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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Control yourself (Part 4)

What's the point of all of this?

Text: Philemon 1:24

As believers, we need to learn the lessons that are given to us throughout the pages of the Bible. David fell into sin when he entertained temptation in his life. See 2 Samuel, chapter 11. Samson fell while he was sleeping. We need to work hard to keep our relationship with Jesus in good order! Perhaps Demas became guilty of trying to do the work of the Lord in the power of the flesh, in his own strength and not relying on the Lord. Whatever happened in his life, whatever has gone wrong, or hasn't gone the way he had hoped, and maybe even prayed...whatever it is, he began a slow, steady turn away from the Lord.

We must be on our guard constantly to not let this happen in our lives!

Illustration: Acts 20:9 tells us about a young man by the name of Eutychus who fell asleep while listening to Paul preach. The Bible says that he fell out of a third floor window and died. Paul went down to him and by the power of God raised him back to life again. But, I want to let you in on a little known theological truth. Here it is: Do you know why Eutychus fell out of the window? You don’t want to miss this point. He fell because there was more of Eutychus hanging out of that window than there was of Eutychus hanging in! It was a gradual process, but it cost Eutychus his life. Don’t let the same thing happen to you.

Backsliding starts subtly. You begin to miss a Wednesday Bible study here and there, you skip a few meetings, you start skipping Sunday school and before you know it, you are out of church. You miss a day or two praying and studying your Bible and before you know it, your mind isn’t on the Lord, but on the things of the world. You start to pay more attention to what the worldly people are doing, start to feel like you might be missing out on some of the fun, and before you know it, you are in trouble.

The devil never lays all of his cards on the table, but he comes slyly by enticing the heart and the mind, and before you realize it, you are in serious trouble! Just ask David. Just ask Samson. Just ask some of the people who used to come to church, or have returned after being away.


Illustration: If I wanted to leave here (Indiana) and travel to California, I can take I-80/90 West. That road will take me in the right direction to get to California. However, I cannot take I-80/90 and go to Florida. I cannot take I-80/90 and get to Philadelphia. The road I take will always determines where I will end up!

The same is true in the spiritual realm and that truth is illustrated by the life of Demas.

The last reference to Demas in the New Testament tells us that he abandoned Paul and went back to the world. Evidently, the temptations and pull of the world proved greater than his commitment to the Lord and he eventually fell away. No doubt this started in the life of Demas in a very subtle manner. Maybe he just allowed his heart to grow colder and colder until his love for the world eclipsed his love for God. Whatever happened, Demas chose the wrong path somewhere along the way and ended up in a place that he never intended to be.

[conclusion, Tuesday...]

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