Good morning friends and family. I thank you all for joining us here today on paltalk, and also for those who might be reading, listening or watching this later on all the various sites that I and others post on.
Our God is so amazing and I thank Him for bringing us all together and I pray that today’s message, as convicting to some as it may be, will be a blessing to all.
My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, throughout this past week, our headlines have been filled with things that go totally against God's Word. Our Supreme Court voting on gay marriage being legal all over the US, the deal with the flags, and the list goes on and on. This nation has turned so far from God's Word, but the majority of the church doesn't even know it.
Most of you know that I share a daily prayer on many sites each morning. I also post these sermons on many sites. As I shared a couple weeks ago, I'm amazed at how many times these prayer are being hit each day and also the great responses from others. The internet has become such a great tool for sharing God’s Word, yet I wonder much of the time if the majority of those who read are absorbing anything. "Brother Jim, how can you say such a thing?" Well my friends, I can say that because of the things I see. I see some who continuously share, even in the open, amongst other believers. Many probably have no clue that what they're doing is wrong in the eyes of God because some preachers don’t teach these things. But do you know what, my friends? Even though it seems like many preachers can’t get away from the ear tickling messages that make the listener feel all warm and fuzzy inside, he can’t be blamed for all of it. "Well, who then, Brother Jim? How are we supposed to know what God wants me to do or not do? How do we know God’s heart if our pastors won’t teach us?" If we really wanted to know what's wrong or right, if we really wanted to do what's pleasing to God and know how we could be a testimony to Him for His honor and glory, we'd take that Bible that's covered with dust and open it and read and meditate on it every day. Not because Brother Jim says so, but because we want to spend time with God the Father. We'd read it daily because we want to seek His heart. We'd read and meditate on God’s Word because we want to have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We'd be in prayer constantly. Amen? And..... because the Bible (Jesus Who is the Word who became flesh tells us to. "Wow brother Jim, where does it say that?" Glad you asked. I'm going to only take you to one passage today, but there are others.
2 Timothy 2:15-26 KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:15 GNB Do your best to win full approval in God's sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work, one who correctly teaches the message of God's truth.
(16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (17) And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; (18) Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (19) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (20) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (21) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (23) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. (24) And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
So friends, are we ready to see some of the things that Christians are dabbling in that are NOT pleasing to God? We all know what the 10 Commandments are, yes? In case someone isn’t sure, let’s turn to Exodus 20 and we'll start with verse 1.
Exodus 20:1-17 KJV And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery. (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
So the commandments given to Moses were what we just read. Looking back through your life, how did you do through all these things? I can tell you, I failed miserably. Yes indeed. I failed most everything on this list, but thank God I know Jesus. I said thank God I know Jesus and He knows me. I thank Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I thank Jesus that when I cried out to Him confessing I was a dirty sinner He heard me. I thank Jesus my Lord and Savior for hearing me ask Him to be Lord of my life and that He washed my sins away. Halleluiah!! Now I'm a joint heir of Jesus. Praise God!!
Can anyone in all honesty say they obeyed all these things we read in Exodus 20? If so, congratulations, though I don't believe you. If not, don’t feel bad. You're human. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and took of the tree of knowledge, from that time on, man was born with sin nature. For those who say they obeyed all of the 10 commandments and you haven’t messed up once, wow!! You're a good person and I wish to shake your hand, but you know what? As good as you may be, if you haven't asked Jesus into your heart to be Lord and Savior, to be born again......saved, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. If you went out into your community today and asked everyone that walks by, "If you died today, would you go to Heaven?" You would be surprised at how many would say yes. Some may never have been to church. Maybe never heard the Gospel, but because they're good, they would escape hell. Many think they've earned their way to heaven.
Please turn in your Bibles to John 1:1. Friends, Jesus is the most important figure in all of human history. He, my friends, is the only man who has ever walked the face of the earth who had no sin in Him. Jesus came to earth from Heaven. He is God in flesh.
John 1:1 KJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Who was the Word? Verse 14.
John 1:14 KJV And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Please turn to John 14:6. There's no way to get to heaven but through Jesus. John 14:6 KJV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
You cannot pray to Buddha, Mohamed, the sky, mother earth or some statue that you made. It won’t work. Yes, you can talk to these things, but why would you? Why waste your breath? They don't hear you.
Let’s turn to Isaiah 14:6. For those who think that because of the good things they've done..... they're useless.
Isaiah 64:6 KJV 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.
I want to go on a different course now. I've shared for years now that I take James 3:1 very serious. My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. Who wants to take over teaching now? You see, I understand that I'm responsible for everything I teach you. I need to get it right. Those who teach God’s Word are held to a higher standard and I don’t want to stand before God and be told I taught wrong. I don’t want to hear that I taught you a message that doesn't line up with God’s Word. Do you all follow me?
This is why I can’t believe, and this is where I get into the title of the message, are we the church, or are we playing church? What is the church? It isn’t a building, friends. Again you ask the majority of people who and what the church is and they think it's that big building with the steeple that Jesus freaks go to on Sundays, or where they get married or go when someone dies. Hey, I used to think that too, until I got into the Bible. Friends, when we're saved or born again, we're now part of the body of Christ. We're a new creation. The old man is dead, or it should be. I said it should be.
Please turn to Romans 3:23. Friends, sin is sin. If you kill someone, you haven't just broken mans laws, but you've sinned against God. If you cheat on your spouse, you haven’t just hurt your spouse, but you've broken covenant with God and sinned. If you take a piece of bubble gum from someone and you didn't ask, you've stolen from that person and sinned against God. Sin is sin, no matter how big or small.
Romans 3:22-23 KJV Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Now please turn to Colossians chapter 2. Here's where someone might start to squirm. Remember, these are not my words. I'm not speaking these things or sharing this text on sites to condemn you, but to help you with your walk with God. In the next 15 minutes or so, I want to show you what I've seen from church people in OUR COMMUNITIES and on-line from professing believers.
Colossians 2:6-23 KJV As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. (20) 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, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Friends, back a few months ago, we broke down the book of Colossians verse by verse. For those who want to get a further understanding of what Paul was teaching them at Colosse and us today, go to jandlministries.weebly.com and in the search box, type Colossians and you'll see the whole study. Glory to God!
What I want you to see is this.... All through the Bible, we see that disobedience to God has consequences. We all know what happened with Adam and Eve. Then the first murder when Cain killed Able. We know that people were wicked and God opened up the flood gates, yet spared Noah and his family during the flood. We had Mosses who led the Israelites out of Egypt, yet they complained, stole, lied, and so on, and so on.
Friends, we see from many prophets that this day and age we live in would be full of wickedness. When one looks deeper into some of these prophecies, the very things that Apostle Paul addressed to the Corinthian’s, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Thessalonians, is going on today and much of the body hasn’t got a clue that what they're doing wrong, or they just don't care.
"Brother Jim, you've lost it. Have you fallen off your rocker?" When one is saved, He's a new creation. The old man is dead, dead, dead. Gone! Out of here! The things of this world that we loved should be far from our minds. The things God hates we should hate also. Amen? I said Amen?
Then I ask you my friends, why do we see professing Christians dabbling in sin? Actually, many aren't just dabbling, they've dove right in that sin and appear to be just as comfortable in it like pigs in a mud puddle. It's not funny, friends.
Colossians 3:1-25 KJV If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (6) For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. (8) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (9) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (10) And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (12) Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (14) And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (17) And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (18) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (19) Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. (20) Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (21) Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. (22) Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (23) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (25) But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
If you would, please turn to Deuteronomy 18:10-13. Here we go with things that probably many haven't realized are an abomination to God, because many preachers don’t teach about them. Here's where Satan has really fooled many.
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 KJV (10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
other translations say: practice black magic, be a fortuneteller, witch, or sorcerer.
