Why are we Here and What are we to Do? - A New Years Message
by Cooper Abrams
a. The last float has passed by and now we return to the reality of our daily lives.
b. In a few days the decorations will be down and stored away for next year.
c. Now we turn our attention to the years end. A time of recalling the accomplishments and failures of this past year. TV and magazines will be running articles about what happened in 2000.
2. At New Years we become more aware of the pasting of time.
a. The reality of how insufficient and fallible we really are. Some have referred to our lives as like a ship on the sea, for a few moments there is the wave of its pasting and then no sign at all.
b. We think of loved ones or friends who have passed on or take out some memento or picture of our loved one.
c. We realize were are getting older, time is passing by.
3. 2000 - The Bad New - The Good News
The Y2K bug was suppose to crash all our computers and bring our computer based society to its knees. People brought generators, stored food, purchased guns to protect themselves from the hordes of starving people. Transportation, power, commerce was suppose to all fail. Yet the new year came in like all the rest and nothing happened!
Yet this year turned out to be typical of the past Century. There is much talk of progress, for more advanced technology and moving forward.
-There are more gadgets, food, clothing, entertainment, education and the world has every known.
-Materially we are more advanced in history, yet it does not take much looking around to see that we are morally and spiritually bankrupt. - One thing is clear, man has not changed. No advancement in overcoming immorality and sin happened.
a. The family is being destroyed by divorce which is now over 50% in all marriages.
b. Abortion was bad enough in killing over 10 million infants, but now we have partial birth abortions that make Nazi concentration camps look like a girl scout camp.
c. TV is filled with every gross act of murder imaginable and gets worse ever year. The biggest hits at the box office are the most violent films.
d. Homo sexually is in vogue everywhere in our society. It is attacking our children in our schools. Our our going president for the first time in history honored the gay perverts by speaking at their nation convention and even honored for being openly homosexual.
e. The past administration and both parties of our government are involved in scandal after scandal until hardly anyone even pays any attention. Lying to the public is the rule of the day in American politics. Honesty, morals, integrity are gone and few seem to even care. Many hope that our new President George W. Bush will improve things but others believe he will not change much. Many count the fact that over half of the Americans voted for Al Gore which meant all the corruption and immorality he stands for did not brother them.
f. The cults and every false religion and false Christian movement is going daily and most of our churches are not concerned. The mood today is to forget sound doctrine, ignore the Bible, put aside doctrinal differences and lets all come together to serve God. Folks you can not serve God apart of truth and purity of doctrine and live style.
g. Our young people are confused and disillusioned and being tossed around like twigs in a stormy sea. Our education system is bankrupt and turns out educated illiterates.
h. Our government has passed laws that openly attack any absolutes, any standard of morality or decency and is seeking to destroy all Bible believing churches. Yet, you can teach pornography, Marxism, humanism, evolution, any pagan or animalistic religion or cult, but you cannot mention the God of the Bible or post the ten commandments on the walls of public buildings.
f. The Bible is under attack and almost every day a new version, that is supposed to make the Bible easy to read and understand comes out. There is Bible for gays, for feminist, for those who deny the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, for the Promise Keepers...and one to accommodate every false and corrupt thought the liberals and those who reject God's words have.
4. Is this then the whole picture? The answer is a resounding NO! No, this is not the whole picture. Even as God told Elijah, there are thousands scattered around the world who have not bowed their knee to Baal!
- The Word of God is not nullified by the millions who deny it. False spiritually dead preachers, standing in the pulpits of corrupted churches do nothing to change the fact of the truth and of God's plan of Salvation.
-Their lies and doctrines of demons do nothing to hinder God and His work.
-Christ Jesus our Savior and God will soon return. He will purge the world of sin and nothing can change or alter this fact.
-In time, Christ will rule the world and God's children will be with Him for all eternity in heaven.
- Let us turn to today...seek our task and responsibility in the chaos of this world that is headed for destruction.
5. The writer of Ecclesiastes. (Solomon) had similar thoughts and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote a whole book on the subject of the passing of time and the worth of a persons life. He addresses the subject of "Why are we here and what are we to do."
PROPOSITION: Our lives will have meaning and worth only if we serve the Lord.
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEAR GOD. V13-14. The conclusion of it all.
A. Godly fear realizes that the earth and all in it including you and I are God's creation. We belong to God.
1. Food, air, life itself comes from God and he sustains us.
a. John 1:3 and 10. Col. 1:17, tell us that God made us, we are His creation.
b. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, declares that we are brought with a price. That price was paid by the Lord Jesus Christ, by shedding His blood, suffering for our sin and dying on the old cruel cross.
c. The man who blasphemes God does it in the strength that God gave him.
d. Those who openly reject Him and His salvation, God's mercy sustains them.
2. If we were created by God, and we are His. He must have a reason for putting us here..some purpose more that just living till we die.
3. Psalms 139:13-16. God knew us even before we were born.
4. What then is your purpose? Why are you here?
B. A FEAR OF GOD IS TO RECOGNIZE SIN AND ITS DESTRUCTIVE INFLUENCE IN OUR LIVES.
1. Isa. 6:1-5, When Isaiah saw God, he saw himself as he truly was. He cried unto God, "Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts."
2. Today the world has such a light view of sin. The thief, murder have no remorse. We laugh at sexual sins. The criminal is not responsible for what he does. Our courts often let the murder and criminal go free. There is no compassion for the victims of crime.
3. We fail to see the reality that sin is a cancer that destroys lives and damns the souls of men. Sin isn't cute, or something to laugh at.
C. Sin separates us from the love of God. God is holy and separated from sin, all sin.
It keeps a person from living an abundant life and robs us of peace and joy.
D. Getting right with God is the beginning of fulfilling God's will for our lives.
1. It begins with believing God's truth. He tells us that "All, have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)
2. He warns us that "The wages of sin is death, but he further proclaims...but the gift of god is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
3. He shows us His way, and tells us to "Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God hath raised Him from the dead, and thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10:9-10)
4. Today the matter can be settled. By simple faith a man can believe God, put his faith in Jesus Christ's atonement for his sin and become instantly a child of God.
5. Once saved the child of God wants to live for God and God tells us how.
II. GOD INSTRUCTS US TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. V13
A. Christ told us in Matt. 22, that the law was to love God. On that hinges all the law and prophets.
1. As we separate ourselves from sin we learn to love more. 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
2. We study the Bible and learn more of how to live our lives to the fullest.
3. As we pray and commune with God, God answers our prayers, if they are right for us.
B. God tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
1. As we get closer to God, we will get closer those around us. We learn to truly love. The world has no love as God says. The love the world offers is selfish and lustful.
2. Yet, Godly love serves. It seeks the best and the well being of others before itself.
a. Have you considered that Christ served men, by dying for the sins of the world on the Cross.
b. The only way to serve God is to serve your fellow man. For the believer that means living a life as a testimony of God's grace before all around us. It means being good stewards of our time and money. It means being burdened for the lost beginning in our homes and church and extending around the world.
c. It means boldly proclaiming God's truth and seeking to share it with a lost and dying world.
C. Can you think of even one way a person can serve God that does not involve serving our neighbor.
1. We do not know what the future holds in our personal lives, yet we know where this old world is heading. We know God's plans for the world. We know that what ever comes our way, that God is always faithful to keep His promises and never leave or forsake His own.
John R. Rice, said, "No matter what your past, your future is spotless."
God is the God of forgiveness, of Grace and Mercy. His plan of salvation, is to forgive us and then change our lives.
2. What if I told you that I would deposit in your name each day $10,000, but at the end of day what ever you and not spent you would lose....what would you do?
Of course you would try and draw out as much as possible. Each day we should live like that...a day carries no balance. When it passes it gone and can not be recalled.
The question is how are you spending your life that God has given you. First have you believed and in simple faith trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Then afterwards, are you living your life, as a witness of God Grace and Love.
3. While I was in college at Piedmont Baptist College we regularly prayed for a lady in Baptist Hospital there in Winston-Salem, NC. She had cancer and had most of her intestines removed. Her food had to be specially prepared and cost over $1000.00 a month. She told a friend, "We worked so hard all our lives, and just when we are beginning to get ahead this happens." ....She was a Christian.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:19-20)
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
4. T.T. Martin was an evangelist who preached the Gospel for many years. He and his brother grew up together, but went their separate ways. T.T. accepted Christ as his Savior and became a preacher.
His world went he way of the world, he became a lawyer. After many years his brother became very successful. But contracted tuberculosis and was dying.
He called Martin who had witnessed to him many times in his life, and his brother accepted Christ as his Savior. He then realized that he would go to Heaven empty handed. He realized how he had wasted his life.
He dictated a letter and Martin wrote it down and then as instructed mailed it all the people his brother knew in business. He explained in the letter the joy of being saved, but his great regret that he had not lived his life for Christ. He urged all his friends to receive Christ as their Savior and live for the Lord. By this letter a number of his friends were also saved.
You see when he saw eternity, he wanted to do all he could to see other come to Christ.
5. What about you? Are you wasting your life, the only life you will ever have, or are you living it in the Will of God, serving Him and preparing for an eternity in heaven?
6. This way to set things right is so simple. God has prepared the way and provided the means of being reconciled to Him. He has made the way for you live as God intended you to live and to be what God would have you to be.
7. For the lost man, the one who has not yet accept God into their life, the simple answer is to recognize that you are the sinner God says you are. And in simple faith in God's plan for you, repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
8. For the Christian, the question is also applicable: Are you living your life to the fullest for Jesus Christ your Savior? If their is the slightest degree of unfaithfulness or any spot of sin, this moment you can get the matter settled and be restored to God's pure fellowship, peace and joy.
(This message originally prepared 1978 and revised December 2000.)