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The Sovereignty of God and Prayer - 7

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2021 7:00 pm

The Sovereignty of God and Prayer - 7

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 24, 2021 7:00 pm

The prayers of God's people are a divinely-designed component of God's sovereign purposes. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his expositional series in 2 Thessalonians.

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Don Wilton

Our text for today in second Thessalonians 3 verses one through five serves as something of a bridge between chapters 2 and three, chapter 2 concludes Paul's section that is primarily doctrinal instruction chapters 1 and two have a lot to say about the second coming of Christ.

It has something to say about the doctrine of election and other areas of instruction that Paul gave to the church in order to help them with their understanding of truth that was very important for their growing in grace and knowledge. Chapter 3 he's going to come to a number of exhortations might call impractical exhortations, but they really are very strong is going to come to a series of rebukes and corrections which need to be made. Some activity going on in the church, which should not be taking place in the body of Christian believers and he's going to have to deal with that as the founder of the church and as an apostle of Jesus Christ, but before he gets there he prepares the way with the section that is before us, in which first of all he requests the Thessalonian believers pray for him.

In verses one and two and then in verse five he prays for them. Their growth in grace and then in the middle. He has some other things that will talk about in the moment, but here we have five verses and three of the five in one way or another deal with prayer that after closely following Paul's declaration in chapter 2 verse 13 about the sovereignty of God in salvation. I think it's interesting how Paul puts these two things together without blinking an eye without an explanation without trying to tell us how it is that God can be sovereign, on the one account and we need to pray.

On the other hand, the problem with some people. God is sovereign. Why should I pray somehow that didn't bother Paul. Paul believe that God is sovereign and everywhere including salvation, invective, God is sovereign and everything is really not sovereign sovereign means everything when it's properly understood and so Paul said in verse 13 of chapter 2, but we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

Finally, brethren, chapter 3, verse one. Pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just it is it is is with you and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for not all have faith you seek the connection here, God has chosen you before the foundation of the world and having done that he is going to infallibly bring his chosen ones into union with Christ and into heaven that cannot fail so brethren, pray for us that the gospel may run swiftly that the gospel may have its intended effect that opponents of the gospel will not be successful in stopping the gospel. Does that seem like a contradiction to you, but if it doesn't, I'm sure all of us to probably entertain thoughts like that at one time or another. It surely was not a contradiction in the mind of the apostle Paul and so therefore we need to pay attention to what he tells us here as he brings together these two elements the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man in here, particularly the element of prayer, and these elements of perplexed some people, but he brings them together in the very same context and shows us how they are not opponents. One of another. They are friends one to another by the perfect design of God.

So today the sovereignty of God in prayer. The prayers of God's people is a divinely designed component of his sovereign purpose verses one and two we see prayer needed for gospel success. In verses three and four we see prayer answered in persevering faith than from verse five we see prayer offered for enabling grace.

Prayer needed gospel success. Finally, brethren, Paul says, pray for us this shows us something of the prominence of prayer in the mind of the apostle Paul finally, finally, brethren, and finally in the original language carries the idea of something like for the rest. As for what remains already dealt a number of things, but there are still some important things to deal with and so for the rest of what remains it needs to be said. I began with prayer. There are other things as well but I began with prayer must be included in the things that must be said before this epistle can be considered complete. That tells us of the prominence of prayer. It's prominence.

Finally, its necessity, you pray. Finally, brethren, pray for us along with the Thessalonians. Need to be prayed for. They also needed to pray for others. See what Paul is saying they needed to be prayed for. Paula prayed for them. In fact, he closed out chapter 2 with a prayer for them now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and our God and father, who is loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. That's a prayer that Paul prayed for them.

But now he comes right back and says as he worked you. I have prayed for you and now you pray for me.

