SALVATION MADE PLAIN AND SIMPLE
Intro: On January 9, 1876, Charles Spurgeon preached a
message from the same text that I have read to you. IN the
introduction to that sermon, he relates how he came to know
Jesus Christ. "It was about twenty-six years ago, -- twenty-six
years exactly last Thursday, -- that I looked unto the Lord, and
found salvation, through this text. You have often heard me tell
how I had been wandering about, seeking rest, and finding
none, till a plain, unlettered, lay preacher among the Primitive
Methodists stood up in the pulpit, and gave out this passage
as his text: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of
the earth." He had not much to say, thank God, for that
compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was
nothing needed -- by me, at any rate, -- except his text. I
remember how he said, "It is Christ that speaks. 'I am in the
garden in an agony, pouring out my soul unto death; I am
on the tree, dying for sinners; look unto me! Look unto
me!' That is all you have to do. A child can look. One who
is almost an idiot can look. However weak, or however
poor, a man may be, he can look; and if he looks, the
promise is that he shall live." Then, stopping, he pointed to
where I was sitting under the gallery, and he said, "That
young man there looks very miserable." I expect I did, for
that is how I felt. Then he said, "There is no hope for you,
young man, or any chance of getting rid of your sin, but by
looking to Jesus;" and he shouted, as I think only a Primitive
Methodist can, "Look! Look, young man! Look now!" And I
did look; and when they sang a hallelujah before they went
home, in their own earnest way, I am sure I joined in it."
This great passage of the Bible was used of the Lord to
bring that great man to Jesus Christ. Now, we need to
understand that Spurgeon's experience was not unlike that of
any other believer. He was brought face to face with his own
condition and of his need for Jesus Christ. Then, when he
believed the Gospel, he was saved.
Now, there is a tendency to on the part of preachers and
other Christians to make salvation more difficult to understand
than it really is. In fact, the doctrine of salvation itself is
remarkably simple! Yet, we use words to speak about it that
people are totally unfamiliar to those outside the church. It is
as if we have our own special coded language. We use words
and phrases like, "saved", "blood bought"; "blood washed";
"born again"; "redeemed"; and the like. These are all good
words and phrases, but they can be overwhelming and
confusing to those who do not know what they mean. Yet,
there is nothing confusing, mysterious or hard to understand
about salvation. God has fixed it so that anyone can
Today, I want to preach to you from this verse on the
thought, Salvation Made Plain And Simple. I want you to be
able to say that at least on time in your life you heard a clear
presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was in
language anyone could understand.
To begin with, the word "salvation" means "The act of
saving from harm." Of course, this could apply to being
saved from harm in any arena of the human experience. It is
possible to be saved physically, financially, emotionally,
mentally, etc. However, I want to use the word as it relates to
your spiritual need. Any other type of salvation is only
temporary in nature. Yet, when a person experiences the
salvation of his or her soul, they have experienced something
eternal that can never fade or be taken away.
Allow me to share with you a few features of God's
salvation. These few simple features are all you need to know
to be saved. And, they are what make salvation so plain and
simple. All I ask is that you give your attention to the Word of
God and that you allow God to speak to your heart. If you see
that you need to come to Christ for salvation, please feel free
to do so at any time during the service. Someone will help you
to get what you need from the Lord. Now, let's look together
at the features that make salvation plain and simple.
I. THE SOURCE OF SALVATION
"Look unto ME"; "I am God and there is none else."
A. This verse is crystal clear! There is no doubt that God
says that salvation can only be found in Him! Friend,
there is only one road to Heaven, there is only one
remedy for sin, there is but one way to escape from
Hell, and that is through God's plan of salvation.
B. Salvation does not come through the church, the
baptistry, the demonination, or through family
associations. It comes only through God's plan of
C. Salvation can not be obtained through good deeds and
clean living. It comes only through God's plan of
D. What is that plan? I sure am glad you asked, because
God's plan is an exclusive plan, John 14:6! This verse
makes it clear that Jesus Christ is the only avenue that
man can take that will bring him to God. If a man must
have a million dollars to be called a millionaire, then he
must have Christ to be called a Christian, 1 John 5:12.
E. Friend, no one goes to Heaven because they are a
Baptist. They do not get to go because they are good
people. They do not get to go because they have done
good things or because they have been a good person.
A person goes to Heaven because he is in a personal
relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
F. God will not share the salvation of souls with any
preacher, Pope, denomination, sacrament or anything
else we can name. Salvation comes through Jesus
Christ and Jesus alone, Acts 4:12!
G. I am going to Heaven! Not because I am a Baptist
preacher. Not because I attend church. Not because
I have been baptized. Not because I pay my tithes.
