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July 19, 2021 6:00 am
Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of 1st Thessalonians 1:4-5
I want to be foolish enough to reject him and I can't as God treats me like a man. He expects me to behave like a man expects that when I say something I mean it.
Satan is doing all that he can in our society.
Incidentally, to cause men to not be met to be something else than not, it doesn't mean they're automatically women. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of first Thessalonians. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of first Thessalonians chapter 1 for today's edition of cross reference radio Bibles to be first Thessalonian letter chapter 1, we will resume at verse four.
Not by accident that the Bible uses the metaphor of sheep for God's people sheep real sheep have no chance of survival against wolves and predators. They have no defense system. They can even handle the elements by themselves find food and water and shelter harm will come to them without the shepherd. It is also interesting that when the wolves are coming close to where the sheep are that the wolves pick up the scent of the shepherd causes them to halt in their tracks, sometimes even hunker down and make a decision whether it's worth it or not, to go after the sheep. Incidentally, sheep refute evolution of the species that erroneous idea that has made its way through what is truly science and has infiltrated and become fake science, there would be no way for sheep to evolve without a shepherd. And so it's just another presentation of God concerning his truth. That's just so simple. This flock in Thessalonica was as we have been considering only a few months old when Paul was forced to leave them and escape for his life knowing that they needed the shepherd. Paul took to writing these two letters to shepherd them through the word of God until God would raise up for himself pastors within the flock at Thessalonica, which he did do what I read from the book of acts chapter 20 verse 28. Some of you may remember, this is when Paul was going towards Jerusalem before he would be arrested in Jerusalem and then taken to Rome, but he is on his way and he stops off at Miletus and he does not want to go into the city of Ephesus because he knows that because of his relationships with the church there and the people that he'd get bogged down, he wouldn't be able to make his deadline to Jerusalem, he invites the church leaders to come to him at Miletus and they do and there's that beautiful speech that he gives to them in the 20 20th chapter of the book of acts what he says here in verse 28 therefore take heed to yourselves.
Remember he speaking to the pastors and to the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to shepherd the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.
Our word pastor comes from the Latin, which means shepherd and Paul is shepherding this flock through this letter and we now pick it up in verse four, where he continues to say to them things are they going to need he says, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God now is very disappointing for me to have to take time on this verse.
It's a very simple verse. It's really not complicated but it has been made complicated throughout Christian circles by men who my opinion just like to write a lot of things about things that don't need a lot of writing their meaning is right there it's it's for everyone to enjoy, but they have muddied the waters I'm going to take a little time to address this, the Greek word here for elect is chosen. That's what an election is and so they are chosen by God while everyone who is saved is chosen by God and everyone who is not saved is not chosen by God. He himself as the shepherd will separate the sheep from the goats in that part of the world.
The shepherds keep that part of the world being Israel. The shepherds keep the sheep and the goat together and then when it's time to go feed them, take them out into pastors. They separate them because their eating habits are different, their manners are different culturally. You know, stand up on their hind legs and eat from a tree which sheep are not as is able to do these things. So the shepherd separates them. And it is this metaphor again that Jesus used to describe what goes on with our good Shepherd. God any in fact a mark of intelligence is to make intelligent choices versus merely instinctive choices. Animals make choices out of instinct we think about a little bit, ideally speaking fact companies know that many of us will make instinctive choices and that's why they have what's called the impulsive rack at the checkout counter. Give no need for battery flashlight this big but there it is, and it can be yours for only a dollar 99 and and so impulsively by the sits home in the draw and with the lights are off and nobody is there to turn it on so any choice amongst intelligent beings is based on information it is based on thought conditions in terms especially the critical one that is processed through the brain and the heart and the will, and whoever responds to God's invitation that person is a whosoever and the one who does not respond who rejects that person is the whosoever rejects it not complicated. So what this verse is not telling us that God impulsively chooses by whim or some unknown law who goes to heaven and who goes to hell no he has made it clear it is the mystery of salvation which is not a mystery any longer because the New Testament has explained it to us. We know how God makes this choice makes this choice by giving the invitation to someone to be saved from the judgment because of their sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. When we say yes Lord, we accept these terms and we follow through on.
We are elected. We are chosen to heaven now not so not only the whosoever wills that come to Christ. But the whosoever remains. I don't know why that is such a difficult concept. I do know why it's a difficult concept for Christians. I just don't know why they let it be a difficult concept.
If I want to say say if you are a pastor of a mega church, you know, 2000 people a Sunday would attend that church. I could pin that flock out one Sunday to about a couple hundred people real quick and I would just go at the sacred cows of American Christianity, sacred cows make just as good a steak is any other why not. It's annoying that people have these these things if you live in a country where you're starving and you can't touch the meat because of some superstition, get pretty frustrated.
