Our Responibility to the Faith – by Pastor Tony Wilcoxson

May 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Sermons

Luke 18. I’m going to touch on a subject that all of us, no matter what your age is, need in our lives.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end…” So, the parable that we’re about to read, the point is, “…
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God,
neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of
mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God,
nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she
weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect,
which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
What faith? Remember, this parable is about, “… to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not
to faint;” I want to preach on that thought, “Our Responsibility to the Faith.”
This passage starts off with Jesus telling them a parable to this end or purpose, all men ought to pray,
and that men ought not faint. You can put women and children in there, too. I believe it’s a collective understanding.
We are living in a day where the two things are true. Most Christian people don’t pray like they used to,
and people are fainting everywhere you look. We’ve got preachers quitting in the pulpits. We’ve got husbands
quitting on their wives. Wives quitting on their children. Children quitting on their parents, their Sunday
school teachers, the Youth Program, folks quitting church altogether. I’m sick and tired of this mess of quitters,
amen?
America used to take pride in not being quitters. You can go through the history of America and see that
we always rose to the occasion and never backed down. We never quit. There was always somebody to say,
“Not on my watch. I’m going to stand and fight. I am not going to quit.”
But we’ve got such a sissified Christianity today of people that just want to quit. They get upset. They
get tired. They get frustrated. The preacher preaches on something they don’t like. The Sunday school has a
standard that they don’t like anymore. The youth program or Youth Camp requires something that they don’t
agree with anymore. They just want to quit. They want to faint. They want to get weary and tired. They think
that somehow it’s okay to quit. It’s not okay! God never gave us a command to quit. He gave us a command to
go!
I never saw anywhere in the Bible that Jesus says, “Go until you’re 40, and then you can slough off, and
you can retire from being a soulwinner.” Or, “Go until you’re 55, and you can stop tithing then.” I never saw
where God put an age limit on when you should serve Him. He didn’t say, “Once you turn 25, and you’ve got a
wife and four kids, then you can start serving.” Can I tell you? It’s a whole lot harder to serve God with a wife
and four kids, than it was when you were just young. You ought to just get started right away, right where you
are in life.
Jesus asked the question in His day. “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith…” Will He
find people still praying? Will He find people still serving? Or, will He find a prayerless people. Will He find
a fainting people? That’s the question that you need to ask yourself.
The preacher this morning talked about growing up in a Christian home. I represent the one that didn’t.
How many of you have unsaved parents? You were the First-generation Christian. When Jesus says, “Shall I
find faith?” growing up in a Christian home does not guarantee you that you’ll be standing in that day, when He
comes? It doesn’t give you a free pass that, automatically, you got grandfathered-in to the faith. The faith has
got to be in your heart, and shown in your decisions.
If you grew up like me in an unsaved home, that doesn’t give you an excuse to not stand for Christ.
“Well, I didn’t have a godly mom and dad. I didn’t grow up in church, like Brother So-n-so. Therefore, I have
a reason, I have an excuse that, when times get tough, I don’t have somebody to counsel with. I don’t have
somebody calling me on a daily basis, checking on me. I have nobody in my corner, so I can throw in the towel
and faint and I’m justified. I can become a prayerless person because I didn’t have the right upbringing.” That
excuse is not going to work. I don’t care what background you come from. Christian home, non-Christian
home, you and I have a responsibility to make sure that, when Jesus Christ comes, He finds faith on the earth.
Many people throughout the Bible understood that fact. I’m asking you right now, will He find faith in
your life? Will He find faith in this country? Will He find faith in your church when He comes back?
What type of faith? I’m talking about the Jude 3 type faith. I’m talking about the faith, “…once delivered
unto the saints.” (Jude 3) that we’re supposed to contend for.
Now, let’s take a little side-step. Your Bible says we’re supposed to, “…contend for the faith…once
delivered to the saints.” How many times? It was only delivered once. That means that there’s not a faith for
the no conviction crowd, and the Independent Fundamental Baptist crowd. Then, there’s a faith for the non-independent,
non-fundamental Baptist crowd. There’s not a faith that we can live by if we’re really strong on the
King James Bible, and then another faith for those who don’t stand for the King James Bible. There’s not a
faith for those who seek to honor and please God by sticking with the standards of women and men and the
household and the faith, for those who don’t.
