Summary: A call to salvation in Christ.
May 21, 1995
Today’s the Day!
My parents became Christians when I was 17 years old and I was not happy about it. I thought their new faith had turned them into a couple of nuts, praying all the time, going to church three or four times a week, hanging out at our house with their “new” friends and laughing it up until all hours of the night, and that without any alcoholic stimulation.
For two years I fought their attempts to win me over, but my arguments against the changes in them were shallow and losing credibility in my mind the whole time.
Finally on a Tuesday night, August t 8, 1993 my girlfriend and I snuck out to a church service, behind her parents backs, and heard the gospel clearly explained for the first time.
I think you know what happened. I mean, I am here preaching to you tonight, so it seems clear that I responded positively to that evening’s presentation. What you may not realize is that I view that decision by an awkward 19 year old to be the greatest one of my life.
The life of following Christ and serving Him whole-heartedly, I am convinced, is the best way to live. Tonight, in just a few minutes, I am going to invite you to come to this alter and join me. I am going to invite you to say yes to the gospel message. It is my firm belief that by making the same decision that I did those many years ago, you too will find the joy and peace and abundant life that is available to everyone who walks with Jesus.
But first let me explain why you should!
1. God is alive.
Just open your eyes the next time you are outdoors and listen to creation call.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God; they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.
Have you looked at the glory of creation and told yourself that it was all a cosmic accident?
Take a look at that painting on the wall behind me, it is a wonderful work of art isn’t it? If I told you that that painting was the result of an explosion in the store room where our paint and cleaning supplies are kept, you would call the men with the jackets with the extra long sleeves. Order does not come out of chaos. The wonder of this creation is all the evidence we should need of a creator, just like seeing that painting is all the evidence you need that there is a painter.
The great lie is that there is no God; that this life is all there is, that you should get all you can and live for yourself and your own happiness because this is all there is baby. The lie is that you are nothing more than a highly developed ape with no soul, no eternal spirit, and no reason to live for a higher purpose.
The truth that God is alive, and that He has created you in His image! Not only that:
2. God is a good God.
Many people avoid coming to God because they wrongly assume that He is a big ogre in the sky with nothing better to do than to watch for sinners so he can strike them down and take all the fun out of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is a loving and caring Father, not a child abuser. You will find that there is a depth to the love of God that has the power to transform your life into what you’ve always wanted it to be.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have heard many people say that they cannot believe in a good God because of all the horrible things that happen in the world. Famine, disease, unfathomable cruelty perpetrated by the strong on the weak.
To you I would say that we live on a fallen planet, because of man’s rebellion all of creation suffers. There is more than enough on this globe for everyone to be fed, clothed, and housed, but greed drives men to hoard far more than they will ever use in a lifetime. The gospel is in fact God’s plan to rectify these injustices.