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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SEPTEMBER SERMONS 

SEPTEMBER MORNING SERMONS

A FACADE FAITH

 

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 58:1-14

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Matthew 23:27

     Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

 INTRO: In Isaiah 58 God tells Isaiah to warn the people that their worship was just an outward show.

    For our worship to be accepted by God is must be in sincerity.

 John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    The insincerity in our worship comes from a façade faith.

    What is a Façade Faith?

    It is a faith that is only outward and not of the heart.

   Sadly some people know their faith is a façade.

·         Acceptance

·         Personal agenda

·         For show

·         Pressure

    But sadder still, there are those who fail to recognize their faith as being a façade.

 Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT) "The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?  But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve."

 Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT) "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.  On judgment day many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.'  But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'

  Revelation 3:14-17 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    The 58 chapter of Isaiah resembles the Parable of the Sheep & Goats in Matthew 25:31-46

    Both reveal a Genuine Faith and a Façade Faith.

    A Genuine Faith centers on God a Façade Faith centers on self.

 I. A FAÇADE FAITH.

 Ezekiel 33:31-32 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

 A.   THEY ACT AS THOUGH THEY LOVE GOD BUT THE THINGS OF THE WORLD ARE MORE IMPORTANT.

 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 Luke 14:16-20 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come…For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

 B.   THEY PRETEND TO SEEK GOD BUT ARE REALLY SEEKING THE RECOGNITION OF MAN.

 Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 NOTE: They often use their claim of faith to gain the confidence and trust of man.

 ILL: The real state woman who cons people to buy homes she didn’t own.

 C.   THEY CLAIM TO BE HUMBLE BUT ARE FILLED WITH SPIRITUAL PRIDE.

 Luke 18:9-14 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 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.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  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.  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.

 Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

 D.   THEY CLAIM TO FOLLOW GOD BUT FAIL TO OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS.

 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

 Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

 Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

 II. GENUINE FAITH

    A. GENUINE FAITH COMES FROM THE HEART.

 Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

    B. GENUINE FAITH IS BASED ON A RELATIONSHIP NOT ON MANIFESTATIONS.

 Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

    C. GENUINE FAITH IS MORE CONCERNED WITH OBEDIENCE THAN RITUALS.

 Eccles. 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

 Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 E.   GENUINE FAITH GOES BEYOND THE CHURCH WALLS INTO THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH IT LIVES.

 James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 CONCLUSION: Are we willing to allow God to search our hearts and reveal to us what kind of Faith we have.

 Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

THE HOPELESSNESS OF MAN

 SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 59:1-19

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 59:16

     And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

 INTRO: Many people believe that the Old Testament is only for Israel.  I believe that it for four groups of people.

·         The nation of Israel

·         Any nation today

·         For the Church

·         For every individual

    A few days ago we remember 9-11.

    The news media is filled with incidents of crimes of pain and violence.

    There are many people today who wonder where God is while evil things are happening in our world.

    They question, “How can there be a loving God when all this is happening?”

    This was the same question the Jews were asking in Isaiah’s day.

    God was trying to teach Israel several lessons and we need to learn the same lessons.

 I. LESSON NUMBER ONE:  GOD HAS NOT CHANGED.

 Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

 ILL: “I Haven’t Moved”

   A. GOD STILL HAS ALL HIS POWER.

 Isaiah 59:1a Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;

1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

 Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

 Psalm 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

    B. GOD STILL HEARS OUR PRAYERS.

 Isaiah 59:1b …neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

 II. SIN HAS COME BETWEEN US AND GOD

    It is not God who has changed but rather the sinfulness of man has caused a great separation between God and man.

God created man in His own image and created man perfect but sin changed the situation.

      It is sin that separates us from God.

 Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

   Many people want to believe that man is basically good but the Bible teaches us the man is a sinner.

 Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    God created man perfect, pure and without sin.

 Genesis 1:26-27 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.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    God placed perfect man in a perfect environment yet man sinned.

    From that day on, sin has been on the increase in this world.

 Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 NOTE: Man’s sin has multiplied. Society has not gotten better but has become more sinful.

   Mankind has become more brazen in their sins.

    They are defiant in their sins towards God.

 III. THE HOPELESSNESS OF MAN.

 NOTE: No matter how hard we try, the best of us are unable to get rid of the sin in our hearts and lives.

 Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

 Isaiah 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

 Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    Man tries to bring justice and salvation into his world but is unable to do so.

 Isaiah 59:9-15a Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; in transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey…

 IV. GOD STEPS IN TO MEET MAN’S NEED.

 NOTE: God saw man’s inability to help himself so God provided the Salvation that man needed.

