Sermon #1056 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “TO YOU”
Text: Acts 13:26
Scripture Reading: Acts 13:16-49
Subject: The Responsibility of Obedience to the Gospel
Date: Sunday Morning – November 29, 1992
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than trifling with the gospel. The greatest privilege in all the world is the privilege of hearing the gospel of Christ. The greatest crime in all the world is the crime of hearing, but refusing to believe the gospel. (I John 5:10). You who refuse to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, by your unbelief, declare that God Almighty is a liar! What could be more abhorrent? I warn you, God will not tolerate your insolence forever! (Read Pro. 1:23-33!).
Compare Acts 13:26 with verses 44-46.
Paul and Barnabas first preached the gospel to the Jews at Antioch; but the Jews contradicted it, blasphemed it, despised it and rejected it. Then Paul said, “We turn to the Gentiles!” The Jews at Antioch heard the word of salvation. They had full opportunity to know the truth; but, because they were blinded by sin, religious prejudice and their own traditions, they could not see Christ. They judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.
1. Here is a Word of Warning!
God says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3). So long as God sends his Word to you, so long as God, by his Spirit, speaks to you by his Word, his Spirit strives with your spirit, calling you to repentance and faith in Christ. He calls you…
· By Creation!
· By Your Conscience!
· By His Holy Law!
· By Providence!
· By The Gospel!
But, if you refuse to hear his voice there will come a time when he will close to call (Hos. 4:17).
Illustration: Noah’s Generation.
This is a Warning to our Nation! How many nations there are today engulfed in Judaism, Islam, or Romanism, where once the glorious gospel of Christ was preached!
This is a Warning to this Congregation! Go, look over the ruins of Asia Minor where once stood those seven great, influential churches and be warned – Christ will take away the candlestick if we fail to walk in the light of his Word.
Illustration: The Tabernacle
This passage of Scripture stands as a warning to all of you who today hear, and yet refuse to believe the gospel of Christ. I urge you, while you able to hear the gospel, also to believe the gospel.
2. Here is A Word of Encouragement Too! (Read vv. 48-49).
The purpose of God stands sure. Man’s unbelief does not nullify, or hinder the purpose of God (Rom. 3:3-4). As we go forth preaching the gospel, we are assured that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. Some will believe. God’s elect will be saved.
Illustration: The Child Blowing the Dandelion Seeds.
Now I want you to look at the latter part of verse 26 again – “To you is the Word of this salvation sent!”
The gospel of Christ is this day sent to you and demands a response from you - “To you is the Word of this salvation sent!”
1. What is The Word of This Salvation?
2. How is the Word of This Salvation Sent To You?
3. What is Your Position Before God, Now that you Have Heard The Word of This Salvation?
4. How Will You Respond to the Word of This Salvation?
I. What Is “The Word of This Salvation?”
Paul speaks of the gospel of the free grace of God in Christ as “The Word of this Salvation,” not a word, but The Word.” He uses the definite article “the” because there is only one word of salvation, and that is the Word that Paul himself preached (I Cor. 2:2), the Word he was then preaching at Antioch.
What does Paul mean when he uses the expression “The Word of this Salvation?” Let Paul himself define his words.
A. It is the Declaration that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Promised Savior (v. 23).
B. It is the Declaration of God’s Elective Purpose (v. 17).
C. It is the Declaration of Free and Full Forgiveness to All Who Believe (vv. 38-39).
D. In a Word, “the word of this salvation” is The Declaration of Perfect, Complete Salvation through Christ, The Risen Lord (vv. 32-33; Rom. 4:25, 8:34). (See Heb. 10:1-14).
E. The Message of Redemption and Grace in Christ is Called “The Word of This Salvation” because…
1. The gospel of grace is one message, a word, concise, simple and singular.
· No Contradictions!
· No Mixtures of Grace and Works!
· No Conditions or Qualifications!
2. It is a Word Spoken by God.
· In Eternity!
· In the Scriptures!
· In the Preaching of the Gospel (James 1:18).
3. It Reveals Him Who Truly is “The Word” of God.
4. It is “the word of salvation”, for it is the word by which salvation is proclaimed, presented, pressed home and brought to pass in your soul.
5. “To you is the word of this salvation sent.”
· Gospel Preachers are sent on a Mission!
· The Gospel is a Message Sent from God to Sinners!
· The Holy Spirit is sent to Work Salvation Among Men!
Do you see the meaning of Paul’s words – “To you is the Word of this salvation sent”? This is the word of salvation that is sent to you! “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life!” Believe on Christ, and you shall never perish, you are saved, forever saved, forgiven, and “accepted in the Beloved!” Stop! Go not another moment in your senseless life of misery and waywardness. Trust Christ, and live!
To whom is it that the God of salvation has sent the word of salvation? He sent it to sinners, who need salvation. It is a word that suits the case of sinners. For what purpose has God sent the word of this salvation to sinners?
