"Laying the Axe to the Root of the Tree" KJV Baptist Bible Preaching


December 8, 2013

All right. The verse that I wanted to preach on this morning is in verse number 9, where the Bible reads in Acts 3:9, "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees. Every tree therefore which bringith not forth good fruit is hune down and cast into the fire."

What I want to preach on this morning is the subject of laying the axe unto the root of the trees. What John the Baptist is saying here is that if you have a bad tree, you need to cut the whole thing down. Don't just remove the leaves. Don't just cut a branch off here and a branch off there. If something is evil, if something is corrupt, if something is not producing good fruit but is producing an evil fruit or corrupt fruit, the whole thing needs to be cut down. When you cut it down, cut it down as low as you can. Cut it all the way down to the root.

The Bible says, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree which bringith not forth good fruit is hune down and cast into the fire."

Okay. We need to get rid of the root of the problem. Anyone knows that when you go out to your garden and you pull weeds, you have to be sure to uproot them. When you send a child out to pull weeds and often they'll just kind of rip the plants and leave the root. Then, it's going to come back even stronger. It's going to come back even more robust. You're going to have even more weeds in the end when you don't completely uproot them and get to the root of the problem.

Now go to Matthew, chapter 23 ... Matthew, chapter 23. You see often in our lives instead of attacking the root of the problem, instead of really uprooting that, which is wicked and evil ... Instead of laying the axe to the root of the tree, we often go after the symptom. You know, we go after the branches. We go after little twigs that are not really relevant. They're just the outward manifestation of the real problem. See the root of the tree is what's feeding all of the growth. Okay?

A lot of it is invisible. A lot of it's under the surface. A lot of it, you can't even see. If you think about it, when a tree is grown up and has branches that go out, they say the roots always go even further out than even the branches of the tree. You might have a tree whose branches have a 30 foot diameter. That means, underneath, you have roots that are spreading out more than 30 feet. Okay. The root system is what's feeding the whole thing.

Now look at what the Bible says in Matthew 23. This is a great example of this. Verse 25 says, "Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."

Now, this is the equivalent of getting to the root of the problem, or laying the axe to the root of the tree. He's saying, "It's what's on the inside that is producing the problem on the outside." Many people today they just cleanse first the outside. They make the outside look good. The inside is still rotten. Okay? Now, the outside should be right also. A lot of people will misapply this verse. Here's what they'll say, "The outside doesn't matter." Is that what Jesus said?

Congregation: No.

Pastor Anderson: "Jesus said the outside doesn't matter." No. He says, "Cleanse first that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." You see, when someone looks wrong on the outside, that is a manifestation or a symptom of a problem on the inside.

If I look at somebody ... Let's say, for example, the Bible is real clear that a man ... It's a shame for a man to have long hair. That's what the Bible teaches. Okay? If I see a guy who's got long hair, that's an outward thing. That's not internal. That's external. A lot of people will say, "Hey. That doesn't matter." What does the Bible say? The Bible says a shame for a man to have long hair. It dishonors Christ and so forth in 1 Corinthians 11. It does matter. Here's the thing. Just because somebody has short hair, just because someone's dressed in manly clothing, just because someone is dressed in a way that's classy, that's not trendy or dare-like ... That doesn't mean that the inside is right. Does it?

Congregation: No.

Pastor Anderson: Somebody could have the outside perfectly polished and dialed in and still be rotten on the inside. When we see someone who has it wrong on the outside, that's an indication of a problem in their heart.

By the way, the Bible doesn't just teach in 1 Corinthians 11 that men should have short hair. It also teaches that women should have long hair.

Man: That's right.

Pastor Anderson: It teaches both. Okay? Therefore, if I see a woman who walks in here with a flattop ... I mean just a butch, buzz cut flattop ... Now look, is that external or internal? That's the outside. People will say, "It doesn't matter." Well, it does matter. The Bible commands it to be long. If I look at that, you know what, that is an indication of a problem that's on the inside that needs to be dealt with. Okay? The Bible says that the head of the woman is her husband. The head of the man is Christ. If I have my head covered with long hair, I'm dishonoring Christ. The woman who has her hair uncovered by having short hair, she dishonors her husband. That's what it teaches in 1 Corinthians 11. Therefore, I can look at that woman with short hair and say, "You know what? There's a problem here. There's a heart problem here, where she doesn't want to accept her gender."

Man: Right.

Pastor Anderson: You know what I mean? Just embrace the fact that she's a woman. She's probably not living a life that is embracing that feminine role of a wife. Her husband is probably not wearing the pants in that family. Okay? You can pretty much just guess that. That's what the Bible says about that situation. Okay?

You could have your hair down to your ankles. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're submitting to your husband. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have a proper relationship with your husband or with God. Okay?

What I'm saying is that the outward appearance, our outward appearance, the way we look on the outside is often symptomatic of a problem on the inside. Okay? Fixing the outside is not going to necessarily fix the inside. If I just get somebody and get them a hair cut ... A man with long hair. That's not necessarily going to fix the rebellion problem that he has in his heart. That's not necessarily going to be fixed. Okay? Because we have to get to the root of the problem, not just the symptom. The outward appearance is a symptom.

What I see so often today in churches and especially in Bible colleges that basically instead of going to the root of the problem, they're often just dealing with the symptom, just treating the symptom.

Now, let me just give you some examples of this in our lives. For example, let's say you get a headache. Right? What's the first thing you're going to do when you get a headache? If you get a headache, what do you do?

