James 4:1-17 “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethern. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Have you ever wondered why the Christians of America do not act like the Christians of the Bible? Have you ever wondered why many independent Baptists do not act like the Christians of the Bible? Have you ever wondered why we do not see more happen from God and by God in our country? Have you ever wondered why the children and adults in our independent Baptist churches have very little spiritual interest? Have you ever wondered why the adults in our churches are more interested in the world than in the things of God?
I want to share three points with you this evening that I believe is the reason for this. Many of our independent Baptist churches are a poor example of Biblical Christianity. Families are breaking apart, our children in many instances are living for the devil and immorality and drugs are on every hand. What is wrong?
1. We Envy Sinners
A recent survey was done of the children who were in 8th grade in America. They were asked who their heroes were. They were asked whom they most wanted to be like. Guess what folks, the top thirty answers were people involved in the entertainment or sports industry. People like Madonna, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, rock groups, and teen singers of rock and country music. I wondered who the children of our church would say their heroes were? I can hear some child say, “I want to be like Reggie Miller and the Pacers.” How pathetic can we be? I want you to turn in your Bible to four passages of scripture. Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:12, 14, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man: but the end thereof are the ways of death. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” Provebs 14:26, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
The problem with the Christians of America is we envy sinners. We secretly desire or in many instances openly desire to be like the ungodly. Most of the people on the list that the young people said they most admired and wanted to be like were immoral, ungodly wicked people. Jesus Christ is not Lord of our life; the envy of the sinners is the Lord of our life.
I recently heard Magic Johnson say when asked about the HIV virus he has that the problem with America is we are uneducated. No folks, the problem with America is we are immoral and we envy the sinners. We envy the wicked immoral lifestyles and want to be like them and we encourage our children to worship at their altar of immorality, greed and wickedness. This is a man who was involved with numerous women who were not his wife and yet he states, “We are uneducated.” He is put up as a role model for many children in America. What is our problem? We envy the sinners. Folks do not think this is not a problem in independent Baptist churches because it is. I saw a pastor’s son of an independent Baptist church recently have a license plate on the front of his truck that says, “if it ain’t country it ain’t good.” What he was talking about was country and western music. Would we not consider that to be a poor testimony for a pastor and his son to have that kind of thing on the front of his vehicle? In many independent Baptist churches no one would give that a second thought. Folks that is the spiritual problem that many of our churches have. The problem with America is we envy the sinners.
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Folks, do you know why our children want to be like the worldly, immoral, entertainment or sports industry personality? In many instances their parents want to be like the wicked, immoral entertainment or sports industry personality and lust after it. We as Christians envy the sinners. Christian, we need to really think about it. What is really in your heart in this matter? We have a nation where many people who profess the name of Christ are wicked in their life. We have a nation where Christians are living for their lusts and unfortunately many Pastors are involved in the same wicked sins. What is wrong with America? We envy the sinners.
2. We seek attention for ourselves
The Christians today are so self-centered that they would not know spirituality if it hit them right in the face. We are offended if it is not just the way we like it. James 4:1-5. Our problem is right here. Look at James 4:2, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not because ye ask not.” Folks the problem is with that word lust. Listen carefully to me, either you are developing a passion for God in your life or you are developing a passion for the world. There is no in between. Notice James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Folks, there is that word again. “Lusts” You can have lusts in your life for many things like cars, boats, houses, jobs, sports, sexual immorality etc. etc. The problem for the Christians of America is we are lusting after attention for ourselves. It is what we want and what we want to have. Do you know that the Bible calls this spirituality adultery? Notice James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Is that possible? Is it possible for the Christian to be the enemy of God? The context here is Christians. You better believe it is and that is the problem with America, we envy the sinners and we are lusting and seeking attention for ourselves. That is why the children of Christians in many instances live like the devil. That is why many independent Baptist people live like the devil. We do not care if the church is doctrinally right or that it preaches the word of God, we are raising a bunch of children and adults who are consumed with themselves and their lusts. Who cares if the church is doctrinally sound as long as they have activities for our children to keep them interested? The question is interested in what? Folks, you listen to me carefully, the church or Pastor who thinks like that is teaching their church that it is okay to live by your lusts. We are to teach our children and our parents to deny their lusts. Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
What wrong with the Christians in America? We seek attention for ourselves when the Bible says die to self? We are teaching our churches to live for themselves.
3. We have no Spiritual Aim
Most Christians in this country are not interested in the lost. They are not interested in growing spiritually. They are not interested in prayer and doctrinal soundness. They are not interested in good Bible teaching and preaching. They are not going after spiritual results in their life. Folks are you developing a passion for God in your life? Are you men here developing a passion for God in your wife and children? You must have a spiritual aim in your life. Seek after it.
Let me give you a spiritual aim in your life. Matthew 6:33, 24, 21, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Folks, let me share with you tonight if you have no spiritual aim in your life, you will fail. Let me give you something to aim at. Seek God first in your life. Do not exalt the wicked and immoral in your home. Do not exalt the perverseness of this lustful, ungodly society in your life and home. Aim for godliness and purity in your life.
We have over the last year heard a lot about Columbine. These two boys listened to rock music. Their heroes were the rock music stars. They listened day and night to the wicked lyrics of those songs. It is always amazing to me that many Christians allow their children watch and lust after the world and expect their children to live for God. It will never happen in their life. You will never have a real walk with God in your life if you do not understand these spiritual principles tonight and your children will not walk with God either.
Folks, make the right choice tonight. Make a choice for God.
Have you ever thought about?
- Envy of sinners, answer, put Christ first.
- Attention for yourself, answer, set your affection on things above.
- No spiritual aim, answer, start working at being the best Christian you can be and develop a passion for God in your life. That will translate into being a good godly, husband, wife father, and mother.
I challenge you tonight set your aim on Christ!