OceanSide church of Christ

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DANGEROUS POINTS IN THE CHRISTIANíS PATH

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   When at the Childrenís Home in Paragould, AR, the wilderness leaders would often take groups into the wilderness for three to five days at a time.

1.     From time to time, there were dangers that we faced along the way.

2.     A list of some of the dangers:

a.     Extreme cold

b.    Lack of good water

c.    Insects and snakes

d.    High water at river crossings

e.     Steep inclines or steep descents

f.     Constant rain

3.     When the dangers came, we had to be prepared to deal with them.

 

B.    The Christian life is compared to a walk in the New Testament.

1.     Scriptures

a.     Romans 6:4

 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:† that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

b.    II Corinthians 5:7

 

(For we walk by faith, not by sight).

 

c.    Ephesians 4:1

 

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.

 

d.    Ephesians 5:8

 

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:† walk as children of light.

 

2.     As we traverse our path in the wilderness of life, there will come times when we will come to dangerous points.

a.     We want to talk about some of these points in this lesson.

b.    The title of our lesson is:† ďDangerous Points in the Christianís Life.Ē

 

I.           WHEN WE ARE OVERCOME BY SIN

 

A.   There is not a child of God who will not sin occasionally.

1.     I John 1:8

 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

2.     I John 2:1

 

My little children, These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.† And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

 

B.    Some, however, will be overcome with sin.

1.     They will be habitually involved in some form of iniquity.

2.     They may repent from time to time, but the sin continues to plague their life.

3.     This is a danger point because:

a.     Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2).

b.    Eventually, sin will bring condemnation to the soul of man (Rom. 6:23).

 

C.   There are at least three keys to overcoming this danger.

1.     Truly repent of the sin and ask for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; Luke 13:3).

 

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

 

2.     Desperately practice faithfulness.

a.     Luke 13:24; Heb. 4:11; II Pet. 1:10

 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make you calling and election sure:† for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

 

b.    Far too many do the first step, but they slack on this step.† Their efforts at being faithful continue to be weak and sporadic.

3.     Seek out another Christian who will hold your accountable (James 5:16; Eccl. 4:9-10).

 

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.† The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

II.         WHEN WE GET BUSY IN THE WORLD

 

A.   This world in which we live offers us some interesting and challenging things that can excite us and can seem to bring fulfillment to our lives.

1.     There are many beautiful things to see in our world.

2.     There are things in the world that challenge us:† school, careers, business.

3.     There are things that bring pleasure:† sports and hobbies.

 

B.    We can get so caught up in these things that our Christian walk gets put second or third on the list of things that are important.

1.     Things we used to do for the kingdom, we no longer do.

2.     Time spent laboring in the vineyard has been cut by great measures.

3.     We may not notice or think about it because what we are doing isnít sinful per se.

 

 

C.   Ways to overcome this danger.

1.     We must convince ourselves that the spiritual is the most important part of our life.

a.     Martha was told by Jesus:† But one thing is needful:† and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42).

b.    The psalmist (Ps. 142:5)

 

I cried unto thee, O Lord, I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

 

c.    Colossians 3:2-3

 

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.† For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

 

2.     We must take an honest inventory of how we are using our time, talents, and money.

a.     Psalm 119:59

 

I thought on my ways, and turned my heart unto thy testimonies.

 

b.    Lamentations 3:40

 

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

 

c.    II Corinthians 13:5

 

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.† Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

 

3.     We need to repent and turn back to our first love by engaging in the works that we used to do (Rev. 2:4-5).

 

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.† Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

 

III.       WHEN WE LOSE OUR EXCITEMENT

 

A.   There are times in our Christian walk when the joy, excitement, and enthusiasm fade.

1.     We just go through the motions.

2.     We begin to let some things slide:† attendance, involvement.

3.     We start finding more and more things that are wrong with the church, that is, we become cynical and critical.

4.     We cover our lack of enthusiasm with all kinds of excuses.

 

 

B.    There are thousands of reasons as to why enthusiasm goes out.

1.     When it subsides, God is no longer in us.

2.     The definition of enthusiasm is ďGod in us.Ē

 

C.   There are several suggestions that we have for those who are experiencing a lack of interest in spiritual things, and, who are negligent in their Christian lives.

1.     We need to seriously reflect upon the grace of God.

a.     Grace is one of Godís gifts to man.

b.    Grace is the help that God has proved to man to free him from sin and provide him with a hopeful future.

c.    Grace is the sacrifice of Godís Son on Calvary.

d.    Grace involves the revelation of Godís Word that reveals the good news, the gospel.

e.     Grace is that eternal spark that ignites the fuel within us that enables us to life a vibrant, bountiful life for God (I Cor. 15:10).

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am:† and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all:† yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

2.     We need to eat and drink from the Word of God.

a.     If manís physical body is deprived of food and water, he will grow weak and weary.

b.    The same is true with the spiritual man.

1)     In John 4:14, Jesus speaks of the water He provides.

 

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 

2)     In John 6:35, Jesus states:† I am the bread of life:† he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

a)     One comes to the Christ by means of the teachings of the Word of God (John 6:44-45).

b)     One comes to a belief in the Christ through the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).

3.     Those who are experiencing stagnation also need to find areas of service that will stimulate growth and challenge them.

a.     Enroll in a class.

b.    Take on a new work in the church.

c.    Do things that you have never done in the past:† visitation of shut-ins, nursing homes, and hospitals.

d.    Commit yourself for a period of time to do everything the church offers you.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Each one of us is on a journey in a wilderness.

 

B.    That journey will bring us to various danger points from time to time.

 

C.   If we do not know how to handle these danger points, we may find ourselves seriously wounded, or, even facing spiritual death.

 

D.   Let us be like the psalmist of old (Ps. 23:4).

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:† for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.