Skip Heitzig - A One-Man Show
And would you please turn, in your Bibles, to the Book of Romans, chapter 5? And we always say that, don't we, when we begin a service, "turn, in your Bibles, to." And that's because we believe that God speaks through what God has already spoken, that, in His word, He tells us what He wants, who He is, who we are, where we fit into His plan. So we always look at what the Scriptures have to say. And we're in the series in the Book of Romans called Heart and Soul. So we're in Romans, chapter 5. And in a few moments, we're going to begin in verse 12, and we're going to finish out the chapter, the 10 verses that are left.
Think of the accomplishments that one person is able to do. Think, for example, of Thomas Edison, who in his lifetime acquired 1,093 patents, 1,093 patents, who innovated the first record player, the incandescent light bulb, and an early version of a motion-picture camera, one person affecting a whole group of people. Or think of Albert Einstein, who developed quantum physics, the theory of relativity, Abraham Lincoln, who, by his Emancipation Proclamation, was able to free 3.5 million slaves and give them freedom. Think of women like Queen Esther, the right woman in the right place at the right time. By her boldness, she was able to save the Jewish race in Persia from genocide, or Moses, who went up alone to Mount Sinai and heard from God the law to give to his people.
These are names we're familiar with, but here's a name you're probably not familiar with, Dashrath Manjhi. Have you ever heard of Dashrath Manjhi? Have you had a conversation about him this week? Probably not. He was a man who lived in the hills of India, living a quiet life, tending his goats, loving his wife. But one day, his wife slid down a slope accidentally and was injured severely, had to be taken to a hospital. The nearest hospital was 45 miles away. They had no vehicle. It was a catastrophic event.
After the ordeal was completed, Dashrath Manjhi sold his goats, bought a hammer and chisel. Get this. For the next 22 years, he dug a road through the mountain that is 30 feet high, 25 feet wide, 360 feet long to connect his village to the nearby town, reducing the drive rate from 45 miles to the hospital to 4 miles. That's what one guy did for 22 years, impressive. Someone said, "The individual activity of one man with a backbone will do more than 1,000 men with a mere wishbone." One person really can change their world. But just like one person can effect great good, likewise, a person can effect great evil. Think of Adolf Hitler, 6 million Jews or more killed at his hand, or the Cambodian leader of the Khmer Rouge in the '70s, Pol Pot, 2 million deaths because of him, because of starvation, because of disease, because of execution.
So one person can invent things and help people. But another person can destroy what they have invented. One person can light a match, cause a fire to burn, destroy homes, ruin lives. Another person can put out the fire, save homes, rescue lives. And that is the thrust of the passage we're about to read. In this passage, Paul the Apostle lays one man and what he did against another man and what he did, Adam and Christ. Now, you know that Peter said that Paul wrote many things that are hard to understand. And scholars, commentators, people who write books on what the Bible is about, most of them say that the section we're about to read is perhaps one of the most difficult passages that Paul ever wrote to understand.
So I'm going to break it down and simplify this passage. And I want to give you some preliminaries, and we haven't even started reading yet, but just some preliminaries. In the paragraph we're about to read, the word "one" appears 11 times. So you're going to get the thrust of what Paul is doing here. "One" appears 11 times. So we have one man, one sin, one trespass, one wrong choice. And that opened the door for corruption. But we have one man, one sacrifice, one right choice that opened the door to salvation. So both Adam and Christ performed a one-man show. They did something that affected the crowd, the group.
So that word appears 11 times. There is another word, "reign," not rain from Heaven, R-A-I-N, but reign like a king reigns, R-E-I-G-N. Did I spell it right? Reign, so that word appears five times. And what Paul is doing is he acknowledges these two men, Adam and Christ, reigning over a kingdom, Adam reigning over the kingdom of death, Jesus reigning over the kingdom of life. Condemnation flows from the stream of Adam. Salvation, justification flows from the stream of Christ. So we have "one" 11 times, "reign" five times. And there's another phrase that is used five times in this paragraph. It's the two words "much more," much more. In other words, we have gained much more in Christ than we ever lost from Adam. That's the great thrust of this passage.
