The Gospel and the Church - 2011

Scripture: Galatians 6:1-10, Matthew 11:28-30, Matthew 18:15-17
Date: 12/24/2011 
Lesson: 13
The actions we sow result in a harvest, either for good or evil. This happens both in our individual lives as well as in the church.
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Welcome to Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. We are so glad that you are tuning in and that you are joining us from across the country and around the world. We are singing favorite Christmas songs this morning. And thank you to each and every one who have sent in your favorites. And, of course, this morning we are singing 'silent night' and 'angels we have heard on high'.

So pull out your hymnals, those of you here and at home, and join with us. Annamarie from Arizona, noel and margaret in australia, denise in bahamas, Michael, leon, and betty in California, camilo in colombia, julila, oswald, lorna and extended family in florida, maisie and karl in France, Karen, linda, diana, damar, wilfred, and the neckles family in grenada, joe in guam, dustin in honduras, magalie and micha in mauritius, eliseo in Mexico, noel in myanmar, selina, jonathan, and darlinda in the netherlands, David in Oregon, abel in puerto rico, mccrain in saint lucia, Christa in Virginia, and donald in Washington. And then tesla, who is a little -year-old girl from Washington state, she sent in a request via the Amazing Facts website and I didn't get that in time, and she had requested hark the herald angels sing, which I believe we sang last Sabbath. So tesla, I didn't want to just ignore that you had sent in a request, so I hope you don't mind singing silent night with us this morning. She said her and her dad watch central study hour every night and her dad said she could send in a Christmas request.

So, for tesla and everybody else, #143 - all four stanzas - silent night. Oh thank you to everyone that picked that song, it was a very good choice. Angels we have heard on high is right across the page - #142. Joyce in Arizona, enid in australia, veronica, angel, and jasmine in the bahamas, edward in belize, bernadine in cameroon, wayne, adam, zoe, and kathyann in Canada, shavon also in Canada, irene in denmark, ken and anja in germany, keishel in grenada, along with linda, Karen, diana, damar, wilfred, Israel, and naomi, sheela, corrine, cheryl, and sheela in india, fredora and dania in jamaica, joyce in Michigan, selina, and jonathan in the netherlands, mari in New Jersey, beth and glenn in New York, terry and narelle in new zealand, flora in nigeria, jamie, jenny, sandie, and vern in North Carolina, shirwin and marivic in the Philippines, abel in puerto rico, dina, andy, josie, and jerlyn in saudi arabia, alvina in south africa, jenny in South Dakota, sue, gabi, Joel, and anna in south korea, Michael and margaret in Texas, kwame in thailand, darlene, miriam, and jennifer in trinidad and tobago, katherine in Virginia, jasren, camille, and xavier in Washington, lois in Wisconsin, and jody in Wyoming. Okay.

#142 - We will sing the first, second, and fourth stanzas. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, it is super simple to send in your favorite hymn requests. Go to our website at and click on the 'contact us' link and you can send them in and we will sing those for you on an upcoming Sabbath. At this time let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for this time of year when our thoughts turn towards that day you came to this earth.

It seems like most of the world is kind of thinking about that. I know it's hard because sometimes we lose track and it's all about the Christmas and buying and giving and we pray that we won't lose sight of that - that we will always remember what the real reason for this season is. We thank you so much for coming to this earth. For giving up the glories of heaven to be a human with struggles and temptations like each and every one of us. But we thank you for never letting the devil win in the war between good and evil.

And because of that we all have the assurance of eternal life. We thank you so much. I pray that you will be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together this morning. You'll be with Pastor Doug in a very special way as he brings us the lesson study. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you. I appreciate it debbie and our musicians. Always enjoy The Songs this time of year and glad to see each one of you. Welcome to - those who are part of our regular class here at central, any visitors we may have today.

I also want to welcome those who may be watching on television and we're glad that you are there as well. Today it looks like we're almost done with the study in Galatians that we've been doing and, you know, something I should probably mention at this point - I've got a couple of brief announcements. This is our next lesson. The next lesson is dealing with the subject 'glimpses of our God.' And just a few of the sermon titles are dealing with things like 'the trinity', 'in the beginning', 'God our redeemer', 'the God of grace and judgment', 'the holiness of God.' This is going to be a good lesson so we're looking forward to that for our class here. Following our study today we'll be handing these out so you can get ready in time.

