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The Truth Is Not For Sell

Sunday Night 01/08/23 – Pastor Eric Davis

Just as review the church’s ephesus threefold application. There’s a local application. When the Lord gave these letters to John to give to the churches, these were actual seven local churches that God had a specific message for them. There’s the church period application where each of these churches represents a certain church period in church history. And the thing that’s prominent in the letter is prominent in that church period. Those things didn’t pass away when that church period was gone. There’s still churches a day that are without their first love. There’s still churches a day that are suffering and persecution like the church of Smyrna. But the distinction was during that period. But there’s individual application here and God has a message for our church in each of these letters. I firmly believe that the first one we talked about. Have we left our first love? Why are we doing what we are doing? Are we doing it because we love the Lord? Or just out of ritual, out of habit, out of tradition? And there’s a way back when we get away from God, there’s a way back and I’m so glad there is. Miss Terry sang this morning. God doesn’t throw the clay away, he said, Remember from Winstyle it fallen and repent and do the first works in the church of smarter. We talked about this morning to the church that was suffering persecution. But what are we willing to go through to be faithful to the Lord? He’s the one that overcame and our victory comes by looking at him. Consider Jesus. Tonight we’re going to look at the church in pergamus. And I think the overriding theme tonight is the Truth is not for sale. It should not be for sale. Amen. And the truth should not be for sale in our church here in today’s time either. So let’s pray and then we’ll get into it. And Brother Frank, will you lead us in prayer, please? Amen. Amen. Thank you, Brother Frank. Verse number twelve. We’ll read you from verse twelve to verse 17 to get the context. Then we’ll look at some of the verses as we go in. An angel of the church in pergamus right these things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is. And thou holdest fast my name and hast not denied my faith even in those days where an Antibus was my faithful martyr who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee because thou hast there then that hold the doctrine of Balem who taught Balik to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed under idols and to commit fornication so hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate repent. Or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches. To him that overcometh while I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it. And there’s application here the Lord directs our attention to he who has verse twelve said these things sayth he which hath the sharp sword with two edges in every letter. He begins the letter by positioning himself as the one that has the answer for that need, for that letter, the one who’s in authority. At the end. Verse 16, we see that the application here is repent. And I was reading a couple of different writers as I was putting this message together, a couple of different commentators like what Matthew Henry said. I want to give you what Matthew Henry said about repentance. He said, repentance is the duty of saints as well as sinners. We come to the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation to be saved. We’ve got to repent of our sins, have a change of mind, no longer wanting to stay in sins, have a change of mind and turn from that, turn to God, repentance from our sins and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what salvation is, to put in our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and him alone that saves a person. But after we’re saved, we aren’t perfect. None of us in here are perfect. And if you were to claim that you were perfect, you’d be lying and would thereby disqualify yourself from being perfect. None of us are perfect. And there are times that we get off track and we need to turn back to God. We need to come back to God. One John, one nine. I’m close, I’m going to turn there so I don’t mess it up. If we confess our sins, he is faithful to just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now that’s not to say that we should practice and premeditate sin. As a matter of fact, that was an error that was found in this church and we’re going to look at that. Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean that we can live any which way that we want to live. Grace is not a license to sin. Saved by grace is not licensed sin. Okay? So with that established, let’s talk about the city of Pergamus. A little bit of background. It was the capital city of Mazia. That helps, right? Helps a lot. Which was a Roman province in Northwest Asia Minor. And I looked and I don’t have a map in my Bible with the name of the city owner. You might, there are some maps that list where the seven cities were, the seven churches. You’re welcome to look now, don’t be looking at it later in the message. So now is the time to do it, but it’s through which Paul passed on his second missionary journey. Whether or not he went into this city, we don’t know, but he passed through this province on his second missionary journey. And Lehman Strauss says, it was an illustrious and religious city of wealth and fashion. They were known chiefly for their religions. There were temples to many gods. You’ve heard the name of Zeus and Aphrodite, false gods, idols made by man. And there was another god of medicine who was worshiped under the form of a serpent. They were worshiped in this city. Notice what it says in verse 13 where