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Irrefutable Evidence, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2022 12:00 am

Irrefutable Evidence, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 9, 2022 12:00 am

In God's courtroom, He will preside as judge, jury, eyewitness, and prosecuting attorney--and there will be no deliberation. The verdict for every unbeliever will be the same: "Guilty!"

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All the way back in the Garden of Eden, Satan tried to convince Eve that she could do as she pleased without consequences.

It's the same tactic that he uses today. Taste it, taste it. If you want to live it, live it. If you want to think it, think it.

Do it, do it. Don't worry. That's the first lie. Disassociate what you do with some future accountability. The reality is that all sin is judged. Either Jesus took the punishment for your sin, or you'll take it yourself.

People pursue life as they see fit, doing what they want to do, with no thought to the fact that they will be held accountable one day. Unbelievers will stand before Christ in judgment. On that day, the evidence against them will be irrefutable. They will be justly judged by a perfect judge. In today's message, Stephen Davey continues through his series entitled, Is Hell for Real? Today's lesson is called Irrefutable Evidence. The ad campaign originated out of London, England and announces there probably is no God.

Relax, stop worrying, and enjoy your life. It was composed, as you saw, by a young atheist who was rather appalled at the idea, which was funny to her, that people would one day burn in hell. She created a slogan to counteract the Christian doctrine of hell and put in something a little more positive.

On the launch date, which is what you've just seen, she was joined by Richard Dawkins, who is a well-known atheist. He's the author of a best-selling book right now entitled, The God Delusion, in which he basically believes that mankind makes up this sort of stuff to make them feel better as they live their one life. He says, you only have one, and after that it's all over. We cease to exist. And he's rather giddy, isn't he, about communicating through the streets of London.

There's probably no God, so you can stop worrying about accountability to him, obviously, and enjoy your life. Richard Dawkins said at the very tail end of this, and I'm going to have him play for you again, that we can't be any more sure that God does or doesn't exist than we can Father Christmas. I don't know if you caught that. We'll play it one more time. I know that you think probably, on our bus slogan, is a bit soft.

On the other hand, I rather like its upbeatness. Let everybody think for themselves. It's funny, and it gets people to talk about it, and if we'd said there's definitely no God, we can't say that. We can't say there's definitely no Father Christmas. So you can't be any more sure that God exists than you can be sure Father Christmas exists. We've had satellites over the North Pole. We've sent expeditions there. There are no elves there either.

I hope this isn't new to you. He doesn't go around the world in six hours. He cannot possibly eat all those cookies and drink all that milk and safely steer his reindeer back home afterward.

Are we really no more certain about that than we are the existence of God? By the way, I remember creating a neighborhood crisis one December when I was about six years old. I might have been seven. I had asked my parents about Santa Claus, and they had told me that it was actually just make believe that our Christmas presents came from Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles and whoever else we could coerce into giving us something. And we ultimately thanked God because it was his goodness and provision that provided them. Well, I learned that, and armed with that knowledge, unbeknown to them, it became sort of a driving passion of mine to inform all of the other little kids in the neighborhood that I played with. That Santa Claus really was a lie. He didn't exist. My parents, my poor mother was so besieged with irate mothers on the phone saying, how could you let your son do that?

He's ruining it for us. In fact, one mother said her son couldn't sleep anymore. What my mother didn't realize at the time was that I was actually preparing for the ministry, telling people the truth. Well, how do people respond to this campaign, by the way?

It's now almost two years old. The British Humanist Association was interviewed, and I read a recent transcript. They had hoped to raise about ten to fifteen thousand dollars, five to ten thousand pounds, translated about fifteen thousand dollars, to cover the expenses of the campaign.

People have been so absolutely enthusiastic, however, that they have already received, in American dollars, about two hundred and fifty thousand, about a hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand pounds. People have actually put office parties on here, they've taken these buses on tour throughout the UK to show everybody their collective courage in saying, there's probably no God, stop worrying and enjoy your life. They're actually excited when they come out and effectively use the logic of Dawkins, who says God is no more real than Santa Claus, and that is what they mean.

