1. Paul was an apostle because it was what Jesus wanted him to be. When he said it was by the will of God he wasn't using pious nonsense; it was true. He never would've volunteered for the job, but he got it anyway.
When Jesus first saved Paul, and called him to be his minister he showed him what suffering he would have to endure for him, and God wasn't kidding. Following Jesus resulted in a lot of pain, a lot of stress, a lot of suffering, and finally he had his head chopped off, but it was the will of the Lord, and so he accepted it.
Some Christians have a ridiculous idea concerning the will of God. They think that they will recognize God's will for them because it is the path with less potential trouble, and less potential stress. That way of thinking contradicts what Jesus said when he stated: "if anyone will not pick up his cross daily and follow me he cannot be my disciple." Jesus told us to count the cost before we follow him. He said no one builds a tower unless he first sits down and figures out if he has enough materials to finish the job. Why? Because it's a challenge, because it's a big job, because there will be hardships, and failure, and trouble along the way.
If you're not willing to put up with suffering in the will of God, and therefore explain it away as not being God's will; you should just admit that you're not willing to follow Jesus. Go eat ice cream for the rest of your life, and resign yourself to the fact that you're not going to be a blessing to Jesus, and you're not going to be used by him, and you're going to be a miserable failure as a Christian because you're not willing to suffer for Jesus or even to live with less comfort for Jesus.
1,2. You are not a saint if you're not faithful to Jesus. You can't be holy if you're not faithful. And you can't be faithful unless you really believe in what you are supposed to be faithful to. That means the word of God, that means the Bible.
The more you really believe the Bible the more you will live it and the more holy you will be. Faith in God's word is the key to holiness. You say, how do I get faith in God's word? By reading God's word! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
3. Paul was a praying man and that's why he was a powerful man. You are a spiritual weakling if you don't pray. If you don't pray than the Devils crowd will stare you down like a little whipped puppy and you won't have the guts to take a stand for Jesus Christ against anyone. If you don't pray like you should then you are going to laugh and snicker at the dirty jokes just like everyone else because you don't want anyone to think that your different. You're going to lie like the world lies because you don't want anybody to think that your different. You will never take a stand for Jesus, and you will never have the guts to say to an unsaved person who sinning right in front of you, and enjoying it that they are wrong, and that they need to repent or their going to hell. eg, homosexual in park.
Prayerlessnesslessless makes a person more concerned about their own popularity than Jesus Christ. Prayerlessness makes a person more concerned about their popularity than a lost soul who's on his way to hell and needs a good Holy Spirit rebuke instead of encouragement to continue on the way they're going.
4. If we love Jesus Christ more than anything else, then we're going to have an affection for Christians who also love Christ like that.
If we love Jesus then we're going to love all Christians, in the sense of wanting what is best for them. But I don't have any affection for lukewarm Christians who really don't give a rip about Jesus Christ, and care more about the things of this world, or care more about being cool in the eyes of the world, than they do pleasing Jesus. I don't have much affection for them, in fact I don't even like them. I have to love them because it's a command of God, but I don't have to like them. On the other hand you get me around somebody who is sold out to Jesus Christ, and I won't be able to get enough of them, and that's the way it should be.
There is something wrong with you if you can't get enough of lukewarm Christians. There is something wrong with you if you love being around lukewarm Christians; you need to repent because you shouldn't feel comfortable around people like that, and you certainly shouldn't like being around people like that.
Christians who are not serious about their faith should make you sick, they should make your skin crawl! Lukewarmness should not be rewarded with spiritual friendships. Spiritual indifference toward our Savior should not be rewarded with warm feelings.
5. The sure hope of what we have in heaven, and in eternity in general, generates the faith and love that's in our souls.
If the blessings of eternity that come through Jesus Christ are not real to us, if they don't burn in our hearts; then there isn't anything for us to believe in except what we can see. If we don't have a sure hope in eternity through Jesus Christ, then we don't have anything to live for except what we can experience with our five senses today.
The Colossian Christians were messed up doctrinally because of some false teaching, but they still knew Jesus, and in their own twisted way they still had a sure hope for eternity through Jesus Christ, and that's why they loved Christians.
6. The gospel, the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is the word of God. It is the word of God which is why it (along with every other word in holy Scripture) is packed with divine power, and as a result produces what is good. The word of God, produces salvation and holiness; it's the word of God and nothing but the word of God that does that, but it has to be proclaimed clearly and without apology.
It is the word of God; the clearly proclaimed word of God that causes people to grow in their faith and become more like Jesus. The word of God will do its job if men will just leave it alone! God's word doesn't need to be spiced up with man's foolish attempts to make it entertaining, or anything else; it simply needs to be unleashed. Those who try to spice up the word of God, or try to make it entertaining, or use it in a perverted way to draw attention to themselves drain God's word of its power.
It makes me sick when I see preachers take the holy word of God and manipulate it, and mishandle it, and use it as a means to draw attention to themselves. That will strip the word of God of its power every single time.
I'm so tired of listening to preachers who appeal to the original language in their sermons and say stuff like: the Greek word for "everything" means all things; or the Greek word for "believe" means to believe, it means to trust in. Aaron and I text each other when we hear preachers say that sort of thing. I heard a preacher say this a few days ago: "The Greek word translated once for all means one time and never needing to be repeated." They say those things to impress people, but all it does is take attention away from Jesus Christ and the word of God and put it on them; it is a manifestation of sinful pride.
I get so sick of preachers who change the meaning of Scripture saying that it should have been translated this way or that way. They are trying to impress people, and what they are doing is encouraging people to put their faith in the preachers intellect rather than in the written word of God. They're saying don't trust that book, trust me. I can correct the Bible because I'm so smart.
Leave the holy bible alone and just let it speak, and you arrogant dogs out there who are constantly correcting the pious and scholarly translators of the received text King James version should be taken out to the woodshed and taught a lesson for perverting the word of God and leading people astray just so some of them might be impressed with your supposed intellect. I'm not talking about updating some of the outdated words; I get that, that's important; I'm talking about taking the clear text and changing its meaning entirely. No wonder so much preaching lacks power today. Instead of preaching the demons into hell by proclaiming the word boldly there are too many preachers trying to figure out how to impress people...God help us!
And some of you people who are listening to me right now are so warped, and so Luke warm, and so desensitized to right and wrong that you actually get angry at me for pointing out the wrong that they do rather than being angry at them for doing it; how twisted is that! You're sick man!
7. If a Christian will serve Christ; if they are willing to serve, instead of always looking to be served; if they are willing to set aside what makes them happy in order to do what makes Jesus happy; if they are willing to give, and give of themselves, and put Jesus first, then God will work through them in ways that they never could've imagined.
If you are a Christian and your life is wasted, then it's their own fault. Be a servant starting right now, and your effort will not be wasted, and your life will not be lived in vain.
8. Love in the Holy Spirit is pure, undefiled, unselfish love. You get yourself filled with the spirit of Almighty God, and he will start living, and loving through you the way he wants to.
Anyone can be an on fire servant of Jesus Christ. You can be the most on fire Christian in the world starting right now if you want to be. Anyone can serve Jesus with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Anyone can be a modern version of the apostle Peter as long as they're willing to go all out for Jesus even though it might mean being crucified upside down. Anyone can be a modern version of the apostle Paul, completely dedicated to the Lord God, all they have to do is what he did, and that's beat his body into subjection lest after he preached to others he himself would become a castaway.
Someone says I don't know I sort of like satisfying my body; I sort of like giving into temptation, in fact I do that more than then I do what is right, and I'm not sure I want to quit. Well then carry-on; carry-on with your lukewarm existence, and waste your life because that's what's going to happen.
9. Spiritual wisdom and understanding includes knowing what the Bible says, and knowing how it applies to whatever situation you find yourself in.
This verse talks about being filled with the knowledge of God's will. When you're applying the Bible to what you do, and how you do it, and what you say, and you're applying the Bible to your attitude, then you don't have to be concerned about finding God's will; believe me you're in it.
When you know what the Bible says, and you know how to apply it to your life, and you're doing that, then you have grabbed God's will, hook, line, and sinker, and now all you have to do is hang on tight because God is driving.
10. The more we know about God, and the more we apply his word to our life, the more we will get to know God, and then we will have more to apply, and when we apply it we will know God in a deeper way. But it all starts with applying the simple truths of God's word that you already know right now. That's the ignition that starts the spiritual engine in your soul. Don't wait until you know more about God and what he wants before you start living for him. Start applying the truth that you know right now.
11. We need to be strengthened with all God's might according to his glorious power. That means we need all the power of God that we can handle or were going to fall flat on our faces.
Verse 11 talks about patience, and long-suffering, and not feeling rotten about it, but instead doing it with joyfulness, and we both know that that's not going to happen, because that's not natural, unless we are empowered by God.
Persevering in doing what is right, patience, and putting up with what is wrong can only be accomplished in us through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that will only happen as we are ever growing in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, and striving to stay close to him.
If our relationship with Jesus is solid, then he will produce the patience that we need. If our relationship with Jesus is solid, then we will be able to put up with more bad than we ever thought possible. God the Holy Spirit will produce endurance in us, and as a result we will keep living for Jesus, and we will keep doing the right thing in spite of all the sinful enticements and threats that may attack us.
12. We have all been disqualified for heaven because we have all committed sin. One sin disqualifies us for heaven. The first time we ever committed a sin in our entire life we were immediately disqualified from heaven, and there is nothing we can do by ourselves to fix it.
We have been disqualified for breaking the rules. We have been kicked out of the game as it were. But God has qualified those who have repented and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Through Jesus Christ he has made us fit for heaven; through Jesus Christ he has qualified us to go to heaven after we die instead of going to hell.
13. Christians have been delivered from the power of darkness. And the power of darkness includes slavery to sin. The devil cannot slap us around like a punching bag anymore, unless we give him permission. We don't have to live life in darkness, controlled by the ridiculous and warped reasoning that leads to frustration, and failure among lukewarm Christians, and the unsaved world.
We don't have to live under the control of moral darkness; we don't have to live like a fool not knowing our left hand from our right. People in the world grope around in the darkness looking for normal and they don't find it because they're in darkness. But when we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and made a commitment to follow him God installed a lightbulb in our soul, and every time we take in the word of God that light gets brighter. Every time we take in the word of God our soul becomes brighter; our knowledge of right and wrong increases, and consequently we don't have to stumble along in life doing all sorts of stupid things that bring people to ruin.
14. The NIV, the new living translation, the English standard version, the new American Standard Bible, the Holman Christian standard Bible, all remove the reference in verse 14 to the blood of Jesus Christ.
Using corrupt Scriptures Satan has mounted a direct attack against the blood of Jesus Christ that saves people from their sin, and pastors all across this country are unwittingly being used by Satan to steer people away from the pure truth. Someone says: does it really matter? It matters to God; He says in Jer. 23:35,36 "“What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”
The Bible says that Jesus has redeemed us by his blood. In other words when he shed his blood on the cross he ransomed us off the road to hell, and put us on the path to heaven.
Someone says why do we have to talk about the blood; what's the difference death is death? We have to talk about the blood because that's what God talks about . And there's a huge difference because the Bible says that the life is in the blood. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that gave us eternal life.
It wasn't enough to simply kill the Passover lamb down in Egypt; it's blood had to be applied to the doorpost in order to save the lives of the firstborn inside the house. The Bible says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. The blood of Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world.
15. Jesus was not the first person that God ever made, Adam was. You say then Adam existed before Jesus? No, the son of God, has always existed. He was there long before God created Adam, in fact the son of God is the one who created Adam. The son of God was there long before anything was created.
But Jesus is the firstborn in the biblical sense of the word. Firstborn in Scripture means the preeminent one, the one who is in charge, the one who provides and instructs. That's Jesus right down to the smallest detail. So Jesus is not created and that's because he is God, and in fact he is the image of the invisible God.
