by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
2 Corinthians 5:18-21


1. One of my favorite actors is Tom Hanks. He recently starred in a movie that I have yet to see called Castaway. It is the story of a man who survives a plane crash over the ocean and lands ashore on a deserted island. He spends years there not only trying to survive physically, but primarily emotionally and mentally, as he is totally separated from the outside world.

2. Every person on earth is born a "castaway." We have all crashed landed on an island called sin. Because of our sin we, too, have been separated from God. Isa. 59:2 says, "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you." We are all alone on this island.

3. But our problem is this: We need more than rescue; we need reconciliation so that we can have a relationship with God. Really and truly that is what missions and evangelism are all about-reconciliation.

4. Two of the greatest poets who ever lived were Robert Browning and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. When Elizabeth became engaged to Robert, her parents disapproved so strongly of her marriage that they totally disowned her and kicked her out of the house. Almost every week Elizabeth wrote love letters to her mother and father asking for reconciliation. They never one time replied.

5. After ten years of writing love letters to her parents at least once a week, Elizabeth received a huge box in the mail. She opened it and found to her dismay and heartbreak the box contained all of the letters she had written her parents; not one of them had ever been opened!

6. The Bible is God's love letter of reconciliation to us. In the passage we are going to study, which is really one of the great missionary passages in the entire Bible, we are going to see just how beautiful reconciliation is.

I. God Initiates Reconciliation Because Of Our Sin

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