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Forever Faithful - Part 2

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2021 12:00 pm

Forever Faithful - Part 2

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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May 22, 2021 12:00 pm

Pastor Russ Andrews continues his exploration of Colossians 4, sharing five commitments or resolutions men can make to remain forever faithful to Jesus.

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Speaking of hangry, we got something going on at the Truth Network that's going to help the world not be so hangry. Yeah, he's talking about just needing God's Word. He said, please help the Truth Network send Bibles to Africa.

And we know that they need God's Word. We have until the end of the month, just $5 gets a Bible in the hands of a poor, impoverished believer all over the African continent with the help of the Bible League. Just $5.

Just think about that, Robbie. Just $5. So please give. If you can give more than $5, man, we'd love for you to do it. And the number to call is 1-800-YES-WORD. 1-800-YES-WORD.

1-800-YES-WORD. Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. The Bible says, if you do anything that's not done in faith, it does not please God.

Nothing done without faith pleases God. See, our God is the God of many second chances. Do you need a second chance tonight? Would you like to start over one more time? Who would like to start over one more time? If your answer is yes, then let me share tonight five commitments or five resolutions that, listen, I'm going to make these tonight.

We can make them together, and we can commit tonight by making these five resolutions that we want to be forever faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ who has rescued us. That's why you're sitting here. God has plucked you out, and you're sitting here not because you chose to be here, but God chose you to be here.

Do you realize that? You had nothing to do with it. And so if you're sitting here, it's not by chance. You're sitting here because God rescued you. The reason I'm here is because He reached down and He rescued me. And I want to pay Him back with my life, not that I'm trying to earn His favor. He's already given me His favor. But I want to live for Him the rest of my life. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives. Would you like to live the rest of your life worthy of the Lord?

Then listen and commit your life to Him completely. In verse 1, Paul addresses the issue of masters and their slaves. And I don't want to spend a lot of time on this because it's clear that slavery is evil.

Did you all hear me? Slavery is evil. Anytime someone is kidnapped and held for labor against their will, that is against everything that God meant for us in this life. And it's evil, and God hates it. In Paul's day though, slavery was not exactly what you think of when you think of the evil slavery that we've had here in America.

Here's a wonderful website, guys. If you have questions you want to ask and get really good theological answers, there's a website called gotquestions.org. It's theologically sound. And so I went to gotquestions.org and I just typed in slavery in the Bible.

And this is what it says. There's a tendency to look at slavery as something of the past, but it's estimated that there are today over 27 million people in the world who are subject to slavery, forced labor, sex trade, inheritable property, and it goes on and on. As those who've been redeemed from the slavery of sin, followers of Jesus Christ should be the foremost champions of ending human slavery in the world today. That's what the Bible stands for. But the Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of slavery. Instead it gives instructions on how slaves should be treated, but it does not outlaw slavery altogether. That was just not the purpose of the Bible. The purpose of the Bible and the reason Jesus came into the world was to share the gospel, to save slaves and freedmen.

You see, when a person gets the dreaded call from the doctor that contains the C-word, most people get gripped with fear because they think they have cancer. But we have something greater that can cure something even greater that's more difficult to cure than sin, excuse me, than cancer. It's sin. And Jesus came to set us free from it. In Romans 1.16, Paul writes, I'm not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. In other words, the gospel has the power to save a man. Because when you hear the gospel, you come to know who if you yield to it.

You come to know Christ. Did you know that atheists and agnostics are usually not very impressed with our faith? Do you know why? Because they look at us and they say, well, if you really believe what you say you believe, then how come you haven't shared it with me?

And they've got a good point. Why do you keep it to yourself? Why do I keep it to myself? Do you know why most Christians aren't willing to share the gospel with a friend or family member? Because they fear the sneer of the peer.

And they might be ashamed of it. So if you're having trouble opening your mouth, what should you do? Look at verse 3. Paul says, Here's what we need, guys. We need to ask God that He will first of all give us the desire to share it with others, and then that He will give us the courage to share it. Are you willing to do that? Do you have that desire?

Only God can give you that desire. Paul writes in Ephesians 6, 19 and 20, Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should. See, even the Apostle Paul wanted courage to share the gospel.

See, here's what I believe. If you want to see God's spiritual blessings in your life, if you want to run to win the prize, then you must be willing to pray fervently and then share your faith frequently. And then you will see how powerful God really is. You see, I believe God supplies power to those who are out there sharing the gospel with others, who are out there in the name of Christ helping others. If you're just going to Bible studies and collecting knowledge, then you're like the Dead Sea. Did you know the Dead Sea has seven rivers that flow into it and nothing flowing out?

