Rom 15:13 with Heb 11:1
INTRO: Someone once said, Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Another has well said, Where there is no hope there can be no endeavor. Hope is a word which can be deceptive. It can be used almost of a dream which is so remote as to be only a dream. Or it can be used of a great desire. Or it can be used of a confident expectation which is ours ... but not yet received. The New Testament often uses this word. So, I suggest a legitimate consideration is what will be the hope of the new millennium.
I. SOME POSSIBILITIES?
A. Financial security
B. More travel time
C. More creature comforts
D. Good health
E. A cure for cancer
F. These are not really all that different from the hopes of previous generations
II. BUT WHAT ABOUT ...
A. Peace and contentment?
1. the illusion is that enough money and things will guarantee these things
2. but reality is not really
3. note Mt 6:19,20 there is only one safe bank
4. the timeless, ageless wisdom of scripture?
a. Isa 26:3,4 compared to Isa 57:20,21
b. Mt 6:33 will the world ever learn this?
c. 1 Tim 6:8 is there ever enough?
d. Heb 13:5 is not the abiding presence of the Lord the most important reality? would you trade anything for this
5. is the trend toward material emphasis and solutions already irreversible? will peace and contentment on a spiritual, Biblical basis be history?
B. A happy marriage and family?
1. do statistics convince us that such happiness is just about impossible?
2. have marriage and family lost Biblical meaning?
3. is it possible that pessimism about having a happy marriage results from a loss of Biblical teaching about marriage and family?
4. contemporary humanistic, secularistic views have terribly damaged marriage and family!
5. is there any hope? yes! a happy marriage/hope can be an expectationif Gods plan is honored and followed
(so, Eph 5 - 1 Pet 3)
C. A useful, purposeful life?
1. for years past people have sought purpose - and I have no reason to think a new millennium will be different
2. but purpose on ones own terms will not satisfy
3. and therein may be one reason fulfillment - even contentment - is so elusive
4. it is a self-centered age, though - can this useful, purposeful life be found?
5. the key here: Gal 5:1 3,14 serve because you love -
Mt 25:37-40 serve as if to Jesus!!
D. A hope of heaven?
1. will the next millennium care about heaven?
2. skepticism, atheism seem to be expanding - hereafter thought change to here and now
3. still, humankind has to some extent always looked to an eternity; a life beyond this
4. and it is the Bible which reveals the truth of heaven and the way there
5. Jno 14:6 with Gal 3:26,27 here is the way to this hope - conforming makes this expectation ... not empty dreaming
CLOSE: The hope for the new millennium will not change much ... if at all. Why? Because God has set eternity in our hearts!
Cecil A. Hutson
24 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)