(11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Cast spells, ask ghosts or spirits for help, or consult the dead.
(12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (13) Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
Please turn to Revelation 21:4. I want to look at a little sliver of what John witnessed and what was said to him from Jesus our Savior. What I want to show is some of the things going on in many churches. I'm going to catch a lot of flack from this, but these are not my words.
Revelation 21:4-8 KJV And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Listen up my friends. This is a powerful, take-heed verse. I don't believe many look at all that's within this verse.
(8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Friends, what's being said here is this: But cowards, traitors, perverts, sexual sinners, sorcerers, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, those who are playing with horoscopes and all liars---the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
Galatians 5:14-26 KJV For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (24) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Please turn to Romans 1:28. We'll look at a few more verses and we'll finish up. I know that I've given you a lot to think about and in a short time, but these things are important for us to understand. From what I'm seeing here from so-called church people and on-line from what are supposed to be Christians, they don’t get it. I want to be part of that spotless church that Jesus is coming for. Amen?
Romans 1:28-32 KJV And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
2 Timothy 3:1-13 KJV This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (10) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (11) Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (13) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
There is so much more that I would have liked to shared with you. Many more scriptures. I would have liked to have touched on many more things that are going on in our congregations all over the world. Church, this is why I urge you all to be in the Word daily. As you spend time with God through these readings and by being in prayer, He'll point out things to you. Those who may be into witchcraft, sorcery, palm reading, horoscopes...stop. Ask to be delivered, and now. Those who are backbiters, gossipers.....stop. Repent. Turn away from it. Magic.....stop. Those who may be dabbling in spirit stuff, like ouija boards, stop and throw it away. Friends, this is not me being mean. I love you and I want to see God do great and marvelous things through you, but when we continue in things that we know are not pleasing to God, in fact, most of these things we see are an abomination. Detestable.
I hope that you all might have learned from this. I would like to say it was a pleasure to deliver this message, but it never is pleasurable to deliver a message that's convicting, but it needs to be done. I need to hear convicting messages to get me on track at times.
Why friends do we make the Bible so complicated? Here's what Jesus says.
Matthew 18:3-5 KJV And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (5) And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
The we can also see what He says in the same chapter what we need to do when a brother or sister in Christ has done wrong against you.
Matthew 18:15-22 KJV Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (19) Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. (20) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Friends, I would encourage each of you to spend time in the Bible this week, and the Sermon on the Mount may be a good place for all to start.
Leanna and I want to thank all of you here on Paltalk. We want to thank Mylook Online, Lokey Sisters and A Far From Normal Faith Ministry for sharing these messages, and for those who read and listen to these messages on Cross Roads Fellowship, Google+, U-tube and any other social network that others have shared them on.
We love you and do hope that you have a Godly week.
Good morning friends and family and welcome to the J and L Ministries room here on Paltalk. I was first inspired to do a bible study on what Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane about 6 years ago after hearing a sermon on the radio. I started studying scripture and writing words down for a couple of days, but then decided that I probably would never do anything with it, so I stopped. Shortly after a Pastor of a church that Leanna and I helped get off the ground here in our community asked if I would lead a Bible study while he was out of town, I kind of knew what I wanted to do but wanted to pray on it and do what God wanted to teach on. That whole week I had peace on this message. I had prayed that everyone who attentended God would use these words soften their hearts and that all could understand what Jesus went through and how we can get through our own Gethsemane experiences if we ask.
This week, after seeing how God moved through me and others who heard and read and listened to last Sundays message, I felt it was time to revamp this message and let scriptures touch hearts again. Praise Jesus!
I truly believe that Jesus saw all things that would happen to Him from the betrayal of Judas, the arrest in the garden, the severe scourging, to the cross and every horrible thing in-between. Bible scripture that confirms this is John 18:1-4.
John 18:1-4 KJV When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. (2) And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. (3) Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. (4) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
John 18:1 GNB After Jesus had said this prayer; He left with His disciples and went across Kidron Brook. There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and His disciples went in. :2 Judas, the traitor, knew where it was, because many times Jesus had met there with His disciples. :3 So Judas went to the garden, taking with him a group of Roman soldiers, and some Temple guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees; they were armed and carried lanterns and torches. :4 Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward and asked them, "Who is it you are looking for?"
Throughout this message I will reference from commentaries: Gill, Barnes, Henry and concordances, mostly Strong's.
As if being nailed to the cross was not cruel enough, imagine what Jesus took to the cross with Him. He is accused for us all bearing the weight of abused children, families destroyed by adultery or apathy, civilizations decaying, wars ravaging, yet through it all, deep in the terror of hell, He keeps His eyes wide open. A portrait of the garden of Gethsemane might look a little bit different than we may have expected. It's not a serene pastural scene, this prayer closet of Jesus’, but rather an agonizing picture of struggle, pause and pain. For who? All for us.
I want you all to listen, or for you who may be reading this online or hearing the video, to get a picture of this in your mind so that you can understand what Jesus went through for you and me.
We've entered into the garden. We've entered just as Judas was arriving with 600 armed Roman soldiers, temple police and a mob of others who have come to arrest Him, yet they found Him ready and waiting for them. He was composed. He was submissive, helpful. He was in authority. He had great composure. How could He, Jesus, although God 100% and also man 100% be so composed and sure? The answer to the question of His composure was a direct result of His perspective. He knew that the cup He would drink was the cup that would come from His Father's hand. My question is, how did He get such perspective? If you look at the summary of what happened in the garden, Hebrews 5:7 and 8 gives it to us.
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of His flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; :8 Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.
I don't believe for a moment that we can appreciate the story of the garden unless you view Jesus as a man. And you have to reformat your way of thinking as you view Him in the garden as He struggles. And it will be great help to you because He's the model man for you and me with our Gethsemane garden with whatever we may be going through. We'll watch Him in this story and we'll marvel and we'll ultimately worship this Lamb of God.
What we're about to see in the garden is nothing less than Jesus Christ. It's a shocking scenario and I think we can understand it best if we see Him digging His grave. "Brother Jim, Jesus didn't dig His own grave". Hear me out. He's looking into an open pit and it crushes His spirit. For the man, Jesus doesn't want to die any more than you or I would want to die. And yet that grave in the garden will signify His willingness. His actions will signify testament. His testament that He was willing to die for you and me.
As we read earlier In John chapter 18, Jesus was entering into the garden. I found that Matthew 26 painted a more detailed picture. Let's turn there if you will.
Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. And He said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray there."
Now picture in your mind a garden a little different than your garden or even your neighbor's garden. My garden looks fantastic right now as plants are growing and it's weeded and as I'm teaching this message, we're getting much needed rain here in Maine. I'm good. I can even make rhymes while teaching a message. But friends, I think this garden in the Bible was much different than those of you who have gardens and certainly different than mine.
Jerusalem is a crowded city. People pressing on every corner. They had laws that restricted against private gardens in the city proper. They also had an old sacred law of this sacred soil prohibiting the spreading of manure. I'm sure the people of Jerusalem being crowded appreciated that law. Amen someone?
Now, outside the city some wealthy families had gardens, especially at the base of the Mount of Olives and the residents would garden there usually on an acre or two. They would raise olive trees and flowers and there were beautiful rock walls around their plot. Evidently Jesus had a very wealthy friend. And this friend let Jesus retreat to this garden for prayer.
Let’s continue reading. Matthew 26:37 And He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
I want you to remember these words. He became sorrowful and very heavy. Now why did He take these three and station them there? Here are few suggestions. Were they there for His protection? I don't think that was it. With one breath He could have knocked the ones coming to arrest Him on their backsides. Was it companionship? As we'll see later they didn't offer that. I think I would believe in this choice. Instruction. He was about to show His three closest friends His agony and before they nodded off to sleep they would see enough and they would hear enough and it would come back to haunt them and most importantly instruct them. We can see that this was a big help to them in the book of Acts after Jesus ascended to Heaven.
