Foundation of Our Faith

The Enemies of the Goal

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: John Lomacang (Host), Pr. Dwayne Lemon


Series Code: FDOF

Program Code: FDOF000031A

00:20 Hello and welcome to Foundation of Our Faith,
00:22 a production of the Dare to Dream Network
00:24 here at 3ABN.
00:26 My name is John Lomacang.
00:28 I'll be your host for this program.
00:31 Our speaker for this episode is Elder Dwayne Lemon,
00:35 a young man who found deliverance in the Lord
00:37 that found him in the R&B and hip-hop industry.
00:41 The Lord called him out of the world,
00:42 and now he is traveling the world
00:45 and reflecting the glory and beauty of the message
00:48 and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
00:51 He's gonna bring a message today entitled
00:53 "The Enemies of the Goal."
00:55 What are the enemies? And what is the goal?
00:57 You'll find out about that in this message.
01:00 The Lord has called him to share also in the preaching,
01:03 teaching, and healing ministry,
01:05 and he believes that medical missionary work
01:08 along with the three angels' message
01:10 is a combination that will help people get ready
01:12 for the coming of our Lord.
01:14 We know that we're gonna be blessed today by his message.
01:17 But before he comes, Esther Alonso-Neal
01:19 is going to be blessing us
01:21 with a song entitled "My Life is in Your Hands."
01:24 As you listen to this minister of music,
01:27 one who has traveled the world,
01:28 one who is known internationally,
01:30 one whose desire and goal is to share Jesus
01:32 in multiple languages,
01:34 you'll discover through this minister of music
01:36 that surely our lives are in the hand of the Lord.
01:49 Life can be so good
01:53 Life can be so hard
01:58 Never knowing what each day
02:02 Will bring you where you are
02:07 Sometimes I forget
02:11 Sometimes I can't see
02:16 That whatever comes my way
02:20 You'll be with me
02:24 My life is in Your hands
02:29 My heart is in Your keeping
02:34 I'm never without love
02:37 Not when my future is with You
02:42 My life is in Your hands
02:47 And though I may not see clearly
02:52 I will lift my voice and sing
02:56 'Cause Your love does amazing things
03:02 Lord, I know my life is in Your hands
03:16 Nothing is for sure
03:19 Nothing is for keeps
03:24 All I know is that Your love
03:28 Will live eternally
03:33 So I will find my rest
03:36 Yes
03:37 And I will find my peace
03:42 Knowing that You'll meet my every need
03:50 My life is in Your hands
03:55 My heart is in Your keeping
04:00 I'm never without hope
04:03 Not when my future is with You
04:09 My life is in Your hands
04:13 And though I may not see clearly
04:18 I will lift my voice and sing
04:22 'Cause Your love does amazing things
04:28 Lord, I know my life is in Your hands
04:36 When I'm at my weakest point
04:40 You carry me
04:45 And I'll be at my strongest
04:49 In Your hands
05:12 My life is in Your hands
05:17 Though I may not see clearly
05:22 I will lift my voice and sing
05:26 'Cause Your love does amazing things
05:32 Lord, I know my life is in Your hands
05:40 I trust You Lord
05:43 My life is in Your hands
06:08 We are so grateful and so thankful
06:12 when we can have the assurance, the blessed assurance
06:16 that our lives are in the hands of the Master.
06:21 When our lives are in the hands of the Master,
06:23 we can resonate with those words
06:25 that were said well over 100 years ago
06:28 that we have nothing to fear for the future,
06:32 except as we forget the way the Lord has led us
06:35 and His teachings in our past history.
06:39 I am so grateful that we have the privilege
06:42 to speak the words of God
06:44 and to hear the words of God at such a time as this.
06:47 May God bless each and every one of us
06:49 as we hold to the blessed assurance
06:52 and let it be a true testimony
06:54 that our lives are in His hands.
06:58 By the grace of God today, the Lord is gonna challenge
07:01 each and every one of us and not only challenge us
07:04 but also help us to hold fast and hold fast to the end.
07:09 My son is a pianist and he,
07:13 once the Lord gave him his gift,
07:15 I would always ask him to play before Daddy would speak
07:17 the Word of God to God's people.
07:19 And my favorite song is "Hold Fast till I Come"
07:24 Hymn number 600.
07:26 And I think about that right now,
07:29 you know, we're living in some very serious times,
07:32 some very solemn times, and we need the assurance
07:35 that our lives are in His hands and that we must hold fast
07:39 until He comes
07:41 because today we're gonna talk about
07:43 this principle, this reality
07:48 that there are enemies to the goal
07:50 that God wants to be accomplished.
07:52 And any time we have to talk about
07:54 getting ready to face our enemies,
07:56 you know, that causes different emotions
07:58 to rise up in the heart of people
08:00 but my hope and my prayer
08:02 is that our hearts will not be filled with fear,
08:05 but we will be filled with courage
08:08 that we will be able to know
08:10 that we can do all things through Christ
08:11 who strengthens us
08:12 and that when the rest of the world
08:14 turns into cowards that we must learn
08:18 to gather strength from their weakness,
08:21 we must gather warmth from their coldness,
08:24 and we must gather courage from their fear.
08:28 And my hope and my prayer
08:29 is that each and every one of us
08:31 will take courage in our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ
08:36 and to stand upon His truth for this time
08:38 as we prepare to meet our God.
08:42 I believe the best way to prepare our hearts
08:43 for this message is through a word of prayer.
08:45 And so again, I'm gonna go to my knees,
08:47 and if you'd like, you can go ahead and join me,
08:49 you can kneel with me as well,
08:50 otherwise, let's just bow together
08:52 and let's pray
08:53 and let's let the Lord speak to our hearts.
08:57 Our loving Father,
08:58 we are grateful for the privilege
09:00 and the opportunity to hear heaven speak.
09:03 Lord, we thank You so much
09:05 that we can study Your words of truth
09:08 and that we might receive it within our heart.
09:11 Lord, I am praying that You will please abide with us
09:14 as You will grant us
09:15 the presence of Your Holy Spirit
09:17 and that He may minister to our hearts
09:19 and open our eyes and help us
09:20 behold wondrous things out of your word.
09:23 Make Your word plain to us today
09:26 for we ask it all in Jesus' name.
09:28 Amen.
09:31 I would like to go ahead
09:33 and begin by simply encouraging us
09:34 to turn to the book of 1 Peter 1.
09:37 We're talking about "Enemies of the Goal",
09:40 and we're gonna define
09:41 the various points of enemies in just a moment,
09:43 but I think we need to understand the goal.
09:45 What is it that God wants to accomplish
09:47 at the end of the day?
09:50 In the book of 1 Peter, we're gonna consider chapter 1,
09:53 and when we look at 1 Peter 1,
09:56 we're gonna consider verses 15 and 16 specifically.
09:59 And you will notice that the Bible says in 1 Peter 1,
10:02 and we're now looking at verses 15 and verse 16.
10:07 And here's the great goal of God.
10:09 The Bible says,
10:10 "But as He which hath called you is holy,
10:14 so be ye holy," and how much?
10:18 "In all manner of conversation.
10:21 Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy."
10:26 Now the reason why I highlight this verse here,
10:30 there's a reason for it.
