Bible Lesson 152


Jesus Christ said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24

“We affirm that the Gospel diagnoses the universal human condition as one of sinful rebellion against God, which, if unchanged, will lead each person to eternal loss under God’s condemnation. We deny any rejection of the fallenness of human nature or any assertion of the natural goodness, or divinity, of the human race.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration.

In this lesson we will confront the condition, and I mean the almost universal condition, of the visible church in America. It is a sad and a sorry condition, that cannot exist in the true Church, which is the Bride of Christ. What does the Church of the Living God, the Creator; and the Savior’s Bride look like? The quickest answer is that probably none of us knows; because we have lost or hidden what we should speak of, when we speak of the Church. The True Church is the Bride of Christ, and it is pure and spotless and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27).

We have thought to change God’s mind about Jesus Christ’s Church and we have made it a place where we meet to enjoy a good feeling about the sin in our lives and then go back home to live a life that demeans God. You can argue with that or deny it, but it is a fact, and if more people were awake and knew the Word of God, and the God of the Word, there would be a wholesale revival which would refine the visible church.

So, what is the answer? Some would say a revival; however, in today’s churches what would you revive? I expect the best thing that we could do is to have a revolution of sorts; because the fountain has been poisoned. We have come so far away from God that our seminaries are today teaching something that does not line up with God’s Word.

We have become more about posting numbers of professions rather than seeking to teach and ask God to save those that He will. We have begun to think that we can save everyone, which would be a noble quest, if God had not spoken and said that only a few would be saved (Matthew 7:14). That is the hardest thing to teach those who have been confused by preaching today, and that is that we can’t and don’t save anyone, God must work to quicken (bring to spiritual life), and allow repentance and conversion, plus the new birth (bringing forth that new creature in Christ), before anyone is saved.

We have not been faithful to keep the ‘main thing’, the main thing. Church is about a people who are Christ’s people meeting to worship and equip themselves to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe (obey) all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” and Christ promised them, that if they did that, He would be with them always.

Matthew 28:19-20. Now, that is pretty clear about what our job is with the Lord. Certainly, we are given sign posts in the Bible about how our lives should be such that they glorify the God that we serve, but in the salvation of souls, we simply obey God by clearly and carefully teaching what is written in the Word of God, then if God will save anyone, He and He alone will act to save. Now, I don’t expect that many who read this lesson, will ever stop long enough and really study the Word of God, and begin to obey what the Bible says, rather than follow the denominational plan to grow their congregation. Let me assure you that if preachers all over America were to begin to open their Bibles and preach ‘Thus saith the Lord’, next Sunday, they would lose most of their congregation because they have made their congregations gospel-proof, with little half truths and outright lies that never confront their sin.

I want to give you an example of what I am saying here about half truths and outright lies: Preachers routinely announce to congregations that all of them are loved by Jesus Christ. Now, let me ask you, is that the truth? It is not the truth, because truth is found in the inspired Word of God, and the Bible tells us in John chapter 14, and verses 21-14, that it is those who love Him enough to obey Him that He and His Father love. Then they will also remark that Jesus Christ died for everyone. That is not true according to Hebrews 5:8-9, where we read, “Though He were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”. Preachers today also preach in such a way that those who hear are convinced that unless they are sinners, they are not Christians.

Now, I ask you: Can people (people that are saved), live above sin? If you say no, I would ask you to rethink your decision; because a true Christian is one which God has called, justified, sanctified and placed in Christ in the New birth. Then they are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, who is the power of God. The Saved person, is a new creature called to a newness of life, and the only time that we can sin is when we decide to sin. In order for the true Christian to sin, he/she must climb over the prayers of Christ and that crowd of witnesses that surrounds us, the prayers of friends, the prayers of saints today, and then they must deny the power of God, climb over the cross and the battered body of Christ and His shed blood. After all of that they should be too tired to sin! God does not call sinners to continue being sinners, Jesus called sinners to be saints. Romans 1-4; Ephesians 2:10; 2nd Corinthians 2:15; Romans 1:7; Hebrews 12:1; John 14:16;

What did Jesus tell those that He healed while here on the earth? Jesus told them to go and sin no more. John 5:5-14; John 8:1-11. If professors simply profess, will they inherit heaven or does it take more than talk to be saved? Well, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, had this to say about that?.”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?

And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Jesus Christ, the only savior, goes on to say, to these Jews who practiced outward perfection, but for the wrong reason, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken to a wise man who built his house on the rock( and I invite you to notice that He does not say a rock, but ‘the rock,’ and that rock is Jesus); and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” I ask you, have you seen any houses fall, when the rain of sin began to pound upon their roof? If you have, and I know that you have, it often happens in the church and it runs from the pulpit to the pew. That is what the visible church of our day is guilty of. It is that we allow people who have never found ‘The Rock’, to join our congregations and it has been going on for so long that in our day, there are more soft sand builders than there are those who built on the rock.

