Summary: In our text, we are told how we can keep the faith and be more active in the living the faith. 1- Remember scripture 2- Pray much 3- Wait patiently 4- Demonstrate mercy
INTRO.- ILL.- Adoniram Judson sweated out Burma’s heat for 18 years without a furlough, six years without a convert. Enduring torture and imprisonment, he admitted that he never saw a ship sail without wanting to jump on board and go home. When his wife’s health broke and he put her on a homebound vessel in the knowledge he would not see her for two full years, he confided to his diary: "If we could find some quiet resting place on earth where we could spend the rest of our days in peace. . ." But he steadied himself with this remarkable postscript: "Life is short. Millions of Burmese are perishing. I am almost the only person on earth who has attained their language to communicate salvation. . ."
What do you call that? Some people might call it insanity, but I call it commitment to the cause and mission of Christ. And that is very lacking in our world today. Most people have trouble coming to church, let alone trying to serve the Lord in some form. We are soft, safe and secure. But we are not the servants of Christ that we should be! We fear the enemy, the evil one and the world. We dare not do anything for fear we’ll lose some sleep, cash or our reputation. Our commitment is lacking. Our faith is faltering.
ILL.- J. H. Goldner, writing in the Christian Evangelist, Oct. 28, 1930, said: "The church is something more than a haven of rest, where the indolent (slow, inactive or lazy), idle and tired may congregate. It is more than a house of refuge to which folks may flee from their pursuers. It is more than safety zone in the midst of the highways of life, into which people may step to avoid the dangers of spiritual injury. It is more than an old folk’s home where the spiritually defective (that’s me), infirm (that’s me), and incompetent (that’s me) may find shelter and be assured against all want for time and eternity. The church is not a sort of spiritual Florida to which people can migrate in order to escape the chilling blasts of a cold, unfriendly world.
"The prevailing tendency in the present day church is to make religion too easy. It is kept within the realm of convenience and comfort. (and this was written in 1930!) Rarely is there a call for real sacrifice. By means of suppers, sales and pay entertainments and various ingenious devices people are tricked into giving. Through entertainments and other alluring programs an effort is made to surreptitiously (what’s that mean? Done secretly) inject a little religion into the unsuspecting. And when people have come into the church the greatest care is exercised to spare them; so that only a minimum of anything is asked of them. Do we need to wonder that the church is not more aggressive and victorious? It hesitates to propose a program that summons us to heroic effort, sacrifice, and even the giving of blood."
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it make you think we should be doing more and definitely be more committed and faithful to work and cause of Christ?
PROP.- In our text, we are told how we can keep the faith and be more active in the living the faith.
1- Remember scripture
2- Pray much
3- Wait patiently
4- Demonstrate mercy
I. REMEMBER SCRIPTURE
17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
Remember what the apostles foretold. For us, that’s scripture. Remember the scriptures. Why? Because scripture is from God! That’s a pretty good reason I’d say!
II Tim. 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Do you realize that not everything you read is from God? In fact, very little of what we read today is from God. Scripture is from God and I also believe that when God’s people speak or write, that’s from God. That doesn’t mean that I believe it’s new revelation from God, however. I just believe that it’s God inspired and should be listened to.
If God doesn’t work through His people today then we are in trouble. His divine will is revealed in scripture but God also uses His people today to inspire and motivate us.
But the other side of the coin is this: Much of what is written today in newspapers and magazines, etc. is mere junk and adds nothing to the enhancement or quality of our lives. Scripture says that scoffers will come and I believe many of them write in newspapers and magazines. WE TRUST SCRIPTURE.