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March 23, 2022 9:00 am
Weeks ago we began a four-part miniseries within our study of the book of Genesis entitled our salvation in Jesus Christ and in part one we talked about how our salvation works and we learned that the answer to that question is imputed righteousness, which means that when we believe in Jesus Christ. We don't really become righteous were still sinners going through. But God Genesis 15 six credits are account with righteousness, not with a righteousness that we earned by our own good works, or religious activity, but rather with the righteousness that Jesus Christ purchased on the cross for us and which God deposits in our account as a gift. Admitted in part two we learned that his followers of Christ our salvation in Jesus Christ are imputed righteousness.
Our place in heaven is eternally peculiar that we give our lives to Jesus Christ. We are irreversibly saved. We are in a revocably say we are irretrievably saved for the rest of time and eternity.
Regardless what we do or what we don't do here on earth. From that point forward hallelujah and praise the Lord for that now. Last week we said, however, there are still some lingering questions about eternal security.
We want to answer. And that's what were going to talk about today.
You know, we just signed a moment ago one of my favorite hymns come, thou fount of every blessing this song. This hymn was actually written by a man named Richard Robinson who was led to Christ in the early 1700s, with 1700 by the great evangelist George Whitfield and not long after he was led to Christ.
He wrote this great him, but then something went horribly wrong in Mr. Robinson's life. He went back to drinking hard. He he went back to swearing profusely and living both faintly and he disavowed all connection with Jesus Christ dear for many many years. He was away from the Lord. And then one day he got into a stagecoach and a woman inside as they were going along, looked up and said, first, he said, listen to this wonderful poet and she began to read, thou fount of every blessing to my heart to sing thy grace and Robinson's that there stunned silence as she read the words until finally she got to prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love and at that point, Robinson couldn't take it anymore and he blurted out instead and I quote matter in the poor soul he wrote those words, and I would give Allison lifetime if I could get back the feelings of that I had been." Well, just to finish the story up so that you know Richard Robinson never did return to his faith or to a wall with Jesus Christ. Now we do with this. I needed this man loses salvation did this man fall grace. I mean, what about the person who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ and then their Christian life simply isn't what it ought to be or what about a person who claims to be a follower of Christ is and they turned their back on Jesus and they just walk away and are we saying that because our salvation is eternally secure.
It really doesn't matter what kind of life we live here on earth. Once we come to Christ and what about me if I wake up one day and I don't feel eternally sick. I don't feel saved. I lost the feeling like Richard Robinson did does that mean I lost my salvation. Will these are the questions we want to answer today. So are you ready to go. Question number one what about the person who claims to be a follower of Christ, but their Christian life isn't what it ought to be, you know, a follower of Christ to keep right on living La Vida Loca you understand what I'm saying. A person who never does establish a thing actively Christ centered lifestyle is this person salvation still eternally secure. Well, the problem with this question.
My friends is that it's based on a faulty understanding of God's plan of salvation when it comes to our salvation. The Bible is clear that human good works had nothing to do with it before or after we're say list of Romans chapter 3 verse 20 therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by observing the Old Testament law. That is, by their own good works by their own religious activity.
So then how does a person become righteous in God's sight so they can go to heaven. We learn the answer to that a couple weeks ago. Next verse, but now a righteousness from God, and imputed righteousness from God, which is apart from human performance has been made known to us. This imputed righteousness from God comes up through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Ephesians chapter 2 verse eight for it is by grace that you've been saved through faith, not all of yourselves, it is the gift of God not the result of human works to point my friend is that we didn't get our salvation. Because of good performance and we can't lose our salvation because of bad performance because our Christian life isn't what it ought to be our salvation from the start to the finish is all based on the undeserved grace of God. Now, this idea that we get our salvation through faith in Christ, but that we keep it by performing good works in religious activity. This is not a new idea as a matter fact we find that idea right in the New Testament.
This is the problem that the believers in Galatia had when Paul wrote in his letter and look what Paul says about this. Galatians 32, he says, you foolish Galatians tell me one thing did you receive eternal life by observing the law by your own good works by Rome religious activity, or by believing God's promise by faith will of course it's the latter, he goes on to say are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit and by God's grace are you now being perfected by the works of the flesh. Paul says what's wrong with you guys. You didn't get your salvation by good works. Religious activity by the works of the flesh.
So why the world would you try to maintain your salvation by the works of the flesh friends. The bottom line is, not only is it the grace of God that saves the it is the grace of God that keeps us say not our Christian lives being what they ought to be socks whose Christian life is ever what it ought. Certainly not mine, and certainly not yours is in alignment of costs.
