Sermon #1622 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “Salvation Ready to be Revealed”
Text: 1 Peter 1:5
Date: Tuesday Evening — June 14, 2005
Wichita Falls, Texas
Subject: The Glory Awaiting God’s Elect in Heaven
Reading: Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-6
(1 Peter 1:1-5) "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
I want to talk to you for a few minutes about what the Holy Spirit here describes as “salvation ready to be revealed.” I have another friend who has just gone to heaven. I have been thinking all day about that salvation that is now being revealed to him. Bro. Darius Blake was a faithful and delightful man. His daughter and son-in-law (Diane and Lindsay Campbell) are members of our church in Danville.
I first met Bro. Blake in 1972. He and his wife did not know me, but they invited me to stay in their home in Lexington, KY for four days, while I was attending a Bible conference there. Frankly, the preaching at the conference was not worth the drive to Lexington; but those four days with Bro. Blake were worth more than words can describe. In recent years, Bro. Darius has been afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. It has been terribly painful for his family to watch him rapidly decline.
His decline ended just before three o’clock this morning. Since then, he has been with the ransomed in Glory around the throne of God and the Lamb enjoying that salvation which, just a few hours ago, was still for him what it is now for us, “salvation ready to be revealed.” I think I can almost see his beaming face and sparkling eyes, as he beholds the Savior face to face.
A Big Word
Salvation is a big, big word. It includes all that is involved in delivering our souls from the sentence of death into “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”
The Eternal Past
Salvation is a work of the eternal past. The Holy Spirit tells us in Hebrews 4:3 that all the works of God involved in this thing called salvation “were finished from the foundation of the world.”
· We were chosen in eternal love (Jer. 31:3).
· We were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
· We were accepted in the Beloved and blessed with all spiritual blessings in him before the world began (Eph. 1:3-6).
(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
· We were named the children of God, justified, sanctified, preserved and glorified in Christ by God’s decree in old eternity (Rom. 8:29-30; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Jude 1).
(Romans 8:29-30) “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.”
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
(Jude 1:1) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”
the historic past
The Spirit of God also declares that our salvation was finished by the obedience of Christ as our Substitute in the historic past.
When our Savior cried, “It is finished,” it was finished (John 19:30; Heb. 9:12). Redemption and righteousness were performed by Christ and finished by Christ when he died as our Substitute upon the cursed tree.
· He brought in everlasting righteousness for us.
· He put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself.
· He made us the righteousness of God.
· When he arose from the dead, we rose with him.
· When he sat down in heaven, we sat down with him.
The experience of grace in salvation is also spoken of as something accomplished in the historic past.
When I say, “the experience of grace,” I am talking about the experience of salvation, the experience of the new birth, the experience of receiving Christ. We who now live unto God have been saved. There came a time when we, who were dead in trespasses and in sins, were born again by God’s omnipotent mercy and grace, when we were called from death to life, by irresistible mercy, a time when we were given faith in Christ and sealed in him by the Spirit of God (Eph. 1:13-14; 2:1-9; Ps. 34:6).
(Ephesians 1:13-14) “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
(Ephesians 2:1-9) “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;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
(Psalms 34:1-8) “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (2) My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (3) O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. (4) I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (5) They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. (6) This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (8) O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we received the atonement, we received justification, and we received life eternal. Now we stand in grace experimentally (Rom. 4:25-5:11).
(Romans 4:25) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
(Romans 5:1-11) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) 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.”
(Psalms 126:1-3) “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. (2) Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. (3) The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
the present tense
This thing called salvation is frequently spoken of in the present tense. We who trust Christ are being saved. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:18 that the preaching of the gospel is “unto us who are being saved” the power of God. In Romans 13:11 we read, “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
Yes, I have been saved; and I am being saved. I have come to Christ; and I am coming to Christ — (“To whom coming” 1 Pet. 2:4). I am being saving in this sense — I am “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:5).
· Kept From Temptation
· Kept In the Midst of Temptation
· Kept In All My Trials
· Restored From All My Falls
(John 13:36-38) "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. (38) Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice."
(John 14:1) "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."
· Continually Forgiven of All My Sins
(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.”
(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.”
(Lamentations 3:21-26) “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (25) The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (26) It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”
We rejoice in that which the Lord our God has done for us and in us. But, we rejoice to know that his work for us and in us is not over yet. There is more yet to come, more certain to come. It is written, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
The future tense
But, back here in 1 Peter, the Scriptures speak often of our salvation as something “ready to be revealed.” Here, salvation is spoken of in the future tense.
Truly, with regard to this matter of our salvation, “the best is yet to come.” There is a very real sense in which the salvation of our souls is a salvation yet to be revealed.
(1 Peter 1:3-9) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Let me talk to you just a little about this future tense of our salvation. Obviously, I cannot say much about because I do not yet know much about it; but I know a little.
