THE LIIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 8-16-15

LESSON TITLE: “APATHY!”

WELCOME

NEHEMIAH ONCE PROCLAIMED, “THIS DAY IS SACRED TO OUR LORD. DO NOT BE GRIEVED, FOR THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH.” ON THIS LORD’S DAY MORNING, NO TRUER WORDS HAVE EVER BEEN SPOKEN. THANKS BE TO GOD, FOR HE IS OUR STRENGTH ON THIS HOLY DAY! WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE WITH US THIS MORNING TO GIVE THIS TIME TO THE THINGS OF GOD. AND WHAT A PRIVILEGE IT IS TO ONCE AGAIN ASSEMBLE BEFORE OUR CREATOR AND TO WORSHIP AND PRAISE HIS NAME. MAY WE EACH FOCUS OUR THOUGHTS ON GOD AT THIS TIME AND GIVE THIS TIME FULLY TO HIS REMEMBRANCE. AT THIS TIME MAY WE START OUR DEVOTION TO GOD BY TALKING WITH OUR FATHER IN PRAYER. BOW WITH ME PLEASE!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY. WE THANK YOU FOR THE BLESSINGS OF LIFE. WE THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, WE ASK THIS DAY THAT YOU MIGHT HELP US TO BE THOSE FOLLOWERS WHO ARE OBEDIENT IN ALL THINGS - THAT WE MIGHT GIVE YOU GLORY AND PRAISE. FATHER, KNOWING THAT WHEN WE DO OUR PART, YOU CERTAINLY CONTINUE TO GIVE US YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY - THAT WE MIGHT NOT ONLY BE BLESSED THIS DAY BUT EACH DAY OF LIFE AS WELL AS ETERNALLY. WE THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS - THE SACRIFICE THAT HE MADE. THE FACT THAT HE WAS BURIED AND ROSE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY - ALL THESE THINGS GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO ETERNAL LIFE. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THAT GIFT AND KNOW THAT WITHOUT IT WE WOULD BE WITHOUT HOPE. BE WITH US THAT WE MIGHT IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH GIVE YOU OUR VERY BEST AT THIS TIME AS WE WORSHIP. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

LET’S BEGIN IMMEDIATELY WITH OUR SONGS OF PRAISE THIS DAY. THE FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING FOCUS’S OUR MINDS ON THE SWEET VOICE OF OUR SAVIOR. SO, WON’T YOU DO YOUR PART IN WORSHIP TO GOD AT THIS TIME AND JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AS WE SING TOGETHER, “SWEETER THAN ALL!” DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

EARLIER WE MENTIONED A VERSE WHICH REMINDED US OF THE GREAT STRENGTH OUR LORD GIVES US. ANOTHER SUCH PASSAGE IS FOUND IN 1 CHRONICLES 29:11-13. CONSIDER WITH ME IN THESE VERSES JUST HOW OUR GOD STRENGTHENS US. THERE WE READ, “YOURS, O LORD, IS THE GREATNESS, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, THE VICTORY AND THE MAJESTY; FOR ALL THAT IS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH IS YOURS; YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, O LORD, AND YOU ARE EXALTED AS HEAD OVER ALL. BOTH RICHES AND HONOR COME FROM YOU, AND YOU REIGN OVER ALL. IN YOUR HAND IS POWER AND MIGHT; IN YOUR HAND IT IS TO MAKE GREAT AND TO GIVE STRENGTH TO ALL. NOW THEREFORE, OUR GOD, WE THANK YOU AND PRAISE YOUR GLORIOUS NAME.” TRULY IT IS IN THE POWER AND MIGHT OF GOD THAT WE ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE STRENGTH IN THIS LIFE. NO DOUBT THIS IS WHY THE WRITER HERE PROCLAIMS HIS GOD TO BE GLORIOUS. I HOPE WE ARE AS THANKFUL TO GOD FOR ALL THE STRENGTH HE GIVES TO US AS THE FAITHFUL.

