Today’s Scripture:

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Introduction:

Today, we wrap up this quick 3 day series on the Fascinating Love of God.  It’s good to some times just do short, quick series like this because they’re often the times when the Holy Ghost is most likely to completely take over these messages, and I have to think less about how to illustrate things, and what to write.

However, talking about the love of God is always one of the topics that I know the Holy Spirit enjoys talking about…and it’s been fun writing these messages.  I know they’ve been a blessing to me, and I hope they will and have been for you as well.

So…let’s get into today’s message:  “Abortion and the Narrow Way That Leads to Life”

Today’s Message:

God is not only a God of holiness and wrath; he is also a God rich in mercy.

Rich in mercy is our God.  You know, much is made of the holiness of God, and it should be made much of because…well…God IS holy.  He’s so holy that there are creatures in Heaven that have spent all of eternity passed, eternity present, and will spend eternity future doing nothing but singing:  “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who Was, and Is, and Is to come.”  That’s all they do.  So, I agree with something Pastor Stephen Robbins would frequently say;  “We should make much of what the Bible makes much about.”  So…we should make much of the holiness of God.

However, I think that something that doesn’t get much attention is God’s mercy.  If you do just a quick word study on “his mercy endureth for ever”…you find over 40 references to God’s mercy that endures forever.  In fact, in Lamentations 3:22-23 we read this:  “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

I can’t tell you how many sermons I’ve been in with either Pastor Stephen Robbins or my current pastors at New Life Christian Center who will start a service or at some point within the service have us repeat:  “For the Lord, He is good, and His mercy endures for ever.”.

So, praise God…we have a God who is rich in mercy.  That’s good news, friends.

And so he sent his Son into the world, not condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him from God’s own wrath (John 3:17).

God didn’t send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it from His wrath.  You know, the sad thing is that we as the Body of Christ have this backwards.  We spend more time telling people that they need to get right with God because if they don’t they will experience His wrath, and very little time extending the same mercy God extends to us…and sharing with the world what God’s mercy did in our lives…and we wonder why the world doesn’t want anything we have to offer.  I’ll tell you why.  The world does a better job at extending mercy and grace to people than the church does…and that’s not the way it should be.

Friends, we in the Body of Christ ought to be the kindest people in the world.  We ought to be so ready and willing to extend grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness to people in the world because of the great wealth of grace, mercy, forgiveness and love that God has extended to us.  We should be the best tippers when it comes to eating out at restaurants, and we should be willing to extend grace and mercy at the drop of a hat.

We don’t do that, though…do we?  No…the Body of Christ doesn’t look any different from the world, and in some cases the world looks like they’re doing a better job at what we as the Body of Christ ought to be doing.  No where in the Bible does God tell us to beat people into submission when it comes to evangelizing a lost, hurting, and dying world that’s going to hell because they refuse to accept Christ because the people who represent Christ are the rudest, most obnoxious, and arrogant jerks they’ve ever met.

When in the Bible did Jesus say that the world would know His disciples because they’re so rude?  How about obnoxious?  How about unloving?  Unforgiving?  Argumentative?  No…Jesus said the world would know His disciples by LOVE.  However, if you ask people in the world they will routinely tell you that they have been hurt by people in the church…and it’s not always the members…some times it’s the people standing behind the pulpits that are the biggest jerks of all.

How dare you stand in a place of judgment pointing your finger at the plank in the eyes of the world when you have the biggest log in your own eye!?!  Listen, if God didn’t send His Son into the world to condemn it…and He very well could have…and should have…then who are we to condemn it for Him and call that ministry?  How dare we point out the flaws and sins of the world…and then go within the walls of our congregations asking God to bless us?  Why in the world would God bless people who have no idea what it means to extend the very same grace and mercy they have received.

Maybe you have forgotten where you were, and what kind of life you were living before you received God’s grace and mercy, and confessed His Son as your Lord and Savior…but this Pastor has NOT.  You will never find this pastor of this ministry looking down his nose at society because he knows full well that he was in a place where society had every right to look down it’s nose at him.  I lived a horrendous life before I became a whosoever that called upon the name of the Lord to be saved.

And in an attempt to be honest and transparent with you…even after I confessed Jesus as Lord…I still lived a horrendous life until God finally got hold of me to let me know He had a plan and purpose for my life, and if I didn’t straighten my life around and get my head out of my hinny He was going to remove my lampstand…and take me out Himself.  So…who the heck am I to point fingers and throw rocks when my house of glass is full of holes?

I wasn’t intending to go here, but I knew the Holy Ghost would grab hold of this message as soon as I saw the subtitle.  One of my biggest pet peeves is these people who are part of the Body of Christ who stand outside of abortion clinics with the most despicable and unloving signs that the world wouldn’t even think to hold up.

Listen…do you want to know what true love is and does?  True love doesn’t hold up a picket sign condemning some poor woman because she’s going to an abortion clinic.  True love takes the woman’s hand and walks her into the clinic, and back out…that’s true love.  That’s the kind of mercy we’re called to put on display for the world…because that’s the kind of mercy that God put on display for the world on the Cross.

