Answering the Biggest Objections to Christianity – Dr Ravi Zacharias
By Rear Admiral Barry Black Chaplain of The United States Senate
Here is the message that Admiral Black gave at the National Prayer Breakfast where President Trump was present. Here is a message on prayer you will want to hear.
Casting Our Care Upon Christ
Do you have cares you can’t seem to deal with? Do you have burdens you can not meet? Are you facing trials you can’t handle? If there was an answer you could adopt and be helped would you take it? Here is a link to a message by W A Criswell. Are you too busy to listen and watch? If so you are too busy. If you have prayed for help this could be the source God wants you to hear. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Take the time to heed this message for it is designed to help you. It is given to bless you. This is a totally free report in detail. The minister is the late W A Criswell of Dallas, Texas. He was the long-time pastor of First Baptist Church/Dallas. Click the following link for this dynamic message by Dr. Criswell.
1 Peter 5:7
” Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
On the radio and on television you are rejoicing with us in the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the message entitled Casting Our Care Upon Christ. It is a message from the Úfth chapter of 1 Peter. In our preaching through this epistle of Simon Peter, last Sunday we stopped at verse 4 in chapter 5. This Lord’s Day we begin at verse 5 and preach through verse 7, “Yea, all of you be subject unto one to another, and be clothed with humility,” then he quotes Proverbs 3:34; a proverb that is quoted by James, the preceding epistle, in James 4:6: For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Humble ye therefore yourselves under the hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. [1 Peter 5:5-7] The verse that he quotes out of Proverbs is so dynamically stated here as the apostle wrote it in that Greek language, “God resisteth the proud” [1 Peter 5:5]. Tassō means “to arrange, to appoint, to determine, to set oneself,” tassō. Antitassō means “to arrange oneself against, to determine against, to set oneself against,” it is a strong, strong word. God antitassō, “sets Himself against.” The whole order of God’s universe is arranged against the proud. Isn’t that an unusual thing that God should take such a dislike, show such deep disfavor for soul-emptying, self-destroying pride, and yet it is a natural concomitant of our fallen natures? We like to be lifted up; we like to be received; we like to be advanced; we like to live in ourselves, and we like for all of life to revolve around us. We like to be ministered unto; we like all of the plaudits of the galleries. We love being the center of attention, made over. Pride: it is natural to the fallen man, like weeds grow up in a watered garden, or like the reeds and the rushes grow up on the side of a pond, so pride is a characteristic of our fallen natures. When we kill it, it has a thousand lives. When we try to bury it, it bursts forth out of the tomb. It takes on a thousand shapes. And when we think we have captured it, it eludes our grasp and mocks our pursuit. Pride is a God-defying sin. It arraigns the justice of God as did Cain [Genesis 4:8-16]. It confronts God and challenges Him to combat, as did Pharaoh: “I don’t know Jehovah. Who is He, that I should obey His voice?” [Exodus 5:2]. It even shapes itself into a god, as in the days of Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 3:1-7]. If I have any sensitivity to the Scriptures at all, I think it says that Satan fell, Lucifer fell because of pride; he lifted up his spirit and would be God himself [Isaiah 14:13-14]. God antitassō, “He arranges Himself, He sets Himself,” the whole universe is against pride. “But God giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may lift you up in due time” [1 Peter 5:5, 6]. 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 2/10 mighty hand of God, that He may lift you up in due time” [1 Peter 5:5, 6]. How would it be that a man humbles himself before God? May I mention about four things? Here’s one: a man would humble himself before God if he receives the most menial, lowest oÜces in Christ as though they were opportunities of great honor, such as being a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, such as speaking a word to a little child. That’s not beneath the dignity of a saint of God, to talk to a little child about our precious Lord, or such as washing the saint’s feet. I have been in services of those old Primitive, foot-washing Baptist people. They cry their tears fall into the pans as they wash each other’s feet. I wish I knew something to do in the church like that. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God” [1 Peter 5:6]. Doing little things that we might do great things; being obedient in order that we might be rulers in His kingdom. How would you depict a real, and glorious, and great Christian? How would you draw him? Well, here are some things I can suggest: a king, keeping the door of God’s house; a prince, feeding little lambs; or better and best still, the Son of God, clothed in the garment of a servant, a slave [Philippians 2:5-8], washing His disciples’ feet [John 13:4-5]. I think that’s what the apostle had in mind, by using one of the most unusual Greek verbs that you could ever stumble across: egkomboomai. Isn’t that a heavy, multisyllabic word, egkomboomai? Well, you’d look at that thing in reading this Greek text and say, “What in the earth does that word mean?” It’s used nowhere else in all God’s Bible. And yet, He uses it here. So you go to a lexicon, a dictionary. I don’t know what it means. You look it up in the lexicon, and the word means, “bind on yourself the clothing, the garments, of a slave.” That’s the word he uses here when he says that we are to be clothed with humility [1 Peter 5:7], we are to bind on ourselves the clothing of a slave. And I think Simon Peter had in mind that never to be forgotten moment when the Lord took oÙ His clothes and girded Himself as a slave to do the menial task of a household servant [John 13:4-5]. There was nobody there to wash the feet of the guests, so the Lord took oÙ His garments and girded Himself in the clothing of a slave, and He washed feet. You think that’s great? God says it is. That is the way to be exalted! “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” We stoop to conquer. What does this mean: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God”? [1 Peter 5:6] For a second thing: not only the acceptance of a menial assignment in the name of Christ, but also the yielded surrenderedness to the disciplines of God. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth” [Hebrews 12:6]. And there’s no one of us that escapes the rod, the disciplines of God. And to bend before the will of God, as a reed bows before the wind; to be yielded to the will of God, as soft wax will take the imprint of the seal, thus to receive from God’s hands God’s disciplinary providences is to humble one’s self before the Lord, not Úghting against God, not hating God. As our Lord, in Gethsemane, He kissed the rod that beat Him and prepared for heavier strokes. So the things that come in our lives over which we have no control, to receive them as from God’s hands, and to be grateful for them. There was a little boy I read about who was very crippled. And he hollered at the streetcar conductor as the streetcar stopped at the corner: “Wait up, mister! Wait! Wait for me, I’m coming! Wait!” And the streetcar conductor kept the streetcar door open, and the little, crippled boy clambered in and found a seat by a man who looked at the little fellow in amazement. The boy was so bright, though so terribly crippled, and so cheerful. And the man couldn’t help but exclaim to the lad, “Son, you seem so happy and so bright and so glad. How do you be that way when you are so crippled?” 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 3/10 bright and so glad. How do you be that way when you are so crippled?” And the little fellow brightly replied, “Oh, sir,” he said, “Oh sir, my father tells me that God always gives us what is best. And don’t you think I ought to be happy with the best?” Whoever was the father of that little boy was a great man! He had found the answer. What God gives us is what is best and to receive the disciplines of life, the circumscriptions of life, as from His hands is to be blessed, humbled that you might be exalted. What is this, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God?” [1 Peter 5:6] Not only the acceptance and honor of a menial task, an assignment in Christ, and not only yielding in gracious submission to the disciplines of God, but coming to God in God’s way, gratefully, gladly, humbly coming before the Lord, not in our way, but in His. Not in some self-chosen, reasoning persuasion that we have decided upon, but as God shall invite us, so we come into His presence. Maybe coming full of wonder, bowed down, weighted down with wonder that God should love us and that He should invite us. Astonished, overwhelmed that God should have paid so great a price for us [1 Peter 1:18-19]. Just in amazement, that God should have chosen me, should have invited me! Coming to God in God’s way, not arguing with God, “Now, God, I think of it like this, and here’s the way I think I ought to be saved. And here’s how I think I ought to come.” No, but doing it God’s way! · When God says, “Look and live” [Numbers 21:8], I shall look! · When God says, “Believe, and be saved” [Acts 16:31], I shall believe. · When God says, “Trust” [Psalm 62:8], I shall trust. · When God says, “Wash and be cleaned” [Revelation 7:14], I shall wash. · When God says, “Confess” [Matthew 10:32], I shall confess. · When God says, “Be baptized” [Matthew 28:19-20], I shall be baptized. · When God says, “Join yourself to His people” [Hebrews 10:25]. I shall join myself to His people, humbly, coming before the Lord in God’s way, not mine. What does it mean “to humble oneself before the Lord, that He might exalt us in due time?” [1 Peter 5:6]. Why, I think it means emptying ourselves of us and being Úlled with the divine fullness of God. Even God cannot Úll a cup that’s already Úlled. Even God can’t come into a man’s heart when he’s full of himself: all he thinks about is himself, all he talks about is himself, all he dreams for is himself, all his whole life revolves around is himself. How can God do anything for a man like that? But, if a man will empty himself, “Nothing of me, Lord, may it all be of Thee.” That man can be Úlled with all of the fullness of the Triune God. “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” [1 Peter 5:6-7]. Now if we will do the verse 6, “Humble ourselves unto God” [1 Peter 5:6], there are a whole lot of cares that we won’t be burdened with in verse 7, “Casting all of your care upon Christ” [1 Peter 5:7]. Ah, there