Those are telling me that my Christian life. William what you know I don't smoke or drink or custard to hang around with them which do so.
So don't think this'll start telling me that my Christian well you may not do any of those.
But hey, how about this. Do you look at women. Do you gossip do you think and say bad things about other people you say never. Your boss, do you speed do you roll stop sign. Do you covet purses and shoes when you walk through the mall. Of course you do. We all do. We all do friends listen to me if the only followers of Christ whoever God in the heaven were those whose Christian lives were what they ought to be heaven would be empty to be nobody there. The reason there are people in heaven is because the second Timothy 213 says, even if we are faithless, God remains faithful. He cannot deny who is praise God for that now. Question number two you think about what you're saying is that because I'm eternally your I mean, it really doesn't matter what counter earthly Christian life I live right wrong wrong. A thousand times wrong.
I didn't say that in the Bible doesn't say that what the Bible says is that the kind of earthly life.
We live has nothing to do with the getting into heaven but friends it has everything to do with the kind of reception were going to receive when we arrive. First Corinthians chapter 3 verse 11. Here we go for no other foundation can anyone lay that is for their Christian life than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation, they can use gold silver and precious stones or would pay and stop. In other words, the Bible selling is there are two kinds of Christian lives that we can build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
The first, Christian life is one that uses gold and silver and precious stones. This represents the Christian life that's characterized by obedience to God and service for Christ and living under the Lordship of Christ.
There's a second, Christian life that we can build on the same foundation that is the Lord and that is one that uses Woodhaven double this characterizes the Christian life that is full of disobedience to God and and spiritual waywardness and living for self and I watched verse 13. Each person's work will become clear because it will be revealed by fire and this fire shall test the quality of each person's work. If any person work that they built on the foundation on Christ talk about their Christian life here survives this justifier, that person shall receive a reward, but if any person's work is burned up, that person shall suffer loss of reward. Yet he himself say the next three words with me shall be say hi with God saying here folks, he's saying that when we get to heaven as believers, God is going to pull out his cosmic flamethrower and he is going to open fire on our Christian lot not on what we did BC before Christ. Everything you did before you came to Christ went under the blood, and that is not an issue anymore. Were talking here about what we did after we came to Christ and when the smoke clears God's going to see what survives the gold or silver and precious stones are still going to be there. Would the hay in the stubble drawing to be gone burned up, and then God.
The Bible says will reward us for what survives.
These are the rewards in heaven for believers that the Bible is always talking about. For example, Revelation 2212 Jesus said, behold I am coming quickly and my reward is with me to render to every person according to what they done and this is why the apostle John wrote believers second John eight and look to yourself that you may not lose what you work for, but that you may win a full reward, but friends pay pay very important. Don't forget would verse 15 of first Corinthians 3 says it says that even if all believers works are burned up, even if their Christian life brings.
All morning all, what a diverse say yet he himself shall be say because our salvation doesn't pin on how we live our Christian life. It depends on what Jesus did for us on the cross. Start so let's say I don't care about rewards, let's say that I'm very happy as a believer to just kind of slide under the fence fairly in getting so what does that mean I mean can send whatever I feel like it live. However, I want to disobey God. Whenever I am inclined to do that that that's what you're saying right or not so fast chemo so no no no, that's not exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying that rewards in heaven are part of the issue but don't you dare forget the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers remember what we said last week when we come to Christ.
God makes a contract with us and part of that contract are terms to that contract. One of them is that the Holy Spirit now comes to live inside of us to indwell us and what is the Holy Spirit do inside of us. Well, he does a lot of things, but one of the things he does. John 1680 is he convicts people concerning their they listen to David's testimony after he'd committed sin with Bathsheba about what the Holy Spirit did to him. Psalm 38 verse 10 Lord. David says rebuke me no longer in your anger and chasten me not in your wrappers to for your arrows have some deep into me and your hand has come down hard on me. Verse three there is no soundness in my flesh and no health in my bones. Because of my sin. First, for my sins and gone over my head and as the heavy burden they way too much for me. Verse five my wounds growth towel and faster because of my folly. I am bent over and prostrate, I am utterly spent and crushed. Because of the low in my heart it was going on here that was going on here is the Holy Spirit convicting this man of his sin, and the Holy Spirit was open it to him and finally David says go okay God you cannot type you know enough look.
