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May 6, 2020 4:00 am
The book of Hebrews uses some alarming terms to describe a particular group of people.
Those who initially professed faith in Christ and then later denied their convictions and walked away today on Truth for Life. Alastair beg helps us define this category and explains the path that leads to this tragic state. What are we told about these people for whom repentance is an impossibility, will ones of all, they have been enlightened. They have once been enlightened, what is it mean to be enlightened.
It means to be exposed to the light you're living in darkness, and someone turns the light on your exposed to the light.
Secondly, they have tasted the heavenly gift they received the word with a fleeting passion, but are not rooted steady growth. Thirdly, they shared in the Holy Spirit, what is it mean I think it simply means that in on the influence of God spit it on their lives. They had sat and listened to the word of God and had been convicted of their sin shared in the influence of the Holy Spirit never ever been convicted of their sin. They thought self-esteem was the answer they thought they were going haply along their days they had no interest in the things of Christ and all of a sudden they find themselves under conviction of sin, shake it off to get down the aisle to get on with their life and they're gone that food any doubt about that. We need only again to listen to the words of Jesus himself. Matthew chapter 7 Jesus speaks of those who will come to him and he's just given a very stirring warning concerning false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing and inwardly they are ferocious wolves, so he follows up and he says listen let me just make something real clear to you folks. Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, and I was, not everybody's got a language down. Not everybody who knows the jargon not everybody who can see it either privately or publicly from a pool. Not everyone who has got the lingual right is going to heaven.
So don't be gone be bamboozled by people television people or anybody else just because they see me certain thing that everyone is asked me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name does not sound like somebody who believes himself to be sharing in the Holy Spirit and in your name drive out demons, and in your name perform many miracles and then I will tell them plainly. I never knew get away from me, you evildoers, receipt and are tolerant society where the subtle influences and tendencies of our culture which rejects the notion of truthfulness widget which rejects the idea of true truth which rejects in the moral and spiritual realm. The notion that there can be rightness and wrongness and embraces the notion that really everybody's just fine irrespective of what they propound. This Jesus doesn't share that sense of ambivalence just like the people in John chapter 6 after the feeding of 5000 they were astonished by the signs and miracles. What is Jesus to turn around in the crowd says listen listen listen hold up. You folks are just following me because the fish and loaves you don't understand any leads the gospel on them and the demands of discipleship start to drift away times and times of eventually comes to his disciples and said, you guys you want to go as well. There are plenty of people who are following in the crowds of the miraculous and the spectacular because it appeals and of treating intrigues and they are moving in the round of the Holy Spirit's letters make no mistake about we baptize upon profession of faith, not on assurance of salvation I shared in your baptism here. I hope you don't finger because I was in the tank with you that somehow or another that conveyed something to I was just listening to what you said and I was helping you to bear testimony to what you profess, you can answer correctly. So can I to the Orthodox questions and you can go down the line to which any local church encourages you and you could share in the influence of the Holy Spirit, still not be genuinely see. Fourthly, they tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age.
What is this mean well. This is probably the hardest of all of the phrases to get our hands around the tasted the goodness of the word of God.
This means that they had found that God is faithful to his word that his word was always pointing to the word who would calm in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, so that the prophets were always pointing forward to the provision of the Messiah and recognizing the fighter when the Messiah came, the powers of the coming age would be projected into the present age through the ministry of the Spirit of God, through the proclamation of the word of God. In Uganda, for example with Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth and he takes the scroll of the prophet and he reads from it by a graphically and he says he was anointed me the spirit of the Lord is now up on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor and freedom, and recovery of sight to the blind and here are individuals who said yes to that as well, but it is these individuals who have fallen away verse six and therefore it is impossible for them to be brought back to repentance. Now why would this be what answer is because they had resolutely turned their backs upon the very truths which would be the means of bringing them to repentance. What is God used to bring people to repentance uses the enlightenment of his word he uses the convicting influence of the Holy Spirit. He uses the in breaking of the power of his word and the identification of the coming age and here are individuals who now say all that I used to do that. I used to believe what you believe will tell you if you meet them. Goodness gracious. I was in the Bible class and find I even taught a Bible class or yes I intended the church when it was over on such and such a place. I was actually baptize their don't give me the gospel anymore. I have no interest in the gospel. Don't tell me about the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleansing from sin. I have no interest in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Don't try and enlighten me with the truths of the word. I simply have no interest in it whatsoever. Says FF Bruce God has pledged himself to pardon all who truly repent. But Scripture and experience alike suggest that it is possible for human beings to arrive at a state of heart and life where they can no longer repent.
