Summary: A basic Romans Road message, as our church begins a concentrated outreach into our community.
I. Over the past two weeks, I have had three conversations that have caused me a degree of concern.
II. All three conversations involved people that had been either raised in the church, or involved in a church that I know was a good, solid, bible teaching, salvation believing church.
III. Because of these conversations, I have decided to take a step back this morning, and talk about what I believe to be a basic Christian truth.
A. As we move into this new phase of our church rebuilding process, I believe it is paramount that all of us know, and basically agree with what the gospel message is.
1. We have been praying and asking God to bring us people that do not know Jesus Christ as their savior.
2. Our purpose statement is “To Connect People to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.”
B. If God is going to answer that prayer, and help us meet that purpose statement, then it becomes imperative that we know what it means to connect with Christ.
IV. If we, individually and corporately, do not know and understand the gospel, then two things are true,
A. One - We are still lost in our sin, and without hope.
B. Two - If we are still lost in our sin, then we will not be able to help others connect with Christ either.
V. Prayer - God; open our minds to your truth.....
VI. So - Conversation One, which took place with a young lady.
A. At one point, I asked her the direct question, “When you die, what is the next thing that will happen to you?
1. Her first answer, and it was quick, “I will go to heaven of course.”
2. My next question,
b. How do you know.
3. Now I remind you, this young lady had been raised in a good, Bible teaching church,
a. In answer to the “Why” and “how” she gave me two answers,
(1) One - “I am a good person” quickly followed by,
(2) “I know God.”
b. At that point, I was concerned,
VII. Now let me ask you, “Why would those answers leave me unsettled?”
1. Because the bible says,
a. “There is no one that is good.
b. No one seeks after God.”
2. Paul puts it this way in Romans 3 - “There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; thee is none who does good, there is not even one.”
B. The good part of this conversation was that I got to share the gospel with her.
C. In response to what I shared, the young lady then said, “That is what I meant” and again I was left a bit unsettled.
D. I ask you again, “Why would such an answer leave me unsettled?”
1. Because I couldn’t be sure,
a. Did she say she agreed because it was true; in which case the church needs to do a better job communicating the gospel,
b. Did she say she agreed, so I wouldn’t pursue the subject any further, in which case I was lost with how to follow up,
c. Did she know or not know; I couldn’t be sure.
VIII. All I know is, sometimes in our desire to feel justified, we can have a tendency to deceive ourselves as to what the gospel really is.
IX. Take a look at this movie clip from “Hidden Secrets” and see what the bigger sin just might be.
X. Conversation two took place later that week,
A. I was talking with a gentleman that I thought I knew well.
1. I had been his pastor in a former church.
2. He had been a leader, an elder in that church.
B. We were talking about a lady that he was currently involved with.
C. As we talked he said, “I know that she is a Christian, because,
1. She doesn’t drink!
2. Because she doesn’t smoke!
3. Because she doesn’t even cuss, except once in a while!
4. And of course the kicker, “She is a good person.”
D. Again, cause for pause,
1. I know he has been taught truth, because I taught him,
2. I know he gave me a solid testimony, before we made him a leader in the church,
3. How/why then would he say, “I know because....” and not even mention faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
XI. We all want to believe that if there truly is a heaven, we will end up there at the end of this life.
XII. And if we are going to end up there, certainly we want to believe that those we love and care about will end up there too.