Summary: How to move Christ out of your head and into your heart.
Professional golfer Paul Azinger was diagnosed with cancer at age 33. He had just won a PGA championship and had ten tournament victories to his credit.
He wrote, "A genuine feeling of fear came over me. I could die from cancer. Then another reality hit me even harder. I’m going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. It’s just a question of when. Everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live."
Then he remembered something that Larry Moody, who teaches a Bible study on the tour, had said to him. "Zinger, we’re not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We’re in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living."
Golfer Paul Azinger recovered from chemotherapy and returned to the PGA tour. He’s done pretty well. But that bout with cancer deepened his perspective. He wrote, "I’ve made a lot of money since I’ve been on the tour, and I’ve won a lot of tournaments, but that happiness is always temporary. The only way you will ever have true contentment is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not saying that nothing ever bothers me and I don’t have problems, but I feel like I’ve found the answer to the six-foot hole."
Today’s sermon comes do to a basic question:
If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven? ."
There are people today who will attend church services all across the world today that do not know how to answer that question.
There are those who answer “Yes” with their head but cannot answer with their heart.
Today I want us to look at the difference between the “Head” yes and the “Heart” yes.
We read in the third chapter of John a story of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling counsel (Sanhedrin).
Nicodemus was wise with the knowledge of Jewish law. He understood that God would send a Messiah and he came to Jesus by night to inquire of Him.
Read v 2
Nicodemus had head knowledge but he didn’t have heart knowledge..
Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus that all must be born again to enter into the kingdom of Heaven but Nicodemus does not understand. Read verse 4.
Jesus rebukes Nicodemus’ lack of understanding. Read verses 10-13.
Today there are lots of Nicodemus’ alive. They have just enough religion to vaccinate them from the real thing.
I’ve Always Tried to Be Good.
A. Some people believe that their good deeds will outweigh their evil actions and God will accept them in the end. They compare themselves to the most evil people and feel that they are doing pretty well.
B. This person needs to understand that he cannot be good enough for God.
1. Isa.64:6 says, "All our righteousness are like filthy rags."
2. Eph.2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
3. James 2:10 says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."
I’ve Tried Church and It’s not for Me.
A. Many people have become involved with churches but never met Christ. Before they could personally encounter the risen Lord, someone said something or did something that hurt them and they left in disgust.
B. You need to understand that you need a relationship with Jesus Christ, which changes you on the inside, not religion that only cleans up the outside.
1. Heb.2:1 says, "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away."
2. Verse 3 says, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"
3. Rom.10:9-10 says, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Look at Jesus’ response in verse 5.
What does it mean to have a “heart” knowledge of Jesus?
To have a “Heart” knowledge is to have a relationship rather than a religion.
God Could Never Forgive Me.
A. Some people feel that they have done so many things wrong or done something so evil that God can never forgive them.
B. "Whoever" comes to the Lord will be saved.
1. Isa.1:18 says, "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."