– Fight the good fight. You know, many people
stand at the Cross, spiritually speaking, and they look up and they
don’t realize the seriousness of what it all is all about. The fact that He
paid an awesome price for us to have the right
to have His strength and power to draw
from when we need help and when we need guidance. And that there is an
awesome conflict going on between God and Satan. And that when you enlist,
when you partake of Him, spiritually at the
foot of that Cross, you realize it’s not a game
and you’re not playing Church: it’s a reality. And you, as you
look up spiritually, are making your mind up:
are you going to Heaven or are you going to Hell? It’s your choice. It’s your decision. It’s how you sail your boat,
your Christian boat, in life. So it becomes a
very serious thing. That does not take
away from our joy. That does not take away
from the celebration of our great gift
that He has given us. But you need to be
worth something. You need to stand for something, else you’re a wet noodle. You’re really not
much of anything if you don’t make a stand. Many would say, “Well
what kind of conflict “are you talking about?” Where are you? Do you not listen to the news? They’re trying to remove
God from our vocabulary. They’re trying to take
God out of the law itself, when the law comes from God. And the biggest enemy that
Satan has pulled upon us is politically correctness. You see, it’s not
politically correct for you to object that
they’re taking God from our vocabulary. Then, as a Christian,
or as any religion that believes in God,
what good are you if you don’t say, “Whoa ho! “I draw a line, that’s it, I
don’t care if it offends you!” You know, in this country
we have freedom of religion. And everyone has
the freedom here to worship their god. You try to take our
God away from us and you can go back
where you came from: we don’t need you. That’s the way it works here: you have freedom to
do what you want, but don’t try to push
or take away the rights of someone to worship as
they feel free to worship. That is the teachings
of Jesus Christ. That’s what He taught. And that’s what the
difference makes. That’s why it’s so serious
for you to stay at the, did He not say, “If you follow
Me, take up your cross.” Do you know what the,
do you think the Cross is some little thing you
wear around your neck? Do you know what the
cross was used for? It was used to
crucify people on! What He’s saying is,
“If you believe in Me, “I’m not gonna ask you to do it, “I’ve done it for you, but you
better be willing to do it. “You better draw a line, “and you better say,
‘I stand for something. “‘I stand for the truth.'” They can try to remove
God from our vocabulary, they can wish on, it
is not going to happen. They cannot tell
us when we can pray and when we cannot pray. God can read your mind, you
can pray any time you want to. If they don’t like
it, hey, hang it! You know? Legality is a wonderful thing. Just like this past week,
we had one of our troops that had to make a
pretty strong stand to save some lives. The legal department
comes on and said, “We have to be the good guys.” Hey, when you go to war, and being participant
of World War II and the Korean Conflict, I can tell you there
is a different law on the field of battle: it’s
called kill or be killed. And you better be praying
that God is with you, because He always has been
with the Christian armies. Always has been. And we thank our
Father for that. So, what is legal in peace time, doesn’t necessarily
apply to the conflict. And spiritually speaking, we’re
going to turn all that over and think of it in a
spiritual way, you’re at war. And you better realize that. And you better realize
how serious it is when they try to take
your rights away from you. I don’t know, what
are you fit for? “Well I don’t really care what
they say, if they wanna do,” well I do! I care a great deal when
they try to mock Christ. I care a great deal when
they try to change history to fit their own
rules and regulations. So, what do we do? We fight the good fight. Open your Bibles, if you would, to the great book
of Luke, chapter 13. We’re gonna be dealing
with two Greek words today. They are basically the prime. Biazo, which means “to force” or “to crowd oneself
into to be seized.” That’s what Christianity
does to you, that’s what Christ does to you. He reaches out, He takes
you, and He causes you to want to change and
to change for others; because it’s for the better. And it is part of that battle. The other Greek word I
want to utilize today, which is the prime, agon. Agon, A-G-O-N. And what it means is “conflict”, “a place for competition”. I mean, it’s a
battle, it’s a ring, or it’s a war. And I will be
explaining those words as they’re utilized and
translated into one form or the other. Jesus begins teaching,
here in Luke chapter 13, and He says, “Hey,
what about those 18 “that the Tower
of Siloam fell on? “Were they sinners
above all other people? “What caused it to happen?” It just happened. They were in the wrong
place at the wrong time. It killed them. It had nothing to do with whether they were
great sinners or not. 18 is bondage. It symbolizes bondage. If you allow yourself to come
