November 4, 2007
Whatever my need, God’s grace is sufficient. I need nothing else.
Daily Readings for the Week of November 4-11
· I am scheduled to preach next Saturday and Sunday morning for Grace Baptist Church in Taylor, AR and next Sunday and Monday evening for the Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Wichita Falls, TX. Bro. Bruce Crabtree, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in New Castle, IN will be here to preach the gospel to you next Sunday.
Cliff & Martie Hellar–10th Bob & Mary Lou Duff-19th Mike & Cindy Schwartz-29th
NURSERY DUTY THIS WEEK
Today: Debbie Bartley (AM) Regina Henson (PM) Tuesday: Shelby Fortner
A Good Hope by Grace — Don Fortner
(Tune: #44 — And Can it Be? — LM)
1. Bold shall I stand on judgment day,
Though millions shall be cast away.
Since Jesus Christ my ransom paid,
No charge against me shall be made.
While through my Savior’s blood I am
Absolved from sin, and guilt, and blame,
I cannot be condemned to die,
For by free grace I’m justified.
2. Robed in my Savior’s righteousness,
My soul cannot be in distress,
For with His spotless garments on
I am as holy as God’s Son!
The Holy Spirit sheds abroad
Within my heart the love of God. —
His blessed gift of life and faith
Has freed me from the fear of death.
3. Made fit for heaven by God’s grace
Imparting Jesus’ righteousness,
Washed in His blood and born of God,
I have good hope by grace from God.
While unbelieving rebels die,
“Salvation to the Lord!” I’ll cry.
My worth and works I’ll still deny,
“Salvation to the Lord!” I’ll cry.
“Certain Men Crept in Unawares”
The Holy Spirit describes false prophets as certain men who creep into churches unawares. They are not men of the world or infidels, who totally disown Christ; but certain men, who creep in among the saints, professing faith in and love for Christ and his gospel. Both Paul and Peter warn us of such apostates (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Peter 2:13). Jude had lived to see their prophecies fulfilled in his day, as we do today.
These men creep into churches “unawares,” without being noticed. They are unnoticed because God’s people tend to take men at their word. Faithful men and women tend to presume that those who profess faith in Christ are faithful; and we should. Though we are commanded to try the spirits, we often lack the ability to discern cunning craftiness and deceit, and have no ability to read the hearts and motives of others. Therefore, such false prophets are able to creep and slither their way into our churches and into the affections of truly faithful men and women. Like serpents, they worm themselves in by deceitful wriggling. As Satan transformed himself into an angel of light to deceive Eve, his ministers transform themselves into what appears to be ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Pretending to be great defenders of the righteousness of God and great promoters of peace, unity, and love, they divide brethren, seek to divide believers from those who have faithfully taught them the gospel, and seek to turn God’s elect from the simplicity of the gospel and faith in Christ.
How often I have seen individuals and entire congregations turn against a faithful pastor, one who has given his life to serving the interests of their souls, to follow a man who seeks nothing but his own profit! Many years ago, I heard Pastor Henry Mahan say, “There are just two kinds of preachers: Those who are used and those who use, those who serve and those who seek to be served.” God’s servants do not use men; they are gladly used for men. They do not wish others to serve them; they devote their lives to the service of others.
Those certain men, who creep in unawares, may appear to have such great light and profound knowledge that others cower before them. They usually proclaim their superior enlightenment loudly. But they always lack two things: They lack the ability to preach with simplicity and clarity; and they lack grace, the ability to be gracious. They talk much about such things; but it is obvious to everyone around them that they lack both. They are “clouds without water, carried about of winds.” The grace of God is not in them. There is no work of regeneration upon their souls. Like Korah and Balaam, to whom the Holy Spirit compares them, they often become famous men of renown in the congregation (Numbers 16 and 22), blazing like comets for a while; but, like the “wandering stars,” they soon fizzle. To such slithering, beguiling serpents is “reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Having nothing but the noisy profession of a name to live, they are twice dead before God, spiritually dead, having no part in the first resurrection, they are under the sentence of the second death (Revelation 20:6). And they “were of old ordained to this condemnation.”
More about the Infiltrators
False prophets are cunning infiltrators. Jude identifies apostate preachers as men who slither into churches “in unawares.” Their plan is to subtly infiltrate the kingdom of Christ. The Greek verb translated “crept” is never used anywhere else in the New Testament. It is a very rare word that has to do with cunning speech and clever debaters.
For instance, the word is used in extrabiblical literature in a legal sense to speak of someone who pleads a case very cleverly, with guile. It is used to represent a lawyer who plants a thought in the minds of a judge or a jury by trickery. It is used to describe a criminal who secretly slips back into the country after being exiled from it.
The word “crept’ means “entered in secretly.” That is precisely what false prophets do. Deceivers have a real problem with truthfulness, openness, and honesty. They never come in announcing, “I am a messenger of Satan, and I would like to join your church.” This word “crept” literally means, “to go down into and alongside.” False prophets go down into the church and get alongside believers. They pretend to believe; but they are Satan’s counterfeit prophets. As his servants, it is their determination to destroy the work of God. Such infiltration had already begun in Jude’s day. False prophets had moved into the church and were beginning to sow lies about who Christ is, what he has accomplished, and how he saves sinners. That form of attack is nothing new. It has gone on through the centuries, is still going on today, and will continue to go on until Christ comes again. The Puritan Thomas Manton wrote…
“When the Christian church began…there were adverse powers without ready to crush it, and Libertines who, like worms bred within the body, sought to devour the entrails and eat the very bowels of it. The first ringleader was Simon Magus, and there followed many…who, being once turned aside from the truth and the fellowship of the faithful, lost all awe of God, and were given up to a sottish judgment to believe all kinds of fables and fancies....In succeeding ages the devil hath often played over the old game, sometimes oppressing the church by the tyranny of pseudo-Christians...at other times corrupting the truth by error, or rendering it suspicious by the divisions about it. Heresies revolve as fashions, and in the course of a few years antiquated errors revive again.”
They are like those adversaries of Israel described in Ezra 4:2, who came to Zerubbabel saying, “Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him,” though it was their intent to disrupt the work. They are like Simon Magus in Acts 8, who wanted to be baptized and acknowledged as a follower of Christ, though he was an enemy to Christ. Peter’s words have come to pass. — “There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).
November 4, 2007
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com