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Pastor Dan's 
Sermon Outlines

Pastor Dan Parton is pastor of
Timberline Baptist Church
512 Caņon Avenue
Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829

 

Whacha Guardin'?
Proverbs 4:23

Introduction: Preaching and teaching cannot always be on the positive side. Of necessity, there must be some negative things that are said. There must be warnings given, and sins must be preached against. When 
the Apostle Paul was helping Timothy to be a good pastor, he said, 

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2) 

Two thirds of preaching, according to Paul, is on the negative side.

In this chapter of Proverbs, we learn that Solomon is teaching his son Rehoboam how to live. He is teaching him what his father, David, taught him, 

"For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my 
words: keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:3-4)

- Dads, you would do well to do the same with your children!
- Sunday School teachers, you would do well to do the same with your students!
- Grandparents, you would do well to do the same with your grandchildren!

Here, we find a command. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) With the help of the Holy  Spirit, David knew that most of the problems we experience in this life come from the heart.

As you know (or should know), our hearts cannot be trusted. They are deceptive and desperately wicked, so says the Bible, "The heart is  deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" 
(Jeremiah 17:9) God even goes on to say that a person, who puts trust in  his heart, is a fool. 

"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool..." 
(Proverbs 28:26)

But it is not just that the human heart is deceptive but that it is more deceptive than anything else. Jeremiah said that "The heart is deceitful above all things!" Not only that, but when the prophet says that our  hearts are desperately wicked, he is telling us that the sin-sickness in our hearts are incurable. He is right! There is no human cure for the deceitfulness of our hearts. If the heart is left unguarded and unguided, it will always lead you astray!

* When our hearts are left unguarded, they determine for us how we will live our lives and how we will view life.

A heart, that is guarded, is less likely to lead you wrongly in the issues of life. Our trust is to be in the Lord with all our heart, NOT in our heart at all! "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean  not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

The word God uses for "keep" in Proverbs 4:23, is a word He uses 63 times in the Old Testament. It means "to guard, to protect, to preserve." It also means to keep secret so as to preserve it. David taught Solomon what Solomon now teaches Rehoboam: protect your heart, because every issue in life comes from it.

The Word of God says that all that is in the world is wrapped up in three things. 1 John 2:16 says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The world and its way of life seeks to have and keep a hold on you by using the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. 

- The lust of the flesh is the extreme desire to experience and enjoy the pleasures of the world.
- The lust of the eyes is the extreme desire to have or own something. The more you get, the more you desire to have.

The pride of life is the desire to be somebody. How tragic this is when even Christians desire to make a name for themselves. Remember, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour  rather than silver and gold." (Proverbs 22:1)

1.Guard your heart from the lust of the flesh. - Ecclesiastes 1:9

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is  done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

- The flesh has nothing new to offer. The devil has no new tricks, just new and improved tools.
- Our flesh is at war with our spirit.

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1)

Lester Roloff used to sing, "It's a battlefield, brother, not a recreation room; it's a fight and not a game..."
- If you do not guard your heart against the desire to experience all the pleasures of the world, you will end up experiencing them. Since the flesh wars against the spirit, to enjoy what God condemns, is sinful.

2. Guard your heart from the lust of the eyes. - Genesis 3:6

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

- Eve made a judgement based on the desire of her eyes.
- Joshua 7:21 tells us what happened when a man named Achan desired what his eyes wanted,

"When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."

-If you do not guard your heart against the extreme desire to have or own something, you will end up owning the things of the world.
- Since the flesh wars against the spirit, to own what God condemns, is 
sinful.

3. Guard your heart from the pride of life. - Proverbs 6:19

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood..."

- God hates pride. Notice He mentions it FIRST in the list of things He hates.
- Example: A self-deceived woman said to H.A. Ironside, "I haven't sinned in over 17 years!" Dr. Ironside replied, "That is truly a remarkable record, Madam. I suppose you are very proud of it!" The woman beamingly replied, "Oh, yes, I am!" How blinding is spiritual pride to one's true condition!
- The Bible speaks of a group of Christians who said, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." (Revelation 3:17)

- Years ago, one newspaper writer named Ralph McGill, wrote of himself, 

In matters controversial,
My prescription's very fine,
I always see both sides of things,
The one that's wrong and mine.

Those, who fall to pride, fall into the condemnation of the devil! "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:6)

Conclusion:

Sadly, some Christians guard the wrong things. Instead of hating what God hates, they justify it. Their hearts are filled with all that is in the world:

- The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

We are commanded not to love the world nor its things, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:15-6)

Hence, I ask the question, "Whacha guardin'?" Are you guarding, that is, are you protecting and preserving, the three enemies of the Christian life? Are you keeping them secret so as to preserve them? Or, are you guarding, that is, are you protecting and preserving, your heart? Are 
you keeping it protected so as to preserve it?

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:22-23

Past Feeling
Ephesians 4:14-24

Introduction: The admonition here is that God's people ought not become callous to the things of God. The word God uses for "past feeling" means to cease to feel pain or grief, to cease to feel pain at, to become cold-hearted, insensible to pain, and apathetic

"This is the way the heathen live from day-to-day, "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind..." (Ephesians 4:17)

One of the great dangers to the Christian life is that of becoming hardened to the things of God. It does happen even to the best of them:

* "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness." (Hebrews 3:8)
* "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13)
* "While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." (Hebrews 3:15)
* "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." (Hebrews 4:7)

There are many things that can cause our hearts to grow calloused to the things of the Lord. It happens to all of us at one time or another. I've never known anyone to not have a calloused heart at times. Have 
you? I think not.

Today, I want to address those things that can cause our hearts to grow spiritually calloused. It is a frightening thing to wake up and come to the realization that our hearts have grown calloused concerning the things of the Lord. All of us have times of spiritual callousness. If 
you have not been there yet, you will be. If you have been there already, you understand what I'm talking about. If your heart is calloused right now, you have wanted a way out. Well, here it is.

1. We first must examine the real cause for a calloused heart.

- It is not caused by what we think.

* It is not caused by rejection.
* It is not caused by denial.
* It is not caused by disapproval.
* It is not caused by dismissal.
* It is not caused by refusal.
* It is not caused by spurning.
* It is not caused by prohibition.
* It is not caused by restriction.
* It is not caused by exclusion.
* It is not caused by personal hurt.
* It is not caused by spiritual injury.
* It is not caused by disillusionment.
* It is not caused by having too much church.
* It is not caused by having too much fellowship.
* It is not caused by having too much serving the Lord.
* It is not caused by having too much of any good thing.

- For example, we hear that a person or city has become "Gospel-hardened (calloused)." This is simply not true. The preaching of the Word of God does not harden a person's heart. It is hardened by something else 
entirely.
- For example, we hear about Christian (young people) becoming hardened to the things of the Lord, because they hear too much preaching, etc. 

One youth pastor told me that he believed that the young people in our churches get too much preaching. Again I say, the preaching of the Word of God does not harden a person's heart. It is hardened by something 
else entirely.

2. Some, who claim to know Jesus, refuse to hear what the Word of God says.

* Matthew 13:15, "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
* Acts 28:27, "For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with 
their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
* Hebrews 5:11, "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing."

- When young people get ear infections, many times, the eardrum will burst under the pressure built up inside the ear. When this happens, the eardrum heals over and a scarred eardrum is the result.

When this scar tissue forms on the eardrum, there is a loss of hearing. In the same way, spiritually speaking, there is something that causes a dullness of hearing in Christian and non-Christian people. What is it? 

What caused  this callousness to develop?

3. A calloused heart is caused by one thing. - Hebrews 3:13

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."

- One's heart becomes calloused to the things of God through the deceitfulness of sin, that is, the deceptiveness of sin, and the misleading of sin. Hearts are hardened by SIN, not preaching!
- How foolish to think that the preaching of the Word of God can harden a person's heart! Preaching does not harden hearts!
- Sin is deceitful in that, after continued exposure to it, you become calloused to it and begin calling it good instead of evil, light instead of darkness, and sweet instead of bitter.

* "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)

- The Biblical conclusion is simple; if your heart is calloused to the things of God, it is because you have been messing around with sin.
- Your problem with God is not, nor ever has been, too much preaching. 
Your problem is a sin problem not a preaching problem.

Conclusion:

Have you fallen into the trap of believing your hard heart 
is because you are constantly exposed to preaching, therefore, you have become Bible-hardened? It is abundantly clear from Scripture that the hard heart is because of exposure to that which is sinful. 

James 1:13-16 gives us some insight into this truth,

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren." (James 1:13-16)

This is where many Christians err. They first entertain their lusts. Then, they sin and justify it by their lusts. The end result is death. When you mess with sin, it will change you. When it changes you, you will justify it. You have been deceived by sin and now your heart is 
calloused. You have become dull of hearing.

As I said at the onset of this message, it is a frightening thing to wake up and come to the realization that our hearts have grown calloused concerning the things of the Lord. Are you now "past feeling" concerning 
the Lord?

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

John 6:37

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Propitiation
Romans 3:21-31

Introduction: It has been said that there are some people whom you just cannot satisfy no matter what you do. I've met folks like that.

- Like the mom who thinks her daughter just cannot do anything right.
- Like the dad who thinks his son just cannot measure up.
- Like the teacher who believes his students will never amount to anything.

I'm thankful God is not that way! In fact, He is easy to satisfy. What would it take to satisfy Him? Does God's Word give us any idea what satisfies God?

1. Does walking uprightly satisfy God? - Psalm 15:1-2

"LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart."

- Walking uprightly certainly pleases the Lord.
- We also know that walking wickedly displeases the Lord greatly,

"For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest 
all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man." (Psalm 5:4-6)

- I believe God would much rather see man walking uprightly than wickedly.
- But does walking uprightly truly satisfy the Lord?

2. Does church attendance and membership satisfy God? - Acts 2:41-42

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued 
stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

- We know from Scripture that this pleases the Lord.
- After all, God purchased the church with His own blood, 

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath 
purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)

- Paul even exhorts us not to forsake the assembling together like some have chosen to do,

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love 
and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, 
as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- But does church attendance and membership truly satisfy the Lord?

3. Does working for the Lord satisfy God? - Ephesians 2:10

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

- Obviously, there are not enough workers to go around.
- Much of today's Christianity is the realization of the story of Henny Penny. Everyone wants to eat the bread, but no one wants to do what is 
necessary to make the bread.
- The songwriter aptly said, "My house is full, but my field is empty."
- We know it displeases the Lord when we quit doing His work.

* John Mark left Paul and went home for a while.
* Demas quit the ministry altogether.
* Peter also quit the ministry for a while and even took others with him.

- But does working for the Lord truly satisfy God?

We know God would be pleased if man would just do right. But the question still remains, "Do these things truly satisfy God?

1 John 2:2 says that Jesus is THE propitiation, not A propitiation, for our sins and the sins of the whole world, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

 We find this perfectly illustrated in the book of Isaiah 53, a chapter prophesying the death of the promised Messiah. (Read the chapter)

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is 
despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our 
sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his 
stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:1-6)

- This is why walking uprightly does not satisfy God. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28)
- This is why church attendance and membership cannot satisfy God.

 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy 
Ghost." (Titus 3:5) The church did not satisfy God by shedding its blood. But Jesus satisfied God when He shed His own blood!
- This is why working for God will not satisfy God. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith 
s counted for righteousness." (Romans 4:5)

Conclusion: Certainly there are things that please the Lord, but only Jesus satisfies the Lord. There is a difference. God is displeased when we place our trust for salvation only in that which pleases Him. Jesus 
is the propitiation, the only sacrifice that satisfied God.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:22-23

Basic Bible Stories
The Way of Salvation

Introduction: It is easy to be saved, complicated for God yet so simple for man. God said, "Come." Revelation 22:17, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that 
is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The way to get saved is to come to Jesus and trust Him by faith. It is the simple plan that God has made.

1. Outward conditions and emotions vary with different people. 

- The resulting feelings have nothing to do with salvation. Salvation is when a person realizes he is a sinner, and Christ is the Saviour, and by faith he turns to Christ for salvation.
- When the Apostle Paul was saved, the light shining around Paul didn't save him. Paul's falling on his face didn't save him, nor did the blinding save him. All of a sudden Paul said, "Who art Thou, Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:5a, 6a) That is what being saved is.
- Matthew was sitting one day at the seat of customs when Jesus came in the room. Matthew just left all and followed Jesus.
- The Bible tells us that Zacchaeus was up a tree when Jesus said, "And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." (Luke 19:5) Jesus went home with Zacchaeus, and Zacchaeus trusted Him and was saved.
- The thief on the cross simply said, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (Luke 23:42)
- The publican in Luke 18:13b beat on his chest and said, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
- The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36b, 37 said, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" He then answered the witness of Philip, "I believe."
- Even though there may have been different circumstances, environments, emotional responses, and atmospheres, all of these men got saved the same 
way: by trusting Christ. Salvation is wrapped up in one thing: just coming to Christ, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come..." (Revelation 
22:17)

