Summary: Contending for the faith
Series: America, Bless God
Sermon: Stopping Sin’s Progress
Sunday October 31st, 2004
Intro: Jude 3-4 “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”
Dr. James Dobson, “I have never involved myself to this extent in the buildup to a national election, and quite frankly, I do not relish the idea of taking on such a vocal and public role.”
I feel the same way, too.
The nature and progression of sin: Mine field (Our world is like a giant mine field) Traps for those who wonder from the path of righteousness. Blinded by the darkness of night. We are those called to shine a light, a light for the world to see the entrapments of sin and see the light of Christ.
Proverbs 5:22-23 NIV “The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. 23 He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.”
One of these mine fields being set up to ensnare people: Embryonic Stem cell research:
• The federal government provides many millions of dollars for research on adult stem cells.
• Adult stem cell research provides the opportunity to participate in the potential benefits of regenerative medicine without compromising deeply held beliefs about human life.
• Stem cells are the body’s master cells that can develop into other cells and tissues. They are found not only in human embryos but, also in adult sources, such as bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and placentas. The procurement of stem cells from an adult source does not harm the donor.
• Embryonic stem cell research has experienced multiple failures, including the worsening of Parkinson’s symptoms in one human test group and a tendency to produce tumors in laboratory animals.
• Adult stem cell research, meanwhile, has already produced more than 40 treatments, including the repair of damaged livers and remedies for heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Recent research promises a cure for arthritis. Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, of a Southern Baptist
What it takes to stop sin’s progress:
I. Contend for the faith
Contend = To strive in opposition or against difficulties; struggle, To strive in controversy or debate; dispute. To maintain or assert:
a. No back up plan / No plan B to save the world
b. The term "lost" refers to those who are not Christians, to those who are outside of the household of God but whom God desires to come home.
c. Be the Salt of the Earth
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is not longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
i. Jesus said, “You ARE the salt” It is emphatic He didn’t say you are the earth. He didn’t say you might , you ought to be No, you are the salt. We are either the salt or the world.
ii. If the church fails at being the salt, there is no salt substitute
G.C. Campbell Morgan said nicely when he wrote, “Jesus, looking out over the multitudes of His day, saw the corruption, the disintegration of life at every point, its breakup, its spoliation; and because of His love of the multitudes, He knew the thing that they needed most was the salt in order that the corruption should be arrested.”
i. How do we know when we have lost saltiness? When we stop preserving our surroundings!
ii. Are we doing that?
iii. “…if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?”
1. The American church is at a critical juncture: Will we stand and influence the culture or will be sit back and simply ALLOW ourselves to loose our God given saltiness?
2. Look at Europe from which most of came, they were once “Christian” and now less than 3% are.
iv. Christ is saying let your influence season people’s life for the kingdom.
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
d. Shine as the Light of the World
i. Our light" is our faith-driven compulsion to influence the world for God and for good. It pushes back the darkness. It illumines evil and brings knowledge, which frees people.