Posts Tagged ‘ pilgrim’s progress ’

The Love of Money Trap, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #64)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: James 5:1-8

1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The Love of Money Trap, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #64)

In this passage, James has soundly rebuked those whose desire for money leads them out of the ways of God. He has warned them of the misery that will come upon them because of their inordinate love of riches. He has also condemned them for letting their greed drive them to hurt other people who are less fortunate.

This desire is something that all of us, at one point or another, will likely struggle with. There will come a time when you will have to decide between a path that leads you closer to Jesus and a path that leads you to money and material things. You will have to decide, for as Jesus said, “Ye cannot serve God and money.” Continue reading

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The Love of Money Trap, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #63)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: James 5:1-8

1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The Love of Money Trap, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #63)

The love of money is not a harmless indulgence as it often leads one down a path of sin in the pursuit of more money. One who loves money above all else will often have the tendency to do whatever it takes to get and keep more of it. That is the issue we will address today from verses 4, 5, and 6 of our passage. Continue reading

The Love of Money Trap, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #62)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: James 5:1-8

1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The Love of Money Trap, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #62)

The Bible says, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Families have been torn apart, people have been killed, and livelihoods have been ruined all because of someone’s inordinate love of money. Many will look at the world and see evidence of the destructive influence of loving money. However, Christians are not immune from this sickness. Many will admit to struggling with loving money; some struggle with loving money more than they love God.

Of course, money is important. We need money to live, to eat, and to provide for our needs. The Bible says, “Money answereth all things”; that is, almost anything in this world can be taken care of with the right amount of money. The question is, how do we, as Christians, not succumb to the money trap? Continue reading

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #61)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: Ephesians 5:11-16

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

——- PRAYER ——-

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #61)

As we wrap up our focus on fighting the pull of darkness, we are going to look at what God wants us to do as it relates to the world. We have already seen how we, as Christians, ought not to be engaged in the deeds of darkness. And, we have also seen how we are commanded to reach out and lovingly rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ who are engaged in such deeds.

However, we also bear an obligation to the world that lies in the lap of Satan. Look at verse 14: “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” The “he” speaking in this verse is God. Scholars believe that the words quoted here are either based on a verse in Isaiah or from an early Christian hymn, as it is not found elsewhere in the Bible. Joseph Exell and Donald Spence state in their commentary, “The fundamental idea is that when the Church gets the light of heaven, she is not to lie still, as if she were asleep or dead, but is to be active, is to make use of the light, is to use it for illuminating the world. The apostle maintains that the Ephesian Church had got the light of heaven; she, therefore, was not to sleep or loiter, but spring forth as if from the grave, and pour light on the world.”

That is what God calls the church to do. The church on earth is the light of God in a dark world. We who have been delivered from the darkness ought to let our lights shine so that others may come to Jesus and be delivered from the darkness of their sin. Doing this places us on the frontlines of the war against Satan. He tries to keep people enslaved, but we unite with Christ in order that many may find freedom in Him.

Some Christians look at the world today and believe it is time for the church to close ranks, to withdraw into its ivory towers, and leave the unsaved to the devil’s devices. In the past few years some have begun to talk about losing the so-called “culture wars.” However, retreating in the face of darkness is not an option for the church of Christ. That strategy is not in God’s playbook. As Russell Moore stated in his new book, Onward, the perceived loss of ‘Christian America’ is not a “tragedy”; rather, it is an opportunity for the church “to speak of sin and of righteousness and judgment, of Christ and his kingdom… Our end goal is not Christian America, but the kingdom of Christ, made up of every tribe, tongue, nation, and language.” Certainly, we will face setbacks and disappointments, but the battlecry of the church ought always to be, “onward, Christian soldiers!” We are obligated to keep moving forward.

Part of our shining a light involves our day-to-day lifestyle. Verse 15 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…” Walking circumspectly means “living carefully.” We ought to be diligent and attentive to the way we live our lives. We ought not to be people who live for the thrills of life or to just go with the flow. Often, going with the flow involves getting into foolishness; and we are commanded to live wisely in this wicked world. Matthew Henry said, “Another remedy against sin is care or caution; it is otherwise impossible to maintain purity of heart and life.”

Part of living wisely in the world involves using our time wisely. Verse 16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” This verse carries with it the idea of a businessman seizing upon a good opportunity to turn a profit. Strong’s Lexicon provides this definition: “To make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.”

The word translated “time” literally means a “fixed and definite time” or an “opportunity.” Every day, we are given specific opportunities to do good, to preach Christ, and to shine a light in the world. Every day, we are called to do as Christ did — to share the message of the Kingdom, to provide for the poor, to preach deliverance to captives and freedom to those who are enslaved. Let us awaken from our slumber and reignite our light. The days we live in are evil, but they are full of opportunities to do good.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #60)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: Ephesians 5:11-16

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #60)

In this part of our series, we have considered the works of the children of darkness (or the “children of disobedience”) as well as the reasons why we, the children of light, ought not to be engaged in them. However, we cannot put our heads in the sand (or in the clouds) and simply ignore the darkness that is in the world. It is all around us. It tugs at our hearts and our flesh. The darkness of sin tempt us and try to lure us away from the light. Our children are affected by it. Our spouses are affected by it. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are affected by it. And, of course, the world is enthralled by it.

What do we do? Christ has called us not to just condemn the darkness, but to shine a light in it. As we touched on last week, this process of shining a light should start in the church. We are to reprove (or rebuke) those who claim to be followers of Christ yet are walking in darkness. This should not be done in a spirit of pharisaism or being ‘holier-than-thou.’ Rather, it is simply the nature of light to expose darkness. The two cannot co-exist. John states, “The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Where there is light, the darkness will be banished. When darkness and light meet, there will be conflict.

Our text states, “all things that are reproved [rebuked] are made manifest [exposed] by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest [expose] is light.” If we are walking in the light, we will be irritated by the darkness around us. We will not like it if others in our family, in our church, or in our workplace are engaging in sin. We will be compelled to help them see the error of their ways. That is our obligation to others in the body of Christ.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #59)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: Ephesians 5:8-12

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #59)

Over the past week, much of the talk on the news has centered around the terrorist attack in Paris by an extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State. One of the critical issues that has been discussed is how young men and young women who were raised in modern, democratic countries, taught in public, secular schools, and surrounded by 21st century materialism and culture, can be “radicalized” and drawn into a barbaric, bloodthirsty, murderous organization that has done nothing but spread death and destruction since it emerged on the world scene over a year ago. The FBI has even arrested young people in the United States who were attempting to join or support this organization. Continue reading

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #58)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: Ephesians 5:1-8

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Fighting the Pull of Darkness, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #58)

As Christians, we are called to walk as “children of light.” This means being an imitator of God and striving to be holy as He is holy. As we have seen, however, when we strive to do this, the devil will come alongside us and try to get us to go down a different path. He will try to make us — either willingly or by trickery — choose a path of darkness, to go back to our old ways of sin. His primary goal is to stop us from serving God in any way that he can. Continue reading

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