Jesus on the Cross was about much more than the sozo life.  It was a display for all the world to see that God so loved the world that He was willing to sacrifice Himself so that HE could extend grace and mercy to the world unlike anything we would ever experience anywhere else.

There is NO God like our God…and because of the grace and mercy He has extended to me…there’s no way I’m going to stand in judgment of people who need it just as badly as I did…and frankly still do.  I need God’s new mercy and grace every day.  I need Him to forgive me every day.  I need Him to wash my sin away EVERY day…

and SO DO YOU!!!

He came not to be served but to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). To lay down his life for the sheep (John 10:15). To bear our sins in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). To provide us with a righteousness that comes, not from our law-keeping, but through faith (Philippians 3:9). And to reconcile us to God (2 Corinthians 5:18; 1 Peter 3:18).

This is what the Cross was ALL about.  Jesus bore our sins in His body, He bore our sickness and disease in HIS body, and He took that to the Cross because He desired to heal us body, soul, mind, and spirit.  He went to the Cross to provide us with a way to be in right standing with God…because we couldn’t earn it or receive it on our own.  He knew before He created us that we were going to need a Savior.  The Cross was always the plan…it was never to rain down judgment and wrath…

Hell was NEVER intended for us…but the sad truth is there are people who are going to choose to go there…and the worst part of this choice they make is they’ve had people minister the gospel of condemnation to them instead of ministering reconciliation…like we’re supposed to.

Not me.  I refuse to point a finger in disgust at the world when God doesn’t point one at me.  I am in no place to judge, but I am in a place to extend grace and mercy.  I’m in no place to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do…but I am in a place to tell them that regardless of what they do or where they are in life…God loves them.  He’s not shocked or surprised by their choices…but loves them.

Friends…THAT is the ministry of reconciliation.  This ministry of condemnation does nothing but drive the world away from the God that can save them, meet their needs, and begin to help them to turn their lives around like He did mine.  GOD was the One who dealt with me about the things He wanted me to change in my life.  I didn’t change because people pointed fingers at me over what I was doing…I changed because God spoke to my heart about things that He wanted to remove from my life…and He’s still removing things from my life that He doesn’t want there.

It’s not your job to point out what I need to change or work on…it’s God’s.  He’s the One who knows my heart, He knows what He’s doing, and He knows how He wants to bring about the changes in my life that He wants to bring about.

We just came from a fantastic marriage seminar from my church and in it was a quote that I wish the church would grab a hold of.   The quote:  “It’s not our job to bring conviction to our spouses about what they need to change…that’s the job of the Holy Ghost.”  Let’s expand that to the Body of Christ.  It’s not the Body of Christ’s responsibility to convict the world of their sin…that’s the job of the Holy Ghost…our job is to be ambassador’s for  Christ…and minister reconciliation…preach the Gospel…and let the world know that there’s a God who loves them and wants to help them overcome the crap in their lives…but in order for Him to do that…they need to believe upon His Son and confess Him as Lord.

It’s our job to lead the lost to the Cross…it’s the job of the Holy Ghost to do the rest.  If you’re one of those who shovels condemnation on people…let me assure you that God is going to deal with YOU…and that wrath that you think you’re sparing people from by shoveling condemnation upon people is going to come down upon YOU.

Listen…don’t get mad and leave me angry messages…this is straight from the Holy Ghost.  I had no intentions nor ideas of taking this message this direction.  I didn’t even know what I was going to write about until I started writing…so this is Holy Ghost speaking…so if you have an issue with anything I’ve written to this point…don’t take it up with me…take it up with the Holy Ghost.

I can almost feel God’s anger as I write what He’s speaking.  This is something that’s near and dear to the heart of God, and He’s not happy with the Body of Christ.  He cannot pour out His Spirit upon the earth with a body that is rude and has no desire to extend the very same measure of grace and mercy that God has extended to it.

Wake up people…the end is drawing near…and if you don’t want to do the job God’s called you to do…He’ll remove your lampstand…and that isn’t me…that’s God.  Again…if you have an issue…take it up with Him…don’t leave me a comment about how I don’t understand how to minister to the lost.

Friends…you were lost at one point…and you needed God’s grace and mercy extended to you…and He extended it freely…so why is it that you have forgotten where you were and what your life was like when you came to Jesus…and why is it that you feel you’re so much better than the people you’re attempting to minister to…just because you have a relationship with God that they do not?  You were once an enemy of God’s yourself…so get down off your pedestal…and remember what you were like when you needed God’s mercy.

All the children of wrath may become children of the Father through Jesus Christ.

Who are the children or wrath?  Those who aren’t saved.  You and I who are saved all realized at one point that we were going the wrong way in life, and we needed God to save us.  We came to a point where we realized that living life our way wasn’t working, and we needed to go in a different direction.  We came to a point of our knee at the altar of our lives where we realized that we were so far away from God that we didn’t think we were worthy of returning to Him, but we took one look at the Cross…and at some point we understood that was God’s display of grace and mercy…and instead of hoping that was for us…one point we realized that was for us…and that we needed it.  So…we became whosoever and called upon the name of the Lord to receive the very grace and mercy we now refuse to extend to a lost and dying world in need of a Savior.  How dare you and I refuse to extend what we needed from God to a world that desperately needs God just as much as we did when we called upon His Son to save us.

