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How to Avoid Apostasy - 23

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2024 6:00 pm

How to Avoid Apostasy - 23

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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March 3, 2024 6:00 pm

What does one need to know to prevent falling away into apostasy-- Pastor Greg Barkman continues his exposition in Hebrews chapter six.


Last Sunday, as most of you know, we examined Hebrews 6 verses 4 through 6 that somewhat puzzling and often always challenging and very sobering passage that speaks about falling away from spiritual blessings, strong spiritual blessings, and the great warning that those who fall away in this manner shall not be renewed to repentance.

They have fallen away permanently. But interpreting that passage has been a great challenge to God's people down through the years. And I'm convinced that it has to be interpreted in the light of the context, particularly verses 7 through 12. If it is not, then interpretations are vulnerable to many subjective ideas. We always have to be careful in any passage not to insert our preconceived ideas into the word, but rather to endeavor by God's help and grace to draw out of the word that which it actually says.

But in this particular section, what it says is challenging, isn't it? But last week we interpreted verses 4 through 6 in the light of the context that we're going to look at more closely today. We had to do that in order to show you why we interpreted verses 4 through 6 the way that we do. And so we touched lightly on verses 7 through 12, but today we will delve into them a little more fully, and I trust helpfully, as we return to the context of the text from last Sunday for a closer examination. And here in Hebrews 6, 7 through 12, we will see, number one, a clarifying illustration, second, an encouraging declaration, and third, and what is third? I've got it here somewhere, an appropriate exhortation.

Alright, here we go. Number one, a clarifying illustration, verses 7 and 8. After saying that if those who have tasted the wonderful privileges in verses 4 through 6 fall away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance since they crucify again for themselves, the Son of God, and put him to an open shame. Then we read in verse 7, 4. This will be a connecting thought.

This very much is related to what has already been said. 4, and what follows, the 4 is actually an agricultural illustration in two parts. 4, the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it and bears herbs useful to those by whom it is cultivated receives blessing from God.

But, and here's the other side, the other part of the illustration, but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed whose end is to be burned. And so, a clarifying illustration of verses 7 and 8 that helps to explain the preceding verses, an agricultural illustration as we find so many of in the Bible because so much of the Bible world was an agricultural society. But in verse 7 we find reference to a productive field and in verse 8 to an unproductive field. And the productive field that is described in verse 7 receives appropriate cultivation. It is properly prepared by those, it tells us, or for those by whom it is cultivated. It receives useful produce for those by whom it is cultivated. And so, it has been plowed, it has been prepared, it has been sowed with appropriate seeds.

It has done, everything has happened to it that ought to happen if it's going to bear good fruit. And then, in addition to that, God blesses those efforts with abundant rain that comes often, comes when it should come. In the rain would read that often comes upon it. The earth drinks in this rain that God sends and therefore, in this field, we find a harvest of good crops. You see, what were the crops? Whatever was sowed.

It doesn't tell us exactly what the crops were, but we know what they were. Whatever seed went into the soil by those who cultivated and prepared this field, that's what they reaped. They reaped what they sowed.

Their labors produced what they expected from their toils. And this, we are told, is by the blessing of God. That's the last part of verse 7. It receives blessing from God, which may indicate blessing that comes at the end of the cycle, but I think more likely, this is a description of what has taken place throughout. This field evidences the blessing of God by the abundant crop that has been produced. But then there's the unproductive field in verse 8. If it bears, but it bears rather, not if, but it bears thorns and briars.

If it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. This statement in verse 8 links with that in verse 7. It makes it clear that the same people are working in both of these fields. In other words, the field in verse 8 received the same cultivation as that in verse 7, the same attention, the same plowing, the same care, the same sowing of the same seeds. Everything was done to it by the human farmers that it was humanly possible to do, and, like the other field, it also received abundant rain from God. Farming is a work that requires both human and divine production, human and divine blessing. It requires faithful hard work by the farmer.

