LESSONS FOR A LASTING MARRIAGE

God created three institutions: 1) The second one was Government, 2) The third one was the church, and 3) the first was the family. Why the family first? It is the foundation for the other two. Arnold Toynbee said, “Of the 11 great civilizations that have come and gone one of the precursors of the fall of each was the decline of the family.”

It is obvious to even the casual observer that the institu­tion of marriage is in trouble in modern America. Divorce is running rampant. Americans are getting over 1,000,000 divorces each year. From 1870 to 1948 US population increased 300%. Marriages increased 400% and divorce increased 2000%. One of every two or three marriages will end in divorce.  Teens say, “This will never happen to us.” But, if you are a teenager, the next time you are in a crowd of ten or more teens, look around the room and realize that statistically speaking, probably 40% to 50% of the people in that circle will end up divorced. And you are part of that statistical base. Most alarmingly, the recent statistics show that in most denominations, there is not statistically significant difference between the divorce rates among their members and the unchurched. What can we do about this problem? I have a list of sugges­tions. We will discuss these in the next few articles.

First, we must learn that marriage is a permanent commitment to each other, before God. Jesus proclaimed, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mat. 19:5-6).

Do you remember your marriage vows? “Tom, do you take this woman to be your wife. Do you solemnly promise before God and these witnesses that you will love her and com­fort her and keep her in sickness and in health and that forsaking all others for her alone, will you perform all the duties that a husband owes his wife so long as you both shall live?” The response: “I do.” “Carole, do you take this man to be your husband? Do you solemnly promise before God and these witnesses to love, honor and obey him, to comfort and keep him in sickness and health and that forsa­king all others for him alone will you perform all the duties that a wife owes a husband so long as you both shall live?” The response:  “I do.”

Friends, in marriage we have made a solemn vow before God and witnesses – a vow we must keep till death do us part. What God hath joined together let not man put asunder!

If we are to have a lasting marriage we must learn to be unselfish. Selfishness is the greatest single curse in the modern marriage. Many can see no one but self in the marriage relationship. Many hold the attitude: “It is MY money, MY night out, MY friends, MY car and MY way to make ME happy.” Friends, if you want your marriage to be miserable, think much about yourself; about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you, and what people think of you. The Smallest man I ever saw, was a man rapped up wholly in himself. The sad thing about it is the ME is not happy. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly…” (Romans 12:3).

We must learn to submit to each other according to God’s model for the home. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.…” (Ephesians 5:21-32).

In a lasting marriage, a husband will not treat their wife like a doormat, but will cherish her as his own body, and a wife will hold the greatest respect for her husband. Both will loving submit to one another as Christ does to His Father.

In a lasting marriage, both a husband and wife will learn to be courteous. The apostle Peter declared, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8). Are you as courteous to your mate as you are to complete strangers? Are you as courteous as you were before you were married? Do you interrupt your mate? Do you actually listen? What tone of voice do you use with your mate? These are all important questions to ask in evaluating your courtesy toward your spouse.

Marriages that are lasting learn to serve. The role of a servant has been lost to our society. Jesus reminds us of this role: “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). Most troubled marriages could be quickly repaired if both husband and wife would learn to serve each other.

Learning to resist materialism is another powerful way to strengthen our marriages. We live in a materialistic society. Our society has reached the point that many prefer: 1) Gold to God., 2) Things to Truth, and 3) The newest Gimmick to the old time Gospel. Paul reminds us of how materialism can destroy families, homes, and marriages, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:6-10). “Things” over a spouse is a sure fire way to cause trouble in a marriage.

Another important component in a lasting marriage is learning to render due benevolence to one’s mate. “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency [or, lack of control]” (1 Cor. 7:1-5). Never withhold sex from your spouse as a bargaining chip, or as a ploy to get what you want. This will only lead to trouble in a marriage.

For a marriage to be lasting, a couple must also learn to avoid becoming involved with someone else. Solomon declared, “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray” (Pro. 5:15-23).

