The part I'm going to start is in verse number 21. It says, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." Now if you turn your Bible's to Romans chapter 12, Romans chapter 12. Now in this whole list, it's got a list at the end of this chapter that says a lot of things. It says, "Rejoice evermore." There's some really short phrases. You know, it says, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God and Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the spirit. Despise not prophesyings." I think sometimes, you know, we look at these little verses, it's easy to skip over them and not really look at them and think that it's an important verse because it's such a short verse. I've noticed that the short verses in the Bible are verses that seem to pack a big punch.
Think about Jesus Christ, the same. Yesterday, today, and forever. That's a short verse. Right here we're going to talk about proving all things. Now it says, "Hold fast that which is good." What does it mean to prove something? It means to make sure of something. It means to test something out, like if I had something, I said, "I want to prove this." You know, you think about David when he put on Saul's armor, he said, "I can't ..." He said he couldn't use them because he said he had not proved them. He didn't know if they were any good, and he was getting ready to go out in battle, and he didn't want to maybe be killed because he was wearing something that he hadn't proved. He didn't know if it was any good or not.
In Romans chapter 12 verse 1, it says, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." We're supposed to live our lives and make sure that the way we live our lives and the choices that we make are according to God's word. We're supposed to be able to prove why we do what we do. We're supposed to be able to prove why we hold church the way we hold church. We're supposed to prove why we dress the way we dress, why we cut the way we cut our hair, why we read what we read, and why we go where we're we go. We're supposed to prove that what we're doing is acceptable to God.
Now turn your Bible to 2 Timothy chapter 2. Just quickly, I'm going to talk about, just real fast, we need to prove what we believe. We need to be able, each of us individually needs to be able to prove what we believe out of the Bible to other people. The Bible says at 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 15, it says, "Study and show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Right there the Bible says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God." It's easy to show yourself approved unto man. It's easy to listen to a bunch of sermons online. It's easy to read a bunch of websites and learn a bunch of doctrine and go out and talk with other people about the Bible and show people things out the Bible and make them feel like you've done a bunch of study, but you haven't. Maybe you're approved unto them, but the Bible says right here, we need to study to show ourself approved unto God. We need to show God that we're serious. We need to show God that we're not just on steroids, just listening to a bunch of sermons filling our heads with doctrines every day, but we're actually doing the hard work that it takes, so that way we can learn it on our own, so that we, ourselves, are approved, not only to man but to God.
Go to 2 Corinthians chapter number 13. We need to be able to prove what we believe. It says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, it says, "Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. Prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Christ Jesus is in you, accepting her reprobates." We're supposed to make sure of our own salvation by comparing it with what the Bible says is salvation. A lot of times people doubt their salvation. It's because in their head, maybe they start doubting, you know, maybe the don't read their Bible enough, or they don't ... you know, there's no walking in the spirit. It'll make them doubt their salvation, but if you doubt your salvation, you need to check whether you're saved, not by asking a bunch of people, but by comparing it with what the Bible says. If you're doubting your salvation, the Bible says, if we believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead, that he's God in the flesh, and that there's nothing we can do to earn our salvation, it's by faith, and we can't lose it. If you believe that, you're saved. Why? Because you can prove it with the Bible.
You say, "Well, I don't feel saved." Show me in the Bible where feeling saved is where you're saved or not. We need to be able to prove that we're saved, not by our feelings and by our experiences in life, but we need to be able to prove that we're saved by comparing it with scripture. If the scripture says it, even if we don't feel saved, guess what, you're saved, whether you like it or not. All right?
Now turn your Bibles to 2nd ... You're in 2 Corinthians, go to chapter 2. The Bible says in Galatians chapter 6, you're going to 2 Corinthians chapter 2, "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not another." Again, it says "Prove all things. Hold fast that which is good." Quickly, we're supposed to be able to prove what we believe to other people.
I got that out of the way because what I'm going to be talking about is not us proving things to other people or even in that sense. I'm going to talk about God proving his people, and God testing his people. That's the point of the sermon. Now in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, the Bible says in verse 8 ... Now quickly, in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 5, the Bible talks about, there's a wicked man that was sleeping with his husband's wife, or his dad's wife. Paul told these people to kick them out of their church. He explained, look, if there's a fornicator or a drunkard or and extortioner, or a [railor 00:05:59], or these certain sins, that if they do these sins, they should be thrown out of the church, and they did that. The Bible say in 2 Corinthians that that guy ended up being welcomed back into the fold. They took him back because he stopped doing the wicked things that got him thrown out of church in the first place.
