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Memorial Message For Marion Schmitt

-MARION SCHMITT MEMORIAL MESSAGE
12-22-12

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We are here this afternoon to pay tribute to Marion Schmitt.  It is much easier preaching at the funeral of someone who has been faithful to the Lord like Marion than one who has not been faithful.

I can say things today at this memorial service that I couldn’t say at other funerals.  The reason for this is that many people leave this world with a questionable record spiritually.   So often for the sake of comforting those who are already grieving, it is not appropriate to give a deep, spiritual challenge.  However, today we have a different situation altogether.  So I think that Marion’s testimony in this life will preach in and of itself–and that preaching will be hard preaching.

When Marion’s husband Selwyn Schmitt passed away, I got some people mad at me after I preached.  There were people who didn’t like what I said.   Because when a person lives right and serves the Lord as they should, other people will get convicted and soon realize they are probably not going to make heaven.

According to the Bible most people are lost and going to hell.  But we have watered down what it takes to get to heaven until almost everyone makes it.  When in fact Jesus said the opposite.  Our Lord said:

Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:    Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Then someone like Marion Schmitt or Selwyn Schmitt comes along, and a preacher has an opportunity to share their testimony at a funeral.  All people have to do is compare the way they live and serve the Lord to how Marion and Selwyn lived and served the Lord, and then if they have half a brain, they get convicted.  But like always, they blame the preacher for making them feel uncomfortable about themselves.  When in fact it is the Holy Spirit of God who is convicting them.

Here is our text..  and this afternoon the message will be Marion Schmitt’s testimony.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

The Bible says that only saints make it to heaven–or those who die in the Lord–those who work and labor for the Lord. Those who serve the Lord are called his saints and their works do follow them.

No man can be saved in the flesh.  There was probably no greater Christian than the Apostle Paul, and here is what the Apostle Paul said about his flesh:

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.

I.    The First Thing I would like to say about Marion Schmitt Is That She Was A Sinner Like all of Us, and what lies before us is her dead body;  and according to the Bible, those In The Flesh Cannot See God or please God.  God does not promise to save anyone in the flesh.

When God made man..  he made him in His image:

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

We are frantically trying to understand how to fix the problems of mankind without looking to the One who made man.

Recently we had a tragic shooting in a school in Connecticut. where a gunman killed 26 people.  Instead of asking why people act like this, our President says that we need to blame guns.

Herein lies the problem:  the wise thing to do is look back to the One who designed man in the first place and look at the way He designed him.

The only One who knows how man was made was the same One who made him and was there in the beginning.

Herein lies the problem:  we have rejected God as our Creator.
We have rejected His solution in the Bible..   We call the Bible a fairy tale; we reject Genesis Chapters 1-3

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

First, God made man in His image..  God said let us make man.  God is made up of a plurality of persons … with one essence..

So He made man Male and Female (and in the process of time he has children).  These two dwell in unity as one.  There are three types of people in the world:

MALE             HUSBANDS
FEMALE        WIVES
CHILDREN    NEUTRAL..  until they get older…

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Man is made up in the image of God individually:

BODY      Dust of the ground
SPIRIT    Which comes from the breath of God
SOUL      That part which houses the spirit

The Spirit is the control center of man’s being..

This Spirit the Bible calls the Holy Spirit..  When God made man..  he made him a Saint..  a Holy One..  one who had the Spirit of God…

Now here is what happened…   God Gave man everything–but one thing was off limits …

There was one little thing God withheld from man …

It was symbolized in a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God said, I give you everything I created, but one thing is off limits..
What is off limits is for you to decide for yourself what is good and evil.
The day you eat from that tree and try to decide for yourself what is good and what is evil–that very day you will die.

There was another being who made that grand decision to decide for himself what was good and evil, and his name was Satan or Lucifer.

In Genesis 3  he, through craft and cunningness, deceived Eve into eating from that tree, and here is how he did it: he used a messenger to trick Eve.   Adam and Eve never saw Satan.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Genesis 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

AND WHEN ADAM ATE THE FRUIT (SINCE HE WAS THE ONE WHO RECEIVED THE COMMAND NOT EVE)  …  WHEN ADAM OBEYED HIS WIFE, THEN DEATH ENTERED THE WORLD.

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

This was the day that the Spirit of God left mankind.

Since man is a three-part being, there are three aspects of death:

1.     SPIRITUAL DEATH HAS ALREADY TAKEN PLACE AND EVERY MAN IS BORN INTO THIS WORLD SPIRITUALLY DEAD–AND OUT OF CONTROL

2.    THE NEXT DEATH IS PHYSICAL DEATH.

3.    THE FINAL DEATH IS SOUL DEATH.

Death is a horrible painful thing, but remember what God told us: death comes because we choose to decide for ourselves what is good and evil apart from the wisdom of God.

I had someone who was dying not long ago; they were in terrible pain. They said, “I just want the pain to stop … I just want to die.”

I said to them, “What makes you think that after you die the pain will stop?  If there is a God, He allows us to experience pain in this life to forewarn us about the eternal pain of hell.”  Now just like people get mad at the doctor for telling them they have cancer,  so too they get mad at the preacher for telling them there is something greater to fear after death–and that is hell.   However, unlike the doctor who has no cure, there is a cure for eternal death:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Every aspect of death is painful..  and since the Soul is eternal, there is an eternal death.

YOU MAY SAY:  I DON’T BELIEVE THIS. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE …
YOU CANNOT DENY THAT WITH DEATH COMES PHYSICAL PAIN …

A lot of people don’t like funerals–especially young people–because at a funeral we come face to face with the ultimate reality of death, and every death and funeral in and of itself preaches a message warning us about hell.

Since the first thing man lost was God’s spirit, the first thing God needs to repair to get man back in proper relationship with Himself is the Spirit of God.  In the Flesh no one is saved, and we all will experience Physical death–but we do not have to experience eternal or spiritual death.

So in the flesh, Marion Schmitt was a sinner just like we all are sinners.
And as sinners we are born into this world spiritually dead.
And we all are under the condemnation of Physical death..

BUT GOD LOVES US AND WANTS US TO BE SAVED FROM ETERNAL DEATH …

Which brings us to the Testimony of Marion Scmitt …

This is called a memorial service ..  so as her Pastor I would like to remember the good things she did..  What lies before us is her dead body, and in that body lies all the bad she did.  The wages of sin is this:  DEATH!
But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE FIRST GOOD THING THAT ANY PERSON CAN DO IS TO ASK JESUS INTO THEIR HEART.  THE BIBLE CALLS THIS SALVATION..

II.    THE SECOND THING I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT MARION SCHMITT IS THAT SHE WAS A REDEEMED SAINT WHO FOLLOWED HER LORD JESUS CHRIST; THIS IS HER TESTIMONY

1.    Marion Schmitt Was Saved  by the Grace of God and member in good standing in her Church  (Acts   2:41-42  Heb 10:24-25)

We are all born into this life Spiritually dead and in need of redemption.
This is the #1 goal God has for every human being.  God wants to salvage souls.

Marion Schmitt …  many years ago, through the ministry of this church, received Jesus into her heart, was baptized, and then became a faithful member of this church.  She was just a young mother and was concerned about her children and wanted them to be brought up in the Lord; that is when she received Christ.  The Bible calls this being Born Again..

We are born into this world Spiritually dead …
We are born again when we receive God’s Spirit into our hearts.

We are trying all kind of ways to fix the bad behavior of people, but it cannot be fixed until man gets his soul back in harmony with God.

Recently I had a church buy a new digital piano from me because the mother board in the old piano got damaged in a power surge in the church.  The company that made the piano went out of business and stopped making the parts..  So the piano cannot be fixed.

The reason we die physically is because God removed from us certain ingredients and foods that could sustain us.  Try as you will to eat right and exercise–we still die.

In fact one time my wife wanted to try some natural health food products,  so I dropped her off at a health food store.  She came back into the van and asked me why it was that everyone looked at her when she went into the store.  I said,  it is because you are the only one that looks healthy.

The reason is, God is not ready to fix the bod–it needs to be totally rebuilt.  He promises to do that in what the Bible calls the resurrection.

