The Urgency Of The Gospel
Can I get all the kids to come forward this morning?
I guess how is everybody today? Everybody was everybody excited to be back at school this week. He weren't home an what kind of what I have a question and well before I ask you a question. I want to tell you that it's January right Christmas is over wrong. We're carrying the spirit of Christmas right into the new year with us. And we're in a weird this morning. We're going to talk about some guys who took a trip. You're going to go on a road trip. What do you need?
A blanket. Okay. What else did you say? A map where I'm going with this you need a map or GPS you pull out your phone and you tell it where you want to go and it'll bring up step by step directions. But before this you could go on you go on the internet and print out a map or you can just go by Matt and you'd have to sit down and look at it and look at the roads and figure out where you needed to turn live got a map here. I've got a map a walking map to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, since you can't really walk to Bethlehem in Jerusalem from here where we going to walk to Bedford Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is 567 miles away who thinks they want to do that. It's a pretty straight tree that looks like a beer. I don't think I want to walk that far. But what anyway so we're going to talk about some guys who took a trip and they didn't have a map. God gave some some wise man. Sometimes we call him the Three Kings or the Magi he gave them their own. GPS
He gave them the God's positioning service. I just make that up in the sky and these wise men they were able to look at a store and they were able to follow a store right to Jesus. I think it is. So since the last man didn't have the map that use the star. I just think they might have had might think I'm sure they had Maps then but the wise men didn't use them at like I said, they use at start. and when the wise men Found Jesus he was laying it he was
They found Jesus they gave him Gifts of gold frankincense. And myrrh, and they bow down and they worship Jesus. Here's what I'm going to tell you about. Did you know that wise men women boys and girls are still searching for Jesus this day. Do you know that? There are people. Who want to help people find Jesus like preachers or Sunday school teachers are just people who love God and want to go out and spread the word. We watch the video while ago about how the adults are going to go to a class about learning how to tell people about God. There's no Maps help us find Jesus and there's no started falling but we do have something that can help us have Jesus. Wonder what is something you could use that would help you find your way to Jesus. Do you know?
What about this? What about this? What is this? This is the Bible just has God's word. This is all the things that God sent by his Messengers and Prophets and his father all the things that God sent the God gave us to help us with our life. We can find the way to Jesus by reading the Bible. The Bible is a map and a star that will lead us with Jesus. Even though we don't have a map and a star in the real sense that leaves us to Jesus we can use the Bible as our map. And as our star to help lead us to Jesus we can find a way to get to read God's word every two. Who is there Bible every single day raising and read your Bible every single day anybody and it's and it's something that we have to make time to do in our life is something that it's easy to forget to do but we should take time every morning when we get up or every evening when we before we go to bed or just some free time during the day put your phone or your tablet away. Are your video games away? It's been 20 30 minutes in God's word so you can Follow God's map and got star that he gave in front of us because if you have a map to go places, and I never pulled my map out. Am I going to try to figure out how to get there? Probably not randomly stumble upon it, but I'm probably not going to get there if it's a long way away without my map and we can't find Christ and what he wants for us in our life. We don't take time to read the math that he put in front of us. So I want you guys to if you can't read ask your mom and dad to read the Bible to you. I'm sure they would love to. Okay. Thank God for his word. They put in front of family father. Thank you so much for this day over for each one of these boys and girls for allowing them to come to church and allowing me to spend time teaching them and leave them to you or thank you for The star in the map that you gave us that leads to Christ that which is your word Lord and thank you for the holy spirit that is there for us as we go Lord bless each one of these boys and girls as they go to school or daycare or wherever they go this week will or else we ask in your name. Amen.
