Time Preparation For Us As Believers With Russell Burrell
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Ok, class participation this morning.
As we start off.
I'm going to give you guys a Riddle and see if you can solve it OK.
It says what is something that you can't buy or sell?
You can't store it or save it to use later.
You can't trade it, borrow it, or lend it to another individual and no matter how hard you try to hold onto it, you can't.
What's the answer?
What is that?
Oh my God, it Tom, that's what it is TomTom. You guys have all heard that cliche that times time work waits on no man.
And that is definitely true for each and every one of us.
The title of the message this morning is.
Time preparation for us as believers.
As I said, I would text foundational text scripture this morning going to be out of the book of Colossians, the 4th chapter.
The 5th 1st says walking wisdom towards those who are outside redeeming the time.
Paul was writing.
This portion of Scripture to the church in Colossae to encourage and exhort the believers.
In that Christian walk.
Our other portion of Scripture, as I said, Amos.
The the 4th chapter.
Verse 12 says this and I'm just going to read the latter portion of it and it says.
Prepare to meet your God.
Just a little background information on the book of age.
As he was writing this, he was right into the nation of his Israel, the northern Kingdom, and.
About the coming judgment that was coming upon them due to their constant and continual disobedience and sin before God, and he was telling them, hey, you got better prepare.
Go gentlemen, that's coming on you.
Could put you guys.
And if you read that 4th chapter in its entirety, you know a must go down a list of things where God is, you know, recalling some of the sins that they had done.
You know, and constantly he says this.
You have not returned to me.
I think in the in that portion of Scripture in the 4th chapter, he says that about.
Four or five times you have not returned to me.
And then toward the end.
Like I said in verse 12, he says prepared to meet your God.
I was studied this morning.
It's going to be 2 fold like Isaiah, corresponding directly with these two portions of Scripture this morning.
And two words that I want you guys to contemplate and keep in the forefront of your mind as we go through the our study this morning.
Time and preparation.
Most of us can go back in the recesses of our mind and and look back on the years of our lives.
You know you can either do that through photo album pictures.
You know you can look back at your old high school pictures, your college pictures if you went there.
Your wedding photos and you can you know, think about all the time that has gone by in your lifetime.
From where you are now as you sit here today.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine from high school, probably about a week ago.
He and I were best friends in high school and he made this statement to me.
He said, you know, Russ, it was just like yesterday when we were walking the halls of high school.
And he was right.
I can, you know, as we sat there talking.
To each other.
And when he made that statement, my mind went automatically back to my high school days walking the halls of this high school.
I went through Mcadory High school. All the things that we was doing, all the things that you know we weren't even concerned about. You know, looking back in my life, what? 40 years later 39.
When I was an 18 year old kid, you know, and you had all this.
You know you had the whole world before you and you didn't have think about it when you was in high school.
You really didn't have a care in the world.
Most of us, you know except for you know well when it's.
Going to be the next, next or text.
Test when am I going to get out for spring?
Break what are we going to do?
Now you know those with your concerns, or who am I going to go out with a this week?
Who am I going to hang out with?
That's you know.
That's Yep, when you at that age, that's what you're mostly concerned with.
Or you know, all your buddies and everything.
And then just last night.
Wait, I got an email from some of my guys.
Some of my friends in college and they was telling me.
They're trying to get together.
We're trying to do this reunion.
If you guys didn't know, you know, looking at me today, you guys probably wouldn't think this, but I was in a college fraternity, you know.
Yeah, I was.
And if if we get getting ready to celebrate our 40 years since our induction into the into the college fraternity that I was seeing at the.
My college fraternity was known as Alpha Phi Alpha, and so they were talking about.
You know where they they trying to get all of us together was 13 of us.
Yeah, when when I pledged their fraternity, it was 13 of us online.
What they say, you know online, you're lying brothers and and.
We went, we was inducted into the this fraternity on June 11th, so they've tried to plan a get together in Chicago.
I don't know.
That's what a lot of was asking.
Well, we're going to Chicago.
You know just to celebrate the 40 years since we were inducted into the to the College fraternity.
And if you want to know something about that if you're not familiar with with with black paternity's, they do things that cause step shows.
So if you want to Google that just Google Black fraternity step shows and it'll show you what I used to do.
When I was in, it's like a dance in a sense.
And you do it in unison.
It's pretty cool.
I couldn't do it.
Now I'm too old.
My body couldn't take it, but it's it's a pretty cool thing, so I know we'll get together.
And you know, laugh and joke about that.
One of our fraternity brothers.
He's he's a.
The one that was on line with our feet.
He passed away a while back, so I know that we'll be reminiscing about that.
You know, so it just.
At that time, and then when I was in college, you know, my my world revolved around my fraternity.
My friends at that time, you know of course.
Yeah, getting out of school and everything.
But you know, as you get older and as you go through life and you look back on the years and you look back on things that you've done you, you say to yourself man, where has time gone?
