Saturday, June 1, 2013

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Okay so in Matthew 25 we read; the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling off to a foreign country. Who called his own servants and delivered them his goods and to one he gave five talents and the other two and to the third he gave one, each according to their abilities. Immediately he set out on a long journey. And then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five talents. Likewise he who receive two gained two more. But he who had received one dug it in the ground and hid the Lord's money. And after a time the Lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he said to the one who had received five talents; well done my faithful servant you gained five more. And he said to him; I'll make you ruler over many things enter into the joy of your Lord. The one who had two talents came forward and said Lord you gave me two talents look I have gained two more. And the Lord said well done my good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a few things I will make you faithful over many things. Enter into the joy of the Lord. Now this is wonderful dear friends. We are looking at servants, people like us, who have been entrusted with a wonderful gift that is a gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and we work that gift.

We don't just let it hide in the ground. We work that gift. And what happens is that the Lord is going to return and he's going to say to us; well done my faithful servant I will make you ruler over many things because you've been faithful with what I gave you. So today I want to encourage you all to be faithful with what Jesus has given you; the wonderful gifts of the Spirit. The wonderful new way that the Lord has given us to all who believe on him and who want to follow his ways. Now I want to talk to you about this talent. What is this gift that the Lord gives us? It is a wonderful thing that the Lord gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ. And it is according to faith. And as Jesus said he said the those who believe will be saved through faith. Now we are warned many times about using our talents for the kingdom of God and not just hiding in the ground. So that's why we need to examine ourselves daily and the reading from two Corinthians; examine yourselves whether you are in the faith, prove your own selves know you not yourselves how that Jesus Christ is in you except you beat reprobate. This is talking about examining yourselves that you are in the faith lest we should have a reprobate mind by going off into paths of evil. But we are here to stay in this wonderful gift this wonderful talent that Jesus has given us which is eternal life through Jesus Christ. I want to meet you what Jesus said about the he said; verily you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven and unless you are born again. You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless you are born again. Now this is the wonderful gift that the Lord gives his servants. He gives them eternal life, he makes them born again and so you can go and do the works that he has ordained for you from the beginning. But the problem is dear friends, many people they don't they don't go to Jesus to become born-again. And so because they don't go to him they don't have anything to work for the Lord. They don't have a talent and he didn't give them anything because they're still on the broad path to destruction. But friends we are here to go to the Lord today and this is how we can know that we are in the Lord that we do his commandments and he abides in us and his Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we're with the Lord. Now do you have these assurances? Well I need to encourage you that if you go and give yourself to the Lord and you believe on him and have faith, this is what happens is that you get this assurance from the Lord and his new ways come into your heart. That's what happened to me. And I read from one John; this is how we know that we know him if we keep his commandments.

Whoever is born of God doesn't continue to commit sin for his seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God. So here we see right away that if you know the Lord that means that the product of having faith and knowing the Lord is that you keep the commandments of the Lord and you don't have practice sin. That's how we know that we have been born-again. It's a product of salvation. But if we go on sinning it is written that we still belong to Satan, one John chapter 3, that if we go on sinning it proves that our father is the devil. That's why we have to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith like Paul said in Colossians. Examine yourselves to see if you're in the faith and if you're pleasing to Jesus, examine yourself. And if you're not in the faith and your practicing sin and living in the wrong paths, we know that we don't know the Lord and we need to dedicate ourselves to him and confess our sins to him and he'll be righteous and forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And that's what we must do friends. So friends we are here to abide in the Lord and use the wonderful talent that the Lord has given us and work that talent in the work in the kingdom of God in what he gives us to do. And it can be of anything whatever he gives you to do. And so what happens is when the Lord comes, he is going to say; well done my good and faithful servant, you have been faithful with a few things, I'll make you faithful over many things. I will make you ruler over many things says the Lord. And so today I was wanting to talk about this wonderful assurance of salvation that we have because God hasn't given us a spirit of fear. He's given us a sound mind and assurance of our salvation through Jesus Christ, if we give ourselves to him. If we live for the Lord we have no need to fear. And the people they have a lot of fear in their lives and that's because they are not abiding in Jesus Christ. I tell you truly that when you abide in Jesus Christ, you have a confidence in you and you don't fear. And the Holy Spirit is with you bearing witness and you have no reason to fear because you know you're on your way to the kingdom. And so you let your fears rest and you know that we got a wicked way inside of us but we don't have to follow those ways. And it just shows us that we're unworthy to enter the kingdom of God except through Jesus Christ. You can't enter the kingdom by your good works and striving after the law and striving to stop sinning and all these things. You can't make yourself good enough to enter heaven. You can only have Jesus change you and have him make you born again. That's the only way.

