HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

 TO CONTACT PASTOR EMERITUS

for information on the following sermons:

Jesse Spurlock 

email:  jesse.spurlock@cox.net


 

  SERMON

WEDNESDAY P.M. -  03/20/2019

“SIMPLE, BUT POWERFUL!”

ECCL. 5:1-2

INTRODUCTION

SOMEONE ONCE SAID, “UNLESS YOU CAN  IMPROVE ON  SILENCE, SAY NOTHING.”  ANOTHER HAS SAID, “IT IS BETTER BE SILENT AND BE THOUGHT A FOOL, THAN TO SPEAK AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT.”  OF COURSE, THERE ARE AMPLE BIBLE EXAMPLES OF THAT STATEMENT. SUCH AS OUR TEXT WHICH SAYS, “LET THY WORDS BE FEW.”   I DON’T WANT TO BE CRITICAL BY TALKING ABOUT THE VALUE OF SILENCE AS MUCH AS TO POINT OUT THE VALUE OF WHAT WE DO SAY. ON OUR LAST SPECIAL MUSIC PROGRAM, I USED AN ILLUSTRATION OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S RESPONSE TO A CHALLENGE TO WRITE A COMPELLING STORY IN SIX WORDS.  HIS RESPONSE WAS: “FOR SALE: BABY SHOES. NEVER WORN.”  HOW POWERFUL THOSE FEW WORDS ARE - TO CONVEY A COMPELLING MESSAGE. IT CHALLENGED ME TO FILL IN THE DETAILS.  THE BEST STORIES PIQUE OUR IMAGINATION TO VISUALIZE THE RAMIFICATIONS AND OUTCOME OF A MULTITUDE OF END RESULTS OF THOSE FEW WORDS.  I RECALL AN OLD TV SHOW FROM THE 1960S, “LLOYD BRIDGES SHOW”. HE WAS SOME SORT OF WRITER AND WOULD  COME  ACROSS  SOME  OBJECT  AND WOULD PUT HIMSELF INTO THE SITUATION AND IMAGINE A FULL STORY BASED ON THAT ONE SMALL ITEM. I WAS ALWAYS IMPRESSED WITH HIS IMAGINATION TO DEVELOP A VERY INTERESTING STORY. FOR EXAMPLE: IN ONE SEGMENT, HE SPOTTED A WRECKED A-MODEL FORD COUPE IN A DEEP CANYON. AS HE LOOKED AT THE WRECK, HE BEGAN VISUALIZING THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE LIVES OF THE OCCUPANTS OF THAT CAR. IN MUCH THE SAME WAY OF THAT WRECKED CAR, CAUSED LLOYD BRIDGES TO BE STIMULATED OF “WHAT ELSE IS PRESENTED HERE IN WHAT I AM LOOKING AT.” CERTAINLY, AN OLD WRECKED CAR IN A DEEP CANYON HAD A LOT MORE INVOLVED THAN JUST A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IS SEEN ON THE SURFACE. IN MUCH THE WAY, THE BIBLE HAVE A NUMBER OF VERY SHORT, SIMPLE WORDS OR PHRASES. THEY ARE COMPLETE BY THEMSELVES, BUT CAUSED ME TO MEDITATE UPON SO MUCH MORE. THINK WITH ME FOR A FEW MINUTES TONIGHT, OF THE DEPTH OF SOME SHORT, SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL WORDS.

I. CONSIDER FIRST, THE ABOVE ILLUSTRATION OF MR. HEMINGWAY’S SIX WORD STORY: “FOR SALE: BABY SHOES. NEVER WORN.” FROM MY UNDERSTANDING, MR. HEMINGWAY’S LIFE REFLECTED NOTHING SPIRITUAL. HOWEVER, PUTTING HIS SPIRITUALITY ASIDE, CONSIDER THE MESSAGE CONVEYED IN ONLY SIX WORDS.

