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April 26, 2020 1:00 am
Amen and amen. Hebrews chapter 2. You have less go back there. We looked at verse 24.
Last Sunday morning were talking about the important the essential nature of the local church and being faithful to the local church.
We talked about the agape factor last week that it is this deposit of unique God love if you will, within us that draws us to God and to one another, that is, those of us who know God through his son Jesus Christ.
Now we come over to verse 25 of Hebrews chapter 10 a remember the context. The writer is writing to a church made up primarily of Jews.
Hebrews thus the name Hebrews and there was a proneness among them to take Jesus for a while and then fall away back to the old Mosaic economy to go back to the old Jewish synagogue. Now that I is always there are complexities I would say the majority of them probably did not say we renounce Christ deposit, although we still owed to Jesus.
We still believe in Jesus but you know from birth to 2000 years our families been Jews. Our families have honored the law of Moses we've functioned under the Jewish economy of of the moral law in the ceremonial law when we think we need to go back and embrace it would just take Jesus with the well that didn't work because Jesus makes all of the old Mosaic economy this is that the word in the book of Hebrews he makes all of that obsolete, so that was a great falling away and so the writer is dealing with that. In the. Perhaps that should give us some encouragement in our day as every sound church. I know experiences two or three seasons of groups leaving them are falling away at me and all of those are evil are rebels, but I falling away happens to every church in every generation. But we should be challenging, the true children of God to not let this affect them and to stay strong. That's what the writer of Hebrews is doing this.
Look at it together. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. I thought about this many times.
I don't think I've ever used it in a sermon, but I'm using this morning to kick things off. I give her someone say that is my life verse or that is my favorite verse. Well I know what folks mean by that very often it's a good thing but too often it's not a good thing, someone will tell me their life.
Verse and I know enough about them to know they're just kinda using the Bible is sort of a superstitious little a trinket or something that this verse kinda helps me get what I want out of life. You can make sure my child turns out okay or if I stand on that verse. I'm going to get the kind of job are financial advance. I think I should get in this life and it's often what I'm saying is there life versus actually are their favorite verse is actually centered on the not centered on God. I think the question should be. Look, if you got one of those.
I'm not condemning you okay I'm not saying that's all bad understand I we all have versus that impact us and bless us. But we do also know that were prone to 222. That's can be a gimmick of our fallen fleshly appetite to serve us adopt serve the purposes of God in the glory got there so I get all that say this, the real question perhaps we should be asking is what is God's favorite verse. What is God's life verse is a figure of speech. Well my first response would be, all of them. Everything that he's recorded in his perfect canon of Scripture it all of them but based on the balance of biblical truth will what the theologians call a systematic theology sometime systematic theologies get lost in all the compartments of the theology and miss the main thrust. The main purpose I would submit to you, perhaps perhaps John 1228 is a decent place to start to think what is foundational in center to God. Here Jesus is about to embark upon the potential call of time and eternity.
Jesus is about to approach the event of all events, and in his containment to this human body and the emotions of a human being because he was fully God and beautifully human when all the Bible tells us he wrestled before the father never sinfully, but he wrestled before the father about this event and you know what the bid is is going to the cross.
But when he comes to the final conclusion of the matter Jesus looks at the father and says okay father, here's what it's all about, glorify your name, glorify your name. So Jesus says, in effect, the one thing that nutmeg look. If this is God the son, Jesus Christ, at the most important moment for time and eternity and he said it's all about. Father, glorify your name.
So I think that's pretty good candidate for saying let's God fly first. That's God's favor, but how I just this this text just grabbed me and will not let me go because it doesn't even with Jesus saying father, glorify your name. Then a voice came out of all this occasion. God didn't privately God the father, that is, didn't privately reveal something to Jesus in his heart.
The Bible says God said this is too important, I will just will say this out loud.
I have both glorified it, and I will glorify it again. The point being, God the father says son I'm with you on this and you don't have to wonder about what I'm all about. I have glorified my name and I'll going to glorify to get brothers and sisters listen to me this morning.
