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Welcome! Camp Springs Community Church

CSCC is a congregation affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA International) and is located in Clinton, Maryland, just minutes from Joint Base Andrews. Please feel free to explore our site and see how CSCC can best meet your spiritual needs and those of your family.

Each week services are tape-delay posted to the CSCC YouTube Channel on Sunday afternoon. While the services are occurring, please visit us live on our YouTube Channel each Sunday beginning at 9:45 AM (hint: “subscribe” to our YouTube channel to receive notifications when we are live, as well as notifications when new content is posted). Wednesday Bible Study begins at 7:00 pm and AWANA (during the school year) at 6:30 pm (or over the summer “Soccer with the Savior” — a youth bible study and soccer clinic) — all events are on-site.

For more information about CSCC and its ministries, click any of the links at the top of the page: to listen to a past sermon click on the Sermon Notes & Announcements link; please use this link to make a donation (via PayPal). And click this to follow us on Facebook.

Contact Information: 8040 Woodyard Rd Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: (301)868-3030

Email: [email protected]

  • OUR SERVICES:
  • Sunday School @ 9:45 a.m. Sunday school for all ages and nursery included
  • Sunday Morning Service @ 11 a.m., Children’s Church (K4-3rd Grade) and nursery included
  • Sunday Evening Service @ 6 p.m. and Teen’s AWANA
  • Wednesday Mid-Week Prayer Service @ 7 p.m. Children’s AWANA, Teen Youth, and nursery included

What Makes CSCC Distinct? CSCC is a fundamental church (literal interpretation of Bible).

CSCC is a friendly, family church that emphasizes growing in grace and truth.

  • Dispensational, believing that God is working in a different fashion in the Church Age, after the coming of Christ, than He did through the system of Law in the Old Testament.
  • Pre-millennial, Pretribulation (the belief that the church will be raptured as a prelude to the Great Tribulation and Millennial reign of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:35-58, 2 Thessalonians 2 & 4]).
  • CSCC is not a part of the modern Pentecostal or charismatic renewal movement. We believe that the sign gifts of miraculously speaking in a foreign tongue and signs and wonders were First century signs to unrepentant Jews and as such ended with the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD or at the latest with the completion of the New Testament around 95 AD. God still performs miracles today, but the sign gifts ceased at the end of the First century (Acts 2, 1 Corinthians. 12-14).
  • CSCC believes in personal evangelism, discipleship, and stewardship on behalf of all believers.
  • CSCC supports world missions and church plants.

Sep 19, 2021. Matthew 7:21-27

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“Works Done in Christ’s Name” (Matthew 7:21-27)

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Sep 12, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:13-18

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RAPTURE REALITY.  I Thessalonians 4:13-18.  9/12/2021. #10.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 [New King James Version]

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

  1. The Rapture blues
    1. The Thessalonica church misconstrued end times issues
      1.  Paul did not have time to fully instruct them
      1.  They thought that the Rapture would come quickly
      1.  Some had passed away: what happens to them?
      1.  There was a rumor that the Rapture had already come and they had missed it
    1. Paul 1st addresses the issue of saints who had died
      1.  NT uses “sleep” for believers who die (John 11, I Corinthians 11, 1 Cor. 15)
      1.  Thessalonica’s were grieving that their deceased loved ones had missed the Rapture completely
      1.  Paul seeks to comfort via understanding and hope
  2. A resurrected Lord who resurrects his own
    1. Paul uses 2 arguments to assuage their fears:
      1.  Jesus died and was resurrected (death is not end)
      1.  The same Jesus who died will resurrect believers and bring them with him at rapture of live believers
    1. When Christ returns for his church the dead will be raised first before those who are alive
    1. Christ will shout and the trumpet shall sound, retrieving us
    1. Rapture facts:
      1.  Rapture = comes from Latin, rapto (caught up)
      1.  Acts 1:7 we don’t know when Rapture will come
      1.  Several events will precede the Rapture: wars, pestilence, and lawlessness (Matthew 24:3-14) along with great persecution and earthquakes, a rapid increase in knowledge and movement of man (Daniel 12:1-4), false Christs and rise of Antichrist (Daniel 7:8), and men will be proud and wicked (2 Tim. 3:1-13)
      1.  The coming of Christ will be denied and mocked by unbelievers (II Peter 3:1-9)
      1.  II Thessalonians 2:10-11 God will send a strong delusion to those who had rejected the Gospel after the Rapture so deniers will believe a lie
  3. Consoling the grieving
    1. Paul expected the Rapture to come soon (“we which are alive and remain…”)
    1. Paul states that the inevitability of the Rapture should provide us great comfort to hurting believers
      1.  Christ is returning for his own
      1.  The time of our sojourn here is very short
      1.  Our faithfulness will be reward for eternity
      1.  Focusing on Christ’s return brings comfort
      1.  I Corinthians 15:50-58 we are comforted concerning those who preceded us in death and in the value of our labors for Christ
    1. Our response to the hope of the rapture
      1.  Faithfulness and patience (I Peter 5:5-7; Galatians 6:7-10)
      1.  Serving Christ until he comes (Luke 19:11-27)
      1.  John 14:1-6 take comfort in Christ’s return
    1. The Thessalonica would be relieved at this teaching, though
    1. some would use it to sit around and wait (II Thessalonians 3)
    1. Matthew 6:31-34 focusing on today’s tasks in light of eternity
      1.  It is immaterial when the rapture will come
      1.  By faithfully hopefully serving we will be ready

