Written Sermons

 

Distractions to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Revelations 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
Pro 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
Pro 4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Pro 4:22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Pro 4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
Pro 4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Pro 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Pro 4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.


The word of God is similar to the wisdom the writer is giving to his son. The word of God is life unto those that find it and health to our flesh. God is good to those that obey Him and take heed to His word.

The enemy of our souls is out to steal, kill and destroy our souls and try his best to lead us into the same path he is going. He doesn't want to abide in hell alone so he wants to take with him everyone he can. Since the beginning of creation he has tried to get all human flesh defiled and separated from God so that we cannot inherit eternal life.

This is why God sent His own Son into the world and had Him become human flesh. He came to reverse the curse sin brought upon us and reverse the work of Satan. From the very moment the word of God was spoken to mankind, Satan has tried his best to undermine, to water down, to create a mixture, or to destroy the word of God from the mind of the created man that God made.

At first he brings in false religion to become a substitute for man to worship. Little did those deceived recognize that Satan was the spirit behind every idol, every false prophet and priest that exercised the false worship of gods that were no gods. The tower of Babel was actually rebellion against God. God wanted man to spread out all over the earth. Nimrod led the people in rebellion wanting to make a name for himself and have everyone stay in one place. Babylon was the headquarters for all future false religious and idolatrous systems. We are seeing Babylonian religion being revived today.

After the coming of Christ, the power of the gospel began to expose the lies of false religion and idolatry. Paganism was on the way out so the devil tries to pollute the church by creating a mixture. The church could not get all people out of idolatry and pagan worship so instead of trusting in the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin and power over false religion, he gets them to mix the two religions just changing the names of the idols to Christian names. Babylon and the church was mixed.

After the Protestant Reformation, revivals began to break out again so the devil had to try a new tactic by causing the Protestant churches to unite with the state and compromise with the world's governmental systems thereby watering down the word to please those in power. Now Satan could use the desire for knowledge and education which was suppressed during the Middle Ages to lead men into secular humanism, evolution and the lie that there is no God. This was not his goal however, for Satan wants to be worshipped. He was not content for man to worship self.

I believe the humanism and evolution is on its way out but instead of mankind returning to their creator and salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ we are seeing a return of the original Babylon and paganism. New Age and Eastern religion are invading even the church as we see a new mixture. In order to have peace and create a false peace, we may see all these religions come together in a one world religion in the pretense of having peace.

The church of today needs to study diligently the word of God like never before to keep from being deceived and swallowed up in the deception to come. True unity is in the spirit and in truth. We can be in the same mind and one accord biblically with lies and half truths. Sound doctrine, bible prophecy and the study of the scriptures should never be substituted for anything else.

I’m here to warn all of us of the distractions from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I will now go to Isaiah 48: 1

Isa 48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.

Not everyone that says, Lord, Lord shall enter into heaven but He that does the will of the Lord will enter heaven. What is the will of the Lord? That we believe in the one God sent to save us, Jesus Christ. The will of God is that we repent and believe the gospel or the good news of Jesus Christ. The will of God is that we believe in the name of Jesus and that believing we have life in His name. The will of God is that no person shall perish but have everlasting life.

Not all that name the name of Christ, not all that call themselves Christian and not all that claims to be filled with the Spirit are what they say they are.

At one time Israel who was chosen of God and elect to be God's chosen people was walking in obedience to Him. In this verse in Isaiah we see that the house of Jacob were claiming to swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the name of the Lord with their mouths but in their hearts they were serving idols. They were Israel in name only at that point.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

They can say, I am Christ, I am of Christ, I represent Christ or I have the anointing from Christ and then expect us to believe all they say.  This brothers and sisters in the Lord, is why we have the written word before us, sold in every bookstore and some supermarkets, given away by the Gideon’s and made readily available for us to read and understand.

James says that if anyone of us lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask of God and He will give us wisdom and understanding of His word.

2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The scriptures were given to keep God's people from being deceived after they have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If there were no chance of deception or no chance of anyone being lost after coming to Christ, Jesus would not have written warnings about being deceived.

2Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Some people just want to hear good funny stories, quotes, feel good sermons and do not want to hear sound doctrine which will save the soul. All these things can be distractions to keep us from the truth.

We must at all costs remain on the foundation of Jesus Christ and not be removed from it.

What is this foundation?

1Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the foundation and the pillar of truth. On that foundation is the apostles and faithful prophets, preachers and teachers that have faithfully build upon that same foundation.  We must remain upon that foundation of truth and not be removed from it.

How can we be removed from that foundation? By adding to or taking away from the truth of the gospel.
We can add to the gospel by saying we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ but we have to join a certain church to be saved. We can add to the gospel by saying that we must believe in Christ but we have to keep the old law such as circumcision, rituals, ceremonies and such to complete our salvation. Another way is to say that we can believe in Jesus but that he can only be found through a certain man or organization that claims to represent him.

We can take away from the gospel by saying we are saved from sin and are saved only once but we can live any way we please and can never be lost. We can take away from the gospel also by saying that there is other ways to be saved except by Jesus Christ. We can take away from the gospel by creating a mixture or other distractions to keep the word from being preached in truth.

