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May 6, 2019, 12:00 PM

5 Things You Will Never Hear God Say #3



5 Things you will never hear God say in this life: 

1.  God will never say: I don’t love you

2.  God will never say: I can’t/won’t forgive you

3. God will never say:  Don’t Go to Chuch

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:25

I have never been a person or a pastor that thinks that if you don’t attend all the services your church has each week, that you are a bad Christian. I have never thought if you miss occasionally it is the end of the world.  But I do believe that is important to go to church faithfully.  

Yet more and more we see people slipping out of going to church regularly.  Church attendance is down nearly everywhere in nearly every denomimination.  There are more and more excuses for not going to church.  There are also a number of professing Christians that see no need to have an excuse for not going to church.  

There is an old song that I used to hear on occasion growing up in church, and it started like this:

Excuses, excuses, you'll hear them every day.
And the Devil he'll supply them, if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.

Some of the excuses where as follows:

In the summer it’s too hot....In the winter it’s too cold.  In the spring and the fall when the weather is just right, you find somewhere else to go.

The preacher he’s too young...or maybe he’s too old.

The sermon’s they’re too long...or maybe they’re too short.

While one of the children has a cold, "Pneumonia, do you suppose?"
Why the whole family had to stay home, just to blow that poor kid's nose.

It seems like today there are more reasons than ever to stay out of church.  Oh sure, we use some of those very same excuses, but there are new ones we use. 

The church is full of hypocrites...they sin just like everybody else. (tell me something I don’t know.  Even this preacher regrettably sins his fair share.  The church is not for the perfect but for the fallen.)

The church is organized religion and I am against organized religion.   (A proper church service is about coming together as a group of individuals to worship the true God and help you develope your relationship with Christ.  It is not about religion...it is about relationship and relationships with other believers.)

The church only wants to tell you what you can and can’t do.  I want to feel better about myself when I leave church, not worse. (Going to church is not about you...it is to be about God.  If you want to feel good when you leave church, then agree with God and allow God to make the proper adjustments.  I promise if you do that you will “feel good” when you leave church.)

I don’t have time. (Most people have time for whatever is important to them. It is about priorities.)

I have talked to God about it, and He is okay with me not going to church.  (Actually the verse above says differently.  Where did you hear that God was okay with you not going to church?  Where in God’s Word do you find that?)

I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian?  (No, you don’t.  Going to church does not make you a Christian, and going to church does not mean you are going to be a good Christian.  But if you are a Christian you aught to want to be around God’s word and God’s people.  You should want to worship Him.)

I could continue to list excuses and arguments against those excuses.  But I think the point is made.  There will always be excuses.  But that is all they are in most cases excuses.  
 

Are there times that there are legitimate reasons to not go to church?  Of course.  If you are sick or have to take care of someone who is sick, that is a legitimate reason.  Health and work schedules can keep someone from going to church. 

But here is the real question?  Those who have a legimate reason for not attending, still desire to attend.  It is not an excuse but a reality.  

No matter what the reason or excuse, the reality is this.  It is nearly impossible to grow as you should as a Christian without attending regularly a Bible believing, Bible preaching church.  

Statistics show, that those that do not attend church regularly also do not do other spiritual things regularly like: reading their BIbles, spending time in prayer, sharing their faith with others.  loving and helping the poor and needy, or ministering to their community and others they cross paths with.

Are there exceptions” Certainly, but they are far and few between.  


Without the support of the fellowship of other believers that make up the local church, one would miss out on the “iron sharpening iron” component of the Christian life.  Without the support of other believers there is a real danger of becoming more susceptible to sin, depression, and the wiles of the devil.  That does not mean that people in the church do not deal with these, but church is there as a support structure in time of need.  Church is to be a spiritual fueling station, as well an encouragement station, a spiritual strengthening station, and training station.

Church is to be a spiritual hospital for those in need and an equipping station for those to use gifts that God has given them.

Most importantly and primarily, church is a worship station.  A place where one can come together with the support of others and worship the God of the universe.  

There are more reasons to go to church than to stay out of church.  

Bottom line is that God knows your heart.  You may be able to give an excuse to your pastor, small group teacher or friend, but you won’t be able to have an excuse accepted by God.  

Although the church certainly does need your faithfulness and attendance, to receive a blessing as well as be a blessing, the Truth is that you need church more than the church needs you. 

Church aught to be a priority and certainly you will never hear God say:  It’s ok, don’t go to church...I don’t mind.

 




May 2, 2019, 12:00 PM

5 Things God Will Never Say to You in This Life #2



 

God wants to reveal Himself to you and speak to you personally.

 

That is amazing in of itself...that the God of the universe would want to speak to me/you!

 

Another thing that is amazing is that you and I can know the and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His Word and through His spirit to our hearts.

  

While there are some general things that are true for every believer, no one can tell you everything He specifically wants to say to you.

 

What I can do is tell you a few things that I can promise He will never say to you in this lifetime.  

 

Yesterday we shared:

#1 thing God will never say to you is:  I Don’t Love You

 

Today we want to share this:

 

#2 - I Won’t/Can’t forgive you

 

As we have already seen, because God loves us so much, He sent His very only son to die in our place.  His Son Jesus Christ, died in our place to pay our price.  