Man: Get Tylenol.

Pastor Anderson: Tylenol. Aspirin. Right. Here's the thing, is that really why you have a headache? Are you suffering from a Tylenol deficiency?

Congregation: (Laughter)

Pastor Anderson: No. That's our mentality. Our mentality is just to treat the symptom. "Oh my head hurts. Take a pill." In reality, what would make sense would be to figure out why you have the headache and to fix that problem. Put the axe to the root of the tree and solve the problem. Look, 90% of your headaches are from not eating right, not drinking right. You know, if you don't drink water, you get a headache. If you get dehydrated, you don't drink enough water, you don't eat enough salt, you don't eat enough food ... You know, you can get a headache from that. Instead of reaching for a pill, it would make more sense to say, "Okay. Why do I have a headache?" Maybe it's stress. Maybe it's you're not eating right. You're not drinking right. You haven't slept. I get a headache if I don't sleep at night, if I'm sleep deprived. See, we live in a society that just wants to treat the problem and forget the root cause of what the problem is.

For example, I know somebody who went to the doctor. They were told, "You have high blood pressure. You have 2 choices. Change your diet or take these pills." "Oh. Give me the pills." The diet consisted of a lot of Wiener Schnitzel, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Burger King. You can either change that or you're going to have to take this medication. Oh just give me the medication. When in reality, the blood pressure is being caused by a stupid diet, by eating junk food, by eating trash, not eating real food. This is the mentality that we have today. Just okay let's just keep trimming that branch, just keep cutting the branches, ripping the leaves off instead of just saying, "No. Let's actually get to the root of what the cause is and actually fix the problem."

Now, go to 1 Timothy chapter 6. Let's look at ... What is one of the main root causes ... What is the root cause of sin in the Bible? We can deal with individual sins as they crop up. People commit different sins in their life. We can try to tackle each one. It would be better if we could get to the root of what's causing us to sin. Why is there so much sin in our lives? Right? If we could cut that tree down at the root, we'd solve the whole problem once and for all, instead of just dealing with symptoms.

When I say Bible colleges, this is why ... Bible colleges have a lot of rules. Okay? I mean, they have a lot of very strict rules. When I was in Bible college, they had really strict rules about your haircut, about your clothes ... I mean, you had to wear every single day a shirt and tie. You had to wear plants with a pleat in them every day. You had to have your shoes shined every day. You had to have no hair touching your ears. No hair touching your collar. Very strict rules about your appearance and about your church attendance, about your soul winning. I mean, everything was just dictated to you by these very strict rules. What you have is you have people that are following the rules. They don't want to get the demerits. They don't want to get the punishment. They don't want to get the consequences of having their hair touching their ear. By the way, you had to shave every day. That was worst part about it.

Congregation: (Laughter)

Pastor Anderson: You had to shave every single day.

The point is, all these strict rules caused it to be where you could look at the students of the college. They all looked great. I mean, they looked sharp. As my wife would say, "They were peeled out of an egg." You know what I mean? They just look perfect. I mean, they got their Bible in their hand. They got their shoes shined. They're in a nice suit. They've got the perfect hair cut, clean shaven. God bless you. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

Congregation: (Laughter)

Pastor Anderson: All right? Here's the thing though. Here's what you have to understand. A lot of times rules like that become a substitute for preaching-

Man: Yes.

Pastor Anderson: And teaching. Basically, instead of teaching somebody, "Hey. Here's why you should have short hair. Here's why you should dress this way. Here's why you should act this way. Here's why you should go to church 3 times a week. Here's why you should be out soul winning. Here's why you should read your Bible every day." Instead, it's just, "Do it because we said so."

You've cured all the symptoms, to where on the outside it looks great. That doesn't mean that you've done anything for the heart at all. That's why a huge number of students will come out of college like that. As soon as the demerits are gone, as soon as the rules are gone, as soon as there's not that strict environment, they're going to do what they want.

Let me give you a perfect example. I remember sitting in that college. I was in a class that was for seniors, seniors in the college. They're in their 4th year of that 4 year degree. There was a guy in the class. He raised his hand in the class and he said, "You know what?" He said, "You know, there's a rule in our college against women wearing pants." He said, "I believe in it. You know, I agree with it." He said, "I don't believe women should wear pants." He said, "I have no idea why. Can you just explain to me why?"

Here's a guy who has sat in a college for 4 years that has a rule that says no pants allowed on women. That's the rule. He sat there for 4 years. He went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night ... Went to all the classes, all the preaching, all the teaching and no one has ever explained to him why. Then, the teacher at that time opened the Bible and explained to him why and showed to him Deuteronomy 22:5. "A woman shall not wear that with pertainith to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment." He explained other reasons that pertained to modesty. He explained all the reasons. The guy's like, "Okay. That makes sense."

Here's the thing. You can see how rules can become a substitute for actually teaching doctrine. Now, they would've had a hard time with that one of why you need to shave every day.

Man: Yeah.

Congregation: (Laughter)

Pastor Anderson: They're going to have a hard time finding that in the Bible since most of the men in the Bible had beards. Again, it's okay not to have a beard. Beard, no beard, whatever. The point is, you get a lot of man-made rules. Then, you mix them in with rules that actually have a Biblical basis. You have all these rules mixed together. Some of them are Biblical, you know, about men dressing like men, women dressing like women. Men having short hair, women having long hair.

