This is a definite must hear message from Paul Washer. This was given at the recent Revival Conference held in Atlanta GA, October 22nd. This comes in just shy of 2 hours, but is a must hear. Watch this video instead of 2 hours of the trash on TV tonight or download the audio at Sermonindex by using THIS LINK.
A special thank you to Lanes Blog and Sermon Index for posting the audio and video of this important message.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Just a week ago my wife and I ventured to the great state of Georgia, the city of Woodstock to be exact for the Way of the Master Deeper conference. Along the way down we stopped off in Chattanooga Tennessee and drove to the top of Lookout Mountain. What a beautiful sight it was, looking out over the valley from that high of a perspective, the leaves of the trees below changing and bursting in a huge variety of colors. Green, brown, orange, red and yellow all laid out before me by God so I could see His glory, the beauty of His creation and I stood in awe and my eyes teared up as I thanked the Lord for all He does for me and all He allows me to partake in.
Looking out over the valley did spark a thought in my head that continues to play through my head. A verse actually:
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
The changing of the seasons laid out before me in all of the colorful splendor. God has set forth the changing of the season’s into 4 very distinct times of the year, at least here in Kentucky they are distinct. The fall or autumn is vibrant in colors as the leaves change in splashes of colors, which is also the harvesting season. What it actually is is the death of vegetation, but needed for the growth of the plants, it is also marked by a drop in temperatures and shorter daylight hours.
Next on the season clock will be another drop in temperatures along with the chance of freezing precipitation. This was my favorite season as a child because of the increased chance that I might not have to go to school because of snow. Winter also has Christmas, which as a child meant presents, presents and more presents. The winter season is also a dormant time of year that plants are not visibly growing, or showing the signs of growth.
Spring slides in around March/ April with temps getting a little higher and the birds singing as leaves spring forth (no pun intended) and flower buds are starting to get noticed. This season, like fall, is full of eye candy. Many vibrant colors emerge, the greens of the leaves, bright yellows, reds and blues of the flowers. The birds that flutter around singing praises to the Lord also are full of colors, the red of the Cardinals and the blues of the Jays and even the brown shades of the finches are equally as pretty to the eyes.
Spring gives way to the scorching summer months as the thunderstorms pop up and move through. The warm weather allows for us to get outside to play and interact with Gods creation. The magnificence of creation… how can anyone doubt that God created it? For us, He created it and gave us dominion and look at what we have done to it.
With the 4 changing seasons there are certain laws that are known as farmers prepare their fields, cultivate, sow their crops and then reap the harvest. These are the laws that God put into place for the changing of the seasons and man can’t do anything to circumvent those changes. A person may be able to deny a season has changed, pollution may play a part in affects on the changes but denial and global warming do not change the laws of the seasons. Over my lifetime I have seen winter snows of 8+ inches on a regular basis dwindle off to an occasional 2 inch dusting or even winters that would allow for shorts to be worn. But the seasons still change and the laws of nature that God set forth are still in effect.
Back to 2 Timothy 4:2, there are only 2 seasons listed – IN season and OUT of season to preach the Word of God. So there are only 2 seasons to preach the Word, when the soil is ready and when the soil is not ready. In other words, always be telling someone about God. We all need to be in a constant state of telling others about the Lord and His promises in the Bible to us. Actually it should be abnormal if we are not proclaiming His Word.
I am just as guilty as anyone for not doing this. I must continually ask God to put words into my mouth as He did Moses and Jeremiah. I have always been a quiet person and it is a struggle for me to talk to anyone, but I must say that God does empower me at times. He is really doing a work in me and opening my mouth more and more as I share what He has done for me and the truths that He has revealed to me. This has to be the Lord, because I am not capable of doing this.
I implore you, Christian, to do what the Lord commanded us to do and take His Word to everyone. Start with your family, move onto your neighbors, your friends and then to those you come into contact with. Find some biblically sound Gospel Tracts (links to the left of my blog) and hand them out, leave them with tips and give them to coworkers. Tracts are a great way to start a conversation and swing those conversations to what is most important, eternity. Make sure that you are biblical and fully explain Gods biblical plan of salvation, His complete Gospel and not the 4 spiritual laws or Romans Road. These are not complete Gospels and are actually quite dangerous.
I pray that God will move you to open your mouth and speak. How will someone know until they hear? Romans 10:17 lays this out. Now go out and tell someone of everything that God has done for you and for what the Word says for salvation.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So here’s a little story. Say a person, we’ll call him Bubby, was traveling down the interstate heading to Nashville for a weekend getaway with his wife Sissy and their young son Bubby Jr. The speed limit is 70 MPH so Bubby sets the cruise to 75 and sets back for a nice little drive looking forward to the weekend getaway.
