Summary, Part 4 (final) 5. THE GREATEST AND STRONGEST CITIES CANNOT PREVENT GODâS JUDGMENT [40:23]. No earthly defense is a challenge for Godâs wrath. God even turned against His chosen people and destroyed them, and there was nothing they could do about it. In fact, judgment begins at the house of God. Americaâs day of visitation is bound to come as long as it tramples Godâs word the way it does. 6. SIN CURSES EVERYTHING THAT BELONGS TO MAN [44:47]. Godâs judgment is thorough (Gen 19:25). Wicked men cannot produce anything that is truly good. All that is not devoted to Him is devoted to destruction. God can destroy an oasis, but He can also make the desert bloom. 7. GREAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GODâS PUNISHMENT OF THE SODOMITES AND HIS CHASTENING OF HIS PEOPLE [46:47]. Sin always brings disorder and destruction, but God will always leave a believing remnant (Rom 9:29). Fire both burns the wicked and refines the righteous (Ps 119:119). Next week, we consider Sodomâs perverse disorder and fiery punishment.
Summary, Part 3 3. HOW FOOLISH IT IS TO IMITATE THE WICKED IN THEIR TRANSGRESSION [30:07]. The cities of the Jordan Valley sought to emulate their bigger regional neighbors, and only Zoar was spared from Godâs wrath for Lotâs sake. We see smaller American cities doing this now, including our own. We also see individuals doing this as they emulate celebrities and other ungodly examples of success, and weâre all too aware of the wickedness that has woven itself into our cultural fabric. Worst of all, even major church associations and once-great seminaries are falling for it. The way of the world is becoming the way of the church (Ez 23:2, Pr 4:14). 4. SINNERS ARE NOT MADE BETTER BY FOREBODINGS OF JUDGMENT [37:20]. People want signs and proof of God and His judgment, yet refuse to read the book that provides both. Not even the angelsâ visit to Sodom gave the people pause for consideration. It is not a problem of providence, but of the sinful human heart. Even America has had its judgments, but we have not learned.
Summary, Part 2 But we must remember that Sodom and Gomorrah had no Bible. Judgment upon pagan apostasy in lands with the gospel will be much greater. Abraham asked God to spare Sodom if even ten righteous were found there, and of course we know that there werenât. OBSERVATIONS [19:35]: 1. GOD OFTEN LAVISHES THE GREATEST TEMPORAL BLESSINGS UPON THE GREATEST SINNERS. Sodomâs wealth and sensuality was legendary, yet they hated God and His people. It is far better to have nothing in hand and everything in eternity than to have everything in hand and nothing in eternity. Wealth itself is not evil; notice how God blessed Abraham. But Abraham is the exception to the rule. What is it to receive and not be received? 2. PLACES OF PLENTY ARE OFTEN PLACES OF GREAT UNGODLINESS [25:30]. If you love your soul, donât hanker for ease and riches. Sodom was wealthy, but not charitable. Men have natural inclinations that tend to match the character of their land; even Cyrus wouldnât allow barren lands to be converted because he knew that dainty pleasures create dainty souls. We donât know of anyone who was converted to God by prosperity. So what is your great goal in life, prosperity or righteousness?
Summary, Part 1 Last week, we examined two of three examples of apostates whom God destroyed: the Israelites in the wilderness and the fallen angels. Today, we being to examine III.APOSTATE PAGANS: CITIES THAT WERE DESTROYED FOR THEIR GROSS SEXUAL PERVERSION (verse 7) [starting at 5:50 of the audio]. Though a distasteful subject, the Bible includes it for good reason. We shouldnât shy away from it, especially in this time. Even non-believers can apostatize, but they do it from God-ordained functions. When that becomes a powerful force in a society, even biblically ignorant Christians can be influenced and fall under Godâs wrath. A. THE SENSUAL CITIES: THEIR IDENTITY (verse 7a) [10:35]. When Abram and Lot agreed to separate, he allowed Lot the first choice of which way he wanted to go. He chose the Jordan Valley because he saw that it was lush and well-watered. He ended up in Sodom. Isaiah and Ezekiel also stressed Sodomâs natural endowments, even comparing them to Eden. Yet Ezekiel also described Sodomâs love of leisure. Genesis 14 describes Sodomâs rebellion against Chedorlaomer, as a result of which it lost great treasure. Even Lot was taken away, but he later returned to its abundance. Throughout Scripture, straight into Revelation, Sodom is often compared to great wickedness.