Then, there are other rules that are completely un-Biblical. You know, no beards allowed. No facial hair. Then, you're just mixing them all together. People go through that. They don't understand why they're doing what they're doing. Basically, at the end of it all, they're like, "I don't need all these rules." They're just going to do whatever.

The Bible hasn't taught them which things are Biblical and which things are man-made. Okay? You have a lot of outward conformity. You don't have a heart knowledge and understanding of why. You haven't gotten to the root of the issue. It's just all external. It's all superficial. Okay? It's all cosmetic, instead of being a heart issue where you actually believe things and have convictions that you live by. You understand where they have come from in the Bible. Okay?

That's the difference between getting to the root and just the outward manifestation, the symptom. "Oh here's a Tylenol for your headache. Here, take this. Oh you have a headache every day? Then, take Excedrin every day." There are people who ... I worked with a guy. Every morning, he takes Excedrin, every morning for his headache. Every day, has a headache. Okay. Watch this guy never take a sip of water, ever. Just diet Coke in the morning. Diet Coke with lunch. No water. He's like, "Oh yeah. I have a headache. Another headache. Another headache. Pass me the little package of processed donuts." Then, you wonder why you have a headache every day. You're poisoning your body. You're not taking care of yourself. You're not hydrated. Okay?

We got to get to the root of the issue. We need to understand the causes of why things happen. Why are things wrong? Why are things right? What does the Bible teach? We need to understand these things, not just fix an external problem.

You have some troubled teenager or troubled kid. You can send them off to a brat camp. They'll cut their hair and put them in a suit and put a Bible in their hand and cause them to memorize scripture. That kid, as soon as he gets out of there, is going to go back to drugs, back to partying. I've seen it happen a million times. Okay?

You didn't get to the root problem. You've got to get to people's heart. You have to teach people the Bible and help people to understand why they should choose to do what's right for themselves.

Look what it says in 1 Timothy chapter 6. What's the root problem of our sin? Where is sin coming from? It says in verse 6, "But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and [inaudible 00:16:31], let us be there with content. But they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare. Many foolish and hurtful lust which drown men into [inaudible 00:16:41], for the love of money is the root of all evil, which some coveted after they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Now, this is a verse in the Bible that is often ridiculed. People say that this isn't true. In fact, all the modern Bible versions, they change this verse.

Congregation: Yep.

Pastor Anderson: Even their rationale for changing it is like, "Well, we know that can't be true."

Congregation: Yep.

Pastor Anderson: "So let's change it." They say, "We know that the love of money is not THE root of all evil." They change it in all the new versions to say, "Well, you know, it's a root of many types of evil." Instead of all evil. Okay?

Evil is referring to that which harms another person. Harming someone else is to do them evil. The Bible says, "The love of money is all evil." An example that people will often bring up is, they'll say, "Well, what about rape? What does rape have to do with the love of money?" They'll use that to mock this.

It's funny. I was reading about a famous rapist that was in this area that had been a serial rapist. As I read about how this guy became such a wicked person that he would become a serial rapist ... It all started with him joining Amway. Literally. I mean, I read this online.

He said he joined Amway and he became obsessed with money. He became obsessed with getting rich. Amway is this thing where they really promote you to get rich and make money. It's money, money, money. You're going to be rich. They actually tell you to go drive to fancy neighborhoods. "Look at fancy houses. Lust after them in your heart. That's going to help you succeed at Amway." They tell you, "Get a picture of your dream car. Put it on your desk. Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Lexus, whatever. Put that picture on your desk. Drive to that fancy neighborhood. Sit there with your wife and say, 'Someday hunny. We're going to live in that house. Someday.'"

Let me tell you something. That is all sin.

Congregation: Amen. Yes.

Pastor Anderson: The Bible says, "Thou shall not covet." Coveting is when you desire what belongs to someone else. When you're looking at some fancy car and saying, "I wish I had that car." Then, you're not content with what you have.

In verse 6 of the chapter there, it says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Verse 8, "Having food and [inaudible 00:19:04], let us be there with content." The opposite of contentment is when you say, "I wish I had that other house and that other car."

Basically, Amway is an organization that teaches people the love of money and to lust after that which does not belong to them. I remember my mom and dad got invited by their friends to an Amway meeting one time. They came home and my dad said, "It's like a church service worshiping money." That's what he said. He said, "They sang hymns about money." Congregational singing about money! About money, about getting rich, about succeeding at Amway. There was preaching. In the preaching he said, "Would you rather have friends or would you rather have a Ferrari? You're going to lose friends. That's okay!" It was like a preaching service, just all about money. This guy, he got into Amway. He started getting into reading the books by Donald Trump and [inaudible 00:20:02] Kawasaki, or whatever that Japanese guy's name is.

Congregation: (Laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Who knows who I'm talking about. That Japanese ... What's his name?

Man: Robert [inaudible 00:20:08]

Pastor Anderson: Okay. Yeah. Robert Kiyosaki. He got really into this. Basically, that's what led him down a downward spiral into becoming a wicked person. Then, he became a rapist. Okay?

Now look. I'm not saying that everybody who joins Amway is going to become a rapist. That's not what I'm trying to say.

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: I'm trying to show you that, you know, when you attack the word of God, your logic often falls apart. They're attacking the word of God saying, "How in the world?" This is what people have said, "How in the world could the love of money lead to rape?"

