Date: September 23, 2018 (Sunday AM)
Bible Text: I John 5:13 | Steve Damron
At 1 John, 1 John. If you have a New Testament it is not the Book of John, it's not the Book of John, He is the same author. In the Gospels you have Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. You go to the very end of the New Testament. If you read the Book of Revelation, go a few books and they're very small there's 1 John 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation. So we're looking at 1 John. 1 John has 5 chapters and we're going to be looking at chapter 5 of 1 John. There's a lot of sports seasons that are going on right now, there's soccer, there's football, there's baseball, and many who enjoy sports understand this, and football, and basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer. There is a common understanding when you're playing the sport of how to achieve success. For instance in football, you won't get far unless you know where the goalposts are, you're just not going to it's not going to do you a lot of good if you don't know where the goalposts are, and so the word of God helps us both as a, as an unbeliever, and as a believer, it shows us how to achieve salvation. It shows us, it's a guide, it's a rule book. It helps us to understand how to operate, and yet it's not just a game that we're talking about football or baseball. Some of the other sports, those are just games, and I know that there's millions and billions invested in those sports in those games, but I think sometimes there's a huge emphasis, and the devil knows how to put a huge emphasis on those type of things because it takes the primary emphasis or the priority off of something that is so much more important, and that is salvation, and you'd say "Well what do you mean by that?. Well salvation is not just about this life, it's about the next life, and there are some folks that say well I don't understand. I don't think there's a next life. That's fine, but I have a book. I have a guide book and it tells me how I can achieve success. There's a lot of people there's a lot of guys and you probably met some good people out there. There's some good folks that are out there, but I don't just want to follow a good folk, I want to follow God's way, and God's way is what we're highlighting especially during this idea of who is your Bible days. We go to God's book, and find His way to find salvation. Last couple of weeks we've been talking about different things in regards to God's book. We talked at the beginning of September about God's Amazing book and we talked even a little bit of how it was revealed to us. Then we talked about God's word is powerful, and the power of his book. Last week we discussed how God's word is profitable, but here in 1 John chapter 5 will pick up in verse 8. 1 John Chapter 5 and verse 8, and there are three that bear witness in Earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood and these three agree on one. If we receive the witness of men. So what's the witness of men? The witness of men is a kind of reminds us of going to court and they call somebody up and there's a witness. A man. What is that witness a man is supposed to testify of what he saw it says "If we received the witness of men the witness of God is greater". Doesn't always matter what men say it matters what God says, for this is the witness of God which He had testified of His son, and this is so this is God's word. Look at verse 10, he that believeth on the son of God hath the witness in himself he that believe it or not God hath made him a liar because he believeth not the record that God gave him gave of his son, and this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So what's the record? The record is that Jesus Christ there is no life. There is no eternal life without Jesus. That's according to the record here. This is, remember that the goalpost store, and sports? I've got to, I've got to know the rules to achieve success. Here's the rule without Jesus, there's no eternal life. That's the rule, without Jesus there's no eternal life. So if you're building your salvation or if you're banking on getting to heaven because you're a good person, according to this that's not Christ. Now it doesn't mean that I should be a bad person. No I did not say you should be a bad person, I'm just saying we should be good, but that's not going to get me to heaven. What's gonna get me in heaven is Christ. Notice it says again in verse 12. He that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life. Now verse 13. This is our text: These things have I written unto you, so what do you mean, written? What is that? God's word. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that yee may know that you have eternal life, and that she may believe on the name of the Son of God. God's word, it's divine, it's amazing, God's word is powerful, God's word is profitable, but God's word can give you assurance that you're on your way to heaven through this word. It's saying here in verse 13 that's one of the reasons that this book is given to us. This book has been given to us not to leave us unknown and an unknown unknowing and with wonder of how am I supposed to get to heaven. This book was written so that you can maybe, get saved. This book was written so that you can kind of wonder. This book was no it's, that you may know that's why it was written. Here, many people believe that it's impossible for one to have the assurance in this life that he is acceptable in the sight of God, and you may say "Wow that is, that's amazing". What are you talking about? You're saying that I can be acceptable, you don't understand what I am, you don't understand what I've done. I understand that, I understand that about myself. How can I be acceptable to God because He's perfect, He's sinless, He won't allow sin in his presence, and I've seen every day so how is it possible for me to be acceptable to Him? Well, this book tells me how I can be acceptable, and some people, a lot of people then, labor under the impression that the only way to be acceptable to God, is to live a life without flaw. Again, I think it's good to do good things. Just so you know I am not recommending doing bad things I think it's good to do good things, but some people, their whole life is doing good, and that's what they're banking on to get to heaven. According to the Bible that's without Christ and a lot of religion is based on that. We call that kind of a guilt-based religion, and so if you do X amount and you come to the end of your life, and all the good deeds outweigh your bad deeds then God's gonna be like “Uhuh”. I mean it's just you're on pins and needles. How am I going to do this? And then those that kind of mock at us, that say “Well then you're talking about free grace, you're talking about free salvation, you're saying that that's not based on man. So once somebody gets to say what keeps them from doing wrong all the time. Well, this is what I can tell you, I got saved 40 years ago, and I hate doing wrong, I hate it because what happens is according to the Bible. God gives you when you're saved a new heart he comes as we saw on Thursday night when we were talking about in Galatians and Ephesians, the Bible says Christ comes into our heart, He lives in me, and when Christ lives in me, and I build it, and I, and I try to grow spiritually what happens is I am not the same person, I'm a different person, I don't want to do what I used to do. Why? Because God changes you, so it's not based on what I do, but a lot of religions, they play off of that, and so they tell you “Hey if you give X amount of dollars”. Alright, that's the Scientology, we joke about it all the time here in Church. Scientology read up on it, it's a bunch of wackos that basically whatever Ron L, Ron Hubbard or whatever, which, which I don't know it looks like, he wrote a whole bunch of good Westerns. Alright, I have no idea how that does relates to Christianity, and getting into heaven but somehow he can't. Alright, he got this idea are concocted, this idea, and a whole bunch of Hollywood stars which should tell you something about Hollywood right there. All a whole bunch of Hollywood stars came to him and is like “Hey this is how you're going to be better in the afterlife, you give me a million dollars and I'll start you on your way”, “Oh, Really?”. Alright, and so here are the brilliant Hollywood people that are telling you, and I how to vote how to have a good marriage how to raise our children and have really good families and get a work ethic. All right. So here are these Hollywood people that are really brilliant and they're like “Really? Okay, What do I get for two million? What about five?” Alright, so as I've told our church, I've been trying to convince some of our members of that, and they are getting it I guess, “Give me a million bucks, alright give me a million bucks, I got an island over here, I want that bought for me”. You know what? It's silliness, but see, there's something in man though, and that's what they're capitalizing on, there's something in man that says I've got to get to heaven, and I have to earn it, there's something in man, they're capitalizing on that, but what does Jesus say? What does God's word say? God's Word says “You can know that you have eternal life and that life is in His son, God's word gives assurance”. This morning, I want to just think about that for a few minutes. Heavenly Father I pray that as we look at scripture give us wisdom guidance Lord as we always pray do that which I can't, and that is speak to hearts convict hearts we asked for your power bind Satan. Lord we know that the devil hates, hates to see a center converted. Bind Him and cast Him from here. Well thank you for what you do in Jesus name. Amen.