Jesus is going to show them how to prepare to go to the cross. How do you walk in a lonely garden? Jesus is going to show them this. There are two important words that show His emotions. You have to remember He is Man. A God man.
In verse 37 it says He began to grieve. Some versions say He was sorrowful, rendered or troubled. It implied a shrinking back from a horrifying experience. An experience that He cannot get away from, some ancient writers wrote. Remember, Jesus Christ is not an actor. Jesus is not knowing that one day people are going to be studying this and He is drumming it up. Don't think He is play-acting. Friends, this is for real. The real deal. He is full of sorrow. Remember we read in John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him.
The next word is distressed. Other translations use heavy, troubled, sad or anguish.
What a picture. Why such agonies for this God man?
Mat 26:38 Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.
Why this distress? Why this surrounding of sorrow? Was it because of the betrayal of Judas? Could that have impacted Him? I would doubt it, although you or I probably would have been. Was it the denial of Peter? The man that Jesus had spent so much time, energy and patience with, and now Peter will curse that he never knew Him.
Could it be that the nation of Israel had rejected Him, He the one who would save them, then hear their cries, "We have no king but Caesar [Crucify Him]." Perhaps. Could it be the injustices of it all? He, the creator of justice, now unjustly treated. Maybe. Maybe it was loss of intimacy and fellowship with the Father. He will cry, "My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?" The word is why have you abandoned me?
Could it have been because He would become sin for you and me? A man who had never known the stain of sin? I think it was all of these things and multiplied millions of times and that's why He was crushed with despair.
Mark 14:34-35 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35: And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
I've seen paintings showing Jesus in the garden on His knees with His hands clasped looking up into the sky praying. I cannot picture this scene like that at all. Church, don't throw those pictures away if you have one. I'm sure Jesus prayed like that at some point.
What scripture says is that He fell to the ground and prayed. Hebrews says that He prayed with huge tears. Imagine the Son of God, the Savoir of the world staggering around falling to the ground praying and crying. Getting up, stumbling, falling down and praying over and over. The Lamb of God about to be killed.
Here's another scene. Luke 22:44 And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
The medical community would call this hematedriosis. What happens is the capillaries under the skin would burst and clots of blood would mix with the sweat of the person under great duress, and said to be like blood and water. Think about that. Jesus didn't just shed His innocent blood when he was scourged and on the cross. He shed blood in the garden, too.
Now what did he pray? He, the model for us. The gospel accounts record basically the same thing. In the book of Matthew He says this twice.
Matthew 26:39 And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou will."
Again, in Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done."
Some versions use Abba Father. In Aramaic terms, Abba Father is the term of dependency. It's a term of possessive endearment. Some have taken that word and translated it to daddy. I personally think daddy falls way short.
Daddy is an American word, not necessarily an intimate term, and may trivialize Him. Some kids call their earthly father daddy. Especially when they want something. I used to, but we grow out of that. In fact, most would be embarrassed now to call their earthly dad Daddy. Now it would be Dad.
The Aramaic term Abba father is such a precious word because it's possessive. It simply means my Father mine (my father) He is mine. It's so important for us to learn that because here in this garden you would think that in this great distress, it would drive Christ to do what we would be tempted to do, and that would be to say, "Are you really mine? Where are you? Are you really my father?" Yet we come to the false conclusion that pain means the absence of God, and if He really were mine, this wouldn't happen.
Friends, I think Jesus models it well when He says with that same kind of Christ-like maturity that we should have when we go through our garden we pray "My Father", that is, "I know You're mine and I trust You as mine and I know You haven't left me and I know You will always be there for me." This is a great lesson for all of us.
Back in verse Matthew 26: 39, Jesus is struggling.
Matthew 26: 39 My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.
Shocking word. Verse 42 again.
Matthew 26:42 My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.
Now remember the cup is a categorical term for all the suffering of Jesus Christ, His betrayal, His crucifixion, His death, His abandonment, that His God, the Father, will turn His back on Him, God the Son. That doesn't mean that the Trinity ceases and now is turned to a duality. It simply means that God the Father ceases to be intimate with God the Son. And the Son ceases to have fellowship with God the Father for these hours. And that is the cup here. Fellowship will be lost while God the Son becomes filthy sin. Jesus taking on all your sins and my sins and the sins from all of us.
Do you know what it means when He becomes sin? For He that knew no sin? I don't. We can try to understand, but our puny little minds can't come close to what that felt like.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, think about this for a moment. These are words from Mark Mosley, a Christian writer. I tried to find the book online, but I couldn't find it. I share this at times throughout the year during messages and I still get choked up reading it. He wrote....
"Jesus will bear the sin of the Assyrians who gloated over their captives they skinned alive. Jesus will bear the sins of SS troops gunning down women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing burning ablaze. Jesus will bear the sins of child molesters making sure their victims never testify. He will bear the sins of Pharos sacrificing thousands of laboring lives to build a deifying tomb. Jesus took on all of this and more. He was tossed about in the endless storm of enraged fathers beating toddlers to their deaths, pimps seducing run-aways into lives of drugs and prostitution, Canaanites burning their children to Moloch. Nice church ladies cannibalizing over other nice church ladies over coffee. Impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery. He will bear the sins of Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud while their wives sit in the back of many churches hoping their make-up covers their bruises. Jesus will tumble alone. He will bear the sins of embezzlers, gangsters, bullies, rapists, liars, thieves, the indifferent, sadistic, and self-righteous. It's a scene of unbearable horror, and unspeakable magma. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children, families destroyed by adultery or apathy, civilizations decaying, and wars ravaging. But through it all, deep in the terror of hell, He keeps His eyes wide open, just a by-stander caught in the accident".
Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and we put a period right there. And He keeps on going, and the fellowship of His suffering. Hebrews already said it, and we read it, that He the Son, being a man, though God would learn obedience through the things He suffered. Praise the name of Jesus.
That's the purpose of what you go through. The garden you may be in or have been in, or will be in is for learning obedience so that the Father will chisel you into the image of that Lamb.
Do you know how tragic it is for you and me to go through suffering and not learn obedience? Do you know what that means? That it's wasted. We've sorrowed for nothing. We've experienced pain with no spiritual productivity. What a waste that would be. Remember that intimacy with God doesn't erase the potential for pain. Fellowship with God does not help us not avoid the gardens. It helps us walk through the gardens like Jesus did.
I heard a story once of a man who lost his eye due to cancer. He went into that operation not knowing if he would come out of that operation with one eye or two eyes. When he came out, the doctor told him he would be wearing a patch because he did lose one of his eyes. That would be the launching pad for his ministry, and he would be known to thousands of children as Patch the Pirate.
Here's his testimony. "Know I can see," he says. "Testing comes from above. God strengthens His children and purges in love. My Father knows best and I trust in His care. Through purging, many fruits shall I bear. Oh rejoice in the Lord. He makes no mistake. He knows the end of each path that I take. For when I am tired and purified, I shall come forth as gold."
Friends, recognize that when you're in the garden, close friends can be reassuring, but they cannot be replacements for God.
When we study the book of Job, we know that Satan had gone to Heaven and God allowed him to do whatever he wanted to Job, but he could not kill him. After Job had lost his children, animals and all he had and suffered boils all over his body, his 3 closest friends came, and from what I gather spent days discussing what happened. I think at first, these friends came to offer moral support, and then we find that the conversations went south from there.
Let's take a look at Jesus' associates and we'll wrap this up. His closest friends on earth. Here they are in verse 40.
Matthew 26:40 And He came to the disciples, and found them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour?
His, (Jesus), 3 closest friends on earth. Ouch......that hurt!