1020 thirty 4050 years in a lot of cases, like I said, in my case 40 years, I'm 59 years old and I I don't feel 59 and unless I do something that work like we did yesterday but but you know 59 years old and I think gosh man, where's all that time gone in the blink of an eye?
You know it's gone and if God willing they you know if I should be here 7080 years man I mean but 2/3 of my life is over. You know it's over. That's the reality of it.
It reminds me of this song and if if you know you guys like Kenny Chesney a country music guy and I like some of his songs, they really cool.
He had this one song once called Don't Blink.
And the chorus goes like this. He said, don't blink he said just like that you're six years old and you take a nap you wake up and you're 25 and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife. Don't blink you just might miss your babies growing like Mars did. Turning into moms and Dad.
He's heading and he goes on to say, trust me friends 100 years goes faster than you think so don't blink.
Basically, in that song he was telling the story of an old man who was turning 102 years old and the old man they was asking him what?
Was his secret to life?
And he said how quickly time passed?
It basically was saying in the song how quickly time passes in one's life.
Now, like I said, I'm not 100 years old yet.
But I can tell you in the 59 years that I've been on this Earth.
I can understand the lyrics of that song.
I mean I got two boys.
And they're grown now.
And I'd say, gosh man, when I look at those guys, you know my youngest son, Julian.
He's got all this.
You know, 29 who said that Lisa? Thanks Lisa Lisa knows that because her daughter Emily, you see how my mind is going. You see, when you get older your mind, you can't think.
And my oldest son is 37.
I thank God I.
Can remember those kids where they were really small and then sometime Alex and I.
You know we'll be contemplating talking, and she'll say, you know you remember, when they did this or when the kids did.
They did this and and and to be honest guys in my own life I can remember some of it.
But I can't remember all of it because I was so busy.
And mostly you guys know I spent a lot of time away from home, a lot of time, and sometimes I regret that I really do.
I look back and I said, gosh man, if I could do it over again, you know don't don't get me wrong I I enjoyed what I did for a living.
I was blessed to do it, but you know, I look back on it at at the point in life I'm in now.
And I say, gosh man, where did the time go?
And I often tell guys when I'm talking to him, younger guys.
They got younger kids.
I said man enjoy that time because you know, like like the song said when you blink that's turning into moms and dads and you know you know.
And so it it does go by pretty fast.
And you have to realize that that you know that life is passing each and every one of us by at such a rate.
That we sometimes not aware of it we sometimes get caught up in the, you know, the things in life and what we got to do and how we got to provide for our families.
We got to pay this person and do this and buy this and we forget to slow down and smell the roses like they say sometimes.
Psalms 8947 says remember how short my time is.
Remember how short my time is?
Now time is something all of us have an equal quantity.
We all have 60 minutes, I mean.
Seconds in a minute 60 minutes in an hour.
24 hours in a day.
Seven days in a week.
Four, sometimes five weeks in a month.
And 12 months in a year.
You don't get any more time.
Just because you might have money.
And you don't get any less time.
If you don't have money, we all get the same amount of time as it as far as it goes.
You know, in the way I just described it.
Not only caveat to that.
Is the different amount of years each individual is given by God.
You know some of us.
Some people live to be a what they call a ripe old age and some people die at a young age.
I can remember like I was just talking about guys that I grew up with.
A lot of them passed away when we was in our 20s.
My mom and.
Dad, great granddaughter.
She died when she was two years old.
So it's no.
You know we don't have any control over that.
How long we gotta be on this earth and how long you know, you know Jeff, because one person is here.
90 years is no guarantee that you're gonna be here.
That amount of time.
Billy Graham was not used this before and teachings he was interviewed once and and the person that was interviewing him said, what?
What is the most surprising thing that you have faced in life or that you how you could describe life and Billy Graham at the time he simply said the brevity.
The brevity of life, how quickly it passes passes away.
With that said, you know, like I said, if you have 20 years on this life or 120 years on your life in this life.
If those years are lived with God and for God, they would be years filled with.
Joy and you could have a full life.
Speaking about your life.
The missionary Jim Elliot put it like this and he died when he was 28 years old.
He said I don't wish to live a full life.
But a fool, wait a minute, make sure I get it right.
He's I don't wish to live a long life.
But a fool one.
He said I don't wish to live a long life but a fool one and he was saying that he said just like my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And his life was 28 years, but it was a full life because he lived his life for Christ.
Doctor Martin Luther King.
Who passed away when he was 39 years old?
He said this in his famous mountaintop speech given in Nashville the night before he was assassinated.
He said, like any man, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place.
But I'm not concerned about that right now.
I'm only concerned about doing God's will.
The missionary Jim Elliot.
The pastor and civil rights leader Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.
One lived 28 years, the other one there 30 years.
And both of them.
Was dedicated or had dedicated their life to doing the thing that God wanted them to do to doing God's will.
Being the individual that he wanted them to be.
And you can compare that with other people that have not known God and they have lived long lives, you know.
But you get down to the end of it and you realize how empty their lives been you look at.
And I'm not going to name any in particular, but you look at a lot of.
So called celebrities.
And in this life.
They've had everything that a person could want.
