Month: December 2013
ETS Sermon 011014 – Reconsidering True Compassion – January 10, 2014
A. Much has been recently said about comments that were made by a private citizen of the United States Of America. As usual, many of the adverse statements were made by liberal factions of academia and the media. A few political pundits, of the same mindset, have offered their negative opinions too. The topic of controversy hinges on a few words of God’s Holy Word, and will be discussed in this sermon, as well as other related words that have been conveniently ignored by the attackers. The “controversy,” or better described as being an “attack,” has been an assault on the closely held beliefs of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as well as many others who may not even have religious beliefs. Supposedly, those who have been affected by “such insensitive words” are “gays.” Because a man discussed a “controversial” portion of God’s Word in a magazine interview, he is being portrayed by the “political left” as being a bigot. Before we proceed, it is important to familiarize ourselves with the word, “Gay,” as to its correct meaning. Webster’s New World Dictionary, College Edition, Copyright 1964, provides the following, and correct, definition of “Gay:” (1) joyous and lively; merry; happy; lighthearted. (2) bright, brilliant: as, gay colors. (3) given to social life and pleasures: as a gay life; syn: see lively. There is another word that needs to be properly defined, which is “homosexual.” Its Webster’s definition is: of, or characterized by, sexual desire for those of the same sex. a homosexual individual, as opposed to heterosexual.
B. Now, that we have considered words that have been drawn from Webster’s New World Dictionary, we will continue our discussion by considering the words that are drawn from God’s Holy Word, The Holy Bible.
II. Sermon Text.
A. Let’s consider the authority and purpose of the Bible, as is given in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness ; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The context of this passage is that of Old Testament scriptures, because the New Testament had not yet been written. But, since scripture is “inspired” (God-breathed) by God, it is not confined to either Testament. And, because of the triune authority of God The Father/God The Son/God The Holy Spirit, the Providence of God can be found to be consistent with Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. Briefly stated, the Old and New Testaments are both inspired writings of God.
B. Let’s consider a question that could gain greater liberal acceptance: “Is John 3:3 Hate Speech?” (Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he can not see the Kingdom of God.”) Does it unfairly exclude from The Kingdom Of God, those who have lifestyles that show no evidence that they have been born again?
C. Let’s consider scriptures that state the approval or disapproval of God, as related to certain lifestyle choices.
1. Leviticus 18:22 – Acts Of Sexual Perversion.
22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female ; it is an abomination. 23 ‘Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.
In this passage it is clear that God prohibits same sex acts between male and female humans, and acts of sex by humans with animals. In verse 22, homosexuality is called an “abomination.” In Revelation 21:8, those who have “abominable” lifestyles are included with others, who have chosen ungodly lifestyles, and “will have their eternity in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” This passage refers to those unsaved people who are alive during the millennium, which is also known as the “thousand year reign of Christ” (Rev 20:1-4). The judgement upon the disobedient lifestyle choices that are shown in Revelation 21:8, is consistent with that of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The Corinthians account refers to people about whom the Apostle Paul discussed, who would have lived and died before the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-4).
2. Leviticus 20:13 – Acts Of Homosexuality.
13 ‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act ;
In this passage, the word “detestable” has the same meaning as that of Leviticus 18:22, in the word, “abomination.” The people who practice abominable lifestyle choices will have an eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone. Those who have homosexual lifestyles are described in this scripture.
3. Romans 1:26-27 – Acts Of Homosexuality.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions ; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural , 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
Those people who demonstrate homosexual lifestyle choices are in danger of having God’s influencing Spirit to “pass over them.” They are said to be: reprobate, depraved, debased, and degraded. In essence, when people repeatedly abandon God, He may abandon them; their hearts may be hardened as a result of this abandonment (Judges 10:13; Exodus 7:3). God does this by removing His restraint and allowing their sin to run its inevitable course. There may also be direct acts of Divine judgment and punishment. Such people are described, as in 1 Corinthians 2:14, as being “natural men or women.” They do not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to them, because they are spiritually appraised. These people do not have spiritual understanding because they do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them.
4. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – Homosexuality And Other Lifestyle Choices Not Of Being Born Again.
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not be deceived ; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
In this passage we are shown groups of people whose lifestyle choices show that they have not been born again.
5. 1 Timothy 1:8-10 – Homosexuality And Other Forbidden Life Styles.
8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
We see, again, people whose lifestyle choices indicate that they have not been born again.
D. Now, let’s take a closer look at the “born again” discussion.
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – The Components Of Being Born Again.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature ; the old things passed away ; behold, new things have come.
Notice the words, “in Christ.” We find those same words in Colossians 1:27, where we read, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It is the literal presence in us, by the Spirit of Christ, that affords us the expectant “hope of glory.” It is an eternal presence that we will have with Christ, and with the presence of the Spirit of Christ indwelling our spirit. When we are born again, our Spirit is as pure as is the Spirit of Christ. But, our mind has not been born again. Until our death, or our being raptured from this world (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), we are saddled with a mind that “is not” perfect, neither is as pure as is the mind of Christ. The “new creature” that is described in this verse describes our spirit. It is new, and through the influence of God’s Holy Spirit, our sinful nature will be changed due to the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit. Our “pre-born again” sinful lifestyle will not be as desirable as before. In essence, if we are spiritually “in Christ,” we should live our lives accordingly.