So we're going to look at what one person can do. A leader put it this way, "One smile can start a friendship. One word can end a fight. One look can save a relationship. And one person can change your life." I've met thousands of people over my lifetime, like you have. But there's really only one person I ever met who completely changed my life. His name is Jesus Christ. He's what motivates us to do what we do, to start churches, for missionaries to go out, for any good, godly work to be done. He's the one who can change lives.
So we have in this section, this 10-verse section, this 10-verse paragraph, two sections. It's divided into two parts. Verse 12 through 14 is the first part. Verse 15 through 21 is the second part. So in these two sections, I'm going to make two statements about two men, Adam and Christ. These two statements sum up their lives. One man's failure brought mankind's fall, and one man's fix bought mankind's favor.
Let's begin with the first. Let's begin with Adam, verse 15, or verse 12 of chapter 5. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sinned. For until the Law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed, or counted, or reckoned when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned, according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of him who was to come."
Bottom line is this, Adam blew it for everyone. What Adam did affected every single person. I've often thought of, what, you know, if I ever get a chance to meet Adam, I got some choice words for him. In fact, actually, I thought if I ever see him, I want to punch him out, what he did and ruined it all for us. But then I started thinking about it. And I realized, I would have done the same. In fact, I did the same again, and again, and again. And so did you. The Bible says, all have sinned, and we've fallen short of the glory of God. And the truth is, if God would have tested every human being individually, the result would be the same.
Now, Paul mentions Adam. He talks about Adam seven times in all of his New Testament writings. And he spoke about Adam as though Adam were an actual, historical figure because Adam was an actual, historical figure. But I want to underscore that. He refers to Adam and Eve. Jesus also spoke about Adam and Eve. He says, he calls them "the man and the woman." He says, from the beginning, from the beginning, God created. So you've got Paul the Apostle and Jesus our Savior both referring to a literal Adam and a literal Eve, not as mythical figures but as actual, historical figures.
However, you know this to be true. Whenever the name Adam is dropped in a conversation, it's a conversation stopper. I mean, try that next time you're at Starbucks. I wouldn't say try it at SoPo, but it won't work there. Try it out in the secular world. Stand in line at the grocery store, and just have a conversation about Adam and Eve. They're going to give you a look like, what? You're kidding. Right? You actually believe in a guy named Adam and a gal named Eve? Because if you believe in an Adam and Eve, it must mean you believe in a creation. And that's where you lose the modern audience. They give you that smirk, that look like, come on. I lost my faith in high school biology class.
And that's because the prevailing belief of the last century is Darwinian evolution. And there was some point in the past, there was some Big Bang, some big explosion. And then a whole bunch of time went by, went by, went by, went by, went by. And finally, here we are. I've had a hard time going along with the naturalist notion that no one plus nothing equals everything. I have and hold a teleological viewpoint that says, whenever I see something that looks like it's been designed, it's because it's been designed. It looks like there's gotta be a designer behind it. There's an old axiom that says, wherever there is a thing, there must have been a preceding thought. And wherever there is a thought, there must have been a thinker.
So I understand that, in modern culture, evolution is considered a done deal. It's considered a closed case. Everybody believes that this is science. Don't be an idiot to believe in creation or Adam and Eve. But what you need to know is that experts, scientific experts, they don't all agree on that. That is not the consensus. In fact, did you know that Charles Darwin, when he came up with the evolution of the species, his whole evolutionary theory, he knew that there was one glaring lack of evidence against his theory called paleontology. The fossil record did not substantiate what his theory was bearing out or what he was postulating in his theory.
