Intro: Death, a time of questioning.
I. HOW APPROPRIATE AT TIME OF GRIEF IN DEATH.
A. Sometimes a danger of questioning God's providence.
1. Especially if one is young.
2. Or dies unexpectedly.
3. The lump of clay questions the Master Potter.
B. Many times we are in question of our own future.
1. More apt if departed one is provider.
a. How will we meet expenses?
b. What will we do for a livelihood?
2. If departed one is companion.
a. What will I do in long, lonely hours?
b. To whom can I turn for comfort? Have faith in God. Never leave or forsake. A friend closer than a brother.
C. We question the welfare of our loved one.
1. Have faith in God.
a. "In my Father's house, many mansions."
b. We know when this earthly body has served its usefulness and is put aside, we have a new body in heaven created by the hand of God for us wherein we shall live eternally.
c. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." So when we question about them we must be content to commit them into the love of God who said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, and we shall have faith in God for their keeping."
If we could see beyond today as God can see it, all our tears were wiped away the darkness flee, or present grief's we would not fret, each sorrow we would soon forget, for many joys are waiting yet for you and me. So for our own futures we shall have faith in God, until that day when in His love plan we, are once again united we those we loved in that kingdom where there shall be no more death. All our questions shall be resolved by our faith in God.
THE WILL OF GOD
I. PEACE LIES IN ACCEPTANCE OF GOD'S WILL.
A. Not in:
1. Forgetting (bury the past).
2. Crowding it out.
3. Withdrawing in quietness.
4. Submission (martyr complex).
B. God sends tragedies.
1. "The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away."
C. No man is wholly the Lord's until he is wholly consecrated, and the only way to know this is through tribulation.
1. Rejoicing in God's will though it be tribulation.
a. Not natural.
b. Natural man cannot do it.
2. Trials should be welcomed as a test.
D. If you are not yielded to God's will, you are governed by your own will.
II. SUBMISSION AND SUFFERING CONTRARY TO FLESH.
A. We desire our own comfort more than anything else.
1. We want to have our own way.
B. Suffering always crosses us where self is alive.
C. Christ, though sinless and innocent, suffered in God's will. The purpose of redemption is to restore man to God's will.
"HAVE FAITH IN GOD"
Intro: Death, time of questions. Three rather basic questions always arise.
I. WHY DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN?
A. More so if person is young and in good health.
B. Here we find a lump of clay asking the Master Potter, "Why hast thou made me thus?"
C. The mysteries of life and death beyond our grasp.
D. God has said, "All things work together for good."
So we must have faith in God knowing that He is working out His perfect plan though we have an imperfect understanding of it.
II. WHAT ABOUT THEIR WELFARE?
A. This we know a little more about, though knowledge still imperfect.
1. "In my Father's house are many mansions."
2. "We know when this earthly body has served its usefulness, and is put aside we have a new body eternal in the heavens, created by God for us.
3. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain, for the former things are passed away.
B. In our questions, we must be content to commit them into the love of God who said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
C. We must have faith in God for their keeping.
III. WHAT ABOUT OUR OWN FUTURE?
A. Our lives bound to be affected in 1,OOO ways.
1. May be questions of finances.
2. Most certainly questions of our time.
a. What about lonely hours?
b. What about the decisions that must be made?
B. Remember God has said, "He would never leave us or forsake us." "He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
C. Today the outlook seems dark, but if we could see beyond today as God does see, if all our tears were wiped away, our sorrows flee our present griefs, we would not fret each sorrow. We would soon forget, for many joys are waiting yet for you and me. So for our own futures, we will have faith in God, until that day when in His love plan, we are once again united with those we love in the kingdom where there shall be no more death. So we find that all of our questions are resolved in the encouragement by Christ to have faith in God.
I. OUR FAMILY IS POORER.
II. THE CHURCH IS POORER.
III. THE WORLD IS POORER.
A. Light in darkness.
B. Strife and hatred - we need love.
IV. HEAVEN IS RICHER TODAY.
A. One of the brightest jewels has taken her place in God's kingdom.
B. The love that so radiated here is now radiating there.
C. The sweet smile that blessed here is now blessing there.
D. The tongue that had sung God's praises here is now singing praises there.
E. She who so loved her Lord here is now with Him there.
"THAT'S A WORTHLESS KID" WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?
I. DIFFERENT WAYS OF RECKONING VALUES.
A. Chemist - $.98 broken down to basic elements.
1. Sell one eye for $10,000.
B. Jury - awarded various amounts.
C. Kidnapper - "That kid's worth lOOg's".
Grammar school - $125,000.
High school - 165,000.
College - 268,000.
