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The Preaching Ezine (the newsletter of Preachology.com)
Issue #025, April 27, 2013
What's in this Issue:
1. Have a great Sunday!
2. Sermon on "Salvation of the Whole Man" (at bottom of ezine)
3. New sermons, outlines, and illustrations link to preachology.com!
4. You could have your own sermon web page on Preachology.com!!
Mark Hollingsworth here. I hope you are looking forward to a great Lord's Day this Sunday and I hope you had a great Wednesday Prayer Service or small group meeting this week. Mother's Day is in a couple of weeks!
2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Happy Mother's Day on May 12!
from the Hollingsworth Family.
2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
What's New at Preachology.com?
Keep praying for us as we minister at the Prison to the prisoners and the officers and pray as Janey and I minister at the church as well.
I am praying for you and your ministry and enjoy hearing from you with your prayer requests.
Let me remind you again preachers and teachers that you can have your own Preachology sermon web page. After you submit 15 or more sermons on the "Your Sermons" page (and let me know you have submitted 15 sermons), I will then move your sermons to a page of your own where you can continue to add sermons and invite your family, friends, and followers to view your work. When they visit your page, they can make comments about each of your sermons.
Several preachers have now submitted 15 sermons and have their own sermon web page. They have submitted some great sermons. Check them out and then get your own page!
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In the near future you can start and/or continue your ministry education right here at Preachology Bible Institute. We will have a Certificate Program and a Diploma Program, depending on whether you just want to study the Bible and receive a certificate of achievement or whether you want to pursue a diploma that can lead to a bachelor's, master's, and/or doctor's degree. Look for all the details on this ezine and on our website very soon.
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SALVATION OF THE WHOLE MAN
I Thessalonians 1:1-10
The Lord Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross between two thieves. One of these thieves certainly must have been touched by the Spirit of Cod, for he looked up to Christ in faith and cried out, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus answered, “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” So Christ took this man home to heaven and he has been there ever since. I am sure that since that time many other men have been saved in the last moments of life. But that is the salvation of the soul only. It is not salvation of the whole man.
Salvation of the whole man includes salvation of life as well as salvation of soul. That is the reason that we plead with people to give themselves to Christ early in life. In my text Paul is writing of the three stages in complete salvation. He explains what had happened to the Thessa-lonians:
I. They turned to God from idols
II. They served the living and true God
III. They waited for God’s Son from heaven
I. THEY TURNED TO GOD FROM IDOLS
That is the beginning of salvation. Everyone who wants to be saved must make a turn. They must turn from self and sin to the Savior. These people had turned from idols unto God. Now of course none of you has ever worshiped the kind of idols that they worshiped. But an idol is any-thing chosen above God. You can never be saved until you have turned that thing down and chosen God instead. Are we making salvation too easy today? The old theo¬logians demanded complete crucifixion of will as a ground for salvation. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ.” Now that meant something. But today we make it too easy. We don’t demand much in order for a person to become a member of the church. Then we let them continue as members with even fewer demands upon them. Today a person can do most anything and live most any way and still be in good standing in a church. But getting back to the original point, let me say that turning to God from idols is the beginning of salvation. If some idol is in your heart today, if there is something that takes precedence over the Lord, why not turn from that thing today and come to God through faith in Jesus Christ. A “turning from” is the first point in salvation.
"We usually think of an idol as a religious figure carved out of wood or stone, perhaps in some primitive tribe far removed from civilization. But we have our "idols" today, because an idol is anything that you worship in place of the living God. Some people worship the idol of beauty or sexual pleasure. Some people worship the idol of money and security... Some people worship at the shrine of power."
II. THE CENTRAL POINT IN SALVATION IS SERVING GOD
Our works do not save us, but if we are truly saved we will serve the Lord. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Service to Cod is one of the fruits of salvation. Now how can we serve Him best?
1. We can serve God by the way we live. The best service you can render God is to lead a consecrated Christian life. No one can fully estimate the power and in¬fluence of a good life. The Christians of the first century lived wonderfully for Christ. Their neighbors watched them and soon they were saying, “These people are different. They have been with Jesus.” Oh, if we can live in such a way that others can see Jesus in us we will be serving God in a wonderful way.
A young American teacher was employed in a Japanese government school. They gave him to understand that he was never to mention Christ or Christianity to the students. He kept his promise but his life was so pure and his spirit was so kind that the students began to seek for the secret of his life. After a few months a large group of students gave their hearts to the Christ whom they knew he followed. Later some of them entered the ministry. Some people are not able to witness and talk loudly for Christ, but in living good lives they become wonderful witnesses and servants for God.
