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Words To Live By


"14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all over the world, we are so glad to have you here with us today. We are thankful that you have responded to the prompting of the Lord to join us. I pray that you will be richly blessed by what the Holy Spirit has for us.
We are living in an interesting time. A time of much confusion and uncertainty. Human rights, gender, equality verses equity, social justice, injustice and democracy are at the forefront in the news media. The division of politics, government, our nation and the world, has never been more evident than it is today. Tragically, I have noticed a significant increase of this division, even in the church. Believers engaging in hair-splitting controversial debates over things that are not only none essential, but are not biblical.
Controversies in which the Bible has never spoken authoritatively. And, if you spend any time on social media, you are surely to see all of these controversies unfolding. 
Every one today, seems to have an opinion, about everything and decidedly wants to ensure that their opinion is heard. The mindless, empty speculation of the human intellect has seemingly taken over our world. And, because the Bible doesn’t address a particular subject directly, we see it occurring in the body of Christ. Quite often, by engaging in these controversial subjects, what we start to see, is believers pursuing personal victory rather than truth. Truth is undeniable. And, if it is proclaimed in love and you can witness it making a difference in people’s lives.

That's why I absolutely love the Word of God. I do, I love the Word of God. I especially love how the Bible clearly instructs us what not to do and then, it instructs us what to do. Not only what we are to do, but what we are to focus our minds on. Albert Camus, the French-Algerian philosopher once said

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken." But I wonder if there’s no breaking then there’s no healing, and if there’s no healing then there’s no learning. And if there’s no learning then there’s no struggle. But the struggle is a part of life. So must all hearts be broken?
Let us bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we again, thank You for Your Word which is truth. May Your truth be a reality in all our lives and may it be to Your glory. We thank You for the relentless outpouring of Your grace, because we all fall short of Your calling on our lives. A calling of which none of us is worthy; we confess it is a calling which all fall short. Where there are failures, and there certainly are many, may we turn to You with a contrite heart and repent, that we might be restored. By Your grace, through Your Holy Spirit, as You prepare our hearts, may You also prepare us for every good work, and in doing so, we would become Your usable earthen vessels.
Lord, give  us the eyes of Christ, that we would compassionately see others as He sees us, the mind of Christ, that we would be obedient to Your commands, and the heart of Christ, that we would love others, as You have first loved us. Break our hearts for that which breaks Yours. May we who believe, always stand on the absolute truth of Your Word, and not the relative truth, that is anything that is the changing cultural phenomena of our worldly experience.
In Jesus' name
Today's Message: Words To Live By

As I stated earlier, every one today has an opinion. And, while people’s opinions are always listened to and generally appreciated, at least most of the time, the bottom line is, at the end of the day, the opinion that most matters to me, and it should also you, is the opinion of God. While speaking the truth, in trying not to be offensive or intentionally hurtful to anyone's feelings, my first and foremost concern is, is God pleased with the message. Allow me to further state, that because the opinion of God and the opinion of man, are quite often heading in opposite directions, the point is, I cannot please God and please man. And in full disclosure, my greatest concern, is to please God. I believe that we so often forget that the minister is not really accountable to us at the end of the day; we are accountable to God.

However, allow me just say boldly, there is "handling the Word of Truth," and then, there is "rightly handling the Word of Truth." And, yes, there is a difference between these two concepts, one which I believe, is as vital as life and death itself. The mishandling of the Word of Truth, jeopardizes both those who hear and those who are handling. Tragically, the mishandling the Word of God, may be more common in the pulpits today than we might imagine.

The concept of "rightly handling the Word of Truth" has, unfortunately, entered the lexicon of the faith. Whatever else we think the concept means, this emphasis demonstrates the reality that the faith is a word based entity. In other words, right doctrine is essential if we are to please God. What is believed, and therefore, what is being taught to those who seek to understand the will of God, and what is being communicated through the Word. If the pastor, and consequently, the church, fails to provide sound exposition of the Word of God, it is failing both parishioners those who are outside the precincts of grace, leaving them extremely vulnerable to spiritual loss and quite possibly, even a damning, eternal loss. We know from Romans chapter 10, verse 17, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

When Paul confronted the Christians of Galatia because they were departing the Faith, he pointed again to this word-based aspect of the Faith. In Galatians 3:2, Paul asked, "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?" Underscore in your mind that ultimate phrase, "hearing with faith." This concept will be used again in Galatians 3:5, when he asks, "So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?" In I Corinthians 1:21, the Apostle Paul reminds the saints in Corinth, "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

