PRELUDE: Luke 9:26: "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of
him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's,
and of the holy angels."
June 2nd, 2002, Sunday Morning
"Not Ashamed of the Gospel"
Loving, believing and proclaiming not only GOD but those who are a testimony to Him
OPENING: 2 Timothy 1:8-14
- At the Diet of Worms in 1521, Martin Luther said, "My conscience is captive to the Word
of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against my conscience is
neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."
- The tough part of Christianity is when you are faced with a situation, in front of many,
where you must make a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most people fold--give in, buckle,
fade with the heat.
2 Timothy 1:8-11: Paul tells Timothy that of all things to never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--nor the testimony of His
- Paul tells Timothy, his student, not only to be not ashamed but to be a partaker in the afflictions from the unbelievers (in other words, to ensure the physical and verbal assaults for his beliefs).
- Everyone would like a Christianity without trouble--no difficulties in life
- Matthew 5:10,12: But that's a fable; no matter how many blessings we've bestowed or how close we are to GOD, we are not exempt from the problems and troubles of life ... besides, how else can we have a testimony if we don't have trials to prove ourselves with?
- Part of knowing you're walking with GOD is successfully enduring times of trouble.
- Romans 5:3
- 2 Thessalonians 1:4
- Acts 14:22
- The trouble is first caused by the testimony of Jesus Christ
- 1 Timothy 2:5: FIRST its declared there's only one true GOD and one Mediator
between GOD and men--his Son Jesus Christ
- Acts 4:12: SECOND it's closed that there's no other name on earth that we
can call on to be saved
- THIRD that Jesus Christ as man on earth is at the same time the living GOD (which enraged
- The Gospel always offends ... consider:
- How do you handle work conversations when it turns to Jesus? Do you hang your head, become
uneasy? Wish to change the subject?
- If someone won one million dollars, everyone would hear about it until they got tired of
hearing about it ... why not even more talking when the prize was eternal life (with no sickness or pain) rather than money?
- 1 Corinthians 1:23: And when we talk about Jesus being crucified,
50% of the world's race (Jews) found it to be a "stumbling block" and the other half of the world's race (Gentiles) considered it "foolishness" ... so how much more is it unwelcome today?
- 2 Timothy 1:8: Notice Paul says he is a prisoner of the Lord--not to those
who imprisoned him (Rome/Nero)
- CONNECTION: Those who serve the Lord are "prisoner" to the Lord--in a positive sense. Therefore, if we are ashamed of pastors/preachers/those who preach on street corners,
we are, by substitute, ultimately ashamed of GOD.
- Psalm 1:1: So do you show you're not ashamed of Christ by being a vivid
supporter of those who preach Him today? Or do you "sitteth in the seat of the scornful"?
2 Timothy 1:8: Inside America's churches, we're a happy and safe family.
We hear a message, go home, and are oblivious to world events by not watching the news but entertainment. We don't face threats like churches in Pakistan where grenades are thrown in
(Click here for the 17 March 2002 story with pictures) ... so why should we care about this verse when that form of terror doesn't apply to us?
- 2 Timothy 1:9: Because GOD considered eternal
salvation for us and
planned a specific mission for each of us "before the world began" (This is one example of
GOD seeking us before we ever sought Him)
- Matthew 7:13: EQUATION: To sin = death. Death = forever in Hell
GOD's salvation for you saves you from that incredibly wide margin of being selected for Hell
- The salvation offered is based on a holy calling...
- Holy - there is no calling for another like yours
- Holy - in purity and motive of this calling
- GOD called us first--we did not call Him first
- Romans 11:29: The gift/calling GOD offers is irrevocable--it cannot be changed, returned, altered
- John 17: GOD wants to save us all because of His
grace and love for us--just read Jesus' prayer about
us in this chapter
- Isaiah 64:6: GOD wants to save us not because of the work we've done
(because nothing we can ever do could make up for our rebellion against GOD)
- No amount of work--neither what you do for others or how many others try to talk to you
about surrendering to Christ--can change your heart ... only GOD can change your heart
- Why did GOD even call on us at all?
- Philippians 2:13: Because it is GOD who is at work within us
- Ephesians 1:5: We were predestined for adoption into His family (if we accept
His offer of salvation)
- Ephesians 1:11: By accepting Christ's salvation, we have an inheritance
SO HOW DO WE KNOW ALL THIS TO BE TRUE?
- 1 John 1:1: Because it's written in this verse and it's historical fact
that a man named Jesus Christ walked this earth
- Because the Bible says so... (and those who have true faith ... that's all that's required)
- Romans 6:22: We have been made free from sin
- Romans 6:23: And given eternal life through Jesus Christ
Therefore true believers cannot be ashamed. How can you be ashamed of such an eternally powerful gift?
KEY QUESTION: To you, is church simply an exercise in repetitive religious duties or is it a
genuine love that you're not ashamed of?
John 20:24-45: If you act like Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, and do not believe until you see with your own eyes that Jesus is real, then it's already too late.
Be faithful in service. The true test lies in difficulty