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January 25, 2004 AM

1 THES 4:1-6

INTRO: Over the past several weeks, I have been considering the need for me to say some things about current moral issues. I suppose that this need has been growing in me over time as I have been repeatedly shocked and offended by the behavior of public figures ... and media decisions. While I may not be able to have much affect on the thinking of the world beyond my immediate presence, I still feel strongly the need to speak to you of these things. Indeed, you and I can make a difference beyond ourselves if we go out into our world with very definite convictions. So, I humbly ask that you bear with me a bit this morning.


A. The David Letterman behavior

1. he & his girlfriend have now produced a baby - about which he boasted

2. he commented that maybe they should get married

3. his boast, comments, behavior before a national audience are shameful

4. but the sexual conduct and behavior of many people in entertainment and public life has been shameful and virtually animal for many years

B. God put sex in marriage!

1. 1 Cor 7:1-3 - notice to avoid fornication!!!

2. human sexuality is a wonderful thing - a God designed thing

3. and the only proper expression of it is in the commitment of marriage

4. David Letterman and company are committing sin, and their behavior is a mockery of God and His law

C. 1 Thes 4:3,4 - Holy living involves abstaining from illicit sexual conduct

1. yes, I know the biological drives are strong - so does God

2. but we are called to use our bodies in a holy and honorable manner

3. no matter how accepted the practice of sexual promiscuity may be in our society, it is not acceptable to God

4. sexual promiscuity is described as the behavior of those which know not God (1 Thes 4:5)


A. The Rosie ODonnell/Ellen Degeneres/Barney Franks behavior

1. she, and so many like her, are openly, blatantly homosexuals

2. the flaunting of homosexuality has become the obsession of the entertainment industry

3. now, television programming (with ads of them on various outlets) featuring homosexuals and homosexuality are gaining air time and audience

4. in so many family oriented movies, programs in which homosexual behavior is not prominent there will be the token homosexual person, mention

B. Homosexual conduct is sin!

1. listen: Rom 1:26,27 - 1 Cor 6:9.10 - 1 Tim 1:9,10

2. yes, the proponents of homosexuality deny that the Bible forbids it

3. but they apparently are reading a different bible from the one given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit

4. homosexuality is a blatant violation of Gods law

C. Homosexual conduct is learned behavior

1. like all sin, it is a choice people make ... for whatever reason

2. rest assured, God would not have forbidden a characteristic with which we were born ... He never has and never will

3. God forbids illicit choices which human beings can freely make

4. notice Rom 1:27b - receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet - homosexual behavior results in present consequences (physical and mental) related to that behavior

CLOSE: Especially to our young people I want to say, Do not be lured into sexual impurity by the behavior of other people ... famous people. Yes, sexual impurity can be forgiven by God. But the permanent scars you will receive from such sinful behavior you will carry through your life. Life is too short and too precious for you to let unbridled passion bring irrevocable harm into your life.

Cecil A. Hutson

25 January 2004

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)