Mat 26:41-43 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. :42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. :43 And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again to pray a third time and went away saying the same thing. Then he came to them again and said, "Are you still sleeping? Taking your rest? Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise. Wake up Peter, James, John, we must be going. Behold, the one that betrays Me is in hand."
As I read these passages in Matthew over and over, it didn't hit me until later. I guess that's why they call it the Living Bible. Jesus specifically asked His 3 closest friends to pray with Him. Two times He said "Men, will you pray too?" And Peter and James and John slept. "Will you watch with Me? Will you share my burden?" And His 3 closest friends on earth dozed off. But what a wonderful lesson here.
Do you know one of the ways you will know you're experiencing a Gethsemane experience? It's that no one will go through it with you (your wife, husband, brother, sister, children, best friends). No one except the One who has already gone through it alone will walk and guide you through that experience.
This Lamb of God...The message He can communicate to you and me is this: "I understand. I walked through Gethsemane. I know what it's like to be surrounded by sorrow. I can tell you the Father understands as well." Church do we get this?
So in the garden, Jesus looks into this grave and He, being God can take in all of the horror of that moment He will face, and from this moment forward, He will walk to the cross without ever a moment of hesitating, without any more recoil, without any more prayers ("Father, could there be any other way?") And that garden stands as a testimonial to His willingness to die for us as He walks from the garden to the cross. He, the Lamb, shows us how to walk through our garden, too.
My friends, what are you going through? Is it health issues or finances? What trial might it be? There's not one problem or sickness that Jesus didn’t over come. There's not one problem that you might be going through that He won’t hear. Will you share that with Him today? Will you let Jesus walk hand in hand with you through whatever you are going through?
Leanna and I want to take this time to thank all of you for visiting our room here on Paltalk. We want to thank Lokey Sisters, Mylook Online and A Far From Normal Ministry for allowing us to share these messages. We thank you all who read and watch these on both Cross Roads Fellowship websites, J and L Ministries, Google+ and U-tube and wherever others have shared these messages.
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I'm going to stop the recording, but will be leaving the Paltak room open so that one's here can comment and ask questions.
We love you and hope you have a Godly week.
We're going to be reading from Luke 8:40-48 this morning. Today’s message is based on a Bible study that I did a several summers ago. God used it in a powerful way then, and I pray that again this morning He'll do the same.
Do you all agree that God is a “wow” God? The true living God of the Bible is a wow God. He's an awesome God. We all, I’m sure, have heard and most have sung “You Are Awesome In This Place, Mighty God”. He is an amazing God, and I know all of you know the song “Amazing Grace”. We sing about His amazing love and His amazing might and His amazing miracles. He can do what no one else can do. He can do the impossible.
God says of Himself in Jeremiah
32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?
Do you have anything in your life that's difficult? Something facing you that's too difficult for you to handle on your own? I can assure you it’s not too difficult for God. It may seem impossible for you, but for God?
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Amen?
We believe this, right? Jesus is right here. Right here in this room. The Holy Spirit's in the room where you may be listening to this message or right in the room where you may be reading this at a later time. My friends, we're gathered here in the precious name of Jesus. Turn back a chapter to Matthew 18:18.
Matthew 18:18-20 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.
These are His promises to us. We all need to get a revelation of this. Amen? I believe that this is going to touch someone’s heart here today. I believe that someone’s faith is going to be strengthened. Let's all I say, "I need a miracle." As we go through today’s message, I want all of us to be thinking of things that we need help with. What is it that you need our Savior to do in your life? What miracle can He do that He would be glorified by? Where are you putting your faith in Jesus today? What are you willing to let go of and say, "Jesus I give You this thing in my life today."
As I've been thinking about these scriptures we're about to read, this is only one of the many miracles that Jesus performed in the Bible while He walked on this earth. I'm sure there were countless more not recorded. I've been listening to a series “God’s Will to Heal” for some time now, and in this sermon the pastor refers to the story of Jesus healing the man with leprosy. Luke 5:12-14 is a great story, and illustrates that it is God’s will to heal, even today. This story in Luke 8 has been nagging at me, if you will, for a couple of weeks. So in saying this, I'm relying on God to help me pen this down to teach you and me what He wants us to learn.
Turn please to Luke 8:40. Jesus has just returned from Gadarenes after casting out a legion of demons from a man. He's now in Galilee.
Luke 8:40-48 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
This is such a great story. What a faith building story. I found two discoveries in this and I feel if we can tap into them it will change our lives.
Discovery 1: Everyone encounters problems in life. Not one of us can say that we don’t have a problem in our life. Agreed? For the believer, the enemy throws stumbling blocks in our way to throw us off track and mess us up. Last week was one of those for me. You have problems, I have them, and Adam had them. We all face problems. Job, one of the Godliest men that lived had problems.
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
This woman with the issue of blood had her problems. And I'm in hopes to show you a miracle within a miracle. This woman had one main problem that led her to have lots of other problems. Can we relate? She had the issue of blood, but it brought about many other issues. First of all, she had a long-term problem. Her issue had been for twelve years. Some or all of us can relate to long-term problems.
Another thing I just noticed, (and we know that God uses numbers) verses 41 and 42.
41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that he would come into his house:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
Did you notice? The woman had an issue of blood for 12 years and the daughter of Jairus was 12 years old.
Can you imagine this woman having this problem with blood for twelve years? Losing blood day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I'm not familiar with woman things like that, but she had to be weak, sick, and so sick and tired of being sick and weak and tired. She had a physically debilitating problem. Anyone here ever felt physically debilitated? To be totally worn out? She also had a shame problem. With me playing scriptures every night when I go to bed, I remembered hearing of God’s laws.
Leviticus 15:25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.
This woman was unclean for 12+ years, and I'm not going to try to figure out the math for the total. But also everything she sat on or touched was unclean. She had problems. She also, I would imagine, kept it to herself, as I'm sure it was embarrassing and very shameful for her. Some of us might have some of those shameful habits. Alcohol, drugs, porn or gambling addictions and thinking, "I don’t want anyone to know I do that." I've done things I'm ashamed of. I'm sure she felt isolated. According to the Bible, a person who was unclean could not go to the temple to worship. This woman, if she was married had other problems, I'm sure. If she was married, she couldn't be intimate with her husband. I suppose some of us might have a problem with isolation. Some sort of fear. Depression, maybe? Depression is a devilish problem. I've battled with depression way back in the past and it led me to isolation. I stayed in a basement apartment and most of the time with the lights off, with no windows. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I slept a lot. When I wasn’t sleeping, I hid behind a computer screen, where no one knew me and I could be whoever I wanted to be. Most of the time, people would think I was happy, though I had a lot of things bottled up that kept screaming to come out.
We just read that this woman had spent most of her money on doctors who couldn’t help her.
Mark 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
Sometimes we may go through financial problems. Some of us might be broke right now. Or beyond broke because there is more money that has been borrowed than can ever be paid back. Or because of things not foreseen that come up and drain our savings account. There have been times I've felt that problem. You feel like you're drowning in a sea of red.
How about this problem? Hopeless. "I'm never going to get better. I'll never get out of this bondage. These chains have bound me. Oh, my weight. I'm out of shape and will never get back to where I used to be. It’s just hopeless for me and I want to give up. What’s the use?" I've been there, too. Or, "I'm addicted to this or that and I'll never be able to overcome my addictions." Suppose this woman with the issue of blood felt like this?
Discovery 2: Jesus is able to overcome any problem. Her problem was a bad one. Jesus was able to conquer this problem in Luke 8:48. How long did it take? Immediately!!
This woman came behind Jesus.
Luke 8:44 Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
She touched the hem of His garment. Think about this. She would have most likely had to be practically lying down to touch His hem. This verse amazes me and I think it's a key.
Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went the people thronged him.
