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Jesus' Most Outrageous Sayings - They Shall Never Perish - Part 6

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2021 7:00 am

Jesus' Most Outrageous Sayings - They Shall Never Perish - Part 6

So What? / Lon Solomon

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October 29, 2021 7:00 am

Eternal Security. 

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Well, as many of you know, I was led to Christ by a street preacher named Bob Eckhart in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The year was 1971. However, I really attribute my coming to Jesus Christ not so much to this street preacher, but rather to a dear African-American lady who served as my housekeeper for the first 17-and-a-half years of my life. Her name was Coralee Goodman, and this dear woman prayed for me for 21 years.

As far as I know, she's the only follower of Christ who ever prayed for me before I actually came to know Jesus as my personal Savior, and I believe that I'm a follower of Christ today because of the prayer life of this dear woman. Now four years after I came to Christ in 1975, Coralee Goodman was here in a hospital in Washington dying of cancer, and I went to visit her, and I remember as part of the visit, I said to her, you know, I'm really looking forward to seeing you again in heaven. And she turned to me and said, well, I really hope so.

And I said, well, what do you mean by that? And she said, well, I really hope that when I die, I'm going to go to heaven. Folks, I was flabbergasted as a young believer. I was stunned that here was the lady who had led me, prayed me into the kingdom of God, and she, lying on her deathbed, wasn't even 100% sure that when she died, she was going to be with the Lord Jesus in heaven. And so I had the wonderful privilege of taking the Bible out, and right there in her hospital room, sharing with her that as a follower of Jesus Christ, her place in heaven was utterly secure and had been ever since the first day she trusted Christ as her personal Savior.

Now, I believe that there are people all over America exactly alike Coralee Goodman. That is, they have indeed really trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, but they're missing the joy that comes from knowing that their place in heaven is utterly and eternally secure. And that's what I want to talk to you about today. Remember, we're in a series entitled Jesus's Most Outrageous Sayings. We're going through the gospel accounts in the New Testament, picking out 12 of the most radical things Jesus ever said, and then spending a week on each one of them answering the question, Well, so what? Now, we've already done five.

If you missed any of them, get the tape or the CD from our bookstore. Today we're ready for number six. And so if you brought your Bible today, I'd like to invite you to turn with me to John chapter 10, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John chapter 10. If you did not bring your Bible and you're here in our main auditorium, reach right under the armrest next to you and you'll find a copy of the Bible. We're going to be on page 760, page 760 in our copy or John 10 in your copy. Now as you're turning, let me just remind you that here in John chapter 10, the Lord Jesus is explaining his relationship to us as believers by using the imagery of a shepherd in his relationship to his sheep. And so let's look beginning at verse 11. Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. In other words, Jesus is saying that just like a good human shepherd is willing to sacrifice his life for the physical welfare of his sheep, Jesus says, so I as the ultimate good shepherd, I am willing to sacrifice my life for the spiritual welfare of my sheep. He goes on verse 17, I lay down my life only to take it up again. No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. Verse 18, I have the authority to lay my life down and I have the authority to take it up again.

This authority I have received from my father. Now, of course, what Jesus is talking here about is first of all, the cross where he is going to lay his life down. And then, of course, the resurrection where he has the authority to take his life back up again. Well, a little later, the Jewish leaders come to him and they ask him a straight up question. Verse 24, they say, okay, we've listened to you, so tell us now plainly once and for all, are you the Messiah? Jesus answered verse 25, I did tell you plainly, but you did not believe me because you are not part of my sheep. And then Jesus now says one of the most outrageous things that anybody's ever said. He says, verse 27, my sheep hear my voice, which is why you guys don't hear my voice, because you're not one of them.

But my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me watch, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. Now look at what Jesus says here in this verse. He says, first of all, that eternal life is a gift.

It's not something you and I do. We do nothing we do to get eternal life. And therefore, Jesus goes on to say there is nothing you and I can do to lose eternal life because it's a gift.

And Jesus says it's a gift that he never ever takes back once he's given it. This is why Jesus declares I give them eternal life. And they my followers can never perish.

