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Are You In?

/ Master's Message-Disciples Path

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Do you know if you are “in” yet? Are you assured of eternal life? Who is really going to Heaven?

 

Those may well be the most urgent question of our earthly existence. We live is a religious world that is by and large made up of multitudes who are either unconcerned or misguided as to their eternal soul. The only guidebook to Heaven is God’s Word. The only Guide is God’s Son who died on a Roman Cross as a Sacrificial Substitute for sin.

 

Dr. Berry was one of the first of the so-called New Theology men, who preached salvation by character rather than by the atoning blood of Christ, salvation by ethical culture rather than by personal faith in the Lord Jesus, salvation by reformation rather than by regeneration.  Popular, eloquent and personally pleasing, he attracted large audiences, who hung upon his words and depended upon him as their spiritual mentor.

         But a great change was seen in his preaching, which resulted from a new experience with God which revolutionized his thinking.  He said that late one stormy night, as he was preparing to retire, the doorbell rang.  When he went down and opened the door, there stood a poorly dressed young woman who asked if he was the minister.  Upon being assured that he was, she begged him to go with her at once to get her mother in.

         He thought that she meant that her poor mother was out in the storm and the darkness in an intoxicated condition; so he demurred, saying he could hardly be expected to go out and get her mother in and suggested that she see a policeman who might give the help required.

         The girl explained that her mother was not drunk and added, “You must come with me.  My mother is dying, and she is afraid to die.  She wants to go to heaven, but she doesn’t know how to get in.  I told her I’d get a preacher to take her in.  Do come sir, and get my mother in”

         He now understood that the dying woman needed someone who could show her the way of salvation, but he hesitated, thinking it was hardly a case for him.  He urged the girl to go to a missioner living near the wretched locality in which she lived.  But she refused.  She insisted she wanted a real minister and begged him to go with her.  “Do come, sir.  I want you to get my mother in before it’s too late.  Please sir, do come with me.”

         At last, he consented to go, and the girl led the way to one of the worst sections of the city.  In this miserable neighborhood, she took him into a tenement house and up a rickety flight of stairs to a poverty-stricken room.  Down stairs many men and women were drinking and carousing, and the air resounded with horrid oaths and vile language.  The minister found the poor woman lying on a miserable makeshift of a bed, evidently near to death.

         “I’ve brought him!” exclaimed the daughter.  “I’ve got the minister from the big church where the swells go.  He’ll get you in, Mother.  Just do what he says.”

         “What can I do for you, my poor woman?” he inquired as kindly as he could.

         “Why sir, I’m dying, and I want you to get me into heaven.  I’ve been a great sinner, and I don’t know how to get in.” 

         The minister began to speak of the necessity of a good life, of building a noble character, and how goodness always paid in the end.

         “You don’t understand, sir!” she cried.  “That won’t do!  I’m dying and I’ve lived a bad life.  It’s too late for me.  Oh, can’t you get me in?”

         He tried again and gave some good advice and endeavored to comfort her by expressing the hope that all would be well if she would only seek to lead a Christian life.

         “That won’t do!” she exclaimed.  I’m a poor sinner!  I’ve no time to lead a Christian life.  I’m dying and I want to go in.  Oh, can’t you tell me how I may get into heaven?”

         Dr. Berry did not know what to say or how to comfort her.  At last he thought, “Why not tell her what my mother used to tell me?  Why not give her some of the simple texts and Gospel stories I learned as a child?”

         With this in mind he began to repeat some of the precious Gospel verses telling of God’s love for sinners and of the Savior who had died to redeem.  The woman listened eagerly.  “That’s it!  That ought to get me in, shouldn’t it!  Did he die for sinners?  Then that should get me in.”

         Stirred to the depths of his own being, he told the story of the cross as he had not preached it for years.  Like a thirst soul, she drank in the living water.  Finally, he knelt and prayed with her.  She trusted Christ for herself.  Her fears were allayed and she entered into peace.

         “Jowett,” said Dr. Berry years afterward, “I helped get her in that night, and while I was helping to get her in, I got myself in also[1]!”

 

Jesus talked more about HELL than He did about Heaven for a reason, “many will say to Me in that day – LORD, LORD…and I will say DEPART FROM ME!” (Matthew 7:21ff). Be sure while you can that you are born again and Heavenward Bound!

 

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

 

And to start join me in Luke 13:5-6. Please stand as we read these verses.

 

 

  • 1.   there is only one gospel of eternal salvation Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SAVATION 
  • salvation is light, life, and peace   Luke 1:47-79  v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.   1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.    SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY
  • 3.   salvation is a person  Luke 2:30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation  SALVATION IS A PERSON
  • jesus preached – bear fruit or be cast into the fire  Luke 3:8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE  Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
  • salvation is hearing Christ’s voice and following him  Luke 5:20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”  SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH  5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him,  “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS  5:32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  BY REPENTING SINNERS
  • 6.   believers are engaged to Christ regenerated and indwelt Luke 5:34 Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroomfast while he is with them?  ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES
  • 7.   genuine believers are Christlike, goodhearted, and lord obeying  Luke 6:35-47 v. 35  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH  v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE    6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  BEARING GOOD FRUIT  6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!
  • jesus calls us to agree with god about our sin  Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified(homologeo said same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS   7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL
  • jesus taught a gospel of enduring fruit bearing Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT
  • salvation is desiring jesus   Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST
  • true believers have been registered in heaven by god Luke 10:20-22 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,  “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.
  • the evidence of Christ’s children is they seek: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them,  “When you pray, say:
  • jesus called for INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him,  “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING. This is shown by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  And then in 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Our Father in heaven (god as father),
  • Hallowed be Your name (worshiping him).
  • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (submissive to him) v. 3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 4  And forgive us our sins, (depending on him)  For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (loving others).
  • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (seeking holiness).
 
