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An Unlikely Convert - 2

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2019 1:00 am

An Unlikely Convert - 2

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 6, 2019 1:00 am

This is the second of five messages from Dr. John McKnight from the 2019 Fall Bible Conference, Stories of Conversion.

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My brothers and sisters in Christ. Once again it was blessed to be with you and to worship with you to sing together the great atoning work of our Savior, as if some this evening and to be able to say it is enough is enough that Jesus died that he died for me and he said the same thing upon the cross, when he said it is finished and completed the work of atonement, is wonderful to see Pastor and Mrs. Pankratz again this evening. I appreciate their fellowship in the full road that is there with them as well a token of God's goodness to all of us and to them as well. We're in the gospel of Luke this evening. In chapter 19 as we now begin considering the first of four instances of conversions that were accomplished through the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and we come this evening to one of the most familiar stories of the Scripture that anyone who's been through Sunday school knows and remembers and perhaps has sung about even as pastor Barclay mentioned this morning the songs IPS was a wee little man and I hope that this evening as we look at this very familiar account the spirit of God might enable us to perceive the working of Christ. In this circumstance before and during and after, by which sexiest a very unlikely convert was in fact saved from sin and one day those of you who know Christ will see him and can speak to him exactly concerning what is like to climb a sycamore tree when you're wee little man and so that was the circumstance with Zacchaeus as he made it up the tree, but far, far more to be rejoiced in. He made it into heaven by the grace of God, and that's the only way any of us will get that resulted the grace of God alone and so as we consider this passage. Let us first of all, once again look to our God in prayer and crave from him.

The manifestation of his presence among us in his power upon the word pray with me. Shall we bow together.

Most holy God and gracious father in heaven. We acknowledge unto the our unworthiness to even touch the hem of thy garment or to loose the shoes which thou didst wear and yet thou hast moved in spite of what we are to make us sons of God, areas of the divine inheritance and we cannot comprehend the depth of our iniquity or undeserved witness nor the enormity of the grace by which we've been saved we receive it by faith and give thanks to the Lord God, thou hast redeemed us with nothing less. The precious blood of thy dear son. Stir with a mass a love for the one who saves us in May that love be increased as we observe him in his saving work as he brings wretched and unworthy sinners whose only just desert his eternal wrath into the never ending favor of a God whose favor exceeds the greatest we might imagine. And as we consider tonight, thy servant at the moment of his conversion Zacchaeus, may we be on the man see the Savior and receive his gracious and glorious and effectual working. We ask these things in Jesus name, amen. What I would have you notice first of all, concerning Zakia's two things that made his conversion. Most unlikely you don't need me to tell you what they are. You can read it yourself and pick them out. I'm certain foretells us in the second verse that he was chief among the tax collectors and he was rich, there they are two things that made his conversion very unlikely. There is something about power which is intoxicating to mankind. Zacchaeus had we know in our own age as it has been in every that riches represent power people will count how to the rich, hoping maybe to get in on some of the benefit. The powerful they maintain a certain place of esteem in the community and people will make room for them in hopes that may be, they will turn them a favor wealth and power are two things that Zakia's had. He was chief among the tax collectors. This is not something that just happened to fall out to him. This is something that he must strive to achieve for himself the people to become powerful in any culture are generally people that are very ambitious, ambitious, in a non-commendable kind of way. Do I need to say Washington DC do we need to look into the political realm to see what I'm talking about only a quick glance will show us that it is so often the very basis of men who achieve the highest of offices because they are greedy for power. They are ambitious for and the more they get rather than quenching their thirst, the more appetite they develop for it. This is the way with evil mankind told the pastor this morning. I'm thankful that I am not rich and I'm thankful that I am not famous for either one of those is usually more than a man can handle and it brings out the true evidence of his depravity.

If it were not already. Zakia's had become rich. It's obviously during the passage by his own confession that his wealth had not always been gotten honestly, he knew it. His conscience fell in the upon him when he was in the presence of crimes and we know from from the history that the tax collectors there in Israel referred to in our King James version as the publicans don't don't be distressed.

It is not Republicans. It is publicans that the tax collectors were in fact, by their very nature and profession. A dishonest. It was their duty to collect holes tariffs on materials being transported from one place to another and they would pay the Roman government for the privilege of doing so and then would make sure that as they collected the tolls the revenues the customs that they got repaid everything they had paid to the Roman government.

