In the weeks and months ahead we ought to remember the lessons we have been learning over a lifetime and especially over the past couple of weeks and remember lessons of the Bible. We will discuss 3 things to remember: 1) Remember the Book, 2) Remember from where you came, 3) Remember your calling and your Baptism Covenant.
Greetings Friends and welcome to any guests.
Many, if not all are now all home safely from the Feast. Generally, we look at this time in the weeks and months ahead as a “spiritual wilderness” with a plethora of this world’s holidays and a multitude of diversions.
A Brief Story: A good friend, Tom D, who died the day before Veteran’s Day 2013, was asking about misconceptions concerning “obedience” being legalism. We discussed moral boundaries being shifted as we as a Nation turn from God. The world wants faith alone without a standard of “godly” obedience. This man listened carefully but was never called at this time. In his next waking moment, I believe he will come to accept the fullness of the Gospel and will rejoice with multitudes of others.
Do our examples and words lead others astray or toward God? Do we always remember our calling, in this age of moral decline?
Our nations are so busy in decline, too many have become dull of hearing as it says in Hebrews 5:11 Hebrews 5:11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing.
American King James Version× About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing.
How many just think about having fun, fun fun forgetting what it says in Mat_25:7-8 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Most in this age don’t think they have time to dig deeper into the Scriptures, even as an old friend from many years ago declared “I don’t have to read the Bible-I already know that stuff. (Like saying I ate food yesterday and I have need of nothing today.)
Consider what it says concerning truth: Joh 17:15-19 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them (The early church and many other Christians down to our day.) into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Synopsis: In the weeks and months ahead we ought to remember the lessons we have been learning over a lifetime and especially over the past couple of weeks and remember lessons of the Bible. We will discuss 3 things to remember: 1) Remember the Book, 2) Remember from where you came, 3) Remember your calling and your baptism Covenant.
The title of my sermon is “Remember!”
1. Remember the Book
First, “Remember the Book”: Anciently the Books of the Law were forgotten even as we as a nation have forgotten so much of it in this age.
Let me read this from 2Ki_22:8,11 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.
Charles Melear on the 7th day of the Feast emphasized that God communicates through his word and the lessons of the Bible.
Read Luk 24:8-9 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
For sake of time let me say we ought to know the word “remember” appears about 112 to over 160 times in the Bible depending on the version used.
2. Remember From Where You Came:
Secondly, “Remember From Where You Came”: How many of us remember from where we came? Do we remember the glory, the glamour, the glimmer of our past and of this upcoming season?
Pertaining to the ancient Israelites: Ancient Israel looked back at a time of captivity like fun times, forgetting what really happened.
Turn to: Numbers 11:5-6 Numbers 11:5-6  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic:  But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
American King James Version× We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at."
Also turn to Exodus 16:3 Exodus 16:3And the children of Israel said to them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for you have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
American King James Version× and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." Talk about a distorted sense of perception!
How many fell by the wayside, even as many today have and are falling by the wayside as nations plunge into depravity, war, and captivity.
Before our calling too, something also was wrong! Something was missing! We came to recognize we fell short of the glory of God.
After baptism did we expect no trials or problems? Did we expect heaven on earth? Did we expect everything to fall exactly in place as WE would want it? I think at one point I did!
Did we or do we ask amiss? Did we want a trial free existence, but nowhere are we told that in Scripture. (Our burdens are made light!)
It does say in Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures.
Elsewhere we are told to bear with it, bear with one another.
Read this from 2Cor 11:20 (ESV) For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face. Be patient with one another!
Example: Some prompted by miracles in life inclined toward the Church, but of and by themselves miracles do not keep a person converted. i.e. Man in military service fell from a high pinnacle which could have led to death or a serious disabling injury—but something like a hand reach out defying gravity and pushing the man back and saving him only to have the man return to the habits of the past (about 15 years later-perhaps like drinking, smoking, idolatry—incrementally returning to the habits and sins of the past.
Miracles by themselves do not lead to nor provide longevity for conversion. (How many of those who saw or felt the miracles of Christ stood with him at the Crucifixion and beyond?)
Each of us needs to be careful to guard our minds. Turn to Php 4:7 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Cares of this world. And drug back. Turn to Mark 4:19 Mark 4:19And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
American King James Version×(NKJV) but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
In a time of struggle in 1995, I remember driving to work dismayed at the upheaval in the Church and thinking “I can NOT return from where I came. (The false religion, distorted theologies, unbridled lust, and vanity.)
3. Remember Your Calling and Baptism Covenant
Third, Remember Your Calling and Baptism Covenant: First, to those not baptized recognize YOU CANNOT do it on your own. The struggles of life are a horrid blend of human nature, of good and evil that the natural mind CAN NOT properly sort out.
Do we remember what led us up to our commitment to the acceptance of Christ at our “baptism covenant”. We learned early on that we ought to bear fruit-good fruit despite adversity; we were not called to a trouble-free life.
Remember though, God is merciful and provides help when we seek HIM!
Each of us, young and old are to seek “wise counsel and good advice”!
Are we good role models and examples to others? Or do we cause others to stumble?
Read John 15:2 John 15:2Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
American King James Version×, 4, 16 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. Let’s skip to v16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
We CAN NOT just do what we did 5, 10, 20 years ago or more and expect a free pass.
We must remember to stand fast in times of adversity and spiritual struggle: Exodus 14:13 Exodus 14:13And Moses said to the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you shall see them again no more for ever.
American King James Version×(NKJV) And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. This is echoed throughout Scripture.
In conclusion, so often we want to be pain-free, but don’t want to change bad habits.
In thinking back to when I was young, I remember and thank God for providing a guiding hand through people who came along at the right moment and said, “Don’t do that.” or “That is not funny.”
If any of you young or old need help, seek help-seek wise counsel. It is NEVER, too late!
Let me leave you with a quote and a Scripture: "It's better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction." - Diane Grane
Luk 21:34-36 "But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Remember the lessons of the Feasts and especially the WORD of God which we hold in our own hands or on our laps: Choose life! Choose right character! And to all of us be committed to your calling! Let us learn and remember our lessons well!