February 11, 2018

Earthly Gain or Eternal Satisfaction

Since we moved here to my mother's house, to temporarily live here while we get back on our feet financially, I wanted to make sure that we were attending a church where the preaching where the exposition of Scripture was the church's first priority, and it is. It is evident that it is because nearly everyone, young and old have their Bible with them, along with a notepad and a pen, to take notes, or make their own highlights while attending to the preaching of the Word.

This morning, we listened to a great and edifying sermon at Faith Bible Church in Murrieta, California this morning, from their series in 1 Timothy: House Rules. The sermon was based on 1 Timothy 6:2c-10, and is titled, Earthly Gain or Eternal Satisfaction.

I particularly like the fact that Pastor Nigel Shailer wasn't afraid to address some popular names in evangelicalism who are known for their message of prosperity that they preach to thousands, if not millions of people each week.

He introduced the sermon with a video of Kenneth Copeland when he took possession of his new Gulfstream V private jet. Below is a short 2 minute video that helped set the tone of the sermon, however, I don't think this was the exact video that he used this morning.

Pay particular attention to what he says with laughter at 0:22 second mark and it should be very disturbing too.

The undiscerning Christian will not recognize that while Kenneth Copeland believed for the jet, those who sent him money were truly the ones who paid for it, but they will never fly in luxury in that Gulfstream V jet the way that Kenneth Copeland will.

Nigel stated firstly that false teachers are motivated by personal financial gain, as are many who are on television and promote a VERY distorted version of biblical truth. (Not everyone on Christian television is a false teacher though, but their qualities are identified in Scripture and if a person is willing to study the text in comparison to those whom they may highly esteem on television, they will find that their so-called favorite tv preacher is really a false teacher.)

Secondly, false teachers are motivated by money, Christians are motivated by godliness.

Many of the "prosperity gospel preachers" are using people for their own personal and financial gain. Too often on Christian television we see and hear those who always seem to talk about "sowing money into good soil" and the context of Mark 4 is completely taken out of context because that chapter is not about money, but about evangelism and the result of those evangelistic efforts that are represented by the way people respond to the Gospel.

We are to live content with what we have and if we are content with what we have, it will also reflect our sufficiency in Christ.  Are you content in Christ and your relationship with Him?  No one should ever really feel content to the point that they can just relax and not do anything else in their lives, in service to the Lord.  

That contentment however, really means feeling satisfied to the degree for what Christ has done to redeem you, for the precious gift of eternal life that awaits every believer when they die.

So below are 2 lists that derive from the text, to explain how to identify a false teacher and what are the characteristics of a contended Christian.

7 Qualities of False Teachers

  1. False teachers have the wrong theology. It identifies them as a teacher of heresy. (v. 3) (Nigel mentioned that Kenneth Copeland's wife Gloria said in a recent news article that if you have Jesus you don't need a flu shot and it's this slight deception of words that becomes misguided in a Christian's life that causes them to believe what is false and then to only suffer the consequences for their own foolishness.) I believe that Jesus still heals people, but I won't be that foolish to not seek the help of a doctor when my symptoms become so severe that medical prescription is needed to help me get better. Will I pray and ask God to heal me? Yes, absolutely, but I won't be ignorant to using wisdom either. I'll go see a doctor.
  2. False teachers have the wrong attitude. (v. 4)
  3. False teachers have the wrong understanding. (v. 4)
  4. False teachers have the wrong approach. (v. 4) They have a morbid craving for controversies. (Gloria Copeland said Christians shouldn’t receive the flu, Washington Post)
  5. False teachers have the wrong results. (v. 4) Their motivations produce disunity, not unity and each of these 4 sub-points create division in the church too and it becomes an absolutely ugly mark on the Body of Christ too, when people act this way, largely because the theology they are listening to is producing the wrong results, but the right one, for Satan.
    1. Envy
    2. Dissension
    3. Slander
    4. Evil suspicions
  6. False teachers have the wrong relationships. (v. 5) They create constant friction and they have depraved minds. Apostate unbelievers - a depraved mind and deprived of the truth.
  7. False teachers have the wrong motive. (v. 6) Imagining that godliness is a means of gain. They believe that excessive monetary gain is a sign of God’s blessing for the way they are living. 
6 Qualities of Contented Christians
  1. Contended Christians know their way. (v. 6) The way to truly gain is to live godly in Christ. Trusting God for everything.
  2. Contended Christians know their naked beginning. (v.7)
  3. Contended Christians know their naked mortal end. (v.7)
  4. Contended Christians know their necessities. (v. 8) Just the basics. Don’t desire to have more stuff that will become more adoring to you than God is to your life.
  5. Contended Christians know their danger. (v. 9) The want for more is the danger of sin.
  6. Contended Christians know their temptations. (v. 10) They don't allow themselves to love money, or any material possessions more than loving God, which we are to do (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Money is not the problem, but loving it more than loving God is!

Live content in your lives, trusting God for all that you have and need and nothing more than what you absolutely need. Be a good steward of what God has provided to you and if you are fortunate to be blessed with more, be a good steward of that abundance, as much as you are with what you had before the extra.

He is sufficient and is our sufficiency.  

Thank you Faith Bible Church.

Link to the sermon audio is here: http://media.faith-bible.net/scripture/1timothy/earthly-gain-or-eternal-satisfaction 

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