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Nobody likes uninvited guests in their home and as the weather warms up you’ll be seeing more of them Ants, roaches, spiders, stinkbugs, in-laws Alright, you might be on your own for that last one but for the pests in your life with more than four legs try using Ortho Home Defense Ortho home defense can be used against a variety of insects, both indoors and outdoors Spray home defense around door and windows, along baseboards and behind appliances It also works great in garages and basements basically any major entry point, even your dryer exhaust Spray around the windows and siding on the southern and western sides of your home This is where stinkbugs generally enter, since it’s the warmest Home Defense doesn’t stain or smell, and will control insects for a period of up to 12 months Just spray until wet, it doesn’t need to bead or puddle up Keep pets & children out of the treated area until it’s dry, about 1-2 hours If you have any more questions about pest control stop in to your local Valu Home Centers, and talk to one of our knowledgeable associates You're not bugging em, trust me And if you need any tools, supplies, or more, we’ve got you covered.

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Hello and welcometo this teaching from Skip Heitzig ofCalvary Albuquerque.

We pray this messagestrengthens your relationship with the Lord.

And if it does, we'dlove to hear about it.

Email us atmystory@calvaryabq.

Org.

And if you'd like to supportthis ministry financially, you can give online securelycalvaryabq.

Org/give.

Every group has its share ofproblem people and detractors.

Their words may hurt us andtheir actions may confuse us.

But as we continue ourseries, Technicolor Joy, Pastor Skip teaches us howto handle these pesky folks.

Now, please open your Bibleto Philippians chapter 1 as he begins the message,Pest Control.

Would you turn in your Biblesto Philippians chapter 1 this morning.

Philippians chapter 1.

That's what we're doing.

We're going through the bookof Philippians, verse by verse, on the weekends.

We call it TechnicolorJoy, because we've discovered thisbook is a book that has as its central theme joy.

And yet, Paul was writingfrom a Roman prison.

It's amazing.

Philippians chapter 1.

So there was a man, he wasstranded on a desert island all alone for years.

Finally, he was found.

And a rescue team was sentto pull him off the island and bring him backto civilization.

Well, they get to the islandand before they take him off, he goes well, let meshow you around first.

So you can see what I'vedone with the place.

So he brought them toa hut that he lived in.

He goes, this is the home thatI built with my own two hands.

They were impressed.

And then, he showedthem a second building.

And he said, thisis the church that I built with my own two hands.

Now, he was alone on the island.

But he said, this is the churchI built with my own two hands.

And then, somebodyfrom the rescue party noticed a third building.

And he said, whatabout that building? He said, oh, that's thechurch I used to go to.

If you've gone tochurch for very long, you know that thatsentiment is not far off.

That the longeryou go to church, you discover that church historyis filled with contention sometimes.

And discord over years.

And it's one of the thingsthat unbelievers have noticed.

People who do not believein the Jesus we follow will sometimes-- in fact, oftentimes-- say,well, you know, there's a lot of denominationsin the Christian world.

And it just seems like you guyscan't get your act together.

You don't all agreeon all the points.

You know, it'slike the old joke.

How many Christians does ittake to change a light bulb? And it's not an easy answer.

Presbyterians, none.

Lights will go on andoff at predestined times.

Catholics, none.

Candles only.

Baptist, at least 15.

One to change the lightbulb and three committees to approve the change and decidewho brings the potato salad.

Episcopalians, three.

One to call the electrician,one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how muchbetter the old light bulb was.

Charismatics, only one.

Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostals, 10.

One to change thebulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Unitarians, we choosenot to make a statement either in favor of or againstthe need for light bulbs.

However if you are--in your own journey you found that light bulbswork for you, that's fine.

You're invited towrite a poem or compose a modern dance aboutyour light bulb for next Sunday's service,in which we will explore a number of lightbulb traditions, including incandescent,fluorescent, three-way long life, and tinted.

All of which are equallyvalid paths to luminescence.

Methodists, undetermined.

Whether your light is brightor dull or completely out, you are loved.

