We are living in a time which is rapidly becoming increasingly godless. It cannot be denied that violence is increasing all over the world, and particularly in America where it seems to be increasing at an exponential rate. There is also an increase in wickedness of mankind by anybody's definition. The increase in sexual immorality and sexually transmitted diseases, not only in America but around the world. In the United States of America particularly we see an increase in the murder of babies both inside and outside of their mother's womb. Almost without exception truth seems to have fallen in the street. Lying seems to have become commonplace. The need and pattern of truth telling seems to have been supplanted by the need and desire to win at all cost and to get a “a particular point across”. Novels, magazines, movies, and television are increasingly ungodly. There are increasing episodes of taking God's name in vain, and, increasingly the graphic depiction of violence and sexual immorality. Homosexuality and gender change is promoted as if everyone agrees. Music has become – as the great expository preacher of the 20th Century Dr. D Martin Lloyd-Jones said “both primitive and pagan”. In what was once conservative evangelical Christian churches there is a rapid" falling away" of the preaching and teaching of God's Holy Word and Holy Truth, and the preaching in teaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it seems that every intent of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually. It seems that mankind is descending into the period of time that is described in the 24th chapter of Matthew's Gospel where we find “but as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:37)
What is happening in the world? Why is the earth the way it is? We see that there seems to be “no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18)
Is it necessary for men to know who they are? Is it necessary for men to know who God is? We see that man apart from Christ is “dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1-3). Apart from Christ men are by nature children of wrath. The first chapter of Romans verses 18 through 32 explains to us that the wrath of God is already revealed against those who are ungodly, unrighteous, and suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
The word of God also instructs us in the first 4 chapters of Paul's letter to the Romans that God's power unto salvation is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16) In Romans chapter one verses 18 through 32, we are also instructed that “even as they [mankind] did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…."!
Therefore, if we are correct that what we see is a significant increase in evil and wickedness in the world, in ungodliness and unrighteousness; and of those who suppress the truth in the world, then what follows according to God's Word is, without equivocation, that His wrath is already on the way! When we think of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, the question arises what truth? The truth that is spoken of there is the truth of God! He is Holy! He has and will punish sin! He destroyed the old world with a flood because it repented Him that He had made man who had disobeyed Him in every respect. That was not an afterthought. God told Adam when he placed him in Paradise, which was at the first perfect, that he was not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for in the day that he did he would surely die. He was deceived and ate of the fruit and also gave to Adam to eat and Adam ate of the fruit. In first Corinthians 15:22 we see “for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22) Thus, Adam, who was our federal head, our federal ancestor, sinned against God and died all of his descendants also died. The good news is that in the 3rd chapter of Genesis in verse 15 the Lord God states that He will send a Savior for all those who will place their trust in the Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we see that “in Christ”, meaning those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, all will live.
The Word of God tells us that the blessed 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, who is from the beginning God, was given to come and “seek and save those who were lost” and to “give his life a ransom for many”. For all those who hear the Gospel of Christ and surrender their will to His will, in true repentance, and place their trust in Christ alone for their salvation, they receive the righteousness of God in Him and are no longer children of wrath, but children of God. In Paul's first letter to his protégé Timothy he says, “this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. How be it for this cause I obtained mercy, that in the first, Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy: 15 – 16) What Great News!!