Okay. Here's how. Long before you even have the urges that have to do with rape, you can become a person who loves money. You can be a 5 year old and love money. Are you listening? You can love money when you're 7 years old, before those other thoughts have ever entered your mind. You can love money when you're 8, 9, 10. You can love money when you're 13, 15, 16, 17. Let me tell you something. The person who loves money and covets what doesn't belong to them becomes a wicked person. That is the root of all evil. It starts with lust.

Congregation: Right.

Pastor Anderson: It starts with covet. It starts with the love of money. Look what the Bible says. Verse 9, "But they that will be rich." What does it mean to will be rich? To want to be rich. They that want to rich ... "They that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts."

Couldn't that include all forms of evil? That could involve murder. You could murder someone to cash out the insurance. Murder your spouse to cash out the insurance. You know, murder someone to steal from them. You can end up committing rape just because you're the type of person that falls into all kinds of hurtful lust because you are a selfish, wicked, covetist, lustful individual. The person who lusts after money is going to lust after a woman that is not their wife.

Man: Yep!

Pastor Anderson: The person who lusts after this is going to lust after that. Look at Eli's wicked 2 sons. They had a serious problem with gluttony. They had a lust problem with food. They were stealing food, in order to just gorge themselves on food that did not belong to them. They were stealing the fat from the sacrifices. Remember? What else were they doing? Committing fornication with the women that assembled at the Tabernacle. You see how 1 lust can lead to another. 1 lust can be a root unto all evil.

Who believes that the Bible is telling the truth here in verse 10?

Congregation: Amen!

Pastor Anderson: It's true, right? The love of money is the root of all evil. That's where it starts my friend. Children, you should be listening to this. Listen kids. I hope my kids are listening. If you want to grow up and become a wicked person, just right now start thinking about how rich you want to be when you grow up. Did you hear me? Start thinking right now about how rich you want to be, the fancy cars you want to drive, the fancy house you want to live in. Just start thinking about how much money you are going to make right now. You are on the path right now to all evil, to become a wicked person.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: Look, if you can learn to be content with what you have, if you can learn at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to thank God for the food that you have, to be happy with the food that you have, to be happy with the house that you live in, to be happy with the car that you drive or don't drive ... Happy with your bike, happy with your shoes, happy to be barefoot. If you can be happy with what you have now, you are on the path to becoming a Godly, righteous person.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: We could talk about all the sin and lust and everything. Let's get to the root of it. Covetousness is where sin comes from. Look at James chapter 1. James chapter 1. James chapter number 1 ... See churches and schools that have a lot of rules ... They don't really get to the heart of the problem. That's why ... That's why they have to have all those rules. See, our church doesn't have a bunch of rules. Has anybody ever been handed a rule sheet by our church?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: We have no rules. Yet, we see people living for God. Do we have a rule that says you have to go soul winning? Yet, we see all kinds of people going soul winning. We see everybody reading their Bible. We see people dressed like men, dressed like ladies. We see men doing what's right, leading their home. Why? Because we have rules? Because we're so strict? Because we enforce? Because we're giving demerits if you don't do it?

No. Because we preach the Word of God. We teach you and help you grow on the inside. Then, the outside becomes clean, also. An approach that's an outside, in approach that just goes to the symptom and says, "Hey. The first thing you need to do is change the way you dress, change the way you look, let's ..." No. We've got to teach you the Bible. We got to get you saved. Then, we've got to get you reading the Word of God and actually change you from the inside. Okay?

The root problem of sin is covetousness or lust. Look at James 1. It says verse 14, "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and entice. Then when lust has conceived and bringith forth sin and sin when it is finished bringith forth death."

Now remember, in 1 Timothy 6 it said, "The love of money is the root of all evil." It used the word covet. It used twice the word contentment, which is the opposite of covetousness. Now here, he says that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and entice. Then when lust get conceived and bringith forth sin and sin when it is finished bringith forth death.

According to the Bible, what is the root cause of every sin? Lust.

Congregation: Lust.

Pastor Anderson: Isn't that what it says? The Bible said the root of all evil is the love of money or coveting money or coveting that which doesn't belong to you. Here he says that sin begins with lust. Then, when lust has conceived to bringith forth sin, sin when it is finished bringith forth death.

Now look, lust is something that takes place in your heart. Is lust something we can see on the outside?

Congregation: No.

Pastor Anderson: It's in your mind. It's in your heart. Look, long before you commit adultery, there's lust in your heart. There's covetousness in your heart.

Go to Hebrews 13. Hebrews chapter 13.

Long before you steal something at the store ... You don't just go to the store and just put something in your pocket and just steal something. Right? Just without any premeditation ... You're happy with what you have. You love God. You're thankful for what he's given you. Then, you're just at the store and you just find yourself putting something in your pocket. No. See, before you start shoplifting, before you start stealing, there's a long process of not being happy with what you had, wishing you had more. Right? Not being content, coveting more, wishing you had more money to buy. You don't have the money? You just steal it. It starts with the love of money. It starts with covetousness. It starts with lust in your heart.

Long before you commit adultery, you become dissatisfied with your spouse. Then, you're going to start looking for something else ... Paying attention to something else.

Look at Hebrews chapter 12, verse 14. It says ... I'm sorry. Where did I have you turn?

Congregation: 13.

Pastor Anderson: 13 sorry, 13 ... Verse 4. It says, "Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness. Be content with such things that you have, for He has said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

You know what? The number 1 thing you're not supposed to covet? Back in the 10 Commandments ... What's the first thing? The number 1 thing? Thou shall not desire thy neighbor's wife. Deuteronomy, chapter 5 ... First thing on the list.

