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Blessings Bestowed, Blessings Removed

Frank Fournier

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God has more than one way to reach our hearts. He will exhaust all His resources to win us to Himself.

Presenter

Frank Fournier

President, Eden Valley Institute

Recorded

  • July 28, 2013
    7:15 PM
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I'd like to invite you to turn with me to the book of Titus. We're going to begin by reading a verse. Titus Chapter two Titus Chapter two we're going to look at verse eleven for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Now the grace of God has appeared to all men bringing what bringing salvation to whom all men. That's what it said as I was speaking with some last night. The idea was brought up that perhaps someone is thinking that I'm preaching universalism you know what universalism is that when everyone is saved. Now it's true we've just read that the grace of God bring salvation to all men. Does that mean that all men will be saved. Why no. No because there are some people who don't know what to do with the gift that God has brought to to them. There are some people who don't want to give. I was just thinking you know I've been trying for the last hour to think of an illustration and I'm not so sure I found one. But if someone ever thought to buy me the gift of a million dollar house I wouldn't know what to do with it. Because I would not have paid taxes to begin with. I wouldn't be able to and I wouldn't have the money to keep it up. And so it would be a gift that would be wasted on me because I could not meet the responsibilities that go with it. Now that's not exactly an illustration that fits the situation because if God brings us to good. Then he has the all the wherewithal with the gift to help us with it but I think there are some people who don't know what to do with the gift. They don't know what to do with it they don't understand they don't see. Yesterday I tried to emphasize that we cannot find assurance in our own good works and the reason for that of course is as we read in Isaiah sixty four verse six. All our good works are what filthy rags. Well if you go to look to filthy rags and hope to find assurance that they're going to be terribly disappointed because there is no assurance found in filthy rags there's nothing we can do whereby we can find your surance and nothing nothing nothing. Our assurance is based on what Jesus Christ has done. Our assurance is is based on what on the birth of Jesus Christ. You know that when Jesus was born he was called in the Bible that are holy things and that preclude that there was divinity in him. But do you know that Jesus set his divinity aside and he took on our humanity through his mother Mary and with humanity he managed to live the perfect life from the day he was born till the day he died he never sinned though he was tempted in every respect like as we are and then he came to the end of his life and he died our atoning death and resurrected he went to heaven presented to his father in the one hand his his perfect life in the other hand an atoning death for all of humanity he paid for the sins of the whole world. Did he do that. Yes he did and that's where we find assurance because he has given us the gift the gift is given but we. That a gift that is given does not have to be received. It can be refused. It can be rejected. It can be ignored and mostly among Christians it can be neglected. And so don't think you can find your way to heaven if you do not appreciate the gift that God has. Blood bought at the cross of Calvary. We're not preaching universalism we're preaching the gospel. That's what it is and nothing more. Let me read it to you from faith and works page eighteen. I'm going to read just a little more than I usually would but I think you'll catch it. This is faith and works page eighteen page nineteen also the danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining as a people. False ideas of justification by faith. Now you wouldn't think you wouldn't think that is a Seventh Day Adventist Church and as people within the Seventh Day Adventist Church that we could even begin to entertain false ideas of righteousness by faith or justification by faith. But friend we don't all agree. One what justification by faith is. And so somebody has got to be wrong you can't have two people who are wrong or who actually disagreed and both be right they can both be wrong but they can't both be right. And so Ellen White warns us that there is a possibility now when actually the gospel is very very simple. But what's amazing is that the devil has managed to bring in theories and ideas and to block our minds into habits because of sin because of sin in our own individual lives. He is able to blind our eyes to blind our hearts to understand the true Gospel. Ah quit sinning Why don't you know it's true it's true that wafer of God is available for that we can and I think we ought to be. Serious about it because when we're not serious about it and I'm trying to bring to my mind you know I'm talking here without my notes. I'm trying to bring to my mind the book Education Page twenty eight says that thin is sung about one thin thin is so powerful it says there that it not only separates us from God but it destroys within us the desire and capacity to know him. How would you like to have your capacity to know God destroyed in this that and if there is anyone here who entertains hinted he or cherishes sin in his or her life your capacity to know and this is life eternal is to know you don't have your capacity destroyed. How would you like to have your desires destroyed I mean your desires for salvation destroyed that's the unpardonable sin by the way. Yeah and sin can do that and so of course I am. Let me just throw at you another spirit prophecy quotation. Third selective messages too old to paragraph two. Fifth Hour think a vacation is God's object in all his dealings with us. So it doesn't matter what God has done. When God went to the cross What was it for our sanctification to bring us back to restore us back to the image in which we were created. That his object in all his dealings