Summary, Part 5 (final) 2. Rebellion against our God-given roles and responsibilities can lead to apostasy from God. See 1 Cor 9:16 regarding preachers, 1 Tim 5:8 regarding husbands and fathers, 1 Tim 2:15 regarding wives and mothers, 1 Tim 5 regarding widows, and Jn 6:66 regarding professing Christians. C. ANGELS: THEIR DIVINE PUNISHMENT [56:55]. 1. ITS ELEMENTS: in eternal bonds under darkness. 2. ITS TIME: in the past. They have been in this bondage ever since and will be kept there until the final judgment. 3. ITS PRESENT EFFECT: permanent bondage; they cannot escape. 4. ITS ETERNAL OUTCOME: eternal judgment at the final judgment. LESSONS FROM THE ANGELSâ PUNISHMENT [1:00:50]: 1. Those who defect from God imitate the devil in his sin and in his punishment. 2. It is difficult to be highly privileged and yet not fall prey to the sin of pride. 3. Present punishment in hell will be reckoned mild compared to that of the great day. 4. The presence of apostate angels in the lake of fire will aggravate the misery of apostate men throughout eternity.
Summary, Part 4 The other is popular and enduring, but it misunderstands Gen 6:1-5 and says that cohabited with human women and produced a race of giants. Among the problems with this argument: âsons of Godâ refers either to elect angels (who didnât fall) or believers and never of fallen angels; angels are spiritual beings, and so cannot consummate with humans; reproduction is only after its own kind, and angels canât even procreate among themselves; and the giants they supposedly produced were already on the earth at the time. The Genesis passage speaks of a great human apostasy: of believers yoking with unbelievers and producing the âmighty men of oldâ such as Nimrod. Back to the angelsâ rebellion: their sin was Luciferâs first sin: pride (1 Tim 3:6). The Puritan William Jenkins suggests that their dissatisfaction was with their own state; as glorious as were their beings and circumstances, they were still beholden to God. And so it is true of us: when we stop trusting God, we turn inward and become our own gods. LESSONS FROM THE ANGELSâ REBELLION [50:18]. 1. Our happiness and holiness, like that of the angels, depend upon keeping our own domain and proper abode: of cheerfully embracing and carrying out our God-given roles and responsibilities in this life.
Summary, Part 3 4. Unbelief is no trivial sin. It will surely damn those who refuse to believe all that God says. II. APOSTATE ANGELS: HEAVENLY CREATURES THAT WERE DESTROYED FOR THEIR REBELLION (verse 6) [29:10]. A. ANGELS: THEIR ORIGINAL PROVINCE [29:58]. Province here means their assigned task: to serve God, communicate for Him, and execute His judgments. They were most likely created near the beginning of the creation week (Job 38:7). They are almost innumerable and have incredible strength: a single angel killed all the first born in Egypt; another killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in single night. Their worship is spectacular (Rev 5:11-14). But what happened to the ones who fell? B. ANGELS: THEIR REBELLION AGAINST GOD [34:48]. They abandoned their task and heavenly abode. There are two major explanations of what exactly happened: one is that they simply followed Lucifer in his own rebellion (Rev 12:4). This is the biblical explanation.