He is interested in first saving our souls.  Many years ago Marion Schmitt asked Jesus into her heart and the Spirit of God came into her life and she was saved.

All her sin lies there in that coffin, but her Spirit which came from God has returned to God.

When a person doesn’t get saved and their spirit is dead, the soul is dead. When the body dies,  their soul continues to be separated from God and goes to that place that is prepared for the devil and his angels–all who have rejected God as the true Author of what is Good and Evil.

Once Marion Schmitt got saved,  she then was able to live her life letting God tell her what was good and what was evil.  In her life she chose to do what was good, and here is her testimony.

2.    She was a faithful wife to her husband, Selwyn Schmitt    I Peter 3:1-6

Today marriages are in trouble,  we have husbands who don’t know how to be husbands,  wives who are leaving their husbands.  Again the world is having trouble fixing this.  There is no fix if you are going to decide for yourself what is good and evil.  When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit which was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the first thing he did was run away from God.

Men and woman are looking to Ellen “Degenerate” for advice instead of the Bible. They are more willing to listen Oprah “Whinfrey” more than Jesus Christ.  They are looking to politicians for solutions; they are looking to our educators.  But the answer is right in the Word of God..

We have rejected the One who made man (and think we can come up with a better design), and everything is going haywire.

The more we decide for ourselves what is right and wrong in a marriage the worse our marriages will be.  The worse our homes will be.

Marion Schmitt was the faithful wife of one husband..

3.    A Faithful Mother of two children who are  also members  in good standing  at  the Elkdale Baptist Church  I Tim 2:15

The next good work that follows Marion Schmitt are her children.  They say you cannot take it with you..   That is not true: you can take your children to heaven with you.  Evie asked us to sing a song that Ron Hamilton wrote for his father’s funeral entitled, “I Saw Jesus in You.”

You can fool a lot of people about a lot of things,  but you can’t fool your children.  They really know how you live!  They know what you’re all about!

The reason many people are not seeing their children saved and living for God is because they are not saved and living for God.  You can put on a good show on Sunday, but how do you live on Monday?

Marion Schmitt wanted her children to be in church, and at the time, this church was closed.  Marion rallied her husband and whoever else she could find and looked to reopen it.  (I think there a lot of people who are more interested in their kids being successful in school and college and all kinds of other things.)

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

We have people reading all kinds of books on how to train their children–except The Book, and they are not getting the results they should. Then instead of asking themselves why,  they are just deciding for themselves what is good and evil and receiving the same old results: death.

WHY DON’T WE LOOK AS SEE WHAT KIND OF SPIRITUAL TRAINING THESE PEOPLE ARE GIVING TO THEIR CHILDREN WHO ARE THE ONES COMMITTING THESE ATROCITIES?  INSTEAD WE BLAME GUNS.  MORE PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVERS THAN GUNS–LETS DO AWAY WITH AUTOMOBILES.  THE PROBLEM IS OUR LIVES ARE OUT OF CONTROL, AND THAT IS BECAUSE WE WILL NOT ALLOW GOD TO CONTROL OUR LIVES.

If we are just a biological product of chance (and if when we die, we just die and there is nothing else), why not go out in a moment of glory and do some bizarre thing?  Our actions are a direct result of our belief system. And our belief system is taught by our parents and schools.  Young people have no respect for either one!

You do not see people like Marion Schmitt’s children acting this way…

4.    She was a faithful teacher of Children at the Elkdale Baptist Church.  A great example and mentor of many of the kids in Sunday School, Christian School, and Home School tutor.    I Tim 2:15

Marion not only raised her own children, but she sacrificed to help other people’s children.  I believe she loved our children like her own.

What our country needs is more women like Marion Schmitt in our schools and churches as mentor of young girls.

I Timothy 2:15 says that God reserved a special place for a godly woman in the area of child training..   …. she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

5.    She was a faithful witness and soul winner in the church.  Romans 28:19-20  Rev. 14:13

There are people in heaven today because Marion was a faithful witness to others in our church and in the community.  Jesus said to His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel … to be a witness for Me,  tell others the great things God has done for you.  This she did.

6.    A faithful Church Treasurer and Church Clerk    Acts 16:13-15

Marion faithfully took care of the finances of the church; she paid the bills and kept the books.

A few years back she came to me and told me that she thought it was time for her to give the financial job to someone else in church.  I told her I would pray about it and did,  and never felt God leading me to give the job to anyone else.

My philosophy is if it is not broke, don’t fix it.

I finally accepted that we needed to get someone else when she was in the hospital a few months back.  Up until then she did the job faithfully.

7.    She was faithful to the task of cleaning the church for over 50 years  Luke 16:10

I noticed the last year she moved very slowly, but she kept cleaning the church anyway.

8.    A good steward and generous in her giving and tithing to the church  I Tim. 6:17-19

I know she was faithful. She didn’t have much, but she gave what she had–and when Selwyn was alive, they gave much of the property the church sits on to the church.
Today this church would not be what it is except for their help and generosity and sacrifices.

She was frugal and conservative–never splurged on things for herself.  In fact, I don’t know how many times I offered to take her out to eat, and she would say no.  She was one of those old timers who loved being a keeper of her home.

She was the complete opposite of the wicked woman mentioned in Proverbs 7:11 which says,  “She [is] loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house.”

Marion was quiet and loved to abide in her house, take care of her house, and property.  A keeper of her garden..

9.    Faithful in attending all the services of the church  Heb 10;24-25

Marion was always here–every service–not just on Sundays, but on Wednesdays,  and for special services.

When we had our Christian School, she was here every day.

The Bible said that the early Christians assembled together daily, and Marion would be that type of Christian.

Acts 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

10.    A woman filled with good works and a good example to the younger women of the church  Titus 2:3-4

My own daughters can look to Marion Schmitt as an example of a godly woman.
Now that they are married and raising children, they remember seeing in Marion a good example of a hard-working mom.

In fact, one of the things that Marion said she was hoping for in this life was to live long enough to see all our children have children.

11.   THESE ARE THE WORKS THAT FOLLOW HER AS SHE ENTERS THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD….

These are the things that will last.  All the works that Marion Schmitt did that were not in accordance with the Word of God lie in that coffin.  But the things I mentioned she has taken with her into the presence of God.

I Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
I Corinthians 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
I Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
II Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

And all this started–all these good works started the day she asked Jesus into her heart!

Now there is one last work Marion Schmitt can do: If her life will affect your life for the better, this is the final good work she can perform!

But it must start with asking Jesus into your own heart and then obeying from the heart what He teaches us is good and evil.

Will you give your heart to Christ–like Marion Schmitt did many years ago? Then your works can follow you into heaven some day!

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Elkdale Baptist Church Sermon Archives

Welcome to our sermon archive page. 

From time to time we will be adding printed sermons and articles from Pastor Bissol and other guests.  Visit with us often to check out newly posted sermon outlines.

God bless you and I hope that these articles and sermon notes will be a blessing to your spiritual life.

Sincerely yours,

Pastor Frank Bissol

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CHRISTINA VOORHEIS MEMORIAL MESSAGE 12-3-11

CHRISTINA VOORHEIS MEMORIAL MESSAGE 12-3-11


Today we gather together to pay our last respects to Christina. I sense that there are no words I ever can say that can adequately console many of you for the hurt you may be feeling right now. No doubt we probably all feel she was too young … this was too quick and too tragic a loss for her and also for those who knew her and loved her. She is going to be greatly missed.

I knew Christina only as a sweet young girl of 14 when she came to our church, but like so many young people I lost touch with her. In 4 years she grew to be a young lady. In fact this past year at the Harford Fair a young man came up to me and introduced himself to me—it was Ernie, Christina’s brother. I would not have recognized him. Young people grow taller and handsome while we older people get shorter and fatter.

I am sure that for each person that knew Christina, there are going to be memories that will prompt sad thoughts. I remember when my mom passed away—and how many times I went to reach over to the phone to call her and realized I couldn’t do that any more. This is what hurts the most. We have been separated in this life from someone we love. If there is any word that defines death, it is this word separation. We have been separated from someone we love.

