Text: Exodus 11:6-16 (King James Version) THEME: Fireproof your Future -!
Subject: Equipping the Church for the Harvest"
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
When he was 88, the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes found himself on a train. The conductor called for tickets, but Justice Holmes couldn"t find his ticket and seemed terribly upset. He searched his pockets and fumbled through his wallet without success. The conductor was sympathetic. "Don"t worry, Mr. Holmes," he said. "The Pennsylvania Railroad will be happy to trust you. When you reach your destination you"ll probably find the tickets and you can mail it to us." The conductor"s kindness did not put Holmes at ease. He said, "My dear man, my problem is not "Where is my ticket?" but rather "Where am I going?"
Unfortunately we are too often just like that. We move forward through life unsure of how to respond to the changing situations in world around us. The problem often is that we have no clear direction or picture of where we are going. We lack a defined destination. We lack vision.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. What are you really looking for This morning Heaven? Earthy Treasure, Pleasure for a season? The Bible advises if we are going to arrive there it is only by one way, One Man, One name.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus. And because of this one name, It"s the only name people take in vain. The only name people swear by. The only name which stirs up such hate and venom. The only name which produces love in the hearts of many who speak it. And it is the only name that can save us!
No one says "What in Allah"s name is going on?" No one
texts "OMB" for "Oh My Buddha." These facts help to prove the case that
Christianity is the truth, and all else is false. Because only Jesus" name has
the power and punch behind it to matter.
The truth hurts and the truth helps, but the Truth is never is neutral. No one ever tells an enemy to "go to purgatory" for there is no jab found in saying it...for there is no truth in that non existent place. They tell their enemy to "go to hell" ... a place they supposedly don"t believe exists!
For 2,000 years the name of Jesus has not just reformed alcoholics, but transformed them. Purified prostitutes / made liars tell the truth / turned haters into lovers / turned wife beaters into docile men / made whoremongers faithful / cleaned up cursing mouths / has saved souls from hell!
Every other religion on earth has this in common: their founder is today dead.
But I can say: "I serve a RISEN Savior." And that"s why it"s the only name!
That insures my place in Heaven
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
No one will escape that name!
The name of the Lord is sacred. It"s a holy name. At that name angels bow down / demons tremble / Satan has to flee.
The name Trump may open doors of finance, Einstein may open doors of brilliance, Michelangelo may open doors of art, but the name of Jesus will open to you the doors of heaven!
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We honor names of military generals like MacArthur, Patton, Schwarzkopf, and others. We honor spiritual leaders like Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Adrian Rogers, etc. How much more should we honor the name of Almighty God?!
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
For thy name"s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
... holy and reverend is his name.
It"s for this reason I don"t use the term "reverend" with my name. Because the Bible says it"s HIS name...He is due reverence, certainly not me. I prefer Pastor Darrell or Bro. Darrell, but also answer to "Many other things I wont Mention"! Mt brothers labled me with as a Kid!
We need to be reminded of the mindset of the Orthodox Jew in Bible days, concerning the name of God, as well as many Bible translators for centuries A.D., before the invention of the printing press. When these scribes would copy the Word of God, every time they would encounter a name of God, they would rise from their work table, go and wash, and often change their clothes, pick up a new quill never used before, and then proceed to write the name of God. This they would do every time, sometimes up to three times in a single verse. That"s how respected and revered the name of God used to be. What a terrible thing it is to ever drag His beautiful name thru the mire!
Names are very significant. The Bible says that a good name is better than great riches. Let me rattle off some names and you call out the first thing that comes to your mind.
George Washington [honesty]
What do you think about when you hear the name of God? The Bible has over 300 names of God. That"s because it"s impossible to capture the full character of God in any one attempt.
Gen. 22-Jehovah Jireh: The Lord will provide
Ezek. 48-Jehovah Shammah: The Lord is there
Jer. 23-Jehovah Sidon: The Lord our righteousness
Exodus 6-El Shaddai: The Lord is sufficient
Exodus 15-Jehovah Rapha: The Lord our healer
Exodus 17-Jehovah Nissi: The Lord our victory
Judges 6-Jehovah Shalom: The Lord our peace
Genesis 14-Jehovah Elim: The Most High God
Matthew 1-Jesus...there"s just something about that name!
The voracity of truth, the verity of love, the victory of grace, the visibility of God! It"s honey to the taste, harmony to the ear, healing to the soul!
"Christ" is His messianic name. He is the Christ, and that is the name we wear as Christians. "Little Christs" or "Christlike Ones"...that"s what it means. It"s a special privilege but an awesome responsibility.
Don"t wear the name if you aren"t willing to back it up! It"s like taking that name in vain to casually wear it like a jacket you can put on or take off depending on whom you are with.
We live today in the midst of the most cursing generation of all of human history. Vile words are regularly added to a growing list of things you can say, but shouldn"t. Most people, even many Christians, don"t think twice about using the words damn or hell in a frivolous way. Atheists say "hell" all the time, and would claim not to believe in it. Some say hell and they expect to go there, no problem. And some have been saved from it and yet still say it...what a mockery, what a sad revelation about how worldly many Christians are today.
None of us know when the end is. We do not have privy to how much time we have left before we meet God......that is why how we live our life is so important.
James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth !
There are some valuable lessons to be learned from our account in
scripture.....not just about heaven, and hell.....but about life ! Will you join
me in looking at them ?
I. Once Life Is Over You Cannot Salvage Things.............!
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man"s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. (Luke 16:19-21)
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood
street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag"s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That"s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I"m sorry but I didn"t know what else to do,"He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face
and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.
"It" my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can"t lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He"s hurt and he"s too heavy for me."Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.
He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts.
A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message "Don"t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"
God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts.
Sometimes when we don"t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It"s our
choice to listen or not.
God was trying to get the attention of the Rich man. He threw a brick at him everyday. The brick"s name was Lazarus. Everyday Lazarus laid at the gate of the rich man hoping that the rich man would have compassion upon him.....and everyday the Rich man ignored the brick that God threw at him. He looked out his window.....and there was Lazarus. He walked out the gate, and right passed him.......ignoring him........and in doing so ignoring God. God was trying to get him to stop........to pay attention ! It was a opportunity to him to use the things that God had given to him....but he never slowed down enough to notice........all the things that he had obstructed his view. Is there a Lazarus laying outside our gate this morning ? Is God trying to hit us with a brick ?
God"s Plan of Salvation was Finished on the Cross of Christ. Today if the day of salvation.
WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS JESUS DID WHAT HAD TO BE DONE
TO SAVE US:
Jesus said something significant on the cross...
just before He died.
He said "It is finished!"
That means the job had been accomplished.
Nothing remained undone.
The price had been paid in full!
That means God"s will had been fully carried out in
Nothing remains unfinished in Christ"s work of atonement.
We cannot, and must not, add anything to it!
Not law: circumcision, baptism, Sabbath keeping, dietary regulations or ritual, religious observances. This is nothing but the Spirit of the Pharisee trying to regain a strong hold in our Midst!
Not personal effort: doing kind deeds, acts of generosity, and services which we think would earn heaven for us.
Christ"s blood and His blood alone is sufficient.
1 John 2:2 says:
"and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."
Peter says in Acts 10:43, "all the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His Name."
Hebrews 7:27 "unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself."
He started in John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and
the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If we are going to Make Heaven our Home it must be through this man! And This Name