Summary: In this day & age, sometimes it is difficult to know what is true & what is false. But surely, there are some things we can count on, some things we can know for sure. Just what do we know for sure? (PowerPoint available - #244)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
GOD WANTS US TO BE SURE!
What do we know for sure?
ILL. The great preacher, John Wesley, once said, “When I was young I was sure of everything. But after a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before.
"And at present, I am hardly sure of anything except what God has revealed to me.”
ILL. We seem to live in a world filled with unclear messages. And the undisputed champion of muddled messages was Yogi Berra, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame & former manager of the NY Yankees. Here are a few of his better-known “Yogi-isms.”
“Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"
"You better cut the pizza in 4 pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat 6."
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
“You got to be careful - if you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”
"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't come to yours."
And there’s the time a lady said to him, “Good afternoon, Mr. Berra. You look mighty cool today.” “Thank you, ma’am,” Yogi replied. “You don’t look so hot yourself.” (Bits & Pieces, February 4, 1993, p. 14)
Sometimes things are rather confusing. But our confusion doesn’t always stem from muddled messages. Sometimes the words are clear, but the message is simply untrue or has been twisted to fit the speaker's agenda.
We're seeing plenty of evidence of this today in reporters & celebrities who rush to judgment without first determining the facts, & in politicians who are quick to speak but evidently slow to listen.
PROP. As a result, sometimes it is difficult to know what is true & what is false. But surely, there are some things we can count on, some things we can know for sure. Just what do we know for sure?
I. THE BIBLE SPEAKS WITH CERTAINTY
First of all, like John Wesley, we can be sure when God has spoken. The Bible never speaks with timidity.
The Bible never says, "It could be this or "It could be that." In His Word, God speaks with certainty. Just think how the Bible answers these basic questions:
A. "How did life begin?" The world says, "Well, maybe there was a big bang 200 million years or so ago, & somehow that started an evolutionary chain. And they go on to add, “Of course, we haven't found the missing links yet, but we're sure we'll find them some day." Now that's a rather uncertain answer.
But the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) God created all forms of life ? in the sea, in the sky, & on the earth.
Then when He reached down & fashioned man, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, & the man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
You see, that answer is a certain one. God’s Word simply says, "This is the way it happened."
B. Another question, "How did we get into all the mess in which we find ourselves today?"
"Why has mankind become so violent? How did we become so immoral? Why is there so much poverty? Why are there wars? Why can't we live in peace?"
The world gives all kinds of answers. But the Bible gives only one answer. The Bible says that we got where we are because of sin.
Go back to the Garden of Eden & to the fall of Adam & Eve, & you'll realize that is the reason we have weeds in our gardens. That's the reason there is pain in childbirth. That's the reason there is disease & sickness & death in our world - all because of sin.
C. "And how can we get out of our mess?" "What can we do to solve these problems?" The world has many suggestions but no solutions.
But the Bible says, "Nothing is going to change for the better until we have been changed inside ? not until our hearts & minds are changed, not until our wills & emotions are changed & refashioned into the image of Christ."
D. Again, "What is going to happen to us after this life is over?” The world has many answers, all the way from reincarnation to "Nirvana" - eternal nothingness.
ILL. A preacher named Cocoris tells about conducting a rap session with high school teenagers. In it one girl asked, “The Bible says that God loves everybody. Then we're told that God sends people to Hell. How can a loving God do that?”