If you're like me, you could use some encouragement today, and the Bible is the best place to get it. Join us on The Encouraging Word. And I'm confident we will be encouraged today as we open the Word with you, Dr. Don. Dr. Wilton is our pastor. He is a well-known author and evangelist, and today brings the conclusion to this message once lost. While we're doing that, know that we're available for you both online at theencouragingword.org and the other end of 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. What a blessing to be able to study God's Word together. You know, I've often asked myself, once a person dies without Jesus Christ, do they have an opportunity to get saved and go to heaven? Well, the Bible's got some very direct words, and the good news has to do with Jesus Christ and the fact that he loves me right now. Open your Bibles this morning to Hebrews chapter 6. Love to hear the Word of God being opened. Now my friends, as we open our Bibles this morning, let me remind you that we are in a singularly significant passage of Scripture. What is said in Hebrews chapter 6 carries such deep spiritual significance and spiritual application in our lives that I beg of you to listen carefully. I beg of you to open your heart because the Lord will speak to you and the Spirit of God will draw you into the heart of God. I believe with all my heart that what is said in Hebrews chapter 6 is one of the most serious warnings that God can ever give to his church.
And this warning is not addressed to those who are in his church who are believers, it is addressed to those who are in his church who are unbelievers. There are two very important points that I want to make and reiterate to you today. Number one, once you are saved, you are always saved.
I want you to listen carefully. If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ, that God raised Jesus from the dead, if you have repented of your sin and by faith you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and you have been born again of the Spirit of the living God, you cannot lose your salvation. You cannot become unsaved. Number two, once you are lost, you are forever lost. Once you are lost, you are forever lost.
I believe with all of my heart all of my heart that Hebrews chapter 5 verse 11 through Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 9 that that is the subject of these verses. Once lost, you are forever lost. This is not about once saved, forever saved, even though that is the logical spiritual implication which I'm going to show you that comes out of this. That is the wonderful good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we know how to be saved. The question is this, how do you become lost? If once lost, you are forever lost, how do you become lost? There are two ways in which you become lost.
You might want to note this. First of all, by being born into this world. Every single person who is born into this world is born lost. Now who was the first man that God created?
His name was Adam. Here's how Paul puts this. He says in Adam, all die, not some die, all die. In fact, the psalmist when he was writing, he put it like this. He said, I was conceived in sin.
Now what is the wages? What is the penalty of sin? The wages of sin is death.
All right, now I want you to listen carefully folks. How do you become lost? You become lost by being born into this world. There is not a single person who is born saved.
If that were the case, Nicodemus wouldn't have had any problem, would he? Jesus would never have had to say to him, Nicodemus, you need to be born again, born for a second time. All right, we know how to be born for a second time. We know how to be born again. We must repent of our sin, confess that sin to Jesus Christ, believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, trust in him, receive him into our heart and life and you will be born again. We must call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We know that, but how do you become lost?
Number one, by being born the first time into this world. The second way that you become lost is by never taking the opportunity to become saved. Now I want you to stick with me, some of you got a puzzled look on your face. If you are born lost and you never take the opportunity to be saved, guess what? You're forever lost. So the second way in which you become lost is by losing or forfeiting your opportunity to become saved. Well, there are two ways in which you can lose that opportunity according to the word of God.
Number one, is if your mind goes, now folks, let me tell you something. Disease, a tragic car wreck, something that can rob you of your ability to respond to God can cause you to be lost forever. Now some of you are going to say, but wait a minute pastor, can God still penetrate the mind of someone who has lost their mind? Of course he can.
What seems to be your problem? God can do anything. Can God reach into the mind of a, an Alzheimer's patient and cause that person to turn him? Of course God can do that.
But folks, I don't know that. God doesn't say that. There's nothing in scripture that says that when a person loses their mind but continues to live, I don't have anything to back that up with accepting the fact that God is God and I'm willing to accept that. In fact, when I'm around people like that and I'm ministered to Alzheimer's patients often, I always take them by the hand. I ministered to patients who are in comas. I always take their hand.
I get down. I did so this past Friday, got right down next to someone, prayed in her ear, prayed the sinner's prayer, thank God for them, prayed concerning Jesus Christ. The doctors say they're responding. There is no response, but I'm just praying because of who my heavenly father is. I'm asking God to do something that nobody else can do. The second way that you can be lost forever is by dying, by death. Bible says it is appointed under man once to die and then after that the judgment. And by the way, that word judgment there folks is not referring to the reward judgment or the judgment concerning the good works of believers. That judgment in the text there is referring to judgment as in great white throne judgment, the final judgment, the separation of the sheep and goats, the time at which all those who have rejected Jesus Christ are going to be cast from the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have rejected Jesus Christ are going to be cast from the presence of almighty God into outer darkness forever and forever and forever, lost forever.
So now I want to just make this very, very important point here folks. Once you are lost, you are lost forever. How do you become lost? You become lost by being born.
And second of all, you become lost by rejecting Jesus Christ while you have the opportunity to accept him. It is to those people that God is writing in this passage. We must understand this in its context.
God here by his spirit, the writer to the Hebrews is writing to a Jewish audience. Last week we looked at the facts in order to try and understand once lost forever lost. What did we discover in chapter five in verses 11 through 14?
We discovered four things. We discovered number one, they had been taught. The Bible tells us these Jewish people were so religious. They were sincerely religious. They knew all about God. They had studied the law and the prophets. They'd been taught. Number two, they were slow to learn according to verse 11.
They were spiritually sluggish and it cost them. Folks now just watch me for a minute. There's no such thing as sort of saved. Being saved means you are completely saved. You cannot be sort of saved. And likewise, you cannot be sort of kind of lost. If you are lost and without Jesus Christ, you are lost.
There's no sort of loss. And the Bible addresses these people and he says, you have lost not only because you were born in sin, you have lost not only because you have acquired all this knowledge, which your Bible calls the elementary teachings about Christ, but you are lost if indeed you continue to have all this knowledge and yet refuse to acknowledge and accept that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Sometimes knowledge is not the key, but there's more. Forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the message from Dr. Wilton in just a moment. But I was thinking about something my dad used to tell me.
He said, Britt, we've got to be careful that the distance between our head and heart is not what separates us from eternity. Maybe you've had plenty of knowledge. I grew up in the church and had a lot of knowledge.
But it wasn't until that summer when I gave my heart to Christ that I began to know Jesus. You can know him right now. We'd love to talk with you, to pray with you, to give you some free resources. And we're here at the other end of 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. We're also connecting online at theencouragingword.org. We just want you to know that we're available. And maybe you have some questions. We might not have all the answers, but we'll know where to pursue the answers to your questions together at the other end of 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. And now let's go back to the conclusion of today's message. You know, as Dr. Wilton's been talking about this once lost, this is the conclusion of a two-part series, of course, available online at theencouragingword.org.
And now back to Dr. Wilton. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened. I'm going to get to this.
This is dynamic stuff. It is impossible for those who have tasted the heavenly gift. It is impossible for those who have shared in the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for those who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age. Some people take this text and they say, you see, those are people who are saved.
My friends, that is as far from the truth as you can possibly get. That is not talking to people who were saved. I'm going to show you that in Scripture. I'm going to show exactly what God is saying there.
It is impossible for these people, if they fall away, if they lose their opportunity to be saved, if they continue to be lost, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss, they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace. All they were taught, they were slow to learn. They wanted mook.
That's all they wanted, according to verse 12, the second part in chapter five. They only wanted the elementary teachings. They said, listen, we're not interested in ever growing up. We're not interested in spiritual maturity. We're not interested in reaching the age of spiritual accountability.
We don't want to have to make a decision for ourselves. We want to remain babies, infants, not babes in Christ, because all people who accept Christ Jesus become babes in Christ. This is talking about infants in the sense that all they are doing is feeding upon the knowledge that is given to babies in the form of milk, which the Bible calls the elementary teachings about Christ. And God here says not only that in the fourth instance, they are not acquainted with righteousness. If you look at the latter part of verse 13, anyone who lives on milk being still an infant is not acquainted with righteousness. And friends, let me remind you, that word there means they are not possessed by the righteousness of God, the imputed righteousness of God, which is given to us through His precious Holy Spirit, who indwells each person after they have repented of their sin and by faith trusted in Jesus Christ. These people were not born again believers. So we've got to look at the facts if we want to understand once lost, always lost. But second of all, the Bible teaches it is time to abandon the elementary teachings of Christ. Well, what were they? What were these things they had to abandon?
Let's look at them. Number one, repentance from dead works. There it is right there in verse one. Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation. And by the way, that word foundation is very important folks.
Because here's God by His Spirit looking at the Jewish people. And He sees one precept being laid upon another much like a brick layer builds the foundation of a house. And what He is saying is that the foundation is not the house.
The foundation is the means or the thing upon which the house will stand. And He says, the first thing you need to abandon concerning these elementary teachings is repentance from dead works. Well, what is that? Go with me to chapter nine. Everybody turn over the page to chapter nine. Look at verse 13.
Now folks, this is very important this morning. Look at verse 13. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
Now just watch me for a second. Don't lose chapter nine. Watch this. How did the Israelites become ceremonially clean? How did they repent of their dead works?
By the way, why dead works? Works that lead to death. How did they repent of that? How did the Israelis, how did the Jewish people wandering around in the wilderness, how were they forgiven of that? Well, the Bible says they offered sacrifices. In fact, chapter nine and verse 13 tells us that.
That's what you did. That's the elementary teachings about Christ. Why about Christ?
Folks, watch me. Why about Christ? Because everything that happened in the Old Testament, watch me, points to Jesus Christ. You can trace the blood of Jesus from Genesis chapter one, the crimson thread right through the pages of the Old Testament. Where does it find its climactic expression? Right there at the genealogy of the king. You can read about it in Matthew chapter one and verse one where Jesus Christ, the king of the world, the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, the one who was born of the seed of David, the lineage of David, of the virgin, yet that seed implanted by the Holy Spirit because he is God's son.