A. WHY WOULD A PARENT WANT TO SELL A BABY’S SHOES? WOULD THAT NOT CAUSE US TO CONSIDER THE REASON?  THAT FACT, STANDING ALONE, MIGHT MEAN THE BABY HAD  OUTGROWN THEM.  HOWEVER, “NEVER WORN” TELLS US THAT THE SHOES ARE STILL NEW AND “NEVER” MEANS THERE HAD NEVER BEEN THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BABY TO EVEN USE THEM. 

B. THIS CAUSED ME TO LOGICALLY REASON  THAT SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED TO THE BABY.  PERHAPS BEING A STILL-BORN, OR EVEN WORSE, BEING BORN LIVING, BUT DIES SHORTLY AFTERWARD.  PERHAPS THE PARENTS WERE EXPECTING A CHILD AND HAD PURCHASED THE SHOES, IN PREPARATION OF THE BIRTH, BUT THEN FIND IT WAS A “FALSE PREGNANCY”, OR WORSE, THE CHILD HAS DIED IN THE WOMB. HOW DEVASTATING THAT WOULD BE. AND PERHAPS EVEN THEN BE INFORMED THAT THE COUPLE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO HAVE CHILDREN. ALL ABOVE  CIRCUMSTANCES ARE STIMULATED MY MIND TO CONSIDER HOW TERRIBLE THEY ARE.

C. FURTHER, SINCE THE PARENTS ARE SELLING THE SHOES, THIS SPEAKS OF “LOST HOPE”. IT MEANS THEY MAY HAVE GIVEN UP ALL HOPE OF EVER HAVING A BABY IN THE FUTURE.  THERE ARE MANY OTHER REASONS PROVIDED BY MY IMAGINATION.  HOWEVER, AN EVEN SADDER FACT IS THAT MANY EXPECTING MOTHERS TODAY FIND THAT A BABY IS GOING TO INCONVENIENCE HER, SO, UNDER THE GUISE OF HER RIGHTS TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY, SHE HAS THE CHILD MURDERED BY AN ABORTIONIST. ALTHOUGH SHE WOULD NOT LIKELY TO MURDER HER CHILD AFTER IT IS BORN, SHE BLINDS HERSELF TO THE REALITY THAT ALTHOUGH IT HASN’T YET BEEN BORN, IT IS STILL HER FLESH AND BLOOD CHILD. MANY MISGUIDED MOTHERS FIND FOR REAL, THAT AFTER HAVING ELIMINATING HER INCONVENIENT, INNOCENT HELPLESS CHILD BY HAVING IT MURDERED, SHE REALIZES TOO LATE WHAT SHE HAS DONE, AND BECOMES SO DEVASTATED THAT SHE GETS RID OF THE CHILD’S CLOTHES AS A REMINDER OF WHAT SHE HAS DONE. 

D. DON’T LET ANYONE EVER TELL YOU THAT THE ABORTION OF A BABY IS A WOMAN’S RIGHTS TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY. NO HUMAN’S “RIGHTS” ARE EVER SUPERIOR AND ABOVE THE RIGHTS OF THE UNBORN HUMAN BEING, FROM THE TIME OF CONCEPTION FOR THE REST OF THE CHILD’S LIFE.

II. LET’S MOVE ON TO OTHER SIMPLE, BUT POWERFUL WORDS. OF COURSE, A VERY SHORT AND POWERFUL MESSAGE COMES FROM JESUS’S LIPS AT THE TOMB OF LAZARUS, WHEN JESUS PREPARED TO RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD.  IN JOHN 11:35, WE FIND THE SHORTEST VERSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, “JESUS WEPT”. CONSIDER WITH ME NOW, THE DEPTH AND MEANING OF THOSE TWO WORDS - JESUS WEPT!

