Being familiar with the things of God does not make you a member of the family of God. Verse 26, then you will begin to say, we ate and drank in your presence and we taught in your streets. What do you mean you don't know who we are? We listened to you in the synagogues and on the streets. We had conversations. You knew my name.
If you stayed over the weekend, we had meals together. What do you mean you don't know? If anybody's got an inside track, these people are thinking, we've got it. They're saying to the Lord, wait, wait, wait, we hung out. This is Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. Last time we were with you, Stephen began a message called five non-negotiable truths about eternal life. We didn't have time for the entire message.
So today we're going to do a little bit of review and then bring you the second half. The Bible says that the path to eternal life is narrow. Most of the world hates that truth. They're drawn to the idea that there are many ways to get to God. Well, Jesus was clear on this issue, and Stephen will clarify it for you today. Open your Bible to Luke 13, as we get started.
Now Jesus moves here from metaphor to parable. He goes on to say here in verse 24, again, strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Now that sounds like a lot of people want to enter the kingdom of God, but they just can't get in. I mean, they're trying, but they can't get in.
We don't know why. Maybe they messed up the secret handshake or forgot the secret password, but God doesn't want them. They want God, but God doesn't want them. No, that's not what Jesus is saying. Keep reading.
Here's why they can't get in. Verse 25 tells us why. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you notice this, begin. Now you begin. You stand outside and you knock at the door saying, Lord, open to us.
He will answer. I do not know where you come from. That's another way of saying, I don't know who you are.
We're not related. See, these people see these people in this parable only want to enter after they realize that Jesus was telling them the truth. And now it's too late. He's using a rather common illustration.
By the way, his generation would have immediately understood where the gates of a city would be closed at night. So Jesus is delivering this truth. Even if, if it's uncomfortable and non-negotiable, there is a time limit to the offer of salvation, and that time limit happens to be the length of your life.
That's how long we have. The Bible says man is destined to die once, and after that face the judgment. Hebrews 9 27, which is why the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 2, now is the day of salvation. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not when you kind of get your stuff together. Now, today, Hebrews 4 7 says, today if you hear his voice, harden not your heart. You see, there's a biblical principle about hardening. Don't harden your heart because the longer you do, the harder it becomes. Why would you believe that if you don't want Jesus now, that 20 years from now, you're going to wake up and say, you know, I want him after all. No, your heart is hard.
20 years longer as you've rejected him, which is why those of us who work in the ministry of the church understand fully well the truth that the older a person becomes, the less likely they are to give their heart and life to Jesus Christ. The day that you die, and Chuck Swindoll writes on this text, is the day the door slams shut. It's locked tight. It's a terrifying thought, isn't it? You see, the apostle Paul will write, knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we seek to persuade mankind. This is not a game. This is life and death. In recent weeks, as we've been studying through the Lord's urgency and his preaching, I've been thinking about one of the most tragic demonstrations of this time. Limit offer. Of salvation.
Rejected. Until too late. One of the most tragic things we could ever see. I doubt we ever will.
We might. I don't know if the Lord will reconstruct it, but one of the most tragic things we could possibly ever see would be all the marks, all the fingernail marks, all the clawing marks, all the dents and cuts made by hammers and hatchets on the door of the ark. For 120 years, Noah has been preaching to his generation, warning them that a flood is coming. The entire human race is going to be judged by God. Just as we preach today, there is fire coming.
Second Peter tells us it's coming. God is going to flood the planet. Back in Noah's generation and the human race is going to drown in the judgment of God. Their only hope is to get into that ark, not build their own boat.
Get into that ark. The people, if you go back and you study that account, they would laugh and they would mock and they eventually ignored him. In fact, I don't think anybody even came around after about the second, third year.
Certainly not the one hundred and nineteenth year. He's out of his mind. We haven't seen rain. Ecological systems will change after this point, the Bible tells us. There's no body of water near Noah. He's building this huge boat in his dusty backyard. He's a lunatic. And if there is a God, surely God wouldn't judge the human race like that. Who do you think God is? Noah. I mean, who does he think he is? How arrogant, how exclusive, how narrow. You've got to come through this door. And outside of his family, no one believed.
One hundred and twenty years of preaching, no one. Believed. And then it started to rain. The Bible tells us that the currents of water underneath the surface of the earth erupted upward. Rain poured from above. Water rose quickly and we read it's too late because of that rather terrifying verse in Genesis, Chapter seven, where we are told that God had shut the door. Not Noah. God.
Shut the door. How many people wanted to get on that arc once the the water started rising? I can tell you, beloved, there were no unbelievers then. They were listening now.
I can't imagine the clamoring, the clawing and the pounding. No one had believed until it was too late. The door was shut. Here's the point of the parable. We actually have even longer than they did in the sense that it lasts as long as we're alive. This invitation, though, has an RSVP and there's a time limit to that until it is forever too late.
