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Facing the Final Judgment: Acquitted or Convicted?

Christian Martin
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Christian Martin

Lead Pastor of the Living Hope SDA Church in Haymarket, Virginia.

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  • February 20, 2021
    11:15 AM
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Let's be still and know that he is God as we buy our heads together as we begin Father in Heaven Your word is living and powerful so Lord in this very moment we ask that you would fill it with the Holy Spirit that we would have the ability and opportunity to tune our hearts and minds to listen. To your voice speak to our hearts today Lord more than ever before we need a word from you and so we thank you because we know that this is a prayer that you love to answer in Jesus name name my message tonight or this morning is entitled facing the final judgment acquitted or convicted I begin with a confession one particular day at Southern Adventists university and college Stilton is see I was cited for a traffic violation. The options were of course either pay the indicated fine or appear in court at a certain date for whatever reason at that time I chose to make a trip to the courthouse. I wish that was all there was to confess but there's more but 3 weeks later I was in my dorm room or absorbed by the business of college life when suddenly there was a firm knock on my door. Although the knock itself Believe me a copy off guard it didn't come close to the unexpected surprise that I would receive when opening the door for they're standing in my or doorway on the 3rd floor of the men storm was a college still police officer in full uniform he asked Are you Christian Martin and I responded I am well the next 7 words that the officer spoke were words that I had not heard before that time nor have I heard since he said we have a warrant for your arrest. Remember the traffic violation that I mentioned Well tragically I had forgotten all about it and along with that the fact that I had to appear in court. I had failed to appear in court oh no and so now I stood before the police officer with no one to blame but myself I had no excuse you know it's one of those things that bad dreams are made of. But had that moment was my reality. Have mercy I had been solo preoccupied with the best time of life as a college student that my name had come up in court before a saw us and oddly I didn't even know it. In order to avoid any embarrassment for this poor theology student the police officer was kind enough to not handcuff me. But nevertheless I was a scored it out of the door into his police car and taken to the local station for an investigation you know as I quietly sat down in the back seat of that police car I had a feeling that judgement would not be in my favor and I kept soundly asking myself how how could I have miss my date in court. The day I realized that Mr Cord to eat Sor actually very common how many of you have no skipping I'm going to ask American Ask keep your hands down. You know some parts of the civil court system have an absentee rate as high as 95 percent I was surprised by that stat many court dates are missed but there is an impending court dates that cannot be avoided it will not be evaded nor missed this court scene it doesn't take place in a district court or a circuit court or even the Supreme Court of the universe but before I'm a destiny their own set ablaze ha in lifted up and a mortal man and yet a prophet named Daniel he witnessed this scene in a night vision in the 6 century before Christ and immediately put it into words. For reading today come with me to Daniel Daniel Chapter 7 Daniel Chapter 7 and I'll be reading verses 9 and 10 Daniel Chapter 7 verses 9 and 10 and this is what the prophet recorded I watch still thrones were put in place and the Ancient of Days was seated his garment was white as snow and his hair of his head was like pure wall his throne was a fiery flame its wheels a fiery fire a fiery stream issued in came forth from before him 80001000 ministered to him 10000 times 10000 stood before him the court was seated and the books were opened entering a colossal Corps groom an inhabitant otherwise known as the final judgment were a verdict will take place of either conviction or acquittal and it will be made for every single human being that that lever has ever lived on earth because there is an appointed time creeps one of us to appear in court. The final judgment what would be most since the that evoke in you as he think about it is that fearful or joyful expect he said Do you ever wonder why it's even necessary and is it true that it takes place in various phases now being the so called investigative phase. If it's something that we haven't given much thought or attention to the question is should we now maybe we said maybe we should within the last 2 months many citizens of the United States of America and viewers from around the world have been have given plenty of us divided attention to more than one impeachment proceeding for hours and hours and now hours voices were heard at the end senators voted to either acquit or convict the 45th president of the United States it's amazing to me the attention this received Did you know that t.v. coverage averaged 11000000 viewers across 6 networks every day of the impeachment proceedings and then when it when it was all over millions meant to the outcome while millions of others erupted with believe it was a case that was given great attention so my point is this Have we given she just as much careful attention to proceedings of much greater importance that will examine. Your name. Mine and declare a verdict of eternal implications maybe again maybe we should. You know it was the apostle Paul who unequivocally wrote that all must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ let's see it for ourselves come with me to 2nd Corinthians 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5 here Paul writes his a pistol to the believers in Corinth