You can be a light bulb, aturnip bulb, or a tulip bulb.

Christian, our church-widelighting service is planned for next Sunday.

Bring the bulb of yourchoice and a covered dish.

Nazarenes, six.

One woman to replace thebulb while five men review the church lighting policy.

Lutherans, none.

Lutherans don'tbelieve in change.

Amish, what's a light bulb? Well, now that Ihave effectively ditched all denominationsand offended everyone, I want to go to the text itself,in Philippians chapter 1.

We're going to be lookingat verses 15 through 18.

And here's where we are.

Last time we weretogether, we noted that Paul was dealing withproblem circumstances.

He had been on trial.

It was a mistrial.

It was a miscarriage of justice.

It landed him inprison in Caesarea, than in prison in Rome.

Now, Paul writes aboutnot problem circumstances but problem people.

But get this-- there areChristian people that are the problem.

Christian people thatare opposed to Paul.

This disillusionslots of people who-- after they come to Christ-- say something like,well, I thought it would be much differentamong Christians.

I thought Christians wouldbe so wonderful all the time.

It's a good thought, but thereality is we're all fallen.

We're all sinful.

We're all imperfect.

And yet, we all get together.

Remember, Jesus said,when he gave his sermon to that synagogue in Nazareth,he said that he had come-- his words-- to preachthe gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives, togive sight to the blind, to set at liberty thosewho are oppressed.

Did you hear the description ofthe audience he speaks about? Poor, broken-hearted,captive, blind, oppressed.

Sounds like a messy bunch to me.

And that is who we areas we are all together.

Now, the critical questionis, how do you handle pests? How do you deal with peoplewho claim to be Christians, yet at the same time, they're weird,irritable, sometimes wrong, or just plain goofy? How do you handle them? What do you do? Well, we are given athree-fold strategy in these four verses ofPhilippians chapter 1.

Whether you are a church leader,whether you are a group leader, whether you gather asmall group in your home or you go on a missionstrip-- or you just hang around Christians--these are valuable principles to know.

Let's begin andby-- just looking at our texts in verse 15.

Paul says these words.

Some indeed preach Christeven from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill.

The former preach Christfrom selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing toadd affliction to my chains.

But the latter outof love, knowing that I am appointed forthe defense of the gospel.

What then? Only that in every way, whetherin pretense or in truth, Christ is preached.

And in this I rejoice,yes, and will rejoice.

The first thing we must do isidentify the troublemakers.

Now, this will not be difficult.

Troublemakers show themselves.

They emerge on their own.

You don't have to look for them.

You'll find them pretty easily.

Paul did, in hisexperience in Rome.

Now, as we examine these wordsin this text more carefully, we discover who heis speaking about.

First of all, wewant to make a note that these people Paul iswriting about are believers.

They are believers.

Notice in verse 15, he says,some indeed preach Christ.

Some of what? Some of whom? The answer is given in theprevious verse, verse 14.

Most of the brethrenin the Lord.

Please notice that,that's part of the group.

Most of the brethren in theLord have become confident by my chains and aremuch more bold to speak the word without fear.

Some-- that issome of them, some of those brethren in theLord-- indeed preach Christ.

So Paul is not dealing withheretics here or Gnostics or Judaizers or unbelievingidol worshippers.

He's talking about Christianbrothers and sisters who preach Christ.

Evidently leaders inthe church in Rome.

Why is this importantto make a note of? Well, I've noticedthat some of us like to idealizethe early church.

We think that the earlychurch must have just been perfect all the time.

And I've heardsentiments such as, boy, I wish our church could belike the early centuries.

Those were the good old days.

I've discovered thegood old days is just a combination of a goodimagination and a bad memory.

Because if you think aboutit, the New Testament is filled withearly church issues.

Example? The church at Corinthwas an early church.

Ever spend much timein 1 and 2 Corinthians? If you have, you understand thatwhen Paul wrote that letter, he was speaking toa divided church who were arguing over leadership.

There was rampant divorce.