Are you alive? And send it in. And send it in. Now, Jesus anticipates the argument of the crowd. It's going to arise here.
Let me give you the third non-negotiable before we go any further. And it's this being familiar with the things of God does not make you a member of the family of God. Now, verse 26, then you will begin to say we ate and drank in your presence and we taught in your streets. What do you mean you don't know who we are?
You are in our village. We listened to you in the synagogues and on the streets. We had conversations. You knew my name. If you stayed over the weekend, we had meals together. What do you mean you don't know who I am, who we are? If anybody's got an inside track, these people are thinking we've got it.
They're saying to the Lord, wait, wait, wait. We hung out. We hung out. Being exposed to the truth of Christ does not mean you've accepted the truth of Christ. And I know that because I've had individuals in this assembly come here week after week after week after week, year after year until finally they come to faith in Christ or finally they abandon it all. If listening to Jesus preach, by the way, Jesus preach. If eating meals with him guaranteed you a spot in the kingdom, Judas would have been in. If never missing a temple service got you in, Caiaphas and Annas and the Sanhedrin, they were in. If actually hearing from the lips of Jesus the fact that he is the king, if hearing that from him meant you were in, Pilate's in. Hearing the gospel is not the same thing as believing the gospel.
This is the non-negotiable truth. In fact, there are commentators who make a point of this eating and drinking with him. They say to this day there are those who partake in communion. They eat and they drink in his presence, but they do not know him.
Who are they? Well, here's the non-negotiable truth. Being familiar with the things of God does not mean you belong to the family of God. Number four, ignoring God's invitation will have eternal consequences.
Non-negotiable point, ignoring God's invitation will have eternal consequences. Go back to verse 27. I do not know where you come from. That is, I don't know who you are. Now notice, depart from me, you workers of evil.
You notice how he just pulls off the mask of their religious facade and he basically says you might have listened to me preach in the streets and in the synagogues. You know, you kept your nose clean. We even had meals together and you look good, but nothing I said entered your heart. Your heart was never in it. What you are really interested in, he says, is working evil. That is, wicked living.
You might have heard me preach on Saturday in the synagogue, but it made no difference to you on Monday or Wednesday or Friday. You were workers of evil. Literally, evil was your love. It was your occupation. Even now, you're listening to me and you're living a wicked life and nobody knows it in here but you and you and you love it. You hope you never get caught. That's who he's saying, what he's saying to them.
We would say it like this today. These are people who party on Saturday and then praise God on Sunday. There are Bibles underneath the front seat of their car. They have no interest in talking to Christ, no interest in living for him.
Why? Their heart's not in it. He's just exposing that. They would rather have their sin. But Jesus has never been fooled by Sunday clothes. Religious overtones. And he tells them here, you're going to be cast out.
In fact, he describes where they're going to be cast. Look at verse 28. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Weeping is a sign of sadness.
Gnashing of teeth is a phrase that expresses anger, bitter hatred. This is a description of hell. People in hell are sad. They are there, but they are infuriated with God who has held them accountable. And I find it interesting that people want to choose their own path and seem to believe that whatever path they choose is going to take them to heaven. They're all going to heaven. I've never talked to anybody who said, look, I'm choosing my own path and I'm really delighted that it's going to take me to hell. They're never going there. All their paths are taking them to heaven, to God.
Even though if you explore their religions, the religions of our world, they're different gods, different heavens. But for people, it seems that their way is leading them to God. Here's what the Bible says in Proverbs 14, 12.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Jesus pictures them here now in verse 28 as if they're looking through the windows into the kingdom. This is a kingdom invitation.
That's the tight context here. They're not going to get in. They're outside the kingdom and now they're looking through the windows. Notice verse 28.
When you see, here's what you're going to see. You're going to see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves are cast out. That word for cast or cast out is the same verb used over in Revelation chapter 20 in verse 15, following the final judgment, the great white throne where the Bible describes it in these rather horrifying terms. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was cast out.
That's the same verb cast out into the lake of fire. This is the non-negotiable, extremely uncomfortable. We'd rather not talk about it out in the world truth about eternal life. There are eternal consequences, but while you're still alive, there's hope. Let me draw out one more non-negotiable truth from this text. Number five, anyone can accept the invitation no matter who they are or where they've come from or what they've done. Notice Jesus delivers this global invitation here. Verse 28 again, and people will come from east and west and from north and south and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.
They're going to arrive from all four points of the compass. This is an implication pointing to the fact that people of every tongue, tribe, nation, Jew, Gentile, young, old, they're going to be seated around this table at the feast of the redeemed. Some unknown, some well known, some recorded in scripture, some never mentioned, those that you'd think will get a front row seat are in the back and those in the back get a front row seat. Doesn't matter, we're all happy by the way, we're all there.
