Ask most folks about their salvation experience and what will they say?
Most will refer to some time when they were a kid and walked down an aisle during the invitation. Perhaps they will refer to a night during VBS when they were in elementary school. Maybe they are referring to going one night to a revival meeting.
It could be any point in the past.
How about you? Do you look back to your salvation experience?
I refer to my salvation experience as now.
Now, if you want to refer to a specific point when I was born again and justified, I’m with you. That happened when I was twenty-four.
Salvation hasn’t ended though.
Salvation is a continuous event. I continue to benefit from that moment. I have life. Not just any kind of life. It’s abundant life. It’s eternal life.
He continues to sanctify me. That is part of salvation.
One day He will glorify me. That is part of salvation.
You want to say that your salvation experience is in the past? I’ll argue that point with you.
If you know Christ, salvation is a continual experience.
I never had “a” salvation experience. It’s still going on.
Tell me about your salvation experience.
Today you will have a visitor at church that you weren’t expecting. You couldn’t have imagined that she would show up at your church. Never in your wildest dreams would you have believed that Casey Anthony was coming to your church today.
Let me know if you saw her. What? You don’t believe me when I say that she is coming to your church? Trust me, I know. She’ll be there. She’ll be at my church too.
How do I know? Let me tell you how I’ve figured it out.
Jesus said that if someone hates his brother, he is a murderer. That means hating your brother is the equivalent of murder. Trust me. Someone at your church hates his brother. Someone at your church might hate you. You might hate your brother. I don’t know. Someone at my church hates one of their brother or sisters. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s me. But whoever it is, they’re Casey Anthony. They’re a murderer. Oh, I know she was found not guilty. But we Americans never let anything like a verdict get in the way of what WE know about a case, do we? You hate? You murder. You’re Casey Anthony.
So am I.
Casey was out partying while her child was “missing.” Want to bet on what she was doing? All manner of immorality, I bet. Nothing like anything you or I have done. Well, there is that matter of lust. If you’ve lusted over someone, you’ve committed adultery. Think she didn’t commit adultery or fornication during that time? We’ve never heard about a father for Cailee. Was she the product of fornication? Well, if you’ve lusted, you’ve committed the same act. Or at least the equivalent. You lust. You commit adultery/fornication. You are Casey.
So am I.
What are you going to do when Casey comes in and sits down in your church house this Sunday? Are you going to shun her? Slap her in the face? Punch her? Spit on her? That’s what Jesus would want you to do, right? That’s what Christ would do, right?
Paul held the coats of a mob who stoned Stephen. He cheered it on. He started going after Christ’s followers. He was headed to Damascus so he could drag some back to Jerusalem to face their music. Jesus stopped him. Jesus blinded him. Jesus chose him. Jesus used him.
How would you feel if He decided to use Casey? Well, is he using you? If so, he is using Casey.
He’s using me.
I know. What she did was heinous. Disgusting. Maddening. And in no way do I believe that anyone should get away with crimes they commit. Yet, God rescued people like that in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians, Paul listed a bunch of people who had committed all sorts of tragic sins. He said that those people would not inherit the kingdom of God. He said that his readers were such people. But they had been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know, you may have gone and read that and the list didn’t include murderers. I kind of think murderers were covered when Paul mentioned the unrighteous.
When it comes down to it, Paul was one of those kinds of people. Paul was Casey Anthony. The Lord washed him, sanctified him. and justified him.
When it comes down to it, you and I are those kind of people. You and I are Casey Anthony. The Lord washed us, sanctified us and justified us.
Casey? She is that kind of people. The Lord can wash her, sanctify her and justify her.
How would that make you feel?
Live in your church today……Casey Anthony.