NOW I WOULD LIKE TO CONSIDER A FINAL POINT ON STRENGTH WHICH COMES FROM PETER’S WORDS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT! THERE WE READ, “BUT MAY THE GOD OF ALL GRACE, WHO CALLED US TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS, AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A WHILE, PERFECT, ESTABLISH, STRENGTHEN, AND SETTLE YOU,” 1 PETER 5:10. WOW, NOTICE ALL THAT THIS VERSE CONFIRMS. WE ARE PROMISED GRACE, ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT EVEN THOUGH WE SUFFER GOD HAS CONFIRMED THAT HE WILL PERFECT, ESTABLISH, STRENGTHEN AND SETTLE US. OH, HOW MUCH OUR SAVIOR LOVES US AND HOW MUCH HE PROVES THIS THROUGH HIS CONSTANT PROTECTION AND CARE. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THE STRENGTH HE PROMISES TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIS WILL. WILL WE DO OUR PART TO RESPOND TO THE LOVE OF GOD?

AS FAR AS OUR SERIES TODAY, WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR DISCUSSION ENTITLED, “BUT THEY ALL…BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES!” THE SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH, “APATHY!” SO, PLEASE STAY WITH US THIS MORNING AND AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME I WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE DAY. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS DAY AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON IN OUR NEW SERIES THAT HAS REALLY BEEN ABOUT MAKING EXCUSES. HOW SAD IT IS THAT SO MANY IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD SPEND MORE TIME MAKING EXCUSES AS TO WHY THEY CANNOT DO WHAT GOD SAYS OR WHY THEY DON'T HAVE TO DO WHAT GOD SAYS OR WHY THEY WILL NOT DO WHAT GOD COMMANDS RATHER THAN JUST DOING IT. AND IN FACT PERSONALLY I THINK THAT PEOPLE WASTE A WHOLE LOT MORE ENERGY JUST DOING WHAT GOD COMMANDS RATHER THAN FIGHTING ABOUT IT AND ARGUING ABOUT IT AND TRYING TO FOLLOW WHAT GOD SAYS. IF GOD SAYS HE THAT BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED, WHAT SHOULD WE DO? OBEY GOD. THERE'S NO REASON TO SAY WHY WE DON'T HAVE TO OR WHY IT DOESN'T MEAN THIS OR DOESN'T MEAN THAT. OBEY GOD, BELIEVE, AND OBEY HIS WILL.

AND THAT'S WHY WE BEGAN A SERIES LAST WEEK FROM LUKE CHAPTER 14 WHERE WE FIND THERE WITHIN THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT SUPPER A STATEMENT THAT IS MADE CONCERNING REALLY THE COMPARISON OF THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE AND GOD. HOW GOD HAD INVITED HIS PEOPLE TO COME TO THE WEDDING FEAST AND YET WHEN HE HAD INVITED THEM WHAT DID THEY DO? VERSE 18, “BUT THEY ALL WITH ONE ACCORD BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES.” YOU SEE, THEY WERE LOOKING FOR EVERY REASON AS TO WHY THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO GO. ONE SAID I BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, ANOTHER SAID WELL I BOUGHT SOME OXEN, AND ANOTHER SAID I JUST GOT MARRIED. YOU SEE, WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING FOR EXCUSES TO GET OUT OF SOMETHING OR NOT TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO OR WHAT YOU SHOULD DO OR WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO OR WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO GET AROUND THE LAW OR A COMMANDMENT - EXCUSES ARE SOMETIMES GOOD. IT'S KIND OF LIKE WHEN YOU GET PULLED OVER FOR BREAKING THE SPEED LIMIT OR YOU GET PULLED OVER BECAUSE YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING ILLEGAL OR A VIOLATION AS YOU DRIVE OR MAYBE YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN THAT OFFICER COMES UP? YOU USUALLY START TRYING TO MAKE EXCUSES BECAUSE YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF WHAT, YOU DON'T EVEN YET KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING WRONG. ISN'T THAT CRAZY? IT'S KIND OF SILLY ISN'T IT?