There was lack of love.

There was immorality.

There was the discussionover spiritual gifts that nobody agreed on.

It sounds verycontemporary to me.

If you're wanting to belike the early church, I think we've hit that mark.

They were not a perfectgroup of people.

I guess the most disturbingissue is why does that happen in the church? Why among redeemed,saved people can there get to be so many problems? The Puritan John Trapp answeredthat question the best.

He said, the devil lovesto fish in troubled waters.

That's good, isn't it? The devil loves to fishin troubled waters.

Satan loves toexploit and amplify any conflict or disagreementor issue that may be among us.

If you have never read the bookThe Screwtape Letters by C.

S.

Lewis, I recommend you read it.

C.

S.

Lewis decidedto write a book from the vantage point of thedevil trying to undo people.

The devil in this book,Screwtape-- the senior demon-- is training ayounger protege demon named Wormwood on how tomess people's lives up.

And in one section of the book,he writes a letter to Wormwood.

My dear Wormwood, saysScrewtape, the senior demon, the church is afertile field if you keep them bickering overdetails, structure, money, property, personal hurts,and misunderstandings.

One thing you mustprevent, don't ever let Christians look up and seethe banner of victory flying, because you will lose them.

Never let them seethe glory of God.

Now, that's exactlywhat Paul does.

Paul lets us seethe glory of God.

That's how he will answerthis whole contention issue, you'll notice in a minute.

He flies the bannerof victory and he shows them the glory of God.

But let's look atthese troublemakers.

Let's identify them.

One thing I want you tonotice is they were jealous.

Look in verse 15at the word envy.

Some indeed preachedChrist even from envy.

Now, we have anotherword for envy in our language-- jealousy.

They were jealous over Paul.

Why were they jealous over Paul? Well, Paul was an easy target.

He was quite successful.

Paul was highly intelligent.

He was very gifted,extraordinarily successful inspreading the gospel.

He had seen with his own eyesa vision of the resurrected Christ.

And, at the timethis was written, Christians were alreadyregarding his letters as holy scripture.

So he's an easy target.

And people, in seeing Paul,decided, let's shoot him down.

Now this is human nature.

I notice this on everylevel, whether it's people mad at Wall Streetor the one percenters or the big corporations.

Always the big, successfulguys that are the easy targets.

So they were jealous.

He uses the word,they preach from envy.

Not only were they jealous,they were a contentious group.

Look at the next word.

Some indeed preach Christfrom envy-- that's jealousy-- and strife.

Now, that describes somebodywho is an argumentative person.

That's what strifemeans, somebody who stirs up a conflict.

Argumentative.

Do you know anypeople like that? They're just-- you'rearound, they're always stirring up a conflict,always argumentative.

Some people thrive onbeing argumentative.

In fact, some peopleare known more for what they are againstrather than what they are for.

You never quite knowwhat they're for, you just know they'reagainst a lot.

That's strife.

They exist to slamothers and they were slamming Paul the Apostle.

I have a colleague inthe ministry who I've known for years, I respect.

And he was speaking about--and answering questions-- that young ministers wereasking him about the ministry.

And they said, what is themost difficult experience you've ever had in ministry? And he said, well,there are two.

Number one is when people whoknow truth walk away from it.

When somebody who shouldknow better-- there are Christians whohave been exposed to truth, beenexposed to the word, bring their Bibles, read-along.

Suddenly, one day, they--for whatever reason-- walk away completelyfrom living for Christ.

He said, but the second-- and he was speakingabout ministers who were comingagainst him-- he said those who live to attackothers in the ministry.

It's like they falsely accuse.

And they live justto stir up trouble.

So, envy and strife.

And we do not know howthis strife was expressed.

We can only suppose.

Maybe there was agroup of people saying, well, you know Paul the Apostle,there must be sin in his life.

That's why he's in jail.

Because God wouldbe more faithful and not allow him to bein prison unless something is wrong with him.

Or maybe they weresaying, well, Paul hasn't tapped into thevictorious Holy Spirit-filled life.

