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Isaiah 26:1-9
Stephen Caswell © 2005
*/In these troubled days where can we find security?/*/
/On the news we see that terrorism abounds, natural disasters take place more and more frequently.
So many lives are in constant jeopardy.
The outbreak of war threatens many.
/What are we to do?
Where can we turn to for help?/ */Some people try to build their own security./*
*/Isaiah tells us that/* */God is the One we must turn to./*
He can save us both now and for eternity.
/God’s salvation provides *3 wonderful things* for His people/; */Security, Stability, Strength/*.
Lincoln Speaks
Abraham Lincoln spoke about the legacy the people of his time were leaving, and he clearly is speaking to us today as well.
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
/Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
Yet our salvation, peace and security have always come from God./
*Isaiah 26:1-2:* /In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a *strong city*; God will appoint *salvation for walls and bulwarks*.
Open the gates, that the *righteous nation* which keeps the truth *may enter* in.
We are all aware that we live in a dangerous world.
Terrorists still attack innocent people even though our nations have increased their security systems.
Natural disasters usually strike without warning.
The Tsunami’s that affected so many of our northern neighbors on Boxing Day remind us of this.
Well over 200,000 people died in a few hours.
A few weeks ago an earthquake struck again in Indonesia killing thousands more.
It seems to me that our lives are always at risk.
*/Verses 5 and 6 tell us that proud and lofty cities are quickly brought to ruin./*
God will punish those who exalt themselves through evil.
*/Where can we find security in this fragile world?
/*/There is only one place to turn; *God.*/
Accidents happen everywhere.
This is why we insure our cars, our homes and possessions.
Yet, life insurance cannot save us from death.
Only the Lord can do this.
Even if we are able to avoid accidents and natural disasters throughout our lives we will still die.
Someone said that there are only 2 things that are certain; */Death and Taxes./*
We have an appointment with death.
The Bible says this in *Hebrews 9:27*: /And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
*How can we overcome death?* *Only through Jesus Christ.
By dying He conquered death and rose again never to die! */
My Own Testimony
I was afraid of death, judgment and hell until I asked Christ to save me when I was 19 years old.
I knew that I was a sinner rightly condemned to hell.
Yet God gave me perfect peace the moment I believed.
He lifted a huge burden from back.
I no longer feared God.
I was no longer His enemy but His friend, no better than this I was a child of God.
God will judge all of us one day.
He has appointed a day, a place and a judge.
Everyone will stand before God and give an account of their life.
God will examine our lives.
*Romans 14:10-12:* /But why do you judge your brother?
Or why do you show contempt for your brother?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For it is written: as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. /*Acts 17:31:* /God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.
He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.
/ /
Settle Out Of Court
/ /
*/Some people think that in God’s judgment our good works are weighed against our bad works.
If we have more good than bad we go to heaven./*
This isn’t Biblical.
It’s more like plea bargaining.
In our justice system there are 2 ways that this can work.
The */first way/* is for the person convicted of a crime to appear before the judge.
/The charges are presented and the person makes their plea./
After pleading not guilty they have their day in court and the evidence is presented by lawyers.
When everything has been evaluated the jury or judge hand down there sentence.
When found guilty they are given the maximum punishment for denying their guilt.
They lied to the court; wasted its time.
The */second way/* is for a defendant who is guilty to settle out of court.
They appear with their lawyers before the judge.
At this time they enter a guilty plea and seek a lighter sentence.
Because they own up to their crime the judge is far more lenient.
The convicted criminal receives a degree of mercy for telling the truth; for accepting the consequences of their sin.
*/God’s justice works in a similar way./*
We plead guilty before Judgment Day.
/How can we be saved from this judgment?
How can we be saved from our sins?
/God has provided a Savior, Jesus Christ.
*John 3:16:* /For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
/*18:* /He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
/*36:* /He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him./*
5:24:* /Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life./
The Tale Of 2 Cities
Perhaps you have read Charles Dickens’ book the Tale of Two Cities.
This novel describes 2 cities in the French Revolution.
*/Isaiah 26:1-9/*/ also describes 2 cities./
One is a proud lofty city built by sinners.
These citizens try to make a secure home but fail dismally.
They are judged and their city destroyed.
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