TV Transcripts

“Something Worth Dying For” Conclusion
Broadcast #1562
September 11, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1562 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Is it worth everything, to be born again? See, we sing these songs, but there’s something about the ease of life in America that kind of puts it, makes it vague. Before it’s over, it’s not gonna be vague anymore. We’re gonna understand what it costs to follow Jesus.

But I believe with all my heart that God is with us, that He loves…He loves the people here more than we could possibly know. And He is here to be faithful. He is here to empower us to be His people in this hour.

So, Paul’s message was, basically…Paul wasn’t able to get back, that was part of the problem. That’s one of the reasons he was writing these letters. He kept wanting to go and encourage the people and he was able to send Timothy to find out how they were doing.

And his motivation was, well in verse 2 of chapter 3, “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith…” (NIV). Why? “…So that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”

What an encouraging message! “In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.” And so now, this is why he was sending Timothy to find out how they were doing. And, he had a good report, and he was rejoicing and praying for them, night and day.

Verse 10, “…We pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

Now you get another picture. He’s not coming alone, is he? Didn’t Jesus say there was gonna come a time when He would be openly coming? You’ll see it later, in some other things that He says. But it would be a very open coming and He was going to come with all the holy angels. Praise God!

Won’t that be something…all of a sudden to see that happen? Just when everybody else thinks it couldn’t.

But anyway, then he encourages them about Christian living, and how God wants them to live, and live a holy life, don’t get off into sexual impurity, for example, of that society they were living in which was very much given to that…kind of like America. We need to ask God to help us to live the kind of life that He wants us to live.

And I thank God, it’s by His strength and not by ours. And he exhorts them to love one another. These are some of the things that God is looking for. He’s looking for people who are willing to live for God in the middle of a world that’s going the other way. And to have a love one for another. That’s the essence of what God is looking for.

You know, we could sit here and try to make sure our theology is pure. But ultimately, it’s about relationship, isn’t it? It’s about the presence of Christ in the midst of His people. Thank God! But now, he gets to the subject at hand. Because as I say, these people living with nothing much to live for in this world, Paul wants them to know where this is headed and what the end of it’s gonna be. Okay?

“Brothers and sisters…” verse 13, “…we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death….” So, now there’s the concern and a question that could possibly arise in somebody’s mind, okay, I know about the coming of Christ, what about those who have already died? What’s God’s plan for them? Where do they fit in? And so that’s the question that he’s answering.

Paul wants them to understand how this is gonna play out. So that, “…We do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so….” Now, that’s a conclusion, isn’t it? Because we believe this, and so, there’s something that grows out of that.

“…And so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Boy, isn’t that a wonderful word, ‘with Jesus’? Doesn’t that make it worth everything? Didn’t Paul talk about, “…to be absent from the body…” is, “…to be present with the Lord.” (KJV).

Oh man! Is there anything that you love about this world that would…that you’d say, oh I’d rather have this than be there with Him. Man, that’s gonna answer every, every issue that could possibly ever arise, to be with Him.

But in this instance, you have people that are still spirits, souls, whatever you want to call them. They don’t have the body, they left the body in the grave. And so, Jesus is saying, or Paul is saying, Jesus is gonna come and those who are…He’s gonna bring with Him all of those who have previously died.

Okay? He “…will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede…” not go before, “…those who have fallen asleep…” or those who have died. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command…” There’s nothing secret about this, is there?

( congregational response ).

“…A loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” I’ve had people ask me, well, which is it? Are they gonna come out of the grave or are they gonna come from there? I think God can figure that out. But you know, I had this thought. When Jesus rose from the dead, God didn’t give Him a substitute body, did He?

( congregational response ).

The body that He had, that was buried didn’t stay in that grave. God literally brought that out and transformed it into the one that it would become. And I’ll tell you, those who have gone on…we’ve had so many over the years that have gone on to be with the Lord.

Don’t worry. God’s gonna bring them, and there’s gonna be somehow, someway or other, there’s gonna be a union with whatever’s left of them from an earthy standpoint. God’s gonna take that and transform it and they’re gonna be just like Him, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we know from 1st Corinthians chapter 15. Praise God!

What a hope that there is! Praise the Lord! So, suppose they do shoot you? Well, in the first place, we’re gonna be with Jesus! Nothing could possibly be better. And when He comes in that triumph at the end, we’re with Him, and then we experience the same transformation that Jesus Himself did. He was the firstfruits…then we are transformed.

Man, what a hope! What strength to live by. If you really believe the message, and I’m not talking about being convinced because some person convinces you, I’m talking about the Holy Spirit gets down into the depths of your being and you know it! You know it because He’s put the conviction there.

Folks, that’s what’s gonna carry us through. We need the reality, the same reality that these believers had, when they were being persecuted and killed. So anyway, so they’re gonna rise first.

