Without Love We Have Nothing By Rev. David Rogers
1 Cor. 13:1-13
I enjoy going to the mall and walking around or sitting and watching people interact. I watch them running here and there to buy things to find happiness to fill a void. They spend large sums of money on clothes, jewelry, toys to fill a need a hole in their hearts. And for a while it works but the ache always return. Now don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying clothes, jewelry, or toys but if you are buying them to make you life complete then they want work. They are useless. I have seen statistics that show marriage today in America is an endangered institution. Many people go into marriage with an attitude that it is a business partnership. They don’t even realize or understand that it is a covenant between each other and God. They don’t realize that God views marriage as a union in which the man and women become one flesh. In our throw away society today this is something else we can toss out when the times get tough.
Families are dysfunctional today because they have forgotten to love. Mom-Dads money will not make you or your family happy. Love is what makes you family happy. Some of the happiest families I know are ones where there is love above everything else. They may not have a lot, they may be poor but in Love they are Donald Trump or Richard Gates. Today the common motto for most people is what is in it for me. We are going to find out this morning what is in it for you. Many parents today do not love their children when they try to be their friends instead of their parents. Every day I see students who struggle with authority at school because at home the parents are friends and not parents. They beg for authority in their lives but they don’t know how to respond to authority. They get into trouble because they may resent someone for trying to exert authority over them. Then here comes the parents upset because you are making their children mind. There is anger in the student because their parent has not loved them enough to discipline them.
Then I see students who are abused both mentally and physically. Their parents don’t love them and in fact may even recent them for living and take it out on the child. In return the children pass it on to their children. There have been generations of families who have not known love. Who have lived life feeling like it was not worth living. They are turning to alcohol, drugs, sex, and many other things trying to fill a void that can not be filled. They are searching in all the wrong places trying to desperately fill that void in their life.
Just what are you looking for? Maybe it is something like this. After the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans, the eighty-two surviving crew members were thrown into a brutal captivity. In one particular instance thirteen of the men were required to sit in a rigid manner around a table for hours. After several hours the door was violently flung open and a North Korean guard brutally beat the man in the first chair with the butt of his rifle. The next day, as each man sat at his assigned place, again the door was thrown open and the man in the first chair was brutally beaten. On the third day the same happened again to the same man. Knowing the man could not survive another beating a young sailor took his place. When the door was flung open the guard automatically beat the new man senseless. For weeks, each day a new man stepped forward to sit in that horrible chair, knowing full well what would happen. At last the guards gave up in exasperation. They were unable to beat that kind for sacrificial love.
Is that what you are looking for? Are you willing to take a beaten for someone? There is a poem that describes love and it goes like this:
What is love
It is silence when your words would hurt
It is patience when your neighbor is curd
It is deafness when the scandal flows
It is thoughtfulness for another’s woes
It is promptness when stern duty calls
It is courage when misfortune falls
What a beautiful poem and a great description of love but without Jesus there is no love. We can be so busy working that we forget about loving God. We can give everything we have, sacrificed everything, but unless Jesus is involved all that we do is worthless. When we do something for our pride, our honor we are not doing it for Jesus but for ourselves. We are saying see what I have done; see how much I have worked. They want that pat on the back, that stroke of their ego, they want to feel important. We, today, lust after ourselves instead of loving God. We become enamored with our on importance. We no longer think about God. Or what God wants. He no longer is number one in our life. Preacher I don’t know someone like this. You probably do they are in church’s all across America. They work but everything they do they do for themselves. They are looking for accolades as their rewards. They are in it for the self not for Jesus Christ.
Then there are the people who have head knowledge but not heart knowledge of Christ. They may have grown up in Sunday school. They may have even studied the Bible some and they even know the plan of salvation. But they don’t understand. They don’t understand how Jesus could love them so much that He would die for them. Then there are those who don’t even believe that there is a God or that there is a hell. Then you have those who believe that a loving God would not send anyone to Hell. They don’t understand that God sends no one to Hell we make that choice for ourselves. They want to pick and chose what they want to believe in the Bible. In fact they are more comfortable with a God that they can put into a box and place on a shelf in the closet and take it down when we want something. They see God as Genii that they can control. Take Him down get a wish and put Him back. They don’t know the Love of God because they refuse to submit to His authority. They don’t have the Love of Jesus in their lives. They don’t understand the power of God and what God can do in their lives.
A man who had been the superintendent of a city rescue mission for forty years was asked why he had spent his life working with dirty, unkempt, profane, drunken derelicts of society. He said “I am giving back to others a little of the love God has shown to me.”
As a young man, he himself had been a drunkard who went into a mission for a bowl of chili. There he heard the preacher say that Christ could save sinners, and he stumbled forward to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Though his brain was addled by drink, he felt a weight lifted from His shoulders, and that day he became a changed person. A little later, seeking God’s will for his life, he felt the Lord calling him to go back to the Gutter and reach people still wallowing there. The power of redeeming love enabled him to carry on his ministry for forty years.
That is what the love of God does to a soul that is covered in the filth of sin. Not a single one of us can say we have never sinned. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all are damned and going to hell but for the love of God and His mercy and grace.
You may be sitting here this morning never having felt the love of Jesus. Maybe you have never heard about Jesus and His love for you. You may be sitting here this morning drowning in sin. You are dying because of that sin this morning and you don’t know what to do. You know that something is missing in your life. You try and try to fill that aching emptiness in your heart. It hurts. You try to fill that void with things, money, prestige, relationships and many other things but nothing seems to last for long. For a short time they may work but the ache always comes back. Drinking want do it you only have to drink more and more and you still hurt. Drugs want do it you just use more and more chase the next high and it still don’t fill the void and you life is a mess. You move from one meaningless relationship to another sensing that something is missing. You think maybe it is you or it is them but in the end everything falls apart because you don’t know how to love because you don’t know Jesus. You are looking in all the wrong places. But this morning you have an opportunity to find that one thing that will fill that void that will show you love like you have never known a love that goes beyond all understanding.
May you are here this morning wondering why you can’t seem to get your life on track. Without Jesus in your life noting can go right. Jesus loves you, He wants to help. He died for you because He loves you. One Sunday a little boy looked at his dad and asked, “Daddy how does God love us?” His father answered, “Son, God loves with an unconditional love.”
The lad thought for a moment and then asked, “Daddy, what kind of love is unconditional love?” After a few minutes of silence his father answered “Do you remember the two boys who used to live next door to us and the cute little puppy they got last Christmas?” “Yes” “Do you remember how they used to tease it, throw sticks and even rocks at it?” “Yes” “Do you remember how the puppy would always greet them with a wagging tail and would try to lick their faces?” “Yes” “Well, that puppy had an unconditional love for those two boys. They certainly did not deserve his love for them because they were mean to him. But, he loved them anyway.”
The father then made his point. “God’s love for us is also unconditional. Men threw rocks at His Son, Jesus, hit Him with sticks. They even killed Him. But, Jesus loved them anyway.”
It is not the desire of God that anyone of us goes to Hell. It is not the desire of Jesus that anyone goes to Hell. Hell was not created for man; it was created for Satan and his fallen angles. But because some of us refuse to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation the wall of Hell have been enlarged.
I can not understand why anyone would prefer Hell over Heaven. But everyday people make that choice. The Holy Spirit is talking to someone this morning. This morning someone will make a choice between life and death. So I want you to understand both your choices.
First there is salvation. John 3:16 a verse that many non-Christians know says “16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten son to die on the cross for you. He paid the sin debt that you could never have paid. He is standing here this morning offering you salvation. Freely given to you all you have to do is accept it and ask Him into your heart and become your Lord and Savior. He wants you to live with Him in Heaven, in Paradise for all eternity. Now I am going to explain what Heaven is like. Think about the most beautiful and peaceful place full of joy. Now multiply that by 50 billion times and you still have not even touched what Heaven will be like. This is what Jesus is offering you this morning. But He will not always strive with us. One day it will be too late to accept His gift. Sot a single one of us is guaranteed tomorrow or even the next breath. Each one of us here today is only one heart beat from eternity. What will you choose this morning?
Your second choice this morning is Hell. There is no way to sugar coat this. Not enough preaching is done on Hell. It is a real place and one that Jesus talked about more in the Bible than He did heaven. He desires that no one goes there but some will. I have heard of people and have had people tell me that they are not afraid of hell. That when they get there they were going to bust that place wide open. They would put Satan on the run when they got there. I shudder when they say this. They don’t understand what they are saying. They do not understand the reality of Hell. But this morning sitting here in Bethlehem you are going to see a picture of the reality of hell so that you can understand the choice of Hell.
Hell is a real place. Some will tell you it is a place where we all go to wait the end of time and then we go to heaven. That is wrong because on the cross Jesus told the thief this day you will be with me in Paradise. I or no other saved person will ever wait in hell before we go to heaven. The moment our eyes close in death we are in the presence of Jesus. Amen. Others teach that it is a place we suffer for a while then we go to heaven. Once again that is not what the Bible teaches. Hell is for those who did not place their faith in Christ. No saved person can be found there. Lazarus did not go to hell; He went to paradise while the rich man went to hell never to get out. Then there are some who say that there is no hell. That a loving God would never send anyone to a place as terrible as hell. God sends no one to Hell we send ourselves when we refuse to accept the free gift of salvation. The reason why Jesus talks more about Hell than Heaven is because He is warning us He desires that not a single person goes there. Luke 16:19-31 gives us a vivid description of Hell. Read with me verses 19-31. Hell is a place of torment, pain, loneliness. Hell will be a place where you body will burn for eternity and never be destroyed where the worms will eat it and never be eaten up. There will be no one to hear your screams as you are burning and being eaten. There is no hope in Hell therefore there is no light. There is only the pain and your screams to keep you company for eternity and the thought of why did I choice hell. I had a choice that morning at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Oh why did I not answer that call? Father I am sorry save me and there is utter silence because you are completely separated from God. Eternity is only beginning and it will never end. Do you want to choose eternity in hell?
These are the two choices you have this morning which one are you going to choose. Are to going to choose life or are you going to choose death. That is the only two choices there are. If you wait until you die to make a choice the choice has already been made. After death it is two late to accept Jesus that choice can only be made while you are alive. After death if you die without Jesus Hell is your destination. That is not Bro. David’s belief that is what the Bible teaches clearly and plainly. Forget what you may have been taught about some rituals. Don’t depend on Church membership or who your parents were. The only thing that will save you is faith in Jesus Christ. To believe that He died on the cross for you. That He paid your sin debt. Accept His gift of salvation Make Him your Lord and Savior today. I am going to ask you a question. This is the most important question that someone can ask you. So be completely honest with yourself. Don’t answer me answer yourself. Give the first answer that pops into your head. If you were to die right at this moment where would you spend eternity? If you hesitated in your answer, or were unsure in anyway then this morning you need to get that assurance of salvation. If your answer was hell you can change it this morning. Come forward and let me lead you down the Roman road to salvation. Jesus is calling; the Holy Spirit is moving will you choose life over death this morning.