Tag Archives: Preaching

New Bible Discussion Channel on Disqus!

I want to invite everyone to come join me in discussing the wonderful faith we have from God on my new discussion channel hosted by Disqus: https://disqus.com/home/channel/proclaimingtheword/

This channel is focused on proclaiming the word of God with impactful truths and joyous celebrations of who God is; we encourage and welcome everyone who loves God’s word to come participate!

We have over 500 subscribers on this channel, but I want to see more participation from believers who are set on pleasing and loving God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

The reason I started this discussion channel is because I can’t escape the sense that the internet needs as many bastions of Biblical truth as it can get.

Proclaiming the Word focuses on peaceful, respectful, and faithful dialogue about the topics Christians need to deal with.  We bring topics from a variety of disciplines, including apologetics, exegesis, Bible exposition, hermeneutics, preaching, and evangelism.  I moderate heavily to ensure that comments remain respectful and on topic because one of our goals is to create a peaceful and respectful environment for Biblical dialogue between Christians.  There are a lot of “Christian channels” claiming to be about Bible truth that get immersed in controversy, conspiracy, and malice – my endeavor will be to keep this channel free from such leaven.

So come and help us get started!

Faithfulness v. Fruitfulness

I’ve been considering the question of “faithfulness” versus “fruitfulness” lately: specifically, whether it is more important to remain faithful to God’s Word or reap a fruitful harvest?

Now I’ll admit at the outset that I think this question presents a false dichotomy by forcing the mind to choose one or the other when I think it may well be that it is impossible to have either one without the other, but I believe this question should be thoroughly considered.

This question has become the center of a conversation that I’ve been engaging in with a pentecostal pastor friend of mine as we’ve been discussing it in light of two pastor friends of his that accentuate this concern for “fruitfulness” (defined as either “a harvest of believers”, or, “the increase given by God through the Holy Spirit”) over “faithfulness” (defined as “love for God as expressed in obedience and fidelity to His Word”).

STORY NUMBER 1:

One pastor who’s known as a man exhibiting great fruits of the Spirit in his life, recently came out in affirmation of gay marriage.

Although his decision has invoked the ire of many established Christians, it has also resulted in more opportunities to connect with people who are not typically touched by “the Church”.  For this pastor, affirming homosexuality has given his church the ability to reach a demographic that would otherwise never even affiliate with Christians who hold to what they see as an antiquated view of sexuality and marriage.

STORY NUMBER 2:

Another pastor, was preaching a sermon that included a note that homosexuality is wrong.  Through a series of events, a legal complaint was lodged and the pastor was warned that if he continued to preach hate speech he would be faced with potentially shutting down.

The pastor says he has temporarily decided to stop preaching on the matter and offered the justification that there are no gay members attending his church and it would be foolish to stop the work of God being done in this church.

The pastor went on to say that they baptized 100 people the previous month and he could not allow Satan to put a pad-lock on the door and shut the church down where they would not be able to reach the community.

I believe these realities are only going to get more onerous as time goes on. But what do they say about the topic of “fruitfulness” v. “faithfulness”?  Is fruitfulness apart from faithfulness ever warranted?  Or is faithfulness apart from fruitfulness ever possible?  These questions may often times appear more “behind the scenes” than most, but I believe they have great weight to them and need to be answered.

IS FRUITFULNESS APART FROM FAITHFULNESS EVER WARRANTED?

In both these true stories we see pastors pursuing “fruitfulness” above “faithfulness”, one by affirmation and the other by conformation.  But were these compromises acceptable?  And will they produce the desired results these pastors hoped for- namely, a greater harvest of souls?

A couple passages come to mind that I would like to examine:

REVELATION 2:10 WEB

Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.

I believe the seven churches of Revelation merit close examination by the Church today.  Regardless of your eschatological position on these seven churches, you will find great blessing in reading what Jesus has to say to these churches.

To the persecuted Church in Smyrna Jesus admonished them not to be afraid and forewarned them of the coming trials they would face; in light of these trials, Jesus promised “the crown of life” to the faithful.  The full weight of Jesus’ promised “crown of life” was placed on being faithful.

Jesus’ words to the churches in Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira, show that Jesus does weigh our faithfulness to His doctrine; the Ephesians, despite all their hard work (2:3), had left their first love and were required to repent (2:4-5), and the Church in Pergamos needed to repent for embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans (2:14-16); likewise the Church in Thyatira was admonished to repent for tolerating the false prophets who taught Christ’s people to commit sexual immorality (2:20-25).  In each case Jesus was concerned with faithfulness as demonstrated through love, doctrine, and prophesying.

