INTRO: I like to think that most Christian people are people of integrity and good will. The little text I read poses some interesting thoughts and suggests some needed and practical lessons. For example, we assume the integrity of the characters suggested there. And we also could infer that the tower builder and king had very good intentions. But one of the great lessons here is that integrity, good will, good intentions are not enough to get towers built and battles won! Lets talk about good intentions.
I. GOOD INTENTIONS AREA GOOD BEGINNING PLACE
A. Things usually do not just happen!
1. the international space station is not a happening
2. Solomons temple was not a happening
3. before there were either, there were good intentions
B. Consider ...
1. Dan 1:8 - great results began with great intentions
2. 2 Cor 9:7 - does our giving become great giving because of good intentions? or is our giving a happening?
3. Ps 17:3 - how does one keep his mouth from words which would be transgression? good intentions!
C. What good intentions are in your heart?
1. to share the gospel with others?
2. to spend more time in study of the word?
3. to miss no classes, assemblies?
II. GOOD INTENTIONS MUST BE ACTED ON
A. Here is difference between failing and accomplishing
1. so many good intentions have languished as intentions
2. the classic new years resolution problem
3. but taking action on good intentions is demanding - there is always a price to pay from intention to action
B. Note: Isa 46:11
1. 2 Cor 8:10-12 perform the doing of it
2. have you intended to be baptized into Christ?
3. have you intended to be more other oriented?
III. GOOD INTENTIONS DO NOT JUSTIFY WRONG BEHAVIOR
A. The end does not justify the means ...
1. if the means to the end, are evil, sinful, harmful (think of Satans temptations of Jesus)
2. building the tower (a good thing) would become a tragic intention if the money to build was stolen!
3. from intention to accomplishment must be compatible with righteousness, holiness
B. A case study? 1 Chron 13:1-3,7,9-12 ...15:12-15
1. there is no doubt of good intentions, noble
2. but things were being done in violation of Gods clear specifications ... noble intentions could not make wrong into right ... a hard lesson, but a necessary one
3. Mt 7:21-23 I do not doubt the sincerity and good intentions at v.22 ... but something in the process was in violation!
IV. GOOD INTENTIONS CAN BRING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
A. This is also a hard lesson to learn ...
1. Have you ever done something with best of intentions and been rebuffed, rejected, burned?
2. ill: John & Vi Foster ...
3. we are not always able to control outcomes!
B. So, Ex 2:11-14
1. I know Moses intentions were good - but resulted in his flight into Midian!
2. do we stop acting on good intentions? no, we cannot
3. we must act in kindness, in love, in holiness, in consistency with truth ... but we must continue to have and to act upon good intentions!
CLOSE: Do you have good intentions on which you need to take action today?
Cecil A. Hutson
05 January 2003
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)