WELL, HOW SILLY AS WELL THAT MAN WASTES SO MUCH TIME! GET ON THE INTERNET - GET ON THE INTERNET AND READ - READ WHERE IT TALKS ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, IN DOCTRINAL ISSUE AFTER DOCTRINAL ISSUE...WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IN WORSHIP. WHAT YOU CAN DO IN WORSHIP. WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO TO BE SAVED. WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE SAVED. WHY CAN'T WE JUST READ THE BIBLE? WHY CAN'T WE JUST LOOK AT WHAT GOD COMMANDS BY SPECIFIC COMMANDMENTS AND SPECIFICALLY DIVINELY APPROVED EXAMPLES? WHY CAN'T WE LOOK TO THE BIBLE? WHY CAN'T WE LOOK TO GOD AND SAY HEY, IF IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST FOR THEM TO REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED, TO BE SAVED AFTER THEY WERE PRICKED IN THEIR HEART AND THEY BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST, IF THAT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM - I WANT TO DO IT ALL. I WANT TO DO IT ALL BASED ON HOW THEY DID IT, AND WHEN THEY DID IT, AND WHY THEY DID IT. YOU SEE HOW SIMPLE IT IS WHEN WE JUST LOOK TO THE TRUTH, WHEN WE LOOK TO THE WORD OF GOD?

THAT'S WHY TODAY WE LOOK AT A WORD THAT IS QUITE SIGNIFICANT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. IT'S A WORD THAT SPECIFICALLY IS NOT USED IN THE BIBLE BUT IT CERTAINLY IS A CONCEPT OR PRINCIPLE THAT IS FOUND THERE. AND THIS WORD IS APATHY. AND APATHY IS A SIGNIFICANT WORDE BECAUSE IT HELPS US TO SEE SOMETHING ABOUT HOW WE ARE REALLY AND WHAT OUR CONCEPTS AND IDEAS ARE ALL ABOUT. ONE OF THE DEFINITIONS THAT WE MIGHT FIND IN RELATIONSHIP TO APATHY IS THE IDEA THAT ONE WHO LOSES INTEREST IN OR A LACK OF INTEREST IN. SOME OTHER WORDS THAT ARE USED IS A LACK OF ENTHUSIASM TOWARD, A LACK OF INTEREST IN, A LACK OF ENTHUSIASM TOWARD. BUT ONE THAT I FOUND A BIT DISTURBING WAS A LACK OF CONCERN. YOU SEE, IT GOES WAY FURTHER. IT'S NOT JUST MAYBE BEING DISINTERESTED TO AN EXTENT OR EVEN MAYBE NOT HAVING THAT ENTHUSIASM THAT WE NEED TO HAVE BUT IT'S EVEN NOT HAVING A CONCERN. YOU KNOW, IT'S NO BIG DEAL. OH IT'S DISTURBING TO ME WHEN I SEE THE APATHY IN OUR RELIGIOUS WORLD WHEN I SEE THE APATHY OF THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS WHO JOIN THEMSELVES TO OTHER RELIGIONS WHO SPIT UPON OUR SAVIOR. WHO JOIN THEMSELVES TO OTHER RELIGIONS WHO ARE IDENTIFIED BY CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS THE ANTICHRIST - THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST CHRIST - THOSE WHO REJECT CHRIST BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN CHRIST. HOW CAN WE SPIRITUALLY JOIN OURSELF OR HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH AND WORK WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN OUR GOD? WHO REJECT HIM AND MOCK HIM AND SPIT AT HIM AS THEY DID THE DAY HE WAS CRUCIFIED.

YOU SEE, IT'S A SAD THING WHEN THE WORLD BECOMES APATHETIC - WHEN THE WORLD BECOMES DISINTERESTED AND WHEN CHRISTIANS BECOME SO DISINTERESTED THAT THE WORD OF GOD NO LONGER MOVES THEM. AND WHEN YOU READ A PASSAGE AND YOU SEE WHAT GOD SAYS AND SOMEONE WITH A SMILE ON THEIR FACE AS WELL THAT WAS WRITTEN TO A DIFFERENT PEOPLE OF A DIFFERENT TIME. OR YOU KNOW GOD IS SUCH A GREAT GOD OF LOVE THAT SURELY GOD DOESN'T MIND WHETHER WE DO WHAT HE SAID THERE OR NOT. SURELY IF GOD SAID HE THAT BELIEVES SHALL BE SAVED, THAT'S NOT THAT BIG OF A THING THAT THEY MAYBE DON'T BELIEVE THE WAY THAT WE BELIEVE. APATHY...APATHY - THE IDEA OF NOT ONLY A LACK OF INTEREST IN YOUR OWN MOTIVATION BUT A WILLINGNESS TO ACTUALLY TURN AWAY FROM AND FORSAKE TRUTH.