If he's not willing to work, he can't expect much, no matter how much God blesses with rain and sunshine in the proper proportions. But if the farmer does everything right and God doesn't send the rain, then also there's not going to be the produce that the farmer was looking for. So by the diligent efforts of those human beings who are involved in that work, and by the wonderful blessing of God to send the brains at the proper time, when those two elements come together, a wonderful harvest is produced, or at least you would expect it to be produced. But here in the field of verse 8, it received the same cultivation, it received the same rain, the same divine blessing, but instead it produced thorns and briars, a worthless growth that is only to be collected and burned. And we are told that when that comes up, the result is that it's close to being cursed and burned.

That's what's coming next because of the result of what came up in a field that should have produced good fruit, but it didn't. In fact, what was grown in that field, we are told in verse 8, is rejected. It is rejected. It is a Greek word found often in the New Testament, and it has the meaning of it has been tested, it's been examined, tested, and found wanting.

It's been examined, tested, and disapproved, and therefore rejected. A clarifying illustration, but what exactly does it mean? Before I apply it directly to the passage, let me offer two additional agricultural illustrations from the Word of God, and I could have produced many that are very similar to this in various ways. But think first of all about the nation of Israel that is likened in the Bible to God's vineyard.

The first time that's found is in Isaiah 5, 1 and 2. Now let me sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved regarding his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard, a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones and planted it with a choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst. He also made a wine press in it. So he expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. Similar illustration.

Everything humanly possible was done to that plot of ground in which the vineyard was established to bring forth a good crop, but instead it brought forth a worthless crop. And as you probably know, Jesus picked up that illustration from Isaiah chapter 5 and used it in his teaching. It's found I think three times in the New Testament in the Synoptic Gospels. How that Israel is like a vine that received every spiritual advantage that could have been bestowed upon it and yet it did not produce a crop to its owner God Almighty and it rejected those who came to collect the rent.

Even killing some and finally killing the son of the owner, the Lord Jesus Christ. Similar to what we have in Hebrews chapter 6. Or another parable in Luke chapter 13 told by Jesus.

He also spoke this parable. A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of the vineyard, look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down. But he, the worker, answered and said to him, sir, let it alone this year also until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit well, but if not, then after that you can cut it down. Now this is a reminder of the long suffering and mercy of God. Appropriate time had passed for that fig tree to produce fruit and it had not done so. But rather than cut it down, I shouldn't use the word hastily, but cutting it down at first appearance of rejection of good fruit, lack of good fruit. The owner was prevailed upon to extend it one more year, a little bit longer, try again and then if after one more year it doesn't produce anything, we'll have to cut it down.

That's the only possibility. And I thought of that particular parable because of the words in verse 8 that said it is near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. It's almost there, but just a little bit longer. Let's see if anything else appears, but evidently nothing does. Now how do we apply this to the passage on apostasy in verses 4 through 6? Well what this is telling us is that those five spiritual benefits named in verses 4 and 5, which would represent both human cultivation and divine blessing. Some of these benefits came by the ministry of the word, by pastors and faithful ministers of God who gave God's word to the people that are described in this case of apostasy. They also received special benefits from heaven above, things that only God can produce. And yet after all of these things, both human cultivation and divine blessing were rained down upon them, they did not produce good fruit. What are the five spiritual benefits again?

Enlightenment, they were once enlightened. Number two, tasted the heavenly gift. Number three, partakers of the Holy Spirit. Number four, tasted the good word of God. And number five, experienced the powers of the age to come. Five spiritual benefits, and we tend to look at those and say these people have to be Christians.

But the context says, no. In spite of all of that, they did not produce any real spiritual fruit. Remember the other examples I gave you from scripture last week to show you how close people can come to salvation without being saved. We talked about Balaam the prophet. We talked about Saul the king, who also prophesied.

