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Sermon #2166[i] Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “All Things”
Text: 2 Corinthians 5:18
Subject: What God’s Word Teaches
About All Things
Reading: Psalm 34:1-22 or Psalm 57:1-11
Almost every week I receive a telephone call, or an email, or a letter, or a visit from one of God’s children who is going through a heavy, heavy trial of faith.
· A Broken-hearted Pastor
· A Distraught Mother
· A Weeping Father
· A Devastated Wife or Husband
· A Weeping Parent, or Son, or Daughter
We have many friends, many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, who are going through heavy, heavy trials. Our hearts ache for them. Some of you are enduring great trials of faith. Your heavenly Father has been pleased to put you into the furnace of affliction. Yet, he sustains you by his grace. You are comforted in the midst of great heartache by the sweet knowledge of his wise, adorable and good providence, the blessed assurance of his goodness and grace in Christ, and the peaceful confidence that he who is our God and Savior has done all things well. Your sweet composure is both honoring to our God and the gospel we believe, and it is more encouraging to me and to others who weep with you and love you than words can express.
Some of God’s saints seem to have trials and temptations, one upon the heels of another. And, usually, those have the most difficult trials seem to bear them with great composure. They are always an encouragement to me. In the light of the heavy, heavy trials some believers bear with such grace, I get a little disturbed when people get all bent out of shape and complain about hangnails and dripping faucets!
In recent days, as I have thought about and tried to pray for and help some troubled friends, my heart and mind have been once more directed to meditate almost constantly upon the gracious, wise, and adorable providence of our God. When trials and temptations assail our souls, nothing is more helpful and comforting than the blessed knowledge of God’s all-wise, good, unerring providence.
I want us to look at two words used throughout the Word of God in relation to God’s providence and grace. I will have nothing new or profound to say to you in this message. I simply want to give you a message that will, I trust be blessed of God the Holy Spirit to your hearts as it has been to my own, for the glory of Christ. The title of my message is — “All Things.”
These two words, “all things,” are used together in the Word of God two hundred and twenty times. More often than not, they are used in some connection with the Lord our God. Whenever we read these words in Holy Scripture, or think about them in relation to our God, we ought always to remember that when God says “all things,” he means “all things.” He does not mean “some things,” or “most things,” or even “all good things.” He means “all things.”
Obviously, we cannot look at all the places in the Bible where these two words are used together. That would take a while! But we are going to look at a bunch of them. I have a message with nineteen points; but I plan to be finished in forty-five minutes. So I am not going to be doing much preaching. I want to simply weave these nineteen texts together and read them with you. We will let the Word of God expound itself. You cannot get better preaching than that.
This is a message that will thrill the heart of every heaven-born soul, comfort your heart, encourage your faith, and strengthen your spirit, if God the Holy Spirit will graciously enable you to hear it. It is a message that I trust may also be used of him to cause some of you who are yet without life before God to live and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. May God now cause you to hear wondrous things out of his Word. If you will follow me now through the Scriptures, you are going to see that this Book asserts emphatically and constantly that “all things” are under the absolute control of the Lord our God.
1. All Things Are of God.
We will begin at 2 Corinthians 5:18, where the apostle Paul tells us “All things are of God.” ― “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Just how far are we to take Paul’s statement here? Think about that for a minute. “All things are of God.” How far do you take that? Let me tell you. If I understand what this Book teaches, at all, you can carry those words just as far, just as high, just as deep, just as wide as your imagination will carry you. And when you have reached the utmost end of your imagination, as someone once said, you will have only “begun to commence, to get started!”
Take this blessed, inspired declaration just as far back as eternity past, and just as far forward as eternity future. Take it up to the highest heaven. Take down to the lowest hell. Take it around the world, through the world, and through all the ages of time. Take it through all that you have experienced, all that you are now experiencing, and all that you shall experience. When all that is, has been, and shall be has been considered, write this title over the picture and this explanation for the story ― “All things are of God.”
In the creation of the universe, “all things are of God.” ― “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
In the wise and orderly disposition of providence, “all things are of God.” ― “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever” (Romans 11:36).
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and will break
With blessings on your head.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His works in vain;
God is His own interpreter.
And He will make it plain.
In the salvation of our souls, “all things are of God.” Here, in 2 Corinthians 5, that is obviously what Paul is specifically talking about. Look at any one aspect of salvation, or look at the whole package of grace. However you look at it, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
· Election, predestination, and redemption are of the Lord.