If he did, if he had, thenhe wouldn't be in prison.

He'd be free like we have-- like we are.

But we do know theywere jealous and we do know they were contentious.

Something else theywere, they were selfish.

If you go down to verse 16,he amplifies it further.

He says, the former-- that is the first group, theguys against him, the former-- preach Christ fromselfish ambition.

Very interesting term.

It is a political term thatspeaks about a politician canvassing for office.

Using negative campaigns,putting other people down to make himself lookbetter, to promote himself.

So here's a group of peopleputting Paul down to puff themselves up, like a politicianmight do in a negative campaign ad.

They got some pervertedpleasure by slamming Paul so that they couldmake other people think they are much better.

This is not new inthe New Testament.

We know that Johnthe Apostle spoke about a guy named Diotrephes.

If you know yourBible, 3 John verse 9, that little letter towardthe end of the New Testament.

He says, Diotrephes lovesto have the preeminence.

He loves to havethe preeminence.

In other words, he wantsto dominate people.

He's a control freak.

Diotrephes loves to havethe preeminence among them.

Keep this in mind.

Next time you hear gossip-- and there are, unfortunately,too many people even in the church wholove to spread gossip-- when you hear gossip,somebody's ego is being exalted.

It's usually sharedbecause I know this and you don't andI am concerned.

And ego is being exalted as thatinformation is being divulged.

A man wrapped up in himselfmakes a very small package.

And selfish ambitionwas part and parcel of what was wrongwith these people.

They were selfish.

So they're jealous, they'recontentious, they're selfish.

Paul mentions them.

Not by name, he doesn't wantto make too much out of it.

He just doesn't wantto be self-serving.

But he mentions what they did.

But there's a fourth thing.

They were malicious.

Notice in verse 16,the former preacher Christ from selfishambition, not sincerely.

Now, watch this.

Supposing or hoping to addaffliction to my chains.

Now, Paul is revealingtheir motivation.

They're doing all this.

They are this way.

They're pushing me downto pull themselves up.

And here's why.

They want to addaffliction to my bonds.

What does that mean? The word affliction is acommon New Testament word.

Thlipsis.

Thlipsis is a word thatmeans pressure or trial, but it literallymeans an irritation.

It means friction.

It is the irritation causedby the rubbing of an object over another object.

Now, notice it says-- Paul says, they want to addaffliction or irritation to my chains.

For two years,Paul was in chains.

I know you've heard that.

I know we've read that.

We've discussed that.

But I just want you tothink of what that means.

That means for two years, Paulcouldn't take a potty break alone.

He had no freedom.

He had no isolation.

He had no privacy.

He couldn't eat a meal alone.

He couldn't have aconversation in that rented house in Rome for two years.

He was chained to a guard.

That means there was ashackle around his wrist, with a chain attached to theshackle of another soldier who only occupied that placefor a few hours at a time.

But Paul-- 24 hours a day,seven days a week, two years-- he had a chain.

That means that shacklewould irritate his skin and his bones andscabs would develop.

And it would bleed.

And it would thicken, et cetera.

You get the picture.

So he says, the reason thesepeople are this way toward me is they want to addto the irritation that I alreadyhave in my chains.

That is their motivation.

They don't want toevangelize the lost.

They don't wantto feed the flock.

They're not reallyconcerned for the church, even though they'resaying, well, I'm saying this about Paulbecause I'm really concerned for the church.

Paul said, that's not the truth.

The truth is theyhave one motivation.

They want to add irritation tomy already irritable situation of being in chains.

Now, please understandagain, these are preachers.

Paul says, they preach Christ.

They are Christians.

They are Christian preachers.

They are not anti-Christ,but they are anti-Paul.

And they are anti-Paulwith a vengeance.

And I can't thinkof a worse reason to preach a message than that.

I can't think of a worsemotivation to write a book or have a blog site than that.

Let's just make life hardfor Paul the Apostle.

Sort of like scorpions.