We talked about Simon the magician in Acts chapter 8. We talked about Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles who preached the word of God, performed miracles, experienced power from the Holy Spirit upon his life to enable him to perform miracles, who heard the word of God in copious supply beyond that which nearly anybody else has ever had the privilege of hearing, and yet in the end he produced no spiritual fruit. And so this tells us that it's possible to receive many blessings that we would categorize as spiritual blessings, but all that are categorized here are all what we might call external blessings. They all relate to experiences and opportunities, but they don't produce and don't evidence, they are not the evidence of true spiritual fruit that begins inwardly and then grows up into an outward manifestation. And so all of those in verses 4 and 5 experienced blessings, but the blessings were not joined to regeneration, to the new birth.

And therefore they did not produce spiritual fruit, which of course raises the question, what is spiritual fruit? And this passage is going to answer that in part. But it's clear that in the end of these apostates in verses 4, 5, and 6, in the end they had received incredible blessings more than almost any true Christian receives, and yet they were all disdained, they were all unappreciated, they walked away from them. If they shall fall away, walk away, turn their back on such spiritual blessings, it's impossible to renew them again to repentance.

That is a clarifying illustration. Number two, an encouraging declaration in verses 9 and 10. But, beloved, says the writer of Hebrews, we are confident of better things concerning you. Yes, things that accompany salvation, unlike the things we have talked about that do not accompany salvation, we are confident of you that there are better things than that, things that actually accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. In verse 9 we have a declaration of pastoral optimism, I have called it, and in verse 10 a declaration of divine assurances. A declaration of pastoral optimism, warmly addressing them as beloved. But, beloved, we are confident of the better things concerning you. This is the only time in the book of Hebrews that the readers are addressed by the term beloved. Common throughout the New Testament, but here rare only once. And I think because it follows such a stern warning passage.

And the writer knows this is going to shock some people, it's going to shake some people, and I need to come back and steady some people who are now getting a little jittery from what I just said. And so this term beloved, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you. And this insightful addition to that phrase, better things concerning you, things that accompany salvation. In the context, the meaning is clear, the five benefits of verses 4 and 5 do not necessarily accompany salvation. They may, every one of those or all together may be found in the lives of those who are truly regenerated, but evidently it's possible to have all of these in the lives of people who have never been born again.

Clearly that's what the writer is saying. We are convinced of things better in you than these other things. We are convinced that in your life there is the evidencing fruit of salvation. There are the accompanying manifestations of salvation. There is the fruit that points toward genuine salvation.

Though, he says, in spite of what I've just said about what I think I see in your lives, though we speak in this manner. The question might be, well, if you think these people are evidencing divine salvation, then why did you speak these shocking words in verses 4 through 6? What is the purpose of this warning?

Well, it's not without purpose. But evidently the writer of Hebrews is saying, I don't think this is widely applicable to a great many of you. That's what I get from his words here. But if I didn't think that it probably does apply to some of you, even though not to the majority, I probably wouldn't have spoken it at all.

It has to apply to somebody for it to be here. It could apply to those who have already walked away from the fellowship of the saints represented by whoever this epistle is coming to. We really don't know whether one or many churches. But he may be writing this about people who have walked away, the kind that John tells us they went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out that it might be manifested that they were not all of us. He may be writing about those so that these people will understand better what happened to those they thought were their Christian companions, fellow church members who have now turned their back on Christ and walked away.

This is what's happened to them. But it's also likely that it has a twofold of purpose to the people that are still there who are going to hear this epistle read to them when they come to church on Sunday, probably over several weeks. It's a pretty good sized epistle. So they're going to hear it read to them, and what purpose does it have for them? Well, number one, it has a sanctifying reminder for the majority. Warnings like this, even if they don't apply directly, always apply in a sanctifying way to help us to be more serious, more sober, more willing to examine ourselves to see if we'd be in the faith, more willing to make sure that our calling and election is secure.

It has that purpose, and that's always good, isn't it? Isn't that always helpful, sanctifying, a blessed time for you who know what I'm talking about? And if you are a true child of God, surely you do know what I'm talking about. But it's also a warning when you are speaking to any gathering of professing Christians, it is almost certain that there will be some there who are outside of Christ. The preacher doesn't know with any degree of certainty who those may be. He may have some concerns, but he really doesn't know.

