2nd Sunday in Lent
When I was in high school, there was a boy I will
call Bob who I became friends with. He was a good person. His family farmed, and he was very well behaved. He didn't get into trouble. He didn't curse, at least that I had heard. He didn't do any of the things that I associated with being sinful. He was very easy to talk to. Eventually, I noticed him hanging around with Sam who I knew to be a Jehovah's Witness. As I recall I warned him about it, but he didn't say much about it nor listen to my warning.
One day, Sam approached me with some of his flyers and I told him in no uncertain terms that I did not accept his beliefs and that I believed those who did were condemned. I had been told that the only way to get rid of a Jehovah's Witness was to slam the door, insult them, etc. After this I found out how close Sam and my friend Bob were; Bob was very indifferent and cold to me after that. He and Sam left me alone; they said very little to me after that. Bob had been a Jehovah's Witness all along. I'm not telling this story as an example of how to get rid of a Jehovah's Witness because I learned after this that reacting this way only closes the door of opportunity to win them to Christ. I am telling this story because it is an example of a time when I considered someone to be an enemy of the cross. We all have people or organizations who we consider to be enemies of Christ!
Trans. But these aren't the people that Paul recognizes as enemies of Christ in our scripture today! Let’s take a look!
I. Who isn't His enemies?
A. Those that live by his example or live by the word!
B. Live a life totally yielded to Christ!
1. V.20 "our citizenship is in heaven" It won't be a perfect life!
2. It will be one that fails but picks up and goes again.
3. But it will be one that God can count on.
II. Who are these enemies?
A. Those whose God is their belly!
1. Only look out for themselves: #1.
2. Look what I have done.
3. Compelled by greed and self-gain.
4. Everything they do has to do with what they will get
out of it.
a. This is talking about self gratification; even
church stuff becomes about self gratification for them.
b. When considering things at church, the question is not, will it reach others, but it becomes, what will I get out of this.
c. Will I be fed if we do this?
d. Will I like doing it this way?
5. They use the Gospel for self-gratification.
a. They want to be in church because it helps their business.
b. They want to be a member because it helps them get elected!
B. Those who profess to be Christian but put Earthly things before Christ!
1. They profess to be Christian with their tongue, and show with their actions that Christ isn't important enough to sacrifice anything for!
a. Christ isn't that important.
b. It's a matter of priorities, and Christ doesn't rank too well!
b. Christ is only worth lip service!
2. This does more damage to Christianity than
one who doesn=t even profess Christ!!
III. What will be the destiny of these enemies?
A. V. 19, Whose end is destruction!
B. We can fool the world, but we can't fool God!
C. God requires more than "Lip Service."
A. Only those who live a yielded life are pleasing to God.
B. How about us today: are we yielding it all to Christ?
C. We can fool ourselves, but this scripture seems to be plain that Christ must be first in our lives!!