VIDEO When Men No Longer Endure Sound Doctrine!! – What does it mean to be Saved?

When Men No Longer Endure Sound Doctrine!!

(Author Unknown)

 
Have you noticed the recent trend in our post-modern church? Doctrine is out and tolerance is in. We are being told that for the sake of unity, doctrine should not be tested or contested. We are not supposed to declare any absolutes but to tolerate every wind of doctrine. Doctrinal and moral issues, which were once seen as black and white,  are now being painted gray. The state of the church is in a state of confusion. Paul forewarned of this when he wrote:  2 Timothy 4:3-4 (King James Version)  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;  4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 
When “Christians” turn to popular teachers who tickle their ears with messages on self esteem and self-improvement, they are also turning away from God’s Word. Without a steady diet of Scripture, they will not hear sound doctrine and therefore be unable to discern truth from error. Ultimately, they will not know if they are following Jesus Christ or His adversaries. Without discernment, the 21st century church is headed for serious trouble because the enemies of the Gospel are more determined than we are. What the Body of Christ needs now are soldiers of the Lord who are committed to battle for truth! We all need to do our part to reverse the pending death of discernment in the church. 
 
There are are teachers who faithfully preach the whole counsel of God. They exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict (2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9). These men are devoted to seeking the approval of God over the approval of men (Galatians 1:10).
 
 Then there are the ones who cater to desires of men (2 Timothy 4:3). These teachers are dangerous, not because of what they say, but for what they deliberately withhold. They purposefully avoid the offense of the Gospel for fear it will make people uncomfortable. Whenever preachers avoid the Word of God, believers don’t get discernment and “seekers” don’t get saved. 
 
Then we have false teachers who secretly introduce destructive heresies and malign the way of the truth (2 Peter 2:1-2). These teachers deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting and the undiscerning (Romans 16:18). Without discernment, listeners will not be able to distinguish between who has been sent by Christ, and who is a mouthpiece for Satan.
 
Proponents of the church growth movement have developed attractive gimmicks and techniques to invite the world into our churches. Their thinking is this: “If we can get the world to like us, maybe they will like our Savior.” Their approach to post-modern ecclesiology has been labeled “seeker friendly” or, more profoundly, “sinner-friendly.” Jesus is being disguised to make Him and His Gospel “less offensive” to seekers. Their goal is to make sinners feel comfortable by giving them what they want instead of what they need. Their strategy is to throw soft balls at non-Christians rather than challenge and confront their unbelief with convicting truths from Scripture. As the goats are being entertained with this nonsense, the sheep of the Shepherd are being deprived of His Word.
 
We must ask where does God’s Word tell us to woo the world? Did not Jesus say, “The world… hates Me because I testify that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7)? James wrote: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Church history confirms this and we should learn from the past. The churches and denominations that made friends with the world began a downward slide into apostasy. By trying to woo the world, they had to compromise their preaching, tolerate sin and immorality and abandon nearly every doctrinal position they once held.
 
Some Christian leaders are calling for the church to adapt to the new generation by eliminating all absolutes. They are saying that we can no longer proclaim absolute truth. Truth is now said to be subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Needless to say, this is producing a Christian faith void of doctrine but full of confusion. Tolerance and acceptance of other faiths is now firmly established within Christianity. We are called to be tolerant of everything except absolute truth. This tolerance is being used as a platform for unity with the Roman Catholic Church. Some evangelicals would rather have a counterfeit unity based on tolerance than authentic spiritual unity based on truth. Anyone who stands in its way is labeled divisive or troublesome.
 
Numerous warnings in Scripture tell us the church will be bombarded with perverse teachings, empty philosophy, vain deceit, speculations, lying spirits, worldly fables, false knowledge, doctrines of demons, destructive heresies, myths, falsehoods, traditions of men and worldly wisdom. Jesus and Paul warned of false prophets who would come in as wolves in sheep’s clothing not sparing the flock (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29). We must do as Jesus and the apostles did and warn Christians of these destructive influences, all of which are weakening the church and bringing shame to the precious name of our Savior!
 
