The part of the chapter that I'd like to focus on there in 1st Timothy chapter 3, is at the very beginning when he's going to the qualifications for the bishop. One of the things that he brings up there in verse 2 he says, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach." The word that I want to preach about there tonight is the word vigilant.
Now all of these qualifications of the bishop or pastor or elder, those are three terms that are used interchangeably in the New Testament, all of these qualifications are important and they are there for a reason. Any of these qualifications should be very seriously looked at and we shouldn't just brush off some of these and say, "Well, you know, the main one is the husband and one wife," or, "The main one is that he's not given to one." All these are there for a reason. God is saying, "If you don't meet up to this criteria you're not cut out for the job."
I think vigilant is one that we might not often talk about or think about but it's important nonetheless. We have men in our church that are looking to pastor, some that even maybe pastoring very soon, it's important that they make sure to look at this as a checklist of characteristics that they need to have in their life. Vigilance is the characteristic that I want to talk about tonight.
Now go to 1st Peter chapter 5 verse 8. One other place in the Bible does the term vigilant come up, but in a moment I'm going to show you a synonym for vigilant that is used throughout The New Testament. Look at 1st Peter chapter 5 verse 8, the famous verse the Bible reads, "Be sober, be vigilant," just like it said in the qualifications for the bishop when it said "vigilant, sober." "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." If the pastor has to be a guy who's vigilant and the Bible is telling us that we need to be vigilant because our adversary the devil, walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, that tells me that the reason the pastor needs to be vigilant is to be aware and on guard of the devil's attacks.
Now go to Acts chapter 20, because there is a synonym in the Bible that comes up a lot that means being vigilant. It's really the same thing, because just to define the English word vigilant for you, it calls to mind someone who is awake at night, on guard, watching. The synonym for being vigilant is watching. The Bible talks about different watches of the night and just as you see in both scriptures they used the word vigilant, it's coupled with being sober. There are also a lot of couplings where it says, "Watch and be sober." "Be vigilant, be sober." "Watch and be sober." Why?
Because a vigil is when someone stays up during times that other people are asleep in order to be on guard. You've heard of people keeping vigil. Sometimes people, as a form of protest, or as a memorial for someone who's died or as a religious observant, they might be up in the middle of the night with candles, holding vigil or keeping vigil. Or let's say, there is an invader or an enemy that's anticipated, people will be standing guard all night long, keeping vigil, watching. It calls to mind the watchmen on the wall, looking for the enemy, ready to sound the trumpet and sound the alarm of the enemy.
We know that our enemy the devil is on the prowl and the pastor needs to be vigilant. Yea, all of us need to be vigilant. We all need to be watching. We all need to be on our guard. That's what it means to be vigilant. In Acts chapter 20, we see an admonishment unto the elders or the pastors and they're told basically to be vigilant because they're told to watch. Look, if you would, at verse 28 it says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
A shepherd is another word for a pastor and the shepherd is not only feeding the sheep and guiding them to green pastures and fountains of waters, he's also there to protect the sheep. The most famous shepherd in the Bible outside of the great shepherd Jesus Christ or the Lord Himself, the shepherd, would be David. David was a shepherd, he kept the sheep. If you remember, he had a few times where he had to defend the sheep against a lion and against a bear, and he killed them both. That was part of his job.
The Bible talks about it in John chapter 10, how Jesus, the Good Shepherd of the sheep and that He'll defend the sheep against the enemy. That the hireling who does not own the sheep, the sheep don't belong to him. He'll flee when the wolf comes because the sheep don't belong to him, he is not going to risk his life to save .... But He said, "I'm the Good Shepherd. I'll lay down my life for the sheep." Just like David was a good shepherd and protected the sheep. Of course, some people will try to insult pastors who are paid by calling them hirelings but I get it and try to use John chapter 10 to do that, of course I preached a whole sermon about it last Sunday morning, where we just demolished that ridiculous doctrine.
We tore it up one side and now the other, using a lot of scripture, but her's what's funny, if they're using John chapter 10, to insult a pastor by calling him a hireling, I guess we'll be the opposite of that, me owning the sheep. Think about how foolish that, "I guess if I owned you then I'd care more about you," is what they're trying to say. No, I don't think that the pastor should own the flock here. The flock is owned by Jesus Christ. That's just a really silly verse to try to apply, but you can take things out of context and make them say what you want if you have an agenda to do that.
But the Bible says here under the pastors, it says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves." The first area that we need to be vigilant with, before we try to be vigilant over the church and vigilant over the flock, he said, "First of all be vigilant about yourself. Take heed under yourself. Protect yourself. Guard yourself." When the Bible's giving the qualifications for a pastor, where do pastors come from? They come from the flock. They come from the pew. They come from the church member, and they are found faithful.
The Bible says, "Let these also first be proved or tested, then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." You see you develop these attributes as a church member. You don't just magically snap into all these when you become a pastor. All of us need to be vigilant. We need to be vigilant of ourselves. We need to be vigilant of our families, meaning that we guard our family, especially as men. We're the husband, we're the father, we are leading our home. It's our job to stand guard and make sure that the enemy, the devil, does not creep in with sin, with wickedness, with false doctrine, etc.
