It’s one thing to be a hopeless sinner, and quite another to be a hopeless sinner who has found Jesus Christ.
Without Jesus Christ we cannot go to heaven. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how righteous you think you are, all our good works are like dirty rags before the Lord. We have all turned away from the Lord and gone our own way.
We cannot earn our way in heaven because we are sinners. How can a dirty sinner stand before God and say: “Look are all the good works I have done. I am clean. I deserve to come into your Kingdom.”
How can someone with dirty hands pick something up and say what they picked up is clean?
There is no one good except God. God is the only one who is good, and clean and holy. God is the righteous one. There is no one like Him.
And we as sinners, as human beings, some of us just don’t have what it takes to be successful on this earth in our own power. Some people are incredibly self- disciplined. They can time what time they go to bed, what time they wake up, how many calories a day they eat, how long it takes them to get to work. The whole 9 yards.
Then there are some of us who simply can’t get anything started and completed without the Lord helping us and strengthening us and blessing us. I’m one of those people.
Although I may know how to work hard and stick to a task, I’m usually not very good and following it through. But God is with me and I turn over my fears, and weaknesses to Him.
Paul said in the Bible when I am weak then I am strong. It’s when we know that we cannot do something, and when we realize that there is God in heaven who can help us, then, when we cry out to Him and ask Him to help us, then He reaches down from heaven and supernaturally gets involved in our lives.
God is the God of the Hopeless. And Jesus is the King of the Hopeless sinners.
So many of us were down and out lost. We were lost in drugs, alcohol, angry, gambling, fraud, murder, who knows what kind of sin got its hooks into us and made into people that we did not want to be.
Then we realized that we were really lost. And we wanted to change, we wanted to live a life for God. Somehow we realized that we were on the wrong track. We wanted to have eternal life. We wanted to have our sins forgiven and to feel that we were valued, and worthy, wanted and loved.
So we cried out to Heaven. We cried out to God. We called upon the name of Jesus.
We called out to Him in desperation and almost with fear that maybe it wasn’t true. Maybe He was there, maybe He wasn’t. But we cried out. We had enough faith to believe and cry out to a God we hoped was there, we wished to be there, we longed to be there.
We gave us on ourselves and we cried out to God for help. And He answered. He saved us. He washed away our sins with His blood. He gave us eternal life through the power of His Spirit. He gave us a new chance at this life.
And when I meet with some of you Somalis, and others, and I see you in the grip of fear and addiction, my heart cries out to God for you, and I plead and teach and do whatever I can to convince you that God is real. Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins.
And especially for those of you who are Christians and still you say “my life sucks”. Why is it that you are a Christian and your life sucks? Probably because you are trying to find your life in someone or something else. You think your spouse just has to change and then you will have life. Or that you need to be healed and then you will start to live.
Well I have news for you. Whether you are married or not life is found in Jesus Christ because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Whether you are healed, sick or dying of cancer – Jesus Christ is life, and life eternal. So even if you die yet you will live. You have eternal life if you have Jesus Christ in your life.
There may be things around you that make you misereable. But God is not miserable. If you are in His presence there is joy and peace, and pleasures forevermore. It’s only when we leave His presence that we feel irritated and complain.
So let’s all remember, especially me, not to complain, not to be bitter, and not to shame anyone. Let us love one another with a sincere love that comes from God. A love that does not remember past sins. Hallelujah! Amen.