I do appreciate a place to stay and appreciate Mrs. Owen and the ladies cooking for us. You know, God sees all that, He sure does! And dont forget that, He does. Its a labor of love, and Gods not going to overlook it. People may, but God wont.
Well, lets look in Romans chapter 6:1, I guess we could just quote it all together. We all know it all by heart. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?"
Im not going to preach long tonight. Im going to give Preacher plenty of time to answer questions.
I want to preach on a sinning religion. Now when I say that do you know what the almost universal thought is out there? Now, they dont think this of themselves, but all the other denominations, do you know what they think of? Which one do they think of? Baptists! Baptists! The sinning religion. Now, do you want to be identified with that? Not me! I dont want any religion like that.
Im going to read another 3 or 4 verses here that we read in 1 John the other night. Its kind of repetitive but you need to get this in you. "He that committeth sin is of the devil." Do you want to be a part of a sinning religion? I mean the concept that people have, the perception that people have is that it doesnt get you out of your sinning. That people who have this sinning religion they just keep on sinning. You know what a sinning religion is, dont you? Dont you believe that Islam is a sinning religion? Murdering, thieving, lying, blood-shed, thats hatred. We know thats sin. Anybody knows that sinful! That religion is a sinning religion. I dont want to be classed off into the same kind of bunch as that.
"He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning, for this purpose the son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin for His seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God neither, he that loveth not his brother."
Now, how about that! Thats how you tell the difference. Now, I dont want any sinning religion. You can have it if you want, but I dont want it. Lets pray and Im going to hit a few points here and let the preacher answer questions. (laughing)
Father, thank you, for this privilege again to be here and Lord we do need you now. Its just vain for us to stand up here and think that were even going to accomplish any kind of work in the hearts of the folks sitting here. Well its a waste of time if its all in our own efforts and just our own thoughts and so Lord I pray that you would anoint your word here tonight. And I pray that Lord it would be effectual, that it would land on good ground and that Lord that it would be received and obeyed by the folks that are sitting here, and understood. Thats my greatest fear that every time I stand that Ill be misunderstood. And Lord I want it to be clear and so I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Well, its funny to me that we have to defend the things that we have to defend. I mean we shouldnt even have to be having this kind of a meeting. The Bible is clear. All of history is clear. What were preaching and standing for here tonight and all this week. Even 30 years ago, was common, I mean everybody understood most of what were talking about here tonight and all week... But theres been some big changes happening and its gotten to the point now where that its common now to hear in a church I heard it not long ago that God will not send a sinner to hell because of his sin. You know the little book we got in trouble for criticizing here a few years ago? This man wrote a little booklet, and he said that nobody ever went to hell for any sin of the flesh. That he went to hell for only one sin and that was the sin of unbelief. You know, if you dont think and you dont read your Bible and you dont meditate on the things of God and if you dont understand about salvation then you might just swallow that, but, the whole thing is about sin. Thats the whole issue! For this cause. for this purpose, the Son of God was manifested. He came to take away our sin. We were condemned already, according to what I read in John chapter 3. Our only hope is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Its not that he came, offered us this salvation and we refused and then were lost. NO, were lost already! Why are you lost? Because of your sin!
Sin is the whole thing and salvation from sin is the need of the whole human race. Everybody knows that. Every religion in the world knows that. Every lost person in the world knows that. They look at the news in the evening and they see all the murdering, all the hatred and the strife and the wars and the awful wickedness thats going on in this world and they recognize it as wicked and wrong. How many lost people say, "how can God who loves everybody let this go on?" It always amazes me that they want God to stop those other people from sinning, but they dont want Him to stop them from sinning!! If you said well why dont you let God stop you? No! No! Stop them, but not me. Leave me alone.
Sin is the problem and everybody knows its true, and all men know that other men are sinners. They dont have any problem recognizing that, do they? No, boy! Theyre good at that! They understand that! Its universal knowledge that the greatest problem and the greatest need of the human race is salvation from sin. If people would get saved theyd stop that killing. If those Moslems would get saved, theyd stop that murdering and kidnapping and hatred and selfishness. Just like every other sinner that ever lived and got saved, did.
Sin is the problem. Thats why we are dealing with here. You know that people laugh at a preacher that preaches against sin. You know Bro. Herbert Williamson, thats why God blesses his preaching. We laughed at his little outline... that guy told a story on him about his outline, it being five points....TV, chewing tobacco, drinking, cussing, and smoking, you know. But, God blesses and because he preaches against sin. God always will bless that. Its not a game. Its not funny. Its not a contest between preachers to see who can preach the most outlandish. No! But its a preacher thats really called of God. He sees the danger.... and he loves the souls of the people that hes preaching to and thats the reason that he cries out against it. And so, sinners can never be happy unless theyre saved from their sin.
They have a dream in their mind that they can have a home in Heaven but still continue in sin. It just will not work. They can never attain peace in their heart with that kind of an idea. They try! Oh they try! They hire preachers that will tell them that. They go to churches and start churches.... Weve got more churches out there in that little town where were at and every three or four months there is another one that pops up split off of this one and split off of that one. There are folks there in town that have already been in three or four church splits and starting a new one again. Here a while back well that would take too long to explain all of that. But the Nazarenes moved to the Methodist Church and the Methodist moved out and built them a new building in joined up with another church from another town. So then, a new Baptist church started in the old Nazarene building and the Nazarenes move over to the Methodist building. You know its musical churches around there. But you know what the real issue is.... Sin!
There wouldnt be any of that going on if everybody would just deal with their sin. But theyre looking for a comfortable place where they can be patted on the back, and they can have their conscience soothed and they can keep on gossiping and running to that telephone and talking about everybody in town. And watching their television shows and wearing their britches and everything else! Thats the problem!
This is one truth that is settled and known to be true by everybody. Sin is the problem. The only people that cant seem to understand it is those who sit in Baptist churches, and they think theyve attained some higher level of spirituality where they can just ignore the sin problem and talk about some kind of spooky faith that doesnt do anything. You know, and talk about unbelief being what sends you to hell. No! Your sin is what sends you to hell. Theyre a bunch of hypocrites! You know theyll say the Romans road... here you go, you know youre a sinner dont you? Yes. You know youre a sinner. Well, the wages of sin is death. You know that thats point number two and death means hell because thats the payment of sin. Then the wages of sin is death. Death means hell. So the wages of sin is death and that means hell. Youre going to hell if you dont get saved and then theyll turn around say, "Well sin doesnt have anything to do with it."
One preacher said that he never mentioned repentance when he was soul-winning because that didnt have anything to do with it. They needed to just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Deal with them about repentance later. Thats nonsense, but see what they really believe is that sin is not the issue. Sounds funny to me. Brother Congdon mentioned a minute ago that Jesus always dealt with them on their sin. The woman at the well! Everyone that you can think of...Zacchaeus. Everyone that you find in the Bible where Jesus dealt with them one on one He nailed them for a particular sin. It wasnt because that was the only sin they had, but that was the one that was standing between them and getting saved. The rich young ruler Jesus put his finger right on the sin that was keeping him lost and he still does it that way, I believe.
Finney said that sinners are hiding and you have to root them out and uncover them where theyre hiding in order to deal with them. Oh, he had it right, yes he did. Sin is the problem. Sin is the issue. And the greatest need of every man is not just a pardon from sin. Thats not what you need. Now you need that! That has to be part of it, but that alone will not solve the problem. Do you understand what Im saying? Just getting forgiven for those sins that are past and now you just start all over and just keep on sinning? That is not good enough. And that is not what Jesus did. We dont just need a pardon, we need deliverance from the practice of sin. If men were pardoned for sin but still given up to sinful passions and a selfish spirit, hed turn heaven into hell if he got there. Thats right. Did you hear what I said?
What makes this world so miserable is sin, isnt it? Nothing wrong with a pretty sunset and the pretty skies and the mountains and the trees and the birds. Theres nothing wrong with all that is there? Its the sin that man is practicing that makes it a miserable place. Thats why all of your doors are locked tonight while youre here. If theyre not youre really taking a chance. We live way out in the boondocks and I lock my doors when I leave because I know there are some thieves around there! See! Sin messes up everything. Makes the whole world a mess to live in. Thats what makes all the misery.
There are people out there right now that are hurting and crying and brokenhearted and their lives destroyed and messed up and ruined forever. There are little children whose homes are broken up and they dont have any hope at all in this world, and its because of sin. Its never because of righteousness.