Another vital principle in cultivating a lasting marriage is to manifest the attributes of love set forth in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. A lasting marriage must also learn to communicate. Nagging wives and dictating husbands are not communicating. Communication is a two way street that involves listening and non hurling speech from both parties. The apostle Paul declared, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6).

Most importantly, for a man and a woman to have a lasting marriage they must learn to make Jesus the center of their marriage. There must be unity in Christ. “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Mat. 12:25). The Psalmist exclaimed, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa. 133:1). A husband and wife need to study together (2 Tim. 2:15). A lasting marriage involves prayer, “Pray without ceasing” (1 The. 5:17), and worshipping together, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

If our marriages are to succeed, we must enter the institution understanding that it is a lifetime commitment. Lasting marriages will be unselfish, willing to submit, be courteous, willing to serve, resist materialism, render due benevolence, avoid flirting with someone other than your mate, cultivate the attributes of love, learn to communicate, and make the Lord the center of your marriage. Remember, marriage is a two-way street always under construction.

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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THOUGHTS CONCERNING CHRISTMAS

This is an exciting time of the year! The Christmas season promotes family gatherings and a time of sharing each other’s love and gifts. It is a special time of warmth and friendliness, a time when children are filled with great anticipation – great joy fills the air. This is what Christmas means to me, and these are the things I think about when I meditate on this holiday season.

Yet, for most of the world, Christmas is much more than a time for family gatherings. Christmas is a time when Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus. It is a time when you see nativity scenes, figures of angels, shepherds, and three wise men. It is a time when you hear such phrases as, “Jesus is the reason from the season” and “Put Christ back in Christmas.”

Why is it that “most” members of the church of Christ do not celebrate Christmas as do those among the denominations? Is it just because we want to be different? No! Is it just because we want to be contrary? No! We do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday because there is no Bible authority for it. Paul said, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name [or, authority] of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). We must have biblical authority for all that we do. Is there biblical authority for celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday? Let us see.

First, let us consider the origin and development of Christmas. The Bible is silent concerning celebration of Christmas. The celebration of Christmas did not start until some 300 years after the church was established on the day of Pentecost, in A.D. 33.

Philip Schaff has written, “Notwithstanding this deep significance and wide popularity, the festival of the birth of the Lord is of comparatively late institution. This may doubtless be accounted for in the following manner: In the first place no corresponding festival was presented in the Old Testament. In the second place the day and month of the birth of Christ are nowhere stated in the gospel history, and cannot be determined. We find it [Christmas] first in Rome in the time of the bishop Liberius, who on the twenty-fifth of December, 360, consecrated Marcella, the sister of St. Ambrose, nun or bride of Christ, and addressed her with the words: ‘Thou seest what multitudes are come to the birth-festival of thy bride groom.’ Christmas was introduced in Antioch about the year 380, in Alexandria, where the feast of Epiphany was celebrated as the nativity of Christ, not till about 430. Chrysostom, who delivered the Christmas homily in Antioch on the 25th of December, 386, already calls it, notwithstanding its recent introduction (some ten years before), the fundamental feast, or the root from which all other Christian festivals grow forth” (History of the Christian, Vol. III, pp. 395-396).

The Encyclopedia Britannica states that “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on January 6th, March 25th or December 25th” (Vol. 5, p. 641). Much more evidence could be given to show that Christmas was not celebrated in the first century, but this is enough to prove the point.

The word “Christmas” is really made up of two words “Christ” and “Mass,” and therefore is Catholic in origin and nature. By the 4th and 5th centuries, Catholicism had developed into a religion which was a distinct departure from the New Testament pattern. In the December 25, 1960 issue of The Register (a national Catholic weekly publication) we read the following: “Christmas means ‘Christ’s Mass’ and is so distinctively Catholic that the Puritan Parliament of 1644 abolished it in England … The Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659 passed a law fining anybody who would celebrate it. Even after the U.S. was established, the schools were not dismissed in Boston on Christmas Day, until Catholic immigrants brought the great feast with them.”