16. It doesn't matter what it is: seen or unseen, in heaven or on earth, in outer space, or in the oceans, the planets, the stars, the galaxies, the entire universe, and every speck of space dust was all created by Jesus and for him.
And don't underestimate the importance of the fact that he created everything for himself. It is true that God blesses man, and it is true that God has given us all good things to enjoy, but it is not true that God made all of creation to be a playground for man. Neither has he created all things to work together for our pleasure. Jesus Christ created everything for his good pleasure. The world does not revolve around us, and our feelings, and our desires; it revolves around Jesus, and his feelings, and his desires.
Don't primarily seek your own good; that's not why you're here. We are here to seek to please Jesus Christ; that should be our goal because that's the goal of all of creation. I'm sorry if that means that you are not going to be happy all the time, but that's the way it goes, and it doesn't matter as long as Jesus is happy. I'm sorry that you cannot get every prayer answered the way you want it to be answered; I'm sorry you're going to be disappointed, and I'm sorry you're going to have to go without, and I'm sorry that the weather isn't always what you it to be. But Jesus never said that this world was made to serve us. This world was not made to serve us; this world, along with us are made to serve Jesus. And as long as he's getting what he wants we need to be content with that. He didn't teach us to pray "my will be done on earth;" he taught us to pray "your (God's) will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
17. Obviously Jesus has to be before everything because we've already seen that he created everything.
There was a time when there was nothing except God, but that's okay, he wasn't lonely, he wasn't lonely because he didn't lack anything, and that's because he is perfect, and so he was perfectly satisfied, and perfectly content with himself. He made everything for his good pleasure, not because he needed anything. He made everything because he wanted to, not because he was lacking something.
So Jesus made everything, and he keeps everything going also. You say how does he keep everything going? He keeps everything going by holding everything together. I love physics it's just a dirty shame that I don't understand it. But I try, and sometimes I spend too much time studying it, and reading about it trying to grasp a little piece here in there. I don't know much, but I have read that it is completely unnatural for the atoms that make up everything to stay together. It doesn't make sense; the atoms should repel one another like two magnets with a positive charge.
Something is holding the atoms together, and therefore something, or someone is holding your body together, and this planet together, and the entire universe together, and keeping everything including you from exploding into nonexistence.
It's my understanding that the scientists can't figure out what's doing that, but they do know that there is anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds of pressure holding every single atom together. They can't figure out what it is, and they'll never figure out what it is, because the answer is not scientific, it spiritual. Jesus is the one who holds all things together so if he ever released his grip on the atoms everything would explode including you.
If you need another reason to put Jesus first and give him the honor and respect that he deserves I think I just gave you a good one.
18a. A body isn't much good without a head. You can have strong skillful hands; you can have legs that run fast; you can have a strong heart; you can have a voice box that can sing beautifully; you can have perfect 20/20 vision but if those parts of your body are cut off from your head, from your brain, because of a stroke then they're going to hang limp; they're not going to work. And without Jesus who is the head of the church; without Jesus who is our head we hang limp spiritually, and become completely and totally useless to Almighty God.
You have to stay connected to Jesus. That means you can't afford to have any unconfessed sins in your life because they will sever your fellowship with Jesus immediately. You have to stay connected to Jesus by avoiding sin, and confessing the second that you commit it.
18. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. He wasn't the first to be raised from the dead, but he was the first to be raised from the dead in a glorified body that will never die.
Jesus is our Proteau type. When you look at Jesus and the things that he was able to do in his resurrected body you get a good idea what you will be doing as well.
Eat, drink, walk, touch, be touched, appear, and disappear, talk, reason, teach, understand, enjoy family and friends, are all things that Jesus did and are all things that we will do.
19. This means that every speck of God, the entire infinite God was crammed into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The full God was and is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the heresies in the Colossian church was that there were many many gods emanating from Almighty God in heaven. All these lesser gods were steppingstones that people had to climb through good works, through self-sacrifice, and through legalism in order to make their way up into the presence of the Almighty God. The heretics were saying that Jesus was just one of these lesser God's. They also called the entirety of all those lesser God's "the fullness"; so when you put all those lesser gods, all those steppingstones to Almighty God together you had the fullness. Well Paul throws a haymaker and breaks the jaw of that heresy right here by saying: no Jesus is the fullness; there's one step to God, and its Jesus. To sort of quote Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon: Jesus is one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind because he is the only step on the ladder between sinners and God , and he, all by himself, brings us into the presence of God.
20. All sinners who ever will be reconciled to God will be reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, or they will not be reconciled to God at all. No one who dies for Allah will be reconciled to God. No one who chants Hare Krishna will be reconciled to God. No one who thinks that they can work themselves into heaven or suffer themselves into heaven will be reconciled to God.
Repenting, receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life, and making a commitment to follow him is the only way to be reconciled to God.
21. Every single person in this world who hasn't repented of their sin and made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ is an enemy of God. You say I'm not an enemy of God; I have not repented, I have not made Jesus my Lord, but I'm not His enemy. You're not an enemy of God? What what would you call someone who constantly did things and said things that they knew made you angry? You told them to stop. You told them you didn't like it. You told them it offended you. But they said no I'm going to do what I want to do and I don't care what you think about it. What would you say about those people? You would say that they don't like you. You would say that they are your enemies. Well sin angers God, and sin irritates him, and he tells people to quit; if they choose not to quit then they prove by their actions that they are his enemies.
21,22. Jesus died for his enemies which includes all of us. Our sins are offensive to God. Our sins are a concrete way of saying: God what you like doesn't matter; I'm going to do what I like.
God could have squashed us like a bug a long time ago, and he would've been perfectly just in doing it. He could have killed us, and sent our souls to hell forever long ago, and no one could say anything bad about him for doing it. But instead of treating us like the enemies that we were he died a horrible death on the cross to pay for our sins so that we could be reconciled to him by receiving Christ as our Lord, and Savior. Jesus died and the Father watched it, and it was horrible for both.
I cannot imagine watching my son die so that others might have life, but what would be even worse is if he died, and those he saved would spit on his dead body, and call him a loser, and a fool, and dishonor him rather than appreciate his sacrifice.
In essence that's how most people treat Jesus; he died for them, and they treat him like he's a loser, and they belittle him, and they dishonor him, rather than appreciate his sacrifice by accepting him as their Lord and Savior, and making a commitment to follow him. And Jesus knew it would be that way, but He still died for us anyway.
22,23. Someone says I believe that a real Christian is saved and will always be saved and can never lose their salvation. Someone says I believe in unconditional eternal security, that's what I believe! Well then why did Almighty God lay down the condition here? Then why did God say here that you will be saved if you continue in the faith?
These people were in the faith, but they will only be saved if they continue in the faith which means that it's possible to not continue in the faith because he also says, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which means it's possible to be moved away from the hope of the gospel. If those things were not possible then he would not have warned about them, and he would not be warning us.
The book of Colossians was written to Christians, not to the unsaved. So what is this teaching? It's teaching that If a Christian at some point says forget it Jesus, I don't want you in my life, and I'm not going to trust you as my Lord and Savior anymore than they can do that.
Our will belongs to us. We don't lose our free will after becoming a Christian. And don't give me that old story about once you're a member of a family you never lose your status as a child. I heard it 1000 times: My child can do something bad to me, and mess up our fellowship with each other, but he's still my child. Well that's just a wonderful analogy too bad it doesn't flow.
Don't get your theology from analogy; get your theology from the pure word of God. A nice sounding story or an analogy told to make something un-biblical appear to be true still fails to make it true.
A lot of people are going to be shocked on judgment day because they believed that once they were baptized and confirmed, or once they said the sinners prayer they were saved forever even though they stopped believing in Christ.
24a. In other words I don't care what it costs me; I don't care how much pain I have to feel; I don't care how much sacrifice I have to make. If I can say something, or do something that helps your walk with Jesus, than that more than makes up for anything that it might cost me.
If you don't have that attitude, then you don't love Jesus like you should. If you're not willing to pay any price, suffer any hardship, bear any burden in order to do what makes Jesus happy, then you're not filled with the spirit of God. And no Christian should settle for anything less than being completely filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore ready to serve Jesus in any way with no restrictions.
You will never have the peace, and you will never have the joy, and you will certainly never have the fruitfulness that Jesus wants you to bear as long as you are holding back in any area of your life. If Jesus is off-limits to any area of your life, then your attitude isn't what it should be, and I don't care what anybody says, you're not filled with the Holy Spirit.
24. When Jesus suffered on the cross, and died paying for our sins the last thing he said was: "it is finished." That means he suffered all that needed to be suffered in order to pay the penalty for our sins. You can't add anything to the sufferings of Jesus in hopes of earning your salvation or your forgiveness. The cross accomplished everything that we need for forgiveness, and eternal life, and to escape hell.
The sufferings of Jesus's death are complete, but the sufferings of his life continue, in and through faithful Christians. This is our calling; this is God's will :that we live for Jesus, that we live the word, and that we speak the word, and that we do not compromise our holiness to please anyone. This is the will of God: that we live as Jesus lived, and suffer during our lives like he suffered during his.
Jesus was despised, and rejected of man, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. If to some degree we are not despised and rejected, if we are not men and women of sorrow, and if we are not acquainted with grief at the hands of the world, and at the hands of lukewarm Christians, then we are not living for Jesus the way we should; we are compromising. Christ expects us to fill up that which is behind in his afflictions. You don't have to go looking for trouble just live for Jesus and trouble will find you.
25. Anyone who thinks that the ministry is a career, or a job, or profession should get out of the ministry. Many years ago I knew a pastor of a local church who confided in me; he was very upset because he was five years out of college and seminary and he wasn't making nearly as much money as he thought he should be. I didn't understand that type of thinking. It was twisted, it was perverted, it was warped thinking for a so-called man of God to have that attitude. It made no sense to me. As he was saying that to me I had just concluded two years of teaching the word of God every Saturday night at a worship service in Stevens point and for two years I was never offered a single penny, and I never asked for anything either. It may have entered my mind that I should have received something because the Bible does say that the laborer is worthy of their pay, but I did it because I counted it in honor to serve Jesus Christ, and Minister the word to his people.
God says in verse 25 that to be a minister is to be commissioned by God; Mr. if you're commissioned by God you're happy to preach, and teach the word of God whether you get paid for it or not. If you're commissioned by God that is a calling, not a career, and you can't stand it if you're not preaching the Bible.
26,27. Without Jesus there is no hope of glory. Without Jesus in your life your future is damnation in the lake of fire, burning, and suffering in the worst torture that you can imagine times infinity.
But if you repent, and if you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ asking him to save you from hell, then your future will be filled with happiness.
But if you reject Jesus Christ, than I can say by the authority of the word of God that you would have been better off if you had never been born. Which means that all of the good that you have enjoyed in this life will be so overshadowed by the screaming and the burning and the torture that you will experience for all eternity that you won't even remember that you ever smiled, that you ever laughed, that you ever felt good.
Jesus Christ is your only hope of glory, and you better take advantage of that right now before you die because then it's going to be too late. 10 seconds after you die you will be screaming and burning and charred and yet unable to go out of existence completely. You will wish to go out of existence; you will beg to go out of existence but you can't because you're an immortal soul. 10 seconds after you die you will be screaming and burning and saying to your self I should have done it; I should have received Jesus; I should have listened to that preacher but I didn't and now I'm here, and now it will never end! Do you want that to be you? Is your sin worth that much to you?
28a. Whom we preach! Who did Paul talked about? Who did he proclaim? It was Jesus and only Jesus. Jesus was the subject of every message that Paul preached.
