Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Build Up or Tear Down - Part 5: Dis, En, Courage

To Build Up or Tear Down
Part 5 – Dis, En, Courage
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Are you encouraging others, or discouraging them?

Last week we spoke about our choice, and how we must choose to do the right thing.  Making the right choice can be easy, if we follow the Holy Spirit's leading.

When it comes to building up or tearing down, we have a choice to make, whether we are going to follow in the Lord's footsteps, loving sinners, building them up and giving them opportunity to have a relationship with God, or tearing them down, only becoming a stumbling block and wall between them and God.

In the scriptures, there are many examples of the Sadducee and Pharisees tearing sinners down.  In fact, they had become so good at it, Jesus called them a brood of vipers, and their temples the synagog of Satan.

Jesus, on the other hand, loved sinners as God does, and reached out to them.

Although Jesus was surrounded by sinners, and spent time with them, even eating with them, He was not part of them.

Jesus kept separate from the sinners as far as sin was concerned, but stayed close to them to love and guide them to salvation.

We are commanded to be separate as far as sin, but to love as God loves.

We do this by living as Jesus, and making the choice to either build up, or tear down others.

Are you encouraging others, or discouraging them?

It comes down to this...are you building up, or tearing down what God is trying to establish here on earth?

1.      Encourage – To Lift Up
1.      Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
1.      Sin and its hold can be destroyed by encouraging words that a believer speaks to someone.

2.      ILLUSTRATION: When I was a kid, I was involved with the American Indian program at my school, and we spent a lot of time camping, exploring our heritage, and learning about the ways in which Indians lived hundreds of years ago.

One of the things I learned was, when someone spoke kindly, or uplifting things to another, it was called “Good Medicine.”

We could use more of this good medicine today.

2.      I Corinthians 14:12 “Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”
1.      Seeking things which are good for others – selflessness is the core of Christianity.

3.      Lift Up = Build the church, or Body of Christ (save the lost)

4.      Lift Up = Strengthen, or edify, the church, or Body of Christ (encourage the saved)

2.      Discourage – To Tear Down
1.      We tear down others in many ways.

2.      Titus 3:2 “slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, and show true humility toward all men.”
1.      ALL MEN...Not just the saved, or people you know or like, but to all men.

3.      Slander, gossip, verbal attacks, blame, using the Word of God against others, finger pointing, these are just a few ways one can discourage, or tear down others.

4.      Nine times out of ten, one will tear another down to lift themselves up.

5.      You will never be more by making someone less.

3.      Courage
1.      As we spoke last week on choice, we must choose to do what is right.

2.      Genesis 4:7 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

3.      The only way to master it, is to have God's Holy Spirit as your Master.  You can only serve one master, and if you make the Lord your master, you will walk in His Spirit, and He will lead you away from sin.

4.      Our choice is this-do you serve your sinful flesh, or the Holy Spirit of God?

5.      We need to have the courage to build and edify others, especially the lost, because that was Jesus' mission, and what He commanded us to do in the Great Commission.

1.      Jesus was surrounded by sinners, but was not one of them.
1.      He was in the middle of the lost, but as a light.
1.      Young or weak Christians will sometimes put themselves in their old-self environment, claiming it's OK because Jesus ate with sinners.

2.      BUT, Jesus was ministering to the lost, lifting them up and out of their sin, not simply hanging out with them like old times.

3.      The Bible is clear and warns against being friends with the world, and becoming a enemy to God.

2.      They came to Him to hear Him speak. (Luke 15:1,2)

3.      They did not influence Him, He offered them freedom, and changed many of their lives, at least the ones who accepted Him.

4.      Jesus' purpose was to be a doctor for the sick. (Mark 2:17)
1.      Just because a doctor is surrounded by the sick, it does not mean he is sick as well.  But if one is not a doctor, and surrounds himself with the sick...he is asking to become sick.

5.      Jesus' purpose was to seek and save the lost! (Luke 19:10)

1.      Jesus used parables so that those who did not have the Holy Spirit could understand the difficult spiritual truths that He taught.
1.      Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”

2.      Jesus tells three parables, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Lost Son.
1.      I believe He told three, so that everyone who was listening could relate to at least one of them.
2.      Not everyone had livestock, so they couldn't understand how important even one sheep was.
3.      Not everyone was broke, so it would be hard to understand how important it was to find a lost coin.
4.      Not everyone had children, so they could not understand how devastating it was to lose one to the world.

3.      Three Stories, all related to something valuable being lost
1.      Something of value...which was lost, but found.

1.      Luke 15:1-7 “ 1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

2.      Suppose you have 100 sheep and lose one.
1.      Jesus is proclaiming the value the Lord places one just one soul.

2.      Leaving the 99 to find the one-every effort is made to find, and return the lost sheep.
1.      Lost at the moment we start choosing sin, and it becomes our master.
2.      Jesus seeks to return us to His fold, which at one time, all man kind was created to be part of.

3.      We see the JOY of finding and returning the lost sheep.

4.      Rejoice with me!
1.      We see how all of heaven rejoices over one sinner being found.

5.      The greatest statement in heaven is, “I have found my lost sheep.”

6.      Over 99 who do not need to repent, means, these 99 were rejoiced over when they were saved, exactly as this lost one is now.


Are you encouraging others, or discouraging them?

It comes down to this...are you building up, or tearing down what God is trying to establish here on earth?

Are you seeking to save the Lost, as our Lord did, and commands us to do?