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This Is the Condemnation

Frank Fournier


How can God condemn us for being sinners? We were born that way.


Frank Fournier

Executive VP of OCI


  • July 31, 2013
    7:15 PM
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So turn with me to Psalms one hundred twenty eight this story has nothing to do with the sermon I'm going to preach tonight. If you remember on the very first night I started telling a story and I was telling the wrong story. It wasn't the story that was meant to go with the sermon I was preaching so I stopped in mid mid drift and changed around and told the right story and left some people hanging and if you remember the story. Now let's see if I can remember the story I was telling you that I was working in the mines and then at twenty five I began reading the Bible. I was baptized when I was twenty seven years old then I quit working in the mines and went to work in a little place called Woodland Park Foundation. I was a student for a couple of years and my wife and then one year I was on staff and then they made me the president. And that's about as far as you know the story went. Well what follows that is that I didn't know anything about leadership by the way I hardly know anything about leadership now. Well you can imagine how it was forty years ago. All I knew about leadership was that if you work your tail off then maybe you could accomplish something and I would call that success. You see and so this was my idea of being a leader of a small institution we were just going to work and work and work and if there were too many students in our little school then those extra students would be in our home and if there was anyone that would come to visit we would host them and if there was a heavy end to the load at the end we would live and if there was a dirty end of the stick that at the end we would handle OK And so we worked and we worked and we worked well about about a year down the road my wife began to say listen you can't earn your way to heaven you can't work your way to heaven we're working ourselves to death. This isn't living. We need to. Leave and you remember I said we can't leave because I know how God has led us here but I don't see him leading us away. I can see all the Providence is that if that put the responsibilities on my shoulder but I don't see him relieving me of those responsibilities. There isn't anything I can do. And that held for a while and then a year or two down the road he came back and he said I'm going to leave I'm going to take the children and I'm going to go and my only answer was exactly the same as it had been before. I can see the responsibility that God has given me. Don't feed him relieving me of it I don't know what to do and then finally about four or five years down the road my wife began to use the word that's as far as we got in the story. Yeah and what was that the word divorce. Yeah and it got my attention you can understand it got my attention I love her dearly. Who wants to be divorced from such a wonderful person. I mean she's fitting right. Got to say that. So because it was so serious I began to pray and I began to claim a very special promise now I understand that I don't have the sermon surrounding this little story that I would normally have and so I am just telling you the story I would write turn with me to Psalms one hundred twenty eight. I had was that we had a we were living in a home that was three stories and on the third stories we had dormers I don't know if you know what that is but anyway we had a little door and I could go in there and every morning I would go in there and I would pray I would claim this promise every evening I would go in there and I would claim this promise. I want you to know it is what it is this is Psalms one hundred twenty eight. And we're going to read from verse one less that is everyone that fears the Lord that walk in His ways for Thou shall eat the labor of bind hands happy shall bow be it shall be well with the divine wife shall be approved for Vine by the side of your house and I children and all of plants around about your table. Behold that dust shall the man be blessed that fears the Lord and I would go into this little Dormer and I would put my finger on the promise and I would stick it under God's nose and I would say listen you promised you promised. I didn't make this promise God made this promise to me and to all of us and he said that if we want to do God's will and if we want to walk in His ways if we want to be God's man then my wife will be a fruitful bind by the side of my house and my children will be all the plants around about my cable. Now I really don't know how long I prayed that prayer. It was week in week out month in month out and somewhere along the way I quit praying the thing I don't remember when I thought I don't know why I stopped. In any case I woke up to it about ten years later. Yeah ten years later I was in Norway I was doing a series of meetings in Norway researching through my Bible came across Psalms one hundred twenty eight and it was like oh I used to pray this prayer every day twice twice a day for months and months and months whatever happens. Well by this time we have moved to Africa and my wife had come on to your own and now you've heard some of the stories of some of the things that the Lord has used her to do. And it's amazing it's still amazing to me even to this day she is in Africa and she is still working for the African people bringing the