Christians Might Be Crazy #6 – Exclusivity

Christians Might Be Crazy #6 – Exclusivity

– Well, I have good news for you. Death is defeated, sin is forgiven and heaven is open because Jesus is alive. Amen.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– Feel free to take a seat. What a great day! It’s our favorite day of the year. If this doesn’t fire you up, your wood’s wet. This is exciting. We are here to learn about Jesus. We’re here to meet with Jesus. We’re here to celebrate the greatest victory of the greatest person in the history of the world. What’s his name?

– [Congregation] Jesus.

– Jesus. His name is Jesus. And I’ll just tell you, this is my favorite thing to do, is to talk about Jesus. So thank you for joining us. We’ve been praying for you. We have been longing to see you. Many of you are new. And let me just begin by telling you who we are gathered to celebrate today. For most religions, their center is a place, for us our center is a person whose name is Jesus. And if you don’t know him, you’re going to before we’re done today. Little spoiler alert. That’s why you’re here. Okay, we’ll get to that later. Now, Jesus lived on the earth about 2,000 years ago in the Middle East. He grew up in a simple peasant family. He for the first 30 years of his life lived a relatively private life, working in the family business with his dad. The last three years of his life were public where he’s doing ministry. Because of him the kingdom of God came and the power of God was demonstrated. So blind people saw, and lame people ran and deaf people heard because Jesus changes people in any particular possible way. And Jesus made some of the most astonishing, staggering, unprecedented, unparalleled claims in the history of the world. As a result, he was opposed and he was put to death and he in fact died. But on a Sunday, he rose from death. That’s why we’re gathered on a Sunday. It is the day of Jesus’ resurrection. And now 2000 years later, Christianity exists as a movement in the wake of the victory of Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus is the most towering person in the history of the world. We measure time by this man into BC, before Christ, AD, Anno Domini the year of our Lord. Our big holidays are about him. So on Christmas we celebrate his birth and on Easter we celebrate his resurrection from death. And today more songs are sung to him, more paintings painted of him, more books written regarding him, more lives dedicated toward him than anyone who has ever lived in the history of the world. There’s no one like Jesus. There’s no one to equal to Jesus. There’s no one alongside of Jesus. And we’re here to his life, his legacy and the fact that he’s still living. Amen.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– Now, I know that some of you know and love Jesus and some of you do not yet. And so I want to hit, what is one of the primary objections to Christ and Christianity? We’ve been in the middle of a little series called “Christians Might Be Crazy”. You could pick up a free copy of the book on the way out. We love you. What I wanted to determine was, the primary objections toward and questions regarding Christ and Christianity. So had commissioned a survey where 900,000 people were called. Somebody asked, they said, “Did you make those calls?” No, I did not call 900,000 people. I’m a grown man, I don’t talk on the phone. And so some other people called 900,000 people and we boil it down to a thousand people that we wanted to interview for 12 to 15 minutes regarding Christ and Christianity. We then obtained the top seven objections. Number five, is this one? There’s lots of religions. I’m not sure that one has to be the only way. This was objection number five articulated by 42% of the participants. In addition, we held focus groups for major cities one male, one female, eight total groups with a professional facilitator and they had a roughly two hour conversation about Christ and Christianity. And they came to the same conclusions and objections. So here is a quote from one of the men in one of the focus groups. He says, “I don’t belong to any organized religion.” And let me just say this, some people are like, I don’t believe in organized religion. Then Christianity is for you, we’re disorganized. Amen.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– How many of you have ever been involved in church leadership in your life? Obviously Jesus is alive. That’s the only reason we get anything done. Amen. So I don’t belong to any organized religion but I do feel spiritual. I feel a connection to God, when I pass I want to be with God. I want to be in heaven. That’s what I believe in. Having someone tell me, oh no, no, no, you think you’re going to have a relationship with God but unless you’re born again and accept Jesus that’s not happening for you. He says, “That I don’t like.” Let me just say this, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not true. How many of you own a scale? Amen. I stood on mine this morning. Two things happened. Number one, I didn’t like what it said. Number two, still true. Amen. So it’s not because we liked something that makes it true, it’s because it corresponds with reality. And the question is, is it true that Jesus is the only God, that Jesus is the only way. Now those who would object to this… I interviewed a number of scholars for the book. One of whom