When they came to the inner life.
They couldn't make the same statements that these two individuals made.
Basically, their life turned turned out to be empty.
Just like King Solomon talked about in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
The vanity of life, the emptiness of life.
As the underlying theme throughout that book.
So the difference between a long life and a full life is how you prepare and redeem the time that God has given you.
So when the Bible tells us that redeem the time and to prepare to meet your God is something that each and every one of.
Us, regardless of where you are in life, what age you are in this life, you should heed it.
And take it seriously.
Whether or not you're a believer.
Or if you sit in here today and you aren't believer.
Because one thing is going to happen to each and every one of us that are sitting here.
We're going to leave here one day.
No one likes to talk about it.
No one likes it.
You know, dwell on it and rightfully so.
No one you know it's unnatural.
The Bible tells us that.
But it's gonna happen to us because we do live in a sin fallen world.
And because of that the physical death has come upon each and every one of us.
So we will have to face it one day.
And it's no getting away from it.
Somebody put it like this.
That most of us.
Have more yesterdays.
Then we have tomorrow's.
And we that's a true statement, like at the illustration I gave concerning my own life.
You know, most of my life is behind me now.
Compared to, you know these young kids, you know.
If if you know if the natural progression of life goes the way it should, you know most of my life is behind me.
And a lot of us that are sitting here today.
It's the same thing.
I'm looking around, you know, I don't see you know hey come on you guys know what I'm talking about I don't let's say I see one these two guys in the back that but most of us have one here but I'm looking around but most of us, hey.
Some of us are younger, some of us are a.
Little bit older, but hey.
Life is passing us by and.
If we don't properly redeem the time and prepare to meet God.
It's going to be.
Shame on us.
Because God had given each and every one of us an opportunity.
Did know who he is.
Him as our Lord and savior.
And day to dedicate our lives.
To living for him.
He has continued to show us, I think about the foolishness in my own life.
And how I could have been?
Some of the crazy stuff I did when I was younger.
You know, in a in a, in a backslidden state.
And God continued to show me mercy and grace, and he kept me here, and I'm forever grateful for that.
If I had.
Passed away with some of the stuff I was doing when I was younger.
I don't know, I really don't.
But I thank God for his grace.
And like I said, we should constantly be preparing ourselves as Christian to do better, to be better.
In order to prepare ourselves.
To meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, why?
Because of time.
Revelation 1 three said for the time is near.
But the time is near for each and every one of us.
We don't know what tomorrow may hold.
We don't even know what the next hour.
Is going to hold for our lives.
That's why we need to be preparing ourselves right now to meet our God, a pastor by the name of Francis Chan.
And he's a local pastor up in Simi Valley, he said this.
He said our greatest fear should not be a failure.
But of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.
He says succeeding at things at life that don't really matter how much time have we wasted think about your own life.
Like I said, no one else can.
Uh, do a self examination.
Of your life, except for you really inadequate sense.
Think about all the time that you wasted on useless senseless.
Things that you thought at the time were so important in your life and you look back on it.
You say God, man, what a waste of time.
Why did I spend so much time doing that?
Why did I spend so much time doing the things that I did for a lot of people you know, chasing after men, women or whatever.
You know a lot of time they're chasing after a career.
It it's nothing wrong with those things per southeast, but if your whole life is focused on that, apart from what the will of God it it.
God is for your life, then it is something wrong with it.
It is something wrong with it.
Just a foolishness.
Of things that we've spent so much time on it, you think God?
This is the most important thing in my life and then.
When you look.
Back on it 10 or 20 years and you say God, why did I do that?
Why did I do that?
And I don't have one.
That's ever felt that way.
I know I think about some of that stuff and I said God, what was I thinking at that particular time?
Like I said, when I referenced the the book of Kolisi Asteas.
And I'm loosely paraphrasing, wasting time doing things under the Sun SUN. So many things that we just saying, hey, I gotta do this, I gotta accomplish this. I gotta be this person or that person. And it's, uh, and when it?
In terms of eternity, when you compare it with eternity, it doesn't mean anything.
It doesn't mean anything.
Versus 36 through 37 said. What does it profit? A man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Of what will a man given the change for his soul?
I put it this way.
What are you willing to give up in exchange for your soul?
Isn't that important?
The things in this life isn't that important.
That's what you have to ask yourself.
Do I want to give this up?
I mean do I want to pursue these things?
In exchange for my soul.
That's a question that each and every one of us have to ask ourselves.
And it's only a question that you can answer.
So with all that said, guys, what is the proper time preparation?
For a believer.
We need to look no further than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Notice the statements that Jesus made concerning this. He said in Luke 2 verses 49 I must be about my father's business.
John 434 says my food is to do the will of him speaking about the father who sent me and to finish his work.
John 530 says because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the father who sent me.
And finally, John 829 says, but I always do those things that please him talking about his father.
Those are things that we need to be concerned with as believers.
Redeeming the time.
Preparing to meet our God.
We need to be all the way always.
About the will of the father in our love.
That we may make sure that we're doing the things that he wants us to do.