Do you want to serve God in a real way? Then don’t hold anything back. Give Him all of the keys. Give up that little sin. Give up that bad habit which keeps you from being a consecrated Christian. Give yourself to Him in complete surrender.
2. We can serve God by giving Him our time. Time is a great problem to many people today. You try to get them to do things for God and they say, “I don’t have time.” Well, everyone has some time that they don’t spend in eating and sleeping and working. In fact, the working hours for most people are shorter than ever before. Then why don’t they have time to give to the things of Christ? There is just one answer. They are giving too much time to the things of the world, the things that don’t count for God, the things that will die with the setting sun, the things that bring no heavenly reward.
A young woman was the teacher of a Sunday school class. Most of the girls in the class were from poor homes. She had a tremendous opportunity to give out some of her Christian experience and love to these little starved hearts and minds. But one day the superintendent received her resignation. She said that she didn’t have time and strength to give to the class. The trouble was that she was mixed up with so many others things. When she became pressed for time the first thing she gave up was her opportunity to serve God. I have seen this same thing happen hundreds of times. Too many Christians are too busy for service to God. They are giving their time and their energy to the institutions and organizations of this world. Is that a sin? Yes, it is a sin to give to the world the time and energy that belongs to God.
I am glad that God is not too busy to serve us. When we were lost He had time to feel sorry for us and give His Son to die for our sins. Today when we need, things He has time to provide them. “My God shall supply every need of yours, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” When we need comfort He has time to put His arms around us and say, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And when we come to the end of the way He will have time to take us to heaven and give us an eternal home. Why can’t we treat God a little more like He h-eats us? Why don’t you as a Christian turn away from some of these other things and serve God with your time?
3. We can serve God by giving Him our talents. God gives us every talent that we have, and every talent ought to be used for Him. But many people are using their talents for the world instead of God. Other people say that they have no talents, so they do nothing for the Lord. But every one can do something for the Christ who gave His all for them. If you cannot speak or sing you can at least be faith¬ful and thus be an inspiration to others. Maybe all that you can do is just come to church and give God a tenth of your income. That also is serving God.
A rich woman gave liberally to her church and to missions. But she was not satisfied. She felt that this was not enough, she wanted to do something else. So she went to the mission office and offered her services. They told her that they needed no help except for someone to wrap bundles of literature. She promptly said that she would be glad to do this. So day after day this rich woman came and wrapped the bundles. This was a humble, tedious service, but she gladly gave herself to it. That is what we need to¬day — people who are willing to do anything that they can for God.
A young woman had an unusual talent for playing the violin. She often played at dances but she felt a little un¬comfortable in these surroundings. Then one evening she attended a revival service. In that service she heard the Saviour calling her and she gave her heart to Him. But she was not fully satisfied simply by receiving the salvation of her soul. The next evening she came to church again. When the invitation was given at the close of the service she walked down the aisle, carrying her violin. She laid this violin upon the altar. She was simply saying that she wanted both her life and her talent to be consecrated and dedicated to the service of Christ. After that meeting her violin was used only in a way that God could bless it.
Your talents may be small, but if you turn them over to Christ He can use them and you will be happier because of it.
4. We can serve God by telling others about Christ. The greatest trust that God has put in our hands is the gospel message of salvation. The old, old story is the one that transforms lives. What would your life be worth today if you had not heard it? What hope would you have if you didn’t know Jesus? Who will tell others about Him i~ we don’t do it? We can tell the story at home in person and we can tell the story around the world through out gifts and our prayers.
A young girl who had just finished college was won¬dering what her life work would be. She felt that she had no special talents. Then one day she found Jesus Christ as her Saviour. She prayed earnestly, “Lord, if there is any¬thing I can do for Thee, if there is any service that I can render, I am ready.” She began to dream about working in some foreign field. But the door to such service seemed closed at the time so she just waited. While she waited she taught a class of junior girls and put her best into the teach¬ing of the Bible and winning the girls to Christ. Years have gone by and she is still teaching in the Junior Department. Every year through her influence the new girls in her class are saved and they join the church. Her life is counting for God right at home. So can yours and mine.