Jesus must be preached. Where in the world did the church lose its way on this one? How did that happen? Why is it that so many sermons even from so-called Bible believing churches are designed to entertain, or to impress the people, or tell the people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear, or something else, something other than proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ? All I know is that it's wrong! Self-centered preachers are the root problem of it; preachers who are not enough like the apostle Paul are the root problem of it; preachers who are fearful and selfish and love themselves more than they love Christ are the root problem of it.
Jesus Christ has to be talked about. What Jesus did for us on the cross must be talked about. The death and resurrection of Christ has to be proclaimed. Jesus is what makes church church. The cross is what makes church church. The cross is what makes Christians Christians. Jesus is what makes worship worship. If your music doesn't make people think about Jesus then it's not worship. If your sermons don't make people think about Jesus then it's not Christian. If your sermons don't make people think about the cross then it's not Christian.
What in the world are you doing? Who are you trying to impress? What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to build a church? Are you trying to build a religious empire for yourself? You trying to get more people? If you trying to do these things then you're competing with Christ! Preach the word! Preached Jesus!
28. Paul warned every man, and taught every man.
You say I don't know why; most people don't listen anyway. You say: if I started warning people from the word of God like you do I'd lose members. Yeah; so what! What do you have members for any way if you're not giving them the truth? You say: it's still a waste of time because people don't want to hear it and they won't listen. I know that most people don't listen to warnings from the word of God; most people don't listen, most people don't care, most people would rather be entertained then taught; they would rather be tickled then warned, and most of those people will burn in hell. But for the sake of those who will hear, and because God wants it to be this way: preach the whole counsel of God and warn people.
29. The apostle Paul warned people about doing bad things, about saying bad words, about rejecting the holy Bible, and the commandments of Almighty God. He warned people about doing that because bad things happen to bad people who do bad things.
No one including Christians get away with sin. Oh, if you're a Christian, if you're trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and have a commitment to follow him then you're not going to hell, but when you sin you are going to pay for it; I'm not talking about hell, but I'm talking about trouble. You're not getting away with anything, and that's why Paul warned.
God is looking for a willing heart. God is looking for someone who loves him enough to speak the truth and to live the truth no matter what it may cost them. If you offer God a willing heart like that then he will empower you to do what he wants you to do. All you can offer God is a willing heart, but if you have one, then he'll accomplish his will through you.
1. Paul wasn't just a truth dispenser; he wasn't a Bible vending machine; drop in an offering and get a sermon. Preaching and teaching the word of God wasn't a career, or profession to him. He was driven by his devotion to Jesus; he was driven by his divine call which mandated that he preach the word of God; and he was driven by those who Christ brought his way.
1. Studying, praying, and teaching the word of God faithfully takes courage; it takes guts and determination because you're going to experience opposition from a lot of different angles. You have to be a fighter, and you have to be ready for conflict, and you have to be tough enough in the Holy Spirit to fight that battle to win. You have to fight your own flesh that wants to drag you down through sin and temptation. You have to fight lukewarm believers who give you the cold shoulder. You have to fight the world who doesn't care one bit about what the Bible says, or care one bit about the real Lord Jesus Christ. You have to take a stand against the current of this world, and not back down. That's why Paul talks about his conflict, and that's why Jesus said all who live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2. Many Christians need to be comforted today, and that's understandable because we're living in the world that doesn't like Jesus, and doesn't like the word of God, and doesn't like anyone who takes a firm stand for them.
You need to be comforted today! But I can tell you that it's not going to come from getting a new car, or moving into a new house, or stashing money in your savings account. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with any of those things it's just that they're not going to do the job.
We are comforted when we understand the riches that we have in Christ, and the full assurance of what the Bible says is ours in Jesus. In other words if you want to be comforted, then you have to set your mind on eternity, and not on the things of this world. Focus on Jesus, focus on what you received when you received him; focus on the great eternity that is in store for you, and live for that. Get your mind off of earthly things and put them on Jesus.
I know you have to live in the world, but don't let the world be the most important thing to you; that's where trouble comes from, and that's where worry comes from. Most people, at least in America, don't worry about not eating; they worry about not being able to afford the food that they want to eat, or not having enough money to go to the nice restaurant that they love so much. Most Christians don't worry about not having any clothes to wear; they worry about not having the clothes that are fashionable. Most Christians don't worry about not having shelter; they worry about not having a really nice house; most Christians don't worry about not having a car to drive; they worry about not having the latest car or truck with all the luxuries. If our focus was on Jesus and eternity instead of on the things of this world we would worry a lot less.
I know this: you can't be depressed or worried if you're close to Jesus. You're not going to be depressed if you focus on the riches that you have in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the fruit of the spirit is joy. So if you lack joy it is not because of the circumstances in your life, it is because you're not filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore you don't have a Jesus focus, and therefore you don't have an eternal focus. No wonder you're so miserable; no wonder you're so depressed. You say yes I'm miserable and depressed and it's going to take years and years of counseling to cure me.... You don't need years of counseling; you need to repent, and get filled with the spirit of God, that will take care of your problems. The Bible says the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
3. The closer we are to Jesus the more wisdom and knowledge we can extract from him.
In Jesus Christ we have all the knowledge that we need regarding holiness, and our immortal souls , and where we will spend eternity. In Jesus Christ we Christians have everything that we need, and everything that we need to know. You aren't lacking anything in Jesus Christ.
You need to be saved from hell? Jesus Christ will save you. You need to have wisdom for life? Jesus Christ is the treasury of wisdom and knowledge. You need to have peace, you need to be comforted? Jesus Christ has sent the comforter who is the Holy Spirit to give us that. Jesus says: my peace I give unto you; let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Every time you draw close to Christ through the word of God, and through prayer, and through worship you tap Into Jesus, and you extract a measure of whatever it is that you need to know; it comes from drawing closer to him.
4. Don't let anyone fool you by their slick talk, or their intellectual ramblings, or by their empty authoritative statements. Some preachers are very loud and speak with great authority about things they no not. But it's amazing how many people listen, and shake their head affirming the nonsense that they hear.
Pay attention to one thing if you are a Christian, and that's what the Bible says. Because everything this book says about Jesus, and anything else is the truth, and don't let anyone, or anything move you away from it, no matter how good it might sound.
Enticing words are persuasive words. Deceptions work because they seem to be correct, and the devil is the greatest deceiver in the history of the universe. The devil could sell people a pickup full of snow for landfill, and convince them that they got a good deal; at least until spring.
Satan and false teachers and false pastors always make the people who support them feel like he's giving them a real good deal, but after some time, and certainly after they die they realize they were taken. They bought a pickup truck full of snow from the devil, and ended up with about 3 inches of water.
4. The "this" that the apostle is talking about here in verse four is the word of God. Fine sounding arguments are a dangerous weapon in the devil's bag of tricks. They are spiritual poison, and the only antidote, and the only shield is knowledge and wisdom from the Bible.
God commands pastors and teachers to explain God's word so that Christians can be equipped, and so that they will not buy into lies simply because they sound reasonable. Reasonable, feasible, doesn't mean anything. The only thing that matters is what lines up with Scripture.
5. Paul was happy because these Christians were getting along and because their faith was strong.
The things that made Jesus happy were the things that made Paul happy. A spirit filled Christian who is sold out to Jesus Christ, and has the mind of Christ doesn't need a lot to be content; they are content when they see things that please Christ. Self fulfillment, self actualization, self esteem, self self self, are all meaningless to spirit filled Christians. Three words a spirit filled Christian will never say are: "what about me?" They want Jesus to be happy. They want Jesus to be honored; they get their greatest joy from those things.
6a. Hold it right there! As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord." Let that sink in evangelical pastor, let that sink in Southern Baptist preacher, let that sink in fundamentalist pastor, let that sink in the Lutheran pastor; let that sink in all Bible teachers and all pastors who are promoting an ungodly, un-biblical, and deadly false doctrine that teaches you can have Jesus as Savior without making him your Lord.
If you have not received Jesus as Lord then you have not received Jesus as Savior either. If you haven't received Jesus the Lord, then you have not received Jesus at all because that's who he is.
If you call me on the phone and you say can I speak to Aaron Meurett then I'm not going to talk to you because you did not ask for me. If you call me up and you ask for Joe Smith then I'm not going to talk to you because you did not ask for me; you did not ask for the right person.
If you listen to those who say: you don't have to repent; you don't have to live for Jesus; just ask him to be your savior, and then you won't go to hell. If you listen to that poison and you ask their Jesus to be your savior you get a wrong number and the real Jesus, the real Savior, the real Lord isn't going to respond to you. Why should he? You didn't even ask for him! You will be just as lost and hell bound as you were a few minutes earlier. The word of God flat out rejects the false doctrine that you can receive Jesus as Savior and not as Lord.
Salvation belongs to those who have a relationship with Jesus, and that relationship begins by repenting and a willingness to allow Jesus to be the absolute Lord of every area of your life. And if you don't repent, and if you're not willing to let Jesus call the shots in your life, then you cannot be saved until you change your mind. I'm not saying you have to be perfect to receive salvation, but you have to be serious about wanting to submit to him, about wanting him to be in charge of your life, and rule, or you are not saved.
By the way, the sign that one has repented and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in the past is that they are still repenting today. Repentance is an ongoing process; making Jesus the Lord of your life is an ongoing process. I have to repent every day! I have to turn away from sin every single day! I have to turn away from temptation every single day! Why? Because Jesus is my Lord as well as my Savior.
If you are truly saved then you want Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you don't want to live in rebellion against Christ. You say well I don't know I think maybe some day I will want Jesus to be the Lord of my life. Swell; then when that someday comes you will be saved; you just better hope that you don't die before that day comes because if you do you are going to hell.
6. In other words, if you received Jesus the Lord, if you really received Jesus the Lord, then he's your Lord and act like it. Lord means boss. It means the one who calls the shots. If you've made Jesus Christ your Lord then let him call the shots in your life because if you don't, then you are self deceived and you haven't received him as Lord , which means you haven't received him as Savior either.
People say I'm a big Packer fan. Well then why are you in the store shopping during the Packer game instead of at home watching it? I remember being in a store on a particular day and they had a big television with a Packer DVD playinge on it and it was the middle of June so it was baseball season and football season was still a long way off. So I'm kind of watching it and a guy comes up to me and says: the Packers playing? He tries to tell me what a big Packer fan he is. Man who you trying to kid? Your profession doesn't match your actions; you're not a Packer fan. If you think the Packers play in June you may profess to be a Packer fan, but you're not one. You're just saying that because it's cool to be a Packer fan in Wisconsin. If your walk doesn't fit your profession then your profession is empty.
We go out for pizza sometimes and I always order the same thing on my half: pepperoni. If I tried to tell you that my favorite kind of pizza was the house special which is: take everything you can find out of the refrigerator and out of the freezer and out of the cupboards, and probably off the floor, pile it on a crust with cheese and sauce, and bake it; if I ever told you that that was my favorite kind of pizza you would know that my profession doesn't back my actions because I never order that.
Why is it that people believe that actions must match professions about everything except when it comes to Jesus. For some reason they give professing Christians whose actions and words indicate that they don't care one bit about Jesus a pass. Why is that; why the double standard? Why such sloppy indulgent attitude toward professing Christians when it's not acceptable for any other part of life? I can tell you why: it's because the devil is involved. It's because Satan loves to deceive people into believing that they are Christians, followers of Christ when they give no evidence at all that they are. The devil is a great deceiver and he wants to deceive people right into the lake of fire and he's doing a real good job.
6,7. Get yourself rooted in Christ, and the only way to do that is to pray, pray, pray, and read the Bible, read the Bible, read the Bible. Study the word, praise, worship, and your roots will go deep down into Jesus Christ, and he will establish you, and you will be strong, and you will have supernatural knowledge that comes from spending time with Almighty God. When you get rooted in Christ you're going to be established in the faith. In other words, no one will be able to deceive you; no one will be able to mislead you; you will be useful to Jesus, and best of all you will enjoy his fellowship like you never thought possible.