There is nothing you can do to make us good enough to enter. Because it is not by works as Paul writes in Romans, lest anybody should boast. Because you know if I can be holy and make myself holy enough to enter heaven, you know I can be in heaven and tell you that by my works I was able to enter the kingdom, I was holy enough. I had such a hard time being holy enough and I was so holy that I got into the kingdom of heaven. NO, you know it is not by this valor and being a hero. That's not the way to enter heaven, because when we're confronted by our sinful flesh, the nearer we get to God, the more we realized that it's such a wonderful thing to have the grace of God to wash us clean from sin and set us free from doing sin. It is such a wonderful thing. How can you praise God if you can make yourself good enough to go to heaven. You cant. You can praise yourself but you cant really praise God because there is not grace then is there. But the rules are in heaven that you can't go to heaven except you go through Jesus Christ because there is nothing good in our flesh. The nearer you go to Jesus, the more you realize how sinful your flesh is. Now Im not saying we follow that flesh, I am saying that you'll see how sinful the flesh is. And that's why we've got to turn to the Lord Jesus to get that new change. That's what I tell people that the proof of having Jesus in your life is that he will set you free from sin. You don't have to do your sin anymore because if you keep being a sinner and you keep living on the broad path to destruction, the Scriptures say that you don't know Jesus and he has no part in you. 1 John chapter three says that those who keep sinning, they don't know the Lord but are of their father the devil. And we know that those who keep sinning, they don't inherit the kingdom of God because they don't know Jesus and you can't enter the kingdom if you don't know Jesus because you are not born-again. So today I want to warn everybody that we have to become born-again; born-again by faith in Jesus Christ. He has already made the way of salvation for us by a dying for our sins. And that what we have to do is we have to accept that and we have to go to the Lord in prayer and dedication and faith. What happens is he will change you. He will make you a new way and then you must abide in that new way and don't go back to the old ways. Now we don't want to be like the man with the one talent. I want to read on in verse 24; then he who received the one talent came and said Lord I knew you to be a hard man reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you did not scatter and I was afraid and I hid your talent in the ground look here is what is yours. But the Lord said to him you wicked and lazy servant you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I don't scatter so you should've at least deposited my money with the bankers.

At the time of my coming I would have received back my interest. Therefore take this talent from him and give it to him he has 10, and for everyone who has more will be given, for he who does not have even what he has will be taken away. Cast this unprofitable servant into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. You see friends, many people say Lord Lord but they do not do what he says. That's what Jesus warns here. We have to become born again. We don't want to be like this unprofitable servant who says the Lord Lord. And that's the big difference friends is that many people say Lord Lord but few people go to the Lord to be born again and changed to do the work that God gives them to follow him on the narrow way to not deny his name in the face of this generation. We're here to follow the Lord. We are here not to live the way of the world. You know these people they say Lord Lord but they live the way of the world. And when we live the way of the world, the love of the father is not in us. We're following all this immoral society. People get very into into the culture. They are spending their time watching pop on TV and following all kinds of things. It is an immoral godless society and if you follow the pop industry and the music industry and all these things and if you're following the world and having fun with all your worldly friends who don't know Jesus, then you are like the servant who has hidden his talent in the ground doesn't shine for Jesus because he doesn't know Jesus. He doesn't have true faith. All he says is Lord Lord. And he says Lord Lord and thinks he might be saved. And that's what happens friends if we don't have true faith, is we do not have the change of Jesus coming to our hearts enabling us to fulfill the commandment of the Lord and to do his work. But we are not here to do that. We're here to just follow the Lord Jesus Christ hallelujah. We're here to give ourselves to him that we shall enter into his kingdom hallelujah praise the Lord.

Now I want to read on a little from Matthew 25; the kingdom of heaven will be likened to 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them are wise and five foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them but the wise took oil with their lamps and while the bridegroom was delayed they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard; behold the bridegroom go out to meet him. And all the virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise; give us some of your oil our lamps are going out. But the wise said no less there wouldn't be enough for us go and buy oil from those who sell. And while they went to buy the bridegroom came and those who were ready went with him into the wedding and the door was shut. And the Lord goes on to say to the foolish virgins who came later, he said to them; assuredly I say I don't know you. Watch ye therefore for you neither know the day nor the hour that the Son of Man shall come. And the Lord is warning here friends a very serious warning to those who are looking for his return. To those who are dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ. The Lord is warning that we who say Lord Lord and who do his commandments and we are born again and we know that we are headed to the kingdom because he's changed us, we must know that we also are looking for the Lord's return at this time but we must know that we got to stay on the way otherwise we're going to run out of oil. And what happens is when we start to run out of oil, the time runs out to try and get some more and this oil is the holiness of God in us through the Holy Spirit living in us, because the Holy Spirit is oil. And if we're not living on the narrow way following the Lord properly, what happens is our oil is going to run out and while we're walking in worldly paths and the bridegroom suddenly returns at a time that we think not, then what happens is we knock and we say Lord let us in but is too late…The Lord says I don't know, I don't know you. So friends we have to be very serious at this time because yes we have the assurance of salvation. Jesus Christ is with us yes. Those of you who don't know Jesus yet and you still are in your sins, it's time to become born again. It's time to have true faith in Jesus so that he can change you and he can free you from your sins and you can live sin free and you abide with him. For those of you who have done that we have to abide with him. We have to continue to abide with him until the end so we don't get cut off.

Because although we have the assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ and we don't have fear, we also know that if we turn away from that path and if we look back after putting our hand to the plow following Jesus, we become unworthy for the kingdom and we wither up. We no longer have Jesus flowing through us. And that's what the Holy Spirit shows at this time is that we must abide with the Lord that he can be with us. And Jesus said that he will never leave you and he will never forsake you. But Jesus says that he's not with you when you sin. That is what Jesus revealed to somebody. He said to them I'm with you when you go outside when you get on the bus, I'm with you when you go to sleep. But I'm not with you when you go on the Internet and look at porn. I'm not with you when you go and sin and do what is evil in my sight you have left me. And that's what we're here to do friends is to abide with Jesus and not leave the Lord because the Lord is with us always. But he is not with us when we sin. We go away from Jesus when we sin. So let us trim our lamps and let us light our lamps for the Lord. And let us not be the lazy servant who doesn't want to follow the Lord. He wants to say Lord Lord but he doesn't want to do the Commandments. He doesn't want to do what Jesus says for him to do. He doesn't want to be separate from the world. He doesn't want to be separate from this society that loves pop music and immorality. But we are not here to be like that friends. I want to read some more from what the Lord gives us from the Bible. So let us turn to John. The Lord says in John: he that believes on the son has everlasting life. He who does not believe on the son shall not see life but the wrath of God shall abide on him. It all comes down to whether or not you decide to believe in Jesus Christ today and have faith in him. And that's how we find eternal life that's how we find a new way inside. And let me tell you something; when you decide to believe on the name of Jesus Christ, it is not like just some sort of belief like Buddhism where you're just the same person still and just believe in something. It is not like you decide to go and believe in Islam and you to believe in evolution maybe, you're still the same person no difference. Beliefs are nothing. Beliefs are beliefs and people die with their beliefs.

