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How to Escape the Fires of Hell

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Of all the various type of disasters that befall us as humans, one of the more feared situations is to be trapped in a burning building. Over the past few years there have been several tragic scenes of dance clubs where hundreds of young people have been locked into halls that have burned and the doors were piled high with the dead who could not get out and escape the fire.

I’ve never been trapped in a burning building, but Bonnie and I will always remember being trapped on a burning elevator in Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympics. Those tense minutes stuck between floors as the smoke of the electric motors began coming into the car will always be riveted in our minds. But think for a moment if you were in a hall crammed with people and a fire broke out and people were cramming against a locked door and you had a handful of the keys that could unlock the door for them, you could dispense those keys if you wanted to. Would you?

 

What is the actual message that answers someone asking, “What must I do to be saved?” God says it comes down to this,

 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will saved,” Acts 16:31.

 

And how do I do that? Simply believe that Christ came into the world clothed in human flesh, born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died a subsitutionary death on the cross, rose from the grave, and ascended to the right hand of the Father having accomplished our redemption as our High Priest and coming King.

 

That sentence is what you could call the essence, or the drive train of the Gospel. You believe that. You believe in the Christ who is the true Christ and in His death and resurrection for you- and God gives you His Gracious Salvation. So the key we hold in our hands is to call men and women to that faith. We call them to start believing God who says,

 

“For by grace you are saved,” Eph 2:8, “through faith.”

 

How? We say, “Here, do you want to take the gift? Just trust Christ. Just put your faith, just affirm you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who lived and died for you and rose again. Do you believe that? And acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior.” That’s it. And receive the forgiveness He offers.

 

But one final question remains, “How in the world can do it and still be just? One way, reconciliation by the will of God, by the act of justification which involves forgiveness, by the obedience of faith. We just call sinners to believe. How can He do it? How can He punish the sin in our lives at one time and make us His own children at the other? How can He punish us without destroying us?

Please stand with me and listen as I read II Corinthians 5:14-21.

 

II Corinthians 5:21 is the answer, and it stands as the greatest verse in the Bible. Fifteen Greek words. If you understand this verse, you understand the Gospel. Fifteen Greek words that define the meaning of the reconciliation message.

 

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

 

That’s how He did it. That’s how God did it. There is the plan. This is the secret of redemption right here. Understand this verse, “He made,” is God. God is the one who did it. It’s God’s plan, in order to make it work, “He made Him who knew no sin,” who’s that? Jesus Christ who the writer of Hebrews said is, “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” The sinless, spotless Lamb of God. “He made Him who knew no sin,” that’s so critical. It had to be a perfect lamb. It had to be without spot, without blemish, right? “He made Him who knew no sin.”

 

Here’s comes the key, the Greek says, “He made Him who knew no sin, sin.” His sinless son in whom He said, “I am well pleased.” His sinless son who Peter calls “the just for the unjust” was made sin. On the cross Jesus was NOT a sinner. He never was a sinner before. He wasn’t a sinner then. And He never will be. He was as pure and holy and harmless and undefiled hanging on the cross as ever before or since. He is not a sinner, never a sinner. He never broke a law of God and he never failed to fulfill PERFECTLY everything God ever required or desired. And God did not make him a sinner on the cross.

 

On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe. Did you get that? God treated Him as if He committed, personally, every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though the fact is He committed none of them. That’s the great doctrine of substitution. And that’s the first side of imputation. God imputed our sins to Him. He was guilty of none of them. God treated Him as if He committed all of them. And He just unloaded His fury for all the sins of all the people who would ever believe in Him in the history of the world. He unloaded all His fury against all their sins on Christ.

 

To borrow the language of Leviticus 16, Jesus became the “scapegoat”. Scapegoat was guilty of nothing. But the High Priest, as it were, laid all the sins of the people on the scapegoat and sent him away. He was without sin. But sin was credited to His account as if He had personally committed it and then God punished Him though the fact is He never committed any of it. That’s imputation.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “When Jesus came into the world why did He have to live all those years?” If I was planning the plan of redemption I’d have had Him come down on Friday, die, rise on Sunday and go back to Heaven Monday. Why 30 years? Why 30 silent years?

 

Jesus lived a full life was that He might live a complete life fully righteous. That He might live a complete life absolutely without sin, absolutely perfect, so that that perfect life could be credited to your account. That’s the backside of imputation. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel. That’s substitution.

 

What happens in justification? God simply declares you righteous because your sin has been paid for. He treated Christ as if He’d committed all your sins and lived your life and He treats you as if you lived Christ’s life. That’s how the Father sees you now. And that happened at the moment of faith, didn’t it? That’s the Gospel. That’s what we need to tell sinners. That’s the essence of it.