8. Philosophy is neither here nor there. A philosopher is someone who tries to figure out the meaning of reality, and existence. Nothing wrong with that, but when you're talking about humanistic philosophy that excludes the word of God then you've got trouble, especially if it's in the church. Those types of philosophers are the biggest bunch of human nothings that you will ever find on the face of the earth. They are blind men in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. They are dogs who chase their tails; they're always coming up about 2 inches short; they waste a lot of energy chasing something that they don't have a prayer to catch because they exclude God.
Mankind with his wisdom is so conceded; they think they know so much, but they don't know anything, not about the meaning of life, and not about God, and they don't know anything concerning the meaning of their existence. And they don't know anything about what's going to happen in eternity. Those fundamental core truths only come from the word of God.
Get your philosophy straight out of the Bible and you will have true wisdom, and avoid like the plague any philosophy that contradicts Scripture in any way. I suppose it can be intimidating because those people can come across as being real intellectuals, and they can use big words that no one understands. But just let them go on and on chasing their tails because they can talk and talk for hours and never say anything. They are not worth listening to, and certainly are not worthy of intimidation especially by a child of God who has the words of Almighty God himself.
9. There is no God beyond Jesus; there is not even a part of God beyond Jesus. Jesus is all of God and all of God is in Jesus. The entire Godhead is in the father. The entire Godhead is in the son. The entire Godhead is in the Holy Spirit. They are separate but they are equal and they are fully God. They are fully God together and they are fully God separate, and Jesus is fully God in human form.
No wonder Jesus calmed the storms; no wonder he could play around with the weather; you show me somebody who can do that today, not even the greatest scientists can't control the weather. Jesus is God, no wonder he could raise people from the dead, no wonder he could heal incurable diseases, no wonder he could give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and no wonder he knew what was going to happen in the future down to the smallest detail.
10. When something is complete it has all the necessary parts, it has all the appropriate parts. I remember one time I bought a grill and put it together, but I left off three little parts; three tiny little washers. The grill looked good, and it worked good to for a while, and then I noticed that the legs were falling off, and that's because the screws didn't hold, and that's because I didn't put those washers where they belonged; the grill wasn't complete and so it didn't quite work right. But you are complete in Christ, you have all the parts that you need, all the appropriate parts to get into heaven after you die, and to live a holy life here on earth.
We are complete in Christ! Don't let anyone ever tell you that you need someone or something in addition to Jesus Christ to get right with God, or stay right with God. Jesus is all you need to be saved and to grow spiritually; Jesus is all that you need to overcome warped, twisted, destructive thinking, and sinful behavior.
You say well my wife and I are having a lot of problems, and so we went to a counselor and he said that it's good that we are Christians, and that having Jesus is a real plus. But your situation is complicated and so we're going to use these techniques, and were going to use these therapies, and were going to follow this plan, and maybe after a long long time your marriage won't be such a complete disaster.
Don't waste your time telling me that Jesus is a real plus! Don't waste your time telling me that Jesus is a real advantage, because I know the Bible, and I know Jesus, and I know the truth, and I have the spirit of God, and I know the power of Christ. Don't tell me that Jesus Christ is a real plus! He's not a real plus! He is everything! He is all you need!
If all the people involved in any lousy situation would pray together, and read the word together and confess their sins to each other and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ together they would get along with each other! If people followed the word of God like they should and wouldn't listen to the trash that's out there, (a lot of it by pastors) they would get along. Don't tell me that Jesus is not sufficient; don't tell me that Jesus is not all that you need. You need to appropriate what you have in Christ by submitting to his absolute Lordship, and then watch things fall into place; watch him make things fall into place.
When the Bible says we are complete in Christ that doesn't need to be interpreted it just needs to be read, and believed. We don't need any more than what we have in Christ; we just need to appropriate what we have by drawing closer to him.
11. In the old testament, circumcision was the outward sign of a persons relationship with God. It was the sign that you and God were on the same team. Circumcision was like a badge that said you belonged to God.
With that in mind notice how the Bible teaches that Christians are circumcised in Christ. That means: in Christ we belong to God. That means: in Christ we are on God's team. That means: in Christ we are wearing a badge in the spiritual realm which says that we belong to Almighty God.
If you don't have Jesus, then you don't have the badge, and if you're not wearing the badge then you're not getting into heaven. If you don't have Jesus then you don't have the passport that'll take you from Earth to heaven. If you can't get into Canada in order to drive through to get to Alaska without a passport then believe me you are not getting into heaven without a passport and that passport is Christ.
12. When you repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior it's as if you, along with all your sins, crawled into Christ before he was nailed to the cross. So, when Jesus died on the cross for your sin, you died in him and the penalty for your sin was paid; not by you but by Christ who was the perfect sacrifice. And because you are in Christ, when Jesus was buried, you were buried with him. And then, because you're in Christ, when he arose, you arose with him.
You don't have to pay for your sins in hell because in Christ your sins have been paid for. And you're not going to stay physically dead because in Christ you will also be raised.
When a person is baptized they go under the water symbolizing their death with Christ, and they come out of the water symbolizing their resurrection with Christ. Baptism doesn't do anything by itself, but it is an act whereby one testifies that they are proud to be identified with Jesus Christ, and they are happy for what he has done for them, and they are making a commitment to everyone who sees that they're going to follow Jesus.
13. If you have never repented of your sin, and received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then God says: you are dead! You are a dead man! You are a dead woman! You are a dead teenager! Dead means you're not connected to God! Dead means your sin has killed you!
You're dead in your sins, which is why you're going to died physically! You're dead in your sins which is why God doesn't hear your prayers! If you are not saved, if you haven't repented and received Christ then don't bother praying for your sick child, and don't bother praying for good weather, and don't bother praying for a new job, and don't bother praying for a new car, and don't bother praying for protection, and don't bother praying for good test results from the doctor because God doesn't hear you, and he doesn't hear you because your dead!
Someone says: I don't believe that! I don't think that's right! I don't care what you believe! I don't care what you think! I don't care what you feel! The only thing that matters is what God says! The Bible says "your sins have separated you from God so that he will not hear you." He may hear a Christian who is praying on your behalf, but he's not going to hear you. You are dead, and dead people cannot communicate with anyone else, and therefore you can't communicate with God.
You're dead in your sins which is why after you die physically you're going to hell, and your never getting out! You're dead in your sins which is why unlike Christians who have repented and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior you will not be raised in a brand-new physical body, and enjoy eternity on a wonderful new earth. You're dead in your sins so you're eternity will be spent in torment, burning in the flames of hell.
But all is not lost; at least not yet; it's getting close, and you may not have much time, but all is not lost yet. If you repent and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you will become a Christian, and not one single sin you have ever committed, or will ever commit will be on your record. All your sins will be forgiven in Jesus Christ. God won't see your sin; you won't be punished for your sin; God will never bring them up; they will mean absolutely nothing to God because they won't be there. You may see them, and you may remember them, and they may bother you for the rest of your life, but they will be gone as far as God is concerned because Jesus will wash them away.
14. This is sweet: In those days a persons crimes were written on his cross so that people would know why he was being executed. Well God took all of our sins, wrote them down on a big piece of spiritual paper, and nailed that paper to the cross of Christ. Then he allowed the Romans to nail Jesus to that cross.
In God's eyes every sin we would ever commit was paid for by Jesus. Again that's why you're not going to hell if Jesus is your Lord and Savior. Why would you have to go to hell? For what reason? To pay for your sins? No! Jesus paid for them! God isn't going to judge your sins twice; he's not going to punish your sins twice; that would be double jeopardy, and God is just so he won't do that.
What do you think Jesus meant when, right before he died, he said: it is finished? Finished means it's all done. Many years ago I painted the house I owned and it took a long time because it was made out of rough cedar. And when I finished I said it's all done. And I was glad it was all done, and believe me I didn't pick up the paintbrush, and continue to paint and I didn't ask anybody else to do it either, and if somebody would've done it I would've been a little bit upset at them and said why are you doing that; I already finished the job?
No one had to do anything more because it was all done, and when Jesus died on the cross he paid for our sins, and now it's all done. If you try to do anything to add to his finished work on the cross; if you try to do more to pay for your sins than what Jesus has already done he is not going to be very happy with you because he's already said it's all done. He's going to say: what's the matter with the job that I did? Arn't you satisfied with the job that I did? I'm satisfied! The father is satisfied! The Holy Spirit is satisfied! It's done so quit it!
15. The cross was the Hammer of God. It's as if Jesus took his cross and beat the devil to death. Jesus swung that rugged wooden cross back and forth pulverizing the devil until he was a tattered mess. That's what happened when Jesus died! Jesus defeated the devil when he died on the cross. He beat the devil and he rubbed his face in the dirt; he beat the demons and he rubbed their faces in the dirt; he humiliated them; he made a show of them openly. They were so tough! They were so rebellious! Lucifer said I will ascend to the throne of God! Well Jesus took his cross and he beat him as fine as dust.
What does that mean? That means that even though Satan would love to take every human being to hell with him it's not going to happen; he can't do it. Those who receive Jesus Christ as lord and savior and consequently receive the forgiveness that he purchased on the cross will not go to hell. The cross means the devil loses.
And it's not that the devil has given up because he hasn't. Satan tries so hard! He pulls out all the tricks! The devil tempts Christians to sin, and then as soon as we give in he goes before the throne of God, and accuses us. But his accusations fall on deaf ears. God doesn't hear those accusations because our sins are paid for in Christ.
Satan's tactics have been defeated by the cross. Satan can accuse us, which he does. The devil can tempt us, which he does. The devil can tell us that we've done something sinful, and unfortunately often times he's correct, but it doesn't matter. He can tell God that we have committed sin, which he does. But God doesn't pay attention to anything that he says. Instead he pays attention to what his son did for us on the cross. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, in fact he made a fool out of him on the cross.
16. As Christians we can eat and drink whatever we want. If we want to keep special holy days we can do that. If we want to go to church on Saturday we can do that. If we want to be vegetarians we can be that. If we want the eat beef or pork or deep fried twenties we can do that.
What we can't do is try to tell others that they must do those things, or that they can't do those things. In other words, when it comes to those sorts of things we must mind our own business.
16,17. Jesus is the important one. Jesus is the important thing. Loving Christ, living for Christ, trusting in his redemptive work on the cross; those are the important things. The other things mentioned in the previous verse are secondary. If you wanna do them then do them, if you don't wanna do them then don't do them just make sure Christ is number one with you.
18a. Feigned humility will rob christians of eternal rewards because it often leads to a lukewarm( at best) form of christianity. But more importantly a famed humility robs Jesus of the honor He deserves. The devil is using false humility in evangelicalism to promote worldliness and lukewarmness in the church which are two things Jesus hates. EG: several years ago I was an elder in a local church and I attended a midweek service and heard the Pastor talking about how it is a good thing to get up early enough in the morning to have time in the word and prayer before work. Then he said this: now I will be honest with you I seldom do it myself because I really have a hard time getting out of bed early; I am just being honest with you. Several woman in the group started to fawn over him saying: isn’t he wonderful; he is so genuine. My initial thoughts were: you make me sick! I was embarrassed and ashamed for him, a pastor to say that he does not get up early enough to spend time with God because he likes to sleep. But what really disgusted me was that he never mentioned that he was going to repent and he feigned humility in order to win the admiration of the silly woman and probably not a few men either. Result: he just gave everyone one in that group an excuse to be a lazy christian. “Let no one beguile you of your reward by a feigned humility.