with us. And so when Jesus went to the grave it was for our sanctification when Jesus rose from the grave. It was or I think the vacation and all of his all of all of the provinces that he works out in your life what's it all for. It's all for the purpose of restoring you back to the image of Jesus Christ that God's purpose. Now if that quotation doesn't balance our minds I don't know of another quotation that will better do it. We need to understand. But I think all of that because I want to say this we will never get to the place where we want to put sin aside we will never get to the place where we want to repent. If we do not recognize the goodness of God And so this is what we're trying to say this evening and last evening in the evening before when you see that God has gone to the cross and he's paid the full penalty for all of our sins and that he pro First of all the whole human race a total salvation package then you can see how good God is and it's the goodness of God that would lead us if we come to the place where we do not want to hurt him anymore. I'm going to continue reading this is still from faith and works. The point that has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. That justification. I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of Discourses in our churches throughout the land when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people so she thought this was probably the most important subject that could be broached with the people goes on to say there is not a point that needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly repeated more frequently or established more firmly in the minds of all. Then the impossibility of a fallen man meriting anything by his own death. Good works. Salvation is through faith in Christ alone. We are saved by grace alone through faith only in Jesus Christ alone. No other salvation has been I would say. Think I've got it right here other foundation can no man lay than is laid which is Christ Jesus. That's where our assurance lies. And Jesus has done it all to bring salvation to the human race and you may find assurance there you will never find assurance in your behavior. And we've seen that by the quotation that we read the other day because we are such a corrupt channel. Even a true believer and his praises and his penitent confessions and his worship of God even going coming from a true believer a sense to God but because they go through a corrupt channel it is so defiled that it can be of no value with God unless it is cleansed by the blood of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and so our assurance is in what Jesus said has done. Let this. And I'm reading again let the subject be made distinct and plain that it is not possible to affect anything in our standing before God or in that gift of God to us through creature merit. So now what about good works. Well I had to turn to Titus chapter one Titus chapter one I had to turn to Titus chapter two but we read that already were in Titus chapter one let's look at verse sixteen and it says the first two words are they profess not talking about professors here it's not talking about university professors it's talking about people who profess to be Christians. They profess that they know God but in works they deny him. Now what's wrong with these people. Well friend they don't know him. They don't know him. They profess that they know him but their works show that they don't know him because they would know. They would love him and they would love Him Jesus said they would keep His commandments. If you love me why would you keep My commandments that's what it says. Now when you read the verse that sounds like it's a command right. If you love me keep my you know. Yeah if you love me keep my commandments but really he's saying if you loved me you want to keep my commandments. Do you know that the Ten Commandments are ten promises. Oh it's the truth I don't have time and it wasn't part of the sermon but if you went to the chapter nineteen in Exodus just before chapter twenty where you find a law there you would find that God is saying I am working in your lives and I brought you here and I brought you there and I'm doing this and this for you so that you can keep my commandments. God is essentially saying I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit within you and when you have a new heart and a new spirit within you. Thou Shalt Not Steal Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou Shalt Not everything else. Thou shalt not because it's a promise. Once God operates in my life opens my eyes opens my heart takes possession of who I am I will not want to hurt God will I now makes perfect sense to me. So question Does our repentance God caused God to forgive us. Why no the goodness of God leads us to repent. Sure does our gratitude cause God to give us gifts. Why no he gives us the gift and the gift awakens in our heart a heart full of gratitude. If Jesus said like I've already quoted if you love me keep my commandments. But now which comes first the love or the commandment keeping. Why sure are there do you think. Do you think there are people who try to love God or do you think they're trying to. There are people who try to keep His commandments and they are devoid of love. You think there are people that way. Oh sure there's all kinds of people that way. Fran has the legal lists are the most unloving people in this world. It's just that simple Have you ever met some terrible and yet they're in the church and they believe that they're doing just what what's right in the growth of the parable of the prodigal son and you find the elder brother. Now how loving was he and why was he so unloving. Because he was he was ruining his own heart by trying so hard to be good apart from the grace of God which is so freely offered to anyone who might want it. Commandment keeping repentance gratitude good works are always the fruit and they are never the cause of salvation. Good works when genuine. Now of course is proof of a true understanding of righteousness by faith. But it's a tricky thing because there's all kinds of people the people who had true genuine love for God to have good works and the people