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2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1 - Part C

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The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1 - Part C

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 25, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip explains why preaching the good news will always lead to persecution of some form.

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Skip Heitzig

Great persecution is the result of the Great Commission.

That's easy to memorize, right? Great persecution comes as a result of the Great Commission. If you go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, that's the Great Commission, you'll have great persecution. All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. As Christians, we're called by Christ to share the gospel.

But as Skip shares today on Connect with Skip Hyten, preaching the good news will always lead to persecution of some form. But first, here's a resource that will help you understand what God's Word says about the future that's coming. The Book of Acts says we need to understand the days we live in and how we should be spending our time, energy, and finances. The first step is information, and this month to complement Skip's series, The End is Near, we're offering the excellent Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy by Tim LaHaye and Mark Hitchcock. This 450-page hardcover book is a reference guide to what the Bible says about the end times, covering over 150 topics from Armageddon to the wrath of the Lamb. The Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is a comprehensive survey from the world's foremost experts on biblical prophecy. Here is what Tim LaHaye said about the importance of understanding what the Bible says concerning the future. To me, the signs of the times are evident that we're in the last days.

In fact, I call them the last days of the last days. I believe that the people that had a great deal to do with the early church were the expositors of the scripture but gave Christian evidences. Why do we believe what we believe? And one of the reasons we believe what we believe is because of prophecy. This Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is our gift to you this month when you encourage the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more. Make your financial vote of support at or by calling 1-800-922-1888. With the Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy on your desk, you'll find yourself reaching for it frequently as events in these days speed forward. Receive this excellent hardcover book with your gift.

Go to or call 1-800-922-1888. Let's turn to 2 Corinthians 6 as we begin today's lesson. A West Coast university did a survey of all the things they expected of their clergymen and tallied up the hours necessary to fulfill what people expect from that minister. And they came up with this, that the average churchgoer expects the minister to put in every week 135.5 hours of time. If he put in 135.5 hours of time every week, that would leave him with 4.5 hours a day to himself, during which time he must sleep and eat and do any extracurricular activities.

What that little study was obviously meant to show is, ain't nobody can do that. So Paul knew he had disappointed them. Paul knew he had not met up with their expectations, but he's letting them know, listen, let me just tell you, that's just part of it.

There's the sleeplessness, there's the tribulation, there's the stripes, that is, the being beat with a cat of nine tails, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleeplessness, and fastings. Now, in all fairness, when I started in the ministry here, when I came to Albuquerque, I did pretty much everything. I brought my own PA system with me. Every week I set up the PA, plugged in my guitar, went and made copies of the songs on sheets, passed them all out, sang the songs, put the guitar down, taught the Bible study. Money came in, I balanced the checkbook and got that ready for people to inspect.

I did counseling and I had a full-time job and was newly married. That's how we started. But as time went on, I knew one of the first things I needed to do was find qualified people to come alongside, and I loved to delegate things. So when somebody said, hey, you know, I'm a musician.

You are? Good, you can lead worship next week. I was just passing plates off to different people to do different things, and pretty soon it turned into a staff. But at first, you do all the grunt work, you do all the leg work, the hard work, but then you pass it on as time goes on. So he lists the ministry, and he goes on. I just barely touched on it in verse five. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in sleeplessness, in fasting, by purity, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left. So he talks about the trials he goes through and what equipment, what ammunition, what wherewithal and power he approaches it with. Word of God, power of the Holy Spirit, etc. Kindness, patience, all that.

That's how I meet all of those challenges. Have you ever stopped to consider the promises that Jesus made to his disciples who were following him, but soon he would leave the ministry into their hands? I'm sure this blew their minds when Jesus said these words. I'm reading out of Luke 21. They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, and deliver you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake, but it will turn out as an occasion for a testimony. Therefore, settle in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom in which your adversaries, enemies, will not be able to contradict or resist.

You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends, and they will send some of you to your death. Now, we love the promises of God, don't we? We underline God's promises. We talk about great and precious promises.

They are, but not all of them. They're promises, but this didn't sound probably too great to these disciples. Oh, they're going to beat you up, and some of you are going to get killed because of it. And so he says, he closes that section, in your patience, possess your souls. Paul said all who live godly in Christ Jesus, finish it out, will suffer persecution.

That's a promise. If you live godly, you will suffer persecution. Why? Because people are in darkness, that's why. And you have the light, that's why. Ever turn the overhead lights on when somebody has been asleep and they've grown accustomed to the dark? Do they greet you warmly when you turn on the lights that way? Or open the curtains? Wake up!

Time to wake up! You don't know what might come out of their mouth. They're not too amenable to that. And Jesus said, men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Neither will they come to the light, lest their deeds should be exposed. So unbelievers, those in darkness, have a built-in antipathy toward the light. You come and bring the light of the gospel. It convicts them.