I don't care what happens on earth. I don't care what's happening in the world. It didn't bother me when it does bother me you didn't threaten me that go Gov. Cuomo and New York brashly arrogantly and blasphemy sent blasphemous police whatever is said the other day that this great improvement there have in the New York City member city since God didn't do this. We did this, I would tell you something that that might by the way, that tells me that God may not be through humbling us because were not humble enough yet blasphemous statement.
It didn't matter what man does and how man rages in our man stretch surrounding his pop and in his prime technique. God is in control of everything and everything is to the end of his now some people are up, get little bit upset with me when I say that because I said no my salvation. That's about me and that's important. Well, it includes units wondrously important to you and it's a wonderful blessing for you, but it's ultimately about God's glory. Jesus did not say at the pinnacle moment I'm going to the cross.
Now here. Let's save all these people that he did in.
I believe Scripture would bear IT meant that in that time what he says is no father, glorify your name.
God is glorified in saving us. So when it comes to God, wanting to be glorified in to glorifies something of a pregnant term and has various shades of meaning there's a lot to it, but it means to cause dignity and worth to become manifest, and acknowledged God the son to sing to God the father were about to finish this plan of redemption that we plan together before the world going to the cross. Now in doing all this father one thing really matters. Make sure this unfolds before people, mankind, and before spiritual beings make sure it unfolds before them all so they will have to acknowledge your greatness, your power, your wisdom and your beauty in doing such a thing. The glory of God when it comes to God being glorified. This is God's obsession. A lot of times we use the word obsession enough kind of a negative context obsessive-compulsive.
Whatever may be but didn't have to be that way. It means that this is a priority in a continual devotion of God's heart. Our occupation of God's heart and mind his own glory and how Ivan's office not just an obsession. It's an immaculate obsessionstaying no spot, no impurity, it's right brothers and sister. He is God Almighty. He's the one transcendent fully God.
It is only proper and right for him to be obsessed with his own glory. It's righteous for him to be.
And now I would add one verse onto what perhaps could be God's life verse for God's favorite verse and that verse is Ephesians 321 to him be glory in the church and horizontal playing field here and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.
Amen. So here we see this passion of God for his own glory. It centers in his son's work on the cross and all that centers in their work of purchasing redeeming securing their people, their church that will know them. Enjoy them and glorify them for all time and for all eternity. Now what a good backdrop that is for our text today. As the apostle is writing to this church, the safe do you guys let me give you some motivation is to be faithful to church, could you not understand how important this thing you need to grass the magnanimity of what's going on here when God's building his church so that you will be stirred to faithfulness in the assembly now in verse 25 as he gives this expectation. Not forsaking our own assembling together, let's remind ourselves that we have all professed faith in Jesus Christ in our baptism you chose to do that. That wasn't just a meaningless ritual that helps stamp your ticket into heaven.
Your baptism was a formal and public proclamation today assembly of believers that I'm God's now I've been saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and through this procedure of me willingly go to the baptismal waters for you voting me in having to observe my testimony that I'm truly one of God save the ones I now join with this local assembly, and this is God's doing. I am added to this church, brothers and sisters in Christ hatred in your thinking that you did not join the church. God added you to enter is exactly what the Scriptures bear out in its teaching. Now you did that in a formal way, initiating your new life with the family. A local church assembly now as we continue on in our Christian faith.
We are to make a continual outward profession of our faith and one of the primary ways we do that is by regular faithful attendance and service in the local church. You see it's important.
Are you really think it's important that on Sunday morning. People see a car pulling out of your driveway. It's important on Sunday morning. I see the children loaded up in that car and mom is in that car with you because were going to the meeting house of God that you making a profession of faith every Sunday and by the way, if the church elders have ordained that were going Sunday morning and Sunday night in your car should put on the driveway on Sunday night to as a profession where going to the place where God's people met because God added me to that church said about me not about what I decide to do or not to thought about me having the freedom and the liberty say while I'll meet with this group study the Bible with that group. And on and all that may be fine but it is secondary to God, having added you to the local. So let's stir ourselves afresh to continually make strong and clear profession before our community, our neighbors, our friends were going to symbol with the redeemed people of God.
