Sermon by Pastor Frances
FINISHED OR UN-FINISHED
Good day to all who are reading this sermon. I trust the Lord has blessed you abundantly and you are prepared to receive from Him as we enter into the Word of God together. I would like to turn your attention to the book of Proverbs today and if you have your Bibles handy, you may want to read the scripture text from your own Bible. Turn to Proverbs 26:23. I am quoting from the NIV today. "Like the coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart." What a shocking message in these few simple words! How shiny and attractive earthenware can become when it is glazed and polished, but underneath the exterior finish is the clay. Nothing was changed on the original product, only the outward showing was altered.
So many people in today's church world are like that vessel. Beautiful to behold, and the words coming from their lips do shout Christianity, but when all is said and done, nothing on the inside was ever changed. When I look at the basket of greenery and flowers on my coffee table, I notice that it bears a stark resemblance of genuine plants and I admire the delicate details of even the tiniest flower. The thought came to me that this floral display is definitely deceiving because it truly appears real at first glance and only upon inspection would one discover they are facsimilies of the real thing. They have no sweet fragrance, the petals do not bear that special velvety texture of genuine blossoms, yet they exude a certain deceptive beauty. Artificial flora cannot produce seeds or spores to reproduce and when time finally takes its toll on their appearance, they are thrown away with other household refuse and easily forgotten. Another problem that these plants create is the plastic used in the stems. Plastic does not decompose, therefore poisoning our precious ecosystem. When real plants die, they feed the earth nutrients that assist other plants in becoming stronger and aid seedlings in their new life. Before imitation flower's man's ingenuity produced vessels with a mere coating of silver glaze over clay pottery making a simple, poor man's jar appear sumptuously rich. However, this deceptive practice could yield a costly outcome.
Although the vessels outward appearance was that of oppulance fit for a king's table, if it was presented to royalty in that condition and discovered, the creator of that false object would be imprisoned or even put to death for such an act. Pottery coated with silver could easily be scratched enough to reveal the truth unlike its authentic counterpart, a solid silver vessel.
And so, we see the church today, who so fervently proclaim the Gospel of Christ but inwardly they lack the ingredients that produce a true child of God. God's Word speaks of this behavior and in Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, "not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." It is easy to call Jesus Lord when in the presence of other Christians and the power of God is in the midst. However, oft times those who are boasting His love the loudest are only caught up in an emotional experience and some are even joining the worship and acting the part because they feel it will "look" good. Read in that same chapter of Matthew verse 22. Many will say to Jesus, "Lord, Lord have we not prophesided in your name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?' This verse is so like what we hear all the time because so many of today's popular preachers as well as men and women are doing just that! Performing wonderful works in Jesus name and feeling proud of themselves for doing it. That silver coating on mere pottery will some day be exposed and those proclaiming these things will shatter into mere shards of clay when they stand before the King of Kings! Jesus gave the outcome of this behavior in verse 23 of that same scripture in Matthew. He said, "and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." What a frightening thing to hear! "Depart form me, I never knew you!" Can't you just hear those false professers as they begin to plead, "but wait Lord, I DID do all these neat things in your name! Please, look at the record book, I shouted on Sunday morning, I baked a cake for the bake sale, I gave my tithes, I ran the aisles when everyone else did, I...I...I!" Oh my goodness people, we need to overcome the "I disease", turn from self and give our hearts to Jesus. I can do nothing without Jesus. He is my source of strength and without Him I can do absolutely nothing. I shutter to think that someday Jesus would say to me, "Depart from me, I never knew you."
We must be born again, we must be cleansed from our sin and do HIS will. It is easy to give honor to God when others are doing it, but our heart must be in it! In Mark chapter 7 verse 6 says, "he answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Is your heart with Christ or is it in the world? Do the things of the world hold more amusement and attention than Jesus? Do you dance with the devil all week long then change partners on Sunday morning? Titus 1 verse 16 says, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Profession is different that possession. I can tell you all day long that I have a gold plated Cadillac in my driveway, and even though that sounds impressive and it may make me look special, that Cadillac is still not there! We can profess until the cows come home that Jesus is Lord of our life, but without His blood applied to our lives, and unless we bear the fruit of the Spirit, our profession is in vain and we will one day stand before the King and tremble as He utters those terrible words, "depart from me ye workers of iniquity". Just as the scripture I just quoted from Titus says, every good work is reprobate from those who profess they know God but in works they deny Him. that word reprobate means immoral, corrupt or evil.
Church, Jesus is coming, we do not have time to play games. it is time to be about the Master's business and how can we reap souls for the harvest if our own souls are tarnished, scratched, and marred? How can we produce true silver when we are but mere silver coated pottery? Even though a person appears beautiful outwardly and shines like a solid silver jar, an imitation spirit is easily broken or tarnished and is not fit for use and the Royal Judge cannot accept such a vessel into His courts. Is your vessel the genuine thing, or is there some plastic there somewhere?
Let us pray.
Gracious heavenly Father, my Lord and King, I ask you to search my heart today and if there be any artificial component in my spiritual life, please Lord, remove it and replace it with pure, unadulterated, genuine spiritual silver. Cleanse me and purify my soul that I may be fit for the Master's use and strengthen me as I work for you bearing precious seed as I see your return approaching. In Jesus name I pray, amen.