Three Messages for Your Consideration
#1 So Great a Salvation
“Great” is a simple but wonderfully expressive English word. To speak of something being great we are saying it is remarkably outstanding. Highly significant. Especially notable. Extraordinarily wonderful. Exceedingly substantial. Great is enormous. Immense. Tremendous.
Hebrews 2 calls our salvation “so great a salvation.” Why? Here’s 7 reasons salvation is so great.
(1) Salvation’s great because it’s inspired by God’s great love. His divine love for us is beyond human comprehension. It is unconditional. Unalterable. And Unchanging. The Bible calls it a “great love with which he loved us (Eph. 2:4). That means you and I. Even when we were unlovable. That’s great love!
(2) Salvation’s great because it’s prompted by God’s great grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It’s a blessing we don’t deserve and haven’t earned. Three times in Ephesians Paul speaks of “the riches of His grace.” God’s grace is rich, wonderful and great because as the hymnist, Julia Johnston, wrote, it’s a marvelous “grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.” That’s great grace!
(3) Salvation’s great because it’s motivated by God’s great mercy. David ex-pressed it when he exclaimed, “Great is your mercy toward me” (Ps 86:13). God is patient. Longsuffering. And slow to anger. When we humbly obey Him, He gives us what we don’t deserve. That’s grace. But he withholds what we do deserve. That’s great mercy!
(4) Salvation’s great because it’s available by God’s great gift. The sacrifice of His Son. Grace, mercy, and love compelled God to send Jesus to die for our sins. “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13). Jesus died for us when we were aliens and enemies. Strangers and estranged. Unresponsive and uncaring. That’s a great gift!
(5) Salvation’s great because it’s accessible by God’s great plan. The plan of salvation is simple and unelaborated. Easy to understand. Available. Attainable. And accessible. Jesus calls on us to believe on Him. Repent of our sins. Confess our allegiance to Him. And be baptized for the remission of our sins. (Mk. 16:16; Matt 10:32; Acts 2:38). What a great plan!
(6) Salvation’s great because it results in great spiritual blessings. (Eph. 1:3) Forgiveness. Pardon. Redemption. Justification. Peace of mind. A clear conscience. The privilege of prayer. Divine association. Fellowship in God’s family. And an abundant life that makes the home better, burdens bearable, work meaningful, and relationships sweeter.
(7) Salvation’s great because of its great reward. The hope of heaven. The Hebrew writer warned, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward (10:35). Our hope and reward is eternal life (Titus 1:2). It’s a place prepared for us in heaven. A home with no tears. No sorrow. No sickness. No pain. No dying. No separation. That’s a great reward!
#2 A Message for Hurting Hearts
My late father, Roy Weliever, was a Christian. He served as a Shepherd in the Lord’s church. He was a good provider. A hard worker. A godly example. And a man who loved to share God’s Word with others. John 14:1-3 was one of his very favorite passages. I always think of him when I read it.
“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.”
Six words came to my mind this morning in reading this text again.
Protection. The disciples were saddened. Their minds were perplexed. And their hearts were heavy. And the trouble they would face was only beginning. Jesus cared about their feelings. Their fears. And the problems they’d encounter. So, he offered them comfort. Remember, whatever trouble you’re facing today, Jesus cares. He knows. He hears. He feels- and wants you to trust in His protective care. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” He says to you.
Promise. Jesus’ promises offered help and provided hope. These verses are only the beginning of how He would see them through the challenges and problems throughout their lives. Jesus promised, “I will go…” “I will prepare…” “I will come again.” “I will receive you…” Later the apostle Peter reminded us that we enjoy “great and precious promises” in
Christ Jesus. When trouble comes your way, stop, and think about His promises. Forgiveness of sins. The privilege of prayer. The gift of the Holy Spirit. The fellowship of believers. Purpose in life. Hope beyond the grave.
Provisions. Sometimes, people promise something that they can’t provide. Not Jesus. Just as He trusted the Father to provide, we can trust our Savior. He’s preparing for us something special. Something beyond our fondest dreams. He had provided for us all things that pertain to life and godliness and has prepared something beyond anything imaginable in this life.
Place. “I go to prepare a place,” Jesus promised. That place is heaven. It’s a real place. It’s not a state of mind. Or some utopia on earth. Or the figment of the imagination of a fundamentalist preacher. Heaven is a place beyond this life. Older versions use the word “mansion.” It may be better translated as “rooms” or “dwelling places.” Jesus has prepared a place where we will dwell together. Not in separate mansions in a gated community. We will live in His huge, heavenly house.
Presence. We will dwell in the presence of God Himself. Jesus said, “where I am, you will be also.” What an incredible thought! To dwell with the Divine Family. To see God. To literally commune with Christ. To be in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Wow! What a day that will be.
Preparation. Jesus has made the preparation. It’s all in God’s eternal plan. His promises and provisions can be counted on. And our place is secured. But we too must make preparation. It’s often said that “heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” None of us will accidentally arrive in heaven. Christ calls you to become a Christian. To obey the gospel. To receive His grace. To follow Him. And be faithful until death. The message ought to comfort our hearts, calm our souls, relieve our fears, strengthen our faith, and fortify our hope. My Dad believed it. I do too. Do you?
#3 Why Study the Bible?
We briefly offer these 6 reasons why you need to grow in your Bible knowledge:
(1) The Bible is the Word of God. The Scripture claims to originate from God. Paul affirmed, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God… (2 Tim 2:16)
(2) The Bible affirms God’s presence in our lives. Some folks falsely claim we don’t need the Bible because we can feel God’s presence in our lives. But how do you know that? Who told you? The Psalmist wrote, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth” (Ps 145:18)
(3) The Bible declares God’s nature. God is love. Merciful. Forgiving. Compassionate. And holy. How do we know? The Bible tells us so! (Eph 2:4; Ps 99:9; Isa 55:7-8; Lev 11:44; Ps 86:15)
(4) The Bible reveals how to be saved from sin. “What must I do to be saved?” This question is asked and answered in the book of Acts. Without the Bible, we know nothing of God’s plan, His purpose in Christ, and His offer of peace and pardon through the cross (Eph. 1-2).
(5) The Bible provides a blueprint for Christian living. Practical guidelines for families, social relationships, and citizenship responsibilities are found in the Bible.
(6) The Bible informs us of our origin, purpose and eternal destiny. The Bible tells the story of creation in Genesis, why we are here on earth in Ephesians, and what God has planned for His people for eternity in Revelation. Without it we are groping in darkness and without a clue regarding our purpose.