Now there are many questions that I will not be able to answer for you this morning, and I wish I could. There are many unknowns that we can only speculate about. We can try to speculate about why this happened to one so young. We can go on and on with assumptions and speculations and these unknowns. We will never know for sure this side of eternity: all our questions will not be answered. But there is some wisdom we can glean from great people in the Bible who have gone through similar tragedies.

I am reminded of a story in the Bible …

THE STORY OF KING DAVID

King David had a young child who was sick, and it was feared that this young child was going to die. The child was much younger than Christina. David wept and prayed for the child to live.

David refused to eat; he fasted for seven days, wept and prayed. This was King David, the great King David—the one who when the Bible describes Jesus, He is described as the SON OF DAVID. David was called a “man after God’s own heart.” Is there anyone who God would hear more? Is there anyone more loved? He prayed and he cried out for days. He wept and he wept.

And then the child died. David’s men were afraid to tell him that the child died. They whispered to each other. “Look how he weeps … look how he refuses to eat … look how his heart breaks. If we tell him the child died, it will kill him. He won’t be able to go on. We can’t tell him.”

David heard them whispering. David looked over to his men and said, “IS THE CHILD DEAD?.. .?” His men (almost afraid to say the words) said, “Yes, the child is dead…”

Then we read this in Bible..

II Samuel 12:19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
II Samuel 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed [himself], and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
II Samuel 12:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing [is] this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, [while it was] alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
II Samuel 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell [whether] GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
II Samuel 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

II Samuel 12:24 And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

Listen to what David said: “I SHALL GO TO HIM.”

Listen to me carefully. Today I speak for the living. After the child died, David comforted others. He comforted his wife.

Listen …. David, the great King David, could have gotten bitter at God. He was the great servant of the Lord, the great Psalmist of Israel. Why did God let this tragic thing happen to him? Not only did this tragedy happen but he had many other heartaches as well. He was persecuted and exiled for a while … his own men talked about killing him one time … one son was murdered … another became alienated from him and tried to kill him and usurp his throne. Tragedy after tragedy he suffered.

BUT we read these words in the Scripture.. DAVID COMFORTED BATHSHEBA …

Please listen carefully to what I am going to say. I am not going to give you a lot of speculation this morning about things. I want to give you some practical advice on dealing with heartache and tragedy. It probably is not going to be the typical funeral message because this is not a typical funeral. It is a sad tragedy.

David was very practical minded. He wept and prayed as long as the child was alive. Once the child died, David got up, washed himself, cleaned up, and then comforted others who were hurting.

One of two things that can happen today because of this tragedy. Either you can get bitter at God and dwell on the unknowns, or you can get on your feet, be a comfort to others, and bring something good from the ashes of tragedy. David said, “I weep for the living, not for the dead. I will go to him; he shall not return to me.”

I have used this following text more than any other at funerals. Listen to it carefully. Solomon—the wisest man that ever lived—said this:

Ecclesiastes 7:2 [It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow [is] better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Ecclesiastes 7:4 The heart of the wise [is] in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools [is] in the house of mirth.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 [It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

One of two things can happen because of this tragedy: either the sorrow of tragedy will make your heart better, or you will leave here a bitter, miserable person.

King David suffered the tragic lost of a child much younger than Christina. While his child was alive, he wept and fasted 7 days. When the child died, he got up washed himself ate something and then comforted his wife. He became a better person for it. He became a better father, and he became a better king. What allowed this? It was his faith in God. He said, “I WILL GO TO HIM SOMEDAY. I believe in an after life. I have faith in God.”

Now there are two possible reactions that a person can have to a tragic death of a loved one especially a young child.

TWO POSSIBLE REACTIONS TO TRAGIDY

EITHER A PERSON CAN GET BITTER OR YOU CAN BE A BETTER PERSON FOR IT… BE STRONG AND BE A HELP TO OTHERS.

I.    DAVID COULD HAVE CONTINUED HIS MOURNING AND BECOME BITTER

David could have let this tragedy ruin him. But he didn’t.
The reason he didn’t is because of his great faith in God.

THIS IS THE FAITH THAT DAVID HAD a great preacher once said, 

“God is too kind to do anything cruel;
Too wise to make a mistake;
Too deep to explain himself. “

He could have accused God of injustice.
He could have gotten mad.
He could have cursed God and died.
He could have continued to lay in the dust and weep.
He could have drowned his sorrows in drinking or drugs.
He could have turned away from his faith in prayer and God.

In doing so he would have been a burden to others.
He would have added heartache to the situation.
He would have not helped Bathsheba.
He never would have had Solomon.
He never would have been able to comfort anyone else.

Those who do not have faith in God have no good answer to give young people why they should avoid activities that will hurt them..

They cannot be a comfort to others.

Logical conclusion is that if there is no God, no afterlife, then we should just party it up because tomorrow we die.

EAT, DRINK, BE MERRY MENTALITY…

II.    INSTEAD OF THIS, DAVID LET THIS TRAGIC DEATH MAKE HIM A BETTER PERSON

Ecclesiastes 7:2 [It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart.

David said I will go to him, and when I do, I will have to give an account for how I lived my life here on earth. So he became a better person because of the tragedy and loss of his son.

David let the death of his son draw him closer to God–not farther from Him.
After the death of his son David arose went into the house of the Lord and worshipped the Lord—then went in and strengthened himself and others.

Great men/women become better people through tragedy. They strengthen themselves and others.

David was a great man .. he fasted and prayed 7 days while his son was alive. This is all he could do to try and save his child. But when God took him, David got back on his feet and comforted his wife. To comfort others, you have to have the strength to do so; he strengthened himself to encourage others.

III.    DAVID WENT ON AND COMFORTED BATHSHEBA AND HAD ANOTHER SON. THAT SON’S NAME WAS SOLOMON.

Solomon means peace.
The opposite of peace is war.

War and death go hand in hand. The reason there is death on this planet is because there is a war that is raging. We all want peace, but often peace does not come without those who sacrifice and become tragic victims of war.

The reason David did not get bitter at God was because he knew what it was to be a soldier. He knew what it was to be a man of war. There are physical wars, but there are also spiritual wars. In times of war there is death all around you, and those who are victorious are the ones who get back in the fight and fight the enemy. There are two sides to every war. And so it is in the spiritual war: There is God and there is Satan.

Now I could make pretend this morning and tell you sweet things that are nothing but lies, or I could tell you the truth. The truth will never be popular. But God did not call me to be a politician. He called me to be a preacher. A preacher is supposed to tell the truth even if it is not popular. We have become accustomed to letting our leaders lie to us, and we even reward them by voting for the ones who look the best when they lie. God forbid if they stutter when they tell the truth. As long as they look good when they lie, we will vote for them. If they tell the truth and don’t talk well or don’t look like a Hollywood star, we don’t like them.

The truth about this battle and war is wrapped up in one verse in the Bible:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death;

The author of all sin is Satan. Therefore Satan is the author of all death, not God.

Jesus said in Mark 12:27 (God) ..is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living:
Jesus also said In John 11:25 I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

The biggest mistakes we make as humans is following Satan’s lies, and it brings death all the sooner. This is especially true of young people. They think they are invincible.

Another big mistake we make is being duped into thinking we can sin and follow the devil’s pack of lies, and nothing bad is going to happen. Then when something bad happens, we get mad at God.

Now here is the bad news: we all have sinned, and therefore we all will someday face death. So when people do sin, why are we surprised that often it brings death quicker?

IV.      DAVID HOWEVER (AFTER HIS SON DIED) HAD ANOTHER SON NAMED SOLOMON, AND SOLOMON BROUGHT PEACE TO HIS NATION.

David was a man of war…

David also made some bad mistakes in his life and did some gross sins. One sin was that he killed a man, stole his wife, and covered all this up (he thought). But there was One person who knew it all, and that was God. God knows what we have done, what we think, and all our secret sins.

Now when we sin, the devil gets license to kill us and others. In fact, most of the time when we sin, he is right there egging us on to do it, so most times he knows about it too.

