Tag Archives: behavior

Why the Millennium? (Part 1)

Today’s message of August 7, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Have you ever considered the Millennium?  Why will the Lord Jesus Christ rule over the earth for 1,000 years?  Why would He spend that time with humanity?

If we give thought to this, we should ask the question about the purpose of the thousand-year reign of Christ.

Some people won’t really care, especially if Jesus Christ is not at the forefront of their thinking.  God calls us to seek Him, and it is best to do so through His Word.

The Bible and God’s Word continues to reveal itself to those who sincerely seek Him.

Jesus ruling for a thousand years follows what is written in Revelation 19:

Revelation 19:11-12

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself.

Jesus Christ is faithful and true.  He is faithful to the truth.  He is true to His Word.  He will fulfill everything that He proclaims.

He will go to war in this truth and rightly judge others.  All of His actions are in righteousness.  He goes to war against those who are rebellious in order to proclaim His righteousness.

Revelation 19:13

He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God.

During the Millennium, Jesus will be the teacher for His very name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1).

Revelation 19:14-16

The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Revelation 19:17-21

Then I saw an angel standing on[a] the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying high overhead, Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.

Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed the signs in his presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (v. 20).

So is there anything that God needs to prove at this point?

What happens to the children of these fathers that were slain?  There are a lot of commentaries that conclude that the people who enter the Millennium are believers, but we need to consider that those who remain may not have public idols, but there still may be idol worship in the hearts of some people.  Anything that is more important than Jesus Christ is just an idol.

It is the choice of a person as to whether or not they are going to follow Jesus.

Satan is dealt with between the war of Armageddon and the millennium. Satan is restrained and bound (Revelation 20:1-3). God gave the authority for an angel to bind Satan for 1,000 years.

When God speaks, His Word is the final word.

Even with all of this, man has this thing called blame.  If we are late for work, it will sometimes come with an excuse.  “I got distracted. I lost track of time.”  In the millennium, there will be no “blame game.”

The millennium will:

  1. Change the spiritual atmosphere.
  2. Perfect a spiritual and moral environment (spiritual leadership)
  3. Deal with evil behavior rapidly (no rebellion)
  4. See Jesus reign (it will be His time of influence)

God will not allow any influence of evil or sin during that time, and it will be to remove the blame that people may have against God (“You allowed us to be deceived.”)

Romans 7:11-12

For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ.

1 Timothy 2:14

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.

1 Corinthians 15:22, 45-49

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.

The first man was from the earth

and made of dust;

the second man is from heaven.

Like the man made of dust,

so are those who are made of dust;

like the heavenly man,

so are those who are heavenly.

And just as we have borne

the image of the man made of dust,

we will also bear

the image of the heavenly man.

Genesis 3:12-13

Then the man replied, The woman You gave to be with meshe gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.

So the Lord God asked the woman, What is this you have done?

And the woman said, It was the serpent. He deceived me, and I ate.

The difference between the Millennium and the Garden of Eden will be the presence of Jesus Christ and the absence of reasons to blame.

1 Peter 5:8

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.

You can’t rightfully blame God for what happens to you if you choose not to trust in Him and follow Him.


A Fathers’ Day Message

Today’s message summary of June 19, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

The task of being a father can sometimes seem to be unending. When will the kids leave? When will they take care of themselves? Upon reflection, it goes by very, very quickly.

Today, there have been fathers that have run from the responsibility because it is a heavy load to be a father; furthermore, a lot of fathers are not prepared to be a father. Fathers did not raise a lot of them.

The bible teaches how to be a father, but it is important for us to look at successful fathers and learn to live the way that they do. Our heavenly Father is an excellent example of that. He loves His children and cares for them.

We need to see more examples of fathers who know their Father.

The definition of a father should go beyond mere financial support. The courts are only concerned about this, but children need so much more…they need emotional support.

Children without fathers will grow up and experience emotional problems, and often they result in behavioral problems.

God has a plan for fathers. The question is whether or not fathers will work according to the plan that God has laid out for them.

Using the word FATHER as an acronym:

F – Father. The fathers are to know the Father. There should be a strong relationship between the two.

Deuteronomy 6:5

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Impress upon your children that the heavenly Father will guide them even when you are not present. They are to be obedient to God, and they should see your obedience and reverence of God, as well.

Psalm 127:4

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. Such men will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

A – Advice. The child of a skilled father will follow his direction, take his advice and live in a capable manner.

Proverbs 4:1-2

Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding, for I am giving you good instruction. Don’t abandon my teaching.

If a father fails to teach his child, someone else will be teaching him something.