I know thou works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is, where his headquarters, if you will, is where his throne is. Some say that Satan’s headquarters are in hell, but the Bible says that he is the God of this world. Little g, little g, god of this world. He is the prince and of the power of the air. Phisians Two two faiths 612 says, 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. The whole world lieth in wickedness. One John 519 he is right now. He’s he’s in authority in his realm. This world belongs to him. His role appears to extend beyond the earth to space as well, but it doesn’t reach heaven. Amen. God the Father is in heaven. And one of these days God the Father is going to assume control back from the devil. And the devil is going to have a lot to give an account for, a lot to give an answer to. He’s already defeated, and he knows that his tactics the devil use any tactic to thwart God’s purpose and plans we talked about that. He would like for nothing other than to stop our church from being a light and witness to our community. He’d love to bring in a bad testimony. He’d love to bring in something that would cause division. He’d love to bring in compromise, whatever it may be, to lessen our effect on this world. He wants that to happen. There were times in history where he openly opposed, and still does Christianity. Think of atheism as saying, there is no God. The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. Just look around you. If you see that there is a God. God created all that we see and the beauty that we see. Even in the cold, dreary winter months, there is beauty to be seen. Love watching the animals, the squirrels, they’ve stored up nuts throughout the year. And the other animals, they find food. God takes care of them. But God did that. God did that. There’s been some social aspects that directly oppose God. The political thing of communism directly opposes God. It’s in direct violation of there being a God. And that and atheism go hand in hand but oftentimes he comes to us as an angel of light, a messenger of light comes under the pretense of a teacher or a religious man. Saint Corinthians eleven forces at no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. He comes looking good on the outside, but with poison on the inside. You ever looked at a box of rat poison? I mean, some look at it, some don’t. It does what it’s supposed to do, right? But you ever noticed how much in there is actually deadly, is actually fatal? Just point, I don’t remember now, but it’s just a small fraction of a decimal of what’s deadly in that box. But if you were to take that, you’d have bad consequences, bad things happen to you. It just takes a little bit of error to slip in, to throw somebody off the right way, the right path. Salvation comes by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, right? There’s no other way, no other means of salvation. We are saved. When we put our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, he saves us. And so sometimes the devil will sleep in that way. One John four, verse three says, in every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of antichrist. Wherever you heard this should come, even now, is already in the world. You are God’s little children who have overcome them, because greater is heed that is in you than the heat that is in the world. Satan’s already been defeated. That was my point there. But he still comes. He’s still attacking. He’s still trying to stop the Church from getting the Gospel out. And we’re going to look at what happened here. This church period was from around about 8300 and 13 to around about 8600. Anybody remember those times? Okay, all right, just checking. After the death of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, I know this, none of this matters, but but just hang with me for a minute. There were two Roman emperors that contended for the throne. One named Max. Incentives in the east. Anybody ever heard of him? Okay, a couple of you in history back there and one named Constantine in the west. Anybody ever heard of him? Well, guess who won? The one we heard about, right? Constantine won the battle, declared himself a Christian, and Christianity to be religion, the religion of the state. The church was married, if you will, to the state. It became popular to be a Christian and this was a I don’t know his intention. Some say he may have been a Christian, some say he never gave evidence at all of being a born in a Christian. But what he did was he brought Christianity and made it a thing of the government. The government was Christian and you were to be a Christian. And that’s not the way that god operates. We believe in separation of church and state. Amen. So it was an unholy alliance. During this period, the Roman Emperor became head of the church that was headquartered, headquartered in Rome. That church is still around today, and their false teaching is still around today. Just say this I don’t want to offend anybody, but we got to speak the truth. We don’t have to go to another man to confess our sins. We go to God. He’s the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, which is God the Son. He’s our mediator. He’s also the author of this letter. Look back with me, if you will, of verse number twelve. These things saith he which hath a sharp sword of two edges. Turn back with me to Revelation One, verse 16. In the description of Jesus that John saw, he said and he had in his right hand seven stars represents the churches, and out of his mouth when a sharp two edged sword and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Revelation 19. While we’re here, verse 15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Just as a side note, you and I are going to see this day, and I think the Lord will allow us to remember possibly this portion of Scripture and get excited when that day comes. Amen. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve got an imagination. And one preacher says it’s a glorified imagination. Maybe. Anyway, I don’t know what it’ll be like, but I’m looking forward to that day. Hebrews 412. Turn with me there real quick. And then we’ll move on. You know this verse and you’ll know it when you see it. But sometimes we take for granted what we know. And when we try to quote it, it gets all out of whack and out of order. For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, right? Piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit that the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. So this is he which has the which hath the sharp sword with two edges. God’s Word is sharper than any two edged sword. The Bible plainly teaches that. So His Word has both authority and power, right? We know those are two different things. Sometimes we use them interchangeably. But in Scripture there are two different things. Authority has the authority to do something. You may have the authority to do something, but don’t have the power to do something. Or you might think you have the power to do something but don’t have the authority to do something. Right? If you’re working under a supervisor, you may have the power to lock up or unlock something or go do something, but you should not do because you weren’t given the authority to do so. But he has both authority and power. John 1248 he that rejecteth me and receiveth not more words hath one that judgesth him. The word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day. God’s word is final. What God says is final. Not the customs of mankind, not the way, not the laws that are set in DC or Charleston or anywhere else. But God’s word is final. God’s word is powerful. It convicts hearts, it changes lives. I didn’t know I was a sinner until somebody told me from Romans three and ten, as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 323 all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, every single one of us. I didn’t know there was any hope until somebody showed me. Romans five eight god commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And in Romans ten, nine and 1013, the way of salvation. I’m in one John one nine. Romans ten, chapter number nine. Let me say this, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. With the heart man believeth unto righteous and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. I confess my sins unto God, not a man, and I put my faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ and God takes his righteousness and puts it on my account, not because of anything I’ve done, because of what Jesus did, who service our call for the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 1013 I didn’t know any of that until God showed me that through his word it’s convicting, it changes. And in other words, in this letter he’s saying there’s some here that have false doctrine. This church had a lot of great things there in the church, but they allowed, they tolerated, they didn’t teach false doctrine, but they tolerated false doctrine that went contrary to God’s word. He said, I have, my word is final, and you ought to abide by my word. Verse 13 look at the things that which was praiseworthy that they had going for them. He says, I know thy works. I know I’ve said this before, but you know, God knows the works of PAX Branch Baptist Church. This world may not know PAX of Mount Hope. I hope these areas know what we do here. Beckley may not know, O’Kell may not know, but God knows. God knows what’s done here. I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is, they were faithful in enemy territory. You realize this world belongs to the devil. He’s got a lot of his demons that are running around doing his bidding. We are in enemy territory. This world is not our home. Amen. Just strangers and pilgrims passing through. They were faithful in enemy territory. Their work showed that they stood fast. Bible says, we are in the world, but not of the world. They were faithful to his name. Look, he said, thou holdest fast my name. They weren’t clinging to these other gods in that city. They laid claim to the Lord Jesus Christ. I like what Lemus dropped said here. He said, holding fast to his name is not the equivalent of carrying a card or wearing a medal to show that one belongs to some holy name society. Rather, it’s holding to the firm conviction that he is the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord is in Master Jesus, as in Mediator and Christ as in the Messiah, the Promised One. I like that. It’s walking the walk and talking the talk, not just in church, but every day of the week. It’s identifying with Jesus Christ in this wicked society where they were. They weren’t afraid to identify with Jesus Christ. You and I live in an ungodly society. We shouldn’t be afraid to identify with our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Go to Walmart. They shouldn’t be ashamed for somebody to see us. We shouldn’t be ashamed for somebody to see us say, hey, that’s a Christian. That person believes in Jesus. They were faithful in enemy territory. They were faithful to his name. They were faithful to his doctrine. Look what he said. He says, and thou hast not denied my faith, realized there was one faith once delivered. There has been no new revelation since Revelation, right? So the Book of Mormon is false. There is false erroneous, teaching, whatever the proper, dramatically correct way to say that, is it’s wrong. Okay, so there is no further revelation. What faith once delivered, they were faithful to that doctrine. They