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Sure Salvation- Part 1

Chris Buttery
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  • March 7, 2015
    11:30 AM
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For millennia people from different countries cultures and backgrounds have found direction and encouragement. In the inspired pages of the Bible in his day. Jesus directed listeners to search the prophecies of Scripture to find him. The only way of salvation two thousand years later as we stand on the brink of eternity. We know less need the purpose and hope. God's Word provides Sacramento central church brings you receiving the word timely Bible messages presented by pastors Chris buttery and Mike Thompson amazing revelations await uing God's Holy Word the Bible the enemy of Souls has been stealth fully stealing away something viable only important to God's children. From God's children he's been stealing away. A genuine experience and the assurance of salvation. Now before we talk about salvation here this morning and life. I want to talk with you for a moment about death because death comes to all of us. Unfortunately whether it's the shocking news of a tragic plane crash that has killed several dozen people including children or an unexpected natural disaster the takes the lives of the innocent or the passing of someone close someone we love. One can't help but wonder whether at that particular moment of death that person that businessman or businesswoman that teacher that mom all that dad all that child. We're eternally side or eternally lost when someone brave their lost their time or probation has closed their cases decided for ever. Another thought that comes to mind. What about ten minutes before that death. What were that was that person saved or loss where they saved all lost. What about ten hours. What about ten day or about ten weeks what about ten years before the moment of finality the. Reality years is that every single one of us at every moment of every day are either saved or we are lost and as prefer professing Christians we actually live in a state of EVA or now. Naturally saying something like that will trouble some people and this thought that I've just mentioned has troubled others previous to this why is that because many of us tend to think of ourselves as kind of sort of perhaps maybe somewhere between being saved or lost. We hope for a little latitude that they may be a third option. How many can honestly say that they think the saved or lost concept is too rigid and too uncomfortable. Why do we think that way if we do think that way. Perhaps it's because we think that we're not good enough to be saved and not quite bad enough to be lost and so the result is a dangling uncertainty. About our present salvation a kind of spiritual limbo. If you please. The story was told of a monastery in Portugal. That's perched about three thousand feet. On a three thousand foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying boss kit several strong men perspiring under the strain of the load fully loaded would pull this basket up with the people inside with just one rope. Now there was one particular time an American tourist who visited the site. He got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. And hoping to relieve his fear. He asked How often do you change the rope and the monk simply replied every time it breaks. It's it's not nice living in a state of uncertainty even more. When it comes to our salvation. The truth is there is no third option. We are either saved or we are Eva lost just like that now as we think about these things we may be led to one of the the two extremes. One is known as eternal security it's an orthodox teaching. Of evangelicals and of the second is an insecurity that many Christians find themselves in let me explain both of them to us here this morning eternal security is simply the belief that has come to be known as once saved always saved. Now you won't probably find them in any theological handbook but it is truly what is taught it simply states that if you have truly believed on Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you have truly confessed and repented of your sins. If you are truly such then you are truly if you confess your sins then you are truly saved. Nothing. Anything can change that now the key word here is the word truly because if you follow why then you were not truly saved. Now this may be in that this. This may not be an attempt to find an excuse to give a Christian license to continue sinning as much as it is an attempt to help Christians feel secure in their salvation. Now when abused this teaching can create a false sense of assurance that in practicality say is that lifestyle doesn't matter. People may rationalize I was truly converted once I believe I repented I confess my sins. I receive Christ so that means I am truly saved no matter what my current predicament or what my current lifestyle or what my whether I bang God or not what whatever it means doesn't mean anything. I was saved at one particular time and so my salvation is not affected by what I'm presently doing now and now this is a matter of fact because I've had people tell me this the. Resell them their selves and you probably have people tell you themselves as well of course we know the problem with this is that a perfect Lucifer became a perfect devil. The problem is is that Adam and Eve were truly made in the image of God and then they fell away. When we look in the scriptures we also come to the story of King Sol the scriptures tells us that King soul after the Spirit was come upon him was turned into another man and that's a quote from First Samuel Chapter ten in verse sixteen verse nine of the same verse tells us and it was so when he turned his back from Samuel that God gave him another hot these old testament phrases come right out of the New Testament lexicon of born again theology King Saul was truly a changed man King Saul was was truly given a new hot but we also know the sad tragedy with King Sol is that he turned his away from the Lord and so