When sound doctrine is replaced with shallow teaching made up of humorous stories and shallow opinions, you will find biblical illiteracy in the pew. New babes in Christ have difficulty growing in the grace and knowledge of their Savior when pastors do not preach the whole counsel of God. When the Word of God is not being faithfully taught, people will not hear truth. And if they don’t hear truth, they will be unable to discern God’s way from man’s way, truth from error and right from wrong. We must all become more discerning because no man is infallible and no preacher is beyond the possibility of doctrinal error. We must always be ready to reject what is false and hold fast to what is true. As disciples of Jesus we must be known for what we’re for as well as what we’re against.
 
In closing we must recognize that all truth sets itself against error. Sound doctrine divides and confronts, it judges and separates, it reproves and rebukes and it exposes and refutes error. It leads us from the broad way to the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). It commands us to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). It exhorts us to discern between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). It demands that we turn away from evil and do good (1 Peter 3:11). It tells us that our ways are not God’s ways, nor are our thoughts His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). It warns us against exchanging the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). It promises the righteous will be blessed and the wicked will perish.
 
True Christians cannot continue to tolerate or ignore Satan’s wicked schemes to weaken and pollute the church. We must stand firmly on sound doctrine, heed biblical warnings and live passionately for the truth so that Jesus Christ will be glorified and His church will grow in holiness and strength.
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What does it mean to be Saved? Part 1

1 Corinthians 1 and 2 (Selected Verses)

I want to talk about salvation this morning and what it means to be saved, according to the Bible and, more specifically according to the Gospels. We are living in a world where there’s just so much confusion within Christianity itself and within so many churches, especially when it comes to the mega-churches, that people do not know what to believe anymore.

Summary! 

Point 1: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified!

1. Firstly: Jesus died primarily as a propitiation for sin – to satisfy the anger of God against sin! The Bible emphatically teaches this.

2. Secondly: Repentance is needed for the forgiveness of your sins!

3. Thirdly: No one is able to follow Jesus on their own volition but rather, as I have said before and as the Bible specifically teaches, one is only able to repent from their sins because faith has been given to that individual through the grace of Jesus Christ.

4. Fourthly: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is subsequent to salvation. In other words, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within the new-born person after he or she has committed their lives to Christ. Moreover, it is also of the utmost importance that Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit so that every Christian may be empowered to walk after Christ obediently for all of their days.

Point 2: The Wisdom of this Age!

1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 (ESV)

Point 3: What is the foundation?

  1. It is Jesus Christ and Him alone!

  2. It is the glory of God and His glory alone!

  3. It is about the salvation of whomever God chooses to save according to his own glory!

Point 4: The Social Gospel is the Wisdom of this age!

The foundation of Jesus Christ has been distorted and, in fact, has been rejected in many ways and a new man-made foundation has been laid which is not solid at all and has no strength all. In its place a new foundation has been laid; a foundation that is relative and relevant to the ears of the world and also to the ears of so many Christians. And then, to make matters worse, Christians go ahead and build on this feeble man-made foundation with straw and hay which is temporal and self-destructing Social Gospel!

Point 5: The Social Gospel is in direct conflict with the Word of God!

This social gospel is in direct conflict with God’s word and, moreover, it does not even come out of his word.

Galatians 1:6-9 (ESV)

For the Full Article and Sermon, please head over to my website. The Link is below!

Grace to you!

Shane Bryant (OMIN CLC, CLDIP, DDIV, ADIV)

http://clcladysmith..com

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What does it mean to be Saved? Part 1

Navigating Rough Waters

Navigating Rough Waters

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. 1 Chronicles 28:20

I was enjoying the start of my first whitewater rafting experience—until I heard the roar of the rapids up ahead. My emotions were flooded with feelings of uncertainty, fear, and insecurity at the same time. Riding through the whitewater was a first-rate, white-knuckle experience! And then, suddenly, it was over. The guide in the back of the raft had navigated us through. I was safe—at least until the next set of rapids.

Transitions in our lives can be like whitewater experiences. The inevitable leaps from one season of life to the next—college to career, changing jobs, living with parents to living alone or with a spouse, career to retirement, youth to old age—are all marked by uncertainty and insecurity.

God guides us through the rapids of change.

In one of the most significant transitions recorded in Old Testament history, Solomon assumed the throne from his father David. I’m sure he was filled with uncertainty about the future. His father’s advice? “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. . . . For the Lord God, my God, is with you” (1 Chron. 28:20).