So hearing God's word we see that we can have insurance so I have three simple points. First of all, assurance. God's word can give assurance, and assurance of salvation is essential, it's essential. What do we mean by that? A couple of thoughts with that, lack of assurance of salvation makes the Christian life impossible. Now what do we mean by that? Well in John, and I'm going to turn to some scriptures if you want to write them down that's fine, but I'm going to do them quickly right, because I have them pretty marked, but in John Chapter 15 the Bible says this in verse 11, these things have I spoken unto you, so here is God, this is Christ talking, and he's talking about His words so Jesus said “I spoke these on to you why that that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full”. So this is what I can tell you, assurance of salvation is essential because without it, I can't have joy in peace. Some of you, you, you have known there's an unrest all the time in your soul, because you're basing salvation on what you are doing, and you know what you are, deep down inside, this was what the Bible says about me even: that I am a sinner, there is none righteous, no, not one. The Bible says: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So no matter how much I do, no matter how good I get, it's still short, it doesn't match up so assurance of salvation when I rest in Christ. What happens is I am secure, I have joy. These things. Jesus wrote unto us and spoken to us that we might have joy and salvation and assurance of salvation. I have joy the lack of assurance makes Christian joy and peace not possible. Another thing why is assurance essential because the lack of assurance makes, it makes, in order to be an effective salesman. It makes me and if I don't have assurance I am ineffective as a Christian. Now what, why do I say that I? Have you ever had anybody come to your house, and try to sell you some more or you've gone to a place and they want to sell you something, and you can tell by their mannerisms that they really don't want you to buy it either, have you ever been then, and you walk in and like “Hey, how are you doin’?”. Oh, you know I'm thinking about buying a fridge and then I guess we've got a couple of them like Oh so what kind you got? We’ve got Whirlpool, we've got G, we got our Mana, we got this and this, and you know what they're all kind of same, “Like so which one, which ones are the best ones one? or some of the things I like?”, “I don't know, I mean it's Okay, I mean, all I'm gonna blow up or you know you're gonna have to buy another one in a couple of years anyway, so I don't really know man. You could get the cheapest and most expensive one I'm really done”. What do you, normally when someone's like that, I usually walk out I just like it, yeah, okay good, and I go to another show I want somebody believing and what they're selling because that's gonna help me up to date believe in that. Well, that's what assurance gives us you know some of you, you have a hard time with salvation, you have a hard time even getting somebody into church, you have a hard time with your friends, and family convincing them about salvation because you're not even sure of it, you're not even sure of it. How do you like, so Why do you go to church? “I like it”. So I mean, so what is it about your time? They, they talk about the Bible. “Oh really. So what's in the Bible?”, “A bunch of stuff”, “Really? So what, well, I mean what about, what about being safe?” “I don't know. I mean I think I know wait a minute”. You see a certain assurance of salvation is essential, why? Because it helps me to know, and then that is able to then be a light to other people, when I know that I'm saved, I am convinced of it, and how am I convinced of it? Because God's Word tells me, and assures me, and I'm not resting on myself because myself, there's no good thing. All my righteousness is according to Isaiah 66 is as filthy rags, so all the good that I can you keep it up and it's still a bunch of junk. Now, it doesn't mean that I shouldn't do good. No, because when I get saved Christ lives in me, and then, as he lives in me my work is through Him, and through Him my work can be righteous, but on my own now. See, assurance of salvation is essential because it gives me Christian, and it gives me Christian joy and peace, it makes me value-able, and telling others about Christ, but assurance, and this is what I want to think about for a couple of minutes that assurance is essential, but assurance can be doubtful. There are folks, and I meet them, and I talk with them and I try to convince them, and I try to help them through God's word, and this is what some people say, you talk to him and say “Do you know for certain you're going to heaven?” and that's my question to you, do you know for certain. Wow. I hope, never heard that, maybe you're thinking that huh?”, “You know I think, why was this book written?”, “So you can think, so you can hope so?”