Quenching the Spirit – Sins Against the Holy Spirit Part 3 of 3 – Pastor Steve Damron
I Thessalonians 5:19
We are going to be looking at 1st Thessalonians chapter 5. Our last thought and as far as the sins against the spirit and I think it's fitting that we consider this as we come to the elements. The Holy Spirit is the one person of the Godhead that nudges us, convicts us and brings us to that point. So I think it is very important that we understand how we can offend him. We will be looking at 1st Thessalonians chapter 5. There was a minister that was coming up to preach at at a service. This has happened to me before, not often, it is why I don't like iPads. Because I like to have multiple copies of my sermons, I just think right when I go to use it, it is going to crash. But there was a minister and he was coming up to preaching and he lost his notes so he was kind of in desperation. So he looked everywhere multiple times and then he started trying to recount where he had been where he might have left his notes. He gradually progressed from a random search to a very organized search taking each room one at a time area by area. Exhausted he grabbed his keys because he had to get to the meeting and when it was time for him to speak he threw up a quick prayer and said, Lord give me something. He opened up his Bible and there were his notes. Yep, there were his notes and he had been killing himself to locate something that he already had. I think sometimes we look everywhere else but to the person that can help us and that is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us, to lead us, to guide us and to convict us. There is so many things that the Holy Spirit can do.
This evening we are going to look at 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 and 4 words. Four words you say, man how are you going to get a message. Well we want to make it a little shorter and so I figured four words, hey, we might be able to make it. So here are the four words in verse 19, quench not the spirit. Quench not the spirit, four little words that mean a lot. We have talked and we preached on the sins against the Holy Spirit. Talked about grieving last Sunday. This morning we talked about tempting. This evening we are looking at quenching. There are some people like an author that I was reading this week and he kind of combines the grieving and quenching. I do not necessarily adhere to that. I think that perpetual grieving leads to quenching that is my study. As far as my biblical study on it, I think that you progress and that is why we looked at grieving. I think tempting is different and we talked about that this morning that is a specific lying to the Holy Spirit has to do a lot with hypocrisy. But we are looking at quenching the Holy Spirit. That word quenched, right away I think it gives to us a picture against one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. One of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is fire, so to say that something is quenched means that the fire has gone out. I don't want that in my life. I need the fire of the Holy Spirit in me. I need it for me specifically, I need it especially in my service to the Lord. Think about it as an average person sitting here as a layman. So you can live without the fire of the Holy Spirit. So what does that mean if you quench the Holy Spirit? What does that mean, that means that you are not going to have wisdom in your daily steps. That is not good. You would say, well. So how often are you fine with the Holy Spirit not leading you? How often are you fine with, I mean so you're saying well you know what, maybe every other day. If you look in the Bible, can can one sin ruin your life? You know it is true, so which day do you want Him not to be there, where the devil knows and he puts that sin there and it ruins your life. No, I think all of us need to be careful of quenching the Holy Spirit and his work in our life.
We are going to look at a couple of thoughts in regards to this. I think we can quickly go through them before we come to the elements and take the elements for communion. So there are two thoughts. As I was thinking about I want to consider there two things about this concept of quenching the spirit. On the one side what would quench the spirit and then on the other side what ignites the fire. So, if I am going to quench it, then I need to have a solution because I may be there. What are some things that can quench the spirit. Well I think it is in this passage that we find it and this is what I see. I believe that there is worldly influences that quench the fire. Where do I see that, well, I think it comes earlier and I think it starts in verse 14. It says, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men.” So he is coming up towards the end to this Church of Thessalonica, and he's saying hey, you know that there sometimes may be an unruly person normally that means that worldliness has gotten ahold of them and you need to strengthen them, support them and so what is it what does he give us. I think there is, I found, about five things in this list.
First of all it says, rejoice evermore. I was looking at that and I am saying all right, so what does rejoice evermore mean. Does it mean I'm supposed to be giddy? I find a lot of backslidden people that this is their thought. You know what brother I am just rejoicing. I am like, well, you are in a bar loving it. I have just rejoiced in the Lord. No, you are not alright. So they are like, that is the Bible verse. So what does rejoice evermore mean? Well I think compared to scripture, Philippians chapter 3, here Paul, this is another Pauline epistle, so here I think he attaches something to it that helps us understand a worldly influence that can come in. What does he say, Finally, my brethern, (in verse 1) rejoice (what) in the Lord. Oh that is what you mean. Look at Philippians 4 and verse 4, Rejoice in the Lord alway. Alright so what is a worldly influence, when we say rejoice evermore just say well I am just supposed to be happy. That is where you know and you just try to work it up. Well the problem is that you are quenching the Holy Spirit with your worldly influence.
I have met people and so have you, they are away from God and it could be on their social media account it is always with some picture with the big smile. Then you talk to him though and some of you, even parents sitting here, you know it because they are wayward. They have to whip up some fun, excitements. They have quenched the spirit why, because of point number one you take joy in something else other than in God. It is rejoice in the Lord. It is not rejoice in your sin, it is not rejoice in your self-centered life, it is not rejoice in your job, it is not rejoice in whatever else you want to put in there. It says rejoice in Him. So this is the test for you whether you are quenching the spirit. What brings you more joy than God? What brings you more joy than Christ? It does not have to be something bad. Musicians, it can be playing your instrument. You say wait a minute, I am doing it for God. Not always. Are you doing it, is that your satisfaction. We have had musicians that have become very good and today, guess what, they are not serving God. You know why, worldly influence and it quenched the spirit. Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice evermore means, that I take joy in Christ. A worldly influence that comes in and squelches the fire that is there, is when you are taking joy in something other than God, in Christ.
Look at what else it says right in our list here. In 1st Thessalonians chapter 5, it says, “Pray without ceasing.” A lack of prayer quenches the spirit. I know that myself. I can feel when the Spirit is tugging at me and so can you. He is tugging at you saying, hey ,I need more time I need more time. I am busy I have things to do. I need more time and when you say, no, here comes the water. Here comes that, as we would say, wet blanket on top of the fire. All of a sudden you come to church and it is not the same. You are opening up the scriptures and it is not the same. You are quenching Him, you are choking Him out, you are not allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to do its work in your life. Taking joy something else, a lack of prayer.
Look at the next one, “In everything give thanks.” It is a spirit of ingratitude. So we have taking joy in something else, we have a lack of prayer, and we have ingratitude. You say, what does that mean? So how much time in your prayer life do you thank God or how much time is it a “me” list? God I need this, God I need this, and would you help this, and God... it is all your wants. What you will find is if your prayer life becomes vibrant, your wants, sometimes you don't even get to them because you are just thanking God and praising Him and you are in awe of what He is doing. That is the prayer that should be in our life. It is a prayer life that has gratitude.
An ungrateful spirit - so that means even when somebody does something for you, that means even here with us, do you ever say thank you. Are you entitled? Students sitting here this semester have you jotted a note to your teacher. This is what I can tell you, being at the top, they are not doing it for a paycheck. They do it because they love you and they care for you. Yet it is about time somebody, look at you, it is amazing anybody loves you all right. So you should be very grateful that somebody does. Yet people come to you over and over again saying hey, what about this? They care, you know the world does not understand this, right. I have mentioned this, even the community may not understand it because they are of their father the devil. So in the community who cares about them or is going to hell, really not too many. They are going straight to hell, the average person in town, and yet for 40 something years we have called out to them and said man where are you heading. Here is a track we are praying for you. Well I expect that from the world because the devil blinds them, but it should not be right here. What is it a sign of quenching? It is a quenching of the Spirit, an ungrateful attitude.
Look at what else it says, here you go down right after quench the spirit in verse 20. Actually the charismatics have taken that verse and pulled it out of context, but and we touched on that a little bit this morning. It says, “despise not prophesying.” Another idea... prophesying is preaching. I believe in the context and you have to study Scripture. What church was this? This was the Church of Thessalonica. Just so that you know, this book was written before the book of Corinthians. So if it was a big problem at this church - you would think that the book of Thessalonians would have chapters like the book of Corinthians right. But it does not, why? Because I do not think that is what he was addressing. I believe what he was saying is, you start having a worldly influence, then you start despising preaching. You start getting irritated being at church and being around godly things. You get a disdain, it says, “despise not prophesying.” It means that I enjoy preaching, I want God to speak to me. I enjoy coming to church, I want to be somewhere where God is at. So that means I am going to find a church where God is present and I am parking myself there. I am going to say, God rip me up that's what I want. If not I am going to try to just sit there, right. This happens sometimes. I have talked to some of you, right. I do not necessarily normally stop right in the middle of a message, but some of you are asleep, you are talking the whole time during the song service or you are talking the whole time during other times and that is why we preach on it. I mean what are you getting out of it? What are you coming for? You are not coming to hear from God. What is it - you have quenched the spirit. You have a disdain for preaching and it is not necessarily me. Then go find somewhere, go find a preacher that you can be under, that you can get the Word of God. There should be a joy in coming and hearing preaching and when it gets old and crusty and cold to us that means I am quenching the spirit. Taking joy in something other than Christ, lack of prayer, ingratitude, disdain for preaching.
Look as we continue now “abstain” this is interesting to me. In verse 21 it says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Then notice what it says, “abstain”, I would have said from evil but it does not say that, it sats “from all appearance of evil.” Now some of you would remember this, but that is why for decades, independent Baptists have preached against the movies. Going to the movies and all and some people don't connect it all, right. Even Mr. Fly and I had a discussion on this, remember. We had a talk about billiards, remember that. Mr. Fly grew up (you rotten, horrible person) in billiard halls. You know what billiard halls were known for? Bad things, drinking, rebellion, card playing and all that type of stuff.
