISTORY OF JUDGMENT TAKING PLACE.

YET SOME PEOPLE WANT TO DWELL THERE. ABRAHAM KNEW ABOUT IT AND SO HE PRAYED FOR LOT.

2 Samuel 8:13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.

DON’T STAY IN A PLACE WHERE GOD SAYS

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

B. THE SAME VALLEY WILL SPELL THE DEATH OF NATIONS IN THE FUTURE.

Ezekiel 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.

3. THE VALLEY OF UNNECESSARY BATTLES.

GOING INTO WAR AGAINST SOMETHING OR SOMEONE THAT GOD SAID NOT TO DO. JOSIAH WAS ONE OF THE MOST GODLY KINGS, YET HE MADE THE MISTAKE OF TAKING ON BATTLES THAT HE WAS NOT CALLED TO FIGHT.

2 Chronicles 35:22 20-23 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.  But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.  Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

WE HAVE ENOUGH BATTLES TO WAGE THAT GOD GAVE TO US AND THEY ARE IMPORTANT, SO WE SHOULD NOT GO OUT PICKING BATTLES THAT GOD DIDN’T CALL US TO. IT PLACES TOO MUCH ON YOU, AND YOU CAN GET HURT. *Josiah was seeing people turned back to God. He needed to lead a revival among the people, not go and fight physical armies.

4. THERE IS A VALLEY THAT HAS A SCARY SHADOW.

***Heard even younger people speaking about the possibility of death recently. The warning from China to keep away from their newly created islands, the possibility of some unidentified space object crashing down to earth, the diseases being raised out of ancient archeological dig sites, all bring people of all ages to wonder if they will live tomorrow. BUT, GOD WANTS YOU TO KEEP ON WALKING !

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

DEATH FOR THE TRUE BELIEVER IS MERELY THAT–A SHADOW. THERE IS NO DEATH FOR US. WE SIMPLY GO FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.

John 11:24-26 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

5. THE FINAL VALLEY FOR MEN WHO WANT TO RULE THEMSELVES. PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT JESUS TO BE LORD OVER THEM.

Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

 

”Valleys Of Life”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
110115

THE DEVIL SHOULD RUN


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RUNNING AT THE WRONG TIMES ?

JESUS COMMANDED THE DEVIL TO RUN. YET CHRISTIANS TODAY SEEM TO BE RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL.

Mark 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

1. WHEN PEOPLE OPPOSE YOUR FAITH.

Instead of fleeing to another country, they simply went to believers to ask the Lord what to do.

Acts 4:19-23 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

2. WHEN DEMONS ARE PRESENT.

Mark 9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

DISCIPLES DIDN’T RUN. THEY SOUGHT A SOLUTION FROM JESUS.

3. WHEN YOU DISAGREE WITH SOMEONE.

There are times when it is foolish to argue over a matter of your faith. Most of the time, the person who opposes you has their minds set, and all the facts in the world will not dislodge them from thinking like they do. BUT, there are times when you come across a person who you know to be honest and willing to look at beliefs that can be proven from the Bible. THEN, you should not walk away or avoid taking an opposite stand.

A. WHEN THE PERSON IS HONEST AND WANTS TO DETERMINE WHAT IS TRUTH.

Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

B. WHEN A PERSON NEEDS TO RECEIVE TRUTH, BECAUSE GOD SAYS TO TELL THEM, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT OPEN TO IT.

Daniel 5:22-26 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

4. SOME CLAIM THAT THEY WANT THE TRUTH, BUT THEY ONLY WANT TO HEAR WHAT PLEASES THEM IN THE FLESH.

A. THEY KNOW YOU WILL NOT AGREE, SO THEY GIVE YOU OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ONLY SO THEY CAN CONDEMN YOU FOR THE TRUTH.

2 Chronicles 18:12-17 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand. And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD? Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?

5. WHEN YOU CAN’T GET WHAT YOU WANT AT THE FOOT OF JESUS.

A. WHEN YOU DON’T GET WHAT IS PROMISED IN THE TIME YOU WANTED IT.

Abraham–for most of his life–did not receive what he had been praying for–a son.

Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

B. WHEN OTHERS GET A DIRECT ANSWER, BUT YOU FEEL SLIGHTED BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T.

Luke 24:19-22 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

WE SHOULD NOT BE RUNNING FROM CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT FACING THEM WITH THE POWER OF THE LORD. THAT WILL GIVE GLORY TO GOD. NOT RUNNING !