It shows them up. It comes with the idea that they are a sinner and need forgiveness. They don't want to hear that. So great persecution is the result of the Great Commission.

That's easy to memorize, right? Great persecution comes as a result of the Great Commission. If you go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, that's the Great Commission. You'll have great persecution.

All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Let me give you something else to remember. Plant this in your brain. If you're not taking notes, try to memorize it. If not, put this in your notes. If you practice Acts 1-8, you can expect Acts 8-1. Acts 1 verse 8 says, you will be filled with the Spirit and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria, to the uttermost parts of the earth. If you do that, if you practice that, if you say, I'm going to be a witness, I'm going to tell people the truth, I'm going to verbally share my faith, I'm going to practice Acts 1-8, being filled with the Spirit, being a witness wherever I go. If you do that, if you practice Acts 1-8, you can expect Acts 8-1. This is what that verse says. At that time, Acts 8-1. At that time, great persecution arose against the church, which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria. So if you do 1-8, expect 8-1 to happen. That was Paul's life everywhere he went.

But this is what I love. He says, by honor, dishonor, evil report, verse 8, and good report, as deceivers, that is, they call us deceivers like they are doing in Corinth, and yet we are true, as unknown, that is, they treat us like we're nothing unknown, no name, but they are well known to God and well known to other believers, yet unknown, yet well known as dying, and behold, we live as chastened and yet not killed. When Jesus was on the scene, how popular was he? Well, you could say on one hand, he was very popular.

The common people heard him gladly. He had crowds of people that loved the things he did, the gracious words he spoke. But at the same time, there was a growing animosity, and accusations started mounting more and more and more and more anger against him. And so they started falsely accusing Jesus. He's a glutton, they said, a winebibber, a friend of sinners. Paul the apostle, wherever he went, they lied about him. He goes to Athens, and he preaches at the Areopagus, the place where the philosophers gather. He preaches Jesus and the resurrection, and they call Paul a babbler. What is this babbler saying?

Dead people alive again. That's just hooey. And they say stuff like that about you. Oh, no, they don't. Oh, yes, they do. When you're not around, they do. Sometimes they do it to your face, if they have any integrity. I mean, tell me how you feel to my face, but I'd rather have that than behind my back. But that's what they'll say.

They'll make things up. So Paul knew that dichotomy of ministry, known by God, anointed by God, but hurt, hated, despised by the world. Can I just encourage you, though, next time you are maligned or you find out what people are saying about you because you're a believer, would you just carry this thought with you? You happen to be in a prestigious lineup of persecuted individuals. You are in a class of your own. You are next to prophets and apostles.

Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Paul, the Lord Jesus. That's why Jesus said, Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You're not first. They laughed at my bumper sticker.

Even though they have the coexist bumper sticker, which is more laughable, they're laughing at my bumper sticker. So what? Rejoice and realize I'm in good company.

I'm in elite company. Verse 10, as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing all things. Oh, Corinthians. Now here's Paul opening his heart, his personal epistle. Oh, Corinthians, we have spoken openly to you. Our heart is wide open.

You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now, in return for the same, I speak as to children. That is, I'm talking to you like I would talk to my own kids if I had them. I speak as to children. You also be open.

Homer Kent, who is a commentator, named his commentary on 2 Corinthians, a heart opened wide based on this verse, that our heart is open to you. So he realizes somebody has come in, these Judaizers have come in and persuaded you to close your heart toward us. And have you ever had the situation where you're friends with somebody until somebody else, an interloper, comes in and starts talking about you and changing that person's opinion of you? And so you see them next time, and they're not like, hey, they go, hi. They're very cold to you. And you wonder, what just happened?

What happened is what is happening here. We've opened our heart to you, and we've always been open and honest and the same. Somebody is closing your heart. And so he says in verse 14, do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness?

And what accord has Christ with Belial, another name for the devil, Satan? What part has a believer with an unbeliever? Talks about an unequal yoke.

You know what he's talking about? There's a prohibition in the Old Testament that they were not to, when they would plow a field, put an ox and a donkey under the same yoke. A yoke is a wooden implement that ties the animals together to pull a farm tool, like a plow. Don't yoke an ox and a donkey together. Different breed, different size, different gate step. One's a clean animal.

The ox is clean. The donkey is unclean. There's just so many problems there.

So there was a prohibition. Don't have an unequal yoke in the farm. Now, when Paul uses this familiar Old Testament prohibition, primarily he's talking about these false teachers. Separate yourselves from these false professors, these Judaizers, these pretenders. Come out from among them. Separate yourselves from the false teacher.

But there is an important principle nonetheless that transcends that, because you may or may not have false teachers in your lives dissuading you one direction or another. But I guarantee you, you have all been tempted by an unequal yoke. You can have an unequal yoke when, as a believer, you are dating and will marry an unbeliever. You can have an unequal yoke if you, as a believer, get into a business partnership that is close and intimate, where you have to share your values with an unbeliever.