She's to chill me as a kid in Scotland listening to people preach and hearing them say all God help us to hear your voice. While it is still today for we know that your spirit will not always strive with man and that is why you see loved ones. If you are convicted by the spirit of God, and he shows you your sin brings you to an end of yourself points you to the wonder of the atoning death of Jesus Christ upon the cross today is the day of salvation, because you may never experience the reality of the convicting power. The spirit of God in your life again.
You can never presume upon. So you say all well once I graduate.
Once I get out of high school. Once I finish my degree. Whatever it is I will deal with all of that that you never know what the day brings either ushering us immediately into eternity are producing within our hearts. Absolute deadness of our souls.
I when I came to this church mentioning any names encountered almost a people encountered me in a group of young men who were present at that time in 1983. There was one who stood out as a ringleader, and he was a very vociferous character and he would challenge me on this and address me on that and he had a phase in this in the phase and that but he was he was keen for the things of God, and he was keen to be around others who working for the things of God, and he wanted to encourage them along with and then he began to fall away to drift and it appeared that he was a backslider that we needed to pray for his restoration in the last I heard of. He was speaking in a Unitarian church in Shaker Heights, denying the truth of the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ.
So what you have here is a sorry description of individuals who at one time profess the knowledge of the gospel experienced something of his influence were identified with Christ, but who have now abandoned openly and totally their profession of Christian faith is vitally important you understand that he is not here describing the occasional falling into sin, which is a description of the backslider you don't understand backslider go out and get a copy of Pilgrim's progress and read it to realize there how easy it is for us to get ourselves in BiPAP meadow to listen to the seducing voices of those around us and to instead of going wholeheartedly towards the goal find that we are slipping back, he is not describing that experience is not describing the experience of Romans chapter 7, with which I can so readily identify the good that I want to do. I don't do the bad that I don't want to do this, I find myself doing that is common Christian pilgrimage experience. These individuals whom he here describes have renounced Christianity altogether, they reject its ordinances. The openly deny its divine origin. They live in a habitual ungodliness and the cry for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That's the description of the apostate. If the crucifixion of Christ were to take place today they would be on the side of those who cried for Barabbas and cried out for his crucifixion. Let me draw this to a close with a couple of thoughts. First of all, what then does this mean will simply and strikingly that individuals who returned to sin with enthusiasm who renounced their Christian profession who display a total absence of remorse. In doing so, and who continue in that way to the end of their lives were clearly despite initial appearances never truly born of God, they where those described in one John 219 they went out from us because they were not all of us. If they had been all of us, they would have continued with its analogic here I think is inescapable. If, as this sixth verse teaches the openly proclaim Jesus to be an imposter and identify themselves with his crucified heirs. Then they were trampling underfoot. The only hope of redemption twice is impossible for them to come back to repentance is the only way that we can come to repentance is on the strength of what God is provided as a means of repentance and if you have trampled underfoot and kicked out is irrelevant. All the means of repentance. In verses seven and eight little illustration from agriculture with us. We finish striking little to verse couplet land.
The drinks in the rain often falling on it. Those who sit regularly under the sound of the gospel must face the fact that their eternal consequences to healing. Although all may be present in here. The same word. The result is not the same in each case one field produces blessing another field produces only thorns and thistles, one life produces a genuine response to the word of God in another life. Just I was enterprisewide and that's Matthew seven again the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the wise man built his house upon the rock in this. And Jesus says here's the deal. Both of these guys were hearing the word both of them were present in the same content.
Both of them determined that it would establish a building project on the strength of what they hear. But in one case the guys house fell flat and was obliterated and in the other cases stood firm and what was the difference. Not that one harridan, one didn't know that one wanted to build in one didn't for the both hard to both wanted to build what was the difference the man whose house to warm was the man who hared my word and food. It into practice.
The other guy here. The word, and as in Hebrews 4 did not combine it with faith and it was of no value to Mattel where in the world loved ones that we get this Christian gospel from that suggestive people that all they have to do is make a tacit intellectual response to certain truths which even the demons believe and then just go out and do they want, so we got thousands and thousands and probably millions of people all across evangelical Christianity and the reason I have no interest in going on with God. The reason they never read their Bibles. The reason they're not involved in evangelism. The reason they're not excited about worship. The reason they only attend sporadically is because they're not converted. If we taste the kind of like what it offers no radical change then been dating never fell in love.
