INTRO: When I think of the great verbs which are associated with God and which tell us so much about Him, I think of the word created. This verb is found in the very first verse of the Bible. From God is the natural progression for me is God created. Now, if verse 1 of the Bible is not historical fact and truth, one can only wonder about the credibility of the rest of the Bible. I believe, however, with good reason, that verse 1 of the Bible is historical fact.
I. WHY DO I HAVE THIS CONFIDENCE?
A. Because of cause and effect
1. the universe, the earth have not always existed
2. thus, the universe, the earth are an effect
3. a house is an effect - so, Heb 3:4a ... there was a cause ... man
B. Intelligent cause
1. accidents, undirected force cause randomness, chaos
2. however, the universe (like a house) bears the marks of intelligence: order, plan, design, mathematical exactness ... not the marks of chaos, of accidental cause
3. logic insists upon intelligent cause - so, Heb 3:4b ... there was an intelligent cause ... God
C. Gen 1:1 answers the cause and effect question!
1. Gen 1:1 names the intelligent first Cause - God
2. atheists, theorists have offered all sorts of ideas on the existence of the universe, the earth ... but most (if not all) of them would produce the orderly natural world from a great cosmic accident ... illogical
3. so, I do believe Gen 1:1 is historical fact, truth
II. WHY DID GOD CREATE THE HEAVEN, THE EARTH, MAN?
A. Rev 4:11 For His pleasure!
1. I hasten to note Deut 29:29
2. the Revelation text simply tells us God created all things for His pleasure
3. beyond that fact I really know very little
B. Isa 45:18 To be inhabited!
1. from the very beginning He intended earth to be inhabited!
2. all of the natural laws and phenomena whichmake life possible were designed by God for that purpose!
3. so, Isa 45:12
C. Isa 43:6,7 To give Him glory!
1. so, Ps 147:11 and 149:4 ... He is glorified, He takes pleasure in our reverence to Him, in those who place their hope in Him, who are truly His people
2. note 2 Thes 1:11 fulfill all the good pleasure ...
3. or Ps 103:20,21 the angels, the heavenly hosts do his pleasure ... v.20 explains exactly what is required in one who brings Him pleasure: do his commandments, hearken to His word
4. Phil 2:13 ...His good pleasure
D. Heb 11:3,6 We believe ... we please
1. the great cosmic questions come down to two things: our believing that God created and our desiring to please Him ... thus, glorifying Him
2. note Ps 16:11 ... God is pleased by our being pleased in Him
3. Gen 1:1 is not a fact of arbitrary science - it is a fact which has everything to do with you and me ... and the good pleasure of His will (Eph 1:5)
CLOSE: Yes, God created ... and the only suitable response is to glorify Him by living at his pleasure. So, again, Rev 4:11.
Cecil A. Hutson
April 2, 2000
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)