Then that carries over to the church as well. Nit just guarding ourselves, not just guarding our family, but the Bible says also, "Take heed to the flock," guard the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." Isn't it interesting that God, in the same breadth talks about protecting the flock from the wolves and feeding the flock? You know why? The best way to protect the church members from the wolves that bring in false doctrine is to teach them truth. If you feed the flock and teach them good sound doctrine and drive in all the biblical truth that God has given us, then they're going to be able to withstand the attacks. They're going to be able to make it and not get torn apart by these grievous wolves that enter in.
It says in verse 30, "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore," and here is the word vigilant here, "watch," watch, what does watch mean? What are these watchers of the night? What does it mean to watch? To stay up. To stay awake. To stay alert. The Bible says, "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." Being vigilant. Being wide awake, eyes open, alert, paying attention. He says, "Watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." Are you getting a picture of what vigilance is like? On the alert of an enemy that's at the gates.
Now let's stop and think about this for a moment. What does a person look like that is not vigilant? Because if God's giving us the qualifications for the bishop and He says, "Look, this guy needs to be the husband of one wife." What is the person who is not the husband of one wife look like? Well, number one, it could be somebody who has two wives, polygamy. Number two, it could be somebody who has no wife, like the Catholic priest. Number three, it could be somebody who has married a wife, gets divorced and then marries another wife, and then gets divorced and marries another wife. Repeat as many times as you want, but I'm just saying that's not the husband of one wife.
Because the Bible says, "Whosoever marrieth her that is divorced commits adultery. If you put away your wife except for the cause of fornication you cause her to commit adultery. You put away your wife and marry another, you're committing adultery, etc." Sometimes it helps to figure out what the opposite is. If God is saying, "Hey, be the husband of one wife," what's the opposite of that? A single man or a man who's married multiple wives or a man who is divorced and remarried, I believe would also fall under that category.
What does a guy look like that's not sober? You can say, "Well, he's drunk, he's on drugs," or he's just unserious. There are a lot of ways you can look at it. What does a guy who is a striker look like? "Well, he's a guy who gets in physical fist fights. He's a brawler." With that in mind, now let's think about vigilant. What does a person look like who is not vigilant? Because we could easily look at somebody who doesn't meet the qualification of husband of one wife and say, "Okay, you're not qualified because you're not the husband of one wife." But what kind of a person would we look at and say, "Well, he is not cut out for the job because he's not vigilant." What would that person look like?
Well, probably somebody who's gullible, easily duped. Think about it, somebody who is just really naïve. Somebody who's really overly trusting, I mean he just, "Oh, of course, everyone's intentions are good. Of course, people should be trusted and of course these are good people. Of course he is nice too." Someone who is asleep at the wheel. He think everything's sweetness and light. He's naïve. He's gullible. He's easily duped.
Go to Matthew chapter 13. Matthew chapter number 13, quite literally, the man who is not vigilant is one who is asleep. He's not up. He's not alert. He's not on the wall. He's not a watchdog. It's our job as pastors to be a watchdog and God either rebuke prophets and pastors in the Old Testament that were not doing their job of being vigilant and guarding and being that watchdog. He called them dumb dogs that can't bark. He said they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark. Because a watchdog is one that when it sees the enemy approaching [inaudible 00:12:29]. Have you ever seen a watchdog where you walk up to it and it just walks up to you, just starts licking your hand?
Your [inaudible 00:12:38], maybe you're out soul winning and you like these when you're out soul winning. You don't like the true watchdog when you're out soul winning, but when you're out soul winning some might view this, you just waltz in to the yard. The dog just comes up to you and just rolls on its back. "Pet my tummy." It's licking your hand. It doesn't know you from Adam. That's not an effective watchdog. He's too trusting. He thinks everyone who shows up at the house has good intentions.
Now, I have a dog and I have a dog for one reason, it's a watchdog. I didn't buy that dog so that I can have a new best friend. I have enough friends. My wife is my best friend and I've got plenty of other friends. I wasn't looking for man's best friend. We got a dog because people were trying to break in to our house and we found bolt cutters that were left behind from people who tried to break in. Somebody shook on our backdoor. We thought, "We need to get a dog to guard the house." We bought a dog for that purpose and our dog is a very good watchdog because it barks at people who tried to rattle anywhere near the gate or come in the yard.
[Inaudible 00:13:46] hear the dog barking and then we can go check it out. It's like better than an alarm system, the dog. That's the purpose of that dog and guess what, that's the purpose of this dog right here. To bark, to warn, to preach and to cry loud and spare not and lift up my voice like a trumpet when I see the enemy approaching the walls. The Bible is telling us that to be a pastor, you have to be that type, that is alert and on guard.
Look at Matthew chapter 13 verse 24 say, "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way, and when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? And he said unto them, An enemy hath done this." If we go down later in the chapter he explains the parable. In verse number 37, "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one."
The Bible talks about the fact that as we sleep and fall asleep and aren't paying attention, tares will creep in amongst the wheat. Jude warned about it, 2nd Peter chapter 2 warns about it. Acts 20 warned us about false prophets, grievous wolves creeping in, not sparing the flock. Why? Because we're asleep and we allow it to happen.
