Saturday, September 27, 2008

Growing in the Lord "Overcoming Worldliness"

The Great Commission

Part 3 – Growing in the Lord

OVERCOMING: Worldliness

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

September 28th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

October 5th – Grace Steadman

October 12th – Lori Ulman

October 19th – Lynnette Higgins

October 26th – Walker Spriggs


Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer

Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word

Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship

Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness


Matthew 6:24

24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.


a. Professing Christ while living worldly

2 Peter 2:17 – 22

17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

b. If you live worldly the world is your master and you have not submitted to Christ. As Scripture says, you can not serve 2 masters.

James 4:1 – 8

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don't get it…

Pride, arrogance, self-righteousness…

You think you are better than someone else, so you fight with them.

Always having to be right, to prove your point, to “win” the argument you actually began.

This is the behavior of a worldly person.

…You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

…Because you can not serve two masters.

5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Submit yourselves to God, make Him your Master!


1 John 2:15 – 17 Do not love the world

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Romans 12:1 – 2 Be living sacrifices

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 13:11 – 14 Our time to make Jesus our Master is short!

11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Philippians 3:1 – 10 Paul says to have no confidence in flesh

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Colossians 3:2

2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Prosperity preachers will tell you God wants you to be rich.

No where in the Bible does it teach this.

God did bless many of the Old Testament Patriarchs with riches, but times were different then than they are today.

It was far easier to have riches 4,000 years ago than today.

There are far more opportunities for us to be slaves to our riches today, and far more opportunities to sin against God with our riches today.

If you purchased a 1 million dollar estate, there are always 10 and 15 million dollar estates to own as well.

We have become the society of “upgrades”.

We used to say, “There are 2 classes, the haves and the have nots.”

Now the saying is “The wants, and the want mores.”

Does the New Testament speak or rich followers of Christ?

Well there is the rich young man who would not give up his riches to follow Christ.

Of this situation Jesus made the statement in Matthew, Mark and Luke…

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Can you serve money and God?

Can a rich man serve Jesus Christ?

Ask yourself how easy it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…

What about Zacchaeus?

He was rich!

But if you remember, when he converted, he gave ½ of ALL his possessions to the poor.

Then, from the half that was left, everyone he ever cheated got 4 times the amount that they were cheated.

As Paul says…

…whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

God’s will has nothing to do with being rich.

At least, not in the things of this world.

His will is for you to be saved, and not turn from Him.

His will is for you to lead others to Him.

And every time you pray, “Lord, I want to be closer to you.”

He will remove the things of this world that keep you away from Him.

That is, if you mean what you pray.

Worldliness…the master which seeks after us.

This is a world of consumerism.

Do you have to be poor to serve the Lord?

No. But for everything you do not have in this world, it’s one less thing that stands between you and the Lord.

Do we live with a content heart?

Or are we always seeking the next best, biggest thing?

Do you chase the Lord with the same drive and zeal that you do the next item on your “gotta have/own/get/buy” list?

Have you crucified your flesh and its desires, or are you still a slave to this world?

Worldliness can take many forms,




Fleshly Desire






But they all lead down the same wide path to destruction.

It is true there were many rich patriarchs and kings in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament we are taught that the root of all evil is the love of money.

Are you in love with the things of this world?

You shouldn’t be, because it is all going to pass away. And the only thing that is going to remain is the Word of God which judges a man’s heart.

Luke 9:23 – 26 Jesus speaks

23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Saving and losing your life here is not literal existence, but the desires of the flesh versus the desires of God for you in your life.


1Corinthians 10:1 – 13 Warnings From Israel's History

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Growing in the Lord "Overcoming Satan"

The Great Commission
Part 2 – Growing in the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

September 21st – Walker Spriggs
September 28th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
October 5th – Grace Steadman
October 12th – Lori Ulman
October 19th – Lynnette Higgins


† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan


† The Warning
o Beware, Satan is there…
1 Peter 5:8-10

“8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

† Be self controlled and alert
† Resist the devil…you’re not alone
† The Church is like a herd of believers…Satan circles looking for the weak.

Matthew 7:15-23

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Prophecy in the name of Christ, driving out demons in the name of Christ, performing many miracles…

Jesus said, Just because you do these things, does not allow you to enter heaven, but doing the will of God is what is required.

And God’s will is, having a “relationship” with Jesus.

And He calls those who did these great things in the name of Jesus, eveildoers…

† Watch out (be alert) for false prophets
† They look like Christians
† Watch their fruit
† Every tree that does not bear good fruit, is cut down and cast into fire

Matthew 10:14-16

14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.

16 "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

o To Which Kingdom do you belong?
1 John 3:8-10

8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

† You are empowered by Christ Jesus who strengthens you
o Authority in Christ to His own
Luke 10:18-20

18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Ephesians 6:10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Psalm 91:3-7

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

† Guard Yourselves
o Defense
James 4:7-8

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

o Do not give the devil a toehold…defense through forgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:5-11

Forgiveness for the Sinner
5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Ephesians 4:26-29

26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold…

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

o Christ Overcame, so you could overcome
Hebrews 2:18

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Revelation 3:21-22

21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Growing in the Lord "Overcoming the Carnal Mind"

The Great Commission

Part 1 – Growing in the Lord

OVERCOMING: The Carnal Mind

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

September 14th – Lynnette Higgins

September 21st – Walker Spriggs

September 28th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

October 5th – Grace Steadman

October 12th – Lori Ulman


Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer

Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word

Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship

Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind


The last few weeks we have spoke on spending time with the Lord in various ways.

