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September 12, 2021 5:00 am
Hi there this is on Solomon and I would like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truths of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God. You know I remember when I was a child growing up in my parents and my grandparents would talk often about Pearl Harbor and I remember they would always comment that they knew exactly they remember exactly where they were when they heard the news Pearl Harbor been attacked out as a child I could really relate to that.
Until that is 1963 November 22, 1963 to be exact. I was sitting in health class just outside the gymnasium and Woodrow Wilson high school, Portsmouth, Virginia.
I remember the desk I was sitting in. It was around 1 o'clock in the afternoon went over the loudspeaker came the announcement that Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas long as I live on.
Never forget where I was at that moment I can see them on my this past week we as the American people have experienced a tragedy, just a serious as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the death of Pres. Kennedy.
None of us will ever forget where we were.
The morning of September 11, 2001. None of us will ever get out of our minds those horrible images of the trade towers falling down where the Pentagon being on fire. Our generation is just experienced a tragedy so mammoth that it will be imprinted on the American psyche for the rest of our lives, and beyond. And yet we dare not forget my friends that in every one of these events that we talk about every one of them involve the lives of real people. People like you. People like me people who each one has their own unique and special story how they ended up as part of the events of last Tuesday.
I think Barbara Olson, wife of US solicitor Gen. Theodore Olson also was CNN correspondent and author in her own right, and many of you know her story. She was laid to rest here in Washington yesterday. She was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Monday, 10 September but Tuesday was her husband's birthday so she decided to stay and postpone her trip four days so she could have breakfast with her husband and celebrate his birthday before she left, which is why she ended up on American flight 77 Tuesday morning that left Dulles Airport at 810 and ended up crashing into the Pentagon killing her and everybody else on board. Of course our sympathies go out to Mr. Olson. Many of us know him, his family, but this is just one of hundreds and thousands of stories of real-life people who were just going about their business mind and you know their own business doing their daily routine. And because of some little decision they made. They either were or were not in harms way on Tuesday morning. Now one of the lessons we learn from all of this in our sympathies go out as much as we know how to these people, but their lessons for us. What are one of the lessons for us. Why been thinking all week. God, when we learn from all this because there lessons and everything and and I don't have time obviously to go through a mall. There many lessons so I just pick one to talk to you about today and we kind of find this lesson very well summed up in Proverbs chapter 27 verse one. Here's what the Bible says, do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
James said at the same way the New Testament he said James 414 we are missed that appears for a little while and then vanishes away why we don't even know what will happen to us tomorrow and in light of this because this is true, it led the Old Testament prophet Amos to give us a piece of advice it's a good piece of advice.
Here's what he said. Amos 412. He said be repaired to meet your God. Be prepared. And I was riding with my 16-year-old son Jonathan Tuesday afternoon. All the events and they basically taken place and we were riding in the car. We got to talking about what it must've been like to be in one of those airplanes. As you realize suddenly what was about to happen to you and John said to me I'll never forget it. He said you know daddy said if I were in the plane, I wouldn't of wanted to die. He said, but I know I'm ready so would've been okay so I could of been able to relax because I know I'm ready well out of the mouths of babes, teenagers, all my son John's really saying is that he's taken Amos's advice that then he he's prepared himself for whenever eternity hits and and focus the results of being ready like this are staggering.
It means that we can face anything, even eternity that life brings along without fear. This is where God wants you to be my friend ready to go into eternity. At a moments notice. Because the truth is that's all any of us may get Billy Graham spoke son speak out at the national Cathedral on Friday and here's what he said he said and I quote this event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. I doubt if even one of those people who walked into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last Tuesday morning ever thought it would be the last day of their lives. We never know when we too will be called into eternity.
And that's why each of us needs to be ready. That is what we want to talk about today we want to talk about how you and I can be ready for eternity. I mean, what if you or I were sitting in the trade towers last Tuesday morning and suddenly you looked out the window and here comes this airplane right for your floor. What if you had been sitting in the Pentagon and you look out the window of your office and here comes this airplane headed right for your office.
