Posts Tagged ‘ preaching ’

The Love of Christ and the Hatred of the World, Part 4 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 251)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 15:18-23

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 251.

John MacArthur said, “If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.”

Why would Jesus’ disciples be hated by the world? We saw yesterday that one of the reasons why is that the world does not know the Heavenly Father. The world has its own ideas about who God is. However when the real God is presented to them through the person of Jesus Christ, He challenges their lifestyle, He upends the status quo and they do not like this. They fight back against this God-invasion and God’s soldiers take the heat.

But there is another reason why the world hates the disciples of Christ that is revealed to us in verse 21. Jesus says, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” Basically, Jesus is saying, ‘When I came I revealed their sinfulness — the sinfulness that they had grown accustomed to, the sinfulness that they had become comfortable with, the sinfulness that they had come to love. I was the light shining in the darkness of their hearts, exposing them for what they truly are. For this, they hated Me, and if you let your light, my light shine in the world, they will hate you too.’

The Jewish religious establishment was supremely dedicated to the rigorous keeping of the Law. They had gone above and beyond the laws that God had given to Moses, adding in the interpretations, opinions, and customs of rabbis, and saying people had to obey those too. They were very religious. They thought they were righteous. But, when Jesus came, He exposed the religious leaders as whitewashed graves, blind guides leading the blind. It is not that they were not sinners before Jesus came, it is just that they were blind to their own sinfulness.

When one is found to be in error, the appropriate response is to correct one’s behavior. But that is not what most of the Jews did. Instead they became more entrenched in their ways and turned their hatred on Jesus Christ. Like cockroaches, they hated the fact that the light had been turned on in their lives. They wanted to scurry back into the darkness where they had grown comfortable. Instead of adopting a new lifestyle, they cursed the sun.

Jesus had pulled back the pristine, religious curtain exposing the writhing, maggot-infested mass of skeletons and death behind it. Now, “they had no cloak for their sin.”

In C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, all of the planets in our solar system are described as being in a great heavenly dance — all of the planets except Earth. Each planet is ruled by powerful, angelic beings who are loyal to the Creator. Earth lost its place in the heavenly dance when its ruler rebelled against the Creator and became what Lewis describes as “bent” or “crooked.” In fact, our whole planet is bent, but we do not know it. Only when one of the rulers from another planet enters our world and makes its presence known does it becomes clear that there is something wrong, twisted, crooked, or bent with our world. One character who is confronted with this realization says, “Here at last was a bit of that world from beyond the world, which I had always supposed that I loved and desired, breaking through and appearing to my senses: and I didn’t like it, I wanted it to go away. I wanted every possible distance, gulf, curtain, blanket, and barrier to be placed between it and me.”

When the Jews of Jesus’ day were confronted with the long-awaited Messiah, they saw how wrong they were. They had no more excuses for remaining in the darkness of sin and false religion. But, instead of changing their lifestyle, they hated Jesus and wanted Him to go away. They did not like being exposed. When Jesus’ disciples continued preaching the Gospel about the Light of the World who exposed the darkness of men’s hearts, they experienced this hatred as well.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are being confronted with Him even now. His perfection, His holiness, His divinity exposes all that is sinful and imperfect about each of us. We can either recoil from the light and try to scurry back into the darkness. Or we can invite the Light of the world to take up residence in our souls.

We can say with Horatius Bonar:

O Light of light, shine in!
Cast out this night of sin,
Create true day within:
O Light of light, shine in!

O Joy of joys, come in!
End Thou this grief of sin,
Create calm peace within:
O Joy of joys, come in!

O Light, all light excelling,
Make my heart Thy dwelling;
O Joy, all grief dispelling,
To my poor heart come in!

Dear sinner, what will you do with Christ? Will you block Him out or let His light shine in? Here is how you can receive Him as your Lord and Savior today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner 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 punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting 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.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

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

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The Love of Christ and the Hatred of the World, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 250)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 15:18-23

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 250.

