You have been called not for an easy life here on earth. You have been called to be a participant in the display of the eternal glory of God in Christ.
That's why you exist. To conclude our series, The Five Solas, as Don wraps up a message titled Soli Deo Gloria, the Glory of God alone. Last time Don looked at Soli Deo Gloria expressed in creation and salvation, we were reminded that the heavens declare the glory of God. And then Don reaffirmed that the very purpose of our salvation is so that the glory of God and His mercy would be made manifest. On today's program, we'll see how Soli Deo Gloria is to be expressed in heaven throughout all eternity.
Here's Pastor Don Green now in the Truth Pulpit. Look at verse 14. Why this work of the Spirit?
What is the point? What is the end of it? It is to the praise of His glory. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to the praise of His glory, to the praise of His glory, to the praise of His glory. God's plan, God's act, God's application, God's glory.
To the point that man cannot boast, should not boast, is not permitted to boast. And so we see it in creation, we see it in salvation, and beloved, what I would hope for some of you at least, I'd hope it for all of you, but I realize, you know, you've had long work days and all of that, but I hope it would come to your mind that there would be a sense of an overwhelming grandeur to the things that we see as you realize the universal implications of what we're talking about. From before the beginning of time until now, it's about the glory of God. The depths, the unspeakable, unfathomable depths of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Solideo Gloria. Your redemption, your reason for existence, Solideo Gloria. This is pervasive, this is massive, there is nothing more important anywhere in the universe than the glory of God. Nothing in time, nothing in eternity, surpasses this one great theme.
And so we come back, we circle back in light of these things, and we appreciate the skill of those who were involved in the writing of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. What is the chief end of man? Well, when we consider creation and salvation and all these things that we've been saying, there's only one answer. Man's chief end is to glorify God. That is the reason that you exist. It's not your business, it's not your relationships, it's not your family, that's not the chief end. Those are secondary goals to a greater end. It's the glory of God. This is your chief, your primary, your highest end.
Your goal in life is the glory of God. Let's take it to a third and final point. Once again, I feel like the chariot could come and just carry us into heaven as we talk about these things.
But you come to the third and final point. Soli Deo Gloria in heaven. Soli Deo Gloria in heaven. In the life to come, in eternity. In other words, you know, I'm not a historian. I'm not at all qualified to say what I'm about to say.
This is just a human opinion from an unworthy man. But I rather suspect that as historians, church historians look back a hundred years from now on our age and the rise of the seeker sensitive movement and the drift of so-called evangelicalism over the past 50 years or so, I rather suspect that somewhere in some of their books, they will have a severe judgment upon the seeker sensitive movement and the way that so many pulpits conditioned people to think that salvation was primarily about what Christ could do for us in this life. Your best life now. The purpose driven life. The idea that it's about life and we're conditioned to think about what God can do for me now.
And that's the purpose. I don't know that anyone would actually say it this way, but there's this lurking mindset in the cesspool of that philosophy of ministry that says the purpose of God is to give us what we want in this life. I want healing, God ought to give it to me. I want prosperity, God ought to give it to me.
I want a wife, I want a spouse, God ought to give it to me. And we're conditioned to think about God as he pertains to our needs and the centrality of our desires in this 70 year window of existence that we have. And I can't imagine that there won't be skilled church historians a hundred years from now if the Lord tarries who look back on it and condemn it in the severest of terms.
And in advance I join with their judgment. It is a travesty that we have been conditioned to want God, to want Christ, to think about salvation in terms of what it can do for us in this life. And that we've lost sight of the ultimate end of salvation. Well beloved, let me remind you in the time that we have remaining that God called you to salvation for a higher purpose.
You are in Christ for a far higher purpose than that God can smooth out the bumps in the road in your life. That is not why you were saved, that is not the purpose of God. That is such a limited low view of the purposes of God and why you exist and the nature of salvation that it is not worthy of Scripture. It's not worthy of Christ.