Keeping our priorities in order.
In terms of.
How we should be living our lives here on this earth?
That doesn't mean that you can't.
You know you don't take time to do the things that you know that each and every one of us and you're doing.
You know, if you like playing tennis, playing golf, you know things like that, but it means just keeping things in a proper perspective.
Ethics relates to your life and as it relates to eternity.
The famous author Mark Twain said this.
He said the most, the two most important days in a person.
Life is the day when they were born.
And they they end the day they realize what they ought to do.
I like that that that statement by Mark Twain, but I I would change it and said a little bit different.
I think the two most important days in the person life is the day when they're born again.
And the day that they realize what God wants them to do in their life.
That's what I think it should be.
Remember, Jesus told Nicodemus the Pharisee when he met with him.
He must be born again.
Nicodemus, you know he was a religious leader of his day.
You know, no doubt he had the prestige that went with that during that time frame.
Probably had the adoration of, you know, most of the people.
Around him, but none of that mattered.
Jesus hey Nicodemus.
I know who you are.
I know your position, I know you're so cold.
Probably power that you think you have, he said, but that night you know.
And in a nutshell, he would tell him to him that doesn't.
Mean nothing unless you're born again.
Unless you're born again.
And that's but most of us sitting here today we have been born again.
We know who Christ is.
But a lot of us.
We don't know what the will of God is for our lives, and if we do know a lot of us are pushing back on it and I get I get around to it later.
I get to it.
I get to it later.
You're wasting time.
We're wasting time.
And that's what we need to stop doing.
We need to be.
Spending our time doing God's will so we can prepare to meet our God when the time comes.
Like I said, the Book of Ecclesiastes says to everything there is a season, a time, for every purpose under the under the Sun.
A time to be born.
And a time to die.
All of us sitting here today have met the criteria for that 4th 1st portion of that Scripture.
A time to be born.
All of us have been born.
Met the second portion of it, a time to die.
But it's common.
It's coming for each and every one of us.
Like I told you guys, you got most of you guys know this.
In the past.
Two years I've lost seven family members.
In the past two years.
Uh, you know you like you guys, know it started with my mom in 2021 in July, coming up on.
Her 2nd anniversary of her death pretty soon, four months later with my dad. The day after Christmas, a month later with my sister's husband unexpectedly.
It was my first cousin.
And then within the last two months or so.
Three family members just like that one after the other.
And it's you know something I haven't thought about that much and I used when I was, you know, before.
We had so many deaths in my family.
You know you go think about it but but you know it was a realization to me that that time is short.
Time is short.
Time doesn't wait on any of us.
And yes, one day it's going to happen.
It's going to come knocking.
On all of our doors.
We don't want it to, but it is going to happen.
It's got a time to.
Die, it's going to happen.
So the question is.
Between that time frame, a time to be born and a time to die, what are you doing between that particular time frame?
That's what counts.
What are you doing?
Are you living for self?
Or are you living for God?
Are you living for the things of this world that has no eternal value, value, or for the things?
In the next World.
The Bible clearly tells us that we shouldn't be laboring after the things in this world that are here today and gone tomorrow.
But that's what we do.
We spend so much time on these things.
We spend so much time kind of trying to acquire things that 1020 years from now.
It's going to be in the junkyard somewhere.
Now it's nothing wrong with you know if God bless you and you get what you know by the things you want, but.
If that's your main goal in life.
If that's your sole purpose to do this and to get that it is something wrong with it.
Use it, be good stewards of the things that God have given you.
By all means.
Don't put that stuff above your relationship with Christ and His will for your life.
So how do we redeem the time and make preparation to meet our God?
I'm gonna point out three things that morning this morning to to address that particular question first of all.
We should be testing or examining ourselves.
Now, how does testing our self help us as believers in redeeming the time and making preparation to meet our God?
Second Corinthians 13.
After examine yourself as to whether or not you are in the faith.
Another word, and then he goes on to say test yourself.
Do you not know yourself that Jesus Christ is in you?
Unless indeed you are disqualified?
There are four points in this particular verse of scripture that we as believers need to do.
The first one, he says, examine yourselves to ensure we are in the faith.
Examine that in the Greek that word means to test or scrutinize your own life to ensure that.
Your will is in alignment with God's will that judged beliefs aligned with the word of God.
Not just some other word of God, but the whole Council of God.
Word, not just picking and choosing the things that you like in Scripture or the particular verses that you like.
It doesn't work that way.
We don't have that luxury to do that.
No, we need to take the whole Council of God's words as it relates to our lives as believers to ensure we are not building our faith or building a doctrine around versus.
Of books of the Bible that we only like.
Building it around our.
Or how we feel?
Of what we perceive is right.
It doesn't work that way.
If it doesn't line up with the word of God, guess who's wrong?
You're wrong, I'm wrong.
No matter how you.
Try to twist it and turn it.
Slice it and dice it.
If it doesn't line up with what God's word says, guess what we need to change. You got to change your opinion. You got to change your direction in life. You got to change everything in your life.
