Thursday, April 19, 2007

Open Air Gospel Sermon

© Dec 2006
Preached as Written
For circulation with or without permission; in part or in whole

I only have one sermon, I’ve tried to write others, but I always come back to this one. It’s the one I open-air with, it’s the one I e-mail to friends, it’s the only Sermon I have committed to memory. In my opinion, it’s the only sermon worth preaching.

I always start with my favorite Bible Verse, that verse being Psalm 19:7, “The Law of God is perfect, converting the soul.” The importance of this verse is the law that it is talking about. In the beginning, there was one law, and that law was, “Don’t eat the fruit of that tree!”(1) As we all know, that law was broken, and with that transgression came a new law, a law found written on your conscience(2), but also in the 20th Chapter of the Book of Exodus.

That law is the 10 Commandments, and I’d like to go over a couple of them. The easiest of the 10 Commandments to remember and to break is the ninth, which says, “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness”, in other words, Don’t Lie! Proverbs 12:22 says that lying lips are an ABOMINATION to the Lord, Revelation 21:8 promises that all liars shall have their part in the Lake of Fire! In the 9th Commandment we can see the Holiness of God, because if you lie to a child, you might get away with it, if you lie to me, I might get mad, if you lie to your spouse, you might end up on the couch or divorced, if you lie to a police officer, you’re obstructing justice and you’ll go to jail, if you lie to a judge, it’s perjury and you’ll go to prison, even more strict still, if you lie to your government, you’re guilty of treason, and the punishment is death(18)! The offense of a lie to God is so much more injurious and so much more condemning that the only just punishment for lying is eternal suffering. But wait! You say, “I’ve told lies, but I’m not a liar.” Lets consider this; if I rape one girl, I’m a rapist, if I murder one person, I’m a murderer; in the eyes of God, if you’ve told one lie, you are a liar, and will face the consequences as such.

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, Thou Shalt Not Murder! Now that’s a commandment I know I have kept! But listen to this! Jesus said, “He that hates his brother is a murderer, he that calls someone an idiot is in danger of eternal Hellfire!”(3) God is so perfect and holy that He sees the intentions and condition of your heart, and on this will you be judged.

Murder is the 6th commandment, lets move onto the 7th. You’ve heard it said of old, “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” but Jesus said, “He that looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart!”(4) Once again, God is concerned with the condition of your thought life, not just the actions that you pursue in the flesh.

The 8th, and final Commandment I’m going to preach says, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” Consider this, every tiny thing you have stolen has distanced you from God, be it a paperclip, a pen, a piece of gum, or a song on the Internet, all of these constitute larceny and require punishment!

Now just wait one minute, aren’t the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament? Aren’t we under a new covenant now? You’re exactly right! In the Old Testament, the punishment for thievery, according to Deuteronomy 24:7, was death! In the New Testament, the punishment for thievery is eternal suffering(5)! God has taken in the reigns, made His laws MORE strict, not less.

Based on these four, of ten, Commandments we have examined, it is clear to see that the whole world has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God(6), and God cannot just let a transgressor go, because He is a good judge, and a good judge will see to it that law-breakers are punished.

The Bible says that the depraved nature of our sins has made us a child of wrath(7), of disobedience(8), of the devil(9), an enemy of righteousness(9), separated from God(10), and doomed to Hell(11). This punishment have we earned, and only by the love of God is it possible to be redeemed and to escape the fire to come.

God became flesh, came to this world which He created, born of a virgin(12), lived a perfect sinless life, and was sacrificed for your sins on a cross overlooking Jerusalem(13). In a beautiful, incomprehensible showing of love, Jesus Christ substituted Himself for you, took your punishment upon Himself and died a terrible, painful, humiliating death. Death could not hold the God of the Universe, and He rose on the third day, and delivered your soul from death(14).

In a worldly courtroom, a judge can let a perpetrator go if his fine has been paid and if he promises not to repeat the crime. In front of the Great White Throne of God, you can be absolved of your crimes, as your fine has been paid in Jesus Christ; repent now of your sins in order to receive the gift of life so richly given.

Repent, Apologize and Turn from your sins today, and place your full trust in Jesus Christ to save you from Hell, like you’d trust in a parachute to save you from gravity(15), don’t wait until tomorrow, the world is a dangerous place and you could die tonight! It is appointed once for a man to die, and then the judgment(16), it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God(17).

Please, get yourself a Bible and read the Book of John, it was written by one of Jesus’ closest friends, and it will reaffirm everything I’ve said today.

References
1-Genesis 2:17
2-Romans 2:15
3-Matthew 5:22
4-Matthew 5:28
5-Revelation 20:12-15
6-Romans 3:23
7-Ephesians 2:3
8-Colossians 3:6
9-Acts 13:10
10-Isaiah 59:2
11-Revelation 20:14
12-Matthew 1:23
13-Luke 23:34
14-Luke 24:46
15-Ray Comfort, “Hells Best Kept Secret”
16-Hebrews 9:27
17-Hebrews 10:31
18-Todd Friel, “Way of the Master Radio”