gospel over there and doing an amazing work by herself and rising rising up raising up an institution by herself by God's help and God's grace doing an amazing thing you know. Far as I'm concerned she is what does it say fruitful vine by the side of my house. Does God answer our prayers. Oh yes yes and my children are living in three different countries. You can pray that your children will be missionaries and then complain if your children are missionaries. No really and so I brought my son to Africa when he was fourteen years old and he is forty years old he'll be forty years old in one month and he is the director of his own mission station out there in Tanzania and my wife has their own institution in Tanzania. I have a daughter in the Yukon territories and she has her own church and she has all these people giving Bible studies and also doing help health clubs and whatever else she's doing doing all that she can to spread the gospel. I have a daughter in when achey Washington who has raised up I don't know how many choirs. And they've had to expand the church because they have become so popular and people are coming to church there. What a blessing has God to hear our prayer. Do we believe the promises of God Do we believe them enough to not let him go. To petition the throne. Yeah our prayers need to be what's the word. Never mind we don't have we don't have time to wait for my brain to catch up with my mouth. So let's go on. Let's go on to tonight. Tonight a little sermon I'd like to invite you to turn with me to Luke Chapter fifteen Luke Chapter fifteen we've been studying together the parable of the prodigal son and I always receive a blessing in studying the parable of the Prodigal Son I have a question though to ask you before we get started again into tonight. Tonight's story how many steps are there to salvation. One. Anybody else have any answers. Do you know that there are no wrong answers. No it's true there are no wrong answers. If you said there were no steps to salvation you'd be right because the salvation has been worked out by Jesus Christ for us in the fall and he's handed it to us fully without our taking any steps. However if you were to say there's one step to salvation you would be right if the Romans Chapter ten verse thirteen whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be one. How many steps is that while you can say it one step right the other day we studied together and we saw that Ellen White points to Revelation chapter twenty two of verse seventeen and she said you know lay hold on this promise and you shall be saved right. And what does Revelation twenty two seventeen says Come and take and take. Well we could say that two steps right. How many chapters in the book steps to Christ. Thirteen Well I'm not trying to say there are thirteen steps. All I'm trying to say is it doesn't matter which number you throw out there you can probably make something be it any number you want you know. But if you take the parable of the prodigal son and you take the Prodigal Son himself and and read very carefully just to see just exactly which step he took you'll find that there are three steps in the parable of the Prodigal Son So where in Luke Chapter fifteen and we're looking at verse seventeen the first six words in verse seventeen and it says and when he came to himself What does that mean. You know whatever you said is true. He came to himself he came to his senses. He came to his senses about his spiritual condition. He came to his senses about his relate. In ship with his father he began to see the mess that he was in and he began to recognize and to realize that his father could help him his father could save him from the situation he was in and let me tell you something or maybe I should ask it in a question Is it possible to be saved if we never come to our senses about our spiritual condition about our relationship with God. No we can't be fatal I think there are a lot of people out there in this world who are floating around who are doing whatever it is they're doing who never give it a thought who find themselves in messes and instead of turning to God will turn to the bottle they'll turn to drugs. They'll turn to anything that that masks or that high or you know can't find a word for that either. Yeah you know that's what they turn to. The second step is in verse twenty and he arose and came to his father. Can anyone be saved if they don't come to God now. Jesus said I am the way I am the truth I am the life. No man gets to the Father. No one gets to heaven but by me there is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved and if we don't come to Jesus we don't find salvation that step number two and tonight's sermon surrounds Step number three and you can look at verse twenty one verse twenty one Luke Chapter fifteen. This is after he comes the prodigal son comes home and his father has received him open arms full of hugs and kisses and and the whole nine yards What a wonderful reception. We could do a whole sermon as a matter of fact. Most people when they study the story of the parable of the prodigal son. This is the central verse and I skirt around it we've preached a lot about this. How are we received by God our friend. He's paid so high a price that we can please him in no other way than to come and he can't be any happier. Then when we do come. And so when the prodigal son came home this father had been yearning over this boy for so long however long it was so that when he came home there was no anger there was no