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A Dire Warning

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2022 7:00 pm

A Dire Warning

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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September 25, 2022 7:00 pm

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Problems with you turn with me if you would to Mark chapter 9 will be looking at verses 42 through 50 Jesus speaking, whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck. They were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to see and cut it off is better for you to enter life crippled and with two hands to go to hail the unquenchable fire.

If your foot causes you to see and cut it off is better for you to enter life lame with 2 feet to be thrown into hail and if your eye causes you to see and tear that out is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one with two eyes to be thrown into hail where their worm does not die.

The fire is not quenched.

Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good with the salt has lost its saltiness, how you make it salty again have salt in your sales and be at peace with one another that with me as we go to our Lord in prayer. Heavenly father often I read your word and I feel comforted and deeply loved and greatly assured that because of your grace. I am a child of God. I'm challenged to forge ahead and blessed with divine assurance.

I rejoice that I belong to Jesus and he belongs to me.

I love that with the passage today chastens me and that's good to Hebrews 12 tells us to whom the Lord loves a chastens so I appreciate not buy out to your chastening the passage today. Challenges me. It forces me to deny a sale to take up my cross and follow you forces me to get serious about times when I might be an offense and a stumbling block to others. Father I pray that you would use the Scripture today to purge the true believers of ungodliness and open the eyes of those who think that they are say but really aren't that Jesus be exalted Lord, keep my lips from arrow.

What is the precious holy name of Jesus that I pray, amen may be seated. The passage that I just read could not be more timely. The light of the blatantly superficial Christianity that we see in America today. Jesus is challenging us. He is warning us.

He is speaking very seriously to us in this passage, Jesus commands his followers to engage in radical obedience.

He commands us to love deeply to hate sin vehemently to seriously engage in spiritual warfare.

And to think often about the horrors and the reality of hail. I'm not preaching the sermon this morning just to Grace Church Harrisburg. I'm not preaching this morning adjust to our radio audience. I'm not preaching this morning just to the woke church. I preaching this morning to me as much is anybody here. I need this passage because it radically forces me to deal with issues in my life that may not be displeasing to Christ. It did not stuff pride out of my heart. It reminds me of the high cost of denying sale. Take it up my cross daily and following Jesus a few weeks ago, as I have done hundreds of time from this pulpit. I shared with you that we are saved by grace through faith plus nothing is important for us to thoroughly understand that that my works that I think might please God, are like filthy rags before him, I need to understand that I need to remember what the hymn says nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling my only hope is that Jesus paid it all all him sailors left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow. The apostle Bob Powell beautifully stated it in Ephesians 289 when he sent for by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It's a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast St. Paul in first Corinthians chapter 1 verse 30 and 31. Should this and because of him. You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God.

Righteousness and sanctification and redemption so that as it is written with the one who boast, boast in the Lord our salvation came to us by grace, the Lord regenerated our heart and gave us the power to repent and and to believe the gospel. Jesus did not speak these words that we are looking at today to tell us that our works and our obedience would save us, but he spoke these words to us that we might have assurance that that we might's have fruit and evidence and proof of salvation. Some of you there here today that have have problems with assurance, and a lot of times you feel that you don't have assurance of your salvation. Many of you have a very tender conscience and the. The devil uses that against you and a sphinx in your ear, and he says to you, you're not really saved, you don't belong to the Lord, you haven't done enough. The Lord doesn't really love you but we need this this word today, because when we began to be obedient to the Lord and and we began to die to self, then that doesn't bring about our salvation is not the cause of our salvation is the fruit is the proof it is that evidence of salvation got four points and I will share with you today .1 is vital.

Love look with me. Verse 42 whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. The command here is that we are to love our fellow believers and we are to love them so much that we won't be a stumbling block to them. I was in a Bible conference several years ago when Sam storms was one of the speakers and I remember him getting up to preach that morning and and before he preached. He prayed and he prayed Lord.

He said please do not let me be an offense to the people that I'm preaching to this morning. Don't let my personality or my preaching style or the way that I come across.

