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March 20, 2022 7:00 am
Well we we began a four-part miniseries with our study of the book of Genesis entitled our salvation in Jesus Christ and in part one last week we talked about how our salvation works.
In other words, how does believing in Jesus Christ as my Savior.
How does that make me righteous in God's sight and allow him to let me as a sinner into heaven, and we learn that the answer to that question is imputed to righteousness we saw in Genesis 15 verse six the Bible says Abraham believed God, and God credited Abraham's faith God accounted Abraham's faith God imputed Abraham's faith to Abraham as righteousness, and we looked at the Greek word logistical mind which is translated credited her imputed and said what he really means is to make a deposit in somebody's bank account.
And so with the Bible's teaching is that in response to his faith God deposited righteousness in Abraham's bank account.
We also learned last week that this offer is was not just open Abraham it's open to you and me and everybody else. Romans chapter 4 verse 23 these words. That is, it was counted to him as righteousness. Genesis 15 were not written for Abraham only, but also for swaps now to Tuolumne. God will also credit righteousness if we believe in Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. We learned last week that imputed righteousness means that you and I don't really become righteous were still sinners through and through, but rather God credited our account with righteousness, not the righteousness that we earn with our own good works for our own human activities but with the righteousness that Jesus bought for us on the cross and that God credited to our account as a gift.
And since our account now reads righteous since our sins are now paid in full in the sight of God. Will that frees God to reconcile with a to make us his adopted children to become our heavenly father to take us to heaven when we die all kinds of great things happen when our sins are paid in full by imputed righteousness. Now if you missed last week. Then I want you to go out in the lobby and pick up a copy of the CD from last week or go online and download last week's message or podcast if because imputed righteousness is one of the most important theological truth in all the Bible and friends.
It's one that is critical that you understand if you're a follower of Jesus Christ know what we want to do today is move on because all that we said last week, raises the question and the question is okay so I've got imputed righteousness that God deposited in my account. That's great, but my question is does God tend God will God ever in you righteousness to me.
In other words, will he ever taken back out of my account.
Can I lose my eternal life and my salvation. And this is what we want to talk about today as many of you know I was led to Christ on the streets of Chapel Hill, North Carolina by a street preacher named Bob Eckardt, but you may also know which you may not know I was praying either into the kingdom of God by a dear African-American woman named Corley Goodman. Corley was our housekeeper, but she began working for my family when I was two months old and for 21 years. Corley Goodman grade for my salvation. As far as I know to this day she's the only person that ever prayed for me to come to Christ that I know of, and I came to Christ will four years after I did in 1975. Corley was diagnosed with throat cancer and she was here in the hospital in the Washington area and I went to visit her as we were sitting in the room and I was holding her hand and we were talking together. I said to her I said you know I'm really looking forward to seeing you again in heaven and she said to me well I sure hope so. And I was like flabbergast is like you hope so.
I mean, I was shocked there was this godly woman. This this woman who love the Lord was a committed follower of Christ, and who prayed me into the kingdom of God lying on her deathbed still not certain that she was going to heaven and had eternal life not friends. Is this what God wants for followers of Christ will be answer is no know a thousand times no. As followers of Christ. God wants us to be absolutely utterly totally completely definitely unequivocably if I could think of more adjectives put them in their sure that we have eternal life, and were on our way to have the so this is why he said in the Bible verse John 513 these things I write to you who believe in Jesus Christ, that you may what's the next word. No luck that you have eternal life friends. The Bible says that it is perfectly normal for followers of Jesus to know for certain that they're going to heaven and so I have the wonderful privilege sitting in that hospital room of taking out the Bible and walking Corley Goodman through and showing her that she could know for sure that the she left this earth. She was going to be in heaven in the presence of the risen living Christ. And if you're here today than from the word of God. That's exactly what I want to show all of us that our salvation in Jesus Christ is eternally secure can't be lost can be forfeited. We can know for certain that were going to have. So are you ready okay here we go.
Let's begin by answering the question.
What exactly do we mean by eternal security.
Well, this phrase eternal security that never actually appears in the Bible. It's a phrase we've come up with to summarize a theological truth that is found all over the Bible and here is that true that once we had genuinely trusted the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross as our one and only payment for sin. God immediately grants us salvation and eternal life, and we can never lose that salvation, or that eternal life, regardless what we do or what we don't do. From that point forward, and the reason for this is that our salvation is not based on our human performance, which changes day by day, and moment by moment, but our salvation is based on what Jesus did for us on the cross with never changes.