What panel one of those airplanes, what would it have taken for you and me to be able to face death on the freight. Let's talk about the Bible says that for us to be ready to meet eternity for us to be ready to face God, a person needs to have in their possession eternal life as it would mean to have in our possession eternal life. I thought eternal life. You get when you die. Many die to get eternal life.
No little thought what the Bible teaches that all is a matter fact, the Bible teaches the opposite. The Bible teaches that eternal life is something we either possess all we don't possess right here in this life right here on earth and in heaven is merely a place where people who already have eternal life. Go when they leave this world. Listen to what Jesus said, John five verse 24 is that I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes in me has present tense right now eternal life. John 647 God tell you the truth, the person who believes in me has present tense right now eternal life. First John five verse 11 and this is the record that God has given us eternal life and that life is in his son. He who has the son of God has present tense right now eternal life. Folks possessing eternal life is the key issue as to whether a person is ready for eternity ready to meet God and everyone of us can have that eternal life right now right as we sit here first John chapter 5 verse 13 these things I write to you who believe in the son of God so that you may know, so you may know that you, God, eternal life. We can know we have eternal life with just as much certainty sitting here today as we know what our name is they may salon you know what I gotta tell you I think that's a pretty arrogant state.
I think that's pretty haughty to walk around and say what I know I've got eternal life with friends.
That's what the Bible teaches is not haughty or arrogant is what God wants us to have God's not trying to make eternal life, a mystery does not try to make eternal life a secret. God wants us to know we have it to enjoy possessing it to build our hope wanted to draw comfort from its and he says you can know you got it right now and the way we acquire eternal life is by coming in to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Eternal life is a gift that God gives every body who comes in your personal relationship with Jesus, look what Jesus said, John 17 three now this is eternal life.
I don't know how you gonna say that it's important that this is eternal life. What is Jesus say that people know in a personal way that they know you the one and only true God and that they know me, whom you have sent. Let me repeat eternal life is a gift that God gives every person who comes interpersonal relationship with Jesus and so as we close this morning.
The question we gotta ask is how do you do that how do you come into a personal relationship with Jesus.
How do you establish this kind of personal connectedness. So God gives you eternal life we want answer that. And I ask you to turn to Luke 23 were we find one of the most famous stories anywhere of somebody doing exactly that.
Were gonna look at somebody come into a personal relationship with Jesus and get eternal life now. We don't know the person's name but we do know their crime. They were thief and they were hanging on the cross next to Jesus.
This man was. So let's look at the story in Luke 23 verse 38 and there was a written notice above Jesus as he hung there on the cross which read. This is the king of the Jews. One of the criminals along the siding hurled insults at him and said aren't you the Messiah, save yourself if there Messiah and save us to hear this one thief joined in with all of the others there mocking Jesus and ridiculing Jesus but look what the other thief to verse 40 but the other thief rebuked his friend we're here being punished justly. He said we are getting what our deeds deserve. At this man Jesus he's done nothing wrong and then he turned to Jesus and said, Lord, please remember me when you come into your kingdom that one of the two things this thief did to God him eternal life that got him a personal relationship with Jesus. Well, it's real simple. Number one the first thing he offered Jesus that accomplish that is the offer Jesus personal repentance. Repentance is a word that throws a lot of people off because we make it far more complicated than it really is repentance is really very simple. Repentance simply means a accepting the full responsibility for your own actions and be in your hearts want a U-turn.
That's all means. Sincerely, warning a U-turn to the thief do that for sure he did what he say he said I thought were here. We are justly accused where dying for the stock that we did is not anybody else's fault. He didn't make any excuses. He didn't make any rationalizations. He didn't say hello. I couldn't help it.
It was my parental upbringing.
