Nov 15, 2009 "Bony Christians!"
Sun Am Worship
Text: Ezekiel 37:1-10 (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."
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
Ezekiel 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
Ezekiel 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
Ezekiel 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Ezekiel 37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
INTRODUCTION: This is talking about Israel. Explain.
But what if we applied this to the church today? What if this was the church bone yard? What kind of bony Christians would we have in our churches today?
Let's look at some of today's bony Christians.
I. THE TAILBONE CHRISTIAN
Are you lazy? Here's how to tell:
• If your self winding watch stops often.
• If you have to save up energy to take a nap.
• If you fall asleep at work and no one notices.
This is the Christian that sits and does nothing for the Lord. He sits and lets someone else do the work that he should be doing for the Lord.
I'm sorry to say that preachers have the reputation of being lazy. I have to exercise on purpose, because sitting at a desk or over a meal w/ somebody will get me out of shape in a hurry.
Ill.—W.A. Criswell's father used to love to ask his granddaughter, "Where does your daddy work?" because she would always reply, "Grandpa, you know daddy doesn't work, he's a preacher!"
Joke—a man stood staring at a tombstone in a cemetery for a long time. Someone asked him why. He said, look at what it says, "Here lies a preacher and a very diligent man." "Yeah, so what?" "I'm just trying to figure out why they'd bury two fellas in the same grave!"
See God has a job for every one you to do. God didn't save you to sit around and do nothing, otherwise He would have called you home the moment He saved you.
It is said that 10% of the people in our churches do all of the work. That's not right! That shouldn't be! We are ALL supposed to be busy in the work of the Lord.
Prov 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
We are wasting the precious time God has given us by being slothful (slackers) and sitting on out tailbones while the world goes to hell!
Visitation, Sunday School Teachers, people to clean the church, Nursery Workers, groundkeepers, handymen, kitchen workers, et cetera.
THERE IS NO JOB TOO BIG, THERE IS NO JOB TOO SMALL, IT IS ALL IMPORTANT TO THE FURTHERING OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
AND EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING!
We must work because Jesus could come back at any time!
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
God will reward His workers.
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them
who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
It's not in vain to work for the Lord, now or in the
life to come.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
It is time Christians get off their tailbones and get busy!
II. THE FINGERBONE CHRISTIAN
This is a Christian who points his finger to blame someone else. This started all the way back in the Garden.
Look at Gen. 3:8-14
Adam and Eve have sinned and God now comes to confront them and look what happens.
Read Gen. 3:8-14
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the
tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
the woman AND God, Eve blamed the serpent, and the
serpent ended up not having a finger to point.
And we've been playing the blame game ever since!
A.A. teaches that it's not your fault that you are an alcoholic, it's you parents fault! They gave you this mysterious gene and you couldn't help yourself. It's not your fault it's a disease.
That's as ridiculous as going into a store and asking for a six-pack of cancer. You don't wake up one morning and say, "Oh my! I'm an alcoholic, I have got to have a drink!"
Someone asks, "Well then why do children of alcoholics tend to become one themselves?
What about environment?
The Conditions they have Lived in.. The ole Apple don't fall far fromt the tree
The thing that has been passed on to us from our parents is the sinful nature. And we can choose! You can choose to never take a drop of alcohol into your body!
Our society has taken personal responsibility out of everything and sometimes Christians fall into the same mindset.
Working with the youth over the years I have seen teens who's parents let them do certain things that the Bible teaches are wrong. Like watch movies that Christians should not watch. Yet they think because mom and dad say it's all right, they won't have to answer to God for their actions!
I've got news for them: 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
ALL! EVERYONE! You personally. For our service not our sins.
When we stand before Him, there will be no real finger pointing. We will know that it was our responsibility.
You Wasn't born with a Tobacco Gene. A homasexual Gen, You didn't inherit this! You Chose this.
And just remember, when you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you!
III. THE JAWBONE CHRISTIAN
I'll let the Bible explain this one. Look at I Tim. 5:13
1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
Those that have the old jawbone going all the time
speaking things they ought not to.
Samson Used the Jawbone of an ass to destroy a thousand men
Judges 15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon
heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand
And this is still a weapn of Choice in Modern Churches
Women usually are the ones we think about when we look
at who has this problem. In fact, that is who this passage addresses. But I have
learned that men can be guilty also!
Look at James 3:8-10.
James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing.
Satan loves for us to gossip. The name even hisses. Gosssssssssssssip.
