"FLEE, FOLLOW, FIGHT, AND HOLD ON!"
1. It is not necessarily cowardice that causes one to flee from unpleasant situations!
2. As a farm boy, I learned early in life: "You cannot argue with a skunk!"
3. When you come face to face with one of thes cute little striped critters, to stand and fight is not bravery but sheer stupidity!
A. I remember when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my cousins and I were out in the woods hunting or fishing or whatever boys do in the woods together. We were close to a sandy road and up jumped a rabbit. We took off after him and he ran into a drain pipe across the road. The pipe was about half full of sand and one had to really hug the ground to get into it. One of my cousins went into one end and I went in to the other. Yes, the rabbit was in there but the rabbit was not alone in the pipe. There was a mother skunk and six little ones. They were closer to my cousin's end of the pipe and as soon as I smelled them I back out immediately. But he was a little more stubborn and got the full load. So, you know the rest of the story. Or maybe you don't. He had to pull off all of his clothes before his mother would let him in the house. Precious memories how the linger.
4. When you are face to face with a skunk it is no time to argue who has the right of way, or if such is a breech of one's civil rights.
5. The sensible solution under this situation is to make a hasty retreat!
6. So the safe course is to flee. Not to follow. Not to fight. Not to hold on.
7. So, when I met up with a skunk, I immedately vacated the premises!
8. I had more sense than to engage in a fight that I knew I could not win!
9. God has taught His children that there are times for flight, and times for fight!
10. We must know which is which.
11. Paul warned about "the love of money being the root of all evil" Then he said: "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life," 1 tim. 6:10-12.
12. So, in this charge, we are told to flee, to follow, to fight, and to lay hold on.
I. SOME THINGS WE MUST FLEE!
A. FLEE the love of money.
1. This is the warning in our text - 1 Tim. 6:10.
2. There is so much materialism permeating our society today that it erodes our minds.
3. The "love of money" jeopardizes the souls of the saints, while it captivates the hearts of our associates and friends.
4. Do you recall the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, seeking eternal life?
a. Not his condition: Matt. 19:21,22.
b. How often this scene is reinacted in our times.
5. Yes, we must FLEE the love of money: we must turn our backs upon it.
a. It is an insidious, lurking danger to our soul.
B.FLEE from idolatry.-- 1 Cor. 10:14.
1. Idolatry is ever present around us, but seldom recognized.
2. What if the "destroyer" should visit every home in this land where idolatry is rooted!
3. The worship of the golden calf was no more idolatrous than some of the gods worshipped by men today.
a. Just think of the homage paid to worldly pleasures, sports, entertainment, etc.
b. Note also the adoration and adulation given to beauty pageants, and the devotion accorded TV stars! The pop and rock music makers!
4. Idolatry thrives where anything or anyone displaces God as the primary object of our love and devotion!
a. Even love of our family can become idolatry from which we must flee. -- Lk. 14:26.
C. FLEE Fornication -- 1 Cor. 6:18.
1. The Lord doesn't ask us to stay in the place of temptation, and put up a good fight!
a. Rather, He tells us to take our flight!
b. This includes homosexuality, lesbianism and every other form of illicit and unnatural sex and passion.
2. The best example of winning a victory in this conflict is to be found in the case of Joseph. Gen. 39.
3. God tells us: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you", Jas. 4:7; but not in this case!
4. We must be bold enough to face the devil and do battle:
a. But we must be wise enough to flee this temptation to sin!
b. In this case, victory is won by retreating from the battle field!
D. FLEE youthful lusts. -- 2 Tim. 2:22.
1. The lusts of the flesh prey upon our youth, who often think they are strong enough to withstand them.
2. But those who subject themselves to temptation fall, sooner or later. Jas. 1:14,15.
3. The wise course is to flee from dangers that threaten to overwhelm you. Do not practice "brinkmanship".
a. Paul says: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 thes. 5:22.
b. So, the only safe course is to flee from those activities and places of youthful lusts.
E. FLEE from the wrath to come -- Matt. 3:7.
1. When the impenitent Jewish leaders came to John the Baptist, he challenged them and rebuked them. Mt. 3:8-12.
2. But there is impending wrath for all who will not obey the gospel of God. -- 2 Thes. 1:7-9.
3. Peter warns: "The time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Pet. 4:18.
4. We can flee from the wrath to come by turning in humble obedience to the gospel of God.
II. SOME THINGS TO FOLLOW!
A. FOLLOW after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. -- 2 Tim. 2:22.
1. Paul says: "Follow after love" 1 Cor. 14:1 and "peace" Heb. 12:14; and "that which is good" 1 Thes. 5:15.
2. Peter sums all this up by saying: "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps." 1 Pet. 2:21.
3. This led Paul to write: ":Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." 1 Cor. 11:1.
4. Yes, we must flee some things, but we must follow after Christ Jesus or Lord and all that partains to Him.
III. SOME THINGS WE MUST FIGHT!
A. FIGHT the good fight of faith.
1. This is not a fight to destroy lives, but to save them!
2. We must be soldiers of the cross of Christ, and serve Him. -- 2 Tim. 2:3,4.
3. Timothy was told to "war a good warfare", 1 Tim. 1:18, which is a spiritual conflict, 2 Cor. 10:4-6.
4. This fight is not against men, but against spiritual wickedness, and God supplies the proper weapons and armor. Eph. 6:10-18.
5. We must strive to be able to say with Paul: "I have fought the good fight...' 2 Tim. 4:7,8.
6. We must never forsake or flee this fight!
IV. SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO!
A. In our own wars, we have recognized the need for departing soldiers to have something to cling to while in the service; whether family, friends, or country!
B. The soldier of the cross must also have something to hold on to.
1. So, he is told: "Lay hold on eternal life" 1 Tim. 6:12.
2. Saints are admonished: "Let us hold fast our profession" Heb. 4:14.
3. Again, we are told to: "Hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Heb. 3:6,14
4. I suppose that Paul's charge covers all of this: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thes. 5:21; "Hold fast the Word" 1 Cor. 15:1,2.
5. Saints are told to be: "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation, that they may lay hold on eternal life." 1 Tim. 6:19.
6. Again, we can look to Paul as our example in this: -- Phil. 3:12-14.
7. Yes, Paul had laid hold on the Lord and His salvation, and no worldly thing would separate him from Christ! Rom. 8:31-39.
8. We too, must have the same tenacious faith that will not let go!
1. How carefully we should study those things we should flee, follow, fight, and lay hold on, that we may be rewarded of God!
2. Today is your opportunity to begin if you have not.
3. Why not obey the Lord now?
By Jim Sasser
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