SOMETIMES ALL YOU CAN DO IS WAIT
INTRO: Most of us are not good at waiting. We want things to be immediate ... if not sooner. I expect that we have been conditioned by the pace of life in the western world to expect things to be done quickly. So, having to wait, really wait, is not our favorite way of passing time. From the scriptures I get the impression that waiting has never really been a favorite thing. Rather, we see people acting hastily, rashly ... just as now. But the wisdom of the scriptures says sometimes all you can do is wait!
I. SOME SITUATIONS ...
A. I cant wait until ...
B. We cannot hurry growth
C. We must wait on consequences of the past
D. We cannot hurry course of a disease - or, of the healing, recovery process ... etc.
II. SO, WE LEARN (OR SHOULD) PATIENT WAITING
A. Yes, we would like to get to the outcome
1. but we are bound to time, space, laws, etc.
2. thus, waiting is an unavoidable reality
3. too often, however, waiting produces anxiety ... it is not patient waiting
B. Texts to consider:
1. Rom 12:12 note hope and prayer with patience
2. 2 Thes 1:4 and 3:5 enduring with faith, patience
3. Rev 1:9 tribulation ... but patience
C. It is dangerous to wait impatiently!
1. already mentioned is potential anxiety
2. rash words and actions come out of impatience - I think of Job 2:9 - or of Sarahs misguided plan to provide an heir for Abraham
3. but wait we must
III. SO, HOW CAN WE WAIT PATIENTLY
A. Wait in prayer
1. Eph 6:18
2. Rom 12:12
3. beyond the obvious benefit of prayer, it has a way of refocusing attention on God... of bringing stray thoughts back into order ... of averting rashness
B. Wait in thanksgiving
1. Col 1;11,12
2. note that joyfulness is here with patience
3. what better way of waiting than to be aware of Gods blessings in our lives - of recounting with joy His benevolent deeds and kindness
C. Wait in well doing
1. Rom 2:6,7
2. yes, different situations of waiting will have their own circumstances and constraints
3. but so often we just shut down in waiting ... there are many good things which we can do while waiting
D. Wait in carefulness
1. Heb 6:11,12 and 12:1
2. not only can we act rashly in waiting, we can also become negligent ... careless about ultimate goal
3. at Jas 5:8 is establish your hearts - waiting is a time for confidence ... not doubts - a time for shoring up ... so
E. Wait in the scriptures
1. Rom 15:4
2. listening to God through His word is especially helpful in patient waiting - it is instructional; it is consoling; it is hope full
3. any kind of waiting situation is helped by dwelling in His word
CLOSE: Waiting is rarely easy ... especially when we are waiting on Gods timetable. But waiting can become a wonderful opportunity if we fill it with good things
Cecil A. Hutson
14 March 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)