 

”The Devil Should Run”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
091615

HOW CAN GOD USE THAT ?


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“Little is much when God is in it!”

.                       – Kittie L. Suffield

WHO HAD EVER HEARD OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS BEFORE GOD DID SOMETHING AMAZING IN HER LIFE ?   WHO EVER HEARD OF HER HUSBAND TO BE, JOSEPH ?  WHO EVER HEARD OF A LITTLE SLAVE BOY BY THE NAME OF DANIEL BEFORE HE BECAME GREAT THROUGH THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE ?   WHO EVER HEARD OF A LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY NAMED DAVID UNTIL HE SLEW THE LION AND BEAR ? 

 GOD DELIGHTS IN USING LITTLE PEOPLE.  PEOPLE NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT, TO BLESS HIS KINGDOM AND BRING PEOPLE TO HIMSELF.

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE YOU GO THROUGH DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT YOU CAN’T BE THE VICTORIOUS PERSON GOD WANTS YOU TO BE, OR THAT YOUR LIGHT IS DIMMER THAN MOST BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRIALS ?  GOD USES PEOPLE IN CRISIS TO SHOW HIS POWER AND GLORY.

 PAUL SPEAKS OF IT TWICE TO THE CHURCH AT CORINTH. 

2 Corinthians 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 7:4  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

IF PAUL WAS SOME RICH GUY WHO WAS CHARMING, AND LOVED BY EVERYONE, WE WOULDN’T BE READING ABOUT GOD’S POWER THROUGH HIM.

 

1. GIDEON WAS THE LAST PERSON ANYONE WOULD EXPECT TO BE USED BY GOD IN SUCH A GREAT WAY.

Judges 6:15-16 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

2. THE LEAST INFLUENTIAL AND THOSE WITH THE LEAST OPPORTUNITIES ARE OFTEN GIVEN GREAT OPPORTUNITIES BY GOD.

SAUL.

1 Samuel 9:21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me ?

BUT, ONCE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN RESPONSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES, GOD EXPECTS US TO USE THEM PROPERLY.  SAUL TOOK THE ROUTE OF THINKING OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE SHOULD.

3. AN INSIGNIFICANT WOMAN, WHOM MANY BELIEVE USED TO BE A PROSTITUTE, CAME TO JESUS.

SHE ACTED UPON WHAT JESUS HAD TAUGHT THEM–THAT HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED. AND SHE ANOINTED HIM. BECAUSE OF HER FAITH, AND BECAUSE SHE ACTED ON IT, SHE IS NOTED IN THE GOSPELS.

Mark 14:7-9 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

4. SAVING FAITH MAY NOT SEEM LIKE MUCH AT FIRST. BUT IT BECOMES A HUGE FACTOR IN OUR LIVES.

Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

5. THINGS YOU DO WHICH SEEM INSIGNIFICANT CAN BRING PEOPLE TO TRUST THE LORD.

MANY TIMES WE DON’T KNOW THE THINGS WHICH WILL MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR OPEN WINDOW TO GET TO THE LORD.

Acts 5:15 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.

6. THINGS YOU DO CAN CHALLENGE OTHERS TO EXERCISE THEIR FAITH AND BE STRONGER IN FAITH.

THE WIDOW WHO GAVE HER ALL FOR THE LORD. SHE WAS AN EXAMPLE TO THE MOST EDUCATED AND MOST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ON EARTH.

Mark 12:42-44 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

7. THE ONE WHO CONSIDERS HIMSELF THE LEAST CAN OFTEN ACCOMPLISH THE MOST.

DON’T THINK YOU ARE LIMITED. IT IS GOD’S SPIRIT THAT DOES THE WORK. YOU SIMPLY SUBMIT TO HIM.

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

8. IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL KNOW THE LORD.

SOME WILL KNOW HIM MORE THAN OTHERS, BUT ALL WILL KNOW HIM.

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

NOW IS YOUR TIME TO KNOW HIM !

YOU MIGHT NOT THINK OF YOURSELF AS BEING IMPORTANT. BUT, YOU WERE IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO GOD FOR HIM TO DIE FOR YOUR SINS. REPENT OF YOUR SINS, AND TRUST HIM TODAY.

