Sermon #1511 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Four Fables—Four Questions—Four Facts
Text: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Subject: Damning Religious Fables
Date: Sunday Morning—
Tape # X-17a
(2 Timothy 4:1-5) "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
The prophecy made by the Apostle Paul in our text
has come to pass in our day. Around the world, particularly in our own country,
and specifically in
I am not talking about Papists, Hindus, Buddhist, and Mohammed’s. I am talking about men and women who profess to know, worship, trust, and serve the living God by faith in his Son Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our friends, relatives, and neighbors, having turned away from the truth have been turned unto fables.
You know what a fable is. It is a brief story, dreamed up by a man to teach a moral, ethical lesson, but factually it is a lie. Here are four common religious fables, dreamed up by men to teach people moral principles. They are universally embraced, proclaimed, and defended. These four fables will be presented throughout the city, across this country and around the world today as the very truth of God. But they are in fact lies which are damning to the souls of all who believe them.
1. “God loves everyone.” He does not! Nowhere does the Bible say or imply that he does. The proof text most commonly used to “prove” this assertion is John 3:16. But neither John nor any other passage of Holy Scripture teaches that God’s love is universal. (Note: In the Word of God the word “world” seldom means everyone in the world, without exception, and the word “all” seldom means all without exception – Luke 2:1 & Rom. -19.) In fact, the Bible plainly tells us that God does not love everyone (Ps. 11:5; ; Rom. ; Isa. 43:1-5).
(Psalms 7:11) "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day."
(Psalms 11:5) "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."
(Romans 9:13) "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he
that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow
thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither
shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For
I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One
of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave
“God is love.” We rejoice in that. But God’s love is in Christ. In the Bible there is no assurance of God’s love given to anyone apart from faith in Christ.
2. “God wills the salvation of all men, without exception.” The proof text by which blaspheming freewillers attempt to prove this notion is 2 Peter 3:9.
(2 Peter 3:9) "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Reading this verse in its entirety and in its context, we have no difficulty understanding it. The “us” God is not willing should perish and the “us ward” to whom he is long suffering is his elect. We are assured of this, for in verse 15, the Holy Spirit tells us plainly that this long suffering of our God is salvation.
(2 Peter 3:15) "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you."
3. “The Lord Jesus Christ shed his blood and died to redeem and save all people.” In order to prove this doctrine we are often referred to four texts, which, we are told, prove universal redemption (John ; Heb. 2:9; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 2:1-2).
(John 3:16) "For God so loved the world (Obviously, the world of his elect, or his elect scattered throughout the whole world.), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
(Hebrews 2:9) "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."—The words “every man” should read simply “every,” referring to…
· Every Son (v. 10)
· Every Sanctified One (v. 11)
· Every Brother (v. 12)
· Every Child (v. 13)
· Every One Given to Christ (v. 13)
· Every One of The Seed of Abraham (v. 16)
· Every One of His People (v. 17)
(2 Peter 2:1) "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord (Despotes not Kurios) that bought (agoradzo not ekagoradzo) them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
(1 John 2:1-2) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."— As in John 3:16, the world of his elect, or his elect scattered throughout the whole world.
The Son of God did not shed his blood for every person in the world. He did not die for all without exception! – The Bible nowhere teaches or implies that Christ died for, redeemed, or came to save those multitudes who are at last lost in hell. Those for whom Christ died shall never die! The Son of God redeemed all whom he came to redeem, and he shall save all whom he came to save.
4. “The Holy Spirit of God is doing all that he can to save all people. He strives to save everybody.” You know that is not true. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are multitudes to whom the Spirit of God has never even sent his Word. The Bible says nothing of the Spirit trying to reprove, trying to convince, or trying to regenerate. The Bible declares, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.”
But the perverters of Scripture, those who wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction, point to Genesis 6:3 as a proof text for the Holy Spirit’s impotence in grace.
(Genesis 6:3) "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
Let’s be honest with God’s Word. Every word, every phrase, every verse of Holy Scripture must be interpreted in its context, both its immediate context and the whole context of Divine Revelation. Genesis 6:3 is not talking about God’s saving operations, but about Noah’s generation and the wrath of God upon that generation.
The whole religious world, to one degree or another, declares that salvation is accomplished by the will of man, the worth of man, and the work of man. But the Word of God declares that salvation is by the will of God alone, the worth of Christ alone, and the work of the Holy Spirit alone.
Listen carefully.—If these things, so commonly and so universally embraced, believed and taught throughout the religious world (Baptists and Papists—Charismatic and Non-charismatic—Protestants and Pentecostals—Fundaentalists and Liberals—Russellites and Campbellites—Mormons and Methodists), are true…
· If God loves all men without exception…
· If God wills the salvation of all men without exception..
· If Christ died to redeem all men without exception…
· If the Holy Spirit calls all men without exception,
I ask you to answer these four questions.
