Does this message of grace apply to me? – I’m a really big sinner.
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Why is it important to be sure where you will spend eternity? Is the faith that people have in God going to get them into Heaven? Matthew 7 says, “I’m sorry. I never knew you,’ here’s what His message is.” What are two ways that Jesus talked about misplaced faith.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS1
Keywords: Righteousness, Gift from God, Isaiah 1:18,
Ankerberg: Let’s probe grace one step further and that’s for the person that says, “But Erwin, you don’t know me. I’m a big sinner. You name the sins, I’ve done them. What you’re saying sounds too good to be true.” Is it really that true? Illustrate this.
Lutzer: Because we’re on the radio I received a letter from a prisoner who said, “I have raped four women” and he said, “Can I be forgiven?” Now, you know my natural instincts would say, “You deserve hell,” and he does, but so do you, John, and so do I. So I wrote back and I said to him, “I want you to visualize two trails. One trail is really ugly. It’s got all kinds of ruts in it and it’s just terrible to look at. The other trail is very beautiful with some flowers and it’s well taken care of. And then I said, “Let’s suppose that 10 or 15 inches of snow comes along and covers both trails. Can you tell the difference? No. Both trails are equally covered.
Isn’t it wonderful to know the Bible even says in the Old Testament, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be read like crimson, they shall be as wool” [Isa. 1:18]. And if we could say that the righteousness of Jesus Christ is likened unto snow, using the illustration, the snow covers that ugly trail just as well as it covers the neat trail, and no matter who’s listening today, whether it is a prisoner who has committed crimes, a rapist, a thief, a murderer, no matter who is listening today, they receive the same gift of righteousness when they trust Christ as Savior as you did, John, even though you were born into a fine Christian home and so was I. And thankfully, we were spared ugly crimes and sins. But the simple fact is, we all need the righteousness of God and it is given to the vilest of sinners. You know that song, it really is true: “The vilest of sinners who truly believes that moment from God a pardon receives.” All because of Jesus. That’s the wonder of the Gospel.
Ankerberg: For the person that wants to trust Christ today, doesn’t want to wait for next week’s program, would you say a prayer that they could follow along and they could transfer their trust from themselves to Christ?
Lutzer: Yes. Our Father, today we want to thank you for the beauty of the Gospel. We thank you that it gives hope to the best of people and gives hope to the worst of people. We thank you that you had only one plan for both groups, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. [Rom. 3:23] I want to pray today for those who are listening, those who for the first time have understood that they can be saved thanks to Jesus.
And now my dear friend, you can pray a prayer like this: “God, I know that I’m a sinner. I know I must receive Christ. At this moment, I trust Jesus as my sin-bearer. I receive His righteousness as mine. Thank you for this precious gift. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”