No Mere Mortals. (Sermon 1-30-22)
Pastor Jonathan Hansen
Good-morning Connection Church. I am so glad that you have come out to worship with us this morning! It is a wonderful command we have from God to gather together. We gather together in order to worship God. We seldom think of how blessed we are to be allowed to come before God and meet with Him. And this is the fundamental question of worship, isn’t it? Will we leave here having met with God? Will we leave this place having praised the one true God, having honored Him, having prayed to Him, having heard Him speak to us through His Word. We can go anywhere to be entertained. We can go elsewhere for the purpose of making ourselves feel good. We come here to meet with God. When we come together, we are coming into the presence of God. Now we are moving into the time of hearing God Himself speak to us through His Word.
Introduction of the Text:
This passage has something very interesting to say about this subject. When we read the Word of God, it is the same as if we are hearing God speak to us verbally. This morning we are in Matthew 22:23-33. We are in Holy Week. Jesus is mere days from going to the cross. He has entered into Jerusalem and declared through His actions that He is the promised King and the Lord of the Temple. Now the Pharisees, Sadducees, and others have begun to question Him. They are attempting to entrap Jesus. Last Sunday we saw the Pharisees and the Herodians try to entrap Jesus in a political argument. This was obviously foolish. They asked the King of the universe to weigh in on a political statement. Jesus had all authority to answer that Question, and we saw the wisdom of our savior. This morning we are covering what happened almost directly after this encounter. The Pharisees and Herodians leave with their mouths wide open in shock, and the Sadducees come in to try their hand at questioning our Lord. This is second of the three entrapping questions asked of our Lord. So let us look as the foolish Sadducees and the wisdom of our King.
Stand with me for the reading of God’s Word.
Reading of the Text:
THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION
23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and asked Him a question,24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife and raise up a seed for his brother.’25 Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no seed, he left his wife to his brother;26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.27 And last of all, the woman died.28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.31 But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Behold, the Word of God. Let’s pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you this morning and ask for wisdom as we approach this text. Help us to not be flippant or arrogant. May we seek out what you have said. Lord, we want to hear from you. We live in such a volatile time. We need to hear you speak to us. Let us read the guidance of your Word as you have spoken. May we listen to you and conform our lives to Your Word. Please grow our church and may we be bold in the truth and bold in showing love to all. It is in the confidence of knowing that you hear our prayers in the name of Jesus, our Lord, we ask this. Amen.
As we open this text, probably the first question that comes to mind is “Who are the Sadducees?”
Who Are The Sadducees? V.23
This is an understandable question. I have tried to teach you all who wrote this book and to whom it was written. Matthew wrote this gospel account to a Jewish audience in the first century. This means that Matthew wrote this gospel shortly after Jesus ascended. It is hard to tell which gospel account was written first, but it is held by almost all competent church historians that Matthew was one of the first. The debate tends to be between Matthew or Mark. Why does this matter? Because Matthew wrote this account in almost the same time it happened. Not much had changed in the world.
Because of this, Matthew tends to just say things that would make perfect sense to his original audience but confuse modern readers. A perfect example is that of the Sadducees. We are fairly familiar with the Pharisees because Jesus encounters them quite often. We grow a clear understanding of who they were just from context. But the Sadducees are a different matter. We rarely encounter them in the gospel accounts. And Matthew doesn’t explain who they were because his audience would have known. The Sadducees were still around. All Matthew includes is “the Sadducees (Who deny the resurrection)” as a side note. It is almost like Matthew is saying, “Remember, the Sadducees deny the resurrection.” But, for our sake, who were they?
Well, thankfully, Luke, the author to a gentile audience gives us slightly more information in His account of the acts of the apostles. “8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” (Acts 23:8)
So the Sadducees denied not just the resurrection but also angels and the Spirit. They seem to be deniers of most things supernatural. Thankfully however, the first century people kept really good records. The early Christians especially kept books and records of many things. So we can learn a great deal from their histories. The Sadducees were one of the religious ruling classes amongst the Jews. There were two main camps. There were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Sadducees rejected all Scripture except the Torah. They only accepted the first five books of the Bible. They denied anything else. The Pharisees accepted all of the Old Testament and were honestly zealous in declaring it’s truth.