are so many things that burden us, and weigh us down that we bring on ourselves. They don’t come from God; they come out of us. There are some men who are grasping; they are ambitious, and they are 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 4/10 out of us. There are some men who are grasping; they are ambitious, and they are never satiated with self-preferment. The more they have, the more they want. The more publicity given them, the more they eagerly seek it and desire it. The more advancement that they make, the more they want to be advanced. The more famous they are, the yet more famous they want to be. They are never satisÚed; the more money they have, the more they want to get. And they are Úlled with the cares of this world, seeking themselves, presenting themselves, and they are unhappy in their hearts, they are weighed down with themselves! There are some cares, I say, that we bring on ourselves: troubled about tomorrow, worried about tomorrow, Úlled with anxiety about tomorrow. God says there’s enough trouble in any day we live in besides borrowing tomorrow’s trouble [Matthew 6:34]. Just trust God for it, just believe in God for it, that’s a care that we don’t need to bear, just turn it over to God, every tomorrow. There are cares that come upon us that we bring upon ourselves. One of the strangest things about big men is that they can be vexed and upset over such little things. Jonah was a great man. Jesus pointed him out and said the greatest revival preacher of all time. There never was a man that had such a result in his preaching as Jonah, Jesus said so! [Matthew 12:41] The entire great world, ancient capital of Assyria, the entire city of Nineveh from the king clear down to the lowest servant, repented at the preaching of Jonah [Jonah 3:4-10]. He was a great, great prophet of God and a mighty revivalist. Now I want you to look at him. He’s over there on a hill, sitting under a gourd vine pouting, pouting! [Jonah 4:6]. You know what he is pouting about? At Úrst, he started oÙ about what God might do about Nineveh [Jonah 3:2-3]. But this pouting I’m talking about was over a cucumber vine, it was over a bower of melon leaves; it was over a gourd that grew over his head and a worm cut it down and it made Jonah mad! “I’m mad!” And, not only did it make him mad, but he said: “I want to die!” [Jonah 4:5-9]. All over the wilting of a gourd vine; that’s Jonah, and that’s you! I know a man that lost his entire fortune and never thought anything about it; he just lost his whole estate. And he got furious with his wife over a button that wasn’t sewed on his shirt. We can be that way; we vex ourselves over little inconsequential minutiae! Now these are the cares that he’s not talking about. If we live under God, and as unto the Lord, none of those will ever come upon us. Well, what are these cares that Simon Peter is thinking of: “Casting all of our cares upon Christ” [1 Peter 5:7]. What are those cares? Well, I can name several of them. Here’s one: spiritual cares. And by spiritual cares I mean, “O God, dear blessed Jesus, what if my life fails? Lord, what if I don’t make it to heaven? Lord, what if I fall into hell? Lord, what if my soul is not ultimately saved? What’s going to become of me when I die and in the great judgment day, O God, am I going to be saved?” Why, the Lord says to me by His inspired apostle Paul in the Úrst chapter in Philippians, he says, “He that hath begun a good work in you, He will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ,” to the great consummation of His coming [Philippians 1:6]. He says in the last chapter of the Book of Hebrews, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” [Hebrews 13:5]. And He says in the tenth chapter of John, “I give unto you eternal life; and you will never perish” [John 10:28]. What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have Ûed? 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 5/10 ["How Firm a Foundation," John Rippon,1787] That is one care I can take to Jesus. “Lord, am I going to make it? Am I going to be saved? Really, God, will I be in heaven some day? When they call the roll up yonder, will I answer, Here, Lord, here I am?” God says, “Yes! You turn that over to Me, I will see you through. All the devils in hell cannot get you; and all of the sin in the universe cannot sink you, cannot destroy you, because where sin abounds, My grace overÛows, it more abounds” [Romans 5:20]. I can take that care, am I going to make it? Am I going to get to heaven? Am I going to be saved? I can take it to Jesus. What are these cares that he’s talking about, that I can take to the Lord? [1 Peter 5:7]. Here’s one of them: kingdom cares, kingdom cares. Now, what do you mean about kingdom cares? I mean the foreboding that sometimes Úlls our hearts about God’s kingdom in the earth. You can look around you, and you read, and see, and visit, and it seems as though the kingdom of darkness is going to swallow up the kingdom of light. Why, there are whole great nations of the earth, and one third of its population, that is under stated state atheism, darkness like midnight, like you could cut it. And even in Christendom, there’s a great apostasy and falling away, in empty churches, all over this earth. “Lord, what is going to become of Thy kingdom?” That’s a care I can take to God. He presides over His own. Even on the cross light shined from the cross that the darkness could not quench, could not put out, could not drown. And