were faithful in the face of the enemy, in the face of persecution. He said there was a faithful martyr. History doesn’t know who Antipus was. We don’t know who that was. But God knows. It doesn’t matter if history knows your name or knows my name. Don’t matter if our name is in lights. God knows who we are, if we’re his. And that’s what is important. I’m getting tongue tied this evening, so I apologize, but there were some things that needed corrected. Verse 14 says, I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there then that hold the doctrine of Balem, who taught Baileyk to cast the stomach block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed under idols and to commit fornication. What is the doctrine of Balem? He explains a little bit of it, but you remember back in Numbers, one of your favorite places to read in your Bible, reading the Book of Numbers. Numbers, chapter 22 and 23 and 24 and 25 is the story of Balem. There was Balk, king of Moab. Children of Israel came out of Egypt. They were on their way to the promised land. They were passing through the wilderness and in their path stood Moab Bailey, the King of Moab. He saw Israel coming out. He saw there was a great people and he called for a prophet, called for Bali, who was a prophet. He said, I’ll give you a reward if you’ll stand here and curse Israel. He knew that this man, what he said, came to pass. God used Balem. God’s word was in Balem’s mouth. The word of God was in Balem’s mouth. Balem prayed to the right God. But look, I want you to listen to what happened. Balem rejected Balik’s first offer. We’re not going back and read. You’re welcome to look at it. He rejected his first offer. He said, I can’t go with you. God has blessed that people and I can’t come. And so the king sent more prestigious messengers of greater honor with a reward. And Bale returned with them. You remember Balem’s donkey. Bailem’s donkey had more sense than Balem had. And three times Bailem’s donkey turned him out of the way because the angel stood and was going to kill Bailam for leaving, for disobeying. God didn’t want him to go. The Lord finally allowed him to go. He said, What I tell you to say, I want you to say. Don’t say anything else. Three times he attempted to curse Israel. BeVic asked him, the king asked him. But on every occasion God restrained him from cursing. Instead, the cursing turned into a blessing. He said, you see all these people? They’re going to multiply even greater. They’re going to run you out of town. And the king said, stop. Just stop altogether. Just stop. And so at last Bailam taught. Instead, Balm taught Balik, the king, how he could get God’s people to fall. He could not curse. So he proposed to corrupt. He suggested, and we find this out later, numbers 30 116. A little bit later he suggested that the Moabite girls should bring the children of Israel. The men participate in idolatry and immoral feast. And there was an unholy alliance, an unholy mixture. There not one race with another race except for a God’s people, with the world’s people. Can I tell you that still an unholy alliance today is a saved person getting with an unsaved person. If you are planning to get married, anybody in here by Andy or anybody else, make sure that that person is a Christian. Make sure you’re a Christian. But not only in marriage. Same could be said of our relationships, of the church’s relationship. The church has no business of bringing the world and the world things into the church. There’s got to be a separation there. God judged him with a great plague. It’s a doctrine of covetousness. God’s word was in his mouth, but greed was in his heart. There are preachers and teachers today who would sell the truth of God’s word for money, for prestige, for attendance, whatever it may be. And here the church should not be or the truth should not be for sale. Amen. And if you ever think that I am selling the truth at all, you’ve come to me, say, brother Eric, we love you. Love you, man appreciate you. But you’re going to have to go, because around here, the truth is not for sale. Amen. Amen. All right. It was a doctrine of corruption, of compromise. They were willing to compromise for a price. They thought because they were God’s children, they could do whatever they please. Now, listen. That doctrine is crept into the church, too. We can live any way we want to live. I believe in eternal salvation. That’s what the Bible teaches in eternal security. Once saved, a man is always saved. But a man should not want to get out in sin once he’s saved because his desires has changed. The spirit of God is living inside. And you take the spirit of God and do the things you used to do out in the world, there’s going to be conviction in your heart. There should be conviction in your heart. And so you will be miserable out in the world, away from God. No doubt about it. Many of us could stand and testify and say, that was me. I was miserable out in the world because I was away from God, and I was saved. God won’t allow you to get by with it. We can’t do as we please just because we’re saved. It’s not a license to sin if the world loves the Church. Something is wrong with the church. You say, why I say that? Well, John 1518, if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John, 1714 I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world, jesus is not of the world. We’re followers of him. We’re not of the world. Amen. We’re to be separate. We’re to lift up the standard of the word of God. Listen, anybody is welcome to come and visit our church. We’re not going to run anybody off. But we’re not going to allow just any person to become a member of the church. You got to be saved. You got to be scripturally baptized. Got to not be living in open, unconfessed sin. We have some standards from the word of God. I could take you the passage of scripture on each of those and show you why we do that. Not because we’re better than anybody else. But, hey, I don’t care what other people think. I care what God thinks. And that’s who we follow. We follow the Lord. The state church has become Satan’s headquarters. You don’t realize the deeds of the Nicolaitans has now become the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. In verse 15, you can let a little thing in. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. Pastor Vance would always say, a little thing can become a big thing, big thing if you don’t take care of it. So, verse 14 I have a few things against thee because thou hast there then that hold the doctrine of bailem, the doctrine of greed, selling the truth for whatever it may be, for position, for social standing, who taught Bailey to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed in the idols and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicoletans. Which thing I hate that there’s an upper echelon in the church and a lower echelon in the church, and you have to navigate through that upper echelon to get to heaven. Listen, we’re all, I believe wholeheartedly. The Bible teaches that we are all priests in the sense I have direct access to my heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. You don’t have to come to me. Listen, you come to me. The prayer request, I’ll help you pray about it. We’ll gather together and pray together, but we go directly to God in prayer. We don’t go through an intermediary. There’s a church so called that offers indulgences and pardons for money. You can go out and sin, and if you give enough money, you can get a pardon for that sin and that’s of the devil. That’s not the way God operates. Okay? So here’s the warning. Verse 16 repent, or else I will come into thee quickly and we’ll fight against them with the sword in my mouth. Again, this church, they knew that they were holding fast to true doctrine. I believe our church holds fast to true doctrine. We don’t want anybody else in here coming in here and changing what Bible we use, changing the doctrines that we hold dear to our heart. We don’t want anybody changing the doctrine of salvation. But they tolerated little errors and little doctrinal errors here and there, little foxes full of vines. I don’t know of anything in the church right now that we’re tolerating, but if I did, we should get rid of it. Amen I meant to look this up and see where this was in the Bible? If you know, you tell me. Buy the truth and sell it not. You’ve heard that before. Buy the truth and sell it not. Somebody got your smartphone out? No. Okay. All right. Well, it’s not every day the preacher asks you if you get your smartphone out. So after service, you find that and give that to me. Okay? He said, Repent, or else I will come to thee quickly and we’ll fight against them with the sword of my mouth. We’re to be a separate. People, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord. And touch not the unclean thing. Be ye holy, as I am holy. God wants us to be holy, not perfect. I’d love to be perfect. I know me. I can’t make it probably, I don’t know, half an hour and be perfect. But I I can be holy. I can follow God with my whole heart, soul, body, mind. The truth delivered to the church should not be for sale. The testimony of the church should not be for sale. We don’t want to lower our standards to make it more welcoming to the world. I want the world to be able to see, hey, I can go to that church. They preach the unadulterated truth of the word of God. That’s that’s what you need if you go to the doctor. You don’t want the doctor to tell you what you want to hear, oh, you’re fine, you’re hacking up a lung. You’re okay? You want the doctor to say, hey, you need to lose some weight, you need to exercise, and you need to take this medicine for so many days. You need to stop eating all that stuff that you’re eating, right? You want them to be even if it offends you. You want to be straightforward and honest. That’s what we, you and I, need in this Christian life. Do you find it, brother Robert? OK, so I’m not making it up. Proverbs 23 23. By the truth and sell it. Not right. Okay? Amen. Buy the truth and sell it not Proverbs 23 23. So what does that mean? That means do go after the truth, but don’t sell the truth freely. You have received freely. Give all you’ve got into obtaining the truth and then give it out. Don’t sell it. Don’t compromise. Don’t settle for less than than what God has intended. Error is never suppressed. False teaching is never suppressed by compromising with it. The standards of the church shouldn’t be for sale either. Remember, god knows our works. All right, so, verse 16 repent, or else I will come into thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. The Lord will do the separating. I want to stay on his side. Don’t you want to stay on the side of the right? He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says under the churches. Here’s the individual application of this letter. If you are saved, God’s giving you an ear to hear. What is God speaking to your heart about? Well, let’s just make it personal. We know the truth. I think most of us, if not all of us in here, know the truth of salvation, know the truth of God’s word, God’s teaching. But how many times in life have we lowered the standard? So maybe we’ll fit in with a certain crowd, but we won’t get a certain reaction from somebody. We’re really selling the truth for social standing, for peer pressure, for influence, whatever it may be, for a raise, whatever it may be said, let’s take he, but don’t do that. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I’ll give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t understand all that this verse means. There’s some things here I don’t understand, but I want to read to you what Matthew Henry says and may give a little bit of light on it. He said hidden mana, and I believe this to be true, is the influence and comfort of the Spirit of Christ in communion with him. You and I have fellowship with our Heavenly Father, with the Lord Jesus Christ that this world knows nothing about. Aren’t there sweet time we said sweet hour of prayer earlier. We sang that earlier. There are times, and I know not every time it’s like it should be, but it’s not. But there are times when we spend time with the Lord in prayer and in reading our Bible, and it’s sweet. God moves in and peace floods our soul and we’re communing with our Heavenly Father. Nothing may be spoken with these lips, but we’re in the presence of God this world knows nothing about that that’s hidden manna that’s feasting on things that they know nothing of, that’s a blessing to the Child of God. He said there’ll be more of that fellowship in heaven, so it’s not worth selling for. Amen. It’s not worth compromising for. And the white stone, I’ve got something written down here, but I don’t know if that’s right or not, so I’m not even going to say what that is. Okay. But to Him that overcometh will I give the heat of the hidden man, and will give him a white stone, in the stone a new name written which no man know it’s, saving he that receiveth it. I do know this. I may not know what this is referring to, but I know that I have my name written down in heaven. I’ve been given a new name because my sins have been forgiven, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. I have no business of making of bringing reproach to the name of Christ because I want to get along a little bit better in this world. Think about let’s go back. I think there’s a digression here in these letters. Church of Ephesus. What happened to them? They left their first love, right? They left the love that they once had for the Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter Two in Smyrna. They’re being persecuted. I think they’re on fire for the Lord. They’re doing what they need to do. But the question comes to us, am I willing to what? Am I willing to pay the cost of being? Am I willing to pay the cost of being? Faithful? Am I willing to be faithful unto death then here at this church, am I selling the truth short? Am I lowering the standard? Am I compromising because make it easier, make it more comfortable? Or am I holding up the word of God saying, listen, come what may, no matter who agrees with it or doesn’t agree with it, I may get laughed at, I may not be understood, but I’m going to stand by the word of God. That’s where I’m placing my feet in. That’s where I’m staking my life in. And that’s what I’m following. That’s where we need to be. That’s the authority of God’s word. Listen, we may never be the biggest church in town, but we’ve got standards that we need to adhere to. We’ve got the word of God that we need to follow. And by God’s grace, that’s what we’re going to do. Amen. And we want to do that. To the Lord comes. Okay? And if I start getting away from it, you run me off. Get you somebody in here that does follow the word of God. Amen. Amen. It’s okay. Say amen on that one. We’re following god. I’m not veering off yet, so you don’t run me off yet, okay? We’re growing and learning together, but we’re going to follow God’s word, okay? Let’s say in head bowed and eyes closed. Let me ask you this, though. It’s a Sunday night, but there may be one here that God’s been dealing with you. You don’t know for sure that you’re saved. If you die tonight, you don’t know the heaven will be your home. That’s you. Tonight we just slip up your hand so I could pray for you. Won’t call your name out, but I’ll pray for you. Anybody like that? Not sure that I’m saved. Who in here? Lift up your hand so I know I’m saved. I’m on my way to heaven. Just a testimony to the Lord. I know I’m saved. Slip up your hand. Put it back down. I know I’m saved. Good. That’s wonderful. I hope that’s you if not, you can know tonight we can take the Bible and show you how to be saved if you’re on your way to heaven. God’s delivered us truth to stand on. It may not be popular with the world. We ought to stand on it because it’s right. God won’t bless us when we get away from his Word. Got to stand for what’s right. We’ve talked about a couple of different letters so far. Where is your love for the Lord? Are you willing to be faithful to him? And when you get something that’s so precious is what God has given to us, don’t sell it short. Don’t compromise. Believe. This is the message God has for us today in this time. Father in heaven, lord, I thank you for your word. Lord, I pray that you would take your word and touch the hearts, touch the needs of each heart here. Lord, you know those that belong to you that are here and those that don’t belong to you. You know those that are walking with you and those that are walking afar off. Lord, I don’t know who that is, but you do. Lord, I pray that you would touch their hearts, help them to see their need and help them to respond in the way they should. And Lord, help us to continue here at the church, not to lift ourselves up, not by any means, but in order to lift up Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen and coming again. Help us steady here to Your word. Not compromise, not back down, but to stand true. We love you, Lord. Father, we pray you to help us to be the witness and testimony you have us to be. Lord, we want to see soul saved, want to see lives change Jesus name. We pray and ask Your help. Amen.

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