was a man named Ravi Zacharias. He’s traveled to like 70 nations. He’s been studying various religions his entire life. He’s originally from India, he’s a philosopher. And he quoted to me this. He called them happy pagans in a phone interview I did with him for the sermon series. Happy pagans, meaning life is going pretty good, there’s no real sense of urgency to come to conclusive decisions regarding Christ and Christianity. Well, a couple of things I’ll say. Number one, most people have a religion that I would call consumerism. In consumerism, who’s always right? The customer is always right. And it consumerism, you get what you want and if you don’t like it, you trade it in. And if it doesn’t work for you, you send it back. And so the problem becomes, God is not a product. God is the person. God didn’t make you to be a shopper, He made you to be a worshiper. And God is a personal relational God. Now, if all you’re doing is consuming as a shopper, it doesn’t really involve anyone else. But if you’re in a relationship, a healthy, loving, devoted relationship considering the other person is primary. My wife grace and I we’ve been together 30 plus years. We’ve been faithfully married 26 years. It’s not just about what works for me, It also has to consider what works for her and what’s best for us. Because God wants a relationship with you. God made you. God knows you. God loves you. God wants a devoted and personal relationship with you. Number two, the focus group participants generally said we believe that all religions are good and we don’t have any judgment on other religions or their practices. Is that true? Do we have no opinion about other religions? Some religions practice, for example, animal sacrifice. How many of you are not okay with that? We just found all the cat ladies. Okay we did. No, don’t. Some religions, the women can’t vote, they can’t drive a car. Are you okay with that?

– [Congregation] No.

– All the ladies with driver’s licenses concluded no. In some religions you can declare a holy war and assault or destroy or blow up people who disagree with you. Are we okay with that? No. So the problem is not that we draw a line, the issue is where will we draw that line? Truly, not all religions behave in the same way, believe the same things and not all behaviors are we finding equally acceptable in the sight of God. Number three, they will say that all religions are basically speaking of the same thing. And so here’s what one guy from Phoenix says, and if you’re here, welcome, happy Easter. Jesus or God as we know him, Allah, Yahweh, they’re just different names for the same almighty being. Let me say this. We give people different names, why? They’re different people. Let me just submit to you, if there’s a bunch of different names, it’s because we’re dealing with different persons. So we say, Jesus is God. Others would say, no, no, no, it’s Allah or whatever the case might be. Not all names are referring to the same being. This is why it’s important to know what God’s name is. Because then you can call out to that God and invite that God into a relationship with you. If you have the wrong name, you’ll be inviting the wrong spiritual being into your life and welcoming them into relationship. That’s why the Bible says the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess both on the earth and under the earth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The Bible says there is no other name under heaven by which we might be saved, but the name of Jesus. So the name of God is Jesus Christ. And other names are for other beings and other gods that are not Jesus Christ. Number four, if you say that all religions and spiritualities and ideologies basically say the same thing, you are offending devoutly religious people. Again, Ravi says it this way. “The most unfortunate assumption that is made is that all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different. It’s exactly the opposite. Religions are fundamentally different and at best superficially similar.” There are devout people of various faiths that are convinced that what they are doing is right and that to do anything else is wrong. To come along and say you’re all right, and all doing the right thing and all worshiping the same God is actually highly offensive. When my kids were little, if you’re new, we’ve got five kids. They’re 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21. We didn’t have a chart, just every other year somebody showed up with our last name, we brought them home. They’re all wonderful, wonderful, wonderful people. Some of you would say, how’d you get five kids. Grace couldn’t keep her hands off me. I was like I have a brain, let’s talk. So it’s just… The struggle is real, pray for us. We’re in the middle of it. Nonetheless, we have five… I don’t know why that’s funny. Nonetheless, we have five children. When the children were little, I wanted them to learn about God so I would ask them some basic questions. So kids, what was the first question all the time? How many gods are there? The kids generally did pretty good. We had one kid, “Two.” What! There’s not even a religion with two God’s. Grace come in here, we’re raising a cult leader. We have a problem. No, there’s not two, try again. “Five.” Ah, no, there’s not five Gods. “Seven.” There’s not seven gods. Ah! Let me ask for all the kids in the room. How many gods are there?

