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Critical Reminders (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2022 6:00 am

Critical Reminders (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 5, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews


After this life it dies with you and that's it. That's what she had. Which is why Jesus engaged her and converted her.

Led her to salvation. You cannot always know what God is up to. That's why we're supposed to live as though He may be up to something. Even when we're around people we don't know and they are engaging us.

Are we engaging them? The Bible gives us these instructions to follow. And so He responded, Lord, you know I have great love for you, but I can't say I have the greatest love. I want it.

I just can't get it. And that's why in the Greek, if you look at it in the Greek in John's Gospel where this exchange, this dialogue takes place, it's Jesus. Do you agape me? Do you have the spiritual love? And Peter says, no I phileo you. I don't have the big stuff.

I want it. That describes all of us. Yeah, we have agape love for Christ. Sometimes we behave as though we don't. Especially in our treatment of others. So this is a big part of the letter.

This is holding them accountable to behavior. Let brotherly love continue. Don't abandon the faith. Stay in it and continue to love as Christ taught to love. Peter, when he wrote to the persecuted Christians, he was careful not to center all of his letter on awe.

Poor thing. I don't want to make that humorous because I don't want to be under persecution and someone making humor about it. But I want to point out that there's more to our faith than just relief from whatever it is that hounds us. So he writes, be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

And the word he uses for hospitable has phileo in it again. Beloving to one another in kind without grumbling. Well, I better love them.

Let somebody else find out I don't love them. Jay Vernon McGee makes this comment. He says, we are to love not like brothers, but because we are brothers.

That is true. We are to behave as though we belong to the family of God. Not just drink in the blessings of belonging to the family, but letting some of those blessings flow through us to others also. It's going to call for commitment, action. You're going to have to step up.

If you insist on sitting on your hands, you won't be called off the bench. But if you apply yourself, you watch what God will do. I think there is a lot of brotherly love in this church. That won't stop immature Christians or people from objecting because the immature really think love is a self-centered thing and they measure love by what you give them and not by what they give others. So critical is brotherly love that when it is missing, everybody knows it. Jesus said you're the salt of the earth. Without salt, there's no flavor.

Something's missing without salt. Its absence is noticed. Its presence is then in demand. Well, it's the same with us, with how we behave. When love is missing, it's noticed.

There's a demand for it. And think about the loveless things that have been done to you by someone else. Then think about the things that are loveless that you have done to someone else. Then think about the loving things you have done for others and others have done for you, how love flows from you. And then this exhortation, let brotherly love is very important. Verse two, if you look with me at verse two, he's continuing with this. Everything he has to say is going to be built on those words. Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels. Don't forget the salt.

Don't forget the spiritual element of your life. He's saying let the brotherly love continue. Now I'm from, I'm born and raised in New York City. Strangers are not to be trusted there. And he's not saying, he didn't just go out on the road and say, hey, I don't know who you are. Why don't you come over to my house?

We'll have a good old time. But he is saying, you better be careful when you are around people whom you don't know. Just don't lock up and become cold and calloused.

It's so easy to do. I have to work at it actually. Someone comes up to me and says, excuse me, do you have the time? What are you doing? You don't know me. Where's your buddy?

You got another guy in this kind of club me in the head of something? You suspect of people approaching you. You don't know. Well, in the scripture, of course, Abraham, when the three men showed up, there Abraham was in the tent in the cool of the day and the cool of the shade and they show up and he is very careful how he treats them. Turns out two of them are angels. The other one is an appearance of God himself on earth. Of course, there are others.

There's a lot. There's the manoah and his wife, the parents of Samson and Gideon, one of the more comical ones. Gideon's threshing wheat in the wine press because he's afraid and the angel of the Lord shows up and he's, you know, greeted as a man of valor and God is with you and he's questioning everything of where God is with us and why am I threshing wheat in the wine press, hiding out like then the whole thing is going somewhere.

We're not going to take it further than that. My point is the scripture is it gives us examples of those who entertain strangers who are actually sent by the Lord. One of my favorite ones or probably one of my favorites is the woman at the well. She did not know it was Jesus Christ that initiated conversation with her, asking her for a drink. What is this Jew talking to me, a Samaritan?

What is a man without a chaperone doing talking to me? She had religion. She just didn't have salvation. Oh, that should get a lot of people that we come in contact with in our life. You can have useless religion, good for nothing.

After this life, it dies with you and that's it. That's what she had, which is why Jesus engaged her and converted her, led her to salvation. You cannot always know what God is up to. That's why we're supposed to live as though he may be up to something.

Even when we're around people we don't know and they are engaging us, are we engaging them? Bible gives us these instructions to follow. So we need to be careful because some have entertained angels unaware. They weren't aware at the time those were angels and it can happen to you. God can send someone a message. It doesn't have to be an angelic being. God can send a person into your life and you can mess it up or not.

