INTRO: From Babylon came visitors bringing letters and a present to King Hezekiah from the son of Babylons king. I assume because of pride and some desire to impress his visitors Hezekiah showed them all of his treasures, possessions, and wealth. Now, Isaiah came to the King with some questions. One of them was this. What have they seen in thine house? I want to borrow that question to formulate thoughts for you and me. If visitors come to your house, what do they see?
I. DO THEY SEE ...
A. Worn Bibles?
1. not antiques ... Bibles worn out from use
2. suggests that the home honors Gods word
3. Ps 127:1 with Ps 119:133
B. Love of husband and wife?
1. an obvious mutual respect, devotion
2. suggests happiness, stability, honored roles, considerations
3. Rom 12:9a and 10a with 1Pet 3:5-7
C. Respect of children for parents?
1. in word and deed
2. suggests a home of loving discipline
3. Eph 6:1, 4 with Heb 12:6,9
D. Communication (language) that is pure?
1. absence of lewd, careless, talk - Gods name honored
2. suggests purity of the hearts of family
3. Lk 6:45
E. Habits that are wholesome?
1. manners; whereabouts; companionships
2. suggests that Gods word is impacting lives
3. 1 Thes 4:1
F. Entertainment above question?
1. leisure time activities will say a lot about us
2. whether television, literature, games, recreation, etc.
3. 1 Thes 4:7
G. Habitual in worship?
1. when its time to go to class, to worship ...
2. Heb 10:23-25
II. OR, DO THEY SEE ...
A. Family members in disarray?
1. no communion, no interaction, no relationship, no serving, no role honoring, bickering, anger, etc.
2. the breakdown of family - dysfunctional
3. where is the Lord in this family? (Prov 14:1)
B. Material interests in first place?
1. do they see things meaning too much? conversations that seldom leaves mundane interests?
2. do they see devotion to self? me? I?
3. Mt 6:33 with Ps 52:7
C. Movies, television programs, magazines which are suggestive?
1. how can such things not affect us ... if only to desensitize us?
2. how can such things not say something about our hearts?
3. so, Col 3:1-5 how can others reconcile these suggestive things with where our hearts should be?
D. Lukewarm spiritual interests, lives?
1. just about anything comes between us and things spiritual?
2. is our faith that superficial? it will show
3. Rom 12:1 has there been a sacrifice?
CLOSE: My hope in this simple approach to the matters at hand has been to provoke us to think seriously about the message others get from what they see and experience in our homes. Rest assured, they will go away with some message, some impression. What will it be?
Cecil A. Hutson
12 September 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)