If we go all the way back to Adam in the Garden of Eden, why did God create him in the first place? God’s desire was to hava man to fellowship with him. While we are speaking of Adam; I’d like for you to consider something else here as well. Within this study, this point we see is far more imporant than just the fact that God desire to fellowship with man. ( Genesis 2:15 ) And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.
We see that even the very first man, even before this world was cursed with sin; was responsible to do a job. He was to dress and keep the garden he lived in. I only bring that point up because of the lack of teaching spiritual responsibilities in the lives of born again believers. It seems that we look at salvation as being our ticket into a beautiful place called heaven; just to be there and, rejoice forever more. We seem to look at it like we have nothing to do as believers. We simply say we believe in Jesus, live basically like as we please and, when we die, his grace and forgiveness takes us to the beautiful place where there is peace nd harmony forever.
I want to remind you of something! God didn’t cause sin to come into this world, man did. Long before God creted Adam, he had already cast Satan down to this earth. The garden of Eden was placed within his domain. Again, we can see a lot of things within all these scriptures but, all I’m trying to do is to establish the fact that, as believers; in a sin cursed world, we all have responsibilities. I will say this and move on. The place called hell was not created for man. It was created for the Devil and his angels. ( Matthew 25:41 ) Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, ( prepared for the devil and his angels ):
Every person on the face of this earth has a choice to make. God’s desire is for every man to be saved, to come and live with him. He wants all people to make that choice. The fact that Adam sinned cast that choice on every person, like it or not. Look at this verse: ( 2 Peter 3:9 ) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Because of sin, we all have a choice to make; that choice: ( to whom we will be in bondage to ). If your choice is to follow Satan, live as you desire then you choose to go where Satan will end up. ( EVERLASTING FIRE. I often make this statement; we, as people actually have no will of our own. When we think we do, we are deceived. Whether we like it or not, we do not have a middle ground in our lives. Every action we take is going to be pleasing to either God the Father or Satan himself.
Salvation is not as easy as simply saying you are going to live right, free from sin. Why? Because we are born into sin, sinners by nature. Our very sin nature is not a choice. It’s simply who we all are. ( We must be born again ). Being born again means that we believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life in our place. He did what we could not do. Therefore, we ask him to move into our hearts that we might ( be servants to him ). We simply change to whom we yield ourselves to serve.
Now we come to a major difference in to whom we yield ourselves to. I want you to take all the time you like. You find as many things as you can that Satan has promised you in eternity if you will just follow him. Look at these verses: ( Matthew 4: ( 3-6-8-9 ) ( 3 ) And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. ( 6 ) And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. ( 8 ) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; ( 9 ) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
We know that these verses are showing where Satan tempted Jesus Christ. You can read it all but, what I want you to notice is that everything he promised had to do with this life, nothing eternal.
When we make the choice to follow, be servants to; Jesus Christ, his ( rewards are eternal ). Also, often we are blessed in the world as well. With these things in mind, realizing that one day, we must stand before him, what do you do for him?
I want you to know that as I sit and write this; I realize the price he ( Jesus Christ ) paid that I might have eternal life. I do not want to stand before him empty handed. Now, Let’s look at this: ( Revelation 4:10-11 ) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ( 11 ) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
This is something the Holy Spirit impressed upon me therefore, I’ll say it here. Do you remember when ( by the flood of Noah ) God destroyed every person that was not on that Ark? How about Sodom and Gomorrah, how he destoyed those places? We could give a few examples of this but, today God’s grace allows us to live our lives. However there is a day of Judgement coming, we just need to prepare for it.
If you will notice, these elders offered all of their crown to the one that deserved them. They fell before him, giving him complete praise. As born again believers, one day, we will have the same opportunity to do the same thing. When we are born again, God places his spirit within us. Within that spirit is the gifts of which we also receive as members of God’s family. There are ( Gifts of the Spirit ) and ( Fruits of that selfsame Spirit ). Just as we make a choice to ask Jesus Christ to be our Savior, we also have a choice to how we will use what he has given us.
I’d like to stop here and share some personal things about me. I want every person that might read this to know, there is not one thing special about me. I’m a simple country boy, raised on a tobacco farm in North Carolina. I often tell people I graduated high school with a seventh grade education. After high school, I became an electrician, worked for the same company for 48 years. I have never been to any college, no formal Bible training. Like I say, not one thing about me can I boast on.
As a matter of fact; God has many reasons, if you knew the whole of my life, never even to consider using me for anything in a spiritual walk. However, My choice, once I was born into his family was to ( know Him ). I have had many preachers and pastors that have helped me over the years. When I say that, most of them probably will never know just how much they help me. You see, when men or, people a choose to allow God to use them then, someone like me can glean from what they say. Within that it takes ( God’s Spirit ) within a person to help him hear or, understand when he reads as that person seeks to understand spiritual things.