  • you can be assured of heaven if you are: Christ CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED  Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Mebefore men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  RICH TOWARD GOD  12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  WATCHING    The unsaved, the lost, the worldlings to the very end of time are exactly opposite this. Remember the sky is falling down literally in the Tribulation and the lost cling to their stuff! Revelation 9:20-21 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Or in modern English: The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.[2]

 

  • jesus describes those heading to heaven as: sin repenting, fruit bearing, gate entering, god knowing, and righteousness doing Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL  13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

Note the contrast of the two ways first God’s Way in James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

 

Then the way of destruction in

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Listen to a paraphrase: Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.[3]

 

  • salvation is when we impossibly come to Christ Luke 14:26-27, 33“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST.

 

  • genuine christians are sin repenting Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS
  • jesus said that three evidences of salvation are: light living, god serving, and word receiving Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER        16:31“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD
  • a true believer realizes they are mercy needing Luke 18:13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY
  • a true believer realizes they are helplessly coming Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION
  • a true believer is lost-knowing and god-obeying Luke 18:19-27  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.”  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
  • a true believer realizes they are found by Christ  Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST
  • a true believer is repentant and forgiven Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Message one: The time has come. So here it is, here is Gospel Presentation number one in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Many things, all-important in Acts 2:37-39: Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” So, what was the summary of the first message? One word, REPENT.

 

Message two: Let’s go to the second gospel presentation in Acts 319. Again it is Peter preaching after the wonderful healing of the man who had been unable to walk for over 40 years (Acts 4:22). What is the gospel message? Listen to Acts 3:19 and then v. 26: v. 19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, v. 26 “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” So, what was the summary of the 2ndmessage? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY.

 

Message three: Now to the third gospel presentation in Acts 4:12  “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved[4].” So what is saved? Saved from sins. Thus we can say in summary after the 3rd Gospel message? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED FROM SIN.

 

Message four: The FOURTH Gospel Message comes in Acts 5:31-32 as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation: “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

 

The FIFTH Gospel Message is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, now we see it. Note Acts 8:13: Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done. So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. When the Apostle Peter who has given every recorded Gospel Message on this videotape so far shows up to confirm the veracity of this evangelistic outreach he declares something was lacking[5] from this man’s conversion. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23: “You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

 

Message six: Look now at the SIXTH Gospel Message in Acts 8:35-37: Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesusto him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

 

The SevenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 9:4-6 which records the Conversion of Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle, where the Gospel Message is described as Turning to God in Acts 26:18-20.

 

The eighTH Gospel Message in Acts 10:35 to 11:18 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, receiving remission of sins, and God granting repentance.

 

The ninTH Gospel Message is in Acts 11:20-21 where the Gospel Message is described as believing and turning.

 

The tenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 10:38-39, 48 where the Gospel Message is described as forgiveness to all who believe, who do so at the appointment of God.

 

The elevenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 14:27-15:9 where the Gospel Message is described as God opening the door of faith and purifying the heart.

 

 

The twelvTH Gospel Message is in Acts 15:19 where the Gospel Message is described as turning to God and away from what offends God’s Word and people.

 

The thirteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 16:14 where the Gospel Message is described as the Lord opening the heart to heed His Word.

 

The fourteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 16:31 where the Gospel Message is described as believing.

 

The fifteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 17:1-7 where the Gospel Message is described by pagans who observed the process as getting a new King of your life.

 

The SixteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 17:30 where the Gospel Message is described as God commanding all to repent.

 

The SeventeenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 18:8-13 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, when God draws one to worship Him.

 

The eighteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 19:8-26 where the Gospel Message is described as a Kingdom, following a Way, which people follow instead of their own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

 

The ninteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 20:21-25 where the Gospel Message is described as repentance, faith, to the Gospel of Grace (Titus 2:11), and into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!).

 

The twentieTH Gospel Message is in Acts 24:14-25 where the Gospel Message is described as a Way, of Worship, that involves righteousness, self-control, and averts judgment that makes the lost to fear. Thus not an easy to believe, try Jesus message!

 

The twenty-first Gospel Message is in Acts 26:14-20 where we see the Gospel Message directly from Jesus, soul winning in Acts. Jesus describes salvation as opened eyes, turning, receiving, and being sanctified. Hoe did Paul sum up what he heard? He told the LOST to “repent, and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance”

 

The twenty-second and final Gospel Message is in Acts 28:31 where the Gospel Message is described as coming into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!). The starting message is repent and the concluding message is God’s Kingdom, both rarely if ever used in our new way of doing God’s business. Should we go back and check out the way we are doing God’s Work, to be sure it is God’s Way?

 

 

[1]  H. A. Ironsides message reprinted in DECISION February 1989.

[2]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[3]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[4]  There is a common description we use today. Peter said again, the third description of salvation: be saved. From what we might ask? Well when the name of the Messiah was given as Jesus it was stated in Matthew 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

[5]  Simon believed and was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit, which was the seal of true conversion and New Birth. This means that belief and baptism without repentance was insufficient. He never repented of his sin so he was never saved! Salvation again is stated by Peter to involve a turning from sin, which is called repentance.