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

A father affirms his children. He gives them recognition by simply saying, “you are mine.”

A child values a father’s affirmation. We value when God affirms us with His love and compassion for us. He does not measure us by how successful we are. We still are His.

Three things that are very important for a father to give to a child:

  1. Recognition.
  2. Acknowledgment (Acknowledge them in their accomplishments).
  3. Accepting him for who he is.

T – Teacher. Fathers are the teachers. They educate their children and impart knowledge and skills for life.

H – Hero. A father is the hero of his child. Every child needs a hero. He is a person who is highly revered (respected) for their courage (heart). A fathers is the reliable helper in the life of his child. He ministers to him and guides him, and helps him do what is right.

E – Encourager. A fathers is to be an encourager. He imparts strength and confidence to his child and gives him valuable support.

R – Readiness. A father brings about a state of readiness for his child. When this occurs, the child is ready to perform, and perform well.

A child is prepared by his father to be ready to perform in life, and this is important because life never asks if you are ready–it just comes at you. (People who are ill prepared and not ready tend to run away from life.) A father readies his child for life no matter what may come along.

Proverbs 22:6

Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Fathers are the caretakers of their children. Let’s be the best caretakers that we can be.


Signs of the Last Days: The Intensity of the Day

Today’s message summary of March 15, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We are now approaching a time where even many Christians will want to get away from today’s tumultuous period. There will be difficult times ahead, but Jesus tells us to “be ready.” There has to be a thought process where a person will need to take a stand with Him and remain faithful. The power to stand will come through the Holy Spirit to take a stand. The challenge will take place where a person will be called upon to denounce Jesus Christ, and a person will need to make a choice.

When it comes to subjects such as having children out of wedlock, crime, vulgarity or horrific acts, these are intense times that we live in. It is happening more and more in society today, where we didn’t hear so much about these things when we were growing up.

There has to be something that deters the sin that is occurring within our society. We also understand that it is going to get worse.

There are acts of vandalism, loud and disruptive behavior, brutality and a general lack of gentlemanly behavior. There was a time when you didn’t hear a woman cussing (beautiful on the outside until they open their mouths).

You need to set boundaries for this and many types of behavior.

Things are getting worse and not getting better.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is that will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.

 

2 Peter 3:3-4

First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”

 

How long has the church been saying that Jesus is coming? For quite a while–since Paul’s time. We have to remember that this is a promise from God that remains to be fulfilled. What people need to understand is that God is still trying to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:39

They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be.

 

Did the people really not know, or did they close their ears to the truth? Noah was preaching a message to the people to repent and turn to God. In essence, people chose to disregard him.

We can hopefully see that things are intensifying:

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

 

God’s power has the ability to change a person. You can deny his power by simply following your own way or the ways of the Devil.

There will be hard-pressing days, and you will only know relief when those days pass. In reality, there are many days that are difficult in the life of a Christian.

People will love themselves and lack respect for others.

Luke 16:14-15

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at Him. And He told them: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight.

 

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.

 

James 2:14-16

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?

 

People will be lovers of money:

Mark 7:10-13

For Moses said:

Honor your father and your mother, and

Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.

But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban'” (that is, a gift committed to the temple), “you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. You revoke God’s word by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”

 

1 Timothy 3:3, 6:10

…not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy–

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

 

People will be boastful (empty pretenders, giving oneself airs, in loud and flaunting ways–attention getting).

Matthew 23:5-7

They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.

 

These are some of the attitudes of the people you will experience during these perilous times. Open your eyes and see if the temperature is going up. If you can see these things, you know that you are in the Last Days.


The Fruits of The Spirit – Godly Patience

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

These are the characteristics of the Holy Spirit that He manifests and produces within us as we live for Jesus Christ.  It is a happiness that is derived from Jesus Christ, and you won’t find it in the world.  Without love, joy and peace, you will not be effective in ministry.  It is all about presenting the agape love that God represents to each of us.

Now we will look at a difficult fruit for many of us…patience.  If you are going to be in ministry, it will require patience.  It will not be about your timing; instead, it is about God’s timing.

God is patient with us, of course.  He knows that we need to learn from Him and how to be patient with others.  God wants us to see how He is working within our acts of patience.

The patience of God reveals to us that God is more concerned about the worker than the work.  The people that we are sharing with who need to be ministered to are more important to Him than the work itself.

God could have delivered the people of Israel just by speaking.  Instead, He took time to build the people up and work with Moses (in training) for 80 years.

God could have fed Jacob by providing for him without a Joseph.

The issue is not getting the job done so much as it is about building character.  You don’t build character by taking short cuts.

