Summary: A sermon on Psalm 16:8-11 on the one guide, one traveler, one path and one life.
Sermon for 11/23/2003
Lost in the jungle, a man sought desperately to find his way to safety. His strength was ebbing fast as the insects and stifling heat did their deadly work. Suddenly he heard what he thought to be a bell tolling in the distance. Believing he was nearing civilization, he struggled bravely onward; but he never seemed to draw closer to the sound. Finally, he fell to the ground exhausted, never to rise again. The mysterious bellbird had claimed another victim! This story is related in detail by G.B. Robeson. He says many a traveler in the heart of the rain forest of Central and South America has been led to his death by the bell sounding call of this seldom-seen bird. Many times this bird with its call entices people to get off of the path to seek out the sound.
Similarly Satan employs subtle devices to ensnare the human race. As souls seek to free themselves from the vines of sin, they are lead astray by the tempter’s “bell” ringing in the distance. “At last,” They think, “I’ve found a way of escape,” and so, following the call of the evil one deeper and deeper into the jungle of despair, they are eventually lost for eternity.
Many are following the deceptive call of the devil’s “bell-bird” because it seems right to them. However, Christ, who declared that no man comes to the Father but by me, is the only One who can lead poor wanderers to the promised land of salvation and safety!
A. People are throwing around the term tolerance. There are no absolutes. We are bigots if we claim that Christianity is the only true faith.
B. Our society can tolerate any view as long as it is not absolute. “Some beliefs are true and good while others are false and wrong.”
C. WE live in a pluralistic society. This is true. People come from many different cultures and lifestyles. In 1994 there were 22.5 million foreign-born people. We are a land of immigrants and it has always been this way. We need to be accepting of other cultures and societies. We do not need to be prejudiced or bigoted against other cultures or people groups. This is anti-Christian.
D. We need to distinguish between cultural and theological pluralism. Theological pluralism says that all religions and all faiths lead to heaven, lead to salvation. Reject the idea that one religion is absolute. All religions lead to the same God.
E. When I go to Indiana there are several ways….
F. However, God has made it plain that there is only one way to get to Him. How could he be so mean as to only have one right way? WE should thank Him for his mercy and grace that there is one way. There could be no way.
G. Christianity has taken a bad wrap for saying that the Christ way is the only way. Many faiths, not just ours, hold quite specific doctrines and stand in firm disagreement with one another. Most major religions claim that they are the way. Muslims claim that the infidels (those outside their faith) will have no place in paradise. The Koran is the only rule of faith and practice. Jewish people claim that only those who adhere to the teachings of the Old Testament will be saved. The Old Testament is the only rule of faith and practice. Hindus will not compromise upon the idea of karma, the authority of the Hindu scriptures called the Vedas, and reincarnation. And the list could go on and on.
H. Really when it comes right down to it, the pluralist is saying that anyone who takes any faith in God seriously is an idiot. How ridiculous it can become! Should we accommodate those prisoners who came up with a religion that had as one of their rituals to eat grade A steak after dark. Should we allow the religion of the ancient Aztecs to be practiced in our land? They burned human hearts before their idols. All beliefs are equally valid so we should allow this practice because it was part of a religion and it must have some value. Now who is the idiot!
I. I read recently where a religious leader in a major denomination said, “Why do so many Christians think they need to convert people in other religions to Christianity?” He then proceeded to compare evangelism and missions to ethnic cleansing. (Rodney Buchanan, SermonCentral.com)
Thesis: We have one guide, one traveler, one path, and one life. VS. 11
I. One guide.
A. Our guide is Jesus Christ. He is the only guide. Guides take us to different destinations. Tour guides.
1. If we follow Mr. Materialism, he will take us to money and possessions.