John 6:44 - No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.
· The Gospel begins with God calling us to believe in Him and commit ourselves to Him.
· Once God calls us to salvation, we must decide how we will respond to His invitation.
· Will we accept God’s invitation with joy and have the fulfilling life God wants us to have?
· Will we kick against the pricks in our spirit and live for ourselves by refusing to come to Him?
· When we choose to kick against the pricks, we miss out on the best life we could have had even if we trust Christ near the end of our lives.
How do we know if God has called us?
· Anyone reading this right now must be called because there are far too many other things we could be doing than looking at a blog from some unknown preacher who lives in the least religious state in America. God drew YOU to this site. Now, what will YOU do?
· Though the Gospel begins with God calling us, we are responsible for responding to that calling and choosing to believe.
· Some of us grew up in families that taught us about Jesus and helped us think about matters of faith.
· Some of us grew up in families that did not teach us anything about faith and we often feel like we do not have a clue who God is or what He wants in our lives.
· Either way, at some point we must make our own choice about Christ .
· Those of us who grew up in Christian homes are not automatically Christians. We must still make our own choice for Christ. God does not have grandchildren, He only has children.
· Those of us who grew up outside the Christian faith are not destined to never believe.
· We can change the generational cycle and believe for ourselves and we can give our children a better opportunity to believe when they grow old enough to understand the Gospel.
· Each generation must seek and find its own relationship with Jesus.
What do we need to know in order to understand the Gospel?
· Honestly, understanding the Gospel begins with BAD news.
· When we were a kid, maybe we thought the world was a great place, but now we know better. The world is full of bad stuff.
· The world is a bad place because it is filled with a lot of bad people.
· Romans 3:10 – There is none righteous, no not one.
· No one does right ALL the time.
· Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and come short of the goodness of God.
· No one is as good as God.
· 1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
· We can pretend we are perfect, but we are only fooling ourselves.
Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap.
· All that bad stuff (God calls it sin) produces bad results.
· Deep inside we all know that when we do bad stuff, we deserve to be punished.
· But we sure do a good job of deceiving ourselves into thinking that the rules do not apply to us. But that is childish thinking.
· We need to stop playing “make believe” like we did when we were kids and be honest.
· The reality is that we are ALL sinners.
· ALL of us are BAD sometimes.
· This means that all of us have contributed to the world being a bad place.
· While some of the badness might be other people’s faults, some of it is our fault to.
· Part of understanding the Gospel is accepting that reality.
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
· Wages are what we earn for our efforts.
· What we earn for our sin is death.
· Though physical death can be one result of sin, the real emphasis here is spiritual death.
· Spiritually, death means separation.
· Sin separates us from other people and from God.
· A gift, on the other hand, is something that someone gives out of kindness and love. We do not have to earn it.
· God wants to give us the gift of eternal life.
· Just as death means separation, life means connection.
· Are we connected to God and to others?
· Having Christ in our lives and living for Him gives us a stronger connection to other people and to God the Father.
· It also means we will be connected to each other and to God for all eternity.
· That’s a cool gift!
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 - But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!
· God wants to give us this gift because of His great love.
· God loves us and does not want us to be separated from Him or from our loved ones for all eternity.
· Some people wonder why God sends people to hell if God loves them so much.
· The answer is that God does NOT send people to hell.
· People are already on their way to hell and God has done everything possible to keep those who are called from ending up in hell.
John 3:17- 19 - For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned . . . the light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
· People are already condemned by their own actions.
· Even if we never go to church and hear the Word of God preached, deep inside we know we have done wrong. We become our own judges and we condemn ourselves.
· Jesus came to save us from our own condemnation.
· But too many of us prefer to follow the darkness instead of following Jesus because we do not want to admit that our actions are evil.
· There is NO condemnation in Christ, only FREEDOM!!!!
· God made a way for salvation, but we have to choose to accept that way.
Romans 10:9 - If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
· Confess means to admit.
· Lord means boss or ruler.
· We must admit that Jesus is our boss and that we need His help to get through life.
· Admitting that we need Jesus to be our boss requires humbling ourselves and admitting that we cannot do it on our own.
· Though that can be hard, part of understanding the Gospel is realizing that our way really is not working very well for us.
· We may resist the Lord for a long time, but when we finally get tired of all the mess, we will be ready to make a commitment to Jesus.
· Some may wonder if they are too bad for Jesus.
Romans 10:13 - For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
· Everyone means E V E R Y O N E ! ! ! !
· If we call on the Lord, no matter what our past was like, we WILL be saved.
· It does not say we “might be” saved, it says we WILL be.
· Have we called on Him yet?
· If not, we can call on Him today!
Prayer for Salvation
Lord, I admit that I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sinful ways and follow You. I believe that You love me and that you died on the cross to pay for my sin. Please forgive me of my sins, come into my life and be my boss so You can help me live for You. Amen.