THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 8-24-14

LESSON TITLE: “LOVERS OF SOULS.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

WELCOME TO THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM ON THIS WONDROUS LORD’S DAY. WHAT A PRIVILEGE IT IS TO HAVE YOU WITH US TODAY, AS WE TOGETHER GIVE THIS TIME TO GOD. I KNOW THAT WE WILL ALL BE ENCOURAGED AND UPLIFTED BY OUR TIME TOGETHER THIS MORNING. SO, LET’S GIVE OUR BEST TO GOD SO THAT HE MAY BE PLEASED WITH OUR OFFERING. FURTHERMORE, LET’S DO ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL - SO THAT OUR WORSHIP WILL BE RECEIVED BY HIM IN A GOOD AND PERFECT WAY. NOW, LET’S APPROACH HIS THRONE IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE. THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO SERVE YOU AND TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, WE ARE THANKFUL BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT ONLY THOSE THINGS OF THIS LIFE AS WELL AS THOSE SPIRITUAL THINGS OF LIFE COME FROM YOU AND YOU GIVE US ALL THAT WE NEED THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO HAVE SUBSTANCE NOW AND ETERNALLY. THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE. MAY WE ALWAYS LOOK TO HIM TO FIND THE STRENGTH WE NEED TO GO ON EVERYDAY. BE WITH US THROUGH THIS TIME AS WE WORSHIP BEFORE YOU. MAY WE DO ALL IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH AS YOU COMMAND. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING ENCOURAGES US IN KNOWING THAT WE ARE NEVER ALONE WITH GOD AND THAT OUR SAVIOR IS ALWAYS WITH US TO CARE FOR OUR PRESENT AILMENTS. SO THIS MORNING, LET’S SING A SONG THAT TEACHES US THIS VERY IMPORTANT BIBLICAL LESSON. THE NAME OF THE SONG, “THE GREAT PHYSICIAN!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION WE READ THE WORDS OF JESUS, “BEHOLD, I AM COMING QUICKLY,” 22:7. WHAT A CHALLENGING AND ENCOURAGING THOUGHT THIS IS. AN IDEA, WHICH IS NO DOUBT USED TO HELP US REALIZE THE NEED THAT WE HAVE TO ALWAYS BE READY AND PREPARED TO MEET OUR GOD.

IN FACT, IF WE WERE TO LOOK THROUGH THE BOOK OF REVELATION, WE WOULD FIND THAT JESUS MAKES THIS SAME STATEMENT AT LEAST 6 TIMES. BUT NOT JUST IN THAT BOOK, WE ALSO FIND THIS IDEA THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT. FOR INSTANCE, IN MARK 13:35-37, JESUS SAID, “WATCH THEREFORE, FOR YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE IS COMING; IN THE EVENING, AT MIDNIGHT, AT THE CROWING OF THE ROOSTER, OR IN THE MORNING; LEST, COMING SUDDENLY, HE FIND YOU SLEEPING. AND WHAT I SAY TO YOU, I SAY TO ALL: WATCH!” THE REALITY IS, NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHEN CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN SO WE NEED TO BE READY AT ANY TIME - AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, DOESN’T THAT MAKE PERFECT SENSE? WHAT IF YOU KNEW WHEN CHRIST WAS COMING AGAIN? WHAT IF YOU KNEW THE EXACT MONTH, THE DAY, THE HOUR? HOW WOULD YOU THEN LIVE NOW, KNOWING THAT YOU HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO CHANGE DOWN THE ROAD. THE TRUTH IS, IF WE DID KNOW THE SPECIFICS OF WHEN CHRIST WOULD COME AGAIN - NONE OF US WOULD DO ANYTHING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.

THIS IS FURTHER EVIDENCED IN THE ACTIONS OF THOSE WHO CLAIM THEY DO KNOW WHEN HE IS COMING. WHAT DO THEY DO, SELL ALL THEY HAVE, GET READY, TURN AWAY FROM THE WORLD - BUT WOULD THEY HAVE BEEN READY IF THEY HAD NOT THOUGHT HE WAS COMING.

BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, WE NEED TO BE READY AT ANY MOMENT FOR OUR LORD TO COME AGAIN, SO THAT WHEN HE DOES HE WILL RECEIVE US AS FAITHFUL CHILDREN IN HIS SERVICE AND HE WILL THUS REWARD US ACCORDINGLY. SO MY QUESTION TO YOU THIS MORNING IS, “ARE YOU TRULY READY TO MEET YOUR GOD?” IF NOT, YOU BETTER START MAKING PREPARATIONS TODAY - SO THAT WE WILL ALL BE READY WHEN HE COMES WITH HIS ANGELS IN THE CLOUDS. WHEN HE COMES TO TAKE US HOME AND TO RECEIVE OUR MANSION PREPARED FOR THE FAITH. AS WE SING IN THE BLESSED ON, “WHAT A DAY, GLORIOUS DAY THAT WILL BE!” ARE YOU LIVING IN SUCH A WAY TO SECURE YOUR PLACE IN HEAVEN?

AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE BROTHER BRENT GREEN WITH US TO LEAD US IN OUR MAIN THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. AS MANY OF YOUR ALREADY KNOW, BROTHER BRENT IS THE PREACHER FOR THE HWY 13 CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BOLIVAR AND HE IS ALSO AN INSTRUCTOR AT THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. WE ARE GLAD HE IS WITH US TODAY.

AS FAR AS OUR LESSON OF THE DAY, WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR SERIES ENTITLED, “EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD…:” OUR SPECIFIC DISCUSSION OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH BEING, “LOVERS OF SOULS.” SO, PLEASE STAY WITH US FOR THIS IMPORTANT STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW IT’S TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AS WE SING THE HYMN, “THE LAST MILE OF THE WAY.”

LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

WHAT A GREAT PRIVILEGE IT IS TO OPEN GOD'S WORD AND STUDY AGAIN ONCE FROM OUR SERIES CONCERNING LOVING ONE ANOTHER. THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD AND THE FACT THAT THEY LOVE AS THEY SHOULD. THERE IN 1 JOHN CHAPTER 4 BEGINNING IN VERSE 7 WE READ, “BELOVED LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER FOR LOVE IS OF GOD. AND EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD AND KNOWS GOD. HE WHO DOES NOT LOVE DOES NOT KNOW GOD FOR GOD IS LOVE. IN THIS THE LOVE OF GOD WAS MANIFESTED TOWARD US, THAT GOD HAS SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON IN THE WORLD THAT WE MIGHT LIVE THROUGH HIM. IN THIS IS LOVE, NOT THAT WE LOVE GOD BUT THAT HE LOVED US AND SENT HIS SON TO BE THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS. BELOVED, THAT GOD SO LOVED US WE ALSO OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”

THE REMINDER THERE IN THE COMMAND THERE IN JOHN IS THE FACT THAT WE NEED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. AND LOVE BECAUSE GOD LOVED US. LOVE BECAUSE GOD SENT HIS SON. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, IT'S IMPERATIVE IN OUR LIVES THAT WE HAVE THIS LOVE. WHY? BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN BORN OF GOD, BECAUSE WE'VE FOLLOWED GOD'S COMMANDS AND BECOME CHRISTIANS, BUT BECAUSE ALSO WE REMEMBER THE LOVE THAT GOD HAD FOR US. THINK ABOUT THE LOVE THAT GOD SHOWS TOWARDS US AND ALL MANKIND WHEN HE SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON INTO THIS WORLD. THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR EVERY SINGLE SOUL.

WITH THAT THOUGHT IN MIND CONTINUE TO EVEN REMEMBER THE VERSES AND WORDS OF JESUS THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT. THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 19 IN VERSE 10 IT SAYS, “THE SON OF MAN HAS COME TO SEEK AND SAVE THAT WHICH IS LOST.” WHY DID JESUS COME TO THIS EARTH? TO SAVE THE LOST BECAUSE OF A CONCERN THAT GOD HAS FOR THE SOULS OF THIS WORLD. ALSO THERE IN JOHN CHAPTER 3 AND VERSE 17, “THAT GOD SENT HIS SON TO SAVE THE WORLD.” EVEN THE NAME JESUS, AS WE READ ABOUT THERE IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 1 AND VERSE 21, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? IT MEANS SAVIOR. THE ONE WHO WAS SENT HERE TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS. WHY IS IT THAT GOD SENT HIS SON? THE VERY REASON WE STARTED READING THERE IN FIRST JOHN CHAPTER 4 VERSES SEVEN THROUGH 11. BECAUSE GOD LOVES THE SOULS OF THIS WORLD. BECAUSE GOD LOVES THOSE WHO ARE LOST. GOD LOVES THOSE WHO NEED TO COME BACK TO HIM.

