Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "The Kingdom Is Near". This sermon looks at the identification of a Christian.
Sunday Morning, August 18, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: ¡§The Kingdom Is Near¡¨ [#3]
1. Our vacation this year introduced our children to something new: Airports and airplanes. With all of the tightened security it took a lot of time and patience before you ever got near an airplane.
2. First, you had to wait in line to get your ¡§boarding pass¡¨ and check in your luggage. When they got to us, we had to tell them our destination (although it was on the ticket) and show them picture identification.
3. Once that was accomplished, you got in another line that lead you to a security check station. There you had to empty your pockets, give them any ¡§carry-on¡¨ luggage you had, show them your identification again, and then walk through a metal detector where you gathered all of your things that had been scanned.
4. Now you would think you were done, but we were not. We then had to go to our assigned gate and wait. Once they were ready to board passengers, they began to call out row numbers. When your number was called you got in line and walked up to an attendant who took your ¡§boarding pass¡¨ and checked your I.D. I had to show that I.D. so often that I carried it in my front pocket. See my picture I.D. card is all I had to prove that I am Shawn Drake.
5. This morning we are going to examine our spiritual identification. Turn with me to Matthew 7.
1. There are only two eternal destinations, Heaven or Hell. The Bible tells us here that the road to Hell is a much easier road to travel and is the road that many will take.
2. Last week I told you how to get your ticket to Heaven, which is through surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. Let me remind you though, that God never promised us that the Christian life would be easy, in fact He is telling us here that it is the harder road to take, but it ends up in Heaven. The road to Hell is easy because you can live and do as you please. You never have to surrender your life to anyone.
3. Let me ask you again, ¡§If you died today, where would be your final destination?¡¨
1. Let me ask the familiar question, ¡§If someone walked in our service and began to drag anyone out that was a known Christian, would they drag you out? And if they did, how would they know you were a Christian?¡¨ That is our point here this morning. Your identification as a Christian is the fruit that your life bears. Understand that your life does bear fruit. It is either good fruit or bad fruit. Don¡¦t think for a moment that when your life bears rotten fruit (which is sin in your life) that people do not see that. In fact if they are not saved and they have been told you are, they will dwell on the fact that your life is bearing bad fruit.
2. Now here is the ¡§scary¡¨ part. Verses 18-19 say that good trees do not produce bad fruit and bad trees don¡¦t produce good fruit. Does that mean that as a Christian when your life produces bad fruit that you have lost your salvation? No, but what it does mean is if your life never produces good fruit you better really examine your life today. Yes we all sin even after we are saved, but if there is no evidence in your life that God has changed you, you got a problem. The Bible says that before you were saved you were dead and once you are saved you have been born again. You are a new creation. The old has passed away and you are beginning a new life.
3. The spiritual fruit in your life is your spiritual I.D. It shows if you belong to the family of God or the family of Satan. Verse 20 is clear. ¡§Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.¡¨
1. When your life is over on this earth, your soul will arrive at its destination. As verse 22 indicates there will be a day that everyone will have to stand before God and give account of their life. As I have told you before, there will be two separate judgments. After the rapture of the church, which is all Christians, believers will be judged for their works.
2. We will be rewarded with crowns. There are at least five crowns that we can read of in Scripture. By the way, do you know what you will do with those crowns? You will throw them at the feet of Jesus as you worship Him. Let me tell you about these crowns for just a moment.