Preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist
Tabernacle in Los Angeles, CA, on January 12, 2002.
"A SIMPLE MESSAGE FOR A
1. I donít believe in coincidence. Do
you? I do not subscribe to the notion of chance. I believe there is a
reason for every event and every occurrence, even if the explanation is
beyond my ability to comprehend. So, there is a reason why you and I are
here together this evening.
2. Putting out of your mind all the
preconceived notions you might have about what you think I might say, or
about what you think I might do, let me ask you some things.
3. Will you listen to me? And will you
consider carefully what I will say to you over the next few minutes? I
am neither an idiot nor a fool. And there are people in this room, who
have known me for years, who can attest to my honesty and personal
reputation. I am not a flim flam man. I am not a con artist. I am not a
charlatan or a weirdo. So, carefully listen to what I have to say
4. Do you ever think about spiritual
things? I think you probably do, perhaps more than you might realize.
Thinking people ponder spiritual matters from time to time, so Iím
going to assume that you think about spiritual matters on occasion.
5. I want to suggest some things for you to
think about, some things for you to consider and ponder and reflect on,
that may very well fit in with what you already think about from time to
time. As well, I will want to suggest to you a course of action.
7. My sermon this evening is extremely
simple. For the last several evenings I have preached sermons that are
very hard hitting. Sermons designed to dislodge those who are entrenched
and Gospel hardened. And God has blessed the efforts and answered our
8. This evening my remarks are directed to
you who have not heard hundreds or perhaps thousands of sermons. So I
want to preach to you from my vantage point of 51 years of age, the way
I think someone like me should have been preached to, approaching 27
years ago when I became a Christian.
9. Please consider these things I wish some
preacher would have urged me to consider. Please consider these things
that will be very good for you, I assure you.
1A. First, CONSIDER THE FACT THAT YOU KNOW
YOUR IN YOUR HEART THERE IS A GOD
1B. Iíve read the Bible through
about 25 times since my conversion. In addition to that Iíve studied
the Bible for 27 years. And in all my studies I donít recollect ever
coming across any attempt in the Bible to prove the existence of God.
I am aware of no passage or argument in the Bible that attempts to
prove the existence of God.
2B. Why is that so? Why does the Bible
never attempt to prove the existence of God, but rather assumes the
existence of God? Itís because in every human beingís heart there
exists a pre-programed awareness of the existence of God. My friend, you
were born knowing that God is, and no one needed to teach it to you.
3B. Think about this for just a moment.
Havenít you always felt that God is? Hasnít it always been something
that, even though you sometimes questioned it, you really always knew?
Well, youíre not the only one. Every single human being thatís ever
lived has been hard wired by God with an awareness of Him, a realization
of His existence. Itís just something every human being is born with.
4B. Now, there will rise up from time to
time some fellow who declares, "there is no God." But such a
fellow is only protesting against the truth. Heís denying the
undeniable. Turn in your Bible to the 19th Psalm. Thatís page 607 in
your Scofield Bible. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the
firmament showeth his handywork. 2Day unto day uttereth
speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. 3There is
no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
1C. Verse 1 declares something that every
human being already feels, that the very universe around us, from
those things which can be seen in a microscope to those things which
can be seen with a telescope, and everything in between, has on it the
fingerprint of God. This is what scientists are referring to when they
admit that the entire physical universe in which we live gives
undeniable evidence of intelligent design. But design means there is a
Designer. And that Designer is God.
2C. Verse 2 reminds us, in poetic
language, that each and every day, and every night as well, is filled
with the testimony of Godís creative artistry and sustaining
3C. So powerful is natureís testimony
of Godís doings that verse 3 declares such testimony to be universal
among men. "There is no speech nor language, where"
the traces of Godís work proclaiming His existence "is not
heard." The undeniable but quiet testimony of nature.
5B. So, you know God is. I know
God is. Everyone knows God is. We can feel it in our gut. And if anyone
needed convincing there are the marks left on creation by Him. Such as
when the potter leaves evidence of his hands on the vessels he forms,
just as the artist leaves behind his telltale brush strokes on his
painting, so has God left His marks on His creation.
6B. Now, I know there are those
who vehemently deny that God exists. Perhaps you know such a person.
Turn to Psalm 14, which is one place where the Bible addresses the issue
of those who deny God. Thatís page 604 in your Scofield Bible. Verse 1
reads, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no
God." Two observations:
1C. First, the person who
maintains that there is no God is categorically described as a fool.