FORSAKE TRUTH, IT HAPPENED THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE BUT ONE OF THE EXAMPLES THAT I ALWAYS THINK OF WHEN I THINK OF AN APATHETIC ATTITUDE IS THE EXAMPLE THAT IS FOUND THERE IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION CHAPTER 3. AND IF YOU'LL TURN OVER THERE WITH ME YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME AS JOHN RECORDS THE WORDS OF JESUS TOWARD THE DIFFERENT CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR, SEVEN SPECIFICALLY ACTUALLY THAT ARE BEING ADDRESSED THERE BY JESUS, THE LAST ONE THAT HE ADDRESSES IN THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA. AND YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME THAT IN CHAPTER 3:14 THIS CHURCH IS CALLED THE LUKEWARM CHURCH. BUT DO YOU REMEMBER WHY IT WAS CALLED LUKEWARM? DO YOU REMEMBER? WAS IT BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GOD? WELL, CERTAINLY THEY BELIEVED IN GOD. THEY WERE CONSIDERING THEMSELVES AS THE CHURCH OF GOD, THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. THE LORD'S CHURCH. THEY WERE ONE OF THE CANDLESTICKS THAT JESUS WAS IN THE MIDST OF. THEY WERE A CHURCH OF GOD. THEY WERE A FAMILY OF GOD SO THAT WASN'T THE PROBLEM. WELL, WAS THE PROBLEM THAT THEY HAD FORSAKEN ALL OF GOD'S ACTIONS OR WILL? HAD THEY FORSAKEN ALL OF THE WORSHIP? NO, BECAUSE EVEN IT SAYS HERE THAT HE KNEW THEIR WORKS AND HE REALLY DOESN'T CONDEMN THE FACT THAT THEY WEREN'T WORSHIPING OR THEY WEREN'T ACTING. HE DOESN'T CONDEMN THE FACT THAT REALLY THEY'RE MISSING IT ALL TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY DON'T BELIEVE OR THEIR NOT ACCOMPLISHING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAYS IS EVEN SADDER THAN THAT. WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAYS THERE IN VERSE 15 IS, “I KNOW YOUR WORKS, THAT YOU ARE NEITHER COLD NOR HOT.” AND HE SAYS YOU KNOW WHAT? I WISH THAT YOU WERE EITHER COLD OR HOT. HE SAYS I WISH THAT YOU WERE EITHER JUST NOTHING OR EVERYTHING. YOU SEE GOD SAYS I DON'T LIKE THAT LUKEWARMNESS. I DON'T LIKE THAT MIDDLE GROUND.

