Summary: People live their lives by faith. The question is, "Upon WHAT do you rest your faith?" This sermon (based on the hymn) answers that question.
Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved.
Salvation is a word that finds its way into most religions. It is in the definition of that word that Christianity separates itself from all other so-called attempts to know God.
The reigning popular religions of the day are really non religions. In a current swell of skepticism, cynicism and individualism, people have turned to a personalized iconoclastic idolatry. The key is, "Whatever you think is right must be okay, because everybody has a right to his own opinion. You find God your way, and I’ll find Him my way. Don’t impose your thinking on anyone else."
We live in an age of political correctness. You cannot say, do or even think anything for fear of offending someone! In this age of "New Age" it is inconceivable to the Baby Boomer or Baby Buster (educated in schools where God has been ruled out of order) that faith and spiritual life are anything more than one’s personal philosophy of life. Tina Turner has sold 30 million records. She says:
"I’m a Buddhist-Baptist. My training is Baptist. And I can still relate to the Ten Commandments. It’s all very close, as long as you contact the subconscious mind. That’s where the coin of the Almighty is. I don’t care what they feel about me and my tight pants on-stage, and my lips and my hair. I am a chanter. And everyone who knows anything about chanting knows you correct everything in your life by chanting every day."
The Bible speaks a word to that kind of thinking:
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.
We can think anything we want to about how to find God, know God, be right with God...but the bottom line is that God Himself makes the rules about how He may be known. He says the only way is by faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Everyone exhibits faith -- operates his whole life by faith. We do so when we turn the key to start the car, open the pantry to find our corn flakes. Every breath is an act of faith that the air won’t be poisoned.
On this Lord’s Day of Memorial Day weekend, we take the time to remember those who gave the utmost in the name of our political freedom. We also take this moment to remember that our eternal spiritual freedom came at an even greater cost.
This morning I would like to look at some of the places that people put their faith. Our investigation will be aided by the excellent Biblical doctrine contained in Hymn #380 -- "My Faith Has Found A Resting Place." Notice, some people have their faith rest in:
For a large number of good, moral, wonderful people in this world, the church (or some representative ecclesiastical body) represents salvation. At an appropriate time, either in childhood or as a penitent adult, the person joins an institution that preaches salvation. The problem is one of accepting a creed without a Christ. The Bible declares that Jesus would build His church -- but nowhere does it suggest that the church issues forth the salvation of God.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Friend, you can get saved in this church, but not by this church. One of the reasons there is so much trouble in churches across the land is that so many people joined churches instead of trusting in Christ. They aren’t children of God, and they act like it. Where does your faith rest -- in establishments or the Ever living One?
My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
And then, some people have their faith resting in:
We read of the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, attempting to contact their god. They cried out loudly, leaped on the altar, cut themselves with knives until the blood flowed freely. They did this all day long. (Quite different from the average church service these days -- over in 58 minutes and three commercials if the preacher knows what’s good for him. Makes me thankful for our church. We worship until we have worshipped!)
Today people worship at the altar of the experience of excitement. For some, church is too boring -- movies, professional sporting events, or night clubbing replaces worship. Unfortunately, enough of the world has gotten into the church so that even Christian people demand more hype than holiness. Somehow, it doesn’t seem good enough unless the media would approve.