Now that's what a man who is not vigilant looks like. You say, "Why is this guy not cut out to be the pastor if he's not vigilant?" Because a lot of times what you'll see is churches where just anything goes. There's no vigilance there. There's nobody there who's guarding and who's an overseer who's saying, "Hey, you know we need to keep this stuff out of our church." Then everything back ... Let me just give you some examples of the stuff I've seen over the years.
How about this, a guest preacher who nobody knows from Adam is just put behind the pulpit. Nobody knows this guy, just because he's a Fundamental Baptist or he's Independent Baptist, and they just stick a guest preacher behind the pulpit and he just preaches false doctrine, because we don't even know where this guy came from. We don't know who this guy is. You'd be shocked how many people call me constantly, who I don't know, they just say, "Can I come preach on Wednesday night? Can I come fill the pulpit on Wednesday? Can I come, and I'm a missionary and I'm coming through and I want to do a service."
This guy, one time the guy who made the movie A Thief In The Night, called me and wanted to come preach on Wednesday night. This is before or after the tribulation came out. He obviously didn't know what our beliefs were on that. He thought that I was going to think it was the coolest thing in the world, that he was the guy who produced that movie. Sorry, not impressed, and he wanted to preach, I'm like ... I told him, I said, "First of all," I said, "I didn't even know who you are." I said, "I never people preach who I don't know."
I said, "Wednesday night isn't two days. I already know what I'm preaching. The service is already planned. You're not part of it." I didn't say it that way but I just told the guy, "You know, I'm not just going to randomly ..." But you know what, I think a lot ... You know what I think some pastors do? Is just like, "Oh cool, night off. Night off. I can save that sermon I wrote for another day." But you can't just randomly just put whoever behind the pulpit. Now look, if you do and they preach false doctrine, you better be ready to get up say it and rebuke it and say, "Okay, sorry, I didn't know that that guy was the heretic."
Let me tell you what the Bible really says, but how often does that happen? Not that often. Not very often unfortunately, but a lack of vigilance just puts whoever behind the pulpit, and doesn't guard the pulpit and say, "Hey, you know, let's make sure that people who get up to preach are doctrinally sound and they're going to preach biblical truths that we believe in and not just get up and just preach, because we just don't know who they are." It always reminds me of that story in Acts 13 where Paul, the Apostle Paul shows up in a synagogue and they just put him in the pulpit. They just, "Oh, you guys want to preach? Come on up here."
The Mormon church does that too. There's an open mike at the Mormon church where I forget it's like a certain night each month. My poolman told me about it and he said there's an open mike each month where you can literally ... He said he's gone down there and just put on a white shirt and tie and just shown up and just preach the gospel, this thing. Because they just let anybody just get up and preach this thing, but guess what? We don't have an open mike like that. This is not the Latter-Day Saints, all right.
What I'm saying is vigilance doesn't just allow stacks of gospel tracks everywhere that preach a different gospel than what the church believes in. That's not vigilant, I mean when there's just tracks everywhere that are completely a different gospel, a work salvation, turn from all your sins and you'll be saved, or how about this? Just literature everywhere with false Bible verses. Calendars on the wall with a false verse. How about this? Sunday school material with a long-haired Jesus. Sunday school material with Jesus in a dress. All it is, is just a lack of vigilance. It's just a place where anything goes. Just whatever Bible versions. I don't know what the Sunday school teacher is teaching over here and I don't know what that track says. I don't know what that DVD, I don't know what's on those DVDs back there on that shelf.
After the tribulation, what is that? I know what that is. If I didn't know what it was it wouldn't be back there. I know that all those Bibles on those shelf are all King James Bible, all of them. I wouldn't ... If I saw a calendar or a picture of a long-haired Jesus or Jesus in a dress or some NIV Bible verse, that stuff all needs to be taken down and cast outside the city and burned. It needs to be broken down with the idols and the prophets of the Baal and all that.
What I'm trying to say is that vigilance means that we guard thing, and you know what? It's easy to say that about the church, now it's time to do that with your home. It's time for you as a man, as a grown adult man to confront your teenagers about some of the weird junk that they have on the walls in their room or whatever weird DVDs and whatever weird, you know, whatever you don't approve of, whatever you don't think is godly, and guard your house of satanic influence coming into your house. Just things that are just wicked, things that are just demonic, and just actually stand guard of it and say, "Look, I don't want to just allow it to be a free for all in my home, a free for all at church." Somebody's got to be there to be in-charge and just to guard against this kind of stuff and that's what vigilance means.
The guy who's not vigilant, it's easy for people to come in with whatever brochures and tracks and calendars and Sunday school material and everything that's not King James, that's not salvation by faith alone, that's not sound doctrine. We need to make sure that we're on guard of that, both personally and as a church. That's what it means to be vigilant. That's what it means to be watching and to be sober.
Now go to 1st Peter chapter 4. 1st Peter chapter 4. Another thing is with the music. Sometimes the kind of music that comes in can become a music that promote showmanship and self-glorifying performance. This is why I think that we should try to stay away from with music more than anything, it's this kind of performance mentality where it's a self-glorifying. If someone sings, they should be singing for the glory of God not for their own glory. Church is not a place to exalt me or to exalt you, it's a place to exalt the word of God and exalt Jesus Christ. When someone gets up, it can sometimes be apparent that there's more glory going to that person than to the message of what they're even singing.