 Isaiah 59:15b-17 …and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.  And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

 Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

 Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

 NOTE: God uses adversities to drawn us to Him.

 Job 33:16-26 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: so that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: he shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.

 CONCLUSION: In order for us to see the power and deliverance of God in the life of our nation, in the life of our church, in our own personal life, we must do four things. 

·         We must recognize that God has not changed.

·         We must acknowledge that sin has separated us from God’s presence.

·         We must accept the fact that we are unable to save ourselves.

·         We must confess our sin and turn to God for deliverance.

 NOTE: Often times we see the prophets and leaders of the nation confess the sins of the nation.

    We must intercede for our nation, the Church and for ourselves. 

 

WHEN WE ARE CAUGHT IN A FLOOD

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 59:16-21

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 59:19b

 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

 INTRO: Three things that are very hard to control: Wind, Wild Fires & Flooding.

   All have the potential to bring great damage, heartache and even death to those who are in their paths.

    God’s Word warns us that there will be times when we are faced with overwhelming circumstances that we have no control over.

    Those who fail to heed the warning of potential flooding are forced to suffer the consequence.

 ILL: Johnstown Flood

    Floods always destroyers something of value and beauty.

    Floods will put out the fire of service and drown the music of the heart.

    It is during times like these we need to know where our hope lies.

    There are four things I want us to consider:

 1.    Who is the enemy?

2.    Different kinds of floods we may face.

3.    Who is it that seeks to stem the flood?

4.    What is the standard He raises?

 I. WHO IS THE ENEMY?

 NOTE: The problem with many western Christians is that we do not have a healthy view of our enemy.

    God’s enemy is our enemy; our enemy is God’s enemy.

    We must never underestimate the power of Satan.

 Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Satan has one desire and that is to destroy God’s Church.

    He comes against God’s Church in many different ways.

·         As an angel of light

 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  

·         As a wolf in sheep clothing

 Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  

·         As a roaring lion

 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 II. THE DIFFERENT WAYS & KINDS OF FLOODS WE MAY  FACE.

 NOTE: There are many kinds of floods and they come in several different ways.

    A. DIFFERENT WAYS FLOOD MAY COME AGAINST US: 

·         Gradually

·         Flash flood

·         Storm

   B.  DIFFERENT KINDS OF FLOODS WE MAY FACE.

·         Temptation

·         Passion

·         Sickness

·         Persecution

·         Doctrinal error

·         Trials

·         Sorrow

·         Indifference

      C. WHERE DO THESE FLOODS COME? 

·         Into our lives

·         Into our hearts

·         Into our relationship with God

·         Into our prayer and study time

·         Into our church

·         Into our worship

·         Into our pulpit

   There is not a place in our Christian life that these floods cannot enter.

III. WHO IS IT THAT SEEKS TO STEM THE FLOOD?

 NOTE: Mankind is unable to stem the floods that Satan brings against us.

    The failure of the levees.

 2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

    A. THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

NOTE: It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that the floods of the enemy are stopped.

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

 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

 Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 NOTE: It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can overcome the attacks of the enemy.

 Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

 IV. WHAT IS THE STANDARD THAT HE SHALL RAISE?

 NOTE: I think of two.

 A.   CHRIST ON THE CROSS.

 NOTE: It is not the cross that defeats Satan but the one on the cross.

    There is a grave danger of worshipping the cross instead of the one who died on the cross.

 2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made (Numbers 21): for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

 B.   THE WORD OF GOD.

 NOTE: It is through our knowledge and faith in the promises of God’s Word that we are able to withstand the onslaught of the enemy.

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

 CONCLUSION: We must prepare our hearts for the floods that the enemy will bring against us, by putting our trust in God and His Word.

    The more we know of God and His Word the stronger our faith will be.

 JOHNSTOWN FLOOD

    Friday, May 31st, 1889. Record that awful date in characters of funeral hue. It was a dark and stormy day, and amid the darkness and the storm the angel of death spread his wings over the fated valley, unseen, unknown. Midday comes. Disquieting rumors rush down the valley. There is a road of an approaching storm-approaching doom! The water swiftly rises. A horseman thunders down the valley: "To the hills, for God's sake! To the hills, for your lives!" They stare at him as at a madman, and their hesitating feet linger in the valley of the shadow of death, and the shadow swiftly darkens, and the everlasting hills veil their faces with rain and mist before the scene that greets them.

