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Being Certain You Can Be Certain

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
April 10, 2020 9:00 am

Being Certain You Can Be Certain

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 10, 2020 9:00 am

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to lose your salvation? Or why some people who seem to be saved later walk away from God? Those are the questions we’ll be looking at over the next two weeks in our new series called Assured. We’ll discover the freedom and power that comes from being secure in Christ.  

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Pastor Jeannie Greer kicks off three new study when you make someone behave by threatening them. You might coerce their behavior, but you will never captivate your heart and God is not. After simply coercing your behavior to a set of standards God is trying to win your heart only way that your heart when everyone is when you are assured of the love of God for you. The Bible teaching ministry theologian Katie Greer I Molly benefits you know today is Good Friday day of solemn reflection on the cross so will trust you will take some time to remember and give thanks as we head into this weekend of celebration here on the program today were opening our Bibles to the book of first John and diving into a brand-new series called assured. Have you ever wondered if you can actually lose your salvation, or why do some people seem to be saved and then wind up walking away from God. These are some questions will be looking at over the next two weeks to discover the freedom and the power that comes from our security, our assurance in Christ.

So let's get started.

Pastor JD titled this message being certain you can be certain we are beginning a new series today. The book of first John called, assured, and so if you have a copy of the Bible today would bite you take it out and opened it to the book of first John the number that is its for the latter half of your New Testament. Not quite at the ends of your two Revelation are usually a series of maps that means you've gone too far to go back toward the left will be there for the next several weeks. The book of first John is one of my favorites because it is all about assurance.

The apostle John, who was a close personal friend of Jesus writes a lot about assurance because evidently it was a big deal to you was a theme in the books that he wrote company covers things like how you can know for sure that you are saved, if you are new to church culture that means save means that you are at peace with God and know for certain that you were going to go to heaven when you die. John deals with how you can know that what you believe is true how you can know that you have had a genuine experience with God. How you can be assured of God's love and his presence in your life how you can be assured of his control in your life how you can maintain that assurance in his love, and control the midst of a great difficulty great opposition and great hardship which we all face now.

I will be honest with you, these are things in questions that I have struggled with for all of my life. For one, just the question of how someone could know for certain that they have been saved by I told you before that if there were a Guinness Book of World Records for amount of times have you prayed the sinners prayer. I am almost positive I would hold that record, I could you.I wish I were exaggerating or making this up. By the time I graduated high school. I probably prayed the sinners prayer about 5000 times, every single time a speaker gave an invitation or a chance to play the sinners prayer.

I took it you yet you raise your hand or stand up or walk in our ballistic in the fire.

I took that to want to invalidate the prayer by not being willing to confess Jesus before men honestly got little embarrassing that I will the lot aisles of theirs as I've been saving you camps all over the nation. I think of it, saving every denomination I can verify that, but I'm pretty sure I got baptized. I kid you not about us 44 and I didn't count like one. As an infant, you know that a lot of you had about four after I grown up I got baptized four times I was a staple in our churches baptismal services. They give me my locker in the baptismal change. It really got embarrassing, but it's another kind of thing I want to be wrong about that. That's the kind of thing that you get into into returning figure out all got that wrong right and so I struggled with that for many years now you know that I have a book related to this topic called stop asking Jesus into your heart to know for sure that you are safe and you know that I would never really want to use a sermon series to promote a book that I wrote because you're someone the Bible it says that when you sell, promote an angel loses its wings a puppy doesn't have time so I would never self promote. But seriously, I wrote this because of how long that I struggled with the assurance of salvation in my life and how I sure I am that there are many of you that are listening to me right now who were in that same situation, would you want to know that your say, but you just can't seem to figure it out, no matter how many times you prayed the sinners prayer the doubts come back. You're always asking questions like what a sorry enough, was I did. I repent and what I surrendered enough that I understand enough about grace. I do understand the Trinity enough that I get the deity of Christ.

How do you know that you got it right. What I emotional enough.

One of the other hand, Scripture tells us that there are a lot of people who have prayed a prayer to receive Jesus and consequently they think are going to heaven because they prayed that prayer because somebody told that if you pray this prayer you be guaranteed to go to heaven when the Bible says are tragically mistaken. 2011 Barna study shows that 50% of Americans say they have prayed some kind of sinners prayer. At some point in their life. 50% of Americans today pray the sinners prayer, even though about two thirds of that number have no regular presence in the church at all in their lifestyles do not differ in any significant way. Those who are outside of the Christian faith. But when these people here that you need Jesus to be saved like oh yeah, been there done that prayed the prayer got a Latino Bukhara filled out prior to filing my Bible. You see my grandma steer things right there on it was super meaningful for everybody during their immune to any talk about.