As it pertains to doing the things that God wants you to do and how God say it should be done.
It's no other way I can put that, and people don't like to hear that they don't want to hear.
Well, that's what you believe.
That's how you interpret it.
No, no, no, no, no stop.
I wish people quit saying that I get so tired of hearing that I don't know what to do.
You know, no, I'm telling you what the word of God said if you want to take it.
That way, then that's on you.
I was telling my sister that day we was talking and she was telling me about a family member that was telling.
Her or something about.
Of all things, and it was a curse on on the female, some of the female members in our family, I said, where did she get that from his old wives tale?
Basically, that's what it was from my old family tradition passed out and I told that to share and I said don't even listen to that.
I said next time you have this conversation, there was a cousin of ours.
I said, the next time you have that conversation with her, simply ask her.
Show me in the Bible.
Where it tells you that.
That's what you have to say to people.
When they start going off on all these tangent and taking you down these rabbit holes and everything just stop them in your tracking.
So OK, I hear you but but show me especially that they put Professor professor to be Christian.
Show me in the Bible where it says it says that.
Simple as that.
And you can stop it right then.
They can he and Honda.
Well, I don't know particular where no no show me well when you do fire now go and read it and then bring it back to him and show me and then we can have this this discussion.
That's where you stop.
Foolishness like that.
Don't even entertain it.
Don't even just get into an argument about it.
Because it's not worth it.
We should be examining our and then the look at them.
Oh yeah, then it's the second part.
Second, part of that, he says, tests ourselves.
Again, in the Greek that work I mean to examine or to be able to discern.
What you're hearing.
Of what you're reading, or something like to that effect, we should be examining our conduct.
I will walk as believers before the world.
Being able to discern between that which is true and that which was false when it pertains to the things of God.
Like the example I just gave you with my with my sister Sharon and our cousin.
That portion of Scripture said we shouldn't know ourselves.
And that can accomplish a lot of things.
But one of the main things I look at is saying.
No, yeah, areas areas of weaknesses when it's come to your life.
Know the things that has a tendency to drag you down.
Tapur to want to pull you back into those areas of in your life that you know you have.
A struggle with.
What our might may struggle with you may not necessarily struggle with and vice versa.
A man needs to know himself.
Clint Eastwood said and won his movies one time.
I'm a big Clint Eastwood fan.
He said a man needs to know his limitations.
A man needs to know his limitations.
All of us need to know our limitations.
You need to know that.
I know what my limitations are.
I know what I'm prone to do.
If I'm put in their own place.
At their own time.
So I have to.
I don't put myself in no positions.
I have to ask God to help God.
You know that I can be weak in this area.
Keep me away from these things.
Keep me away from them.
And then we need to be honest with God.
No, don't try to be all pious and say, oh, I don't struggle with nothing.
Yes you do.
See if you saying that you struggle with lion.
Right there off.
The bat so you you also we all struggle with something.
OK, just be honest with God and.
Say God, you know.
What my tendencies are, you know what I'm trying to do here?
And be honest, he already knows.
So just be honest with him and tell us that God I need your help here.
I need your help here.
And that's what he want.
He want us to have that intimate relationship with him.
Well, we can bring anything to the father, he says.
So do that.
Don't don't God, we gotta get away from this stuff where we put it on these errors.
We put it on these facades and we want everybody to think oh I'm a believer and I'm perfect.
No, you're not.
We're not perfect.
We all struggle.
The Bible tells us in this life we're going to have trials and tribulations.
You're gonna have struggles and it's like you're not going to be clear from this sinful nature until we make that transition from this life into the next.
But some people they can get over, you know God or touch him and some things that they struggle with.
He takes away right away, but for some of us it's a lifetime struggle.
It's a lifetime battle with a lifetime fight.
And we got to be prepared to do that.
That's why the book of Ephesians in the 6th chapter said put put on the whole armor of God.
Be ready to stand in season and out of season.
It's something that the enemy continued to bombard us, beat us up.
And it is difficult.
It is, you know it.
Sometimes you say, God, I, I thought I was done with this.
And here I am.
I'm doing it again.
I'm faced with this again.
But thank God for his Grace and his mercy.
That he said that you confess your sins I'm faithful and just.
To forgive you for those sins and to clean cleanse you from all.
Uncleanness, that's what we got to be willing to do.
And no, just like the Book of Jeremiah said, the hearted deceitful.
Above all things and desperately wicked who can know it.
God knows how hard he knows it.
He knows what we're struggling with.
So like I said, try not to put yourself in those compromising positions where you know you can.
Succumb to sin.
Be like Joseph, Run from it.
And OK, what type of thing it is?
If you know you're going to be able to, you know, possibly fall from you got to run from it.
Turn tail and run and say I gotta get out of here.
Romans 718 said for I know that in me, that is in my flesh nothing good dwells.
And we can fool ourselves and try to fool others.
How good we are, how pious we are and how religious we are when deep down inside you know, you know.
And God knows, so we're not fooling anybody.
Yeah, we might be fooling people around it.
