East or West?

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Introduction

As I read my devotions this morning, I was in the book of Proverbs and ran across a series of contrasting statements: (Read some of Pro. 10)
And with that, I began to contemplate universal truths. Things that you are either doing one thing or the other. One is true, therefore the other is false. Both cannot be true at the same time:
Black cannot be white
Up cannot be down
East is not West, North is not South
Right is not wrong
Grace cannot be works
So tonight for a few moments, I want to pose a few questions for you to answer.
The thought struck me & I thought of an old song I listened to years ago called ‘Which Way are you Going?’ This is what I want to ask you tonight - because the topics that we will examine, it’s either one or the other. It’s not both, nor can they be. It’s either East or West.

I. Are you Walking in Wisdom or Without?

Pr. 4:7-9 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: She shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: A crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
Wisdom is so very important - yet so few seek her out.
The Availability of Wisdom
Jam. 1:5—7 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
Wisdom is available unto man, all we must do is ask for it & believe that we’ll receive it!
As the Proverbs say:
Wisdom is crying in the streets: (Pro. 8:1-3)
Wisdom hath given her invitation (Pro. 9:1-6)
No matter your education
No matter your heritage
No matter your status in society
You can have wisdom!
Don’t confuse wisdom with education! - I’m met poor farmers who sign their name with an ‘X’ that had great wisdom, and I’ve seen people with an alphabet of letters behind their name who were fools.
The Availability of Wisdom
The Beginning of Wisdom
As we look at the book of Wisdom, after the introduction, we see these words:
Pr. 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Pr. 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
In fact, as you go through the book of Proverbs (The book of wisdom), we see a constant theme emerging throughout:
Pro. 1:29; 2:5; 3:7; 10:27; 14:26-27; 15:16; 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17.
Do you know what the ‘Fear of the LORD’ is? It’s exactly that - it’s not some fanciful reimagining & creative spin on it - it’s Fearing God. It’s not even a ‘healthy respect’ - it’s FEAR!
Is He our Father? - yes.
Does He stick closer than a brother? - yes.
Does He love us? - yes.
But that’s not the extent of God! This world has beguiled Christians into believing that God is like grandpa. (Ill.) I don’t know about you - I believe that when the LORD blesses me with grandchildren, that I will be full of Grace. I will expect them to behave, but I’m libel to be a pushover too. That being said, many picture God like grandpa - He loves us too much to punish us. But that’s not the case at all! You see - Fear and love are not ‘East & West’. You can love and fear simultaneously. (Ill. - A Daddy or a Rollercoaster)
Paul - imagine Paul. Great missionary who did great things for God. How did Paul view God?
2Cor. 5:8-11 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”
Paul knew the ‘TERROR OF THE LORD’ - and because he knew Judgment was coming, her persuaded men.
The beginning of Wisdom is to Fear the LORD
The Source of Wisdom
You can gain wisdom from a variety of places.
Parents, Preacher, friends or school.
But while you can get wisdom from there, that’s not the source.
(Ill.) It’s like if someone if someone hears the preaching my mouth and I share with them the words of Life - and they come forward and get saved - I may be the vehicle of wisdom, but certainly not the source. The Source is God - and more specifically, God’s Word!
Ps. 19:7-11 “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward.”
The more time we spend in the Word of God, the wiser we will be.
If you’re not spending much time in the Word of God, try this: Tell yourself that for every hour of screen time you have, spend an hour in the Bible.
We spend so much time consuming things that don’t matter and too little time consuming the things that do!
The Source of Wisdom - the Word of God
The Antithesis of Wisdom
The Antithesis - the opposite of wisdom is foolishness. And the bottom line is you’re either going to walk in Wisdom, or behave as a fool. Let’s take a few verse to examine:
Pro. 10:8 “The wise in heart will receive commandments: But a prating fool shall fall.”
Many treat the commandments of God today with distain - but guess what: They’re still right! The wise will hear AND HEED - that’s what ‘receive’ means there - the Words of God, but the prating fool shall fall.
Prating (def) Talking much on a trifling subject; talking idly.
This verse is going to the heart of heeding instruction or talking for no good reason. Too many speak to be heard, yet refuse to hear what God says.
Pro. 10:14 “Wise men lay up knowledge: But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.”
Once again, the wise are taking the knowledge that they are receiving and storing it up for future use. But once again, the fool is content to speak instead.
Pro. 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many: But fools die for want of wisdom.”
The righteous are able also to help others - yet, fools die for what? Want of Wisdom!
In all these verses we are seeing the contrast between the wise & the fool. So, which way are you going?
Are you walking in Wisdom or Without?
Are you Walking in Wisdom or Without? Secondly, Are you Walking with the World or with Christ?