I also want to mention, as we have before, there are about three for every one ex-adventist Christians as there are practicing. Now, that includes two groups - that includes people who may be on the books in the church, that just don't attend, and then there are people who maybe even aren't on the books but were once members of the church, and they have wandered, drifted - you hate to use the word backslid - but they no longer attend. How many of us know somebody in that category? Friends or family that once were part of God's people but they're not. And that's true of virtually every denomination across the board in North America. Well, I think this breaks the heart of the Lord.

I know it does mine. And so, for some time, I've just prayed, 'is there something we could do?' If we could put together some messages that would especially appeal to the hearts of the people who once were practicing Christians and no longer are. So, we evaluated 'what are the main reasons that people stop going?' And we sort of put that into four categories. Somebody hurt their feelings in the church - there was a conflict between them and another member or pastor or somebody. Or they got distracted with the cares of this life - just got so busy.

Or maybe there was a doctrinal problem. And then the fourth category is they just never really came to appreciate the importance of church fellowship and corporate worship. A lot of people out there say, 'oh yeah, I'm a Christian.' But they just don't go anymore. And they don't understand how important that is. So we've assembled four presentations that are designed specifically to direct or to speak to the hearts of people who have become inactive in church fellowship.

And we're going to be doing a live program in January. We're telling people about this now because these programs broadcast three weeks in advance - or three weeks later from the time they're recorded. We want to encourage all of you who are watching to plan on tuning in. Invite these people to your homes. The idea is if you know anybody that you can invite to your homes during the four days from January 13th to the 15th - there's actually two presentations on Sabbath.

So it's three days - January 13th through the 15th. That would be a Friday, two on Sabbath, one on Sunday. It will be broadcast on the hope channel. Anybody who gets hope channel or on direct tv, you can invite these people to your home and say, 'here's some soup and bread, or juice and cookies. We just want you to come on over, we're going to watch a presentation together.

' And see if it doesn't speak to their hearts. I don't believe - I mean I'd love to believe it, but I have to be honest - I don't think we're going to reclaim all these people. But I think we can reclaim some. And I think we ought to do something, don't you? So this program is called 'reclaim your faith.' Invite them over to the program 'reclaim your faith.' When is it? January 13 through 15. It will be on the hope channel and I just would like to have you pray for that.

Because what's going to make this program a success is prayer. So would you please pray about that friends? Mark that on your calendar. Plan on tuning in. We're asking for the Lord to do something wonderful and bring people back into fellowship. Didn't the shepherd go looking for those missing sheep? And I think we ought to do something too.

All right. So today's lesson - we're on lesson #13. And in our study on Galatians - and we're dealing today especially with verses - Galatians 6:1-10. And then, there's actually 14 studies in this lesson and we'll deal with the last verses in Galatians. We'll have at least read through the entire book of Galatians during our study together.

Lesson 13 is dealing with the Gospel and the church. And we have more information if you go to the Amazing Facts website. It's simply You'll find material there to help enhance your study. We have a memory verse and it's from the english standard version.

The memory verse is "so" - oh well, we're supposed to say it together - I almost ran ahead. I want you to say this with us. Galatians 6:10 is the memory verse. Galatians 6:10 - why don't you say it with me? And you probably need to read it out of your lesson - unless you have the english standard version. You ready? "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

" Now, let's go ahead and dive right in. As I've done before, I will do again. I'm going to read Galatians 6, verses 1 through 10 - so we will have at least covered the whole book when we're done. And I'll let you just follow along with me with your eyes and then we'll go in and we'll break it apart piece by piece. Galatians 1 - I'm sorry, Galatians 6, verse 1.

"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when his is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

Let him who is taught the word share in all the good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, he will also reap. For he that sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary in well doing," - or in doing good - "for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

" Lot there. Boy, there's a lot of good stuff there. I'm not going to have time to talk about it all. And so, let's start with the beginning, Galatians 6, verse 1. "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in a trespass" - pause - why does he say 'if'? Why doesn't he say 'when you are overtaken in a trespass?' If he had said, 'when you are overtaken in a trespass, it would assume that you must be - that it's supposed to be the norm.

