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June 6, 1999 PM


Lk 9:62

INTRO: I enjoy reminiscing and nostalgia. I like poking through antique shops and museums. I enjoy opening dusty old boxes in which are the mementos of my early years. I like scrapbooks and the old boxes of family pictures. But I have no desire to live in the past. I do not want to become so rooted in the past that I fail to see the wonder and opportunity of the present. As Christian people, we need the wisdom of scripture which advises us not to live in the past.

I. THE TIME PAST OF OUR LIFE ... (1 Pet 4:3)

A. The past is real - it happened

B. The past can be instructive

1. our experiences should teach us

2. and mistakes should prepare us

C. The past may have events we regret

1. but we need to have dealt with those things

2. while the memory remains, we must press on

D. The past can be passed! this I refer to forgiveness!

2. Heb 10:17 no need to be buried in the past


A. We cannot undo - but we can be more careful

1. if we could recall our words - if we could undo our mistakes - if we could unravel our tangles ...

2. but those things are forever there!

3. we can repent of them ... and should (Lk 13:3)

4. where possible, we can seek forgiveness (Mt 5:23,24)

5. and we can be more careful about these things as future unfolds (Eph 5:15,17)

B. We cannot continue in sin - we are dead to sin

1. Rom 6:1,2,11 to Christian people

2. with our heads most of us know this

3. but it is often difficult to translate what we know into practical applications

4. I keep remembering Jno 8:1 - sin no more

5. we say (and rightly) that the Christian life makes a difference ... is different ... but do we really believe that? do our choices really reflect that?

C. We cannot avoid some consequences of the past

1. cause and effect are very much at work

2. note Acts 9:26 - their skepticism was a consequence of his past actions - he had to live it down

3. consequences can be a real burden, a hurt

4. but if we have dealt correctly with the cause, we can bear the consequences with Gods grace

5. does David teach this? Ps 51 gives clues to dealing with!

D. We must not look back with longing

1. Lk 9:62

2. note Ex 16:2,3 memory was skewed!

3. or 2 Pet 2:20-22 for a Christian there is nothing back there worth returning to it

4. we have a problem with separation - we spend too much time trying to stretch grey areas to cover too many wrong things

5. we need to learn how to rejoice in our Christian identity and to be peacefully content with holiness (so, Phil 3:7,8)

CLOSE: Phil 3:13,14. Christian people are in the present ... living in, dealing with the present with Christ as Lord. With Christ, the present is so much better than the past. With Christ, the future is filled with hope.

Cecil A. Hutson

06 June 1999

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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

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)