10:31 Some of us think that the mere goal
10:33 of the church is to preach the Gospel.
10:35 Well, my friends, you can preach the Gospel all you want.
10:38 If it does not produce what God wants,
10:40 then we're gonna continue preaching
10:42 until God gets what He wants
10:43 because I've learned something about
10:45 my Father and your Father in heaven.
10:46 He will not be satisfied till He gets what He wants.
10:51 And God does not just want a whole bunch of preachers,
10:54 God does not just want a whole bunch of teachers,
10:57 God does not want us to simply carry forth a message
11:00 by which we know nothing
11:01 of its corresponding experience.
11:03 God says that the message
11:06 is to be realized in the lifestyle.
11:10 When you look at that word conversation in 1 Peter 1:15,
11:14 it's not just talking about words,
11:16 it's talking about the way we live.
11:18 "In all manner of conversation, in all manner of lifestyle,"
11:22 God says, "I want you to be holy people."
11:26 You see, my friends, God is holy,
11:28 and the only people that God can allow
11:31 in His house are people like Him.
11:34 Nobody is going to get to heaven
11:37 because they're simply good preachers.
11:39 No-one gets to heaven simply because they're good teachers.
11:42 No-one gets into the kingdom
11:44 because we are phenomenal at professing.
11:47 That's one of the reasons for the judgment.
11:49 The judgment is gonna expose the true from the false.
11:52 It's gonna help really show who are the ones
11:55 that really have been justified by faith
11:57 versus those who have been talking a message
12:00 but are void of its experience.
12:02 And so God wants us to have an experience with Him,
12:05 and that experience is holiness
12:07 for when the character of Christ,
12:10 which is holy, you remember in Luke 1:35,
12:13 literally, Jesus was referred to in a very beautiful term.
12:17 And I want you to look at it. Luke 1:35. Think about it.
12:19 In Luke 1, it was right there in the 35th verse,
12:24 here's what the Bible says,
12:25 as it was describing Jesus Himself.
12:27 It says in Luke 1:35.
12:29 "And the angel answered and said unto her,
12:33 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
12:35 and the power of the Highest
12:37 shall overshadow thee, therefore also that..."
12:40 what kind of thing?
12:41 "That holy thing..." Notice that.
12:43 "That holy thing which shall be born of thee
12:46 shall be called the Son of God."
12:48 Jesus, my brothers and my sisters,
12:51 is holy and what God wants
12:53 is He wants us to reflect the lovely image of Jesus
12:57 before we get to the kingdom.
12:58 And so if Jesus is Holy, then we must be Holy,
13:02 and that's the goal.
13:04 God wants all the preaching, all the teaching,
13:06 all the evangelism, all the benevolent work,
13:09 everything must bring us to a place
13:12 that we're not just "good people"
13:15 but we are holy people, just like God.
13:20 And, my brothers and sisters, the reality is this,
13:23 when we seek to become holy as God is Holy,
13:27 when we are willing to accept Christ
13:29 our righteousness, our holiness,
13:31 our sanctification,
13:32 when we are willing to let Jesus
13:35 have full complete dominion over all the choices
13:38 that we make every single day,
13:40 over our words, our thoughts, and our actions,
13:44 when we seek to live this kind of life,
13:47 the Bible makes a very definite statement,
13:49 and it is found in the book of 2 Timothy 3.
13:52 It is our reality, my friends,
13:54 and there is no way to avoid it.
13:56 And I just want to let you know this now
13:58 so we can get it out of our heads,
13:59 to think that if we live the life of Jesus,
14:01 all will be well.
14:03 Well, this is true in one sense,
14:04 but it's not true in another sense.
14:06 And let me prove it.
14:07 In 2 Timothy, I want you to see what the Bible says now,
14:10 as we consider the third chapter, 2 Timothy,
14:13 and we're looking at chapter 3.
14:15 And the Bible says in the book of 2 Timothy 3,
14:19 notice what it says as we consider verse 12.
14:23 The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3, right there in verse 12.
14:27 It says "Yea..." And how many?
14:29 Notice it says "All" all right.
14:31 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
14:37 shall suffer persecution."
14:42 My brothers and my sisters,
14:44 if we are going to reflect that blessed
14:46 and lovely image of Jesus Christ,
14:49 if we say that we believe in Him,
14:52 we must understand that belief in Christ
14:57 is more than a profession.
14:59 You know, I marvel at how so often
15:03 in the religious world today there are people
15:06 who love to say,
15:08 "Oh, if we only would believe in Jesus,"
15:10 and "I believe in Jesus," and "We believe in Jesus,"
15:12 and there's a lot of profession of Christianity.
15:15 I come from the hip-hop culture.
15:17 And today, if you look into hip-hop,
15:18 you'll see that there are a lot of rappers today
15:21 that will curse, they will swear,
15:23 they will lie, they will cheat, they will fornicate,
15:26 they will do all sorts of things
15:27 that the Bible clearly calls sin
15:30 and separates us from God
15:32 and is not a demonstration of godliness,
15:34 yet they will say they believe in Jesus.
15:37 My brothers and my sisters,
15:38 we need to understand something very important.
15:40 It is true that in Romans 10, it is true that it says,
15:43 if we confess with our mouths and believe in our heart
15:46 the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved.
15:47 But it doesn't stop simply there,
15:50 there's more to the text,
15:51 and that's why you always take the whole of scripture.
15:54 Can I show you what Jesus himself said
15:56 if you really believe in Him?
15:58 Do you know that Jesus made it plain
16:00 who and how we can identify
16:03 who the real believers in Jesus are?
16:05 Did you know that He gave us such plain language
16:08 that we cannot miss it as long as we can read?
16:11 Notice what the Bible says in John 14.
16:13 Consider this, John 14.
16:15 In John 14, watch what the Bible says.
16:18 John, we're looking at chapter 14,
16:21 and I want you to just watch what Jesus said right there.
16:23 It's Him, His self, it's His words.
16:26 And in John 14,
16:27 Jesus is speaking about those who believe in Him.
16:30 I want you to think about every politician
16:32 that you have ever heard say, they believe in Jesus.
16:34 I want you to think about every entertainer
16:36 who has said from their own mouth
16:38 that they believe in Jesus.
16:39 I want you to think about every individual
16:42 who has said at some point or another
16:43 they believe in Jesus.
16:45 I want you to even think about yourself
16:49 when you say and I say,
16:51 "I believe in Jesus,"
16:52 because you know what Jesus is about to do?
16:54 He's gonna test us.
16:56 You want to know how He does it?
16:57 Look at what He says in John 14.
16:59 The Bible says in John 14, right there in the 12th verse,
17:02 look at it very carefully, "Verily, verily..."
17:04 In other words, truly, truly, I'm telling you the truth.
17:07 And Jesus does not lie.
17:09 He says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,
17:13 he that believeth on Me, the works that I do,
17:19 shall he do also.
17:23 And greater works than these shall he do
17:26 because I go unto my Father."
17:29 Jesus makes it clear, if you want to see a man
17:31 and if you want to see a woman that believes in Me,
17:34 then watch their works because Jesus says
17:36 if they really believe on Me,
17:38 the works that I do, they shall do also.
17:41 Now, watch this.