An aging aboritionist, after 3,000 abortions, can become a child of God. She could hear Jesus say, on her death-bed, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Amazing.  The same Jesus who told the thief on the cross next to Him told this woman that she would be in paradise with Him.  The same can be said of Jeffery Dahmer or any one else who became a whosoever and called upon the name of the Lord.

Friends, I believe that when we all get to Heaven we’re going to be shocked at some of the people who are there to greet us, and we’re also going to be shocked at some of the people who will NOT be there to greet us.  I believe there are many people who had lives far worse than mine, and who did things far worse than I have who will be there to greet me in Heaven, and I believe there are going to be people who thought they were doing the most good for the Kingdom of Heaven who won’t be there to greet me at all.

Remember, friends, there are going to be sheep and there are going to be goats.  Which one you are going to be depends upon what you did with your time here.  Many are going to say:  “Lord, Lord”, and His response will be:  “Away from Me…I never knew you.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be known as a person who was full of love, forgiveness, and willing to extend grace and mercy…I don’t want God to look at me and call me wicked…and I don’t want Him to ask me why I didn’t extend the same grace and mercy that He extended to me.  The only thing I hope to hear from Him is “Well Done”.

The same is true for the mother of five aborted children. And for the selfish, responsibility-shirking boyfriend. And for the secretive, shame-fearing, overbearing parent. And for the desperate 14-year-old girl.

Jesus did not mainly come to stop abortions in this world. He came mainly to die for abortion-committing sinners. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

What other groups of people can we insert here?  How about homosexuals?  How about murderers?  Child molesters?  Rapists?  What groups of people do you think are about to face the wrath of God?  I challenge you to take a moment to think about what group of people you would find yourself in.  How about drunkards?  Thieves?  Slanderers?  Listen…we may see a ranking of sin…but to God…sin is sin there’s no such thing as one sin being worse than another…except the unpardonable sin (blasphemy of the Holy Ghost).  Listen…do you want to know how to blasphemy the Holy Ghost?  By refusing to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Jesus came to die for the alcoholics, He came to die for the meth, coke, and crack heads, He came to die for the heroin addict with the needle stuck in his arm, He came to die for the prostitute on the street, He came to die for the murderer, He came to die for the child molester, He came to die for the homosexual, the racist bigot, the gossiper, the slanderer, and He came to die for me and He came to die for YOU.

Listen…all of us who hadn’t receive Christ as our Lord and Savior were under the same death sentence, and it doesn’t matter if we live good lives or crooked lives.  If we live without accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…we’re going to live for eternity in hell…and that’s the truth.

There is one way to know God as your Father. And it’s the same for the people at Planned Parenthood, and the people at Pro-life Action, and the people at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Come to Jesus.

It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from.  It doesn’t matter what kind of person we are, or what kind of lives we have lived.  It doesn’t matter if we grew up on the right side of the tracks or the wrong side.  ALL of us need God’s grace and mercy at some point, and it’s up to us to receive it or reject it.

Also, once we have receive it…it’s up to us to learn how to extend it to others who needed it just as badly as we did.  I think the best way to close this message isn’t for me to say anything at all…but allow Jesus to have the last word…and that last word is this:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

Conclusion:

Friend…do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  Do you need that mercy and grace that God displayed upon the Cross through His Son extended to you?  Do you feel like you’ve lived a life unworthy of the grace and mercy that God displayed through His Son?  I want you to know that’s true…none of us were worthy to receive what God displayed through His Son…but that’s what Grace and Mercy are.  That’s why what Jesus did was such a miracle, and something that we all have to come to a decision of what we’re going to do with it and about what Jesus did.

Are we going to accept it for us…or are we going to reject it.  Maybe you’ve never heard or known about the steps to receiving Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior.  Maybe you’ve allowed yourself to believe that you need to clean up your life first, and then come back to God when you’ve got yourself together…but that’s not true.  You can come to God right now…exactly as you are…where you are…and you can ask Him to save you…and He will.

It’s very easy and simple to do…in fact…it’s as simple as the “ABC’s”:

A- Admit
Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from your sin.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23
B- Believe
Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3: 16
C- Confess
Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10, 13

If you’d like to ask Jesus into your heart…you can do so by believing in your heart and confessing Him as Lord as you say this simple prayer…but say it out loud so that the devil knows you mean it…ready…let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus…come into my heart.  Forgive me of my sin.  Wash me, cleanse me, and set me free.  Jesus, thank You that You died for me.  I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You’re coming back for me.  Place me IN Your Ark right now, today.  Fill me with the Holy Ghost.  Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God, and a holy boldness to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I boldly confess that I am a whosoever that has called upon the name of the Lord…that I am IN the Ark…and that I am saved…I am born again…I am forgiven…I am the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus…and I am In the Ark and on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.  In Jesus name I pray…Amen!