and he writes there in verse 9 therefore we make it our aim whether President or absent to do to be well pleasing to Him or spazz there for a moment you know in Hebrews 11 verse 6 it is Paul the same author of Corinth the ents who writes Without faith it is impossible to please them without faith it is impossible to please them and here you writes that it must be our aim and to be well pleasing to Him The question is why why would I want to make it my aim to live by faith. In Christ in him. Well 1st 10 answers that question why for we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ that each 1 may receive the things done in the body according to that which he has done whether good or bad the Apostle Paul states it very clearly. And so the question is why is it that good or bad is even recognize before hand why give any attention to what is good or bad why is that even brought up evidentally before hand when judgment takes place before Christ returns to give to each one according to that which has been known or recognize the questionis watch. And her the investigative judgment of the final days but why is it necessary doesn't God already knows everything there is to know isn't God on a mission in other words does he know all things if so why is there a need to investigate to observe to to to take note of those things which have been done good or bad why is that even necessary Does he not already know all things he does he does the only detail is that he's not the only one involved Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes in 1st Corinthians Chapter 6 verse 2 that the saints the believers that's you and I will judge or participate in the judgment of the world it's not only God and God alone it involves you and involves me and who are we where reasonable intelligent human beings have been given the ability to examine to reason and to conclude could it be that there is a lot more. In the judgment that meets the eyes it's not just about God or by God or with God But there's more you know it was King Solomon who's known as the preacher he was known as the preacher and his days and he wrote a closing statement in the very last verse of the very last chapter in his book Ecclesiastes Yes you see assays Chapter 12 verse 14 he wrote for God will bring into every word or will bring every work into judgment including every secret thing whether good or evil you know there's a reason why the Bible that's a record of things done history if you please there's a reason why bible history contains a lot of good bad and ugly there's a reason for that after all there's nothing to hide yes after creation in fact after every day of creation week God declared it is good he did this 6 times it is good it is good it is good and then on the 7th day after the 6th day rather for the 7 the time God says it is merely good but after sin it's not it got bad in fact it got very ugly I've heard the same watch your thoughts they become words watch your words they become deeds watch your deeds they become happens watch your habits they become character and character is everything true to this saying that continuously evil thoughts of the heart. As recorded in the Genesis account that we're going to see here in a moment this is precisely what happened thoughts gradually became perverted words leading to violent action we sell today and moral Abbots and ultimately a corrupt character let's see it for ourselves come with me to Genesis Chapter 6 Genesis Chapter 6 there in Genesis Chapter 6 verses 5 and 11 we find the condition of the world in no uncertain terms Genesis Chapter 6 races 5 and 11 it says then the Lord saw that the wickedness of men was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually for see leaven the earth was also corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence so question how would you expect an all knowing God to respond to this case here's the condition of the womb as we just read it's a. It's bad. Kind of wonder if there is any good left in this world but God shows up in the scene and how would you expect God to respond well it's reverse 12 notice verse 12 so God love it he did what every one he looks upon the earth and indeed it was corrupt trough flesh have corrupted their way on the earth. It's interesting that the Hebrew word there aha translated to look there it is to look in verse 12 is also translated in various parts of the Old Testament to consider 13 times to examen once and to make an inspection 3 times you know when to Mariah do their school work at home there's often times where mom or dad will say now like to Mariah bring your work over to me because I want to take a look at it they know very well that is not just a mere look I could I could see it there on top of their desk or table but they know that I know when I say look I'm going to be playing close attention to the work that they did well more than merely looking the Hebrew word look as used in this verse indicates a close examination or inspection in other words God investigates the asks of the people on Earth and this is before the flood and upon further investigation of such a corrupt generation a distinct exception was found God investigates close examination absorbing watching looking and there he saw he sees a man his name was no. Notice 1st 9 Genesis Chapter 6 for sniping. No it was a just man perfect in his generations no walk with God and because he walked with God At 1st aid tells us that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and consequently God not only disclosed to know of the impending judgment gave him a revelation of things to come in verse 13 but he also made accompanied with him in verse 18 so don't don't Miss Wood just happened an investigation of all the people on earth was made God looked upon the earth and it led to a recognition of both unfaithful corrupt men and a faithful righteous man and as a result of this investigation many were convicted. And a few were acquitted. And all this before the 1st drop of rain is. So interesting to see the sequence of events how God operates the protocol of God