17:42 This is where sometimes we get sidetracked
17:44 or we suffer from something called blind spots.
17:47 You know what a blind spot is,
17:49 when you're driving down the road,
17:50 you know, you've got a blind spot,
17:51 you know, you can see clearly what's in front,
17:53 you typically can see what's behind you,
17:55 but it's those blind spots
17:56 right on the right and to the left
17:57 that if you do not turn your head to look
17:59 and carefully check that blind spot,
18:02 we can perhaps end up into a collision,
18:04 and that collision can cause the death of individuals.
18:07 And so blind spots are what we would call
18:10 very, very dangerous.
18:11 If we are not careful, we can suffer a blind spot
18:14 and end up in a collision
18:16 that can cost the lives of others, even ourselves.
18:18 So it is that there are many today
18:21 that have blind spots.
18:22 In other words, when they study the Bible,
18:24 they look at certain aspects of the life of Jesus.
18:28 They will look at the fact that oh, he healed,
18:30 so then you've got a whole bunch of people
18:31 that love to heal.
18:33 Then they'll say, "Oh, well, I look at this side of Jesus
18:35 and He was very, very giving, going about doing good."
18:37 So they love to go about and do good,
18:39 so they'll do everything from feed the homeless,
18:41 and do all sorts of wonderful what we call benevolent work,
18:43 you know, clothe the naked
18:45 and visit those in prison etcetera,
18:46 and all these things,
18:47 and there are some who are just focused on that.
18:50 There are others who just focus on the preaching of the truth
18:53 but they neglect the practical duties
18:55 like I just mentioned in the benevolent work.
18:58 All of these various groups of believers can do good works
19:02 but still suffer with blind spots.
19:03 In other words, there are certain things
19:05 they did not see about the character of Christ
19:07 that they have not applied in their lives
19:10 that they might give the fullness
19:13 of his character demonstration to the world.
19:15 You see there's no way Jesus is coming back
19:17 until we reflect His image fully.
19:20 That means no blind spots.
19:22 That means that every dynamic
19:24 of the life of Christ must be practiced.
19:26 And I'm gonna show you a dynamic of the life of Jesus
19:29 that I believe that even people in the church today
19:32 are very fearful of demonstrating,
19:35 even though it's a reflection of the character of Christ.
19:38 There are many people who are very fearful of it.
19:41 And notice what the Bible says it is as we go to John 7.
19:45 In John 7, Jesus is having a dialogue
19:48 with His brothers.
19:50 And as He's talking to His brothers,
19:53 His brothers didn't even believe Him either.
19:55 They didn't believe the fullness of who He was,
19:56 and they began to challenge Him.
19:58 And I want you to watch this story now.
20:00 As we go to John 7, and let's start at verse 1,
20:03 and I want you to see what the Bible says.
20:05 The Bible says in John 7:1.
20:07 "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee.
20:09 For he would not walk in Jewry,
20:11 because the Jews sought to kill him.
20:13 Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand.
20:16 His brethren therefore said unto him,
20:17 depart hence, and go into Judaea,
20:19 that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
20:22 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret,
20:26 and he himself seeketh to be known openly.
20:28 If thou do these things, show thyself to the world."
20:32 But why did they say that to their brother?
20:33 It says in verse 5,
20:35 "For neither did his brethren believe in him."
20:37 It's amazing how people can challenge you to do good
20:40 but it's based off
20:41 of a speculative suspicious mind.
20:44 And here it is that in verse 6, Jesus now answers them,
20:46 and I want you to watch the answer of Jesus
20:47 very carefully.
20:49 It says, "Then Jesus said unto them,
20:52 My time is not yet come, but your time is always ready.
20:56 The world cannot hate you but Me it hateth."
21:01 Wait a minute.
21:02 The world hates Jesus?
21:05 You know, depending on the picture
21:06 that we have in our minds, all we know of Jesus
21:08 is that He went about doing good,
21:10 and I would say amen to that,
21:11 'cause I believe everything He did do was good.
21:13 But at the same time,
21:14 sometimes our understanding of doing good is simply,
21:18 like I said, sometimes the benevolent work,
21:20 you know, feeding the homeless, clothing the naked,
21:22 and visiting those in prison
21:24 and constantly giving words of encouragement,
21:26 and these type of things.
21:27 And all of that is true but Jesus is about to show us
21:30 something about His character
21:31 that a lot of times we don't consider
21:34 or sometimes we get very fragile
21:36 in letting this aspect of His character
21:39 be lived out within our lives, continuing with the verse.
21:42 It says, "The world cannot hate you,
21:44 but Me it hateth..."
21:45 Why?
21:46 "Because I testify of it
21:48 that the works thereof are evil."
21:52 My brothers and sisters,
21:55 did you know that an absolute part of the ministry,
21:59 the work of Christ on the earth
22:02 was that He would let those in the world know
22:06 that what they are doing is evil,
22:09 what they are doing is wrong,
22:11 what they are doing is sinful,
22:13 and they must turn away from their sins,
22:16 and they must come to God before it is too late,
22:19 and this is a dynamic that in many respects,
22:22 this aspect of ministry is not in the forefront
22:26 as it could be especially to the world.
22:30 My brothers and my sisters,
22:33 we must understand all who live godly
22:35 in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
22:38 Why?
22:40 Because when we testify of the evil
22:43 that we see taking place,
22:45 you see, if we're calling individuals to holiness,
22:49 then it is going to by default expose what unholiness is.
22:53 If we call people to godliness, then it's gonna, by default,
22:57 show people what ungodliness is.
23:00 And when those two principles are exposed for what they are,
23:05 it is going to bring hatred,
23:09 it's going to bring persecution,
23:11 it is going to bring,
23:13 my brothers and sisters, enemies.
23:16 And so therefore there is a such thing
23:17 as enemies of the goal.
23:19 And the question is this,
23:20 when Jesus was telling the world
23:22 how evil they were
23:23 and the behaviors that they were doing
23:25 and calling out all these sins by their right name,
23:27 was He doing it because He hated them?
23:29 What do you think?
23:31 Well, I would definitely say absolutely not.
23:32 We know that Jesus didn't hate the world.
23:33 The Bible makes it clear that God so loved the world
23:36 that He gave His only begotten Son.
23:37 Jesus was in harmony with His Father,
23:39 He loved the world and the Father loved the world,
23:41 while they were yet enemies, Romans 5 tells us.
23:45 So therefore we know that there is no way
23:48 that Jesus had hatred when He told them of the evil.
23:52 You see, go to the book of Revelation 3,
23:55 many of times when the Ministry of Rebukes
23:57 has to go forward,
23:59 I call it the Ministry of Rebukes
24:00 because rebuking is also a ministry.
24:03 It's a part of it.
24:04 And there are times
24:06 where things have to be called out for what they are
24:08 and it's not gonna make people comfortable,
24:10 but making comfortable
24:12 was never the purpose of the Gospel,
24:15 that was never the focus of the Gospel,
24:16 it wasn't to make people comfortable in sin,
24:19 God forbid.
24:20 It was to make us so uncomfortable in sin
24:23 that we would want to run to Jesus
24:24 and say, "Lord, please take away my sins."
24:28 But the problem is that if we give a message
24:29 that just basically loves everybody to sleep,
24:31 well, that's a problem.
