Nothing or Zero
- THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF SERMONS
- HOW DO YOU INTRODUCE A SERMON ON "NOTHING"?
- I had been giving some thought to
some sermons on numbers and had made progress through the
- The "zero" kept coming
to mind, but how do you work up a sermon on "zero"
- Then one day I came across a sermon
by Leroy Brownlow, which began to help me focus on the subject.
He began his discussion from a challenge made to him: "Brother
J. T. Stricklin, an elderly preacher, arose at the conclusion
of a service and said, Brother Brownlow has preached
something for these many years. Now I would like to hear him
preach on nothing. To which Brownlow replied, Lord
willing, I shall preach on nothing next Lords day."
[SERMONS YOU CAN PREACH, Leroy Brownlow, Brownlow Publications,
Fort Worth, 1958, page 24.]
- HERE IS THEREFORE A SERMON ON "NOTHING":
- OUT OF NOTHING GOD CREATED THE WORLD.
1:1 = "In the beginning God created the heaven
and the earth."
- There is no other way to account
- We have to begin with a self-existent
Being (GOD), who created something out of nothing.
- The evolutionist has to start with
something. Where did that something come from?
- ILLUSTRATION: Some scientists
got together and decided that man had come a long way and
that they no longer needed God. So they picked one of them
to go and tell God that they no longer needed Him. The scientist
went up to God and said, "God, weve decided that
we no longer need you. Were to the point that we can
clone people and do many miraculous things, so why dont
you go on and get lost." God listened very patient
and kindly to the scientist and after he was finished, God
said, "very well, how about this, lets say we
have a man making contest." To which the scientist
replied, "OK, great!" But God added, "Now,
were going to do this just like I did back in the
old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure,
no problem." He then bent down and grabbed himself
a handful of dirt. God just looked at him and said, "No,
no, no. You go get your own dirt."
- Man can rearrange, re-design, but
he cannot create.
- MAN BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD
AND WILL CARRY NOTHING OUT.
Timothy 6:7 = "For we brought nothing into
this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
- Yet we are told in I
Timothy 6:6 = "But godliness with contentment
is great gain." Therefore there is something
to be gained by man in this world.
- Since man can carry nothing out of
this world, then the purpose of his stay here is not a quest
for material gain.
- The purpose of our stay is spiritual.
12:13 = "Let us hear the conclusion of
the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man."
- Mans stay on earth is preparation
for another life. Amos
4:12 = "Therefore thus will I do unto
thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare
to meet thy God, O Israel."
- When man loses sight of this, he
will come up with nothing when he dies, because he
cannot take the material things with him. Matthew
6:19-20 = "Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves do not break through nor steal."
- JESUS SAID, "FOR WITHOUT ME YE
CAN DO NOTHING."
15:5 = "I am the vine, ye are the branches:
he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
- Morality minus Christ equals nothing.
15:4 = "Abide in me, and I in you. As ye
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the
vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
- Physical or morality without Christ
leaves us with "zero" or "nothing".
- Christ is our Savior. Matthew
1:21 = "And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his
people from their sins."
- Christ is the way. John
14:6 = "Jesus saith unto him, I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me."
- Christs gospel is the power
to save. Romans
1:16 = "For I am not ashamed of the gospel
of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to
- Christ will save His church. Ephesians
2:16; = "And that he might reconcile
both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the
5:23 = "For the husband is the head of
the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and
he is the saviour of the body.
5:27 = "That he might present it to himself
a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
minus Christ is zero [nothing]:
- No Savior.
- No way.
- No Gospel.
- No church.
- BELIEF PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS SALVATION.
16:16 = "He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
- Just like one plus one equals two.
- Belief + Baptism = Salvation.
- 1 + 1 = 2
- 1 1 = 0
- Belief Baptism = 0 "Nothing"
[ No salvation]
- REPENTANCE PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS REMISSION
2:38 = "Then Peter said unto them, repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of
the Holy Ghost."
- Just like one plus one equals two:
- Repentance + Baptism = Remission
- 1 + 1 = 2
- 1 1 = 0
- Repentance Baptism = 0 "Nothing"
[ No remission of sins].
Note: Paul has
believed and repented, but it was equal to nothing until he
was baptized. Acts
22:16 = "And now why tarriest thou? Arise,
and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name
of the Lord."
- RELIGIOUS ACTS MINUS LOVE EQUALS NOTHING:
Corinthians 13:1-3 = "Though I speak with
the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am
become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 
And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as to remove
mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And
if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my
body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing."
- Faith minus love equals nothing
- Benevolence minus love equals nothing
- First and great commandment deals
with love. Matthew
22:37-38 = "Jesus said unto him, thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
- Love would solve many problems in
the church. John
14:23 = "Jesus answered and said unto him,
if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will
love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with
- "IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOR
IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING"
5:13 = "Ye are the salt of the earth: but
if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and
to be troden under foot of men."
- Salt seasons, saves and preserves.
- If a child of God has lost the
qualities which made him salt, he is good for nothing.
- If Christians have lost their saltiness
for God, they become "good for nothing church members".
- "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM
OF THE WISE, AND WILL BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF
THE PRUDENT" = [I
1. Mans wisdom
minus God equals nothing. Note: Learning must be
mixed with God to be something. I
Corinthians 1:18 = "For the preaching
of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto
us which are saved it is the power of God."
Corinthians 1:25-27 = "Because the foolishness
of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger
than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many
noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things
of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the
weak things of the world to confound the things which are
- We need this lesson strongly taught
in the church today.
- We should not emphasize secular
training to the neglect of spiritual training.
- A preacher can have two or three
college degrees and not know enough about the Bible to defend
- "AS HAVING NOTHING AND YET POSSESSING
Corinthians 6:10 = "As sorrowful, yet always
rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing,
and yet possessing all things."
- "Having nothing".
No physical possessions.
- "Yet possessing all
things". The riches of Gods eternal heavenly
- Think! How much the Christian possesses!
- VALUE OF THE WORLD MINUS VALUE OF THE
SOUL EQUALS NOTHING:
8:36-37 = "For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or
what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
- If we lose our souls, we have gained
nothing in this life.
- WILL YOUR LIFE HERE BE A PLUS; OR WILL
IT BE A NOTHING?
- DO NOT WASTE YOUR GREATEST OPPORTUNITY
TO BE SOMETHING BE NOT LIKE THE ONE TALENT MAN HE LOST
ALL AND ENDED WITH NOTHING! Matthew
25:28-30 = "Take therefore the talent from
him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto everyone
that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from
him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
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