2. New Testament figures of speech show salvation.

- Getting saved, is like letting someone in the door. Even though Revelation 3:20 refers primarily to revival, there is a sweet application here for salvation, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup 
with him, and he with me." If a friend came to see me and rang the bell or knocked on the door, I would say very simply, "Won't you come in, please." He would come in. Salvation is like that.
- Getting saved, is like taking a drink of water. Some people get so thirsty that when they take a drink of water they say, "Whoo-oo!" Some people say, "Ahh-hh-h!" Some just swallow it, and that is it. Who gets the most water? How it makes you feel doesn't have a thing to do with it. Jesus said getting saved is like taking a drink of water. You take a drink, and He comes in, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I 
shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." 
(John 4:14)
- Getting saved, is like receiving a gift. Romans 6:23b says, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Give a person a gift. He takes it. Is it his? Absolutely. The Bible says that salvation is that way, too. Jesus is God's "Unspeakable Gift." 
Eternal life is God's gift to man. Anybody, who will say, "I am willing to receive the gift," can very simply receive the gift of God.
- Getting saved, is like going through a door. John 10:9 states, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." Jesus said that on one side is eternal life; on the other side is eternal death. The difference is a door. 
Everybody, who realizes he is unsaved and will say, "Dear Lord, I do accept You, and I come through the door of Jesus to salvation," becomes God's child that very moment. By the way, Jesus is not a door to Heaven; 
He is THE Door. John 14:6 states, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
- Salvation is like going home. A boy in Luke 15 decided to leave his father and go to a far country. He took all of his goods, went to a far country, got into trouble and despair, and found a job feeding the hogs 
out in the hog pen. He finally started feeding himself the husks off the corn that the swine would not eat. Then he said, "The servants back home have more than this." He came back to the father, and the father received him. Salvation is just going home.
- Getting saved, is like saying "yes" to a proposal. A young man asks a young lady to marry him. She may laugh, or she may cry as she answers that she will marry him. She may say, "Oh, how wonderful! YES!" Or she 
may simply say, "Yes," or, "Oh, (sob) yes." No matter how she may say 
it, she still has done the same thing. Jesus says, " Will you be married? Will you come to me? Will you trust me?" If you say "yes," then you're saved. If you say "no," then you're lost.
- Getting saved, is like accepting an invitation. In Luke 14:16, Jesus told the parable of the man who "made a great supper, and bade many." In 
Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come unto Me..." God says, " I have made a great banquet feast. I have prepared salvation. It is a gift. Would you come? Come!" Somebody will say weeping, "You bet I'll come." 
Others may come rejoicing or shouting. The thing that makes you saved is when you say "yes" to the invitation to come to Jesus Christ.
- Getting saved, is like taking a bath. Titus 3:5 says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." 
Remember, Jesus is the One Who bathes you and makes you clean. He cleanses all who come for "the washing of regeneration."
- Getting saved, is like putting money into the bank. Two fellows go to the bank, and each one puts in $100. One says, "Oh, boy! I saved $100." The other quietly says, "Me, too." Each has saved $100. A person is 
saved when he says, "Yes, I will deposit my soul to Jesus' keeping." 2 Timothy 1:12b states, "...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
- Getting saved, is like eating a meal. Matthew 22:4 says, "...all things are ready..." Consider the many ways of eating gravy. Some people "sop" it; others eat it with a spoon; yet others put it on toast; and still others break biscuits into it. Again, we see it isn't how you reacted when you got saved. It is did you trust Jesus?

3. Old Testament types show the simplicity of salvation.

- Old Testament types show how simple it is on our part to be saved. When you come to Christ, your sins are forgiven, you are made a new creature, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you, you become one of God's 
children, and you will go to Heaven someday. Getting saved is a big thing, but it is God's part that is big! All we do is take it by faith.
- The coat of skins God offered Adam and Eve, "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) They took them, and that is all.
- The ark in Noah's day, "And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood." (Genesis 7:7) They had to come inside the ark.
- The little lamb that was slain, "If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar." (Leviticus 3:7,8) The Jew had to put his hand on the head of the lamb.
- A brazen serpent on the pole, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." (Numbers 
21:8) Those bitten and dying could only look at that brazen serpent and be saved.

Conclusion: Teacher, now is the perfect time to offer salvation to your students. Close the class time with a serious invitation. Urge each class member to be sure of his salvation.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Thessalonians 5:23

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Except the Lord Build the House
Psalm 127:1-5

Introduction: The 127th Psalm is the central song of the "Songs of Degrees." Ten of these Psalms were personally penned by King Hezekiah and do not bear his name. Why? Because there was no need. He had already referred to them in Isaiah 38:20 as his very own songs, "The LORD 
was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD."

Hezekiah borrowed the Holy Spirit inspired writings of King David for four of these songs, and this central song was borrowed from David's son, King Solomon.

Human effort, without Divine unction, leads to disaster! This is the reason for Hezekiah using the word "except" twice in verse one, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

While Sennacherib was besieging Jerusalem, and while Rabshakeh was terrorizing Hezekiah, who was sick nigh unto death at this time, King Hezekiah had no children to continue on his throne. With Hezekiah's seeming demise close at hand, it seemed as if God's promise was about to 
fail. (Abraham was in the same situation in Genesis 15 when he knew that he was too old to father children.) What was Hezekiah to do?

Well, he trusted in God for deliverance from his enemies and God did deliver him. He also trusted God to keep His promise to David, and God did this also. He promised Hezekiah a son in Isaiah 39:7, "And of thy 
sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." 

Three years after this promise was given to Hezekiah, a son was born to him named Manasseh. Psalm 127 deals with trusting the Lord to build a home.

Impossible situations (like death and no children to be heir to the throne) are what trust is all about. Trust untested is not trust at all.

1. Trust involves human effort but should not be replaced by it. - Psalm 127:1

"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

- At the pronouncement of his death, Hezekiah had nothing to hold on to but a promise that was made to King David in 2 Samuel 7:12, "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up 
thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom."
- In other words, trust, that is, faith, is necessary to please God. Faith is obedience to the Words of God.
- The only human effort should be in obedience to the commands of God. 
Unlike Abraham in Genesis 16:1-2, who, in a weak moment of having no faith, hearkened unto the voice of his also elderly wife, and tried to give the Lord a human hand in accomplishing His promise to him and his barren wife, 

"Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."

2.. Trust involves letting the Lord have His way. - Psalm 127:1

"Except the LORD build the house..."

