BECAUSE OF THE TIME

[SW057] 08/26/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Because of the Time”

Because of the time . . . what time is it?
It’s a “for such a time as this” that you were born again! (see Esther 4:14)
It is a pivotal time for Christians.

I believe we’re in the end of the end times,
and that means it’s getting darker.
But the deepening darkness simply makes the light in a Christian shine brighter!

There’s not much time left to share Jesus Christ with others.
So we really need to know Who we’re talking about, deeply and intimately.

I asked the Lord for His heart on this message, and it was this:

“My people do not know My Word and therefore fall prey to false shepherds
    and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Speak to them!”

I remembered Paul’s words to the Ephesians in Acts 20:

29 “I know that after my departure  savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing  the flock;  30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away  the disciples after them.”

So the Lord’s words to me rang true in my heart.

Today’s times:

Dangerous–great pressure to conform to the world culture/system
Ear tickling/false teachers (2 Timothy 4:3, below)
Lovers of self (2 Timothy 3:1ff)
Falling away (Matthew 24:10)
Thus, the end of the end times.

The condition of much of the church in today’s times grieves Jesus.
In John 8:31-36, He commanded us to continue in His word so we will know the truth
and to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we will be able to discern good and bad.

The Spirit-inspired Paul says this:

2 Timothy 4:3 For  the time will come when they will not endure  sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,  4 and  will turn away their ears from the truth and  will turn aside to myths.

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. And their multitude is parched with thirst.

The Father’s heart wails like flutes because of it (Jeremiah 48:36).

He loves us enough to warn us today.

We can learn what happens to those who have been taught the word of righteousness
but have fallen back and become lackadaisical.

Because of the time, this should not be so!

Hebrews 5:11   Concerning  him [Melchizedek compared with Christ] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  12 For though  by this time [literally, because of the time] you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you  the   elementary principles of the  oracles of God, and you have come to need  milk and not solid food.  13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an  infant.  14 But solid food is for  the mature, who because of practice have their senses  trained to  discern good and evil.

Let’s take it apart.

Verse 11:  Concerning  him [Melchizedek compared with Christ] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Literally, “concerning him much to us is this word!”
There are deep truths in this teaching on Melchizedek
that will help this group of Christians to discern truth and error.

But it’s hard to get this truth of God across to them. Why?

Because they have become dull (3576, a deep, inborn sluggishness, bound up in their very life).

Dull of what? Of hearing (189, the act of hearing teaching).

Once again:

2 Timothy  4:3 For  the time will come when they will not endure  sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,  4 and  will turn away their ears from the truth and  will turn aside to myths.

They won’t be able to digest more than milk.
They’ll look for teachers that stroke them and tell them myths, fables, stories.
Like children who like a bedtime story before going to sleep.

Wake up, says the Lord!

Verses 12-13 For though  by this time [literally, because of the time] you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you  the   elementary principles of the  oracles of God, and you have come to need  milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an  infant.

The New International Commentary of the New Testament puts it this way: “ . . . not only do you need to learn mysteries of deep import . . . but the very ABCs of divine revelation.”

They started out on milk.
But they had to have been given solid food soon after,
or the writer would not say “you have come to need” milk.
Now they are AGAIN in need of milk, the ABCs of Christianity.

Because they have returned to only drinking milk and not eating solid food,
 they have once again become “not accustomed” (522, ignorant)

Regarding what? Regarding the word  of righteousness (3056 and 1343, the message, the revelation regarding the character of God and the act of right-standing with Him).

They can no longer digest teaching that will lead them to maturity,
to being filled with the Holy Spirit,
with His wisdom and His power.
They have become, once again, infants (3516, immature, simple-minded ones).

The folks to whom this letter is written have fallen into a trap, listening to teaching on worship of angels. And they are listening to those who say they must keep Jewish ceremonial law and traditions in order to be saved.