Because just like on the farm, you're going to have these two animals that have different temperaments, may go in different directions. Likewise, you could have a marriage. Oh no, but I love this guy, and he's not a believer, but I know that I can persuade him to follow Christ. And so she's love-struck, and she marries the guy.

And I've seen it over and over and over and over and over and over, and I won't keep going over and over again, but I've seen it too often. Because what is going to happen in that relationship is you are going in two different directions already. You're going after the Lord, young lady.

He's not. Go after somebody who loves Jesus more than you do. Pursue that guy and pursue that girl.

Go in that direction. You know, God wants you to enjoy your life and have a rich, fulfilled life. You won't have a rich, fulfilled life if you're in a relationship where you're going in two opposite directions.

Same temperament, same gait, etc. That's why in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul says to people who are either already divorced or lost a previous spouse, get married again, but only in the Lord. Only in the Lord. Don't have an unequal yoke.

Samson is a good example in the Old Testament of somebody who had an unequal yoke with Delilah. It cost him his life. It cost him his eyesight.

It cost him his life. And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, for you are the temple of God, of the living God. As God has said, I will dwell in them and walk among them.

I will be their God, and they shall be my people. I love that Paul just could so freely associate in his mind different scriptures. And, you know, he didn't have a computer Bible program. He didn't have Logos Bible software. He didn't have the internet.

He didn't have a phone where he could do quick research or a concordance. But he knew the scripture, and here he is quoting three different sources and putting these scriptures together. Exodus chapter 29, Leviticus 26, Ezekiel 37.

He takes a portion of each one of those texts, puts it together to form this truth. I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. That's the promise.

Therefore, because of that, let's close the chapter out. Come out from among them, quoting Isaiah chapter 52. Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, and do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a father to you. You will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. In that context of Isaiah 52, the prophet is addressing the Jewish nation, Israel, while they're captives in Babylon, telling them to come back home, which they eventually will do. Seventy years later, they come back to the land. The prophet is here in that chapter, calling them back out of captivity, back to the land of Israel. Come out from among them, the Babylonians, and be separate.

So he's using that as a way to draw a point. We should have strong boundaries when it comes to who we hang out with, what activities we do, people that would influence us to do wrong. Make sure that you get the right crowd among you. Come out from among unbelievers in an unequal yoke. But I want you to notice something. He says, come out from among them, be separate, says the Lord, do not touch what is unclean.

All that's negative. And I will receive you. I will be a father to you.

You will be my sons. That's relationship and daughter, says the Lord Almighty. So holiness is far more than just separation.

It includes dedication. It's one thing to say, I'm not going to hang out with those people. I'm not going to do that anymore. Okay. That's just part A. Part B is that instead of doing that, instead of hanging out with them, I'm now going to do this, and I'm now going to hang out with them. Y'all.

New crowd, new group. It's going to be separation from and dedication to a relationship with God. Therefore, let's finish it out because that's where the thought ends.

Chapter seven, verse one, as I said, therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. You know, I read that there's this story about a man who was a man who was a man who was a man who was a man. You know, I read that there's a species of alligator that is, well, if you look at it, you think the thing's lazy. It just sort of lays around. It doesn't go hunting. It just lays on the bank of the river with its mouth open and lets the prey come to him. Opens its mouth, and it can be so still that most creatures would think it's dead. So as the mouth is open, flies start coming on that moist tongue, and after the flies gather, other insects gather, and after all these insects are on that moist mouth way, a lizard will crawl up on the tongue. Eventually a frog will jump into it, and there'll be sooner or later a whole party, an animal party, a menagerie of these creatures, and then without warning, the earthquake comes.

Boom! Closes it, party over, party over. So be careful where you go and who you go with. Get the right group around you in your life as part of your life for the sake of accountability. Make sure the activities are godly. I'm telling this to a group that in the middle of the week is at a Wednesday night Bible study, so you're off on a great start. That's Skip Hyten with a message from his series Expound, 2 Corinthians showing you that living for Christ will bring persecution, but that's a reason to rejoice because it means you're in good company.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at God works powerfully through the generous support of friends like you, changing lives all around the world for eternity. And with your gift today, you'll help expand the ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig to broadcast into more major U.S. cities and connect more people to the life-changing message of Christ. To give today, go to slash donate. That's slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. Don't miss tomorrow's program as Pastor Skip shares a powerful teaching about holiness. There's a positive side to holiness, and the positive side to holiness is intimacy with God. He will be your God. You will be His people. He will be your Father. You will enjoy that intimate communion with Him, and there's nothing better. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-25 05:04:48 / 2024-04-25 05:13:50 / 9

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