Key Verse: Matthew 24:3-14

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Sep 12, 2021. II Samuel 17:15-29

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ESCAPE BEYOND THE JORDAN.  II Samuel 17:15-29.  9/12/21.  #39.

2 Samuel 17:15-29 [New King James Version]

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have advised. 16 Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’ ” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David. 18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down into it. 19 Then the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” So the woman said to them, “They have gone over the water brook.” And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly. For thus has Ahithophel advised against you.” 22 So David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them was left who had not gone over the Jordan. 23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb. 24 Then David went to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. This Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Jithra, an Israelite, who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 Now it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the people of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds, 29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

  1. David warned
    1. Hushai and Zadok the priest had set up a spy network which included a place to hide before going to David
      1.  Hushai goes to Zadok and explains his advice and that of Ahithophel
      1.  Hushai is not sure which advice Absalom will follow, so he warns David to flee across Jordan
    1. A woman hides the 2 messengers in a well as she spreads grain over the cover of the well
      1.  A boy had seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan leaving the area quickly, so he told this to Absalom
      1.  When Abs.’s men ask her where A and J are she tells them that they had already crossed the brook
    1. The woman faced the same dilemma as Rahab the Harlot
      1.  Rahab decided to lie rather than expose the spies
      1.  This woman lies to save Hushai’s messengers
      1.  A deception to prevent evil is not held to account
    1. Hus. sends advice for David and all his men to flee
      1.  David’s troops need rest, but they are not safe
      1.  All of David’s troops escape over Jordan at night
  2. David escaped and Ahithophel’s disgrace
    1. Abs. missed his golden chance to crush his father’s forces
    1. Ahithophel’s plan had been rejected
      1.  He wanted to take 12,000 men and immediately attack David, killing him
      1.  Ahithophel knew that Hushai’s plan would fail
        1.  He probably suspected Hus. as a spy
        1.  Ahithophel’s desire for revenge was thwarted
      1.  Ahithophel puts his house in order and then hangs himself
    1. Why did Ahithophel commit suicide?
      1.  Ahithophel had put all his desires into killing David
      1.  His plan and position as chief advisor were rejected
      1.  The more time that passed, the stronger David would become (Abs. had to be successful quickly)
      1.  When David wins, Ahithophel would be executed
    1. 3 main reasons for suicide:
      1.  Medical condition of depression or imbalances
      1.  Situational condition of misery or pressures
      1.  Self-inflicted trauma due to poor choices
    1. When people don’t seek the Lord, then suicide is possible
  3. God provides for David
    1. David arrives safely over the Jordan
    1. Absalom chose Amasa to be his general (Amasa had violated Abigail, Joab’s cousin and David’s niece)
    1. Barzillai, the Gileadite from Mahanaim (territory of Gad and Reuben) met David with provisions of food and drink
      1.  Barzillai was the father of Adriel, husband of Princess Merab, Saul’s daughter
      1.  God had moved Barzillai to help David
    1. Even though David was being punished for his affair with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, he was still God’s choice to remain on the throne and to head the line to the Messiah
      1.  David had confessed his sins and repented
      1.  Judgment was not up to Absalom or Ahithophel
    1. God had not forced Amon or Absalom to act wickedly, but he had allowed them to choose their own wicked path
      1.  Providence allows wicked men to fulfill the will of God (pharaoh, Haman, Herod, Judas, Antichrist)
      1.  Habakkuk 2 God will use evil men and then punish them

Sep 5, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:9-12

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A WORTHY LIFE.  I Thessalonians 4:9-12.  9/5/2021.  #9.

