Anchors of Truth

The Danger of Not Maturing

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. John Lomacang


Series Code: AOT

Program Code: AOT000138

00:13 Welcome to Anchors Of Truth
00:15 live from the 3ABN Worship Center.
00:23 Hello and welcome.
00:24 This is another segment of this series, Anchors Of Truth.
00:29 And in this week you are hearing about, The Danger Zone.
00:34 And the first message was, The Danger of Neglect.
00:38 The second, The Danger of Unbelief.
00:40 Tonight, The Danger of Not Maturing.
00:44 The Danger of Not Maturing.
00:46 The speaker is one that is well known to our 3ABN viewers.
00:49 But perhaps those of you at home, maybe it's the first time
00:53 you hear Pastor John Lomacang.
00:55 And I will tell you, this is a person that, had not the Lord
01:00 said, "John Lomacang, this is the way.
01:05 Walk ye in it," tonight he would be in another place
01:08 perhaps not in the ways of the Lord.
01:10 But the Lord rescued him.
01:12 And as it was in the days of the disciples,
01:15 said to him something similar, "Come and I will make you
01:18 a fisher of men."
01:19 And he gave his heart to the Lord,
01:21 and he's been preaching the gospel.
01:23 Not only by preaching, but also singing.
01:28 So he preaches in different ways; living his life,
01:32 singing, and also preaching.
01:34 And so the Lord has selected him.
01:36 He has prayed much, studied much.
01:39 And he's about to come out soon so that the Lord will use him
01:43 to bring His message to the world,
01:45 to Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
01:47 And people watch us in different way.
01:49 And local TV channel.
01:52 If you're watching and you're blessed,
01:54 please tell us how you are watching the program,
01:58 and what channel it is; if it's a local channel,
02:01 if it's a cable channel.
02:02 We want to know that you are blessed by these programs.
02:04 And we want to encourage the speakers that come on 3ABN.
02:08 And we want to know if the message helped you in some way
02:12 so that we may continue to do this for the honor
02:15 and glory of God's name, and to continue to bless God's children
02:18 all over the world.
02:20 Again the message is, The Danger of Not Maturing.
02:24 Before we continue, we'd like to invite you to pray.
02:27 Those of you at home, those of you that may be in prison
02:31 or in a hospital, we invite you to pray with us.
02:34 After the prayer, we are going to have our musical offering
02:39 by sister Celestine Berry.
02:41 A song that communicates a message,
02:44 People Need The Lord.
02:46 Before that we're going to pray, so we ask everyone here
02:48 to please stand.
02:52 So together let us approach God's throne of grace.
02:57 Our loving heavenly Father, we thank You so much
03:00 for all You do for us.
03:02 And now, Lord, You have called us.
03:04 Called us to listen to this message.
03:08 We pray, Lord, that You will speak to us from Your
03:11 throne of grace through Your servant, Pastor John Lomacang.
03:15 We pray that once again You will bless him
03:18 and fill him with the Holy Spirit.
03:20 Speak to our hearts, help us to understand
03:23 this message that could be a warning for us.
03:27 We ask You, Father, to bless everyone that is here
03:30 and everyone that watches all over the world.
03:33 We ask You for these things in Jesus' holy and blessed name.
03:37 Amen, amen.
03:39 You may be seated.
03:40 We leave you with sister Celestine Berry.
03:44 And right after that we will hear the preaching of
03:46 God's Word in the voice of Pastor John Lomacang.
03:49 May God bless you.
04:07 Every day they pass me by,
04:13 I can see it in their eyes;
04:19 empty people filled with care,
04:26 headed who knows where.
04:32 On they go through private pain,
04:38 living fear to fear;
04:45 Laughter hides their silent cries,
04:51 only Jesus hears.
04:57 People need the Lord,
05:04 people need the Lord.
05:10 At the end of broken dreams,
05:17 He's the open door.
05:24 People need the Lord,
05:30 people need the Lord.
05:36 When will we realize
05:43 people need the Lord?
06:00 We are called to take His light
06:05 to a world where wrong seems right.
06:12 What could be too great a cost
06:16 for sharing life with one who's lost?
06:25 Through His love our hearts can feel
06:31 all the grief they bear.
06:38 We must hear the words of life
06:44 only we can share.
06:51 People need the Lord,
06:57 people need the Lord.
07:04 At the end of broken dreams,
07:10 He's the open door.
07:17 People need the Lord,
07:23 people need the Lord.
07:30 When will we realize
07:36 that we must gives our lives.
07:41 For people need the Lord.
07:55 People need the Lord.
08:26 Thank you, Celestine.
08:28 Amen?
08:31 As someone said earlier, she's not just my secretary
08:35 but she's also a singer.
08:37 And I said, I get two things for the price of one.
08:41 But thank the Lord for that message tonight.
08:44 Normally Mike would be playing, Mike her husband.
08:47 He's a wonderful musician.
08:49 But he's a little under the weather tonight,
08:50 so do keep him in prayer.
08:52 Working out in this warm hot sticky southern Illinois weather
08:56 can really take its toll on you.
08:58 But thank you for that message.
09:00 Because the sermon fits along the lines of how much
09:04 we all need the Lord.
09:06 We started with The Danger of Neglect,
09:08 then The Danger of Unbelief.
09:09 Tonight, The Danger of Not Maturing.
09:12 Let's go before the Lord as we open the Word together.
09:15 Father in heaven, tonight is an opportunity once again
09:18 for divinity to fill humanity.
09:24 And I pray tonight, Lord, that You will subdue my thoughts
09:27 that they will be in harmony with Your thoughts.
09:30 That Your people will hear the message that You intend.
09:34 In Jesus' name, amen.
09:38 The Danger of Not Maturing.
09:41 There are two more topics; The Danger of Drawing Back,
09:44 and then finally tomorrow afternoon,
09:46 The Danger of Refusing God.
09:48 As I pointed out briefly last night, in the Christian life,
09:52 if you begin at the end of these topics and go in the
09:56 opposite direction, you begin to see what you need to do
09:59 to get closer to the Lord.
10:02 You reverse those things.
10:03 You don't reject God, you accept Him.
10:05 You don't draw back, you draw to Him.
10:08 You strengthen your maturity.
