Summary: A call to be people of conviction.
Conviction or Convenience? (Part One)
Everyone here has heard the story of the young lady at Columbine High School who, being asked if she believed in God, said, “Yes,” and was promptly shot and killed.
Stories vary, but there is general agreement that Cassie was not the only one targeted because of her faith in Christ that day.
This raises a very important question: why didn’t they take the easy way out and, for the sake of saving their lives, just simply say no?
There is really only one reason: they were convinced that the truth of Jesus was more important than saving their lives.
Would you and I have the courage they
showed that day? Or would we, thinking not only of our own lives, but the lives of those we would be leaving behind, be inclined to say we weren’t a Christian?
The title of this message is “Convenience or Conviction.” Convictions are so important, and you will see why as we progress this morning.
My purpose this morning is to encourage you to be men and women of conviction.
We will look at the importance of gaining convictions as well as two areas specifically where we need to have strong convictions.
I. The Importance of Convictions
What do you mean by convictions, Brian?
Convictions go beyond just belief. Beyond strong belief.
People don’t die for beliefs. They don’t die for strong beliefs. They die for their convictions.
When this country was being formed, was it formed by people who had a strong belief in freedom from tyranny?
No! It was a CONVICTION that we had inalienable rights given us by our Creator, and that those rights were worth dying for, if necessary.
Did our veterans of WWI and WWII fight because they thought it was a good thing to do? No, they fought with the conviction that the United States is the greatest country in the world, and that it is worth defending. Threatening our allies meant threatening us.
You see the point?
II. Areas of Conviction
Let’s take a look at a couple things we should have convictions about. But before we do that, I want to point out that the word conviction and convince sound a bit alike. Why is that, do you suppose? I think it is because our convictions are based on those things we are convinced about.
Here are some things we need to be convinced about, in my opinion.
A. The Word of God.
First, we need to be convinced that the Bible is the Word of God. Not just a good book of nice religious writings, but the very Words of God. Written by the Holy Spirit through men. Listen to 2 Peter 1:19-21:
-And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.-
We need to be CONVINCED of this. And not only this, but in the eternal nature of the Bible. Listen as I read Isaiah 40:8:
-“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.”
Hallelujah! That is something to hold onto.
This is so important because in these times of turmoil and political correctness, we need an anchor to grab – something we can trust without reserve.
Ladies and gentlemen, are you truly convinced of the trustworthiness of the Word of God? If not, you will have a hard time being convinced of anything it has to say.
B. Jesus Christ
The second area in which we need to hold convictions is the reality of the need for Jesus for salvation.
I’ve quoted John 14:6 many times, but let’s hear it again:
-Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”-
Did He mean that or not?
Listen to Acts 4:12:
-“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”-
Is that true or not? If it is true, and it is, then we need to ACT like it.
We are coming on the Easter season. In two weeks we will celebrate Palm Sunday. We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper that morning.
Why do we do that? It is because we are CONVINCED that Jesus’ blood shed on the cross was exactly what was needed to save sinners from hell. We are convinced that He paid the price for us, and that because of His perfect sacrifice we can spend eternity in heaven, if we only accept what He has done for us. We are convinced that He did everything necessary to secure our salvation, taking on Himself the penalty for our sins.