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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Gospel According to Jelly Beans.

Romans 1:16 (NIV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

I once saw a business card that referred to the “jelly bean gospel.”  Using the colors of jelly beans, the “plan of salvation” on this card went something like this.

Yellow Jelly Bean
The yellow Jelly bean reminds us of Heaven. Do you know what Heaven is? Heaven is God’s home. Heaven is filled with the glory, the shining brightness of God. There is no night ther The Bible says, “God is The Light and in Him is no Darkness at all”(I John 1:5). The Bible tells us that in Heaven, the street of the city is pure, clear gold-like glass (Rev.21:21). God tells us many other things about His home. No one is sick there. No one is crippled or blind. No one ever dies. Every person in Heaven will be perfectly happy-always (Rev. 21:4-2Psalm 16:11). The most wonderful thing about Heaven is that God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus will be there. God made Heaven. He made you too. He loves you very much. Because he made you and loves you, He wants you to belong to Him and be with Him in Heaven someday. Jesus promised long ago, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 3:16; John 14:1-3).

Black Jelly Bean
There is one thing that can never be in Heaven. That is sin. Because you and I are sinners we want to have our own way instead of God’s way. Wanting our own way is sin. Doing, or saying, or thinking bad things is sin. Sin is anything that displeases God. Sin has caused sorrow and sadness in our world. God tells us in the Bible that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). All means every one of us.
This dark jelly bean reminds us of our sinful way (Proverbs 4:19). When it is dark, you stumble and cannot find your way. Because of your sin, you cannot find God. Your sin separates you from God, who is holy (I John 1:5). God cannot allow sin where He is. I am sure you can think of a sin which you have done. God has said that sin must be punished. The punishment for your sin is death-to be separated from God forever (Rev. 6:23). The Lord Jesus, God’s Son, said that if you die in your sin, you cannot go to Heaven where He is (John 8:21, 24). God knew there was nothing you could do to get rid of your sin. He knew you could not be good enough to please Him. But He loves you and He made a way for you to be forgiven.

Red Jelly Bean
The red jelly bean shows the way God made for you to have your sins forgiven-taken away. God loves you. He sent His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from Heaven to take the punishment for your sin (John 3:16). Wicked men nailed the sinless Son of God to the cross, but while He hung there God put all of your sins on Him. The Bible says, “…God bath laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). (Iniquity is another word for sin). All your bad temper, all your lies, your meaness-all your sin-was laid on the dear Son of God, and He suffered and suffered until He cried out with a loud voice and said, “It is finished.” When you finish a job, how much is left? Nothing. What did the Lord Jesus come to do? He came to save us from punishment for sin, didn’t He? And He finished the work. When He was nailed to the cross, what came from His hands, and His feet? His blood. God calls it the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and He says “…the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). There is no other way, for God says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sin]“-no forgiveness, no payment (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus not only died for you, but He was buried, and He rose again. He is a living savior (ICorinthians 15:3, 4). God showed His love for you by sending His own Son to die for you. Now he says there is one way for you to be saved from your sin.

White Jelly Bean
Tears cannot wash away sin. Prayers cannot wash away sin. Doing good cannot wash away sin. But the blood of the Lord Jesus can wash away all sin (Psalm 51:7; I John 1:7). This white jelly bean reminds me that you can be made clean from sin. Did Jesus die for everyone? (YES!) Is everyone going to Heaven? (No, because some do not believe that Jesus died for them. They have not received Him as their savior from sin.) God’s word says, “…as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name” (John 1:12). God has promised you when you receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you become a child of God. The Lord Jesus Christ died to save you from your sins. He wants to live in your heart and give you power to obey God. Are you sorry for your sin? Do you believe Jesus died for your sin? Would you like to receive Jesus today? You must decide. (Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment. Question the person to respond carefully. Encourage them to express to you before they pray: why they need to receive the Lord Jesus; what the Lord Jesus has done for them; what they want to tell God. When dealing with a group, emphasize what each person must personally believe and receive the Lord Jesus. Give opportunity for prayer. If possible, question each person individually after the prayer to clarify the meaning of His decision. Where is Jesus now? Where are your sins? What took them away?) (Any one of the following verses can be used effectively in helping to know what God has done: John 1:12; I John 5:13; Rev. 3:20.) God promises to you when you receive Him, “…I will never\leave nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Ask Him to help you each day to please Him. When you do sin, tell God that you have sinned. He will forgive you right away (I John 1:9). Ask Him and trust Him to help you not to do it again. (Lead the person in offering a prayer of thanks).

Green Jelly Bean
The green jelly bean reminds me of the new life, everlasting life, you have received from God. The color green reminds me of things which are growing outdoors, like leaves, grass, flowers, and trees. when you receive the Lord Jesus as your savior from sin, you are like a newborn baby in God’s family. The Bible tells you to “grow in grace in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).

I love Jelly Beans, But now I look at them a little different. 

Dear Lord, we thank You for the Gospel. We thank You for Your great love, the love that took You to the cross for each of our sins. We thank You for Your glorious resurrection.  Proof that we can have eternal life with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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