This morning we are celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Grace Baptist Temple. On January 13, 1961 twenty-six people met to organize this church. There have been many changes in the past thirty-one years. In May of 1966 the present property was purchased and this building erected shortly thereafter. In 1973 the educational building was constructed and in the fall of 1974 the school began. The church has had six different pastors to date and numerous staff ministers over the years. Over 1000 people have joined this church over the years and the present membership stands at 130. So you can see that there have been many changes! However, one thing that hasn't changed over the years is the central message of the Old-Time Gospel. For over 31 years this message has been proclaimed from this pulpit. The messengers have changed, those hearing the message have changed, but the message has remained the same! The message of the Old-Time Gospel is not a difficult message to understand, in fact, it is really very uncomplicated. In the next few minutes I want to share this simple, but powerful message from God one more time.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." cf. Ro. 10:13
I. God Made It All Inclusive ..."Whosoever"
A. Because all of us have sinned!
1. No matter who a person may be or what their station may be in life.
2. No matter what their family back- ground may be. (even the Queen!)
3. No matter how morally good that a person might strive to be.
4. The Scriptures are clear on this matter "All have sinned...there is none right- eous no not one." cf. Ro. 3:10 ; 23
B. Because all of us must die! "For the living know that they shall die..." cf. Eccl. 9:5a
1. When I was young I used to think that I would live forever and that those I loved would always be around.
2. Now I know that I was young and didn't know any better, but many people want to live in the same sort of fantasy world concerning this matter of death.
3. That old saying about there being only two things that we have to do: pay taxes and die! really isn't accurate, many people get out of paying taxes, but no one will escape death.
4. God told Hezekiah, "...Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live." cf 2Ki. 20:1
C. Because all of us must stand before God to face judgment.
1. Note: Hebrews 9:27
2. Just as sure as death is, so to is the judgment.
3. There is no escaping either one!
4. The prophet Amos warned the nation of Israel to "...Prepare to meet thy God..."
5. Preparation must be made prior to death...regardless of what Hollywood tells us!
6. God made His gospel message all inclusive because every one of us have sinned, will die, and will stand before God in judgment.
7. Only those who have put their faith in the shed blood of Christ will be ready to meet God!
II. God Made It Easy..."Shall call upon the name of the Lord"
A. Men make it difficult!
1. They place restrictions on the gospel.
2. Some say that only certain people will be saved.
3. Some say that we must join their church and follow their observances in order to be saved.
4. Still others say that we must prove ourselves unto God and if we are worthy then He will save us.
B. God made it simple. cf Ro. 10:9-10
1. He said if we believe in our heart...
a. not a superficial belief for the benefit of others
b. not just a head knowledge
c. but a genuine faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on Calvary
2. He said act on that faith and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
3. He said call upon the name of the Lord.
a. call means to ask or pray
b. we need to call upon Him and accept His salvation gift
c. "...it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." Ep. 2:8
4. If I could do anything to receive salvation, it would mean that what Jesus did wasn't enough!
III. God Made It Sure. "...shall be saved"
A. There is no doubt about it!
1. He didn't say that we might be saved.
2. He didn't say that we could possibly be saved.
3. He said that we shall be saved!
4. He forgives our sins.
a. Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
b. He didn't say from north to south because that distance can be measured, but you cannot measure the distance from the east to the west.
c. God promised to have compassion on His people and to cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. cf Mi. 7:19
B. We are placed into His family.
1. "As many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God." cf Jn. 1:12
2. "Beloved, now are we the Sons of God" cf 1 John 3:2
3. Paul said, "Ye are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." cf Gal. 3:26
4. We get into His family by being born again, and we cannot be unborn!
C. We receive eternal, everlasting life.
1. Listen to the words of the Savior: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life." cf Jn 5:24
2. "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish." cf Jn. 10:28
3. God made it sure...we have His Word on it...His written guarantee!
Conclusion: This is the message: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." This is the message that has been going forth from this pulpit for over thirty-one years! This is the message that has gone out across the world because of the missionary vision of the people of this church over the years. Multitudes have been saved by believing the message and receiving Christ. This morning there are some here who have heard this message before, but still you have not come to Christ! What are you waiting for? Some have gone to others who give them a different message, but any other message than this will bring death...not eternal life. Others are here who have received the message, but have failed to pass it on to others! There is no salvation in any other than Jesus Christ! They will not hear and believe unless we are faithful to tell them of the saving grace of God. May we commit ourselves to accomplishing this task through God's help. Don't change the message, and don't let the message grow stale...let's tell others of Christ's love and mercy.