Pray for us. The missionary team. We need your prayers as much as you need. Howard, prayer is necessary, it is necessary for worship, it is necessary for spiritual growth. Even if we don't understand the connection between God's sovereign, unchangeable on opposed unstoppable purposes and how our prayers figure into the accomplishment of those purposes. We don't even need to understand that connection. If we understand that prayer is part of our growth and development. Prayer is our worship to God. God tells us how he wants to be worshiped. There are a number of elements and how God wants us to worship him. One of the most important ones is he wants us to pray to him, and that in itself is enough reason to pray is that brethren, if Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, and the one who saved our souls is now I want you to worship me by praying to me than what else do we need to know, and we bow our hearts and we say our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven and we worship God in prayer and we learned that as we do that as we are faithful and obedient in prayer that this is one of the means that God uses to bring about growth in grace. We know that we are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How does that come about, like so many things there is a divine element. There is a human element on the divine side God works in our lives. God enables us to grow we couldn't do without him without me said Jesus you can do nothing but on the other hand, we pray, and in our prayers as we recognize our neediness is weak recognize our insufficiency as we confess our sins as we review the gospel is weak claim. Again, the promises of God as we reach up to God in prayer. What are we doing we are growing in grace.

Now there's another reason here's two reasons without any understanding of the connection between what God's purpose in what God is going to accomplish prayer. If we know that God has determined that he will be worshiped by his people through their prayers and God has determined that he's going to use our prayers to bring us to greater maturity and growing in grace. Then is there anything else we need to know, but to just say Lord, teach us to pray and help me to pray is that enough surely it must be so. The prominence of prayer and the necessity of prayer and the fellowship of prayer what I have called in my notes the reciprocity of prayer.

There's a big word is Nick but it's just simply this, have already touched on it.

Paul says we are praying for you. Now you pray for us. It goes both ways.

Some Christians act as if I could just get the prayer of some great saint some prominent person sub sub spiritual bigwig is if there is such a thing. If I could get the present person like that for me that, then surely my prayers would be answered without any thought that the person that you are appealing to for prayer needs your prayers as much as you there's and that you have as much responsibility pray for them as they had to pray for you and they have as much need of your prayers as you have need of their prayers. There is a fellowship in prayer. There's a reciprocity in prayer we need to pray for one another and it goes both ways and there is there is this commonality that's involved in this fellowship of prayer, excuse me, because what Paul is teaching is here is that all of us are equally in need of prayer and all of us are equally qualified to pray unique prayer more than Paul will is called a prayer more than you know where all equally needed prayer agreed, all equally in need of prayer.

And this is the part that not everybody has laid hold of. We are all of her children of God for born-again children of God we are all equally qualified to pray you're not going to get any better results. Getting the preacher to pray for you then to say get you husband and wife to pray for you or some other fellow believer to pray for you.

I know more qualified to pray for you than the weakest site will pray in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all equally qualified to pray and we all equally need prayer.

So let us be busy before the throne of grace, praying in the fellowship of prayer as we uphold one another before the Lord in prayer. The nature of prayer. But notice the request of prayer.

What is Paul asked them to pray for specifically. It's the last part of verse one and verse two. Pray that number one the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you and number two that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for not all have calls to prayer requests are number one for the success of the gospel number two for the protection of gospel messenger to request that obviously are joined together in some part, but they do have separate elements that need to be considered in their separateness and so Paul asks two things.

Number one. Pray for the success of the gospel. Pray that the gospel may, in different translations say spread rapidly work similar words but the Greek word is literally run the translations that have run have got the most literal rendering of the word here. Pray the gospel may are my translation adds in italics swiftly because swiftly is not a separate word to modify the word run, but it really is included in the idea of running this is run like a runner run like somebody was running a race that's a word that is used so obviously the idea is to run quickly to run swiftly to run successfully. Pray that the gospel will spread rapidly as the request of Paul in regard to the gospel and its present tense, so pray that the gospel may be running rapidly may be spreading quickly and not only spreading quickly, but joining to it may be glorified just as it is with you and again present tense of the gospel may be spreading quickly and that as it is spreading.

It is being glorified wherever you go for to be glorified means for to be highly esteemed, respected and valued for its effects in the lives of men valued for what it is able to do value because it is, as Paul puts in Romans chapter 1 the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek and Christians understand that right.

