Summary: Very short sermon about the sacrifices needed for church growth and personal evangelism
Would You Give Up Your Salvation
Introduction: This is a brief sermon that begins as a verbal exchange/dialouge between preacher and parish.
Engage in a dialogue about the blessings and benefits of being a Christian! Discussion starters:
“What are some of the most important blessings associated with being a Christian?”
“What do you enjoy about being a Christian?”
(Allow the congregation to offer testimonies and/or comments in response to the above questions)
(Next, ask these questions)
“Would you be willing to give these blessing up?”
“Would you be willing to reject the benefits and blessing of your salvation?”
“What, if anything, would make you willing to deny or reject your salvation?”
(Most likely the congregation will visibly reject the notion that they would EVER willingly give up these blessings - let them do so!)
Keep those questions in your mind as we briefly review the blessings of salvation that Paul has told us about in the first eight chapters of the Epistle to the Romans.
We are called into Sainthood by God’s grace through Christ – Romans 1:7; 1:17
We are justified before God through grace (‘just-if-I’d’ never sinned) – Romans 3:20-24
We are set free from the burden of needing to perform to be blessed – Romans 5:1-2
We are at PEACE WITH GOD through the grace of God – Romans 5:9-11
We are dead to life in Adam and alive THROUGH Christ (New Identity) – Romans 5:12-21
We are set free from the power of sin to dominate and control us – Romans 6:4-7
We are set free to live above sin because we are IN Christ – Romans 6:17-18
We are no longer wed to sin – but have a NEW Spiritual spouse (Mr. Grace) – Romans 7
We sin because of the FLESH, but we can live above the FLESH in THE SPIRIT – Romans 8
We are alive in the Holy Spirit, United with Christ, and Adopted as a child (heir) – Romans 8:15-17
We can experience victory no matter the situations and circumstances of our lives – Roman 8:20
(Sermons about many of these passages are posted by Dr. Nieporte on Sermon Central)
All this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what is ours in Christ!
Would you be willing to give any of this up and willingly be cut off from Christ Jesus?
Of course this could NEVER happen! We can’t loose our salvation because we DON’T HOLD IT OR POSSESS IT TO BEGIN WITH. Salvation is in the hands of God and once we place are lives into the hands of God through faith in Jesus Christ, God will never let us go.
But IF you could REJECT God’s salvation, would you?
I got to thinking about this question this past week as I read Romans 9:1-5. In this passage the Apostle Paul makes a startling confession. After spending eight chapters to delve into the glory and goodness of God’s grace, Paul proceeds to declare that under a certain circumstance, HE WOULD reject salvation – he would willingly allow himself to be cut off from Christ.
READ ROMANS 9:1-5
What was it that would prompt the Apostle Paul (if it were possible) to be cut off from Christ? Only one thing! Paul was willing to be cut off from Christ if that would in some way provide or allow for the salvation of his kinsman.
Some of you can identify with that kind of love!
Let me put it another way: “Have you ever loved somebody so much that you’d be willing to go through hell for them?”
When it’s phrased like that – we understand the intensity of the emotion! We’d go through hell for a spouse, or a sibling, or a parent, or a child, or some dear friend.
That’s what Paul is saying! He was so concerning about his fellow Jews not accepting Christ that he says he would gladly be cut off from Christ to get them to come to Christ.
George Whitefield had this passion to win people to Christ! One time he told a non-Christian that he was willing to go with him to jail or even to hell, but he was unwilling to go to heaven without him.
This concern for the lost, this love for the sinner, this passion for the non-Christian are the taproots of evangelism.
Paul was willing to go to hell for his kinsman in exchange for four things:
1) To keep them from going to hell
2) To persuade them that Jesus Christ was the Savior and Messiah
3) To allow his kinsman to experience and enjoy all the blessings of salvation by grace
Now here’s where this message really hits home for me – and where it should hit home for you!
Paul states that he was willing to “go to hell” or “be cut off from Christ” for the sake of salvation for others. That’s a big price to pay. He couldn’t really give that – but he gave everything else.