We’ll have our fair share of tough transitions in life. But with God in our raft we’re not alone. Keeping our eyes on the One who is navigating the rapids brings joy and security. He’s taken lots of others through before.

God guides us through the rapids of change.

INSIGHT:King David had desired to build God’s temple (1 Chron. 17:1), but God told him he could not because of the blood he had shed as a warrior (28:3). Instead, the privilege and responsibility for this project would fall upon the shoulders of David’s son Solomon. It is understandable that Solomon would be apprehensive about assuming this role. But his father admonished him to trust in God and do the work. Indeed, God was faithful as Solomon built the temple and took his father’s place as king.

Are you facing a transition? Reflect on God’s faithfulness and ask Him for strength to carry you through.

The Exalted Lord

Revelation 1:9-17

Revelation may be the most ignored book of the New Testament simply because it can be difficult to understand. But to avoid the treasures found in its pages is to miss some of the richest descriptions of our Lord that Scripture offers. We love seeing Him as the baby in the manger, and we recognize the importance of His death and resurrection, but the story doesn’t end there.

John was given a dramatic vision of the exalted Lord as He is now in heaven. Even though the apostle had shared an intimate friendship with Christ on earth, the sight of His Lord in this glorified state caused him to pass out in fear (Revelation 1:17).

In the heavenly scene, Jesus is portrayed as the Lord of His church, which is represented by the seven lampstands surrounding Him. He watches over them, preserving, protecting, and admonishing when necessary.

A few chapters later, Jesus is shown to be the Lamb of God, who, as our High Priest, sacrificed Himself on our behalf (Revelation 5:1-14). His blood purchased redemption for people from every place and time, so that they could become citizens of His kingdom. All heaven erupts into praise and worship when Christ is found to be the only one worthy to end this age and set up His righteous kingdom (v. 13).

If you believe in Christ, these chapters are about your future. Picture yourself in both scenes, seeing Jesus as the exalted Lord and Lamb of God. The praises described in Revelation 5:9-14 are coming from your mouth! Let this glimpse of the future shape your worship and focus this weekend.

God’s Grace

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Philippians 4:23)

The basic form of today’s verse appears 13 times in the New Testament. In Scripture, repetition is not for lack of something to say but the Holy Spirit’s intentional emphasis on something.

God extends His grace to the very creation itself by merely keeping the universe together (2 Peter 3:7), intending thereby to “speak” and supply knowledge (Psalm 19:1-4) sufficient to display His very nature and power in such a way that there can be “no excuse” about His existence and care for humanity (Romans 1:20).

In seven of the 13 times, this “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is focused on “you.” God’s grace is very personal. Everything that He has done is because He loves you and me beyond any grasp of our earthly imagination. No one is beyond the touch of God’s grace: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Once, in contrast, God says some will turn “the grace of our God into lasciviousness” and deny Him who has bought and paid for all the horrible sin that they embraced to spite such grace (Jude 1:4). No wonder the apostle Paul calls such people “abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

The Lord twice focuses His grace on our spirits, indicating God’s intimate knowledge of our innermost thoughts (Romans 8:26). Paul noted that God’s grace is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14), and he insisted that His grace is designed to be “glorified in you” (2 Thessalonians 1:12). Like today’s verse, most of the prayers for us end in “Amen.” And that’s the way it should be. HMM III

“Honour thy father and mother.”

Ephesians 6:1-10

Ephesians 6:1

It is right according to nature, that those who have so long cared for children and nourished them, should be obeyed by them, and it is right also according to the will of God. It is right for the house, which cannot else be kept in order; and right for the children themselves, who will never be happy till they have learned to obey. Yet observe there is a limit—children are to obey “in the Lord,” that is to say, so far as the commands of parents are not opposed to the laws of God.

Ephesians 6:3

It has been observed that God frequently prospers those who have shewn a dutiful attention to their parents; at any rate, such children are in the right way, and we all know that the way of duty is the way of safety and happiness. On the other hand, unkindness to parents has often been remarkably punished in this life. Nothing shortens life like rebellion against parents. Absalom is a prominent instance of this general rule. Moreover, this sin is a dreadful sign of a graceless nature. He who does not love and honour his father and mother whom he hath seen, certainly does not love the Lord whom he hath not seen.