This is why the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead. They did not believe in heaven or hell. They thought that when you died, that was the end. They did not believe the Torah taught the resurrection on the last day. They did not believe that the Torah taught about eternity.
Illustration: Modern Comparisons?
I have previously given how to identify someone who is being a Pharisee. A Pharisee is someone who attempts to add in their own commands as equal to Scripture. They add in their own commands in a legalistic way. “Scripture is not enough, we need more.” That is what is at the heart of being a Pharisee. It is not obedience to Christ. Obeying God’s commands is orthodoxy. It is righteousness. Being a Pharisee is saying, “God told us to do x, but that is not enough, we need to do x and y. Then we will be righteous!” We have seen many modern examples of Pharisees. But what about Sadducees?
What would be an example of being a Sadducee? Being a Sadducee would be to pick and choose Scripture. Many people in the deconstructionist movement do this. They attempt to Reject Paul because he is mean or sexist or whatever. They pick and choose what Scripture they view as authoritative. Another example would be a group of people known as open theists. They teach that God created everything and then left it all on it’s own. They deny any supernatural influence from God on the World. In fact, these people are like Sadducees on steroids.
But maybe that will give you a point of reference. Sadducees are the ones who reject massive parts of Scripture they disagree with. The Sadducees specifically the Sadducees only accepted the first five books of the Bible. This is why they denied the resurrection. They did not believe the first five books of the Bible teach the resurrection of the dead. This is important to know as the story progresses.
The Sadducees have come to Jesus in an attempt to entrap Him. They want to show how dumb the idea of a resurrection is. So they ask Jesus about something known as Levirate Marriage.
Levirate Marriage. V.24
What is Levirate Marriage? That is an excellent question. Levirate Marriage was an ancient practice to preserve the family line. When an older brother would marry a woman and then die before having children, one of the other brothers would take that woman as his wife and have children with her in his brother’s name. This may seem backwards, but in the ancient world, it was a beautiful practice.
Moses commands this practice in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. “If brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, then the wife of the one who died shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.6 And it will be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.7 But if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’8 Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he stands and says, ‘I do not desire to take her,’9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, ‘Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’10 And in Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him whose sandal is removed.’
The ancient world was harsh and mean. It was especially hard for women. Even more so, it was almost impossible for widows and single women to survive. Many have wrongly attempted to paint the process of Levirate Marriage in a very negative light. They attempt to claim that it is sexist and like slavery. They claim that the women were treated like property. And that may have happened. People were and are very sinful and will corrupt anything. But that was not the intent of this practice.
We must read these things understanding the world they were applied in. In the process of Levirate marriage, the family was in the most practical sense fully accepting the former wife of the man. Imagine how horrible situations could have been had that woman been rejected and forced to live and marry on her own. However, her in laws took full responsibility and kept her in the family. This is an incredibly practical example of love. They were saying, “You will not leave our family. You are one of us. We will be your people.”
But I think the idea of bearing children for the dead brother is still a little strange for us. But I think that is because we have lost sight of the idea of covenant. The covenant of family is incredibly strong. Family is bound together in covenant. And this applies to inheritance as well. That dead son may be dead, but that does not end his covenantal inheritance. If his former wife can bear a son in his name, that son will be the covenantal heir of the inheritance. This kept the legacy and the name of the one who died alive and well in the land. The covenant was maintained with his family line through one of his living brothers standing in his place for him.
This was a loving act. And it is a central theme in the book of Ruth. We don’t have time to cover it this morning, but go back and read the book of Ruth. The idea of levirate marriage is central in this book. And this gives us one of the most genuine pictures of love in the Bible. It is not emotional love, but something deeper. It is a wonderful picture of a commitment to each other. And at the center of this incredible account is the idea of levirate marriage.