under the bondage of men, and your thought process,
you’re in a heap of hurt. It will spiritually
bring about your death just like it did the 18,
whether they sinned or not, at the Tower of Siloam. That was as He led into
this particular chapter. And He then began to tell
what Heaven was like, what His kingdom was,
how He did business. Do you understand? Kingdom. The King, which He
is, and the dominion which He rules over. What He’s telling you,
“This is how I do business.” There was a woman,
she’d been under bondage for 18 years, in sickness,
and He healed her. And boy did they come
down on His case, because it was the Sabbath. And then He said, “If one of
you had an animal in a ditch, “would you not pull?” “Oh, yes, that’s uh,
you know, of course, “but what about that woman.” Means don’t be in bondage. Don’t allow yourself
to be entailed or taken in to be in bondage to man’s teachings
and doctrines. “Well how do I know?” Right here, the Word of God. In the simplicity in
which it is written: that’s how you know and that’s
how you come out of bondage. And He begins to tell this
after four different cases of bondage, here in
this 13th chapter. Pick it up in verse 23. Luke chapter 13 verse 23,
“Then said one unto Him, “‘Lord, are there
few that be saved?’ “And He said unto them.” Is there just a few? You know, it sounds to me
like it’s gonna be pretty to make it. Now, this has to do with
His return and salvation. Let me ask you a question, how many people do you know,
that know the Spiris Messiah is coming first and you’re
not gonna worship Him? How many people do you know
in the world that know that? Or how many people do you know that are waiting to fly away? Okay. Because they’ve been told that. All right. So what does it mean then? There’s not a whole
bunch going to make it on the first trip, friend. Thus He answers,
verse 24, “Strive.” That word is from “agon”,
the word I told you about, it means “fight, strive,
wrassle, contend”, and it means against an enemy. “Fight, strive to enter
in at the strait gate: “for many, I say unto you,
will seek to enter in, “and shall not be able.” They’re not gonna make it. “But they say they
loved the Lord.” That doesn’t matter. Who is their Lord? The one that’s
gonna fly them away? He’s coming all right
and He’s got the message. His message is, according
to Ezekiel chapter 13 beginning with verse
18, after they covered the outreaching
arms of Almighty God to sew arm pillows
to cover the truth, and taught them to fly
to save their souls. Ezekiel chapter 13 beginning
reading with verse 18, that’s documented in
God’s Word, He says, “I’m against it!” Why? He wants people that
will make a stand, spiritually speaking. That make a difference. Well what does that mean? That love Him. That really care. They’re not worried
about self so much. Because they know, and you know, that when you follow Him and
dedicate yourself to Him, we draw our strength from Him and our blessings flow from Him; and you’re gonna be blessed
right out of your bonnet, whether you own a bonnet or not. He’s gonna take care of you, if you’re willing
to make a stand, to make difference. To represent Him in truth and not fairytales. Not traditions of men. His doctrine. He said, “That old
gate is pretty narrow.” Now it isn’t, that gate is wide as the
international freeways, if you’ve studied the truth. But if you don’t, you’re blind, and you’re gonna be deceived
if you’re not real careful, that’s what He’s warning about. Don’t be in bondage to the
traditions of man’s religion, that’s what Christ
is teaching here. He went through 18,
several sets of 18, to get the point across. Even down to the religions
community chewing Him out, because He made a woman whole. What kind of religion is that? That would knock God’s
blessings on someone to make them well? And then He continues
after saying, “Fight, strive,
wrassle with it.” Verse 25, “When once the master
of the house is risen up, “and hath shut to the door, “and you begin to stand without, “and to knock at
the door, saying, “‘Lord, Lord, open unto us;’ “and He shall
answer and say unto, “‘I know you not
whence you are.'” Now, why would God do, why
would Jesus do that? Well, He put it in terms
that we can all understand, He said, “I want
a virgin bride.” Spiritually speaking. Now if you’d been out here, if
the false messiah came first, and you’d been out
here licking his boots, and jumping in his
bed for five months; and you expect, Revelation
chapter nine documentation, and you expect Jesus to
take you as a virgin bride, He would have holes in His head
if that were to be the case, and that’s sacrilegious. Christ is not a fool! And He teaches truth. So what is He gonna say to them? If they had really
taught His Word, if they have taught it in truth, and if they have remained true, He’s gonna open that
door and take them in. But if they have messed around
with the false doctrine, He says to them, verse 26, “Then shall you begin to say, “‘We have eaten and
drunk in Thy presence, “‘we take Communion
with you, Lord, “‘and Thou hast
taught in our streets, “‘we followed Your teachings.'” 27, “But He shall
say, ‘I tell you, “‘I know ye not whence ye are; “‘depart from Me, all you