Perhaps one of the things that has brought the church of the Living God low, in our society, is that we found the word ‘love’ in the Bible and we have decided that love is good enough for anything and everything, so we have procured broad brushes and have begun to paint love over everything. Now nothing else matters as long as we can preach love over it. Am I saying that love is not what the church needs? Absolutely not! Heaven forbid! What I am saying is that we have to gain a proper understanding of what is meant by the word love in the Bible. What most professors believe is that love is a ‘get out of jail free’ card that we use to fend off God in the judgment. Hear me well now, if you have been caught up in that, God will never set aside His judgment with our phony idea of love. As A.W. Pink has said, “No man will ever know the love of God until he has dealt with God’s wrath against his sin.”

Can anyone with, half a wit and one eye, not recognize that spirituality is at a low ebb in Christendom; because denominations have bought into the idea that building larger congregations is the goal of the death of the Sinless Son of God, rather than what God said that it is, which is the salvation of souls in building the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ left heaven and came to this sin-sick world to live and die on a cruel cross to save a particular people from their sin. That group of people is known as His Church, and no one ever becomes a member of that church without having first stood in the light of our Holy God, naked and humble as he was allowed to see the depravity of his heart.

That person sees what it took to save a worm like himself and only as we have answered to that meeting with God and our subsequent godly sorrow and repentance are we ever saved and made a member of that church which is the Bride of Christ. We meet God as rebellious, depraved, sinners, blind to our sin and our need of Christ, and if God works to quicken us (brings us back to Spiritual life), we are saved by His Grace through Faith in His Son. In salvation God does a work of creation, God puts the old creature to death and raises up a new creature who can and will obey all that God has written for them to do. Ephesians 2:1-10, 2nd Corinthians 5:17; John 6:44; John 6:14; John 14:15; Romans 6:1-14; Romans 8:1-14; Romans 8:29; Philippians 2:13.

I agree with the old preacher Vance Havner who said, “The church is a nursery for babes in Christ; but not a hatchery with the idea of taking in bad eggs in the hope that they hatch out into real Christians later. As it is, I could have led many people to Christ?.if only they hadn’t joined the church first.” That is what led us to the sorry condition we are in today, we have not followed God’s plan of salvation, instead we invented our own which works fine for us, since it is quicker and shorter, and it makes us look good to the community around us. The only problem is that it does not save any souls. It is easy to join any church you choose, but all that does, is make you a church member, it does not make you a Christian! It takes a work of God, a sovereign God and His Grace and mercy, who has before the foundation of the world set in place how people would be saved. I have a personal experience (One among many); in that, several years ago I was asked to serve as an interim pastor for a small church.

As is my pattern, I began to preach the Word of God, line upon line and precept upon precept. After a few Sundays, it became evident that all this group wanted was new members, whereupon, I warned them against laying hands on any man suddenly (1st Timothy 5:23 ), and that they should be very sure before extending membership to any members. There was an older pastor that was a member of the congregation and after the church service, he approached me outside and said ” Bro Bob, we don’t care what their condition is when we accept them as members, we will teach them later”. I told him that as long as I was preaching there, we would follow the Word of God, rather than make up our rules as we went along. That same group called a pastor, that I knew of, a few weeks later and the reason they called him was that he was a ‘singer” and his wife played the piano. I knew he was weak in Bible Theology and so I recommended that they not call him; however they called him anyway?.and to make a long story short, a few months later one of the men of that group called me and told me?that they should have listened, because he left the church owing them money and went around the corner and started another church group. I don’t say that to condemn anyone but I do say it to warn others about our loose and light ways of doing what God said would be the lifestyle of the people He had given to His Son Jesus Christ.

The only way that the ‘called out ones’ will ever be what God intends them to be is that first they must educate themselves in God’s Word. We must come to the place where we can identify who God is, and then where we are as the creatures of God. If you are one who has attempted to compare man with God, then you know for sure that there is no comparison. Man is made from the dust of the earth, which God who is the source of all things is the Creator of man. What we can and must do is to know about God from the only revelation that mankind has, which is the Holy Bible; and when we have gained that knowledge of God we find that there are not enough words in our language to describe God’s beauty, power, love, mercy, provision, and creative power.

His light, the light of His glory is so bright and hot in purity that if any man were to see His face, man would spontaneously ignite and burn to a crisp. Man can be compared to a pet that has become rabid, worthless, dangerous, unclean and deserving death and condemnation. God created man to be the crown jewel of His creation, but man decided to place himself in a position that was higher than the creature would be allowed by God to assume. Adam, who we all descended from, decided that he had rather follow Satan than to follow God’s loving guidance. That was in the beginning man, hundreds and thousands of years ago, and as I write this lesson, or sermon, however you want to take it, man has come to the point that he really thinks that he can do without God in this world.