Summary, Part 2 B. ISRAEL: THEIR UNBELIEF [14:50]. Their glory was short-lived. Despite all these wonders, they committed idolatry at the foot of Mt. Sinai and complained endlessly. At Kadesh-Barnea, they were at the foot of the promised land, yet chose to listen to ten unbelieving spies instead of two believing ones and rebelled. God pronounced judgment on them (Num 14:22-23). C. ISRAEL: THEIR DESTRUCTION [20:02]. With the exception of the believing Joshua and Caleb, God destroyed everyone in the older generation (Ps 106:26, Deut 2:15-16, Ps 78:33, Num 14:30, 1 Cor 10, Heb 3-4). In Heb 3:7-12 and 4:1-2, we are warned about falling away from the living God as the Hebrews had in the wilderness. Seeing is not necessarily believing; neither is knowing LESSONS [26:45]: 1. Salvation from trials/troubles does not always indicate salvation from sin and hell. It rarely happens. Miracles do not produce faith in unbelievers. 2. To whom much is given, much is required. Therefore, great privilege should encourage great faith, especially when such privileged is followed by great deliverance. 3. Experience of divine deliverance that doesnât lead you to God in saving faith will eventually lead you away from Him in rank unbelief.
Summary, Part 1 In our study of the Book of Jude, we move on to verses 5 and 6. Though the elect are held by Christ forever, Jude warns of the power and persuasiveness of false teachers and how badly they corrupt the church. I. APOSTATE ISRAEL: A SAVED PEOPLE THAT WAS DESTROYED BECAUSE OF ITS UNBELIEF (verse 5) [starting at 5:43 of the audio]. A. ISRAEL: THEIR SALVATION [7:28]. Much of the first half of the Old Testament covers this story. God called Abram out of an idolatrous land, led him to the land of Canaan, and promised him descendants so numerous that they would be like the number of the stars. Under slavery in Egypt, they would grow into an estimated two million people. But Moses, a picture of Jesus Christ, would lead them out of that bondage. In the meantime, God wrought many miracles for His covenant people: plaguing Pharaohâs land for his disobedience, parting the Red Sea to help the Hebrews escape, and crashing it back down upon Pharaoh and his armies as they pursued. In the wilderness, God fed them providentially, re-established His covenant with them at Sinai, and offered them the promised land of Israel.
Summary, Part 4 (final) TWO CONCLUDING QUESTIONS [39:13]. 1. If you have not yet come to Christ for rest, why wait any longer? Christ commands it. Have you no sin to be pardoned? Have you sufficient rest? Have you no sense of unholiness? Have you all the time in the world? Waiting is flirtation with the Devil; it is a death wish. Heed the fearful warning of Heb 4:1. 2. Beloved brethren, are you resting in Christ? Are you still suffering the angst of the problems of this life? If so, come to Christ afresh. Many Christians live beneath their privileges. Do you have unconfessed sin? Could you bear it if Christ approached you at this moment? He will never leave you. If He seems distant, it is because you are distant from Him.
Summary, Part 3 2. Mere knowledge of Christ. Many knew Him during His ministry even followed Him without accepting His invitation. Many even call the unsaved to Him without knowing Him themselves. 2. WHAT THE PROPER RESPONSE IS. 1. Trusting Him for salvation: believing His gospel with spiritual desperation and thirst and abandoning any hope of saving ourselves. 2. A commitment to love Him supremely, and this means a comparative hatred for everything else, even oneâs own life (Lk 14:26). This does not mean hating everything else, but rather loving Christ so much more than anything else. IV. THE PROMISE GIVEN TO ALL WHO ACCEPT THIS INVITATION: âAND I WILL GIVE YOU RESTâ [33:58]. Christ gives deliverance from many things: Godâs wrath, the fatal attraction of the world, the fear of the law, the enslavement of the Devil, crippling anxiety, the fear of death, and the dread of damnation and Hell.
Summary, Part 2 b. They are not those who are sick and afflicted. Most in this category know nothing of their spiritual malady. 2. They are certainly not those who think they are better than most people. Jesusâ original audience included many self-righteous individuals. Salvation is not an award. These people tend to despise Godâs people. 3. They are not those who are seeking a boost for their sagging self-esteem. This is contrary to salvation, which begins with repentance. And it is contrary to sanctification, in which one gets smaller as God gets bigger. B. WHAT THE WEARY AND HEAVY LADEN ARE: THEY ARE SENSIBLE SINNERS. They are weary of the sense of their own sin. They know who they are and they know how much they need their savior. The unsaved may hate and regret the consequences of their sins, but not the sins themselves. âWearyâ means worked to the point of exhaustion, and âheavy-ladenâ means the oppressive weight of a burden. Together, they refer to one who can find no relief and can do nothing for himself. III. THE RESPONSE REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION: âCOME TO MEâ [23:47]. He simply beckons us. He doesnât ask us to jump through any hoops. A. WHAT THE PROPER RESPONSE IS NOT. 1. Church requirements. Many come to church without ever coming to Christ.