II. Are you Walking with the World or with Christ?

The ways of the world and the ways of God are East & West.
One is Dynamic, the other Constant
When I think of the world, I think of shifting sand.
You see it in:
The cars we drive
From horses - Fords - Edsels - Tesla’s
The technology we rely on
Supercomputers used to fill a large room, now we can access more data faster with the phone in our pocket
The music we hear
Do-wop, Elvis, the Beatles, Led Zepplin, Metallica, Casting Crowns
Years ago you had country & Rock - then Garth happened, now the country of today is the rock of yesterday
The clothes we wear
Belbottoms were out, then in, then out - maybe back in again I don’t know - I can’t keep up with it!
The moral standards that’s acceptable
Might I remind you - Obama & Hillary both were against Sodomite marriage not long ago.
Now today we have men dressing like women dancing for children!
This should tell us church that the world is UNSTABLE!
On the other hand, our LORD is CONSTANT!
Mal. 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I change not;
Num. 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
The fact of the matter is, we will either walk with the world of with Jesus. We’ll build our house upon Him or on shifting sand!
Jesus said: Mat. 7:24-27 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
One is Dynamic, the other Constant
One is Wicked, the other Worthy
John says as much:
1Jn. 2:15-16 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
This world is wicked, but our God is Holy!
Rev. 5:11-12 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
1Pet. 2:21-23 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”
John said: Joh. 1:10 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
Consider that! How the God that Created the Universe was here, yet the world didn’t realize! That speaks to the complete opposites that these are!
One is Wicked the other Worthy
One is Fleeting, the other Forever
1Jn. 2:17 “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
All within this world will be gone one day - but those who follow Jesus will abide forever with Him!
One is Fleeting, the other Forever
Are you Walking in Wisdom or Without? Are you Walking with the World or with Christ? Lastly, are you Headed to Heaven, or Hell?

III. Are you Headed to Heaven or Hell?

There is no ‘door #3’ There is no other option.
RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW YOU ARE EITHER HEADED TO HEAVEN OR YOU’RE HEADED TO HELL - WHICH IS IT?
The Simplicity of Salvation
Salvation is simple. So simple, most literally can’t believe it, so they add a bunch of religious stuff to it. They’ll add ceremony, or creeds or fancy words. But the truth is, Salvation is simple.
The simplest explanation is found in Act. 16:16-32 (Paul’s encounter w/ a Philippian jailor).
Straightforward question & a straightforward answer.
Paul didn’t take him through ‘steps’ of Salvation
He didn’t have to take a class & get confirmed
He didn’t have to get dunked in the water
He didn’t have to go to school & learn a bunch of stuff
Remember - this man was a Philippian jailor - a Gentile! A Stranger from the promises of God, an unlearned man who knew nothing, other than he was condemned and these men had the answer! So what did they tell him?
Act. 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
If you’re trusting in Jesus, you’re NOT
Trusting in works
Trusting in good deeds
Trusting in Water
Trusting there is no Hell
Trusting in Keeping the Law
Salvation is easy! ‘Believe in Jesus & be saved!’
The Simplicity of Salvation
The Surety of Salvation
IF Saved, always saved. If you are on the road to Heaven, you CANNOT get off that road!
Now I think that I have about 6 or 7 points for this when I go through Discipleship, however, hopefully these three will be sufficient enough.
Because it’s Based on a Relationship not Fellowship
Two things here to consider:
What Jesus said is necessary (Joh. 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” )
The principle of a Relationship (The Prodigal Son)
Salvation is based on a Relationship, not Fellowship
Because it’s Based on what Jesus Did, not what We Do
What I do varies from day to day.
I may do some good stuff one day, and nothing the next. I may abstain from sin, then commit sin.
If my Salvation was based on me, I’d be saved one minute & lost the next - but it’s NOT! It’s based on what Jesus did on the Cross!
Jesus went to the Cross, not because He had to, but because He chose to. He suffered for my sins so I wouldn’t have to. He died and became the offering for my sins unto God to pay that debt I owed! And when He cried out ‘It is Finished’ - He was speaking of the work of Redemption for mankind. He Died so that I can live, and that’s what my Salvation is based on!
Because it’s Based on what Jesus Did not what I Do
Because the Bible Says So (1Jn. 5:13)
1Jn. 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
He’s writing to those who Believe
He states that you can KNOW that you have eternal life
So he encourages them in that
Any one reason stands on it’s own - yet God has given us abundant reasons to Trust in HIM!
Because the Bible Says So
The Sins that Lead to Hell
Rejecting the Holy Ghost
Jesus said: Rev. 3:20 “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.”
If you reject the wooing of the Holy Ghost, you will lift up your eyes in Hell.
Relying on Works
If you’re trusting in what you do to get to Heaven, you’re NOT trusting in Christ.
What is your trust in?

Conclusion

Which way are you going? East or West?
Are you walking in Wisdom?
Are you walking with the LORD?
Are you Headed to Heaven?
It’s your decision.
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