Man took the presence, of God as God walked in the garden with him, the power, of God, that God demonstrated to him as God provided everything beautiful for him in the garden, including a help-meet, as a wife and peace and pleasures untold, and traded it all, for a lie from the devil. Did all of that change God’s purpose and plan for man. Absolutely not! What it did was to cause God to execute his promised judgment on Adam and his wife, driving them out of the Garden forever, instituting a curse on the earth that would cause man to perspire in order to provide for himself from it; and God separated Himself from Adam, which left man alone, and on his own in this world which quickly turned from the light toward the darkness of sin.

I want everyone who reads this to understand that I take no pleasure or joy from teaching and preaching this truth about the visible church in our time. I do it because it is my God given duty to speak the truth regardless of who it confronts. Unless we see our error and turn back from sin and self, we will stand condemned in the judgment, and we only get one shot at that. There will not be any second chances, no preempting of God’s judgment and final dismal into hell to be tormented in the flames and the never ending worm that never turns, reminding us that we did not have to come to hell, but we are there and shall ever be there. I beg you who read this lesson to stop and gather your thoughts, look at your life as you compare it to the Word of God. Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates (2nd Corinthians 13:5).

Most will read that scripture that calls for us to always examine ourselves to determine if we are truly what we like to say that we are, and never really understand fully what it means. What God is saying to us there is that (IF) we are saved, there are absolute standards that will apply. First we will not short cut or cheat on the examination. We will muster the courage and the strength to really examine ourselves, and we will go back and ask ourselves, if we were ever allowed to see our extreme need of radical change in our lives. Until God takes control of a life, we are living in the flesh and we have no Spiritual ability to understand our condition before God, in fact we often deny that there is a God.

What God does when He begins salvation is to ‘quicken’ the person who will be saved. Then that person is able to see with Spiritual eyes and hear with spiritual ears. Then and only then does that person have the ability to ‘see the Kingdom’ and understand anything at all about God. Salvation is an act of God’s grace given to people who until they are saved are enemies of God, and are under His wrath, but God because of his great love saves those that he chooses to save. Salvation does not take the old creature that we were, and take the scratches and dents of sin out and perhaps put a fresh coat of paint on the old creature and then use him as a Christian. No, instead God puts that old creature on the cross where he dies and then God raises up a new creature, in Christ, which is able and will obey God. Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 6:1-14; Romans 8:1-14; John 3:3,5. This new creature that is now ‘In Christ’ has all the old stuff, that stuff that we inherited from Adam, passed away and behold, all things become new, (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

Not many church members in our society really have an understanding of the Glory of God versus the depravity of fallen man. We have been taught how great and good we are, without ever scratching the surface of our sinfulness and rebellion against a holy God. We exist in that state because we have not been coached to read and understand the Word of God! We have been pseudo-saved by well meaning pastors, and friends and churches by a system that short-cuts real repentance and the work of God or a condensed version of the gospel. We have not been dealt with concerning the depravity of all fallen men (and we are all fallen men unless and until God saves us by His Grace). We have not been allowed to repent, because that is a messy time for a man who God is wringing the sin out of. We really have not been dealt with about sin and repentance (godly sorrow) of sin.

Christians all too often are given the idea that now that they have joined a church, that everything is going to be smooth sailing. Anyone who teaches that or believes that simply is not Biblically literate. The Bible is replete with instances of those who were closest to God being persecuted and reviled because they spoke like Christ and lived like Christ. God does not promise that he will keep us from deep waters, instead He promises to be with us to see us to the other side. In Hebrews we find that God chastens those whom He saves and reminds us in a way that when we have done all we can do, that we receive no medals. ( Luke 17:10; Hebrews 12:3-11).

What the visible church of our day has done is to preach only selected and man pleasing things about Christ and the good news of the gospel. You don’t hear much about God’s justice and wrath or God’s sovereignty. Whether we like it or not, whether we will ever believe and preach it, God is sovereign in everything, especially in salvation. Well spoken preachers that are, so often worshipped by their congregation, can mesmerize people with words, and cause people to get very emotional, and then they give an altar call and these people go forward and are told that they are Christians. How many times have you seen a pastor or a congregation spend much time questioning and vetting this person who has given the proper answer to the question, do you believe or do you love Jesus. No man or group of men can manipulate God, they can play the church game and gain church members but they cannot ever make a Christian because God is Sovereign and He decides who will be saved and when they will be saved.

We must come back to the place that we consider God, as God, and sovereign over all things; and we consider ourselves as simply a tool in God’s hand as we go about our duty to God to preach and teach the truths of God, not the lies of denominations! How dare we go to people with the simplistic little lie that says, ‘God loves you like you are’, and expect God to work in that. First and foremost, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh says that it is a lie in John 14:21-24. People with degrees and letters behind their names teach and preach things like that so you can imagine what their degrees amount to. Listen to me now, open your eyes and make sure you are saved before you begin to preach and teach something that is not Biblical. Study and prepare yourself to serve God because I believe that we are now 2000 years closer to the end time than we were when Jesus died on the cross.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob