Summary: A sermon about the offerings God and Satan have for each of us.
"LET’S MAKE A DEAL!"
Who among you remembers the ‘LET’S MAKE A DEAL’ TV show? It was one of the most popular games shows of its day. Contestants were given some really good money or prizes, but along with each gift came a chance to gamble; gamble on turning that gift into much more, or losing it entirely.
Today, let’s borrow that basic concept and see how it applies to Christianity. And I want you to imagine something for a moment. Imagine that I have the power to offer you some really great deals.
The first deal I want to make with you is this: I will give you $100,000 for your car. Is there anyone in here who would turn that down? I know if somebody offered me that much money for my car, I’d take it so fast it would make their head spin!
So, you give me your car keys and I give you $100,000 in cash. Now, before you leave, let me do something else. Let me offer you a million dollars for your car. Now, if you take it, you must do three things. You must:
a) give me back the $100,000
b) leave the car parked just where it is until next Sunday
c) wait until next Sunday to collect your million dollars
Now, would you take that offer? Would you be willing to go for a week without a car so that you could get a million dollars? I think we would all do that, because we all know other people that could take us to and from places we need to go, don’t we?
Here is what you have done. You have given me your car keys and I gave you something really good and I gave it to you immediately. This was a really good offer, but then I offered you something much better.
When I offered you the second offer, the first offer became less exciting to you. Of course, the second offer had some requirements attached to it. You would have to give the first offer back; you would have to wait until next week to receive the second offer, and you would have to do without your car for the week. But you still made the deal because it was so good you just couldn’t refuse.
Now keep that illustration firmly in your mind let’s see how this relates to Christianity, okay? Let’s see what kind of deals have been offered and to whom.
1. GOD OFFERED A DEAL TO ADAM AND EVE
They could live in Paradise and have personal fellowship with Him if they just stayed away from one particular tree. Well, the devil came by one sunny afternoon and offered them another deal. He said that if they would eat from that forbidden tree, they would be like God. I guess they figured why just be with God when you could actually be like God.
Adam and Eve couldn’t resist, so they made the deal. What they got for their gamble was to lose their personal fellowship with God, lose their home in Paradise, and gain all the trouble the world had to offer them. In retrospect, it wasn’t that great of a deal, was it?
2. NOW GOD OFFERS YOU DEAL
He will give you future pleasures and future rewards. He will offer you an eternity of bliss and happiness, and He will make sure that what He offers is much more than the immediate pleasures Satan offers you today.
What God offers you is simply the assurance of eternal salvation through His Son. God wants to give you the opportunity to spend forever and ever with Him.
But, there is something you must be willing to do to get that offer.
3. WHAT’S THE CATCH?
Now, after you believe in Jesus, and after you have made a statement that you want Jesus as your Savior through baptism, there is something else you must do. It will be very hard for you to do. You must wait. In fact, to receive eternal salvation, you must wait all of your life. I think that is one reason God teaches us about patience in JAMES 1:12 where we read,
‘God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.’
In HEBREWS 12:1 it says,
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance, the race that god has set before us.’
So view your life as a race. You would never run a race dressed in a parka or anything else that would slow you down, so don’t try to run this race toward Heaven with things that will slow you down either. I am talking about things like the sin or bad habits you have in your life that keep you from fully walking with the Lord Jesus.