Peevishness is back of your loose tongue, bitterness and sneaking sarcasm taints your critical analysis. It is defeat before the hearers to have a haughtiness of spirit, that needs no one, no forerunners of the family you have been adopted into, those you would so carelessly equate with mere men of an unregenerate spirit.
You are not mature enough in Christ to be rebuked. Only the level of self importance is such that it is personal injury to suffer wrong and must be repudiated, quite contrary to the Son of Man who was rejected of men, even religious men.
Your irony is to shut your ears to all 'but the scriptures' and yet expect you, yourself to be heard. You will give a platitude here and a warm sentiment there, yet your speech often betrays you in subtle ways. If it was not but for the scriptures noting the elders obtained a good report (Heb 11:2) would they not also be challenged in your obstinate disposition?
You state just as much by the dripping of contention, sprinkled in your impure conversations. (2Pe 3:11)
By faith; Spurgeon and Finney, Chambers and Tozer.
By faith; The 'Puritans', Ana-baptists and even a smattering of "Catholics"
By faith; Thinking hearts and mindful, intelligent humility.
By faith; The truly persecuted, the hidden, lowly saints.
By faith; All down through the ages, across all tribes and nations, territories and adversities. In rejection and compulsion, in stripes and fastings, in similitude of those things suffered like unto the apostle Paul; Prison. Hardship.Toil.
Of loved ones. Wives and children, fathers and mothers. Brothers and sisters. Husbands.
[i]In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;[/i] 2Co 11:26
Could it be you are of the 'false brethren'? False 'through and through' or false as in error? False [i]because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;[/i] (Rev 3:17)? In need of no history beyond the written page, no sermon to challenge and penetrate your fixated notion? How long will you carry about you an air of false superiority and worse false humility? You would state that you are of the truth and for the truth yet harbor the fugitive of false honesty in your bosom. Therefore you are in contradiction and it is laid open before all to see. You are more apt to be met with silence than confrontation, because you cannot bear it, [i]knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked[/i] (Rev 3:17). Note the disparity; The cry of [i]needing nothing[/i] is the correlation to being lukewarm; One which you may be, the other that [i]thou sayest[/i]. The rebuke, [i]knowest not[/i]?
"I counsel thee
to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
[i]that thou mayest be rich;[/i]
and white raiment,
[i]that thou mayest be clothed[/i],
and that the shame
of thy nakedness
do not appear;
and anoint thine eyes
[i]that thou mayest see.[/i]"
[i]As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
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. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.[/i] Rev 3:19-22
Generally the emphasis is on the complacent, lackadaisical Laodiceans and the matter of tepid (lukewarm) tenor. Certainly it is that and no stretch of present realities to apply to the world of Christendom at large. But is not the great thrust here an unmasking, once again of things false in themselves? The duplicity and hypocrisy of things said against that which the Lord knowest? Ears to hear what the Spirit saith.
Something misapplied it seems on this matter of temperature, comparing it all to zeal or lack of, using it as a buttress to escape personal examination or a battle-ram of self defending. Being that this whole little treatise has been crafted by generalities and seemingly aimed at no one in particular it would be dishonest to state that there are not some here I have in mind. It is a general observation that cuts across various postings of things that can be summarized as peevish. It is a strange matter that a website dedicated to [i]Sermons[/i] can be taken to task as somehow being arbitrary in itself. That to even quote these dead relatives of ours is to give them too much honor. To actually listen to them an affront to a spurious, haughty notion that me and my Bible, the contorting of [i]ye need not that any man teach you[/i] is all that one needs; [i](I) have need of nothing[/i]. ?
[b]I would thou wert cold or hot[/b] - That is, I would prefer either of those states to what now exists. Anything better than this condition, where love is professed, but where it does not exist; where vows have been assumed which are not fulfilled. Why he would prefer that they should be hot is clear enough; but why would he prefer a state of utter coldness - a state where there was no profession of real love? To this question the following answers may be given:
(1) Such a state of open and professed coldness or indifference is more honest. There is no disguise; no concealment; no pretense. We know where one in this state may be found; we know with whom we are dealing; we know what to expect. Sad as the state is, it is at least honest; and we are so made that we all prefer such a character to one where professions are made which are never to be realized - to a state of insincerity and hypocrisy.
(2) such a state is more honorable. It is a more elevated condition of mind, and marks a higher character. Of a man who is false to his engagements, who makes professions and promises never to be realized, we can make nothing. There is essential meanness in such a character, and there is nothing in it which we can respect. But in the character of the man who is openly and avowedly opposed to anything; who takes his stand, and is earnest and zealous in his course, though it be wrong, there are traits which may be, under a better direction, elements of true greatness and magnanimity. In the character of Saul of Tarsus there were always the elements of true greatness; in that of Judas Iscariot there were never. The one was capable of becoming one of the noblest men that has ever lived on the earth; the other, even under the personal teaching of the Redeemer for years, was nothing but a traitor - a man of essential meanness.
(3) there is more hope of conversion and salvation in such a case. There could always have been a ground of hope that Saul would be converted and saved, even when breathing out threatening and slaughter; of Judas, when numbered among the professed disciples of the Saviour, there was no hope. The most hopeless of all persons, in regard to salvation, are those who are members of the church without any true religion; who have made a profession without any evidence of personal piety; who are content with a name to live. This is so, because:
(a) the essential character of anyone who will allow himself to do this is eminently unfavorable to true religion. There is a lack of that thorough honesty and sincerity which is so necessary for true conversion to God. He who is content to profess to be what he really is not, is riot a man on whom the truths of Christianity are likely to make an impression.