BUT REMEMBER AGAIN WHAT WE READ THERE IN FIRST JOHN 4:7? BECAUSE GOD LOVED THE WORLD, BECAUSE GOD SENT HIS SON TO BE THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS, BECAUSE GOD SHOWED US HOW TO LOVE SOULS, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? WE HAVE TO LOVE SOULS. THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT IF WE'RE GOING TO LOVE AS WE SHOULD, IT REQUIRES US TO BE THOSE WHO ARE LOVERS OF THE SOULS AROUND US. NOT THOSE WHO ARE ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT SELF BUT THOSE WHO TRULY LOOK AT THE WORLD AROUND US AND SEE THE PRECIOUS SOULS OF THIS WORLD AS GOD SEES THEM. I THINK THAT'S WHERE WE NEED TO START AGAIN FROM THE SCRIPTURE. THE FACT THAT GOD LOVES EVERY SINGLE SOUL.

CONSIDER AGAIN THE WORD OF GOD AS WE THINK ABOUT IT AS WE WOULD TURN OUR BIBLES TO ROMANS CHAPTER 5:8. WE ARE REMINDED ONCE AGAIN THE GREAT LOVE OF GOD, WHAT HE DID FOR US, AND WHY HE DID IT AND WHAT HE DID IT FOR. THAT IS AS HE SENT HIS SON. READ WITH ME THERE ROMANS CHAPTER 5 AND VERSE EIGHT: SINCE GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. GOD DEMONSTRATED HIS LOVE. HE SHOWED US HIS LOVE AND HOW DID HE DO THAT? HE DID IT AGAIN BY OFFERING HIS SON AS A SACRIFICE SENDING HIS SON TO DIE FOR US. AND WHEN DID HE DO THAT? WHILE WE WERE SINNERS. YOU MEAN WHILE I WAS LOST? WHILE I WAS IN SIN, WHILE I WAS LIVING IN DARKNESS, GOD STILL LOVED MY SOUL? INDEED. THAT'S WHAT THE VERSE TELLS US. THAT'S WHAT GOD'S WORD PROCLAIMS; THAT GOD LOVE SOULS. THE FACT IS GOD LOVES EVERY SOUL AND HIS LOVE FOR EVERY SOUL IS LOVE SO GREAT.

WE FIND IN THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS AND CHAPTER 2:45 THAT GOD'S MERCY IS RICH BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE. THE RICHNESS OF HIS MERCY AND THE GREATNESS OF HIS LOVE, HOW IMMENSE...HOW VAST IS IT? THINK ABOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD. GOD SENT HIS SON TO DIE FOR HOW MANY SOULS? EVERY SINGLE ONE. WHY? BECAUSE GOD LOVES EVERY SOUL.

NOW, WE CAN SEE THAT EVEN FURTHER IN DESCRIPTION THERE IN THE BOOK OF LUKE, LUKE CHAPTER 15, JESUS ACTUALLY GOES THROUGH SEVERAL PARABLES AS HE WOULD GIVE A HEAVENLY STORY, SOMETHING OF A SPIRITUAL NATURE, BUT HE WOULD GIVE IT IN TERMS OF THINGS OF THIS EARTH. THINGS THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD AND HE GAVE THREE PARABLES THERE ABOUT THINGS BEING LOST.

THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 15 BEGINNING IN VERSE 1 THROUGH 7 IS A PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP. HOW THE SHEPHERD THERE HAD 100 SHEEP AND ONE OF THOSE WENT ASTRAY. LEFT THE FLOCK, WANDERED OFF, AND WAS LOST. IT WAS AS GOOD AS DEAD. AND WHAT DID THE GOOD SHEPHERD DO? WELL, THE SHEPHERD THERE WENT LOOKING FOR THAT SHEEP. AND THERE AT THE END OF THAT PARABLE AS WE SEE THE WORDS SPOKEN, IT REMINDS US AGAIN GOD'S LOVE. LUKE CHAPTER 15:7. IT SAYS, “THERE WILL BE MORE JOY IN HEAVEN OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS.” WHAT WAS THAT LOST SHEEP COMPARED TO? THAT ONE SINNER COMING BACK TO GOD. WHY WAS THERE JOY? BECAUSE GOD LOVED SOULS. HE LOVES EVEN THE FACT THAT ONE LOST SINNER WOULD COME BACK TO HIM.