So it is in the church.
Ear-tickling teachers
who teach in accordance with their congregation’s own desires,
they will not endure sound teaching.

They have become, once again, infants (3516, immature, simple-minded ones).
Why has this happened?

Let’s think about this from a natural perspective.
Solid food should be slowly introduced to babies at 4-6 months.
A child cannot develop properly without solid food in his diet.

So it is for Christians.
We begin with the basics, which are pretty easy to learn.
But before you know it, it’s time to talk about deeper things
that will help those babes in Christ develop
so they don’t get caught up in false teaching,
and so they are brought out of spiritual infancy
into the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit —
that “word of righteousness” in Verse 14 leads to being filled with the Spirit.

As A.W. Tozer observed, a baby is cute, all cuddly as we give him his bottle.
He must be burped, cleaned up after, the spittle wiped from his face.
But if he is still that way when he is even one year old,
we know there’s some kind of problem.
So it is for the Christian.
But in many churches today, particularly in America, only milk is served.
At one time, there was solid food served up in the house of God,
but there’s been a return to “just the ABCs.”

Yes, there are new Christians among them, and they need some milk.
But a “milk only” diet surely will stunt and even arrest spiritual growth.

Verse 14 But solid food is for  the mature, who because of practice have their senses  trained to  discern good and evil.

Because of practice – the idea here is spiritual gymnastics to increase our capacity for spiritual comprehension, so we can discern good (2570, God’s moral good in view) from bad (2556, that which is worthless, depraved, injurious, evil in character).

The mature (3046), those who have come of full age,
who are in need of nothing more in order to be complete.

The mature became mature by practicing (1838, experiencing) eating solid food,
receiving nourishment for growth
and doing spiritual gymnastics so they may comprehend
the truth that will set them free . . .
and are filled with the Spirit!
And still they go on, from image to image,
from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)!

When believers eat solid spiritual food, they learn to distinguish (1253, discern judge, to separate thoroughly, to discriminate, to withdraw from, to oppose) false teaching.

Again, here’s what the Lord said when I asked Him, “What is Your heart?”

“My people do not know My Word and therefore fall prey to false shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

“They are being fed milk endlessly . . . they themselves do not seek to learn My Word.”

I know, Lord. I was one of them.
But you sent a true shepherd to our church,
and he taught everyone there the word of righteousness!

He placed before us a smorgasbord of truth,
even fresh bread from the Word!
The tastes and fragrance were too enticing to resist, for some of us.
We bellied up to it, and didn’t go away hungry or thirsty!
But Others blanched because they had been on milk for so long
they didn’t want anything else.

Jesus said:

John 8:31  . . . “ If you continue in My word, then you are truly  disciples of Mine; 32 and  you will know the truth, and  the truth will make you free.”

Free from what? Jesus answers, from slavery to sin. Free, indeed! Free to the max, really, certainly free!

That’s God’s heart for you today. He commands you to seek solid food. He weeps at the milk-filled sermons coming from many pulpits, especially here in the U.S., with our vast array of seeker-friendly churches.

REALITY CHECK:

Are you on milk, or solid food?

Do you listen to messages that are simply the ABCs of Christianity, or have you moved on, learning the Word, reading it daily (and not just a couple of verses)?

Because of the time, the Lord exhorts you today to start taking in some solid food, so you don’t get caught up in false teaching and lose your way to Him!

If your preacher still has you on the bottle, beware! Seek a preacher who serves up a smorgasbord!

And go to the Word of God yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit, your divine Teacher, to show you the truth!

Once you’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:3), you won’t be satisfied until you have all of Him!

And then you will be free, indeed! Free from slavery to sin.

Because of the time, the Lord exhorts you today to commit yourself to learning the Word of God and not settling for milk from the pulpit.

Because of the time! Time is short! You must be ready, and must help others become ready.

Because of the time, you must be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, in these ever-darkening days.

Because of the time, you must be able to teach others the truth of Jesus Christ.

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Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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