There can be no heaven without holiness. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. "He that is holy let him be holy still He that is filthy the let him be filthy still." God prepared a place and hes preparing a place for those who are holy and Im glad that no sin is going to enter there. Sure wouldnt be worth going to if that would be the case. A world of selfish people thrown together anywhere would be the most miserable place and the only kind of salvation that any man, anywhere will believe is one that delivers men from sinning right here and now.
Do you hear what Im saying? Again, it wouldnt matter how many times we say this, still they all accuse us. But Im not talking about sinless perfection. Im talking about being delivered from the practice of sin; from living in the bondage of sin; from being a servant of sin. Im talking about living a life where our practice is righteousness and our heart is after God and after holiness. Any kind of religion that doesnt save you to that extent, people dont believe that, dont fool yourself? Lost people dont believe that. They dont accept just a verbal testimony. You have been in church and somebody stands up and everybody knows that theyre low-down, crooked, their life is dirty and theyre doing things wrong and sinful and they stand up and tell about when they got saved back in 1948 at a tent meeting. How much effect does that have on the people around? Makes them want to puke! They dont accept that kind of religion. And people think that their verbal testimony is final. I know people who wouldnt dare contest it, because, well, he says hes saved. We have no right to judge him. Well we do, too! And if he doesnt have Bible evidence of salvation, what he says with that mouth doesnt mean anything. So that kind of religion does not work and there are churches full of people like that who just have that kind of religion and thats all they have!
Somebody who verbally declares that theyve been delivered from the penalty of sin and Ive heard testimonies... "God delivered me from the penalty of sin." Why dont they just say he delivered them from sinning? "Boy I used to be a drunk and he saved me from it when he saved me I left it? And Id never been back thanks to him and his grace." Why dont they say that? Now theyre just so glad theyre not going to hell and theyre going to heaven and thats as far as they can go with it. They ought to be able to go farther than that.
Its only when he truly turns from his sin and is obviously delivered that other sinners began to take notice, and you know thats true. You know that Im telling you the truth. You dont believe in anybodys salvation until you see them turning from that old man, that old way of life, that old sin that they practice. So anybody that continues in it, nobody has confidence in their profession and no one should have confidence in that profession. There will never be deliverance from sin until Gods men preach against sin and offer a real hope of deliverance. Did you hear me?
Therefore a sining religion is an abomination to God and everybody that loves him. Now, Gods men must not only be allowed to preach against sin but also supported and backed up by the people when they do.
Now, I hope I can get this across to you tonight. You know I just want to give you the preacher side of it for one time. Most people dont ever stand behind a pulpit. They dont ever feel the responsibility of what it is. Now not every man that stands behind a pulpit is really a man of God. You all know that dont you? Im trusting tonight that most of you here understand that there is a difference. A church where God puts a man, of His, is different. The run of the mill out church you find will have a hireling standing here. Preaching for the money. Preaching soothing, easy words and nice sermons to make everybody happy. Theres a big difference. I wish I could hammer that in real hard. When Jesus talks in Revelation about removing the candlestick. I think thats what Hes talking about. Ive been in churches where there is a man of God that God put there... and thats different than the board of deacons calling him. That is different than the people just voting in a man, the first one that comes down the pike, or whatever, or picking him out of a list of resumes. When God puts a man there its different. When He puts a man there, he loves the people. The good shepherd loves the sheep. But a hireling doesnt love them. Hell flee when the wolf comes because he doesnt love the sheep. Now you are sitting in a church like that tonight, where God put one of his men, Ill guarantee you. Ive been around here long enough I know the difference Ive been in churches where there was a hireling and I know the difference, and I think you do too.