Different pastor. He stands before a packed house of people on Easter Sunday which no doubt included many people who maybe once decided they were going to be a Christian, but then changed their mind, or perhaps lived for Jesus a little bit, but were turned off by the word of God or something, and so threw in the towel and walked away from Christ. He speaks to this group and says, I know some of you have had bad church experiences from christians who have banged you over the head with the Bible. OK, I am waiting for him to define what he means but he never does, he leaves it at that ( very vague). When you make a statement like that, invoking the Bible you better tell everybody exactly what you're talking about because if you leave it vague you have just, in the name of being humble, and in the name of being open-minded, attacked every single person who has ever used the Bible in a legitimate way to correct someone. God says we are to use the word to instruct, to teach, to rebuke, to correct. I get banged over the head with the Bible every time I commit sin. I get banged over the head with the Bible every time I read it and I see something that I should be doing that I'm not doing so what in the world is he talking about? I don't know! I don't know because he never defined what he was talking about.
So I am waiting for him to say that some of you have been beaten over the head with the Bible because some legalistic pastor has told you that you have to follow these man made traditions or you cannot be saved, but he doesn’t. I am waiting for him to say: some overbearing pastor tried to micromanage your life like telling you you can’t wear makeup or you cannot have facial hair or to prove to me that you are tithing I want to have access to your bank account, but he doesn’t. Instead he repeats: some of you have been hurt by christians who have hit you over the head with the Bible, and again no explanation.
So that statement can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. Yes I was hit over the head with a bible by a pastor who told me that living with my boyfriend was sin, and that really turned me off so I turned away from Christ.
Yes I was hit over the head with a Bible by a christian who told me that God says we are to dress modestly, and he said my dress is too short or too low cut to wear anywhere especially to church because it distracts worshippers from christ so I was offended, and I guess I had a right to feel that way from what you are saying.
Yes I was hit over the head with the Bible by a pastor who told me that when I committed adultery on my wife the other day it was not a behavior disorder or a dysfunctional act but was a sin and that if I ever do it again I am not welcome in this church.
Well before church one day I told a woman, a christian, one who came regularly, who was wearing very tight clothing, very revealing, that she needed to go home and change because we are to be modest, and it is not right to dress in a way that draws attention to self in church. I would not have said that to an unsaved person who was there for the first time, but if they kept coming back wearing revealing clothes that were a distraction from Christ you better believe I'd say something and that's not beating somebody over the head with the Bible. Respect for the house of God and for the name of Christ is more important than the feelings of an individual.
I once told a man that his adultery was unacceptable behavior for a christian and he would not be allowed to be an embarrassment to Jesus, not in our church so he needed to repent and never do it again. That’s not hitting someone over the head with the Bible that is correction by the word of God which a pastor is commanded to do, but few have the guts to do because we’re supposed to be “loving”. Loving? Loving to who? We’re supposed to love Jesus and love sinners but that doesn’t mean give them a pass to sin or to cause disruption in church or allow people to distract christians from Jesus in a church service, etc…
But by not explaining his statement that pastor, may have had the appearance of humility, but he gave license for people to interpret it anyway they wanted to, and in at least some cases to feel comfortable in their sin and rebellion. He said: to those of you who have been hit over the head with the Bible( again no explanation) to those of you who have been hit over the head with the Bible I want to say I am sorry. And if I were a betting man I would bet my last buck that when he said: if you've been offended by someone who hit you over the head with the Bible I just want to tell you I am sorry; I would bet my last dollar that many of the women, and not a few of the men in that church melted like an overheated blotch of silly putty: oh isn’t that wonderful; oh how humble to apologize.
He said I want you to know that the real God is not like that but instead is full of love and compassion. True enough, God is full of love and compassion, but a blanket apology to anyone who has ever been "hit over the head with the Bible," who has been told something from another christian that made them uncomfortable, is a false humility that can confirm people in either their lost or lukewarm condition. If you're going to issue a blanket apology for anyone who has ever been offended by someone using the word of God then you better qualify what you're talking about. You better be clear on what you are apologizing for by specifying what type of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable to God otherwise it is a feigned humility that can confirm someone in their sin and promotes a lukewarm form of christianity whose main mantra is we are not to judge.
A feigned humility! A blanket apology that comes across as being so humble melts the hearts of "feelings oriented" Christians and can make sinners feel comfortable in the rebellion that they love.
I am all for blasting legalistic preachers who hurt people by trying to get them to follow some nonsense. I call out those type of christians more then anyone I know. But by a feigned humility he gave some in that audience a license to feel comfortable when they should be scared to death of a God who is angry at impenitent sinners every day. “Let no one beguile you of your reward by a feigned humility."
18. Don't be led astray by high sounding spiritual nonsense. Many times people will put a pious spin on their own desires or their own thoughts to make them more spiritually appealing. They'll say things like: "I sense in my spirit." Or I really sense that the Lord is telling me." Why don't you just say what is on your ungodly, fleshly, carnal mind. Why don't you cut out the garbage and say what you are thinking, which is: this is what I want! Don't hand me that pious nonsense: I sense in my spirit. There's a lot of spirit sensing people out there who are saying what they want to say under the cover of their pious sounding nonsense and a lot of people get sucked into that.
The heretics in the Colossian church were doing that sort of thing. They were saying things like, we've had a special revelation from God; we've had a vision from God and he has told us that no one can come to him through Jesus alone; you need to worship lesser gods until you reach the creator God. And people were buying that rot because it was cloaked in super spiritual pious words.
God warns against people who claim to speak for him but are only speaking the imaginations of their own heart. That's what was going on in the colossian church. Meaniless words covered with a thin shell of false piety designed to impress, were leading some people astray.
19. Spiritual growth comes as God gives the increase. People do not grow spiritually and become more christ-like by adhering to some empty human teaching that has nothing in the world to do with the bible.
People don't grow spiritually by anything except clinging to Jesus. We must stay connected to Jesus our spiritual head through the word, and prayer, and worship because when we do, God causes us to grow. As we hold to the head: Jesus, God makes us more like His Son. There are no gimmicks, no programs, no technichs, just fellowship with Christ.
20. Forget trying to be sanctified by following a list of rules, it does not work. Sanctification starts on the inside with the Holy Spirit changing us from the inside out. You are wasting your time trying to live by rules as if they can make you right with god, or keep you right with god, or make you spiritually stronger because they cannot.
20,21. By all means stay away from what the bible says is sin, but do not let someone else’s personal convictions govern you. Someone says: I was told that if I don’t eat pork I will be accepted by God more then those who eat it. No you won’t. Eating pork, or beef, or anything else is neither here nor there when it comes to being right with God.
EATING pig isn’t wrong, eating like a pig is wrong. Of course not much is said about the sin of gluttony because so many christians commit it, but it is as bad as any other sin. You see what I have just told you is the real meat of the word. I have been in churches that are filled with man-made rules: so-called holiness standards; and three quarters of the people are obese and I mean obese! There are some huge christians out there who wouldn’t think about tasting liquor or playing cards but they look like a hippopotamus and yet still go for desert after Wednesday night Bible study, and have their jumbo chocolate chip cooky, smothered in chocolate source, covered with luchious whipped cream, and topped off with a generous serving of ice-cream. You see thats how legalism works; people gather around those who accept the kind of sin they indulge in and make themselves feel better by talking about and condemning christians who violate one of there man made rules like playing old maid. Get your holiness standards from the bible not from some human being because that stuff is a waste of time. .
22. Religious legalism doesn’t produce holiness and neither do the inventions of men. Every few years someone invents a new evangelical fad to achieve holiness. It takes the country by storm, the inventor sells allot of books, but it eventually falls by the wayside because it doesn't work.
Sanctification is an inward work of the Holy Spirit. It occurs, as 2nd Corinthians teaches, when we behold the face of Christ in the bible and are then supernaturally transformed into the image of Jesus from one level of glory to another.
23. In other words, man’s efforts to obtain holiness are nothing but pious looking busywork to make it seem like you are a super committed christian working so hard to be holy, but it’s a waste of time.
Man-made religious rules, and the latest evangelical fads can have the look of spirituality, and that's what so tricky about it. The latest evangelical fad's for sanctification can appear to be holy, or sophisticated, or intellectual which causes them to have the appearance of wisdom to the unlearned Christian.
Legalistic, religious do's and don'ts appear to be pious as well. They especially seem pious if they call for self sacrifice, but they don't make any one holy. I've been in places where man made religious rules are called holiness standards, but they are not holiness standards. God decides what is holy and what isn't holy.
What the bible warns against here is being caught up in some religious leaders opinion of what a Christian should do or how a Christian should look. Those things are spiritually useless and yet so many people are in bondage to them because they don't want to appear to be spiritually indifferent to the legalistic Christians around them.
1. Since you can live holy by the power of the holy Spirit who is in you. Since you can live holy because you're in Christ. Since you can live holy because Jesus has broken the power of sin, then do it. Live for eternity not for this world. Make God's priorities your priorities. Think about eternal things more then the things of this world. Live for what you will enjoy in heaven more then the things that you can enjoy in this life. Get sold out for Jesus, and live for him 100% of the time.
Jesus, the word of God, eternal things, our new resurrected body, the new earth, being reunited with friends and loved ones who have died, should excite us more, should fascinate us more, and I mean a lot more, and I mean infinitely more than even the best things that this world can offer. If that's not true with us then we need to repent and seek God like never before because there's something wrong with our priorities. That's what it means to seek those things which are above. That's not radical; that's not strange; that's not out of balance; that is normal; that is right!
And I wonder what demon invented the phrase: he's so heavenly minded that he's no earthly good. That sounds like the words of a lukewarm Christian who is looking for an excuse to be worldly. I have never in my entire life as a Christian ever met anyone who is even close to being so heavenly minded that they're no earthly good. In fact what Colossians chapter 3 verse one is telling us is to be heavenly minded. Consequently that nice, little, pious sounding, neo-orthodox phrase is as damnable as telling somebody to be neither hot nor cold, which Jesus says will cause him to spit people out of his mouth.
2. Your mind is like the sights of a gun. What you aim at is more often than not what you hit. Set your mind on holiness, set your sights on Jesus, set your mind on heaven, set your sights on righteousness, and you're more likely to hit them, then you are to hit sin.
3. Your life is hid in Christ. In other words, when God looks at you he sees Jesus if you are a Christian. Your life is hid in Christ!
The righteousness, and perfect holiness of Christ covers your soul. In practice we are not perfect. In position before God we are perfect. In fact we are as perfect and flawless in the sight of God as his holy Son.
4. Jesus is our life. Jesus doesn't help us get eternal life as if it was a joint effort. He doesn't give us the grace to be good enough to earn eternal life. Jesus is our life. Jesus is our eternal life. Jesus said, he who has the son has life. When you ask Jesus to be your lord and savior he says OK and he brings with him the gift of eternal life.
5. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth." In other words, kill sin! Kill it dead! Show no mercy to your sinful desires! If your right hand causes you to sin cut it off! If your right eye causes you to sin gouge it out! If your computer causes you to sin cut it off! If the television, if the movies, if magazines, if coworkers, if a job, causes you to sin then cut it off! I don't care what benefits these things may give you the benefits don't even come close to the disaster of burning in hell because you can't handle the temptations that come along with the benefits.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth! That's not a suggestion; that is a command! You better get serious about Jesus because the time is short; I'm not saying he's coming back tomorrow, but you could be dead within the next minute so either way time is short.
6. God judges sinful behavior. If a christian needs more motivation to strive for holiness than the fact that it's right, and that it pleases the savior they should remember that God judges sinful behavior. You say I don't have to worry about that because I'm a Christian. Where does the Bible say that? You don't have to worry about that? Who you been listening to? Who do you think God is talking to in the book of Colossians? He's talking to Christians!
Someone says: no he's talking about the sons of disobedience who will be punished, but I'm not a son of disobedience, I'm a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ. I don't care if you're Christian or not. You could be a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ but if you are living in sin then you are a son of disobedience also.