That's why it's dead. So if all you're doing is going from one Bible study to the next and collecting knowledge, but you're not giving it out, you're going to be dead. God wants you to be alive. Jesus said, my food is to do the will of Him who sent me. In other words, He found nourishment for His soul. He found joy in life by doing God's will.

And God's will for us men is to not keep this to ourselves. You've got to go out there and share it with your friends. And all you have to do is say, hey, I go to a Bible study and teach tonight. It's really helped me with my life. It's helped me to be a better man. You ought to come and join us.

Third is men. We must be wise in our encounters with unbelievers. Look at verse 5. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. Let me say just a few things about dealing with family members and friends who don't know the Lord. Anybody have a family member or friend who doesn't know the Lord? Don't argue with them about Christianity.

You can't argue people into the kingdom of God. You love them, and you show your love and concern for them by being a good listener. You show them that you care. How many ears did God give you? And how many mouths?

One. There's a reason for that. James 1.19 says, My dear brother, take note of this.

Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak. If you want to win your friends to Christ, you win them by showing that you love them. And as they observe the grace of God in you, then perhaps at some point, they may ask you for the reason for your hope. And this often happens when they go through what?

Trials, hardships. Years ago, I was walking into this church, although we were meeting at Broughton, and my cell phone rang, and I did not recognize the number, but I answered it. It turned out it was somebody that I knew, but we were just acquaintances. And he had never called me in his life. But the reason he called me was because he had gotten a call from the doctor that told him that someone that he loved had cancer, one of his children. And he called me because he believed I had some answers.

And that's what happens. People will call you who may not be interested in Bible study right now, but they go through a difficulty and they see you going to a Bible study, they see a change in your life, and they'll call you when the going gets tough. They're not going to call the people they're partying with.

They're going to call you. And 1 Peter 3.15 says, We should be what? Always prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have. But we should do this how? With gentleness and respect, gentleness and respect. Fourth, be careful how you spend your time. Look at verse 5 again. It says, Make the most of every opportunity. Time is our most precious commodity. And in this world there's so many distractions.

And some of these distractions are actually very good distractions, or at least good distractions. But I wonder how often we pursue what is good rather than what is best. Paul writes in Ephesians 5, 15 through 17, Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. John Charles Ryle says, What we weave in time, we wear in eternity. What we weave in time, we wear in eternity. Dr. Erwin Lutzer says, and by the way, he's one of the greatest preachers in America, Only eternal values can give meaning to temporal ones. Time must be the servant of eternity. Now when I look at my life, one of my greatest time wasters has been watching way too much what?

Television. So where do you find yourself wasting too much time? We could be so much more productive.

I'm guilty as charged. Psalm 90 verse 12 says, So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. We only have so many days left. The clock is ticking. So, men, let's resolve to live our time for Christ. Remember what C.T. Sutt said, Only one life to assume be past, only what's done for Christ will last.

Do you believe that? Everything else is going to burn up. But, men, what you do for Christ is going to be glorious. And that's what God will reward you for. And you will have that glory emanating from you for all eternity. Number five, be responsible in the use of your tongue.

Look at verse six. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone. Have you all heard the old saying, What's in the well comes up in the bucket? Anybody not heard that saying? Do you all know where that saying comes from?

Where most of them come from? The Bible. Matthew 12, 34, Jesus says, For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. What did he mean? What's in the well comes up in the bucket. And so, listen, if you claim to be a Christian, and your friends hear you using filthy language, telling coarse jokes, gossiping about others, what is it they're going to say about you when they hear you going to a Bible study or you're an active church member? Well, he's nothing but a what?

Hypocrite. And you will lose all credibility with them. I mean, we need to ask God to give us wisdom because the days are evil. Guys, we're living in some very evil days. And so we need to be wise towards those who are not yet in the faith. We need to be wise with our time. We need to be wise in our conversations.

You see, what we really need in every area of our life is what? Wisdom. So how do we get it? You ask for it.

That's exactly right. You get it by prayer and by reading the Word. James 1.5, it says, if any one of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. So wisdom begins with prayer, and it continues with the Word of God. That's why we pray and we study God's Word. And as you spend time in God's Word, you're pouring God's mind into your mind so that you begin to take on the mind of Christ. And then you can make judgments about all things.

You will be able to discern truth from error, right from wrong, and good from evil. That's what's wrong with our country today. We have a depraved mind. Romans 1, 28, I believe. A depraved mind is one that can no longer discern between good and evil.

