Summary: God can totally change your life. It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, you can be different.
You Can Be Different
May 7, 2001
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Jesus Christ can change your life! It can be different.
Paul had experienced dramatic changes. (Remember his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus)
I. He Can Change Your Status
1. Every one of us stand somewhere in relationship to God.
A. Some of us feel BIG compared to others around us. More important.
School children were used for an experiment in education. The children in three groups were equally average students. Controllers of the study made a significant change, though. They placed the three groups with three different teachers and told each teacher the status of the students. One teacher was told her group consisted of "exceptional" students. Another teacher was given average students and the third acquired slow children. All of the students were equal but classified differently. Throughout the school year each of the three teachers subconsciously treated their students just like they had been classified. At the end of the year the students were tested, and the results were startling. Although they began the school year as equals, at the end of the year each group scored exactly as they had been classified and treated. The exceptional students tested above average, the average scored in the middle and the slow students ended up with below-average grades. In essence, each student lived up to the expectations and treatment of the teachers.
2. How do you feel the world is treating you? Good? Bad?
A. If bad, get out of that attitude and look at how God see’s you. A born again child of God.
B. He will change your status.
3. Notice what happens when we meet Jesus:
A. We pass from death to life (1 John 3:14)
1 John 3:13-14 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.
B. We pass from darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9)
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light
C. We pass from being condemned to being justified.
4. We can be changed in Christ.
II. He Can Change Your Destination
Where is your life headed?
A businessman was scheduled for a very important meeting that required him to take a late-night train to his destination. Knowing he would most certainly be asleep when the train came to his stop, he spoke with one of the attendants and requested his help. He said, "I have the most important meeting of my life in the morning, and I cannot afford to miss it. When the train pulls into Chattanooga at 2:00 a.m. wake me up and help me off the train. I will be grumpy and beg for sleep, but do whatever it takes to get me off this train." The next morning when the man awoke he was still on the train and had missed his stop. Livid, he raged all over the porter who was supposed to have assisted him off the train. When the irate passenger stormed away, a passenger who had witnessed this tirade commented, "In all my life I have never seen anybody get so upset." The porter replied, "That’s nothin,’ you should have seen the guy I threw off the train at 2:00 a.m. in Chattanooga."
We are in charge of our own destination!!
1. We all need to ask ourselves, where are we going to get off of life’s train.
A. Where will we spend eternity?
2. Satan does his best to keep us from God’s will for our lives: being saved, living for Him.
3. All throughout the Bible, there are passages that tell us "clearly" what we need to do.
A. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
B. That if you will confess the name of the Lord Jesus with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.
C. Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
4. You say, "well, what does that do for my destination?" For my future?? EVERYTHING!!!
A. Without Christ, you will spend an eternity in the place of torment, bottomless pit, place of gnashing of teeth, hell.
B. With Christ, your destination will be a life filled with Joy that lasts forever.
C. That joy goes with you throughout your life in your workplace, marriage, family....