So if youre here tonight and you realize that, then you need to realize that when the preacher hammers sin, you better back him up. Hes doing it for your good and I want you to know that it is not easy and it is not pleasant and it is not desirable on the preachers part. For him, or me, or any other preacher that stands up here that really cares about you, it would be so much it easier, as far as our part, to just preach on Heaven and have everybody shouting and waving hankies. O glory to God! And to get a pat on the back. Oh, that was so good! That cheered me up, that made me feel good! That is so much easier then to just lay the hammer down on you and watch you bow up and watch you get mad and offended, or bull up, and most of the time leave the church, or go stirring up trouble among the other people talking about the preacher, why he has to be that way. Its hard, to preach against sin. Even in your own church, but it is when you get out in other churches, too. Now I know where Im at tonight, here, and its not this way elsewhere. You get in another church and you go to preach and Ive done it, and boy youve done it. Its just like a curtain of resistance when you even mention the blatant sins of adultery or lying or anything like that. They dont even want you touching that! So, what are they going to do when you start narrowing it down a little more? They resist it. Its not easy! There is not going to be any sinners saved until were in agreement. The preacher, he cant do it all by himself. When hes preaching and the so-called saints are resisting. The lost person that sitting there, he knows it too. He knows it and they arent swallowing that.
But when theyve backed up the preaching and say that is right. Even if its on me. Even if it is my sin that hes dealing with. And I agree with him. Boy, that doesnt leave the sinner any place to hide. I mean that really nails him. Its just like the Bible said if a sinner comes in and you all prophesy then hell say God is in these people of a truth. God is in this place. And God will deal with these sinners. I mean it is just a very important thing and that is what this meeting is all about. It is a sad state of affairs when a preacher feels so much resistance in most churches when he even mentions any kind of sin at all. People are offended and they dont want the preacher to mention sins and you know, what are they going to do when he mentions hatred and gossip and strife, if he can even nail these major sins of adultery. Well you say I just find that hard to believe. Some of you folks that sit here, you just find that hard to believe. Let me tell you, Ive been in churches where there are adulterers sitting in there and were not supposed to not mention their sin. Well, I had folks they get mad at me because somebody came who drank and I preached a little bit on drinking. Well I didnt really mean to. I dont even remember saying anything about it, but they said I did. He took it that I did and he got mad and wouldnt come back. Im sorry he got mad, but its wrong, its wrong, its wrong. And I would rather face God with that than face God and hear Him say to me, "I sent that drunkard and you didnt say one word to reprove him."
You see its the responsibility up here. Any man that is really called of God and worth anything hes gonna feel the load when he preaches. Its not a light thing. Its not entertainment. It is not just a contest or a striving for a position or respect or anything. Every man ought to preach like it is the last time he is going to preach. You would hear a lot better preaching if it was that way, but most men preach so they can preach again. They preach so they can please the people and please the pastor so they can have another chance to preach later, and get another love offering, get another recommendation to another church. Shame! Shame!
What is done about sin? Now heres another thing, you know people take offense at what Im saying here tonight. Other preachers will say, "Well we preach against sin in our church," but thats the only word they ever use. It is just a general blanket sort of statement. Sin is black, sin is rotten, sin is filthy. Everybody will say amen to that! Probably the devil will say amen to that. Like Earl and Libby said, ha ha devil. He probably would, because it is the truth, but boy that just doesnt do the trick does it?
Its like Finney said once again, theyre hiding and you have to uncover them. And you know thats the truth. You know that he has to name your sin and puts you on the spot. But most churches, you dont have to worry about that. The closest theyre ever going to get is just preaching about somebody elses sin whos not even there. Thats one of the things that Finney said about how to send men to hell or how to get no results from your preaching. Just preach about the sins of the people who arent there, not the ones who are there. But that is not effective at all in fact it makes it easier for people to continue in sin. "Oh, you didnt get me that time." Its just the same thing as the people who say, "It doesnt say in the Bible thou shalt not smoke... it doesnt say in the Bible." Some guy wrote me the other day and said the Bible doesnt say specifically what men and women should wear. He said, "I know it says that women shouldnt wear mens clothes and man shouldnt wear womens clothes, but he wasnt specific." He said that leaves the door open for everybody. Well he needs to read it a little closer. The way a God worded it, it includes all ages, all cultures, for all time. God covered it. That is no problem. I wrote him back and I said man, listen to me, do you have trouble figuring out which bathroom to go in when you go somewhere? They have a little picture on the door and it is a universal sign, worldwide, anybody from any culture on the face of Gods earth wont go in the wrong bathroom. Why? When they look at that little picture they know. They know. They know! But people like this are bent on turning away from Gods order and Gods way.
All true men of God have always preached against sin. And there wont be any sinning religion where a preacher is really preaching against sin. Probably just clear it out and there wont be anybody. Thats the way Noah did it and how many listened to him? What kind of congregation do you think he had while the ark was building?