Now we have a really easy way of being vigilant about this. We just don't have any special music. We just sing congregational singing because everybody is singing. Everybody is participating. We're all singing hymns but a lot of times it can become Star Search or American Idol Baptist, where it's just everybody's looking for their moment in the sun, to get up there and really shine. You know when you see people up there and you'll see these ... I've seen these Fundamental Baptists boy bands, where they'll be like five guys and they'll put their leg, look at my leg. Like this is the microphone, and they'll put their legs out like this and they got the microphone [inaudible 00:23:33]. Then they're singing and they're closing their eyes. They're just really praising.
But you know what it's really about though? It's about putting on a show. It's about looking cool. It's about being the heartthrob. They're like a wannabee Backstreet Boys or whatever and you see just the sensuality in singing. When women do it, it's wrong because it becomes a sensual, almost worldly, seductive type of style sometimes. When men do it it's just queer. I mean when men get up and start just getting all touchy, feely, and breathy with the microphone, and look, here's how you can eliminate a lot of it, no microphones because, and I'm not against microphones because, obviously if you have a big congregation or a big building, using amplification can become necessary.
But when it comes to singing, what a microphone allows you to do is to get really quiet and what happens is, it's like this little whispering in your ear type of a thing. It becomes like an intimate bedroom voice, where it's just this seductive intimate just really, talking really quiet, just right there in your little comfort zone. Then they put the microphone right up to their mouth and then they can get really breathy and really ... Look, some people think that I'm crazy right now, but honestly though, you know that's what worldly music is designed, to push that button.
Worldly music is designed where they have these female singers and they show off their bodies and they sing in this breathy, seductive voice that's way too personal, way too intimate. I think it's best described as the bedroom voice. Women get up and sing that way and it becomes like a nightclub. It becomes like a worldly singing. Men, when they do it, it just comes off as really effeminate and queer. To get up in front of the congregation and get all breathy and seductive up there with your microphone.
Part of the way to eliminate it, and I'm not, again I'm not against microphones but I'm just saying part of the way to eliminate it is if you just got rid of microphones. It would cause people to actually have to sing in a halfway normal way, because if you got microphone you actually have to move some air out of your lungs. You actually have to use that diaphragm to pull out some sound and you end up with more realistic singing. That's not the right word but you know what I mean.
How about just singing that's just praising God? When we sing congregationally it just doesn't happen. Everybody's just singing. They're just singing, "What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus." If you get all quiet and breathy, nobody's even going to hear you. We're going to drown you out. The only kind of singing is loud singing. Loud singing, my friend, and it's not just this, "What can wash away my sins," just this weird, and it makes you uncomfortable sometimes. That's right, they do.
I don't like it. It's not just that I just have a different musical preference that I don't like it. I find it to be offensive. I find it to be sensual and I find it to be irreverent and I find it to be more self-glorifying than glorifying of God. It's all about drawing attention to yourself and then there's applause and we all congratulate you on your wonderful performance.
It's funny because I watched a performance of Handel's Messiah. Who knows what that is? It's a Katada, or it's basically an orchestra and then there's a choir of like a bout 55 or 60 voices and then they're about 4 soloist. It's a pretty neat piece of music because all the words to it are just direct quotes from the Bible. It's all straight out of the King James except whenever it quotes Psalms it's from the Geneva Bible, because it's an old piece of music and they've done the Psalms from the Geneva Bible for so long they're set in that tradition.
It's just a lot of scripture put to music. I always found it to be enjoyable because of the fact that you're just listening to God's word put to music and you actually memorize a little scripture in the process of listening to it. But it was just funny because I went to a performance of Handel's Messiah and just afterward, I was waiting for my wife to come out of the restroom and we were just waiting outside and I'm standing there and the performers were coming out. Some of the people from the audience were congratulating the performers and I was just listening and no one was giving Jesus Christ the glory.
I'm sitting there hearing this and I was just moved by the scriptures and it's all about Jesus, it's talking about the coming of Christ and His brith and his crucifixion, His resurrection, His second coming and everybody's just praising the musicians. The musicians, you could tell that the musicians, even in the performance were taking all the glory unto themselves. The conductor, when he spoke at the beginning of the performance did not give Jesus Christ any glory. He just gets up and talks about, "Hopefully this will bring some greatness into our lives. This is such a great piece of music. Let's really be great in 2014." Like, "What in the world ... What are you talking about?"
It's about Jesus, but not to these people because they're just worldly people. To them it's just, "Oh, you sing so well. Oh, you're music is so good. Oh, you play that violin so well." You know what? That shouldn't be the empathy. Okay, we expect that from the world but is that how church is going to be, where after the service we're just praising the singer and praising the pianist, and praising the violinist? You know what we ought to do is praise God. We ought to humbly, if we have musical ability, and you know we have a great piano player, and we have my son on the organ, does an awesome job. We have other people who participate and play instruments and song leaders, but you know what? God get's all the glory.
We should never get up here and be a song leader or play a piano or play an organ or play a guitar, with an idea of bringing glory to ourselves. Think about that, "Making me look good up here. I want to really perform well." No, it should be, you know what, "I want to do my job right so that God can be glorified, and so that God's people can sing praises to God." God is glorified when we play skillfully with the loud noise and when we make a joyful noise on the Lord and sing out and sing loudly to the Lord in the congregation, He is glorified by that.