This is the beginning of our focus on growing close to the Lord in our relationship with Him.

Through Prayer, Reading the Word, Fellowship with other believers, one on one time with the Lord, we begin to grow in our relationship.

This is the beginning.

This is the “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”

Once you have initiated this, you will immediately find that there are other obstacles which lie between you and the Lord.

All of which will be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit, so that you can get closer to the Lord.

Today we are going to take a look at Overcoming your carnal mind.

Our minds are our biggest enemy when it comes to growing in Christ.

Paul tells us in the Word of His struggles with himself, again and again.

Our flesh and our spirits want 2 different things, and so we battle.

To overcome the obstacles that lie between us and the Lord, we begin with our mind.

Proverbs 23:7

For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…

I. Everything begins in the mind

a. Sin is in the mind, long before it leaves our body, whether in word or deed.

Jesus made this clear when He stated, “You have heard that you are not to commit adultery, but I tell you that anyone who even LOOKS at a woman with lust, has already committed adultery.”

Because when you look with lust, adultery has taken place in your mind.

b. Hate takes place in our minds.

It may come out in our words and actions, but it first took place in our minds, and if you do not deal with it, it will fester into a disgusting infection that will spew out of you in actions and deeds and it may even infect others.

That is if they do not deal with it.

Scripture tells us how to fight this infection if someone is trying to infect us with their hate.

The defense: “Do not return evil for evil”, this feeds the infection and makes it grow.

And the only “cure” for yourself and the one who is infected, is Love.

That is the only cure.

c. Pride takes place in our mind

Here’s something to think about…

If you think you are better than other people, you look down on them.

You see someone who threatens you for whatever reason, and you feel anger.

That anger grows until it becomes hate.

That hate grows until it consumes you.

You begin to speak that hate, and act out that hate, until it destroys you.

And it all began with “thinking” you are better than someone else.


Scripture tells us, “Pride comes before the fall”

It came before the fall of man.

Satan believed he was something, and became nothing.

His pride caused him to fall, and then he turned on mankind.

The fall of man began with Satan “thinking” he was something.

Man’s thinking cause the flood.

Genesis 6:5

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Sound familiar? Sound like the world today…

Are we close to the end? Look around for yourself.

Man’s corrupt thinking built the tower of Babel.

They thought they could make a tower that would reach Heaven.

Listen…many of you try to do this now.

Create your own path to heaven.

There is only one way, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:17 – 19

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Hardening of someone’s heart is not “caused” by God, but by Him removing Himself from them.

How was Pharaoh’s heart hardened?

God removed Himself and stopped trying to reach him.

Why are these Gentiles hearts hardened? Because they do not have the Lord.

A hardened heart is a result of a lack of God.

How do we get rid of a hardened heart?

By having the Lord!

Ezekiel 11:19 (36:26)

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone (hardened heart) and give them a heart of flesh.

You see, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by separating himself from him.

Gentiles (those who do not have the Lord) have hardened hearts because they do not have the Lord.

Romans 1:24

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts…

Romans 1:26

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.

Romans 1:28

since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind

You see, when God is working with you, there’s a chance.

When He removes Himself from your presence, you are in trouble.

The result is you are “given over to” because God is no longer working with you, His grace is not there to protect you.

Grace is given to us to give us time to repent, but if we refuse to work towards God, He removes Himself from your sinful presence, and you lose His grace, and the only protection you have.

You are then given over to the sinful desire of your heart, you shameful lust, your depraved mind, and your heart BECOMES hardened.

What are the results of being “given over to”?

Romans 1:28-32

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

They KNEW what was right, but thought corruptly.

They thought for themselves and their desires over what was right.

And when they refuse to listen to God any longer, He leaves them to their ways, just as He did Pharaoh.

And their hearts become hardened.

II. The dangers of pride

We have seen how thinking can lead to destruction if we think incorrectly.

We are told not to think like the Gentiles, or those who do not follow the Lord.

Galatians 6:3

3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.

Verse 3 is talking about thinking you are morally or spiritually superior.

Thinking you are superior is the pride that causes one to fall.

The spiritual man can take pride in himself knowing that without the Lord, he is nothing, and that everything he is; is totally dependant on the Lord.

Each one should carry his own load refers to the fact that we should not rejoice over another persons failure.

Because that could just as easily be us…and if we continue to think not, then it will be quicker than you think.

The warnings in the scripture are our guide.

Romans 13:14

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Job 24:14-17

14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up
and kills the poor and needy;
in the night he steals forth like a thief.

15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk;
he thinks, 'No eye will see me,'
and he keeps his face concealed.

16 In the dark, men break into houses,
but by day they shut themselves in;
they want nothing to do with the light.

17 For all of them, deep darkness is their morning;
they make friends with the terrors of darkness.

They think darkness will hide their actions.

III. How we SHOULD think

We are instructed in the Word of God on how we SHOULD think, so that we can overcome this obstacle which lies between us and a closer relationship with the Lord.

Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Negative thinking will always lead to negative fruit.

Remember, our thinking is the seed.

If it be good, a good tree will grow, and produce good fruit.

If it be negative or corrupt, thorns and thistles will grow, and instead of fruit, will bring all of the lowly creatures to dwell within them.

Proverbs 23:7

For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…

What are you thinking today?

1 Corinthians 14:20

20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants (innocent), but in your thinking be adults (wise as serpents).

When you need to be encouraged in your thinking, reprogram your brain with the Word of God.

2 Peter 3

1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also the world of that time was flooded and destroyed.

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. (you can lose your salvation)

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Altar Call