It was my socioeconomic condition known on. He said it's my fault I'm up here I deserve what I'm getting an Lord, I want to make a U-turn. Repentance. What I need to change. That's the first thing he offered Jesus and the second thing he offered. It was just a simple personal faith. The key word here is the word Lord, Lord, is a word of faith or belief of surrender of reliance. He says Lord, I believe you're the Messiah like you say Lord I believe what you're doing on the cross is for me, Lord, I want to be in your kingdom. I know I'll never get there on my own and Lord, would you have mercy on which you have mercy on me.
I know I don't deserve it. In light of my actions, but you show me mercy anyway. This is the second step to coming into personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith in who Jesus says he is personal repentance personal thing you know it's interesting, is that all these hundreds of people standing around the cross. Watching Jesus didn't have a thing in the world to say to any of them, but he had something to say this guy look what he said for verse 43 Jesus answered him and said I tell you the truth, friends. When Jesus says that you take to the bank. I tell you the truth today. Look at this today you will be with me in paradise. Why did Jesus say today well because the thief needed it today he was going to die today and anything needed tomorrow or next week.
He needed it today and Jesus said today you come in the personal relationship with me today. I have given you eternal life. As a result, and today when you die on this cross and leave here.
You're going to have been with me today is a wonderful story and it it it shows us that in order to get a personal relationship with Christ in order to get eternal life.
No human works.
No religious activity is necessary. I mean look at this guy. He got a personal relationship with Christ.
He got eternal life, but he was nailed to a cross. I mean he couldn't go sing in the choir. Put money in the offering plate attend church or be baptized. He couldn't count the rosary fast for Yom Kippur make a pilgrimage to Mecca, or bathe in the Ganges. He couldn't go repay the money he stole and stole, do community service become an Eagle Scout, or recycle disc I was nailed to a cross and if there'd been any kind of religious activity any common human works that were necessary to get eternal life. This guy is up the cross without a pal couldn't do it it wonderful to Jesus at the day you're going to be with me in eternity because friends it's not about human works.
It's not about religious activity. It's about what the thief did what he do he gave Jesus repentance and he gave in faith.
And that's what gets us eternal life. That's what gets us a personal relationship toward God for him as well get it for you. You know I go to a gym here in Washington of three days a week. I workout and I know it shows some thanks I appreciate Joel saying that but anyway and have been going there for years and years and years to this gym and so I've kind of become the unofficial chaplain of the gym disorder they'll know who I am to let me tell you what it means when you're the chaplain of the gym. It means that most of the time, nobody wants to get near you, but that when they get in trouble they want to talk to. That's what it means to be the chaplain, the gym, so I was right in the lifecycle is about a year ago a little more and this guy came up to me and we started chatting and he said you know, my life really erect. I need some help.
He said could pick and people like me come to your church social phenomena come, your church because I really need to get some religion in my life. So we know I need to tell you this but but we don't offer religion of McLean Bible church. He said one phenomena we we don't we don't do religion.
We don't get out religion of McLean Bible church.
He said of course you do.
He said of course you do bars sell beer you get out.
Religion is not your church and you don't get out religion. I said no, religion is a bunch of rules and regulations that man's made up to try to figure out some way to Work His Way, God, the Bible never offers that anybody will offer that anybody would we offer people is a personal relationship with Jesus because that's what the Bible offers Matthew come in a personal relationship with Jesus, God will give you eternal. I forgive your sins move into your life and start changing you from the inside out, if that's what you want. We help you with that can help you would religion friend. If you're here looking for religion came in the wrong place. Got an offer anybody religion. He offers people Jesus a personal relationship with Jesus. And when we come into that relationship as a gift God gives us eternal life, you got it right now. Much is your ever going to get you God. And when you know you got it.
Then you can face anything, including death without fear.
