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The Church That Made God Sick (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2021 8:00 am

The Church That Made God Sick (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 31, 2021 8:00 am

An examination of the message God gave John for the church at Laodicea. (Included in the 7-part series You’ve Got Mail.)

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Don't build it on your money, your portfolio. How diversified your portfolio is. The wrong things happen and you've got to figure out how long you can work beyond when you hope to retire.

Why? Because the things of this earth are so fickle, so easily changing. Times change, circumstances change, but God remains the same. Hello and welcome to this Memorial Day edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well the church at Laodicea was not much different than some churches today.

Its members had grown complacent in their faith, trusting in their own wealth and success instead of God. This was a lukewarm body of believers and God strongly encouraged them to repent. Today we'll be reminded that only God can bring joy, peace and stability in the midst of life's chaos and uncertainty. Stay with us right now but remember, you can always subscribe to the podcast on demand at, at Spotify or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Now with this message, the church that made God sick, here's Pastor Paul. If you have noticed your job doesn't love you as much as you love your job because they will downsize you right out the door.

Oh come on now. They'll downsize you right out the door. They don't need a whole lot of excuse, a whole lot of reason. Just have a few bad quarters, the bottom line is going in the wrong direction and some folk will sit up in a boardroom and swirl around in big fancy chairs and make a quick decision and the next thing you know you're getting yourself a pink slip. And if you are higher up and all that, well no they can't just, you know, they have to give me a parachute and all of that, that's fine.

They'll strap it on your back and kick you out the plane. Your 401 will turn into a 201 just like that. So you cannot give yourself impassion to things that are not eternal. You ought to be wholehearted about your work but your work shouldn't consume you. It shouldn't be your identity. Your job shouldn't be the essence of who you are.

They will get you out of there in a hurry. Told you when I was single I was running a department of a car leasing company. We went to work one morning thinking all was well. Found ourselves in a boardroom with the big shots from headquarters and in a few minutes time we were all notified that they were shutting down this whole part of their business.

We sat there. One lady broke out in tears. One of the other department heads broke out in tears. She said I just bought a house.

How in the world am I going to take care of that? That wasn't their problem. They said you're all out. And this is what car leasing companies, all of us who ran departments were driving demos. And we had driven demos to work.

Guess what? We all had to find a way home. Because somebody was brave enough after they were saying we're shutting this down. They said we'll keep a few of you on just for a few days to clean up some things and get the records together and all of that.

But for most of you today is your last day. So somebody was brave enough to say now those of us who are leading the departments and have demos, what's the longest period of time? They said park it. And I told you before, I didn't even know how to get home on the bus from that job.

It was on the outskirts of town of Philadelphia. And I had never been up there on the bus. I didn't know how to get there on the bus.

I had driven every time I had gone up there. And there I was, had to pick up the phone, call Meredith. She wasn't my fiance, but she was a finalist at that point.

Y'all pray for me, just pray for me. She was a finalist and so I called her up. I said I need you to come get me after work. She said what's the problem? I said just come get me. Why don't you just, you know when you see your money going out the window it makes you cranky. Why don't you just come get me?

And she had to pick a brother up and go home because that was that. Listen, don't you build your life on your career. It's not worth it. Your life ought to boil about Christ who will be there forever. He will be there forever. He said I'll never leave you.

I'll never forsake you. Don't build it on your money, your portfolio. How diversified your portfolio is. The wrong things happen.

And you got to figure out how long you can work beyond when you hope to retire. Why? Because the things of this earth are so fickle, so easily changing. And he said you ought to be excited about me. I wish you were hot about your spiritual walk. I wish you were fervent in your prayer, fervent in your worship. I wish that you knew how good I was and how great it is that I reached down and found you when you were lost and undone and bound for hell and destruction when you had no hope of redemption. So you got to stop and think about the condition you were in when Christ found you.

In fact some of us don't understand it. We say I found the Lord. Now I know what you mean when you use that phrase you found the Lord. I found the Lord in 1973. I know what you mean. That's the year you got saved.

But let's change the language. You didn't find him because he wasn't lost. He found you in 1973 and you were lost and you were undone and you had no hope of ever knowing the righteous God, ever having fellowship and communion and right standing with him. And when you and I were in that condition the Lord found us. He reached down, picked us up, turned us around, set our feet on solid ground, wiped out our sins, said you are my child. He put his name and stamped himself on us and said you are my child forever.

That's something to be excited about. That's something to give him glory about. That ought to make it okay for you to raise your hand sometimes when a song is bearing witness to what's in your heart. Don't be one of those folks who can go scream and act crazy at a ball game and then come to church and act like it's a museum. Now everybody doesn't worship the same way. Some folks are just rowdy so their worship is rowdy. Some folks are more cool so their worship is a little cooler but there ought to be some excitement even when you're cool. Just have a cool way of being excited about Jesus. Because every now and then I meet folks who say well pastor you know the reason why I never raise my hand during a song or anything like that or clap much or whatever is because I'm not demonstrative. Then you go to the ball game with them and you see them stand there and lose their natural mind.

Holler at the umpire, the referee and all of that and yell things and throw things and all of that and you say oh you're not demonstrative. No it's just that we've learned to be excited about the wrong things. It's great to be a sports fan. I love my teams. You know me.

I pick as many teams as I can in order to go as far into the season as I can. I was telling coach Singletary the other day. He was teasing me about my position.

You know coach from the 49ers. He said pastor I wish you would just lock in on the team. I said look I go with you all as far as you'll take me. I'm with you dog. I'm with you.

But when you all drop off I got to have somebody else. So I'm with the Niners because I passed a Niner country got some of the Niners here in the church. I'm with the Eagles because I grew up in Philadelphia.

Born and raised on a playground where I spend most of my day. I grew up in Philly. So I'm down with the Eagles. But when those teams drop off I got to have some others so I start the season with about four or five teams.

That way you can get further into the season. And then I have teams I passionately root against. But you've got to make sure it's OK to be passionate about some other things but make sure that priority wise Christ is first and foremost because he is the one who has blessed us for all eternity. And you got to understand you got to understand that he said I wish you were hot.

I wish you were excited about me and what I've done in your life. He said Oh I wish you were cold. He wasn't contrasting hot to cold.

He was contrasting both of them against lukewarm. He said I wish you were cold because if you were cold cold water is refreshing when you have a hot thirsty day when the weather turns hot and triple digits and all that or you've been out working in the sun and you've been working hard and tiring yourself and sweating and dehydrated and all that your body craves cold water. And I tell you the right glass of water at the right time will just minister to you. Oh come on doesn't it just mean it just ministers to your body while it's going down it's just laying hands on all the places in your body in Jesus name get better be well be whole be here.

You don't need all this other fancy stuff just a good glass of cold water will do the trick. That's what he saw needed when he came in famished from the country hunting. He was dehydrated. And he felt like he was about to die. And he said his brother he saw him cooking stew he said his brother please give me some stew. And that's where he lost his birthright because Jacob with his old tricky self. So sure I'll give you some stew if you give me your birthright. All he saw needed was just to get in the shade. If his brother was too tricky to bless him he should have just called for somebody else in his father's house. So would you bring me some water.

Your body craves water your body craves that ability to get hydrated again and to get restored again. And God said to this church I wish you were like a cool refreshing glass of water to meet the needs of the first. We'll be right back with more of today's destined for victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. Listen to the broadcast on demand at Pastor Paul dot net. That's Pastor Paul dot net where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. And that's also the place to find links to all of Pastor Paul social media including YouTube.

Where you can subscribe to some of his best video clips. Are you feeling spiritually dehydrated today. If your spirit needs to be refreshed there's only one place you can go only one source that can quench that kind of thirst.

Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd with the rest of today's teaching the church that made God sick. God wants to refresh us. There come those seasons and I walk with him when we get spiritually dry and dehydrated. But you can't stay that way.

