Sermon #1851                                                                                                   Miscellaneous Sermons

 

      Title:                                             A Message for

Our Sons and Daughters

 

      Text:                     2 Timothy 3:14-17

      Subject:   Questions that Seek to Undermine Faith

      Date:                    Sunday Morning — May 30, 2010

      Tape #                 Z-88b

      Reading: Proverbs 4:1-5:2

 

Proverbs 4

1.    Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

2.    For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

3.    For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

4.    He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

5.    Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

6.    Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7.    Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8.    Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9.    She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 1

11. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

12. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

13. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

14. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 1

19. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

20. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

 

Proverbs 5

1.    My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

2.    That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.”

 

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)


Introduction

 

Last week I received a request from a very dear friend, Bro. Jeff Vandal, in Cottageville, WV. I’ve known Jeff and his wife Laura since they were teenagers. Now their oldest daughter, Sara, is graduating from High School and is about to go off to college. — I can identify with his delights and his fears. I’ve been there.

 

Bro. Jeff remembered a message I preached twenty years ago, and requested a copy of it. The more I thought about his request, the more convinced I became that the message he requested needs to be heard again. So I began working on it. Turn with me to 2 Timothy 3.

 

Today I want to talk specifically to our sons and daughters. I have titled this sermon — A Message for Our Sons and Daughters. I want to address some specific questions by which evil men and women seek to undermine and destroy faith in Christ. I realize that, both by nature and through a perverse system of education, you all face challenges to what you have been taught here and at home. That is especially true of you who are in High School and College. I can say with regard to every one of you what Paul said to Timothy in our text (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

 

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; — 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvationthrough faith which is in Christ Jesus. — 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: — 17 That the man of God may be perfect, — throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

 

All around you and within you there are seducers, deceiving and being deceived. Today, I want to do what I can to silence the seducers and slay the deceivers, by trying to answer some questions by which Satan and skeptics seek to undermine our faith.

 

The questions I am going to answer in this message are all questions that I have been asked by different people. They are questions I was asked as a young man, by some of my teachers, some of my friends and some of my detractors, shortly after God saved me. And, frankly, I was not able to answer them, because no one had bothered to give me instruction.

 

These are questions that some of you are asking. You naturally question everything. We all do. This natural suspicion is reinforced in the name of intelligence and scholarliness. — A person is considered smart who questions authority, morality and religion. You are considered an ignorant bigot if you question rebellion, immorality and atheism. But you are considered intellectual and smart if you question authority, morality and religion, especially smart if you question the Bible and Christianity. If you have not begun to ask the questions we will consider this morning, you will soon be urged to do so.

 

These are questions that some of you older folks are asking, too. You would not ask them in front of your children, or in front of your husband or wife. But in your own mind, you ask them often.

 

Before we consider the questions I want you to be aware of four or five things:

1.     I am not interested in answering the cavils of infidels.

2.     I want you to see the reasonableness of the gospel.

3.     Your faith must stand in the Word of God.

4.     Your faith in Christ must be your faith, not your parents’ faith, or this church’s faith, or your pastor’s faith.

5.     The basis of all that I have to say to you is the Word of God. – I want to reason with you from the Scriptures.

 

Proposition: I want you to see that our faith, that is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and adherence to the doctrine of Christ is most reasonable. — Here are Nine Questions that I want to briefly answer.

 

1.    How can I know that God exists? How can I know that there is a God?

 

Not once in the Bible did anyone ever attempt to prove God’s existence. Neither shall I. It would be far easier to prove the existence of an atom to a barbarian than to prove the existence of God to an unregenerate man. In fact, a god whose existence can be proved is no God at all.

 

The Bible begins with the fact of God’s being and the fact that all men are aware of God’s being (Genesis 1:1).

 

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

 

Though you may question it, you know that God is. All men do. No one but a fool would deny it. The fact that God’s existence cannot be proved is no reason to suspect that God does not exist. The finite cannot prove the Infinite. Beauty can be shown, but not proved. Even so, I can show God’s existence, but I cannot prove it. — There are certain clear, undeniable evidences of God’s being. Let me ask you to consider just two.

Š       First, the evident display of Divine Design is terribly hard to deny (Psalm 19:1-6; Genesis 1:1-3). Creation shows Divine Design.

 

(Psalms 19:1-6) “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

 

(Genesis 1:1-3) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

 

Š       Second, there is a universal God consciousness from which no man can escape (Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-15). God almighty has stamped his existence in your conscience. No matter how much to may scream and deny it, you know that God is, that he is holy, just and almighty, and that soon you will meet him in judgment.

 

(Romans 1:18-20) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (hold down, suppress) the truth in unrighteousness; 19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

 

(Romans 2:14-15) “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.)”

