Summary: If we are followers of Christ then it will show in our lives.
A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."
"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."
"Terrific!" says St. Peter, "that's certainly worth a point."
"One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."
"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.
"TWO POINTS!!" the man cries, "At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!"
"Come on in!"
Today we are continuing our church membership course. Before for you wonder if you’re in the right place, you are, we’re all going through this together. Last week we defined church membership as a commitment to worship and serve God together. We also said that church members have shared beliefs. Here at Madison we believe that Salvation is possible because of what Jesus did. We believe that you get salvation through faith in Christ, not what you do but what He did.
We also believe that the authority for our beliefs and decisions comes from the Bible, that this book is the Word of God. It is from the book that we take our main purpose, there are other purposes, other things were are to be doing but, the main thing to keep mind is that we are to be missionaries to our community. We have a mission to reach people for Christ. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” You’ll remember that last week we learned an acrostic as a tool to help us share our faith. It’s not the only way and you shouldn’t use it word for word, it should be personalized but it is a tool that if you’re familiar with it can be helpful in sharing Christ when someone asks you what you believe. Do you remember the GOSPEL? Good ‘cause we’re going to practice it now. It’s called a pop quiz.
God created us to be with Him.
Our sins separate us from God.
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.
Understanding the Gospel and how to share it is part one of our vision statement. Our statement about who we want to be. The first thing is that we want to be a group of people who focus on “Building Relationships so that people can know God.” Jesus built relationships with people for the purpose of telling them the gospel of grace and so should we. We need to have relationships with a purpose.
The second part of our vision statement is that we are “Building People to grow to be like God.” That means that we act like Christ. Now this requires two things. First we need to know what Christ said, what does the Bible say. We talked a lot about that last week. But the second thing is that we should live like Jesus lived. Understand this is not just about what we don’t do, it is also about how we treat people. You see Christianity is not just about theology it is also about sociology. Theology is the study of God, and sociology is the study of people. What I am saying is that Christianity is not just what you know but how you live. That is what people are watching.
The story is told about a stressed out woman who was tailgating a man a busy street. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.
He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.