Eternal Character | INFEMI Sermon By Deacon Rob Omol

Eternal Character: Sermon By Deacon Rob Omol

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody, as was that of those [magicians mentioned]. 

2 Timothy 3:1-9 (AMPC)

Life and the idea of life is sacred and all that flows from it must follow that precedence for He has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness.

As saints, we should be governed by an eternal perspective and eternal character.

Part 1: Faith

For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved. But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!] But they have not all heeded the Gospel; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed (had faith in) what he has heard from us? So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

Romans 10:13-17 (AMPC)

You do not hear the voice of God with your physical ears but with the ears of our inner man. It is from here that faith emanates since it resonates from the eternal. Faith only hears that which is eternal and it is not bound by time and space. Faith comes from an eternal mindset and atmosphere.

By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.

Hebrews 11:3 (AMPC)

What is created is made from what is unseen. Faith demands you accept only what God has established in eternity. Abraham believed God for a city whose builder and maker was God. He was the father of faith. This reality did not manifest in his time but he still believed.

That which has already been established in eternity is what faith speaks of. Faith does not ascribe to pluralism or relativism. The truth which you believe and that truth which I believe are all the same. Truth is absolute and one. There cannot be two truths. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. 

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. 

John 14:6 (AMPC)

[There is] one body and one Spirit—just as there is also one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received— [There is] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of [us] all, Who is above all [Sovereign over all], pervading all and [living] in [us] all.

Ephesians 4:4-6 (AMPC)

The tragedy of not believing in God is not that you believe in nothing but that you believe in anything. Truth makes your belief focused rather than scattered.

Media shapes your perception. The reality is that over time, subconsciously, you become what you consume.

The subconscious is your first preacher and there are those that have been seared with a hot iron. Eventually what is wrong is not from without but within and what we look for is what we have already agreed on within ourselves.

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 (AMPC)

Faith is about believing in something. In Colossians 1:15-20, Christ is the source of the knowledge.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NKJV)

God doesn’t expect faith without reason but it is the very limit of our reasoning that makes faith a necessity. Faith by hearing is not just by a preacher but the voice within transacting in your heart.

Faith is a muscle that needs to be exercised. God is calling us from the shores of salvation into the deep waters of daily sanctification.

Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this? She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited.]

John 11:25-27 (AMPC)

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, do not seek to understand so that you may believe. Believe so as to understand.

He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.

Matthew 16:15-17 (AMPC)

Testimonies of great faith came even before understanding. Happy are those who do not see yet believe.

Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.

John 20:29 (AMPC)

Part 2: Hope

Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

Romans 5:2-5 (AMPC)

If faith had a voice, it would speak of hope. Hope is the prophetic voice of faith. Faith causes and inspires hope.

Hope is the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Hope is a feeling of trust and it works hand in hand with love.

There is an understanding that comes with hope that causes you to rejoice. Hope is needed for the in between when you can’t see or possess what you believe.

For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?

Romans 8:24 (AMPC)

Hope assures us of our faith.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

Hebrews 10:23 (AMPC)

Hope is the purpose of divine mystery.

By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones). 

Ephesians 1:18 (AMPC)

For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Titus 2:11-13 (AMPC)

If you have no hope, you cannot have any glory. We need to be people of hope in order to align ourselves to be carriers of God’s glory.

[Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.

Ephesians 2:12 (AMPC)

Christ died and rose again so that His essence could be spread to all without the limit of time. Had He not, He would be confined to one place. Christ is the object of our hope.

To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory. 

Colossians 1:27 (AMPC)

Part 3: Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.

1 John 4:7-10 (AMPC)

Love is the splendour of truth. It is the evidence of salvation. Love gives eternal relevance.

The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

John 3:8 (AMPC)

The Spirit of love is eternal. Love assures the believer of a true relationship with God and it exalts Christ as God. God (the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) cannot be separated from love.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (NKJV)

Love (the Word, Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us.

Love is an underlying principle that must be manifested visibly. The eternal reality of love needs to be expressed.

May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [d]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

Ephesians 3:16-19 (AMPC)

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

John 13:34-35 (AMPC)

Perfected love in itself is not a finality in you. It is progressive. The more you love God and man, the more you are perfected. It is from glory to glory.

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (AMPC)

Love, hope and faith give us an eternal character.

Love is the greatest enduring character after hope and faith.

Faith is the fuel, hope is the driver and love the destination.

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