NOW, CERTAINLY DON'T MISUNDERSTAND THERE MIGHT BE AREAS IN RELATIONSHIP TO EXPEDIENCY. THERE MIGHT BE SOME AREAS THAT WE HAVE TO COMPROMISE ON, THAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE RESPECT ONE ANOTHER IN AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD AND FOLLOW GOD, BUT NOT IN DOCTRINE. HE SAYS YOU KNOW, I HATE THAT MIDDLE GROUND. I'D RATHER YOU BE COLD AND THAT WAY I COULD JUST SAY WELL, I KNOW YOU'VE LOST IT. YOU NO LONGER BELIEVE AND YOUR NOT EVEN TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT - OR I'D RATHER YOU'D BE HOT JUST LIKE SOME GROUP THAT IS SO FAITHFUL THAT THERE'S NO DOUBT HOW MUCH THEY LOVE ME. BUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU ALL IS YOU'RE WISHY-WASHY. YOU'RE IN THE MIDDLE. YOU'RE LUKEWARM LIKE THAT CUP OF COFFEE. YOU KNOW SOMETIMES YOU'VE HAD THAT CUP OF COFFEE IN THE MORNING AND I KNOW SOMETIMES OUR POT WON'T GET BACK ON THAT BURNER JUST RIGHT. YOU'LL GO IN THERE AND I'LL MAKE THAT CUP AND I'LL STIR IT AND I'LL GET READY TO TAKE A DRINK AND YUCK! IT'S LUKEWARM BECAUSE IT WAS OFF THE BURNER A LITTLE BIT AND SO IT'S NOT HOT ANYMORE. IT'S JUST GROSS AND SO I HAVE TO PUT IT IN THE MICROWAVE BECAUSE I WANT IT HOT! YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE LIKE IT COLD NOW. THEY'LL PUT ICE IN IT BUT WHY DO THEY PUT ICE? THEY WANT IT EITHER COLD OR THEY WANT IT HOT. A LOT OF FOLKS DON'T LIKE IT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. THEY DON'T WANT IT JUST LUKEWARM. THEY WANT ICED COFFEE OR HOT COFFEE RIGHT? WELL YOU SEE, THAT'S WHAT JESUS IS SAYING HERE - THAT APATHETIC SPIRIT OF A DISINTEREST, A LACK OF CONCERN YOU KNOW?

WE COME TOGETHER AND I CAN JUST HEAR ALMOST THE LAODICEANS BECAUSE THEY WERE A WEALTHY GROUP. THEY WERE A WEALTHY GROUP THAT REALLY IT SEEMS HAD BEGAN TO CEASE FILLING A NEED FOR GOD BECAUSE THEY WERE SO BLESSED WITH THIS WORLD'S GOODS. AND SO YOU CAN JUST IMAGINE THEM COMING TOGETHER AND YOU CAN IMAGINE THEM GATHERING AND WORSHIPING GOD AND SINGING PRAISES AND PRAYING AND THEY WERE GOING THROUGH ALL THE MOTIONS AND YOU CAN IMAGINE THEM PUNCHING THAT TIME CLOCK, AS SO MANY DO TODAY. THEN THEY RUN HOME TO THE T.V., OR THEY RUN TO THE RESTAURANT, AND THEN YOU DON'T SEE THEM FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK MAYBE UNTIL THE NEXT SUNDAY OR UNTIL A SPECIAL HOLIDAY. AND SO THEY'RE PUNCHING THAT TIMECLOCK AND YOU CAN JUST SEE THAT YOU KNOW THEY ARE THINKING IN THEIR MIND OH, WELL WE'VE SHOWN GOD WE LOVE HIM. WE WORSHIPED ONCE THIS YEAR, WE WORSHIPED ONCE THIS MONTH OR WE'RE GOING TO GO ONCE THIS WEEK AND YOU KNOW, THEN WE'RE GONNA GIVE HIM THAT ONE HOUR. AND YOU SEE HOW MESSED UP THAT MENTALITY IS? BECAUSE THEY WERE LUKEWARM. THEY WEREN'T HOT. THEY WEREN'T THERE EXCITED BECAUSE THE DOORS WERE OPEN, AND THEY WEREN'T LOOKING FOR THE NEXT TIME THE DOORS WERE OPEN, AND THEY WEREN’T LOOKING FOR HOW THEY MIGHT BE EVANGELISTIC AND DO THE WORK ON A DAILY BASIS, AND LIVE FOR GOD, AND BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE WORLD, AND TEACH THEIR FRIENDS AND THEIR NEIGHBOR; THEY WERE LUKEWARM. THEY WERE TRYING IT SEEMS LIKE TO ME IN THEIR APATHETIC SPIRITS TO GET BY WITH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE AND STILL BE RIGHT WITH GOD.