But here is the principle that the Sadducees come and attack Jesus with. They come with a parable. But this is not the well crafted parable of Christ, it is a poorly devised parable meant to be a straw man. Let’s look at the foolish parable of the Sadducees.
The Foolish Parable of the Sadducees. V.25-28
Verses 25-28 say this, “Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no seed, he left his wife to his brother;26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.27 And last of all, the woman died.28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”
The Sadducees give this extreme example of levirate marriage. The oldest of seven brothers marries a woman and then dies before having a son. The woman is then married to the next son. He dies like his brother before him. Then the same thing happens to all seven sons.
The Sadducees give this example and then practically yell, “Gotcha! How can there be a resurrection if there are such complicated situations!” This example is beyond dumb. I don’t think we fully appreciate how idiotic this example is. The Sadducees tried their hardest to come up with a situation so complex that it would disprove the resurrection. This is foolish beyond words. Let me put it this way. The Sadducees are so dumb and arrogant that they thought they could come up with a riddle so complicated that God couldn’t solve it. That is dumb.
Illustration: Augustine and the cremated bodies/ cannibals.
I want you to see how dumb this is. So I am going to give you a proper illustration from church history. It is recorded that saint Augustine around 300 A.D. was forced to debate some people who were denying the bodily resurrection. They claimed that we would be resurrected as purely spiritual beings with no physical bodies. Their argument was two fold. They started by arguing that there could be no physical resurrection because many saints had been burned up. And since their bodies were burned into ash, there was no way that their physical bodies could be resurrected.
One can almost feel Saint Augustine slap his forehead from the utter lunacy of this argument. His response basically consisted of, “Are you seriously arguing that the all powerful God of universe, who spoke all things into existence out of nothing can’t re form the bodies of the saints out of ash?”
How did these heretics respond? They gave yet another “impossible” riddle. What about the missionaries who went to foreign parts to share the gospel and were killed and eaten by cannibals? How could there be a physical resurrection since their bodies had been digested? Boom, checkmate.
One can almost picture the face palm and groaning of Saint Augustine as he again asked them, “So you’re seriously saying that the God of the Universe who formed the universe by the Words of His mouth out of NOTHING cannot make the same bodies for the saints who’s bodies have been digested? Your argument is that would be too complicated for the God who previously knit their bodies together in their mother’s womb?”
Needless to say, those heretics did not win that debate.
Argumentation: Straw men burn really easily.
And yet, those heretics in the 300’s had good predecessors in their stupidity. The Sadducees were just as dumb, if not more dumb. They attempted to come up with a riddle that God could not solve. And this riddle was literally, “a woman was married to a lot of men. So who would she be married to in the resurrection? How will God solve that?! Boom, resurrection destroyed!”
I am sure you have heard me talk about this a lot, but this is what is known as the straw man argument. What is that? It is when someone cannot give a real argument against what you have said, so they twist what you are saying into something ridiculous so that they can disprove it really easily. They take your real argument and twist it into a fake little straw man and then set it on fire. And straw men burn so easily.
This is basically the only kind of argument we have in our day and age. This is what is happening when someone is offended because someone else disagreed with them. This is the “words are violence” crowd. If you can’t actually debate something, you twist things until you can just knock over the little straw man you’ve built.
This is what the Sadducees did with the doctrine of the resurrection. They could not actually debate the doctrine, so what did they do? They twisted it and then tried to knock over the fake idea they had twisted it into. How did they twist the doctrine of the resurrection? They twisted it into thinking the resurrection would simply be a continuation of our life here. The basis of their claim is that life in the eternal state will obviously be exactly like our lives now. If someone is married here, they will obviously still be married there. Once they made that assumption, they tried to light their little straw man on fire.
However, Jesus does not stand this. Jesus rebukes the Sadducees.