I Thessalonians 4:9-12 [New King James Version]

9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

  1. The primacy of love
    1. The Thess. showed much Christian love in body and to others
      1.  Not only had they learned grace and patience in the short time, but had demonstrated charitable love
      1.  Paul wanted them to continue to grow in this trait
    1. Four categories of love: agape’ (chartable and self-sacrificing), phileo (affectionate), eros (physical; romantic), storge’ (conceptual, non-personal; i.e., love of country or nature)
    1. Paul emphasizes both brotherly love (affection) and charitable love here = both liking brethren and sacrificing for them
      1.  Titus 2:3-5 wives are to have affection for husbands
      1.  Matthew 22:34-40 – the greatest commands = to love God with all being and to love neighbor as self
      1.  John 13:34-35 Christ’s disciples are to love one another (foundation of relationships)
    1. Love, the motivation of kindness, charity, giving, and forbearing, is the motivation of worship and ministry
  2. The Christian lifestyle
    1. Beyond not sinning (immoral, lying, cheating, hating…), there is a proper way for believers to conduct themselves
    1. Christians are not to be obnoxious, boisterous, controlling, demanding, prying, meddling, imposing, or unfriendly
      1.  This may take some personality adjustments
      1.  The fall adversely impacted personalities also
      1.  Undesirable personality traits can be controlled
    1. Salvation brings the indwelling of Holy Spirit, who can alter irritating and boorish personality flaws as Word is applied
    1. Paul highlights 3 aspects: quiet life, taking care own business, and working with your hands
    1. Aspire (aim) to live a quiet life
      1.  aspire = phileo + timeo (to love honor or worthiness) => to desire to live a worthy life or to reach a higher standard
      1.  Quiet life = tranquil and peaceable (not raucous, narcissistic, or disquieting)
      1.  Going about own business with dignity and honor
    1. Minding your own business
      1.  Not a busybody in other people’s affairs (I Peter 4:15 = lit., “working around” => meddling)
      1.  Some things are our affair and need our intervention (confronting grievous sin but not minor transgressions [Ephesians 5:11; I Peter 4:8] or intervene to protect and help others [Philippians 2:3])
    1. Work with your hands
      1.   I Timothy 5:8 taking care of own family (II Thessalonians 3)
      1.  A man is responsible to support self and family, pay his taxes, give to Lord, and help others
    1. 3 categories of legitimate charity
      1.  James 1:27 those who are unable to support self
      1.  I Timothy 5:9-16 elderly or infirmed family members
      1.  I Thessalonians 5:14 those feeble in mind and body
  3. Walking properly
    1. 2 categories of walking properly: righteousness and appropriateness (dignity, non-offensive, decently)
    1. We are to walk becomingly (euschemonos = with a good scheme or standard) = not embarrassingly
    1. Our testimony begins with our deportment and image (do we attract people or repel them?)
      1.  A believer can be winsome or repulsive
      1.  Can draw people to Christ or drive away
    1. To have a good lifestyle of holy living = lack nothing

Key verse: Matthew 22:34-40

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Sep 5, 2021. II Samuel 17:1-14

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THE HUSHAI HUSTLE.  II Samuel 17:1-14.  09/05/2021.  #38.

II Samuel 17:1-14 [New King James Version]

1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and make him afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king. 3 Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too.” 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.” 7 So Hushai said to Absalom: “The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. 8 For,” said Hushai, “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people. 9 Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there.” 14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom.