In Exodus 20, He also says, "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife." Covet and desire are used interchangeably. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife. That means that we're supposed to be content with our wife, content with our husband. Long before you commit adultery, you are not content with your spouse. If you have the right relationship with your spouse, if you're satisfied with your spouse, if you love your wife, and love your husband ... You're not going to commit adultery.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: You say, "Oh. There's adultery going on. Adultery is rampant." Part of the reason why, if we want to get the root ... We can trim the branches. Every time adultery pops up, you know, try to cut it off, try to trim it off. You know what the best way to get rid of adultery would be? To lay the axe to the root of the tree, which is bad marriages. Bad marriage is the root. When you have a good marriage, when you love your wife and she loves you, you're not looking to commit adultery.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: There's no desire to commit adultery. I mean, look, when you commit adultery, you're violating a ... There's a lot of negatives to committing adultery. You're invoking the wrath of God. You're running the risk of destroying your marriage. You're going to lose your friends. You're going to destroy your children. It would take a pretty strong motivation to make you commit the wicked sin of adultery when there's so many negatives associated with it.

Let me tell you something. When you're happily married, you're not committing adultery. Period.

Man: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: What would be the point? When you have a dysfunctional marriage, that's when the temptation comes in. You're not content anymore. Now, you begin to covet something other than what you have. The biggest way to prevent adultery is to have a good marriage. Okay?

How do you have a good marriage? The Bible teaches us how to have a good marriage in Ephesians chapter 5. That's when the wife is in submission to her husband. It's when a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church. It's when the husband is sacrificial and willing to lay down his life for his wife. He loves his wife. He teaches his wife. He nourishes and cherishes and cares for his wife. When the wife is in submission and obedience to her husband.

Look, that is the answer.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: You can come to me with all these different marriage problems and say, "He's squeezing the toothpaste from the middle. I want to squeeze it from the bottom."

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Do you really think that's the problem though? Most problems that people have with their marriage are superficial. For example, "She's spending too much money." "He works too much. He works too little." I hear both complaints a lot. Right? "He won't go to work. He's always at work." You know, all the different complaints. "She won't keep the house clean." You know, or, "He is a slob." Whatever. You know, all these little superficial things. They're not really the root of the problem. I believe that if you actually get your marriage in line with Ephesians 5, all that stuff will be fixed. All those problems will be solved if you get to the root of the issue, not just the superficial ...

For example, you know ... The only time I've ever complained about my house being dirty was when I was upset with my wife about something else. You know what I mean? You just use that as, "Clean the house!" Just because you're upset. When you're happily married, you don't care. You don't sweat the small stuff. If you love your wife, you don't care how the toothpaste is. You don't care how the toilet paper roll is installed, backwards or forward. There is a right way to do it. Okay? Right?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: You know what I mean? You know when you start noticing all that stupid nitpicky stuff is when you have a bad marriage because of a deeper cause. When your wife is disrespectful to you, now all of a sudden you're noticing every little dirty thing around the house. Now all of a sudden you're noticing all this stuff. As a wife, when you feel that your husband doesn't love you, he doesn't care about you ... Now, you're going to nitpick and find fault in everything he does.

When you love each other and when you're living for God, these little things you just don't sweat the small stuff. You don't worry about it. What I'm saying is that when we go through our lives we need to figure out ... Okay. What is the root problem here? Where is this coming from?

Let's say a child is caught stealing. Instead of just saying, "You've stolen. It's wrong." Think about what makes a child steal. Why do they steal? Because they're spoiled. They have too much. They're not content with what they have. They haven't learned in what sort of a state they are to be content.

Why does husbands and wives bicker and fight with each other about stupid things? Because they have a deeper marriage problem. That's just the surface, superficial issue that you see on the inside.

Why are people lusting and coveting other people's wives or other people's husbands? Because their marriage is not in accordance with God's Word.

That's the problem. That's the real root of the problem. You see, you can have all these problems in your life. It all comes down to this. You're not reading your Bible. You're not praying. You're not going to church. You're not winning souls. You're lusting after stuff that doesn't belong to you. You're covetous. It all comes back to the same foundational root problems that cause every other problem in your life. You think to yourself, "If I could just fix this one thing."

A lot of times, we're just cutting the branches. We don't get to the root of the problem. If you don't read your Bible, your life's never going to be right. You can try to fix this and fix that ... Let me get a marriage sermon and try to follow it. Let me get ... Look. You've got to change your heart. You've got to change who you are. You've got to get to the root of the problem.

The root of the problem is always a heart problem. It's covetousness in your heart. It's lust in your heart. It's sin that begins in the heart. Okay? It's the inside that is affecting the inside. If we cleanse first the inside, the outside will be clean also.

Now, what can be another root of sin in your life? Go if you would to Hebrews chapter 12. Hebrews chapter 12 quickly. Another root of sin in our life besides lust or covetousness, which is the root of all evil ... There's another root of sin in our life that the Bible talks about that we need to address.

That's in Hebrews chapter 12. It says in verse 14, "Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator or profane person as Esau, who for one more-so than me sold his birthright for you know how that afterward when he would've inherited the blessing he was rejected for he found no place of repentance. Though he [inaudible 00:35:21] carefully with tears."

