Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 7 (04-15-19)
Bob George continues sharing truth from the gospel of John. Bob titled this message, “Are you prepared or are you scared?”
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but fear not [or be of good cheer] ; I have overcome the world.
It is not if you will have tribulation but when you will have tribulation. Each of us will face one or two or more tribulations. But rapture or death will come to all men. To many of us, death will come first. You will be absent from the Lord or separated from Him forever. If separated from God in death, then you will be in a place of eternal damnation along with Satan and his demons.
In this world you are going to have tribulation. Many people spend much time preparing for the things of this world. As you get older, there are those who prepare for retirement? As you are young, you prepare for a career path, by going to a trade school, working as an apprentice, or going to college for a career path. But how much do we prepare for those things of tribulation? How much time do we train our minds to fight battles in the unseen world? Do we have the equipment to fight such battles? What equipment is needed? How much time do we spend preparing for the life to come? Do you know where you would go when you die? Do you think about that? We do not like to think about our demise? Many will only think about such things when faced with a dreaded disease such as cancer. But many more die in car accidents than a dreaded disease. Are you prepared or are you scared?
Knowing the perfect love of God, having on the full armor of god, protects you in every tribulation, in every trial and storm of life. But if you have not been equipped, have not taken the time to know God and let your roots grow deep in Him, will you be prepared? Will you survive? Will you thrive and ride above the waves? God’s training, called discipline, is good for you. Without taking the time to know God and His Word men often think God is punishing them. They have not known God’s perfect love or did not put on the full armor of God and let the belt of truth fall from their waist. God is not punishing you when you face all sorts of trials and tribulations. The truth from His word is an anchor for your soul. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Ponder over what the Lord has told us in His word.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation — since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
Bob, in his senior year in Indiana University, with other young men soon graduating, would think about career and employment. In business school, manufacturers across the United States would interview students who will potentially work for them. All the large major companies, such as General Electric and Ford Motor Company, around the world would come to interview them. Who are they interviewing? They interview guys green behind the ears, who only know what is in books. They spend thousands of dollars to do so. Jim Agnes, of Armstrong Corporation Company, was known for the finest training programs in the United States. Bob’s advisor encouraged him to interview with Armstrong. She asked, “What division do you want to work for?” Bob had no clue about divisions or how corporations are made up. Bob’s answer was, “the one Jim Agnes is in”. She replied, “He is in the industrial division.” In a number of weeks, the college posted a list of interviews sessions and Bob’s name was not on it. He spoke with a lady and she notified him that his name is not on the list. She asked if bob had any mechanical abilities. He said he had changed oil and some things like that. “Oh, you probably want the floor division?” “Oh, Yea, I would like that”, said Bob. Bill Van Pelt, personnel director of the company had a coffee break from 10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. So on that day, Bob got dressed up and waited on him to get out. At 10:00 o’clock he walked in and introduced himself. “Sorry to impinge on your time but I signed up for Armstrong in the wrong division. What I wanted to interview for is the floor division. Could you grant me the opportunity to interview?” Bob said he was the only person hired out of Indiana University? Bob recalled that he was asked how much he learned. Bob said something along the lines of how dumb he is and how much he needs to learn. He does not know what he did but he got hired. Armstrong took fifteen men out of the United States, Bob being one of them. For 6 months, 6 days a week, 8 hours a day, Bob was trained and equipped in every aspect of industry; advertising, marketing, sales, and virtually every aspect of business. In New York city , they had hands-on training. I believe they refer to it as “cold” sales. He went in the marketplace for the company, having been equipped to work for the company. He was trained to do what he was called to do.
Companies spend thousands of hours to train and Bob spent 6 months to be equipped to represent products that are out in a few years. How wise the business world is and how neglectful the Christian world is. We do not spend 5 minutes or 5 dollars to study the word of God to find ourselves approved. We take what a pastor says and forget over half of it. We do not study to have answers to trials and tribulations we will face. Are you prepared or are you scared?
One of Bob’s favorite restaurants is P.F. Chang. He observed a waiter training a new hire. Bob sat there at PF Chang’s, observing a trainer and a trainee. The trainee is listening to how the man is making orders. They are being trained to do work of PF Chang. In the United States, sports captures the attention of many people, a sports-nuts country. Bob liked the New York Yankees. All the old-time baseball legends, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Joe DiMaggio. Bob had difficulty in Dallas when they play the Yankees. Over concern for his well-being, he roots for the Rangers. Deep down, it is just a game,and does not really care. A coach took an interest in those players and they were developed to be the players they are known for. Along life’s path, they were taught how to swing a bat, steal bases, and all the finer details by a sports team coach, for all those things necessary to be trained as an athlete for what a sports team called them to do.
Bob’s son in law is a radiologist. How did he get to be one? A long 8 years of medical school with residency. Thousands of dollars spent to be equipped in the medical profession. Many long hours were spent under practice of someone who trains him in the field.
Bob was in military for a while, and went to boot camp, and if called to combat he would have gone to serve our country. Many are alive today because of the training they received. They had to go to combat and are alive today because of such training.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but fear not [or be of good cheer]; I have overcome the world.