Jesus died in our place as our substitute because of our sin.  Because of our sin without Jesus sacrificial death, we would have to die.  

 

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Now, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, all we must do is believe that what He did was what we needed to pay our price, and repent from sin.  Which means to be sorry and turn away from sin, and He will forgive us for our sin having accepted the payment that Jesus made on the cross in our place.  

 

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Now all we have to do to be forgiven is to accept His sacrifice by believing in Him, and repenting of our sin.  

 

 

This is  wonderful news!  

 

Some might say, “I can’t believe that a loving God would send anyone to hell.”

But if Jesus death on the cross was not necessary to pay our price, why would a loving father send his son to die? The answer is that a loving God made a way to pay your price, and paid that high price with His son, because He cannot tolerate sin.  

 

But others might think, “you don’t know what I have done, how could God ever forgive me.”

 

While it is true that our sin is wretched and vile in God’s eyes, and is in fact far worse than we can ever realize, what is also true is that if we accept what Jesus has done for us, then God sees us just as if we have never sinned.  

The Bible teaches us that God forgives and forgets our sin.  Now, how an all powerful all knowing God can forgive and forget might seem illogical and impossible to our human way of thinking, it is none the less true.  

 

Hebrews 8:12 says: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

 

We must understand that God does not think like we do, and that He does not even forgive and forget because of anything we have earned or could do to earn it.  It is mercy and grace and He forgives and forgets for His own sake.

 

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blotter has out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember your sins.  

 

When you have received forgiveness through confession of your sins, He will never remember your sins, or bring them back up again as an accusation against you.  

 

Micah 7:19 “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

 

And perhaps one of my favorite passages refers to the fact that he removes us from our sin’s debt.  

 

Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

 

Why did God say he would remove us from our transgressions as far as the east is from the west and not the north from the south or some other direction or illustration?  Because the East from the West is symbolic of the one end of eternity from the other end of eternity. 

 

Why?  If you take a globe and start where you live and head due north, you eventually hit the North Pole.  If you keep going once you reach the North Pole you start going south.  In other words, North and South meet.  But, if you take that same globe and begin to move east from where you live and go all the way around the globe, you will eventually reach your starting point.  If you keep going once you reach your starting point, you keep going east...you never go west.  East and West never meet.  God knew what He was saying when He inspired the Psalmist to write that verse.

 

Why does God do this?  For His own sake.  

 

How does God do this?  Because when he looks upon one who has trusted in the saving work of Jesus Christ who shed His blood on the cross, then he does not see the sinner, He in essence sees His son and the blood that has washed them clean of all sin.  

 

God is faithful.  He will keep His word.  While His eternal forgiveness is sure, that does not mean that we have license to keep on sinning.  On the contrary, His faithfulness to forgive our sin and forget our sin aught to motivate us to live for him and know that when we do fall and fail (as we at times will) we can trust that our sin has forever been forgiven.  

 

Praise God He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  But understand this.  If you want forgiveness from God in this life you may have it.  But do not wait until it is too late.  God came the first time as a loving Savior, but He will come the next as a righteous judge.  Forgiveness is a gift for you.  It is for eternity.  But you must claim the gift.  

 




May 1, 2019, 1:00 PM

5 Things God Will Never Say to You - #1



John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.“ 

God wants to reveal Himself to you and speak to you personally.

That is amazing in of itself...that the God of the universe would want to speak to me/you!

Another thing that is amazing is that you and I can know the and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His Word and through His spirit to our hearts.  

While there are some general things that are true for every believer, no one can tell you everything He specifically wants to say to you.

What I can do is tell you a few things that I can promise He will never say to you in this lifetime.  

#1 Thing That God Will Never Say to You - I Don’t Love You

John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world...” 

Now replace that word “world” with “me”.  God loves you so much that He gave his only son to  die in your place.  If you had been the only one on the planet, God would have sent his Son.  

That is how much He loves you.

But that’s not all.

I John 4:19 tells us that “We love...because He first loved us.”

He loves us first.  That fact is important, because when He first loved us we didn’t love Him.  Now it is relatively easy to love someone and sacrifice for someone who reciprocates your love, but God loved us when we didn’t and couldn’t.  

You might say well “you don’t know me”, or  “you don’t know what I have done”, and your right I don’t but God has known you from the beginning and loves you anyway.  

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God knows everything you have ever done, or will ever do and He loves you anyway.  So much so that he made a plan to save you when you were helpless to save yourself.  

Why, because He loves you that much!

There might be times that you might think that God doesn’t love you or could not love you, but don’t you believe it.  It is a lie of the devil

You will never hear God say to you:  I Don’t love you.  

God Loves you no matter what.

 




April 29, 2019, 12:00 PM

The Church Under Attack



The Church Under Attack!

This starts out ugly, but read to the end to find hope!

Seemingly, there are not many days that go by without hearing of a church being attacked.  

The attack on the church comes from within and without.

Attacks from without that have included what has become an increasingly common occurrence: 

Violent terrorist attacks on church’s of varying denominations.  Houses of bloodshed that invaded by those with hearts filled with hate, and turn what are to be houses of worship into places of bloodshed.

But perhaps even more disturbing is that many attacks come from within:

There are attacks that are brought about because of sin in the church.  Certainly at the forefront of these attacks are appalling reports of sexual sin, sexual abuse, along with the cover ups of these heinous acts, and turning away of the blind eyes.  It sickens me that any of these things would take place in any church, but sadly they have.  It repulses me that many have stuck their head in the sand over these issues be sadly this too is true.  

But those aren’t the only failings of the church, others such as in-fighting, hypocrisy, and apathy, just to name a few,  have long plagued church’s in today’s society.

Some attacks are from one church upon another over unbiblical minutia that need not divide true believers.

To often we arm the enemies of the church with ammunition of our own wretched sins.  

While attacks in and on “Organized Religion” are up, support and attendance of the church is down.  

Perhaps God’s hand of protection that has been removed because of our sin, and in order to wake us up and shake us up so that we will come running back to Him.

We pray for spiritual revival and for the God to bless us, but yet we invest so little of our time and other resources to prove our sincerity and bring ourselves back to a place where God can righteously and rightly bless us.  

Many in the church have become disheartened.  We see the reports and studies citing increasing age of the attendees, and declining attendance, support, offerings, and the sending of  missionaries.  

Despite all the negative in the news...there is hope!

Just because many church’s today are not the church we aught to be or used to be, does not mean that we should not strive to be the church that we must be and can be by the grace of God!

There is much I do not know when it comes to the issues of the church and how to turn around the trends and stave off the attacks...these 3 things I do know with all my heart when it comes to the church.

  1. The Church is still God’s Chosen instrument of action in this present age.  God is not done with the church! He has a plan and purpose.  He has the answer and is the answer to all of our needs.
  2. God will never tell you to stop going to church.  Despite the growing trend to throw the church under the bus as “organized religion”, God will never tell you to stop attending.  We as church attenders may use all kinds of excuses to not go to church, but it is not God’s will for you to forsake the assembling of yourselves together.  

Am I saying that if you miss a church service for one reason or another it is the end of the world...no.  

There are legitimate reasons why we may not be able to always go to church.  

But we are not to forsake the church, we are not to throw her away.  God hasn’t and neither should we.  How do I know this?  Because of #3

  1. Jesus Christ will one day come back for His church!  We don’t know when it will but we know that it definitely will be.  It is important at that we be ready for Him to come, and that we tell others how they to can be ready for that day. 



April 24, 2019, 2:00 PM

The Key to Avoiding “Asking Amiss”



I have never met any Christian who does not want to be blessed.  

Even people that would consider themselves skeptical believers, or even non-believers, would certainly welcome a blessing from God.

We pray for God to bless us.

We pray for God to bless America.

We often ask for others to be blessed.  

We even wish others to have a blessed day.

Everybody desires to receive a blessing.  I have yet to meet the person who desires to be cursed, neglected or be left out of a blessing.

Yet the Bible speaks of blessings and cursing.  Of God’s charitable and gracious hand, as well as his righteous hand and hand of judgment.  

Believers often become confuses as to why their lives are not blessed, and non-believes are increasingly skeptical when our requests for a blessing are to granted.  

Most of us are aware of the verse in scripture found in James 4:2-3

“...ye have not because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

If you are like me you have been told that this verse teaches us that not only should we ask for what we want, but we must ask for the right things, we must ask in Jesus name,  and ask for things that are in God’s will for us.  It is then that God will grant the desires of our heart.  However we must be careful not to “Ask Amiss”, which means asking for the wrong things, because then we will not receive them, and then we will become frustrated, confused and disheartened.  

The difficult and confusing part of asking then, is the knowing of God’s will and asking accordingly.  How do we know if it is God’s will, or do we just pray, “God, if it is your will...” and see if he answers?  Perhaps not knowing the answer to what God’s will is, is the reason that we don’t ask at all?

BUT...

What If I told you that the “Asking Amiss” has more to do with your spiritual condition and position than it does with what we are asking for?

What If I told you that to “Ask Amiss” has more to do with where you ask from than it does what you are asking for?

We must ask from a spiritual position and condition of one that is walking daily in the Word, and in prayer.  We must ask from a spiritual place of one who is “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  We must ask from the position of a clean and repentant heart or He will not hear us to begin with.  

When we have repented and confessed our daily sin, and our heart is clean and clear, while we walk with Him daily through the reading of the word, prayer and obedience to his will, then we will know what to ask and when to ask.  Then we will not ask amiss, and God will grant us we need because He delights in blessing us and granting the desires of our hearts...because they are attuned to His.  

If we want to be blessed, we must move to a position that is blessable.

If we want America, our families, our friends, or our church to be blessed...then each must move to the place of blessing...the will of God!

If we understand that avoiding “Asking Amiss” has more to do with our spiritual condition, and spiritual position than it does with our requisition...

Then we will see God pour out a blessing unlike any we have seen before!

 


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