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The title of today's sermon is the urgency of the gospel and if you would take your Bibles and turn to Romans chapter 13. We're going to look at a couple of verses in this chapter verses 11 through 14. It's in the bulletin as well as it'll be on the screen. But if you would please if you got your Bible turn to it and I want to encourage everybody that's watching Charles Stanley this morning as I was getting ready for church, and he said that he was amazed as he would watch sermons on TV preachers on TV as they would scan the audience. And he started noticing it in his own church. That you he was amazed at how many people came without their Bibles? And so he started encouraging people to bring their Bibles and ask them to raise their Bibles up the show and he said within two months everybody in the church had their Bibles mainly because they were embarrassed not to I am not going to do that to you, but I do encourage you to take your Bible if you got one bring it if you don't have one and you want one, let us know we will get you one but as Christians we have to have the word of God and we have to know the word of God, especially in today's society. We have to know what God says. And so if you would please stand as you we look at these versus chapter 13 of Romans, And verses 11 through 14 one thing you have to realize that if you don't know this book was written as a letter not to lost people but to a church those that claim to know Jesus Christ as their savior Paul wrote this letter to the church and Roman in Rome. So I want you to look at Whitehall Road to this church. It says in verse 11 and do this understanding this present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your Slumber because our Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed the night is nearly over. The day is almost here. So let us put aside the Deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently as in the daytime not in orgies and drunkenness not in sexual immorality and debauchery not in dissension and jealousy rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Let's pray.
The Lord thank you for the reading of your word. Thank you for the words that Paul wrote to fellow Christians telling us that it is time to wake up time to put on the things of Christ and do what he has called us to do.
Do what I just asked you right now that you show up and show out today. Let us know that we have been in your presence and it's in the holy and precious name of Jesus Christ Our Savior. We pray amen.
You get a phone call in the middle of the night.
And on the other end of that phone is at one of your children.
And I save I've been in a wreck. I'm at the hospital. I need you here. Now. What do you do?
You will break speed records getting to that hospital. When Casey was in fifth grade, she went on a trip with springmore Elementary School. to go skiing in Boone
Her teacher had told them it's to be careful what ski lift they got on because if they got on the wrong steel if they were going to have to ski down no matter what it was on. What hill was on. Ginger was pregnant or had Timothy Timothy was a baby. And so we were up in the lodge and we were watching out over the thing and all the sudden we see the ski patrol take off. Well, I caught somebody else got hurt and I kept watching. I said Ginger that looks like Casey's jacket. Ginger that Stacy's coat
and we both grabbed up everything we had when we took off and I got down first and as I got down to the bottom to the to wear the date that the snow started here come the ski patrol carrying Casey on a stretcher.
And her eyes met my eyes and she locked on to me. And the terror and the fear in her eyes. As she was strapped to this backboard with a neck brace on and they loaded her in an ambulance and took her to the hospital. What had happened is she accidentally got on the Black Diamond cheer lift? And it scared her to death. And so she jumped off the skate off the ski lift fail tube stories.
If she would have jumped. Sooner or later than she did she would have landed and packed ice. But God protected her and where she jumped she landed in soft snow.
We rushed to the hospital. I told Ginger you get it out now because when we're there we have to be strong for her. She has to know that we are confident that she's going to be okay. She walked away from that with just a black eye. Jumping two stories to this day. She will not go skiing to this day. The only time that she has been on another chair lift is when she rode it with me when we are in, Colorado.
And she held onto me tighter than anybody's ever ever held me in my life.
But the urgency that we felt to get to my daughter that day is the same urgency. We as Christians should have for the gospel. There are people that are falling there are people that are dying. There are people that are suffering and lost Miss and sin, but they don't know how to get out of and we've got the answer for but we sit back and we don't say anything. We've allowed send to come into our churches. I was talking with somebody this morning and they were sharing with me that there's a church not in our County but in our area that has hired a new staff person. And the people absolutely love them. The thing is is that they are openly homosexual and they have no problem with it.
Because they are taught to love one another. And to love everybody. Yes. We are taught to love everybody. The guy has set standards up in his word about those that are leaving his church.
But we are set back and we become okay with that.