Now think about it for a moment. If there were anything you and I as followers of Christ could do to lose our eternal life, to lose our place in heaven, even one crazy way out off the wall thing, then Jesus could not have used the word never here. He could have said I give my followers eternal life, and they will almost never perish. He could have said I give them eternal life and they will, in most cases, never perish. He could have said I give them eternal life and unless they do something really stupid, they won't perish. But Jesus didn't say that.

What did he say? He said and they shall never perish, period. And by saying that, Jesus makes it crystal clear that as followers of Christ, there is nothing, anything in the universe that you and I can ever do, no matter how radical, no matter how extreme, no matter how offensive to God, that will cost us our eternal life or our place in heaven. Remember, there's nothing you did to get your eternal life, so there's nothing you can do to lose it.

You say, Okay, Lon, well, I understand that I really do. But what if somebody else comes along and takes my eternal life away from me? I mean, what if the devil comes along and he takes it away from me?

Isn't that possible? Well, Jesus covers that, just for you who are worried about that. He says, Look what he says, verse 28 and 29. He says, No one can snatch my sheep out of my hand. My Father who gave my sheep to me is greater than anybody and no one can snatch my sheep out of his hand. Folks, when Jesus Christ says that as a follower of Christ, you will never perish.

Let me just tell you, you can take that to the bank. Now you say, Well, Lon, I see what you're saying. But you know, you're pulling an awful lot out of one word.

Never. I mean, you're taking this one word and making it walk on all fours, maybe a little bit. I mean, are you sure the rest of the Bible supports that what you're teaching here about eternal security?

Well, yes, I am. And let me show you that. But before we do it, let's define eternal security. Eternal security as a phrase. The two words never appear in the Bible, but they describe a truth that does appear in the Bible.

Eternal security means that when a person embraces Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, when they place their trust in the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to be their only covering for sin, their only payment for sin, their only entry ticket into heaven, that at that moment, God immediately gives that person salvation, eternal life, a guaranteed spot in heaven, and their salvation is eternally secure, regardless of what that person may do or not do from that point on. In other words, the Bible teaches that our eternal life and our place in heaven is based not on human performance, which changes day by day and moment by moment, but it is based upon what Jesus did for us on the cross, which never changes. Now let's see if the rest of the Bible teaches this truth. John chapter five, verse 24.

Here's what Jesus said. He said, Whoever hears my word, and believes in me has present tense, eternal life, and that person will not be condemned, watch, for he or she has crossed over from death into eternal life. Now the key to understanding this verse is the verb has crossed over. The verb literally means to move your place of residence, to change your address, to move. And what the Bible is telling us is that when you and I trusted Jesus in a real impersonal way, we changed our address, we moved our residence from a place called eternal death to a place called eternal life.

But there's more. The tense of the verb that's used here has crossed over is perfect tense in Greek. This is an unusual tense. It's not used very often in the New Testament.

So when it's used, it's significant. What does the perfect tense mean? The perfect tense in Greek talks about a completed action that then has a result that goes all the way on into infinity, that is unchanged, that is irreversible, and that is permanent.

We could diagram the perfect tense by putting a big dot up on the screen and saying this represents some past completed action and then drawing a line all the way into infinity, saying this represents the ongoing irreversible permanent result of that act. You say, Lon, God bless you up there. We didn't come here for a grammar lesson. You know, we're out of high school, son. What is the point?

Well, here's the point. And now you've got enough grammar, you know enough Greek grammar to understand what I'm about to tell you. Let's go back and let's retranslate John 5 24 in light of knowing that the perfect tense is used there, all right? I'm going to give you the RSV translation. That is the revised Solomonic version of this verse.

So here we go. It says the person who believes in me, Jesus says, has eternal life and will never be condemned for that person. Here comes the perfect tense, has crossed over, is crossed over and always will be crossed over from eternal death into eternal life. When we embrace Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God irreversibly transfers us from a state of eternal death to a state of eternal life. And there is no going back ever, period.