This “Mass of Christ” is a special Mass observed on Christmas Eve around midnight. A Mass is a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. Therefore, each time Mass is said, Christ is re-sacrificed. This is in total opposition to what the Bible says.

The Hebrew writer declared, “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself” (Heb. 7:26-27).

The Hebrew writer later said, “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another – He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:24-28). Calling on Christ to be re-sacrificed time and time again is in total conflict with the Scriptures.

That Christmas did not have its origin in the Scriptures, but in Paganism and Catholicism can be easily established. For example, according to the Worldbook and Americana Encyclopedias, December 25th was probably chosen as the day of Christmas because the feast of the sun (called “Saturnalia”), which was a feast held in honor of Saturn – the sun god. This Pagan holiday was further celebrated with the giving of gifts to the children and the poor, and setting slaves free. December 25th was also celebrated as the birthday of three heathen gods: Apollo, Bacchus and Osiris.

Let us note where many of the modern customs of Christmas came from. First of all, the manger scene, that is seen so often around the Christmas season, was first introduced by a Catholic named Saint Francis on December 24, 1223 A.D.

The “yule log” originated with the Scandinavians, and was burned during the Yule Season. “Yule” comes from “jol” from which we get our word “jolly.” Thus, the Yule Season was to be a joyful and festive time of the year. The “yule log” was burned once a year to honor Thor, the god of thunder. When these people entered Christianity, they adopted the “yule log” as an important part of their Christmas ceremonies.

“Holly” and “mistletoe” were considered sacred by the Celts, and was thought to have marvelous powers. The priests would pile it on their altars in sacrifice to their gods. The Druids and the Germans would hang “holly” and “mistletoe” over their doors for good fortune. Some considered “holly” sacred because to them it depicted the crown of thorns which was placed on our Savior’s head.

Strangely enough, the Armenians are said to celebrate Christmas by eating boiled spinach because they believed that Mary ate boiled spinach the night that Jesus was born.

The Christmas tree is a relic of the pagan practice of using evergreens to symbolize life in the dead of winter.  The ancient German tribes and those of the Scandinavian countries would worship the evergreen tree. It is said that the early church frowned on the use of the evergreen because of its association with pagan festivals. Later, however, the custom of the Christmas tree was incorporated into the observance of Christmas by the Roman Catholic Church to appease the superstitions of the newly converted.

The beginning of “Santa Clause” dates back to a so-called bishop of Mrya of Lycia in the 4th century. He was called Nicholas and was considered a saint because of his good deeds; hence, we have “Jolly Ole Saint Nicholas.” He was regarded as a special friend and protector of children and widows. After his death, children began praying to him, and believed their prayers would be answered miraculously. Some believe that Santa Clause is the ghost or spirit of Saint Nicholas. The American “Santa Clause” is a corruption of the Dutch Saint Nicholas. And, of course, we know that “Santa Clause” is no more true or false than is “Old Mother Hubbard,” Jack-in-the-Bean-Stack,” “Mother Goose,” or any other fairy-tale character.

The origin of “giving gifts” is attributed to an ancient woman of Palestine who awaited the return of the “Three Kings of the Orient” who had passed her way bearing gifts to the infant Jesus. It is said that she still waits today since, unknown to her, they returned a different way. It is said that her influence watches over the little children who hang their stockings before the hearth-fire before they went to bed on the eve of Epiphany. Good behavior in the children was rewarded with gifts, and stocking full of ashes were given to those who had misbehaved. Today this ancient custom is said to be fulfilled by Santa Clause on Christmas Eve.

The evidence is very clear that Christmas is pagan in origin and was not observed as a religious holiday by the first century Christians. So, should we participate in Christmas as a religious holiday, have special Christmas services in the worship assembly, and put a Christmas tree and the like in the church building? Should we get caught up with the idea that “Jesus is the reason for the season?”

