Faithlife Corporation

Jesus, the Great "I Am": "I Am the Way"

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“Thomas said to [Jesus], ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way… No one comes to the Father except through me.’”[1]

In the course of many years of ministering in Canada, I have witnessed many people who were offended at the preaching they heard. In almost every instance, when I have been able to discover what was particularly offensive, I learned that the offended person found the message inflexible. Perhaps it was people who enjoyed the preaching itself, but they were “turned off” by the repeated demand that they yield their lives to the Christ. At other times, it was church members who were outraged because their friends could not be members of the assembly without receiving believer’s baptism as taught in the Word of God. At yet other times, outsiders were deeply offended because there was no “wiggle room” for their cherished sins.

Many aspects of the Christian Faith are offensive—deeply offensive. The primary offence appears to be the exclusive claims of the Founder of the Faith. In this day far removed from the days of His flesh, we discover that the exclusive claims of the Son of God are still offensive. Muslims would make Him a prophet, even a lesser prophet than Mohammed. Hindus would be content to acknowledge Him as a demigod—part of the multiplied thousands of gods they fear. Buddhists are perfectly willing to say that He is a great teacher—an enlightened one. Secularists wish to ignore Him as irrelevant except when they need a personal boon.

However, His testimony that He is “the Way,” stands athwart every effort of fallen man to relegate Him to the sidelines, or to somehow diminish His authority. For the Master lays a narrow claim that He is “the way,” and that “No one comes to the Father except through [Him].”

The Disciples’ Doubts — “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his question! We don’t have an audio tape to determine if he asked in a sceptical voice, or if he was being negative, or if he sincerely doubted. I have always seen Thomas as a realist; and I believe he was a very brave man. You will recall on one occasion, when Jesus and the disciples were informed that Lazarus was ill, Jesus delayed doing anything. The disciples concluded that it was because the Jewish leaders were planning to kill him. After two days, Jesus suddenly announced that it was time to go to Bethany where Lazarus had lived. The disciples remonstrated with Him, reminding Him that His life was in danger [John 11:1-10]. When it became obvious that He intended to return to the village, Thomas responded, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” [John 11:16]. I see resignation in his words, to be certain, but I also see a courageous individual who, though knowing the risks nevertheless is willing to stand with the Master in the face of certain danger.

The fact that Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his question leads me to suggest that when Thomas questioned the Master in our text, he was voicing what the other disciples harboured in their hearts as well. Thomas appears to have had a quick mind; he was able to quickly assimilate multiple threads and assess the implication of what was taking place. He was able to assess and analyse, and in this instance, he quickly raised the issue of where Jesus was going.

Thomas heard the words that the Master spoke—words that you and I likely take for granted because we have heard them so often. However, put yourself in the situation in which the disciples found themselves. For three and one-half years the Master had spoken of his impending death. As the day of His passion drew near, the words that had precipitated Thomas’ question were delivered. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going” [John 14:1-4].

This testimony was elicited by a question Peter had asked followed by Jesus’ response. Jesus had warned the disciples that one of them would betray Him; after which, He gave the New Commandment that His disciples were to love one another. He had stated that the world would recognise that those who followed Him were His disciples because of their love for one another.

While telling the disciples these things, the Master had said, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’” [John 13:33]. As soon as Jesus paused to draw a breath, Peter blurted out, “Lord, where are you going?” And the Master answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward” [John 13:36].

To the disciples, Jesus’ words were mysterious, dark, unfathomable. Hadn’t Peter testified concerning his confidence that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” [Matthew 16:16]? All the disciples held this belief, with the obvious exception of Judas. Because the Master was the Son of God, how could He die? Though He had spoken repeatedly of presenting His life as a sacrifice, the disciples just didn’t comprehend. Was that really necessary? Only moments after his dramatic and powerful testimony, Peter had attempted to dissuade the Master from fulfilling His purpose. Jesus had once again informed that men that His life would be taken from Him, but that He would rise on the third day [Matthew 16:21]. Peter attempted to rebuke the Master, only to receive a stern rebuke himself [Matthew 16:22, 23].

