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November 19, 2000 AM

Ezra 6:14-16

INTRO: I can only imagine the joy which must have filled the hearts of Gods people as the building of the temple was finished. Yes, the temple was to them more than a place to meet for worship. It truly symbolized the presence of God among them. We have finished a building, too. It is not one which has the same significance as the one built so long ago in Jerusalem. Yet, it is an important tool as we look to the future of the Lords people and work in this place. Perhaps reminders of familiar things are in order.


A. As the church grows, we must not forget this

1. it is far too easy to be caught up in a building, comforts, beauty

2. it is so easy to become modern in thought, action ... modern which compromises, etc.

3. it is easy to become artificial, superficial

B. Acts 2:42 Continue steadfastly!

1. the pattern is still the pattern

2. 2 Tim 1:13 is as binding as it ever was

3. there can be no drift, no compromises as we continue the work of the Lord with new facilities


A. Buildings are just wood, bricks, steel, etc.

1. they are not the purpose ... just tools

2. preaching the gospel is still our great purpose - Rom 1:16

3. there are still souls to be saved - we must not turn inward and neglect those souls

B. This community is an exciting mission point

1. people are coming from everywhere

2. so many are searching for meaning, purpose, contentment for their lives

3. have we taken advantage, individually, of their needs, their openness? its time!


A. Here is a critical need

1. we worry about the world, the church ... what is the church coming to?

2. no doubt that roots are being left behind

3. sound doctrine isnt observed as being all that important ... everything is so subjective ... and if you stress doctrinal soundness, youre likely to be called a legalist (not used as a compliment)

B. So, we must effectively teach

1. Eph 4:11-14 at v. 14 is a serious warning

2. without knowledge of the word people are without protection from religious attraction, innovation

3. note 1 Tim 4:13,16 them that hear thee


A. The fellowship of the church needs attention

1. this is the one another aspect of discipleship

2. the bond of brotherhood should be joyful

3. the bond of brotherhood should be so powerful, so attractive that others would be drawn to it

B. Characterized by serving one another

1. too, I like the thought of Rom 12:10

2. churches grow weak and sickly when serving, ministering is neglected, minimally existent

3. as we minister, serve the bond will grow

CLOSE: Note Heb 3:4 ... Let this building be built by some man. But let this church be built by God.

Cecil A. Hutson

November 19, 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)