INTRO: While there are some things which concern me, even grieve me, there are also things which thrill me and bring me great pleasure. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some thrilling things with you. I have had a bit of a dilemma deciding what to mention first. I decided I would not worry about a particular order or priority. Thus, this morning I want to consider the thrilling, wonderful world of God. As a youngster, I was intrigued by the creation of God ... and that intrigue has grown.
I. WHY IT THRILLS ME?
A. Its beauty - Mt 6:28-30
1. flora and fauna ... mountains and plains
2. imagine the incredible variation : of plants shape and color (and Gods colors match, blend)
3. the animals, birds, fish ... designs, patterns, variety: platypus to giraffe; lowly skunk to mighty whales
4. monolithic Ayres Rock - Grand Canyon - Victoria Falls - Holy Cross National Monument no man on earth can duplicate!
5. I am awed by its unexcelled beauty
B. Its diversity - Ps 104:24
1. sea, desert, rainforest, mountains, valleys, etc.
2. even among human beings ... size, colorations, shapes, features (fingerprints?)
3. it seems there is always something new to see - some sight Ive never enjoyed
4. this world is not a boring place!
5. Gen 1:31 I can only add an awed amen
C. Its design - Ps 148:8c
1. nothing, apparently, is without purpose
2. Job 38:22 comment on the design of snowflakes
3. Prov 8:27-29 should not pass his commandment ...
4. the cycle of oxygen and carbon dioxide!!
5. how can one know anything about the incredible balances in nature and not be awed, thrilled in simple contemplation?
D. Its dependability - Gen 8:22
1. virtually everything man does is predicated on the dependability of Gods wonderful world, universe
2. every time you look at a watch, a clock the information you get presumes the absolute dependability of the movement in the universe
3. the laws of nature are dependable, predictable (physics, geology, math, biology, etc.)
4. Heb 9:27 even this is dependable
5. oh, we take so much for granted - Ps 19:1
II. FROM IT I LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT GOD
A. First, I learn that He is
1. reason cannot conclude that all of this just happened
2. Heb 11:3 confidence? yes, absolutely
B. I learn of Gods great love
1. Mt 5:45 even on His enemies!
2. note, too, Jno 3:16
C. I learn of Gods provision
1. everything man needs to sustain normal life is here!
2. he didnt do a halfway job and leave the rest to chance ... so, even further, 2 Chron 16:9
D. I learn of Gods faithfulness
1. He is so consistent - what He sets in motion He brings to completion (Isa 46:11)
2. so, Ps 10317-19 ... from everlasting to everlasting
CLOSE: As old as I am, I never grow weary of the sights and sounds of Gods wonderful world. And every sight and every sound says this: How Great Thou Art! (Ps 95:1-7a)
Cecil A. Hutson
27 August 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)