”How Can God Use That ?”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
090615

 

ALMOST GONE

 

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“WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU GET CLOSE TO A MELT DOWN ?”  

 

WHEN PEOPLE GET LOW ON SUPPLY OF SOMETHING MATERIAL, THEY OFTEN PANIC AND FIND A SCAPEGOAT.   BUT WHEN THEY GET LOW ON SPIRITUAL STRENGTH, THEY MERELY ACCEPT IT.  IT IS HUMAN NATURE TO WORRY.  IT IS THE NEW NATURE THAT OVERCOMES THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OLD NATURE.

 

One of the world’s greatest hypochondriacs, bumped into his doctor one day at the supermarket.

“Doc!” the hypochondriac exclaimed, “I’ve been meaning to tell you, remember those voices I kept on hearing in my head? I haven’t heard them in over a week!”

“Wow! What wonderful news! I’m so happy for you!” his Dr. exclaimed.

“Wonderful?” asked the dismal looking hypochondriac. “There’s nothing wonderful about it. I’m afraid my hearing is starting to go now!”

 

GOD REWARDS FAITH.

IS THERE A REASON FOR US TO BE CLOSE TO A MELT DOWN ?   WE ALL KNOW PEOPLE WHO ARE CLOSE TO ONE, OR HAVE EXPERIENCED ONE.  THEIR EXAMPLE SHOULD TEACH US SOMETHING.  EVERY DAY WE HAVE SOMETHIGN TO BE THANKFUL FOR !

 

Psalms 118:24  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

HAVE YOU CHANGED THIS INTO A NEW VERSION THAT SAYS INSTEAD . . . “This is the day the Lord hath made, and I will be afraid of what it holds for me” ?

 

1. FEARING THINGS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN.

This is a major strategy of Islamic terrorists today. They make it appear as if terrible things MIGHT happen tomorrow.  So, people keep that forefront in their thinking.

ISRAEL CAME INTO THE WILDERNESS WITH FOOD, BUT NOT WATER, EXCEPT THE LITTLE THEY HAD IN FLASKS AND BARRELS IN WAGONS. THAT WAS SOON GONE.     THEY WERE BROUGHT INTO A DESERT.  IMAGINE THEM SEEING FOOD AND WATER DISAPPEAR EACH DAY.   THEY ANTICIPATED STARVATION.

Exodus 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

Numbers 17:12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.

A. WHAT SHALL WE DO WHEN THE PHYSICAL NEEDS SEEM TO BE ALMOST GONE ?

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

B. WHEN YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY EXHAUSTED.

WHAT SHALL WE DO WHEN THE SPIRITUAL RESOURCES SEEM TO BE ALMOST GONE ?  PEOPLE PANIC AND BECOME AFRAID.  THEN, THEY CANNOT GO IN FAITH.  GOD BLESSES FAITH, NOT WORRY. 

Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

C. ASAPH THOUGHT HE WAS DOOMED SPIRITUALLY BECAUSE HE NO LONGER COULD SEE STRAIGHT. 

HE WAS THINKING IN TERMS THAT GOD HAD LET HIM DOWN. HE EVENTUALLY GOT CONVICTED, AND BECAME STRONG AGAIN.

Psalms 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.   

 

2. MAKING ASSUMPTION AS IF YOU WERE A PROPHET.

A. ANTICIPATING THE WORST IS A COMMON SPIRITUAL CRIME TODAY.  JESUS WARNED AGAINST IT IN THE BEATITUDES. 

Matthew 6:25-31  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Luke 12:31-32  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

 

3.  FEAR CAN BE HABITUAL….BUT CAN BE OVERCOME WITH JOY.

Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Luke 15:10  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

A. WE NEED TO TRAIN OUR SOUL TO THINK BY FAITH, NOT NEGATIVE ASSUMPTIONS THAT ARE USUALLY WRONG.

Psalms 62:5  My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.

B. PAUL EXPECTED HIS JUDGMENT TO GO WELL.  

WHY ?  HE KNEW HE WAS DOING RIGHT.   DO YOU ? 

Philippians 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

C. ABRAHAM SHOULD HAVE HUMANLY BEEN WORRIED WHEN HE WAS PHYSICALLY TOO OLD TO HAVE CHILDREN.

Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

Genesis 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

D. EVEN WHEN ATTACKED AND THREATENED, IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO BEND. STAND STRONG. 

Psalms 119:87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

–MOSES COULD SEE THE GROWING RAGE AGAINST HIM.   EACH DAY HE COULD SEE THEM MORE ANXIOUS TO KILL HIM.   