End of story, it's done. Or as Jesus said in John Chapter 10, I give my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. There's no going back. Now, if you're here today, and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way, this is important information for you to know that when you give your life to Jesus Christ, He transfers your place of residence as far as He's concerned, from a place of eternal death, which is where you are now, and that's not a good place to be, to a place of eternal life that you can't ever lose or forfeit. Friends, I don't understand why everybody in the universe, once that deal is explained to them, doesn't take it, because it's the greatest offer ever made to the human race. And if you're here today, and you've never taken God up on that offer, my question to you is, what in the world is holding you up? What in the world is stopping you? You need to grab this. This is the greatest deal ever offered to you or any other human being.

Take it. They said, Well, you know, Lon, I've actually run into a lot of people who say, I don't think anybody can really know for sure that they're going to heaven like that. Well, that's not what God says in the Bible. As a matter of fact, God says the exact opposite.

First John chapter five, verse 13, I am writing to you, John says, who believe in Jesus Christ, so that you may what, what's the next word? No, for certain that you have eternal life. Friends, God says in the Bible, it's normal for every follower of Christ to know for certain that they're going to heaven. It's expected that every one of us knows that God wants us to be certain. He wants us to be definite. He wants us to be confident. He wants us to be convinced. And he wants us to be utterly sure about the fact that when we breathe our last breath here on this earth, the next breath we take will be on the shores of heaven. And there is not one single thing you or anybody else can do to change that.

Hey, praise the Lord for that, huh? Because if you could mess it up, you would. And so would I. I'm glad God gave me a plan to get to heaven. I couldn't mess up if I tried to mess it up, nor can you, because that's the only hope you and I got to get in there. And that's exactly the kind of plan he gave us.

My sheep will never perish, Jesus said. That's just the way it is. Now that's as far as we want to go in the passage right now, because it's time for us to ask our most important question. And you know what that question is. I know you had a couple weeks off, so you're a little rusty. I understand that. So come on now, let's grease it up, and here we go.

One, two, three. So what? You say, Lon, so what? Say, all right, I think I got that, and the dot and the line was a little much, but I think I got what you're trying to say there. But so what difference does that make to my life? Well friends, I think it makes a huge difference.

Let me talk to you about that. Before you leave here today, I want you to understand something very important. I want you to understand that your salvation, your eternal life, your place in heaven is not based on some feeling that you have.

It's not based on some experience that you have. It's not based on some heightened consciousness or some exalted state of mind that you have. Your eternal life and your salvation is based on a legal covenant, a legal contract that God makes with you and every other believer who comes to Jesus Christ. To put it another way, the foundation of our eternal security is based on the legal covenant that God makes with every one of us as followers of Jesus Christ. This is why God says, Hebrews 10 16, and this is the legal covenant that I will make with every follower of Christ. Now, what are some of the terms of this covenant? Well the first term that we found out about in John 5 24 is that this covenant is irreversible, that this covenant is irrevocable, that this covenant is permanent.

Once it's made, there is nothing you and I can ever do to change it or to revoke it. But then there's more terms that the Bible tells about. Let me tell you some of the other terms of this contract that God makes with you when you come to Christ. The Bible tells us, Hebrews 10 17, that our sins and our lawless deeds God will remember no more. What a great term of the contract. He tells us also Philippians 4 3 that is a term of the contract. Our names are now inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life. Another term, Micah chapter 7 verse 9, God tells us that He buries our sins in the depths of the sea.

And the good thing is He puts up a little buoy right there and says no fishing. That's a great thing. Another term of our contract, Romans 8 1 is that there is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Another term, Galatians 4 6, we now become God's special adopted children.

I'm going to preach a whole message on that coming up. According to 1 Corinthians 6 19, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit Himself. Another term of the contract, Romans 8 33, we are granted permanent immunity from prosecution for our sins in the courtroom of God. Another term, Romans 8 38, nothing can ever separate us now from God's unconditional love. And finally, and there are more, but this is the last one I'm going to share with you, Ephesians 1 13, another term of the contract is that God brands us with His permanent seal of ownership.

Look, the verse says, having believed in Jesus Christ, you were marked, literally you were branded with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. You know, I don't know about you guys, but I love all westerns. I love John Wayne, and I love Clint Eastwood.

I love Jimmy Stewart. And I love, it doesn't get any better than a Saturday afternoon lying at home all afternoon in the bed watching old westerns. That's kind of my thing, you know. But anyway, I used to love Rawhide. Any guys ever watch Rawhide?

