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Intro: WILLIAM POPE, who died in 1797, is said to have been the leader of a company of infidels who ridiculed everything religious. One of their exercises was to kick the Bible about the floor or tear it up. Friends who were present in his death-chamber spoke of it as a scene of terror as he died crying:

"I have no contrition. I cannot repent. God will damn me. I know the day of grace is past . . . You see one who is damned forever . . Oh, Eternity! Eternity! . Nothing for me but hell. Come, eternal torments . . . I hate everything God has made, only I have no hatred for the devil -- I wish to be with him. I long to be in hell. Do you not see? Do you not see him? He is coming for me?" (1)

VOLTAIRE, the noted French infidel and one of the most fertile and talented writers of his time, used his pen to retard and demolish Christianity. Of Christ, Voltaire said, "Curse the wretch!" He once boasted, "In twenty years Christianity will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear." Shortly after his death the very house in which he printed his foul literature became the depot of the Geneva Bible Society. The nurse who attended Voltaire said: "For all the wealth in Europe I would not see another infidel die." The physician, Trochim, waiting up with Voltaire at his death said that he cried out most desperately:

"I am abandoned by God and man! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months' life. Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me. 0 Christ! 0 Jesus Christ!"(2)

These quotes represent the dying words of two men who did just what the author of Hebrews warns us about. They neglected, or ignored, God's great salvation. Too late these men came to understand the truth that there is an eternity out there and that men are given just a short time to prepare for it. What a shame it would be to live one's whole life separated from God and then die and go to Hell and live for eternity, in the torments of Hell, still separated from God.

Yet, people can leave this world another way! No one has to die lost and undone without God! Look at these dying words of some of God's saints.

"A few hours before entering the 'Homeland' Dwight L. Moody caught a glimpse of the glory awaiting him. Awakening from a sleep, he said. 'Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go. His son who was standing by his bedside said. No, no father, you are dreaming.' "'No.' said Mr. Moody. 'I am not dreaming: I have been within the gates: I have seen the children's faces.' A short time elapsed and then, following what seemed to the family to be the death struggle he spoke again: 'This is my triumph; this my coronation day! It is glorious!'"(3)

Matthew Henry--"Sin is bitter. I bless God I have inward supports."

Martin Luther-- "Our God is the God from whom cometh salvation: God is the Lord by whom we escape death."

John Knox --Live in Christ, live in Christ. and the flesh need not fear death.

John Calvin--"Thou Lord bruisest me: but I am abundantly satisfied, since it is from thy hand."

John Wesley-- "The best of all is. God is with us. Farewell! Farewell!"

Charles Wesley-- "I shall be satisfied with thy likeness --satisfied, satisfied!"

Baxter -- "I have pain; but I have peace. I have peace.

Treston-- "Blessed be God! though I change my place. I shall not change my company.

Goodwin--"Ah! is this dying? How have I dreaded as an enemy this smiling friend!"

Everette--"Glory, glory, glory!" (this expression was repeated for 25 minutes and only ceased with life itself).(4)

These were testimonies from people who had not neglected the great salvation spoken of here.

There are just two kinds of people in the world - saved and lost. You are one or the other this morning. The author of this passage makes it plain that there will be no escape for us if we ignore God's plan of salvation. While I do not know anyone's heart today, I do know that if you are not saved, then you need to be. If you have ignored God and his calls for you to embrace His salvation, then you need to come to Him today and get those things settled with Him.

This morning, I would like for us to focus in on this great salvation. As God gives me liberty, I intend to speak for a while on the subject, "Why Salvation Is So Great."

Salvation is great because OF:


A. God's plan of salvation can do what no other plan devised by any man or system can do: It can save the sinner!

Ill. Listen to the testimony of one of histories greatest sinners, 1 Tim. 1:12-17. Paul trusted the Gospel and found out firsthand that God's plan of salvation has the ability to save sinners!

B. The evidence is striking. God's plan of salvation is a life changing plan, 2 Cor. 5:17. The evidence is all around us. Everywhere we look there are lives that have been changed by the power of God.

Illustration: Imagine you were with Israel as they faced the fiery serpents in the desert, Num. 21:1-10. Everywhere they looked people were dying. Then they were told to look upon the serpent that Moses placed on the pole. The promise became clear when they could see all around them others, who had been bitten, healed by a simple look of faith.