Two girls came home from college for the Christmas holidays. The first girl began to plan social events for the holidays — dances, skating parties and other forms of enter¬tainment. Three weeks rushed by and then she went back to college. She had been to church only one time and she was late on that occasion. She never thought of contribut¬ing anything to the life of her church during the holidays. The other girl reached home and planned her schedule. She didn’t forget Christ. One afternoon she invited to her home some of the girls who had not been invited to any parties. Among them there was one girl who was not a Christian. They had a wonderful time. The Christian girl did not hesitate to tell what Christ meant to her life. She went back to college in a happy frame of mind. Two weeks later she received a letter from the lost girl telling that she had been saved, had joined the church and was trying to serve the Lord. Even a vacation can be used for the glory of God. You can serve God by telling others about His Son.
5. We can serve God by the right use of our money. The least that any Christian ought to give is the tithe. This ought to be given to God through the local church. This vein of teaching runs all through the Bible. Every Christian owes God at least a tenth of his income, then the other nine-tenths is to be used rightly for His glory. And when you give God His tenth the other nine-tenths goes farther. Every Christian can testify to this fact.
In a recent article a preacher said that if a Christian tried tithing for one year, he couldn’t give it up. He simply meant that God would bless that Christian in such a man¬ner that he couldn’t afford to give up tithing. Oh, I hear someone saying, “I tried to tithe and I had a harder time than ever.” You mean that you started tithing and then when something happened you quit tithing. You didn’t give God a chance. If you live a consistent Christian life and give God His part, I know that He will bless you. He promises to do so and He always keeps His promise.
Did you ever think of what the church has done for you? It cared for you in the nursery as a baby. It provided a Sunday school where you were taught the Bible. Then it brought the message of salvation to you and helped you to find Christ. The church prays for you when you are sick, brings you comfort in time of sorrow and welcomes you back when you have gone astray. Every other institu¬tion asks who you are and what you have to offer. The church opens wide its arms and says, “No matter who you are, come in and let us help you.” Christ put the church here to help you. It will help you if you give it a chance. Don’t you think you owe the church something? Don’t you think you owe God something? God says that you owe Him at least a tenth and this tenth is to go through the church.
In Texas some years ago there was a preacher who was making $1,500 per year. He believed in tithing but he had a big family and felt that he couldn’t take care of his family if he tithed. He simply didn’t have enough faith. Then a rich man who did tithe offered him a challenge. He said, “I want you to tithe every month. If you ever miss the money or need it just write to me and I will send you a check to cover what you have given.” The agreement was made and the preacher began giving a tithe every month. Things worked out so well and God blessed him so richly that he never had to ask the wealthy man for a cent. At the end of the year he was very happy that he had been tithing. But then he was filled with shame. He had believed the rich man who had told him that he would stand by him if he tithed, but he hadn’t believed the God who had offered to do the same thing. Outside of your salvation one of the biggest blessings that can come to you is learning to trust God. He said that He would take care of you if you brought His tithe into the storehouse. Don’t you believe it?
Now God doesn’t need our financial help. He owns everything. Tithing is not just a case of God trying to get our money. He knows what tithing will mean to us. There¬fore He graciously gives every Christian an opportunity to co-operate with Him. He wants us to love Him, to trust Him and put Him first. Then the Almighty God of heaven promises to take care of us.
The secretary of the British Mission Society called upon a merchant to help financially in some special mission work. The merchant wrote out a check for $250.00. Just then a cablegram was handed him. He said to the mission secretary, “One of my ships has been lost at sea. This makes a great difference in my affairs, I will have to change the check.” The secretary said that he understood and handed the first check back to the merchant. The merchant then gave him another check and to his surprise he learned that it was written for $1,000.00. He told the man that he must have made a mistake. Then the merchant said, “No, I haven’t made a mistake. I read between the lines of this cablegram and I saw the words, ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth.’”
Christ gave the great commission to His church. He has told us to go into the entire world with the Gospel message. The only way you can do this is through the budget of your church. The work of that budget starts at home and ex¬tends to the ends of the earth. Don’t be a little, narrow, selfish Christian. Get into the entire program of your church and let the stream of your money and influence go out to the ends of the earth.
A lighthouse stood on a rugged coast and many ships and many lives were in the keeping of the man who ran the lighthouse. Each month he received just enough fuel to last one month. But one day a woman came and asked for some oil for her stove so that she could warm her only child. The man gave her this oil. Then he gave some oil to a father so that his son might read at night. Then he gave another man some oil that was needed for his engine. He kept on giving out this fuel and near the end of the month his sup¬ply was gone. That night the light in the lighthouse went out. There was a storm on the sea the same night. A ship went down and scores of people lost their lives. The next morning a government agent came to the lighthouse and said to the keeper, “Last night your light was out and a ship went down.” The keeper began telling him how he had given the fuel out for good causes. Then the agent said to him, “You were given one task above all others. You were to keep this light burning. The other demands for fuel were secondary. Your light went out, the ship went down and scores were lost. For this there is no defense.”
