Do you know that some people get to Heaven empty handed? This is where we left off yesterday. Remember my little picture of Samson? I talked about the fact that he was killed destroying the temple of Dagon, the Philistine’s god, and in the process became a hero of the faith. He is an example; we’re going to see in 1 Corinthians 3. If you have your Bible look at 1 Corinthians 3, and if you’re a Bible underline-er this is an important passage to put an asterisk by or highlight, whatever you do.
1 Corinthians 3, I’m going to start in verse 10, which says “according to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.” Here comes the attention to us. “But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” What the Lord is saying is our life is. One of your names went by. Was it a Lego builder or something? Is somebody called something like that? I saw a name. I think it was Legos. I don’t know. I thought Legos were a long time ago, but building things is a metaphor in the Bible for our lives. We get all these materials, we get all these tools, and then the Lord at the end of our life is going to assess what we did with our building materials and with our tools. Paul says, take heed how you build “for no other foundation can anyone lay” verse 11 “than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” That’s where the famous saying of CT Studd came from. Only what’s done for Christ will last, remember that? You’ve all probably heard that. It’s on cards and people put it on their walls.
Then look at verse 12. “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw.” What’s fascinating is that there are two groups. Gold, silver, and precious stones are very hard to find. They’re usually buried somewhere. You have to mine them out and go deep underground and it’s very hard. Wood. Just between here and our cabin I saw all the branches falling, there’s wood all over the place. Hay and stubble. Hay is dried dead stuff and stubble is broken up dry dead stuff. It’s everywhere. The one group is everywhere, wood, hay, and stubble. The other group, gold, silver, and precious stones are very hard to find. He says, hey, you have a choice. You can go through life doing the hard thing or the easy thing. You can go through life the simplest, gathering up the junk that’s thrown on the ground and strewn and easy to find and spend your time doing that, or you can labor for Me.
Keep going to see whether it matters. Verse 13. “Each one’s work” each one of us “will become clear; for the Day.” Anytime you see that it’s talking about Christ’s return. The Day. Paul’s always talking about the Day. Martin Luther said I live every day of my life with two dates, today and the Day that Christ comes. He says I know that moment is getting closer and I’m living every day for the Day. That’s what the Day is. It’s the day of Christ and “the Day will declare it.”
The next part I’m going to read in verse 13 is what most Christians don’t think about. I can tell by the way they operate that they don’t think about this because we like to travel in crowds. If you don’t like your picture taken, you can get behind all the other people and if you don’t want to do this, you just move and let everybody else get in front of you. We’re so used to operating by just maneuvering out of sight, except for those few people that like to be seen. The rest of the normal people aren’t wanting to be the center of attention. There are the clowns and there are the whatever, the people that always do that, but most people back away from being seen. Look at this moment. “Each one’s work will become clear,” verse 13 “for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s” each person, each individual’s “work, of what sort it is.” This is called the Bema Seat. This is called the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is called the Day of Reckoning.
Look what it says. Verse 14, “if anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned.” This is the part most people never even ponder what this means. “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” Bonnie and I, when we started out ministering in New England, I pastored in Rhode Island and Bonnie was the most wonderful pastor’s wife and women’s ministry and everything. We lived in the church parsonage. We had come from California with MacArthur and so we had to sell our house in California. We had to buy a house here, but we lived in the parsonage. We didn’t know what to do so the elders of the church said to buy a house close by in Cape Cod, then you’ll escape the tax loss of not rolling over your equity and all those details. We bought a house on Cape Cod, and it was nothing. It was a shack. It was built on stones. It didn’t even have cement foundations. It was a beach shack that was a hundred and some years old and snakes would crawl in. We would find snakes. Your president, Don Lough, found a snake underneath our sink when he was visiting our house. It’s terrible, this house. The wind would blow through it and every time it rained all the dirt would come into the basement because it was stacked rocks. Do you know what I mean? It was a shack.
We rented it out because we moved on to pastor at other places. One of our renters was smoking in bed and I don’t know if they missed the ashtray, but somehow they started their bed on fire. So much petroleum was used back then, which was 20 years ago, in all the bedding that it just burst into flame and the whole house burned. It was horrible. It even injured them. They had to go to the hospital. They escaped only with what they could grab, and they couldn’t grab much because it started so fast. Look back at verse 15. “If anyone’s work is burned, he’ll suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” Empty handed. Saved, that means go to Heaven. So as through fire means you ran out as quick as you could, and you didn’t have anything that lasted. Nothing that remained. You go to Heaven empty handed. Wow.
