Salvation

NAMES NOT NUMBERS  

Names are written down in Heaven not numbers!

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20

            Did you ever get the full name treatment growing up? You know when Mama called out your entire name? John Jay O’Dell, get in here right now! You knew it was on! She didn’t call out, child number three or son number two. No, she knew my name and she didn’t want me to make a mistake thinking she called someone else. She wanted to put fear in your backside before you ever laid eyes upon her! And…it did! What a privilege for my whole name being called out by my Mama! It meant she cared for me, she had a desire to see me improve, and most of all; she loved me!

            Friend, there’s a God in Heaven that loves you greater than any Mother could love her own child! He isn’t concerned about the numbers in Heaven as much as He is the names that are written there! Is your name there? Have you been saved? God cares for you so much He sent His Only Begotten Son to die on the Cross for your sin! But praise be to God He didn’t stay there—He arose so our names could be written in Heaven!

DO IT FOR YOURSELF

The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16

             Do you remember the spoiled brats in school? The ones that got everything they wanted in life? The ones who never took responsibility for anything? Mom and Dad did everything for them in such a way they become expecting things to happen for them. They were never taught independence, personal responsibility, or how to do something for themselves. Where are they now? Some ended up in prison. Some have bounced from job to job never growing out of their irresponsible ways. Some have died because they never caught on how to take care of themselves.

            You may be sitting there thinking, what does this have to with anything? Well sooner or later you are going to have to take responsibility for your own actions. Mom and Dad will be gone and what they attempted to do for you will not go anywhere. Their salvation isn’t passed on to you. The sacrificial giving of their time, talents, and treasures will not be applied to your account. When Mom and Dad die, they will not be here to make sure you’re in church anymore. They will not be there to make sure you serve in the church. They will not be there making intercession for you. You must do it for yourself! You must trust Jesus as your Lord and Saviour on your own!

            So, GET UP, GET READY, and GO TO CHURCH this morning! Take responsibility for your own actions. Take responsibility for your own sin. Mama and Daddy cannot do anything with your sin. They must repent of their own sin trusting in Jesus for their own salvation. You must do it for yourself as well!

DON’T BE REFORMED, BE TRANSFORMED!  

I believe a man may be as vile as hell itself one moment and be saved the next. - D.L. Moody

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 2:1-2

            I once new a man who had been brought up in a godless household. This man’s father was a hard worker but yet he was lost and full of fruits of the flesh. This man’s mother was a hard working woman, saved but yet she was carnal in her deeds. This man had a good work ethic, loved his wife and son, but yet he was bound for hell. Tormented with his childhood he wondered if Jesus could save a man such as him. One day, he was asked the question of all questions, “Are you saved”, his pastor asked. He answered, with a matter of fact tone in his voice, “No sir”.  His pastor led him to the Lord that night. He repented of His sin and trusted Jesus as his Saviour! He wasn’t reformed, he was transformed into one of God’s Children!

You too can be vile as hell one moment and be saved the next. I’m glad I’m not that man anymore! I’ve been transformed, have you?

YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

What we mean by salvation is this-deliverance from the love of sin, rescue from the habit of sin, setting free from the desire to sin. –Spurgeon

Leading up to one, if not the most, well known verses in all of scripture John 3:16, we have the story of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. He had an important position within the hierarchy. Nicodemus’ problem was just like so many in the church today, he was unsaved. He didn’t understand what salvation was all about. When Jesus told him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus was perplexed and didn’t understand what He meant. His response was, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?” Nicodemus literally thought Jesus was talking about a rebirth. This is a perfect example of a religious, unsaved man not understanding the things of God.

Throughout the church today we have unsaved men and women in leadership positions. They are spiritually bankrupt, not understanding the simple things in scripture such as, “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN”. But I am thankful on this day, my physical birthday, that God gives even unsaved religious leaders in the church grace. Just as He did not close the coffers of His grace to Nicodemus, neither will He to anyone who repents and turns to Him. Look at the answer Jesus gave to Nicodemus, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:5-7

Have you been born again? Have you trusted Jesus as your Saviour? If not now, when? If not now, why? Here is a little truth, “…now is the day of salvation.” Today, you too can be born again!