10:11 You strengthen your belief.
10:13 And then you choose not to neglect.
10:15 And then you're a strong Christian.
10:17 But as we began with neglect and unbelief,
10:19 the very next stage after unbelief is you fail to mature.
10:24 Let me begin by sharing a story.
10:26 Because the fact of the matter is, everything created is either
10:29 growing or dying.
10:31 Whether animate or inanimate, growth is essential
10:36 to the existence of everything alive.
10:39 When I lived in California, I remember that very well,
10:42 we were living in Antioch, California at the time and
10:45 we had a wonderful kitchen.
10:46 The kitchen sink was where most wives would want it,
10:50 right by a window and she could look outside while
10:52 washing the dishes.
10:54 For some reason my wife wanted that and the Lord blessed us
10:57 with a home that had that.
10:59 One day I was looking by the sink where she kept her plants
11:02 and I saw this small little very thin green branch.
11:09 It was just so small I thought to myself,
11:11 it really wouldn't make any sense,
11:13 she's got the whole large plant; keep that, let's throw this out.
11:17 And as I was walking toward the garbage can
11:20 and I leaned forward, my wife said,
11:22 "Don't you throw my plant out."
11:25 And I said, "Honey, this is not a plant.
11:27 There's the plant right there.
11:28 This is, I don't know what this is, but this is not a plant."
11:31 She said, "Yes, it is."
11:33 Which says to me, we may not at times look like
11:37 there is any life in us, but anything that God creates
11:42 He inserts in that, life.
11:44 What do you say?
11:45 It doesn't look like it all the time, but if you
11:48 give it a chance to grow, it will grow.
11:49 So what happened, I have to tell you the rest of the story,
11:52 my wife took a little paper cup and she put it on the sink.
11:56 A little foam cup and she put some water in there.
11:59 Not enough to drown it, put it on the sink.
12:01 And every day I went to the sink I looked at that cup
12:04 with frustration and disgust.
12:06 I thought, "This is ridiculous.
12:08 She's got a big ole plant and here she is with this little
12:11 whatever it is."
12:13 And a couple of days go by, she'd pour the water out
12:16 and put new water in.
12:18 And would you know it, after a few months that thing
12:21 began sprouting.
12:22 And a few months down the road she was able to give someone
12:26 a brand new plant from that little tiny twig
12:30 that I was about to throw away.
12:32 I want to begin by saying, we've got to be careful
12:34 when we talk about maturing.
12:35 Because some people grow differently than we do,
12:38 and we don't know where they are in their stages of maturity.
12:41 We may be a full grown plant and they could be a fledgling
12:44 looking like there is no life in them.
12:46 But if we connect them to the source of life,
12:49 they will grow.
12:52 In the growth of the Christian, there is no rest area
12:54 in the stages of growth.
12:56 We are either growing or we're dying.
12:58 There is no dismissal from the process of growth.
13:01 When you become a Christian, either you're connected
13:04 to Christ to continue growing or you cease to grow.
13:08 There's no such thing as a stagnant stage.
13:11 There is no neutral lane where we wait to grow.
13:14 We are either growing or we are dying.
13:19 Furthermore, it is not possible to be a Christian and not grow.
13:23 Your claim to Christianity can only be verified
13:26 by examining what grows.
13:29 Now you think about that.
13:30 If you look at the church, people are growing.
13:33 But where they are growing is really the question.
13:35 What they're growing in is really the question.
13:38 I've seen parents sometimes in the store, and you know,
13:41 I get frustrated when I see children
13:43 yelling at their parents.
13:44 Because I know what would happen if it were me.
13:47 At least I knew what happened when I was growing up.
13:48 I couldn't point my finger and yell at my parent
13:51 without some kind of immediate public result.
13:53 Amen?
13:55 But there are children nowadays, and I've heard parents say,
13:57 "Oh, they'll grow out of it."
13:59 There's no such thing as growing out of evil.
14:02 You've got to train up a child in the way they should go.
14:06 And when they are old, after that whole lengthy process
14:09 of training, then they won't depart from it.
14:11 But you don't naturally...
14:13 There's no such thing as a natural heart growing away
14:16 from evil, which is a natural tendency.
14:19 That's why how we grow can only be verified by looking at the
14:23 source of someone's nourishment.
14:25 I mean, consider the analogy further.
14:27 Look at Matthew chapter 7 verses 16 to 18.
14:30 And for those of you tuning in, it's going to be on the screen.
14:32 The Bible says...
14:43 Well the answer is naturally no.
14:57 And this is the law of growth.
15:07 This is an amazing concept.
15:08 Years ago when I was reading a book called,
15:10 The Life Of Victory, the author by the name of Meade MacGuire,
15:14 a post nineteenth century writer just at the turn of the century,
15:17 he said, "We are either growing or we're dying."
15:20 There is no such thing as being connected to a good source
15:24 producing bad fruit or being connected to a bad source
15:28 producing good fruit.
15:30 You've heard the phrase, "One bad apple...
15:33 ...spoils the whole bunch."
15:37 If you don't get rid of that bad apple,
15:38 it's just a matter of time and it's going to spoil
15:40 all the fruit that are around it.
15:42 Including oranges if they're in proximity.
15:45 There's no such thing as a bad tree producing good fruit.
15:49 There's no such thing, think about this, as a stagnant
15:53 Christian connection.
15:55 If we are stagnant, the reason is we are disconnected.
16:00 Because any connection to Christ produces growth.
16:03 And I suggest any connection to Christ produces good growth.
16:08 Look at John chapter 15.
16:10 John chapter 15 verses 4 and 5.
16:13 In order to produce fruit, we must be connected
16:16 to the source of life.
16:18 John 14 verses 4 and 5.
16:20 John 15 verses 4 and 5.
16:22 The Lord says...
16:59 I've had some times to speak to relatives that have
17:03 members of their families that are not Christians.
17:05 And they say to me, "I don't know why
17:07 they don't straighten up."
17:10 And then they say, "I don't know how long it's going to be
17:12 before they do right."
17:13 And then I ask the question, "Are they Christians?"
17:16 They say, "No."
17:18 And then they say, "But they should know better."
