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November 16, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit preaches at a BJU Evangelistic Service from Ephesians 2:8-9.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who served as an evangelist for over 29 years before becoming president of Bob Jones University to take your Bibles with me please and turn in the New Testament to the book of Ephesians chapter 2 denied Ephesians chapter 2 tonight were going to read two verses that are very familiar versus but I would like to take the familiar in even make it more simple and plain tonight. As we look Ephesians chapter 2 and verses eight and nine. Let us hear tonight. God's word. For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. May God add his blessing to the reading of his word and all God's people said Amen. Have you ever stopped to consider how many different religions are there in the world today. Well, if you were to go to Google and type in the end you'd find out that generally, the answer would be there at least 20 different recognize religions in the world and included in that number. There are 1 billion secularists who believe in nothing.
What you would think with so many religious options that people would be confused and frustrated and they are and as a result many people and sort of tossed up their hands and they simply cried out all religions are the same and we see this especially in the United States of America, pluralistic society where freedom of religion is come to mean that basically all religions are equally the same. Because every body is trying to get to the same place.
The bottom line is that that all religions seem to be basically equivalent. However, to lump them all in one basket may be convenient but it is not facing the truth. The reality and that is they are not all equal.
So tonight let's try to cut to through the confusion and get to the heart of the matter of what to believe and let's go back to the original question, how many religions are there in the world today and if you were to somehow able to boil it all down you would come to this conclusion that there are only two religions in the world today if we could strip away all the externals from minor differences to major theological divide, you will discover that if that if you were to look at all the religions they would come down.
The two categories. So what are these two religions will let me first of all start out by saying that think it's fair to say that all religions essentially agree on some of the basic things like there is a divine being. There is a higher being. There is a higher power. In some cases it may be more than one. There is a spiritual world. It is the physical world that we can see and then there's the unseen realities. There are values in life by which we should live. All religions have basic value proposition. There's the presence of evil and good in the world, there may be a difference over what is evil, what is good, but there's the belief in the two and then there is some belief in afterlife. You go somewhere whether you go to a place called have you go to a different place or somehow you reincarnated and you come back into this world in a different form. There's a belief in an afterlife. The distinction, however, between these two religions is found in the way that you answer these two questions number one. How do we have a relationship with the God that exist.
How do I know him I do I get to know him.
Secondly how do we enter into afterlife when I die and I will.
How will I enter into life after death and there are two basic answers that distinguish the two basic religions and water. These two religions. The first one is this is the religion do these are religious systems that emphasize what I must do to gain God's approval and get entrance into heaven. The general agreement among these religions and that is that man is either separated from God. He's not properly connected to God or perhaps these on a path to self-discovery to find the God that is within him. In either case, you have to do something to get divine favor, many, many people believe that God is upset with the human race that we have to do something in order to make up for our wrongs.
We have messed up. We have to get our act together in order for God to accept the you know that's what I believe growing up.
I grew up in South Carolina I grew up going to a basically a Protestant church. My father was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon. I remember church all the way back to K for but growing.
Somehow, I believe that when I died I would stand before God and God would put all my bad here and God would put all my good here and he would weigh them out and it would determine my eternal destiny and when I was a little boy I had a big good pilot a little bit and then I became a teenager and then I graduated from high school and I went off to college I began to realize that my bad pile was far bigger than my good pile because I believe that in order for me to enter into afterlife.
I had to be good. This is what most people in the world believe my junior year of college I was on our soccer team in our school and we were flying to spend a couple of weeks in Holland in playing soccer matches our flight over was from New York City to Paris France and then from Paris, we went on to Amsterdam in our flight over to Paris, I noticed a young guy look like a college student who was wearing a very nice three-piece suit. His hair was cut short. This was like 1976, 76, long before you discovered America and I thought to myself, this guy is either a Baptist or he's a Mormon so I walked up to him and he had a little tag on it said Elder so and so, when a young man wearing elder definitely is not a Baptist, so he was a Mormon missionary was doing it to your mission's trip to France and so I started talking to him and us at what you're I mean you're religious God is what I said to us it's a one issue question. What is a person have to do to go to heaven. I mean you're religious even talk about heaven and he didn't even bat an eye. He looked at me said you have to do good works. So I asked the question, I said do you believe that the Bible is God's word he said absolutely.
I said you know I just happen to have a pocket New Testament and I pulled out my Bible and I turned to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse eight as it would you read that for me and read it.
For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. He looked at the Bible again. He looked at me.
He looked at the Bible again and then he said I need to think about. I said you need to think about that because the Bible does not say that you get into heaven based on what you do. Somehow we believe we must do something to earn God's favor or to make up for our failures and if you live long enough, you'll have enough failures to feel this way. So then the question you have to ask is, what does God want us to do and this is where religion comes in religious systems may vary, but the core is pretty much the same.
Do the right things don't do the wrong things and somehow hope in the end that God will accept you and you'll find God in every religion has its due list. Confess your sins to a priest get baptized and confirmed give money go to church, shave your head sell flowers at the airport right on the bicycle with a white shirt and a tie sell literature at the door and the get the list is endless. Whatever the way, the basic message is always the same.
You have to work your way to God. You must perform God's list do God's commands and earn God's favor.
However, there is a problem and that is if you're honest and that's the big question because most people are not honest, you're going to ask yourself two questions number one do I do enough.
Do you ever feel like you don't do enough. Secondly, is what I'm delaying good enough is not just that I'm doing something, but is what I'm doing, good enough, and if you're an honest person. You will ask yourself that question.
You realize that that's what those are the questions that a Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther act asked himself a very dedicated, zealous religious priest of the Catholic Church, Martin Luther, who if there was anybody who was on the fast track to sainthood. It was Martin Luther who was an earnest and devout Catholic who was trying to earn God's favor, but when he was all alone. He would ask the perplexing questions. Am I doing enough is what I'm doing, good enough in an agony.
He would ache over the reality that is all part was not good, but his own heart was was evil in the end. If your religion is based on what you do, you will never have inner peace and assurance that you been fully accepted by God.
The reality is that eventually you'll start to recognize that you are operating under slave labor. Think about it.
If God only will love you and accept you based on what you do and doing the things that make him happy.
How will I ever know if God is really happy with me if I acceptance with God is based on my performance and then I'm going to be held hostage to the fear that God will inevitably reject me because I will never measure up. The sad thing is that do religion in the end makes God look like a slave driver rather than a heavenly father leaves the human heart with the feeling of rejection rather than acceptance with a feeling of despair rather than hope with the feeling of doubt rather than peace in assurance the problem would do is this, it never relieves your interference. What you do on the outside will never change what's on the inside. It will never fill the empty voids of your heart. It will never heal your guilty conscience for the things you've done in your past, you will never bring a sense of God's divine favor and in the end you will never ever experience the genuine love of God.
However, the teaching of the Bible actually makes it very clear that we are not saved by what we do okay. I don't care what you do give you grown up in a Baptist church, and your dad is a Baptist preacher and you got baptized so many times in the creek that every tadpole knows your Social Security number that what ever meritorious awards you could win for what ever your part of kids for true patch clause 01. What ever you do is insufficient. The Bible says you are saved by grace through faith and that not of yourselves is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast Scriptures clear, not by works of righteousness which are done according to his mercy he saved knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith of Jesus Christ but to him that worketh not believe it on him to justify the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. There is not a due list on the planet that will gain you one bit of favor with God or get you closer to heaven fact this is the opposite. The Bible is tough on those who try to get to heaven based on the due list. Listen to what Paul writes in Galatians 310 for as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written curse. It is everyone to continue at not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them, you realize that the law requires. Not partial but perfect obedience. You understand that you get that in your mind. Do you understand and I that in order for you to get into heaven you have to keep keep God's law perfect all the days of your life.
Never a variation never lasts been your best. The 10 Commandments are like a chain-link of 10 links put together and you pop one link in the whole thing breaks God requires perfect obedience.
You say will preacher, does that mean that doing good is irrelevant. No good works have their place but not in earning or gaining eternal life. Part has its place, but should never come before the ox in the conclusion of the Bible is that the religion of due does not cut it. So let me just stop here and asked the question, do you and your heart of hearts. Are you thinking that in order for me to gain God's favor in the get into heaven, I have to do something, then whatever your religion is. It's all the same. It's the religion of due, but they let me go back to the original question, how many religions are there in the world and I said there were two there is the religion of due. But then, secondly there is the religion of done you say what you mean by done well means job finished task accomplished mission completed the whole message of the Bible is that everything needed for you to be restored to God gain favor with God. Gain entrance into heaven has already been done.
The Bible says Jesus Christ. God son came in the world to do for you what you could never do for yourself what he do first of all, you live a life that you should live The law perfectly for the fulfilled the requirements he satisfied the father. He perfected human life. You could say this way he did it but not only did he live the life that you and I should live. But he died the death that you and I should have died. Jesus was executed as a criminal on the cross.
According to the Roman government. He was the bad guy to the world. He looked that way. But in reality he wasn't the bad guy. He was the good guy on the cross, Jesus cried out these words, it is finished that mean it meant paid in full is the statement that you would use back in ancient times when you pay off your taxes. It would mean done finish completed. It's like paying off your school bill for Bob Jones University it's done. Jesus paid the debt of sin. Jesus and justified the wrath of God. Jesus made atonement for your sins to his blood. He did it for you and at the very moment of his death that something miraculous happened to show us what God had done. That is when Jesus died in the great Jewish temple there was a veil, a curtain that divided the two rooms called the holy of holies in the holy place the presence of God was in the room called the holy of holies and that they'll was between those two places because it barred entrance into the room were God's presence.
12 and if anybody would try to go in there they would be put to death. They would die.
Suddenly God would take their life because he does not allow sin into his present but do you know what happened when Jesus died that veil that stood 60 feet tall.
Think of 60 people to the almost the top of this building a veil that was 30 feet wide. A veil that was 4 inches thick. The breath of a man's hand from the top to the bottom.