They may even have got the kind of paraphernalia that the professors have attainable in the Bible and the leather binder and the two handles the whole business and they walk around with a perilous position to be in enjoy the privilege of sitting regularly under the teaching of God's word and the bear no fruit there in a dangerous position. Remedies that I am the vine, you are the branches of the range remains in me. The man or woman remains in me and I and then they will bring forth much fruit.
If they don't remain in me, I'll take the branch out, cut it off. I'll throw it away and will burn like the sound of that. But what do you like the sound of easy believers in do you like the sound of cheap grace. What an unhappy experience for the farmer to work so hard and see such a meager result. What an unhappy experience for the pastor to work so hard and see such a meager result. What about the field of our life's this morning Sue running on as fruitful as I ought to be. Now there you go. That's good. I like that is near my that's not the issue. The issue is not are you are walking botanical garden. The issue is, are there some shoots you know when you saw the grass seed and you get up every morning and you look around and just look like a pavement morning after morning and then all of a sudden you notice or just a slight tinge you down the hands and knees you see these tiny things you look at ISA idling.
This is ever going to be a long and so I feel regularly about my Christian life. One or two shoots here and there, and I say to myself I don't know if this will ever be alone but I bless God for one or two shoots because the apostate and the unbeliever are not even looking for shoots and home care. They've ditched their gone you're still here.
What about your field.
Let me quote in conclusion from John Brown again of Haddington. He says it may be that some conscious struck gospel hardened sinners may be disposed to say what is to be done in our fearfully alarming circumstances we just had ourselves describe what must we do to be saved, says Brown, my answer is B. In reality what you have so long professed to be your professed faith in Christ while then believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Your professed repentance towards God, then repent and be converted every one of you let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and led him to return to the Lord and he will of mercy upon them and to our God, he will abundantly pardon when they apply only apostate remains an open willful settled defiance, it is impossible for him or her to be reclaimed. That's what the Bible says I want to notice this very important truth that it is only as long as the individual remains in that settled willful rejection of the means of repentance and faith. But if that individual should never like the prodigal son come to their senses than what would we say to them all know urine apostate. It is impossible for you to believe that would be the worst and most damning and most un-biblical response because it is only in the working of the Spirit of God that a man or a woman is wakened up to flee from raw and the prodigal son as he partied and fooled around and left his father's house and his brother and all operation.
He never had. I thought for any of that stuff and in the pigsty of his life when he came to his senses. He said I will arise and I'll go to my father now saying to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your site and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Just make me as a hired set. If no apostate ever was. See, it was on account of the fact that they chose to continue in their apostasy. Not that they perished because they sought in vain. The mercy of God through faith in Jesus Christ helpful in clarifying message explaining the peril of spiritual apostasy listing the truth from Alastair big returns in a moment to close with prayer so please keep listing at Truth for Life. We believe God works through the teaching of his word. That's why we are committed to providing clear relevant Bible teaching on the radio online through our mobile app also to our YouTube channel, Amazon, Celexa, Google home. It's a joy and an honor for us to make Alistair's Bible teaching available free of charge.
We couldn't do it without support we received from blisters like you when you give a gift today. There's a book. Would love to send you to show our thanks, we think you'll find it very encouraging. It's a 31 day devotional written by biblical counselor Paul couches and it's written specifically to address the issue of anxiety.
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Knowing God's peace. When you give email@example.com/donate or call 888-588-7884. Now here's Alastair to close with prayer O God our father.
These are difficult versus both to speak and to listen to. Pray that the main things may be really plain that the plainness of the call to repentance and faith may elicit the same in the lives of some that are present in this congregation. Even now some of us who have slid into rebellion and disinterest may find that this flashing warning signs stirs us returns us to the food of the cross so that we may not trample underfoot the offer of the gospel that we may bow down in penitence and in faith and receive your mercy stared our hearts in these days we pray, we thank you for your word may dwell in us richly for Christ's sake. We ask on Bob Lapine.
Hope you can join us Thursday Alastair will wrap up the series called fix our eyes on Jesus, the Bible teaching of Alastair. It is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific