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Are you a Christian? - Tim Conway

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    ...Christian assurance.
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    And I want to because it seems like
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    I've just been getting
    a number of questions
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    asked about it lately.
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    I've been receiving emails.
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    And I guess that's what I want
    to talk about tonight.
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    Assurance.
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    What do we mean when we say that?
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    Christian context - what
    do we mean by that?
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    Assurance.
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    (from the room)
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    Assurance of salvation?
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    Tim: Right.
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    What do we mean?
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    That we can be sure of it.
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    That we can be sure that we're saved.
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    Anybody say it a different way?
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    Know with confidence
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    that we're saved.
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    Anybody say it another way?
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    It's confirmed.
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    There's confidence.
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    There's surety.
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    Evidence - we might say that.
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    Evidence.
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    Assurance has to do with the confidence;
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    a certainty.
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    Ok.
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    I can tell you this.
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    I've told you folks this before,
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    but I remember when I was first converted.
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    I went to a church:
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    Calvary Bible Church
    in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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    And in fact, when I was back up there,
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    Ruby and I and the children,
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    we went back and we visited
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    in Kalamazoo, MI.
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    We went to church back there
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    at Calvary in August.
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    When I was first converted
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    and I was in that church,
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    typically at the end of the sermon,
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    they had a sound booth
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    positioned right in the middle
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    of this auditorium.
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    It seated about 1,200 people,
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    had a balcony,
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    a lot of people.
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    They would have a guy in the sound room.
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    And right at the end,
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    you know, he would work this thing up
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    and he would get people where
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    he'd try to get the emotions moving,
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    and the guy would have the sound dial
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    (probably more linear).
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    He would start moving that thing up.
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    So you would have this
    very enchanting music
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    begin to come in.
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    And he would say,
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    "Just believe. Just believe."
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    And I can remember at those times
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    I would have my eyes wide open.
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    I know I've told this story before.
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    I'd have my eyes wide open
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    and I'd be looking around
    at all those people.
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    And of course, I was a product.
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    I was saved in 1990.
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    John MacArthur came out with his book:
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    "The Gospel According to Jesus."
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    I think it was released publicly in '88.
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    So that book was kind of at its prime.
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    He was writing the Gospel
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    according to Jesus as he saw it
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    coming out of the Gospels.
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    God used that book to save me.
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    That book was largely about
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    the necessity of repentance
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    in being converted.
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    It was about the whole
    Lordship controversy.
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    And of course, there were a lot of people
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    writing against him
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    that were denying
    the necessity of repentance.
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    Denying that you had to bow the knee
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    to Jesus Christ.
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    They were saying that was adding
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    something to salvation.
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    So here I am,
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    saved right in the heart
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    of that controversy
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    through the materials of John MacArthur.
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    So you know where my bias was.
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    And you can imagine what I was convinced
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    was the truth.
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    And I was convinced of that
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    not just MacArthur said it
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    but because when I went to the Bible,
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    I saw it there.
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    And so now when this guy is up here
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    saying, "just believe, just
    believe, just believe,"
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    and I'm going to the Sunday school class -
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    the singles Sunday school class
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    in that church,
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    and I got this girl over here
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    coming to me and talking to me
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    telling me she's sleeping
    with her boyfriend.
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    And that guy over there,
    I'm talking to him,
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    and he says he's got a drinking problem.
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    I'm thinking, well, what?
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    You got saved and now once in a while
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    you go back?
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    The guy's getting drunk every day.
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    I got another guy over here,
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    he invites me to his bachelor party.
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    And I'm thinking, wow, this is great.
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    Now it's not going to be like
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    the ones I knew when I was lost.
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    We're going to go over there,
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    probably exhort the guy
    from the Scriptures.
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    We pull in his yard.
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    There's a keg.
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    And I'm thinking,
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    something is wrong here.
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    I joined the softball team.
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    There's a guy on the team.
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    His mouth is so filthy and so foul.
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    And I said something
    to the coach.
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    Isn't that guy supposed
    to be a Christian?
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    "Well, he's a Christian.
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    He just fell in with a bad crowd."
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    And I got looking at all that
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    and I thought something is wrong here.
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    They asked me to write an
    article for the paper.
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    I wrote it about the nature
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    of biblical repentance.
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    They shot it down
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    and would not publish it.
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    Well, now here's this guy in this pulpit
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    every week saying,
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    "Just believe, just
    believe, just believe."
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    And I wanted to stand up and shout,
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    (and I almost did)...
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    If the Spirit of God had moved upon me
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    a little bit more, I probably would have.
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    But I wanted to shout,
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    "No! It's repent and believe!"
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    Well, that's basically where
    my beginnings were.
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    And so, I have been adamant
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    about Lordship.
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    I mean, here I was in the tensions
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    when I was under conviction.
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    What does it profit a man
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    if he gains the whole world
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    and loses his own soul?
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    What's Christ saying there?
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    He's saying unless a man forsakes
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    the whole world,
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    he will lose his own soul.
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    That's what that means.
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    That's the tension I was in.
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    I mean, I've told some of you before,
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    I had "The Gospel According to Jesus"
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    and I had the forty ouncer,
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    and I'm telling you, I was trying to run.
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    I was being drawn,
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    but at the same time
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    I was trying to run.
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    "God, leave me alone!"
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    If you'll just let me enjoy my sin
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    like I used to,
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    I'll get rid of this book.
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    I'll go back.
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    Just let me...
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    But there's this tension,
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    this pulling.
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    And I knew it.
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    It was like in one ear
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    I could hear the devil saying to me,
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    "You can't give up your life.
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    You can't give up that lifestyle.
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    You can't give up those friends.
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    You can't give those things up.
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    All your idols.
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    That's who you are.
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    That's what you're known for.
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    That's your reputation.
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    You don't want to live
    without that reputation."
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    And I would think,
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    yeah, you're right.
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    And then I would hear that Word:
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    What will it profit you if you gain
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    all that reputation
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    and all those idols
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    and all those things
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    and lose your own soul?
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    And so this battle back and forth...
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    I was birthed into the
    Kingdom through that.
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    I knew Christ would forgive me
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    if I came to Him.
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    I knew there was rest there.
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    But I knew what He was
    going to require of me.
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    And when I finally let go,
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    and said, "Lord, help me."
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    He saved me in a moment.
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    Here's what it seems like happened.
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    You had everybody talking about
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    the carnal Christian heresy.
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    What's the carnal Christian heresy?
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    Well, basically, it goes right along
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    with this whole deal.
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    What is it?
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    Well, it's basically saying this:
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    That there were guys that were
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    actually even responding to MacArthur -
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    you know some of the names.
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    They're out there.
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    Most of them came from
    Dallas Theological Seminary.
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    They wrote books against MacArthur.
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    Back and forth.
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    They were saying things like this:
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    You could actually at one
    point in time believe,
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    and because you made that
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    one-time decision, you could actually
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    fall into all sorts of notorious sins.
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    You could even actually fall
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    eventually into atheism.
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    And I remember MacArthur saying
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    these guys are advocating you can become
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    an unbelieving believer.
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    And he's like what is that?
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    Exactly.
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    What is that?
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    What in the world is that?
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    And so what happens is
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    trying to put away these errors;
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    trying to put away this idea
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    that you can be a Christian
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    and live any way you want,
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    which is basically a denial
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    of regeneration.
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    That's basically what it is.
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    Because God says if He saves you,
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    He's going to give you a new heart.
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    God says if He saves you,
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    He's going to put His Spirit within you.
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    God says if He saves you,
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    He's going to write that
    law on your heart.
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    That's what it says.
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    The Scripture says if by the Spirit
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    you don't put to death
    the deeds of the body,
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    you're going to die.
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    This is a life and death thing.
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    Jesus Christ comes along and He says
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    it's not anybody and everybody
    that says to Me, "Lord, Lord,"
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    that's going to inherit
    the Kingdom of Heaven.
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    He says it's the ones
    that do the will
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    of My Father in Heaven.
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    Basically, if there is not such
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    a radical transformation in your life
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    that old things pass away,
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    all things become new,
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    and you're a new creation in Christ,
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    keeping the will of the Father,
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    if that's not true about you,
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    you haven't been born again.
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    I mean, that is where
    repentance flows from.
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    Repentance flows from
    a renewed man or woman.
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    It flows from one who is born again;
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    radically transformed by God -
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    by the power of God.
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    And we have undoubtedly in our church
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    and folks like you that gather here
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    for the Bible study,
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    you have embraced these things.
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    I think most of you have.
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    You like these things.
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    But I'll tell you,
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    what I think is happening -
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    now listen to me,
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    Satan is cunning.
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    Oh, he is cunning.
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    There is a text - now listen to this.
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    Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 11:3.
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    I'm going to read the ESV.
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    And then I'm going to
    read the New King James.
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    2 Corinthians 11:3.
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    By the way, the NAS, the old King James
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    are virtually the same; pretty close
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    to the New King James.
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    So you'll get the flavor there.
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    Listen to the ESV first.
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    "I am afraid that as the serpent
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    (there's the devil)
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    as the serpent deceived Eve
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    by his cunning,
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    your thoughts be led astray
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    from a sincere and pure
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    devotion to Christ."
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    Now the New King James:
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    "I fear lest somehow as the serpent
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    deceived Eve by his craftiness,
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    so your minds may be corrupted
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    from the simplicity that is in Christ."
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    The reason I wanted to use that one;
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    the NAS, the New King James,
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    the old King James,
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    they all use that word: simplicity.
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    Listen.
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    There is a simplicity in Christ.
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    What is the craftiness
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    that Paul's worried about?
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    The cunning of the devil?
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    It is to move us away from Christ.
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    And I'll tell you this,
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    if all of a sudden,
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    the movement in the church
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    is to reintroduce and
    reemphasize repentance,
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    guess what his craftiness will be?
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    Guess where the danger is?
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    He would gladly have us to believe
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    you can be a Christian and live like hell.
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    But ok, if they're not going to buy that,
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    if they're going to move back to Lordship
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    and there's going to be a resurgence
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    of repentance,
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    then let's do this:
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    let's get them so focused on repentance;
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    let's get them so focused on themselves
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    bending the knee to Christ
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    and what that looks like
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    that they're no longer setting their eyes
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    simply on Christ.
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    You see, there is a simplicity
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    in the Gospel.
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    And there is a simplicity in what it is
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    coming to Christ in the beginning.
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    And there is a simplicity of where
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    our strength as a Christian comes from
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    in the Christian life;
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    in Christ.
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    And Satan will seek to divert us away
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    in his craftiness all the time.
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    Oh, let us go back to repentance.
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    But if he's going to have us go back there
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    then he would have us
    look away from Christ
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    in the midst of our repentance.