In order to build godly men or godly women, there are no short cuts.  To be a servant of God, there are no short cuts.  To be obedient to God’s will, there are no short cuts.

We miss the best that God has to offer when we act impatiently.

James 5:7-11

7 Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. 

9 Brothers, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!

10 Brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. 11 See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

 

Consider that Job’s patience was blessed by God.  Job’s faithfulness and loyalty to God was rewarded because he saw the God that he served in all righteousness.

Patience is built within ministry.  It is one of the first lessons learned, and it is all about God’s timing and not your own.

Patience is being willing to be serviceable to others.  It has to be developed from within and reflect true godliness.  A patient person does not lack anything in Christ.

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

 

1 Timothy 1:16

But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

 

2 Corinthians 6:4

But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:

by great endurance, by afflictions,

by hardship, by difficulties.

 

2 Corinthians 12:12

The signs of an apostle were performed with great endurance among you—not only signs but also wonders and miracles.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

 

Your patience will be tested (Psalm 78).

People will rebel against teaching or learning (Psalm 78:1, 8, 17, 40, 56).

He sees them as useless (unreliable) as a crooked bow (v. 57).

People will forget what you have done for them.

Psalm 78:9-18

9 The Ephraimite archers turned back

on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep God’s covenant

and refused to live by His law.

11 They forgot what He had done,

the wonderful works He had shown them.

12 He worked wonders in the sight of their fathers

in the land of Egypt, the region of Zoan.

13 He split the sea and brought them across;

the water stood firm like a wall.

14 He led them with a cloud by day

and with a fiery light throughout the night.

15 He split rocks in the wilderness

and gave them drink as abundant as the depths.

16 He brought streams out of the stone

and made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against Him,

rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

18 They deliberately tested God,

demanding the food they craved.

 

God was patient with Israel.

 

Psalm 78:70-72

70 He chose David His servant

and took him from the sheepfolds;

71 He brought him from tending ewes

to be shepherd over His people Jacob—

over Israel, His inheritance.

72 He shepherded them with a pure heart

and guided them with his skillful hands.

 

Patience allows for a person to grow in Christ while they are bouncing around in life.  Sometimes people will put you through the test to see how you will respond, including to your own teaching.

God’s desire for us is to walk with Him.  He wants us to be obedient to Him and to His Word.

God’s patience does have a limit as He is holy and righteous, and He deals with prolonged unrighteousness.

 

Psalm 78:31-34

31 God’s anger flared up against them,

and He killed some of their best men.

He struck down Israel’s choice young men.

32 Despite all this, they kept sinning

and did not believe His wonderful works.

33 He made their days end in futility,

their years in sudden disaster.

34 When He killed some of them,

the rest began to seek Him;

they repented and searched for God.

 

Even with all of the rebellion, God remains long-suffering.  When God’s patience runs out:

 

Psalm 95:11

So I swore in My anger,

“They will not enter My rest.”

 

Hebrews 3:7-11

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

Today, if you hear His voice,

8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

on the day of testing in the wilderness,

9 where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,

and saw My works 10 for 40 years.

Therefore I was provoked with that generation

and said, “They always go astray in their hearts,

and they have not known My ways.”

11 So I swore in My anger,

“They will not enter My rest.”

 

As believers in Jesus Christ, no one can take away from you how you respond to their behavior.  Your patience is to remain in God’s agape love for that other person.  God has the right to do whatever He pleases, yet He has remained patient with us.

 

Romans 9:22-24

22 And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? 23 And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory— 24 on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

 

Luke 8:15

But the seed in the good ground—these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.


Identity: Your Choice–Flesh or Spirit?

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:

A person can say, “Lord, I love you,” yet the heart may be far from Him. We have the choice to walk with Him in the Spirit or walk in the flesh. The unbeliever can only walk in the flesh. Only the Christian can choose to live by the Spirit in obedience of God or in the flesh in disobedience. The war is always ongoing between the flesh and the Spirit. As you live more and more in the Spirit, you will have the power and ability to suppress and overcome the flesh.

Which one will you choose?

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The list that mirrors the life of people of the world who do not have Jesus falls within four groups:
1.) Sexual sin
2.) False worship (idolatry); drug abuse
3.) Factions; in-house fighting
4.) Appetites–drunkenness; orgies

The acts of the sinful nature are seen by everyone (Galatians 5:19).

Sin changes our character to the degree that it can change how people perceive you. Your behavior will raise red flags before others around you. It is obvious when you are not walking in obedience to The Lord.

Scripture says to flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).