Well, he says in the text do not.
I rather you just said this is not forsaking our own assembling together the word forsaking is a double content compound and there's an emphasis there, which means that it's it means an utter forsaking.
It's like what the Bible says in second Timothy 410.
Dimas, having loved this present world, has forsaken me. I want to note here that this forsaking is not missing church you can miss church and not have forsaken the church, but be careful. A pattern of missing church is the beginning of forsaking church. A lot of people like to play with that. Told that why would you toy with.
Why would you try to see how close you can get to the line. I want to say something. Not for long term pattern. If your approach to the assembly of God's local churches.
Although just enough to stay out of trouble.
As I heard one person that I don't get that letter in the mail about not attending. If you're going just for that reason, it breaks my heart but the truth is you not teach us all to stay away, go somewhere else are put your name on a membership roll somewhere else because your heart strong about it in every way.
Be careful that a pattern of missing church is the beginning of forsaking church so believers are forbidden by God to forsake the church were not to forsake their own assembling together now I about this forsaking and about motivation to stay faithful I we got to remember, we have a sacred oneness. We should not be for sickness and because we have a sacred oneness now. I want something of the virtual NFL draft on television because there's nothing else to watch just almost nothing worth watching the wooden much worth watching. To begin with.
But in watching that draft you know what I Do not tip. I kept looking for my team and he was being drafted had white longtime woodlot fun and 1/2. You know why because I have a oneness that's my team and I am one with those folks who cheer for that tape and that's not wrong, but it is not a safe I used to fish in a in a bass fishing club and I love hanging out those guys.
I look. I grew up working Cal's fall in hate hunting and fishing. Not just what I did and so I just enjoy that and I'm ever being a bass fishing club and some the guys in there were believers. Some were not. And we sort had a oneness were all about fishing and catching the best things you can get the biggest fish you can get stuff, the largest stringer for whatever it was and there was a oneness and that's not all bad, but it was not a sacred one. We as God's children have a sacred oneness.
We are an assembly that has been created by Christ where an assembly that has been created for Christ and we are an assembly that continues forward continually under Christ. It is a sacredness the building of his church. Christchurch is the holiest and most sacred work of the Godhead is not even to be compared with the Crete when God originally did the work of creating all that is because this work. Listen to me, this work of building his church to the death of the son of God, there is place sacredness a sanctity if you will a holiness to our oneness. We assembled together under one head until the ultimate day when the eternal state begin then will assemble in a different way. The Bible says in second Thessalonians to one. Now we request you, brethren with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, not now are gathered together for him. There's coming a day when Christ returns and you see it and set up a kingdom on the earth in which righteousness dwells on that day will be gathered together to him or not. Now were gathered together under and we are to be faithful to this assembly to the local church until that day that he returns physically and hallelujah hallelujah you will we get we will be gathered together to him text hate my boy will still all be together that you hear that I hate that is true but soften some of our family members will not be there. Some of the people we love dearly on the earth may not be there by motive.
The entire church will be there. It's the only thing that's collapsed fully for time and eternity. The church there's a sacredness and we have this sacred oneness. Let's remind ourselves that the forsake the body which for now is the local church is to forsake the head.
You cannot embrace. You cannot treasure you cannot join in. You cannot honor the head. Jesus and this honor and not treasure and not joy in the body. The local church.
With all of its weaknesses and imperfections.
By the way were not glorified yet.
Some folks think they have to do some sort of independent thing and they let a proud independent spirit arise and then they just decide what was going get with my family and maybe one or two of the families that are real real committee like we are and we just have us a home church I will find one word, the Bible about your home church. There's only a church we don't get put all the subjective qualifications on it, according to what we think now I'm going to this. Perhaps a little more moment. I say this every time because I understand in every generation, the state of the church is not good knowing God's sovereign purposes. He's doing something because the Bible teaches. He always has a remnant among the false professors so there could be many of you listening to my voice and you're not in a church that has knowingly openly and willfully did not are compromise foundational or essential truths about Christianity and about church life that that breaks my heart in this difficult but your your option is not to start something on the side your options. Keep praying into you found church you'll never find the perfect one that's I say you can find one that's on track in the baseball analogy you can find one. At least the players out of the dugout and they're starting to go around the basis they fail, they slipped they slather, not perfect, but their own track their they're starting out far too many churches today have been got to the date on the what game the play they don't hardly know what team Laurent the state of the churches. This is as awful. I'm in the professing local church but look that does not mean God said okay timeout I got Plan B doesn't have plenty. I been working for four decades to prove that the local church can be true that the local church which is God's wisdom in God's claim can be solid never perfect before glorification. But we can maybe make the cleats and spiritually healthy.