It says in verse 8 of 2 Corinthians chapter 2, it says, "Wherefore I beseech you that you would confirm your love toward him," talking about this guy. He's saying the guy is repentant of the sin that he was doing. He's came back. They're letting him back in the church, and he's pretty much telling him, don't hold a grudge against this guy. He's not doing it anymore, we should forgive this guy. We should let him back. Let him move one. Let him do some things for God. It says, "Wherefore, I beseech you, that you would confirm your love toward him for to this end, also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things." He not only showed that he had only a ... He told these people that he not only commanded these people to throw this guy out of their church, which is what he did. The Bible says, "A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump." You say, well it's just one guy doing it, it's not going to infect the church. The Bible says, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." It could completely infect the church. It could make the church sinful in the sight of God, and they threw him out and said ...
That's not the only reason, he said, "I did it whether ye be obedient in all things." I told you to do that because I wanted to see if you would do it. Now, if you go to chapter 7, it says in verse 13, "Therefore, we were comforted in you, in your ..." Okay, verse 13, are you there? "Therefore, we were comforted in you, in your comfort, yay, and exceeding the more joy, we for the joy of Titus because his spirit was refreshed by you all. For if I have boasted anything of him, to him of you, I am not ashamed, but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found the truth. And his inward affection is more abounded toward you whilst you remember the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling to receive them. I rejoice, therefore, that I have confidence in you, in all things."
Paul is saying here that he told Titus that these people are obedient people. They're obedient to the word of God. They're shown something in the word of God, they're commanded to do something, and they did it. Even though it was a hard thing. I don't know how big the church in Corinth was, but this apparently was the first time they even ever fathomed kicking somebody out of their church. They did it, then God was received, and Paul said, "Look, I was telling Titus how you guys are obedient in all things." It said at the very end there, "I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things."
God looks down from heaven, he sees that we're shown something in the Bible, or we read something in the Bible that maybe is something different than what we do, and we have a decision to make whether we're going to choose to do what the Bible says or we're going to go with what we've always done. If you go with what the Bible says, it brings confidence to God, it brings confidence to other people that you're going to be obedient.
Now turn to Genesis chapter number 22. God proves his own people. He's shown us that in the new testament. There's other verses that I can show you where it's showing that God is proving his own people, but in the old testament, there's also many other scriptures, there's many other passages about God proving and testing his own people. I think the most famous one is in Genesis 22 with Abraham and Isaac. In Genesis 22 verse 1, it says, "And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him 'Abraham,' and he said, 'Behold, here am I.,' and he said, 'Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac whom thou loveth, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'
And Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his ass and took 2 of his young men with him, and Isaac, his son, and claimed the wood for the burnt offering when he rose up, and went to the place which God had told him. Then on the 3rd day, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off, and Abraham said unto his young man, 'Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.' And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son, and then he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham, his father, and said, 'My father.' And he said, 'Here am I, my son.' And he said, 'Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?' And Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.'
So they went both of them together, and they came to the place which God had told them of, and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar of the wood. Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. The angel of the Lord called on him out of heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham.' And he said, 'Here am I.' And he said, 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God. Seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son.'"
Right here, Abraham earlier in the chapter, earlier in the book, had been promised a son by God. He was miraculously given a son by God which was Isaac, and right here, God is commanding him to sacrifice his own son. God, it says, at the very first verse, it says, "God did tempt Abraham." Now go to Hebrews chapter 11. It says, "God tempted Abraham." God was tempting and testing Abraham to see if he was obedient. Now, at the end, verse 18 of Genesis 22, when he said, "Thy seed shall be all the nations of the earth be blessed because thou has obeyed my voice." You know, you got think about that story, and a lot of times, especially stories, like pretty much everyone here has probably heard about Abraham and Isaac. It's a story that we've read a bunch of times, and taught it to our kids a bunch of times, but you got to really picture the situation.
This guy is getting ready to kill his own child. He's getting ready to stab him the heart, and not only is going to stab him, after he kills him, he's going to light him on fire, and he's going to completely incinerate him and burn him up. I think, well, why would he do something like that? Well, it says in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 17, it says, "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son of whom it was said that 'in Isaac thou seed shall be called' accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead." How did Abraham make it through the testing that God put him through is he believed the word that God had told him, and he just obeyed.