It's like a graduation line, math notwithstanding. Happy, happy I'm there, thrilled. So we all will be, and we shall be seated there at this feast. You ever wonder who you're going to be seated near? You're going to make some friends from people you've never met, eternal friends. You're going to meet people that have walked across the pages of scripture. Imagine being able to sit and talk with Abraham, Isaac, ask Jacob to pass the butter. Imagine being seated next to Moses or Joseph or Adam, seated next to Eve or Ruth, Mary, Lydia, Phoebe, maybe Paul, Peter, Thomas. Who knows where you'll be seated?
Well, God knows he's made the seating assignments. You're there. You're there. You're in. How'd you get in?
How'd you get in? You went through that narrow door. Over the doorway, John Bunyan wrote of it in Pilgrim's Progress are the words knock and it shall be opened unto you. And you knocked and from that door is a little path that led up a hill. You've read it and there's a cross. And little Christian looked and the burden of sin on his back rolled away. Maybe you notice how this passage moves from curiosity to urgency.
It just began with a question and then moved into an invitation. Lord, how many are going to be saved? It's probably just a few, isn't it? Jesus asks them and us. No, the question is not how many will be saved.
The question is, will one of them be you? Would you pray with me? Father, thank you for the record of scripture.
Who among us would go to a physician and and be told of an illness and then reject the treatment? You have given us the uncomfortable truth of our terminal state, Lord. Under desperate need, how easy it is in our pride to say, well, we're just going to make up our own way and come on our own terms and all the while there is this door. So you, our divine physician, have made it clear. You've shown us the path.
You've introduced to us our need and even today there is another invitation. If you're here today, my friend, and you've never walked through that door, don't wait. Today, if you hear his voice, harden not your heart.
For some of you this might be your last opportunity. Make this day the day of salvation. Let's begin a conversation of what it means to choose Christ's way to heaven. Father, thank you that we as believers can rehearse these truths and when we read a passage like this it does bring terror to our heart because of your wrath which is real and judgment which is coming. So would you stoke that fire in our heart to be ambassadors of yours and to be like Paul who seeks to persuade people because we believe in the coming terror of the Lord. Help us to recognize that where you've placed us is not just to make money or have a job or live, it is to be an ambassador there pointing the way to the door. You give us deeper concern and courage as we, your children, deliver to our world uncomfortable truths, non-negotiable truths that they may mock, they may spurn, they may disregard.
We recognize that as we're traveling down a road if that sign says slow down danger ahead our response doesn't change the message of that sign, it's the truth. So no matter what they do in response to our message it's the truth. Help us to deliver it in love and compassion and concern and concern and tears. Help us to pray even more for our families, our loved ones, those in our traffic patterns of life who are headed toward destruction even as we head toward the celestial city. We thank you that we have been able to sing today Lord of our freedom there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Though we are wicked and we sin we have come to that cross and you've forgiven us.
So we will not pay for our sin you have paid for it all. Thank you. Thank you for our hope and assurance in Christ the Lord and we thank you in Jesus name.
Amen. I hope this message encouraged you and helped you reaffirm your commitment to the message of the gospel. We have a feature on our app that can help you understand more about the gospel.
If you haven't seen it I encourage you to install the wisdom international app to your phone or tablet. Once you do you'll see a link that says gospel right on the main screen. You can also follow along on both the wisdom journey and this program wisdom for the heart. You can access the library of Stephen's 38 years of bible teaching. All of his sermons are available on that app and you can listen to each one or read Stephen's manuscript. You can read the daily devotional read Stephen's blog read our year-long bible reading plan and much more. We've heard from many people that they really appreciate some of the features in our app. In the menu along the bottom is a tab that says bible that gives you access to the complete text of God's word but if you don't want to read it you can just hit the play button and listen to the bible being read to you.
That makes it convenient if you're driving or if you just want to listen along. And here's another feature when you're looking at the bible if Stephen has a lesson from that passage you'll have a link right to that lesson in the app. Let's say you're looking at Genesis 1 1 and you're interested in knowing more about what it means. Well right at the top of your screen there's going to be a link to Stephen's message from Genesis 1 1. I encourage you to look around that section of the app because it's really going to help you grow in your knowledge of God's word and more importantly in the application of God's word to your life. Simply go to the app store for your device and search for Wisdom International.
We're in the iTunes and the Google Play stores. Please continue to pray for Stephen and for this ministry. Like you Stephen desires to finish well and our ministry is empowered by your prayers.
We'd enjoy learning what God's doing in your life. You can send us an email if you address it to info at wisdom online dot org. If you prefer using the postal service our address is Wisdom International P.O. Box 37297 Raleigh North Carolina 27627. Again it's info at wisdom online dot org or Wisdom International P.O.
Box 37297 Raleigh North Carolina 27627. If you'd like to speak with us our phone number is 866-48-BIBLE or 866-482-4253. Thanks for being with us today. Join us next time to grow in wisdom for your heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 04:44:56 / 2023-10-29 04:54:19 / 9