Now let me give you some scripture to back this up, here we go. John chapter 5 verse 24 Jesus that I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me notice the present tense outcome it up, has eternal life, folks. Eternal life is not something we get when we die and go to heaven. Eternal life is something that every true believer in Jesus has right now here on earth, heaven is merely the place were people who already have eternal life here on earth. Go when they leave this earth have more Scripture John 336 Jesus said whoever believes in the sun that is in himself hath present tense eternal life.
John 647 Jesus said, I tell you the truth, the person who believes in me, present tense, have eternal life. If you're a follower of Jesus, my friend. You are never going to have more eternal life that you have right this moment Sitton in that chair yard art are so long that spring I got. But that's not the question is not the issue. The issue is not whether God gave me eternal life. When I trusted Christ.
The issue is can ever take away can I ever lose it okay you're right. Let's answer that question, can a person lose their salvation there eternal life, and their place in heaven. Once again, let's go to the word of God to get the answer Romans chapter 8 verse one therefore the Bible says there is now no condemnation, no exposure to God's judgment for our sin for those who are in Jesus Christ. You say no matter what I do matter how badly I mess up what is the Bible say it is no condemnation, and as I used to tell my children all the time.
Growing up, no means the now that's exactly right. And when God says no condemnation, that's exactly what he me about John 1027 Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Jesus said, hey once you're one of my she you are on lock up. Please save the for the rest of time and eternity.
Earlier we read John 524 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes in him you sent me has eternal life, but there's more to the bursa goes on to say, and that person that is the one who has eternal life because they believed in me, that person will not be condemn but rather has crossed over literally in Greek has changed their place of residency, that person has moved up from there to eternal life and the tense of the verb here that Jesus uses has moved crossed over as mood is very significant.
It's perfect tense in the Greek language which is a very seldomly used tense in the New Testament. So when somebody uses it is significant.
Let me tell you what the perfect tense me.
It means that there was a past completed action. I trusted Christ. God gave me eternal life. God saved me and gave me a place in heaven pleaded action.
The results of which go on into eternity infinitely indefinitely. There's no coming back is no change in salinity re-translate John 524 now in light of the perfect tense what Jesus is really saying here is the person who believes in me has eternal life and will never be condemned because perfect answer. We go that person has crossed over that person is presently crossed over and that person always will be crossed over from death to eternal life. There's no going backwards. There's no reverse gear praise the Lord. How nice is that the number going to give us another way of looking at Hebrews 1016 says that this is the covenant that I will make with them, says the Lord. Now them here is us as followers of Christ and God says when we become followers of Christ.
He makes a covenant with us a legal agreement with us a legal contract with us in this legal contract has certain terms like any legal contract. Let me give you a few of them that the Bible tells about this. Not all, but it's a few ready.
Here we go.
Term number one Hebrews 1017 says and this is the covenant I will make with them, says the Lord, their sins and their lawless deeds.
I will remember no more. That's term number one term number two, Philippians 43 and Revelation 2127 says that term number two is that God inscribes our name in the Lamb's book of life, term, number three Romans 81 says we arty thought there is now no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ.
Term number four Micah chapter 7 verse 19 says God berries are citizens in the gaps of the term. Number five first Corinthians 619 says that we are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The first is for. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God is to couple more term number six Galatians 4 verse six says that we are now God adopted children because God has sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts term number seven Romans eight verse 35 says, who shall separate us from the love of God for neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, welcome shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Two more Ephesians 1 verse 13 says, having believed in Jesus Christ, you were marked with a seal. This word literally means branded never.
The old Westerns where they take that old hot poker and a stick in the fire get red hot and they think that poor animal and lay them down in a ghetto hot poker on him. Remember that and burn on Marcus seal a brand into that animal that told every body that ever saw that animal who would belong to remember that yeah what the Bible says God does the same thing to us when we become followers of Christ.thank God it's not a literal seal of physical seal.
If this interest seal. Look what it says and what is that seal, the promised Holy Spirit that guarantees our inheritance. God puts the Holy Spirit inside of us. So every angel, every demon, every creature in the universe knows we are branded and we belong to God, and finally number nine who John 10 verse 28 Jesus said, I give my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. Nothing formal if there's anything you could do to lose your eternal life. Anything that could make God mad enough that he would take your eternal life away anything the Devil of Hell, or the demons of hell could do to rob you of your eternal life. Jesus can say never hear he could save almost never maybe never, or 90% never. But he can't say never but what does Jesus say he says never. We shall never perish, meaning there's no way anyone can take our eternal life away and so let me summarize the essay that as followers of Christ according to the terms of our contract with God in order for us to lose our salvation hears what would have to happen to run these backwards ready in order lose our salvation.
Number one, somebody would have to sneak up into heaven in a racecar name out of the Lamb's book of life to lose our salvation.
Number two, somebody would have to cancel our adoption papers as children of God number three to lose our eternal life. Somebody would have to on brand are high and cast the Holy Spirit out of us. Number four to lose our salvation. Someone would have to separate us from the love of God in Christ. Number five, to lose our salvation. Somebody would have to talk God into remembering our sins and our lawless deeds. Once again number six in order lose our salvation.
Somebody would have to scuba dive down and dredge our sins up from the bottom of the depth of the sea.
Number seven to lose our salvation.
Somebody would have to turn us from Jesus's sheep into the devil's goats number eight in order lose our salvation. Somebody would have to convince God to rewrite Romans 81 so that it now read. There is no condemnation to those who were in Jesus Christ except in the following circumstances friends. God is not rewriting the Bible trust and last of all, number nine lose our salvation.
Somebody would have to make a liar of Almighty God.
Because we have a contract a legal document from Almighty God in which he promises that he will never do any of these things friends. The bottom line is when you and I give our lives to Jesus Christ. We are irreversibly say we are your revocably say we are irretrievably say for all of time and eternity where it may is saved can be. We didn't do anything to get our salvation.
We can do anything to lose our salvation. It is the undeserved grace of God from start to finish. A man and hallelujah for that. I got I need a salvation like that speak in person.
If God were to give me some kind of salvation that I could possibly mess up. I would've messed it up already in 40 years that I walk with the Lord is had, you know that I know that because self-destruction is one of my spiritual gifts.
I know that I'm good destructing. I was born this unnatural thing for me and you laughed at me.
Let me just say you're the same way. Don't you believe you're not going to believe that the enemy could if he could convince Adam to eat that Apple if there was one single thing you and I could do lose our salvation. Believe me, the enemy would go to work on you and go to work on me and every one of us would want to get to him. I need a way to get there that I can't miss. If you're going to get to heaven friends you need a way to get there that you can't mess up. Aren't you glad that the Lord Jesus loves us and often knows us well enough that he gave us a way to get the heaven that we can't even mess up. Praise God that they still on the scraper. I did this question. Like, what about the person who claims to be a follower of Christ with their Christian life and what it ought to be in and are you saying that it really doesn't matter how we live. Once we come to Christ because were eternally secure and what if a person wants claim to be a follower of Jesus, but they walked away now. Didn't they lose their salvation and what if I wake up one morning, I don't feel safe like this hello those request word and answer all yes with next week you arrive. You are so smart you people are so but hey, wait a minute.
There is one more question with an answer to Dave.
There is one. You know what this question is don't I be ready ready. I always allowed in Prince William and Prince way, this is your anniversary, so what. So don't mess this up. All right, at the says are we ready in here we go on to a yard line.
This is great. I understand that God imputes righteousness to me and I understand that once I really come to Christ. I can never lose my salvation, but in my everyday world differences any dismay, well I got to quick suggestions to give you an ongoing number one eternal security knowing that we are salvation is eternally secure in Jesus Christ. The first difference it makes is that friends we are not afraid to die and you know why because we know something we know number one. Second Corinthians 58 the to be absent from our body is to be present with the Lord would not in purgatory were not in soul sleep were not look around in the stratosphere somewhere but instant we close our eyes on earth we open up on the shores of heaven. That is the promise of God, and we know that we know Romans 81 when we get there. There is no condemnation, no judgment pursuant to those who are in Christ and covered by the blood of Christ, so why should we fear death you I know you're not supposed to like your mother-in-law understand, but I like my mother. Her name was Petrus, but we called obesity and we were great friends.
I love Brenda's mom and we got along great back.
She was rooting for me to marry Brenda when I don't think you I'm not into Brenda was written for me to marry her.
Anyway, when the when Brenda's mom got cancer and passed away several years ago she got so weak that she could hardly even hold her head up off the pillow and I'll never forget the last time I saw was up at her house for the going up to visit and she called every one of her children in every one of her children spouses in to have a final conversation with us.
It was private one-on-one.
Nobody else was there and we talked about a lot of things but I'll never forget one thing that happened in that room. Towards the end of our conversation. It's almost like VC was infused with a new rush of energy and she lifted her head gently off the pillow and she looked at me in the last word she ever said to me were long. I'll see you in heaven. She said with excitement.