Don't let that Athenian people but, oh Lord. If your word offends them that I praise God for that.

Let it bring conviction into their heart. Let it break pride and do the work that that only you can do how important that is.

I heard that not remember saying to myself I need to pray that prayer every time I step into the pulpit or don't let my personality or my preaching style or the way that I come across the offensive to anyone but Lord you be the offense you do something in the heart. You say something through your word that will convict and break pride and draw people to yourself years ago I heard a man preach on verse 42 and when he preached on this verse. He and he was using it to say that this passage is teaching us that that we as moms and dads are not to be stumbling blocks to our little children so don't cuss in front your kids don't get in a fight with your wife in front your kids don't get drunk in front your kids don't be a stumbling block from your kids and you know that that's good advice.

And it's true, you shouldn't do those things.

But that's not who Jesus is saying that's in this in this passage, he is much more than just little children here has to do with every believer. Every believer.

It was a RC Sproul listed this at first glance, these words seem to be a warning against mistreatment of children, but that is not the case when Jesus spoke of little ones he was referring to ordinary believers adult Christians who are not sophisticated in their learning, but seek to be faithful and obedient to Jesus with childlike faith. Jesus warned that if people who are puffed up with knowledge or with their status in the church arrogantly calls simple Christians to stumble. They expose themselves to great chastisement from the Lord to show how serious this matter was in his eyes by making a terrifying comparison be better for such a puffed up person to be dragged to the bottom of the sea by millstone hung around his neck and the make a believer stumble ancient Israel was an agrarian society.

Some of the most important crops were grains that grain was ground by millstone to produce flower. A typical millstone was so big and so heavy that animals were used. To turn it no human being was strong enough to do so with the notable exception of Samson who was forced to turn the millstone in the prison of the Philistines. However, Jesus said that those who cause believers to stumble would be guilty of such a severe sin, that it would be a lesser judgment to have such a heavy stone attached to one snag and be thrown into the sea. The place of terror and chaos in Jewish poetry, to say the least. This was a strong metaphor that conveyed Jesus's point with great force brothers and sisters. This is a powerful warning for those of us who are in leadership to those of us who actually do teaching to the elder to the pastors to the preachers to the professors and seminaries is a great warning to us to be very careful that that which we preach does not calls some believer to stumble Charles Spurgeon said it this way hundred 40 years ago. If the word of God makes you tremble. It was meant to make you tremble.

If a sermon concerning the future punishment of sin does not make the heart tremble, it is clear that is not of God for hell is not a thing to talk about without trembling my innermost desires to feel more and more. The overwhelming power of Jehovah's judgment against sin, so that I may preach with all the deeper solemnity the danger of the impenitent and with tears in trembling by the seats them to be reconciled. I went to a Baptist seminary back in the late 1970s did not know that it was a liberal seminary.

When I went but it was in the second year that I was there.

We were supposed to take the course and was called systematic theology at its course. It helps you to get your foundation settled and it's a course of putting it all together and so we had not bought the textbook for the class and I took it back home.

It was a textbook that was written by a man named Gordon Kaufman who's a Mennonite professor and he was a professor at Harvard Divinity school. I read the first chapter and I was absolutely shocked. Britt was a chapter that was just filled with attacks on the word of God telling us that there were errors and contradictions all the way through the word of God. I got through that chapter as it will wonder what he says about the resurrection don't always in the back and I saw where he made the statement, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is nothing more than hallucination on part of the disciples first class I went to our teacher. After the class was over and I said I know that you will went to Harvard Law school. You got your doctorate.

They are in Austin. I know I didn't go anyplace like that and I know that your IQ is probably miles and miles higher than mine lasted for the life of me I cannot understand why you would have us to use this textbook that denigrates the word of God and that mocks the resurrection of Jesus Christ's animal read it anyway because I want to know how to find it better buddies. I said you are going to be responsible for the people in the students that read this book and have their faith damaged. RC Sproul said that he had seminary professor that called him a fool because he believed in the substitutionary atonement of Christ. Verse 42 to scare these preachers these authors to death. These liberal teachers are destroying the face of countless, countless students.