17:20 And I say, "Even if they intellectually know better,
17:23 they cannot produce anything until they are
17:26 connected to Christ."
17:28 You cannot produce good fruit if you are a bad tree.
17:31 You've got to cut down the bad tree, get rid of the bad tree,
17:34 and get connected, grafted in to the vine.
17:37 Get grafted in to Christ.
17:40 Only as you're grafted in and connected to Christ
17:42 can anything good begin to be produced in our lives.
17:46 So if you have relatives that are not Christians,
17:47 don't think because they're intellectual or because they're
17:50 educated or because they're adults that they
17:52 naturally should do good.
17:54 There is no good outside of Christ.
17:57 None at all.
17:59 When we come to Christ, when you think about the stages...
18:03 And what I'm going to begin with as I get toward not maturing,
18:06 or talking about the danger of not maturing,
18:08 I want to begin with the process of growth.
18:10 What does it really mean to be a Christian?
18:12 You see, when we come to Christ, when we accept Christ
18:15 in our lives, when we come to Him, before that change
18:19 we are not qualified to produce anything spiritual
18:23 until we sever our connection from the natural.
18:28 In Romans chapter 7...
18:30 I remember a number of years ago I did a series on 3ABN.
18:33 Oh, this was way back maybe 2005 or 2004.
18:37 And when I showed my program outline to production,
18:41 actually, bless her heart, Mollie Steenson,
18:44 I showed it to her, and one of my sermon titles was,
18:46 "Kill Your Husband."
18:47 She said, "John, that's too strong for our audience."
18:50 She said, "You've got to change the title."
18:53 And I said, "Well if you read Romans chapter 7,
18:55 it says the woman is bound by the law to her
18:58 husband as long as he lives."
18:59 And God was talking about the spiritual connection.
19:02 She said, "But you've got to change the title.
19:04 That's just too strong."
19:05 And I preached that in church and I said,
19:07 "I want you to know this is not a suggestion."
19:11 So the title was, Till Death Do Us Part.
19:14 And the fact of the matter is, we are all born
19:17 married to this old nature.
19:20 Romans 6 calls it the old man of sin.
19:24 And so until that old man of sin is put to death
19:26 there's no way that we could be married to Christ.
19:29 You can't marry another man until the man that you were
19:33 married to, in the Bible spiritually, is dead.
19:36 When he's dead the Lord says, "Now you're free
19:38 to marry another man."
19:39 And then as you marry that other man and you connect intimately,
19:42 then the fruit begins to show up.
19:45 We've got to have an intimate connection with Christ
19:47 for the fruit to show up.
19:49 But when we come into that relationship
19:50 we have to understand what that means.
19:52 Look at Romans chapter 8 and verse 5.
19:54 Look what it means to sever the natural connection.
19:57 Romans 8 and verse 5.
20:15 Depending on how you live, it determines what you focus on.
20:17 I talked about that.
20:18 If you live a natural life, you focus on the natural things.
20:22 You focus on the things of the world.
20:24 But if you live a spiritual life, you have developed an
20:26 appetite for spiritual things.
20:28 That's why sometimes when you see people,
20:29 they don't have an appetite for the Bible,
20:31 I can guarantee you they're living in the natural.
20:35 If they don't have an appetite for spiritual things,
20:37 they are not connected to the spiritual source.
20:39 Because there's no way that you can be connected
20:41 to the vine and not produce what's flowing through the vine;
20:45 that is, through Jesus.
20:47 Remember He said, "Without Me you can't do anything.
20:49 If you are connected to Me, you produce much fruit.
20:52 But without Me, you can't do anything."
20:54 And even the desire, even the desire to be spiritual
20:59 cannot occur unless we're connected to the vine.
21:05 The severing of that natural connection is called death.
21:08 The act of death is symbolized by a burial service.
21:12 Look at Romans chapter 6 and verse 3, the burial service.
21:16 The Bible says about this burial service...
21:30 We were baptized into His death.
21:33 In other words, one of the distortions of baptism
21:36 is that it has been distilled down to nothing more
21:39 than church membership.
21:40 I've had people approach me and say,
21:42 "What do I need to do to become a member of your church?"
21:45 And we walk them through, you know, the fundamental classes,
21:47 and we say that.
21:48 But I thought about that today and I said, you know,
21:51 we need to change the title of our baptismal class
21:54 to something called, Making Funeral Arrangements.
21:59 Put your head around that; Making Funeral Arrangements.
22:02 Because then we'll begin to tell people really what
22:05 Christianity is really all about.
22:06 You can't enter that new life until you come to the
22:09 realization that you've got to die.
22:14 Until you say, "I...
22:15 You can't even, you can't be connected to a new source
22:20 until the old source is dead.
22:24 And until we acknowledge that we need to die,
22:26 we won't understand why we need Christ to live the new life.
22:32 I was reading a book, that very same book,
22:33 and I appreciate it so much.
22:35 Matter of fact, it's one of my...
22:36 I read that book so much that the binding fell apart.
22:39 I had to take it for them to give me a new binding
22:41 at one of those Kinko stores.
22:43 Now they put a spiral binding.
22:45 But I remember reading a statement.
22:46 And this is so interesting about the new life.
22:48 The author said, "Can we live naturally at sea?"
22:53 And I thought, what a ridiculous analogy.
22:55 I can't live naturally at sea. I'm not a fish.
22:58 I could stick my head under the water, but I will
23:00 be coming up pretty quickly.
23:01 Anybody, can you say amen to that?
23:03 We will be coming up pretty quickly.
23:04 But he said, he said, "We can live at sea,
23:09 as long as our source of life comes from somewhere else."
23:14 And then he used the deep sea diver as an analogy.
23:16 You know, deep sea divers, you remember years ago...
23:19 I don't know if you see them much nowadays.
23:21 As least I haven't.
23:22 But remember years ago deep sea divers, before we had
23:24 all this advance technology, they use to have this long hose.
23:28 Remember that? This long hose from the boat.
23:31 And you knew where they were because you just had to follow
23:34 the other end of the rope.
23:35 But you also knew that if anything happened to that hose,
23:39 they're in trouble.
23:41 Illustrating if we don't stay connected to Christ,
23:44 in an environment that is not natural to us, we'll die.
