Creflo Dollar - It's Time To Grow Up - Part 1
- Buy this sermon
This has been an amazing journey this week where this morning's message is concerned. I knew it was important. I knew that maybe I needed to get a little deeper with it and that if I would just step out by faith and begin the series, then God would begin to share some things. And boy did he. I want you to listen to this with all the intensity that the Holy Spirit will allow you to have. It is going to be very confrontive about what you say about your relationship with the Lord, and it's gonna be very confrontive about how is it going to feel when you stand before Jesus?
This is the most important message I've ever preached before in my life. You know it takes a lot of important messages to get to the one, and I know even this part I've said before but if you think about it, in the body of Christ if you had to pick and zero in on one issue of the church, it would be an issue of immaturity. Nobody gets by or avoids this issue. Everybody that's born again is born immature, the problem is that we're not supposed to stay that way. And when we stay in spiritual immaturity, then there's certain dangers that take place. There's certain things that begin to develop in your life and you may not even know it because we've come very okay with being immature. It's just not something that we want to talk about right now.
We want to talk about how to get promotions. We want to talk about how to get that new house, get some land. We wanna talk about all that kind of stuff, but we're not really interested in maturing. And yet, if that doesn't become the primary focus of your life, all those other things are going to kind of be on hold because it requires spiritual maturity to be prepared for those things. The church is probably at a point where it is demonstrating more spiritual immaturity than I've ever seen before in my life and we think we've advanced as Christians and as the body of Christ. And so what I'm about to share with you, like I said last week, it's going to be just show the scripture and explain it to you so you know I'm not making this up.
And so our text this morning comes out of the book of Hebrews, chapter 5 verses 11 through 14. Hebrews chapter 5 verses 11 through 14. And then I wanna to talk to you if... I know we're talking about maturing maturity through pressure but I want to zero in on this sub topic, "It's Time to Grow Up". Say out loud, it's time to grow up. All right, now watch this, Hebrews chapter 5 verse 11 and through 14, this is the call to spiritual growth. And he says, and I'm reading out of NLT, he says, "There is much more we would like to say about this". All right, so what is he talking about? Well, in the previous verse in verse 9, he's talking and he says, "In this way God qualified him as a perfect high priest and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obeyed him. And God designated him to be the high priest in the order of Melchizedek".
And the writer wants to go deep into this. He really wants to talk about the Jesus is high priest. And look what he bumps up, he says, "I've got some deep things to share with you about Jesus being the high priest after the order of Melchizedek". Oh, I'm ready to go deep. Verse 11 he says, "There's much more we would like to say about this," you see that? There's much more we'd like to say about this. And in context he's talking about this issue of Jesus being the high priest. He said, "But it is difficult to explain especially since you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen". So he says, I got some deep stuff to tell you, he says, but and I got a lot of stuff I wanna say about this but it's difficult to explain. Not on his part, he could explain it, but the difficulty comes because you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen.
Now I really wanted to, I don't know, get in this thing about, you know, being dull, you know, and what do you mean when you say that somebody is spiritually dull? I mean, that's a big deal. Well, it comes from this Greek word nothros and it means lazy. It means slow, it means sluggard, it means stupid. That's hard, isn't it? And he says, "I got some," he says, "I have much more to say about this, but you're lazy, you're slow, you're a sluggard". What a strong blurred word. You're stupid. And I'm like reading that like this, that's a typo. They wouldn't allow that word, that phrase to be used in the Bible.
Verse 11, "There's much more we would like to say about this but it's difficult to explain, especially since you are slow and stupid and dull of hearing and you don't seem to listen". Another translator says, "You don't seem to care to listen. You've been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's Word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature". Wow. "Who through training have their skill, the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong". So he says, "I got stuff I'm trying to say. I got a lot more stuff I want you to hear. I can't say it because you're dull of hearing".
Now let me let me take about four points and be very applicable before we start, very practical and applicable about what we what we just read here because we read over this, this is serious. This is serious. Still needing somebody to teach you basic stuff you ought to know. Been saved 40 years and still have a problem with forgiveness, have been saved for 40 years and still don't know how to walk in unconditional love. Unconditional love means I'm not loving based on the condition. I can love you no matter what you do or say. And it says you should know this by now.
