PAUL'S PERSUASION

 
 
                            Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-12
                                 TEXT: verse 12
    "For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able  to
          keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."
 

    INTRODUCTION

 
    [a] There is a cliché that was  probably  composed  by  someone's  wife
    which says, "Convince a man against his will, he's of the same opinion
    still."
    [b] There is a sense that any of us remain unconvinced  if  we  do  not
    have an open mind. many people's minds are  bolted  and  padlocked,  so
    that they are safeguarded  from  even  a  tiny  snippet  of  the  truth
    entering in!
    [c] Before we can be PERSUADED about something else, we must be willing
    to have a question mark over what we presently believe,  and  if  shown
    that it is wrong, then to change - to be PERSUADED!
 

    ASSURANCE

 
    [a] Saul of Tarsus was a man who  had  hated  and  loathed  Christians,
    actively assisting those  who  murdered  the  first  Christian  martyr,
    Stephen, and going on from there to persecute followers  of  Christ  in
    every conceivable way.
    [b] He was fully convinced, without any doubt,  that  he  was  actually
    doing God's work, by eradicating this sect of blasphemers!!
    That was, until Christ burst into his life on the Damascus Road!
   Let me read J.B. Phillip's translation of Acts 9:1-9.
 
    [c] Through  this  experience,  he  was  shown  to  be  totally  wrong,
    resulting in the fact that he did a complete 'U' turn, and in the words
    of  the  Phillip's  translation  of  our  text,  was  now   "PERFECTLY
    CERTAIN!"
    [d] He had an absolute ASSURANCE that his  faith  in  Christ  was  most
    certainly not misplaced.
    [e] So sure was he, that he became the  great  Apostle  Paul,  strongly
    witnessing to those who held similar views to him before his conversion.
    [f] But even more than that, he was so sure, that he suffered all kinds
    of hardship for the cause of Christ!
    Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-27
    [g] But through it all, an ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE filled his heart!
    DO YOU HAVE THAT KIND OF ASSURANCE??
 

    ACQUAINTANCESHIP

 
    [a] Now he had this assurance because of his ACQUAINTANCESHIP  with  the
    LIVING CHRIST!
    [b] He could say, "I know WHOM I have believed."
    NOT - "I have been TAUGHT ABOUT HIM!"
    NOT - "I have READ ABOUT HIM!"
    NOT - "I have SEEN WHAT HE CAN DO FOR OTHERS!"
    [c] One of the modern translations (Phillips) puts it like this:
    "I KNOW THE ONE IN WHOM I HAVE PLACED MY CONFIDENCE!"
    [d] Paul did NOT find Salvation through JOINING A CHURCH, or  ACCEPTING
    A CREED! -HE CAME TO KNOW -THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST!!          
    [e] I remember seeing a large poster outside a Church which said,
    NO CHRIST - NO PEACE!
    KNOW CHRIST - KNOW PEACE!
    [f] Our question to you tonight, as those entrusted with the Gospel  of
    Christ, is quite simple and uncomplicated -
    DO YOU KNOW JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOUR?
    IF YOU HAVE NOT MET WITH HIM AND INVITED HIM INTO YOUR LIFE 
    YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN!!
    [g] It is the duty of every Christian to make sure you become ACQUATINED
    WITH CHRIST.
 

    ACTION

 
    [a] But that cannot happen without ACTION on your part!
    [b] Paul says "I HAVE BELIEVED!"
    Believing is in no way a negative thing, it is very POSITIVE!!
    [c] "How can I be saved"  cried the Philippian Jailer, and the  answer
    was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."  (Acts 16:31)
    [d] Sometimes there are those who are 'POISED TO BELIEVE' for ages, but
    don't actually do anything about it!
    ILLUSTRATION
    D.L. Moody once mentioned a clever promotion idea to  a  church  leader
    and asked, "What do you think?"
    "We've been aimin' to do it for two years" was the reply.
    "Well now" said Moody, "don't you think it's time to fire!"
 

    CONCLUSION

    [a] My dear friend tonight, DON'T YOU  THINK  IT'S  TIME  TO  FIRE,  if
    you've 'been aimin' to do it?
    [b] When Jesus died for you on the cross, He opened up the way for you!
    You don't need to wait.
    [c] The only thing your Salvation waits for, is your action  in  coming
    to Christ. Will you come?
 
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
    SONG           TUNE
    308             70
    730             97
    310            621