We understand at least in part, be not as full as we ought to what we understand the value of the gospel. We know what I can do we know what it did for us and is continuing to do it. We have seen what is done in the lives of others. So yes, we glorified the gospel we honor it we esteem what we respected, and Paul says I pray that that may happen in other places, even as it did with you, you who have been changed by the gospel, you will understand the power of the gospel, you who therefore value it and honor it in our glorifying it in your treatment your reception other than your attitude toward it. Now pray that it may have a similar effect in many other lives that as it spreads, it will not just be a matter of the gospel being being proclaimed.

We live in a amazing day in Paul's day, the only way the gospel could spread his messengers took it spoke today. We can mail it today.

We can broadcast it today. We can put on the Internet. We can saturate the world with the gospel, but it's not just enough that the gospel be proclaimed.

It also must be glorified in the lives who hear it must be honored and must be valued it must be believed must be received.

Pray as Paul but that may be accomplished and here we are right back on the horns of the dilemma I mentioned earlier, on the one hand, God's sovereign purposes. You were chosen in him before the foundation of the world, it's impossible that the elect of God should never fail of heaven. God is going to sovereignly and divinely assure that everyone that he is given to Christ shall make it safely home. So says Paul pray pray for the success of the gospel. Pray that the gospel may be glorified. Does that seem contradictory to you. It didn't do Paul who needs to adjust their thinking couscous thinking you think is most likely correct yours or Paul's. If you don't. If you find that contradictory and Paul obviously did adjustment time. The renewing of your mind adjustment time whatever adjustments you need to make here is a place to make one. This is not a contradiction. This is all part of God's glorious design.

So pray for the spread of the gospel in its its welcome reception and pray for the protection of God's messengers as they go to proclaim it. Pray that they may be protected from the enemies of the gospel. Paul do a little bit about enemies of the gospel didn't little bit tongue-in-cheek. Paul do a great deal about enemies of the gospel.

He had encountered more of them than he could possibly count on me personally had felt the opposition and the persecution and the beatings and the various forms of a vicious opposition that came to him because of enemies of the gospel, but wasn't unique in that if if enemies of the gospel seemed more vehement against Paul than against others. It's only because of Paul's greater seal that but the enemies of the gospel are out to oppose all those who speak the gospel, even all those who believe the gospel. All those who identify with the gospel of Christ enemies of the gospel described in my translation is unreasonable and wicked men that would unreasonable could be translated perverse men. It has the idea of behavior that is out of place that's interesting, out of place is the behavior of those who are enemies of the gospel out of place in a fallen world that is out of proper relationship with God will in a sense, there are right in Their Pl., Arctic so out of place has to do with out of the place where they belong in relationship to God Almighty. They have stepped out of the bounds they have stepped out from under his authority.

They have stepped out of his commands. He is is revelation. They are out of place they are unreasonable. They are perverse they are behaving in a manner that is totally incompatible with the God of glory, and with his word the unreasonable man. They are wicked men, that word could also be translated evil, but has the idea of active malice and destructive actions they behavior that is out of place in their behaviors out of place in almost every area of their life.

I would have to say in every area of their life, but the behavior that is out of place, the Paul is concerned about in connection with the gospel is the behavior that actively and maliciously opposes the gospel. The end opposes it by posing the messengers of the gospel.

That's reality folks that was reality. In Paul's day, that's reality. In our day and you need to understand this if you don't understand the truth of this, then you need to get an adjustment in your thinking so that you can think like God wants you to think think is God tells us to think and he tells us that these enemies of the gospel are those who, what, do not have faith that covers a lot of people course is not using faith in the way the politicians use it. People of faith, with the faith. All of our faith. Faith Confucius faith whatever religious people of all kinds. He's calling talking about the faith in the God of the Bible. The faith in the Bible that God has given faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's eternally divine son who came to earth and died on the cross faith in the gospel of Christ is talking about born-again believer.