By the way, the Humanist Association has gotten on board, you know, the Americans aren't going to be left in the dust on this one, and so the American Humanist Association has come up with their own bus campaign. They've designed a slogan that subtly picks up on Dawkins' comment, their hero, about Father Christmas, just be good for goodness sake, which is obviously a play off the Christmas song about Santa Claus. In other words, just be good whether or not you believe in God or Santa Claus or whomever, and by the way, you're not really thinking as you look at that, and you're not picking up the subtle tie-in to the message that Santa Claus and God belong in the same category of myth, but it's all really silly because we really ought to be good for goodness sake. They would say then that we really ought to grow up. You heard that young atheist say she couldn't believe this is happening in the 21st century, because we really ought to be past that now. To them, the apostle Paul would write this condemnation that still brings fear and passion to me to deliver the truth of the gospel.

When he said in Romans chapter 1, unbelievers are professing themselves to be wise, but they are actually fools. They are foolishly repressing the truth, the intuitive truths of God, and the externally visible evidences of God. Now in that same interview with the British Humanist Association that sponsored this particular London campaign, which is now spread, in fact it's spreading to other countries, they asked the spokesman, why does your slogan include the words, now stop worrying?

And they answered, because Christians talk about an eternity of torment in a lake of fire and that's pretty worrying. We want to send out a positive message. In other words, we don't want a message that will make us worry about God. What we want is a message that will make us happy without God. That's the core of it all. In fact, they went on to say in that interview, we have only one life, so we need to make the most of it, because death is the end of our personal existence. And then they went on to quote Robert Ingersoll, the 19th century humanist, who was famous for the line, the time to be happy is now.

These are not only deceptive lies, they are old lies. It's a lie, as we've said at the beginning of the Garden of Eden, where the first human beings were tempted by the serpent to effectively disassociate their future from any accountability to God. The serpent said, Eve, go ahead and eat that, don't worry, you won't die, you won't be held accountable. Stop worrying about the future. If you want to eat it, eat it. If you want to taste it, taste it. If you want to live it, live it. If you want to think it, think it.

Do it, do it. Don't worry. That's the first lie. Disassociate what you do with some future accountability. The trouble is, we know it's true that you really can't enjoy this life until you've answered with certainty the question of an afterlife, right? You really aren't prepared to live until you are prepared to what?

Die. Why do you think, then, all the people around the world are worshiping something, if not themselves, a stump, an idol, a rock, a tree, a moon, or sun? They're bathing in the Ganges. They're burning roots. They're performing rituals. They're chanting to unseen spirits.

Why? Where did they come up with that around this globe? They have this sense, the intuitive truth of God written on their hearts, and they know there's something beyond this life, and they are trying to get ready for it. They're trying to prepare for it in a way that makes them comfortable. Mankind knows the truth of God, that this brief life is not all there is, and so the advertisement might boldly say, come on, relax, there probably isn't a God, stop worrying, and have fun. There probably isn't God. Imagine if the Food and Drug Administration took the same logic and labels on food packages read, the level of insecticides and poison in this food package is probably safe. Go ahead and enjoy effectively your last meal.

Could be, we're not sure. Would you buy a television or a computer or a car from a salesman who says, you know, I think it'll probably work, but don't worry about it, just sign here. Would you stay in the seat on an airplane if the pilot came over before you taxi it away, and he says, you know, there's probably enough gasoline to make this flight, and I think I can land the plane safely when we get there.

Enjoy your flight. I don't think so. No, you know what, when you think about it, there are a thousand things in life where we would never be satisfied with probably. But imagine the irony. We demand certainty in life about computers and cars and trained pilots and gasoline in the tank of the plane. Would anybody settle then with a probability about life after death or the existence of God? He's probably not alive, and that gives us the ability to stop worrying.

Who are they kidding? In fact, those bus ads, by the way, have given great opportunities for Christians throughout the United Kingdom to initiate conversations about the existence of God. But they must be satisfied with a probability. According to the revelation of God's word delivered by the prophets and the apostles is that the accountability of mankind before God, which he so detests and denies, would then indeed be only a probability. If you have your Bibles, turn to what we left off in our last session. We're in Revelation Chapter 20 in the last paragraph, a sermon I thought we'd use to cover everything.

And now we won't get through it today. But I'm not sure it's probably going to be completed sometime in the near future. Follow along as I read verse 11, then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it from whose presence earth and heaven fled away. The prophetic heiress verb again, it depicts the departure of the old creation. It will cease to exist. I don't believe the fire will just burn the surface.

I believe it will do exactly what the verb says. And first Peter makes it even clearer the words picture a sudden and violent termination of the physical universe, which then God later, as Chapter 21 tells us, will reconstruct. Now, that's important to know because it times for us when the great white throne judgment takes place. It's going to take place between the close of the millennial kingdom and the creation of the new heaven and earth. So it takes place in this space of time.

