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Summary: This sermon clearly explains for the unchurched how to be saved.

The Plain English Guide To Salvation

Text: Acts 16:30-31

Introduction: A few years ago the Plain English Campaign ran a national survey that found that some people would rather have a grander job title than a pay rise. This might seem astonishing, but upgrading job titles has apparently become more and more popular as employers try to keep their staff happy.

Here are some examples.

• Space consultant (estate agent)

• Ambient replenishment controllers (shelf stackers)

• Revenue Protection Officer (ticket inspector)

• Foot health gain facilitator (chiropodist)

• Head of Verbal Communications (secretary)

• Technical horticultural maintenance officer (gardener)

• Flueologist (chimney sweep)

• Dispatch services facilitator (post room worker)

• Regional head of services, infrastructure and procurement (caretaker)

• Knowledge navigator (teacher)

I suppose these grand titles appeal to human pride. But it is no just in the world of secular employment that men make things sound grander than they really are, but even in the things of God. I remember when I was training for ministry I was studying systematic theology, which in itself simply means a methodical study of the nature of God, I was introduced to such wonderful terms that, at first, appeared a little bit intimidating. Terms such as pneumatology, which is the study of the Holy Spirit, and anthropology, the study of the nature of man. I read about soteriology, which believe it not, is the study of the doctrine of salvation. There is something in human nature that always wants to make simple things complicated. So from now on, when people ask me what my occupation is, I will no longer say “pastor”, but tell them I am a soteriological communicator!

All joking aside, as much as I enjoy broadening my vocabulary and playing with words, sometimes, some situations are so serious that the simplest form of words is called for. For example, if someone ran through the door of our church tonight and cried out, “There is an exothermic oxidation of a combustible substance resulting in rapid, persistent chemical change which is releasing heat and light, accompanied by flame.” We might wonder what the problem is. But if they just should “fire!” we would evacuate the building swiftly! You see, some situations are so pressing that we needed the simplest form of communication to express their urgency.

Now that is how it is with the matter of salvation. You see, everyone of us has an eternal soul, and as the name suggests that means there is a part of us that was made to last forever; and that soul, the inner person, is going to spend eternity either in heaven with God, our cast off from heaven, in hell without God. That’s the truth, plain and simple. Now most people want to go to heaven when they die, but most people don’t know how and that’s because man and religion has complicated something that would be best kept plain and simple.

For example, some people say, “Well I will do the best I can.” But what if your best is not good enough? And how can you know how well you are doing? Some will say I have not murdered anyone, so I am doing OK. Is that it? If you don’t actually kill someone you go to heaven? And if that is so, where does Jesus fit in?


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