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A Universal Cross

Marc Swearingen

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  • February 18, 2009
    7:00 PM
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thank you for praying with me the nice message I've given the title of a universal cross a universal cross and as an introduction to this message tonight I would like to say that for me personally I believe in seven basic foundational principles when it comes to spirituality and of course there are others that attend these seven but in a general sense I like to read TV seven fundamental principles number one I believe that the Bible is God 's inspired word of absolute truth to man I believe that the Bible is the only source of authority for those who truly are seeking after the God of heaven number two I believe that the Bible teaches that God literally exists in the form of the father son and Holy Spirit and that God created all things I really believe that with all my heart especially coming from the background that come from number three I believe the Bible teaches that sin entered humanity bringing separation from God and ultimately the death penalty upon the human race because the wages of sin is death Romans six twenty three right Iraq number four as a result mankind must be saved from both sins penalty and sends power in order to be reconciled to a holy God by that make sense okay number five some will choose to be saved and receive eternal life with God but number six others will choose not to be saved and suffer an eternal death from God which basically means that they will be destroyed at and finally number seven Christ has brought salvation from both sins penalty and our by dying on the cross of Calvary for all know what I want to do tonight is I want to kind unpacked the seventh principle I realize that it's got a mouthful of seven together and of course their other attendant principles that would extend from those seven but what I would like to discuss tonight is the seventh principle I believe the Bible teaches these seven principles very clearly but I want to focus on this last principle of the fact that Christ died on the cross for all people the reality friends of the cross shows us that Jesus died for every person who has ever lived and will ever live now I was say something and I want to understand this there is a certain beliefs in Christian circles today and I've even seen it to be creeping and disseminated and Adventism Mike my specific church of the belief that Jesus only died but those will be say another word his death on the cross only encompass those who would ultimately choose to accept him but basically the implication is that it excludes those who ultimately not be say now that that is a question to Jesus only died for those who will be saved is this true dead Christ only died for those who choose to accept now you might think this is a very simple principle but friends on here to share with you tonight that this is a very various serious subject because the cause is the center of the Christian religion of the Bible religion and at the cross we find the author and the finisher of our faith the Lord Jesus Christ and what I would like to do tonight is just developed the theme about how Jesus in fact did not just die those will be saying he died for every human being is ever lived now in my own personal study of the universal cross of Christ I have found that three general words come to the surface with respect to the sacrifice of Christ in them maybe other words that you might find in your study yet I might discover later on but there are three basic words in the Bible that describe Christ's sacrifice the first word is all quite often we find the word all associated with Christ sacrifice the second word is the word world we find the word world associated with Jesus sacrifice and then finally the third word is the word every every we find that term associated with the cross of Christ now what I want to do for a few moments someone a look at some verses that talk and use these three words on a look at several texts tonight and I hope you don't get tired of looking at these verses I might be a little bit of overkill but I want you to understand this subject because you may encounter at some point this belief that Jesus only died for those will be say which is not absolutely not true from the Bible now let's go to first Timothy Tomita first Timothy chapter two first Timothy chapter two don't a look at several versus the nicer just bear with me for a few moments because it's the evangelist in me getting out coming out and wanting to look at some Bible text tonight on this subject because this is so important I will you mark these down because these are very powerful scriptures first Timothy chapter to beginning their verse one the Bible says in first Timothy two verse one the apostle Paul says I exhort therefore that first of all supplications prayers intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men very interesting first to fourteen wins and for all that are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty for this is good and acceptable miss sight of God our Savior who would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth for there was one God and one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time notice in that one passage alone three different times the apostle articulates very clearly that Jesus died for all people and thus we should pray for all people because the Holy Spirit of God is striving to save all people right now is another Scripture in John chapter twelve bear with me because I will look at several verses on this I don't want to get sick of this but I want you to bear with me because I believe this is so important that we understand John twelve verse thirty two John twelve verse thirty two John twelve verse thirty two Jesus says this very clearly he says and I have I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me right we all know that birth at least those of us whose duties of the Bible we understand that Jesus taught him across the draw all men to him now let's jump down to Romans chapter five Romans chapter five Romans chapter five verse eighteen Romans chapter five verse eighteen very clear passage here talking about Adam and the fallen and of course Christ and his sacrifice Romans five verse eighteen it says therefore as by the offense of lineman judgment came upon all men to condemnation even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men under the