in judging a people now NASA price in the God had used a similar approach without a mini I mean we can go to the very beginning to Adam and Eve and discover that though he was a mission all knowing his 1st act upon arriving at the garden in the cool of the day was not to pronounce judgment on them even though he could at that's what he did he asked them a series of questions. He carried out a formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts that is to say here examined or he investigated before reaching a verdict did you ever find it interesting to ever notice the fact that after sin this is not counting Genesis 12 and 3 but after sin the very 1st a word spoken by an all knowing God who has all the answers as recorded in the scriptures are ironically a series of questions only questions are asked by God immediately after the record of Sen No it is the questions with me where are you just as 39 Who told you that you were naked Genesis 311 have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat verse 11 which is this you have done 1st 13 and it's only after after Adam and Eve acknowledge the guilt of their disobedience that God pronounces judgment on them and consequently they were convicted and led a way from the Tree of Life. Again we see how God all operates different time different place but we see we begin to see a pattern here let's continue down the line to see if God remains consistent with his protocol who's next Will Cain there's blood on the ground. And though God knows what has happened again he comes and does what investigates speed for reaching a verdict saying sequence there in tennis is chapter 4 what do we find a series of questions why are you angry chances for sex workers able your brother Gensis for 9 What have you done in Genesis forward and again God knew precisely why we're here and what had happened but again he comes and investigates before pronouncing him guilty God's approach with the builders of the tower babe or in Genesis Chapter 11 is no different turn a few chapters over to Genesis Chapter 11 here verse 15 it it says but the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built the Hebrew word Ha translated in this verse to see is the same word which is sons of men or rather which God had used when God and Vesta gated the wickedness of men before pronouncing judgment and in this case once he came and observed and investigated he pronounced them guilty and they were immediately dispersed again do you see a pattern God is operating consistently. In the same way with each distinct case and in light of these people who are examples and as I go to the dictionary dictionary's definition of the verb and Vesta gate is in fact in keeping with the Biblical record of God's dealings with the sim problem notice how a dictionary defines investigate to carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts asked to establish the truth I personally appreciated the wording of that definition in the dictionary that I use to establish the truth to establish the truth Jesus did say I am the Way the Truth and the life to establish the truth and think about this if he was consistent and doing the work of investigation with the sting individual cases why would God do it any differently as we approach the final judgement of all humanity why would he all of a sudden change his way of operation he doesn't he has been consistent and he won't do it any differently. For 6 records god same I the Lord do not change he he never changes and in many ways neither have we. Neither have we. Here we are living in the 21st century having a lifestyle similar to those living in the days of Noah millenniums ago Jesus said 1st he said and in Matthew 2437 as it was in the days of Noah so it will be in the coming of the Son of Man In other words the generation there is on earth before the coming of Christ will in many ways reflect the lifestyle the corrupt lifestyle of those in the days of no. According to the Bible record the days of Noah were violent. Are present day conditions violent too well a new report by the Council on criminal justice found that home asides increased sharply in 2019 across 221 u.s. cities with relevant data homicide rates increased by 42 percent during the summer and 34 percent in the fall over the summer and fall of 2019 that's pretty cold it so we can blame cope it for this spike in violence evidentally some things have done changed the days of Noah were morally corrupt our present day conditions morally corrupt to cording to Covenant eyes instead Internet accountability software program or company roughly 28000 users are watching pornography every 2nd users are spending around $3000.00 on porn every 2nd and for mobile Internet users one out of every 5 mobile searches is for porn. Again some things have not changed it is no wonder that Paul wrote to Timothy young to me the in 2nd to meet the chapter 3 verse one and then in the last days there will there will be perilous times and why are we to expect perilous times I'll tell you why because while Seaton the father of lies did not prevail in heaven as Revelation tells us he did however prevail on earth. And while no place was found for him any longer and haven't a place was found here on earth why because we gave ground to the enemy and the strategy that he used against the angels of heaven has not changed. He may be he may be using different types of temptations but his strategy has not changed after all he was successful in deceiving one 3rd of unfallen angels why change something that apparently works and what's that demonic strategy to fill them up a nd of intelligent human beings with carefully crafted questions and law is for the sole purpose of distrusting God we're getting we're getting into the very heart of the judgement which cannot be seen outside of the great controversy scenario Satan is attempting to law and to deceive and cause the minds of many to distrust God And so the cosmic war that began in heaven. Has now transferred and is involving Earth's intelligent human beings who just like angels have the same mental