And that's the world we're living in. But if we ask for God's wisdom, He will give it, and then you will know how to live. You will also know how to pray. You will know how to share the gospel with others. You will know how to deal with family members and friends who don't know the Lord. You will know how to use your time.

And you will know how to speak, how to converse with everyone you encounter, because everybody you deal with is coming from a different place. And God will give you wisdom on how to converse with them. You see, wisdom is the key to living a life worthy of God. It's not about knowledge. It's about God's wisdom. Wisdom enables a man to apply knowledge to life's circumstances. And then you know what God would do, so you do what?

What God would do. The man of God begins to take on the mind of Christ as he spends more and more time in God's Word. The great Charles Spurgeon said, Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. There's no fool so great as a knowing fool.

But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. I was with someone over Easter who is, you know, brilliant. He was telling us how brilliant he was.

Seriously. He was telling us how… what he made on the SAT and how that when he was in the ninth grade, he took Latin and all the seniors were… he was the only one who could get all the answers. And so we were listening to this and… but he doesn't know the Lord. And listen, he could destroy me on… what's the show on TV? Jeopardy. He would eat me… I can't think of the name of the show.

He would destroy… he would take me to lunch on Jeopardy. But I can take my five-year-old granddaughter who knows Scripture, some of the Scripture. She's got more wisdom than he does. You see, wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom only comes from God. And power for us is the deep mysteries of Christ. And what God does is He reveals those mysteries to us so that we have great understanding about life. And the more you read the Bible, the more you're going to understand the mysteries of God. And you'll know how to live your life, men.

And I can tell you it would be a whole lot better. In Romans 12, too, Paul writes, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your what? Your mind. So as you renew your mind by studying God's Word, then it says you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

So let me ask you guys, do you want to know what God's good, pleasing, and perfect lifetime is for your life? Do you, Bob, do you want to know it for your life? Lou, Jim, Hank, Ben, thank you all around the room. Wayne, Neil, Wes, Bill, Mac. Mac got two Macs right there, back to back.

Charles, some of you guys in the balcony. Do you want to know God's will? It's right there in the Bible. Pick it up and read it. It will change your life. It will revolutionize the way you think. It will reorient your world view so that you see the world from God's perspective.

And you kind of back up and you're not consumed by all the things of the world. Now in closing, I want to read these last few verses of Colossians. And I'm not going to say a whole lot about it because we don't have much time. I just want to talk about two men. There are actually ten men in here, including Paul, and apparently a woman, Nymphah. And so I want to read this and then I'm going to talk about two of these men, Demas and Paul.

One finished well, one did not. And I want you to think about what kind of man you want to be. Do you want to be a Demas or do you want to be a Paul? So look at verse 7.

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. This is Paul writing this. He's a dear brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord. So what Paul is doing, he's telling us about the group of men and women that served with him.

Who walked with him. He's honoring them. I'm sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances. And that he may encourage your hearts. He's coming with Onesimus, who was a slave, who's become a believer. Our faithful and dear brother. So he's calling Onesimus, who's a slave, a faithful and dear brother. Who is one of you. Onesimus was from Colossae.

They will tell you everything that is happening. So he's sending Onesimus back with Tychicus because he wants Tychicus there to help Philemon understand who, that Onesimus is a new man. Because apparently Onesimus has run away and he owed something to Philemon. And so Paul is telling Philemon, in the book of Philemon, take him back. He's a brother.

Treat him like a brother. My fellow prisoner, Aristarchus, sends you his greetings. As does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas.

You received instructions about him. If he comes to you, welcome him. Jesus, who's also called Justice, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God.

And they have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ, Jesus sends greetings. He's also wrestling in prayer for you that you may stand firm in all the will of God.

Mature and fully assured. Did you know that your group leaders we gather on Tuesday nights before we get here and we are wrestling in prayer for you guys? Because we care for you and we all need, we pray for each other, but we also pray for you guys. Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea and to Nymphah in the church in our house. After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. Tell Archibos, see to it that you complete the work you've received in the Lord. And then he ends this letter, I Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

Remember my chains. Grace be with you. So what about these two men? In verse 14, Paul mentions Demas in a positive light. However, in a later letter, we learned that Demas deserted Paul kind of like John Mark did.

Although John Mark didn't leave the faith, Demas apparently did. And he deserted Paul when Paul needed him the most. 2 Timothy was the last letter that Paul wrote and when he wrote it, he was not under house arrest the first time he was in prison in Rome. This is the second time in Rome and now he's in a dungeon.