But he believed that, given enough time, time would vindicate him. The fossil record would vindicate him. Here's the problem. A lot of time has gone by. The fossil record has not vindicated him. And molecular biologist Michael Denton said, "Evolutionary theory is still, as it was in Darwin's time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support," end quote. I could give you quotes like that all day long from a group, from scientists and experts.
But here's the deal. Let's say you and I go out to the parking lot, and we're standing in front of your car. And you're showing me your cool car, and you're telling me how about they, how they designed it at the factory, and they were thinking this. And actually, oh, no, no, no, no. Here's what happened. Billions of years ago, there were sets of explosions. Rocks hit each other, and there were gases. And eventually, over a long, long, long, long period of time, metal formed, and glass formed, and rubber formed. And rising up out of that pavement was your car. You'd look at me and go, you're an idiot. And if I believed what I just said, I would be an idiot. Because what you're going to tell me is, no, that looks like it's been designed by somebody, like a designer was behind that. And I would agree with that.
So that aside, I'm bringing all this up because a literal Adam is crucial to Paul's argument. Because, you see, if an historical Adam does not represent mankind in sinfulness, then an historical Jesus could never represent mankind in righteousness. One requires the other. One acted in such a way as to affect humankind. Another acted in such a way as to affect humankind.
But these verses tell us more. These verses actually answer the age-old query about how we got into the mess we find ourselves in. You know, every generation says something like this, when I was a kid, things were different. You ever hear that before? Did you ever say that before? Yeah, of course you did. You heard your parents say it. I remember hearing my dad say that. Oh, here it goes again. When I was a kid, there was things. And then I grew up, and I go, I think he was right. Because when I was a kid, things were different. And now I'm hearing my son say, you know, when I was a kid, things were different. And I'm guessing my grandson is going to say the same thing. I think every generation says it because it's true. I think that evil grows with every subsequent generation.
And so we find ourselves asking, whose fault is all this? There was just another shooting we saw yesterday, and the day before, and last week another one. And it just seems like these things are rampant. Did you know that, right now, there are 40 active wars on planet Earth, 40 active conflicts? Those are on the rise. There's a rise of depression and suicide in our own country, among the very young, especially. And so we scratch our heads and goes, now whose fault is this? This must be the Democrats' fault. You say, oh, no, no. It's the Republicans. Or, no, it's those Independents. They don't even know what side they're on. Or this is a Russian conspiracy, or this is a Chinese conspiracy. No. It's Adam's fault. Adam opened a door.
Adam was given an incredible power. It's called the power of choice, volition. Everybody knows this great power. When a young man asks a young woman for her hand in marriage, ooh, that's a lot of power. So Neil and Jackie, you're up in the front. When, Neil, when you asked your wife, Jackie, to marry you, what did she say? She said yes. And I see your girls next to you, so that's a good thing. That's a very powerful choice that she made though. What if she said no? Oh, boy. He said, oh, boy. OK, so choice is powerful. Every parent discovers when they give their child an order, a command, a directive to be obedient, and the little boy says, no, powerful choice. Now that child's about to experience a powerful parent's choice after that choice. But nonetheless, volition is an extremely powerful thing. Adam was given a simple directive, a simple instruction, one easy rule, one restriction. Adam, dude, you can do this. Just stay away from that tree. But you know what it's like when you see a sign that says "Don't touch." Well, you want to touch. Right?
Because you know what? Why? Why is the sign there? And why do you want to touch it? Because it says "Don't touch." So if you see a sign on a door this says "Keep out," you just want to take a peek and find out why. What's so important? You see a sign that says "Wet paint," you're thinking, well, maybe it's dry by now. I just want to see. So God hung up a sign for Adam, but he touched the paint. He opened the door. Look at verse 12. "Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered the world." That's where the problems all started. Through one man, sin entered the world. He opened that door. And when he opened that door, a deadly virus infected humanity. Since Adam, every human being is born S-I-N-positive. "Through one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin, thus death spread to all men." Look at verse 14, "Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses."
