Summary: The Bible tells us that there will be those that depart from the faith. This is not just a problem for the last days but has been a problem throughout Christian History and prior. Dig into God’s Word and dig in for battle.
Sermon Title: Look for the “REAL” seal!
Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
Wesleyan Community Church
Sunday Morning – June 2, 2002
When we go into the grocery store to purchase various items of nutritional value for our families, we purchase based on some sort of standard of quality in regards to what we might feed them. We tend to stay away from the products that are labeled “imitation”, instead we seek the genuine item. If we work for someone we certainly would not accept counterfeit currency as a form of payment would we?
There is greater confidence in the things that are labeled “real” then in the products that are labeled “imitation”. As I began thinking about this morning’s message the emblem that the dairy industry used came to mind. “Look for the real seal” is the motto that they use. Paul is telling Timothy to teach of the need to look at the cross for what it means and what it stands for and the need to keep its message pure and to never accept anything less than the pure unedited and unmodified word of Christ.
Throughout Paul’s letter to Timothy, he stresses the behaviors that we exhibit as followers of Christ, but the things that we say and the things that we do are ultimately rooted in the things that we believe, and when we believe things that are not quite right it only follows that our actions as well be faulty as well.
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
The moment that we become aware of Christianity, either through the direct conviction of the Holy Spirit or through the evangelistic efforts of someone, we might say that we are given a forecast of our spiritual future. The fact of the matter is that we have two distinctly different directions that we could go. It has either been forecast that we will spend our eternity in heaven or we will spend our eternity in hell. Chances are, that when we are approached by someone who professes Christ, and we are not in a proper relationship with Him, then we are probably going to be told that we are destined for hell. Now the manner in which we are told may vary, and if hell is not the message that we are given, then there is something seriously wrong with the person that is trying to win us over. In fact I might even dare to say that they are being used as a tool of Satan in order to seal our fate rather than lead us to the redemptive powers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The problem that faces the church is that the message is not popular with those that enjoy living in carnal bliss. The message that the Gospel brings us is far more then a simple promise of heaven where there will be no tears or pain or suffering, the message of the Gospel also tells us that we can live victorious, meaningful and fulfilling lives while we walk upon the face of this earth. The difference is there are laws, there are rules, God has set down loving regulations, not arbitrarily dictated to prove that He is supreme, but He has done this because He loves us and wishes only that we live according to His standards and in that manner show how much we love Him. He must give us the choice or we could not show Him love.
Now we take into consideration those that profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, but that outward proclamation is all that there is. They are fakes, they are phonies, and they are far worse then those that have never had a relationship with the Lord or those that have and have fallen out and are honest about it. I think if we look at this matter in all seriousness, we would probably realize that there are many within the church that are counterfeit Christians rather than the genuine article. It has to be this way otherwise there would be no fighting over the color of carpet, there would be no fighting over minor issues and there would be no bickering over whether or not we install padded pews or not. If we look at the facts the early church was all in one accord in one room, and now we have separated ourselves into many different rooms that we call denominations and we all seem to have personal agendas and have left the Gospel to fend for itself. Are these harsh words to the church of today, perhaps harsh is to soft for what we have allowed the Gospel of Christ to become.