Listen, folks, there is one faith. That one faith was once delivered. We have a responsibility to contend
for it, to fight for it, to stand for it, to die for it. I’m talking about the faith that Paul was talking about to Timothy,
in II Timothy 2:2 where he says, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the
same commit thou to faithful men…” Amen? “The same thing that I passed on to you, Timothy, you teach that
same thing to somebody else. You don’t take what I gave you and then manipulate it, change it, whatever the
case may be, and then, pass it on to somebody else after you put your philosophy into it, and your doctrinal
opinion about it. Don’t think you can change it up to whatever you think grace is supposed to mean and whatever
age you think we’re in. They were saved by this way. Now we’re in this day. This group of Baptists have
these standards, but we live in a day and time where we don’t need those anymore. We can do away with
those.”
Listen, folks. We’re supposed to pass on THE SAME THING! I’m looking at the doctrines. I’m looking
at the lifestyles. I’m looking at the Bible teachings that Jesus taught and the disciples taught, and they were
passed on and passed on. We get down to the great revivals in the history of our country in the 1800s with D. L.
Moody, and get into the 1900s with Norris and Rice and, boy, that same faith was kept and passed down, passed
down, passed down, down to Brother Boyd, down to Brother Corle, down to me and, all of a sudden, a crowd
rises up and says, “Hey, we don’t need to pass on the same thing, anymore. We’re going to pass on something
different.”
I never once saw a quarterback go under center, get the same ball that the center had, then drop-back and
say, “No, I don’t want this one. I want to pass a different one to the receiver. I didn’t like that one.” No, no.
He passed the same ball. You understand when it’s football or basketball. You don’t say, “Hey, listen, before
we go out and score, I need to change out balls.”
It’s the same faith we’re supposed to contend for. It’s the same thing that Paul passed on to Timothy, the
same thing that Moses passed on to Joshua, the same thing that Elijah passed on to Elisha, the same thing that
Jesus passed to his disciples. The same thing from Paul to Timothy, Brother Boyd to Brother Corle, Brother
Corle to me,. Listen, it is our job. It is our duty. It is our responsibility to pass it on to these young men in
front of us. Can I tell you, boys? It’s going to be your responsibility to pass it on to the next generation. Not
something new or impressive. The same thing. Because, if we believe this book, we understand Jesus is coming
back and He asked this serious question, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith…?” (Luke
18:8)
There’s only one way that’s going to happen. We have to see our responsibility and make sure that it’s
still here. We have that responsibility. I’m asking, do you feel a responsibility to it this morning? Do you feel a
responsibility and obligation to the faith, first of all, to defend it?
Think back in 1 Samuel 17, where young David is not quite old enough to be in the military, so we
know he’s less than 20 years old. He could have been a teenager. Who knows, exactly? I mean, he at least had
his mind on a girl! The king gave this deal. “Listen. There’s a giant out there challenging our God. He’s cursing
our God. Where is somebody who feel obligated? Where’s somebody who feels responsible to go and take
that guy out?” Young David just comes with some goods for the Captain and for his brothers, just to see how
his brothers are doing in the war. David shows up , and he’s looking at all these strapping, middle-aged men.
“What are you all doing, hiding behind the rocks? What’s going on here?”
Go back a few chapters when Samuel was visiting the house of Jesse, he was there to anoint the new
king. “Listen, Jesse. God wants to anoint one of your sons. Why don’t you bring them all out here?” So, Jesse
gets them all lined up. Samuel’s looking at one, big, strong, strapping young man and he says, “Surely that is
the next king right there. That looks like king material.”
The Lord says, “No. That’s not him.”
He went to the next one, “Yes, surely that one’s going to be him.”
“No. That’s not him.”
He went to the next one, the next one, the next one “Well, Jesse, is this all of your boys? I mean, God
says that these guys ain’t equipped. They’re just not ready. They’re not king material, if you will. Something’s
missing. I can’t see it. They all look good to me on the outside, but what’s going on? Do you have another
son, Jesse?”
“Well, I do have another son. But he’s just a young boy. He’s out there in the field, watching some
sheep.”
“Well, bring him out here. Let’s see what happens.”
Here comes David, the young shepherd boy. The Lord says, “Yep. That’s him. That’s the man after
mine own heart, right there. That’s the guy that I choose. I know he may look like a young boy. He may not
look like much on the outside, but there’s something on the inside of that young man. There’s going to be a day,
a time where the faith is going to be challenged and he is going to stand up and defend it.”