If you are on the battlefield in time of war and you make a mistake, it could cost you your life. Well in this spiritual battle, the mistakes we make are called sin. When we sin, we become a target for Satan. Satan then gets license to afflict us and do us harm and ultimately kill us.

People get mad at God when this happens, but they never get mad at the devil. Can’t understand that. Get mad at the real enemy.

In the Book of Job in the Bible, Job lost all his children. They were tragically killed in a tornado. This wind just destroyed a house they were in, and they all died. Job lost his health; he was afflicted with a terrible disease. Job got a little upset at God. Job said, “What did I do to deserve this?” Job outwardly was as good a man as you could ever know. Yet he suffered all this. But behind the scenes there was a spiritual war taking place, and devil said to God, “if you let me afflict Job, I guarantee you he will curse you to your face.” So Job lost all his children, all his wealth, all his health. NO GREATER AFFLICTION COULD ANY OF US SUFFER. It is a tragedy the family of Christina has suffered this week. But imagine losing your business, all your children, your health, everything. And then even Job’s friends turned on him and said, “All this happened to you because you have committed this sin or that sin…” when in fact none of what they accused him of was true. But God had to reveal that all of it happened because there was a secret enemy working in the background. That enemy was Satan. Every war is fought for something, and usually that something is territory or jurisdiction or rulership. In the spiritual battle, the territory being fought over is your heart. Satan wants your heart so he can destroy you, and God wants your heart so he can save you.

Who will win?

V.    THE EVIDENCE THAT GOD HAD DAVID’S HEART WAS THAT WHEN FACED WITH GREAT HEARTACHE AND TRAGEDY, HE DID NOT LOSE HIS FAITH IN GOD.

HE GOT BACK UP ON HIS FEET AND COMFORTED BATHSHEBA AND THEN SOLOMON WAS BORN.

Solomon is a picture of Jesus. David’s first son was a by-product of sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. The Bible says Jesus became sin for us and died. Every sin we ever committed Jesus bore on the cross for us. The wages of sin is death, and so Jesus (Who never committed sin Himself) bore the penalty of our sin. Really, what sin did David’s first child commit to be worthy of death? David’s first son with Bathsheba bore the penalty of his sin, but after his death David and Bathsheba had another son: that son was Solomon, a man of peace, not war. Three days after Jesus died, He arose from the grave. David really should have died—not the little child. This is called substitution. The child died instead of David. And this Christmas we celebrate the story of the birth of a child who was born to die as our substitute.

Jesus therefore has dis-armed our greatest enemy (Satan) if his greatest weapon is death. Here is the verse:

Hebrews 2:14 … through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

NOW THE BATTLE IS FOR YOUR HEART..

Ecclesiastes 7:2 [It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow [is] better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Ecclesiastes 7:4 The heart of the wise [is] in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools [is] in the house of mirth.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 [It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

God wants your heart. Through sadness your heart is made better …
No pain,no gain.

Satan wants your heart. Satan gets you to laugh your way to the grave.
Sin is fun for a season.

If God gets your heart, you will be the better for it. You will go on and be a help and comfort to others.

If Satan gets your heart, you will stay in the dust and be a burden to all around you. You will be bitter and go down to the grave mad at God. Which will it be?

Today a good thing could come out of the tragic loss of Christina’s premature death. Your heart can be made better.

CONCLUSION AND APPLICATION
A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THIS

I am thinking of a couple who came to our church a few years back and tragically lost their son and a friend when they were swimming late at night. What heartache it was, and not only did they suffer this loss, but they had many legal problems because of it. They suffered financial heartache. They suffered great attacks from others. Yet in the midst of all these trials, instead of getting bitter at God, they let it draw them close to God.

They have strengthened others because of their heartache. When I announced that we needed help for the food preparations, they came here to be a comfort to others. They are even here helping out with food arrangements. They are here strengthening others. Their hearts were made better through a tragedy. They no longer do drugs, they no longer drink, they are helping raise their grandchildren for the Lord. They are here every Sunday worshipping God. They did as David did: they got back on their feet and have become better people because of the tragedy. Do they understand everything and are all the whys answered? NO! But they have faith in God.

Now I can tell many other stories about people whose hearts were not made better, but ended in defeat and bitterness. I won’t share their stories because it would just add more sadness to an already sad occasion.

If you give your heart to Jesus Christ …if you trust Him in faith, your life will be better for it and something good will be resurrected from a tragedy. Just as Jesus died and was buried, it seemed like a defeat and tragedy.. Yet three days later He was resurrected.

Just like David’s first child with Bathsheba died, but another child was born who went on to do great things—greater things than even David did. His name was Solomon. So it is that something good can come of tragedy if you have faith in God That something good is that your heart can be made better. Give your heart to God. Trust Him in faith. Receive Jesus into your heart and life, and you will be a stronger, better person for it.

Parental Rights A Video You Need To Watch

Here is a great video that every Christian and concerned parent should watch.   Satan’s agenda is to destroy every family and every child.  The Bible clearly says that the first commandment with promise is to honor your father and mother.

EPH 6:1     Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
EPH 6:2     Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
EPH 6:3     That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

When the government circumvents the authority of the parents they are in essence encouraging children to dishonor them.  



Christmas Musical 2010 The Grousch

A YouTube video of Christmas Program 2010 presented at the Elkdale Baptist Church. The program includes original music and Script entitled The Grousch who found Christmas  

CLICK HERE TO GO TO A LINK TO THE VIDEO:

The YouTube Video

REASONS THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY Part 2

 MESSAGE
THE REASONS THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY
Sunday School Message Part II  11-16-2011

In this study we will continue to share the reasons why it is important to believe that the Virgin Birth indeed happened just as the Scripture explains it did.  Without the Virgin Birth, Jesus could not have been the Saviour of the world.  Salvation could not have taken place, and the Bible is filled with errors.

CONSIDER THE FACTS SHARED SO FAR …

I.    THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY SO CHRIST
COULD BY-PASS THE  FALLEN ADAMIC SIN NATURE.

II.    IT WAS ALSO NECESSARY FOR CHRIST TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN SO THAT CHRIST, THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD, COULD ADD TO HIMSELF FLESH.

III.    IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE CHRIST TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN SO THAT PROPHECY COULD BE FULFILLED.

And now consider the next reason the Virgin Birth was necessary:

IV.    IT WAS NECESSARY FOR CHRIST TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN SO THAT CHRIST COULD BE THE HEAD OF A BORN AGAIN PEOPLE.

1.    CONSIDER A COMPARISON OF ADAM’S HEADSHIP AND CHRIST’S HEADSHIP:

I Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.
I Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
I Corinthians 15:47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.
I Corinthians 15:48 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly.
I Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
I Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

NOTE: What Adam was to the human race, Jesus is to the spiritual race of born again believers.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:
John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Just as we are conceived in Adam through physical procreation and birth, so too we are born again in Christ through spiritual conception & His Word.

I Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
I Peter 1:24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
I Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

John 3:3 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.
John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Consider, as Adam was the head of the human race and was the father of us all, so too Christ is now the Head of a spiritual race–He is our head spiritually! When Jesus was born of a virgin, He had no earthly father. He proceeded directly from God.

If He was just the by-product of human procreation, He would not be able to be the second Adam.  He could not be the Head of a new race of people.

IN ADAM WE DIE;
IN CHRIST WE LIVE..

ADAM IS THE HEAD OF THE HUMAN RACE PHYSICALLY;
CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF A NEW CREATION.

I Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.
I Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
I Corinthians 15:47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.
I Corinthians 15:48 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly.
I Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

2.    SO HE COULD BE MERCIFUL TO WHOMEVER HE WANTS. 
HE COULD CHOOSE TO DELAY HIS COMING AND JUDGMENT.

I bought a little toy helicopter for my grandson and showed him how to use it.  After I taught him how to use it, the time came to turn it over to him:  he wrecked it in a few minutes. I let him steer and take control of the toy.  I didn’t get mad at him-I paid for it and chose to let him do with it as he would.

Jesus paid for man’s salvation and one of the perks of that is that He can allow man time to choose Him or reject Him.  God can let His sun shine on the just and unjust.  He can be merciful to all because he paid the price and reconciled everything and everyone to Himself.