Ephesians 6:4

Undue harshness, and irritating severity are here forbidden, but holy discipline and religious training are commanded. Wise fathers will take note of this verse; it is not addressed to mothers, because they seldom, if ever, err on the side of severity. Fathers must not be ill-humoured and morose to their sons and daughters, nor must they exact from them more service than they can render, nor ridicule them, nor shew partiality to one above another, nor stint them in necessaries, for this is to provoke them to anger.

Ephesians 6:5

or with diffident anxiety and self-distrust

Ephesians 6:6

Those who need looking after are but poor servants. True Christians care more for God’s eye than their master’s or mistress’s observation, and they do their duty as well alone as they would with all eyes upon them. It is a mean thing to be diligent only when one is watched; it is a vice only fit for slaves.

Beautifully does George Herbert put it—

 

“All may of thee partake

Nothing can be so mean

Which with this tincture (for thy sake)

Will not grow bright and clean.

 

A servant with this cause

Makes drudgery divine

Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws

Makes that and th’ action fine.”

 

Ephesians 6:7-9

Masters are not to use a continual faultfinding and threatening tone, but to act towards servants as Jesus, their Master, has acted towards them.

The Apostle does not speak against the various distinctions of society, but he would have us act rightly in them. May our household always be a happy one, because each one seeks the happiness of the rest, and does so by keeping his own place, and behaving towards others in the spirit of love.

 

Happy the home where Jesus’ name

Is sweet to every ear;

Where children early lisp his fame,

And parents hold him dear.

 

Lord, let us in this home agree,

That thou alone shalt reign,

For those who love and worship thee,

In joyous peace remain.

 

Don’t Hold Anything Back!

1 Thessalonians 2:8

One common failure among ministers is to teach people the Word yet neglect to model the principles so the people will know how to live it in their personal lives. But true discipleship is not complete until there is an example to follow. When people receive the Word only as an intellectual exercise, their heads may become filled with knowledge, but that knowledge won’t become workable in their lives until they have access to someone who models the message before them.

For example, Jesus modeled His message before His disciples. He lived with them, walked with them, worked with them, traveled with them, and spent nearly every minute of three whole years with them. As a result of working with Jesus so closely, the disciples not only received Jesus’ message, but they also saw the way He lived it as He modeled an example before them.

We know that modeling the Word was also a part of Paul’s teaching style. In First Thessalonians 2:8, the apostle Paul wrote, “… We were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls….” In this statement, Paul gave us the dynamic, life-changing principle that we must teach the Word and use our lives to model the message!

Certainly Paul taught publicly—and there was probably no better teacher than he in New Testament times. He was the “crème-de-la-crème” of New Testament theologians. Paul could have lectured for multiplied hours from the vast wealth of information and revelation stored up in his incredible intellect—and I’m sure that from time to time he did this.

But Paul didn’t just lecture and preach. He gave the people not only the Gospel, but also his own soul. His “soul” was his life, his emotions, his view of things, his lifestyle. He lived so openly before the Church that he was able to model his message before them.

Paul even told the Thessalonians, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us…” (2 Thessalonians 3:7). The words “ye ought” are taken from the Greek word dei—a strong word indicating the Thessalonians understood that Paul was giving them compelling advice they should obey. In other words, Paul’s readers understood that even though the apostle did not directly command them to obey, they were to strictly follow the advice he was giving them.

Paul continues to tell the Thessalonians, “… Ye ought to follow us….” The word “follow” is the Greek word mimeomai, an old Greek word for an actor or a mimic. Therefore, Paul’s command to “follow” isn’t referring to a casual type of following; rather, it implies an intentional study of the life, deeds, actions, and thoughts of another person in an attempt to fully understand that person and then to replicate his attributes in one’s own life. This type of following enables one to think like his subject, walk like his subject, mimic his subject’s movements, make the vocal intonations of his subject, and to act like his subject in a masterful way. However, this can only be achieved by those seriously committed to the act of replication. Mimicking, replicating, and acting like another person are the results of true discipleship.

 

When you put all these words together, Second Thessalonians 3:7 could be translated:

“It would behoove you to follow our example—to imitate and mimic us with the goal of replicating what you observe in our lives….”

