A Good Sermon
I don’t know what your neighbors are like, but the family across the street from us are really wonderful people. They have three great kids and a friendly dog. They’re just about the nicest people you could meet.
But here’s the thing—if all they are is good and sincere people and have not received Jesus as the only hope of their salvation, then one moment after they die, they will be in hell.
I know that’s hard to hear. Popular is the notion that "being a good person" qualifies you for heaven. Most people believe that someday we’re going to stand before God and He’s going to set our whole life on the scales. If the good outweighs the bad then we go to heaven. If the bad outweighs the good then we go to hell. You’ve heard that, right? Maybe there was a time in your life when you even believed that. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."
Right now millions of people are racing toward eternity—not prepared, oblivious, and in for a shocking surprise that simply being good will never measure up to God’s requirements for heaven.
I thought of that this week as millions of people watched "The Passion"—the movie depicting the suffering of Jesus in the final twelve hours before the cross. Have you seen the movie yet? I wonder if the theater you were in was as intense as ours. People sat riveted to their seats, their eyes fixed on the screen. Some hid behind their hands, not wanting to see the horror but somehow not able to look away.
Yet, just think. If you and I could be good enough to get to heaven on our own, then all that Jesus suffered—everything about the cross of Christ—would be an agonized waste.
What exactly did Jesus die for anyway? To be a good role model? To be a starter ramp to God that we push ourselves up the rest of the way? That kind of thinking is a knife in the heart of the Jesus. Galatians 2:21 says that if righteousness or perfection could be obtained by doing good, then Jesus died for nothing. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the Way." He’s not one of the ways, or even the best way. Jesus is the only hope of salvation. And He willingly laid down His life for you. What seemed to be a tragedy born of hate was in fact, God’s greatest act of love (John 3:16).
Now forgive me if I’m preaching to the choir here. You say, "James, I already know this." I’m so glad! But have you ever been at a family reunion or been standing around at work when the subject of heaven comes up? Someone says, "I’m a nice person. Hey, I’ve never killed anyone. God’s gonna let me off the hook." What do you say to them? Does your heart break when you realize someone you care about has bought into such a tragic lie?
Pastor James McDonald
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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
Source : Sherry’s Inspirational