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    Now, you say, wait a second,
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    I thought you were going to speak
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    on assurance.
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    Oh yeah.
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    Think with me here.
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    You know what?
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    Satan - basically his strategies:
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    keep the lost lost.
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    If somebody is saved,
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    keep them powerless.
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    And you know what?
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    You keep the lost lost
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    when you keep them blind to Christ,
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    and you keep the saved powerless
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    when you keep their eyes off of Christ.
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    How does that relate to assurance?
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    Folks, let me ask you this:
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    Have any of you ever asked a Catholic
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    if they know they're going to heaven?
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    I have.
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    And you know what?
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    Now you may prove me wrong on this,
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    and somebody watching is going to say,
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    "Wait a second! I'm a Catholic
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    and I wouldn't answer that way."
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    And you know what?
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    That may be.
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    You may find exceptions.
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    But I can tell you this,
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    I've talked to many Catholics
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    and I've asked them this question.
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    And I have never found one answer
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    to the contrary.
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    Do you know you're going to heaven?
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    Do you know what they say?
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    Have you ever asked one?
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    What do they say?
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    I hope so.
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    I've gotten that answer
  • 15:31 - 15:32
    from almost everyone.
  • 15:32 - 15:34
    If not exactly that answer,
  • 15:34 - 15:38
    something that's basically comparable
  • 15:38 - 15:39
    to that answer.
  • 15:39 - 15:41
    I hope so.
  • 15:41 - 15:43
    You know where that comes from?
  • 15:43 - 15:44
    That comes from the top.
  • 15:44 - 15:46
    What do I mean by that?
  • 15:46 - 15:51
    Have you ever heard of
    the Council of Trent?
  • 15:51 - 15:53
    Basically, many of the Catholic dogmas
  • 15:53 - 15:56
    were asserted or reasserted
  • 15:56 - 15:58
    in that council.
  • 15:58 - 15:59
    Let me tell you this,
  • 15:59 - 16:01
    Council of Trent;
  • 16:01 - 16:06
    16th Canon, 6th Session, says this:
  • 16:06 - 16:08
    Now listen to this very carefully:
  • 16:08 - 16:16
    "If anyone saith that he will for certain
  • 16:16 - 16:20
    of an absolute and infallible certainty
  • 16:20 - 16:23
    have the great gift of perseverance
  • 16:23 - 16:26
    unto the end,
  • 16:26 - 16:29
    unless he have learned this
  • 16:29 - 16:32
    by special revelation,
  • 16:32 - 16:34
    let him be anathema."
  • 16:34 - 16:36
    In other words,
  • 16:36 - 16:38
    if you say that you have confidence
  • 16:38 - 16:41
    and assurance of salvation
  • 16:41 - 16:44
    in the end of this life,
  • 16:44 - 16:47
    they say we pronounce our curse
  • 16:47 - 16:51
    of damnation on you.
  • 16:51 - 16:52
    That's what they say.
  • 16:52 - 16:53
    Now, isn't it interesting,
  • 16:53 - 16:56
    they give that exception,
  • 16:56 - 16:59
    "unless he have learned this
  • 16:59 - 17:01
    by special revelation."
  • 17:01 - 17:05
    Why do you think they added that?
  • 17:05 - 17:07
    I'll tell you why they added it,
  • 17:07 - 17:09
    because it helps them explain
  • 17:09 - 17:12
    somebody like Paul.
  • 17:12 - 17:14
    Because if they can't explain
  • 17:14 - 17:16
    some of the things Paul says about himself
  • 17:16 - 17:20
    they're in real trouble.
  • 17:20 - 17:22
    Like what does Paul say?
  • 17:22 - 17:24
    "I am not ashamed..."
  • 17:24 - 17:26
    2 Timothy 1:12
  • 17:26 - 17:28
    "...for I know Whom I have believed
  • 17:28 - 17:31
    and I am convinced (or persuaded)
  • 17:31 - 17:34
    that He is able to guard until that day
  • 17:34 - 17:36
    what has been entrusted to me."
  • 17:36 - 17:37
    Galatians 2:20
  • 17:37 - 17:40
    "I have been crucified with Christ.
  • 17:40 - 17:42
    It is no longer I who live,
  • 17:42 - 17:43
    but Christ Who lives in me,
  • 17:43 - 17:45
    and the life I now live in the flesh,
  • 17:45 - 17:47
    I live by faith in the Son of God
  • 17:47 - 17:51
    Who loved me and gave Himself for me."
  • 17:51 - 17:54
    There is no doubt in that man...
  • 17:54 - 17:56
    that man has assurance.
  • 17:56 - 17:58
    Does he not?
  • 17:58 - 18:00
    Ok, what is assurance?
  • 18:00 - 18:01
    You want to define assurance?
  • 18:01 - 18:03
    It's that right there.
  • 18:03 - 18:05
    I know Whom I've believed.
  • 18:05 - 18:07
    I am persuaded He is able
  • 18:07 - 18:10
    to keep that which I've committed to Him
  • 18:10 - 18:12
    against that day.
  • 18:12 - 18:13
    I know it. I believe it.
  • 18:13 - 18:15
    I'm persuaded.
  • 18:15 - 18:18
    I know that the Christ Himself loved me
  • 18:18 - 18:21
    and I know He gave Himself for me.
  • 18:21 - 18:25
    Listen folks, that's assurance.
  • 18:25 - 18:27
    That's assurance.
  • 18:27 - 18:31
    The Catholics basically say you're cursed
  • 18:31 - 18:34
    if you say that you can know
  • 18:34 - 18:37
    that you're going to have eternal life
  • 18:37 - 18:38
    in the end of this
  • 18:38 - 18:40
    with the assurance that Paul has,
  • 18:40 - 18:43
    unless you've had special revelation.
  • 18:43 - 18:44
    And they would basically say
  • 18:44 - 18:46
    yes, Paul has it,
  • 18:46 - 18:50
    and yes, maybe certain select saints -
  • 18:50 - 18:53
    super Christians have been given
  • 18:53 - 18:57
    special revelation.
  • 18:57 - 19:02
    Listen to this text.
  • 19:02 - 19:05
    1 John 5:13
  • 19:05 - 19:07
    The Apostle John says
  • 19:07 - 19:09
    after he gets done writing
  • 19:09 - 19:13
    the first epistle.
  • 19:13 - 19:17
    "I write these things
    to you who believe..."
  • 19:17 - 19:21
    Not just to those who
    have special revelation.
  • 19:21 - 19:27
    To every single person who believes.
  • 19:27 - 19:31
    "I write these things to you who believe
  • 19:31 - 19:34
    in the name of the Son of God
  • 19:34 - 19:36
    that you may know
  • 19:36 - 19:40
    that you have eternal life."
  • 19:40 - 19:43
    Oh, my brothers and sisters,
  • 19:43 - 19:46
    God wants us to know we have eternal life.
  • 19:46 - 19:48
    He's not playing some game with us
  • 19:48 - 19:51
    where He dangles a carrot before our eyes
  • 19:51 - 19:53
    and says, I never want you to be sure
  • 19:53 - 19:56
    that you have it.
  • 19:56 - 20:02
    Brethren, the very Spirit He gave us
  • 20:02 - 20:05
    is a Spirit of adoption
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    by which we cry,
  • 20:08 - 20:10
    "Abba, Father."
  • 20:10 - 20:14
    The Spirit speaks to us
  • 20:14 - 20:17
    in ways that resonate within us
  • 20:17 - 20:19
    that we're children of God.
  • 20:19 - 20:21
    What does John say?
  • 20:21 - 20:25
    "Behold what manner of love
  • 20:25 - 20:28
    the Father hath bestowed upon us
  • 20:28 - 20:31
    that we should be called
    the children of God."
  • 20:31 - 20:33
    Does he say, oh, He wants us to doubt?
  • 20:33 - 20:34
    He wants us to fret?
  • 20:34 - 20:36
    He wants us to worry?
  • 20:36 - 20:37
    He wants us filled with anxiety?
  • 20:37 - 20:41
    He wants us filled with uncertainty?
  • 20:41 - 20:44
    Brethren, He doesn't want that.
  • 20:44 - 20:47
    Why?
  • 20:47 - 20:49
    Listen.
  • 20:49 - 20:55
    When you lack assurance,
  • 20:55 - 20:58
    what are you doing?
  • 20:58 - 21:02
    (Unintelligible)
  • 21:02 - 21:09
    But if you lack assurance...
  • 21:09 - 21:13
    Look, if we said we lacked faith,
  • 21:13 - 21:17
    I would say you're right on.
  • 21:17 - 21:20
    Lacking faith - faith and assurance
  • 21:20 - 21:24
    are not exactly the same.
  • 21:24 - 21:27
    Because you can have saving faith
  • 21:27 - 21:28
    and lack assurance.
  • 21:28 - 21:30
    You all agree with that right?
  • 21:30 - 21:34
    I mean a person can truly be converted
  • 21:34 - 21:37
    and wrestle with whether or not
  • 21:37 - 21:39
    he's truly saved.
  • 21:39 - 21:41
    So they're not exactly the same.
  • 21:41 - 21:45
    Faith is believing what God has said.
  • 21:45 - 21:47
    It's believing His character.
  • 21:47 - 21:50
    It's believing His promises.
  • 21:50 - 21:57
    Assurance is that confidence
  • 21:57 - 21:59
    that I truly belong to God.
  • 21:59 - 22:00
    I'm truly saved.
  • 22:00 - 22:04
    I'm truly going to receive eternal life
  • 22:04 - 22:05
    at the end of this.
  • 22:05 - 22:08
    And those are two different things.
  • 22:08 - 22:11
    So if I'm lacking assurance,
  • 22:11 - 22:13
    what am I doing?
  • 22:13 - 22:15
    Now look, a lost person can
  • 22:15 - 22:16
    lack assurance.
  • 22:16 - 22:19
    And a saved person can lack assurance.
  • 22:19 - 22:21
    So think with me here,
  • 22:21 - 22:23
    what is it that whether you're saved
  • 22:23 - 22:28
    or lost if you lack assurance,
  • 22:28 - 22:30
    what are you doing?
  • 22:30 - 22:32
    Totally separate from whether you have
  • 22:32 - 22:33
    saving faith or not.
  • 22:33 - 22:37
    What are you doing when
    you lack assurance?
  • 22:37 - 22:39
    What is that?
  • 22:39 - 22:41
    (unintelligible)
  • 22:41 - 22:45
    But what is it you're
    thinking about yourself?
  • 22:45 - 22:49
    (unintelligible)
  • 22:49 - 22:52
    Well, not so much that necessarily.
  • 22:52 - 22:54
    (from the room): Am I going to heaven?
  • 22:54 - 22:55
    Tim: Exactly.