Distractions can be things we think of as good things. In fact warning against false teachers and false doctrine can be a distraction if that is what we major on and we stop preaching the gospel that will save the lost. We can preach against every false doctrine in the world and keep people out of it which is good but fail to tell them the good stuff and that is to repent of sin and believe in the one to take away sins and cleanse us from all sin, Jesus Christ. The foundation is Christ and there is no other way to be saved.

We can get off the foundation by majoring too much on outward religious observances, doctrine of external holiness, good works for the Lord, feeding the poor, doing good deeds and forgetting to preach the gospel of repentance and being born again by the spirit.

We can get off the foundation by majoring on politics for instance, working to see abortion abolished. I want abortion abolished too but we can get so wrapped up in politics and trying to get our particular party in office that we forget the main job of believers is to spread the gospel to save the lost. If we succeeded in stamping out abortion and homosexuality and failed to get anyone born again by the spirit of God, we would be missing the mark. If we succeeded in feeding the hungry all over the world and stamping out all disease and failed to get them to Jesus Christ, it would be a waste of time. They would have full bellies but would die lost.

We can get off the foundation if our church services majored in entertainment and growing in numbers but failed to preached the gospel of repentance and warning them to flee from the wrath of God that is coming upon all that reject Jesus Christ and continue in sin.

We can get off the foundation if we stress church membership so highly and fail to get anyone saved from sin. We can stress unity and getting along to get along and forget to warn that sometimes the gospel will cause division and split families. I hate to say that but its truth. Jesus said that there are times when the gospel will cause a daughter in law to hate her mother in law.

We can get off the foundation if we stress water baptism, keeping the Lord's Supper and fail to preach repentance from sin.

We can get of the foundation if we emphasize praise and worship and forget to tell people how to be born again. It is possible to get worked up by upbeat music and have people praising God which is good and we should praise God but if the lost are leaving the church without being saved from sin, we may be using music as a substitute for the gospel. The message of the gospel must accompany anything we do for the Lord.

We can get off the foundation if we stress and teach good family living and how to get along with our family, wife, husband, children, and neighbors but fail to tell them how to get along with God. Repent and believe the gospel.

We can get off the foundation if we stress unity so much and getting along with people which is good, but fail to explain what true unity of the spirit is. If we get off the foundation of Jesus Christ we can't have unity of the spirit. Sound doctrine is part of the foundation of Christ.

We can get off the foundation if we major solely on discernment and fail to tell anyone how to be saved from sin and be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

We can also get off the foundation if we stress the gifts of the Spirit as good and precious as they are and they are needful in today's church but we can't go teaching on them so much without making sure our listeners are first saved from sin.

We can stress all the negative warnings on hell and the consequences of sin and fail to tell the good part of how we can be washed clean of sin and be filled with the spirit.

On the other hand we can be so positive about Jesus Christ and tell people they need to receive Jesus Christ but never warn them against sin or the wrath to come.

We can major in church growth, fund raisers, and social gatherings so much that we forget what the church is for. To make disciples so that they can spread the gospel beyond our four walls.

Many things I've mentioned are good things in their proper place but Jesus is the foundation and we must take heed that the gospel is our major focus and our main purpose for having church. Our good works should increase but not become a distraction from the gospel of Jesus Christ and turning from sin. Part of the gospel is turning away and being delivered from sin. The book of Hebrews reminds us that without holiness, no one will even see the Lord. The only way to be holy is to allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from sin and the righteousness of Jesus Christ covers our own so-called righteousness. We must partake of Jesus Christ and be covered by His righteousness. Ours is not good enough. We must be born again by the Holy Spirit of God.

Many organizations start out good but get side tracked off the main path. We must not be all positive or all negative. We must just study the word and be willing to speak the truth.

The gospel in a nutshell

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

1Jonn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

To believe in Jesus and turn away from sin is to be "born of God" and saved from sin.  No man can be saved except through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the gospel, the good news that the path to everlasting life. We must preach, teach, rebuke, exhort. We must not fail to teach bible prophecy because it was given to us as a warning against the evil to come but bible prophecy must not be a distraction but a tool to bring people to Jesus Christ.

Some are saying we should stop teaching bible prophecy which is a direct disobedience to the words of Jesus in Revelation chapter 1:

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Bible prophecy can be taught along with the gospel that leads to salvation. It should not be stopped. We must continue to warn the church that the Lord is returning to gather His people to Himself. He is only going to gather those that are ready and looking for His return and not found spiritually asleep at His coming. “To those that look for Him is He going to appear”.

A distraction is when we major on anything that takes away from individual souls being saved from sin and filled with the Spirit of God. That is the gospel. Anything can distract us from that goal. We need to stay on fire for God and abide in the calling that He has called us. Even good things can distract us. We don’t necessarily need to be doing bad stuff to get away from the main message.

That doesn’t mean that we stop doing good things but that all that we do in the name of Christ will be centered on the gospel of Jesus which will save from sin.


 
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