February 22, 2015
James 3, I pretty much want to preach about the subject of this entire chapter is about, which is about the tongue. Beginning verse number 1, the Bible reads; My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. Watch this. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Now, just from looking at that verse, that’s to show us right away that this is something that a lot of people are going to struggle with. If he says, “Look, if you can get this area right in your life, you're complete, you're perfect. You've got everything together if you can tame the tongue. The Bible says in verse 3; Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind, but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
The Bible’s making it really clear here that this is going to be something that people struggle with. The tongue can no man tame. If you can bridle your tongue you can bridle your whole body. This is something that can cause a lot of harm. A little tiny part of our body; the tongue, but it said that it can kindle great fires and cause great destruction.
It says in verse 9: Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom, but if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Flip back a couple of pages to James chapter 1 and we’ll see another mention of the tongue. Notice that the tongue and the misuse of the tongue is tied in with bitter envying and strife in your heart. What causes you to say things that are hurtful or that destroy people or that cause trouble and Kindle these great fires? It’s when you have bitter envying and strife in your heart. That's what causes these things to come out your mouth because the Bible says out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.
The bitter envying is when you think that you're better than other people, you wish that you have what they have, you're envious of them and strife; just getting into conflict with people all the time instead of trying to be at peace with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the local church or being at peace in your family, being at peace on the job etcetera.
Look at 1 James 26; If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.. That’s a pretty strong statement, again, telling us how important it is that we bridle our tongue. We don't want our religion to be in vain, so therefore we want to make sure that we bridle our tongue.
Go to 1 Peter 3, this all by way of introduction. 1 Peter 3, because what I want to really preach about tonight is, specifically, what are the sins of the tongue. We can talk about generalities of just, “Hey, control your mouth, control your tongue. Don't let it get out of control,” but what specifically does God tell us in the Bible are the sins that we commit with our tongue and with our mouth?
First, look at 1 Peter 3:8. It says; Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, because, of course, if our heart is right, then the things that come out of our mouth are going to be right as well. It says; Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
If you want to have an enjoyable life, if you want God to bless you and prosper you, and if you want to see good days, then you need to learn to control your mouth. You can't go around speaking guile and having your tongue participate in all this evil and expect to live a good life. It's not going to happen. That’s what the Bible’s telling us.
Now, let's go to Proverbs because the book of Proverbs is a book that deals with the tongue, literally, in almost every single chapter, and as you go through the book of Proverbs you'll just see scores and scores of verses telling you how to handle your tongue and telling you what not to do with your tongue. We could go all over the Bible this is such a big subject that God deals with so much that we could go through hundreds of scriptures, literally, and this morning we're not even going to hardly scratch the surface, but I'm just going to spend the sermon in Proverbs pretty much because everything I need to preach this sermon is pretty much in the Book of Proverbs. The goal of this sermon is to get specific, not to just vaguely say, “Hey, you got to control your tongue. You got to watch your mouth,” but rather what does the Bible say, not a person's opinion, but what does the Bible say the sins of the tongue really are.
The first one that would really obviously come to mind and just jump right out at you would be lying. Go to Proverbs Chapter six. That's one of the biggest sins that you can commit with your mouth is telling a lie. Proverbs chapter number six, we’re just going to be all over the book of Proverbs this morning, but while you turn to Proverbs six I’ll read for you from Colossians 3; Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
Look at Proverbs 6:12. The Bible says; A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. Jump down to verse 16; These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, so right at the beginning of this list, a thing that God hates and things that are an abomination to him, he says that a lying tongue is an abomination.
Go to Proverbs 12:17; God hates a lying tongue. Proverbs 12: 17 says this; He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. Verse 19; he lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Look at verse 22; Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.. Look at Chapter 13:5, it says; a righteous man hateth lying.
Not only does God hate lying, but the Bible says that if we're righteous we will hate lying as well. It says; a righteous man hateth lying, but a wicked man is loathsome and cometh to shame. You don't have to turn there, but Proverbs 20:17 says; Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Just imagine a mouth full of rocks and dirt. God says that’s the punishment upon those who would tell lies, and so over and over again, we could go all over the Bible with lying. Obviously, it's not just limited to a couple scripts in the Book of Proverbs, but God hates it, and I think sometimes we give lying a pass a little bit because we've all done it, because every single person has done it. I mean, the Bible says; you either let God be true, but every man a liar.
We often when we’re out so many and we want to show people that we all deserve hell, we show them that verse where it says all liars shall have their part in the lake where it’s burnt with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, and then we’ll show them a little later where it says who so make it a lie will not be in heaven.
Because we've all done it, it's easy to want to whitewash this sin. It's easy to be harsh on sins that we've never done. When we've never done it, we’ll get up, rail on it, we know how bad it is and that's why we wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, but with lying we don't come down as hard on it sometimes simply because we know that we've all been guilty of it, and probably in the future at some point we’ll be guilty of it, again.
Just because this is universe of a sin unto us, that does that does not mean that we should take a light attitude. When God’s saying it's an abomination, when God’s saying that he hates it, when God, even, puts it in that list of things that will wind a person in the lake of fire, we ought to take it very seriously and understand that the Lord loves it when we tell the truth, and he hates it when we lie to him or lie to other people and I think since the fire lied the Holy Ghost. We need to be people who learn to tell the truth, and sometimes it hurts to tell the truth, but one of the biggest sins we can commit with our mouth. The biggest way to not have a bridle on your mouth is when you just let lies flow out of your mouth.
One of the worst things about lying is it becomes a habit with people. There are people who lie just as a way of life, and they even get to the point where they start lying when there's no reason to lie. Your average person, when they really get in a bind, and they've got egg on their face will maybe tell a lie to get out of it. Your average person will do that, but there are some people who just keep lying so much that they get to where they lie about things that don't even matter. They lie when there's nothing at stake, and they become pathological. You’ll hear of that term thrown about, where they'll tell so many lies that it just becomes a normal habit to them, too, and they even think that they're telling the truth.
I mean, God forbid that any of his people would just have an abomination coming out of their mouth constantly. Children, you'll always be better off with your parents telling the truth. You get in more trouble when you lie about it, and then, we, as God's people that are adults we're his children. He's going to come down on us harder when we lie about it. He'll show mercy unto us when we confess and forsake of our sins. What’s confession, but simply telling the truth. Confessing that you've done that which is wrong.
Obviously, lying is a big one, but look at Proverbs 4. Another sin that comes to mind with the tongue would be perversion or what the New Testament calls filthy communication. In Colossians 3:8 it says; But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Look at Proverbs 4:23, it says; Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Now, look over at Proverbs 15:4, he said perverse lips put far from thee. I think of the famous scripture on alcohol in Proverbs 23 where he says if you tarry long at the wine and if you go to seek mixed wine. He says your mouth will utter perverse things. It says in proverb 15:4; A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
What do we mean by perverse lips, or filthy communication or your mouth uttering perverted or perverse things? The Bible talks about the fact that there are wicked reparable people in this world and the Bible says that it is a shame to even speak of those things which are done of them in secret. The Bible also says that fools make a mock at sin, and so the Bible tells that fools make a mock at sin, and that it's shameful to speak of that which wicked people do in secret.
That tells me that it shouldn't be something that we take lightly and turn into a joke. This is where we're talking about filth and joking about filth. The reason I bring up joking is because it seems to me that most of the time when the filthiest things come out of people's mouths, it's usually in the form of a joke. They're just kidding. It gives them an excuse to talk about something that normally would be too disgusting or filthy to bring up, but, hey, if you're doing it as a joke, it's okay.
By the way, the sodomites that are all over TV, that's how it started because if you look back to the real old movies, the hero of the film is not a sodomite, but what they'll do, they'll have sodomite characters that offer a comedy, or what’s it called? A comic relief of some sodomite, or you can even go back to the oldest black and white movies of Hollywood and you'll see people dressed in drag, men wearing makeup, but come on, it's just a joke, it's just funny or you go back to the even the Bugs Bunny cartoon. One of the common themes of merry melodies is that Bugs Bunny would be dressed in drag, put on lipstick, he's kissing Elmer Fudd on the cheek and all that. Elmer Fudd’s turning purple, green and everything like that. They’re programming the young people say, hey, it's funny. It's cute, it's funny.
This has been the progression with Hollywood; with the sodomites is that first of all it's a joke, it's funny, it's silly, we laugh at it. The devils has spent decades getting us to laugh at that sin. Even from when we were the tiniest kids with our bowl of cereal on Saturday morning in front of the cartoons we’re being taught that being a transvestite it’s funny. Being a homo is funny. I mean, just starts the programing that young and we laughed at it, right?
Then, the next thing was stop laughing at that. That was the devil ... Phase one was like laugh at the homos. Then the second one is how dare you laugh at them? Then it became the poor homo. Everyone's laughing at the filthy sodomite. That was the next stage of the ... Then, of course, now we’re onto a whole new stage of, well, this is completely normal. They're born that way. They're wonderful. Let's make them the pastor of the church. Let's go ahead and we let them get married, and lets ...
We’re just off the charts now with the except ... We're ... Even Christians now accept it. They accept it in the church and accepted in the in the house of God and everything else, and if somebody says, “Hey, no homos are allowed in this church,” it’s in the news or something just because it's says ... When in reality they never would have been allowed in any church going back a few decades.
We see that it started with a joke and what it reminds me of, too, is even when Lot was in Sodom, and he tries to preach the Word of God onto the people of Sodom; some of the people that were there, his sons in law, that were residents of Sodom that had married his daughters, he ... It was all a joke to them. They thought it was funny. They’re really real funny people. They joke around a lot.
Let me tell you something, there's nothing wrong with having a good time and the Bible talks a lot positively about making merry, being joyful and having a good time, but there's nothing funny about sodomy. It just not funny.
If you find yourself joking about it or other people joking about it, it's only because you've been programmed that way since you were a little kid watching Bugs Bunny, that where it’s coming from. It's not coming from the Holy Spirit, and it's not even coming from who you really are as a person; the new man. I'll tell you where it’s coming from, just a brainwashing where you've been taught that’s it’s funny. It’s really not funny, it's gross, it's disgusting, it's filthy and wicked. It's reparable, it's vile, it's reprehensible, but yet people joke about it, don't they?
I mean, you hear a lot of jokes about it out in the world. It's not funny, and if you're joking about homos, that's filthy communication coming out of your mouth. When you're telling stories about homos ... And it doesn't ... Look, homos are not the only perverse thing out there, there are other perversities as well. None of it should come out of your mouth. You shouldn't even be joking about committing adultery or something ... Some fool make a mock, it sin. Make jokes about committing adultery, joking about it.
You need to keep your mouth from perversity and filth from coming out of it. This is a big one in 2015 because the homos are something that are on everybody's mind because of being brainwashed and crammed down our throat every day because of the media.
Not only perversion coming out of our mouth. Not only lying, what are some other sins that we can commit with our mouth? Go to Proverbs 8. Another sin that often is committed by the tongue is the sin of boasting. Boasting; bragging. You’ve been around people that do a lot of bragging, a lot of boasting. This is not the humility that God calls us to as Christians. The Bible says in Proverbs 8:13; The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
God said I hate that froward mouth in the same breath that he says I hate pride and arrogancy. Flip over, if you would, to chapter 25. Of course, there are a lot of scriptures on bragging and boasting in the Bible. One of the most famous ones is about our salvation when it says; For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
God says our salvation is not of works. If it were, someone could boast about it. Have you ever been so letting and talk to the unsaved who don't realize it's by grace through faith, and they'll boast to you. You ask him how do you're going to heaven? Man, I’m a good person. I really help a lot of people. This is the funniest one. Hey, how do you know you’re going to heaven? Well, I’ve rescued 12 animals, and so I case closed next door.
Well, we're wasting our time here, we need to go to the next person who needs it, but they'll say, “Well, I’ve rescued 12 cats. I've been good to animals my whole life.” Well, you're in like flint. They say ... They'll tell you all kinds of boasting. It's almost ... You’re almost embarrassed for them sometimes.
Honestly, whenever people brag and boast it's embarrassing to the people around them. You think are you serious when they say, “I’m just a really good person. I'm just a really good guy. I really help people.” I mean, what in the world, you really believe that about yourself? People do, and you'll hear other people just brag to you and just tell you about how much money they have. Tell you about all their achievements. Tell you what if ... What does the Bible say; Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. We don't want to be prideful, arrogant people who go around tooting our own horn, singing our own praises, talking about how wonderful we are. The Bible says that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.
Now, look at Proverbs 25:14, it says; Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain, because a lot of the times when people are boasting a lot, they don't really have the goods. A lot of times they boast a lot because they're insecure and they're trying to lift themselves up because they don't really have the skills that they’re claiming to have or they don't really have the money that they want you to think they have.
Some of the people with the biggest, baddest toys and all the fancy stuff are in debt up to their eyeballs and really they're going to lose it all eventually, anyway, once the bill all comes due because they're robbing Peter to pay Paul as they build up this huge debt to have all the toys and they can boast about, the four wheel drive, the boat, the RV, talk about the jewelry, all the wonderful things that they've been able to afford, just tell you how great they are, what a great Christian they are, what a great businessman they are, what a great athlete they are, how everybody just love them, and so on.
We need to be careful that we don't get prideful in our heart and let it start coming out of our mouth in the form of boasting or bragging. What is He talking about when God says; get your tongue under control. The tongue is a fire. Look, it's a whole world of iniquity. It's not just one sin that your tongue commits, it's a whole world of iniquity. What is that world of iniquity encompass? Obviously, lying; Obviously, perversity and filthy communication coming out of your mouth. What’s the third sin that we commit with our mouth? Boasting, bragging, pride, arrogancy.
Not only that, look at Proverbs 18:1. This is one that might not come to mind as readily, but this is another sin that people do commit with their mouth. The funny thing is even though this point ... If I were to go around the room and ask people name all the sins you commit with your mouth? We’ll get a lot of answers coming at me. Let's just go and do that. Let's do some sins ... We've already covered three. What other things can you commit with your mouth?
Slander, railing .Yeah, I've got that point later in the sermon. It’s common; the back biting, the tail burying, the foot ... Okay, well, you're ruining my sermon because you just ... He just nailed the point. I was going to see if no one would guess it. Saying stupid things. What's funny he said foolishness ... It's funny because that doesn't always ... Lying, of course.
You wouldn't think of just saying stupid things as being a sin, but in fact, when I looked up this subject because I just wanted to look at everything the Bible said about the mouth, the tongue, the lips, some speech. It was too much, I mean, there was hundreds and hundreds. I was just let's just look at Proverbs.
Even when I narrowed it out to proverbs, that was the one that God talked about the most. Of all this ... In Proverbs was saying stupid things or foolish things coming out of your mouth. Now, let me explain this point a bit. Look at Chapter 18:1, it says; Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Now, the word discover meant something a little bit different in 16:11 as what it means now. Today, when we think of discovering something, we think of you went out and found something that no one else knew about. You went out and and uncovered something that was unknown to the rest of the world. You talk about somebody who discovered the new world, Columbus. Obviously, there are people here before that from all different places, but he discovered this, he discovered that, but here's what discover actually means in the Bible.
When you see the word discover, it actually means to reveal or to uncover. When the Bible says here; A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. He just wants to tell you what's in his heart. Basically, translation, he likes to hear him self talk.
No delight in understanding. Not interested in hearing from someone who actually knows the subject, but rather he just wants to hear himself. He just wants to make sure that you know what's on his mind. He does want his heart to discover itself. He wants to make sure that everything that's in his heart comes out of his mouth because he likes to hear him self talk.
Now, there are a lot of verses in the Bible that talk about people not talking about things that they don't understand. Now, go to Proverbs 15. Like I said, I can't read all the scriptures on this one just because there were so many that talked about this, but Proverbs 15 says this in verse two; The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
Verse 14; The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.. Verse 28, these all just in one chapter. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. Look at chapter 10 of Proverbs. Chapter 10, while you're turning there I’ll read for you from Proverbs 16:21; The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Look at how many verses are saying that we need to learn, study, understand and gain knowledge so that we can speak intelligently, so that wisdom, understanding, the truth and intelligence can come out of our mouth. Not just stupidity, foolishness and talking about things that we don't understand.
Jude 10 says; But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Look down when I return to chapter 10, I think. Look at verse 31; the mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom, but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
Over and over again we see this in the Book of Proverbs ... Chapter 12:23 is another good one. Look over there it’s just a page over. Proverbs 12:23; A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. Now, this is such a profound verse when you realize it. It's saying, look, the guy who’s smart he's hiding more intelligent things than the stupid things than the stupid things that you’re just letting pour out of your mouth.
I mean, the Bible is saying that even an intelligent person with important knowledge sometimes doesn't always feel the need to just say everything that he knows or say everything that's on his mind, but yet the fool, just not only does he say everything he knows, he just says stuff he doesn't know. He just talks. He just blows off his mouth. He just pours out a stream of foolishness, and there are a lot of people today that talk about subjects that they're unqualified to talk about.
Now, I do not believe that we need to be experts in every subject. There are a lot of things that I don't know anything about, that I don't really care about, that I'm probably never going to know about, and so I don't just go into long dissertations about them and just start talking about a bunch that I don't understand. What we need to learn is that it's better to hear, it's better to listen, hear and learn things than to just talk for the sake of talking.
Now, if you have something that's profitable. If you have something that’s intelligent, that's edifying, that's helpful, that that's important, that's interesting. That is true and you've checked out, then speak the truth, teach people. Be a person who helps others understand knowledge, but there are certain times when someone asks you your opinion about something, when you should just say, “Well, I just don't know about that subject,” than to just feel like you have to weigh in on everything and just give your opinion about everything.
Even when you're not asked to ... You hear people talking about something, and you’re just, “Well, here’s what I think about that.” You've not read a single book about it. You’ve not studied the information. You got ... Look, a week ago through so many subjects today that people just talk about without knowing anything about it, and then when you start pinning people down about what they know about these subjects, they don't know anything about it, but they just blow off their mouth of foolishness.
Something just popped into my mind was I said something negative about Mother Teresa at one time as a teenager, and everybody started yelling at me telling me how bad I was at my church. I said to them, I said, “What ... Do you who anything about Mother Teresa?” I said, “What country does she live in?” They don't know. I said, “What language does she speak?” “Can you give me a quote from her?” “Can you tell me anything about her?” “Can you tell me the years in which she operated?” “Can you tell me what religion she is?”
These people literally knew nothing, but they were yelling at me telling me I was a wicked person for saying something bad about Mother Teresa. What they should have said was just, “Well, I don't know anything about Mother Teresa.” Before I can weigh in on Mother Teresa, I need to go do some study, but they said, “Mother Teresa is in heaven and Mother Teresa ...”