– [Kids] One

– One. Good job kids. All right. Tell your parents there’s one God. All right, good job. So if you go though to a Buddhist kids home and you asked the Buddhist kid, how many gods are there? What do they say? Zero, ours is a philosophy. If you go to a Jewish home, a Muslim home, a Christian home you asked that kid, how many gods are there? What are they gonna tell ya? One. You go to a Hindu home, you ask that kid, how many gods are there? What’s the answer? Infinity. They’re gonna take their shoes off. There’s an infinite perhaps number of gods and goddesses and divine beings. Well, those are different beliefs. Amen. No God, one God, lots of gods. If you ask different religious people, how do you have a good afterlife? Well, if you ask some people they’ll say good works. Have your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. Others say, you got to reincarnate and pay off your karmic debt through suffering. Others will say, don’t worry about it, we all die, go to a happy place. And the Christians will say, well, you need to receive Jesus Christ. It’s a gift that you cannot earn and it’s a gift that you cannot lose. Salvation is a free gift of grace. And in all of these different ideologies, people believe and behave according to deep conviction. And to say that what they believe and how they behave is all the same is actually highly offensive. It’s not very loving and tolerant. That leads us to the question is Jesus the only way. So let me tell you a story. I’ve been a senior pastor now for more than 20 years, I started in my twenties. I was not ready. I was not ready to be a senior pastor. And I learned this very quickly doing counseling. So this older couple comes to me. And by older, I mean like 30. They’re full grown adults. They meet with me, the whole conversation is like the middle of the night we’re walking through a thick fog and I can’t figure out what we’re talking about. So she’s like, “Well, I don’t feel like we’re close and we have issues.” And he’s like, “Oh, I just don’t feel the respect.” I was like, “Hey guys, look, look just bottom line, what’s the issue?” After about an hour, what’s the issue? He says I just don’t think it’s right that she’s seeing other men. I turned into a bobblehead. I was like I was like, well, that is thing. Amen. That is the thing. I look at her. I said, what do you think? She said, I think he’s being judgemental and old fashioned. They look at me. They’re like, “What do you think, preacher?” I think I’m picking a new career path. That’s what I think I’ve done. One, two, three, not it, I’m out. I’m out. I thought, Oh gosh, what am I? I wasn’t expecting this. Here’s what I told him. I said, Jesus has a relationship with his people, the church, that he says is like a husband and wife. And what Jesus wants is an exclusive relationship. Meaning there are things that are sacred. There are things that are not for others. There are things that will build our relationship providing it is exclusive. And so what I told this couple and I would tell you, she said, I feel that I should have an open relationship. He said, I feel that I should have an exclusive relationship. My question to you is this, which one’s more loving? If you’re married, you should know the answer. So I’ll ask it again. This is not a trick question. Which relationship is in fact the most loving, the open relationship or the exclusive relationship? Exclusive says the one guy who will not be sleeping on the couch tonight. Good job brother. Jesus wants not only a relationship with you, he wants an exclusive relationship with you. And what he says is you can’t have other gods. You can’t have other practices that are spiritual and sacred. Those are for us alone. So that is ultimately the issue. Now, when it comes to marriage, people often ask this question, did you marry the one? Let me say, if you’re married, you married the one. How do I know I married the one? You married him. That’s the one. That’s how we’re doing this. The question is when it comes to this relationship with God, is Jesus the one? Is Jesus the one? That’s the question. So what I wanna do, I want to look at six things that Jesus Christ said. Lots of people say lots of things about Jesus. I think we should let Jesus speak for himself today. And here are the things that Jesus said. Number one, Jesus is the one person to come down from heaven. The one person to come down from heaven. John six verses 38 and 41 through 42. “I’ve come down from heaven.” That’s that’s amazing. ‘Cause you all came from somewhere. Some of you came from Scottsdale, some from Tempe, some from Peoria. Thanks for making the drive. Some of you came from Apache Junction. Congratulations you got out. Awesome. Welcome to civilization. But if you walk up to somebody said, where are you from? If they said, I’ve come down from heaven. You’d be like, well, that’s different. Amen. That’s different. What Jesus is saying is that he lived before he lived on earth. Before he lived on earth, he lived in heaven. Heaven is God’s house, this means he’s God. And he’s gone down to visit us. “Now in hearing this, they began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread, come down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?'” We grew up with this kid. “How can he say, ‘I’ve come down from heaven?'” Here’s the big idea, God lives in heaven, we live on earth, because of sin we have separated that connection between heaven and earth between us and God. As a result of that, religion tells us that we need to find a way to get up