Don’t get to Heaven empty handed. This whole lesson is going to be about Jesus telling these churches they’re going to end up like Samson. Yeah, you’re going to be in Heaven so as by fire. Job put it this way. There are a lot of English expressions that are in the book of Job. One of them is by the skin of your teeth. Teeth don’t have skin. If you have healthy gums, your gums come down a little bit between your teeth at the top. It means a very little sliver. That’s what by the skin of your teeth means, it means just barely. Some people, God says, Paul records in 1 Corinthians 3, are going to get to Heaven by the skin of their teeth. They’re going to get to Heaven yet so as by fire. They’re going to be running out and not have anything with them. Why? Because they spent their whole life collecting wood, hay, and stubble.
I describe the Christian life as going to Walmart. You push your cart through life, and you can throw anything you want into your cart. Then, you get to the end and you pull up to the checkout. I don’t mean the self-checkout. I like the ones where the little belt goes, and I can just stack it on there. That’s what our life is going to be like. We’re going to push our cart, how we live life, up to the checkout. We’re going to put everything in our cart there and instead of going beep, beep, beep, beep, the cashier, who is Jesus Christ, is going to take our basket and run it through fire. Anything that doesn’t burn up in our basket is gold and silver and precious stones and everything that does burn up is wood, hay, and stubble.
You say, wait a minute. I thought all of our sins are gone? No. No record of sin. This has nothing to do with sin. Wood, hay, and stubble is living for easy things that fill our time. I could talk about a lot of things. Older people, do you know what they do? They sit and watch the home shopping network and they’re ordering all these crazy things they don’t need. They’re watching all these rich and famous shows and being horribly disappointed they can’t live in a house like that or go to a place like that. For younger people, I remember how many people I’ve met who spend half their life gaming and I know that you probably don’t do that here, but gaming. They live to game. That’s usually young men. Young ladies are always trying to be someone other than who they are. They found someone they want to look like or act or be as popular as.
There are so many different things that aren’t a sin. Is there anything wrong with holding a little device and looking at a screen? No. Unless you’re looking at occultic things, bloodshed, or immorality. God says in the Old Testament that He abhors gratuitous violence, that’s the shedding of blood just for sport. He abhors anything to do with sexual sin and lust and all those things. He hates us being exposed to anything to do with the occult. What I think is fascinating is whenever I want to illustrate one of the demons of Revelation, if I type in that demon’s name, there is a video game that has an amazing picture of what an artist thinks that demon looks like. I think wow, I wonder if any Christians play these games because they’re looking at what God hates? When we look at things God hates, that’s sin and He forgives us. That time we spent doing that is good for nothing, it’s burned up. That’s how a lot of people live their lives.
Who are we talking about? We’re talking about these people, but why does this little map matter? Let me show you something because in a minute I’m going to describe something. Do you see some of these funny names up there? Thrace, that’s over on the Greek side, but Bithynia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia. Did you know, those names are mentioned in the book of Acts? These are places where the Apostle Paul went, the Apostle Peter went. 1 and 2 Peter are written to the elect scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. That’s the Northern section. They’re clipped off the top of that map. Peter was writing to those people. James was writing to those people. Paul traveled there three times writing to those people. John spent the end of his life parked in this area. That’s why I call it the epicenter. There are more books of the New Testament written to this area than anywhere else. This is the epicenter, not only of Roman culture but of God’s desire to build Christ’s Church.
Now we’re getting to my journal. This is our sixth lesson. Why some believers suffer loss at the Bema seat is what we’re going to look at. We’re going to look at Thyatira. When it comes to Thyatira, we have to get to Revelation 2 verse 18 and let me get there with you. Revelation 2 verse 18. It says, “And to the angel,” the messenger, the pastor-elder-teacher “of the church in Thyatira.” That’s a strange word, isn’t it? We only encounter it here and one other place, in the book of Acts, because if you remember Lydia, the seller of purple whose heart the Lord opened in Philippi in Acts 16 was from here. That’s about it, it’s a very limited thing. The term Thyatira is foreign outside this chapter.
To get our bearings, we’re going to the geographic area that received the most books of the New Testament. What did I write? Verse 18. These are what you’re doing in your little projects. This is what I did, not this morning, I already had done this one. “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass.'”
