It is Easter weekend and I want to share some thoughts from Evangelism Explosion classes we took back in the 70’s at my church.
Remember visitation? If you’re from the south and went to a Baptist church then you remember. Wet, sweaty palms as you ring the doorbell and share the gospel. To be honest….I didn’t like it, but what a glorious message of the Gospel.
The best part is that it’s not based on MY opinion but on the Word of God .. the Holy Bible! That should totally take the pressure off because it’s not about me but it’s about what Christ did on the cross FOR me (and you).
So here’s the scoop:
When God asks, “Why should I let you into heaven?”
Most everyone’s response: “Well, I’m a good person.”
Romans 6:23, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Heaven and eternal life with Him is a free gift. If someone gave you a gift and you dug in your purse to pay for it, then it’s not free anymore. You would actually insult them by trying to earn it. Even if you gave them a nickle, it is no longer a gift.
How can we get this gift?
First we have to look in the Bible and see that man and woman messed up errything in the Garden. We now have wars, riots, crime etc. And according to the Word, all of these heinous acts are the result of sin.
Romans 6:23, “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Here’s the pickle …..sin isn’t just murder, rape, stealing .. sin is anything that doesn’t please God or is a transgression of His law (for example, losing our temper, impure thoughts, lying, cursing, pride, hatred all the “little white lies that you thought might be ok).
Let’s do math. Say you only sin 10 times a day….or how about 5…. or let’s say 3. So only three times a day you had an unkind thought, or lost your temper or even failed to do the right thing.
That’s pretty good right? Well, that’s over one thousand times a year and if you lived to 70 then it would be over 70,000 sins. Let’s let that sink in for a minute.
Still a good person?
Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Ooops. So while you may think you are a good person, there are lots of ugly(70K+) behaviors inside of you that are rotten. The illustration that got me was that if you were to serve an omelet prepared with four good eggs and one rotten egg, the entire dish would be rotten. We couldn’t serve that to our guests. So how do our rotten deeds and thoughts look to a perfect God?
James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Sooooo…trusting in ourselves to be good enough will obviously not get us into heaven. Not going to church. Not loving your neighbor. Not even trying to be good will do the trick.
1 John 4:8, “God is love”.
First know that God is merciful and He doesn’t want to punish us. But He is also just and therefore must punish sin!
Imagine a judge in a courtroom overlooking a murderer’s crime. We would say, “Impeach that judge!! Justice must be served!!”
Enter Jesus.….Jesus is the answer to our pickle! The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was and is God. He is the One that created the world…and the entire universe!
1 John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us …“
Jesus!!! God the Son became man! This is what we celebrate at Christmas. He left His home in glory and was born in a filthy stable. Our God loved us so much He became man for a grand and noble purpose.
Christ took on all our sins when He hung on the cross (Easter). And when the last sin had been paid for, He said, “It is finished.” When He came to the end of His life — to that hour for which He had come into the world — He purchased a place in heaven for you and me.
So…how do you get this “free gift of spending eternity in heaven with our precious Lord”? Faith.
Faith is the key to opening the doors of heaven.
You might believe He was a real person and great teacher or maybe you believe in God, but don’t think about it everyday. Did you know that even the demons believe??
James 2:19, “You say you have faith, for you believe there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this and they tremble in terror!”
Saving faith is trusting Christ to save you … and save you eternally. Not trusting in ourselves: “I” try to be a good person, “I” try to keep the 10 Commandments, “I” haven’t killed anyone…..“I” “I” “I” …
Saving faith means trusting Jesus alone for our salvation and what He has done rather than what I have done to get me into heaven.
Acts 16:31, “Believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
The reason for living a godly life is gratitude. Giving your life to Jesus means transferring your trust from what YOU”VE been doing to what JESUS has done for you on the cross. He takes our sin and we receive His righteousness.
Easy peasey lemon squeezy, right? Tell Him today that you want Him in your heart. You don’t have to get “clean” to call upon Him. That can come later as He guides you. Don’t think you’re too dirty to come before Him because He already loves you unlike any love you’ve ever known.
Pray this prayer: Lord Jesus, I am a sinner and have been thinking I’m a good person all this time. I may look good to other people but you know my heart and I want you to come into my life and take it over. Help me to turn from sinning and to trust you as my personal Savior. I accept your free gift of eternal life … I’m not worthy of it but I thank you for it.”
It’s Easter.….get to church and tell your Pastor that you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior! And know the angels are rejoicing!!
Luke 15:10 says, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”