JUST TRUST GOD!

If we trust God we will toil for God!

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: Matthew 1:24

Joseph had just been told his betrothed wife was with child. He hadn’t had any intimate relations with her so he knew the child was not his. I can only imagine how he felt; fear, disbelief, anger, helpless, hopeless, shattered dreams, etc. But in just two Words all of that started to drift away. “Fear not”, was the beginning of a message Joseph need to hear. After he heard the message, Joseph did what the angel of the Lord told him.

Friend, fear not! God has made the way of salvation! He has provided the only means of escaping eternal damnation in Hell! He said in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” If you believe then do something about it! GET UP, GET READY, and GO TO CHURCH this morning!

REPENTANCE IS THE KEY!

Christ and we will never be one until we and our sin are two. -Spurgeon

            You have probably heard the message of David and Bathsheba before. David wasn’t where he was supposed to be, with his body or his heart. He ended up with a child by another man’s wife, had him killed, and married Bathsheba to cover it all up. David had one problem, God saw it all!

            When confronted with his sin, David repented. When He did, He was restored to the fellowship he once had with the Lord. He went on and served God faithfully! He ruled faithfully.

            I believe many people are walking around with sin in their life. They are so overcome with it they can’t become what God wants them to be. They are living with shame, guilt, and the deadly consequences of not repenting.

            Are you one of those people? Do you need to confess and repent? Let me remind you of what it says in Proverbs 28:13, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

SO YOU SAY YOU’RE SAVED…?

So this is now the mark by which we all shall certainly know whether the birth of the Lord Jesus is effective in us: if we take upon ourselves the needs of our neighbor. --Martin Luther 

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

Many proclaim with their mouths, they’re saved and on their way to Heaven. However, you never see them in church. You never see them on visitation. You never see them giving of their time, talents, much less their treasures. Makes you wonder if they are truly saved.

It would do you and I good to get in the Bible seeing what it says about Biblical salvation.

YOU CAN COME!

There is an invitation sent with your name on it. Will you leave it unopened or will you open it and respond?

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

I enjoy getting invitations; wedding invitations, party invitations, people inviting me to be their friend on Facebook, invitations to go to supper, etc. I don’t care what it is, I just like invitations! However, the greatest of all invitations was when The Lord Jesus offered me, invited me, commanded me to be saved. It was the greatest joy to receive that invitation but if I had only received and not acted upon it, I would still be lost, dead in my sin and trespasses.

Friend, Jesus has extended an invitation to you. He has promised to save you if you will repent, confess your sins, and trust Him with your life. No matter how rich or poor you are, how wicked or sanctified you are, how famous or unnoticed you might be, Jesus shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary so you can be saved. Will you come to Him? You can, will you?

A MESSAGE OF LOVE  

Could we with ink the oceans fill and were the skies of parchment made and every stalk on earth quill and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love of God above would drain the oceans dry, nor could that scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky. --Scribbled on an asylum wall

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

The most quoted, most known verse in the world is yet the most powerful. Within John 3:16 we find the depth of love that God had toward the crowning of His creation. He gave His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for you, for me, and for the entire world. Why would you neglect so great a salvation? He didn’t neglect you!!!

LORD, PLEASE SAVE MY ______________.