You need to find that church and bond yourself to the glory of God or stay where you are at your pastors trying to be the best helper he possibly could have been his church is his purpose and build a true and faithful local church, but understand there is no foundation for you just for sake God's ordained means backed by God's omniscience and infinite wisdom. Do this work through local churches. The fray simply says they are our own assembling together our gathering together one day.
We know there's going to be that gathering together to him in the new heaven and the new earth but until the our duty is to be faithful and assemble with the local church until that great universal gathering together day come now notice the two words, our owners were talking about the sacredness our own, we are God's children.
I love the phrase called out word effortlessly is the word is translated church of the New Testament and the word ecstasy has the simple meaning of called out ones at one time you fit with another collectivity at one time you fit in the world at one time your major social belonging was in another place, but when God saves you he called you out for mapping your primary Association and fellowship to a new community body Association fellowship which is the local church just a few verses. Jude 11 Jude 11 Luke Jude.
Rather, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, our brother James, to those who are the called. You didn't say the say it and say those who believe that the proper other times. The Bible says that but here he uses another firm.
I'm glad the Bible uses various phrases because it teaches us various things about our conversion to those who are the called, beloved in God and Jesus Christ block could just go on and on about the wonderful truths in that phrase we are called out and kept for him but for time into the eternal state were to be kept together in local assemblies because we are all called out once your called out in your called out when in your called out when you're called out when I'm a called out when were called out from the world over, called to be together. That's God's will. First Corinthians 124 but to those who are there it is again the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
So first of all, he calls his own to the gospel in the power of the spirit. Those individuals give good evidence of his calling, by repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ and those who are called are received into the assembly of a local church by believers, Baptists this is that collectivities called the local church that is unique and separate now. In this context, getting to what the writers getting two 2000 years ago when he first wrote this your you're no longer connected to Moses you're no longer connected to the ceremony in moral law as a means of your standing before God, you been called out of that listener you been called out of that and integrates Effexor could transition right there that's a great swapout right there longer. Moses is highly localized, but the only thing that will could do its condemning me to be a tutor that leads me to Christ. I may have been caught out of that approach and that status now one of the greatest children of God. These people are prone to go back to Moses. Why would they do that your called out when you been called from that to God's final truth climactic work in the earth's local churches. While good stop is the pinnacle of God's work, as well as your pastor for four decades now been imploring you and yelling for cheering, preaching to you about the glory, the wonder of the wisdom, the beauty, the power of God in the local church. I'm just dismounts will get used to this is what God's doing until he gets back switch. One of the great challenges you and I have is not to get distracted.
All good things but stay right here. The best thing the local church brother Jeff there you are preaching that we can even meet to get here but I want to stir you up for when we can get back together. The church is the local visible assembly of those who are called out by God.
Local visible and called out by God when he calls. We leave is our primary joy we leave is our primary commitment. All other competing groups or organizations with these people. 2000 years ago, that would be the Mosaic economy and back to the old Jewish synagogue. We believe that those things and were you not with the others in the local church. With all the other called out. I'm saying all this to say grass afresh more and brace more firmly, the sacredness, the divine ordinance of the local church II interesting where he goes from here. Secondly he says, use the first Lakers folly to stir your own thankfulness. This is literally use those who forsaken their folly, their foolishness stir you to remain in faithfulness is what he says in verse 25. As is the habit of some numbers don't forsake the assembly look at what they're doing and you said is a motivation that you don't do it again. This forsaking of God's church has been the sad condition of some professors of all the ages notice. That's what he said, as is the habit of some, God is not the habit of all I've been here write it for you have been here 40 years I've been on staff now 39 years pastoral staff and my goodness, have we not seen those who fall away who abandon us. That has happened, but God is also replace them with new phone.
