Doers of the Word
I. James 1:22-27
A. Suppose we took a vote on the practices we are to preform. How would it go?
1. Obviously, the commandments of our Lord and Savior cannot be voted upon. We are required to follow them. But what if we did vote on them? How would the vote go?
2. Somewhere in Texas, some elders did poll their congregation.
a. Should the church sing during worship?
(1) For: 90 %
(2) Against: 10%
b. Should the church partake of the communion weekly?
(1) For: 78%
(2) Against: 22%
c. Should the church worship on Sunday evening?
(1) For: 49%
(2) Against: 51%
d. Should Christians attend Wednesday Bible class?
(1) For: 39%
(2) Against: 61%
e. Should Christians give generously to the Lord?
(1) For: 20%
(2) Against: 80%
f. Should Christians visit the sick in the hospitals?
(1) For: 15%
(2) Against: 85%
g. Should Christians visit those in nursing homes?
(1) For: 12%
(2) Against: 88%
3. It sounds like these elders have their work laid out for them. What would such a poll look like here? Much better?
4. Oh, I neglected to tell you how this poll was taken. The members were not asked their opinions on these matters. Nor were they asked what the Bible taught on these matters. The elders conducted their poll by counting who actually did these things.
a. If a person sang, that was a vote for. If they sat quietly, that was a vote against.
b. If they came to the service, that was a vote for. If they stayed away, that was a vote against.
5. Do you think our numbers would still look as good if we count only the things each of us did?
II. Too many people talk a good religion, but they don’t practice it
A. This is what James was pointing out. Listening to what we need to do and actually putting it into practice is often different – but it should not be.
B. Jesus illustrated this at the end of his sermon on the Mount - Matt 7:21-27
C. Neh 9:34-35 - Even when God is generous, people don’t serve Him.
D. Luke 12:42-48 - Notice the most severe punishment comes on the one who knows the master’s will, but then doesn’t do it.
E. Rom 2:13 - It is the doers, not the hearers who are justified.
F. James 2:14 - Faith without works will not save a person.
G. Don’t pass up the warning - Heb 12:25
III. There are no end to the reasons people fail to do what they know they should
A. Plain neglect - they put it aside for other things, which seem more important at the time.
1. James 4:17 - Know to do right, but fail to do it, it is a sin.
2. Israel had that problem. They rather pursue the sensual and the profit. Ezek 33:30-32
3. Jer 48:10 - Cursed is anyone who neglects the Lord’s work
4. And it is not just serving God by worship, but it is also the things we should be doing for our fellow men - Prov 21:13; James 2:15-17
B. Some just assume someone else will handle it
1. Num 32:6 - Should your brothers go to war and you sit here?
2. I could ask you the same question. We are at war with Satan. His influence is showing gaining strength in our society. Some are fighting the good fight. Should your brothers go to war while you sit here?
C. Others are just plain lazy. They will only do what is convenient.
1. II Chron 24:5 - God’s temple needed repair. The Levites were sent out to gather funds, but they took their time. They didn’t find urgency in working for the Lord.
2. II Chron 25:2 - The king was similar. Amaziah did what was right, but not with his whole heart.
3. There is always tomorrow. We can put things off.
a. I really need to talk with my neighbor about Christ, perhaps tomorrow, if I get a chance. – Some how the chance never comes.
b. I should go and visit Sister so-and-so in the hospital, but I’m so busy today, perhaps tomorrow I’ll have time.
c. If something is important to us, we will make time.
D. Others are just careless in their service
1. Like Jehu - II Kings 10:31 - He did things, but not everything.
2. People like that work against God - Ezek 34:1-6
3. [Sing Don’t Scatter the Sheep]
4. God expects careful work from His servants.
IV. I Met the Strangest Man
A. He said he believes the Bible is the Word of God, but he never reads it.
B. He said the church would be more effective if more of its members were really dedicated, but he isn’t.
C. He said he knows that church assemblies are times for edification and praise, but he rarely attends.
D. He said the younger generation needs stronger spiritual values and more visible spiritual leadership from adults, but he shows no spiritual values in his life and won’t get involved with the young folk.
E. He complained that the local church is not doing the work the Lord intended it to do, but he refuses to help in any way.
F. He said he believes that God hears and answers prayers, but he does not pray.
G. He said he knows the Lord is coming again, but he lives as if the world will never end.
H. He was a strange man indeed, but he was not alone.
V. In the end, come judgment, the Lord will separate the righteous from the wicked - Matt 25:31-46
A. Will you be on the right hand or the left?
B. Will you do the Lord’s work with earnestness and purpose?