Topical Sermons

September, 2001

1. Even at 12 years of age, Jesus was intent on listening, asking and answering questions about the things of God - Lk. 2:46-48.
2. He said this was His Father's business (2:49).
3. As we seek Bible answers to our questions we, too, are doing the Father's business (2 Tim. 2:15).

#1 - Genesis 7:19-20: Does this mean the total height of the deluge was "15 cubits," high enough to cover the hills and mountains? Or, does it mean that it was "15 cubits" higher than the mountains?

Answer:  It means the flood waters rose 15 cubits higher than the mountain tops.

1. Cubit - "Heb. 'ammah;' i.e., "mother of the arm, " the fore-arm, is a word derived from the Latin cubitus, the lower arm.' (Easton's Revised Bible Dictionary, Online Bible, 23934).
2. Approx. 18 inches; So, 15 cubits = 270 in. / 7.5 ft.
3. If "15 cubits" was the total depth of the flood (7.5 feet), & "all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered…and the mountains were covered" --
  a. Not very big mountains!
  b. Ark was way too big (75 ft.)! Would have never floated! - Gen. 6:15
  c. Yet, Gen. 8:4 - Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat!

#2 - Will a Christian still be saved if they become mentally or physically unable to stay faithful and keep God's commandments?

Answer:  God will be the final Judge who will render a completely righteous judgment (Rom. 2:2, 5). We can properly conclude from scripture that a person is not held responsible nor accountable to God to the extent he/he is mentally or physically incapacitated.

Principle: Moral capacity = moral responsibility (& a corresponding accountability); Physical capacity = physical responsibility (& a corresponding accountability).

1. We apply this principle to infants & children.
  a. Regarding faith & obedience - Rom. 10:17.
  b. Regarding sin - Rom. 7:8-9.
2. We apply this principle to the mentally handicapped - Jas. 4:17.
3. We apply this principle to uncontrollable physical ailments - Mk. 5:1-15.
4. The apostle applied this principle to a willing heart but material limitations - 2 Cor. 8:12.
5. Be careful:
  a. We are not in the seat of God, knowing all the mental capacity &/or physical inability of another person - 1 Cor. 4:4-5.
  b. This must not be used as an excuse to condone, overlook or excuse sin - Jas. 4:17.

#3 - In Hebrews 6:4-6 it talks of believers falling away and never returning to the truth. At what point does one's disobedience deem them as "fallen away?" Is there any criteria for this category? (Even those who are saved from sin, sometimes despite the knowledge of the truth - How does that fit in with Heb. 6:4-6?) Is there a line from which there is no return once it is crossed (i.e., God won't forgive you)?

Answer:  Even one sin, when not repented of & instead persisted in, will cause the soul to be lost! (Mk. 10:21-22; 1 Jno. 1:7-9)

1. How far can a Christian "depart, draw away from, refrain" from "the faith" (gospel) & be counted faithful to Christ?
  a. Simon the Sorcerer - Acts 8:18-23.
  b. Corinthian fornicator - 1 Cor. 5:1.
  c. Some Galatians - Gal. 1:6; 5:3-4 (add only one thing - circumcision…fallen from grace).
2. When sin is persisted in (not repented of) one has "fallen away" from the faith.
  a. Gal. 5:7 - Stopped obeying the truth & started obeying a perverted gospel! (Fallen - v. 4)
  b. Lk. 8:13 - Give in to temptation & live in sin - "Fall away."
3. To "fall away" from the faith is set in contrast to being "established" in the faith:
  a. 1 Tim. 4:1-2 - Some will depart (fall away from) the faith.
  b. Col. 2:6-7 - Grounded, firmly set, not moved from the faith.
4. Even one sin, not repented of & persisted in, will cause the soul to be lost! (Mk. 10:21- 22; 1 Jno. 1:7-9)
5. How does this fit into Heb. 6:4-6?
  a. These Christians had received every spiritual blessing in Christ (6:4-5).
  b. Now, they persisted in sin - willfully, continually, hardening their hearts - cf. Heb. 3:12-13 (10:26-27).

-Is there a line from which there is no return once it is crossed (i.e., God won't forgive you)?

Answer: The only sin God will not forgive is the one we will not repent from - 2 Pet. 3:9! God will not forgive the sinner who will not repent of his sins!

1. Heb. 6:6 - The "point of no return" is the result of one's hardened, rebellious heart - Not a lack of God's willingness to forgive.
2. Mk. 3:28-30 - One who speaks against the Holy Spirit (3:22) will not be forgiven as long as he continues in such conduct.
3. 1 Jno. 5:16-17 - The sin that leads to death is the one which is not repented of but stubbornly continued in.
4. Every sinner who will return to God will be forgiven by God! - Lk. 15:17-24, 32

     Are you ready to repudiate every sin, obey Jesus & be saved?