who are legal is to have good works and sometimes we cannot tell one from the other. Right. Well eventually we will. I guarantee you Erin. And so first Corinthians three eleven let's go over there first Corinthians chapter three. First Corinthians Chapter three we're going to begin with verse eleven other foundation can no man lay then that is laid which is Christ Jesus. This is the foundation of salvation but then we go on to good work so we go on to character building. Now if any man build character building upon this foundation the foundation of salvation using gold or silver. Precious Stones would double every man's work shall be made manifest for the day shall declare you shall know them by their fruit in other words because it shall be revealed by fire. Do you think God cannot test your Christian experience. Oh yes and he's doing it all the time is me sure and when it all over and everyone is well I guess that's true everyone is going to know who it is who you are and you're going to know who the next person is because our Christian experience will be tested as by fire it's coming. Friends tell you there's going to be a time of trouble such as never was and nothing will reveal the true christians better. But nothing will reveal the false Christians more either. It's just the way it's going to be. Fourteen If any man's work abide which he has built thereon he shall receive a reward. Now verse fifteen is really strange. If any man's work shall be burnt that is no more work left no more reward left no more no more good behavior. If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire. Isn't that weird. No works all burnt up no good behavior nor reward yet saved. Now I don't know I'd point to Solomon and says that he was saved by fire. She uses these verse these words right here applying them to Solomon and you know the life of Solomon right. He started out to be by being a true Christian or a wonderful man. I mean God and God so loved this young fellow because his heart was truly genuinely in love with his with his creator. And then he was corrupted and then it went through his head and then he was. Bigger than his britches and pretty soon he put more dependence people and more faith confidence in himself than he put in God lost the whole thing lost the whole thing. And yet he came back as by fire by the skin of his teeth as it were. Friends listen that is an experience you and I want to have is it. No no I want to have stars in my crown. I want to have gold in my character building a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. If we know anything about what Jesus is doing in the most holy place today if we know anything about the N.T. typical day of atonement we know that God through the three Angels' messages is preparing a people to stand before God without fault. Why don't we cooperate with this thing. Isn't that the truth. The reason is we don't understand. We still haven't seen. Sometimes we lose our voices here. We still haven't seen to comprehend righteousness by faith. It still hasn't come to the place where what is the thing here. One subject will swallow up every other. We still haven't grasped the beauty of it so that it has enraptured our hearts. But that time will come. I believe that if we could come together as a people and pray as we were led to pray by Marilyn this evening and continue to pray and plead with God for the Holy Spirit and understanding and grasping and having the experience of Christ as our righteousness. Tell your friend we would have a different experience than we're having. Why in the world are we still here one hundred sixty seven years later. Or is it one hundred sixty eight. Time goes by really fast. You know we're still here and there's only one reason. It's not because God delays his coming it's not because the Devils not ready it's not because the. World is not ready. The stage is set and God's people are still not sealed in their foreheads with the seal of the Living God. It's just that simple just that simple because we have not understood the three Angels' messages which is righteousness by faith in verity I want Bill's precious attributes of God in my character those precious stones. Why in order to be saved. Why no. Because my salvation is based in Jesus Christ his birth his life his death his resurrection all my merits are there in him is his merit for me but why do I want it. Well because friends I would like to see God glorified in my life wouldn't you. I would like to be an influence to the people around me. A witness in this world isn't that why we're here. And let me tell you something if we're just like the world we're not a witness. You know that don't you. I would like to be part of that great program where the whole world is enlightened with the glory of God's character. I would like when I go to heaven not tomorrow or that place. Yeah I've got to change or I'm sure my personal mission statement and I share this as often as I go anywhere as often as I speak almost my personal mission statement is to live at all expense to myself for the glory and honor of God and for the good and happiness of others. This is my personal mission statement. Now I wish I could tell you that I live up to this standard. The bar is really high by the way but I intend to keep it before my eyes as often as I can remember and it's been years and years where I formulated this thing this is my desire to live at all expense to myself for the honor and glory of God and for the good and happiness of others. I think we ought to adopt everyone. That personal mission statement. Well have you turned to the parable of the Prodigal Son this is why we're here together. By the way don't miss tomorrow. Some of you said that you really like the stories when I have a story to tell. Well tomorrow night will be almost all the stories almost all story but but stories with a purpose. You're not going to waste your time listening to stories tomorrow but they're going to be all stories anyway. So we're in Luke Chapter fifteen we're looking at verse thirteen we're going on with the parable of the prodigal son trying as best we can to recognize how all righteousness by faith in all of this. Verse thirteen and not many days can mean