OceanSide church of Christ

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DANGEROUS POINTS ON THE CHRISTIANíS PATH (2)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   When a person goes for a walk, there are danger points that he may contact from time to time.

1.     Intersections

2.     Busy highways

3.     Narrow bridges

4.     Roads with no sidewalks

 

B.    As Christians, we are on a walk through the pathway of life.

1.     Colossians 2:6

 

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

 

2.     This path is fraught with dangers.† Thus, we are exhorted to walk circumspectly (Eph. 5:15).

 

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.

 

C.   Last week, we preached the first part of a two-part lesson entitled:† ďDangerous Points on the Christianís Path.Ē

1.     We looked at three danger points:

a.     Being overcome with sin

b.    Getting too busy in this world

c.    Losing our enthusiasm in living the Christian life

2.     This morning, we will be examining three more danger points on the Christianís path.

 

I.           WHEN WE DOUBT DEEPLY HELD CONVICTIONS

 

A.   Faith involves convictions about various spiritual truths.† As long as these are firmly believed, we will be steadfast.

 

B.    From time to time, however, we may develop doubts about some of these beliefs.

1.     Young people who go to college or who leave home and get jobs

2.     When we come in contact with a smooth talking false teacher that we like

3.     When difficult situations develop in our lives

 

C.   When doubts arise there are some things that need to be done to help one move past this danger point.

1.     Develop solid beliefs about two things:

a.     The existence of God

b.    The fact that the Bible is the Word of God

 

2.     Get into the Bible and seek answers.

a.     I Thessalonians 5:19-22

 

Quench not the Spirit.† Despise not prophesyings.† Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.† Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

b.    Most answers are easily obtained.† Just a few verses will put our minds at ease.

3.     Trust what God says.

a.     Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Trust in the Lord will all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.† In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

b.    Not long ago, one reasoned that those who lived in the second century would have had a better understanding of Godís Word than men today.†

1)     He thought that since they lived closer to the time of the apostles, and perhaps even knew the apostles, they would have understood Godís Word better.†

2)     However, the apostles warned that the church would fall away and perverse things would be proclaimed.

a)     Elders of the church at Ephesus would speak perverse things.† These were men Paul knew personally (Acts 20:29-30).

 

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.† Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

 

b)     I Timothy 4:1-2

 

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.

 

II.         OVERWHELMED BY LIFEíS TROUBLES

 

A.   The Bible vividly declares that this life can be very difficult.

1.     Job 14:1

 

Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

 

2.     John 16:33

 

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.† In the world ye shall have tribulation:† but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 

 

 

3.     II Corinthians 5:4a

 

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdenedÖ

 

B.    When people get down and life is hard, one of the first things they cast aside is their relationship with God.

1.     They donít give up their jobs.

2.     They donít give up their families.

3.     They usually keep their sports and extracurricular activities.

 

C.   Letís consider some things one must do to persist in faithfulness in the midst of lifeís troubles.

1.     Individuals need to strengthen themselves.

a.     Proverbs 24:10

 

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

 

b.    Strength comes from two sources.

1)     The Word of God (Ps. 119:28)

 

My soul melteth for heaviness:† strengthen thou me according to thy word.

 

2)     Faithful brethren (Eccl. 4:9-10)

 

Two are better than one; because they have good reward for their labor.† For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:† but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him.

 

2.     They need to persist in their Christian endeavors.

a.     When times are tough, it is not time to depart from the Christ.

b.    It is time to lower our heads and push through the blowing winds of the snowstorm (Heb. 3:14).

 

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

 

3.     Seek out and gain the good that comes from our afflictions.

a.     The anguish of afflictions is not joyful.

b.    The attributes that come from afflictions are astounding (Rom. 5:3-4; Heb. 12:4-13; James 1:2-4).

 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.

 

4.     Keep in mind those who have endured in the past (i.e., Job, James 5:11).

 

Behold, we count them happy which endure.† Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is pitiful, and of tender mercy.

III.       WHEN OTHERS CHALLENGE US

 

A.   Christianity definitely has its enemies.† When we become Christians, these enemies will often come against us.

1.     The attacks can be fierce and brutal like those brought by the Jews and the Romans upon the first century church (Acts 8:1-3).

2.     The attacks can be subtle involving family, friends, and co-workers.

 

B.    Attacks upon us can bring physical harm, emotional distress, shame, and a loss of joy in living the Christian life.

 

C.   To overcome attacks and live successfully through them, we must do several things.

1.     Accept that challenges are going to come.† Jesus did not hide this from us.

a.     The eighth beatitude (Matt. 5:10)

 

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousnessí sake:† for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

b.    Matthew 10:22

 

And ye shall be hated of all men for my nameís sake.

 

c.    I John 3:13

 

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

 

2.     Develop a spirit of joy in that you are counted worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.     Matthew 5:11-12a

 

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.† Rejoice, and be exceeding gladÖ

 

b.    The example of the apostles after being beaten by the Jewish council (Acts 5:41).

 

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

 

3.     Again, we need to keep the example of others who suffered always in our minds.† Jesus is our prime example (Heb. 12:2-3).

 

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.† For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Perhaps you have not been on your Christian journey very long and have not experienced these dangers.† Just be aware of them and prepare yourself for them.

 

B.    Maybe you have experienced one or more of the dangers we have discussed.† You have been one who has endured and overcome.† You know that you are a stronger Christian because of it.

 

C.   It could be that you have come to one of these danger points and right now your soul is in danger.

1.     If you have sinned, repent and come back to God in deep, trusting faith.

2.     If you have not sinned, commit yourself to enduring the danger.† Do the things that will cause you to be an overcomer.

a.     In the Revelation, every church is promised a blessing if it overcame (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

b.    As the Revelation comes to a close, another promise is given to the overcomer (Rev. 21:7).

 

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.