Nothing or Zero


  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF SERMONS ON NUMBERS.
    2. HOW DO YOU INTRODUCE A SERMON ON "NOTHING"?
      1. I had been giving some thought to some sermons on numbers and had made progress through the number eight.
      2. The "zero" kept coming to mind, but how do you work up a sermon on "zero" or "nothing"?
      3. 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 Lord’s day.’" [SERMONS YOU CAN PREACH, Leroy Brownlow, Brownlow Publications, Fort Worth, 1958, page 24.]
    3. HERE IS THEREFORE A SERMON ON "NOTHING":
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. OUT OF NOTHING GOD CREATED THE WORLD.
    2. Genesis 1:1 = "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

      1. There is no other way to account for creation.
        1. We have to begin with a self-existent Being (GOD), who created something out of nothing.
        2. The evolutionist has to start with something. Where did that something come from?
        3. 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, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t 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, let’s say we have a man making contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!" But God added, "Now, we’re 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."
      2. Man can rearrange, re-design, but he cannot create.
    3. MAN BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD AND WILL CARRY NOTHING OUT.
    4. I Timothy 6:7 = "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."

      1. 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.
      2. Since man can carry nothing out of this world, then the purpose of his stay here is not a quest for material gain.
        1. The purpose of our stay is spiritual. Ecclesiastes 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."
        2. Man’s 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."
      3. 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."
    5. JESUS SAID, "FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING."
    6. John 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."

      1. Morality minus Christ equals nothing. John 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."
      2. Physical or morality without Christ leaves us with "zero" or "nothing".
        1. 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."
        2. 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."
        3. Christ’s 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 the Greek."
        4. 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 enmity thereby:" … Ephesians 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. … Ephesians 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."
        5. Note: Morality minus Christ is zero [nothing]:

          1. No Savior.
          2. No way.
          3. No Gospel.
          4. No church.
    7. BELIEF PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS SALVATION.
      1. Mark 16:16 = "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
      2. Just like one plus one equals two.
        1. Belief + Baptism = Salvation.
        2. 1 + 1 = 2
        3. 1 – 1 = 0
        4. Belief – Baptism = 0 "Nothing" [ No salvation]
    8. REPENTANCE PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS REMISSION OF SINS:
      1. Acts 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."
      2. Just like one plus one equals two:
        1. Repentance + Baptism = Remission of sins.
        2. 1 + 1 = 2
        3. 1 – 1 = 0
        4. 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."

    9. RELIGIOUS ACTS MINUS LOVE EQUALS NOTHING:
      1. I 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. [2] 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. [3] 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." [ASV].
        1. Faith minus love equals nothing [v.2].
        2. Benevolence minus love equals nothing [v.3].
      2. 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."
      3. 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 him."
    10. "IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOR … IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING"
      1. Matthew 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."
      2. Salt seasons, saves and preserves.
        1. If a child of God has lost the qualities which made him salt, he is good for nothing.
        2. If Christians have lost their saltiness for God, they become "good for nothing church members".
    11. "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND WILL BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT" = [I Corinthians 1:19].

 

1. Man’s 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."

I 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 mighty."

    1. We need this lesson strongly taught in the church today.
        1. We should not emphasize secular training to the neglect of spiritual training.
        2. A preacher can have two or three college degrees and not know enough about the Bible to defend it.
    1. "AS HAVING NOTHING AND YET POSSESSING ALL THINGS":
      1. II Corinthians 6:10 = "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
        1. "Having nothing". No physical possessions.
        2. "Yet possessing all things". The riches of God’s eternal heavenly blessings.
      2. Think! How much the Christian possesses!
  1. CONCLUSION:
    1. VALUE OF THE WORLD MINUS VALUE OF THE SOUL EQUALS NOTHING:
      1. Mark 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?"
      2. If we lose our souls, we have gained nothing in this life.
    2. WILL YOUR LIFE HERE BE A PLUS; OR WILL IT BE A NOTHING?
    3. 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."

Back to the Top