They don't change nothing. They are still the old person. But when you have realized that Jesus is who he is because Jesus is life, what happens is you actually get a new way, and you change and it is something that is real and something actually happens in real life. You change. You get set free from sin. You become a new person. You get a new change in your heart when you really believe on Jesus and go to him. It is not just a belief. It is actually a life changing experience, that if you go to the Lord you will be changed. So we don't have faith in just something that's just a belief like Buddhism. Many people have faith in Buddhism. But it doesn't change them. It doesn't make them a different person. They're still sinning. They are still the same person with the same problems. They don't have a transformation going on inside. They cant look back and see where they made a U-turn somewhere, they made a u-turn and came to Christ and went off in a different direction because their life got changed by him. That's what happens when you actually believe on the Lord and that's why I'm here today to tell you that following Jesus and believing his name is more than just a belief. It is not like just believing in some religion or believing in some church or even just believing in the Bible. Many people believe in the Bible but that's where it stops. Just a religion for them. But I want to tell you today that when you believe in Jesus for real and go to him, he actually changes you and he actually comes into your life as a new reality and a new way and you get changed in your heart and you get set free from addiction. Some people are smokers and drinkers and addicted to drugs and Jesus does something that hospitals can't do for you. Jesus does something that drugs cannot do. He set you free from addiction. Jesus does something that prison can't do, he sets you free from doing crime doing sin. You know a lot of people they go to jail for crime or being a perverse person like doing immoral crime and they say that they'll be the same person when they get out. It is true. You are the same person in jail if you do crime and you go out and you don't learn your lesson because you are the same person still and go out and commit a crime. But the thing is friends Jesus changes you so that you're not that person anymore. He gives you a new way and that's the reality of Jesus, he is not just a belief. He is a reality because he makes you a new person. That's what happened to me. Jesus made me a new way. He took away my addiction to sin and he gave me the power to live a new way, because he is Lord of lords and King of Kings.

And that's why I say to you that you must have faith and you must go to the Lord and believe upon his name to get this new way in you too. And then you will understand why one John chapter 3 says that when you know the Lord you don't continue to sin. And the problem is that we have a world full of professing Christians that say Lord Lord but they don't do what the Lord says because they don't know. He is not a reality to them he is just a belief like Buddhism. And that's a problem, if Jesus is just a belief like Buddhism to you, you are never going to know him and you will never enter into eternal life. You just won't know him and you can't be saved because if you're still in your old ways you just don't know the Lord and you can't enter heaven if you don't follow Jesus. And so that's why I'm here to tell people. Jesus is more than a religion. He is more than just a belief. He is more than just something like Buddhism or in some other cases Islam. He is more than that friends. Jesus is actually a life changing reality. He is a real living person right now. And I tell you if you call out to him he will come to be with you and he will change you praise the Lord. So it says one John chapter 5 verse 18; whoever is born of God sins not for he is begotten of God and God keeps him and the wicked one cannot touch him. And that's what happens when you give yourself to Jesus for real. I don't care whether you've been a Christian for 20 years. People say I've been a Christian for 30 years what can you tell me? I say, has Jesus changed you do you know him and his real reality? And most times he's not, they are just a churchgoer for 30 years and they don't know Jesus. He is just a belief. A belief that is not real to them. But I am here to tell you friends that Jesus is more than just a belief. He is actually a reality now. He'll come into your life and change you like he did me. I'm nobody special friends if you ask you will get praise the Lord. And that's what we're here to do. We are here to go to the Lord in faith and I am telling you he will give you freedom from sin. So many people want to know the Lord. The way to do it is to pray and repent and leave your sin and decide to leave your sins and what happens is he will change you. And that's what he said he said Mark 16 he said; he that believes and is baptized will be saved and he who disbelieves will be condemned. And so we know friends that we who believe will be saved. And what it comes down to is if you go to the Lord believing him you will be saved because his reality will come in to your life.

