Witness – Warn – Waken

Title: Witness - Warn - Waken

Bible Book: 2 Peter 2 : 1-22

Author: David Cook

Subject: Christian Living; Witnessing; Boldness



Today, on Super Bowl Sunday – we are going to talk about Super Bold Christians. One player to watch is Arizona’s QB Kurt Warner – He is an amazing QB – but also is a bold believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Warner says, "Standing up for my beliefs, no matter what, is one more way I define being a person of integrity," Warner says. "It doesn't matter if it's in front of millions of people at the Super Bowl or one person in private; I try to stand true to who I am in the Lord."

In 2 Peter chapter 2, Apostle Peter is warning believers of false teachers who are creeping into the church and secretly destroying believers confidence in the Word of God. Peter does not go lightly on those who distort the Word of God. He boldly takes a stand against them and urges believers to trust in the Lord for sure deliverance. Looking at false teachers, Peter says they are characterized by:

Destructive Doctrines: 2:1-3 - Covetous, not Christ-likeness is their goal. Many follow their destructive ways. The health and wealth gospel works in America because we are materialistic – try telling persecuted Christians around the world they lack faith in God because they are not rich! Do you know I have a goal this year of seeing our church grow by 30% and seeing 25 new Christians saved and baptized. Yet, I will not compromise the truth of the Word of God to make it happen.

Doom: 2:4-11 – We are bent on hearing of the God of love, but we close our ears when we hear of His judgment on the ungodly. We hear people say, “My God is too loving to send anyone one to hell.” We are called, “closed minded,” when we say “Jesus is the only way to salvation,” or “The Word of God calls believers to live holy lives and separate themselves from sinful ways.” Noah preached for 120 years that the wrath of God was going to be poured out – yet only 8 were saved. Be ware of preachers who say you can live like hell on earth and enjoy eternity in heaven. Like Noah, we have to preach difficult messages that call to renounce sin and live holy before the Lord. We don’t lower the standard of the Word of God – the Word of God is the standard!

Depravity: 2:12-17 – They make big promises, but never deliver. They teach that you can live any way as you please without fear of eternal punishment. Their prey is Christians who do not have a solid commitment to the Word of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They do not desire that you commit your life to the Master, but they do want to take your money! “If you send us your faith offering of $100 dollars – God has a Lexus with your name on it! “

Deception: 2:18-21- If you take a pig, clean it up, put powder upon it to make it smell nice, and a red bow around it’s neck – where will it go as soon as you release it? Back to the mud! What is necessary is not an outside cleaning, but an inner cleansing.

If we do not change our hearts and ways beginning in our personal lives, in our churches – America is destined to crumble under the judgment of God. This past week, a 10 year old anti-pornography law died on free speech grounds. Lawyer Patrick Trueman said, “I don’t think Congress will try again to protect children from pornography.” On the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, President Obama minced no words. He issued a statement saying he remains “committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

What are we to do as a church as we fight “truth decay?” We could (1) Resign – This is not worth the battle. (2) Retaliate – Get mad at people who don’t believe just like us; take vengeance into our own hands. (3) Return – Return with all our hearts back to the God who has all power and authority; worshipping and serving Him with humble and grateful heart.

I. There Must Be Pastoral Conviction In The Pulpit

A. Doctrine

I’m blessed to know Dr. Ernest Easley of Roswell Street Baptist Church as a friend and mentor. Recently, I asked him about Paul’s command to church leadership in Acts 20:28, “Therefore take heed to yourselves…” I asked him what it meant for the man of God to “take heed” to themselves. Dr. Easley said, “Primarily this refers to the man of God preaching the whole counsel of the Word of God to the flock of God.” It also means the pastor must take care of spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc. but mainly the faithful preaching of the Word of God week in and week out.

There is only one way to save the sinner and sanctify the saint – and that is through the Word of God! One of the saddest facts of church life today is that you can go to church and rarely hear the Holy Name of Jesus lifted high!

God did not call pastors to preach what is pleasing to man – rather what is pleasing to God! The best pastors from the Word of God and throughout history were bold to preach sin’s penalty – Romans 3:23, “wages of sin is death,” Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins shall die.” Jesus said in John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” There’s only one way for you to avoid dying in your sins and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Recently the president of William and Mary College (2nd oldest college in America) decided to take down the cross from their main chapel. The cross was offensive to students who do not belong to the Christian faith. The message of the cross of Jesus Christ is offensive because it tells us we are all great sinners in need of the great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Great pastor will also boldly preach salvation’s plan. “I may not pray like Peter and I may not preach like Paul, yet I will preach the love of Jesus and say He died for all!”

Some here today may have been in church all your life – yet you have never really understood the God who made the heavens and the universe, the God who knit you together in your mothers womb, the God who calls the stars by name also calls you by name and wants to be your personal Lord and Savior.