How does one hurt himself? It can be psychological and also physical (there are many diseases that can occur via sexual intercourse that are incurable). These sins can hinder one’s thinking and has a negative effect all relationships unless God does a work in this area.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that there are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases every year. Of those, half are among people between the ages of 15-24.

Ephesians 4:19
They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Adultery and fornication: one or both adults are married. Marriage is a contract, and it means to be legally bound to the vows taken between a man and a woman; for example, two single people cannot commit adultery.

Mark 10:7-8
7 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
[and be joined to his wife],
8 and the two will become one flesh.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Adultery not only hurts one self, but countless others who are aware of the marriage relationship (relatives, friends, etc.)

Fornication: At least one participant is not under the marriage vow contract, or neither person is married. If a relationship of this type ends, there is damage because there was never a true commitment and the emotional side is exposed.

Prostitution is also fornication. A brothel is a place where prostitution takes place. The word ‘brothel’ means ‘wretched person,’ to waste away, go to ruin.

Fornication is always about self-pleasure. It brings about broken relationships and harms the parents’ trust. This is why the unmarried people are to abstain from sex and not participate until after marriage. The relationship between the man and the woman can be irreparably harmed, as well. A woman can experience anger from the deceit that she was used in the relationship. A pregnancy that develops from the relationship also damages the child because he or she was not wanted in the first place. There are psychological consequences because the child does not see himself as wanted or needed within the relationship.

Impurity, uncleanness: dirt, dirty, soiled; ceremonially, spiritually unclean.

Romans 6:19
I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.

Ephesians 5:3
But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints.

1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification.

Romans 1:24
Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.

Ephesians 4:19
They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Colossians 3:5
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.

Those who participate in sexual immorality are not usable by God.


Identity: Your Behavior Reveals It

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

The way you behave and the things that you say have a lot to do with what you really believe. Our behavior defines us. Over time, it becomes obvious before others who you are. Someone is watching you. People should see the image of Jesus Christ in your actions. If you live as a child of Christ, people should see it and be able to confirm it.

Don’t deceive yourself. If you need to fall down before God and ask for Him to show you who you are, He will show you. The heart is deceiptful and wicked, and it desires the things of the world and all of its accolades.

John 17:14-16
14 I have given them Your word.
The world hated them
because they are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
15 I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.

God has said from the very beginning that His chosen people are not like the world, and are not to emulate the world.

Leviticus 18:3
Do not follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where you used to live, or follow the practices of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. You must not follow their customs.

Christians are not to live like the world. We are to live as Christ teaches us and not follow the world’s practices.

In our culture today, we need to have honest discussions about 9 to 13 year old children getting pregnant. God states that He hates all sin, let alone sexual sin. The things that we will look at here, people were already doing.

Leviticus 20:23
You must not follow the statutes of the nations I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and I abhorred them.

Ephesians 2:3-5
3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Leviticus 18:25
The land has become defiled, so I am punishing it for its sin, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.

Leviticus 18:28
If you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it has vomited out the nations that were before you.

Romans 8:22
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

God had to make declarations to keep man from being his worst–he was without restraint and committed all of these sins:

1. Sleep not with father or mother (Lev. 18:7)
2. Father’s wife (v. 8), second wife
3. Sister (v. 9), half sister
4. Thy son’s daughter..granddaughter (v. 10)
5. Aunt (v. 12), father’s sister
6. Aunt (v. 13), mother’s sister
7. Your uncle’s wife (v. 14), father’s brother
8. Your son’s wife (v. 15), daughter-in-law
9. Thy brother’s wife (v. 16)
10. Strange woman and her daughter (v. 17)
11. Your wife’s sister (v. 18)
12. Thy neighbor’s wife
13. Man sleeping with a man (v. 22)
14. Men or women with animals (v. 22)

Leviticus 18:24
“Do not defile yourselves by any of these practices, for the nations I am driving out before you have defiled themselves by all these things.

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The list which mirrors the life of people of the world without Jesus falls into four groups:

1. Sexual sins
2. False worship (idolatry, drugs)
3. Factions (in-house fighting)
4. Appetites (greed, drunkenness, orgies)

None of these things make up the identity of who a Christian is to be. A church is not to celebrate these behaviors. There are indeed standards that God wants His people to uphold. The Holy Spirit needs to be present to control us from exercising these behaviors. There is indeed a difference between a person who is born again in Jesus Christ than there is who is not. This means that a believer does not remain in sin because it is more about loving The Lord than it is loving sin.


Sin and its Consequences

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Are you ready to hear how God speaks to you? Are you prepared to be a student of the Word?