better bitterness there was no all kinds of conditions that so that the boy would meet certain conditions. Nothing he was just received in all fullness. And that's how we were received by the way. Come come and God will receive you I don't know who you are. I don't know what you've done. I don't know where you've been I don't know how bad you are it doesn't matter. God knows and I don't know that there is anyone here that's the worst sinner than anybody else. God has paid the penalty for every sinner in the world and he says Come I've already paid the price. Come I'm yearning over you. I want you so come now the third. The third step to salvation is found in verse twenty one when the son comes home the son says to his father I have sinned and I have sinned against heaven and in the eyesight and I am nor more worthy to be called your son. What's he doing here. I call it the three C's of salvation. Come to your senses come to your god and confess. Yeah that's what he is doing now is is this reasonable. Is God asking too much. Is there anyone in the whole world supposing that they are paralyzed from the neck down who cannot do this. No everyone can do this even if you are paralyzed from the neck down because it can all happen in the in the in the recesses of your own heart. No one has to do penance no one has to take a pilgrimage not to Mecca or to Rome. No one has to pay money no one has to work. All we have to do is come to our senses about our need to come to our God who alone can meet that need and when we get there we cast all our cares upon him. This is what confession is by the way have you done if you've done this what do you know. Well look at verse twenty two. Just the first part of verse twenty two but the father said to his servant bring forth the best robe and put it on him. What does that represent. So that represents the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Yeah so what does that mean. All that he did was come to his senses come to his God and confess his sins and right then at that point the robe of Christ's righteousness was around him. He had salvation. Do you think you need to do something more than that. Oh no no no. We don't need to do anything more than that. Let's look at confession a little bit you can turn with me to first John first John chapter one. I suppose if you've been an advantage for any length of time you would you would know this verse pretty well by heart this is one of the memory verses that everyone studies first John chapter one we're looking at verse nine if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Is this true. Is this hard to do. Well sometimes it is. Confessing is not always easy and if it wasn't for this proud heart you know. If I do something wrong. I want to confess I know Nick and Beth but sometimes it's not easy however this is all that God is asking and the promise is true and it's true to me and it's true to you. Martin Luther a lot of probably everyone in here has heard of Martin Luther. You remember that Martin Luther when he was a little boy I was obsessed with salvation. He wanted to be saved. Now his thinking was logical he grew up in a Catholic persuasion and the thinking in the Catholic persuasion is quite logical actually. If sin is the problem all you have to do to get to heaven is to quit planning now I grew up in a Catholic home and I don't know how many times I've heard my mother say if you want to go to heaven be good. OK And if you're bad you won't go to heaven and that's very logical sin is the thing that's going to keep us out of heaven isn't it. Yes So all you have to do is quit sinning and this is what Martin Luther thought because that's what he was taught. OK But how how well does that work. Well it doesn't work. It cannot work because sin is not a matter of what we do only feel. Sin is also a matter of the nature that we have we have simple natures therefore within that we have no choice. Can an Ethiopian change his skin. Can a leopard change his spots. Neither are you who are accustomed to do evil do not do good. You can't do it. You cannot change yourself. You've got to have a miracle work in your life. Martin Luther had not realized this and so you know religion was very frustrating for him but he did not want to be lost. And so he hung on he hung on year after year by the time he was a teenager he was sent to the university by his father because Martin Luther and then evidently he was very very intelligent and it was recognized. They could see how intelligent he was. So they sent him to the university. As City to become a lawyer but becoming a lawyer for Martin Luther was not his obsession for sure. His obsession with feel that he wanted to be sainted And so he wrestled with this wrestled with this wrestled with it until he came up with an idea that he thought was bulletproof. And so he threw a party invited all his friends and then he gave up his toys whatever his toys were in that time gave to all his friends and then he left after the party made his way to a monastery and there he knocked on the door and somebody came and opened a little gate and said Who is it and he said it's Martin Luther. I want to be a monk and his thinking was that these guys inside the monasteries didn't do anything but pray and if they didn't do anything but pray then obviously they're not sinning right. So he had solved the problem. Except that he hadn't solved the problem and he found out being a monk in a monastery that he was still thinning because thin is not a matter of circumstance. Sin is a