2 Cor 2:10,11
INTRO: Events which have transpired in recent months, weeks and days have brought my thoughts again to the wiles and works of the devil. We may unwittingly give the devil a footholdin our lives by our responses in situations and events. Satan can use so many things to his advantage ... and will. So for a little while let me think with you of some of Satans great weapons.
A. Lk 12:15-21 ... take thine ease ...
1. affluence is not a sin! but Satan can use it so effectively
2. here is a man who is affluent ... but who is a spiritual pauper
3. he has become comfortable, complacent, thoughtless in His prosperity
B. Isa 39:2 Its all mine
1. Amos 6:3,4 lulled into a sense of security!
2. two problems of affluence: pride, misplaced trust
3. so, 1 Tim 6:9,17-19 affluence: blessing or curse?
A. Acts 24:24-27 ... when I have a convenient season ...
1. Satans lie: youve got lots of time
2. suppose, though, you really dont have that time? how can you be sure?
3. back to Lk 12:19,20 ... many years ... - how wrong he was
B. Where our eternal destiny is involved ...
1. waiting a while is a serious mistake
2. it is exactly what Satan wants you to do
3. I like 2 Cor 6:2!
A. 1 Ki 19:1-4 ... take away my life ...
1. can an Elijah be that discouraged? yes!!
2. what Satan could not do in a frontal attack, he was almost able to do with discouragement
3. a great servant on the brink
B. We may find ourselves saying ...
1. whats the use? - and Satan rubs his hands with glee ... he has us on the ropes
2. our faith has been too much in ourselves
3. compare Ps 73:2,3,17,28 from discouragement, to worship, to trust in God!
IV. DEVASTATION - DISASTER!
A. Lk 24:21 ... but we trusted ...
1. hopes, dreams, expectations crushed
2. their world had suffered great shock
B. What goes through our minds?
1. why me, Lord?
2. where is the sense, meaning in this?
3. if God is so loving, why did He permit such a thing?
4. do you think Satan may be at the root of such questions? questions which bring some degree of doubt, distrust?
5. at the very time we should be leaning on, trusting God thoughts, questions of this sort are slipping between us and God!
C. A fact or two for consideration ...
1. sin, with all its ugliness, is in the world
2. God elected to give mankind free moral agency - the same freedom which may choose inhuman behavior may also choose to glorify God in righteousness
3. our hope is the rest and peace of heaven - but this life will have its tribulation (Mk 10:30)
CLOSE: Some of Satans strongest weapons are what we might tend to consider real life. The answer to them is a faith that is well maintained in worship and devotion. Isaiah 26:3.
Cecil A. Hutson
17 January 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)