Summary: Encouraging the church to take a firm stand against the things of the world

"STANDING FIRM" by George Crumbly

II Timothy 4: 1-5

Sunday AM 6/05/2005

Liberty Church of the Nazarene

Prescott Arkansas

This scripture the Lord gave me this week for this service is the same scripture the General Superintendant quotes as he lays his hands on your head as he ordains you as an elder. I was ordained into the church as an elder on May 23, 1991 in Little Rock Arkansas. 14 years ago last month.

Things have changed over the past 14 years. The world has changed over the past 14 years. The church has changed in the past 14 years.

(The church is too concerned about hurting folks feelings - more concerned about making someone mad)

Things have gotten worse because of sin. The illustrated bible dictionary defines sin as "Lawlessness; transgression of God’s will, either by omitting to do what God’s law requires or by doing what it forbids; THe transgression can occur in thought (I John 3:15), word (Matthew 5:22), or deed (Romans 1:32).

II Timothy 4: verses 1-5

Sin is destructive. Sin destroys our relationship with God. Sin is personal as it affects those around us. There are things that God will tell us to do & if we don’t do them? It is sin.

There are things that God will tell us not to do & if we do them? It is sin.

(Proverbs 11:3) "The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them."

(Hosea 13:7) O, Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help."

The church has got to stand firm today and call sin exactly what it is and that is sin. The church has got to stand firm and declare to the world that sin is wrong. I’ve learned over the past 21 years and from things I hear other pastors say and that is folks today don’t want much to hear that sin is wrong.

After a tough week on the job, working & living in a dog-eat-dog society, they have been eat up, chewed up, spit out, stomped on and mistreated then they come to church on Sunday and want the preacher to tell them how good they have been all week long. They sit in the pew with the attitude "Tell me how good I am."

(Verse 2)

Reprove: "To tell or express a disapproval of something." If someone thinks I am not living right please tell me. If I’m not doing right please tell me. Let me know. (Please do it contructively though)

Rebuke: "To criticize something sharply."

The church has got to get serious about the things that are not right. we see folks today that worry about money and this will cause them to vote for and support politicians that are unGodly in their beliefs. The church has got to get right in the middle of the things that are wrong.

(Governor Mike Huckabee this year had a covenant marriage ceremony at alltel arena for men & women to renew their vows. On the news that night you could see homosexuals lined up protesting this. I was ashamed of my self because I thought we should have went down there & stood for the man/woman marriage)

Exhort: "To urge with earnest appeal." We’ve got to stand firm & urge folks to get out of & stay out of the sin business.

(Better be ready though - I recently explained to a lady in sin that what she was doing was wrong & man she attacked my ministry & tried to destroy it.) You better be prayed up & spiritually strong when you exhort or rebuke or reprove.

How does Paul say to exhort? "with all longsuffering and doctrine."

Longsuffering: "God’s patient endurance of the wickedness of the sinful." Longsuffering is having patience with the lost.

(Lady asked a church one time why they allowed & condoned folks living just any old way, their answer? "Oh, we are longsuffering.") that is not what longsuffering is.Doctrine: is what we teach out of the bible, the truth.

We don’t stand in the church Sunday after Sunday telling folks our opinions we are to tell them the truth. Tell them what the bible says. This lady I was talking about in sin, she didn’t want to hear what the bible said. She wanted her ears tickled.

(Verses 3-4)

Guess what? After 14 years as an ordained elder the time is here. More folks today concerned about money. Got to do whatever it takes to bring folks in. You see without the money folks you can have anything nice, so you got to do things in order to bring in the money people.

Folks have to eat. They have to work. They have to sleep. They have to pay their bills. they have to pay their taxes. But they don’t have to go to church. so we’ve got to do whatever it takes to get folks in.

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