Not because I try to live right. All of those things are
good and every saved person ought to do them, but
those things cannot save the soul. No, I am going to
heaven because one day, May 23, 1983, I came to the
place where I looked to no one or no thing but to Jesus
Christ alone. I am going because I know Jesus. One
thing and one thing alone was required for me to be
saved and I did that thing. I looked to Jesus and He
saved my soul!
My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is seeking sand.
H. Have you come to the source of salvation? Or, are you
still trying to get it some other way? Listen, stop trying
to do what has already been done, and look to Jesus
Christ by faith, and He will save you from your sins and
from Hell. There is but one way to Heaven, to God and
to salvation and His Name is Jesus. He is the sole
source of salvation!
II. THE SCOPE OF SALVATION
"All the ends of the earth."
A. One of the truths about God's plan of salvation that
makes it so great is the fact that it is for every individual
in the whole world! It is not offered to a select few, but
to "whosoever will".
B. This truth is made clear by a couple of special verses of
Scripture, John 3:16; Rev. 22:17; John 10:9. If you
are a whosoever, or if you are an any man, then you
can be saved.
C. When Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for sin,
He was dying for you too, Heb. 2:9. The cross is proof
that God loves you, Rom. 5:8.
D. You see, regardless of where your path may have
taken you in life, or regardless of what you may have
done in your past, God's plan of salvation is open to
you if you will come to Him. He will not turn you away,
(Ill.Steve McQueen was a top-billing actor who led a life
as tough as the ones he portrayed on the screen.
Success filled his life until alcohol and a failed marriage
left him empty. In his despair he attended a crusade led
by one of Billy Graham's associates. McQueen made a
profession of faith and requested an opportunity to
speak with Billy Graham. A connecting flight in Los
Angeles allowed Dr. Graham to spend a couple of
hours with Mr. McQueen in the actor's limousine. The
great evangelist shared numerous scriptures in his
quest to give spiritual hope and confidence. Steve
McQueen struggled with the thought of God giving
eternal life to a man who had such a checkered past.
But, in Titus 1:2, Steve McQueen found his hope: "in
hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,
promised before the world began." He requested
something to write down the verse, but Billy Graham
gave McQueen his Bible instead.
Later, Steve McQueen died in Mexico while seeking
experimental treatment for his terminal cancer. He
passed into eternal life with his Bible opened to Titus 1
and his finger resting on verse 2. Regardless of our
past, we have the hope of God's eternal promise.)
E. You need not fear that salvation "won't work for you".
If you come to Jesus by faith, He will save your soul! If
He would save me, or some of the other people in this
room, then you have nothing to fear! Remember,
salvation is not for good people, "...I am not come to
call the righteous, but sinners to repentance", Matt.
9:13. Of course, the Bible also says, "There is none
that doeth good, no, not one", Rom. 3:12.
F. Not a single person in eternity will say, "I tried to come
to God, I tried to believe in Jesus, but He would not
save my soul." No! If you want to be saved, you can
be saved! He made a way for you. That is why
Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon
the name of the Lord shall be saved."
III. THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION
"LOOK unto me"
A. Notice carefully the wording of the text. Does it say
"Look unto me and be and be baptized and join the
church."? No! Does it say, "Look unto me and pay
your tithes."? No! Does it say, "Look unto me and
live right."? No! Does it say, "Look unto me, turn
over a new leaf and promise never to sin again."?
No! It merely says "Look unto me." The simple look of
faith is enough to bring you salvation. (Ill. The Brazen
Serpent in Numbers 21 and the corresponding
passage in John 3:14-16.)
B. Sometimes, salvation is so simple that people stumble
all over it. They have a hard time believing that it can
be so simple. But, the Gospel can be related by
reading 2 verses, 1 Cor. 15:3-4, "For I delivered unto
you first of all that which I also received, how that
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the
third day according to the scriptures:"
The way this translates into salvation is found in
another verse, Rom. 10:9; "That if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved." You see, salvation is not a
matter of holding on, of your ability to change, or of you
having big faith, but it is simply a matter of looking to
Jesus by faith.
(Ill. A businessman brought a thirty-year-old man to a
summer Bible conference who was paralyzed from his
hips down. As he sat beside the soul-winner on a bench
under the trees, he expressed his desire to be saved.
He said, "I believe everything in the Bible," but it gave
him no peace. The Christian then inquired of him
whether he knew he was lost, to which he replied he
did. The inquiry was then made as to whether he knew
that Christ is the One who saves and the only One who
can save. He replied also to this that he believed it. Just
at this point a public bus drew up in front of the
conference grounds and the Christian said to his lame
friend, "that bus is intended to carry everybody into the
city, is it not?" "Yes," he replied. "Does it carry
everyone?" he asked. "No," he said, "only those who
get into the bus." He had hardly made this statement
when the light of God broke into his soul. "I see!" he
said. "Christ came to save everybody, but He saves
only those who take Him: The light of heaven flooded
his soul. The peace of God filled his heart. His face
became radiant with joy. He had entered into the Lord
Jesus by faith.)