Many went out from us, to serving the Lord another place brace the Lord for that many went out from us because they work really up, but this should serve as a motivation. I was talking with someone just recently about a family who no longer tend and they were troubled by that I was troubled by. But I think it both me and the person I was talking to was third to say let's make sure that's not us as we Savior. Yes, it's funny through the years and I got counsel with pastors all the time and and a lot of the time about this issue. Pastor called me and say what this guy was a deacon. This guy was a leader and they got to get to through the families they decided that they don't like the way I'm doing things and it's almost never matter fact it is and it is never a means I'm sure there's been the time but I don't remember time when there was a clear biblical reason for those people to abandon their local church. What I decide to leave and then then that they just go away. Well, what happens in the church typically is the rest of the church members get this kind of anxiety. This, what are we supposed to stay only okay to stay away. The Bible says that the opposite no use that to motivate you to stay faithful.
Don't so now member.
We had large group leave us years ago with three large group leaders at one time another, but when one large group leftist. One of them he was leaving, said to one of our faithful families and we all going to go.
I love his answer he said you open the Bible, you show me clear doctrinal methodological failures that they're unwilling to fix. Now go with you well but they didn't crack a Bible. He said no that's that's what I need you show me that I'm with you but listen, the church is not about what makes you happy. The church is not about what makes you fund the church, not about where your buddies are the church, not about what fits you because you like this have this hobby you like that activity.
And that's not what the church is God puts you in the chart. In fact, he may put you in a place where you're not so comfortable, so you can prove to the world. You can love those who are not like you because you're been changed. I love what God this what you love the word of God and the truth and the wisdom of the word of God not of those who forsake McGinnis more the idea of utterly forsaking and again in this context we we would know that he knows the percentage many probably the majority didn't just leave theism. They didn't leave God in their thinking.
They went back to Moses.
But Paul writes here was I believe Paul wrote Hebrews Paul Rogers and that's forsaking the assembling, which is forsaking the head to so when people leave though often leave flying the banner of all were were still serving God additional serving this way are that way too often with actually saying is we we just don't like a church committed to the Scriptures and the word of God and serving him what else are so those who fall away like this summer undoubtedly unbelievers. Some undoubtably that walk out of the local church no longer faceplates because they're not born again. John first John two 1920.
John says they went out from us, but they were not really of the sport they had been up us, they would have remained with us is that not simple but staying with the look if the church is striving and growing to be a true church, never perfect, but true church. The Bible simply states it unequivocally, those who walk out on that didn't belong in that. That's what but they went out so that it would be shown that they all are not us, that we get a footnote here because a lot of pastors listen if God's maturing your church. There will come a day when this situation is very rare. It's a very rare thing early as your report reforming your church to health. You'll see a lot of it but as the decades note my wording. Decades go by, you'll notice that this becomes a very rare thing is God matures the body, but all I can say to that is praise God know there was a time when we were one of the large churches that every three, five, eight, 10 years had a big group that left us and went to the next big happening church and then 358 years they moved go to another hat in church and we just try to get our share is this big cycle I should say this big circus tour went from one place to another, were not in the cycle anymore. Hallelujah come to Grace life is your convicted about our doctrines and our methods are biblical and God centered and you will be a part of that and I'm so glad that somehow in God's grace.