I stopped and I thought about that, and I wrote the unashamed life. Jesus reminds them He can see into their lives, that’s His eyes of fire. That means nothing is hidden from Him. He judges any sin allowed to stick around in our lives, remember 1 John 2:28. I remembered 1 John 2:28. Do you all remember 1 John 2:28? Have you thought about 1 John 2:28? Do you remember it when you read it a while back whenever you had to read it for whatever class it was for, or just in your normal Bible readings? 1 John 2:28 says this, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
Did you know the people that act like the Thyatirans, that was a church of believers, are going to be ashamed before Christ at His coming? They’re going to be ones that go, oh. They’re not going to be like Jonathan Edwards. Remember Jonathan Edwards the famous American Puritan, a preacher of righteousness, commentator, the president of Princeton, and one of the greatest minds in American history. Jonathan Edwards, that one, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Do you know what he said? Resolved. He wrote all these resolutions in his journal. He was a journal-er. Resolved. Never to be found doing something that I wouldn’t want to be doing at the moment Christ returns. He didn’t want to be ashamed. That’s a limiter. That limited me.
When I married my wonderful wife, Bonnie, there was nothing I ever did with any other girl that I ever had to be ashamed of. By the way, I dated 741 different girls before I met Bonnie. I dated them. I had their name, the dates I dated them, and I was a chart person. I went to a Christian school that had about 5,000, I don’t know how many, Christians there. Half of them were girls and I was going to date them all. I was there for a long time. Did you know, in none of those 741 young ladies that I spent time alone with did I ever do anything that I would be ashamed of before Bonnie or the Lord? Why? Because every day I thought as I went out with this girl, if I am on any part of this date and the Lord returns, there’s nothing I want to be doing that would make me ashamed before Christ who is watching. I knew that someday I would meet the one person in the whole world I would want to spend all my time with, and I wouldn’t want to be ashamed anytime I thought about what I used to do before I met her. He judges any sin that we allow to stick around in our lives. That’s His feet of brass.
Secondly, today you’re either advancing or retreating. Look at verse 19. This is what Jesus says. Whoops, not 1 John 2:19, that would have been a shocker for me to read to you. Revelation 2:19. “I know your works, love.” By the way, this is the only church that He commends them for their love. Wow. Of all the seven. Ephesus didn’t have their first love. With this church He says, I know your love, so these were saints. These were people that knew the Lord. I know your service. I know your faith. I know your patience, “and as for your works, the last are more than the first.” Look what I wrote. Today you’re either advancing or retreating. Jesus knows which way we’re headed every day and He knows whether our works are increasing or decreasing. Do you see how encouraging these letters are?
God sent more New Testament letters here than anywhere else, 12 letters. One of these letters is from Revelation. That’s the first book that came to this area. Peter’s two epistles 2 Peter and 1 Peter are numbers two and three and they were sent directly to this area. Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Did you see that on the map, Galatia? It came here. Ephesians came here. Colossians came here. That’s four or five and six. Plus 1 and 2 Timothy. He was the pastor of Ephesus, and 1 and 2 Timothy came to him in this area. Those people heard him saying, I got a letter from God through the Apostle Paul, and they heard it. Plus, John’s. By the way, how many epistles did John write? Three. There we go. John’s three epistles, 1, 2, and 3 John came here to these people. Finally, the very first letter that came was the first New Testament epistle. What’s that? What was the first New Testament letter that was written? James wrote to the 12 tribes scattered abroad and the 12 tribes of Israel were scattered all across Asia minor. For many reasons. They were business people and through persecution, they were driven out of the Holy Land. 12 letters came here.
Here we go. Look at verse 20, the first part. It says, “Nevertheless.” Remember I showed you all the seven elements. Every letter has the introduction, the name of Christ, the commendations, and then look at this. “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” Boy, was she popular. She came into the church and said you know what? We’ve got this new revelation. What God says is it is okay to live together before you’re married so don’t even fret about that. That’s not all. You can live with anybody you want, and you can get involved in the temples of the idols and the feasts where the food is cheaper and where there’s all this fun. Look what it says. She came into the church and started teaching saying, I’m getting a message from God, I’m a prophetess. She taught and seduced My servants, that’s what God calls us Christians, to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Wow.
