Summary: God has laid out a clear plan on what to do in order to be saved. However you have to follow the plan in order to make it work. You see the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not.
I want to tell you a secret! You have to promise not to tell anyone, O.K.? The secret is: I LOVE ICE CREAM! Not just any ice cream, not Hy Vee or Walmart or even Albertsons, but rather the greatest ice cream of all time: Baskin Robins Ice Cream. When I go to Baskin Robins, I have to get there early because if you haven’t already heard they have 31 different flavors of ice cream to choose from. However after sticking my face against the glass display case for an hour or two, I almost always stay with my favorite flavor: Jamoca Almond Fudge! When I get my favorite Ice Cream don’t give it to me in a cone, I want it in the bowl. And I don’t just want the one scoop, or even two scoops, but I want three scoops. (It will cost a little more, but don’t worry it’s well worth it!) Now my wife on the other hand, always gets Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. And while I’m sitting there that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice cream is looking pretty good! I start thinking things like: Did I make a mistake? Did I chose the wrong Ice Cream? Would Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough be better? This morning I don’t really want to talk to you about 31 flavors of Ice Cream, but rather 31 flavors of Religion! While looking in the Council Bluffs Phone book, I noticed _____ different Churches in the Council Bluffs area. They can’t all be right can they? They can’t all be teaching the same things can they? They can’t all believe the same things can they? The answer is: OF COURSE NOT! To many times I see people who go to a church because they’ve always gone there.(It’s their favorite). Or I see people who go to a church because of the great youth group, or because of the nice new building, or because of the great worship leader or because of the dynamic preacher! This morning I want to ask you why do you come to the Eastside Christian Church? This morning I want to know what you believe? This morning I want to you to know why you believe what you believe? Now in the short time that we have together, I can’t ask each and everyone of you what you believe. But I can tell you what I believe and why I believe it! This morning I can tell why I’m standing here before you and I can show you a plan that I’ve found that could make all the difference in the world for your life! The plan that I’m talking about is the PLAN OF SALVATION!
I wish I could find a verse that told me everything that I needed to know in just one verse. However God’s plan was spread out over 66 books. It’s a plan that’s not hard to find, but it’s not all in one place. I guess what I’m trying to tell you, is that your Bibles are going to get a workout today! Well let’s go ahead and get start with the first part of this plan.
Before you can do anything you have to believe. What do you need to believe? To put it in simple terms you have to believe the BIBLE. You have to believe that the bible is God’s inspired word to us and that His words will show us how to live. When talking about the plan of Salvation, you have to believe something else. That Jesus is the Son of God. This is where the rubber meets the road. You have to believe that God sent His one and only Son to earth, to live a perfect life, die a horrible death and that on the third day God raised Jesus from the dead. And that now Jesus sits at God’s right hand preparing a place for all who will believe in Him. The great thing about all this, is that you don’t have to take my word for it! Paul and Silas while they were in prison had the jailer that had been guarding them come up and ask them point blank “What must I do to be saved?” Do you know what their answer was? (Acts 16:31 says, They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved”) (1 Jn 5:1 says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well). It doesn’t say that you have to believe that Jesus was a great prophet, or that Jesus gave us good lessons to live by. But you need to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the One who was to come! It’s not just enough to believe Jesus, you have to believe in Jesus, trusting Him as your all in all!