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1. Admonitions for the Last Days

Mark Howard
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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

Recorded

  • February 18, 2017
    7:00 PM
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Heavenly Father once again we are so grateful for the Sabbath are grateful for the beautiful sunshine today we're grateful for the freedom that we have to come in worship together without having guards at the doors without being hauled off to prison and father it's more of a reality in this world than some of us realize So help us to treasure our time that we get to spend now together and Father I pray that as we are here in this house of worship you would give us a year and hearts to respond to the voice of your Holy Spirit or father were asking it in the precious name of Jesus Amen Now if you go back just a little bit from First Corinthians ten Hall give us a run in and no pun intended but you'll see why I say that in just a minute verse twenty four the Apostle has been giving instruction to the church in Corinth In fact let's go back I don't want to spend much time on this but I don't know we did this in prayer meeting this week incidentally that we just put in a plug for prayer meeting we've been going through our discipleship and book we do it every Wednesday evening from seven to eight and it's been a real blessing but we touched on this this week. In the beginning of Corinthians there's some there are similarities between the Corinthian church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church then I find interesting and I as I said in prayer meeting that that's kind of cool and that is kind of not cool if you've ever read first current because because they had their challenges but we have our challenges too we're all sinners who need a savior Amen and so in First Corinthians Chapter one The Apostle in verse four says this he says I thank my God always concerning you speaking to the current the in church for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus that you are in rich in everything by him in all what utterance and in all knowledge and in the way I want to break that down his utterances what you say OK you're talking to a church you talk about the churches communication of the truth in preaching and teaching this church has been enriched by Jesus in their preaching and teaching and in their. What was the other thing utterance and knowledge their understanding of the truth and I believe that God has blessed the seventh day haven't church with an understanding for special truths for the time we live in the last days prophetic understandings and what have you and us verse six now verse six is one that a lot of people can read over and part of that is due to some of the way it's translated not touch on that in just a moment or six as even as though what now depends on which Bible you're reading if you're reading the King James Bible or the New King James Bible it will say the testimony of Christ if you're reading an E.S.B. or an I.V. or maybe a New American Standard I'm not sure about the New American Standard it will say testimony about Christ or about Jesus or something to that effect and the Greek phrase can be ready either way and we run into that in Revelation you come to Revelation twelve seventeen and it says that the dragon was a rage with a woman and went to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the eat and depending on your translation is it testimony of Jesus Christ or the testimony about Jesus Christ and so that phrase could be read both ways now we know by comparing Revelation one nine hundred ten and twenty two eight and nine that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy as it says in Revelation one thousand nine hundred. Fifty nine I want you to notice here again in verse six it says even as my Bible says the testimony of Christ was confirmed in US Some say the testimony about Christ which one is it well look at the next verse verse seven says so so that you come short in what no one no gives OK the testimony of Christ for the testimony of Jesus in scripture refers to the gift of prophecy and this church has it so that she comes short in no gift you follow that is that hard to follow let me do it again either you're sleepy or you just didn't get it so this church is in ridged in their utterance and knowledge their preaching their teaching their understanding even as the testimony of Christ or the testimony of Jesus is confirmed in them testimony of Jesus is the gift of prophecy we see that verse seven because it says so that because they have this testimony of Christ so that you come short in no gift and then it says eagerly waiting for what. The revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ he will confirm you to the end that you may believe be blameless and the day of our Lord Jesus Christ God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord so here's the church was enriched in their understanding of truth and rich in their preaching of truth they have the gift of prophecy and they're looking for the coming of Christ you see the similarities there so I feel some camaraderie is kind of like our sister church if you will I know if you read the letters you might not want to go there but that's what I'm seeing here in this passage and I love that last part where it says that that we're waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus who will confirm us to the end blameless can Jesus confirm us blameless to the end yes you can and he will and he promises to do so now this is the church that the Apostle is speaking to and I want you to go to First Corinthians nine with me and we're going to get the run in to the passage in First Corinthians ten which will be our primary focus after Paul has given much instruction to this church we're going to pick up in verse twenty four of chapter nine and this is what Paul says Do you not know that those who run in a what in a race all run but only one receives the prize run in the such a way that you may obtain it now Paul is talking about the Greek races which became what we would know as the Olympics today these are not little races these are intense races you're going to see this in the language in a minute but he's making the point and anybody