A.C. Dixon said, “When we think of God, we are apt to think of Him in human form. In the Epiphanies of the Old Testament God revealed Himself to Joshua and others in human form. In Jesus, He puts Himself within the compass of our highest conception, in order that He may make Himself real to us in His love and sympathy and power.”

Throughout Jesus’ ministry one of the things that probably baffled the disciples the most was the hatred that they saw directed against Jesus? Perhaps they found it hard to understand why everyone else did not see Jesus as they did — particularly the religious establishment who should have recognized the signs that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. As Jesus continues telling His disciples about the persecution they will face, He lets them know that they will face such baffling persecution as well. The question is, “Why?” And now, Jesus provides the answer. He says, “All these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

This reasoning is to be applied directly to the religious Jewish community that opposed the preaching of the Gospel. These Jews led by their rabbis and priests who were students of Old Testament Scripture believed that they knew God. They thought they had God all figured out, explained, and squared off in a box. When Jesus came as God in the flesh, however, He did not fit their idea of God. God was not what they expected. The Gospel was not the kind of message they anticipated the Messiah to bring. They thought they knew God, but found out that they were wrong about who He is. They did not know Him personally, so they could not recognize Him in Jesus Christ.

The InterVarsity Press Commentary on this passage says, ‘Jesus’ statement that the disciples would be persecuted because of His name is a reference to God’s identity and character as it is made manifest in Christ. Jesus cannot be understood apart from the Father, so He concludes that the reason they reject Him is their ignorance of the One who sent Him. This is the core problem.’ When Jesus came, He did not condone the religious activities that were being carried out in the name of God. He rebuked the Jews for turning God’s house into a den of thieves. He rebuked them for twisting the Law, which was supposed to be a blessing to man, into something that was oppressive and a curse. The Jewish religious establishment hated Jesus for this. And, by consequence, they hated God, for as Jesus said, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.”

People today who do not know the one, true God through Jesus Christ have come up with their own ideas of who God is. Some believe that God is the universe and the universe is God. Some believe that God is a spirit that pervades every living thing — that we are all a part of God, and God is a part of all of us. Others believe that all religions are a different pathway to the same God. Some believe that God is dead. And still others believe that man himself is the only god in the universe.

In our pluralistic and morally ambiguous society, all of these beliefs are supposed to be accepted as equally valid. Therefore, when you or I, as Christians, state that there is only one God, eternally existent, that His Son Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and that the only way one can know the Father is through the Son, you can expect opposition. You will be told that you are intolerant of other people’s beliefs. People will hate you. They will not want to accept this idea of a one, true God to whom there is only one path. Why? Because they want to follow their own way. They want to believe their truth. And they intend to live life the way they want to.

However, when they are confronted with God as displayed through Jesus Christ, they have to make a decision about how they will live the rest of their life. If they wish to continue on the path they are on, they will end up hating you if you persist in telling them the truth. While it may be difficult, we must realize that their hatred is really directed at Christ and God. Their hatred of Christ only shows us that they really do not know God no matter what they might say, and this should cause us to redouble our efforts to draw them into the body of Christ.

Samuel John Stone wrote:

Amid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
The church awaits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blessed,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
In love may preach for Thee.

The world will always be in opposition to Christ and ignorant of the true God. But if you are in the world, you do not have to remain in that position. Jesus came so that men might know God through Him. Will you receive Him as your Savior today? Here is how.

First, please understand that you are a sinner 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 punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting 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.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

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

The Love of Christ and the Hatred of the World, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 248)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 15:18-19

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 248.

R.W. Dale said, “The real truth is that while Jesus came to preach the gospel, His chief object in coming was that there might be a gospel to preach.”

