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How to Stand When Others Fall - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2023 5:00 am

How to Stand When Others Fall - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 6, 2023 5:00 am

Pastor Skip shares the conclusion of his message “How to Stand When Others Fall” and reminds you of the power and purpose of prayer in your life.

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The purpose of prayer is not to get my will done in heaven. The purpose of prayer is to get God's will done on earth. That's why Jesus said when you pray, say, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The power of prayer to keep you connected to God cannot be overstated.

And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip shares the conclusion of his message, How to Stand When Others Fall, and remind you of the power and purpose of prayer in your life. But first, here's a resource that will help you give your children a firm foundation of faith. Attention moms, dads, and anyone who's looking to help children understand the message of the Bible. This month, we're offering the book Soaring Through the Bible for Kids.

God's Word can be a challenge to read and understand, even for adults. And this kid-friendly version of Pastor Skip Heitzig's popular book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, gives young children and tweens a panoramic overview of all 66 books of the Bible, helping them see the context and significance of each. Soaring Through the Bible is a travel guide from Genesis through Revelation for kids. Each chapter provides a flight plan for exploring a portion of the Bible, along with a brief synopsis that shows what the chapters are about and language kids can understand. Creatively designed with kids in mind, Soaring Through the Bible also features fun illustrations and fascinating facts to keep young minds and hearts engaged and interested. Soaring Through the Bible for Kids will prepare a child for takeoff on a lifelong journey of learning and loving God's Word. We will send you a copy of this unique book along with a booklet for you by Skip titled Why Truth Matters. Simply make a donation to support and expand this radio program with a gift of $50 or more.

Call 1-800-922-1888 or order online at connectwiskip.com. Okay, let's hear what Skip has for us today. We're in Jude 1 as we join him. You, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Now, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and it's simply a way of saying let the Holy Spirit direct you when you talk to Him. He'll guide you. He'll direct you.

It'll be in accordance with His will. A lot of times people say, well, Skip, how can I pray for you? And I think I probably frustrate them when I say pray as the Lord leads you. And they don't want to hear that. They want to hear some specific thing that I'm dealing with. But I just say, you know what? The Lord will speak to you, maybe something I need to be prayed for, but I don't know what that is. So just as the Lord leads, do that. Now, why am I that general?

Here's why. The purpose of prayer is not to get my will done in heaven. The purpose of prayer is to get God's will done on earth.

That's why Jesus said when you pray, say our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So pray, praying in the Holy Spirit. Let me give you a third ingredient, and that is keep living in favor.

Keep living in favor. Go to verse 21. Keep yourselves in the love of God. This happens to be one of my favorite verses in all of the New Testament and probably my favorite verse in the book of Jude. Keep yourselves in the love of God.

What does that mean? How do I keep myself in the love of God? I'll tell you what it doesn't mean. He's not saying that your salvation depends on your effort. He is not saying keep yourself saved because you can't. You didn't save you, and you don't keep yourself that way. God does, right?

It's His sovereign work. That would contradict a lot of the Scripture, contradict a lot of the book of Jude. Verse 1 says we are preserved by Jesus Christ.

Verse 24, now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you faultless. So He's not saying keep yourself saved, nor is He saying keep yourself in a place where God can love you. You know, I have people all the time say, man, I don't know how God can love me. And I'm thinking, I don't know how He can love you either because I don't know how He can love me.

But I've gotten past that so long ago. I've discovered that God loves the unlovable. It's not like, well, I've got to do something so God can love me. He is not saying keep yourself in a place where God can love you because He loved us when we were at our worst.

Paul said, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. So what does it mean, keep yourself in the love of God? Simply this, keep yourself in a place where you are experiencing the love of God. Keep yourself in a place where you are enjoying the love of God.

That's what it means. The Living Bible renders this verse, stay always within the boundaries where the love of God can reach and bless you. If you were to go out in the sun and I was just out in the sun with some of you before the service, enjoying the sunshine, it's a beautiful sunny day out. It's not like yesterday with the wind and crazy and it's just, it's gorgeous. And if you go outside and the sun is shining and you are keeping yourself in the sunshine, right? Do you know that you can be in the sun but not experience or enjoy the sun? You say, come on, once you step outside, you're in the sunlight, how do you keep yourself from enjoying it?