But the vigilant pastor is one who says, "Hey, let's make sure that the spirit of Hollywood doesn't come in to our church. The spirit of Broadway. The spirit of self-glorification, pride and arrogancy that the Lord hate where it becomes a thing." Even preaching can become a self-glorifying preaching, where instead of being about getting the truth out, getting the message out, teaching people the Bible, it just becomes bringing glory to self and that can be another thing that can creep in.
When it comes to the music, are we going to allow all styles of music to creep in to our church? Are we just going to say, "When it comes to music anything goes?" Christian rap, sensual singing, breathy voice, whatever, whatever effeminate, queer sounding music, bring it on in. Bring in the heavenly metal. Bring in ... Or are we going to say, "No." But some people don't know how to say no and they are not qualified to be a pastor, because they're not vigilant. Either they're asleep at the wheel, they don't even know the dangers of this stuff. They don't even realize what's happening as the church goes worldly, as the church goes neo-evangelical, as the church goes New King James, as the church goes secret sensitive, they're just clueless and oblivious, or they don't have the guts to stand up to it. Either way, they're not cut out for the job. That's what it means to be vigilant, but it's not just at the church, it goes for our homes as well.
Now look at 1st Peter chapter 4. Let me just touch on one last thing. 1st Peter chapter 4. The Bible says, "But the end of all ..." This is verse 7, 1st Peter 4:7, "But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." If you remember it was 5:8 of 1st Peter that said, "Be sober. Be vigilant." Just one chapter earlier in 4:7 it says, "But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." A similar statement about being vigilant and sober, but in regard to the end times. Because he says, "The end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer."
Isn't the Bible saying here that because the end of all things is at hand we really need to be vigilant. We need to be vigilant because the end of all things is here. Go to 1st Thessalonians chapter 5. 1st Thessalonians chapter 5. While you're turning there I'll read it for you from Ezekiel chapter 33. Ezekiel chapter 33 verse 6, you're turning to 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 but in Ezekiel chapter 33:6 the Bible reads, "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." A watchman is the guard that's supposed to be staying up all night. He's being paid to do it. He's paid to be a security guard.
Who's have had a job as a security guard? I know Brother [inaudible 00:34:02], anybody else hde a job as a security? Did you ever worked nights as a security guard? Lot of nights, what if you were caught sleeping on the job? What's going to happen? Did anybody ever get caught sleeping on the job when you worked there?
We caught a lot of guys sleeping.
You caught a lot of guys sleeping, what happened? Did they get fired?
They didn't fire them.
They didn't fire them. Well, they should have, but look, isn't that the exact opposite of what a security guard's supposed to be doing? You're supposed to be watching. You're supposed to be vigilant. He's just asleep. Sleep on the job. Now, here is the thing, when you're a security ... It was at a shopping mall, right? He's a security guard at a shopping mall, somebody who's asleep on the job, they don't even get fired, but sometimes throughout history, if you were in the army or some kind of a military and you're sleeping on the job you'll be killed, literally. I'm not saying that that's right but it's true though, that some people throughout history have often been killed for sleeping when they're not supposed to.
What the Bible is saying here in Ezekiel 33, is that if the watchman sees the sword come and doesn't sound the trumpet, the Bible says that he is going to be held responsible or basically it's going to be see as his fault that that person died if he doesn't warn them. God using that as an illustration, that if we don't warn the wicked to turn from his way, if he dies in his iniquity, his blood's going to be required in our hand because we didn't warn him. It's our fault is what the Bible is saying. God holds us responsible to warn people. He says to Ezekiel, "Son of Man, I have sent thee a watchman over the whole house of Israel."
Pastors are sent as watchman over the local church. Fathers and husbands are watchmen of their home. It's their job to watch and to guard and to protect that household. They need to do that job. Now, 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 is another scripture that brings up watching. Remember the end of all things is at hand, so we need to watch and be sober and we need to be vigilant as the end approaches.
1st Thessalonians 5 verse 1 says, "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you." Now look, that first word but, what part of speech is that? That's a conjunction and that means that we are continuing the thought that we just left off. What did we just leave off talking about? The rapture. Because in 1st Thessalonians 4 verse 13, all the way through verse 18, he describes the rapture, and of course, the famous scripture is there in verse 16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
That's the rapture. Trumpet sounds were caught up, together in the clouds with Christ to meet the Lord in the air, but, so is it just a whole new subject? Conjunction, my friend, "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you." The times and the seasons of what? Something totally different. The times and the seasons of something different. Now that makes no sense, does it? We just described the rapture but of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. The times and seasons of what? Of the rapture. We just talked about it.
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." But the day of the Lord and the rapture are two very completely different things. Now that just doesn't make sense, folks, if you just read the passage, it talks about the rapture and says, "But." I don't have to tell you about the timing because you already know that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. Making clear that the day of the Lord is the same day as the rapture. That's the only way that that even makes any sense.
