Summary: God has been in the business of buying ugly houses a lot longer than Home Investors.

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1 Peter 1:18-21

We Buy Ugly Houses

Woodlawn Baptist Church

October 15, 2006


Show this morning’s billboards. According to the company’s website, this ad originated in the mind of Ken D’Angelo way back in the 1970s. Working in Houston and Dallas, he decided to focus his real estate efforts on recycling single-family houses. In the early 1990s, Mr. D’Angelo created a unique billboard advertising campaign that attracted people who were motivated to sell their houses quickly and at a discount. Mr. D’Angelo was willing to purchase the properties - even when they were in dire need of repair - thus the beginnings of the "We Buy Ugly Houses" slogan. Mr. D’Angelo resold some of the houses to local real estate investors, and in other instances he repaired the properties - enhancing the neighborhoods where they existed - and sold them, often to first-time homebuyers.

Today I don’t know what the shape of your house is in, but I want to tell you that whenever I see this billboard I am reminded that God has been in the business of buying ugly houses much longer than any real estate agent ever dreamed of being. In 1 Peter 1:18-21, we read,

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who be him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

From Genesis to Revelation we read the story of God’s wonderful work of redemption: of His work in the world buying ugly houses. These are not houses made with hands, but houses of flesh and blood: body, soul and spirit, and according to Peter we were bought with the precious blood of Christ, a plan worked out in the mind of God before He even created the world.

God may have thought up the plan thousands of years ago, but He’s still working that plan, and today I want to share it with you again by reminding you of some of its key points.

All Our Houses Are Ugly Compared To Christ’s House

Paul said it this way in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” How do I know I’m a sinner? It’s not by looking at the man or woman next to me, but by looking at the glory of the God embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was perfect in every way! Holy and righteous and just!

Sometimes when I see our billboard I wonder what exactly an ugly house is. This week I went to the website to find out. Here’s what they said in short:

Our definition of an "Ugly" house is (a) property that has structural issues, and which issues are regularly not apparent on the surface of the property, such as foundation problems; (b) property which raises memories that the owner desires to move away from, (c) property where the owner views the nature of the neighborhood in which the property is located as less than desirable from any standpoint, including, for example, such things as commuting distance to work, located within a flood plain or located in a high crime area, (d) property whose current mortgage financing is structured in a manner that the owner does not like; (e) property whose current mortgage financing rate is higher than the owner desires or can afford; (f) property in which the amount of the current mortgage is more than the owner can handle or just does not want to deal with; and (g) property from which an owner would like to move for any other reason, including, for example, wanting to move to a bigger house or needing to move to a smaller house or to another city.

I couldn’t have said it any better! Think about what it means to be without Christ, ugly with sin. We are houses with structural issues beginning at the foundation. Jesus said that unless our lives are built upon Him we’re like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. Your life may be wrecked with bad memories: choices and decisions that have left a wake of guilt and shame. Perhaps there is something there that is less than desirable. Whether you know it or not, you can’t afford to stay in the condition you’re in – the cost is too high and you’ll pay for eternity with your soul.

I don’t care how great you think you are, without Jesus Christ as your Savior you fall short of the glory of God and are in need to salvation. That’s why the second point is such great news…

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