who's ever run how many of you run in a race before OK there's only one who comes in first place and that's his point only one receives the prize so you want to run if you're in that race you want to run to win that's what he's saying run in such a way that you may obtain and he's going to make a spiritual application which we're going to see in a moment and then he says in verse twenty five everyone who can Pete's for the prize they want to win they want to come in number one is temperate in how many things all things now they do it to obtain a perishable crown but we do it for imperishable crown now you know if you watch how many of you see the Olympics what do you win in the Olympics. OK gold silver bronze right as now started out you know what they got back then you in the Olympics you know you get you get a crown of victor's crown and he says that and imperishable crown the Greek or to Stefano's where we get the name Stephanie my wife's name or Stephen from it's a victor's crown compared to the diadema which is a kingly current person runs in a race they win a crown of leaves right maybe seeing a picture of the U.N. program they have this little thing with leaves around there there's the prize that's what you're running for that's what you're training for that's what you're giving your all for and just so you understand it was not uncommon even in the days of Paul that people would train so intensely and run so intensely that they would die before they finished the race because they would be exerting every energy all for a crown of what leaves a perishable crown So Paul makes the point as he's drawing them that if they're going to put that much energy into getting the in the parish book around how should we run as Christians they do it for a perishable crown verse twenty five but we or she will crown eternal life therefore he says in verse twenty six I run in this way not with certainty let me ask you this question how many people in the Olympics are going to get in the five hundred meter going to get gold how many people in the Christian race are going to get the gold we're going to get the we are going to win that crown everyone who finishes everyone who finishes So poll says hey I'm not running with uncertainty I'm not running I'm thinking Boy I sure hope I win I know that if I run and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus I will win they're putting forth all this energy for a parish but we for imperishable therefore this is the way I run not with uncertainty this is the way I fight not as one who beats the air verse twenty seven but I discipline my body and bring it into subjection last when I have preached to others I myself should be what disqualified I should be counted out kicked out of the race and I don't win his point overall is this there are people who let me let me just give you an illustration here. They've got anybody you know of Dave's got six time Iron Man champion. But the Iron Man is straddle on race that he's done six times as the slide says and won you know what if Scott does to propel I'm going to tell you everything they've got does to prepare for race the apostle says that people who run in a race their temper in all things now if you have ever really seriously competed in something do you eat the same way you always eat right before the race you know you get serious about what you're eating and what you do sleep how long you sleep and and how late you stay up in all of that why now is training to win temperate not in some things temperate in all things now I'm going to go to the nth degree here with Dave Scott I'm going to he goes to it now you can see from the picture that the guy doesn't look like he needs to lose a lot of weight. There are people who say I need to slim down and I'm going to go from eating pizza and I'm going to take part in cheese pizza I'm going to switch over to cottage cheese and cottage cheese to lose weight ever known people to go down to eat the cottage cheese because it's low fat right you know what this dude does with his cottage cheese before he eats his cottage cheese when he's training he rinses is to get all the extras excess fat out OK I'm not thinking this guy needs to really worry too much about it but that's where he is why why would he do it why would you reduce your cottage cheese of all things because he wants to increase his chances to win the race and the point is we could go athlete after athlete who compete in things and draw out the very thing Paul saying when these guys are in that race they're serious about it and what are they going to win and of course the application question is this how serious are you about the Christian race really how serious are you the guy rinses is cottage cheese. How serious are we so the Apostle Paul makes the application himself this is the way I fight and when he says in verse twenty seven I don't fight as one who eats the air I'm not swinging at nothing Ellis what he swing at but he says I discipline my body that we're discipline really interesting word in the Greek language who Popey on zero It literally means to give a black eye to it's used in the ghetto when somebody is in a fight in the contest he's talking about and their limit games they had races they also had boxing there boxing was not like our boxing with the big padded gloves there were leather straps on your hands sometimes leather straps and brass knuckles and and polls using this imagery and says this is the way I fight as a Christian when my body when my urges when my desires want to get me to do the wrong thing and I discipline my body I give every energy I have to win this raise a mensch energy are you giving to win the Christian race me may say well you know look pastor we know we don't have any strength apart from Jesus look I gave my life to Jesus I pray to Jesus I ask him to give me strength and I just trust in him and you know you know I have shortcomings and what have you but I'm just going to you know I'm cool with that he's got he's got this thing don't misunderstand me I'm sure Jesus has this thing you know what Jesus does through a spirit he inspires you to do just like the apostle Paul lest you be disqualified to give all diligence to Rick fight not as one who beats the air now in the imagery they're not as one who beats the air but I discipline my body he's like I'm not