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Summary: Temporary and eternal

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“The Rules of the Temporary and the Eternal Philippians 4:4

I. Intro

A. I hope you have all had a great week this week? Perhaps not though!

1. Some of you may have ran into some problems this week?

2. Some of you may have faced some things that have kind of beaten you up?

3. Some of you are maybe facing some uncertain situations?

4. Some of you are maybe just sick of how things are going in your life right now?

B. Well, I want to read a short little Bible verse with you.

1. Read Philippians 4:4.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

C. You may be thinking, “Yeah, right.”

1. How can I be full of joy when all this stuff is going on?

2. How can I rejoice when I can’t get this stuff out of my mind?

D. Well, let me tell you about the guy who wrote these words.

1. His name was Paul.

2. He was in prison when he wrote Philippians 4:4.

3. Here’s how Paul described his life: (READ 2 CORINTHIANS 11:23–28).

23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

E. And you think you’ve got problems?

1. Yet, the same man who went through all of this also wrote “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

2. How could he go through all that he went through and still be full of joy and rejoice in the Lord?

II. Paul had discovered what I call the rule of the temporary.

A. Temporary means “for a limited time; not permanent.”

1. My rule of the temporary says this “The circumstances of life will last only for a limited time.”

2. They are not permanent.

3. Every circumstance you’re facing is temporary.

4. Every bad thing going on will last only for a limited time.”

5. Every problem is not permanent.

B. Paul knew everything that he faced was temporary.

1. The shipwrecks, the beatings, the accusations; they were all temporary.

2. The prison time he was serving; temporary.

3. All the circumstances of life only last for a limited time.

4. They are not permanent.

III. Paul also knew another rule: I call it the rule of the eternal.

A. Eternal means “having infinite duration.”

1. My rule of the eternal says “While the circumstances of life are for a limited time, there are things that never end.”

2. Some things are permanent.

3. Some things last forever.

4. There are some things that are unchangeable, immovable, and everlasting.

B. Paul also knew some things would always last.

1.“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

2.“He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)”

IV. The rule of the eternal always trumps the rule of the temporary.

A. The temporary is always limited in time.

1. The eternal has no limits.

B. Paul realized that all the circumstances of life would eventually pass but Jesus was always there.

1. So he could say, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

C. He didn’t rejoice in the temporary.

1. He didn’t enjoy all that he had to go through.

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