How do know? What do about her? How do you know her testimony of salvation? She's Roman Catholic. She’s trusting works, and if you read the quotes out of her mouth, it's anti-Bible, it’s anti-everything that is true and everything that is the true religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, but you've just been told your whole life she’s one of a person, or you say something negative about Martin Luther King Jr and people are going to jump down your throat, call your racist and everything because they just don't even know the facts, they don't even know the subject or politics.
It's funny people just ... They've been told their whole lives in church just vote, just get out there and vote. Just vote. Exercise right to vote, and people literally just go to the poll and vote, and they don't know anything about the issues. They don't know anything about the candidates. Honestly, when you go down there, most of the names on that are foreign to you and you don't even know who they are. All these judges; do you want to confirm or reject this and that judge. It’s just a bunch of names. I used to go in there and just ... All the women judges I just say no to all of them just because I don't believe that women should be in authority in our government, so I just leave the man blank because I don't who they are. In the women is like no. Katherine, Susie.
I'm just saying it's ridiculous to just constantly be talking about things you don't know or you don't understand. It's funny like ... I'm ... Okay, this is maybe a petty silly example, but I really like to run. I run every day, and it's so funny how people will take me aside and give me running advice who don't run at all. They literally do not run at all whatsoever.
Now, I only started running a few years ago. Until I was 29 years old I hated running, I would never go running unless I really had to and I hated every minute of it, but in the last several years I've really learned to enjoy running. I love running. I run every day and it’s something I really like, and people will tell me you're not doing it right. I'll ask them do you ever know? Well, I run on a treadmill sometimes.
It’s just funny how people will just talk about subjects that they don't know anything about. Now, look I can name for you a lot of subjects that I don't know anything about. I don't know anything about football. I'm just going to admit it to you right now. I don't know about it, and there are certain areas of science that I don't know anything about, that I don't want to talk about. I don't really know.
People are constantly coming to me and asking my opinion about certain things, and yet anybody who knows me knows that I don't just give my opinion about everything with so many people asking me stuff I don’t know. I don't know anything about it, I don't get into it.
People come to me and tell me what do you believe about the geocentricity or whether the sun goes around the earth or whether the earth goes around the sun. They’re trying to lay out all the evidence for me. I just tell people I don't care about that subject. I don't know anything about it. I don't ... I'm not qualified to talk about all the science involved with that because I've not studied it, so I don't want to just start coming down with real strong opinions.
Here's the thing, I've seen the biblical evidence for egocentricity. Honestly, I don't think that the biblical evidence is conclusive at all, I'm not buying it, but when it comes to whether the sun goes around the earth or whether the earth goes around the sun, honestly, I don't know because I don't ... I can't ... I don't think that the bible had a firm answer on it, and I'm not going to spend the time and the energy to go out and research that. I'm not against somebody who likes science who want to do that, but, honestly, I don't know. I don't care, so I'm not going to just give these real strong opinions about, “This how it is,” because I don't know. To me, I don't think it's a biblical issue and so I don't care.
Now, I'm a pastor. Therefore, I strive to be an expert in the Bible, but that doesn't mean I'm going to be an expert in all matters of history. There are certain parts of history that I know a lot about, that I've really studied a lot and that I can speak intelligently about, but there are a lot of other areas of history where people start telling me about it and I say, “Wow, I don't know anything about that. I'm going to have to look into that.” Or what do you think about this guy, what do you think about ...? I don’t know. I’m going to have to look into that and study that. I’m not sure. I don’t know
There are things that we know a lot about and things we don't know a lot about. Now, when it comes to areas of evolution and the Big Bang, I've actually studied that a lot just because I wanted to be able to talk about it intelligently, preach about it and so I've read up on those type, but there are a lot of areas of science that I don't know anything about, because I'm just not that interested, because there's so much knowledge in the world and everybody specialize in different things. We all want to have a basic knowledge of everything, but then there are certain areas that would take a whole lot of study to delve into, really get into, and I think that, we, in America today have been taught that we just have to have an opinion about everything.
What do you think about this guy? What do you think about what he said? What do you think about him? What do you think about him? What do you think about her? What do you think about this subject? What do you think about this issue? What's your opinion on this? I think that we need to learn to sometimes just say I don't know. I don't know anything about that rather than to just are pouring out foolishness because a lot of times what people do will just start repeating stuff that we've heard, and what I've been guilty of it. We've all been guilty of it. Not saying I've never done this where you'll just start repeating stuff that you've heard, and then later you go back and study it and you realize, wow, was I wrong about that?
I can tell you something, I've been pastoring now for over nine years and I can, honestly, say that if I go back and listen to my old sermons, sometimes there are things that I said where I'm like, “Wow, I don't agree with that anymore. I don't believe that anymore,” but, thankfully, it's not Biblical issues because there are very few things biblically because I just made a practice that when I don't know things, biblically, I’ll gloss them over. Like on a Wednesday night, I'll be preaching verse-by-verse, and sometimes I’ll just gloss over a few verses because I don't understand what it's saying, okay, so I’ll just gloss them over and then people will be like, “Man, I was hoping you’re going to cover that verse. That was the one I was wondering about.” I guess I was wondering about, too, that’s why I didn’t cover it.
I remember I had pastor call me one time. He’s like, “You’ve got to help me,” because he's like it's Wednesday night I'm preaching on this chapter and I don't understand these these couple of verses, and I got to preach this in five hours. I don’t know what to say.
I told him, “Skip it. Just gloss over it. Just blow past it and talk about the stuff that you do ...” I said, “Is there enough in the chapter that you do understand?” Preach that rather than to just throw stuff out there and, well, at least I covered it. No, make sure that what you say is right.
When I go back and listen to my sermons and I hear stuff that I don't agree with coming out of my own mouth, it usually has to do with is historical stuff, political stuff, stuff that you hear, but you can't really be sure about and verify it because most of the doctrine ... I would say 99% of the Doctrine has stayed the same since I started the church because the fact that I studied it before opening my mouth, but sometimes I'll be listening to my old sermons and I’ll hear something historical or political or social that I later learned more about, and I was like, “Wow, I shouldn’t have been talking about that because I didn't know as much about it as I do now.
We need to be careful that we don't talk about stuff that we don't understand and that we don't know. I always tell this to young preachers, preach what you know. If you're coming to the preaching class and you preach a 10 minutes sermon, pick subjects that you know the best, that you've really studied, read the Bible and you know, so that you’re either ... Looks, aren't there certain things that we just know are true and we have no doubt? We know that we're not going to have to five years later change our doctrine on it, and say I was wrong about that.
