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Are You a Lone Ranger Christian? 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 26, In the year of our Lord, 2013


  1. Your dad just collapsed in the living room with a heart attack! 
    1. You call 911.
    2. However, you tell the dispatcher,
      1. Do not send any hypocrites.
      2. You knew some paramedics in the past, and
        1. they were not healthy people,
        2. doing things that endangered their health.
  2. However, in desperation, you let the paramedics in, and 
    1. they go to work right away,
    2. getting him ready for the trip to the hospital, but
      1. you know some doctors and nurses who are hypocrites,
        1. they do not eat properly,
        2. they do not treat their families the best, and
      2. you insist that the paramedics not take your father to the hospital.
  3. You just want them to treat him on the spot, 
    1. giving you some instruction on how to care for him, and then
    2. they can leave.
      1. If you ever need them,
      2. you will call them, but
        1. you do not want to be obligated
        2. to them or anyone else.
  4. Does that sound ridiculous? 
    1. That is how many people treat the church.
      1. Someone says, But that is different.
      2. You are right.
        1. Someone who has just suffered a heart attack
        2. is not in nearly as much danger
          1. as a sinner who will not repent and
          2. become a faithful member of the church.
    2. They are willing to jeopardize their eternal souls, because
      1. they do not want to be with hypocrites in the church,
      2. although without realizing it they will be with the hypocrites in eternity.
        1. You can associate with hypocrites now in the church and
        2. avoid them later, or
          1. you can avoid them in the church now, and
          2. spend eternity with them in hell later.
  5. Are you a lone ranger Christian, 
    1. not wanting to associate with the church,
    2. believing that the church is unnecessary?
      1. Do you believe hypocrites in the church
      2. have made the church irrelevant?
  6. What is the answer? 
    1. In Matthew 23, Jesus addressed the issue of hypocrites, and
      1. after His opening comments, which I will read shortly,
      2. He blasted hypocrites hard, but
        1. here you will not hear Him say
        2. to avoid the hypocrites or
        3. to have nothing to do with where they are,2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matt 23.2, 3).
    2. The multitudes and the disciples to whom Jesus spoke,
      1. would obviously be in a place where they would hear
      2. the scribes and Pharisees teaching, but
        1. Jesus told the people to focus on what was said, and
        2. to ignore what they did
          1. since their actions did not back up their words.
          2. However, that did not deny the truth of what they spoke.
            1. The truth they spoke,
            2. everyone needed to hear and to obey.
    3. I can guarantee
      1. that you will run into hypocrites in the church, but
      2. you will also encounter them
        1. in the hospital,
        2. in the police department, and
          1. anywhere else you go, yet,
          2. you have learned to gain the good and reject the bad.
    4. Do that with the church, because
      1. it is absolutely necessary
      2. for going to heaven.


  1. Psalm 45 – Who Is the Queen of Jesus? 
    1. The psalmist declared in verse 1, that he would write about the King,
      1. whom God had blessed (v. 2).
      2. The psalmist spoke of the majesty of the King (vv. 3–5), and then
        1. the psalmist identified the King for us,6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
          A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
          7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
          Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
          With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
          (Psa 45.6, 7)
        2. That was interesting, because
          1. the psalmist revealed that he spoke to God.
          2. God is the King in this psalm, whom God (v. 2) has blessed.
        3. That also is interesting, and Hebrews 1 helps us to see what is going on,8 But to the Son He says:

          “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
          A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
          9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
          Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
          With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
          (Heb 1.8, 9)

          1. Therefore, the King in Psalm 45 is Jesus Christ,
          2. which means the God who does the blessing is the Father.
    2. The psalmist spoke of the clothing and home of King Jesus (v. 8), and
      1. wrote of the royal women in His court (v. 9a),
      2. mentioning specifically the queen of Jesus,9b At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
        (Psa 45.9b)
    3. Verse 10 shows the total commitment the queen has for King Jesus,10 Listen, O daughter,
      Consider and incline your ear;
      Forget your own people also, and your father’s house…
      (Psa 45.10)
    4. King Jesus desires the beauty of His queen,11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
      Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
      (Psa 45.11)

      1. He desires her beauty, and
      2. she worships Him, because
        1. He is the Lord.
        2. Yes, Jesus is Lord!
    5. Now, see the queen
      1. with her beautiful apparel
      2. in the palace of Jesus,13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
        Her clothing is woven with gold.
        14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors;
        The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
        15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
        They shall enter the King’s palace.
        (Psa 45.13–15)