Another passage that stirs my mind regarding this subject is as follows:

1st CORINTHIANS 3:11-15

For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.

We can build on Christ in such a way that will not endure the fire.  Though the craftsman suffers loss of reward because his work did not remain, the craftsman may still expect his salvation.  Through folly the craftsman selected wood, hay, or stubble over gold, silver, or precious stones- for whatever reason, the more easily obtainable former materials were more attractive than the more costly latter materials- and therefore the craftsman suffered the loss of all his work and the reward he so earnestly expected.

Make no mistake that I believe teachers can bring themselves under the wrath of God through their teachings- such as occurred in the Book of Revelation when the doctrine of Balaam was taught- but Christians may err in less serious ways that can still ruin their work without endangering their souls, especially those Christians who build on Christ but who do not hold teaching positions (which are judged more severely: James 3:1).  Excuse my run-on sentence there, but I’m just going to go with it.

My belief is that we must not abandon fidelity to God for perceived fruitfulness, which can only end in tears and great weeping.

FAITHFULNESS MUST BEAR FRUIT

I do not believe that it is possible for faithfulness to be without fruit.  It is possible for the faithfulness of “charity” not to produce the fruit of “evangelism”, and therefore to disappoint the expectations of the one who has such a narrow view of “fruit”, but faithfulness in “charity” will always bear the fruit of “charity”. 

There may, therefore, be a weight of burden on our expectation of “fruitfulness” that is inconsistent with the promise of Scripture, but, I believe it is impossible to divorce “faithfulness” from God’s promise of “fruitfulness”. 

We must heed the following Words of Christ:

JOHN 15:7-8 WEB

If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.  In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.

Fruitfulness requires faithfulness, and faithfulness is proved by fruitfulness.

A “morally pure church” may ask, “why, then, is there no increase in our body”, to which we should ask “did you abide in Christ’s word to ‘go out and make disciples’?”

A numerically “large church” may ask “why, then, are we so fruitful even though we do not keep His word”, to which we should ask, “what makes you so sure your fruitfulness will survive the fire?”

Fruitfulness is dependent on abiding faithfully in Jesus’ word; a church may not see the fruit of harvest because it does not go out, or, when it goes out and increases, it may not see the fruit of righteousness because it does not abide in the truth; but no church will be barren that faithfully abides in the Word. 

What we see being tested here are two things: firstly, our perception of fruit, and secondly, our faith that God will be faithful to honor faithfulness.  We so easily get confused and discouraged when we do not see the fruit of other parts of the body in our own life, and we wrestle with the faith to believe that God is faithful towards our faithfulness because we have usurped God as “lords of the harvest” and attempted to bear the weight of “fruitfulness” all on our own.

We need to know that it is “God who adds those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47); though one may sow and another waters, “it is God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6)!  Rather than trying to control the outcome of the harvest, we desperately need to cry out to the LORD of the harvest (Matthew 9:38)- let us pray to Him concerning the harvest, knowing that He is faithful over it (1 Corinthians 1:9).

SO BE HIS DISCIPLES

Something that I cannot get over is how many pastors I have met and held long conversations with who are beaten down and discouraged.  They are discouraged by their lack of growth, sometimes in both the harvest and in spiritual fruit, and they feel like they are utterly defeated; but I cannot escape the reality that without exception they are not abiding in Christ’s word to go out, nor are they calling on the Lord of the Harvest for help! 

Brethren, if we find our churches lay in spiritual desolation; arise!  Return to the truths from which you have wandered, and do them.  Bear the fruits of repentance and offer again the sacrifice of praise by the fruit of holy lips. 

And if we see that we have brought in no fruit of the harvest; arise!  Go out into the fields and labor.  Sow, water, and tend to the fields in which you live, and pray to the Lord of the Harvest, who will grant your increase that He may be glorified and that you may be His disciples! 

The Preacher

What is a preacher?  What’s the function of a preacher?

I think it’s helpful when discussing different parts of the body to reiterate that the Body is healthiest when every part works together with the whole towards faithfulness to Christ (Ephesians 4:16). Every member is vital to the healthy functioning of the Body as a whole.  But what happens when the multiplicity of Body parts stops working in unison and the Body begins to be deceived and led astray?