to God. Let me just tell you this. There is no way to get up to God. There is a way that God comes down to us. His name is Jesus. And what’s amazing about Jesus is his unprecedented, unparalleled humility. ‘Cause in our world, everybody’s trying to go up. I’ve never met anybody like, I’m trying to get a demotion, make less money and have less square footage. That’s my goal. Everyone says, I’m trying to get a raise and a promotion, a bigger house and a better car. I’m trying to go up. Only Jesus comes down. He goes from riches to poverty, from glory to humility from being worshiped and served to serving as an act of worship. Jesus is worthy of trust, and he’s worthy of love, and he’s worthy of relationship because he’s humble. The easiest person to have a relationship with is someone who is humble and they come to love you, and to serve you and to consider you. And that’s exactly what Jesus Christ does coming down from heaven. Number two, Jesus is the one person who says he is God. John 10:30-33. “Jesus says, ‘I and the father are one.’ Once again they picked up stones to stone him.'” Why are they picking up stones to stone him? Because if you say you’re God, and you’re not God, in that religious culture, that’s called blasphemy, what’s the penalty? Death. So there’s no repeat offenders with this. Now, if he said something and he didn’t mean to say he was God, let’s say he’s dyslexic and he was talking about his dog and he messed up. How many of you at that point, if you weren’t God, and you somehow gave the impression you were God, as they picked up the stones to stone you, you would correct your error. Amen. I would. Jesus doesn’t. “Jesus said, ‘At my father’s direction I’ve done many good works. For which of these are you going to stone me?'” It’s not just the works of Jesus, but it’s the words of Jesus that get him in trouble. He did heal those who were sick. He did feed those who were hungry. He did accept those who were outcasts. But the objection to Jesus Christ is not primarily his works but primarily his words. And what he goes on to say? “They replied, ‘We’re stoning you now for any good work but for blasphemy, because you a mere man, claim to be what? God.'” Jesus openly, emphatically repeatedly said, “I am God, I am the only God.” And you need to know that there is no major world religion where the founder and or leader ever makes claim. Ever makes this claim. This is Jesus Christ alone. In the history of the world one person steps forth and says, “I am God.” His name is Jesus. That claim friend is either true or false. It is the most significant claim in the history of the world. It is the most extraordinary declaration that could be uttered. And Jesus is either a good man telling us who he is or he’s a bad man telling us the worst lie that’s ever been told in the history of the world. Number three, Jesus is the one person without any sin who can forgive any sin. So John eight, the context is public. How many of you after this, you’re gonna go out to Brunch with family and friends. Amen. There’s gonna be a crowd of people. How many of you are not gonna stand up and say, I’m glad you’re all here. I’d like to talk about my perfect life. I would like you all to just confirm that I have never done wrong, that I have nothing to apologize for, nothing to fix and nothing that I would do over. I got it all right the first time. How many of you are not gonna say that? Amen. I won’t. Here’s what Jesus says. “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” Jesus says that he alone is perfect. Here’s what this means. Jesus is what a normal human being looks like. All of us because of sin we are abnormal. We all have things that we regret. Even those of us who are non-Christians, we may not use the language of sin but we’ll use this language; Nobody is what? Perfect. Jesus says, “I am.” In the history of the world, there is one who is without sin, there is one who is perfect, and his name is Jesus. Not only is he without any sin, he alone can forgive any sin. There is an occasion in Mark 2:5 where it says that Jesus saw their faith and he said to this person who was a paralytic, they had a disability son, “Your sins are forgiven.” And what happens next is those presents said, “How can this man forgive sin. Only God can forgive sin.” Answer; He’s God. Plasms 51, it says against you only Lord, God have I sinned. Let me say this friends, you have many problems, but your biggest problem is your sin problem. Your biggest problem is in relationship to God, that God is Holy and we are sinful and that has caused that relationship to be broken. The only way that relationship can be restored is if the sin is taken away through forgiveness. Here’s what I need you to know, it’s awesome. Jesus Christ alone has the authority to forgive all of your sin, past, present, and future. Forgiveness of sin is a tremendous gift. It’s the greatest gift that you can receive. We all have things in our life that burden us, that haunt us. If you are honest with yourself, there are parts of your past that you regret. There are things that you wish you had not said. There are deeds that you wish you had not done. There are times even when life seems blessed, that burdens come upon us because the haunting of sin. I’ll be honest with you, this is a great weekend for me. I got a Paisley tie. I’ve never gotten a Paisley tie. I feel very brave like a big boy, wearing my Paisley tie. I’m coming to tell you about Jesus which is my favorite thing. We have a carnival for kids. If you have a Paisley tie that you’re