A. BEING TOLD “JESUS WEPT”, WE ARE BEING TOLD VERY CLEARLY, THAT JESUS WAS NOT ONLY JUST GOD, BUT ALSO THAT HE WAS MOVED BY HUMAN EMOTION TO ACTUALLY SHED TEARS OF SORROW.  WE ARE TOLD MANY PLACES THAT JESUS WAS AND IS GOD.  JESUS HIMSELF SAID IN JOHN 10:30, “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE.”.  ALTHOUGH SOME TODAY IMAGINE THAT JESUS DIDN’T ACTUALLY MEAN THAT HE WAS GOD, BUT THE JEWS THERE HEARD HIM AND UNDERSTOOD HIM TO SAY EXACTLY THAT. THIS IS OBVIOUS  BECAUSE THEY TOOK UP STONES TO STONE HIM FOR SAYING THAT. (VS. 31-33), “THEN THE JEWS TOOK UP STONES AGAIN TO STONE HIM. JESUS ANSWERED THEM, MANY GOOD WORKS HAVE I SHOWED YOU FROM MY FATHER; FOR WHICH OF THOSE WORKS DO YE STONE ME? THE JEWS ANSWERED HIM, SAYING, FOR A GOOD WORK WE STONE THEE NOT; BUT FOR BLASPHEMY; AND BECAUSE THAT THOU, BEING A MAN, MAKEST THYSELF GOD.”  HOWEVER, HERE WE SEE THAT JESUS WAS NOT ONLY FULLY GOD, BUT ALSO WAS FULLY MAN, ONLY WITHOUT SIN.

B. THE WORDS, “JESUS WEPT”, HAS LED TO MANY SERMONS ON “WHY” JESUS WEPT. THERE ARE MANY REASONS, BUT NO HUMAN ON EARTH CAN FULLY COMPREHENDED ALL THE REASONS WHY JESUS DID WEEP HERE AT THE TOMB OF LAZARUS. SOME HAVE REASONED THAT BECAUSE OF JESUS’S DEEP CARE OF LAZARUS, MARTHA, AND MARY, THIS CAUSED HIM TO WEEP AT LAZARUS’S DEATH.  

C. HOWEVER, WHY WOULD HE WEEP WHEN LAZARUS HAD DIED, BECAUSE JESUS KNEW HE WAS GOING TO BRING LAZARUS BACK TO LIFE? JESUS HAD ALREADY EXPLAINED TO MARTHA THAT LAZARUS WAS GOING TO LIVE AGAIN (VS. 23). MARTHA DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT MEANT AT THAT TIME. HOWEVER, JESUS KNEW WHAT HE MEANT. IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT THIS WAS THE REASON JESUS WEPT.

D. SOME HAVE IMAGINED THAT JESUS WEPT BECAUSE HE WAS ABOUT TO BRING LAZARUS BACK TO LIFE INTO A WORLD THAT WAS FILLED WITH PAIN, SORROW, AND TRIALS.  AFTER ALL, LAZARUS HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED DEATH AND “PASSED OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE” AND NOW JESUS IS BRINGING HIM BACK INTO THIS LIFE.  PERHAPS THAT’S THE CASE, BUT I REALLY DON’T KNOW.  THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS THAT WE DON’T KNOW FOR SURE. WE COULD SIMPLY CONCLUDE THAT JESUS WEPT AT LAZARUS’S DEATH, BECAUSE OF THE REALITY THAT THE DEATH SENTENCE WAS UPON ALL OF MANKIND, BECAUSE WE ALL SIN. (ROM. 5:12, “WHEREFORE, AS BY ONE MAN, SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, AND SO DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED.” 

E. PERHAPS JESUS WEPT, BECAUSE HIS HEART WAS BROKEN BECAUSE GOD’S HEART IS BROKEN BECAUSE OF MAN’S SIN AND DEATH’S RESULTS.