I get pretty frustrated with Christians who will toss away a good church for a bad church simply because they want to cling to a sacred cow in this whole idea of once saved always saved is one of our sacred cows. First off if your opinion is well well me put it this way. If I am right when I say listen your saved because you want to be.
Say you've accepted the invitation and you are free to go if you want to say why don't agree with that fine there's no harm done. In my view I'm not hurting anyone except maybe making the nervous Nelly's more uncomfortable. But if I say listen, if you abide in Christ as he says in John 15, your fine. But if you reject him. You're not fine. Even if you have rejected him or the person who disagrees with that and rejects Christ is in jeopardy if they so I'm safe I can do whatever I want once I'm saved I'm always saved the problem with problem with that because the Bible doesn't teach, and one of the lines that they always throw up at us as well. For me, maybe not you because you made. You may say you know I don't agree with you, that's fine. Not a dividing pointless you want to make it a dividing point, but for me personally, as a Christian man, not as a pastor's Christian man, I don't see this taught in Scripture. I do not see that when we come to Christ, we lose our free will. God has given us a free will is not made us puppets and so when we exercise out of our free will. We are living in the image of God. That's what makes us different from the animal kingdom. The rest of the animal kingdom is that we think things through O are supposed to, and we make an intelligent choice a decision. We have a will is our will, that governs not our instincts when when the human beings break with this then they often become animals animalistic.
I should say when a human being is just led by their passions. This describes addictions that subscribe us describes so many abuses that humans find themselves engaging in when they let their instincts, their whims, their emotions govern their lives in the higher part of their being the higher side of their manhood or their womanhood gets put out of the picture and this is against the idea of what the Holy Spirit teaches, we are guided by God, not through what we think is right. But what he says is right now.
I know I make you very uncomfortable. Some of you want to talk about this one saved always saved, so let me put it this way, you are elected. If you say, let me state your rejected. If you say let me leave us. And this is the tactic of his law is a tactic of the mob to say once you're in, you can't get out. You have no free will. You're not able to undo your choice how God created us, why so many Christians disturbed by this. Why is it they don't want and know that they have any responsibility in Christ. That's it right there. They want to know I'm saved I made such a mess of things in my life if I am left to stay saved on my own strength that I'm going to mess it up so I don't want to believe that while you're not left alone gotchas I will fight fiercely for those who come to me, but there's one thing I will not do for anyone who comes to me I will not force them love me. I will not force them to stay with me so if a person says well I don't like that. That's the voice of fear. I've been a Christian for many years and I've always believed that it's my choice to stay with Christ. He helps me do that.
I am kept by him. If I want to be foolish enough to reject him. Then I can because God treats me like a man. He expects me to behave like a man. He expects that when I say something I mean it.
Satan is doing all that he can in our society.
Incidentally, to cause men to not be men to be something else than not, it doesn't mean they're automatically women as bad by itself to be a man than be a woman to be a woman than be a man but is something more sinister is not taking place then either men nor women. This sort of is talking to a neighbor of mine and unbelieving neighbor who I'm still working on. He doesn't know it might but anyway he was singing I was at the mall the other day while my wife was out putting us and that I was no he didn't say that but he said my wife is out shopping now if you part a women's libido like any talk like that at your problem on the part of woman's lip. But if you are those hangups the group anyway can even enjoy a joke anymore anyway while his wife was shopping. He said just watching the menacing unbeliever, talk is watching these young men in their 20s and they were with some some girls their age to and they did not even look like men look like women.
They were carrying themselves like women but they did not look like men either didn't look like young men. Their identity is lost.
They don't know who they are Satan's doing this on purpose.
If there's no shepherd to remind the flock what God is said about his word. If we have an identity problem. As Christians, the system breaks down were supposed to know who we are and where we going what has been done for us and who has done it. That is called Blessed assurance. We are to go out and strength. We have many women that have ambition but no virtue why is the world is dictating how you think the doing it through the entertainment world and news me anywhere they can around the water cooler. You notice that the goats will chew on anything there believe anything that's thrown their way were supposed to be different when you go to a church is.
I like that church you are supposed to say why you like it, not just life felt good. Sad to see someone bring a friend.
The church and a person gets ministered to than the friend believes that church and the one that they brought leaves to what doesn't even know why they left, my friend left. That's pathetic. Shouldn't be that way will see should be well you know I'm staying in his why am staying or I'm going and here's why I'm going leaving his word. Peter writes he says elect elect according to the foreknowledge of God the father and sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace be multiplied by the obedience. I mentioned this when when talking about our pastoral ministry here. If you uphold the word of God as a pastor or as a Christian, you risk being labeled legalistic, narrowminded, self-righteous, harsh and meaning pants, meaning pants Christians.
