Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WHY JESUS WON'T USE YOU AND ANSWER YOU

I want to talk about focusing on the Lord versus being a lukewarm Christian. And there is a big difference between focusing on Jesus and being a lukewarm Christian, because I used to be a lukewarm Christian and I know for a fact that while we are in the world and living for ourselves, it is impossible to focus on Jesus. It's very difficult. And when we are living for ourselves all we want to do is live for ourselves, and so we'll plan our own holidays and plan our own life, but we don't really care about Jesus. And so we don't live a life of faith rather we just live our own life and Jesus isn't the center of our life. Now everybody has a different path in life and no two people can be alike, however we must walk in faith and no longer by the values of the world; striving after what we want to eat or drink which is how the world is, if you don't eat you die. Like with the curse of Adam; you must work for your living from now on. Now this is true we all must work for a living however we got to now live for the Lord and no longer for our own way. I'll tell you what a lukewarm Christian is like; a Luke warm Christian is somebody who professes Jesus and is a Christian and say I believe in Jesus. But they are neither cold nor hot. And that's what Jesus said in the book of Revelation chapter 2 and 3, he said; because you are neither cold nor hot but lukewarm, I will spew you forth from me. So he says to repent and come back to the first works. Now Christians don't realize this but lukewarm Christians clearly don't enter God's kingdom. Because Jesus said that if they wouldn't repent and are lukewarm, he said he would spew them fourth from him. That he would send them away, send them out from his church, his body. And we know what the church is; the church is the group of people throughout the world who decide to believe in Jesus Christ and obey him and be baptized in his name. Those people are part of the church. Now a lot of people are playing another church where they are getting all segregated into different ideas and beliefs and doctrines. So they form for themselves all kinds of other things. But the problem is with that is that when we are not focused on Jesus we become lukewarm. Lukewarm people have lots of doctrine and they can tell you all about the scriptures. They understand a lot about the Bible but the problem is when we are lukewarm, our mind and heart is actually set on the world and we are not very interested in being set apart for Jesus.

Dear friends that's what we're here to do is to be set apart for Jesus and to turn away from being part of this world. Because when we are not set apart for the Lord, we're lukewarm neither cold nor hot. When you speak to lukewarm Christians you will know who they are. They want to talk about everything other than Jesus Christ. When you're in a church gathering or a gathering of brethren, lukewarm Christians often won't want to talk about Jesus. They don't want to talk about their daily walk with Jesus or struggles they go through or things like that. They are more interested in how they're having fun, the latest fun things that they are doing. You know I used to be like this I know what it's like to be lukewarm. When we are lukewarm we're not interested in the Gospel of Jesus because it is boring to us because we are in the world so that makes us lukewarm. We are neither cold nor hot. We are not cold, where we deny the Lord or anything like that, and live an atheist life. But then again we are not hot for Jesus either. We are not preaching and speaking about him and being serious about him living his way as an example in the world. So dear friends there is a big difference between following the Lord as a lukewarm Christian and actually really abiding in the Lord as a real follower and obeyer of Jesus Christ. A big difference. But that's not what we're here to be like today. We're here to be following the Lord and not lukewarm as we know that the lukewarm Christians going to be spewed out if they don't repent and they won't be tolerated in God's kingdom. That's why Jesus said you got to repent and come back to the first works and come back to faith. Faith is very important. Faith means that we are simply relying on God for our life from now and living for Jesus. A good example of faith was this particularly Christian in the 1800s and he came to the Lord Jesus Christ and realised that Jesus died for his sins, and that now he was in the kingdom and free to work for the Lord in the kingdom of God which he always wanted to do instead of living in the world studying in theology school which was what he was doing. And so this particular believer he decided to trust the Lord in everything and take what Jesus said about provision and life literally. And so he said, Lord I will never tell people what I need, but I will let you alone know my needs for your work. And he trusted God. And even though this person never asked anybody to give money to the things he was running, over the course of his life and he was given over $100 million in today's money.

He opened the very large orphanage and several things and the Lord helped him to do this because it was God's will and he was dedicated to the Lord and wasn't living for himself. And so that's what happens when you become a believer in the Lord and you trust God is that you no longer live for yourself but you for a mission that the Lord wants you to do. And if you are doing his mission and abiding in him and trusting him, he'll make sure that it is done. Even if it looks impossible. In the middle of London around a hard time in the economy back then, and yet he was able to secure a 9 acres of land near London and get large buildings and things, and over $100 million was raised over his lifetime to all these things he was doing that the Lord led him to do. But he didn't start out doing that, he just started out having faith. He said, well Lord you put this idea into me to do what I'm doing and I just want to have faith in you that it is for your kingdom so you're going to get it done. And so he had faith and he walked the walk of faith. He didn't take the money for himself. He donated his own money to these things and he didn't live like the prosperity preachers do today were they extort money of people and make you give according to Scripture instead of just showing the truth about Scripture. The Scripture says give away what you own and just serve the Lord. That's what this guy did and so God used many people. Many Christian businessmen they gave away things to him. God gives us many different people. And so each person the Lord was able to use in his own plan. These people were walking with the Lord so they were able to be used. You can't be used if you're just a lukewarm Christians living your own life. You've got to be following the Lord yourself. That's where we have to have that relationship with Jesus Christ because everybody has a different part. The Lord might want to use you for something and he will show you what to do.

You can be a giver or a receiver and in his case he was a receiver but there were many givers. Bible says that blessed are those who receive, but more blessed are those who give, and the Lord leads in everything but the thing is that we can't be led by the Lord Jesus in any of these sorts of things if we're just a lukewarm Christian and we just don't follow him and obey him. We are just focused on our own life and just living in our own sins and interested in our own life, we are just in the world like everybody else and at the mercy of whatever happens. But the Lord God looks after his own. Everybody who has faith in God and follows Jesus, God looks after them. I am not saying that they don't go through trials sometimes but they always get looked after. The Lord doesn't leave them to suffer in the gutter like Job forever. He raises them up and he will allow trials and persecution to come but he always gives the way through those things. And that's why we got to trust in the Lord and not follow our lukewarm ways or follow religion. A lot of people follow religion and they get persecuted for following religion. If you're in Burma and you're a Muslim you get persecuted by the Buddhist. A lot of people get persecuted through the whole world for whatever they stand for. But when we follow Jesus Christ it will be different. You will have Satan come against and Satan comes against you on a personal level and is going to be to tempt you to follow the world and sin. That's why Christians who are lukewarm in sin, can't follow Jesus. Because they simply just don't know him and Jesus isn't with them. They are more interested in their latest project or busy saving up for some wonderful car or boat they want to get for their pleasure. Living in this western society where we're more interested in our own pleasure than we are interested in serving God. This isn't the path of somebody who is a lukewarm believer. And they're not walking in faith. But walking in faith means we give our will away to God and we start living for him instead. And start having faith that he raised Jesus from the dead and he said that I will look after your needs if you just focus on me, focus on the kingdom of God and seek his righteousness through Christ. And that's what we should be doing because Jesus said that he will he will look after you and provide the way some way or other. He will look after you some way or other and provide the way for you as long as you give yourself to him and obey him and serve him. That is what we got to do. It means we got to stop chasing our own way and whatever the Lord gives us from now on, we do well for the Lord. We got to live in obedience to the Lord, and the Lord gives us things to be able to continue to work in his kingdom.