You notice the progression? Sin entered, number one. Death entered, number two. Death spread, number three. And number four, death reigned. So one man's act brought results so catastrophic we are still to this day experiencing the repercussions. When Adam sinned, he generated a constitutional change in his character. He acted as the federal head of humanity. That's what theologians call it, the federal head of humanity, passing on his nature throughout history.
OK, if that's sort of hard for you to get your head around the federal headship, I'll give you kind of a modern analogy. In the story and the movies The Hunger Games, the head actress, who is in this the character Katniss Everdeen, she becomes both a substitute as well as a representative. She's a substitute for her sister, Prim, saves her life by taking her place. But she becomes a representative. She becomes the federal head of her district so that if she wins those gladiatorial Hunger Games, her whole district reaps the benefits for a whole year of food and feast. So Adam acted as the federal head of humanity. Jesus comes after and acts as the federal head for all those who believe.
Now, I can hear wheels turning in heads. People are saying, well, wait. Wait a minute. That's not fair. I never met Adam. I wouldn't know him from Adam. Now, why am I taking the rap for what he did? Why am I being implicated for a crime he committed? I didn't eat the fruit. I don't even like fruit. Now, I actually do like fruit. But why would God condemn the world because of what one person did? How could He pass that along?
Well, let me answer that simply, first of all, by saying this principle works in other aspects of human propagation. We get physical characteristics from parents and grandparents. That gets passed down, eye color, hair color, body type, height. All of that gets passed on genetically in the genetic code all the way down the line. In the same way, sin is a matter of spiritual genetics. We inherit a fallen nature. I'm going to give you a second explanation. By condemning the race through one man, God is able to save the race through one man. By consigning all of us under the condemnation clause, since we're all born into that state, we can all be saved by His grace by simply believing, by one man, by one man.
I'm going to read something to you that I've been fascinated with for years. I know you wouldn't read anything like this today from a government agency, but this is a statement given by the Minnesota Crime Commission. It was written in 1926 as an explanation that the government agency was giving to explain the rise in crime rate. But you would never hear a government organization say anything like this today, but it happens to be biblically accurate.
1926 Minnesota Crime Commission, the reason for the rise in crime rate, I quote, "Every baby starts life as a little savage." Boy, they got that right. "He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it, his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmate's toy, his uncle's watch. Deny these and he seeths with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless." This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.
You'd never hear that today. Any, we are so politically correct, they wouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole. However, the Minnesota Crime Commission in 1926 seemed to have a good biblical grasp on what we call depravity. That's a term for our condition, the total depravity of mankind. That's a harsh word. That's a hard sound. And what does that mean? The word depravity means marked by corruption. It does not mean you're as bad as you can possibly be. It means you're as bad off as you can possibly be.
You see, before God, you and I are as bad off as we can possibly be. We can't get any worse. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all in righteousness and in godliness. That is our natural state. We are by children the nature of wrath even as others. That's depravity. That's what Adam brought. Sin entered. Death entered. Death spread. Death reigned. Now we turn a corner. After considering Adam, we consider what Paul calls in Corinthians "the last Adam," Jesus. So just like through one man's failure brought mankind's fall, also by one man's fix bought mankind's favor. Let's look at verse 15. And I'm glad just for the first word because it's a nice change.
"But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from the one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation, even so through one man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience, many will be made righteous. Moreover, the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more so, that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord."
Now if you just sneak back a half a verse, verse 14, notice what it says at the end. We haven't even looked at that yet. It says, "Adam, who is a..." what does it say? Type, "Adam who is a type of Him..." capital H, referring to Jesus. "Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." Type, tupos, pattern, he is a type. Adam is a type of Christ not because they are similar to each other, but because they are dissimilar to each other.
The only similarity between Adam and Christ is that what one did affected the rest. That's their similarity. Adam is the type of Jesus in an opposite sense. We would say actually he's the antitype. Adam is the antitype of Christ. Kent Hughes in his commentary said, "There is a greater distance between Christ and Adam than between a grasshopper and the highest archangel."