Summary, Part 1 In Mt 11:28, we learn of an offer that sounds too good to be true for something we desperately need (cf. Jn 6:37). He made the offer after rebuking Israel for rejecting His ministry. I. THE ONE WHO ISSUES THIS INVITATION: âCOME TO MEâ [starting at 5:52 of the audio]. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who left glory to give Himself for sinners. Humans and their religions mimic this promise falsely. A. JESUS IS ABLE TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. All His promises are âyeaâ and âamenâ in Him. B. JESUS IS WILLING TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. Jesus was willing to heal the leper in Mt 8:3. C. JESUS IS FAITHFUL TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. He keeps His promises. He is the faithful and the true. We can weigh our souls on them. The nature of this offer is that of a gentle savior, but also the command of a sovereign king. He is not just asking; He is exercising His divine right and office to command us to repentance. To disobey is rebellion and eternal damnation. II. THOSE WHO ARE ISSUED THIS INVITATION: âALL WHO ARE WEARY AND HEAVY-LADENâ [12:57]. A. WHO THE WEARY AND HEAVY-LADEN ARE NOT. 1. They are not those who are necessarily down and out. a. They are not the poor of this world. People can be weary and heavy-laden without being financially destitute.
Summary, Part 5 (final) VII. THE DEACONâS REWARD (v. 13) [44:00]. A. The necessary prerequisite for these rewards. Christ honors deacons who serve well. B. The particular identity of these rewards. 1. A high standing. Taking additional steps in standing: in dignity, respectability, and influence in the church. 2. Great confidence. He takes delight in the blessings of doing a good job. C. The spiritual sphere of these rewards. In the faith that is in Christ Jesus, who came to give and to serve.
Summary, Part 4 V. THE DEACONâS WIFE (v. 11) [34:21]. The church as the right to scrutinize the candidateâs marriage. A. Her identity. This specifically refers to the wives of deacons. B. Her characteristics. 1. She must be dignified. She must be a serious woman characterized by gravity and must carry herself as such. 2. She must not be a slanderer. The Greek word here for âslanderersâ is âdiabolousâ, from which we get âdevilâ. A slanderous wife is that bad. 3. She must be temperate. She must be self-controlled. 4. She must be faithful in all things. She must guard herself from temptation and be willing to do good. VI. THE DEACONâS HOME (v. 12) [40:30]. A. A deacon must demonstrate marital fidelity. He must have only one woman in his heart and bed, and they must be the same woman. B. A deacon must demonstrate prudent family management. 1. Ruling his children well. He must love and discipline his children in the Lord and carry weight in their consciences when theyâre older, as a godly influence. 2. Ruling his house well. Pandemonium must not characterize his home. It should be pleasant without being permissive, and structured without being stifling.
Summary, Part 3 F. A deacon must be sober (1 Tim 3:8c). He does not need to be a teetotaler, but he cannot be a drunkard. One who serves his own lusts cannot serve others and cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. G. A deacon must be financially content (1 Tim 3:8d). A covetous man is an idolater, and he neither can enter the Kingdom of God. He must be a man of trust. H. A deacon must be consistent regarding the truth (1 Tim 3:9). 1. By continually believing the truth: holding to the mystery of the faith. The truth must have a grip upon him. 2. By continually living the truth. He holds the faith with a clear conscience. He lives consciously in the eye of God. His qualifications do not necessary include success in business, leadership, popularity, or charisma, or seniority. IV. THE DEACONâS EXAMINATION (v. 10) [30:11]. A. The necessary prerequisite of testing (1 Tim 3:10a). The church has the responsibility of evaluating candidates. It is not a formal examination, but a holy scrutiny. B. The subsequent result of testing (1 Tim 3:10b). âLet them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.â C. The practical reason for testing (1 Tim 3:10c). To confirm that he is beyond reproach.