24:33 And so it is that there are times
24:35 where a rebuke has to be given,
24:36 and this is gonna be a reflection
24:38 also of the ministry
24:41 and the character of Jesus Christ
24:42 because love always wants to win people.
24:47 We never rebuke to repel, we rebuke to win.
24:51 Rebuking, according to the Bible,
24:54 is actually a demonstration of God's love.
24:57 And some people have a hard time believing that
24:58 but the Bible says so.
25:00 In Revelation 3, God is talking to the last church era,
25:03 which is the church of Laodicea,
25:05 and Laodicea had a major issue,
25:07 they think they're all right when they're all wrong.
25:10 That was the issue at Laodicea, bottom line.
25:12 And God began to give counsel
25:15 and He counseled them in verse 18,
25:17 I want you to bias me, Laodicea,
25:18 you're in a deplorable, disgusting position,
25:20 you make me want to vomit, but God says,
25:22 but at the same time,
25:24 my desire is that I still want you
25:26 in my house with me,
25:27 but I need you to let me in that I can change you
25:31 and make you holy as I am holy.
25:33 So in the midst of God's counsel
25:36 to the Church of Laodicea,
25:37 He says something very powerful in Revelation 3:19.
25:41 He says, "As many as I hate..."
25:45 Is that what the verse says?
25:46 No, that's not what the verse says, is it?
25:48 It says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and I chasten.
25:54 Be zealous therefore and repent."
25:57 God wants us to come home with Him,
25:58 my brothers and sisters.
26:00 God is not satisfied with this idea
26:03 of communicating with us through prayer.
26:05 God looks forward to the day He can get rid of prayer.
26:09 God looks forward of the day
26:10 that there will not have to be this medium activity
26:12 by which we can commune with Him.
26:13 Prayer will no longer be necessary
26:15 once we're face to face with Him again.
26:17 Do you understand that?
26:18 So God appreciates prayer right now.
26:20 It's a necessity right now.
26:21 But He looks forward to the day
26:23 that He has an even closer communion with His bride.
26:26 My brothers and my sisters, we need to understand
26:29 that God says but there was one thing
26:31 that broke up the face to face communion.
26:34 It was in Isaiah 59:2,
26:36 our sins have caused Him to turn his face from us,
26:39 so He wants us to get victory over those things,
26:41 victory over every sin,
26:42 which is possible through the merits of Christ.
26:45 And then, God says,
26:47 I can now have face to face communion with My bride.
26:51 God longs to be with each and every one of us,
26:53 but He can't save us in sin, He can only save us from sin,
26:57 but we have to recognize our sins
26:59 and therefore God raises up preachers
27:02 that will call sin by its right name.
27:05 Why are they doing it?
27:07 Not because they hate the people
27:08 but because they love the people.
27:09 "As many as I love, I rebuke and I chasten.
27:14 Be zealous therefore and repent."
27:15 I read in a little book called Education.
27:18 And in that book Education page 57, it tells us,
27:21 "The greatest want of the world is the want of men,
27:24 men who will not be bought or sold,
27:27 men who in their inmost souls are true and honest,
27:30 men who do not fear to call sin by its right name,
27:35 men whose consciences are as true to duty
27:39 as the needle to the pole,
27:41 men who will stand for the right
27:43 though the heavens fall."
27:47 God needs more men like this.
27:48 God needs more women like this.
27:50 God needs to have more people like this
27:53 that when we see the evil that is so prevalently running
27:56 all throughout our world today that we, by the grace of God,
28:00 will love the people enough to tell them the truth,
28:03 even if it makes them uncomfortable,
28:05 even if it means we might lose our popularity,
28:08 even if it means that certain favors
28:09 that we received today will no longer be received,
28:11 even if it means that the positions
28:13 that we hold right now in the name of occupation
28:15 or otherwise might have to be taken away,
28:18 even if it means that we may one day
28:21 have to even lose our lives.
28:24 Do you have that kind of love?
28:26 My brothers and sisters, this is the kind of love
28:27 I ask God to reproduce in my heart every day,
28:30 to love people enough that when a time comes
28:35 that I see them going on a wrong path
28:37 that I can love them enough to say,
28:38 "My brother and my sister,
28:39 I see us going in the path of danger,
28:41 God wants to save us,
28:42 and that thing you're getting ready to do,
28:43 the Bible calls sin and God cannot accept that.
28:46 Please, please turn away.
28:48 Please come to Jesus.
28:49 Let's let Him give us victory over these things.
28:50 Let's pray together."
28:52 We have to learn how to plead with each other
28:54 that we will cooperate with heaven
28:56 as we get ready to see the final scenes unfold
28:58 that's gonna take the majority of the people
29:00 in this world as an overwhelming surprise.
29:04 And so it is that when I think about this,
29:06 there are gonna be enemies to this goal.
29:08 This goal of holiness that God wants,
29:10 there's gonna be enemies, there's gonna be enemies.
29:12 And those enemies are gonna come, basically,
29:15 from what I'm gonna call in three directions
29:17 or three dimensions, if you will.
29:19 Three types of enemies, three types of persecution,
29:22 and so what I'm gonna do for the remainder of our study
29:24 is I'm just gonna talk a little bit
29:26 about the various places
29:28 that we might expect persecution
29:30 and then God can help us to know how to overcome it
29:32 so we do not get derailed in our Christianity.
29:36 Sometimes, when people give their hearts to Jesus,
29:38 we begin to follow Him and we have a picture,
29:40 and I had, of what church is supposed to be like,
29:42 what life is supposed to be like, and sometimes
29:45 that image we have in our heads is not reality,
29:48 and therefore, we get derailed.
29:49 And so God loves us enough to tell us the truth.
29:52 You know, one time, Jesus, He goes ahead
29:54 and He chooses these 12 disciples, right?
29:57 And I thought this was interesting.
29:59 Jesus chose 12 disciples, and when He chooses them,
30:02 He has to give them all sorts of admonishment
30:05 as they're preparing to do ministry.
30:08 And look at what Jesus taught in class with the disciples
30:11 early in their ministry as He's getting ready
30:14 to launch them out to do service.
30:15 Go to Matthew 10.
30:16 In Matthew 10, you're gonna see now,
30:19 Jesus actually warned His disciples
30:22 of certain realities that some would say,
30:24 "Man, Jesus, wasn't that little early
30:26 to drop that bomb on Him?
30:27 You know, that might discourage them."
30:28 But I believe Jesus is the master teacher
30:30 and He knew exactly what He was doing.
30:32 And so therefore, I believe it was wisdom
30:34 by which Christ demonstrated here in Matthew 10.
30:37 It was in Matthew 10 that verse 1 tells us,
30:40 He brings all these 12 disciples together,
30:42 but then he begins to counsel them.
30:43 He starts to give them all sorts of counsels
30:45 from verse 5 and onward.
30:47 "Go not into the way of the Gentiles,
30:49 or the Samaritans, but go to the lost sheep
30:50 of the house of Israel."
30:52 When you go to a house,
30:53 I want to make sure you do this.
30:55 You know, He's giving them all these instructions,
30:56 but then He gets down to a place in verse 16.
30:59 This is in the beginning of their ministry.
31:01 This is the launch of their discipleship.