THE NEXT PARABLE THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 15 BEGINNING IN VERSE 8 TO VERSE 10. THE PARABLE THERE OF THE LOST COIN BY A WOMAN WHO HAD LOST A COIN AND SHE SWEPT THE WHOLE HOUSE AND LOOKED UNDER EVERYTHING, LOOKED EVERYWHERE FOR THAT ONE COIN. AGAIN, CONSIDER THE WORDS AS IT SAYS THERE IN VERSE 10, “THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS.” JUST LIKE THAT WOMAN HAD GREAT JOY WHEN SHE FOUND THAT ONE COIN.

WHAT IS IT TO GOD WHEN SOMEONE WHO IS LOST IS FOUND AGAIN? THERE IS JOY. AND ALSO THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 15:11-32, ANOTHER PARABLE. AND THIS TIME OF THE LOST SON OR AS WE FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO HIM AS THE PRODIGAL SON. AND THE SON ASKS FOR HIS INHERITANCE EARLY AND HE GOES OFF AND HE WASTED IT. HE SPENDS IT ON PRODIGAL LIVING AND THEN HE FINALLY COMES TO HIS SENSES AND HE COMES HOME. AND HIS BROTHER IS ACTUALLY UPSET THAT THE FATHER RESPONDS IN THIS WAY BUT LOOK AT HOW THE FATHER RESPONDS THERE IN LUKE CHAPTER 15:32. THERE IT SAYS, “IT WAS RIGHT THAT WE SHOULD MAKE MERRY AND BE GLAD, FOR YOUR BROTHER WAS DEAD AND IS ALIVE AGAIN. WAS LOST AND IS FOUND.” WHY WAS THE FATHER, AND THE ILLUSTRATION THERE IS TO GET US TO UNDERSTAND HOW GOD - OUR FATHER - REACTS WHEN SOMEONE IS LOST AND COMES BACK. THE FATHER SAID HE WAS AS GOOD AS DEAD BUT HE'S COME HOME AGAIN.

THINK ABOUT AGAIN GOD'S GREAT LOVE. NO ONE IS BEYOND SALVATION. NO ONE HAS SINNED TOO MUCH. NO ONE HAS SINNED FOR TOO LONG. NO ONE IS IN A STATE WHERE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO BE SAVED UNLESS THEY'RE UNWILLING TO COME TO GOD. BUT ALL THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO OBEY GOD'S PLAN, WHAT DOES GOD WANT TO SEE HAPPEN? HE WANTS TO SEE EVERY SINGLE SOUL COME BACK TO HIM. WHY? BECAUSE GOD LOVES SOULS. GOD LOVES THE SOULS OF THE LOST. GOD LOVES THOSE WHO HE NEEDS TO COME HOME TO HIM. THINK ABOUT ALSO THERE THE FACT THAT EVEN AS WE SEE IN SCRIPTURE TIME AND AGAIN VERSUS THAT SHOW US THAT GOD WANTS ALL MEN TO REPENT.

2 PETER 3:9, “GOD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISES. SOME MEN COUNT AS SLACKNESS AS LONG-SUFFERING TOWARD US, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH BUT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” WHY? BECAUSE GOD LOVES SOULS. NOW, IF WE UNDERSTAND THAT POINT AGAIN FROM THE SCRIPTURE, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT US? AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR OUR LIVES? WELL, AS CHRISTIANS, AS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN OF GOD AS WE READ THERE IN FIRST JOHN CHAPTER 4 ONCE AGAIN, EVERYONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD HOW SHOULD WE ACT? HOW SHOULD WE LIVE? WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH OUR LIVES? WELL, FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF GOD - THE ONE WHO MADE US - WE SHOULD LOVE SOULS.

