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Sermon #2456 — Miscellaneous Sermons

 

Title:                           No Changes in Eternity

 

Text:                            Revelation 22:11

Subject:                     The Urgent Necessity of Faith in Christ

Date:                          Sunday Morning — December 2, 2018

Reading:       Revelation 22:1-17

 

(Revelation 22:1-17) “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life (The Love of God), clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life (Our Blessed SaviorThe Lord Jesus Christ), which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (God’s ElectThe Twelve Tribes of IsraelThe 144,000The Israel of God). (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (5) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (6) And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. (7) Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (8) And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. (9) Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (10) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. (11) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (12) And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (14) Blessed are they that do his commandments (Trust Christ), that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

 

Introduction

 

Two men died this week.

Š      President George H. W. Bush

Š      Pastor Bill James

Soon, you and I will also die. As surely as I stand here today — “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29). Soon, very soon, we shall pass from this time world into another world, another state of existence, called “Eternity.”

 

ETERNITY! ETERNITY! ETERNITY! — What a heavy, heavy word that is! — “Eternity!” I have come here again today to preach the gospel to you who are eternity bound sinners in the name of God, the God at whose bar you must soon stand, as his ambassador.

 

(2 Corinthians 5:10) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

 

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,” I have come here to persuade you who are yet dead in trespasses and sin to trust my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, if God the Holy Spirit will speak to you by his Word. — O my God, speak now by your servant to these immortal souls for Christ’s sake!

Š      Everything in this world is temporal and passing away.

Š      In that world to which we are going everything is eternal and permanent. — Heaven, with all its blessedness and glory, is eternal and permanent. And hell, whatever that horrible place and condition of darkness and torment is, is eternal and permanent!

Š      And what we are here we will be in eternity. You will not enter heaven when you die unless you are made fit for heaven before you die. Death changes nothing but our place of existence.

 

As the Tree Falls

 

Hear the words of the wise man and learn what they mean. — “In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be (Ecclesiastes 11:3). Solomon’s language is not hard to understand. His meaning is obvious. — Whatever your condition is when you die, that will be your condition throughout eternity. Death changes nothing. There will be no changes in eternity! Whatever your spiritual condition is at the moment of death that will be your spiritual condition throughout eternity. Whatever your state is before God when you die that will be your state before God throughout eternity. There will be no changes in eternity!

 

The judgment bar of God is not to be a trial to determine the guilt or innocence of those who stand before him in that great day. Judgment Day will determine nothing. The Great White Throne Judgment will only show and declare the guilt or innocence of all who stand before the Judge. Judgment Day will be but the execution of the penalty of justice upon the guilty and the reward of justice upon the righteous. Judgment will reveal everything. But judgment will change nothing. There will be no changes in eternity! Purgatory is a lie. Limbo is a delusion. — “In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it lie!”

 

In Revelation 22:11 we read these words regarding the state and condition of all men, as we leave this world and enter into that eternity that awaits us. — “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” That is the message the angel gave to John to gives to us. It is my message to you today. — There will be no changes in eternity! That is my subject. That it the title of my message. — No Changes in Eternity. May God the Holy Ghost burn those words in your mind, write them upon your heart, and echo them in your conscience, for Christ’s sake and graciously make you fit for heaven!

Š      No Changes in Eternity!

Š      No Changes in Eternity!

Š      No Changes in Eternity!

 

(Revelation 22:11) “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

 

Blind Justice

 

I will give you my message in four unalterable, inflexible, unbending statements arising directly from the Book of God. These four statements of fact cannot change or be changed. They are matters of divine justice and truth. They are written out in the Book of God. They cannot be altered: not for you, not for me, not for anyone. We are told that “justice is blind.” Among men, that is questionable. But I assure you that the justice of God is blind. It does not consider or offer any leniency upon the grounds of age, race, sex, environment, education, ability, or knowledge. It sees only two things: sin and righteousness, guilt and innocence, filthiness and holiness. Justice considers nothing else. May the Spirit of God give you ears to hear these four things.

