Except the Lord Build the House, All is in Vain
by David J. Stewart | November 2016
Psalms 127:1, “Except the
LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
I am continually reminded by such Scriptures as this, that all my labors to reach people for Christ in cyberspace, means absolutely nothing if the Holy Spirit is not working in the minds and hearts of my web visitors. There is nothing I can do to change someone's life. Only God can save and transform a man into the image of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
So don't look to me alone to change your life friend, look to Jesus! I can give you THE TRUTH of God's Word, but the seeds of truth must be watered by faith, or else they won't germinate and grow. And there can be no faith without hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is the Holy Spirit Who draws (convicts) all mankind to the Gospel to be saved. John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
This is what it means in Hebrews 6:4-6 when it speaks of those “who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” It means you had better get saved when the Holy Spirit convicts your heart about being saved, because if you reject the Gospel, there is no other way to be saved. If you reject Jesus Christ, you might as well be crucifying the Lord all over again, putting Him to open shame. Anyone who refuses to get saved by believing the Gospel is playing with hellfire.
Soul-Winning Believers Are Co-Labourers Together With God
I'm sure you've seen the trend for Hollywood celebrities, famous people, world leaders, the pope, and people of influence, to flash the satanic El Diablo (Spanish for “the devil”) hand sign in public. This sign of allegiance is toward the soon coming man of sin, the Anti-Christ. By flashing the El Diablo hand-sign, or a host of other occult hand-signs used extensively by Freemasons, members are showing that they are CO-LABORERS together with the Antichrist and Satan. If you flash the El Diablo sign, whether ignorantly or with knowledge of what it means, regardless, you are showing your support for the coming Beast, the Anti-Christ.
1st John 4:3, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1st John 4:1-6 teaches concerning the Deity and incarnation of Jesus Christ. Anyone who denies that God was manifest (revealed) in the flesh in the fleshly body of Jesus Christ has the spirit of antichrist (John 1:1-3, 14; 1st Timothy 3:16). Jesus was not Michael the archangel incarnate, as Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventist prophetess, Ellen G. White, taught. SDA's today claim to believe in Christ's deity.
Jesus Christ created all things, including the archangels (John 1:3). The Holy Spirit of God overshadowed Mary, and by a miracle impregnated her without physical relations (perverted Mormons teach that God had sex with Mary). Mary was a virgin, and gave birth to the only begotten Son of God. Mormons are sick perverts for teaching that God has sex with Mary. False prophet Ravi Zacharias has actually apologized publicly to Mormons for faithful Baptists who have exposed Mormonism as a satanic cult.
Not Praying Limits the Power of God
James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” If God were to bless the labors of religious workers who don't pray, don't abide in the Scriptures, and don't depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit, men would swell with sinful pride. Psalms 78:41, “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” The Hebrews in the Wilderness limited God by their lack of faith. Jesus couldn't perform any miracles in His home town, because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Everything that God has ever done, is now doing, or will do, is by faith.
Every keystroke I make, every word I type, every click of the mouse, is done prayerfully, fully realizing “for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). I cannot do it alone! My labors are all in vain if the Holy Spirit of God is not working behind the scenes. Jesus is the vine and we (believers) are the branches. Our spiritual life as believers comes from Christ's indwelling Spirit (Romans 8:9). Galatians 2:20 is one of my favorite Scriptures, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The Christian life that I live is CHRIST LIVING IN ME!!! When I choose to sin, I am walking in the flesh, and not walking in the Spirit, and I am to blame for not abiding in the Spirit of Christ Who indwells me. This is an important truth to understand (1st Corinthians 3:16-17).
Another beautiful truth in the Scriptures is: We don't merely work FOR the Lord as Christians; but rather, God calls us His “labourers together” WITH Christ. God saved us and began a good work in us, and He is the only One Who can finish it. I speak to born-again Christians:
1st Corinthians 3:4-9, “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”
When I type out an article, I pray for God to guide my thinking and help me. When I publish an article on the internet server, I pray for God's Holy Spirit to work in people's hearts as they read it. The Holy Spirit convicts peoples heart as I preach the Word of God. My writings mean nothing if I do not include the Words of God. I am only a mortal man. My writings are not inspired. Only God's Words are inspired. If I speak THE TRUTH of God's Word, then the Holy Spirit will bless that truth, and convict people's hearts, confirming what I say. This is why it's very important to always quote the Scriptures. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God, not David Stewart. I and God are co-laborers, working together to win lost souls and change lives. Jesus tells us in John 15:1-5 to abide in Him, and He in us, through living in the Scriptures continually. I don't care who you are, you won't make it without meditation day and night in the holy Scriptures. If you want to abide in Christ, then His words must abide in you...
Psalms 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Soul-winners ought to always pray together before they start knocking on doors. Claim a passage of Scripture with your soul-winning partner; such as, Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” As we preach the Gospel to others, the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts, compelling them to obey the truth.
