HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

 TO CONTACT PASTOR

for information on the following sermons:

John Jones

email:  pastorhighlandparkbc@gmail.com


 

  SERMON

SUNDAY A.M. -  09/17/2017

“BESTING OUR BRUISES”

Matthew 18:21-22

INTRODUCTION: 

Folks, get worked up and lathered up over the most petty of things these days…

- If you drive to slow in front of the wrong person

- If you move over in front of the wrong person in their lane

- If you look at them wrong

- If you back up the line at the cash register (On Cue line the other day)

A lot of it stems from impatience…  Impatience stemming from selfishness…

Some people have the wrong attitude regarding forgiveness…

Some professing Christians have the wrong attitude regarding forgiveness…

When we say that what he or she did to me caused my ulcers, heart-attack, stroke, etc…  

Then the issue has gotten out of hand and there is a spiritual problem…

Yes, a serious spiritual problem…

ILLUSTRATION: Paul Blair’s baseball team

21 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him,I say not unto thee, Until seven times:  but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

Here Peter presents one of the most important questions that a disciple of Christ can ask…

The answer… there must be unlimited forgiveness…

We don’t like that answer, but it is the truth…  Look at the text…

I. IT DOES INVOLVE A QUARREL (CONFLICT)

21 “Then came Peter to YPERLINK"http://www.biblestudytools.com/interlinear-bible/strongs/?t=kjv&ll=g&sn=846"\o"Strong'sNumber:846"him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him,I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

ILLUSTRATION:  Father and coach arguing at the football game…

As human beings we are bad about creating and getting embroiled in conflict…

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”  Job 14:1 

ILLUSTRATION: 2 woman mad at another lady for how she ate her meal…

We need to be more understanding…  

Understanding human nature serves us well…

A lot of times our quarrels involve a misunderstanding of each other…

What another may be going through…  Stressors, etc…

Then sometimes it is bad personalities that cause the conflicts in our lives…

That would be SIN….

Personalities:

1. Over-occupied with your needs

a. Do you give some of your time to others (e.g. your spouse and children)?

2. Depressed or angry

a. Do you get angry when someone asks for something that interferes with you plans?

3. Having a bitter attitude

4. Having a crititical tongue

With these facts in mind it is not hard to understand and realize that WE ARE SELFISH DUE TO THE CONDITION OF OUR HEARTS AND THE CHOICES WE MAKE BASED UPON OUR HEARTS DESIRE.  Don’t you know you sinner that you desire things of the flesh, but God’s Word (the Bible) tells us in Galatians 5:16 “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

10 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”  Psalm 85:10

ILLUSTRATION:  I know of folks that have gone to counseling for their relationship problems…

V. IT DID INVOLVE A QUESTION

21 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him,I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

Where did Peter get the idea for this question?

It is possible that the Rabbis taught this in the synagogues…  

Where would they have got that idea?

3 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:”

 6 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captiveb the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:”

 9” Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherlyc covenant:”

 11 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever:” 

13 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:”  

Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13

 “For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

What is by far the worst kind of anger? Answer. The wrath of God…   

Our petty little tantrums of anger do nothing positive for us spiritually and have the potential to put us in a place deserving of God’s wrath.

God’s anger is associated with the unrighteous conduct of His creatures that possess a free-moral will, namely angels and humans.  The challenge my friends is to ensure that our anger will honor God and not needlessly hurt others or serve ourselves. 

Anger is only one letter away from DANGER.  The Lord is slow to anger, but when He is finally aroused it will be towards those who have rejected His only begotten Son.   He will put forth all of His omnipotence to crush those enemies…

Within God’s Law of Providence CHAOS is permitted, but bear in mind that CHAOS brings about ORDER in all things… 

As believers we need to control our anger and UNFORGIVINGNESS in order to be a good testimony for Christ in a sin-sick world. 

VI. IT DOESN’T INVOLVE A QUANTITY  

21 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him,I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

How many times does God forgive us?  Just once?  

You only sinned against God once?

We should have the prayer and many petitions as the Publican who prayed…

“God have mercy on me a sinner.”  Luke 18:13

Forgiveness is constantly given to us; therefore, we are to be forgiving of others as God has been to us…

“For if ye forgive men their tresspasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their tresspasses, neither will your Father forgive your tresspasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

What should we understand of this passage?

NO SALVATION for those that refuse to forgive their fellow man…

Folks, you don’t have to have…

A relationship 

- Fellowship

- Send them a post card or Christmas card

You don’t even have to tell them that you have forgiven the person, but YOU MUST forgive them in your heart, if you are one of His…

Don’t be one of those the Lord is referring to in when He said…

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

Matthew 7:21-23

CONCLUSION:

Grace and forgiveness has been extended to us and we must pay it forward…

Can we forgive and forget?  YES & NO

If it was a memorable event then the memory is etched in our minds…

However, what if we are to let righteousness rule our lives?  That’s a novel idea…

We remember the bad things, yet we let righteousness dictate the now and the future versus dwelling on the past…

“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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14-15

Paul says it…  We aren’t to dwell on the past but be focused on what Christ wants out of our lives now and to come…

ILLUSTRATION: Joseph…  Genesis 41:51-52

(PREACHED SUN.AM, SEPT. 17, 2017)

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SERMON

SUNDAY P.M. - 09/17/2017


“THE PATHWAY TO BROKENNESS”

Daniel 4:34-37

INTRODUCTION: 

In our text, we are presented with a man by the name of King Nebuchadnezzar. 

