Summary: God wants all people to be saved. The message of the gospel is presented throughout the Bible. God sent His Son to save the world.
GOD’S NOT DEAD: THE GOSPEL
A. Over the past few weeks we have been DEFENDING our faith that GOD IS NOT DEAD.
1. Now, I realize that you already BELIEVE that, or else you wouldn’t be here this morning.
However, there are people you WORK with, people you go to SCHOOL with—FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS—who either DO NOT believe that God exists or REFUSES to accept His Son as their LORD and SAVIOR.
2. That’s why it is extremely IMPORTANT that we get God’s MESSAGE of SALVATION out so that people have a CHOICE to either ACCEPT or REJECT it. WHAT DOES GOD WANT?
a. 1 Timothy 2:4- “He wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
b. Yet, as FREE WILL AGENTS, God allows us to make that CHOICE.
B. It all boils down to BELIEVING and ACCEPTING the GOSPEL.
1. Can anyone tell me what the word GOSPEL means? “GOOD NEWS!”
2. Now, can anyone tell me what the GOSPEL is? “DEATH, BURIAL, & RESURRECTION of Christ.”
a. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (READ and COMMENT)
In this passage apostle Paul presents the Gospel Message not as a statement of PRINCIPLES, but a RECORD of FACTS.
b. He presents EVIDENCE to this FACT by LISTING names of those who WITNESSED the
RESURRECTION of Jesus- vv. 5-8 (READ and COMMENT)
By listing the names of these people, Paul is INVITING the Corinthians to CHECK it out for themselves if Jesus was indeed EXECUTED, was BURIED, and ROSE AGAIN. Each and every PERSON they talk to will ATTEST to what they SAW.
C. For this reason Paul writes these words as recorded in Romans 1:16-17 (READ and COMMENT)
1. Have you ever had anyone or anything bring SHAME upon you?
Teenagers could probably give you a few EXAMPLES of when their PARENTS brought SHAME or EMBARRASSMENT upon them. In fact, we PARENTS could probably name a few times when our KIDS brought some SHAME and EMBARRASSMENT our way.
2. How about the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ? Have you ever been ASHAMED of letting people know that
you are Christian?
Have you had opportunities to SHARE Christ with others, but didn’t? Have you been around your FRIENDS when they made FUN of Jesus or spoke derogatively about the Christian FAITH, but instead of DEFENDING Christ you just WENT ALONG with them or quietly WALKED AWAY? Have you removed the CROSS around your NECK when around some of your FRIENDS at school or
at work, because you didn’t want them to know that you are a Christian?
Truthfully, I have done all those THINGS. There were times when I was ASHAMED to let people know that I BELONGED to Jesus. Now, I am SHAMEFUL of being ASHAMED of my Lord.
Paul is writing to Christians who were living right at the door step of one of the most GODLESS, RUTHLESS Emperors the Roman Empire ever had—NERO. He was not a friend of Christians. In fact, he would have them KILLED in the Roman Coliseum for SPORT.
Paul is wanting the Roman church to understand the GOSPEL that he PREACHES and they OBEYED, is nothing of which to be ASHAMED. He was not going to be INTIMIDATED or SWAYED away from the GOOD NEWS of Christ.
Paul gives three reasons why he was not ASHAMED of the GOSPEL.
I. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF SALVATION
A. The reality of being given FREE WILL is that we can choose the PATH we want to go in life.
1. Jesus talks about that in the “Sermon on the Mount”- Matthew 7:13-14 (READ)
The TWO WAYS that Jesus is talking about are HEAVEN and HELL. Jesus said one WAY—“the SMALL and NARROW way leads to ETERNAL LIFE in Heaven,” while the other WAY—“the WIDE and BROAD way leads to ETERNAL DESTRUCTION in Hell.” We are on one of the ROADS.
2. The truth is, we don’t have to be on the ROAD that leads to ETERNAL DESTRUCTION, because God has PROVIDED the POWER of SALVATION through the GOSPEL—His Son’s DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION.
B. The POWER of the GOSPEL is the CHOICE that God made to send His One and Only Son to this
earth to LIVE among us and to DIE for us.
1. Romans 3:23- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And then Paul said in Roman 6:23a, “The wages of sin is DEATH…”
a. DEATH is what we EARN, that’s what we DESERVE—every one of us because we CHOSE SIN over God.
b. Yet, I am so thankful that Paul has more to say about the “wages of sin”. He concludes Romans
6:23 by saying, “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”