“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration ad renewing by the Holy Spirit whom He poured out upon us richly though Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5-7 NASB)
We may all have friends, family members, or co-workers who don’t share the same faith that we have in Jesus Christ. Many say they believe in God, but honestly, have not taken that true step of repentance, turning their lives over and entrusting themselves to Jesus Christ. As Jesus said to the thief on the cross beside Him, “today you will be with me in paradise”. (Luke 23:43 NASB) A huge promise, and it is a promise, to anyone who will call on His name, believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).
We have Jesus’s witness Himself. When He was resurrected and spent time with His disciples and other believers, there is eternal life, as He promised. So, when we see Jesus’s teaching (in Luke 16:19-31) about the rich man who fully enjoyed every pleasure in this world, living only for himself, and Lazarus, who had nothing and was forced to beg for food - their means didn’t matter. It was a matter of the heart. Where their heart was, either right with God, or rejecting God by being filled up with themselves only, was what mattered. Unfortunately, after death, as the rich man learned, it is too late.
If we are followers of Jesus Christ, this brings urgency to our lives to not give up hope and to continue to share at every opportunity. Living our lives with intention; focusing on the eternal.
Our hope: the hope that is simply that we will live with Christ forever in heaven. Something we were not destined for until God intervened, something that we can share with our loved ones, others, even strangers.
Now, we are no longer destined for a place called hell. We are destined to live eternity in the kingdom of light. This new year, let’s shine our bright light as we go about our Father’s business.
Read: Ephesians 2:10
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on Led by the Holy Spirit on January 6th, 2018 - Watch Sermon