· Forgiveness, pardon, and justification are of the Lord.
· Reconciliation, regeneration, and sanctification are of the Lord.
· Repentance, faith, and conversion are of the Lord. Preservation, resurrection, and glorification are of the Lord.
“All things are of God!”
2. All Things Are
for the Glory of God.
Next turn to Proverbs 16:4, and we will see that all things are for God, for the glory of God. ― “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
I do not presently see what God is doing in all things; but I am assured that in all things the Lord is making for himself an everlasting and a glorious name. When Isaiah described God’s goodness to Israel as he brought them out of Egypt, led the through the wilderness, and brought them into the land of rest, he said…
“That (he) led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name; That (he) led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name” (Isaiah 64:12-14).
That’s what the Lord our God is doing with us. He is making himself an everlasting and glorious name.
3. All Things
are Disposed of By God.
In Ephesians 1:10-11, the Holy Spirit informs us that all things are disposed of by God in time according to his own purpose of grace in eternity in divine predestination. ― “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
The essence of all that is this — Everything that comes to pass in time was predestinated by God in eternity, and is brought to pass according to God’s wise, holy, and good purpose of grace for the salvation of his elect and the glory of his own great name.
4. All Things are
In the Hands of Christ.
Turn to Hebrews 2:8-9. All things have been put into the hands and under the feet of our most glorious Christ, the God-man, as our Mediator. ― “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (John 3:35). — All things have always been in his hands and under his feet as God. All things have been put into his hands and under his feet for him to rule over and dispose of for the salvation of his people, as the God-man, our Mediator. ― “Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:2). ― “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living” (Romans 14:9).
All things shall yet be put under his feet. ― “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Rejoice, O my heart! He who loved me and gave himself for me holds the reins of the universe in his hands and governs all things absolutely, according to the love he has for me! All things are under his feet, in total subjection to his will, all the time! That means that all things are for me.
5. All Things
are For Your Sake.
Let’s go back to 2 Corinthians again. This time, we will look at chapter four, verse fifteen. Here the inspired writer tells us, “all things are for your sakes!” ― “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God
(Job 23:14) “He performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.”
(Psalm 57:2) “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.”
What a God, what a Savior we have! He “performeth all things for us!” Imagine that! Can you get hold of that? He “performeth all things for us!” Whatever has been, is now, or shall be hereafter, is for your sake! How often we are like Jacob and cry, “All these things are against me!” But that is never the case. All these things are for me!
6. All Things Work Together.
Take just a brief glance at Romans 8:28. Here the Holy Spirit teaches us that all things work together for the spiritual and eternal good of God’s elect. ― “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Here the inspired Apostle declares the holy, wise, good, adorable providence of our God. Nothing is more comforting to a believer’s heart, nothing so effectually quietens our fears as the assurance of our heavenly Father’s good providence. Any study of divine providence ought to reprove our hearts because of our horrible, inexcusable unbelief, while, at the same time, encouraging us truly to trust our great, gracious, glorious God. Look at this verse with me, word by word.
· “We” ― That is all who are born of God and taught of God.
· “We know” — by the revelation of God in Holy Scripture and because God the Holy Spirit convinces us.
· “That all things” ― good and bad, prosperous and adverse, pleasant and painful.
· “Work together” ― God’s universe is one great machine of providence all the parts of which work together as cogs and gears.
· “For good” ― nothing but good, temporal, spiritual, and eternal good.
· “To them that love God.” ― And who loves God?
· “Them who are the called” ― called effectually and irresistibly to life and faith in Christ.
· “According to his purpose.” ― We were called according to his eternal purpose of grace in predestination, and all things work together for our good according to that same purpose of grace.
Paul tells us exactly what God’s purpose is, by which all things are brought to pass in his adorable providence in this passage.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:28-32)
God’s providence is always good
He knows just what we need.
In everlasting wisdom He
All things for us decreed.
No sparrow falls upon the ground
But by my God’s decrees.
He raises men to pow’r and then
Removes as He may please.
Both happiness and sorrow come
By my great Father’s care,
By Him who has with tender care
Numbered His children’s hair!
All things are by my Father’s hand
With tender care dispensed!
O let me then, with childlike faith,
Trust His good providence!
7. All Things are Yours.
In 1 Corinthians 3:21, we are told “all things are yours!” ― “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours…And ye are Christ’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21, 23). If you are a believer, if you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, this is God’s word to you, to you personally, and to all of us collectively — “All things are yours!”