workers of iniquity.'” He says, iniquity means sin, “I find you guilty,”
is what He’s saying. Guilty of what? Following the wrong teachings. That’s what they were doing
in the prior verses here. That’s why He through
the 18s at them: bondage. You’ve got yourself all bound up with Satan’s malarkey
and the teachings of man that make void the Word of God. He said, “You can’t come in
because you’re guilty as sin.” Verse 28, “There shall be
weeping and gnashing of teeth, “when ye shall see
Abraham, and Isaac, “and Jacob, and
all the prophets, “in the Kingdom of God, and
you yourself thrust out.” Now, there’s a time
set there in that, if you’ll just
open your minds up and look real close at
it, what does it mean? Well when will you be
able to see Abraham? And when will you be
able to see Isaac? When you’re in that dimension. So it means the seventh
trump has sounded. Christ has returned. And He’s saying,
“Get out of My sight. “And I don’t want you
in here, you’re out!” So you see, it’s a
very serious thing. “Well does that mean
Christ is loving?” Yeah, if you love Him. But He’s not a fool. If you’re going to mess around, hankying with the false messiah,
who wants you to love him; and then expect
Christ to have you, you’re kidding yourself. I mean, even, this is why
it would say, in Mark 13, “Woe to you that are with
child when I return.” It didn’t mean a mother
carrying a child, it means someone
spiritually impregnated with the false Christ:
already attended a wedding and then expect Jesus to
pick them up and take them. Or to give suck, is what said, it means even nursing
along Satan’s church, because he says he’s Christ. “Well then isn’t that
a Christian Church?” No! What is Christ
say in Mark there? And he said, “There’s
many gonna come “in My name claiming
to be Christ.” “I be a Christian
preacher, yes siree bob. “You know, well we need
to do something religious “before we get started,
let’s get the plates out “and pass them here, okay?” You all know I won’t allow
a plate to be passed, because that’s not religious, that’s your business, okay? But that’s what
they have in mind. They kind of chase money
instead of God’s Word. And if they only knew,
if you teach God’s Word, you’ll have more money than
you know what to do with. To try to keep up the
ministry going, out reaching, He takes care of
His own, He does. When you take care
of His business, He takes care of
yours, all right? But if you’re gonna
try to play Church, and if you’re gonna try to,
if you won’t make a stand, if you won’t strive, if
you can stand at that Cross and say, “It’s all for me! “Ain’t I something’?” Think about that a minute, if that’s the frame
of mind that you have. “He did it for me!” Well really that’s true, He did. Now what’re you gonna
give Him in return? Do you like one of
these love affairs, where everyone, that your
mate comes, it’s all you? You don’t think you have
to give anything in return? Do you think Christ is a fool? He expects something in return. And understand, I’m
speaking spiritually here. He expects you to love Him
and be able to make a stand: to stand for something. That when someone tries
to drive God’s name out of our vocabulary,
that the hair on the back of your
neck stands up! It irks you, to see Satan toying with people. And you can’t help
it, it’s just natural when you have Christ in you. That makes a difference. Verse 28, no we got that. Okay, 29, “And they
shall come from the east, “and from the west,
and from the north, “and from the south,
and shall sit down “in the Kingdom of God.” That’s God’s elect. That’s those that
do know the truth, and that stay true, that
do make a difference. And He knows even what
you’re thinking, beloved. All right? “And, behold, there are
last which shall be first, “and there are first
which shall be last.” Many that are in
the last generation were chosen in the
first earth age. Ephesians chapter
one verse four, “Before the foundations
of the world, I chose you. “When you stood against Satan.” You earned it. He didn’t give it
to you for free. Not because you’re
the prettiest. In Jeremiah chapter one,
the first six verses, He said to Jeremiah, “I knew you “before you were in
your mother’s womb. “Therefore, I’m choosing
you as a prophet.” Because why? “I know you can cut it! “I knew you from there.” “Well, you mean
we were with God?” Well do you think
you were hatched? Are you an environ, I started
to say an environmentalist, well that’s about as bad. There’s a lot of good
people that practice, but you know they don’t realize that communist party has
moved into the green party, and you better be
real careful, okay? Our Father, expects His
children to be like Him, and to bless Him, to follow Him. To care. And you’ve, maybe some
of you have a neighbor that is, “I just
really don’t care. “As long as I can
punch the clock “and draw my check
and go fishing, “I could care less.” That’s sad, my friends. Lord only knows, how can
you help a person like that? By setting an example. Yep. Fight the good fight. It’s well worth it. When you stand at the
foot of the Cross, realize how serious it
is along with the joy. I don’t wanna take
away your joy, but at the same time,
