Summary: This sermon begins with an affirmation of absolute truth then focuses on three absolute promises Jesus shared in in John 14
KNOWNIN’ WHERE YOU ARE GOIN’
(I began this sermon by flipping a coin several times asking folks to guess if the result would be heads or tails. After several tosses, only a few people had been right ever time.)
There is much in this world that is uncertain and unpredictable. Will the value on the markets go up or down? Which team will win the ballgame? What is the weather going to be?
We have been talking recently about dealing with our honest doubts, but today I want to talk about assurances and absolutes. About what in your life are you most certain? Are you certain that you are going to heaven?
When it comes to religion, it is increasingly difficult to convince folks of absolutes. This is because people today don’t necessarily embrace absolute truth, when it comes to religion and when it comes to eternal issues here is what you are often going to hear today. It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere. What is true for me may not be true for you. The only important thing is that you believe in God.
Barna Research Group recently offered some survey statistics that back that affirms this cultural mindset. Their website states that 43% of Americans said it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. In addition, it concludes that 50% of Americans believe that all people are eventually saved or accepted by God no matter what they do. While these reflect disturbing trends, lets begin by conceding a couple of acknowledgements.
Acknowledgement: There are similarities in many world religions
Most religions teach that there is a divine creator. Most religions hold that human life is sacred. Most religions affirm basic moralities (such as faithfulness in marriage and our responsibility to our family.) The Biblical principle to Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31) will resonate across religious lines. Also, most religions teach that there is an afterlife
Acknowledgement: Do not confuse this to mean religions are all essentially the same.
Buddists don’t believe in a God and they don’t believe in any type of final or eternal existence. Buddha taught nothing is permanent. Buddists believe enlightenment is achieved by good deeds (karma). Hindus do believe in a god but their god is impersonal and can be approached through countless sub-deities, smaller gods (300,000 of them) and through statutes or through idols. They hold to no literal “heaven” after death but reincarnation until a state of enlightenment is attained. Muslims believe in a single personal God, Allah, but Allah has no secondary deities and has a total ban on idols. Their aim is to reach heaven and avoid hell.
Christians believe in the Trinity, a three in one God who is very personal. Our salvation is possible as a gift that forgives our sins through Christ, there is the potential of supernatural help and the God is a very personal God with a promised and real afterlife.