This verse is one day they will give an account now teaching or espousing false doctrines is one way that you can be a stumbling block to others, but there are many other ways that you can be a stumbling block we share three of them with you one you can be a stumbling block by your example is a Christian you can be a stumbling block by how you live wheeze to support a missionary here several years ago I and the sky was a young man he been alcoholic before he came to the Christ given up drinking is going on the mission field and they sending to Atlanta for several meetings that he had to go to before he left he went to these meetings and and there were denominational leaders in their work's other pastors they are and they were sitting around a table and all of them were drinking, they started chiding him because he wasn't drinking so he said well if it's okay for them.

Maybe it's okay for me.

He started drinking again and got hooked destroyed his ministry completely and broke his family's heart would not he should of been stronger than that. That's right, he should of been only tell you those pastors knows denominational leaders will one day give an account for being a stumbling block we can be a stumbling block by trivializing sin when we often use euphemisms.

Don't wait we call adultery in a fire we call drunkenness, imbibing we call homosexuality alternative lifestyle that trivializing sin causes us to be a stumbling block. Thirdly, we can best only bought by ridiculing or poking fun at another Christians attempts to do right. You just a fanatic. You just you worry too much about everything have to be that why you're just an old fuddy-duddy, that kind of thing right there can destroy a Christian it can hurt him. He can be a stumbling block. It can help him to to to alter in his walk with Christ like .2 vital purity equipment versus 43 through 48. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off is better for you to enter life crippled and with two hands to go to hail to the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to see and cut it off.

It is better for you to enter life lame. There were 2 feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to see and tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, and with two eyes to be thrown in the hail with a worm does not die on the fire is not quenched.

Once again, the question arises, can a true Christian loses salvation and spin forever in an eternal hail if all we had was this passage, then I could see were some people might think that is not what this passage teaches but affects all we had. I could see it. The rest of the Bible would mitigate strongly against that as we must conclude that anyone who goes to hail was never a genuine Christian to begin with, a person might profess to be a born-again believer and appear to go on whale for a certain period of time, but if that person consistently indulges the flash consistently refuses to repent consistently turns his back on the Lord. Chances are that person was not a believer to begin with this passage, Jesus explains how we carry out CNs use of body parts uses the hands and the feet and not Baha'is. The hand speaks of deeds that we do the feet speaks of the wall that we walk and eyes speak of our desires.

Jesus said it would be better to have your hand chopped off to have your feet lopped off to have your eyes plucked out rather than you going to spend eternity in the torments of hail Jesus taken in hyperbole here and in order to teach us the importance of finding sin and not be in a stumbling block.

We know that sin is not created by the hand with the feet or the eyes. Is it sin comes from a sinful heart just rises from the heart that speaks to the mind that is worked out by the hands and the feet in the eyes. Jesus is telling us it would be better to lose those body parts than to suffer an eternity in hail with a worm.not in the fire is never quenched word for hail here is a Greek word that comes from the Hebrew root word Gehenna back during Isaiah the prophet's day there was a king that rose to power's name was Manasseh Ness was very wicked.

He killed the prophets, he took Isaiah and heading and having sewn in half and while he was alive a solid human half. Not only did he do that, he started child sacrifice in Israel and he went down to a little area inside a little south of Jerusalem. A little ravine and he put up altars. They are so that people could come and they could take their newborn babies lay them on the altar and then burn them to death as a sacrifice to the false God move away Josiah very godly king came along and Josias said this is can be abolished. It should never again happen ever again in Israel, and he took that that place where they sacrifice the babies intimated a garbage dump. Hey made it a garbage dump where people would bring their garbage day in day out, and they would have a fire that was going there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It never went out. Why did he do that he did that because to show his discussed with child sacrifice of praise God for that. Jesus used this word Gehenna to describe what hail was like RC Sproul said the refugees from that city, including the carcasses of animals and even the corpses of criminals was carried out on a regular basis and tossed into this massive garbage job to keep the dump from overflowing the refuge there was burned with the fires constantly fed by incoming garbage. Meanwhile, worms stayed busy devouring the carcasses the animals and criminals that were dumped in Gehenna. Thus, the imagery in Isaiah 66 is a picture of this terrible place. Eventually Gehenna became a Jewish metaphor, the place of final punishment. Now realizes the subject of hail is avoided like the plague. In most churches today are culture laughs at the idea of hail we we don't want to be considered to be unenlightened.