Not enough time to turn there but if you go back to Deuteronomy 29 ... You don't have to turn there. This is actually a quote from Deuteronomy 29. If you go back to Deuteronomy 29, it talks about that there would be among them a root that beareth [inaudible 00:35:38] and wormwood and that basically he will lead people astray to get into drunkenness, to get into fornication, to worship other Gods. What this is referring to is that 1 person that's a wicked person in the church can be a root that causes many to be defiled. Do you see that?

It says in verse 15 of Hebrews 12. "Lest any root of bitterness springing up troubling you and thereby many be defiled." 1 profane person as Esau, 1 fornicator, 1 wicked person can cause the entire church to be defiled.

Go to 1 Corinthians 5 quickly. 1 Corinthians chapter 5. 1 Corinthians chapter 5 says this in verse 6. "Your glorying is not good. No ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Purge out there for the old leaven that ye may be a new lump as ye are unleavened for even Christ our Passover has sacrificed for us."

Here, we see that 1 apple can spoil the whole bunch. A little leaven can leaven the whole lump. It says in verse 9, "I wrote unto you an Epistle not to company with fornicators. Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world are with the what?"

Congregation: Covetousness.

Pastor Anderson: Covetousness, which we talked about ... "Or extortioners or with idolaters for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I've written unto you not to keep company of a man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or adulterer, or a railer or a drunkard, or an extortioner. With such a one know not to eat. For what am I to judge them also that are without. Do not judge ye that are within but them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

Another major root of sin in your life ... Again, we don't want to just treat the symptom of sin as it pops up. The number 1 root cause of sin in your life is your covetous heart that's not satisfied with what God has given and just content with what you have. You're lusting and always looking for something else and coveting money, cars, houses, wealth, women, men, whatever.

The second thing that is the route of the sin in your life is bad friends and bad influences. He said in Hebrews 12 that one wicked person could spring up in the church and thereby many would be defiled. Here in 1 Corinthians 5, He said this one guy in your church that's a fornicator, he can leaven the whole lump. You need to put away from yourselves that wicked person. You need to get that wicked influence out of your life.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners." Communicating or having the wrong kind of influences around you, can lead to your own bad manners, where you begin to act like the kind of people that you're around. How many people do I know that live a Godly, righteous life until they get around a certain crowd? People who never drink unless they're with these people. People who would normally be righteous and Godly but they get around old relatives, old friends, old influences. All of a sudden, they fall back into old patterns of living and into bad habits. See, 1 of the biggest things that can lead us into sin, besides our own lust in our heart is having bad influences around us, bad friends.

Now this is the main reason why I do not send my children to school. Okay? This is why I don't send them to Christian school. This is why I don't send them to public school. I grew up going to both. I went to public school. I went to Christian school. In Christian school, every single class there's a bad kid in the class that hates God, hates Jesus, hates the Bible, and he will corrupt the students of that class. I remember there were kids the whole way up through school there were always kids who would influence us towards pornography, blaspheming Christ, just everything that was sinful and ungodly, drinking, drugs, whatever. These bad influences ... Let me tell you. The public school is a cesspool for bad influence.

Congregation: Yes. Amen.

Pastor Anderson: Now, my children are good kids. They're raised in church. They're taught the Bible. You know, they love the Lord. They memorize scripture. They're good kids. If I start sending my kids to public school every day, they will begin to pick up influences in public school.

Congregation: For sure.

Pastor Anderson: You actually think that my children, if I sent them to public school everyday, would be the same as they are right now?

Congregation: No.

Pastor Anderson: Of course not. Okay. Because of so many bad influences. You have to ask yourself, "What's wrong with the young people today?" Even the world that we live in, even our government, even just the unsaved world that we live in admits that there's a problem with our schools today. There's violence. There's drunkenness. There's binge drinking among high schoolers. There's promiscuity. There's teenage pregnancy. There's just laziness. There's stupidity. I mean, the scores are going down on all these tests and everything. They're not learning what they need to learn. They look dare-like. Look at the kids and you say, "Don't judge by the appearance." Look. You look at the kids and you see them walk out of that school with their pants hanging down, their underwear showing, feminine faggity little boys, masculine women. You see them walking. "What's wrong with our young people? What's wrong?" I know, if we could just get them dressed right, they'd be fine. Do you believe that?

Congregation: No.


Pastor Anderson: If we could just get their hair right they'd be fine.

Congregation: Nope.


Pastor Anderson: If we could just get all those piercings removed somehow, it'd be fine. No. I'll tell you what the problem is. Look, our society wants to fix the school system. "We need smaller class sizes. We need after-school program. We need uniforms. If we just put them in a uniform, that'll fix everything." Wrong! You know what you need? You need to quit telling them that they're an animal.

Congregation: That's right.


Pastor Anderson: You need to quit telling them that there's no God. You know what's wrong with the young people today in the public school system? Atheism is what's wrong with them.

Congregation: That's right.

Pastor Anderson: The public school is an Atheistic institution.

Congregation: That's right.

Pastor Anderson: It is an anti-God, Atheistic institution. The science class teaches their fairy tale of the Big Bang, fairy tale of evolution, this fairy tale that there's no God, and that you're an animal. You're an evolved chimpanzee. You have no morality except what you decide. You want to be a homosexual? Great. You want to be a transvestite? Great. You want to grow up and be whatever, anything goes. Just follow your heart. You're an animal. Look, if you believe in evolution, then you believe that you're an animal. Then, you wonder why people act like animals.

