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December 18, 2005 PM

2 PET 3:11,12

INTRO: There is no doubt that human beings often have a tendency to procrastinate. And deadlines may overtake us unprepared as we may be ... if there is not some sort of alarm which sounds to tell us the deadline is nearing. I wonder if that may not be how many people are about the end of their lives ... or, about the great day of judgment? Peter has warned that the judgment of God will come and that the great material universe will be burned up. And he has also recognized that people may become indifferent to such things ... and may even come to doubt that there is any reason for concern. The alarm sounds: But the day of the Lord will come


A. ...The great judgment day

1. if you believe the Bibles message, you must believe in the judgment day

2. Heb 9:27 - 2 Cor 5:10,11 - Mt 25:31-33

3. I do not presume to suggest when this event will transpire - and the fact that it does not come quickly must not lull us into a spirit of unconcern

B. ...The end of the material creation

1. all of these things in which we have put our confidence, which we have valued, which have been so much part of us will be gone

2. 1 Cor 7:31 - 1 Jno 2:17

3. and I know its hard to think in those terms - that things which have been here for 100's of years will no longer exist

C. ...That there is more to your life than now

1. oh, how hard that is to comprehend ... to really understand practically

2. 2 Cor 4:16 - so much is given to the physical person ... so little to the inner man

3. yes, we do think about the next meal; the next day=s work; retirement - and we are not really caught up in thinking beyond life in the here and now

D. Still, in view of these realities...


A. Two things are specifically mentioned here ... in plural form

1. so, all manner of holy living and all manner of godliness

2. it is almost as if there is a very deliberate effort not to omit a single thing

3. everything, without exception, relative to these things must be part of the life of that person looking forward to the judgment and heaven ... some specifics:

B. Most assuredly, we should be people characterized by love

1. Mt 5:44,45 - that ye may be the children of your Father

2. this word is agape love ... a word not often used until Jesus used it

3. a love always seeking the best for others - unusual in a selfish world

C. Then, we should be pure

1. Jas 1:27 - to keep himself unspotted from the world

2. the holy living applies to every aspect of life - no worldly influences

3. one thing I am not sure we really get is this ... we are other worldly people whose eyes are on a goal far different from this worldly people

D. We should be concerned about others

1. Jas 1:27 - to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction

2. cannot relieve all the suffering in the world - but we can assist the people whom we know who are hurting, needing

3. do we wait for the church to do this? 1 Jno 3:17

E. We should be kind

1. Col 3:12 - put on...kindness

2. I often wonder if this would set us apart from the world to a greater degree than some other qualities ... because the world in not a kind place

3. kindness certain is the objective of the golden rule - Mt 7:12

F. We should be forgiving

1. Eph 4:32 - ...forgiving...even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you

2. but people are so prone to harbor ill feelings, resentment, grudges

3. how many relationships have we permitted to be injured by not forgiving?

G. We should be self controlled

1. 2 Tim 1:7 - ...of a sound mind (discipline)

2. so many of our problems with self & relationships are rooted here

3. without dispute our lives would be so much happier with discipline!

CLOSE:Phil 3:20 makes as observation which should address the kind of people we are. For our citizenship is in heaven Is our behavior always a reflection of our citizenship?

Cecil A. Hutson

18 December 2005

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)