Revelation 2:20, Jesus knows who’s influencing our lives. He knew these people were being influenced by Jezebel. Whether they are challenging us to sanctification, by the way, what does sanctification mean? It’s a measure of our usefulness to God. A lot of these words are multi-syllabic words that we just say and sometimes we don’t try and have a meaning for them that we can hold onto. Sanctification is how useful I am to God. Do you know what God says? 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your,” this is Paul writing, “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What Paul said is God wants to sanctify every part of us, our mind, our words, our thoughts, our feelings, and our deeds. What does He want to do with them? A lot of people think sanctification means that you scowl all the time, and you say it’s not funny… I’m very serious about the Lord. That is not sanctification. Sanctification is how useful you are to God.
Bonnie and I one time, well, I’ll tell you that in a few days. We were eating breakfast somewhere; we were newlyweds and just started at Grace Community Church. We were newlyweds and as newlyweds, I couldn’t have enough time with her. Every morning at breakfast, in downtown Los Angeles, I’d read the Bible with her. We’d sit there, over breakfast, reading back and forth in the Bible between chews. When I could, I would slip my hand across the table and hold her hand if I wasn’t holding a fork. Our waiter would look at us every morning, and we ate there every day. It was 99 cents. It’s fun to be old because you remember when everything was a deal, it was 99 cents. Did you know that waiter ended up asking us about the Lord? You see, it is good. It is good to reflect Christ so people see it and we’re useful to God. Or are they feeding our flesh? Notice the words in this verse, seduce, commit, eat. Things which grieve and quench.
By the way, what happens when a born again Christian, who has become the very temple of God, thinks or does sinful things? What does it do to the person that lives inside the temple? Two things, grieves, and quenches. All of you’ve been grieved. I assume all of you have been quenched. Quenched means to throw water on a flame. If you throw water on a campfire, throw the bucket of water and it goes out and lets off smoke. It makes a mess like mud. That’s what sin does inside of us to the Spirit of God, it quenches Him.
Let’s talk about this city. William Ramsey, the famed 19th century archeologist wrote this. He excavated the city. He said revelry, license, and intoxication marked the pagan religious societies, the trade guilds, where the inhabitants of Thyatira dined on couches surrounded by troops of unclothed dancing and singing slaves. I told you in the first lesson there are eight types of slaves in the Roman empire. There was a type that was dancing, singing, undressed, I don’t know what in our culture they would be called, prostitutes, pole dancers. I don’t know what, but they were slaves that were hired to come through men reclining on couches eating meals and they would pour more alcohol into their cups, and they would dance around with no clothes on. That’s what the archeologists found characterized the business gatherings of Thyatira.
Look what I wrote, sin was everywhere present and powerfully alluring. What one ancient non-Christian, Herodotus the father of history, do you know what he said these cultures of this part of the world were like? He said they were like living in a cesspool. Do you know what a cesspool is? A septic tank? How about a sewer system? How about where everything goes that you flush from the toilet? It would be like living with the pipe dumping out on you. Very hard to not get it on you and in you and that’s how they lived.
What were they supposed to do? Let’s read one thing these people already knew before Jesus wrote to them. It’s in 1 Peter 2. Okay. Turn back to 1 Peter chapter 2 and I’m going to read 1 through 3 and 9 through 11. “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, and envy, and evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” Peter wrote that to these people living in the flush of the toilet. Okay. He doesn’t stop there. Look down at verse 9. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness.” You used to like living in the toilet and you don’t like it anymore. You’ve been called “out of the darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy” verse 10, “but now you have obtained mercy.” Look at verse 11. “Beloved.”
This is the Apostle Peter. How would you like to get a letter from Peter? You did, here it is. How would you like to have gotten it back then when he was alive? He’s still alive, right? He was there. How’d you like to get a letter where he says, look at verse 11, “I beg you.” Peter said, hey, I’ve been through this myself. I’ve been tempted. I’ve been around evil. I’ve walked through wickedness. “I beg you as sojourners.” Remember, this world is not my home. I’m on my way somewhere else. As pilgrims, as people that are headed somewhere else, but temporarily they’re walking through this area. That’s what we are. “Abstain” verse 11 “from fleshly lusts.”
