Temple Baptist Church - 7-31-2011
A. Once again, we take a short look at the salvation experience of a man from Ethiopia. It is important at this point to say that everyone must have a salvation experience! A time and a place where we personally came to the Lord Jesus Christ as a lost sinner in need of a singular Saviour! A New Birth is necessary for salvation and, eventually, being with the Lord eternally in heaven.
B. Saving faith is much more than just a mental assent to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. True saving faith always produces a new life in Christ accompanied by a life change. Many claim to know Christ but their lives do not reflect the validity of their profession.
C. James 2:18-20 says, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Did you know that:
1. The Devil believes in God! Luke 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. (The Devil and his devils believe in God’s person, power, and sovereignty!)
2. The Devil believes in the Gospel! He knows Jesus Christ; he understands the death, burial, and resurrection! 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 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. (The Devil tried to kill Christ before Calvary and tried to circumvent Christ’s glorious resurrection and, when he could not stop either Calvary or the resurrection, he has tried to blind the minds of the world!)
3. The Devil believes in a real heaven and a real hell! Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (He knows that one day he will be a permanent resident of a Christless hell with no hope of ever getting out.)
D. The Bible Belt is full of churches. Almost every side road in South Carolina has from 1-5 or more church signs at the intersection of every main road. We have every flavor of church here: Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Protestant, Catholic, or off-shoot of one of the aforementioned are to be found in the “Bible Belt.” In the same “Bible Belt,” there is a liquor store on almost every main intersection. The Convenience Stores all sell both liquor and Lottery Tickets and well as many of the restaurants. Most “Christians” have a “Hope So Salvation” while many of the churches are “open for business” only one service per week. Most “Christians” attend few services but never miss a vacation or ball game.
E. The Devil has better “religion” than these “Christian” folks.
1. Satan knows that he is lost. The “Christian” does not know that he is lost because he was born into religion.
2. The Devil knows which bible to fight against. The “Christian” does not know which bible to use.
3. The Devil is in church every time the doors of the church are open. The “Christian” only comes when it is convenient though he never misses a vacation, family diner or reunion, or ball game and, yet, misses church as often as he or she wishes.
4. The Devil hates the gospel and the new birth. The “Christian” proclaims a love for both but has no testimony of salvation to back up that proclamation.
F. The problem with these “Christians” is that many have a head full of biblical facts but not heart full of biblical reality! Out of the heart are the “issues of life.” Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. The problem with most folks is a heart problem and a Cardiologist cannot fix it. The Ethiopian Eunuch was told, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest!”
G. I am so glad that I have “believed” with all my heart! As “mine eye affecteth mine heart,” my faith affects my life! There are many things that I believe with all of my heart and it is good to reflect upon some of them. When you believe with all your heart, it will change:
1. Your Loving – Love not the world!
2. You Longing – Seek those things that are above!
3. Your Life – A new creature!
1. I Believe With All My Heart That The King James Bible Is God’s Word! 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
It is not the best translation off of the best text. It is not one of many. It is infallible, inerrant, the every word perfect Word of God. If man disagrees with it, he disagrees with God for God declared the bible to be perfect. If it is not perfect, it can only contain the Word of God as all true Scripture is given by inspiration of God and, if it is inspired (and it says that it is), then it is the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 refers to 2 Timothy 3:15 and the “holy scriptures” that Timothy had were not original manuscripts. God called them “inspired!” Theologians can like it or not like it; liberals can like it or not like it; the Devil can like it or not like it! I believe it in my heart and you will never convince me of anything different. If God called them inspired then they were inspired! I am not a Ruckmanite and I do not believe in double inspiration but I am a bible believer and I do believe that the bible that I hold in my hand is inspired because biblical preservation (which is an act of God) demands that the inspiration be intact! This King James Bible is the foundation for my salvation and faith. This King James Bible was instrumental in changing my life. I preach this bible with all confidence this morning! If I preach it, it will accomplish that which God intends for it to accomplish and the work will be of God. This King James Bible holds within its pages all of my hopes. This King James bible calms all of my fears. If saving faith comes by hearing the Word of God (and it does), then how can you be saved without it? Would not a flawed bible bring about a flawed salvation. If we are born of incorruptible seed by the Word of God, then how can we be born of corruptible seed that only contains the Word of God? Preposterous!!! I thank God for the Word of God that effectually works in the heart of both sinners and saints. It is the Word of God that converts the sinner and it is the Word of God that cleanses the saint.