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Remember the words of Jesus. I love this picture, when He said He’s gonna send the angels out to gather the elect. Won’t that be something? To literally be minding your own business and all of a sudden this begins to happen. And you see the dead raised and all of a sudden, an angel comes up, and takes you by the hand, and you’re transformed, and suddenly you begin to rise up into the air. And there’s Jesus, and there are all the saints from all ages. What a picture!

Man, there’s nothing secret about this. But see, this is a day—this is a day that’s coming. It’s real. It was a conviction that they were willing to die for. This is the day that’s coming but it doesn’t just affect us, does it? It affects the world. So, what’s the deal, what’s gonna happen to the world on this day? And that’s what he goes into next.

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, Peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

That’s a sad thing. You know, you put all the scriptures together and you see this picture, you could see where people would say, God, the awful things people are doing, why do You let it go on? Why is there so much trouble in the world? Why is so much evil allowed to express itself in the world? And then you find out, God’s being patient. He’s not willing, He’s not anxious to do this. He’s anxious for everything…every one that could possibly hear and respond to the message to come.

Folks, He is not going to…He’s not gonna close the door until the last one is in, and He knows. But I’ll tell you, every time the Gospel comes to a human heart, they make a choice, don’t they? And sooner or later…there are two ways set before them. That’s what the Gospel does. Either you’re gonna go your way or you’re gonna go Christ’s way.

And I’ll tell you, the way…your way leads to death. Christ’s way leads to life. But oh, you know, right at that crossroad, it doesn’t seem like there’s that much difference, but you go down the road a piece and you find out. You see where the world is headed, and you see what it’s gonna be like.

That’s some of what he gets into in the second book. But, basically, for you it’s gonna be awesome, He’s gonna come in the clouds and you’re gonna gather in the air. For the world, Satan, destruction is gonna come. And the Lord has shown us some of those things in the past, specifically.

“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” Thank God, we can have light that we need every single day. “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

“For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet…” governing our minds and our thoughts.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us…” He died for us, “…so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” There’s that ‘with Him’ again, isn’t it? “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

And he goes on and gives them instructions and encouragement about being patient and rejoicing and praying and giving thanks and all of those things. But an interesting little part, down at the end, that comes right back into the coming of Christ, his prayer, in verse 23 of chapter 5.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Okay, that’s a great prayer, isn’t it? Sure hope it happens. Verse 24 says, “The one who calls you is…” What?

( congregational response ).

“… Faithful…” And what?

( congregational response ).

“…He will do it.” Folks, you put yourself in His hands, He who started that work is going to continue it, until when?

( congregational response ).

The day of Jesus Christ. See, he’s talking about this same day that’s coming. There’s coming a day, folks, that all this is gonna be wound up. And this was the hope that Paul continually put before the people there. Yes, I know things are bad, but look what’s coming!

You know, I thought about this, when he’s talking about people that have died, and here he’s writing to these people about the coming of Christ in the first century. And here we are, and He still hasn’t come. And you got people saying, well, where is the promise of His coming?

But I’ll tell you, when you’re talking about the goal of serving Christ in this world, either way, it is pointing to that day. Whether they died and have been gone 2,000 years…been with Him for 2,000 years, or whether we’re here when that trumpet call comes, that is the day that we’re pointing to. That is the hope, that’s the reason we can keep going. Thank God!

Well, it’s very obvious that I can’t get to a whole lot more. But let me just go ahead quickly, and look at a little bit of 2nd Thessalonians. I struggled a lot with this because there’s so much truth in it, and I don’t want to just belabor this.

But anyway, Paul says, in verse 4…he’s talking about how they’re doing, and says, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance….” There’s another word. What did Jesus say, those who persevere, those who endure to the end will be saved. Where do we get the power to do that?

( congregational response ).

From Him. Thank God! If we’re willing, He’s able! “…perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just….”

This is the question. Again, why does God allow all these things, these terrible things to happen? When is it gonna be made right? Surely, if He is the King and He is the Lord of all, surely there’s gonna come a day when He’s gonna put things right, and there’s going to be a justice, for your people.

Do you remember the scene in Revelation, about the souls under the altar crying out, oh God, how long before You put things right? And the Lord said, wait a little longer, there are some others…again, I’m just paraphrasing.

So, he says, “God is just….” Don’t look at the world and say, where is God’s justice? It’s there. And when it lands, there won’t be any question. “He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.” So, there are two things that are gonna happen, There’s gonna be relief for God’s people, and trouble poured out, wrath poured out upon the wicked.

So, when is this gonna happen? “This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” All happening at once. Do you see that? Do you see how he’s putting these two together where you don’t have this, well this was back here and that’s gonna be way out here. This is one event. One clear day when all of a sudden, everything will be absolutely made right, and there will be an end.