The Israelites of old were well acquainted with the observance of special religious holidays. They celebrated such things as the passover, pentecost, feast of tabernacles, new moon, the sabbath Jubilee and others. That is why it is so significant to notice that when the Jews became Christians, no religious days were observed. The old law was abolished, nailed to the cross (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). Under the new law there have been no special days set forth to be observed other than the observance of the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week commemorating the death of our Savior (Acts 20:7). As a matter of fact, the New Testament condemns the observance of holy days. Paul declared, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Gal. 4:10-11).

Can we celebrate Christmas in any fashion? Down through the years social aspects have developed in connection with Christmas that have no religious significance. Christmas can be enjoyed in a purely secular way, much as we enjoy the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and other national holidays. There is nothing specifically religious about national holidays; and therefore, there is nothing wrong with enjoying them, provided we keep our Christian principles. There is nothing wrong in celebrating Christmas if done in a secular way. But to observe Christmas in a religious fashion is to be guilty of moving over to “another gospel” which Paul condemns (Gal. 1:6-10). To observe Christmas religiously is to be guilty of adding to and taking away from the word of God (Rev. 22:18-20), and we must not go beyond the things that are written (Jude 9).

As each Christmas season rolls around there are several things that we should keep in memory: (1) teach our children that Christmas has no, and should not have any, religious significance (2) refrain from using decorations or greeting cards that have a religious connotation, and would give people the wrong impression (3) be careful not to lead others into believing you observe this day religiously, (4) treat Santa Clause as you would other fairy tale characters, and (5) be sure we always deal with others on this or any other issue in a Christian manner. Those who desire to please God must only do what is authorized (Col. 3:17).

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POSITIVE SPIRITUAL ATTITUDES

INTRODUCTION

  1. The Bible has a great deal to say about attitudes
  2. For as he thinketh within himself, so is he” (Pro. 23:7)
  3. A man is his thoughts
  4. We can do nothing apart from what we think

Mark 7:14-23

  1. What a man thinks is critical to his spiritual welfare
  2. We can do no better than we think

An example of a negative attitude:

  1. Numbers 13:31-33
  2. The ten spies said it could not be done
  3. “Grasshopper complex”

An example of a positive attitude:

  1. Acts 4:13-14, 18-20
  2. Though, by their peers, they were considered ignorant and unlearned, their positive attitude enabled them to speak boldly

Everyone recognizes the importance of proper attitudes

  1. There is power in positive thinking
  2. In any success seminar, positive attitudes are stressed
  3. The statement is true that says, “We are what we think”

As children of God, we must have a positive spiritual attitude.

  1. We cannot be victorious without it
  2. Our attitude will determine our altitude

Positive spiritual attitudes are the key to church growth, to happiness, to personal spiritual growth, and to personal satisfaction

  1. Positive spiritual attitudes are a must if the church is to be strong
  2. In this lesson I will share with you some of the key ingredients for having and maintaining a positive spiritual attitude

DISCUSSION

WE MUST HAVE AN UNWAVERING FAITH IN GOD

Hebrews 11:1-6

  1. We must put our trust in the all-powerful Creator of the universe
  2. It is not logical to put faith in anyone else, or ourselves

Psalm 118:4-9

  1. God is the source of our hope and power to be successful in church growth
  2. Numerically
  3. Spiritually

WE MUST BE GOAL ORIENTED

  1. This demands that we be involved in planning and in the setting of specific goals
  2. The apostle Paul was goal oriented – Philippians 3:13-15
  3. If one never sets goals – one accomplishes little
  4. We can’t hit a target we don’t have

WE MUST TRUST IN THE POWER OF GOD

Romans 1:14-16

Ephesians 3:20

What is this power?

