Summary: This Easter Message may be somewhat non-traditional, but it is one that I myself, being a survivor of the recent B.P.Texas City Plant’s explosion tragedy, will never forget. I hope this message is an encouragement to all, as it is for me.
TEXT: JOHN 12:32/ "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33) This He said, signifying what death He should die."
Introduction: We should all know the real meaning of Easter, and the real reason for the season...and that is JESUS CHRIST, His death, burial, and ressurection, which, in turn, gives us the promise of the ressurection to live eternally with our God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when we commit our lives to Him.
PROPOSITION: My proposition today is to remind us all that..."it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgement"; (Hebrews 9:27); but that we also have the reassurance of eternal life with God after the ressurection.
I. Now my text passage is a passage of scripture where that Jesus Himself predicts that if He is lifted up before men, that He will draw all men to Himself, as He said, "I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME".
I am aware that many in the world today, as well as you yourself, may agree that all men will not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their perasonal Savior, as we see all manner of sin and wickedness in our society, therefore causing some to doubt that Jesus will indeed "draw all men to Himself", as He said.
I would like to draw your attention to the obvious truths that 1)All men will not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, but 2) All men WILL BE DRAWN TO JESUS, as He said.
I would like to speak to you today on the subject I’ve entitled "AT THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN; ON THE EDGE OF HELL".
II.So then, how will Jesus "draw all men?".....
I believe the scene at the crucifiction of Jesus tells us the story and gives us a clue to this evident truth. Picture if you will, Jesus on the cross....there are two thieves there being crucified, one on either side of Jesus...The facts of the story reveal that one of the thieves ultimately rejects and mocks Jesus as the Messiah, and Savior, and the other chooses to accept his own punishment for the wrongs he had done that put him there on the cross...receiving the just dues of his crimes, yet he chooses to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and repents of his sins....and Jesus gave His ultimate blessing..."THIS DAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE!"
Here is the irrefutible truth, BOTH OF THE THIEVES WERE DRAWN TO JESUS! Whether by God’s divine plan, or through chance of circumstance as some may argue....
BOTH OF THESE MEN WERE IN THE PRESENCE AND DRAWN TO JESUS! Though we read that one accepts Him, and the other rejects Him, both were in the presence of the Son of God, and were drawn to make the most important decision of their lives, for in it held the outcome of their eternal future! The only choices are to Accept Jesus and eternal life, or to refuse Him and face eternal death!
You might say then that one thief was "AT THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN," and the other was "ON THE EDGE OF HELL!", but I submit to you today that BOTH men were "AT THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN, AND ON THE EDGE OF HELL!"
LUKE 16:19-31 tells us the story of a rich man who fared sumptuously every day, and a beggar nemed Lazarus who only asked for the crumbs of the rich man’s table to eat so that he might live......
The story tells us that Lazarus died and entered into Abraham’s bosom, or paradise....and the rich man died and "lifted up his eyes in hell"...and crying out to Abraham the rich man begged for just "ONE DROP of water to cool his parching tongue", yet Abraham answered him and said he could not, even if he wanted to, he could not because of the great "gulf" that God had placed preventing the access from one place to the other. The rich man then begged for Abraham to send one from the dead to warn his living brothers of the awful place of torment that he was in, yet Abraham could not, and even reminded him God had provided the prophets and preachers to preach the promises and warnings, and that they wouldn’t listen, even if one came from the dead and warned them...
You might say that Lazarus was "AT THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN", and that the rich man was on
"THE EDGE OF HELL", but again I submit to you that BOTH were ’AT THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN; and ON THE EDGE OF HELL!" BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT SEPARATED THEM WAS THE GULF THAT GOD HAD AFFIXED TO SEPARATE THEM! The rich man was able to LOOK UPON Lazarus as he now was allowed to live in peace, and the joys of our Lord and Savior! HALLELUJAH!