The Church in America is at the Crossroads

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.Matthew 10:32-34

During the days of Nazi Germany there arose a Confessing Church movement that rose against the German Church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less than 5,000 were aligned with the Confessing Church. Hence, only a remnant held fast to the biblical position with about half of the churches conforming due to political and societal pressure. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that, when push comes to shove, a large percentage of pastors, churches and so-called Christians will probably bow to pressure and allow the norms of culture to become their credo for Christianity.

We see the same thing today in churches in the USA and beyond. With the accelerated pace of the attack on religious liberty today, there could develop a great divide in the church between confessing churches and compromising churches similar to what happened in Nazi Germany. This will not be a divide based on denominational affiliation but based on the degree of loyalty to biblical fidelity. It is sad but true that more and more believers will be compromising core biblical values and standards rather than be stigmatized or persecuted and lose influence in society.

In John 12:42-43 we see that many contemporaries of Jesus believed in Him but would not confess Him because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

“Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is distinctly the same across the world. For centuries, blood has been needlessly shed because of the desire to segregate our faiths. This, however, should be the very concept which unites us as people, as nations, and as a world bound by faith. Together, we can bring about an unprecedented age of peace, all we need to achieve such a state is respect each other’s beliefs, for we are all children of God regardless of the name we choose to address him by. We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now. No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God. -Pope Frances, Monday, February 15th

John 12:42-43 – Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

The True Church vs the False Church

In the confessing church, Christ is over culture.
The compromising church accommodates Christ to culture.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mark 8:36

II Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with nrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Psalm 1:1-6 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The Church of Truth vs the Church of Error

The confessing church holds fast to the Word of God in spite of opposition.

The compromising church alters the Word of God because of opposition.

Psalms 119:89  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

1 Peter 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The Heavenly minded Church vs the Worldly church

The confessing church puts the kingdom of God above their culture. The compromising church puts their culture before the kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:30-34
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Changing Methods vs compromising the Message

The confessing church alters their methods of preaching. The compromising church alters the message they preach.

I Corinthians 9:19-27 – For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Remnant vs Mainstream.

The confessing church is a remnant in the minority of church and state. The compromising church wants to be in the mainstream of both church and state. 

Matthew 7:13-20 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them

The Persecuted Church vs the Praised Church

The confessing church is penalized by the state government. The compromising church is applauded by the state government.

Revelation 2:8-11- And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The Faithful Church vs the Conforming Church

The confessing church prophetically speaks truth to those in power. The compromising church conforms to those in power.

Acts 5: 27-31; 40-42 – 27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

The Sound Church vs the Seeker Friendly Church

The confessing church desires the praise of God. The compromising church desires the praise of men

II Timothy 4: 1-8 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; 2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3  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; 4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

TODAY’S AMERICAN CHURCH HAS GONE AFTER THE PRAISE OF MAN AND WANDERED FAR FROM THE GOD OF THE BIBLE.

John 12:42-43 –  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

II Thessalonians 2:3   Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Seven Stages of Temptation, part 1

The blame game

Genesis 3:11-13

   And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?12  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.13  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
  • Adam – you gave me the woman
    • Blamed God
    • Blamed Eve
  • Eve – Blamed serpent – Satan
  • Satan – Blamed God – “Hast not God said”
Sin always comes with a price!

 Genesis 1:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin

The ultimate cost for man– both physical and spiritual death.

For the Serpent – Genesis 3:14-15 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Eve’s curse Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.   

Adam’s curse – 17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Sin leads to loss of innocence

Genesis :6-11 – And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  9  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Attacking the blame game Ultimately, in the end, we all blame our sin on God

James 1:13-17 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16  Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

  • Satan tempts with sin (evil)
  • God gives only Good Gifts.
  • God is NEVER the author of temptation.
  • God is always the author of everything good in your life:

-Forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, compassion, church,
loving family, provision, life itself.

Seven stages of temptation

  • The look – when he is drawn away
  • The lust – One’s own lust
  • The lure – enticed – the bait
  • The conception – lust has conceived
  • The birth – brings sin
  • The growth – finished – full grown
  • The death – brings forth death
The Look
  • The open door
  • It opens the door from the protection and the protector
  • You are drawn away – you go from safe to risky
  • You must be aware of the LOOK
  • REMEDY – draw back immediately
The Lust

1.) Identify:

  • Person who tempts you
  • Situation that tempts you
  • Activity that tempts you
  • Place that tempts you
  • Those thoughts that tempt you

2.) Your own lusts – these are eagerly awaiting a willing heart!

Daniel 1:8  

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

  • You are drawn away by what you allow to enter your heart
  • Temptation tempts you because of what is in the inside, not what is on the outside
  • “she tempts me” it is your lustful heart tempts you
  • I saw it and could not help myself, so I took it – your covetous heart is the source of your temptation
  • They just made me so angry – you unforgiving heart was the source of your temptation
  • Temptation distorts a God given desire

It pushes the God given desire past the normal limit into excess.

It pushes the God given desire to find fulfillment in areas that are off limits.

DEEP CLEANSING AND PREPARING FOR TEMPTATION

James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

I believe regular cleansing is imperative to defeating temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Steps to deep cleansing

  1. Find a quiet place to sit alone – Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
  2. Quiet your heart before the Lord
    Close your eyes and reflect on Him

    Remove all distractions – tv, phone, computer, people, job, etc
    Put all worries aside for a time. They are not going anywhere
    Matthew 6:25-33 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  3. Pray and thank God for allowing you to be at this place at this time Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
    Ask for courage to be honest before Him Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
    Ask for grace to help you as he reveals hidden things in your life.
    Commit to the Lord that your will pay the price necessary for total complete cleansing – Psalms 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
    Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
    Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
  4. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal your specific sins to you Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
  5. List everything He reveals to you.
    List everything, not just the easy ones

    Re-ask Him to reveal more
    Number them in order of difficulty
    Wait on Him – Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Psalms 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
  6. Confess your sins one at a time – Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. – I John 1:9-10 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
  7. Accept the fact that this will be a struggle in some areas of your life – Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    You may well desire to stop because it is to personally hard
    This is the normal human response
    Give yourself time to properly get the job complete (could take more then one time alone) so make this a regular habit.
  8. Make restitution if it is needed. Matthew 5: 23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
    You will have to expect you will be humbled – I Peter 5:5-9 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
    Commit to go to whomever you have sinned against and set it right.
    This is necessary for spiritual victory and freedom
  9. Write done beside each sin you have confessed
    You are not done until you have confessed, made restitution, and received God’s complete cleansing of your sin
    When you have finished the list, burn it as a sign that it has been forgiven.
    10.Thank the Lord for His work in your life as your complete each one.
    Praise time now – praise Him for His faithfulness in forgiving and cleansing you.

Psalms 109:30  I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

Psalms 111:1  Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

Psalms 115:18  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.
Psalms 115:18 

Psalms 135:1-3   Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.2  Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

The Importance of Cleansing Oneself

Matthew 7:1-6
Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

This is not easy

Romans 7:21-25 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Our own sin often seems smaller than someone else’s sin
All growth is preceded by cleansing

Erwin Lutzer – pastor emeritus of Moody Church “We must not part with sin as with a friend, with the purpose of seeing it again and have the same familiarity with it, or possibly greater…we must shake our hands of it as Paul did the snake the viper off his hand into the fire”

Sin – anything beyond the will of God or short of the will of God

James 4:11-17   Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? 13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

ALL PERSONAL SIN MUST BE DEALT WITH

MOVING TOWARD HOLINESS
Do not defend your sin

  • Your sin is not less then the next person’s sin
  • Your sin is not the result of someone else action
  • Your sin is not the devil’s fault
  • Your sin is entirely your own fault
NO ONE CAN MAKE YOUR SIN!

James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

2 Chronicles 7:14
King James Version
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14

This is where both personal and corporate revival begins

Begins at salvation

Continues through phases of spiritual growth

Spiritual growth is often

A time of growing
• A leveling off
• Sometimes a slip backward
• Then moving forward
• Then leveling off (digesting what God has taught you)

It is more than

Worship
• Praise
• Devotions each day
• Attending church once a week

You can do all these and still not be in the will of God – back to James 4 and II Chronicles 7

I Must cleans myself and learn to commune with Him (to share my emotions and feelings with Him, to be in close contact with Him, have intimate communications, a closeness)

Most people here today can quote      II Chronicles 7:14

Few practice it

Did you seek personal holiness this week or just continue as usual?

Let us examine today

  1. Do you actively pursue your personal sin?
  2. Does sin just happen in your life by accident, you did not mean too?
  3. Do you try to avoid sin most of the time?
  4. Do you feel regret when you do knowingly sin?
  5. Do you become angry with your sin?
  6. Do you become deeply grieved with your sin?
  7. Do you hate and detest your sin and turn from it?
  8. How does God feel about your sin?

Where do you stand

  1. Rejection of cleansing because of the hardness of your heart?
  2. Some cleaning because of outside influences such as a message or sermon?
  3. Initial dee cleansing and an intense inward desire for a deep relationship with God? Humbled, prayed, sought after Him, and turn from?
  4. Repeated deep cleaning and a hunger to be holy – desire to be more Christ like
  5. Regular cleansing and a deeper relationship with Jesus

I Corinthians 15:31-34 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.32  If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.33  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.34  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

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