Exodus 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

E. JESUS SAW HIS PHYSICAL STRENGTH DETERIORATE OVER 40 DAYS.

DID HE PANIC ?   THE DEVIL THOUGHT HE WAS WEAKEST THEN. 

Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.

F. WHEN YOU THINK YOUR TROUBLES ALMOST HAVE YOU….

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 

WHEN RELATIVES AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU ALMOST HAVE YOU GOING TO HELL WITH THEM……. REMEMBER THAT JESUS CAN PULL YOU OUT OF THE FIRE RIGHT NOW.  HE CAN SAVE YOU AND GIVE YOU REAL FORGIVENESS AND JOY AND A FUTURE OF ETERNAL LIFE.

 

”Almost Gone”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
071915

WHO WILL GOD SPARE ?

 

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We can be confident that God will spare those who are faithful to Him.  God spared Moses when the Egyptians, then the Jews wanted to kill him.  God spared Noah when the earth was destroyed by the Flood.  God spared Lot – although barely, because of Abraham’s prayers.  God spared Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego in the fiery furnace.  God spared Daniel when he was sentenced to the lion’s den for praying to God, even though it was against the law.  God saved the Apostle Peter from the swords of Herod, and many other times as different people tried to kill him.

All these people DID eventually die, but God spared them long enough for them to fulfill the mission that HE assigned to them.

Don’t forget that God is so great, kind, loving !   BUT  He is God !  And, God is Holy, and has a right to judge people who oppose Him being God. 

Psalms 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

 

1. GOD DOES NOT SPARE THOSE WILL GO ALONG WITH EVIL.

A. GOD DID NOT SPARE THE SOULS OF THE PEOPLE IN EGYPT WHO WENT ALONG WITH AN EVIL PHARAOH.

Psalm 78:43-51  How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan:  And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.  He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust.  He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.  He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.  He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;  And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

B. GOD DOES NOT SPARE THOSE WHO DISOBEY HIS WORD.

The early Church given a commandment to spread the Good News of Jesus to all the world.  Instead, they stayed in one place to bask in the wonder of their own salvation.  So, God allowed them to be persecuted for their disobedience.

Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

This chastening for a sin of omission (when you were supposed to do something and you didn’t) may not be as severe as outright judgement for deliberate sins of commission (when you knew something was wrong and did it anyway), but it comes anyway.

–PERSECUTION WILL COME AND WE NEED TO ENDURE IT.  HOW ?  GET ROOTS !   ROOTS DON’T MOVE AROUND.  ROOTS ARE CONSISTENT.  IF A ROOT IS NOT NOURISHED CONTINUALLY, IT DIES.

Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

 

2. GOD DOES NOT SPARE THOSE WHO FLAUNT THEMSELVES WITH DISRESPECT AND REBELLION BEFORE HIM.

A. GOD DID NOT SPARE THE ANGELS.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

B. GOD DID NOT SPARE THE WORLD OF NOAH’S TIME.

2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

C. GOD DOES NOT SPARE THOSE WHO KNOW THE TRUTH AND REJECT IT. HE DIDN’T SPARE ISRAEL IN HIS ANGER.

Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

 

3. GOD DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON. HE DIED FOR US. NO ONE ELSE COULD ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE.

A. GOD DID NOT SPARE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON SO THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE THROUGH HIS SACRIFICE.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 

”Who Will God Spare ?”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
070515

CAN’T GOD DO SOMETHING ?

 

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Every day we see more and more tragedy all over the world.  This brings up the question in many people “Can’t God do something ?”  Yes.  He is doing something.  He is showing people the fruits of evil actions.  He is making them see that life without His is horrible.

God gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden.   So today, each person has a choice to make.  As people choose to follow their own hearts desires instead of choosing to obey God, the condition of the world will get worse.  God is allowing the world to see what following Satan results in.

 Matthew 24:6-8  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 

1. THE DEVIL HAS POWER, AND DESIRES TO RULE OVER PEOPLE.

A. GOD WANTS PEOPLE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SATAN RULES. THEY ARE THEN GIVEN A CHOICE.

It is hard to decide between two things when you don’t know what the two things really are.  People today are fed much false information about the devil, and need to know that they can reject the devil and his ways.

