Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Believers Do Not Cut and Run

Psalm 11

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Life Can Look Hopeless

A. In times and on occasions when a believer should trust God, someone will suggest running a way; cowardice can masquerade as prudence. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” (Psalm 11:1)

1. The identifying mark of a believer is confidence in God; compared to God, human troublemakers are small concerns. “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” (Psalm 56:11)

2. Believers know better than to measure resources the way the world does; God can resolve any problem in His own way. “And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.” (2 Chronicles 14:11)

B. The wicked can seem powerful. “For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.” (Psalm 11:2)

1. Though wicked people are clever, ultimately they do more damage to themselves than to God’s people. “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.” (Psalm 10:2)

2. The most outstanding example of all is the plot to murder Jesus which turned out to be God’s means of redeeming sinners. “And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.” (Matthew 26:4)

C. Disaster and chaos challenge believers to reconsider their fundamental presuppositions. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

D. Believers are called for just such times. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58:12)

E. God’s ultimate foundation never fails. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

II. God Remains in Charge

A. Nothing functions outside God’s kingdom; nothing gets past God. “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” (Psalm 11:4) “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” (Psalm 2:4)

B. God constantly evaluates all which takes place. “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (Psalm 11:5)

1. Christians benefit from trials and unbelievers lose everything when they are tried by God. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:7)

2. Unbelievers so misunderstand reality that they boast of the evidence which will be used against them in the court of eternity. “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.” (Psalm 10:3)

C. The all-seeing eye of God never winks. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

D. Where can a person hide from God? “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:24) “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (Psalm 139:8)

III. Justice Will Come

A. The wicked will get what is coming to them as they did at Sodom and in Egypt. “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.” (Psalm 11:6) “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;” (Genesis 19:24) “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” (Exodus 9:23-24)

B. The Lord loves the righteous. “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” (Psalm 11:7) “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)

2007-09-23 PM Wrath and Mercy - Romans 9 Part 2.mp3

Wrath and Mercy

Romans 9:19-10:4

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Why Should People Try to Please God?

A. How do God’s final authority and man’s responsibility relate to each other? “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” (Romans 9:19)

1. Some questions inherently insult God. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)

2. Other questions do not relate to life; the answers do not relate to the present life and they will be obvious in their proper time. “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” (1 Corinthians 15:35)

B. The conundrum has obvious problems; the maker inherently has determining authority over what is made. “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20)

1. Some lines of thought lead to unsatisfactory results. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

2. God does not go out of His way to make the Christian life obscure. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

C. In common experience the question answers itself automatically. “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21)

II. Take a Closer Look at What God Has Done

A. Evil serves the larger purpose of salvation and revelation; election displays the overcoming mercy of God. “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” (Romans 9:22-23)

B. Grace, not judgment is the astounding doctrine; from all kinds and categories of people, God has chosen a people to be redeemed. “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:24)

C. Hosea explained what God was doing. “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.” (Romans 9:25) [Hosea = Hebrew / Osee = Greek]

D. Apart from any consideration of election, God always said only a remnant would enter eternity with God.Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” (Romans 9:27-28)

E. Only grace explains the salvation of anyone when all people deserve eternal damnation. “And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.” (Romans 9:29) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

III. Election Explains Grace

A. Since works inevitably and universally fails, only election leads to grace. “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;” (Romans 9:31-32)

B. Isaiah foreshadowed this insight and the implications for people who reject election. “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 9:33) “Therefore thus saith the Lord, even the Lord, Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed.” (Isaiah 28:16 LXX)

C. Paul reassured readers that he had no conflict with Israel and genuinely wanted these non-believers to be saved. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” (Romans 10:1)

D. Zeal is no substitute for knowledge of the truth. “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:2-3)

E. Christ and salvation by works can never fit together; Christ accomplished what only grace can. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is Prosperity Always Prosperity?

