It was requested by the family that a Gospel Message be presented at these services.
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
Let’s go back to the book of Genesis and Adam and Eve. They were sinless when they were created. They were created in the image of the Triune God. They, like you and I, are a triune creature with a body, a soul, and a spirit. They also, like you and I, were created with a will of their own. They disobeyed God and sinned and became sinners. And they are our blood ancestors so consequently every person born of man since then inherited that sin nature. In plain words, we don’t have to sin to become sinners, we are born sinners.
In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, God declared that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins.” All the Old Testament animal sacrifices only forestalled judgment of sin until the sinless blood of the Man, Christ Jesus, was shed on their behalf and ours.
God provided a way man could become righteous in His eyes by sending His sinless Son to earth to become a man and shed His sinless blood on the Cross of Calvary as available payment for the sins of the world. By confessing to God that we are a sinner and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He shed His blood to pay for our sins, we are saved.
In the salvation of our soul there are two parts, God's part and man's. That is, God has to do His part and we have to do our part. It’s all important that we should clearly understand what God's part in salvation is, and what our part is. A mistake on our part in this will have terrible consequences. I want to read from the Bible, the Word of God, what He has written for our learning in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
In the first words we clearly see what God's part is, and in the last twelve words we find just as clearly what our part is. And in the very center of the verse is the key to our salvation, the word Son, the Son of God who paid for our sins with His sinless blood.
Let’s read God’s part again. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." Notice, please, that the loving and giving is God's part. God is not asking you to love Him, He is telling you that He loves you. In the Old Testament, the law of God demanded, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart," Deuteronomy 6:5. But this only stirred up the enmity of men's hearts. Then God sent His Son into the world to say, as it were, the Lord your God loves you with all His heart and has given His Son to die for your sins.
We see then the love of God expressed and manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:10 states "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (offered payment) for our sins." If we accept Christ as our Savior, then, and only then, can we say, as it says in 1 John 4:19 "We love Him because He first loved us." God is not asking man in his natural state to love Him or give anything, because we can’t do either so God does both.
But God does ask something of us that anyone, or “whosoever will,” can do. And that is to take Him at His word - believe what He says. The last part of our verse says that “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." How can anyone doubt for one moment that God loves us since He has given His Son to die for us on the Cross, as the first half of our verse tells us.
God will not do our part. Everything that man could not do for his soul's salvation God has already fully done for him. But remember that God will not do your part, neither will He compel you to do it. It's up to you to do it or spend Eternity with the damned.
Many, I fear, have made the mistake of thinking that their part was to join a church, get baptized, be confirmed or take the Lord's Supper. These are all good things and profitable but they are not what God specifies will entitle you a place in heaven. Acts 16:31 states "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” And in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I will quote John 3:16 again. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
It is quite plain that the last half is all about us and what we must do, if we want eternal salvation. It’s clear that the first half is all about God, and that He has done His part. Our part then is to believe and have. God's part is done; He loved and gave.
Notice, please, that God's part is in the past tense, that it was finished when the Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross and died and said “It is finished.” Our part is in the future tense, proving that it is yet to be done. But, if you believe in the all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive Him by faith as God's love-gift to you, you then put your part in the present tense. And you become a present possessor of everlasting life. If you are not a present possessor of everlasting life, it is because you have not truly done your part. For God has declared that whosoever believes has everlasting life. If you do not have everlasting life, it is because you are not a believer, but an unbeliever. All true believers in Christ have everlasting life, but he that does not believe will be condemned.
So, how do we go about this part that is strictly up to us? Romans 10:9-10 explains that. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That’s it.
The verses following John 3:16 further emphasize the facts. John 3:17-18. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
There are only two classes of people in the world. One class are those that have done their part, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved, and are in present possession of everlasting life and will spend Eternity in Heaven with the redeemed. The other class are those that have not done their part, have not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ to the salvation of their souls and are not in possession of everlasting life, and will spend Eternity condemned.
Regardless of who you are, your soul is at stake and you are in one of these classes. You are either a believer in Christ, and have everlasting life, or you are an unbeliever, and condemned. The God who said the one also said the other.
If you are in doubt, ask God to lead you into clear assurance. He graciously tells you that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Thank God, He has done His part,
and by accepting His gift you do your part.
God loved, God gave.
We believe, we have.
And we can say, as it is recorded in:
2 Corinthians 9:7, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.”