The 3 Rs of a Christian Lifestyle
The 3 Rs of a Christian Lifestyle is a sermon teaching us that if you are a renegade or a runaway of the faith, it is time to come back to God. If you are reliable Christian, don’t let your guard down.
We are to stay diligent until the end in doing the Lord’s work, but if you fall from the faith, your walk, or your testimony, you can always come back to the welcoming arms of God.
Using diligence means to be prompt, to study. Timothy, who was in Ephesus, was told by Paul to get his work done and to come to see him in Rome. Paul was nearing the end of his life and wanted Timothy to come and see him before he died. Paul mentions Demas who deserted from the faith. Demas was a renegade, one who leaves or rejects a cause for another. It can happen to anybody. You can be solid in your convictions and faith, but something pulls you and you’re gone. Demas was the friend who when needed most, was not there. Demas was attracted to the world and left the faith.
Scripture tells us to not love the world, the things that are a part of this world, the world system and its philosophy, things that draw you away from God. This is because scripture tells us that anyone who loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. You cannot follow God and love the world. Jesus taught that we cannot serve God and mammon, which is the world. The things of this world are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Demas most likely succumbed to at least one of these desires. Keep in mind that turning away from God and desiring the world is worthless, the world and lusts are temporary and will pass away but doing the will of God endures forever.
Demas departed and went to Thessalonica, a city with a Jewish synagogue. Paul had previously visited Thessalonica to preach to the Jews about Jesus. Paul had to prove to them from the Old Testament that Jesus was their Savior. Paul preached Jesus to the Jews and some believed. Those that did not believe were envious and gathered together troublemakers and started a riot in the city and drew Jason and other believers before the city authorities falsely claiming that they did contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there was another king, Jesus. But Jesus is a spiritual king, not a physical king to rival Caesar.
This is the city where Demas went to because something didn’t go his way, where riotous people could easily be roused, and where lies and hypocrisies were rampant. Paul even wrote to the church at Thessalonica twice, one referring to the coming of Jesus, and the other about missing the resurrection and being left behind. Paul wrote these in response to the people stirring up issues. Demas went to Thessalonica as a renegade, but you can avoid becoming one who abandons the faith.
We need to come out and be separated from the world. You cannot do things of God and try to mingle with the world. God wants you to come back to Him. Even if you’ve deserted the faith or turn your back on God, God has not turned His back on you.
Jesus knocks at the door of your heart, always available to be received. God is not giving up on you and wants you to come back to Him. Demas left Paul and went to an unholy lifestyle.
A runaway runs away from danger, duty, or constraint, to avoid or escape something.
Paul writes to Timothy to take John Mark, or Mark, with him on his journey. When hands were laid on the first missionaries, John Mark was among them. A certain deputy asked for Barnabas and Saul desiring to hear the Word of God. But a sorcerer tried to prevent them from coming and tried to turn the deputy away from the faith. Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on the sorcerer and rebuked that child of the devil, calling him the enemy of all righteousness.
John Mark saw this contention, this backbiting, being used in Christian circles. Living in sheltered environments one is protected from too many outside influences. John Mark may have come from such an environment and after seeing this contention, left to go to Jerusalem.
Paul and Barnabas traveled again, and Barnabas was determined to give John Mark a second chance and take him along. Paul was against it since John Mark abandoned them at a crucial time. It is easy to join in when things are good, but when hardships set in it is more difficult to stay. The contention was so great that they split up. Barnabas and John Mark sailed together to Cyprus. Paul ventured into a completely new continent, Europe.
Paul changes his mind later about John Mark and called him profitable. At some point the two had reconciled, made up their differences, and John Mark was forgiven. There are Christians today who were wronged but have not forgiven, which is a worldly philosophy and mindset. Jesus teaches us to always forgive others of the hurt they caused you. Being deemed profitable, John Mark was useful in the Lord’s work.
The Reliable One
Only Luke is with Paul during his last days. Luke, the physician, is the reliable one, and can be depended upon. He was available at the time of Paul’s need. Luke wrote the gospel of Luke and book of Acts.
Luke traveled with Paul to Macedonia, in Europe. Luke was with Paul during most of his journeys, when he was imprisoned, during his trials, traveling to Rome, when shipwrecked, and when Paul was bitten by a viper. Luke was with Paul during his house arrest before being executed. Luke was reliable and with Paul to the very end.
Are you a Luke? What testimony do you carry with you? What is your walk with God? Are you a renegade turning away from the faith? Are you a runaway or a reliable one? If you have doubts, you can always come back. There are times in the Christian life when doubt occurs, but you can always return to God. God does not abandon those who turn away from the faith until that they choose to not return. It is a personal choice; God gives us a free will. If you are reliable, be careful not to fall and have a lapse of faith. God cares for everyone. But sometimes we do not see it until we are far away from it and He brings us back again. Perhaps you are not a renegade, a runaway, or reliable because you’ve never accepted Jesus, now is the time. If you are a renegade or a runaway, it is time to come back to God. If you are reliable, don’t let your guard down. The devil wants to take you at your weakest point and turn you away from God.
A Charge to Reach All People sermon starts with verses from II Timothy 4:9-11:
9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Also verses from I John 2:15-17:
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
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