Who Shall Separate Us from the Love of Christ?
Romans 8:35-39
Introduction

I. ILLUS: Years ago a sociology professor at John Hopkins University in Baltimore assigned his class to a city slum to interview 200 boys.  "On the basis of your findings predict their future."

A. Shocked at what they saw in the slums the students estimated that 90% of the boys interviewed would someday serve time in prison.
B. 20 years later the same profess asked another class to locate the survivors of the 200 boys and compare what happened.  Of the 180 boys they could find only 4 had ever been to jail.
C. Why had the predictions by the earlier class proven false?  A common denominator-over 100 of them remembered having the same high school teacher, Miss O'Rourke, who had been a tremendous influence on them at the time.
 D. After a long search, Sheila O'Rourke was found in a nursing home in Memphis.  When asked for her explanation she was puzzled and replied, "All I did was love every one of them."
II. ILLUS: "Love never asks, ‘What can I get?'  It asks, ‘What can I give?'"
A. "Love is more than a sentimental felling--it's putting another's welfare ahead of your own."
III. The Bible says: (John 3:16).
God                         the greatest Giver
so loved                   the greatest motive
the world                 the greatest need
that He gave            the greatest act
His only Son            the greatest gift
that whosoever        the greatest invitation
believes in Him        the greatest opportunity
should not perish     the greatest deliverance
but have eternal       life the greatest joy
(2 Cor 5:14 NKJV)  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
A. The love of Christ should compel us to become Christians and remain faithful Christians.
IV. Paul discusses the power of divine love in Romans 8.

Discussion

I. WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST?

A. No circumstance.

1. Tribulation - struggles, trials, affliction
2. Distress - anguish, troubles, agony
3. Persecution - abuse, ridicule, harassment
4. Famine - no food, a loss of job
5. Nakedness - having all earthly possessions taken away
6. Peril - to be exposed to the most severe risks
7. Sword - to be killed, to suffer martyrdom

a. 2 Cor 11:22-28
(Rom 8:36 NKJV)  As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

(Rom 8:37 NKJV)  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

B. No condition of existence
1. Neither death nor life (Phil 1:21-24; Gal 2:20).
C. No beings
1. Neither angels nor principles
a. No angelic nor demonic beings
(1 Pet 3:22 NKJV)  who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
D. Nothing in the way of powers
1. May be angelic powers or earthly rulers & potentates.
(Mat 10:28 NKJV)  "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
E. Nothing in time
1. Neither things present nor things to come.
F. Nothing in space
1. Neither height nor depth
(Psa 139:7-8 NKJV)  Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? {8} If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
G. Nothing in all creation
1. No other created being -- leaves no loopholes.
II. WHAT SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST?
A. ...from becoming a Christian?
1. Friends
a. ILLUS: Boy wanting to become a Christian -- they'll laugh. "They may laugh you into hell, but they can't laugh you out of hell!"

(2 Cor 6:17 NKJV)  Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."

2. Family
(Mat 10:37-38 NKJV)  "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. {38} "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
3. Finances (Lk 12:15-21)

4. Fear (1 Cor 10:13; 1 John 5:13)

5. Future (1 Pet 4:16)

B. ...from remaining faithful?
1. Domestic troubles (1 Cor 7:15)

2. Disappointments in life (1 Pet 5:7)

(Rom 5:5 NKJV)  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
3. Death of a relative
(2 Cor 1:3-4 NKJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, {4} who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

(Mat 8:21-22 NKJV)  Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." {22} But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

4. Duties of life (Mt 11:28-30)

5. Decisions of others (Rev 2:10)

Conclusion

I. ILLUS: Napoleon thought he could be great if founded a kingdom on force.  At the end of his life he said, "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires.  But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force.  Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love. And at this hour millions of men would die for him."

II. "God loves you whether you like it or not!" - Zig Ziglar

III. ILLUS:

The great display of God's faithfulness is the Jews.
The great display of God's power is the resurrection.
And the great display of God's love is the cross.
IV. God wants you to become a Christian and remain faithful.
A. But will you?
V. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ but ourselves!

** If you have any questions or if you would like to become a Christian, please let us know.

     Alan C. Cole
     26th St. Church of Christ
     101-26th Street Huntington, WV 25703
     Phone - (304) 522-0717
     E-Mail - Cole8@marshall.edu
     Homepage - http://mupfc.marshall.edu/~cole8/