That kind of thinking, that kind of mindset is crud on the bottom of your shoe that you need to scrape off and kick away. I don't know where that metaphor came from but it was right there. No, beloved, God called you to salvation, God called you to Christ, the Spirit drew you to Christ for a far higher purpose than that. That swallows up everything, and I mean everything in this life, into a realm of far, far greater purpose. Look at 1 Peter chapter 5. This is not a passage that we've taught on here at Truth Community Church, but it is one that has so often been coming to my mind over the past several months. Let's start in verse 8.
Peter writing to those who were suffering persecution, encouraging them in Christ, pointing them to greater purposes, pointing them here in verse 8 to the reality of the spiritual battle that was at work in the midst of their suffering. He tells them, be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. He says, I know you're in a spiritual battle, but stand firm.
Don't yield. Resist the devil and take comfort in knowing that other brethren elsewhere are going through the same sufferings that you are. And what's the end goal that would fuel the motivation? These people are suffering.
There's nothing about a best life now for them. What is it then that would motivate them and help them to stand firm? Verse 10. After you have suffered for a little while, just a short little period of time, the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. You have been called not for an easy life here on earth. You have been called to be a participant in the display of the eternal glory of God in Christ. That's why you exist. That is the higher purpose of your salvation.
Glory. Being conformed ultimately and perfected to the image of Christ is why you were called to salvation. You're lifted to a realm that is far beyond the purpose of your life, I should say, is lifted to a realm far beyond this short existence that we have here on earth.
And everything, all of the details of your life are just an incidental means to that greater end. You are called to the eternal glory of God in Christ. The eternal glory of God. You are called to one day see face to face the resurrected Christ. That is your ultimate purpose, 1 John 3.2. This is what's coming for you in Christ. We will be made like Him because we will see Him as He is. What lies ahead for you, Christian brother?
What lies ahead for you, Christian sister, is nothing less than being in the presence of the resurrected Christ and seeing Him face to face. You will see His face. He will see your face. And you will be changed and conformed to His image when that happens. And somehow you will share in the perfection of Christ. You will share in His image so that the glory that belongs to Christ will somehow be shared in a perfect measure to you. Sin will be banished. Earth will be forgotten. The tears of this life will be wiped away, never to come back again.
The former things Isaiah says will not be brought to mind. And in that place of perfect bliss, of a perfect vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, there and then and only there and then will the final purpose of your salvation be achieved. I've said it many times, I'm getting older and so I just start to repeat myself. Some of you do that too, so I trust that you'll sympathize with me in it. But I've often thought, and I think about this a lot, that when I see the face of Christ, when I see Him face to face and experience the fullness of the purpose for which God saved me, it's beyond comprehension. But I imagine that, and though heaven will not be like this, I imagine that the magnitude and the glory of that will be so great and so consuming that I would be satisfied if I was just sent to a corner of heaven to sit by myself and spend all of eternity doing nothing more than remembering, I saw His face, I saw Him as He is, I saw the resurrected face of Christ, and that alone would be enough to satisfy the longings of my heart throughout all of eternity and the fact that God has more for each one of us than that is just amazing grace. But beloved, I put it in those terms to you to help you somehow grasp a tiny little bit that seeing Christ face to face for an instant is far greater than anything that this earth could offer you, far greater than any success or any love or any relationship could ever be. That moment is far surpassing in its grandeur and purpose than anything that could happen here on this sin-rotted earth in your sin-distorted mind and sin-distorted flesh.
That will be a perfect moment when you see Christ face to face. And beloved, as I also like to say, that when we are in heaven with Christ, it is not going to be a foreign alien environment to us at all. This is why we were saved, this is why God saved us, and that can only mean one thing, well it means a lot of things, but it certainly means this among others, it means that when we are with Christ in heaven, that for the first time as a believer will fully and completely seem like we are at home because that is why we were saved, was to be there. And we feel like strangers and aliens as we walk through this life. We feel the weight of our sin and our corruption, we feel the weight of hostile enemies, we feel the weight of the opposition of the devil, we feel the weight of our failing flesh.