That's where we are today will some leave us because there undoubtably unbelievers. Secondly, so believe and for say they were not dismissing them or they pretty much forsaken and there say folks who will incur God's discipline. But whatever the case, to fall away the Bible's teaching is serious and it is sinful and the faithful should look at those who fall away and use their example, to stir themselves to diligence to remain faithful. In fact Jesus do this right quick look at John chapter 6, I'm going to make this a two-parter. Okay, so I won't be much longer this morning. If you listen well I can see you out there. We installed cameras on your computers. I'm watching you. There's a listen well and we will be through early all right. John chapter 6 verse 60 there for many of his disciples when they heard this said, this is a difficult statement who can listen to it is been talking about his body being the drink his blood and eat his body is figurative language, but is troubling them for 61 but Jesus conscious that his disciples grumbled at this said to them, if this cause you to stumble, what then it what what then if you see the Son of Man ascending where he was before. It is the Spirit who gives life. The Fred flesh profits nothing. The words are spoken. Your spirit and life with her. Some of you who do not believe Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, who did not believe in who it was that would betray him, and he was saying. For this reason I've said to you that no one can come to me unless it's been granted him from the father. Stop out there nothing stuff out there. He says some of you are not with me and some of you not saved and the reason for that is my father had drawn you to me there's no point God builds his church and those he's drawn he keep. They stay verse 65 he was saying. For this reason I've said to you that no one can come to me unless it is been granted him from the father of her 60 successors wealth of this many of his disciples withdrew and were not walking with him anymore or decide other than me never converted, it means for while they were following alone after the hearts had been checked.
Jesus topics, but he used it to motivate the faithful notice where he goes for 67 so Jesus had 12. Do you know about you do not want to go away. Also, do you not in answering that question. He stirring them to faithfulness. What's with the writer of Hebrews is doing her 68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go you got the words of eternal life.
Going back to Vincennes or state were shipwrecked on God stranded on omnipotence right here where houses or go. We can't leave this if we leave this were exposing ourselves as counterfeits were exposing ourselves where were revealing what we really are.
The apostle Paul did the same thing as he pointed out the unfaithfulness of the juice in first Corinthians 10 six the apostle Paul writes that these things happened as examples for us that we would not crave evil things as they also great. 23,000 fail when they fell away and turned idolatry and immoralities, which by the way always go together.
You begin to worship your idols. Sexual immoralities always fall close behind the falling away of others demonstrates human weakness and a proneness to rebel. This should mirror for us in examination that we should remain vigilant and watch over our hearts and over our soul.
We should remind ourselves. Galatians 61 that we can fall away to what you say each one look into yourself. Send that verse each one look to yourselves first Corinthians 1012 remind us therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. The point is, as you see others fall away. Thank God Grace life that didn't happen a whole lot when it does happen, use that use their folly and their foolishness started a sale going on. I will let that happen. God's inner Christianity, there's got to be time to just determination and resolve that you draw line since I'm not going there. Sometimes you may have to wrestle with some family members on this but you know what the book says and you decide were not following that were staying right where God puts you to stir yourself to new faithfulness. When you see this happening in other words, we gathered good out of evil.
It is an evil thing to forsake God's assembly and when we say that we stir ourselves to renew our commitment and our faithful three quick thoughts and I'll close let their sinful habit of forsaking the assembling stimulate us to renewed commitment let their sinful habit. Humble us to consider. We are weak and were also prone and thirdly never view their sinful habit as excusable or tolerable.
Don't don't think well and knock my goodness early on in my Christianity early on in the ministry. How many times can't hear statement like, well, they're not in church. At least there saved all my goodness all run through that wall back there, you can abandon that the body church without abandoning the head EE is just this is Scott. Well it's excusable what I know it's not being devoted to the body is critical, foundational and essential to being a Christian in this world we should use the evil of some who forsake stir us to a new release resolute conviction and commitment that we are going to stay faithful to God's work and got last person I'll pray. Ephesians 511 do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness but instead even expose them. Part of exposing them as expose them in your own thinking and in your own heart. Say to yourself that's unacceptable. I don't care what they're saying what they're doing is unacceptable. That's not the way you solve conflict. That's not the way you get over hurt feelings and I'm going to expose that his name is being unacceptable and without foundation. What they're doing and I will hold myself to a higher standard well motivations to remain faithful to Grace life church folks and those who are watching us over the Internet or whatever means you're watching cannot charge you this morning.
Renew your resolve renew your treasuring stir up your joy in your commitment to God's local assembly God's passionate about it.
God's obsessed with it for his own glory and we should be to