 

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Do you know if you are “in” yet? Are you assured of eternal life? Who is really going to Heaven?

Those may well be the most urgent question of our earthly existence. We live is a religious world that is by and large made up of multitudes who are either unconcerned or misguided as to their eternal soul. The only guidebook to Heaven is God’s Word. The only Guide is God’s Son who died on a Roman Cross as a Sacrificial Substitute for sin.

Dr. Berry was one of the first of the so-called New Theology men, who preached salvation by character rather than by the atoning blood of Christ, salvation by ethical culture rather than by personal faith in the Lord Jesus, salvation by reformation rather than by regeneration.  Popular, eloquent and personally pleasing, he attracted large audiences, who hung upon his words and depended upon him as their spiritual mentor.

But a great change was seen in his preaching, which resulted from a new experience with God which revolutionized his thinking.  He said that late one stormy night, as he was preparing to retire, the doorbell rang.  When he went down and opened the door, there stood a poorly dressed young woman who asked if he was the minister.  Upon being assured that he was, she begged him to go with her at once to get her mother in.

He thought that she meant that her poor mother was out in the storm and the darkness in an intoxicated condition; so he demurred, saying he could hardly be expected to go out and get her mother in and suggested that she see a policeman who might give the help required.

The girl explained that her mother was not drunk and added, “You must come with me.  My mother is dying, and she is afraid to die.  She wants to go to heaven, but she doesn’t know how to get in.  I told her I’d get a preacher to take her in.  Do come sir, and get my mother in”

He now understood that the dying woman needed someone who could show her the way of salvation, but he hesitated, thinking it was hardly a case for him.  He urged the girl to go to a missionary living near the wretched locality in which she lived.  But she refused.  She insisted she wanted a real minister and begged him to go with her.  “Do come, sir.  I want you to get my mother in before it’s too late.  Please sir, do come with me.”

At last, he consented to go, and the girl led the way to one of the worst sections of the city.  In this miserable neighborhood, she took him into a tenement house and up a rickety flight of stairs to a poverty-stricken room.  Down stairs many men and women were drinking and carousing, and the air resounded with horrid oaths and vile language.  The minister found the poor woman lying on a miserable makeshift of a bed, evidently near to death.

            “I’ve brought him!” exclaimed the daughter.  “I’ve got the minister from the big church where the swells go.  He’ll get you in, Mother.  Just do what he says.”

            “What can I do for you, my poor woman?” he inquired as kindly as he could.

            “Why sir, I’m dying, and I want you to get me into heaven.  I’ve been a great sinner, and I don’t know how to get in.” 

            The minister began to speak of the necessity of a good life, of building a noble character, and how goodness always paid in the end.

            “You don’t understand, sir!” she cried.  “That won’t do!  I’m dying and I’ve lived a bad life.  It’s too late for me.  Oh, can’t you get me in?”

            He tried again and gave some good advice and endeavored to comfort her by expressing the hope that all would be well if she would only seek to lead a Christian life.

            “That won’t do!” she exclaimed.  I’m a poor sinner!  I’ve no time to lead a Christian life.  I’m dying and I want to go in.  Oh, can’t you tell me how I may get into heaven?”

Dr. Berry did not know what to say or how to comfort her.  At last he thought, “Why not tell her what my mother used to tell me?  Why not give her some of the simple texts and Gospel stories I learned as a child?”

With this in mind he began to repeat some of the precious Gospel verses telling of God’s love for sinners and of the Savior who had died to redeem.  The woman listened eagerly.  “That’s it!  That ought to get me in, shouldn’t it!  Did he die for sinners?  Then that should get me in.”

Stirred to the depths of his own being, he told the story of the cross as he had not preached it for years.  Like a thirsty soul, she drank in the living water.  Finally, he knelt and prayed with her.  She trusted Christ for herself.  Her fears were allayed and she entered into peace.

            “Jowett,” said Dr. Berry years afterward, “I helped get her in that night, and while I was helping to get her in, I got myself in also[1]!”

Jesus talked more about HELL than He did about Heaven for a reason, “many will say to Me in that day – LORD, LORD…and I will say DEPART FROM ME!” (Matthew 7:21ff). Be sure while you can that you are born again and Heavenward Bound!

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

And to start join me in Luke 13:5-6. Please read these verses.

 

1. There is only one Gospel of eternal salvation Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SALVATION
2. Salvation is light, life, and peace   Luke 1:47-79  v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.   1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.    SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY
3. Salvation is a person  Luke 2:30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation  SALVATION IS A PERSON
4. Jesus preached – bear fruit or be cast into the fire  Luke 3:8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE  Luke 3:9And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
5. Salvation is hearing Christ’s voice and following Him  Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”  SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH  5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him,  “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS  5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  BY REPENTING SINNERS
6. Believers are engaged to Christ regenerated and indwelt Luke 5:34Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?  ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES
7. Genuine believers are Christlike, goodhearted, and Lord obeying Luke 6:35-47 v. 35  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH  v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE    6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  BEARING GOOD FRUIT  6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!
8. Jesus calls us to agree with God about our sin  Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified (homologeo said same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS   7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL
9. Jesus taught a Gospel of enduring fruit bearing Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT
10. Salvation is desiring Jesus   Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST
11. True believers have been registered in heaven by God Luke 10:20-22Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,  “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.
12. The evidence of Christ’s children is they seek: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them,  “When you pray, say:

  • Our Father in heaven (God as father),
  • Hallowed be Your name (worshiping Him).
  • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (submissive to Him) v. 3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 4  And forgive us our sins, (depending on Him)  For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (loving others).
  • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (seeking holiness).
13. Jesus called for INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him,  “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING. This is shown by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  And then in 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

 

14. You can be assured of heaven if you are: Christ CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED  Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  RICH TOWARD GOD  12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watchingwhen he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  WATCHING    The unsaved, the lost, the worldlings to the very end of time are exactly opposite this. Remember the sky is falling down literally in the Tribulation and the lost cling to their stuff! Revelation 9:20-21 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Or in modern English: The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.[2]

 

15. Jesus describes those heading to heaven as: sin repenting, fruit bearing, gate entering, god knowing, and righteousness doing Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL  13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Note the contrast of the two ways first God’s Way in James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Then the way of destruction in

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Listen to a paraphrase: Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.[3]

 

16. Salvation is when we impossibly come to Christ Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST.

 

17. Genuine christians are sin repenting Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS
18. Jesus said that three evidences of salvation are: light living, God serving, and word receiving Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD
19. A true believer realizes they are mercy needing Luke 18:13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY
20. A true believer realizes they are helplessly coming Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION
21. A true believer is lost-knowing and God-obeying Luke 18:19-27  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.”  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
22. A true believer realizes they are found by Christ  Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST
23. A true believer is repentant and forgiven Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN

Message one: The time has come. So here it is, here is Gospel Presentation number one in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Many things, all-important in Acts 2:37-39: Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” So, what was the summary of the first message? One word, REPENT.

Message two: Let’s go to the second Gospel presentation in Acts 3:19. Again it is Peter preaching after the wonderful healing of the man who had been unable to walk for over 40 years (Acts 4:22). What is the gospel message? Listen to Acts 3:19 and then v. 26: v. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, v. 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. So, what was the summary of the 2ndmessage? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY.

Message three: Now to the third Gospel presentation in Acts 4:12  Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved[4]. So what is saved? Saved from sins. Thus we can say in summary after the 3rd Gospel message? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED FROM SIN.

Message four: The FOURTH Gospel Message comes in Acts 5:31-32 as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation: “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

The FIFTH Gospel Message is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, now we see it. Note Acts 8:13: Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done. So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. When the Apostle Peter who has given every recorded Gospel Message on this videotape so far shows up to confirm the veracity of this evangelistic outreach he declares something was lacking[5] from this man’s conversion. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23: “You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

Message six: Look now at the SIXTH Gospel Message in Acts 8:35-37: Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesusto him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

The seventh Gospel Message is in Acts 9:4-6 which records the Conversion of Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle, where the Gospel Message is described as Turning to God in Acts 26:18-20.

The eighth Gospel Message in Acts 10:35 to 11:18 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, receiving remission of sins, and God granting repentance.

The ninth Gospel Message is in Acts 11:20-21 where the Gospel Message is described as believing and turning.

The tenth Gospel Message is in Acts 10:38-39, 48 where the Gospel Message is described as forgiveness to all who believe, who do so at the appointment of God.

The eleventh Gospel Message is in Acts 14:27-15:9 where the Gospel Message is described as God opening the door of faith and purifying the heart.

The twelfth Gospel Message is in Acts 15:19 where the Gospel Message is described as turning to God and away from what offends God’s Word and people.

The thirteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 16:14 where the Gospel Message is described as the Lord opening the heart to heed His Word.

The fourteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 16:31 where the Gospel Message is described as believing.

The fifteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 17:1-7 where the Gospel Message is described by pagans who observed the process as getting a new King of your life.

The Sixteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 17:30 where the Gospel Message is described as God commanding all to repent.

The Seventeenth Gospel Message is in Acts 18:8-13 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, when God draws one to worship Him.

The eighteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 19:8-26 where the Gospel Message is described as a Kingdom, following a Way, which people follow instead of their own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

The ninteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 20:21-25 where the Gospel Message is described as repentance, faith, to the Gospel of Grace (Titus 2:11), and into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!).

The twentieth Gospel Message is in Acts 24:14-25 where the Gospel Message is described as a Way, of Worship, that involves righteousness, self-control, and averts judgment that makes the lost to fear. Thus not an easy to believe, try Jesus message!

The twenty-first Gospel Message is in Acts 26:14-20 where we see the Gospel Message directly from Jesus, soul winning in Acts. Jesus describes salvation as opened eyes, turning, receiving, and being sanctified. Hoe did Paul sum up what he heard? He told the LOST to “repent, and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance”

The twenty-second and final Gospel Message is in Acts 28:31 where the Gospel Message is described as coming into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!). The starting message is repent and the concluding message is God’s Kingdom, both rarely if ever used in our new way of doing God’s business. Should we go back and check out the way we are doing God’s Work, to be sure it is God’s Way?

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Do you know if you are “in” yet? Are you assured of eternal life? Who is really going to Heaven?

 

Those may well be the most urgent question of our earthly existence. We live is a religious world that is by and large made up of multitudes who are either unconcerned or misguided as to their eternal soul. The only guidebook to Heaven is God’s Word. The only Guide is God’s Son who died on a Roman Cross as a Sacrificial Substitute for sin.

