ABUNDANT LIFE

 
         Text: "I am come that they  might have  life,  and  that
         they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10b)
 
                          Reading: John 10:1-10, 27-28
 
         INTRODUCTION
 
         (a)  I   remember   reading   about   a   man   who   was   a
         multi-millionaire, and what happened when he eventually died.
         (b) Many people attended his funeral which was a  very  grand
         occasion indeed.
         (c) He died and was buried as he lived -lavishly!
         (d) There was no coffin; instead he was seated  in  his  huge
         cadalac limousine, with a cigar  in  his mouth, and the whole
         thing was lowered into the grave!
         (e) A bystander was heard to remark,  "Man  that  really
         is living!!"
         (f) Well  if  that  could  be  described  as  LIVING!!,  then
         obviously they didn't know what real living was all about!
 
 
         POINT 1
 
         (a) Life is full of opposites:  joy  and  sorrow,  black  and
         white, light and dark, love  and  hate,  good and evil - even
         LIFE AND DEATH!!
         (c) We do not expect physical life and death to exist  within
         the same person - they are either dead or they  are  alive  -
         you don't expect both together! Such a notion is  foolish  in
         the extreme!
         (d) However when it comes to spiritual matters, many seem  to
         expect this impossible situation to exist!
         (e) I have heard Christians speak of SALVATION as  if  it  is
         something that happens every other weekend in someone's  life
         and then disappears again.
         (f) When we look at what the Bible says about spiritual life,
         it is speaking about a literal  resurrection  from  spiritual
         death!! The Bible doesn't know anything about people who  are
         alive today, dead tomorrow, and alive the next day - such  an
         idea is preposterous in the extreme!!
         Some Christians don't know if
         they are alive or dead!
         (g) They seem to live a very chequered existence - a sort  of
         spiritual Jeckle & Hyde.
         (h) We're not talking about some sort of HALF DONE  JOB  that
         needs to be topped up every couple of weeks!
         RATHER WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A  MIRACLE  WHEREBY  GOD RESTORES
         A  PERSON   FROM    A    STATE     OF   SPIRITUAL  DEATH TO A
         STATE OF  SPIRITUAL LIFE  -  NOTHING    LESS!
 
 
         POINT 2
 
         (a) Jesus Himself said, "I  am  the Resurrection and the
         life, He that believeth  on  Me,  though  he  were DEAD,  yet
         shall  he LIVE, and  whosoever  liveth  and  believeth on  me
         shall  NEVER DIE!!!"
         (b) This eternal life STARTS NOW!!
         (c) In our reading,   Jesus   says,   "I  GIVE  UNTO  MY
         SHEEP ETERNAL LIFE, AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH!"
         (d) Let us make no mistake, it is Jesus Himself  Who  is  the
         Life Giver!
         (e) The Apostle Paul makes this very clear, when  writing  to
         the Ephesians. He says, "Ye  who were dead in trespasses
         and  sins HATH HE QUICKENED." (or made alive again)
         (f) I remember one morning seeing on breakfast television,  a
         little baby that had been born prematurely. To  all  accounts
         and purposes, the child was believed to  be  still-born,  and
         was put in another room on its own.
         The grief stricken grandmother   asked   if   she  could  see
         the little body,  and  discovered  that  the  little one  had
         started to breathe. The baby recovered and was just fine. The
         parents view this as a MIRACLE and are so very grateful!
         (g) I remember getting hold of a book written by  a  man  who
         was DEAD BEFORE HE WROTE IT!!
         He was  technically  dead  for  about   10   minutes,  during
         which time he had  an  experience  which   changed  his  life
         and  his relationship with God!
         (h) But mere physical life is NOTHING compared  with the life
         which Jesus calls ABUNDANT LIFE!
 
 
         POINT 3
 
         (a) How often it is that our lassies selling the War  Cry  in
         the pubs are approached by people  telling  them  that  until
         they've had a drink, a dance, a smoke,  and  experienced  the
         pleasures of this world, they have NOT REALLY LIVED!
         (b) Then I suppose, we're meant to watch them  be  sick  over
         the nearest wall, going  home  to  beat  up  their  wife  and
         miss-treat their children  (if  they  still  have  a wife  by
         that time), stagger to  bed  only  to  wake up the  following
         morning with a hangover. Then I suppose we're meant  to  look
         on   in   envy,   and   exclaim,   "MAN   THAT'S  REALLY
         LIVING"!!
         HOW  COULD  ANY  SANE  PERSON  BELIEVE  SUCH   LIES   OF  THE
         DEVIL?
         (c) The REAL Christian knows what REAL life is all about!
         REAL life can bring SATISFACTION - something this  world  can
         never do!
         (d) When you find Jesus, you find the source of REAL life.
         (e) ABUNDANT means something beyond measure - LIMITLESS!!
 
 
         POINT 4
 
         (a) Spiritual  death  brings  spiritual  ruin  -  leading  to
         spiritual eternal death!!
         (b) Spiritual  life  on  the  other  hand  leads  to  eternal
         spiritual life in Heaven - eternal union  with  the  Lord  we
         love, and continual  joy  and  peace  such  as  we have never
         known.
         (c) I sometimes look at some of those who say they are on the
         way to Heaven - yet, THEY DON'T SPEAK TO OTHER CHRISTIANS!
         THEY DON'T PRAY UNLESS THEY'RE IN TROUBLE!
         THEY DON'T BOTHER TO READ THEIR BIBLES FOR SPIRITUAL FOOD!
         AND THEY GET UPSET IF THE PREACHING OF GOD'S  WORD  TAKES  UP
         A QUARTER AS  MUCH  TIME  AS  THEIR  WEEKLY  HELPING  OF SOAP
         OPERA!!
         (d) Then they say they love Jesus and they're going to Heaven
         All I can say is, that if they ever got there, they would  be
         extremely unhappy because everybody  in  Heaven will be doing
         all the things THEY don't bother about down here!!
         DEAR FRIENDS IF SOMEONE  SHOWS  NO  EVIDENCE  OF LOVING JESUS
         DOWN HERE, THEY WON'T  SUDDENLY   CHANGE  WHEN THEY GET THERE
         - AND HEAVEN IS ONLY  FILLED  WITH  THOSE  WHO LOVE JESUS!!
         (e) Do you want to know if someone is going to Heaven -  THEN
         OBSERVE HOW MUCH THEY LOVE JESUS!! That will tell you!
         (f) I remember a communist confronting me in a pub one night,
         as I sold the War Cry,  and amongst other things quoting Carl
         Marx  and  saying,  "Every   life   must  tell  in  some
         way."
         Let me say that also EVERY SPIRITUAL LIFE MUST TELL IN   THIS
         WORLD, and show the reality of a living Christ!
         (g) How often  have  we  heard  the  term  "Life  is for
         living"!
         SPIRITUAL LIFE TOO IS FOR LIVING!
 
         CONCLUSION
         (a) Do you possess this eternal life, and is it  telling  for
         God? Are you living it fully?
         (b) ETERNAL LIFE starts now in this world - but then so  does
         ETERNAL DEATH!
         (c) This world is to a large extent a preparation ground  for
         eternity - let us make sure we are using it to get prepared!
         (d) The very first part of that preparation is to find  Jesus
         The Life Giver and allow Him to give that life to us.
         HAVE YOU DONE THAT YET??
         GOD SAYS, "THIS DAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION"!!