That's a dangerous state to stay in. And so you've got to get into the presence of God through worship and spend some time with him and let him refresh you. Acts chapter 4 when the apostle was preaching he said repent so that when those times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. You'll get to get in on it every now and then. God will send a wave of refreshing. And it will restore you and it will build you back up just like a glass of water on a hot day.

And let me tell you something. God says I want my church to be like that. I want it to be a place where people experience the cold refreshing power of the Spirit of God. Not only should we be that way on our own walk but when unbelievers come into our presence they ought to experience a refreshing from the Lord. Church shouldn't be a place where you get beat up and beat down. It ought to be a place where truth is spoken. It may convict you but behind that truth undergirding that truth is a love for you that God has and that he's put in the hearts of his people.

Because he wants his best for your life. Church ought to be refreshing. That's why I like church being fun and exciting. I don't like going to boring church. Boring and church ought to be mutually exclusive. We say we're in the presence of God. In his presence is fullness of joy the Bible says.

And at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. Shouldn't be saying oh well I got to go to church. How long it's going to be? How long your church?

Shouldn't be like that. Ought to be so wonderful in the presence of God. You say wow this is over already. Why because you've been experiencing the joy of the Lord which is your strength and the refreshing power of God in the midst of his people. And so he says to this church I wish you were hot. Boiling with fervency. I wish you were cold. Refreshing.

Meeting the needs of the thirsty. But because you're neither because you are lukewarm I am about to spew you out of my mouth. I love the fact that he said I'm about to do it. This is a word that calls us up.

It doesn't condemn us. He's not saying I'm through with you. I'm throwing you out.

That's it. He said I'm about to. You are sickening me. But it's not too late. So he says be earnest. And repent.

Now notice how he describes them. He says in verse 17 you say I'm rich I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you don't realize that you are wretched pitiful poor blind and naked.

How do they turn the corner. How do they avoid making God sick. How do we avoid making God sick. Three things number one perceive your true condition before God. God said to them you think like the city you live in you think you're rich increase with goods don't need a thing.

As a church you're just like the city you reside in. Self-satisfied complacent. He said but you need to perceive your true condition. Your true condition is you are just the opposite of what you think you are. It's time that some of us come to grips with who we really are. It's time some of us come to grips with where we really are in our lives.

It's time that some of us quit believing our press releases. And quit believing that we are who people think we are. They think you're that because they don't know you. God knows who you really are. He knows you when the lights are off.

He knows you when nobody's around. And he says you are the exact opposite Laodicea as the way you describe yourself. It's dangerous to be out of touch with yourself. It's dangerous for you to be wrong and think you're right. And so he says to them here is what you think you are but here is what I know you are. And the first way to avoid making God sick is to perceive your true condition before God.

It's time to come to grips with the truth. Sometimes it's embarrassing. Sometimes it produces shame. But that's what the cross is about. Jesus nailed your sin and your shame to the cross.

And it's time for us to come to grips. Here I am at my worst. Here I am with my shameful spiritual nakedness but I can bring it to God who already knows those things. When you come before God and finally get honest, don't think that you're giving God any information.

All right, Lord, let me tell you the truth now. No, he was waiting for you to get there because he's looking at you being pitiful and wretched and blind and naked. He's looking at it all the time and he says it sickens me because I have a grace available for you where I can transform your life and make you the person I called you to be.

And it's time that some of us get in touch with who we really are. He said you look at yourself one way but I know the truth about you. And he said you got to perceive your true condition before God. And then if you want to avoid making God sick, not only perceive your true condition but number two, pay the price of total surrender.

Look at what he says. He says to them that you have got to yield those things to me so that I can make you what I've destined you to be. I can make you spiritually rich but you're going to have to pay a price.

And here's the way he puts it. He says you have to buy from me gold. You have to buy from me a gold that's been refined in the fire. You know, fire refines things. Again, it's the heat principle.

Just as was the case with water, the hot water was pure and could have had real benefit. But he says just as it is with water, it is with fire. That heat will refine you. You've got to buy from me a gold that's refined in the fire. You've got to pay the price of surrender so that I can change some things in you.