Summary, Part 2 C. The men chosen by the church were officially ordained in their office by the leaders of the church (v. 6). Notice three characteristics of this: that the prayer of the apostles flowed from Jesus Christ, that the laying on of hands symbolized the chain of church authority, and that the laying on of hands highlights the sacredness of their work. III. THE DEACONâS CHARACTER (Acts 6:3, 1 Tim 3:8-9) [13:55]. A. A deacon must possess a good reputation (Acts 6:3). He must be known as an honest man of integrity. B. A deacon must be full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3). His salvation must be evident; he must be known to be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh, and he must demonstrate Its gifts. C. A deacon must be full of wisdom (Acts 6:3). This is not to be confused with conventional wisdom, but rather is filled with biblical wisdom. He must show an obvious love of Godâs people, especially the poorest and neediest. D. A deacon must be dignified (1 Tim 3:8a). He must be a serious, sober man, not a frivolous, trivial one. E. A deacon must not be double-tongued (1 Tim 3:8b). Paul here means one who says one thing to one person and another to another person: handling people evenly. Deacons must be men of their word.
Summary, Part 1 I. THE DEACONâS NEED (OR THE CHURCHâS NEED FOR DEACONS) (ACTS 6:1-6) [starting at 4:23 of the audio]. A. Deacons are needed to take care of the churchâs temporal necessities (v. 1). The Hellenist Christians were feeling neglected. B. Deacons are needed to enable the elders to carry out their pastoral duties. Though not beneath their dignity to serve, the disciples saw that their preaching duties had suffered (vv. 2, 4). II. THE DEACONâS SELECTION (Acts 6:3-5) [8:48]. A. The leaders of the church articulated the essential qualifications necessary for the churchâs choice of deacons (v. 3). They must be men, they must have observable spiritual qualifications, and they must be qualified for certain duties of the church. B. The members of the church then selected men who possessed those essential qualifications for their work (v. 5). The whole congregation approved of the counsel of the elders, chose the men necessary to serve their needs, brought them to the apostles (seven of them, perhaps one for each day of the week).
Summary, Part 5 (final) PRACTICAL OBSERVATION [48:45]: beware of any teacher who denies the abiding authority of the Ten Commandments as the Christianâs rule of life. Rom 6:15, Titus 2:11-14 are strong refutations of this idea. ii. THEY DENY CHRISTâS PERSON AND WORK [50:16]. They deny four aspects of His person and work: His absolute sovereignty, reducing His divinity; His lordship, denying His divine honor and distinction; His saving mission, denying His holiness; His messiahship, robbing Him of His prophetic, priestly, and regal offices. iii. THEY TEACH RELIGIOUS PLURALISM [53:42]. ââŚand deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.â Cf. Acts 4:12. CONCLUSION. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is He your sovereign, lord, savior, and master? Is he prophet, priest and king? If you have not the whole Christ, you have not Christ.
Summary, Part 4 4. It is ungodliness to not trust in Godâs absolute sovereignty in all things. To do this robs God of His rightful honor. b. THEIR PRACTICE [41:12]. They âpervert the grace of our God into sensuality...â There is no higher crime than this. As theological error leads to practical error, heretical doctrine paves the way for a wicked life. Jude charges them with the following: i. THEY TEACH ANTINOMIANISM: âagainst lawâ. It teaches that Godâs law has no authority for the Christian, who lives in grace. This leads to licentiousness: living without moral restraint. Wherever this word is used in Scripture, it describes the behavior of godless pagans living out of the flesh and not out of the Holy Spirit. In Judeâs day, Gnosticism was already taking form. One of its leading doctrines was an absolute dichotomy of body and soul; that the body could engage in wickedness without harming the soul. They supplemented this with the false conclusion that since all things belong to Christ, all things are good; therefore, all things should be enjoyed.