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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

What Then Shall We Say - May 19, 2006
Sermon of the Week - May 19, 2006

Romans chapter eight, verse thirty-one, “What then shall we say to these things?” Paul gives us the answer, “If God be for us who can be against us? He that spared not His own son but delivered Him up for us all; shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

Sometimes it disturbs us greatly to see the news that a judge has let a child molester get off with less a sentence than apparently he deserves. In a similar way it seems that God has cut us an awful lot of slack as sinners. When Jesus died on the cross; God did not spare His own Son. Nothing was done to make it easy. No pity was shown. So Paul asks this question, “What then shall we say to these things?” So what are these things? Look at what goes before the question.


He said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The Devil likes to quote part of that verse. The Devil says, “There is therefore now no condemnation.” He has convinced millions that this is the way it is. No condemnation for anyone. Everyone who dies goes to Heaven. I have noted the death of some notorious sinners and then heard people say that at this moment he is looking down at us from Heaven. God is too good to send anyone to Hell. Actually that verse says there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. If you are in Christ, how did you get in? Paul says in Romans six, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death.” In Colossians Paul says, “Christ in us is our hope of glory.” That is a paradox. How can we be in Christ and Christ can be in us? If we are in Christ that reminds us of justification and Christ in us reminds us of sanctification.

When we obey the Lord in His terms of pardon we are justified. We do not justify ourselves as Jesus said of the Pharisees who justified themselves in the sight of men. It is God that justifies us because we are in Christ and Christ is in us the hope of glory. What then shall we say to these things?


Verse six says, “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.” The big difference in the Christian and the non-Christian is the non-Christian is dead, and the Christian is alive. Sometimes we get the idea from the non-Christian that Christianity is for losers. Being a Christian is a miserable way to live. Actually it is the other way around. It is the playboy who is dead, the drunkard is dead, the drug addict is dead, and the Christian is alive.

That is what life is all about. As a Christian I live in the Penthouse of life. I am on the top floor and I am having a ball. The non-Christian is living in the cellar, no windows, living in the dark. What a miserable way to live. The invitation of the Christian to the non-Christian is, “Come on, get a life.” What then shall we say to these things?


Verse fourteen says, “As many of you as were led by the Spirit of God these are the sons of God.” We are not led by instinct like the animals. The birds don’t take a vote as to how many think it is a good idea to fly south for the winter. The Spirit leads us as to what is right or wrong. Everyone is led by a spirit. Sometimes people are led by the spirit of the Devil. The Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit and through the teaching of the Scripture we are led to become sons of God. On the Day of Pentecost, we are told that when the Apostles preached, they spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. When they heard that they had crucified the Lord they asked, “What shall we do?” Peter led by the Spirit of God told them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Those who obey are led by the Holy Spirit, and are called sons of God. What then shall we say to these things?


Verse sixteen says, “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” This leading of the Spirit is not subjective. Some say, “I know I am saved because I feel that I am saved.” This is true if your spirit is led by the teaching of the Holy Spirit through the scripture.

One man said one time as he thumped his chest, “I would not trade the feeling I have in my heart for all the Bibles in the world.” Ladies and Gentlemen, God no longer speaks to us by dreams and visions. In these last days He has spoken unto us through His Son. His Son sent the Holy Spirit to guide the Apostles in giving us the New Testament. When your spirit agrees with the Spirit of God you have the testimony that you are a child of God.

Verse seventeen says that since we are children of God we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. John says in the last chapter of Revelation, “Blessed are they that wash their robes for they have a right to come to the tree of life and enter in through the gates into the city.” What then shall we say to these things?


Verses twenty-two and twenty-three tell us, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now. And not only so, but we ourselves also, groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit the redemption of the body.”

The earth groans. Think of the earthquakes and the spewing of lava from volcanoes. The earth groans. Paul said in Hebrews, “Thou Lord didst lay the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the works of Thy hands: They shall perish, but Thou continuest: And they shall all wax old, as doth a garment.” We also groan; sooner or later we will cry out in pain if no more than to bend over and say “Oh my aching back.” We wait for the redemption of our bodies. As long as we are in this body we will have trouble with sin. Not until this body is redeemed at the resurrection will we be free from the carnal desires of the flesh. John said when the Lord appears we shall see Him as He is and we shall be made like Him. We anxiously await the redemption of the body.

What then shall we say to these things? Verse twenty-four says, “In hope we are saved: But hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?” We are saved by hope. How much hope do you have of going to Heaven? The answer to that question is the fact that you don’t have much hope, because you only have one hope. You don’t have two hopes or three hopes, or a dozen hopes. You only have one hope of going to Heaven. One hope, or one chance is all there is. Paul said, “There is one body and one Spirit even as ye were called in one hope of your calling.” You only have one hope of going to Heaven; without Jesus you have no other hope to fall back on. Peter tells us, “There is therefore none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be must be saved”, and Jesus said, “No one cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Again Paul told Titus that we look for the blessed hope and appearing of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus is our only hope. In Dante’s inferno according to his imagery there is a sign over the doorway to Hell, “Lose hope all you who enter here.” Hell is the place of no hope. What then shall we say to these things?


