Prayerful RetreatHow often do you have a “prayerful retreat” with God?
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What If The Lord Were To Come Right Now? Would You Know For Sure, Without A Doubt, That You Would Go Heaven?
May I tell you my story?
My story relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Who is this Jesus?
We can know how to have eternal life!
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, [even] unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.
There was a time in my life when I was confused, because of all the different churches out there. Which one do I believe, because they all teach different things?
Just because I was raised by my parents to believe certain things does that make everyone else wrong? No.
I got to thinking in life there are life and death statements.
For instance let's say your house catches on fire. Someone comes up in the middle of the night and raps on the window and shouts "get out of the house, the house is on fire." Well you know you wouldn't need an interpreter or call a few friends over and ask them what it means when someone says your house is on fire. No you wouldn't do that it is so clear what you should do. You understand you simply have to act on it and get out of the house. Well I got to thinking the Bible talks about there being an everlasting punishment. I believe this is Gods word. I thought God must have some life and death statements. Like get out of the house the house is on fire. Does God have some statements like believe this and you will live do this and you will die? He does.
Then, what has been written?
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
Well I know what that means. Unless I believe that Jesus is who he says he is I will die in my sins.
Isn't this a life and death statement?
Then who is this Jesus?
Let's go exploring.
Matthew 16:13-17 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? 14 And they said, Some [say] John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Whose son is he? "God's son"
In other words Jesus says you are right.
Well you know I got to thinking what does it mean to believe he is the son of God? So I kept reading.
Is he being the son of God all we must believe concerning His identity?
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And I kept reading.
Just being the son of God...Is God. Notice here:
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.
Well here Jesus is claiming to be the son of God and God at the same time.
All Jesus is saying is that he is the same as his parents. Jesus mother was human and father was God. That makes him 100% human and 100% God.
Is that important that Jesus is a 100% God and man? Remember John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
When Jesus came to earth, did he leave his Godhead in Heaven?
Colossians 2:9 for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,
Notice that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God.
Here God the Father calls his own son God.
Hebrews 1:1, 8 God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,
8 but of the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Quote above taken from Psalm 45:6
I remember back when God was talking to Moses through the burning bush in Exodus 3:14-15 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
I noticed Jesus using that same name.
Who does Jesus claim to be?
Jesus claims to be the great "I Am"
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.
I remebered John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
People all over the country say Jesus is different things. Some say he is the brother of Satan. Or Jesus is Michael the Ark Angel. There's even another religious group called Islam that dominates the world. Mohammed says Jesus was a man and the greatest prophet that ever lived. That's all he is.
Jesus though say's John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
Jesus is saying what you see standing before you is a man, but you must look closer with the eye of faith and see standing here is Jehovah your God.
So, we must believe Jesus is God, or we will die in our sins.
I did discover that he is one of three "persons" in the Godhead.
Matthew 3:16,17 And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Well I kept reading to find out more about this Jesus.
What he did and why?
And Jesus is one of them.
Let's look and see what Jesus is called here.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus,
I thought I know what a mediator is, that's a go between. Sort of like a bridge. A bridge is a bridge because it touches two shores. Because Jesus is God he touches God shore because he is human he touches our shore. So no wonder he is my one and only way home.
Why do we need a mediator?
You know I was reading in the Old Testament one day and came across
Isaiah 59:2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Well then it donned on me no wonder Jesus is the mediator. God wants me home with him but, I have been separated from God because of my sins. Jesus has got to bridge me back to God.
What has separated us from God?
Psalm 92:15 To show that Jehovah is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
I came across Romans 3:10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;
Habku 1:13 Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he;
If I am unrighteous he can't even look at me? So here's the predicament what has he got to do to save me?
What can save us?
What is the power of God to save us?
I came across Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
You know there's that word salvation, it must be a life and death statement. I found that any time you come across a verse that has words like "life, death, heaven, hell, lost, salvation, and saved." Those are your salvation verses.
Well this has the word salvation in it. The gospel is God's power of to save me.
I went exploring to find out what this gospel is.
What is the gospel of Christ?
You know I have found that the Bible interprets itself. In many places it mentions the gospel.
One of the clearest is 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, 2 by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures;
So the gospel must consist of this Godman's death, that's Jesus' death , burial, and resurrection.
Well I heard that before. How do those events take care of my salvation? Why did Jesus have to die on that cross? Let's break it down. We have seen that we have a sin problem.
I found in 1 John 3:4 Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is the breaking of God's law. As a baby I was over here and had never sinned. One day I decided to cross that line and commit sin. When I did wrong I decided to do wrong. I stepped away from the right I have been separated from God. I broke his moral law of righteousness.
In my life I have gotten a few traffic tickets because I broke the law. I realized that you break the law you have to pay the fine. That is what is called due process. I broke the law so I get what is due to me. Does God have a due process? I kept reading.
The Bible says in Roman 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Death? God is the source of life. If I sin I step away from life. The wages of sin is death, but if we keep reading we see the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. In other words God is saying I don't want you to pay that penalty, I will pay it for you. Well what is it going to cost God to pay it for us? The wages of sin is death. Human sins human dies. So God had to become human and die that human death in order to pay for that human death. That's why Jesus is God and human. He is the Godman. He had to become human to die that human death, to pay for my human sin. What sacrifice what kind of love must God really have for me and you?
The Bible says Hebrews 10:8 Saying above, Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein (the which are offered according to the law), So the Hebrew writter says in 10:4,5 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me;
Here is the Gospel in picture form.
the Gospel Enacted
Why did Jesus have to do each of these things to save us?
In his death we reach his blood.