Well, I'm glad you asked. You could, if you wanted to, carry one of these with you, right? I don't know why you would on a day like this, but the sun's out and you could do this.

Come on, maybe I need to get a new one. Oh, there you go. Okay, so I'm in the sun, but I'm not feeling it. In fact, that breeze feels a little cold. Okay, well, take your umbrella down, stupid.

Okay, oh yeah, there it is, that's good. Yeah, but I don't feel it right now, right? So I'm in the sun, but I'm not keeping myself in the sun.

There's an impediment called an umbrella. So, you know, it is possible to have God love you, but you're not enjoying, you're not experiencing it because something's in the way. I'll give you an example in the scriptures. In the upper room in Jesus' head, I'll give you this example while I'm twirling my umbrella, because it's just so fun to do.

This is just fun. I've seen this in the movies. So, in the upper room, there were a couple of disciples there were 12 of them, but there were two of them right next to Jesus, one on either side of Him. One was named John, one was named Judas. Jesus loved John, and Jesus loved Judas. John was keeping himself in that love of Jesus, Judas was not. John, next to Jesus, leaned in, leaned his head on the bosom, on the breast of Jesus, to be close to his heart, to be close to his heart. He was keeping himself in the love. Judas was in that room next to Jesus with an umbrella. He was not keeping himself.

In fact, he was plotting how he was going to leave and lay his hand on Jesus to betray Him to the Roman government. Jesus loved them both. One was keeping himself in the love of God, one was not keeping himself in the love of God. So, simple thought, be occupied or even preoccupied with the thought that God loves you. Let that thought dominate your life.

Remind yourself of that frequently. God loves me. I'm His beloved. I'm His treasure.

He loves me. Keep yourself in the love of God. One way to do that is to respond in obedience to what He said, to obey Him.

You'll find that when you live to please God, you are more pleased with yourself than when you live to please yourself. In that upper room, Jesus said a number of things, but one of the things He said was this, as the Father loved me, I also have loved you. Here it is, abide in My love. Continue, stay plugged in to My love. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. So, an easy way to keep yourself in the love of God isn't just to remind yourself, God loves me, God loves me, God loves me, but you know what? When God tells me to do something, when I find a principle in the Scripture, I'm going to do it, I'm going to obey it. I'm going to make that a quick response. That's one good way to keep yourself in the love of God.

Let me give you a fourth ingredient. Keep expecting the future. Keep expecting or keep anticipating the future. Now, look in verse 21 again, keep yourself in the love of God. Here it is, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Almost every commentator, every Bible scholar that treats this verse says, without a doubt, Judah is referring to the coming of Jesus Christ for his saints, for his believers, that we are told to look forward to his coming, which by the way is one of the great themes in the New Testament. So many of the books of the New Testament have that as its theme. The word looking for means to look earnestly for or to live with expectation for, and it describes an eager anticipation for the coming of Jesus Christ. We are looking for Jesus to come. Now, when you hear that, when somebody says to you, Jesus is coming soon, I wonder how you hear that. I wonder what you think about that. I wonder if you are a little bit fearful and somebody says, Jesus is coming, and you think, he is? Why?

What did I do wrong? Like when I was a kid, my mom would say, your dad will be home soon. It's like, whoa. You know, it's like, I'll straighten up, right? Because that meant something to me. It meant I'm going to face judgment for what I did with my mom. If on the other hand, you hear Jesus is coming and you go, oh, yeah, I can't wait.