C. The fact of the matter is this, anyone can look! If your
are young, old, or middle aged you can look. If you are
rich or poor, you can look. If you are smart or not so
smart, you can look. If you are a good person or if you
are a bad person, you can look. Anyone can look! The
question is have you? And, if not, will you?
D. While anyone can look, no one else can look for you!
You must look to Jesus for yourself. People can pray
for you and plead with you, but only you can look to
Jesus for salvation. You have to do it for your self. The
question is, have you? And, if not, will you?
(Ill. There was a little fellow who was returning home
from a store with a pail of honey in his hand. A
gentleman who walked beside him saw him slip one
finger down into the pail. Then, because his mother had
told him never to wipe his sticky fingers on his blouse or
trousers, it found its only logical destination, his mouth.
It really tasted good. After he had done this several
times, the gentleman approached him and said, "See
here, Sonny, what have you in that pail?" "Some honey,
sir." "Honey--is it sweet?" "Yes, sir." "How sweet is your
honey?" "It is very sweet, sir." "Well, I do not
understand you. I asked you how sweet your honey
was, and you have not yet told me. How sweet is it?"
"Why, it is very, very sweet, sir." "Well, you are a funny
little fellow; I asked you how sweet your honey is, and
you just tell me it is very, very sweet. Now, can't you tell
me really how sweet your honey is?" The little fellow
was impatient by this time, so he stuck his finger down
into the honey, and holding it up said, "Taste and see
for yourself." That's what you have to do!)
IV. THE SECURITY OF SALVATION
"and be ye saved."
A. The Bible says here that those who look to the Lord will
be saved. This is a word that means, "to rescue from all
harm and danger." An unsaved person who hears that
word tends to think of someone pulled from a burning
building, or from a wrecked car. Or, of someone who is
rescued from drowning. These are all valid uses of the
word "saved" in the physical realm.
B. The spiritual realm is no different! When a person looks
to Jesus Christ for salvation, that person is saved from
the penalty of sin, Rom. 6:23. You see, every person
who is list without God is under a penalty. It is the
penalty of death, leading to an eternity in Hell, Psa.
9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Rev. 20:11-15.
But, when you trust Jesus, He saves you from that
penalty. You see, because I am saved, I am saved
from the penalty of sin. As I live and grow in the Lord,
I am being saved from the power of sin. Then, when I
go to Heaven, I will be forever saved from the very
presence of sin.
C. Many religions and denominations tell us that looking to
Jesus only puts a person in a position to be saved. For
them to be saved they have to live right, never mess up,
they have to walk the chalk! They tell us that any slip
ups will cost you your salvation and that you will be
back on the road to Hell!
Friend, we are not saved by not messing up! We
are not saved by being good people. We are saved by
looking to Christ. We have already discovered that.
Consider this: if you are still in danger of being lost,
then you are not saved! If Jesus says, "Look unto me,
then do this and don't do the other and you will be
saved." He has not saved you, He has merely put you
in a position where you might be saved. Real salvation
is absolute and eternal deliverance from the dangers
and the penalties of sin.
(Ill. Suppose I pass by the lake and see a man 100
yards from shore and he appears to be drowning. Now,
suppose I swim out to where he is and drag him toward
the shore. When we are about 10 yards from shore, I
turn him loose and say, "Friend, I've gotten you this far,
the rest is up to you." Have I saved him? No! He is still
in danger of drowning! As long as he is in danger, he
is not saved! No matter hoe much I may brag about
what I did, I did not save the drowning man!)
D. When Jesus saves a lost soul, He does it eternally! He
does it permanently. There is no way that you can
mess up salvation! You say, "I wish I could believe
that!" Friend, I am glad that you do not have to take my
word for it! Listen to what the Bible says, John 6:37-40; 1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:28. There are many more such
promises, but these are sufficient to prove beyond all
doubt that when Jesus Christ saves a soul, that soul
Conc: Don't you want that kind of salvation? Don't you want
to know for sure that you are saved and that all is well between
you and the Lord God? Don't you want to know for sure that
every sin has been forgiven and that you have a home in
Heaven when you leave this world? Friend, you can have all
that and much more, if you will only look to Jesus by faith.
Hey, you've looked at everything else in life, why not look to
Jesus this morning?
What would you say about a drowning man who threw
away the life preserver? What would you say about a
poisoned man pouring out the antidote? What would you say
about a wounded man ripping open his own wounds? But,
what would you say about a lost man who refused to look at
the only means of salvation he has available? If you will look
to Jesus, you will live. That is salvation made plain and simple!