OceanSide church of Christ
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HOW MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. It is a pleasurable experience to watch someone excel, especially as a Christian.
B. In like manner, it is sad to watch someone destroy himself, especially as a Christian.
C. There are numerous causes of a person’s destruction. Let’s examine the topic: “How Man Destroys Himself” for the next few minutes.
I. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF WHEN HE DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE GOD
A. God is the beginning and the end of all things (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
B. Without God, nothing makes sense.
1. Where did we come from? apes, amoebas, gases
2. Why are we here? To eat, drink, be merry
3. Where are we going? To the grave
C. Ultimately, this man will face the wrath of God (II Thess. 1:8-9)
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God…who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
II. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
A. Knowledge is essential to the Christian faith (I Tim. 2:3-4).
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1. There must be a knowledge of God.
2. There must be a knowledge of His Word.
3. There must be a knowledge of Christ.
4. There must be a knowledge of His plan of salvation.
5. There must be a knowledge of how He desires for man to live.
B. A lack of such knowledge in any area can bring destruction (Hos. 4:6).
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
C. One has rightly said: “What I don’t know can harm me,” and, again: “Ignorance is not bliss.”
III. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY FAILING TO LEARN THE TRUTH
A. One can completely disregard the truth.
1. Jesus told His disciples that they might see this happen when He sent them out on the limited commission (Matt. 10:14-15).
And whosoever shall not receive you; nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city; shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment; than for that city.
2. The Jews rejected the truth spoken by Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:46).
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put if from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
B. One can learn part of the truth, but not all of it.
1. Apollos (Acts 18:24-26)
And a certain Jew name Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
a. Many know faith without a knowledge of baptism.
b. Many know worship without a knowledge of the Lord’s Supper.
c. Many know marriage without a knowledge of Biblical divorce.
d. Many know denominationalism without a knowledge of the Lord’s church.
e. Many know the promises of God without a knowledge of the warnings of God.
IV. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY NOT BECOMING A CHRISTIAN
A. Jesus Christ is man’s only way to God (John 14:6).
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
B. According to Ephesians 1:3, all spiritually blessings are “in Christ.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
1. Redemption is in Christ (Rom. 3:24).
2. Acceptance is in Christ (Eph. 1:6).
3. Forgiveness is in Christ (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).
4. A new creature is in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).
5. Grace is in Christ (II Tim. 2:1)
6. Salvation is in Christ (II Tim. 2:10).
7. Sanctification is in Christ (I Cor. 1:2).
C. Outside of Christ, none of these things is found (Eph. 2:12).
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
D. Like the person who fails to acknowledge God, the one who fails to obey the gospel and become a Christian will be punished in the hereafter (II Thess. 1:8-9).
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
V. MAN DESTROYS HIMSELF BY INDECISION
A. There have been many people who know exactly what they need to do to be right with God. In their minds, they debate: “Should I? Or, shouldn’t I? Week after week they persist in their indecision.
B. Two examples:
1. Israel was caught between two decisions (I Kings 18:21).
And Elijah came unto the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
2. Agrippa (Acts 26:27-28)
King Agrippa believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
C. Basically, indecision involves no decision.
1. Jesus says: “Come” (Matt. 11:28), but indecision holds one back.
2. Jesus says: “Obey” (John 8:31), but indecision keeps one from it.
3. Jesus says: “Be baptized” (Mark 16:16), but indecision refrains from it.
4. Jesus says: “Be faithful” (Matt. 24:45-46), but indecision cannot make up its mind.
A. Yes, watching the destruction of a person is an awful thing.
1. We can watch Adam and Eve being destroyed.
2. We can watch Saul go down to destruction.
3. We can watch Haman as he marches himself to his own gallows.
4. We can watch Judas purchase the loss of his soul.
B. Sometimes it is difficult for us to get our minds around the severity of the destruction that can come our way.
C. We exhort you!!!
1. Don’t be destroyed by refusing to acknowledge God.
2. Don’t be destroyed by a lack of knowledge.
3. Don’t be destroyed by failing to learn the truth.
4. Don’t be destroyed by failing to become a Christian.
5. Don’t be destroyed by indecision.
D. The opposite of destruction is victory. Surely, you want victory both now and in the world to come.