Good morning friends and family. Does the title of this message make any of you squirm? It does me, as there are some things that God is working on in my life, and I think if each of you was honest, there is still something, maybe many things that need to be given to our Lord. Amen? Please turn to Romans chapter 13: 11.
Friends, I want to look at the problems in the church today. We have lost the hunger for the things of God. We have lost the passion for living for Jesus. We have lost the essence of Biblical Christianity. We have put our faith on everything but God, and yet many think they are in God's will. Before you tune me out, hear what the scriptures say. Amen?
Romans 13:11-14 KJV And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armour of light. (13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
I need you to have a pen and paper ready, as we are going to go through many, many, many scriptures this morning. Did I say many? My friends, we all need to get this. Brothers and sisters, this is where we are going to start today. People playing church. I have done it. I did it for a while not knowing I was playing the game and then I guess if I am to be honest, there was a time I played the game knowing I was playing. No more my friends, and I pray that you are not in the game too. I am going to hit on some tough topics and I hope that no one that hears these words is offended, but hopefully convicted, as I have been convicted.
If we aren’t in fellowship (a relationship) with God, how can He give us anything? We prevent Him from moving in our lives because of lack of trust. Let me ask you a question. Can you trust your possessions to someone you don't know? Can you hand over your wallet or purse to a stranger to hold while you do an errand? No, of course not. But that's how we treat God. We treat Him like a stranger. This is evidenced in the way we live our lives. Do we trust God with our wallet?
Until we understand the Love of God, we cannot receive anything from Him in the amount He wants us to have. So if we haven’t received His love for us personally, we certainly can’t love ourselves, let alone love others. Here is another question. Are you trying to forgive and love? Did you know that all you’re "trying" to forgive and love amounts to "works of the flesh?" Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply forgive and love? Did you know that forgiveness and love brings health? It does, and hopefully we can get there in another teaching.
Let’s look at sin. This is what Jesus came to earth to save us from. Amen? Sin started from the time that Adam and Eve were deceived from the slimy serpent, which slithered into the garden that God had given Adam to watch over. As I have said in other studies, I don’t believe that the enemy came in the garden just one day, but weaseled his way in and possibly made some sort of friendship with Adam and Eve. Then they were tempted and fell into that temptation. Adam and Eve had it made; they were visited by God in the cool of the day and then blew it. Ever since, we have had that sin nature passed down generation after generation. Every man and woman that has ever walked on earth has sinned. Except for Jesus.
I want us to go on another path for a minute. Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 28:1-15 KJV. Bear with me, as this part of the teaching is long, but there are key things we must catch and then I am in hopes in my conclusion to point out something huge that many of you may not know.
Deuteronomy 28:1-15 KJV And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: (2) And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (3) Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. (4) Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. (5) Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. (6) Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (7) The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (8) The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (9) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (10) And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. (11) And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. (12) The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. (13) And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: (14) And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Wow what promises!! But verse (15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
This list is long, and because of time I’m not going to read the whole thing, but I highly recommend that you read it and meditate on it on your own.
Here is a condensed list to point out the curses:
Cursed shall you be in the city.
Cursed shall you be in the field.
Cursed will be your basket and your store.
Cursed will be the fruit of your body.
Cursed will be the fruit of your land (no increase of your herds).
You will be cursed when you arrive.
You will be cursed when you leave.
A pestilence will cleave to you until it has consumed you from off the land.
You will be overcome with fever, inflammation and extreme burning.
You will be smitten with the sword, with blasting, with mildew.
The rain over your land will be powder and dust.
You will be overtaken by your enemies.
Your body will be food for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth.
You will be smitten with the botch of Egypt, with emerods, with the scab, with the itch that cannot be healed.
You will be smitten with madness, with blindness and astonishment of heart.
You will grope in the day and night and you will not prosper in your ways.
You will be oppressed and rotten.
You will marry and another man will sleep with your wife.
Your cattle will be murdered right in front of you so that you will not be able to eat them, your ass will be taken forcibly from you and your sheep will be given to your enemies.
Your children will be given to other people and you will long for them all the day long.