A really big problem today with soul-winners (hinderers) is not giving a clear presentation of the Gospel. Instead of teaching the Gospel, they give multiple religious points and lead someone to pray a prayer. Oftentimes when finished, the person allegedly led to the Lord has no clue as to what the Gospel really. means. The soul-hinderer leaves in confidence that they've done a good thing in God's eyes. You've likely sent that person to Hell, because now they have a false hope. What Is The Gospel? (an excellent writing by Dr. Harry Ironside, 1876-1951).
The Holy Spirit softly speaks to a person's heart, as we share the Gospel with their mind. I hope you are understanding this truth. Most religious workers are going through the motions, but God's power is not present in their ministry. The reason why is because they do not pray. They do not depend upon God's power. This is exactly what Jesus meant in John 15:5 when He said, “for without me ye can do nothing”! Without the presence of the Holy Spirit, I cannot lead anyone to the Lord. Now, I believe that the Holy Spirit is always present when we share the Gospel with the lost, because we are commanded to go soul-winning (Matthew 28:19-20).
Albeit, if there is a lack of prayer and dependence upon God, few people will ever get saved. I cannot explain it, I just know it. There's just something about prayer that makes a big difference! Before the Day of Pentecost, the disciples had met in advance of the event to pray. Acts 1:14, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” The church family prayed, and Pentecost followed, and 3,000 souls were saved in one day when they heard Peter preach the Gospel. Amen. What if the disciples hadn't prayed? Do you still think 3,000 souls would have still been saved? I think not!
Dr. Reuben A. Torrey (1856-1928) rightly says:
“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” —Pastor R.A. Torrey (1856-1928)
I dare not write a single website article without praying for God to get involved and bless the labors of my heart and hands. I often pray for God to bless my web visitors, even if it means bypassing me with a blessing. If I can suffer a lost blessing, which will result in more souls saved, more lives changed, and Christ making a difference in someone's life, then I will gladly sacrifice to make it happen. I want God to bless my web visitors, even if it means I will have to suffer more. I believe that is a Christlike Spirit, Who gave Himself for us (Ephesians 4:30-31). Today, I suffer with Christ, but tomorrow in eternity, I will glory with Christ. Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus!!!!!!!
The Preaching That Produces Repentance
Lack of prayer is just one of the reasons why there are few conversions in our churches today. Another main reason is a wrong view of repentance and lack of Gospel preaching. Pastor Harry Ironside addresses this subject in his excellent book titled, “EXCEPT YE REPENT,” in which he states:
How pitiable it is to see men, who ought to be winners of souls, turning away from this grand old Gospel to the vapid puerilities of what is vaingloriously termed modern thought, and being content to preach on year after year without ever seeing a tear of repentance drop from the eyes of their hearers or moving any to cry in distress, "What must I do to be saved?"
Back to the Gospel, brethren, if like the men of God throughout the centuries who have turned many to righteousness, you would bring men to repentance and lead them to heaven. This will never result from substituting a social service gospel, which is really no gospel at all, but an attempt to make the cross of Christ of none effect. By saying this I do not mean for one moment to cast a slur upon well-meant efforts to ameliorate conditions under which millions of our fellow men are struggling. Everywhere that the pure evangel has found lodgment in human hearts it has bettered the social environment into which it has found its way. Even unsaved men profit by the love and grace set forth in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Men are ashamed to do in the light what they will do unblushingly in the dark, and so the Gospel has curbed many social evils and bettered living conditions, wherever it has been received.
Of old it was said of Paul and his companions when they entered a certain city, "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." The trouble with this fallen world is that it is wrong side up. It needs to be turned upside down in order to be right side up. And twenty centuries of missions and evangelistic testimony have demonstrated the glorious fact that civilization always follows in the wake of the story of the cross, and men learn to think kindlier of one another and to be concerned about the welfare of their fellows when the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto them.
To take the position, as many who are hailed as "great thinkers" do today, that we are not to be so much concerned about individual salvation as we are to seek the social regeneration of the nations, is to be false to our commission, and is a case of sadly misplaced emphasis. Man is made for eternity. His few years here on earth are but as a moment in contrast to that which is to come and which lies beyond the grave. It is of all importance to every individual that he be properly oriented to his Creator -- in other words that he be right with God — then all other necessary things will follow.
SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, chapter 16.
In an effort to force the issue, but failing to understand the true Gospel, multitudes of modern ministers have perverted the simplistic meaning of “repentance,” which is simply, “a change of mind.” Instead, multitudes of sincere, but flawed, preachers are teaching that there can be no salvation without a change of mind so drastic, that it produces a change of life that is visible to others. This is reformation, not regeneration. This is a false Gospel. Biblical repentance is unto the Gospel itself, and not a transformation of one's bad character. It is Christ Himself, Who transforms a man's character (2nd Corinthians 5:17). In other words, a change life is the “fruit” of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a result of manmade repentance (Galatians 5:22-23). The former is salvation, the latter is religion.
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD
Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “
Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
“The only inspired Words of God
are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)
BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness! | Believe The Gospel