Dangers for Christians In a Modern Age

Sermon Notes by Thomas C. Hickey

I. The Danger of Being Assimilated Into Society (Nehemiah 9:1 thru 10:39)

A. Consider the problems Nehemiah faced in attempting to rebuild faith and practice in Israel following the return from Babylonian captivity. (See text in your Bible.)

II. The Danger of Ignorance (II Timothy 2:15b)
2 Timothy 2:15  King James Version
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15  American Standard Version
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15  New American Standard Bible New Testament
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
A. Christianity is a religion of faith
1. Faith comes by “hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17)
Romans 10:17
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2. We need faith to meet the temptations of life
3. We need faith to do the will of God
a. Where was Cain’s faith (conviction rooted in knowledge?)
4. We need faith to teach coming generations

III. The Danger of Changing Lifestyles Rooting Out the Practical Pursuit of Faith (Hebrews 13:8)
Hebrews 13:8  - 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. KJV
A. God’s law for us is universal in scope and application
1. Basic values in the use of modest clothing
2. Speech – what we think, what we say, how we communicate
3. Work and study habits in the kingdom of God
B. It is dangerous for our faith to be so rooted in traditional views rather than universal truths that the changing of our views results in the loss of our faith. The will and revelation of God was so constructed that it is timeless in nature, and will fill the needs of mankind in any nation in the world, or in any time period from the beginning of the church to the end of time.
C. Let us so live and so do that whatever we do or say, it will be done to the glory of God (i. e., an act of good faith and conscience rooted in revelation (I Cor. 10:30-31).
1 Corinthians 10:30-31 “ For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” KJV

IV. The Danger of Being Ashamed of Our Faith (Romans 1:16; Matthew 10:32-33)
Romans 1:16
“16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” KJV
Matthew 10:32-33
“32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” KJV
A. Ashamed to live it
B. Ashamed to teach it
C. Ashamed to have it taught

V. The Danger of Rebellion (Deuteronomy 27:16)
“Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother” — King James Translation
“Cursed be he who dishonors his father or mother” — New American Standard Translation
A. Youth today tends to be inconoclastic – it seeks to shatter all the images of foregone generations
1. Growth, development and progress are laudable
2. Resistance and rebellion because one is too lazy to evaluate the problems and verify the solutions is stupid and inane (i. e., empty, vacant, lacking sense)

VI. The Danger of Traditionalism (Matthew 15:1-9)
Matthew 15:1   “ Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” KJV

A. Judaism and Catholicism are the classic examples of traditionalism
1. Many of the Jews departed from the strict teaching of the Hebrew scriptures (I. e., the Old Testament), and turned to the traditional writings of the Jewish rabbis in the Midrashim published in the Mishna or Talmud.)
2. Catholicism is governed more by the so-called “Authority of Divine Tradition” of the Catholic Church than by the scriptures themselves. (Wherever Catholic doctrine or practice differ from the scriptures, they follow the traditions rather than scripture.)
B. Denominationalism is an outgrowth of traditionalism, being often a reflection of Catholic doctrine and practice which has not been surrendered in the protestant rebellion against Catholicism. Consider the following quotation from the Creed of Catholics on The Doctrines of our Faith, published by P. J. Kenedy and the Excelsior Catholic Publishing House, 5 Barclay Street, in 1902, pp 146-147.
“Denominations of Christians, whose members admit infant baptism, have a difficult time to prove it conclusively by the Scriptures; for though it is, in certain texts, insinuated, and implicitly taught, it is not said in express terms, yet they have received it from the teaching and usage of the church, on the authority of tradition.”
1. What began as a protesting movement became stagnant and meaningless because of the inconsistencies in failing to reject all the unscriptural practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
2. Note that the Catholic author speaks of the difficulty the protestants have in defending infant baptism from the scripture. But, the Catholic author is also tacitly admitting that they have the same difficulty and resolve the issue by appealing to the so-called “authority of divine tradition.”

VII. The Dangers of Young People Choosing the Desires of the Flesh Rather Than Following Righteousness, Fatih, Charity, Peace With Them That Call on the Lord Out of a Pure Heart (all of II Timothy, chapter 2, but
with emphasis on verse 22).
2 Timothy 2:1-26
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. KJV

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