My friend, we are the lighthouse-keepers of the world. We have one task above all others. We are to keep the Gospel lights burning. We have no right to take the oil for God’s light and use it on something else. It is all right for you to pay for your home. It is all right for you to ride in a nice car and have many of the comforts of life. But you must not take away from God’s money. The Bible teaches that the “tithe is the Lord’s.” You have no more right to take that money and use it for yourself than you have the right to rob a drug store cash register and use that money for yourself.
The wonder and the beauty of giving are the way that God pays off. A man who lives faithfully for Christ and tithes his income is paid off in this world and the world to come. God will take care of you down here. He will fill your life with blessings, both material and spiritual. At the end of the way He will have a reward in heaven for you. You can’t outgive God — you can’t improve on God’s way. I challenge you to tithe and watch Him bless you.
III. THEY WAITED FOR HIS SON FROM HEAVEN
I do not have time to dwell on this thought. We are to turn from idols, we are to serve the living God, and we are to wait for His Son from heaven.
Yes, one day we are going to face Christ. When we meet Him face to face surely we want to be able to say, “Lord, I did my best for You.” Then He will smile and say, “Come on in, I am pleased with what you have done.” And when we see that smile we will know that it was worth it all to follow Him and give Him our best.
The people of Martinique sent representatives to that smoldering volcano, Mount Pelee, to see what the condition was in 1902. They returned and gave false reports and the city slept on, in all its vice. Nature took warning and the reptiles commenced crawling down the mountain side, birds left their nests, and the cattle and the sheep took warning. Then old Mount Pelee belched forth, and about 40,000 people perished. They heard then too late the sound of the trumpet.
There are those today who are giving false reports concerning Christ's coming to earth again. They say that the disciples expected Him to return while they were living and He didn't come, so He won't come now. Others are saying when this old world is reformed He will come but not until then. These are false reports. Christ said, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 25:13).
Don't be fooled like the people of Martinique. Watch, pray, and be ready for He may come tonight or even today. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Be ready when the trumpet shall sound.
By William Moses Tidwell, "Effective Illustrations."
Dr. A. J. Gordon tells of two sisters who were very near and dear to one another. One was a Christian, and the other was not. The Christian girl was constantly seeking to lead the unbelieving one to the Lord Jesus Christ. One night she persuaded her to attend church service with her. The minister preached from Matthew 24, where it says that when Jesus comes in the air to call His sons from the earth one will be taken and the other left. He preached a stirring sermon. The Christian girl hoped very much that the sermon would lead her sister to salvation; but the unbelieving one did not seem to be impressed by what had been said. The two girls slept together. That night the Christian one was so burdened for her sister that she could not sleep. She crept from the bed and went into another room to pray. In the meantime the unsaved girl awoke, and missing her sister wondered where she was. As she layed there, the sermon being uppermost in her thought, she wondered if her Christian sister had been taken. The horror of having been left behind made such an impression on her that she cried to the Lord for salvation. Such a scene will be a reality -- one will be taken and one will be left!
William Moses Tidwell, "Effective Illustrations."
"When they saw the star they rejoiced" A cause of terror to one person, is a cause of joy to another. The baying of a hound on his track strikes dismay to a hunted robber in the woods. The same sound would give cheer to a lost child when he knew it was his father's hound in search of him. It makes all the difference in the world, at which end of the cannon you stand when it is being fired in battle. Its belching fire is the same in either case; but in one instance it is against your enemies, and in the other against you. There is no more terrible thought possible to the opposers of God, than that the Lord reigneth and that He is sure to put down all His enemies. There is no thought more comforting than this to the Christian believer.
There was an underwitted, but a faith-filled, Scotch lad in this country at the time of the great meteoric shower of November, 1833. When on every side men and women were that night in terror at the thought that the hour of final doom had come, this lad's mother aroused him from his sleep with a cry: "Sandy, Sandy, get up, will you? The Day of Judgment has come!" Instantly, the boy was alive to that call, and was on his feet shouting: "Glory to God! I'm ready!"
When the loving followers of Jesus see signs of His appearance, they rejoice with exceeding great joy. --The Clerical Library
As we returned from Vacation Bible School one summer day, my young daughter Melissa asked if we could stop at the library. When I asked her why, she explained, "This morning my teacher told me that the only way we get to heaven is if our name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. I just want to make sure that my name is in there!" --Nora Newport