Title: A God That Cannot Save And
A GOD WHO CAN
Text: Isaiah 45:20-22
Reading: Isaiah 45:1-25
Subject: How Sinners Are Saved
Date: Sunday Morning and Evening - November 24, 1996
Tape # T-11 and T-12
The title of my message today is A God That Cannot Save and A God Who Can. You have my text before you in Isaiah 45:20-22…
“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
In these verses of Scripture, the Lord our God, the great, almighty, sovereign, eternal God, calls before him the people of the nations of the earth. He calls you who hear the gospel, by the voice of this preacher and the message you now hear, to assemble before him. Then he speaks. God himself condescends to speak to men, fallen, sinful, hell-bent, hell-deserving men and women. What mercy! God against whom we have sinned, God whose name we have cursed and blasphemed, God whose wrath we deserve, speaks us by the gospel. He speaks not in angry works of wrath, but in tender words of mercy and grace.
Proposition: In these three verses the Lord God graciously reasons with us, calling sinners to salvation, life and faith in his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.”
Divisions: Hold your Bibles open on your laps. I want you to see for yourselves the things that are hear spoken by God. These are not my words, the words of another man, or the words of a religious creed. These are the words of God himself. In these three verses, God Almighty speaks from heaven to sinners upon the earth about three things.
1. Lost, Unregenerate, Religious People (v. 20).
2. His Own Glorious, Saving Character (v. 21).
3. The Salvation He Performs . 22).
I. First, in verse twenty, he speaks to and describes LOST, UNREGENERATE, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.
Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
All men and women are religious. Everyone has some kind of religion Everyone has some concept of God, and some form of religious faith and hope. The fact is, most people are very religious. I do not suggest for a moment that they are spiritual, or that they are saved; but most people are quite religious. The vast majority of the people we meet and do business with, most of our friends, and most of our relatives are described by our Lord as people who have entered the wide gate and walk in the broad way that leads to destruction. They have entered into and walk in “a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro. 16:25). In this twentieth verse, God tells us three thin about all lost, unregenerate, religious people.
A. “They have no knowledge.”
We are not told that they have a little knowledge or misguided knowledge; but that “they have no knowledge.” Lost, unregenerate, religious people have absolutely no spiritual knowledge. Their ignorance is blatantly manifest almost every time they open their mouths. In order for a person to know anything spiritual, he must be born again (John 3:3-7). He must be taught of God. He must have the mind of Christ imparted to him in regeneration.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth (discerns) all things, yet he himself is judged (discerned) of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
It does not matter how religious people are. It does not matter how long they have studied the Bible and what men say about the Bible. It does not matter how much experience they have, or how phenomenal their experience is. Natural, unregenerate people have no knowledge of…
B They “set up the wood of their graven image.”
They all worship a god that they have whittled out of the dark forests of their own depraved minds.
Romans 1:21-23 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
I realize that the refined, civilized, educated people I peach to around the country do not worship images carved from tree stumps, chiseled from granite, or molded even from gold and silver. Yet, most of the people in Baptist churches (as well as all others without exception) in America worship a little god which they have whittled from their own little minds, a god that no more resembles the God of the Bible than a gnat. He is described in the next line of our text.
C. They worship, serve, and “pray unto a god that cannot save.”
Turn to 2 Timothy 3. Here the Apostle Paul tells us that in these last days “perilous times shall come.” Now notice in verse five how he describes the men and women of this age. Remember, he is describing religious people.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Our Lord Jesus said to the Jews and religious leaders of his day, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). That is exactly what is wrong with the religious world in which we live. The Apostle Paul describes all legalistic, Arminian free-will, works religion as “another gospel,” preaching another god, another Jesus, another spirit, and another salvation. He here calls it a religion that is a mere “form of godliness;” and he declares that it is a mere form of godliness because it denies the power of God.
Bro. Henry Mahan had an article in his bulletin last week dealing with this very issue. He listed five areas in which the religion of our day is but a mere form of godliness.
1. A FORM of godliness says, “God wills to save all men;” denying His POWER adds, “but He cannot save unless men open their hearts to him.”
2. A FORM of godliness says, “God has a wonderful plan for men and women;” denying His POWER adds, “but you must allow Him to have His will and way.”
3. A FORM of godliness says, “Christ died on the cross for all the sins of all the sons of Adam that all might be saved;” denying the POWER of His blood adds, “but His blood has no power or efficacy to save anyone until man releases it to work.”
4. A FORM of godliness says, “The Holy Spirit knocks at everyone’s heart with a desire to enter and work repentance and faith;” denying the POWER adds, “but you must open the door.”
5. A FORM of godliness says, “Salvation is of the Lord;” denying the POWER adds, “but those whom He saves may fall away and perish.”
