Sermons and devotionals
I walked into the side room of the university teaching hospital. Lying on the bed in a very relaxed posture, was a beautiful young lady of about twenty-five. She had brilliantly finished her studies and was working on her thesis for a doctorate's degree. She looked so happy and in such good form that I wondered why I had been told that she was very sick. When I talked to her, she told me that she had a mild kidney problem. We talked together about research, and then came to eternal issues.
I told her about sin, its nature, its manifestations, its wages and God's wonderful way of dealing with it. She listened uninterestedly, and then replied, "You know, when I was well, my one ambition in life was to get my thesis finished, and my doctorate's degree awarded. I wanted to teach at the university. That is still my ambition. My lying sick here does not change things. I have never been the religious type. Religion is for old people. I am still young and beautiful. There is a bright academic future in store for me. What else do I need? As for sin, Jesus and all the other things of the spirit and the life to come, they must wait until I am old.”
When I left the hospital that day, I went to a Christian bookshop where I bought a book entitled "Jesus is Alive." I intended to take the book to her the next day, but that evening I was called to a Christian conference where I spent a week. On my return, I hurried to the hospital with the book for the young lady. When I entered the side room, I was in for a shock. She had deteriorated rapidly since my last visit and, when I tried to talk to her, she could not recognize me any longer. Two days later, the radio announced the news of her death. My book was useless for her. It was TOO LATE for her to read it and TOO LATE for her to repent and be saved. She died without accomplishing her one ambition and, worst still, she died without being prepared to meet God. She died with her sin unforgiven with the gap caused by sin that separated her from God, unbridged. She died in her sin, to face the Lord Jesus as her Judge, and to have the lake of fire as her eternal home.
Dear reader, are you saved? Are your sins forgiven? Do you know the Lord Jesus as your Saviour and Lord? Are you prepared to die? Are you prepared to meet God? You may say, as the young lady said, that you have all of life before you; that you want to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, and that when you are older, you will repent. This all sounds very nice, but are you sure that you will live to be an old person? What if death should come to you sooner than you expect? Do people of all ages from one to one hundred not die? Are the young exempted from death?
You could die from a heart attack, a car accident, or a thousand other causes. If you want to be honest, you will admit that there is no guarantee that you will live to the ripe old age that you expect. You are committed to acquiring all the world's wealth, education, prestige, etc. Countless women and men admire you, BUT WHAT OF YOUR SOUL? The Bible says that the soul that sins will perish eternally. Can you afford to perish forever? Have you counted the loss that you would incur if you died in your sin and were therefore separated from God for all time and eternity? Does it not bother you that if you continue to live your life the way you are living it now, you are in the worst position before God that is possible for any human being to be in?
If you have a brain and can think, you ought to act at once. My dear sinner friend, the next death announcement on the national radio could be yours. After that, what next? A coffin and a six-feet-deep hole, plus the lake of fire as an eternal bonus! Act now to be safe and saved. Do not delay the decision, even for a day. Tomorrow may be TOO LATE. You can receive the Lord Jesus right now by acting on the following:
ADMIT that you are a sinner by nature and by practice, and that on your own, you are without hope. Tell God that you have personally sinned against Him in your thoughts, words and actions. In a sincere prayer, confess all your sins to Him one after the other. Do not omit any sin that you can remember. It may be helpful if you write out your sins on sheets of paper, and then burn them after God has forgiven you. In doing so, you must be truly sorry for your sins, since they pierce God's heart. Then truly turn your back to and abandon all your sinful ways. If you stole, steal no more. If you have been committing adultery or fornication, stop it. God will not forgive you, if you have no desire to stop sinning in all the areas of your life. But if you are sincere, He will give you the power to stop.
BELIEVE that Jesus Christ, who is God's Son, is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me"(John 14:6). And the Bible also says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all" (I Timothy 2:5-6). If you believe this, you are also rejecting every other system or philosophy that suggests that a man can be reconciled to God outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you will want to receive Him. "As many as received Him, He gave them the power to become children of God" (John 1:12). But,
CONSIDER the cost of following Him. Jesus said that all who will follow Him must deny themselves, and this includes selfish financial, social and other interests. He also wants His followers to take up their crosses and follow Him. Are you prepared to abandon your own interests daily for those of Christ? Are you prepared to be led in new directions by Him? Are you prepared to suffer and die for Him, if need be? Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword... and a man's enemies shall be they of his household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me"(Matthew 10:34-38).
This is very costly, but God's gifts - peace, joy, eternal life, etc, are far greater than what it may cost you. You do well to choose Him.
Jesus will have nothing to do with half-hearted people. He demands a total commitment. He will receive and forgive only those who are prepared to follow Him. AT ANY COST.
Think about it and count the cost. If you are prepared to follow Him come what may, then there is something to DO.
INVITE Jesus to come into your heart and life. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door (to his heart and life) I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Why not pray a prayer like this one, or another one, as the Holy Spirit leads you?
"Lord Jesus, I have sinned in my thoughts, words and actions. I deserve to perish eternally in the lake of fire, as Your just punishment for my sin. You, however, died on the cross so that I may not perish but have eternal life. I repent of my sins and renounce all my sinful ways and sinful practices. I give up all such practices, including what brought me gain and pleasure. Wash me in Your precious blood and receive me as Your child. Come into my heart NOW and be my Saviour and my Lord. Fill me NOW to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, and let His fruit and His gifts be manifested in my life, beginning from this moment. Thank You because You have heard my prayer and granted all my requests. Glory be to Your holy name! Amen."
If you have prayed the above prayer sincerely, then Jesus has forgiven you and made you God's child right away. He has blotted out all your sins and forgotten the fact that you ever sinned (Hebrews 10:16-17). You have eternal life (I John 5:11-13). You are born again. You are an entirely new creature, and the past is gone (II Corinthians 5:17). You are saved (Romans 10:9-10).
Rejoice in your new position before God. Thank Him for His marvellous love, forgiveness, salvation, etc. Begin at once to tell other people about your new life in Jesus.
God bless you.