Plus much more to satisfy Rome and to satisfy itself course. The problem is wealth never satisfies always creates greater lust for the same. Let me just speak for a moment to the young people present with us this evening who have life ahead of them who want to choose some kind of vocation profession by which they will earn their living and who, if they are like human beings wanted to be and they are very sure that I wanted to be a comfortable living something where they can earn a good living in our whole society agrees with our own lust to say that if you can get rich really succeeded. Let me say from the Scripture that if you get rich probably have failed miserably in that which really matters. Let us take heed to the warnings of the word of God. It is notable to me that in the preceding chapter as Luke arrange the content of his gospel that he had given the account of what we call the rich young ruler who was rich, who had as you, who had power are ruler came to Jesus to say what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life, which of course reveals to us that wealth and power do not satisfy do not fill what is an enormous void within the human heart. If indeed they could fill that void.

Then a person would get a certain level of richness and would be filled would have enough you ever contemplated a millionaire. He figures he's got enough and is stopped now know as long as he lives. He's only gotten started and what he has only drives him for more. The rich young ruler did not find satisfaction in wealth or in power and neither will you. For satisfaction is something that exists only in the spiritual realm, it can be found in no other place for all of our poverty. All of our want is bought a reflection of the impoverished condition of the human heart in human soul which ever seek something for fulfillment. Something to give meaning and significance of the sense of accomplishment and so goals are set and lives. Even souls are sold in order to reach those goals and once the goals of been reach. While there is a momentary thrill with accomplishment. The reaching of the goals never satisfy possessions, make promises they can never fulfill the sad thing is that the person who is reach the goal and discovered the emptiness the absence of satisfaction.

What he thought he was going to get is not there, rather than recognizing that he's got his ladder leaned against the wrong building generally just looks for longer ladder to go a little higher on the same thing doesn't recognize that is needed spiritual.

The rich young ruler went away sorrowfully and Luke tells us what Jesus said upon his departure. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle that is for a rich man to enter heaven let us revise it. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than it is for Zacchaeus to be say Zacchaeus has these things well and power among men which make it highly unlikely that he will ever be saved and those of you imagining a future in which you get a great profession and make a lot of money or those of you who are perhaps in midlife and are in a good profession and are tempted by his zeal for wealth. Let us never forget the instruction of Scripture having food and raiment met us there with the content but they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition for the love of money is a root in every evil may our values be set straight on this and may our riches be laid up in heaven, and may we weigh everything not by its measured worth in terms of earthly economy, but by its placement in the purposes of God.

What will make me more like Christ.

What will enable me to be more useful in the work of his kingdom riches well they make wings and fly away. The Proverbs tells Syracuse was rich.

He was chief.

Those two things were his greatest liability. They were like waist high to him spiritually.

They confuse they in toxic. Kate, how many times ministers of the gospel by the good favor of God have enjoyed a large measure of success which is ruined for they have gotten a certain following and they have tasted the power they never had before and ego only fuels them to want more of the same and so they compromised principles that they once embraced emphatically in order thereby to expand their audience because that's how more power can be got and eventually you have them far far from a biblically governed ministry intoxicated by power.

May the Lord deliver us all as he this day delivered a tax collector in Jericho. The two things that made Zaki's conversion. Unlikely was powerful he was chief and he was rich but now consider two things that made his conversion difficult tells us in the third verse that he was a small stature and therefore could not see where Jesus was. No, I don't mean to spiritualize Scripture. This is just an explanation of the facts of reality.

He was a short man and the people crowded around and he couldn't see over them.

He couldn't see through that. And yet there is the suggestion there that when it comes to seeing Christ. Every one of us is a natural pick me. We do not have in our natural Constitution what it takes to behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world and if we did the crowd of people who are mere spectators of religion stand in the way and introduce confusion and misdirection. They look to the wrong things instead of looking unto Christ. I think to myself perhaps at this point you'll think he's quit preaching and going to Madeleine but listen carefully and you'll know for sure one way or another. I think to myself of the gospel music industry, the recreational use that which is holy and sacred. If you announced in the community that such and such a star was coming fill the city Auditorium. If you announce instead that there is going to be a community prayer vigil there to seek the Lord's face for revival might be there alone.

This is what I'm saying there are so many who are engaged in religion as a means for their own advancement for their own reputation, that they might be closer to the rank of chief and perhaps even get a good income from it, and yet what they are doing is obscuring the gospel rather than proclaiming well humanity by nature is a spiritual pygmy in every four Zacchaeus was a small stature in the crowd was in his way. He couldn't see, and so we find next is that there were two natural qualities that fell out onto his conversion. No, I think you recognize that I believe in preached salvation is all of God. But it is a wonderful thing. How are natural and spiritual qualities yet can be used by his sovereign working in order to bring us unto Christ and this is what I see in Zacchaeus, keep in mind that this man who is rich and powerful enemies like everybody else and that's way that was. That way he wants to get richer and more powerful.

And so there is an amazing celebrity coming to town this guy that can heal can heal people with all manner of diseases this guy who is famous and people of heard about him and so Zacchaeus wants to see the show, maybe even if he didn't get the attention of this guy, he can further his own personal ambition.

They can become more powerful, more wealthy, even as the Disciples of Christ mistakenly viewed their connection with him as a means to be great ones in the kingdom anticipated, he would establish if that was the Disciples of Christ. What are we to think concerning a man who is naturally ambitious and intoxicated by his own power and his own wealth.

Everything about Zaki is has to do with getting more getting more and so in order that he might have the benefit whatever it may be attached to it, of seeing this celebrity because of the crowd that he can't see around, and his stature. He runs ahead and climbs up into a tree where he might be able to see over the crowd and see this this celebrity who is coming to town and I'm of the opinion that Zaki is doing. This was not thinking to himself I am a vile and loathsome center soon to be damned and in need of a Savior from my soul. He was acting on the natural instinct on natural impulse.

That's the kind of guy he was. He wanted to see the big shot and maybe get connected with it, but God's work. Even to determine what may be illegitimate motivations of men into that by which God would in fact saving. It is an expression of the question the apostle asked when he says if God be for us, who can be against God purpose is to save a soul, he has at his disposal. Every power to effectuate his purpose and bring it about.

Even to the evil ways of man for the wrath of man shall praise and we have the examples in Scripture of the evil ways of men by which God brought his own gracious purposes to pass. Joseph's brothers sold him to be a slave in Egypt, dastardly deed, the effect of which ultimately was overruled by God to deliver the people of Israel. Jacob's sons, by whom the Savior of mankind would be delivered to us Gentile and you can find the examples of that throughout the Scripture, no place more wondrously than when Jesus Christ was crucified by wicked sinners whose only purpose in doing it was to get rid of this one, whom they viewed as a rival, upsetting the religious applecart and in doing so they brought about the very purpose of God ordained before the roads began that his son should offer himself a ransom for many. These things which were the natural actions Zaki's yet brought him into a position where he would be noticed and seen as not that Christ would never know executives if he hadn't seen him in the tree but it is that Zaki is there sees Christ and this is the one unto whom all must look for are ever to know the benefits of his saving mercies and so we find those two natural qualities which fell out onto his conversion. He ran and he climbed in order that he might see Christ. I don't know what climbing a tree in that age or culture signified you go out here and climb a tree. People might wonder what you're doing, climbing that tree. I can remember when I was a boy working in an apple orchard in Darlington, Maryland orchard that was right at an intersection where cars would stop in one of my friends was working with me was up in the tree pruning the tree and wondering is it lunchtime yet.

That's where we always were.

When it's lunchtime.

When can we go eat and so he shouted to someone in a car that is stopped at the red (up traffic stop said what time is the guy in the car shall extract like that time for you to get them out of a tree. Well that's kind of the mindset, people might have when you climb a tree and I'm not sure Zaki is here was doing something that would be less than a below his dignity or not.

I just don't know.

Perhaps in those settings. This was a natural thing to do, but whatever it was sought to see Christ for whatever reason he ran and climbed in the tree that he might see Christ pass block. Well, consider now two things that in fact make his salvation evident with a diverse number eight and as he is met with Christ in his house that Kiev stood and said unto the Lord. Behold, the Lord half of my goods I give to the poor and if I have taken anything from that any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. What we see in those words of Zaki us is that there has been an absolute transformation of this man's heart then and there.

This was not a generously this was a very greeting.

He was involved in a profession that involves dishonesty in order to get game that involved pressing the subject.