It's called the Maritime Prison. He was in the bottom of that dungeon and he was chained to a wall and he could not have visitors. And this was during the time of Nero when Nero was burning Christians on poles. And Paul knew that his letter, his life was coming to an end. In 2 Timothy 4.10, he writes, For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me. What a sad epitaph for a man who spent so much time with the apostle Paul and traveling with him and hearing the gospel. It'd be like traveling with Billy Graham, you know, for three or four years and then Billy Graham gets in prison and you just leave him.

You desert him. And you do this because he loved the world. What world do you love?

This one or the one that's coming? Yesterday, man, you're going to be jealous when I tell you this. I had the privilege of going to the first practice round of the Masters. And I'm going to tell you something, guys, I've never seen a more beautiful, manicured golf course.

If you just want to believe it, they've spent millions and millions and millions of dollars to make all this money from these TV revenues and they've got to spend it. And I mean, it is manicured like they took fingernail clippers and scissors right up to the, I mean, everything is edged. And Smith and I were walking down this road that the patrons, they don't call them fans, they're called patrons. It's this mystique about the Masters. It's really, I hate to say this, I mean, I love it.

I'm going to watch, I'm going to be glued to it, but it's an idol. We were walking along this asphalt paved street which was actually a very beautiful asphalt and it had concrete pavers that the water runs down and I mean, the grass was edged right up to it. And I said, Smith, this is, we were just like taking in the glory and all looking at these incredible new buildings. And it's like the Lord whispered me and I said, Smith, you know, Smith, Jesus just said, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till you see what's in heaven. I told that to Webb Simpson, by the way.

He's a believer. But I looked at all the PGA players there and they lived such charmed lives. And listen, they have worked for it.

They earn it. I told Webb, I said, Webb, I don't think this is really work. And we were down there for a practice round and I said, you know, so I'm down there watching Webb practice. So I told him I was going to be practicing preaching next week if he wanted to come watch me. I don't think he's going to. He said, Rush, I don't get tickets to that. I said, I can get you a ticket. We watched all the beautiful people walking around.

A lot of them flew there in jets. It's so easy to get caught up in the world, isn't it? To desire the things that we see rather than the things that are unseen. It's like all this beauty is just pulling at us. And Satan loves to use beauty. And listen, God created the world to be beautiful. And I love beautiful things. The reason we love beautiful things is because God loves beautiful things. Our problem is when we start to worship beautiful things. We start to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

And that's what people are doing at the Masters primarily. They're worshipping these players as if they are gods. All of, what's his name, Justin what? Not Justin Thomas, what's his name, Wes? Dustin Johnson.

I mean that guy, I think he could step out on an NBA basketball court or play wide receiver in the NFL tomorrow. I've never seen, I think I can walk like him. He kind of walks like this. How does that look?

That's how I walk. But listen, I'm going to be glued to it. I love it. Webb Simpson plays for the glory of God. If he wins, let's pray that he wins, he will give glory to God I believe. But see apparently Demas lost sight of heaven. But Paul never did. I don't want to ever lose sight of heaven.

Paul ran the race to win the prize. He was faithful man to the very end. And when he came to the end of his life, this is what he wrote. And it's an epitaph to a life well lived for the king. 2 Timothy 4 says, For I am already being poured out like a drink offering.

He knew his life was coming to an end. And the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight.

I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there's in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge will award to me on that day. And not only to me, but also to who? All of us if we long for his appearing.

So let me ask you man, who do you want to be like? Demas or Paul? Listen, don't waste your life. The clock is ticking. We only have so many years left. Let's try to remember two words as we leave here tonight.

Forever what? Forever faithful. We want to be faithful to the Lord. And not waste the time that God has left for us. So guys, I want you all to commit to those five resolutions. Okay?

Commit to them. In your life, when you come to the end, you're standing before the Lord and He'll say what? Well done, my good and faithful servant. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank You for tonight. Thank You for these men sitting here for 45 minutes to listen to what I had to say.

But Lord, I hope they heard You and not me. And so Lord, I thank You that You have given us so many second chances and that You're willing to redeem our wasted lives and that You can restore to us all the years the locusts have eaten. Lord, help us to be able to stay committed to You. I pray that many men will come to this Bible study that's going to start on May the 4th here at 6 o'clock, that we can continue this study during the summer months. And Lord, when we come back next September, I pray, Lord, that You'll fill this sanctuary with men who need to hear the gospel. It's in Your name that I pray. Amen. Okay guys, next Tuesday night, it's sharing night. Okay? So I hope you'll all be here because I'm going to give you the microphone and you can share what God is doing in your life.

All right. So I'll see you next Tuesday. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local triangle men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-15 11:58:59 / 2023-11-15 12:10:57 / 12

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