Well, how do you not mess it up? Just be loving, be obedient, be on guard for the will of God to use you. They're not talking to. They're not almost Christians. They're not thinking about being Christians. They're not giving Christianity a try. These are solid Christians saved by the blood of Christ and now many of them are in trouble thinking about leaving Jesus Christ. Now if you don't believe in free will or you think your free will goes away when you're saved, then you may struggle with that.

I don't share that view, nor am I afraid of it. I am honored. Learn to be honored by what God brings into your life, the good or the bad. Job put it this way, the Lord gives, the Lord takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. I don't know if he put an emphasis on that, but I want to and when we get to the end of this section, maybe we will find another emphasis along those lines. But this is brotherly love now to prisoners. What if it was your brother in prison, your real brother? Maybe a brother that you love because they're those that have brothers and they're not very close, but if it's a close brother, of course, you feel it. Well, the writer's not asking them to feel it, he's asking them to obey it. He's telling them, look beyond this life.

Put yourself in their place. Now this is a little history here with them. In Hebrews 10, he says, For you had compassion on me in my chains and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. You suffered for your faith.

You suffered for me. When I was a prisoner of Christ, you did not keep me at a distance. Oh, he's a convict now.

He's part of the criminal element. Yeah, he was for the causes of Christ. And they did not turn away from him, and he calls them out.

He says, Remember, remember? It's a victory on their side. It was an honor for them to show honor to one of God's prisoners. In Hebrews 11, he says, Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 2 Timothy, this is about a man named Onesiphorus. The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me. Catch that part.

Do you refresh anyone, or do you just drain it out? Oh, man, here they come. He often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain. But when he arrived in Rome, and here it comes, this is a beautiful part, just very beautiful. He sought me out very zealously and found me.

That's what Paul wrote. I was a needle in a haystack. I was in the system of Rome's prison system. And Onesiphorus, he sought me out, and he found me. He didn't stop till he found me, and he refreshed me.

This is brotherly love. This is remembering the prisoners as if chained with them. Traveled a long distance to get to Paul. You imagine what happened in the heart of Onesiphorus.

When word got to him, Paul is in jail. And he's having a tough time. He thought on it, likely prayed on it, good, judging by his character, of course, that's what he did.

Packed his bags and headed out the door to do something about it. Because to the believer, God is real and always present, and the interests of God always are paramount. Thus we fight, we struggle. It is irrational to believe that God cannot be known by all men. This is just outside of reason. That's why God says a fool says in his heart there is no God. He's outside of reason, and that puts you in the fool category. A fool does foolish things. Go home and twirl a hammer, see what happens to you. They're not balanced for that. I know.

I was once a youth, and I tried stupid things like that, but I did not graduate and try it with like a running chainsaw or something. But anyway, it is irrational to think that he can be known apart from his revelation, him revealing himself. Now we're locked. It's the word. In the days of Abraham, it would be direct contact. There was no scripture in the days of Abraham.

He was making the scripture, his revelation. And it is also slanderous to think that God is indifferent, that he doesn't care about prisoners or you or anyone else. Unless you have an inferior view of God, which the world has by definition. The world's view of God is an inferior view, one that we totally reject. Borrowing from A. W. Toja, if it were a medicine, it wouldn't cure anyone.

If it were poison, it wouldn't harm anyone. So he must be real to you. Or you have useless religion. You cannot save your soul from the wrath of God to come upon sinners. But if you are right with Christ and he is real to you, everything else changes. So the temptation to abandon Christ, which they had to escape persecution, was very real around them in the life that they lived. It could become real to us. Persecution is increasingly becoming not just a doctrinal issue, a historical conversation. It's getting closer and closer to us.

Where it will go, I don't know. But I know that our orders don't change, that we are to stand in the faith, be steadfast and unchanging. In verse 4 now, he says, marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Well, the brotherly love, you think it's supposed to stop in your marriage? I'm to show love to other people, but not brotherly love to my spouse? Brotherly love, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you. You see, that you in the Bible singles you out, isolates you from everybody else. Be tenderhearted. Unless, of course, you're trying to mess your marriage up.

Do we believe it? Believers are not supposed to badmouth marriage as though it's, you know, we're saddled with it. If I could just break free from it.

Why? So you can go try to break free from something else later on too? It is a lie from Satan. Oh, if I had only married so and so. If I had only, once you come in, the marriage is, listen to, read it again with me, not out loud, but I'll read it out loud if you don't mind. Marriage is honorable among all.

It's honorable. Don't treat it like it's junk, like it's a mistake. Maybe you need to step up your game of being. It's not a game. Step up your faith. Maybe you need to work harder.

And I'll tell you something else. You who have had a good marriage for 10, 15 years, well, 16, 17 years may get a little difficult. You're not excused.

The bed is undefiled. The bonds of marriage is the only place undefiled for sexual relationships. Only in the marriage is ordained by God. Sexual activity is pure in the marriage.