So one choice, one act, one sin affected the many. One sacrifice, one righteous deed affected salvation for many. Now by the way, technically you see where it says "many?" It keeps using that word. Because of this many were made righteous. Many were made guilty. There should be a "the." There's an article before it in the original language, the many. So the one affected the many. And the second "the one" affected the many. And the many means everybody, means all mankind.
Look at verse 18. "Therefore, as through one man's offense, judgment came to all men." So "many" is an appositional statement of every single person, every one, all of them. But here, to me, is a great part. There's that phrase I told you about, "much more." I want you to look at a few of these. Look at verse 15. "But the free gift is not like the offense." For if by one man's gift, or "one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many." Verse 17, "For if by one man's offense death reigned through the one man, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ."
Verse 20, "Moreover, the Law entered that the offense might abound." In other words, people still blew it from the time of Adam to the time of Moses when the Law was given. But when the Law was written at the time of Moses, it now makes it worse because you might be doing all the stuff the Law says don't do. But now that the Law says, don't do it, you know it's wrong, wet paint. Don't touch. Don't enter. The Law makes the offense known and amplified. "Moreover, the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded," here's the term, "much more."
Here's the composite truth of all these. Whatever we lost in Adam, we gained in Christ much more. And verse 20 is really the pinnacle of the entire passage. "Where sin abounded, grace..." here's a better translation, "super abounded." That's what one translation says, super abounded. Another translation, overflowed, exceeded the mark. Here's my translation. When sin reached its high-water mark, grace completely flooded over.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached a whole message on verse 20, the single verse. He called it, "grace abounding over abounding sin." Think of it like a dam, a water dam that is erected to keep out the flow of a great river. And there's several examples around the world. Two notable ones in our region would be the state almost next door to us, sort of next door, Nevada, the Hoover Dam built in 1935 by FDR, largest structure on Earth at the time. And then the Orville Dam in California happens to be to this day the tallest, the highest dam in the world, 754 feet high, 1 mile wide.
The point of the passage then is that sin cannot erect a dam so high that grace cannot overflow. I want you to hear that truth. Because some of you are thinking, man, I've, you don't know what I've done. You don't know what I've thought. You don't know what I've said. And you don't know how often I've said it, yeah, sort of like Adam. Like what I said, we're just like that. We keep doing it. But you might feel like a failure on so many levels. And if you're thinking, my sin has erected a dam. It's pretty high. God's grace can overflow that. Where sin abounded, grace can abound much more.
Back in 1492, remember what happened in 1492? In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. You got an A that day. And that was probably kindergarten, right, that we learned that. So you were there. You did good because I just heard it from you. 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Before 1942, or 1492, for service. So before 1492, the Spanish coins, coins in Spain had a little motif on the front of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Rock of Gibraltar. And the words in Latin inscribed "Ne plus ultra." That means "no more beyond." What they're saying is, you've reached the end of the world. There's nothing after this. There's nothing beyond this. This is it, baby. There's no more beyond.
Well, that was 1492. And Chris hadn't come back home from his voyages yet. But when Christopher Columbus did come back home from his exploring the New World and discovered, oh, there's a lot more, they had to remint the coin. And they dropped the "Ne," and now it read "Plus ultra." There is more beyond. And if you think your failure has tapped out God's grace, you don't know your God. If you think what you've done, the dam you've erected has kept God's grace away from you, you don't understand your God or His grace. And you need to let verse 20 sink in. "Where sin abounded, grace overflowed."