  1. Ahithophel’s advice
    1. Ahithophel’s advice was always wise and effective
    1. Absalom asks for Ahithophel’s advice:
      1.  Strike David while he is weak and vulnerable
      1.  Ahithophel will lead 12,000 men against David’s troop with the goal of killing David
      1.  Once David is dead, all of Israel will turn to Absalom
    1. Absalom and his men were pleased with Ahithophel’s advice
      1.  It was sound reasoning based on the situation
      1.  David’s men were in no condition to fight a superior force while Israel watched David flee
      1.  All the momentum was on Absalom’s side
    1. Had Abs. attacked immediately, apart from divine intervention, David would have been overwhelmed
  2. Hushai’s gambit
    1. Abs. calls Hushai in to give his advice
      1.  Absalom should have suspected that Hushai was working for David
      1.  God was working to overthrow Ahithophel’s counsel
    1. Abs. informs Hushai of Ahithophel’s advice
      1.  Asks for Hus.’s opinion
      1.  Hushai states that Ahithophel’s advice is not good now
    1. Hushai provided many reasons for caution:
      1.  David is a mighty man of war
      1.  David’s army is full of mighty veteran men
      1.  David’s men are enraged like a bear deprived of her cubs and would fight like madmen
      1.  David would not be with his army, but hidden somewhere, so Ahithophel could not get at him
      1.  When David’s veteran troops defeat the first wave of attackers, the rest of Abs.’s army will flee
    1. Hushai’s advice
      1.  Gather all the people to you from all of Israel
      1.  Attack as one massive unit
      1.  All of David’s men would be crushed
      1.  If the last of David’s army hid in a city, Israel will pull down its walls and cast the stones into the river
    1. Hushai describes an absolute glorious victory for Absalom
      1.  Leaves visions of grandeur in minds of rebels
      1.  The intoxicating narrative is embraced by all
  3. Wishful thinking fantasies
    1. Hushai’s advice is a pie-in-the-sky illusion
      1.  Plays on Abs. and his men’s egos
      1.  Their initial success leaves them over confident
    1. Hushai plays on their ego
      1.  Turns the goal of defeating David into the vision of humiliating all his followers
      1.  Hushai is buying time for David to regroup
    1. Hushai’s advice was unrealistic (only the gullible follow)
      1.  Not all or even most of Israel would flock to Abs.
      1.  Abs. greatly overinflates his popularity and support
      1.  Abs. imagines that all of Isr. wants David gone
    1. Politicians, generals, and business leaders tend to exaggerate their assets and minimize their challenges
      1.  Overconfidence usually end in ruin
      1.  Absalom needed a realistic assessment of his position
      1.  “One rebel is worth ten yanks”, “they will flock to me”

God uses man’s pride against him to destroy him

Aug 29, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:1-8

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HOLY LIVING.  I Thessalonians 4:1-8.  08/29/2021.  #8.

I Thessalonians 4:1-8 [New King James Version]

1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

  1. From rejoicing to admonishing
    1. Paul began letter with concern and moved to rejoicing at the positive report that Timothy brought back from church
    1. Paul now moves into topic of holy living, using 2 points:
      1.  Continue growing in the Lord
      1.  Sanctify your body for holiness; not for immorality
    1. Greek society was very promiscuous
      1.  They practically worshiped the body
      1.  Paul spent much time admonishing the Corinthians against sexual immorality
      1.  Greek was an openly sensualized culture
    1. Thessalonica was no different than the rest of Greece
      1.  Paul treats immorality as their #1 vice
      1.  Thessalonica believers had to change from their upbringing and culture
      1.  Paul taught gospel, doctrine, and virtue in 3 weeks
    1. Solution to immorality for believers:
      1.  Sanctification = setting body apart from sin to dedication to Christ alone
      1.  Abstinence from immorality (abstain = apecho in middle voice; literally, to hold oneself from)
        1.  To restrain self from sexual sins
        1.  Hold oneself back from participation
      1.  Seeking to do the will of God
        1.  Holy living is part of God’s will, along with studying Word, witnessing, prayer, worship, and service
        1.  Dedicating self to purpose of pleasing God in all we think and do (I Corinthians 6:12-20)
    1. Paul reminds them that he had taught them about virtue and fidelity (goes against their culture)
  2. Possessing one’s own body
    1. The hardest thing to control is yourself
    1. Possess (obtain, take hold of, procure) one’s own vessel
      1.  To take charge over or command oneself
      1.  To control one’s body (vessel) while navigating through a world of sin, temptation, and allurement
    1. 1 Cor. 3 refusing to succumb to fleshly passions, lustful impulses, and vile thoughts
    1. Paul challenges church to sanctify entire body permanently to the dedication of service to the Lord exclusively
      1.  Living in honor (“with full value” or worth)
      1.  Living counter to the debased culture around you
    1. To engage in immorality is to defraud the person you seduce or are seduced by
      1.  Defrauds family of the seduced
      1.  Defrauds self and Holy Spirit within you (Ephesians 4:30)
    1. Immorality holds one as a slave to sin and lust (tyranny)
  3. Avenger of moral violations
    1. The Lord avenges immorality as a violation of His Law
      1.  Even believers will suffer loss
      1.  God does not ignore or minimize moral violations
    1. Uncleanness = a violation of calling and Christ’s offering
    1. We are called to holiness, so to violate our holy calling is to reject God and grieve the Holy Spirit dwelling in us
      1.  Christ’s sacrifice calls for serious commitment
      1.  Common sin is not excusable behavior
    1. Defrauding self cheats you out of blessing and reward