Looking up thronged in my concordance, I found this: G4862 and G4155; to strangle completely, that is, (literally) to drown, or (figuratively) to crowd: - choke, throng.
This woman with the issue of blood had to be in the perfect place to accomplish this. A huge crowd, and from how the scriptures sound there was pushing and shoving, agreed? It would have been noisy, as it says they; the people of Galilee were excited to see Him. Friends, this gets better. Crowded, like being choked, noisy, she comes up from behind. Everyone is touching Him because they're happy to see Him. She touches His garment and immediately she's healed, after 12 long years.
Are you looking for a miracle like this? Jesus didn’t come with a certain amount of miracles that He could perform that day. Cast the demons out of the man. Raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead. Heal this woman with the blood problem. The Lord healed everyone that came to Him. Nowhere in the Bible can I find where it says Jesus would not heal someone asking. Jesus today is willing to heal us. We have needs right here, and He wants to do a miracle in our lives, but we have to push through some things. You may be saying, "But Brother Jim, God doesn’t do miracles in my life." I'm telling you because of things that have happened in my life. I can tell you that He is willing and able because of what the Bible says.
We can learn from this woman how to receive a miracle. First, we need to push through the excuses. She could have had lots of excuses. She was unclean, and from what I've learned from God’s Word, it was risky for her to be with the crowd. She could have said, "Well, maybe I'll try to see Jesus tomorrow." Have you done this? I have, and this is Satan’s way of distracting you. And he's great at that.
Just in the past couple of days Satan's been trying to distract me, my family and some sites that Leanna and I own and others that I'm part of. I know how crafty the devil can be. I also know that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. I know that I also have others who are prayer warriors that continually keep in touch and that have been in prayer. And what I also know is that when I pray for things that have been hidden in the darkness to be revealed, usually it isn't long that it comes to pass. Usually, Thursday and Friday I start these messages and Saturday I go over them. Well, because of circumstances, that didn't happen and there are 3 messages that I've felt the urge to share again and this is one of them. So you lost, Satan.
Friends, I want us to realize that there are times that God speaks about doing things and coming to Him now. Yet what happens? I imagine each of us here in this Paltalk room, or others reading this, or those listening to this video on U-tube have been here before. "Well, maybe I'll try to do it tomorrow," and then it's the next day. Jesus was going to Jairus’s house. He was the ruler of the synagogue. He was an important figure back then. She knowing that, according to her problem, was a nobody compared to this man. Here this unclean woman is, and here comes Jesus. Rabbi Jesus. The Holy One.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Can we all relate to this? This woman had to overcome many issues, many excuses. Overcome the crowd. Even today, we have to get through the crowd. Are we hanging with the crowd? For me, if I was to continue to hang around with some, I would be sucked up into their lies and gossip. This is why as we looked at our study last week from the study we've been doing in 1 Corinthians, there are times we need to separate ourselves from others. Are we doing what the crowd wants us to do, or what God wants us to do? The crowd wants us to tie on a good one, whether drugs, alcohol, sex, getting in trouble with the law, etc… The crowd wants to rebel, use the Lord’s name in vain. The crowd will hold you back from your miracle and from Jesus every time. Does the crowd want you to go to church or bible study? The crowd wants you to get involved in the gossip and to slander others' names. Amen my friends? I see each of these issues happening within the church family.
Where does Jesus say that most people in this world go? Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Where are most going? The broad gate. Do we want to follow this crowd? Are we afraid of what some may think of us?
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
This just came to mind... do any of you wonder sometimes if you really are saved? I have to admit I've had these thoughts before, and I end up in prayer before the enemy convinces me otherwise. There may be someone here who may be thinking, "I gave my heart to the Lord when I was 10 years old and what would others here say if I didn’t think I was saved and came up front for an alter call? I couldn’t do that in front of all my friends. What would they say? What would they think of me?" WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK!!! The main thing is, what does God think? This woman in the story was unclean. She should not have been with the crowd. Here's Jesus, the Holy One of the universe, in a huge crowd. And she knew that if she touched Him in faith she may be healed. I love this. She got it. Her faith, my friends is right where you and I should be this very moment for the things that we need to happen in our lives. Glory Halleluiah!
Mark 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
She pushed through, and that's where we all need to be. No matter what obstacles are put in our way, we need to push through, and touch Jesus.
The past 5 years have been a roller coaster ride. Because of things spoken against in the Bible and what I felt put on my heart is why I've left some organizations. Even though I'm totally in agreement with what some of them stand for, I could no longer listen to the language or schemes amongst some of the members. I left a church that I loved and was very involved with, from the near beginning. These things happen in our lives. Knowing that it was time to go elsewhere and every time that I would pray or think where God would have me be, I kept hearing that small voice saying, “Here and let me guide you.” Friends, I struggled with that. I love writing messages. I love learning about God’s heart. I love being used by Him and giving testimony of His goodness. I love watching Him move through people that Leanna and I have been involved with. Even though I left these places, I still love the people and pray for them. We're all going to go through challenges, but we need to think constantly what Jesus would do in these circumstances.
I've had to make some very hasty choices the past couple days. Choices that some are going to be very unhappy with, but... I knew that the choices were something that I've been teaching on in the past couple weeks. Friends, and some of you have heard me say this before. If it seems that through some of these messages that there's a finger being pointed at you, remember there are three being pointed back at me. I'm learning. I know what I used to be, but I know what Christ has done in me. Friends, when Jesus went to the cross to be sacrificed and shed His innocent blood for you and me, He didn't just save us from eternity in Hell. My dear friends, when we give our hearts to Christ and we confess we're a sinner and we give control to Him to change us, we're a new creature. The old man is dead. Praise Jesus. But I don't see this in many confessing Christians. I sure don't see the love of Christ in many. I don't see many weeping for their unsaved loved ones. It seems like many times people just casually say, "Well, my son or my daughter is a lost sheep. I've been praying for them but I don't see a change. I wonder if God heard my prayer. I wonder if they were so bad that God just gave up on them". Nonsense! And that's what Satan wants you to think. Continue to pray for them and release your faith in it being done. Glory to God!
I know most of us have read these verses, but do you struggle with them?
Mat 22:36-38 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
Then Jesus said this, and this is a lesson that I have to grasp onto.
Mat 22:39-40 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Friends, when we obey the first two greatest commandments, the rest fall into place. This is why I try to be in God’s Word daily. There are times, though not lately, that I spend 2 0r 3 hours reading and meditating. Am I telling you that you need to spend that much time in your Bible? Absolutely not, unless God puts it on your heart, but I would encourage you to spend some time in it daily. Being in prayer is also very important. I don’t spend as much time in prayer as I probably should. I don’t believe that there's a mathematical number of how much time we need to spend in prayer or reading our Bibles, but I do think He wants some of our time everyday.
In closing, do you have a problem that you can’t overcome on your own? Maybe an addiction, an addiction of whatever, big, small, in-between, I don’t know your heart, but Jesus does. Do you have a problem like mine where everything has to be done a certain way and at a certain time? I struggled with this for many years. I know that I've gotten better, but I do know that I have a long way to go. I had a big issue with people that wanted to work with me and couldn’t keep up, yet get paid the same. In my mind, I felt I had to do twice as much as anyone else because of my handicap. Was it right for me to expect others to do the same job that I happened to love and did well and took a great interest in? No. Was it right for me to be judgmental of someone who had never been on a dairy farm, nor worked from 3AM to 9PM, nor was used to having to work on holidays? No.
I'm telling you that if we all can put the story of this woman to use in our own lives, Jesus will help us. If we keep pressing on and pressing in to the things of Jesus and obey Him, we'll see great things happen in our lives, for His Glory. If we keep pushing in and do it in faith, God will deliver us. This woman left all the excuses behind and overcame them all and was healed, and healed immediately. She pushed through the crowd.