So basically what he's doing is dividing the whole population of the world up into two categories. On the one hand you have those who are people of faith in the right biblical sense of the term to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and on the other hand, you got everybody else and Paul is indicating that everybody else is an enemy of the first group everybody.

The second representative of the of those in the first enemies of the gospel. They have no faith in the gospel they cannot appreciate the potential of God's word and of the life-changing power of the gospel. They will therefore be hostile to God's people, some more openly than others. Not everybody acts that way outward manner.

Some do some don't thank God they don't all, but they are all hostile and in some level sometimes mildly so sometimes strenuously so largely so, but they're all hostile until they become by the work of God spirit believers that changes everything. Now they have faith now they value the gospel.

Now they honor the Lord of the gospel. Now that are involved in the spread of the gospel. Now they honor it misstatement and glorified it but until they come faith gospel.

They are to some degree greater small enemies of the gospel. Should we be surprised we have enemies in this world shall be surprised to find out that this world is no friend of grace to help us on the God sometimes Christians that is not nave idea well I'm honest I work hard.

I don't treat I don't steal I pay my taxes on the good neighbor. Surely everyone is going to love me wrong, how does your life compare to Christ's are you is as good as he was as righteous as he was on your sentences he was are you as helpful to those around you.

Was he was that. Yet they hated him. They persecuted him they were hostile to him and he said if they hated me the late you also because your identified with me, you are followers of me. So why should you be surprised if what Jesus said will happen happens. Pray pray that as we endeavor to proclaim the gospel that the enemies of the gospel which are many which are mandate and they are determined they can't do any more than God allows God's got them all on a leash and he can hold them back, pray, pray, pray that the enemies of the gospel will not be successful in their opposition to the gospel. How do you reconcile that to the sovereignty of God.

You don't need to reconcile address. Pray to spray a lot of people are opposed to you. The world is largely hostile to God and therefore to those who belong to him.

So understand that if you haven't understood that till now understand that now expect opposition don't be surprised when it comes. Be willing to suffer for it. If you can't take it if you can't take it you're going to be a pretty sorry follower of Christ as God to give you backbone is God give you courage is God to give you a willingness to stand graciously yes by all means, in a Christlike way.

How did Christ suffer make an lowly but with strength encourage determination.

That's what we all need so these are what we call them the prayers that are needed for gospel success.

Number two.

Prayer answered in persevering faith we see how this works out in the lives of people verse three but the Lord is faithful. He said not all men have faith in verse two but the Lord is faithful and there is a play on words there is a connection which I will not take time to talk about now, but not all, have faith, but the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one, and we have confidence in the Lord concerning you both that you do and will do the things that we command you prayer answered in persevering faith faith. First of all, the character of God, faith. Secondly, the activity of God in faith.

Thirdly, in the children of God first in the character of God. God is faithful God is faithful God is trustworthy God is reliable.I sure God's unfailing. If God made a promise to wonder if he's going to keep it why he's faithful 100% faithful. He never fails for avoids a responsibility which she has taken to himself and declared to us in his word. God is faithful when we understand that the changes everything. Yes, there are many enemies who opposed dear dear dear and go hide in the cave and wait till the Lord comes. No get out there in the world and take your stand for the Lord Jesus Christ and you can do it why because God is faithful. I don't know if I want to get married and have children. The world is God's obit.

Would you be surprised if I told you I had thoughts just like that before I had any children. I'm kind of amused by them with a sense now I'm I'm thankful to to realize that two things number one world wasn't as bad then as it is now.

I thought it was as bad as it would ever get. It's gotten worse now but number two God gave us for lovely daughters and all of them grown-up to embrace Christ there all Christians. They all love the Lord, the Lord is given the more Christian are all three of the four now raising children or grandchildren and out of they do that with the world being as awful as it is the Lord is faithful, the Lord is faithful is hunted to go hide in the cave Lord is faithful. You don't need to say I don't know if I bring up children in this world you can't, God, the Lord is faithful, the Lord is made promises to his people claim them faith in the character of God. Number two faith in the activity of God. This God who is faithful will establish and guard you. Paul tells us this is interesting it's it's it's almost surprising.

