Summary: Different types of growth that should take place in our lives and in the church. 1- Ingrowth 2-Outgrowth 3- Upgrowth
INTRO.- ILL.- One time a young Bible college student was witnessing in the suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. As he approached one house, there was an elderly man sitting on the porch.
He said to the man, “Are you a Christian?” The man said, “No, I’m a Smith. The Christians live two doors down.”
The young man said, “No, you don’t understand. I mean are you lost?” The old man said, “Son, I’m not lost. I’ve lived here for twenty-five years.”
“But are you ready for the Judgment Day?” The old man said, “When is it going to be?” “Well, it could be today or it could be tomorrow.” The old man, “Please don’t tell my wife. She’ll want to go both days.”
That old gentleman was lost in one way, but not in another way. He knew where he lived, but he didn’t know where he was spiritually. He didn’t know anything about the great Judgment Day of God. Apparently, he was lost spiritually.
ILL.- According to Barna Research here is what those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: (2004) believe about life after death.
- Of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ: 60% believe they will go to Heaven because they have confessed their sins, and accepted Jesus as their savior.
- 10% believe that they will go to heaven because basically they are a good person.
- 11% don’t know what will happen when they die.
- 7% believe that they will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.
- 7% 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.
It appears to me that some people are confused about life after death or about how to get to heaven. Many are not sure where they are going when they die.
- 60% believe they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and have accepted Jesus as their savior. Basically, this is true, although Jesus indicated all we have to do is admit our sinfulness and confess Him publicly. (Matt. 10:32) As far as accepting Jesus as Savior, people see that differently. Some think all you have to do is believe in Him and ask Him to come into their heart. But according to Acts 2:38-41 those who believed in Christ as Savior were asked to repent and be baptized. Repentance and baptism are still necessities according this scripture and others.
Now if God allows some people into heaven without being baptized, that’s His business, not ours. But we are encouraged in scripture to be baptized into Christ. And every conversion account in the book of Acts the people were baptized. I would never tell someone that they didn’t need to be baptized.
- 10% said they believe they would go to heaven because basically they are a good people. WRONG. We don’t get into heaven because of our goodness, but because of the goodness of Christ! He alone is the Savior. We can’t save ourselves.
John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Eph. 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”