. So you can know you see assurance can be doubtful, for some people. Now what do we mean by that? Well, because some people misunderstand how to get saved, and instead of recognizing that eternal life is a gift of God that's found in Romans chapter 6, it says the wages of sin is death. So what is a wage? Alright you guys help me up. If I hire somebody for minimum wage what is that, that is a payment right? So what is the minimum wage of sin, for the wages of sin is death, that doesn't just mean dying in this earth. The Bible calls it and revelation the second death, that means it's eternal, it's forever now, that's why at the beginning I talked about sports and all that and how it's just, I mean today, I guarantee you today there are hundreds I would say thousands of folks, not at church because it's football day, and how long does that last? It's temporal all right, nobody even cares next week, most people don't care next year or the year after. I know that there's some really sports nerds and they know everything from 30 40 50 years ago, and you just look at me like what's up with you? I mean I don't care who won the Super Bowl 30 something years ago all right, grow up. Alright, that's one thing you think you know I get over it all right, but guess what? Guess what is important? and that's why the devil puts temporal things in he left them up when he puts all kinds of things like “Oh this is the most important thing”. The devil is a deceiver, so what he's doing is the thing that is very, very important, and what's important where you're going to spend eternity, because how long is that? Is it a hundred years? No. Is it two hundred years? Is it a thousand years? Is it a thousand, thousand years? That's a long time, but it's even past that. Eternity means there's no end, so the devil knows this you're going to spend eternity in heaven or in hell. There's no in-between. I'm sorry for those of you that have been given or been sold the line about purgatory. Purgatory, remember this book is written by God, and I believe that it's by God, and that's why even now as I'm speaking, it's not my words. It's God's words through this book that are kind of pricking your heart it and just kind of squeezes it. That's God, it's alive, it's real, and so purgatory is never mentioned in God's word, ever, it's not some in-between. In fact there's a story of a rich man, and it says this that he died the next statement says in hell. He lifted up his eyes, there was no in-between state. So it's heaven or hell. So why are we doubtful about salvation? Because some of us don't understand how to get saved, we've come up with another plan. Remember I gotta get to the rule book, I've got to know God's way to get saved. What's God's way? For by Grace are you saved, through faith, alright and that not of yourselves, it's the gift of God, it's not of works, blessed any man should boast, you know what the Bible tells me? Jesus is the way of salvation, He's the door. Jesus said this “There's all kinds of I am” statements by Jesus. Jesus said I am the light of the world, He said “I am the Bread of Life”, He said, “I am the door”. You say “Oh wow that's a good one, I'm the door”. Well He was talking in context of a sheep full, we don't, at least myself, I haven't been around sheep that much, I grew up in a city in Cleveland, even this area in Chicago we're kind of a very suburban. Alright, so I'm not going to confess to you are tell you are put on airs that you know what? When I was a shepherd boy. No, I have no idea, I was not a shepherd boy. I don't know a lot about sheep, but I can read about it. I've been to places that have sheep and in the old school, in the Middle Eastern times when two thousand years ago they would have a sheep will they build up the walls with rocks, and it said that the shepherd would many times sleep in front of the door, there would only be one door, I know in yours, according to sleep patterns, sleep can kind of jump, you know what? they can't. All right, sheep and white dudes can't jump right, it's both of them are sheep and white dudes as prey why sheep are white. Okay, alright because they can't jump. Okay, but so you're sheep can't jump on, so you make up make a fence around them, and there's a door. Only the sheep would come in and out of that door, so when Jesus said “I am the door” the sheep can only come through Him. That's why he said later “I am the way the truth and the lie” another I am statement was this, “I am the resurrection” but guess what else Jesus said “I am the life”. See we have to have a right understanding of how to get saved, and then that assures us without understanding how to get saved. I'd say “Well I guess so, I hope so” and that's why when I talk with folks, and they say “Are you sure you're going to heaven?”, “I, I hopes so, so we're going to spend a certain attorney”. “What about your soul and something like that”, “What's the soul?” Your soul is that which lives forever, I know there's some people that think they die, and that basically this life is all there is. As a human I might, I might agree with you, but again I've got this book and the Bible tells me otherwise. It tells me my soul will either be in hell or in heaven, so what I need to have assurance of salvation. How do I get assurance by knowing God's way to get saved? So why else may I have doubts, wait, why else would I be doubtful, and my assurance? Some people are doubtful because they didn't have a tremendous conversion experience. I was 8 years old when I get saved, right, and I could build up something and I could tell you know by the time I was 8, the police were after me, I was on