And that that's how he was providing for this particular brother in the 1800s. He made sure that he was enabled to continue his mission and bringing souls to the kingdom and open up this large orphanages he was doing things like that. And it was through the provision of God and through his faith in God. Many Christian believers who were following the Lord were able to help out in that. And likewise everybody who follows the Lord today Jesus wants something for them to do. He can't use you though if you are lukewarm in sin and you just want to follow the world. That's what it seems to be like these days everybody is more interested in following the world, and when it comes to serving the Lord Jesus Christ, they are not so interested in doing that. I used to be like that. They are more interested in chasing their goals and dreams in this world and more interested in getting a respectable position in life. These things everybody chases after in this whole world. That is what everybody wants after all but that's not what we're here to do. We're here to instead have faith in God and follow him and he will lead us on the way to go with the resources and the things that he has enabled us to be. Some people have a better situation than others but the the Lord uses each person differently. Like there's some disciples that he uses over in the foreign Middle Eastern countries, they don't really have an education because over in those countries people are lucky to go to school, nevertheless the Lord still uses them in their different place. And other people the Lord uses were people who were very educated and they had a lot of understanding in many languages like poor apostle Paul a very educated man. The Lord used him in another way. People have this idea in their minds that I've got to follow just one particular person as an ideal. So everyone has an ideal as to how they think that you should follow the Lord. But we got to turn away from ideals and by getting him to actually show us what he wants us to do as his real way. Not just ideals. The ideal isn't to open a orphanage, that is not the ideal. You don't know what the Lord wants you to do. The ideal isn't to sell all you have and just walk around and preach and go be a missionary. That ideal may not be for everybody. There is no ideal. There is your path with God where he wants you to go and nobody knows that but God and you and you got to seek that. But he's not going to use you if you're just not willing to deny yourself and follow him and stop living in sin. Because that's what keeps us from becoming who we should be in the kingdom of God, is living in sin and being lukewarm. Just no first works; love and service and faith repentance, those things aren't there. And if those things aren't there then why is the Lord going to use you for anything? It is written in the Scriptures that gold utensils are used for noble things while clay ones are used for everyday stuff. And so scripture is saying be gold utensils so you can be useful for honourable things. So clean inside and out.

We got to be cleansed by the Lord Jesus Christ and be living in holiness so we can be used for honorable things in the kingdom of God. No use just living a slack life of sin being a lukewarm Christian. Not good enough to be used for anything honourable. And you're looking forward to being spewed out of the kingdom of God. So dear friends I want to warn about today is that we have to be serious about not being lukewarm and instead start coming on fire for the Lord Jesus and remembering that God answers prayer. Anybody who has faith he will answer your prayer. It may not be the way you want it to be. But if you got faith God is going to answer your prayers. That always happens to anybody who is seeking first the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God. And he will answer their prayers. Ask in the name of the Lord and he will indeed do it for you. So the example of faith friends is that people who are in the will of God and they're doing their work for the Kingdom of God, and then they pray and the Lord answers their prayer. One one time this particular preacher needed to be at a speaking engagement for sharing people about Jesus, and he was going there by the ship and a thick fog came and they couldn't go on in the fog because in those days didn't have radar. And so they said well you will have to miss the meeting because there is going to be a delay. Because this fog will not lift anytime soon. So he said no I have faith in my God. And went and prayed and they came back up and looked out and the fog lifted and they went on their way. Because Jesus said that if you pray in my name I will do things. You would do things that I did. And like Jesus himself did, you will do things like that. So dear friends it's all about working for the will of the kingdom of God. And you are going to be doing his way and his will in your life and putting out the ways of the devil that try and tempt us every day. That's not being lukewarm.

That's being serious and dedicated about Jesus and not living a lukewarm life just in the world, playing games, and having a fun time saying Jesus understands while you continue to sin. Saying I'm saved by grace so I don't need to bother about these other things. Dear friends that is the path of the lukewarm believers who are not on their way to the kingdom of God. They are on their way to the fire. And so we need to be separate from that way and we need to really think about giving ourselves to the Lord Jesus properly and deciding to serve him today and making him first place in our life. Because if we do that he is going to lead us into the works for the kingdom of God. And we can become disciples and followers of the Lord and not lukewarm believers that aren't interested in the truth. Just in our sin, more interested in living in sin. (they say) Jesus came to turn water into wine that means I can go out and drink and have a good time!… that's what people think these days. That is how Christians think. They think Jesus is okay with it I am just having a good time out at the pub. He came to make water into wine for us to or drink and have a good time… that's how lukewarm Christians think. And that's why they do not work in the kingdom of God. They do work in Christian church meetings and in missions, yes, they do a lot of stuff like that, but they don't actually work in God's kingdom. They are more interested in their own way. They don't give freely. A lot of these preachers they receive from God but don't give freely. They charge money for everything. They make Jesus into a commodity. No wonder there is no power in their prayer or anything like that because they are not following Jesus and don't have faith. But we got to have faith.