When the Bible talks about being the son of someone it's talking about the fact that you're behaving like that someone. So if you live in sin you are a son of disobedience and you're going to be punished.
If you don't think you have anything to worry about by living in sin then you're brainwashed because that's not what the Bible teaches. "Whom the Lord loves he chastens." And you better believe that he knows how to give a good, painful whipping to his wayward children. You're not going to hell as long as you have faith in Christ, but you are going to be living in pain, misery, and a lot of frustration if you're living a sinful life.
6. Why does God judge sin? Will the short answer is: because he is just and he must. Why doesn't he let his children get away with sin in this life? Because man chooses to do wrong of his own free will. Every single sin that a person commits comes down to an act of the will whereby they willfully make the wrong choice. That's why God punishes sin! He punishes sin because it is a choice to do what is wrong.
You say but you don't understand I'm hooked, I can't stop. Well you weren't hooked before you did it the first time were you? I guess you shouldn't have done it the first time. I guess you should've believed God when he said : "thou shalt not." I guess you should have listened to God when he warned that if you commit sin you're a slave to sin. So now you're a slave to that sin, and you don't want to take responsibility? You chose to sin of your own free will; you chose not to stop when it would've been easier, and now you think you're off the hook? Of course it is harder for you to stop now that you're used to doing it, but what does that have to do with anything?
Remember, God never said it's your responsibility to quit sinning, unless you find that it is really difficult then I will give you a pass.
6,7. The mark of a real Christian is that they used to live in sin.
The general direction of the life of a Christian is holiness because number one the Holy Spirit is in them and the Bible says that you can't go on sinning because the Holy Spirit is in you. And number two: the general direction of the life of a Christian is holiness because that's what they want, and that's because the Bible says to those of us who believe Christ is precious.
8. In other words get rid of these things.
Sin is a choice. If sin was a sickness like so many pastors and preachers have relabeled it then God would never tell you to stop it. Sad to say in many churches and with many pastors and preachers the sin of drunkenness has become the sickness of alcoholism. The sin of adultery has become a behavior disorder. The sin of perpetual lying has become a dysfunctional lifestyle, it's no longer the sin of stealing it's the sickness of being a kleptomaniac, and on and on and on the relabeling goes. In spite of what the Bible says Pastors and preachers continue to relabel sin.
If it is a sickness then why does God tell us to stop doing it? You can't stop a disease. If you have a cold you can't stop it. If you have a sore throat you can't stop it. If you have a toothache you can't stop it. But God does tell us to stop sinning. If it were not a choice God would never tell us to stop doing it. It's up to us.
When it comes to salvation Jesus fights the battle for us. When it comes to sanctification the holy Spirit fights the battle with us. As Christians we can choose by the power of God to not do sinful things, God expects us to make that choice, he commands us to make that choice.
This is why sin in the church must be confronted and it cannot be overlooked just like Jesus teaches in Matthew chapter 18 and just like Paul in his epistles teachers as well. This is why you shouldn't feel sorry for Christians who continue in sin. This is why you shouldn't baby a sinning Christian. This is why you shouldn't make up all sorts of excuses for sinning Christians. This is why you shouldn't make up all sorts of reasons for their sins and coddle them. You confront them and you say this is wrong now quit it; you're making a fool of yourself now quit it! You're bringing disgrace to Jesus now quit it! It's that simple!
When's the last time the church you attend confronted a sinning Christian? I bet many who are watching or listening have never seen it happen. Do you know why? Because they don't call it a sin! They call it a sickness! Well no one wonder sin is never confronted! You can't confront somebody who has a sickness because that's "unloving". Those churches are sick! Those churches are un-biblical, and you support them? And you still attend their services? By your presence and your offerings you are propping up an apostate church that is living in clear disobedience to God. Why? Because they want to appear to be intellectual. Why? Because they don't want to offend anyone. They don't mind offending God by not doing what he says, they don't mind seeing a sinning Christian continue on in their rebellion, thus ruining their lives, thus playing Russian roulette with their immortal soul; they don't mind that, they just want everyone to be comfortable.
What in the world is going on? This isn't that difficult! This isn't that hard to understand! God says repent! God doesn't say work on changing your ways for years. He doesn't say I know you're confused and I know you're depressed and that's why you sin, but several years of counseling, if the insurance covers it, should eventually take care of the problem. He says: repent! God says: be filled with the Spirit of God! God says: walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh!
Don't tell me you're a Bible believing church! Don't tell me you believe the Bible is sufficient! I am sick and tired of listening to preachers, and looking at statements of faith which say that the Bible is fully sufficient, and then they turn right around, and talk about anything and everything other than the Bible to help people overcome their "behaviour disorders". You are liars! You are frauds! Where in the Bible, where in the book of acts, where in the Gospels, where in the New Testament epistles do you ever hear anything remotely similar to what is being said to Christians today concerning the issue of sin? Where? Nowhere! It's not there! The church is in trouble!
You say: I have never heard such talk. That's because you've gone to the wrong churches, and you listen to the wrong preachers, and you've read too many psychology books. You need to read the word of God. You say: I've never heard anyone who is so unloving! No! Let me tell you what unloving is: unloving is telling a Christian who is sinning that he has a disease, and condemning him to a life of self-pity as if he has cancer, and can't do anything about it. Unloving is telling a sinning Christian that he has a dysfunction or is sick; that's unloving because it's not true, and it's unloving because you can't repent of a disease. So he walks around with his head held low feeling like a victim when instead all he has to do is repent, ask God to fill him with the Holy Spirit, and Christ will give him victory.
You say: I don't lke you Meurett!! I know you don't; ask me if I care. If you cannot take the truth then you are the one with the problem and I'd be worried if you did like me. Well I don't like you! Paul said: "have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" A lot of people in the church think that someone who speaks the truth is their enemy, or is unloving and that's because they're so used to hearing watered down mush, vague speech, which neither convicts or edifies.
9. God says: "do not." Which means do not, and don't give me some long explanation as to why you do it. Got isn't interested in an explanation. Do not, and don't give me some philosophical, psychological theory for why you do it. God never tells us to come up with a philosophical or psychological theory for sin.
And you, so-called Christians, who want to live with 1 foot in the world, and somehow keep 1 foot in Christ, I'm sure that if you search hard enough you can find some apostate pastor, preacher, or counselor who will provide you with an excuse for your sin without of course calling it an excuse. So have at it if that's what you want, but don't be shocked when your life is messed up and maybe you even end up in hell because you've lost your faith through continual disobedience.
And as long as I'm on this subject, a suggestion to you: Mr. Rev.; I'm sure that if you're talented enough, and your vocabulary is big enough, and you don't mind being a preacher for hier after the order of Balaam that you can find some kind of psychological mumbo-jumbo to explain away every sin and sound real intellectual in the process. You're going to make a lot of money, and you are going to have yourself a nice big church, and it's all going to be burnt to ashes at the judgment seat of Christ because it isn't worth a nickel, and you better watch it to or you may be burnt to a crisp in the flames of hell also.
There's a human excuse for every bad thing that people do and there has been since Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent and none of it matters. Everyone is treated badly at some point but that's no excuse for sin. Everyone is tempted at some point but that's no excuse for sin. God doesn't say try to figure out why you do it. He says don't do it.
9. Don't lie! God says do not lie one to another! There is no such thing as a little white lie. You know, when you're talking about sin, any sin, and you redefine it like some people redefine what they consider to be a small lie, as a little white lie you are playing with fire. You have no right to call a lie: little, or white. None of them are little, and none of them are white.
You don't have to commit multiple murderers in order to be labeled a murderer. You don't have to steal on multiple occasions to be labeled a thief. And you don't have to tell multiple lies to be labeled a liar; believe me, you get caught in one lie and your going to be known as a liar, especially to the one that you lied to. You want to destroy a relationship? That'll do it real fast!
If you tell a lie you are a liar. If you say it was just a little white lie; you are still a liar; if you say it was just a little lie to spare someone's feelings; you are still a liar, and none of them are small. I know none of them are small because God says that all liars will have their place in the Lake of fire. If the only sin you ever committed in your entire life was one of your so-called little white lies it would still be enough to damn you to hell if you do not repent, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Lies are lies no matter what your motive may be in telling them. You may want to spare someone from having hurt feelings so you tell a lie, but it is still a lie, and if they ever find out that you told a lie to spare their feelings or for any other reason then you're going to put such a strain on that relationship that it may never recover.
9,10. Our new nature in Christ is renewed in knowledge. That means as our understanding of God increases our Godliness will increase. Knowing the bible is a step to holiness that cannot be skipped. The more we think about Jesus, and the more we know about Jesus, the more Jesus will rub off on us.
11. Ethnic, social, and economic barriers all disintegrate in Christ, and therefore should also disintegrate in the eyes of Christians, and will if they are filled with the Spirit of God. Jesus is the thing that matters to spirit filled christians.
There is no envy, neither are there feelings of superiority in Christians who are filled with the holy spirit. A highly educated Christian will not look down upon one who has no education. One who has no education will not be envious towards one who have much education. What difference do these things make when you are walking with the God of the universe? When you're walking with the God of the universe and communing with him day by day everything else becomes secondary.
12. In other words, God says if you belong to me then act like me, and it starts with mercy. We'd all be dead and burning in hell, every last one of us would be in the flames of torment right now if it wasn't for God's mercy.
God is merciful so we need to be merciful. Don't rip into somebody and blast them with both barrels simply because they make a mistake; you better remember all the mistakes you have made and how merciful God has been with you, not giving you what your sins deserve.
God is kind and so he wants us to be kind. God never tells us to do something that he himself doesn't do.. God does nice things for us; he thinks about us; he likes to make us happy. So ask God to help you to do kind things for others today.
Take the time to say and do things today that you know will make someone else happy. It doesn't have to be anything major just show some kindness. Even a little kindness is a big thing; you'll stand out from the crowd if you do it, because most people are self absorbed and never even think about being kind to others.
Be humble. Don't talk about how great you are. You know that's very irritating to others because when we talk about some great thing that we do the message we are sending to others is: I bet you feel bad that you're not as talented or successful as I am. That's not kind. So be humble; like the Bible says: let another man praise you and not your own lips. God doesn't want us to talk about how great we are. If you are going to talk about something good that you have done then make sure you give God credit, and as the Bible says: boast about what God has done through you so that your boasting is about God not yourself.
Be meek. In other words, just because you have the power to do something don't use that power to push other people around and get your own way. The bad guys do that sort of thing; the good guys don't. One of the reasons I like the old shows like Gunsmoke and the rifleman is that those guys were fast draws and good with the rifle and tough as nails, but they didn't use any of their power to push others around. They used their power to defend the innocent and take a stand for what is right.
God says be long-suffering. Be willing to put up with bad as long as it doesn't dishonor God and as long as it doesn't hurt others. The Bible says charity suffers long. If you love someone then you're going to endure their imperfections and if anything pray for them and try to help them get better.
12,13. Think of all the sins that you have committed, that God has forgiven. Think about how grateful you have been to receive that forgiveness and to experience it over and over again. Think about how unworthy you have felt of that forgiveness, and how much you have appreciated God's kindness. Think about all that and then treat others the way God has treated you.
God puts up with our sins even though he hates them more then we could possibly know. He is patient with us, and he forgives us when we confess. Now God wants us to bear with the imperfections of others and forgive their sins against us when they confess, or when they apologize. You say, they don't apologize; so now what? Pray for them, and be nice to them because God makes the sun to shine upon the just and the unjust. He does good things for those who do bad things to him. You certainly don't have to trust people who have sinned against you, but you should always say, or do what is in their best interest whether they appreciate it or not, whether they like it or not.
