TEXT: Hebrews 12:1-3
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Charles Stanley said, “As you begin a new year of walking with Jesus, remember you’re never alone in your struggles. And with Christ’s strength, you can confidently face whatever comes your way.”
Not too long ago Andy Stanley said that Christians should unhitch themselves from the Old Testament. Of course he was wrong, but I took a liking to the word unhitch. Here are 12 things that Christians should unhitch themselves from as they enter the new year.
Last time, we saw that we need to unhitch ourselves from sin, weights, people who pull us into sin, politics, false teachers, and following others..
Seventh, we need to unhitch ourselves from the abomination of homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Denominations are splitting over this issue. Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible as an abomination. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexuality. Paul condemned it also in the New Testament, and Jesus stated that God created marriage for a man and a woman. John MacArthur said, “One of the supreme tragedies of our time is the declassification of homosexuality as a sin because when you declassify it as a sin, you cut them off from their salvation source. It is a damning declassification. You’re not being nice to homosexuals to call it an optional lifestyle, a sexual preference. You’re not nice to them to do that. That isn’t kind. That isn’t thoughtful. That isn’t loving. That is damning. The kindest thing you could ever say to someone engaged in homosexual sin is it is a sin that will damn you and it will exclude you from the kingdom of God forever. That’s the kindest thing you can say. A proper diagnosis is absolutely crucial. This is not a preferred sexual orientation. This is not an alternative lifestyle. This is not a genetic thing. This is sin and perversion that damns men’s and women’s souls. “ The abomination of homosexuality is not something that the church should tolerate or be connected to in any way.
Eighth, we need to unhitch ourselves from debt. Proverbs 22:7 warns that “the borrower is servant to the lender.” Dave Ramsey said, “The decision to go into debt alters the course and condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.” Ron Blue said, “Nowadays you can find many financial pundits who will tell you that leverage – the use of borrowed money to buy assets for appreciation – is the “way to prosperity.” It goes without saying that this is not a biblical perspective. Absolutely nowhere in the Scriptures are we advised or commanded to use debt to accomplish God-given economic goals. On the contrary, the Bible contains many warnings against the use of debt. It doesn’t say God will bail you out of debt. Some Christians who are heavily indebted seem to have the impression that God has promised to get them out of their problems. The verse most often cited is Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” That promise is true, of course, and God will meet our needs. But He hasn’t pledged Himself to cancel the consequences of our unwise behavior. Ultimately, a believer has a moral obligation to repay his or her creditors to the best of their ability.” Debt cripples you with continual worries about money. Debt will have you wondering whether it’s more important to pay for food or pay your lender. You need to work hard to get out of debt and never get in it again.
Ninth, we need to unhitch ourselves from lying about our family. Psalms 101:7 says, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” How many times have we seen a family that looks so well put together in public but are then embroiled in a messy divorce a week later? Earlier this year, a family was torn apart after the mother killed her two children and then committed suicide. Tim Challies said, “The Bible leaves no doubt that God hates deceit. Three times in the book of Proverbs he states it bluntly. In Proverbs 6 we read a list of “six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him,” and two of them relate to deceit: “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who breathes out lies”. Proverbs 12:22 echoes the theme: “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight”. God hates deceit because he so values truth. He so values truth because he himself is the source of all truth. “Sanctify them in the truth,” prayed Jesus, “your word is truth”. Truth reflects God’s holy character, his pure heart. God’s revelation is wholly and perfectly true because he himself is wholly and perfectly true.” Although you shouldn’t be airing your problems to everyone you know, you shouldn’t be lying on social media with posts about your picture-perfect family either.
Tenth, we need to unhitch ourselves from hate and racism. Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Recent years have seen an exacerbation of racial tension in this country, so that at one point the Klan and white supremacists held marches. There have been several deadly attacks by both black and white supremacists this past year. Kevin DeYoung said, “Woe to us if our vision of the good life here on earth will be completely undone by the reality of new heavens and new earth yet to come. Antagonism toward people of another color, language, or ethnic background is antagonism toward God himself and his design for eternity. Christians ought to reject racism, and do what they can to expose it and bring the gospel to bear upon it, not because we love pats on the back for our moral outrage or are desperate for restored moral authority, but because we love God and submit ourselves to the authority of his word.” As Christians, the Bible tells us that Jesus call to save us all, regardless of race. Christians should condemn racism and preach the truth that God created us all, loved us all, and sent His Son to die for us all.
Eleventh, we need to unhitch ourselves from prayerlessness. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to, “Pray without ceasing.” Leonard Ravenhill said, “Prayerlessness is disobedience, for God’s command is that men ought always to pray and not faint. To be prayerless is to fail God, for He says, Ask of me.” Dave Butts said, “Failing to pray is also an indicator of a lack of love for the Lord. Prayer, at its heart, is communicating with God. What does it say to Him when we fail to find time to talk with Him? Do we say by our lack of prayer that we are not at all interested in spending time with the Lord or hearing anything from Him? When we do not pray, we move away from any possibility of intimacy with Christ. When prayerlessness is prevalent in our lives, we are also guilty of failure to love one another. There is scarcely any greater way to demonstrate love than to pray for someone. In godly intercession, we lift the needs of another to God and watch as He moves to meet needs and provide for the one we are praying for. Through prayer, bodies are healed, families are knit together, individuals are saved, and churches are revived. When we withhold prayer on behalf of others, we demonstrate hardened hearts and a failure to love them enough to bring their needs before a loving Father.” Prayer is where we commune with God and receive strength from Him. It changes our hearts so that we are aligned with His will rather than attempting to align His to ours. If we prayed more, we would be doing a lot better – not because God gives us what we want, but because we are doing what God wants.
Twelfth, we need to unhitch ourselves from not evangelizing. In Mark 16:15-16, Jesus tells his disciples “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Erik Raymond said, “Hell is for real! In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, there was pleading from hell to have someone come and warn his family. Why? Because hell is for real! It is the eternal, consuming, unrelenting, miserable, abode of all those who reject Christ. People are really dying and going to hell. You may not like to think about it but you really should! The answer to this is the gospel. We are running around with all kinds of innovation, marketing, philanthropy, and other “stuff” in the name of reaching people. Meanwhile, the gospel itself is benched. Listen, good things happen when you pray and preach the gospel. Nobody gets saved when you don’t.” It is only through the labor of God’s disciples throughout the centuries that those of us who are Christians have been saved from damnation. Unfortunately, today’s church is preoccupied with everything except the Great Commission. We are involved in politics, social justice, and preaching on everything other topic under the sun, but we have failed in witnessing to the loss. In this New Year, let’s dedicate ourselves to obeying God’s commandment to preach the Gospel.
We had a Merry Christmas
And now we welcome the New Year
We’ll march into this New Year blessed
Ready to fight and persevere.
Yes, I have sinned and made mistakes
And even so have you
But God forgave us and washed us clean
And made us all brand new
I have been forgiven much
And even so have you
Let’s learn from all our past mistakes
And succeed in what we do.
This is a New Year, my friend
So stand and do not fall
Hold up the banner of our Lord
And answer the Gospel call.
I prayed to God each day last year
And He heard my cry
He answered me with miracles
My prayers He never denied
I had some friends to die last year
My troubles were not few
But God in love and mercy gave
And carried me through.
I’m happy for this New Year
But I’ll be happier still
When Jesus Christ comes back to earth
According to His will.
Jesus died for me, my friend
And Jesus died for you
He saved me from the pits of hell
And He can save you too.
Let all past troubles be forgotten
But remember friends so dear
Let’s praise and thank our God forever
And rejoice in this New Year!
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.