· All things spiritual: all grace, all blessings, all privileges, and all ministry are yours.
· All things temporal are yours to use and enjoy for the glory of God and one another’s good.
· All things heavenly: the angels of God, the throne of God, and the Son of God are yours.
· And all things eternal, all the glory of Glory are yours!
8. All Things are Ready.
Here is a text designed and intended specifically for the benefit of you who are yet under the wrath of God. Look at Matthew 22:4. Here the Lord Jesus commands saved sinners to declare to lost sinners that “all things are ready!” ― “Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.”
The Lord God has sent me to you with an invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Come just as you are. Bring nothing with you. This is one marriage at which no guests with gifts will ever be admitted. At this marriage, all the gifts come from the Father of the Groom and are bestowed because of the Groom. The bride has no dowry! In Christ all things are ready for the salvation and eternal bliss of needy sinners. — “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and whosoever will, let him come!”
· Here is complete pardon. Behold Christ’s blood atonement.
· Here is complete righteousness. See his perfect obedience as the Mediator and Representative of sinners.
· Here is sure acceptance. He has promised, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”
· Here is unconditional salvation. He who is our God and Savior has sworn, “They shall not depart from me.”
· Here is absolute security. He who saves sinners by his omnipotent grace declares, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
9. God’s elect are
Justified from All things
Turn to Acts 13:39. Listen to this — “By (Christ) all that believe are justified from all things!” ― “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” There is no justification by the works of the law. There is no justification by religious rites and ceremonies. But there is free, full, complete justification from all things in Christ. In him there is complete, irrevocable justification from all iniquity and transgression and sin for all who trust him. Yes, this free, full, complete justification in Christ belongs to every believer. It is ours presently; and it is ours permanently.
“Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent” (Acts 13:23-26).
10. All Things are
Possible with God.
In the story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:26), we are told, “with God all things are possible.”
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:23-26).
When the disciples saw this impressive, moral, upright, religious man walk away from the Master, they understood what had happened. This young man was confronted with the claims of Christ the Lord and refused to bow. Then they said, “Who then can be saved?” And our Lord tells us two things plainly, in response to their question: (1.) “With men this is impossible!” And (2) “with God all things are possible!”
What good news this is for needy sinners! No sinner is beyond the reach of God’s omnipotent grace.
· There is no filth that the blood of Christ cannot cleanse.
· There is no spiritual deformity that the grace of Christ cannot correct.
· There is no nakedness of soul that the righteousness of Christ cannot cover.
11. All Things are
Possible To Believers.
In Mark 9:23 we read about a man who brought his demon possessed, speechless son to the Master. This is what the Lord Jesus told him. — “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” ― “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:23-24).
Here is a father believing Christ for his son. — “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” The boy was possessed of the devil; but his father came to the Lord Jesus and begged mercy for his son who would not and could not beg mercy for himself. When the Savior saw his faith, he saved his son.
What encouragement there is here for you parents regarding your sons and daughters! Several years ago one of our men in Danville (Bro. Rex Bartley), as he led our assembly in prayer, mentioned a fact that ought to rejoice, encourage, and inspire hope in every father’s and every mother’s heart. He said, “Lord, never once in your word do we find a sinner seeking mercy for himself who did not get it. And never once do we find any who sought your mercy for his child who did not get it. So we bring our lost children to you and ask that you will be merciful to them, for Christ’s sake.”
Our Savior said, that faith as a grain of mustard seed is sufficient to pull up a full grown sycamore tree or to remove a mountain (the mountain of our sins) and cast it into the sea. The apostle Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”
12. All Things are New.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:17. Here we are told that Christ our Savior makes all things new. ― “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ― “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:5).
· In the new birth he gives us a new nature.
· In reconciliation he gives us a new record in heaven.
· In the resurrection he will give us a new body.
· In the renovation of the creation he will give us a new heaven and a new earth, “wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
13. All Things are
freely given as Needed.
In Romans 8:32 the apostle Paul assures us that, having given us his dear Son, the Lord our God will freely give us all things as we need them. ― “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” He who sacrificed his darling Son for us, to redeem and save us, will assuredly give us all that we need in this world and in the world to come. He will give us all the things we need and all the grace we need here, and all the glory we need to satisfy our hearts and souls in the world to come.
14. God’s saints
Understand All Things.