· To the condemned, it is a word of pardon.
· To the rebel, it is a word of reconciliation.
· To the restless, it is a word of peace.
· To the dead, it is a word of life.
· To the captive, it is a word of liberty.
· To the bewildered, it is a word of direction.
· To the Weary, it is a word of refreshment.
· To the helpless, it is a word of strength.
· To the disconsolate, it is a word of comfort.
It is a word of salvation to the lost soul, saying, “Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost!”
II. How is the Word of This Salvation Sent to You?
Give me your ears now. Give me your hearts’ attention, as I try to show you the answer to this question. I want you to see that the word of salvation is sent to you!
Let every mortal ear attend,
And every heart rejoice;
The word of God’s salvation sounds
With an inviting voice!
A. It is sent to you in The Great Commission given by Christ (Mark 16:15-16; I Tim. 1:15; Rev. 22:17).
“Whosoever will’ must include you, for you have a will, and you can come to Christ if you will.” (C.H. Spurgeon).
B. It is sent to you, for The Preaching of the Gospel has come to you.
Millions there are in this world who have never heard the gospel of Christ; but “to you is the word of this salvation sent.” (Matt. 11:25-30).
1. You have a Bible you can read.
2. You have a place where you can come to hear the gospel.
3. You have heard the gospel today.
C. The Word of Salvation has been sent to you By The Direction of Divine Providence.
Perhaps some of you have been brought here today by a remarkable work of God’s providence.
· Onisimus – The Man in Australia
· Lydia – The Young Jew at New Castle.
· The Wayward Son who missed his ship in London.
God has sent you to hear this preacher. He has sent you through the voice of this preacher.
God has sent you to hear this preacher. He has sent this preacher to you. And he has sent this message to you through the voice of this preacher.
D. It is sent to you By The Peculiar Words the Preacher Has Been Directed to Speak.
If anything I have said comes home to you personally, as though someone had been talking to the preacher about you, it just might be that God, who knows your heart, is speaking to you directly by my words! If the medicine suits you disease, it was evidently meant for you.
E. The word of salvation is sent to you when It is Accompanied By The Power of The Holy Spirit (I Thess. 1:45).
If, as you have heard my voice, you have heard God himself speaking to your heart, then the word of this salvation is indeed sent to you, personally.
III. What is Your Position Before God, Now That You Have Heard The Word of This Salvation?
With every privilege comes great responsibility – (John 15:22). You are not in the position of one who has never heard the gospel. You have heard it.
A. That places you in A Position of Singular Favor (Matt. 13:16).
Multitudes have died without hearing the things you hear.
B. We are also in A Position of Great Indebtedness.
1. To God who sent us his Word.
2. To The Martyrs who died to Preserve the Word for Us.
3. To The Saints of God who have Provided for You to Hear The Word.
· This Building.
· This Ministry.
4. To all those who faithfully preach the Word.
C. The fact that the gospel has been sent to you places you in A Position of Great Hopefulness.
This is the means of salvation. If God has sent you the Word of grace, maybe he will send you the Spirit of grace. It is my prayer that he will now give you faith in Christ. It is the prayer of these saved sinners that you will today have grace poured into your heart by our God.
D. Having heard the Word of grace and salvation, you are now in A Position of Serious Responsibility – (II Cor. 2:14-16). How shall you escape the wrath of God, if you neglect so great salvation? (Heb. 2:3).
1. You will no longer remain unaffected by the gospel – you cannot forget it – You cannot escape its influence – Even if you perish in hell, you will not forget what you have heard!
Illustration: Barnard’s Sermon – “The Hounds of Hell”
2. What you have heard this day will either save you, or it will greatly increase your condemnation.
IV. How Will You Respond To The Word of This Salvation?
Let me put this question to you personally and pointedly. I am free of your blood. If you perish, your blood will be upon your own hands! (Acts 20:26-27).
A. Will you decidedly refuse God’s Word of Salvation?
The Jews at Antioch did! The Rich Young Ruler Did!
B. Will you foolishly delay your response to the gospel?
C. Will you play the hypocrite, pretending to receive the Word, though in your heart you reject it?
Ananias and Sapphira did! Simon Magus did!”
D. Will you become a temporary convert, seeking only the blessings of Christ, but not Christ himself?
Many have done so (John 2:23-25).
E. I pray that you will now, by the grace of God, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive God’s salvation.
Believing does not take a month, a week, or even a minute. Be done with everything that hinders you. Trust Christ.
“Only trust Him, only trust Him,
He will save you now!
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
He will save you now!”
· The Philippian Jailor.
· The Woman with an Issue of Blood.
Illustration: The distress signal – “We want water. We have no water and are perishing!” The reply – “Dip it up! You’re in the Amazon river. There’s fresh water all around you. Dip it up!” – “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart”…