By the way, if we are wrong about something we should always be humble enough to change. Some preachers have preached the same thing for 10 years and then when they realize they were wrong, they’re like, “It’s too late now ...” Say, “Well, no.” If it’s wrong, correct it.
I'll tell you one thing that I corrected real early on in my preaching was about Israel and about the Jews because I’ve been taught my whole life, hey, we got to be pro-Israel. We got to support Israel. When I started Faithful Word Baptist Church, even with all of the study, even the score of the times I'd read through the Bible, I still had that in my head that had been drilled into me. I remember I had been pastoring for about six months. I don't remember exactly what the sermon was, but I was six months into pastoring.
I found myself saying something about, hey, that land belongs to them or, hey, they're God's chosen people. That started coming out of my mouth six months into pastoring Faithful Word. The moment ... It was the first time I'd ever said anything like that from the pulpit, but it came out of my mouth. The second it came out of my mouth I thought to myself, “I don't know if that’s really true.” I don't think that's really true because I was thinking to myself, I think I'm just repeating that because I've heard that so many times. Just ... I think it was may be just the Holy Spirit telling me you're wrong.
The moment it came out of my mouth, it had just come out of my mouth I was saying that's not even true. I don't think that's true, but was, “I don’t know. Maybe it is true. I don’t know.” I literally went home and decided I'm going to read the whole Bible cover-to-cover just looking at this one subject because all these verses started flooding into my mind because I'd memorize a lot of Bible.
All these verses started flooding in my mind about he's not a Jew which is ... All these different scriptures started flooding in my mind, and I was like this is so different than what I've been taught. I waited six months before I ever preached against that doctrine, because I spent six months making sure I was right first, because I didn't want to just come out with something that was contrary to everything I heard my whole life and been taught until I'd studied it.
I spent the next six months, and the first thing I did was I read the entire Bible cover-to-cover just looking for that subject only. Just reading the Bible where just that's all I'm looking for is anything to do with the chosen people; Israel, the Jews, them in the Old Testament, them in the Old Testament.
By the time I had gone through the whole Bible, I'd studied it, thought about it and figured it out six months later in December of 2006 I preached the first sermon where I laid out that doctrine and taught it from the pulpit because I knew I was right, but there are too many preachers today just saying it's like I did. I mean, I did it. I just had something come out of my mouth, and it was just a verbatim quote from the church that I'd come out of. It was just word-for-word repeating.
We tend to repeat things that we hear. We cannot help but speak the things we've seen and heard, but we need to be careful to make sure that the things that come out of our mouth are right and that we don't say foolish things because of a lack of what? Knowledge, learning, instruction.
It's laziness that cause us not to study because much study is the weariness of the flesh. I'm not saying that we have to study all things and be an expert in all areas, but I am saying be an expert in the areas that you're going to talk about. Just learn about things and know what you’re going to talk about, or if you don't, at least, say, “Here's what I've heard or this is what I've always been told, “ but do you have something that can correct that for me instead of just being dogmatic and just blowing up. Look, I've heard it my whole life and I've done it sometime where you just vehemently repeat something that you heard. No basis and instruction learning facts, knowledge or so on and so forth.
Let's get off that point, though, but people say a lot of stupid things, and it is a sin. It's not just dumb it's a sin. The Bible commands us to increase learning, to be wise, to learn knowledge and to not lift up ourselves and utter things that are too high for us that we know not. We need to make sure that we don't speak foolishness and that we intermeddle with wisdom rather than just wanting our heart to discover itself all the time, just to hear ourselves talk.
By the way, if you’re going to be a pastor, you must be an expert on the Word of God. You don't have to be a science expert to be a pastor. You don't have to be a history expert to be a pastor. You do not have to be a language expert to be a pastor. You don't have to know Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin to be a pastor, but you do need to be an expert on the Bible.
Obviously, when you start pastoring you're not going to know as much as when you finish pastor. Hopefully, you're going to keep studying and keep learning, but you say, “What do I do when I start pastoring?” You preach the things that for sure and you save the stuff ... If Bible prophecy is not your forte, you need to save it for later when it becomes your forte. What’s sad today is that pastors will get up and preach a preacher of rapture, and then you walk up to him and say, “Hey, what about this scripture. What about ...? They'll say, “I haven’t really studied the subject that well.” Then, you shouldn’t be talking about it.
Now, look, I will admit to you right now I do not know everything in the Bible. There are parts of the Bible that I don't understand, that have me scratching my head to this day. Now, less and less as I get older, but there's a lot in the Bible that that I don't know and I've had people confront me what about this verse? I don't know. Guess what? I just don't preach on those verses, and when I preach through whole chapter, I just read that verse, and then I’m like, “Here’s what I really want to emphasize, verse 26, and yeah, I don’t want to talk about that.”
When I did the revelation series, I was like, “There’s stuff that I glossed over the first time I did it back in 2007. A lot of stuff I blew past and didn't spend time on just because I didn't really understand it, so I really try to dig in deeper and gloss over less and less, and to actually preach on every verse and talk about every verse. I think that's what I did.
We need to just spend our lives studying and learning and not talk about things until we've had a chance to verify things. Whenever I hear a preacher say something, I like to go verify it, the first thing. If somebody tells me some historical thing, “Hey, did you know that this and this?” I want to go verify that before just telling it to everyone that I've ever known.
What else? Now, this is the big one and I'm going to spend the rest of my sermon on this. Here's the big one. I have a bunch that I’m not going to get to, but here the big one that I think James is really dealing with, and this is the subject of tattling, tale burying, backbiting, railing.
This is when you're basically talking bad about other people behind their back, in general, or just saying hurtful things that are not to edify or help anyone, but they’re just to tear other people down. This is one of the big ones and I think this is what James 3 if we were to take the immediate context of what James 3 is really dealing with. I think this is a big part of what he's dealing with, but let's look at it in Proverbs, though. There are a lot of scriptures on this Proverbs, but it says in Proverbs 26; turn to Proverbs 26. While you’re turning there, let me read this from Leviticus 19:16; Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people:
Did you hear that? Going up and down as a talebearer among thy people. Neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord. What does it mean to go up and down as a talebearer? It means that, basically, you’re the person who knows all the scandal, but everything bad that's going on, and if anybody wants to get the juiciest tidbit, you're the one that they're going to go to, and as soon as something happens, you're going to be on the phone, because it's not a going up or down anymore, because we have technology, so you don't have to physically go up and down and go door-to-door, “Hey, did you hear about ...” Now, it's just so much easier to be a talebearer.