2. John 3:3 – The New Birth Requirement For Heaven.
3 esus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The statement of this scripture is very simple; we can not enter into the kingdom of God in a spirit that has not been born again. The call and conviction of God’s Holy Spirit are upon us (John 1:9). If we continue to live with a pattern of sinful lifestyle choices, we have to question if we have submitted to the Spirit’s call and have been born again.
3. John 3:18 – Sign Of The New Birth.
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
To believe in Jesus is to have a trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior. Such will result in receiving a new nature, which brings about a change in heart and obedience to God.
4. Romans 8:1 – Reward Of The New Birth.
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
This scripture is very simple to understand. It means that if we have been born again we will not be condemned to having our part in the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 21:8).
E. 1 John 4:7-8,20 – Signs Of Life Styles Of Being Born Again And Of Not Being Born Again.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God ; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, can not love God whom he has not seen.
The proof of “love for one another” is that of lifestyle choices. It is inconceivable for us to think that a parent who has had a child to be kidnapped and murdered will not harbor “hateful thoughts” for the one who destroyed the life of the child. God understands the horrible things of life that might happen to us. He will help us to deal with such things.
F. An Example Of God’s Judgement On A Sinful Lifestyle.
1. Genesis 18:20-21 – God’s Displeasure With The Cities Of Sodom And Gomorrah.
20 And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah was a result of the sin of homosexuality. God dispatched angels to to deal with the situation.
2. Genesis 19:1-29 – God’s Judgement On Sodom And Gomorrah’s Sin Of Homosexuality.
1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet ; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house ; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter ; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight ? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8″Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man ; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like ; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge ; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. 12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here ? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place ; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. 15When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life ! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley ; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords ! 19″Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life ; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die ; 20now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small ?) that my life may be saved.” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. 22″Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar. 23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD ; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. 29 Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
The actions of God, his judgement on the sins of homosexuality, were swiftly enacted. God has not changed His mind as to the “exceedingly grave” acts that caused Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed.
A. It is obvious that the word “gay” has been hijacked from its correct meaning, so that the politically correct crowd can avoid facing the truth about a sect of our society that has chosen to live a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s design. Just as the pro abortion lobby uses the word “choice,” instead of “killing unborn babies,” the pro homosexual supporters use the term”gay” to soften the meaning of the words that describe “men having sex with men, ” and “women having sex with women.” A largely accepted argument today deals with people being born with a homosexual gene. Based on that assumption, men are supposed to be accepted in their lifestyle of having sexual intercourse with other men, and women having intimate relations with other women. Such lifestyle choices are supposed to be accepted by the world, as being natural and normal for them, regardless of the clearly spoken words of God on that perversity. But, what if a man, or woman, say that they have been born with a gene that draws them to have sexual relations with children? Are we supposed to say that those perverse and un-Godly actions are also natural and normal? Many leaders of our government, as well as those of academia and the media, have made many political statements about marriage not being denied to people based on, “who they love.” That is not consistent with God’s Holy Word desiring marriage between men and women, and with no other scriptural permission or indifference for same sex marriage. When the subject of compassion is interjected into the subject of homosexuality and sexual perversion, let’s consider whether it is true compassion for a society to provide blanket permission for certain lifestyle choices to be accepted by, or forced upon, that society. Please allow this following discussion to be made without being held to statistics; the obvious is very clear to people who follow news reports. Homosexual men have lifestyles that include hundreds of sexual partners, with the result of the infection of the aids virus. The life expectancies of homosexual men is much less than that of heterosexual men. Is it true compassion for us to not speak the truth and allow so many men to die such early and painful deaths ….. and for the cause of political expediency?
B. Much more can be said about the subject of homosexuality and the words of truth that came under such liberal and un-Godly attacks. The duck guy spoke the truth about the matter. He was not using “hate speech” when he spoke about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. He discussed un-Godly life styles of many different sects of people. He was doing what all believers in Jesus Christ should be doing. We must not roll over and play dead. We must tell the truth of the Gospel; that is our commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Souls need to be saved and lives need to be changed.
C. During the past few years two key political figures have used the term, “freedom of worship,” which is far from the constitutional guarantee of “freedom of religion.” Freedom of worship allows us to meet in a building. Freedom of religion allows us to practice the things that we learn in those meetings, outside of those buildings. If we are intimidated by anyone, and feel threatened to speak the truths of God’s Holy Word, we are in danger of losing our religious freedoms. When our religous freedom has been taken from us, other freedoms will soon follow. Consider the guarantee of the constitution of the United States Of America as it relates to the freedom of religion.
1. First Amendment, amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, which reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
2. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.
