Date: March 9, 2018
Bible Text: Matthew 5:41 | Jerry Ross
Series: Transcribed Sermons
Text: Matthew 5:41
- The joy of going the second mile.
- The influence of going the second mile.
- The Saviour of the second mile.
This fall during the best part of deer season, I am going to borrow your preacher and bring him down there (to Jasonville, IN). We are not going to quit bother. We are going to keep bringing you down here until you either shoot one (a deer) or you hit one with your vehicle, but one way or another we are going to help you get a deer.
I am so glad to be here. I am from a little town called Jasonville, Indiana. How many have ever been to Jasonville? Raise your hand. Look, look. Hey. Stand up and look. All right, so there you go. See? All right. If you blinked you missed it. Some of you probably went through it. You just did not realize it. But there are 1500 people and a wonderful part of Indiana, rural America. I love rural America. I am a country boy. Just raised that way and I just love it. I just love where I am at. One preacher asked me one time, do you ever see yourself leaving that small town? Maybe taking a larger church in a larger city somewhere. And I said, well, I guess it is possible if I did something really bad and God was going to punish me, but I try to be really good so that does not happen. You know, I just like where I am at. Come to see Jasonville. Come visit us. We have got to stop light. It has got all three colors. It is really nice. There is a little place you can pull over and take pictures. We have people do it all the time. And so we love it.
When I moved to Jasonville, I got a hold of my realtor and I said I need to find a place to live. I am going to buy a place. So find me a place out in the country. She would call. I would meet her and she would take me into town, Jasonville, which is not much of a town, but still. And I would not even get out of my car and say, what are you doing? She said, I just want to show you this. I said, no, I am living in the country. I would just drive off and she would call me again. I started asking her the address because if it was something like 101 Main, I knew I was not going or 203 Elm Street, I am not going. If it is a rural route 13 then okay, I will come and take a look at this. And so she kept trying to get me to look at places in town and I finally just told her, I said, listen, I can't, I can not do that. She said, you are a preacher. I said, I know. She said, but how can you be a preacher? What is your problem? You don't like people. I said, of course I like people, I love people. I spend my life with people, but when I go home I do not want to see any of them. She said, well, what do you want? I said, I want to be able to step out my backdoor, take my 357 magnum and go boom, boom, boom, and not hit anybody. So she left. She was mad. I thought I will never hear from her again. About a month later she called me up, preacher, get your pistol. I think I found you a place, and she did. I bought that place.
Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I know there is a thousand things we are all doing. Our lives are so busy. We all have responsibility and we all have our list of things that we could be accomplishing. Look around here, this is amazing. This size of a group of men, this gathering, and so we want to take a little bit of time and challenge you from the scriptures. So I am going to be speaking from the Sermon on the Mount. These are red letter words. These are the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter number five. I am going to take one phrase. We could go back and break the Sermon on the Mount down but I am going to forego that. Jesus is speaking and he said some astounding things you have to remember he is talking to a group of Jewish people. These Jewish people are under a tribute to Rome. They have been conquered, they are a conquered people. They are under tribute. They are under Roman rule. They are forced to live under Roman law, and the honest truth is most of them do not like it and I can hardly blame them. If some foreign country came in and conquered our country and enacted a bunch of rules that I did not like, I could see that there would be a natural resistance to that. You have to understand the group that he is talking to here.
I am just going to take you right to the verse that we are going to speak out of tonight. He says to this group of Jewish men and Jewish young men and Jewish ladies that are there in attendance. He says in verse number 41, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." Now, if we do not understand Roman rule and Roman law, then we do not understand this verse. The Romans had enacted some laws that the Jewish people had to obey, they had to follow. They did not have a choice. Some of these rules were petty. Some of these rules, I think were just intended to show that the Romans were dominant. You know what? If you win the war, you get to make the rules and that is what they did. And one of the rules was that if a Roman citizen or a Roman soldier were to come across the Jewish man in a city and he was to tell that man, I am carrying this burden, I am carrying this pack, I am carrying these goods, and by the way, you have to carry them for me. They were required by law that they had to carry whatever a Roman citizen or Roman soldier told them to pick up and carry. They had to carry it one mile and again, that would be annoying. Can you imagine a Jewish man in the middle of his day, his workday, he is trying to accomplish something. A Jewish young man is out just running errands and all of a sudden he is accosted by Roman citizen and he has to stop everything he is doing and he has to pick up this man's burden and carry it outside the city for a mile and put it down. Then he has to make the mile trip back. Then he is going to start trying to do what he needs to do and maybe he gets accosted again by another. That would be frustrating and they did not want to do it, they did not like to do it, but they had to do it.