III. ANOTHER PHRASE, OF SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL WORDS RECORDED IN GOD’S WORD IS A PROFOUND STATEMENT WHEN GOD SPOKE TO ELIJAH ON THE MOUNTAIN HOREB, AT THE MOUTH OF A CAVE (RECORDED IN I KINGS 19:9-12. THERE, GOD SHOWED ELIJAH HIS POWER IN A GREAT AND STRONG WIND THAT RENT THE MOUNTAINS AND BRAKE THE ROCKS, AND A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, AND A GREAT FIRE. BUT GOD TELLS US THAT THE LORD WAS NOT IN ANY OF THOSE, BUT HE CONCLUDED IN VERSE 12, BY STATING “..AFTER THE FIRE, A STILL SMALL VOICE.”  IN ALL THE COMMOTION OF THE WORLD AND OUR SOCIETY, GOD MOST OFTEN SPEAKS TO EACH OF US IN A “STILL SMALL VOICE”.  EVEN IN THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY, WE ARE GIVEN THE IDEA THAT GOD IS GOING TO HIT US WITH A POWERFUL, EARTH SHAKING MESSAGE TO GET OUR ATTENTION. ALTHOUGH HE DID HIT PAUL WITH A BLINDING LIGHT, BUT IN MY OWN LIFE, GOD HAS NEVER SPOKEN TO ME THAT WAY, EVEN WHEN HIS MESSAGE IS FOUND TO BE OF UTMOST IMPORTANT. HIS MESSAGE TO ME SEEMS TO HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE STILL VOICE IN MY SOUL, AS HE COMMUNES WITH ME.  I CAN ASSURE YOU, THAT SATAN AND HIS FORCES WILL NEVER RESORT TO THAT TACTIC. HE WILL MAKE A LOT OF RACKET AND COMMOTION.

A. WHEN I MET THE LORD IN SALVATION ON MAY 10, 1947 AT PILGRIM REST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, STRATFORD, OK., AS I KNELT THERE AT THAT OLD ALTAR, I WAS STRUGGLING TO FIND MY WAY, WHEN MY BROTHER, LOUIS, KNELT BESIDE ME AND QUIETLY SAID, “JESSE, JUST TURN IT OVER TO JESUS.”  I DID JUST THAT, TELLING  JESUS, “I’M SORRY FOR MY SINS. FORGIVE ME AND SAVE ME.”  I DIDN’T HEAR A LOUD CRASHING NOISE OR EXPLOSION OR SEE A BALL OF FIRE, TO SCARE THE WICKEDNESS OUT OF ME, BUT WHAT I HEARD WAS A STILL QUIET VOICE, “YOU’RE FORGIVEN. WELCOME HOME, MY CHILD.”

B. YEARS LATER ON MAY 1, 1970, I SURRENDERED MY LIFE TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, ON MY WAY TO WORK. I WAS N/B ON THE SANTA ANA FREEWAY AT IMPERIAL HIGHWAY OVERPASS, I HAD BEEN STRUGGLING WITH WHAT GOD WANTED ME TO DO. GOD WASN’T YELLING AT ME, BUT IN A STILL QUIET VOICE HE CONVICTED MY HEART OF HIS CALLING. IN THAT VOICE, I HEARD HIM SAYING, “YOU KNOW WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO! COME, FOLLOW ME.” I HAD TRIED TO BARGAIN WITH GOD. I KNEW HE WANTED ME TO PREACH, BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO DO THAT. GOD WASN’T LISTENING TO THAT. HE WANTED ME TO DO WHAT HE WANTED ME TO DO. IT WASN’T FOR ME TO DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT I WANTED TO DO.  FOLKS, IN MY DISCUSSION WITH GOD, I WAS DRIVING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HEAVY LOS ANGELES TRAFFIC, TRAVELING AT ABOUT 70 MPH, IN BUMPER-TO-BUMPER TRAFFIC. EVERYONE, INCLUDING ME, WERE FOLLOWING FAR TOO CLOSE. I SUDDENLY CAME TO MY SENSES AND QUIT STRUGGLING AGAINST GOD. I ASKED MYSELF, “WHO ARE YOU ARGUING WITH? YOU ARE ARGUING AGAINST THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. HE WANTS ME TO PREACH. HE WILL GIVE ME THE ABILITY!”  WITH THAT SURRENDER, I EXPERIENCED WHAT PAUL DECLARES IN PHIL. 4:6-7, “BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING; BUT IN EVERY THING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD.  AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING, SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.”