As we live our lives, we are surrounded by men and women, boys and girls who have trusted God's plan of salvation and have found that it works just like God has said that it would.

C. That having been said, it should also be remembered that this plan is the only plan which will work! No other plan, no matter how much sense it makes, or how many followers it has, will ever save the soul of a single human being. It takes the plan of salvation which God formulated and carried out to save the souls of men. (Ill. John 14:6; Acts 4:12)

Ill. All the plans of men are bloodless plans. Every plan devised by men requires that the adherent work his way into the good graces of his god. However, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that works will never save - Eph. 2:8-9. And, that any plan which neglects the Blood is doomed to failure - Heb. 9:22.

D. Thank God! Anyone who comes to Jesus by faith can look forward to having his/her life forever changed by the power of Almighty God!

Ill. Bartimaeus - Mark 10:46-52. After he met Jesus, Bartimaeus' life was forever changed! By the way, it was changed for the better, not for the worse! Coming to Jesus will always effect a change for the good in your heart and life!

This plan has the power to change even the blackest of hearts! It has the power that no other religion or movement has! Salvation is great because it takes sinners and changes them into the children of the living God - 1 John 3:1-2!

Salvation is great because of its Ability, but also because of:


A. One fact about God's plan of salvation that causes it to stand head and shoulders above every other religious system in the world, is that it is available to anyone, anywhere.

B. To be included in the ranks of many of the world religions, you have to meet a rigorous set of rules, or in some cases, you have to be born into your faith. Christianity is vastly different! There are certain qualifications which must be met before you can come to Jesus and here they are:

1. You have to be a sinner - Rom. 3:10; 23

2. You have to be aware of your sin - John 6:44

3. You must be willing to confess your sin - 1 John 1:9

(Ill. In other words, you have to be willing to acknowledge that you are a sinner.)

4. You must be willing to repent of your sin - Acts 17:30

5. You must be willing to receive Jesus in salvation - Rom. 10:9-10.

(Ill. The great sticking point comes in around point number 3. People can acknowledge what Jesus did for them at Calvary, but they seem to have the most trouble admitting that they are sinners. However, this hurdle must be crossed before the sinner can ever hope to be saved!)

C. However, when a person comes to the place where they are ready to accept these things, then they are eligible to be saved. When they come to Him, they will find that Jesus Christ will save anyone, John 6:37. Regardless of what they have done, or have left undone, in their life.

D. God's salvation is:

1. Free - Rev. 2217; Isa. 55:1

2. Fast - (Ill. It doesn't take forever to get the job done! Salvation happens instantaneously! (Ill. Acts 16:31 - How long does it take to believe?)

Salvation is great because of It's Ability, and it's Availability, but also because of:


A. God's plan of salvation is 100 % reliable! In other words, you can count on it doing that which the Lord has promised that it will do!

B. This is the only plan known to man that will never fail, never be revoked and that is absolutely worthy of your faith!

C. A man can trust any plan that he pleases. He can devote himself to Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, even the Baptists. However, no man can ever have the hope of eternal life until he comes by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then and only then can that man have hope of eternal salvation.

(Ill. Some balk at this idea. They feel that if a person is sincere, then God will surely see that they are trying and will accept them into Heaven when they die. That is sheer nonsense! God knows no other way for the soul of man to be saved than through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who come to God by Jesus are forever saved by grace, those who do not are forever lost and headed to Hell! (Ill. 1 John 5:12)

(Ill. There are 4 things that God does not know:
1.  He does no know of a sin that He does not hate.
2.  He does not know of a sinner that He does not love.
3.  He does not know of a better plan of salvation.
4.  He does not know of a better time for you to be saved.)

D. While every other system is faulty and leads to damnation, God's plan is foolproof and leads to life everlasting! What are you trusting today?

Salvation is great because of its Ability, its Availability, its Reliability and because of:


A. Every plan of man has an escape clause! If you do things by their book, then you can hope that you will make it to their Heaven. However, if you step out of line, then you are out! Sorry, but you will have to begin again. In other words, if you ever had anything, then when you messed up, you lost it!

B. I thank God that I can report to you that God's plan of salvation works just a little differently! Once God gives you salvation in Jesus Christ, He will never take it away, ever, for any reason, period! Once you have been truly saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ, then you are forever saved!

