Pastor Bankens lived in Louisiana until he was forty years old, attended church at Apostolic Temple Pentecostal Church, pastored by Dr. M. D and Dr. R.D. Treece. He was an evangelist about twelve years, pastored in Rome, Georgia five years, pastored New Chapel UPC, Collins, Mississippi, for almost twelve years. Pastor Bankens is now living in Sulphur, Louisiana and is preaching out as he is again attending Apostolic Temple under his Pastor Rick Treece, Pastor Bankens is ordained by UPCI..
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2 Corinthians 4:17-18 kjv,
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
In this day of time, there is a strong emphasis in most Christian circles, “That insists that the ideal spiritual life is one of unspoken joy and peace all the time. Also, with a life of material prosperity here and now.
The impression that is currently so prevalent, even in our Pentecostal ranks and maybe even among some here in this service. Is that if you really are full of the Holy Ghost, you will be living a life that is trouble free, and when you do have some slight problems, they will be instantaneously solved. The impression is that your miracles never cease.
According to some saints of God, “A Miracle a day” is the norm.
If one does not experience constant supernatural Manifestations, it is because this individual is spiritually abnormal or something must be wrong between them and God.
To these modern thinking Christians, (saints of God), this Spirit-filled life is one hilarious hearty time of party. This Spirit-filled life is a mountain top experience at all time.
Yes, in these modern Christian circles, A Spirit-filled saint, should never get sick, but if, and when they do they should be healed immediately, by a modern day effortless faith.
If a saint needs money in this modern Christian society, all they must do is ask God for it, the heavens immediately open and the blessings begin to just pour out to you.
Yes, in this modern day, if anyone who is Spirit-filled does not live comfortable, or if they do not become financially affluent, it is thought that this is simply because, this individual is probably spiritually inept?
I do want us all to understand tonight, I do believe we are missing many of the blessing that God has for us in this modern day. Most of us live so far beneath our spiritual privileges. I believe that God would love to manifest His generosity to us. I believe God would love to bless us with many more miracles than we are seeing.
But I also want us to understand, that this modern day Christian philosophy is way out of balance. It does not represent the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, the Word of God.
I do believe one side of this coin is miracles, financial blessings and so much more. But I believe the other side of the coin, is represented by the concept of Spiritual Warfare. Is represented by sacrifice, self-discipline and courage.
Yes, this side of the theological coin stresses, the unavoidable weariness, toil and pain that is often encountered. It also stresses the man conflicts we will encounter, the times of bitterness issues we must overcome and desperate days of turmoil, strife and struggle we will encounter in this journey. Yes, and the grueling nights of darkness and distress. Paul records it like this,
2 Timothy 2:3 KJV,
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Luke 9:23 KJV, Jesus said,
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Mark 10:21 KJV,
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Galatians 6:14 KJV,
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
This other side of the coin (that I am presenting) is represented by the record of the noble army of martyrs, whose blood has proven to have been the seed that caused church growth in its early times.
This side of the coin is represented by the many writings in scripture and history that has exalted and glorified the heroic courage of the early saints. The valor, self-denial and high cost of discipleship by these early saints can be seen from this view. What a contrast to the contemporary Christianity that we see and hear today.
In her book, “What About Us Who Are Not Healed?”
Carmen Benson ~ Author…Voices the doubts, fear, and perplexities of the multitudes, that seek healing without success and mysteriously suffer more and more over time.
The question arises: “Which is spiritually superior?” Is the life of unbroken peace, no joy, and little prosperity…Or the life of health, wealth, affluence, and happiness?
Also, which brings most glory to God? By modern contemporary Christian society; Are all who fall short of this ideal spiritualism, considered to be second-class saints in the kingdom of God?
Come on saints of God “What Is the Price of Glory?”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 Amplified, our text,
“For our light, momentaryaffliction(this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and
producing andachieving for us an everlasting weight of glory ~ beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons andall calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease! Since we consider andlook not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are invisible are deathless and everlasting”
For us to understand this passage from the text, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 it is necessary that we define the term “affliction”
Webster’s New World Dictionary ~ “affliction” ~pain; suffering; distress; evils; harms; heaviness; hurts; sorrows; adversities; calamities; any cause of suffering; etc.
The original Greek translation for “affliction” ~ simply means “pressure”
Paul was writing primarily about the persecutions, opposition, deprivations, hardships and pressure…which he and the early saints faced, as they lived for God and propagated His message of death, burial and resurrection.
Paul Himself suffered many afflictions and pressures,
2 Corinthians 11:23-27 KJV,
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 KJV,
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
So many saints and preachers alike feel that Paul’s thorn in the flesh could not have been a physical condition, or sickness. Because Jesus bore the stripes on His back for our healing at His death on Calvary. Therefore, they feel that the Lord will not allow sickness or diseases to come upon His children, even as an affliction. They insist that a true saint of God should be able to exercise faith, and immediately be healed. If these saints are not healed, immediately, they say the individual either has no faith, or the individual has sin in their life.