God sends His preachers to call the Body back into the way.

“Preachers” come in many different forms- they are not a stagnant office.  Preachers are those God entrusts to deliver His message to His people; there have been many preachers in scripture called to be deliver God’s word; Solomon (Ecc. 1:1, 12); Noah (2 Peter 2:5); Jonah (3:1-2); John the Baptist (Mark 1:4); and Jesus (Mark 4:17). The apostle Paul wrote, “for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Timothy 2:7 and 2 Timothy 1:11).

Anyone can be called by God to be a preacher because “preaching” is simply “the act of exhorting, prophesying, reproving, or teaching”. That’s why we have Solomon, who was a king, but also a preacher. Noah, who was a patriarch (essentially an elder), but was also a preacher. Jonah was a prophet, but also a preacher. Paul, who was an apostle as well as a teacher, also identified himself as one “appointed as a preacher”.

The preacher is a functional position, not a stagnant office.  The preacher is known for his message, not his presentation or charisma. For the preacher, nothing is more important than what he has to say from God.  He never speaks for himself.  He is God’s messenger, and God’s messenger alone.

I believe the Church needs God-sent preachers today.  But where are these voices calling us back to God through repentance?

In view of the great evil’s in our society today, the lack of such voices crying out should be cause of grave concern and trembling!  It should drive every one of us to our knees daily, begging God to send out His servants to give us another chance to repent!

One Gospel

Charles Spurgeon’s father was a lesser known preacher who once said of his son that “Charles may preach the gospel better than I, but no one can preach a better gospel”.

I believe today’s Church is far too fascinated with the messenger, and altogether far too uninterested in the message!  I would much rather be the worst preacher of the true gospel than the greatest preacher of a false gospel. Give me a true word, or give me no word at all.

The point is this: there is only one gospel which is appointed to nourish the soul and stir the spirit, and the effectiveness of that gospel upon those who hear depends little on the messenger, and greatly upon the ears upon which it falls!

The problem we face today is not that of a shortage of talented preachers, but that of deaf ears!   Or worse, of ears eager to be tickled!

Would we accept a preacher who eloquently expounds God’s promises of life and joy to us?  No doubt.  But will we also accept the preacher who faithfully preaches the true judgments of God to warn us to turn from out wicked ways?  We may be less inclined to accept such a preacher, and more inclined to discredit him, ostracize him, and throw him out of our churches and our lives!

But this much I would say again: there is only one gospel that can simultaneously convict the souls of men to their uttermost and stir their spirits up to righteous living, and that is the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ!

It needs no amendments, and it needs not accoutrements; it alone is the power of God for salvation to all in Christ Jesus, and we must not be ashamed of it!

The Inescapable Conclusion

For those who have talked trash about Donald Trump, I believe it is time to ask a question: why is a message of fury, outrage, indignation, covetousness, and pride so effective?

Though I do not support Donald Trump, and regardless of my high regard for Dr. Carson and belief that he and others who do support him have pure intentions, I’m trying to get at something that goes much deeper than our politics.

If our answer to this question does not lead us to the inescapable conclusion that this nation is in desperate need of the gospel, and subsequently to the conclusion that you bear the undeniable commission of the Lord to preach His gospel, then you have reached the wrong conclusion.

It’s not liberalism or one political party or another that is to blame for the deep chasms of division and resentment we see in this nation; it is generation after generation that has forsaken the pursuit of God in favor of money, power, and pleasure! Generations brought up under the very shelter of the Church!

No, I believe the inescapable conclusion of today’s time is a very clear demand for the Church to rend its heart and weep with repentance! Not for show, nor for revival, but for godly sorrow! For the Church to continue to live in luxury in the face of such wickedness today is an atrocity that I cannot even fathom. To neatly lay blindfolds over our eyes and content ourselves with squeezing every last bit of comfort out of life while we can before the whole land goes to hell is a sin not unlike that of offering our children up on the altars of Molech.

I believe the only acceptable conclusion for a Church that stands face to face with today’s world is to perfect our repentance, forgive those we bear grievances against, be relentless with mercy, and be fierce with the gospel. You cannot repent with a sincere heart if you do not forgive those you have grievances against; your political leaders, your neighbors, your family, your friends, and your church- you must forgive all who have injured you and extend relentless mercy to those who have fallen and are trying to get back up.  And we must preach the gospel with the fierceness of the martyr!