31:03 And Jesus says in verse 16,
31:04 "Behold now, I send you forth as sheep
31:08 in the midst of wolves."
31:09 He makes it clear, He says, "I send you forth a sheep
31:11 in the midst of wolves,
31:12 be ye therefore wise as serpents,
31:15 and harmless as doves."
31:16 Now there are so many applications to this verse,
31:18 I wish we had time to go into it.
31:20 "Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
31:23 Then He says, "But beware of men
31:25 for they will deliver you up to the councils
31:27 and they will scourge you in their synagogues
31:28 and ye shall be brought before governors
31:30 and kings For my sake for a testimony against them
31:32 and the Gentiles.
31:34 But when they deliver you up,
31:35 take no thought how or what ye shall speak
31:36 for it shall be given you in that same hour
31:39 what ye shall speak.
31:40 For it is not ye that speak but the Spirit of your Father
31:42 which speaketh in you.
31:44 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death,
31:49 and the father the child, and the children shall rise up
31:51 against their parents
31:53 and cause them to be put to death.
31:54 And ye shall be hated of..." How many men?
31:57 "Ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake,
32:00 but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
32:06 Straight words from Jesus.
32:07 And this is early in ministry.
32:09 This is not after three years of them walking with Jesus.
32:12 This is in the beginning of their walk with Jesus.
32:14 And Jesus says, I'm gonna tell you straight,
32:16 I'm gonna give you straight warnings,
32:17 and I'm going to let you know
32:19 that all these challenges will come
32:20 but be not afraid because He says
32:22 if you endure to the end, you're gonna make it,
32:24 you'll be home with me.
32:26 And then Jesus began to walk with them
32:28 and show them how to embrace their realities.
32:31 Praise God for Jesus.
32:33 Praise God for His wonderful example
32:35 that He sets before us.
32:37 My brothers and my sisters, there's gonna be persecution,
32:41 there's gonna be enemies that are gonna try to hinder us
32:45 from experiencing these goals.
32:46 And so it is that the first enemy
32:49 that we're gonna consider is what we'll call the world.
32:52 Now we have to understand that we are not of the world,
32:56 we're in the world, but we're not of the world.
32:59 When you think of the world, you just look at 1 John 2:15.
33:02 Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes,
33:03 pride of life, well, that's not a part of Christianity,
33:06 at least it ought not be,
33:07 it should not be part of our experience,
33:09 but there are those who are totally
33:10 for the lust of the flesh.
33:12 They promote the lust of the eyes
33:13 and they definitely demonstrate the pride of life.
33:16 And when we begin to see these things
33:19 and call them out by precept and example,
33:23 you're gonna find that the world
33:25 is not only gonna hate Jesus, it's gonna hate us.
33:27 And notice how Jesus said it in John 15.
33:30 In John 15,
33:31 it was Jesus Himself that said it.
33:33 The first form of persecution that many of us will notice
33:36 when we give our hearts to Jesus
33:37 and choose to follow Him,
33:39 that first enemy that is gonna come in our path
33:42 is gonna be the world.
33:44 We're definitely gonna see it.
33:45 We're gonna see the world in a whole different light
33:47 because when you're in darkness,
33:48 you don't see darkness, but when you're in light,
33:50 that's the first time you see darkness.
33:52 And so when we receive Christ, our light,
33:54 we're gonna notice how dark the world was,
33:56 and we're gonna say, "I was in that?
33:58 Man, thank the Lord for deliverance."
34:00 And we're gonna praise God,
34:01 but we still got to be in the world, don't we?
34:03 We still got to go to work, we still have to go ahead
34:06 and perform our businesses,
34:07 we're still going to have to do all those things
34:09 in the name of life, and that's why Jesus said,
34:12 Father, I don't pray that you take them out of the world,
34:14 just keep them from the evil, He said in John 17.
34:18 And so it is that there are times
34:20 that we're gonna see things like that,
34:21 and Jesus says to us in John 15 some very important counsel.
34:25 In John 15, notice what the Bible says
34:27 in verse 18.
34:29 The Bible says, "If the world hate you,
34:32 ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
34:36 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own.
34:40 But because you are not of the world,
34:42 but I have chosen you out of the world,
34:45 therefore the world hateth you.
34:47 Remember the word that I said unto you,
34:49 the servant is not greater than his lord.
34:51 If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
34:56 If they have kept my sayings, however,
34:58 they will keep yours also.
35:02 But all these things will they do unto you
35:04 for my name's sake
35:05 because they know not Him that sent me."
35:08 There are gonna be times
35:09 that when we're shooting for the goal
35:11 and we are seeking to cooperate with God
35:13 and let Him demonstrate His holiness,
35:14 and righteousness, and godliness within us,
35:17 the world is gonna come along and say,
35:18 "What's wrong with you?
35:20 Why do you behave like that?
35:22 Why do you eat like that?
35:23 Why do you drink like that?
35:25 Why do you dress like that?
35:26 Why is it that you only listen to these forms of music?
35:28 Why is it that you will not come to certain environments
35:31 and certain places like the rest of us?
35:32 Why is it that you even believe in God?"
35:37 And they will begin to persecute
35:38 and they'll begin to challenge us
35:40 and they'll begin to taunt us.
35:41 And my brothers and sisters,
35:42 you are starting to see right now
35:44 that the church is being squeezed.
35:45 I don't know if you see it.
35:47 I'm thankful for it personally 'cause I think it's high time.
35:50 Wonderful brother, a friend of mine,
35:53 a gentleman that I know and respect as well,
35:55 Pastor Doug Batchelor,
35:57 one time he made a beautiful statement,
35:58 he said, "One of the great reasons
36:00 why the church is not undergoing persecution
36:02 right now is because, in many respects,
36:05 we are not taking up the stand
36:07 as we should against certain evils
36:09 that are happening in our world.
36:10 And once we do, oh, yes, persecution shall come."
36:15 We're living in a time and in an era
36:17 where the church is becoming very timid,
36:19 we're seeing evil running so prevalently in our world,
36:22 but it seems as if we want to think
36:24 that silence is virtuous.
36:26 My brothers and my sisters,
36:27 when we see that the world says
36:29 that that blessed and holy institution
36:32 that God made in the beginning of time,
36:34 marriage, has now reached a place
36:36 that now instead of man with woman,
36:37 it's now man with man.
36:39 Well, my brothers and sisters,
36:40 it's not hard to go through scripture to say,
36:41 "Well, these things are not God's will.
36:44 These things is what the Bible refers to as an abomination."
36:47 But it's a deeper issue when the churches are now going
36:53 before the world and saying, "We agree.
36:57 Jesus is love and therefore Jesus thinks it's okay."
37:01 Now, my brothers and sisters, I'm not wondering...
37:02 I question what Bible are they reading from
37:04 because when I go to Matthew 19,
37:06 I believe Jesus, His words are very clear.
37:08 So notice what the Bible says in Matthew 19.
37:10 In Matthew 19, Jesus was speaking on marriage,
37:13 and this would be my message to all of those.
37:15 It's funny.
37:16 I get the privilege of speaking with individuals
37:18 who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle.
37:20 They don't believe it's a choice,
37:21 but nevertheless, that's a debate
37:23 in and of itself, but nevertheless,
37:24 there are individuals who are living
37:26 a homosexual lifestyle.