I think that there are more people guilty of this sin in 2015 than they're have been in the past because you've got the phone and then you've got the Internet, you've got e-mail, you've got Facebook, you've got the text messaging, and so you're able to go up and down in just a few seconds.
It's funny because in 1 Timothy 5, you don’t have to run there, but it talks about women who don't have kids becoming idle. Not finding enough productive things to do with their time. It says with all they learn to be idle wandering about from house-to-house. That's the going up and down. Not only idle, idle means they’re not anything productive. Not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies speaking things which they ought not, I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.
What the Bible is saying is that if a woman gets married, has kids and takes care of her household. The virtuous woman, the Bible says does not eat the bread of idleness. She's busy. He says if you will care for your family, that's going to keep you from getting involved in everybody else's business and becoming the tattler, busybody and talebearer.
Now, I dare say this, though, that with the technology today even women who do have kids and are taking care of their house can do this on the side because of the SmartPhone being right there that they can literally be cooking the food and everything ... Even if their hands are busy, they got the voice to text going. They can be nursing the baby or cooking the food or vacuuming the rug or doing whatever in their house and still get caught up in being a tattler, being a busybody and even being idle.
The virtuous woman wasn’t idle because she has to make her own clothes from scratch. Hard to be idle when you don't have a washing, but think about this. No washing machine, no dishwasher. You're the dishwasher, and you're kindling a fire to cook food. It's not just a little ... I mean, you've got to get the wood, you got to make the fire, you got to cook the food. You’re scrubbing pots and pans, you’re scrubbing clothes, you’re making clothes. You just don’t go to the thrift store on the dollar day is 50% off and come out with a cart full of clothes for 20 bucks or something.
I mean, back then each garment is handmade, and women today think about making clothes from scratch, but they're starting with the fabric. The hardest part is making the fabric, that's what the Bible talks about over and over, again. The wool and flax that the virtuous woman seeks are making textiles from an animal based textile, would be the wool, and the plant based textiles will be the flax; linen.
They're spinning the wool and they're making clothing from scratch, and so that kept them busy. God warns about women becoming idle and basically becoming a busybody. What is a busybody? The Bible talks about being a busybody in other men's matters. It's when you are worried about what everybody else is doing instead of just living your own life, you want to know every twist and turn of the latest drama and the latest scandal.
Your man can be guilty of this, too, of course, but the Bible is specifically, in this group, they’re directing it at women. Other scripture’s directed toward men, and it's something that a lot of people are guilty of in 2015.
Look down in your Bible there in Proverbs 26, it says in verse 20; Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
There are contentious people who start the strife and start the drama, and then there are talebearers who just fan the flames of the drama. There are people who thrive on drama. When nothing’s going on they're bored, they're unhappy, and they just love it when the latest ... The latest news flash of the drama, scandal and did you hear what so and so said to so and so.
Now, there are two kinds of people that this scripture’s talking about in Proverbs 26 here, in 20 and 21. There's the talebearer and then there’s the contentious man, and of course, it can be a contenscious man or contenscious woman just as the talebearer can be man or woman.
What it's saying is ... First of all there are contentious people. These are people who go around starting stuff with people. These are people who wear their feelings on their sleeve and are ready to be offended by every little thing that everyone says, you know what the Bible says; Great peace are they which they love thy law and nothing shall offend them.
The Bible talks about passing over a transgression and not worry about ... But, there are people who are just contentious people and they're always at strife with other people because of the fact that they are just feelings on their sleeve. Everything you say to them it's like, “What's that supposed to mean?” You can even say something nice to them and they'll interpret it wrongly like, “You look wonderful today.” “What are you saying I usually look like? What do you mean I was wonderful today?
They just interpret everything or just, “Wow, I was ... Man, I tested your chilli at the chilli cookout. I was just blown away. I was shocked by how good it was. I mean, it was amazing.” “Why would it surprise you that I know how to cook good food? What do you think I cook, garbage, and you’re surprised when it tastes right?”
I'm just saying there are people out there who are just contentious people who are just looking to be offended. They're just looking for somebody ... And then, it doesn't stop with what's actually said, but just the way that she looked at me. She gave me a dirty look, or even a step further ... And, this is the worst people. When you're getting mad about, not what someone did, but what they didn't do.
You're actually getting mad at people for what they did not do. Like for example, the pastor did not shake my hand. He did not smile at me. He did not greet me. She came to church and greeted a bunch of other people that were in the same part of the building as me, didn't greet me. Invited everybody to so and so, didn't invite me.
Basically, what you did ... Or I put up this post on Facebook and I saw that they were on Facebook liking other stuff. In fact, they liked something that was pos- ... That someone just before me posted, and then they liked something after, which proved that they were online when I was posting, and they are just ... Or just I know so and so just has a thing where they'll just never like anything I do on Facebook. I don't care what I put up on Facebook. About three weeks ago they just quit liking my posts, and never clicked like for the last three weeks. What is her problem? What is his problem? Why ... And clicking like on everybody's comment except mine?
It's getting close to home now. Then ... Look, that is a contentious person. That is an unforgiving, grudging, envious because here's the thing. A healthy person who is humble and serving the Lord isn’t so worried about what everybody else is doing all the time. They're worried about their own personal walk with God, and they're worried about making sure that they're doing what's right. They're not worried about making sure, being in the police that everybody in the church is doing everything right. No, they're just worried about, “Hey, I’m I acting right?”
They don't go to church and say, “I wonder if anybody was rude to me.” Look, who cares? What they should be thinking is I wonder if I was rude to anyone when I went to church. That's all that should matter, is that when we go to church we make sure that we're nice to people, that we love people, that they were kind to people, that we're not rude to people, that our kids are not terrorizing the place, that our kids are not treating other people bad, that we ... And that our wives are not treating other people badly, and that we are under control instead of just always being out to find the fault in everybody else, so that we can pin them to the wall, we're going to need the wall. I'm going to confront them, I'm going to expose them, and I'm going to talk to other people and see if they had the same experience.
This is what a contentious person is. Then, the talebearer thrives on this, of being sure to spread this because turn it from a little local fire that the tongue has kindled. Instead, just a local fire that the tongue is kindled of me telling brother Garrett what's going on. Then, he's like, “Okay, let's burn this all place down. He’s starting to getting on the phone, he’s getting on Facebook, he’s getting on ... I say that because Garrett is the last person who’ll ever do that.
How long ... Garrett ... Years without even owning a phone. Well, he has one now. How long did you go without a phone? You were in the wilderness, Man. He was in the wilderness. He probably had no phone, no computer. It was great, but he had no car, yeah.
Proverbs 26, let's keep reading because it goes on here. First of all, it said in verses 20 and 21 what we saw there, but look at verse 22; The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. What’s the Bible say, you're hurting people when you do this.
A lot of times you hurt people and it goes deep into their belly and it does irreparable damage. You can actually hurt people and hurt relationship, you can hurt marriages, you can hurt friendships, you can hurt churches, you can pastors, and you do irreparable damage. That's why God’s saying; Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth. You must tame the tongue and not let it get out of control.
He says in verse 23; Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. What’s he saying. You might look good on the outside, but you're worthless on the inside if you're one of these burning lip talebearer type of gossiping people. He's saying you're wicked on the inside.
He says in verse 24; He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him. Go to chapter 25. While you’re turning there I’ll turn 25: 23. While you’re turning there I’ll read for you from chapter 11:13; A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
You say, “Well, Pastor Anderson, what do I do if someone is a backbiter or a talebearer because sometimes it puts you in a weird position when someone comes to you and starts critizing someone else or ripping on someone else or slamming somebody else or trying to get you involved in someone else’s fight.
It’s puts you in an awkward position because you don’t want to just smile and node because you feel the silence is agreement when you do that. You don’t want that person to keep coming to you with stuff because a lot of times, if somebody comes to you and tells you the _ and you just ignore him, then they’ll keep coming back with it because they feel like this is somebody who listens to me when I want to say this stuff.
This is the reaction we should have when people come to us. This is what the Bible teaches, verse 23; The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue, so how do we drive away that backbiting tongue where they’re not going to keep bringing us this stuff is with an angry countenance; what’s your countenance? Your face.
When somebody comes to you with this stuff, you need to give them a dirty look and have an angry countenance. You need to make it clear to that person that you’re not interested in listening to that. I don’t want to hear that, and not laugh and smile, but rather, “What? I don’t want to hear about this.” This is the face you need ... Let’s all practice our angry face. I want to look around and see. Let me see.
I mean, you ... That should be the reaction when somebody comes. Now, look, I don’t want to be misunderstood, and there’s so much more in sermon, but I got to close it down, but I don’t want people to misunderstand this because a lot of people will get confused on this, and they’ll basically sweep things under the rag that need to be brought to someone’s attention because they’re like, “I don’t want to gossip.”
Now, think about this. What’s the difference between being a talebearer, a busybody, a tattler and someone who is actually raising a legimate concern that needs to be addressed? Where do you draw the line?
I’ll tell you where you draw the line. When you’re doing it for entertainment, you’re in wickedness there. If this is something that you’re doing because you’re bored, it’s fun, it’s entertaining you and you’re enjoying it. If you’re enjoying it, it’s probably talebearing and backbiting; if you’re having fun with it. If it’s a pleasure for you to repeat the matter, then it’s wrong.
Number two I'm just giving you some things to do a self-check on your own heart and on your own situation. If you're enjoying it, if it's fun for you ... Number two, if you're telling it to someone who has no involvement in the situation who has no authority involved. All you're doing is just being a tattler, a busybody and a gossip at that point.
Now, there's a difference between that and actually going to a person, that actually is in authority, that is responsible and saying, “Hey, there is something going on that you need to address.” The difference is you actually wanted to fix the problem with a legitimate authority rather than just, you know what, I just want to make sure everybody knows what a what a blank she, what a blank he is or I want to I just want everybody to know about it or I'm just so happy to take them down. I just enjoy talking about this or whatever.
That's the difference right there. Now, let me give you some examples. For example, let’s say someone is committing one of the sins that is on the list in 1 Corinthians 5 that the Bible Leben that we cannot have in our church because, obviously, everybody in our church is a sinner. We all sin. Nobody’s perfect, myself included. I commit sin you commit sin, but there are certain sins that God does not allow us to tolerate in the church. He says that we have put away from among ourselves these wicked people, and those are the sins that are listed in 1 Corinthians 5 that are cancerous sins that will destroy our church.
The most common one is fornication. Here’s the thing, if you find out that someone in the church is living with their girlfriend or living with their boyfriend that they’re not married to, and living in sin; living in fornication, coming to the pastor and telling the pastor, “Listen, I think you need to know that so and so is living in open fornication.” Then that’s something that I need to know about because I need to go deal with that person and discipline that person out of the church.
Or for example, drunkenness is another one. The Bible lists fornication, drunkenness, being an extortioner, being a railer and all these would take their own sermons in and off themselves. Idolatry, covetousness, and so these ... I’ve gone through sermons where I wanted to find each one and explain what exactly God’s talking about the kind of people should be thrown out for these various things.
If someone is a railer making slanderous accusations about other people, going around as a talebearer, that is someone that needs to be brought to the pastor’s attention because that’s on the list. If you see somebody out in Tempe drunk on Mill Avenue and they're drunk, that’s something that needs to be dealt with.
Now if somebody ... And, again, where do you draw the line? If somebody has one beer in their fridge, you don't have to come tell me about it. It's a sin, it's wrong. I'm against it, but that doesn't necessarily make them a drunkard.
What I'm saying is ... By the way, if somebody is smoking, you don’t have to come tell me about that. Look, I’m against smoking, but, and listen, this is ... Let me just give it to you in levels. If you’re going around to other people in the church, “Hey, did you know so and so smokes?” That’s wicked. You’re a talebearer, you’re a backbiter. That’s the most wicked version.
Then, coming to me and telling me ... Well, you’re in authority. Yeah, but I don’t have authority over people’s smoking. God didn’t say cast out that wicked smoker, you what I mean? He said to cast out the drunkard and ...
Look, I’m not condoning of smoking. I’m against smoking. It’s destructive to your body, but you know what, you don’t have to tell me if somebody is smoking anymore than you have to tell me if they’re pounding a bunch of junk because they’re both destructive to the body.
