Sermon from a Shirt- Sermon outline- Drew Milligan (6/26/16)

Didn't get to record the lesson this morning but I would like to share this outline with you all. I hope it blesses all who reads it. Use it to God's glory as you see fit.

DM

 

“Sermon from a Shirt”

 

Introduction

I saw a lady the other day in Panama City wearing a shirt with the following quote. “ I  don’t want to go to Heaven, because none of my friends are there”. That quote was from a man by the name of Oscar Wilde. Wilde was a British playwright during the 1800s. He was a very immoral individual. He was a homosexual and lived a very promiscuous unrepentant life. When I saw this lady wearing this shirt, I saw a lady whose heart was hardened and didn’t care about that.

In our lesson today, I want to make some spiritual application to our lives to respond to this tragically sad comment/quote.

 

 I.I want to go to Heaven because my father is there.

Heaven is the dwelling place of God. (Rev. 21:22-27)
 I want to spend eternity with God.  Notice 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

I want to be in sweet communion with my Lord, both now, and forever. There are several meanings to the word communion. One of those meanings according to Webster is “a close relationship”
If I am in communion with my God, He will dwell in us and will be our God and we shall be his people.
We are reminded to separate ourselves from the unfruitful works of darkness ( see also Ephesians 5:11)
The quality of a dwelling place is often determined by its inhabitants. God will be with us there therefore Heaven will be a place that is perfect. This world is not perfect.
I am reminded of that beautiful hymn we oft sing “ My God and I will go for aye together, we’ll walk and talk as good friends should and do. This Earth will pass and with it common trifles, my God and I will go unendingly”
We will also be face to face with Christ our savior, “face to face what will it be?’
We are promised that we will see his face. ( Revelation 22:1-5)

II. I want to go to Heaven because it will be home for me.
77 years ago, Judy Garland said famously as Dorothy Gale, “There is no place like home!”
For her, Kansas was home!
This world is not my home! 
I look forward with joy to the day I can go home. Not to McMinnville, but to the home prepared by my father. 
To live is Christ and to die is gain ( Phil 1:21,23)
Phil 3:20- Our Citizenship is in Heaven

 

III.I want to go to Heaven because my faithful friends and family will be there

When I saw this woman’s shirt, I thought,  “you need new friends”
The fact that she said her friends wouldn’t be in Heaven says alot about their character and conduct
I Cor. 15:33
Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”
 I Thess 4:14 and I Cor 15:18 mention those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
Revelation 14:13 “ Blessed are they who die in the Lord”


IV.I want to go to Heaven because of what will not be there 

a.Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Think about how many tears have been shed in this life due to sorrow. There will be never a tear in Heaven because there will be no cause for tears.
Think about how many funerals have been attended. There will never be a funeral in Heaven because there will be no death in Heaven. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed according to the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:26.
Death is swallowed up in victory. In Heaven, the saints will never be stung again by death ( I Cor. 15:54-57)


V.I want to go to Heaven because of what will be there

My crown of righteousness will be there.
Paul speaks about it in 2 Timothy 4:8.
 Jesus told the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 to be faithful unto death and they would be given a crown of life.
What is the crown of righteousness?
a. Crown (stephanos) - "the wreath or garland which was given
            as a prize to victors in public games" - Thayer, cf. 1Co 9:
            24-25
         b. "metaphorically the eternal blessedness which will be given
            as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ: the
            crown (wreath) which is the reward of the righteousness"
Thayer's Greek Lexicon

 In Heaven, I will reap the benefits of living a faithful, Christian life.


Conclusion

I cannot stop thinking of the lady wearing that shirt with the sad quote on it.
Her heart is hardened, and honestly, when a person gets to that level, it is hard to do anything with that.
We know God gives people over to their vile affections ( Romans 1:26,28)
However, as long as man has life in his body, he has the opportunity to respond to Heaven’s invitation. I hope someone can reach people like this lady with the truth.
Extend invitation, Plea to respond.

Two deaths that were joyous

You probably looked at the title of this post and said to yourself "How in the world can death be joyous?" I want to share with you two situations that have occurred within the past 2 weeks.