But he says, 'if.' Because God doesn't want to give us an excuse. I think we should strive to not be and I think it should be the exception, not the rule, and so it's an 'if'. If you read in 1 John 2, verse 1 - now, I did not give that to anybody. I'll take a volunteer. Where are the microphones? Ray has one, dr.

Derose has one. John 2, verse 1 - nobody has that verse, but I'm going to just ask for someone cold turkey - hopefully in the first two or three rows. Right here - let's get a microphone over here. And I want you to look that up. And while you're looking that up - 1 John 2, verse 1 - I just want to highlight a principle.

When Jesus caught the woman in adultery and he forgave her, he said, 'neither do I condemn you.' He said, 'go and sin a little bit less.' Is that what he said? And Paul, he said, 'he that steals let him steal a little bit less.' Or did he say, 'steal no more.'? If you've got a store and you know someone is shoplifting and they come in and they say, 'I've got good news for you, I'm going to steal a little less.' Well that may be an improvement, but it doesn't work that way with the Lord. God wants us to have a consistent life. Okay, why don't you read that for us now? John 2, verse 1. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not and, if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous." All right. Amen.

You notice he said, 'I'm writing to you that' - what? - 'You don't sin.' I mean, isn't that what God's plan is for us to save us from sin? But then, praise the Lord, the Lord knows that being weak creatures that we are, there's a strong possibility we will sin and so he says, 'if.' And God doesn't want us to. And there's no excuse for it. He is able to keep you from falling. But if any man sins, praise the Lord, we have an advocate. We have a defense attorney with The Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And he says, 'if any man is overtaken in a trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one.' Now, when it says overtaken, that word there really implies they have fallen - they have tripped. It's not premeditated. So it's being assumed, among Christians, that we may fall. But falling is different than going out and digging a hole and jumping in it. That's a little more premeditated.

You can look, for instance, in James chapter 5, verse 19. "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." By the way, that goes in with what we just talked about - having that 'reclaim your faith' program - I think we ought to go after those that are wandering from their faith. And in doing that it says we are covering a multitude of sins. Not only that, I think it's - when you work for the salvation and reclaiming of others, something happens in your own heart. It seals your own faith.

I think it is redemptive in a way - it's revitalizing to your own faith when you're engaged in bringing back those wandering sheep. And you cover a multitude of sin. You are helping become - you're being a vehicle for a person's sins to be covered by the blood of Jesus. And everybody's got a multitude, right? Anytime a person is saved, it covers a multitude of sin. And so, you have an opportunity to do that.

So, how does a Christian respond if you have a brother or a sister and you notice that they seem to be drifting in their faith? First of all, should we notice? What does - does that mean we look over everybody's shoulder? You knock on the door, March through the house, check their closet and their refrigerator - find out what programs are pre-programmed on their cable? We're just to say, 'we're watching out for your soul sister, brother? No. But the other extreme is to say what cain said, 'am I my brother's keeper? That's their business. I'm not watching out for them. I'm not looking over their shoulder. I don't really care.

They've got their relationship to the Lord and I've got mine. I don't want to judge.' Have you heard that? You get two extremes in the church. One extreme is we're policing each other and that's not God's will. The other extreme is we just don't care because we don't want to be responsible. It's like you've got a friend and he's a brain surgeon and you understand that he got drunk one morning because he was having problems and he's on his way to surgery.

And you say, 'well, I don't want to get involved. I'm not going to try and take his car keys away because I don't want to get involved.' That's bad behavior. You should get involved. He's getting ready to operate on someone's brain. And so, as Christians, we need to know how do we look out for each other without policing each other? We are our brother's keeper.

Don't you care about your children? Don't you care about your siblings? Whether they have life or death? So, we ought to notice if one of our family misses church a few weeks in a row, somebody ought to give them a call and make sure they're on vacation and not becoming discouraged. Shouldn't we? You know the parable of that shepherd - it says that he had sheep and then one day he counted and there was 99. How did he know there were 99 and not 100? He counted. He was keeping an eye on his sheep and he knew one was missing. So, we ought to be looking out for each other.