 

No Salvation Without Imputation and Substitution

 

In faith, repentant faith, acknowledging our sin, we acknowledge Jesus died and rose again for us in simple faith. We ask Him to save us from our sins and at that moment, the payment of Christ is sufficient for all our sins and the righteousness of Christ is granted to us. And from then on God treats us as if we had lived Christ’s life. That’s why Paul in Romans says, 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation.” Can’t be, it’s paid for. Satan shows up in Heaven and he says, “Your saint down there, they did this, and this, and this.” Jesus says, “Paid for. Paid for. Paid for.” The Father says, “Sorry Satan, can’t see it. All I can see is the righteousness of Christ.”

 

That’s the great message of the good news. And this is what we are called to dispense. This is the word of reconciliation. All around us there is a world trapped in what is literally a burning building, and we are the dispensers of the key to get out and be saved. That’s the heart of the Gospel message.

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

 

  • THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL OF ETERNAL SALVATION Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SAVATION

 

  • SALVATION IS LIGHT, LIFE, AND PEACE Luke 1:47-79 v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven. SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY

 

  • SALVATION IS A PERSON Luke 2:30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation SALVATION IS A PERSON

 

  • JESUS PREACHED – BEAR FRUIT OR BE CAST INTO THE FIRE Luke 3:8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

 

  • SALVATION IS HEARING CHRIST’S VOICE AND FOLLOWING HIM Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH 5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” BY REPENTING SINNERS

 

  • BELIEVERS ARE ENGAGED TO CHRIST REGENERATED AND INDWELT Luke 5:34 Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES

 

  • GENUINE BELIEVERS ARE CHRISTLIKE, GOODHEARTED, AND LORD OBEYING Luke 6:35-47 v. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE 6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. BEARING GOOD FRUIT 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!

 

  • JESUS CALLS US TO AGREE WITH GOD ABOUT OUR SIN Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified (homologeo said same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL

 

  • JESUS TAUGHT A GOSPEL OF ENDURING FRUIT BEARING Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT

 

  • SALVATION IS DESIRING JESUS Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST

 

  • TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE BEEN REGISTERED IN HEAVEN BY GOD Luke 10:20-22 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.

 

  • THE EVIDENCE OF CHRIST’S CHILDREN IS THEY SEEK: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

 

    • Our Father in heaven (GOD AS FATHER),
    • Hallowed be Your name (WORSHIPING HIM).
    • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (SUBMISSIVE TO HIM) v. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, (DEPENDING ON HIM) For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (LOVING OTHERS).
    • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (SEEKING HOLINESS).

 

  • JESUS CALLED FOR INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING

 

  • YOU CAN BE ASSURED OF HEAVEN IF YOU ARE: CHRIST CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” RICH TOWARD GOD 12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.

 

  • JESUS DESCRIBES THOSE HEADING TO HEAVEN AS: SIN REPENTING, FRUIT BEARING, GATE ENTERING, GOD KNOWING, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS DOING Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL 13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

  • SALVATION IS WHEN WE IMPOSSIBLY COME TO CHRIST Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST

 

  • GENUINE CHRISTIANS ARE SIN REPENTING Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS

 

  • JESUS SAID THAT THREE EVIDENCES OF SALVATION ARE: LIGHT LIVING, GOD SERVING, AND WORD RECEIVING Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD

 

  • A TRUE BELIEVER REALIZES THEY ARE MERCY NEEDING Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY

 

  • A TRUE BELIEVER REALIZES THEY ARE HELPLESSLY COMING Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION

 

  • A TRUE BELIEVER IS LOST-KNOWING AND GOD-OBEYING Luke 18:19-27 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
  • A TRUE BELIEVER REALIZES THEY ARE FOUND BY CHRIST Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST

 

  • A TRUE BELIEVER IS REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN

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Of all the various type of disasters that befall us as humans, one of the more feared situations is to be trapped in a burning building. Over the past few years there have been several tragic scenes of dance clubs where hundreds of young people have been locked into halls that have burned and the doors were piled high with the dead who could not get out and escape the fire.

I’ve never been trapped in a burning building, but Bonnie and I will always remember being trapped on a burning elevator in Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympics. Those tense minutes stuck between floors as the smoke of the electric motors began coming into the car will always be riveted in our minds. But think for a moment if you were in a hall crammed with people and a fire broke out and people were cramming against a locked door and you had a handful of the keys that could unlock the door for them, you could dispense those keys if you wanted to. Would you?

What is the actual message[1] that answers someone asking, “What must I do to be saved?”

God says it comes down to this, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will saved,” Acts 16:31.  And how do I do that? Simply believe that Christ came into the world clothed in human flesh, born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died a subsitutionary death on the cross, rose from the grave, and ascended to the right hand of the Father having accomplished our redemption as our High Priest and coming King.