Jesus Rebukes the Sadducees. V.29
Jesus was incredibly harsh with the Pharisees. But I don’t think Jesus ever was as harsh with them as He was here with the Sadducees. He says, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
This was a harsh statement. You do not understand the Scriptures nor the Power of God. Jesus lashes out at these false teachers. They are clearly mistaken. The very premise of their question show’s their foolishness. But their pivotal mistake is their lack of understanding the Scriptures and the power of God. These men rejected the Scriptures. Remember, Scripture is our only sure rule of faith and life. They rejected the Scriptures. They only accepted the Scripture that they agreed with. When you reject Scripture that you don’t like, Scripture is not your authority, your opinions are.
At that point, you are not worshipping God, you are worshipping yourself. And this is shown true by Jesus’ statement that they do not know the power of God. This really does remind me of Augustine’s response to the heretics of his day. “Are you really saying that the God of universe, who made all things cannot sort out your little riddle?”
And this is what all heretics have in common. They do not know the Scriptures or the Power of God. Or more specifically, they reject the Scriptures and the power of God.
Calvin says “Though Christ addresses the Sadducees, yet this reproof applies generally to all inventors of false doctrines. For, since God makes known His will clearly in the Scriptures, the want of acquaintance with them is the source and cause of all errors. But this is no ordinary consolation to the godly, that they will be safe from the danger of erring, so long as they humbly, modestly, and submissively inquire from the Scriptures what is right and true.”
How do we know what is true? We submit to the Word of God. We subject all our opinions and feelings to the truth of God’s Word. All of our thoughts and opinions must bow the knee to the Scriptures. Do you want to avoid heresy? Bow the knee to the Word of God. God has spoken. Submit to what He has said.
But how does Jesus clear up their little riddle? He says there will be no more marriage.
No More Marriage. V.30
Verse 30 says this, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” In heaven, the married will no longer be married. This is why in wedding ceremonies we use the phrase “till death do us part.” This is because death is the end of the marriage covenant. Paul reaffirms this in his teachings on marriage.
Illustration: The Ending of the Sacrificial System.
This may sadden some, but I think if we understand what marriage is, we will understand. Many things God has established and instituted have come to an end. In the Old Covenant, God had instituted the sacrificial system. The blood of sheep and goats were offered as a covering for the sins of the people. This ended when Jesus came. Why did it end? Was there something sinful about it? Of course not. When the perfect came, the partial passed away. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. All of the other sacrifices pointed ahead to His perfect sacrifice. The sacrificial system was a picture of what was to come. When the image was fulfilled, it was done away with.
In the same way, marriage is a picture of something yet to come. There will be one wedding in heaven. When Christ returns, He will be united with His bride forever. Who is His bride? His bride is the church. When Christ comes, the perfect marriage will come. The marriage between Christ and all the elect. Then the picture will pass away. Our marriages are beautiful and wonderful gifts from God. But they are to be pictures pointing ahead to that great day when we will be united in perfect love with Christ forever.
So marriage will pass away in favor something far better. We right now enjoy the fruit of marriage. We get to enjoy the blessing of the picture. But someday, we will have the real thing. There is no marrying in heaven. And Jesus then says that we will be like the angels in heaven. What does that mean?
Many throughout history have attempted to twist this and say that the dead become angels. That is not what is said. What is said is we will be “like” the angels in heaven. Still, that is confusing. Thankfully however, Luke clears this up for us. Luke 20:36 says this. “For they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”
So what is Jesus talking about? We will be immortal. We will live forever. We will no longer face death. When we are raised on the last day, we will live forever and never face death, just like the angels. Pretty simple.
Then Jesus says one of the most incredible sentences of His earthly ministry. He asks the Sadducees one of the most strange questions. Jesus speaks of reading what is spoken.
