BE YE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY
verse 29 “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
1 Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
[a] As soon as any minister speaks about higher standards among their people, offence can be taken, and some in the congregation are up in arms, because they feel they are being criticised for their imperfections - and they don’t like it!!
[b] Dare I say, that often, even in our HOLINESS movement of today, actual holiness is being pushed into the background! People have told me, they haven't heard holiness preached for years!
[c] Have you come across the situation where some have avoided certain people, because they were too ‘straight laced’. They wouldn’t appreciate some of the things which were being said or done, so they were carefully avoided, or their invitation to a certain event was overlooked!
[*] I have found it the case, that sometimes those who attend a Bible Study or Prayer meeting, feel under pressure from those who suggest they are joining the 'Holy Joes'.
[d] Make no mistake, those who try to practice holy living today, are often not the most popular of people! They are looked upon as ‘old fashioned’ and not moving with the times!
[e] Many of the things which were looked upon with disdain in past days, are now common place in the lives of many Christians!
[a] Ah yes, we look back on the old days, and we speak about the sincerity of the people! We speak about the blessings and the revivals they had!
Then we speak about their views on holy living, and we have a little snigger at their lack of ‘enlightenment,’ not realising, that with our modern form of 'godliness', we have, in the words of Peter, ‘lost the power thereof’.
[b] WE CAN’T HAVE OUR CAKE AND EAT IT!
[*] We may laugh at some of the stringent standards of our predecessors, but believe me, the pendulum has swung much too far in the other direction!!
[c] Many of the things that Christians sit and watch on their televisions today, were things, that just a few years ago, even when I was a youth, the slime of society, in their dirty raincoats, would queue up outside a porn cinema to see.
[d] Then we wonder why it is not safe for a girl to walk down the street, or why almost half of all marriages end in divorce! Is it any wonder?
[e] Do we really wonder why Christians are having an increasingly hard time dealing with temptation!
[f] They tell us that as a nation, we are what we eat!
WELL LET ME SAY THIS, A CHRISTIAN’S SOUL WILL BE EXACTLY WHAT THEY FEED IT ON!
[a] In some of our appointments, When I have been out selling the War Cry, I have often seen young people I knew, who professed to be Christians! They would say, “There’s nothing wrong with a drink in moderation, or a smoke! I can be a Christian in here!”
[b] As you look at them, you can see no difference between them and the young people around them who are speeding headlong towards a lost eternity, being helped on their way, by their so-called ‘Christian’ friends!
[c] One of the first things that the Bible declares about a Christian is that they are DIFFERENT! “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (1 Cor 5:17)
[d] Peter tried to fit in with the crowd in the courtyard of the high priest, after the arrest of Jesus! But he stood out like a sore thumb, and had to go to the extremes of cursing, swearing and denying Christ, just to fit in!
[e] If you mix with the unsaved - go where they go - do what they do - you will become more and more like them! By your actions you deny Him!
[f] On the day of judgement, they will blame YOU because you didn’t try to win them for Christ and were unwilling to stand out as one of His!
Instead you became a ‘CHAMELEON CHRISTIAN’ changing colour with your surroundings.
[a] For the Christian who knows the truth of God, and yet is unwilling to stand for that truth in front of their friends, the Bible has a severe warning. God is speaking through Ezekiel in chapter 3, verse 18,
“When I say to a wicked man ‘THOU SHALT SURELY DIE’ and you do not warn him, or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, AND I WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS BLOOD.”
[b] To be a Christian is a wonderful privilege, but also a huge responsibility! You see YOU KNOW THE TRUTH OF GOD! YOUR UNSAVED FRIENDS DO NOT!
[c] If you fail to warn those who call you ‘friend,’ then it’s exactly the same as you standing watching a blind mother and child about to walk of the edge or a precipice to certain death, and instead of shouting the warning “STOP!” you just let them walk on to their death! Could you say you would not be responsible for their deaths, when it was within our power to stop it??
[d] From the moment you gave your life to Christ, that huge weight of responsibility became yours! IT IS NO PICNIC BEING A CHRISTIAN!
IMMEDIATELY YOU INHERIT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BRINGING THIS SINFUL WORLD TO CHRIST!
IF YOU FIT IN WITH THE WORLD AS IF YOU ARE ONE OF THEM, WHEN YOU DON’T BELONG, YOU ARE BOTH FAILING GOD, FAILING YOUR FRIENDS, AND TAKING A HUGE RISK WITH YOUR OWN SOUL INTO THE BARGAIN!!
[e] One of the problems is that in today’s world, the guidelines of what is right and wrong have become fuzzy! With some young Christians, anything goes. After all the Lord understands, doesn’t He?
NO!! HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND!! HE NOT ONLY WANTS, BUT HE DEMANDS HOLY LIVING FROM THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIM!!
[*] I am convinced that there are those who like the Christians mentioned in 2 Peter 1:9, have forgotten they were purged from their past sin!
“Be ye holy for I am Holy,” He says. He requires more than a ‘form of godliness.’ He does not want a mere excuse for Christianity!
[a] I heard a doctor once say, that our health is like the cog-wheels in a watch, and the slightest thing can stop the whole watch.
[b] I think I can take that illustration even a step further. My daughter Joy had a watch, which seemed to go fine when she didn't wear it, but, once she put it on, the close proximity of her body, made it stop in a short time - obviously due to the static electricity in her arm.
IF WE REMAIN LINKED - ATTACHED TO OUR WORLDLY FRIENDS, PURSUING THEIR WORLDLY PLEASURES, OUR CHRISTIAN LIVES WILL QUICKLY STOP LIKE THE WATCH!! PERHAPS NEVER TO START AGAIN!!
[c] Maybe you see the dangers of that in your own life just now!
Maybe you’ve been toying with the world, and as you look within, the Lord is revealing to you the harm it is doing your relationship with Him!!
[*] Maybe you are beginning to feel some of the pain you are causing the Saviour by your sin, dishonesty and disobedience, after all He has done for you!
[d] Or maybe you haven’t even started out with Christ yet.
WELL, IT’S TIME RIGHT NOW TO PUT THINGS RIGHT WITH HIM! AS THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS TO YOUR HEART, RESPOND NOW, AND COME FORWARD.
YOU WILL FIND THAT THE LORD HASN’T CHANGED. HE LOVES YOU JUST AS MUCH, AND WANTS TO RESTORE TO YOU THE JOY OF YOUR SALVATION.
Salvation Army Song Book
PRAYER SONG - ALL THAT I AM
SONG - PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND
(206 IN JUNIOR PRAISE)
COLLECTION & ANNOUNCEMENTS
TESTIMONY & CHORUS TIME
SONG - SEARCH ME O GOD
(212 in Junior Praise)
27 IN HAPPINESS & HARMONY
(If Crosses Come)