Each person that becomes born again has the very same access to God’s Spirit. How we choose to allow those things to develop within us is how we ( win Crowns ) that we might lay them at the feet of Jesus. I feel there is another point we need to see here. As people. we are very weak in our body of flesh. We tend to lean on our own understanding instead of learning to hear God as he speaks to us through his spirit. Personally, I believe we are deceived into believing God is pleased with each of us if we attend Church regularly and give our money as they require. These things are not necessarily taught but rather implied.
We or, average Church members are not challenged to reach out to all God desires for them to be. For instance; there are five crowns that are mentioned in scripture that can be won by any person that seeks to win those crowns. We can even see examples of this in the gospels. Look at this: ( Matthew 25:25 ) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast is thine.
I’ll just use that one verse, you can read the rest. However. what if we simply change the ( earth ) to ( flesh ) and say that we hid our talent there. Why? Because as we move into the epistles to the Church; that’s exactly what we see! When the Church began in ( Acts 2 ) God’s Spirit came to live in the heart of every believer. We see in ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ) a list of gifts that comes with that Spirit. In ( Galatians 5: 22-23 ) we see a list of the fruit that comes with that spirit.
As you look at theses things, we must understand that some of those things are within us anyway however, when the spirit of God lives within us then we again, have to make a choice to whom we will yield our members.
Would you mind if I use another personal example here? I once preached a message in a small Church in the town I live in. I was trying to make the point about how important it is to yield ourselves to God’s Spirit. I walked out into the congregation, walked into a pew right in front of a couple of elderly ladies. I looked straight at them and said; before I was born again I could out curse any sailor, you wouldn’t believe all the words I would say. Every one of those words are still in my brain and, I can still curse just exactly like I use to. I asked them; you want to hear me do it? They both shook their heads ( no ) and the Church laughed.
I truth is, I still can however, I choose to yield my members to be used by that Spirit that God placed within me. Now, we must realize something here. What I do I don’t do to win anything. I choose to work for Jesus Christ freely, loving him and what I do. At the same time I say that; I do not want to stand before him one day, facing the man that gave all for me, without having done something to show my appreciation for what he did for me.
I truly desire to ( win crowns ) that I might lay them at his feet. I’ll give you a list of these five crowns that I see in scripture that can be won all for his glory. They won’t necessarily be in any order.
( 1 ) CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ( 2 Timothy 4:8 ) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all of them also that love his appearing.
Are you looking foward for the appearing of Jesus Christ?
( 2 ) CROWN OF LIFE ( James 1:12 ) ( Revelation 2:10 ) Blessed is the that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
How much do you love him? Do you love him enough to endure temptation? We could write a whole section on this one alone! But, the point is, it’s easy to say you love him but, you actually prove that love by your own actions!
( 3 ) CROWN OF GLORY ( 1 Peter 5:4 ) And when the chief Sheperd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
There are those that say that this one is for ( pastors only ) however, I disagree. I will agree that the pastor has a special responsibility but, we all are ( a royal priesthood ). ( 1 Peter2:9 ) But we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: We are very ( tempted ) to say ( let someone else do it )!
( 4 ) INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN ( 1 Corinthians 9:25 ) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Actually, the next two verse are very revealing! I can see how this ( incorruptible crown ) has to do with how we develop ourselves spiritual within all the other crowns ( remember ) Gold, Silver, Precious Stone?
( 5 ) CROWN OF REJOICING ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19 ) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Do you witness for Jesus, tell people about his saving grace? Can you see how that ( those you won to Christ ) can be a special blessing to you ( standing before him )?
I think I’ve shared with you ( Ephesians 3:1-5 ) already. How that God laid the burden of the Church and its doctrines on the shoulders of the Apostle Paul. We also see in ( Acts 9:16 ) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. If you’ll read that you will see he’s speaking of the Apostle Paul.
The responsibility of spiritual education and spiritual growth falls on every pastor today. I see it as not much different that that laid on the shoulders of the Apostle Paul. It’s somewhat different because, he laid that foundation, it’s the responsibility of pastors today to instuct believers about how to build upon that foundation.
While I not a pastor today, I write and share things I see in scripture. However, I take my responsibility very seriously. I realize we have commentaries and many books designed to help us understand. Many pastors simply, because of laziness allow those people to do all their teaching, not considering the value of allowing God’s spirit to use them as he speaks.
Knowledge, wisdom is a gift from God. We cannot bury that talent and allow it to be wasted because of laziness. People are depending on us to prepare them as they stand before God. It’s not that every believer doesn’t have their own responsibilities but, ( can I use a metaphor here )? What would happen to a new born baby if its mother never fed it or, always just gave it milk? Maybe, lock the child in a closet?
That is exactly what is happening in our Churches. Members are being given milk only from scripture and, locked behind a door of denominationalism. They are never taught to to listen to God’s Spirit and to allow him to teach them.
I still contend: I’m not your teacher. I’m simply a vessel that seeks to know truth from scripture. It’s the responsibility of God’s Spirit within you to teach you and, help you to see truth in what anyone writes or preaches.
We’ll move on. In the next segment I’d like to show you some things about the ( Marriage Supper of the Lamb ). This is another thing that will be taking place while ( Tribulation ) is occurring on this earth.
2 Timothy 1:7