So one of the things they made sure of was that, that they were not going to do it one step passed what the law required, I have to go a mile. So what they did on every major road, leaving every Jewish city, they would measure out exactly a mile and they would put a marker there. The whole concept of the mile marker comes from this that you see as you are driving down the highway. They would put a marker there and this Jewish young man, Jewish man that was forced to do this, he would pick up that burden and he would carry it. And he would take it right to that marker and he would drop it at the feet of that soldier, Roman citizen. There, I did what I had to do and that is all I have to do by law, and he turned around and walked back. Yet, the Jewish people had heard about this man named Jesus. There were miracles attached to his reputation, an unusual man, and the curiosity factor. People went to listen to him and they are listening to this sermon. Now that you know the context of it, they hear this for the first time come out of his mouth and he says, "whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile" and they are waiting. Maybe he is going to tell us, we do not have to. Maybe he is going to tell us to rise up in rebellion against them. Maybe he is going to tell us, encourage us, to defy the conquerors. And he says this, "whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." And that means two. I want you to go two miles. Now, wait a minute. You got to remember they have never heard anything like this. Can you imagine the murmur that went through the crowd? Can you imagine after the sermon was over and men were walking back into the town talking about what was said, why would he say that?
That is not making any sense. I am sure that there was a lot of criticism about that. Well, we should not even have to be doing the one, now he is telling us we have to do two. That is ridiculous, but maybe there was just a handful of Jewish people that said, you know what, maybe it does not make a lot of sense to us, but this is a good man. And by the way, some people say he is the Messiah, the son of God, and he does do a lot of miracles and, maybe there was one Jewish young man that just said, hey, you know what? What is it going to hurt to give it a try? And that young man comes the next day and you know, when you see a Roman soldier, a Roman citizen and you know, you have this obligation. I think if I saw one coming that was carrying a burden, I would go hide. And so here comes somebody on the street, all the other young men are scurrying into the alleyways and hiding behind buildings and this young man just walks over, stands in front of the guy. Hey, I am going to give it a try. And he says, can I help you? Yeah. You want me to carry your burden? Well, you know you have to. I know I have to. Okay, well carry it one mile. I know I understand one mile. So this young man is carrying this thing, but the whole time he knows during that first mile the whole time, he knows. He says, you know what, I can not wait to get to that mile marker because that guy is going to expect me at that point to drop that burden and refuse to go. And I can not wait to see the look on his face when I tell him I will go another mile.
Let me just kind of break this down for you because every single person in this room and only you can tell, only you can know in your heart which category you fit into. But I will tell you this, every single man in this room can be divided into one of three categories, because this is the human race right now. There are people that will spend their life doing everything they can to try to do less than what is required. Those of you that work at a workaday world, you work with some of those men. You work with some of those ladies. I mean they work harder at getting out of work than they would if they would have just worked. And I mean no matter what the requirements are, they work extremely hard to try to do less than their requirement. So, by the way, it is true with young people. Teenagers, you know what some of you are involved in sports and the coach goes out and first thing he says, I want you to do 10 laps around the gym and you know what, you watch to see if he is looking. And if you can sneak and do nine instead of 10, you see it as a bragging point. You see it as a victory. Some people spend their whole life trying to do less than what is required.
There is the middle group that at least has enough character not to do less than what is required, but they carry that mentality of, well, I will do what is required, but I am not doing one thing more than what is required. And I do appreciate the fact that this group at least has the character to do what is required. I have a problem with the mentality in America where somebody is given six hours work for eight hours pay. I believe, if a mans paying you for eight hours, you ought to give him eight hours of honest work. You know and thank God, there is still this mentality in America. And I would say maybe the larger group in America is right here, okay, what are the requirements? What do I have to do? All right, then I will do what I have to do, but do not ask me to do anymore.