But the person that Matt that it matters to you, you're not fooling.
And you're not fooling yourself.
And as we get rid of the code, why should we be doing these?
Firstly thing think three things where the final portion of this scripture tells us to ensure us that we are not disqualified to ensure your walk with Jesus is not hindered and your and your reputation remains intact.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12 one of every familiar portion of Scripture, let us lay aside every weight and ever seen which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the the race that is set before us.
We should be constantly examining our lives as believers to ensure our words, our actions.
I will work.
Or in line with the will of God and his purpose for our life.
I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others.
Or have talked to others.
I myself should not become disqualified.
Again, in the book of Ephesians he says, see then that you walk circle circumspectly spectrally that mean carefully.
Not as fools, but as wise men and women redeeming the time because the days of days are evil.
Like I say, God one day we're going to have to stand before God and give an account.
How we spent our time.
How we spent the talents that he'd given us as believers.
Did we properly?
Redeemed that time and prepared to meet our God.
The second point, right quick and I got to speed up guys.
The Bible tells us to test others.
First John four one said beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit to see whether they are of God.
Because many Prof.
False prophets have gone out into the world.
What is this verse saying to us?
We need to ensure that any teaching and doctrine that we expose ourselves to lines up with the word of God.
That their teaching is in line with the whole Council of God.
Words like I said, not just picking versus at random and pulling them hit from here and there to try to build a foundation or try to win an argument or and try to appeal to individuals of when you know.
That individual there there.
Their desire is far from the will of God.
They just building stuff and saying stuff in order to support what they believe in and their way of thinking.
We need to ensure that people.
Or who they claim to be?
That wouldn't mean.
To test others.
We can be as believer.
We can be so gullible sometimes.
We can fall for every Tom, **** and Harry you know.
We just cozy up the people you know they smile in our faces and they say the right Christian phrases or start quoting the Bible.
You know right away.
Sometimes we drop our God.
No, that's the time you should.
Put your guard.
Up to make sure that what they're telling you is true, to make sure that.
What they're telling you lines up with the word of God.
Remember, the devil came to Christ and was quote quoting scripture to him misquoting, I might add.
You know, and that's what a lot of people.
They'll give you a.
A little bit of truth, but then they start mixing in what they believe, what they think.
Well, you need to do this or you need to do that.
We all know what the Bible says about this.
But also you need to think about.
This no no.
No, no cut it off.
Be done with it.
Don't even entertain people like that.
Remember what the Bible says about such individual, but Paul speaking in Second Corinthians verse in the Chapter 11 verses 12 through 15 says.
But what I do, I will also continue to do that.
I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things which they.
Boast about for such a false prophets, deceitful workers transforming, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
And no wonder for Satan himself transformed himself into an Angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end would be according to their work.
A lot of time.
The devil is sitting right.
Here in the church with us.
As a believer.
And we can get caught into it.
We can be suckered in.
We can say oh he or she is so nice.
They you know they do a B&C and they quote script and they tell me no no no examine people don't be afraid to do that.
Don't, don't be afraid. They'd say hey, I gotta check this out. If you send it in your mind's eye and then make sure that what they tell him he lines up. That's what the Berian said, right when they were listening to Paul.
He said he commended them, said.
Because they searched the scriptures.
Daily to make sure that what I'm telling him that apostle Paul was telling them was lining up with what?
Word of God says that's what we should do.
Yeah, because I stand up in teacher by but don't take my word for it if I'm saying something that is not aligned with God where you shouldn't be afraid to call me out on it.
Or whoever may be standing up here.
Say hey man, I was confused about something you said and it could be a legitimate mistake because you know, sometimes you up here and you're talking and you your mind starts wandering and stuff you know could the old man he pointed out some and I didn't realize.
I said that that was a mistake.
But we need to be about examining what we hear and what we.
Uh, uh, people are telling us.
The Bible tells us to be sober minded.
Be vigilant, be watchful because our adversary, the devil, is always going back and forth like a roaring lion.
The Bible say, seeking whom we seeking whom he may destroy.
And he's after each and every one of us as believers.
The Bible said resist him, stay steadfast in the faith.
That's what we need to be doing.
Care who it is.
If it's a family member, if it's a pastor, that's going off on a tangent somewhere, resist that.
They're no better than you.
Sometimes we put pastors and teachers on a pedestal.
Hey, we're all the same.
Yep, 'cause some of us might come up here and teach every once in a while.
That doesn't make us any better than anybody else.
If anything, it makes them more makes us more accountable because we better be making sure we're teaching the things that God tells us and wants us to teach according to his word.
But it doesn't make us any better than anyone else.
Stop putting these pastors and stop putting people on pedestals.
Eyes focused on God.
Cold people will let you.
Down I don't care who they are.
Spouses let let each each other down.
You know you when you first get married.
You know you all Google I oh, I love her so much and him so much you take all the sun rises, sunshine on that individual.
Like I told my son Jeweling I said give it time.
I say, you know you're still in the honeymoon phase.
Give it time, you'll see.
You know something my dad would tell us all the time.