How are we to treat such religion? How are we to deal with those who preach it and promote it to the everlasting ruin of men’s souls? Paul tells us plainly, “from such turn away!”
II. Now look at Isaiah 45:21. Here the Lord God contrasts himself with the gods of men who cannot save. He tells us that he is a God who can save; and in this verse he asserts HIS OWN GLORIOUS, SAVING CHARACTER.
Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
Look at his verse closely. Too often we read a familiar text too quickly and miss the full scope of is teaching. In this verse of Scripture the Lord God declares five things about himself, five things which identify him as God. Listen to what the text says. If the god you worship, if the god to which you pray, if your idea and concept of God lacks any of these five characteristics, then your god is but a graven image, a useless, imaginary god. This is God’s description of God.
A. He who is God has an absolute, unalterable, sure purpose, by which all things are governed.
In the opening part of verse twenty-one, the Lord God challenges men to bring all their peanut gods and let them all take counsel together. I challenge you to do the same. Gather up all the gods of men, the Baptist gods, the Mormon gods, the Catholic gods, the Russellite gods, Hindu gods, Islam gods, Jewish gods, and all the other gods of men. Let them all take counsel together. Find me one in the whole bunch who has declared absolutely, from ancient times, from eternity, all things that are, have been, and shall hereafter be. Our God has!
Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (11) Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
He who is God has an absolute, unalterable purpose; and he “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
B. He who is truly God truly is God, he declares himself to be “I the LORD.”
Do you see that? He is not a lord. Our God is “the LORD.” He is the only LORD. He is LORD everywhere, at all times, over everything. He controls the universe absolutely. He has his way in the whirlwind. The clouds are the dust of his feet. The thoughts of men’s hearts, the roll of the dice, and the paths of the fish in the sea are all under his total rule. I am talking to you about God, not some peanut, imaginary god, but God!
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Psalms 115:3 Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Psalms 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
C. He who is God is God alone.
He declares there is none with him, none like him, and none but him. Most people are really pantheists and polytheists They believe God is in everything and everybody. They believe that just about every man’s notion of God really is God: Bhuddists, Mohammedtans, Jews, Papists, Mormons, Barbarians, and Baptists; but most people are wrong. There is but one God.
D. He who is God is a just God.
Much could and should be said about God’s justice; but I will say just two things regarding it here. These two things simply must be understood.
1. A just God must and shall punish all sin.
2. A just God cannot save sinners apart from the satisfaction of his justice. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged” (Pro. 16:6), but not by any other means.
Blessed be his name, the justice of God has been satisfied for sinners by the obedience and death of the Lord Jesus Christ his dear Son! In him mercy and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Therefore, upon the grounds of Christ’s obedience and death as the sinner’s Substitute, the Lord God declares this fifth thing about himself.
E. He who is God indeed is both “a just God and a Savior.”
That is exactly what the Lord told Moses about himself back in Exodus when he showed him his glory; and that is exactly what Paul tells us in the third chapter of Romans.
Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Exodus 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. (6) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, (7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
III. In the last place, I want you to look at Isaiah 45:22 and hear this great and glorious Lord God, who is both a just God and a Savior, declare THE SALVATION WHICH HE PERFORMS. If you would be saved, hear and obey this word from God our Savior.
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
· Look to Christ.
· Look to Christ alone.
· Look to Christ for everything (1 Cor. 1:30-31).
· Look to Christ always.
As the children of Israel looked to that brazen serpent in the wilderness and lived, so every sinner who looks away to Christ shall be saved by the grace and power of this great God, who s our Savior.
Part 2 - Sunday Evening - November 24, 1996
Five Facts About God’ Salvation
Let me wrap this message up by showing you how the Bible uses this word “saved.” I want us to look at the word, “saved,” as it is used in five passages of Holy Scripture. The Bible tells us that all who are saved are...
· Saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9).
· Saved with difficulty (1 Pet. 4:18).
· Saved by faith (Lk. 7:50).
· Saved by hope (Rom. 8:24).
· Saved by losing (Matt. 16:25).
A. The apostle Paul tells us that we are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9).
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Throughout the Scriptures we are taught, again and again, that salvation, from start to finish, is the work of God’s rich, free, abundant, sovereign grace in Christ. The Word of God allows no place for human merit, gives no credit to human dignity and offers no reward to human works, except eternal damnation.
1. The covenant of salvation is a covenant of grace (2 Tim. 1:9).
2. Election to salvation is the election of grace (Rom. 11:5-6).
3. Redemption, the basis of salvation, is a work of grace (Rom. 3:24).
4. The call of the Spirit is the call of grace (2 Tim. 1:9).
5. Faith in Christ is the gift of grace (Eph. 2;8; Col. 2:12).
6. Perseverance in salvation is the preservation of grace (1 Pet. 1:5).
7. Heaven, the completion of salvation, is the reward of grace.
“Naught have I gotten, but what I received;
Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed!