The first time you read it you read about Paul's request for their prayers for him.

In verses one to finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly be glorified just as it is with you and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for not all have faith, but the Lord is faithful, who will establish and we expect him to say at this point will establish us and guard us from the evil one because that's what is been talking about, but he suddenly turns and he says the Lord is faithful, who will guard you will establish you and guard you from the evil one. You see your prayers for us to accomplish these things that I'm asking you to pray for the success of the gospel protection of gospel messengers are also things that you need and I'm praying for you friend of the same God.

The same God who is able to answer your prayers for us is able to answer our prayers for you and I'm concerned about you to. I have faith in the activity of God that he will establish and guard you. He will establish short could be translated strength and you strengthen you with the inward man so that you can stand up to the opposition that comes your way, he will guard you.

That means protect or preserve you.

He will preserve you question do we believe in the perseverance of the saints, or the preservation of the sites you will I. We believe in the perseverance of the saints of the preservation of the site answer both in one that the perseverance of the Saints depends upon the preservation of the saints.

The only reason the saints perseverance because God preserves them. God protects them. God guards. That's how they persevere, but we have a responsibility to persevere, but God will strengthen you, God will guard you and keep you from evil or from the evil one. It could be translated either way. Because the Greek word form could be either neuter or masculine spelled the same way. This particular case, so there's no way to know which one is meant, God will guard you from evil.

Yes, he surely will God will guard you from the evil one.

Yes, he surely will that that's connected together.

The evil that comes your way is being prompted by the evil one God is God's got it all under control. God's got the evil under control. God's got the evil one under control. Satan is only the unwilling servant of Jehovah God's got him on a leash and just yank Salish whenever he needs to accomplish his purposes.

It's the same ambiguity that you find the Lord's prayer. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from what evil for evil one, both, either one. It can be translated either way. Got answer that prayer is he will yes he will. God will strengthen you, God will guard you. God will contact you so there's faith in the character of God is faith in the activity of God, and that's why Paul can say he has faith in the children of God.

Verse four and we have confidence concerning you both that you do and will do the things we command you. We have confidence concerning you, but I left out a very important phrase, deny. It's not we have confidence in you and as we have confidence in the Lord concerning you are. Confidence is not in you because you're weak like we are your frail like we are your fallen sinful sons of Adam like we are.

Keep yourself saved for one day of your salvation depended upon your performance, but I have confidence in you because I have confidence in him.

I have confidence in the Lord concerning you because I know God will do what he's promised to do for his two children. I don't have confidence in your inherent power to do right or your strong determination to do what.

Just think of think of Peter Lord of all else. For sake you I will never do.

I do not not and how many hours later had denied the Lord present slave. How's that for courage. No wonder he was ashamed and should have no be too hard on Peter you want any stronger in your flesh than he was. Confidence is not in my determination. Come on down here make a decision about the eye of the of the altar and determine the euro to do better this week that will work that will do it, but bow before the God of heaven and ask him to strengthen and help guard you preserve you and keep you and then if you keep your eyes on him. He will do that posit I have confidence in the Lord concerning why because he sees evidences of God's grace at work within them. He believes he knows them to be the children of God. He has trace their their changed heart there changed lives there. There walking away from their from their idolatry and walking away from their community. How difficult that must of been, but it takes courage it takes sacrifice. It takes willingness if necessary to stand alone. They had to walk away from all of that in order to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw the change in their lives. He saw immoral people becoming moral and walking discreetly and chastely in their and their walk in the world he saw all these changes in their life which he knew good and well couldn't be attributed to their referent self reformation and they didn't turn over new leaf, then clean up their lives in all these things suddenly happened.

He knew better than that. He knew there was only one. One explanation for the changes he saw in their lives, the grace of God work powerfully in their lives. God had claimed them.

God had called them God was working in their lives.

And if that's true, and I see evidence of it, then I believe I believe you're truly God's children, and if you are God's children that I have confidence that you're gonna do right. Not perfect and what is it that Paul expects them to do this is interesting that we would call doing right.