This just came to me. Do you know why so many people come to church and leave the same? Because they touch Jesus with a casual touch and with ears not hearing and receiving God’s Word. They sing songs with a casual touch. They follow along the sermon casually. Many sit and text others on their cell phones and Ipads during the service. There may be those here in this room who maybe texting others and only hearing parts of this message. Maybe listening to this message on U-tube and and carrying on in conversation with others. They're not willing to put away the excuses and push through the crowd. They never come to Jesus and say, "Lord I come to You in faith and here is my problem and I bare myself to You now. Jesus, please work mightily in my life, because I believe in You and I can’t do it on my own." Faith isn’t believing God can do something in your life. Faith is believing God will do something in your life.
How do you reach out to the Lord? With just a casual touch? You have your problems and you don’t want anyone to know about them? No one has to know about them but Jesus, and He already does. He's saying to you, "I have a miracle for you if only you would be honest and put away the pride." What the Lord is saying is if you leave all your bitterness, jealousy and unforgiveness, stop the gossiping and back biting at My feet (Jesus), if you and I could come to Him in brokenness and push through the crowd and touch His garment, in faith, He says, "I will do it because I love you. If you would surrender to Me right now, because I can do it and I will do it, because I love you and I died on the cross for you." God is the same yesterday today and forever. He's no respecter of persons. This is what God says in the Bible. So in saying that, if He did it for her, He'll do it for you and He'll do it for me. Ask Him.
Let us focus and live our lives for Jesus. Not just in certain areas of our lives, but in everything we say and do.
Friends, look around you. Do you see big changes going on all around the world? Poverty, crime, things happening with nature that didn’t used to happen but once in a while? The news is full of this state is mad at that state and this country is going to destroy other countries. Do we see sicknesses like we never saw or heard happening at such an alarming rate? What about the way people are acting and things that our government says we can or cannot do? Church, these were all things prophesied in the Bible for such a time as this.
Today my friends is when we need to cry out to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and to live our lives for Him. Today's the day we should all say, "Lord, I'm Yours and I'll follow You no matter where You take me. Today I'll spend time conversing with You and studying Your heart." Will you? "Today Lord, I'll go to that brother or sister and ask forgiveness for the things I've done to them, or maybe they did to me. Today."
I'm going to end this in a couple minutes, but I encourage all of you here in the J and L Ministries Paltalk room to stay as I will open the room for questions and discussion.
I want to thank my brothers and sisters here on Paltalk for joining us. We want to thank A Far From Normal Faith Ministry, Mylook Online and Lokey Sisters for allowing us to post these messages on their Christian network sites. Thanks to our Brothers and sisters who support us by watching and commenting on both Leanna's and my social Christian sites, Cross Roads Fellowship. Thanks to those who faithfully visit our J and L Ministries site on the Weebly platform. And of course to all our followers on Google+ and both our U-tube channels. What a mouth full that was.
We love you and may God bless you.
sermon for June 7
Good morning brothers and sister and thank you for joining us here this morning on June 7, 2015. What an exciting time to be living and watching end-time prophecy come to pass. For some it may be a scary time, but for me my friends, I know where I'm going when my time's up here in this world and I pray that you my brothers and sisters are that sure also.
We want to thank all of you who have joined us here on Paltalk, or reading on the various social sites that I've shared these messages on, or where others have shared. Glory to God. And thanks to all of you who may be watching these on u-tube.
We've been doing a study called "Who Are We In Christ" and basing the study on the book of 1 Corinthians. Last week we ended with chapter 5 and verse 8.
For those who joined us last week, Paul was bringing attention to the leaders that there was a church man who was either living with, or having an affair with his step mother and that it had not been done in secret, or if it had, everyone knew about it. To me, it seemed that he was more upset with the congregation not dealing with the matter, and friends this is where the church needs to get their heads out of the sand and deal with stuff that's happening in the church today.
So let's get into this study as there's going to be a lot to look at this morning. Turn please to verse 9. At the very beginning of this series, you may remember me saying that this was not the first epistle Paul wrote to the Corinthians and we see that in this verse.
1 Corinthians 5:9 KJV I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
I've heard some say they weren't sure exactly what fornicators meant. Last week we looked at the Strong's Concordance. This week, let's look at the Thayer Dictionary.
1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire
2) a male prostitute
3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator
Many get confused between fornicators and adultery. Yes they are different, but both are sexual sins and very wrong. And notice that Paul said we should stay clear of those who are involved. Lat week we saw where Apostle Paul said this.
1 Corinthians 5:5 KJV To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
He was saying, " you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord."
Church, as we saw in verse 9, Paul had warned them before and he's warning us right now, to refuse to tolerate rebellion in the church. "But brother Jim, how should we live in this world with people who are rebellious and sinful? Should we judge them too?" I think as we look at these next 5 verses we'll see how he answers these questions. Praise God! And friends, let's not forget that as Paul wrote this epistle, he was being led by the Holy Spirit. It's very important that we not forget this. He was not acting and writing on his own.
What we're going to see, and I hope you get this, is that Paul was not talking about the world here. He was talking about what was happening in the Corinthian church and in many churches today. Come on friends, you've seen it. And we turn a blind eye from it. Why? Because we've let the world slip in. The enemy has gotten a foot hold in.
Let's read verses 10 -13, and what we're going to see is that Paul informs us that church discipline is for believers and not the world. Amen someone?
1 Corinthians 5:10-13 KJV (10) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. (11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Okay, now I'm going to put Leanna to the test. I want to also thank my beautiful wife for posting the scriptures each Sunday. It sounds easy, but to paste as quickly as I go through these, it can be a challenge at times. I'm so blessed to have her as a help-mate and how God has used her to change me and to bring out my gifts, just baffles me sometimes.
1 Corinthians 5:10-13 GW (10) I didn't tell you that you could not have any contact with unbelievers who commit sexual sins, are greedy, are dishonest, or worship false gods. If that were the case, you would have to leave this world. (11) Now, what I meant was that you should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in sexual sin, are greedy, worship false gods, use abusive language, get drunk, or are dishonest. Don't eat with such people. (12) After all, do I have any business judging those who are outside the Christian faith? Isn't it your business to judge those who are inside? (13) God will judge those who are outside. Remove that wicked man from among you.
Friends, in the past few years, something that I've noticed is that out in the open sins of professed Christians are seen and heard by those who are so close to making that life-changing commitment to call on the Lord to be saved. The body is being watched by the outside world. So when they see so-called believers partying and getting boozed up, cheating on their spouses, involved in the things we just read in verses 10-13, it can do 2 things. 1, it can leave them with a bad taste in their mouths toward Christians. And I see this happen often. Or 2, they follow suit and think that "Yea, I can be a Christian and still do the same as other Christians do. God must have changed." I've seen this happen too. But my friends, is that what we just read in this passage? No.
Paul says, “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother “one who bears the name brother” if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Listen up church. Don't even eat with him or her. Did that wake someone up? Yet as I said, it has become PART OF THE NORM.
So, let's look at each sin mentioned in this passage so we all have a thorough understanding of what each means. And friends, when we look at these, ask Christ to show if you may be guilty of any of these and that He delivers you from any of them. Praise Jesus.
The first mentioned is fornicator, and we looked that one already.
Next is covetous. Holding (desiring) more, that is, eager for gain (avaricious, hence a defrauder) Marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another's possessions.
How many of us can say that hasn't been an issue with us?
Next let's look at extortioners. Here is what Strong's says:
rapacious: - extortion, ravening. A person who gets money from another by using force or threats <extortioners threatened to beat up the shop owner if he didn't pay the bribe>
Next we have idolater. A person who worships an idol or idols.
This is one that many people very well could be guilty of without realizing. I'm going to give some examples and list scriptures, but won't be posting them, but I will reference chapter and verse for anyone who wants to look them up, and I hope each of you do.
image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption ( 1:28 ).