That's the climactic moment. And what the Jews needed to understand that while back there in the Old Testament, that that might have fit that description, look at verse 14. How much more then will the blood of Jesus Christ who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God cleanse our consciences, watch this, from acts that lead to death. What are acts that lead to death? That is our Adamic nature whereby the wages of sin is death. How much more then will the blood of Jesus Christ deliver us? Why? Because the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have you got that? Are you with me today? Now my friends, I know these are difficult things to contemplate, but God will speak to your heart. God will open your heart. This is fundamental to your faith. They had to lay aside repentance from dead works. Repentance is meaningless without faith in Jesus Christ.
Number two, they had to lay aside faith in God. Now hold on a minute. Hold on a minute. Chapter six verse one says they had to lay again, stop, lay aside the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in God. Of faith in God? Hold on a minute. Excuse me. I think I better just sit down for a minute. This doesn't make any sense to, I'm giving up.
I am officially retiring as a preacher. You mean to tell me the Bible is telling me that faith in God is not good enough? Yes. Do you mean to tell me that the Bible is questioning faith in God saying that faith in God is not sufficient for salvation?
Yes. These Jewish people believed in God, which God? The same God I believe in. But the Bible says that Jesus Christ came to this world and died upon a cross. Watch this, that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself. Unto himself. That means that Jesus could stand in the presence of God the father and say, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man can come to the father except through me. And what God is saying to the church and to every person, it is not good enough just to have faith in God. You must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. It's all about Jesus. He's the superior one.
Doesn't work without him. Friend, you can go around America today and you'll find most Americans won't have any problem in saying I believe in God. But if they have not trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, the Bible says they are lost. There are religious organizations that believe in God. I've heard people say, oh, I believe in God. They don't believe that God is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is who God is in that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish. Who is the him of which God speaks?
Jesus Christ. No wonder God turns here by his spirit to this congregation and says, I want you to lay aside the elementary teachings about Christ. Number three. Number three, they needed to lay aside and abandon instruction about baptisms.
You might say to me, what is that? Well, friend, that word there, baptisms, is not the word from which we get our word baptizo, which means believer's baptism by immersion, which is the only baptism that the scripture talks about in scripture. This passage is not talking about believer's baptisms. It's talking about baptisms. Baptismos, go to chapter nine again in verse 10.
Here's where it is used. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings, external regulations applying until the time of the new order. What's the time of the new order? The blood of Jesus Christ.
That's the time of the new order. The sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. These people, these Jews, they believed that they had to be about ceremonial washings and cleansings and Old Testament washings had three distinctives. Number one, it was repeated many times over. Number two, it was symbolic.
And number three, it was temporary. That's why you have to do it, time without number. Folks, I've been in churches in the United States of America. When I deal with this with great respect in my heart, I've been in churches. I've been in churches that still carry out ceremonial washings. The Bible says it's meaningless.
It's meaningless. Lay aside these things. New Testament baptism has three distinctives. Number one, it's only done once. Number two, it is spiritual.
Number three, it is permanent. Well, there's a fourth thing that they had to lay aside according to this passage in chapter six. They had to lay aside the laying on of hands. Did you see that in verse two? Chapter six and verse two, instruction about baptisms and the laying on of hands. Now, what were they talking about? They weren't talking about what the apostles did.
In Acts chapter six, deacons were chosen from among the multitudes by the disciples who comprised the New Testament church and they brought them to the apostles who prayed for them and laid their hands on them. That's not what he's talking about. Not talking about ordination, not talking about blessing a child. Folks, you've got to go back into the Levitical law. Go to Leviticus.
You don't need to turn there, just listen. Leviticus chapter one and verse four, for example. Leviticus chapter three, it speaks about it extensively, particularly around verse eight.
If you do this in your private Bible study, the Bible teaches us that according to the Levitical law, that the Jews who brought sacrifices to the priest had to also lay their hands on that sacrifice. God in his spirit here is saying, abandon that thing. You need to lay your hands on Jesus Christ. You need to take hold of Jesus Christ.
That's what you need to do. Number five, the resurrection of the dead. The Bible here says, let us leave behind the elementary teachings of Christ and go on to maturity. One of those is the resurrection of the dead. Why the resurrection of the dead? Because in the Old Testament, the Jewish people struggled over trying to understand what happened after death. And so it is that he says, lay aside your understandings concerning the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead, why? Because Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. Folks, can you hear this? God by his spirit saying to these knowledgeable religious people, if only you would lay aside all of these things that are stopping you from turning your heart and life over to Jesus Christ, if you were to just lay them aside and come to maturity and accept that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, you will discover that you will know everything you need to know about the resurrection of the dead, because Jesus Christ is the one who has made us alive. Thank you again for your valuable time.
That thing, time, is one of those resources we can never give you back. And so we promise, we covenant with you to use this time wisely in studying God's Word together. Yes, you're listening to The Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton. We'd love to hear from you. You can do it online at theencouragingword.org, or perhaps by calling us right now to speak with some of our friends ready to take your call, to pray with you, to help you gain some resources, or perhaps if you just need someone to talk, we're there at 1-866-899-9673. Have a wonderful week!
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 20:07:46 / 2023-03-26 20:17:13 / 9