This passage of scripture in Paul's letter to Timothy, of course, mirrors John 3 verses 16 through 17 where God's Word tells us that “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16 – 17) Thus we are told by the Word of God – which is truth itself – that Christ Himself bore our sin in His own body on the cross that we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness and with His stripes we are healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Again, the truth of the matter is “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them …"(2 Corinthians 5:19) Thus we are instructed from God's Holy Word that we actually receive God's great eternal gift of everlasting life when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of God's everlasting love wherewith He loved us His creatures that we receive everlasting life as a sheer gift by surrendering our will to His will in true repentance and He gives us saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The amazing everlasting love of God is manifested to us and demonstrated to us through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants His people to be saved! He wants His people to have assurance of the gift of His salvation. Had there been any other way for God's people to be saved Christ would not have died on the Cross. In taking a brief look at God's great everlasting love wherewith He has loved us, this love that God has for you, it is our hope and earnest expectation that your assurance of His salvation will be increased. Remember God he said He must punish sin. He has definitely punished sin in the past in sending the global flood through which only 8 souls were saved, as well as the designated animals, and He will punish sin again. We see in Acts one that the angels came to the disciples and those with them after the Lord Jesus Christ was taken up with a cloud and question them and said why are you standing here gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10 -11) The Lord Jesus Christ has also affirmed in the 24th chapter of Matthew that He shall return and that the time of His return is to be determined by the Father but it will be as it was in the days of Noah, as I have described above. The good news is that no one has to perish! Jesus has been set forth to be the propitiation for our sin, and not only our sin but the sin of the whole world, for those who will receive Him. Let all who will receive Him rejoice that the time seems to be drawing near when the return of Christ will occur and sin will be eternally punished.
I. NONE RIGHTEOUS
In the first 4 chapters of Paul's letter to the Church of Rome, he first shows that all men – Jew and Gentile – are saved by God alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He affirms that “there is none righteous, no not one”. (Romans 3:10) of course, the significance of these passages of scripture is that unless one is “in Christ Jesus" the wrath of God abides on the unrighteous. This is expressed clearly in the gospel of John in the 3rd chapter verse 36 where we find: “he that believes on the son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
The Word of God affirms in the 3rd chapter Romans in the 20th verse that “by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be saved… " In other words, we simply see that no one can keep God's law. It was never intended to save people. Nobody ever has kept the law of God other than the Son of God and no one can. God's law was never intended to save anyone, but rather, the law is set forth to give mankind the knowledge of what sin is. Therefore, without the Lord Jesus Christ the wrath of God abides on everyone who comes into the world. BUT, the everlasting love of God is set forth so that one need not incur and experience the wrath of God for when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ and are in Him we receive His righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21 KJV)
Thus, we see expressly that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him".
Therefore, though there are none righteous apart from Christ, in the Lord Jesus Christ none perish. Those who are in Christ Jesus are actually made children of God whereby they cry Abba Father. (Romans 8:15) This is very significant. According to the instructions which God gave Moses following the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, the Temple was to be constructed according to the exact instructions given Moses by the Lord God. It included an outer court and an inner court and the area where the priests were permitted to go. It also included the Holy of Holies in which only the high priest was permitted to go, and then only once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. At that time two identical goats were brought to the high priest. One was sacrificed for the sins of the people. The other was released and set free. According to the pattern shown to Moses at that time it was the custom of the people at the time of the “trial and crucifixion” and crucifixion of Jesus for the people to be able to choose to let one go who was otherwise condemned. The people chose Barabas. The name Barabas means “son of the father". While Jesus received the sins of the people of all of the people and actually became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus, the righteous, sinless, Son of God became sin for us that we might receive His righteousness and be made sons or children of the Father and cry Abba Father. Have you placed your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation? Have all of your children and grandchildren? Have you surrendered your will to the Lord's will in true repentance toward Him? Have all of your children and your grandchildren? If not, tell them of Jesus who is mighty to save and urge them to do so.
The falling away of the church which is foretold in the Word of God seems to be happening before our very eyes as we watch. There are those who are in the Church now who are professing to be leaders of the church who are denying the Lord who bought them. There is no such thing as a universal salvation according to the Word of God. Therefore, unless one is in the Lord Jesus Christ he will not see the Kingdom of heaven. Don't be deceived. Good atheists, Muslims, Hindu's etc. are not saved and unless they repent and placed their trust in Christ alone for their salvation, they will perish according to the Word of God. There is none righteous, not one, and the wrath of God abides on those still.
