Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Soccer and Salvation

Hold up a soccer ball—How many of you like to play soccer? Did you know that I can use this ball for something besides playing soccer? This ball reminds me of God.

Can you tell where this ball begins and ends?—God, who created everything, has no beginning or end, either…He is eternal. He has always lived, and He will always live.

This ball also reminds me of good news…and bad news. When you kick this ball into the goal, it's good news for you and your team. It is bad news for your opponents. If you win, that means they lose.

God has good news for us, too. He loves us and wants us to live with Him in Heaven forever. That's really good news!

The bad news is—we can never score enough points to win the game and get to Heaven. We are all sinners and cannot please God by the good things we try to do. Instead of living with God in Heaven, we will be separated from Him forever in Hell someday.

The good news is—God already knew that we couldn't win the right to go to Heaven, so Jesus won that right for us when He died on the cross to pay for our sin. He died so that the real you—the YOU we talked about last week—can be with Him forever!

God has done everything possible so that you can be saved from your sin and spend forever with Him….But….

(Throw ball to one of the children) It takes two people to play the game. (Catch the ball as it is tossed back) You have a part in reaching the goal of Heaven, too.

Here is the game plan: (Bounce ball as you say each number)

You must admit that you have disobeyed God's rules. That is called sin. God is not like a referee in a soccer game—God can see everything, and He calls all the plays fairly because He is just and holy. He is perfect and good, so His rules are right. (Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.") No one has the right to enter Heaven. All of us deserve to be separated from God in Hell forever.

God loves you so much that He did not change the rules for you! Instead, Jesus died for you, in your place. He played as your substitute…AND HE WON! He died, was buried for 3 days, and took back His life again. He is in Heaven waiting for you today.

You can be part of Jesus' winning team in Heaven if you truly believe that He has died for you and if you agree with Him that you cannot save yourself. The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." (Acts 16:3l)

(Blow on whistle) When the referee blows his whistle at the end of the game, what happens? Can the losing team continue to play and try to make more points? No! They have no more chances. This whistle reminds me that when your life is ended, you will have no more time to decide to trust in Jesus to save you from your sin. The Bible says, "Now is the day of salvation…" (II Cor. 6:2)Don't put off trusting in Christ to save you…Tomorrow may be too late.

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