14. The King James translators knew the difference between charity and love. The word for love can mean either love or charity and if you look at the old dictionaries you'll see that. So they translated it love in over 100 places, but they translated it charity in over 20 places. Every time the Bible speaks of love between Christians they translated it charity.
The love that Christians have for each other isn't there between Christians and the unsaved, or even between Christians and God. When speaking of love between Christians they translated it charity because there is a special bond between Christians which, if they are filled with the Holy Spirit, will cause them to be unselfish, and willing to sacrifice for the good of each other. Charity is the correct translation not simply love.
The Bible says that charity (love between Christians) is the bond of perfectness. In other words, loving in a charitable way, and in a self-sacrificing way is the most uncomplicated way of doing what is right. We don't have to be concerned with the details of God's law if we simply show charity to others. If we show charity the moral details of God's law will take care of themselves, plus you're doing it the right way. Everything becomes a labor of love, rather than simply following a list of rules, which is the way it should be for Christians.
15. Living right, doing right (verse 14), will make us feel right on the inside (verse 15). Being at peace with God because we're living correctly gives us peace within ourselves.
That's why if you lack peace; If you're worried, if you're fearful, if you're fretting, if you don't have joy, then one of the first things you should do is check to see if you are treating others the way God wants you to treat them. Are you treating people like Jesus would treat them, or are you selfish or unkind toward them? Do you speak the truth to them as kindly as you can, or do you gossip about them, or are you harsh toward them?
If you treat people like trash; if you don't care about others enough to give them the truth and be kind to them in the process then there's no way that you are going to have inner peace. God says there is no peace says the Lord for the wicked. Inner peace begins with obedience to God.
So also ask yourself: how is your walk with the Lord in general? Are you compromising the word of God in your life? Are you tolerating sin in your life? Are your priorities in line with God's priorities as laid out in the holy Bible? If you're not doing these things correctly than it's not surprising that you don't have peace.
Living right will make us feel right on the inside. Being at peace with God gives us peace within ourselves.
16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. In other words, saturate yourself with the word of God. Start each day with the word of God. End each day with the word of God. Whenever you have free time, whenever possible, spend it reading the word of God. Read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and then start all over again, and keep doing it.
And this is important: devote the time when you have the most mental energy to God by reading his word; don't waste your mental energy watching some silly, stupid, movie, or television show. I don't like to turn the television on and watch a show until I'm just about ready to fall asleep because I'm too tired to study and I'm too tired to read by then anyway. So I'm not saying there's anything wrong with watching something that is wholesome; I'm just saying devote more of your time to reading the word of God then you do to entertainment, and make sure you devote the best free time of the day, the part of the day where you have the most mental energy; devote that to God, to reading his word. God deserves that, and it's the best thing in the world for you.
Don't settle for a little bit of the word of God. Don't settle for two minutes with God in the morning. Saturate yourself, fill yourself with the written word of God because that'll give you more joy than you thought you could ever experience.
You say: well I'm too busy! Every day I'm too busy! Well if you're too busy than you're right you are too busy so get some of the other stuff out of your life because the word of God is the most important thing. If you don't have time to saturate yourself with the word of God and it's the same thing every day then you better cut back on some things.
Maybe you should quit running around taking your children to Little League practice every day, and Little League games, and soccer practice every day, and soccer games and dance class, and music class, and this busy work at church, and that busy work at church, and this church committee, and that church committee, and choir practice, and this church business meeting, and that church business meeting, and the deacon meeting, and the church board meaning, and the elders meeting, and this club and that club, and this organization, and that organization, and this event, and that event. Get rid of some of your hobbies! Get rid of some of the things that you do for recreation, and quit stretching yourself so thin, and instead spend more time at home reading the Bible by yourself and with your family. It won't hurt you, or your kids to cut back on some of their activities. You say but I want my children to be well-balanced and popular. Well isn't it better to keep them out of hell? And isn't it better to be filled with the spirit of God, and the joy of the Lord?
We make time for the things that are the most important to us and we're willing to cut back on other things or give them up entirely because they don't mean as much to us. Everyone has the same amount of time every day to work with, and everyone adjusts their schedule according to what is most important to them.
You say I've got to work two jobs because I'm saving for my retirement. Well why don't you put Jesus first, and I mean put him first by spending time in his word, and prayer, and trust him with your retirement. Don't forget that story of the man who had the bumper crops, and he thought he was set for his retirement, but Jesus said you fool tonight you're going to die, and all that garbage that you work for will turn out to be a waste of time.
So you store up for yourselves treasures on earth and your walk with Jesus suffers because of it, what good is that?
16. Filling ourselves with the word of God takes time and energy, and it means saying no to other things, but it will change us from the inside out.
If you want to be singing in your heart to God (which souunds like a pretty happy life to me) then fill yourself with the word of God like verse 16 says. Jesus came to give us life, and the abundant life, and the way to make it happen is by filling yourself with the bible.
17. In other words, don't do anything that Jesus Christ wouldn't approve. Don't do anything that Jesus wouldn't do. Don't enjoy anything that you know Jesus would not enjoy. Dress the way you would dress if Jesus was by your side physically, visible every second of every day. Talk the way you would talk if Jesus was there physically next you; work the way you would work, act the way you would act, treat others the way you would treat others if Jesus was next to you visibly, physically every second of every day.
We don't see Jesus, but he is with us every second of every day carefully observing how we represent him, because we do represent him; whether we represent him well or not well is up to us.
18. In other words, wives are told by God to respect their husband's God given authority. Someone has to drive, and in the home God says that it is the husband. That doesn't mean that a husband has a blank check from God to do whatever he wants, or to make his wife do whatever he wants. A husband is acountable to God to lead in a way that pleases Jesus, and is best for his wife and children.
It is a husband's duty to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and it is the wife's duty to submit to the leadership of the husband, which will not be a problem for a godly woman if her husband is following Jesus the way he should, and if he isn't, then she should not follow his lead. A wife is to follow the husband's lead "as it is fit in the Lord."
You want harmony in your home? Well there's harmony in the home when the husband is sold out to Jesus, and the wife is sold out to Jesus, and there is swift repentance, confession, and forgiveness whenever they fail.
By the way, if a Christian woman doesn't trust a man's walk with the lord enough to let him lead then she shouldn't marry him in the first place. If a Christian woman won't let a Christian man lead then the Christian man should not marry her; it's not God's will; you're off to a bad start, and an unbiblical start; it's going to be nothing but trouble if you go through with it.
19. Authority does not mean abuse. A husband should bend over backwards to be good,and loyal to his wife. A Christian husband should treat his wife like she is more important than he is. A Christian husband should be the spiritual leader in the home, and should be willing to sacrifice in order to lead his wife into a closer walk with Jesus.
Representing Jesus well is the best thing that a husband can do for his wife, and if she's not the type who appreciates that, then Mr. you married the wrong king of girl, and if you haven't married her yet, don't. Don't marry her because a woman like that will be nothing but trouble for you. Mr. you would be better off living in a cave by yourself than with the woman who maybe gives lip service to putting Jesus first, but in reality cares about the things of this world more than she does Jesus.
A husband as the spiritual leader in the home should represent Christ to his wife; should be like Jesus; should love her like Jesus; should treat her like Jesus would treat her; should protect her like Jesus would protect her, and should always do what is in her best interest spiritually speaking just like Jesus does. That is what God commands him to do here in verse 19 when he says: love your wife.
20. Rebellion in children must not be tolerated. Mothers and fathers ought to be the most godly people in the world, and they ought to teach their children to be that way as well. And they shouldn't tolerate any rebellion against their authority which is really the authority of God.
Parents need to teach their children that the issue is not between them and their children, the issue is between their children and God. God is the one who is offended when children rebel. God is the one who is offended when children don't do the right thing. God is the one who is offended when children backtalk their parents. God is the one who is offended when children whine against their parents. God is the one who is offended when children demand their own way, and get angry at their parents. God is the one who is offended when children scream, and cry because there not getting what they want. God is the one who is offended when children disobey parents.
You may love your children, and you may do nice things for them, but if you drop the ball regarding this most important part of parenting then you are making a terrible mistake, and you will answer to God for it. If you let your children get away with rebellion you better repent, pray for forgiveness, and do it right, starting now. You may love your children, but you are not being loving if you tolerate back talk, whinning, disobedience, etc. etc. If you allow rebellion against your authority then you are a bad parent, and I'd tell you that right to your face if I saw it happen. I've done it in the past, and I'd do it again. Somebody has to look out for your child; if you're not going to do it, I will!
Proverbs 22:15 says "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." If you are a parent you better use that rod, and you better not hold back because God says if you don't discipline your child you hate him. If you think your child will escape the flames of hell without you disciplining them, and making them respect you so that they respect God you are making a deadly, eternal mistake, and you will be at least in part responsible for your child burning in hell forever.
They are accountable to God for their behavior a lot more than they are accountable to their parents. Parents are just God's representatives in their lives. Children owe it to God to obey and respect their parents.
21. Overbearing fathers who treat their children like unwanted guests will answer to God for their sinful, self centered, lack of natural affection. A child can tell when a father likes them, and when he doesn't. A child can tell when a father is discipining them because he cares, or whipping them because he is just angry, or worse yet doesn't like them. God will hold a father responsible for discouraging, or hurting their child by an unloving, overly harsh attitude towards them.
22. Talking about employers and employees. If you're a Christian, then you should be the best employee in your factory, in your store, in your office, or whatever the case may be. You need to work hard as if Jesus was sitting in your bosses chair. You say: but my boss doesn't act like Jesus! I don't care if he does or not; you're still working for Jesus. You are not working for Kraft Foods. You're not working for Walmart. You're not working for that hospital. You're not working for that grocery store. You're not working for that power plant. You're working for Jesus; that's the way God sees it, and that's the way you better see it, and you better work hard, and try to be the best employee that Jesus has; you owe that to him.
Christian employees are to work hard, and do everything their boss wants them to do whether he is watching or not. Your boss may not be watching, but Jesus is, and he's the one you're going to answer to at the judgment seat of Christ.
23. I don't care what you're doing, do it right. Jesus doesn't like slothfulness. Jesus doesn't like a sloppy job. Jesus doesn't like halfhearted work. If you're doing a job then do it the way it should be done. Believe it or not Christ cares about the type of work you do whether it's on the job, or in the home. Work hard, try hard, do it for Jesus. Always do the right thing the best that you can, because if you don't you're not redeeming the time like God commands.
24. Payday is coming for every Christian who works hard, and does it to please Jesus. God keeps track of how we do our job, and how we do everything else, and he will reward our efforts on judgment day.
Maybe you're not compensated the way you should be in this life; maybe you're not paid the way you should be in this life; maybe you're not recognized the way you should be in this life, because you do a good job, and you do work hard, and you care. You say: Yep that's me, I'm working for peanuts even though I work very hard. Well hang in there, and don't worry about it because you won't go unnoticed forever. In fact God notices you right now, and he's writing down all the good that you do, and he's going to reward you.
25. One of the most frustrating things about this sinful world is that often justice and fairness are perverted because people have favorites. But God doesn't play favorites. He will reward good behavior and he will punish bad behavior.
1. This is talking about employers today. If you think you're the boss, and you answer to no one because you own the company, you are mistaken. You have a boss, and you have a owner, and you have a supervisor, and you have a judge, and his name is Almighty God.
Here in verse one God is saying: employers, be fair to those who work for you. God wants employers to do their best to treat their employees well. He wants them to pay them a fair wage, and to provide the best working conditions possible.
A person may be the boss at work, but they have a boss in heaven. Everyone is accountable to someone, and everyone is accountable to God. One day God will call all employers into his office, and give them their evaluation.
2. Don't quit praying simply because God hasn't answered the way you hoped he would. God's part is to decide which answer is correct. Our part is to continue to pray earnestly. Don't let your feelings stop you from praying. Don't let discouragement keep you from praying. If you want something pray for it. If you think something is biblically correct then pray for it. Pray until the burden to pray for that particular thing is gone, and then accept the answer whether it's yes or no.