About 30 minutes into the drive Bubby notices that everyone around him is just flying by, staring him down like he’s going slower than Granny on her way to the grocery store. (No disrespect to Grannies anywhere, but you do drive on the slow side). So Bubby presses down on the gas and eases it up to 80 where he seems to be going the same speed as everyone around him. There are a few exceptions, the guy in the Vette that flies by doing about 95, with the top down, his bluetoothe headset in full use because he looks like he’s yelling at the windshield. Bubby also passes by a few cars that seem to be going somewhat slow and looks at them like they are out on a Sunday drive in the country and need to get out of his way. Sissy has her head plastered to the pages of the newest John MacArthur book, Bubby Jr. has his thumbs in a frenzy trying to get Mario to the next level on his DS and Big Bubby is rocking out to Third Day’s newest CD.
In the rear view mirror are flashing blues. Bubby’s heart drops to his stomach and thinks, “Whew, I’m glad he’s not after me and is after one of these other guy’s going faster than I am”. He proceeds to back down his speed to 70, the speed limit, and pulls over into the right lane to let the officer go by and get the guy in the Vette. To Bubby’s dismay, the cop pull’s into the right lane as well. “I must have a tail light out or something, my tags are good, the other people were speeding past me. I better pull over and see what this guy wants”.
Bubby pulls over. Sissy closes her book and asks what’s going on, Jr. is still pounding away at the DS controls, oblivious to anything except Mario. The officer walks up to the door and Bubby hands him all the required info – license, insurance and registration. The officer asks if he knows why he pulled over him.
“Tail light out?” Asks Bubby with a twisted grin of concern.
“No sir. You were going 80 in a 70 zone. I am going to have to site you.” Was the come back answer the officer gave, without a smile, without blinking his eyes, without an ounce of compassion.
“What about those other people officer? The guy in the Vette especially was going waaaay faster than I have all day. Shouldn’t you have pulled him over instead?”
The officer was visibly shaken by Bubby’s inquisition. And informs Bubby that he could also add reckless driving and a whole slew of other charges, maybe even pull his license on the spot and take him down to the station for a blood test to see if he had any illegal substances in his system. Bubby slumps down and as the tears stream down his face, tells the officer he is sorry and realizes now that he was breaking the speed limit and is very sorry. The officer sees how distraught he is and allows Bubby, Sissy and Jr. to resume their trek to Nashville with only a warning. Bubby resumes the drive, drying his eyes, blowing his nose and telling his wife how thankful he is that that nice, kind officer didn’t give him a $250 ticket. He matter of factly sets the cruise at 67 and leaves it there for the whole trip, thankful that he got off with just a warning and not a ticket.
“So Jeff, what has this got to do with God?”
I’m glad you asked Bubby (or Sissy). Because it is a prime example of how people look at their sins. Everyone is going down the road, some people doing some things that are very sinful. Others look at them and justify to themselves their own sinfulness with a “At least I’m not doing what that guy is doing” attitude. They can very easily determine someone else’s sinfulness, but their own sins they don’t even see. They justify telling a white lie because its not as bad as someone’s lying on their taxes. They justify looking at porn on the Internet because they are at least not cheating on their wife like that guy at work. See where this is going?
Until the law steps in and shows someone of their sin Romans 7:7-9, they are doomed. They will keep sinning while trying to justify their sins by someone that is worse in their eyes. In all actuality God sees sin as sin. In our eyes we have degrees of sin. A little white lie is o.k. Eating a grape at the grocery when you walk by them is perfectly acceptable. Watching the girl in a bikini across the street washing her car is fine and dandy. Partying a little here and there is not going to hurt anyone. After all, at least we don’t cheat on our taxes, steal the whole bunch of grapes from the supermarket and there is no way there is a chance that you would have an affair with the girl across the street. But to God, you have stolen, lied and committed adultery. You have sinned; you have broken God’s law. It doesn’t matter what the guy at work is doing, it doesn’t matter what your neighbor is doing, it doesn’t even matter what your pastor is doing. It is one on one with God, you broke His law and you must answer to Him. You can’t justify by what so and so did, or “at least I am not doing what that one guy did”. You have to answer for you. The Light in your rearview mirror exposes your sin for how sinful you are until you cry out to God for mercy.
Praise the Lord that He made a way that we can be justified. Thank God that He loved us enough that He took His entire wrath for our sins out on His only Son (Isaiah 53:10), Jesus. See, Jesus is the only way we can be justified. He is our advocate, our propitiation (1 John 2:1-2), our Savior. Do you see how sinful you are? Do you know how wretched you are? Do you know that Christ is the only Way (John 14:6) to be forgiven of your sins? If so, cry out to God to have mercy on your soul this day. Praise His wonderful name and the sacrifice given so you may be whole. Cry out for Christ to stand on your behalf to justify you in the eyes of the Father. Repent and turn from your sin loving life. Produce the fruits (Galatians 5:22-23, Titus 3:14)that will evident your conversion. Praise God in everything that comes your way - good, bad, feast or famine (1 Cor 10:31). God is Good. But you must do as Jesus Himself said in Luke 13:3,5 Repent or perish. Do not look for justification anywhere else but the foot of the Cross-. You can’t work your way to heaven with good deeds. You can’t say a magical prayer and have a ticket to sin and blaspheme the Lord. Don’t rely on a decision that you made when you were a kid to be your salvation. There is salvation by only One Way – Christ Jesus, Savior and Lord of all.