Earnestly Contend, Part 3
Title: “Stay” Where God Wants You
One of my favorite commands for Duchess is, “stay!”
exp. When obeyed - it is an amazing command - I lay down her lead or have her off lead. She stays right there while I walk around her or other distractions go by. If off lead, I can walk a good distance away and say, "Come" and she come on the run (for a reward of her obedience.)
exp. As we finish this morning our study of Jude. Jude ends with the command to stay! Don't be led astray by false teachers. But, stay the course for the Lord Jesus Christ.
ill. Our study of 2 Timothy - is very similar to the message of Jude. PAUL IS IN PRISON BECAUSE HE STAYED THE COURSE FOR JESUS. In prison he is calling upon Timothy to do the same. However, it is a day of declension. False teachers are drawing many away and many are failing to stay in the path of obedience.
He says to Timothy,
2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
exp. You could say that he told Timothy to "stay" the course for Jesus. Endure! Be strong!
exp. It reminds me of his words to the Ephesians commanding them PUT ON THE ARMOUR OF GOD to "stand and having done all to stand." STAY
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
CHRISTIANS - now more than ever, we need believers who obey God's command to "stay" put for Jesus. It is what Jude said in v.3 "(I Jude) exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." STAY! ARE YOU STAYING PUT FOR JESUS
I. Stay on guard! (Be careful.)
exp. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
note: Satan - the great deceiver is behind the false teaching.
ill. Unbelievers, "Why are there so many religions." "Religion causes all the problems in the world.... (lie - but there is some truth to it because there is a great battle taking place in the spiritual realm as Satan seeks men's souls."
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
note: And so our text warns us to STAY ON GUARD. Satan is very deceptive!
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Exp. These false churches mock churches that STAND WITH THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD AND LIVE SEPARATED LIVES while they themselves are FLESHLY (SENSUAL) AND UNGODLY (HAVING NOT THE SPIRIT.)
ill. Seeker service churches: Poll the community to see what they want in a church. Changing the look and feel of church to what the world wants. Having the world's music and a flippant worldly style. More importantly changing the message from the authority of the Word of God to "a false love" that God has for the sinner.
note: In our day you can still get a crowd in that UNCHURCH CHURCH.
If success was numbers - they are a success - BUT IT IS NOT. Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
If success was pleasing men - they are a succes - BUT IT IS NOT.1Th 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
app. Believer - stay on guard against FALSE TEACHERS - Be careful! Satan is a great deceiver. You aren't beyond being decieved by "false religion that appears to be working."
II. Stay on task! (Be diligent.)
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
exp. They were doing the right thing and building the true church. They needed to continue to build! (Stay on task.)
Ill. Nehemiah - burdened to build back up God's city for God's glory. He was unstoppable!
1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
question: How are you building up yourself on your most holy faith?
Ill. The good weather this past week allowed me to get some outside projects done on our home.
Last week Benson helped me cut half a meter off of the hedge.
Last week we were also able to thatch, airate, seed and fertilize the garden.
This week I was able to paint my front gate and drive gate and stain the wood.
note: I don't think it will be hard for people to see a difference - last year it was neglected. This year we are working on it.
app. What is getting better, stronger, more functional BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON IT PERSONALLY, AS A FAMILY, AS A CHURCH. 2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Are you STAYING ON TASK? BUILDING FOR JESUS?
III. Stay on your knees! (Be prayerful.)
...praying in the Holy Ghost,...
Exp. The unbelievers have not the Spirit! But we have the Spirit of God and can praying in the Spirit. Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
ill. We have prayer every Sunday at 9:40-9:55 for those who want to attend. On Tuesdays for the past 5 years we have had a men's prayer time. We are currently hosting a prayer time with nearby Baptist ministers on a bi-monthly schedule. We pray for half an hour before each special meeting of our church!
exp. During these prayer times, we let the Spirit of God lead. Why? Because he is the great prayer orchestrator.
ill. Holiness conference - praying, singing - singing was like a great conductor was directing the music and yet everyone had their eyes closed! Why? THE SPIRIT OF GOD WAS LEADING.
question: Do you know what it is to have the Spirit of God lead you in prayer? Have you been awakened and called to prayer? Or, do you pray like an unbeliever who is religious and talking to an idol.
app. Jude knew that they needed Holy Ghost intercession to stand in the day of false teachers. GOD GIVE US A REVIVAL OF MEN AND WOMAN WHO PRAY IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD! Are you staying on your knees? Prayerful?
