A man went to his doctor for a checkup. The doctor did a very thorough examination and then asked the nurse to send the man¡¦s wife into his office. The doctor said, ¡§I have some very bad news, your husband is very sick. The good news is that there is hope. If you will take him home, cook him three hot meals each day and take care of all his needs, he should be recovered in about two months or so.¡¨ ¡§Two Months!¡¨
The Lady left the doctor¡¦s office and went out and got into the car with her husband. The man asked, ¡§Well, what did the doctor say?¡¨
The wife looked at her husband and said, ¡¨Your gonna¡¦ die!¡¨
2Corinthians 13:5 ¡§Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Prove yourselves.¡¨
Only God and I know the true condition of my heart. And only God and you know the true condition of your heart. And if you leave it up to others to be the judge of your condition, ¡KYour gonna¡¦ die.
The Lord gave me this message as I was on my way home from a doctor¡¦s appointment last week.
Some people go to the doctors after they become sick.
Some people go to the doctors to keep from getting sick.
And some people go to the doctors to get even healthier than they are.
My title this week: ¡§Checkup For The Christian¡¨
Bruce Larson tells of an old priest who was asked by a young man, ¡§Father, when will I cease to be bothered by the sins of the flesh? The preist replied, ¡§Son, I wouldn¡¦t trust myself until I¡¦d been dead for at least 3 or 4 days.¡¨
Obviously, the preist was making a joke, but what he said had a point.
We humans are very sinful and as long as we live we will constantly be surrounded with sin. So as Christians we need regular checkups to monitor our condition. (Spiritual Checkups)
Today this is a doctor¡¦s office and we are all here for a checkup: Ready? Let¡¦s go!
Just as we can decline in physical health, we can also decline in spiritual health¡K Just like our health can sometimes fail in stages¡K
-Studies show that a believer slips back into the world by stages:
„h 1. Friendship with the world. (James 4:4) nothing wrong with pleasurable life if it doesn¡¦t come at the expense of others or or the expense of obeying God.
„h 2. Spotted by the world. (James 1:27)the Christian is one who remains true to the Lord and not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.
„h 3. Loving the world. (I John 2:15-17)Where does love originate? In the Heart. That¡¦s also where worldliness originates. When we love the world we take on three characteristics: LUST-preoccupation with physical desires. MATERIALISM-craving and accumulating things. PRIDE-obsession with ones status or importance.
„h 4. Conformed to the world. (Romans 12:2) Do not copy or fit the mold or behavior of this world.
Dietrich Bonhoffer wrote a book called ¡§Temptations¡¨ and in it he says, ¡§When lust takes control, at that moment, God is unreal to us.¡¨
Hebrews 3:12-15 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Speak to each other about these things every day while there is still time. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as we did when we first became Christians, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. TODAY is the time. Hear God¡¦s voice.
-Our Relationship to Jesus Christ, in a similar way, grows by stages: How do we begin to grow ¡§in Christ?¡¨
„h 1. We must cultivate friendship with Christ. (James 2:23) Belief brings about Salvation; active obedience demonstrates that our belief is genuine. Cultivate friendships means to WORK ON IT.
„h 2. The friendship will begin to influence our lives. (John 15:16) Jesus made the first choice, the hardest choice. (love us and die for us) We make the second choice, to accept or reject. Without His choice we would have no choice to make.
„h 3. Our friendship with Christ and our becoming like Him will lead to a deeper love for Christ. (I John 4:19) By being loved by Christ this will inturn show us how to love and how to spread love and share love for Jesus first then others.
„h 4. The more we know him the better we love Him, and the better we love Him the more we become like Him. ¡V ¡§conformed to the image of His Son¡¨ (Romans 8:29) (in agreement, harmony, likeness) as we become more like Christ, and that is why God created us, we begin to discover who we truly are and who God created us to be.
Helen Keller was deaf and blind. Her tutor, Annie Sullivan finally broke through and developed a means of communicating with her through touch. She discovered that Helen Keller was a brilliant, gifted young woman who was eager to learn. One day Annie Sullivan said, ¡§Helen, I want to talk with you today about God, our Creator. Do you know what Helen said? ¡§Good, I¡¦ve been thinking about Him for some time, now.¡¨
CHARACTERISTICS OF GODS CHILDREN ---
1. Everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
(I John 2:29)
2. No one who is born of God practices sin.
(I John 3:9)
3. We know we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren. (I John 3:14)
4. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (I John 4:7)
5. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. (I John 5:4)
Remember: ¡§We are not slaves obeying a master; we are children obeying a Father. And sin is a family affair.¡¨ D. L. Moody
R. Neal Gracey March 2003
First Baptist Church of Saltillo, PA