37:27 Of course, they endorse gay marriage
37:29 and they'll ask me what do you think,
37:30 why, and so on.
37:32 And I actually have such a communion with them
37:36 that they want to know what I think.
37:37 And they say, "Brother, I know you're gonna tell the truth
37:39 so tell me what does God say about it."
37:42 And I always love to take them back to Matthew 19,
37:44 I said, "Listen,
37:46 I must respect a man's decision or a woman's decision
37:49 even if it is not a godly decision.
37:52 And at no point do you merit my disrespect or my rudeness
37:57 or ungodly attitude or behavior
37:59 because you are living a lifestyle
38:01 that as a Christian I don't believe in.
38:03 That does not merit me to treat you that way
38:05 because God loved us even while we were His enemies.
38:09 And therefore, you deserve my love no matter what,
38:11 but you need to understand that I need to love you
38:13 enough to tell you the truth,
38:14 even if that truth contradicts
38:16 the very lifestyle you're living.
38:17 So I'm gonna tell you the truth."
38:18 And then we go to Matthew 19.
38:20 And here's what it says.
38:21 In Matthew 19:1, it says, "And it came to pass
38:24 that when Jesus had finished these sayings,
38:27 he departed from Galilee,
38:29 and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan.
38:32 And great multitudes followed him,
38:34 and he healed them there.
38:35 The Pharisees also came unto him,
38:36 tempting him, and saying unto him,
38:38 "Is it lawful for a man
38:40 to put away his wife for every cause?'"
38:41 In other words, is it all right
38:43 to divorce his wife for any reason?
38:44 Then it says in verse 4.
38:46 "And he answered and said unto them,
38:48 Have ye not read..."
38:50 I like how Jesus started. That's beautiful, isn't it?
38:53 He took that thing right back to Scripture.
38:55 Jesus says, listen, I'm not just gonna tell you
38:56 what I think, I'm going to take you back
38:58 to the very scriptures that you say you live by.
39:00 And so he said he says, "Have you not read?
39:01 Did you read?"
39:03 That's one of the great problems
39:04 we have in our world today.
39:05 Too many things are being called righteous and holy
39:07 and people aren't reading.
39:09 They're quoting God
39:10 but they're not reading God's words.
39:12 And so, here it is that Jesus says,
39:14 "Have you not read?"
39:15 And then he goes on, "Have you not read
39:17 that he which made them at the beginning made them..."
39:21 What? "Male and female."
39:24 Now, stop right there.
39:27 In biblical hermeneutics, when you're gonna
39:29 through like how to study the Bible,
39:31 there are many principles of how we study scripture
39:36 one of which is a principle called parallelism.
39:39 And when you think about parallelism,
39:41 you're basically making one point,
39:43 but you're expressing it in different ways.
39:45 There are lots of examples in the Bible of parallelism.
39:49 An example is when David says, "Purge me with hyssop,
39:51 and I shall be clean.
39:53 Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
39:55 He's making the same point.
39:56 "I just want to be clean. Lord, clean me up."
39:59 That's all he was saying.
40:00 "Purge me with hyssop, I shall be clean.
40:02 Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
40:04 That wasn't two thoughts. That was one thought.
40:06 He just expressed it in two different ways.
40:08 That's an example of parallelism.
40:09 Jesus is about to do parallelism,
40:11 He just started in that verse, He says, "Have you not read
40:15 that He which made them at the beginning made them..."
40:17 What? "Male and female." Very good.
40:21 Now watch the next verse, "And said..."
40:23 So he's continuing with the thought.
40:25 He says, "And said, For this cause shall a man..."
40:29 Now what was the first one mentioned in verse 4,
40:32 it was male, so male and man go together.
40:36 So it says, "He made them man, the man shall leave his father
40:40 and his mother and shall cleave to his wife."
40:44 The wife constitutes the female.
40:48 "The wife and they twain shall be one flesh."
40:52 So Jesus Himself endorsed the original program
40:57 through the example of parallelism
40:59 that male equals man and female equals wife.
41:04 Jesus Himself has endorsed
41:06 that marriage is to be between a man and a woman
41:10 and He has never repealed such a position.
41:13 So I question how did the church get to this place
41:16 except it be that we fear persecution?
41:19 But, my brothers and sisters, we have nothing to fear.
41:21 You see we must let love knock out our fears.
41:24 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love,
41:29 but perfect love casts out fear."
41:32 I want God to perfect His love in me.
41:34 I can only imagine
41:35 what John the Baptist went through
41:36 when he would go to Herod and he would have to say,
41:39 "Herod, the marriage that you are in right now
41:41 is an unjust marriage,
41:43 it is an act of adultery and murder combined,
41:45 and you have sinned against heaven,
41:47 and except you turn your heart back to God
41:49 and do that which is right, you will not be saved."
41:53 Do you understand for John to say that to Herod,
41:56 John had to know,
41:58 "I am more than likely going to die,
42:02 I'm gonna die for telling Herod this."
42:04 So what is it that compelled him to do that?
42:06 "Greater love hath no man than this
42:08 than when a man is willing to lay down his life
42:09 for his friends."
42:10 Herod and John knew each other.
42:12 John knew, "Herod, I love you too much to lie to you.
42:15 I got to let you know,
42:16 even though it's going to cost me my life."
42:20 That's the question, is do we have enough love
42:22 that when we see the world going in the path of sin
42:24 that we can say to the world, "You are in sin.
42:28 This is error.
42:30 And if you do not change, you must turn to God
42:33 before it is too late."
42:35 My brothers and my sisters, there's very few people
42:37 that have this kind of love,
42:39 and therefore, they don't have that courage.
42:41 And therefore, when the enemy of the world
42:42 begins to come to us
42:44 and tries to dictate to the people of God,
42:46 dictate to the church, "Stay silent or punishment,"
42:49 it seems like a lot of people are bowing
42:52 rather than standing.
42:53 My hope and my prayer is that we will never surrender
42:55 to the enemy, that we must understand
42:57 that we are going to receive persecution from the world.
43:01 The world is gonna make it known that,
43:03 "Hey, we do not agree with what you stand for.
43:06 We do not agree for what you are
43:08 teaching and preaching.
43:09 We do not agree with these things
43:11 and it's getting to the place that if you're not careful
43:13 that we will go ahead and execute A, B, C punishment,
43:16 and we must understand that we do everything possible
43:18 to live peaceably with men.
43:20 But if you put my back against a wall,
43:23 I ought to obey God rather than men."
43:25 We have to have that position.
43:28 And, my friends, we're gonna receive persecution
43:30 but Jesus says, "Listen, the world hated Me
43:32 before it hated you."
43:34 But was Jesus's attitude towards the world?
43:36 Don't render evil for evil.
43:39 Jesus says in Matthew 5, he says, "Love your enemies,
43:43 pray for them that persecute you."
43:45 You see when the world wants to demonstrate us as evil
43:48 and even persecute us, we must be willing to say
43:51 "Lord, no, I will not render evil
43:55 for evil by Your grace.
43:56 For every lash of hatred they give me,
43:59 I will let that be strength to demonstrate greater love."