You need to be born again or you need to come to Christ met Matthew seven talks about a large group of people that will say to Jesus on the last day, Lord, Lord ready to go and he's a look at them and turn them away from heaven with the tragic words depart for me. I never knew you to be a large group of people. Jesus said that are going to go into eternity assured of a salvation that they'll actually possess. And honestly, as your pastor, I wonder if some of you were in that group concedes describing church we boys that describe the one outside these ascribing people like the ones that are in this church.

I don't want to scare anybody but there are several things in that passage that that people often use to assure themselves that they are saved.

But Jesus says are not legitimate reasons to believe that your say what is a prayer that you prayed arguments about when these people. Matthew seven all prayed a prayer Lord Jesus, we received you in our hearts, but religious and ministry activity.

These people, and in it in Matthew seven were very active in their churches going on mission trips, a volunteer at the church and back, a lot of more in the prayer ministry in their church. And that's usually your cream of the crop in the prayer ministry that is that these people had him which cast out demons in your part of the squad in your church. I cast out demons, meth varsity that's as big as it gets real. I case of demons and a person to pray for these are people that were in the front lines of ministry. Yet they were not really born again. Sometimes people use the fact that their moral the fact that they feel guilty about their sin is a proof that there save these people in Matthew seven were moral, and I'm sure they felt guilty about their sin.

Lots of people who are Christians feel guilty about their sin. The whole industry of psychology is built on dealing with guilt always a large part of it is. Judas felt so guilty about what he did. He went on on himself when the Christian feeling bad about your center and prove that you are saved, so I wrote this book to help people identify the marks of someone who is truly saved and I want to in this book comfort those who are unnecessarily troubled and if I can say this way troubled those who are unjustifiably comforted on a comfort those who are unnecessarily troubled and troubled those who are unjustifiably comforted. The gist of this book is basically this you're not say because you pray some magical prayer you're saved. God saves us when we repent we believe the gospel, and you can express repentance and faith in a prayer but it's not the prayer itself that saves it is the repentance and and and and faith behind the prayer that lays hold of salvation, and it is possible to repent and believe without pray in the formal prayer.

But it's also possible to pray the prayer without actually repenting and believing. So I encourage you in this book to understand true repentance and belief and to stop asking Jesus in your heart and start resting in the promises of the gospel, by the way, I had a good time trying to explain this title to my nine-year-old daughter.

You asked me, she said. He argued that he write another book. I said yeah what's the title stop asking Jesus in your heart. She looked at me at Bojangles over biscuit and she said why on earth would you want to tell somebody to stop doing that so I try to give her the elevator speech of of the of the Balkans, which Cannot or should you see is all when a facility very long book and see how long is a dataset about but hundred 20 pages years old dad that's too long, you could've said that about 10 pages so the book refers to pages nearly good I'm I'm snowing a priest in my book the next several weeks, but I am going to preach through the book of first John, which a lot of my book is as written as written around because the whole point of first John is how you gain the assurance that you know God how you gain assurance that he is real, you gain the assurance that your encounter with God is significant that is genuine and that it is saving how to be assure that he loves you and how to know that your walk what you are walking with him first John chapter 5 verse 13 to begin with the last chapter of this book because John the end of his book goes back and summarizes everything he said to start with a summary of Passover. This book is a 30,000 foot level and enter the next several weeks will go back into some of the things we bring up this morning hunt this morning were just an answer to questions. The first question is does God really want us to know for sure that we are saved does not even want us to know. See there's a lot of people who don't think that God wants us to know because they think that that's how God motivates us to stay in line is by your threatening hell, if we disobey and promising heaven if we obey you if you lose that threatening people will act however they want, but I got some of the gets job security in the news.

They can't be fired like while you notice that day who cares. I will follow these TPS reports are okay or not we were at about it makes my gets job security to get lazy in their jobs or people they will. God doesn't want people to know for sure that they're going to heaven will get morally lazy risers got even want to say that that's the first question will look at the second question will look at is if he does want us to know how do we know right so let's look at those one at a time. Number one how are skis me number one does God even want to know for sure that we are safe. Verse 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, that you may select your church know that you have eternal life. So there's your answer.

