Last week we discussed the first point
1. We need Ministers and people who are strong in faith like Abraham.
This week we discussed the second point
2. We need Ministers and people who are strong in conviction.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV)
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.:
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
We can see that what Paul told Timothy is already happening. People are compromising the Word of God and allowing the world's standard to be acceptable when it is NOT. Even in churches many compromises are made and nonsense may be heard from church people who really should know better. Many choose to believe a lie, rather than the truth. So we must be careful to distinguish between compromises and The Word of God (sound doctrine). Then we won't get sucked into the lies.
We must also be ready to share God's Word when we are expecting to share and also when we are not expecting to share. We never know when the opportunities will pop up.
2 Thessolonians 2:8-12 (NKJV)
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Antichrist will come prior to Jesus' second coming. We do not know if the Antichrist is already in the world or not, but he will be revealed later after the rapture. He is deceptive and many will believe his false signs and fake miracles. God is allowing the Antichrist to deceive people because they did not believe the truth in the first place. We are also told that the Antichrist will be destroyed by the brightness of Jesus when He returns.
John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The Truth is what makes us free, but we can only know the Truth if we abide in His WORD.
We need God to renew our convictions.
A. Convictions about sin and sinfulness
(Romans 6:23 - Sin brings death but the gift of God is eternal life)
(Psalm 1:1 - Let us remove all sin from our lives and walk with the Lord in righteousness)
B. We need conviction about separation from all sin and every kind of wickedness.
(2 Corinthians 6:17 - Strive to be separate unto the Lord)
C. We need conviction and dedication to the Lord.
(1 Chronicles 29:5 David challenged the people asking "Who is willing to consecrate his
service this day unto the Lord?)Note that David had already dedicated some of his personal
belongings including gold for the purposes of building the temple so he surely led by example)
(Proverbs 23:26 - we must first dedicate our heart to the Lord before we can dedicate our resources, time, talents and other things)
We are not our own but were bought with a price so let's dedicate ourselves unto the Lord. Strengthen your convictions and serve the Lord with all your heart.
Conclusion of this chapter on The Ministry
We started this chapter with Ephesians 4:11-16 and focused on the different giftings and responsibilities in the church
(apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers for the edifying of the church).
Now consider verse 15-16: (NKJV)
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ -
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body of the edifying of itself in love.
In the human body, bones come together at joints and the joints will provide a fluid to lubricate the place where the bones meet so as to reduce friction. If pressure is put on the joints, more fluid will be released to bring more lubrication in order to help manage the pressure.
The body of Christ functions in much the same way. Where members come together, there are joints. These joints are the communication, interaction and inter-ministry between members. In the above verse, we can see the joints supply which means its the sharing and praying that happens between members on Sunday or during prayer meetings, bible studies etc which supplies what is needed and helps bring the 'lubrication' which is needed even more when the pressure comes (enemy attacks etc)
When the joints supply, then the body of Christ works effectively and therefore the church is edified and able to grow.
We need to flow with The Holy Spirit and The Word of God (like the oil and water which makes up the fluid in our physical body's joint) so that the joints can really supply as God purposed them to.
In this way the church can keep moving closer to God's vision for churches:
Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: ...