17 February 2014

THE FATHER OF LIES


John 8:37-47

When I think of the word “father” I think of: strength, honor, courageous, security, leader, punisher and hero who come to save the day. See, a father is someone you’re supposed to trust, who will protect, nurture, love, guide you. He’s to be an example for your children to follow after! A godly father should raise and leave a legacy of godly men and women. As the Proverb says “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6. Sadly though, it is possible for a father and son not to truly be father and son. It’s possible despite your efforts for your son not to follow you in the same path you took as it pertains to your spiritual direction. Everywhere you look or read we see people around the world continue to fall to lies of this world and never realize their error until it’s too late. How is that possible? You take the formula of man’s depravity and the greatest deceiver; put them together and you have sin and death, which ultimately leads to destruction. All because they trusted in the wrong father! Satan the father of lies. Remember: Satan told the first lie in recorded history to Eve, in the Garden. After planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind with a question “you will be like God” He purposely contradicts God’s Word by telling her, “You will not certainly die”. With that lie, Satan led Eve to her death; Adam followed, and so have we all.

Many of Satan’s lies tend to have a ripple effect not only on them but us as well. Today, Satan still uses people to spread his lies for him. Erwin Lutzer said “Often, Satan uses emotional charismatic but foolish people to further his falsehoods, as in the case of false religions and cults.” Emotional driven people who lack discernment are easy prey for his deception and lies. As Paul told Timothy “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,” 1 Tim 4:1. He even went on to say to Timothy in his last letter “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Tim 3:1-5

Lying is Satan’s primary weapon against God’s children. He uses the tactic of deceit to separate people from their heavenly Father. Some of his more common lies are “there is no God,” “God doesn’t care about you,” “the Bible cannot be trusted,” and “your good works will get you into heaven.” What lies though…..but many will follow after these lies. We need to be aware or understand that Satan’s deception is a primary goal. Satan deceived the church as illustrated in Romans 1:25, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator...”

Satan is trying very hard to get the Church of the New Testament to get away from truth! Again that’s why Paul said “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2Tim 4:3-4. Have we not seen this more so in the church today? People are more excited to seat and watch Canada win a medal, and then they are to hear God’s word on Sunday morning. People are more excited to read the latest news about Justin Bieber and the dribble of the world, the latest trends, fashions and entertainment than they over their devotional time. People are more excited and will arrive early to stand in line for a movie, concert, hockey game, school play, and then they are when it comes to church functions like bible study and prayer meeting. People are more excited about the next Gospel concert than they are their own church. See! I’m talking about people in the church and sadly many will fall to the lies this world system, many will fall for the father of lies.

Satan knows and recognizes human beings long for a sense of meaning, purpose, and a desire to fit in. That’s why he offers as John MacArthur said “the ultimate source of counterfeit hope.” False hope like false religion which deceives people into thinking there alright with God, when in reality they are not. It blinds a person to the truth and leads them to embrace the lie from the father of lies. 2 Cor 4:3-4 says “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” Carter Colon talks about the deception in the church! Carter said “in this deception the last moments of your life the feet coming down the hallway are not taking you to Heaven. You can get through the deception your whole life you can even sing in the choir.” This passage confronts that issue of who is your father ……….truthfully! Jesus confronts [shatters] the religious men who are deceived to think they’re going to Heaven as their father Abraham. Let’s examine the contrast between Abraham and these men who claim the same promise as their founding father did when God made His covenant with him.

ABRAHAM WAS FAITHFUL TO GOD.

He was an extraordinary man of faith! He obeyed God by faith when he was told to leave his land and go to another land that God promised him. He was a pleading man of faith for lost individuals as we read him pleading with the Pre-Incarnate Christ over the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember when he went to offer his son as a sacrifice because God told him to. His faith was so great; he was an example for us to follow! Paul wrote to the church as a reminder to their confusion of the gospel between faith and works “just as Abraham "BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Yet the law is not of faith, but "THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Gal 3:6-14

By Contrast!