I'll go back to Adam. You know what happened when Adam sinned, right? Adam sinned with his wife. And afterwards, they're kind of standing there, and they look down. They go, we're naked. We've got to fix that. They had this sudden self-realization of something they never really realized before. It wasn't an issue before. Now they're very self-conscious. And so they had to cover themselves up. And what do they cover themselves up with? What did they put on? Fig leaves, ever felt a fig leaf? It is so rough. It's got whiskers on it. It's itchy. It's rough. It's not comfortable. And it's temporary. Fig leaves dry out. They break apart. You have to keep getting new ones, which is just a bad experience all the way around. So God was very gracious and provided, the Bible says, skins, animal skins, for them. Now, question, would you rather have leaves with whiskers on your private parts or sheepskin? Easy choice, right?
So God provided animal skins, presumably, though we can't be sure, sheep skins to cover them up. But to get animal skins, you gotta get an animal. To, get animal skins you gotta kill an animal. You have to shed that animal's innocent blood. That animal didn't do anything. God killed the animal, shed the blood, took the skins, provided clothing.
That becomes a principle that is shared in the New Testament, Hebrews 9:22, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins." In that whole encounter, God was sharing two truths with Adam and Eve that become part of the biblical narrative. First of all, death came into the world because of sin, and only a life can pay for it. And number two, God is demonstrating that a substitute can be offered in the place of the one who committed the sin.
Now, with Adam and Eve, when they sinned, it was one lamb per person. Eve needed a skin. Adam needed a skin. So it was one lamb per one person. But as time moves on, God establishes the Passover among the Hebrew nation. And he allows one lamb to be slain for one family. Later on, time moves on. Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, God allows the slaying of one lamb for the whole nation.
But time does march on. And by the time we get to the New Testament, John the Baptist sees Jesus come, and he goes, ah, look. Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. Now it's one lamb for the world, what one man, one lamb, can do. So what can one man do? A lot, Jesus, now the new federal head, undoes the damage left by Adam.
So people might look at Adam and go, that, God isn't fair. You're right. It's not fair that Jesus should pay for your sin. Think of it that way. People complain, and they say, why should I get punished for what Adam did? Here's my question. Why should Jesus get punished for what you did? And yet he did. He was that lamb. He did. Why? He must think we're worth it. He must think we're worth it.
Speaking of one man, you've heard that little statement, one man's trash is another man's, treasure. So there's yard sales all the time that bear that truth out. Right? So unfortunately, the stuff that is in the yard sale today is in the dumpster tomorrow. And maybe some of you feel like that. You feel sort of like leftovers at a yard sale. You feel useless. You feel worthless.
I want you to know God doesn't see it that way. God doesn't see you that way. God doesn't think you're a bargain at a yard sale. Because he was willing to pay the highest price to enter into a relationship with you. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, highest price. And that's the gift. Verse 15, "But the free gift is not like the offense." Because it's a gift, you can't brag about your accomplishments. Because it's a gift, you can't earn it. You can only receive the gift. But you have to receive the gift, or it's really not valid.
So you can't blame Adam for what he did because you have that incredible power of choice yourself. And it comes down to this. What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with God's provision to fix the problem? What will you do? Will you believe and let Jesus be your federal head? Or will you just like, Adam did what he did, and here I am. It's pretty bad, bad stuff, every generation. OK, let him begin with you. Let him change your heart, your life. You want to change a nation, a world? It's one person at a time. It begins with you. And God is giving you an incredible power right now to choose, to choose.
Father, you've given us that incredible power of volition, human volition, choice. And we can receive the free gift that we can't earn, or we can reject the free gift. And our choice is so powerful that you are willing to honor our choice so that if we want nothing to do with you, you'll let that be true forever, for all eternity. But if we want something to do with you, you'll allow that, in fact, not just something to do with you, you'll adopt us as sons and daughters. You'll take us from slavery and make us sons and daughters of the living God, royalty, by a simple act of faith. What a gift. What an entrance. What a deal. Father, I pray, we pray, that those among us today who have never done that would do it.