IV. Stay in God's love. (Be faithful.)
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God,
exp. 2 things about Biblical love.
1.) It is a choice.
exp. Our world has a wrong view of love as a feeling. Biblical love is a choice. If it wasn't there is no way we could obey God's commands.
- We wouldn't love who God wants us to love.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
- We would love what God does not want us to love.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
note: So, keeping ourselves in the love of God - is our choice.
2.) It is demonstrated through obedience.
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
note: So, practically my love for God is demonstratable through obedience. (I show my love for God through obedience and abide in His love by obedience.)
exp. SO KEEPING MYSELF IN THE LOVE OF GOD IS ME CHOSING TO LIVE IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
ill. The prodigal son's father loved him when he was away - BUT HE WAS NOT ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - NOR WAS HE LOVING HIM.
app. You don't love God this morning if you are not right with Him. Have you strayed from his love or are you staying in His love?
V. Stay upon God. (Be humble.)
...looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
exp. Humility waits upon God.
ill. Jesus story illustrating the difference between proud self effort and humble faith.
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
ill. Have you noticed that church growth is slow? Salvation, baptism, faithful men, etc.
note: It is at this point that Satan suggests NEW METHODS, NEW STANDARDS, NEW MESSAGE,... (Just read the news about churches and you will see them following his plan of PROUD INDEPENDENCE FROM GOD.)
App. The real reward is going to be for those who stay upon God in humility waiting for the reward which only He can give. 1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. STAY UPON GOD - BE HUMBLY DEPENDENT UPON HIM.
VI. Stay engaged. (Be soul winning.)
exp. "Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace."
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
ill. Do you like to fish when the fish aren't biting? What is the greatest enemy of the fisherman? Impatience.... You want to be successful and have the benefit of your success.
note: God has called us to be "spiritual fishers of men."
Mat 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
question: When is the last time you went fishing in obedience as you FOLLOWED THE LORD JESUS? Is your Christian life VAIN? (Purposeless.)
ill. Paul - 1 Thes. 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
ill. The most sobering reality in the World today is that, "Souls are going to Hell today."
app. We can look with envy at false churches pact out with people and lament how few are getting saved - BUT OFTEN IT WOULD BE LIKE COMPLAINING THAT THE FISH AREN'T BITING WHEN YOU ARE NOT FISHING. Are you making a difference? Do you care? (have compassion) Stay engaged in God's work.
VII. Stay with God. (Be holy)
exp. "Having on the breastplate of righteousness."
ill. Many true believers have attended these false teaching churches because THEY FEEL AS IF THEY CAN NOT LIVE UP TO GOD'S EXPECTATION FOR THEM.
note: And they can't! Jude didn't expect them to be the church God wanted them to be! He knew that if they put their eyes on God - GOD WOULD ENABLE THEM TO BE!
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
ill. Have you ever been frustrated by a power tool that wouldn't work only to find out that you hadn't plugged it in? You get all upset and then realize that all it needed to work was power.
ALL YOU NEED FOR YOUR LIFE TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS IT TO BE IS POWER.
question: Are you here this morning thinking, "I can't get saved. I could never be what God wants me to be." Did you know that when you are saved by God that God is the one who changes your life? YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING BUT GOD IS ABLE.
QUESTION: Believer - are you frustrated by continual failure and inablity to get victory over sin. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT AS YOU WERE SAVED BY FAITH SO YOU ARE TO WALK.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
app. Are you willing to stay with God and trust Him for victory?
Being able to command Duchess to "stay" may some day save her life from danger.
Judes' command to "STAY" (earnestly contend for the faith" certainly is for the life and health of the church. Are you staying?
Staying on guard? (false teaching is appealing and deceptive)
Staying on task? (building up yourself)
Staying on your knees? (praying in the Holy Ghost)
Staying in God's love? (Obeying him and abiding in His love)
Staying upon God? (humbly dependent)
Staying engaged? (soul winning)
Staying with God? (victorious)
God help us to stand, having done all to stand!