I want you to realize that they cannot take
His name from us. It won’t work. We will not stand for it. And we will have,
we will pray to God to bring 10 thousand
angels down on their selves and fix their nest. And you have the power
and the authority to make that prayer. When you believe upon
Him and you strive, you fight the good fight,
you make a difference. Turn with me to chapter
16, in this great book. Luke chapter 16. You might back up a little
bit to verse 10 there, we’re gonna start with
14 so that you realize, “Though he that is faithful
in that which is least “is faithful also in much: “and he that is
unjust in the least “is unjust also in much.” If you won’t make a
stand for little things, if you don’t have the
faith to believe in God, then He’s not gonna trust
you with the big things, I guarantee it. Now, to pick this thought
up, let’s drop on down to 14. “And the Pharisees
also, who were cov,” this had to do with money
and what people will do with money, “And
the Pharisees also, “who were covetous,”
what does that mean? They love money more
than anything else. “Heard all these things:
and they derided Him.” Why? They loved there money. Now, there’s nothing,
don’t you ever apologize for being rich. Okay? God expects His
people to be rich. If you have worked and
you have earned that without false gains. All God hates is
you that are rich with ripping off your brother. Okay? That’s wrong. And you’ll never
have peace of mind, cause you’re always gonna be
looking over your shoulder. Rob a bank and take
10 million dollars, 10 millions not really
that much anymore, it’s more than I got though. But, if you had
that $10 million, you wouldn’t sleep at night. You would be listening
for that doorbell to ring, you would be, or somebody
to break it down. You know? But never apologize,
but don’t love money! Okay? Love the Lord more. Because that is what He wants, that is what He wants you to do. This is why that
in Luke chapter 14, if we were to go there it says,
unfortunately mistranslated that you gotta hate your
mother, father, brother, wife, and so forth, but
the word in the Greek means “love less.” You gotta love them less
than you do Jesus Christ. Why? He died for you. He was on that Cross. What chance would you have
if it were not for Him? So don’t love money, love Him. And never apologize for
wealth, it’s not necessary. It’s where your mind is,
where your love is, okay? 15, “And He said unto
them, ‘Ye are they “‘which justify
yourselves before men.'” That’s all you care about! “‘But God knoweth your hearts.'” He knows what you’re thinking! “‘For that which is
highly esteemed among men ‘”is abomination in
the sight of God.'” When people would love
mammon more than God, He finds it abominable. I mean, why? Why would He? Well, how far do you think, when you stand at the
foot of the Cross, and you just are
making your trip for deciding to go
to Heaven or Hell, how much, do you think
you’re gonna buy your way in? How valuable will mammon
be, mammon, money, be to you there? None at all. If it’s where your love is. Do you understand where
I’m coming from, okay? That is an abomination, if you love men’s
things more than God. You gonna let them take His
name out of your vocabulary? Because you might offend
someone, dear one. They might consider
it to be rude. Well who gives
anything about that? You know, in Oklahoma, we
have a saying for that, we say, “Who gives a hoot?” If you ever heard
an old hoot owl, they don’t hoot about
much, but they do hoot. I don’t give a hoot, if
God’s name offends somebody. All right? They better listen to it. Verse 16, “The law and the
prophets were until John.” I mean they warned,
they cried the warning. “Since that time the
Kingdom of God is preached, “and every man pressed into it.” Pressed is from the base root of biazo. Okay? Which means “to
be seized by God.” You can’t help yourself. He reaches down and gets
hold of your little heart, and some of them are big
and some of them little, and He twists it and turns it
to where you’re loyal to Him. You can’t hardly, you
can’t hardly help yourself for wanting to serve Him. Biazo. He loves you. And He wants you to be
pressed into His service, to where you, pressed means, “I’m here, I’m a soldier
of Christ, and I’m ready!” I Thessalonians
chapter two verse one, this is Paul the
Apostle, and he says, “For yourselves, brethern,
know our entrance in unto you, “that is was not in vain.” It wasn’t empty, it wasn’t just to say, “Hey!” It was for a purpose. It was to accomplish something! Verse two. “But even after that
we had suffered before, “and were shamefully entreated,
as you know, at Philippi, “we were bold in our God to
speak unto you the Gospel “of God with much contention.” And here we have atzuma
again, a contention. It wasn’t, “Well I
thought if you preach, “they just all clap their hands “and it was just dandy fine.” Have you ever done
any preaching? It doesn’t work that way
necessarily, in the world. Now if you’re shut up
in a closet somewhere, preaching to
believers, that’s fine. But when you’re
preaching to new converts and you’re preaching
out in the world, broadcasting, let’s say, I guarantee you, you’re going
