HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Lack of Growth and Urgency. April 30th, 2023 Manchester, TN
INTRODUCTION: God wants all mankind to believe in Him and to become followers of Christ. Being more Christ-like is a life-time work and goal. Ephesians 4:13-15 “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting but, speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head- Christ.” In the first chapter of 2 Peter, God gives a list of qualities that He wants you and I to have. He mentions: love, brotherly kindness, godliness, perseverance, self-control, knowledge, moral excellence and faith. My question to you is: “How are you doing with these qualities?” “Have you mastered them yet?” “Are you not making the progress that you should on these?”
LESSON: 1. GOD EXPECTS THESE QUALITIES TO BE YOURS AND TO BE INCREASING. 2 Peter 1:8-11 God askes us to develop these qualities because they will benefit you in this world and help you make it to heaven, where God is. You will benefit if these qualities are yours. There is an expectation that you not only have these but that these will increase and abound in you. A lack of these results in your being shortsighted and unprepared to meet God in judgment. Where there is no growth, we stagnant and eventually die.
A suggestion: pick just one of these characteristics and work on it. Working on multiple of these at the same time will be overwhelming and too difficult. It will end in failure most likely. So take one and work on it. But how should you work on it?
- Mindfulness, 1 Thessalonians 3:11-2, 4:1-2
- Intentionality, Ephesians 5:15-21
- Directionality, Hebrews 12:1-3
Visualize yourself becoming more and more like Jesus. How long have YOU been working on becoming like Jesus? As for me it has been a long time. There are four of these characteristics that I have worked on and am still working on:
- Godliness: proclaiming the reverence I have for God more clearly.
- Brotherly kindness: my adoration for God shown in how I treat others.
- Perseverance: taking my godliness & brotherly kindness with persistence and seriously.
- Self-control: trying to get better at things that I struggle with that may hinder my godliness, brotherly kindness, and perseverance!
2.THE DANGER OF FALSE TEACHERS, FALSE PROPHETS AND MOCKERS. 2 Peter 2.1-22
False teachers and mockers want Christians to fail. They want to keep us from maturing and growing up strong in the Lord. God wants growth so what can deter us from that growth and development? Mockers will question and challenge you and your life-choices. They may even mock and question the coming of Jesus Christ. Telling you to relax. Don’t work about your Soul or spiritual things. Enjoy life and all the this world has to offer you.
- The Lord made all things.
- The Lord destroyed all things.
- The Lord will destroy it all again.
- His coming will be unannounced. (2 Peter 3:9)
- His patience is for the saving of souls. (2 Peter 3:9 &15)
3.WE MUST LIVE LIKE WE BELIEVE IT! 2 Peter 3 All things are possible with urgency. Urgency defined: the quality of pressing importance, pressing necessity, a force or impulse that impels or constrains, an urge, insistence.
- A holy and Godly people, verse 11.
- An aware people, looking and a hastening people, verse 12.
- A diligent and thankful people, verse 14-15
- A strong and growing people, verse 17-18.
The Devil is fine with you having lots of knowledge as long as He keeps you from doing it, applying it and growing in the Word! This is one of the Devil’s greatest tools among believers among God’s own people! God though clearly teaches we must be people of a certain character. These qualities MUST be ours and MUST be increasing, 2 Peter 1:8. If these are not YOURS and increasing and if you are not growing then you are gradually dying! We are to be MORE LIKE JESUS, 2 Peter 3:14-18
When we become more like Jesus then we give Him glory and honor by our lives. This passage speaks of “glory both NOW and FOREVER.” The only way I can glorify God in eternity (forever) is to glorify God in my life NOW! The Gospel is defined by its urgency! It’s nowness! Please stop putting the call from Christ off. Make things right with God and others.
Matthew 24:42-44 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. John 9:4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.