We've been okay with having people preach things from our Pulpit that don't have anything based on the word of God, but it's what makes us feel good about ourselves. And it's our fault because we don't feel the urgency of the Gospel. So as we start 2019 we must feel the urgency of the Gospel. It is the only thing that is going to fix our churches. It is the only thing that is going to fix our our towns it is the only thing that's going to fix our country. It is the only thing that's going to fix us is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And you cannot take the Bible people may say I've heard this a before but bad this just preach about salvation. No Baptist preach about the relationship with Jesus Christ. And you can't preach anything in the Bible that does not point to Jesus Christ Old Testament New Testament all points to Jesus Christ.
We are studying The Exodus. On Wednesday nights and it has been amazing to me that how many times what we are learning about to happen with the children of Israel and through with Moses points to the Redemptive nature of God. And how it all points that his Redemptive nature is what sent Jesus Christ here in the first place because he wanted to redeem us to himself. It is through it all. So why is we look at the scripture? I want to know that I want you to notice some things. The first thing is that the first point is look at where you are. Look at what it says in verse 11 just the first part of verse 11 it says and do this understanding this present time. Church, we got to look around us. We got to see what is going on and recognize it for what it is.
So many times we go through the motions. And we don't understand exactly what's going on. God has put us here at this present time for a purpose. He has put us together as a family of Believers for a purpose and we've got to recognize that we've got to see where we are. But we have to recognize that that our society is falling apart.
And we got to warn people about it. We got it not understand what's going on going on and what's going to happen to cause of it? God says that if you are my people do these things but then he also says that if you don't follow
he tells us what's going to happen.
The Book of Revelation tells us what's going to happen
now the good news is if you read the last chapter of Revelation in the last verse guess what? Godwin's which means that we win?
But it's not going to be pretty.
And those that reject God.
Are going to have a very very bad day. Actually, they're going to have an eternity a very very bad days.
But we need to wake up. We need to pay attention to where we are. And then lock the second point is this wake up? Open your eyes wake up. Look what it says in the last part of chapter verse 11. And then in the first part of verse 12, it says the hour has already come for you to wake up from your Slumber because our Salvation is nearer than when we first believed the night is nearly over. The day is almost here.
Wake up. The time has come for us to stop going through the motions Church. We have been too caught up and doing things that with the way that we've always done them or doing things the way we do them without even considering the fact that God's not in it we do it because it's more comfortable doing We have got comfortable in our churches and are comfortable pews and we've become comfortable and we've sit back and let the world go to hell around us because we won't pay attention. We won't get up and do what we've been called to do.
The time for comfort is over. The time for sitting back and just going through the motions without it. Meaning anything is over. Paul says it's time to wake up.
It is time to wake up and we're talking about a letter that was written two thousand years ago, and he was telling that them that then and we're still being told the same thing. Now that church we need to wake up and we need to get about working and doing what we've been told to do. This is not a request.
This is a call to action a call to Arms. This is the urgency of the Gospel that it's time for us to wake up because we are closer to the return of Jesus Christ now than we've ever been before.
Paul says the day of our Salvation is nearer now than it's ever been. What does that mean? Where the day of salvation? That is the time that we stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ in our Salvation is made complete. And it is coming look around you. It is getting ready to come it maybe today and maybe tomorrow it be maybe next weekend. Maybe another thousand years from now. We don't know but it is coming.
And we have to be ready for it and we need to have to wake up. We got to stop letting things happen around us while we're asleep. You've ever noticed that you'll be driving a car and you get in the habit of going somewhere. I can't tell you how many times that I have ended up here at the church. And this is not where I was planning on going. I was either I was going to gas me or I was going somewhere and and I'll be driving along and then Ginger say, where are you going?
I'll look around I'm going to church.
Because I'm so used to getting up and driving here. But I did it just becomes remote control. Why are you here this morning? Honestly ask yourself. Why are you here this morning? Is it because you intended to be here or is it just because it's always this is this is what you do all the time.
Is it meaningful for you to be here or are you just going through the motions? Because it's what you always done.
Church, we got to wake up. We got to get out of the rut. We got to get out of doing things just because it's what we always do. And we got to do something because it means something. We got to do because it's what God wants us to do.