justification of life now there are different spins on this verse by different people that have different perspectives but at the very minimum I think we would agree that through Jesus the potential of justification to be experienced by all people came through his sacrifice but so were very clear on this that Jesus died for all there's another Scripture in second Corinthians second Corinthians chapter five verses fourteen and fifteen second Corinthians chapter five verses fourteen and fifteen again I want you to bear with me on this because these are very very clear Bible verses on this second Corinthians chapter five verse fourteen it says for the love of Christ constrain the thoughts because we thus judge that if one God for all them were all bad and that he died for all that they which which live should not henceforth live under themselves but on to him which died for them and rose again so again two times in this text Jesus died for all now one final Scripture on the word all down in Isaiah will go back to the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter fifty three Isaiah chapter fifty three will look Bayern verse six Isaiah chapter fifty three number six in case any of your getting worried only got seven more versus the tentative I Isaiah fifty three verse six and of course Isaiah fifty three is an Old Testament prophecy that foreshadowed the coming of Jesus as Messiah and it foretold several hundred years before he actually became a you know became incarnate became the Messiah that Jesus would you come up a sacrifice for sin verse six Isaiah fifty three all we like sheep have gone astray we have turned every one to his own way and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all very clear from so we should understand very clearly the scope the universal scope of Christ's sacrifice on the cross now I want to take a moment to look at the word world aren't just for a moment let's go back to the gospel of John will look it the concept of the world Jesus dying for the world showing the cosmic universal scope of the cross John chapter one verse twenty nine John chapter one verse twenty nine John chapter one verse twenty nine this is John the Baptist who was a forerunner of Christ John was called by God to prepare the way for Jesus first coming to get the nation of Israel ready to receive the Messiah and notice in verse twenty nine the next day John sees Jesus coming on to him and saith behold the Lamb of God taketh away the sin of the well now if you jump down few chapters to John three verse sixteen John three verse sixteen John three verse sixteen very well-known verse most of us probably have it memorized it says for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life but God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be say again just further evidence to show the universal scope of the cross jump down to second Corinthians chapter five again bear with me I don't want to lose momentum on this China give you some Scriptures there to really contemplate on the subject second Corinthians five verse nineteen second Corinthians five verse nineteen second Corinthians five verse nineteen it says to wear it that God was in Christ reconciling the war world unto himself not imputing their trespasses unto them and have committed unto us the word of reconciliation so right here we see that God was in Christ reconciling the world by and we could unpack that sex for a while known a time to really get into that right now but we could she won that verse in and really get some insight on that but again we see the concept of the world one more verse on the world first John chapter two first John chapter two verses one and two first John chapter two one two it says in first John chapter two verse one my little children these things write I unto you that ye sin not and if any man sin we have an advocate with the father Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world right again another Scripture already know praise God I'm excited Iraq now two more tax on every let's look at the word every Hebrews chapter two Hebrews chapter two there's something about God 's word friends when you get into the word it is absolutely life-changing I believe with all my heart friends I I believe that my soul has been literally transformed by the power of God through his Word and I'm so thankful for that so I love getting in to the Bible and I would encourage you to do the same Hebrews two nine and ten now this gets a little bit more pointed but we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man and then he goes on to say for it became him for whom all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings right there the Bible says that Jesus tasted death for every man to come back to that in a minute because when I talk about that death that Jesus suffered on the universal cross in just a moment but one a jump back to Roman society Scripture on this amount just got one more text after that after I developed some of the thoughts here Romans chapter twelve and will look at verse three Romans chapter twelve in their verse three Paul says in Romans chapter twelve verse three for I said hey through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith now what does that mean in the immediate context is talking about spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to believers in Jesus you know what I believe that God has gifted every person and I believe there's another way we can look at this text in that God has dealt a measure of faith to every human being meaning that every person has a faith potential and if they choose to follow Jesus that faith potential will be realized which means that God has placed within the heart of every person the potential to have a as God leads them to the universal cross to find salvation notice friends it becomes very clear from the Bible that Jesus died for all people in the whole world for every person past present and future whether they will be saved or unsaved whether they will accept his sacrifice or not friends until you right now there are different teachings that are creeping into Christian circles that deny this reality and I want to say something about the death of Christ I've had some people tell me that Jesus died and atoning death and that is true but you know what it goes much deeper than back in the Bible in case there are people here that don't notice in the Bible the Bible implies two types of deaths one is implied as the first death now when Adam and Eve in the beginning sinned against the creator