  • 22:55 - 22:57
    You're in a quandary.
  • 22:57 - 22:59
    I'm not positive I'm going to heaven.
  • 22:59 - 23:01
    Right? Isn't that what
    lacking assurance is?
  • 23:01 - 23:04
    I'm not positive that I'm saved.
  • 23:04 - 23:07
    I'm not positive that I've actually had
  • 23:07 - 23:08
    saving faith.
  • 23:08 - 23:10
    I'm not positive if I'm
    going to go to heaven.
  • 23:10 - 23:13
    I'm not positive if I'm
    going to go to hell.
  • 23:13 - 23:16
    I'm not positive if I'm one
    of God's children or not.
  • 23:16 - 23:17
    I'm not positive.
  • 23:17 - 23:18
    I don't have confidence.
  • 23:18 - 23:20
    That's what it is to lack assurance.
  • 23:20 - 23:22
    And to have assurance is to say,
  • 23:22 - 23:25
    yes, I know that I'm one of His.
  • 23:25 - 23:26
    Paul had that assurance.
  • 23:26 - 23:28
    I know Whom I've believed.
  • 23:28 - 23:29
    I'm confident.
  • 23:29 - 23:30
    I know He died for me.
  • 23:30 - 23:32
    I know He loved me.
  • 23:32 - 23:35
    Now listen, assurance, like I said
  • 23:35 - 23:36
    is not faith.
  • 23:36 - 23:41
    A person can have great assurance.
  • 23:41 - 23:45
    These folks in Matthew
    7 seem quite certain.
  • 23:45 - 23:48
    "Lord, Lord..." We were there.
  • 23:48 - 23:49
    Many mighty works.
  • 23:49 - 23:51
    Remember all those?
  • 23:51 - 23:52
    Remember the demons we cast out?
  • 23:52 - 23:55
    Remember us prophesying?
  • 23:55 - 23:56
    And they were pretty confident.
  • 23:56 - 23:58
    Look, you can have assurance
  • 23:58 - 24:00
    and not be saved.
  • 24:00 - 24:02
    There are a lot of people, Christ says,
  • 24:02 - 24:08
    many in that day are going to say to Me...
  • 24:08 - 24:10
    You see the second soil type
  • 24:10 - 24:11
    in the parable of the soils.
  • 24:11 - 24:13
    They receive the Word gladly.
  • 24:13 - 24:14
    There's a time there,
  • 24:14 - 24:16
    they're thinking they're in.
  • 24:16 - 24:17
    They're pretty confident people.
  • 24:17 - 24:20
    They receive these things.
  • 24:20 - 24:22
    There's a confidence there.
  • 24:22 - 24:25
    Trials come and they fall away.
  • 24:25 - 24:30
    But we're speaking about assurance.
  • 24:30 - 24:33
    And of course, I'm wanting us
  • 24:33 - 24:36
    to give consideration to the Christian
  • 24:36 - 24:38
    and assurance.
  • 24:38 - 24:39
    (Incomplete thought)
  • 24:39 - 24:41
    What are some big indicators
  • 24:41 - 24:43
    that a person - even if they have
  • 24:43 - 24:44
    tremendous confidence,
  • 24:44 - 24:47
    that they're a Christian?
  • 24:47 - 24:51
    What are some big
    indicators that they're not?
  • 24:51 - 24:54
    They don't desire the Word of God.
  • 24:54 - 24:56
    Fruits.
  • 24:56 - 24:58
    They don't pray.
  • 24:58 - 24:59
    Again, all these things. Fruits.
  • 24:59 - 25:01
    These have to do maybe
  • 25:01 - 25:02
    with the fruits of repentance.
  • 25:02 - 25:04
    Maybe with the fruits of regeneration.
  • 25:04 - 25:06
    And see, we're coming back now,
  • 25:06 - 25:09
    to where I really wanted to go.
  • 25:09 - 25:13
    Folks, let me tell you something.
  • 25:13 - 25:17
    My fear that there's a danger -
  • 25:17 - 25:18
    there's always a danger
  • 25:18 - 25:20
    with everything,
  • 25:20 - 25:24
    and it's missing the simplicity of Christ.
  • 25:24 - 25:27
    The danger is forgetting Christ.
  • 25:27 - 25:29
    Listen.
  • 25:29 - 25:31
    Think with me here.
  • 25:31 - 25:34
    That as we stress and we stress,
  • 25:34 - 25:36
    and I'm hearing some of you do this,
  • 25:36 - 25:37
    I'm hearing this happen.
  • 25:37 - 25:39
    I'm hearing it in the church.
  • 25:39 - 25:41
    I hear it in this Bible study.
  • 25:41 - 25:43
    I hear you folks when you tell me
  • 25:43 - 25:44
    what you're telling people,
  • 25:44 - 25:46
    when you're out on the streets,
  • 25:46 - 25:47
    and listen, I'm not saying
  • 25:47 - 25:49
    that what you're saying is wrong
  • 25:49 - 25:51
    about repentance and about looking
  • 25:51 - 25:52
    for the fruits;
  • 25:52 - 25:54
    obviously, they're there.
  • 25:54 - 25:58
    Obviously, the great evidences
  • 25:58 - 26:00
    of regeneration need to be true
  • 26:00 - 26:01
    in our lives.
  • 26:01 - 26:03
    But let me tell you this.
  • 26:03 - 26:05
    Why is it that the Catholic
  • 26:05 - 26:09
    doesn't have confidence?
  • 26:09 - 26:11
    Why?
  • 26:11 - 26:13
    I mean, yes, they said
    it in the Council of Trent,
  • 26:13 - 26:19
    but practically, why
    do they lack confidence?
  • 26:19 - 26:22
    (unintelligible)
  • 26:22 - 26:24
    They're trusting their works.
  • 26:24 - 26:28
    And what's wrong when
    you trust your works?
  • 26:28 - 26:32
    (unintelligible)
  • 26:32 - 26:34
    You never know if you've done enough.
  • 26:34 - 26:35
    That's the problem.
  • 26:35 - 26:37
    The problem with works is
  • 26:37 - 26:39
    you never know when you've done enough.
  • 26:39 - 26:40
    If you've ever been part of a religion
  • 26:40 - 26:44
    that is based on works,
  • 26:44 - 26:46
    you never know when you've done enough.
  • 26:46 - 26:49
    And so if you're always
    looking at your works,
  • 26:49 - 26:50
    you're always looking at yourself.
  • 26:50 - 26:52
    And the problem with looking at yourself
  • 26:52 - 26:55
    is your self is bad.
  • 26:55 - 26:56
    You are bad.
  • 26:56 - 26:58
    By nature, you are bad.
  • 26:58 - 27:00
    By nature, you are full of imperfection.
  • 27:00 - 27:03
    By nature, you fall short
    of the glory of God.
  • 27:03 - 27:05
    (Incomplete thought)
  • 27:05 - 27:06
    And you know what?
  • 27:06 - 27:08
    Even whatever religion it is
  • 27:08 - 27:10
    and no matter whatever code they stick up,
  • 27:10 - 27:12
    nobody ever keeps the code
  • 27:12 - 27:13
    of any religion.
  • 27:13 - 27:15
    They always have a standard
  • 27:15 - 27:16
    that even when they bring it down;
  • 27:16 - 27:19
    even when they back off God's Word,
  • 27:19 - 27:21
    nobody ever keeps any of the standards
  • 27:21 - 27:23
    of any of their religions.
  • 27:23 - 27:27
    And so whenever they look at themselves,
  • 27:27 - 27:29
    they are always shaken.
  • 27:29 - 27:31
    They don't know.
  • 27:31 - 27:35
    They don't have confidence
  • 27:35 - 27:38
    because they're always
    looking at themselves.
  • 27:38 - 27:41
    You know why they don't have confidence?
  • 27:41 - 27:45
    Because they can't say,
  • 27:45 - 27:49
    Jesus Christ perfectly kept the law
  • 27:49 - 27:51
    in my spot.
  • 27:51 - 27:54
    And my acceptance with the living God
  • 27:54 - 27:57
    is not based on my performance.
  • 27:57 - 27:59
    He did it!
  • 27:59 - 28:01
    And you see, as soon as faith
  • 28:01 - 28:02
    turns away from self
  • 28:02 - 28:03
    and our works,
  • 28:03 - 28:05
    you know what happens?
  • 28:05 - 28:06
    Folks, there's a lot of attention;
  • 28:06 - 28:08
    a lot of emphasis being given
  • 28:08 - 28:11
    with regards to repentance.
  • 28:11 - 28:13
    (incomplete thought)
  • 28:13 - 28:17
    Listen, we've got a lot of people saying;
  • 28:17 - 28:19
    well, let me just tell you what
  • 28:19 - 28:21
    some people are saying.
  • 28:21 - 28:26
    Let me tell you some
    emails that I've received.
  • 28:26 - 28:27
    Here's an email.
  • 28:27 - 28:29
    I'm going to read two emails to you
  • 28:29 - 28:33
    that I've just received
    in the last week or so.
  • 28:33 - 28:34
    First guy says -
  • 28:34 - 28:36
    and these are shortened versions
  • 28:36 - 28:38
    of actually what I got.
  • 28:38 - 28:38
    First guy says,
  • 28:38 - 28:41
    "I have to confess
  • 28:41 - 28:43
    that I am not so sure
  • 28:43 - 28:44
    I've been genuinely converted.
  • 28:44 - 28:45
    I'm so confused,
  • 28:45 - 28:48
    and I honestly do not have assurance
  • 28:48 - 28:49
    of salvation.
  • 28:49 - 28:51
    Every day is miserable for me.
  • 28:51 - 28:53
    I have no peace,
  • 28:53 - 28:55
    joy,
  • 28:55 - 28:56
    or love.
  • 28:56 - 28:58
    Let me tell you why I'm so confused
  • 28:58 - 29:00
    about my salvation.
  • 29:00 - 29:03
    In the past,
  • 29:03 - 29:05
    I've been more devoted to reading the Word
  • 29:05 - 29:08
    and I truly loved it.
  • 29:08 - 29:11
    I had a prayer life.
  • 29:11 - 29:13
    I felt clean and free.
  • 29:13 - 29:15
    And I knew I was born again.
  • 29:15 - 29:17
    But I've compromised in many ways.
  • 29:17 - 29:19
    If you knew who I used to be,
  • 29:19 - 29:21
    you would say without any doubt
  • 29:21 - 29:22
    that I had a radical change
  • 29:22 - 29:24
    that had occurred in my life.
  • 29:24 - 29:26
    I know I've changed,
  • 29:26 - 29:29
    but now I'm unsure I'm truly saved.
  • 29:29 - 29:30
    I want to be free.
  • 29:30 - 29:32
    I want to have peace with God.