Yes, he wants you to know he wants you to know for two reasons. The first reason is he loves you and you love somebody you want them to know that you love them if you love somebody you want them to feel secure and how you feel about them.

So that's why God wants us to know because he loves us. The second reason is that the only way we will ever really develop love for God in our hearts is when we are sure of his love for us to see real love only grows in the soil of security when you make someone behave by threatening them. You might coerce their behavior, but you will never captivate your heart and God is not. After simply coercing your behavior to a set of standards God is trying to win your heart and the only way that your heart will ever be one is when you are assured of the love of God for you.

Love for God in you grows from the assurance of the love of God for you right so that's the answer is yes. The apostle John in one of his other books he wrote the gospel of John records a couple of analogies that Jesus used with his disciples before he left them on earth that communicated assurance to them in the tenderest of terms, and he says this is this is why, how would you feel as I'm leaving the first letter sounds cover a couple of the first one is. He said that we are his disciples were his beloved children, John 1418, Jesus said to them, I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you a good father does not want his kids wondering whether or not he loves them, or whether he's committed to them right. You fathers like that you want your kids in doubt about your love and your commitment to them when I leave to go on a business trip. I don't know what which I do from time to time.

A look at my kids and say hey that is, back is gonna bring you a surprise because he loves you or maybe he's not coming back because maybe he's not your daddy at all. Maybe his real family live somewhere else and this is all a big illusion may use up desiderata. Think about that one. Gonna let that compel you to become better children. You think I would work that might produce a little fear-based obedience but is never going to produce love and loyalty and by the way, it's not long before fear-based obedience turns into father loading rebellion in God doesn't want merely fear-based obedience what God wants his love and his children's heart for them and that only grows in the soil of security. The other analogy he used that same conversation. When he told his disciples. He said you like my betrothed bride note no man that that is married or engaged once his bride to feel like what he's not really committed to her peers.

What you said. John 14 133. If I go and prepare a place for you. I'm gonna come back and I will take you to myself where I am, there you may be also that language he's using. There is wedding kind of language.

If a man loves a woman he wants to give her the assurance that he loves her.

When my wife and I were engaged got engaged.

She was a student at the University of Virginia and I was in seminary here North Carolina.

One of the hardest things we had to do every single after every weekend we always work together on the weekends is we would leave and she would have to go back to Charlottesville to go to classes and I would go you need to buy seminary classes in North Carolina and be the last thing that I would've wanted during that week is what I would have been for her to have set around and wondered about my commitment to her about my love for white one because I love you and I want her to feel safe, but to I knew that she was not sure of my commitment to her she might be open to the advances of another suitor right so I what is social every week and I would tell her hey part but I'm coming back and I'm in a mirror, you and I put a big lowfat rock on her left hand to remind her of my commitment to her because she and I both knew about income back to Stephen not rock right my assurance to her not only made her feel safe. It also gave her strength gave her strength to resist the advances of other guys because she knew she had the awesome sauce in the already right it was the strength of her assurance with me. They give her the ability to say no to the. The advances of somebody else that's how God works with us is he knows we will never have the ability to say no to the world until we are assured of his love for us. You see, that's the gospel secret listen the gospel secret. This is to leave your get your mind on this and change your life. The gospel secret is that assurance and the gospel has a greater power to produce virtue and love in our hearts. The threats of the law could ever do the threats of the wall. 10.

Coerce your behavior but it cannot ever captivate your heart and emotions and your affections. The established church of Martin Luther's day, Martin Luther, the reformer, they believe that people would only obey when they were threatened with harsh consequences for rebellion, Martin Luther, in his typical colorful way. This is what will the whole Reformation was birthed out of his.

He decried that as the damnable doctrine of doubts the idea that you would coerce somebody's behavior through a threats of punishment or hell.

He said yes that will produce a little fear-based obedience, but underneath that thin veneer of obedience is going to rush a river of self-interest, and pride in fear and resentment. He said God is not. After that kind of obedience to God's after a new kind of obedience and obedience that grows out of love for him and that love doesn't grow in response to threats that love grows in response to love and he said that Malaysia scored first John first John 418 perfect love casts out fear. We love him. First John 419 we love him, why, why, because he threatens us.

If we don't because he's the best path to earthly blessing we love him because he first loved us is assurance of the love of God for you that produces love for God in you, as the gospel secret is that God's grace is able to do in your heart with the law could never do what you need is not more sermons and more walls and more so because of what what you need is a radical experience with the grace and the acceptance of the love of God that was finished for you in Christ. By the way, there's a really good example of is out right now. One of the most popular movies like Ms. did you see my Ms. put your hands up by him and you cried to portably miss your hands on right now and testify. I okay if you see the movie there's a scene like the beginning Emma not to run the movie for you because this is right in the beginning. This is before the wolverine meets the Catwoman and before they run away from gladiator before any Borat before all of that this happens. Okay John Valjean is the main character in the movie is very hard in criminal and for 20 years. He has resisted on the threats of his captors. They have done nothing to change his heart they have only pardoned him in his hatred. He gets out of prison and he robs a priest and the priest on they catch him and the priest has the ability to send John Wells on back to prison for the rest of his life. But instead of giving him justice. The priest forgives and gives a Mrs. incredible act of grace Victor Hugo and and that novel lateness if you've ever read it. There is a section where he begins to describe what's going on his elbows on his heart, which you just can't capture the movie or even in a musical hung. Victor Hugo says that for 20 years for 20 years.

Valjean had been able to resist resist the threats of the wall where I may have to read his words to you. He says he says" Valjean dimly felt that this priest pardon was the hardest assault of all the most formidable attack he had ever sustained that a gigantic and decisive struggle had begun in his heart between his own wrongs and the grace and goodness of this man. All Hugo is doing is re-presenting the gospel to you and he is saying that the gospel is able to do what the law could never do and you can resist the law but it is the goodness of God and the grace of God that she changes the heart to make it love righteousness to make it love God. God's goodness and his grace. Romans 24 says is what leads you to repentance. 20 struggle with sin and tell you the answer is not more laws. The answer is not more self-discipline.

The answer is a radical experience with the love and the assurance of the gospel gives you whenever I talk about this example, the Bible almost always go to is that story where Jesus encounters a woman is caught in adultery basic just the stories this woman is called the very act of adultery such as drug out the cities where they can stone her, but as they got the stones in their hands to kill her.

They look at Jesus because they're trying to trap him and they say hey what you think we should do with this woman. Jesus kneels down from scribbling in the dirt. After a few minutes he looks up says let him who is without sin among you, Birthstone, will they all look at each other awkwardly brought the rocks and go home and assist woman in Jesus, and will look to Jesus is that you can stone me now and he says do I look like I'm in a stone you then go to the woman he makes the most profound statement is what he says and pay very close attention to woman. Neither do I condemn you go and sin no more. What is profound about his statement to her lesson is not really what he said if the order in which he set because I almost always want to reverse those two phrases go you. I always want to say if you go and sin no more. Then I will condemn you. But Jesus put acceptance before change because he knew she would never have the power to change until she was assured of his acceptance because the reason she had gone into the arms of adulterers is because of something in her soul that she craved. She craved love. She craved security and she had saw for that in the arms of adultery and Jesus knew she would never have the power to break that craving until she was assured of the love of a father who is better and more secure than the love that she had sought in the arms of some guy she been doing since the time she was in middle school when we say here is this God's acceptance is the power that liberate you from sin is not the reward for you having liberated yourself God's acceptance. The gospel is the power that liberate you from sin is not the reward for you having liberated yourself is the security of the gospel from which everything else spiritually grows in your life.

Which means if you don't have the assurance of salvation. Your spiritual life is never to take off because everything grows out of the assurance of the love of God for you to does God want you to have absolute confidence and assurance that you are saved profoundly. Yes, because nothing in your life. Spiritual takeoff until you have a better time really angry and encouraging during the weekend from our new series on assured on Senate life with Jeannie Greer. If you miss any part of today's message, or if you like to download the transcript.

You can find them free of charge Jeannie Pastor Janie preached today series right after he wrote a book called stop asking Jesus into your heart, where he addresses these types of questions and doubts and just for arsenic my family. We turned this teaching series into a 10 day devotional with instruction about the assurance of salvation reflection questions and prayer guides.

Be one of the first to have this brand-new resource. If you've ever wrestled with doubts about your status with God when you need to work through this devotional when you donate today to support this ministry at the suggested level of $25 or more will send you the devotional book titled assured our way of saying thanks for your support. Call 866-335-5220 866-335-5220 when you donate online.

Jeannie lying on the website.

Be sure to sign up for email you'll receive ministry and posting articles from pastor Janie on all kinds of things greatly. Jeannie I mounting that event. So glad you joined us again today.

The wonderful Easter weekend worshiping our risen Savior right here again on Monday. Senate life

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