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This morning, I had the opportunity to share the youth sermon at the Atlanta Taiwanese Prebyterian Church. It's actually been many years since I last gave a sermon there.

Here is my notes that I preached from:

Good morning. Happy New Year. Iím glad to have the opportunity to share with you on the first Sunday of 2004. Itís been several years since Iíve been here. And itís good to see old faces. Also I see a lot of people that I donít recognize.

For those who donít know, many years ago, I used to come here and help out with the youth. That was before David and Mari was here. And since then Iíve ran away and gotten married and had two kids.

Well, today is the fourth day of the New Year.

How many people would like to go into this New Year knowing that everything you did wrong last year would be wiped clean? Everything totally forgotten. All sins. All wrongs. All bad deeds. All guilt. So, that I can say - you know, Tom last year did not do a single bad thing wrong last year. He didnít commit a single sin. He didnít even think a bad thought.

How would you feel if you were totally free not just last year, but every year of your life? Actually, thatís what God requires of us in order to get into heaven. God is so perfect, that He wonít let anything into heaven that has even committed a single sin.
So, this morning, I want to share with you a secret. When youíre standing at the gates of heaven, and Michael the archangel asks why he should let you in, Iíll tell you what you should say. But, before I do, letís see what the Bible has to say.

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

And letís read todayís scripture verse again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting menís sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christís ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christís behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Letís read that last verse again.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God has made it so that Jesus, who was the only sinless person ever to walk on earth, to exchange our sins for His sinlessness.

So, just as Jesus was totally sinless, if we believe in Him, we are also made sinless.

So, back to the secret. When youíre standing at the gate of heaven, you say, "I was a sinful person. I canít enter heaven based on how good I was. But I only trust in Jesus in what heís done for me and made me totally clean."

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Let me end with this verse from Psalm 103.

Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Posted: 2004-01-04 22:02:41


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