All men of God have always preached against sin. Weve been reading a book on Peter Cartwright, and you now I can just give so many examples out of that book alone. But one time he went to this plantation house that had a bunch of slaves and he was against slavery, but he was concerned about the souls of those slaves. So he told the owner of the plantation that he wanted to preach to those black folks and the owner didnt have any objections. "Go ahead and well fix a room here in the house and you can bring them in here and preach to them," he said.
Peter Cartwright said, "The only way that Ill do that, is if you let me lock you into another room with your family so you cant get in here." The owner asked why and he said, "Because I intend to preach to these black folks about their adultery and their fornication and their filthy living, and I cant do that with you here. Your presence will interfere. They will be ashamed before you." The master agreed and Peter Cartwright locked him in another room with his family and preached to those black folks and bore in on their immoral living and rotten filthy sin. A bunch of them started getting saved and before long the owner and his family were down in the altar with them, too. Everywhere he went. Ive noticed that, he looked around at what was going on and he dealt with their sin. Every man that I ever read about in history that God used that way thats what he did, including the Lord Jesus Christ. You know he didnt go around preaching positive thinking. He didnt go around preaching on that kind of stuff he dealt with peoples sin. Its hard for a man to preach against sin. It is hard. All true men of God have always preached against sin. We have to show what sin is in reality and thats the purpose of this meeting this week.
We have to make it clear. What did John the Baptist say? What was said about him..."make straight the paths of the Lord." Make it clear and understandable. The waters are so easily muddied, and people cant understand and see, and its the job of the man of God to make it clear.
He knows that they are likely going to get offended. You cant confuse the issue and we have to show that God commands repentance. You have to preach against it and you have to tell them you must turn, you must repent. But the preacher looks out at his people and he is looking at the long term good. Boy, if I can get that across to you tonight, I wish I could. You think, well the preacher just finds stuff to pick on. Let me read you a verse here. It says in I Thessalonians 2:11, It says, "As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged everyone of you, as a father doth his children, that ye should walk worthy of God who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory."
Theres another verse that says "them that sin rebuke before all." As a father his children. How many of you have kids here? Im not going to trick you, dont be afraid of me. Now, I know more of you have kids than that! Are you asleep or what? How many of you understand that your children dont always do what you want them to do? I mean we have been over to Kim and Seths today and all you do is run along behind the children because they are going to fall and bust their head. Weve had that experience with our children and it doesnt get any better as they get older does it? Because you cant stop them, you cant always catch that little one but you can most of the time. But the bigger they get the more helpless you get. You warn your children because you love them. If they continue down that road it will lead to disaster. "As a father, his children." It is because he loves you and thats the key, that is the difference. A preacher that loves his people. Where Sarah goes to church, Brother Carl, He said down there a couple weeks ago, you know hes like Brother Owen, he does more announcing than anything else. He just talks and preaches and preaches and preaches in between everything. But he was talking about something, He said he went somewhere and there was a preacher just running down his church and his people. "Any preacher that would go off somewhere else and talk about his people, doesnt have much of a brain." Thats the way Brother Carl put it. He said, "I love my people!" And thats the key, if you understand that he loves you, you ought to listen to him. If you have an ounce of Christianity in you, an ounce of spirituality about you. you ought to understand that when he is hammering in on a sin it is because he sees the danger, and you dont.
You think little things, like the way you dress, and the little things, like the places youre going, or the people youre hanging with or the place your working or the kind of job youre longing for. You think that is none of his business. Oh, yes it is! God is holding him accountable for your soul and it is his duty before God to warn you. If he doesnt, he doesnt love you.
I asked Anna (my 3-year-old granddaughter) today if she ever gets a spanking? Shes said "yes." I said, "Do you know why?" She said, "No, I dont know." I said, "Well, its because your mommy and daddy love you." The Bible says that if you dont use the rod on your children you do not love them. "He that spareth the rod hateth his son." Thats God talking and that is a principle of God. The preacher that loves his people will correct them, He wont sit there and watch them going to hell and watch their families going down the tubes and the world leading them off to destruction. He wont sit still and just watch that and preach nice smiley sermons to them, take the paycheck every week and all the perks of the job and just pat them on the back. He is a low down hireling if he does that.