- It is obvious that the Lord had a plan in mind for Hezekiah and his family. If that plan was to be fully realized, there would have to be a 
surrendering to the will of God.
- Parents make plans for their kids with no thought of what the Lord may want.
- Dad and Mom, always give the Lord a chance to call and use your children for His work.
- There is nothing wrong with doing the will of God. I can hear a dad now, "There is no money in ministry. I want only the best for my child!" 
The will of God is what is best for your child, money or no money!
- Before my children were ever born, they were given to the Lord. This is a right thing to do. This is what Hannah did before her son Samuel was born. Notice her prayer in 1 Samuel 1:10-11, "And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she 
vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give 
him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."

- You may not have done this with your kids before they were born. My parents did this with me. We did this with each one of our kids. You should still dedicate your children, yea your whole family, to the Lord.

- Letting the Lord have His way, means surrender. In 1898, Cyrus Silvester Nusbaum penned the words and music to 

"His Way with Thee." 
This great hymn of the faith still speaks volumes to us today. 

Would you live for Jesus, and be always pure and good?
Would you walk with Him within the narrow road?
Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load? Let Him have His way with thee.

Refrain

His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
'Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

Would you have Him make you free, and follow at His call?
Would you know the peace that comes by giving all?
Would you have Him save you, so that you can never fall?
Let Him have His way with thee. (Refrain)

Would you in His kingdom find a place of constant rest?
Would you prove Him true in providential test?
Would you in His service labor always at your best?
Let Him have His way with thee. (Refrain)

3. Trust involves watching. - Psalm 127:1

"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

- The watchman was a guard, a man who spoke warning as he watched.
- He was up when others were sleeping.
- Hezekiah's observation here is timely for all of us today. 

Someone needs to guard the family today. If the Lord is not doing the building, the guarding will be in vain.
- What good does it do to guard the home if the enemy is invited into the home?

- If Hollywood, NBC, ABC, CBS, TBS, Disney, Fox, HBO, CineMax, NFL, NBA, NHL, and the like are raising your children or building your home, your 
watching is in vain!

Conclusion: If God has given you a family, He has given you a responsibility. That responsibility is to rear that family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Trusting the Lord to build your home:

- Involves human effort, but trust should not be replaced by it.
- Involves letting the Lord have His way.
- Involves watching.

What are you doing the let the Lord build your house?

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Isaiah 41:10

A Shiny New Ox Cart
2 Samuel 6:1-11

Introduction: What a tragic story! Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings that must have raced through the minds of the people when Uzzah fell dead having stretched forth his hand in order to keep the Ark of the 
Covenant from falling to the ground? The Bible even says in verse 8 that 
"...David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah..." The Bible indicates that this was a terribly frightening time, especially for David, for verse 9 says that David was afraid of the Lord that day.

Was God being unfair when He killed Uzzah for touching the Ark? Touching the Ark, was a breach of God's law. In fact, it was outright contrary to the Divine law which had been spoken.

- "And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they 
shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation." (Numbers 4:15)
- "But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders." (Numbers 7:9)
- "At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day." (Deuteronomy 10:8)
- "Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever." (1 Chronicles 15:2)

The Lord breached Uzzah, as well-meaning as he was, because he had breached the very law of God. To many, this makes God appear unfair and unjust in His dealings with well-meaning people. Actually, this just 
means that God is very serious about His Word.

One may ask what was wrong with what Uzzah did. On the surface, what he did, was noble; but it was actually disobedience. Wouldn't it have been easier to have the Ark of God pulled on an ox cart? Yes, it would have 
been easier, but it was not right. Where did David get this idea of using a new ox cart to carry the Ark? He got this idea from a heathen people who were the enemies of God, the Philistines. 

1 Samuel 6:1-7 tells us this story, "And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us 
wherewith we shall send it to his place. And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you. Then said they, What shall 
be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your 
lords. Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your 
gods, and from off your land. Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts...

When the Philistines did it in ignorance, no judgment fell upon them, because the law of Moses was not delivered to them. But David knew better, and God's judgment came upon him. There is an important lesson in all of this. Anything, introduced into the worship of God contrary to 
His Word, is deserving of His judgments. This would include anything contrary to John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," and all that is of the flesh, which is not profitable at all, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) Anything, that is contrary to God's requirements, is like David's new ox cart in God's sight.

I have a question for David: why do you carry the Hope of Israel on a Philistine ox cart? I have a question for you: why do you carry the Hope of Israel on a Philistine ox cart? Doing so, brings the judgment of God, not His blessing.

- I am reminded of Nadab and Abihu who offered strange fire upon the altar of God. Strange fire was fire not started by the priests of God. They did that which was contrary to the law of God, and they paid for it with their lives.

Paul, in writing to young Pastor Timothy, warned him of what would happen in the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in perilous times, and the 21stcentury is a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:5. Many today have a form of Godliness but no power of God behind it. Why? They have put the Hope of Israel on a shiny, new Philistine ox cart, and, as well-intentioned as 
they may be, God is not in it. David learned it from the heathen, and many of God's people today get their methods from the heathen.

John gives us a solemn command in 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Whether we want to admit it or not, Christians have done a good job of learning the way of the heathen. When David practiced the way of the heathen, it cost Uzzah his life and David his credibility. When Nadab and Abihu practiced the way of the heathen, it cost them their lives. 
The Word of God mentions many things found in the way of the heathen. Among the many references in the Bible concerning the way of the heathen, these things are included in their way:

- Abominations
- Statutes
- Kingdoms
- Filthiness
- Reproach
- Counsel
- Idols (specifically, silver and gold idols)
- Manners
- Shame

In today's modern-kind of Christianity, the ways of the heathen have been introduced into the things of God.

1. We use the language of the heathen. - Nehemiah 13:24

"And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people."

- What a God-dishonoring shame, that God's people sound more like the Devil's people when they speak.
- Not only are the words we use heathen in nature, but also the spirit in which they are said. For example, Christians are to hate sin, not each other, yet many words are words of hatred toward one another.
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, use the language of Hell to speak about Heaven?

2. We use the music of the heathen. - Exodus 32:17-18

"And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear."

- When the young people complained that they didn't like the music, a very unwise older generation changed the music so the young people would listen. Accommodating rebellion, no matter which generation you're from, is sin!
- When Moses and Joshua came down from the mount, they heard the people shouting and singing and thought it to be the sound of war. Even they knew it wasn't of God.
- Lucifer was the one who led the music in Heaven before his fall. No wonder Christian music has been so severely attacked today. You see no difference between the music of the heathen and the music of the modern-day Christian.
- Not only do they sound like the heathen, but they also look and act like the heathen. Jeremiah said, "Learn not the way of the heathen!"
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, use the music of Hell to communicate about Heaven?

3. We copy the entertainment of the heathen. - 1 John 2:15-16
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

- Christians find it hard to love God with all their hearts, because much of their love is toward the world and its ways.
- Do you find it alarming that Christians today speak more highly of Hollywood whores and whoremongers than they do of their Sunday School teachers and pastors?
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, use the David Letterman-style of entertainment from Hell to promote the glories of Heaven?

4. We incorporate the worship of the heathen. - 1 Samuel 6:7 & 2 Samuel 6:3

* "Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them."
* "And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of 
Abinadab, drave the new cart."

- Just as David used the methods of worship the Philistines used, so do the Christians of today's enlightened society.
- Today, there are Goth rock churches, Christian homosexual churches, Christian nudist camp worshippers, etc.
- There are many churches today when you enter the doors, they are no more Christian in their worship than Satan is.
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, use the worship of Hell to worship the God of Heaven?

5. We bow before the idols of the heathen. - Psalm 135:15

"The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands."

- As you look at heathen worship, you see them bowing before false gods made of silver and gold and formed by men's hands.
- No Christian today worships these idols (or shouldn't), yet they bow before the silver and gold which represent prosperity.
- An idol can be anything that comes between you and God. For many Christians today, silver and gold are the gods to whom they bow. Even church attendance is not as important as overtime.
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, say their love of money brings honor and glory to God?

6. We adopt the fashions of the heathen. - 1 Peter 3:3-5

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, 
who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands."

- Today, Christians look more like Hollywood and Dollywood than Heaven.
- Even in some Christian circles today men and women look more like heathens than they do like Christians.
- Men look and dress like women, while women look and dress like men.
- Years ago, there was a distinction between that which was Godly and that which was not. Today, the lines have been blurred, and no one but their hairdresser knows for sure. =]
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, dress to appear like they came from Hell instead of like they're going to Heaven?

7. We follow the philosophy of the heathen. - Isaiah 5:20

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

- If it's good, it's not evil; and if it's evil, it's not good. How sad that Christians today have fallen to the traps of philosophy and psychology. It makes me wonder what Christians used to do when they had a problem. I'll tell you what they used to do, they used to use the Bible and counsel with the man of God. Now, they have found out they can blame their sin on their families.
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, follow the philosophies of Hell instead of the Word of God?

8. We take the counsel of the heathen. - Psalm 1:1

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
- Christians don't need the advice of heathens. They need the counsel of Godly men and women.
- When I attended public school, we had someone who was called a guidance counselor. For the child of God, getting advice from a guidance counselor, is dead wrong.
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, seek counsel which comes from Hell instead of wisdom which comes from Heaven?

9. We indulge in the cultural trends of the heathen. - Jeremiah 10:2

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."

- All too often, Christians excuse their sin because they say if they don't involve themselves in it, they will not be accepted by their social sphere.
- Just because everybody's doing it, doesn't make it right. As a Christian, you are not obligated to participate in anything outside God's will.

10. We worship the heros of the heathen. - Proverbs 28:4

"They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them."

- As a Christian, whom do you praise in your home? I've had it up to my pastoral gills with Christians who praise heathen men like Coach Bob Knight and the likes of Magic Johnson. Why don't you go ahead and praise Boris Yeltsin or Fidel Castro? Why not lift up the virtues of Adolf  Hitler or the abortion doctor down the street? After all, each of these men are really good in their area of expertise.
- I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for every heathen hero this world has to offer. Solomon taught his son that law forsakers praise wicked men. 
Hmmmm...
- How can those, who name the name of Christ, praise those who are His enemies?

Conclusion: In all of these ways I've mentioned and more, Christians have carried the Hope of Israel on a new shiny, yet heathen, ox cart. When I see so-called Christian colleges and universities around the world 
promoting the godless music styles and free-thinking philosophies of the heathen, I am reminded of David's shiny, new ox cart. How are you carrying the Hope of Israel? Are you doing it God's way, or are you 
finding His methodology ineffective and outdated?

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!
Isaiah 26:3-4

[to the top]

It Ain't Over Till It's Over
1 John 5:16

Introduction: Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over." I hate beginning a sermon quoting a man of the world, but what he said, is perfect for the message today.

I'm talking to some folks today who are away from the Lord. You're not right with God, and you know it. Others know it, too. I'm talking to 
adults, teens, and younger folks alike. You come to church and sit through sermon after sermon all-the-while being convicted of the sins you 
harbor in the depths of your heart. Will you ever just decide to make things right? Can you make things right?

There are others, in the Bible, with whom God was finished. When He was done dealing with them, it was over for them.

1. It was over for Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. - Numbers 16:1-3, 31-33

"Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of 
Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together 
against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and 
the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?...And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 
They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the 
congregation."

- The story we just read tells us of men and women with whom God was finished.
- They suffered what is termed as the"sin unto death." This is found in 1 John 5:16, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto 
death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."
- James 1:15 even says, "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
- It was over for Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

2. It was over for Nadab and Abihu. - Numbers 3:2-4

"And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office. And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's 
office in the sight of Aaron their father."

- The story we just read tells us of two priests with whom God was finished.
- Because of their continued disobedience to the things of God, He removed them from service. They died!
- These two priests of God, the sons of Aaron, committed the sin unto death.
- It was over for Nadab and Abihu.

3. It was over for Ananias and Sapphira. - Acts 5:1-11

"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it 
remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou 
hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words 
fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried 
him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

- They tried to deceive the apostles. They lied to the Holy Spirit. They did it in the name of the Lord. God had all He would take from them.
- Probably, this was not their first sin against the Lord in their church. People do not all-of-a-sudden become deceitful.
- When God saw what they did, he removed them, thus solving the problem.
- It was over for Ananias and Sapphira.

4. It was over for some church members in Corinth. - 1 Corinthians 
11:23-31

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the 
same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in 
remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat 
this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so 
let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not 
discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

- Paul rebuked the members of the church at Corinth, because they were so carnal. Some were immature in Christ; others were down right carnal.
- I find it interesting that the Lord let some "sleep," that is, die, for their carnality. Others just became sick.
- The Lord doesn't put up with much when it comes to His local church.
- It was over for some church members in Corinth.

Conclusion: Samson always comes to mind, when I think of those with whom God was finished. God is longsuffering and patient to the uttermost, but 
He will not let sin and rebellion go on forever. This brings us back to our quote from Yogi Berra, "It ain't over till it's over."