Why so? Such a man or woman denies the reality of something that is so
obvious as to not need proof. God is.
2C. As well, take a close look
at the phrase "There is no God." The italics
indicate the words that are not in the Hebrew Scriptures from which
this verse is translated, but were supplied by the translators as an
aid to understanding. So, in actuality, the fool doesnít deny that
God exists, despite what he may claim. What he, sometimes violently,
objects to is God being God in his life. So, what he says, literally,
is "no God!" To paraphrase, he means "No God for
7B. Thereís another passage
that deals with those few people who deny that God is. Turn to Romans
1.19-20. Page 1192 in your Scofield Bible. We donít have time to fully
examine this passage, but I want you to see two things: "19Because
that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it
unto them. 20For 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."
1C. Verse 19, at the end.
"For God hath showed it unto them." The fellow may
claim he doesnít believe in God, but itís not true. He believes in
God as much as you or I do, because "that which may be known of
God" can be seen by everyone. Watch a bumble bee fly or a spider
spin its web. Hold a newborn baby. Look into the starry sky at night.
Now tell me there is no God.
2C. Verse 20, additionally,
shows that certain things of God are "clearly seen" and are
"understood" to such a degree that "they are without
excuse." There is no reason to deny that God is.
2A. IN ADDITION TO YOUR HEART
KNOWING THERE IS A GOD, I WOULD ALSO LIKE YOU TO CONSIDER THAT YOUR
CONSCIENCE SAYS YOUíVE SINNED AGAINST HIM
1B. You donít need a Bible to
know that there is a God. And you donít need a Bible to know
youíve sinned against Him. You know youíve sinned against God,
even if you donít know precisely how or why. Itís just something
you just know, although Godís Word is needed for inspired testimony
to verify that what you feel in your heart about this matter is true.
2B. One example of what I mean:
I distinctly remember walking home from school when I was 7 years old.
It was early spring and there were still frozen puddles in the
shadows, though it was in the afternoon. As I uttered a blast of
profanity to some kids in response to something theyíd said to me, I
was overwhelmed with a strong sense of guilt and condemnation, and I
said to myself, "Seven years old and talking this way. I am
surely going to Hell."
3B. I have no recollection of
ever attending church prior to that time in my life, though I
certainly may have. I have no recollection of ever hearing anyone
comment on or discuss the subject of Hell in my hearing before that
time in my life, though they may have. But even if I had never been
taught that some things were right and other things were wrong, a
human being simply knows it, even as a little boy. I did. And so did
you, in all likelihood.
4B. You see, hard wired into
your heart that feels God is, without ever being taught that He is, is
also something called in the Bible a conscience. What is a conscience?
A conscience is something placed into each and every Gentile that
indicts a man of wrongdoing even when youíve never been exposed to
Godís standard of right and wrong, the Law of Moses.
5B. Jewish people certainly
have a conscience, though there is some evidence that the Jewish
conscience may work in conjunction with Godís Law in the Bible. But
what about Gentiles like you and me? Though itís not a perfect
reflection of Godís absolute standard of right and wrong, you were
given a conscience by God that tells you that youíve sinned against
6B. Turn to Romans 2.14-16.
Thatís page 1193 in your Scofield Bible: "14For 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: 15Which show 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;) 16In
the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ
according to my gospel."
1C. Do you see verse 15? Your
conscience works through your thoughts to accuse you when you are
guilty of wrongdoing. And come judgment day, verse 16, it will be
your conscience which will testify against you for having sinned
2C. So, just as you know that
God is without a Bible, you also know that youíve sinned against
Him without needing a Bible. But be thankful that God has given to
you His Word, as the innerrant guide which is a lamp unto our feet
and a light unto our pathway.
7B. Now, itís true that there
are some people who claim they are guiltless before God and who deny
that their obvious wrongdoing is wicked, because they say itís only
wrong if you think itís wrong. But that lie is dealt with in the
Bible in First Timothy 4.2, where reference is made to a seared
8B. You see, you can
desensitize your God-given conscience by your determination to
continue doing wrong. And perhaps youíve already done that. You may
remember when certain sins left you feeling guilty, but not any more.