This man was a powerful, prideful man until he was broken by the Lord. 

When God brought him down, he repented before the Lord and God blessed him. 

The thing that lacked in Nebuchadnezzar's life is also sadly lacking in the lives of many today. That thing is a spirit of brokenness before the Lord…

When I refer to brokenness, I am not talking about people running around in sack cloth and ashes. 

Neither am I referring to those who climb stone stairs on their knees to try and impress God. 

I am referring to a state of the heart that dwells in humility before the Lord. 

It is a heart that see itself just as it is and, it also sees the Lord as He is… 

It is simply a state of openness and honesty before the Lord. 

It is being in a position where the Lord can use you for His glory. 

For the Christian, it is being moldable and yielding to the Lord. 

For the lost sinner, it is being in a place where you see your own need and are willing to turn to the Lord to get that need met.

4 “I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: 

5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no* secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. 10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw*,b and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:”  Daniel 4:4-11 

Some may ask, "What is so important about being broken before the Lord?" 

The importance lies in the fact that God uses that which is broken in a greater way than that which is rigid and unyielding to His will…

Notice:

- It was through the breaking down of Jacob's natural strength at Peniel that he was brought to the place where God could clothe him with spiritual power.

- It was the breaking of the surface of the rock at Horeb by the striking of Moses' rod that let the cool water flow out to the thirsty people of Israel. 

- It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers (a type of breaking themselves) that the hidden light shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries.

- It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil and poured it forth that God multiplied it to pay all her debts and to supply a means of her support.

It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them that the bread was multiplied-- sufficient to feed 5000 men.

- It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box of ointment that the pent-up perfume filled the house.

- It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken by the thorns, the nails, and a spear, redemption poured forth like a crystal stream from which sinners could drink and live. 

Yes, the Lord blesses broken things!"

o NEBUCHADNEZZAR IN HIS POWER, v. 1

1 “Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.”  Daniel 4:1

I. The Scope Of His Power - In his day, Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man in the world. 

He ruled the mighty kingdom of Babylon and was unrivaled in power and military might...

The Source Of His Power - Nebuchadnezzar was at the pinnacle of success

 and power because the Lord allowed him to be in that position! 

2 “I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.”  Daniel 4:2 

Illustration: There is no such thing as a self-made man! We are nothing more that what God in His Sovereign will has allowed us to be. 

It is sheer pride for anyone to brag about his/her accomplishments! 

After all, without God, you would be in Hell this morning. 

He deserves glory for everything you have and are today!

II. The Shame Of His Power - While Nebuchadnezzar was a great and powerful king, he was a shameful man in the sight of the Lord. 

You see, he was in power and in control. He was living independently of God and cared nothing for God or His will.

Ill. This could picture any of the billions of lost people on this globe today. They ignore God and His plan of salvation. They trudge stubbornly on to Hell where damnation and eternal separation from God awaits everyone of them. You may be in control of your life, but if you die without Jesus and end up in Hell, what have you accomplished for yourself? 

In truth, the sinner isn't in control of his life. 

The Bible states this fact…

2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desiresa of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”  Ephesians 2:2-3

Sadly, there are many "professing Christians" who act this same way… 

They call all the shots in their lives without regard for God and His will… 

In truth, they live as if God were dead! "Professing Christians" who insist in going on in their sins, who refuse to repent and humble themselves before the Lord…

21 “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them*, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Matthew 7:21-23

There is Nebuchadnezzar, and the billions of other just like him, who refuse to acknowledge God in their lives…

Does that describe the way you live this morning? 

If so, then listen on, God has a word for you!

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Power

o NEBUCHADNEZZAR IN HIS PRIVILEGE, v.30

30 “The king spake, and said, Is not this* great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30

In this life, we have been given the tremendous responsibility of a "free will." 

In other words, we have been given the God given right to choose the path we will take through this world… Joshua 24:15. 

It will either be a path that brings glory to the Lord, or it will be a pathway of shame and reproach. 

One that will eventually face the wrath of God. 

Regardless of how strong our resolve, there will come a day when God's will, will be done in every life! 

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"  Ephesians 1:11

There are 2 ways given in chapters 2 and 3 in which Nebuchadnezzar exercised the privilege of his free will before the Lord…

A. He Exercised The Privilege Of Indifference - The context of chapter 2… Nebuchadnezzar came face to face with God in this episode with Daniel. 