He doesn't see the heart. But the Bible teaches us to expect that there will be in any company of professing Christians some who are not truly born again. Jesus had 12 apostles.

One was an apostate who fell away. And likewise, in every company of believers, there are some who have made a profession but have never truly been born again. And so a warning like this is always applicable to a company of professing believers. And so the writer is saying, even though I don't think this applies to most of you, in fact, in my greatest optimism, I'd like to believe it doesn't apply to any of you, but it could.

So pay attention. A declaration of pastoral optimism in verse 9 and a declaration of divine assurances in verse 10. For God is not unjust or unrighteous or unfaithful to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. And we desire that each of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end. Now we're getting into at least some of what the writer of Hebrews considers to be genuine fruit from a genuine believer.

Not things that can be manufactured externally, but things that demonstrate the true condition of the heart. And the divine assurances are that God does not and cannot forget your spiritual works. And then he goes on to tell us that these are rooted in love, your love for God and your love for the people of God, right? Verse 10 again, for God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. So those who love God and demonstrate it by their lives, those who love the people of God and demonstrate it by their lives, are those who are manifesting fruit that is far more likely to be genuine than the five experiences that were named in verses four and five. And this even indicates to us that probably the best way that we show our love to God is by ministering in love to the people of God.

That's what it says. Your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name, in that you minister to the saints and do minister. God does not and God cannot forget your spiritual works.

It's impossible for him to overlook them. God honors genuine love toward him and toward his people. And he's telling us that if we love Christ, we will serve one another. Now, in these words, we find two important truths strongly suggested and truths that are borne out elsewhere in scripture. Number one, love is superior to works, other works and to gifts, or maybe I should say works of love are superior to all other works and they are superior to all spiritual gifts.

Should we be surprised? Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, there's a spiritual gift, the gift of tongues. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I'm become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Though I have the gift of prophecy like Balaam and Saul and some of the others, Judas. Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries, I have a pretty good understanding of the word of God, some kind of knowledge of it. So I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, again the kind of faith that performs miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit, but have not love, I'm what?

Nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profits me nothing. I have puzzled over that statement at times because it appears that giving your goods to feed the poor and being willing to give your body to be burned for the sake of someone else would be the highest expressions of love and indeed it is, but what Paul is telling us in 1 Corinthians 13 is it's possible even to do that for the wrong reasons, the wrong modias, hypocritically.

In other words, without true love, without true grace, you can do it to prove to others what a magnanimous person you are, you can lay down your life in martyrdom for all kinds of reasons really. And so unless it's done out of a motive to serve and honor God and out of Holy Spirit wrought love in our hearts toward God and to others, it really doesn't amount to much and it's not evidence of the new birth, but here's the evidence of the new birth demonstrating love toward God and love toward the people of God. That's the first important truth that grows out of this passage.

Love is superior to all other works and gifts. Let me read another passage along these lines, 1 John chapter 3. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

You can preach the word, you can perform miracles, you can have a vast knowledge of the contents of the Bible, but the evidence that you've passed from death to life is your love for the brethren. Verse 17, but whoever has this world's goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before him. Tipping down to chapter 4, verse 7, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Convicting. The second truth that this passage indicates is that ministry to the saints holds a higher priority in the word of God than ministry to the world. We have responsibilities to both, of course, but this and many other statements in the word of God make it clear that a Christian's first ministry priority is to other believers, and then beyond that to the unconverted of the community. But this is an encouraging declaration that the Rite of Hebrews said, I see in your lives fruit that looks like this, that looks like love toward God and love toward the others, others, the people of God, and God has seen that and he knows that and he won't forget that and he'll reward that. And this is evidence to me that you are not false professors, counterfeit believers who are going to fall away. But then we come thirdly to an appropriate exhortation in verses 11 and 12. And we desire that each one of you, this is getting right down on the individual basis, every one of you individually, show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end that you do not become sluggish but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Here we find four practical exhortations. Every one of you, each one of you, in light of the reality of apostasy, some have been where you are and seemed as genuine as you do and yet they fell away and they're never coming back. And so in the light of the reality of apostasy there are four important practical endeavors that I enjoin upon all of you who have not yet walked away and I hope you never do. And if you're truly saved you won't but there are some things you can do to forestall that possibility in your life.