to be thrashed here and there, and hopefully you’ll
have a thick skin. And you’ll say,
“God forgive them, “for they know
not what they do.” Idiots. (class laughs) They can’t help it,
they don’t know, seriously speaking, okay? But what happened at Philippi? Where this great
fight was going on? He was preaching the
Gospel and they beat him, beat his buddies, they
through him in jail, the Roman soldiers did. And I mean they put
him under lock and key and said you keep them there! Now Paul, a servant of
God, is a Roman citizen. Do you know what happens
to a Roman general that beats a Roman citizen
publicly without a trial? He’s in deep, deep trouble! So Paul and them, they’re
down at the jail singing, and an earthquake comes along. I mean it knocks the
doors off the place, the shackles fall loose,
and the jailer is ready to commit suicide,
because he knows Paul and them are gone and they’re
gonna kill him over it; and Paul says, “Don’t do that. “Stay that sword, because
we’re still here.” And the jailer said, “What
must I do to be saved?” Paul and them preached to him, his whole family was converted. So you see, from contention, we make hay while
the sun shines. God was in control. It come daylight, and the
jailer was kind of concerned what he was gonna do. And the leader sent
word, “Let those men go!” And Paul said, “No,
no, no, no, no, “don’t know why there’s
such a big hurry here. “Let them come and tell us.” Because he knew they
were in trouble. He was a Roman citizen,
and they had beat him, flogged him, Caesar would
be on their case like, well I won’t say it, started to. My old sayings are just
popping right out here and I think I better
withhold some of them, and it’s not
politically correct. (class laughs) Oh it is to me, but whatever. I mean, they were scared,
they had messed up. And finally, Paul
was gracious enough, he had accomplished
what he wanted: he saved two or three families. The Lord did through Paul. It accomplished what he wanted. The Word reigned supreme. Think about that
in your own life. That’s why you strive! That’s why you’re
oppressed and seized! That you can’t help it. You have to make a stand. If you think I’m
telling you you need to become a religious fanatic, you don’t know me very well. You work in a cool,
slow, methodical manner. You get it done. When it’s too deep for
everybody else to plow, just the way we like it. Okay? Be well enough
informed in God’s Word, that you can do that. Cause your gonna,
sooner or later, if you decide to
teach, they’re gonna, “Well we’re gonna
bring you down here “and drag you over the coals.” Hey, let’s go! “We’re gonna question you.” Wonderful! Wonderful! Let’s get it on! So you wanna be well informed, as best you can, in God’s Word. But he said, “There was a
lot of contention there!” And so there was, you
can read of all that in Acts chapter 16, if you
wanna make a side note, verse three. As we continue chapter
two, I Thessalonians, “For our exhortation
was not of deceit, “nor of uncleanness,
nor in guile.” Our exhortation was
the Word of God. Chapter by chapter
and verse by verse. “But, as we were allowed of God “to be put in trust
with the Gospel.” With what? Gospel, what’s that? Good news! “Even so we speak;
not as pleasing men, “but God, which
trieth our hearts.” Do you know what that
word trieth means? If you did, you probably, I
think it was my last lecture. St assay. It’s like where they take
slag and gold and stuff, and put I in a furnace,
and melt that down to see how much
good stuff is there. That’s what God does to you. “But I don’t like to
be tested necessarily.” Well you should enjoy it, because if you got some
good stuff down there, He’s gonna find it, all right? God will test us. “Well then what does
He test us for?” To see if you can cut it. To see if you can contend. To see if He can trust you. To see if you love Him. To see if you’re
willing to make a stand. To see if you care
whether God is removed from your vocabulary. Does it make a difference? You bet it does. I tell ya, I think, you never should
personalize something, but for an old combat marine, the things that are
happening right now are bothering me a
great, great deal. You know, some of us old
boys from World War II and the Korean Conflict know
how to take care of business. And there’s a lot
of things right now we could be taking care business where they’re just talking. But the most serious thing,
now listen to me carefully, that might be good for
an old combat marine to not like what they’re
doing to our children, cause maybe he
thinks he knows how to take care of business
a little better. You don’t believe it, let
them hit one of our Humvee and then come around,
and throwing rocks at it, and shooting at it. Do you know what that means? They hate your guts. That’s the ones you
wanna get rid of. Teach a little respect,
and dignity, rules of war. Okay, now I won’t go
any further with that. But what’s more serious,
far more serious than that, is Christians that
won’t make a stand concerning the name of God. The Ten Commandments
in a courthouse, where law is suppose
to be administered. That we let a lot
of legal beagles, that haven’t got enough sense to pour water out a window,