  1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
  2. True success doesn’t depend on our power, but upon God’s
  3. If we rely on our power alone we will fail
  4. We must rely on God’s power – the Gospel
  5. God’s word is powerful, His word can transform us

WE MUST HAVE MOUNTAIN MOVING FAITH

Matthew 17:20

The biggest mountains we have to move if between our ears:

  1. Doubt
  2. Fear
  3. Worry
  4. Negative Attitudes

Faith is powerful – Romans 10:17

WE MUST BELIEVE THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD

It is true that NOT ALL things are good

But they will, if we trust in God, bring good to our faith

  1. James 1:2-7
  2. Romans 8:28

Even though we can’t understand at times how a certain situation will work for good, will still must trust God that it will

God has promised that it will!

WE MUST DAILY RENEW OUR MINDS

We must always be sound and clear in our thinking

  1. Ephesians 4:23
  2. Romans 12:1-2

We renew our minds through Bible study

WE MUST BELIEVE THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS

We must pray in faith, without doubting (Jam. 1:2-5)

When God answers prayers, the answer is sometimes:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Wait a while
  4. We might be given something different than we asked for
  5. “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”

James 5:16

But remember:

  1. 1 Peter 3:12
  2. Psalm 66:18
  3. Proverbs 15:29
  4. Proverbs 28:9

WE MUST HAVE A GOOD SELF-IMAGE

We are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27)

Christians are special people  Romans 8:12-17

  1. Children of God
  2. Heirs with Christ
  3. We are members of a royal family
  4. We must be proud to be who we are

WE MUST TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME

We must not do so much worrying about yesterday, and jumping ahead to tomorrow

Matthew 6:34

  1. Each day has enough trouble without borrowing from tomorrow
  2. We must live one day at a time
  3. Too many are looking to tomorrow and forgetting about today

Today is the day of action  2 Corinthians 6:2

CONCLUSION

How is your spiritual attitude?

  1. Is it positive?
  2. Is it negative?

If we are to be successful in the Lord’s work we must have a positive spiritual attitude

  1. We must work on it every day in order to make it a reality
  2. The Lord will help us if we will ask Him

Do it now!

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HARRIS AND MOORE EXPEDITION THROUGH THE BIBLE

Tune in tonight (and each Monday night) to the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at 6:00pm CST at http://www.harrisandmoore.org. Tonight’s discussion will be “What Moses Saw on Mount Nebo.”
 
You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.
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THERE’S A GREAT DAY COMING

INTRODUCTION

  1. Daniel Webster was once asked: “What is the most serious thought that ever occupied your mind?” He replied, “My individual responsibility to God.”
  2. Song by J.H. Stanley, “Careless soul, O heed the warning, for your life will soon be gone; O how sad to face the judgment — unprepared to meet thy God.”
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:10
  4. Song:

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming,

There’s a great day coming by and by,

when the saints and sinners will be parted right and left,

Are you ready for that day to come?”

When Paul stood on Mar’s Hill, he declared that God … Acts 17:31

In our study of the hour, we want to study the events that will happen on that final day. –There’s A Great Day Coming!

DISCUSSION

THERE WILL BE A SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

  1. John 14:3
  2. Acts 1:11
  3. Paul told the church at Thessalonica that the Lord would, “descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thess. 4:16).
  4. In the 2nd letter, he told them that the Lord would, “be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” (2 Thess.1:7).
  5. Revelation 1:7
  6. The Lord’s return is going to lead the events on the great day of the Lord; a day in which we do not know when it will be.
  7. Matthew 24:36
  8. Matthew 24:42
  9. Jesus described His return to take place on an ordinary day, a day in which people were getting married, eating, drinking, and working (Mt. 24:37-39).
  10. In fact, He paralleled it to the days of Noah, when men did not know when the flood was coming, despite Noah’s warnings.
  11. Notice that no cataclysm will signify His return; only that it His return would be like a thief in the night (Matt. 24:43).
  12. Matthew 24:44
  13. And with His glorious return, comes the sounding of the trump of God.
  14. 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  15. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, Paul speaks of the sounding of “the last trumpet