How dare you obey Jesus and expect me to do the same. Now if you don't uphold the faith, then you are labeled a hypocrite, a weakling and apostate, and rightfully so were supposed to have conviction were supposed to live as though we have a lord and master. We know what he wants and we know where he is going because were following him.
Thus we say the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Why she's taking care of me when it says and he leaves me through the valley of the shadow of death for the sheep anywhere without the shepherd is the valley of death automatically by default. There's even footage of the sheep leaving a flock taken in Israel and as he leaves the flock shepherd doesn't always gonna as you can see the shepherd with the sheep leaving them in the opposite direction and as the sheep is leaving.
He looks back at the flock and then she continues to leave heads out toward the wilderness. When Jesus said, are you two going to leave he gave him a choice. You're free to go. You want to go have had love that the Lord has it this way makes me stronger.
Makes me say no Lord where else am I going to go.
I'm staying right here with you thick or thin things I don't like I don't want them that's not enough to chase me from you. So again, we cannot say that God has endowed us with free will and then say we can exercise and exercise it to the end and then this is strength and I think one of the reasons why we have such a weak church and the church in America is getting weaker and weaker day by day because more of the world is in the church and less of the churches in the world.
They are calling the shots to see you Christians how quickly they crumble over the silliest things that they don't know anything you know some Christians have less material than than what you need to abate official to make a decision about what they believe in because they just following other things there following the crowds are not listening to the word themselves in approving these things and not digging into them.
This idea of predestination that comes up in the Scriptures we are predestined in Christ. When did the word predestination become synonymous with the word forced it's not were not forced to help or forced to heaven.
If you choose to follow Christ. That path leads you to salvation, eternal.
If you choose no longer to follow him. That path is predestined for doom see is very simple sovereignty sovereignty is God being unmatched totally in control at the mercy of no one. It has come to mean tyrant is tyrannical's will be done on his believers, whether they wanted or not nonscriptural not found in Scripture that he does influence us.
Jonah the disgorged profit. God never forced Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he did influence him strongly, I might add. What oh I got to have a fish gobble you up what you have to puke you out on the beach. What has to happen to get me to listen to you to get you to listen to me as part of and so all who believe in Jesus are predestined to be saved, elected to salvation by faith that is the gospel that is the good news that you have a chance. What you would do if it you tell people listen God's already decided who's getting safe then why does he need me to evangelize. You would think this would be so simple why I've have said more than I and I have so much more I could say to refute the silly things but but it's like blowing against the wind. So many Christians have stampeded into this line of thinking that they don't even want to change or give it a chance to say hey wait a minute free will. It's a special thing from the Lord. It's not the same thing when you're struggling with certain sins see temptations and seductions.
They go outside of free will. That's why Paul says I do that which I will not do that is a sinful nature and you will not lose your salvation over that there is no sin that can take your salvation from you accept.
If you decide you no longer wanted. This is scriptural and it is an experience you there.
Many people have been used in the gospel have fallen away from the faith and who walk no more. I just find it heartbreaking. People come to church with the word of God is preached with the people in the congregation will love them will minister the to them because they love the Lord and they can endure.
They can stand the word of God, the come to a church like that and then over such a silly thing is this the leave and there go to a church with the word of God is not upheld where the people are or are not loving and kind tolerable. Perhaps so what is a man like me supposed to do when I know these things are going on, we come to such a versus this I'm going to take my shot said that's what I'm going to do less.
The Lord tells me not to free will is taught. It is declared as illustrated in Scripture. Leviticus 1915 if you offer a sacrifice of the peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own free will is not a separate dissent to categories of free will, one for doing what you want to do and another when you don't have when it comes to walking with Jesus Christ.
So it's across the board looks gospel chapter 10 verse 42 Jesus speaking about Mary who chose to sit at his feet and received the word. He said one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her, you catch that last part. Nobody is taking this from her nap. She wants to throw it out the window fine, but not not taking it from and I never let anybody else take it from her. I've never felt my salvation was in jeopardy. I've had moments of doubt, but I've never had Gee I wonder if I'm going to be lost now. Jesus died for me, there is now therefore no condemnation upon me know it's going to snatch me out of his hand. He will not make me a hostage. Either he will not do to me with his long does he will not say once you read and can get out.
I don't care about your free will does not should be that way. Move thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of first Thessalonians cross reference radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia to learn more information about this ministry. Visit our website cross reference radio.com once you're there you will find additional teachings from pastorate. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio. You can search for cross reference radio in your favorite podcast app as well. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time. It's pastorate continues to teach through the book of first Thessalonians, right here on cross reference rate