Jesus said to these men “If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.” (v39). Did they do the works of their father? According to the scriptures they were haters of God and to top it off they hated Jesus and were plotting to kill him. These men were self-righteous trying to win or earn favor with God with their own works. As Frank Sinatra said “I did my way” sadly our way leads to a path of destruction. Salvation is not based on legalistic effort, religious affiliation [Baptist, Lutheran and so on] and salvation is definitely not based on ethnic background. Remember what Jesus said at the beginning of John’s gospel? John 1:12-13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” See this is exactly what the father of lies wants to see happen; sinners buying into believing his lies over the truth of gospel found in Christ.

ABRAHAM LOVED GOD

Though his act of faith and obedience to God his heart grew deeper in love for God as it says. Abraham `throughout his life he demonstrated what it means to love God with everything we have. See our love for God includes our emotions, our will, our intellect, and our labor. That was completely demonstrated when he took his son to mountain to sacrifice him for God. Gen 22:11-12 we read “But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Scripture calls Abraham “the friend of God.” Isaiah 41:8 wrote "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.” The root of the Hebrew word for “friend” is the word for “love.” God tells us through these scriptures that Abraham was someone who loved God. So if you truly love God, you would naturally love His Son.

By Contrast:

This wasn’t the case for these Jews because Jesus said "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” (v42). In reality these men hated God because they hated His Son and wanted to kill him. This is evident by their tone and questioning and the response that Jesus gives them in this portion of John’s letter. (v41). There are some simple truths we learn from this portion of scripture that we can use to evaluate to see if we truly love the Father. All who truly love God, love his Son Jesus Christ. Men and women that pretend that they love God, and reject his Son, have no evidence that they are the friends of God. Men and women who reject the Bible cannot be the friends of God. Why? The answer is simple! If they loved God, they would love Him who came from him, and who bears his image.

This is evident in John’s epistle! “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:21-23. The father of lies wants you to hate Him and reject His Son because he knows the power of the gospel that saves that’s why He hates you and me! That’s why Jesus says to their question! “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” (v43-v45). He knows who your father is and he hates this and he will do whatever it takes to tare you down. Satan the father of lies will do whatever it takes to keep the unregenerate to stay unregenerate! As J C Ryle said “where there is no love to Christ, there is no love sonship to God.”


So the question that comes to mind as we look at a passage like this is……..Who truly is your father? Are you positive you are a descendent of Abraham according to Paul’s letter to the church of Galatia? Are you truly following in the footsteps of your father Abraham? You as an individual can only answer those questions! Your spouse, you parents, your friends and the church cannot answer them for you! God sees the heart and He truly knows who are his, we can fool each other but we cannot fool God! These men thought they knew their father but it seems that they didn’t know Abraham any more than they knew Jesus. This is a shattering truth! Either God is your God or He’s not which means you have another father! As Jesus said “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” (v44-v45). Hear the warning of Jesus! Remember Satan is the great deceiver and imposter who imitates God. 2 Cor 11:13-14 says “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” He gives or offers God’s created children false religion, false righteousness, false hope and false security and this will never gain them entrance into Heaven

One thing Satan is good at and that is reminding us that we are sinners! Satan will always remind us that we are sinners and don’t deserve His grace. Satan will always remind us that we have disobeyed God and His commandments. Satan will always remind us when we sin that we are going to die and face judgement. Satan is right but he always forgets to remind us of one important truth! “JESUS SAVES” Jesus Christ came and laid down His life so that I go free without the guilt and shame. Jesus Christ came so that I could taste His grace and freed from the bondage of my sin. Jesus Christ came so that I could be declared His son and in turn reap the blessings promised to Abraham. As Jesus said a son will always have a permanent home “…..but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (v35-v36). So hear the warning and the promise this morning and embrace the truth found in Christ! What Christ is saying in this passage is that those who follow the devil are characterized by deceit!
  • They deceive themselves about their own hearts
  • They deceive themselves about the true meaning of life.
  • They deceive themselves about Christ.
  • They deceive themselves about the way of salvation.

The ultimate deception believes that you’re a child of God when you are not. So the question is………..”Do we [do you] love Jesus as Abraham did?”

