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2-5-23 - Are You A True Believer?

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2023 7:46 am

2-5-23 - Are You A True Believer?

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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February 25, 2023 7:46 am

February 5, 2023 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 7:21-23

            Topic: Believing


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You turn with me in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew chapter number 7. Matthew 7 verse number 21 is where we will be today if you find your place, if you would stand with me as we honor God's Word and we're going to read verse 21 down to verse number 23. These are just three short verses and there's so much here.

to talk about today. Our Lord tells us in Matthew 7 verse 21, not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name of cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you.

Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Father, we thank you that you have given us your word. You've done so because you have loved us. We thank you for such grace. We would be lost without the light of this book and we pray that our hearts would be open to receive the word of God today. Give our minds clarity. Give it acute sense of the importance of the scriptures.

Grip us today. May your Holy Spirit work among the people. Lord, if anyone today has made a profession of faith but never possessed Christ as their Lord and Savior, that today would be the day of their salvation. We rejoice today and those who have already called out to Christ and we praise you for that. We pray that there would be fruit even in this service. That our hearts would be attentive and that we would give your book the honor it deserves.

We ask it in Christ's name and God's people said, man, you may be seated today. If I were to ask you a simple question, what is of greatest importance to you? What would you say would be of the most and greatest importance in your life? What do you value above anything else? And would not the wise wisest response be to value that which is eternal over that which is temporary?

None of us would be so foolish to say I value my house above everything else in life or I value my car or I value my clothes or my favorite sports team. I believe the wisest and right response would be to place the highest value on that which is the most precious to us, our eternal souls. On Sunday, Braden did a wonderful job preaching on John chapter number four, the story of the woman at the well. And when Jesus comes to the woman at the well, he tells her if you knew the gift of God and who it was that saved the gift me to drink, thou would have asked him and he would have given the living water. After the Lord fed the crowds of 5000 men plus women and children being 15 to 20,000 people in the crowd with five loaves and two fishes that he expanded, they were passionate about coming to Jesus for food. And the Lord sought to redirect what they valued in Luke, John chapter six, verse 27. Jesus tells them, labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life. And then those who highly valued earthly possessions, Jesus warned in Mark chapter number eight, verse 36. He says, what does it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

And what you find over and over through the Gospels is Jesus redirecting what people were valuing. He was trying to show them, elevate that which is eternal and de-elevate that which is temporal. It's important to understand that you will live forever somewhere. You have been created for eternity. You are more than flesh and bone. There is a eternal spirit that is dwelling inside of you.

You will never cease from existing. You will either spend eternity in the unmatched glory of God's presence in the eternal realms of heaven, or you will spend eternity away from God's presence in the matchless horrors of hell. And in light of that reality, how serious have you taken your own soul?

Where you will be the moment that you die, where you will spend forever. How much have you pursued the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ? You know, the Bible tells us in Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 13. God says, you shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart. Can it be said of you that you have sought God with all of your heart? That is why Jesus said to the woman at the well, if you knew.

If you knew what I'm offering you, if you knew the value of your soul, you would labor for that which is eternal and not that which is fleeting. Now we have spent nearly a year preaching about the Sermon on the Mount from chapter 5 now to chapter number 7. When we enter into Matthew 7, verse 13 through 27, that is Jesus bringing the sermon to a climax.

This is the conclusion of the sermon. We saw in verse 13 through 14 that Jesus said there is only one of two paths that you can be on. There is a broad path that leads to hell and a narrow path that leads to eternal life.

There is a highly populated path and there is a lightly populated path. Both roads say they're going to heaven, but only one is actually taking you there. Last time we saw that even on the broad road, according to verse 15 through 20, that Jesus said the broad road even has its own preachers. People who speak as though they were speaking on behalf of God, but actually are speaking their own deceits.

They can even preach from the Bible, talk about Jesus, even do miraculous things, but they're false. They are deceivers and Jesus calls them wolves in sheep's clothing. If verse 15 through 20 had to do with false prophets who deceive people, then verse 21 through 23 what we read have to do with false converts who perhaps have believed those false prophets. Many of those that we find in verse 21 through 23 would have been led into their deceptions. What Jesus says here in verse 21 through 23 is stunning, it is jolting, it is a warning. What he tells us here in these three verses is that there will be people who think they are going to heaven and will not find out until they die that they're actually going to hell.

Can you consider anything that would be more horrifying than to believe the moment you die you're going to heaven but wind up in hell? But that's exactly what the Lord Jesus says will happen and tragically Jesus says it will happen to many. And so today I want to first look at the reality of false believers, the deception of false believers, and then I want to give you about a dozen ways to distinguish a true Christian from a false Christian, a true disciple of Christ from a false disciple, and then what the judgment of those disciples who are false will be. I don't think that there's a more important sermon that you could listen to than this. Not because it's my words, because it's not. These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that we're reading and teaching today. But this is higher in value than teaching or preaching on anxiety, on worry and stress. Right? I mean where you spend forever is an issue here.

More important, where you spend forever and getting that right is more important than how you're doing financially. I just talked to a dear lady before church who said just a couple weeks ago that she had actually died and the ambulance came, ended up breaking a couple of her ribs but was able to bring her back to life. You know, eternal life is so precious. Your soul, friend, is so precious. And today let your ears labor to hear what is being taught.

Listen very closely because this is of extreme and eternal importance. And the first thing I want to talk about that the Lord highlights is the reality of false believers. So he starts with a warning. He says in verse 21 this, Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. What's extremely fascinating is the word saith is in the present tense in the Greek. It isn't somebody who made it one time profession. It's actually somebody who repeatedly calls Jesus Lord.

This is somebody whose life you would hear them talk and you would think that they're a true believer. They know the right words. They call Jesus by the right name. The word Lord here is the title given to Christ. You know, Jesus is only called Savior about 10 times in the Bible, but he's called Lord over 700 times.

Lord, it comes from the Greek word kurios. It means the sovereign one, the supreme authority. He who is absolute control, the one who is your master. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19 and 20, For those who are true believers, it says that you have been bought with the price. You no longer belong to yourself. And it says that price is the blood of Christ and you are his possession. And now you are to live for his glory because you're owned by something. Either you are a slave of sinner, a slave to God.

And if you're a slave of God, you're his God's Freeman, according to the Bible. But Jesus goes on to say in verse 22, he says, Many will say to me in that day, that day of judgment, that day when they stand before God. And what's so shocking is he says this, this, this is going to be something that's common. This is not unusual.

It's not a rare thing. There's going to be many people who think they're going to heaven that are not going to heaven. There's going to be a lot of people who attended church that are not going to attend heaven. And why is this such a staggering statement from our Lord? Because many of us have heard throughout our lives the Romans wrote. Romans 3 23, all have sinned. Romans 6 23, the wage of sin is death. Romans 5 8, the payment of sin is Christ's blood on the cross. And Romans 10 13, whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved. Now we know that anybody who calls upon the Lord, God can save them. But the Bible teaches not everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved. Jesus says many will say, Lord, Lord, and not enter heaven. And so we have to balance Romans 10 13 with Matthew 7 21. Many people share Romans 10 13 with people, very few share Romans or Matthew 7 21 with people.

They hold hands. It's like the old song that says not everyone talking about heaven's going there. There is a poll taken by Barna Research that said that 74% of them 76% of Americans believe in heaven.

That's somewhat shocking. Seems like so much disbelief, but 76% believe heaven's real. 64% Americans believe they're going there. When you look across the landscape of America, would you say that 64% are those who have trusted their lives, trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord? I fear that many people in our country are under a false notion that they're right with God, that they're Christians when in fact they're not. And I do not stand alone on this. It's been the fear and belief of the great men of God throughout church history.

Men like D.L. Moody, who said there is only about one in 10 who professed Christianity, who will turn around and glorify God with a loud voice. He says nine out of 10 are stillborn Christians. Dr. Criswell, who is one of America's greatest preachers in the 20th century, where Billy Graham was a member for 55 years at his church. He said that he would be surprised to see 25% of his members in heaven.

And he preached the word of God as faithfully as anyone. Billy Graham years ago estimated the percentage of lost people in evangelical churches, churches that preach the gospel at 85%. He said he thought 85% of people in evangelical churches are not actually saved.

Dr. Tozer put it at 90%. Jesus spoke of this reality in Matthew 13. Speaking of the church, he says it's like a man sowing a seed that produced a good harvest, but the enemy also came and planted tares among the wheat.