some of the most brilliant rays that have ever Ûooded the darkness of this world have come from the shining of the Úres that have burned the martyrs at the stake. I can take it to Christ. He is able, and He presides over this universe. Upon a day when I Úrst came here to Dallas, I sat by Mrs. Truett and talked to her about her great husband, pastor of this church forty-seven years. She said to me, to my great surprise, that sometimes the great preacher, George W. Truett, would be despondent; he fell into despondency. She said it was at a time when he felt he had failed, and she said to me, “I said to him, ‘George, when you have prayed and asked God to bless you; and when you have done the best that you can, then leave it to Jesus, leave it to God.’” It is for us to dig the well; it is for God to send the rain and the water. It is for us to plant the seed; it is for God to make it to sprout and grow. It is for us to cultivate the Úeld; it is for God to give the harvest. It is for me to witness; it is for God to give the increase, to save the soul. That’s a care I can take to Jesus. When I’ve done the best I can, then God must do the rest, and He will; casting all our care upon Christ [1 Peter 5:7]. What are these cares that the apostle speaks of? I think they are cares that attend our business life: “O Lord, I must make a living for my wife and my children, and I must support my home and I must win daily bread. Lord, I have staked everything I have into this business. O God, what shall come of it?” That’s a care that I think a man can legitimately and rightfully, and pleasingly to God, take to Christ. Make Him your partner; He will bless you, He will see you through. Queen Elizabeth, of the 1600s, Queen Elizabeth I, called in a merchantman in London and asked him to go on a mission for her across the seas, a long time to be absent. And he replied, “But Your Majesty, but Your Majesty! What shall become of my business while I’m gone? It will fail! It will go bankrupt! I cannot leave on so long a mission, Your Majesty, I cannot go! What will happen to my business?” 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 6/10 And the queen said to that prince of merchants, she said, “Sir, you go on my business, and take care of my business; and while you’re gone, I’ll take care of yours.” The merchant went abroad, stayed, did the work of the queen, came back, and to his amazement, under her patronage and her tutelage and her care and guidance, his business had Ûourished and quadrupled! That’s what God will do for you, if you’ll make a partner out of Him and take it to Christ. I want to show you that I’m not just saying words. Look, look out of the Book. The Lord Jesus said to Simon Peter who was in the Úshing business, he and the sons of Zebedee were partners in the Úshing business, that’s what God’s Book says, they were partners in the Úshing business. So the Lord said to Simon Peter, “Simon, I want your boat. I want your boat. You see these people, I want it for a pulpit to preach in. I want to borrow your boat” [Luke 5:1-3]. And Simon Peter could have replied, “Lord, Lord, You don’t understand. Lord, that’s my livelihood! That’s my business! I can’t give You my boat. I don’t have any other way to Úsh. I don’t have any other way to make a living but to Úsh. Lord, I need the boat, You can’t have it!” But what does the Book say? Simon Peter gave the Lord his boat, and the Lord used it to preach the gospel. Then when the message was done and the sermon was Únished, “Simon Peter,” said the Lord Jesus, “Simon, launch right out there.” And when he got out there, the Lord says, “Now, let down your net” [Luke 5:1-7]. And he got a haul, a catch of Úsh. Under Jesus he caught more Úsh in ten minutes than he had ever caught in the previous ten months of his life. I’m just telling you what’s in the Book, I never made that up, that’s in the Book! You’re in a business? Make Jesus your partner, take every problem and every decision, take it to Jesus, see what happens to you and your business. “Casting your care upon Him; for He careth for you” [1 Peter 5:7]. Oh, where does the time go? One other, the cares of the home, of the children: “Does the Lord know my name? Does He? Does He know where I live? Does He know what I do?” Listen, He cares for ants as well as angels; He cares for worms as well as whales, for He cares for sparrows as well as for cherubim, for butterÛies as well as for battalions of angelic hosts. And He knows all about you, and your cares, and your children, a mother: The Master has come over Jordan, Said Sarah the mother, one day. He is healing the people who throng Him, With a touch of His hand, they say. And now I shall carry the children, Little Rachel, and Samuel, and John, 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 7/10 Little Rachel, and Samuel, and John, I shall carry the baby, Miriam, For the Lord to look upon. The husband looked at her kindly, As he shook his head and smiled: Now who, but a doting mother, Would think of a thing so wild? If the children were tortured by demons, Or dying of fever ’twere well; Or had they the taint of the leper, Like men in Israel. But the mother replied, Nay, do not hinder me, Nathan, I feel such a burden of care; If I carry it to the Master, I know I can leave it there. If He lay His hand on the children, My heart will be lighter I know, For a blessing forever and ever Will follow them as they go. 