II. GOD’S EVERLASTING LOVE
Because of Adam’s willful sin against God's holy commandment all of his descendants also sinned, both in him and willfully. Scripture tells us that we are by nature children of wrath. All of the descendants of Adam are his helpless and hopeless descendants. But God, who has loved us with an everlasting love, sent forth His Son into the world to save the world. Christ came to seek and to save those who were lost and to give His life a ransom for their salvation. He is described in God's Word as God the Son who became flesh and dwelt among us. He described Himself most frequently as the Son of Man. Scripture also describes the Lord Jesus Christ as “the last Adam". He was sent forth into the world to be the propitiation for our sin. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which man must be saved. In this manner, God is both just and the justifier of them who placed their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Romans 3:21- 26) God also has sent forth His Holy Spirit to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. All those who have heard the word of truth and have placed their trust in Christ alone, and have surrendered their will to the Lord's will, have received the Holy Spirit. He is given unto us as the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee or the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.” (Ephesians 1:13 – 14)”
The significance of this is seen in first Corinthians chapter 12 in verse 3 where the Word of God says, “wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed. And, that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3) What does this mean? The great expository preacher of the 20th century, Dr. D Martin Lloyd-Jones, explained this in a sermon preached somewhere around 1957 where he stated the following:
“No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost. The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God because they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them – why? – Because they are spiritually discerned. The Spirit alone enables a man to do this.
Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and He died for your sins on Calvary's hill, and that, because He did so, ‘God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in Earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father?’ That is the content of saying that “Jesus is the Lord". It is one of the fullest statements you can never make it includes the whole doctrine of the person [of Christ] and His work, His life, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, His exaltation, He is coming again. He is Lord of all. Are you anxious to know that the Holy Spirit has been given to you? Well that is the way you may know it. Do you believe these things? Are they the most vital things in your life? Do you know that by nature you were a hopeless and condemned sinner, and that though you turn over new leaves and try to live a good life, and indulge in good works, you will never be a Christian, and never make yourself fit to see the glory of God? Do you believe and know that you're only hope of ever getting to the glory is that Christ came down from heaven and took your sins upon Himself and died for you, and bore your punishment on the cross, and rose again to justify you?… Can you say that ‘my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name, on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.’ If you can say that, the Holy Ghost is in you." Therefore, the Word of God tells us that God has loved us with an everlasting love and has given His Holy Spirit as the guarantee of that love, and the assurance of your salvation, when you placed your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your salvation and repented from your sin.” (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermon _Circa 1957)
III. THE COMMENDING OF GOD’S LOVE TOWARD US
Finally, we see in Paul's letter to the Church of Rome that “when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6)
This was God's appointed time! All have sinned and none are righteous therefore all are ungodly apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. But, Christ died for the ungodly. The prophet Isaiah says in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah the following: “all we like sheep have gone astray each one has turned to his own way and the Lord is laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6) Therefore, we see the Word of God confirming that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). This, of course, is not universal salvation but salvation “IN CHRIST”! It is because God commended His love toward us – “in Christ Jesus" and not because of our lovableness but because of God's love for us that we live. In Romans chapter 5 we also find the following: “for if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10) What a blessed glorious happy thought we have been saved by the grace of God! “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 8:1) Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God – that is God's love for us – in Christ Jesus!
The men who wrote the Westminster confession of faith also wrote the shorter catechism which says “man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." That means to glory in God. To rejoice in God. To love God who has loved us with an everlasting love. Many of the great hymns of the faith are no longer being sung but we can still read that “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like thee his praise should sing". We can also see “Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace."
Dr. Martin Lord Jones says that “… There is one argument that can never be refuted, and that will never fail in one iota. It is this: if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved (in Him) in his life. That can never fail; it is absolutely certain!"
Isaac Watts in his great hymn says: “when I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.”
It is my earnest expectation and hope and prayer that this helps you to see that God the Father's so loved the world that He sent His Only Begotten Son into the world, He Himself came delighting to do the will of the Father. He came to seek and to save those who were lost. His enemies. To bear our sin in His own body on the Cross. We are now ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, justified by the death of His Son – reconciled – and moreover we are saved by the life of the Son.
Have you been ransomed? Do you have that assurance of your ransom & rescue? Do your children and your grandchildren have that assurance of their rescue. Do you know others who are trusting in their own record? Their own record will never be enough. It is our record that we need saving from. There are none righteous – not one! Tell them of Jesus who came to give them everlasting life.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
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