- It was over for Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
- It was over for Nadab and Abihu.
- It was over for Ananias and Sapphira.
- It was over for some church members in Corinth.

How do we know it was over for these folks? Because they died! God killed them. For a long time, it wasn't over for them. Finally, there came a time when it was over. It wasn't over until it was truly over.

I say again, I'm talking to some folks today who are away from the Lord. You're not right with God, and you know it. Others know it, too. I'm 
talking to adults, teens, and younger folks alike. You come to church and sit through sermon after sermon all-the-while being convicted of the 
sins you harbor in the depths of your heart. Will you ever just decide to make things right? Can you make things right?

You can, because it ain't over till it's over. You are still alive. This means it's not over for you. You still have time to make things right with others and get right with God.

- You still have time to get right with that husband.
- You still have time to get right with that wife.
- You still have time to get right with that son.
- You still have time to get right with that daughter.
- You still have time to get right with that mom.
- You still have time to get right with that dad.
- You still have time to get right with that church member.
- You still have time to get right with that Sunday School teacher.
- You still have time to get right with that pastor.
- You still have time to get right with that neighbor.
- You still have time to get right with that family member.
- You still have time to get right with that in-law.

It ain't over till it's over. You are still here, so it's not over. Those, who keep tempting the Lord, will one day find that it's over. 
Don't be in that crowd!

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible must have been
Inspired of God and not of men.
I could not, if I would, believe
That good men wrote it to deceive,
And bad men could not if they would,
And surely would not if they could
Proceed to write a Book so good.
And certainly no crazy man
Could e'er conceive its wondrous plan,
And pray, what other kind of men
Than do these three groups comprehend?
Hence it must be that God inspired
The Word which souls of Prophets fired.
Point Your Gun the Other Way, Please!
Matthew 5:43-48

Introduction: There are a number of passages I need to refer to at the beginning of this message.

- 1 Samuel 12:5, "And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness."
- 1 Samuel 24:6, "And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine 
hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."
- 1 Samuel 24:10, "Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth 
mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed."
- 1 Samuel 26:9, "And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?"
- 1 Samuel 26:11, "The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go."
- 1 Samuel 26:23, "The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed."
- 2 Samuel 1:16, "And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed."

Too many of God's people spend entirely too much time fighting with God's people. Sure, there are valid reasons to disagree. This is made all-too-clear in Scripture.

* Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
* 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
* 3 John 1:9-11, "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
* 2 Timothy 4:14-15, "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."

However, even though there are some with whom we disagree, this is not reason enough to turn your gun on them and fire.

From the story of Saul and David (above references), we learn some vital lessons about where not to point our guns.

1. Saul was not a good leader, nor was he a good Christian later on.

- As the King of Israel, he started out great! He was chosen by God to rule the Israelites. He stood head and shoulders above all the men of the kingdom. He was tall, handsome and one of the best children from one of the best families in all of Israel.
- However, he became impatient, impulsive, disobedient, self-righteous, self-centered, and plain old backslidden.
- He did not lead the people God's way.

2. Saul did wrong in the way he dealt with his people.

- Notice Saul's bad decision against the people of God in 1 Samuel 14:24, "And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any 
food."
- Saul was not led of the Spirit, nor was he concerned for the people. 
He was led by his own, personal vendetta against David.

3. Saul did wrong in his dealings with David.

- Driven by jealousy, he vowed to kill David or have him killed. It did not matter how it happened or who did it.
- All that mattered was whether or not David was dead.

4. Yet, Saul was still God's chosen leader.

- The verses we read, at the beginning, in no way indicate that Saul was sinless or perfect in his living or his leading.
- Saul sought for the life of David. When confronted with whether or not to take the life of Saul, David refused to do so, because David knew Saul was God's anointed.
- Notice the story found in 1 Samuel 24:1-19, "And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and 
his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I 
will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, 
The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. So David stayed his servants with these words, and 
suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed 
himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the 
cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to 
take it. The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not 
be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: 

This brings us back to our text in Matthew 5:43-48, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good 
to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which 
love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

** Practical applications:

1. Contend over doctrine and sin, not differences of opinion.

- Contending for the faith, is not arguing over whether we have one or two specials on Sunday mornings.

2. Learn to walk away from disagreements before the bullets fly.

3. Remember, you could be the mistaken one.

In matters controversial,
My prescription's very fine,
I always see both sides of things,
The one that's wrong and mine. (Ralph McGill)

4. Some arguments aren't worth winning.

- You can shoot a skunk, but will it be worth it in the end?

5. Win an argument; lose a friend.

- I'd much rather keep a friend. Simply agree to disagree.

Conclusion: Have we become so selfish that we must shoot at the people with whom we serve? Too many of God's people are pointing their guns at their own troops. This does not mean we cannot disagree, but it does 
mean we need to find a way to get along.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength!"

Isaiah 26:3-4

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Building Materials
Matthew 7:21-29

Introduction: There is an interesting word in the Word of God not found  in our opening text but found other places. It is the word "edify." It literally means "to build a house." When we are commanded to edify one another, we are commanded to build one another's homes rather than tear 
them down.

All of us are different places spiritually. Some, in this room, have been saved for many years and have matured accordingly. Others have been saved for a very short time and have matured according to the number of years they've been saved. Some have lived a life pleasing unto the Lord 
from the time they were children. Others nearly ruined their lives and had to have the broken pieces divinely repaired.

Often, we think that God only uses that which is spotless and has been spotless from the beginning until now. This is simply not true. God uses the spotless, and God also uses the spotted.
- He uses the Timothys, as well as, the Pauls.
- He uses the Marys, as well as, the Marthas.
- He uses the Elizabeths, as well as, the Euodiases.
- He uses the Tabathas [Dorcases], as well as, the Syntyches.
- He uses the Mary of Bethanys, as well as, the Mary Magdalenes.

All God has to work with down here are sinners. I'm a sinner, and so are you. The only perfect Man Who ever walked the earth was Jesus, and He had the advantage of not having a sinful nature like we have. Jesus never said a sinful word, thought a sinful thought, or did a sinful deed. 
We, on the other hand, have done all of those things today and probably all within the last 60 minutes (seconds).

God is in the process of building our lives. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Therefore, we are God's project; and besides the Holy Spirit He places within us, He only 
has us to work with. What are some of God's building materials?

1. Bruised reeds. - Isaiah 42:3
"A bruised reed shall he not break..."

- The reed spoken of here was a reed used for many things. One thing in particular was that it could be made into a musical instrument similar to what we would call a whistle.
- Rather than throwing the entire reed away when it became injured and bruised, He would take it and make it into something useful like a whistle.
- As sinners, we have been bruised with sin, yet we are still useful to God. He can bring music out of a life filled with discord.