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 8/10 So over the hills of Judah, Along by the vine rows green, With Miriam asleep on her bosom, And Rachel her brothers between; Among the people who hung on His teaching, Or awaited His touch and His word, Through the royal, proud Pharisees listening She pressed to the feet of the Lord. Now why shouldest thou hinder the Master, said Peter, with children like these? Seest thou not from morning to evening He teacheth and healeth disease? Then Christ said, Peter, forbid not the children, Permit them to come unto Me! And He took in His arms little Miriam, And Rachel He sat on His knee: And the heavy heart of the mother 2/1/2017 W. A. Criswell Sermon Library | Casting Our Care Upon Christ https://www.wacriswell.com/sermons/1974/castingourcareuponchrist/?keywords=Casting+all+your+cares+upon+Him 9/10 Was lifted all earth care above, As He laid His hands on the brothers, And blessed them with tenderest love. And He said of the babes in His bosom, Of such are the kingdom of heaven And strength for all duty and trial That hour to the mother was given. ["Christ and the Little Ones," Julia Gill] Do you believe that? Do you think that’s true? God says it’s true! “Forbid them not.” In my study, to the left, and I look at it hours every day, right there in my study, to the left, is a magniÚcent painting by the Yugoslav artist, painted a century ago, and the title of it is Forbid Them Not. And Jesus is there, standing in a white, beautiful robe, and He has in His arms a little baby, and the children are at His feet. And Simon Peter and the others are trying to send the mothers, with their children, away, but Jesus is holding up His arm like that, saying, “Forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 19:14]. “Casting all your care upon Him” [1 Peter 5:7]; take to Him anything; take to Him everything, and biggest, and best, and mostest of all, take to Him yourself, and your house, and your home, your heart, and your life, and your children, and your every tomorrow. Would you, accepting, receiving, opening your heart to the Lord as Savior, or putting your life in the fellowship of the church? This week someone said to me, “When you give that invitation, would you explain what you mean when you invite people to come to the Lord?” Here’s what I mean, “Lord Jesus, I open my heart to Thee. Forgive my sins; come and dwell in my soul. Write my name in the Book of Life in glory; stand by me in this life, and in the hour of my death, and in the world to come. I want God as my Savior!” And the second invitation, “I want to give my life to God in the church, my membership some other place, but I’ve been saved and I’ve been baptized, and I want to come and fellowship with the church.” Or maybe a third, “I would just like to give my life again and anew unto the Lord, and I’m coming. I want to pray with you.” For whatever reason the Spirit shall press the appeal to your heart, in the moment that we sing this hymn of appeal, come. Answer with your life; make the decision now, and when you stand up, stand up coming. God bless you, angels attend you in the way, while we stand and while we sing
http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/ (Click this Link for Video Presentation of Dr. Rogers’ message)
The Lost World
The Bad News that make the Good News, Good
FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH
There are five fundamentals of the faith which are essential for Christianity, and upon which we agree:
1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20). 
And those who disagree with any of the above doctrines are not Christians at all. Rather, they are the true heretics.
So disagreements are perfectly acceptable within the confines of Christianity, because our salvation does not hinge upon doctrines other than the above five.
But if some deny even one of the five fundamentals mentioned above, they have departed from the faith, “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). By denying the above scriptural doctrines, they have heaped to themselves “teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3); thereby even “denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Peter 2:1). These are the true heretics, who are preaching “another Jesus”, according to 2 Corinthians 11:4:
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
And later in this same chapter, Paul refers to these people as the ministers of Satan, in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
So, please – if you take offense to differences in lesser doctrines, don’t think that we are condemning you as unbelievers or heretics. Nothing could be further from the truth. As long as you hold to the five fundamentals of the faith, you may join the debate. And together, we shall reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
 Please note: this is NOT a reference to the “King James Only” debate; rather, this is a reference to people who claim to have revelations apart from the scriptures.
Heaven Can Be Yours!
Dr. R. A. Torrey told of talking with a young society lady at New Haven, Connecticut, when suddenly she interrupted him to say, “Don’t talk that way; it makes me think and I hate to think.” This sin-weary world is filled with people who hate to think, somehow supposing that by thus ignoring the issue of salvation everything will eventually turn out all right for eternity. Nothing could be farther from the truth and I earnestly urge you to think seriously with me for a few moments about missing Hell and gaining Heaven.