A month after the arrival of a new pastor to his new church he learned that a rumor had started circulating about him.
In effect it said that he had taken his wife to a concert after prayer meeting, had bawled her out as they sat in the front row, then had marched her down the aisle before the concert was over, arguing with her all the way down the aisle.
He let the rumor circulate for a few weeks, then decided to spike it. During the announcements on a Sunday morning he said, "The story is not true and I'll give you four reasons why it isn't.
First, I wouldn't take my wife to a concert after prayer meeting. Second, I wouldn't argue with her in public. Third, I wouldn't create such a scene by marching her down the aisle while the program was still on. And finally, I'm not married."
We can always find faults with people, nobodies perfect. But instead of talking about them behind their backs, why not pray for them.
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
IV. THE HIPBONE CHRISTIAN
They keep their wallet there for some kind of padding. And when they do take it out and open it, moths fly out.
Try to imagine this scenario in your mind. A man walks up to God, pulls out a gun and says, "Stick em up!" Hard to imagine that isn't it?
But look at Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
During a Sunday-morning church service the preacher made his usual announcements, then asked the ushers to come forward to take up the offering.
As soon as the ushers picked up the plates and walked to the first row, the pastor left the pulpit, stepped behind an usher, and looked over his shoulder and watched as people gave their offering.
He saw every penny, every nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar that the people gave on the first row. (This church did not use church envelopes.)
He followed the usher from row to row noting what each person gave. Some were taken by surprise, some embarrassed, others mad, and a few delighted.
Back in the pulpit, the pastor said, "Please forget that I have seen what each of you put in the offering plate, but do remember that there is an all-seeing eye that watches every gift placed in the offering plate at all times."
There are people in this ministry that haas never given to support this ministry!
Giving to God or lack thereof shows where your heart is in relation to how much you love God. Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
If you love God your giving will flow out of your soul with joy, not grudgingly.
2 Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Loving and giving are harmonious. John 3:16
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. That's why in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians uses the word "charity" not love in the KJV. Charity also means benevolence. A love that gives.
V. THE DRY BONE CHRISTIAN
This Christian is one who is spiritually dead and has no life. He becomes dry because he is not in the Word. Water is essential to life. You can live a lot longer without food than you can without water. Somewhere around four days, give or take.
A Dry Bone Christains soul is a dry as cracker juice. Do you know any Christians like that? Maybe you are one yourself. Dry and parched.
Look at Psalm 1:1-3
Tree planted by rivers of water; not a leaf that dries and withers.
Also look at Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
You need to take a good long drink of the Word. You need to get back your thirst for God.
Psa 42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Let the water of life flow over your dry bones once again.
VI. THE WISHBONE CHRISTIAN
Remember as a kid getting the wishbone from a chicken or turkey? You let it dry for a day or two and then you and your brother or sister would make a wish and break the wishbone.
The one who had the top or connecting piece of the bone
supposedly got their wish.
Or how about your wish list at Christmas or on your birthday, the things you really wish you had and you made sure the right people, like dad, saw your wish list. We all have wish list don't we.
Let me ask you parents this, what if the only time your child talked to you was when they wanted something? How would that make you feel? The only time they talked to you was to say, I want this, or I need that.
Let me ask you this, how do you think God feels when His children only talk to Him when they need or want something?
Their prayer life is often nothing more than a wish
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going to God with our needs and wants;
Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
1 John 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
There is nothing wrong with going to God and asking Him for our hearts desires as long as those desires are Godly. But we should be praying for so much more.
Churches, pastors, country, revival, souls, and on and on.
We also should just go to God in prayer just to talk to Him, and not ask Him for one thing, just for fellowship.
What kind of marriage relationship would you have with your spouse if you didn't take time just to talk and get to know one another even better? It wouldn't be a very good one. Communication is one of the keys to a strong marriage relationship. Communication with God is the same way. God wants us to just come before Him and tell Him how much we love Him, how thankful we are to have Him there for us all the time, how we want to get to know Him better, to love Him deeper.
Telling Him when we are hurt and don't understand why things are going wrong in our lives. And even telling Him when we are mad at Him. Don't you think He knows how we feel anyway?
Talk to God about everything, don't be a wishbone Christian.
But not all bones in the church bone yard are bad bones, some are good bones.
VII. THE BACKBONE CHRISTIAN
Daniel is my favorite book of the Bible and Daniel is my favorite person other than Jesus.
Look at Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel purposed in his heart that he wouldn't defile himself with the world. He did this at an early age, he was a teenager. And he continued to live right through out his entire life.