matter of nature and it was painful for him so he began to flagellate himself he began to do all kinds of religious disciplines in order to get himself to quit sinning to the point where he nearly lost his life in his early twenty's as far as I can tell it was his early twenties. He ended up to be very very sick there in the monastery confined to his little cot in his little cell and he was dying. An older monk heard what was happening to Martin Luther and so he made his way to that monastery and into that little felled by Martin Luther's cot knelt beside Martin Luther and said Martin Luther would you be willing to risk to refight the Lord's creed after me and Martin Luther said Sure go ahead. So the older monk began to recite the Lord's creed. One phrase at a time. And Martin Luther would repeat it and they did that all the way through the Lord's creed until they came to the place where it said I believe in the forgiveness of my thin and Martin Luther's that I believe in the forgive no no no no I believe in the forgiveness of my pin. Martin Luther said I believe in the power. No I believe in the forgiveness of my kin and he repeated it over and over and over again with more and more emphasis until the light went on in Martin Luther's hand and wait a minute if Jesus went to the cross with all of my sins if Jesus paid the whole price for everything I may ever commit then what's wrong with my head. It's my duty it's my right to believe in the forgiveness of my things are your sins forgiven. You know what Ellen White says this is eight hundred eighty eight Materials for N nine hundred forty eight Watch this. True religion the only religion of the Bible is believing in the forgiveness of sin. Really really is not a strange quotation. I mean aren't we thought good at adding. You remember the Jews in Jesus's day. How many laws they added to the law in an effort to protect the law so that they would not break the law they made other laws. Yeah I don't know that we've gone that far I don't know that we've come to that point but it seems to me that many people have a very complicated religion very complicated theology and it would take hours to decipher through all kinds of stuff that they want to talk about but it's not that simple. I mean it's not that complicated isn't it simple. True religion the only religion of the Bible is believing. Into forgiveness of my sins because Jesus has gone to the cross and he's paid the price. Now some of you might be saying well that's fine except that I really am bad you don't know what I have done. Though it's true I don't know what you have done and I don't care what you have done. If this does not cover your sins then nothing else has you remember what we read the other day. Let me just read it to you again. All that a man can possibly do toward his salvation is to accept the invitation. This is six B.C. Can seventy one paragraph five. All that a man can possibly do is accept the invitation to come and take no sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross in earnest appeals continually prefers to the sinner thorough expiation thorough expiation for every sin that was ever committed and this is from the Word of God and it's true. Don't go telling me that your sins are to be your sins are too bad because it isn't true you have a too high an estimation of yourself. Go with me to Second Samuel Second Samuel chapter twelve. We'll look at a man there with his sins. Second Samuel Chapter twelve this is the story of David. I don't suppose that I had to make a long long story of it you know what happened to David one day he's he's in his middle to late fifty's he's not going to war anymore David had a hard life you understand. You know being a warrior all his life and it really wears on you. Wears on your body and soul by the time he's in the mid fifty's going to war is a bit more difficult they don't want him to go to war anyway. He's got plenty of warriors young men who can do this and so he thinks he's home but boy. David has been an active man he's not the kind of guy that sat on his hands and did nothing or just ordered people to do stuff. He was a very active individual so now here he is at home with nothing to do while his men are on the front lines fighting and you can imagine he's walking around the palace and he says he doesn't know what to do with himself. Well he ends up on the balcony and there in the open court is a lady taking a bath and her name is back and wonder why she got that name. And anyway why in the world she was taking a bath in an open court is another question I have no idea. However he sends a servant down there to bring her up. Doesn't say in the Bible what they did but about a month later she sends a note to him to say Ah I am pregnant and he says oh bummer that wasn't in his plan. This wasn't supposed to happen. See. So he has to cook up a plan you know the story he has your eye on her husband by the way who is a Hittite. He's on the front lines he's one of David's death soldiers he hasn't come home. He gets them as drunk as he can get them drunk and after the party says go home to your wife and you're a riot. Me go home to my wife. What are you talking about. I've got comrades out there on the front line. They're risking their lives and I'm here having a party drinking booze and I'm going to go to my wife. No way not only does he not go to his wife he leaves the city altogether goes outside the city gates and he sleeps on the ground and so he has spoiled the king's plans so they don't think up of another