Let’s admit an uncomfortable truth—we know little of the Master. Modern Christians imagine that they know all about the Master, but their lives testify that the situation is otherwise. We who are redeemed know Him, but we don’t understand Him; but, how could we “know” One who can only be described as “Other?” We have experienced His love, but we don’t understand it; if we did, we would love others as He loved. If we really grasped His love for us, we would love one another deeply from the heart. If we fully understood His love for the lost, we would vigorously pursue the lost with ardour, refusing to rest until they were saved. We have experienced His grace, but we don’t really understand that grace; if we did, we would accept one another without discriminating against those whom God brings to us. We have experienced His mercy, but we don’t really understand that mercy; if we understood His mercy, we would be merciful rather than being critical toward those that fail to measure up to our standard.

Having made the admission that we really don’t “know” the Master any better than did the disciples that had walked with Him through the dusty land of Judea, let’s make yet another uncomfortable admission: we harbour doubts. Many among us struggle with doubts concerning God’s salvation. Though He promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out” [John 6:37], many still struggle to accept His promise. Though He promised, “Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life” [John 5:24], many believers still struggle to believe they are accepted in the Beloved Son.

Perhaps you are one who wonders how the Saviour could love you. Perhaps you question why He would give His life as a sacrifice and whether that sacrifice is enough. You need to know that an entire book of the Bible was dedicated to the singular purpose of giving believers confidence. “I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life,” said the Disciple of Love [1 John 5:13].

I remember a discussion I had with some Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door of the home of a family friend where I was staying. The Witnesses wanted to discuss Armageddon. However, I insisted that I would not speak with them on a subject about which they were ignorant. They knew there would be a great conflagration, though they didn’t accept that it was at the conclusion of the Millennium. More importantly, they didn’t know the Saviour, and I was on His side.

However, I challenged this couple, “Here is a question for you. Why would you ask me to surrender my certainty for your lack of certainty?”

“What do you mean?” responded the man.

“Well,” I replied, reaching for my copy of Nestle Aland’s Greek New Testament, “you are all Greek scholars. Have you never read what John says?” And turning to 1 John 5:13, I offered the Greek Testament. They declined to accept it, or even look at it. Continuing, however, I pointed to the verse and read the opening portion of what John wrote believers, “Taûta égrapha humîn hína eidâte hóti zōè éxete aiónion.” You will note, “I pointed out,” that he used oída to indicate that we have an intuitive knowledge. Translating, “I write these things to you that you might unquestionably know that we have eternal life.”

The couple was nonplused, and the man blurted out, “Perhaps you are one of the 144,000!”

“No,” I gently replied, “I’m not Jewish and I’m not a virgin.”

What knowledge did John say lives within the child of God to give him confidence?

· A Christian recognises the truth [1 John 2:20, 21].

· A Christian knows the character of God [1 John 2:29].

· A Christian knows the hope of Christ’s return [1 John 3:2].

· A Christian knows the reason for Christ’s incarnation [1 John 3:5].

· A Christian is assured of His second birth [1 John 3:14, 15].

· A Christian is assured of eternal life [1 John 5:13].

· A Christian enjoys confidence in Christ’s presence [1 John 5:15].

Review John’s words from another perspective and we discover that the child of God is marked by distinguishing characteristics that reflect his or her divine parentage.

· A Christian does right [1 John 2:24].

· A Christian does not continue to sin [1 John 3:9].

· A Christian loves the brothers [1 John 3:14].

· A Christian loves [1 John 4:7].

· A Christian overcomes the world [1 John 5:4].

If Christians struggle with their faith, will it surprise you that many also struggle with the transition that is to come? Paul writes, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” [Philippians 3:20]. However, that knowledge does not always comfort us in the face of death.

It is a bit like the preacher who was enthusiastically challenging the congregation. He became positively exuberant as he urged the congregation, “Everyone who wants to go to heaven, stand up!” Of course, everyone stood, except for one old deacon. Thinking that perhaps the gentleman had misunderstood, the preacher again exclaimed, “Everyone who wants to go to heaven, stand up!” The deacon remained seated.

Looking straight at the unresponsive church leader, the preacher asked pointedly, “Brother, don’t you want to go to heaven?”

“Well, of course I want to go to heaven,” replied the deacon. “I just thought you were gettin’ up a trainload right now.”

We are uncertain what the implications are for death as none of us have ever gone there. We get to make that trip once, and none have ever returned from the grave except for the Master. Therefore, we almost always harbour just a slight doubt. Though we know that “the things that are seen are transient,” and that “the things that are unseen are eternal,” [2 Corinthians 4:18], it is nevertheless true that “We walk by faith, not by sight,” [2 Corinthians 5:7]. Our faith is imperfect. However, we also know that God is preparing us for that transition.

