INTRO: We not only are on the threshold of a new century, but we also will live into a new millennium. Such a thing has not happened often in human history. And, understandably, questions, predictions, apprehensions swirl about what many simply call Y2K. As we anticipate this unusual date change, there are some matters I would like us to consider. One of them is this ... THE GOD OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.
I. SOME GODS PEOPLE ARE PURSUING?
A. First, think of Ezek 14:1-7
1. an idol is that to which our hearts are devoted
2. at v.7 an idol (a god?) is that which separates a person from Jehovah
3. these deities are an abomination to God
B. Pursuit of money, material things
1. there is no doubt this pursuit is real - Mt 6:24 ... note Jesus reference to serving mammon - the god of riches
2. and at v.21 we see it is a heart problem
3. Col 3:5 idolatry without idols? yes ... but Eccl 5:10
C. Pursuit of the new age movement god
1. which blatantly says, You and I are gods - so, the god of self ... self -deification
2. pursuit of this god is not new - Gen 3:5
3. but Ezek 28:2 yet thou art a man - here is the fact! no matter how pride may fill your heart to your believing you need no one, you are only human
D. Pursuit of beauty and physical perfection
1. deification of the physical body with a cultural ideal of perfection - why has Baywatch survived?
2. gyms, sports equipment, makeup, beauty aids - in moderation, good taste o.k. - but have we gone beyond?
3. Isa 28:1 beauty is a fading flower - our beauty, our strength, our physical attributes will not last - what then?
E. The pursuit of pleasure
1. pleasure is a broad term - sexual gratification; doing ones own thing; satisfying senses; pursuing whatever pleases
2. Isa 58:13 Gods pleasure ... or ours?
3. Lk 8:14 pleasure is a god which looks no further than here and now
F. These (and others) are really not new gods
1. in one form or another theyve been around a long while
2. they can offer no more now than they ever have
3. but people will continue devotion to them
II. THE ALTERNATIVE?
A. Heb 11:1-3,6 God, Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth
1. God revealed in scripture
2. God Who changes not
3. the God of all millennia!
B. Ps 86:8-10 ...thou art God alone
1. Ps 33:11,12 the counsel of this God is sure - the greatest happiness, satisfaction is ours through devotion to Him (note, too, v.10)
2. 1 Pet 5:6,7 the care this God has for us!
3. Phil 4:19 that care is manifested in the supplying of our emotional and spiritual needs ... contentment (Phil 4:7)
4. Deut 31:6,8 the unfailing presence and promise
5. 2 Pet 3:9 the great desire of God (Ezek 18:30)
CLOSE: My purpose and my joy is to proclaim there has been and there is and there will be just one God. People will pursue with devotion other deities. But these have always failed people in the hours of greatest need. Why?
Cecil A. Hutson
26 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)