they were separated from the tree of life and the tree of life contains fruit that if ingested would perpetuate immortality through the power of God but because they send God separated and separate their access from the tree of life so then men began the aging process he could no longer perpetuate immortality by having access to the tree because he had been caught all therefore man began the aging process which we understand the leading to the first death okay now the Bible in Revelation chapter twenty also talked about a second death and that second death is the penalty for sin and that is basically an internal death which from which basically there is no resurrection because when God finally deals with all the people that have chosen to reject Christ as their Savior he allows them to suffer what is called the second death and basically that is a hellfire death where sinners are blotted from the face of existence and never resurrected again now I believe on the cross of Calvary Jesus suffered this spiritually equivalent of the collective second death penalty for every person that has ever lived will you consider that not just an individual second that's because of the singer goes into hellfire to suffer that that that center is only to get a basic least suffer the penalty for his own sins but when you look at Jesus on the cross he suffered the code elective accumulative effect the word second death of every single press now that is a heavy concept to consider that means that for every one of you and me Jesus suffered our death on the cross he took our place and help ensure you can literally go to the lender the fires of hell obviously but I'm talking about the spiritual equipment and keep in mind soon separates from God and when Jesus was on the cross he enjoyed such a separation from God that because his mind and his heart were bearing the sins of the world he could not see through his own resurrection in other words that has an insane look so broad and deep that that basically is hard exploded he couldn't hit him in the stress of sin caused his heart to explode on the cross so he died from a broken heart from the collective weight of the sins of the world now that is a theme that is worthy of a deep contemplation and I believe that I've been discussing with with with some friends and an inner meetings here at the theme that we had a study out through the ceaseless ages of time when we see heaven one day by the grace of God and we will never exhaust that the that is an eternal theme that will medical meditate upon for a bit as it relates to right now friends consider this Jesus died for you and me personally and as I said this morning if you were the only person that would ever be saved Jesus would comment on the ditches for you so if you think that God does not care about you when you think that God is some aloof God sits down in the corner of the universe and has no concerns about planet Earth think again because Jesus had you on his mind when he went through the collective second death of a lost race now having said those things does that mean that all people will be saying does that mean that universalism which is the teaching that eventually even Satan himself will be converted is that mean that's a valid option no because there's a little wrinkle in this whole thing and that wrinkle is called what I've been emphasizing all week free moral agency you see Jesus died to draw us there and then he leaves us free to choose we have to choose to experience salvation we have to choose to be saved from sin and unfortunately some and yeah even the vast majority of humans they're all in the history reject that I pray tonight friends that we choose to be saved from sin by looking to the universal cross as a healthy side note someone asked me what is seen that some have told me sin is separation from God I'm here to inform you that sin is not separation from the sin results in separation from God but the essence of singing is defined in the Bible as the transgression of the law of God i.e. the ten Commandments of God sin is not relative sin is absolutely defined by the Bible as the violation of God 's law the ten Commandments and friends basically because we have a sinful nature because of Adam 's fall we've inherited a fallen nature it is prone to sin and that's why salvation through Christ must be made a reality because we need to be saved from both sins penalty and from the power of sin in our lives that's how salvation works you know most of the time we look at the cross we think that when Jesus met the penalty of sin but I'm here to tell you that Jesus death did not just need the penalty percentage and also is the source of power so that when we are spiritually regenerated when we are empowered by God to live a life of victory that means that send no one has dominion over us that is the power of the universal cross is all-powerful because there is no sin in our lives that is too strong but Jesus to bring us through and help with the vitriol if we say that some seminar life is too strong to overcome we are saying that Satan is more powerful and that's not happening according to Christ's gospel that I want to show you a verse that I have found to be incredibly powerful on the subject and in case you worried this is our last person on right Titus chapter two I love this verse Titus chapter two Titus chapter two beginning bear in verse eleven and this this is a perfect capstone text to our subject tonight Titus chapter to read from verse eleven down the verse fourteen check this out this is an incredible verse I love this text I'm trying to commit this text the memory Titus chapter two verse eleven now notice what he says in verse eleven for the grace of God and the implication there is Christ RI that bring us salvation hath appeared to all men they are dead is the universal scope of salvation right teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world looking for that blessed hope and the glorious of appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ and here's verse fourteen who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works can you say amen and amen notice right there the grace of God that brings salvation all has appeared all men basically and he goes on to the text essay that look that grace can redeem us from all iniquity the cross of Christ brings the power of God into the lives of those who surrender to Jesus bringing us into a situation without where we are more than conquerors overseeing in the Bible is loaded with with text on victory in Christ we do not serve a diff feed Savior we serve a victorious conquering Saint under him that is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the throne of glory etc. you know June twenty four talks about that in Ephesians three twenty and again that is that is able to give and do abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that working within us you see over and over the Bible talks about victory in Jesus because through the universal costs we are not just saved from sin 's penalty in a legal sense the cross brings the power of the Spirit of God into us and replicates the life of Christ in us so that we live Jesus life and the biggest curse that Christians are brought to the world today is a failure of living the life of Jesus friends we know that we don't understand that the whole point of redemption is to replicate Jesus life in the house you know I read a book written by a man named heartedness it is not a criticism this is just the reality that stings a little bit but I I read a book by my heart called the one hundred most influential people in history NMS block what he does he takes one hundred people any ranks them from one to one hundred as far as their influence in human history one being the greatest influence etc. Jesse was number one in the book was that no one wants to say anything Mohammed number two was Isaac Newton and number three was Jesus and you know in this book he writes a chapter on each person and in the chapter on Jesus he basically said in so many words on the summarized that the reason why he did not rank Christ number one is because of the failure of his followers to live his life and I trust me when I read that and and in the context is talking about unconditional love loving your friend as well as your enemies he talks about that in this benefit a chapter but the friends what we better realizes the universal cloths means everything to us our hearts can even be without the cross of Calvary seventeen says in Jesus we live and move and breathe and have our being even though he even let me never accepted Jesus so to speak are living because the cost is a present reality and we better understand that this means everything on the cross Jesus suffered our penalty for sin and through that sacrifice friends he wants to descend upon us and give us his life so that we not only receive forgiveness from the penalty of sin but we received divine power to the presence of the Holy Spirit because one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to come into the life of the believer and transform the life on never forget my mother was baptized the year after I was about thirteen months after I was in this is not to exalt me not to right now you know what I want for my conversion and she stood up on the Sabbath of her baptism in Lake City at the legacies administered he said you know I saw what this gospel message did to my son nobody was before he was not no dry I see them now and I knew there must be something to it if you could change your and and and friends listen that is the greatest testimony of Christianity to the world because listen weekend literally seek God right now we unveiled from the unseen world so how do people see God through us and we can only reveal God as we live Jesus like because her memory Jesus said he that has seen me has seen God has seen the father except through our testimony Jesus is revealed to the world friends this is the good news of the gospel of Christ universal cross to bring both forgiveness for sin entered an divine power to be purified from sin so that we reflect Jesus life to the world because the world needs a revelation of Christ lost souls are all around us friends may be the nurse am sitting next to us that I don't know I don't know many of you but friends what the world needs is a revelation of Jesus in us to testify of the transforming power of God Spirit upon us you know my mother and she was coming to Christ and learning to be a Christian she struggled with an unbelievable gin addiction I mean Chin ruled her life she would drive by a liquor store and the smell would tempt and she was telling about one night she was she was reading it and she felt this all the lambing temptation to go and have some an end and God press her to go in all the literati on pouring down the toilet because you don't put temptation in front your face a man right position for it all out when she went back into a realm she still was struggling with this addiction and she said he came to the point where she fell on her face on the floor and said God I cannot listen I need you to help me I need you to change me because I cannot break this addiction and she said in that moment of time licking the peace in her soul and that woman she received victory over that addiction and never but the grace of God touched again see that's the power of God friends before I came to Christ I used to be able to curse like a sailor forgive me if there's a sailors and have great respect for our military I may respect run note that we need to pray for him because of doing good work whether we agree with our government 's policies or not we pray for military but nevertheless you know I I used to have a filthy mouth and and I prayed and prayed for years before I actually was rebaptized I can remember growing up as a Christian I do filthy mouth it's because I left the Lord in that interim SUV last night outbreak on wildlife curse so much but when I was reconverted it was like I woke up one day to the next it was gone again the work of the Holy Spirit changing and giving us victory friends there is no sin in our lives that God cannot help us to overcome the power of Christ you know I I can remember when I started my evangelistic ministry I held a evangelistic series in Live Oak Florida and what was interesting is on night number five of this meeting I was preaching and I went over particular point of doctrine during this meeting and one of my own church members stood up in the back and began to challenge me from the floor in my own evangelistic meeting hey hey listen here's a little secret don't do that I pulled him aside after the other concern and deal with him one-on-one will you start up and begin to challenge me and I was like you know my flesh started to rise and I was like for managing movies doing that it was almost like God sent on a cocoon or something just lock me in a position and then close my mouth and he began to say his reopening when the memory was done I said will thank you very much for that comments are a goes go-ahead then you