Isaiah 14:16-17  They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;  That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

B. GOD PUTS A HEDGE AROUND HIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN THOSE WHO SIMPLY RESPECT HIS WORD. THIS PROTECTS THEM FROM DOING THE FOOLISH THINGS.

Consider this, you won’t find any of the people committing mass murders going to church, or studying the Bible or having fellowship with born-again people.

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

–GOD PUT A HEDGE AROUND LOT IN THE O.T. BECAUSE OF THE PRAYERS OF ABRAHAM.  BUT, GOD WAS GIVING HIM TIME TO GET RIGHT AND WOULD HAVE REMOVED HIS TIME ON EARTH IF IT WASN’T FOR ABRAHAM PLEADING WITH GOD.

–TAKE AWAY GOD’S HEDGE, AND THE PEOPLE WILL BE OVERRUN WITH EVIL.

Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

 

2. GOD HAS ALLOWED PEOPLE TO DECIDE ON THEIR GOVERNMENTS.

THIS IS TO LET THEM DETERMINE IF ANY HUMAN-LED GOVERNMENT IS GOOD, OR NOT.

A. GOVERNMENTS SO FAR ARE OF THE GENTILES.

Romans 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

B. THE DEVIL, THROUGH THE WORLD, HAS TRIED EVERY TYPE OF GOVERNMENT, AND HAS FAILED.

Daniel’s image was the representation of types of human government.

Daniel 2:31-35      Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.  This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

 

3. SICKNESS, DISEASE, ACCIDENTS ARE ALTERNATIVES TO THE PERFECTION WHICH GOD ESTABLISHED.

THESE CAME BECAUSE THE DEVIL DECEIVED MANKIND INTO THINKING HIS WAYS WOULD BE BETTER.

A. PEOPLE FOLLOW LIES AND SUFFER AND DIE BECAUSE OF IT.

–MANY DECEPTIVE SPIRITS.  

2 John 1:7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

–THE DEVIL HIMSELF IS INVOLVED IN DECEIVING PEOPLE.

Revelation 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

–A PERSON CAN DECEIVE THEMSELVES, TOOGOD GIVES US THE OPTION OF GETTING OUR HEADS ON STRAIGHT.  

Galatians 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

James 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

B. WE CAN CHOOSE LIFE OR DEATH.

Deuteronomy 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

 

MANY DECEIVE THEMSELVES INTO THINKING THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH.   GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN.

 

 

”Can’t God Do Something ?”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
062815

Terrifying Uncertainties

WHEN UNCERTAINTIES BECOME TERRIFYING WHAT DO YOU DO ?

1. The Reaction of A Christian Can and Should Be
Different Than The Way The World Reacts !

This does not mean that things should not be planned and scheduled. They should ! But, we have to be willing to adjust to things when they come up in our family, in our jobs, and sometimes, even in our church.

WHEN THINGS HAPPEN SUDDENLY, THE LORD COMMANDS HIS PEOPLE TO “BE NOT AFRAID”… “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.” Proverbs 3:25

HOWEVER, HE DOES FOREWARN US THAT JUST WHEN THE WORLD THINKS EVERYTHING IS “COOL”, SUDDEN DESTRUCTION WILL COME UPON THEM. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1 Thes. 5:3

That is something to be afraid of, if you are not in a right relationship with God ! If you are in a right relationship with God – YOU ARE PREPARED – and when trials and calamities come upon you, there is nothing to be afraid of!

So, we know WHY the world becomes terrified over uncertainties. But why do Christians sometimes become terrified, too? They’re not supposed to be afraid – so how does it happen? Some people claim, “I can’t handle unexpected things because I am so disciplined.” Yet, the TRULY disciplined person is able to apply his/her purpose, energies, and talents in situations which are not structured. Being unable to do this, is actually not a sign of being disciplined, but the very opposite !

If you find yourself “coming unglued” when things go haywire – check your discipline level. (And be honest – otherwise it’s not worth it!)

2. LET’S LOOK AT WHAT TYPE OF THINGS BRING ON UNCERTAINTIES AND CAUSE THEM TO BECOME REAL PROBLEMS IN OUR LIVES:

A. Uncertainties come when our plans conflict with the will of the Holy Spirit. Often, we didn’t know this at the outset of the day.