    This is what happened:--

    The heavy rainfall raised the lake until its water began to pour over the top of the dam. The dam itself-wretchedly built of mud and boulders-saturated through and through, began to leak copiously here and there. Each watery sapper and miner burrowed on, followers swiftly enlarging the murderous tunnels. The whole mass became honeycombed. And still the rain poured down, and still the South Fork and a hundred minor streams sent in their swelling floods, until, with a road like that of the opening gates of the Inferno belching forth the legions of the damned, the wall gave way, and with the rush of a famished tiger into a sheepfold, the whirlwind of water swept down the valley on its errand of destruction-

 

“THE DAYS OF DARKNESS ARE OVER”

SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 60:1-7

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: ISAIAH 60:1

    Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

 INTRO: We live in a darkened world.   

·         The darkness of ignorance

·         The darkness of poverty

·         The darkness of hatred

·         The darkness of sin

    In this verse, the Church is challenged to get involved in dispelling the darkness around it.

    The Church is given two commands, one reason and the secret of how this can be accomplished.

 I. GOD’S COMMAND TO THE CHURCH.

 NOTE: This command is two-fold; you can do the one without doing the other.

    A. ARISE.

 NOTE: On the most part, the Western Church is sleeping.

    We are lying about on the couches of luxury and ease.

   We are content in what we have and are on the most part unconcerned with the physical but mostly the spiritual needs of others.

 Proverbs 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

    God wants His Church to rise up and get involved with the spreading of the Gospel.

    Abraham had to arise in order to possess the land God was giving to him.

 Genesis 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

    We cannot expect to receive the blessings God has for us by sitting and doing nothing.

    If we want to live a life of victory, we must arise and go forth to defeat the enemy.

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

 Judges 18:9 And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.

 God does not expect us to rise up and do nothing.

    B. SHINE

 Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 NOTE: God wants those who are walking in the light of His Grace to take that light to those who are still living in darkness.

 Matthew 5:13-15 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 

    As the salt of the earth and the light of the world, God expects us to be a positive influence to those who are living in darkness around us.

    As the salt of the earth we are to influence people for Christ and to act as a preservative against the corruption of sin.

    As the light of the world we are to reveal the true nature of man and the grace of God.

    We are to attract the sinner to Christ.  Like a moth to a flame.

 John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 II. THE REASON: WE HAVE THE LIGHT.

NOTE: There are false lights that only deceive those who walk in the light they bring.

 Matthew 6:21-23 (NLT) Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.  "Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.  But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!

    Jesus is the Light of the world and we are to bring the Light of Jesus Christ to those who walk in darkness.

 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.

 John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

    Jesus has imparted His light to us that we might be a light to all unbelievers.

 Matthew 6:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

 III. HOW: THE GLORY OF GOD WILL SHINE THROUGH US.

 NOTE: It is not our light that will attract others to Christ but the light of Jesus Christ shinning through us.

 John 1:4-5 (NLT) Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

 NOTE: What a privilege we have in taking the light of the Gospel into a darkened world.

 Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

 CONCLUSION: We as individuals and as a church will attract others to Christ as we shine His light through our lives.

 Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

  

 

SEPTEMBER EVENING SERMONS

OUR CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITIES

SCRIPTURE READING: MICAH 6:1-8

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Micah 6:8

 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 INTRO: The greatest goal we can make is, “to become the kind of Christian God wants us to be”.

    Man has often sought to push his ideas of what a Christian is like, but often puts on demands that they themselves cannot keep.

   Matthew 23:1-4 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

   The more man drifts from the teaching of God’s Word, the more requirements he places on others.

 Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

 Colossians 2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

    It is not religious serves that God wants.

 Micah 6:6-7 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Psalm 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

    Becoming a Christian is not difficult, and the requirements God places on us to live the Christian life are quite simple.

   But they are not always easiest to do.

   The flesh keeps getting in the way.

 Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

    If we seek to fulfill the requirements set forth in God’s Word, we will see a very positive result in our own spiritual life as well as in the life of the Church.

 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

 I.  DO JUSTLY.

 NOTE: Do what is right, or live a righteous life.

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

   A. IN ORDER TO DO RIGHT WE MUST THINK RIGHT.

 Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

NOTE: We cannot allow ourselves to think like those of the world.

 Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 NOTE: How we think of others dictate how we treat others.

    B.  OUR THOUGHTS MUST BE POSITIVE NOT NEGATIVE.

 Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

   C.  WE MUST TREAT OTHERS AS WE WOULD HAVE THEM TREAT US.

 Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

 NOTE: There are those who miss read this verse.