Verses twenty-six and twenty-seven give advice about prayer, “Likewise the Spirit helpeth us with our infirmities: for we know not how to pray as we ought: but the Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

We don't know how to pray. One reason we don't know how to pray is because we do not always understand what the mind of God is. So the Holy Spirit helps us with groaning that cannot be uttered. Sometimes we, not knowing what to pray, will pray a crooked prayer. The Holy Spirit takes that crooked prayer and hammers it out on the anvil of faith and straightens it out, and then lays it before the throne of Grace. God hears our prayers, not as we prayed them, but as we should have prayed them. What then shall we say to these things?


Verse twenty-eight tells us that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord even to them that are the called according to His purpose. All the big things, all the little things, all the sweet things, and all the sour things; all things work together for good. Not as we planned it, or not as we want it, but all things work together for good. He did not say you would not get sick. He said if you did, it worked together for good. He did not say you would not get fired. He said it would work together for good. He did not say you would not be born handicapped. He said if it happens all things worked together for good. Perhaps we say, “How could all my misfortunes work together for good? I don't have the slightest idea. You will have to take that up with God. At the end of life I am sure you will know the answer.

Not now, but in the coming years, it may be in the better land-We’ll read the meaning of our tears, and there sometime we’ll understand-We’ll know why clouds instead of sun, were over many a cherished plan-The song has ceased when scarce begun-is there sometime we’ll understand-God knows the way, He holds the key, and He guides us with unerring hand-Sometime with tearless eye we’ll see, yes, there, up there we’ll understand.


Verses twenty-nine and thirty tell us what the Spirit says about predestination; “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, He also justified: and whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Some believe that God has predestined and foreordained everything. It is already pre-arranged that certain people will go to Hell, and certain people will go to Heaven. The elect that the scripture speaks about have been elected by God to go to Heaven and the rest elected to be lost forever. Ladies and Gentlemen, as long as there is a whosoever will in the Bible, I have something to say about my salvation. As long as there is a statement in the second chapter of Acts that tells us Peter said, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation”, I have something to do about my salvation. It is true however that we are elected to go to Heaven or to Hell. In this election for eternity God votes for you and the Devil votes against you, and then you cast the deciding vote. Whosoever will may come. Save yourselves from this crooked generation.

Some people are like the woman that told me she believed in predestination. Everything is pre-arranged and happens according to plan. She said she believed it so strongly that what will be will be, even if it never comes to pass.

One preacher, who believed that God predestinates some to Heaven and some to Hell, visited a preacher who did not believe this. The preacher had a large dog in his yard that moved toward the predestination preacher and growled. The preacher called to the other preacher and said, “Call off that dog. He is going to bite me.” The other preacher said, “That dog has been foreordained and predestined before time and eternity began to either bite you or not bite you. I really don’t know which it is, and I am not going to call that dog off and interfere in the Lord’s business.” Those who are predestined to go to Heaven are all those who when hearing the gospel, believe it, repent of their sins and are immersed for the remission of sins, and live the Christ-like life until death. If you are one of those you are one of the elect. You have been elected to go to Heaven and you will win by a landslide. What then shall we say to these things? Let us conclude with this final word.


In conclusion Paul asks another question. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” He mentions some great separators. He says that neither death nor life can separate us from the love of Christ. Actually death draws the Christian closer to Jesus. To be absent the body is to be present with the Lord. Again, Paul said, “I have a desire to depart and be with Christ which is very far better.” Remember also how Stephen said, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” Death cannot separate us from the love of Christ. It even helps the situation.

He says that neither things present, nor things to come can separate us from the love of Christ. The passing of time does not alter His love. No matter what the changes will be love remains the same. I personally lived in the remnants of the horse and buggy days, and now in the day of jet-plane travel. His love is the same. His plan of salvation is the same as when I wrote with a fountain pen just as much as now when I write on a computer keyboard. Times have changed. My phone number in the early days of my ministry was 57. There was no area code or zip code. You could reach me from any place in the country by calling the operator and asking for 57 Lynchburg, Ohio. You did not dial; you talked to a real live operator. I remember when the name of all the operators was the same. Her name was Central. You picked up the phone and rang, not dialed, and a voice answered and you said, “Hello Central”, and then gave her the number you wanted to call. Today we have cell phones, pagers, email, and voice mail, fax numbers and other gadgets, instant communication, but the love of God is still the same. You don’t need a cell phone, a pager, or a voice mail number to keep in touch with God, for “God Is Just A Prayer Away”. The passing of time has not changed His Word or His love.

Paul also said that neither heights nor depths could separate us from the love of Christ. Think of it. Heights cannot separate us from Christ. This broadcast comes to thousands by satellite. First it goes way up there in space and bounces off a satellite and is heard on the other side of the world. In that case heights do not separate, but helps us show the love of Christ to man who would not have heard the gospel of Christ otherwise.

One of the devices of the Devil is to make heights separate the human race from the love of Christ in the bogus science of astrology. How many times have you heard folk ask the devilish question, “What sign were you born under?” as though our lives are governed by stars. The Christian is free from such superstition and can boldly declare that I was born again under the sign of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; and ever sense, I have been in orbit around the bright and morning star.

Nothing can alter the love of Christ. His love is the same, Heaven is the same; it is still the future home of the Christian. Hell is the same, still as hot as ever. His plan of salvation is the same. Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.