Key verse: I Corinthians 6:12-20

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Aug. 29, 2021. II Samuel 16:15-23

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AHITHOPHEL’S REVENGE.  II Samuel 16:15-23.  8/29/2021.  #37.

II Samuel 16:15-23 [New King James Version]

15 Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And so it was, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.” 20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give advice as to what we should do.” 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

  1. Hushai’s Gambit
    1. David’s friend and advisor, Hushai, greets Absalom with “Long live the King!”
      1.  Absalom is suspicious: “Why did you not go with your friend, David?”
      1.  Hushai would be expected to remain loyal to David
    1. Hushai states that he will faithfully serve whoever is king
      1.  This is not loyalty, but opportunist
      1.  A man who switches loyalty, like one who betrays a spouse, cannot be trusted
    1. Absalom’s initial intuition was correct
      1.  By accepting Hushai, Absalom brings a spy into fold
      1.  Even Hushai’s explanation reeked of deceit
    1. It is not wise to casually blow past intuition and discernment
      1.  David did not follow initial instinct with Amnon
      1.  David did not follow instinct with Absalom
      1.  Absalom doesn’t follow instinct with Hushai
    1. Just as David deceived Bathsheba and Uriah, Absalom deceived David, and now Hushai deceives Absalom (sowing and reaping)
  2. Ahithophel’s revenge
    1. Ahithophel’s advice was so wise it was as if from God
    1. Absalom asks what they should do first
    1. Ahithophel advises to violate David’s concubine before Israel
      1.  David had left behind 10 concubines to take care of the palace
      1.  II Samuel 12 Nathan predicted that since David violated Bathsheba is secret, God would allow David’s neighbor to violate his marriage bed in public
        1.  David left concerned in Jericho knowing the prophecy
        1.  To have a son do this added to the shame (as Reuben did to Jacob; I Corinthians 5)
      1.  Ahithophel argues that this act would show Israel how much Absalom despised David (no reconciliation between father and son possible, so Absalom’s men would feel confident and strengthened by the act)
    1. A big tent was put on the spot on the palace roof from which David watched Bathsheba bathe
    1. This is Ahithophel’s revenge
      1.  Bath. was Ahithophel’s granddaughter
      1.  Just as David saw his godaughter naked while on the palace roof and then violated her, he advises Absalom to violate David’s conscious at the same spot
      1.  Ahithophel has obviously been seething about this for years while at the same time being chief advisor
      1.  Ahithophel never turns vengeance over to God
    1. God had already pronounced judgment on David
      1.  It was not up to Ahithophel to punish David
      1.  God used Ahithophel’s plot to fulfill prophecy
  3. Downward slope
    1. One sin begets another
      1.  Once the downward spiral begins, many people become entrapped in the folly
      1.  David’s initial sin started a domino effect
    1. Each player in this drama was still responsible for his acts
    1. No corrupt ruler can rule well
    1. Notice the bitterness David caused in family and nation
    1. Yet, God chose David and other flawed people to do his will

Aug 22, 2021. I Thessalonians 3:6-13

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GOOD REPORT.  I Thessalonians 3:6-13.  8/22/2021.  #7.