We don't want considered the old-fashioned we don't want to be considered to be lacking in knowledge. So, my goodness, get away from this idea of hail that that's not just people the wrong idea about us if we believe in such a horrible and terrible place we use in his cartoons today. Don't wait we see Satan dressed up in her and a red suit with the pitch of tail with a pitchfork in his hand and a Forteo will we see all that we laugh at that, because it L that's funny, which makes us think that all hail is not for real.

There's no fear of God in our heart is a result of it, but we need to remember who made the statements. The statements were not made by some some crazy radical Jewish priest that they were not given to us by some whacked out rabbi.

The statements were made by Jesus Christ is the son of God is the creator of heaven and earth. He is the one who created hail and he is the one who suffered our hail for us on the cross of Calvary. Did you realize that in the gospel.

Jesus fixed twice as much about hail as he does about heaven, he tells us it is the place of burning of suffering and torment. He tells us it is eternal. People who are lost die and then they immediately are sent to hail. They are they are and will stay there and suffering until the second coming of Jesus at the second coming of Jesus. They will be resurrected from the dead, they will stand before Christ and he will he will send them at that point in time to the burning like a fire in the Scripture says that they will not open their mouth and they live absolutely no excuse. Revelation chapter 20 verse 12 through 15 says this and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the Lord, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life and the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done in the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death in hail gave up the dead who were in them and they were judged, each one of them according to what they had done in death and hail were thrown in the lake of fire.

This is the second death like a fire, and if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown in to the lake of fire. In former centuries preachers preached often on the subject of hail and God honored it used it to convict sinners and drive them to Christ.

We see precious little of that today if hail is mentioned in the pulpits today. It is usually water dam to the point where people are not concerned about it whatsoever. Jonathan Edwards preach one of the most powerful sermons on hail that I've ever read over 350 years ago. He said these words. Impenitent sinners constantly assure themselves that they will escape the judgment of God.

This complacency is exacerbated by God's patience instead of leading men to repentance. It breeds in some a false sense of security.

I think God hasn't punished me yet, so obviously all this talk about everlasting punishment is just a scare tactic with no correspondence to reality. Mark Twain made light of hail when he said I would choose heaven for climate and hail for companionship. In other words, he believe that hail would be a better place to be because he would be there with his drinking buddies. He could play cards already could tell jokes with the good old boys to an hail.

There will be every vile and evil person who ever lived, Haman, Nero, Herod the great Adolf Hitler. Stalin made us a time rapist pedophiles and and murderers will be there folks in hail the devil will be there in a particular place in hail called Tartar us with the devil in the fallen angels will reside and suffer is whale in hail you will never see a safe person you will never have any body inhale that could converse with you in a loving way that could give you hope that would be concerned about your soul.

Nothing but evil in hail. You will remember every sermon that you ever heard you remember every gospel tract that you ever read you remember every person that ever tried to share the gospel with you and you remember how you shrug your shoulders and walked away and said whale. I don't want anything to do with this Jesus is ago young, very young bitter man. I came home from work one day his mother had made a supper form had his dish of food right there waiting on him when he got home and she took a gospel tract. She put right beside his plate. He walked daily, so that gospel tract.

He picked it up and threw it on the floor and you stop it down the ground. He said I'm sick of people given me gospel tracts. He said I went to work today and a man gave me a gospel tract on the bus.