capacities of reason intellect and will to trust and obey God in that sense we're no different than angels you and I can use intellect will and reason to trust and obey God but what a dilemma though for our Creator What a dilemma and all powerful all knowing all wise God It now has to deal with rebellious skeptical stubborn yet intelligent human beings so was I is there an investigative judgment in the final in the investigative phase in the final judgment you see if you know we're wired and program. As robots with artificial intelligence there wouldn't be a need for an investigation why because God would have the final word God would choose not to be audited after all he's God and he would call it good period end of discussion no more due process for God has spoken and it is some no except except that we're not robots with Intel artificial intelligence. We're human beings with the ability to reason and to choose to trust and obey you see God knows that he will all be trusted for eternity. Intelligent if intelligent human beings are fully convinced without even one question in their minds that his final judgments were not arbitrary but based entirely on the choices of human beings and how are the choices of the mind made manifest this is an ng internal process you can read my thoughts I can read years so how our choices in a word thoughts made manifest Well they're played out by our outward actions Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit evidence of unbelief and distrust not of Rights as soon as came killed a book Evidence of unbelief not of righteousness. And he did movie ins acted violent and corrupt evidence of unbelieve not righteousness Nimrod in company built the tower baby book Evidence of unbelief not righteousness ever sends Adam and Eve sinned every human being of course that includes you include me every human being in all of us with no exception one after the other has given evidence of unbelief not of righteousness for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God But there's one exception in the human race when exception his name is Jesus. Paul the Apostle Paul clearly articulated it's the one exception in one sentence found in 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5 verse 2111 a verse in the Bible which articulate. In very clear words the one exception he wrote for he made him the one exception who knew no sin or an believed. To be sin or and believe for us that we might become the right suspicious of God in them the eternal exchange of a sin for right suspicious of righteousness for sin John you didn't he got it he got it when he penned of the words Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a rat. A man of sin and I believe like me I was was lost but now I'm found found by who by Christ my righteousness I Was Blind But Now I see why would God give grace to those who don't deserve it the answer is actually quite simple Romans 326 to demonstrate at the present time his righteousness that he might be just and the justifier of the one ques faith in Jesus all heavenly attention is riveted on planted earth. And although created beings like you know I have sinned we are absent those who exercise faith and believe now stand before their creator just as if they had not sinned. They stand before God with the pure clean robe of righteousness now you know why despite the fact that we all have sinned it comes for the glory of God according to Romans $323.00 Why no it is mentioned in Genesis as being perfect in his generations according to Genesis $69.00 Why it's only because he found grace in the sight of the Lord he found grays in the eyes of the Lord and God's grace ignited faith that were excess and know was acquitted. For he found Grace and was declared right says and he said before God just as if he would not have sinned he was acquitted for the glory of God as was Adam and Eve. Weighed Adam and Eve but I thought they were convicted and cast out of the Garden of Eden. What do you mean they were also acquitted you know most drawings of the entrance to the Garden of Eden depict one Angel see most paintings one angel with the flaming sword guarding the way to the tree of life but would have the glorious precedents it's not just what we might be quick to think just just follow this train of thought for a few moments 1st of all the word cerebellum. Is the plural form of Sarah meaning that there were at least 2 angels present and Genesis $324.00 mentions Sarabeth them were at the gate of the Garden of Eden. In fact the Ark of the cup didn't was designed with share of Bama and what we find there are 2 angels Exodus 25 percent 1020 makes mention of that 2nd the fiery presence and this was as a father in the midst of the Ark of the covenant between the Cherubim the 2 angels was always the glory of the Lord Himself 3rd throughout the Bible there is a common thing love is depicted in one instance as flames of fire a most vocal he met vehement flame in fact Song of Solomon says that many waters cannot quench God's love is depicted as a flaming precedents remember God is love and he's also introduced as our God is a consuming fire and he Slough forth return to the God of Eden the 2 angels were said to be guarding the way to the tree of life that's a new King James and most translations the Hebrew word translated to guard also means to keep to watch to preserve the 2 angels were preserving the way back to the tree of life could it be said in other words that the way was not lost or altogether removed but they were preserved being a way back could it be that Adam and Eve were shown the unquenchable fire of God's love radiating from his presence between the 2 angels. That fiery sword was the very presence of God a sane that would later be visibly displayed by the design of the mercy seat where did this design come from the original blueprint was witnessed by Adam and Eve. Could it be could it be and rather than thinking that they were that the angels were defensively guarding the entrance like like 2 bouncers that are going to permit anybody to see anybody to come in could it be that