Summary: Scripture clearly teaches that we must be saved to experience eternal life with God in heaven.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
ACTS 16: 16-40
AUGUST 19, 2001
INTRODUCTION: WHEN FORREST GUMP MADE IT TO HEAVEN
J.VERNON. McGee estimates that 75% of the members of the average church might not be genuinely saved. (Religious club) Billy Graham states that 80% of those who make salvation decision in his crusades are already on a church roll somewhere.
There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they consider Jesus Christ to be their savior, will live in heaven after they die on earth. In 1999 the public is almost divided on the matter: 53% agree, 40% disagree. This represents a significant change since 1992, when 40% agreed with this notion and 1994 when 46% agree, 47% disagree.
Half of all adults (51%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven.
Of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: (1999)
63% believe that they will go to Heaven when they die because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior.
11% believe that they will go to heaven because basically they are a good person.
10% do not know what will happen to them after they die.
7% believe that they will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.
5% believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they have tried to obey the 10 commandments.
2% believe that when they die they will not go to Heaven.
From Barna Research Online
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text makes clear what Salvation is and how it is gained personally. Paul and Silas offer Salvation to all who will hear and receive their message. Let us hear together the message of salvation so that we together may be sure if we are saved or if we are not. Today might be the greatest day of your life if you have never accepted Jesus as your personal savior. So let us look at the reality of Salvation as the scripture clearly teaches.
THESIS SENTENCE: Scripture clearly teaches that we must be saved to experience eternal life with God in heaven.
I. SALVATION MISUNDERSTOOD
A. EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS:
1. Several years ago I was talking to a young couple about being married. I talked with the couple about the most important aspect of Marriage, that each person knows Jesus as their savior. I asked each one if they had asked Jesus to be their savior. The young woman, with excitement stated she had been saved and had recently been baptized. Then I turned to the young man and asked the same. He reply still haunts me to this day. He said he had attended church all his life. As I tried to explain the difference, he just offered the same response. I was never able to help him see the difference.
2. On Friday of this week a person came to see me, they just needed to talk to me. Just before the person got there, in my spirit I felt like the person wanted to know how to be saved. AS we talked, that was the issue. This person had attended church over the years, even a Wesleyan church, but did not understand what it was to be saved. This person had even called a sibling to find out if they knew for sure what salvation was all about and the sibling told this person to call me, because they just weren’t sure.
3. What scars me in all of this is that must of us, have never shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone to the point where we prayed with them to accept Jesus as their savior, and the reason why is that we don’t understand salvation.
B. OUR BIBLICAL EXAMPLE:
1. Paul had been preaching the gospel in Philippi. Some had already responded, but most had not. This is where we began with out text.
2. A young girl who was possessed by a spirit proclaimed that Paul and Silas had come to show the way to be saved. WHAT DO YOU GUESS THE RESPONSE WAS?
3. Paul cast the spirit out of the young lady and the owners of the girl got into a real uproar. The problem was they were going to loose money.
4. They got the whole town in an uproar. They asserted that Paul was advocating “Customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice (verse 21).”
5. They had misunderstood the gospel and saw it as cause to place Paul and Silas in Prison. The Magistrates agreed with the conclusion and sentenced the two to be flogged and imprisoned.
AN ASIDE HERE: WHAT IS THE WORLD’S RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL? Do we respond any differently than these town’s people? Have you responded in like these towns’ people?