(Ill. Everything you and I own will eventually wear out and pass away. Our homes, cars, bodies, etc., all will someday be gone forever. Thanks be to God, if you are save, then there is one thing that will never pass away: Your salvation!)

C. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Sounds to simple, too perfect, too right! Well, it would be if it weren't backed up by the infallible, inerrant Word of the living God! God, in His Word, makes it abundantly clear that salvation is a forever deal! Notice:

1. God promises everlasting life - John 3:16; John 6:47.

2. God promises that His saints will never perish - John 10:28.

3. God promises that the one who comes to Him will never be cast out - John 6:37.

4. God promises that His people have passed from death unto life - John 5:24.

5. God promises His saints that we are saved to the uttermost - Heb. 7:25.

6. God promises us that we are saved from wrath - Rom. 5:9.

7. God promises us that we are no longer condemned and as a result will never be separated from His love - Rom. 8:1; 33-39.

8. God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us - Heb. 13:5.

As if that weren't enough evidence, allow me to say to you that if a child of God, even one, were to lose his/her salvation, then some serious consequences would take place.

1. All of God's children would be in Hell. If Satan could get one, then he would take us all, 1 Pet. 5:8.

2. Jesus Christ Himself would be cast into Hell. If His promises are not true, then they are not worth the paper they are printed on and He is an imposter. If that is the case then He too is a sinner and is in Hell today!

3. Christianity is no better than any other religion on the face of the earth and sooner or later, we will all wind up in Hell!

4. If you ever do lose your salvation, then you have no hopes of ever getting it back again. Contrary to the teaching of those who believe it can be had and lost and had again, the Bible makes it plain that salvation is a one time for all time deal! (Ill. Heb. 6:4-6.)

D. I am glad that I can stand on the authority of the Word of God and report to you that salvation is durable beyond man's wildest dreams. You and I will fail God many, many times as we walk through life. However, He will never fail us! He will keep us until one day we arrive at home with Him in glory! (Ill. 1 Pet. 1:5) If we are saved we need never fear getting unsaved! No matter what happens, God cannot and will not forget the work of Christ at Calvary, (How can He, Jesus is seated at His right hand - Rev. 5:6; Heb. 10:12.), 2 Tim. 2:13.

Salvation is great because of its Ability, its Availability, its Reliability, its Durability and because of:


A. God's plan of salvation is to be desired because it offers something to mankind that no other plan can. It offers the assurance of Heaven!

(Ill. Ever other plan devised by man offers the promise of some otherworldly type of adventure:

Hindus look for Utopia
Muslims look for Nirvana
Mormons long for a world to populate, (Ill. Heaven for a Mormon woman!)
Jehovah's Witnesses long for heaven on this earth.
All these hopes and drams will ultimately fail!)

B. Only God's plan of salvation offers a home in Heaven that is a guarantee and not some pipe dream! We have the Word of Christ Himself on the matter - John 14:1-3!

C. If salvation did nothing more than rescue the soul from Hell and cleanse away man's sin it would be desirable. But, when you consider that Heaven is also a reality for evry believer in Jesus Christ, well that just makes it even more desirable! All the blessings of salvation here, rescue from hell later and Heaven to look forward to. Now that is an offer that no person in their right mind would ever want to pass on!

D. I'll let you in on a little secret: If you want to be saved, you can be! What God has done for others, He will gladly do for you if you will come to Him by faith.

Conc: I began this message by contrasting the deathbed experiences of several sinners with that of several saints. Have you considered what it will be like for you when you come down to the end of your life? Will you have the confidence to leave this world with praise on your lips and the full assurance in your heart that you are forever saved by the grace of God? Or will you come to that day knowing in your heart that you wasted every opportunity and are now forever lost and separated from Almighty God? My friend, it does not have to end that way! God's great plan of salvation is available to you right now. If you will come to Jesus, confess yourself a sinner and receive Him as your Saviour, then you can leave this place totally forgiven and eternally saved. Then you too will know what this great salvation is all about. I'll guarantee you, from one who has had experience in this very area, it is easier to come to Jesus and be saved than it is to walk out on Him and say no to God. Won't you come and be saved today?

1. Lockyer, Herbert, All The Last Words Of Saints And Sinners (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1969) 132-133.

2. IBID. 133.

3. Tan, Paul, Encyclopedia Of 7,700 Illustrations (Rockville: Assurance, 1985) 314.

4. IBID. 134.



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