 

Unjust

 

1stIf you die without Christ when you die you will die unjust, guilty, condemned, and lost under the wrath of God; and you will be unjust forever. — If you die in a state of guilt and condemnation, with the curse of the law and the wrath of God upon you, you will spend eternity under the curse and unmitigated wrath of almighty God.

 

Nothing will change after you die. There will be no changes in eternity. It is written, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still.”

 

If you are without Christ you are unjust, you are in a state and condition of non-justification. You have broken God’s law. The guilt of sin is upon you. Oh, if you could understand what I am saying to you, you would tremble with fear!

Š      The wrath of God is upon you!

Š      You are cursed!

Š      You are condemned!

Š      The very same wrath of God that heats the fires of hell is upon you right now (Psalm 5:5; 7:11-13; 11:4-6; Ezekiel 18:20; John 3:18, 36).

 

(Psalm 5:5) “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

 

(Psalm 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.”

 

(Psalm 11:4-6) “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.”

 

(Ezekiel 18:20) “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

 

(John 3:18) “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 3:36) “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.”

 

Your unjustified condition, your state of condemnation is a matter of righteousness, justice, and truth. — If God should seize you before you draw your next breath and cast you into hell, his judgment upon you would be exactly what you deserve. You have earned his wrath. — “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; Psalm 51:1-5).

Š      You were born in sin, in a state of guilt and condemnation (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).

Š      You have personally broken every law of God, transgressed every commandment, and come short of every requirement of God from your youth up (Romans 3:23; Psalm 58:3).

Š      And you have repeatedly heard and rejected the gospel of the grace of God. You have repeatedly had Christ crucified set before you and willfully despised him (Proverbs 1:23-33; 1 John 5:10).

Š      You know the commandment and promise of God. — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!” But you will not obey the command. And you despise the promise.

Š      You know that you can never be justified by your works, yet you will not acknowledge the evil of your “good” works, confess your sin, and trust Christ alone.

 

If you die in your present condition, unjust, you will be forever unjust. You are without hope, without life, without God, without Christ. Dare you die in such a state? If you do, there will be no mercy for you but only wrath, no friend in heaven for you but only enemies. You will forever remain unjustified!

 

The only change that will take place is this. — When you wake up in hell, you will value justification by Christ more than anything, want it more than anything, but there will be no possibility of you obtaining it. — Oh, how precious the blood of Christ will be to you in hell!

 

Unclean

 

2ndIf you die without Christ you will die in your sins, unclean and filthy before God; and you will remain unclean and filthy forever. — If you die in a state of filth, depraved, defiled, degenerate, and sinful, you will be filthy forever.

 

Nothing will change after you die. There will be no changes in eternity. It is written, — “He which is filthy, let him be filthy still.”

 

None of us like to hear it, but it is true. And if I would be faithful to your souls, I must tell you the truth. — We are all originally, naturally, and universally filthy and defiled with sin, utterly and totally depraved at the very core of our being.

 

If you are without Christ you are filthy, so filthy that even your best deeds are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). No one likes to think of filth, be around filth, see filth, smell filth, or touch filth. Have you ever smelled a filthy thing or had to work in filth? If you have, just the remembrance of it will make your stomach begin to churn. Yet, the Word of God declares that we are filthy.

Š      Our hearts are filthy (Mark 7:21-23).

Š      Our best deeds are filthy (Isaiah 64:6).

Š      Our consciences are filthy and must be purged (Hebrews 9:14).

 

If you die in your filth, you will wallow in your filth forever in hell. Death will not change you. The fires of hell will not purge away the filth of nature. — “He which is filthy, let him be filthy still!” There will be no regeneration of the heart, no repentance from sin, no renovation of the soul, and no reformation of life in hell.

 

The only thing that will change is this: — In hell your lusts and filthy passions will be more acute than ever, but shall have no satisfaction. And the corruptions of your heart will torment you more, indescribably more, in hell than any man has ever been tormented by his conscience in this world. — “The worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” — And in hell everybody shall know your filth! — Oh, how precious the blood of Christ will be to you in hell!

 

The only one who can purge you from your filth is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Š      Christ’s blood has purged away the filth of every believer from the book of justice.

Š      Christ’s blood, if you believe, will purge away the guilt of your filth from your conscience.

Š      Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be clean. He is a Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1).