Everyone wants to go to Heaven! No one in his right mind desires an eternal home in Hell’s house of horrors. The only man in my entire ministry—he was in the Livingston, Illinois, county jail at the time—who told me that he definitely wanted to go to Hell was judged insane and taken to a state hospital three days later. I know I am expressing your choice when I say you desire to reach Heaven eventually.
Yet, as the Negro slaves sang while chopping their Alabama cotton, “Heab’n, Heab’n, ev’ry body talk about Heab’n ain’t goin’ there, Heab’n, Heab’n.” Jesus Christ Himself is the authority for teaching that more people will miss Heaven and end up in Hell than will make Heaven. He said in Matthew 7:13, 14:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Since this is a subject of utmost seriousness—the most important one you will ever consider—it is vital that we start at the root of the matter and note first,
I. SIN, the Bar to Heaven!
Some might question, “Why doesn’t God just let everyone into Heaven when they die and be done with it? What keeps anyone out of Heaven?” The answer is sin!
Consider how plainly the Bible declares that sin shuts Heaven’s doors to every guilty sinner. After God gives that glorious picture of Heaven in the 21st chapter of Revelation, describing the gates of pearl, the streets of pure gold like transparent glass and the walls of jasper, He warns:
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. —Revelation 21:27
Notice the expression, “in no wise!” God will permit no sin or sinner in Heaven under any circumstance whatsoever. In the next chapter, the last in the Bible, after again describing some of the glories of Heaven, He declares:
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and make a lie. —Revelation 22:15.
Again we have the strong insistence of the Almighty that every sinner must remain “without” Heaven. That lovely, unspoiled, unspotted city will not be tarnished or polluted with the single sin of a single sinner. So, in order to protect His Paradise and keep it pure, every sinner must be denied access to it.
If God allowed a sinner to enter Heaven, that sinner would sin. A Hitler or a Saddam Hussein would not be in Heaven long before he started a revolution. Confidence men would soon be trying to sell some prospective sucker a golden street. Liars would unceasingly be endeavoring to deceive the redeemed, the angels, and even God Himself. The adulterers would attempt to satisfy their passions if only through the thoughts of their hearts (Matt. 5:27, 28). In Revelation 22:11 God explains this truth about sinners continuing to sin forever, saying, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.” Therefore, if one sinner entered Heaven he would soon spoil it by his transgressions. Heaven must be kept “off limits: for unredeemed sinners.
In I Corinthians 6:9, 10, the Word of God declares:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The same truth is stated in Ephesians 5:5, 6:
For as ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Another strong emphasis of this truth is found in Galatians 5:19-21 where we read:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Sin, A Universal Fact
Perhaps you are one of the many who seek to still the pricking of your conscience by telling yourself that you have never killed, never committed adultery, never robbed a bank, never defrauded a neighbor, or committed any of the so-called “baser sins.” Then let me remind you that God classes hatred with murder, envy with adultery, strife with drunkenness, and anger with witchcraft in the above scriptural condemnation.
He has further stated,
…for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:22, 23
No difference! No difference between the society queen and the scarlet woman! No difference between the president and the pauper! No difference between the community leader and the common thief! If you are a moral, self-righteous woman who has never trusted Christ, you are on the same level before God with the worst fallen woman of sin who plies her trade on ignorant, foolish men. If you are a man without Christ, no matter how highly esteemed in your community or respected by your associates, you are on the same level before God with the worst drunkard and dope addict who ever staggered into a rescue mission begging for free soup and a place to sleep.No difference!
There may be differences in the degree of sin and the amount of sin, but in the fact that both are guilty sinners whom God is forced to shut out of Heaven, there is no difference!
How abundant are the scriptural statements that all stand guilty before God as sinners deserving a just condemnation in an eternal Hell of torment!
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. —Ecclesiastes 7:20
God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. EVERY ONE of them is gone back: they are ALTOGETHER become filthy; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE. —Psalm 53:2, 3
How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? —Job 15:16
ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way… —Isaiah 53:6
As it is written, there is NONE righteous, no, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE.—Romans 3:10-12
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. —I John 1:8, 10
Some have sinned more than the average, some have sinned less, but everyone has sinned and thereby “become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). To deny it is to deceive yourself and in addition commit the terrible crime of calling God a liar! It was Christ Himself who said, “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Matt. 19:17). God’s conclusion is that you and I are both sinners and that our sins have shut the door of Heaven to us.
Sin Must Be Paid for by Someone!
Sin must be settled. There must be a penalty for disobedience. Some suggest that God merely pardons sin without any payment, any settling or making right. Others tell us that since God is love He will never send any of His creatures to an eternal Hell of unending torment.