 

Death number 1.

My student at Boyd Christian, Cassie Pope. Cassie studied and read the Book "Muscle and a Shovel" by Michael Shank. She determined that she needed to be baptized for the remission of her sins (Acts 2:38).  Friday evening,January 8, I was privileged to immerse my student into Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:4 says "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life".

Cassie died in the sense that her old manner of life died. She is now a new creature in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"

I am so proud of Cassie and rejoice in her new life.

 

Death 2: Carolyn Turner.

Sister Carolyn had been sick for some time, we didn't truly grasp how sick. She died quickly last weekend. In just a few short hours, I will be conducting her funeral. Her death is a joyous occasion. Not joyous in the sense that she is gone from this life, she will and already is terribly missed. However, she died as a faithful Christian. Psalm 116:15 tells us that God finds the death of his saints precious: Because they died faithful to him. For the Christian that is asleep in Christ, those who love them can take comfort knowing that the judgment will be good for them. It is up to those of us who remain to live faithful to God as well so we can have a glad reunion someday.

 

I love you and God loves you as well

 

DM

Did you think to pray?

One of my resolutions this year is to be a better prayer. My mind goes back to a great lesson from Brother BJ Clarke at Polishing the Pulpit. He had a great quote "How often do we actually pray for those who  ask us to pray for us?"

 

Sobering thought but true. I haven't done as much as I could do. 

 

At our inservice the other day at Boyd, I won a journal. I recently bought a Star wars moleskin journal to use for sermon notes and such. What to do with this other journal? I decided to make a prayer journal out of it.  In this journal I can write down all those I need to pray for. If I am surfing Facebook and I see someone requesting prayer, I can record the name and if applicable the need. I also have it with me at school. If my students have anything they want prayed for, they can sign the book.  Prayer is of the utmost importance.

 

Consider three things about prayer.

 

1. It must be persistent (Luke 18:1) Jesus said all men everywhere should pray and not faint. He then proceeded to teach a parable about a widow who was persistent in asking a rather cantankerous, ungodly judge to deal with her adversary. We must be persistent in our praying to God.

 

 

2. It must not be prideful ( Luke 18:9-14). Jesus then proceeded to teach another parable about a Pharisee and a publican. The Pharisee was observed praying and was very much self-righteous in his prayer to God, bragging about the good he had done and how thankful he was to not be like all these different people including the publican who was praying not far away from him. On the other hand, this publican was so humble that he couldn't even lift his eyes to Heaven and was willing to admit that he was guilty of sin and needed mercy from God. Which of those two prayers do you suppose God accepted?

3. We must remember that prayer is powerful (Acts 12:1-11). There was a great persecution going on in the church and the Apostle Peter was in prison.  Verse 5 tells us that prayer was made without ceasing unto God for Peter by the church.  That same night, an angel escorted Peter out of the jail. Prayer is POWERFUL and it does work.

 

"Oh how praying rests the weary, prayer will change the night to day… So when life seems dark and dreary, don't forget to pray"

 

 

DM

The arrogance of atheism

Psalm 14:1 "The Fool hath said in his heart there is no God."


Atheism... the denial of the existence of God.  Millions of people around the world and in the US refuse to accept the existence of God. Why is this? Why would people refuse to put their trust in God who has the power to either save or destroy man? I believe the Atheist by his very nature is arrogant.


1. The Atheist believes HE knows what is best. My friend, that in itself is foolish. Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 both say that there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is death.


2. The Atheist is condescending towards people who are religious, including and especially Christians. Seth Macfarlane, creator of the TV program "Family Guy" is well known in Hollywood as a proud Atheist and it is visible in his TV shows and movies where God is often mocked and Christians are made fun of. "Pride comes before destruction" Proverbs 16:17-18. 


3. The Atheist is not only condescending but is often vulgar towards Christians and God. Bill Maher said on his HBO show not long ago that God was a psychopath guilty of murder. What a vile statement by a vile human being. Mr. Maher, the unbelieving shall have their place in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)


The Atheist while arrogant, has a soul and sadly is lost unless he comes to believe the truth. Pray for these people.