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night," and of course people talk about the rapture being what? As what? As a thief in. the night, and in fact that's the name of the movie. "For when they shall say," who are they? "When they shall say peace and safety," is that God's people? Is that Christians? Is that Jesus in the Bible? No. When they shall say peace and safety, they unsave the world. "Then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." What day? The day of the Lord. From this passage, it's really clear that the day of the Lord is destruction unto the wicked. Isn't that what it says?
The day of the Lord is a day where they're saying peace and safety and sudden destruction's coming upon them. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." Now why does a verse [inaudible 00:39:06] to say, "But you're not going to be there anyway because you were raptured out long before." No, that day is coming upon you but it's not coming upon you as a thief. That same day that we are removed from this Earth in the rapture, is the same day that God will pour out sudden destruction upon the wicked. First, we are removed, then the wicked are punished. Just like with Lot, Lot came out of Sodom and the same day Lot came out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone.
When we are taken out of this Earth in the rapture, what we read about in chapter 4. God's going to rain fire and brimstone upon the Earth the same day. Literal fire and brimstone will rain from the sky a half hour after we are raptured, that's what the Bible teaches. Now, that's not what the movie teaches. That's not what any movie teaches but it is what the Bible teaches.
I heard there's a new Left Behind coming out with Nicholas Cage. I mean, Nicholas Cage's career must be going downhill. You know what I mean, if he wants to do this kind of a B movie. Nicholas Cage has now prostituted himself to liberal Christianity. Do you think that Nicholas Cage is a Bible-believing Christian? I saw an interview where he said, he didn't even claim to be, he said, "I didn't believe in it." Why is he doing the movie? Well, either just for the money or just because he just loves Satan so he just ... I mean, Satan's done a lot for him. Satan has done a lot for Nicholas Cage, the least he can do is make a movie for Satan. I'm sure all of his movies have been for Satan to some level but he needs to do one that's just all for Satan.
You know what I mean? Where he just promotes false doctrine and false Christianity and the pre-tribulation rapture lie, but you know what all the Christians do? "Oh, oh, oh, Nicholas Cage. Oh, it's so wonderful." You know what, it makes me sick when Christians get excited about Hollywood actors throwing Jesus a bone. God is not a respector of persons. I'm not impressed by Nicholas Cage. I'm not impressed by the world celebrities. I'm not impressed by these people. "Oh, isn't it so great that this Hollywood actor." No, you know who's great? Real-life people that don't work in Hell-ywood, that don't make a bunch of wicked movies, that aren't ungodly wicked whoremongers, that are just God-fearing people who go to church.
You know who's a great person? Plumbers and electricians and carpenters, and landscapers and everybody who does an honest living and an honest ... and not some Hollywood actor, not some rock star, not some celebrity. The world celebrities are of the devil, and yet we get all excited if one of them just kind of mentions Jesus or something. Hey, why don't we just get excited about the people who actually go to church, who actually have an honest job, instead of getting all excited about some Holly-weird actor.
I'm not interested in you Nicholas Cage. I would not even walk across this room to get Nicholas Cage's autograph. I would not even walk 10 feet to go shake his hands. I don't care about Nicholas Cage. You could literally put every celebrity known to man, put them all in a restaurant across the street, put all the celebrities. Put Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and put all the members of U2 and Metallica and Jon Bon Jovi, put Captain Kirk and Spock and Picard and put, I don't know who, put everybody on. Put Spongebob Squarepants over there. Put every Hollywood actor and every musician, and every politician, and Obama and Biden, and all the Bush's and the Clinton's and everybody. I wouldn't even walk across the street to even say hi to them.
I wouldn't even walk over there to meet one of them. I wouldn't be like, "Oh, I'm never going to wash this hand again. I just shook hands with ..." I promise you, I would not even walk across the street to even talk to those people. I've no interest, zero interest. No. Mel Gibson. "Oh, he made a Jesus movie. Oh." Justin Bieber, yeah, I'd walk across the street to kick his little butt. No, I'm just kidding. Anyway, just kidding but anyway I wouldn't either, that's not a threat.
But I'm just saying that we, as God's people should not get excited about the celebrities of the world. They're ungodly. James really tore into this in James 2 when he talked about how we get all excited about the rich people. We don't love the poor but he said, "Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? But you've despised the poor." He says, "Look, the rich people, the celebrities, the Hollywood idols and the rock stars, they blaspheme Christ." I'm not excited about meeting them. I don't think that they're some God-man or something that I can just, "Oh, I just want to meet them so bad."
I couldn't even care less about even seeing them or saying hi to them, getting an autograph from them. Do you think I want to watch some movie of Nicholas Cage promoting the preacher of rapture? "Oh, but at least I heard about Jesus." Which one? You know what I mean? But anyway, I don't know what any of that had to do with the sermon, but here is the thing though, the Bible tells us that we should be vigilant at the end times approach. As a pastor, it's part of the job to be vigilant. All of us believers should be vigilant.
In 1st Thessalonians 5 here, as he explains to us the timing of the rapture, he explains to us the timing of the day of the Lord, he explains that they both have the same timing, and we know what? The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day that the Lord come. If the sun and moon are to be darkened before the day of the Lord, we know the sun and the moon to be darkened before the rapture. It can happen at any moment. It's after the sixth seal. It's after the tribulation according to Matthew 24, and I don't want to re-preach that whole sermon.