Verse 18. I confess my iniquity. David says I'm sorry for my sin friends mission accomplished by the Holy Spirit, you don't. I first came to Christ back in 1971 was like I was Jewish and I still am, but I come from a Jewish background and I knew nothing about the Bible I knew nothing about church I knew nothing about nothing and so a lot of my friends, people would challenge me and try to talk me out of this and that this was stupid and there was no reality here, and I often get asked for people in those very early weeks and months You glued to Christ couldn't answer you know questions and you couldn't refute. Suppose it contradictions in the Bible what To close the Christ was at the joy that you felt was that the new power in your life that you felt or was it the freedom from guilt that you felt none of the above. You know it was it was the conviction of sin that the Holy Spirit began producing in my life. Friends, I'm telling you the week I came to Christ.
The week I came across all of a sudden.
I couldn't do the things that just the week before I had been able to do without a single parent of conscience in the world. I have been able to live. I've been able to cheat. I've been able to steal.
I've been able to curse like a sailor. I've been able to lusted women without feeling us the slightest conscience objection to it, but man the week after I gave my life to Christ. I need to tell you I couldn't do any of those things anymore without the Holy Spirit inside of me beating me to a call and I knew I had done that and I knew I would responsible for that change. And that's what convinced me more than anything else. That something supernatural would happen in my life that something here, virtually unprecedented had happened in my life and let me just tell you start listening. They are looking they look at me, looking that you meet anybody. Anybody who says to you that eternal security gives license to a true believer to sin, that person has never had a head on collision with the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. You can count on that. Because once you have a head on collision with the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as license in the Christian life eternal security or no eternal security. He takes out the paddle and comes action, God disciplines his children. The Bible says and you still along. I'm still kind of worried when you preach this you know about Grayson eternal security.
I still think it's a little dangerous and access to think it's a little libertine the way you're coming out this well folks going out in our lobby here and pick up a copy 90 to pay for. Don't just take it for pickup a copy of Chuck Swindoll's book the great awakening and read that book and I promise you. By the time you're finished reading job you'll say all yes Lon, you're right on.
I understand what you say go get a copy of that book.
Well, I first question is okay long about a person who one time claimed to be a Christian like Richard Robinson and then they just totally turned their back and walk away and never come back again. I mean, didn't they lose their salvation will the answer is friends if that person genuinely trusted Christ as their Savior and then does this.
The Bible is clear they still get to heaven. They are still saved. Why because a second Timothy 213. Even if we are faithless, God remains faithful and I admit that obviously everyone of these situations is individual and specific and we have to deal with them individually.
However, in the vast majority of these cases, I believe the best explanation biblically is that these folks who do this were never really born again never really followers of Christ to begin with. Jesus talked about this in Matthew chapter 21 he uses a fig tree that have lots of leaves with no fruit to describe the true spiritual condition of such folks in Jesus's point is that some people who profess to be followers of Christ that all kinds believes they come to church. They sing in the choir. They serve as ushers.
They work in the parking lot and they give money in the offering plate. They say all the right things. Praise God praise Lord facing the right song, but underneath all these leaves of spiritual performance.
There is no fruit is no genuine relationship with Christ. Sadly, there are thousands of people folks around our world who were raised in church all their life, but they're all leaves no fruit, and when these people walk away from Christ.
They didn't lose their salvation. Jesus said they never had it start with any covers the same subject again in Matthew chapter 13 in the parable of the four soils and what Jesus says in here is that there's a whole group of people who when they first hear the gospel they get all excited about it but there's no depth of soil in their life. And so the gospel see dries up in their life and never really take deep root friends. When these people walk away from Christ. When they wither and walk away and not losing their salvation. They never had it and I wish I had more time to talk to you about this terrible but we actually have a CD in the lobby where I spent a whole message on this parable with part 33 of people Jesus met go out there and purchase one of them, or you can go online you can download it in podcasting and I got a whole message on never listen to what John the apostle about these people, he said, first John 219 they went out from because they were not lost for if they had been on they would no doubt have continued with the but they went out from that it might be evident to all that they were not all books did you follow that. Yeah okay you understand what you say you online. I got one final question and that's about me.
What if I wake up one morning and I don't feel safe I feel eternally secure.
The me know that I like Richard Robinson. I like the design mean, I lost my salvation will folks for people living in America like us today.
This real problem and I'll tell you why. It's because our culture faces everything when I we feel mean if you don't feel in love with your spouse anymore culture says divorce if you don't feel like you like your job anymore. Culture says quit if you don't feel like staying out of debt. Our culture says no. We live in a culture Madison Avenue is brainwashed us into believing that our feelings are the engine that should pull the train but the worldview of the Bible isn't the exact opposite of this. According the Bible our feelings should be the caboose and God's word and his promises in his word should be the engine.
So if you wake up one morning and you don't feel like you got eternal life.