In Proverbs 28:5 the wise man declares, by the Spirit of inspiration, “they that seek the LORD understand all things.” ― “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Being taught of God, we understand that the origin of all things is our God. We understand that the end of all things is the salvation of God’s elect and the glory of his name. We understand that the nature of all things in this world is temporal. And we understand all things spiritual.
All who are born of God are taught of God and, having the mind of Christ, understand all things vital and necessary to the saving of their souls. ― “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (1 John 2:20).
15. Give thanks for All Things.
Ephesians 5:20 teaches us that it is both the responsibility and the joy of believers to give thanks to God for all things. ― “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You will notice in the context that Paul is talking about walking in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit. The Spirit filled life is the life of a believer giving thanks to God. ― “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is our duty and our great privilege to give thanks to God always, in all things and for all things. It glorifies God for us to praise him and give thanks to him. And it breeds joy and peace in our own hearts and among our brethren for us to ever give thanks to God for all things.
16. There is a day coming
for the Restitution
of All Things.
Read Acts 3:21 with me, and understand that there is a day coming called “the restitution of all things.”
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).
In that great and glorious day, when all things are brought to their final end, when time shall be no more, all things will glorify our God, either his grace or by his justice. Everything that has been (all things, all events, all creatures, and all the actions of all creatures, whether good or evil) will praise him and prove to have been good.
17. We who believe
shall Inherit All Things.
Now, look at Revelation 21:7. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” ― “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
I remember that when I was a boy in North Carolina, back in the early sixties, seeing civil rights marches on television. They took place in almost every major city in the South. Everywhere they went, they joined hands and sang, “We shall overcome some day.”
All true believers may rightfully join heart and hand and sing, “We shall overcome some day.” Soon (Oh happy day!) we shall overcome the world, and death, and hell, and the grave, and sin, and Satan! This I promise you. — As the Lord God has bruised Satan under your Savior’s feet, So “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
We shall then inherit all things by the grace of God. We are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.” That means that we shall inherit all things with Christ, in Christ, and for Christ’s sake, and that we shall inherit all things fully! And I cannot begin to think about telling you all that that means!
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)
“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (John 17:22)
18. The End of All
Things is at hand.
I cannot conclude this message without having you look at 1 Peter 4:7, where we are told, “the end of all things is at hand!’ ― “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” — “Behold, he cometh!” When our great and glorious Christ appears the second time, without sin, unto salvation, then the end of all things will come.
· The End of All Our Troubles!
· The End of All Our Struggles!
· The End of All Our Toils!
· The End of All Our Trials!
· The End of All Our Temptations!
· The End of All Our Sins!
· The End of All Our Sorrows!
· The End of this World!
· The End of Your Opportunities!
· The End of God’s Grace!
19. God our Savior
has done All Things Well.
Turn with me now to Mark 7:37. This will be my final word to you. When the end of my days on this earth comes, when I look over my life’s finished story, I am confident, this will be my final word then. And when the end of all things has come, and time shall be no more, this will be the final word of all story and of all rational creatures — “He hath done all things well!” ― The people who beheld our Savior’s wonders on earth and heard his word “were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” Yes, blessed be his name, God our Savior “hath done all things well,” with me and mine, with his church, with this world, and with you and yours!
O for a heart prepared to sing,
To God, my Savior and my King:
With all the saints I’ll join to tell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
All worlds His glorious power confess,
His wisdom all His works confess,
But O His love what tongue can tell!
My Jesus hath done all things well.
How sovereign, wonderful and free,
Is all His love to sinful me!
He plucked me as a brand from hell! —
My Jesus hath done all things well.
And since my soul has known His love,
What mercies He has made me prove,
Mercies which all my praise excel. —
My Jesus will do all things well.
Soon I shall pass this vale of death,
And in his arms shall lose my breath,
Yet, then my happy soul shall tell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
And when to that bright world I rise,
And join the anthems in the skies,
Among the rest, this note shall swell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
[i] Danville 01-30-94 (PM) — 01/19/97 (AM)
Cherokee, NC 10/18/00
Mid-South Baptist Church, Merigold, MS (Sunday PM — 04/24/02)
Lincoln Wood Baptist Church, Houston, TX (Friday PM – 03/28/03)
Fairmont Grace Church, Sylacauga, AL (SUN AM – 02/17/08)
Egglesburn Baptist Church, Eggleston, England (SUN AM – 04\11\10)
Buck Mountain Baptist Church, Roan Mountain, TN (06/24/14)