soul went from being truly saved to being truly lost. That's right now at the opposite end of the spectrum of eternal security we find levels of insecurity among God's people while they might know much about the Bible and enjoy much light and have the knowledge of prophecies that maybe exceeds most churchgoing folk and some pastors of other churches perhaps additional inspiration that verifies the enhances and enhances the Scriptures healthy healthy focus on healthy lifestyles exulting the lore of God clear about the time in which they live they know the right. And yet some don't know how to be or if they are right with God Now while we have done well at guarding our distinctive doctrines is it possible that the enemy of Souls has stealthily stolen Al joy. I hope peace. Not just being ride but knowing that we are right with God is a possible that while we've been vigilant in protecting matters of last day importance that the devil has swindled our only grounds of hope and that is I saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a possible. Can we honestly say as we sit here today that we know for certain that salvation is ours. Salvation is yours. Do you have the assurance of eternal life. Now the Bible never uses the word security and certainly uncertainty rather when talking about the believers relationship to salvation if you have you with me to the book of Colossians Chapter Two cautions chapter two and verse two The Bible however does even though doesn't use these words security and certainty that is do use words like refuge and assurance and confidence words that do more than hint at the fact that we can know our standing with God at any particular time they definitely speak to a sureness that we can actually have close in Chapter two look at what Paul wrote here in chapter two and verse two. Poll said that their hearts may be encouraged being knit together in love and the taining to all riches of the wallet full assurance of understanding to the knowledge of the mystery of God both the Father and of Christ. Paul speaks to the wealth of having the full confidence or full persuasion a firm trust in God's promises particularly regarding the mysteries of God Another term simply for God's plan to save man Paul talks about this this assurance of understanding then jump over with me to first John Chapter two just before the book of revel. Ation first John Chapter two and verse twenty eight. Notice what John says here about certainty assure us that we can have first John Chapter two and verse twenty eight. He says and now little children abide in Him that is in Jesus that when he appears we may have what confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. How reassuring to know that I don't need to keep guessing as to whether I am either saved or lost or hopelessly lost in limbo regarding my standing with Go. The Bible is clear we can know for sure but perhaps sometimes half our problem has been that we focus so much on ourselves that we don't look up with being so concerned with what is happening in us that we're not thinking outwardly Martin Luther put it well when he said when I look at myself. I don't know how I can be saved. However when I look at Jesus. I don't know how I could ever be lost and this is our answer. His name is Jesus Jesus when the time comes when Dauth death rather comes knocking at our door. We will either be saved or we will be lost there won't be any discussion on how justified a person was how sanctified a person was or what level of perfection that person was that the big question will be were you in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and this is the question that we need to address today. So before we go down that road I want to us to be sure that we understand that perhaps out the security issue we might be dealing with isn't necessarily eternal security but a false security let me explain from a church going people our problem is false security. If we understand where we are in the stream of time and we have a bit of a handle on. Something of the Book of Revelation we know that there are churches that are listed in the first in chapter two in chapter three of Revelation I want you to turn there with me if you'd be so kind and The Last Church listed out of the seven is the Church of Laodicea That's exactly right the Church of Les the see and it's a fitting description of our church today. Now don't get too excited as you read the words of Christ to this particular church and when you compare them with other words that Jesus speaks to the other churches. Apart from the Church of the Dark Ages the Church of fire Tyra he has more to say to this last generation church you know if if one of your children. Is playing up you typically going to have more to say to that one of that particular moment than the other one isn't that right. So here Jesus has more to say then to the latest see in church then the Middle Ages church fire Tyra church now more than this more than this Jesus has no words of commendation for the Church of Laodicea he hasn't for other churches but he doesn't have words of commendation for the Church of late a see a nun and that's pretty striking considering that it's the only church. He doesn't give any to no no commendation Why is this look at Revelation three and we're looking at verse seven to fourteen three seventeen Notice it says into the angel of the Church of latest These things says the Amen the faithful the true witness the beginning of the creation of God I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm in the the cold. I will vomit you out of my mouth because you say I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing Holder right there. What's the problem of the Church of late to see it is a POS is it possible that the reason they become lukewarm is because they become too secure is a possible. Yes we already talked about this a little bit early on that the Laodicean church think they have it all but what are they really like let's continue reading in verse seventeen and do not know that you are wretched miserable poor blind and naked