E. Japanese students - $14.00.
F. Circumstances can alter values.
1. Derelict of skidrow - good for nothing bum.
2. Let him commit a murder, then try to buy him.
G. I dare say if you owned the world.
1. Gladly give it all to save life.
II. GOD'S EVALUATION OF MAN.
A. Redeemed us not with corruptible things.
1. Precious blood of Christ.
B. God gave most valuable prize of universe for you.
C. God bids you accept His.
III. YOU MUST SELL YOUR SOUL.
I. SUFFICIENCY OF MAN.
A. Able to cope with almost any situation.
1. Extreme cold.
2. Extreme heat.
3. Exploring ocean floor.
B. Have discovered the answers to most of the riddles of life.
1. We have expanded our knowledge until very broad understanding.
2. We coast along beginning to think we have all the answers, then we are faced with death, and all of a sudden we realize we know very little.
II. THE INSUFFICIENCY OF MAN.
A. Though we can cope with the problems of existing on the moon, we are helpless in the hour of death.
B. The unanswerable questions begin to come forth in abundance until we are almost overwhelmed.
1. There is one who has supplied answers.
2. Jesus said in essence to Mary and Martha when they began to question Him concerning the death of their brother, "Have faith in God."
3. What are we going to do during the coming hours of loneliness?
"Have faith in God," He will;
a. Draw in a much closer knit, those friends that remain with you.
1. Amazing how close death can draw you to those you love who are still living.
b. He with His own love and comfort will bring peace to your heart, and companionship to your life. He said, "I will never leave you or forsake you."
4. Why can't they return?
Man is a Spirit. God in love has given to him a body that he might receive pleasure, joy and store up rich experiences. But when our bodies, by the wear of time, begin to bring more pain than pleasure, more weakness than strength, then it again is a manifestation of God's love that He would release our spirits from these corruptible bodies, that they should not suffer forever in the weaknesses of our bodies. The truly prudent person will realize that the most certain thing in life is death, and rather than fear it, as some monster that robs us from the rich experiences of life, will seek to understand it through faith in God, and they will discover that it is only a door that leads into life eternal.
Have faith in God.
I. WATER - Baptism by John.
A. Beginning of ministry.
1. Spirit descended, bore record.
B. By blood.
1. End of public ministry.
a. Still Lord in death.
b. He gave His life.
C. Spirit bears witness of truth.
1. Spirit is truth.
2. Of what does the Spirit bear witness?
a. Christ the Son of God.
b. Christ the Sin Bearer.
II. THREE WITNESSES.
A. Water acknowledges sin.
1. Cleansing (need of).
2. Until you realize your position as such, you will not seek salvation.
B. Blood cleanses sin.
1. Sacrifice for sin.
C. Spirit conquerors over sin.
1. He gives complete victory.
a. Not by works.
2. Through the Spirit.
"GOD HAS SPOKEN"
I. THIS IS A REASONABLE ASSUMPTION.
A. I am here - by chance or creation.
1. It isn't reasonable to assume by chance.
2. There must be a creator.
3. I see in creation a certain order or law.
a. I thus conclude reason or purpose.
b. There must be a reason why He created me.
4. If there is a reason I must know it clearly or whole purpose is lost.
a. Man could be left to seek for himself, yet so many different conclusions only lead to confusion.
b. Better that God reveal that purpose to man beginning early in his history.
5. The Bible purports to be such a book.
II. THE MESSENGERS THROUGH WHOM GOD SPOKE.
A. In different places and in different ways He spoke by the prophets.
1. They spoke of God's plan of salvation through a Savior, the Messiah.
2. Over a span of 1500 years one writer after another would pick up the pen and add details of the same story.
3. Often their message was rejected and they were beaten or tortured, and killed.
B. God finally came down to personally bear to man His message of love.
1. The Creator came to His creation.
a. "He was in the world and the world was made by Him..."
2. Religious leaders were threatened by His message and attempted the ultimate of folly, to kill God.
a. The three darkest days of man's history.
III. SINCE GOD HAS SPOKEN, WE HAD BETTER LISTEN.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard.
A. If the words the messengers spoke was steadfast. If each transgression and disobedience is to be judged and punished.
1. How are you going to escape if you neglect the great salvation which is promised by Jesus to those who believe in Him?
2. God said, "The wages of sin is death." "The soul that sinneth shall..."
a. The word "sin" means to miss the mark.
b. Have you ever missed the mark?
c. If the law says if you miss the mark you must die. How are you going to escape death if you reject God's only plan of salvation?
3. Salvation was promised by Jesus Christ.
a. "The Son of man has come to seek and to save those who are lost."
b. "For God so loved the world..."
c. "Come unto Me..."
B. "Today if you will hear His voice" (3:7).
1. Harden not your heart (8).
2. Beware of unbelief (12).
3. Obey the voice of God and receive the great salvation He lovingly offers to you. Enter into His rest today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.