(b) Such a mall (sic- "man" likely) never applies the truth to himself. Truth that is addressed to impenitent sinners he does not apply to himself, of course; for he does not rank himself in that class of persons. Truth addressed to hypocrites he will not apply to himself; for no one, however insincere and hollow he may be, chooses to act on the presumption that he is himself a hypocrite, or so as to leave others to suppose that he regards himself as such. The means of grace adapted to save a sinner, as such, he will not use; for he is in the church, and chooses to regard himself as safe. Efforts made to reclaim him he will resist; for he will regard it as proof of a meddlesome spirit, and an uncharitable judging in others, if they consider him to be anything different from what he professes to be. What right have they to go back of his profession, and assume that he is insincere? As a consequence, there are probably fewer persons by far converted of those who come into the church without any religion, than of any other class of persons of similar number; and the most hopeless of all conditions, in respect to conversion and salvation, is when one enters the church deceived.
(c) It may be presumed that, for these reasons, God himself will make less direct effort to convert and save such persons. As there are fewer appeals that can be brought to bear on them; as there is less in their character that is noble, and that can be depended on in promoting the salvation of a soul; and as there is special guilt in hypocrisy, it may be presumed that God will more frequently leave such persons to their chosen course, than he will those who make no professions of religion. Comp, Psa_109:17-18; Jer_7:16; Jer_11:14; Jer_14:11; Isa_1:15; Hos_4:17.
Something about pretense, once it is addressed or unmasked, can it ever again be covered up or dismissed?
[i]Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.[/i] Gal 5:1
[i]For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.[/i] 2Pe 2:20
[i] 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. [/i] 2Ti 2:4
Entangled. Tangled up like a kitten in a ball of yarn. It denotes confusion and disorder. And so we have it often here. The yoke of bondage expressed in controversies over the law. [i]But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.[/i] (Tit 3:9). And what of "foolish questions"? That are to be avoided, perhaps that is why many things go unanswered in reply. Contentions and strivings;
[i]Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.[/i] Jas 4:3
The war in your members, the internal lust, the [i]desire to have[/i]. "Whence come wars and fightings among you?" Strange thing to be in much controversy over the pacifism or non-resistance of Christians in the worlds wars all the while overlooking the seed bed that they stem from and the entanglements, contentions and strivings between each other. Politics.
[i]Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.[/i] Jas 4:4
Politics of the world. Politics of particular government. And the politics of Christians. It is sad that we do frown on and watch very closely these matters here. Sad that they cannot be discussed without the accompanying venom and emotionalism, the peevish and reactionary impulse of the flesh. There are untold tragedies and wars, injustice carried out daily, the carnal violence borne out of the evil heart of men. It ought to makes us weep rather than empowered by a moral superiority, how much passes for preaching to the choir and falls lifeless to the ground. It is often nothing more than noise and confusion, unchaste conversation, void, empty, worthless.
Many of us need our perspectives challenged. Our impulses checked. A dose of humility and a dose of reality injected into our learning. And so it is I have found of late, by experience. By carnal thoughts and drifting thinking. It is by recognition of my own duplicity in deed when it is not in thought, and in thoughts when not in deed. The unruly beast that no man can tame ruins what might have been had it just kept silent. The byproduct, words, that have left the castle and ran free can not be regathered or taken back, they are gone and have done their damage. They can be repented of and they can be attempted to be quantified and qualified, better explained perhaps and even apologized for. But the regret remains, if only ...
The flip-side to that however is being on the receiving end. To those that are spiritual and have learned the obedience of suffering 'unjustly' (a dubious position when the justice is misconstrued, that which we rightly deserve we have no reason to speak of) there is a twofold understanding. Not only to take it and accept it as the will of God;
[i]Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. [/i] 1Pe 4:19
But the higher and more profound aspect of forgiveness. Not any forgiveness, not a forgiveness that holds it's victim in the chains of bitterness and resentment, the forgiving but not forgetting, but the absolution, the clearing of debt, the forgiveness of the heart, now and forever. The same freedom and forgiveness that has been granted to us by the Lord, that amazing grace that is not a platitude but an overwhelming wonder ...
[i]And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.[/i]
It has been something of a long silence and there is a certain unworthiness of even expressing this much, so much being still processed and recalculated, reassessed. The process of examination;
[i]Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?[/i] 2Co 13:5
Saints, there are so many warnings and are they not first and foremost to ourselves? First to the church? My great concern here is once again the grand overlooking of so much that is present before us. There are the penetrating and decisive, demanding even articles before us. I do mean in sermons and written articles, but articles of the spirit that come forth from them. The most poignant of them often fall to the wayside at the expense of the more topical, fleeting things.
They are expensed at the cost of what is transient to that which is eternal.
Here is such a man of God if but one example;
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=22388&forum=35]MUST HEAR: Love With Shoes On by Darrell Champlin[/url]
Listen to any of the messages in the accompanying links there. They will throttle and jostle out any complacency within us and I can but pray that there would not be a humbling and a questioning of our dispositions, our character and our conversations. He certainly put many things into question of myself.
By faith, eminent men and women, those whose expression, experience and learning has been captured, preserved and resurrected for our learning [i]whose faith follow[/i];
[i]Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.[/i] Heb 13:7