C. I WAS A SERGEANT ON THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT AND ON A “FAST TRACK” (AS THEY SAY) TO GO ON UP THE RANKS. FOLKS, GOD DOES SPEAK IN A STILL, QUIET VOICE, BUT LAPD HAS NO SUCH VOICE. WHEN I TOLD THEM THAT I WAS OPTING OUT OF THE ELITE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, IN ORDER TO ATTEND THE SEMINARY, THEIR VOICE WAS NOT ONLY LOUD, BUT WAS SWIFT AND DISAPPROVING.

D. HOWEVER, REGARDLESS OF THE COMMOTION AND NOISE FROM LAPD, RELATIVES, AND SO-CALLED FRIENDS, GOD CONTINUED TO SPEAK TO ME IN THAT STILL SMALL VOICE, TO “STAY THE COURSE”.  “STAY THE COURSE, REGARDLESS OF THE COMMOTION AND COMPLAINTS BY SATAN AND/OR ANYONE ELSE.  CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY THAT SMALL, STILL VOICE OF GOD.”  BY GOD’S POWER, I HAVE DONE THAT SINCE 1977.  GOD HAS ALWAYS LED ME BY HIS STILL, SMALL VOICE.

IV. SUMMARY:

A. IT ISN’T THE LENGTH OF SERMON, BUT RATHER THE CONTENT OF IT. DOES THE MESSAGE STIMULATE US TO ACT UPON WHAT WE HEAR? ARE WE MOVED TO ACTION WHEN WE HEAR JESUS SAYING, “TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME”?

B. REGARDLESS OF WHAT MAN DETERMINES ABOUT WHY JESUS WEPT, THE FACT OF WHATEVER THE REASON, OUR HEARTS SHOULD ALSO BE BROKEN BY WHAT WE KNOW GRIEVES THE HEART OF GOD.  REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR JESUS’S TEARS AT LAZARUS’S TOMB, WE KNOW THAT HE IS BROKEN HEARTED BECAUSE OF SIN.

C. GOD IS CALLING EVERYONE TO SERVICE, REGARDLESS OF WHAT HE WANTS US TO DO. IT IS A STILL SMALL VOICE, BUT IT IS NOT AN INDISTINCTIVE ONE. WE ARE ADMONISHED TO “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!” WE ARE TO LISTEN TO GOD STILL SMALL VOICE REGARDLESS OF HOW FAR DOWN OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. LET US NOT BE SO BUSY MAKING A LOT OF RACKET WITH OUR SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY, THAT WE MISS HEARING WHAT GOD TRULY WANTS FOR OUR LIFE.


SERMON

SUNDAY P.M. - 04/07/2019


“ENCOURAGEMENT”

HEBREWS 10:25

INTRODUCTION

VERSES ARE OFTEN QUOTED, READ, OR USED TO ESTABLISH A POINT TO AUSE AN ACTION OR RESPONSE TO A NEED. YET, MANY TIMES, THERE IS SO MUCH MORE STATED THAN JUST THE POINT BEING MADE. SUCH VERSE IS OUR TEST: (REREAD IT). THIS VERSE IS QUOTED OR USED TO CHIDE CHURCH MEMBERS WHO ARE LAYING OUT OF CHURCH ALTOGETHER. WHILE IT DOES MEAN THAT, IT ALSO MEANS CONDEMNS OUR MISSING ANY REGULARLY SCHEDULED SERVICES, AS WELL AS THE SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP SERVICES. BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE INVOLVED THAN JUST TELLING US NOT TO MISS CHURCH SERVICES. AS SEEN IN THE TITLE TONIGHT, THIS IS A MESSAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT. FOR A FEW MINUTES TONIGHT, I WANTED TO EXAMINE THIS VERSE AND DISCUSS A LITTLE OF THE DEPTHS OF IT AND HOPEFULLY ENCOURAGE EACH OF US.