Boasting excluded, pride I abase -
I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!”
Salvation is the work of grace alone. And the grace of God by which we have been saved is...
· Sovereign Grace!
· Eternal Grace!
· Unconditional Grace!
· Immutable Grace!
· Effectual Grace!
The whole work of salvation is God’s work; and it is entirely the work of grace (Col. 2:10-15).
Colossians 2:10-15 "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Any mixture of works with grace is a total denial of grace (Gal. 5:1-4; Rom. 11:6).
Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Galatians 5:1-4 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
B. The apostle Peter tells us that we are saved with difficulty (1 Pet. 4:18).
1 Peter 4:18 "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
The word “scarcely” does not imply that there is any uncertainty about salvation for God’s elect, or that their eternal acceptance with God is not sure.
· We are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10; 1:12).
· He is able to save to the uttermost!
· Christ knows his sheep. He will most assuredly give them everyone eternal life (John 10:27-29).
The word “scarcely” does not mean that some of the Lord’s people will just barely get into heaven! A full entrance is provided for God’s elect in Christ. We shall sweep into glory triumphantly, in full array, clothed in the righteousness of Christ!
“Bold shall I stand in that great day!
For who ought to my charge shall lay,
While through Christ’s blood absolved I am
From sin’s tremendous guilt and blame?”
What, then, does this word “scarcely” mean? It means that it is no easy thing for God to save a sinner. There are many difficulties which must be overcome. The law must be honored. Justice must be satisfied. Righteousness must be maintained. Sin must be punished. Before God’s elect could be saved, a mighty work of redemption had to be performed. A better translation of this verse is - “If the righteous with difficulty be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
1. The difficulty lay with the holiness and justice of God.
How can God be just and yet justify the ungodly? I touched this earlier; but it needs to be dealt with often and in utter clarity. This is the very heart of the gospel. How can God both honor his holy law and save guilty sinners? How can the sinner be punished and yet forgiven? How can the guilty die and yet live?
The answer is Christ! As a man, as the sinner’s Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ met every need of fallen man, met every demand of God’s holy law, satisfied every claim of divine justice, fulfilled every requirement of God’s righteousness, and overcome every difficulty that lay in God’s way for the salvation of his elect (Rom. 3:24-26).
Illustration: One Room School
· Christ brought in everlasting righteousness for us (John 17:4).
· Christ satisfied divine justice as our Substitute (2 Cor. 5:21).
· We have been made the righteousness of God in him.
2. The difficulty also lay in the nature and will of man.
It is written, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” “Men love darkness rather than light.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” All men and women by nature are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” The difficulty in salvation is the depraved nature of man, the fact that we are all sinful flesh, proud, rebelling against God and the gospel of his grace. Before any sinner will ever be saved, two mighty miracles of grace must be performed.
· The heart must be renewed (John 3:5-7).
· The will must be broken (Psa. 110:3; Zech. 12:10).
Illustration: “Yu just gots tu be willing to.”
Christ must be formed in you (Gal. 4:19). You must be created anew in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). This is a miraculous work which only God can perform. The new birth is a resurrection from the dead; and a resurrection is a miraculous thing!
“It took a miracle to put the stars in place,
It took a miracle to hang the world in space,
But when God saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!”
C. Our Lord Jesus tells us that we are saved by faith.
Faith is not the cause of salvation. That is the grace of God. Faith is not the basis of salvation. That is the obedience of Christ. Faith is not the power by which salvation is performed. That is the call of the Spirit. Faith is not our Savior. Christ is our Savior; but faith is the means by which salvation is received and enjoyed; and personal faith in Christ is vital. Without it, you will never be saved.
1. Look at Luke 7:50 - “And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.”
You know the story of this woman. It is one of the most touching and instructive stories in the Bible. The object of her faith was Christ. Her tears washed his feet. Her hair was the towel with which she dried his feet. Her lips tenderly kissed his feet. What does this story teach us about faith?
· Saving faith looks to Christ. She came to him.
· Saving faith grieves over sin. She wept.
· Saving faith is humble. It takes its place “at his feet.”
· Saving faith loves Christ. She kissed his feet.
· Saving faith is submissive, self-denying and sacrificial. “Costly ointment!” (Mk. 14:4-5).
· Saving faith serves Christ. “She hath done what she could” (Mk. 14).
2. Now look at Luke 18:42. Our Lord spoke these same words to blind Bartemaeus. “Receive thy sight, thy faith hath saved thee.”
The experiences of Bartemaeus and the woman in Luke 7 were not at all alike. Their faith was the same. It had the same object - Christ; and it had the same characteristics - Humility and Repentance, Love and Submission; but they experienced different things.
· The woman’s faith acted like a woman. She showed tenderness and affection. The man’s faith acted like a man. He showed determination and strength, crying, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!”
· The woman did not speak. As a woman should be in public, she was silent. The man continued to cry aloud. He could not be silenced.
· The woman wept much. The man pleaded for mercy.
· The woman’s faith gave quiet service to the honor of Christ. The man’s faith gave public praise to the honor of Christ.
The important thing to note is the fact that though their experiences differed greatly; their faith was the same. They both believed Christ. That simply means this: there is no need for you to try to match your experience of grace with mine. Do not look to your own experience or to mine. Look to Christ alone. “Look unto me!”
“My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray, Take all my sin away,
Oh let me from this day be wholly Thine!”
D. In Romans 8:24, the apostle Paul tells us that we are saved by hope.
Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
The world uses the word “hope” to express a baseless wish, or desire - “I hope it will rain today;” but that is not the way the Bible uses this word. In the Bible the word “hope” has a foundation. It is full of expectation. The believer’s hope of salvation is a hope based upon revelation. Our hope is more than what we desire. It is what we have reason to expect and anticipate. If you trust Christ, you have reason to expect eternal salvation. If you do not trust Christ, you have no hope.
1. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we have “a good hope through grace” (2 Thess. 2:16).
· We hope that our sins are forgiven.
· We hope to be resurrected when Christ comes.
· We hope to be made like Christ.
· We hope to receive a full reward through grace in Christ.
· We hope to reign with Christ.
These are all blessings of grace which we have good reason to anticipate and expect if we trust Christ. Peter said, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”
2. Here is the threefold reason of our hope.
a. Our hope is based upon the Word of God (Isa. 1:18-19; Matt. 11:28-30; John 3:16, 36; 1 John 1:9).
b. Our hope is based upon the righteousness and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 53:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:18).
I have no merit before God, except the righteousness of Christ. I have no plea for mercy, except the blood of Christ. Yet, resting my soul entirely upon the merits of Christ’s righteousness and shed blood, I am full of confidence, hope, and expectation before God. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
c. Our hope is based upon the resurrection of Christ (Rom. 8:31-39).
NOTE: Do you see what I am saying? “We are saved by hope.” That hope is a great desire; but it is more. It is a confident expectation, based entirely upon the Person and work of Christ: His Word - His obedience to God as our Substitute - and His Resurrection as our Representative.
E. Our Lord tells us that we are saved by losing (Matt. 16:25).
Matthew 16:24-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
It will cost a man something to follow Christ and be his disciple. It will cost you your life! No one is Christ’s disciple who retains possession and ownership of himself. Salvation involves submission to Christ - total, unreserved submission.
Illustration: One old missionary, who labored faithfully in the service of Christ on a remote island, buried his wife and three sons on that island. Finally, when his body could no longer endure the hardships of pioneer missionary life, he retired and came home. He made this statement - “If I had my life to live over again, I would walk the same path, trust the same Savior, weep the same tears, visit the same graves, and preach the same gospel, for all that I have lost on earth is gained in glory.”
This is what I am saying -
1. That man, or woman, who tries to save himself from the reproach of Christ, the offense of the cross, the afflictions of the gospel, or from the trials, troubles, and difficulties that come with saving faith shall lose his soul.
2. But whosoever shall lose his life to the rule and dominion of Christ, in the cause of his gospel, his kingdom and his glory, whosoever shall willingly bear the cross, the reproach and offense of the gospel in an open confession of Christ and walk of faith shall be saved.
The one issue of salvation is this: Who shall have the rule and dominion of your life: You, or Christ?
Illustration: Paul (2 Tim. 4:6-18).
2 Timothy 4:6-18 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (9) Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: (10) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (11) Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. (12) And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. (13) The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. (14) Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: (15) Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. (16) At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (17) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Application: Here is the call of the gospel, the call issued to you by God himself n this text of Holy Scripture.
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
1. By grace - Through the operation of God.
2. With difficulty - By the power of God.
3. By faith -Trusting the Son of God.
4. By hope - Believing the promise of God.
5. By losing - By our union with and submission to the Son of God. Would you be saved? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” Lose you life to Christ. If you do, you will gain it in Christ eternally.
Scripture Reading For
Sunday Morning - November 24, 1996
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; (2) I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: (3) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (4) For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. (5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (8) Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (9) Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (10) Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? (11) Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (12) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (13) I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts. (14) Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. (15) Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. (16) They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. (17) But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. (18) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (19) I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. (20) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
 There is not an ounce of difference between the educated environmentalists of our society who worship “mother earth” and the pagan Hindus of India who worship cattle and rats.