If We Really Believed

THE WATCHMAN

if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand
(Ezekiel 33:6 NKJV)


What does that say of those who refuse to open their mouth to those around them because of fear of rejection?
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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #12

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet- smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God
(Ephesians 5:1-5 NKJV)


Last week we looked at Ephesians 5 and discussed pornography in relation to fornication listed in this portion of this letter. Obviously, fornication means more than pornography. Unfortunately, the church has moved into a very liberal stance of God’s word. Many believe that sex outside of marriage is not wrong in the eyes of God. Get Paul makes clear that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Now I want to show you something that convicted me the first time I had ever read it; and I believe it will convict almost every Male Christian (At least in America). Look at what Paul confronts the church about in verse four. He lists foolish talking and coarse jesting.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #11

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet- smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God
(Ephesians 5:1-5 NKJV)


We are going to camp out here for a couple weeks. When reading the letters of Paul we need to remember the context that it is a letter written to a church. Then, We look at Paul’s words, like we see here, and we see very stout statements.

According to statistics, as many as 50% of churchgoers today struggle with a porn addiction. 50% of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a promise keepers stadium event. 54% of pastors say they have viewed pornography within the past year. And in 2003, Focus on the Family said that 47% of respondents to their poll said that porn is a problem in their home.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #10

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “ One thing you lack:Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “ How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God
(Mark 10:21-23 NKJV)


“A startling thing has happened among the Western Christians. Many of us, habitually, think and act as if there were no eternity or as if what we do in this present life has no eternal consequences.” He continues, “Without a doubt, the single greatest contributor to our inability to see money and possessions in their true light is our persistent failure to see our present lives through the lens of eternity.”
- Randy Alcorn / Money, Possessions and Eternity

The reason we can live in our abundance in this world, and ignore the 70% of the worlds population in poverty, is because we forget there is a world to come. Yes, we know its there but it's in the back of our mind while virtually every hour of every day we live not thinking that there is a life 100,000 years from now. If we fully understood that there is a life 100,000 years from now that was dependent upon how we live our lives today, we would live far differently in this 70 years average lifespan.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #9

Are you willing to come to Y’shua on HIS terms? We often set up our own terms. When we look at how we pitch Christianity, how we try to talk people into coming to Christ, and you will find terms that are foreign to the New Testament. The modern church wants to lead people to Christ through a following of the “Roman road” to Jesus: You believe these four spiritual laws, answer these questions correctly, pray this prayer and sign the card, raise your hand and declare your faith in Jesus; and your saved. Y’shua told none of His followers to do these things - none of them.

“ If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish. ’ 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple
(Luke 14:26-33 NKJV)

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #8

In Isaiah chapter 58 God is telling his people that they’re fasting doesn’t mean anything if you have no concern for the poor.

In Matthew chapter 25 Yeshua says if you do not feed the hungry or clothe the naked you will go to hell. The Jesus that we say we worship says this.

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker,
But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy
(Proverbs 14:31 NKJV)

Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard
(Proverbs 21:13 NKJV)

If you shut your ears to the cry of the poor, you pray and God does not hear you. You ignore the poor, go to Church on Sunday and sing songs to God, and the pray, God does not hear you.
He who gives to the poor will not lack,
But he who hides his eyes will have many curses
(Proverbs 28:27 NKJV)
Cursed for ignoring the poor.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #7

Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:26)


We often look at this statement and think about a verbal statement in rejecting Christ. There are other passages that specifically talk about the rejection of Christ but this is not the context of what Y’shua is talking about in this statement.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #6

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
(Luke 9:23-26 NIV)


To us, the cross looks like a beautiful thing. But, when you look at Christ’s statement in the 1st century context you get something totally different. The cross was a punishment for criminals that was meant to be as brutal and demeaning as humanly possible. This would be like you guys coming here and I tell you, “You can not be a follower of Christ unless you pick up your electric chair and follow Him.” Now that’s weird enough, but that death is still less painful and less demeaning than the cross.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #5

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person
(1 John 3:17)


In America more than 65% of the population believes they are “Born Again”. When Y’shua was talking to Nicodemus He said that one must be born of water and spirit. While Nicodemus was confused, this was a statement that he should have known well (John 3:7, 10).

Y’shua was relating an Old Testament teaching to the term Born Again. Y’shua was not talking about baptism. In fact, baptism is no where in the context of this conversation. He was relating to facts that Nicodemus should have known and is seen most clear in Ezekiel 36 because they are back to back just as Y’shua stated it.

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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #4

I recently had a friend in Kenya ask me about the electricity in our homes. He seemed to be amazed at how cold it gets here, the snow, and about the homes being heated by electricity. I thought my reply to him should be of interest to us.

Here's what I wrote:

"You ask about electricity in the homes in America. I'm going to be very upfront an honest about what I'm seeing of American homes verses about 96% of the rest of the world (as told by the World Bank).

Almost all the houses are heated with electricity. Unlike your country where electricity is rare, in America, to have no electricity is rare. We live very strangely compared to most of the world. All the times that I've told you that I'm a bit ashamed at this country, this is why. I understand the blessing God has given us. I also understand the curse that upon us because most in America rather care for their own comforts than others.

So that you understand the context of what I'm talking about, I'm going to explain the average home in America.
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IF WE BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #3

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? ’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! ’
(Matthew 7:22-23 NIV)


What Y’shua is saying here is that it’s possible for me to stand before Him one day and hear Him say, “I never knew you”. It is possible for you to stand there before Him and for Him to say, “I never knew you”.

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IF WE REALLY BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #2

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
(Matthew 6:15 NIV)


One thing I’ve found is that people inside the church seem to be just as unforgiving as those outside the church. in fact, it seems that those inside the church wear their feelings on their sleeves a whole lot more than those outside the church. There is quite a bit of resentment towards individuals who they believe have done them wrong. One thing I understand from my life is that there is not one single person who has, or could do, more wrong to me then I have done to God.

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IF WE REALLY BELIEVED WHAT THE BIBLE SAID - #1

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned
(Matthew 12:36-37 NKJV)


If we REALLY Believed what the Bible said, would we be more careful about what we post on Facebook? Would we be more careful how we interacted with people? What manner of your speech would you change if there was a recorder following you around and you knew that what you said, what you typed, what you shared, could determine whether or not you get to spend eternity with the Creator? Guess what? There is such a recorder.

For the next week, let us watch what we say and do as if we really believed in what the Bible said, as if we really understood the depth of this passage. Then lets extend that week onto a month, year, lifetime.

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