plan he writes a letter to Joab his captain feels it gives it to you or I had to give the Joab and in the letter it says put your idea where he will be killed and your riot was killed. So now David has committed adultery and David has committed murder and David has no conscience about it. In that amazing this is a man. Who whose conscience was so sensitive that God could say he was a man after God's own heart all of a sudden he is not man a man after God's own heart all of a sudden he is like a heathen King. He's bought in to what the kings around him were thinking that Divine Right of Kings. Have you ever heard of the divine rights of kings. That's when you can do whatever you want because you're the king. You can take a woman you can leave a woman you can kill a man or you can save a man like you. You can grant him pardon this word of Divine Right of Kings he's buying into this nonsense. But God is not buying into it and so he sends to him the prophet Nathan prophet Nathan has a storyboard for David. He says there's a rich man over here has all these sheep and he has a poor man living next door who has one new lamb and the poor man loved if you land the eat the same food this leap in the same bed apparently. And I mean you were really close. Now the problem was of course is that the rich man did not kill one of his sheep when a visitor came along he took the poor man's You too to kill who served to his visitors and David is like whoa that's not right and he says that man is going to pay for fall. Did you know that David paid fourfold. Did you know that David law forced on on account of this in. Listen there are consequences to see him. Now let's read together. Verse seven. Well not together I'll read it to you. Verse seven this is the second Samuel Chapter twelve The Nathan Nathan said to David Thou art the man I love what he said after that. It does say at the LORD God of Israel I anointed you king over Israel I delivered you out of the. Hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house your master's wives into your bosom. I gave the the house of Israel and Judah and if that had been too little I would moreover have given unto thee such and such. What is the Lord saying here believe it. I have given you and I have given you and I have given you in it that was not enough. Open your mouth and say so with my son I have freely given you all things if all yours. Everything that belongs to me belongs to you you can have it only don't thin do you know that the Lord is speaking to us this evening. Do you know that the Lord is saying the same thing to you do to night do you know that with his son he has freely given you all things you have all things whether it's in your pocket or in your account or in your house or wherever it might be whether it's not there it doesn't matter it is true my God shall supply all your needs you will not be lacking and he has promised and if it isn't enough get on your knees and ask him for the very thing you think you need. And I'd be surprised if he doesn't give it to you. Only don't let him. Don't feel this is what God is saying here is not wonderful. Well David I heard the Lord and he felt bad verse thirteen he confessed I want you to notice the confession in verse thirteen. It is all of six words. He committed adultery. He killed a man and his confession is all of six words what verse thirteen and David said to Nate and I have sinned against the Lord. Six words and Nathan said to David notice the Lord's response. The Lord also has put away your sin. Thou shalt not die. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Six words you know it seems. Fair doesn't it. I mean he he's committed adultery and he's killed them and the man and the RIAA and what is your RIAA thinking if you are I think in death. Well he can't and it's a good thing I suppose and I would hope that your trial will be in heaven and scratching his head probably because David will be in heaven too. And I wonder what your Ryobi thinking I mean what's fair about this. The guy take my wife and he takes my life and he only has to say sorry. It's like it's like two mothers you understand they have children they're playing together one little child take another child toy and the mother says to him Now wait a minute you know you're making Johnny cry Bring back the toy and say you're sorry. Though a lot of Internet faith Ari they don't mean it a lot. Now I'm not saying that David didn't mean it. David actually truly was repentant here and he meant it but if you look at the verse it's only six words. I have been against the Lord and we know that God rescued David cleanse them from all unrighteousness but he didn't get away with it. He lost four sons on account of it in that amazing yeah. So I don't think you can sin and get away with it. Yeah we have no permission to seem kind with me now to John Chapter eight John Chapter eight. We're still looking at confession here on the we're going to look at it in a different way. And before we're done with John Chapter eight I think you're going to think my theology all messed up. I would like to ask you not to throw any tomatoes or rotten eggs until I'm done I think I can pull myself out of it. But you might think it straight. Change there for a minute. Where in John Chapter eight this is our last story for this evening a group of Pharisees by the way Pharisees were nice people they were pastors in that day that's what they were they were the pastors of the day. However they had fallen into some degree of corruption it seems like because