And if we notice that - I'll tell you, I notice if I start my car one morning and I have to keep cranking it and it's not turning over - or it sounds like one of the cylinders is misfiring and I've only got four cylinders now - I can't say, 'well as long as three out of four are firing.' I'm not satisfied, friends. I'm taking it in. I want all four firing. And if a person's only making it to church once out of every week - or once out of every month - something's wrong - or twice a month. They're either on vacation a whole lot - there ought to be more commitment and we ought to be encouraging each other to have that commitment.

And it's not just church attendance we're talking about. How are they doing in their family? How are they doing in their relationship with the Lord? Do they have a devotional life? We ought to care about each other. So, if we see that someone's drifting, we ought to care about that brother and sister and go and do what we can to try to encourage and restore the relationship. And there's long seminars and series on what we can do - and they're very good - but there's a lot more information there than I can really share. So we ought to respond.

We ought to care. What does the Bible say here? 'You who are spiritual go and do what you can to restore such a one.' Now, why does it say, 'you who are spiritual'? When you engage in trying to reclaim somebody who is drifting in their faith, the first thing you ought to do is be on your knees and make sure that you are a consistent example - that you have a right to do that. There ought to be some consistency. Those people ought to approach them with a spirit of humility. It's important that they are qualified that they are living a life of consistent faith and they shouldn't be guilty of the same sins.

Doesn't Paul say, 'you who tell another person not to commit adultery, are you committing sacrilege?' And if you're telling them not to - or idolatry - and if you're telling them that they should be moral, are you living immorally? How are you going to go and talk to them? I think we've all seen examples both in politics and religion of how one politician gets up and he's chastising another politician for squandering money and it turns out that this politician, who sits on an ethics committee of all things, is taking bribes. And it's happened in the church. I won't mention any names, but there were a few evangelists, a few years ago, and they were on t.v. Excoriating fellow pastors for their immoral lives and it turned out at the very moment they were doing that, they were living immorally. And so we really ought to pray and humble ourselves and make sure that we're being consistent when we go and talk to these people.

'You who are spiritual.' Now, someone look up job 4 - I think I gave this verse to somebody - job 4, verses 3 and 4. We've got a hand right back here. Job 4:3, 4. And while we set up for that, I'm going to read Matthew 18, verses 15 to 17. "Moreover brethren" - these are the words of Jesus about how to approach that - if someone is overtaken in a trespass.

"Moreover brethren, if your brother" - notice that even Jesus says 'if' - "if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone." So if you've got some offense, you ought to address it personally first. Go to them alone. "If he hears you, you've regained your brother." - You've not mortified the person by publicly calling them out. If you can do it privately, do it privately. Protect their reputation and their integrity, right? Go to them alone.

'If he hears you' - if they humble themselves and they listen - 'you've gained your brother.' You guys can be reconciled without a problem. "But if he'll not hear you, take with you one or more, that" - of the church elders - "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established." Sometimes when you've got to deal with a situation, you need to take someone else with you and you can say, 'now, what is it that you said? Oh, you promised this person that you were defaulting or you defrauded them and you're going to restore it and you've got a witness here.' So it's important to have two or three witnesses 'that every word might be established.' - Proven - "if he refuses to hear them," - after being counseled, you've talked to him personally, then you take two or three - you've got the option two or three - "of the church" - and say, 'brother, there's this issue that needs to be resolved. You need to make a change. Whatever it is. If they still refuse to hear representatives of the church that have gone, "let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

" - Publican - infidel - unbeliever - is what Jesus is saying. Then, basically, there's a time to put them out of the church. Now, I gave somebody job 4, verses 3 and 4. Are we ready for that? Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. Thy words have upholden him that was falling and thou has strengthened the feeble knees.

" Shouldn't this be the attitude of every Christian? That we are looking out for one another? We want to strengthen our brethren and to encourage them? You know, something that was in that last verse I just read from Matthew that I kind of rushed past. 'If a man is overtaken in a trespass you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself also lest you be tempted. Bear one another's burdens.' What if you go to restore that person and they won't hear you, they don't hear the other representatives of the church and Jesus said, 'they should be to you like a heathen or a tax collector.' Now, while Galatians is talking about redemption, Jesus also makes it clear that there is a time when you no longer treat them like a member. What do we call that? When a person is disfellowshipped. I think in some churches they talk about excommunication.