Although Jesus has been trying to comfort the disciples, He tells them the truth that, as they try to carry on with His work after He is gone, the world will hate them. Even in this, though, they can find comfort in the fact that Jesus bore the brunt of the world’s hatred first. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

Not everyone in the world hated Jesus when He was here, but the world system, the world order was opposed to Him and His message. Even the Jewish religious system showed itself to be a part of the world by its hatred and rejection of Jesus Christ. The same world system would hate Jesus’ disciples. Jesus had called them out of the world and set them apart. They were now citizens of God’s kingdom and the world would see them as the enemy.

Warren Wiersbe said: “If they hated Jesus, they will also hate those of us who are identified with Him. In the next verse, Jesus quoted a statement He had made earlier, and the logic of it is clear. He is the Master; we are the servants. He is greater than we are, so He must receive the praise and glory. But the world will not give Him praise and glory! The world hates Him, and therefore the world must hate us. If with all of His greatness and perfection, Jesus does not escape persecution, what hope is there for us with our imperfections?”

Jesus’ disciples were hated by the world because they carried on Jesus’ work. They were a threat to the hold that Satan had over many people’s lives. The world saw them as invaders, threatening the established order of things — an order that most people had grown accustomed to. If more people started turning to Christ, then the world system (which was set up and run by Satan) would grow weaker. That is why the Jewish religious establishment fought so hard against the early church — they did not want to lose the influence they had over people’s lives.

There is a very powerful example of the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the World found in the book of Acts. One day, the Apostle Paul went to preach in the city of Ephesus. The Bible says that he preached there for three months and many people were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke reports that, “mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” There was witchcraft and dark magic being practiced by people in the city and many who became Christians confessed to this. But not only did they confess, “many which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men.” The value of the books was said to be 50 thousand pieces of silver. As Paul continued in the city and as more and more people came to Christ, there was a group of businessmen who took notice. These businessmen were silversmiths and they made a lot of money off of the sale of miniature statues of the goddess Diana. Well, with more people turning to Christ, their market began to shrink, and they began losing money because nobody was buying the statues. Demetrius, one of the leaders of the silversmiths realized what was happening, got his fellow silversmiths together, and they started a riot in the city, capturing two of Paul’s fellow ministers and dragging them into the theater. Paul only escaped capture because some of the other disciples and “certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends” convinced him not to try to go into the theater.

We see here that when the Gospel is preached, the world system is threatened. And when Satan sees his grip on the world loosening, he and his followers will respond with violence and hatred.

The world’s hatred is, of course, in contrast to Jesus’ command for His disciples to love each other and to love the world. Jesus’ people are defined by love — a love that compels them to tell the world the truth even if telling the truth means being hated by the world.

Isaac Watts wrote:

When I can read my title clear
to mansions in the skies,
I’ll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes.

Should earth against my soul engage,
and fiery darts be hurled,
then I can smile at Satan’s rage,
and face a frowning world.

Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
and storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all.

The world system is still at work today. If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a part of that system. Today, Christ is offering you the truth of the Gospel so that you can be set free.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “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.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting 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.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

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

The Problem of the Ignorant Believer, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #51)

BANNER-pilgrimsprogress50


TEXT: Acts 17:10-12

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

The Problem of the Ignorant Believer, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #51)
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I trust that over the past week, you have taken some steps to increase your Biblical knowledge. I hope that you have adopted the spirit of the believers at Ephesus as described in the book of Acts rather than the spirit of the young man named Ignorance in the book, Pilgrim’s Progress. As you will recall, Ignorance was proud, arrogant, did not have a healthy respect for the Word of God, and refused to at least consider new knowledge regarding the Christian life when it was offered to Him. In contrast, the Christians at Ephesus were humble, honest about their ignorance, and they eagerly accepted the opportunity to grow in the faith through the receiving of new knowledge.

However, a word of caution must be issued to believers today. While all of us ought to want to grow in the faith and know more about the ways of God, we must be careful how we go about gaining that knowledge. Every preacher who comes on TV or the radio is not necessarily a good source of Biblical knowledge. Every bestselling “Christian” book is not a good source of Biblical knowledge. We must be wise in how we grow in the knowledge of God.