Reading What is Spoken. V.31
Verse 31 says this, “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God,” One would be tempted to wonder if Jesus misspoke here. This question is not grammatically correct. Look closely at what Jesus said. “Have you not read what was spoken to you by God?” Do you see the problem? “Have you not READ what was SPOKEN to you...” Can you read the spoken word? No, those are two very different mediums. It would be like saying, “Did you hear that painting?” That is not how it works. You cannot hear what is painted. In the same way, you cannot read what is spoken.
I am speaking to you right now. You are hearing my words that I am speaking. You are not reading my words that I am speaking.
So what is Jesus saying? This is where it gets so incredible. We have seen Jesus point to the authority of Scripture before, but never quite like this. Jesus is saying something absolutely incredible. Jesus is pointing the authority of the Scripture. He has just said that the Sadducees do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God. And now He asks them have they never read what was spoken to them by God.” Jesus is saying that the written words of Scripture are spoken by God. Quite literally, Jesus is claiming that the written words of Scripture are the spoken Word of God.
The written Word of God is the exact same as if God were verbally speaking. It is exactly the same thing. Or as Paul puts it to Timothy, the Scriptures are “Theopneustos.” That means they are breathed out by God. The written Scriptures contain the breath of God. This is incredible. Jesus is affirming the divine nature of the Scriptures. The Scriptures are truly the Word of God. Have you ever wondered why we stand for the reading of the text? This is not meaningless. We stand because when we read Scripture, we are hearing God directly speak to us. We are literally reading what God has spoken.
This is especially incredible when you think of how many times we hear teachings like, “how to hear from God?” or “How to hear the voice of God.” Do you want to know the Biblical way to hear from God? Do you want to know how Jesus says to hear the voice of God? Read your Bible. I promise you a 100% success rate. You will hear God speak every single time you do this. This works 100% of the time because the reading of God’s Word is God speaking. Open your Bible and read what God has spoken. There is an old saying in the church, I don’t know where it originally comes from, but it goes like this: “Want to hear God speak? Read your Bible. Want to hear God speak out loud? Read your Bible out loud.” I would add this to that old phrase, “Want to hear God speak out loud? Gather with the church for the public reading of God’s Word on the Lord’s Day.”
Does God still speak to His people? Yes. God speaks every time a saint reads the Word of God. Read what God has spoken.
But what is Jesus’ specific criticism? What ought the Sadducees to have read? They ought to have read what God spoke about the eternal nature of man.
The Eternal Nature of Man. V.31-32
Jesus says “31 But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
This is a quote from Exodus 3:6 when Moses encounters God in the burning bush. It says, “He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”
Again, we must notice the language that Jesus uses. Jesus quotes from Exodus and shows God using present tense language. “I AM.”
J.C. Ryle says this, “At the time when Moses heard these words, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been dead and buried many years. Two centuries had passed away since Jacob, the last of the three, was carried to his tomb. And yet God spoke of them as being still His people, and of Himself as being still their God. He said not, “I was their God,” but “I am.”
God is referring to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the present tense. And this is the basis of Jesus’ argument. They are still alive. God is talking about them as real people who are still existent.
This is really an incredible argument. It is also a pattern for us. Jesus builds an argument off of the grammatical use of a word in the text. Jesus is building His argument off of the reliable nature of Scripture. Scripture is not just authoritative, it is completely authoritative. Jesus is basing His argument off of the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture. They ought to have read what God had spoken. And God had spoken in a specific way, using specific words. This words were in the present tense. We know that Abraham, Issac, and Jacob are still alive with God because God grammatically refers to them as alive.
But there is more in this. Honestly, this text answers many questions that we have about heaven. We know that there is no more marriage in heaven. But what will we be like there? That is a common question. People want to know what will we be like in heaven. Jesus is telling us. Abraham is still Abraham. Isaac is still Isaac. Jacob is still Jacob. They are still the same people.
