Summary: God has warned us of our eternal destination and He has given us the choice to believe in His Son and be saved from that eternal punishment. Do not perish. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth and be baptized into Christ.
Do Not Perish
Text: John 3:16-17
Have you ever had the experience of visiting a restaurant and not really enjoyed it only to recount the episode to someone and have them say “I could have saved you the trouble and told you not to go there”? I’m sure we have all had that happen in one form or another, whether it was a restaurant, or a vacation destination or even just a movie.
If you are like me when someone says, “I could have saved you from that…” my reply is “then why didn’t you?” “Why didn’t you tell me not to go there?” Now if they had not known of my plans then they obviously could not have given me their advice but if they did know then we would be right to ask, “Why didn’t you warn me and tell me to go someplace else?”
And that is really what I want you thinking about today. You see there is for all of us a final destination after our life here is done. And we may be headed someplace that will be a bad experience for any of us, for all of us. But we have all been warned and we can choose not to go there:
John 3:16 - 18 (NASB) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
A.Eternity comes to all.
1.Read Matthew 25:31-46
a.There are two possible destinations: eternal punishment or eternal life. (v46)
b.Punishment was created for the Devil and his angels but may be shared by those who reject God. (v41)
1.The place of punishment is referred to throughout the scriptures.
a.It is called the lake of fire, the unquenchable fire, and the second death.
b.It is a place of utter darkness where people gnash their teeth and weep and wail.
c.This is what is meant by “perish” in John 3:16.
1.God so loved the world that He sent His Son so that we might not perish but have eternal life.
a.Not life like we have in this world, going on and on forever. That would be a punishment none of us could endure.
b.This is life of a different kind, not just a change in the quantity of years but in the quality of living.
c.The righteous are given the same life as the Father, and Son, and the Holy Spirit; life in heaven where there is no darkness, and there are no tears, and there will be no death.
II.This Choice is Open to All
A.Jesus came to save the world
1.John 3:17 (NASB) “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
a.All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God; all have need of the Savior. (Romans 3:23)
b.Luke 19:10 (NASB) “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
c.Read John 6:37 - 40
2.Belief in Jesus will save.
a.We are warned in the scriptures that there will be those who preach another gospel (and they are accursed) but Peter tells us:
Acts 4:12 (NASB) “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
III.Confess and Believe
A.Salvation hinges on these things:
Romans 10:8 - 10 (NASB) But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
1.Hearing the word preached
Romans 10:14 (NASB) How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
2.Confess Jesus as Lord.
a.This is more than just acknowledging that Jesus is the Lord. It is more than saying Jesus is God (James 2:19 tells us that demons believe but that knowledge does not save them.)
b.Confessing Jesus is the acceptance of Him as the Lord and Master of your life, your whole existence.
Galatians 2:20 (NASB) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.