 

Yet, I know this: — The only way you will ever know God is if he is pleased to reveal himself to you and in you by the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-6; John 1:1-18; Matthew 11:25-27).

 

(2 Corinthians 4:3-6) “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

 

(John 1:1-18) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 ¶ And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 ¶ John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

 

(Matthew 11:25-27) “25 ¶ At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

 

Canst Thou by searching find out God?” — Not in a million years! The only way you will ever know God is by faith in Christ. And that faith is the gift and operation of God. It is the result of Christ being revealed in you.

 

2.    How can you be so certain that the Bible is the Word of God; after all, it was written by men, wasn’t it?”

 

Be sure you understand me now. We do believe that the Book you have in front of you is, in its entirety, the Word of God, fully and perfectly. It was written by men. But those “holy men of God” wrote “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This blessed Book is God-breathed. It was written by Divine Inspiration.

 

Many books claim to be the Word of God: The Koran, the Book of Mormon, The Apocrypha, etc. Numerous charismatics claim to be continually receiving fresh revelations from God? — How can we be sure that the Bible, this volume of Holy Scripture is the Word of God?How can we be sure that the Word of God is complete? Consider these two questions.

 

How can we be sure that the Bible truly is the Word of God? — I am not saying that the Bible contains the Word of God — or that the Bible is a Word of God — I am saying the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, and that it alone is the Word of God. I make that assertion without apology because of…

1.        Its’ Claim – (2 Timothy 3:16) – Either this Book is the Word of God, or it is a fabrication!

2.        Its’ Writing – This Book was written by more than 40 many, most of whom never knew one another, over a period of more than 1500 years.

3.        Its Unity – There are no contradictions. – Where there appear to be contradictions, the problem is with the reader.

4.        Its’ Message – The Message of this Book is the Lord Jesus Christ and him crucified.

5.        Its Prophecies – All the prophecies of Holy Scripture have been exactly fulfilled as they were prophesied (Isaiah 53).

6.        It’s Honesty – This Book honestly exposes the faults of its’ most prominent characters.

7.        It’s Influence – Wherever the lives of men and women are affected by this Book, the effect is always ennobling. It always makes people better.

 

How can you be sure that the Word of God is complete? — All the Prophets are Dead. — All the Apostles are Dead. And the Book claims Finality (Revelation 22:18-19).

 

(Revelation 22:18-19) “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

 

How very blessed of God we are to have this Book, the Holy Bible, the Word of God. This Book, the Bible, is the sure, infallible Word of the living God (2 Peter 1:16-21).

 

(2 Peter 1:16-21) “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

 

3.    How do you explain creation in the light of modern science?

 

First and foremost, I readily repudiate and unhesitatingly denounce as false and foolish any opinion, statistic, or scientific theory that contradicts the Bible — “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Š      Creation Scientists

Š      The Gap and Recreation (Genesis 1:1-1:2)

 

(Genesis 1:1-3) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

 

Illustration: Creation is Evidence of the Creator – Not of Evolution – My Truck!

 

4.    You don’t really believe that Adam and Eve stuff, do you?

 

Did you ever notice how that when men and women question what we believe they cast their questions to make us look foolish, out of step with our “brilliant” peers and ignorant? I remember the first time a man asked me this question about Adam and Eve. He was my high school English teacher. I said, “It seems to me that the Bible record of Adam and Eve beats the daylights out of believing that we came from monkeys, or crawled out of the ocean. Yes, I do believe that Adam and Eve stuff!”

 

Š        Adam was created in the image of God Christ.

Š        God made Adam a representative man as a type of Christ.

Š        When Adam sinned, we sinned in him and died in him; so that now we are all born in sin (Romans 5:12; Psalms 51:5; 58:3).

Š      Original Sin!

Š      Total Depravity!

 

5.    How do you know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament?”

Š          His Virgin Birth at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14).

Š          His Demonstrations and Claims of Deity (Isaiah 9:6).

Š          His Fulfilling All the Prophets (Acts 4:27-28; 13:27-29).

 

(Acts 4:27-28) “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

 

(Acts 13:27-29) “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.”

 

Š          I have experienced the power of his blood!

 

6.    How can the death of a man 2000 years ago give me salvation and acceptance with God forever?”

Š          That Man who died is God!

Š          He is the last Adam – A Representative Man.

Š          He is The Lord Our Righteousness.

Š          He made satisfaction to the offended justice of God for all who trust him.

Š          His one, sin-atoning Sacrifice for sin is infinitely, perpetually and efficaciously meritorious!

 

7.    What makes you think your religion is the only right religion?”

 

I do openly declare that there are only two religions in the whole world — Man’s way and God’s way — Free Will and Free Grace — Self-Salvation and Substitutionary Salvation — The Religion of Babylon and the Religion of Zion — The Religion of Antichrist and the Religion of Christ.