I do not now have “dying grace,” but when the time is appropriate, I have no doubt that the Master will send His holy angels to escort me into His presence. At that time, He will supply the grace needed to leave behind this tent, exchanging it for my permanent home.

I have sat by the bedside of dying saints on several occasions, watching as God took His child out of this fallen world and into the world of light. I remember one man in particular. Courtney was a curmudgeon—there is no other way to say it. He was brusque and abrupt in his speech, using biting sarcasm to devastate people. However, I had the joy of leading Courtney to faith. After his redemption, Courtney began a journey that transformed him into a man that many mourned when he left this life. For almost twenty years, he was adopted by our family; our children called him “Grandpa.” He had no family here, and it was especially precious to him to have little children call him “Grandpa.”

Courtney struggled to breathe and to walk. He had been injured repeatedly throughout his life and suffered with emphysema that grew progressively more severe with the passage of years. He was a fighter, and he wouldn’t give up his struggle to live. “I’ve got to live long enough to see the church built,” he said when we purchased our first building. “I have to live long enough to see Susan’s children grow up,” he said after our first two grandchildren were born. Like most of us, he struggled to stay here as this was what he knew.

I was with Courtney shortly before he died. He had been hospitalised, and he knew that his condition was serious. He knew that he would not leave the hospital this time. He asked me to speak to him of what would happen. We talked of the familiar passages of Scripture that promised that we will be with the Master. I read him these words, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going” [John 14:1-4].

When I had read the words, Courtney said, “Mike, that is good enough. Pray for me that God will let me go home.”

I acceded to his request. When I left that room, he was resting peacefully. Shortly after that, I moved to this present community. I had not been here even two weeks when my eldest daughter phoned to say, “Dad, Grandpa James died. Our family was with him. He died peacefully, slipping quietly into the Saviour’s presence.” God had given dying grace.

The Saviour’s words are indeed a soft pillow for a weary head. Though we may doubt, it will not change the promises of God. The Master has promised that because He has preceded us, we may be assured that He awaits us in a better place. Though we may have doubts, they are doubts that grow out of our own ignorance. For we have His Word, and we are confident that He is even now preparing a place for us.

The Disciples’ Direction — “Jesus said … ‘I am the way.’” Do you long to go to God knowing that you are accepted by Him? Is it your desire to be forgiven of every sin? There is but one way to approach the Living God, and that is through Christ Jesus the Son of God. Jesus presented Himself as the Way. What are the implications of that testimony for us in this day?

Understand that we are fallen creatures. Indeed, the Psalmist gave voice to a truth to which each of us is compelled to give assent:

“Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.”

[Psalm 51:5]

Our human condition is that we are alienated from God, ignorant of the truth and condemned to spiritual death and eventually physical death. In His own words, Jesus presents Himself as the divine answer to each of these conditions. Instead of alienation, He is “the Way” to God. Instead of ignorance, He is “the Truth.” Instead of death, He is “the Life.”

Though admittedly more narrow than addressing all of these issues, the focus of the message today is that Christ Jesus is presented as “the Way.” Whenever we speak of a way, we presuppose two points, for a way speaks of the path between those two points. It should be obvious that when we speak of “the Way,” we imply there is no other way possible. What are the points and in what manner is Jesus the Way? We have already alluded to the fact that people are lost. Each of us has been ruined by the fall of our first parents. We know we are not holy; if we were holy we would know God and we would be confident of His acceptance. As it is, we have a vague hope that we are accepted by God, though intuitively we know that we are not.

People respond to this dreadful knowledge in various ways. Some try very hard to perform many religious acts hoping that they will somehow compel God to accept them. Others despair and give up. They know they are not good, and they know that they can never be good enough, so they simply cease trying to do what honours God—they cease attempting to seek God. Others become belligerent, shaking their puny fists at Holy God and daring Him to do something to them. “If I’m not good enough as I am,” they bluster, “then I want nothing to do with God.” They imagine that they can set the standard and God must agree to their conditions for acceptance. Others imagine that they are fine despite knowing the seriousness of their condition. They are sort of like a little boy whistling past the graveyard. They know that they are condemned, but they are hopeful that somehow God will overlook their condition and accept them in any case. Of course, all our attempts at being good will fail. Despair will only drive us deeper into gloom. Defiance only compounds our condition. And deliberate deceit must end in disaster for us. Mankind is in a serious situation.

