Today's Christian thought: Friday December 16th, 2003
Today we are going to visit the Apostles Paul's letter to the Philippians, well not the whole letter, but a chapter one. In chapter one, Paul talks about two things we will look at today. He talks about how we should react to the blasphemy of ABC, the liberal churches, the Jews, Roman Catholics, Peter Jennings and US News and World Review.
Paul also addresses the issue of Christians and death, another issue that we need to discuss. So, let us start.
Most of us, including myself, have been most upset with the blasphemy preached by ABC, the liberal churches, the Jews, Roman Catholics, Peter Jennings and US News and World Review. Yet, Paul tells us that it isn't all that bad, for they focus on Jesus. And by doing so get people interested in the Lord and maybe seeking the truth about Him. Now, let us look at what Paul has to say about those who twist God's Gospel for one reason or another.
Philippians Chapter One
1 ¶ Paul and Timotheus (Timothy), the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 ¶ I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 Being confident, of this very thing, that He (God the Holy Ghost) which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 ¶ Even as it is meet (right and just) for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record (witness), how greatly I long after you all in the bowels (affection, love) of Jesus Christ.
9 ¶ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12 ¶ But I would ye should (want you to) understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many (most) of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (imprisonment and/or chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, for, 20 according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed. But that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (Philippians 1:1-20 ACP/KJV)
Did you notice that starting in verse 12, Paul talks about how, due to his being imprisoned, many are preaching the Gospel of Christ for their own political or personal gain. Using their own interpretation. Yet, Paul says. So what, let them, for it is after all preaching about Jesus and will therefore lead some to Jesus. So, in today's world, instead of crying about the blasphemous preaching by ABC, the liberal churches, the Jews, Roman Catholics, Peter Jennings and US News and World Review, we should use their heresies as a way of reaching out and evangelizing. And as God is my witness, I can say that today's world is full of people in desperate need of the truth of the Gospel of our Lord Christ Jesus.
Now, the second point I would like to discuss in chapter one of Paul's letter to the Philippians, is death. Judging from your e-mails, phone calls and conversations that I have had with many of you face to face during the summer, I have come to the conclusion that many of you fear death. Not only fear it, do instead work to make this life a 'heaven on earth'. I read and hear many of you spending more time worried about your life style here on earth than your life to come, if you are indeed Saved. Let's see Paul's attitude towards life here on earth and death.
21 ¶ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose (will happen) I wot (know) not. 23 For I am in a strait (dilemma) betwixt (between the) two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. 27 ¶ Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. (Philippians 1:21-30 ACP/KJV)
As we finish chapter one of Paul's letter to the Philippians, we see him telling them and us, that to live, is to do the work of Christ and to suffer as Christ did. Yet to die, is better because then we, who are truly Saved, will be with Christ in heaven.
Now in closing there is just one more thing I want to say. I want to answer the question of "why do I call the Lord Jesus, Christ?" Many always refer to Jesus as Jesus Christ and are afraid that if they call Him Christ, they will be calling Him by His last name and therefore insulting Him or degrading Him. Around 2,003 years ago, the Lord came to earth as an infant boy and was born and named Jesus. He was known as Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter, or Jesus the son of Joseph the son of Jacob of Bethlehem. Christ is not the Lord's last name, it is His title, Christ means Messiah, or God with us in the flesh . So, the correct way of referring to the Lord would be: Christ, the Christ, Christ Jesus. Or even the Lord Jesus, the Christ, God in the flesh. But not, Mr. Jesus Christ.
The Lord be with you all and think not what you can do to make your life better on this earth, think what you can do to serve Christ Jesus.
Pray for my friend Mac, pray for Rush and Michael Savage. While the Lord does not need the platforms and audiences that Rush and Michael have, they, Rush, Michael and their audiences need the Lord.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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