I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD LOVE SOULS. ACTUALLY, WHO WE SHOULD LOVE. IF WE LOVE SOULS AS CHRISTIANS, THAT'S GOING TO MEAN THAT FIRST, WE HAVE A LOVE FOR OUR BRETHREN. DOESN'T EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN, THAT IS THOSE WHO HAVE PUT THEIR SAVIOR ON IN BAPTISM, THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY THE FAMILY OF GOD AND HIS CHURCH, DOESN'T EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN HAVE A SOUL THAT'S IMPORTANT TO GOD? INDEED THEY DO. AND SOMETIMES EVEN THOSE SOULS WANDER AWAY FROM THE TRUE POINTS AGAIN. AND THEY LEAVE THE FOLD OF GOD TO GO BACK TO THE WORLD AND BE IN A STATE OF BEING LOST. AND YET WHAT SHOULD OUR CONCERN BE? WELL, THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER. WELL MAYBE THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER AND INDEED THEY DO KNOW BETTER BUT STILL PEOPLE WANDER AWAY FROM THE TRUTH. HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO OUR BRETHREN? WE SHOULD LOVE THEM. THINK ABOUT THE LOVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE FOR THE SOULS OF YOUR BRETHREN.

MANY TIMES IN THIS WORLD AS THE CHURCH, EACH OF US INDIVIDUALLY AS MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, WE SUFFER TRIALS. WE GO THROUGH TOUGH TIMES AND IT IS A NARROW PATHWAY THAT WE HAVE TO TRAVEL DOWN IF WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT TO THAT HEAVENLY HOME. AND THERE ARE DANGERS THAT WE ENCOUNTER. THERE ARE PITFALLS ALONG THE WAY. SATAN IS ALWAYS OUT THERE. WELL, WHEN WE SEE ONE OF OUR BRETHREN STRUGGLING WITH THINGS OF THIS LIFE, WHAT SHOULD OUR REACTION BE? WE SHOULD LOVE THEIR SOUL. WE SHOULD TRY TO ENCOURAGE THEM. THROUGHOUT THE WRITINGS THERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WE SEE INDEED THAT EVEN PAUL AT TIMES, WHEN HE WOULD WRITE LETTERS TO THE BRETHREN, WOULD ENCOURAGE THEM NOT TO LOSE HEART.

THERE IN THE BOOK OF GALATIANS, GALATIANS 6:9, HE SAYS, “WE SHALL REAP IF WE DO NOT LOSE HEART.” DO YOU THINK MAYBE THEY WERE STRUGGLING A LITTLE BIT? DO YOU THINK MAYBE THEY WERE HAVING SOME PROBLEMS IN THEIR LIFE? YOU THINK MAYBE THEY WERE HAVING DIFFICULTIES TRYING TO PRESS THROUGH THE CHALLENGING THINGS THEY FACED? WELL, WE ALL FACE CHALLENGES AND PAUL TRIED TO ENCOURAGE HIS BRETHREN. WHY WOULD HE ENCOURAGE THEM NOT LOSE HEART? BECAUSE HE LOVED THEIR SOULS. BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THEM GIVE UP. BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THEM STOP TRAVELING DOWN THAT NARROW PATHWAY THAT WAS BROKEN OF IN MATTHEW 7:13-14. WHEN OUR BRETHREN FACE DIFFICULTIES, WE SHOULD LOVE THEIR SOULS.

WE SHOULD ALSO LOVE THEIR SOULS ENOUGH TO DISCIPLINE IF THE CASE MAY BE THAT THEY NEED SUCH. JESUS GAVE THE PARADIGM THERE IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 18 THAT IF A BROTHER SINS AGAINST YOU, THE FIRST THING THAT YOU DO? IS GO AND TELL HIM HIS FAULT BETWEEN YOU AND HIM ALONE. AND THEN JESUS CONTINUES TO GIVE FURTHER INSTRUCTION THERE, YOU SHOULD DO IF HE REFUSES TO LISTEN. BUT WHY WOULD YOU GO TO A BROTHER? THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT IF YOU WERE IN SIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT YOUR FELLOW CHRISTIAN TO SAY YOU? WOULD YOU WANT THEM TO IGNORE AND TO JUST PRETEND LIKE YOU'RE OKAY WITH THEM AND TO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT?