  • 29:32 - 29:34
    I want to rejoice in what
    God has done for me
  • 29:34 - 29:35
    through Jesus Christ.
  • 29:35 - 29:36
    I want to shout for joy.
  • 29:36 - 29:39
    I want to be a bold witness for Christ.
  • 29:39 - 29:41
    I can't.
  • 29:41 - 29:44
    Oh, I've wrestled with God in prayer.
  • 29:44 - 29:46
    I've begged Him to help me.
  • 29:46 - 29:48
    To set me free.
  • 29:48 - 29:51
    To give me assurance.
  • 29:51 - 29:54
    But I still can't say with joy I'm saved.
  • 29:54 - 29:56
    I want to so badly.
  • 29:56 - 29:58
    If I do say that, I feel like a hypocrite
  • 29:58 - 29:59
    and a liar.
  • 29:59 - 30:00
    I think I've grieved the Holy Spirit.
  • 30:00 - 30:03
    And His manifest presence is no longer
  • 30:03 - 30:04
    in my life."
  • 30:04 - 30:05
    Here's the second email:
  • 30:05 - 30:08
    "I've been a Christian for over two years
  • 30:08 - 30:10
    but so often I still
    struggle with assurance
  • 30:10 - 30:13
    which may mean that I'm not truly saved.
  • 30:13 - 30:15
    I have no doubt about
    the truth of Scripture,
  • 30:15 - 30:17
    about who God is, who Christ is,
  • 30:17 - 30:18
    and that to be saved
  • 30:18 - 30:22
    one must repent and put full trust in Him.
  • 30:22 - 30:24
    (Referring to a particular
    time in his past, he says...)
  • 30:24 - 30:27
    My entire life was changed.
  • 30:27 - 30:29
    My mom tells me that she remembers
  • 30:29 - 30:31
    the transformation that took place.
  • 30:31 - 30:33
    I remember talking about how God
  • 30:33 - 30:34
    gave me a new heart.
  • 30:34 - 30:36
    Now over the past year,
  • 30:36 - 30:39
    I've been blessed to be
    under good teaching,
  • 30:39 - 30:41
    and I know all the right answers
  • 30:41 - 30:43
    to the questions that someone would ask
  • 30:43 - 30:48
    concerning how you can know you are saved.
  • 30:48 - 30:50
    (But he says) I can't get assurance
  • 30:50 - 30:52
    from those answers.
  • 30:52 - 30:53
    I look back at my conversion
  • 30:53 - 30:55
    and I can't remember a single moment
  • 30:55 - 30:58
    where I placed my trust in Christ.
  • 30:58 - 31:00
    I know that I must trust in Christ alone
  • 31:00 - 31:01
    for the forgiveness of my sins
  • 31:01 - 31:04
    and that I cannot trust
    even a shred in myself.
  • 31:04 - 31:05
    I know that to be true.
  • 31:05 - 31:06
    I see my sinfulness.
  • 31:06 - 31:08
    I understand my weakness and inability,
  • 31:08 - 31:10
    but I fear that because
    I didn't understand
  • 31:10 - 31:12
    that then, that I never
    really put my trust
  • 31:12 - 31:15
    in Christ and just don't know what to do.
  • 31:15 - 31:16
    I don't know if I should seek God
  • 31:16 - 31:18
    for assurance or seek Him to save me.
  • 31:18 - 31:20
    Sometimes, I share the Gospel
  • 31:20 - 31:23
    and I completely forget about
    my assurance problem.
  • 31:23 - 31:24
    Other times, I'm sitting alone.
  • 31:24 - 31:26
    Tears well up in my eyes
  • 31:26 - 31:27
    because I'm simply not sure if
  • 31:27 - 31:29
    I truly belong to Him.
  • 31:29 - 31:30
    I cannot go living like this.
  • 31:30 - 31:32
    It's so taxing.
  • 31:32 - 31:34
    I don't know if I truly am His.
  • 31:34 - 31:36
    I know all the tests from 1 John.
  • 31:36 - 31:39
    When I hear an exposition of 1 John,
  • 31:39 - 31:42
    and I ask myself, ok, does my life
  • 31:42 - 31:43
    stand the assurance test?
  • 31:43 - 31:46
    I simply cannot place any trust
  • 31:46 - 31:48
    in my own reasoning
  • 31:48 - 31:51
    to answer that question.
  • 31:51 - 31:54
    I fear so immensely for my salvation."
  • 31:54 - 31:58
    Folks, we've got people running around,
  • 31:58 - 32:00
    and I'll tell you,
  • 32:00 - 32:02
    some of them probably
    aren't true Christians,
  • 32:02 - 32:06
    but we've got true
    Christians running around.
  • 32:06 - 32:08
    And you know, they're there
  • 32:08 - 32:15
    and they're just wondering.
  • 32:15 - 32:16
    Does He love me?
  • 32:16 - 32:19
    Does He love me not?
  • 32:19 - 32:21
    Am I in? Am I out?
  • 32:21 - 32:24
    Am I saved? Am I not?
  • 32:24 - 32:33
    Back and forth they go.
  • 32:33 - 32:37
    Brethren, I'll just tell you this.
  • 32:37 - 32:42
    If you don't have assurance,
  • 32:42 - 32:44
    guess what else you don't have?
  • 32:44 - 32:46
    Both these guys hit on it.
  • 32:46 - 32:47
    The first guy said,
  • 32:47 - 32:50
    "every day is miserable for me.
  • 32:50 - 32:56
    I have no peace, joy, or love."
  • 32:56 - 33:00
    The second guy hits on it.
  • 33:00 - 33:11
    (incomplete thought)
  • 33:11 - 33:15
    He says, "I cannot go on living like this.
  • 33:15 - 33:19
    It is so taxing."
  • 33:19 - 33:21
    Both of these guys hit on
  • 33:21 - 33:23
    no joy.
  • 33:23 - 33:26
    No peace.
  • 33:26 - 33:28
    So taxing.
  • 33:28 - 33:31
    I can't go on living like this.
  • 33:31 - 33:37
    What happens when you lack assurance?
  • 33:37 - 33:39
    You have no what?
  • 33:39 - 33:42
    Joy.
  • 33:42 - 33:44
    Let me read an Old Testament passage
  • 33:44 - 33:48
    to you from Nehemiah 8:10.
  • 33:48 - 33:56
    "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
  • 33:56 - 34:01
    No assurance. No joy.
  • 34:01 - 34:05
    No joy. No strength.
  • 34:05 - 34:10
    "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
  • 34:10 - 34:12
    Brethren, let me tell you something.
  • 34:12 - 34:17
    Confidence makes you brave.
  • 34:17 - 34:25
    You think a person can run headlong
  • 34:25 - 34:29
    into heavy Muslim population
  • 34:29 - 34:31
    where they very well may lose their life
  • 34:31 - 34:33
    and preach the Gospel boldly?
  • 34:33 - 34:35
    If they're there and they're wondering,
  • 34:35 - 34:36
    am I in? Am I out?
  • 34:36 - 34:38
    Does He love me? Does He love me not?
  • 34:38 - 34:39
    Am I the real thing
  • 34:39 - 34:41
    or am I fake?
  • 34:41 - 34:42
    Am I going to go to heaven?
  • 34:42 - 34:43
    Or am I going to go to hell?
  • 34:43 - 34:45
    Am I still in my sin?
  • 34:45 - 34:48
    Am I not?
  • 34:48 - 34:51
    Is my name graven upon His palm?
  • 34:51 - 34:55
    Or is it not?
  • 34:55 - 34:58
    You cannot be brave.
  • 34:58 - 35:00
    You cannot charge off into the world
  • 35:00 - 35:03
    and battle for Christ
  • 35:03 - 35:06
    if you have no assurance.
  • 35:06 - 35:07
    No assurance. No joy.
  • 35:07 - 35:08
    No joy. No strength.
  • 35:08 - 35:11
    No strength. Folks,
    you've got no boldness.
  • 35:11 - 35:12
    You've got no confidence.
  • 35:12 - 35:13
    You've got to have confidence
  • 35:13 - 35:16
    if you're going to be bold as a lion
  • 35:16 - 35:17
    for Christ.
  • 35:17 - 35:18
    You will not be.
  • 35:18 - 35:22
    See, folks, you cannot scare
  • 35:22 - 35:25
    a person with assurance
  • 35:25 - 35:27
    with death.
  • 35:27 - 35:29
    You can't. Why?
  • 35:29 - 35:31
    Because they're confident that at the end
  • 35:31 - 35:34
    of this life, there is joy everlasting.
  • 35:34 - 35:37
    There is an eternal weight of glory.
  • 35:37 - 35:40
    You don't scare Christians
  • 35:40 - 35:43
    with that assurance of that joy
  • 35:43 - 35:45
    and that eternal weight of glory
  • 35:45 - 35:47
    with death.
  • 35:47 - 35:50
    But if you're wondering...
  • 35:50 - 35:53
    "I don't know."
  • 35:53 - 35:54
    I may come in here
  • 35:54 - 35:55
    claiming to be a Christian,
  • 35:55 - 35:57
    but if they put me to death,
  • 35:57 - 35:58
    I may go straight to hell.
  • 35:58 - 36:02
    I may not be any better off than them.
  • 36:02 - 36:03
    You don't have boldness to go out
  • 36:03 - 36:04
    on the East side.
  • 36:04 - 36:07
    Well, what if this happens to me?
  • 36:07 - 36:09
    Folks, you don't know
  • 36:09 - 36:10
    if you're a child of God or not,
  • 36:10 - 36:13
    you're trying to protect everything.
  • 36:13 - 36:19
    (incomplete thought)
  • 36:19 - 36:23
    Folks, what do we say to people like this?
  • 36:23 - 36:26
    And I'll tell you what,
  • 36:26 - 36:30
    we need to be really careful.
  • 36:30 - 36:35
    You know what I'm hearing a lot of times?
  • 36:35 - 36:38
    Well, that person fell into...
  • 36:38 - 36:40
    Look, one of these guys,
  • 36:40 - 36:45
    he's been falling into masturbation.
  • 36:45 - 36:48
    He had such assurance in the beginning.
  • 36:48 - 36:50
    And I'm telling you, we can take
  • 36:50 - 36:52
    all these tests from 1 John,
  • 36:52 - 36:55
    and look, we don't dismiss them.
  • 36:55 - 36:56
    They're valid.
  • 36:56 - 36:58
    Regeneration looks like something.
  • 36:58 - 37:00
    But I'll tell you this folks,
  • 37:00 - 37:02
    if we start keying in on repentance
  • 37:02 - 37:05
    and on the fruits
  • 37:05 - 37:06
    and on all these things
  • 37:06 - 37:09
    that ought to be true
    of the Christian life,
  • 37:09 - 37:10
    and you're not
    constantly taking people
  • 37:10 - 37:11
    to the cross;
  • 37:11 - 37:13
    taking people to Christ,
  • 37:13 - 37:14
    you know what?