IN THAT GREAT DAY THE DEAD WILL BE RAISED

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  2. Here is going to be one of the most awesome displays of the power of God (which reminds me of the valley of dry bones, Eze. 37).
  3. The Lord told Ezekiel that He would resurrect the bodies of those slain on that great field.
  4. In Ezekiel 37:7-10, Ezekiel watched as sinews and flesh came upon the dry bones, and as breath was breathed into them.
  5. Nothing is beyond the power of God, if it is in His will.
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
  7. “…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible…” (1 Cor. 15:52).
  8. Revelation 20:13
  9. John 5:28-29 

IN THE JUDGMENT DAY THE LIVING WILL BE CHANGED

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
  2. No more will men know death as we have known it –the separation of body and spirit.
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
  4. In the great day of which we often sing, the last enemy will be destroyed; and those resurrected, those alive at the time of this event, will be changed.
  5. 1 John 3:2 

IN THAT LAST GREAT DAY THERE WILL BE THE JUDGMENT

  1. This is the appointment that none of us can break … 2 Corinthians 5:10
  2. Matthew sets the time frame for us … Matthew 25:31-33
  3. The expression, “all nations,” is a reference to all mankind.
  4. Revelation 20:12-13
  5. The standard by which we will be judged on the Judgment Day will be the Word of God
  6. John 12:48
  7. Revelation 20:12

a. It is frightful to consider that nothing will be withheld from God’s scrutiny.

b. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14   

THERE WILL BE REWARDS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

  1. For the wicked a horrifying reward is given.
  2. Matthew 25:46
  3. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10
  4. Even in the church, a division is going to be made of the sheep & the goats…
  5. Matthew 13:38-43
  6. Here we learn that the reaping of the earth is done by the angels of God.
  7. The manner of judgment is not a difficult one; but left to humans, it would be an impossible task.
  8. For the faithful, it will be the greatest of all rewards.
  9. 2 Corinthians 5:1
  10. John 14:1-3
  11. It is hard to imagine the excitement & joy in that which is to come. Even as Paul was preparing to part this life, he said … 2 Timothy 4:6-8

IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT THERE WILL BE DESTRUCTION

  1. The Day of Judgment will come with destruction, the destruction of the world.
  2. The apostle Peter dealt with those who scoffed at such words … 2 Peter 3:5-7
  3. Then follows the clear words of prophesy … 2 Peter 3:10
  4. All that is of this world will be gone.
  5. Everything will melt with fervent heat.
  6. Now we better understand Jesus’ words… Matthew 6:19-21
  7. Matthew 16:26
  8. And now the sobering words of Peter … 2 Peter 3:11-12

CONCLUSION

  1. Revelation 21:3-5
  2. In contrast … Revelation 21:8
  3. The choice is yours!
  4. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Pet. 4:18)
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REVERENCE IN WORSHIP

INTRODUCTION

Worship is a topic that we all should be vitally interested in.

  1. In the beginning, on the sixth day of creation, God reached down and made man from the dust of the earth. ©
  2. Ever since then man has been reaching upward to God in worship.
  3. The Greeks had a name for man – anthropos, meaning the “upward looking one.” Man was made with the capacity to look upward in worship of God.

David captures the wonderful concept and spirit of worship throughout the book of Psalms, for example:

  1. Psalm 95:1-6
  2. Psalm 96:1-4, note especially verse 9

John 4:20-24

  1. Notice that in these 5 verses the word “worship” is used 10 times (Jesus using 8 of them), and from this we can see this is an important passage in helping us to understand worship.
  2. Understanding God’s view of worship is vital for us to understand for:
  3. Many say, “It doesn’t matter how you worship as long as it comes from the heart.”
  4. Many go to worship “for what they can get”
  5. Worship has become nothing more than entertainment in many congregations
  6. Many hold little reverence in worship

Psalm 89:7

  1. Hebrews 12:28
  2. To reverence God means to respect and honor Him

We must realize that worship is giving – not getting – it is giving to God.

  1. In worshipping God we must do so in “the beauty of holiness”
  2. To help us better understand what reverence in worship is – we need to better understand the meaning of worship ©

DISCUSSION

WORSHIP DEFINED

We have to be careful with definitions, for the Bible deals more in descriptions and demonstrations than definitions.