23:49 And what we've got to come to the realization of is,
23:51 the spiritual environment is not natural
23:54 to the human environment.
23:56 Let me restate that.
23:57 The spiritual environment is not natural to the carnal man.
24:03 Think about that.
24:05 Even when we're born again, we still have to struggle
24:08 every day with this old fleshy body.
24:11 That's why we're looking forward to the day when
24:13 we will put on the new man.
24:14 Amen, somebody?
24:16 One day this body that has all that bad storage,
24:19 the hard drive needs to be defragged.
24:23 There needs to be a new insert, which is not going to happen
24:25 till Jesus comes.
24:26 We'll get that incorruptible drive.
24:29 Until then, we've got to maintain a day by day
24:32 connection, or else we will die.
24:37 The Christian life requires the death of the natural man
24:42 and the birth of the spiritual man.
24:43 To be a Christian we need a completely new life.
24:47 As we often say on January 1 or December 31st at midnight,
24:51 "Out with the old, in with the new."
24:54 Look at Romans 6 and verse 4.
24:56 It illustrates that very clearly,
24:57 "Out with the old, in with the new."
24:59 Notice what it says.
25:19 When you think about that, if we have entered into this
25:22 relationship with Christ, this thing called the new life,
25:25 we have to keep in mind that the new life for Jesus,
25:28 now listen carefully, His new life began post Calvary.
25:34 Think about that.
25:36 When He said, "All power is given unto Me,"
25:38 even though He is...
25:40 And I never use Jesus in the past tense,
25:42 because He always is.
25:43 "I AM."
25:44 Even though when He came and condescended,
25:46 He is the Son of God, He came in human form.
25:49 And the flesh He had before the cross was
25:51 susceptible to temptation.
25:53 And that's why the devil stalked Him all His life.
25:56 But because He never gave in, because He said,
25:58 "The prince of this world has come, and he has nothing in Me,"
26:00 He survived.
26:01 And on the other side of the cross then He declared,
26:04 "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."
26:08 Which means, post the cross there's something waiting for us
26:14 that we don't get pre the cross.
26:17 Look at Galatians 2 verse 20.
26:19 There's something waiting for us on the other side of
26:21 this crucifixion that we don't get until the crucifixion.
26:25 Galatians 2 verse 20, the Bible says...
26:28 "I have been crucified..." With whom?
26:36 Notice, the source is somewhere else.
26:50 Can the church say amen?
26:52 "I have been crucified with Christ."
26:56 You see, that's what life is all about.
26:57 Until you begin at Calvary...
27:00 Let's look at this, you've got to begin at Calvary.
27:03 Then you've got to go into another condition,
27:06 we're going to talk about that in a moment,
27:08 before the resurrection morning, before the newness of life.
27:12 You've got to begin at Calvary, the place of death.
27:15 And one of the reasons why a lot of Christians don't mature
27:17 is because they really haven't died.
27:19 They became church members.
27:22 They just became church members.
27:23 They've accepted the 28 fundamentals,
27:24 which you can't argue with.
27:26 Amen.
27:27 And they become church members.
27:28 So they are dead...
27:33 ...dead church members.
27:36 Don't take that personally.
27:39 But in order to be alive, in order to have this
27:42 resurrected life, you have to first die.
27:46 You've got to be crucified with Christ.
27:48 You can't do it apart from Him.
27:51 And Jesus illustrated that, how hopeless and helpless
27:54 the old life is in accomplishing the requirements
27:58 of the new life.
28:00 Look at John chapter 3,
28:02 what He said to a man by the name Of Nicodemus.
28:04 John chapter 3, look at verses 6 to 7.
28:07 He said clearly in this night time conversation...
28:25 If you break that down today in common vernacular,
28:29 Jesus said, "Don't be surprised that you need to die."
28:32 Don't be surprised that you need to be born again.
28:35 And this wealthy man, this Nicodemus, this ruler,
28:38 this guy that had it all in society,
28:40 he came to Jesus by night.
28:42 I want to make a point about that.
28:43 It's better to come to Jesus by night
28:46 than not to come to Jesus at all.
28:49 He came by night and he found light.
28:53 I heard on a commercial recently, they said,
28:55 "Even a faint candle could be noticed at ten miles away
28:59 by the naked human eye."
29:01 No matter how faint your light is, the Lord will allow
29:04 that light to shine in the darkest night.
29:06 But what concerns me about this text when it compares to
29:09 spirit and the flesh, there's this philosophy nowadays
29:13 that's going around, this philosophy that I'm locked
29:15 to a particular lifestyle, "Because I was born this way."
29:19 Have you heard that?
29:20 "The reason I'm this way is because I was born this way."
29:25 But that's the reason why Jesus said you must be born again.
29:27 Amen, somebody.
29:28 No matter how you're born, no matter what neighborhood
29:31 you were raised in, you must be born again.
29:34 No matter what society approves of, we must be born again.
29:40 Regardless of your parental or your sibling influence,
29:45 we all must be born again.
29:48 So we can't even claim that, "Well, you know,
29:50 I've got this gene."
29:52 Well I agree with you.
29:54 I agree with that whole genetic disposition to sin.
29:57 Because the Bible says we're all born in sin,
30:00 shapen in iniquity.
30:01 It just depends on what you choose as your sin of choice.
30:05 Regardless of what it is, we all must be born again.
30:08 There is an out.
30:09 There is no need to die in what we're in.
30:13 We can find our out in Jesus.
30:15 Amen.
30:16 Now let's take this to the next level.
30:17 You're born again, you're baptized.
30:22 The baby has been safely delivered.
30:27 They're no longer in the amniotic fluid,
30:30 which I call the water in the baptismal pool.
30:33 The umbilical cord has been cut.
30:36 Meaning, from now on the baby's survival
30:39 is completely dependent on getting nourishment
30:42 from a different source.
30:44 Are you following me?
30:46 I know the parents, I know the moms are right with me.
30:48 After the new birth, the baby's first feeding comes.
30:53 Now I'm going to the level of maturity.
30:57 The baby hasn't had its first bottle,
30:58 the baby hasn't had its first input of source;
31:01 after it was born, post the natal care, the cord is cut.
31:06 Mama ain't giving it anything intravenously any longer.
