This Week's Gospel Sermons

Impossible  - Scott Richardson

A Day in the Kingdom  - Tim Hamilton


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Scott Richardson



Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive


  March 15, 2015


Impossible  - Scott Richardson

Impossible? This statement is taken from Hebrews 10:4”For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” When Jesus was teaching His disciples the difficulty of the rich entering into the kingdom of God, theywere amazed, and asked, “Then who can be saved?” To this question Jesus replied, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:24-26). It is plain to see that there are some things that are simply impossible. In His word, God has noted several thingsthat are impossible.

Those Outside of Christ’s Body and the Impossible

It is impossible for one outside to be saved without Christ. Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). The Samaritans, after listening to His words said, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know thatthis One is indeed the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Yet there are millions and millions of people who choose not to believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God and the only Savior of man. Ifthey are expecting to be saved, they are expecting the impossible.

It is impossible for one outside to be saved without faith and repentance. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarderof those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Whoever expects to be saved without faith in Christ, and without turning fromsin—repenting—is expecting the impossible.

It is impossible for one outside to be saved without baptism. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15,16). If it is impossible for people to be saved without believing, it is equally impossible for people to be saved without being baptized. Christplaced one on an equality with the other—“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.” If it is impossible for people to be savedwithout repenting, it is equally impossible for people to be saved without baptism. Peter, speaking as the Spirit gave him utterance, placed one on anequality with the other—“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Ananias said to Saul three days after his experience on the Damascus road: “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling onHis name” (Acts 22:16).

It is impossible for one outside to be saved through prayer. This is not to say that prayer has no part in the gospel, but it is to say that Christ has not made prayer a condition of pardon forthose outside—for one who has never obeyed the gospel—though it is a condition of pardon for an erring child of God (Acts 8:22). When Christ gave the instruction to His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel toevery creature, He set forth the conditions of salvation for those outside. This commission is so important that it has been recorded by Matthew (Matthew 28:18-20), by Mark (Mark 16:15,16), and by Luke (Luke 24:46,47). In this charge to go and tell people what to do to be saved, Christ had them topreach faith, repentance, and baptism as conditions of pardon. If people who have never met these requirements think that they can be saved by just praying,they are expecting the impossible.

It is impossible for one outside to be saved by his moral goodness. However good he may be, he is still a sinner and in need of salvation, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Man is cleansed from sin, not by his own righteousness, but by the blood of Christ—“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7). One comes to the propitiating blood of Christ when he comes to the death of Christ—where Christshed his blood (John 19:34). One comes to the death of Christ by being baptized into his death (Romans 6:3). If the alien sinner is expecting to be saved only because he is morally upright, he is expecting the impossible.

It is possible for the sinner to be saved, but it is not on his own terms, but on theterms God has graciously, perfectly, and plainly provided in His word.

The Christian and the Impossible

It is impossible for a Christian to live godly in Christ Jesus without hostility. This is exactly what the Paul wrote to Timothy—“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2Timothy 3:12). Anyone who takes his stand for Christ and truth, somewhere along the way will be confronted by those in opposition. This opposition may take place,as it has done many times in the past, in open persecution, or it may be in the cowardly use of Satan’s devices—in misrepresentations, in slander, in ridicule,in ostracism. If the Christian thinks that he can take a strong, bold stand for truth and righteousness, and still escape persecution in some way, he isexpecting the impossible.

It is impossible for the Christian to have God’s love without God’s chastening. “You have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NORFAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for disciplinethat you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:5-7). Satan tempts people to lead them to eternal destruction. God tries and tests His people tostrengthen, to purify, and to prepare for the eternal abode. Through the ages God has demonstrated His love for His own by blessing and providing for Hisown, but also by chastening and testing. Think of Abraham on the way to Moriah to offer Isaac. See Job when the news of his calamities reached his ears.Consider Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” If the Christian thinks that he can have God’s loving and fatherly care, and not His chastening, he is expecting theimpossible.

It is impossible for the Christian to please both men and God. Paul said, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, Iwould not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostilitytoward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). If the Christian thinks that he can please God and men, that he can serve God and things worldly at the same time,he is expecting the impossible.

It is impossible for the Christian to have the influence that Christ intended forhim to have without walking in the footsteps of Christ. One who wears Christ’s name must demonstrate in his own life the great value of the principles of conduct set forth byChrist. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If the Christian thinks that he can live by the standards of the world andstill bring the lost to Christ, he is expecting the impossible.

What is possible in your life?

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