THE URGENCY OF BECOMING A CHRISTIAN
1. Jesus lived an urgent life - Jno. 9:4-5.
2. Urgency of following Him is based upon:
a. What is gained - Heaven (Matt. 7:21).
b. What is escaped - Hell (Rom .6:23).
c. The uncertainty of life (Jas. 4:13-15).
3. The urgency of becoming a Christian and being faithful to Christ is seen in the NT word "straightway" or "immediately."
I. IMMEDIATELY THEY FOLLOWED JESUS - Matt. 4:18-22.
A. We Must Be Eager To Follow Jesus.
1. When the controversy swirls (hard, controversial topics) - Jude 3.
2. When family objects - Matt. 10:37.
3. When hardships occur - Matt. 10:38.
4. Will we stand or limp? - 1 Kgs. 18:21.
B. We Must Be Assured That We Are Not Following Man, But The Son Of God - Lk. 5:5-8.
1. He has demonstrated His power - Jno. 20:30-31.
2. His word establishes truth - Lk. 5:5.
C. Eliminate Excuses For Not Following Jesus - Lk. 14:15-24.
1. Though invited, excuses offered show lack of proper value being placed upon the host and the occasion.
2. Excuses of necessity, valid concerns and arrogance are still offered which reject Christ and His blessings.
3. Excuses do not excuse failing to come to Jesus - 14:24 (Jas.4:17).
4. Why not now? Acts 16:30-34
II. SOME WILL IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE THE WORD AND THEN IMMEDIATELY STUMBLE
- Mk. 4:16-17.
-(We all know of such occurrences and they distress us!)
A. Why Does This Happen?
1. Mk. 4:16-17 - No root in themselves.
a. Faith does not grow and strengthen.
b. Endure as long as faith is not tested.
c. When test of faith comes -- stumble.
2. What is the remedy?
B. Diligently Pursue Spiritual Growth - Heb. 6:1-3.
1. Build a mature faith - Col. 2:6-7.
2. Hear and obey word - Jas. 1:23-25.
3. 2 Pet. 1:5-10 - Diligent spiritual growth is an urgent need in order to prevent stumbling. (What is gained, escaped, uncertainty of life.)
III. IMMEDIATELY SATAN COMES - Mk. 4:15 (1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Cor. 2:11).
A. His Objective: Keep The Word Of God From Us - v. 15.
1. He knows its power - Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18
2. He blinds minds to it - 2 Cor. 4:3-4.
B. Satan Never Rests - Job 1:6-7.
C. We Must Diligently (Immediately) Resist Him - Jas. 4:7-10.
1. Prov. 4:23 - Guard it with vigilance.
2. Prov. 3:7 - Fear God and depart from evil. (Matt. 10:28)
1. Acts 22:16 - "And now, why do you delay?" (NASV); "And now why are you waiting?" (NKJV)
2. In view of what is gained (heaven), what is escaped (hell) and the uncertainty of life - "Why Not Now?" 2 Cor. 6:2