Mount Olive
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Realizing how to become a Christian is the most important discovery of your life! Becoming a Christian is more than joining a church or saying a prayer. It is a personal relationship that will last for eternity. The Gospel is OUR HOPE AND JOY.
  • God created us for His glory.
"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth,... whom I created for my glory" (Isaiah 43:6-7)
God made us to magnify His greatness - the way telescopes magnify stars. He created us to put His goodness and truth and beauty and wisdom and justice on display. The greatest display of God's glory comes from deep delight in all that He is. This means that God gets the praise and we get the pleasure. God created us so that He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
  • Every human should live for God's glory.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • All of us have failed to glorify God as we should.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
  •   All of us are subject to God's just condemnation.
"The wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23).

If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future. However, this is not where it stops...
  • God sent his only Son Jesus to provide eternal life and joy.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." (1 Timothy 1:15)
The good news is that Christ died for sinners like us. And He rose physically from the dead to validate the saving power of his death and to open the gates of eternal life and joy (1 Corinthians 15:20). This means God can acquit guilty sinners and still be just (Romans 3:25-26). "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Coming home to God is where all deep and lasting satisfaction is found. 
  • The benefits purchased by the death of Christ belong to those who repent and trust Him.
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out" (Acts 3:19).
“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
"Repent" means to turn from all the deceitful promises of sin. "Faith" means being satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Jesus. "He who believes in me," Jesus says, "shall never thirst" (John 6:35). We do not earn our salvation. We cannot merit it (Romans 4:4-5). It is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a free gift (Romans 3:24). We will have it if we cherish it above all things (Matthew 13:44). When we do that, God's aim in creation is accomplished: He is glorified in us and we are satisfied in Him - forever.
Does this make sense to you?
Do you desire the kind of gladness that comes from being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus? If so, then God is at work in your life.
What should you do?
Turn from the deceitful promises of sin. Call upon Jesus to save you from the guilt and punishment and bondage. "All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). Start banking your hope on all that God is for you in Jesus. Break the power of sin's promises by faith in the superior satisfaction of God's promises. Begin reading the Bible to find his precious and very great promises, which can set you free (2 Peter 1:3-4). Find a Bible-believing church and begin to worship and grow together with other people who treasure Christ above all things (Philippians 3:7).
The best news in the world is that there is no necessary conflict between our happiness and God's holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus magnifies him the greatest Treasure.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11)
F is for Forgiveness
We cannot have eternal life and heaven without God’s forgiveness. (read Ephesians 1:7a).
A is for Available
Forgiveness is available. It is: available for all (read John 3:16), but not automatic (read Matthew 7:21a).
I is for Impossible
It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven: because of who He is—God is loving and just (read James 2:13a); because of who we are (read Romans 3:23).
T is for Turn
Turn means to repent: to turn from something (sin or self—read Luke 13:3b) and to Someone—to trust Christ only (read Romans 10:9).
H is for Heaven
Heaven is eternal life. Here—(read John 10:10b) and the hereafter (read John 14:3).
How can a person have God’s forgiveness, heaven, and eternal life? By turning away from sin (repentance) and by turning to Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death for us on the cross (the Gospel).
Forsaking All I Trust Him = FAITH.
Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and have displeased You in many ways. I believe You died for my sin and only through faith in Your death and resurrection can I be forgiven. I want to turn from my sin and ask You to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. From this day on, I will follow You by living a life that pleases You. Thank you, Lord Jesus for saving me. Amen

What to do next.....
Step 1: Join a local Bible-believing church.  
  •  It's not the label on the sign outside that defines a church; it is the teaching and the people who follow Christ inside. Ask other Christians where they go to church or if they could recommend a good one. You may want to visit a few in order to feel at peace with where God wants you to be. 
Step 2: Participate in Believer's Baptism
  • Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead - Father, Son & Holy Spirit. It signifies purity or cleansing from sin and a devotion to God. It is a public demonstration of your decision to change your life and to make God the Master and Lord of your life. Various denominations practice baptism in different ways, but in a Southern Baptist Church, the person is completely immersed under water in order to symbolize being cleansed from sin.   
 Step 3: Read your Bible daily.
  • Find a Bible reading plan that is right for you. A plan will keep you from missing anything God has written in His Word. Also, if you follow the plan, you'll be on your way to reading through the Bible once every year. The easiest way to truly "grow up" in the faith is to make Bible reading a priority. 
Step 3: Get involved in a ministry group.
  • Most churches offer small groups and many ministry opportunities. Pray and ask God were you should "plug in." It's the people who really "get plugged in" that find their purpose and soar in their walk with Christ. Sometimes this takes a little time, but most churches offer classes or counseling to help you find the place that's right for you. Don't get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn't seem to fit. As you mature in your faith, you will sense more of the Holy Spirit guiding you in the direction best suited for God's will in your life.
Step 4: Pray daily.
  • Even though this is listed last, prayer is essential from the time you answer God's call to give your life to Him. Prayer is simply talking to God. You don't have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Give thanks to the Lord daily for you salvation. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit. There is no limit to prayer. You can pray with your eyes closed or open, while sitting or standing, kneeling or lying on your bed, anywhere, anytime. So begin to make prayer a part of your daily routine.
Acknowledgement of John Piper's Quest for Joy, and