Summary: A message on the need for salvation.
Have you ever seen any of those “man on the street,” interviews? There is a fellow on Fox News named Jesse Watters who does these things and he introduces himself by saying, “Welcome to Watter’s world.” Some of the questions he asks get some very strange answers. For instance, Who won the civil war? Not one answered the (North.) Where did Abraham Lincoln live? All answered in the South. How many senators do we have? Not one got the answer right. (100) Who was our president during WW2? George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt. (Franklin Roosevelt) What month of the year do we vote for president? (November) Who was Susan B. Anthony? (Leader of the Woman’s Suffrage movement) Someone said she was a doctor! What is our economic system? (Capitalism) Some answer communism, socialism but most did not know. Now let me put all these answers in context. Jesse did these interview segments on spring break among college students from all over the United States. Sounds to me like one of the greatest needs we have is to teach basic civics in high school and college. What would you think is mankind’s greatest need? For just the next few moments I’m going to give you what the Bible teaches us is mankind’s greatest need.
“Mankind’s Greatest Need”
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
I. The Greatest Trouble in Focus
When you look at our culture, what do you see as the biggest issue that we face? Is it the rejection of the Bible, or evolution or abortion on demand or the removal of prayer from schools? Is it crime, the immorality in our culture or something like that? All of these things are symptomatic of man’s greatest problem. In the statement made by Jesus there are three short phrases that get to the root of the problem. The first is, “…for if ye believe not…” What we believe or do not believe determines behavior. The real reason that people behave the way that they do is unbelief.
“Why will we believe every crackpot about aliens coming, but will not believe that God has come. The Globe could report that Oprah Winfrey gives birth to an alien, but witnesses say Mr. Spock is the father, and thousands will buy the paper. Yet they will throw down a free gospel tract!” Source: Larry Wilson
The question is, why? Unbelief is the answer. The answer to the question, “Why did Adam and Eve disobey God and give up the perfection of the Garden of Eden?” The answer is unbelief. If you are not a Christian this morning it is because of your unbelief.
II. The Greatest Truth We Find
This leads us to the second phrase in our key verse; “…that I am he…” This is a question of who do we believe that Jesus is? He is who He said he is or the greatest charlatan of all time. He is who He says he is or millions have believed a lie. What does Jesus say about himself and do you believe it?
“Throughout his ministry, Jesus did many miraculous works (in fact, you can see all thirty-six of His miracles here), and taught with authority (Mark 1:27). He willingly died on the cross, and rose again – but some think Jesus never claimed to God, that perhaps this was an invention by early Christians or misreading Paul. Not only were the Jews mortified when Jesus said He was self-existing before Abraham (as God told Moses “I Am” from the burning bush), but John's gospel has seven distinct moments where Jesus claims to be something that no human could possibly be, with language that no devout Jew would possibly use for fear of committing blasphemy. Collected below are the seven I AM statements of John, in which we hear the truth of Jesus' identity.” www.faithhub.net
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.