Summary: (PowerPoint slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com)
Spiritual Warfare (SW-05)
The Great Offensive - (SW-05)
Every day 150 000 people die - that is 6250 per hour - or 104 per minute or almost 2 people every second - their lives are snuffed out - and the majority of them go to a lost eternity in the flames of Hell that last for ever and ever and ever. After ten thousands years of intense suffering and excruciating pain, they are no closer to the end than when they began.
You see, everyone is going to die. As a matter of fact, everyone is dying. They say that optimal health is simply the slowest possible rate of dying - but we are all dying. We all have a very limited shelf life. Every beat of your heart is a drum beat in your own funeral march. While everybody gets to spend eternity, not everybody gets to spend it in heaven. The most important question that needs to be settled this side of eternity is where you will spend your eternity. The question is important for three reasons. Firstly, longevity - eternity is a very long time. Secondly, severity - one option is filled with eternal bliss and the other with eternal pain. And thirdly, finality - once you get there it is too late to change your mind. You and I have friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances that will spend their eternity in this Hell. As a matter of fact, we have brushed shoulders in churches, shared together in ministries, listened to preachers who will spend their eternity in Hell. You see my friend, it does not matter how religious you are or how good you have been, whether you are part of this church or any other church, whether you have been involved in good, effective or even a miracle working ministry, you will not see the kingdom of heaven unless you are born from above.
Let me back up and ask you a question? How many ways are there to heaven? Two. There are actually two ways to heaven.
The one way is to live a sinless life, or, as Jesus summarizes it in Mark 10:17 - to keep the 10 commandments, or as Jesus breaks it down even more in Mark 10:25, just keep the two greatest commandments. The other way is to put your faith, trust and hope in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Seeing that every single person I have met has already blotted their copy book, it is not longer possible to live a sinless life, I am leaning toward the second option as the only hope for mankind.
Please open your Bibles with me to 1 Corinthians 9:23-27. I want to share a message with you that I have called The Great Offensive. Our series is entitled simply Spiritual Warfare. This morning I want to talk with you about the gospel. And I want to do that for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are 150 000 people dying every day and most of the are going to Hell. That is why I want to talk with you concerning the gospel. Secondly, the gospel is central to the Christian life. It is how you got saved. Somebody shared the gospel message with you. It is why you got saved. You were saved to share that same gospel message with others. Thirdly, I want to talk about the gospel because we are in danger of cluttering the simple good news message up with other stuff. It seems to be picking up some baggage, or add-ons, or upgrades if we want that are weakening it. I believe the church at large in the west is in danger of departing from the simple gospel message. Do you know that the gospel was the most important thing for Paul?
Let’s read that together.
1 Corinthians 9:23-27 - Read - Pray
Paul, I would suggest to you this morning, understood that you could not be committed to Christ without being committed to the gospel. Paul was committed to the gospel in a life transforming way. He knew the gospel message so well he calls it the Gospel of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the grace of God, the gospel of the glory of God. As a matter of fact, he so infuses the vision of the gospel with the practice of his life that he ends up calling it ‘my gospel’ - not ‘mine’ in that it belonged to him, but ‘mine’ in that he belonged to it.
So I have to ask you this morning - are you committed to this gospel? Are you committed to this gospel that the New Testament calls the gospel of the Kingdom?
You see, if you are . . .
1. It is a Personal Commitment