not many days after the younger son gathered all together and took his journey into a far country and there wasted his substance in riotous living. Do you know how God considers it. Do you know how God considers that we waste our substance in riotous living. God has given to us all kinds of things we all have something we all have aplenty in this country in any case. And when we take what God has given us and we spend it on ourselves we wasted it. Now it's not because we don't have personal needs you all need a house and you all need clothing and you all need clothes. I mean food then you all need all kinds of things and God will see to it that all of the things are provided for you. But we all have extra. We all have more than that. And very often we are tempted to spend it on ourselves. That according to the Scriptures is a waste of God's substance. Who owns all of this anyway. Yes yes and friends to take a journey into a car for our country. You don't have to go very far. You can do that in the very comfort of your own living room. All. You have to do is to turn your back on God and Jesus called it a journey into a far country do you know why he says it was a far country because he had never gone that far. Jesus would never did turn his back on his father did he know he didn't. Now we have been looking at Jesus more or less as our substitute for the birth. He became one of us. His life was lived for us from the day he was born till the day he died on the cross. He lived a perfect life as our substitute and he died a substitutionary death. What a wonderful thing. But Jesus was not only our substitute He was also our example. If you go to Hebrews Chapter four go with me there Hebrews Chapter four verse fifteen. All verses I know you're familiar with but you can't read them too up and where in Hebrews Chapter four we're looking at verse fifteen for we have not in the high priest which cannot be touched by the feelings of our infirmities but was in all points that is in every respect tempted like as we are yet without sin. Hard to understand for some people that Jesus was tempted in every respect in all points like as we are. It's not saying that he was tempted to to watch T.V. there was no T.V. he wasn't tempted to drive one hundred miles an hour in a sixty mile an hour zone. That's American isn't it. Yeah there's a lot of things that he wasn't tempted. But this is not what I was talking about. If talking about being tempted in principle. Do you know that Jesus had before he came down here he was all divine he had divinity and his great temptation was to go back. And he used his old nature is you his divine nature and a lot of power there. Now you and I We start with our carnal nature and we adopt the divine nature in our great temptation through life is to go back to the nature we used to have the same temptation isn't it. When you get this courage you start thinking well this isn't working for me I'm going back at least I don't have to worry about being perfect all the time. Yeah yeah. Well with Jesus when he was tempted his temptation was to go back to the divinity that he had because of the amount of power that was in there. That's why the devil tried so hard on the cross of Calvary right to say come on down from there you can save yourself you saved others and you can save yourself what's going on with that. You know was it a temptation do you think it was a huge temptation Jesus was tempted far more than you and I are because he had far more power at his disposal and yet he was able to live life as you and I have to live it with no more power than we have. That is no more power than Then we have available to us. And he lived by faith with the same equipment that you and I had and he set aside his the dignity he took on our humanity. He was tempted in every respect and he never failed once. Turn with me to John Chapter five. John Chapter five. A couple of heiresses in John five that unless you understand it makes no sense verse nineteen then answered Jesus and said unto them Verily verily I say unto you the son of man can do nothing of himself or by himself. Now how does that make sense. He is the Son of God He is God in himself. He can do nothing by himself. Verse thirty says the same thing Jesus speaking I can of mine own self do not. Take this verse and believe it. Why don't you and see what you do and see what God is willing to do. Do you think this is true. Oh yes God will have a people through whom he will work like this again. There is no doubt about it and there's no doubt in my mind that yours are right here. You are the people this is the people he would use. There's no doubt he's not a respecter of person he's not looking for special people through whom he can work he is only looking for people who exercise faith in him that's all he's looking for people who trust Him to do what he promised to do. That's all that's all. And why is it that we are not more powerful than we are. As a Christian people it's a huge mystery in my in my little life it really is. I would like to be part of that program. In any case turn with me back to Luke Chapter fifteen Luke Chapter fifteen. We're moving a little faster because if we only did one verse at a time in the parable of the Prodigal Son we wouldn't get very far over the week. So I have to do more than one verse at a time now where in verse fourteen or in Luke Chapter fifteen and when he had spent all day talking about the prodigal he's gone out there in the world and he's had a great time he's wasting his father's substance and then there comes a time when everything is spent. So then there rose a mighty famine in the land and he began to be in want. Now friends the prodigal son had been given all things you remember that right his father gave him in his inheritance and in they give is inherent a message that's right thing. Thank you Andre. It was on her lips in the gift. There was a message from his father to the son that said my love you come on home right now. The prodigal. I was supposed to see this goodness of God It was supposed to turn his heart toward home. He was supposed to repent in receiving this gift. Did he do it now. No Well not not right away and then he thought why didn't he do it and if