But human reason unites with Divine revelation in decrying such foolish philosophy. Can you imagine what your city would be like if there were no penalty for the broken law? Suppose there were no policemen, no jails, no sentence or penalty executed against the rapist, the thief, the murderer, the seditionist, and the criminals of various descriptions! What would a state be like with no penalty for the breaker of its laws? What would a nation be like in such circumstances? What would the world be like in such a hopeless condition?
All reason cries that sin must be punished and that law-breakers must be separated from the innocent so they cannot ply their evil upon them. It is exactly the same with God and His Laws! The Scriptures rightly insist, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4, 20). It is not unjust for Him to declare that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The eternal principle ever must remain:
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. —Galatians 6:7
It would not be right or possible for sinners to sin and remain unpunished.
From the many Scriptures thus far considered we have seen the following positive Bible conclusions:
1. All sin and every sinner must be barred from Heaven;
But, thank God, all is not hopeless! The same Word of God gloriously, joyfully announces to all the world the blessed truth,
II. CHRIST, the Way to Heaven!
In the 14th chapter of John, the Savior told His disciples about the wonderful Heaven He was going to prepare. When Thomas asked that all important question everyone desires to have answered, “How can we know the way?” the Lord replied:
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. —John 14:6
Notice that Christ is the way to Heaven and the only way! No individual can ever go to the Father or the Father’s house of many mansions except by Jesus Christ! Paul’s epistle to the church at Colosse describes it—“…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). No one can have a sure hope of Heaven without Christ in his heart!
Christ’s Death Opened Heaven to Guilty Sinners
How could Christ open Heaven’s barred doors for wicked sinners? By paying personally the penalty of their sins! This He did at the cross of Calvary, making it possible for God to remain just and yet justify the ungodly who receive Christ as their Savior (Rom. 3:26).
Isaiah looked down through the centuries to God’s sacrifice at Calvary and wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
Surely he hath borne OUR griefs, and carried OUR sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. —Isaiah 53:4-6
Scores of other Scriptures unite in telling the glorious gospel story of a Savior who offered Himself a sacrifice for sinners and paid the penalty of the condemnation they justly deserved. The Bible says:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. —I Peter 2:24
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. —John 1:29
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. —I John 3:5
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. —I Peter 3:18
In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. —Ephesians 1:7
Oh, dear reader, thank God again and again that His lovely Son left the glories of Heaven, coming to earth and taking upon Himself the outward form of a servant (Phil. 2:7), that He might “give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). The Bible expresses:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. —Philippians 2:8
Sin had placed an uncrossable chasm between man and Heaven, but Jesus Christ bridged that gulf with His cross. Sin had built a wall between God and man so tremendous that, in the words of the old Negro spiritual,
My Lord, it’s so high, Can’t get over it;
But the Son of God used His cross as a spiritual battering ram to blast a hole through that wall big enough to let the vilest sinner through. Now all who will come by the way of the cross and its Christ can enter into fellowship with God.
Calvary’s Sacrifice Sufficient for Any, All!
Now none has an excuse for missing Heaven and entering Hell since any and all can be saved forever by trusting Christ. The meanest man, the wickedest woman, the most defiled youth, all can find forgiveness and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. The standing offer of God is: “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37), and, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
Anyone can be saved and gain Heaven who wants to be saved! Earlier we reminded you of God’s vow that no fornicator, idolater, adulterer, thief, drunkard, or sinner of any kind (I Cor. 6:9, 10) will enter Heaven. But in the very next verse He declared:
And such were some of you: but ye are WASHED, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. —I Cor. 6:11
Yes, sinners of every description—guilty of every conceivable sin—can find pardon and forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not know you or what sins you have committed, but on the authority of the infallible Word of God I positively guarantee that you can be forgiven and saved by trusting Christ!
The poet was right when he cried:
The blood that purchased our release
The Word of God expresses it, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin” (I John 1:7).
John Newton, the man who wrote one of the sweetest songs of all time, “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!” had been guilty of every sin known to mankind in his days as a drunken rum runner and slave trader in the South Sea Islands. Yet his own epitaph, hung over a century ago on the north wall of the Woolnoth Chapel, is:
JOHN NEWTON, CLERK,
He will do the same for you that He did for John Newton and countless thousands of other guilty, Hell-deserving sinners down through the ages. Sin is the bar to Heaven but the atoning death of Christ opens the way to Heaven for all who want it.
Do you ask how this salvation offered by Christ can be yours? Then follow the Scriptures carefully as they unfold,
III. FAITH, the Key to Heaven!
Here is the strange thing exceedingly difficult for the natural mind to understand: salvation is by faith alone, completely apart from any human merit! The average person supposes that Heaven is gained by good deeds, works of righteousness, religious acts, exceptional morality, or other forms of righteous achievement. But the Bible is crystal clear that such is not the case and that it is absolutely impossible to earn or merit Heaven.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 tells us:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.