You see, it is the reproach of Christ you have to bear. You do. People dont make big over you when you preach against their sin. "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins." Thats our charge. "Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." Thats our charge. If you are going to preach, ...thats your charge. If you arent going to do that, dont even start. We dont need any more like that, who are not going to preach.
Talking about Christ in Colossians 1:28, the Bible says, "Whom we preach warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Now thats the goal. A pretty high goal isnt it? That we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ. How close are we to achieving that goal? Let me hurry here, what kind of peace how could you possibly have with a sinning religion? How could you have any peace while you continue in sin? It is impossible. You dont really. These people that say Im saved and theyre out drinking tonight. It doesnt even have to be that bad, just worldly. They dont have peace with God. They go to a funeral of a loved one and theyre troubled, or a funeral of anybody and theyre troubled. They pillow their head at night and theyre troubled. They dont have peace. Dont believe that lie. Peace only comes when you turn from your sin to God and you are living for God.
Those who try to convince others that they can have peace in their soul while they are continuing in their sin are lying to them. People that preach Romans chapter 7 as the common, normal Christian walk, they are lying to the people. It is a false hope. Its not going to give them any peace. I dont care if they do sit there and say amen to it. Chances are the one preaching to them has got something to hide himself, thats why hes preaching such a nonsense doctrine. Thats why hes preaching a Gospel that doesnt deliver because hes not delivered himself.
God has made us so that we know basic right from wrong. And one of the basic things is that theres no forgiveness while we continue in sin. You wont forgive somebody, I dont care how spiritual you think you are, you wont forgive them while they just keep slapping you. Pow! I forgive you. Pow. Im forgiving you. No, you want them to stop! When they stop, then youll talk about forgiving them! Some thief is stealing your stuff; youre not going to forgive him until he quits, are you? Hey, its the truth. God doesnt forgive you while you continue in your sin. Its a mockery! Forgive me, Lord, forgive me. Everyday they go to bed, every night, and they say, Lord please forgive me of all my sins, and all my families sins and all my grandpas sins and everybodys sin. Please forgive me of everything... Goodnight! And they think its a clean slate now they can start over tomorrow.
Foolishness! Thats a mockery, God doesnt accept anything like that! So the knowledge that you cant be forgiven unless you turn from your sin that is in every man. I think preachers that would argue against that are reprobates in their mind. Thats what I think. They dont understand the first thing about it. Theyve lied to themselves until theyve reprobated their minds and dont even know right any more. That knowledge will not allow you to have peace in your heart until youre free from sin. Until you have something in your life that will give you victory. Not just imagined victory. Real victory! Your desires change. A new man! And that is a big part of the reason that there are so many miserable so-called Christians. They are trying to live a lie, and their conscience will not agree with them.
Theyre saying, "Im saved," and the only time they can feel saved is when somebody preaches Romans 7 as a saved a man and that it is the best you can do. The rest of the time theyre doubting and wondering. They are! They are! In their mind, in their heart, they are doubting and wondering.
Their pastor tells them that God is such that he forgives sin, even while they keep on sinning. But their heart condemns them. A preacher will say God loves you, I know youre saved if you have prayed this prayer. Youre saved. If you have a day and a time and an hour that you can remember when you trusted the Lord, dont let the devil take it away from you. Write it in your Bible and go back and look whenever he questions you or puts doubts in your mind. No! You need more than that!
You can do that if you like ... "I believe, I did it, I believe, I believe, I believe," but the real Christian, he "hath the witness in himself." You dont have need of looking at what you wrote down years ago. I dont know that Im saved tonight because ... and I know Ill probably get in trouble for this, but let me just rephrase it just a little bit different. What gives me assurance tonight is whats going on in here....tonight! Not what happened 30 years ago when I got saved. I knew it then but I know it a lot more now, because I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now, tonight, I believe on him. I have a lot more to jump and shout about now, than I did 30 years ago. Oh, much, much more! Hes brought me through some awful places. He has done things for me that I never dreamed of 30 years ago. Hes proven himself faithful to me over and over and over. It is so much easier now for me to say that I love him and I believe on him than it was 30 years ago. So Im not basing my assurance now on what happened then. I still have something right now! He lives in me now!