None of that will sully, none of that will detract from being with Christ. And that will be the moment of perfection for which our hearts are longing. That is the moment of perfection for which God created you, for which God saved you. When your purpose is fulfilled, when that comes to pass, there will be a sense in which you say, I am at home, I belong here, I belong to this resurrected Christ and he belongs to me.
And it will all be solely day of Gloria. Now when we're in heaven, the goal in heaven will be the glory of God. Look at Revelation chapter 4. We'll just look at these passages all too quickly, all too briefly. If you ever want to feel inadequate, be a sinner and preach on the glory of God.
That'll do it for you. I speak by way of present experience. Revelation chapter 4 verse 10, the 24 elders will fall down before him who sits on the throne and will worship him who lives forever and ever and will cast their crowns before the throne saying, Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and because of your will they existed and were created. You see how the sum, this has come full circle, hasn't it? We started out talking about the glory of God in creation and we see in heaven all of creation was created for your glory and there'll be worship around the throne for that. You are worthy to receive glory. Look at Revelation chapter 5 verse 11. Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, countless angelic beings saying with a loud voice, booming throughout all of heaven, this theme, worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing and every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea and all things in them.
You see the comprehensive nature of it once again? I heard them saying to him who sits on the throne and to the lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. And Revelation chapter 21, turn there with me if you would. In verse 10, what will the new Jerusalem be like? What will eternity be like? He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance, there's that word, her brilliance was like a very costly stone as a stone of crystal clear jasper. Beloved, this brief survey here has done no justice to this topic of Soli Deo Gloria, but I trust that it's enough to see the overarching unifying theme of the universe, of your salvation, of the purpose of all existence, of all creatures, visible and invisible.
Think about it on a timeline, beloved, if you want to. From creation throughout all of a time and into heaven, Soli Deo Gloria, for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. This one transcendent theme informs all of your life. 1 Corinthians 10 31 says, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Beloved, the resources, the opportunities, the relationships, the abilities that you have in the present time, one single purpose, Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria, does that shape your affections? Does that shape your priority? Young people, are you letting that inform your perspective on what you want to do with your life? If not, you haven't even started to think properly.
Of course, it's not just the young people, is it? This is for all of us. Those of you who do not know Christ, oh, the weight of the contrast of that. You've rejected the gospel, you've rejected Christ, and you refuse to bend your knee to Him. Let me say this to you.
As a friend, as well as a pastor, and you will not have this man reign over you. Let me say this to you. It is no wonder that your life seems so disordered to you. It is no wonder that you cannot make sense of life. It is no wonder why your life is so fragile. You are out of harmony with the very purpose of the universe. You are rejecting Christ who is the image of the glory of God, and all things exist for His glory.
How can you ever think that your life is going to work out rightly? Do you realize that even the judgment of the wicked throughout all of eternity will be a vindication of the glory of God? That the destruction of impenitent sinners will be a display of His glory, a vindication of His holiness, a vindication of His law, a vindication of His Son?
Do you recognize these things, beloved? I urge you, those of you that are spurning Christ up until this moment, solely deo gloria, repent of your self-oriented, selfish life, and come to Christ. And get yourself into harmony with the purpose of the universe, the purpose of all things. And for all of us, individually and corporately, as Truth Community Church, we must and let us set our hearts on this single, solitary aspiration, solely deo gloria. Sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, all solely deo gloria. And with that, Pastor Don Green has concluded our series, The Five Solas.
And our teacher is with us now in studio. Don, on a scale of one to ten, how do the five solas stack up on the importance meter for Christians? Well, Bill, I would give the five solas a perfect ten on how strategic and important they are for Christians to understand. It's the nature of the Christian faith. It's at the very heart of how we understand and find true salvation in Jesus Christ. By grace alone, through faith in him alone, on the testimony of Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.
These things will teach you humility and to revere Christ and to love him with all of your heart. We have this series available for free, either on CDs or downloads. We'd encourage you to find it for yourself for future study as well as for your friends. We'll give you the info to find it. Thanks, Don. And friend, we invite you to visit TheTruthPulpit.com. There you'll find all our resources and information about our ministry. That's TheTruthPulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time for more from The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
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