And Titus 3:5-7 reminds those already saved of how it happened:
NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Augustus M. Toplady was right when he wrote in his beloved hymn, “Rock of Ages,”
Not the labors of my hands
The Bible Way Is the Faith Way
Throughout the entire Word of God the only plan of salvation taught is that sin is forgiven and eternal life received only by faith. Over and over God guarantees a home in Heaven to all who will believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider just a few of the plain statements:
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM shall receive remission of sins. —Acts 10:43
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even we have BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST, that we might be justified by THE FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. —Galatians 2:16
…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. —Acts 16:30, 31
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon all them that BELIEVE…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which BELIEVETH IN JUESUS…Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH without the deeds of the law..—Romans 3:20-22, 24-26, 28
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that BELIEVETH ON HIM is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned already, because he hath not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God. —John 3:14-18
He that BELIEVETH ON THE SON hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. —John 3:36
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him ALL THAT BELIEVE are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. —Acts 13:38, 39
Don’t you see, dear reader, that salvation is merely a matter of accepting what God has provided through the finished work of His Son at Calvary? A home in Heaven will be yours the moment you will trust Him to forgive your sins and take you to Heaven. Can you trust Him? Can you risk Him, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), to do what He said He would do for all who receive Christ as their personal Savior? It is simply a matter of taking God at His Word.
The great reformer, Martin Luther, was asked on one occasion if he felt his sins had been forgiven. That mighty man of faith replied, “No, I do not feel they are forgiven, but I know that they are because God says so in His Word!” That’s it exactly! God has promised salvation to all who will receive His Son as their personal Savior. Now, if you will receive Christ, salvation and Heaven will be yours according to the very Word of God! He died to make your salvation possible; will you let Him save you?
God Is Helpless to Save Those Who Reject Christ
Before I close this message I must warn you that the finished work of Christ at Calvary is absolutely worthless and meaningless for the individual who refuses to receive Him. God reminds us in Hebrews 10:26, 27:
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more [lit. “no other”] sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
There is no other way of salvation for the individual who scorns the sacrifice Christ made at Calvary through His death, burial and resurrection.
One of the strangest cases in the annals of American legal history centered around a young man named George Wilson. For crimes committed on December 6, 1829, Wilson and a companion, James Porter (alias James May), were charged with six indictments in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, all dealing with obstructing or robbing the mail, two of which were for “putting the life of the carrier,” Samuel M’Crea, “in jeopardy.” Found guilty, both men were sentenced “to suffer death on the 2nd July following.”
Porter was executed on schedule, but because of a “numerous and respectable body of petitioners” pleading with him for Wilson’s life, President Andrew Jackson issued a formal pardon, signed on his behalf by Secretary of State Martin Van Vuren, in which he said he “had pardoned, and do hereby pardon the said George Wilson the crime for which he has been sentenced to suffer death, remitting the penalty aforesaid.”
Then came the blockbuster: Wilson refused the pardon!
The finest minds in the field of legal jurisprudence were called in for consultation as to what to do and eventually the problem reached the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, that top legal body ruled a pardon to be unqualifiedly ineffective until accepted by the party involved. John Marshall, one of America’s ablest lawyers and the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote in the decision:
A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed….
A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential; and delivery is not completed without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.
It may be supposed that no being condemned to death would reject a pardon, but the rule must be the same in capital cases and in misdemeanors.
The same is true spiritually! You are a sinner under the sentence of sin, condemned to an eternal Hell. It is hardly to be supposed that you, in your right mind, would reject the pardon of God’s love which His Son Jesus Christ provided at Calvary. But if you do, it is no pardon and the atonement is worse than worthless in your case—you must pay the penalty of your own sin in Hell forever!
Don’t Refuse God’s Pardon; Trust Christ Now
Yes, Heaven can be yours! But you had better settle the matter right now before it is too late. Multifold are the warnings in the Word of God against putting off salvation. For example, He tells us:
Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. —Proverbs 27:1
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. —Proverbs 29:1
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, TODAY if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…)…—Hebrews 3:7,8
Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation. —II Corinthians 6:2
Decision for Christ
If you want to make sure of Heaven and will receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior today, please indicate it by signing the following decision form. Then, as soon as possible, let others know of the stand you have taken.
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If you will fill out the information above and submit the form, I will write you a letter of counsel and encouragement. Now that you have honestly received Christ into your heart you should be baptized and unite with a Bible-believing church.
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