The point of that is, if we hear something in the Bible, or we're shown something in preaching, and we don't really understand why God said to do this, we don't understand how come God says that a man shouldn't have long hair and he shouldn't have short hair. We don't understand how come the Bible says that women shouldn't dress like a man. We don't understand why we got to go out and knock on doors and why we can't just hand out a bunch of tracks. We don't understand why God wants things done a certain way. We don't wait until we figure out how come, and then fully understand everything. The Bible says that we're just supposed to obey God's word, and then after we obey God's word, if we continue in God's word, God's going to reveal to us why we're doing what we're doing. We're supposed to study the Bible out.
If there's something that you see people doing, and you know they're doing it for a reason. You know they're doing it because the Bible says so, but you don't where it's at in the Bible, instead of just disobeying God and saying, "I don't believe that," you should look in the Bible and find out if what they are doing is right or not. The Bible says you're supposed to prove the perfect and acceptable will of God. We're supposed to prove why we do what we do, or why we don't do what we do.
Now go to Deuteronomy chapter 8. God tested Abraham. God tested the people in the city of Corinth. God also has tested the children of Israel just all together, just as a big whole, just in general. It says in Deuteronomy chapter 8, just a couple more books to the right in your Bible, I'll let you get there. It says in verse 1, this is when God tested the children of Israel. He tested them in many different ways. One of the ways is he gave them manna, and he made them wander around the wilderness for a long time.
It says, "And all the commandments which I command you this day," in verse 1, "ye shall observe to do that ye may live and multiple and go in and possess the land which the Lord swear unto your fathers. And thou shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these 40 years in the wilderness to humble thee and to prove thee to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments of no. And he humble thee, and suffer thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna which thou knewest not. Neither did thy fathers' know that he might make thee to know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. That rain and wax not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell these 40 years. Thou also consider at heart that as a man chaseneth at the sun, so the Lord thy God chaseneth thee. Wherefore thou shall keep the commandments of the the Lord thy God to walk in his ways, and to fear him."
Right here he's saying that he fed them with manna. These people for 40 years, or for a long time, many years. You got to think about this, they'd eaten manna for so long, there were people that were born and were grown men, and they had been eating manna their entire lives. For a while he fed them with the foul of the earth. He made quail to come down, and he fed them with quail meat. That's not ... I mean, could you imagine eating the same thing every day? Even if it's something that's really good, even if manna at first tasted great, you know, this shows that they were complaining about it, and they wanted something else. They wanted meat. They wanted other things, but God was testing them. He said he was doing a couple different things. The Bible says that he was humbling them. The Bible says that he was chastening them. The Bible says, "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son who receives ..." It says in that verse, "As a man chasteneth the sun," in verse 5, "so the Lord, thy God chasteneth thee."
At first it said twice that the humbled thee and suffered thee to hunger. Why did God have to humble his people. The Bible says in 1 Peter chapter 5, it says, "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder, yay, all of you be subject one to another and be clothed with humility for God resisted the proud and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt u in due time." The Bible says we're supposed to be clothed with humility.
Go to Hebrews chapter 12. Now it says, we're supposed to be clothed with humility. The Bible says every day we're supposed to put on the new man. The Bible says we're supposed to walk in the spirit. Walking in the spirit, you know, the fruits of the spirit are love and joy and peace and all that, but the Bible also says that the new man, that if you're walking in the spirit, you're going to be a humble person. The Bible says that God resisted the proud, but he giveth grace to the humble. He says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time."
God looks at you and he says ... This guy, he wants to do something for God. He wants to make choices for God. He wants to go out sowing. Or he's going to this church, and he's making choices in his life to do more for God. God says, "I'm going to make sure that that guys not going to get all puffed up. I'm going to make sure that guy doesn't get all prideful." The Bible says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." He says, "I will push that guy down. I will make sure he stays humble." Why? That way he can exalt us in due time.
It says, "Humble yourselves therefore in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." If you want to do something great for God, the Bible says that God is going to put you through trials. He's going to put you through temptations, and he's going to put you through chastening. This all kind of introduction. We'll get to the main crunch of the sermon here in a second.