Genesis 6-8: Noah and the Flood

Critical Apologetics Issues:

The account of Noah and the flood is foundational.  From baptism to the end times, the account of Noah and the flood is necessary to understanding God’s revelation in scripture to mankind.  It is no surprise, therefore, that it has received such an array of critical attacks that need to be answered.

Apologetics is quite literally means “to speak in defense of” something; from the Greek “ἀπολογία” (apologia).

  • See Philippians 1:7 “Defense and confirmation of the gospel”
  • See 1 Peter 3:15 “Always being ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you”

Far from apologizing for the gospel, the defense of those things that are written in God’s word is the front lines in which the gospel is preached and the strongholds of the enemy are torn down.

Included in the correlating handout are articles which deal with critical apologetics issues regarding Noah and the flood.

  • How could Noah build something So Large?
  • What is known about Noah and the Ark?
  • Kinds: How many animals were on the Ark?
  • How could the animals fit on the Ark?
  • How could Noah care for all the animals?
  • How could the animals breathe?

These and many other issues are dealt with in the included printout taken entirely from Answers in Genesis.

Critical Apologetic Questions on Noah from AIG

 

 

Genesis 6: The Ark Prepared Whilst Wickedness Abounds

Point 1 (Genesis 6:1-7, 11-13)

As man began to fulfill God’s commandment to

Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish, birds, and every living thing on the earth”, (Genesis 1:28)

The LORD saw that man had subjected all creation to wickedness and filled the earth with violence.

The LORD saw that every intent of the heart was only evil continually…” (Genesis 6:5)

God had given man a dominion as His stewards over all creation- to fill the earth and subdue it- and man used his stewardship to fill the earth with violence and subject it to wickedness; and God was deeply grieved and began withdrawing His Spirit from man (Genesis 6:3-4)!

God even saw that “all creatures” on earth had become corrupt (Genesis 6:12):

God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on earth.

Note From Our Times: ANIMALS have recently been observed NOW committing homosexual acts.

 

Here, the Sovereign looked down upon man and pronounced his condition; that every intent of his heart is evil.  It’s self-seeking and vain glory!  The nakedness of mankind’s shame was again exposed by God- only this time there would be no covering’s provided by God, but instead, the LORD would cleanse the face of the earth with His wrath.

Noah stands preaching to us today: “the patience of God DOES come to an end; His wrath WILL come!”

 

—IMPORTANT NOTE:

God does not abandon His purpose in creating man, not even when the world is covered in darkness and man’s wickedness saturates every thought and imagination that comes into his heart; God knew “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10)- Remember, it is mortal man that tries to make sense of the past in the darkness of time, but the long journey of the past only makes sense in the Light of the future!

Therefore, with such evil in the world, God’s word focuses on the deliverance of Noah from wrath in the Ark.  In other words, God is telling you- O end times Church- to focus on your deliverer, not your calamity!

“Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth!  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God!  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory!” (Colossians 3:2-4)

READ: Romans 8:18-26 “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…”

 

Point 2 (Genesis 6:8-10)

God tells us of the “generations” (NASB) of Noah; and we are not told first off of his progeny, but rather, of righteousness.  Preceding God’s recitation of Noah’s “generations” we find that Noah found grace from the LORD- before anyone can be brought into the line of righteousness as an heir they must first find GRACE!

It is here that we see Jesus foreshadowed again: Christ is “grace upon grace”- Noah found grace.

Let us consider Noah’s generation of righteousness (which is revealed at greater length in the entire chapter 11 of Hebrews):

(PREACH) By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

“Noah condemned the world”, just as we die to the world:  the floodwaters, which represent our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ by the Holy Spirit, were the means by which the whole world was condemned to Noah, and by which Noah died to the whole world- when he emerged from the Ark he emerged into a new world.

 

 

Of Noah’s generations it is said:

  1. He was righteous and blameless in his generation.
  2. He walked with God.
  3. His progeny: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

 

Point 3 (Genesis 6:13-22)

“Elohim” spoke to Noah (God’s Genesis 1:1 name), and told him that the Creator of Heaven and Earth is coming to destroy creation.  “Elohim” declares the end from the beginning with what will ultimately be fulfilled at the return of Christ:

And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.’

  • See Isaiah 34:1-4 “Let the earth hear, and all that is in it; for the indignation of the Lord is against the nations…”
  • See 2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise…”

 

From this point on God speaks exclusively regarding Noah’s salvation:

  • The Ark of God’s covenant by which Noah would be delivered from God’s wrath.
  • The floodwaters of God’s wrath by which Noah would be delivered from the wickedness of the world.

