Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Is God Interested in You by John.

Is God Interested in you?
(People, I usually deal with one portion of Scripture, but today I am using the form called “homily.” The structure of the message will be similar to Peter’s in Acts.)
1. The majority of people in this country believe in some sort of god.
2. Lost people have many beliefs.
(1) They may believe in some established religious false god, such as Allah, Ahura Mazda, or the Earth Mother. Some have derived their beliefs from eastern religions. ill. Shirley McLaine is a celebrity. BTW, you want to know how to get a your book published? Become a celebrity or a sport’s hero! Shirley wrote a New Age book, “Out on a limb.” In it she told how she came to believe in reincarnation. She wrote another book titled, “Dancing in the Light.” Apparently, she felt what she had to say was something brand new, but it wasn’t, and it’s not. Hinduism and Buddhism have preached the same ideas for many, many centuries. Tina Turner apparently has gone along with the same thing, and these two have made a real impact on the beliefs of America’s college community. Dr. F LaGard Smith of Pepperdine University wrote an answer to Shirley’s book. It’s called, “Out on a Broken Limb.” He recognized Satan’s handwork from the beginning. After all, if Satan can get people to buy into something that merely resembles Christianity, he has done his job! New Age says that there is a resurrection. If you are good, you come back to a new life on earth that’s better. If you are bad, you come back to a new life that’s worse. That’s why many of the people in India sweep the sidewalks. They are afraid one of the ants or bugs may actually be an ancestor who was so bad he returned to a lower form of life!
(2) You see, mankind has always made gods that pleased them, and they have patterned their life-styles to allow them to do what they wanted!
(3) Some believe in a nebulous god. Perhaps just a benevolent force that is the ultimate cause of everything. (That is called Deism.)
3. Christians all believe in the one true God.
(1) The church saves no one.
(2) Some people who claim to be Christian have fooled themselves.
a. I remember a mother in my home church when I was a boy who gushed with joy because when someone asked her son what he believed, and he quoted the Apostle’s Creed!
b. It is a good creed, but I am sure Satan can quote it in the original Greek, and he is not a Christian!
c. It’s not words we repeat that save us! It’s Jesus!
2. Several weeks ago, someone caused me to think they did not know whether God was interested in them, or cared about them. That led me to ask: “Is God interested in you?” I want us to see what the Bible tells us about that. First, let’s lay a background for our answer.

I. In the Bible, Who does God say He is?

1. Let’s go to the Old Testament first, to Genesis 1:1-3.
(1) The Bible starts with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then in v. 2, it goes on to say that “the Spirit of God moved across the face of the waters.”
a. The Hebrew word “bereshith” literally means “To the head of all things.”
b. God created everything out of nothing. Theologians use the Latin, ex nihilo, to say the same thing. As far as we know, no matter existed before God created the heavens and the earth! He is the Creator! ill. We know that parallel lines never meet, but if we look down the highway or a railroad track, in the distance they seem to meet. Artists call that “the vanishing point.” Evolutionary scientists theorize how human beings began, and eventually they reach a vanishing point beyond which they cannot go. They have to ask themselves, where did this matter, this stuff, come from? The answer is God is behind the vanishing point!
(2) The word translated “God” here is “elohim.” In Hebrew. It is plural, but it is followed here by a singular verb. That validates our trinitarian view of God, that there is only one God, but three persons.
(3) In fact, all three persons of the Godhead are in Genesis1: 1-3. God Almighty v1. God the Holy Spirit v2. And God the Son, the Word of God, in v 3. Remember John 1:1? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
(4) When God spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:14), He told Moses to tell the people that His name is “Yaweh,” and as nearly as we can translate that, it is “I am who I am.”
(5) This is who God says He is in the Old Testament.
2. Now let’s take a look into the New Testament where most of what we learn about the Father comes from Jesus.
(1) He is our Heavenly Father. (The Lord’s prayer, Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:2-4)
(2) He Loves us. (John 3:16)
(3) He keeps His promises. (James 1:17 says that there is no variableness, no shadow of turning with God! He is always the same. We can depend on Him to always keeps His promises!
(4) He gives us eternal life. (It’s a promise, but the moment we receive it, it becomes a present reality!
(5) He, Jesus, is going to come again and receive us to Himself, another promise.
(6) We can’t cover everything the Bible says about who God is, but these are some very important things we should know and remember.

II. What does God say about us?

1. First, we were created in His image! (We are not sure what this means.)
2. Second, we fell from the position of grace Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden of Eden.
3. We need to know that we all have sinned, and none of us has measured up to what God expects of us. Romans 3:23. (ill. Alistair Begg preaching on the radio last week said, If you knew me like God knows me, you’d never speak to me again! And God loves me anyway. (Those are not his exact words because my memory is far from perfect, but that is the sense of what he said, and I agreed with him. If any of us knew any other one of us like God does, we would be horrified! But God sees us as we are, and He loves us anyway!
4. We need to know that the price for any and all sins we have committed is eternal death! Romans 6:23.
5. We need to know the average life-span of all human beings is seventy years. Psalm 90:10 says, “The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”
6. We need to know God made us to spend eternity in heaven with Him, but that He sets the guidelines of who does and who does not. Romans 10:9,10. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” BTW v 13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ill. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, and one thief said, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus said, (my ts) “Amen! Today, I say to you, you with me will be in the paradise!” (Note “the.” Jesus spoke of God’s specific paradise, not just a nice garden somewhere!)
7. John 5:24 says, Amen! Amen! I say unto you that whoever hears my word and believes on the One Who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not ever be condemned, but is immediately passed from death to life! (my paraphrase)
6. We need to be saved because we sin, Jesus died to pay for our sins, and the way to heaven is open for you right now!

III. Now let’s answer our question.

1. Yes, God cares about every one of us. He loves us like no one in this world can love! Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father.” (Mt 10:29, Gk for last three words)
2. God created you, and He loves you like no other can!
3. All that we know about God is also about us.
(1) He loves us!
(2) He provides life for us!
(3) He wants to adopt us as His Own children! (And He has already done that for all of us who already trust Jesus! Romans 8: 16,17 tells us, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” [Notice that “the?” We aren’t just someone related to God! We are THE children.])
4. Ephesians 1:13, 14, “We are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (God’s Spirit will never leave us until He delivers us into the presence of the Heavenly Father!
5. The question we started with today was: “Is God interested in you?” Let’s answer it directly. YES! He sent His Son Jesus to die in your place for your sins! Doesn’t that tell you how much He cares for you?
(2) Let’s ask another question, Will God save you? The answer is...Yes! He will save you no matter what you’ve done! or what you are doing!
(3) Let’s consider still another question, What if I sin again? Will I be lost? Will I have to be saved again?
The answer is NO! Surely you can’t believe that God would send His Own Son to die for your sins, and then say that wasn’t enough, can you? You can’t possibly believe that God will go back on His Word when He says you’ve met His conditions and you are saved, can you?
6. Listen, people! The most serious thing you’ve ever thought about is what we are talking about right now. Our Great, Almighty, Heavenly Father offers to adopt you as His Own child!
7. Accept Him as your Father! Accept Jesus as your Savior! Let God the Holy Spirit come into your life and seal your life so that you cannot go anywhere when you die, except to God Himself?

Invitation:
1. Let’s pray! We are going to invite you to publicly accept Christ as your Lord and Savior during our invitation song today. Let’s pray about that now.

Emmanuel Community Church 4/17/2005

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