3.     HE DIED FOR ALL AND ALL WILL RECEIVE A RESURRECTED BODY BASED ON HIS RESURRECTION.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

I Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.
I Corinthians 15:21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
I Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
I Corinthians 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
I Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
I Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.

How many die in Adam?
How many are made alive in Christ?

I Timothy 4:9 This [is] a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
I Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

Jesus died for all. He is everyone’s Savior.  He is the Savior of all men–not just the elect;  not just the saved.  He died for all.

II Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
II Corinthians 5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

But not everyone lives for Him–because they are not saved; and they are not saved because they do not believe in Him and will not come to Him.

So then what benefit and why would He die for people who would reject him??

WHY DID HE DIE FOR ALL..

He died for all that all would live and receive a resurrection body.  John 5:28
He died for all to reconcile to himself all things. II Cor. 5:18
He died for all that all should not live to themselves, but to Him that died for them. II Cor. 5:15

CHRIST’S DEATH FOR ALL WAS A VERY IMPORTANT THEOLOGICAL TRUTH. The greatest argument used to justify that Jesus only died for the elect is that if he died for all, then wicked men could frustrate the infinite wisdom of God. Is man’s free will stronger than God’s eternal decree? Why would He do something that puny men could reject and what benefit would it be for God to die for unsaved men who will only die and go into perdition?  The fact is that Jesus’ resurrection is the basis of every man’s resurrection–saved and lost.  Like it or not, every man will be resurrected.  He never asks us if we want to be!  The horrible thing about not receiving Christ is that unsaved men will spend eternity in the lake of fire in a resurrected body bought and paid for by Christ for them.  They will spend eternity with the devil and his angels because they have rejected their Saviour and have refused to believe on Him and live for him.   How sad a day it will be when Christ says this to those who have rejected Him:

Matthew 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  HELL WAS PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS!  If people go there, it is only because they have followed him rather than God.

V.    ANOTHER REASON THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS IMPORTANT WAS SO JESUS COULD BECOME THE HUSBAND TO A NEW BRIDE CALLED THE CHURCH…  JESUS HAD TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN TO  PROCURE TO HIMSELF A NEW AND BETTER BRIDE THAN EVE.

1.    CONSIDER THE POSITION OF THE WOMAN IN REGARD TO THE VIRGIN BIRTH.

The first Adam had a bride.
The last Adam (Jesus) also has a bride.

WHEN GOD PIERCED THE SIDE OF THE FIRST ADAM TO GIVE HIM A BRIDE, GOD HAD IN MIND THE SECOND ADAM BEING PIERCED, AND THROUGH HIS WOUND ANOTHER LIVING CREATURE, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, WOULD BE BORN (I.E. THE CHURCH).

Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Note the Mystery:  God took from Adam’s side a bride,  and when that happened,  God had in mind sending His son to earth, His side would be pierced for his bride.  Christ’s bride is the New Testament Church.

2.   WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE POSITION OF THE WOMAN IN REGARDS TO THE VIRGIN BIRTH,   ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO MARY’S POSITION.  NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE IS A WOMAN SPOKEN IN REGARDS TO HEADSHIP.

A.    WE MUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO GO BEYOND THE TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE IN REGARD TO THE VIRGIN BIRTH AND PLACE OF MARY.

NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT GIVE AUTHORITY FOR A WOMAN TO BE THE HEAD OF THE MAN.  MARY WAS NOT THE HEAD OF CHRIST OR THE CHURCH AS THE ROMAN CHURCH TEACHES.

Mary was not the mother of God.  She was the mother of the Child Jesus.  She was the vehicle used of God to allow Christ the Son of God to add to Himself the flesh of humanity.

Jesus got His humanity through Mary, but not His divine nature.  He received His spirit directly from God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He was conceived of the Holy Ghost.  Why is this so hard to believe for some?  If we can believe that God made Adam from the dust of the ground without an earthly father or mother, then it would not be hard to believe in the Virgin Birth.  The obvious problem is that the Genesis of the modernist is evolution.  If evolution is true, then there really never was an Adam as the Bible describes.  Our presuppositions determine our conclusions.

The other error concerning the Virgin Birth is the tendency to elevate Mary above that which Scripture elevates her.  Jesus was very careful not to give the impression that Mary was to be elevated beyond that for which she was used.  He often referred to her as just a woman.

Note this passage..

Matthew 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
Matthew 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

B.    Mary was not a perpetual Virgin.

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Matthew 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things?

John 2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
John 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
John 2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do [it].

These verses teach that Jesus never gave Mary preferential treatment.

C.    MARY DID NOT ENTER INTO THE PROPITIATION AND REDEMPTION PROCESS  BY BRUISING SATAN’S HEAD.

In many Roman Churches, statues of Mary depict her with the serpent under her feet as she is holding the Child Jesus.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This verses teaches the seed of the woman (Christ)  would bruise Satan’s head–not Mary.  Jesus is the Head of a group of people that the Bible calls His church or bride–not Mary.  We need to be careful not to elevate Mary above that which God intended..

NOTE THE ERRORS OF MANY WHEN IT COMES TO THE PLACE OF MARY:

NOWHERE DOES THE BIBLE TEACH WE SHOULD PRAY TO MARY.
Is Mary the head of church?  NO.  SHE WAS JUST A GREAT SERVANT OF THE LORD.

Mary plays no part in the Salvation or atonement work of Christ. It is Christ who bruises the head of Satan, not Mary!  Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that Mary is to be petitioned or prayed to, or does Mary play a role in the redemption process.  We should not go beyond the Bible or below the Bible in the teaching concerning the Virgin Birth.  The modernists deny the Virgin Birth, the Romanist inordinately reverence Mary even thinking she had to be immaculately conceived.  All this leads to a misunderstanding of womanhood in the Bible.

Consider the dangers of misunderstanding the place of the woman in the Bible:

3.     WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WOMANHOOD IS DEFINED BY SCRIPTURE AND TO TO THIS DAY SATAN IS MAKING AN ATTACK ON WOMEN..

Modernism not only denies the Virgin Birth, the modernist rejects the biblical teaching concerning the role of women, the wife, the family, etc.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

In Genesis 2:23  Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Adam was responsible for Eve to be her teacher and protector, her leader and guide. Adam failed in this commission, but Christ fulfills this role with His wife, the Church.  Again He is the perfect and last Adam.

What Adam failed to do with Eve, Christ succeeds and fulfills as the Head and Husband of His church.

He teaches, guides, and leads His church.

It is for this reason that it is a desecration of this picture when a woman is out from under authority in the church.  Again, everything works together in Scripture, and it all fits together like a finely designed clock.

4.     EVERY WOMAN THAT SUBMITS TO THE BIBLICAL TEACHING CONCERNING THE  PLACE AND ROLE OF A WOMAN IN SOCIETY SHOWS HER FAITH AND HOLINESS.

I Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
I Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
I Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
I Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
I Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The sin of Eve was that she disobeyed her husband.  After the fall God reiterates Eve’s role as being a help meet to Adam.  THE ROLE OF A WOMAN UNDER THE SCRIPTURAL COMMAND IS THAT SHE IS TO BE UNDER AUTHORITY.

She thought to get out from that authority by following the serpent’s allurement to break free from God’s leadership and choose to be like a god on this planet.  Men and women are still seeking this goal–which is the same goal Satan had in Isaiah 14:13 …

A.    EVERY WOMAN OUGHT TO DRESS IN A WAY THAT SHOWS HER SUBMISSION TO CHRIST:  Hair and other things …

I Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

B.    EVERY WOMAN OUGHT TO MANIFEST A SPIRIT OF SUBMISSION IN THE ASSEMBLY

Now because of Eve’s transgression, God reinforces her position of submission.

I Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
I Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
I Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
I Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
I Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
I Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
I Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
I Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

C.    EVERY WOMAN OUGHT TO NOT LOOK TO DRAW UNDUE ATTENTION TO HERSELF IN THE SERVICE.

Acts 16:16  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Acts 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Acts 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Note how devilish it was for this woman to draw attention to herself even when she seemed to be technically speaking the truth. The devil from day one was a master at using half truths to confuse people.