Now the details regarding the Ark of God’s covenant begin to be revealed:

 

  1. The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah provided by grace and entered through faith.
  2. The Ark’s design is revealed in advance.
  3. The Ark had one window.
  4. The Ark had many rooms.
  5. The Ark had one door.
  6. The Ark was God’s deliverance during the outpouring of His wrath

 

  • See Psalm 32:6-7For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”
  • See Luke 11:13How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

Noah and his sons labor to build the ark for anywhere between 55 to 75 years (high estimates are 100+ years).

(v22) “Thus Noah did”

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear (Heb 11:7)

 

Genesis 7: The Great Flood

Point 1 (Genesis 7:1-6)

The LORD watched Noah, who was moved with godly fear as he received God’s warning by faith; God saw Noah’s faithfulness all these long years of thankless, sweat-stained, blood-stained, ridiculed labor, and declared;

“Come into the Ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)

By the labor of faith Noah entered the Ark.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Jesus Christ is the Sabbath-rest of God. Enter His rest at the invitation of His word (Matthew 11:28) whereby every sincere heart of faith is filled with the grace of God. Let us be diligent to set our hope on the firm foundation of Christ’s return; to take up every promise of God whereby we may become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); and to abound in the joy of our salvation through blessing and trial by offering to God our sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).

Hear this: today we must be moved by the same godly fear that moved Noah by faith!

1 Peter 4:17For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

See Matthew 24:27-41

 

Point 2 (Genesis 7:7-24)

This is when everything ceased being faith for Noah and everything he had believed in became reality; for years Noah was moved with God fear by faith to labor for things that seemed so far off.  The world continued as it had always been- life, merriment, death, and new life- but Noah and his family forsook the passing pleasures to pursue something that was utterly veiled to their understanding.

  • The floodwaters began to rage as the fountains of the deep were broken
  • The widows of heaven were opened.

 

Then God commanded Noah to enter the Ark:

So those that entered went in as God had commanded Noah; and the LORD shut him in.”
(Genesis 7:16)

Noah is sealed into the Ark by the LORD:

  • See Ephesians 4:30
  • See Romans 8:35-39

 

 

Genesis 8: Noah Delivered and God’s Covenant with Creation

Point 1 (Genesis 8:1-14)

The floodwaters of God’s wrath that cleansed the face of the earth from the exceedingly great wickedness of man brought deep sorrow to God:

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. (Ezekiel 33:11)

Every creature of God’s “very good” creation was destroyed; the fierceness of God’s wrath- the wrath that can only be fully satisfied by Christ- broke loose upon the face of the earth with great noise, terror, and power.  And in this moment God was utterly robbed of any pleasure in His creation.  No song of nature.  No beauty of the fields.  Nothing on earth but the Ark carrying the line by which the greatly anticipated Seed that would crush the Serpent’s head was left on the face of the earth.

Then Elohim remembered Noah in the Ark and brought a wind to dry up the earth.

After the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat Noah began sending out birds to see if the earth was ready to receive him again;

 

  1. First the Raven
  2. Then a Dove (returned).
  3. Again a Dove (returned with an Olive Branch).
  4. And again a Dove (Did not return).

 

Olive Branch Meaning: Romans 11:17-21. Olive Branch representative of Israel into which the Gentiles are grafted!

 

Point 2 (Genesis 8:15-22)

Now that the earth is dried up God spoke to Noah again;

“Go out of the Ark, you and your household, bring out with you every living thing that is with you so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:17)

 

Noah is now breathing the hope of new life and builds an altar to the LORD to sacrifice a burnt offering of every clean animal and of every clean bird.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.  And who is sufficient for these things?  2 Corinthians 2:!4-16

Noah’s sacrifice foreshadowed the complete redemption of all creation that would be made by Jesus Christ in the end; by this sacrifice Noah diffused the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.