1. What does the love of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?—–Absolutely nothing!
If God loves all men alike, then when you tell me that God loves me, you’ve told me nothing. The love of God is totally insignificant and absolutely meaningless. If that is the case, then…
· There is no distinction between God’s love for the saved and his love for the lost.—He loves people who are suffering his wrath in hell just as fully as he does those who are glorified in heaven!—Either that, or God is mutable, changeable, and fickle, like man!
· There is no power in the love of God to save and keep his own. His love really doesn’t matter.—It is nothing but a helpless, frustrated, defeated passion in the heart of poor God!
· There is no comfort in the love of God.—How can anyone derive even the slightest comfort from a love that is helpless and useless?
· There is no motivation in the love of God.— If God’s love for me is the same as his love for Judas, Pharaoh, and Cain, why should I love, serve, and seek to honor him?—Indeed, if the difference between me and those who are damned is me, God ought to serve me! He ought to praise me!
2. If the Lord God wills the salvation of all and some are not saved, as is the case, what does the will of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?—Absolutely nothing!—If that were the case, God’s will would be just as irrelevant and meaningless as yours or mine. But that is not the case. He declares, “I will do all my pleasure!”—“Our God is in the heavens. He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased!”—“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the sea, and in all deep places!”
3. If the Lord Jesus Christ shed his blood for all alike, if he died to redeem and save all men and some go to hell anyway, what does the blood of Christ have to do with anyone’s salvation?—Absolutely nothing!
If, as is universally asserted, Christ died to save all men and some are not saved, then that blasphemous absurdity must follow that Christ died in vain for some, his blood was a meaningless waste, he suffered and died for nothing, his death really has nothing at all to do with anyone’s salvation!—Horrid blasphemies these are; but they are inescapable conclusions that must be made, if we entertain the notion that Christ died for the multitudes who are in hell.—If Christ died for all men without exception, if he shed his blood to save the entire human race, then the shedding of his blood was…
· An Atonement that does not atone!
· A redemption that does not redeem!
· A ransom that does not ransom!
· A deliverance that does not deliver!
· A sin-offering that does not satisfy!
· A propitiation that does not propitiate!
4. If God the Holy Spirit is gracious alike to all, if he calls all alike, if his power is exercised upon all alike for the saving of their souls and some yet perish in unbelief under the wrath of God and are forever lost, what does the power, grace, and call of the Holy Spirit have to do with anyone’s salvation?—Absolutely nothing!
If the Spirit of God strives to regenerate and save all men alike, if he seeks to bring every man and woman in the world to life and faith in Christ, and some are not saved, then…
· He has no power to give life to anyone!
· He has no grace to regenerate anyone!
· He has no ability to save anyone!
To say that God loves all people alike, that he wills the salvation of all, that Christ died to redeem and save all, that the Holy Spirit strives to save all is to declare, “Salvation is not of the Lord at all, but rather it is the response and work of man that saves!” It is to declare, “God has done all that he can do, but salvation is altogether up to you!”
Now, I want, by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit, to declare, in plain, simple, unmistakable terms, the teaching of this Book about these things. I pray that God will speak through me and cause you to hear what he has to say.
1. The love of God has everything to do with our salvation.—It is the very foundation of our redemption (Jer. 31:3; 1 John 3:1; 4:7-10, 19).
(Jeremiah 31:3) "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
(1 John 3:1) "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."
(1 John 4:7-10) "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
(1 John 4:19) "We love him, because he first loved us."
How I wish I had the words and the ability to preach the love of God! It is infinite love! Everlasting love! Indestructible love! Love that “passeth understanding!” And it is saving love (Eph. 2:4-5).
(Ephesians 2:1-5) "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved!)"
God’s love is not helpless, but almighty! God’s love is never frustrated, but always effectual! God’s love is not weak, but strong and saving!
· The love of God is in Christ.
God loves sinners in Christ and for Christ’s sake (John ; Rom. -39). God’s love is a holy love. It can only be fixed upon holy objects. It is true (Thank God it is true!), God loves sinners. But God love sinners in Christ and for Christ’s sake. You have no reason to imagine, or even suspect that God loves you if you do not trust his Son. Apart from faith in Christ, the wrath of God abides on you, not his love!
· The love of God is immutable!—It does not change! Those who are loved of God are loved of God forever!
· “God is love!” We rejoice to declare it!—But the Lord our God is also a God of burning, unquenchable wrath!
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” – “Our God is a consuming fire!”—He declares, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” There are in this world vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy, vessels of mercy prepared by God for glory, and vessels of wrath fitted by unbelief and sin for destruction (Ps. 11:4-7; 7:11-13; 5:5; 2:12).
(Psalms 2:12) "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."
(Psalms 5:5) "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."
(Psalms 7:11-13) "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (12) If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. (13) He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors."
(Psalms 11:4-7) "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. (5) The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. (6) Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. (7) For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright."
If you imagine that God loves every person without exception, how can you explain…
· The flood? – “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!”
· Hell?—“I never knew you!”
“But,” I hear someone say, “God is no respecter of persons.” Right you are. To say that God loves all men alike is to declare that he is a respecter of persons, for he takes men to heaven only because of something they do by which they distinguish themselves from others!