DOES THAT'S SOUND FAMILIAR? I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY FOLKS I'VE KNOWN IN MY PREACHING MINISTRY OR PERIOD OR CAREER OR HOW MANY CONGREGATIONS I'VE WORKED WITH INCLUDING THE CONGREGATION I WORK WITH NOW. AND IF YOU'LL THINK ABOUT THOSE PLACES THAT YOU TEND TO GO, HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS? WHAT DO WE CALL SOME OF THOSE FOLK SOMETIMES? THE SUNDAY GO-TO-MEETING ONLY FOLKS OR THE FOLKS WHO ALMOST...YOU KNOW THEY ARE ONLY JUST GONNA BE THERE AT CERTAIN TIMES...ISN'T THAT SAD? ISN'T IT SAD THAT AS YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR YOU AND ME - THAT WE DON'T HAVE A GREATER DESIRE AS THE DEFINITION SAID A GREATER ENTHUSIASM, A GREATER INTEREST AND MOTIVATION THEREFORE TO HAVE CONCERN TO SAY I WANT TO DO WHAT GOD SAID BECAUSE I FEEL A NEED - I LOVE. LOOK AT THE LOVE HE'S SHOWN ME AND I LOVE HIM AND THEREFORE I'M INTERESTED AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HE WANTS AND I'M CONCERNED IN DOING IT HIS WAY AND THEN I'M GOING TO DO WHAT HE SAYS AND OBEY HIM BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WHEN I REALLY LOVE HIM I DO WHAT HE SAYS AND I'M GOING TO DO IT WITH A ZEAL OR AN ENTHUSIASM THAT I NEED TO HAVE. YOU SEE, THAT'S WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES. THAT'S WHAT THE BIBLE ENCOURAGES US WITH AND THAT'S WHAT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE MIGHT BE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO KNOW THAT WE CAN BE HOT RATHER THAN COLD. AND CERTAINLY THAT WE DON'T JUST HAVE TO BE LUKEWARM AND IN THE MIDDLE.

BOY, THERE ARE SO MANY NEW TESTAMENT VERSES THAT WE COULD LOOK AT TO SHOW US REALLY THAT SPIRIT AND ENCOURAGE US TO KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT GOD WANTS. ONE THAT COMES TO MY MIND THERE IS IN FIRST CORINTHIANS 15 - AND YOU'VE CERTAINLY HEARD THE VERSES MANY TIMES - BUT RIGHT AFTER IN VERSE 15 AND 58 WHERE HE'S TALKING ABOUT THAT VICTORY THAT WE HAVE OVER DEATH THROUGH JESUS CHRIST - NOTICE THAT HE SAYS, “THEREFORE, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD.” DOES THAT SOUND LIKE APATHY? LACK OF CONCERN AND INTEREST? DOES THAT SOUND LIKE LUKEWARMNESS OR COLD? NO. WHAT DOES HE AGAIN SAY? “BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD.” BUT YOU KNOW WHAT HE ADDS TO THAT? HE SAYS THAT YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD. CAN YOU IMAGINE GIVING 10, 15, 20 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE TO GOD ONLY TO MISS THE MARK? CAN YOU IMAGINE SAYING BUT I ATTENDED ONCE EACH WEEK 52 TIMES A YEAR LORD. YOU HAVE TO SAVE ME, I GAVE YOU THAT ONE HOUR A WEEK. CAN YOU IMAGINE APPLYING THE POWER OF THIS VERSE STEADFAST AND ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD. CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ATTENDING A SERVICE - IT CERTAINLY IS INCLUSIVE OF BEING FAITHFUL IN ATTENDANCE; HEBREWS 10:25,

BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT. IT'S A WAY OF LIFE. IT'S A WAY OF TALKING. IT'S A WAY OF ACTION. IT'S A WAY OF GODLINESS. IT'S A WAY OF BELIEF AS WE LOOKED AT LAST WEEK. AND IT'S A WAY OF SHOWING GOD THAT WE ARE HOT, AND MOTIVATED, AND POWERFULLY FOCUSED ON HIS WILL. ANOTHER VERY FAMILIAR TEXT THAT YOU'LL NOTICE AS WELL IS OVER IN ROMANS CHAPTER 12. WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOU AND I? ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE CAUGHT UP IN THE THINGS OF THE WORLD OR BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLD? CERTAINLY NOT. HE SAYS, “I BESEECH YOU,” THERE IN VERSE 1 “THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, THAT YOU PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE.” BUT THEN HE SAYS, “DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT,” WHAT? “WILL OF GOD.” THAT I MIGHT WHAT?'IF I WANT TO BE SOMEBODY, HE SAYS IN VERSE TWO, THAT IS GOING TO PROVE SOMETHING TO GOD. WHAT IS IT THAT I'M REQUIRED TO PROVE AS A SERVANT WHO, VERSE ONE SAYS IS TRYING TO BE HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE IN DOING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE? HE SAYS IF I'M TRYING TO PROVE SOMETHING I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS...EXCEPT FIND OUT WHAT'S ACCEPTABLE ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD AND WHAT? DO IT!