You know that if you leavescorpions together alone, they'll kill themselvesand eat themselves? A guy did an experiment with 100scorpions in a huge glass jar.

In a few days, only 14 survived.

They had killed the othersand were eating them.

There was even apregnant scorpion in that jar that killed andstarted eating her young as soon as they were born.

One of those babies escapedon the mother's back and eventually killed her.

Any leader whohas led anything-- even Christian leadersin Christian churches-- know that everychurch, every group has the Tate family among them.

Every church has the Tates.

There's old man Dick Tate,who wants to run everything.

While Uncle Ro Tate triesto change everything.

Their sister, AgiTate, stirs up plenty of trouble with help fromher husband, Irri Tate.

And whenever newprojects are suggested, Hesi Tate and his wife Vege Tatewant to wait till next year.

Then there's Aunt ImiTate, who wants our church to be like all the others.

Devas Tate providesthe voice of doom, while Poten Tate wantsto be a big shot.

And, of course,there's the black sheep of the family, Ampu Tate, whohas completely cut himself off from every church.

Anybody who's a leaderknows those people exist.

So what do you do? I suggest you do what Paul does.

You don't spend all yourtime worried about them.

You pivot.

Yes, you identifythe troublemakers, but then you ratifythe truth makers.

And notice what Paulsays in verse 15.

Some indeed preach Christfrom envy and strife.

And some-- I want to go,ah, it feels better already.

He's pivoting here.

And some also from goodwill.

Verse 17 further describes them.

But the latter, outof love, knowing that I am appointed forthe defense of the gospel.

This is the silver lining inthe dark cloud of contention and Paul has found it.

Yes, in any group, thereis going to Irri Tate and Agi Tate and Vege Tate.

But there is also going tobe advocate and celebrate.

And you want tofind those people.

And here's what Paul does.

He says, yeah, thereare some like this.

But then there aresome like that.

You see, rather than justfocusing on the smudge that is on the white linengarment, Paul says, yeah, but there's a lot of white linengarment around that smudge.

It's not all a smudge.

There is a smudge,I grant you that.

I can identifythe troublemakers, but there's a lot of otherswho are not like that.

That's part of the strategy.

Starve the problemand feed the solution.

Find those who love you, wholove the work of God in you, and run with them.

Ratify them, encourage them,empower them, build with them.

And just keep runningahead of the Irri Tates and the Agi Tatesand the Ampu Tates.

Their voice will diminishas you go further ahead.

Now, I'm going to sharesomething with you that will probably be shocking to you.

Did you know that Paulthe Apostle probably lost his life as a resultof troublemaking Christians in Rome? I want that to settleon your hearts.

Paul probably losthis life because of the trouble caused bytroublemaking Christians in Rome.

You're saying,oh, wait a minute.

I always heard that it wasCaesar Nero that killed Paul the Apostle, beheaded him.

Well, that's true.

Here's the problem.

We have very little informationabout the death of Paul from early church records.

They're very silent on it.

We just have asnippet here or there.

But it would seem like the envy,the jealousy of many Christians in Rome denounced Paulbefore Caesar Nero, which added the weightto the death sentence.

You say, well, howdo you know that? Well, there are severalsources I've discovered.

But I'm going toshare two with you.

One comes from 2Timothy chapter 1, a guy by the name of Onesiphorus-- how's that for a name? Don't name your Onesiphorus,though he was a good guy.

It'll be hard in school.

Onesiphorus came to visit Paulwhile he was in Rome in prison.

The problem is oncehe gets to Rome, it seems like nobody will tellhim where Paul the Apostle is.

They don't want to tell him.

Maybe they don't know or maybethey don't want to tell him.

But listen to what itsays, 2 Timothy chapter 1.

Paul writes, may the Lord showspecial kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family,because he often visited and encouraged me.

He was never ashamed of mebecause I was in prison.

When he came to Rome,he searched everywhere until he found me.

So he came to Rome.

Nobody told him wherePaul was, even though he kept open house for two years.

People came and visited him andhe influenced church leaders, were told.

But he had to search forhim until he could find him.