All right. Well, some of you are too young to remember the series, but you'll remember the song because the Blues Brothers sang it in the movie. Rollin', rollin', rollin', keep them doggies rollin', Rawhide. You remember? Head them up, move them out, move them out, head them up, head them up, move them out, Rawhide. Remember the song? Yeah.

All right. Well, in all these old westerns, you remember what they do. When you owned an animal, what did you do to show everybody in the world you owned the animal?

What did you do? You branded it. That's exactly right. And what the Bible tells us is that God brands every single one of us who comes to Christ so that every angel, every demon, the devil himself, everybody in the universe knows whose property we now are. Thank the Lord he doesn't use a hot poker. Thank the Lord he uses the indwelling Holy Spirit, but he puts his brand on us. That's part of the contract. And you know, once you branded an animal, you could never ever get that brand off. Well, God doesn't take his brand away either. Friends, this is the wonderful contract that God makes with you and me and every follower of Christ. So in order to lose our salvation, in order to lose our eternal life, in light of this contract, I want you to think what would have to happen. Number one, for us to lose heaven and eternal life, someone would have to cast the indwelling Holy Spirit out of you and me.

Number two, someone would have to eradicate God's brand from your hive. Number three, for you to lose your salvation, someone would have to cancel your adoption papers as a child of God. Number four, for you to lose your salvation, someone would have to talk God into remembering your sins and your lawless deeds once more when he says he's not going to do it. Number five, for you to lose your salvation, someone would have to sneak up into heaven and erase your name out of the Lamb's Book of Life when God's not watching. Number six, for you to lose your eternal life, someone has to talk God into rewriting Romans 8.1 so that it now reads, therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ, except in the following circumstances. Number seven, if you were going to lose your eternal life, someone would have to scuba dive down and dredge your sins up from the depths of the ocean. Number eight, someone would have to turn you from a sheep to a goat in the sight of Almighty God. Number nine, somebody would have to snatch you out of the hand of Jesus Christ himself, and most important of all, for you and me to lose our salvation, someone would have to make a liar out of Almighty God because he made a binding contract with you and me saying he would never do any of these ten things we've just named, ten things he would have to do if indeed you and I could lose our place in heaven. The point is this, when you and I genuinely believed in Jesus Christ, God at that moment, ratified, consummated, a legal contract, a legal covenant with you and me, a covenant that is irreversible, a covenant that is irrevocable, a covenant that is permanent, a covenant among other things that guarantees us eternal life and heaven without equivocation. Now you say, all right, Lon, whoa, stop, stop, stop. Okay, I see what you're saying, but you know what?

I got some real questions about a lot of this stuff. For example, what about a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, but they live like the devil? What about that person? Are they still going to heaven? And Lon, what about a person who claims that they once were a follower of Jesus Christ, but now they've rejected him, renounced him, and gone on? Are they going to heaven? And Lon, what about the fact that sometimes I don't really feel like I've got eternal life even though I think I am a real follower of Christ, I don't feel like I'm going to heaven sometime. And Lon, if I'm eternally secure as a follower of Christ, if I can't lose heaven, then does that mean it's okay for me to go live any way I feel like living, to rob, to steal, to cheat, to sleep around and do whatever I feel like it because I'm going to heaven anyway? Is that okay with God? Well, friends, those are great questions. And you know what? There are answers to them. I'm not going to answer them this morning, but I'm going to send you out to the bookstore if you've got those questions to pick up a CD that I've already done from the Spiritual Boot Camp series called Some Eternal Security Questions, and we'll answer every single one of those questions on that CD for you.

You go out there and you pick it up and we'll answer your questions. Friends, this is the fabulous news of the Bible is that you and I have a relationship with God that is secure. You know, my youngest son Jonathan plays baseball for college baseball. He plays for Johns Hopkins up in Baltimore. And I went up to see him to play on Friday afternoon. And after the game, we went out, we were talking. And as we were sitting at dinner, he said to me, well, he said was telling me about a guy on the team who was a junior who had worked two years hard to get a starting spot. And then he started for the first half of the season and he really didn't hit very well and he really didn't play all that well. And he lost his starting spot and how discouraged this kid was. And I said, you know, John, that's really sad. You know, I mean, I said, I feel bad for the kid. And he said, well, Dad, but you know what? He said, if you play athletics, you get used to the fact that it's all about the numbers.