  • 37:14 - 37:15
    You're going to be tearing down
  • 37:15 - 37:17
    people's assurance.
  • 37:17 - 37:19
    Because there isn't a
    one of you in this room,
  • 37:19 - 37:21
    truly and genuinely converted,
  • 37:21 - 37:22
    that isn't going to fall into sin
  • 37:22 - 37:27
    and sometimes majorly
    in your Christian life.
  • 37:27 - 37:30
    And if we're setting up this standard
  • 37:30 - 37:32
    that is unreal;
  • 37:32 - 37:33
    that is not right;
  • 37:33 - 37:34
    that is not biblical...
  • 37:34 - 37:35
    Listen, if you're in Christ,
  • 37:35 - 37:37
    definitely, by the Spirit,
  • 37:37 - 37:40
    you're going to be putting to
    death the deeds of the body.
  • 37:40 - 37:42
    You will be practicing righteousness.
  • 37:42 - 37:44
    But we have to be confident, folks,
  • 37:44 - 37:47
    of texts like "therefore there is now
  • 37:47 - 37:49
    no condemnation for those
  • 37:49 - 37:50
    who are in Christ Jesus."
  • 37:50 - 37:52
    We've got texts in the Scripture.
  • 37:52 - 37:54
    "Who shall bring any charge
  • 37:54 - 37:55
    against God's elect?
  • 37:55 - 37:57
    It is God Who justifies."
  • 37:57 - 37:59
    We have to be turning our eyes
  • 37:59 - 38:02
    again and again and again
  • 38:02 - 38:07
    back to that cross.
  • 38:07 - 38:10
    Now look, if people
    struggle with assurance,
  • 38:10 - 38:12
    and some do,
  • 38:12 - 38:15
    and some do more than others,
  • 38:15 - 38:16
    what we want to do is we want to
  • 38:16 - 38:18
    take them to the cross.
  • 38:18 - 38:20
    We want to take them
    to passages like this:
  • 38:20 - 38:22
    Romans 8:34
  • 38:22 - 38:24
    "Who is to condemn?
  • 38:24 - 38:26
    Christ Jesus is the One Who died.
  • 38:26 - 38:27
    More than that, Who was raised.
  • 38:27 - 38:29
    Who is at the right hand of God.
  • 38:29 - 38:31
    Who indeed is interceding for us."
  • 38:31 - 38:36
    Brethren, we are not Catholics!
  • 38:36 - 38:38
    Our performance is not what gets us
  • 38:38 - 38:41
    into Heaven.
  • 38:41 - 38:44
    Our acceptance before God Almighty
  • 38:44 - 38:49
    is based on the perfect work of Christ.
  • 38:49 - 38:53
    Brethren, He came to save sinners.
  • 38:53 - 38:56
    And you are at best in this room
  • 38:56 - 38:58
    a saved sinner.
  • 38:58 - 39:00
    And you are not perfect.
  • 39:00 - 39:02
    And practicing righteousness does not
  • 39:02 - 39:03
    mean perfection.
  • 39:03 - 39:05
    And it doesn't mean that you're
  • 39:05 - 39:06
    not going to fall.
  • 39:06 - 39:08
    And it doesn't mean that
    even some of the best
  • 39:08 - 39:10
    Christians we read about in the Scriptures
  • 39:10 - 39:12
    didn't have terrible falls.
  • 39:12 - 39:16
    And the way to heal such wounds
  • 39:16 - 39:18
    is to take the balm of Gilead
  • 39:18 - 39:23
    to the hurting Christian.
  • 39:23 - 39:25
    It isn't simply to beat them over the head
  • 39:25 - 39:28
    with a standard of righteousness
  • 39:28 - 39:30
    that is unbiblical and not real.
  • 39:30 - 39:32
    Yes, we come to them and we say,
  • 39:32 - 39:34
    brethren, we want to exhort you.
  • 39:34 - 39:35
    We want to encourage you
  • 39:35 - 39:36
    that you not sin.
  • 39:36 - 39:38
    But if you do sin,
  • 39:38 - 39:40
    you have an Advocate with the Father.
  • 39:40 - 39:42
    Does that sound familiar to us?
  • 39:42 - 39:44
    That comes at us from John.
  • 39:44 - 39:48
    In all of John's tests,
  • 39:48 - 39:50
    in all of 1 John,
  • 39:50 - 39:53
    in all the marks of true Christianity,
  • 39:53 - 39:55
    he says, brethren, I'm telling you this;
  • 39:55 - 39:57
    I'm writing this to you
  • 39:57 - 39:59
    that you might have assurance;
  • 39:59 - 40:02
    that you might know.
  • 40:02 - 40:04
    And I'm writing all this to you
  • 40:04 - 40:06
    that you sin not.
  • 40:06 - 40:08
    And yes, the standard is high.
  • 40:08 - 40:10
    And yes, it's radical
  • 40:10 - 40:13
    when you've been truly born again.
  • 40:13 - 40:15
    And it's going to do
    something to your life.
  • 40:15 - 40:17
    And your life is going to be affected
  • 40:17 - 40:19
    by the cross of Jesus Christ.
  • 40:19 - 40:21
    And if you truly have a faith in Him,
  • 40:21 - 40:24
    it's going to turn your life upside down.
  • 40:24 - 40:26
    And he says, brethren, I write to you
  • 40:26 - 40:29
    that you not sin.
  • 40:29 - 40:31
    But he knows...
  • 40:31 - 40:33
    He says if you sin,
  • 40:33 - 40:35
    we have an Advocate.
  • 40:35 - 40:37
    And you see when the devil rushes in
  • 40:37 - 40:39
    and says, "look at you."
  • 40:39 - 40:42
    "You've got all this
    teaching on repentance.
  • 40:42 - 40:44
    Hey, don't you hear what they're saying?
  • 40:44 - 40:46
    If repentance isn't true in your life;
  • 40:46 - 40:50
    if radical bowing to the
    Lordship of Christ isn't real;
  • 40:50 - 40:52
    if there isn't some pattern
  • 40:52 - 40:55
    of righteousness in your life,
  • 40:55 - 40:56
    who do you think you are
  • 40:56 - 40:59
    saying you're a Christian?"
  • 40:59 - 41:00
    But you see,
  • 41:00 - 41:02
    if you can say,
  • 41:02 - 41:05
    "devil, you're right...
  • 41:05 - 41:09
    what you say is right.
  • 41:09 - 41:13
    But I can tell you this,
  • 41:13 - 41:16
    I'm not perfect.
  • 41:16 - 41:18
    But I know this,
  • 41:18 - 41:20
    I'm not what I once was.
  • 41:20 - 41:24
    I'm not perfect, and I fall,
  • 41:24 - 41:27
    and I struggle and I fight
  • 41:27 - 41:29
    and I wish I could be perfect,
  • 41:29 - 41:33
    but I know I have desires
    I didn't have before.
  • 41:33 - 41:36
    And I know I love Christ in
    a way I didn't before.
  • 41:36 - 41:38
    And my life has been transformed.
  • 41:38 - 41:39
    You're right.
  • 41:39 - 41:42
    I've sinned. I've fallen.
  • 41:42 - 41:43
    But I'll tell you this.
  • 41:43 - 41:46
    I didn't come to Christ in the first place
  • 41:46 - 41:48
    dependent on my works.
  • 41:48 - 41:50
    And I don't stay there now
  • 41:50 - 41:51
    dependent on my works.
  • 41:51 - 41:54
    There is no condemnation
  • 41:54 - 41:56
    to those who are in Christ.
  • 41:56 - 42:00
    Devil, all you're telling me right now
  • 42:00 - 42:01
    all the more assures me
  • 42:01 - 42:03
    that I need to trust Christ
  • 42:03 - 42:06
    and not look at my own life.
  • 42:06 - 42:07
    What you're saying to me
  • 42:07 - 42:11
    only drives me back under His wing."
  • 42:11 - 42:13
    Brethren, that's got to be so.
  • 42:13 - 42:14
    And I'll tell you this,
  • 42:14 - 42:17
    that's where our assurance comes from.
  • 42:17 - 42:18
    We've got to be running back
  • 42:18 - 42:21
    again and again and again.
  • 42:21 - 42:23
    And I would say this to any of you,
  • 42:23 - 42:25
    you get where you're struggling
  • 42:25 - 42:26
    at a point in life
  • 42:26 - 42:28
    where you're struggling with assurance.
  • 42:28 - 42:29
    I would ask you this:
  • 42:29 - 42:32
    Did you ever have assurance?
  • 42:32 - 42:37
    Because listen, why would I say that?
  • 42:37 - 42:40
    Why would I ask that?
  • 42:40 - 42:48
    The Spirit of God is a Spirit of adoption.
  • 42:48 - 42:53
    By that Spirit, we cry, "Abba, Father."
  • 42:53 - 42:57
    [Romans] 8:16 - He bears witness
  • 42:57 - 42:59
    with our spirit.
  • 42:59 - 43:01
    Now listen.
  • 43:01 - 43:05
    Do not grieve the Spirit
  • 43:05 - 43:08
    by which you've been sealed.
  • 43:08 - 43:12
    The Spirit seals us.
  • 43:12 - 43:15
    The Spirit seals.
  • 43:15 - 43:21
    When you sealed a document -
  • 43:21 - 43:28
    if a president puts his seal on something,
  • 43:28 - 43:32
    it's a sign of ownership.
  • 43:32 - 43:34
    The Spirit of God is given.
  • 43:34 - 43:37
    That is a seal.
  • 43:37 - 43:39
    Where the Spirit of God is
  • 43:39 - 43:41
    there are definite evidences.
  • 43:41 - 43:43
    What's one of the things
    the Spirit of God does?
  • 43:43 - 43:45
    Bears witness with our spirit.
  • 43:45 - 43:48
    Pours the love of God into our heart.
  • 43:48 - 43:49
    Now listen to me.
  • 43:49 - 43:52
    If that Spirit is resident,
  • 43:52 - 43:55
    that person is going to have assurance
  • 43:55 - 43:57
    at least at some time.
  • 43:57 - 44:00
    Now, it's possible to grieve the Spirit
  • 44:00 - 44:02
    by which you've been sealed.
  • 44:02 - 44:07
    And if you grieve Him,
    or as 1 Thessalonians 5,
  • 44:07 - 44:12
    quench, then yes, the
    witness of the Spirit
  • 44:12 - 44:15
    may go silent.