Let's see the last part of verse four that you do that is you are now doing even though I'm several hundred miles away from you and can observe this firsthand, but I've heard reports of it that you are now doing and will do in the days to come. The things we command falls get ready for some pretty strong commands, read them as we read the rest of chapter 3 will turn their he expects them to do what he has commanded them he expects them to obey the words of the apostle Paul because he knows that those words are words of Almighty God. He knows himself to be an inspired apostle of Christ forever away with this idea that the words of Christ are divine words and the words of Paul are man's words wrong.

If you responsible before God, to obey the words of Paul that they must be the words of God. So here's a testimony to Paul's apostolic authority. And here's a testimony to authentic Christianity. You claim to be a Christian, how we know when you obey.

How did Jesus say we show our love for him. If you love me.

What keep my commandments. Paul is essentially saying the same thing if you love Christ, keep my commandments, apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ in my commandments are as authoritative as his commandments somebody would say put that in your pipe and smoke because that's what policy is to understand the truth. So what we had so far prayer needed for gospel success versus wanting to prayer answered in persevering faith verses three and four we see how the answer to these prayers are being worked out in the lives of the Thessalonians number three.

Prayer answered for S offered rather for enabling grace and humor right back to the conundrum again. Paul is already expressed absolute confidence that they're going to do what they're supposed to do. So now he prays for them to be able to do it.

Is that a contradiction how verse five is a prayer now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. He's offering prayer for enabling grace that they might number one being in able to benefit from the love of God, and they might be labeled number two to benefit from the example how many people talk about the love of God. Admire the love of God, to a certain degree and yet from all evidence of what's going on in their lives. The love of God hasn't affected them at the street level at all. Something wrong with that. Oh how I love Jesus but I don't seek to please him. I don't follow his commandments. I don't live like he would have made to live but I love Jesus I downloaded but if you do, you will be enabled to benefit from this wonderful truth. This great and glorious love of God now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God direct means make away by clearing away the obstacles and there's a lot of obstacles in our hearts, but we pray that God will clear them away as he shall so is a prayer for supernatural enabling a prayer to grow in their understanding of God's love for them to such a degree that encrypts them. It motivates them and causes them to God and return want to please him. Paul said it elsewhere. The love of Christ could strangely it binds me it compels you enabled to understand the love of God to such a degree that it will affect the way you live will empower you to do what's right in able to benefit from the love of God and in able to benefit from the example of Christ. The last part of verse five and into the patience of Christ that could be translated into the perseverance of Christ into the persevering endurance of Christ is talking about Christ earthly endurance Christ persevering faithfulness. How much opposition to Christ face a lot more than you and I'll ever face that it stop no better keep him from across no that it diverging away from doing his father's will know what an example of persevering faithfulness. Now let that example of Christ. Faithfulness teach you how to be faithful you be similarly faithful as Christ was faithful. You see it in Christ earthly endurance in his persevering faithfulness so they that example apply to your life and enable you to serve the Lord. Here's the way that John frame translated that phrase may the Lord incline your hearts to a sense of God's love and to endurance the Christ alone inspired may the Lord incline your hearts to a sense of God's love and to endurance the Christ alone inspired.

Let me draw a few lessons before we close. I see first of all a lesson in how to make how to approach people with corrections that you believe need to be made in their lives, and we all have to do that at times we all hate to do it no here's Paul showing us how it should be done.

Verses one through five of chapter 3 are the introduction to the corrections that he's going to issue the rest of the chapter.

Not pleasant, not fun. He's gotta do it. Verse six, but we command your brother in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to tradition, which you received from us and on it goes from there. This is this is the stuff we wish we didn't have to deal so how does Paul prepare for that five verses of prayer and praise and encouragement to gain a receptive disposition for when he gets ready to spank them.

Some people seem unable to confront the corrected all that's people like that.

Something like that. You need to ask God for help.

Some parents find it very difficult to correct their children to responsibility so hard, particularly as I get a little I can't do that to be their friend like me. If I do that. So you fail one of your primary parental responsibility.