44:02 And the more that we learn
44:04 how to make this a principle that I will not do
44:07 what the world has called me to do
44:08 and I will live as God has called me to live,
44:10 and even though it will invite persecution,
44:13 I will bear it in Jesus' name,
44:15 but I will not be moved.
44:18 We must have this kind of attitude
44:20 because, again, there are enemies to the goal
44:23 and the enemies are gonna come from various forms.
44:25 Now continuing with this, we must understand that
44:28 the enemies or the persecution
44:29 doesn't just come from without, but it also comes from within.
44:33 And there are two dynamics of which we're going to look at
44:35 as far as persecution coming from within,
44:37 the enemies within.
44:38 The first one is in Matthew 10.
44:40 Go back to Matthew 10.
44:42 What is the other form of the enemy
44:44 that we are going to see
44:46 in different times in different places?
44:47 Matthew, we're looking at chapter 10,
44:50 and now we're going to consider verses 34-36.
44:53 And the Bible says in Matthew 10:34-36,
44:57 Jesus says,
44:58 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth,
45:01 I came not to send peace but a sword.
45:03 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father
45:07 and the daughter against her mother
45:09 and the daughter in law against her mother in law
45:11 and a man's foe shall be they of his own household."
45:14 My brothers and sisters,
45:16 the reality is that sometimes we're gonna realize
45:19 that our enemies are not just from without,
45:21 but our enemies are going to be within.
45:25 And sometimes, it's going to be so closely within
45:28 that it's going to be within our own homes.
45:30 You know, it's a sad thing.
45:31 You know, a home was supposed
45:33 to be an example of heaven on earth.
45:34 Did you know that?
45:36 Home was supposed to be a place
45:37 where husbands looked forward to seeing their wives,
45:39 wives would look forward to seeing their husbands,
45:41 parents would look forward
45:43 to communing with their children,
45:44 children would look forward to communing with parents.
45:46 Today, we live in a very different world,
45:48 even in the churches today,
45:49 you see children sitting on the left
45:51 and you see parents sitting on the right.
45:52 It seems like people don't even know
45:53 how to sit together as a family even in church service.
45:57 It seems like there's a massive line of separation
45:59 that's happening not just in the world
46:01 but it's also happening in the home.
46:03 And so it is that sometimes, as Jesus says,
46:05 we're going to see
46:07 that there are going to be enemies
46:08 that are going to be in our midst
46:10 and it's going to be right
46:11 from within our own house borders.
46:14 This was not God's plan and enemy hath done this,
46:18 but it is a reality.
46:20 And this is why, my brothers and sisters,
46:22 what does Jesus say in verse 37 of Matthew 10?
46:25 He says, "He that loveth father or mother
46:28 more than me is not worthy of me
46:31 and he that loveth son or daughter
46:33 more than me is not worthy of me
46:35 and he that taketh up not his cross
46:38 and follow after me is not worthy of me."
46:40 Jesus was making it clear
46:42 that, "Look, our world got into the trouble
46:45 that it's in right now
46:46 because a man loved his wife more than he loved God."
46:51 His name was Adam.
46:53 When Eve fell into sin, Adam did not have to join her,
46:57 but the problem was that Adam's adoration
47:00 and love was stronger for Eve in that moment
47:04 than it was for his Creator.
47:06 And hence we now live in a world
47:08 with all these thousands of years of sin.
47:10 God wants us to understand
47:12 we ought to love our fathers and our mothers,
47:13 we ought to love our husbands and our wives,
47:16 we ought to do everything possible
47:17 to cooperate with heaven that we can allow our homes
47:21 to be a little heaven on earth."
47:25 But, my brothers and sisters,
47:26 what we cannot do is choose son or daughter,
47:29 husband or wife, mother or father,
47:31 we cannot choose them over God for God has already laid out
47:35 through holy writ the reality
47:37 of what happens when we do that,
47:39 it brings sin and it brings destruction.
47:42 Sometimes the enemy will be from within,
47:45 and that times is going to be the enemy from within
47:48 that's going to be right there in our homes.
47:51 And this is why we must learn,
47:53 this is why the words of Jesus are so powerful.
47:55 He says, "Love your enemies.
47:56 Pray for them that persecute you."
47:58 If you believe your husband or your wife is your enemy,
48:00 first we need to understand the true enemy is Satan.
48:03 And what he's doing
48:04 is he's trying to use husband or wife
48:06 to play against each other,
48:07 and so we ought not to even really look at our husband
48:10 and our wives and our children our brothers and sisters,
48:12 we are not to really look at them as our enemy,
48:15 the devil is our enemy, but what he's doing
48:17 is he's trying to use the ones that we love.
48:20 And when we understand it from this perspective,
48:22 instead of hating your wife,
48:24 you're gonna pray for your wife,
48:25 instead of hating your husband,
48:26 you're gonna pray for your husband,
48:28 you're going to do everything possible to win them back
48:31 into the arms of God because that's what you do
48:33 with people you love.
48:36 And we have to understand that
48:37 this is what God has called us to do.
48:39 So even when we see that sometimes the home
48:42 which was supposed to be a little heaven on earth,
48:44 sometimes there will be enemies in the home,
48:46 but when we identify the enemies,
48:47 don't render evil for evil but give good for evil.
48:51 There's a wonderful chapter in the book Adventist Home,
48:54 and I find myself doing a lot of counseling,
48:56 I mean a lot, more than preaching and teaching,
48:58 I do counseling.
48:59 And I do a lot of counseling with husbands and wives.
49:02 And many a times, the husband, "My wife is my enemy."
49:04 Many a times, the wife, "My husband is the enemy."
49:07 And they go through all these things
49:08 and we start going through the Word of God.
49:10 When we start going through the Word of God
49:12 and God's books of inspiration,
49:13 it's amazing how quickly people will start seeing
49:16 that there are some problems more so with them
49:18 than even with their spouses.
49:20 And God begins to fix and move and do beautiful things.
49:24 And in the book Adventist Home, I believe it's chapter 57,
49:27 it actually has a wonderful chapter there
49:30 on how to deal with an unbelieving spouse.
49:33 I have to refer that chapter so many times to God's people.
49:35 And many a times when they read that,
49:37 I'll always say, "If you don't get it
49:39 and if you're still confused, call me back."
49:41 And do you know, 90% of the time,
49:42 I get no callback?
49:44 In other words, it's filled with so much counsel
49:47 that God shows us how those who we understand
49:49 and deem enemies even in our own home,
49:52 that by the grace of God,
49:54 we can actually overcome, by the grace of God,
49:56 we can actually overcome.
49:58 And God, I've seen, turned many homes
50:00 that reflected hell and God has turned them
50:03 into little heavens on earth.
50:05 Is that not what we want?
50:06 And so, yes, we're gonna sometimes see enemies
50:08 within the home border,
50:10 but God has given us instruction on how to overcome.
50:12 What about the book of Acts 20?
50:14 Well, that's a different persecution from within,
50:16 so let us quickly turn there.
50:17 In the book of Acts 20, the Bible again talks to us
50:21 about persecution from within
50:25 because persecution doesn't just come from without,
50:27 it also comes from within.
50:28 And now I want you to see what the Bible says
50:30 in the book of Acts 20.
50:31 The Apostle Paul is getting ready to go
50:33 on his journey to Rome,
50:34 and as he's getting ready to go,
50:36 he is giving some final instruction to the elders.
