“Who Hindered You From Obeying the Truth?”
Introduction. (Galatians 5:1-7) Note: “Who Hindered You From Obeying the Truth?” What is “obeying the truth?” It can refer to both those who...
This morning I’d like for us to think about this question in a very personal way. If you are not obedient to the truth I ask you to ask yourself the question... “who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
- Have never obeyed (I Peter 4:17) Peter warns, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”; (II Thessalonians 1:8) speaks of God “...taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8, NKJV.
These are those who stand outside of Christ. They have not put faith in Jesus, turned from sin, confessed Jesus and been baptized into Christ. These are those who are lost in sin. [There are those here this morning that are like that - you know what to do, you know you have sinned - but something hinders you]
- Do not obey (as Christians) - This is the emphasis of Galatians 5:1-7. These are Christians who have turned from the truth to error. [I suspect that there may be some like this too - no one sees it. You look faithful - but something is not as it should be and you are not obeying the truth.]
I. Sometimes the “who” is...
- Friends (I Kings 12). Rehoboam asked for advice - from the elders who served his father Solomon & his friends. His friends gave him bad advice and he lost the people and most of the kingdom because of it.
You may have been hindered from obeying the truth because: your friends wouldn’t like you anymore - they will think you are strange.
- Family (Matthew 10:34-39). We don’t choose our family-Nor can we abandon them. But we don’t have to let them cause us to lose our soul. Sometimes family is a hindrance. E.g. Job’s wife.
- Peers (John 12:42-43). We worry about how we look to others. Sometimes even to those we don’t know. Why is it that we often care so much about what people think that don’t even know us? But care nothing about the one who knows us through and through?
- Yourself (Proverbs 16:32). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” We are often our own worst enemy. When the hindrance is yourself the question is not “who” but “what?” Acts 8:32-36 Note: “What Hinders Me From Being Baptized?”
II. What hinders a person from being baptized?
- Fear of failure (Matt 25:24-30). Illustration: Torhi, as a infant scared to get a shot. Something greater that she should have feared - the diseases that she could have gotten without it. We will stumble, as Christians but if we get back up quickly it isn’t failure. What you must realize if this is what hinders you is that failing to obey the gospel is failure already!
- Thinking you have time (Luke 12:16-21) Illustration: Ancient king lit lamps all around his palace then sent a herald to proclaim that all criminals who would come to his palace while the lamps burned could be pardoned. When the lamps went out it would be too late. What if you wait until “the lamps burn out?” Acts 24:24-25). Illustration: On Aug. 24 79 AD a mountain in Italy known as Vesuvius erupted spewing a cloud of gas and ash into the air coming down on the towns of Pompei and Herculeaneum. Citizens who were in the city were buried in ash with no time to escape. Josephus tells us that Felix - who thought he would have a “convenient time” died there that day. (cf. Hurricane Katrina, Sunomi, Tornado - there is no “advance warning system”!).
- Fear of man (Luke 12:4-5). Illustration: News report last week about a woman who struggled with an intruder in here house who attacked her. In spite of her fear she fought the man and strangled him to death. The fear we may feel from men must be put in perspective. It is nothing compared to the absolute terror you will feel you find your soul unprepared in the hands of Him who is able to cast both soul and body in hell!
- Love of the world (I John 2:15-17). Illustration: Torhi as baby chose to play 10 minutes rather than an hour the next day. This world is visible, heaven can’t be seen now. But, this world is temporary, heaven is eternal. How foolish you will feel one day if you bet your soul on the few minutes of “play” in this life and forfeit an eternity with our heavenly father in the next!
- Carelessness (Revelation 3:14-16). Ours is a generation of apathy. There are few zealots. There are few rebels. Many just can’t find any reason within them to even care about faith in God. Care about something often comes only after we see the consequence of carelessness.
- Doubt (James 1:6) “he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” You can’t pin down a wave it is ever changing. Illustration: King Redwald, king of the East Saxons set up in the same church an altar to God and one to Satan. Luke 24:36-40).
- Slavery to Sin (John 8:34-36) Being a Christian isn’t easy - it calls upon us to deny ourself and submit to God. Maybe what hinders you is sin. You like to drink a little. Maybe you like engage in immorality. You want the freedom to sleep in on Sunday, talk the way you want, wear what you want and have friends that do what you like. You feel free in this. You are in the worst kind of slavery imaginable. (Romans 6:16-22) Illustration: Man who “hacked paint” - Started for the pleasure it gave him. He didn’t see how little by little it destroyed him and enslaved him. Friend, whatever sin it is that has led you to think that it isn’t worth it to surrender it, don’t let yourself wait until your mind is overcome, your loved ones (in Christ) are alienated from you and all avenues of rescue are exhausted. Be set free from sin today.
We have asked two questions this morning which we found in Scripture. If we apply them personally we will ask ourselves “who hinders you from obeying the truth?” - Friends? Family? Your Peers? Or yourself?
“What hinders you from being baptized?” Fear? Love of the world? Carelessness? Slavery to Sin? Thinking you have time?
In the case of the Ethiopian Eunuch, nothing hindered him. He got down out of that chariot and humbled himself, put away his pride and went down into the water and was baptized. The result was he was added to the Lord. His sins were washed away and (Acts 8:39).