What are they? Number one, strengthen biblical hope. Number two, cultivate biblical perseverance. Number three, persevere in spiritual growth.

And number four, emulate godly examples. Strengthen biblical hope. We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope. You show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope, the same diligence that others who have successfully arrived at home have shown. Now what is biblical hope? It's very close to faith but there's a different element to it. Biblical hope is assurance regarding promised future realities. It looks particularly to the word of God that promises salvation to come, that promises a day when we shall be free from all sinful desires and practices and even possibilities. The day will come when God's people will not be able to sin.

Can you imagine that? That's what the Bible says. What a hope. The second coming of Jesus Christ is called the blessed hope. And so thinking about the day when he comes and what takes place when he comes. The resurrection of our bodies from the grave and turned into glorious, glorious resurrection bodies and the glories of eternity. What little bit is revealed to us in God's word but what is there should fill our hearts with hope. And so it's important for all of God's people to do everything they can to strengthen biblical hope, which of course requires an ongoing active faith, it requires a growing knowledge of God's word. It requires a clear conscience where we are regularly confessing our sins and being restored to fellowship with the Lord and keeping short accounts with God as the Puritans put it.

Because if we don't do that we'll not be growing. Who's looking for the second coming of Christ if they have unconfessed practices of sin in their life that they're not willing to give up? Are you looking for him to come and find you that way and expose you like that? I try not. So a cultivation of biblical hope is very important as a barrier against the possibility of apostasy so strengthen biblical hope. Number two cultivate biblical perseverance because the last phrase of verse 10 says or verse 11 until the end. We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end. That's persevering to the end of life in your pursuit and strengthening of biblical hope. Cultivate biblical perseverance by the regular means of grace.

What's that? Regular prayer? Regular Bible intake?

And regular participation in the assembly of the saints which is one of God's means to sanctify and strengthen his people. This will help you to persevere to the end. Number three perseverance in spiritual growth verse 12. That you do not become sluggish.

Do not become sluggish. Have we seen that word before? We have but not the same English word but it's the same Greek word that we saw in chapter 5 verse 11. Where the writer says after he introduces the subject of Melchizedek. He says of whom we have much to say and hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing or the same word here translated sluggish. You have become sluggish in your hearing or in some translations it's translated lazy.

You can't really benefit from the teaching about Melchizedek because you become so lazy in the way that you hear the word of God. To you it's just ho-hum get it over on to lunch. Shame on you. Shame on you.

Don't be sluggish dull or lazy. Do not accept average Christianity as your standard of Christianity. Well I'm as good a Christian as most the other Christians I know.

That's bad news. If you're not any better than that you're in trouble. Do not accept average Christianity as an acceptable level of spirituality. Do not be satisfied with your present level of spiritual growth. Wherever it may be.

However long you have been a Christian and however much you have grown in Christ. You still aren't where you could be. You still aren't where you ought to be. You still need to grow. Do not be satisfied with your present level of Bible knowledge. I don't care how much you know you don't know it all yet. Keep studying. Keep learning. Do not allow spiritual inertia to prevail in your life.

You haven't got to the place where you can coast. And that's a danger of everybody. We have a lot of retirement age people in our church. Let me say a word to you.

Sometimes it's easy to transfer the American work mentality over to our spiritual life. I've reached retirement age. I don't need to work anymore.

I've reached retirement age. I don't need to study God's word anymore. I don't need to do this hard work that's involved in progressing in my knowledge of the Bible.

Shame on you. Don't be lazy. You should still be working hard at this until the day you die. And that's a guard against apostasy, persevere in spiritual growth.

