Summary: A basic gospel message based on Romans 6:23
The Gift of Heaven
August 31, 2003
This morning, I am very cognizant of the fact that this is probably our last time together for quite a while, and let me tell you I have been blessed to no end by you.
I also realize that I am at a church that believes in the Bible, and in the need to put your trust in Christ in order to go to heaven.
But I also realize that there is a huge possibility that there might be some here who don¡¦t yet have Christ as their Savior, and may not know what that even means.
That¡¦s okay, because terms like ¡§trusting Christ as their Savior,¡¨ isn¡¦t exactly something you hear all the time, like ¡§Would you like ketchup with that?¡¨
So today I want to take this opportunity to explain just as clearly as I can, how you can be assured of heaven when you die.
Because you see, you will die, unless Jesus comes back first. The mortality rate for humans is 100%. And my intention today is to help you be ready.
I¡¦m not here to convince you to become a Baptist or a Wesleyan. That¡¦s secondary to the issue. God¡¦s not going to ask you about which church you went to.
He is concerned with where you put your trust.
Today we are going to look at your basic ¡§good news/bad news¡¨ scenario. That scenario is outlined throughout the Bible, but is illustrated probably best illustrated by one verse in Romans.
Romans 6:23 ¡V
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I want to look at each phrase of this verse in my attempt to explain what we call the gospel, or good news.
1. The wages of sin is death¡K
I mentioned earlier that the mortality rate for humans is 100%. And the Bible is also clear that our physical death is not the end of the story. There is something beyond that, and it¡¦s called hell.
People don¡¦t like to talk about hell much, and my intention this morning is not to get all ¡§fire and brimstone¡¨ ¡V but I also have to be honest with you and tell you that physical death is not the end.
We earn death and hell with our sin. It¡¦s what we deserve. And we have all sinned.
Romans 3:23 ¡V
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
That¡¦s me, you, Billy Graham, and Mother Teresa. We have all sinned, and our sin separates us from God.
Even preachers aren¡¦t perfect. Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, ¡§Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let¡¦s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.¡¨
In due time all agreed. One of them said that he had a problem with losing his temper on occasion. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking golf so much that he would fake being sick so he could play on weekends. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn¡¦t confess.
The others pressed him saying, ¡§Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret vice?¡¨ Finally he answered, ¡§It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.¡¨
Contributed by: Bruce Howell (SermonCentral.com)
You might be thinking that you¡¦re not really so bad ¡V after all, you¡¦ve never taken a life, or committed a major crime.
The problem is that the standard for perfection is not our criminal code, nor is it society in general. The standard is God Himself.
We face an eternity away from God, in eternal torment in hell.
You might think that God is too good to put people in hell. But Jesus talked more about hell than He did about heaven. It¡¦s a real place that people will go to.
Not a pretty picture, huh? The Bible says that the wages of sin is death.
But then we come to one of my favorite words in the Bible ¡V BUT.
2. The gift of God is eternal life¡K
You see, the good news is that death is not the end. We will spend eternity somewhere, and God gives us a choice where we¡¦re going to spend it.
God wants us to have eternal life.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Christianity is that God is up there just looking for an excuse to throw you into hell.
But that could not be further from the truth. In fact, God wants nothing more than to see everyone in heaven.
You see, we deserve hell. And we¡¦ll get what we deserve, unless God steps in. And that¡¦s what He did.