Sunday, August 03, 2008

One Sermon

Acts 16:30

One time, one sermon.

Question: What would you say to a person if you knew you could only talk to them once about God?


1.         There is one true God.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” [Genesis 1:1]


            a.         God is God for all people at all times.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. . . . Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” [Psalm 19:1, 4]


            b.        God is commonly misunderstood and unknown. God (“God the Father”) is revealed through Jesus (“God the Son”) who created this world and who lived on earth to teach us about God’s (“God the Father”) grace and truth.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He (Jesus) was with God in the beginning. [3] Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him (Jesus) nothing was made that has been made. [4] In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. . . . [14] The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


2.         God knows all about you. You must face God in Judgment. (That’s truth.)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” [Hebrews 4:13]

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” [Romans 14:12]


            a.         God thinks differently than we do. We think we are good. God sees the truth.

“He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.” [Luke 15:16]


            b.        Think about all the war, the crime, the hatred, the greed. Where does it come from? It’s who we are and what we do. That’s called “sin.”

“There is no one righteous, not even one; [11] there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. [12] All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. [13] Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. [14] Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. [15] Their feet are swift to shed blood; [16] ruin and misery mark their ways, [17] and the way of peace they do not know. [18] There is no fear of God before their eyes. . . . [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:10 – 17, 23]


3.         This behavior earns painful eternal consequences.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23]


            a.         The result of sin and judgment against us is an eternal lake of fire:

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. [13] The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades (hell) gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. [14] Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. [15] If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:12 – 15]


            b.        Jesus described this place as “torment” and “agony in this fire” without pity.

“In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. [24] So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” [Luke 16:23 – 24]


            c.         Our effort does not come close to helping us.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” [Isaiah 64:6]


4.         God has another idea. It’s called “grace” which is doing something for us because God wants to not because we earn it or deserve it.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [John 3:6]

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” [Luke 19:10]


            a.         Sin makes us powerless but God’s love is more powerful than our sin.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:6 – 8]


            b.        God exchanged all our guilt and sin for Jesus’ righteousness.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]


            c.         Jesus is the only way to be saved from our current condition and our future judgment.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]


5.         What must you do?


            a.         Admit you are a sinner. This is called “repentance.”

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [2 Peter 3:9]

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?” [Romans 2:4]


                        1.)       This means admitting your sin and your need. Jesus said:

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Luke 5:32]


                        2.)       God forgives and cleans us when we admit our sin.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9]


            b.        Believe in who Jesus is and what Jesus did for you.

All the prophets testify about him (Jesus) that everyone who believes in him (Jesus) receives forgiveness of sins through his (Jesus) name. [Acts 10:43]

“They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household.” [Acts 16:31]

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” [John 20:31]


            c.         Choose to follow Jesus.

“Yet to all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he (Jesus) gave the right to become children of God.” [John 1:12]

                        1.)       This means an attitude change and causes us to live for the will of God.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. [2] As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. [3] For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” [1 Peter 4:1]


                        2.)       We are healed from the damage and desire for sin and want to live for righteousness.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” [1 Peter 2:4]


6.         So, why am I doing this? Three reasons.


            a.         Jesus told those who choose to follow Him to talk about repentance and forgiveness of sins.

Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his (Jesus) name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. [48] You are witnesses of these things.” [Luke 24:47 – 48]


            b.        Because there is no other way.

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” [1 John 5:12]


            c.         To offer you eternal life or encourage you if you already have it.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” [1 John 5:13]

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