Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
October 10, 2004 PM
PROVERBS: THE WICKED (1)
INTRO: What is the aim of the author of Proverbs? Well, if we think of Solomons authorship (for the major part of this book is doubtless the work of this king, Davids son), it is obvious that he wanted his own children to take heed to the wisdom of the proverbs. If we think of the Holy Spirits authorship (and well we should), it is obvious that inspiration wanted to give instruction in righteous living ... and to emphasize the dangers of wickedness. So, I began reading the book with a view to what it says about wickedness and the wicked. It did not take me long to realize that at least one lesson considering the wicked would be useful in this series of lessons for today from this great book. I hope you will quickly see the value of these thoughts.
1. Prov 3:33 - God will not bless wickedness!
a. there is just no real hope in sinfulness, wickedness
b. this must be one of the great lessons of the Old Testament
c. over and again we see the wicked seeming to flourish ... only to meet some untimely, unpleasant end
d. Ps 73:12,16-19 - we must realize that things are not always as they seem!
e. yes, wicked and ungodly people do appear to do well ... to have a good time
f. our perceptions lead us to wonder about the advantage of righteousness
g. but we have to learn to see what God sees ... He curses the house of the wicked and blesses the house of the just!
2. Prov 4:18,19 - The way of wickedness is darkness
a. have you ever tried to walk through a house on dark night ... and stumbled?
b. there are plenty of things over which to stumble in black darkness!
c. that is the way of the wicked ... stumble they will ... and, tragically, they may not realize the seriousness of the stumbling block!
d. Jer 23:11,12 - the way of wickedness is just perilous ... period
e. Prov 26:11 - and, worse, they stumble again over the same obstacle - wicked people never seem to learn from their wickedness
f. the contrast, of course, is the shining light of the path of the just
g. Ps 119:105 - here is the answer to the darkness of the wicked way!
3. Prov 5:22,23 - Wickedness has its own recompense
a. wickedness has a way of paying its participants
b. Rom 1:27 - this principle of real life is verbalized in this text
c. Gal 6:7,8 - anyone who chooses a course of life that is wicked, sinful is making a deliberate choice of hurt to self ... ultimately, eternal death
d. this passage notes that he is holden with the cords of his sins - the habit of sinful behavior becomes incredibly strong and difficult to break
e. Prov 5:23 - this person rejects instruction (how often have I seen this)
f. he claims that he knows what is best for him - and he goes astray!
g. rest assured that sin will come back to haunt you
4. Prov 10:2 - A sinful life is ultimately empty of meaning and eternity
a. I recall the words of Heb 11:24-25 - ...for a season...
b. is this the message of the prodigal son? pleasure for a while; then, famine
c. oh, yes, the treasure of wicked living may be real ... and pleasurable
d. but it has no lasting value, quality ... and cannot take one safely to heaven
e. living for the here and now is the way of most moderns - as bright as they are, they cannot see beyond the pleasure, excitement of this moment
f. only righteousness delivereth from death
g. so, Eccl 12:13,14 - this is what really matters
5. Prov 10:7 - How do you want to be remembered?
a. one feature of the book of Proverbs is its straightforwardness!
b. the name of the wicked shall rot
c. another of the proverbs is this: Prov 22:1 - A good name...
d. each of us is now engaged in making a memory ... a memory which will survive long after we have left this life
e. how do you want to be remembered? as an unspiritual person? as an immoral person? as one who trusted only in material things? as one who did not keep his word? as one us used people?
f. this is a decision that is yours ... what people will remember about you (not only after youve died ... but after youve gone from here) you are deciding
g. the aim of this great O.T. book is to help you live in such a way that you will be remembered by all as just and upright!
CLOSE: Every day presents us with choices. Some of those choices will be the difference between goodness and wickedness. Choose those things which will result in fruit leading to life.
Cecil A. Hutson
10 October 2004
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)