So here's the first practical point I want you to get out of just this text. And I'm gonna ask these questions. I want you to think with me. I'm not preaching this at you, I want us to go together down this path, and I want you to think about this. I don't want you here today to hear a sermon where you can go out and say, "Oh that was good. Oh that got me excited". No, I want to rub you in a way today that when you calm down, you will think about what was said.
Here's the thing I want you to consider, number one, are you on milk or are you on solid food? These are questions for you personally. The babes who desire only mild doctrinal study are immature whereas mature desire solid food. But the babes desire mild doctrinal studies. Wow. You don't want to dig deep into the Word, you wanna hear about Daniel in the lion's den, and Shadrach, Meshach and that bad negro, that's all, that's all you want to hear about. Jesus wept. Mild doctrine. Are you feasting on the Word of God, or do you go to listen only to what you already know? Did you come to church this morning to listen to something that you already know?
And as soon as something is being taught that you don't know or hadn't heard of, you have a problem with it because babes are content with listening only to what they already know. Oh, I felt that. That's the truth. Is there a passion? Not for the religious fads, but a passion for Christ and a greater knowledge for him. Is there a passion that's working in you that says I want to know more, I want a greater knowledge of him? And I might not understand it all at one time, but at least I want to be to a place that digs and God knows we're digging in this church, man. That's the first thing I want you to consider, those bits right there.
Number two, the next thing is a practical issue. How do I grow? How do I grow up? I hear what you're saying, but how do I grow up? You know so many times we come to church and we hear things and we hear questions and we never, years go by and we still don't get the answer to those questions. How do I grow up? How do you mature? How do you mature in the Christian life? How do I grow up? How do you mature in the Christian life? Practical answer, you grow by the use and the frequent study of the Bible, base one. You study it, you meditate on it, and you put it into daily practice. I don't know how to get more simple than that. You study the Bible, you meditate on it, and you put it into practice.
Well, that's the problem right there, ain't nobody trying to study no Bible. Shoot, I ain't in school. No, you are living a personal life with the Lord Jesus Christ. There's a manual given to you that'll tell you everything you need to know about Jesus and the study doesn't begin and end here at church on Sundays. At least take what you heard on Sunday and go home and study it. And then meditate on it and then practice it daily. That's a good thing to know.
Number three, are you teaching others the Word? Some of ya'll have been saved long enough, you should be teaching other people the Word. It shouldn't just be me teaching, there should be a lot of World Changers that know how to teach this Word of grace. These Hebrews had been converted long enough in the text I just read, they'd been converted long enough to be ministering to others. Instead of teaching basic biblical truths, they now need someone to teach them. What is that saying? What is that saying? How is it that you can be a member of this church or any other church and still not know how to teach? "Well, I'm not called to teach".
Yeah, you've been saved long enough to be able to explain to somebody how to get saved, how to live saved, and how to have fellowship with Holy Spirit. Yes. In this text they are so spiritually dull, they need someone to teach them the same truths over and over again. They cannot grasp the simplest biblical doctrine teaching because they have no interest in it. They can't grasp it because they don't care. How tragic. When you have a teacher who has never grown beyond the basics and cannot take the class deeper into God's Word. You know I started thinking about immaturity and the dangers of immaturity. And I started bringing it, I brought it on a practical level where all of us we were born and we as children, we grew up and we were immature. And I wonder what covered our immaturity while we were growing to a place of maturity?
Parents, that's what parents are supposed to do, cover your immaturity. Well, when you come to spiritual immaturity, we all got born again and we all were born again spiritually immature, but there's supposed to be a covering there, just like it was the parents in the natural. And what's the covering there for elders, leadership. They're supposed to be the covering there. They're supposed to be the ones continuing to teach and to watch over you and all that kind of stuff but the problem is this, that now we have elders who are no more mature than the people they're supposed to be leading. And so now you've got the blind leading the blind. You've got children being raised by children. And you have in the pulpit a bunch of preachers who are themselves spiritually immature.