But then there is this third group and these are the ones that follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe they are aware of it, maybe they are not aware of it. Maybe they just had an old fashioned dad that was influenced by maybe a Bible believing grandmother. Maybe they do not even go to church, but somehow it got passed down to their family. It is in their DNA, and they have been taught this philosophy of life. You know what? If the requirement is to do a mile, then you ought to always do more than what is required. Not less than what is required. Now, gentlemen, this is a good time for us to do some self evaluating because only a man can truly judge himself. Between him and God, you know where you are at. I would like to say to the young men here, if you are over here (in the first group), you know what you are setting yourself up for, a life of frustration and a life of failure. Because you know what, not too many people out in the workforce are looking to hire this individual. And if they do hire him, they are trying to get rid of him because this is a constant thorn in the flesh of any body. You know if you are constantly frustrating your mom, you are constantly frustrating your dad, because you are always trying to figure out how to do less than what they have asked you to do. You know what you can do tonight, you can flip a switch in your heart and your mind and recognize that as a character flaw. And say, you know what, I at least ought to do what I am required to do. And if I am going to align myself with the teachings of Jesus Christ, I need to start doing more than is required. More than is required, not less.
Let me just kind of apply it on a spiritual level. You know, God has asked us, and it is taught in the word of God that we ought to tithe, and that means that we ought to give back to God ten percent of all of our increase. I promise you, everybody that claims to be a Christian falls in one of these categories. There are people that will rationalize, I mean they will rework the scriptures. They will justify in their mind they will do everything they can to figure out a way to do less than that. Then there is the guys that are honest enough to say, you know what? I am going to tithe and you know what? They are the ones that write out the check and it is down to the cents, you know, because I call them calculator Christians. You know, they are going to give just exactly, I mean, if I have to give it, I will because the Bible promises blessings and I want them. Can I tell you this, this person is never a happy person. This person is doing their duty, but they are kind of bitter about it. But you know what, it is a wonderful thing when you grow in your Christian life, to the point where you realized, you know what, you can not out give God. And you know what, I am not interested in just showing up with my tithe. I want to bring a tithe and offering, and if there is something special that is going on. I have talked to several young men who men of this church, stepped up and paid their way to come to this. You know, you did not have to do this. These are the happiest people in the world. And can I say, I am just going to tell you this, be glad that I am not God because God is the creator. The reason we are able to do anything and we enjoy this world is because God created it and you know what? If I was God and set the system up, I would not be satisfied with 10 percent and you all keeping 90. Now think about that. God created this whole thing and he said, just give me 10 percent. You can have 90. Man if I was God, I wouldd say, you know what, I want 60 percent, that is what I want.
How about this matter of the Lord's Day? You know what, the Bible in Revelations chapter one calls Sunday, the Lord's Day. John says, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day." There was a day in America where Sunday was respected. Everybody knew it was the Lord's day. Businesses shut down. I know it, you say, we live a different time. I am not sure it is a better time. Okay. Somebody has brought up the subject of these terrible things that are happening in our public schools and school shootings, and you know what folks? It may sound like an oversimplification, but if America really wanted to address the issue of this, every parent that had a child would get up next Sunday morning and bring their kids to Sunday school and let them learn the 10 commandments. One of them is thou shalt not kill. The more we have taken God out of everything, the worse condition we are in. It has not gotten better. But again, you think about what the Lord did. He said, I am going to give you seven days in a week, I want one. Now again, if I am God I would say, hey, I am God, you are not. I ought to at least get four out of the seven. Now I am saying that for a reason. If you really think about how little the Lord has asked, and yet we will set over here and fuss about doing the little. There are people, men, all over this room that do not just give Sunday to the Lord. You know what they give part of Saturday to the Lord. They go out and they work a bus route. They are out visiting their Sunday school classes. They are not the ones complaining. Well, you do not have to come Wednesday night. It is not in the Bible.
You know what? When you get over here (referring to the 3rd type of person), you are the happiest person in the world. I am talking about the joy of the second mile, learn to be a second mile Christian. Young man, Dad goes off to work. And I want to say this to every young man in here. If you have a hard-working dad that goes to work everyday and you are of an age, you are in your late elementary years, junior high years. You know what, you ought to start looking around and saying, you know, dad works all of these hours every week. Then he has to come home and the few days he has off, the few hours he has off, he is occupied doing this, mowing the grass. Hey, why don't you step up and take over some of that stuff.
