A Message About You
At the risk of sounding a little selfish, I would like to preach a sermon about you.
You know, when we get to the judgment seat of God, this is going to be about you. (Ezekiel 18: 20; I Peter 4: 17, 18; II Corinthians 5: 10). It isn't going to be about your neighbor or some hypocrite in the church or a wealthy person or a terrible dictator. It will be about you.
There will be no mistakes in God's judgment. We won't have to worry about the reliability or validity of His judgment. When He makes a decision, it will be for all eternity. So we had better "make our calling and election sure." (II Peter 1: 10).
You weren't an accident. God willed for you to be. And he knew you before even your mother knew about you. See Psalms 139: 1-16, esp. 13-16. God had some other plans for you, too. He predestined that there would be a race of those who were saved-but He left you the choice of whether to be a member of the saved race or the lost one. See Romans 11, most of the chapter. God has no desire that you be lost (II Peter 3: 9). He's giving you that choice now.
About you. When you were just a little baby, and on those first few years upon the earth, life was simple. You made mistakes, but many times you really didn't know it. You didn't become aware of sin, and of guilt, until later. This time of life has a blessed innocence about it. Small wonder Jesus said "Let the little ones come unto me"
(Matthew 19: 13, 14). There is no record of any baby being baptized in the New Testament. This is not surprising since baptism exists for the remission of sins (Acts 2: 38) and small children don't have any.
As you got older, you became wiser to the ways of the world. And the world held out its temptations to you (I John 2: 15-17). First there was guilt, as you committed those first few sins; then the edges of the conscience began to get rubbed off. That's the dangerous part; when it doesn't hurt to sin. That's when you needed Jesus.
Jesus is a gentle Savior. In a way, He doesn't ask for much. (Matthew 11: 28-30); in another way, he demands everything. (Matthew 10: 34-39). He will make your life happy and childishly carefree as he cleanses you of all guilt. See his promise of forgiveness in I John 1: 7-2: 5). Perpetual purity. He will take all the guilt away. What he asks is that you don't willfully go back into sin to make it a lifestyle (Romans 6: 1-14).
About YOU: so now you are cleansed, happy, able to live a relatively carefree life in a world full of strife and selfishness. The Sermon on the Mount from Jesus has given you many ideas about how to live contentedly in a world that is not content. What else are you supposed to do?
YOU are supposed to live a life worthy of the name in which you have been called. And make that life a conspicuous one, in a right kind of way, like a city on a hill (Matthew 5: 14-16).
YOU need to tell others about the Savior that made such a difference in your life. Matthew 28: 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
You need to tell others about the Hell that awaits those who refuse to acknowledge Christ, and Heaven that awaits those who know Him and obey him. II Timothy 4: 1-5 is not just written to "professional clergy"; in fact, neither the words "professional clergy" nor the concept are any where within the Bible. The command to go and teach is to everyone.
A great reward awaits those who do this. Is there a great reward waiting for
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