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(HOLY, HOLY, HOLY)
SCRIPTURE - REV. 4:8 MARCH, 1998
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night,
saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
SUBJECT - HOLY!! HOLY!! HOLY!!
As we go through our daily lives, how many of us ever taken time to think about God, and our relationship to Him?? Have we ever considered just who He is, and what He is like??? If you are any where like me, I tend to find myself so busy doing things that satisfy myself, that I realize, I have gotten away from standing still, and thinking about Him, and all that he has done for me. And, it is so easy to do. Especially if everything around you is moving at a fast pace. Waking up late, and having to rush out of the house to take the kids to school, before you go to work. Dealing with rush hour traffic, and then there is the job. All of these things and more, are distractions, that interfere with the relationship, that we all need to have with God.
That relationship, carries with it, one aspect that we tend to really overlook, and is the key, to where you and I will spend eternity, and that is we need to realize that God, is a Holy God, and that if we intend to be with Him, then we too, must put on holiness. To be with Him, we must be like Him. [Le 20:7] Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
There was a time, when a Christian, stood out like a sore thumb, in their community. You knew who they were, because of the way they dressed, the way they talked, the way they acted, and the places that they went. Holy rollers!!! Jesus freaks!!! Sanctified!!! Religious Nuts!!! You know the terms. All of them were meant to do one thing, and that was to identify them as not like the rest of us. They just didn't fit. Like a square peg, trying to fit in a round hole. People just felt uneasy around them. Why?? The same reason, most people that don't go to church, stay away from it. The same reason, criminals, choose to commit their deeds in the dark. And that is, they can't stand the guilt they feel, when they are around those that hold to good and moral behavior. Jesus said, [Jo 3:19-20] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. In a world, that is an enemy of God,. [Ro 8:7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. These individuals, were not welcome, because they represented the enemy. They held to the scripture [Jas 4:4] Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Strong words aren't they???
Why would God, feel this way about those of the world, a.k.a. the unsaved?? Because He, is a Holy God, and He commands holiness from those that wish to be with Him, for eternity. The Bible says, [He 12:14] Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Holiness, without which, NO MAN OR WOMAN, shall see, or be with the Lord. That is something, that makes people shiver and shake in their boots, because it reveals the fact, that the games they are playing, are not acceptable in His sight, by any means.
Look around you. How many people do you see, that make you feel uncomfortable?? How many square pegs do you see?? How many people do you call, Holy Rollers, Bible thumpers, or Jesus freaks??? Not many I would guess. But, it isn't your fault that you can't identify them, it is theirs. Or maybe you are one of them?? And just who are they??? People that call themselves Christians, but, live like the world, so they can fit in, and not be recognized.
Today, we have a new breed of Christian. They go to church on Sunday. They can shout and praise the Lord with the best of them. They may be in the pews. They may be in the choir. They may be on the deacon board. They may even be in the pulpit, preaching and sweating like they are hard core fire and brimstone, take no prisoners men of God. Then you run in to them Sunday night, or during the week, and they are acting like the devil. In the bars, chasing women, cursing and compromising on everything that God says we should hold fast to. To put in short order, 'they play holy for three hours on Sunday, Then live like the devil, the rest of the week.
Why do they do this??? There are several reasons.
First. They are serving themselves, and their interests, not God. [Phi 3:18-19] (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) They want to be popular, and looked up to.
They want to be well spoken of in their communities. They want to show that they are just like everyone else, and thereby be accepted by them. Some of the most popular preachers in our communities today, are of this breed. They are a dime a dozen. Their messages from the pulpit, lead one to believe that no matter what you are involved in, as long as you believe in God, you are alright, and on your way to Heaven. That type of message, will almost surely guarantee that they will have a full church on Sunday, which translates to more money in the collection plate.
If they decide they want to run for some public office, then they have a lot of people that will back them up.
Second, they are afraid of being persecuted. It is one thing to
preach the truth of the word of God. It is something totally different, to live it.
The preacher, who wants to be popular with the world [unsaved], will preach what the unsaved want to hear [2Ti 4:3-4] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables., not what God wants him to preach [2Ti 4:1-2] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. That's quite a contrast in just the first 4 verses of Second Timothy, isn't it?? However, that's the way it is.
Knowing that God, calls us to holiness, by separation from the world, and all its devices, to walking in righteousness, and sanctification, is the reason that I have taken the position of it's 'holiness or hell.' We do not have the luxury of 'straddling the fence', if you will. Watching some of the preachers that are popular in our communities, I get angry, because I know that these wolves, are leading millions of people to hell, all for the sake of popularity.
If we look at the life of our perfect example, Jesus Christ, we find that He, was a friend of sinners, yet He did not compromise the fact that God is Holy, and His followers, must also pursue holiness. And, because of this, He was persecuted, and eventually crucified. He even said, that if He was persecuted, then His followers, would also be persecuted, as they went forth to preach the word of God, and they were. If you read about a man named Stephen in the book of Acts chapts. 6-7, you will see, he was stoned to death for preaching the gospel.
Look at these popular preachers to day, everyone loves them. Something is wrong. If you are a preacher, or a Christian, and everybody likes you, then you better get on your knees, and ask God, what's wrong. Remember, friendship with the unsaved, makes you an enemy of God.
Now, I'm not saying that we should go about trying to make everybody mad at us. What I am saying, is if you are doing as God says you should be doing, than they will not want to have you around them all the time. A few weeks ago, I saw a meeting at the city county building on TV. It was held by the city council, and was concerning casino gambling. And they showed a
preacher, complete with his backward collar, standing at the podium, speaking to the council, talking about 'if you [the council], don't do the right thing, we will recall you.' He got a standing ovation from the peanut gallery. That was the most ridiculous thing I have seen a preacher do. Most of them, would not have worn anything to identify them as preachers. Guess what?? The next week, they had his picture on the front page of one of our newspapers. I guess his church membership, has increased a bit, because of it.
This whole gambling issue has shown me something I already knew, and that is, preachers will say they are not supporting it, behind the scenes, but they get out in public, and in their pulpits, and refuse to say anything negative about it, or tell their members not to participate in this tool of the devil.
Holiness!!! Holiness!!! Holiness!!! It's holiness or hell!!! To this, there is no compromise!!! Jesus said, [Mt 5:48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Any one got a problem with that??? Too bad. Jesus said it, not me. Go argue with Him. That statement, is one that totally knocks down the excuse, that 'nobody's perfect.' I know so many of you like to use that excuse, to continue your sinful ways, including some of you preachers.
Just like all of our children are representatives of us, and have our characteristics and traits, so must the Christian, represent our Father, and exhibit His traits, among which is, holiness. [Le 11:44-45] For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
[Jo 14:8-12] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Look at the underlined words of Christ. Preacher, and Christian, when people look at you, who do they see????
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - THE BLAME GAME !!!