Pastor Ray Barnett

Pastor Ray Barnett Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 25 years. As the founding pastor of the Time For Truth Ministries, his desire is to see a true Biblical New Testament church in our modern days, founded on the love of the brethren, and has labored to that end through times of blessing and adversity.

 

Recent Sermon
The Gospel of God
September 21, 2014 | by Pastor Ray Barnett | Scripture : Romans 1
Recent Devotion

Friday October 31, 2014

INTERESTING FACTS : Alexander Hamilton, born January 11, 1755/57, Nevis, British West Indies, died July 12, 1804, New York, New York, U.S.New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787), major author of the Federalist papers, and first secretary of the Treasury of the United States (1789-95), who was the foremost champion of a strong central government for the new United States. He was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.[1]
 
"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law."[2]
 
Daily Reading : LUKE 17 - 18
 
TEXT : Luke 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.  17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.  17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.  17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;  17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.  17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.  17:32 Remember Lot's wife.  17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.  17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.  17:35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 
THEME : THE SECOND COMING
 
Luke 17 
 
In this chapter we have,  I. Some particular discourses which Christ had with his disciples, in which he teaches them to take heed of giving offence, and to forgive the injuries done them (Luk_17:1-4), encourages them to pray for the increase of their faith (Luk_17:5, Luk_17:6), and then teaches them humility, whatever service they had done for God (Luk_17:7-10).  II. His cleansing ten lepers, and the thanks he had from one of them only, and he a Samaritan (Luk_17:11-19).  III. His discourse with his disciples, upon occasion of an enquiry of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should appear (v. 20-37).  (Matthew Henry)[3]
 
Luke 18 
 
In this chapter we have,  I. The parable of the importunate widow, designed to teach us fervency in prayer (Luk_18:1-8).  II. The parable of the Pharisee and publican, designed to teach us humility, and humiliation for sin, in prayer (Luk_18:9-14).  III. Christ's favour to little children that were brought to him (Luk_18:15-17).  IV. The trial of a rich man that had a mind to follow Christ, whether he loved better Christ or his riches; his coming short upon that trial; and Christ's discourse with his disciples upon that occasion (Luk_18:18-30).  V. Christ's foretelling his own death and sufferings (Luk_18:31-34).  VI. His restoring sight to a blind man (Luk_18:35-43). And these four passages we had before in Matthew and Mark.  (Matthew Henry)[4]
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE."
 
In Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God and its arrival, He states that it comes not with "observation." Rather, Jesus says the Kingdom "is within you." There are various interpretations of what Jesus meant by this, but the most obvious would be either that Jesus, the King of kings and LORD of lords, was in their midst; or that the Holy Spirit - the second Person of the Trinity, was to be (eventually) inside every believer as He is today.  Either way, the principle is the same.  The Kingdom belongs to God and comes first by a revelation of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, then as Jesus states in Luke 17: 24, one day it will come for all to see as lightning flashes in the sky.
 
In explaining that He must first go to Jerusalem to be crucified - in which, He explains that He will be rejected by his generation, Jesus goes on to explain what the days would be like when He returns.  The two Biblical illustrations that Jesus uses to demonstrate what the world would be like when he arrives are Noah and Lot.  Both of these men have similarities.  Primarily, they resemble each other in the fact that God rescued them from judgment.  That is, God delivered them from "His wrath." In some ways their stories differ, but once again, the main truth is the same in both of their lives and times.  Both of them - in Noah's case his entire family was saved, and in Lot's case a part of his family - his wife and two daughters,  even though his wife did not make it all the way.
 
With regard to the days of Noah, his days were noted for the exceptional violence that was in the earth.  In the Book of Genesis, it states "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen 6:5) In the days of Lot the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding suburbs were extremely evil.  "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." (Gen 13:13) Therefore, the two men had similar situations in their environment as the people around them - both men and women, were remarkably wicked.
 