10 February 2014

FREEDOM TRUMPS BONDAGE


John 8:31-36

In this world, different people have different kinds of freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and so forth. However, I would like to talk about the real freedom that comes from God. Sadly many people do not have real freedom, because they’re looking for freedom in all the wrong places. Truth has fallen in the streets and the world is not listening! As John MacArthur said “throughout history people have always sought to know the truth about reality, about what is right and wrong, and about what is the meaningful and purpose of in life. As a result endless philosophies, worldviews, and religious systems have arisen over the centuries, each claiming to teach absolute truth, and each in turn cancelling out the “absolute” truths of those that came before it.” The great majority of people in our culture today believe that mankind is on its own and we are in control our own lives and destiny “we are free to do what we want, when we want too”. Maybe a great majority of people follow after the teaching by Friedrich Nietzsche who said “There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that his statement has more holes in it then Swiss cheese. If there is no such thing as absolute truth! Then Nietzsche’s statement is false, because he just made a so-called absolute truth that there is no truth. Sadly sin does that to a person…….it keeps us in bondage, which leaves us ignorant because our hearts are hardened to the truth. Again as Jesus said “…..men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19. 

Bondage by definition is “Slavery or involuntary servitude; captivity; imprisonment; restraint of a person's liberty by compulsion or force. Think about for a moment! Slaves cannot free themselves; they need to be set free. Martin Luther takes up this subject in his book “The Bondage of the Will,” where he argues that free-will is a myth (when it comes to our relationship with God). Luther said “We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness.” He’s right! Remember what Paul wrote in Romans “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16. Again as Luther said “We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness.”

LOOK WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS TO THOSE WHO ARE IN BONDAGE [SLAVERY] TO SIN. It brings death “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Rom 7:24 It deceives the mind “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8. It entices our affections “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17. John Owen in his book “Modification of Sin” speaks about four strategies that sin uses to entice, entangle, and ensnare our affections.

1.Sin distracts us from watchfulness by pointing out our recent victories. Owen said “If you recently escaped some temptation or another, watch out. Sin is preparing the third assault. (The second assault has already happened: it's how good you feel about yourself for having defeated the first assault.)”

2. Sin presents itself as desirable and satisfying. It appeals to our most corrupt affections and desires. It uses what Scripture calls "the fleeting pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25).

3. Sin shows the bait, but hides the hook! He says, "Sin deceitfully hides the danger that attends sin. It covers it, just as the bait covers the hook."

4. Sin argues with us. Like a slick lawyer, sin presents a case for itself.

To be bondage to sin is to bring forth eternal judgement, everlasting torment by a holy God who must do what is right………….PUNISH SIN! But sadly, everywhere you look people are trying to find quick and easy fixes to their problem because they’re in bondage to their sin. Whether it is:

  • Marriage
  • Child rearing
  • Addictions
  • Self-fulfillment
  • Education
  • Weight loss
  • Financial gain or riches and etc!
Quick fixes don’t solve the issue it only covers them for a season! Why? The reason is that they cannot see the truth to their problem because they are slaves to sin and they hate the truth. People are usually ok with truth as long as it doesn’t involve the bible or Jesus Christ. The Jews completely missed the point that Jesus was making when he said “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (v31-v32). And He also went to say in (v34)"Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Jesus was speaking about their spiritual bondage, but the Jews were thinking physically. Our culture is no different than it was during the time of Pharisee’s and disbelievers. Just like these men whom Jesus was speaking too didn’t think they were in any form of bondage. Look what they said “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone….” (v33) in other words what they were says was “Jesus we haven’t been in bondage to anyone, so how could you make such an outlandish statement like that.” Sadly, not only did they misunderstand Jesus’ statement, but they were also deceived by their own hardened hearts. Did the Jews forget about all the bondage they have been in? They have had their share of bondage....Egyptians, Babylonians, Philistines, Greeks, and now the Romans. The Jews were slaves, but they would not admit it. See! Bondage does that a person they don’t realize the danger they are in. It reminds me of the story i came across about a cocky young man who once remarked to a preacher in mocking fashion, "You say that unsaved people carry a great weight of sin. Frankly, I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Ten pounds? Fifty pounds? Eighty pounds? A hundred pounds?" The preacher thought for a moment, then replied, "If you laid a four-hundred-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?" The young man was quick to say, "Of course not; it's dead" Driving home his point, the preacher said, "The person who doesn't know Christ is equally dead. And though the load is great, he feels none of it"

Bondage keeps a person …….