 “Dear God, did you really mean, do unto others as they do unto you? If you did then I'm going to get even with my brother.” Darla

 II.  LOVE MERCY.

 NOTE: It is not enough to do mercy, but we as Christians must love to do mercy, as God delights in mercy so should His children.

 Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

    There may be those who wish to argue that this is Old Testament and we are living in the New Testament.

 Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 III.  WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD.

 NOTE: This means to allow God to have control and yield ourselves to His authority.

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

NOTE:  When we yield ourselves to God’s authority, all the responsibilities for our success belong to Him.

IV.  BEING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE.

    When we walk humbly with God it means that we walk in obedience and submission to His will.

 Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 A.   BEING SALTY FOR CHRIST. 

·         As a positive seasoning agent.

·         Making people thirsty for the things of God

·         Thaw and soften hearts made hard by sin

·         Be a preservative in our community

 NOTE: When salt has lost it saltiness it is no longer usable.

    B.  BRING LIGHT INTO A DARKEN WORLD. 

·         Light reveals

·         Light attracts

·         Light guides

·         Light bring comfort

 CONCLUSION: Let us do all we can to fulfill the tasks God have given us to do.

 

WHAT IS FAITH WITHOUT RELIGION?

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 INTRO:  There are people who shun all religion and there are others who are very religious but fail to please God with their religion.

    What is faith without religion and what is religion without faith?
 
I. ARE YOU A RELIGIOUS PERSON?

 NOTE:  Some Christians think "religion" is a dirty word. Some go so far as to denounce "religion" and proclaim, "Christianity isn’t a religion, its’ a relationship."

    While a major focus of Christianity deals with one’s relationship with God, we should still seek a proper understanding the biblical meaning of the religion.

    A.  BIBLICAL RELIGION GIVES STRUCTURE TO OUR FAITH.

 NOTE: There are two kinds of "religion."

 

1.      "Bad" religion, consisting of rituals and rules with no real   meaning; externalism.

 Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  

2.      "Pure" religion, also consist of rituals and rules but these are carried out through love, joy and compassion; an inner conviction, which gives meaning to one’s life.

 James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

II. GOD PLEASING RELIGION INVOLVES MORE THAN MIND BELIEVING FAITH.

 James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    Pure religion is practicing what we claim to believe. 

    It involves doing something.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


III. GOD PLEASING RELIGION INVOLVES MORE THAN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

 NOTE:  God pleasing religion involves our relationship with others.

 Pure religion is practical. It involves demonstrating our love one for another.

 John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 NOTE:  We are NOT called only to "share our faith." We are called to share our love and thus we share our faith.  We must be people of love, compassion, comfort and mercy, whether other people accept Christ or not. People need to see our love before they will consider our faith. When we only consider ourselves "people of faith" who do nothing more than "share our faith," we tend to neglect the fact that we should be people of love who care for each other and our neighbors.[1]

Matthew 25:31-46  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  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: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 CONCLUSION:  If we want our religion to be pleasing to God we must not only think, it or speak it, we must live it according to God’s Word.

 

THE NEED FOR CHANGE

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 2 Corinthians 3:18  

     But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 INTRO: There is a lot of talk today about the need to change.

    There are those who want change just for change sake.

   There are others who resist change no matter what kind of change it might be.

    When we come to Christ we will go through a change and will continue to come to choices of change in our life.

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

    There are five changes that we a Christians must be willing to make. 

1.      A CHANGE OF HEART.

Ezekiel 11:19-20 (KJV) And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

 NOTE: We must learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates. 

2.      A CHANGE OF MIND.

 Romans 12:2 (GW) Don't become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

 NOTE: Our thinking process must change from the values of this world to the values of God.

 Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

3.      A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE.

Ephes. 4:22-24 (NLT) throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.  Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.  You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true.

 NOTE: Dog and Cat Theology

    Do we see God as Someone to worship and love or is He Someone who gives to us what we want.

    Our focus in life must be to be changed into His image that others might see Him is us and desire to know Him as Savior.

4.      A CHANGE OF PRIORITIES.

Matthew 10:37-38 (NLT) If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

 Luke 14:26 (NLT) "If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

 NOTE: God must have top priority in our lives. 

5.      A CHANGE OF VALUES.

NOTE: We no longer value the things that are temporary but rather value those things that are eternal.

 1 John 2:15-17 (NLT) Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.

 Matthew 6:33 (GW) But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.

[1] Religion is a Four-Letter Word by Bud Uzoras

 


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