The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]. Solomon asked:

“Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure;

I am clean from my sin’?”

[Proverbs 20:9]

The answer to that question is that no one can cleanse his or her own heart; no one can claim to be clean from sin through their own effort. How much less can anyone claim to be pure through ignoring their own sinful condition? Even if I dared claim that I have no sin, the fact that I am a dying creature betrays the lie. The statistics on death are pretty convincing: one out of one die. My physical condition testifies to my spiritual condition.

If we will be accepted by God, there must be a way to God. There must be a means to remove sin and to make us acceptable in His sight. I cannot say that I will reform my life, for even were that possible, payment of a future debt can never discharge a past debt, and my past sin has estranged me from Holy God. Mercy alone is insufficient, for mercy cannot satisfy the claims of justice arising from me having offended the holiness of God. Mercy that ignores justice is unworthy of the Living God.

What shall be done? How can sin be removed? How can man in his ruined condition ever hope to be made acceptable before the Creator? The answer is that Christ Jesus is the Way. “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” [Romans 5:6-8].

God has sent His own Son, presenting Him as a sacrifice because of mankind’s sin. The Son of God has presented His life as a perfect sacrifice—dying in the place of sinful people. He took in His own body all our sin. Therefore, He has received in Himself God’s just wrath against sin, so that through His death all guilt and punishment for that sin might be removed forever. Because of His sacrifice, God has blotted out the transgressions of His people [Isaiah 43:25; 44:2], removing sin “as far as the east is from the west” [Psalm 103:12], placing those sins behind His back [Isaiah 38:17] and casting them “into the depths of the sea” [Micah 7:19]. Therefore, for those who have received that divine sacrifice as their own, all their sins are both forgiven [Colossians 2:13] and forever forgotten [Hebrews 10:17].

Christ Jesus is the Way for us to be delivered from the penalty of sin, and He is the Way for us to be delivered from the power of sin. We who believe are promised in the Word of God, “Sin will have no dominion over you” [Romans 6:14]. How can this be, since sin is so powerful and since it is always present in this fallen world and since we are so weak? The answer is found in a wonderful promise that says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9].

Like you, I am a sinful being. When I sin, the evil one comes to gloat and to remind me of my weakness. “How can one who is forgiven act in that manner?” he whispers into my ear. Were I to listen to him, I would drop into the depths of despondency. Were I to continue in that condition, I would only grow continually more despondent until I despaired of ever gaining victory over my sin. Thus weakened, I would be susceptible to continuing in that sin believing that my situation was hopeless.

However, on the authority of God’s Word I know that I am not saved because of my goodness, but through Christ’s mercy and grace. Thus, my heart says, “Were you not saved by Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection? You have indeed sinned, but did not Christ come to save sinners? Did He not conquer sin, rising from the dead? Has He not ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father? Is He not your Advocate even now?”

Knowing this is true I remember that I was saved by grace, not through my own efforts. Thus I am confident that I will remain saved by grace and not through any goodness of my own. I am indeed guilty of sin, but His sacrifice has delivered me from the penalty of sin. Therefore, I no longer fear the wicked one. Though I am ashamed of my weakness, I know the desire of my heart is to enjoy fellowship with Christ Jesus and to please Him in every way. I am comforted by the words of the Apostle of Love, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” [1 John 3:1-3].

Finally, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way for us to be removed from the presence of sin. He promised, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” [John 14:1-3]. With all the redeemed of God, I can joyfully exclaim, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself” [Philippians 3:20, 21].

The Disciples’ Distinction — “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Unthinking people often say that there are many ways to God. However, no Christian should ever be guilty of making such a statement. The Word of God speaks of mankind as lost. The Master testified, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” [Luke 19:10]. Perhaps we are offended by such a bald statement, but it does not negate the fact that we are nevertheless lost. Were it not for Christ seeking us, we would continue in that awful condition of being lost and estranged from the Living God. No one finds their way to God; they are drawn by the Spirit of God.

The Way to God is exclusive. Religion will not suffice to provide a way to God. Ignoring our condition will not suffice to provide a way to God. Human arrogance will not suffice to make a way for us to approach God. Exalting oneself, seating oneself on the throne of life will fail to make a way to approach God. There is only one way into the Father’s presence, and that is through the Saviour He has presented—Christ Jesus the Lord.