2. I Believe With All My Heart That Jesus Christ Is God! Acts 8:35-37 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
He is not “a god” nor is He one of many “gods.” He was not an angel who volunteered to become our “saviour.” He is the one and only God and beside Him there is no Saviour! He is almighty; He is sovereign; He is holy; He is gracious; He is good; He is impeccable; He is immutable; He is omniscient; He is omnipotent; He is omnipresent; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things; He is Lord of Lord and King of Kings; and He is coming again as He said. He was before all things and He will be after all things; He is the Alpha and the Omega; He is the First and the Last; He is the Beginning and He is the End and you cannot live without Him! He that cometh to God must believe that He is! You will never be saved until you come to the revelation that Jesus Christ of the New Testament was Jehovah God of the Old Testament! The Virgin born Son of God was the Creator of all things and even while in the womb of Mary, He was the Sustainer of all things. By Him were all things made and by Him all things consist! You can discredit Him but He still exists and, one day, you will stand before Him as the earth and heaven flees from His face. In that day, every knee SHALL bow and every tongue SHALL confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father! All I can say is GLORY, GLORY, GLORY!!
3. I Believe With All My Heart The Gospel! John 20:27-29 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. (28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Jesus Christ died for my sins according to the scriptures. He did not swoon; He died! Jesus Christ was buried in a garden tomb. Jesus Christ rose again according to the scriptures. It was a bodily resurrection from the dead! Because He was sinless, His sacrifice was accepted! Because He died for me, I can have salvation; because He resurrected, I may live also. It is the gospel that must be preached to every creature for it is the gospel alone that can save and if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost 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. The devil hated Christ; the devil hated the gospel; and the devil fights the spread of the gospel because it is the only method of evangelizing a lost world and bringing sinners to Christ.
4. I Believe With All My Heart That The Old Paths Are Right Paths! Jeremiah 6:16a Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
They are tried paths; they are true paths; they are bible paths; and they are right paths. I am an old-fashioned, King James Bible toting, fundamental, separated, independent Baptist preacher and will not apologize for it. The new-fangled churches with the modern, worldly ways are not the will of God nor are they the ways of God. They make the House of God a comfortable place for the world to sit in. They are comfortable because they recognize the dress standards; they are comfortable because they recognize the music; they are comfortable because they can applaud the preaching; they are comfortable because there is no Spirit to convict them of sin; they are comfortable on the pews because God is absent for He is a holy God! God never intended for sinners to be comfortable in the presence of a thrice holy God. When a church is right with God, sinners will get right with God—not God get right with the world and with them. Men try to bring men up to God’s level while bringing God down to their level. The ground is only level at THE FOOT OF THE CROSS where God is elevated and men are humbled. Separation from the world; separation from the liberal; separation from the apostate; separation from unbiblical worship are positive things, not negative things. It is only through separation from this sinful world that we may gain a vision of who God is and find His perfect will for our lives.
5. I Believe With All My Heart That My Doctrine Is Bible Doctrine! 2 Timothy 3:13-14 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
I am not following a man nor am I in “line with a denomination!” I have studied this blessed old Bible for myself and know what and why I believe with all of my heart. I am not confused nor am I crazy! If the Bible says it is so then it is so and if the Bible says that it is right it is right! I am a Baptist because Baptist doctrine is right! My being a Baptist does not affect my interpretation of Scripture or adaptation to my doctrine; the Scripture convinces me of my doctrine and makes me a Baptist. I believe that the old men of God who taught my doctrine were correct and I stand by it. The Lord said to stand fast in sound doctrine and to teach sound doctrine. Doctrine is a positive thing. Satan always does away with sound doctrine by teaching his disciples that the bible and sound doctrine are “majoring on the minors,” but preaching and teaching sound doctrine is the major and, without it, sinners will not be saved nor will saints come to spiritual maturity.
6. I Believe With All My Heart That Our Lord Is Coming Again! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
While the “oil less” virgins slept, the Bridegroom came and the door was shut. He is coming soon; He is coming as a thief in the night for His own; we that are saved are leaving and those who have heard and reject the gospel will be damned! I am expectant and I am excited about the prospect! I am not looking for the signs; I am listening for the shout! “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” is my reason for living and my blessed hope for which I look for. He is coming as He said and we are leaving as He said. Look around you and see prophecy fulfilled on every side. Blind Bartimaeus could see the signs of our times but people (including the so called saints) go about their lives as if He will never come. You had better be ready for the Son of Man cometh in an hour when ye think not!
7. I Believe With All My Heart That There Is A Real Heaven! John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Heaven is not fictitious places concocted in the minds of religious fanatics. As sure as there is a God, there is a heaven! It is perfect and it is home. It is promised; it is perfect; it is pure; it is peaceful; and it is permanent!
8. I Believe With All My Heart That There Is A Real Hell! Revelation 20:13-15 “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
As sure as there is a God, there is a hell! He is just and righteous; He is holy and His holiness demands divine justice for the sinner who rejects His wonderful salvation. Hell burns forever and they who go there will never die!
Conclusion: Sometimes, it is good to reflect upon what and why we believe. What I believe, I believe in my heart and with all of my heart. I know who God is; I know what I believe; I know that I am saved; I know where I am going with I die; I know that God called me to preach and put me in this church; I believe the bible with all of my heart and I am satisfied! I find in it no fault at all!