The forms of idolatry are:
Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.
Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.
Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes.
In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father's teraphim (Genesis 31:19), which were the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban's progenitors "on the other side of the river in old time" (Joshua 24:2). During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it (Joshua 24:14 ; Ezekiel 20:7). Many a token of God's displeasure fell upon them because of this sin.
The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from among the people during the forty years' wanderings; but when the Jews entered Palestine, they came into contact with the monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies.
The first and second commandments are directed against idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was devoted to destruction (Exodus 22:20). His nearest relatives were not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment (Deuteronomy 13:20-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned (Deuteronomy 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was a crime of equal enormity (13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the punishment of their idolatry (Exodus 34:15 Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7 ; 12:29-31 ; 20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to the same cause (Jeremiah 2:17). "A city guilty of idolatry was looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death." Jehovah was the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state offense (1 Samuel 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Exodus 23:24 Exodus 23:32 ; 34:13 ; Deuteronomy 7:5 Deuteronomy 7:25 ; 12:1-3).
In the New Testament, the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness (Matthew 6:24 ; Luke 16:13 ; Colossians 3:5 ; Ephesians 5:5).
Next, look at railer. Some translations use abusive language or slanderer. Suppose that's happening within the church even now? It should not be.
A drunkard. I don't think we need to explain what this means, but do we get this... "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a..... " "with such an one no not to eat." Friends, do we get this? You should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in the sins. Don't eat with such people that are involved in such sins.
Let's finish up with the last two verses in chapter 5.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 GW (12) After all, do I have any business judging those who are outside the Christian faith? Isn't it your business to judge those who are inside? (13) God will judge those who are outside. Remove that wicked man from among you.
Friends, someone might be thinking, "Doesn't God deal with the believers that fall away?" Yes, He does.
John 16:6-13 KJV But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He also chastens us.
Hebrews 12:2-14 KJV Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
What we see in 1 Corinthians 5: 12 and 13 is that the Lord expects His children to watch over each other and instruct one another when one slips into a dangerous path. But, and listen up my friends. This should be done under the guidance of the leadership the Lord has set in the church.
Ephesians 4:11-15 KJV And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
We are to handle situations according to how Jesus instructed for church discipline. I think we looked at this last week, but let's look at it again.
Matthew 18:15-17 KJV Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Friends, one thing that I think most of us can admit if we're honest is we've all judged those who are not believers. Anyone have their hand up? I've done it. That needs to stop. We can see through many verses that it's God's business, not ours. Yes, share the Gospel and of course they need to know that they are a sinner and need to repent and only Jesus can set them free of the chains that keep them bound to sin.
Church, I see often many try to clean up the world’s fishbowl, and I've been guilty of this too. However, God asks us fish. Jesus says, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men". Amen someone? If you’ve been spending your time trying to scour the world, put down your scrub brush, pick up your fishing pole, and go for the fish!
Someone might be thinking, "Brother Jim, but who cares? Church discipline never really works anyway, does it"? I've seen it work. Me, for example. I shared with you a few weeks ago how I once had a very religious spirit. Christ took that from me. Praise God, and He's still working on me in other areas, but I had to have it brought to my attention.
Now there are others who maybe removed from the church and they go to the next church down the block. Leanna and I have seen this happen a few times. Others, and it makes me wonder if they even knew Christ at all, love the fact that they can sleep in and go shopping on Sunday. Not worrying about being hung over from Saturday night.
What I would hope and pray for, is that someone who had been confronted of the sin and was asked to leave the church would understand the sin that was done, and repent from it and share a heart spoken testimony asking for forgiveness and would be let back into the church.
In closing, I want to thank all of you who attended this week here on Pal talk. Thanks to those who read or watched this sermon on Cross Roads Fellowship, Mylook online, A Far From Normal Faith Ministry, Lokey Sisters, Google + U-tube, or any of the other social networks that friends have shared it on. Please visit these networks, leave comments, and if you have not subscribed to the J and L Ministries U-tube channel, please do.
We love you and may the Lord guide you this week.
May 31 sermon
Good morning brothers and sisters and welcome to the J and L Ministries room here on Paltalk. We also thank A Far From Normal Faith Ministries, Lokey Sisters and Mylookonline for allowing us to share the sermon videos on their sites. And also thank you all who watch on the Cross Roads Fellowship sites and Jandlministries.weebly.com website and of course my good friends on Google plus.
Today, as we continue in our series "Who Are We In Christ?" based on the book of 1 Corinthians, we'll begin this morning with chapter 5. Because Paul was addressing many sins that were and had crept into the church at that time, and we know that it has flooded many congregations in our time world wide today, we'll most likely spend a lot time on this chapter and break down each issue that Paul was addressing. Why? Because I want you brothers and sisters in Christ to be rock solid in your faith in Jesus Christ and how you act according to God's ways.
Leanna will be posting scriptures that we'll be reading from this morning, but I urge you friends to keep notes and please go back to these scriptures on your own time. Most of you who've been following this ministry know that I base all these sermons using the King James Version and I still am, but we'll also be looking at some other translations this morning. So let's get started with Chapter 5 and verse 1.
1 Corinthians 5:1 KJV It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
This is not good. And as we look at other translations, we'll see that even those who were not of the faith would look at this as being sick. Let's look at the English Standard Version followed by the Good news Bible and then the Amplified.
(ESV) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife.
(GNB) Now, it is actually being said that there is sexual immorality among you so terrible that not even the heathen would be guilty of it. I am told that a man is sleeping with his stepmother!
1 Corinthians 5:1 and 2 (Amplified) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father’s wife. 2 And you are proud and arrogant! And you ought rather to mourn (bow in sorrow and in shame) until the person who has done this [shameful] thing is removed from your fellowship and your midst!
Suppose there was a message being delivered? I can't imagine this, but here's a member of the church and was apparently openly living in sin with his father's wife. Sleeping with his step-mom.
We read verse 2 from the amplified, here is 2 and 3 in the King James.
1 Corinthians 5:2-3 KJV (2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (3) For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.
Church, notice in verse 1, we see that Paul hadn't heard about this instance of incest through just one witness. This was common knowledge among the believers in Corinth. And from what he says here, even the non-Christians, Gentiles, and as the other translation used, pagan and heathen didn't live in this kind of sin.
In verse 2, Paul's saying to the church that "You're being arrogant when you should have been more upset about this. If you had been upset, the man who did this would have been removed from among you. You brethren have let the enemy get a foot inside the your own congregation."
If we were to look up the Greek word for fornication which was used twice in verse1 and twenty-two other times in the New Testament, it's "PORNEIA," and it means "harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry" (Strong's Concordance).
If one was to do a study from all the commentaries, you'd find that most agree that fornication is all sexual immorality of which adultery is just a part of. And we see here that no one dealt with the matter and as we'll see, Paul was not a happy camper. Yet, how much different is that in most congregations today? How many unwed couples are living together today? And yes, Leanna and I did before we were saved. Was it right? Absolutely not, and we both have to deal with that when witnessing to couples who are doing the same thing.
There have been times that we've had to speak to couples unmarried who ask the question "Is it wrong?" My suggestion to them is this. If they're serious about living their lives for Christ and they're serious about one another, one of them needs to move to another place until they do get married. And, not have a sexual relationship until that time. I believe that God would honor that. It shows that they're trying to do what's right and not be what the world is.
"Well brother Jim, isn't that being judgmental?" Well, who do we want to serve? We can't have it both ways.
Matthew 6:24 KJV No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Church, The man who loves God cannot love the evil world. We live in it, yes but don't become part of the evil. Things might seem okay and normal in this dark world, but for us, we need to stay away from such things.