they were actually revealing that their merciful Creator had in fact preserved a way back for them to be restructured into an eternal relationship with them a bloody way none the less that would require a sacrifice and as a recent cover there same with his own death on the cross conclusion yes they still had to suffer the consequences of sin but the visible and audible message to them that day was I am God who is unquenchable in fiery love for you will always be present reminding you that despite your sin away has been preserved there will reconciles back together again the whole scene that Adam and Eve literally witness was an astonishing and overwhelming grace filled depiction of the pure is love towards the guilty. And that has not changed for millenniums even millenium sleet or Adam and Eve yes were hard pressed but they were in Christ they were perplexed but not in despair they were struck down by the weight of their sin but not destroyed and they displayed their faith true faith in the promised Messiah their Genesis 3 that would come and suffer a bruise to heal. But would deliver a deadly bruise to the enemy spared. And they believe the embrace that by Fayed and we're reminded of that sacrifice that would make possible that restoration that reconciliation to guard their creator time and time again and it has been since every person of the human race has been given time and opportunity to simply acts or size faith exercise faith in a God who wants to make all things right once and for all the judgment records considers records of works that so whether or not true faith exists the point is not the works themselves that's not that's when it's all primarily about but whether or not a person has accepted and continues to accept a forgiven and loyal relationship with God is in the 1000 year period that follows and heaven after the return of Christ when we sit on the rose as judges us to Picton Revelation 20 we're going to vindicate God quest we cleared. His judge spins upon a people the Bible says that judgment will be declared fair true and trust and then the final executive phase will do away with the root and branch of sin once and for all you see the judgment in all of its phases will finally end so the question of God's character and integrity to an intelligent human being I have supplies sufficient craze so I pay the greatest sacrifice would move or could have done. But I'm not going to tell you that though I could but i respect to your intelligence I gave you will to reason and respond in faith and trust so I can't just tell you like it is I'm going to lay it all out I'm going to lay out the evidence you're going to witness it nothing will be hidden no secrets here and so on be open and look at a display. Of faith and trust in the Redeemer who stepped in to provide us. With the means of redemption and eternal restoration Here's a God who speaks love to due process involving intelligent human beings how thankful I am beyond words that Christ in this courthouse in this court case before the Supreme Court of the universe stands in my place having paid it all sin has left the crimson stain but he washed it white as snow. Roy gain in his book alter call writes this The judgement is not about who has seen. I have said and so distinctions between people cannot be made on this basis the judgement is about who is forgiven for those who are forgiven it is to reaffirm there are servants not to take it away the judgment is for God whole God's holy ones you know I did go to the police station that evening. After further investigation it was determined that I had no one to blame had no excuse but my own responsibility there was no to blame but myself yes judgment was not in my favor Believe me I was found guilty but I had to pay it all but in the words of the prophet Daniel. I can rejoice because God's final judgment will be in my favor why because Jesus paid it all season this step did in a sudden one exception so that I can exercise faith in him. And because of or did his righteousness and stand before Him just as if I had not said and you know Martin Luther was once asked how he overcame the devil and he replied. When the devil comes and knocks on the door of my heart asking the question who lives here the Lord Jesus goes to the door and he says Martin Luther used to live here but I live here now. You know today. In the mists of world events that indicate that the impending final judgment is soon to be finished if there was ever a time that we have been given not years not mere decades or even centuries but now that millenniums of understanding how this god were us yet now we're living in a time where we have to exercise our faith and make a decision make a commitment take a stand. How many of you today simply like Martin Luther want to say. I recognize that it's my choice. And I choose. As one created in the image of God I choose. To welcome Jesus Christ. As the Lord and Savior of my life. Right here and right now. Will you affirm or reaffirm that choice they'll make all the difference all the difference the choice that as each kernel implications. If that is your choice at it as it is mine. And you say yes Jesus come right and I'm all yours is that your choice raise your hand if that's your choice he says looks down upon us looks. Down on us and sees her hand but more than that he sees her heart. And he is please he is pleased by to invite our song leaders to common. As we sing of how Jesus paid it all let's pray some lists thank him right now Father in heaven thank you thank you Lord Jesus said we have not been for saken loss. No Lord you paid the price you paid it off to give us time an opportunity to make the ultimate choice. Today Lord we thank you that we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb in me bad bring a song of solve a sin into our hearts both now and until the day when our faith becomes site. And we behold your presence in our welcome. To live with you forever more in Jesus' name in. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.

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