  • 44:15 - 44:17
    If you're a person who has never known
  • 44:17 - 44:19
    the witness of the Spirit,
  • 44:19 - 44:21
    you have never had assurance
  • 44:21 - 44:24
    of your salvation,
  • 44:24 - 44:26
    I don't believe you're saved.
  • 44:26 - 44:29
    By the testimony of the Scriptures.
  • 44:29 - 44:30
    I don't believe that.
  • 44:30 - 44:34
    But if at seasons, you have indeed had it,
  • 44:34 - 44:36
    well, then look,
  • 44:36 - 44:38
    people can have false assurance.
  • 44:38 - 44:40
    There's no question about it.
  • 44:40 - 44:42
    And that definitely needs to be examined.
  • 44:42 - 44:43
    But I can tell you this,
  • 44:43 - 44:45
    it's definitely as a true Christian
  • 44:45 - 44:49
    possible to have that resident
  • 44:49 - 44:51
    Spirit of adoption
  • 44:51 - 44:53
    by which we cry, "Abba, Father,"
  • 44:53 - 44:56
    and at seasons because we've quenched Him
  • 44:56 - 44:58
    or grieved Him, have Him go silent.
  • 44:58 - 45:00
    And so what I would ask:
  • 45:00 - 45:05
    have you had seasons where
    you've known assurance?
  • 45:05 - 45:07
    And if you tell me yes,
  • 45:07 - 45:11
    then I would ask you,
  • 45:11 - 45:13
    have you done anything in your life
  • 45:13 - 45:15
    to grieve the Spirit?
  • 45:15 - 45:17
    And typically, we know.
  • 45:17 - 45:18
    We've allowed something.
  • 45:18 - 45:21
    The Spirit has prodded us to repent
  • 45:21 - 45:23
    of something that we've resisted.
  • 45:23 - 45:26
    You've allowed some sin or worldliness
  • 45:26 - 45:28
    or idol into your life
  • 45:28 - 45:34
    that you're not repenting of.
  • 45:34 - 45:41
    Brethren, the Spirit bears witness.
  • 45:41 - 45:44
    Look, I can't tell you
  • 45:44 - 45:47
    about what you've experienced.
  • 45:47 - 45:50
    But I can tell you, I've experienced it.
  • 45:50 - 45:52
    I've experienced it in a way
  • 45:52 - 45:55
    I never experienced it when I was lost.
  • 45:55 - 45:57
    I mean, I never experienced it
  • 45:57 - 45:59
    when I was lost.
  • 45:59 - 46:00
    Look.
  • 46:00 - 46:03
    The witness of the Holy Spirit
  • 46:03 - 46:06
    is different than assurance
  • 46:06 - 46:10
    that's gotten from other things.
  • 46:10 - 46:13
    Like there are people who are certain
  • 46:13 - 46:15
    they're going to go to heaven.
  • 46:15 - 46:16
    Why?
  • 46:16 - 46:18
    Because (have you guys
    ever come across this?)
  • 46:18 - 46:19
    God healed me.
  • 46:19 - 46:20
    I'm certain everything's ok.
  • 46:20 - 46:22
    We were just talking about this
  • 46:22 - 46:24
    at the campus today at Palo Alto,
  • 46:24 - 46:25
    that many people have an assurance
  • 46:25 - 46:27
    that everything's ok. Why?
  • 46:27 - 46:30
    Because they got sick and God healed them.
  • 46:30 - 46:32
    Because they were in a car accident
  • 46:32 - 46:34
    where they should have been killed
  • 46:34 - 46:35
    and they walked away.
  • 46:35 - 46:37
    You guys have heard things like that?
  • 46:37 - 46:38
    Listen.
  • 46:38 - 46:40
    The kindness of God
  • 46:40 - 46:42
    is meant to do what?
  • 46:42 - 46:44
    Assure us we're Christians?
  • 46:44 - 46:46
    Is that what the Bible says?
  • 46:46 - 46:47
    Lead you to repentance.
  • 46:47 - 46:50
    Right. The kindness of God is meant
  • 46:50 - 46:52
    to lead you to Christ.
  • 46:52 - 46:56
    Not confirm that you're in Christ.
  • 46:56 - 46:57
    In fact, the fact is
  • 46:57 - 47:00
    that many who are in Christ,
  • 47:00 - 47:04
    don't avert the accident or the sickness
  • 47:04 - 47:07
    or the trial or the tears
  • 47:07 - 47:10
    or the death...
  • 47:10 - 47:15
    in fact, through many tribulations...
  • 47:15 - 47:19
    Why do other people have assurance
  • 47:19 - 47:21
    that's no good?
  • 47:21 - 47:23
    Not based on good foundations.
  • 47:23 - 47:28
    Where does other false
    assurance come from?
  • 47:28 - 47:29
    Emotions.
  • 47:29 - 47:31
    People feel like they're saved.
  • 47:31 - 47:34
    But why would people
    feel like they're saved
  • 47:34 - 47:36
    when they're not truly saved?
  • 47:36 - 47:37
    And I'll tell you this,
  • 47:37 - 47:38
    if they're not truly saved,
  • 47:38 - 47:42
    it's not the witness of the Holy Spirit.
  • 47:42 - 47:45
    What is it?
  • 47:45 - 47:48
    Where would emotions come from?
  • 47:48 - 47:50
    Let's go through a list of things.
  • 47:50 - 47:53
    Maybe false teaching, right?
  • 47:53 - 47:54
    People assure you that you're saved
  • 47:54 - 47:56
    when there's really no evidence.
  • 47:56 - 47:58
    How many men are out there
  • 47:58 - 48:00
    telling men they're saved?
  • 48:00 - 48:02
    How many preachers stand in pulpits
  • 48:02 - 48:04
    and say if you say this little prayer,
  • 48:04 - 48:06
    you're saved?
  • 48:06 - 48:09
    Basically if you did this, you're saved.
  • 48:09 - 48:10
    We've got men all over the place
  • 48:10 - 48:12
    telling people that.
  • 48:12 - 48:14
    How about something else?
  • 48:14 - 48:16
    How about people who just
  • 48:16 - 48:18
    get emotionally stirred up?
  • 48:18 - 48:19
    They weep tears.
  • 48:19 - 48:21
    They were greatly affected.
  • 48:21 - 48:23
    And because of bad teaching, again,
  • 48:23 - 48:25
    they don't understand what true
  • 48:25 - 48:26
    saving faith looks like.
  • 48:26 - 48:27
    They don't understand
  • 48:27 - 48:29
    the nature of biblical repentance,
  • 48:29 - 48:31
    and so they're led to believe
  • 48:31 - 48:38
    (incomplete thought)
  • 48:38 - 48:40
    Can you think that maybe the devil
  • 48:40 - 48:42
    would try to convince people
  • 48:42 - 48:45
    that they're saved when they're not saved?
  • 48:45 - 48:47
    How?
  • 48:47 - 48:49
    Let me give you an example.
  • 48:49 - 48:53
    We were just talking about this at Mark's.
  • 48:53 - 48:56
    I remember as a Catholic having a dream
  • 48:56 - 48:59
    on Christmas Eve about Mary.
  • 48:59 - 49:02
    And I felt so much assurance
  • 49:02 - 49:05
    and warmth from that dream.
  • 49:05 - 49:08
    I went and visited my Roman Catholic
  • 49:08 - 49:10
    great uncle.
  • 49:10 - 49:12
    A week before I went there
  • 49:12 - 49:14
    to preach the Gospel to him,
  • 49:14 - 49:18
    an angel appeared in his dining room
  • 49:18 - 49:19
    in the middle of the night;
  • 49:19 - 49:21
    lit up the whole house.
  • 49:21 - 49:23
    He said it was the most beautiful creature
  • 49:23 - 49:25
    he ever laid his eyes on.
  • 49:25 - 49:27
    I said, "Uncle Tom, Satan comes
  • 49:27 - 49:29
    as an angel of light."
  • 49:29 - 49:30
    You know when I told that story
  • 49:30 - 49:32
    at church one night,
  • 49:32 - 49:33
    Carlos turned and looked at me
  • 49:33 - 49:34
    and he said,
  • 49:34 - 49:38
    "My parents had the same thing happen."
  • 49:38 - 49:40
    They saw an angel in the doorway
  • 49:40 - 49:41
    of their bedroom
  • 49:41 - 49:42
    in the middle of the night.
  • 49:42 - 49:45
    Listen to me, folks.
  • 49:45 - 49:47
    The devil will seek to give men
  • 49:47 - 49:51
    false assurance.
  • 49:51 - 49:52
    Many different ways.
  • 49:52 - 49:54
    Through false religion.
  • 49:54 - 49:58
    Through various manifestations.
  • 49:58 - 49:59
    But true assurance -
  • 49:59 - 50:02
    listen to me.
  • 50:02 - 50:06
    The Spirit of God bears witness
  • 50:06 - 50:08
    with our spirit.
  • 50:08 - 50:12
    When God Almighty wants to speak
  • 50:12 - 50:14
    to the soul of a man,
  • 50:14 - 50:17
    do you think He's impotent in doing it?
  • 50:17 - 50:19
    He pours the love of God
  • 50:19 - 50:23
    into the heart.
  • 50:23 - 50:24
    How?
  • 50:24 - 50:27
    Well, the Scripture tells us.
  • 50:27 - 50:29
    God's love poured into our hearts
  • 50:29 - 50:30
    through the Holy Spirit Who has
  • 50:30 - 50:32
    been given to us,
  • 50:32 - 50:35
    for (fuller explanation)...
  • 50:35 - 50:37
    for while we were still weak,
  • 50:37 - 50:38
    at the right time,
  • 50:38 - 50:39
    Christ died for the ungodly.
  • 50:39 - 50:42
    Do you know what the expressions of love
  • 50:42 - 50:43
    are that are poured into the heart
  • 50:43 - 50:45
    of God's people?
  • 50:45 - 50:48
    They're expressions of the love of God
  • 50:48 - 50:50
    as shown through us.
  • 50:50 - 50:52
    In a time of weakness,
  • 50:52 - 50:54
    His Son died for us.
  • 50:54 - 50:57
    (Incomplete thought)
  • 50:57 - 50:59
    Listen.
  • 50:59 - 51:03
    The Spirit bears testimony
  • 51:03 - 51:06
    not as you gaze at yourself.
  • 51:06 - 51:09
    Brethren, you can gaze at yourself.
  • 51:09 - 51:11
    If we get a church that's gazing
  • 51:11 - 51:15
    on ourselves where the talk is,
  • 51:15 - 51:19
    am I a Christian or am I not a Christian?
  • 51:19 - 51:24
    Well, have you masturbated?
  • 51:24 - 51:27
    Well, is this true?
  • 51:27 - 51:30
    Well, is there that sin in your life?
  • 51:30 - 51:33
    Look, there's a place
    for practicing righteousness.