  1. Our English word “worship” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “WORTHSHIP” – thus declaring the worth of God. Notice how this idea is described in …
  2. Revelation 4:11
  3. Revelation 5:12
  4. Worship is ascribing worth to God, and notice that only God is worthy of worship

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most often translated as “worship” is SHACHAH which means to “bow down to do homage.”

  1. “…they bowed their heads and worship” (Exo. 4:31)
  2. the people bowed the head and worshipped” (Exo. 12:27)
  3. In this principle REVERENCE is clearly seen 

In the New Testament the key word translated as “worship” is proskunew (proskuneo) which means to “kiss the hand toward” – Carries the idea of reverence

  1. Another word latreuw (latreuo) basically means “to serve or minister
  2. And another is leitourgos (lei/tour/gos) which means “a priestly minister” – an insight into our priestly approach to God… 1 Peter 2:5, 9

As we put all this together, we understand that worship:

  1. Ascribes worth to God
  2. Is to be done in reverence – “Our hearts are to bow down to Him.”
  3. Involves “attitudes” and “actions”
  4. Is a balanced activity involving the mind, the emotions, and the will.

In thinking about God, David wrote “My heart is overflowing” (Psa. 45:1 – NKJ) 

WORSHIP DEPICTED

Exodus 30:34-38

  1. God has always instructed His people how He wanted to be worshipped
  2. Notice that this perfume, actually a sweet-smelling incense was made for GOD ALONE (v. 37). The recipe was not to be duplicated for any man – to do so would cause one to be cut off.
  3. What is the point? The fragrance was for God alone. It rose to God’s nostrils – it was unique for Him
  4. This is a great picture of worship! Our worship rises up to God – it is to be unique, separated, holy, and well pleasing unto HIM.

This is one of the great problems in the church today – many are losing sight of God and focus on themselves and their wants – THEY FAIL TO REVERENCE GOD  

  1. Doing things your own way is not giving God reverence
  2. God can only be reverenced obediently

One of the primary functions of the church is to supply the incentives for worship and to provide the proper environment for worship.

When worship is not the growing experience of Christians – the church could be at fault, or the individual could be at fault.

If the church is at fault, it will eventually perish – unless it remedies the situation

  1. The church must provide reverent and meaningful periods of worship.
  2. The church must make sure that every individual has the opportunity to worship God according to truth
  3. This would include the proper atmosphere, that is, a place of reverence and holiness, and would include actions done according to God’s precepts

If it is the individual’s fault, he will wither away spiritually unless a change is made.

  1. An individual must realize that worship is not something that is done to him, but that which is offered toward God – something to be offered in reverence
  2. Many say, “I just don’t get anything out of worship.” This is because they are putting little or nothing into their worship.

CONCLUSION

It has been said “that worship is the missing jewel of the church”

  1. That sounds very strange when you consider the fact that the church spends so much time in worship
  2. But, QUANTITY is no substitute for QUALITY
  3. And just “going to church” is not the same thing as reverent worship ©

Our challenge, then, is to grow in the worship defined and described in God’s holy word – this will provide true reverence in worship

We need to ask ourselves:

  1. Do I really focus on God – am I reverent toward Him?
  2. Is worship a real priority with me?
  3. Do I faithful attend the services with a true commitment to worship in spirit and truth?
  4. Do I do all I can to make my worship meaningful to God
  5. Do I interfere with other’s worship?

There is a close relationship between salvation, worship and service.

  1. Salvation comes down from God through Jesus for man
  2. Worship rises up to God from man through Jesus
  3. Service goes out to man from man for God

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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Once Saved Always Saved?

Tune in tonight to the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at 6:00pm CST at http://www.harrisandmoore.org. Tonight we will answer the question: “Can a Christian sin so as to be eternally lost?” Some teach “once saved always saved.” Is this what the Bible teaches?
 
You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.
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