I Thessalonians 3:6-13 [New King James Version]

6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you— 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

  1. Timothy brings good news
    1. Timothy had finally returned from Thessalonians
      1.  They were still holding onto their faith & love
      1.  They remembered Paul fondly & desired to see him again
    1. Timothy’s news was like a balm over Paul’s anxiety
      1.  Proverbs 25:25 refreshed by good news from afar
      1.  Paul had expected the worse, but received a great blessing
      1.  The news lightened their affliction since the fruit of their labor was worth the price paid
    1. The fruit of faithfully serving the Lord is worth any price
      1.  Trials at the time may seem overwhelming, but the reward of service is far greater (1 Corinthians 3)
      1.  We will not know the full impact of our service to the Lord until we stand before the Lord
      1.  Paul was allowed to see a glimpse of the result of his labor when Timothy returned to him
    1. The thought of the reward for the fruit of our labor should comfort us despite evil around us (I Corinthians 15:50-58)
      1.  Faith remembrance makes us immoveable
      1.  The power of hope of reward strengthens us
    1. Paul rejoices in what God did in 3 weeks in Thess.
  2. Thankful & Hopeful
    1. Paul was thankful to the Lord, for he knew that the short time he had with the Thessalonians was not enough to fortify them
      1.  The Spirit of God used what Paul gave them & magnified its impact & power
      1.  God had put a hedge around the new believers
    1. Paul had underpinned the new church with continual prayer (not to be underestimated or minimized)
    1. Paul still wanted to return to complete the Thessalonians training
      1.  There is no indication that Paul was ever able to return to the city
      1.  Paul tried to fill in the gap through his 2 letters to them & sending Timothy to help them
    1. Paul prayed that the Lord would direct him to the Thessalonians
      1.  Some prayers are not answered because God has a different plan
      1.  Some prayers are not answered because we take a side trip off the path God lays out for us (Paul’s defiance of God’s command not to go to Jerusalem may have prevented him from seeing the Thessalonians and other churches again, just like Moses’s disobedience stopped his entry into Canaan)
  3. Growing in faith until the trumpet sounds
    1. Paul also prayed that their love and holiness would continue to grow
      1.  Once Paul no longer could directly influence the Thessalonians, he had to leave them totally in God’s care
      1.  All our teaching & training must end & we then leave rests in God’s care & responses of trainees
    1. Paul looks forward to when the Lord comes
      1.  There will be an accounting of both our ministry and of those who received our ministry
      1.  Paul couldn’t hover over seedlings he planted
      1.  Our impact will be seen when Lord returns
    1. Paul could encourage & pray for Thessalonians, then wait for results

Part of faith is trusting the Lord with the results

Aug 22, 2021. II Samuel 16:5-14

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SHIMEI’S RANT.  II Samuel 16:5-14.  8/22/2021. #36.

2 Samuel 16:5-14 [New King James Version]

5 Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! 8 The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” 9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” 11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust. 14 Now the king and all the people who were with him became weary; so they refreshed themselves there.

1. Shimei’s rash act

                a. Shimei was a relative of Saul

                b. When David flees from Jerusalem, Shimei comes out to curse David

                                a1. Shimei sought revenge for taking Saul’s throne

                                a2. Shimei thought that this was God’s judgment

                c. Shimei does a foolish thing

                                a1. David is still king and God’s anointed

                                a2. David is traveling with an army

                                a3. It was not Shimei’s place to chastise David

                                a4. Vengeance belongs to God alone

                d. We almost never prosper when we act rashly

                                a1. Nothing could accomplish nothing by ranting

                                a2. When we are upset, it is not time to send anemail, text, or phone call

                                a3. A. Lincoln used to write letters when angry & then tear them up without sending them

                e. We are to refrain from assigning God’s judgment on people

                                a1. It is not up to us declare if any event a judgment of God (disease, fires, earthquakes, disasters…)

                                a2. David’s judgment = from his sin, not Saul’s fall

                                a3. Pv. 24:17-19 God will stop punishing if you gloat

                f. It is ironic that Shimei called David “a man of bloodshed”

                                a1. Saul was far bloodier than David, even having Doeg kill the priests & their family

                                a2. Shimei was not David’s judge

2. Off with his head

                a. Abishai, brother of Joab, wanted to take off Shimei’s head

                                a1. Why should this dog live?