Oh, yeah, I can't wait. That's a good indication that you're keeping yourself in the love of God. And part of that is an eager anticipation, an eager expectation for Him to come. Sadly, the teaching on Jesus' return is also silent in many churches today. It used to be taught a lot more, Second Coming, Rapture, Millennial Kingdom, a lot of these eschatological themes are frequently taught in churches. But it seems that more and more today, churches are either confused about eschatology or pastors can't even pronounce the word eschatology, or they just decide to remain silent on this subject that is spoken about so often in Scripture. I was invited to speak at a church back east, and one of the assistant pastors ministry leaders said that I should talk about something related to end time events. I said, I'd love to do that. So much of the Bible is about that.

It'd be a great word of encouragement. So I was preparing to do that. That day, I got a call from the pastor who said, don't talk on that. He said, my church is not ready to hear that. I said, wait a minute, you've been doing this 11 years.

They're not ready yet after 11 years? I mean, Paul the apostle was talking about that three weeks in after he planted the Thessalonian church, and he thought they were ready to hear it. But okay, I mean, this is your gig.

This is you before the Lord. I won't talk. There's a number of other subjects I can talk about that are biblical subjects, but I found that interesting. Don't talk on that.

Be silent on that. Do you realize that all the historical church creeds, the Orthodox church creeds that talk about what the church believes in, all of the creeds include an emphasis on the second coming. We're waiting for him to come back.

We're looking for him to return. And the reason for that is the church fathers understood that is an emphasis that is a biblical emphasis. They understood that roughly 1,845 times, that's a lot of times in the Bible, it talks about, predicts, or alludes to the second coming of Jesus. So naturally, you would think Jude would say, listen, you want to stay strong, you want to keep from falling, you stay in the Word, you stay praying, you keep yourself in a place where you're enjoying God's love, and you are living in anticipation and expectation for him to return.

Listen to the words of Alexander McLaren, one of my favorite Scottish preachers. He said, the primitive church thought more about the second coming of Jesus Christ than about death or about heaven. They were not looking for a cleft in the ground called a grave, but for a cleavage in the sky called glory.

They were not watching for the undertaker, but for the upper taker. He nailed it, that's right. Now, what I want you to notice in verse 21 is how he talks about waiting for the return of Christ. He calls it a mercy.

Did you notice that? Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. So waiting for Jesus to return is waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why does he call it that? Well, think about it. The rapture of the church is one of the most merciful things God could do. To say, I'm going to snatch believers up before a time of judgment on the earth, a great tribulation period, that is like the pinnacle, the apotheosis, the consummating expression of mercy. By the way, just in case you wonder this, because I get unbelievers that say, why do you Christians always look for signs? You're always looking at signs. You know, COVID-19 happens, you go, is this a sign for Jesus coming back or what's happening in Israel in the Middle East? This must be a sign.

It's because the Bible conditions us to look at life that way. Because he said he's coming and he said there's a whole list of signs that are going to happen. So naturally, we're going to start interpreting all the headlines that happen around us as, well, does that fit the biblical narrative? Is that a sign of his coming? That's part of the eager anticipation.

We want to know what time it is and see if that fits in. By the way, something else. To live this way is one of the most purifying ways to live. You see, if you consider the possibility that Jesus Christ could come before I say amen at the end of this sermon, you're going to live a different way. You're going to be pure. John said, whoever has this hope, the hope of his coming, keeps himself pure just as he is pure. Though it is kind of like my mom saying, your dad will be home soon. Okay, I'll smile, I'll be good. I mean, there's something to be said for living in the fear of the Lord because Jesus is going to come.

It's a very, very purifying motivation. So, keep building your faith, keep praying with fervor, keep living in favor, keep expecting the future. I want to close on a final ingredient. Keep reaching the faithless.

I'll try to make this quick. Look at the last two verses. On some have compassion making a difference, but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. You know what he's talking about here? The people he's been talking about the whole book, the apostates, people who have fallen away, the defectors, the detractors, the backsliders, the people who don't want anything to do with it or perhaps are still part of the congregation, but are dug in.

He's talking about them. And he's saying by these two verses, don't completely write them off. It's the easiest thing to do, sort of shake your hand, your hands up and wipe the dust off your feet and say, they're goners, forget them, let them go.

And he's saying not so fast, don't dismiss them. Those who pose the greatest menace to the church can often become the greatest mission of the church. Let's think about how to rescue them back, bring them back.