 

Dr. Berry was one of the first of the so-called New Theology men, who preached salvation by character rather than by the atoning blood of Christ, salvation by ethical culture rather than by personal faith in the Lord Jesus, salvation by reformation rather than by regeneration.  Popular, eloquent and personally pleasing, he attracted large audiences, who hung upon his words and depended upon him as their spiritual mentor.

         But a great change was seen in his preaching, which resulted from a new experience with God which revolutionized his thinking.  He said that late one stormy night, as he was preparing to retire, the doorbell rang.  When he went down and opened the door, there stood a poorly dressed young woman who asked if he was the minister.  Upon being assured that he was, she begged him to go with her at once to get her mother in.

         He thought that she meant that her poor mother was out in the storm and the darkness in an intoxicated condition; so he demurred, saying he could hardly be expected to go out and get her mother in and suggested that she see a policeman who might give the help required.

         The girl explained that her mother was not drunk and added, “You must come with me.  My mother is dying, and she is afraid to die.  She wants to go to heaven, but she doesn’t know how to get in.  I told her I’d get a preacher to take her in.  Do come sir, and get my mother in”

         He now understood that the dying woman needed someone who could show her the way of salvation, but he hesitated, thinking it was hardly a case for him.  He urged the girl to go to a missioner living near the wretched locality in which she lived.  But she refused.  She insisted she wanted a real minister and begged him to go with her.  “Do come, sir.  I want you to get my mother in before it’s too late.  Please sir, do come with me.”

         At last, he consented to go, and the girl led the way to one of the worst sections of the city.  In this miserable neighborhood, she took him into a tenement house and up a rickety flight of stairs to a poverty-stricken room.  Down stairs many men and women were drinking and carousing, and the air resounded with horrid oaths and vile language.  The minister found the poor woman lying on a miserable makeshift of a bed, evidently near to death.

         “I’ve brought him!” exclaimed the daughter.  “I’ve got the minister from the big church where the swells go.  He’ll get you in, Mother.  Just do what he says.”

         “What can I do for you, my poor woman?” he inquired as kindly as he could.

         “Why sir, I’m dying, and I want you to get me into heaven.  I’ve been a great sinner, and I don’t know how to get in.” 

         The minister began to speak of the necessity of a good life, of building a noble character, and how goodness always paid in the end.

         “You don’t understand, sir!” she cried.  “That won’t do!  I’m dying and I’ve lived a bad life.  It’s too late for me.  Oh, can’t you get me in?”

         He tried again and gave some good advice and endeavored to comfort her by expressing the hope that all would be well if she would only seek to lead a Christian life.

         “That won’t do!” she exclaimed.  I’m a poor sinner!  I’ve no time to lead a Christian life.  I’m dying and I want to go in.  Oh, can’t you tell me how I may get into heaven?”

         Dr. Berry did not know what to say or how to comfort her.  At last he thought, “Why not tell her what my mother used to tell me?  Why not give her some of the simple texts and Gospel stories I learned as a child?”

         With this in mind he began to repeat some of the precious Gospel verses telling of God’s love for sinners and of the Savior who had died to redeem.  The woman listened eagerly.  “That’s it!  That ought to get me in, shouldn’t it!  Did he die for sinners?  Then that should get me in.”

         Stirred to the depths of his own being, he told the story of the cross as he had not preached it for years.  Like a thirst soul, she drank in the living water.  Finally, he knelt and prayed with her.  She trusted Christ for herself.  Her fears were allayed and she entered into peace.

         “Jowett,” said Dr. Berry years afterward, “I helped get her in that night, and while I was helping to get her in, I got myself in also[1]!”

 

Jesus talked more about HELL than He did about Heaven for a reason, “many will say to Me in that day – LORD, LORD…and I will say DEPART FROM ME!” (Matthew 7:21ff). Be sure while you can that you are born again and Heavenward Bound!

 

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

 

And to start join me in Luke 13:5-6. Please stand as we read these verses.

 

 

  • 1.   there is only one gospel of eternal salvation Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SAVATION 
  • salvation is light, life, and peace   Luke 1:47-79  v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.   1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.    SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY
  • 3.   salvation is a person  Luke 2:30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation  SALVATION IS A PERSON
  • jesus preached – bear fruit or be cast into the fire  Luke 3:8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE  Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
  • salvation is hearing Christ’s voice and following him  Luke 5:20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”  SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH  5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him,  “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS  5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  BY REPENTING SINNERS
  • 6.   believers are engaged to Christ regenerated and indwelt Luke 5:34 Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroomfast while he is with them?  ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES
  • 7.   genuine believers are Christlike, goodhearted, and lord obeying  Luke 6:35-47 v. 35  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH  v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE    6:43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  BEARING GOOD FRUIT  6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!
  • jesus calls us to agree with god about our sin  Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified(homologeo said same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS   7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL
  • jesus taught a gospel of enduring fruit bearing Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT
  • salvation is desiring jesus   Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST
  • true believers have been registered in heaven by god Luke 10:20-22 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,  “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.
  • the evidence of Christ’s children is they seek: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them,  “When you pray, say:
  • jesus called for INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him,  “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING. This is shown by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  And then in 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
  • Our Father in heaven (god as father),
  • Hallowed be Your name (worshiping him).
  • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (submissive to him) v. 3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 4  And forgive us our sins, (depending on him)  For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (loving others).
  • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (seeking holiness).
 