1 Corinthians 5:4-5 KJV (4) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, (5) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Okay, now this is where some may find it difficult to understand. This is where some will say we're not to judge. This is where some may tune me out, but I ask you this. Do we believe in the Bible? Do we believe that every word was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Okay, so in what we just read, was Apostle Paul being led by the Holy Spirit? We need to make up our minds friends and we're just getting into the sin part and we're going to look at each one of them that Paul addressed as we continue. Will we serve man, or will we serve God?
Let's look at verse 5 from the Good News Version.
1 Corinthians 5:5 GNB you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.
Let's see what Jesus said about the sinner in Matthew. Now remember as we read these verses, Jesus is talking about a believer.
Matthew 18:11-17 KJV For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep,100 believers and one of them be gone astray, 1 believer doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? (13) And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. (14) Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Here we're going to see the order Jesus tells us to handle an issue with a brother (a believer) who has wronged you, or, and this is important for the church leadership, is involved in sin. Remember brothers and sisters in Christ, these are not my words, but from the Master Himself.
(15) Moreover if thy brother a believer shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But (step 2) if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he (Believer) shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
"But brother Jim, I'm still tripped up about the judging thing." My friend, I know where you're going with this. Paul expects Christians to judge one another. I know someone's going to say, "But, but what about Matthew 7:1 Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you." Yes, it does say that. And just like so many scriptures, This is the most quoted verse in the world today. Yet, very few people read Jesus' words in context. Jesus says that we can judge, but first we must judge ourselves. But many see that 1 verse and skip the rest. Not us friends. We're going to read it. Glory to God.
Before we do read this, can I make a suggestion to each of you hearing my voice, or reading this? When a preacher reads a scripture verse,or passage, read the prior verses and the verses after. Make sure he or she isn't taking things out of context.
Matthew 7:1-5 KJV Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Wow! So back to verse 5 in Corinthians, you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord. Delivering this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh was the last step in church discipline. There are two other men whom Paul delivered unto Satan for this purpose. We see this in 1 Timothy.
1 Timothy 1:20 GNB Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have punished by handing them over to the power of Satan; this will teach them to stop their blasphemy.
So someone is probably thinking, "Brother Jim, that means I have to hand them over to Satan so they go to hell?" Delivering people unto Satan does not mean we're damning them to hell, nor does it mean they're going to die physically. In this instance, we see by Paul's instructions in 2Co 2:6-7 that this man didn't die but repented and was restored back into the fellowship of the church.
2 Corinthians 2:2-11 KJV (2) For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? (3) And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. (4) For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (5) But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. (6) Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. (7) So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. (8) Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. (9) For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. (10) To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; (11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
What does Satan do? Steal, kill and destroy. And that my friends is what Satan wants to do to you and me.
Jesus says: John 10:9-11 KJV I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Let's get back to 1 Corinthians. Leanna's working hard, I know. There's a lot of scriptures that we've looked at, but my friends, I want each of us to get this.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV (6) Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (8) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
What does bread making have to do with this passage? I can remember a time when I'd read right through this part of the Bible. I was just reading. I wasn't studying it. Amen someone? Anyone been there? And we read it and we thought, "Well, it's biblical so it must be true." And we walk away without any understanding.
What Paul was saying to the Corinthian church was you have this man that's living this sinful way that even the pagans stay clear of, but also the pride of the church. He uses the illustration of a piece of leaven. Those who've ever made bread knows what I'm saying. Leaven is a little lump of bread dough that is saved out of the batch. It's allowed to ferment or sour, and then it’s used in the next batch of bread so that it'll rise. A little bit of yeast can make a whole loaf rise. The Jews associated fermenting with rotting, so leaven became a symbol of corrosive evil. Paul was saying what's infecting the congregation is their boasting about their toleration of this man. That's what Paul wants to get rid of among the believers in Corinth. To accomplish this the sinful man has to be expelled. Friends, this took me a while to understand. Paul doesn't see the sin of this man’s immorality infecting the congregation, as though that's the rottenness. We know that, right? Here's the issue right here. What Paul was really addressing and what's affecting the church in Corinth and the church today is the sin of their pride. If they can get rid of that sin which is eating its way through the congregation, then they stand a chance of being (here we go with the bread) “a new batch without yeast.”
Church, I'm going to start to bring this message to a close. I know we only got through 8 verses this morning and I still don't think everyone really understands the full message of what Paul was addressing.
The church then, as is now, was without excuse. They had been under the preaching of two of the greatest preachers in world history. Paul and Appolos. But really friends, does it really matter who the preacher is? Look at some of the most Godliest preachers man has ever known, yet Christians will continue to sin regardless of who's preaching and leading. And my friends, you know what the biggest issue is? Want to know what will destroy a group of believers? Pride.
This is going to hurt. There are those, and friends I've witnessed it and if you really think about this, I know you have too, preachers who preach their hearts out. Everything from their lips are biblical and they live their lives according to what they preach, and not intentionally, they are hatching pride issues within the church. Come on friends, someone get an understanding of this.
How many times do we hear others from another church say, "My preacher is the greatest preacher I've ever had. He preaches the Word. Man this guy feeds me the meat, there's no milk in his messages. My church knows the Word." Now are you starting to see the big picture, friends? And what happens friends, is they think they're spiritually mature when in reality they're not.
So now's the time friends for us to get real. Here's the time that we need to ask Jesus to reveal our hearts. This is the time that we come to Jesus and we say, "Lord, I need to be broken. Lord, help me be the man or woman that you want me to be. Father, I've tried on my own and I just can't change, so Jesus I give my heart to You to mold me into the person that You want me to be. To clean soften that hard heart."
So friends, here's your time to get right with God. Let me ask a tough question: Are you involved in some sin that, if revealed, would devastate your loved ones and destroy your reputation? Okay, maybe you haven’t done what this man did, but are you involved in internet pornography, or an emotional affair at work? As we looked at in the beginning of this message, maybe you're a couple living together and aren't married. Do what's right. Maybe you're abusing drugs. It may even be abuse of prescriptions drugs. There may be someone listening or reading that's involved in illegal gambling, some kind of illegal money deals.
I don't know your hearts my friend, but I guarantee God does. You and I can fool people for a time and maybe a long time, but you're not fooling God for a minute.
Maybe alcohol's a problem that you have. Maybe lying or stealing. Here's one that so many are involved in and we didn't get far enough in this chapter to look into it this week. Gossip. And so many are unaware they do it. My brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever it is, stop today. My dear friends, you and I, when we find God's truths are responsible to act upon what we hear is wrong. For those who've been following this ministry, or any ministry and you hear from the Word of God and it points to something that you 've harbored in your heart, it's time to make a change.
There will be a time that you and I my friends will stand before God. Each one of us will have to account for our lives and if you're listening to this message, on that day that you stand before God and you're involved in any of these sins that I've mentioned and haven't turned away from them, you won't be able to say that you didn't know.
My friends, I urge each of you to begin practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study. God will grant you plenty of grace if you come clean with Him and others. Don't put it off, because time's running out. It's estimated that somewhere around 144,000 people die every day. That someone maybe you. Not one of us are promised tomorrow.
For those who might be part or have been blessed with their own ministry and you may have these issues within the congregation, deal with that issue as we saw how Jesus told us to deal with it in Matthew 18 and how Paul dealt with it here in this chapter.
Friends, we love you and this may have been a hard message for someone to swallow and as we continue next week, there will be other things that may reveal things to others. Society has allowed so much corruption to be a part of the normal and so hasn't the church. You and I need to be different and with Christ living in us and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, if we are willing to yield to that direction, we can change. Praise God!
Thank you for joining us this morning here on Paltalk. Thank you to all of you who read or watch these messages on all the other websites. We hope that if these messages have spoken to you that you share them with friends and family and please leave a comment.
We love you and hope you all have a great week and let God direct your path.