A tare or a darnel is something that looked just like wheat, and the only difference was the wheat had fruit on it and the darnel did not. But they looked just alike. Dr. J. Vernon McGee, in commenting on this parable, said if one out of 10 responding to my invitation to receive Christ is genuine, I feel that my batting average is good. What you need to understand is, and I could go on with even more other faithful preachers, these are not silly men. These are men who preached faithfully till the day of their death for 40, 50, some 60 years long. These are men who proclaimed the word of God, and they saw that it was anywhere from 75% to 90% of people in the church that were not truly saved.

Is that shocking? We live in a world where the very sad reality is many who think they're Christians are not. Many in our world who profess Christ are not.

And as I said, sadly, many who attend churches will not attend heaven. Just look at the thousands that responded to Jesus. Thousands, perhaps even over 10,000 that were baptized by Christ. But after three years, there were only 500 up on that mountain in Matthew 28.

And 50 days later in Acts chapter 2, there was only, Acts chapter 1, there was only 120 disciples. Where did the thousands go? Where did they all go? You would have asked Jesus, Jesus, how could there be so many people who made professions, got baptized under your ministry, and you only have a few hundred people here?

What happened? People have asked me that question over the years. Pastor, we've seen a lot of people saved and baptized, shouldn't there be more people than say 600 people at this church by now? Where did they go? Which I respond, where did the people go that Jesus baptized? Where did the people went that followed him?

You know where they went? They went out from us because they were not of us. You know what the Bible tells us in 1 John 2 19? 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 made manifest, they were not all of us. One of the evidence of being truly saved is you remain, you stay. Going to church doesn't save anybody, but if you're saved, you go to church. I say this with all grace and as much kindness in my heart, but also in love and clarity, that if you're sick or unable to physically attend, I am so thankful that we have an online option.

We have hundreds of viewers that are able to tune in, some locally, some in other states and other areas. But if you are both healthy and able, you should fear missing church because you could land in that 1 John 2 19 category. If you're still staying home because of COVID, that's problematic. I would fear God more than the virus.

Haven't we gotten past that by now? So according to Christ, you can profess to know Jesus and believe you're saved and not truly be saved. Paul warned of believing in vain. In 1 Corinthians 15 2, he says, by which ye are also saved if. You're saved if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you believed in vain. Paul said the evidence of their faith was they would keep what he preached to them. You hold to the word of God.

Our Lord gives this warning in John 8 31. He said to the Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then you're my disciples indeed. If you continue in the word of God, that evidence is that you're a true believer. Paul challenged the carnal Christians at Corinth to examine himself to see if they're saved. He said in 2 Corinthians 13 5, examine yourself whether you be in the faith.

Prove your own self. Know ye not that yourselves how that Jesus Christ is in you except you be reprobate? And if it was important for Jesus to warn and Paul to warn their listeners over and over again to examine yourself, make sure that you're a true believer because many will believe that they're going to heaven. Many will believe that they're safe and not actually be saved.

And if that was something they warned them about 2000 years ago, do you think it's important to make that warning today? Now let's look at verse 22 and three about the deception of false believers. False prophets and false believers can be incredibly persuasive, very difficult at times to distinguish. Look what he says in verse 22.

I think it's very shocking as well. He says, many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Call that preaching in his name. And thy name cast out devils and thy name done many wonderful works. Henry Morris writes, there are actually prophets and miracle workers who perhaps sincerely, perhaps not profess to be Christians, but instead are unsaved, deluded and even enabled to do wonderful works by Satan in order to lead people to follow a false Christ. Didn't even Pharaoh's servants perform some mighty miracles? Jesus warned in Matthew 24, 24, there shall arise false Christ and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders in so much that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Miraculous things beyond human abilities. In Matthew chapter 10, verse one through eight, Jesus had given authority to his disciples, even including Judas Iscariot, who would have been in that verse 22 category, who preached in miracles, but was never a true believer. Now, notice what phrase is used three times in verse 22.

Did you see it? There's a statement made three times. He says, many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works. You know, false believers love using the name Jesus. The name Jesus is on their lips sometimes constantly. They had his name on their lips, but they did not have his nature in their life. One sign of a false believer is one who believes in the name of Jesus Christ, but they do not give a wholehearted devotion to him. They do not surrender their will to the king. Listen to what the Bible says in John chapter two, verse 23. Now, when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover in the feast day, many believed, it's a Greek word, pestuo, many believed, many committed to him. They put their trust in him. Many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. How did Jesus respond?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-25 08:16:55 / 2023-02-25 08:24:46 / 8

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