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Summary: When we talk about preparing for our future with Christ, there are several levels where this preparation takes place. Preparation takes place on a personal level, a mutual level, and finally what I would like to call and emergency level. This morning, I

PREPARING NOW FOR OUR FUTURE WITH CHRIST

Personal Spiritual Preparation

ACTS 16:25-35

Acts 16:25-35 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.

30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men."

INTRODUCTION: When we talk about preparing for our future with Christ, there are several levels where this preparation takes place. Preparation takes place on a personal level, a mutual level, and finally what I would like to call and emergency level. This morning, I would like to deal with the first part of our spiritual preparation in light of the return of Christ.

Good preparation involves two major things. We prepare for what we know is going to happen, and we prepare for what we anticipate is going to happen. As we go through this series, it is my goal to give us biblical information in both of these areas, and in doing this, help prepare us for eternity.

I SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN – SALVATION

A Salvation begins with a witness from believers

Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

1 Faith comes from the communication of the Word of God

a You need to hear the message of salvation in order to act on it.

b You need to communicate the message of salvation for others to act on it.

2 Personal spiritual preparation involves our own assurance regarding our salvation

a Involves a sincere evaluation of our own spiritual condition

1 Do I profess salvation?

2 Do I possess salvation?

3 Two are vastly different

a) The first one – profession comes from a sense of duty, obedience, or tradition to family or even myself.

(1) Of course I am saved, I am in church

(1) Of course I am saved, my whole family is

(1) Of course I am saved, I believe in God

All of these statements may be valid on there face, but they are not biblical on their face. Salvation is not based on what I am doing, or where I am, but on what Jesus did. So, right now, if you are sitting here and your basis for salvation is the fact that you are in church, you come to church, your family is a church family, you believe in God, you pray every day, or any of a host of other reasons, I want you to listen carefully to what I am about to say. Possession is different from Profession

b) Possession is based on what Jesus did for me on the cross when He died for my sins.

(1) I possess salvation when I trust Christ to get me to heaven, and not what I am doing.

(1) My salvation is not based on my actions, or the actions of anyone else but Jesus!

THE MOST IMPORTANT WAY WE PLAN FOR ETERNITY IS WITH REGARD TO OUR OWN SALVATION. ARE WE SAVED!?

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

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