Psalm 10

I. Does Evil Actually Prosper

A. Even the faithful cannot always see the hand of God in the course of the world’s affairs; small children and parents place life in different timeframes. “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.” (Psalm 90:4-5)

B. Wicked people target their evil attentions at the very helpless people whom God has chosen for His own. “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.” (Psalm 10:2) “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” (Proverbs 5:22)

C. Instead of shame and repentance, the wicked boast of their evil. “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.” (Psalm 10:3) “They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.” (Psalm 73:8-9)

D. The prosperity of the wicked can make believers desperate. “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;” (Psalm 13:1-3)

II. The Wicked Actually Are Wicked

A. People who never take God into their analysis of life are wicked; truth comes to such people the hard way. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalm 10:4) “And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2)

B. People who cannot understand how God thinks are wicked, not just uninformed or confused. “His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.” (Psalm 10:5) “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.” (Proverbs 15:24) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:12-14)

C. People who think they are beyond the reach of God are wicked. “He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.” (Psalm 10:6) “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11)

D. People who wring the truth out of what they say are wicked. “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.” (Psalm 10:7) “Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:” (Psalm 64:3) “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” (Isaiah 59:4)

E. People who take advantage of the poor and innocent, displaying no respect for life, are wicked. “He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.” (Psalm 10:8)

F. People who treat the helpless as game to be hunted are wicked, from business giants to juvenile delinquents. “He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.” (Psalm 10:9-10) “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.” (Proverbs 1:10-18)

III. The Answer Is To Turn to God

A. Trials cause believers to turn to God; people who feel pain get help for the problems causing the pain. “Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.” (Psalm 10:12) “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” (Exodus 17:11)

B. Rather than taking direct action, pass the problems on to God; shift burden.
“Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:13-14)

C. Keep referring problems to God until God solves all of them. “Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.” (Psalm 10:15)

D. Never lose confidence; God never abdicates. “The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.” (Psalm 10:16) “Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” (Luke 18:2-7)

E. God always listens to His people. “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:” (Psalm 10:17) “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” (Proverbs 10:24)

F. When God takes care of the helpless, He will take care of all the other problems in life. “To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.” (Psalm 10:18)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


2007-09-23 AM Fellow Citizens.mp3

Fellow Citizens

Psalm 100:1-5; Ephesians 2:1-22 / Psalm 138:1-8

I. Without Grace People Are Dead

A. Christ changes people. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Ephesians 2:1)

B. Apart from Christ, people are part of something entirely unattractive. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Ephesians 2:2-3)

C. God is bigger than all of life’s shadows, stresses, and failures. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

II. Christ Makes Dead People Live

A. Christ turns decay into glory.
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6) “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)

B. New life tells far more about God than about sinners. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:7-9)

C. God has good things in mind for people He brings to life. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” (Ephesians 2:10-12)

D. In Christ, believers have peace with God. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;” (Ephesians 2:13-15)

III. All New People Become Citizens of New Jerusalem

A. Through Christ, there is one family of God; something bigger than the curse of Babel is now at work. “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” (Ephesians 2:16-17)

B. All believers have access to God in a single way. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)

C. Christians are the ultimate insiders – The Club For The Totally Cool. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:19)

D. Unlike any other group of insiders, this one focuses on Christ, a leader Who does not disappoint. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20)

E What Abraham and the Children of Faith have always sought is the City of God. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)

F. The tragedy of the Garden ends in Christ and people become what God designed them to be – His friends and co-workers. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)

G. Homeless aliens have become the citizens of God’s own city. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)

2007-09-16 AM Fear God, Honor the King.mp3

Fear God, Honor the King

Daniel 4:28-37; 1 Peter 2:17-25 / Proverbs 24:1-34

I. Christians Have a Social Policy

A. Peter stated the social policy which properly governs all Christians and enables the church to function in any culture.Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

B. When people do not understand the place of Providence in human affairs, they fail to understand what is taking place around them. “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (Proverbs 24:1-2)

C. A society will prosper when it functions according to the pattern God sets for it. “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 24:3-6)

D. People praise and endorse social planning which excludes God, but the result of such planning is sin and when it fails (as it inevitably fails), the friends of the planners abandon and repudiate those whom they once followed enthusiastically. “The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.” (Proverbs 24:9) “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

E. In contrast to the sifting sands of popular culture, the right ordering of priorities will lead to success. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

II. The 5th Commandment Encapsulates Christian Social Policy

A. An entire social world-view is encapsulated; the Fifth Commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

B. All social relationships and obligations focus above all on Christ; the surface relationship should never obscure the ultimate relationship. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:21-22)