swinging at nothing I'm swinging everything in myself that would draw me away from Christ I blacken my AA as it were I bring my body into subjects because I don't want to be I don't want to miss out you say well you know how easy is it to miss out then he goes into Chapter ten and this is where we're going to spend our time in this series because he brings up in chapter ten he starts out in my Bible starts out the New King James More over brother and most other translations start out the word for it's a better translation of the Greek for is a word we would use because it's. So in other words I fight this Harpole Why are you knocking yourself out why you've written your cottage cheese Paul this is why I don't want you to be ignorant of this example and this is where he goes follow along in chapter ten verse one Moreover brethren I do not want you to be unaware I don't want you to be ignorant and I want you to follow along in the wording here in the beginning of Chapter ten and note this word in particular Oh what were did I say OK follow along I don't want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud of speaking about cloud in the wilderness pillar of cloud pillar of fire all our fathers were under the cloud and within say all passed through the sea and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea so he's referring back to our fathers when they came out of Egypt and they passed through the Red Sea and the pillar of cloud the pillar of fire went with them and how many did it all did all came out all went neck cloud was with them and all went through the sea and all followed Moses verse three all ate the same spiritual food how many all of them did and all drank the same spirits of drink for they drink of that spiritual rock that followed them and that rock was Christ how are full how or for passage here in the New Testament you know there are a lot of Christians who don't realize the presence of Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures but here the Apostle Paul makes very clear they all had access to Christ every one of them they all had access to Christ and all claimed to believe in Christ they all went to the same church they went to the same pot luck they ate haystacks together they all gave each other watches for their weddings and all this other stuff and to see little culture they all grew up in culture does not make a person a Christian one of the things I shared with the young girl during our what with all the students during our annual session and I probably said here before to your Christianity does not begin when you say I'm a Christian You're could here let me tell you where your Christianity Guinn's your Crist in and see your following of Christ begins when your will and Christ's will meet like this and you lay years down and say I'm going to do what you say Christ instead of me that's when you become a Christian. If Christ asked you to do some you already like to do hey go out take a walk on a sunny day OK cool Lord I'm a Christian no I'm OK I'm all about that it's when Christ tells me I want you to stop listening to that but Lord I like listening to it OK Well it's not good for you in my will for you is that you don't do that you're destroying yourself yeah but I like it now what am I going to do there that determines whether I'm a Christian is Christ going to be the one that I follow or I'm going to be the one that I follow if you understand what I'm saying they all have the same experience and and so I want you to get the run in now again post talking about this intensity that he fights the Christian fight with why he says list and I don't want you to forget our history we have a history of people who knew God who claim to follow God and they all came through the same experience but look at verse five they had Christ among them but Verse five with what's the word most of them God was not well pleased for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness now it won't take you a whole lot of time to go back and study you look a few places and you'll get an understanding from what the Bible tells us in the Bible when it it's in many places it counts just the men and. In the particular of the Exodus it counts the men over I believe over twenty so the men over twenty years of age numbered about six hundred thousand people now if you count a woman for every man which would be pretty close I think you'd be pretty fair to do that you've got one point two million or I'm sorry one yeah one million two hundred thousand people a rough estimate of those who came out of Egypt not counting the children because there were children who weren't held guilty for the sins of the parents who went into the promised land of the one million two hundred thousand people who came out how many went into the Promised Land. Of the one point two million who drank of the same spiritual rock and went through the sea and passed with the cloud and ate the main out and all of that how many were any and now I saw some fingers go to two men and they had families but I'm going to tell you a very very small number comparatively that should be alarming to anyone that all the we're not talking about the Haven Nations folks we're not talking about the Philistines in the Amorites we're talking about the Israel ice who all shared in the Exodus and they all had the same experience and yet with most of them God was not well pleased for their bodies fell in the will as the Apostle points to that he says Now do you get an idea why I am so intense and rinsing my cottage cheese as it were because I see the example of those who has gone before and they fell in the wilderness are you following he says I don't want to be disqualified so he says in verse six now these things became our examples to the intense that we should not lust after evil things as they also lust verse seven and do not become idolators as were some of them as it is written the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play nor let us commit sexual immorality as some of them did and in one day thirty three thousand fell nor let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted and were destroyed by serpents nor complain as some of them also complained and were destroyed by the destroyer now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world have come therefore let him who thinks he