IV. A parting thought: Until a person commits a homosexual act, that person is not a homosexual.
Equipping The Saints
This Day In Our Nation’s History
This is quite an important day in the history of our country. Let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made by our Americans of the armed forces who have served our nation, especially those who have given their all
John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
December 18 : General Interest
1620: Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor
On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony… read more
1777 : States give thanks
ETS Sermon 121613 – The Sin Of The World, Death Or Redemption – December 16, 2013
ETS Sermon 120913-Proper Worship Of God-December 9, 2013
I. Introduction: Consider the following scriptures that relate to Intimacy and The Kingdom Of God. Let them help you to solidify your worship of God.
1. Genesis 4:1 (ESV)
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”
2. Exodus 33:7-11 (NAS)
7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. 8 And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. 9 Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and [a]the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When [b]Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
3. John 17:3 (ESV)
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
4. Philippians 3:10 (NAS)
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
B. The Kingdom Of God:
1. Matthew 6:10: (KJV)
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
2. Mark 4:30: (NAS)
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
3. john 10:10: (NKJ)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly
4. John 3:3: (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
5. Luke 17:20-21: (ESV)
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
6. Luke 17:21: (KJV)
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
7. Romans 14:17 (KJV)
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
1. Scripture: John 4:20-24: (NAS)
20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is [a]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
a. In verse 21, Jesus said to the woman, “the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.” (NKJ). The Jews had their temple in Jerusalem; Mount Zion was their place of worship. The Samaritans, who had rejected all of Old Testament Holy Scripture, except the Pentateuch, had their central sanctuary at Mount Gerizim. Jesus pronounced the end of Mount Gerizim as the place of worship for Samaria, and also for Jerusalem for the Jews, in anticipation of its destruction in just a few years.
b. In verse 22, Jesus said, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” (NKJ). Jesus was saying that the woman was an agnostic, which comes from the Greek word, “agnosis,” which means “without knowledge.” Jesus was saying that the Samaritans were worshipping without knowledge, but that was not the case with the Jews. Their (Jews) worship was based on the true knowledge of God, as was revealed of Him in scripture. So, Jesus was not saying that it did not matter whether a person worshipped in the way of the Samaritans, of in the way of the Jews. The Jews had the correct way of worshipping God. Their way was ordained for them by God, because they were the chosen people of God, and He had personally instructed them on the way of worship.
c. In verses 23-24, Jesus said, “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (NKJ). Jews and Samaritans knew that God had commanded their ancestors to identify a special place for worshipping Him. The Jews accepted all of the Old Testament as being God’s Holy Word. They chose Jerusalem for their place of worship. The Samaritans followed only the first five books of the Old Testament, the books of Moses. The place of worship that was recognized by Samaritans was where Abraham had built an altar to God, at Shechem; it was overlooked by Mount Gerizim. Jesus discussed true, spiritual, worship, as opposed to physical considerations. Consider the things that He did not include as He spoke to the Samaritan woman about worship.
a. When Mary sang her song of praise to God, her Magnificat, she cried out, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46b-47, NKJ). Mary demonstrated true worship. We are called to honor, exalt, and worship Jesus. But, we also need to know that Christ came to reconcile us to the Father. The major focus of our worship must be to the Father, which is why Jesus said that “true worshippers must worship the Father in spirit and truth.” We worship the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But, we must have the greatness of the Father, in all of His majesty, in our minds when we worship.
b. In the matter of worshipping the Father “in spirit and truth,” we must seek the truth of Jesus. What did He mean? Jesus is not saying that we are to be Holy Spirit devotees, and are to worship God according to the Holy Spirit. We’re supposed to do that, but Jesus was saying that we should see that our worship comes from the depths of our souls, from our inner spirits, and from the very core of our being.
c. We are to come to God with our hearts filled with a sense of awe, reverence, and adoration. It should be the goal of our worship to be a sacrifice of praise to His name.
d. Jesus also said that our worship must be according to truth. Worship should not be tailored to anything other than what God desires of our worship. We should worship Him according to what “He” wants. We must keep a close eye on what we do in worship. We must ask ourselves simple questions that desire sincere answers. We must ask: “Is this the truth of God? Is this God’s teaching in His Word?” We must base our worship on God’s self-revelation in Scripture. God is truth; His Word is truth.
In John 4:9 we read, “…Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” (NKJ). There were dealings among Jews and Samaritans, but they were not intimate in matters of friendship or of evangelism. Jews were not allowed to share eating utensils with Samaritans. That is because Jews considered Samaritans to be unclean. Because of this verse we can see that the Jews were not evangelistic in spreading Judaism. Instead, they were inclusive. (In Ezra 10, Jewish men, who had married non-Jewish wives, were told to divorce them.) In the teaching of Jesus to the Samaritan woman, it is important to see that the focus on worship is that of worshipping in spirit and truth. Jesus clearly says that the place of worship is not the focus of importance. He had the perfect setting for stating a day or time of worship, but He did not. Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17.) When He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the world, he told them to teach “all that He had commanded them.” Jesus taught intimacy of relationship and worship to the disciples, not time, place, or day of worship. Not all people who would ultimately accept Christ as their Lord and Savior would have a way of going to Jerusalem to worship. In AD 70, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. As we lead unbelievers to have a personal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we must also teach them the importance of having proper spiritual worship. Ephesians 4:12, “Equipping The Saints”
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