In our passage for today, we find a group of believers who grow the right way. They had a similar spirit as the believers in Ephesus. The Bible says that Paul and Silas came to the city of Berea and preached the Gospel to the Jews in the synagogue. We read that these Jews “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Their actions are an example for us today. Continue reading

The Problem of the Ignorant Believer, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #50)

BANNER-pilgrimsprogress50


TEXT: Acts 19:1-6

1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

The Problem of the Ignorant Believer, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #50)

A recent survey found the following to be true:

– 60% of people believe that Satan is not a “living being”
– 58% of people believe that the Holy Spirit is not a “living entity” but “a symbol of God’s presence and power”
– 22% of people believe that Jesus was not sinless
– Many do not believe that the Ten Commandments are actually “commandments,” but are “warnings.”

Christians today lament the level of ignorance about the things of God in the world, but the statistics that I just read to you are true among people who claim to be Christians. Yes, many Christians are, sadly, ignorant about basic Christian doctrine. Many churches have failed to teach their members, and many Christian parents have failed to teach their children. Thus, we have generations of Christians who are stunted in their spiritual growth. This lack of Biblical knowledge among Christians is part of the reason for the moral decline in our society. Dr. Albert Mohler said, “How can a generation be biblically shaped in its understanding of human sexuality when it believes Sodom and Gomorrah to be a married couple? No wonder Christians show a growing tendency to compromise on the issue of homosexuality. Many who identify themselves as Christians are similarly confused about the Gospel itself. An individual who believes that ‘God helps those who help themselves’ will find salvation by grace and justification by faith to be alien concepts.”

Every Christian must be committed to a Biblical foundation for his life. This can only be done if we take the time to read and study the Bible and learn from Christian teachers. We do not want to be ignorant Christians. In his classic story, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan introduces us to a character named Ignorance. He comes from the country of Conceit, and he embarks on a journey to the Celestial City. Please listen as I read a portion of his discussion with Christian and Hopeful as they walk on the straight and narrow way:

And I slept and dreamed again, and saw the same two pilgrims going down the Mountains along the highway toward the Celestial City. Now a little below these Mountains on the left-hand side lies the country of Conceit, and from it originates a little crooked lane along which pilgrims walk since it enters into the straight way. Therefore here they met a very brisk lad named Ignorance.

So Christian asked him, “From where have you come? And where are you going?”

Ignorance said, “Sir, I was born in the country that lies on our left-hand side, and I am going to the Celestial City.”

Christian said, “But how do you imagine that you shall gain entrance at the gate? Will you not encounter some difficulty there?”

Ignorance said, “Just as other good people have gained entrance there, so will I.”

Christian replied, “But what acceptable qualification can you show at the gate so that it will be opened for you to enter?”

Ignorance said, “I know my Lord’s will and I have lived a good life; I have repaid every man to whom I was in debt; I frequently pray, fast, pay tithes, and give alms to the poor, and have forsaken the land of my birth so that I might arrive as a pilgrim.”

Christian said, “But you did not enter in at the Wicket-gate, that is at the commencement of this straight way. Rather you came in here by means of that crooked lane, and therefore I fear, whatever you may think about yourself, that when the day of final reckoning [judgment] comes, you will be accused of being a thief and a robber instead of qualifying as a legitimate entrant for the City.”

Ignorance said, “Gentlemen, you are utter strangers to me; I do not know you, so be content to follow your religion and I will be content to follow mine. I do hope that all will be well. And as for the gate that you talk about, all the world knows that it is a great distance away from our country. I cannot imagine that any man in our regions knows anything about the way to it. Furthermore, there is no need for them to be concerned about it since we have, as you can plainly see, a fine, pleasant, green lane that leads from our country down into the way right here.”

