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Summary: If you had a child that was abducted, and you had the chance to get a message to them telling them how to get home...would you make that message simple or complicated? So it is w/ God’s salvation. Free Powerpoint at website.

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Muddy Waters

Acts 16:25-30

PowerPoint at: http://www.gbcdecatur.org/sermons/MuddyWaters.html

Several cases of child abductions have been in the news in recent weeks. And just this past Friday, in a kidnapping horrifyingly reminiscent of Elizabeth Smart a few years ago, 9 yr. old Jessica Lunsford was taken in the night from her home in FL. Imagine the scene in the morning when her dad and grandparents opened her bedroom door!

A couple of years ago my wife had the frightening experience of not knowing where Jacob was. She called out for him, and looked around, because he liked to hide. But then she saw it: the front door open and the screen door cracked! She can tell you about the panic she experienced as she ran out that door, extremely pregnant w/ twins, and began to search the neighborhood for the little guy. What a relief when she saw him down the street saying "hi mommy!"

Question: If you had a child that was lost, and if you had the chance to get a message to that child, telling them what to do, and how to get home¡Kwould you make that message simple or complicated?

(simple! So it is w/ our souls¡¦ salvation)

In Acts 16, a man asked, ¡§What must I do to be saved?¡¨

I¡¦m happy to report that God has made it simple.

Is. 35:8 (speaking of the King¡¦s highway [to heaven])

the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

This means a stranger w/out good sense can find his way on the gospel road.

Salvation is so simple and plain¡Kthat often times the intellectual giants stumble over it, while little children have no trouble¡Kbut oh, how we adults are guilty of churning the crystal clear stream of salvation into muddy waters of confusion and doubt!

Ill.¡Xcatching crawdads on Current River in MO w/ dad¡KI had my net, and would try to snag those boys, but I would stir up the silt and mud along the bank as I aggressively tried to ¡§make it happen¡¨¡KI was making it difficult on myself, and dad told me so, and I did much better when I let all the silt settle and just looked with clarity¡Kit was crystal clear! And salvation is so simple we can only recognize it and ¡§catch it¡¨ if we look thru our childhood eyes God gave to all His children!

Jesus said in Mt. 11:25

thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Our God does not put a premium on ignorance¡Knor a penalty on intelligence. But He does indeed stress the simplicity of salvation! God wants people to be saved!

I Pet. 3:9 ¡§God is not willing that any should perish¡K¡¨

God is not playing keep-away w/ salvation. He wants you to be saved even more than you do. (He went a million miles to make it happen¡Konly 1 step short!)

I. The Meaning of Salvation

¡Kwhat must I do to be saved?

First of all, we have a misunderstanding of the term ¡§saved.¡¨

What does it mean to be saved?

Gk= ƒãƒßƒÔƒêƒß - sodzo: means, ¡§to be delivered.¡¨ But, delivered from what?

What was this Philipian jailer wanting to be saved from?

Some say, the earthquake (no, it¡¦s over) Some say, saved from his superiors who would kill him since the prisoners escaped. (no, the prisoners didn¡¦t get away)

He said, what must I do to be saved¡Kwell, saved from what? Delivered from what?

We give the invitation at the end of the message, and invite lost people to be saved¡Kfrom what?

The Bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved¡Kfrom what?

Let¡¦s allow an angel to answer the question¡K

When an angel announced the birth of Christ to Joseph and Mary, he said,

thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

To be saved is to be saved from sin!

People don¡¦t like that word, sin, anymore! They find it offensive.

Remember when drunkenness was a sin¡Know ¡§disease¡¨

Pregnancy out of wedlock/mistake, accident

Children rebelling vs. parents/mal-adjusted

(see me after the service and I¡¦ll show you where the adjuster is located!)

shacking up/cohabitation¡Kabortion/freedom of choice¡Khomosexuality/alternate lifestyle¡Kgossip/prayer request

Willie Nelson, before IRS caught him, when still had money, built his own golf course on his own land.

Someone asked him about ¡§par¡¨ (explain)

They asked what par was on his course.

He said, it¡¦s my golf course, par is what I want it to be. He pointed at the first hole, ¡§that¡¦s a par 47, yesterday I birdied it¡¨.

That¡¦s how a lot of people approach sin these days, they think they can just define it for themselves¡Knevermind what God says about it¡Kthey ¡§feel¡¨ it¡¦s ok!

It¡¦s secular humanism¡Kand no matter what evil happens, from OK City to Columbine from the twin towers to anthrax, from suicide bombings to the recent child abductions, whenever evil happens, the talking heads are all over the TV saying, these people aren¡¦t wicked, they¡¦re just sick¡Kthey¡¦re not evil, they¡¦re just sick¡K

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