  • Ignorant
  • Prideful
  • Diluted
  • Skeptical
  • Angry
  • Unbelieving
  • Arrogant to the truth and so on!
Today many people are in bondage [slaves] and they feel they are not! It’s the idea “I’m ok, I know when to quit” or “I can stop any time”. Usually you hear this coming from a person who is engulfed or knee deep in ……

  • Porn
  • Alcoholic drink
  • Drug of chose
  • Passion for riches
  • Keeping up with the Jones
  • Abusive to their spouse
  • Abusive to their children
  • A Workaholic
  • Obsessed with food
  • Idolatrous
  • Town gossiper
  • Angry and bitter all the time
  • Keeps a record of peoples wrongdoing
  • Judges people without really knowing them or their situation
  • And the list is endless
Let me ask you before we continue in this passage! From this list is there something I’ve said or not said that is keeping you in bondage to sin this morning? The Jews thought they were free because they are under the linage of the covenant promise the God made with Abraham! And you might think you’re free because you attend church, said some superstitious prayer or grew up in a Christian home, or know enough bible to sound legit but not really! Have you truly tasted the grace that flowed from Calvary and the truth of the gospel message! See, the freedom that Jesus is talking about doesn’t come from your race, or religious identity. [I’m a Baptist, Lutheran, and Non-denominational and so on]. Our freedom is found in the Son of God who gave His life as a ransom for my sin, your sin! Jesus was talking about freedom from the bondage of sin found in Him alone! Apart from Christ and the truth he brings, a person will continue to stay in bondage until the hopes of the Spirit removing the chains of sin in their life through the gospel’s good news. The transforming work of God and power it brings shatters the chains of bondage and sin.

HOW IMPORTANT IS TRUTH? Augustine said “Where I found truth, there I found my God, who is the truth itself." The late great A.W Tozer spoke  about the dangers of not seeking  the truth “The unattended garden will soon be overrun with weeds; the heart that fails to cultivate truth and root out error will shortly be a theological wilderness. Truth is so important…….. Jesus said it’s the only way your ever have true freedom! Jesus is not teaching that we need to try really hard not to sin to avoid being its property. He is teaching that we need to be set free from the ownership of sin. So how is it that we are set free from sin? Through the truth of the gospel! Again, so many people today grow up really knowing nothing about Jesus at all. Yes, they have heard some of the Bible stories, but they really don't know who Jesus is, his purpose, or what Jesus has to do with God. I think at the core, most people do believe there is a God, but they have no idea what to really believe about who God is. In fact, people, that I have talked to or observed, believe that there is no way to really know the absolute truth about God.That is sad; because what that tells me about that person is that they’re still slaves to sin.

As the bible says “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14. They are in all intense purposes dead in their sin, because they’re in bondage to their sin! They deny the truth and believe their father of lies which keeps them enslaved to sin and death, which ultimately leads to eternal torment. But it’s not too late to embrace the truth! Hear the promise! “Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (v34-v36) 

The son has permanent rights in the household where a slave does not! Though they were descendants of Abraham’s promise they were like slaves, not sons, and they were facing danger of eternally forfeiting they privileges they had received. Just as Jesus said “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt 8:11-12. Only those who receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God, will be the sons of God, which is the only place you’ll find freedom from the bondage of sin and death. As Jesus said “therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” What a promise and joy that brings to the heart of the one who continues in His truth......................WHAT ARE WE FREE FROM?

WE ARE FREE FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN

Rom 6:6-13 “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

WE ARE FREE FROM THE PENALTY OF DEATH.

