INTRO: I have a picture in mind of those pagan sailors as they crowd around Jonah with questions of his identity. Having answered their questions, Jonah is now known as a Hebrew who fears the Lord. Because the Hebrews (and their uniqueness) were certainly well enough known, the sailors ask another question ... one perhaps more embarrassing than the first series of questions. Why has thou done this? What possible reason can he give to these pagan men? What reason would make any sense? This question of the mariners prompts a little investigation tonight why do people sin? why do they forsake the Lord?
I. BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL GLIMPSES
A. Why did Eve sin?
1. Gen 3:4-6 she took ... and did eat
2. she knew Gods will concerning this she could not claim ignorance
3. the key: seems to be Satans telling her, ye shall be as Gods
4. vanity, pride - then - were the root of her sin
5. Prov 11:2 and 29:23 ...shall bring him low
B. Why did Sarah depart from Gods plan and involve Hagar?
1. Gen 15:3,4 16:1-6 my wrong be upon thee
2. God had promised - time passed - no son was born
3. and Sarah desperately wanted a son, heir for Abraham
4. the key: impatience with Gods working taking matters into her own hands
5. Eccl 7:8 the patient in spirit
6. impatience with Gods plans will ruin the outcome as God had planned and designed it!
C. Whey did Moses disobey God?
1. Num 20:7-11 he smote the rock twice
2. Israel was murmuring again (vv 3-5)
3. Moses had had so much of that from Israel
4. the key: v.10 Moses lost his temper in his anger he lost control
5. Eccl 7:9 and Prov 16:32 he that is slow to anger
6. in our anger, wrath, aggravation we will often do and say the wrong thing! (note 19:11)
D. Why did David sin?
1. 2 Sam 11:2-5 David sent messengers, and took her
2. sin knows no bounds is no respecter of persons
3. David certainly knew Gods law better than most
4. the key: the woman was very beautiful to look upon - David was guilty of lust inordinate desire for that which was not his to have
5. Gal 5:17 flesh lusteth against the Spirit
6. it is not uncommon for us to permit our desires to rule our lives, to make our decisions ... to compromise our convictions
E. Why did Peter sin?
1. Lk 22:54-62 woman, I know him not
2. oh, how hard the mighty fall!
3. Peter was filled with grief, remorse correctly
4. the key: Peter sat down among them Peter put himself in the wrong company, and it was just easier to go along
5. Ps 1:1,2 our spiritual strength is enhanced by our being in the company of the righteous
6. have you ever done something - among unChristian folks - of which you were ashamed ... and wondered why?
II. SOME LESSONS TO LEARN
A. Even the strongest - in some situations - may sin
B. We must constantly be on our guard about our minds, our emotions, our whereabouts
C. Forsaking God - even for a moment - will bring us problems
D. There is no excuse for our forsaking God no answer will really do
CLOSE: Although we are not certain why Jonah did what he did we can easily see the trouble it brought. His experiences say to us that we should carefully follow Gods way from day to day. It just makes good sense to do so.
Cecil A. Hutson
16 June 2002
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)