  • 51:33 - 51:35
    There's a place for these tests.
  • 51:35 - 51:37
    We need to examine ourselves.
  • 51:37 - 51:39
    Folks, there's no proper examination
  • 51:39 - 51:43
    except looking at the cross.
  • 51:43 - 51:47
    True repentance is,
  • 51:47 - 51:50
    see, so often,
  • 51:50 - 51:56
    (incomplete thought)
  • 51:56 - 51:59
    is missed because what repentance
  • 51:59 - 52:02
    is viewed at is more like,
  • 52:02 - 52:05
    imagine a human scale.
  • 52:05 - 52:10
    Imagine I've got a big human yard stick.
  • 52:10 - 52:14
    And we say, well, am I up here?
  • 52:14 - 52:15
    Am I full of pride?
  • 52:15 - 52:17
    Am I lifted up?
  • 52:17 - 52:22
    Am I high and haughty?
  • 52:22 - 52:26
    Versus, am I low?
  • 52:26 - 52:28
    Am I broken?
  • 52:28 - 52:29
    Am I repentant?
  • 52:29 - 52:31
    And you see, the whole time,
  • 52:31 - 52:34
    we're looking at ourselves.
  • 52:34 - 52:39
    Versus being done with the yard stick
  • 52:39 - 52:42
    and looking at Christ.
  • 52:42 - 52:43
    You see, folks,
  • 52:43 - 52:47
    repentance, so often what happens
  • 52:47 - 52:51
    is just in religion -
  • 52:51 - 52:53
    every human type of religion -
  • 52:53 - 52:56
    what they do is they put the yard stick up
  • 52:56 - 53:00
    and they say you've go to go from here
  • 53:00 - 53:01
    to here.
  • 53:01 - 53:03
    Or from here to here.
  • 53:03 - 53:05
    However you want to look at it.
  • 53:05 - 53:08
    Either from pride to humility
  • 53:08 - 53:11
    or from this low, debauched state
  • 53:11 - 53:12
    to this high moral standard.
  • 53:12 - 53:14
    Whichever way you want to invert it.
  • 53:14 - 53:16
    But what is it?
  • 53:16 - 53:18
    The whole time you're
    looking at the yard stick.
  • 53:18 - 53:20
    Where what the Bible says
  • 53:20 - 53:23
    is repentance - true, biblical repentance
  • 53:23 - 53:27
    is throwing that thing away altogether
  • 53:27 - 53:30
    and looking at Christ.
  • 53:30 - 53:36
    And see, when you
    pull the yard stick back,
  • 53:36 - 53:38
    and now as a Christian -
  • 53:38 - 53:40
    see, the Bible doesn't say,
  • 53:40 - 53:43
    examine yourself and now
  • 53:43 - 53:45
    pull the yard stick back.
  • 53:45 - 53:47
    And look at it again.
  • 53:47 - 53:49
    Well, where am I at on here?
  • 53:49 - 53:51
    That's not the examining of yourself.
  • 53:51 - 53:56
    If you ever take your eyes off of Christ,
  • 53:56 - 53:57
    I'll tell you this,
  • 53:57 - 53:59
    the Spirit of God came into the world
  • 53:59 - 54:00
    to exalt Christ.
  • 54:00 - 54:02
    Where does the Spirit of God
  • 54:02 - 54:03
    bear witness with our spirit
  • 54:03 - 54:05
    that we're children of God?
  • 54:05 - 54:06
    As we gaze at Christ.
  • 54:06 - 54:09
    Looking to Christ in faith.
  • 54:09 - 54:10
    The love of God is poured abroad
  • 54:10 - 54:11
    in our heart.
  • 54:11 - 54:15
    It's shed abroad when
    we're looking to Christ.
  • 54:15 - 54:17
    It's shed abroad when we see ourselves
  • 54:17 - 54:21
    as weak, as ungodly,
    and Christ dying for us.
  • 54:21 - 54:24
    That's where the assurance comes in.
  • 54:24 - 54:26
    It's not looking at our works.
  • 54:26 - 54:28
    (incomplete thought)
  • 54:28 - 54:31
    You say, well, how do I measure up then?
  • 54:31 - 54:32
    How do I look?
  • 54:32 - 54:35
    How do I do that?
  • 54:35 - 54:37
    If this indeed is true;
  • 54:37 - 54:42
    if there's got to be this radical change,
  • 54:42 - 54:44
    well how can I not see that?
  • 54:44 - 54:46
    Or how can I see that?
  • 54:46 - 54:49
    How can I measure myself
  • 54:49 - 54:52
    against that
  • 54:52 - 54:55
    if I'm not pulling the yard stick back?
  • 54:55 - 54:57
    But you go look at those things.
  • 54:57 - 55:00
    Go look at the biblical yard sticks.
  • 55:00 - 55:02
    And I'll tell you what happens.
  • 55:02 - 55:05
    Yes, there has to be a look
  • 55:05 - 55:06
    at what God has done in my life.
  • 55:06 - 55:08
    There's going to be that evidence
  • 55:08 - 55:10
    of what God has done in my life,
  • 55:10 - 55:12
    but what is basically at the root
  • 55:12 - 55:13
    of the evidence?
  • 55:13 - 55:15
    What is the heart of repentance?
  • 55:15 - 55:16
    It's a turning.
  • 55:16 - 55:17
    it's a turning away from what?
  • 55:17 - 55:19
    It's a turning away from the yard stick.
  • 55:19 - 55:20
    Because what happens,
  • 55:20 - 55:22
    if you look at the yard stick
  • 55:22 - 55:23
    by itself, even as a Christian,
  • 55:23 - 55:25
    what are you doing?
  • 55:25 - 55:27
    You're saying well,
  • 55:27 - 55:28
    am I doing this?
  • 55:28 - 55:31
    Have I lived righteously enough?
  • 55:31 - 55:34
    Have I lived perfectly enough?
  • 55:34 - 55:35
    Have I prayed enough?
  • 55:35 - 55:36
    Have I loved enough?
  • 55:36 - 55:38
    It says if I don't do that -
  • 55:38 - 55:39
    have I done this enough?
  • 55:39 - 55:41
    And you start looking there
  • 55:41 - 55:42
    and you start looking there,
  • 55:42 - 55:43
    and I'll tell you what,
  • 55:43 - 55:46
    the poor Christian is just getting
  • 55:46 - 55:47
    beat up by the law again.
  • 55:47 - 55:49
    They're getting beat up by the standard.
  • 55:49 - 55:51
    They're getting beat up by this thing.
  • 55:51 - 55:55
    And then, suddenly
    they're floundering around.
  • 55:55 - 55:56
    Am I in? Am I out?
  • 55:56 - 56:01
    Because I have sinned.
  • 56:01 - 56:06
    Brethren, this is why
  • 56:06 - 56:10
    whenever these standards of Christianity
  • 56:10 - 56:13
    are held out,
  • 56:13 - 56:15
    you look biblically,
  • 56:15 - 56:17
    they are just impacted,
  • 56:17 - 56:18
    they are surrounded,
  • 56:18 - 56:19
    they are encompassed
  • 56:19 - 56:21
    with lookings to Christ.
  • 56:21 - 56:23
    Looking to Christ.
  • 56:23 - 56:24
    The cross of Christ.
  • 56:24 - 56:28
    Do you see what the problem can be folks?
  • 56:28 - 56:30
    Is when we begin to pull
  • 56:30 - 56:32
    these things out of Scripture.
  • 56:32 - 56:36
    And you begin to pull them away.
  • 56:36 - 56:38
    You begin to set up
  • 56:38 - 56:40
    this standard before people.
  • 56:40 - 56:44
    Practice righteousness.
    Practice righteousness.
  • 56:44 - 56:47
    You fall into this thing of masturbation;
  • 56:47 - 56:49
    you fall into this thing over here,
  • 56:49 - 56:52
    it's practice righteousness;
    practice righteousness.
  • 56:52 - 56:53
    And we can get to where we're
  • 56:53 - 56:56
    hammering people and
    hammering people....
  • 56:56 - 56:58
    We hammer them with holiness.
  • 56:58 - 57:02
    Folks, we're under the New Covenant.
  • 57:02 - 57:05
    What is the New Covenant?
  • 57:05 - 57:08
    The New Covenant is God saying,
  • 57:08 - 57:13
    "I will forgive their sins."
  • 57:13 - 57:16
    Blessed is the man -
  • 57:16 - 57:18
    blessed is the man, folks,
  • 57:18 - 57:21
    whose transgressions are
    not held against him.
  • 57:21 - 57:24
    David went in with another man's wife
  • 57:24 - 57:26
    and he killed that man.
  • 57:26 - 57:28
    And he could come before God
  • 57:28 - 57:35
    and say, "Blessed is the man..."
  • 57:35 - 57:38
    Folks, we've got to be there all the time.
  • 57:38 - 57:40
    We've got to be there.
  • 57:40 - 57:43
    I tell you, brethren, don't sin.
  • 57:43 - 57:45
    But if you sin, we have an Advocate.
  • 57:45 - 57:46
    Do you see?
  • 57:46 - 57:48
    We've got to take these letters
  • 57:48 - 57:48
    in their entirety.
  • 57:48 - 57:50
    Yes, you've got Romans 8.
  • 57:50 - 57:52
    Yes, yes, yes.
  • 57:52 - 57:55
    By the Spirit, you put to death
  • 57:55 - 57:56
    the deeds of the flesh.
  • 57:56 - 57:57
    But remember how he started
  • 57:57 - 58:00
    that same chapter.
  • 58:00 - 58:03
    There is no condemnation.
  • 58:03 - 58:05
    Remember how he's hitting at this
  • 58:05 - 58:08
    when he gets to v. 33-34,
  • 58:08 - 58:10
    Nobody can bring an accusation
  • 58:10 - 58:12
    against God's elect.
  • 58:12 - 58:14
    There is no condemnation.
  • 58:14 - 58:17
    No one can condemn.
  • 58:17 - 58:18
    It's freeing.
  • 58:18 - 58:21
    Brethren, I've been hearing a lot
  • 58:21 - 58:22
    about repentance.
  • 58:22 - 58:24
    And I hear some of you guys,
  • 58:24 - 58:25
    and you're hammering it,
  • 58:25 - 58:26
    hammering it,
  • 58:26 - 58:29
    you're hammering it...
  • 58:29 - 58:31
    but folks, we've got to take people
  • 58:31 - 58:34
    to the cross.
  • 58:34 - 58:35
    What we're going to do,
  • 58:35 - 58:37
    if we don't keep taking
  • 58:37 - 58:39
    the brethren to the cross,
  • 58:39 - 58:41
    we're not going to outfit people
  • 58:41 - 58:43
    for the mission field.