Fast forward to chapter 17. Here comes David as a teenager. He’s there looking around and there’s that
big, strapping Eliab that surely looked like a guy that could defend the faith, but he’s hiding behind a rock.
“What are you doing? Brother, why aren’t you out there taking that guy out, man? He’s cursing our
God. Don’t you have any guts in you? Where’s your backbone? You were the big guy. You were the one I
looked up to. You were my champion, my hero, and now you’re here cowering behind a rock. What’s wrong
with you?!”
Instead of saying, “Do you know David? You’re right. I need to go down there and face that giant.”
That’s not what he did. He started harassing the one that wanted to keep the faith. “You’re just down here trying
to cause mischief and stir up something. You’re trying to divide things and make a mess of things. You’re
just out to get people upset. Why don’t you go back and babysit your few little sheep.”
David said, “No. No. No. Is there not a cause? (1 Samuel 17:29) Is there not a cause?” I don’t care
what’s going on in your life. Is there not a cause to stand up and defend the faith that was once delivered to us?
Don’t you understand?
David knew what was on the line. The Philistines sent out a champion and Israel was supposed to send
out a champion to fight. Whoever lost, their people would have to serve the people that won. It wasn’t just
David’s life on the line or his brother’s life on the line. It was David’s future wife and kids, too. It was the future
of the children of Israel, the whole nation. They could either live to be free people, or they could cower
down right now and become slaves for the rest of their lives.
David said, “No. Not on my watch. Is there anybody else? All you big, strapping, 20, 30, 40 and 50
year old guys? You all are cowering? Not me. I’m going to go and defend the faith. I’m going up there and
stand before him.”
“Well, you’re going to need this and you’re going to need this…”
“No, no, no. I just need God.”
David went down into that valley and said, “Listen, buddy. You’ve got that big sword on your hip.
You’ve got that big spear.” As a matter of fact, he didn’t just face Goliath. If you read your Bible, Goliath had
a shield bearer going before him. He said, “You may have this little teammate out here. I don’t care. God has
already put you in my hand.”
Don’t you understand, if you just stand up and defend the faith, God’s already given you the victory?
You ain’t got to worry about who’s going to like you, who’s not going to like you. Or, who’s going to invite
you to preach in their church, and who’s not going to invite you. If you’d just stand up for what God said to
stand up for, He’s going to take care of you.
I joke often that I want my money back from Trinity Baptist Bible College and Revival Fires College.
Not once in any of those church education classes did I get a class on how to rebuild a church after a fire! Last
year, we were up at Football Camp and on Tuesday morning, I had the opportunity to preach to the boys. I got
done and go back to the trailer to get my phone and I’ve got 35 missed calls and voice mails. I’m like, “What in
the world is going on?” I start listening to them and i hear sobbing, and weeping, good night! Then I listen to
the next one. Same thing. Next one. Same thing. Finally, I get one that you could just understand a little bit,
Preacher, you need to call me NOW! So, I’m going, “Good night. What in the world?” So, I called, and they
let me know that the church is on fire. I’m thinking, Okay, a little electrical fire and smoke damage. No,
preacher. The church is on fire… it’s gone. The Sunday school building, it’s gone. The Fellowship Hall, gone.
What do you mean, gone? Just, just… Preacher, it’s gone.
So, I get off the phone, just trying to figure out, what in the world do they mean? Then I got an e-mail
that gave me a link. I clicked on the link, and saw the live footage. Here I am in Illinois watching footage of
south Texas of these flames that are 30 and 40 feet in the air, consuming my church. I run to Brother Woodward.
He’s out there in his Gator in the middle of the field. “Brother Woodward! My church is on fire!”
“Well, praise God! Amen, Brother! That’s good. Amen.”
“No! My church is on fire!” I’ll tell you what. It was the scariest day of my life. Here I am a new pastor.
I have a church fire. I’m up in Illinois, 16 hours away. My people are down in south Texas. I have boys
invested in camp. Do I pack up right now and start driving home? Do I stay? Do I go? What do I do? Where
do I go?
I just prayed. “God, I’m worried. I don’t know what to do. Do I stay here to keep investing in these
boys? Do I go home to be with my people? Will I lose people? Will people criticize me? What’s it going to
look like?” I started worrying about me, and how it’s going to be perceived in the church, wondering if folks
would think I just abandoned the church. Should I take off right now and take the chance of driving that 17
hours after I’d already been up to close to 6 or 7 hours. That would be a 24 hour trip. Do I chance that? Will I
wreck? I didn’t know what to do.