You don't feel like your say hey remember John 316, still says that when we trust Christ, we shall not perish but have everlasting life. Your feelings that morning change that verse in Romans 81 still says there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ, your feelings change that verse and John 524 still says we believe in Christ, we have crossed over or crossed over and always will be crossed over from death into eternal life. Get your feelings change that and Jesus said in John 1028 I give my sleepy Col. life and they shall never perish, your feelings change that this morning. Listen folks as followers of Christ our eternal security is not based on how we feel is based on the non-negotiable promises of the written word of God which remain the same regardless of how you and I see and praise God for that. Now those are four questions were answered him, but we got one more. We got one more that we got answer so body ready okay. Are you guys on the Internet ready.
Okay, so don't let me down today. Are you read. Come on out here we go ready Juan to yeah yeah you start want someone this is great. I appreciate this well the so what years I want to go back for a moment and talk to you about the fourth question about our feelings and how they relate to our Christian life because we need to be very aware and be careful of the feeling oriented life as followers of Christ look as followers of Christ. The only way that you and I can have a Christian life that is distant and stable, and resilient is to have a Christian life where God's word and God's promises are the engine and our feelings are the caboose was a follower of Christ. If you're facing hard times and you feel alone. God says Felicity feelings because I made you a promise.
Hebrews 13 five that I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you. You're not alone, and as followers of Christ. If we feel like we need guidance and we need wisdom and we feel like were adrift. God says don't listen to your feelings are not addressed and you're not out there lost Jeremiah 2911. I have a plan for you that I'm working out a plan for good and not for evil and all by the way.
Isaiah 30 verse 21 you shall hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walking unit when it's time to make a turn. I'll tell you when it's time to make a turn and as followers of Christ. When we look at the world around us today and we feel hopeless. God says the listen to those feelings you get into the word of God and study the word of God and there is more hope in there than you know what to do with Romans 15 for for whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, talking about the Bible that through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have. Why oh and I love Hebrews 619 which says that God's promises in the Bible, you must hold that form and anchor for our soul steadfast and sure you know I had a gentleman in my office a while back, his wife passed away from cancer and we were talking and he said you know lawn. He said the so many of those days back then and and really even now I don't feel like God is really there and I don't feel like God really cares and I don't feel like God even is connected to what I'm going through, and sometimes I don't even feel like God exists is the can you relate to any of that. I think he thought because I was a pastor I never had a feeling like that and I said all I can relate to absolute so I remember being on the floor. Given my little girl Jill CPR because she stopped breathing during the seizure when she was one year old two years old waiting on the rescue squad to get there and I remember riding in the back of the ambulance. There is 3 o'clock in the morning to the hospital and I remember sleeping in chairs in the ICU unit for days at a time while they were trying to get her stabilized and all that time dealing hey God hello hello hey God, are you there are you interested do you care we can do about this is that I know what you're feeling somebody you know exactly what he was, because you're there right now or you have been where you going through things in your life and your saying hey God, I don't feel like you're here and I don't feel like you care or not. I'm sometimes I'm not sure I feel like your real money was going on right friends. You and I and this gentleman have a decision to make everyday every moment of everything I told six or here's the issue. Every day you and I have got to decide what's going to define our reality, our feelings going to define our reality or is the written word of God go to define our reality because God says I'm not alone in God says he does care and God says he does have a plan. God says he is real and God says when I need to turn all here word turn my will do my reality on that or how I feel sick and ambulance friends.
We gotta let the engine be the engine we gotta let the word of God and the promises of God pull this train because if we allow our feelings to be engine we are our feelings go up and down and all around and will end up pulling the train who knows where. But it won't be good to feelings where they belong.
Put them in the caboose and put the word of God in the engine and you'll somehow learn wherever the engine goes sooner or later, the caboose has to fall has to follow your feelings will come around over that feeling will come around because they have to go with the engine careful not to let the engine become the caboose in the caboose command that is a sure formula for disaster. That's what the world tells you to do don't do memo and God said Numbers 2023 19. He said God is not a man that he should lie. God tells you something you can make up the engine. It's going to pull and never ever going to take you off the tracks. My friend was Frederick dear heavenly father, you know that we as people are feeling driven being we have feelings about everything they go up and down and all around in and out. We can even control how we feel about just there, Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have given us something else to be the inch something that will keep us on the tracks all the way to help and give us stability of life on the way and that is the written word of God. So Lord Jesus for people now right here today were going through tough times and struggling with the feelings that man described in my office help each of us to say all right put God's promises upfront in the engine with a belong. Help me believe rest my weight on my feelings in the caboose and just have the confidence eventually they'll come around Lord speak to us deeply and change the very way we live because we were here today. We sat under the teaching of the word of God. We pray these things in Jesus name what God's people say that