There’s no reason for life to go on here. When God calls every one of His people, and they’re His, and everyone else is sealed in their sins, what’s the purpose of going on with life on earth? There is a resolution that has happened in the human heart. That’s what we’re waiting on.

That’s what the condition was in Noah’s day. Every imagination in the heart of everyone outside of Noah’s family was only evil, all the time. And God even then, gave them more time. Boy, we got a patient God to put up with this world! But God’s gonna fulfill His purpose, isn’t He? And justice will happen.

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” It’s not a matter of just believing it, it’s obeying it. Because when it comes to being right with God or choosing the way of evil, it’s a matter of obedience. It’s not just believing doctrines and ideas. There is an obedience that God is looking for. It is basically, repent or perish!

Do you want to break down what the Gospel is about? It’s turn from your own way and surrender your life to Me and let Me make it what I intended it to be in the beginning, or you’re gonna perish. He that preserves his own life will…

( congregational response ).

…Lose it. Those who lose their life for me will keep it for life eternal. That’s a very plain, simple message, isn’t it? All right? “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.” Same day.

“This includes you, because you believed our testimony….” What is a tremendous scripture here, and I think I’m gonna probably wind up with this, because chapter 2 goes into a lot more. And there are things I want to unpack at some point, if the Lord’s in it.

But listen to what he says here, “With this in mind…” Understand, Paul is saying…understanding where this is going and how it’s gonna play out, and what the conclusion of all this is, “…we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power…” Boy, that’s a key phrase. Listen to that. Listen to everything he’s saying there, and think of it in the light of that little phrase. “… By his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”

Think of this in the context of things that have been said lately. God’s called us to this time in history. He’s called us to live for Him, to live Godly lives in an ungodly world. And He has stuff for us to do. How does that happen? By His power!

And God is looking for a people, and you see where this is coming from, your every desire for goodness. There’s a response, there’s a desire coming from the people. Oh God, I need to be changed. I have this need. I have that need. Oh God, help me!

So do you see, it’s not just God just magically doing stuff, there is a response that He’s bringing forth out of the hearts of His people, to be like Him. And God is saying, I’ve got the power if you’ll just want Me. I will be there, and you’re gonna be able to live for me in the midst of a black world, that has turned itself completely over to Satan’s power. That’s where we’re headed.

But I’ll tell you, there’s gonna be a people that God will enable to serve Him. Some will die for their faith, others will stand and be there. They’ll be among those who will be there on that day when the trumpet sounds. But there is a power that God has available. If it’s in your heart to want to serve Him, He’s got the power! Don’t you be afraid! He’s got everything that it takes!

But it’s not just being something, and living for Him, living that kind of a life, it’s your every deed, prompted by faith. So now, you come right back to the thought we’ve given out of Daniel’s prophecy, “…the people that do know their God…” (KJV).

( congregational response ).

“…Shall be strong, and do exploits.” There are going to be things that God wants His people to do in this hour…in the face…I mean, did not Paul…was not Paul sent into Thessalonica in the midst of persecution, from persecution? He jumped right back into the fire. And his message was, serve Him! It’s worth serving Him, if you lose your life, it’s worth everything to know Jesus. And the people there heard the message and were convicted in their hearts and embraced it, in the face of that kind of a message.

Boy, is that different from what we hear in America? We need to hear this. Listen to what he says, “…your every deed prompted by faith.” (NIV). In other words, God is gonna be giving us faith to do things. He’s going to be laying things on our hearts in the midst of all this that’s going on in the world, and we’re gonna have to put our trust in Him.

But we have His power to enable us to do whatever He gives us to do. We’re gonna be a…we are a supernatural people in a broken world. And God wants to make Himself more real. This is not just a little religious organization with its own traditions. We need Jesus in the midst of this congregation.

I believe He’s here. I believe there’s something that He wants…there’s a seed maybe, and He wants to plant, because right now you look out and, here we are, we have freedom to meet here this morning. Will it always be this way? No, it won’t. But Jesus will always be faithful.

And no matter what happens, no matter where He calls us, what He calls us to go through, what He calls us to experience, if He calls us to lay down our lives for Him, that hope remains. That there will be a day when the skies will be split, when the trumpet will sound and Jesus will come, His holy angels, everyone who has gone before.

Man, the sky will be full, won’t it? It’ll be brilliant light, the people of the world will be in panic mode, and we’ll look up and say, this is what we’ve been waiting for! This is the end of it all, all of this will be forever passed, all evil and death and sin will be all done away! And there’ll be nothing forward…nothing going forward but to be with Him forever and ever and ever. And to experience His love.

Folks, this is what God wants to plant and grow in every single heart and life. And it’s not just an individualistic thing, either. Because Paul’s message in the midst of this is not just endure, but it’s love one another. Walk together, look to me. Do we have a faith worth dying for?

( congregational response ).

It’s available to every single one of us.

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