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Focusing on the Finish Line

Eric Walsh

Presenter

Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

Sponsor

Recorded

  • November 11, 2006
    11:30 AM
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Copyright ©2006 Upland Indonesian SDA Church.

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so let us pray the father God we thank you for this opportunity to worship you will now ask is you will when your Holy Spirit the Lord to speak to our heart feed is the bread of life so the father God we would not leave this place the same way that we came as our prayer in Jesus 's name and that Charlemagne in your Bibles to the book of second Timothy we begin our sermon this morning with an older gentleman in a prison the bottom of a Roman dungeon made an old man Roman soldiers came running down the stairs one day I'm this old man from where he was laying dungeon they took him and drag him out into the streets and brought him to the central building in Rome when I got there there was a crowd of dignitaries waiting this old man was the apostle Paul and he was told by the soldiers that narrow wanted him to denounce Jesus and if he did not denounce Jesus he would be put to death of my tells us that Paul was led to a podium and a visa before this waiting congregation and the life was literally on the line and not denounce Jesus that day instead Paul preached one of his most powerful sermon so much so that even some of the soldiers believe on Jesus Christ and some of the dignitaries went back to their corner of the Empire believing in Jesus Paul will drive back to that dungeon and I can see them throwing him to the floor and asking him if you have one final request before they put him to death the beaten region old man did not ask for pleasures or form as is the apostle Paul was something to write on the right with Paul wrote the last book of the Bible he would write the book of second Timothy this book is important because I message this morning is entitled focusing on the finish line and on a day where we are all recognizing our youth this book also gives Paul's last lesson to you tentative lessons that are given to us as the last generation photo book of second Timothy in the first chapter Paul begins by thanking God even is a difficult situation Paul again praises God in verse five he speaks directly to Timothy and he says what I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in the which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice I am persuaded that is in you also the first lesson to young people Paula wanted you is that you are not squandered the legacy of faith that your family has given you we have a legacy of faith heritage of holiness but so many of our young people are quick to squander the blessings given them being raised in a Christian home Paul says that the faith of your grandmother and your mother has been found in you Timothy and I challenge on people the respect that they have been raised in a house with the spirit of God 's presence of one of my friends that I had dinner with late one night after we went to a college football game as a young man who was raised with us in the Adventist church in Miami my cousin was playing on the team and we went to the game and afterwards we left to go and have something to eat my friend was sitting across from me he told me that on Tuesday you have to turn himself in the federal penitentiary in Miami I said then what is and what you want to be done that would cause you to have to be to spend time in federal prison he began to cover the story that when I had left to go to the admin 's comments he had begun to sell drugs in Miami he was not very good honestly and selling drugs and told me stories of his being robbed at gunpoint and finally caught on the I ninety five by helicopters the SWAT team and caught to be sent to prison the police got him and he knew that he was in trouble because of China's car yet forty kilograms of cocaine and I said to him what would make you drive in your car with forty kilograms of cocaine we've been both raised at the same church and I knew his parents love the Lord but he had gotten caught up in the things of the world and was more concerned with what he owned and what he had done with knowing Jesus back Tuesday he was having to pay because he decided to follow the world rather than respect the legacy of faith that his parents are given I want to let the young people know that true happiness and joy is not found in the things of the world but is found in knowing Jesus so young people do not squander your legacy of faith balding sensitivity in verse seven if not given us the spirit of fear one of power and of love and of a sound mind faith and fear cannot exist in the same place the Christian is not not go through life fearful instead the Christian is filled with God and have a lot of power one of the main thing that a patient's four is the year we the time when people are anxious and afraid of anything and they want doctors to write them medicines the time if you turn away to hear the turn off their fears with the correct treatment fulfill on earth is having a relationship with Jesus Christ because what he tells you the fear will disappear on saying to us in the last days that we ought not be fearful of what is to come on earth we cannot be afraid of that war will come not afraid that persecution will but we must be confident in the power of the God we serve so Christian don't be afraid but instead trust in God and have faith chapter two Paul turned off the last generation possibly of young people and instructed to in verse three also without they are for indoor hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ entangles himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him with chosen him to be a soldier I want to submit to you that you have not joined church simply for social reasons but when we become members of a church and become a part of the family of God we are called to be soldiers in the Army of God which means then that we are now to both the battle in the name of Jesus against the world and we are called as false as to indoor hardness and just like many brave young Americans have gone to Iraq and Afghanistan had given up their lives at home risking their lives and their health in these young people will go to serve their country like this how much more to those who serve God be willing to give up everything in order to serve search functions if we are soldiers as the barracks this is where soldiers come to be strengthened yet it seems sometimes that is more fighting in here than out there it seems that we are sometimes more willing to be soldiers against each other than with each other but understand that we are each other's keeper as soldiers and even when we don't fully agree we must fully serve God together as funny as it seems like the only time someone was shooting off our guns is when we are inside the house of God and we leave the world afraid to fight the forces of evil where they are false as we must be soldiers we must be willing to give up everything to serve our God am I a soldier knows that even his life might be sacrificed we must be willing even to sacrifice our line Boldin says that symmetry and chapter and verse fifteen of Chapter two he says the Timothy study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth he says in verse sixteen but shun profane and vain babblings for they will increase unto more ungodliness along the states all of the young people especially when even to those that are older that God has called them to study so that he is pleased everything we do we are studying every time we sit in front of a television our brains absorb the information wife is here with us today and she was telling me just this morning at on the history Channel they had ancient stories and they were changing the Bible stories to be something other than they are that the Jericho walls fail because of an earthquake that Herod did not order the murder of all of the children in Israel at the time of Jesus is the me understand that every time you supposed to fall information you absorb and if you were studying the fall knowing that in the last days could be much more information than ever before Coles the soldiers of God to be students of God 's word 's afternoon with one another presentation on music and and on popular culture and in one of the things is that the music of the day have become as Paul says the main and profane babbling and I believe that