Man: Yep. That's it.

Pastor Anderson: You wonder why the kids are all sleeping around? Well, that's what animals do. I haven't seen any animal wearing a wedding ring.

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: You know? You don't see animals being monogamous. It almost does not exist in the animal kingdom. Animals mate with different ... Every year. It's somebody new. Every day, depending on what kind of animal.

Look, when you teach people that there's no God, when you kick out the Bible, when you teach them you're an animal, that's the real problem. They're never going to address that problem. Instead of laying the axe to the root of the tree and teaching these kids, "Look. There's the Bible. There's God. There's the truth. There's right and wrong. There's absolutes." They're never going to do that. Therefore, it'll never be fixed. Therefore, it's going to keep getting worse. No matter how many branches they cut off that tree, that tree just gets taller and produces more and more evil, corrupt fruit.

Another thing that is a big problem today amongst young people is laziness-

Man: Yep.

Pastor Anderson: And ADD. You know, they can't pay attention. They can't sit still. They can't do their work. Instead of fixing the root of that problem, what do they do? They give a drug to mask the symptom. They deal with the external problem. "Oh you're not sitting still. You're not paying attention. Take a drug that will fix that." What would be the root of that problem? Here's the real root of the problem is that our whole culture that is just TV, video games, movies ... I mean look if you just watch TV, isn't it just constantly switching?

Congregation: Yeah.

It's crazy.

Pastor Anderson: If you're not used to it ... You can't keep up with it. It's like good night. Stay on 1 camera angle for a minute. You know? It's just jumping around. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Something's exploding. We're jumping out here! Bah! Bah! Bah! Then, it's like a commercial break. Then it's commercial, commercial, commercial. For 1 minute, the commercial is telling you about beer. Then it's telling you about birth control. Then it's telling you about fast food. Then it's telling you about asthma medication.

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: All the commercials are meant to be funny and entertaining and exciting. There's all these graphics coming out of the screen. Then, you watch the TV show. It's like the soap operas for example. You've got 3 stories going on at the same time. You're jumping between them. Boom! Boom! Boom! Everything's just coming at you so fast.

You're playing video games. It's just boom! Boom! Boom! Action! Action! Action! Go! Go! Go! Go! It's like, "Okay. Let's read the Bible for 3 hours."

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: It's not going to happen. Look, I could sit down and read the Bible for 3 hours. No problem. Okay? You know what? When you grow up with this short attention span thing of just movies, TV ... Then, you wonder why they can't sit through church. They want the sermon to be 15 minutes long. They want prayer to have a little talk with Jesus, instead of sweet hour of prayer. They want Bible reading to be just I just read 1 verse as a devotional.

Man: Right.

Pastor Anderson: I read 1 chapter a day in the Bible. You know, this book is just not compatible with just the movies, TV, video game. It's white pages. It's black ink. There's no pictures. Look, when you read the Bible, it's not all action. I mean, even when we read Luke 3, there's that big, long genealogy that we read through. We should've just skipped that. Right? Just skip it? Well yeah. Otherwise, I'm going to bore the church members. So what! Grow up!

Congregation: That's right.


Pastor Anderson: Get mature. Sit down. Shut up. Listen to that genealogy. It matters.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Anderson: Maybe if you read that genealogy, you'd figure out that there's an unbroken genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ!

Congregation: That's right.


Pastor Anderson: Which proves that the world's not millions of years old.

Congregation: Yes.

That's good.

Pastor Anderson: I mean, everything in the Bible is there for a reason. We need to read it. We read the Bible to our children. We read them Chronicles and everything. They learn, if nothing else, to have an attention span, to sit and listen, to read, to study, to learn something. These are the problems with our society today.

You want to know why there's so much adultery? The statistics on adultery are enough to make you want to throw up. I mean it makes me sick. Read the statistics on how many people commit adultery, it's more than half.

Congregation: Wow.

Pastor Anderson: It's horrific! I mean, it's sad. Think about how sad it would be if your spouse committed adultery. You read the statistics, it's 50% of the time. You look at that and say, "Man, there's so much adultery. Everybody I know is getting divorced. People just always have these really bad marriages. What is the problem? What is going on?"

You know what? It all goes back to just a few root things, just a disregard for Ephesians 5 is what it comes down to. Just disregard Ephesians 5, that's the problem.

One time, I had a guy come up to me. He wanted marriage counseling. I told him ... I said ... He wanted to tell me his whole situation. "Well, I don't really need to hear the details. I don't want to hear the details." I said, "Let me just read for you what the Bible says. This works for everybody."

Man: That's good.

Pastor Anderson: I read him the part from Ephesians 5. You do this. She does this. Then I said in addition, "If you want God to bless you, you have to obey God. Here's where God tells you to read the Bible every day. Here's where he tells you to go to church. Here's where he tells you to pray." I said, "Listen to me." I said, "If you will do this, if you'll go to church every week, and if you'll read your Bible every day, and if you'll pray every day, for 1 month ..."

Right? "And if you and your wife will have a relationship that's based on the authority structure in Ephesians 5 ..." Okay.

Then I said, "If you'll love your wife, come back to me in 1 month if you still have a problem. Then, I'll talk to you about your problem. If you're not willing to do that, then I'm not going to waste my time trying to clean up your stupid mess. You know why your life is a mess? You're not obeying God. If you'll listen to my advice on this, then I'll help you."