stands what take heed lest he fall no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man that God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear. So the apostle in chapter nine in that run him talks about how he disciplines his body when he is something in his selfish nature that is drawing him away from Christ he's black in the eyes why because he gives us examples in every case where the devil used the children of Israel's passions and lust and selfish natures to draw them away from Christ and destroy them in the world so he says this is on record for us written for our admonition notice this statement it says so long as we are in this world we shall meet with that verse influences God doesn't promise us that when we follow him we're not going to have hardships right we're not going to have trials day by day and it's a year by year we shock conquer self and grow into a noble heroism this is our lot of task but it cannot be accomplished without help from Jesus first thing and Amen we got to have the strength of Christ but Jesus gives us help to go in battle against these tendencies without help from Jesus resolute decision unwavering purpose continual watchfulness and unceasing prayer each one has a what a personal battle to fight and notice this next part not even God and make our characters noble or our lives useful unless we become Co-workers with him yet another way of saying that is simply this wasn't going to force you to be whole if God could have forced you would have forced Adam and Eve You would have forced Lucifer in the beginning God honors choice the honors your choice my choice so we got to choose to cooperate we got to choose to be a CO Are we don't choose God himself isn't going to make us anything other than what we used to be those who declined the struggle lose the strength and joy of victory you've got to fight the good fight if we're going to win the good fight you've got to get in there if you can to win the race and you know what everybody who finishes cross the finish line winds and the best news is the Bible says Jesus is both the author and the finisher of our faith you got to stay in the race get a stay in the race so Paul goes through in First Corinthians ten and begins to share with us these examples of ancient Israel. And how they fell in the wilderness only a handful entered the Promised Land and he says this is there on record for us so that we don't fall after the same examples I want you to go to Hebrews Chapter four with me we're going to say way over there the Bible actually tells us and he received for why the people of God did not enter in so go to the right from first Corinthians go through all the T's which are kind of crowded together there and you come to finally men and then you come to the book of Hebrews going to he was four in verse six and Ron taking the time to break down everything in your cruise let's look at Chapter three verses eighteen in one thousand and then will jump to four Verse six you get a good picture here Hebrews three eighteen and nineteen it says into whom did he swear speaking of the LORD Whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest that is enter into the Promised Land but those who did not obey now some Bibles will say believe here and my translation says obey him or you'll find is that those words believe and obey are very closely united that's why the translators can translate them either or you'll see a little bit more of that in a moment so mine will actually switch it up it says who didn't enter except But those who didn't obey verse nineteen so we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief a jump to chapter four and not for Chapter four verse six and the Bible says here since therefore it remains that some must enter it that is this rest and those to whom it was first preach did not enter in because of what disobedience now another some translations again will say belief but I want you to notice the actual word spans lated there if the word at a pace. And this is a really interesting word a pace here's where we got word apathy from as anyone ever heard the word apathy what is apathy Abbie's kind of this listless I kind of don't care I'm not really all that interested what some of you may be feeling right now. But the word a Pavia our word apathy doesn't convey as clearly what the Greek word of Pavia is the word of pay here refers to listen carefully and obstinate rejection of the will of God It's not an accidental thing it's not a you know I'm sorry Lord I wasn't paying attention could you tell me again so is the reason that the Israelites didn't make it into the Promised Land The reason that all of those fell in the wilderness is because they persistently refused to do what God asked them to do all the while claiming to be God's people all the while traveling in Mass going to church together going to fellowship meal together etc etc but they were not earnest about obtaining the prize instead they were earnest about following their own lusts their own ways and obstinate rejection of the will of God children of Israel in Egypt now in the book Testaments for the church by and by it says this The sin of ancient Israel was in disregarding the expressed will of God and following their own way I know that's foreign to most of us here right you've never had an experience where you wanted to follow your way instead of God's way right course we know better than that as you'll see in a minute ancient Israel is going to be replaced in a minute with the term modern Israel which is very similar to the sin of ancient Israel to dig disregarding the expressed will of God and following their own way according to the leadings of unsanctified hearts alternate Israel are fast following in their footsteps and the displeasure of the Lord is as surely resting upon them it is never difficult to do what we love to do right but to take a course directly against our inclination inclination is just what you're inclined to do what you like to do is lifting a cross and that's what Jesus meant when he said If any man will come after me let him take up his crossed and I am self daily and follow me that's that was the idea Jesus tried to communicate to us that your will is going to come in conflict with God's Will some point and that's where we get to decide whom I going to follow and Israel