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Sermon: Tarentum, by Robert Johnson

Faith That God Will Not Keep His Word

I. Does God Give Meaningless Lectures?
II. "All Good People Will Be Saved" (Text??)
III. "Practicing Sin Will Not Keep You Out of Heaven."
IV. "God Will Not Send Anyone To Hell."
V. A Faith Which Believes God Is True.

A. Long ago I heard a story about a mother and her child. The child had thrown his ball across the yard and into the street. The mother, knowing that the child might go after it said, “Johnny, now you stay away from that street or you will be in trouble.” As Johnny began walking toward the street, the mother shouted, “Johnny if you set foot on that street, you will get a spanking!” As Johnny set foot on the street, the mother yelled, Johnny, watch for cars!!” Of course as you might expect there was no spanking.
1. Promises of punishment or reward must be kept or they teach lack of respect for authority.
2. It teaches that those in authority do not mean what they say.
3. Then children push their parents as far as they can (may even to “middle name” calling).
4. Over time a child will view this as nagging or meaningless lectures.
B. Eventually a child may lose respect for anyone who would correct or guide them.
1. But in the real world there is authority to which they must be accountable.
2. They may ignore the law, but they will face the penalty.
3. They must submit to authority on the job or lose it.

I. Does God Give Meaningless Lectures?
A. There are many people today who view the Words of God (Bible) without respect and honor.
1. The Bible says to honor and obey our parents. How much more important to obey and honor God?
B. Many have “a faith”, but a real Biblical faith is a confidence in what God has said. (Not trusting in what He has not said!)
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 10:17).
1. Faith is NOT believing something God has NOT said.
2. Too often people put their confidence in something men have said and call it a faith which they expect God to accept.
3. Such a confidence in the teachings of men neither pleases or honors God (Matt 15:8,9).
C. Jesus made it clear that God’s Word was His absolute guide in all He taught and practiced.
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:48-5).
D. True Faith, like that seen in the Bible, must have this same desire to know and obey the Words of God. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt 4:4).
E. Let us now look at some of the “beliefs” people hold which are in reality a confidence or faith that God will not keep His Word!

II. "All Good People Will Be Saved" (Text??)
A. Some believe that a person’s religious beliefs (Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, etc.) will be accepted by God if they have lived a good life and helped others.
1. It is interesting to me that many people who hold this belief would also argue that we are not saved by our good works.
B. The Bible teaches that without a complete trust and submission to Jesus there can be no salvation. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"(Acts 4:12).
2. This automatically rules out all the “good” people of two of the before mentioned religions who reject Christ as the Messiah.
C. Jesus warned that even those who did good works in His name must be sure they are really submitting to the will of God.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Mat 7:21-23)
1. Our purpose as Christians is to practice good works (Eph 2:10).
2. Good works demonstrate the presence of real faith (James 2:18).
3. But if a person chooses a good life and refuses to believe the truth and to submit to Jesus in His church, then they have refused their only hope of salvation.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
D. Before He left the earth, Jesus told His disciples plainly: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15,16).
1. Those who reject the gospel of Christ or those who partially accept Him, but refuse to be baptized will not be saved, they will be damned!
2. If you believe that good people of all religions will be saved then you have a faith that God will not be true to His Word as given us by Jesus.

III. "Practicing Sin Will Not Keep You Out of Heaven."
A. The world is becoming more immoral and more desensitized to what God declares to be sin.
1. Many have convinced themselves that the presence of ongoing sin will not keep a person out of heaven.
2. The belief that God will overlook all sin, even if the person never repents, can bring much false comfort when a sinner dies.
3. But, to believe such a thing is to believe that the Bible is not true and that God does not mean what He says.
B. If your belief is soft on the dangers of sin, God says you are deceived:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor 6:9-11).
1. God’s Word is not difficult to understand, though it is difficult to accept at times.
2. Heaven will not accept those who practice: (Without Repentance).
a. Sex outside of a proper marriage (fornication).
b. Idolatry (worship of things).
c. Adultery (sex with someone other than your wife or husband or another person’s spouse).
d. Homosexuality (effeminate, abusers of selves with mankind).
e. Stealing , greediness (covetous).
f. Drunkenness.
3. Some of the Corinthians had practiced these things, but they had turned away from their sin to serve God.
4. Galatians 5:19-21 provides a similar list of behaviors (sins) which will prohibit one from inheriting the kingdom of God.
C. No matter how terrible your sin might be, God desires that you repent before it is too late.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Pet 3:9-10)
1. Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)
D. If you hold a faith which believes that unrepentant and practicing sinners will be received into heaven, then you have a faith that God will not be true to His Word.

IV. "God Will Not Send Anyone To Hell."
A. Many choose to belief that either Hell does not exist or that it will never be used after the judgment.
1. This is a most comforting belief to hold, but it can only be held by those who believe God is not true to His Word.
2. As a matter of fact it is Jesus himself who speaks of hell more than any other person in the New Testament.
a. Sometimes the English word “hell” is used to translate the Greek word “hades” which means simply the grave or the place where departed souls await the judgment (For example, Acts 2:27,31).
b. In other places the word “hell” is used to translate the Greek word “Gehenna” which means a place of future fiery punishment for the wicked.
c. Jesus speaks of those who are in danger of the judgment and “hell fire” (Matt. 5:22).
d. Jesus uses this word for fiery punishment eleven times in the Gospels.
B. The Son of God warns us that this hell is a place which we must avoid at all cost:
"And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:45-46)
C. Jesus tells us not to fear those who can kill our bodies, but instead we should fear (respect) Him who has the power to cast us into hell (Matt 10:28).
D. Paul speaks of Jesus coming in fiery vengeance on those who reject the truth of the Gospel:
"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." (2 Th 1:7-10)
E. The Bible speaks of those who reject Jesus and truth as being “damned.”
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Th 2:12)

F. The Book of Revelation speaks clearly of the dead who shall be raised and then cast into the “lake of fire.”
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever... And death and hell (hades,rj) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:10, 14-15)
G. While God promises blessings to the faithful, those who practice sin are to be thrown into this lake of fire, denied eternity in the presence of God.
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."(Rev 21:7-8).
H. Those who believe God’s Word know that there will be no rest for the wicked and those who spend their lives in the pleasures of unrighteousness.
I. The Bible teaching of hell is a most unpleasant doctrine, but one which a true Bible believer has no choice in believing.
1. Someday there will be a resurrection of all the dead, good and evil with the evil receiving damnation.
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29).
J. If your belief rejects the possibility of the lake of fire for the wicked and those who neglect God’s salvation, then you have a faith which believes that God will not be true to His Word.

V. A Faith Which Believes God Is True Faith.
A. It is not surprising that so many religious beliefs stand in direct contradiction to God’s Word. The Bible warns us repeatedly that people will prefer to belief only the things they like:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim 4:3-4)
B. But, the faith which will save us is a faith which accepts the truths God has revealed in His Word (Rom. 10:17), even when these truths are unpopular and rejected by other religious people.
1. It is one thing to have “a faith”, it is quite another thing to have “the faith” which is revealed in the Bible as the one for which we must “earnestly contend.”
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3)
C. Let us examine our faith as Paul commanded us to see if the things we believe are the truth of God.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor 13:5)
D. Paul told the Roman church that the way to make it through the judgment was to have “a faith” that God will keep His Word.
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." (Rom 3:4)

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