Jesus said in John 5:24, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

In Romans 8:1-2 Paul says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

WE ARE FREE FROM THE LOSS OF BLESSING

Ephesians 1:3-7 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Let me leave you with this thought by J C Ryle as we close “Let us never rest till we have some personal experience of this freedom ourselves. Without it all other freedom is a worthless privilege. Free speech, free laws, political freedom, commercial freedom, national freedom,–all these cannot smooth down a dying pillow, or disarm death of [its] sting, or fill our consciences with peace. Nothing can do that but the freedom which Christ alone bestows. He gives it freely to all who seek it humbly. Then let us never rest till it is our own.” Always remember, the promise that Jesus is offering is what true freedom really is! The gift of eternal life and the freedom from the bondage of sin and to live life for Him and His glory. Remember what the bible declares about Christian who is free from the bondage of sin and death!
  • I am not dead but made alive in Christ Jesus.
  • I sit with Christ in the heavenly places.
  • I am God’s workmanship.
  • I am unable, but the Spirit of God will produces in me: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  • I am not under condemnation.
  • I am a child of God.
  • I am not in bondage to fear.
  • I will be glorified with Christ.
  • I am saved in hope.
  • Where I am weak the Spirit helps me.
  • All things work together for good.
  • If God is for me, who can be against me?
  • Jesus is in heaven and He makes intercession for me.
  • I am more than a conqueror through Jesus who loves me.
  • Nothing can separate me from God’s love.

This is the gospel truth! Question is………………..Do you believe Him?

03 February 2014

THE ROAD YOU MUST TAKE




John 8:21-30

There is a great majority of people today who think they have JUST enough religion to get them into Heaven! It’s the old argument “all paths  lead to God” No matter what you believe or who or what you worship, we will all be in Heaven one day! That’s the culture around us today! I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the wickedness that happened this past Sunday at the Grammy’s? Well, a group of well know celebrates got up to do a mass wedding celebration with 30 couples, most of which were same sex. A well know [I guess] hip-hop artist Macklemore performed his song “Same Love” as Queen Latifah presided over a “wedding” ceremony for these thirty couples. Sadly, the whole point of the entire event was to show that there is no moral distinction between same-sex marriage and traditional marriage. It’s all just the “same love.” Why? Because a part of the song says this “Whatever God you believe in, We come from the same one”

There is some truth to that statement in the last part! We do come from the “same God”! We are all according to the scripture created in the image of God despite our sin! Sadly though the world says it doesn’t matter what you believe we will all arrive and be together. The dangers of this type of thinking or so-called logic is that it goes against EVERYTHING the Bible says and teaches against. See, this ideology in our culture is EXTREMELY dangerous, because they believe you can get to Heaven your way, on your terms and there are many different ways but we will all end up in Heaven differently. The argument is that the MODE doesn’t determine the end result to arriving in Heaven! For example this way of thinking says……..
  • You may decide to walk; a person may drive.
  • You may want to swim; a person may take a boat.
  • You may take a train; a person might take a plane.
  • You may believe in Jesus; a person may believe in other gods.

David Platt in his book “Radical” used a metaphor to help explain this world philosophy! He said “God is sitting on a mountain and all the world’s religions are climbing that mount trying to get to God.” Think about it for a moment, because we really need to stop and think about the expression “all paths lead to God” What is wrong with that picture? Who initiates the relationship according to that picture? Who initiates the relationship according to the Gospel? What is the danger of believing that salvation is a matter of climbing some religious mountain of dos and don’ts to get to God? See the world’s attitude is that their ok with this! Why? We all arrive to Heaven differently, but we will still arrive no matter what! NOW, there is truth to that statement! The bible says “or it is written: "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD." Romans 14:11

In Revelation we read “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:11-15. I want to warn you that this is dangerous for the soul and sadly many follow this idea of thinking. This is why Jesus said "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matt 7:13-14

We come to a passage of scripture that brings all forms of transportation and ideology to a halt to one simple truth that many today still ignore because of their disbelief! Jesus said this statement! “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." John 8:24. This is WOW moment! Read this verse again. “…….you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." What is Jesus saying? Those who reject Jesus cannot be saved, but they will die in their sins. One writer put it this way “the sins of these men will destroy them by robbing them of life eternal only if they refuse to believe in Jesus.” John Gill said “They that die in faith, die in Christ: they that die in unbelief, die in sin; and this is a dreadful dying.” The Jewish leaders sought Heaven all their lives, but in the wrong place. Instead of seeking it at the feet of Jesus, they sought for it in their own self-righteousness, just as many people do today. The reality of this passage is that there is only TWO PLACES TO SPEND ETERNITY! Heaven or Hell! As we look at the warning Jesus is giving this men about their ignorance of disbelief; there is also something else we see in this passage of warning. We see two promises to the “genuine believer” found in what Jesus says to these ignorant men!