follow their own will and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Again it says for forty years it and believe in rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan the same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan we are not still here in this dark world because we're waiting on God let's make that clear in either case ancient Israel or modern Israel or the promises of God it falls it is the unbelief worldliness UN consecration and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years because we're not serious about Christianity and lest we get the idea sometimes we comfort ourselves say I know I should be more serious about my Christian life I should be more serious about my relationship with. Ah get around to it look at the example of ancient Israel did they get around to it that's written that's there on record for us as a warning as a reminder as an encouragement and all those things so after poll outlines this he gives us some examples and it was years ago that I actually went through and I began to look and I have preached through the series before and as I said it's been spreading ten years now and I was looking at it again there are five specific examples the Apostles drawing out there in first Corinthians Chapter ten five of them the first one he brings up is when the Israelites lusted after the food of Egypt and complained about the manna the second example he gives is about the worshipping of the Golden Calf the third example he gives is about the apostasy of Israel at Bel P. or the fourth example he gives is about when the most when the the child of his or complained about the difficulty of the way and God allows serpents to come out and bite them and he commanded both to raise up the serpent on the pole which is where John sixty three sixteen is drawn from in the very language of Jesus in John three and the fifth example he gives is the rebellion of Korah and folks I want to tell you that these examples are not accidental and it is astounding how well they apply to God's people upon whom the ends of the ages of come. So in this series what we're going to do each week I'm going to cover one of these stories in the application has to God's people today and I'll tell you there are all kinds of lessons in it because we are modern Israel now the good news in all of this is the Apostle Paul starts out talking about how intense he is in fighting the Christian faith how he doesn't run with uncertainty because he knows there's a prize before him how he has confidence that he can win but when he comes to the end of the passage I want to pick it up again in First Corinthians ten and conclude with this last part it is possible draws our attention to rescreen themes ten after he tells us these all happen to us for examples you warns us let him who thinks he stands take heed lest you fall and then verse thirteen he says this he says no temptation has overtaken you except what such as is common to man and I'm going to tell you that this we are in fact he goes on to say no temptation is as has overtaken us such as is common to man but with the temptation is going to make the way of escape that you may be able to bear and I know Christians who love quote this in fact I love to quote the great virtues right oh lord is not going to allow you to be tempted more than you can be but that first part and I want to understand this that first part is there is no temptation has overtaken you but such as it is what does that word mean common What's that it has happened before and happened what's at normal for new where everybody knew the words new There's the old song Nobody Knows the Trouble I've seem like to sing that when Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen no one knows my sorrow you know nobody knows but Jesus and to a degree that's true but sometimes we like to feel that the reason that we fall into sin is because I'm tempted worse than anybody else's I temptations are harder my trials are harder. If you have read in the book Child Guidance we're counseled as parents to be careful how we deal with the Temptations and trials of our children because sometimes our children come to us with your life not the way they get to be my age you get all these pressures of right and we're tempted we're color caution is parents don't do that because that trial to your child is every bit as severe as that trial may be to you as an adult that you're having in work and with work pressures and things like that you're going to say In other words temptation is common to man your and I This might be you know wreck your you know mindset in these things but nobody here is tempted worse than anybody else a script says there may be times when you go through a trial more so than somebody else but the fact of the matter is there is no temptation that which is common to me and we all experience trials we all stories temptations but we all have the same Savior who can give us victory over those temptations there's no temptation has taken you but it is God It is baseball who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able there is never a reason to fall into temptation it is Satan's act to tempt you but your own acts say what to yield it is not in the power of all the host of Satan force the tempted to transgress that's why the look if it was in the power say to force us we just give up hope wouldn't be saying hey this is why I fight but now he can say knowing this that I don't fight with one spirit and see I know I can win the fight because the Lord is with me and the enemy doesn't have he can't force me to do wrong with the temptation he will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear and as I said a lot I know a lot of sayings like that one but they never read on the verse fourteen and verse fourteen starts with what were there for which means for this reason for this reason God's going to make a way of escape therefore what we from idolatry. Well you spells it out force them sometimes we get temper we say well got the way of escape so Lord you know do your thing and yet we put ourselves in the very places we know we're going to go we listen to the music that we can suss we hang out with the friends that are a bad influence we go in do things that we know are going to weaken our characters and draw us aside and we just pray and say Lord