In chapter 6 we read of the lions den. Tell story. It's a good thing they didn't eat Daniel though, I don't think they would have enjoyed him. See he was mostly backbone and very tough skinned.
Then look at Shad. Mech. Abed. Chapter three. Tell story. All because they wouldnot Conform nor Bow
There are others of course but these all had backbone. They were not spineless Christians.
We need to be like they were. We need to take a stand! We need to stand up for what's right!
The office of Obama
Respect the Office? Yes. Respect the man in officer? No. I am sorry to say, I have noted that many elected officials, both Democratic as well as Republican called upon America to unite behind President Obama.
Well, I want to make it clear to all who will listen that I am not uniting behind Obama.
I will respect the office which he holds, and I will acknowledge his abilities as an orator and wordsmith and pray for him, but that is it. I have begun today to see what I can do to make sure that he is a one-term President.
Why am I putting together a rally ride event to voice our opinions?
-I do not share Obama's vision or value system for America.
-I do not share his Abortion beliefs.
-I do not share his radical Marxist's concept of re-distributing wealth.
-I do not share his stated views on raising taxes on those who make $150,000+ (The ceiling has been changed three times since August).
-I do not share his view that America is Arrogant.
-I do not share his view that America is not a Christian Nation.
-I do not share his view that the military should be reduced by 25%.
-I do not share his view of amnesty and giving more to illegals than our American Citizens who need help.
-I do not share his views on homosexuality and his definition of marriage.
-I do not share his views that Radical Islam is our friend and Israel is our enemy who should give up any land.
-I do not share his spiritual beliefs (at least the ones he has made public).
-I do not share his beliefs on how to re-work the healthcare system in America.
-I do not share his Strategic views of the Middle-East and I certainly do not share his plan to sit down with terrorist regimes such as Iran.
Bottom Line; My America is vastly different from Obama's and I have a higher obligation to my Country and my GOD to do what is right! For eight years, the Liberals in our Society, led by numerous entertainers who would have no platform and no real credibility but for their celebrity status. They have attacked President Bush, his family and his spiritual beliefs.
They have not moved toward the center in their beliefs and their philosophies, and they never came together nor compromised their personal beliefs for the betterment of our Country.
They have portrayed my America as a land where everything is tolerated except being intolerant.
They have been vocal and irreverent minority for years.
They have mocked and attacked the very core values so important to the founding and growth of our Country.
They have made every effort to remove the name of GOD or Jesus Christ from our Society.
They have challenged capital punishment, the right to bear arms and the most basic principles of our criminal code.
They have attacked one of our most fundamental of all Freedoms, the right of free speech.
Unite behind Obama? Never!
We need to call sin sin, and not an affair, disease,
lifestyle, or mistake!
Preachers need to preach the Word with conviction and without fear! I have a new life verses or verses.
2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
I'm going to stand, I'm going to preach. I'm going to
fight the devil in the power of the Lord! Reprove and rebuke are a part of
We need to be backbone Christians!
VIII. THE KNEEBONE CHRISTIAN
This is a Christian with a committed prayer life. One who's knees are bad from being on them much. One who has a spot worn out in the carpet.
Prayer is one of those things that is talked about much but practiced little. The reason our country is in the shape it is in is because of lack of prayer!
2 Chr 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The reason our churches have no power is because of lack of prayer. The reason our families are failing is because of lack of prayer. Prayerlessness is the cause for many of the ills we have.
Why don't we pray more? The devil hinders us. He can get us so busy even in the work of the Lord, that we neglect prayer.
We say that we don't have time, but we all have the same 24-hour day. Look at Jesus, He was pretty busy for about three years during the time of His ministry wouldn't you say?
Yet time and time again we read in the gospels that Jesus went off by Himself to pray. Here is the Son of God, God Almighty in the flesh, and He found time and He prayed, because He knew the importance of prayer.
We are commanded to pray.
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
1 Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
For one another.
1 Th 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
If Jesus prayed so much, how much more should we pray. If your not already, let's join these knee bone saints and get down to business with God in prayer.
Conclusion:, bony Christians.
Do you identify with one or more of these bones?
Are you a
I. TAILBONE CHRISTIAN
II. FINGERBONE CHRISTIAN
III. JAWBONE CHRISTIAN
IV. HIPBONE CHRISTIAN
V. DRY BONE CHRISTIAN
VI. WISHBONE CHRISTIAN
VII. BACKBONE CHRISTIAN
VIII. KNEEBONE CHRISTIAN