I. “NOT FORSAKING”, THAT IS “NOT NEGLECTING”.

A. THIS IMPLIES A DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SOMETHING OR PERFORM SOME ACTION.

        B. WE DON’T FORSAKE OR NEGLECT SOMETHING UNLESS AN OBLIGATION OR DUTY EXISTS.

C. THIS TELLS US THAT WE HAVE A DUTY OR OBLIGATION. A DUTY IS NOT VOLUNTARY. IT IS MANDATORY.

D. THESE TERMS TELLS OF A NEGLECTED DUTY, NOT A FAILURE TO PERFORM A SERVICE IN ADDITION TO WHAT IS EXPECTED OF US.

II. “THE ASSEMBLING”. THIS IS A “COMING TOGETHER”.

A. CONNECTED WITH “NOT FORSAKING”, THIS TELLS US THAT WE ARE OBLIGATED TO COME TOGETHER.

B. SHUT-INS AND OTHERS WHO ARE PROVIDENTIALLY HINDERED FROM ASSEMBLING ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT UNDER CONSIDERATION, BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT BE “FORSAKING”. “FORSAKING” REQUIRES WILLFUL MOTIVE.

C. FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABLE, IT IS NOT ALL RIGHT TO STAY HOME TO DO SOMETHING ELSE, OR GO ELSEWHERE, OR STAY HOME AND SUPPORT THE CHURCH “WITH OUR PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS.”

III. “OURSELVES TOGETHER” - THIS INCLUDES ALL OF US. “OURSELVES” EVEN INCLUDES THE PREACHER AND OTHER CHURCH LEADERS.

A. NO ONE IS LEFT OUT! EVEN THE WRITER OF HEBREWS INCLUDED HIMSELF.

B. MY OWN SPECIAL REASON DOESN’T EXEMPT ME. IF I’M ABLE, I’M TO BE IN SERVICES. THE SUPERBOWL, THE STATE FAIR, SOME REALLY GREAT MOVIE ON TV, NOTWITHSTANDING.

C. “OURSELVES TOGETHER” TIES THIS COMMAND TO ASSEMBLING. IT DOESN’T PERMIT US TO TAY HOME AND DO OUR OWN CHURCH SERVICES. ALTHOUGH IT IS NECESSARY SOMETIMES, WHEN WE ARE AWAY FROM HOME. BUT IT ISN’T ALRIGHT IF WE ARE AT HOME.

D. IF THE CHURCH IS ASSEMBLED, WE ARE TO BE THERE ALSO, IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

IV. “AS THE MANNER (HABIT & PRACTICE) OF SOME IS”. THIS SAYS, “SOME”, NOT “ALL”.

A. IT MAY SEEM AT TIMES THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, SO “IT’S OKAY IF I DO IT!” THIS POINTS TO OUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY, REGARDLESS OF WHAT OTHERS MIGHT DO.

B. SOME DON’T LIKE THE TERM “HABIT” WHEN APPLIED TO CHURCH ATTENDANCE, BUT THAT’S WHAT IT IS, AND THAT IS WHAT THIS VERSE DECLARES. WE GET IN THE HABIT OR PRACTICE OF ATTENDING SERVICES - THAT’S WHAT WE DO!

C. IT IS EASY TO BREAK THE HABIT OR PRACTICE OF ATTENDING, BUT IT VERY HARD TO FORM THE HABIT AND PRACTICE TO THE POINT THAT NO THOUGHT IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM IT.

D. IF IT IS A MANNER OR HABIT ON THE PART OF SOME TO FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLY, THEN LOGICALLY, IT IS A HABIT TO “NOT FORSAKE” THE ASSEMBLING.

V. “EXHORTING” MEANS “STRONGLY ENCOURAGE, GIVE WARNING, SINCERELY CHALLENGE, AND EMPHATICALLY URGE.”

        A. THIS EMPHASIZE THE NEED TO IMPRESS AN URGENCY UPON OTHERS.

B. AS THIS VERSE IS SPEAKING OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST, IT REMINDS US THAT THE INJUNCTION IN THIS VERSE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO URGE, ENCOURAGE, AND STRONGLY CHALLENGE THEM TO FAITHFULNESS TO THE LORD’S SERVICES.

C. THIS IS ALSO A PART OF THE DUTY ADDRESSED IN THIS VERSE - OUR DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TOWARD FELLOW CHURCH MEMBERS.