you had been the father of that boy what would you have said. Supposing now you've given him everything already so apparently there's nothing left to give. Which isn't so in the case of God In any case God is never without something to do but if you were the father of that boy what would you do. You shrug your shoulders and say well I've given him everything. There's nothing more that I can do. But it wasn't that way with God Let me show you something this is patriarchs and prophets page four hundred seventy paragraph two God speaks to his people in blessings bestowed does he. Oh yeah and what is he saying when he bestows a blessing. I love you. God speaks to his people and blessings bestowed. And when these are not appreciated he speaks to them in blessed things removed. Oh no yeah. Have you ever had a blessing removed. What was God trying to say. Do you think that God wants to remove blessings and why do you think God acts that way. Well friends God is our Father. He's a parent some of you are parents and most of you I suppose are parents some of your grandparents you will who are grandparents have you ever bought a gift to your three year old grandson you know you go out you buy him a try fickle and they get this supposed to say to the three year old grandson I love you and he's out there and he's as happy as can be playing on his trifecta. Well if he becomes disrespectful in a day or two do you know what to do. What do you do while you take the try to go and you hang it up in a rafter up in the garage somewhere and he can have it when he smartens up it's just that simple. All right and God operates very much in the same way. Doesn't it say that God speaks to his people and blessing this fellow but if you're going to be disrespectful then when these are not appreciated he speaks to them in blessings. Remove I had a friend whose name was George's Schaefer I assume that Ed and Sheryl would know George Shaffer from British Columbia he was the principal of new Cademy for a time and I'd been asked to do a series of meetings that view Cademy and I did that and I was I was talking about this very thing as a matter of fact so George took me aside after the meeting and he said I want to tell you a story. He said I was born in Saskatchewan on a huge ranch and I had a large extended family so many uncles many cousins and lots of boys but he said I was the strongest one and I had the biggest arms. George telling me this but he says this was in one thousand nine hundred fifty and in one thousand fifty there was a polio epidemic that swept through the land and took no one from his family except George. And took nothing from George except his two arms. Now I don't quite know how polio works I've seen a lot of polio in Africa and most of the people who have polio are all twisted and bent over and and deformed because of the polio. But George was not twisted or deformed at all but the problem with George was he had no more strength than to be able to lift a pencil or pen or a chop so he became a school teacher and that's what he was when when I met him. That's all the strength he had he was married he had daughters the daughters had to do all the work around because he had no strength in his arms. You know what he said to me he said I praise God because I was taking the glory to myself that belonged to God and the Lord took it away. To save my soul. Yeah yeah you know God came to Jonah one day and he said John I want you to go to Nineveh and cry against it. And Jonathan Head I don't think so. As a matter of fact I've got a ticket to Tarshish. I have an appointment. I'm gone and he was gone. So why did God do. Well he sent a storm at sea. Why did he send a storm at sea was it to destroy Jonah to drown him because he was a recalcitrant. No no it was to save him soul his soul God could have said well you know I can make a profit I can have the stones cry out I don't need Jonah but God isn't like we are and so he sent us a storm at sea but it wasn't to drown him it was to save him and did it do it well it wasn't easy but it really wasn't. In the parable of the Prodigal Son and the prodigal son had spent all and there and God sent the famine in the land was for the purpose of starving the kid there is no way it was for the purpose of saving him. Turn with me to Psalms one hundred nineteen I want you to see some wonderful verses. I use these verses all the time on the life I guess that I have and I intend to do all the devotionals that are life I guess because I just love to do it that's all and I use these verses because they are important to them most of the time or in Psalms one hundred nineteen looking at verse sixty seven before I was afflicted I went astray. Now what does it feel like before your afflicted feels pretty good right. Shard feels wonderful but the tendency when everything is going just right is to go astray. All we like sheep have what gone astray why. Well we've turned everyone to our own way do you know when you get your own way. The tendency is to go astray. Yes that's what it is and so God sometimes has to send what afflictions. Yeah verse seventy one it is good for me that I have been afflicted really. Oh yeah that I might learn die that you were seventy five I know all or deadeye judgments are right and that vow in faithfulness hath afflicted me. Now notice who does who is doing the afflicting here is it God. Well that's what it says here now you know we could talk about that and we can talk about God's sovereignty and we can talk about the fact that got a flick nobody ever. Well you know. We better study it. Yeah yeah you know that God in theory is that he wants you in the kingdom. Yeah that he might even resort to afflicting allowing you to be afflicted allowing the devil to do it. You know him so that he can reach your soul. Have you ever received anything good from God Have you given it the proper response. Do you show your gratitude by your faithfulness to him and if you don't. Would you blame him for coming after you. This media was brought to you by Adil cars a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about us if you would like to listen to more so please visit W W W R Vers dot org.

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