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Illustrated messages

TITLE: The Suitcase

OBJECT: A suitcase

DOCTRINE: Substitution

STORY WITH THE OBJECT

The other day I was at the airport, and in my carryon suitcase, there were some liquids and scissors.  Even though I saw many warnings about the things I couldn’t carry in my luggage, I didn’t pay attention.  When my suitcase went through the security control, I was told that it could not travel that way because there were prohibited things inside of it.

TRANSITION TO THE SPIRITUAL

The same thing happens in our lives.  There are prohibited things that we know we should not carry, and yet we continually pack them inside the suitcase of our lives.  We don’t pay attention to the warnings of our conscience.

THE PROBLEM (LAW)

We are constantly putting lies in our suitcases; we fill our suitcases with pride and selfishness; we pack the idol of our love for money, as well as lustful thoughts.  And little by little we are filling our suitcase with the prohibited items that will not pass God’s security control.

THE CONSEQUENCES (ETERNITY)

The bad news is that one day after we die, there will be a security control.  We will all have to open our suitcases in front of our Creator, and we will not be allowed into heaven with prohibited things (sins) in our suitcases.  The only alternative is to be sent to a place of eternal suffering called hell.

THE SOLUTION (CROSS)

What can you do with your suitcase full of sin?  God knew your situation, and He planned a solution.  God‘s Son came to earth as a man, Jesus Christ, and lived a perfect life.  He never put anything prohibited in his suitcase.  When Jesus died on the cross, God poured out on Him the wrath that you and I deserved.  When Jesus rose again, He was given the authority to exchange His perfectly clean suitcase for your suitcase of sin.

THE CALL (REPENTANCE AND FAITH)

But you must call out to Jesus to make that exchange.  Today open the suitcase of your heart before God, show Him your sin, and ask for His forgiveness.  Receive the new life that Jesus offers you.  Trust in His forgiveness and begin to walk with Him.  Then the suitcase of your life will be clean when you pass through God’s security control after you die, and you will be able to enter heaven with Him.

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