That sentence is what you could call the essence, or the drive train of the Gospel. You believe that. You believe in the Christ who is the true Christ and in His death and resurrection for you- and God gives you His Gracious Salvation. So the key we hold in our hands is to call men and women to that faith. We call them to start believing God who says, “For by grace you are saved,” Eph 2:8, “through faith.”

How? We say, Here, do you want to take the gift?  Just trust Christ. Just put your faith, just affirm you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who lived and died for you and rose again. Do you believe that? And acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior. That’s it. And receive the forgiveness He offers.

But one final question remains, How in the world can do it and still be just?  One way, Reconciliation by the will of God, by the act of justification which involves forgiveness, by the obedience of faith.  We just call sinners to believe.  How can He do it?  How can He punish the sin in our lives at one time and make us His own children at the other?  How can He punish us without destroying us?

II Corinthians 5:21 is the answer, and it stands as the greatest verse in the Bible. Fifteen Greek words.  If you understand this verse, you understand the Gospel.  Fifteen Greek words that define the meaning of the reconciliation message.  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That’s how He did it. That’s how God did it. There is the plan. This is the secret of redemption right here. Understand this verse, He made,” is God. God is the one who did it.  It’s God’s plan, in order to make it work,  He made Him who knew no sin, who’s that?  Jesus Christ who the writer of Hebrews said is, “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.”  The sinless, spotless Lamb of God. “He made Him who knew no sin,” that’s so critical. It had to be a perfect lamb. It had to be without spot, without blemish, right? “He made Him who knew no sin.”

Here’s comes the key, the Greek says, “He made Him who knew no sin, sin.”  His sinless son in whom He said, “I am well pleased.”  His sinless son who Peter calls “the just for the unjust” was made sin.  On the cross Jesus was NOT a sinner.  He never was a sinner before.  He wasn’t a sinner then.  And He never will be.  He was as pure and holy and harmless and undefiled hanging on the cross as ever before or since.  He is not a sinner, never a sinner.  He never broke a law of God and he never failed to fulfill PERFECTLY everything God ever required or desired.  And God did not make him a sinner on the cross.

On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe.  Did you get that? God treated Him as if He committed, personally, every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though the fact is He committed none of them. That’s the great doctrine of substitution. And that’s the first side of imputation. God imputed our sins to Him. He was guilty of none of them. God treated Him as if He committed all of them. And He just unloaded His fury for all the sins of all the people who would ever believe in Him in the history of the world. He unloaded all His fury against all their sins on Christ.

To borrow the language of Leviticus 16, Jesus became the “scapegoat”. Scapegoat was guilty of nothing.  But the High Priest, as it were, laid all the sins of the people on the scapegoat and sent him away. He was without sin. But sin was credited to His account as if He had personally committed it and then God punished Him though the fact is He never committed any of it. That’s imputation.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, When Jesus came into the world why did He have to live all those years?  If I was planning the plan of redemption I’d have had Him come down on Friday, die, rise on Sunday and go back to Heaven Monday.  Why 30 years?  Why 30 silent years?

Jesus lived a full life was that He might live a complete life fully righteous. That He might live a complete life absolutely without sin, absolutely perfect, so that that perfect life could be credited to your account.  That’s the backside of imputation.  On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel. That’s substitution.

What happens in justification? God simply declares you righteous because your sin has been paid for. He treated Christ as if He’d committed all your sins and lived your life and He treats you as if you lived Christ’s life. That’s how the Father sees you now. And that happened at the moment of faith, didn’t it?  That’s the Gospel. That’s what we need to tell sinners. That’s the essence of it.

No Salvation Without Imputation And Substitution 

In faith, repentant faith, acknowledging our sin, we acknowledge Jesus died and rose again for us in simple faith. We ask Him to save us from our sins and at that moment, the payment of Christ is sufficient for all our sins and the righteousness of Christ is granted to us. And from then on God treats us as if we had lived Christ’s life. That’s why Paul in Romans says, 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation.”  Can’t be, it’s paid for. Satan shows up in Heaven and he says, “Your saint down there, they did this, and this, and this.” Jesus says, “Paid for.  Paid for.  Paid for.” The Father says, “Sorry Satan, can’t see it.  All I can see is the righteousness of Christ.”

That’s the great message of the good news. And this is what we are called to dispense. This is the word of reconciliation. All around us there is a world trapped in what is literally a burning building, and we are the dispensers of the key to get out and be saved. That’s the heart of the Gospel message.

This morning we continue what will be perhaps one of the greatest studies we have ever taken. We will look at each of Christ’s presentations of the Gospel. Each way Jesus described salvation to both His Twelve and to the world.

