Summary: What I’d like someone to share with me if they found out I was lost.
August 11, 2002
The man was awakened for the fifth time. “Get up. It’s time to get ready for church!”
He replied grumpily, “I don’t want to; I don’t want to go to church today. Those people at the church don’t like me; I don’t want to go.”
She rebutted, “You have to go.”
Said he, “Give me three good reasons why…”
She answered, “Because, it’s Sunday, I’m your mother, and you’re the pastor. Now get up!”
This morning I would like to give you three good reasons. The reasons are the very things I would want you to share with me if you met me on the street and found out I had never made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. If I was stubborn I would want you to argue with me – hot and heavy if necessary. I would want you to give me three good reasons for putting aside my pride and getting right down on my knees to pray – ask God to forgive my sins for Christ’s sake and to allow me to give my life to Him.
Here are three good reasons to be saved today:
Reason #1 is Design
27And as it is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6.2b (KJV)
God designed us in His own image. It is God, our Designer who knows us best. He knows our need for him, and has encouraged us to come close to Him, to know Him.
8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
James 4:8a (KJV)
It is said that the last words of Third Viscount Lord Palmerston as he lay dying in 1865 were these: "Die, my dear Doctor? That’s the last thing I shall do."(1)
The problem with that is that it just seems like the last thing we do. Deep down inside we know there is more to it. Unfortunately for us, we have trouble admitting our need for our Designer. An astonishing twenty-four percent of Americans believe in reincarnation, though there is not one word to support it in either the New Testament or the Old.(2)
Mankind is God’s design, and therefore salvation is His call and provision for our deepest need. The story begins in the Garden of Eden. God placed man there, perfect, innocent, and without anything to interrupt the relationship between God and he. But, Genesis 3 tells us that Adam and Eve wanted more (isn’t that always the way?). Their way led to death, spiritual and physical death. The Bible states it in many ways – they thought they were getting something good – what they got was opened eyes to just how far they had drifted from God:
23For the wages of sin is death; Romans 6:23a (KJV)
Their departure from God’s way created the need for salvation. And that is also God’s design. Design is a wonderful thing. It’s like having the instructions.
When our children were small we got a swing set for the back yard. Elizabeth’s parents bought it – that was the easy part! Assembly was left to me. The instructions were included in the box…a 38 page manual entitled “some assembly required”.
Well, I, “Russell the Right” decided I did not like the language I read in those instructions. The manufacturer talked a language that was alien. It said, put bolt A-17J through spindle assembly (right and left) in a windmill fashion until you discover the framastat connected to integer-driven-molly bolt fasteners located in the blue stermer-gadget and secure with nut C-17.
Nuts, indeed! I wanted to do it my way. After four afternoons of struggling to get that swing set together I finally gave up and took it apart – I went back to the manual and did it the designer’s way.
25There is a way that seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 16:25 (KJV)
It is the same thing when it comes to us human swing sets. We are designed by the Master Designer; we come complete with a manual, the Bible. In that manual it says NOW is the day of salvation. That’s a good enough reason by itself…but there’s more…
Reason #2 is Deception
24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
There are a lot of false offers of salvation out there. Great “signs and wonders” abound! The New Age movement is all about solutions for human problems. Astrology can predict your life’s pathway. In Florida we had a state run mobster gambling thing called “The Lottery”. Astrologers advertised all the time how they could help you win it all by predicting the numbers. One time the Lotto rolled over for 17 straight weeks because nobody picked the winning numbers. Wonder why?