D.    EVERY WOMAN OUGHT TO LEARN TO BE CONTENT TO SUPPORT THE MALE TEACHERS AND LEADERS OF THE CHURCH.

I Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
I Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
I Corinthians 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
I Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
I Corinthians 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

WHAT ARE THE ARGUMENTS A WOMAN WILL USE FOR VIOLATE THESE PRINCIPLES:

a.    SOME WILL SAY SOULS ARE GETTING SAVED,  SO GOD MUST BE IN IT.

b.    SOME WILL SAY, “WELL,  IF THE MEN WON’T DO IT,  A WOMAN HAS TO …”

c .   SOME WILL SAY THAT THE COMMANDMENT CONCERNING WOMEN WAS ONLY CULTURAL AND IS NOT FOR TODAY.

I Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
I Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
I Corinthians 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
I Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
I Corinthians 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

The modernist’s rejection of God’s creation of man as stated in Genesis 2-3 is largely the reason the woman’s lib movement has gained such momentum in our world today.  This has produced nothing but dysfunctional families, heartache, rapid perversion, and problems even in the church today.  The elevation and worship of Mary is the religious perversion of not understanding the role of a woman in God’s plan.  This is the same error, but coming at it from a different direction.  Though the Virgin Birth is not rejected, still a woman is inordinately elevated.  It is important to accept what the Bible says about the Virgin Birth.  We should not reject its teaching (i.e. modernist) or go beyond it and read more into Scripture than what is there (i.e. Romanist).

Conclusion:

The historical accuracy and truth of the Virgin Birth is crucial to so much of the understanding of biblical theology.  No doubt the writers of Scripture taught and believed the literal, accurate, and historical fact of Jesus was born of a virgin.  If you pull the plug on this truth, the whole theological fabric of Scripture falls apart.  In fact, if you reject the accuracy of the account of the creation of man, the whole thing falls apart also.  Everything works together and must be accepted by faith.  If there is no Virgin Birth, there is no salvation.  Christ received His humanity through Mary, but His divinity through His Father in heaven.  It was not necessary for Mary to be anything other than a precious chosen vessel blessed above all women because she was used to bring the Christ Child into the world (Luke 1:48).  We need not fabricate more into who she is and what God used her for.  Also, we need to reject the modernist’s skepticism about God’s supernatural intervention into the events of human history, to bring about the salvation and redemption of the world through Christ, who was indeed “GOD manifest in the flesh” (II Tim 3:16).   May God bless you as you meditate on these precious truths concerning the Virgin Birth this Christmas.

REASONS THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY Part 1

MESSAGE
THE REASONS THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY
Sunday School Message Part I  11-9-2011

As we approach the Christmas season,  we see many places that still decorate with manger scenes, and there are beautiful songs that we sing about the first advent of our Lord.   Many people sing the songs,  hear the stories,  even watch movies and TV  shows that exalt the advent of our Lord’s entrance to planet.  It is a joyous time of sending gifts, eating, and getting together with family and friends.

The sad thing about Christmas though is that most people really do not have a clue biblically what this occasion is all about.  And in fact most people don’t really believe the true story behind Christmas.

So in this study we are going to examine the biblical claims regarding the birth of Jesus Christ and why it was indeed a miracle of miracles, and that without God’s intervention in this event there could be no salvation, no redemption for man and, in fact, no Easter story,  no resurrection,  no salvation,  no hope for man or this planet.

Let’s examine the most important biblical claim of all which really makes Christmas Christmas:

In this study we are going to examine the biblical claim of the Virgin Birth.

Text:

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man], and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Consider this truth that without the Virgin Birth, the Christmas story has no meaning and no relevant message to mankind.   The fact that there was a literal virgin birth is essential to the biblical fact of redemption.

Before the turn of the century, almost every Christian group unanimously (except for some fringe cults and isms) believed in the Virgin Birth.

So foundational was this to the understanding of the person of Jesus Christ, that Mohammed when he wrote the Koran even included it in the Koran.

Around the turn of this century, the Modernist movement began to grow more and more popular around the world.

The Modernist movement began to question traditional values–religious, political, philosophical–in every area of society.  Arts … music … culture, etc.

Modernism first reared its ugly head in the area of philosophy, then caught on in the arts, and then with music.

By the early 20th century you had a battle raging between the Modernist and what many declared themselves to be as Fundametalist.  A Fundamentalist was one who said, “I still believe in the fundamentals of the Bible.”

One of the fundamentals at that time that was being attacked was the idea of a literal Virgin Birth  along with many other miracles in the Bible..  along with a literal understanding of the Creation in Genesis 1-3,  etc.

What is amazing is that historically the last bastion of stability that usually falls is the religious.

Reminds me of 911  the terrorists who tried to destroy the world trade center by bombing the foundation, but is was too strong.  So then they attacked the top floors which caused the whole structure to collapse.

Today we are seeing our society collapse all around us, and the religious leaders are not able to hold it up.

Since it is around the Christmas season, I thought it might be appropriate for us to study the supernatural: Foundational truths about the Virgin Birth and show why it is so important for us to believe in the accuracy of the Biblical teaching on this subject.

We will consider some reasons why it is necessary to believe in a literal Virgin Birth …

WHY THE VIRGIN BIRTH?

I remember many years ago (in my early college days) when I was in a humanities class studying Christianity in World Civilizations.  I remember that the professor challenged us as students concerning the historical accuracy of what he called the “myth of the Virgin Birth.”   Back then I didn’t know the Lord, so I was a pushover to win over to the professor’s point of view.  But looking back now I realize that I was being brainwashed by Modernism.  Back then the argument was that it was not necessary to believe in a Virgin Birth and that Jesus may have been the illegitimate son of a blond-haired,  blue eyed German soldier which made Him no less of a great man.  Today I know that the professor was in total ignorance of the Bible and the marvelous Scripture that I hold before you today. I didn’t know it back then, but that professor’s assessment of the Virgin Birth was all a product of the humanistic Modernist movement that has taken over our education system.

FIRST LET US CONSIDER THAT THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS A NECESSARY MIRACLE THAT GOD HAD TO PERFORM FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

I.    THE VIRGIN BIRTH WAS NECESSARY SO CHRIST
COULD BY-PASS THE  FALLEN ADAMIC SIN NATURE:

If there was not a Virgin Birth, the accuracy of the whole Bible topples.  Everything in the Bible is intertwined, and we can’t cherry pick what we want to believe about the Word of God and reject other select passages that defy our human reasoning.  In fact it all starts by rejecting the first three chapters of the Bible.  Consider these verses:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
___________________________________________

If there was no first Adam, then how can Christ be the second Adam?  In Adam all die; in Christ all will be made alive.

If there is no integrity to the Genesis 3 account, then Romans 3, 5 and I Cor. 15 are a bunch of nonsense.

I Corinthians 15:21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

There are many theological discussions about why the sin nature of Adam is not passed on through the woman:

IS ADAM THE HEAD OF THE HUMAN RACE SEMINALLY?
IS ADAM THE HEAD OF THE HUMAN RACE FEDERALLY?

Is sin passed on from Adam genetically or federally and judicially?

Romans 3:23 says WAGES OF SIN IS  DEATH.

CONSIDER, DOES DEATH COME TO MAN BECAUSE WE ARE FALLEN CREATURES THROUGH THE BIOLOGICAL GENES OF ADAM?  Why does death come to the human race?

Illust.    Genesis 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Genesis 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

It would seem death comes because God has intervened in mans life to withhold from him certain things that would allow him health and longevity of life. In Genesis 3:22, God said it was possible for Adam and Eve to live forever even after they sinned.  All it would have taken was for them to eat from the Tree of Life.  Whatever healing properties and nourishment that tree provided would have provided continual life.

THE BIBLE STARTS WITH THE ACCOUNT OF MAN LOSING HIS ABILITY TO PARTAKE FROM THE TREE OF LIFE WHICH IS THE MAIN REASON WE DIE PHYSICALLY.