 

(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”

 

Illustrations: The Missionary in India and the Leper, crying, “Help! Somebody, please, help me.” —— Rolfe Barnard at Old Faithful

 

Righteous

 

3rdIf you die in Christ you will die righteous; and you will remain righteous forever. — If you die in a state of righteousness, justified and complete in Christ, you shall be righteous forever and enjoy the just reward of righteousness in eternal glory.

 

Nothing will change after you die. There will be no changes in eternity. It is written, “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still.” — That which God has given shall never be taken away! — Death and judgment will not make you any more righteous than you are at the moment you die. And it will not make you one bit less righteous than you are at the moment you die. Death changes nothing. Judgment changes nothing. Eternity changes nothing. Are you interested in being righteous before God? If you are, let me show what the Word of God reveals.

 

Š      You cannot make yourself righteous, no matter what you do (Galatians 2:21).

 

Š      The only way any sinner can be made righteous is by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ the sinners’ Substitute (Romans 5:19).

 

Š      The only way you can obtain the righteousness of God in Christ is by faith (Romans 9:31-33).

 

(Romans 9:31-33) “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (33) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

 

(Romans 10:1-13) “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. (5) For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

Š      If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are perfectly righteous in him (1 Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16; Colossians 2:10). — Immutably righteous! — Completely righteous! — Eternally righteous!

 

Š      If you are now righteous in God’s sight, if you have received the righteousness of God by faith in Christ, God in strict justice will reward you for the perfect, righteous obedience of Christ when you stand before him in judgment (Colossians 1:12). — “Well done!” — “Come ye blessed!” — Oh, how precious the blood of Christ will be to you in in that day!

 

Holy

 

4thIf you die in Christ you will die holy; and you will remain holy forever. — If you die in a state of holiness, born-again, regenerated, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, you shall be forever holy and inherit the kingdom of holiness.That which God has done cannot be undone, made better or made less, Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taken from it (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

 

Death changes nothing. There will be no changes in eternity! It is written, “He that is holy, let him be holy still.” Perhaps you ask, “What is the difference between righteousness and holiness?” — The one is a matter of legal standing. The other is a matter of personal experience. The one has reference to conduct. The other speaks of character.

 

All without Christ are in a state of being unjust, unrighteous, a state of non-justification, condemnation, and guilt before the law of God. That is man’s standing before God. And his nature is “filthy,” the condition of his heart, the thought of his mind, the state of his soul is “filthy.”

 

All who are in Christ, redeemed by his blood, are “righteous.” Our legal standing before God is righteousness, right in the eyes of the law, because Christ’s righteousness has been made ours by grace. We were made righteous by Christ’s obedience unto death as our Substitute (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

But “holiness” is the believer’s new nature in Christ. Holiness is not what we do. Holiness is not what we do. Holiness is not what we do. Holiness is what we are by the new birth. Holiness is the righteousness of Christ imparted to us in regeneration. — Holiness is that new nature given to every believer when he is born of God (1 John 3:9; 2 Peter 1:4; Corinthians 5:17).

 

(1 John 3:1-10) “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. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

 

(2 Peter 1:1-4) “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

When we die, we will not become one bit more holy than we now are. We will simply cease to be bothered by this sinful body of flesh (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:9).

 

(2 Corinthians 4:17-5:9) “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. —— (5:1) 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.”

 

In eternity we will do what we now want to do, that which is perfectly righteous, because we will be what we now long with all our hearts to be, totally free from all sin. But death will make no changes. There will be no changes in eternity. — Oh, how precious the blood of Christ will be to you in heaven!

 

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” — “In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it lie.”

 

Only One Thing

 

Only one thing in this world is of any real consequence, because only one thing in this world is of any eternal consequence, and that is our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. — Faith in Christ is the one urgent, eternal necessity for your immortal soul.

 

(John 3:36) “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.”

 

(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”

 

(John 3:18) “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.”

 

Will you now trust the Lord Jesus Christ? There will be no changes in eternity! Oh, may God the Holy Ghost grant you life and faith in my Savior! — “In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be!” There will be no changes in eternity! — Oh, how precious the blood of Christ will be to you in eternity!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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