Learn how to do it. It's not fun.

It's not easy but it needs to be done. But then there are others who have this overly correcting spirit, overly critical spirit, and they just tell everybody off and they blunder and without any preparation and make a mess of things. So learn from Paul. Here's the master the apostle of the example to us, not the perfect example that's only Christ can learn from Paul as to how this ought to be done. Paul prepare the way before he corrected them, but that he did not neglect to correct them. He did not avoid this unpleasant task, but he approached it in a very wise manner. Learn from that go that will do likewise see a lesson here for effective evangelism for evangelism to be effective. The Gospels got to be proclaimed by all means we understand that don't way.

Surely, we do if we don't believe a man understand that there's something terribly wrong. We understand that the gospel must be proclaimed, but let's not forget this important component for to be effective.

Listen to make it must be undergirded with prayer send out gospel messengers fail to pray for them is very foolish to spend thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on missions and failed to pray for the success of the gospel is very wasteful most of you know what a mighty evangelist Charles Spurgeon, incredible man love to read about Spurgeon love to learn from Spurgeon, Spurgeon was very influential in my coming to understand the doctrines of grace. Spurgeon was surprised some people five point Calvinists and was one of the most effective evangelist that the world has ever known and someone was visiting his tabernacle Monday through the week he was showing them around and he said do you want to see the power house and I thought he meant the furnace that heats his massive building and he took them down to a basement room and he said while I preach 600 men pray people write volumes about how eloquent was Spurgeon how intelligent was Spurgeon how this was Spurgeon how that was Spurgeon first Spurgeon would say no no no no no it's not what made me effective look to the basement look to the prayer room. That's what made me effective when missionaries come to us and ask us to help them and they ask for prayer and I think sometimes we foolishly think that's a gimmick they say prayer, but they make money. Please offer prayer for me, but they really mean. Please raise give money to me. I can't go without money, but maybe some of them misunderstand it that way, and for them it's a gimmick. Shame on them. But for those who understand it properly.

No they need prayer more than they need money, they do need money with any prayer when they need money when they asked for our prayers there asking for us to give what is the greatest contribution we can give to the success of the gospel. Yes, we can contribute out of our checkbook, but what's more important and more more effective is we can contribute with our prayers, again, shame on us that we should drop our checks in the offering plate, but failed to uphold them in prayer brother.

Pray for us at the gospel will spread glorified even as it was in you. My final lesson has to do with intellectual skepticism. People can find something wrong with nearly everything in the Bible and so some people like to make a big deal.

The contradictions out of the sovereignty of God, the responsibility of man. I can put these things together so I can't believe Bible wreck. Can't believe this right can't believe that and I would just like to point out that in most cases there's no contradiction unless we make one and our sinful hearts are our quick to do that. Who was it that set our hearts are in idle factory. They are our hearts are also in unbelief factory can manufacture all kinds of reasons and justifications not if you haven't learned by now that there a lot of things in the Bible that on the surface. Don't make good sense.

They don't seem to to us in our present condition. But if we will except by faith what God has revealed, then number one we did, he doesn't have to make sense. It really doesn't number two. He will start making a whole lot more sensitive and I'm not talking about a faith that grabs onto to extraneous thoughts to traditions to two things are unconnected from the Bible because I believe those then I have faith though you don't. That's nonsense.

When you're believing what God says in his word. Then it is true God is always true. If you don't believe what God is said that you're wrong. God is true and if he contradicts God is the liar, never the other way around, and therefore like a humble little child, except by faith with the Bible says and don't try to make contradictions out of it to avoid what it says but except what it says and move forward and in time God may just make some of those things. Click in your mind so that they are no longer contradictions. But even if they are until you get to heaven. So what what does God call upon you to do to understand everything or to believe what he is all it takes is a faith of the child to get you into heaven.

Some of you may miss it because you don't have a simple, humble, childlike faith is God to make away as God to direct your hearts as God to remove the obstacle bring you a heart felt faith father teach us thy ways and show us and I pass we pray

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