And as you're gathered here, heads bowed, eyes closed, you're just thinking, or some of you are praying. You may have come to a church or churches for years on end. But it's more cultural to you. It's not personal to you. You do it because your parents make you, or your wife insists that you come, or your husband would like it if you joined him, or your children ask you if you wouldn't mind going with them, or a friend invites you.
Or you just come because you like the music. There's certain things you agree with. There's certain things you don't. But you're at a crossroads now. You're at a point where you look at your life. You're not satisfied with it. You're wondering if there's something more, and you're wondering if this Jesus is really all that we say he is and has the power to change you. And you'll never know until you choose him. You'll never know until you say yes.
Jesus said, "Come to me. Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden. I'll give you rest." You'll never know if that rest is possible unless you come to Him, and you come to Him by faith. So if you've never done that personally or if maybe, one time, you made some choice in the past, but you're not walking with him today and, in reality, you've walked away from him, you need to come back home. Because today you're not following Jesus, and He's calling you to himself. He is the one person, the one man that can make all the difference in your life.
If you're willing to say yes to Jesus for the first time or you need to return to Him, I'd like you to raise your hand up in the air. I'm going to notice your hand, acknowledge you, and pray for you as we close. I just saw a couple hands right there in the middle. Thank you for that, to my left. Anybody else? Put that hand up high so I can see it. Maybe wave it around just a little bit so I can, yeah, thank you. Got it. Thank you for that, right over here from the front to my left.
Anybody in the family room? I can see right through that glass. Just raise that hand up. Yes, yes. If you're outside, God bless you, to my left on the side. You could be outside in the amphitheater. There's a pastor there. You raise that hand up. We want you to be a part of this.
Father, thank you for each life. Each hand is a person with feelings and experiences. And you love each one. You know each one. You know the worst. You know the best. You know it all. You love each one. And you are willing to give the free gift of life. Lord, I pray for life change among each one. In Jesus' name, amen.
Would you stand, please? We're closing out this weekend with a song. And as we sing this song together, I'm now going to ask those of you who raised your hands, whether you're in this room, balcony, you're over here to the left in the family room, to get up and stand. Move your, make your way right up here to the front where I'm going to lead you in a moment in a prayer to receive Christ. Jesus called people publicly.
So please, don't, we're not trying to embarrass you. We are trying to encourage you. And as you come, you'll hear it. You'll hear it. We're so excited for this choice you're making. So if you raised your hand, please get up and come. And just stand right up here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer in a moment to receive Christ. We'll make time for you. If you're outside, the pastor will walk you in. If you're in the family room, go through the doors to the right up in the front. Come through that hallway. Come into this room. If you raised your hand, comes stand right here.
"We want to see miracles." Come on. Come on. Join the party. "We want to see signs and wonders. We want to see you. We want to see you. We want to see the lost come home." We'll wait for you. I saw hands go up around this auditorium. Don't be one of the silent types. You come. Come out of the shadow. Step into the light. Come join us. Make it your own. Make it real. Make it yours. "We want to see you. We want to see you. We want to see the lost come home, the sick made whole."
Yes. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Thank you. God bless you. I'm so happy for you guys. Whether you raised your hand or not, just come. You know you need this. Come join us. "Oh, we want to see miracles, the impossible." Maybe you're on this side of the auditorium, and you're wondering, how come everybody on this side is coming forward? Well, that's you need to be here then. Maybe you need to come. It's for all y'all. Anybody else? "We want to see you. We want to see you."
Well, those of you who have come forward, I'm going to now lead you in a prayer. I'm going to say this prayer out loud, and I want you to pray this prayer out loud. But I want you to just to say it from your heart. You're talking to God. It's very simple. You're just asking Him to take control. You're essentially giving Him the pink slip of your life to Him. You're saying, drive this car. Drive this life. OK? Let's pray.
Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus, that he came from Heaven to Earth, that he died on a cross, that he shed his blood for my sin, and that he rose again. I turn from my sin. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to live for him as my Lord. Help me in Jesus' name, amen.