Date: September 8, 2013

Bible Text: Galatians 3:10-13 |


Please turn in your Bibles to our text passage in Galatians chapter 3. We will be reading verses 10-13. We’re going to have a trial this morning, and you are going to be judged. “Well,” you say, “Pastor Voegtlin, if I knew that I would not have come.” Well, we’ll make sure that the trial is as fair as it possibly can be. You will not only be judged, but you will be the judge. Forget that you are in church, if you can. Forget the rest of the congregation. Picture yourself on the witness stand, and try to imagine me just talking to you. That’s what I want to do. I want to talk to you personally this morning. But again, our text is Galatians 3 beginning with verse 10. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Look closely at it. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” That’s all of us. “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith; but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” I want to ask you personally, “Are you saved?” If you were to die right now, would you go to heaven, or would you go to hell? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? I’m not asking if other people think you did. Only you know. Was there a time and a place when you accepted Christ as your Savior? You ought to answer yes or no. You say, “Well, how do I know?” The Bible says, “These things have I written unto you... that ye may know that ye have eternal life....” The only way we know is if we followed God’s Word. This is God’s Word for you and me, and God’s Word tells us exactly how to know whether or not we are going to go to heaven. Put yourself on a scale. Don’t say, “I hope.” Every one of us is either going to heaven or hell. Either you are saved or you are not. If you don’t know, it would be better to put yourself in the unsaved class than to wake up in hell and say, “Oh, my. I thought I was going to heaven, and now I’m going to be here for the rest of eternity.” Can you look up into heaven and say, “This one thing I know. Once I was blind, but now I see. I was passed from death unto life.” Can you say, “I know I am a sinner saved by grace”? We are all sinners. But have you been saved by grace? If so, then I am not preaching to you. We can praise God for verse 13 of our text, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Praise God for that. I’m just asking you—if you know you are on your way to heaven—to pray with me as I preach that others would be on their way to heaven because of the service this morning. But if you have to say, “I’ve never been regenerated. I’m the same as I always have been,” I’m speaking to you. And the first thing we are going to do is have a trial. Then, secondly, we will declare a sentence. But, if penitent and confessing, we’ll also, thirdly, proclaim your pardon. So first, we want to have a trial. Again, our text passage says, “Cursed is every one [that includes you and me] that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law.” It doesn’t say, “Cursed is every one that doesn’t keep a thousand things written in the book of the law.” It says, “Cursed is every one.” Now some people just don’t understand the Bible, and especially the law. The law is not given for us to live by, it’s given for us to see that we can’t live by it. So, the Bible says we are not going to be saved by the law. Now, you might be confused, especially in this book of Galatians. It’s a book written to the Jews, trying to teach them. It’s a book to show us we cannot live by the law. Now, are you guilty or not? Do not dare plead “not guilty.” Do not dare say, “I’ve never broken one of God’s laws.” Maybe somebody is in here saying, “He doesn’t know me, I haven’t broken God’s law.” Do you know what the law is? Whenever I’ve had anybody say that they live by the Ten Commandments, never have they known even one or two of them. They don’t even know what the Ten Commandments are! And I want to go further and say there are more than ten commandments, there are hundreds of commandments. And the Bible says if we break even one of them, we are going to hell. Now, let me give you just the heart of the Ten Commandments. Listen to this law. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Now what does that mean? It could mean money, and so many Americans put money before God. It could mean entertainment. Do you know that Sunday is called the Lord’s day? And you have to be pretty ignorant about America’s history not to realize that for a long, long time, a good American would not do anything on Sunday. It was the Lord’s day. It was given to God. Now, I don’t think that it is wrong to throw a football around on Sunday afternoon between church services. But America has forgotten that it is the Lord’s day. Highway 94 is jam-packed with people leaving home on Friday to play, and jam-packed on Sunday night—not with people going to church, but coming back from play. Many a time when I go to somebody’s house and invite them out to church, they say, “It’s the only day I have to sleep in.” It’s the Lord’s day! And yet, so much entertainment and even government functions, fi reworks, whatever it might be, are always on Sunday today. The NFL, basically, is on Sunday. The racing is on Sunday. We could go on and on. It’s the Lord’s day. It’s not a “camp” day. It’s the Lord’s day. And when you put your entertainment, your fun, your business, your family, yourself, and I’m not just talking about on Sunday, I’m saying when you put yourself in front of God, you are breaking the fi rst commandment. Now, can you say that you never have taken the name of the Lord God in vain? Let’s look at that one. People think, “I’m as good as anybody.” That’s not what God asks. “I’m as good as anybody.” It’s sick today the way people curse and swear. It’s on television. In fact, there is a guy running for president who uses the fi lthiest of languages. That would be enough for me not to vote for him. But we’re not talking about fi lthy language here. God doesn’t say, “Don’t use fi lthy language.” By the way, I’m sure He doesn’t want us to. He talks about that elsewhere. But the point is, the commandment here is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” What does that mean? That means using God’s name when you are not speaking directly to Him or directly about Him. That means when you get all excited and say, “Oh, ______,” and you use His name in vain. Professional people do this. Young mothers pushing their babies in carts do this. I’ve heard Christians do this. You are sinning against God. The Bible says that you are not to use the Lord’s name in vain. What about this one—“Honor thy father and thy mother.” People say, “I’ve never sinned.” I had an aunt who said she never sinned. Well, if you have never sinned, that means you never disobeyed your parents, and I don’t believe that. I think you just made yourself a liar also. I’ve never seen a kid who didn’t disobey his parents. I disobeyed my parents. My kids disobeyed me. Their kids disobey them. Kids disobey their parents. They are born sinners. If you say you never disobeyed your parents, then that means that never once did they say don’t do something and you did it. Never once did you get mad at them. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” How about this one? “Thou shalt not kill.” Now, you may never have actually killed, but if you ever got angry without a cause, the Bible says you are guilty of murder. You say, “You are being so nit-picky.” You better watch what you say about God. This is God’s Word. You say, “You are just nailing me down.” Who has not done these things? Nobody, that’s the whole point, and that’s what the Bible is trying to show us. Nobody. How about this? “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Today adultery is just winked at. Today people cohabitate and produce children like animals, and it is sin. It doesn’t matter what the public schools give out to keep you from having babies instead of teaching you not to do it. It doesn’t matter what the government says. It matters what God says. It doesn’t matter if everybody is doing it, it is a wicked sin. I could stand here reading verses for the rest of this hour. It is a wicked sin. Well you say, “I’m not guilty of that.” Well, I’m glad, I really am. But you know, Jesus said that, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart.” If you look upon a woman thinking an adulterous thought, then Jesus says you are guilty of adultery. Can you plead, “not guilty”? Have you never had an impure thought? Have you ever stolen? The Bible says, “Thou shalt not steal.” We’re just past tax time. Have you ever cheated on your taxes? I believe as a good red-blooded American, we should do everything legally possible not to pay as many taxes as we can. I’m going to be 62 next month. But I believe the president is so wrong to give medicine to older people when we don’t have the money to give it. I think he’s so wrong in passing these kind of bills. I believe our country is to protect us, and our job is to raise an army and this type of thing. But just throwing away money is wrong. Even so, according to God’s book, we are to pay the taxes required. I could prove it to you out of the Bible. Jesus taught that. You are to pay your taxes. You are not supposed to cheat. That is stealing. It’s also stealing to cheat and take somebody else’s work and hand it in as your own in school. It’s also stealing to take money from your boss if you have not put in the work. Have you ever stolen? I hope not. How about this one? “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Have you ever repeated an untrue story? The point I am making is nobody here can say, “I’m guiltless.” Lastly, “Thou shalt not covet.” I mentioned that earlier. That’s the sin of America. If there were a way we could prove it, I guarantee you that every one of us would be guilty of this. We have all wanted more than God has given us, and that is so sad. We live in the most prosperous country, not only in the world today, but in the history of the world. God gives us a car and maybe two cars, and a house, and a refrigerator, and air conditioning, and heat, and on and on. But we want a nicer car, we want a nicer home. We want somebody else’s possessions. We’re guilty. Well, you say, “Pastor Voegtlin, I will not plead guilty.” Let me read this passage in the book of James. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” That means if you were perfect except for the one time you disobeyed your parents, you are guilty of all. God doesn’t want any of us to “strut our stuff” and say, “Well, look at that one. That one is an adulterer. That one there is a murderer.” No, no, no. God’s Word says, “in all things that are written in the book of the law.” You might plead, “I haven’t been any worse than anyone else.” Well, that could be. The Bible says the vast majority of people in the world are going right to hell. It’s a broad way, not a narrow way. God is not like earthly judges, comparing with other people. You may be clean. You may not be an adulterer. You may have a clean mind. You may not steal on your taxes. You may be a good person, a really good person. But you are going to stand or fall on your own. You either are perfect, or you are not going to go to a perfect heaven. Another might say, “I’m doing pretty good now. I’m doing good now.” Let me say this, you are going to be judged from the time you were a child until your gray hairs are put into the grave. If you or I were born in a lone cell and could not get out to do evil, but we thought it, the thought of that evil would send us to hell. You say, “Pastor Voegtlin, I go to church. I’m in church now, and I go to church every Sunday.” Let me read Ecclesiastes 8:10. “And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.” Solomon says this man went to the holy place and now they are burying him. He will be forgotten. He went to church often, but he put on a front. He was wicked, he was never saved, and all was vanity. The point that I am making is that anything we do is vanity if we have never come to the place where we have accepted Christ as our Savior. Point two is the sentence our text speaks of. He’s cursed. Not by some gypsy, not by some king. The Bible says very clearly in this New Testament passage that he is cursed. If you are not saved, you are cursed by God. In a few short years, every one of us will die, if the Lord does not come fi rst. I’ve preached this from a young man. I used to think, “I’ve got a long time.” Now I’m an older man. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, man or woman, we will all die. The Bible clearly says it is appointed unto man once to die and then there is the judgment. Now listen, it’s not me—it’s God saying it. We will all die, and then there is the judgment. If you are not struck down in some accident or die quickly from a heart attack, they will bring your family in. Your loved ones will be around your bed. You’ll hear that death rattle. I’ve heard that sound more than once. Your heart will be pounding. After a while, the physician will take your pulse, and he will assure your loved ones that it is over. After a while, you will be totally quiet. The death rattle, the pounding, totally quiet. All that will be heard is the sobs of your friends and the ticking of the clock, and they will take the sheet and pull it up over your glazed eyes. Now, you may have been a fi ne man or woman, but remember what Solomon said. If you are not saved, if there was not a time and a place in your life when you realized you were a sinner and accepted Christ as your Savior, it doesn’t matter how good you have been, all is vanity. Oh, what a fi ne funeral you might have! What a string of cars! A big, fancy hearse and Cadillacs after it. Look at the fl owers. But the devil is leaping, and he is happy. What a fi ne parade to lead a soul to hell with. Listen to the preacher at the grave site. If he is a man of God, nothing will be said about your character. There’s nothing worse than what happens at so many funerals today. People get up and say, “He was a great man. He made me laugh. He did this. He did that.” He is in hell if he was not saved. And I say again, if that preacher is a man of God, he will say nothing about your character. You might listen to him afterwards. His wife comes to him and says, “I hope he is in heaven,” and he just bites his tongue. If we could open the casket, we would see all of his treasures inside because everything was on earth. Everything was for this life, and it’s over. Nothing was sent to heaven. All his hopes, all his dreams, all his respect—buried. Now you may be the best person on earth, but all is vanity if you reject Christ. I’ve known people like that whom I really liked. I’m not saying that a person is a rotten bum and everybody hates to be around him. There are a lot of nice people going to hell, and a lot of rotten bums are going to heaven because the only difference is whether you’ve accepted Christ or not. Let me say, that’s not the worst of it. There are two resurrections, and I don’t want to confuse you. But you will hear that mighty trump of God, that dreadful blast. There will be shrieks from some that are resurrected, and songs from others. Then you will see Him. The One Who died on Calvary, and you rejected Him. People say, “I’ve got things to do in my life.” He died for you. They whipped Him. They nailed Him to the tree. They pulled out His beard. They spit on Him. You may not realize it now, but you will realize it then. He died for you, and you rejected Him. For those who are saved, the trumpets will sound and we’ll hear, “Gather mine elect together, and my redeemed from the four winds of heaven. Come ye blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the earth.” The harps will play. It will be beautiful for those who are saved. But in that other judgment, there will be intense anger. He looks at you for whom He died, but you despised Him, you mocked Him, you scoffed at His grace. You say, “Oh, no. Not me.” Oh, yes. If you reject Him, you are scoffing, you are mocking. And with a loud voice the Bible promises every person who has rejected Him that He will say, “Depart from me.” And you will go right to hell. I’m not going to follow you to hell. I can’t really describe it, but the Bible says that we’ll be tossed into a lake of fi re, burning with fi re and brimstone. The Bible describes a man in hell as screaming out for just one drop of water. “Oh, just one drop. It’s terrible in this place.” It is terrible. That’s why I’m warning you. As long as you have breath, you can escape. But someone says, “You’ve condemned us all.” No, I haven’t, God has. Again, verse 10 says, “for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” God says that. Do you feel condemned? I feel for you. I love your soul. That’s why I preach like this. I don’t like to think about hell any more than you do. But should I preach “peace, peace,” when there is no peace? If you feel condemned, I have wonderful news for you. Verse 13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” Christ has redeemed us. We are all guilty, every person, including the one standing in front of you, we are all guilty of sin. But, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” God has given us a pardon, if we will receive it. He was made a curse. They killed Him. They crucified Him. They buried Him, and He rose from the dead. He was made a curse that we might be saved. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What a wonderful verse. He died. And if you will believe, you will be saved. It goes on and says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world...” Isn’t that good? You say, “You just condemned me.” No, I didn’t. The Bible did. But listen, He didn’t send “...His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” There are only two types of people sitting in this auditorium. Those who believe and those who don’t. Those who are condemned and those who are not. Accept His pardon today. Let me read Romans 10:9 and 10. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Now there are many passages in the Bible that tell you this. Remember, the Bible is here to show you how to be saved. It’s very clear. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Not may be—will. You believe, you confess, you will be saved. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” It is easy. For many, I think, it is too easy. They want to make it harder. They want to be able to say they did something. There is nothing you can do in order to be saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You will never go to heaven boasting. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Now, you can’t get any easier than that. All you have to do is say, “Yes, I’m a sinner. I turn from that sin. I understand Jesus died for me,” and call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be saved. That is how we can be so dogmatic. It’s not that we think we are anything, but God Almighty promises this in His Word. This is God’s Word for you and me. Read it and believe it. Call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be saved.

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