Dad is at some point maybe going to say to you, hey listen, I need you to mow the grass. Okay? Now if you are this type of a young man (referring to the 1st type of person), you are going to sit there and fuss and fume, and try to come up with every excuse and figure out how to get out of mowing the grass. Okay? This is right where we live. This is good for us. Okay? Now some of you say, well, alI right, dad said mow the grass. That is what he said. Mow the grass. That is it, letter of the law. We are going to go by the letter of the law, mow the grass. So I am going to go out there. I am not going to check to see if there is oil in the mower. All right, I am just going to mow the grass. I am going to start it up and I am going to mow the grass and as soon as I get done mowing that last blade, I am going to go because all he said was mow the grass. That is what he said. He did not say to trim, use the trimmer. He did not say to sweep off the walks. He did not say to cleanup the mower and put it back. Listen, I am trying to teach you something. You know what the teaching of Jesus Christ is, if you will follow them, it sets you up not only for success, but it sets you up for a joyful existence. Spend your whole life mad because somebody asks you to do something and I should not have to do it. This is such an entitlement mentality. Listen, nobody owes you anything. Your mom and dad work hard. They put a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your stomach. They ask you to do a handful of things. (Preacher, I did not know we were coming to this tonight. This is good for us.) All right, and they asked you to do a handful of things and you spend all of you time trying to avoid it. You work harder at hiding from work than if you would just do it. Or you sit there and you nitpick. Well, you didn't tell me....
You young ladys, mom said, could you wash the dishes? Okay, I have got to run. Could you at least wash the dishes? I do not know if anybody ever washes the dishes anymore. Do not they just put them in a machine now and push a button? But well she said wash the dishes. Okay, I will fill the sink up and put soap in it. She did not say scrape off the plates. She just said wash the dishes. So here they go. All right, she did not say rinse them. She did not say dry them. You say that is not the way the world works. That is the way most adult human beings are living their lives. All right, if I have to do it, I will do it, but don't you dare expect me to do one more thing? Listen. You know what? The happiest kids in the world are saying, Dad, you know what? I am glad to be able to do this for you. You work hard Dad, do not worry about it, I got the yard. Not only will it be mowed, we will trim it out, we will sweep things off. By the way, Dad, I noticed when I put the mower back in the garage, the garage needed straightened up and I wanted to let you know I did not want you to have to come back to a mess.
Why don't you get over here (referring to the 3rd type of person) where the happy life, where there is a joyful existence. And I am thinking of that young man and up to this time in his life as a Jewish young man, every time someone would ask him to do this or make him do it, he walked that first mile all bitter and mad and angry. The guy is trying to talk to him but he will not even talk to him. He throws it down. He comes back in all bitter. But you know what this kid said, I am going to try it. I am going to try to do what Jesus said. So the first mile, he is walking with a smile on his face because he is anticipating that when het gets to that mile marker the Roman citizen is expecting him to drop it and say there with a bad spirit. And he gets right to that mile marker, gets right up to it and he looks at the guy, and the guy was expecting what he always gets and all of a sudden the kid said, where are you going? I have a little time. You want to go another mile? Now, not only is there the joy of the second mile, there is the influence of the second mile. You know when you go above and beyond what you are supposed to do, all of a sudden that relationship changes. Can you imagine that Roman citizen after maybe the first hundred yards of that second mile. He looks over at that kid he is happy, he is smiling, he is whistling. And he is like, son, where did you come from? Well, I heard this man the other day did you ever hear of Jesus? Yeah, I think I have heard something about him. Well, he told me some stuff and I thought I would just try it.
Listen, I want to say this and you men know this. If you want to win your coworkers to the Lord, you want to win your boss to the Lord, can I tell you this? You will never do it if you are this kind (referring to the 1st type of person) of an employee, you do not have influence. Matter of fact, I am going to say this. If you are this kind of a person, please do not tell them you are a Christian. Please do not invite them to this church. I mean that because you are probably going to make it so they will never get saved. Even if you are this kind of a Christian (referring to the 2nd type of person). I mean, they would be glad for you, but you do not have any influence. Listen, I got hired after my first year of Bible College. I went home that summer and I needed a summer job. My Dad said, hey, there is a guy I know. He comes to the church every once in a while. He owns a small construction company. He said, Jerry is kind of just a peripheral attendee, but he is looking for a guy. And he asked me and I told him my son is coming back. He wants to hire you for the summer. This guys name was John and John was a part-time deputy sheriff. He also ran a construction company. I showed up at his door and I introduced myself. I said I am Pastor Ross' son and I am home for the summer. He said, man, I have got a lot of work and I am telling you it is a lot of roofing and we are doing a lot of hot roofs this summer. I said, man, I need a job, whatever you need, I will be there. I will work as many hours as you want. You know, I have to earn money to go back to college. He is like, all right, I will give you a chance. He said, I am just going to warn you, the handful of guys I hire are pretty rough guys. And he said, I know you are a preacher's kid and all that. I said, hey I worked up in Chicago on the docks loading trucks. I said, trust me, I can handle it. I said, you know what? I said, John, are you a Christian? He said, yeah. And I said, well, maybe we can influence them for the Lord. And man, you know what I did folks, I did not show up on the job the first week and start passing out tracks and talking about Jesus.