The Bible tells us, that Noah was a "just man" and found grace in the sight of God.  Further, the Holy Scriptures state that Lot was a "righteous man." Once again, you see similarities in the two.  The people around them in the times in which they lived, were depraved in their soul and body, (that is, in their thinking and in their deeds); but these two men were viewed by God as righteous.  Thus, they were delivered from the wrath of God.  Knowing the nature of God as it is revealed in the Bible, we must assume the people of the world - that is, all the nations in Noah's time, as well as all the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding suburbs, knew what was right and what was wrong.  Further, they knew the deeds they were performing were unlawful and would be judged by God.  The Apostle Paul makes mention of this in the Book of Romans Chapter one.   In chapters one and two of the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul explains that every person has a conscience telling them the law(s) of God, and that they know the penalties for disobedience.  The attribute of conscience (the word means - "with knowledge") shows people the fundamental nature of God, what is right and wrong in His sight, and that the law of sowing and reaping is irrevocable and inevitable.  It does not matter, what you sow, or where you sow it - in the ground, or in the body and mind, the law of sowing and reaping is as steadfast as the law of gravity.
 
Thus, as Jesus teaches about His return (that is, physical return) and He informs you that just before His "Revelation" from Heaven the times of the people who are on the earth will resemble those of Noah and of Lot.  There will be exceptional violence and sexual perversion (which are the two salient sins of those around these two righteous men in their days).  Of course, there will be many other sinful practices as well. As you read the morning newspaper, listen to the news, observe events around you, and see the state of the world in general, it is not hard to imagine we are living in the times Jesus spoke about in Luke chapter 17: 27-29.  The conclusion is - you are living in the last days.  This seems self-evident.  Therefore, the chilling words of Jesus Christ - "Remembers Lot's wife," is something you need to seriously consider.
 
After Lot escaped Sodom, his wife and two daughters were with him.  They had been taken out of harm's way.  However, the clear instruction of Almighty God was that nobody was to look back.  You read in Genesis, as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah began, Lot's wife looked behind her - for whatever reason, and was turned to a pillar of salt.   She had "almost" made it.  Nevertheless, she did not make it out.  That is, not "all the way." She was "almost saved." Perhaps, her tragic ending is worse than Lot's sons-in-laws.  From the beginning, the husband of Lot's two daughters mocked the prophecy made by the angels that appeared to Lot.  Of course, they were destroyed with the rest of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  However, Lot's wife had the opportunity to be saved.  Yet, she ignored God's warnings - as people often do, and she perished just like her daughter's husbands.
 
You know, from the Holy Scriptures, the people of Noah's day mocked him as he built the ark.  You also know that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did not recognize the heavenly appearance of God's angelic messengers.  Likewise, people are still mocking the Bible today, as well as the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures.  In particular, those Scripture verses that pertain to the last days.  Oddly enough, this in itself is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.  However, what concerns you is this.  "Remember Lot's wife." This is a kind and loving reminder from the Master not to follow her example.  Therefore, you must obey the commands of Christ - particularly, to love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love one another.  This is the entire point of life.  That is, to love God and to love each other is what this life and the next is designed for.  It will be the primary characteristic of all eternity.  The place and presence of the Eternal God is replete with love.
 
In any case, "Remember Lot's wife." She was "almost saved." She was almost in God's presence.  She was "almost spared." Yet, in the end, she was not saved  at all.  Again, what makes her story so tragic is that it did not have to be so.  She had actually left Sodom and Gomorrah having been delivered by the two angels.  Still, she did not make it to safety.  Therefore, learn this  - as you see the signs of the times, remember Lot's wife, and avoid her critical mistake. 

  • [1] Encyclopedia Brittanica, Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopedia, 2011, 2011.
  • [2] [Alexander Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, ed. (New York, Columbia University Press, 1962), Vol III, pp. 544-545.]
  • [3] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain, 1662 - 1714.
  • [4] Ibid;
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