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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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, Hall of Famer & 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.”
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"
"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't come to yours."
And there’s the time that a lady said to him, “Good afternoon, Mr. Berra. My, 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, aren’t they? But our confusion doesn’t always stem from what others are saying. Sometimes we become confused simply because of our busy schedules & poor communication.
ILL. The story is told of a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Wanting to take some aerial pictures, he asked his home office to hire a plane. They made the arrangements & told him to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting for him.
When he arrived at the airport, there was a plane warming up by the runway. He jumped in with his equipment & yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind & they were soon in the air.
“Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “& make 3 or 4 low level passes.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I’m going to take pictures,” yelled the photographer. “I’m a photographer & that’s what photographers do!”
After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the flight instructor?” (Adapted from The Jokesmith)
What do we know for sure? At a time when TV screens are filled with competing political advertisements, disagreements about Afghanistan, & all kinds of news reports from Washington, we wonder – “Just what do we know for sure?”
PROP. 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?
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 about 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. We started out as a tiny blob in a primordial sea that evolved into bigger & bigger blobs until finally you see what we are today.
And they go on to add, “Of course, we don't have all the links, but we're sure we'll find the missing links 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 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, isn't it? There is no timidity there. 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?" Do you realize that some of the finest minds in the world have been trying to answer that question?
Politicians, sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists are all trying to figure out, "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 together in peace?"
The world is trying to answer those questions, & some of their answers are interesting. "It’s the fault of the educational system. There’s just too much pressure on kids to succeed.” “It’s poverty! If we would just spend more money; if we would just make sure that everybody has a nice home & a good income.”