  • you can be assured of heaven if you are: Christ CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED  Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  RICH TOWARD GOD  12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  WATCHING    The unsaved, the lost, the worldlings to the very end of time are exactly opposite this. Remember the sky is falling down literally in the Tribulation and the lost cling to their stuff! Revelation 9:20-21 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Or in modern English: The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.[2]

 

  • jesus describes those heading to heaven as: sin repenting, fruit bearing, gate entering, god knowing, and righteousness doing Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL  13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

Note the contrast of the two ways first God’s Way in James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

 

Then the way of destruction in

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Listen to a paraphrase: Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.[3]

 

  • salvation is when we impossibly come to Christ Luke 14:26-27, 33“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST.

 

  • genuine christians are sin repenting Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS
  • jesus said that three evidences of salvation are: light living, god serving, and word receiving Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER        16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD
  • a true believer realizes they are mercy needing Luke 18:13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY
  • a true believer realizes they are helplessly coming Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION
  • a true believer is lost-knowing and god-obeying Luke 18:19-27  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.”  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
  • a true believer realizes they are found by Christ  Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST
  • a true believer is repentant and forgiven Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN

 

 

Message one: The time has come. So here it is, here is Gospel Presentation number one in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Many things, all-important in Acts 2:37-39: Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” So, what was the summary of the first message? One word, REPENT.

 

Message two: Let’s go to the second gospel presentation in Acts 319. Again it is Peter preaching after the wonderful healing of the man who had been unable to walk for over 40 years (Acts 4:22). What is the gospel message? Listen to Acts 3:19 and then v. 26: v. 19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, v. 26 “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” So, what was the summary of the 2ndmessage? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY.

 

Message three: Now to the third gospel presentation in Acts 4:12  “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved[4].” So what is saved? Saved from sins. Thus we can say in summary after the 3rd Gospel message? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED FROM SIN.

 

Message four: The FOURTH Gospel Message comes in Acts 5:31-32 as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation: “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

 

The FIFTH Gospel Message is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, now we see it. Note Acts 8:13: Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done. So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. When the Apostle Peter who has given every recorded Gospel Message on this videotape so far shows up to confirm the veracity of this evangelistic outreach he declares something was lacking[5] from this man’s conversion. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23: “You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

 

Message six: Look now at the SIXTH Gospel Message in Acts 8:35-37: Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesusto him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

 

The SevenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 9:4-6 which records the Conversion of Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle, where the Gospel Message is described as Turning to God in Acts 26:18-20.

 

The eighTH Gospel Message in Acts 10:35 to 11:18 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, receiving remission of sins, and God granting repentance.

 

The ninTH Gospel Message is in Acts 11:20-21 where the Gospel Message is described as believing and turning.

 

The tenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 10:38-39, 48 where the Gospel Message is described as forgiveness to all who believe, who do so at the appointment of God.

 

The elevenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 14:27-15:9 where the Gospel Message is described as God opening the door of faith and purifying the heart.

 

 

The twelvTH Gospel Message is in Acts 15:19 where the Gospel Message is described as turning to God and away from what offends God’s Word and people.

 

The thirteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 16:14 where the Gospel Message is described as the Lord opening the heart to heed His Word.

 

The fourteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 16:31 where the Gospel Message is described as believing.

 

The fifteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 17:1-7 where the Gospel Message is described by pagans who observed the process as getting a new King of your life.

 

The SixteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 17:30 where the Gospel Message is described as God commanding all to repent.

 

The SeventeenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 18:8-13 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, when God draws one to worship Him.

 

The eighteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 19:8-26 where the Gospel Message is described as a Kingdom, following a Way, which people follow instead of their own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

 

The ninteenTH Gospel Message is in Acts 20:21-25 where the Gospel Message is described as repentance, faith, to the Gospel of Grace (Titus 2:11), and into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!).

 

The twentieTH Gospel Message is in Acts 24:14-25 where the Gospel Message is described as a Way, of Worship, that involves righteousness, self-control, and averts judgment that makes the lost to fear. Thus not an easy to believe, try Jesus message!

 

The twenty-first Gospel Message is in Acts 26:14-20 where we see the Gospel Message directly from Jesus, soul winning in Acts. Jesus describes salvation as opened eyes, turning, receiving, and being sanctified. Hoe did Paul sum up what he heard? He told the LOST to “repent, and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance”

 

The twenty-second and final Gospel Message is in Acts 28:31 where the Gospel Message is described as coming into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!). The starting message is repent and the concluding message is God’s Kingdom, both rarely if ever used in our new way of doing God’s business. Should we go back and check out the way we are doing God’s Work, to be sure it is God’s Way?

[1]  H. A. Ironsides message reprinted in DECISION February 1989.

[2]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[3]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[4]  There is a common description we use today. Peter said again, the third description of salvation: be saved. From what we might ask? Well when the name of the Messiah was given as Jesus it was stated in Matthew 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

[5]  Simon believed and was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit, which was the seal of true conversion and New Birth. This means that belief and baptism without repentance was insufficient. He never repented of his sin so he was never saved! Salvation again is stated by Peter to involve a turning from sin, which is called repentance.

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Do you know if you are “in” yet? Are you assured of eternal life? Who is really going to Heaven?