And he would say don't die, because if you die too soon, you're not gonna get it, he said.
And that's what I tell them.
I say, you know, yeah, I'm glad you guys are happy.
I hope you guys remain happy, but it's going to be that day in time.
You're gonna wake up and say man, I can't believe what she did or I can't believe what he said because we let people down.
That's what we do.
You know that.
Let's face it, that's what we do.
I've been married to Al.
32 years now almost.
And sometimes I just want to be like with that old movie.
I miss the old show the honeymooners.
Pow right in the kisser, if.
I could get away with it.
But you know, it just and and I'm quite sure she feels the same way, some sometimes about me.
It's it's life, we're human.
We make mistakes.
We do things.
Don't keep your eyes on and put your focus on individuals and OK, how well they may seem or how great they may seem.
Give it enough time, they're gonna do something.
Were they going to let you down?
That's why your focus should be on Christ and him alone, because we know if we keep our focus on him.
He's that chief cornerstone.
He's that firm foundation.
He's that refuge.
He's our strength as the Bible talks about.
He's the one who sustains us and keep us here.
The one that would never let us down regardless of what happens in this world.
That's what we need to do.
And then finally guys, we need to be testing all things.
1st Thessalonians 521 said test all things hold fast to what is good? How do we test all things?
The simple answer is by the word of God. If it lines up with God with what God's word say, we can believe it.
If it doesn't, simple is that.
Cut it off.
You can't believe it.
I don't care how much they.
Try to mix it.
Like I said in Dyson and everything.
If they throw anything in there apart from the word of God and try to say well this I know what the Bible says.
But this is also you need to read this book.
No you don't.
No you don't.
You can read other books to enhance your knowledge of the gospel.
You can, but I like the way Chuck Smith said at one time and I hope I get it right.
He said the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible.
And it is the best commentary on the Bible is.
The Bible itself.
And I'm not saying that because I.
Use of commentaries.
Sometimes you get inside man, I want to hear what people are saying about this particular portion of Scripture, and it does give you a clear understanding sometime if you run into a roadblock.
But the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, Acts 1711 said these were more fair minded talking about the big brains.
Like I said than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness and search the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so we need to test our thing to ensure that we are not being manipulated, not being.
Taking advantage of not being LED in the wrong direction, Doctor McGee put it this way when explaining this portion of script.
He said don't be taken in.
To put it crudely, he said, don't be a sucker.
And a lot of us as believers with suckers.
People can suck it man.
They throw the real out there and you're hooked and you believe it hook, line and sinker.
You fall forward.
Don't be a sucker.
My own words.
I tell people you gotta look out and make sure that people don't make a fool out of you because there's a lot of shysters out there.
Like I said earlier, even within the church circle.
It can not only be costly to you.
But in some instances it could be dangerous to use.
Alex and I and I'm closing out and went over last night. I don't know where you got saw this on 2020.
They had this special on. You got to remember that caught in San Diego, 1997. Heaven's gate, and I was amazed by some of these people that was taken in by this individual.
I mean, these people intelligent people.
According to the world.
39 people willing to drink whatever they drink.
To die for this person, come out a UFO gonna come get you and take you to the next level to heaven and this guy, the guy that and I didn't know all this until this guy.
He came from a Christian background.
His father was a pastor.
And he started off well.
But then he started going off into Lala Land.
And he led, although people for 20 some years I think they said he led all those people down a primero pass path.
And they failed.
And I'm saying God and.
God, how gullible can people be?
Some people got out of it.
Two or three of them.
You know the light came on.
Uh went off whatever you know, something happened, they got out of it and.
But the rest of them followed this individual, and I'm like God, man, that that goes to show you.
And he was quoting them listening to him.
He quoted some scripture too in there, then he.
Would go off into some.
Nothing else, and these people looking at him like he was the greatest thing since sliced sliced bread.
I think at one point he said he would the second coming of Christ see right?
There they should.
Have got up and left all of them.
So he the second coming of Christ.
But they did.
And they went.
To their damnation.
Because it is one individual.
That's what I say we're gullible sometimes it's believer.
Don't be afraid to to challenge people.
Don't be afraid to say man, where did you get that from?
What is that?
Don't be afraid as a believer to do that, challenge him, see what they gotta tell you.
And you don't have to do it in the ugly way.
You know, just be say, oh, really, I never heard of that before.
Where did you get that from and see what they tell you?
I guarantee you one thing you would want here.
They won't say they got it from the Bible if it's something that not in the Bible, you won't hear that.
So don't don't don't, don't don't.
Fall for people we got.
God gives us common sense.
Use your common sense.
He gives it to us for a reason.
Don't be gullible, less believer, don't don't think well.
I gotta be this way or I gotta be that way or I gotta give money to everybody that comes to me.
No you don't.
No you don't.
Think about what you're doing.
If you just step back for a minute, say.
Let me hear what that guy just said.
And he said, no, that doesn't make any sense.
Let's just think you should common sense guys.
We can all disagree.
On on some non essentials of the Bible.