PUT YOURSELF IN A SITUATION FOR A MOMENT. IF I HAD WANDERED AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, IF I WAS IN SIN, WHAT WOULD I WANT MY BRETHREN TO DO? TO COME TO ME AND TELL ME YOU NEED TO GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT AGAIN. HERE'S GOD'S WORD. I LOVE YOUR SOUL AND BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR SOUL I WANT YOU TO HEAR WHAT GOD'S WORD SAYS SO YOU'LL COME BACK ONCE AGAIN. WHY WOULD WE EVER VENTURE DOWN THAT DIFFICULT PATHWAY OF HAVING TO CONFRONT A BROTHER OR SISTER OF CHRIST? WHY? BECAUSE WE LOVE THEIR SOUL.

THINK ABOUT ALSO THE FACT THAT AS WE THINK ABOUT THOSE AROUND US AND AS WE SHOW A TRUE CONCERN FOR THEIR SOUL, AS WE SHOW A TRUE CONCERN FOR THEIR LIFE, FOR THE DIFFICULTIES, FOR THE STRUGGLES THAT THEY FACE, AND SOMETIMES EVEN WHEN THEY DO GO BACK TO SIN FOR THE ACTIONS WE THEN TAKE TO HELP THEM COME TO BACK OUT OF THAT ONCE AGAIN. WHAT DOES THAT SHOW TO OUR BRETHREN? THAT WE TRULY LOVE THEIR SOUL. WE HAVE TO LOVE OUR BRETHREN ENOUGH TO SEE THEM AS A PRECIOUS SOUL. SADLY, SOMETIMES EVEN WE SHOW PARTIALITY. JAMES DEALS WITH THE THAT IN JAMES CHAPTER 2 - THAT WE MIGHT SAY TO A BROTHER WHO IS RICH YOU SIT HERE AND TO A BROTHER WHO IS POOR YOU SIT OVER HERE IN THE SEATS THAT AREN'T SO FAVORABLE. WHAT IS THAT? THE BIBLE CALLS IT PARTIALITY AND JAMES REFERS TO PARTIALITY AS BEING SIN. WE SHOULD LOOK AT OUR BRETHREN FOR THE MONEY THEY HAVE FOR THE LACK OF MONEY THEY HAVE OR THE STANDING THEY HAVE OR THE LACK THEREOF. WE SHOULD SEE IN OUR FELLOW BRETHREN WHAT? A PRECIOUS SOUL, AS SOMEONE ONCE SAW IN US AND LOVED OUR SOUL ENOUGH TO TEACH US WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO TO BE SAVED. AND NOW THAT WE'RE A PART OF THIS FAMILY OF GOD TOGETHER WHAT SHOULD WE SEE IN EACH OTHER? A SOUL THAT WE NEED TO LOVE AS BRETHREN. BUT IT'S MORE THAN JUST LOVING OUR BRETHREN. THERE'S ANOTHER GREAT LOVE THAT WE SHOULD HAVE AND THAT'S THE LOVE THAT WE SHOULD HAVE FOR THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO ARE LOST.

