Bible Lesson 217

INDIVIDUALS IN THE CHURCH (2ND PETER 3:10-11)

“BUT THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL COME AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, IN WHICH THE HEAVENS WILL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE, AND THE ELEMENTS WILL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT; BOTH THE EARTH AND THE WORKS THAT ARE IN IT WILL BE BURNED UP. THEREFORE, SINCE ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE DISSOLVED, WHAT MANNER OF PERSONS OUGHT YOU TO BE IN HOLY CONDUCT AND GODLINESS?”

“Life is like a grain of wheat: to plant it is to recognize its value; to keep it is to destroy its value. The “Planted” Christian counts life dear not unto himself; but unto God.” Vance Havner.

Note: We should preface every teaching lesson, or thought, by stating the truth to all who read or hear, that, The Bible and all of its teachings should carry this notice: “The Bible was written to warn sinners of their need for reconciliation with God. God does not command or invite sinners to do the work of His Ambassadors to the world.” Our sins must have been paid for at the cross, and we must have abandoned all, for service of Christ, before we have any warrant to do God’s work. First, we must have been called, regenerated and reborn “In Christ”, before we are fit to do God’s Work. Brobob

This month we will not concern ourselves with doing only what is needful as we seek to know our God in true salvation. This is not meant to be an April Fool, or something that has no consequence. I submit all my efforts to inform people about the truths of the Bible, and what we will be considering this month is not how we stand in our Church or our congregation, or our family or our community; but how do we stand with God. How do you stand with God’ Do you know God in reality, Do you obey God without any deviation’

Those are all pertinent questions, that we must be able to answer in the affirmative. We must be able to conclude that we are alive one minute but we may not live another minute, hour or day. We are like grass and we thrive in the morning and dry up in the heat of the day. We are born dying and what we do about who we are as sinners that have the devil for our father; and what we should do about our situation before a Holy, Just, Almighty God. It cannot be a surprise that we all know that we are born dead in trespass and sin, under the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:1-3).

We were born with Adam’s sin nature, and we live enjoying sin and all of it’s evil. As we consider the fact that our lives here on this earth are not at all ones of any length, shouldn’t we spend more time on preparing for the real life that exists after death’ Let’s look past the temporary this month, to the reality of the eternal after we die.

Our Churches are made up of individuals and we must deal with ourselves, before we can deal with the church. We must make sure that we are fit for the church before we join the church. Probably most people who are saved were not saved as they felt the call of God upon their lives as they sat in some congregation. I know that it was not that way when God saved me. God began to work with men as He guided me to His Word the Bible. I had always had a Bible but had not read it much and even when I read it I simply scanned a few verses and put it down.

God put it upon my heart to begin to study and meditate and question and seek and find the answers for myself.(2nd Timothy 3:16-17).

I had retired and had time and I studied the bible for months on end, always questioning and God always seeming to highlight the answers to all of my questions, as I continued to seek the answers. After approximately three years of ardent study I fell before Christ and asked Him if He could use an old beat up vessel like me that I would make Him my Lord and then He became my Savior. Actually, I started thinking that I was seeking God and I sought Him until He found me. God works in mysterious ways His miracles to perform.

I had always thought that the churches, at least the ones that I have attended, once and a while were all what God had blessed, but I found that there are many people who over the last few decades, were brought into the churches as pew-fillers; people that were fairly good people when measured by people as a whole; but when measure by the Bible, they were people who were not saved, instead they were tares, that were planted by people who wanted to grow membership. Now, there is no need for us to attempt to deny that fact, the church is intentionally a mixture of worldly people and saved people.

Did God intend for that to happen’ Of course, He didn’t! (Ephesians 2:19-22). He knew it would, because He knows everything before it happens. We know, if we read our Bible, that God said the He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Churches in our day certainly are not militant, in fact most of their membership would run away if they were told to go out and witness to the lost. We, as the church, are called to confront the devil and his kingdom everyday as we live and work and play. We always have a defense of the hope that exists within every truly saved person. If you look at reality and at church members, you will find that many of them have no idea that they are responsible to God for a knowledge of God and His Word and Will. About all churches today do is to swap members. There has not been a great revival in our time and certainly we all know that America and most other countries are ripe for revival.

