Here We Stand!

Here We Stand!

Jude

What do Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, William and Mary, Brown, and Princeton have in common?
They were all founded by Christians for the primary purpose of promoting Christianity
and training preachers of the gospel.

If you were to go to Harvard University, the oldest college in America, and read the words on the cornerstone
-- you would read these words etched in bronze over 350 years ago.

"After God had carried us safe to New England, and we had builded our houses,
provided necessaries for livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship,
and settled the civil government, one of the things we longed for and looked after
was to advance learning and perpetuate to prosperity,
dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches,
when our present ministers shall lie in the dust
."

In other words, the very first institution of higher learning established in America
was founded to train preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A fund-raising booklet circulated in New England stated that the purpose of Harvard college was to lead a student
"to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, and there ever to lay Christ in the bottom
as the only foundation of all sound learning and knowledge
."

At its inception, Princeton University made it mandatory that faculty members be convinced
of the "necessity of the religious experience of salvation."
John Witherspoon, the president of Princeton University, said,
"Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."

When Brown University was founded, its charter stipulated that 22 of its 29 trustees had to be Baptists
and its president "forever a member of the Baptist Church!"

Dartmouth was founded to train missionaries to the Indians.

William and Mary was created "... that the Christian faith might be propagated."
Early advertisement for Columbia University read, "The chief thing that is aimed at in this college
is to teach and engage children to know God in Christ Jesus
."

Yet, today, every single one of these institutions are seats of secular humanism.
Christianity is not even tolerated and it is openly ridiculed.

What happened?

The answer is simple!
God's people did not take seriously this warning from the Book of Jude.

Listen to that warning in verses 3 and 4:

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation,
I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith,
which was once for all delivered to saints.

For certain men have crept in unnoticed who long ago were marked out for this condemnation,
ungodly men who turned the grace of God into lewdness and denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ
."

We have failed to heed this admonition, and we have lost our institutions and churches to liberalism and humanism.
These were not lost by design, they were lost by default.

Dr. James Boyce, the founder and the first president of Southern Seminary,
realized this as he saw the loss of one institution after another to liberalism and humanism.
He determined to safeguard Southern Seminary in this declaration:

"A crisis in Baptists doctrine is evidently approaching.
And those of us who still cling to the doctrines... have the important duty to perform,
of earnestly contending for the faith
."

Then, he added:
"Gentlemen, God will call us to judgment if we neglect it."

Now listen!
Listen very closely!

We face that same problem today in our churches, even for the Bible itself.
Jude says we can never let our guard down!

There is an old story about a Quaker farmer who had a cantankerous cow.
That cow kept kicking over the bucket every time he tried to milk her.
As a mild-mannered Quaker, even his patience ran out.

Exasperated, he walked around in front of the cow and pointed his finger in her face.

He said,
"Thou knowest that I cannot keep thee.
Thou knowest that I cannot curse thee.
Thou knowest that I cannot beat thee.
But what thou may not knowest is
I can sell thee to a Baptist
."

I hope that all of us know that part of being a Baptist is the willingness to stand up for what is right
and to speak up against what is wrong, even if the rest of the world remains silent.
This should be true of all Christians.

If we are not only going to survive, but if we are to thrive as a people of God,
we must follow the admonitions that Jude lays before us.

Jude is exhorting us to be diligent extenders of the faith.
In verse three he writes:
"I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation."

This says something about where we are as a church...

Salvation should ignite us.
The Greek word for diligence is the word, "spoude".
That gave us the English word for speed.

Jude is saying, "I could hardly wait to talk about salvation."
That was the passion of his heart.
That was the fire in his bones.
That was the obsession of his life.

It must also be ours!
Nothing should excite us more than:

Salvation is what we ought to write about, sing about, preach about, talk about, and shout about
because there is nothing in all the world like being saved.

In September of 1985, there was a party held at one of the largest swimming pools in New Orleans.
They were celebrating their safe summer.
For the first summer in many years, they did not have one person drown in any of their pools.
So, they were celebrating that fine achievement.

There were over 200 guest at that celebration, which included over 100 certified lifeguards.

It was a tremendous party.
The food and the drink flowed freely.
Everyone was proud and thrilled at their safe summer record.

But it was not, until the party was nearly over that somebody noticed a fully-clothed man
at the bottom of the pool.
They attempted to revive the man, but it was too late.

This man had drowned surrounded by lifeguards, who should have pulled him out of the water in time to save him.
But they were too busy celebrating their success to notice.

You and I are surrounded by a nation and a city of lost people
drowning in a pool of sin with no hope and without Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

We, who should be telling everyone about Jesus, are not even going through the motions.
We don't even notice them!

In 1929 the Soviet government decided to wipe out the church.
They passed a law!
They did not pass a law saying they could not worship on Sunday morning.

Here is what they did: They said, "All you have to do is simply stay within your church on Sunday morning,
and you can meet as much as you want to
."

What the Soviet Communists did to the church by decree in 1929,
we are doing to ourselves by default in 2000.

Salvation should ignite us!

Jude also says in verse 3:
"I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation."

To this church, I declare unto you that salvation is what brings us together. The basis of our unity must always be the Word of God, the cross of Christ,
and salvation by grace through faith.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White