Thursday, August 16, 2001
Dr. Henry was one of the most challenging professors I had in college. And I anticipated the final exam in his class was going to be a monumental challenge. Who knows what questions Dr. Henry could throw at us from his incredible intellect! Well, word began to leak out about his final from the first students who took it. They didn't give any details--they just shared one surprising, tantalizing fact. They said, "There's only one question on the exam!" Well, most of us took that news as encouragement as we stood on the edge of academic survival. But when Dr. Henry set the exam in front of us, we weren't quite as encouraged. This entire semester of theology class had been devoted to what the Bible says about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The professor's question? "Describe the Person and work of the Holy Spirit." Oh boy! Only one question. But what a question!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Single Question On The Final Exam."
You may have been out of school a while now--and I'm sure you don't miss final exams. But you still have one more. We all do. The day your heart beats its last and you stand before the God who made you. The day when, as the old timers used to say, you "meet your Maker." And it appears from God's Word, the Bible, that there will only be one question on your final exam. But what a question!
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 John 5:11-12, "God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." God says the human race is divided into two groups, and only two. Those who have Jesus and therefore have eternal life--they will go to heaven when they die. And those who do not have Jesus and therefore do not have eternal life--they'll go to hell when they die. In the words of John 3:36, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
Now, there's no question where God wants you to be forever--with Him in heaven. That's why He paid such a high price to remove what would keep you out of heaven--the sin of your life, all those countless times you've done it your way instead of God's way. You can't get into heaven with sin. And it won't work to just try to repay the wrong we've done with religion or good deeds. This sin has to be removed. And that seems impossible when the penalty for running our own lives is an eternal death penalty.
But God loves you so much that, according to John 3:16, "He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." God sent His Son to a cross to carry all the guilt and all the dying of your sin--to literally die your death penalty. So you shouldn't be surprised when you stand before God and He asks you that one question on His final exam--the one that determines where you'll be forever. "What did you do with My Son?" Not "What good things did you do?" or "Did you believe the right things?" God is interested in only one thing--what did you do with His Son who gave His life for you.
Now it won't be enough to say, "Well, I liked Your Son" or "I spent a lot of time around Your Son" or even "I agreed with everything about Your Son." The only answer that will open the gates of heaven to you is, "Lord, I invited Your Son into my heart and I put my total trust in Him as my Rescuer from my sin."