  • 58:43 - 58:44
    What we're going to do is
  • 58:44 - 58:46
    we're going to have them wondering,
  • 58:46 - 58:49
    Am I in? Am I out?
  • 58:49 - 58:51
    Does He love me?
  • 58:51 - 58:53
    We've got to take them to the cross.
  • 58:53 - 58:56
    Say your acceptance is here.
  • 58:56 - 58:59
    We know you've fallen into sin.
  • 58:59 - 59:02
    We've fallen there ourselves.
  • 59:02 - 59:04
    We're not advocating a life
  • 59:04 - 59:07
    that is habitual sin.
  • 59:07 - 59:09
    There's got to be victory.
  • 59:09 - 59:12
    There's got to be righteousness,
  • 59:12 - 59:14
    but it is a righteousness that flows
  • 59:14 - 59:17
    out of a life that is constantly
  • 59:17 - 59:19
    resting in the cross.
  • 59:19 - 59:21
    When I came to Christ in the beginning,
  • 59:21 - 59:24
    yes, there was radical transformation
  • 59:24 - 59:25
    in the beginning,
  • 59:25 - 59:27
    but I fell into some horrible sins
  • 59:27 - 59:28
    in the beginning.
  • 59:28 - 59:30
    My wife fell into some horrible sins
  • 59:30 - 59:31
    in the beginning.
  • 59:31 - 59:33
    And I'll tell you what,
  • 59:33 - 59:34
    in the midst of that,
  • 59:34 - 59:37
    I didn't fall into despair
  • 59:37 - 59:39
    for this reason:
  • 59:39 - 59:41
    Because when Satan would rush in
  • 59:41 - 59:43
    and say, "look at you.
  • 59:43 - 59:46
    You wretch.
  • 59:46 - 59:49
    You think God wants
    anything to do with you?
  • 59:49 - 59:52
    How could you claim you're saved?"
  • 59:52 - 59:53
    And I could say,
  • 59:53 - 59:57
    "Devil, you can slander me day and night.
  • 59:57 - 59:59
    But I came to Christ in the beginning
  • 59:59 - 60:01
    because I was a wretch.
  • 60:01 - 60:05
    And I know, all I am right now
  • 60:05 - 60:07
    is a saved sinner.
  • 60:07 - 60:09
    And all you're proving to me
  • 60:09 - 60:11
    all the more is I need to run
  • 60:11 - 60:13
    back to Him again.
  • 60:13 - 60:15
    And I'm going to head back there."
  • 60:15 - 60:17
    Folks, we've got to be heading
  • 60:17 - 60:18
    back to the cross.
  • 60:18 - 60:19
    Because that's where our assurance
  • 60:19 - 60:20
    is going to come.
  • 60:20 - 60:23
    And it's only when we're confident:
  • 60:23 - 60:28
    Yes. I am not accepted by God because
  • 60:28 - 60:30
    of my own works,
  • 60:30 - 60:31
    even as a Christian.
  • 60:31 - 60:35
    I am not accepted because of my own works.
  • 60:35 - 60:39
    And my own failings as a Christian
  • 60:39 - 60:41
    don't sever the way I'm received
  • 60:41 - 60:43
    by the Lord.
  • 60:43 - 60:45
    And I run back there again
  • 60:45 - 60:46
    for healing,
  • 60:46 - 60:48
    for the blood,
  • 60:48 - 60:50
    back again,
  • 60:50 - 60:52
    where I know there is full forgiveness
  • 60:52 - 60:54
    and no condemnation.
  • 60:54 - 60:55
    Back to that cross.
  • 60:55 - 60:57
    Over and over and over.
  • 60:57 - 60:58
    And I set my eyes there.
  • 60:58 - 61:03
    And that Spirit will breathe in
  • 61:03 - 61:07
    such loving expressions of the Father
  • 61:07 - 61:09
    to me as His son -
  • 61:09 - 61:11
    expressions of love,
  • 61:11 - 61:12
    bearing witness,
  • 61:12 - 61:14
    and in those expressions
  • 61:14 - 61:16
    there will be assurance.
  • 61:16 - 61:17
    There will be confidence.
  • 61:17 - 61:19
    Where there is confidence,
  • 61:19 - 61:22
    there will be strength.
  • 61:22 - 61:25
    There will be boldness.
  • 61:25 - 61:28
    We will be bold as lions.
  • 61:28 - 61:31
    We will have a church of lion-hearts.
  • 61:31 - 61:33
    Brave-hearts
  • 61:33 - 61:36
    where there's confidence.
  • 61:36 - 61:41
    Oh, it comes in Christ alone.
  • 61:41 - 61:43
    That is my word for us tonight.
  • 61:43 - 61:46
    Brethren, go to the cross.
  • 61:46 - 61:50
    Brethren, when you see others struggling,
  • 61:50 - 61:52
    take them to the cross.
  • 61:52 - 61:55
    Don't beat them up,
  • 61:55 - 62:00
    but take them to the healing wounds.
  • 62:00 - 62:03
    Take them.
  • 62:03 - 62:06
    Back again and again.
  • 62:06 - 62:09
    And amen.
  • 62:09 - 62:13
    Any last comments or questions
  • 62:13 - 62:17
    or anything tonight?
  • 62:17 - 62:22
    What will help us look to Christ?
  • 62:22 - 62:25
    Fair question, right?
  • 62:25 - 62:27
    I would say this.
  • 62:27 - 62:30
    (incomplete thought)
  • 62:30 - 62:32
    Look, if my eyes need to be there,
  • 62:32 - 62:34
    then my eyes need to not be
  • 62:34 - 62:36
    on other things.
  • 62:36 - 62:41
    (incomplete thought)
  • 62:41 - 62:43
    We don't have spider eyes.
  • 62:43 - 62:45
    We don't have fly eyes.
  • 62:45 - 62:46
    We don't have compound eyes.
  • 62:46 - 62:49
    I mean, basically, God has designed us -
  • 62:49 - 62:54
    we can basically look in one direction
  • 62:54 - 62:55
    at a time,
  • 62:55 - 62:58
    and maybe that's true spiritually
  • 62:58 - 63:01
    to a great degree as well.
  • 63:01 - 63:03
    We need to set our minds on things above.
  • 63:03 - 63:06
    Folks, it's very difficult
    to fix your gaze
  • 63:06 - 63:08
    upon Jesus Christ,
  • 63:08 - 63:09
    when your gaze is on
  • 63:09 - 63:11
    a thousand other things.
  • 63:11 - 63:12
    And so, I realize,
  • 63:12 - 63:14
    there are things we need to give
  • 63:14 - 63:15
    our attention to in life.
  • 63:15 - 63:17
    Gazing on Christ means
  • 63:17 - 63:18
    I'm thinking on Christ.
  • 63:18 - 63:21
    (incomplete thought)
  • 63:21 - 63:25
    Have you ever read Psalm 1?
  • 63:25 - 63:29
    What does that godly man,
  • 63:29 - 63:30
    that righteous man,
  • 63:30 - 63:32
    that upright man of Psalm 1 -
  • 63:32 - 63:33
    what is his relationship
  • 63:33 - 63:34
    to the Word of God?
  • 63:34 - 63:37
    There's something he does
    with the Word of God.
  • 63:37 - 63:38
    He meditates on it.
  • 63:38 - 63:41
    Folks, you've got to meditate.
  • 63:41 - 63:42
    You've got to chew.
  • 63:42 - 63:44
    The little, flippant reading of Scripture
  • 63:44 - 63:45
    isn't going to get it.
  • 63:45 - 63:46
    You need to be in the Word
  • 63:46 - 63:49
    long enough, well enough,
  • 63:49 - 63:51
    where you're able to meditate
  • 63:51 - 63:54
    and chew and think.
  • 63:54 - 63:57
    The Spirit of God begins to work
  • 63:57 - 64:00
    and drive those thoughts deep.
  • 64:00 - 64:03
    Go deep with God.
  • 64:03 - 64:06
    I mean, you're not going to go deep
  • 64:06 - 64:07
    with God in the Word;
  • 64:07 - 64:09
    you're not going to go deep with Christ
  • 64:09 - 64:10
    in visions of the cross;
  • 64:10 - 64:12
    you're not going to go deep
  • 64:12 - 64:13
    into those realms of Christianity,
  • 64:13 - 64:16
    where the Spirit of God really breathes,
  • 64:16 - 64:18
    where you just do flippant reading
  • 64:18 - 64:19
    in the Scriptures.
  • 64:19 - 64:21
    You've got to get in there.
  • 64:21 - 64:23
    A lot of you guys listen to sermons.
  • 64:23 - 64:24
    You know what?
  • 64:24 - 64:26
    Sometimes we can get where
  • 64:26 - 64:28
    we can really like a
    certain kind of sermon.
  • 64:28 - 64:31
    We really like the kind of sermons
  • 64:31 - 64:32
    where we get all beat up.
  • 64:32 - 64:34
    I know in the beginning,
  • 64:34 - 64:35
    I like that.
  • 64:35 - 64:37
    I like sermons that really beat me up,
  • 64:37 - 64:38
    but I tell you what,
  • 64:38 - 64:40
    a lot of times, we need to listen
  • 64:40 - 64:41
    to good sermons that just take us
  • 64:41 - 64:43
    to the cross.
  • 64:43 - 64:45
    And you find a good preacher.
  • 64:45 - 64:47
    Go read some good Spurgeon sermons.
  • 64:47 - 64:51
    When you guys find a good sermon
  • 64:51 - 64:52
    on the cross,
  • 64:52 - 64:55
    begin to recommend it to one another.
  • 64:55 - 64:56
    I'll tell you this,
  • 64:56 - 64:59
    avoid legalism.
  • 64:59 - 65:00
    Avoid it among yourselves.
  • 65:00 - 65:02
    Avoid it in your own thinking.
  • 65:02 - 65:04
    Don't go to a church that is legalistic.
  • 65:04 - 65:05
    Why?
  • 65:05 - 65:08
    Because legalistic churches
    set up standards.
  • 65:08 - 65:09
    They set up rules.
  • 65:09 - 65:10
    They press it.
  • 65:10 - 65:11
    Press it. Press it.
  • 65:11 - 65:12
    That's no good.
  • 65:12 - 65:15
    That is not good to assurance.
  • 65:15 - 65:18
    Don't go where they're legalistic.
  • 65:18 - 65:19
    Don't go where there's preaching
  • 65:19 - 65:22
    that hammers law and responsibility
  • 65:22 - 65:29
    and holiness where Christ
    isn't constantly mixed in.
  • 65:29 - 65:31
    Where Christ isn't central in the singing;
  • 65:31 - 65:32
    central in the preaching.
Title:
Are you a Christian? - Tim Conway
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
01:05:33

English subtitles

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