For as much as he could squeeze out of them to keep it for himself and by this means you become rich. This is not a man who was going to say I'm giving half of everything I have to the poor and the fact that he says that reveals there has been a rewiring of his thinking this man is not what he was a day ago. This represents a vast transformation from being a greedy thief. He has become a philanthropist and that he adds to it. If I've taken anything from anyone by false accusation, which is indeed an admission that he had an admission that he now has a conscience. He says I will restore it fourfold. That's far more than the Old Testament law required things be restored and so he is acknowledge that he has done wrong and he is going to humble himself in order to make it right.

This again is not what Zaki us was in the fact that he's giving you have to the poor, and he's going to reward those whom he is defrauded with four full repayment perhaps taking the most if not all of the other half signifies a man as it changed our the things of earth that he so valued are no longer the things that he values what he values rather his mercy, instead now he values the very things with which Christ himself. Values even as Christ had told the rich young ruler sell all that you have and give to the poor.

Not that that would save the man but that that revealed his big problem, justness the breaking of God's law. So Zaki us is ready to do that very thing in a great measure management change when a person is truly saved from sin. There will be a change and this is something that needs to be understood in American evangelicalism that true conversion is the making, loving person they are born again borrowing new all things are passed away behold all things become new as saying person will be a changed person and the change in that person is an evidence that there is been a change of heart. Zaki us shows up for so would consider two things that made his conversion. Unlikely he was rich he was powerful. Two things that made his conversion difficult stature. The crowd around them into natural qualities that fell out onto his conversion.

He saw the Brandon climbed in when Christ told him to come down. He then it says made haste, and came down in two things that made his conversion evident is giving away half of his goods and he's really paying fourfold those whom he has wrong.

He wants to make things right. He's got a changed heart. Now let's consider five things that made his conversion certain five things that made it certain beyond any question this man is saved. Look at verse number five.

And it says when Jesus came to the place and let us just stop there for a first thing Jesus came to the place. That's what made his conversion.

Certain Christ was there. Yes, it's the place where Zacchaeus lived in Zaki us was there and came out to see him and yet everything concerning this was a result of Christ coming to the place in the salvation of every soul that is say is attributable to this Christ has come to our place when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, God became a man, but it might enter into this place. The planet Earth, which suffered and yet reveals beneath the curse of sin came here, came to this place, we might be saved. Fact the came to that place where he could look up in the tree and see Zaki is is to be noted as a token of his own grace and favor.

He looks up and he sees this guy in the tree.

Zaki and in fact, Zaki us is in that tree, not simply because he ran ahead and climbed the tree that he might see Zaki's is in the tree because in the eternal purposes of God. God ordained that he would so many years before that day, give conception to a woman who would bear a son, that she would name Zaki us and Zaki us would be on planet Earth and in Jericho the day Christ entered. This is a matter for us to consider to God's glory into our own encouragement.

The fact that not one of us asked when or where we would be born in this to me is one of the most evident and conspicuous natural explanations and evidences of the great doctrine of election. There is on this planet someplace or someone who was born the very day that you were born and that person will live and die never hearing the gospel of Christ. You did not before your birthday put an application requesting to be born in a land that is Christian, you were that was all of God, and you can clean no credit at all for the fact that you were born into circumstances which would involve you hearing the gospel of Christ. When most human beings have not been we live in a land where the gospel is been published abroad, and perhaps suffer the delusion to imagine that's the way it is around the globe, but it is not. It has not. The fact that Zaki is happened on that day to be in Jericho is because God had created him to be in Jericho that day, one of us could petition heaven concerning the era of history in which we would be born if anyone of us have been born 500 years ago in medieval Europe. We probably would have been illiterates with no printed Bible near where we were. Maybe one in the cathedral church changed to the lectern so peasants wouldn't take it. But even if it's there we couldn't read it. We weren't born circumstances report in this land. God placed you in a location and in an age where you would hear the gospel in the same is true with Zaki's Jesus came to that place where he had already orchestrated the presence of a thieving tax collector name Zaki us who have gotten quite wealthy and quite powerful to things which made his conversion.

Unlikely the thing which made it certain is this Christ came to that place and in verse five continues and tells us that when he came to that place, he looked up and saw him, and said unto him, Zaki's do we not learned from the Scripture the good Shepherd calls his sheep by name and he sees Zaki's for. In fact, Zaki us.

He will later comment is one of the seed of Abraham that I believe there Christ is speaking of the spiritual seed of an Zaki us is going to be saved because in the eternal counsels of God, it was determined that Zaki is a publican would be brought to faith and repentance. It would take a current complete Marine wiring of his thought to do it, but the one who determined that it would be done is the one who is able to make such a transformation and so price looks to him and it is that which makes certain he will be saved, he is saved for Christ beheld him and called him Zaki us and then the third thing that made his conversion certain is the Christ. In verse five says to him, come down for today I must abide at thy house nothing for a minute that he says today. The whole now is the accepted time.