Soon, I will drop this robe of flesh, and live. — Then, I shall be saved.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-9) “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: (3) If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (4) For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (5) Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (6) Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (7) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (9) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
For the unbeliever death is a horrible thing. For the unbeliever, anything short of death is mercy. But, for the believer death is a great blessing.
John Trapp wrote, “To those that are in Christ death is but the day-break of eternal brightness; not the punishment of sin, but the period of sin. It is but a sturdy porter opening the door of eternity, a rough passage to eternal pleasure.”
For us death is not a thing to be feared, but anticipated. Why should Israel be afraid to cross the swelling Jordan into the land of promise, with the ark of God before them? Believers do not die in the sense that others do. Our Lord said, “Whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.”
· To the ungodly, death is the penalty of sin; but to the believer it is just a change of location.
· Death to the wicked is the execution of justice, but to the believer it is a deliverance from sin.
· To the worldling death is the beginning of sorrows, but to the believer it is admission into glory.
· To the rebel death is imprisonment, but to the believer it is freedom.
Death will bring us into the presence of many friends. Death takes a wife from her husband, a child from its mother, and a father from his family. We cheer ourselves, however, with the prospect of a happy reunion in glory.
It is true, above all else, that we will see Christ and be with Him. But it is also promised that we will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When we die we will leave some behind, but we are going up to “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” And we shall know one another then, even better than we do now, even as the disciples knew Moses and Elijah on the mount.
Dying in Christ means our most earnest and constant prayers will all be answered. How often have we prayed to be free from our trials and temptations! When we close our eyes in death, we will leave this veil of tears behind.
· Does your soul long to be free from all sin? It will be when this body lies in the grave.
· Oh, how our hearts long to be more like Christ! And we shall be perfectly like Him in glory when we have put off this body of flesh.
· We pray for a brighter and clearer vision of Christ in His glory. After we are no longer hindered by the sight of things in this world, our eyes will be opened to see the Son of God as He is!
We need not to weep for those who have died in the Lord! We might well envy them, but not weep for them.
The death of God’s saints is accompanied with many comforts. Death can never separate us from the love of Christ. He will go with us through the dark valley. I am sure that some of God’s saints never have such full revelations of Christ’s love, grace, glory, and greatness as they are given in the hour of death. The Lord will make his people triumphant over the last enemy in that hour.
(Exodus 15:16) “Fear and dread shall fall upon them (all our enenies); by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.”
Then, when Christ comes again in his glorious second advent, our bodies shall be raised from the grave.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
This body must die. But, blessed be God, we shall arise! This is my satisfying confidence: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me!” With such a hope, the grave causes me no alarm!
When we are raised in incorruption and immortality, we shall be glorified forever with Christ, glorified with the very glory of Christ himself (John 17:5, 22).
(John 17:5) “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
(John 17:22) “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:”
What will that everlasting thing we call “glorification” be? What will heavenly glory be? No words of man can begin to describe that which awaits us. But we are told a few things about it.
· There will be no sorrow more or sighing forever!
· There will be no more sickness, bereavement, or death forever!
· There will be no more pain forever!
· There will be no more crying forever! — “or God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes!”
· There will be no more sin forever!
· And we “shall see his face” forever!
“We read of a place that’s called heaven.
It’s made for the pure and the free.
These truths in God’s Word He hath given. —
How beautiful heaven must be!
In heaven no drooping nor pining,
No wishing for elsewhere to be.
God’s light is forever there shining —
How beautiful heaven must be!
Pure waters of life there are flowing;
And all who will drink may be free.
Rare jewels of splendor are glowing —
How beautiful heaven must be!
The angels so sweetly are singing
Up there by the beautiful sea.
Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing.
How beautiful must be!
How beautiful heaven must be!
Sweet home of the happy and free,
Fair heaven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be!”
“We will rejoice in thy salvation!” And we will especially rejoice in this great fact, “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed!”
It is “ready,” a kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world, purchased for us by the blood of Christ, and held in possession for us by our Forerunner, the Lord Jesus.
It is “ready,” for us and we are ready for it, being made “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” by the righteousness of Christ imputed to us in justification and by the righteousness of Christ imparted to us in regeneration.
It is “ready to be revealed.” At present, we see through a glass darkly. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and the heart of man has not conceived the things our God has prepared for us. — Just imagine what Glory must be, when you think that it is infinitely more glorious than you have ever imagined!
It is “ready to be revealed in the last time.” — When the Lord Jesus comes to call you home to glory, at the time appointed. — When he comes in his glorious second advent, then this salvation shall be fully revealed and enjoyed forever in resurrection glory!
(Revelation 7:9-17) "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, (12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? (14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
(Revelation 14:1-5) "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. (2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
(Revelation 14:13) "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
(Revelation 5:9-14) "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."
May the Lord our God make his salvation yours for, Christ’s sake.