So, I called one of the members back and I said, “Listen. I think I’m going to try to come back.”
“No, no, preacher. We’re fine. You stay and finish. We have it taken care of. We’ve already called the
insurance. We’ve already done this and that. There ain’t nothing you can do down here, preacher. Just stay up
there and do it.” I just thanked God.
When I first got down there a few years ago, the church back in the 80s had been a big church. that ran
buses, and vans. But over the years, people stopped praying, and people started fainting, and they stopped defending
this Book. They stopped defending being a Baptist. They stopped defending the faith. They dwindled,
and they dwindled, and they dwindled and they dwindled. So, when I came to be pastor, there were only 16
members left. They hadn’t had a soul saved or baptized in about 8 years. The baptistery was dirty and filled
with storage stuff, hadn’t had water in it in years. All I did, it’s no secret recipe, I just passed on to those people
what’s been passed on to me.
I said, “Folks, we’re going to start defending some things. We’re going to start standing up for some
things God says are important. As a matter of fact, I don’t care what kind of so-called bible you’ve got in your
hand right now, don’t come in this church without one of these King James Bibles.” I just took a stand, right
there. I started defending the faith.
“Well, I don’t understand, preacher, why you believe in the King James Bible.” The Bible says that,
we’re supposed to “…be ready… to give an answer… of the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15) Amen?
Boy, I had to get rid of some Calvinistic theology. I’d preach about the King James Bible. I had to preach
about why it’s okay to be a Baptist. Amen? We don’t need to be a non-Baptist, Baptist church, where you use
little B letters that said this is just a Baptist fellowship but they take Baptist off the name. No. I started defending
the faith that was passed on to me!
That’s what you need to do, boys, and you folks that are in your 40s and 50s. I don’t care what age you
are, you are not exempt from starting to faint. You’re not exempt from becoming a prayerless people. If Jesus
is going to find faith, and I’ve determined in my heart that, down there in Rose City, Texas, if Jesus were to
come back, he’d find some faithful people, amen? People that are ready to stand up and defend the faith that
was delivered unto us.
It’s not just that we have a responsibility to defend it, we also have a responsibility to lay down our life
for it. I think about Esther. The people of God are facing annihilation and Mordecai tells Esther that great, old
statement, Esther, this is your time. “…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as
this?” (Esther 4:14) This might be why you were put in your position.
I’d like to say that I could stand for the faith in Elijah’s day. I’d like to say that I could stand for the
faith in Moses’ day. I’d like to say I could stand for the faith and not be like Peter, and cower, and run and hide
from the Lord. But maybe I wasn’t set for that time. Maybe I would have become just like those who cowered.
But I know what God has done, because He said that this is now my time, I am here for such a time as this. I
am now the man for that church. I am now the man to stand in the gap, to make up the hedge and pass on the
faith to the next generation behind me.
Just as Brother Corle, some years ago, decided to say, “Listen, it’s my time right now to stand up and
pass the Gospel on to folks around the country and around the world. I need to contend for the faith and stand
for what’s right.” Many other preachers, at some point in time, made that same choice. Can I tell you? We
need more young men today to stand up and say, “Listen, I’m willing to give up everything. I’m willing to give
up all that I know and all that I care about. I’m willing to lay down my very life to make sure that the faith is
still alive and well if Jesus comes in my day.”
We’ve got to have some people that are willing to not worry about what you’re going to give up for the
service of God. What are you going to give up? Worldly friends? They weren’t your friends to begin with. A
worldly job? Have you seen this market? It’s up and down, sideways. We’ve got people that are getting
canned before their retirement ever kicks because the company doesn’t want to pay out the money.
There isn’t a better place than to just be in the middle of the Will of God. Just lay down your life and
say, “Whatever God wants me to do, if He wants me to be a millionaire, praise be to the Lord. If He wants me
to be someone with minimal means, that’s alright, too. Whether I abound, or whether I’m abased, I’m just going
to be content with what God wants me to do. I’m willing, right now, to lay out my life for the Lord, just like
Esther did.”
Thirdly, we need to feel obligated, not just to defend it, and lay down our life to it. We also need to feel
an obligation to draw people back to the faith.
Brother Ogdie says his ministry is about not kicking people while they’re down. Well, if you read that
passage; “…ye which are spiritual…” (Galatians 6:1) How do you become spiritual? You need to be a praying
person, amen? That’s why some folks are kicking them while they’re down, Brother Ogdie. They ain’t
spiritual because they ain’t praying. They’re fainting and quitting.