31:09 It now has to be fed a different way.
31:12 I suggest to you that stuffing solid food into the baby's mouth
31:19 as a first meal will be met by the inability to break it down.
31:27 Mothers, say amen.
31:29 If you keep giving a new baby solid food,
31:34 the baby's inability to handle that solid food
31:37 will result in malnutrition, and eventually a pre-mature death.
31:46 Meaning, when you're born again your diet can't be
31:49 the same as your mother.
31:53 It's got to start off on a different level.
31:57 I'd like to explain why I believe
31:58 baby Christians don't survive.
32:01 They associate...
32:02 Now I'm getting back to the analogy.
32:04 A baby Christian doesn't mean a baby physical.
32:07 But some reasons why baby Christians don't survive
32:10 is they often associate their physical maturity
32:14 with their spiritual maturity.
32:16 They think that because they're adults chronologically
32:18 that they are also adults spiritually.
32:21 And what happens?
32:22 I had some people say, you know, they join the church
32:25 when they're 35 or 40.
32:26 I had a couple walk in here, they were in their 70's,
32:29 and they said, "Well how old is too old to be baptized?"
32:32 And I said, "It's never too old to be
32:34 baptized as long as you're alive."
32:35 Amen, church?
32:37 But you cannot associate a person
32:39 maybe in their 60's or 70's, or God forbid if He gives them
32:42 more than that time, 80's or maybe 90's,
32:44 you cannot associate their physical maturity
32:47 with spiritual maturity.
32:48 It's not the same.
32:49 One is chronological, the other is spiritual.
32:52 That which is born of the flesh is flesh.
32:54 That which is born of the spirit is what? Spirit.
32:57 You've got to keep those two separate.
32:59 But one of the reasons why they don't mature
33:01 is they stop feeding.
33:05 When they stop feeding, things begin to go wrong.
33:08 They don't know what's wrong, but something is.
33:11 Whenever you stop feeding a baby, they start making noise.
33:15 Here's what they do.
33:16 The baby starts crying and gets restless and irritable.
33:20 And no matter what you do, you can't relieve that
33:23 baby's discomfort.
33:24 At that point, any sensible parent would
33:27 take that baby to a doctor.
33:28 Can I get an amen somewhere?
33:31 Now they're at the doctor's office.
33:32 There's a point to this story.
33:33 I don't have any children, but I've learned
33:35 this by reading books.
33:36 Help me out, somebody.
33:39 At the doctor's, the doctor listens to the baby's heartbeat
33:43 and checks the baby's breathing patterns,
33:47 and discovers that its heart is out of rhythm
33:50 and its oxygen levels are low.
33:54 I need to make the spiritual application right here
33:56 before you get lost.
33:57 You see, brothers and sisters, when your heart is out of rhythm
34:00 with God and your oxygen level, meaning you're lacking
34:03 the infilling of the Holy Spirit,
34:05 you've got to pray the prayer of David.
34:06 Here it is. And what is that prayer?
34:09 "Create in me a..." What?
34:10 "...clean heart, O God..."
34:17 I suggest that some of the reasons why Christians are
34:21 always crying and restless and irritable is because
34:24 they have stopped feeding somewhere.
34:28 And they're missing the assurance that comes
34:31 by that connection to Christ.
34:33 But let's go to the next level.
34:35 The doctor writes another prescription for the crying,
34:38 for the constant restlessness, for the irritability,
34:40 and the complaining.
34:42 If you're constantly restless, and you're irritable,
34:44 and you're complaining, and you don't know what's going on,
34:47 you need this prescription.
34:49 Psalm 51 and verse 12, the Bible says...
34:58 What do you say?
35:00 Some people need that.
35:02 Because they're not feeding themselves.
35:04 And when they get weak, all those symptoms show up.
35:07 You wonder why church members are sometimes so irritable?
35:10 I can guarantee you they're not feeding.
35:13 Or I can guarantee you, the other side of that,
35:15 they may have run into somebody that's trying to stuff
35:18 solid food down their throat, and they're not ready
35:21 to digest that.
35:23 Which happens sometimes.
35:24 I remember in one of my former churches
35:27 rebuking one of my elders.
35:29 You know, somebody just came to church, they just got baptized
35:32 a few weeks earlier.
35:33 And they brought what they could to fellowship lunch.
35:35 And you know, people try to do their best.
35:37 At least that's my analogy.
35:38 They brought what they could to fellowship lunch.
35:41 And they put their dish on the table and one of my elders
35:44 that had been eating solid food, it appeared that way,
35:47 for many years, I though he would have been more
35:49 mature than that, but in his solid food mode
35:52 he came to this baby Christian who just joined the church
35:54 a few weeks earlier and said, "Is there any pork in that?"
36:01 And they didn't even know the answer.
36:04 "Uh, it's beans. Not sure."
36:08 Sometimes we could make babies that are new
36:11 suffer from indigestion if we try to stuff
36:14 all of our solid food spiritually into their lives.
36:18 Can you say amen to that?
36:19 We've got to give them room to grow.
36:21 We've got to give them room to develop.
36:22 We've got to give them time.
36:24 Sometimes the doctor concludes that the baby's diet
36:26 and the symptoms will eventually vanish.
36:28 But I tell you, symptoms don't vanish naturally
36:32 unless there's some input to relieve those symptoms
36:35 that we suffer from.
36:38 Peter the apostle suggests what we need to do.
36:40 Look at 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 1 to 3.
36:44 The apostle Paul talks about the baby's formula
36:47 for spiritual maturity.
36:48 Here it is, 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 1 to verse 3.
36:52 Notice it on the screen.
36:54 He says, and this is amazing, he says...
36:56 And he's talking about the irritability here.
37:10 That's what happens with new born babes.
37:12 Sometimes you don't get rid of that stuff quickly enough.
37:14 And then he says...
37:29 Or as the King James Version says, "That the Lord is good."
37:32 We often translate that or transcribe that,
37:35 we often say, "Taste and see that the Lord is good."
37:37 Have you said that before?
37:39 But you've got to taste.
37:40 You've got to know that.
37:42 And sometimes baby Christians die a spiritually premature
37:45 death because they ingest things that prevent their growth.
37:49 They focus on things that rob them
37:51 of their spiritual nourishment.
37:53 That's why, go back to the verse again and look at verse 1.
37:56 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 1 to 3.
37:58 I want you to see verse 1 just very quickly.
38:07 You can take that off the screen now.
38:08 You know, when we come to Christ sometimes those things
38:11 are two weeks behind us.
38:12 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
38:14 If you just came to the church and you just gave you life
38:16 to Christ, but you haven't forgotten how to envy.
38:18 You haven't forgotten what it's like to be a
38:20 person filled with malice.
38:21 You haven't forgotten hypocrisy and all those things that
38:24 went along with your former life.
38:26 Matter of fact, I was giving a Bible class at another one
38:29 of the churches I pastored in Northern California Conference.
38:32 And in my class that particular day
38:33 the conference president was there.
38:36 And when he came in I asked the group to turn to a
38:39 particular Scripture, and they couldn't find it.
38:42 And he said, "Oh, I am so excited.
38:45 They can't find the book of Matthew."
38:49 He said, "That means we've got some new born babes in here."
38:52 Amen?
38:54 And then he went outside and he walked past the exit
38:57 of my office door and he smelled smoke, he said,
39:00 "Oh, that smells so good.
39:03 That means there's somebody here looking for Jesus."
39:05 Amen, church?
39:07 See, you can't let those things irritate.
39:09 You can't let those symbols and signs of the old life
39:12 as the peel away, you can't let that interrupt your flow.
39:15 If you're an adult, let the babies grow.
39:17 Come on say amen.
39:18 Let the babies grow.
39:22 But also as you grow, to focus on the things that have
39:24 no spiritual nourishment leaves little energy
39:28 to spend on things that facilitate growth.
39:30 When the Bible says, "desire,"
39:33 you've got to think about a baby.
39:35 When a baby desires, he stretches out his arms
39:39 to reach his bottle.
39:40 You know, we have to stretch out our arms
39:42 during the week to reach God's Word and study it.
39:46 The Bible can't walk to us.
39:48 We've got to stretch out our arms to study the Word of God.
39:51 What do you say?
39:52 We've got to put some effort in that.
39:55 When we realize that the Word of God is good,
39:58 it's like giving the baby candy for the very first time.
40:01 You know, from that point on when a baby tastes candy,
40:03 they're hooked.
40:05 Matter of fact, I've seen this happen in church
40:08 and I didn't know what it was all about until I realized
40:11 you can give a baby a piece of candy, and they get used to the
40:14 sound of the wrapper.
40:15 Have you noticed that?
40:16 When you open that first piece of candy and you give
40:18 it to them, they heard that...
40:21 Know what I'm talking about?
40:22 I can't do that very well.
40:23 I need a cellophane lip to do that.
40:26 But that week they enjoy that piece of candy,
40:28 but I guarantee you, the next Sabbath you can be
40:31 sitting across the aisle and that sound happens,
40:35 and that baby that can't even say a single word goes...
40:39 They know exactly where that candy is.
40:41 Amen?
40:42 They get use to the sound.
40:43 Because they know associated with that sound
40:46 is something sweet.
40:48 My point is this, David the psalmist wrote in
40:50 Psalm 119 and verse 103...
40:53 If you spend time in God's Word, you'll discover it's addicting.
40:56 Notice what he says, Psalm 119 verse 103.
41:06 You've got to study God's Word, you've got to study God's Word
41:09 to find out how sweet it really is.
41:11 It is sweet, but it's not something we do naturally.
41:14 We've got to put effort into that.
41:15 I've often said to people, study God's Word
41:18 and make it a homework assignment.
41:20 If you make it an assignment like schoolwork,
41:22 because we don't like schoolwork,
41:25 if you make it an assignment like schoolwork,
41:27 you'll eventually develop an appetite for it.
41:32 But now let me flip the script.
41:34 Don't expect baby Christians to behave like adult Christians.
41:38 Don't expect baby Christians to walk like adult Christians.
41:42 Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians chapter 13
41:44 and verse 11, notice this.
41:46 You've got to give them time to get there.
41:48 1 Corinthians 13 verse 11, Paul says...
41:54 Give them time to change their speeches.
42:07 I could count how many times, you know, some members
42:10 that have joined our church that went to other churches,
42:12 they'd say, "See you next Sunday."
42:15 Am I telling the truth?
42:16 "See you next Sun... Oh sorry, I forgot."
42:19 You've got to give them time for all that vernacular to change.
42:22 You've got to give them time for all those
42:25 things that we say and we've got all the acronyms,
42:28 you know, the ADRA, you know, all the things we say.
42:33 We know what 1844 is, we have all of our SDA's.
42:36 All those acronyms that to the new baby is just
42:39 nothing but gibberish.
42:41 We've got to give them room to grow.
42:43 We've got to give them room to grow.
42:44 Don't stress out babies by expecting in a few months
42:48 what has taken you years to develop.
42:51 Amen? Now let me flip the script.
42:53 I talked about the babies, now let's go to the adults.
42:54 Because this is about the danger of not maturing.
42:57 I would like to explain why some adult Christians
42:59 don't survive.
43:00 And this is strange, but I'm going to give
43:03 you the same reason.
43:04 They associate their physical maturity
43:06 with their spiritual maturity.
43:08 They think because they are adults chronologically
43:10 they are adults spiritually.
43:13 Look at Hebrews chapter 5 verse 12 to 14.
43:18 And I suggested earlier that the babies were trying to eat
43:22 too solid a food, but in this suggestion
43:26 the Bible will suggest they're eating the wrong food.
43:29 Hebrews 5 verses 12 to 14.
43:32 The writer says...
44:06 In other words the Bible is saying, if you had a child...
44:10 Let me use an analogy.
44:11 If you took your child to kindergarten
44:15 and they were behaving the same way in fourth grade
44:19 as they were in kindergarten, you'd say, "Something is wrong."
44:24 In the very same way, if Christians that have
44:26 been around a long time like this text is suggesting
44:29 is coming to church...
44:30 I'd have a hard time, but you got to get the picture.
44:32 If a church member comes to church, he's 6'2", nice suit,
44:36 and he takes out a baby bottle and starts drinking it,
44:41 I'm sure that one of the elders would say, "Pastor, I think
44:43 one of our members have just flipped out.
44:47 He's drinking a baby bottle in church."
44:50 Well that's a spiritual analogy to simply say
44:52 there are some members that are like that.
44:54 They don't drink the baby bottle, but they're not
44:56 past the milk yet.
44:58 Because during the week they don't have
44:59 any established study life.
45:01 They don't have a way to get their lives stronger
45:03 than where they were 15 years ago.
45:05 And they say, "Well, I've been an
45:06 Adventist for X amount of years."
45:07 But if you boast that, at least there should be some external
45:11 and spiritual evidence that you are stronger now
45:14 than you were when you first gave your life to the Lord.
45:16 Amen?
45:18 Let me give you some analogies to let you know
45:20 that they're not growing yet.
45:21 Adult Christians should not behave
45:23 irresponsibly like babies.
45:25 When they're behaving like that, they ain't growing.
45:28 Adult Christians should stop talking gibberish like babies.
45:31 Have you ever seen babies?
45:33 They could talk all day long and you have
45:34 no clue what they're saying.
45:36 There are some Christians that way.
45:38 All day long...
45:41 About other folk, about themselves.
45:43 They're griping about the economy,
45:44 they don't have enough money, the car just broke down.
45:47 All day long, gibberish.
45:48 Because they have no connection to Christ
45:50 to strengthen their faith.
45:51 Therefore, stuff comes out that doesn't make sense
45:53 to an adult Christian.
45:55 Adult Christians should not whine when things
45:58 don't go their way, like baby Christians.
46:00 Adult Christians should stop throwing tantrums
46:04 to manipulate folk.
46:07 Adult Christians...
46:09 You've got to wrap your head around this.
46:11 ...should stop leaving a mess for other people to clean up.
46:15 There's a spiritual connection there.
46:17 Amen, somebody.
46:18 And the same Scripture applies.
46:20 Here it is again.
46:21 It's not a duplicate, but it applies right here.
46:36 Adult Christians should learn how to feed themselves.
46:40 Can the church say amen?
46:42 You know, you cannot...
46:43 This thing called Christianity requires more of us
46:46 than just showing up, if we show up,
46:51 than just being in the building, if we are in the building,
46:54 than just spending a thoughtful hour a week
46:57 in corporate worship.
46:58 It requires this day by day diet for us to grow
47:01 and for us to survive.
47:02 You know, I think about that.
47:04 A thought came to my mind and I kind of had to laugh it away,
47:07 but it just came back so I've got to share it with you.
47:10 I laughed it away earlier, but it just came to my mind.
47:12 Christians that try to get their nourishment,
47:17 you know, spiritual nourishment, only through sermons that are
47:19 preached on television...
47:20 Now mind you, it's a great thing.
47:21 Don't change the channel.
47:23 Because you're not near 3ABN.
47:25 But Christians that settle for only watching Christian
47:29 programming on television when they are close enough
47:32 to go and be in the audience, I suggest to them
47:35 that during the week they need to watch the food channel
47:38 to get their nourishment.
47:42 I know you'd catch on somewhere.
47:46 You could look at a hamburger all day long on television,
47:49 but you ain't going to get no nourishment.
47:52 Amen, English teachers.
47:54 You're not going to get any nourishment.
47:55 One night my friend and I were sitting...
47:57 This was long years ago when I was still eating Big Macs
47:59 and all that other stuff.
48:01 About 11:30 we were watching his little 13 inch Sony Trinitron.
48:04 Remember that anybody? Help me out.
48:06 13 inch color Sony Trinitron.
48:08 There we are sitting in our small room, just came back
48:10 from riding our bikes, and this picture of a Whopper
48:14 showed up on the screen.
48:16 And they filled that whole 13 inch screen
48:18 with a picture of this Whopper.
48:19 It was 11:30 at night.
48:20 He said, "Let's go to Burger King."
48:22 And we got up and drove around Brooklyn
48:24 looking for Burger King.
48:25 We ended up going like seven miles because that thing
48:27 looked so good we had to satisfy our appetite.
48:31 And I suggest to you the very same way, if you spend your time
48:33 looking in God's Word, you will not be able to satisfy
48:37 your appetite until you find a place where you can have
48:39 a personal connection and taste how sweet God's Word really is.
48:45 Got to learn how to feed ourselves.
48:46 We should not be as Scripturally ignorant as babies are.
48:49 Ephesians 4, let me move a little quicker now,
48:51 Ephesians 4 verses 14 to 15.
48:54 Notice what the Bible says.
49:05 When you're immature, any new teaching will pull you out.
49:23 And the head is who, Church?
49:25 You show me a Christian that is weak and I'll show you
49:28 someone that does not study.
49:31 Honestly.
49:32 You can't study God's Word and walk away weak.
49:34 It's not possible.
49:36 Because His Word is living.
49:38 His Word is powerful.
49:39 It's filled with nourishment.
49:41 You can't study this book and walk away weak.
49:44 You show me a person, a Christian, with no faith
49:47 and I'll show you somebody who does not pray.
49:51 Studying God's Word will give you a prayer life.
49:54 Studying God's Word will strengthen your faith.
49:56 You don't have to worry about being weak.
49:58 That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14 verse 20,
50:01 notice what he says...
50:02 And then we're going to wind up with the six guidelines
50:04 to facilitate maturity.
50:06 Here it is, he says...
50:15 In other words, in the old life be a babe.
50:19 But in the new life be mature.
50:20 Sometimes kids ask me, "Have you heard this song before?"
50:23 And I say, "Who's that by?"
50:24 And they mention an artist, and I say,
50:26 "I've never heard of their name."
50:27 And I say, "Is that a Christian artist?" They say, "No."
50:29 I say, "Well, I'm glad I don't know their name."
50:31 Help me out somebody.
50:33 I'm always concerned about people that know
50:34 all these worldly songs.
50:36 I say, "What are you listening to?"
50:38 They're always mentioning this newest movie that came out
50:40 or this person that just...
50:41 What are you listening to?
50:43 But let's go fast now.
50:44 The guidelines to facilitate growth.
50:47 Are you ready? Well here we go.
50:48 Study God's Word.
50:50 2 Timothy 2:15.
