Summary: Message deals with current deception "Progressive Christianity" while expounding Philippians 3:19. Many young Evangelicals are being drawn into the Progressive Christianity error which denies Christ as only way of salvation and supports ungodly lifestyles.
We are at a crucial time in our nation, and the best response we can have to all that’s going on around us is to seek the Lord. As Christians we should vote responsibly. We should be light and salt. We should engage the culture with the truth of God’s word. But our most powerful weapon against evil is prayer. We need divine intervention. Without revival this country will go down a path of destruction. There is a lot on the line right now. And God has promised to intervene if His people will humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways (2 Chron. 7:14). The future of America depends on what God’s people do now!
On September 26th Christians will be gathering in Washington D.C. for a day of prayer and repentance. It is called “The Return.”i I encourage you to join in that effort in whatever way you can. We will be hosting a gathering here in Springfield to participate in the event. The following day, September 27th, at sunset begins the most holy day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). That will conclude September 28th at sunset. It is recognized as a special time of prayer and fasting. Not out of a legal obligation, but out of a desire to draw near to the Lord, use it as an opportunity to seek the Lord. We might just get a spiritual breakthrough that would usher in a mighty move of God!
We want to continue in our study of Philippians. In chapter three Paul has been sharing his passion to know and serve Christ. In verse 17 he tells his readers to follow his example and the example of others who live their lives in the same way. Then in verses 18-19 he cautions them about people they should not follow. In Philippians 3:18-19 he writes, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”ii Notice Paul identifies these people primarily by their lifestyle: “many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” Some of what they say may sound pretty good, but when you look at the way they live their lives you see that at heart, they are “enemies of the cross of Christ.”
Last week we identified two ways people position themselves as enemies of the cross. One is doctrinal; they reject the atonement in the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for our sin. He redeemed us from the curse of sin and provided the only way of salvation. Anyone who rejects that biblical truth makes himself an enemy of the cross.iii The other way people live as an enemy of the cross is to reject the crucified life. As we examine the description Paul gives of these people in verse 19, we see that is primarily what Paul has in mind. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). That message is not attractive to the carnal mind.iv It is not the lifestyle the natural man wants to live. It takes a supernatural transformation to make us a true disciple of Christ. A false professor of Christ will not embrace that lifestyle. He will use the name of Christ to get what he wants. The true disciple will lay his life at the feet of Christ and say from the heart, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.”v
We had begun examining the four descriptions Paul gives of these enemies of the cross in verse 19 when we ran out of time last week. Verse 19 says, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” Our message today will focus on these four descriptions.
I. “Their destiny is destruction.”
That’s the end result of their choices. That’s the end result of their rejection of Christ’s cross—eternal loss, eternal doom. It is eternal darkness and shame.vi We discussed this description last week.
II. “Their god is their stomach.”
This is a way of saying they are self-indulgent. They live to satisfy their carnal desires. The Christian life requires an ongoing denial of those desires. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:5-6, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” These enemies of the cross don’t want to do that. They want the lifestyle they choose. They want a message that justifies that kind of behavior. They don’t want a message that tells them to put all that to death. So, they gravitate toward a message that promises liberty to do as they please.