"They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly saying peace, peace when there is no peace." So the gospel it is about a Saviour who delivers from sin. Acts 3:26: "Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus sent him to bless you in turning every one of you from his iniquities." Thats more than a pardon. Thats more than just a ticket to heaven. Thats more than just forgiveness. He turned us away from our iniquities and were going the other way.
The Bible is plain that Jesus didnt just pay the penalty for our sins; he did a lot more than that. And the gospel is designed to turn us from our iniquities. Not just to give us a free ticket to Heaven. Now, I want to read a verse in Philippians Chapter 1 and just make a comment or two and then Ill quit here. But theres a little thing that I think needs to be hit just before we quit here.
Dont you get the idea, that you can judge whos right by who has the greatest following. Or judge who is right in all this matter, by who is the most accepted, and most acclaimed and all that. You shouldnt have mens persons in admiration because of advantage. You shouldnt be a respecter of persons. God said that is a sin. Let me read this verse. Philippians 1:12: "But I would ye should understand brethren that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel." Thats Paul, in prison. Saying, Ive got chains on my hands and chains on my feet and Im in a dungeon. Theyve stopped me, they think. From the viewpoint of a lot of people it looks like theyve shut me up. And there were other preachers still preaching, you know. There were churches still going, where everybody was saying, "Boy, that Paul messed up. Look what happened to him. He ended his ministry. Why he should have used some sense in the way he dealt with everybody. Look what happened to him! If hed had just been reasonable and presented it in a better and more acceptable way why he wouldve still been out here preaching instead of locked up in a dungeon." But Paul said I want you to understand that this happened because it is Gods will. And furthermore it happened for the furtherance of the gospel and then he goes on to tell what all is going on and how that people in the prison are getting saved. He got to preach to all of Caesars household and that was Gods plan and Gods will for Pauls life. It didnt turn out like your Bible school plan always turns out. He ended up in jail. Were living in that kind of day. I mean, its right in front of us, where that if we preach against sodomites, if we say anything about other subjects too, that theyre going to start putting us in jail. But, what are we going to do? Now, a lot of preachers, the majority will say, now just kind of skirt around the subject. Word it just so-so. Theres enough to preach on, without getting on that anyway. I mean, if you get thrown in jail, what are you going to do there? Whats going to happen to your church then? Whats going to happen to your family? Boy, they put the pressure on you and say youre messing up. Paul wanted it understood because there were people going around...many of the brethren..."so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace and all other places and many of the brethren and the Lord are waxing confident by my bonds by which are much more bold to speak the Word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ, even of envy and strife, and some also of goodwill." And then, he goes on, but the thing is that there were preachers out there preaching saying, "See what happened to Paul? That proves were right and hes wrong." Do you all get what Im saying?
You better get your nose in the Bible and you better obey the truth and you better stick with Gods people and you better not look at the crowd thats following. You better love the truth. Thats no problem if youre really saved. You will rejoice in the truth and you will know it when you hear it. You heard the truth here last night and tonight. You heard the truth. Brother Earl got up here. Did you hear him? "Fifty-three years," he said, "and Ive never heard it put so plain and so understandable." You go to these other churches and you just hear nonsense and frivolous, vain, worthless... Doesnt do anything for anybody!
You can get a big crowd by having all the noise and the modern music and all the things that go with it. Dont look around and say "Boy , this preacher wont have anything to do with us anymore and that preacher wont have anything to do with us anymore." Let me remind you when Jesus stood, he stood alone. When Paul stood, he wrote back and said, "No man stood with me." He stood alone. Are you willing to? Its pretty tough but, thats where Im making my stand. As long as God will be with me I can make it. I sure can!
Father, thank you for the attention of the people Thank you for the time together in the meeting this week. What a blessing! What a blessing it has been to me! I pray Lord that it would be a blessing to everyone here; that they would receive and accept and understand the truth. Help us to answer questions in peoples minds. I can certainly understand questions. Theres no problem with that. The more I learn the more questions I have. And I think you that you have answers for us. And Lord just lead us in the right way. Do teach us the truth, Lord. That is what we sincerely want tonight. Lord, have your way now in the rest of the service. May the Spirit of God have His way and your sweet presence be felt among us. In Jesus name . Amen.
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