 

In the past God has cursed man’s dominion at the fall of Adam and Eve; even so again God struck man’s dominion again at the flood.  Now God makes a covenant;

I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22)

 

 

Prophetic Signs of Noah’s Time:

  • Mankind gave and took in marriage and bore sons and daughters (Ch. 5)
  • Mankind multiplied on the face of the earth (6:1).
  • Mankind’s wickedness was widespread on the face of the Earth (6:5).
  • Every intent of their heart was evil (6:5).
  • Noah found Grace from God (6:8)
  • Noah’s generation was righteousness (6:9)
  • The Earth itself was also corrupt before God (6:11).
  • The Earth was filled with violence (6:11).
  • Every creature (people and animals) on earth had corrupted its ways (6:12 see v7).
  • God judged Noah’s faithfulness during the years of construction (7:1)
  • The Ark is God’s covenant with Noah
  • The Ark’s design is revealed in advance, as Christ was foretold by the prophets.
  • The Ark has one window.
  • The Ark has many rooms.
  • The Ark had one door.
  • The ark was God’s deliverance during His outpouring of wrath.

 

Preaching in the Desert

Will the blind boast in their vision or the lame boast in their strength?  Can the deaf rejoice in music?  Why then do the impure boast in their purity and the wicked rejoice in GOD?

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. ~1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

Oh Church, you have not been called to uncleanness, why then have you answered to the harlot?  You have not heeded the Lord’s call to repent and cleanse your hands from the filthiness of your ways; “why will you sin and die?”  Therefore, “seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility.  It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3).

May the nation of luxury hear these words and repent:

And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen. ~Zechariah 7:13

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.  But to the wicked God says: ‘what right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?’ ~Psalm 50:15-17

Then they will cry to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds. ~Micah 3:4

Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.  Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies! ~Proverbs 1:28-31

Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah saying, ‘Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another’.  But they refused to pay attention and shrugged their shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.  They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of Hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of Hosts.  And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen. ~Zechariah 7:8-13

 

Stop eating the fruit of lies that you love so much because you have trusted in your own ways!  Stop saying to yourselves “we will make our arms strong so that we can dwell securely in our own land”!  For your destruction comes suddenly in a season that should have been for harvesting and rejoicing.

Oh Church, stop saying that you will be righteous in your iniquity before the God who dwells in unapproachable light!  Consider, can light ever mix with darkness?  How then can He who “commanded the light to be separate from the darkness” have any fellowship with those who walk in the darkness?

If you persist in your sins, dividing what God has joined together, profaning what God has made holy, enjoying the abominations God has condemned, lying against the truth, cursing what God has blessed, gathering when you ought to have spread, breaking down when you ought to have built up, eating when you ought to have fed, then in the day of your calamity will you call out on the name of Jesus and find no answer!

Preaching in the Wilderness

“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” ~Titus 1:16

Do not let the pulpits deceive you into thinking that hypocrisy will not sear your conscience, that slander will not slay your praise, and that lust will not quench your fire! Idleness makes weak knees and hands that cannot bear the plow, just as deceit darkens the mind.

“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and tell you now even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame- who set their mind on earthly things.” ~Philippians 3:18-19

The way of Christ was not called “narrow” because many people find it! If you are walking as the world walks, then you are not walking after Christ.

Do not pursue the things of this world, for all the gain of it is passing away: “set your minds on things above, where Christ is seated”, that your heart might not be weighed down by the cares of this life.  Neither fear men nor the judgments of them who will oppose you when you pick up your cross and follow Christ, for they are all liars who have forsaken the God who created them in His image.

Today is not the day to put off until tomorrow the reckoning that you need to do right NOW. If you know that sin has a hold on you and that you walk with your mind set on worldly things, then it is time for you to humble yourself before God, knowing this: “God will judge every person according to their works” (Romans 2:6).

Therefore, because of the great mercy that God has shown in Christ Jesus, by whom He has reconciled us to Himself in the blood of His cross, “put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, lying, and filthy language, and put on the new creation which is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created Him; as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another- and above all, put on love, which is the bond of perfection!” (Colossians 3:5, 8-9, 12-14)

The salvation that has been delivered to us by Christ is far too great to neglect in favor of the passing and temporary things of this world which distract and dull our hearts towards God, even weighing us down in sin.

The Power of Approval

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.  ~Romans 1:28-32

I don’t know any other way to preach than straightforward- so let me get to the point: there is tremendous power in lifestyle and approval.  It’s not enough to espouse firm doctrines with our mouths, but what we practice and approve of puts in context what we preach!

When we preach that we are saved through faith, but approve of those who walk in sin and practice the sins of this world, we put into context what we mean by “we are saved through faith” and display it for all the world to see.  In other words, we discredit ourselves and openly rebuke Christ before all the world to see.  Indeed, to say “I am a Christian” and then approve of the things that Christ stands in mighty judgment against is the height of hubris- who am I to correct the judgments of God?