That is why somebody got mad at me one time. Because I called on him and I wrote him a note and I said, I do not appreciate you taking members to blue chip casino. They said why we were just having lunch. I said I do not agree with that because we need tos avoid the appearance of evil. What if there is somebody that is struggling with something and they see a group of our men walking out of blue-chip casino with a Bible. I believe the principles of the Bible are against gambling. I need to avoid that. I am not going to stay, I got a good deal - I am not gambling, but they had a $5.99 prime rib buffet. Sorry, I am not doing it! Now I understand, actually I stayed at a hotel in Reno, Nevada with the ensemble, (unknowingly but basically try to find one without a casino) I did not know it was a casino. I just went on Priceline. I guess that was supposed to be a question I type in. This was many years ago but man it was creepy. We were all ducking you know, but I do not want the appearance of evil.
Remember way back, this was one of the dumbest things, those of you that remember this you are showing your age. Remember near beer, so what was it. Get all the taste (which you know one time I think I remember chugging beer and I about died) so get all the taste of what - nastiness, and none of the benefit. What were they doing? Near beer, look like you are drinking. The world knows what they are trying to do. This is the devils ploy.
Even today this is what my problem is with Billy Graham. You know what Billy Graham wanted to do? He brought in this movement, this idea that well … I mean I am a Christian and I'm peculiar. Yes, you are, the Bible says you will be. We are different, we are a chosen generation,we are a peculiar people. BIlly is like well, Catholics are nice people But they are sending people to hell. There is something wrong with it. Pastor Armacost and I were talking about this this week. That is why even leading up to standards, we were teaching on some of this. I said what did he bring in? That is why, and I have prayed about it, I thought, you know what the guys get together in town and they have a prayer breakfast. It is not on Sunday morning. It is not preaching in their pulpit, but the Catholic runs it. I just do not feel comfortable sitting down because he will think that I am fine with this doctrine and he is sending people to hell. So I am not going there and you would say, well I mean you should love him. Well then he can invite me out to lunch and we will sit down and I will share Christ with him, but he is sending people to hell and that is what his doctrine does. So I am NOT going to stand, I am NOT going to make it convenient that we sit together. He might be a good man in character but his doctrine is wrong and that is what we have to be careful of. The appearance of evil can hinder people from serving God and it quenches the spirit.
Notice what it says here, “And the very God of peace sanctify you”, part way, no “wholly,” all of me. What does sanctify mean? Set apart doesn't it, it is sanctification. So what does God want? Does God want part of you holy? No, according to this he wants all of you holy. That means all my thoughts, all my actions, all the places I go. You are like, it is so restrictive. Coming back the other day and I did not have to avoid the appearance of evil (it was just me and my wife, and she knows I'm evil), so I clicked on the radio. We were driving back from Chicago and I thought ok and I slipped the Moody station on. It was crazy, the lady that got on. I can not remember the exact phrase, but the announcer said yeah come and hear so-and-so speak. It is so, I can't remember the term, but what she was saying is I grew up in a very rigid environment with rules. You need to hear this guy speak and I was like, oh I know right where she grew up, here! She is just like, oh and now I have so much freedom. No you don't. You quench the spirit. I guarantee as you are walking around in your little skinny jeans and in your yoga pants that nobody knows you are a Christian. That is the problem we want to be accepted. We want to be a part of this world. Worldly influences quench the spirit, they put a blanket on that fire. Then I am no longer so attached to the scripture. I no longer long for church. I no longer long for the things of God. I have quenched Him. Then that is worldly influences that quench the fire.
So then what do I need to do? I need to get some spiritual fuel to ignite that fire back. So I went through Scripture and I thought, well what does the Bible have to say about fire. You can find a couple of things in the Old Testament and and if you want to just write them down I think most of you will know these. In Exodus chapter 3, in Exodus chapter 40, and in 2nd Corinthians chapter 7 they all talk about a fire. In Exodus 3, this is the burning bush. Remember that Moses came up and he looked and behold the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed. What was that? It was evidence that God was there, right. In Exodus chapter 40, the cloud was upon the tabernacle by day and a fire was on it by night. What was that a representation of? The fire was a representation that God's presence was there. They could see it. 2nd Corinthians 7, Solomon made an end of praying, he had built the temple he had dedicated the temple and the fire came down from heaven and it they consumed the burnt offerings and the glory of the Lord filled the house. How did they know? It was evidenced by the fire. So this is what you need spiritual fuel that ignites the fire. There is a fire that comes with God's presence. There is a fire that is a fire of fellowship. It is a fire of presence with God and so what do I need to do, I need to get to the place that I can have that fire back. I need that fuel where does that fuel come from, it comes from getting with God and saying, God I need that fire back. You have to step into his presence again. That is what this is indicating to you when your fire is quenched. Get back to the place where you know God is...get back there.