 

1. There is only one Gospel of eternal salvation Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before Godwalking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. ETERNAL SALVATION
2. Salvation is light, life, and peace   Luke 1:47-79  v. 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.   1:52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. v. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. v. 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, v. 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, v. 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, v. 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  v. 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.    SINNERS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD’S MERCY
3. Salvation is a person  Luke 2:30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation  SALVATION IS A PERSON
4. Jesus preached – bear fruit or be cast into the fire  Luke 3:8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.  FRUIT SHOWING REPENTANCE  Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  FRUIT OR FIRE 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
5. Salvation is hearing Christ’s voice and following him  Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”  SINS FORGIVEN BY FAITH  5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him,  “Follow Me.” HEARING VOICE AND FOLLOWING JESUS  5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  BY REPENTING SINNERS
6. Believers are engaged to Christ regenerated and indwelt Luke 5:34Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?  ENGAGED TO CHRIST 5:38  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. WITH NEW WINE INSIDE NEW BOTTLES
7. Genuine believers are Christlike, goodhearted, and Lord obeying Luke 6:35-47 v. 35  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. LOVING SONS OF MOST HIGH  v. 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. CHRISTLIKE    6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  BEARING GOOD FRUIT  6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  LORD OBEYING from cathedral in Lubeck, Germany: You call me Master, and obey me not; You call me Light, and see me not; You call me the Way, and walk me not; You call me the Life, and live me not; You call me wise, and follow me not; You call me Fair, and love me not; You call me Rich, and ask me not; You call me Eternal and seek me not. If I condemn thee, blame me not!
8. Jesus calls us to agree with God about our sin  Luke 7:29-30 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified (homologeosaid same thing as God does) God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 7:48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” FORGIVEN SINNERS   7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” BELIEVING AND PEACEFUL
9. Jesus taught a Gospel of enduring fruit bearing Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, RECIPENTS OF THE GOOD NEWS Luke 8:8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  HEARTS WITH GOOD SOIL – SEED WHICH GREW – LIVES THAT WERE FRUITFUL 8:13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  ROOTED TRUTH 8:14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. UNCHOKED RIGHTEOUSNESS 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  GOOD – HEAR – RETAIN – BEAR FRUIT
10. Salvation is desiring Jesus   Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. SALVATION EQUALS FOLLOWING CHRIST
11. True believers have been registered in heaven by God Luke 10:20-22Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,  “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Check Hebrews 12:22-24.
12. The evidence of Christ’s children is they seek: Luke 11:2-4 So He said to them,  “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven (God as father), Hallowed be Your name (worshiping Him). Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (submissive to Him) v. 3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 4  And forgive us our sins, (depending on Him)  For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (loving others).

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one (seeking holiness).

13. Jesus called for INSIDE OUTEDNESS Luke 11:28,34,39 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” 11:34  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 11:39 Then the Lord said to him,  “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. INSIDE OUT LIVING
14. You can be assured of heaven if you are: Christ CONFESSING, GOD WEALTHY, KINGDOM SEEKING, AND HEAVENLY HEARTED  Luke 12:8,21, 31, 34, 37-38 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 12:21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  RICH TOWARD GOD  12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HEAVENWARD HEARTS 12:37-38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  WATCHING and
15. Jesus describes those heading to heaven as: sin repenting, fruit bearing, gate entering, god knowing, and righteousness doing Luke 13:5-6 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. REPENTANT and FRUITFUL  13:24-27 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  WALKING NARROW ROAD – KNOWING GOD – DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS
16. Salvation is when we impossibly come to Christ Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be my disciple.  33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  COMES TO CHRIST – LOVES CHRIST – IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST – FOLLOWS CHRIST– GIVES UP ALL TO CHRIST
17. Genuine christians are sin repenting Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” REPENTING SINNERS
18. Jesus said that three evidences of salvation are: light living, God serving, and word receiving Luke 16:8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. PEOPLE OF LIGHT Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” DEVOTED TO ONLY ONE MASTER 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  RECEPTIVE TO GOD’S WORD
19. A true believer realizes they are mercy needing Luke 18:13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ SEEKING GOD’S MERCY
20. A true believer realizes they are helplessly coming Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” HELPLESS CHILDLIKE RECEPTION
21. A true believer is lost-knowing and God-obeying Luke 18:19-27 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.”  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  KNOWING YOU ARE LOST-KNOWING GOD IS BOSS
22. A true believer realizes they are found by Christ  Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” FOUND BY CHRIST
23. A true believer is repentant and forgiven Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. REPENTANT AND FORGIVEN

 

[1] Adapted and quoted from the transcript of a message preached by John MacArthur at Tulsa Bible Church 1999.

 
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