Beloved, I believe that this message is essential if sinners are to be saved. And, it is of no consequence what I think is important concerning the will of God, for it is God , Who sets the standard for what is pleasing to Him. Therefore, neither am I able to excuse unbelief, as though it were inconsequential, just purely incidental, as if there is no urgency for the lost to believe the message of life. 
Therefore, the message of salvation must be that which God has delivered in His Word. Our children are vulnerable, our friends, our colleagues are under sentence of death and are dependent upon you and me, to ensure that the love of God is communicated without distortion. Your thoughts concerning how you imagine you will serve Christ, serve God, are of no consequence. Listen, my ideas of what I will do, are futile, a moot point, in honoring God; your conception of what is pleasing to God is worthless. What matters, what is vital, is whether each of us does what God commands us to do, through His Holy Spirit and His written Word. 
This is exactly what Jesus was teaching us in John 15, when He said, "You are My friends if you do what I command you.
Therefore, knowing the will of God is crucial, knowing the will of God is imperative; however, doing the will of God is absolutely essential. The primary labor of the elder is to instruct those who hear him to do what pleases God. Paul’s missives to Timothy speak primarily of matters related to conducting oneself in the pastorate. That is why these are known as “Pastoral Letters.” No one should assume, however, that because these are Pastoral Letters they have nothing to say to those who are not elders. Congregational members are responsible to know what God expects of the elder, holding that man accountable before God for what is taught and the manner in which he conducts his life. That is why I often tell you, that these Pastoral Letters are not written only for elders, but that they are given for all the people of God!
Today, we are again in the Book of Second Timothy. The Apostle Paul has been giving Timothy a series of metaphors, or word pictures, if you will, to teach him how to endure and we are actually at the eighth illustration of this is the word picture, which is the picture of a workman. Open with me your Bibles to II Timothy 2:14-19, as we continue in this, what I believe, very vital portion of God's Word. And, obviously, this is of great importance, he is very serious about this, because as we are about to read in our text, the Apostle Paul writes, in verse 14 he says "solemnly charge them in the presence of God." 
I would encourage you you to follow along with me as I read to you from our text, to set it in our minds, as the Holy Spirit prepares our hearts for what He has to say. II Timothy 2:14-19.
"Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.  But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." 
The Apostle Paul, in our text, begins by enjoining the young pastor, "Remind them of these things." We might properly ask, "What things?" These things refers back to what Paul has just previously delivered. Allow me to quickly read that to you, from verses 8-13, "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." That, is what young Timothy is to remind them of, and us!

Because we know what is necessary for the preacher to keep before the people of God, allow me to just refresh our memories. The message from the pulpit must be Jesus Christ! The message must point the hearer to the Savior, the Son of God. It is a common saying among many of the great preachers that they take a text and using the idiom, make a beeline, directly to Jesus Christ. The one who rightly handles the Word of God will, out of necessity, always point those who listen to Christ Jesus the Lord.
As I have stated many times throughout the years, those who come to church to hear the Word of God, do not seek a dissertation on economics. Even first year student of economics will do a far better job teaching economics than any preacher. I cannot understand those who purport to stand behind the sacred desk wasting time lecturing on economic matters. Let God grip the heart of the hearers and that individual will endeavor to arrange her financial affairs to honor the King of kings. Those attending the services of the congregation do not come to hear a lecture on science. 
In fact, from what I have come to understand, is most people were bored out of their minds when they had to study the sciences. When God has seizes the heart of an individual, that one will know that God calls all things into being; and he will know that those who deny God attempt to exclude Him because they are afraid to know Him. People do not come to the church to be entertained. The world will always provide better entertainment far better than we can provide from the pulpit, if that is what you seek; we don’t have financial resources to waste money to amuse people as the world amuses them. However, we can excel in declaring freedom from sin, through Jesus Christ! We can excel in pointing lost sinners to eternal life in Christ. 
As of late, there is incredible pressure on those who preach the Word to be entertaining. As the crowd demands,"Tell us what we want to hear," "Affirm us. Tell us how amazing we are. Tell us how God is pleased with us. How much God wants to bless us financially. Tell us God wants to gives us the desires of our heart! That's what we want and you must give it to us!"
The Apostle Paul goes to great lengths to make it quite plain, that declaring the Gospel may well entail suffering, even being bound with chains. This is not, however, a message the world wants to hear. We much prefer a message that says what good people we are. We want a message that tells us what a great job we are doing and how honored God is to have people like us, who are willing to help Him. Nevertheless, the message that is desperately needed, is the message of old, ruined by the fall and redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus. 
Allow me to share with you the words of an old hymn:

Tell me the old, old story,
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love;
Tell me the story simply,
As to a little child,
For I am weak and weary,
And helpless and defiled.

Tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love.

Tell me the story slowly,
That I may take it in—
That wonderful redemption,
God’s remedy for sin;
Tell me the story often,
For I forget so soon,
The “early dew” of morning
Has passed away at noon.

Tell me the story softly,
With earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner
Whom Jesus came to save;
Tell me the story always,
If you would really be,
In any time of trouble,
A comforter to me.

Tell me the same old story,
When you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory
Is costing me too dear;
And when the Lord’s bright glory
Is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story:
"Christ Jesus makes thee whole." 

What a dreadful day it shall be for the minister who has failed to speak of Christ the Lord, pointing those who listen to life in the Beloved Son. Woe, to the man who distributed poison to God's children rather than the Bread of Life. For he offered a cup of raw sewage rather than the refreshing the Living Water.

I have spoken to a number of people who have said that they no longer believed what the church taught, even speaking disdainfully of it. Is it any wonder why so many today turn from the faith to pursue their own fleshly desires? Far too many among the churches have taught with what can only be said to be a cavalier, supercilious disdain for the truths of God; they substituted their own imaginative for truth, condemning all who adopted their approach. 

Paul writes, "Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."

Far too many preachers today, delivers textual or topical sermons. Don't get me wrong, textual and topical sermons can be quite legitimate, they have a place in the repertoire of the pulpiteers. However, for the purposes of building up the church, building strong saints, instructed in righteous and in the knowledge of the will of God, expository messages are desperately needed. 

Let the man of God take a portion of the Word. Whether a sentence, a verse, a paragraph or a chapter, doing the hard work of discovering what the original readers of that portion understood the writer to be saying and then applying what is written to contemporary life. A grand plan is to begin with a book or a particular passage, preaching through that entire section of God's Word, until he has thoroughly exhausted what is written. The pulpit is no place for quarreling about words. As Paul says in unequivocal terms, such actions will only ruin the hearers. 

There seem to be many churches that want to argue about which translation of Bible must be used. Far too many churches anathematize fellow Christians because they choose to read a different translation of the Bible from that which is used in the pulpit. It is a form of ecclesiastical censorship. While others demonize fellow Christians because they recite prayers rather than praying extemporaneously. Still others wish to dictate dress, especially women’s dress, for worship. We twist and distort Bible doctrines, defining "churchy" words to fit our agendas while censuring believers who question our position. 

Beloved, can we not see that we are destroying other believers because of our own perverse pride? Yet, we persist in our bull-headed stubbornness, in pursuit of our own private agendas even though we know we are causing harm to other believers. 

Some seeking to exalt themselves as superior. Some have censured others as coward when they attempt to be gentle or compassionate. Of course those wishing to label others were exalted in their own eyes; these brave souls are quite prepared to form a church of one, because they alone are right! Others will not worship with the people of God because the songs and hymns are all wrong. If a hymn isn’t printed with shaped notes, then they cannot sing. Or they are offended that the wrong person leads in singing hymns! Instead of rejoicing at the expanding participation in worship, they quit the services of the church because things are not conducted according to their estimate of how things should be. People have ceased worship because no one can worship with guitars or with drums! Others have determined that the preaching must be conducted in a particular fashion. The presentation of the Word must not last beyond fifteen minutes. Don’t make people feel uncomfortable; make them feel good about themselves. The preacher must not lift his voice. He must ensure that he speaks in a soothing voice, but not too much. 

Enough of this already! Such fatuity must be stopped! We must submit to the Word. And we must do it now!

While it may be true that a sermon message can be composed in a matter of minutes, there are many require long, considerable hours of study and work. I was once asked how long it takes to prepare a sermon, my response was "a lifetime." Every message that I deliver to you is the composite of a lifetime of study, a lifetime of personal failures and experiences in walking with the Lord Jesus. The service of speaking on behalf of the Living Son of God, means that the preacher must invest time in the Word with God. The man of God will be compelled to spend hours in prayer, grappling with what is written, so that he does not thoughtlessly distort the Word of God, through his failure to heed potential risks

In Ephesians 4:1-3, the Apostle Paul says, "Do your best."  He writes "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

The Greek term Paul uses conveys the idea of doing a task "with intense effort and motivation." The original readers would have understood that he was calling the elder "to work hard, to endeavor, and to do one's best."

As Christians, we are called to invest ourselves in maintaining the unity of the Body of Christ. Maintaining the unity of the Spirit is hard work, chiefly because we are fallen creatures. So, God instructs us to labor to ensure that this unity is maintained. It means that when things are going our way, we are to find what makes for peace rather than quitting. It means that we are responsible to stop listening to the constantly complaining of the disgruntled, seeking to encourage them while working to keep the overall  unity of the Spirit. This is an injunction that we so easily forget in our "me first" culture. 

Paul said in Romans 12:6-8, "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with  liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

In other words, Paul is insisting that the preacher must exert himself to excel. It means that first and foremost he is to be a preacher. Contrary to what is so often the case today, it is not the responsibility of the preacher to chase after popularity in the community, to endeavor to be gregarious, praying over every tortoise race that is hosted in the community. The man of God must make every effort to know the will of God and then boldly and courageously declare that will in such a way, that those who listen know the responsibility that attends following the Savior. 

Preaching is demanding and often difficult work; because the message the preacher brings stings, dismantling carefully crafted facades. Though he genuinely seeks to be gentle, the message confronts us in our sinful condition, calling us to repentance. We want to be seen as nice people; yet, before the Living God we know we are sinners. We are redeemed, yet we know that our salvation is all of grace; we have nothing of which we may boast. Therefore, the message of the Gospel will inevitably sting as God continues His perfect work through the proclaiming of the Word.

Isaiah 30:10 says "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions."

Sadly, attitudes such as those which were displayed in the days of Isaiah’s service are not confined to the ancient days of the past. This same attitude is often seen in far too many contemporary churches. It is not a sin of liturgical churches, however, this is a sin found too often among Evangelicals. In the face of such attitudes, the preacher who will please God must charge the flock of God to cease doing evil and to embrace righteousness. Because his task is onerous, the preacher must possess steely resolve to do the work to which God has appointed, knowing that as he fulfills his service, he will often face opposition from the very people to whom he is sent to serve.

Therefore, the preacher is responsible to stand before the Lord; that is the implication of the statement that he is "to present" himself. The one that is approved is a worker, so he does not need to be ashamed, he rightly handles the Word. The one approved is pure; his character is not corrupted with impurity. And, because he is pure in his determination to serve God, he pursues the will of God with his whole heart. We are to seek God’s approval and not the approval of man. Those who love God , will love the man of God so long as the man of God follows hard after the Lord who has appointed him. God is our judge; we’re not in this, pursuing truth and disseminating truth for an audience of ten or twenty thousand, we are actually doing it for an audience of one, God. And, because is a worker, he will do his best, with boldness, not being ashamed. His effort will be apparent to those who hear him.The premise for not being is ashamed is that the preacher has rightly handled the Word.

In verses 16-19, Paul says "But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some." In our text today, Paul warns about word battles, identifying such heresies as "irreverent babble."

Irreverent babble, profane chatter, empty speech are terms describing false teaching that was then beginning to infiltrate the congregation in Ephesus. The danger of false teaching, irreverent babble, is two-fold, because it leads people into further ungodliness and the error spreads like gangrene. The Apostle Paul did not hesitate to name two such individuals. You may remember in Paul's First Letter to Timothy, Paul speaks of Hymenaeus. He excommunicated this man, delivering him over to Satan. Although he was no longer a part of the church, he continued to spread heresy.

Among the most dangerous individuals to the congregation of the faithful are those members who were either expelled for error, or who chose to walk away. Those who deviate from truth become increasingly godless. Paul also warns that "irreverent babble" "will spread like gangrene." Paul actually appeals to the world of medicine to emphasize how invasive errant teaching is. Gangrene is a serious health condition for those who are afflicted. And, if it is not caught early and treated aggressively, it will require amputation of the diseased limb or result in certain death. Such individuals are most dangerous, because we know them, making the Body Of Christ susceptible contamination.
In Closing...
A major issue today is that many Christians are going to so-called places of worship, where they are not being spiritually fed. They are lacking in the true teaching as taught the Word of God. Where they are going today is what I would call glorified spiritual pep rally. There's a lot of cheering, a lot of yelling and screaming, so everybody leaves kind of pumped up. But at the end of the day, the Word of God is not being taught. Not being spiritually fed, they lack the Word to sustain them as God’s children throughout the difficult trials of life.In today's church, the Word of God has become a springboard for personal piety and meditation, rather than a book to be read and studied.
Neglecting the Word of God can only lead to spiritual disaster, disobedience and result in eternal death. Our impatience with the Word of God can only be explained by an impatience with God, which will lead to our own ruin. Consequently, it’s our own fault because we,  are more wrapped up in ourselves than we are the Word of God.  
Though this message may be uncomfortable for some, rightly handling the Word of God  means to cut straight, and for those who will hear, these are not words of condemnation or judgement, but rather words to live by..
May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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