And number four, emulate godly examples. Pick out those people in your circle of knowledge and acquaintance who are strong in their biblical faith and get to know them and try to copy their lives. They're not perfect, of course, and you'll find some things in their lives that you know you shouldn't copy. But you'll find many things in their lives that will be a great help to you if you'll learn to do things like they do. Those who demonstrate patience and patient endurance, not flash in the pan kinds of people. Young people are very subject to this error. Attracted by the flashy, the splishy, the person, preacher, whoever it may be, the leader with the charismatic personality, with the great visions of the great things he's going to accomplish and that excites young people and they want to get on board.

So many times that's just all a flash in the pan. How many relatively young Christian leaders have we seen in the last decade or two that have become apostate? I mean, they've turned away from the Christian faith. People like Josh Harris, didn't a lot of people really look to him? Boy, he was a great Christian leader. Yeah, he doesn't even claim to be a Christian anymore, I don't think.

That's just one example. We're drawn to people like that, but we need to have better discernment than that. We ought to be looking for the real thing, which in most cases are not flashy, not splashing, not doing great, great, great, great things for God.

They're just plodding along faithfully, but making progress in the Christian life in a godly way. You find people like that, you do like that, you emulate them. And beyond your circle of personal acquaintance, read the biographies of exceptional men and women of the past and learn from them. And learn from the Old Testament saints that will come up in chapter 11 of Hebrews who also fit into this category of people that we can emulate. Now we can find some of those who failed rather badly, but they ended well and we can learn some things from them.

Let me wrap this up with three applications. Number one, this text helps us understand the proper priority of evangelism in the life of the Christian. And that is to remind us that evangelism, as important as it is, and it must not be neglected, but as important as it is, does not come above ministry to the saints in the instructions that are given to the people of God. Do you have a special evangelistic burden? Praise the Lord for it. I love people who have what we might call the gift of evangelism, the burden for evangelism. Exercise it by all means, please do.

Exercise it, but don't elevate it as if that's the most important thing in the world. In fact, some who are involved in evangelism are pretty weak in their relationships within the body of Christ. You've got it backwards.

It's easy for us to get things backwards. Get into the Word. Find out what God says. Learn to order your life according to God's Word. Build your life upon the Word of God.

Follow the instructions of God's Word. Make ministry to the saints your first priority. And then ministry to the world, evangelism, your next priority. And for those of you who are a little slow on evangelism, you love to minister to the saints, but you're slow on evangelism. You minister to the saints. That is important, but don't neglect evangelism. You can't please the Lord by leaving that out of your life either. We all have a responsibility to both, but this passage helps us show the order, the priority. Which brings me, number two, to the importance of active body life. This is what you're going to need in order to be able to do what the Bible tells you to do with one another.

How many one another passages are there in the Bible, in the New Testament? Instructions like these require active participation in a local body of believers. It is not enough to please the Lord simply to attend.

That's where it begins, of course. You can't build relationships if you ain't there. So if you're attending, that's good.

That's better than being absent. Those who are frequently absent will never minister to the saints in a biblical way. But you can attend every Sunday and still have hardly any useful relationship within the body of Christ. Nobody that is edifying you. Nobody that you're edifying. Nobody that you are fellowshipping with. Nobody that you're ministering to. No involvement in ministry among the saints and to the saints within the body of Christ. Take no responsibility for any of the work of the church.

You are just coming and sitting and leaving. And you are very negligent of what the Bible requires of you. Which brings me number three. These are all related to the importance of persevering in a healthy, word-centered church. That's indispensable to Christian growth and perseverance.

That's indispensable, and I mentioned this last week and I mentioned it again, that's indispensable to awaken those who have a self-deception about your salvation. And I told you I have seen a number of people who sat on these pews, members of this church, baptized in this baptistry in some cases, who after the passing of some months or years came to the realization that they had never been truly born again. And they were saved and went on. Would that have happened if they had fallen away?

Would that have happened if they had walked away? See how important it is to persevere in a word-centered church? It's a great barrier against the apostasy that is spoken of in chapter six. So, brethren and sisters, may God help us not to fall away. Shall we pray? Father, take these words and apply them to our hearts as needed. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 10:24:49 / 2024-03-12 10:39:25 / 15

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