REMEMBER HOW MANY SOULS DOES GOD LOVE? GOD LOVES EVERY SOUL. HE LOVES THE SOULS THAT ARE THERE IN HIS CHURCH, THAT ARE THOSE MEMBERS - THOSE BRETHREN - WHO ARE THERE WHO HAVE ALREADY OBEYED THE COMMANDS AND ARE ALREADY A PART OF THE FAMILY GOD. HE LOVES THEIR SOUL BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST THE WORLD? WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE NOT CHRISTIANS YET? DOES GOD STILL LOVE THEIR SOUL? INDEED HE DOES. AND GOD GAVE A GREAT COMMISSION, THAT IS THROUGH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND JESUS SAID THERE IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 28, “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS I HAVE COMMANDED YOU AND LO I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.” REPEATED THERE ALSO IN MARK CHAPTER 16 JESUS SAID, “GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF EVERY CREATURE. HE WHO BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED WILL BE SAVED. HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE WILL BE CONDEMNED.” WHY DID JESUS, THE SON OF GOD, TELL US TO GO INTO THE WORLD? BECAUSE JUST AS JESUS AND JUST AS GOD THE FATHER LOVE SOULS WE'RE SUPPOSED TO LOVE THOSE SOULS ENOUGH AS WELL TO GO OUT INTO THE WORLD AND PREACH THE SAVING GOSPEL TO THEM. TO SHARE WITH THEM FROM GOD'S WORD WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO BE SAVED.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SOULS THAT YOU SEE AROUND YOU AS A CHRISTIAN? WHEN YOU GO TO THE MARKETPLACE, WHEN YOU GO TO THE STORE, WHEN YOU DRIVE DOWN THE ROAD, WHEN YOU GO TO WORK, WHEN YOU GO TO SCHOOL, EVERYWHERE YOU GO WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY SEEING? YOU'RE ACTUALLY SEEING SOULS. THAT'S HOW YOU NEED TO THINK OF IT. YOU NEED TO THINK OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE YOU INTERACT WITH EVERY DAY AS A PRECIOUS SOUL WHO MOST LIKELY STILL NEED TO HEAR THE GOSPEL. I GUESS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER BRETHREN ALONG THE WAY AS WELL WHEN YOU TRAVEL THROUGHOUT THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE BUT MOST PEOPLE YOU'RE GOING TO MEET MAYBE HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF JESUS CHRIST OR AT LEAST THEY'VE NEVER THOUGHT ENOUGH TO RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL THAT HE HAS GIVEN. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO HAVE A LOVE OF? A LOVE OF THE SOULS AROUND YOU. A LOVE FOR THOSE WHO ARE LOST IN THIS WORLD. YOU NEED TO LOVE THOSE SOULS ENOUGH TO SET A GREAT EXAMPLE. PAUL THERE IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11:1 SAID, “IMITATE ME AS I IMITATE CHRIST.” THERE ALSO IN FIRST PETER CHAPTER 3:1 THERE IT SPEAKS OF WIVES WHO ARE CHRISTIAN WHO COULD WIN THEIR HUSBANDS WITHOUT EVEN SPEAKING A WORD BECAUSE THEY SET A WHAT? A PROPER EXAMPLE IN THEIR LIVES. THINK ABOUT THE EXAMPLE THAT YOU SET. THE YOU SET AN EXAMPLE THAT SHOWS YOU TO HAVE A LOVE FOR THIS SOULS AROUND YOU? NOT ONLY BY YOUR EXAMPLE BUT ALSO BY YOUR SPEECH.

DO YOU LOVE THE SOULS AROUND YOU ENOUGH TO TEACH THEM THE GOSPEL? DO YOU LOVE THE SOULS AROUND YOU ENOUGH TO SHARE WITH THEM THAT GOSPEL. JESUS SAID TO GO. HE DIDN'T SAY HOW TO GO. WE CAN GO BY CAR OR PLANE OR TRUCK OR BY AN ANIMAL. WE CAN GO BY THE INTERNET, BY TEXT MESSAGING, BY SKYPE. JESUS SAID TO GO. WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE BE IF WE LOVE HIM ENOUGH TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS? WE SHOULD GO BECAUSE WE LOVE THE SOULS OF THE LOST ENOUGH TO SHARE WITH THEM THAT SAVING MESSAGE.

TOO MANY TIMES WE ARE WAITING FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO COME TO US. WE NEED TO REACH OUT THERE. WE NEED TO SEEK AND SAVE THAT WHICH IS LOST AND INVEST OUR MONEY, OUR TIME, OUR EFFORTS, AND OUR LOVE FOR THE SOULS OF THIS WORLD. DO YOU LOVE GOD? GOD LOVES YOUR SOUL AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE A LOVE OF THE BRETHREN AND A LOVE OF THE LOST TO BE THOSE OF GOD.

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANKS FOR PUTTING GOD FIRST AND CHOOSING TO BE WITH US THIS MORNING. I HOPE YOU HAVE BENEFITED FROM OUR TIME TOGETHER. PLEASE REMEMBER, YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS OFFERING FOR GOD.

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 STUDY MATERIALS? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE LOVED MY SOUL ENOUGH TO OFFER THE WAY OF SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. THUS, MAY WE ALL STRIVE TO BE THOSE WHO LOVES SOULS AS WELL, SO THAT ALL OF MANKIND MAY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR AND RESPOND TO THE SAVING MESSAGE OF JESUS!