may proceed it's really arrogantly felt like him and him him I regularly as my meeting Army evangelists I will you challenge me but you know what in that moment God gave me victory but you know what I let go of that because right after the meeting was over but I say can handle God bless you take care of it in my mind my I am look at this path I'm on the go give him a piece on Marcus is on uncommon in the junior Holy Spirit status enough and axiomatic in one of my friends got Mister Mark anointed you don't go out there don't walk around Chip knowledge massive wealth diamine charge of my own program to tell my think and I went out there and I verbally accosted this means adding adding curves but I jumped all over him and I drove home that night and I woke up a church member to get his phone number I called on the phone and chewed amounts and whatnot and I confront a loss I lost my coolant inlet hole I I let go of my hold on God and in the just blew up the phone and when the phone I even had a chance to calm down a little bit and got began to speak my mind there was a knock on my door father comes indecent songs that you us again recently talking us in church member they said was that you Christians treat each other a little focus my father was non-Christian appraiser guys become in church last two months my mom I just found out so depraved my father but but nevertheless it I realized that that that God wanted to give me fifty and what's interesting is a couple of years later the same thing happened to me again I was in an evangelistic meeting and have a church member God bless him got up and began to challenge me and as I sat there and I dislike let him do his thing and then you know some of the church archers got up enough tomorrow and and and and and and and then I drove home that night and and I by that time I was married my wife signal moment you see what I simply out there is so no you didn't go to human blower delegation victory you didn't lose your cool you just took it on the chin so to speak and when he was removed just one-on-one nothing and you made an altar call and people came forward making decisions to follow Jesus and be baptized God keep you of the tree praise God for our spouses the buddy system works right but you know what I did end up going to that brother and I and I plan ISA brother fifty two seconds while I ever done to you to make each thing that he he repented he said markings it will consider that will use me in I'm really sorry about that again so will help not but you know the Lord blessed us with souls in that meeting but but don't you see I know I'm going on all these pandas of illustrations and reading the point is that friends gone once to give us victory God wants us to experience the universal scope of his sacrifice on cross through Jesus we can see very clearly that Jesus died for all people I meet your my testimony last night most of the MFA to my first sermon and God Jamie victory on public speaking because I couldn't even get up and give a speech collapsing waking up in a nebulous but now I can actually stand before you cannot select you much you know my hands a little clammy right now but it's Jesus empowered enough to get victory over things that beset us in line and hit a trailer that's the power of a universal cross given what we discussed this evening as we come to a close I want to I want you to understand some very important truths and realities to my number one I want to understand that Jesus died for you personally personal number two I want to understand he personally took all of your sins on his universal cross number three I want to understand he desires to save you from the penalty of your sins by offering you forgiveness and pardon freely through his sacrifice if you are related down with the burden of your sins and of your mistakes in your path Jesus offers you a sweet release he can remove that burden from you just as easily as he healed the paralytic and said arise take up my bed and wall because so many people today are spiritually paralyzed by the past as I said this morning time travel hasn't been invented yet so we can go back and change but if we won't release Jesus offers it freely number four Jesus also desires to save us from the power of our sins by giving his victory through his universal cross and finally number five the only thing that remains is this again you and I must personally choose that costs so as you consider your thoughts tonight will you choose to receive and it brings all the blessings and strength not just a few all it brings the fullness the power of God into our lives and if you want that power you won't only one choice away but the question remains and I know I've probably said this to the point where you're probably sick of hearing it but you got to choose we all have to choose my prey by the grace of God that we would choose the universal costs nine would you knew with me in prayer as we appeal and pray to the Lord father in heaven tonight we see very clearly that your son Jesus died for all people whether saved or unsaved and Lord tonight we see that we are just one choice away from receiving that power into our lives I pray tonight Lord that every person in this room in the quietness of their own heart would make the decision to surrender their lives to you to receive the cross of Christ and so to take it in a spiritual sense to submit in yield to the great power that Christ universal cross brings to receive the beautiful forgiveness of sin and the sweet release from the guilt of our past but not going even further Lord to receive the fullness of God and the power of God and in the life so that they the victory over sin in the areas that they need Lord please help us to experience this tonight this is the foundation of the entire Christian help us to experience this foundation and I pray as we leave this place tonight morning go back to the busyness of our lives some of us might go home others may go study some of us may even have class or meetings or whatever the case may be Lord I pray that that regardless of whatever we go out at North face tonight that these thoughts that we discussed would be written in our hearts that we would never ever forget and go even further may we experience thank you for loving us and for doing everything you can to say thank you for being in Christ reconciling the world unto yourself bless us now with the presence of your spirit as we leave this place and keep us until we meet again in Jesus name on

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