Behold, today is the day of salvation. The day of salvation had come for Zaki's that day was not just a random happenstance of the day upon which Christ happened into Jericho. That was a day that Christ acknowledged here, not tomorrow, not the day before, but today, for the time of the conversion of God's people is known unto God ordained of God and Zaki us has come to this day not knowing the blessings that awaited him this day he is coming to this day still a greedy and conniving tax collector loving his power and his wealth. But today all of that is to pass away all things become new and we've already observed, the evidence of him becoming new and then Christ said today. Verse five.

I must abide at your house. No two ways about. I must even as our Lord said to his disciples, other sheep have I which are not of this fold them.

Also, I must bring the Lord Jesus Christ is fueled with a compulsion for the satisfaction for the salvation of every one of the elect and he is driven to seek to it. It takes place in that drive is such that he went to Calvary and underwent crucifixion that he might save his people from their sins. And Zaki, S must be say and so Christ comes to that place that day calling his own sheep by name and says to them come down for today I must abide in your house is nothing here to suggest Zacchaeus had invited him over for Zaki us is just hoping to get a glimpse of this celebrity and maybe by that glimpse been something for himself. Perhaps just satisfaction of curiosity for a few minutes Zacchaeus has not issued an invitation, Jesus of Nazareth would come to my home at such a subject.

No, Christ is set the agenda here and has set the table as well and an uninvited guest name Jesus of Nazareth will that day. Enter into the home of a thieving tax collector in Jericho whose gotten rich and powerful. By his own misbehavior. He says I must abide at thy house, and there again is an appointed place.

There in the sinners house. The power of the spirit of God will be manifests and he will be saved from his sin.

The fact that Christ said to him, hasten and come down and then repeated what we've just recited makes its certain Zacchaeus cannot be lost in just a Zaki us did not invite him into his home, so there's not a one of us who can take credit for inviting Christ into our own life so much of evangelism in our age seems to give to the unbeliever some power and credit for having done the good thing and asked Jesus to save them. The fact of the matter is we are by nature enemies of God. And just as our father Adam rather than seeking God, after he had sinned salt to flee from him, so we have inherited that same tendency from our father Adam and we are by nature enemies trying to escape God and yet he must abide in our house today before thing that made the conversion of Zaki is certain is when our Lord says in verse number nine. Having heard Zaki as his confession. I'll give half of my goods to the poor. I'll restore what I've taken fourfold Jesus pronounces verse nine this day is salvation come to this house. He pronounced with Zaki us was saved from sin, and in fact, that day, salvation came to that house. His name was Jesus for choose Jesus literally means Jehovah Savior Jehovah salvation and as salvation entered that house in the person of Christ. It was that he might save Zacchaeus and Zaki us is transformed on the spot and then the fifth thing that makes certain that Zaki us is saved, our Lord says in verse 10, the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost he will not fail will not be discouraged. He will not be hindered or MP did in his effort to do so is crucifixion by his enemies who thereby sought forever to extinguish his influence was the very means by which he saves all of his people from their sin cannot be before the world began, there was a man named Zaki us who in the counsels of God was chosen to be saved from a life of greedy, dishonest, self-serving sin.

Christ came to seek and to see Zaki us and thank God I can say Christ came to seek and to save job and anyone who is truly saved from sin can rejoice in knowing he saved and the thing that makes it certain is this Christ came to seek and to save that which is lost and in every conversion of the soul.

There is a replay in different terms different scenes, but in the same certainty of the conversion of Zaki's because Christ came to seek and to see that which is lost he is worthy of all of our prayers of all of our worship, and of all of our acknowledgment that salvation is of Joe and Val together as we pray, we thanked the overlord that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, we thank you that he came to seek and to save that which was lost. We thank you that he shall not fail nor be discouraged. We thank the for the promise of Scripture that when the last of his elect is saved.

Christ himself will return to take all of his own into his presence. Until then, may we be faithful in praise for what we've received and faithful in proclaiming the glorious gospel to those who are lost in grantor Lord that through our efforts to proclaim thy truth 90 might be called forth from death and sin unto life in Christ we pray this in Jesus name, amen

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