Mt 1: 20-25
INTRO: All sorts of things are being predicted for the year 2000 ... the beginning of the new millennium. A financial crisis because of out of date computers and software is prophesied. A possible chaosin air traffic control is suggested by some. The end of the world and the Lords coming has many religious writers and speakers in a real tizzy. With this dramatic change in the calendar what will be the status of Jesus?What sort of Savior is needed for the new millennium?
I. SOME QUESTIONS OCCUR TO ME
A. Will people acknowledge the need for a Savior?
1. oh, a savior when health problems require medical expertise
2. a financial advisor to save us for future prosperity
B. Has sin become fashionable, accepted?
1. so, sin becomes a nonissue
2. nothing from which to be saved?
C. Are we in the nonjudgmental mode?
1. so, no longer preach of need for Savior - negative
2. Im o.k. - youre o.k. ... logical conclusion? no one is lost - no need for a Savior, then
D. Will religion become so focused on self ...
1. feelings, experiences, merits, here and now needs that Savior will only be a different philosophical idea?
2. will people be so into themselves that theyll lose consciousness of sin, lostness and such?
II. SOME FACTS WE MUST CONSIDER
A. Sin and lostness are facts, realities
1. no amount of ignoring this changes it
2. 2 Cor 4:3-5 to them that are lost
3. note the god of this world hat blinded ... - it is this very thing which concerns me ...in any age (Eph 2:2,3)
4. no matter how blind, reality is real ... sin, lostness
5. these realities - seen or not; denied or not - will be in the new millennium as they have in every preceding millennium
B. There will only ever be one Savior
1. Heb 13:8
2. Jno 3:16 the only begotten Son; Lk 19:10 Who came to see and save the lost; Jno 8:24 our only hope!
3. only one Savior for all people - for all time (Acts 10:34,35)
4. the old, old story is the only story!
5. whether or not Jesus, the Savior has an impact in the new millennium depends a great deal on the vigor and enthusiasm we have for Him
C. There will only ever be one atoning sacrifice
1. Heb 10:12,14 if, then, there is to be a savior from sin in the new millennium, Jesus is it!
2. when people come to their senses, they must come to Jesus for atonement - 1 Jno 2:1,2
3. perhaps freedom from guilt will be sought in other places, through other means in 3rd millennium ...
4. but it will not be found - Heb 10:26,27
5. the message of the cross cannot change!
D. There will only ever be one hope
1. 1 Tim 1:1 Jesus Christ ... our hope
2. if people of the new millennium seek contentment, value, affirmation, in the things and isms of the present world, there will be sore disappointment
3. but if hope leading to righteous living is in Jesus, our future is secure - 1 Pet 1:3,4
CLOSE: We began with a question about the sort of Savior needed for the new millennium. The answer? The same Savior of the first two millennia! Jesus.
Cecil A. Hutson
03 October 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)