Now, it says that they were being chastened. They were being humbled, and they were also being chastened by God. It says in Hebrews 12, "And he had forgotten the exhortation," in verse 5, "we speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou are rebuked of him, for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If he endure chastening, God dealeth with you as his sons. For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not, but if you be without chastisement where of all are partakers, then are you bastards and not sons. Furthermore, we have had father's of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits and live. For they verily for a few days chasten us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous. Nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness onto them which are exercised thereby."
The Bible is saying that chastening is something that is not joyful. It's not something that going to bring us a lot of joy, but the Bible also says chastening isn't something that we should just completely despise. Chastening isn't something that's a bad thing. The Bible says the end of chastening is going to profit us. The Bible says God does it for our profit that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Turn to John chapter 15. Point number 1 is we need the trials, and we need the chastening of God. We might look at our life and think ... I heard a quote, I think it's a Jack [Kyle's 00:20:02] quote, and I don't know it exactly, but he said something about like be nice to everybody because everybody's having a hard time. You got to look around our church, and people smile, and people wear their Sunday best, but you know what, everybody has trials, everybody's got their own problems. I don't go around just telling you all my problems because I know you got your own problems. That should exhort us to want to pray for other people. Not only should it exhort us to pray for other people, but it should also really push us to keep on going in our Christian walk, so that way we don't become a stumbling block for other people because when people come here ...
You know, sometimes I come here, and I'm encouraged by seeing the other people here. Some days I wasn't going to go soul winning, but then somebody called me and said "Let's go soul winning. I know somebody's coming to my house." I'd say, you know what, I'm going to put on my stuff, I'm going to go out soul winning. I get more accomplished for God that day, not because I was walking in the spirit, but because somebody else was walking in the spirit, and because they were walking in the spirit, and they weren't fulfilling the lust of the flesh, they kind of brang me along with them, so I said, "You know what, I'm going to go out soul winning. I'm going to get some people saved. I'm going to do something today for God that I didn't normally plan on doing."
I did a study on the difference between chastening and purging. I've always been told that chastening is when we do something bad and purging is when we're just doing something good. Really, just looking at it, I couldn't find a whole lot of difference between the 2. Now, I understand that chastening is like a spanking, is like a rebuke, and when we're doing good there's no need for a rebuke, or there's no need for a chastening. I think sometimes God may put us through something that we would look at as a chastening, so that way we can stay humble, so that way we can be proved and tested from God.
In John chapter number 15, Jesus says right here, "I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away, and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Often when we take steps in the right direction ... You know God is saying right here, look if you're doing something for God, and you're bring forth fruit, you're doing more for God today than you did last week.
Like, last week or last month you weren't going soul winning, now you're going soul winning, you weren't really reading your Bible, now you're reading your Bible, now your going to church. Maybe your just 1 of the Sunday morning glories, and now you're coming on Sunday night, and you're doing something extra that you weren't doing before. God says, "You know what, that guy is starting to bear fruit. That guy is doing something with his life, and he wants to do more, and I'm going to purge him of the sin that's in his life, that way it frees him from the bonds, so that way he can do more."
It's like going back to chapter 6 of the book of Luke, Luke chapter 6. Often when we take steps in the right direction, like quitting a sinful lifestyle or quitting just being a worldly person, or trying to really just stop doing stuff like that, God will purge not only the sin out of our life, but he'll purge the sources of the sin, and he'll purge the temptations that might take the ... that might help us to get the sin out of our life. Jesus said, "Lead me not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
At Luke chapter 6 verse 22 it says, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you. When they shall separate you from their company and shall reproach you and cast your name as evil for the son of man's sake." Get all sad and suck your thumb about it. Does that say that? No. It says, "Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner did their father's over the false prophets." You start doing things for God, and maybe, you know, you're going to church, and you're trying to explain to them the Bible, and you don't really know how to show them in the Bible how to be saved exactly. You don't know where all the verses at. You're trying to do your best at it, and maybe they might laugh at you, and they might make fun of you, and you think, "Wow, these guys, they were such good friends a little while back. They're not my friends anymore." You think, "Wow, this is ... what a bummer. I thought these guys were like ..." It makes you sad inside. The Bible says you shouldn't get said. That's not just them doing that to you. That's God working in your life. That's God separating those people from you.