He said I got to work in a secretary gave me a gospel tract, they said now come home and my mama has me a gospel tract descending there anywhere I can go where no one will give me a gospel tract. His mother said, stood there with tears rolling down her cheeks and said yes and hail nobody will give you a gospel tract in hail, you will have a vivid memory. Imagine having eternity to remember things that you would give everything in the world to forget cannot forget those inhale retain their sin nature to alcoholics and hail will have a desire for alcohol will never be satisfied. Drug addicts will have a desire for a fix. They will never have it, materialists will have a desire to to satisfy the greed in their life and it will never get it and then pornography addicts will have a desire to lust will be no lewd pictures, inhale hail is referred to as darkness.

This is darkness so deep that it can be felt.

This is darkness, so that that that feels the heart with fear of the unknown in the inhale, you will never ever ever again see one spec of light. That's a scary prospect .3 vital sacrifice. Look at verse 49 for everyone will be salted with fire. Jesus is using Old Testament symbolism here to to teach us New Testament reality in Ezra chapter 6 and Ezekiel chapter 43 there's covenant language that is used here where fire is brought together with salt. These offerings were made to the Lord and then as the fire began to burn in those offerings. I would take salt and pour over the fire. Most of these offerings were called grain offerings and they were they were used as a as symbols of consecration and devotion to the Lord and the salt is a picture of faithfulness. So often we think of grace is just forgiveness of sins. Don't wait as well. We need grace honey.

Gray said that my sins will be forgiven. That would have a relationship with Christ. I need to I need grace to be saved and and that is true but God gives us grace not only to be saved for eternity but also to live a Christian life that would bring honor to him. The book of Romans teaches us that we are saved by grace through faith plus nothing passage like Romans chapter 6 verse 23 the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. That's grapefruit folks. We need that we need to be forgiven. We need to know that we belong to Christ, but we need more than that, we need empowerment to live the Christian life in order that we might bring him glory is what Paul is talking that Romans 12 verses one into said, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God .4 is vital obedience.

Look at verse 50 salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how you make it salty again have salt in your sales and be at peace with one another. We have a tough time picturing how salt can lose its saltiness but back in Jesus day in Israel. Most of the salt that they use came from the Dead Sea and in Dead Sea. There was a particular chemical called gypsum and when the gypsum connected with salt. It would very quickly take away the salt's power to preserve and also to flavor that's important. So Jesus tells them if the salt loses its saltiness. It should just be thrown away because it's not good for anything, if it can't preserve the food or if it can't flavor the food talking with Chris Gregory. Many of you know Chrissy's pastor now down in calabash, North Carolina, down by the ocean, but he is. He's been preaching and he came across this passage not long ago he shared with me how he used it in what he used to describe un-salty salt and he said un-salty salt is like a refrigerator that dies any said that he and his family had gone out for a couple of days and I came back he and his said his one of his kids went over the refrigerator and they opened it up and needed quit running and said when he opened it up the brother was mushy. The milk was soured ice cream. It all melted and take everything in that refrigerator and just throw it out.

Chris it is dead refrigerator is a good picture of an salty salt when he does that dead refrigerator get put in the back of a truck to get to the junkyard and threw it away and then he when he bought a new refrigerator that will refrigerate the right to put your and do the work that is supposed to do but that's what Jesus is talking about here. If you're not salty than your useless. In God's not using you in a powerful way. But Jesus has called us to be the salt so I got a question are you the salt I alright went with people meet you when people know you do.

They do they taste Christianity that they taste the reality of Jesus be the salt Jesus said and be at peace with foldable and fellow believers, how important, maybe you're here today and the sermon on hail spoken to your heart when you're here today and you're not sure about your eternity. I want to plead with you, with all of my heart. Do not put this off. If you have been convicted if you realize that you're not a genuine believer, then why not today.

Trust price repent of your sins, turning to him and in and and coming him in repentance and faith him as your Lord and your Savior. I can promise you this, it will be the greatest joy you will ever experience ever. For all of eternity. Spray heavenly father.

This message is difficult to preach. I like making people feel good to know that temporary emotional highs are not what you desire, you want to eternal results you desire spiritual divine reality you want us to be disciples not just professors of our faith you desire for us to be doers of the word not hearers only, so Lord used this passage today to break pride to deepen our love for you. What is in the precious holy name of Jesus that we pray man

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