I say (HOGWASH) ~ yes Jesus did take the stripes for our Healing. I thank God that we can pray the prayer of faith; we can call for the elders of the church and they can anoint us with oil and pray for us. But no-where does the Lord guarantee that we will instantly and always be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 KJV,
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
I thank God, He has made a provision for our healing. When we are healed, it is because He took the stripes; It is because He shed His blood for us.
James 5:14-15 KJV,
4 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
All that these (Spiritual Specialist) preach and teach is so contrary to Paul’s teachings.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church concerning death and Sickness in the church, in this scripture it seems that God is using physical affliction to teach the saints the truth about His teachings. If we accept Paul’s teachings as truth, (and we do), then we have to accept the fact that Paul is saying that affliction and pressure from any cause, including bodily pain and suffering, including sicknesses and disease even when no healing follows. Will work for the good of them who are God called children.
Romans 8:28 KJV,
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
With all this written in the Bible, we who are saints of God (believers) need to understand we are going to suffer while here on this earth.
Psalms 34:17-19 KJV,
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Psalms 34:19, New Living Translation ®,
19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
Psalms 34:22, New Living Translation ®,
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
We need to turn our focus from our afflictions, pressures and sufferings down here, to the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Some of us live as though this world is all we have hope in.
Paul said, 1 Corinthians 15:19 KJV,
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Paul continues, 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 New Living Translation ®,
22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.
23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
If the Lord does not come back within our lifetime every one of us are going to suffer afflictions and pressure. Every one of us are going to face sickness, disease and even death. But we who belong to Christ will rise to meet Him in the clouds to ever be with Him.
Our primary focus should not be on our light afflictions down here. But our focus should be on the fact we have made ourselves ready. Instead of self-pity, lamenting, mourning, anxiety and depression because of our momentary situation. We should be praising Him who died for us, thanking Him for all He has done and is doing for us. WE should be testifying to other folks who are facing the same afflictions as we, and do not know Him.
Romans 8:14-18 KJV,
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
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.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Afflictions, pressures, sorrows and sufferings in this life, posewhat has probably been the most serious problem for saints of God throughout the ages of time.
These traumatic times in our lives are the last things that we would consider useful in our relationship with the Lord. We would rather try to pray our way out of these times instead of praying our way through them.
But according to scripture suffering is not an accident, but it is a privilege, it is a gift from God, that we as saints should cherish.
Romans 5:1-4 New Living Translation ®,
Faith Brings Joy:
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Saints of God this world is not our home, we are just passing through, our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
John 16:33 KJV,
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
We must get to that place of joy saints, even in suffering. Suffering is Universal saints, God is not picking on us as His children, because we go through these afflictions, or because we suffer from sickness or disease.
In this fallen world, where sin abounds, suffering is par for this course, called life. There is no escaping this world that we live in saints. We cannot escape afflictions because we are holy. We cannot escape because we are spiritual or because we Pray, go to church, pay or tithes and get along with others.
But on the other side of the coin, we cannot escape life because of our wealth, health, or our family pedigree.
Job 14:1-2 KJV,
1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
1 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV,
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
Saints of God let us get it established in our mind. Afflictions come to all, both saint and sinner alike,
2 Corinthians 5:4-5 New Living Translation,
4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.
5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 KJV,
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
We have no trouble understanding and accepting the fact that suffering follows sin. We are not surprised when a sinner faces sorrow, suffering and even death. We are often not even moved by their afflictions, unless they are related to us.
Romans 2:8-9 KJV,
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Romans 6:23 KJV,
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We as saints of God have all these commands and promises written in the Word of God, yet, we still struggle with these questions, Why, do the righteous suffer? Why isn’t every saint of God healed immediately when we pray?
If we are saved and filled with the Holy Ghost why must we,
a. Fight the good fight of faith;
b. endure as a good soldier;
c. have spiritual warfare;
d. or even have to endure to the end
2 Corinthians 4:15-16 KJV,
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New Living Translation ®, (Text)
17 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
What price are you willing to pay for the glory that awaits you with Christ Jesus? Every one of us must suffer if we are going to one day reign with Him. We will face the hot coals of afflictions and suffering for His name sake. But this is not for punishment, it is simply to take away all sin, to take away the impurities in our life so we can come forth as pure gold.
Job 23:10 KJV,
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
No one ever makes it to glory without suffering. Because suffering properly accepted by a saint of God, is our pathway to glory,
Our text calls it our “eternal weight of glory.”
Do not waste your sorrows saints, because your sorrows are helping you make it to glory.
Matthew 10:22 KJV,
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.