is that the way that goes? I think that’s what the… And this is the
way it should be, what’s right is right and
what’s wrong is wrong period! When it comes to dealing with
the name of our Father, okay. So where was I here? That’s the most serious thing, is to not make a stand for God! Okay? Now, what we taught was, we
didn’t try to please men. “Well, you should
try to please men.” No you shouldn’t! You should please God and
it will please the men you should care about. You got it? There’s so much love
in what I just stated, some people could take
that the wrong way. But if you go around
trying to please men, most of them don’t wanna
hear the Word of God, friend. So what’re you gonna do? You’re not gonna
do, that’s what. So if you teach the Word, and the men are drawn to
that Word as it is written, then you’ve
accomplished something: you’ve pleased God and
those that God would have it to please. Verse five, “For neither at any time
used we flattering words, “as ye know, nor a cloak of
covetousness; God is witness.” We didn’t just try to say
thinks pleasing to men, we taught it the
way it was, okay? And, beloved, that’s
the way it should be. And you’re gonna have
people that are gonna say, “Well you might
drive somebody away.” Well good. If they can’t stand the truth, you don’t want
them there anyway. They’ll cause you trouble,
they will disrupt your class. All right? “Well but, don’t you
want them saved?” Of course, but there’s some
not fit to save just yet. But we got the millennium coming and the love of
Christ is supreme. But when you have people
that have tender ears, don’t let the wolves
rip the ears off, okay? The Word, to the
wise, is sufficient. Verse six, “Nor of
men sought we glory, “neither of you,
nor yet of others, “when we might have
been burdensome, “as the apostles of Christ.” We didn’t seek any
praise from you. We only want you to pr, and you shouldn’t,
you should praise God. You should stand at
the foot of that Cross and praise Him. He’s the one that
brought all this to us. He is the one that makes
it possible in your life to say, “Father,
I need strength.” And He gives it to you. He touches you, and
you have that strength. You’re His child,
why wouldn’t He? Verse seven, “But we
were gentle among you, “even as a nurse
cherisheth her child.” You can’t, a mother
nursing her child, you can’t find
anything more tender and loving than that. Okay? It’s the picture,
the essence of love. Eight, “So being
affectionately desirous of you, “we were willing to
have imparted unto you, “not the Gospel of God only,
but also our own souls, “because ye were dear unto us.” That’s Christian love. That’s family. That’s caring. All right? That means putting man aside and thinking about
our Father’s Word, and how desperately,
desperately, desperately, it is needed in
this world today. Let me tell you something,
God has given us a platform that goes into millions
and millions of homes. Let me tell you,
they’re starving. They’re hungry. They’re starving for
truth: the Truth. Well what’s the Truth? God’s Word! And they are attuned to it. Those that have eyes to
see and ears to hear. It’s time, it’s the season, and that love needs to go forth. Verse nine, “For you
remember, brethern, “our labor and travail: for
laboring night and day.” “Well I don’t know if
I wanna start preaching “if you gotta work
night and day! “I wanna get some
of that easy money.” You know I heard a
man say that one time. He said, “I’m gonna go…” Do I wanna say
what’s, “I’m going “to the Methodist seminary so
I can be a Methodist preacher “and get in on some
of that easy money.” And I told him, “I
think you’re thinking “about the wrong reasons
for teaching God’s Word.” Well he didn’t last. I don’t think he even
made it through seminary. Laboring night and day, Paul
never took a salary, okay? He practiced his own trade. “Because we would not be
chargeable unto any of you, “we preached unto you
the Gospel of God.” 10, “Ye are witnesses,
and God also, “how holily and
justly and unblameably “we behaved ourselves
among you that believed.” That’s the way
teachers should do. And that’s the
way you should do. You’re going to be
abused, my friends. You’re going to be insulted. But don’t let that, don’t
let that hack you off, okay? Often, they don’t know
what they’re doing. I have some interesting
things written about me that I’ve never experienced. Thank God. But I don’t know how I
got left out of the story, but they seem to like
to write about it. What I’m saying is,
it’s pretty rough stuff! But ignore it. Never let it prevent you from
teaching the love of Christ. In Christ love. Don’t let them steal your
praise for the Father. Verse 11, “As ye
know how we exhorted “and comforted and
charged every one of you, “as a father doth his children.” Treated you like our own. And spiritually they were. “That we would walk
worthily of God, “Who hath called you.” Now, underline that in your
mind, “Who hath called you.” “Well I thought I volunteered?” Some of you He called and
He had a reason for it. Some of you knew and
know you have a destiny and a purpose, and
you’ve known it since you were a little pumpkin. All right? That God had something
special for you: it’s called His Word. “Hath called you unto