                                a2. Abishai was offended by what Shimei did

                b. “What am I to do with you sons of Zeruiah?”

                                a1. Joab had murdered Abner & Amasa as revenge

                                a2. Joab knew all about Bathsheba & Uriah & other indiscretions of David

                                a3. David’s nephews were impulsive (Asahel died through pursuing Abner in battle)

                                a4. David could not control his nephews, but he could not get away from them

                                                b1. David needed Joab’s skills & insight

                                                b2. Joab was popular among the troops

3. David’s humility of the moment

                a. David shows grace by instructing Abishai to leave Shimei alone, for God may have told him to curse David

                                a1. David felt that he probably deserved to be rebuked

                                a2. At this point, David felt humbled

                b. David receives the rebuke, but later tells Solomon to make sure that Shimei does not go down into the grave in peace

                                a1. David’s momentary humility is not forgiveness

                                a2. David does not transfer Shimei to God’s accountability where it belonged

                                a3. David carried the hurt of Shimei’s rebuke to grave

                c. David stops at this spot to rest

                d. David is a mixed bag

                                a1. He is gracious to Shimei at one moment & not later

                                a2. He is foolish with his sons & family

                                a3. He is foolish with how he handled Joab & army

                                a4. David does not seem to learn these lessons

                e. By not learning from our errors we are repeat the errors

Aug 15, 2021. I Thessalonians 3:1-5

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APPOINTED TO AFFLICTION.  I Thessalonians 3:1-5.  8/15/2021.  #6.

1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

  1. Faith check
    1. Paul was very concerned about faith of Thessalonians believers
      1.  They were new to the faith
      1.  Paul was ushered out of Thess. after 3 weeks
      1.  Paul had not finished instructing them in walk
      1.  Paul had been hindered to return
    1. Paul was beside himself with concern
      1.  He knew that the new church would be under tremendous persecution and pressure
      1.  Paul feared that the Thessalonians would collapse under the trials (some may not have completely come to faith yet)
      1.  Paul had not yet fully equipped them for attacks
    1. Twice Paul states that he could not endure (bear up under or abide in) the strain of not knowing the fate of the Thessalonians
      1.  Paul sent Timothy to check on the church
      1.  Timothy was faithful, knowledgeable, and willing
    1. Paul had moved on from Berea and was now in Athens
      1.  Apparently, Timothy was excluded from Thess.
      1.  Paul suspects the worse
    1. Timothy was directed to instruct them and encourage them
      1.  Add to their training
      1.  Assure them that they could thrive under trials
  2. Trials are part of the job description for believers
    1. The Thess. were concerned about Paul
    1. They knew the trials that Paul faced in Phil. and Thess.
    1. Paul instructed church concerning affliction
      1.  They were not to be shaken by the trials
      1.  Trials were a normal part of spiritual warfare
      1.  Paul had instructed them that they were appointed (set in place, assigned to lie in it)
        1.  A part of the Christian faith
        1.  I Peter 4:12-19 persecution to be expected and even embraced
    1. Paul had told them to expect tribulation
      1.  Knowing trials would come is different than experiencing trials
      1.  Paul was concerned that the church was not yet grounded enough to endure great trials
    1. Trials are to be expected and endured
      1.  Facing persecution should not have caught the church off guard on unaware
      1.  Paul predicted what actually came to pass
      1.  Suffering tribulation is part of the Christian walk
  3. Tempted to quit
    1. Not knowing how the church was fairing caused concern
    1. Paul was concerned that the “tempter” would tempt them to back away from the faith
      1.  Paul’s work among them would be in vain
      1.  Paul wants to see fruit from his labor
    1. Three types of withdrawing from the faith:
      1.  Those who are not yet saved backing away
      1.  Those who are saved being intimidated into silence and inaction
      1.  Those who are saved conforming to the world
    1. Trials of faith have been common from the beginning: Abel, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah, Stephen, Paul…
    1. Paul needed to know their condition and to shore up their faith, so they could be fortified in the battle

Key verse: I Peter 4:12-1912 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.