INTRO: One of the fairly common problems shared by most of us is that of forgetfulness. We often make light of that problem with funny anecdotes and jokes. One way some people explain their forgetfulness is to say, Ive slept since then. There may be more truth to that then we realize! So, we take great pains to remember. We make notes. We set alarms. But there will still be those times when we forget something ... a promise, an appointment, a scrap of paper with an important telephone number. It can be so frustrating! Then, of course, there are the physical ailments which can affect memory. We agonize with loved ones whose minds and memory are harmed by these ailments. In his humanity and against the background of his humanity the psalmist prays to God for God to remember the word unto thy servant...
I. IS GOD APT TO FORGET?
A. Do you ever feel that He does?
1. Ps 13:1 - How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever?
2. perhaps in our distresses and disappointments we have this feeling
3. or, perhaps when we have prayed fervently about some specific thing and there is no answer ... or, at least we do not see the answer
B. Some history to consider...
1. Ex 6:1-5 - some 400 years passed since His covenant with Abraham
2. 1 Sam 1:10,11,19,20 - be assured He does not forget our prayers
3. Rom 15:4 - the history is vital to us and to our own confidence
C. The nature of God?
1. Heb 10:23 - ...he is faithful that promised...
2. Titus 1:1,2 - ...God, that cannot lie, promised...
3. Heb 6:10 - For God is not unrighteous to forget...
II. THE CAUSE FOR HOPE?
A. That which God had revealed in His word
1. our hope is not in think sos or hope sos or feel sos!
2. it is evident that a great many religious people are putting their trust in feelings and opinions
3. why obvious? because they say and do things which simply have not basis in scripture or which are in contradiction to scripture
B. Col 1:5 - True hope absolutely requires, depends on the revealed word
1. Heb 11:13 - God had made promises (His word); promises were embraced; embraced promises led to very specific manner of life
2. my point is that these people lived and died knowing because of Gods revealed word
3. when we think God has forgotten, we must go to the word! confidence!
III. THE PROMISES ON WHICH WE HOPE?
A. Mk 16:16 - The promise of salvation to believers who are baptized
1. I place my eternal hope and confidence on such a word as this
2. to believe and/or teach that baptism is not necessary to ones salvation ignores the plain language of Gods revealed word
B. 1 Jno 1:7 - The promise of continuing cleansing for in Christ people
1. I live each day in the confidence that the blood of Christ continues to cleanse me from the guilt of sin - do I sin? yes (1:9)
2. I do not live in abject fear/anxiety because of sin - God has promised!
C. 1 Jno 5:14 - The promise that He hears our prayers
1. I do not concern myself with the answers - I know He hears & answers
2. I put my confidence, my trust in the promise revealed in the word
D. Heb 13:5 - The promise of the abiding presence of the Lord
1. from history I know that this promise to Gods people is kept
2. as alone as we may occasionally feel in our troubles, despairs, uncertainties, I (we) can claim the comfort of this promise revealed in His word!
E. Titus 1:2,3 - The promise of eternal life
1. and notice that this promise is manifested in/by his word
2. my future is secure; my future is not in question; my future rests in the assurances of Gods revealed word
IV. THIS IS OUR COMFORT!
A. Without His revealed word, I cannot imagine what true comfort wed have
1. I cannot imagine life without the promises I have mentioned
2. these promises simply do not exist apart from His word!
B. 1 Thes 4:18 - ...comfort one another with these words
1. our comfort comes via the revealed word of truth!
2. in matters vital to our well being God has not left us to speculation!
CLOSE: And the greatest comfort comes in the knowledge that God will not forget His promises!
Cecil A. Hutson
February 6, 2005
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)