Genesis 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Genesis 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

NOTE Revelation 22 the Tree of Life is what produces longevity of life in the future–the Kingdom to come.  In Isaiah 65:22 we read that in the Kingdom to come, men’s lives will be extending like the longevity of the days of a tree.  The oldest trees on the planet are over 3000 years old!

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

Note the severe warning about tampering with the word of God.  I think God is interested in preserving the historical theological truths of the Word of God, and the truth about the Virgin Birth is one of those truths.

Note that in this passage there is mention of the
Tree of life …
The Water of life …
The Book of life …

A number 3 is often a Divine number,  just as God Himself is made up of three divine persons: the FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

MANY BELIEVE THE OVERSHAWDOWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PREVENTED CHRIST FROM INHERITING EVEN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF SIN THROUGH EVE!

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Yet if a man could live forever by eating from a tree called the Tree of Life, is the sin nature really passed on by taking on a physical body?  Nowhere in the Bible do we read that that the sin nature is passed on through the woman.  Man gets his phsical body through the woman; he gets his sin nature through Adam.  In either case, God performed a miracle in generating a body for our Lord through Mary without a human father.

SO IT WAS NECESSARY THAT CHRIST BE BORN OF A VIRGIN TO AVOID THE FALLEN NATURE OF ADAM.  THERE COULD NOT BE A FALLEN MAN (i.e. a son of Adam) IN THE EQUATION.

II.    IT WAS ALSO NECESSARY FOR CHRIST TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN SO THAT CHRIST, THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD, COULD ADD TO HIMSELF FLESH:

1.    The Christ child was indeed God in the flesh:

I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

2.  THE SON OF GOD WAS ETERNALLY EXISTANT WITH THE FATHER BEFORE THE INCARNATION:

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

For God to purchase our salvation, He needed a perfect substitute for man, that Substitute was Jesus.

God is a perfect Judge and in His judgment, He declares the wages of sin is death.

He told Adam if you sin you die. All mankind is under this condemnation.

Therefore as in one man we all die.
Justice is served when one sinless Man dies for all.

If one man could cause all men to become sinners. Why is it an amazing thing that one perfect Man could provide the payment for every man’s sin?  If Jesus did not take on a body, there could be no payment for sin. If Jesus was under the condemnation of sin through Adam, then He could not make payment for our sins.  The only way possible for Christ to be able to pay for mankind’s sin was that He took on a body through a woman, but by-passed the sin nature of Adam by being conceived supernaturally of the Holy Ghost.

The Virgin Birth is the only solution.

All of Paul’s arguments and theological explanations hinge on there being a literal virgin birth!

III. IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE CHRIST TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN SO THAT PROPHECY COULD BE FULFILLED.

THE SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN, SO THIS PROPHECY HAD TO COME TO PASS.  The Bible predicted and foretold the Virgin Birth!

There are many verses in the Bible that predicted the Virgin Birth.  The first verse is found in Gen. 3:16. Where it speaks of a lethal blow being given to Satan through a future child being born called the seed of the woman.  Nowhere else in the Bible is there any mention of the seed of a woman; usually children are identified as the seed of a paternal father. For instance, there is mention of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.

GEN 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This is a quote from Isaiah 7:14 which says,  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.”

Logic dictates the necessity of the Virgin Birth,  but also prophecy clearly articulated that it was going to take place.

We will continue this study in Part two of the Sunday School lesson.   May God bless you as we meditate on these truths.

THE WRONG WAY TO THANK GOD

HOW NOT TO GIVE THANKS
11-20-2011

When we think of Thanksgiving we think of family and turkey dinners.  Images of the pilgrims flood our minds.

This morning we are going to look at how one Pharisee thanked God and then glean lessons from him about the wrong way people give thanks to God.

Text:

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

In this text we have an example of the wrong way to give thanks.  It is a lesson in self-righteousness and hypocrisy, as well as looking down our noses at others.

This is the wrong way to give thanks.

Noticed in the parable we read in verse 11 that the Pharisee prayed thus within himself.  The Lord obviously heard many a prayer like this.  It is amazing some of the things that people pray and some of the ways they give things.

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THIS PRAYER?

In this world many times we think of things to be thankful for.

How do we give thanks in a similar manner?  Consider how comparing ourselves with the misfortunes of others seems to be the source of our thankfulness.  Are we being like the Pharisee? Is it necessarily wrong to look at the misfortunes of others and be grateful that you are not like them?  What makes what this Pharisee said to be so wrong?

1.    I’ve heard people so often say…. AS THEY SEE OTHERS WITH BAD HEALTH, for this is the most important thing …

2.    Others are most thankful for good families–wife, children.
All around us we see families who are no so fortunate.  Consider the 50% divorce rate … and so many disfunctional families.

3.    I have heard others say they are most thankful for living in America, the land of opportunity. We see the poverty all around us in our land of freedom and prosperity.  I am thinking of a fellow from Russia who has a master’s degree in music and makes $200 a month to teach in a university in Russia.   I am thinking of an African fellow who related to me that he makes about $150 a month as a teacher in Africa.  What a contrast this is to what we have in the USA.  Now compare this to our teachers who are making $40,000 a year and go on strike.

4.    I have heard others say the greatest thing they are thankful for is that they have a good job as they see others around them without jobs.

5.    Still I have heard others express that the most important thing in their lives is their husband or wife, and they are most thankful for them.

6.    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE FORMS OF GIVING THANKS THAN WHAT THIS PHARISEE DID?

I.    NOTE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO THANK GOD–A 
WARNING ABOUT MISSING THE BOAT WHEN IT COMES TO THANKSGIVING.

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

So often. we miss the boat when it comes to giving God thanks.

1.    As we see others around us who are in dire straights..  we tend to be thankful based on our observation of others, rather that true thing that we need from God.

We others with bad health and think, “I am thankful I don’t have that …”
We see others with bad marriages …
We see others with poor jobs …
We see others in oppressed nations …
We see others, etc., and this is the basis of our Thanksgiving …

This is not to say we should not appreciate the fact that we have what we have, BUT WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL.

Note:    This Pharisee was thankful that he was not like other men…

Extortioner
Unjust
Adulterous
Publican.. etc..

This is not having a proper spirit of Thanksgiving.

Because in fact we are all alike others–in our sin and in our passions.
So often we are a bit like the Pharisees.  The fact that this Pharisee was not an an extortioner or unjust or adulterous or a publican had nothing to do with him; and in fact, in his sinful nature he was all of these things.

Examples of this:

A.    WE ARE THANKFUL WE LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY because we see what other people have and are going through in other countries.

We had a fellow here on an apprenticeship from Africa.  He said the lucky ones in his country were the ones who were taken to America as slaves.

B.    We are thankful for our husbands or wives.. when we look and see what other men have.  We say…

I am  thankful for the wife … husband I have … yeah …

Yes, you should be thankful, but is their a bit of the Pharisee in you when you say that? Do you take the credit for that?

C.    As we see what some people have to go through to make a living, we say, “I’m thankful I don’t have to do that.”

Yes, you certainly are fortunate if you have a good job.

But do you really think that it is because of any good thing in you–above the other fellow?   Sometimes I fear that we may think God smiled down on us because of some virtue that we have.  Is there a bit of the Pharisee in us?

II.    Note the error of this Pharisee:

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as

1.    HE THANKED GOD HE WAS NOT LIKE OTHER MEN.
His mistake was that he was comparing himself to other men..

It is pharisaical to do so..

The truth is: we are all alike.  We are all sinners.
Is one sin greater than another?  Maybe in man’s estimation.
Sin is sin, and sinners are prone to sin.  In that we are kept back from sin often has nothing to do with us, but God’s protective hand in our lives.

We are all alike and given the right or wrong circumstances we all can fall into just about any sin..

He said I am not like other men.  THE BIBLE SAYS “All have sinned.”  Sin  is common to all men…

Notice his list..

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are],

extortioners,
unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican.

2.     Say I have never committed adultery, yet the sin of adultery is or has at one time or another been in every sinner’s heart.  Jesus said if a man looks a a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery in his heart.  

I heard one man say that it is “okay to look but not to touch” when it comes to immorality.  Yet when Clinton was asked why he committed immoral acts he said…  “I did it for the worst possible reason. I did it because I could.”  The reason some men do not commit the act is because they can’t–but in their heart they would if they could.