Even Paul had to face uncertainties. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saving that bonds and afflictions abide me. Acts 20: 22-23

Paul knew part but he was uncertain of the rest. Many times he had to go to many areas, not finding the right one immediately. Now when they had gone throughout Phyrgia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia…Acts 16:6

Do you get frustrated when it seems you’re driving all over town and not accomplishing anything? *(Did you have a clear purpose for going ? Was it accomplished ?)

Do you sometimes set out with the purpose that you are SO SURE is right and EVERYTHING seems to stand in your way ? *(Do you get frustrated because everything seems to hinder you from your commitment to study the Bible more, spend more time in prayer, and reach more people for the Lord ?)

Imagine what it was like for Paul – walking was his only mode of transportation – and many times he walked after being beaten, whipped and afflicted. YET, he continued on! He had to be disciplined to accomplish his purpose. Serving God – God’s Way – was his main goal and he didn’t give up when many things seemed uncertain.

At times – even his life was uncertain. From day to day he did not know what would happen, nor always where he was going. Death was always right around the corner on several occassions. As it may be for you, as well. But the God Who helped Paul be disciplined is the same God who can help you today !

**Some folks get up tight about uncertainties, and claim that the reason they get upset is that they are so disciplined. What IS discipline, anyway ? Is it having such a structured life and schedule that when anything gets out of your planned order you go ballistic ?? NO. This is discipline: the determination to get to a specific goal, and not permitting ANYTHING –stumblingblocks, changes in scheduling, distractions, or temptations–stand in the way of you getting there. True discipline is able to get around, over, under, or through any uncertainty, and get to the goal God has set before you !

B. Uncertainties can come when we haven’t found out what God’s will really is. This causes laziness & not enough dedication to purpose. It usually happens when we haven’t grown enough in The Word to recognize what God wants.

For example: A new Christian joins a church and sooner or later everyone is asking them, “So, what has God told you to do? What’s your calling?” If that new Christian has not been steadily growing in the Word they probably don’t know. They may become depressed and doubtful if they allow laziness to set in. The only answer is to be disciplined (“Heading toward that Godly purpose which you do not allow anything to hinder”)and regularly seek God through His Word.

C. Uncertainties can come when God doesn’t tell us everything in advance. *God is not under any obligation to tell us everything ahead of time !

People say that it causes confusion not to know. Is that true? Or, is it something that we want to use as an excuse ?

When others know what THEY are supposed to do in advance – however limited that knowledge may be – it bothers some.

The truth is that God tells each person (who is listening to Him) exactly what they need to know each day ! We should not envy others who seem to be so secure in knowing exactly “what God wants” – rather we should focus on hearing from Him exactly how much He wants to tell us – no matter how little or much it is !

Being content with what has been given to you is a big part of discipline !

MANY PEOPLE SAY, “THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS CERTAIN IN LIFE, DEATH & TAXES.” GOD SURE GIVES US MORE CERTAINTIES THAN THAT ! BUT MANY PEOPLE JUST DON’T WANT TO ACCEPT THE CERTAINTIES HE OFFERS.

3. WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE HAVE THE HARDEST TIME DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTIES AS WELL AS UNDERSTANDING THE CERTAINTIES GOD DOES WANT TO GIVE US ?

– Those who are headstrong, always wanting to have their own way.
SOLUTION: He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

– Those who can’t see anything but their own agenda.
LIKE THE FELLOW MENTIONED HERE: As touching our brother, Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren; BUT HIS WILL was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when HE SHALL HAVE MORE CONVENIENT time.
1 Cor. 16:12

– Those who are unmoveable planners.
SOLUTION: Accept whatever God gives you, even if you have to make changes in your day planner. Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11

4. SO, HOW CAN WE REMOVE THE TERROR OF UNCERTAINIES?
It can only be done through a clear understanding of our God-given purpose, and the power of God.

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1 Cor. 9:26

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or death. Philippians 1:20

It may seem hard to believe that Paul could be so calm and content – even when his very life or death was so uncertain. In today’s world it’s so easy to panic over many things – like unexpected bills, messed up schedules, sudden doctor’s visits, but the truth is, we can be just as content as Paul was.

 

A PERSON WHO ALLOWS GOD TO HELP THEM BE DISCIPLINED IS A PERSON WHO DOESN’T HAVE TO BE TERRIFIED OF UNCERTAINTIES !