2. Smoking flax. - Isaiah 42:3
"...the smoking flax shall he not quench..."

- The flax was the material used to make candle wicks with. When the flame would go out, it would sit and smolder until it went out completely.
- So many of God's people today need a good fire set underneath them in order to set them on fire for God. They need this because their fire has gone out.
- When God sees that our fire has gone out and only the smoking flax remains, He will fan and gently blow on the flax to cause it to burn again.
- Many Christians have become burned out, but God is not through with them. He sees your smoking flax and desires to set you on fire again for Him.

3. Marred vessels. - Jeremiah 18:1-4

"The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."

- Sin always causes a scar. This marring does not mean that God is through with you. It just means that He may go another direction with you.
- As the clay would "resist" the hand of the potter, it would bend or break or become disfigured while the potter was working with it on the wheel.
- None of us have always been willing vessels. We resist the pressure the Potter puts on our lives. We do not like the pressure of His hand, nor do we like the heat of His kiln. So, we resist. When we resist, we become marred. The blessing is, just as the clay became marred in the hands of the potter and Israel became marred in the hand of her Potter, we also become marred...in the hand of our Potter!
- God knows this and will take what's left and still make something that is useful for His honor and glory.

4. Fallen sparrows. - Matthew 10:29

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."

- One might find it interesting here that even though God considers us more valuable than sparrows, not a single one of them can fall to the ground without God taking notice.
- There are some fallen sparrows in this room. You think perhaps that God has turned His face from you, but the good news is that if God notices a sparrow that has fallen, He also notices you.
- Because your life has fallen apart and there seems to be nothing left, you have come to the place where you believe God doesn't notice, and God doesn't care. Ladies and gentlemen, the reason the illustration of a sparrow was used in Matthew 10 was because a sparrow was monetarily a 
most worthless bird. God did not consider a worthless bird worthless. God does not consider you worthless either.

5. Fallen people. - Mark 16:9

"Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils."

- Many have considered Mary Magdalene as a fallen woman of the street, but the Bible never says so. She was one possessed of seven devils. 
After her deliverance, God used her in a mighty way.
- There is a woman in the Bible who was a prostitute, but then Jesus came and changed her life. Luke 7 tells us the story of a fallen woman whom Jesus forgave and sent on her way to sin no more. 
- Jesus did not have a pristine life example to use; all He had was a fallen woman of the street. She had sold her body to wicked men who were vile enough to pay her for it. Yet, Jesus forgave her and changed her forever. Thank God for 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in 
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
- There is no sin so great that the blood of Jesus cannot wash it away!

Conclusion: There are many building materials with which God can make something valuable. There are those with feeble hands and withered limbs and backs that are stooped, yet Jesus can build something with you. He does not need a polished instrument, rather a willing instrument.

There are those here today who are bruised reeds and smoking flaxes and marred vessels and fallen sparrows and fallen people. Just as the wise man built his house upon the rock and the foolish man built his house upon the sand, both built with the materials they had. God does much the 
same thing by taking the materials we have available and making us into something of value for Him. As long as you place what you have in God's hands, your life will be builded to His honor and glory.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

John 5:24
Excess Baggage
Hebrews 12:1-3

Introduction: (Enter the auditorium carrying many pieces of luggage, talking to myself, dropping suitcases, picking them up, and tripping over them as I make my way to the platform.)

"After all, you never know what you might need when you travel, so it's always best to take it all!"

All of this to make a point. Hebrews 12:1 tells us that there are two things that will keep us from winning the race.

- Weights.
- Besetting sins.

The longer I'm saved, the more I realize that Christians carry a lot of excess baggage with them throughout their lives. Excess baggage is baggage that exceeds the allowable amount. According to United Airlines, the flight Brother Penn and I just took allowed us to check two bags and 
carry on two bags. Anything exceeding this amount or the allowable size for each bag would cost an extra charge. In fact, United says in their information concerning baggage allowances, "If you check more baggage than the free baggage allowance permits, you will need to pay a charge 
that will vary by destination. Contact United or a travel agent prior to your trip for specific charges and restrictions." Excess baggage always costs you more.

I find a parallel here. As if being human were not enough baggage, Christians choose to exceed the allowable number of bags while traveling through this life. For some reason, Christians accumulate excess and overweight baggage in many areas of their lives.

1. The excess baggage of the past. - Philippians 3:13

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."

- Your past is just exactly that, your past. The Apostle Paul tells us what he has done while admonishing us to do the same, "...forgetting those things which are behind..."
- Not everyone in this room has a pristine past life. Some of you lived like heathens before you were saved, while others chose to live like heathens after they were saved. But all of that is in the past now.
- Constantly reliving your past mistakes will hinder you from going forward.
- The Apostle Paul was guilty of quite a number of terrible crimes against the people of God, yet God forgave him and gave him a new life in Christ.
- Your sins are in the past and should be left there.

* God has removed our sins from us, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)
* God buried our sins in the depths of the sea, "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19)
* God has forgotten our sins altogether, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)
* God has cast our sins behind His back, "Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." (Isaiah 
38:17)

- Not only that, but we have been forgiven of our sins because of Calvary. So, why do you keep carrying with you sins that have been removed, buried, forgotten, and placed behind God's back? This is excess baggage you do not need.

2. The excess baggage of the present. - Ephesians 4:22

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts."

- As a Christian, you still have the "old man" living inside of you. This is your old nature. It did not die when you got saved; it is very much alive, and the Apostle Paul taught us that it stays with us daily, 
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18)

* Christians could actually be like Jesus if they weren't so much like the world!

- Christians have fallen in love with the world and with what it has to offer. Because of that, the world has become excess baggage. This excess baggage will cost you more than you expect to pay.
- For some reason, the people of God are infatuated with the world. The world offers us three enemies, and these are found in 1 John 2:16, "For 
all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

* There is the excess baggage of the lust of the flesh. This is what the flesh desires over the things of the Spirit.
* There is the excess baggage of the lust of the eyes. This is what the eyes desire to have over the things of the Spirit.
* There is the excess baggage of the pride of life. This is what keeps you from being what God wants you to be.

- This baggage will always cost you more than you anticipated at first. Just as the airlines allow you a certain number of bags, they will make you pay for anything over and above that. In the same way, God allows 
you to be human but forbids you from being worldly.