DON'T BUY IN TO THE DENOMINATIONAL IDEOLOGY THAT IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER. THAT GOD JUST DOESN'T CARE. THAT IF GOD COMES TODAY, AS LONG AS YOU LOVE HIM AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT, IT'S NOT GONNA MATTER. THAT'S NOT AT ALL WHAT WAS TRUE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND IT'S NOT AT ALL THE EXAMPLE THAT WE HAVE OF WHAT WAS FOUND TO BE TRUE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, BECAUSE WHAT GOD WANTS IS ALL OF YOU! WHAT GOD REQUIRES IS NOT SOME OF YOUR HEART BUT ALL OF YOUR HEART! WHAT GOD WANTS IS ALL OF YOUR SOUL! HE WANTS ALL OF YOUR MIGHT! HE WANTS YOU TO BE IMMERSED IN HIM! HE WANTS YOUR LIFE TO BE CENTERED AROUND HIM! AND IN FACT, HE REALLY WANTS TO BE ON THE THRONE OF YOUR HEART, CONTROLLING YOU, ALLOWED - AS YOU HAVE INVITED HIM IN AND HAVE HIM IN YOUR LIFE. THAT'S WHERE GOD EXPECTS TO BE NOT JUST THERE ONCE A WEEK. NOT JUST THERE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT. NOT JUST THERE WHEN YOU GO WORSHIP BUT ALWAYS. ARE YOU THAT KIND OF A CHRISTIAN? ARE YOU THAT KIND OF A CHRISTIAN OR ARE YOU ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES? ARE YOU ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES BECAUSE REALLY YOU'VE LOST INTEREST AND CONCERN? YOU BOUGHT INTO THE DENOMINATIONAL CONCEPTS THAT ONE FAITH IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER AND REALLY THAT THE GOD OF LOVE - THIS BOOK IS JUST A GOOD STORYBOOK AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT REALLY WHAT GOD SAYS IS REQUIRED; THOSE THINGS THAT PAUL SAID YOU EITHER DO OR YOU CAN LOSE YOUR SOUL. THAT ALL THE APOSTLES DEALT WITH THAT JESUS HIMSELF DEALT WITH...WILL WE BELIEVE? WILL WE FOLLOW? WILL WE OBEY? OR WILL WE DIE?

YOU SEE, TODAY I WOULD CHALLENGE YOU TO LOVE YOUR GOD ENOUGH TO OBEY AND TO DO HIS WILL AND TO BE HOT FOR JESUS. TO BE ONE WHO PROVES YOURSELF WORTHY BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING IT. YOU'RE LIVING IT. YOU'RE SPEAKING IT AND YOU'RE BEING A MOUTHPIECE FOR YOUR CREATOR IN THIS LIFE KNOWING THAT BY DOING SO YOU'LL BE A MOUTHPIECE IN THE LIFE TO COME. SO STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GIVE GOD YOUR BEST AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT GOD IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE. AND THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES EACH AND EVERY DAY, NOT ONLY BE BLESSED NOW, BUT ETERNALLY BECAUSE HEAVEN HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR THE FAITHFUL.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MAY I AGAIN TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND THUS A BLESSING TO US ALL. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE INVITED BACK TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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MAY WE NEVER BE GUILTY OF A NO CARE ATTITUDE IN CONNECTION TO OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES, FOR THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOD, HIS WORD AND DOING HIS WILL! ARE YOU WILLING TO STAY FOCUSED AND COMMITTED TO THE PRECEPTS OF GOD?