 

(Proverbs 14:12) “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

 

(Proverbs 16:25) “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

 

(John 10:9) “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

 

(John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

(Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

We believe and preach the message of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, free salvation, salvation without qualifications, salvation without conditions, salvation without works on the part of man (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

(Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

Salvation is by…

Š          By The Purpose of God!

Š          By The Purchase of God!

Š          By The Power of God!

 

We know that this is the truth of God and that all freewill works religion is false, because

Š        The gospel we believe and preach gives the Triune God all the glory!

Š        This is the Doctrine of the Book!

Š        This is the only hope there is for real sinners!

Š        This is what all who are saved have experienced. — “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

 

Illustration: Jonah — “Salvation is of the Lord!”

 

8.    You don’t believe in heaven, hell, and eternity, do you? You’re not one of those hellfire and damnation people, are you?”

 

Indeed, I am! And you are too; or you wouldn’t be asking the question! — I’ve been in hell! — I’ve been delivered from hell! — I live now in hope of eternal life. — Where will you spend eternity?

Š          You do have an immortal soul!

Š          You must meet God in judgment!

Š          How will you stand before him?

 

When Christ in judgment shall descend,

And bid the world draw nigh,

The saints shall find the Judge their Friend,

And meet their Lord with joy.

 

His flaming eyes, His thund’ring voice,

Shall strike the world with dread;

Then shall His ransomed ones rejoice,

In Christ their cov’nant Head.

 

He’ll rend the skies, and make a way

To bring His chosen home.

(Oh, blessed hope!) We’ll watch and pray,

Come, dearest, Jesus come.

 

And shall my helpless soul appear,

Before the Great White Throne?—

I’ll plead the blood of Jesus there,

And join the endless song.

 

9.    Here is one last question that I have been asked by a few, very few, but few people – “Can you tell me how to deal with temptation and peer pressure? Can you tell me how to live for God?”

 

If you would live, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ Come to Christ. — Bow to Him! — Trust Him!

 

(John 6:37-40) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Come humble sinner, in whose breast

A thousand thoughts revolve;

Come with your guilt and fear oppressed,

And make this last resolve.

 

“I’ll go to Jesus, though my sins

Like mountains round me close;

I know his courts, I’ll enter in,

Whatever may oppose.

 

“Prostrate I’ll lie before his throne,

And there my guilt confess;

I’ll tell him I’m a wretch undone

Without his sovereign grace.”

 

I’ll to the gracious King approach,

Whose scepter pardon gives;

Perhaps He may command my touch,

And then the suppliant lives!

 

Perhaps He will admit my plea,

Perhaps will hear my prayer;

But if I perish, I will pray,

And perish only there.

 

I can but perish if I go,

I am resolved to try;

For if I stay away, I know,

I must forever die.

 

But if I die with mercy sought,

When I the King have tried,

This were to die (Delightful thought!) —

As sinner never died!”

 

If you would live right, seek to do the will of God in all things.

Š        Make the Word of God your Rule of Life.

Š        Make the Glory of God your Object in Life.

Š        Never violate the law of God – Sin not! — We are not under the law; but we do not despise the law. Rather, we cherish it, — Both its Fulfilment and its Character!

 

If you would avoid the temptations of life and peer pressure -

Š          Continually Consecrate Yourself to Christ.

Š          Surround Yourself with Believers.

Š          Arrange Your Life Around the Worship of Our God.

Š          Read and Meditate Upon the Word of God.

Š          Watch and Pray.

Š          Trust God’s Grace to Keep You.

Š          When you fall, don’t quit! — Come again to Christ (Colossians 2:6; 1 John 2:1-2).

 

(1 John 1:7-2:2) “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2:1 ¶ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

Oft I fall, but God unchanging,

Faithful to His covenant stands.

He will never charge with sinning

Those for whom His Son was slain.

 

———————————————

 

Approach, my soul, the throne of grace

In every time of need;

There's mercy for the needy one,

Who Jesus' name shall plead.

 

Though I'm a weak and sinful wretch,

I will approach the throne

I'll lean upon Christ's mighty arm,

And plead His blood alone.

 

The blood! The precious blood of Christ!

Has opened up the way

By which I can draw near to God,

And to my Father pray.

 

Though Satan tempts my heart to sin,

I'll call upon my God;

And if I fall, He'll lift me up,

And cleanse me in the blood.

 

The way is open, God will hear

My groans and cries of grief,

Nothing can keep me from His throne,

But my own unbelief.

 

Oh, Lord, my unbelief remove,

And turn my heart by grace:

Compel me to approach Your throne,

And there spread out my case.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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