But it's some essentials of the Bible that we just cannot disagree upon.
And don't you know that Christ was born of aversion.
He lived this endless endless life.
He died on the cross for your sins.
In my sense, he would bear it.
He was born again.
I mean, he was.
He was raised from the dead.
That he's coming again.
Those are the essential elements of the Bible that is not up for debate.
It's they're not up for debate.
And people try to dress it up and say, oh, you know, well God, he would you know Jesus really wasn't born from a from a from Mary really wasn't a version.
She was no, no, no, no no.
People like that you gotta turn off right away because you know they're not taking the whole Council of God words and and believing in it.
Jesus said, I am the way, the truth in life no one comes to the father except through me as you can't put it any clearer than that when they start saying, well, no, yes you can.
He didn't mean that like that, he meant, you know at that particular time, but you know, God brought up other people.
No, no, no, no.
Don't listen to it.
Please don't listen to it.
Get away from it.
It's essential it's dangerous to you.
It involves your eternal destiny.
If you fall into those traps.
Get away from it.
As we close.
Jesus said in Matthew 7, verse 13 through 14, he said anybody narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad us a way that leads to destruction and there are many who go in by it.
But Narisa gate and difficult.
It's the way which leads to eternal life and there are few who finds it.
The Christian life isn't easy guys.
It's a constant battle.
It's a constant fight.
We are on a battle.
Ground, spiritually speaking.
And physically speaking sometimes, so don't.
Don't think that it's going to be easy, it's.
Not going to be easy.
We're going to have disappointments in this life.
We're going to have issues in this life that we are forced to face and confront.
Don't lose your faith over it.
Make sure you redeem the time.
Make sure you were making preparations to meet our God.
Don't don't let the disappointments.
And issue that life.
Turn you away from your belief in your faith in Christ.
Because it is, it's it's.
All of us going to go through difficult times.
But we got to remember that this life is only temporary.
Like Abraham said, said he was just sojourners passing.
Through this life.
And time is.
Quickly passing for each and every one of us.
I know sometimes when you go on through struggles of when you.
In those valleys.
It seemed like it's never going to end.
Say my God, something else like how can I make?
It through this.
But God told her, she said we should cast all of our cares upon him because he cares for us.
And allow him to to bring us through those difficult times.
Allow him to sustain us during those difficult times.
They got it coming.
For each and every one of us, if you haven't been through it.
Thank you, good Lord, but one day.
You got to go through it.
It's something all of.
US, we don't get a pass.
So we need to continue to lean upon Christ, to depend upon him.
And just because you fail.
You know you have a struggle in a sin and you might fall and you might fall again and again.
The Bible said good man falls seven times.
And still get up.
Continue to come to God.
Don't let the enemy tell you.
That you're not good enough.
You can't do it.
Look at it, look what.
You've done again.
I constantly get berated and beat up over that stuff like that in my.
Own life personally.
And I have to say, God, I know the way that I'm feeling.
But this is what your warrior says.
And that's what we have to depend upon.
Don't don't don't get caught up.
In your feelings and Yep, 'cause you and I get so emotional about things 'cause I know it can drag us down as believers.
If you fail.
If you see in.
I don't care if it's 1000 times.
Go to God.
To God, I've blown it again.
And ask for his forgiveness and believe him what the words say.
It's not how you feeling.
Not how so, not what someone else is telling you, said man, look you blew it again.
How can God use you?
Said I don't know how he can use me but I.
Know what its word says.
If I confess my sins, he is faithful and just to forgive me for these sins, not that you should go, and we continue to do it, but we got to ask God for help, because like I said, all of us a week.
All of us have issues and problems in life.
All of us.
Gonna, you know, consistently battle with things that you know we have.
You know that we think we're over.
And we find ourselves right back into it sometimes.
Not by your strength.
But by God, strength and by what his son is done on the cross for you, each and every one of us.
Hey man, let's pray God.
God, we thank you for this time together.
We thank you for your word.
We thank you for keeping us and providing for us and just being with us.
My father help us to remember like your words said that we are, but you realize that we're just dust.
You work you.
You realize their frailties, their weaknesses, the things in our lives.
My father, that we wish we can just toss aside.
Sometime but we continue to struggle with.
Help us remember your promises.
My father, that you're there with us through the good times and the bad times you're there when we think we're so good and we are there with us when we fail miserably in life.
That you promise us that you would never leave us or forsake us.
Help us to hold dear.
And hold firm to these promise.
It's my father in your word.
Regardless of what people may be telling us, regardless of how we may be feeling.
Or regardless of how many times we failed you, my father.
Help us to realize that your Grace.
Your mercy and your love for us has no boundaries, my father.
We can't even begin to comprehend.
The love you have for us, the grace that you provide for us to us on a daily basis, and the mercy that you show us so help us to go forth.
In the victory.
That is ours.
Through your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior.
Thank you for this time together.
Thank you for being our God, and we ask that you continue to lead us and bless us and keep us.
It's in your son, Jesus Christ name we pray Lord Amen.
God bless you guys.
OK, have a good one.