Let’s talk about ourselves. Ask yourself if you have been fulfilling the great commission, or like most others has it become for you, the great omission. Have you put on the armor of God, and gone out to teach other people to obey all that God has commanded’ (Matthew 28:19-20). You don’t accomplish that by knocking on doors and inviting people to your church. In fact, do you really know what God has commanded you to obey’ I find that most people who know some of the truths of God and what He has commanded from His Children, have no inclination to obey what they know God has commanded. God has commanded us to obey all He has commanded, and He conditions His love (salvation), on our obedience. (John 14:15, 21-24). So, it is a fact then that if you don’t know what God has commanded, you are not saved.

By the same token, if you know and do not obey, you are not saved. There are many churches that are established on some foundation that does not include Jesus Christ as their cornerstone, and we know that they are not true churches; however, many that claim Jesus as their cornerstone, have not set the cornerstone properly. Some of these do not believe in the Virgin birth, some claim Jesus and works for salvation, and I am convinced that some don’t know what they claim. If you have a problem with believing the Jesus Christ, that is pictured in the Word of God, you have a problem being saved. (Acts 4:12). We must put away the idea that we are spectators in what happens in our churches. We are participants if we are truly saved; and if you are not saved (born again, in Christ and living an obedient life), you need to start asking, knocking, and seeking (Matthew 7:7). Many who sing ‘standing on the promises’ and merely sitting on the premises.

Those who are born again, as we see in Romans 6:1-14, are living stones that go into the building of any and every church. We are not students that go to church merely to be lectured to for a few minutes on Sunday. We go prepared to meet in the presence of Almighty God. We go to learn, and leave to teach. I can’t find any place in the Word of God that indicates that God saves anyone who goes to church just to be seen or to fulfill some kind of formula that saves. There are many who go to some specific church because Mother and Dad or Grandmother went there, and they don’t hear much there, and don’t realize that they are practicing errant doctrines.

The great old Theologian, Charles Haddon Spurgeon had this to say about those who sit under error. “You condemn yourself, by being there and partaking of their sins”. You should fit yourself to know when someone is preaching something that is not the Truth of God, as it comes of the pages of the Bible. Don’t join the army of God without being prepared because it is a hard army, and you are a ‘grunt’ in the strictest sense of the world. Count the cost before you enlist (Luke 14:26-33).

The word Church is not pointing to brick and mortar, rather it consists only, when those who are the ecclesia meet to worship God. We who know the truth and are saved, are living stones that make up the church and so you carry a little bit, or a lot of church with you, when the preaching service is over. We should be more concerned with being the church than we should be with simply going to church. By the same token, you should not just be a silent living stone when you go to church, you have a responsibility to make sure that the truth is being taught and preached.

We do not own the church, but we are a part of it and we must not be nitpicker’s who are constantly making noise that does not affect the Truth in any way. I don’t think that God cares where the piano is placed or the positioning of the pews. What God is concerned about is the edification of His Children. Now, let’s be clear about who the children of God are. We are not all God’s children, some are; but most are not. Most people are the devil’s children, in fact we are all born as Children of the devil, and some like it while they live here on the earth, but they won’t like it in hell. (John 8:30-47).

How about the word Saint’ Do you qualify as one of God’s Saints’ If you don’t you are not saved! The reason that God saves anyone is to change them from sinner into Saints. Saints means the same thing as Holy and that means that the saved person is set apart for Gods use. We are called to be saints (Romans 1:7; 1st Corinthians 1:2). Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints (Psalms 116:15). God when He comes back will be glorified in His Saints (2nd Thessalonians 1:10). So, if you are not a Saint you had better get busy asking God to save you. Folks, you might as realize that God has not changed and sin and unrepentant sinners, are under His wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3). The church will never be right until every sinner that is part of it is saved.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob