Expert Evidence of Salvation
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: Ephesians 5:15-16
Date: Part 1 Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 7pm (Intro and Mark 1)
Part 2 Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 7pm (Marks 2-4)
Part 3 Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 7pm (Mark 5)
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Introduction: Open your Bible to 1 John 3.
Mark 1: A True Christian Delights in the Intimate Fellowship of the Lord
Mark 2: A True Christian is Sensitive to Sin
Mark 3: A True Christian Practices Righteousness
Mark 4: A True Christian Will Not Live for This Present Evil World
Mark 5: A True Christian Eagerly Awaits Christ’s Return
Look at 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
[Prayer for Guidance]
If you are a true believer, you are going to have a great amount of hope in your heart. You are not living for this present world. We can see that the whole attitude of this world is here and now. We hear things like:
- “Save the planet”
- “Live your best life now”
- “Live a longer and healthier life”
There are diet crazes and health crazes. Of course we want to be good stewards of our body, but there is almost a worship of health today. Why is that? Because people are afraid to die.
The Christian on the other hand lives for Christ’s kingdom! We are laying up treasure in heaven. John says that true believers are not obsessed with the lust of the flesh (pleasures), the lust of the eyes (possessions) and the pride of life (popularity) (1 John 2:15-17), but instead their hope, the thing they are looking forward to more than anything is the Second Coming of Christ!
Do you eagerly await Christ’s Second Coming?
I. Christ’s second coming gives us cause for Rejoicing.
A. Our present Hope. 1 John 3:2a: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God”. What an infinite blessing! We are the children of God. We deserve to be forsaken, but God has not forsaken us. He has made us His own dear children. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. “The meek shall inherit the earth”. Christ died for us! All our sins are forgiven! We are presently justified before the God of the universe. Christ is pleading our case. He is our Advocate. Sing with me if you will…
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
a great High Priest whose name is Love,
who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
my name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heav’n he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
1 John 3:2a: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God”! But it get’s better! We not only have a present hope! We have a future reality!
B. Our future Reality. 1 John 3:2b: “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.
We shall be like Jesus! Our neighbors are looking for the next great thing in fashion, or among the celebrities, or the movies, or games, or technology, or the next great job opportunity. Christians are concerned about living life for the glory of God, but our great focus is the return of Christ. That hope will purify you. You will see Him face to face. We are very soon going to see Jesus.
I want to give you reasons to rejoice at the coming of Jesus Christ.
At Christ’s coming…
(1.) You will not only meet Jesus, you’ll meet all the saints of old and precious family that have passed on before you.
(2.) You will never sin again.
(3.) You will never have another bad day for all of eternity.
(4.) You will never go to another funeral. Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
(5.) You will never feel pain again, or have another surgery or need another doctor, or take another pill, or wonder about what part of your body is going to go out next. There is coming a day when the Lord “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). God will bring us finally into His presence, and He shall be our God and we shall be His people (Revelation 21:3).
1 John 3:2b: “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.
C. Now we all have apprehensions.
Paul spoke of apprehensions of leaving this world. Consider his words in Philippians 1:21-25, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”
Like Paul, we too have apprehensions.
(1.) We want to see more people saved. –Our friends, our loved ones, our children
(2.) We want to bear more fruit for Christ.
II. Christ’s second coming gives us a need for Readiness. 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
A. John is clear that the knowledge of Christ’s coming out to make us get ready for eternity!
A.W. Tozer commented on his day and age when people were so curious about end time events. He spoke of a danger with so much curiosity and not very much readiness for Christ’s coming.
Are you ready for the appearing of Jesus Christ or are you among those who are merely curious about His coming?
Let me warn you that many preachers and Bible teachers will answer to God some day for encouraging curious speculations about the return of Christ and failing to stress the necessity for “loving His appearing”!
Peter says the exact same thing as John in 2 Peter. Please turn over there. In the early church they called the book of 2 Peter “The Apocalypse of Peter”. We normally think of the Apocalypse as John’s book of Revelation. In the last fifty years, it seems pastors have been more concerned about charts and diagrams and figuring the end out. This was not the intention of God in giving us the doctrine of Christ’s coming.
B. Peter’s Apocalypse is very clear about the need for readiness.
God gave us this revelation so that we would do three things:
1. Not hang on to the things of this world,
2. Live holy and pure lives, knowing that soon we will see God face to face.
2 Peter 3:3-14, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 ¶ But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
We need to be ready, living holy lives.
C. We see the same pattern of rejoicing and readiness in 1 Peter. Turn over there.
(1.) First we see rejoicing for the salvation of our souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 ¶ Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
(2.) Then we see the need for readying our souls for Christ’s coming.
1 Peter 1:13-14, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance".
The glorious appearing of Jesus Christ has a powerful effect on our lives. Look over at Titus 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”.
We cannot be slack. We must not make excuses. We must lead by example. There is a world to be won before Christ comes again. We must be diligent in our own holiness. We will give an account.
Application: Being so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good is a contradiction in terms. The hope of Christlikeness will compel you to act more like Christ in reaching out to others and fulfilling all that God has set out for you to do.
III. Finally, Christ’s second coming gives us the anticipation of Reward.
2 Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
The greatest wonder of the coming of Christ is that we shall receive the crown of righteousness. We shall be as righteous and Christ is righteous. Our sins are drown in the depth of the deepest sea. Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us”.
We ought to love His appearing because at that moment of His coming, He will create a new heaven and earth! Sin shall be no more!
Let us close by singing the greatest song about the second coming ever written:
194 JOY TO THE WORLD
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
 A.W. Tozer. I Call It Heresy (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1991), 166.