Summary: This is a Memorial Day sermon for the wounded and hurting people in our churches. Does our church have any battle casualties?
Sunday Morning May 28, 2000 Bel Aire Baptist Church, Hobbs NM
DOES OUR CHURCH HAVE ANY BATTLE CASUALTIES?
1. On this holiday weekend, we are to remember those who
fought for their country, for those who put their lives on
the line in order for us to live in a free country.
a. AT THIS TIME I WOULD LIKE FOR ALL OF
OUR VETERANS TO STAND SO THAT WE
MIGHT HONOR YOU HERE THIS MORNING.
2. I want all of you veterans to understand how much I thank
you for defending this country, but this morning I will be
preaching on a different military.
a. If you are a Christian, you are a part of this army, the
b. As our text shows us we are not fighting a physical
war, but a spiritual war.
c. Let’s read our text:
3. This morning I would like to ask this simple question,
"Does our church have any battle casualties?"
a. The answer would be yes, let me give you four types
of casualties God’s Army is experiencing right now.
I. Killed In Action Luke 8:4-15
A. They promised all allegiance to the great Commander, His Commission and His Kingdom... were taught John 3:16... handed out a couple of tracts... and went out against a well-armed, well-trained enemy who "zapped" them at once.
B. Their faith utterly destroyed, they are beyond help... WE MOURN THEIR LOSS!
"One day Jesus told this story to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: " farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds came and ate it. Other see fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. This seed began to grow, but soon it withered and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop one hundred times as much as had been planted." When he had said this, he called out, "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!" His disciples asked him what the story meant. He replied, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: They see what I do, but they don’t really see; they hear what I say, but they don’t understand.’ This is the meaning of the story: The seed is God’s message. The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then the Devil comes and steals it away and prevents them from believing and being saved. The rocky soil represents those who hear the message with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. They believe for a while, but they wilt when the hot winds of testing blow. The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasure of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. But the good soil represents honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s message, cling to it, and steadily produce a huge harvest."
II. Missing In Action... Presumed Dead James 1:21-25
A. We still carry them on the duty roster, but they only show up for "muster" at Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day.
B. If there is spiritual life in them, it is so little that no equipment with which we are supplied can detect it... WE MOURN THEIR LOSS!
"So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law- the law that sets you free- and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it."
III. Missing In Action... Believed Prisoner Hebrews 6:4-6
A. This category is represented by those who are seen on the enemy side of the lines... not ours.
1. We believe they are prisoners.
2. They identify with the enemy.
B. They may have "deserted" or have been captured while rendered helpless.