But look what the Bible says here in verse 4, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day, we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
Of course we believe that we'll be raptured after the tribulation, but before God's wrath is poured out, at the darkening of the sun and the moon, just like Jesus said. Just like this passage teaches. Just like every passage about the day of the Lord teaches. But what I'm trying to say is that this passage is equating being asleep or being in the dark as not knowing when the day of the Lord is going to happen. Not knowing when the rapture's going to happen. People will try to say to you, "Well, you know, it's coming as a thief in the night. We just don't know when it's going to happen. We have no clue." It can happen any moment but that's not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible teaches that when we see these things begin to come to pass, then we will look up and lift up our heads for our redemption [inaudible 00:47:24]. It says we'll see it begin to come to pass. It says we should be watching. Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." He said, "You need to be warned that the tribulation's coming." The tribulation truly is a sword that is coming because the Bible says that the Anti-Christ will make war against the saints and overcome them. Isn't that a sword coming?
What if the watchmen doesn't warn about the sword that's coming? Is he going to be responsible for people who are killed by that sword? Will people be killed in the tribulation? Will people be killed because they're not warned, because they just have no clue that this is happening? They have no clue what's going on? Preachers today, many of them have bought into this lie and they actually believe in the preacher of rapture.
They actually believe that Jesus Christ will come back at any moment, even though the Bible doesn't say that anywhere, even though the Bible's really clear X, Y and Z has to happen first, and of course, After The Tribulation came out over a year ago, 13 months ago it came out, and that movie has been viewed online. It's uploaded in a bunch of different versions on YouTube and it's been viewed online about 1.6 million times. One version alone that we didn't even upload has been viewed over a million times. It's not even the official version. Then there's a version that's got 300,000 views. There's a lot of version with 30,000, 50,000. It's like over 1.6 million views, thousand and thousands of DVDs have gone out. They've been copied and shared and passed around.
That movie has made the rounds and that movie has really made a big impact. I mean, people are waking up to this thing. A lot of people have seen that movie and heard about it and they're wising up to it. Simply because the movie is just filled with scripture that just demolishes that false doctrine. But here is why I bring that up, you know what I've noticed that a lot of pastors are doing right now? You see, there are a lot of pastors that are pre-trib, but ever since that movie came out, a lot of pastors have just quit talking about it. Because I've talked to a lot of pastors, I'm not talking about one person, I've talked to a lot of pastors where I said, "Hey, have you seen the movie? Have you looked at this doctrine?"
Here's what they say, "Well, I'm kind of 50-50 right now." Is a preacher ever post-trib? I mean, I'm hearing this from a lot of people, "Well, I'm 50-50," or, "Well, I'm leaning toward that it's After The Tribulation but I just don't really know. I'm still studying it." Six months later, still studying it. A year later, still studying it. Two years later, still studying it. I talked to Dr. Roland Rasmussen, the guy who won my parents to the Lord back in the day. He's the guy who does the voice at the beginning of After The Tribulation. He said that he told a guy about it like 20 years ago and he talked to that guy last month and he's still studying. "I'm still studying. I mean, it's interesting."
You know what I'm starting to hear a lot from these guys now, these pastors, they'll say like, "Well, it just doesn't really matter. It's just not really that important. It's just not really that big of an issue, you know. Well, maybe it is post, maybe it's pre-trib, I don't know." I know specifically of a pastor who's been a pastor for over 10 years and he has never taught the rapture one way or the other. He never taught a pre-trib. He never taught a post-trib because he's just not sure and he's just studying.
Now hold on a second, doesn't God call us to warn people? Doesn't God call us to be vigilant? Doesn't God call us to be a watchmen on the wall? Doesn't God call us to warn when we see the sword coming? Shouldn't we be warning people about what the devil is doing with this whole one world government, one world religion? Shouldn't we at least warn people that the Bible says there's a time of great tribulation coming unlike the world has ever seen? Shouldn't we be at least ... Let me ask you this, when was it more important to know the truth about tribulation and the rapture, 100 years ago or now?
This may happen in our generation? We might be ... It could happen in a long time from now but it's very likely that it could happen in our lifetime. So let me ask you this, why is it that in the 2000 years since Jesus Christ walked on this Earth, why are we talking about the tribulation less now than ever? Why are pastors just afraid to talk about it, afraid to preach about it? They don't want to preach pre-trib because they know it's stupid. Because they know that that movie After The Tribulation chewed up that garbage and spit it out, that Tim LaHaye, Kirk Cameron garbage.
You know what? They know it's false. They know it's a fraud. They don't want to preach that but they don't want to preach the post-trib either because they know that it's not popular and they're going to be hated like Pastor Steven Anderson is. Well, choose you this day whom you're going to serve. I'll tell you right now, if a young man came to me and said, "Pastor Anderson, you know, I believe God's calling me to preach. I want to go start a church. I want to pastor." He said, "But I just don't know where I stand on the second of coming of Christ." That little itty, bitty doctrine called the second coming of Jesus Christ. That little insignificant thing that the Bible barely mentions. No, it's something taht's mentioned almost every chapter of the New Testament. It's a pretty serious doctrine. I would say, "Well, you need to figure that out." You know what I mean? "Before you become a pastor and you need to warn people and tell people the truth about what's going on."
To me being vigilant is part in partial of understanding the end times, because right there he says, "Watch and be sober so that you're not in darkness like the people who have no idea what's going to happen and the people upon whom that day will come as a thief. Don't be like them," he says. Don't be like this thief in the night people. Don't be like these people that think, "Oh yeah, we don't know, it's just that we're in darkness. This can happen any moment. We ain't going to know." Be vigilant instead.
How can you be both? How can you be vigilant and you're not talking about end times prophecy? You're not talking about the tribulation. You're not talking about the day of the Lord. You're not talking about the rapture. How are you vigilant? When he said, "Watch and be sober," he said, "The end of all things is on hand," watch and be sober, it's coming as a thief in the night upon them because they don't know the truth. We do know the truth, let's be sober and watch and let us understand these things.
Now, I say all these tonight just to help you understand what it means to be vigilant because there are men under the sound of my voice that will pastor someday, God willing. They need to hear this message and understand that the job of being a pastor is to warn, to be vigilant, to warn about false prophets, warn about false teachers, warn about false doctrine, warn about sensual music, warn about corrupt Bible versions, warn about the tribulation, warn about persecution, just to be vigilant and just to be a watchdog. Not to be a guy who's naïve and trusting and believing.
Also, to those that are never going to pastor, those that are women, those who are men who are just, that's not the path that they're taking in life, they're not going to be a pastor. This is a message for you to be vigilant of your home. Also, just to be vigilant of yourself. To be alert. To be awake. Just knowing that the devil is attacking is half the battle. Just knowing, "Okay, the devil wants to destroy me. The devil is out to destroy our church. The devil wants to destroy my family. The devil wants to creep in." Just knowing that will cause you to be awake and paying attention, and vigilant and sober and watching.
It's a sad day today when pastors don't want to be that watchman. They don't want to be vigilant and they don't want to warn people because they're afraid of the [inaudible 00:56:28] or they just say, "Well, honestly, honestly, I just don't know. I just can't figure it out." It's not that hard. Let me ask you this, do you think God wrote the Bible in such a way where it was purposely meant to be difficult to figure out? I mean, do you think God is just up there saying, "You're not in darkness. You're the children of the light. You don't even need me to tell you the timing. You already know the day of the Lord's coming." Like, "Let them figure it out." Like He's just going to tell us, "Yeah, you understand me, right? It all makes sense, right? Figure it out guys.
Do you really think that's what God's doing, like He just made it hard, and yet you got all these guys, "I just don't know. Is it pre, is it post [inaudible 00:57:18]?" Well, what's the blood of Jesus say? What does the Bible say? [Inaudible 00:57:23] your stupid chart and your stupid commentary, it's pretty clear. You know what? If I didn't know, let me just close by saying this, if I didn't know whether the rapture was pre-trib or post-trib, you know what I'd be doing? Working day and night to figure it out until I figure it out, and that's what these guys ought to do. Not just, "I'm studying it for the next five years." You know what? That's too late, buddy.
If I did not know where I stood on any key doctrine, whether it's salvation, whether it's heaven, whether it's hell, whether it's the second coming of Christ, whether it's the Virgin birth, inspiration of the Bible, whatever, I'd be studying it day and night and maybe I'd be vigilant, in the sense that I'd be lighting candles and staying up at night reading my Bible until I figured it out. But just sitting there and saying, "It doesn't matter. I don't care. I'm not sure where I stand," isn't going to cut it. Just not going to cut it.
We need some young men to replace some of these guys. I don't hate, I don't hate ... You know what, I love, I love every brother in Christ, whether he believes in a pre-trib rapture or not. If he's my brother in Christ, I love him as a brother. But you know what though? If this former generation of pastors are just going to be non-vigilant, and just allow everything to just go and just not take a stand on anything. Not warn on these important subject. They need to be replaced with the younger generation that's going to come up and rebuild the old ways to places and restore the old paths.
Who is going to fill that void? Who is going to be ... We can't just rely on the pastors that we have in, right now in America we need new guys to step up to the plate and thank God for Brother Dave [inaudible 00:59:42] answering the call, and starting a church preaching the old path.
Thank God for Pastor Roger Jimenez, thank God for anyone else, who don't know about it, who is staring churches and pastoring and doing great things for God. We need some new preachers, some new pastors that are going to be vigilant. If you're a guy and at the sound of my voice right now, that has any thoughts of being a pastor someday, put this on your list of, "You know what, I need to become a vigilant person. I got to be vigilant."
Let's bow our heads now for a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for Your word and I thank you for the fact that when I was growing up, I sat under some preachers that were vigilant bout some things and they warned me about sin. They warned me about bad trends and they kept a lot of bad things out of the churches I went to, Lord. Please help us to keep bad things out of our home, bad things out of our personal lives and bad things out of our church. Help us to be wide awake to the devil's plan, as he seeks to infiltrate our family and our church.
Help us not to just trust everybody and not realize that there are very wicked people out there. There are creeps who come into churches, the pedophiles, false teachers, just whatever kind of evil people, seducers and wicked type people. Help to just be aware of it, Lord, and to keep on our guard at all times. Please Lord, just raise up a generation of preachers that will stand on the wall and blow the trumpet and cry out loud and not be afraid to warn people about the truth, and in Jesus' name we pray.