That veil was torn or it was ripped down the middle into and suddenly the way into God's presence that had been barred was now wide open. What is this mean it means that because of Jesus's death the way of entrance into God's presence and in the heaven. It's now totally opened the tearing of Jesus's body on the cross, tore open the way to God and whatever separated man from God was instantly and completely remove Jesus died for our sins. He paid for them in full.
He opened the way to heaven and God is now inviting all men to come directly to him and be safe.
He is saying is done. There's nothing more to do the prices pay. The way is open if you're trying to work your way to heaven if you're trying to do something you're wasting your time. It's all ready done a number of years ago. We are holding a series of revival meetings in the state of Florida. We were there for probably six weeks and of course when you go to Florida you really don't think of working you think of playing and of course Florida has many beanie beaches and so we were therein, you know, my children were wondering, you know, are we going to get to go to the beat and so we were there for five weeks and we were just busy and never got to the beach and finally we got to the last or was in Tampa Florida Hillsdale Baptist Church. My son Michael who is a senior here at the time. I think Michael was probably I don't know seven or eight years old. We pulled in the parking lot of the church, knowing this was the last we were going to be in Florida. We pull into the parking lot of the church and he looked up at my wife, his mother and said mommy is this the church of the beach and we knew that at the end of the week. We were going to be leaving in the only time that we go to the beach was on Saturday.
That afternoon, so we decide, okay, let's go to the beach so we got in my truck and then we had another fellow drive traveling with us in evangelist name will go walking and is why Christie they had a truck and so we piled in and took off across the causeway from Tampa to Clearwater Beach and we got in the Clearwater. It dawned on us.
It was spring break. That's a really bad time being, Clearwater, Florida, and we were stuck in the worst traffic jams, and it was like for ever were sitting there. The traffic and Michael is riding with will sitting between willing Christie in the front seat and he's looking out the window and he sees a bunch of kids playing over the park and he says the will look at the kids playing in the park and will looked over to his right and did not realize that his truck was rolling forward and he hits a guy in the back again in front of him that was driving a Lego car because when he hit it. It just popped and went everywhere ride in the middle of Clearwater Florida.
We ended up in an accident.
Well, we did make it to the beach. I got Michael in my truck and say goodbye will and said you take care your business.
Well we got back to the church and come to find out there was a man of the church that owned the Ford dealership so we took the truck in and fix the front end of it in on Friday night saw the man and I said do you have the bill for the for the cost of the damage he handed me the bill and had stamped on it paid in full. I looked at it. I looked at him.
I said I don't know anything he said. He said your money is no good. I said a man folks we have here if I could say this way a bill that is stamped paid in full. For by grace are ye saved through faith that not of yourselves is a of God, UI gifts come if you like expensive gifts, and if you're disappointed on your birthday. If you don't get a gift you would be disappointed at Christmas if you got nothing. The gift of God is eternal life is ball is paid for. You cannot earn it, which you can receive it the greatest way for you to bring glory to God is to stop believing in yourself and start believing in God's promises eternal life is a free gift is never based on yourself efforts. Why Paul tells us look at what he says in Ephesians 2 aces for by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves is the gift of God. And here's the reason why not of works lest any man should.
Why the problem of self effort is the problem of Dragon.
If you get in the habit based on your good work.
You know what you would do for all eternity. You would brag and you would swag and nobody could put up with you in eternity, we enter EN fumble over the grace of God. What is the end result of the religion of do. God gets the focus you get the focus skews me, and you get the glory.
But in the religion of done. God gets the focus and the praise belongs to God. So let me ask a question night where you what is your religion is your religion do is it based on your works. What you do for God, your own righteousness. What you achieve. Trying to earn God's favor or is it the religion of done is in the grace of God, is it what God is done for you. God's righteousness given to you gift it to you not based on what you achieve, but based on what you receive.
Have you receive God's favor. So let me ask a question night where you if you died right now, what would your religion be would be due or would it be done. If you have never ever by the grace of God receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
It's really not complicated. It's believing he died for you accepting that is true. Accepting that you're a sinner and you can't do anything and then the fall on your face before God and say, God, be merciful to me, God safe me and God's promise that if you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. He says thou shalt be saved. May God grant you the grace to be saved. Would you bow your head with me as we pray to the father, we thank you tonight for your promise of your word. We thank you for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God, I pray that you would work deep conviction and hearts bring more people tonight to the reality, the recognition of their need of salvation, but I pray that they will not be settled in where they are until they pursue you to come to peace in their heart.
Thank you for the eternal promises that you given us in your word that they are all true or may strengthen our faith may strengthen our confidence even in the experience of our own salvation. We thank you for what you have done for us through Christ on the cross and through the empty tomb, as he is resurrected from the dead. We thank you for these things in Jesus name, amen. These daily programs are made possible by the many friends about Jones University and this radio ministry would love to hear from you, so don't hesitate to send us your feedback by going to the website. The Daily Platform.com there's a place where you can send a message and you'll also find her phone number along with more information about Bob Jones University.
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