Hag 1:13 and Mal 3:1
INTRO: I am glad that our vacation Bible school will be calling attention to Great Messengers Of God. The Bible calls attention to so many wonderful people whom God has chosen as messengers. Obviously, the time allotted for vacation Bible school can only refer to a few of these messengers ... and, then, only in a brief way. But it is good to remember them. This morning I would like to give emphasis to this theme by calling attention to a few names.
I. MOSES: THE GREAT LAW GIVER
A. Deut 34:10-12 No one like Moses!
1. out of the wilderness into high profile
2. deliverer - law giver - judge - leader
3. whom the Lord knew face to face - Num 12:7,8
B. Num 20:12 But one act of disobedience ...
1. Moses was deprived of his early goal by this act
2. no matter how great the man, disobedience will always have consequences and mar the memory
3. yet, the course of his life was righteous - Heb 11:24-26
II. ELIJAH: CHOOSE!
A. 1 Ki 18:21 You cannot be a fence sitter!
1. so many great things about the prophet of fire
2. Mt 17:3 he appeared with Moses at transfiguration
3. but this incident involving Israels indecision about whom they would serve is typical ... and relevant where God is concerned, you cannot sit on the fence!
B. 1 Ki 19:1-4 still, he experienced fear, despondence
1. courage is often met with threats, resistance, ugliness
2. and even the greatest of servants can be affected adversely
3. yet, he arose from despair to continue his service to God
III. ISAIAH: I WILL GO!
A. Isa 6:8-10 The willing messenger
1. the spirit of Isaiah was so ready, so willing
2. Isaiah had hard messages to deliver
3. he had to tell kings and people of Gods impending judgment for Israels faithlessness - Isa 5:4-7
B. Isa 7:14 The great good news prophet, too
1. so filled with prophecy of Christ that many refer to him as the Messianic prophet
2. and he tells us so much about God - Isa 43:10,11
3. quoted often in the New Testament
IV. JEREMIAH: NO ONE LISTENS!
A. Jer 20:7-9a They make fun of me
1. Jer 1:6-8 he has this commission/promise from God
2. but it seems that all he got for his preaching was trouble, misery, grief ... he wondered (in his humanity) if the Lord had played a cruel trick on him (20:1,2)
3. and its true - he was badly treated by his people
B. Jer 20:9b But he kept preaching
1. there arent many feelings worse than to think on one is listening
2. but Gods messengers have a great love for the word and cannot but continue to share it ... whatever the outcome!
3. Jeremiah had little worldly happiness ... but Lam 3:22-25
V. SOLOMON: DID NOT PRACTICE WHAT HE PREACHED
A. Prov 3:1-7 He left us great, good messages
1. his wisdom amazed people - 1 Ki 10:6-9
2. few have not benefitted from Proverbs, etc.
3. 1 Ki 4:29-32,34 his gift to the world
B. 1Ki 11:1-3,9,10 but ...
1. how many life stories conclude with but?
2. in short, Solomon did not practice what he preached!
3. the messenger of God must live the message
CLOSE: Heb 1:1,2 - Jesus, the greatest messenger of God! His message will take us home to heaven. Are we listening?
Cecil A. Hutson
03 June 2001
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)