* "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)
* "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

- Is there a Biblical answer to putting down this baggage? Galatians 5:16 addresses it clearly, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

3. The excess baggage of the future. - Matthew 6:25-33

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into 
barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto 
you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

- There are Christians, even in this room, who carry the extra baggage of constant worry about what may happen in the future. Ladies and gentlemen, the best way to prepare for the future is to be prepared for today.
- Some Christians worry about everything, and their favorite song is "Why Pray When You Can Worry?"
- Christians, who worry about the future, find it difficult to be the kind of Christians they ought to be today. The Bible speaks of fret and worry:

* Psalm 37:1, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity."
* Psalm 37:7, "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."
* Psalm 37:8, "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil."
* Proverbs 24:19, "Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked."
* Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
* And Jesus said in our text, "...take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?..."

- Christians can find more things to worry about at the drop of a hat than most any other folks I know.
- Worry reveals a lack of faith; and without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Conclusion: When I came into the auditorium carrying all of that baggage, I found myself tripping and walking awkwardly to the platform. 
What excess baggage are you carrying? Please understand, when you take too much upon you to carry, it will cause you to stumble and walk without surety. As you travel through this life, just as excess baggage will cost you more when you fly, your excess baggage will cost you more than you ever thought you would pay.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me."

Psalm 119:133

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Doctrines Affected by New Translations
Proverbs 30:5-6


Introduction: In our last study together entitled "Every Word of God," we began a study concerning God's ability to preserve His Word. In that study, we found that the preservation of God's Word is not dependent upon 
man's ability to copy God's Word from one generation to the next. God promised that He Himself would preserve It. We found that God is true and every man is a liar. We also found that the Bible teaches clearly God's ability to preserve His Word. We also found that every word of God is important; thus, we need an every-word Bible.

I promised that we would take a look at some doctrinal differences contained in the new translations as opposed to the 390-year-old translation of the King James Version. One such doctrinal error is found in the mistranslation of Daniel 3:25, "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; 
and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." For example, the following versions, all taken from the so-called oldest and best manuscripts, say nearly the same thing:

- "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods." (Daniel 3:25, ASV; 1901 American Standard Version)
- "He answered and said, Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm among them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods." (Daniel 3:25, MKJV; 1993 Modern King James Version)
- "He answered and said, 'Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!'" (Daniel 3:25, NASB; 1988 New American Standard Bible)
- "He said, 'Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.'" (Daniel 3:25, NIV; 1984 New International Version)
- "He replied, 'But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.'" (Daniel 3:25, NRSV; 1989 New Revised Standard Version)
- "He made answer and said, Look! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not damaged; and the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods." (Daniel 3:25, BBE; 1964 Bible in Basic English)
- "He answered, 'But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.'" (Daniel 3:25, RSV; 1973 Revised Standard Version)
- "He was answering and saying: 'Look! I am beholding four able-bodied men walking about free in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt to them, and the appearance of the fourth one is resembling a son of the gods.'" (Daniel 3:25, NWT; 1984 New World Translation) I find it interesting that the New World Translation insists on calling Jesus "a 
god" rather than "the God." John 1:1 in the NWT says, "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." False Bible beget false doctrines. Never forget that!

So, do the new translations, in any way, affect doctrine? Let's make a few more comparisons. There are over 40 differences between the Received Text and the other texts which involve some doctrine of our Christian faith. These differences include omissions of portions containing a 
statement expressing some point of doctrine, and substitutions of words or phrases which eliminate, or make the text contrary to well-understood doctrines of our faith. About 1/2 of these differences relate to the 
attributes, work, and deity of Jesus. About 1/4 of them relate to the basis and nature of our salvation. For example:

1. The King James states in Mark 10:24, "And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!'" (Mark 10:24, NIV)
- "And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!'" (Mark 10:24, RSV)
- "And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!'" 
(Mark 10:24, NRSV)
- "And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus -answered again and -said to them, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!'" (Mark 10:24, NASB)
- "But the disciples gave way to surprise at his words. In response Jesus again said to them: 'Children, how difficult a thing it is to enter into the kingdom of God!'" (Mark 10:24, NWT)

* Each version omitted the clause "for them that trust in riches." This omission leaves out a vital part of Jesus' explanation as to what it is that hinders a rich man from entering the kingdom of God. This verse relates to the doctrine of salvation, and this omission changes the verse 
from dealing with rich men to dealing with people in general.

2. The King James states in Mark 15:28, "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors." Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "_" (Mark 15:28, NIV)
- "_" (Mark 15:28, RSV)
- "_" (Mark 15:28, NRSV)
- "_" (Mark 15:28, NWT)

* The omission of Mark 15:28 involves doctrine, namely that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament predictions concerning the Messiah.

3. The King James states in John 3:13, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man." (John 3:13, NIV)
- "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man." (John 3:13, RSV)
- "No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man." (John 3:13, NRSV)
- "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man." (John 3:13, NASB)
- "Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man." (John 3:13, NWT)

* The phrase "which is in heaven" is omitted by the other texts. By this clause, Jesus gave testimony to His deity. 

4. The King James states in Romans 14:10, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat." (Romans 14:10, NIV)
- "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God" (Romans 14:10, RSV)
- "Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment 
seat of God." (Romans 14:10, NRSV)
- "But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God." (Romans 14:10, NASB)
- "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God." (Romans 14:10, NWT)

* Other texts put "God" instead of "Christ." The New Testament clearly teaches in several places that all judgment is committed to Christ. One such reference is John 5:22, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."

5. The King James states in Acts 8:37, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "_" (Acts 8:37, NIV)
- "_" (Acts 8:37, RSV)
- "_" (Acts 8:37, NRSV)
- "_" (Acts 8:37, NWT)

* It has been said, by some neo-evangelical Bible teachers, that the Bible gives no definite instructions as to when or why a person should be baptized. This is because the verse that gives the requirements, for Christian baptism, are found in the verse that is omitted from their Bibles. The entire context reads, "And as they went on their way, they 
came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand 
still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:36-38)

6. The King James states in 1 John 5:7, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Notice with me how it is rendered in other versions:

- "For there are three that testify." (1 John 5:7, NIV)
- "And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth." (1 John 5:7, RSV)
- "There are three that testify." (1 John 5:7, NRSV)
- "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth." (1 John 5:7, NASB)
- "For there are three witness bearers." (1 John 5:7, NWT)

* It is obvious that the doctrine of the Trinity is affected by these other versions. This doctrine concerning God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is a cornerstone doctrine of our Christian faith. 
When God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," in Genesis 1:26, He was referring to what we call the Trinity.

Conclusion: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that things that are different cannot be the same. These newer versions have not cleared up "textual errors," rather they have muddied the waters.

** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

John 10:28-29