There will be no power in your hands.
Another nation that you do not know will eat up the fruits of your labor.
You will be oppressed and crushed-always.
The Lord will smite your knees, your legs with a sore that cannot be healed, from the sole of your feet to the top of your head.
Wow!! Can you personally relate to any of these? Can you see America suffering from these things? My friends, this is awful and it's still in effect today. Like Adam and Eve, God’s chosen people had the chance to be blessed in everything they did, if…. If they obeyed God. Do we obey God in everything we do? Are we blessed and highly favored in everything we do from God?
Now, here is a big question. Do we do everything for God’s glory? Let’s be honest. Do we honestly love Jesus with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength? I told you I was going to touch on some sticky subjects. The Bible tells us in these three verses to do that very thing.
Mat_22:37 Jesus answered him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Mar 12:30 So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
Let’s get a little more challenging.
Luk_10:27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.' And 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'" Have I struck any nerves? God struck mine. Friends, this is the start of where we must not play church. Remember if a finger got pointed at you, three more are pointing back at me.
Each one of us has a God given conscience. From the time we were little ones, before we told a lie, we knew it was wrong. Before we went to take something that didn’t belong to us, we knew it was wrong. If you think about your conscience and think about the 10 commandments (Exodus chapter 20) I’m sure you all know them, but let’s go through them.
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.
Let’s look at some things that God hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Philippians 4:8 KJV Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Hear this, my friends. 2 Peter 1:3-10 KJV According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Let’s go back to the blessings and curses. I want to share something that some of you may not realize. First, I need to answer a question that that someone asked, and I want anyone that who thinks that I might have made a mistake or disagree with something that I may teach, to bring it to my attention. I am human, I am learning also. So please keep me accountable for what I teach. We have been warned of false teachers and I don’t want to be classified as one.
When I pray for healing for others, I use 2 particular scriptures. The first in Isaiah 53:5 KJV But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Now get this, The prophet Isaiah was telling about Jesus’ death, some 7 hundred years before Jesus was born.
The question was “the verse by his stripes ye are healed. If you go to the original Hebrew and Greek it means saved, not healed”? So I went to the concordance. It is H7495 raw-faw', raw-faw' A primitive root; properly to mend (by stitching), that is, (figuratively) to cure: - cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, X thoroughly, make whole.
Then the other scripture is found in 1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Now remember in Isaiah, it said you are healed. Here in 1st Peter it says you were healed. This is after Jesus died and was brought back to Heaven.
Now if we look in the concordance again, we find G2390 ἰάομαι iaomai ee-ah'-om-ahee Middle voice of apparently a primary verb; to cure (literally or figuratively): - heal, make whole.
Good question and I hope this helped. Like I said, listen and if something doesn’t sound right to you, ask me. I do not want to teach anyone wrong. Amen?
Now let’s quickly turn to Galatians 3:13 KJV Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Friends, did you catch the meaning here? Did you get this? I know Leanna has, because we have heard this over again, hundreds of times. All the sickness and diseases spoken in Deuteronomy, Jesus redeemed us from. That is so important for Christians to know and to believe. I didn’t make this verse up. Someone read it for me. I want to make sure that your Bible is the same. This is awesome news. It's great news, but we need to read the next verse.
Galatians 3:14 KJV That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Someone say we. Someone shout Hallelujah. What does this mean? Someone quick, expound on this before we lose the meaning. Glory to God.
Friends, this is a great reason why it is so important to get our hearts right before God. Church, God loves you so much. I don’t think any of us can really fathom the love He has for you and for me.
I want to share something that I used in a Bible study, probably 7 years ago.
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 runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution, Canaanites burning their children to Moloch. Nice church ladies cannibalizing 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.
I pray that this message has first convicted hearts that may have been hardened. Secondly, I pray that it might have inspired everyone who may have heard this message or read it, to start today to love Jesus and to know without a doubt that Jesus loves you, and last, I pray that each of us will from this day forward live a life that is pleasing in all we do for God the Father. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to be more and more like Jesus. Amen?