D. IT IS NOT JUST ADDRESSED TO THOSE WHO ARE NEGLIGENT, BUT IT IS TO THE FAITHFUL IN OUR OBLIGATION, AS WELL.

E. IF THIS VERSE CONDEMNS UNFAITHFULNESS IN ATTENDANCE, IT ALSO CONDEMNS US FOR NOT ENCOURAGING AND EXHORTING OTHERS TO BE FAITHFUL.

VI. “SO MUCH THE MORE” MEANS “ALL THE MORE”. THIS REFERS TO THE URGENCY OF OUR DUTY.

A. ENCOURAGING OTHERS IN CHURCH ATTENDANCE IS VERY IMPORTANT IN ANY PERIOD OF TIME, HOWEVER, THIS IS POINTING TO AN INCREASING URGENCY.

B. THE SENSE OF URGENCY INCREASES WITH EVERY PASSING DAY. IT IS MORE URGENT TODAY THAN IT WAS YESTERDAY.

C. IT IS FAR MORE URGENT TODAY THAT CHURCH MEMBERS ATTEND SERVICES THAN EVER BEFORE.

D. THERE IS A TENANCY OF CHURCHES TODAY TO DISCONTINUE SCHEDULED SERVICES BECAUSE OF A DWINDLING ATTENDANCE. THE SOLUTION IS NOT TO DISCONTINUE SERVICES TO ACCOMMODATE UNFAITHFULNESS, BUT RATHER INCREASE OUR URGING OTHERS IN THEIR ATTENDANCE.

VII. “AS YE SEE” TELLS US TO BE ALERT TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

A. “AS YE” REMINDS US THAT WE HAVE A SPECIAL AWARENESS OF THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, WHICH THE UNSAVED DOES NOT HAVE.

B. PAUL DECLARED THAT TRUTH FOR US IN I THESS. 5:4-5, “BUT YE, BRETHREN, ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, THAT THAT DAY SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU AS A THIEF.  YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT, AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DAY: WE ARE NOT OF THE NIGHT, NOR OF DARKNESS.” GOD GIVES US A SPECIAL ENLIGHTENMENT FOR THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

C. WE ARE TO USE THAT ENLIGHTENMENT TO BE AWARE OF THE NEARNESS OF THE LORD’S RETURN AND THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR FAITHFULNESS TO HIM UPON HIS RETURN, EVEN IN THE MATTER OF OUR ASSEMBLING TOGETHER.

D. WHEN ASSEMBLED TOGETHER, WE WILL STRENGTHEN AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER IN STANDING AGAINST THE ASSAULTS OF SATAN AND THE WORLD, WHICH ARE BECOMING MORE BOLD AND BRAZEN EACH PASSING DAY.

E. WE DESPERATELY NEED THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF ONE ANOTHER TODAY.

VIII. “THAT DAY APPROACHING”.  WHAT  DAY  DID  HE  MEAN?  WHAT  DAY  IS

APPROACHING? WELL, THERE IS DEATH, OR THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE. BUT  ALSO, IT COULD MEAN THE DAY OF  MODERNISM, UNGODLINESS, OR RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. ALL OF THESE DAYS ARE FOR US TO EXHORT ONE ANOTHER TO FAITHFULNESS.

A. “THAT DAY” IS FAST APPROACHING. BILLY GRAHAM WROTE A BOOK YEARS AGO, “APPROACHING HOOF BEATS”, IN WHICH HE OUTLINED MANY OF THE APPROACH OF THE END OF THE WORLD, AS WE KNOW IT.

B. IF WHAT HE WROTE IN 1983 WAS TRUE, HOW MUCH MORE URGENT AND NEAR ARE THESE SIGNS IN OUR DAY AND TIME?

IX. SUMMARY:

A. LET US KNOW THAT WHAT THE WRITER STATED ABOUT OUR ASSEMBLING TOGETHER, WAS AN ADMONITION OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO ASSEMBLE ALSO.

B. LET US THEN ENCOURAGE OTHERS IN THEIR ATTENDANCE.

C. LET US KNOW THAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE THAT WE ASSEMBLE TOGETHER, BUT ALSO THAT WE ENCOURAGE AND EXHORT OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE.