Summary: Because nothing will ever separate us from God’s love, life can be a mountaintop experience regardless of circumstances.
I found out last Sunday that for the first time I slept through an earthquake. What I did not sleep through was KC waking me up in the middle of the night to feed her.
Many of you know I am taking Japanese lessons. It is coming along slowly and I need lots of practice. So I hope I will be able to practice with you. Please speak slowly. Today is Sunday 2 October. My birthday is 1 March. My telephone number is 927-1739. And my favorite airplane is a Boeing 777.
Have any of you climbed Mount Fuji all the way to the top. I want to do that sometime while I’m here in Japan. When you get to the top it is quite an exhilirating experience. You have noticed that this sermon is entitled The Mountaintop Experience. What exactly is the mountaintop experience? I mentioned making it all the way to the top of the mountain. Very simply a mountaintop experience is something exhilarating, something to shout about. It is something that makes you want to really celebrate. Let me give you a good example. Have you seen the movie Titanic? Do you remember when Jack Dawson, who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio was at the very forward part of the Titanic? He was enjoying the wind, the sea and the experience. And then he shouted, “I’m the king of the world!” That is a good description of a mountaintop experience. Just so you know, Jesus Christ will one day return and rule as the King of the world.
These experiences are great. And they apply to the Christian life as well. Have you ever had a time in your life when everything was going great in your spiritual life? You were excited about being a Christian. You spent hours reading your Bible and taking in every word. You spent long hours in prayer, and you were seeing answers to your prayers. Jesus Christ was very real to you. You wanted to tell everybody about it.
We do have these mountaintop experiences in our lives. But more often than not this is not the experience for most of us. I’m sure there are people in New Orleans who do not feel that way.
We have been studying the book of Romans in the English Bible study and we are now on chapter 10. Time does not permit me to explain the whole book. But I want to show you the theme of Romans before we get to Romans 8. Please turn to Romans 1:16, 17.
The theme of this book is living by faith. We stand before God only by faith. Before I go to Romans 8, I want to explain that what I will share is only for a believer in Jesus Christ. If you are here today, and you have never trusted in Jesus Christ before, these promises do not apply to you. In Romans Paul explains how man’ sin has separated him from God. In fact Paul shows us that it is impossible to earn favor with God by our own good deeds. We will always fail. But Paul also explains that because of His love for us, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins, which is death. By placing your faith in Jesus Christ, then you are promised that you have eternal life. Not by your good works but by faith. God has made some wonderful promises. But these only apply to those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
There are several points I want to make in Romans. And this is not something to remember when you are going through difficulties in your life. They will encourage you during that time but there are things we need to remember all the time.
In verses 28-30 we see God’s ultimate purpose for us. Most of us are familiar with verse 28 and we often quote it to ourselves and others who have problems. Please remember that this verse does not say all things are good. Most of us will agree that they are not. What it says that God will use all things in our lives toward His ultimate purpose which is good. What is that purpose? In verse 29 we see that it is ultimately to make us like Him. God knows about what is happening in your life because He planned it that way. It didn’t just happen by chance. Look at verse 30. These are things that God has done in your life. He called you to Himself, He declared you as righteous because of your faith in Jesus Christ. He has also glorified you. Now you won’t see that until you go to heaven, but He has already done it.