C. Children often have difficult parents, but a Christian does not demand reciprocity in relationships; Christ is taking everything into account. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)

D. The worst work condition is still an opportunity to offer service to Christ. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;” (Ephesians 6:5)

E. Even civil governments which have often been problems for believers hold their authority from heaven and will ultimately give account for what has been entrusted to them. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27-29)

F. None of these duties can be neglected safely. “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:7-8)

G. God specifically repudiates any line of thought or action which results in the violation of His standard; truth demands more than the best logic. “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:10-13)

III. The Faithful Way Stands the Test of Time

A. Consider the account of Nebuchadnezzar. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Daniel 4:34-37)

B. Take the advice of Paul over every political, cultural, or social alternative. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:10-18)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2007-09-12 PM God Fixes Life's Problems.mp3

God Fixes Life’s Problems

Psalm 9

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. It Is Always Time for Praising God

A. Believers want the entire world to see God and His marvelous work; people brag about what matters to them. “To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David. I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.” (Psalm 9:1)

B. People who understand have trouble keeping things to themselves; salvation and the coming Holy City are too big to hide. “I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” (Psalm 9:2) “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:3-4)

II. The Lord Is a Genuine Judge

A. The biggest Goliath around can expect an anxiety attack when he figures out who is standing in the shadows keeping watch over the people of God. “When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.” (Psalm 9:3)

B. God does things His way in His time, but history shows the undeniable sweep of Providence. “For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 9:4-5)

C. The great triumphs and trophies of evil come to an end; hell begins for civilization, culture, and art in this world. “O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.” (Psalm 9:6)

D. In contrast, the Lord and His gospel continue and advance across time and territory.
“But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.” (Psalm 9:7)

E. Uniquely God does what is right and establishes righteousness. “And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” (Psalm 9:8)

III. God Protects His Own

A. God provides life’s only safe place. “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)

B. God has never abandoned people who sought refuge in Him. “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalm 9:10)

C. God’s protection is a major message for believers to share with the terrified world. “Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.” (Psalm 9:11)

D. The humble who are at a disadvantage in human institutions get justice in heaven’s courts. “When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” (Psalm 9:12)

E. People who believe in resurrection have little room in their hearts for fear; if God can overcome death, He can handle any problem which surfaces. “Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.” (Psalm 9:13-14)

IV. The Lord Also Wins in the End

A. Always remember that evil is its own enemy. “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.” (Psalm 9:15)

B. Over time God is known through His triumphs and evil is displayed in its failure. “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.” (Psalm 9:16)

C. People and societies which seek freedom from God go to hell; they forget their only comfort. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

D. The very helpless people evil folks seek to exploit survive in contrast. “For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.” (Psalm 9:18)

E. Do not get in God’s way; let Him settle accounts as He did with Herod. “Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.” (Psalm 9:19-20) “And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:22-23)

Sunday, September 9, 2007


2007-09-09 AM Resurrection.mp3


Psalm 17:1-15; 1 John 3:1-14 / Psalm 16:1-11

Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Death Is Disastrous for Unbelievers

A. Death is not a cessation but rather a transition which will be altogether unattractive for those who have rejected the Lord Jesus. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 6-7)

B. Jesus illustrated the problem with a parable. “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:22-24)

C. People who do not want Christ in life will not find Him in the grave; accounts are settled permanently at the grave. “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” (Luke 16:25-26) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)

II. Death Has Limits for Christians

A. Christians believe in the Resurrection of the Dead; the Apostles’ Creed affirms both resurrection of the body and life everlasting.Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)

B. On the cross Jesus told the thief being killed with Him that they would both be in paradise that very day. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

C. Christians see beyond life’s troubles and the grave itself to times of restoration and fulfillment. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

D. Death brings happy opportunity rather than disaster for the blood-bought people of God. “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

E. Resurrection is physical as well as spiritual. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)

III. Resurrection Will Bring Settlement of Accounts

A. Everyone will be resurrected, but resurrection will mean different things to different people. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:25-29)

B. The world will become what it should have been before the fall. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:1-3)

C. All eternity hangs in the balance. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)

D. When a person understands the options, no problem seems all that large for a believer. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Dr. James Kennedy left this message on Wednesday: “Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.”

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