The next Greek word, look it up in your Logos. It’s a great word. Strateuomai, “which war.” Do you know what that word is? It’s to carry on a campaign like terrorists or like guerrilla warfare like we’re watching in Ukraine. Yesterday, I don’t know how much you guys, if you’re studying, you probably don’t have time to watch all this… an Ukrainian tank got into the city that was being attacked by the Russians and it drove until its turret could point that way and shoot between all the buildings and between the other buildings where they had a straight shot. This tank was totally hidden from the Russian forces as they were coming through town, but the convoy would come through and it would be visible briefly between those buildings and those buildings. That one tank took out the convoy because as soon as they all got between the buildings they fired and hit the first one, which stopped the convoy. Then the next one was between the buildings, so they fired and got that one. There’s a drone video of one tank stopping a whole convoy. Do you know what that’s called? Guerilla warfare, where they don’t see where you are and you’re not fighting them on the open field. You’re hiding. Look at what it says in verse 11. Fleshly lusts are strateuomai against your soul. Satan knows what he can do to deflate your spiritual life, to make you or me grieve the Holy Spirit so much that He becomes sebomai, quenched, the water was thrown on Him. Wow. They had to choose whether to serve Christ every day.
Christ’s call to holiness has never changed. We live in the present based on the past. Let’s read what else they knew. Okay. Do you know what’s so much fun? The more you study the Bible the more you know. When I read Galatians 2:20, I don’t just think of a white page with a black type on it. I think of people living in this town with the troops of dancing girls giving them alcohol and being tempted every day and getting this verse. Do you all know Galatians 2:20? How many of you have memorized it? You learned it in school or Sunday School. “I am crucified with Christ…” No one in this whole room has Galatians 2:20 memorized? Let’s try again. How many of you know Galatians 2:20? There we go. That is one of the most important verses in the New Testament.
You should be listening to the professors if for nothing else to find out some of the most important verses in the Bible because you know what the really important ones are? They know them by heart because they need them so much. This verse says that we live in the present based on the past. I’m not living in the present wondering if this is going to work. I already know that it’s a past event that’s once and for all settled and it works. Okay? Look what these people knew. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” By the way, that’s Paul’s testimony. Paul said you know what? The way I know I’m saved is that He loved me, and He gave Himself for me. That’s the whole idea of redemption, of a substitute, of the Redeemer, and Paul says that’s my testimony. The One who loved me and gave Himself for me, but he says the way I live my life matter with all the wickedness, the cesspool around me.
Paul was doing missionary journeys. Every time Paul walked through town, he walked through the gymnasium area where everybody was exercising with no clothes. He walked through the bathhouse area where everybody was taking baths with no clothes on with more of these slaves, ladies in there. You talk about the pervasive wickedness. They didn’t even think it was wicked. It was normal. It was like they lived in an unclothed culture. How do you live in an unclothed culture? I have been crucified with Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He died in my place, and He has disarmed the power that Satan used to have over me through those sins. As long as the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God.
Guess what? Either you’re floating along with the world or you’re resisting it. With Jesus there’s no middle ground, you can’t coast. Remember we already covered that with the Ephesians. You can’t tread water. Either you float along, or you resist.
Really quickly. Let’s see. It’s 8:41, slide 11. I’ll blame it on the quiz. When I was little, we used to have canoe trips in our church. Do you know what a canoe trip was? They would take the whole youth group and we’d all be excited. We got on a school bus and behind the school bus was a trailer with a bunch of canoes on it and all the gear. They would drive upstream of this river that was meandering down. They’d put us all in our canoes. Everyone had a life jacket, everyone had a paddle, and no one stayed in the canoe. Everybody was splashing one another with the paddles, but you know what curiously happened no matter what we were doing? The canoes kept moving. It was the current of the river. See, they put you upstream so all things flow downstream. We would be splashing and jumping out of the canoes and dunking each other, but we’d keep moving down the river because the canoes were traveling with the current.
When you and I were born, we were born on a canoe trip. We came into this world in our little canoe and we’re going in and out of it and we’re having fun and splashing. All of a sudden, our canoe bumped into someone. He’s standing there saying, hey, if you keep going that way it’s the way of destruction. It’s the wide way. The whole current of the world is going that way, but I want you to go that way. If you are going to be My follower, you’re going that way toward the narrow gate, the straightway, the way of Christ. Jesus, when we get saved, turns our canoe around and hands us the paddle, and says, you’re not floating anymore. You’re resisting the world. You’re resisting the philosophies. You’re resisting the errors. You’re resisting the inequities of this world. Did you know, you never know the strength of the current till you put the paddle in? It’s hard to resist the world. You know what? With Jesus, there’s no middle ground. He says you aren’t going to coast. You’re not going to tread water. You’re not going to float along. The world is a powerful river. Its current is always flowing away from God, that’s what Matthew 7 says, and they’re all going toward destruction, and you’ve got to go that way. Do you know what happens when we go that way? People try to turn our canoe around. We’re bumping into everybody. Everybody’s going to the party. We’re not, we’re going this way. They go, what’s wrong with you? They try to help us get reoriented to go where they’re going. That’s what 1 Peter is about.