And so it's no wonder we're where we are because we have people who don't dig no more. We're more concerned about getting the validation of our congregations that we're not digging anymore. It's not about Jesus anymore, it's about everything else but Jesus. It can't be about your car, can't be about your Rolex watch, it can't be. It's gotta be about Jesus. You're either a professional cree... What are you in it for as a preacher? Is it professional, do you see this as your profession? Or do you see it as an anointing and a relationship with Jesus Christ? They themselves are spiritually immature, and so you got a bunch of immature Christians in the body of Christ, church folks doing stuff that children do. The rest of the world don't even know about the crap that we're doing amongst church people, they don't even know, they ain't even in it.
And we are so spiritually immature and we profess to be wise and we've become as fools. Some people don't even know enough to engage in certain conversations. You're still dripping, you just got out of the baptismal pool and you don't even have enough to engage in certain conversations. And yet we attempt to do so because we've been deceived in our emotions and our feelings, and since you've been saved for 20 years, of course you're mature. "I've been saved for 20 years". That means nothing. Still don't know how to love, still don't know how to forgive, still don't know how to walk in unconditional love which means when something happens around you with somebody in your relationship with and you don't agree with them, you don't just depart from them.
"Well, my Bible tells me that I ought not to sit and even eat with you". "Well, I shouldn't be eating with you either. None of us should be eating together then". Stop it, stop finding an excuse to try to satisfy some carnal thing you got going on. That's wrong because you're not deep enough in Jesus and deep enough in Word because you don't want it. Here's the last one. If these believers according to the Hebrews 5, if these believers had been feeding on the milk of God's Word as spiritual infants, they would not have remained babes.
But it's hard to feed on the Word when you got a guy or a woman in the pulpit that's a baby, too. It's milk in the pulpit, there's milk in the congregation, there's milk everywhere. The doggone cow is running away from the church because there's so much milk. But even if you had gotten in the milk of God's Word, you would not have remained the babe if you'd have just got the milk of God's Word. If you are a spiritual baby, feed yourself on the Word of God. Begin in the book of John. Eat it. Refuse to be caught up in the current popular religious fads that come your way. Get into the Word of God because all spiritual progress according to these verses of scripture, is made by putting into practice what you already have received. Manna that's not eaten, ladies and gentlemen, breeds worms and we need to eat it. Milk undigested turns sour. We need to eat it.
And this is something as Christians that we are proclaiming that we are. That we now have to evaluate our spiritual maturity. And I'm telling you, it is not where most people think it is. So now let's define maturity once again. To be mature, some synonyms, it means to be complete, it means to be prepared, it means to be ready. It means to be complete, means to be prepared, means to be ready. It means to be ripened. You're ripe. You are ripe fruit that's ready to be picked off the branch and provide nourishment. You're ripe.
And the question you have to ask yourself is am I ripe? Am I ready to be picked? Are there things that God can't do right now because I'm not ripe, I'm not ready, I'm not completed yet? I'm not prepared yet? This word mature means to be brought to perfection in your growth. Are you at your best state, your ripe state? This word mature means to be fit for use. Are you fit for use? Are you fully qualified by improvement? Are you the same Christian today, as you were 25 years ago? Where's the improvement in God? Where's the improvement? Are you ready to be picked for use? Are you ready? Are you fit to be picked for use?
Now, today we're going to look at the standard of maturity. And I know it sounds like, man, this is rough I'm gonna have to do this all myself. No, no, no, no, God's gonna to do the work. You just got to yield and desire for his will to be done. God's going to do the work. That's one of the things we miss. We've been trying to get in God's way and do the work. He says, "No, I'll do the work. I'll make sure you have the fruit. I'll make sure that the increase comes. I'll make sure I keep you from falling". All throughout the scriptures all of these scriptures about God says, "I'll do the work. I'll do the work. I'll do the work. I need you to yield and I need you to desire for my will to be done in your life. I'll do the work. I'll do the work. I'll do the work".
All right, now let's get into the scriptures this morning and we need to find out this standard of maturity. We know what it means to mature, prepare to be ready, to improve, but what are we improving in? What are we doing to be spiritually mature? Let's go to where we left off, John 13:34-35 in the NLT. John 13 and 35 in the NLT. Do I have your attention this morning? John 13:35, because you know like I know, people don't want to hear this, they want something didn't get me, you know, to shout. Let me rhyme a little bit like I'm a rap singer. Let me entertain you. That's not my call, but the sad thing about it, that's what we're looking for.