He received great insight and had the opportunity to turn to the God of Heaven… 

After all this light, his heart was still hardened against the things of God… 

Many are in this same shape today. They are cold to the things of God…

They see His light, they feel His tug, yet they refuse to bow before Him in repentance… 

This is a dangerous place to be! 

Do not be guilty of taking the things of God for granted! 

Do not make the same mistake as Nebuchadnezzar, but flee your sins and run to Jesus for salvation…

B. He Exercised The Privilege of Indulgence - The context of chapter 3... 

The fact that this man persisted in building this idol, either of himself or his god, is a clear indicator that he was unchanged from his previous brush with the Lord… 

He exalts God and says that He is above other gods, yet for old Nebuchadnezzar, God is still "their" God! 

He is softening, but he is still not broken before the Lord… 

It seems that by this point, Nebuchadnezzar has become just a little religious!

This could describe millions! 

They have come into contact with God. They have been made to face His reality and have seen His power. 

Still, they refuse to acknowledge Him as the Lord of their lives!

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Power

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Privilege

NEBUCHADNEZZAR IN HIS PRIDE, v. 30-31

30 “The king spake, and said, Is not this* great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” 

Daniel 4:30-31 

A. Nebuchadnezzar In The Place Of Blessing - The greatness of Babylon and what he saw as he walked - The great walls of Babylon were 387 feet high and 87 feet thick. 

Each side of this great wall was 15 miles in length. They enclosed an area of 225 square miles. The walls were so wide that 4 chariots could be drive abreast on top of the wall and were on great race days. 


The mighty Euphrates River flowed through the middle of the city. On one bank were terraces, covered in rich greenery that led to a central altar. In the middle of the city was the massive temple of Bel with all its buildings and smaller temples and shrines. 

As Nebuchadnezzar looked on this great city, he could see the spacious gardens and orchards that fed the entire population of 2 million. 

As he walked he talked and in verse 30, he took credit for the whole thing. 

Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten that the same God who blessed him also promised to break him! 

This man was walking in the sin of pride!!!

These events took a full year to come to pass - 4:29. Never mistake the patience and longsuffering of God for forgetfulness! 

He will always remember your sin, until it is taken care of at Calvary. 

- You may feel that you are getting away with something today! 

- You may think that nobody but God knows about your sin. 

If God knows, then it is enough! Your sin will catch up with you…

"and be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

B. Nebuchadnezzar In The Place Of Brokenness - There are millions today who fit this pattern of life! 

They have had their hearts pricked by conviction and know they need to repent before the Lord, but in their pride, they chose to go on living as though God had absolutely no say in the matter. 

Let me remind you that God knows exactly how to get your attention, (V. 31-33)!

31 “While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.”  Daniel 4:31-33

As I said, God knows how to get your attention. He knows just what your heartstring is... 

What will it take to break your heart and make you come to Christ for salvation? 

Christian, what will it take to break you and make you come fully clean before the Lord? 

God knows! 

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Power

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Privilege

§ Nebuchadnezzar In His Pride

NEBUCHADNEZZAR IN HIS PERSUASION, v. 34-37

34 “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? 36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”  Daniel 4:34-37 

There Is A Realization - Nebuchadnezzar finally realizes that what he needs is a personal relationship with the God of the Hebrews. 

- He realizes that God has been right all along. 

- He realizes that he is a sinner and turns to the Lord in repentance.

This is the place that many, whether saved or lost, need to come to today! 

Have you reached that place yet? 

Again, I ask you, what will it take?

· There Is A Reception - There is an obvious change in the attitude of Nebuchadnezzar. 

Before, he either ignored God or just gave Him mere lip service. 

Now, he begins to praise the Lord and to glorify God's works.  This is a saved man! 

One day, when we get to Heaven, there will be a man there named Nebuchadnezzar! 

He will tell you that those 7 years of affliction were the single greatest blessing he ever received on this earth. 

It was those years that broke him and caused him to bow before the God of Heaven and receive Him into his life…

You can tell this man is right with God. He praises the Lord and renders all glory and honor to the God of Heaven! 

Is this how you live your life before the Lord this morning? 

Can you honestly say, "Preacher, in everything I do, God is glorified and as far as I know, ever sin has been confessed to Him and I am broken and humble before the Lord?" If this isn't your life, then you need to come clean today!

CONCLUSION: 

Again, I ask you what is it going to take to break you before the Lord? 

We humans are a stubborn lot! 

We must be broken before we can ever be used of the Lord. 

He has many means of breaking men. 

What will it take in your life? Death? Sickness? Sorrow? Poverty? Exposure? 


What will it take? 

Instead of forcing God's hand, why not come to Him while He is still operating in longsuffering and grace? 

Why not come now, while He still calls gently to your heart? 

Why not bow and allow Him to break you with grace rather than judgment?

(PREACHED SUN.PM, SEPT. 17, 2017)


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