And Paul made aspecial note, he wasn't ashamed of me being in prison.

Which indicates some were.

They saw this as adefeat, an embarrassment.

But then a second sourcecomes from a letter that was foundfrom 90 AD, written by a man named Clement ofRome to the Church of Corinth.

And in the book, in theletter from Clement, Clement addresses jealousyand envy among God's people that have led to thedestruction, death, or trouble caused byother of God's people.

And he gives seven examplesof that through history.

And one of the examples is Paul.

Clement writesthis, and I quote, "by reason of jealousy andstrife, Paul, by his example, pointed out the prizeof patient endurance.

And when he had borne histestimony before the rulers, he departed from thisworld and went to heaven.

" The point Clement makes isthat envy among Christians somehow helped bringthe execution brought on by Caesar Nero.

If you still havefurther doubts, you have only to read2 Timothy chapter 4.

It's the end of Paul's life.

It's right before he died.

Paul says this, listen to Paul.

At my first defense,no one stood with me.

But all forsook me.

That breaks my heartto just read that.

This is Paul thestinking Apostle.

At my first offense,nobody stood with me.

Everybody forsook me.

But then he quickly adds,but the Lord stood with me.

He was utterly alone, interms of human fellowship at that point.

So Paul identifiesthe troublemakers, tells us that they arejealous, contentious, selfish, malicious.

But then he pivots andratifies the truth-makers.

But here's the thirdpart of this strategy and the best of all.

Magnify the true message.

Look at verse 18.

Look at how Paul answers this.

He says, what then? You know what that means? That little question, what then? You know how wewould translate that? So what? So what? What does it matter? What then? Only that in every way,whether in pretense-- they're pretending to be pure intheir motives, but they're not.

In pretense or in truth,Christ is preached.

And in this, I rejoice,yes, and will rejoice.

Man, you cannot stop this dude.

He is in jail.

He has been in jail.

He will be in jail fora total of two years.

He will be released,brought back into prison.

He will be executed.

He is in jail.

He is persecuted by unbelievers.

He is picked on by believers.

And he goes, so what? And then he says, I rejoice.

You know, I don't know how manyof us would have the courage to say, you know, there is a lotof people that are against me.

And then say, so what? Most of us wouldwrite, shame on them.

Don't they know that I amthe great Paul the Apostle, who had a vision ofthe living Christ? Who will write 13New Testament books? Don't they know who I am? He goes, so what? I rejoice and will rejoice.

Almost like thisdefiant, I'm not going to let anybodysteal my joy.

An amazing reaction.

An amazing reaction.

Now, I don't want you tothink, in looking at this-- because a lot ofpeople do think this-- that Paul came to apoint where he was just this stone statue of a man,impervious to the criticisms of others.

It just rolled off his back.

I don't believe that.

He was a person with emotionsand heart and feelings.

And he was wounded verydeeply by these people.

But what he issaying is, I'm not going to let meanpeople rob me of joy.

In fact, I have found causeand reason to rejoice, and that is this-- themessage of the gospel.

Even when preachedwith bad motives, they're preachingthe right message.

Right message, wrong motives.

I'm not going to worryabout the motives.

That's between them and God.

I'm going to worryabout the message, and that is the gospel.

Now, here's the great truth.

The great truthin all of this can be boiled down to theirreducible minimum, which is this.

The power is in the message,not in the messenger.

The power is in the message,not in the messenger.

If somebody tampers withthe message, go at them.

If people tamper with themessenger, ignore them.

Now, let's just talkabout that for a moment.

If people mess and tamperwith the message, go at them.

Paul did.

Paul wrote to the Galatians.

And he says, I'm noticingthat people among you are preaching adifferent gospel, a different gospel than onethat is the true gospel.

And he goes, I want you to knowif we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospelthan the one you have received, let him be cursedbelow the lowest hell.

How's that for confrontation? So you mess with the message,I'm going to come at you.

You mess with the messenger,I'm going to ignore you.

What then? So what? What does it matter? I rejoice that themessage is being preached.