        1. Revelation 19 pictures the same scene!
        2. See the King and His queen in heaven,6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Rev 19.6–9).
    6. From Psalm 45 to Revelation 19
      1. we see Jesus with His bride the church, and
      2. we do not see Him with any other.
        1. Therefore, whether there are hypocrites in the church or not,
        2. I must be a faithful member of His church,
          1. if I hope to be with Him in heaven,
          2. the place of His palace.
  2. Acts 20.28 – What Did Jesus Purchase with His Blood 
    1. How many American military personnel
      1. have shed their blood
      2. that America, and other nations, might have freedom?
        1. What do you think of people who try to take away that freedom?
        2. What do you think of people who scorn the idea of freedom?
          1. Do they not imply that those soldiers died in vain?
          2. Are they not trampling upon the blood of those sacrifices?
    2. In Acts 20, Paul met with the Ephesian elders in the town of Miletus.
      1. He reminded them of his ministry among them, and
      2. he gave them instructions on fulfilling their jobs as pastors,28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20.28).
        1. They had to care for the flock, because
        2. Someone paid a huge price for the church. (This is greater than American blood.)
          1. You know Jesus Christ died for the remission of our sins.
          2. He also suffered that horrible death to purchase the church.
      3. What does He think when someone believes the church is optional?
      4. What does His Father think?
        1. Try telling an American father that the shed blood of his soldier son and
        2. the freedom it bought is no big deal.
          1. Yet, God’s wrath is greater!
    3. Have there not been hypocrites in the military?
      1. Is everyone in the military a shiny example of an American?
      2. Does the military always function the way it should?
        1. Yes, there have been problems
          1. in the military and
          2. with the military, but
            1. I do not want to be without it,
            2. do you?
        2. Even as you benefit from the military
          1. so you do from the church,
          2. whether you like it or not.
  3. Hebrews 12.25–29 – The Unshakeable Kingdom 
    1. The forces of nature shock us with its unmatchable power.
      1. Look at the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.
        1. It was great, but
        2. relatively speaking in comparison to the Earth,
          1. it was nothing.
      2. Look at the awesome forces of earthquakes.
        1. Remember that huge earthquake in Japan and
        2. how it moved amounts of water that we cannot comprehend,
          1. onto the land.
          2. Yet, globally that earthquake was nothing.
    2. What about Him who made the Earth with His mere voice?
      1. What about Him who can destroy the Earth with His mere voice?
      2. Did you know that the time rapidly approaches
        1. when His voice alone
        2. will obliterate the Earth and the heavens?
          1. Earthquakes and tornados are nothing
          2. compared to the voice of God!
    3. The coming catastrophe will be so great,
      1. only one thing that exists now
      2. will endure the universe-quake,25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12.25–29).
        1. Only the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the King
        2. will not be destroyed by the universe-quake.
          1. What does that say for anyone not in the Kingdom?


  1. It is your choice; 
    1. either be with hypocrites in the church now, and
    2. avoid them in eternity, or
      1. avoid them now, and
      2. be with them in eternity.
        1. If you want us to accept you, warts and all,
        2. accept us, warts and all.
  2. Do we need a tsunami to wake us up to the need for the church? 
    1. I wrote to brother Don Iverson recently,
      1. asking him to tell me again about his work
      2. along the southeast coast of India,
        1. before and after the December 26, 2004 tsunami
        2. that wasted the coastlines of countries of the Indian Ocean,There [were] 450 miles of coastline affected by the tsunami. Many attempts to teach and work in this area had failed. As a result of the tsunami many people’s hearts were receptive. We held OBS (Open Bible Schools) in which we taught classes weekly. Eventually, more than 3,000 were [baptized] and 71 congregations of the church were established. Even till now, three schools of preaching continue training gospel preachers to supply infrastructure where the congregations were started.

          Similarly, three months ago, eleven farmers had committed suicide as a result of the drought in the area of Tanjur. Our brethren started four Open Bible Schools in that area. More than 60 have been baptized thus far, and two new congregations have been established. One of the converts was a radical Hindu, the head of the village.

          1. A tsunami woke up the people of India to the need for the church.
          2. Do we need something similar to wake us up?
  3. Die for Him who died for you! 
    1. Live for Him who lives for you, because
    2. He rose from the dead.
      1. That is why the Lord wants you to experience baptism.
      2. You are dead in your sin.
        1. Therefore, you need to be buried, but
        2. not in the Earth,
          1. rather in water, and
          2. as we raise you up,
            1. He is washing away your sins, and
            2. making you a new person on the inside.
  4. Then He places you in His kingdom, 
    1. which is also His church.
    2. To be part of Him,
      1. we have to be parts of His church,
      2. which is also His body.
  5. Therefore, we cannot make it to heaven as lone ranger Christians.