You know what I did? I showed up and I just worked. I found out something about John. John was a neat guy, but he was not a morning guy and he would tell me, I want you to here at 7:00 in the morning. I would show up at 7:00 at his house every single morning and he would be in bed. And he finally told me, Jerry, I need you at seven because I need somebody to knock on the window of my bedroom. And so I would go over, and show up at 7:00, or 10 minutes till. I would go over and knock on his bedroom window and the curtains would move and his hand would wave like that. And then I would go stand there waiting for him. Well, the other guys were as bad. I mean by the time he got out and they got there. So what I finally started doing, with the two or three guys that were working in town. I would wake up John, I would drive to their houses and wake all of them up, and then we would finally get there. About 8:00 we would get to where we are heading to work, you know. But man, I said, you know, I appreciated the opportunity. I just went to work, went to work and I mean, you know what? I would show up early, I would stay afterwards, I would help him get his truck clean. We, would get back to his house and the other guys would scatter. I would help him put everything away. And you know, I do not know how many hours I worked that I never charged him for, who cares? Listen folks, it is about representing the Lord Jesus Christ properly. Go the extra mile, thank God, I will. By the way, I was not born that way. I was not hardwired that way. I had a daddy that put that into me and I want to say that, thank God for my dad. Okay. But you know what, after I did that for a while, I started talking to John said, boy these guys we are working with, you are right, they are rough guys. But know what, they are good guys. They just need the Lord. And they did. They had some addiction problems some of them. John kind of reached out to the honestly, kind of the throwaways in the community and he would give them a job.
He had a good heart. But, I started talking to them about the Lord. He was the bad cop and I was the good cop. Okay. Because I had a little tact about it. I would start talking. One of the young men's name was Casey, and I said Casey have you ever been to church? And he said, No. And I said, have you ever thought about it? I am kind of having these kinds of conversation and we are doing that hot roof. If you have ever done that, you heat up the tar to 450 degrees, you bring it up in five gallon buckets, you dump it on the roof, and you take mop to it. I do not know if any of you have ever done it but it is tough work. And so I am trying to take the easy approach. If you slop some of that stuff on you, I am going to tell you something, you know, it. It just sits there and burns a hole in your skin. You know what you do? You go like that and then you smear it all over yourself and it is even worse. Okay, and so about the time I am talking to Casey about this, all of a sudden he splattered a little tar on him and he is like, ouch. And I am talking about the Lord. And John is like, what is the matter Casey? I burned myself! He said, you think that is bad wait until one of these days you are burning in hell forever. You better listen to that preacher. So John would be the heavy and I would try to be the nice guy, you know, and we just worked on them. We worked on them throughout the summer and, you know, tried to get them to come to church and just talk to them about the Lord and get to know them a little bit.
And John he did, he loved these guys. He was good hearted guy and he loved these guys and he would bring them home on Friday night it was the last night we worked. And most of them come from dysfunctional homes. His wife would always make a big meal for them. And I mean it was like their one home cooked meal for the week and they would hang around because of that. And then he would sit there and he would play games with them, get a board game out. And he started talking to them, working on them. I went home, okay, but he was there with them. It was about the third or fourth or fifth, I don't remember, Saturday night. It is about midnight. I am already in bed, I am asleep. My Dad comes over, knocks on my bedroom door, opens the door and says, Jerry. Yeah, what?
He said John is on the phone. Okay. What does he want? He has got Casey over this house, he has got him scared. Casey knows he needs to get saved. He called me up and he said, preacher Ross, you and Jerry needed come over here. Why? I got this kid so scared he wants to get saved, but I do not know how to get him saved. You guys need to come and close the deal for me. So I get dressed, get in the car, drive over, and my dad and me sat down with Casey and got to win him to Christ. You know, I thought, man, that is fantastic. The next Saturday night or Friday night, same thing. I am in bed at midnight. Dad knocks on the door, Jerry. I am like, what? John is on the phone. What? He has got Mark at his house. He has got him scared half to death. I said, are we going? Looks like we are going again. John had him man. He was wanting to get saved. We went over there. We closed the deal. He got saved. The third Saturday, Friday night. He said, I got Casey's girlfriend over there. She is wanting to get saved too. We got four or five of them saved and they all came on one Sunday morning together. And you know what my dad said, hey, you put a lot of work in on this, and you know I was a Bible College student, but my dad let me that morning baptize every one of those people.