a group of pastors had gotten together and decided that in an effort to trap Jesus one of them would have to go and have a sexual relationship with a harlot. Now I don't see the pastors of today do something like that. I sure hope not he case you know even if it was to trap somebody. It you know it isn't God's way. Well anyway these guys got together and and they caught this one on one of their numbers with this harlot in the very act you can see that in verse four. This is John Chapter eight. They say unto him master this woman was taken in adultery in the very act. OK. So they dragged this woman over to Jesus and they say to Jesus listen the Bible says that if a woman is caught in adultery she ought to be stoned. What do you say. And if he says stone her then they can report him to the Roman government and say he's usurping your authority he has no authority to say that or to do that. Something's wrong with that fellow and if he says don't stone her then they can go to the people and say You see he says he's the Messiah but he doesn't even believe the Bible because the Bible says someone who commits adultery should be stoned. Now Jesus might have gotten out of this this predicament by toothpick mentality first of all they were supposed to bring the two offending parties to the judge. They only brought the woman and secondly the husband of the wife is supposed to bring the woman to the judge and there was no husband involved and so it was all convoluted and he could have gotten out of it that way but he didn't choose to get out of it that way. You're a man. Over how he chose to do it. Yeah he just knelt down and began to write in the gut and after he wrote a few little things he stood up again and he says those of you who have never sin let him cast the first stone. Go ahead. Stoner. Well there is none that could cast the first stone because what was he writing in the dust. Yeah. So he knelt down again and he continued to write in the dust. There are thin and we can understand that that's what he was writing because they left from the oldest to the next oldest to the next oldest all the way down the line until they were all gone. He knew all of their ages and he knew all of their sins. It must have blown them away don't you. Well it didn't blow them away. They left they left. Now we go to various. Eleven verse ten and this is where the story really begins for us this evening. OK. When Jesus had lifted up in Philip and saw none but the woman he said to her Woman Where are your accusers has no man condemned you. And he said no man Lord and Jesus said to her neither do I condemn the goal and sin no more. Now wait a minute here we have a theological problem at this point. How could Jesus say to this woman neither do I condemn the she was caught in the very act of adultery. The Bible condemn adultery. Well why if he thing neither do I condemn me. There is no evidence in the passage and in the case that this woman came confessing there is no evidence in the passage that he came repenting when she came she was dragged there and if she expected anything was maybe could be executed or something like that. She comes to him and without any. Being Jesus out of the blue says Neither do I condemn the and by the way what is the opposite of condemnation. It's justification you can read that in faith and work there's somewhere I don't know where I've got a faith and works page one hundred and for the opposite of the condemnation is justification that's what it says here justification is the opposite of condemnation. So what Jesus was saying in the negative Neither do I condemn the he was actually saying in the positive side to justify you he was handing her justification. He didn't ask her if she didn't confess she didn't and she didn't do anything. He took justification and he put it in her lap and he said Go and sin no more. You've got all the power in the world. You are forgiven. Now I don't you know I wrestled with that and and there's probably some of you in the audience who already have the understanding of what's going on here. But it took me a while to understand what was going on here so let me try if I can to illustrate it to try to explain it. Let me ask you a question. Did the woman asked to be born in this world. Do you think if she'd had a choice to be born here or to be born in a perfect other world that hadn't fallen. Which do you suppose he would have chosen. Yeah but she wasn't born there she was born here was his her fault she was born here you know could God condemn her for being born here no way. OK Did the woman ask to be born with a sinful nature. If you had a choice between having a perfect nature in a sinful nature which would you choose. Having the experience you've had with your wonderful nature was a discouraging thing that is of this nature that I'm absolutely discouraging. Yeah yeah. Was it her fault you had a simple nature or do you think God condemned her for having a sinful nature. No it wasn't her fault it wasn't her fault. Well then what do people with sinful make. You do realize now that what people with sinful natures do. Can you hear me. Can God condemn us for thinning. No and that's where you might start saying oh wait a minute. Minor church for God I can feel I can feel pull out of it I think depend on this. Media was brought to you by Adil purse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about you if you would like to listen to more servant leader this is W W W R U. verse dot org.


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