If what I have shown you from the Word of God about the love of God offends you, it is because your heart is evil. An honest heart knows that none of us deserve or merit the love of the thrice holy Lord God. Only in Christ can the holy God love an unholy object, because in Christ the unholy are made perfectly holy!
2. The will of God alone is the cause of our salvation in Christ (John -13; Rom. ).
(John 1:11-13) "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
(Romans 9:16) "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."
If salvation depended upon the will of man no one would ever be saved. What is the condition of man’s will? It is the same as the man’s condition.—Spiritually dead!—Depraved!—Perverse!—In Bondage!
(John 5:40) "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."
(John 6:44) "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
(Romans 3:10-12) "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
What does the Book say?
· It was not my will that brought me to Christ, but God’s will (James 1:18; Eph. 1:3-5, 9, 11; John 6:37-39).
· If God almighty willed the salvation of all, all would be saved (Isa. ; 46:9-11; Dan. -35).—“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have thought, so shall it stand!”
3. The blood which Christ shed at Calvary, the death he died as the sinner’s Substitute upon the cursed tree was an almighty, effectual atonement for sin (Isa. 53:9-11; Rom. 5:10-11).
(Isaiah 53:9-11) "And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."
We do not make atonement by believing on Christ, we receive the atonement he made!
(Romans 5:10-11) "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
Christian or Pagan?
Tell me what you believe about the death of Christ, why he had to die, what he accomplished in his death, what purpose his death served, and I will tell you what you think of Christ. This, right here, will determine whether you are a Christian or a pagan, an believer or an idolater! What do you see in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?
· The cause of our Savior’s death was the love of god for his elect (John ).
Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the sky of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade—
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky!
· The reason why Christ had to die was that God might be just in the exercise of mercy and grace to the saving of our souls (Rom. 3:24-26).—“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged!”
Illustration: Daniel and Darius’ Dilemma
(Romans 3:24-26) "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) 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; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
· The purpose served in our Savior’s death was the accomplishment of a work no one else and nothing else could accomplish—The putting away of sin!
► All the Jewish sacrifices offered under the law could never put away sin (Heb. 10:1-9).
Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace, or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb, takes all our sin away,
A Sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they!
The works of the law can never put away sin (
► God himself, who created the world by the word of his mouth, could not put away one sin without the shedding of Christ’s blood (Heb. ).
► But Christ, the God-man, put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself (Heb. 1:3).
I am telling you that the death of Christ was more than an attempt to save. His death upon the cross was the accomplishment of redemption for God’s elect! What did the Lord Jesus Christ actually accomplish by his death upon the cursed tree? Hear what God has to say about the matter (Heb. 10:12-14, 17-20; 9:12, 24-26; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7, 9; Isa. 53:4-6, 8, 10-12).
(Galatians 3:13) "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"
(Hebrews 9:12) "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
(Hebrews 9:24-26) "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (25) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; (26) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
(Hebrews 10:12-14) "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
(Hebrews 10:17-20) "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."
(1 Peter 2:24) "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."
(1 Peter 3:18) "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."
(1 John 1:7) "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
(1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(Isaiah 53:4-6) "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) 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. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
(Isaiah 53:8) "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken."
(Isaiah 53:10-12) "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Now, assuming that God is true, and that his Word is true, it is not possible for a man to both believe the testimony of Holy Scripture and believe that Christ shed his blood to redeem all men (John 10:11-16, 26).
Illustration: The Paschal Lamb for
4. Regeneration, the new birth, eternal life is the gift and work of God the Holy Spirit, the operation of his omnipotent grace (Ps. 65:4; 110:3; John 3:5-8).
(Psalms 65:4) "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple."
(Psalms 110:3) "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."
Anyone who is familiar with the Word of God knows that all men and women have some awareness of God, of sin, of life, of death, of judgment, and of eternity (Rom. -20; -15). Man is, by nature, a very religious creature (John -40). And unsaved religious people often recognize and believe some true facts about God and Christ and salvation (John 3:2).
But the quickening, regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit is much, much more than the mere revelation of facts. He reveals Christ (Gal. -16). He gives life!
· God the Holy Spirit gives impotent, dead sinners life (John 3:5-8; Eph. 2:1-5).
· He convicts and convinces sinners of sin, righteousness, and judgment, revealing Christ in the heart (John 16:8-15; 1 Cor. 2:7-10; Zech. ).
· The Spirit of God effectually draws sinners to Christ and makes them willing to come (John -45; Ps. 110:3).
I have drawn the line (God has drawn the line!) in the sand. Who is on the Lord’s side? There is no middle ground. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture—“Salvation is of the Lord!” That work of grace, which God has wrought in us is the result of…
1. God’s sovereign, eternal, distinguishing love for us!
2. God’s eternal election of us unto salvation!
3. Christ’s effectual redemption of our souls!
4. The Holy Spirit’s irresistible grace (Rom. -31).
(Romans 8:28-31) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
To God be the glory both now and forever. Amen!