3.    You say, “I have never been an extortioner or dishonest in my business dealings.” Yet there is never a sinner who has not entertained the thought.  

III.    Mistake #3 in his thanksgiving prayer:  He really thought that he was able to escape these dreaded vices in his life because of his own efforts

I fast twice a week…
I give tithes of all ..

He thought that these were the reasons God smiles down upon him.  He was missing the boat completely.

Do you really think that you, through your righteous efforts and deeds, could accomplish anything?

Today if you have good health, don’t think that it is because of your own self-effort and hard work.

Good marriage?  It is not because of the wisdom you had in choosing a good spouse.

Good children? Don’t spread out your feathers like a peacock.

Adam did the same things with Cain that he did with Abel…. go figure what went wrong.

There is a bit of the Pharisee in all of us in this regard …

Note:    If your condition is better than others, it has very little to do with you; it is by the grace of God and His mercy.

Here is an illustration to consider concerning Abraham and a fellow by the name of Abimelech.  NOTE:

Genesis 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She [is] my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man’s wife.
Genesis 20:4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
Genesis 20:5 Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
Genesis 20:6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
Genesis 20:7 Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
Genesis 20:8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.

Note the Lord corrected Abimelech and said..  I kept you from sinning.  It was not because of the integrity of your heart …

If we have not committed certain sins, God is the one that should get the credit–not us.

Who gets the glory for all these benefits you have received? Do you really think it is because you deserve them?

Do we really think it is because we are better than others?

Did we choose to be born in the United States? Who decided it?

In fact, most of the blessings we can be thankful for we had very little to do with.  The mistake of the Pharisee was that he gave himself the credit for what God deserved.  It was not his own righteousness that gave him these benefit–it was God’s grace.  No sinner should look down his nose at any other sinner.  The old proverbial coinage puts it well:

“There but for the grace of God, go I.”

IV.    THE GREATEST LESSON TO LEARN IS ONE THAT WE LEARN FROM THIS SINNER AND PUBLICAN WHEN IT COMES TO THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN THANK GOD FOR (WE LEARN IT FROM THE PUBLICAN)

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Here we have a publican, a sinner.

He prayed for Mercy..  he cried out in his miserable condition.
God heard his prayer..  and he left there receiving what he prayed for.  I believe he also was thankful for God’s mercy..  There was no self-righteousness that he could have nor tendency to puff himself up!

In all things we should be thankful for His mercy.

It is His mercy that has allowed us the health that we have.
It is His mercy that allows us to have family, a wife, children.
It is His mercy that allows us to be delivered from temptations.

It is not that we deserve it.

By the way, it is through his mercy we receive the greatest gift …

THAT IS THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS.

If we do not see our need to be forgiven of sin how can we ever be thankful for it!!!

1.    HE WANTED GOD’S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS AND WAS THANKFUL TO RECEIVE IT.

2.    THIS SINNER LOOKED TO GOD FOR THE GREATEST GIFT OF MERCY AND FORGIVENESS.

We do not receive anything from the Lord because we deserve it.
All we receive we receive because of God’s mercy.

What we all deserve is God’s wrath and punishment.  Anything less is mercy.

Lamentations 3:22   [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Did you ever notice Daniel as righteous as he was, in his prayer confessed his sins and the sins of the nation equally–HE DIDN’T SAY THEY HAVE SINNED. IN HIS PRAYER HE SAID WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU.  He included himself as part of the problem.

Notice in his prayer HE CONSISTENTLY SAYS.. WE HAVE SINNED …

Daniel 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Daniel 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Daniel 9:8 O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
Daniel 9:9 To the Lord our God [belong] mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Daniel 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Jerimiah said it is of the LORD’S mercies that WE-WE-WE ARE NOT CONSUMED..

The Pharisee really thought himself different from this publican and sinner.

We are all alike.
We are all in the same boat.
We all deserve the same penalty.

Every time sin was judged in the Bible (like in the wilderness), it was judged so others could receive mercy and be protected from temptation.

A.    When Phinehas executed judgment on Zimri and Midianitish woman it was so the rest of the congregation could receive mercy.

Numbers 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw [it], he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
Numbers 25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
Numbers 25:9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

B.  When Achan was stoned for his sin, he was stoned so the rest of the congregation could be recipients of God’s mercy and win victories they didn’t deserve.

C.    When the man was stoned for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, he was executed so the rest of the congregation could learn and receive the blessings of God for obeying the Sabbath.

D.    When a doctor injects Chemo therapy into a patient,  he does so in order that the patient could receive healing.  

The Chemo is actually a killer of cancer–but too much of it will kill the patient also.

This Pharisee was over-kill with his judgment against sin.  We should hate sin, but let us remember it is the spread of it we hate.

V.    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FORGET TO BE THANKFUL FOR GOD’S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS?

In the spiritual battle we can easily forget that as our Lord’s servants we should be about the same commission as He was.  He came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost.  He said in Matthew 9:12 ” They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”  A physician’s job is to heal, but through his neglect he could do harm.

I went to a doctor’s office because I was having a problem with my throat.  My doctor sent me to a specialist.  In his office he was using foul language.  I could tell they had no heart for their work or compassion or concern.  The doctor prescribed a certain test.  He just a matter-of-factly signed the papers and told me to go here and there.

When I went to get the test I said, “Wait–tell me what this is all about.”  As they described what they were going to do, I realized the side effects of the test could be far more damaging than the little annoying issue with my throat.  So the physician was not a good physician; I believe he was over-kill in his treatment of the patient.  His foul language was a manifestation of a wicked heart that would be translated into his work as a physician.  I  walked out of the office realizing that doctor (I believe) had little heart for his patients.

I had a similar thing happen to me but again, but it was averted by a person who cared.  Years ago I had terrible allergies and a doctor proscribed allergy shots.  I had a nurse in the church who was kind enough to give me the shots.  As I started that new series of shots, she looked at what was prescribed and said, “This can’t be right.”  We called the doctor and discovered the doctor in haste made a mistake in the dosage.  The dosage he wrote could have killed me.  The nurse cared more for the patient than the doctor.

These Pharisees were supposed to be the spiritual doctors of the nation.  They had little heart or concern for sinners coming to  repentance.

WHEN WE FORGET THAT  WE ARE SINNERS JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WE CAN BECOME COLD AND MATTER-OF-FACT ABOUT SIN.  THIS IS WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO THIS PHARISEE.

His treatment of the sinner was over-kill.  Yes, we should have a disdain for sin, but only because of what it does to lives. But let us learn to realize that we should have compassion on the sinner as our Lord did.

Let us always remember we too are sinners.

Lesson of Matthew 18:  the servant forgot he too was forgiven.

VI.     WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP IN MIND THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEING OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US AND KEEPING A SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING ALIVE IN OUR HEARTS ?

              
1.    Ask God to show you:

Psalms 19:12 Who can understand [his] errors? cleanse thou me from secret [faults].
Psalms 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Tom Gentry, a dear missionary who is now with the Lord, once told me how that he asked God to show him his heart and life.  When God did, he was devastated and couldn’t get out and around for two days.  He said it was a life-changing experience.  I think the same would happen to all of us if God would ever show us our hearts.

2.    Get to know God..  AND GET YOUR EYES OFF OF MEN.

Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.

There is never a person that has gotten close to God..  in deep prayer and devotion but has not gone away with a lesser opinion of himself and a greater opinion of God.

When we compare ourselves with God, we are in trouble.

THIS WAS THE MISTAKE OF THE PHARISEE..

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Conculsion:

This Thanksgiving the greatest thing we should be thankful for is God’s mercy on us.

BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER.  HE HAS.  NOW LET US THANK HIM FOR IT.

If you are saved, He has been merciful to you, a sinner.
If you have a family, He has been merciful to you, a sinner.
If you have your health, He has been merciful to you, a sinner.
If you have a good job, He has been merciful to you a sinner.

We learn a greater lesson form the publican.  His prayer was LORD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER.  The Lord heard his prayer and this is something to really be thankful for!