Those may well be the most urgent question of our earthly existence. We live is a religious world that is by and large made up of multitudes who are either unconcerned or misguided as to their eternal soul. The only guidebook to Heaven is God’s Word. The only Guide is God’s Son who died on a Roman Cross as a Sacrificial Substitute for sin.

Dr. Berry was one of the first of the so-called New Theology men, who preached salvation by character rather than by the atoning blood of Christ, salvation by ethical culture rather than by personal faith in the Lord Jesus, salvation by reformation rather than by regeneration.  Popular, eloquent and personally pleasing, he attracted large audiences, who hung upon his words and depended upon him as their spiritual mentor.

But a great change was seen in his preaching, which resulted from a new experience with God which revolutionized his thinking.  He said that late one stormy night, as he was preparing to retire, the doorbell rang.  When he went down and opened the door, there stood a poorly dressed young woman who asked if he was the minister.  Upon being assured that he was, she begged him to go with her at once to get her mother in.

He thought that she meant that her poor mother was out in the storm and the darkness in an intoxicated condition; so he demurred, saying he could hardly be expected to go out and get her mother in and suggested that she see a policeman who might give the help required.

The girl explained that her mother was not drunk and added, “You must come with me.  My mother is dying, and she is afraid to die.  She wants to go to heaven, but she doesn’t know how to get in.  I told her I’d get a preacher to take her in.  Do come sir, and get my mother in”

He now understood that the dying woman needed someone who could show her the way of salvation, but he hesitated, thinking it was hardly a case for him.  He urged the girl to go to a missionary living near the wretched locality in which she lived.  But she refused.  She insisted she wanted a real minister and begged him to go with her.  “Do come, sir.  I want you to get my mother in before it’s too late.  Please sir, do come with me.”

At last, he consented to go, and the girl led the way to one of the worst sections of the city.  In this miserable neighborhood, she took him into a tenement house and up a rickety flight of stairs to a poverty-stricken room.  Down stairs many men and women were drinking and carousing, and the air resounded with horrid oaths and vile language.  The minister found the poor woman lying on a miserable makeshift of a bed, evidently near to death.

            “I’ve brought him!” exclaimed the daughter.  “I’ve got the minister from the big church where the swells go.  He’ll get you in, Mother.  Just do what he says.”

            “What can I do for you, my poor woman?” he inquired as kindly as he could.

            “Why sir, I’m dying, and I want you to get me into heaven.  I’ve been a great sinner, and I don’t know how to get in.” 

            The minister began to speak of the necessity of a good life, of building a noble character, and how goodness always paid in the end.

            “You don’t understand, sir!” she cried.  “That won’t do!  I’m dying and I’ve lived a bad life.  It’s too late for me.  Oh, can’t you get me in?”

            He tried again and gave some good advice and endeavored to comfort her by expressing the hope that all would be well if she would only seek to lead a Christian life.

            “That won’t do!” she exclaimed.  I’m a poor sinner!  I’ve no time to lead a Christian life.  I’m dying and I want to go in.  Oh, can’t you tell me how I may get into heaven?”

Dr. Berry did not know what to say or how to comfort her.  At last he thought, “Why not tell her what my mother used to tell me?  Why not give her some of the simple texts and Gospel stories I learned as a child?”

With this in mind he began to repeat some of the precious Gospel verses telling of God’s love for sinners and of the Savior who had died to redeem.  The woman listened eagerly.  “That’s it!  That ought to get me in, shouldn’t it!  Did he die for sinners?  Then that should get me in.”

Stirred to the depths of his own being, he told the story of the cross as he had not preached it for years.  Like a thirsty soul, she drank in the living water.  Finally, he knelt and prayed with her.  She trusted Christ for herself.  Her fears were allayed and she entered into peace.

            “Jowett,” said Dr. Berry years afterward, “I helped get her in that night, and while I was helping to get her in, I got myself in also[1]!”

Jesus talked more about HELL than He did about Heaven for a reason, “many will say to Me in that day – LORD, LORD…and I will say DEPART FROM ME!” (Matthew 7:21ff). Be sure while you can that you are born again and Heavenward Bound!

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

And to start join me in Luke 13:5-6. Please read these verses.

 

1. There is only one Gospel of eternal salvation Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SALVATION
2. Salvation is light, life, and peace   Luke 1:47-79  v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.   1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.    SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY
3. Salvation is a person  Luke 2:30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation  SALVATION IS A PERSON
4. Jesus preached – bear fruit or be cast into the fire  Luke 3:8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE  Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
5. Salvation is hearing Christ’s voice and following Him  Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”  SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH  5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him,  “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS  5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  BY REPENTING SINNERS
6. Believers are engaged to Christ regenerated and indwelt Luke 5:34Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?  ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES
7. Genuine believers are Christlike, goodhearted, and Lord obeying Luke 6:35-47 v. 35  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH  v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE    6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  BEARING GOOD FRUIT  6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!
8. Jesus calls us to agree with God about our sin  Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified (homologeosaid same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS   7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL
9. Jesus taught a Gospel of enduring fruit bearing Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT
10. Salvation is desiring Jesus   Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST
11. True believers have been registered in heaven by God Luke 10:20-22Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,  “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.
12. The evidence of Christ’s children is they seek: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them,  “When you pray, say:

  • Our Father in heaven (God as father),
  • Hallowed be Your name (worshiping Him).
  • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (submissive to Him) v. 3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 4  And forgive us our sins, (depending on Him)  For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (loving others).
  • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (seeking holiness).
13. Jesus called for INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him,  “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING. This is shown by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  And then in 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