Christians are often castigated as “narrow-minded” because of the Master’s exclusive claim. The appropriate answer to such a charge is that we are indeed “narrow-minded” in the matter of salvation. We are as narrow as our Master. I have witnessed to my sorrow numerous professed Christians over the course of my service to the Master who turned from pursuing righteousness or who railed against the preaching of the Word because they felt the message of Christ was too restrictive. They realised that their children, or perhaps friends whom they favoured, or even influential people in the community would turn back from attending the services of the church because they could not come to God on their condition. Of course, such an attitude is foolish in the extreme. To reject the claim of Christ, whatever the reason, is foolish. To turn from following Him because you imagine His Way too narrow is utter folly.

Apart from the grace of God, folly, despair and perversity is the condition of each of us. I stress that every attempt to find another way to God is folly. When we attempt to find another way, we despair for there is no other way than that which God has provided. We are perverse because God has told us there is but one way to life. To turn from Him in a futile attempt to find another way is to dishonour Him. Indeed, the Word of God has revealed our condition:

“‘None is righteous, no, not one;

no one understands;

no one seeks for God.

All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;

no one does good,

not even one.’

‘Their throat is an open grave;

they use their tongues to deceive.’

‘The venom of asps is under their lips.’

‘Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.’

‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;

in their paths are ruin and misery,

and the way of peace they have not known.’

‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”

[Romans 3:10-18]

Was our text the only place in Scripture that presented the exclusive claims of the Master, it would be enough. However, there are multiple instances that point to His narrow claim. For instance, when Peter and John were haled before the Sanhedrin, Peter warned that august body, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” [Acts 4:12].

Paul would remind the Corinthian saints of what he had preached previously, “No one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” [1 Corinthians 3:11].

Near the end of his life, the Apostle to the Gentiles would testify to the young theologue who had accompanied him in so many of his journeys, “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” [1 Timothy 2:5, 6].

We Christians are a distinctive people. Of us, the Living God has said, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” [1 Peter 2:9, 10].

Of His people, the Master said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” [John 15:16]. Did you get that? If you are a Christian, you were chosen to serve. You are His witness. In this world, you are a light, revealing the glories of God at work in mere mortals. There are people—family members, friends, co-workers—who are dying for your testimony. You have the opportunity to point them to the Saviour, to direct them into the Way.

An evangelist recently wrote concerning an encounter he had with John Denver. Seated in a frequent flyer room in Denver, Bill Fay saw John Denver in the same room. I’ll let him pick up the story at that point.

“I went over and said, ‘John!’

“He jumped up, stuck out his hand and said, ‘I haven't seen you in a while.’

“I said, ‘No sir, we've never met. But I am a man who's prayed for you for over five years, and I have a message for you from your dead father, Dutch.’

“You see, years earlier, in the height of my pagan lifestyle, John Denver’s father was the co-pilot on the Lear jet that used to fly me around the country to do my illegal mob business.

“His father—whose hand I held when he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ—made me promise that one day I would share with his son. I said, ‘Dutch, if God provides the moment, the privilege is mine.’

“Now it looked like the moment was going to come.

“I met with John in a private room in the Denver airport for the better part of two hours. I took him line by line through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“There wasn't a single verse of Scripture he did not understand—nor was there a single verse of Scripture that he would accept.

“Finally, I said, ‘John, when did you make up your mind Jesus Christ would never become your Lord and your Saviour?’

“He could remember the date, the time and the place. A godly Sunday School teacher, like some of you, said to him Jesus Christ was The Way, The Truth and The Life.”

Evangelist Bill Fay says he left with tears in his eyes that day. Then, he questioned God, wondering why He would go to all this trouble if He knew that John Denver would not accept life. He writes that a passage of Scripture came to mind, 2 Corinthians 2:15, 16: “We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”[2] The word “death” in the Word of God means eternal separation. As a Christians, you represent life or death to those whom you meet and to whom you speak. As you meet others, your meeting will be either an opportunity or an opportunity lost.

Do you believe Christ the Master is the Way? Are you walking on that Way? Are you pointing others to the Way? If you are not on the Way, the most important thing you can hear is this: Christ died because of your sin and rose to life to make you right with the Father. Therefore, the Word of God is quite clear in declaring, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” We conclude by reminding you, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” [Romans 10:9, 10, 13].

Our prayer is that you will look to the Master and be saved, even today. Amen.


[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Bill Fay, “FIRST-PERSON: John Denver’s opportunity lost?” (Baptist Press, February 2, 2010, accessed February 2, 2010

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