one of the reasons that America sees her youth doing some of the things that the youth are doing is because the youth are listening to music that degrades them or people are only swearing and cursing and speaking file policy the word of God says that this will increase on some more ungodliness also the first twenty but in the great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver but also would enter Earth and some to honor and some dis- honor Bible commentators tell us that this great house represents the church and father saying that everyone comes to church is not necessarily true blue of the matter-of-fact of those who come to church while practicing spiritual espionage they are spy against God as Israel had in the wilderness so we warn young people that they be careful that they don't leave the church because of something someone might say to them in church the minimal use of being mistreated by church members as an excuse to leave the Bible warns us that the weekday to share will grow together and that we cannot expect that everyone in church will be authentically working for God so instead we must focus on being purged ourselves and focus more on what kind of vessel MI verse twenty one balls as the man therefore purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honor sanctified and meet for the Masters use and prepared unto every good work God is saying that some of us even though we think we are on God 's side we don't even know that we still need to be purged but I thank God when he begins to work in us that he is faithful and just to finish the work he starts in us verse twenty two ball again speaks to the young people of the church those would be of the last generation and he says we also useful loss is as follow righteousness and faith charity and peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart never before of young people been more pressure to be to be a sexually involved I will talk about that in this afternoon 's program more but Paul tells us like he told Timothy that we must leave those things that are not pleasing to God the Bible says resist the devil and he will flee because Baldwin in the last days these issues would be more critical than ever before chapter three Paul turned to last a prophecy and he says this know also that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves covetous boasters proud blasphemers disobedient to parents unthankful unholy without natural affection truce breakers false accusers incontinent fierce and despisers of those that are good traders heady high-minded lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God we live in very perilous times amen limit times when you don't know was someone minor hello Enron and Julie we live in a time when the world is richer than it ever was the number one cause of death in the world is poverty limited time when people only seek to elevate themselves and to make their name known among men where people are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God one study showed that the average Christian spends six times more money on entertainment that they give to their local church we live in a time when men have turned from God you claim to know him verse five Paul says having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof he says from such turn away we live in a time when Christianity and I mean all denominations has become a shell of what it used to be now Christians are more concerned with prosperity they judge the success of the church but how many people show up on Saturday or Sunday then turned the house of God into a house of all of entertainment and amusement having a form of godliness but never tapping into the power of God to change lives one of the most famous passages in the United States today is a meningeal old steam this church has over thirty thousand members his book was on the way high on the New York Times bestseller list entitled your best life now yet when he was asked by Larry King on CNN what do you do with sin at your church totals things that I don't deal with sin and I tell you that a pastor that does not deal with sin is like a doctor who says he does not treat disease thousands flock to these churches but there is no law our God is and I'm afraid that sometimes even as Aladdin 's are trying to model ourselves after the we must begin all that we have working in our churches the Holy Spirit of God and the blood of Jesus Christ Paul warns us that in the last days you may not be able to trust those who call themselves Christian leaders but instead we must know God 's word for ourselves chapter four Paul begins his final dissertation doesn't form verse one I charge the therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom he says to the young people of today preach the word out of season exhorts presented lives with all long-suffering and doctrine Paul understood that in the last days churches would be raised up and would not even have doctrinal creeds and now churches call themselves nondenominational and you can just kind of believe what ever you want to believe and have a bath and doctrines you just pick which ones you want and leave what you don't Paul says long-suffering meaning lovingly and using DOS word to establish our beliefs we are to address the same issue among us is that in verse three for the time will come when they will not endorse sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they keep to themselves teachers having itching ears and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables these are what watch thou in all things endure afflictions do the work of an evangelist make full proof of your ministry Paul now is focusing on the finish line he says for I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at as you have followed the flight I have finished my course I have kept the faith that henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness reading about this problem in the book of revelations Jesus says beware lest another man take your crown melted white envisions that the she saw what the angels of God to the ground and reshape them to fix someone else's head so I want to young people as well as those who are older do not lose your crown Paul says if you live a faithful Christian life the day will come when Jesus LaHaye and you a crown of righteousness and that on that last day the Bible says was the will of each of you may give me at that day and not to me only once all them that love his appearing on the same focus on finishing Bible says in Matthew twenty four verse thirteen he then endorsed to the end shall be saved submit to you today that we must endure this race that as Christians we must accept that God will help us to finish what he has begun and as prophecies are being fulfilled all around us we know that our time our time of departure as Paul says is so met at hand we must be ready to stand for Jesus Christ for the time will come when we walk believers in Jesus Christ will be persecuted when we are not will not be allowed to worship freely as we do now and right now we are we are not able to be Christians in right now we are not able to follow Jesus all the way how will we follow him when persecution is the result of following him the Old Testament prophets said it like this if you can't run how will you keep up with the horses regained it but right now with being Christian how we do it when persecution is the result of our beliefs however you would be a Christian when the war as every had about an every eyes on after to stand to your feet if you plan on focusing on finishing with Jesus if you want to make your calling and election sure as the theme song of the week is been all the way we want Jesus to lead us there we had about every eyes close let us pray that God would finish the work is begun in us father God we thank you for your word and for your truth of father God we realize we are unworthy of your love that all of us as have sinned and come short of your glory yet father God I love us anyway and while we were yet sinners Jesus Christ died for us father God today let us be recommitted to you but all those that are standing for you right now be able to stand for you in time of trouble disconnect us from his world Lord for this world is not our home reminders that we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and that our our Savior our King is coming for us father God help us to watch and be ready his operator in Jesus 's name of the church say amen and amen

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