Monday, June 9, 2008

Lost Key sermon

The Key to Reaching the Lost
Have you ever thought, "There must be a key to reaching the lost"? There is—and it’s rusty through lack of use. The Bible does actually call it "the key," and its purpose is to bring us to Christ, to unlock the Door of the Savior (John 10:9 -- I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.). Much of the Church still doesn’t even know it exists. Not only is it biblical, but it can be shown through history that the Church used it to unlock the doors of revival. The problem is that it was lost around the turn of the twentieth century. Keys have a way of getting lost.

Jesus used it. So did Paul (Romans 3:19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.), Timothy (1 Timothy 1:8–11 But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.), and James (James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all. ). Stephen used it when he preached (Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept [it].). Peter found that it had been used to open the door to release 3,000 imprisoned souls on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus said that the lawyers had "taken away" the key, and even refused to use it to let people enter into the kingdom of God. The Pharisees didn’t take it away. Instead, they bent it out of shape so that it wouldn’t do its work (Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. ). Jesus returned it to its true shape, just as the Scriptures prophesied that He would do (Isaiah 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable.). Satan has tried to prejudice the modern Church against the key. He has maligned it, misused it, twisted it, and, of course, hidden it—he hates it because of what it does. Perhaps you are wondering what this key is. I will tell you. All I ask is that you set aside your traditions and prejudices and look at what God’s Word says on the subject.

In Acts 28:23 ( And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening. ) the Bible tells us that Paul sought to persuade his hearers "concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets." Here we have two effective means of persuading the unsaved "concerning Jesus." Let’s first look at how the prophets can help persuade sinners concerning Jesus.

Fulfilled prophecy proves the inspiration of Scripture. The predictions of the prophets present a powerful case for the inspiration of the Bible. Any skeptic who reads the prophetic words of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, etc., or the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 cannot but be challenged that this is no ordinary book.
The other means by which Paul persuaded sinners concerning Jesus was "out of the law of Moses." The Bible tells us that the Law of Moses is good if it is used lawfully (1 Timothy 1:8). It was given by God as a "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Paul wrote that he "had not known sin, but by the law" (Romans 7:7). The Law of God (the Ten commandments) is evidently the "key of knowledge" Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered . He was speaking to "lawyers"—those who should have been teaching God’s Law so that sinners would receive the "knowledge of sin," and thus recognize their need of the Savior.
Prophecy speaks to the intellect of the sinner, while the Law speaks to his conscience. One produces faith in the Word of God; the other brings knowledge of sin in the heart of the sinner. The Law is the God-given "key" to unlock the Door of salvation.

"I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law. The Law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man’s heart unless you first send the needle of the Law to make way for it." Charles Spurgeon
Do you remember what John the Baptist said?
Matt 3:7 says, But when he saw many of the Pharisee's and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of Vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Why would he condemn them and call them deadly snakes?
First off, we need to know a little about both groups of people.

Pharisees were known for their rigid adherence to the ceremonial fine points of the law. Their name actually means "separated ones."
Jesus rebuked them for using human tradition to nullify Scripture.
Turn to Matthew 15:3-9
"He answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and your mother; and He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death. But you say, Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God -- then he need not honor his father or mother. Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you saying:
These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

All it takes is to see what Jesus says about the Pharisees when he condemns them. You can read these later but write down these verses. Matthew 23:13-36.

They were also known for their rank hypocrisy as found in Scripture.
Verse 28 pops out and says, Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

The Sadducees were known for their denial of things supernatural. They denied the resurrection of the dead (Matt 22:23).
They denied the existence of angels (Acts 23:8)
Unlike the Pharisees, they rejected human tradition and scorned legalism. they accepted only the first five books of the OT. in the days of Herod, their sect controlled the temple. There was actually very little in common between Pharisees and Sadducees.

Pharisees were ritualist Sadducees were rationalists
Pharisees were legalists Sadducees were liberals
Pharisees were separatists Sadducees were compromisers and political opportunist

Yet, they united together in their opposition of Christ
John knew what kind of people he saw coming to him. that is why he called them a Brood of Vipers.
He went on to say...
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance

Do you remember what the first words were that Jesus spoke in His ministry?
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

Turn to Romans Chapter 2:1-16
did you see the key words here?
The Goodness of God leads you to repentance
...your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God
God will render to each one according to his deeds eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality
to those who are self seeking and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil
There conscience also bearing witness

You see, there is no excuse. You cannot stand before God and say that you did not know what His Law said. It is planted within your conscience. You know right from wrong. You know it is wrong to murder, to steal, to commit adultery. Whether you look at the Ten Commandments or the NT, love your neighbor as yourself, you still know it is wrong to kill your neighbor, to steal from them, to commit adultery with their spouse. You know it! God will not excuse your sins without you repenting of them!

Turn to Romans 3:19-20
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

I have witnessed to several hundred people in the past year. I used the Law of God on most all of them. It is amazing how well the law works. Everyone starts off by saying they are a good person. The law does its job by showing us that we are NOT good. No one is Good but God!

Turn with me now to 1 John 3:4
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Finally turn to Matthew 7:13-23
Not everyone will enter heaven! It is quite possible that we have people sitting in here tonight who will not be going to heaven. They might claim to be saved. They might "say" Jesus is Lord, they might have even been baptized. but if they are living in their sins and have not repented of their sins, they will not enter heaven.

It is not by works that we are saved, we are saved by Grace! But our works are our evidence of being saved. Do you practice lawlessness or are you practicing righteousness?

Let's go back to 1 John 3 and read the rest of the verses.
starting with verse 5-10.

Again, I ask you...
Do you practice lawlessness or practice righteousness.
If you practice lawlessness you will be one who will say Lord, Lord and He will say to you, Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.

Being a Christian is easy and it is hard. the more you become obedient to His Word, the more you will find Satan attacking you, for he knows that you will bring people to God.

Psalm 19:7 says it best...
The Law of the Lord is Perfect converting the soul.

Keeping the Law will not save you. What it will do is show you just how depraved we truly are in God's sight. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. All we can do is drop to our knees and cry out to God to save us, sinners in need of a Savior!

Do you believe in Jesus?
Even the Devil believes and trembles!
Your belief should be a living, action filled belief. You should put your faith and your trust completely in Jesus to save you. You should repent of your sins and be obedient to His Word.

Jesus taught us to pray, so please pray with me the Lord's prayer.
since wording is different in some bibles, let's all use the pew bibles. It is Mathew 6:9-13

Have you ever wondered what God's will is? turn with me to Ephesians 1:9-10
"having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him."

Now we go back to the Lord's prayer which says, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We were created for God's glory and for His good pleasure. His will is to bring the redeemed of the Lord together on earth as it is in heaven. That is why we are called to fulfill the Great Commission. Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature.

I would like to finish up with a few quotes for you to think about.
Charles Spurgeon said,
"Have you no wish for others to be saved?
Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that."

Matthew 9:37-38 says
"The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest"

"Oh my friends,
we are loaded down with countless church activities,
while the real work of the church,
that of evangelizing the world and winning the lost,
is almost entirely neglected!"
- Oswald J. Smith

"Why call you me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?"
- Luke 6:46

I would suggest that the true answer lies in the fact that many people today are playing "Churchianity"
The KEY has not been used on the people. It has been neglected and twisted. The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul and yet we make the gospel to be nothing more than a "feel good story."
When the Law of the Lord is used lawfully it will bring about a change. It is when you realize that you are headed for hell that you will cry out for God to save you. Examine yourself daily to see that you are in the faith. None of us are able to "keep the Law." We just use it as a mirror to show us just how sinful and sin-filled we are. It shows us areas that we need to repent in our life. It takes us directly to the cross of Jesus, where He died in our place so that we could go to heaven. God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die for you, a sinner, in need of a Savior. He wants all to come to repentance. But not all will do it. Will you?

Everytime you grab your house or car keys, just remember the Key of knowledge that Satan has twisted. Remember that it is not How Good You Are that will get you into heaven. It is because of how Good God is! All He asks of you is to follow Him. Put your faith and trust in Him alone to save you. Repent of your sins and be obedient to His Word!

Let's pray...

1 comment:

chris Kratzer said...

Nice post, thanks for the exposition.