You also see another fire mentioned in the Bible in Deuteronomy 4 and verse 24 and what is interesting is that this is also quoted in Hebrews, (I think it's Hebrews chapter 12). Hebrews 12 was quoting Deuteronomy 4, it says, “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” Then in Malachi 3:2, this is talking about something else but we sing this song. It is used in singing today. It says, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiners fire, and like Fuller's soap.” 1st Corinthians 3:13 this is a passage that most of us know, “Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed (guess what) by fire;...” So there is a fire of God's presence and that I need to go and find that fire because, why, that will ignite it again.
It will igniting the spirits working when I have the fire of his presence.
The other fire I want to mention is this in 1st Corinthians and Deuteronomy and Malachi. It is a refiners fire like Fuller’s soap. Fuller’s soap was used for cleansing. So a refining fire was used for purification. Fuller's soap was used when something was not as dirty. You would scrub it up and that soap would clean it again. So what is that talking about? It is a fire of purification. So when I have quenched the spirit, I have to get the fire back. I need the fire of his presence. I need the fire of purification to come in and burn out the dross. Burn out that sin. Burn out that wrong that is in there, and that fire will come in clean you up. It is a good feeling.
Then we find something else you see this in Psalm 18 and then Acts chapter 2. In Acts 2, it talks about the cloven tongues like a fire that sat upon the disciples. In Psalm 18 it talks about the power of God and what is interesting, it talks about this and it says, that there is a fire that “The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.” That is Psalm 18:12-13 it says that phrase “hail stones and coals of fire” two times. Psalm 18 the indication is that God is so powerful that his hail stones and fire are just a manifestation of the power of our God. In Acts chapter 2, the cloven tongues of fire as they were sitting there upon those men that were gaining the power of the Spirit, that is exactly the representation. It was power to accomplish what we need to. This is what I can tell you, when you have quenched the Spirit you no longer have power to do the duties you are called to do as a Christian. So I need that fire back, why, because I need the fire of his presence. That He will come in and that fellowship is back, it is sweet. There is a longing again, then there is a fire of purification that burns out the dross. It burns out those things that God considers worthless, get them out of here
Then there is a fire of his power and that allows the Holy Spirit to come in and it ignites again that flame that enables me to do that which I can not, because with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. So I have got to have him and if I have quenched his spirit and that is what we have been going through over the last three services. So if I am sinning against the Holy Spirit what have I done, I have shut out that which can help me. I am limiting my success here in this life. I am not able to exist, I am not able to function properly, why? Because I have quenched him. I have let the worldly influences come in and put a wet blanket over that fire. The Word of God is not as strong and convicting anymore. My prayer time is just weak. I am looking around and really an ungrateful spirit is also a critical crabby person. You know that you have met people, they crab about everything. There is nothing good. You cook them a dinner - and they say that's it. You know what I'll just take it back. My it's cold - okay then you heat it and bring it again - now it is piping hot. You are like all right, fine. You just never can win, but that is the way an ungrateful person is and that gets into us doesn't it. It gets into our spirit and then we are crabby about church, and we are crabby about the teachers, we are crabby about authority, we are crabby about the things going on everywhere. It is a bad spirit. It is not the spirit that is evident when the Holy Spirit is in us and working through us and using us.
Then we see that one of his jobs (the Holy Spirit) is making us holy. It is conforming us to the image of his son. It is lifting up Jesus Christ in our life. So have you quenched him? Four simple words, “quench not the spirit.” One man was thinking about the Holy Spirit and he related it to traveling. Those of you that have traveled you know and it has gotten worse and worse over the years, especially if you are flying. You come into the airport and there you have the TSA check don’t you. Sure as the world you left that little tiny penknife, you terrorist! So it is going through the line of that one guy who is always so sharp running the x-ray machine and all of a sudden it beeps all right. And they take your bag over and I know there is something to it but they always take that little thing and dust it. And they are like you know we are checking for a bomb dust or something, like wow, and of course you don't dare say that at that moment though or you will even take longer right. What are they doing technically? What are they trying to do? They are trying to check for things aren't they through that x-ray machine. In some sense that is what this man was trying to relate. He was saying in some sense the Holy Spirit is there to check us. Sometimes it seems like hey, you know what I am traveling through I got places to go and the Holy Spirit is backing it up run it through again like no no I'm seeing something wrong and he puts the pause on. I am glad it is not a TSA workers that is examining me but it is the Holy Spirit and He is there to help me become more holy. Do not get mad at Him do not get irritated at Him. Welcome Him into your life. You will never regret it. The Holy Spirit is there to make us a pure people.