51:00 Say that with me, "Study God's Word."
51:02 Say that, "Study God's Word."
51:04 The reason is clear.
51:06 2 Timothy 3 and verse 15.
51:08 What does study bring?
51:09 It brings wisdom.
51:10 Paul says...
51:23 Study God's Word and your wisdom will increase.
51:26 You will be wiser than you were before.
51:30 Dr. Ben Carson says the reason why he has grown so
51:33 intellectually is he studied Proverbs.
51:36 He read Proverbs every day when he was growing up.
51:39 You can't read a wise book and not become wise.
51:42 The other reason that you should study your Bible,
51:44 Romans 10 verse 17.
51:46 It increases your faith. Here it is.
51:54 You cannot study God's Word and not have a faith
51:57 that's going to increase.
51:58 That's the first thing, study God's Word.
52:00 Second thing, live out the truth.
52:02 1 Timothy 4 and verse 16, live out the truth.
52:05 Pray, "Lord, give me strength to live it out."
52:07 Here is what he says.
52:20 Not just hearing you, but they are going to look at your life
52:22 and say, "Emma Lou, look at the way Emma Lou is living.
52:24 I wonder what's different about Emma Lou."
52:26 "Been going to church a lot lately.
52:27 Been studying my Bible."
52:29 No wonder. Amen?
52:31 You can't have a life that you are living our your convictions
52:34 and not show some external evidences.
52:36 Third thing, walk in the truth.
52:39 3 John 1 verse 4, notice what the Bible says.
52:42 You want to make the Lord happy?
52:43 Here is what you do.
52:53 Don't just say, "I believe the truth."
52:55 Walk in it.
52:57 If you believe the Sabbath, walk in it.
52:59 If you believe the things that the Bible is teaching,
53:01 live them out.
53:03 Let them reflect in your life.
53:05 Because a person that's a pilot that's never flown
53:07 is not really a pilot.
53:10 The fourth thing, don't miss opportunities
53:14 for corporate worship.
53:16 Hebrews 10 verse 25, the Bible says...
53:35 You know, if you know the plane is going to be landing soon
53:38 and people are going to get onboard,
53:40 don't meander by the restaurant.
53:42 Because they'll come and leave you.
53:44 What is being said in this Scripture is, if you know
53:47 that the Lord is coming soon, we ought to be assembling
53:50 together every opportunity that is given
53:53 to worship corporately.
53:55 And the fifth reason, share your faith.
53:57 Hebrews 13 and verse 16.
53:59 I love this verse.
54:00 Not one that I've discovered too much before,
54:02 but it fits right here.
54:07 Whatever the Lord gives you, share.
54:14 When you share what God has given to you,
54:16 God is well pleased.
54:17 You know, I wish I could see the Lord from heaven saying,
54:20 "Come on, come on. Give him a tract.
54:22 Give him a tract.
54:23 Give him a tract. Oh great.
54:25 He just gave him a tract.
54:27 Now I've got a chance to get to his heart."
54:28 Amen?
54:29 We were at some Chinese restaurant, PF Changs
54:32 in St. Louis, and we were talking to the young man
54:34 that came to wait our table.
54:36 And he asked what we did and we said we just got back
54:39 from where we got back from, we told him.
54:41 He said, "What do you do?"
54:42 "I'm a pastor; I teach, I preach."
54:44 "Really? What church?"
54:45 And I told him all that.
54:46 My wife said, "Go get some tracts."
54:48 So I ran to the car and got two tracts and came back.
54:51 And when he brought the bill, I put it in there with a nice tip.
54:54 You know, you've got to pay them to read that tract.
54:56 With a nice tip, and gave him, "Here's my card.
54:59 3ABN, go to that website.
55:00 Here's another one;"
55:02 Amen, Amazing Facts.
55:04 But you've got to plant those seeds.
55:06 You've got to share your faith.
55:07 When you do that, I like this text,
55:08 "But do not forget to do good and to share,
55:10 for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
55:14 "Oh, they shared their faith with somebody else."
55:17 You don't got to preach a whole sermon.
55:20 Just give them something to read.
55:22 And finally, the sixth thing we must do so that we will mature
55:27 is watch and pray.
55:30 Luke 21 verse 36, here's what the Bible says.
55:32 And I want us all to read this together.
55:34 Are you ready? Here we go.
55:53 Watch and pray.
55:54 Share your faith.
55:55 Don't miss opportunities for corporate worship.
55:59 Walk in truth.
56:00 Live out the truth.
56:01 Study God's Word.
56:03 These guidelines apply to your life.
56:06 I tell you, I love baseball.
56:09 But I haven't played baseball in years.
56:11 I like basketball.
56:12 Sometimes I play it too much.
56:15 But whatever a person is convicted by,
56:16 whatever a person has living in his or her heart
56:19 is going to be a part of their daily activity.
56:22 You want to find out a person that loves computers?
56:24 Listen to their conversation.
56:26 They talk about computers.
56:27 People that like digital phones, listen to their conversation.
56:30 They talk about the next new phone coming out.
56:32 "Have you heard about the iPhone 6
56:34 and the new Samsung?"
56:35 They talk that kind of language.
56:36 If you want to find a Christian, I would suggest to you that
56:39 if it's in here, it's going to come out.
56:40 Because out of the abundance of the heart,
56:42 come on now, the mouth speaks.
56:44 If you want to mature, get it in here
56:47 and it's going to come out here.
56:49 You don't have to force a tree to grow.
56:52 If it's connected, it's going to grow.
56:54 Amen, somebody.
56:55 If you get connected to Christ, that's the first step
56:58 in defeating your immaturity.
57:01 Get connected; study your Word.
57:03 live out the truth, walk in truth,
57:05 didn't miss opportunities for corporate worship,
57:07 share your faith, and watch and pray.
57:09 And when you do that, you'll come to church
57:12 and you'll see a change in people's lives.
57:14 But even more than seeing change in other people's lives,
57:17 it is God's desire that each one of us reflect to the world
57:21 a change in our lives.
57:23 Is Jesus coming soon, church? Amen?
57:26 If you want to get ready for the coming of the Lord,
57:28 get busy today.
57:29 God bless you.
57:30 Let us pray.


Revised 2015-01-27