the FBI most wanted list, at that time, I had killed and eaten 400 people like her, but at 8 the heavens opened, I looked in the sky, and the clouds said thou for I looked for something good, go what must now. No, it didn't happen. All right, I wasn't really a wicked, wicked, wicked boy. In fact my mom and dad are here and according to my mom I don't think I've ever sinned, ever, alright, but guess what? But I was a sinner I was a senator and our our church showed a film, and the film was about the rapture I remember going home, and all I could think about was if Jesus comes back, I don't think I've saved, I don't think I've ever accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I don't think I'm saved, and I'll be left here, and you know what? That's what made me go to my parents and get saved, read from the Bible and pray, and ask Jesus to come into my heart, that's what I do. What's it like, “Wooh, some great expert” and I think sometimes people like you “Oh, oh I had a tingling”. You know what, it could have been that you had like bad grape juice this morning, and it's like it's fermenting in time, and it's, it's bubbling, and it gets bubbling. Yeah, it's bubbling alright, it can be, I'm not saying that it's always that, but sometimes it does happen. Alright, I've been with folks and man, just tears are coming down their eyes, and they're like “Man, the Lord, the Lord conveyed to me I'm a sinner, and man what he's done for me”, I've been with some folks and it's been like that, but then there's been other folks in us as our church knows all right. I'm not I'm not like the ultimate emotional dude, alright, somebody, and we've had it happen. I remember, remember, you might not have been your, Jacob was sitting up here one time, and you just fell over right in the middle Church's foam coming out, and then like “Alright, hey let's sing a song and let's get him out of car, let's go”. I don't know, just like he looks weird all right, but let's get him out of here. Let's get on with it. Alright, and we'll figure out later, but I'm not really an emotional one. So really for me it would price scare the fire out of me if all of a sudden I had this big surge of emotion. I'm like “What's wrong with me? I'm having a heart attack”. What kind of drugs some people might get in me. Alright, so some people assurance their whole salvation experience is based on some experience, and you said “Why I never had that?” well this is what I can tell you. So what does God say? You can know you're saved by doing one falling one constant. So did you realize you were a center? Yeah did you repent of that sin and repent of that sin means did you turn from it? It's a change of attitude, it's a change of mind, it's the change of mind does this, “I thought I could, I could get rid of my sin my way”, but I repented of that, but I repented of that, and said it’s God’s way, and God’s way is that I submit to God, I submit to his lordship and his kingship, I now, I’m going to be His subject, and my sin put Him on the cross. That’s not all that repentances, but kind of in a nutshell that’s a little bit about it. So I repent to my sins, I understand my sins, I repent on my sins, so I come to this Jesus and say “Alright Lord, I know that you paid my death, and I accept that”, and some people it’s not something “Oh I feel it”. Nope, you may not feel a lot of thing, but if you did what God says, guess what? You can know your sin. Some people have a lack of assurance or they’re doubting because they don’t know how to get saved. Some people doubt their salvation or doubt as far as assurance because they didn’t have this great experience, but if you follow God’s way, guess what I can tell you? You’re saved, but then a third reason that some people question their salvation is found in the passage we’re there in 1 John, so let’s go to Peter, okay we’re in 1 John. Just a couple, actually one book over is 2 Peter chapter 1. So we’re in 1 John 5 so turn just couple pages earlier and you’ll be in 2 Peter chapter 1. Notice what it says in verse 3 according to as His divine power had given unto us all things that it pertain unto life and godliness, so who’s He’s talking about? God has given to us all things that give us life. That’s Jesus, but then looking at verse 4, whereby been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Now look at verse 5: and besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, and it gives us a whole list of things that we’re supposed to add, we’re supposed to build on our faith, what are we supposed to build? Virtue, that means goodness or rightness, purity, knowledge, temperate – that means self-controlled, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness. Now look at verse 8, for it these things be in you and abound, what are these things that whole is, I’m supposed to be adding them if their in me and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful. Look at verse 9, but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off. You know what some people doubt their salvation, you never grew. Alright, if I am born again, that’s the term and that’s found in John chapter 3, you must be born again. Jesus said this words, not I, Jesus said “You must be born again”. There’s a guy a that’s like “What does that mean, I gotta be born again”. Well, born again means a new life, it’s like a baby being born. Now what if we, ladies here they had a baby and said “I know it’s popular, now you have this baby drop boxes or whatever” which is ridiculous alright we’re not getting there, but anyways so here is this baby that’s born, and I just leave it and like “Hey!”. Alright, now I know some of us are parents, and we have older children, this is crossing your mind now, I know cause I’m like, I should’ve done that, but we had a kid and we saw them there and we’re like “Hey you know what? Good luck kid” A man brought you into this life, I love you man, and then we just leave them there, and like what’s up with that kid, what’s wrong with that kid? I came back in 5 years, and he just sits there, he’s even smaller. Yeah well he probably wouldn’t be there alright, he might be in some places, he probably be some father for some animal and they were like “Oh dad, you wouldn’t do that”. What would you do? You would get fed, and some of it as a Christian, you have to get to a place once you’re saved, where you can grow. That’s why in the New Testament, that’s why we’re in New Testament, God designed a church, and for those of you that say that Church is not important, you again don’t know much about salvation, but you don’t much about God’s word when it comes to the church. The church is important because it helps me grow, it feeds me. So, as I am fed, and I’m adding to my faith- the virtue and the knowledge and the temperance and the godliness and the brotherly kindness in the Church. As I am growing, my eyes are open, I can see clear, I can see better and I can see stronger. Why? Because I am growing in the Lord, and then as I get the knowledge of God’s word, I know I’m saved. I know it. Why? Because I am growing in God’s word. Let me close my, and I think that I’m hoping you’re understanding, God’s word gives assurance, God’s word. Let me give you a simple illustration. There’s a lady (we’ll just pretend she live in our area), so she leaves in an area, and she want to get down the Saint Louis and so she decided the amptruck. So she find out how to get to truck, and probably Michigan city is where she hooked off on the truck, or maybe South Band or one of the areas or she went to Chicago, and she’s like “I wanna get to a train that’s going to shoot me to Saint Louie” So she’s going to head to Saint Louis, so she gets on the train Saint Louis and in her mind she’s like “Uh uh” she hadn’t ridden and traveled much on train so she’s like “Uh uh”. What is this on train? What is that? Lack of assurance, it’s doubt. So there’s a lady she noticed that was seating over near her and like “Hey! Where’s the train headed?”, “It’s good, it’s heading to Saint Louis” and she’s like “Oh”. She started feeling a little better, train rides like a little rider longer, and she kinda dozed and looked outside and said “Huh?” Doubts came again, “Where am I headed?” she started walking down, and she noticed a man who’s kind of standing , and he was waiting and she said “Hey sir, sir, you kind of look a little successful…” and she’s like “Uh sir, where’s the train headed?”, and he’s like “Oh, Saint Louis, heading to Saint Louis”, she went back to her seat, she fell asleep a little bit, woke up again “Huh”, doubts came back attacking her, at that time the conductor came down. The conductor was coming down and he came through, and the doubts where there and the conductor is gathering tickets, she handed the ticket to the man and said “Sir, am I going to Saint Louis? Am I on the right train”, and the conductor said “Oh, yes ma’am, you’re on the right train”, and I’m going to take you there because I am running the engine. You know what the Bible tells you? You know I can tell you, once you’re saved, you’re always saved, you’re like “Oh, that’s good”. Somebody this morning could deal with you and say “Hey once you’re saved, you’re always saved, but what’s better than that? Is God”. The conductor who says “When you’re saved, I’ll take you there cause don’t let your heart be in trouble, you believe in God, you believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions and where I go, there you will be also”. You know what Jesus says? You can trust Him because he’s the conductor, He’s God. In bible there could be folks that say God lies and all this no no no, I could tell you this, in a lot of years of being saved, there has been folks that let me down and there has been folks that lied, and the fact that it’s a political phrase, read my lips, oh yeah I don’t want to cause you have lying lips, but guess what? God never lies. There is a song written: earthly friends may prove untrue, doubts and fears as sail, but what that does verse the core say? Jesus never fails.
Heads bowed, eyes closed this morning and in just a moment where gonna have a time of imitation, you may know what that is, time of imitation is not for us to exit.