Summary: In this sermon, we learn that we must obey the Gospel to be saved, and we learn how to obey the Gospel.
A. I want to start with a true story: Jorge Rodriquez was new to our country and did not speak English.
1. He had no lawyer the day he appeared in court for hitting a parked car while driving drunk.
2. He went before the judge with what he thought was his “trump card.”
3. Rodriquez approached the bench and handed the judge a “Get Out of Jail Free” card from the game of Monopoly.
4. He had believed someone who had told him that this card was all he needed.
B. I wonder if the scene on Judgement Day is not going to be all that different.
1. I picture many people approaching God’s judgment seat that day thinking they have their spiritual matters in order.
2. Tragically, they will be shocked and horrified to discover that what they had put their hope in was false.
3. Maybe they had trusted in their own goodness.
4. Maybe they had trusted in the promises of some religious leader.
5. Or maybe they thought they could work out some deal in the end, or that there would be a second chance.
6. Just like Rodriquez, there will be many on the day of Judgement who not be able to escape judgment.
C. Please understand that I’m not making this up or trying to scare anyone today.
1. Jesus himself warned us about these things in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7.
2. In verse 21 and following he said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!’ ”
3. I don’t want to be among those who will be surprised on that day, and I don’t want any of us to be among them.
4. So, how can we know if we are prepared?
a. How can we know if we have done the will of the Father who is in heaven?
b. How can we be sure that we are saved and will go to heaven?
5. The answer to these questions is found in God’s Word.
D. Look with me at Romans 1:16 and 17. Let’s see what Paul has to say here about salvation.
1. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ ”
2. So what do we learn from this passage?
3. We learn that the gospel is the power of God for salvation. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed.
4. And we learn that for the gospel to be saving someone and to be imparting this righteousness from God, that person must believe.
5. Also, we notice that the belief must be more than just something in a person’s head, it must be the description of their life. The righteous will live by faith.
6. So, we can conclude that if anyone is going to be saved it is because of the gospel and one’s faithfulness to the gospel. Would you agree with me about that?
E. But what is this gospel that is the power of God for salvation? Let’s look now at 1 Corinthians 15.
1. Look at verses 1-2: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you have received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
a. We immediately note that Paul is again stressing the gospel.
b. He preached the gospel to them. They received the gospel and have taken their stand on it.
c. He reminds them that they are saved by the gospel, if and only if they hold firmly to the word he preached to them. What had he preached? The gospel.
2. But what is the gospel that he preached, that saves, that they have received, and on which they have taken their stand?
a. Look at verses 3 and 4, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”