I woke up this morning. I started thinking about that and I couldn't wait to get here.
I couldn't wait to get here to pray. I couldn't wait to get here to be able to preach to be able to worship God.
We've got to get out of our comfort zone and we got to wake up. the third thing is know who you belong to and act like it those that have been in in the youth program. With me have heard this a lot because I would tell him that this all the time. Know who you belong to an act like it look what it says here and the end of chapter verse 12 in the beginning of the first thirteen it says this so let us put aside the Deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently as in the daytime not in carousing and drunkenness not in sexual immorality and debauchery not in dissension and jealousy.
We have gotten to the point in our church is that we we are afraid to call Sin Sin. And the whole idea of loving and accepting everybody hasn't let us to 222 watering down the word of God.
To being afraid to stand on something. That is true. Because we don't want to offend anybody.
And you know the biggest reason for that.
Is that tote board back there?
Because if weeks offend somebody guess what happens with their money. It go somewhere else. On Lord knows we got to have their money. So we're going to water it down and we're not going to stand on what the Bible says and what guy calls saying we're going to we're going to be okay with People hate to break it to you, but there's going to come a time that we stand before Jesus Christ and he's going to look at it and you going to say and let me understand this church. I died on the cross to cover this sin. But then you were okay with it. But you used it for entertainment you welcome to my church.
What are we going to say then? Movie Stand by for the holy gods and we have to give answers for being okay with what put him on a cross in the first place.
What are we going to do then?
I'm not saying that I'm perfect. No way in the world. Am I perfect? I struggle with things everyday just like everybody else does.
There is no way that me and my own power could ever meet the standards that God has set forth, but you know what? Jesus Christ has got me on his shoulders and no matter how hard I fall. Jesus Christ will always be there to make me evil God standards. And that's the urgency of the Gospel.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, and he didn't you say that he is your savior. prove it You going to say wait a second? Paul says That we are saved through Grace. Not of Works lest any man should boast that is right. There is nothing that we can do to ever earn salvation priced it at all. But then James says you tell me what you believe. I'll show you what I believe by what I do because faith without works is dead. We don't work to earn salvation. We work because of Salvation And it is an effort for us to show that we understand the urgency of the gospel because God has told us Jesus Christ himself has told us that we will be his Witnesses. That we will go make new disciples. It is not a request. It is not an option for us. It is a command that this is what we do. We don't do it. We don't share the gospel to earn our way to heaven.
We share the gospel because we've already got our way to heaven pay for we want to take as many people with us as we can. That is the urgency of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. prove it by your actions And in the fourth thing. Put on Jesus daily.
Look at verse 14. Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Every morning each and every one of you get up. Each and every morning you get dressed for the day, and you dressed appropriately for what you're going to be doing that day. If you're going to go work out in the field you get dressed to go work out in the field. If you're going to work on a car you get a dressed appropriately to work on a car if you're going to go to the bank you put on a tie. If you go to get ready to drive a school bus your dress to drive a school bus if you're a nurse or a dental assistant or anybody else like that. You're going to get dressed appropriately you're going to put on your scrubs. If you're a student you're going to dress according to the school dress code, hopefully so you don't get sent home.
And you might say well what about if I'm a stay-at-home person? I don't do anything. Well, I know it's a few retirees. That play golf you're going to going to dress to play football. If you're going to go play golf. Are you Joe appropriately? If you're a stay-at-home mom, you're going to get up dress it and it and get ready to take care of kids.
And I'm going to tell you from having to take up some of the slack with ginger being in school. I'd rather go to work and stay home and take care of some kids. Sometimes that's hard work. And my hat's off to you. But you dress accordingly to what you're going to do. You don't dress inappropriately to do a job. You dress for boy what you need we need to do the same thing with Jesus Christ every day. We get up out of bed and we need to put on Jesus Christ because we've got something ahead of us and he wants us to do that.