 

14. You can be assured of heaven if you are: Christ CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED  Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  RICH TOWARD GOD  12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watchingwhen he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  WATCHING    The unsaved, the lost, the worldlings to the very end of time are exactly opposite this. Remember the sky is falling down literally in the Tribulation and the lost cling to their stuff! Revelation 9:20-21 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Or in modern English: The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.[2]

 

15. Jesus describes those heading to heaven as: sin repenting, fruit bearing, gate entering, god knowing, and righteousness doing Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL  13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Note the contrast of the two ways first God’s Way in James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Then the way of destruction in

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Listen to a paraphrase: Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.[3]

 

16. Salvation is when we impossibly come to Christ Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow mecannot be my disciple.  33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST.

 

17. Genuine christians are sin repenting Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS
18. Jesus said that three evidences of salvation are: light living, God serving, and word receiving Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD
19. A true believer realizes they are mercy needing Luke 18:13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY
20. A true believer realizes they are helplessly coming Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION
21. A true believer is lost-knowing and God-obeying Luke 18:19-27 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.”  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
22. A true believer realizes they are found by Christ  Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST
23. A true believer is repentant and forgiven Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN

Message one: The time has come. So here it is, here is Gospel Presentation number one in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Many things, all-important in Acts 2:37-39: Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” So, what was the summary of the first message? One word, REPENT.

Message two: Let’s go to the second Gospel presentation in Acts 3:19. Again it is Peter preaching after the wonderful healing of the man who had been unable to walk for over 40 years (Acts 4:22). What is the gospel message? Listen to Acts 3:19 and then v. 26: v. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, v. 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. So, what was the summary of the 2ndmessage? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY.

Message three: Now to the third Gospel presentation in Acts 4:12  Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved[4]. So what is saved? Saved from sins. Thus we can say in summary after the 3rd Gospel message? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED FROM SIN.

Message four: The FOURTH Gospel Message comes in Acts 5:31-32 as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation: “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

The FIFTH Gospel Message is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, now we see it. Note Acts 8:13: Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done. So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. When the Apostle Peter who has given every recorded Gospel Message on this videotape so far shows up to confirm the veracity of this evangelistic outreach he declares something was lacking[5] from this man’s conversion. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23: “You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

Message six: Look now at the SIXTH Gospel Message in Acts 8:35-37: Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesusto him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

The seventh Gospel Message is in Acts 9:4-6 which records the Conversion of Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle, where the Gospel Message is described as Turning to God in Acts 26:18-20.

The eighth Gospel Message in Acts 10:35 to 11:18 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, receiving remission of sins, and God granting repentance.

The ninth Gospel Message is in Acts 11:20-21 where the Gospel Message is described as believing and turning.

The tenth Gospel Message is in Acts 10:38-39, 48 where the Gospel Message is described as forgiveness to all who believe, who do so at the appointment of God.

The eleventh Gospel Message is in Acts 14:27-15:9 where the Gospel Message is described as God opening the door of faith and purifying the heart.

The twelfth Gospel Message is in Acts 15:19 where the Gospel Message is described as turning to God and away from what offends God’s Word and people.

The thirteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 16:14 where the Gospel Message is described as the Lord opening the heart to heed His Word.

The fourteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 16:31 where the Gospel Message is described as believing.

The fifteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 17:1-7 where the Gospel Message is described by pagans who observed the process as getting a new King of your life.

The Sixteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 17:30 where the Gospel Message is described as God commanding all to repent.

The Seventeenth Gospel Message is in Acts 18:8-13 where the Gospel Message is described as believing, when God draws one to worship Him.

The eighteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 19:8-26 where the Gospel Message is described as a Kingdom, following a Way, which people follow instead of their own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

The ninteenth Gospel Message is in Acts 20:21-25 where the Gospel Message is described as repentance, faith, to the Gospel of Grace (Titus 2:11), and into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!).

The twentieth Gospel Message is in Acts 24:14-25 where the Gospel Message is described as a Way, of Worship, that involves righteousness, self-control, and averts judgment that makes the lost to fear. Thus not an easy to believe, try Jesus message!

The twenty-first Gospel Message is in Acts 26:14-20 where we see the Gospel Message directly from Jesus, soul winning in Acts. Jesus describes salvation as opened eyes, turning, receiving, and being sanctified. Hoe did Paul sum up what he heard? He told the LOST to “repent, and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance”

The twenty-second and final Gospel Message is in Acts 28:31 where the Gospel Message is described as coming into God’s Kingdom (only need a King!). The starting message is repent and the concluding message is God’s Kingdom, both rarely if ever used in our new way of doing God’s business. Should we go back and check out the way we are doing God’s Work, to be sure it is God’s Way?

[1]  H. A. Ironsides message reprinted in DECISION February 1989.

[2]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[3]Peterson, Eugene H., The Message, (Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group) 1997.

[4]  There is a common description we use today. Peter said again, the third description of salvation: be saved. From what we might ask? Well when the name of the Messiah was given as Jesus it was stated in Matthew 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

[5]  Simon believed and was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit, which was the seal of true conversion and New Birth. This means that belief and baptism without repentance was insufficient. He never repented of his sin so he was never saved! Salvation again is stated by Peter to involve a turning from sin, which is called repentance.

 
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