Tags
Illustrated messages

TITLE: Missing the Mark

OBJECT: A target

DOCTRINE: Justification

STORY WITH THE OBJECT

When I was 13 years old, I went on a field trip to a camp where there were many different activities and one of them was archery.  I saw the leaders pull back the arrow, aim, and shoot, and it looked pretty easy to hit the bull’s eye.  But when it was my turn, it was a lot harder, and sometimes I missed the target completely.

TRANSITION TO THE SPIRITUAL

It surprised me one day to learn that the definition of sin is an archery term that means to miss the mark or the bull’s eye. God’s bull’s eye is obeying the Ten Commandments.  If we think about it, we must recognize that we have missed the mark thousands of times.

THE PROBLEM (LAW)

You and I have shot many arrows, for example, the arrows of lying, the arrows of bitterness and hatred, the arrows of loving other things more than God, the arrows of unfaithfulness.  And we have missed the mark many times, and for that we will be judged.

THE CONSEQUENCES (ETERNITY)

You are free to shoot your arrows, but missing the mark has consequences.  God is a just God and will not allow the guilty to go free, and you and I are guilty of breaking His commandments.  The consequences of missing the mark is being eternally separated from God in a place of suffering called hell, where you enter but can never get out.

THE SOLUTION (CROSS)

But God did not leave you without a way out.  He himself became like us, and lived on this earth, always hitting the bull’s eye; he never sinned.  He was nailed to a cross because of his love for you and me, and all the arrows that had missed the mark were thrust upon Him.  His name is Jesus Christ, and He is prepared to forgive you because after He died, He rose again, and has victory over death and sin.

THE CALL (REPENTANCE AND FAITH)

Jesus paid a high price for your forgiveness, and for that reason, He requires you to repent.  That means you turn your back on living as you please, and you start to live to please the One who created you.  He also requires you to put all of your faith and trust in what He has done for you.  When you surrender to Jesus, He will help you live a life that hits God’s bull’s eye.

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