Summary: "I guess I was a kind of an unruly girl or something, so maybe they didn’t want me. I attended a church college, too. But nobody ever said a word to me about becoming a Christian. So I never did." (Powerpoint Available - #221)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoint slides are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #221.)
ILL. Last week I began Part 1 of this 3-part sermon series by telling about a young lady I had never met before who asked if she could talk with me about a problem concerning her upcoming wedding.
She & her fiancé had different church backgrounds & they had asked each of their preachers to participate in a joint wedding ceremony. His preacher said “Yes,” but her preacher said “No.” Well, she was hurt by that because she had gone to that church all her life.
But a few days later he told her that he had changed his mind & would take part in the wedding after all because she was not a Christian. And that is when she called me.
Here she was, a young lady in her mid-20’s, who had always attended church regularly, even while away at college, & she isn’t a Christian. Her mother is a very devout member of their church, & all the children attend regularly.
But this young lady had never become a Christian. As we talked, I asked her why she had never become a Christian.
She told me, “Well, nobody ever asked me. I guess I was an unruly girl or something, so maybe they didn’t want me. I attended a church college, too. But nobody ever said a word to me about becoming a Christian & being baptized. So I never did.
"In my whole life, nobody has ever suggested that I become a Christian.”
Folks, if she was correct - & I have no right to doubt what she said – think of it! Surrounded by Christians all her life - & yet no one had ever urged or even suggested that she accept Christ as her Savior & Lord!
A. Last week, after telling you about her, I asked: Is it possible that there are others like her? Is it even possible that there is someone here this morning who feels the same way she did?
Oh, I hope not! But if there is, please let me apologize to you, & then let’s correct it. We don’t want anyone ever to think that we’re not concerned about you & your relationship with God.
The Bible tells us that “The Lord is... not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
And Jesus Himself said, “Go into all the world & preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes & is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Do you believe in Jesus, & do you want to go to heaven? I do, & I'm convinced that heaven will be even more wonderful than we can imagine.
In fact, the apostle Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah in 1 Corinthians 2:9 as saying, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
B. "But how do we get to Heaven?" That is a question we asked last Sunday. And as we considered it, we discovered that believing in Jesus & accepting Him as our Savior is the first step.
We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He arose from the dead & is alive forevermore, & is coming again. He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
C. Now faith is such an important part of the way to heaven that some people say, "That's it! Just believe in Jesus." But the Bible doesn't give us that kind of an answer, & we need to realize that.
In James 2:19 are these words, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that & shudder." But they're not saved they're lost! The demons won't be in heaven, even though they believe, & even though they tremble before God.
So it is obvious that there is more to getting into heaven than just believing in Jesus. If you went out & started asking people, "Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Jesus?" pollsters say that around 80% would answer, "Yes, I believe."
The problem is, the belief that many people say they have hasn't affected their lives, the way they live & what they do.
ILL. One day little 3-year-old Beverly was playing with her toys. Her mother, who was folding laundry, noticed Beverly’s blouse was dirty & needed to be changed. So she told Beverly to take it off & bring it to her so she could wash it.
After telling her twice with no response, her mother gave her the full 3-name call: “Beverly Elizabeth Provost, did you hear me?” Beverly answered, “Yes, Mama. My ears did, but my legs didn’t.” [Marguerite Provost, GA. Today’s Christian Woman]