And good works and all these things, they are just a product of changed way that he will give you. They are a product of knowing Jesus and not be a precursor. You cannot do good works to know Jesus. You got to go to Jesus as you are now in repentance. You can't stop sinning first and then get to know Jesus. No you got to repent and get to know Jesus at the same time. Repent of everything and what happens is he will set you free if you're serious. That's what it comes down to friends is if we are serious and you take the Lord seriously, that I always tell people, if you take the Lord seriously he will take you seriously. And he will cause you to pass from death to life become born-again, a new way and you'll be changed. And that is the reality of the gospel is that it's a real gospel. It's not just a belief. It is not just; I believe in Jesus! And then you go on and keep sinning and you keep following the world and dance around to pop music. You are kidding yourself. You don't believe in Jesus. If you really did you would be changed. We have to realize that Jesus is a reality. We got to realize that he is who he is and no matter what anybody says, he is who he is and if you want to know who he is, you got to get on your knees and pray and dedicate. Decide to accept him as your Lord forever and live for him from now on. But very few people are prepared to do that because the way is narrow. It is not easy for people to give up a following this immoral society. It is not easy for people to give up on following the world and all that trash on TV and following sin and going around with unbelievers doing nonsense. It is not easy to give that up. People they want those things. They want to be normal in the world or look normal according to the worlds of values and they want to just follow the world and laugh with the unbelievers at all the sinful things they do, and they don't want to be separate to know Jesus. And no wonder they never know him because you can't know the Lord unless you turn from your sins and decide to repent and really want to know him and dedicate to him. You can't know the Lord if you're not prepared to turn away from this society. If you can't turn away from the world how can you know the Lord? He is not going to come to you if you refuse to open the door. He may knock but he cannot come in if you don't open the door. So friends we are here to seriously want to know the Lord. And any of you out there if you want to know the Lord and if you're ready to turn away from this society today and be serious about Jesus, well now is the time. Today is the day for salvation. That is what Jesus said today's the day to turn away from your sins. Be serious about the Lord. Today is the day to dedicate to his name. And you already know the cost.

The cost is that you will have to suffer shame for Jesus because people don't like him in the world as you well know. As you well know his name is a shame in this society. So if you suddenly go to Jesus and if you don't want to meet your worldly friends because of Jesus, that's because Jesus is in you and you found his new way and no longer want to do sin with them, then you're going to get mocked. People are going to persecute you. But if you really want Jesus you will accept that. That's why I say count the cost. But if you're not prepared to pay that price then you might as well just live your own way and then up to the fire because you don't want Jesus. We're here to be with the Lord friends and to want him and have his way. You know what is good about living in the path to destruction when we have all this fun and we just end up in hell! You know what is the point of just being entertained by sin every day loving all our pop music and worldly singers, you know all that stuff, what is the use of loving the world and then missing out on the kingdom of God. You know what trade-off is there for your soul on this earth. What trade-off? Because you know you'll inherit hell for eternity if you trade your soul for this world. If we want to live for fun and all the things we want to do in this life and we don't want to turn to Jesus and if you believe that's a good enough trade-off for your soul to end in hell for, well go for it but you been told. And if you believe that's what your soul is worth and that is your own affair. But if you believe that you're ready to give your soul to Jesus Christ and you don't want to trade your soul for hell, for this world, then you would give yourself to Jesus today in full dedication and repentance. And you would seek to know him and have his ways come into your life hallelujah. That he could make you clean and live a new way and no longer hang around with all your worldly friends who don't know Jesus rather bring them Jesus. And they will reject you and maybe a few of them might repent and turn to Jesus. And so you start to do the kingdom's work on this earth and your not hiding your talent in the ground just saying Lord Lord I believe and go on in sin because you don't know the Lord. That's not what we're here to do. We're here to dedicate ourselves completely to the Lord...amen.......