It made that we just show some kindness to somebody in the supermarket. It may be that we just so kind of somebody at a traffic light instead of getting mad because they don't go when the light turns green. But we have to put on Jesus Christ. Paul says again, I beseech you therefore Brothers by the mercies of God that you present your body a Living Sacrifice daily, which is your reasonable Act of service or worship. It is something that we have to do daily. Why because we're we're not perfect. We're humans. We make mistakes. We tend to want to take control back.
And it's got to be a daily decision that we make to follow Jesus Christ is our savior.
to follow him and the urgency of the Gospel
How do we do this?
the first step Is spending time in prayer? Look what it says here in 2nd Chronicles. 7:14. I've already quoted this verse If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves know, that's the first thing people. We have to get past ourselves. We have to get over ourselves. We don't have all the answers. We don't know what to do. We will make a bigger mess of it. If we try to do it on our own and we've got to get past ourselves and get out of her own way and humble ourselves and then take it to God humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their Wicked Ways. Then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their lights in and I will heal their land. That is the very first step. What is the first step of Salvation humbling yourself admitting that you're wrong that you can't do it yourself? And then what are you got to do you pray and talk to God and accept his gift, but you got to talk to him first. Christianity what we have here is not a religion. Yes, I am Baptist.
Baptist won't get me to heaven. Being a Baptist. You know what? I hate to tell you this, but he'll is going to be full of Baptist.
It is and it's sad.
Because Baptists are a good bunch of good old boys. We've got to get past that good old boy religion.
Just because somebody grew up and and they are good old boy doesn't mean they're going to heaven. The only thing that's going to get them into heaven is Jesus Christ.
And we start by praying. And seeking him first.
Just because you got baptized doesn't mean that you're going to heaven I get told that a lot. I'll ask somebody if they're Christian why I got baptized when I was a kid. That's not what I asked you.
If you don't baptism is an outward expression of what's already happened inside what God is done with you inside.
If you don't know Jesus Christ as your savior and you got baptized you just got wet.
It didn't want there is nothing about the water that washes the sin away or anything like that the blood of Jesus Christ as well as the sin away.
And that emptiness that we feel in our lives cannot be filled by water. It cannot be filled by church membership. Can be filled with is the blood of Jesus Christ.
And when we accept him we accept him and went into a relationship and we give him control and he fills us with his spirit and that is the only thing that can fill that emptiness that people feel in their lives.
We want to keep that to ourselves.
But we've got to start with prayer.
So as we go into this time of invitation, I'm on the first as I'm continue talking when I ask all our deacons to come up to the front so that the pews here in the front. And they're going to be here. But if you want to come up and pray our deacons are going to be here for you to pray with you at the deacons if you would come on and just be here at the front.
They're going to be here to pray with people. You guys can just have a seat on the on the front pews. and I'm serious.
If you don't know what it feels like to feel the urgency of the Gospel. Come talk to us.
If you don't know.
What it feels like to be filled with Jesus and you got that emptiness that you can explain. Come talk to one of us.
We want to pray with you. We want to spend time with you and God. Get that taken care of today. You are not guaranteed another second. You are not guaranteed another second. Dwight L. Moody, I was reading a quote for a story about Dwight L Moody and he said that that he was preaching a sermon and he made a challenge to the to it to his congregation and he told him to go home and read the scripture and think about it and then come back the next week and they would talk about it.
And it is about what place does God have in your life. Do you have a relationship with Christ? And he told me he sent him home and then that night. the Great Chicago Fire happened and the church that he was preaching and was burnt to the ground. And many of those people that were in attendance that night were killed. He never met with them again, and he said that he was so convicted about that that he never
Priest another sermon that he did not push the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ask people to make a decision right then.
And I'm going to do the same thing. I'm not going to come to you individually, but I'm going to urge you. Don't leave this place today without making a decision for Jesus Christ. If you don't know him, we will introduce you to him, but don't leave this place because you don't know if you will ever be back.
Take that opportunity right now because Jesus is Calling. If you would all please stand and bow your head is a Sandra comes to lead us in our