It is serious friend we got to have faith. Faith is like this old-time believer where he just lived for the Lord and he knew that God would come through for him because he was walking in faith on the right way. But don't be like those foolish lukewarm Christians who think that God will provide all their needs while they do nothing and they just want to laze around and have a good life and God is their sugar daddy. And so they try and apply verses for that kind of lifestyle and they wonder why that they don't really get what they thought they would get and so doubt their faith in the Lord and they just don't know Jesus in the end and their life is thwart with so many problems. You know that's because of their foolhardiness in believing the lying preachers who are scamming them of their money. They say sow a seed to us and you're going to live a comfortable life. You know friends that is not what Jesus is about. He is about following him and being in his will and then we pray and he will provide. Provide the right job for you. People they might be out of a job and they don't know where to go now. They have faith and something amazing happens. And right when things seemed to be dire, they have faith and they trust in Jesus and they find him. So friends we got to be serious about Jesus and really be dedicated. Dedicated in serving him all the way to the very end of our life and when we reached the end of our life in the service of the Lord, we will receive the crown of life. And all the lukewarm Christians especially the lukewarm church Christians, they'll make great examples of famous preachers who did a lot in the kingdom of God and who Jesus led and provided for, and they'll talk about how wonderful they were, and think about how it would have been wonderful when they died and entered into the kingdom, yet they themselves don't even follow the Lord and not interested. It is all very well to read books about these wonderful man of faith and talk about it at church, but they go home and they don't live that life. Friends what have we gained if one man gets 10 talents and he is given 10 more. What have we gained if we just hide out talent in the ground and the Lord asked of us and we got nothing to give! You could say; I went to church and I listed about all these wonderful people of faith and how they helped your kingdom and it was really wonderful, NO! We can't be lazy in God's kingdom. We got to be part of building it too.

And that means that each day we think about the prayer and praise and we're here to think about what the Lord wants us to do. And really pursue that. Otherwise we are just going to be like these lukewarm Christians who say; what a wonderful man of faith….and you just go home and just keep living your old life and being a lukewarm Christians hiding your talent in the ground. And we all know the parable of the talents. The parable of talents goes like this; there was a master who called 3 servants and he gave them something according to their ability and he went away on a long journeying then he came back and called them to account. And the person who had five talents came forward and said look I've gained five more. And the person with 2, gain two more and the Lord praised them. He said well-done faithful servants you've done well with what I've given you. Then the one with one talent hid it in the ground and said I couldn't do anything with it Lord because I was scared about it and decided just to hide in the ground. Here is your money back. And the Master is very angry and had that servant cast out into the outer darkness. And so lukewarm Christians unfortunately will not be able to inherit God's kingdom. No matter what church might tell you. And we can be all seeming like we are of the faith by going on missions, Church missions, and reading about famous people of the Bible, and interviewing other preachers and all this, but that's not serving Jesus! We are just being lukewarm. Nominal. We're not COLD because we're doing something, but not HOT because we are not serious about Jesus and we don't follow him. So all these other men are serious about Jesus and doing wonderful works in the kingdom of God and yet we ourselves are doing nothing! We are just watching what they are doing and thinking about ideals but we ourselves are not doing something such as a seeking the Lord's will and what we should be doing in prayer.

Dear friends all these wonderful men of faith all had one thing in common; they all spent time in prayer and reading the Bible and seeking the Lord's will for their life. They were making themselves available for Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ put them in various jobs to do as he called them from the beginning before there even born. And that's what he is calling you to do today as well is to come and do your work for the Kingdom. And he's got work for everybody. Nobody is alike and nobody can judge another man for their work for the Kingdom of God. We all have a different position in God's kingdom. So friends it's time to take a stand and stop being lukewarm and stop sinning. Instead follow Jesus and seek his will for your life so you can obey and follow him and come on the new way......