We typically don't use that word in protestant churches, but is there a registry where a person is registered and you say, 'they are part of the church family, they're qualified to hold office and position in the church.' They do represent the church if they are teaching on our behalf. Is there a mechanism where membership means something? Is it appropriate for a person to say, 'I am a member of the church and yet they're living with their neighbor's wife, they're smoking and drinking and living inconsistently. Would you want them saying they're a member of your church? So, is there a time where, if a person claims to be a member but they're not living a life of consistency, should they then be put out, as Jesus just said, of membership? Is that a mean thing to do or is it a loving thing to do? Is it supposed to be vindictive or is it supposed to be redemptive? How is a person going to have a revival unless they are quarantined in some way to realize, 'you've got a sickness. You've got a problem - that you no longer represent the church.'? But you know what? And it is one of the most difficult things you deal with as a pastor, is periodically you have to address a person's membership in the church. Now, is it okay with you if I'm very honest on this? This is a problem in the church and I want to deal with it honestly.

Every pastor wants to be successful. I want to be successful. I'd be lying if I said, 'I never have any kind of sparkle of joy when I can say, 'our church has grown in Numbers.' You always feel good about that. You know, here at Sacramento central we just planted a church in Granite Bay that is doing very well. It is one of the fastest growing churches in North America.

Now, in three years they've gone to 300 people attending. But when we transferred them and they were organized as a company, our membership here at central went down by about 190. I had to deal with that a little bit. I said, 'praise the Lord, I'm glad we've planted a church, but now our membership just dropped 190.' Every pastor wants his membership to look good. But there's a danger there.

What if you have some people that are just not living the life? Do we all know churches - and we're not exempt here - I'm not trying to say 'out there' - there are people on the books, they have been for years, they don't attend, they don't live the life, and no one wants to really take their name off the books because they might be related closely to someone who's still in the church and that might hurt them if you take their names off. Do you all know what I'm talking about? So what ends up happening is you've got a church and it says, 'membership 500' and then you go Sabbath morning and there's 180 in attendance. So, it means you've got all these people out there that have the name, that are not living the life. Can God bless us if it doesn't mean anything anymore? Does he say something in Revelation about you have a name that you live but you're dead? You know, I think one of the things - you don't often hear about this - one of the things I think the church can tangibly do to help pave the way for revival is be serious about what it means to be a member. And that means you've got to do something painful.

You need to go into your board meetings and you need to look at your membership and you need to pray and you need to identify those people who are on the books - we're doing that at central, my wife has been pouring over the names and making a list of people, calling them, trying to reclaim them, but if they're not living the life and if we can't get them back - and you can't find them - some of them we just can't even find - after you make an honest effort, you need to have a business meeting and drop some names. Isn't that right? It's difficult, but you need to do that because if you don't restore them - as it says in Galatians here - then what do you do? You've got to deal with it. Paul says in 1 Corinthians, there was a man living with his father's wife and they weren't doing anything about it. He said, 'this is shameful. You've got to deal with it.

When they finally did address it, he praised them and he said, 'God - he can bless you again.' And so, that's something that I think we really need a revival in that area in the church. We're not honoring God by having big Numbers on the books, if the people are not really there - having all these phantom members. And that means you have people out in society that say, 'I'm a seventh day adventist Christian.' And there they are at the discotheque with a cigar in their mouth - no, they don't allow you to smoke in the discotheques anymore. You know what I'm saying. There's just no consistency in the life.

I think if you say, 'I am a Christian' it ought to mean something. If you're on the books somewhere - and then there are people who are watching right now and you don't go to church and you're in that category - I think you ought to have the integrity to say, 'you know, I want to come back to the Lord someday, but until I'm living the life, I am going to ask to have my name dropped.' Because it doesn't do - no one is saved by having their names - there's no redemptive value by having your names on the books if you're not living the life. On the contrary, it adds to judgment. It adds to hypocrisy. So at least be honest.

