INTRODUCTION: Today, fewer and fewer people absolutely believe in the Bible; the lost, the saved, congregations, even preachers
and religious leaders!
March 14th, 2004, Sunday Morning
When you became saved, your new life's daily focus is Heaven, not Earth
OPENING: Colossians 3:1-4
- Christian pollster George Barna put together a list of Biblical teachings that presumably Christians of every
denomination or theological tradition could affirm:
- There is absolute moral truth based on the Bible
- Biblical teaching is accurate
- Jesus was without sin
- Satan literally exists
- God is omnipotent and omniscient
- Salvation is by grace alone
- Christians have a personal responsibility to evangelize
- And of all these principles, only 50% of pastors/ministers and 11% of congregation members fully believe all seven
- San Antonio Express News, March 13th, 2004, front page of the Religion section: Pastor Charles Johnson:
- "There is an insidious teaching coming--God forbid--even from some Christian pulpits that folks of other faiths do not seek the same God that Christians
seek. This is the moral blindness that reasonable people of faith must repudiate in the most stringent terms. As God's people--Jews, Christians and Muslims--let
us see the community of faith as a centered set rather than a closed set. Let us see the true and living God as the center,
a center of love and unity, and all the peoples of the world who seek to love and serve God as moving toward that holy, burning center."
- What this article says is that even other Christian churches believe there's more than one way to become saved regardless the
Bible teaches there's only one way--and that's through Jesus Christ (John 20:31 and Acts 15:11)
FOR THOSE TRULY IN CHRIST, YOUR FOCUS IS ALWAYS HEAVENWARD
- Colossians 3:1: If you're really saved, your lifestyle now seeks daily the prizes of Heaven instead of the comforts/pleasures
- It is this continuous process of seeking the things of God--the things unseen
- Seek, meaning it will not be "dropped in your lap"; you must earnestly find it
- When we seek God's wisdom with our minds, both in studying His Word and applying It to life's situations (i.e., repay good for
evil instead of the human-natured instant revenge), we are pleasing God
- When applied correctly, you will have a heart of compassion
- Colossians 1:11: When applied correctly, you increase your patience level with others and result in joyfulness
and thankfulness to God for such increased strength
- You can be counted on by others are reliable, steadfast and having the fortitude to handle anything in life
- It is the daily reading of His Word--the Scriptures--contained in the Bible
- Philippians 3:19: For those who seek earthly things, the Bible says,
"Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."
- Romans 8:5: The lost continue to seek earthly things (i.e., money, cars, property), the saved seek upward or Heavenly things
- And even when those earthly things are attained and exceeded, the lost find that wealth and land leave them empty and unhappy;
the proof is in the number of counselings our pastor has had on this very issue
- Colossians 2:12: Your baptism did not save you--it was a public testimony/demonstration/symbology of your sin-filled
flesh's death where you now have risen to walk a new, holy life, just as Christ's body was crucified, buried and risen
- 2 Corinthians 3:15: Paul says you should test yourself to make sure you really have faith in Jesus Christ
(I.e., how do you react in public when others slander God or Jesus and/or take His name in vain?)
- The love for Christ is similar to the love for your spouse-to-be; At first, all you could ever think of was the next time
you'd meet/talk with him/her; He/she is the first thing on your mind each morning; All your energy being directed into the marriage of both your bodies into one
- Do you feel this way about Christ?
- Do you think of and thank Him first thing in the morning?
- Is He constantly on your mind of how you can draw closer and better understand Him?
- Is He all you ever think about?
- TESTIMONY: Hebrews 11:17-19: By using his mind to look to God, Abraham concluded to himself that God
could raise his son from the dead--even though Abraham had never read about such a possibly in scholarly books!
- WE, THE SAVED, ARE TO STAY FAITHFUL UNTIL THE DAY THAT JESUS REVEALS US TO THE WORLD
- Romans 8:19: It's a day that even creation, itself, eagerly awaits
- 1 John 3:2: And upon the moment that Jesus comes back for us, we will all-of-a-sudden look like what He appears
to be to us; we will be like Him
- 2 Timothy 4:8: And when the saved enter Heaven, a "Crown of Righteousness" awaits for those saved and those
who love His appearing
- But until that day, we are not to just sit and wait but to make the most of our earthly time by seeking the Lord (meaning
to read the Bible to know Him better and obey his instructions as perfectly as possible)
- Seek God's instruction with your mind so that you may deal with situations in a calm, rational, intelligent way
- World's way: the instant one person insults/injures/wrongs another, the other person wants to exact a more powerful
revenge, as quickly as possible
- God's way: consider the situation with all possible Biblical solutions so both parties are best satisfied
- If someone wrongs you, the Bible says to repay good for evil
- If you don't agree with a rule, regulation or procedure, don't flatly disobey it--consider a solution where you and the other party
can be in agreement
- TESTIMONY: Trinity Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas gave one of its former pastor's $25 to establish his home on
the condition when it was his time to go, he would sell his home and give the money back to the church. Upon the pastor's departure,
he sold the home and took all the money with him. The church leadership focused six whole months of its energy on how to find that
pastor and recover the money.
- LESSON: Some things you can't fix and should just be given up to God to deal with. Move on with circumstances beyond your
control, trusting God to handle them--that's using your head
2 Timothy 2:15: Having all the degrees and scholarly recognition as the most learned person in this world doesn't compare
to the greater wisdom/intelligence of knowing and observing God's Word in the Bible
Now that you're saved, make the most of the rest of your new life by seeking to understand God and His purpose for you in this
In tough situations, be like Abraham: he used his mind to consider God could do the impossible even though he never read/heard
about the possibility (or in the more faith-testing case, when man says it's NOT possible)
Are you staying watchful/faithful until His coming day or is this just another Sunday morning message you'll forget about
when you close this webpage?