Let me say this, okay, you know what America needs? You know what made America Great? You know what settled America. You know what was brought across the ocean. You know what the pioneer spirit was. It was not getting up every day and saying, okay, what do I have to do and how can I get out of it? It was not even what do I have to do, but I am not doing any more than that. It was, you know what? Let's do whatever we have to do to get the job done. Let's do it with the right spirit.
Let me close with this. Who was it that was teaching this? Did he have the moral authority to be able to say what he is saying here? Would he prove it out. Folks, this was Jesus Christ, the son of God sent down from heaven, and you know what? He did not have to come. I mean perfect God, perfect heaven, created mankind. Put Adam and Eve in the garden and watch this, gave them one rule. One rule, and you know what they did? Broke it. And because of that sin came into the world. The honest truth is God, our holy God, our just God could have just said bad experiment. Mankind would rather sin than obey. They have chose their destination. They have chose their judgment and God could have turned his back on the human race, But Jesus left the portals of heaven was brought into this earth by a young virgin girl, and grew up in a very poor situation. He became the savior of the world. And you know what? When he walked up Calvary's hill, he was walking that second mile. He did not tell us to do something He was not willing to do himself. You know what he said? Listen, they ought to die for their sins, but I will die instead. Okay? They are guilty. Jesus Christ did not die for His sins that day because he was the sinless son of God, he died for my sins and your sins and the sins of the whole world. You know what? One of the things that inspires me to want to be a second mile Christian is because I have a Savior that went the second mile for me.
My mom and dad did not go to church when I was born into their family. They just did not go to church. I was raised without going to church for the first several years of my life. My Dad moved from Greencastle, Indiana, Brazil, Indiana, to take a job. And across the street from us were some Christian people. I mean they were not just Christian that talked it, they lived it. And because of that, they had some influence on my dad. They wanted us to come to church. And you know, I went to a little church out there in the country, the Rock Run Baptist Church, way out in the middle of nowhere. There was a preacher that was a hog farmer. And you know what? He put bib overalls and worked as hog farm for six days. But on the Lord's Day, but on the one suit he had walked in with the King James Bible opened it up and just preached what the Bible said. And sitting in that little church, our entire family heard for the first time about sin and what it was. You know that we have all sinned. We heard about that there is a punishment, a penalty connected with sin, for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. I am hearing about sin, honestly, feeling the holy spirit conviction in my life. I knew I was not perfect, I felt convicted of God. I heard about heaven and thought what a wonderful place. I heard about hell and what a horrible place. I heard about Jesus Christ and what he did. He died on the cross for my sins. You know what? I am not going to say it came all together in one or two or three weeks, but after about nine months of preaching it is like I heard enough of it that the Lord was able to put it all together in my heart. I remember the service that I realized I needed to do something about this. God did that for me, but I had to make a decision and that day I looked at my dad and I was just a little guy, but I looked at my dad and I said, Dad, I need to talk to the preacher. So at the invitation I walked forward and I looked at the preacher and I said, preacher, I am laying awake at night wondering what would happen if I was to die and I am tired of that. I want to know. I want to know for sure that I am on my way to heaven. That preacher opened the Bible and shared with me a handful of verses. And I am going to tell you what, listen with the faith that I had as a young, young man. I just simply said, I know that I am a sinner. I know that sin comes between me and God. I know that Jesus died on the cross for that sin, and I know that God is working in my heart, and I am convicted and sorry for what I have done.
In that state of mind, that state of heart, the Bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And just in childlike faith, I just said something like this to the Lord. Lord, I know that I do not deserve to go to heaven. I know I am a sinner, but Jesus died for me and you say, if I will call upon you, with my full heart put my trust you. I can be saved. Lord, I want to be saved. I am asking you to save me today. And you know what, that day I became a born again, Christian. I received Jesus Christ as my savior. If you are here tonight and you have never received Jesus Christ, let me just say this. I know and remember what it is like to walk into a church and sit there not being saved. I know what it is like to listen to a preacher. I know what it is like to feel God working in my heart. Saying, hey, that is for you. You know why God is speaking to you right now tonight, because He loves you. He cares about you. He sent His son to die for you. It is a big deal, and you know what? The most important decision you will ever make in your life is receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Let's bow our heads and close our eyes for a word of prayer.