Four things we notice about Ignorance are that: (1) Contrary to Scripture, he believes he is a good person. (2) He is depending on his good works to get him into the Celestial City. (3) He has no real interest in the gospel; he just wants it for what he can get out of it — going to Heaven. (4) He is ignorant, and when he is informed of his ignorance, he shrugs it off, showing that he has no real desire to grow in the faith.

The attitude of this young man stands in contrast to the Ephesian believers described in our passage today. The Bible tells us that Paul came to Ephesus and “found certain disciples.” Now something about these disciples concerned Paul so much so that he was led to ask them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Paul did not sense the Holy Spirit among these believers, and that troubled him since they claimed to believe in Jesus. These disciples replied, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”

Apparently, these believers knew something about Jesus. They knew enough to decide to become His disciples. But, they did not know the whole story. They were ignorant. We find out why from their answer to Paul’s next question. Paul asks, “Unto what then were ye baptized?” The Ephesian Christians answer, “Unto John’s baptism.” Now, we see their problem, as Paul states, was that “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

The Ephesian believers had taken hold of the teachings of John the Baptist, and they were baptized under that knowledge. However, John only preached up until the time that Jesus Christ came on the scene. John preached of the coming Messiah, not the Messiah who came, was crucified for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose from the dead. John called on people to repent of their sins in preparation for the coming Savior; he did not call on people to trust Christ who had paid for sin and made it possible for people to be forgiven of their sins. The Ephesian Christians had some of the story, but not all of it. They were doing the best they could with the knowledge they had, but they were ignorant.

In contrast to the young man named Ignorance in Pilgrim’s Progress, these believers were willing to admit their ignorance. When they were told about the Holy Spirit, they readily said that they had never heard of Him. When Paul pointed out their error, they were eager to learn and receive the new knowledge and experience that God had in store for them. The Bible says, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

By being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, these young disciples of Christ experienced a tremendous growth spurt. They graduated from their limited knowledge and experience into the knowledge of salvation through Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. By listening to and taking heed to Paul’s message, they grew older in the Lord.

God does not intend for us to remain ‘babes in Christ.’ He does not want us to stay ignorant young believers who never progress into the greater things that God has in store. As C.S. Lewis would say, we ought to always be moving “further up and further in” to the knowledge and experience of God through the hearing of the Word, through the study of the word, and through our interactions with other believers. More than ever, our world needs mature Christians who are prepared to do battle for God in an increasingly hostile society. We cannot afford to be ignorant Christians.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

Living in the Days of Noah and Lot, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #37)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress


TEXT: Luke 17:26-33

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

32 Remember Lot’s wife.

33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Living in the Days of Noah and Lot, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #37)

So far, from this passage, we have looked at the example of Noah — a wise man who lived in perilous times, as well as the example of Lot — a worldly man who lived in perilous times. The days of Noah and Lot are much like our own. Even as negative events, disasters, wars, crime, and sinfulness are on the rise, most people are just going about their day-to-day activity with no thought of God’s judgment and no thought of the impact of sin on society.

We saw in Noah’s example a man who feared God, obeyed God, led his family to obey God, and faithfully preached righteousness in his generation. However, we saw in Lot, a man who loved wealth and power far too much. Even though he was a saved man, he compromised his beliefs, did not lead his family to obey God, lost any Godly reputation that he may have had, and did not speak against the sins of his day. In our day, we are challenged to follow Noah’s example, not only as examples of righteousness, but as preachers of righteousness as well.

Today, we turn our attention to the third person Jesus highlights in this passage: “Remember Lot’s wife.” What did Jesus mean by that expression? What does this woman who lived thousands of years ago have to do with people who are likely witnessing the last days? Why did Jesus relate what happened to this woman to the disciples and to our day? Continue reading

Living in the Days of Noah and Lot, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #36)

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress

PART A


PART B


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Luke 17:26-33

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Continue reading

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