I can make your life more valuable. But notice the language of the refined fire. The idea is I got some work to do on you. And part of the work is I'm going to have to put you through some fiery experiences. Listen, some of you are seeing some areas of your life ablaze.

And I want to let you know it's because God loves you. And he wants you to pay the price of surrender so that that blaze can bring forth a gold that is valuable. You're going to have to pay a price if you're going to surrender, if you're going to get out of your spiritual self-satisfaction and complacency.

You're going to have to yield some areas of your life to God. God wants to burn some things up. When God lets you go through fiery experiences, it's not because he doesn't love you. It's not because he's trying to consume you.

It's because he wants to burn up what's not right. And he can bring forth that which is pure. Here's the way the Bible describes it.

Isaiah chapter 43, verse 2. When you pass through the waters, I'll be with you. And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

Watch the next sentence. And when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze. See, God's not trying to kill you. He's trying to make you more valuable.

But you've got to pay the price of surrender. See, we're the bless-me generation. But sometimes there's some areas of your life you can't be blessed until a fire has been set in that area of your life. So sometime before God will bless you, he'll boil you, broil you, fry you, stew you, roast you, bake you, burn you, barbecue you, blacken you, sauté you, smoke you. And when he gets through with all of that, then he'll bless you.

Because he wants you to come forth like pure gold. Here is the heart's cry of Jesus to everyone on earth. Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and I will sup with him and he with me. Well, every day here on Destined for Victory, we ask people to stand with us financially. That's because we are a listener-supported ministry.

Let me underscore that for just a moment. This means the only way we exist is through the prayers and financial support of people just like you. And in 2021, our prayers that you might consider, if you've not done so already, becoming a Destined for Victory partner. Partners are a special group of people that give a monthly gift of at least $20.

If you can make that commitment today, we have some special gifts that I'll tell you about in just a moment. But Pastor Paul joins me again right now. Pastor, take a moment, please, and tell us why partners are so important to this ministry.

Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up, Wayne. Partners are really the lifeline of this ministry. Without those people committed to giving regularly, we literally could not continue doing what we're doing.

I guess people hear that a lot, but it is really true. Without partners, we simply can't get the gospel out to the world. The gospel is free, but the plumbing costs an awful lot of money, and we want to continue preaching. As I've said in times past, we've got generations to reach that have never heard the gospel, and they misunderstand when they hear people talk about things like serving the Lord.

And we need to make it plain to them. The only way I can do it is with my partners helping us reach them through their generous gifts. I'm so grateful for every single partner, and I'm praying in 2021 that God will give us thousands more. There are many more outlets and many more opportunities we could take advantage of in our ministry, but the only thing that holds us back is lack of income. So I'm praying that God's going to touch the heart of many more people to realize that with just your gift of $20 or more, you can help us remain strong on the stations and outlets we're on and reach many more with the gospel of Jesus Christ. All right, thank you, Pastor, and that's what it's all about, reaching more people with the gospel. And if you make that commitment by pledging $20 or more per month to help us do that, we'll send you, with our thanks, a couple of great gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. It's a compilation of some of Pastor's most humorous illustrations and stories, something that will be sure to make you laugh and learn at the same time. Call 855-339-5500 or mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become a partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also sign up by clicking Become a Partner right at the top of the home page at And if you're already a partner, Pastor Paul and I want to say a heartfelt thank you and challenge you to consider becoming a legacy partner.

These are special ministry friends that are able to support us with gifts of $2,500 or more each year. The details are available at our website,, or by calling 855-339-5500. And if you can't become a partner today but would like to make a generous one-time donation to Destined for Victory, we'll be glad to send you, by request, Pastor Paul's booklet, Traits of a Virtuous Woman. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory. I want you to know that there are some God ideas for your life. That's lesson number one from the early life of David. A lot of us are in the business of coming up with good ideas for our lives, but I've come to tell you there's a difference between a good idea and a God idea. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Lessons from the Pasture. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-11 12:25:01 / 2023-11-11 12:34:42 / 10

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