Listen to James 5, "'Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and somebody turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from error, the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.'" So we don't write them off. We do something with them.

What do we do with them? Well, it depends on the condition of their heart. Are they weak and failing and doubtful or are they just, their heels are dug in and they're obstinate and they're just rebellious?

It depends. And he seems to be talking about both kinds in these two verses. So verse 22, he's referring to the wavering, the doubting.

Verse 22, on some have compassion, making a difference or a distinction. These are people who are saved but not secure. They're converted, but they're not confident. They are what Peter calls in 2 Peter chapter 2, unstable souls. They're filled with doubt.

They're filled with confusion. And the reason that they're even waffling and wavering and doubting is because they've been attacked by wolves. And wolves attack sheep just like false teachers attack weak Christians.

Weak, vacillating, doubtful Christians are easy prey. So what do we do with those people who are unstable? Well, we don't antagonize them. We don't criticize them. We evangelize them. We don't say, come on, you wimp. Quit being a wimp.

Man up. Follow Jesus. No, you want to have compassion on them because your compassion will make the Jesus you proclaim that much more attractive and the false teachers will lose that attraction. So when some have compassion, making a distinction.

You know a good example of this? Jesus. Jesus on one hand stood up and denounced the Pharisees. Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites.

I mean, he just unloaded on them. Next chapter, he's eating dinner with the Pharisee. The next chapter, he's eating lunch with another Pharisee. Another time, he's having an evening conversation with another Pharisee. Well, why? Why denounce them as heretical and wrong and errant and apostate in Judaism and yet go hang out with them?

For this very reason. And it paid off. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came to believe in Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea was a Pharisee who came to believe in Jesus because of the compassion shown to them by Jesus himself. But then there's verse 23, and this isn't the wavering. This speaks of the wandering one. This is a person who's left the fellowship and are a part of that apostate group already. He says, but others save with fear, pulling them or yanking them, seizing them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

You remember what the angels did in Sodom and Gomorrah with Lot? Remember he said, get out of town, get out of town. He's lingering. He's going, okay, see you guys. God bless you guys.

And so an angel took him by the hand and led him out of town before that fire fell. And so with some people, you're compassionate. With other people, you're confrontive. With some people, you are soft. With others, you are more severe.

It's like, dude, your house is burning down. Get out. And the rebuke is stronger. So it depends on the heart. But here's the bottom line. It's not falling into water that drowns a person. It's lying in it.

It's staying in it. It's not falling into sin, but lying in sin that'll destroy the soul. So if you have fallen, you can get up. And the antidote to your falling, whether you're just sort of weak and vacillating, falling a little bit and doubting, that's okay. Or you've taken several steps away from God.

I don't know about this. I don't know if I believe in this. I'll keep coming, but I don't.

The solution to falling is following, following. I challenge you today to turn around, the Bible calls that repentance, and follow the Savior. Follow the Savior. Bring to Him your doubts. Bring to Him your fears. Bring to Him your rebellion. Confess that to Him. Let Him deal with it. He can handle it.

He's handled a lot of people like you and I before. Give Him your life. Commit your life to Him today. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Fight for the House. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging Word with more people around the world. You know, I've always believed that studying the Bible is absolutely essential to any kind of a vibrant walk with Jesus Christ.

That's why we share these Bible teachings, in order to strengthen you in God's Word, so you can stand in faith before a world that is hostile. And when you come alongside this ministry through your generous support, you do the same for many listeners around the world. Now this year, I'm praying that God will open doors for these teachings to go out to even more cities across the United States. You can help make that happen. If you would consider partnering with us today, here's how you can do that. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Join us again tomorrow to hear an encouraging message about how you can be assured of victory. Paul said, if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart, we will be saved. So that's past tense.

Done deal. If you trusted him, you are saved. But there is a second aspect in which you are saved. You are being saved. Present end. Not from the penalty of sin, but now from the power of sin. . Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-06 05:23:56 / 2023-11-06 05:33:33 / 10

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