Who Is Hurt By My Unfaithfulness?
We know what the term "faithful" means.
A. Many synonyms
1) Loyal, true, steady, firm, reliable, committed
B. Have no problem applying faithfulness to everyday life.
1) Car that starts once every 3-4 times - Not dependable
2) Workers that don't show up - Not reliable
3) Spouse who cheats - Unfaithful
4) Problem not in understanding the term.
C. Not a new problem - been going on for thousands of years.
1) Ps 12:1 "Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men."
2) Prov 20:6 "Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a faithful man?"
D. Today it abounds in congregations everywhere.
1) No one ever intends it to happen.
a. Miss praying, studying, assembling.
2 But it does!
a. Gradually, usually til too late.
E. All have heard many lessons on unfaithfulness.
1) Wish it weren't needed!
2) Look at it from another perspective.
3) Think of who might be hurt by your unfaithfulness.
I. YOURSELF (ME)
A. Jesus paints a picture of faithfulness & Unfaithfulness
1) Matt. 24:41-51 (read)
a. Unfaithfulness is believing "Jesus won't come today!"
b. Notice the place assigned - Weeping, gnashing of teeth
B. The more one misses out on assembling, the harder your heart becomes.
1) Begin to think of well meaning comments as "meddling".
2) Finally our hearts become so hardened we don't care.
a. Heb. 6:4-6 (read)
C. No one but YOU is responsible for you!
1) Rom. 14:12 "So then each one of us shall give an account of himself to God."
II. The weak or new Christian is hurt.
A..Sees the erratic conduct of "older" members, thinks it's acceptable
1).Despite what preacher keeps saying.
2) Becomes a stumbling block for him/her. Bound to rub off.
B. Jesus warned against causing one to stumble.
1) Matt. 18:1-6 (read)
C. Many have heard of he mentoring program "Big Brother"
1) Be a spiritual "Big Brother / Sister" in Christ
2) Be an example for good that others will want to follow.
III. Other "older" Christians are hurt.
A. Paul spoke of the faith of Timothy.
1) 2 Tim. 1:5 "I am mindful of the sincere faith that is in you.."
2) Must have been a great encouragement to Paul.
a. Paul worried over the churches.
b. Amidst talk of physical sufferings, he makes mentions of "the daily pressure of concern for all the churches." 2 Cor11:28
3) If Timothy became unfaithful - Would have hurt Paul.
a. Suppose Paul became unfaithful - Hurt Timothy!
B. Fact is - we need one another to be here to encourage.
1) Heb. 10:25 (read)
2) Passage familiar to all yet so many fail to apply it!
3) I'm not all I should be! I need you to stir me up!
4) Vs 26 relates directly to our assembling together.
IV. My family is hurt.
A. Imagine the grief of your family if you died in unfaithful state.
1) All notions of happy, heavenly reunions gone!
B. Be the person who instills sense of faith in your family
1) 2 Tim. 1:5 (read)
2) Evidently, Timothy kept the faith!
C. Our responsibility as parents - rearing children in Christ.
1) Eph. 6:2 (read)
2) "Provoke - To exasperate"
a. We frustrate our kids with "Do as I say, not as I do!"
3) Let's be examples our families can be proud of!
V. The world is hurt.
A. We are supposed to be lights in the world.
1) Matt. 5:16 "Let your light shine..."
2) This carries with it some responsibilities.
a. Phil. 2:12-16 (read)
B.For many, you are the only gospel some will ever see.
1) You're writing a gospel, a chapter a day, By things that you do and words that you say. Men read what you write whether faulty or true, Say, what IS the gospel according to you?
VI. God is hurt.
A. It is NOT His will that we lose our souls!
1) 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
a. The repentance is not just for alien sinner but for His children as well.
2) Ezek. 33:11 "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live."
a. He's saddened to be rebuffed by those He wants to save.
B. Likewise Jesus.
1) Rebuffed by Jerusalem, He lamented (wept) over the city.
a. Matt. 23:37-39 (read)
2) Is this how the Savior feels about you?
Faithfulness is important, we are warned repeatedly.
A. Matt. 10:22 "..he who endures to the end will be saved." Rev. 2:10 "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
1) True, we don't always FEEL like coming to the assembly.
2) Jesus never promised the Christian life to be trouble free.
3) One thing is clear: The reward is worth it!
B. Gospel does not end with Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized
1) Living Faithfully is also a requirement.
By Zeke Flores
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