50:38 And as he does it, he says in verse 28,
50:41 he says, in fact, verse 27, and then we'll take it down.
50:44 He says in Acts 20:27, "For I have not shunned
50:47 to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
50:50 Take heed therefore unto yourselves
50:52 and to all the flock,
50:54 over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
50:57 to feed the church of God which he hath purchased
51:00 with His own blood.
51:01 For I know this, that after my departing
51:04 shall grievous wolves enter in among you,
51:08 not sparing the flock.
51:10 Also of your own selves shall men arise,
51:12 speaking perverse things,
51:13 to draw away disciples after them.
51:16 Therefore watch, and remember,
51:17 that by the space of three years
51:18 I ceased not to warn every one night
51:21 and day with tears."
51:24 We must understand that the enemy sometimes
51:26 will be realized not just in the home
51:28 but also within the church.
51:30 They are gonna be individuals,
51:31 and it can come from pastor to the pew,
51:34 individuals who are not cooperating with God.
51:37 And as a result of them not cooperating with God,
51:40 they can now cooperate with the devil.
51:42 Always remember, at one time,
51:44 Jesus had to look Peter in the eyes and say,
51:47 "Get thee behind me, Satan."
51:50 And it's amazing because the same Peter
51:52 that he said, "Get thee behind me, Satan,"
51:53 is the same Peter that was used
51:55 under the early reign power
51:56 in the establishment of the church.
51:58 It is possible at one time
52:00 to be an instrument of the devil,
52:02 but thank God it's possible
52:03 that we can be an instrument of God in the close.
52:07 But the reality is that sometimes
52:09 we're gonna see great persecutions
52:11 and challenges, enemies
52:12 that will be within even the church.
52:16 This is why God has always made it clear,
52:19 respect elders, respect preachers and teachers,
52:22 respect evangelists and pastors,
52:25 but never put your trust in them.
52:27 I don't read anything in the scripture
52:28 that tells us that because what a man is today,
52:31 he could be different tomorrow,
52:32 and we have to be willing to embrace the reality
52:35 that sometimes those who call themselves brethren,
52:39 if they are not careful,
52:41 that they can begin to become instruments
52:44 even in the devil's hands
52:46 and they can become enemies to the faithful people of God.
52:50 This is why, my brothers and sisters,
52:52 Jesus sometimes He had to give these strong rebukes,
52:54 He had to give very strong rebukes
52:56 even to those who were "Pharisees,"
52:58 they were those who would really truly seek to honor God
53:03 and do all things according to the Word
53:04 but sometimes they got disengaged.
53:07 And as a result of them getting disengaged,
53:09 they would start advocating things,
53:10 preaching things, teaching things,
53:12 and doing things that was contrary to the will of God
53:14 and they became a persecuting power to the people.
53:17 One day Jesus had to go ahead
53:19 and begin to give rebukes to them
53:20 and you'd definitely read this in Matthew 23,
53:23 you can't miss it there.
53:25 But I thought of this point.
53:27 Even when Jesus had to rebuke these men,
53:29 look at what it says, in Steps to Christ page 12.
53:32 "Jesus did not suppress one word of truth,
53:35 but He uttered it always in love.
53:38 He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention
53:41 in His intercourse with the people.
53:44 He was never rude,
53:46 never needlessly spoke a severe word,
53:50 never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul.
53:54 He did not censure human weakness.
53:56 He spoke the truth, but always in love.
54:00 He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity,
54:03 but tears were in His voice
54:06 as He uttered His scathing rebukes.
54:08 He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved,
54:10 which refused to receive Him,
54:12 the way, the truth, and the life.
54:13 They had rejected Him, the Savior,
54:15 but He regarded them with pitying tenderness.
54:18 His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others.
54:20 Every soul was precious in His eyes.
54:22 Every soul was precious in His eyes.
54:25 While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity,
54:28 He bowed with the tenderest regard
54:30 to every member of the family of God.
54:32 In all men He saw fallen souls
54:37 whom it was His mission to save."
54:40 You see there are times we're gonna see persecution
54:42 from without,
54:44 there are times we're going to see persecution from within,
54:47 we're gonna see challenges
54:48 that are gonna happen in the world,
54:49 we're gonna see challenges that are happening in the home,
54:52 we're going to see challenges
54:53 that are happening in the church,
54:54 brothers and sisters, we're even going to receive
54:56 persecution deep within from our own hearts.
54:57 You know, we are our worst enemy?
54:59 Do you know that self is the greatest of all enemies
55:02 that we have to battle with?
55:04 James tells us that these sins that we perform in our lives,
55:08 they come because of lusts that are deeply desired
55:10 within our hearts, James 1:12-14.
55:13 We go through these things
55:14 and sometimes we are our worst enemies.
55:17 It's not just persecution from within,
55:19 it's not just persecution from without,
55:21 there's also persecution deep within our own hearts.
55:25 Sometimes we are best at condemning ourselves
55:28 more than others.
55:29 But, my brothers and sisters, you must remember Romans 5.
55:32 In Romans 5:1, it says,
55:34 "Therefore being justified by faith,
55:35 we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
55:38 Do not listen to the suggestions of the devil
55:40 even when he suggests in your own mind
55:42 that you are not worthy of salvation.
55:44 Yes, it is true that I'm a mess,
55:46 but thank God Jesus came to save a mess.
55:50 We must learn not to entertain the wicked thoughts
55:52 that go even in our own minds
55:54 where we sometimes are our best persecutors.
55:59 It is true.
56:01 A well-rounded noble character, to be holy as God is holy,
56:06 my brothers and sisters, that won't come easy.
56:09 There are people who say that, you know,
56:11 "Living a righteous life
56:12 even by the faith of Jesus Christ is easy."
56:14 Well, I don't, I respectfully disagree.
56:16 In Christ's Object Lessons page 331, it says,
56:18 "But Christ has given us no assurance
56:21 that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter.
56:25 A noble, all-round character is not inherited.
56:28 It does not come to us by accident.
56:30 A noble character is earned by individual effort
56:33 through the merits and grace of Christ.
56:35 God gives the talents, the powers of the mind,
56:37 we form the character."
56:38 And then it says, "It is formed by hard,
56:42 stern battles with self.
56:45 My friends, we're gonna battle with ourselves,
56:48 we are going to see things that's unlike God,
56:50 we're gonna see things
56:52 that are demonstrating traits of character
56:54 that will often disappoint us,
56:56 but this is not when we look to ourselves
56:58 because Hebrews 12 says, looking unto Jesus.
57:01 Why?
57:02 Because He's not only the author,
57:03 but He's also the finisher of our faith.
57:07 My friends, yes, you're going to face persecution without,
57:10 yes, we're gonna face persecution within,
57:12 and we're even going to face persecution deep within,
57:15 but John 16:33, Jesus says,
57:16 "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
57:20 Will you let Him overcome in your heart today?
57:22 Yes, we have enemies, but through Christ,
57:24 we'll have victory.
57:25 Father in heaven, please help us
57:28 always to remember, through Jesus,
57:29 we can overcome and even love our enemies.
57:32 In Jesus' name. Amen.


Revised 2017-04-06