The guy was not willing to read his Bible every day. He's not willing to go to church. He's not willing to do these things. Therefore, he's divorced a couple months later. "Pastor Anderson, you should've helped him." I can't help. I can't help people who don't want to live for God and obey God. They need to go to a worldly counselor. If they want a worldly solution to their marriage, then go to a worldly counselor.

I only give 1 kind of counsel. The right kind. The Biblical kind. If you're like, "I want to be half Biblical." Then, go somewhere else. I'm going to tell you the truth of what the Bible says. Listen. If that guy would've done the Bible reading and done the church and done the soul winning and had a marriage like Ephesians 5, he wouldn't have had a problem.

All of our problems go back to these basic root problems of lust, covetousness, disregard for God's Word. Okay. What's wrong with the young people today? They're not taught Christianity. They're not taught the Bible. They live a lifestyle of a culture of short attention span, fun, fun fun. They don't do anything hard. They don't have to do anything that's boring. I remember my wife said to me, "Oh. Isaac came to the ultrasound. He was bored. It lasted 2 hours." I said, "Good! Good! Let him sit there for 2 hours and stare at an ultrasound." You know what? When you grow up, that's your life. Does anybody just have fun all day at work, just fun?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Anybody a clown for a living? Do we have any clowns here today?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Who here's a clown today? Who here's a video game tester?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Anybody? Okay. Who here is a chocolate cupcake tester?

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Who here juggles in a circus for a living? No. Tell me what you do for a living. What do you do for a living? Garrett?

Garrett: Landscaping.

Pastor Anderson: Landscaping. Right. What do you do?

Matt: Pipe fitting.

Pastor Anderson: What do you do?

Man: Pest control.

Pastor Anderson: Pest control. Okay. What do you do Lauren?

Man: I manufacture gun accessories.

Pastor Anderson: He manufactures ... Okay. He has fun all day.

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Bad example. I look around the room. We have computer programmers. Oh that's real fun!

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: Computer programmer sounds fun until you start doing it. It's just ... You're staring at numbers and equations. Matt, you're pipe fitting. Is your job repetitive?

Matt: Yeah.

Pastor Anderson: Oh yeah. He's in some gigantic building. It's like, "Run 6,000 feet of pipe."

Congregation: (laughter)

Pastor Anderson: You know what I mean. When I did fire alarms, it was like, "Install 300 [inaudible 00:52:05]." It's the same thing over and over again. It's called character, hard work. You know what? You can judge a person's character sometimes by how quickly they get bored and cannot focus and just work and get things done and just be intelligent enough to have an intelligent thought while they do these things.

In our society, it's just like fun, fun, fun ... Games, games, games. Playtime ... Don't even have the kids in a real church. Put them in children's church where it's more fun, where it's more wild and exciting. These are the problems today in our society. Instead of trying to fix the outward symptom, the whole point of the sermon is this: Go to the root of the problem in your life.

What is the problem in your life? What's the problem in your kids? Are your kids stealing? Well, that means they're spoiled. That means that they have not been taught proper morality. They need a stronger sense of morality and Biblical teaching in their life. Okay. Also, they need to be taught that life is not all about things and possessions.

Man: Yep.

Pastor Anderson: They're probably getting too much. They probably have too many toys. If they want to steal more, if they want to steal candy, you're probably giving them too many sweets. You need to teach them to appreciate things and not just be spoiled by an overabundance of fun and pleasure and games. Okay.

What's the problem in your life? You're marriage has problems. Well, you know what? You need to sit down with your wife and read Ephesians 5 and say, "Here's what I'm going to do differently. Here's what I'm going to fix about myself, according to this book. Here's what you're going to fix, according to this book. Then, things will be fine." If you actually take heed to it. You got to do the whole package. You got to do the Bible reading. You got to do church. You got to do prayer if you want God to bless you. Look. You say, "What does my marriage have to do with reading the Bible? What does this problem or that problem ..."

It all goes back to a couple root things. A couple things ... Lust and bad friends is where sin is coming from. I mean, it's coming from being around bad people that are influencing you to do bad things or your own heart that's not satisfied with Godly things ... Looking for something else, always looking for something else.

Get to the root of the problem, even physically with your health. Don't eat junk and then expect some doctor to give you some pill to fix everything. You know, you need to eat healthy and exercise if you want to be healthy. That's the right path. Okay?

The same thing spiritually. Clean up the inside of your heart. Get your heart right. Love God in your heart. Be happy with what you have in your heart. Love your wife in your heart. Love your husband in your heart. Okay. Love the Lord. Read the Bible. Go to church. All these other things are just superficial symptoms to the real problems. We need to go back to the basics and strengthen the core of the inward man. That's where the problems are coming from.

Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.

Father, we thank you so much for your Word. Lord, help us not to be superficial people that are just ... We're just always looking for an outward solution, just a quick fix, just dealing with problems as they arise. Help us to, rather, try to go a little deeper and say, "Okay. Why are these things happening? Why do I commit this sin? Why are my children doing this? Why is our society like this?" Help us get to the root of the problem and fix it. It probably means getting rid of TV and movies and video games because they're causing our children to grow up and be stupid and have no attention span. Lord, help us not to just superficially just shut off the TV every time something bad comes on. Help us to actually lay the axe to the root of the tree and cut the cord to the television. Help us to deal with the root of the problems in our life and to eradicate evil and sin from our lives the best of our ability and not to just toy around with leaves and branches, but to actually get to the root of our problems. In Jesus' name we pray-