Summary: 1- We are called through the gospel 2- We are saved through the Spirit 3- We are equipped through the Word

INTRO.- ILL.- On the first day of creation, God created the dog.

- On the second day, God created man to serve the dog.

- On the third day, God created all the animals of the Earth to serve as potential food for the dog.

- On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the dog.

- On the fifth day, God created the tennis ball so that the dog might or might not retrieve it.

- On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the dog healthy and the man broke.

- On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but He had to walk the dog.

Not Biblical at all, but cute. Not the creation account we know.

ILL.- Mike Huckabee had Bill Maher on his new Saturday night TV show on Fox called Huckabee. Who is Bill Maher? He is an American stand-up comedian, television host, social and political commentator, and author.

Recently Maher made/produced a movie entitled, "Religulous." Maher is highly critical of religion, which he once described as a neurological disorder that justifies crazies and stops people from thinking.

He said, "Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need. But I’m not an atheist, no. I believe there’s some force. If you want to call it God... I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books."

He asserts that religion provides answers to questions that cannot possibly be answered. Questions such as: "Where do I go when I die?" or "Is there a heaven?" Maher argues that religion is dishonest and it "stops people from thinking."

I think Maher is a nut case and an antichrist! He is definitely opposed to Christ.

ILL.- There is a fictitious story about a group of men who set out to find an answer to the question, “Where did the earth come from?” They compiled much data covering many areas of investigation and then fed it into the mammoth computer. When they had completed their work and had given the machine all the information, they pushed the “answer” button and waited expectantly for the results. Lights flashed! Bells rang! Buzzers sounded! When the great moment arrived, this printed message emerged: “See Genesis 1:1.”

That’s smarter than most computers today. We believe the message of the Bible! IN THE BEGINNING GOD. And from the beginning God has been thinking and doing. He is at work!

Our text reveals some of what God was thinking from the beginning as we know it. And His thinking deals with people and how to have a relationship to them. God has always desired a relationship to the people He created.

PROP.- How does that relationship come about? And what does it mean? These questions are answered somewhat in this text.

1- We are called through the gospel

2- We are saved through the Spirit

3- We are equipped through the Word


14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

ILL.- Do you remember that Verizon wireless commercial: "Can you hear me now?" The "Can you hear me now?" guy, Verizon says, is the "personification" of a crew of 50 Verizon employees who each drive 100,000 miles annually in specially outfitted vehicles to test the reliability of Verizon’s network.

Verizon said, "Our casting specifications called for an everyman with something quirky or memorable about them. We looked at over 1,000 people." In fact, the one chosen was Paul Marcarelli, a 34-year-old actor from New York City. And, yes, those really are his own horn-rimmed glasses.

Since the ads began in 2002, Marcarelli has helped Verizon gain market share and reduce customer turnover.

Marcarelli is the original "Can you hear me now" guy? NO, NOT AT ALL. God is. God has been saying to all mankind for a very long time, "Can you hear me now?" But not everyone is listening.

14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is not calling people through Verizon wireless but through the gospel of Christ, no matter how that gospel is presented or preached! In fact, He may literally call some people through Verizon, AT and T, Alltel and others. That is, if people use their cell phones to talk to others about Christ.

Years ago most people heard the gospel through preaching in our churches. People used to flock to our churches on Sundays and during revivals. And many came forward, confessed Christ and were baptized into Him.

Other people have been called through some evangelists, particularly those like Billy Graham who has faithfully preached the gospel for many years. And some people have actually responded to the gospel of Christ by their personal reading of scripture. BUT TODAY, IT SEEMS THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT LISTENING OR RESPONDING MUCH AT ALL. What’s the deal? Why are people not listening? Why are they not hearing God calling them?

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