Sexual activity outside is impure. Is anybody surprised by that? I didn't know that. I mean, if that's you, please see me after service. We have to talk. The world hates this. They hate this. They think marriage is just something you do and divorce is something you do. You know how their proposals go. For instance, out in Hollyweird, they come up to someone and they say, will you be my future ex-spouse? Let's live together in holy matrimony for three or four years and then do it again with someone else. Of course, it's wrong.

And it is difficult seeing the attitude in so many Christians, what their attitude is towards marriage. Now, I want to be very sensitive here and gentle. You know, the Marine Corps took that from me. I thought I was gentle before I went in. I might be wrong, but it just seems that after I got out, I was like, who are you?

Get away from me. How come you're just a tuck in that shirt? You look like a slob. Get a shave. Get a haircut.

Shine those sneakers. Just, you know, everything changed. And sometimes I get into the pulpit and I have to remember not everybody's on that page with me. I'm not saying it's better.

Anyway, I want to be gentle with this because it's necessary. I'm not saying all the sin's not that bad. I'm not saying that. But I know this. I know that in the body of Christ, there are those who stumble. And I know that Christ loves them and restores them. Paul, the apostle, when writing to the Corinthian church, he called him out on all sorts of immorality. He said that, and I'm going to read a little bit from 1 Corinthians 6. He says, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, the effeminate ones, men behaving like women.

That's what's happening then. He continues, No thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And now here it comes. This is for every one of us, especially if you have ever stumbled with fornication or adultery and you are a Christian. This is for you. And such were some of you. But you were washed. You were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Satan will come along and say, Yeah, but you know, that was before you were a Christian. Once you became a Christian and you stumbled on in those areas, that was it. He's lying. You're still washed.

We have an advocate with the Father. There's no higher. We're sin abounded.

Grace did much more. You have no right to limit that, except outside of Christ. For those in Christ, there's now no condemnation in Christ Jesus. But for those outside of Christ, there's no salvation.

So they were invited to come in. And so as we go through this, I don't want to unnecessarily cause pain to anyone, as Jabez said, that I might not cause pain. However, if you are in a present state of guilt and penitent, I want to convict you away from these things.

Don't be surprised when Satan pulls off a tactic and hurts one of us. Be surprised if there's no love in your heart after it. Apparently, fornication, which is sex, all illicit sex, all sex outside of marriage, and in nowadays we have to say all marriages between a man and a woman and nobody else, and one man and one woman at a time. I mean, one may pass on and then, of course, you can remarry.

And there's other allowances also. But fornication is illicit and it must have been happening in the church, the ancient church, and the days of the apostles or else they would not have addressed it time and time again. That should give us, in a weird way, perhaps, a odd way, that should give us strength.

Elijah was a man with like passions. There's nothing new under the sun. What the old saints fought, you're going to fight. And so, again, gently but firmly, if you live outside of marriage, you're not honoring marriage. You cannot experiment with marriage. You cannot hook up together, shack up together, live together outside of marriage in Christ. It's not honoring it. And it is, I know many Christians are not questioning their salvation at this point. Many times they think they do love the Lord, but they've been allowed, churches have looked the other way because they want to fill the pews. They want to preach the word, some of them, and not uphold the word because they lose people that way. And in this church there have been those that have been living out of marriage together, even sometimes still married to others. And we say, look, we're going to disfellowship you.

You've got to get this fixed. We're willing to work with you, but we're not willing to look the other way or tolerate it because marriage is honorable. And you can't go tell the world marriage is between a man and a woman, it is honorable, and then at the same time you're living in object blatant sin. And it happens a lot, not a little bit.

If you've been guilty of this, I'm not, again, trying to hurt you. Now some, some Christians have been guilty of this and they fixed it, demonstrating the presence of the Lord in their lives, and they are subject to the word of God because the word of God is the voice of God, and the commandments aren't taken lightly by them. And it is a delight to man the wall with such believers. But again, too often they're out. And then there are those advocates that come to their rescue.

But they love the Lord, Pastor. How could you do that? Very easily. And if you don't watch your step, you're next. What are you supposed to do? Why don't you take a parent and he disciplines a child in one of those, I object. He's next. If I'm the dad, he's next. So, we understand that. See, that's that harshness coming out, isn't it?

I have to smile when I say it so you don't know if I'm joking or serious. Anyway, 1 Corinthians 5, 11, Now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolatry, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, not even to eat with such a person. So, it's not just a sexual immorality or a downgrading marriage, but idolatry. You know, you have a Christian.

I believe in Jesus, but I also like the Hindu religion a lot, too. I mean, you've got to deal with that. A drunkard in the context of content being a drunkard. There are those that struggle with substance and we want to help them, not just chase them out. Unless they say, you know what, I'm kind of liking this sin and I'm not going to fight it.

Then that's a different matter. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-23 03:13:12 / 2023-04-23 03:22:18 / 9

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