By the way, the Bible says there are only healthy Christians and sick Christians. The question is, which are we? If it wasn’t 8:43 I would take you to Isaiah. There are three verses that you really ought to have memorized and really ought to have marked. The first one is Isaiah 32:17 is “the work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” That means if you live the life of Christ you are peaceful, assured, and confident, and people feel that. They see that.
Do you know what Isaiah 48:18 says? “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river.” Do you know what a river is? It’s constantly flowing. You would have constant flowing peace. “And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” What’s that? Constantly renewed, versus Isaiah 57:20. Do you know what that says? “The wicked are like the troubled sea.” Constantly troubled and foaming up all their shame. That’s how we were born, Isaiah 57:20. When we meet Christ, if we’re healthy, we’re Isaiah 32:18, righteousness and peace.
The next observation I made, and I wrote down in my journal, beware of sinning against your own body. It says in Revelation 2:20 that she asked you, this Jezebel, to commit sexual immorality. Sexual things are always tied to us on the inside of our body. It’s called our temple. Look what it says in 1 Corinthians 6:18. I love this verse. “Flee sexual immorality,” Paul said.
By the way, where the leather workers were, Bonnie and I were just there. Bonnie and I taught in Greece in October; I think for four weeks. We would take field trips with the class we were teaching. We took a field trip for two days to Corinth and I showed them the leather workers’ quarter. You can see the gymnasium right from the leather workers’ quarter where Paul worked. Paul was around sexual immorality all the time in Corinth and look what he writes in verse 18, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immoral sins against his own body.” What’s that matter? Look at the next verse. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We’re supposed to renew the challenge of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 to consecration. What’s consecration? Asking God to control, lead, protect, and cleanse me because I don’t belong to myself. Someday I’m going to stand in front of Him and explain what I did with my body.
Why this is so important is that Peter in his second epistle that these people got, talks about Lot. Do you remember Lot? The nephew of Abraham made a choice. He could either go with Abraham or he could go anywhere he wanted. It says he moved his tent. It says he pitched his tent with the door of it toward Sodom, the worst city on Earth of his day. He didn’t pitch his tent so he was looking toward Uncle Abraham’s tent. He pitched his tent to look toward the worst place on Earth. You all know that, and he lost everything. He’s an example of being saved by fire. We will give an account for what we do in this body, 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, and that determines everything forever.
What happens with someone that keeps sinning? Have you ever thought about that? Do you know people that are secretly in sin, but yet they’re still in the Church? They sing in the choir, but they’re still messing around with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They secretly are into all kinds of stuff.
I went to one of the most conservative Christian universities in the world, it’s called Bob Jones University. When I went there we had one of the most well-loved students. He was always drinking water. He had a one gallon milk jug, and he was known as a health nut. He was always drinking water. He would refill that thing constantly. He’s always drinking it and what we found out was he was also drinking something else, alcohol. He was constantly flushing it through his system. He was almost an alcoholic at the world’s largest Christian University at that time. He was known as a health nut because he masked it so well by constantly drinking water. In other words, he was fake. It’s amazing. What happens when people persist in unrepentant sin? I’ll read you 1 John 5:16 says there is a sin that leads to death. Wait a minute. What kind of death? A Christian in persistent sin, that’s not spiritual death. Correct. It’s not going to Hell. It’s a different kind of death.
Real quickly. Let’s see, we have a minute and a half. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 11 because I think many people have not thought about what happens after the Lord’s supper. Remember in the Lord’s supper verses. Paul said for I also deliver unto you first of all that which I also received; how that Christ said in the night in which He was doing the supper He said this is My body. Everyone intones that. You’ve heard your pastor say 1 Corinthians 11, the Lord’s supper part. Look at verse 27 of 1 Corinthians 11. “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” A Christian guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks,” verse 29 “in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” Verse 30, “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” He wasn’t talking about this class. “Many sleep.” He was talking about believers who persisted in unrepentant sin and were chastened by the Lord and became weak and sick and died.
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