The greatest of all miracles is the salvation of a soul. –Spurgeon

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

We know if we are going to see souls saved we must share the Blessed Hope of the Gospel with them. We must get them to Calvary and tell them the old, old story of Jesus and His love. As one fella said, “We must get ‘em lost, so God can save them from the uttermost.” So, how can we get them to God? Here are three ways that will help to see souls saved:

Our Friendship- I heard someone say, “If you don’t have any lost friends, go get some.” No I’m not talking about those close friends in which we seek guidance because a lost person’s counsel isn’t grounded in scripture. I’m talking about lost friends that we can be a walking, talking witness to. Lost friends that we can be of an encouragement to. Lost friends in which we can be the counselor. Lost friends that we can give hope in their times of grief, suffering, and loss. I like that old saying, “Kill them with kindness.” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Our Funding- Someone once said “Let me see your check book and I will show you what’s important in your life.” If we truly want to see people saved we will be giving to the church what God has asked for and then we will be giving to missions in which the Word of God is proclaimed and Churches are being established. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38

Our Faithfulness- No one likes a hypocrite. If you want to see your lost husband saved, your son or daughter saved, your cousins saved, your co-worker saved, the world around you saved… you be faithful. Be faithful to God’s Word, His Way, and His Work. When we are not faithful we are telling them all—it doesn’t matter. But it does! He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6

We have a great responsibility in seeing souls saved. God has entrusted us with His Word to share, His Way to go, and His Work to do. Jesus said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” My prayer, “Lord, please save _________”, could be hinging on my obedience to what He has said.

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?

We have to live but one day at a time, but we are living for eternity in that one day.–Anonymous

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12

Someone once said, “You are now become what you will one day be.” Many would like to think, what they do today has no impact on what they do tomorrow. That is far from the case friend! What you are seeing with your eyes, hearing with your ears, smelling with your nose, and touching with your hands, will influence your future actions! What I smell today at the restaurant will impact what I order next time. What I see on the computer today will direct my clicks tomorrow. What I hear on the radio today will guide my tuning tomorrow. What I touch with my hands today will either keep me in check or may land me in jail.

Friend, what you do with the Gospel message today will impact you for eternity! We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We may not even alive. We may be in a accident, in the hospital, or may even be unidentifiable. Where will you spend eternity if today was your last day on Earth?

YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

It’s in the mysteries of God, man is made into God’s own image.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

Standing before Nicodemus Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus could see the confusion and bewilderment on Nicodemus’ face so much so that He had to explain His comments further. So, Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jesus told Nicodemus; obviously you must be born just like every other person in this world, of flesh and blood. The He goes on to explain the second birth, salvation. Without the second birth no one will enter into Heavens gates. The second birth is why Jesus came. The second birth is why He died. The second birth is why He arose from the grave. The second birth is why He lives today!

Here it is one more time for you; “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7

JESUS, THE MISSING PIECE TO YOUR LIFE!

There is a missing piece to every man, woman, boy, and girl in this life. Until we repent and trust Jesus as our Saviour, the piece will continue to be missing.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:6

Many people walk around this life trying to find the missing piece of the puzzle in their life. They try to fill it in with all sorts of pieces, such as; drugs, money, jobs, sex, family, and success. These always come to the same point, they just don't fit. They just don't bring complete satisfaction. Sure, they will bring pleasure in the sin for a season but for the perfect and complete fit that bring peace to an unsettled heart, it must be filled with Jesus!

Jesus is the piece of the puzzle that completes the puzzle of an incomplete heart! He brings salvation! He makes a soul at peace with God! He makes a beautiful picture out of our life that He alone can do! 

Do you have Him? He's not hiding from you! He wants to save you today! "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31

WHAT ARE LIVING FOR?

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.—C.T Studd

            For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

            In commenting at a graduation service a graduate once said, “Mom and Dad, I am thankful for all you have sacrificed.” I began to wonder about this word sacrifice; it is giving up something I want, something I desire to keep, something I hold dear to my heart. So is giving money for my children to go to a Christian School really a sacrifice? What did I sacrifice? I wanted them to go. I wanted them to hear from a Biblical view point about our world. I wanted to protect them from the wiles of the devil. I wanted them to be grounded in the Bible. So no, it was not a sacrifice for me. I am not sure I have ever sacrificed anything when compared to what God has sacrificed for me. Sure, I give my tithe, I give my faith promise, I give to needs of the church and the needs of the people in the church, but have I sacrificed?

