3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Many people are working themselves straight into hell, and satan is cheering them on...

9/14/02 Working our Hardest for Satan!

Introduction… Many people are working themselves straight into Hell, and of course satan is standing their cheering them on…

The well known words of W.E. Henley go something like this..

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul..”

There is something intensely individualistic and ego affirming in the idea that you make your own way.. We would like to think that we can just take charge of our own lives and make our own destiny..

There is an old story that tells of a man who was traveling on his donkey when he came upon a small fuzzy object lying in the road. He dismounted to look more closely and found a sparrow lying on its back with its scrawny legs stretched skyward. At first he thought the bird was dead, but closer investigation proved it to be very much alive. The man asked the sparrow if he was all right. The sparrow replied, “Yes”. The man asked, what are you doing lying on your back with your legs pointed upward like that? The sparrow responded that he had heard a rumor that the sky was falling, and so he was holding his legs up to catch it. The man responded and said, “You surely don’t think that you’re going to hold it up with those two scrawny legs do you?” The sparrow, with a very solemn look replied “One does the best one can.”

Our problem and the problem of many of those around us is much like the problem of the sparrow…

We might try to do the best we can, but our best is not good enough. Indeed, our most noble efforts seem altogether puny compared with what is really needed.

When the sky is falling, our reaction might be to lift our hands to stop it, but it will do us no good.

The issue today of course is not the falling sky, but the falling of God’s judgment.

And mans natural response is not to lift his arms and his legs, but to lift his good deeds in an effort to save himself.

Now, I believe that most each and every one of us knows of someone who falls into the category of a person working themselves straight into hell.

But I will venture to guess that we know many more people than we think, that are working themselves straight into hell and we just don’t realize it….

And guess what….

We are right along side of satan himself… cheering these people into hell..

“Well, I wouldn’t do something like that…. I don’t want any one to go to hell….”

Hey, if that’s how we feel, then we need to prove it… We can not sit around afraid to tell people the truth just because we think it may offend them.

I would rather offend someone than have them go to hell wouldn’t you??

Take your Bibles this morning and turn to Ephesians chapter 2.

Read Ephesians 2:1-10

Illustration… a few months ago, read an article in the Readers Digest Magazine where they interviewed Mohamed Ali, the man considered to be one of if not the greatest boxer that ever lived. At the least he is a legend with many movies books and articles about his triumphs in life.

The article discussed how Ali is such an inspiration to so many other people, and that he has devoted his life to helping other people.

Of course, Ali claims the Islamic religion as his “Faith”.

So the interviewer asked him about his faith and about how he felt about the acts of terrorism from September 11th.

Ali vehemently condemns the acts of aggression and stated that the Islamic faith is a faith of peace for all people.

I disagree with that statement, but that is a message for another day…

The interviewer turned then to heaven, and asked Ali about how to get there..

Ali said that you spend you life trying to do as many good works as you can.. and when your life is all over, and you look back, if you have more good works than bad works, or if the scale tips just the slightest bit on the good side… then you will have earned your way into heaven..

I told my wife Denise about the article after I read it, and she said, well, it must be nice for someone like him who has a lot of money… they can give their money to the poor and call that good works… but how about the poor people…. What do they do..

Well, we will all agree that things happen in this life that are not fare…. But it sounds like for the Islamic religion, and others just like it, that the lack of fairness caries over into eternity also.

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