The Bible says in 1 Peter chapter 4, "For the times passed in your own life my suffice us to have rob the will of the gentiles when you walk in lasciviousness, lust, excessive of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries, wherein they think it's strange that you run not with them to the same excessive life, speaking evil of you." They look at you and they think, "Oh man, this guy is a sellout. This guy, he used to be so ... We thought he was hardcore, and we thought he was ..." whatever they think that you were, and now you're not going to their house, now you're not answering the phone call. These guys are giving you a call, "Sure, he thinks he's better than all of us." It's not that you think that you're better than anybody, it's that you know the Bible says, "Make not provision for the flesh to fulfill." You say, "I'm not going to drink. I'm not going to smoke pot anymore. I'm not going to do those type of things." If you go and hang around with those people, you're that much closer to going back into the sin you just got out of.
What you do is you separate yourself from them. You say, "I'm not going to answer their phone calls. I'm not going to go to those places anymore." What they do? They get mad. They think, "Oh, this guy, he thinks that he's just better than everybody." You think of your family, and they think, "Oh, this guy, they're so self righteous now. They don't want to come to our Christmas Eve party where everybody gets drunk and pukes all over the place and acts like a stinking fool because they're just so self righteous now. They're so godly." Well, yes. I'm not saying I'm godlier than thou, I'm saying I don't want to fall back into the same temptations to commit sin. I don't want to look at people that are drinking, and I don't want in my heart, me to slip up and think, you know what that beer looks good. I know that I won't drink, but you know what, maybe there is a time ... I heard a preacher say one time, and he was saying it one time, he's like, "I don't think I had a drink in like 25 years," and he said, you know what he was somewhere and the guy was drinking a real cold beer out of a glass, and he said, "I caught myself looking at him," and he said, "for a second it looked really good, and I remember, and I had to snap myself out of it." Why?
We can all fall back into sin. Just like pastor says it all the time, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." We need to make sure that we don't fall back into the same sin. God's going to help us with that. He's going to move these people out of our lives.
Go to Psalm chapter 119. The Bible says that we're proved and tried so that we can get the sin out of our life. God wants us to be more holy. He wants us to be righteous. He wants us to walk in the spirit, not just sometimes, but he wants us to do it every day. He wants us to bear fruit. He's purging us. Why? So we can bear more fruit. "Here it is, my father glorified, that you bear much fruit," so the Bible says. At Psalm 119:65, it's in the very center of your Bibles', it's the biggest, longest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119:65, it says, "Thou has dealt well with thy servant, Oh Lord, according to thy word." He said he's dealt well with me, you've dealt well with me God. What you've done is a good thing.
The next verse says, "Teach me good judgement and knowledge, for I have believed thy commandments. Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept thy word." What go this guy, what got David to keep God's word? He said before he was afflicted, he was going astray, God afflicted him, and now he keeps God's word. Look at verse 71. He says, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn thy statues." Sometimes we go through things as a punishment from God, and it's not that God is just being a big meany to us. He wants us to do more for him. He wants us to get the sin out of our life. If you used to drink, and you used to smoke, and you used to do these things, and you start kind of reverting back to that same type of ... or you listen to the wrong music. You know, you go to the wrong places, and you start kind of reverting back to that old lifestyle, God's going to rain up a cloud. He's going to spank you. Why? So that way you don't do it. Just like your kids, they go on the street, and you tell them no, you go in the street and you spank them. Why? Because they go in the street they're going to get hurt.
What are some sins in our life that we need to purge. There's a lot of sins that we could ... this congregation of people could be committing, maybe their doing right, but maybe there's just like one thing. I think about this, bad music. Now, I was thinking this morning about the power that words have, and all weekend long, after seeing the documentary on Friday, I was thinking what power words have. God has given us his word. How the words are so important, they're not just thoughts because what they don't understand, the people will say the thoughts were inspired, if you change the words, it changes the thoughts, and they don't understand that. God's word is so powerful. Words that you say to other people are powerful.
The Bible talks in James 3 about how great a matter a little fire kindleth, how much damage we can do with our words. You know, how much damage we can do by saying the things that we could say to one another. I think probably this, the most damage I've ever done in my marriage, you know I've never hit my wife or anything like that, but the most damage that you could probably do to your spouse is by saying something that's going to damage her. It's going to be words that you're going to say. It's going to be something that's ... Things go in the ears, but they don't always come out. It could be something that's in the back of your head, "You know, I can't believe he said that." It's going to cut to the bone. I think sometimes, I'd rather be spit in the face and punched than somebody to say something that would be terrible.