Some people will come to meetings, put on the suits and ties and act like, “I’m all this and a bag of
chips. They’ll sit in the college classes and in the Christian schools and look like they have their act together,
just like David’s older brother. But when the time comes, and the testing comes, will they stand for the faith?
Or will they cower behind the rocks, just like everybody else.
We need some people that see a need to defend the faith, and see a need to lay down our lives for it, and
see a need to draw others back to it.
In I Kings 18, Elijah felt a responsibility to draw the people back to God. He put the faith to the test.
God, here are the people. They don’t know if they ought to believe in you anymore. Here’s another group of
people over here that are telling them that they ought not to, the prophets of Baal. “Lord, here are the people of
God. They’re on the fence. They don’t know which way they need to go. They’re at a turning point, at a crossroad,
God. Here’s an opportunity, Lord, to show them that You are THE God.” You build up an altar. We’re
going to figure out which God’s real, which God is the One we need to follow. Elijah felt an obligation to stand
there in that crowd and say, “God, You can show them,” and God did!
A preacher came through Bible College some years ago and preached out of the book of Ezekiel. You
look at what God said. God told Ezekiel from the get-go, “Hey, listen. Ain’t nobody gonna like you. Ain’t nobody
going to support you. Ain’t nobody gonna listen to you. Ain’t nobody gonna obey you. As a matter of
fact, listen, preacher. When you pastor this group of people, you’re not going to see one soul saved. You’re not
going to see one soul baptized. They’re going to mock you. They’re going to scorn you. They’re not going to
want to have anything to do with you.”
The simple question that that preacher asked was, “Would you still go if that was God’s desire and will
for you?” I believe three preacher boys walked out in the next few days and didn’t come back to Bible College.
“Well, I don’t want that. I just wanted to be a preacher for the prestige. I wanted the paycheck. I
wanted the time off.” Listen. If you’re a real preacher, you ain’t got no time off, amen?
We have some people who think that being a Christian is all about what you receive and what you get.
No, no. Being a Christian is about what you do for the Lord. Our whole point is to draw people back to the
faith, just like Elijah did. Just like the woman that met Jesus at the well. She ran and drew people back to the
Lord. In Luke chapter 8, the maniac of Gadara, when he got saved, he said, “Lord, I want to go with you,
Lord.”
Jesus said, “Listen. You go back to the town. Go tell them the great things that I did for you.” He went
back, and the Bible says, “…he…published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto
him.” (Luke 8:39) He felt an obligation.
“Jesus. You saved me. What can I do for You?”
“You go back, and draw people to the faith. Tell them what God did for you.” He went and did it.
What is our responsibility to the faith? We need to feel an obligation to defend it, to lay down our lives
for it, to draw people back to it. Then, lastly, we need to feel a responsibility and an obligation to deliver it to
the next generation. Just like Moses did to Joshua. Elijah did to Elisha. Jesus did to His disciples and so on,
and so forth. Somebody passed it on to you.
There’s not one of us here because we woke up one day saying, “Hey, man, I just feel like I want to read
the Bible and get saved.” There’s not one of us who had it happen that way. It’s all because somebody felt an
obligation, felt the responsibility. Whether it be a parent to a child. A Sunday school teacher to a kid in your
class. Whether it be a soulwinner to a stranger on the street. Somebody felt an obligation to tell you, and to deliver
to you the faith. Now it’s your turn.
I think of Judges, chapter two. Moses is dead. Joshua died. The men that walked with Joshua died.
The Bible says, “…there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD…” (Judges 2:10)
Why is that? Why is that? Because someone fainted. Because someone did not feel obligated to make sure
that they passed on to the next generation the faith once delivered to the saints.
I’m going to challenge you this morning to defend this faith that was delivered to us. I want to challenge
you to lay down your life for it. I want to challenge you to feel obligated to draw people back to it, to
help those that have fallen by the wayside.
You members of Central Baptist Church, you kids that are in Christian school, you know the kids that
are not there in your class anymore. You people know those that are not in your church anymore. Why don’t
you go and draw those people back to the Lord? Help them. Encourage them. Pick them up. Make them feel
welcome. Let them know you care. Then, start taking the responsibility to pass this same faith on to the next
generation.
That’s what we need. That is our responsibility to the faith.

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