See in heaven is that, well, that was just kind of wishful thinking on her porch can hold onto believe that my friend that was not wishful thinking that woman is a godly woman that woman knew the word of God, that woman believe the word of God. That woman took Jesus Christ at his word and she that her eternal security was settled for ever and she was going to heaven and that she would see me there and I've never forgotten and you see my friends this is the gift that God gives us as followers of Christ when he gives us eternal security. It's a gift to be able to look death right in the eyeballs and say I'm not afraid you. You know what I might have a tiny bit of apprehension but I've dealt with that because I know the promises of God.
I know my eternal salvation is your and is not a thing in the world. You can do death to take it away from me and my parents can't take it away from me.
My friends can't take it away from them. I at least get taken away from you. The demons available to take it away from me. I didn't even take it away from me. I'm not afraid you folks that is a gift to be able to face death like my mother-in-law do left an example that I hope I can live up to. But if we know we have eternal security.
We can the other thing that eternal security gives us is number two. It gives us true hope in life. I was thinking the other day.
What is hope come from what I think there are several different answers but one of the things that hope comes from is the anticipation that no matter how bad things are right now that in the future. They're going to get better right. I mean, let's say you have a child who has a bad infection that you that the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. Suddenly you feel hopeful because there is the promise.
They're going to get better or let's say you got a really bad ball and they get transferred somewhere to get a new law, there is the hope that at least that's going to bring a better working situation.
Hope hopefully hopefully right hopefully and in every time you're stuck on the Beltway and nothing is moving and you look over you see those two laying to your left completely empty, but their common their common I may not live long enough to see them put their common errors all I that is going to get better hope comes from anticipating that the future is going to be better now all these things I just talking about. These are hope so hold.
We don't really know if the boss is going to make a better we don't really know if the antibiotics going to work. We don't really know if those two legs are going to make any difference at all, but friends when you know that you're going to heaven because your eternally secure in Christ. That is not a hope so.
That is a no go whole that is powerful and allows us to face anything in life with absolute order.
Hope you know it was a polkadot cannot just recently by Christopher Hitchens, the famous atheist and of the title of the book is mortality. The book was actually published after his death, and when he developed cancer. He tells about in the book how so many of the theologians that he had debated public and how so many people who knew him and were Christians in the bravery of how they all started coming to him and trying to convince you to give his life to Christ and trying to tell them about the whole that he could have of heaven, and he says in his book he says that when Christians talk to him about the hope of heaven quoting now.
Such talk, he said quote should bear its own health warning so sugary that you may need an insulin shot with Dan" will I gotta tell you something our talk about heaven is not sugary. I don't care what Mr. Hitchens thinks it's powerful it's powerful because it doesn't matter how dark the day is it doesn't matter how bleak the night is it doesn't matter how badly we may have stumbled. It doesn't matter how people are picking on us. It doesn't matter how we may have failed. It doesn't matter who's for you lose again.
You as the old hymn says this world is not my home, I'm just passing through.
I'm on my way to a place called heaven and you know what I can put up with all of this because I gotta know so hold of where I'm going. Friends is not sugary, that's real that's powerful and the circumstances of life. So let's conclude knowing for certain that our eternal life is secure in Jesus Christ means that we don't have to be afraid of death. It means we can have hope in every circumstance of life and it means that were not on a performance treadmill with Almighty God, my friend did offer that treadmill.
You don't have to be good enough to keep you selfish. You don't have to work hard enough to keep your place in heaven. You don't have to do all enough religious activity that God won't take your eternal life away for that crazy treadmill that will ruin your walk with God learn just to walk down the road holding hands with Jesus, knowing that because of what he did for you and the contracting made with you.
You are as secure as secure D in your relationship with him.
You don't have to work to get secure. You don't have to perform. You'll have to do a number things right. You can't mess it up in joy.
He wants us to enjoy. Enjoy the truth of the word of God that we are secure in Christ do it for the Lord Jesus I meet so many Christians who are in bondage to their performance there so worried about what they have to do.
Keep doing or not do in order not to lose their eternal life, and they lose all the liberty and all of the abundance all of the joy that you want us to have in the Christian experience. Father I pray that as a result of what we talked about today you would liberate everyone of us here into the liberty of the sons of God is the Bible's the liberty of knowing that our relationship with you is secure a place in heaven is secure so bring hope to our lives today. Father and encouragement to our hearts fortify our souls for the week ahead of living for you because we sat under the teaching of the eternal Word of God. We pray this in Jesus name what God's people say go