Nearer Than When We Believed
Nearer Than When We Believed is a sermon teaching us that the Lord’s return is imminent and we are to be busy doing His work so that others can be saved.
The first institution God established on Earth is the family, a picture of Himself. A family unit is representative of God — God the Father, children are Jesus, and the mother is the Holy Spirit. Authority is structured this way: First, the authority on Earth is the family; secondly, is the authority of the government; and thirdly, the authority is of the church.
Today, people think government is in authority and the church needs to take a back seat. But the founders of this country thought otherwise and established separate entities of government and church. We must follow government authority, even though it is not always good or right, it is still in authority. We are subject to authority. Society as a whole must be subject to authority; it is the structure God provided — the home, government, and church.
If you break the law, you answer to authority, it is the ordinance of God. God did not create authority to prohibit good works. Do what’s right even if others do not. Rulers are ministers of God, a God-given position for good. The purpose of the law is to keep people doing good. Don’t do evil. You need to do what’s right because you know its right and your conscious says it’s right. The authority structure allows you to pay what is due. If you owe, pay it. Pay your taxes, it’s the right thing to do. If you don’t want that, then change it by voting.
Owe nothing but love one another. Loving others is the fulfillment of the ten commandments and of the law of God. To love God and love your neighbor fulfills ALL the law of God. If you love your neighbor, you will not sin against him. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you will not cause adultery, murders, theft, false witness, covet what others have, etc. Treat other people as you would have them treat you. Fulfilling the law with love is God’s will.
As we wait for the Lord’s return we must be more vigilant. Troubled times today seem to be a preview of worse times to come, the Tribulation. We need to be busy with the Lord’s work in anticipation of His coming. Knowing that He is coming, His return is nearer than ever before. We must awake, be alert, and on guard.
Salvation includes Jesus’ return to remove us from this world before God’s judgment is poured out on the Earth. God’s people are saved before judgment comes. This is God’s pattern in history; it is evident with the flood and with Sodom and Gomorrah. Our souls are saved when we believe AND when He comes to take us away. Get the sin out of your life, confess to God so that you can be a good witness to others. Our testimony needs to be clean. Live honest lives. We violate the law of God when we follow others to do wrong in rioting, drunkenness, immorality, indulging in sin in a reckless way, in strife, or envy. Live together in peace. Be as much like Jesus as you possibly can be. If we have a temptation in a certain area, don’t put yourself in a position to be tempted. Don’t do it.
We must set our sights on the Lord’s return, it is getting closer every day. We see the troubled times all around us. We are God’s representatives in this lost world, we are the light. We don’t need to point out what people do wrong, they already know. They need to be shown the Light to be saved, forgiven, and to get right with the Lord.
Nearer Than When We Believed sermon starts with verses from Romans 13:1-14:
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
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