Why, Oh Why?
Outline: Prompts hearer to think about life after death, the judgment, Christ's resurrection from the dead. Eternal life can't be earned, it is a gift of God. Easy to go through the wide gate to hell, not easy to go on the narrow way to heaven. Only the outstretched hand of faith can receive eternal life.
|Theme:||Obedience; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Judgement; Sin, disobedience; Eternal / everlasting life|
|Audience:||Atheist; General; Western|
Many years ago a stranger was travelling along a country road when he came to a crossroads. A tramp was lying down by the side of the road, so he asked him which was the way to the nearest town. All that the tramp did in answer to his question was to raise his leg in the proper direction. The traveller was so amazed at this response that he said to the tramp, "If you can do anything lazier than that, I'll give you half a crown." "Put it in my pocket then," was the witty reply.
Yes, "Put it in my pocket." Wouldn't this do as a slogan for our age, when so many people seem to expect everything to come to them easily, and without effort on their part? Yet to adopt an attitude like that is very dangerous in any aspect of life, and particularly so when it concerns the salvation of the soul.
Dear listener, have you thought about the meaning of life and about your destiny after death? Oh, it's so easy to persuade oneself that there is nothing after death, but God's Word states clearly that a man's life doesn't finish with the grave. We read in the Bible, for instance, the sober words, "It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes the judgement." Jesus Christ, God's Son, was slain on the cross, but God raised Him up from the dead, and He has appointed Him as the Judge of all men on the day of resurrection. Have you faced seriously the fact of the resurrection of Christ from the dead?
But perhaps you say to yourself, "Well, even if there is life after death, everything will be all right because God is merciful, and surely He wouldn't therefore cast anyone into hell!" Yes, God is merciful, and in love He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for sinners, so that everyone who believes on Him will not perish, but have eternal life. Now, eternal life isn't something you receive after you've died if you have lived good enough. It is a free gift which God gives in this life to everyone who repents for their sins, and believes from the heart that Jesus Christ is truly His eternal Son. But remember that God doesn't put this priceless gift into the pockets of tramps who are too lazy to even get on their feet. If we remain lying on our backs, we will go to hell, and we won't have anyone to blame but ourselves.
A man once asked Jesus Christ, "Lord, are those who are saved, few?" The Lord answered, "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Take note that you must strive. You cannot take your salvation for granted. It is possible to slide into damnation, but it isn't possible to slide into salvation. All you have to do to be lost is to remain as you are! It is easy to go through the wide gate which leads to destruction because we don't have to leave anything outside. We can take our sins with us and we can go arm in arm with the sinners of our choice. But that is not the way that we can go through the narrow gate which leads to life. Each one of us must go on his own, and we must leave our sins outside the gate. The gateway is far too narrow for us to take anything with us. We must enter it naked and empty-handed. This is work which we cannot do if we are lying on our backs!
It is a matter of urgency. Today is the time to seek God. Tomorrow will be too late. The reason why many were unable to enter the narrow door is because they were too late. The door had been shut. Stand up now, before it is too late. Don't dream that you will find salvation conveniently placed some day in your pocket without you even making the effort to rise and go to Christ for it.
The salvation which was purchased at such a cost by God's Son isn't something to be placed in the pocket. It is something to be sought and requested with outstretched hands. Faith is the hand which alone is able to take this precious gift. God is not offering us half a crown, but the Golden Crown of Life. Awaken then, stand, strive, before the door of salvation is closed. The divine promise is, "Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you."
2 verses of "Pam O Pam" in Welsh ('Why, Oh, Why...?')