One other thing I love about the stories it reminds us is never too late to do this. Never too late. You may think you've done too much messed up too bad you've committed things to horrible nonsense. This guy been executed and executed for what he did anyone too late for him. Jesus didn't turn to him and say we know you thought about that play catch-up you on this cross. No no no, Jesus say to him, Jesus said today you will be with me in paradise. Folks if you got one going through your blood vessels and you got air coming into your lungs. It is not too late for you to turn Jesus and he's there for you. He was there for the thief he's there for you. So I got one last question, and that is are you telling me this is the only way I can get eternal life. Are you telling me this is the only way I can get in heaven because if that's what you're saying. I gotta tell you something I like that that's narrowminded. That's parochial. That's exclusionary, like well that's the Jesus answer the question, showing John 14 verse six I am the way, Jesus said the truth and the life.
Here's our keyword.
Nobody. There's our keyword.
Nobody gets in the heaven. Unless they come by way of me I don't like that will all I know how to say his friends guess what, you're not running heaven and neither my and if this is what the person running heaven says it really doesn't matter that much. Whether we like it or not, smart people don't argue with the person in charge smart people figure out what the person in charge demands and they do it now friends. I think the same principle is true when it comes to going to heaven.
Jesus is the one in charge.
Smart people don't argue with him telling they don't like how we set up the system when you do that if you want to smart people figure out what he demands and we do it, Jesus is told us today what his demands are what the conditions are.
It's easy for smart will do it Billy Graham. As I watched him come down the aisle there at the national Cathedral so feeble, so for him.
I really doubted the poor man was even going to get to the rostrum talk. The boy did God give him power and here's what he said he was reflecting on the assurance the confidence that comes into our lives when we know we have eternal life, and here's what he said and I'll close with this he said and I quote I become an old man now and the older I get, the more I cling to this whole that I started with many years ago many of those people died this past week are in heaven right now and they wouldn't want to come back. It's so glorious and wonderful and that's the hope for all of us who put our faith in Christ. I pray that you will have this hope in your heart a friend that's what I pray that's what God wants. If you need this hope in your heart when you give me the chance right now to get it. So let's bow our heads together, showing with our heads bowed and our eyes closed, may I say that you know many of you who come here for quite a while. Some of you may be new with this book. If you come for a while. You know we talk about having a relationship with Jesus every week we'll try to close the deal.
Every week were happy if you want to kick the can down the road a little bit every week that's great, but folks there comes a point, every once in a while where it's time to decide whether were ready to tie the knot.
The bag this is one of those moments so you been thinking about it, talking about praying about, and you're ready to close that deal with God to give your life to him and let him give you back, among many other things eternal life we want to give you the chance to do that right where you sit today. Dr. Fraser hand have to get out.
You see go anywhere I we set and here's how were going to do it.
I'm gonna pray a prayer number and ask if you want to do this. To pray silently one phrase at a time right after me right where you soon. Let's give Jesus the same thing. The thief created repentance and faith and he will give us back eternal life. So if you're interested in doing this you pray silently one phrase after me right where you sit here you go or Jesus, I come to you today because I need help. I need to know that I have eternal life. I need to know that I'm ready to meet you whenever that might happen and so today I admit to you that I've done wrong. I admit to you that it's my own fault, I'm in the situations on the I admit to you that I need a U-turn in my life. I also tell you today that I believe you who you said you were the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, who died on the cross to pay for my sins and who rose from the dead to prove you were telling the truth and so today I invite you to come into my life to be my personal Savior, to forgive my sin and to give me eternal life to begin changing me from the inside out. Lord have mercy on me like you did on that thief in Jesus day father I want to pray for the folks who pray this prayer that you would confirm in their heart and in their mind right now right as they sit here the great transaction is taken place as the Bible says they passed over from death to life eternal life. Lord I pray that you would confirm in their hearts that the deal is done. The contractor sealed and they now belong to you or thanks for offering us as people away to face eternity, unafraid Lord we were so grateful you done that for us.
We love you for that in our prayers and every person here would leave today either being absolutely certain that they have eternal life, and they're ready to face you whenever it happens or determined that the going to think about it and that they're going to move towards the point where they make a decision. Help us be smart people. God and we pray this in Jesus name Amen and listening to.
I went with Dr. Lon Solomon said land is an outrage of Lon Solomon ministering to listen to today's message, or for more information visit our website.
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