Are you scared or are you prepared? We know death is up ahead of us. If you are not prepared to die then you are not not prepared to live. Are you prepared for your son to announce he is homosexual? Are you prepared if your son is hooked on drugs? Are you prepared if your wife says she does not love you anymore? Are you prepared if your husband tells you he found someone else and is out of here? Are you prepared for that? All of you have met every one of these things. Someone comes into your home and rapes you? Are you prepared or scared? How about sickness? Dave is going through a situation where he has an illness, where he has lost lots of blood. Is he prepared? Are you prepared or scared?
Christianity is not a crisis relationship, but is a relationship based on preparation. Many people think of God only when they are going through a crisis. The problem is not the crisis but rather how ill-prepared you are for the crisis. You need God every day and hour of your life. In fact, you cannot live without Him. But many times we have this attitude of not getting beyond the surface. The attitude that thinks, “Just a little dab will do me. I do not need to let my roots go deeply into the Son of God. I just want to sing praise songs and get goosebumps. Do not tell me a lot about this Jesus. Don’t challenge my mind. Let me keep on doing what I am doing. Do not ask me to change my mind or attitude. Do not ask me to give sacrificially. If you do, I will get out of here. Just come for an hour or so and say goodbye Bob or goodbye Dave.” Are we prepared or scared?
This is truth. In this world you are going to have tribulation. How many of you have discovered that already. Are you prepared? Are you scared? Only one thing keeps you away from being scared, and that is the love of God.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
What is the first thing you think of when you go through tribulation. Do you think, “God is punishing me. What did I do wrong? I promise God I will never do that again.” The perfect love of God is not punishing me. The punishment went on Jesus 2000 years ago, when he died to take upon all my sins. He took them all away never to be seen again in the eyes of God.
People confuse punishment with discipline. Do not fear discipline of God. God’s discipline is training. The training is like that of Armstrong. Discipline is running around a track to be ready to be a successful athlete. Training is boot camp to be prepared for the Army. So let us not fear the training of God.
1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Every time you pick up the scriptures you are training your mind. You come to know what truth is and you realize you had not been thinking correctly. You were in error in your thinking. You change your mind of error in your thinking and hold onto truth. So how are we equipped in godliness? What kind of equipment is needed?
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so you can take a stand against the devil’s schemes. We are in spiritual warfare. These wars we are fighting is spiritual warfare. Evil fighting good is spiritual warfare. The devil has schemes for you and me. He has one desire, to steal, kill and destroy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
That is his goal for you, to steal your marriage and destroy you. He has clever schemes to do so. I also have news for you and me. We are no match for Satan. We are top stand in God’s mighty power for life and godliness. We may think we are brilliant. There is only one person who can fight Satan and that is Jesus.
9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
1 Peter 5:8
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Yield to Jesus to battle Satan. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). We look at struggle as against one another. We offend one another and hurt one another. We think our struggle is one another. Your struggle is not flesh and blood. All Satan does is use you, a body and a mind, to carry out his plan. Satan is behind every evil thing that happened between you and me. Yet, Satan never gets blamed. We get blamed. It was Satan who got this person messed up. We just blame one another. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save you.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
How many of you really believe it is more important to get someone saved than to get someone elected. Millions of dollars are raised to get someone elected for 4 years. How many of you think it is more important to get someone saved? Where is your attention? I will survive regardless of who is elected. We will make it one way or another, even the rapture, as that time approaches. I am not going to spend a dime to get someone elected but I will spend whatever I can to get someone saved. Priorities are often so focused on elections and people. This shows where your heart is. Is your heart on this earth? Is your heart in the plans of God? Do you want to fulfill God’s plans or man’s plans.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
If you are not in relationship with God or your mind is on this world, what kind of heartache occurs?
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
This is who we are fighting against. We are fighting against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Did you know there are spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms?
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
Guess who Satan and the demons play with? Us. Where is their playground? On this earth. Therefore put on full armor of God. It does not say just put on one thing. Put on the full armor. If you do not put on the full armor, Satan knows where to kill you.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
What kinds of equipment do you see listed in Ephesians 6 so that we can stand our ground? We have the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and prayer. Do not forget about prayer. You are calling on additional troops, angels even, to be ministers to those who will inherit salvation.
The belt was what held the weapon. Put on the belt of truth. Truth is the only thing going to save you against error. Error is what takes you down and kills you. Error is always dressed with nice things. Is is always dressed up in a suit, but is only good on the outside. It is always dressed up with godly words and might even mention the name of Jesus. Put truth on.
Put on the breastplate of righteousness. It protects the whole area. Whose righteousness do we put on? His. We do not have any righteousness of our own. If you stand in your own righteousness, Satan will topple you in a minute. He cannot crack Jesus righteousness. If you stand in righteousness of Jesus, just let him try to crack that.
Be fitted with the gospel of peace. Peace in this world, is what you feel strolling by a mountain stream or resting on the seashore on a sandy beach, but as soon as you drive away in a car that peace is gone. The peace that the Lord gives is not of this world.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.