I’m saying ... And look, if you see a woman is in pants I got to tell everybody that I saw so and so; the woman out in pants or I saw ... Or I’m going to go tell pastor I don’t even know that. You know what I mean? Nobody’s perfect. People are at different stages of growth in their Christian live, and you’re just being a talebearer when you just pick apart people or, hey, I caught somebody listening to so and so; the music, and I’m going to tell all my other friends at church. That’s ungodly, that’s wicked. You’re being a talebearer at that point when ...
What if somebody is child molester? Yeah, you ... Don't hide, don't sweep that under the rag. Don't hide that. Somebody is a sodomite or a child molester or someone’s committing adultery, someone’s committing fornication. I mean, these are things that need to be ... And, even though you just go spreading them around, you take it the people that are in authority.
Somebody’s child, maybe somebody’s child is in sin, and maybe, even, a lesser sin, but because it’s a child, you go to their parent and tell them, “Hey, look, I just want you to know your child was seen doing X, Y and Z so that they can discipline their child.
See, as a pastor, I have the right to discipline those that are only committing that limited scope of fornication, drunkenness and a few things. The way that that discipline works is that that person’s given a chance to repent or else to be expelled from the congregation. That’s the discipline is that they be thrown out.
Now, parents have a much broader scope of discipline, don’t they? Parents are a lot more authority over their children than a pastor has in church, so the children, if they are committing sin and you tell their parents so that they can be disciplined, that makes sense, but when you’re just going around, “Have you seen what a brat so and so’s kids are?” “Did you see how they were acting? You’ve noticed it, too? Yeah, because I was just talking to so and so, and they think their kid’s a brat, too.”
When you’re talking about who you saw in pants, who you saw smoking, who you saw with a wine cooler in the fridge and who you saw whatever. I mean, when you’re just going around telling, “You heard the bumping music bumping out of their vehicle or whatever, and ...
What are some other examples of those things that you can catch people and say, “Yeah, the TV in their house and the DVDs that I saw.” You just go around and tell people what DVDs they have and the fact they have a TV.
You know that is? That is that's hurtful, that destructive, it's harmful. Look, this isn't a small sin, it's a big deal, and God says that your tongue is set on the fire of hell, and that if you don't learn to control it your religion is in vain. God says that you must bridle your tongue. It's an unruly evil. It's full of deadly poison. It's a world of an iniquity. You're wounding people. It’s going down in the inward parts of the belly. The whisperer separated she friends, you're hurting relationships, you're hurting people's marriages, you're destroying lives.
The Bible says death and life in the power of the tongue, and the Bible says a lying tongue hadith those who are afflicted by it, and so when you're lying, and especially, when you're a backbiter, a railer, you're a whisperer, you're a busybody and you're a tattler because you have a heart in you that has bitter, envying and strife in your heart.
Bitter, envying and strife in your heart. That is what is causing you to use your tongue in a destructive way. The Bible says that it is earthly, it is sensual and it is devilish. These are serious sins of the tongue that we need to control if we're going to be right with God, if we're going to serve God and be used by God. Bitter, envying and strife, we think that someone is better than us in a certain area, let's take them down a notch. That's where a lot of this comes from. Sad to say, but it is where a lot of it come from.
Let's close on Ephesians 4 the final verse. The Bible says in Ephesians 4, and while you turn there, let me just review the points the for you. the points were; number one, lying. Number two; talking about perverted, gross sick things. Joking about sin; dirty jokes is what we were talking about with that. Filthy communication, perverseness of the lops. Number three; boasting and bragging about how wonderful you are. Number four is ... Man, this sermon is so out of order. Here we go. Number four; being stupid and just talking about dumb things that you don’t under, and just spreading lies because you haven’t done the research. Number five; tattling, talebearing, backbiting, whispering. I think that’s the worst one that James 3 is actually dealing with, most specifically.
The one that we didn’t get to is flattery; flattering then, another one is cursing your brothers and sisters in Christ, but when I say cursing I’m not saying using words on a certain unapproved list. When I say cursing I’m saying where you actually curse someone, as in, you wish ill upon them, as in telling them, “Hey, go to hell or whatever.” Something along those lines.
Also, swearing, which is where you basically make an oath. That’s where, by the way, when you go to court, they let you do it on oath or affirmation because you know how they say do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you, God. You don’t have to do that because it’s against the Bible. The Bible says not to swear. Swear not at all, and so actually what you say when they say do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You say I affirm that I will tell the truth because then you’re just letting your ye be ye, but you don’t have to swear or oath. That’s why even in fourth amendment it says warrants are issued upon oath or affirmation because it’s against the Bible to make an oath or to swear.
Listen to this, Ephesians 4:29; Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Now, what is the word corrupt mean? Corrupt means it’s decaying. The Bible says a good tree does not produce corrupt fruit, but an evil tree produce corrupt fruit.
Corrupt communication is communication that is evil or harmful because the word evil on the Bible means harmful. It’s that which decays, right? If we talked about something being corrupt we’re saying it is decayed, so that’s the opposite of the latter part of the verse when He says, that which is good to the use of edifying. What’s edifying? Building up.
What Bible is saying is that the things that come out of our mouth should not harm people, tear them down and cause decay and rot, but rather the things that come out of our mouth should build people up and lift people up, so that should be the final judge of what comes out of our mouth. Is this helping the person that I’m talking to. Is this helping them ... And sometimes ... And, by the way, a lot of people interpret this as, “Hey, just don’t say anything negative.” That’s not what it says because sometimes it’s edifying to say something negative to someone. Constructive criticism; a reprove for ... can be appropriate and can be helpful.
What’s your goal when negative things come out of your mouth? Is it to edify your brother in Christ? Is it to build him up, help him and restore him or is it just to tear him down, harm him and to cause decay and rot. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to use of edifying that may minister grace unto the ears.
Let’s bow down and have a word of prayer. God, I pray that every single person who is here today would take this sermon to heart, Lord. I know it’s very tempting for people that are in the sermon to think, “Wow, I'm so glad so and so's hearing this right now. They really need it, but, Lord, I pray that every single person in this auditorium would apply this sermon to themselves.
Anyone right now who’s thinking, “So and so needed this. I’m glad they’re here.” That person is probably the person I’m talking to the most because they have that strife in their heart toward others.
Lord, help us all to examine ourselves and to be careful with our tongues that we always tell the truth, that we always speak knowledgeable and that we say things that are helpful and not harmful. Lord, help us not be an active listener when people tell us the scattle, Lord. Help us to give them a dirty look of an angry countenance in Jesus Christ we pray, amen.