the latest in church is in standing need of serious counsel. It's quite a desperate situation. All because they went over the top with their confidence. It had they had a security and it was a false security and Jesus knows it and that's why Jesus labors for this generation perhaps more than any other because it is the most dangerous position to be in thinking that you are saved when in fact you actually lost a very dangerous position he doesn't want anyone coming to the judgment thinking that they are safe when in fact they are completely and totally unsafe Jesus talks about these individuals toward the close of his sermon on the Mount. In Matthew chapter seven vs twenty two and twenty three. He says many will say to me in that day Lord Lord. Have we not preached in your name and in your name cast out devils and in your name done many wonderful things and then I will profess to them. I never knew you to part from me he who work lawless miss what does this mean it simply means that the devil would Jupe many into believing that they are OK that they are right with God when they are actually not right with him a terrible predicament to be in for sure but does this mean does that mean that we have to live in a constant state of paranoia with a kind of nervous looking over the shoulder as if we're not sure whether we're in the right standing of God or not all living in a miserable existence. What say you these words in Revelation Chapter three were given to. To encourage us so that we would be sure that we would be sure that we are in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ that we are right with him or at least that we get right with him and when you are that is when you are in line when you line up your experience with the Word of God and not line up the would have God with your experience because your experience could be wrong. This is the litmus test this is the standard of all our conduct in our Christian experience we need align our experience up with the Word of God When we line up our experience with the Word of God then we can be sure of our salvation. So while the lay of the sin church thought that they had everything they actually missed everything. Did they have Jesus look at verse twenty Look at those twenty behold this is Jesus speaking Behold I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice and opens a door I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me if I came to your house after the service I drove my car walked up the sidewalk and I rang your doorbell. Am I on the inside of your house or on the outside of your house on the outside of your house and I'm trying to get inside your house and perhaps the church. Perhaps the church had known the jewels of present truth to prepare a people to stand in the last days perhaps the Laodicean church has a large operated school system in the wall of the large health care system around the globe rolling out scrolls and scrolls of messages from Jesus from its numerous publishing houses. Maybe it boasted a profession community service program and disaster response operation with Global Development and relief agency perhaps the latest seen Church have established work in about two hundred thirty nations countries in the world showing off its three thousand converts a day a church being built every three and a half minutes with a fine system of organization an effective wild wide world strategy to help get the everlasting Gospel out to every post. In the world there lacking only one thing. Jesus. Hang on a second. Hang on they're lacking only Jesus. They're lacking only Jesus missing Jesus means your lacking everything your lacking everything. If you don't have Jesus then you don't have salvation. No Jesus no salvation. No Jesus no power no Jesus just an empty shell of operations that might make this world a little better fire in the meantime for having us been in here but no eternal security no eternal life. No promise of a better day to come no hope of life after death. No Jesus and with no Jesus comes a whole lot of nothing. Now before Damascus. The apostle Paul thought he had it all he thought he had salvation for sure he was confident that he had the future all wrapped up and that he was totally secure because of the approval of the highest religious leaders and that he was a member of the spiritually elite if you turn with me now to flip in chapter three notice what he says here about himself before he met Jesus Philippians chapter three after Damascus Paul realized that he had been resting for years in a presumptive assurance even his friends considered him to be blameless look at this Philippians chapter three in verse six. He says concerning zeal persecuting the church concerning the righteousness which is in the law what was he blameless he considered himself to be blameless. He gained his security of salvation by performance and by belonging by performance and by belonging he thought he was OK but he wasn't he thought there was a hope of salvation because he was a descendant of Abraham and he grew up in the church. He was sure. He had eternal life because as a good Jew he was going to keep the Sabbath and he was going to not going to eat any unclean meats and then he was going to be tithing who's going to faithfully attend church. Who's going to all types of good works and deeds and and join different ministries. These were good things for him to do but his hope rested in the good things that he was doing his hope of eternal life and salvation were in the good things that he was doing he felt secure because of what he knew not because of who he should have known he thought he had everything but poll had nothing because you see when you don't have Jesus you don't have anything but when you have Jesus. You have everything when you have Jesus. You have more than you could possibly know when you have Jesus you move like Paul from a righteousness by performance and belonging to a righteousness which is by faith in Jesus Christ look at verse eight. He said yet indeed yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. You see to the supposed worth of knowing Jesus Christ. You see they can be no salvation apart from Jesus. Absolutely none absolutely none. So why why are we going over some old ground. Why is knowing we are accepted of God so important we need to check at times our standing and our selves with God to make sure that we. Zeroed out so to speak. Paul says in second Corinthians chapter thirteen verse five Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith test yourselves. Do you not know us. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you are disqualified do you know that Jesus is living in you do you know what your standing is before God can you be certain of your salvation Examine yourselves. Paul encourages us. And when it comes to salvation. Do we the we examine ourselves. Do we believe we have it when we actually don't that is salvation. Do we believe we can have it when we actually can do we ride the fence between the two hoping for divine leniency in the think they don't have it or think they have it and don't category that group of people says two things first of all they say I'm sure of my salvation because of what I do I'm sure of myself because of what I do. Second I'm sure of my salvation in spite of what I do the first depends upon the good works right speech correct conduct as determining their salvation. The second believes that disobedience to God's known will whether it be explicit command of of the Scriptures like the Ten Commandments tithing or the great commission or a clear biblical principle doesn't affect your standing with God It doesn't matter with you do that as long as you've accepted Jesus both of these positions are wrong. That's the think they have salvation but don't actually have salvation category then in the think they can't have salvation but when in fact they can have salvation category group that group says that cut God can't love me God can't forgive me. God doesn't have time for me I'm too great a sinner to be saved. I have too many habits bad habits God cannot help me get God cannot forgive me and again this thinking is wrong as well in the hoping for divine leniency category that. Group says that I'm not bad enough to be lost but neither am I good enough to be saved and the Christian life is miserable and everyone around them knows it is the devil has stolen Joy he's stolen the peace. There's surance and it's likely that if this type of thinking is kept up being lost will be all this person will unfortunately know. So we ask the question How can a Christian progress in their experience when they are uncertain about their standing with God It's kind of like an airline passenger when you're on standby not sure whether you're going to be getting on that plane away they're going to get off get off on that particular plane going to the destination or camping out in the passenger lounge not sure how can a Christian truly reveal the joy and the blessings. Of being a follower of Jesus when they're doubtful when they're anxious when then nervous and or in spiritual limbo. I can assure you that no one will respond to the invitation Hey come to our church join our fellowship. Then you can be as miserable as we are now. No one's going to be coming to that particular invitation I was going to respond to that during the initial construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. No safety devices were used and twenty three men plummeted to their deaths but for the final part of the project however a Lodge Net was used as a safety precaution and there were about ten mil men that fell into it and they were saved from imminent and certain death even more interesting is that twenty five percent more wook was accomplished after the net was installed. Why because the men had the assurance of their safety. They were free to wholeheartedly so of the project without question. Without wondering what would it be like to have an experience like that. Knowing our salvation can be sure because we trust in Jesus because the safety net is Jesus. Once you turn with Chapter thirty verse five notice what it says over here thirty and verse fifteen rather as I thirty and verse fifteen For thus saith the Lord God the Holy One of Israel in returning and rest. You shall be saved. Notice in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. What will be your strength confidence confidence will be your strength confidence in the salvation that Jesus provides is provides is or should be our strength certainty brings peace certainty brings hope certainty brings joy certainty always brings victory and not constant defeat certainty allows us to be strong for others allows us to be resourceful allows us to be helpful and available certainty of salvation never bring selfishness never bring stinginess and never brings narrowness never trust even join us for part one of shore salvation. It's wonderful to know you don't have to keep questioning your standing with God. Now there are some pitfalls that we talked about thinking you're saved when you're well out thinking you can't be saved. When you can be or hoping for some type of divine leniency. If you're discovering this for the very first time please write us all call us and stay chatting for part two of this presentation where we outside the very important questions how can I be saved. How can I be one hundred percent sure of my salvation you're going to find out the Gospel is simple and it's a life changing. So we look forward to seeing you next time. God bless you. We're so glad you decided to tune into today's receiving the word program. If you have a special. Request we would be happy to pray about it for you to discover more about the Bible through our free online bible studies or to listen to more life changing Bible messages go to essay see Central dot org and click on the media resources tab. If you've been blessed or encouraged by our ministry and God impresses you to support us then visit our website or write to us that sixty forty five chameleon Avenue Sacramento California ninety five eight one nine always gladly receive God's word.

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