His Kingdom and glory. “And for this cause also
thank we God without ceasing, “because, when ye
received the Word of God “which you heard of us, “you received it not
as the word of men.” Don’t listen to the
word of men, my friend, unless it’s a business deal, has nothing to do with Church. “But as it is in
truth, the Word of God, “which effectually worketh
also in you that believe.” Follow those that believe. All right. Timothy, poor lil ol’ Timothy. We’re gonna go over
there, same thing. Go with me to I Timothy. Chapter six. When you go out into the world, when you visit churches
and you talk with people, and you’re gonna find
all kinds of doctrines. How do you know true doctrine? It’s whether it aligns
with God’s Word. It’s that simple. It doesn’t take a
rocket scientist to know if someone’s teaching falsely. Chapter six, verse three,
“If any man teach otherwise, “and consent not
to wholesome words, “even the words of
our Lord Jesus Christ, “and to the doctrine which
is according to godliness. “He is proud.” That means he’s puffed
up, he’s a fool. “Knowing nothing.” And he’ll tell you he knows
everything, all right? Knows nothing! “But doting about questions
and strifes of words.” Kind of sick in the mind,
also a fool, if you would. “Whereof cometh.” What does it bring forth? We’ll lock it down. “Envy, “strife, “railings, “evil surmisings.” Do you wanna surmise something? Surmise it from God’s Word. This is to say
“evil surmisings.” This is to say, conclusions
drawn with no evidence. Don’t you ever listen
to someone teach, that does not document or
bring forth the evidence from God’s Word, of exactly
what is being taught: it won’t stand, it will
fall, it is no good. Five, “Perverse disputings
of men of corrupt minds, “and destitute of the truth, “supposing that
gain is godliness: “from which withdraw thyself.” In other words, they’re gonna pass the
plate and beg half the time. All right? You can count on it. That’s what it amounts to. Six, “But godliness,”
on the other hand, “But godliness with
contentment is great gain.” Self sufficiency is
contentment, all right? Self sufficiency, that is one that you haven’t
made something up, you didn’t draw it out
of the dark, the blue, but you documented it and
built a solid foundation on the Rock; and
that Rock is Christ and His Word. I’m sorry friend,
you can get hooked up with some wrong people. Do they mean well? We don’t have to
judge them, all right. You are to spiritually
discern from the Word of God. And what do you do about it? Well you have to make
your own mind up. Verse seven, “For we brought
nothing into this world, “and it is certain we
can carry nothing out.” And that is true, with
the exception of one thing that does go out with you, and the documentation for it is Revelation
chapter 14 verse 13. Your works do follow you. You don’t necessarily take
them, they follow you. I got a pretty good reason why it says there they
can follow you, because it’s already
there in the book. All right. Got it written right
down here in the book. All right. But uh, you can’t. What his point is,
what do you wanna worry about building something
up so fantastic here in this dispensation? Because you were born naked,
you didn’t have nothin’, and most likely, I could
take that one step further, if you don’t have
any righteous acts, you’re gonna be
naked in Heaven also. And that’s kind of
a bad shape, friend. Ain’t got nothin’ here and
ain’t gonna have nothin’ there. Love Him. Follow Him. Let Him be where your
interest lies: in serving Him and pleasing Him, not men. Verse eight, “And having food and raiment
let us be therewith content.” Don’t be over
anxious, don’t worry. Okay? You get a lot of worry warts, and boy I mean if they don’t
have everything laid out just right it’s, boy
get that worry hat. “Get my worry bonnet out!” It won’t help! It’s a waste of time! Trust God, okay? Verse nine, “But they
that will be rich “fall into temptation
and a snare, “and into many foolish
and hurtful lusts, “which draw men in
destruction and perdition.” You know, I would hope
that everyone in this room could be rich without
that happening to them. It is true that probably
wealth makes temptations fall easier in your face, but then it shouldn’t,
it really shouldn’t. “Why wouldn’t riches?” Riches are God’s blessings. God’s blessings should
be exactly that to you. A blessing! Not something harmful. So do you understand
what I’m saying? It’s a frame of mind. Strictly a frame of mind. That if you have
God’s blessings, thank Him for it, but don’t
lose sight of what is important; and that’s helping others. Okay, and let me, let
me say, you don’t, I’m not talking about helping
them with your riches, helping them with
the Word of God, which is the true
riches of the world. Okay, 10, did we get there? “For the love of money
is the root of all evil: “which while some
coveted after.” Which some coveted
after, they loved it! Okay, it came first. “They have erred from the faith, “and pierced themselves
through with many sorrows.” You don’t, it’s such a waste, to love money, okay? And I’m not gonna go there, but I’m gonna tell
you something, if you have a roof, if you have, verse eight, is having
food and raiment. If you got clothing,
you got what you need, if you’re really really
wealthy, you gotta worry about, “Well, what am I gonna
do about taxes now? “And where am I
gonna invest this? “And where am I
gonna invest that? “And who’s gonna try
to rip me off here? “And who’s gonna try
to rip me off there?” It’s not happy Jack, all right. It’s not necessarily
what some people would choose it to be. The riches of God are fantastic, and those that have them know
how to handle it I suppose. Verse 11, “But
thou, oh man of God, “flee these things.” Keep away from them. “And follow after righteousness, “godliness, faith, love,
patience, and meekness.” You know what, that
builds character. That’s what you wanna have. That makes you somebody. That makes you different. That makes you, when
you walk in a room, people can notice. Verse 12, this is
why we came here, “Fight the good fight,”
and that’s the title of this lecture. This is agon again. “Fight the good fight of faith, “lay hold on eternal life.” Don’t choose Hell,
don’t choose death. “Whereunto thou art also called, “and hast professed
a good profession “before many witnesses.” So, how beautiful the fight is. Paul fought the good fight. As a matter of fact, we’re
gonna go there in closing: where he did fight
the good fight. II Timothy. For those of you
that don’t know, II Timothy comes
after I Timothy. (class laughs) I’m checking to see if
people were awake here. And in II Timothy, we’re
gonna take chapter four. And we’re gonna pick
it up with verse one. This was suppose to be a
very short lecture today. So let’s just get
right to it, okay? Chapter four, II
Timothy, verse one, “I charge thee
therefore before God, “and the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s pretty
serious, my friend. “Who shall judge the
quick and the dead “at His appearing
and His Kingdom.” When He comes back, that’s
His duty, is to judge. “Preach the Word; be
instant in season.” Rightly dividing the Word, okay? “Out of season; reprove, rebuke, “exhort, with all
longsuffering and doctrine.” Now isn’t saying, “Just be a sweet
little preacher, “going down there and
police what men say, “ride bicycles or whatever it
takes to get them in there, “put a five dollar bill
under some of the chairs.” I actually new a
man that did that. To get people to come to Church. If you’re that hard
up for students, you’re not a teacher. Teachers don’t have to beg
people to come: they come. Exhort! By what? Teaching God’s Word
as it is written! Making no excuses or
apologies to anyone. Rightly dividing the
Word in season and out. Three, “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.” That’s to say teachers that
will say nice things to them. “I just feel a blessing
for you today, dear one.” May not know them
from come sick ’em. “You’re such a sweet person.” Well, how do you know? Why are you judging them? Sweet things are
God’s Word taught. Don’t listen to a man
pleaser, all right? Don’t listen to somebody
that just tickles ears, okay? Four, “And they shall turn
away their ears from the truth, “and shall be
turned unto fables.” That’s the sad part, my friend. False doctrine, which
sends people to Hell. That’s bad, very bad. “But watch thou in all things, “endure afflictions, do
the work of an evangelist, “make full proof
of thy ministry.” You do your homework. Don’t copy some other man. Did you hear what I said? Don’t copy some
other man’s gift. Study God’s Word and do
it yourself, all right? Because, if you’re not careful, then the next thing you know, you’ll be teaching the man
instead of the Word of God. You got it? Teach God’s Word,
not man’s word. “For I am now ready
to be offered, “and the time of my
departure is at hand.” That’s what Paul is saying here. Verse seven, why we came here, “I have fought a good fight.” And that’s from Paul. “I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith: “Henceforth, there
is laid up for me “a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,
shall give me at that day: “and not to me only,
but unto all them also “that love His appearing.” Do you? Are you going to love
to see His appearing? If you’ve been worshiping
the false Messiah, you’re not gonna love it. Okay? But you’re gonna be glad
to see Him when He comes. Paul says, “I’ve
fought the good fight.” “Well he was sure
a sweet preacher” He was beaten, shipwrecked, received one minus 40 stripes, many time saying, “I thought
for sure we were gonna die, “and all I could do was
put it in God’s hands.” He fought the good fight. Now, thank goodness
we’re not exposed, yet, to that kind of,
those kind of things. But, you are exposed
to ridicule, mocked, and so forth, when you
really make a stand for God. I don’t know. Do you want that crown? It’s yours. All you gotta do is earn it. You thought I was gonna
say claim it, didn’t ya? You gotta earn it! Paul did. Well how did Paul earn it? Fighting the good fight. Making a difference! They cannot take God
out of our vocabulary. He is our Father. Heavenly Father, we
thank You, Father, for the privilege
of serving You. We thank You for that privilege. Let all these be a blessing to whom they come
in contact with. In Jesus name, amen.