you're going to have to work this out no plea for my dollar tree the apostle gives us all the examples of ancient Israel and says this is in essence the point they didn't flee from us they were enticed by their own carnal desires into practices and habits and lifestyles where they had no other option once they were there to be taken down and the apostle says look you don't have to be taken down you can win this thing the Lord Jesus always makes a way out but you have got to flee from idolatry you have got to make a choice to fight against evil and choose the good this is one of the most powerful statements that I've ever read I want to share with you here Satan is constantly at work most of you are probably well aware of that but if you have any idea of his activity and subtlety He's sneaky you don't see him coming you see that I mean the people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe notice it is this resistance that Satan drifts when Paul says look I'm going to fight you in the grace of Christ the devil dreads that because he knows he can't ever win against somebody who puts their trust in Christ so he has to sneak up on you in such a way that you forget to in list Christ in your battles it is this resistance to Satan dreads he knows better than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and facing you where that you know his are defeated Oh he is no match for Christ and when we are united in Christ and we are going to battle in Christ the enemy knows full well he can't win so what does he have to do he he has to separate us from Christ and how's he doing through all of these subtle things that you know us to follow our carnal desires into those habits and practices just like he did ancient Israel so that we're separated from Christ and now he has mastery over. He knows better than we do the limit of his power how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him through divine strength the what the weakest saints of nobody can say yeah that sounds good except for me I can't know through divine strength the weakest saying is what most get a match for him and all his angels and if brought to the test he though we could sweep a saint would be able to prove his superior power in we cannot defeat you therefore Satan step is noiseless his movement stealthy he does not venture to show himself openly lest your rouse the Christians dormant energies and send him to God in prayer if we see the devil coming so we do we listen to that song and say I don't hear I don't think there's anything wrong with it right the devil's company sneaking in and we don't see things with it so guess what I'm not doing not going to resist it I'm not going to Christ in print saying Lord help me to resist this because I don't see the danger because the devil knows I see the danger and I go to prayer he's toast So what happens he doesn't show himself openly he sneaks in otherwise he made a rouser energies to go to Christ in prayer and he's lost I say praise God that we have such a promise through Jesus but the devil does not give up easy he's on our track as God's people we are living in the last days the Lord is trying to give us victory and get us across that line that wants to keep us back if possible words of warning that we're reading to the Corinthian church the words of warning to the Corinthian church are applicable to all time and are specially adapted to the wants of our day by idolatry he did not alone mean the worship of vitals but also selfishness love of ease the gratification of appetite and passion all the things that he used in those examples that we're going to see as we go on in the series to to sidetrack Israel all these come under the head of idolatry a mere profession of faith in Christ and a boastful knowledge of the truth does not constitute a Christian. A religion would seeks only to gratify the ear in the taste or which permits any her full self indulgence is not the religion of cries it is in harmony with the spirit of the world and as opposed to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures festivals and seams of amusement in which professed members of the Christian Church imitate the customs and enjoy the pleasures of the world constitute a virtual union with the enemies of God as was the problem with Israel. Saints today the Lord Jesus wants us to when he wants us to run that race and he wants us to cross the line and he is the author who put us in the race and he is the finisher of our faith but you have got to choose to be on his side and you've got to choose if need be to reinsure cottage cheese to put nothing else of more value than finishing this Christian race and perhaps today the Spirit of God and maybe not just today maybe this week maybe this months the Spirit of God has been speaking to you and wrestling with you over something in your life that has been hindering you from being in that race from being whole hearted in your Christian experience and today the Lord is reminding you again of his great love for you and how willing he is to give you himself in every way for you to succeed in the Christian life but you've got to lay hold of that offer he's given you today you've got to say Lord Jesus I want to lay aside every sin that so easily besets me and I want to run that race with endure it's looking unto you the author and finisher of my faith are you willing to say that today saying who is willing to say today Lord I want to whatever it takes I want to be on your side I want to finish that race and I want to be with you in attorneys at your desire raise your hands with me today let's pray together Father in Heaven Father we thank you for the testimony of scripture today we thank you for Hall's willingness. To point out our shortcomings in our sacred history and encourages Oh on to victory we thank you for the promise that we will never be tested further than we are able to handle it a father you have provided a way out that you may have given us grace and strength in the name of your Son Jesus Christ Father help us not to be obstinate and stubborn as was ancient Israel that our bodies would be gathered will. Lord help us very soon by your grace to enter into that heavenly. We ask and prayed in the name of in the US in. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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