You think about bad music, and putting in bad music, just pumping it into your brain. What kind of bad music? You think about just all the worldly music. This wicked whore Katy Perry. You know who I'm talking about. I've never heard a song by her, but I've seen it on the news, and she's a satanic whore, devil from hell, and if you still listen to her, and you call yourself a Christian, you go around naming the name of Christ, and you're still going to listen to that garbage, you need to get right with God. That is not right. You've got to think about who's ... You know, 50 Cent or you got to think about Little Wayne. Little Wayne, has anybody ever seen a picture of Little Wayne? The guy looks like a demon. The guy looks absolutely ridiculous. He's got tattoos all over his face, and you think why? Why does that guy do that? Why would a guy tattoo his face? Why would somebody ... I mean, I can't even explain, I can't even think of something that the guy looks like. He looks like a witch doctor in the middle of South America or in the middle of Africa. You've got people, you've got Christians that listen to that guy, or they think, "I just like this one song", or "I just like this one singer." They don't understand the big picture. It's demonic, and it's something that ...
I go to work in the morning, and if I have my window down, I can hear people at 4:30 and 5 o'clock in the morning loudly bumping all this garbage that I'm talking about. I'm thinking, right from square one, they wake up in the morning, they get in their car, and the first thing they do is they start blaring music about shooting people. They start blaring music about going out and committing fornication with every tramp under the sun. They start going around, and all they just talk about is getting money, and getting all these different things, and we wonder why our society has become so wicked. We wonder why girls dress the way they do, and why little girls dress the way that they do, and we wonder why people are just killing people left and right. It's because they don't have any morals because right from square one in the day, they're just pumping this garbage into their head.
That friends, you know this, if you still hang around with the same friends, you're going to end up doing the same thing. I heard somebody say one time, "You show me the books you read and the people that you hang around, and I'll tell what kind of person you are." If you read bad books, you listen to bad music, and you hang around people that are doing the things that Bible says not to do, and I'll show ... You may fake the funk in front of all of us, and you may think that ... you may even lie to yourself and convince yourself that you're godly and that you're doing all these things for God, but if you're still just doing all the same things, what profit is that? You say you want to do something for God, God's going to test you. God's going to purge you.
You're going to have to come to a point where you see these things in the Bible, and you know these things are wrong. You say, "Why is Katy Perry wrong in the Bible?" There's so many ways Katy Perry is wrong in the Bible. God says love not the world. If any man loved the world, the love of the father is not in him. The Bible says, "Friendship with the world is enmity with God." If you love the world, if you love their music, and you love their TV shows and all that garbage, you're not a friend of God. You're an enemy of God. Can you imagine being somebody that's going through life a Christian, and you've got a target on your back, and it's in God's scope because you're an enemy of God because you're a friend of the world. I don't want to be that guy.
Now go to 1 Peter chapter 1. What's the outcome of the trials in our life? What's the outcome of being put through hard times? Hard times cannot just be your friends turning their back on you and all that stuff. Hard times could just be hard times that we go through in our life that God allows us to go through. You say you're going through bad health problems, or you're going through bad financial problems, or maybe you're just having a rough time. That's not always a bad thing. We can pray and ask God and deliver us from it, but God's not always going to do that. Why? Because God is going to watch you and see what you're doing and see how you react and see what you're going to do.
In 1 Peter chapter 1, the Bible says in verse 6, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice though now for a season. If need be, you are in happiness through manifold temptations that the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, who having not seen ye love in whom though now you see him not, yet believing you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
God tries us so that way we can end up stronger. We go through a trial. We go through a hard time, and then we make it through it, and we come out with flying colors, and we just believe God's word. We just keep our faith. We just keep praying. We keep going to church. We keep doing right. God sees that. Not only does he see that, he blesses that. The Bible says that helps us to become stronger and to know if anything comes that even ... else in our life, we can learn from our experience in the past that we made it through one time, we can do it again.