Ephesians 1:7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Paul says we are saved by grace through Christ Jesus.
Well that's why Jesus died on the cross to take away my sin problem.
How wonderful is this forgiveness?
Jude 1:24 Now him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory without blemish in exceeding joy,
He can present us how?
Faultless he can makes me as clean as the day I was born. All my sins are washed away by Jesus Christ. You see not one sin can enter into Heaven. Remember Habku 1:13 Not one sin can enter Heaven. I want in on that don't you? I got to thinking, why did Jesus have to come out of the grave? Now I read John 20:30, 31 Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.
Jesus takes care of our sin problem with his death. Now why was he raised for us?
Watch how Jesus takes care of our grave problem.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. 21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.
Because of Adams sin we all must die. As I kept reading 1 Corinthians 15:42,53 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
But Jesus delivers us from the grave.
In a nutshell, what two things does the gospel bring us?
2 Timothy 1:10 but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
We get life because of Jesus death. We get immortality because of his resurrection.
Paul says it another way.
What can we be through Jesus death?
What can we be through his life?
Romans 5:10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
Reconciled, what does that mean? I looked it up. It means to be made friends again. So we were made friends again through the death of Jesus. What is the due process of sin? Death, Jesus died to take away my sin problem.
1 Thes 5:23 And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have discovered there are only two things that keep us out of Heaven, sin and the grave. Jesus takes care of them in his death and resurrection. I want in on that don't you?
Do you see the gospel here? How do we get "into his death"?
How do I get in on it?
Romans 10:9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
Raised him from the dead. That's the gospel. Must we confess Christ and believe the gospel to be saved? Is this a life and death statement?
Must we change our lifestyles?
Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Ephsians 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them;
Galatians 5:19-26 My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you-- 20 but I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone; for I am perplexed about you. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the freewoman. 23 Howbeit the [son] by the handmaid is born after the flesh; but the [son] by the freewoman [is born] through promise. 24 Which things contain an allegory: for these [women] are two covenants; one from mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage, which is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to the Jerusalem that now is: for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother.
1 Corinthians 6:9,10 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
We need to talk about that.
Fornicators those having sexual relations outside of marriage.
Idolaters anything you put before God. The Bible says 18 times to love the Lord your God with all your heart.
Adultery relationships with others than your spouse.
On down the list.
Repentance means to change your ways. Are these life and death statements? Do this and you will live do this and you will die.
What if we do not change?
Are these life and death statements?
Luke 13:3, 5 ?I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.? 5 ?I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.?
To get the saving gospel what must we do?
What must we do to escape God's vengeance and everlasting destruction?
2 Thes 1:8,9 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: 9 who shall suffer punishment, [even] eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
How do we humans ?obey the gospel??
Well you know I have to come to know God and obey the gospel to avoid destruction.
How can I obey the gospel? That didn't make sense to me , until I kept reading the Bible. I found out the bible just keeps interpreting itself over and over again.
Do you see the gospel here? How do we get ?into his death??
I came across Romans 6:3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Baptized into his death now that began to make sense to me. Why would Jesus want me to get into his death? Well, that's were Jesus blood was shed for the forgiveness of my sins. It's into the water into his death that forgives me of my sins. Can I just put just a little water or make a wet cross on my forehead? No I must be buried with him in baptism. We have to go under the water in order to be buried with him. Now I have found how to obey the gospel.
I read over there in 1 Thes 2:8,9 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: 9 who shall suffer punishment, [even] eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
Romans 6:17, 18 But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; 18 and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.
Why would God want us to get "into his death"? Ephsians 1:7
I am baptized into the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel obeyed picture
Where does one actually become a Christian?
I came across Galatians 3:26,27 For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
Well no wonder that makes sense. Once I put on Christ in baptism his blood washes away my sins. Once I am baptized I become a Christian. Not before, but in that exact moment that I am baptised I am added to his Church.
Later on I discovered Ephesians 1:22-23 And he put all things under his feet and gave him to be head over all things to the Church, which is his body. The fullness of him who fills all in all
Ephesians 4:4,5 There is one body and one spirit. Just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one lord one faith, one baptism;
The Church is the body of Christ. And there is only one body. So if I am in Christ I am in the body. I am in the body with the rest of those that have done the same thing. Man I wanted to do that, but I thought, you know if I do that there are going to be some tough times coming.
If one becomes a Christian will he face persecution?
What will It Cost?
I keep reading John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
You know I wonder where that persecutions going to come from? I found out it's from the family.
What is the worst kind of persecution?
Luke 14:26, 28 If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have [wherewith] to complete it?
We see here that Jesus commands commitment:
2 Peter 2:20,21 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first. 21 For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Lord I want to go to Heaven. Lord I am going to walk the walk I am going to face the persecution. I am going to do it.
You know every time in the book of Acts when someone is baptized it is always immediately. I mean no exception. What is this that we do today in so many places around the country and world? Where we wait a week or two weeks or every month? Or we have a baptismal participation ceremony every year. I have heard that. Every time in the Bible it is immediate. Why? Because you can not be saved outside the blood of Jesus.
Baptism is where you go to the water. And it's into the water into death and into the blood of Christ. You can not be saved outside the blood of Jesus. What is this sinners prayer business? That is not even found in the Bible. What is found in the Bible is you have to obey the gospel. Well what is the gospel? It is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How do we obey the gospel? How do we reenact the gospel? By being baptized into his death, buried with him through baptism.
Remember Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. We have to go to deep water to be buried. I want to ask would you read Acts 22:16 and give God your answer.
Please read these words and give God your answer:
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.
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