-Drew
 

Who's gonna fill their shoes?

I remember where I was the day George Jones died. I was on my way to West Virginia with Joey Ferrell to participate in my first mission work in that area. Joey and I both were fans of the "Possum", Joey even had tickets to see George at the Bridgestone arena later in 2013. 

One of my favorite George Jones songs is "Who's gonna fill their shoes?". In that song, he was reflecting on country singers such as Hank Sr and others who had departed this life. He asked who was going to fill the shoes and step up in the place of those men. It can be argued that not many have stepped up when it comes to Country music as many times I can't tell it apart from Pop music.

In the churches of Christ, there are many Gospel preachers who have gone to paradise. I think of men such as Winford Claiborne, Wendell Winkler, NB Hardeman, Foy Wallace Jr, and others who are no longer with us. Who will fill their shoes?  I think of men such as James Watkins, Tom Holland, Gary Colley, Alan Highers and others who are older. They won't be with us forever. Who will fill their shoes? The same is said for faithful elders, who will replace them?

The churches of Christ are fighting a battle, there is no doubt about it. We are fighting a battle against sin and the Devil. We are fighting a battle against denominationalism, and we are fighting against liberalism( those who add to or take away from worship and God's word)and to a point legalism (those who would bind where God has not bound, "anti-ism"). Each week it seems, we are hearing about a congregation of God's people going down the wrong path. It was announced that Harpeth Hills in Brentwood will be adding an Instrumental service in August going against Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. "Preachers" and "Elders" if you can stomach to call them that, are bowing their knees to Baal.

It is up to us now and in the future to stand for the truth in the churches of Christ. We cannot allow these ideas(among others) of women led worship, instrumental music, and even gay marriage ( Let's face it folks, there are congregations out there who will be bowing to that issue as well if they aren't already). 

Some things that give me great hope for the future.

  1.  There are plenty of good elders and deacons still out there. There are plenty of Elders who still love God's word and respect it. They still believe in the qualifications set forth in First Timothy Chapter 3.

     2. There are more than plenty sound, capable men still presenting the Gospel and are not ASHAMED of it (Romans 1:16). They are preaching it in season and out of season ( 2 Timothy 4:2) or as the late Marshall Keeble said " Preach it when they like it and when they don't like it!".

  

 3. There are still good schools out there training young men to preach. I know Lipscomb is gone, Pepperdine is gone and Abeline is gone. There are still good schools to train men. Memphis school of Preaching, Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, Freed- Hardeman, Faulkner University, Bear Valley, Brown Trail all have produced excellent preachers. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. There are other smaller schools that are good as well. In my area there is the Nashville school of preaching, Middle TN school of preaching and the Chattanooga school of preaching. While I don't believe a man has to get a diploma or degree to preach, it doesn't hurt either. Notice what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also"

 

4. There are good, sound events for Christians to attend. Polishing the Pulpit is a wonderful tool for the brotherhood. The Jacksonville church of Christ and its elders do a great job each year putting this event on. Great lectures and great classes. The Diana singing that I mentioned in my first post is a wonderful period of singing! CYC, Challenge youth conference, is a wonderful event for our youth with men who LOVE the truth and the Lord's church, not joke about it.

 

My point is, while there are some serious issues going on in the brotherhood. I am constantly reminded of the good. We need to continue filling the shoes of those before us.  May our work for the Lord and zeal for his truth be so that the generations to come can look at us and say "Who will fill their shoes?" and better yet ask themselves "What am I going to do to help fill those shoes!?"

 

You have a new request.

I have been on social media for years. Overall, it has been a great experience for me. I get to evangelize, keep up with friends and family, and network with fellow preachers. There are some things that annoy me though.

  1. Constant whining on Facebook annoys me.
  2. Cursing on Facebook annoys me
  3. People taking the Lord's name in vain sadden me
  4. People espousing false doctrine sadden me

 

One thing that used to annoy me was the number of game requests I used to get. Thankfully, there is a way to disable those. I would get excited when I would have notifications and then disappointed when it would be someone wanting me to play one of the latest fad games out there. Thanks but no thanks on those invites.

However, Jesus gave us a beautiful invitation in Matthew 11:28-30

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"

Why yes Jesus, I think I will take you up on that invite. In fact, I did so some 11 years ago when I obeyed the Gospel of Christ. You see, one cannot go to Heaven unless they are in Christ. To be in Christ means one must be in his church (Acts 2:47). 

How do I get into the church? Do I get into it by being voted in by a council or by members of a denomination? Nope, you will not find authority for that in the Bible. Do I get into the church by saying the Sinner's prayer? Nope, again you will not find that in the Bible.  It takes divine action to get into the church of Christ and it is the Lord himself that does the adding.

When does the Lord add one to the church? Upon obeying the Gospel.  To be a Christian, one must Hear the word (Romans 10:13), Believe that Jesus is Lord (John 8:24) Confess Christ as the son of God publicly(Acts 8:37), Be baptized (Acts 2:38) and live faithfully ( Rev 2:10)

Now, I have a request for you. Read this blog and study the verses given. Consider what I have given you. My request is that you study and if you have any questions, please contact me. I love you.

 

Drew

Diana Singing

Last night, I was privileged to attend my first ever Diana singing in Pulaski, TN. Imagine if you will 3,000 plus souls together all with one goal in mind: singing praises to God the father. People came from all over the US to enjoy this weekend of singing. Many folks remained until 2 this morning singing. Here are a couple of things I took from this event.

 

1. The church is ALIVE AND WELL

I have to admit, I get discouraged from time to time. There are those who want to take the church down a progressive route ( Women preachers, instrumental music, Ecumenical( fellowship anybody) ). There are also those who are on a witch hunt marking everyone who they don't agree with.  We should strive to be like King Josiah-"And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left" 2 Kings 22:2

Events such as Diana singing, Polishing the pulpit, and Challenge Youth Conference constantly remind me that the church of Christ is not dying, but it is strong as it ever has been. I am constantly encouraged by my faithful preaching brothers, their wives, and all faithful church members. "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you," Philippians 1:3

 

2. Fellowship is one of the greatest blessings of being in Christ.

Being in sweet fellowship with each other is one of my favorite parts of being a Christian. I love being with good Christian friends. I think especially of my close friend Joey Ferrell who is a great encourager in the faith. I think of other preachers (and their families) that I love such as David B. Smith and his wife Ashley, Jeff Archey and his wife Renita, my grandfather in the faith Larry Acuff and his wife Janet and so many others. Through my sweet girlfriend Rebekah, I have gotten to meet a lot of new Christian folks that I love dearly.

Such fellowship helps me when I'm discouraged, and it also helps to keep me faithful. What should happen if a child of God errs and refuses to repent? Of course, we know the answer, withdrawing of fellowship should happen per Matthew 18:15-17,Romans 16:17, 2 Thessalonians 3:6,7,14-15. Too many congregations fail to do that though.(Another lesson for another day)

 

3. Acapella singing is and will always be the form of Music for New Testament worship.

I do understand that David used instruments. Please understand that was under the law of Moses and not under the Christian dispensation. When our Lord died, the Old Covenant died with him ( Colossians 2:14). We still can and should learn from the O.T but we are not saved by it. There is not one example of mechanical instruments in the New Testament. One preacher who used to be in my area said we should be careful about arguing against that subject. I think he should repent of that. We are to prove all things and to contend for the faith as Jude said in verse 3 of his Epistle. The fact is, the only type of music mentioned in the N.T was vocal music and melody made from the Heart (Colossians 3:16-17, Ephesians 5:19). Hearing 3,000 voices blend together brought me to tears. I don't see how a mechanical worship service could do the same. (Again, a more in depth lesson for another time)

 

Conclusion:

If you love to sing, if you love your brethren and you enjoy fellowship, make a trip to Pulaski the Second weekend of June and September.

 

Drew