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 Text: Ez. 18:4
Title: "God Invented Life"
Subject: The inventor makes the rules, and the rule is; "...the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

Intro:  How many of you think you know who invented the game of basketball? (raise hands without answering) James Naismith, 1892.
Do you find it strange that many of you participate in a game of which you do not know the founder? 
Who had the right/authority to make the rules of basketball? 
Do the players have the right to disregard, challenge, and/or change the rules, especially during the game? 
What do you call a person who does not play the game according to the rules? A hot dog. 
What would you call a game where everyone played according to his own rules.  Anarchy or Calvin Ball.
So we agree that the one who invented the game had the right to make the rules, and stipulate the penalties for breaking those rules?  And that those who enter the game, but refuse to play by the established rules should be ejected?
Now, how many of you think you know who invented life?  God. 
The Bible says,
"that God breathed the breath of life into man and man became a living soul."  
Do you find it strange that all of you participate in the "game of life," yet many of you do not know the Founder? 
Who has the right/authority to make the rules of life?  God.

"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice...that it may be well unto you"
 Jer. 7:23 
Do you have the right to disregard, challenge, and/or change the rules of life?  In reality we do not have the authority, but we do have the free will.  You also have the freedom to pay God's penalty for your disobedience!  
What does God call a person who does not play the game according to the rules? Sinner, or one who misses the basket, or comes short of God's standards. 
What would you call life if everyone played according to his own rules.  Anarchy/Paganism (man making up and playing by his own rules).
One of the underlying, foundational rules of basketball is to not foul another player.  You know the standard, 5 fouls and you are out!!  Technical fouls work even faster!  You are out, not because you did not know the founder of the game, or that you had not memorized the rules, but because you broke the rules!
God has a underlying, foundational rule of His own:
“...the soul that sinneth, it shall die" Ez. 18:4   It does not matter if you do not know the Founder of life, or if you have not memorized His rule book, the Bible, if you break the rules anytime from your first breath as a baby to your last breath before you assume room temperature, you are out of the game! 
"For the wages
(payment) of sin (breaking God's rules) is death..." or  “…the soul that sinneth, it shall die."  
Let's take a few moments to consider this rule of life,
“...the soul that sinneth, it shall die," before you get back to the game. 

“...the SOUL that sinneth, it shall die,"
I. WHAT IS THE SOUL?
 

Note: Man is made up of 3 parts, body, soul and spirit.  You body is just a shell, the nut is inside!  It is for the purpose of having social interaction with others.   Your soul is the real you, containing emotion, intellect, and will.  Your soul gives animation to your body (basketball), and though your body turns back into dust, your soul will live for eternity.  Your spirit is the part that gives life to the soul, and gives you the ability to relate to God.  God's rule is “...the SOUL that sinneth, it shall die."  
It is the very being of the person, the soul that dies from sin.  You might wreak your body with sin, but the penalty is extracted against your soul!  Since the soul is eternal, the penalty is eternal. 

“...the soul that SINNETH, it shall die,"
II. WHAT IS SIN?
 

Note: Sin is missing the mark that God has set up.  It is coming short of His demands/rules.  In basketball, the mark is the basket.  When you miss, you come up short, you miss the mark or the goal that the game requires to be victorious. God's mark or requirement is the keeping of His law perfectly.  No fouls, no double dribbles, no walking, no missed shots, not one!  Now you know that is impossible, you can't do it on the court and you sure haven't done it in life!  You and I are sinners by birth and by choice!  You are not forced to break God's laws, you do it on purpose.  The Bible says, "For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God."   

“...the soul that sinneth, it shall DIE
III. WHAT IS DEATH?
 

Note:  Death is not cessation or the end of life.  Death is separation.  When you physically, you are separated from this world, and from family and friends, but you do not cease to exist.  Your soul lives eternally.  The Bible says for the believer "absent from the body, present with the Lord." It also says for the unbeliever, "the rich man also died, and was buried; and in Hell he lifted up his eyes being in torment."  Friends, you soul will live forever!  You play the game, you break the rules, you pay the penalty!  In basketball it is ejection, in life it is eternal damnation!  

“...the soul that sinneth, it SHALL die."
IV. IS THERE A CHOICE?
 

Note:  God says that “...the soul that sinneth, it shall die." 
It is set in cement that if you break just one of God's rules, you have broken them all, and you SHALL (without a doubt!) die (be separated from God for eternity in hell)!
Your only hope is to find Someone who has never broken God's laws, who lived a perfect life, who paid the penalty God requires for the breaking of His laws, and who is able and willing to take your place before God's bar of justice.  There is only one Person who could or did do that, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He alone has done what no other could, satisfy all the rules of God!

He alone has done what no other could, never miss the basket!

He alone has done what no other could, paid the penalty of your sins!

He alone can do what no other can do, save you from an eternity in Hell! 

Concl:  Are you tired of sin tonight, of breaking God's laws?  Then you can be saved, forgiven, and all your sins washed away!  Basketball is just a game, but heaven or hell is real!  Salvation, being saved, or born again is as simple as realizing that you are a guilty, hell bound sinner who has broken God's laws; realizing that you can't save yourself; realizing you need a Saviour who is Jesus Christ.   It is a heart-felt repentance toward God, and a placing of your trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in your place. 

The Bible say, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10:9-13 

Will you put your faith in Jesus Christ to save you from the just penalty of your sins?
Will you do that now? 

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