And we don't know exactly how long that space of time is. But we then know that you have this terrifying event that seals the doom of the unredeemed, for they are the only ones here. We've already learned that we're seated on thrones around God, along with the myriads of holy angels, separated unto him by their choice at the beginning of time. And this courtroom is then suspended in limitless space.

There's no earth beneath, there are no heavens, there are no constellations visible, no planets on moon. Imagine the terror for the unbeliever who is suspended, as it were, and he is before this great white throne, surrounded by the thrones of the redeemed and angels, and they are in this company of unredeemed. We already know their souls have already been informed in Hades, where they've been incarcerated, waiting the summons of this judgment, what's going to happen. If there was ever any doubt of accountability before God, the Bible is now vindicated in its oft-repeated warnings. In fact, David wrote centuries ago to warn humanity, God has established his throne for judgment, and he will judge the world in righteousness. He will execute judgment of the peoples with equity. Psalm 9, 7, and 8, speaking of the great white throne, nearly 50 times in the book of Revelation, there is the mention of the throne of God in all of its majesty, and different things are revealed to us, different sites are given to us by John throughout the book of Revelation, with all of its terrifying glory and splendor and lightning flashing and thunder rolling and seated upon the sea of glass, and it is utterly resplendent of his glory and majesty. It is the seat of God's sovereign expression and rule. Now the moment has arrived.

There probably is no God who will haunt those who denied his existence, and I do fear for them. Go ahead and enjoy your life is just not the slogan of the American and the British Humanist Association. It is the slogan of the human heart. Whatever you want to do, you do it. You're sovereign. You're on the throne.

You want to taste it, touch it, do it, whatever, think it, dream it, you do it. You are accountable to only yourself, your dictates, your desires, until now. The great white throne will be the final vindication of the character of God before the unredeemed, that God keeps his word, and his word and his sentence to them will be just and right and true. And we, the redeemed seated around him, will be declaring with our voices the glory of his character and the justness of his righteousness as he delivers the sentence. So the population of the unredeemed have heard this unavoidable summons. Their bodies have been resurrected. Look at verse 12, and I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne.

Look down at verse 13. In our last session, we studied, and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged. What that informs us of, as we've studied, these bodies, the bodies of the unredeemed, are now immortalized, they are fitted for eternal punishment in this resurrection unto death, that is eternal separation from God, verses 5 and 6 of the same chapter. Inform us that there will be a literal, physical resurrection of the unredeemed following the millennial kingdom. Now, as we studied in our last session, not one unbeliever can escape the summons.

They can't pull the dirt up over their head and avoid the judgment. Just as the believers, all believers, have been resurrected and reunited with their souls, which have been, depending on when they died, with Christ, that soul and the resurrection of the believer reunited to be glorified and enjoy heaven forever. So also the bodies of the unbelievers will be resurrected, reunited with their souls, which have been incarcerated in Hades, the place of torment, following their deaths. Luke chapter 16. This is the unforgettable setting. This is the unavoidable summons.

Notice next an undeniable standard. Look at verse 12 again. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened, and another book was opened. We're given the title to this book only, which is Of Life, or The Book of Life. The books were opened. The word is biblia. Transliterated, it gives us our word, Bible.

You could translate or render it simply scrolls or books in a plural form. We're not told how many there are that are opened. We're not told how many God brings out to present as evidence of his just verdict, which he will deliver.

We're not told exactly what these books are. But the first observation I want to make is this. Not only is man accountable to God, but God has evidently been keeping track to the horrifying discovery of mankind, an omniscient that is all-knowing, an omnipresent, a God who can say, I was there when you did that.

I know your heart when you said that or thought that. That God has kept a record of everything. Now, Les, some may say, well, there isn't really an individual judgment here. It just says in verse 12 that we're all together. All the redeemed are together, and that's right. That's what verse 12 is saying. Lest you be led to believe that it's just some kind of mass categorical judgment and that God doesn't really focus on any one individual, as verse 12 could suggest. The language of verse 13 clarifies individual judgment.

Look there. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every one of them. Hekastas is translated everyone.

You could more woodenly translate it, each one. Each individual person is judged by God. This is the epitome of individualized accountability before God. This verse, by the way, isn't alone in teaching singular judgment. Jesus Christ delivered this chilling prophecy in Matthew 16 where he said, the Son of Man, referring to himself, the Messiah, is going to come in the glory of his Father and will repay every man according to his deeds.