Dad, it's all about performance. There is no such thing as security when you're playing baseball. And you know, I got to thinking about that on the way home and I thought, that's just not true about sports, friends. That's true about life.

I mean, the military. You get a couple bad fitness reports and guess what? There goes your career. It's true in business. You post some bad profit numbers for a couple of quarters and you watch what happens to your job. It's true in school.

You get bad grades and parents, and I'm going to help you on this, you get bad grades if you're a teenager in here, particularly in your junior year, and you can kiss that college you want to go to. Goodbye. You guys study.

Yeah, am I right? Well, whatever. Okay. I'm trying to help you if you're a mom and a dad here.

Come on, give me some support. Hey, in relationships, you say the wrong thing to somebody at the wrong time or do the wrong thing. You can lose a friend in a heartbeat.

You can lose a neighbor in a heartbeat. Folks, this is a tough world. There's no security in this world. Wouldn't it be great if there were something in this world that was secure and unchanging and that we could count on regardless of our performance, whether it went up or down or all around? Well, that's the great news of the Bible. The great news of the Bible is there is something in this world that we can count on that is secure regardless what happens to our human performance. And it is our eternal life.

It is our place in heaven. It is our covenant, our contract with Almighty God. There is nothing you can do to mess this up.

There is nothing you can do to lose this. And I'm here to challenge you to believe God when he tells you this and enjoy it, to do yourself a favor and believe what God tells you and really enjoy your relationship. relationship with Christ. And so in closing, let me say that if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, and you're going home today on the beltway and some idiot kills you on the beltway, don't worry about it. Because when you breathe your very last breath here on earth, God's promise to you is that the very next breath you breathe will be on the shores of heaven.

And your performance doesn't matter. Even if you were speeding when you got killed, you're still going to heaven. If you go out to lunch after you come to church here today, and you choke to death on your shrimp cocktail, don't worry about it. Because the last breath you breathe here on earth trying to breathe through that piece of shrimp, the next breath you breathe is going to be on the shores of heaven.

It doesn't even matter if your doctor told you not to eat shrimp. It's okay. Hey, if you are watching baseball this summer, and the Cubs win the World Series, and you have a heart attack, it's okay. Because the next breath you breathe is going to be on the shores of heaven. Even if you're a Red Sox fan, it's okay, honest.

And finally, if you come home, ladies, one day, and your husband starts to tell you how much he cares about you, and starts telling you how you complete him, and starts telling you about how much he appreciates you, and he asks you to take a moment and sit down and tell him all about your day, and you have a stroke right there. Don't worry about it, because you're going to heaven, and there's nothing you can do to mess it up. This is the great news of the Bible, and you're going to heaven. Why? Not because of your performance.

No, no, no. You're going to heaven because Jesus made a contract with you, and Jesus keeps His Word. What a wonderful thing to know in our world. 2 Timothy 2, verse 13, one of the greatest verses in the Bible. Even when we are faithless, which happens sometimes, God remains faithful.

He cannot deny Himself. Friends, Jesus is going to keep His Word to you. That's the basis of our eternal security. What a wonderful thing to have in this life.

I hope you'll enjoy it. Let's pray. Father, thanks for reminding us today that our relationship with Christ, our eternal life, our eternal security is based upon the character of Almighty God, the fact that when He makes the deal, He keeps it and has nothing to do with our performance. And I pray that you would sink that truth deeply into every one of us here, so deeply that it changes the way we relate to you, and it changes the way we think about our everyday Christian experience.

What a wonderful thing it is to know that even though at school, at work, in relationships, our performance can really cost us. It's wonderful to know that in our relationship with Almighty God, it's not based on our performance. And so, Lord, bring a joy to our life that comes from knowing we are eternally secure in our place with Christ. Thank you for Jesus saying, I give my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. Lord, help us rejoice in that, I pray, in Jesus' name. And God's people said, Amen. Have a great day. Bless you. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-11 16:40:04 / 2023-06-11 16:51:36 / 12

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