wearing to a carnival, you should be happy. Amen. But let me be honest with you, my wife would tell you the last few days I’ve been rather discouraged and somewhat depressed. She came to me, she’s like, honey, why? I don’t know. I have a Paisley tie and a carnival. It was because some things from my past showed up in my present. Not only looking forward to the future that God has for me, I look back to the past that I created for myself. And I had a heaviness, I had a burden. I had a sadness come over me. And I woke up this morning and I talked to the Lord, Jesus. And I feel like he told me, don’t just preach the gospel, use it. And I had to remind myself that Jesus Christ died for my sin and that he was buried and all my sin was buried there. And that when Jesus got up, he gave me brand new life and he left the past behind. I’m happy to report, I’m happy. Amen. I’m happy. Because here’s what I realized. I really am forgiven. I really am loved. I really am accepted and that burden really can be lifted. And Jesus Christ really can forgive sin. And I wanted to tell you that give your sin to Jesus, give your burden to Jesus, give your past to Jesus, give your regrets to Jesus, give your failure to Jesus. And here’s the good news. He never did sin so he can help you to grow in becoming like him. Furthermore, he has the authority through his death, through resurrection to forgive all of your sins, to relieve all of your burdens and to take all of that pain of the past and to replace it with joy in the present. Amen.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– And I I’m happy to report. I’m happy to report Jesus is still doing this and he did this at my house today. And I want this in his house for you right now on this day. Number four, Jesus is the one person who has defeated death. John 11:25. “Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes will live, even though we die.'” Now, here’s the truth. Sin causes death. God is the living God. Sin separates us from God so the death cycle begins. And we’re all trying to beat death. Amen. That’s why half of you moved here. You’re like, I need sunshine that’ll improve my quality of life and I will drink bottled water and I will eat vitamins and I will buckle up. You’re gonna die with a seatbelt, filled with bottled water and vitamins. I’m just telling you none of us beats death, except for one person has defeated death. His name is Jesus. Jesus Christ died on a Friday, he rose on a Sunday. That’s why we’re here. And let me just give you a quick case for Christ. Number one, Jesus died. He was crucified. You’re dead. They put a spear under his rib cage, punctures his heart sac so the water and blood flows from his side. He’s dead. They wrap him in a hundred pounds of barrel and in spices. He’s dead. They put him in a cold tomb that was hewn out of rock. He’s dead. Number two, the location of Jesus’ dead body was well known. After he died, one of his followers a man named Joseph of Arimathea gave Jesus post-mortem, his tomb. It was registered legal property just like if you own a home. Furthermore, the Roman soldier was stationed in front of that tomb to guard it. So the government knew where it was. The seal of the Roman government was placed on it so no one would tamper with it. And visitors came there. All of which is to say Jesus died and we know, or they knew exactly where he was buried. Number three, following the resurrection there was a profound change and transformation in his followers. One of his followers named Thomas doubted that he was God until he saw Jesus risen from death, saw the crucifixion scars and cried out my Lord, my God, and worshiped him. The leader of his disciples was a man named Peter who denied him as Jesus was approaching the cross. Seeing Jesus following the resurrection, Peter was transformed from a man who was a denier of Christ to a disciple of Christ, from a man who was a coward to a man who was courageous. And he began preaching about the resurrection victory of Jesus Christ over Satan, sin, death, hell and the wrath of God. And to silence him, they came to him and the authorities told him, “Peter, stop telling others about Jesus, or we will crucify you as we crucified him. You’ve already denied him once, do it again.” And Peter said, “He’s defeated death, I am no longer afraid. Feel free to crucify me, crucify me upside down.” How does someone transform from one who is terrified of death to one who welcomes death? Only by the victory of Jesus conquering death is that kind of transformation possible. In addition, after he rose from death over the course of 40 days, Jesus appeared to crowds, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, upwards of 500 people at one time saw him very much alive. It’s a historical fact. Furthermore, his disciples and followers remained loyal to him. Even though they were persecuted, even though they were put to death, they no longer fear death because Jesus had beat death. In addition, historians tell us that at the time of Jesus in that area, the tombs of upwards of 50 Holy men, religious leaders were in shrine. When someone famous dies, we marked their grave, we visited to memorialize them. Jesus’ grave was never enshrined. Why? He wasn’t there. He walked away from the grave and Christianity exploded cause affect. Today we worship on Sunday because of the resurrection of Jesus. Today, we baptize people because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Today a few thousand years later, the biggest movement of any sort or kind in the history of the world is the Christian faith and the largest organization on planet earth is the Christian Church. And today billions of us brothers and sisters in the family of God across the globe are getting together because Jesus is alive and Christianity and the church is evidence of the victory of Jesus. Amen.