Go to 1 Samuel chapter number 17. Now God tries us so that we can end up stronger, and we'll be able to go through harder situations. People that work out, I don't know, let's say you can bench press 150 pounds, and let's say you've never in your life bench pressed 160 pounds, when you hit that mark, it's not like, "Okay, now I'm done. I've hit 160 pounds. I can bench press my own weight, and now I'm completely done." No, if you want to become stronger, you got to raise the bar. You got to keep going, and you got to keep just adding more weight. That's what God does is he adds more weight, and he puts you through maybe different kinds of temptations and different trials, or he allows things to happen in your life, and you think, "Why is God letting me go through this? Why is God ... Why is this stuff happening to me?" It's because, I don't know, God's letting it happen to you.
The Bible says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." If you're living right, and you're doing right, and you have a walk with God, and you're going through a hard time, God knows what's happening. He knows what's going on. Now, does God work in everybody's life like that? No, but God does see what's going through in your life.
In 1 Samuel chapter number 17 it says in verse 32, it's talking about David when Saul is telling him ... He goes to Saul about Goliath. "And David said to Saul, 'Let no man's heart fail because of him.'" Talking about the giant, talking about Goliath, "'Thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.' And Saul said to David, 'Thou are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for thou are but a youth. He is a man of war from his youth.' And David said unto Saul," watch this, "'Thy servant kept his father's sheep, then their came a lion and a bear and took a lamb out of the flock, and I went after him and smote him and delivered it out of his mouth, and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and smote him and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear. Seeing this uncircumcised Philistine, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God,' and David said 'Moreover, the Lord that delivered out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of the Philistine.' Saul said unto David, 'Go, and the Lord be with you.'"
David knew from the past that God delivered him out of the mouth of the bear and out of the mouth of the lion. A bear and lion, that's pretty amazing. I hear people say all the time, "You know, you don't know how big the lion was. It could have been like a little lion." Maybe it wasn't. Maybe was ... I assume it was a big lion. He took him by the beard. He grabbed the lamb and was going to sneak off with it, and David knew that it wasn't in his own power that he delivered that lion. It wasn't in his own power that he slew the bear. He said, "The Lord delivered me out of both", and then he looked at the Philistine, and he said, "That guys nothing. I'm going to get that guy." He grabbed 5 stones, and he hit him with the first whack because he knew that God was with him. He knew that, "Yeah, I'm getting ready to go through a hard trial. I'm getting ready to literally face the giant", but he knew that God was going to deliver him. There was no doubt.
The Bible says, David when he saw the giant, he started running after him full blast. He started running. He slung that sling, bam, and he hit the giant right in the forehead. Then to add insult to injury, stood on top of him, he cut off his head to show him, this is the mighty hand of God. This isn't David is so bad to the bone. This is God's power manifested through David. Now David knew from the past that God was able to deliver him.
Go to 1 Peter chapter 4. Now, God says that he does things in our life so that way we can remember what he's done, so that way with know and have confidence in our own life. Talking about the children of Israel when they're eating manna, it said in Deuteronomy 8, what I read to you, "And God said, 'and thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led you these 40 years in the wilderness to humble you." He said you should remember this. Don't forget what you're going through. Don't forget how hard it was. It's easy to look back on hard times and say, "That was a pretty bad year." You think of some years we have wrecks, and all sorts of bad stuff happen. It's one thing right after another, and then it's like, afterwards, and it's been a long time. It's like, "Yeah, that was pretty terrible." When you're in it, it's really terrible. It's like, "Wow, it's one thing after another, man. I can't win. I can't win. Everything is just one thing after another."
God says, "Remember how I delivered you out of these things. Remember what I did to you to humble you, and to prove thee to know what was in thine heart." Now you're in 1 Peter chapter 4. At James 1 it says, "My brother, I count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations. I count a joy knowing this, that the trial of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have a perfect work. That ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." The trial of your faith worketh patience. We go through trials, we go through tribulations, we go through hard times, and God says, what that's going to do, that's going to give you patience.
1 Peter chapter 4 verse 12, it says, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice in so much as you are partakers of Christ sufferings that with his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you. For the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you, and on their part he has evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." He's saying again right there, over and over, he's saying, look if you're going through hard times, this isn't time to get all sad and get down in the dumps and stop doing what you normally and go into this introvert mode where you're just going to be a nomad and you're not going to do anything, and you're just going to say, "I'm just going to wait out the storm all by my lonesome." No, it's times that God says you need to be happy and you need to rejoice. You need to be a joyful person.
If you're not a joyful person, you're not walking in the spirit. That doesn't mean that you're just going to be happy all the time, and everything is always going good, but the fruit of the spirit is joy. One of them is joy. One of them is peace. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. If we're going to be God's people, and we're going to walk in the spirit, we're going to be a peaceful people. We're going to be a people that has joy. We're not going to always be down in the dumps. When we go through hard times, that's not time to be all sad about it. The opposite, the Bible says that's a time when we should be the most joyful because why? You're going through a hard time and you're living for God, you should be able to say, "You know what, I just feel like because I'm going through such a hard time right now, I feel like God is going to use me even the more." The more God fights something, you know like the Devil is fighting at something to stop something from happening, I just know that it's going to be that much the greater. You know what I mean?
Go to 2 Timothy chapter 2, and closing this, this is the closing. What are trials? What are temptations? What does it mean to be proven of God? It means to be tested by God. It means to be ... He wants to prove you to see that what you're doing, if you're going to keep on going even through hard times. I've never been in the military, but I know they put everybody through a boot camp. It's probably pretty intense. Anybody that's been here would probably testify the that. It's probably pretty hard. Why? They want to separate the men from the boys. They want to figure out who's serious about what they're getting ready to do. God does the same thing. God says, "I'm not going to let you just freely do whatever. You're going to have to be proven. You're going to have to be tested." We get passed all these temptations by believing God's word, not by just totally trusting 100% our experiences, but trusting that when we believed God's word, then we can be ... it can make us through the trials.
In 2 Timothy chapter 2, in closing, it says this in verse 19, "Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure. Having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are his, and let everyone," listen, "everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from inequity. But I great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meek for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." I believe that Faithful Word Baptist Church is God's house. I believe it's a great house. It says God's house is a great house.
There's a lot of vessels in this room. There's a lot of people in this room. We're just talking about people. The problem that Faithful Word has, that everybody has, is that the church is just made up of just people. We're all people, and everybody can fall into sin. Everybody can, you know, that's not passed anybody. I would love to be able to say that 100% of the people in this room are just completely honorable vessels, but as long as we have people cometh here, we know that's not the case.
As the Bible talks about, earlier I said about examining yourself, about salvation, but you should examine yourself in every area of your life. Are you an honorable vessel? Are you somebody that you can be confident in saying "God, like I'm not the greatest in the world. I'm not better than so-and-so, or I'm not whatever, but I feel like I'm an honorable vessel. I feel like I'm somebody that can be used by God. I feel like I'm a cleaner vessel." The reason I say that is that, because I know this because this how preaching goes, is that 30 minutes from now, I'm going to be closing in prayer in just a couple seconds, 30 minutes from now there's going to be people in their cars still listening to the same garbage that just heard what I said. There's going to be people that are going to go home, by the end of the day, be watching the same filth. There's going to be people that are going to not read their Bible today. There's going to be people that are going to not go soul winning. There's going to be people that are not going to come back to church tonight. They're just going to come on Sunday mornings, they're just okay with that because it's just so far to drive. They're going to do these things. Why? Because some people, they don't want to purge themselves of these.
You know what, that's not everybody. Right now you make a decision, "Is that going to be me, or am I going to purge myself? Am I going to maybe just take a little step of faith and just do something more than I used to do?" That's how you know if you're growing, if you're getting stronger. If you stay at 160 pounds, you're never getting stronger. You got raise the bar. You got to add weight, and you got to do more, so that way you know that you're getting stronger.
Purging comes through trials and temptations and sometimes chastening from God that God maybe if doesn't put us through it, he at least knows what we're going through. However, God purges and proves us so that we'll become a vessel that is more honorable to him. Like it said right there, and it says at the end of that verse, "that's meek for the master's use." What kind of a vessel are you? Are you somebody that's honorable? Do you want to be honorable? Do you want to be used of God? Do you want to do more for God today? Do you want God to look down and be pleased. When he comes, he talks about ... He said, "Well done my good and faithful servant." You're not going to get the well done if you haven't done well. You need to do well. You need to do more for God. Let's pray.
Thank you Lord for the Bible, and I just pray Lord that as a church, Lord, we will want to purge ourself from stuff that we know is wrong, stuff that was shown is wrong, and not become stiff-necked and hard-hearted to what the Bible says, Lord. Help us to not be stubborn and rebellious. Help us to be soft-hearted and sensitive to the word of God. Lord help us to hear the word preached and read the word written and be changed, Lord, willingly. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.