Summary: Jesus invites us to follow him on the journey from life to death. This sermon compares the belief of faith in Christ for salvation as opposed to good works.
Invite Them On The Journey
(Some of the concepts in this message I gleaned from Andy Stanley's message on the belief in good works as a means of salvation.)
We have been preaching on the series, “Making A Difference.” We’ve Looked At “We’ve Got The Best” and “Put Yourself In Their Place”, “Stop By The Church We’ve Got Good News. Today I will do “Invite Them On The Journey. “ Our invitation to someone to come to church, can make a difference in their lives forever. We thank all of you for coming who received an invitation to join us on our journey to a deeper walk with God.
Let’s suppose for a moment yu are in a place you have never been before. You have no idea how you got there. A person comes out and tells you, “You must go into that room and choose one of four things to take with you on your journey when you leave this place. You may not ask any questions. What you take is yours to keep but you may only take one thing. Leave the room through the door in the back and be on your way.” You go into the room and you find by #1 a huge beautiful diamond ring. By #2 a brief case full of $100 bills neatly stacked all the real stuff. By #3 this is a loaded a gun, and by #4 a map of a mine field showing the location of some old land mines.
You know what each of these objects is and you are smart enough to make a decision on which one you may want. What you don’t know is which one are you really going to need on your journey when you go out the other side of the building. If you go out and find a car waiting to take you home, you may feel pretty good about having taken the diamond of the brief case filled with money. If you go out and find a grizzly bear coming after you, you may feel good about taking the loaded gun. But if you go outside and find a field that has a sign saying, no one has ever made it alive across this field, without having a map of where the mines are located none of the other three choices are nearly as important as that map would be.
Everyone of us is on a journey. It’s called life. We all know where the journey is headed. It is called death. Now death is like that door that we have to enter after we make our choice of what we are going to choose to take with us into the unknown. Now about 2000 years ago, there was a guy by the name of Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God. And Jesus tells people, “I know what’s on the other side of the journey. I know what’s on the other side of the door. Not only that, I am going there to prepare a place for you, and when I do, I will come back and take you there myself.
Then Jesus makes this big statement, “I am the way , the truth and the life. No one gets to God, except by going through me.” In other words nobody is going to heaven without coming through me. Now many of us who say we believe the bible, we really don’t believe that Jesus was right when he said “ I am the Way.” He does not leave room for other alternatives. Many people even in church , do not believe in a salvation by faith and trust in Christ alone. Many believe we are saved by doing good works. That’s why at funerals we like to say how good a person was.
Many of us believe that good people go to heaven. We believe that not only do good Christians go to heaven, we believe good Jews, good Muslims, good Buddhist, and good people who don’t believe much of anything are all going to go to heaven. So for Jesus to say, that He is the only way, it seems narrow minded, exclusive, somewhat full of bigotry and darn right unAmerican. Jesus statement is offensive to many and they claim it is very unfair to people. What about the people who never even heard of Jesus?
Now if you think Jesus’ statement is offensive today, what do you think it sounded like to those who heard him say actually say it. ‘Jesus what are you talking about . We know your mother. We know where you grew up. We know you family. How on earth can you say, you are the Way The Truth and The Life and no one gets to go to God in heaven except through you. First of all, most of the people have never even heard of you.”