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– Amen. Number five, Jesus is the one way to heaven. John 14:6, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way.'” There are not ways, there is one way. I am the truth. There are not many truths, there is one truth. And I am the life. The only way to eternal life is the one way of Jesus Christ. And what he says is there are no exceptions. “No one comes to the Father, except through me.” The reason that Christians teach the exclusivity of Christ is because Christ taught the exclusivity of Christ. When we say that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life and that there is no eternal life apart from him, we are echoing as Christians what our Christ has said. What I want you to see is that number one, this is an exclusive claim. There is only one way to have your sins forgiven. There is only one way to eternal life. There’s only one way to relationship with God. But I want you to see that this exclusive way is also the most inclusive way. What races are welcome to Jesus? All. Not all religions say that. Are poor people and rich people welcome to come to Jesus? Yes. Did you know that it doesn’t work like that in all religions? Some religions you gotta pay to go through classes to get cleared so that you can earn your salvation and you have to pay to get there. How about this? Does Jesus take people who are naughty and nice? He’s better than Santa. Santa’s only likes the nice kids. Jesus also likes the naughty kids. Here’s what’s awesome about Jesus. He is the one way exclusive, but Christianity and Christ is the most inclusive. Whatever your religion, whatever your race, whatever your creed, whatever your behavior has been, if you turn from sin and trust in him, you are guaranteed forgiveness of sin, relationship with God and eternal life. Amen. So here’s what I’m telling you today. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you believe, I don’t care how you behave, if you come to Jesus, he will receive you, he will forgive you, he will change you, and he will never leave you nor forsake you. Amen. Number six, Jesus is the one narrow door to heaven. Luke chapter 13: 23-24. They came to him, they asked this question, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” Let me say, you need to be saved from death. You need to be saved from sin. You need to be saved from Satan. You need to be saved from the wrath of God. And I’ll let you in our little secret, you need to be saved from you. They come to him, they ask, how many will be saved? “And he said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the… What kind of door? narrow door. “For many, I tell you will seek to enter and not be able.” Here’s the analogy, we live on earth, God lives in heaven. We live here on earth in our homes. What do you have on the front of your home? A door? Is that door a symbol of love or is it unloving? It’s a symbol of love because you love the people that live in the house. And before anyone else comes into the house, you wanna make sure that they’re also gonna love the people that are in the house and not harm the people that are in the house. Amen. So we all have doors on our homes because you have a right to decide who moves into your house. God’s home is heaven. Does God have the right to put a door on his home? Yes or no? Yes. Everybody who tells me, it’s not right that everybody doesn’t go to heaven. My thing is we’ll, then go home and take the door off the hinges and stopped being hypocrites. And whoever wants to live with you or move in, just be tolerant, diverse, and inclusive and see how that goes. If you love your family, you put a door on your home and it’s not that no one is welcome, but you have a right to decide who you will open the door for because you love the members of your family. God is a father, heaven is his home. We’re his kids and heaven has a door. Heaven has a door. Eternal life as a door. Here’s what Jesus says, John chapter 10, verse nine. “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” God knew that the door was shut by us when we sinned against him. God knew that there was nothing that you or I or we could do to open that door. And so what God did, he sent his only son Jesus Christ to the earth to live a life without sin, to die on the cross, to pay the price for sin and to rise from death so that the door to heaven could be opened. Amen. That’s awesome. The door is open. Here’s what’s amazing. Jesus is right now booking one way tickets. That’s amazing. That you were invited to eternal life with God. A door into God’s house forever has been open through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is that door. So here’s what I wanna tell you. Every time you pass through a door, remember that Jesus is a door. A couple of things I wanna say. Jesus is a narrow door. He separates life and death, heaven and hell, forgiveness, unforgiveness, blessing, cursing, grace and wrath,. Everything comes down to you and Jesus. The most important thing about you is what you think about Jesus. The most important decision you will ever make is whether or not you will pass through that doorway of Jesus. What that means practically is, do you love Jesus? Do you know Jesus? Do you belong to Jesus? Do