“I am not of this world.” (v23) Here is the first promise! See the promise is this! What is true of Jesus is also true of us “positionally”. Let me explain; Jesus doesn’t belong to this world; the same is true of the Christian when they are born again through the gospel. Paul penned these words to affirm this promise “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Phil 3:20-21. All our affections and aspirations are pointed Heavenward, not here on earth. The unsaved belong to this world and Heaven is not their home! The bible even calls the unsaved “children of the world” Luke 16:8, and Jesus is warning these men that they will die in their sins!

Here is the second promise! “you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He” (v24) The Christian doesn’t die in their sins….they die “in the Lord” because we live “in the Lord”. Rev 14:13 says “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'….." See to believe that Jesus is who claimed to be is everything when it comes to the gospel! See, to be a Christian one must [you must] believe. The complete and full biblical revelation about Jesus......
  • Jesus is the eternal SECOND PERSON of the Trinity.
  • He entered space and time as God incarnate [in human form].
  • He was born of a virgin.
  • He lived a perfect sinless life when He walked among the earth.
  • His death on the cross is the ONLY sufficient, substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.
  • He rose from the dead on the 3rd day and ascended to the Father in Heaven.
  • He now and continues to intercede on our behalf, his sanctified children who are set apart from this world.
  • He will one day return in all His glory as His rules and judges this world according to His sovereign will.

To reject this truth is to bring future judgement upon your eternal soul. Again as Jesus said “you will die in your sins” and you will be lost forever facing the wrath of God [the very wrath that Christ endured for your sin] for all eternity. Sadly though, the unregenerate WILL die in his or her sins because they are of this world and they live for this world system. The ignorance of man only leads to disbelief and lack of care or concern for their own lives. Look what they said to Jesus “Who are you?” (v25). What ignorance, the same ignorance we see today when the name Jesus is mentioned. Sadly if they only listened and observed the works that Jesus did, they would know who He is, but this goes along with what Jesus said previously! "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." (v19) But as scripture says “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor 1:18

Do you hear the warning call from Jesus…………….Not only to these men, but maybe to you this morning? See, Hell, is where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all eternity; and Heaven, is where you shine as the sun because Jesus is the Light of life. This is a clear warning! This is a fearful warning to the ignorant man or woman. Reason being the bible declares some will seek Him when it’s too late! Prov 1:28-29 says "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD,” They wasted their God given opportunity by arguing with Him instead of trusting Him, and embracing Him not only as a man, as Saviour, but as Lord. In the end it would cost them their eternal souls to be punished in hell for all eternity. Just as Jesus said “And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matt 7:23

You can't always preach the positives; sometimes you have to preach the negatives, because the negatives are needed to bring some to Christ. Please don’t waste your God given opportunity by fighting this truth found in the message that can save your soul. Instead trust in Him, embrace Him not only as some man who seemed crazy to the religious ignorant, but as a loving Saviour who cares for your soul. Remember the hymn song “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul”

“Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!”

Remember those promises that we are not of this world and that Christ died for my sins so that i wouldn't have to face the wrath of the Father! All because you believed in the Only begotten SON........JESUS CHRIST our Lord. SO, HEAR THE WARNING from Jesus this morning and embrace the truth found in the ONLY Son of God who came to die a sinner’s death so that we can live and have our sins forgiven. Passages like this will either make you humble for the grace that He gave each and every one of us for our sin; or it will make you angry and more resentful towards the God of the bible. The foundational truth in this passage is that there is a REAL HELL and that there is a REAL HEAVEN. What you believe will determine the statement Jesus made to these men and to millions of people today! Embrace the gospel before its to late, start believing! J.C Ryle said it best “let us never forget that unbelief is a special sin that ruins men’s souls. Had the Jews believed on our Lord, all manner of sin and blasphemy might have been forgiven them. But unbelief bars the doors of mercy’s face, and cuts off hope. Let us watch and pray hard against it. Immorality slays thousands, but unbelief its tens of thousands. One of the strongest sayings ever used by our Lord was this, ‘He that believeth not shall be damned.’” As the Apostle Paul penned these words in 2 Thess 1:8 clearly says “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Embrace the promises found in the gospel and live otherwise the only other option is death!