The best thing is come back, have a revival, but if you're not going to do that, have the integrity to say, 'I'm going to write a letter to the church and say, 'you know, I love the Lord and I need to make some changes, but right now I'm not living the life, please remove my name from the books until I get it together. Now, am I telling the truth? I think we need to deal with those things. All right, that was not in the lesson, but it was an opportunity to talk about something I think we need to be honest about and God will bless us as we do. I really believe that. All right.

Beware of temptation. This is the next section in your lesson. You notice when it talks about this in Galatians 1 - 'if a man is overtaken' - what does overtaken mean? It means to be surprised by temptation, to fall into sin, non-presumptuous or premeditated. That's different than someone who deliberately runs after it. And then those who are spiritual go to restore those individuals.

It says, "therefore let him who thinks he stands" - I'm reading now from 1 Corinthians 10:12 - therefore let him who thinks he stands "take heed lest he fall," he says, "be on your guard lest you also be tempted." Let me give you an example. I heard of a pastor who developed a special ministry for men - he had heard that pornography had become such a terrible epidemic among Christians, he wanted to develop a ministry to try to reclaim these people. And in the - he had never had a problem with it before - but in the process he thought he'd study the subject - what do you think happened? You know right there what happened. He fell into the very area where he thought he was going to be counseling and delivering everybody else. When you start working with a person who has fallen into sin, you're getting near the edge of the pit yourself and you really need to pray during those times.

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." Can you think of somebody that thought they had it together and then they fell? Someone look up for me Matthew :34 - I gave that to someone - I almost read it myself. Over here. Matthew 26:34 "Jesus said to him, 'assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." Who did Jesus say that to? He said it to Peter. And when Christ said, 'one of you will betray me tonight' then what did Peter say? 'Oh, though all men should forsake you, I'll not forsake you.' And then later, Jesus came to him, in the Gospel of John chapter 20, he said, 'Peter' - Peter denied him three times and Jesus said, 'Peter, do you love me?' 'Lord, you know' - oh, by the way, Christ said 'do you love me more than these?' Because he was comparing himself with the other apostles - 'though all these should forsake thee, I will not forsake thee.' 'Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.' We need to always - you know, I praise the Lord, I praise the Lord that he's given me the victory over cigarettes. I praise the Lord that he's given me the victory over alcohol.

I haven't had a cigarette in my mouth, not even as a demonstration for 30-something years - 34 years. But do you know what? I'm that far away from smoking at any time. Anybody could fall back. We've got to pray - or drinking, or any of those things. Haven't you all known people - married 35 years - good Christians.

All of a sudden some guy goes loopy. He leaves his wife and runs off with some pretty young thing. And you thought, 'he was an elder.' It can happen to anybody. And so, we need to always be humble. And that's why when someone says, 'are you saved?' - I know what they mean by that and I'll say, 'yes, I'm a believer.

' But it doesn't mean you can't be lost. And some people, when they say 'are you saved?' They mean once saved always saved. And there's almost this arrogance about it. I think we need to be thankful for the assurance we have walking with the Lord, but consider yourself lest you also be tempted. We don't want to do what Peter did, right? And then Judas - Matthew 26:25.

Jesus went around the circle, he said, "one of you will betray me." And then Judas goes, "rabbi is it i?" As though, 'not moi.' And Jesus said, "you have said." - In other words, 'you said it out of your own mouth.' Samuel 12 is another prime example of this. Now, I don't want to belabor this point, but it's in the lesson and this is a very important story. We all know about David's infamous sin with bathsheba. And the amazing thing is, somehow David, who had been such a spirit-filled man, nine months go by, uriah's dead in his grave, bathsheba is now all settled into - she's redecorated in the palace, she's now one of David's wives, she's had a baby - David somehow has quieted his conscience. He has gotten so involved into going on business as usual, thinking he is God's king and didn't even realize how far he had gone from the Lord.

Finally, God has to send nathan. David fell - David did not plan to fall with bathsheba, did he? I know it was something that took place over a series of about three or four days but he didn't plan on it, he fell. And finally, he sends nathan the prophet. Verse - I'm in 2 Samuel 12, verse 1. "Then the Lord sent nathan to David.

And he came to him, and he said - 'I've got a story to tell you David' - David's sitting as king to judge and the reason this story is in the Bible is when the King was sitting as judge, there was usually a scribe recording what the King's - what the case was and what the King's decree was, so it would be followed through with. It said, "there was a certain man" - nathan's, you know, saying, 'I need you to issue judgment on this.' "There's a certain man in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had an exceeding many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb that he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children and it ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and it lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him." Now David, can he resonate being a shepherd? Did David - can he resonate with that? He grew up surrounded by sheep and they had some - he risked his life to save some. So here he's appealing to David's experience.

"And it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man," - and usually you provide some food for the traveler. Remember when Abraham killed the fatted calf when those angels came? "Who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." Oh, David hears this he probably jumps off his throne, clenches his fist - his "anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to nathan, - didn't even let nathan finish the story - "as the Lord lives, the man who has done this will surely die! And he'll restore fourfold" - even before he dies he's got to pay back four times - "because he did this thing and had no pity. And nathan said" - this is - talk about an aha moment. "Nathan said, 'you are the man!' Uriah had one wife that he greatly loved.

David had a whole herd of wives - harem - and David took uriah's one wife. And then he realized 'considering yourself' - now the amazing thing is how did David get to the place where he could be so indignant about the sin of someone else and did not see it in himself? Are we immune to that? More than - not, more than once, hundreds of times I've caught myself being critical or gossiping about someone else and their hypocrisy and their sin and then through the Holy Spirit or through someone else, all of a sudden I become aware of something where I am just as guilty - and it may be another area, but I'm guilty also. And here I just condemned this other person. Our Lord wants us to be consistent. That's why it says, 'those of you who are spiritual, you go talk to him, make sure that you're not going to be accused of hypocrisy when you do.

' All right. Bearing one another's burdens. Now we're in Galatians 6:2. "Bear one another's burden's and so fulfill the law of Christ." Somebody look up Exodus 23, verse 5. Who has that verse? Right over here.

"If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it." Now, are we supposed to only care about helping those who are members of the church? What if they are our enemies? When he says, 'bear one another's burdens' - now I want to give you something to think about here. I'm going to jump briefly to the end of Galatians where you read in verse 10, "therefore, as we have opportunity," - I'm in Galatians 6, verse 10 - the end of our passage. "Therefore, as you have opportunity, let us do good to all," - bear the burdens of all - "especially to those who are of the household of faith." Even if it's your enemy, you ought - that's one way you reclaim your enemy, you overcome evil with good. You do kind things. But especially, Paul says, "those who are of the household of faith.

" Now, for instance, how do you make this applicable and relevant for a church today? We ought to bear one another's burdens. How many people right now in Sacramento are having problems with housing and rent? A lot. California is one of the worst places in the country right now. Nevada, florida, a few others where houses are upside down - people are being foreclosed on. They've lost their jobs here in Sacramento, in particular, because so many government layoffs and we're in the capital - a lot of people are struggling.

We here at the church get a lot of requests for help. And, obviously, we're not a bank. Periodically, there is some especially heart-rending case where we try to do something to help with food or some other emergency. Can we do everything for everybody in Sacramento? Where are we supposed to start? He says, "especially those who are of the household of faith." What does that mean? Those who are church members. The household of faith.

We ought to especially - care for everybody. Bear everybody's burdens. As a Christian - my neighbor's got a problem. He may not be a member - I need to care about his burden. We should care for everybody, but especially those of our own household.

And if you're a shoemaker and you're making shoes for everybody, make sure your kids have shoes. Isn't that what the Bible teaches? So, we ought to bear one another's burdens. And this is what Christianity is - 'all men will know you're my disciples by your love for one another.' Thessalonians 5:14. "We exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all." All right, someone look up for me please John 13, verse 34. Who has that? A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." First of all, why does Jesus call it a new commandment? Leviticus 19:18 - is Leviticus old testament or new testament? Who wrote that? Moses - first books in the Bible - written by Moses. Probably job, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear a grudge against the children of your people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord" the fact that Jesus - or the Lord - quotes that or concludes this by saying, 'I am the Lord', he invokes his own name to punctuate the truth that we should bear each other's burdens and love each other. You notice that God never commands us to do anything that comes naturally? In other words, he usually commands us to do things that we have problems doing.