Paul was committed to sharing not only the Word, but his life with those to whom he ministered. He told the elders from Ephesus, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). From his testimony in this verse, we know that Paul publicly taught the Word; however, he also showed the people he taught how to live the Word! He gave them the entire package, which was the Word and his life combined together!

When the Word is packaged with a personal, living example, it is powerful! Nothing is more powerful than a message backed up by a person who applies that message to his daily life.

There is an unfortunate alarm among Christian leaders that if their followers become too familiar with them, the people will lose respect for them and their anointing. However, Jesus’ disciples were very familiar with His lifestyle, and it didn’t hurt their respect or honor for Him at all. Quite the contrary, Jesus’ life became the greatest message He ever preached to His disciples!

Paul also wasn’t fearful that the Thessalonians would lose respect by knowing him too well. Quite the contrary, he urged them to follow him and his lifestyle so closely that they would be able to duplicate his life themselves. The personal example of his own life showed them that they could walk in the power of the Word just as he was doing. Watching the Word work in Paul’s life only made the message that much more powerful to the Thessalonians.

As you work with new believers or people who are under your spiritual influence, be sure to let them get close enough to see that the Word you preach really works. It’s great to give them Bible lessons, but they need an example they can follow. If you are concerned that allowing people to get close to you will affect their respect for you, then you need to be honest about those areas of your life that you fear may discredit you in their eyes!

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you walk in the reality of what you preach and teach. Ask Him to give you the boldness, confidence, and grace to let the key leaders under your authority get close enough to see how the Word works in your own life. If you’re really walking in the reality of what you preach, allowing people to get close to you will only demonstrate that you are the real thing—and that will increase their level of respect for you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for placing me under people who helped me grow when I was a young Christian. Their influence was important in my spiritual development, so I thank You for them right now—for their patience, their love, their kindness, and their willingness to let me get close enough to really learn how to walk with You. Now it’s time for me to do this for someone else, so please lead me to a young disciple whom I can begin to show how to walk in the power and authority of Your Word.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a good example to other believers. Because I walk in the truth of what I preach, my life makes the message even stronger. People need a good example they can follow, and that means they need me! The Holy Spirit empowers me to preach, to teach, and to boldly model my life before others with confidence and grace!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. When you first came to the Lord, who had the greatest personal impact on your spiritual development? What kind of access did you have to these individuals, and why was their influence so important to your growth?
  2. Is there anyone you are helping by giving him or her this kind of access to your life right now? Since it was so effective for you, don’t you think you ought to return the favor by letting God use you this same way in someone else’s life?
  3. Be honest! Is there any area of your life that you are afraid for people to know about? Does that out-of-order area cause you to keep people from getting too close to you?

 

Overcoming Spiritual Dryness In Our Daily Life With God

Last night a high-energy buddy of mine who lives on airplanes and thrives on the high voltage culture of the corporate world confided in me of his long-standing sense of spiritual dryness.

 

Following are a few simple suggestions I made to him for overcoming dry Quiet Times:

  • In approaching God, it is important to slow down, relax, and give Him adequate time to break through to the core of our encrusted, pressurized souls. God simply will not be rushed!
  • In our time with God, be sure our focus is not primarily on gleaning truth from the Scriptures, but on experiencing intimacy and fellowship with Jesus. Christ cautioned the Pharisees:
  • You diligently study the Scripturesyet you refuse to come to Me to have life.
  • Prayerful meditation over a relatively small portion of Scripture usually proves more meaningful than attempting to cover a larger portion. Scheduled readings can have a stultifying effect on us.
  • Keep in mind that meditation involves visualization and application.

In focusing on Psalm 23:1, for example, our prayerful meditation might go something like this:

 

“THE LORD is my SHEPHERD, I shall not be in WANT”

 

O God, I pray that you are THE Shepherd of my lifeI belong to you alone.

 

O Father, I surrender to your LORDship: My finances, careereverything.

 

Lord, because You are my SHEPHERD, I know I shall never be in WANT.

  • Strike a balance between intercession and worship. While petition is important, we need also to understand that (1) God seeks our worship, and (2) worship touches at the core of our need for intimate communion with Him. Using worshipful music tapes and a hymnal can prove helpful.

True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

  • Keep in mind that Christ went to the Cross so that we could enjoy intimacy with Him:

Godhas called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

What a shame it would be to miss a life of intimacy with our Savior this side of eternity!

 

 

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