Paul wrote in Romans chapter 2 verse 6 that God will render to each person according to his deeds. And here is the moment when that rendering will take place. No longer bound by the structures and the strictures of time and space, God is going to individually try, confront every unbeliever with irrefutable evidence that calls for a guilty verdict and an everlasting sentence. And the books were opened. It is that terrifying moment that mankind has dreaded, denounced, denied, tried to be distracted from, or at least downplayed. Now John introduces us to these books.

Outside this paragraph, we may find some help in determining what these books actually are. As God, the great judge, calls every individual member of lost humanity to step up to his bench. Now stop for a moment. You might think, well, Stephen, how much time does God take if he's going to judge every individual person based on everything they've ever done?

How much time is God going to take? I'll just go ahead and answer you. I don't know.

I knew you knew that, but I thought I'd just say it. I don't know, but I do know this. Time will be uniquely different as this courtroom is suspended in limitless space. No earth beneath, no heaven, no constellations, no planets, nothing above. Limitless space, all except for the host of heaven and the saints seated around this massive great and white throne before the mass of all unredeemed humanity standing upon, I do not know what. I do know that all of the unredeemed will be standing before the redeemer they would not want. And as we've already learned, we will attest to the glory of this redeemer, the son who delivers the judgment. And the books were opened. What are they?

Let me give you five of them. The Bible refers, first of all, to a written record of God's law upon the heart of man. Paul says their conscience bears witness to the testimony of this book of the law. It's an invisible book.

He says it's written on their hearts. Obviously, it aligns with the law of God written for us, and we hold a copy in our lap. So one of these books could be nothing more than the book of God's law written on their hearts that he makes evident and visible. One commentator called this the book of conscience, because Paul refers to the conscience bearing witness to the book of this law. But that will be the evidence to show that each person has violated the standard of God, each person is a sinner with a record of offenses that violate the holy character of an infinite God deserving an infinite sentence, the book of God's law. Secondly, there is the promise of Jesus Christ to repay every person according to what they have done. So one of these books that God pulls out, God the Son pulls out as evidence, could be called the book of deeds or the book of actions. Ecclesiastes 12 verse 14 says God will bring every act into judgment. Now perhaps their immortalized bodies and minds will be capable of remembering and rehearsing every detail of every act that God pulls from the book of deeds. And he opens it and he draws down, perhaps he doesn't deal with every one of them, maybe he deals with certain of them to prove sin, that every man in fact is full and short of the glory of God. Now somebody might say, well, wait, I did some good things, if it's a book of deeds that I, you know, might be half and half, maybe 60, 40, but maybe God will be in a better mood with me than he was with the last guy and so he'll forget that and curve for me and no, he'll bring every act. And they won't admit it. But when they went to church or gave money to a good cause, it was to inwardly feel good, to look good to others, maybe to feel more confident about themselves.

When they gave to the poor, they enjoyed most the fact that that made them feel better than the poor, superior perhaps even. So why isn't the believer here at this judgment? Haven't we sinned? Haven't we spoken words that violate the holiness of God? Haven't we done deeds and actions? Haven't we been motivated by pride and condescension and lust and greed?

So why aren't we here? Well, because God says, I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist because I have redeemed you, Isaiah 44, that's why. I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins, Isaiah 43, 25. Peter preached in Acts chapter 3, the gospel in the New Testament era. He said, look, repent and be converted that your sins may be wiped away.

Isn't that great news? Expunged. Erased.

Deleted. They were wiped out because Jesus Christ paid for them. Not because they didn't matter. Not because God was sweeping them under the rug.

Not because he said, I like you and I'm going to forget you ever did that, fought that or saw that. It's okay for you. They were all paid. They were all judged. Every act for the Redeemer in the body of Jesus Christ. Jesus' sacrifice is applied to the sin of all who respond to him in faith. I hope that's true of you. And if it's not, I hope you'll respond to the good news of the gospel today. You're listening to Wisdom for the Heart. This is the Bible teaching ministry of pastor and author Stephen Davey. There's more to the lesson that you heard today, but because of time, we're going to have to conclude this lesson on tomorrow's broadcast. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit our website at wisdomonline.org. And one of the resources that we offer there is the complete library of all Stephen's teaching. And you can listen or download those messages free of charge. Be sure and bookmark that website and visit there often. And then make plans to be with us tomorrow for the conclusion of this lesson here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 18:56:31 / 2023-04-07 19:06:45 / 10

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