(1) Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
(2) For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
(3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
(4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Your First Love If its important, you will make the time. If its not, you will make the excuse. Making Time Rev 2:4 KJV Jer 2:1-2 KJV Making Excuses Rev 3:15-16 KJV
Take Heed Heb 2:1 KJV The Things you Have heard Old Testament Deu 11:16 KJV Jos 22:5 KJV New Testament Mar 13:5 KJV 1Ti 4:16 KJV Mat 13:22 KJV 2Ti 4:10 KJV How Shall we Escape? Heb 2:2-3 KJV Just Recompense Act 7:51-53 KJV Jer 6:10-15 KJV Remember we have been grafted in Rom 11:20-22 KJV Heb 10:28-29 KJV
It is natural and proper to search for the meaning of life.
the Bible shows us that we are unique compared to the rest of nature:
3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
e., We know intuitively that there is more to life than just what we see.
God has made us like this!
Our thoughts are directed to eternity – we are not satisfied with just the here and now!
So it is natural and proper for us to seek that which is higher and eternal.
Many search for the meaning of life in all the wrong places.
Solomon was the king of Israel at the height of its prosperity 1 Kings 10:21
So Solomon had all the resources to experiment with any kind of enjoyment in life – things like earthly wisdom, pleasure, wine, possessions, entertainment, etc. (scan Ecc. 1:16 to 2:17).
Ecc 2:11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labour which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
But don’t people today try exactly the same kind of things which Solomon did, only usually on a lesser scale?
They think that if they have more money, or have a better job, or get a bigger home, or reach a certain degree of fame and recognition, then they will feel fulfilled!
e., Many, like Solomon, search for the meaning of life in all the wrong places.
The meaning of life is really quite simple!
After all Solomon’s pursuits, he finally arrived at this simple truth:
12:13-14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Why are there so many churches today with different beliefs and practices?
– Where did they all come from?
– Does God approve of such division and confusion? i.e., Does it really matter?
The church which Jesus built:
Matt. 16:16-18Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’. And Jesus said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
1. Jesus would build His church (in the future).
2. It would be built upon the content of Peter’s confession: “Christ, the Son of the living God”.
3. It would always exist once it was built (so where is it today??).
When did Jesus built His church?
Well, we know it was in existence by the time of Acts 5 …
– Acts 5:11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.
We also know that people were first added to it in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) in A.D. 30: – Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
Note 1Co. 12:13a For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, …
Col. 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
A most important question in this life is: “What must I do to be saved?”
– This is the question that every person must answer correctly in their lives if they hope to spend eternity with God in heaven.
– Sadly, in the world today, there are many wrong answers given to this question:
e.g., Some trust their own feelings in the matter; but feelings are, of course, unreliable: Prov 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
e.g., Others trust in the advice of people (where some say one thing, and others another thing!) but this is useless as well: Matt. 15:9 BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN
Surely Jesus is the only One who truly knows how we can be saved (cf. Rom. 1:4)!
So let’s “listen to Him!” (as God commanded the disciples to do in Matt. 17:5) …
Believe, repent, baptism for forgiveness of sins. Luke. 24:47, Mark. 16:15-16, Matt. 28:18-19, Acts 2:36-40
– All parts of the process contribute to the result of being saved; all parts, therefore, are essential.
– Under the NT, someone who is baptized without believing, or believes without being baptized, is not saved!
Have you been saved according to Jesus’ instructions?
– Don’t trust your own feelings! Don’t trust in other people (e.g., “faith only”, “saved without baptism in water”, etc.)! Listen only to Jesus on how to be saved!
– We would urge you, as Saul/Paul was urged: Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.
Mat 28:18-20And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
How are we to “make disciples”?
Sowing the Seed
Luke 8:5,11“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up … 11 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.
Rom. 10:17 So faithcomesfrom hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Sometimes Christians may become discouraged by the apparent lack of response to the direct telling of the gospel.
It is equally discouraging to see people respond to the gospel and then fall away some time later.
So there is a great temptation, at times, to try devious means to entice people to Christ!
But to employ such:
(i) is to practise deception (like the devil, Rev. 12:9), and
(ii) may cause people to be attracted to the wrong thing (i.e. not to Christ).
Let’s consider four (4) questions this morning:
What tricks may I use to bring others to Jesus?
How should we bring people to Jesus?
Why can’t we modify God’s word to please all people?
Many seek for happiness in wealth, possessions, and pleasure, only to be ultimately disappointed!
Many seek happiness in various sins, but any such “pleasure” is of course passing, and leads to hell.
The book of Psalms with its very first Psalm shares with us the key to true happiness
Other parts of the Bible also share with us this same key to true happiness …
g., We started this morning with Solomon … let’s go back to his inspired findings:
12:13-14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because thisapplies toevery person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Prov. 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding.
3:18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.
Also recall Jesus in the beginning of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 5:3-12) …
5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Also 1 Tim 4:7-8 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life andalsofor thelifeto come.
The way to true happiness:
Acts 2:36-38“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ– this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 And Petersaidto them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:41-42 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.