God has often warned us about the dangers of sin, and we will not take His advice. When we ignore God, we find ourselves in sin and sometimes wonder later why we are in such a mess. Even though we cause the sin, we can see how sin erodes us and our lives.

We have to recognize the warnings that God gives each of us when it comes to sin. He will not let you off the hook if you are willfully disobedient. He will forgive you, yes, but God will always punish sin–there are consequences.

Romans 6:12-13
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.

Each of us knows when sin occurs. You are not just doing what you want to do, but in reality you are subject to the sin itself. You are actually following the desires of Satan, and they will ultimately lead to unhappiness. We often have a problem calling out sin for what it is. Sin is a choice. It is your will and you choice to offer yourself to do what is pleasing to God or what is sinful.

If you allow sin to live within you, it will effect you emotionally. It will, over time, destroy you.

Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:18-19
18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things.

There comes a point where willful sin is in direct opposition to the saving blood of Jesus Christ, and there is nothing good that comes from this. Sin, for example, will cause you to feel emotional loss and turn you away from those who are close to you. It is the emotional response that sometimes overcomes reason, wisdom and knowledge. As a result, the mind is to always focus on heavenly things, kingdom things, and godly things–not on earthly or worldly matters. God wants you to focus on His Word and His will for your life.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
4 Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing—do so even more. 2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

3 For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, 4 so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, 5 not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. 6 This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification. 8 Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit.

God gives us the instruction manual for life–the bible. It covers the basics for life. The Holy Spirit is given to all believers to help fill in the details for living that are in line with Scripture that go beyond the basics. Even with this instruction, a believer still needs to trust and believe in God’s Word in order to please God. You make the choice to live for Christ in order to please Him.

1 Samuel 10:8
Afterward, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do.”

Note the instructions that Saul was given to wait for Samuel…now go to 1 Samuel 13:8:

1 Samuel 13:8
He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him.

Samuel did not arrive when Saul expected him to, but if the instructions are to wait, then you should wait. Saul took matters into his own hands and committed sin because he responded to his emotions and was disobedient to God (only priests were allowed to submit burnt offerings).

1 Samuel 13:9-12
9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering.

10 Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him, 11 and Samuel asked, “What have you done?”

Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12 I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor. So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”

Saul felt that he was compelled to respond from his own desires. He was looking at men and not at God. For his disobedience, there is a consequence.

1 Samuel 13:13-14
13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”

1 Samuel 15:1-3
15 Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

Yet Saul does not follow the instructions that God has given, and he actually begins praising himself for the things that he accomplished:

1 Samuel 15:7-12
7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is next to Egypt. 8 He captured Agag king of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. 9 Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and choice animals, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, 11 “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions.” So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.”

Saul also had difficulty in taking responsibility for what he had done.

1 Samuel 15:13-19
13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep and cattle I hear?”

15 Saul answered, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.”

16 “Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” he replied.

17 Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant, have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel 18 and then sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

In spite of Saul’s excuses, his disobedience showed that he was not truly following God.

1 Samuel 15:20-25
20 “But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered. “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 Then Samuel said:

Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,
to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has rejected you as king.
24 Saul answered Samuel, “I have sinned. I have transgressed the Lord’s command and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them. 25 Now therefore, please forgive my sin and return with me so I can worship the Lord.”

The Lord delights in your praises but He truly desires is your obedience. If you are obedient to Him and to His Word. Disobedience to God is indeed sin, and there is a cost for transgression. If you look at Saul’s life, you begin to see Saul’s deterioration emotionally with his fear and jealousy of David (1 Samuel 18). Saul later became angry with Jonathan and his wife (1 Samuel 20). His sin continued to progress to a point where he lost control and had a priest killed (1 Samuel 22). Finally, in 1 Samuel 28, he calls not on God, but on a medium. His sin ultimately cost the life of himself and his two sons.

1 Samuel 31:1-6
1 The Philistines fought against Israel, and Israel’s men fled from them. Many were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons and killed his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3 When the battle intensified against Saul, the archers caught up with him and severely wounded him. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through and torture me.” But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was terrified. Then Saul took his sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his own sword and died with him. 6 So on that day, Saul died together with his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men.

Sin will destroy you and others if it is unchecked and unresolved. It is very important to heed the warnings that God gives us about it and provides us instructions on ways that we can live in holiness and righteousness before Him. God wants us to run from sin and hate it for what it does to us and to those we know. Sin can rob you of many things, but it is especially damaging to your relationship with God, and it robs you of having joy in The Lord. It can keep you from being all that you can be in Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that you be all you can be in Christ and to be peaceful, joyous and righteousness in your service for Him.