ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
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April 2, 2006

HAVE YOU FOUND THE PERFECT RESTING PLACE?” 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 55:1-8 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: PSALM 55:6  

    And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest.  

INTRO: There have been times in people’s lives where they have encountered storms that have driven them upon the cliffs and rocks of destruction. 

   David was facing such a storm in his life. 

   This psalm may have been written during the time David was fleeing from his son Absalom.  

   He was physically exhausted from running for his life. 

   He was emotionally drained from having his own son turn again him. 

   He was spiritual fatigued because he remembered that it was his spiritual failure with Bathsheba that brought this on him.     

   It is difficult enough when we are faced with the need of rest in one of these areas, but when we are faced, as David was, with all three at once, we are vulnerable for a complete destruction. 

   David longed for a place to rest, not only for physical rest but also for emotional and spiritual rest.   

   Why did David long for the wings of a dove instead of an eagle.  

   The eagle wings would lift David above the storm, he longed for a hiding place in the storm. 

GENESIS 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.  

    There are times when God will lift us above the storms but there are other times He will keep us in the storms. 

   I wish to share different resting places we have in Christ during the storms of life. 

MATTHEW 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  

   Today we will be considering the rest we have in just one of God’s promises. 

I.  REST IN THE SURENESS OF GOD’S PROMISES

NOTE: It is our confidence in the one who makes the promises that will give us rest. 

ILL: The son waiting by the fence for the return of his father. 

ISAIAH 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  

NOTE: God has offered us rest in His promises but too often we fail to hear and accept these promises. 

   It is our doubt and unbelief in God’s promises that keep us from entering into the rest He has provided. 

·         God’s promises are unfailing.

1 KINGS 8:56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.  

·         God has the power to fulfill His promises.

ROMANS 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  

·         God cannot lie.

NUMBERS 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?  

ROMANS 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.  

·         They are of great value than any other promises.

2 PETER 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  

NOTE: One of my greatest fears is being alone. 

   I don’t mean being left by myself but rather being left alone, being deserted or abandon. 

   A.  THE PROMISE OF HIS CONTINUAL PRESENCE.     

EXODUS 33:14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.  

·         In times of trouble

NOTE: On of the greatest robbers of rest in the midst of turmoil is the feeling of being all alone. 

PSALM 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.  

ISAIAH 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  

·         When we feel overwhelmed.

NOTE: When we feel pressured from every side and it seems that we are being crushed under the load. 

DEUTERONOMY 20:1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  

PSALM 103:13-14 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.  

·         In times of failure.

NOTE: There are times in our lives when each one of us fail God and fail Him miserably. 

PSALM 51:3-4 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.  

   During these times we often feel that because of our sin and failure that even God abandons us. 

ROMANS 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

PSALM 130:3-4 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  

1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

CONCLUSION: We can find the perfect resting place in the promise of God’s presence no matter where we are or what is happening in our lives.      

HEBREWS 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  

MATTHEW 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

APRIL 9, 2006 

“THE HOURS OF DARKNESS PRECEDED THE DAY OF LIGHT” 

SCRIPTURE READING: ISAIAH 53 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: MATTHEW 27:45  

    Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  

INTRO: There is an old saying, “The darkest hour is just before the dawn”. 

    We have all faced dark hours and there may be some who are now going through dark hours but none like the hours of darkness Jesus experienced. 

   We often hear, “If God is a God of Love, why is He allowing this to happen to me”? 

   Yet it was His Love for us that He allowed His only Son to suffer great atrocities for our Salvation.   

The darkest hour in history was just before the Day of Light. 

   The darkness that Jesus faced was far more than just physical darkness. 

   There are three kinds of darkness: 

·         Physical Darkness

·         Emotional Darkness

·         Spiritual Darkness

   Jesus experienced all three. 

I.  THE HOURS OF DARKNESS CAUSE BY THOSE WHO HATED HIM.  (physical darkness) 

A.      THEIR REJECTION OF HIM AS THE MESSIAH 

JOHN 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  

B.       THEIR MOCKING 

C.       THEIR BRUTALITY

·         The mockery of a trial 

                                                        i.      Before the High Priest 

MARK 14:53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.  

MARK 14:55-56 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.  

                                                       ii.      Before Pilate 

MATTHEW 27:1-2 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:  And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.  

                                                     iii.      Before Herod 

LUKE 23:8-11 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.  Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.  And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.  And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.  

·         The beating of the fist & spitting in the face 

MARK 15:16-20 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.  And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, [18] And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

·         The plucking of the beard

 ISAIAH 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.  

·         The whipping with the whip 

MARK 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.  

·         The humiliation of carry the cross

·         The nailing to the cross

·         The humiliation of being between two thieves

·         The ridicule while on the cross 

II.  THE HOURS OF DARKNESS CAUSE BY HIS FOLLOWERS.   (emotional darkness) 

NOTE: Some of our darkest hours are caused by those who are closest to us. 

PSALM 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.  

A.      INABILITY OF HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY WITH HIM. 

MATTHEW 26:37-41 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  

B.       THE BETRAYAL OF JUDAS.

LUKE 22:47-48 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?  

C.       THE ABANDONMENT OF ALL BUT JOHN AND THE WOMEN. 

MARK 14:50 And they all forsook him, and fled.  

D.      THE DENIAL OF PETER. 

MATTHEW 26:73-75 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.  

III.  THE HOURS OF DARKNESS FROM GOD HIMSELF. 

        (The darkest of all hours, spiritual darkness, separation from God) 

NOTE: There were three hours of physical darkness between noon and 3:00 pm that speak to us of the spiritual darkness of eternal death. 

MATTHEW 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?  

HABAKKUK 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity… 

ISAIAH 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  

CONCLUSION:  Jesus suffered the hours of darkness so we do not have to live in darkness but can walk in the light of God’s Grace. 

JOHN 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  

   

April 16, 2006 

“HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE EMPTY TOMB? 

SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 20:1-18 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: JOHN 20:8  

    Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

 INTRO: Easter is a time of celebration. 

   Yet many, including Christian, fail to understand the true meaning and ramifications of Resurrection Sunday.   

   Too many of us fail to understand and appreciate Easter because we take a shallow view of what the empty tomb represents. 

   It’s easier to grasp the meaning of the cross than to comprehend the significances of the empty tomb.   

   We understand the cross as a symbol of God’s hatred for sin and His love for sinners. 

   The empty tomb is a symbol of God’s power over sin, death and Hell. 

   Jesus’ death paid the penalty for our sin but it was His resurrection that gave us the power to possess His salvation and to live a victorious Christian life. 

ROMANS 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

   The more we neglect the empty tomb the more we will need to come to the cross. 

   There are three lessons I wish us to learn from these Scriptures.   

·         WE MUST COME TO THE EMPTY TOMB OURSELVES

·         WE MUST BELIEVE WHAT THE EMPTY TOMB REPRESENTS

·         WE MUST GO AND TELL OTHERS OF THE EMPTY TOMB

    I.  WE MUST COME THE TO EMPTY TOMB OURSELVES

MATTHEW 28:5-6 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  

NOTE: There have been many who have come to the cross to accept Jesus as Savior but have failed to come to the empty tomb and accept Him as Lord. 

   Our relationship with Christ is based on our individual relationship not one of family or church. 

   In order for us to live in the Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ we must come to and experience the empty tomb. 

   A.  THE EMPTY TOMB SPEAKS OF POWER. 

PHILIPPIANS 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  

B.       THE EMPTY TOMB SPEAKS OF VICTORY. 

NOTE: The empty tomb speaks of victory over sin, death and hell. 

·         Sin 

ROMANS 6:3-6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  

·         Death 

NOTE: The empty tomb has robbed death of it sting. 

1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-58 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  

·         Hell 

REVELATION 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  

II. WE MUST BELIEVE WHAT THE EMPTY TOMB REPRESENTS. 

JOHN 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.  

NOTE: There were those who were well aware of the empty tomb but refused to believe. 

MATTHEW 28:11-15 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, “Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.” So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.  

   There are many who are call Christians who lack the faith to live the victorious Christian because the fail to believe or understand what the empty tomb represents. 

MATTHEW 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.  

HEBREWS 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 NOTE: Our entire Christian walk is a walk of faith not sight.  

JOHN 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  

ROMANS 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  

ROMANS 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  

III. WE MUST GO AND TELL OTHERS OF THE EMPTY TOMB.    

MARK 16:5-7 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.  

NOTE: We are to speak words of encouragement one to another and to those who have strayed away.

 MATTHEW 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  

CONCLUSION: Go from here and tell all those you know how you have been to the empty tomb and the Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed.  

 

April 23, 2006 

AN INVITATION TO RECONCILIATION 

SCRIPTURE READING: JEREMIAH 31:1-9 

SCRIPTURE TEXT:  JEREMIAH 31:18-20 

   I have heard Israel saying, `You disciplined me severely, but I deserved it. I was like a calf that needed to be trained for the yoke and plow. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.  I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.'

   "Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?" asks the LORD. "I had to punish him, but I still love him. I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.  

INTRO:  When we first come to accept Christ as our Savior we often think our Christian walk will be a steady growth until we reach spiritual maturity. 

   This is not reality.  At best we may take three steps forward and one step back.  Yet hopefully it is a steady growth of coming closer to Christ. 

   But there are those who begin their walk with Christ but something happens and they begin to gradually side back into the old way of living.  We often call this backsliding. 

   What happens to a person when this occurs, does God give up and just let them go or does He begin to seek ways to turn them back to Him? 

   That is what this 31 chapter of Jeremiah is all about.  

   The promise of reconciliation to backslidden Israel and this same promise are to those who find themselves in a backslidden condition. 

   God loves us and does not abandon us just because we abandon Him. 

JEREMIAH 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness.  

   Because He loves us and wants us to return to Him, He will begin to seek us. 

EZEKIEL 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.  

    The Lord does not give up on us just because we give up on Him. 

ILL: The Ninety and Nine   LUKE 15:4-7 

   But what happens when we fail to heed His gentle urging. 

I.  GOD DISCIPLINES THOSE HE LOVES. 

REVELATION 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  

    God does not discipline us because He hates us but rather because He loves us and longs for us to return to Him. 

   We often think of God as being a God love and kindness but we often fail to understand that sometimes His love and kindness come in the form of discipline.  

HEBREWS 12:5-6 (NLT) And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said,
"My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children."
  

   We should not look at God’s discipline as punishment but rather as a blessing.  

PSALM 94:12  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;  

   God does not discipline us to punish us but rather to teach and to train us. 

   We should not consider the chastening of the Lord as a sign of His anger, but rather as an expression of His love. 

PROVERBS 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

 II.  GOD’S DISCIPLINE MAY COME IN MANY FORMS. 

NOTE: Not all problems and tragedies we experience are forms of chastening from God. 

JOHN 9:1-3 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  

   Sometimes these things that come into our lives are strength building so we can be more fruitful.

 JOHN 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  

   But we must understand that when we stray from God He will chasten us with the desire for us to return to fellowship with Him. 

   In LEVITICUS 26:14-46  God warns of the discipline He will send to those who turn away from Him. 

   We must remember that the discipline of God is always for our restoration. 

JOB 5:17-19 (NLT) But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal.  He will rescue you again and again so that no evil can touch you.  

III.  THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S DISCIPLINE IS TO BRING RECONCILIATION.  

PSALM 119:67  Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.  

ILL: The Prodigal Son.  LUKE 15:11-32 

JEREMIAH 31:18-20 I have heard Israel saying, `You disciplined me severely, but I deserved it. I was like a calf that needed to be trained for the yoke and plow. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.  I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.'  "Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?" asks the LORD. "I had to punish him, but I still love him. I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.  

   When we return to God with a repentive heart He will receive us with joy and restore to us the joy of His Salvation. 

PSALM 51:12 (GW)  Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience.  

JEREMIAH 3:22 -23 (NLT)  "My wayward children," says the LORD, "come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts."
"Yes, we will come," the people reply, "for you are the LORD our God. Our worship of idols and our religious orgies on the hills and mountains are completely false. Only in the LORD our God will Israel ever find salvation.
 

CONCLUSION: If we find that we have grown away from God, He invites us to return and renew our fellowship with Him. 

REVELATION 3:19-20 (GW) I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. Look, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together.  

 

April 30, 2006 

“HOW DO WE TREAT CHURCH RASH? 

SCRIPTURE READING: I SAMUEL 1:9-18 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: PROVERBS 15:1  

   A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.  

INTRO: Can you remember as a child falling off your bicycle and getting “Road Rash”? 

   Road Rash is when your skin is peeled off by abrasion.  

   Many wear special clothing and equipment to protect them for Road Rash. 

   But there are those who fail to take the proper precaution and when they spill they can be badly hurt. 

   Road Rash, if not properly care for can even cause death.   

I.  HOW DOES CHURCH RASH HAPPEN? 

NOTE: Church Rash is when someone is the target of malicious conversation. 

   Unkind words cause Church Rash and can take many forms: 

  • Gossip
  • Repeated gossip
  • Criticism
  • Judgmental statements to or about someone
  • Self-righteous statements
  • Words spoken in anger
  • Improper Jest

With our tongue we can bless and we can curse;

We can encourage or we can discourage;

We can build or we can destroy;

We can bring life or we can bring death:

We can cause laughter or we can produce tears

We can bring healing or we can bring pain.

 

   Many times thoughtless words have cause Church Rash that has produced spiritual death.

ILL: Shouting Down Trees in the Solomon Islands.[1] 

JAMES 3:9-10 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  

NOTE: It is usually the new or young Christian that suffers the worst case of Church Rash. 

   They have been hurt and are filled with bitterness and anger and they turn away from church and even sometimes from God. 

   Often the older Christian seeks to put so much demand on the new or young Christian that they overload them until they break. 

ISAIAH 40:11 (NLT) He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.  

NOTE: Jesus gives a stern warning to those who cause Church Rash. 

LUKE 17:1-3 (GW) Jesus told his disciples, “Situations that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise. But how horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! It would be best for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large stone hung around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to lose his faith. So watch yourselves!  

II.  WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF WE SUFFER OR CAUSE  CHURCH RASH? 

NOTE: All of us, at one time or another, has experienced Church Rash. 

   A.  WHEN WE SUFFER CHURCH RASH. 

  • We do not react in kind
  • We must seek to forgive

One of the most difficult things that we as Christians must learn is that we must forgive when others wrong us. 

LUKE 17:4 (GW) Even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and comes back to you seven times and says that he is sorry, forgive him.”  

EPHESIANS 4:31-32 (KJV) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  

HEBREWS 12:15 (NIV) See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  

   B.  WHEN WE CAUSE CHURCH RASH. 

  • We repent before God and to the one we have hurt

NOTE: There can be no reconciliation unless there is genuine repentance and sincere forgiveness. 

   If we have caused Church Rash we must repent genuinely, it is up to the one we hurt to forgive. 

   We must understand that even though we may be sorry for causing Church Rash the damage may be beyond our control to restore. 

ILL: The Gossip and the Pillow 

   Only God’s Grace and heal Church Rash. 

III.  HOW DO WE TREAT OTHERS WHO HAVE SUFFERED FROM CHURCH RASH? 

ROMANS 15:1 (HCSB) Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves.  

NOTE: It is easy to fall into the trap of criticizing or make light of those who have suffered from Church Rash. 

   A.  IN LOVE 

COLOSSIANS 3:12-15 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.  

B.      IN PATIENCE’S AND UNDERSTANDING 

JAMES 5:7-9 (GW)  Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again. See how farmers wait for their precious crops to grow. They wait patiently for fall and spring rains.
You, too, must be patient. Don't give up hope. The Lord will soon be here.  Brothers and sisters, stop complaining about each other, or you will be condemned. Realize that the judge is standing at the door.

    C.  IN THE SPIRIT OF RESTORATION 

GALATIANS 6:1 (GW) Brothers and sisters, if a person gets trapped by wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should help that person turn away from doing wrong. Do it in a gentle way. At the same time watch yourself so that you also are not tempted.  

CONCLUSION: Church Rash will happen but let us make sure it doesn’t happen because of us. 

PSALMS 141:3 (NIV) Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.


[1] All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Robert Fulghum; Villard Books, New York 1990, pg. 19

 

 

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