Diving in the philosophical side of theology for a moment, there is something fundamental about you that makes you, you. You are not the way you dress. You are deeper than that. You are not even your body parts. A person can lose a limb and they will still be who they are. This baffles secular philosophers. They reject the idea of the soul. They believe that you are merely the chemical makeup of your brain and body. But theologically, there is something more. There is a “you-ness” that is deeper than the physical. And when you are separated from your body and present with the Lord, you will still be you. The three patriarchs were long separated from their bodies, but they were still fundamentally themselves. So we will be us in heaven. We won’t be in a hive mind either. We will still be individuals. We will be the real us only without sin. There will be no more sin or sinful corruption.
But here is where the Gnostics that Augustine faced went wrong. They would agree with what I have said so far. But they held that the physical was inherently sinful. They believed that the body was evil. And this is why we will be separated from it. But there is a problem. The Bible clearly teaches that we will be reunited with our physical bodies. When Jesus raised from the dead, He went to great lengths to show He was still in His physical body. He ate food and allowed the disciples to touch Him. He was in a physical body. And we shall be too. The body is not evil. Our bodies will be glorified and perfected. No more sin. No more impact of sin.
And this brings me to the final point of eternity in this text. Many people wonder, will we know each other in heaven? Will I know my grandfather? Will we know our (at that point) former spouses? Yes, you will. It may take some introductions. We might not immediately recognize each other because the glorified bodies will be perfect, and therefore somewhat different. But yes, I believe we will know one another. Anytime in Scripture someone is seen in the glorified state in Scripture, there is eventual recognition. We are still us. Our bodies are perfected. There would be no reason that we would not be known and be able to know.
And this is the eternal hope, or the eternal damnation for all.
But perhaps you are wondering how this applies. These are interesting things to know, but what does it matter to us now? Rest assured, it matters in the eternal sense. You see, there are no mere mortals.
No Mere Mortals.
It is true that in heaven we will live forever. We will exist into eternity in perfection. But not all will be in heaven. C.S. Lewis masterfully puts it like this, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
You see, we will be us in eternity. We will be there. In fact, we will be more real there. We will be more us. We will be our truest selves. This is either wonderfully comforting or horrifyingly terrifying. Lewis is right. There are no mere mortals. We are all of us eternal beings who will go on forever, either in heaven or hell.
Heaven or Hell.
Every single soul will exist into eternity. The question is not that of existence. The question is existence where? Where will you spend eternity? Will you spend it in eternal bliss in heaven with Christ? Or, will you spend it in eternal torment and judgement in sin?
Many people think that you cannot know. If you were to poll random people on the street, many would say that if you are just a good enough person, maybe you’ll go to heaven. This is wrong, and anyone who thinks this will go to hell to face eternal torment. How do I know this? I know this because I have read what God has spoken.
You see, God has not left us in the dark. He has given us His Word. He has spoken to us the truth. And He has spoken to us how to be saved. He has told us how we can live forever in eternal bliss with Him. You see, we are all sinful. We are all filled with horrors. We are all evil by nature.
God has spoken. What Has He said? Romans 3:10-18.
10 as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become worthless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open tomb,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
This is the state we are all in. But God has spoken more. There is hope. Romans 6: 20-23. “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21 Therefore what benefit were you then having from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit, leading to sanctification, and the end, eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
But how is this hope obtained? How can one grasp it? Romans 10:8-10. “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10 for with the heart a person believes, leading to righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, leading to salvation.11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes upon Him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him,13 for “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This is the hope. All of those who trust in Christ will never be put to shame. They will be saved. They will spend all eternity with Christ. The Word that God has spoken is true. “29 Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers;30 and those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30.
Any who refuse to trust in Christ will face eternity in hell. But all who trust in Christ have eternity in heaven. How is this applied? If you have never trusted in Christ, you are lost in your sins. Repent and trust in Christ today! If you have trusted in Christ, Rejoice! And share the good news with all.
J.C. Ryle says this, “Happy is he who can say from his heart the words of the Nicene Creed, “I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.”
Blessed are all who have called upon the name of the Lord! Let’s pray.
Revelation 22:21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 9:37 AM February 2, 2022.