B. Discipline

Look at these guys out on the field today in the Super Bowl. Do you think they were able to get there without discipline? You better believe they were faithful to show up to team meetings, faithful to study the opponents strengths, and weaknesses, faithful to listen to their coaches. They are disciplined in their approach to the game.

The Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground. Victory requires a disciplined attitude. I’m learning about the discipline it takes to become a soldier in His army. I’m learning how to battle, I’m learning how to pray, I’m learning how to deal with difficult issues.

Also, I’m learning more and more that ministry is not about my power – but about what God’s power can do through a weak and broken servant. The Apostle Paul said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The Lord Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Our weaknesses should drive us to discipline ourselves to focus on God’s sufficient power working through us, rather than relying on our own strength.

John Maxwell said, “Visions make leaders passionate, but thorns make them authentic.”

C. Diligence

1 Timothy 4:10, “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

It was Lesslie Newbign who said, “…if a minister is not looking to preach Jesus as Savior to the whole world, if a minister is not looking to preach Jesus as Savior to his flock, to his community, and also to the whole world, if he is not a global minded minister concerned about the purposes of Jesus Christ in the earth, then he ceases to be a minister of Christ.”

II. There Must Be Personal Commitment In The Pew

A. Personal Commitment to Attend Church

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I want to remind you of the price Jesus paid for the church – His life’s blood. Jesus loves the church and gave His life for it. It is sad to me that something that cost our Lord so much to purchase – yet His people can find every excuse in the book not to attend church.

One pastor said, “Many people are here when they are hatched, matched, and dispatched!” If every member were as faithful as you to attend church, would we be full or half empty each Sunday?

B. Personal Commitment to Defend Church

The early Church had their fair share of squabbles and disagreements, but they stuck together and worked through them!

When a group of thoroughbred horses face attack, they stand in a circle facing each other and, with their back legs, kick out at the enemy. Donkeys do just the opposite; they face the enemy and kick each other! How often the church does just that -- ignoring the real enemy while we attack fellow believers?

Do you remember the song, “You’re my brother…sister…so take me by the hand, together we will work until He comes. There’s no foe that can defeat us…when we walk in the light…as long as there is love, we will stand!” Instead of nit picking each others faults – we need to be more concerned about people around us who are hurting.

C. Personal Commitment to Extend Church

Let’s remember what our mission is from our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the Great Commission. Our Savior said, “All authority is mine…go therefore and make disciples of all nations…baptizing…teaching…I am with you always!”

We can’t sit around tweedling our thumbs while the world around us goes to hell. Our mission from the Lord is not simply to have entertaining worship services – give each other a hug – and then leave. We must get out into our community with the good news of Jesus Christ lived out through our lips and lives. We’ve got to do as the old hymn says, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

As people respond positively to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are called to teach them to grow and mature in their faith. That is the work of extending the church through evangelism and discipleship!

III. When Pastor and People Connect With God’s Purpose

When the pastor watches over the church with conviction we will hear the gospel declared. When the people of the church become personally committed to Christ, the church begins to hum with the sweet filling of the Holy Spirit. When pastor and people begin to connect with God’s purpose saints will find a new sense of joy and peace in the Lord and sinners will hear the old gospel story boldly proclaimed. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:14-15

Let’s remember today, the call to be “Super Bold” Christians. When the pastor watches over the church Jesus is lifted up. As the church commits their lives afresh to the Savior – Jesus is glorified. United in Him – His light will defeat the darkness! His truth will outshine the lies!

If we lift up Jesus together, the weary can find rest in Him!

If we lift Jesus up together, the sinner can find salvation!

If we lift up Jesus, the depressed can find delight!

If we lift up Jesus, the saint can find new strength!

Jesus, the comforter in the midst of confusion!

Jesus, the anchor in the midst of the anxiety!

Jesus, giving boldness to believers who trust and obey!

If the pastor is convicted of the Word of the Lord and the people are committed to the will of the Lord – we can stand boldly over all the deceptions the enemy brings our way! If we listen to and follow the Word of the Lord – we will know God’s deliverance and victory in our lives, church, and family!

If the pastor is doing what Jesus calls Him to do – He’ll keep telling every one – in every way – Jesus Christ came the first time, died on Calvary’s cross and rose again the third day! Yet there’s coming a day – a day in which no man knows for certain – that Jesus Christ is coming back! People get ready – Jesus is coming again soon!

The Word of God boldly declares, “There is salvation in no other name…but JESUS!” Have you called upon His name – asking Him to make you right in His sight? Believer, isn’t it time to come boldly before His throne in prayer – confessing sin – self – turning your eyes upon Jesus who alone meet the need of your life?

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