God says continue to pray. Pray and don't quit knowing that there are certain things that God will not do unless we pray for them. Pray and don't quit even when God seems to be dragging his heels. God doesn't drag his heels; he's never behind schedule; you're the one who's ahead of schedule. You get restless! You get tired of waiting! You get all shook up and anxious! Just settle down and wait on the Lord! You say: I've been waiting too long! Well then go build yourself your own universe, and your own planet, and your own air, and make your own water from scratch, and make your own food come out of the ground that you make from scratch, and live there, and get out of God's jurisdiction. If you can't do that, settle down, and wait on the Lord, because you don't have any other choice.
God knows what he's doing! If God is answering your prayers slowly it's because he is using the slow. If God answers our prayers by saying no it is because he is using the no; you either trust him, or you don't. And you might as well trust him, because he's not changing his mind simply because you would rather have a different answer to your prayer.
3. The apostle was chained in prison for preaching the bible, and for preaching Jesus, and yet his prayer request was for more opportunity's to preach Jesus. He was suffering in a horrible prison; he was nearly beaten to death several times because he preached the word of God, and yet he prays for more opportunities to preach the word of God. You say: he's crazy! No, he's called.
It is the highest honor in the world to be called by God to proclaim his word, and it is shameful to be either unfaithful by watering down the word, or to ignore that call entirely because of fear, or for any other reason.
The apostle was completely focused on Jesus Christ, and prayed for the important things in the eyes of Jesus. He didn't care what happened to him. He didn't care what he had to sacrifice in order to preach the word of God. He preached the word of God because it burned in him like a fire. He did what he did for the lord with zeal because he loved Jesus, and that's the way it should be for all Christians.
"I'm in prison for preaching the bible so pray that I will have more opportunities to preach the bible." And what I like about Paul is that he did not stop with that. You know there are plenty of ways to "preach the Bible" without getting into any trouble, without ruffling any feathers, but Paul wasn't interested in that kind of "preaching" so look at the next verse.
4. In other words, pray that I don't hold back on truth simply because the truth has a habit of getting me into trouble lately. He wanted to preach Jesus, and the word of God clearly even though the clearer one preaches the bible the more likely they are to rub the rebellious the wrong way.
No matter what it may cost the preacher, he should preach the word of God clearly. If a man isn't preaching the word of God clearly enough to anger the wicked, then he isn't preaching it clearly enough to bless the godly. Preach and teach the truth. Be a blessing to God, and bless those who have a heart for God, and let the rest go listen to some lukewarm preacher tickle their ears if that's what they want, and lead them to hell if that's what they want.
5. We cannot help it if the world thinks we are foolish for behaving like Jesus; that's their problem. Preachers and pastors and churches make a terrible mistake when they try to be cool in the eyes of the world. You can't possibly be cool in the eyes of the world while living for Jesus the way the Bible says we're supposed to live.
If you're living for Jesus and following the word of God and the world thinks your foolish then let them think your foolish. If the world thinks you're uncool, than let the world think you're uncool. If the world thinks you're weird, than let the world think you're weird. You're not here to impress the ungodly with their latest trends, and their latest fads. You're here to impress Jesus.
The important thing is to not be a foolish christian, saying and doing things that have nothing in the world to do with the word of God. We redeem our time here on earth by acting, talking, loving, showing compassion, and being unselfish like Christ was when he was here.
6. We've already learned from verse four and from many other places in Scripture that we are to speak the truth. Speak the truth, or it doesn't pay to speak at all. Speak the truth, and give it straight or it doesn't pay to speak at all. If you're going to water down the truth just to be popular than keep your mouth shut! If you're going to water down the truth to get bigger crowds or get bigger offerings then shut your mouth! You make me sick! You make God sick! And you will make every sold-out Christian who has suffered for the truth, and suffered for being loyal to Jesus sick as well because they know that you are compromising for the sake of some sort of personal gain! You should be ashamed of yourself! Speak the truth, or it doesn't pay to speak at all!
You say: I use soft language, and I don't say things that tend to upset people, and I try not to be too straightforward because I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I do it so that people will keep coming, and then later on I will give them the truth. No you won't! Once a coward, always a coward when your priority is numbers. You won't tell them the truth; you'll just get used to them coming, and you'll like it, and you like the money they put in the collection plate, and you'll the like how the numbers look. You won't tell them the truth because once a coward always a coward when your priority is popularity. But even if you decide to have the guts to proclaim the clear word of God at some point in the future, those that you watered down the truth to win over will walk away the moment you stop.
Always remember: what you win a person with is what you win a person to. If you win a person by watering down the word of God, then you will win a person to a watered-down form of Christianity. If you win a person by "Christian entertainment, or Christian cool" then you have won them to "Christian entertainment or Christian coolness." And they will be repulsed by the plane, clear, simple truth when they hear it because it rubs them the wrong way. What you win a person with is what you win them to.
I know what goes on in many evangelical churches. I know what they try to do. But I just wonder at what point in church history did the sophisticated and intelligentsia church leaders became so stupid and unbiblical in their thinking.
I don't know when it happened, but I have a pretty good idea why it happened. It happened because they became lukewarm. It happened because they listened to some lukewarm professor, or some lukewarm preacher who has a big radio, or television ministry, and they became enamored with them, and they started to dream of big crowds, and they started to dream of a comfortable lifestyle with big offerings, and possibly moving up in their denomination to a bigger church, or a higher position.
You better believe that's what happened and so they watered down the truth. They decided they weren't going to offend anyone, even sinners who are offending God. They decided that they weren't going to care about anyone or anything except themselves! They decided that being popular was more important than the souls that are on their way to hell. Who cares if they don't repent; I'm not saying anything that rocks the boat! The dirty, rotten, self-centered cowards!
Some modern preachers and pastors use this stupid excuse for not speaking the word clearly: if I can just get them into the church then later on they will come to Christ. How is that going to happen? If you don't preach that they are hopelessly lost, that they are depraved sinners who must repent and make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ no one is going to get saved, and you don't have the guts to do that! Oh if I just get them to come to our church they will eventually become Christians. At what point? At what point do you give them the truth? At what point do you stop entertaining them? At what point do you stop making them feel comfortable? At what point do you tell them that they need to repent? At what point do you point out specific sins in their life that they are committing that are unacceptable? At what point do you tell them that they must be holy because God is holy? Answer: never! Not if you want to keep them coming. You presented a lukewarm Jesus and a lukewarm word of God to them because you knew that's what they wanted; you won them with your lukewarmness, and your watered down half truths, and now that's what you have one them to.
Don't you understand that Jesus never made it easy for anyone to follow him. It was just the opposite with Jesus. He evangelized by saying: unless you repent, and pick up your cross and follow me you cannot be my disciple. He was saying unless you're willing to set aside your sin, and your old life, and surrender completely to me, and to my word you can't be my disciple. He never made it easy for anyone to follow Him. He never watered down the truth, and preached a soft message that wasn't offensive, and didn't rub someone the wrong way. Jesus never said I'll give them watered-down mush and then after they have followed me for a while I'll give them the truth. No he weeded out those who weren't interested by speaking the plain, simple, clear truth from the very beginning.
Speak the truth and inform the ignorant. Speak the truth and rebuke the rebellious. Truth is the most valuable gift we Christians can give to others.
7. If a Christian is a faithful servant of Christ like Tychicus, then they will be a good friend to other Christians.
You can count on someone who is a true servant of Christ. You know they will do what is best. They do what they say they will do, and if they don't they will have a good reason.
8,9. Paul sent Tychicus to help the Colossian Christians. You say that's nice big deal; what did Paul have to lose? He had a lot to lose by sending Tychicus to Colossae. Paul was in the mamertime prison and in those days the government didn't take care of prisoners. If you wanted to be fed or you needed some clothes or you needed anything else you better have a friend on the outside or you weren't getting them and Tychicus was Paul's friend. But he sent him to the Colossians because he cared more about them than he did himself.
What we do should be done for the benefit of others. If it will help someone, if it will make life a little better for someone, then we know that God will be pleased if we do it.
So many Christians seem to be always searching for the will of God in their lives, and it's really not that complicated. The will of God for you and I is moral in nature; if we take care of the moral part, the other details will all fall into place because we will be led by the spirit. So whatever we do, whatever we say, should be for the benefit of others. I'm saying: if it will draw them closer to Jesus, if it will contribute to their salvation, then do it, or say it, because you know you are in the will of God if you do.
10. You might remember from the book of acts that as a young Christian Mark bailed out on Paul and Barnabas while on a missionary trip. But Mark hung in there with Jesus; he continued to grow spiritually, and he became a strong, trustworthy Christian man.
Don't let sin and failures keep you from pressing on with Christ. We all fail, but we will all get better if we don't quit. I don't care what it is, if you quit, then you're not going to get any better. The more batting practice you take the better hitter you will become. Maybe you will never be a great hitter; maybe you won't even be a good hitter, but you will be a better hitter than what you would have been if you had not practiced. If you quit practicing you will not get any better. You'll get better if you don't quit. You'll get better for Jesus if you don't give up after you have failed him; just keep going, and if you fail again confess again, and keep trying.
11. The apostle Paul didn't have a lot of support even though he was suffering for being faithful to Christ. When you think about all the souls that were saved through his ministry and all the people that he ministered the word of God to, and all the sacrificing he did for so many Christians, and then you look at the number of Christians who stood by him during hard times it's pitiful.
12,13. Epaphras labored hard in prayer. Prayer is hard work. You have to constantly be fighting your flesh that wants you to stop praying, and instead take a nap, or wants you to stop praying, and watch something useless or sinful on your television or computer.
In prayer we fight the enemies of God. In prayer we fight the enemies of our soul. Spiritual battles between good, and evil are won through prayer.
14,15. Churches met in private homes back in the early days. They really didn't have much choice since they were persecuted by the Roman empire, but the church did very well in those early days because they focused on the basics: teaching the Word of God, prayer, and holy Communion.
Christians would be much stronger if churches would focus exclusively on the word of God, prayer, holy Communion along with simple worship. If there were no committees; if there were no programs; if there were no building projects; if there were no extracurricular activities, and Christians simply came to church, and were fed the word of God, and focused on Jesus every Sunday morning they would leave edified, not entertained; edified, not impressed.
It is not sinful for a church to have a building, but there is something to be said for churches, and ministries keeping things simple. Simplicity gives the Christians involved more free time to pray, read their bible, and do the work of the ministry that God has called them to do personally.
16,17. In other words, tell Archippus not to quit. It is easier to start out well doing something for the Lord then it is to persevere once the newness wears off. When the initial excitement of something wears off, hard work, determination, and faith must take over.
When doing something for Jesus is no longer fresh, fun, and exciting; when giving to Jesus is no longer convenient, but instead sacrificial, spirit filled Christians persevere while nominal, phony, lukewarm Christians bail out.
18. Remember my bonds, my chains. Remember my lousy situation.
Remembering Paul's chains as he was confined in the smelly, damp dungeon, known as the mamertine prison should help us to remember many things; things that we should never forget as Christians.
Remember how much Paul suffered for doing the will of God, and at the same time remember that Jesus never said life would be easy if we were sold out to him. Remember how the apostle suffered, and at the same time remember that whatever we are asked to endure by Christ is worth enduring. Remember how the apostle suffered with the attitude: "for me to die is gain", and at the same time remember that we are to live for a comfortable eternity more then a comfortable here. Remember that as Christians we are asked to sacrifice the self indulgent life for the godly life.
The apostle didn't ask to be remembered because he wanted others to feel sorry for him in prison. He wanted Christians to remember so that their priorities would be in line with heaven's values.