For example: Feel you no guilt for not tithing, for not trusting
Jesus? You see? Youíve seared your conscience. But my point is
proved, because your conscience did long ago tell you that you sinned
3A. MEN WHO HAVE NEVER READ
THE BIBLE KNOW IN THEIR HEARTS THAT GOD IS. AND MEN WHO HAVE NEVER READ
THE BIBLE KNOW FROM THEIR CONSCIENCES THAT THEYíVE SINNED AGAINST GOD.
I WOULD LIKE YOUR FINAL CONSIDERATION TO FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT THOUGH
YOUR HEART TELLS YOU GOD IS, AND THOUGH YOUR CONSCIENCE SAYS YOUíVE
SINNED AGAINST HIM, ITíS ONLY IN THE BIBLE THAT YOU BECOME AWARE OF
THE GOSPEL THAT SHOWS YOU HOW TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD
1B. In your heart you feel God
is. In your heart, from your conscience, you realize youíve wronged
Him and that there must be consequences for sinning against God. But
only the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers you reconciliation with the God
youíve offended. Please turn in your Bible to John 3.16. Page 1117
in your Scofield Bible: "For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." My friends, this is the most
well-known of all Bible verses, and in it is Godís remedy for what
2B. "For God so loved the
1C. This God you have always
been aware of, and who youíve sinned against, loves you. Not a
sentimental love, mind you. Certainly not an emotional love. Itís
a superior love that God has for you.
2C. Itís a love that is
willing to meet your deepest and most profound needs, all the while
knowing your sinfulness and wickedness of heart. No one has ever
loved you like God loves you, my friend.
3B. "that he gave his only
1C. Your conscience is right
when it accuses you of wrongdoing against god and you feel
condemned. You are condemned. And deservedly so, because of your
sins against God. And sins against God must be punished.
2C. But so that you might be
saved from your sins God actually sent His Son, Jesus Christ, His
Only Begotten Son, to die on Calvaryís cross and to shed His
innocent blood, to suffer the punishment that is properly due you.
3C. Think of it. God gave His
Son up to suffer for sin, His Son Who had done Him no wrong, in the
place of you who have done Him nothing but wrong. Peter explained it
this way: "the just for the unjust that he might bring us to
4B. "that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Here we see two responses leading to two eternal destinies.
1C. There are two responses
open to you tonight. There are two responses open to you this
evening. On one hand, there are those who do not believe in Jesus
Christ. These are the ones who ignore the testimony of their minds,
ignore the declaration of their consciences, and ignore the message
of the Gospel, both warning and invitation, found in the Bible.
2C. If you do not believe in
Jesus Christ you will perish. And to perish is to go to Hell when
you die, and to begin your eternal torment and punishment for the
sins youíve committed against God. Do what you may to alter your
destiny, if you do not believe in Jesus Christ you will go to Hell,
you will perish. "I donít believe in Hell." Your
personal beliefs do not alter the reality of Hell one bit. Die
without Christ and you will still go to Hell, believing in its
existence or not.
3C. But if you believe in
Jesus Christ, which is to say that you lay hold of Him by faith, you
trust Him, you come to Him, you rest in Him, you cast yourself upon
Him, then you will not perish. Rather, your destiny will from that
moment of believing in Him be eternal life and not eternal death,
heaven and not Hell, rejoicing and not regret.
1. Do you see how very simple it
all is? You are a sinful human being, estranged from God. You know God
is, in your heart you realize that God is. And you know you are
estranged from Him, that youíve sinned against Him, since your
conscience has told you so again and again throughout your lifetime,
even if it is now seared and you no longer pay attention to it.
2. Knowing that God is and that
youíve sinned against Him is where every human being alive today is,
if only they would admit it to themselves. And you know this is true.
Everything Iíve said rings true to you if you will only admit it in
your heart, because it is true.
3. But here comes something
beyond your existence, past your experience. Here is something youíd
never know on your own without the Bible, which is Godís Word. And
that is the good news that Jesus Christ, Godís Son, was sent by God to
suffer and bleed and die on your behalf so that if you will believe in
Him He will save you from your sins and give to you eternal life.
4. If you will come to Jesus He
will save you. If you do not come to Jesus you will continue in your
sins and you will go to Hell when you die. Itís that simple.
5. I told you at the beginning of
this message that I would ask you to consider some things. Iíve done
that. Iíve asked you to consider. Now itís up to you to consider.
But I also told you I would suggest a course of action for you to take,
so I want to do that now.
6. I urge you to come to Christ.
I urge you to believe in Him. Itís Godís will and Christís desire
for you. Come to Jesus tonight.