you trust in Jesus? Jesus is the narrow door. In addition, that narrow door closes when you die. This door is only open so long as there is breath in your lungs. You are alive, this is your opportunity. When you die, Hebrews 9:27 says, it is appointed for us once to die, then judgment. There is no karma. There is no purgatory or reincarnation. There is no opportunity beyond the grave. As long as you are alive, the door is open. You can pass through it into relationship and eternal life with Jesus Christ. If you do not make that decision during this life, then the door to God’s presence and home is close to you forever. So let me say, you have many decisions to make but this is the most important decision. You have many urgent things that are vying for your focus and energy, put this at the top of your priority list. The reason that you are here today, is to pass through that door and to welcome into your life and to enter into eternal life, Jesus Christ. In addition, that narrow door must be passed through in a single file line. May be your grandparents love Jesus. Great. You need to pass through that door. Maybe your parents love Jesus. Great. You need to pass through that door. Maybe your spouse loves Jesus. Great. You need to pass through that door. Nobody can drag you across that threshold. Nobody can carry you through that doorway. You have to have your own volition decision. You have to make a choice to by faith trust in Jesus and pass through from what is called life and death, from death to life. Now that being said, a couple of things I would encourage you at. Don’t complain the door. I see people outside like, “I don’t like the door. I wanted a blue door that people also, so I could see what I’m getting into. Look, there’s a door. Yay, don’t complain about the door. In addition, don’t search for another door. There is no other door. Don’t just stare at the door. And don’t walk away from the door. Instead, we’re gonna invite you to walk through the door. I’ll give you an analogy. When the kids were little, we would go on family vacations. We’d stay in a hotel. And with five kids, we don’t fit in one hotel room. Amen? We don’t. So we would get two hotel rooms that were adjoining ’cause the kids were little. Each room had a door. So what I would do, I’d go into my room, first thing I would do, I would open my door and I would knock, Hey kids, open your door so that I can come in to be with you, you come in to be with me and we could be together. That’s a relationship. That’s a relationship. Jesus Christ has opened his door. His resurrection opened his door. You now need to open your door and welcome Jesus in to your life. And then Jesus will welcome you in to the father’s house. Here’s how the Lord Jesus says it in Revelation chapter three, verse 20. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and I knock. What is Jesus doing today? He’s knocking. He’s saying, “I’ve lived the life you’ve not lived, I paid the price you couldn’t pay, I’m here to give the gift you can earn, please open your door and welcome me into all of your life, and I’ll welcome you into my eternal life.” So this is where you make the most important decision you will ever make. And that is will you here today? Jesus wants a relationship with you. Jesus wants you to welcome him into all of your life and he wants to welcome you into his eternal home. Amen. Guys, this is amazing. How do you do that? You acknowledge I am a sinner. I have been separated from God. I have opened the door of my life for Jesus to be Lord, I am now going to acknowledge my sin, I am going to open that door, I am going to welcome Jesus into my life. If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, then you will be saved. This is a loving relationship. Let me pray for you. Father God, I thank you for these dear people who give me the honor of telling them about Jesus. Lord Jesus I pray right now, Holy Spirit people can’t save themselves and I can’t save them. But God, you can save them. God, right now I invite you Holy Spirit to open eyes to see Jesus, to open hearts to love Jesus, to open minds to trust in Jesus. God, some of these people you’ve been knocking for so long. Some of these people, Lord God, they’ve heard you knocking for so long that that it became so common to them that they failed to recognize the opportunity and have a sense of urgency to open that door. Holy Spirit, please help those dear people right now to hear that knock and to open that door into their life. God, for some people, they are here for the first time and they’re hearing this for the first time. They didn’t know that there was a God who loved them. They didn’t know that there was a God who made them. They didn’t know that there’s a God who came down for them. They didn’t know that there was a God who died for them. They didn’t know that there is a God who rose for them. They didn’t know that there is a God who prepared a place for them. And they didn’t know that there’s a God who’s coming again to get them and to take them into his home forever. Holy Spirit right now we invite you to do what only you can do. To open the door of their heart, mind, soul, and life so that Jesus Christ and all of his goodness and all of his glory with all of his love, and all of his humility, and all of his power, and all of his presence, can come into their life and do life with them relationally. And upon death, take them into eternal life in Jesus good name. Amen.

Mark Driscoll
hello@markdriscoll.org

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