So Paul has his comrades.

Those are partnersin the gospel.

He rejoices because of them.

But Paul has his critics,detractors of Paul.

He rejoices in spite of them.

Why? Because they'rebrothers, that's why.

Simple as that.

They're brothers.

Yes, they're ornery.

Yes, they're stupid.

Yes, they're irritating.

But they're brothers.

They're brothers in Christ.

So Paul is saying, I'm notcalled to defend myself.

I'm called to defend the gospel.

I'm not called toprotect myself, I'm called toproclaim the gospel.

Now, I want to close ona couple of thoughts.

We often make too muchover what divides us and not enough overwhat unites us.

I know.

I know, we have touse discernment.

I know we have to becareful about what the truth is, the true gospel,like Galatians chapter 1.

But sometimes I fearthat we are known more for what we're againstthan what we're for.

And some people actuallylike being that way.

They like being knownfor what they're against.

And they are known forwhat they're against.

But sometimes, I thinkwe make too much of it.

Here's the truth.

God reserves the right to usepeople who disagree with you.

Newsflash! God reserves the right to usepeople who disagree with you.

There's people who disagreewith you on the rapture.

There's people whodisagree with me on the rapture orspiritual gifts or a number of thingsthat aren't the real crux, crucial matters of the gospel.

Death, burial, Resurrection,vicarious atonement, all that central stuff.

So what? I began with talkingabout denominations and changing light bulbs.

Let me tell you a truestory about denominations.

In the late 1700s, John Wesley-- you know John Wesley, one ofthe great leaders in England at the time.

Wesley was concernedbecause there were so many denominationsspringing up.

And this always bothers peoplewho study church history, because the church historyis a history of people not getting along and dividing.

So somebody in the groupdoesn't like the group and leaves the group andstarts their own group.

And as their group grows,somebody in that group doesn't like that group andthey start another group.

And that group grows andsomebody in that group may get together with the firstgroup and start another group.

Those are denominations.

Well, this bothered him.

So one night, John Wesleygoes to bed, has a dream.

And in his dream, he isushered to the gates of hell.

And in his dream, heasked the question, are there anyPresbyterians here? And the answer comes back.

Yes, there are.

He's shocked.

He goes, are thereany Baptists here? He goes, yes, there are.

Are there any Methodists? Are there any Episcopalians? Yes, yes, yes.

Well, he's troubled by this.

And immediatelyin his dream, he's now ushered to thegates of heaven.

And he asks the sameset of questions.

Are there anyPresbyterians here? No was the answer.

Are there any Baptists? No.

Or any Methodists? No.

Any Episcopalians? No.

And he said, no? Who then is inside? And this answer came back,there are only Christians here.

There are only Christians here.

You don't get to heaven bybeing a Presbyterian, a Baptist, a Methodist, anEpiscopalian, a Calvaryite.

But by trust inJesus' death, burial, and Resurrection, period.

And you are a Christian if youbelieve that and that message has changed your life.

As we close today, couldI have you stand, please? And we're going to pray.

And we're going tothank God in our prayer for all the other great churchesthat are in our community.

Father, we do thank youfor pastors and leaders who labor hard in thefield, that are scattered throughout this community.

Yes, we know thatthere are some who do not proclaim thetrue gospel, some who deny the deity of Christ,the Atonement of Christ, the Trinity and all that.

But we're not thinking of them.

We're thinking ofthose who do believe in those essential truths.

And in their differentstyles or different nuances, they love you.

They love your work.

They love the message.

And even if theywould say something disparaging about anybodyelse, that isn't the issue.

We want to just say we rejoicethat Christ is preached.

And help us to makemuch of Jesus Christ.

It's in his name we pray.

Amen.

It's important toknow how to deal with people who claim Christbut still act like pests.

Did this message impact you? We want to know.

Email us atmystory@calvaryabq.

Org.

And just a reminder, you cangive financially to this work at calvaryabq.

Org/give.

Thank you for joining usfor this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Maricopa

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