We're naturally selfish and so he says, don't steal. People naturally are born with certain attractions towards the opposite sex, so the Lord commands those to keep that in restraint. We're naturally inclined to have conflict with our neighbors - I'm talking about with the sinful condition - so the Lord has to command us to love our neighbor. Because it doesn't always come naturally. If you look in the Bible - as I've said many times - the Bible is a history of God's people often having problems with friendly fire.

It's interesting that the Lord says, 'love your enemies' and then he says, 'love your neighbors.' Could it be a connection that your neighbor often becomes your enemy? They're often the same person. And you find that - I personally have very good neighbors - geographically I'm very thankful for that. But sometimes it's someone in the family that rises up against you. Joseph had problems with the family, didn't he? David had problems in the family. Cain had problems with his family - as did abel.

Abel had a bigger problem than cain - he got murdered. And you can go right down the line. So, did Noah have problems in the family? You can go down the line. So we need to learn to love each other and that means you need to forgive - to have that kind of love. John - 2 John, verse 5 "and now I plead with you, lady," - lady meaning the church - "not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which you've had from the beginning: that we love one another.

" It's always been God's plan that his people love each other. Why did Jesus call it a new commandment? Because it was really a new concept for them. Every generation needs to discover this for the first time - that we need to love each other. And that's how we're the best witness for the church. And then in Galatians 6, verse 4 "but let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

" Is part of being a Christian self-examination? You know, there's a certain phrase or wind that sometimes blows through different churches that you're not to look at yourself, just look to Christ. And that's true, we do look to Christ, but it's not meant - I don't believe it means that you are never to evaluate where you are. But you'll hear a lot of very eloquent statements and metaphors and things about don't look at yourself, just look at Christ. To be biblically honest, yeah, there's a time to look and say, 'where am I standing? How am I progressing?' A few verses on that. Someone look up psalm 139:23.

Got that right there? Psalm 139, verse 23 - and 24 also. And while you're finding that, I'll read psalm 26, verse 2 "examine me o Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart." - Now, Paul is, I think, quoting David when he says in Corinthians 11:28, "let every man examine himself," - talking about the communion - "let everyone examine himself and so let him eat of bread" - you ever notice that if you've got a fever you ever ask somebody, 'can you feel my head and see if I've got a fever?' Why don't you feel your own head? 'Well, sometimes I'm not that best - as good a judge.' Sometimes you need other people to help you in that examination. But some things - if I've got a runny nose, I don't need you to examine me, I know. You know what I mean? So you can examine yourself. Go ahead.

You're going to read first elizabeth? What did I say? Psalms 139:23, 24. Search me, o God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there's any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting." So this idea of examining yourself, is it something we do without the Lord or with the Lord? You examine yourself with the Lord and you say, 'Lord, there may be things I'm not aware of, because we could be blinded. Was David blind to himself? Was Peter blind to himself? And that's why we've got to say, 'Lord, by your grace I'll follow thee.' Help me know. One more. Corinthians 13:5.

This is a good one. "Examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?" And so, all of us need to really search our own hearts and try ourselves and make sure that we are in the faith. Well, there's more to study in this lesson.

I got most of it - at least we read the whole verse, right? - Together - and I think we got some edifying things out of it, but we are out of time. Don't forget, there's more information on the lesson if you go to and we have the studies archived there so you can watch them in a future time. God bless you, friends, until we study again next week. How many of you know somebody that was once walking with Jesus, but for whatever reason they became discouraged or maybe there was some conflict and they no longer attend church? Well, we are going to have a special program to reconnect with those who are sort of drifting in their relationship with Jesus. It's called 'reclaim your faith'.

It will be broadcast by Amazing Facts on the hope channel from January 13th through the 15th and it's an excEllent opportunity for you to share with some of your friends that may have become discouraged or distracted to help them to reconnect with Jesus. If you'd like to know more about how you can participate in reclaim your faith, then simply go to We hope that you'll be praying for this broadcast and there will be a rich harvest of souls as a result. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including Amazing Facts presents.

One location. So many possibilities.

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