Church, we are no longer to live for ourselves. Verse 15 says, “…that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Are you living for self or the Saviour today?

WHAT'S DRIVING YOUR STANDARDS?

Are your standards growing out of the desire to live a holy life?- Clarence Sexton

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 20:7

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16

Notice it doesn't say perfect because we cannot be perfect! However, we can be holy- a holy life starts with Jesus! Have you started a new life with Him? If not you can start one today by repenting and receiving Him as your Saviour today!

BE A HOLY WITNESS!

            Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:11-12

I have heard it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. I have often wondered where in the Bible does a Christian that has that mentality find that verse. I don’t find it at all. What I do find is scripture like, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. “ or “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

            Child of God, quit playing with fire! Just be the man and or woman of God He wants you to be! Be honest! Be faithful! Be committed! Be prepared! Be responsible! Be kind! Be true!

I LOVE CHURCH!

If you’re in the Word, you’ll be in church.—R.L Conyers

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Ephesians 5:25

I am amazed at the number of Christians skipping church for one reason or another. I understand if someone has health issues or maybe even have to work. But just to skip the time God has given so you can catch up on your favorite TV show, catch a few winks, or surf the net shows a lack of respect for what God holds in high regard.

Child of God, I’m tired, wore out, beat down, depressed to a degree, but you know what I’m going to do this morning? I’m going to GET UP, GET READY, and GO TO CHURCH! Why? Because Jesus gave Himself for you and I to be able to get together and get the help we need—in church! So why don't you?

HE’S GOT HIS EYE ON YOU!

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:18-19

If you have never heard the song, “He Knows My Name”, you’re missing out on a blessing. Do a YouTube search with the Rochester’s singing it. Hallelujah if that don’t get your goose fired up in the morning, you’re deader than a door nail!

Let me tell you something, Uncle Sam knows my name, but that doesn’t bring me the security, peace, joy, and assurance in knowing Jesus knows my name! And not only does He know my name, He has His eye upon me! Jehovah, the Great I Am, the Creator of the universe, My Lord and Saviour, He has His eye upon ME! It helps me to understand He cares for me! He cares for every need I have! He wants the best for me and He is looking to see that I get it.

Don’t mistake this by thinking bad things won’t come to you because they will! Just remember friend, in His prefect plan, He's got His eye on you! And because He does, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

CHILD OF GOD BEWARE!

When a man who professes to be converted says that he goes into the world and into sin for pleasure, it is as if an angel went to hell for enjoyment. –Spurgeon

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:5-7

You know when you go on visitation, everyone you talk to is okay with the Lord. It doesn’t matter that there is a pile of beer cans overflowing the trash can or head banging music is filling the air, everyone is saved and on their way to Heaven. While I realize that they could be saved, I also know God is not pleased in the way they are living!

Do you really think you can live like the devil’s crowd? According to scripture, you’re wrong. According to scripture, you’re living in the flesh. According to scripture, you’re living like a child of the devil. According to scripture, you’re living a life in opposition of God.

So which is it? Are you a Child of God or an offspring of the devil? I think you already know, you’re just too proud to admit it…

CHARACTER- WHO YOU ARE WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING

If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself. -Moody

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8

Do you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk? There are many of us that are just key board Christians. We set behind a screen typing away, sharing Christian pictures and quotes but never giving of our time, talents and treasures to the local church. Some of us head to church on Sunday morning leaving our Bibles at home. Some of us head to church on Easter or Christmas and claim we have done our Christian duty. Being a Christian is twenty four seven. It’s not just on Sunday. Not just behind the pulpit. Not only on a foreign or domestic mission field. It’s every hour of every day, everywhere we go!

Are people talking about your faith? They said this of our Saviour, "We never saw it on this fashion." What are they saying about yours?