Christians, we need to resolve in our hearts that Christ is Holy and stands alone as King over our heart- that neither the praise or reviling of other people, nor even the pleasures of this world will exalt themselves in our heart over Christ to lead us against what He has commanded.  If you have not already come to terms with the judgments of God- if you have not been offended by the Rock of Offense and humbled yourself before the great King of kings that you might be instructed by the Promise of our Father, then I strongly admonish and exhort you to hear the judgments of God, open your heart to offense, and humble yourself before what He says- call on Him to save you from the depravity of foolish thinking and instruct you in the ways of righteousness.  I exhort you to stop listening to the preachers who preach in futility and who justify sin.
Every Christian needs to begin preaching the gospel of reconciliation and forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ to the ends of our society, no matter the cost. Resolve this day what you will practice, the works of the devil, or the works of God, and whose judgments you will give approval to, the judgments of God or the judgments of the devil.

I have been preaching for many years now that the day is coming when we will no longer find a neutral place to bury our heads and avoid publicly testifying of the Truth that Jesus Christ proclaimed- and I believe we are approaching that day quickly.

Where but under a basket can you hide that your light might not offend the godless?

The “I’m Not Called To That” Excuse

Ever notice how the chief description of Jesus’ life and conduct in the Bible was “I must be about My Father’s business”? That’s because it was written of Jesus, “Behold, I have come- in the volume of the book it is written of Me- to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7).  Jesus’ life was known by His acts of compassion that glorified God, His powerful sermons calling all men everywhere to repentance in His name, and His awesome demonstrations of the power of God.

Then, after Jesus ascends into Heaven and the Holy Spirit is sent upon His waiting Church, the collective Body of Christ takes on these chief attributes itself; the Church becomes known for her acts of world-renowned compassion, soul piercing calls to repentance, and awe-inspiring demonstrations of the power of God! No individual member of the body seemed totally disconnected from these works; while one member may not preach, he or she might work miracles or be engaged in great works of compassion.  Indeed, toward those individual members who are slack or impaired in doing the work of God, we’re exhorted to “strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12).

But we do not hear Jesus’ answer, “I must be about My Father’s business” in the Church today, instead, we hear “Oh, I’m not called to that ministry!”

Ask members in the Church today if they preach the gospel to their neighbors, and many of them will tell you “that’s not my calling”.  Then ask them about acts of compassion and they’ll say, “OH No! That’s not my calling!” Inquire about the divine demonstration of the power of God and you’ll hear the same retort, “Some people are into that, but that’s not really my calling”.

I have to wonder, what is your calling, Church?

Pew sitting, hint dropping, and facebook-page-liking doesn’t seem to be the call of God that I see in the Bible.

Understand that the primary offices of the Church were given “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry…” (Ephesians 4:12).  Therefore, it greatly concerns me where I see a glut of Sunday-school teaching but no works of God being accomplished!  It is alarming to me that the true works of God seen in Jesus have been replaced in the Church by women’s knitting clubs, Superbowl services, and the whole colorful host of our church programs.

I believe we are called to the works of ministry seen in and commissioned by Jesus Christ our Lord, and that all the other peripheral programs of our day are just easier and more appealing distractions from the work you and I are supposed to be doing in Jesus’ name!

Ask yourself why the Church today prays so little?  Because she has nothing to pray about!!!  She’s not busy doing the divine work of God that no flesh can do on its own- she’s distracted by a flood of worldly cares!

Ask yourself why Christians today study their Bible’s so little?  Because they have nothing to study the Bible for!!!  They’re not busy engaging the powers of darkness which no carnal weapons can withstand!

Prayer calls upon God for the divine accomplishment of His will, and the Word of God is not His divine Blockbuster hit, it’s the sword of the Spirit, mighty in God for pulling down strongholds and subduing the spiritual powers of the enemy!

Oh pray to God that the Church again sets her hand to the plow and gets busy about the work of God- and then go yourself to His work- for in that day the mighty works of God will be seen like they have never been seen before!

I believe God is preparing a people through whom He will demonstrate His power and righteousness to the whole world, but I do not believe it will be like the days of Pentecost when 5,000’s converted at a time, rather, I believe it will be like the days of Noah, and we shall see God work through that small faithful remnant to do His will and glorify His name.

My question to you tonight is twofold: what is your calling, Church, and are you doing your work?