Sermon #: 92 Series: Revelation
Title: No Changes In Eternity
Text: Revelation 22:11
Subject: The urgent necessity of faith in Christ
Date: Sunday Morning - December 4, 1988
Hear the words of the wise man and learn what they mean: In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be” (Eccles. 11:3). Solomon’s language is not hard to understand. His meaning is: 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. Judgment day will determine nothing. But it will show the guilt or innocence of all who stand before him, and execute 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 1, there shall it lie!”
In Revelation 22:11 the angel said to John, “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.” Here is the message the angel gave to John to give to us, and it is my message to you today, there will be No Changes In Eternity!
Here are four unalterable, inflexible, unbending statements of divine justice. They cannot change or be changed. 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 take into consideration, or offer 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 gives consideration to nothing else. May the Spirit of God give you ears to hear these four statements of divine justice.
I. IN 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. The wrath of God is upon you! You are cursed! You are condemned! The very same wrath of God that heats the fires of hell is upon you right now (Psa. 5:5; 7:11-13; 11:4-6; Ezek. 18:20; John 3:18, 36).
A. Your unjustified condition, you 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” (Rom. 6:23; Psa. 51:1-5).
Here are three reasons why you ought to go to hell, three reasons why you ought to be damned forever.
1. You were born in a state of guilt and condemnation (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3).
2. You have personally broken every law of God, transgressed every commandment, and come short of every requirement of God from your youth up (Rom. 3:23; Psa. 58:3).
3. 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 (Prov. 1:23-33; I John 5:10).
a. You know the message of Substitution, but you despise the Substitute.
b. 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 commandment. And you despise the promise.
c. You know that you can never be justified by your works, yet you will not acknowledge the evil of your “good” works, confess you sin, and trust Christ alone.
B. 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.
II. 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.” “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.”
“All mankind are originally, naturally, and universally filthy, or defiled with sin” (Gill). 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.
A. If you are without Christ, you are filthy, so filthy that even your righteousnesses are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa. 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 you are filthy.
1. Your heart is filthy (Mk. 7:21-23).
2. Your best deeds are filthy (Isa. 64:6).
3. Your conscience is filthy and must be purged (Heb. 9:14).
B. 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, infinitely more, in hell than any man has ever been tormented by conscience in this world.
C. The only one who can purge you from your filth is the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Illustration: The missionary in India and the leper, crying, “Help! Somebody, please, help me.”)
1. Christ’s blood has purged away the filth of every believer from the book of justice.
2. Christ’s blood, if you believe, will purge away the guilt of your filth from your conscience.
(Illustration: Pilgrim at Calvary!)
3. Christ, by the virtue of his blood, will purge away filth from our bodies in the resurrection.
4. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be clean (Zech. 13:1).
III. 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 you six things from the Word of God.
A. You cannot make yourself righteous, no matter what you do (Gal. 2:21).
B. The only way any sinner can be made righteous is by the righteous obedience of Christ being imputed to him (Rom. 5:19).
· Adam’s sin was imputed to us.
· Our sin was imputed to Christ.
· Christ’s righteousness is imputed to every believer.
C. The only way you can obtain the imputed righteousness of God in Christ is by faith (Rom. 9:31-33).
Faith does not perform righteousness, or accomplish righteousness, or merit righteousness. Faith receives righteousness.
D. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are perfectly righteous in him (I Cor. 1:30; Jer. 2:6; 33:16; Col. 2:10).
· Immutably righteous
· Completely righteous
· Eternally righteous
E. 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 (Col. 1:12).
“Come ye blessed!”
F. If you have been made righteous by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to you, you will live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world, for the glory of Him who has made you righteous (Tit. 2:11-14).
· Not perfectly righteous, but sincerely righteous!
· Not perfectly righteous, but universally righteous!
· Not perfectly righteous, but perseveringly righteous!
IV. 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 - Eccles. 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 wander, “What is the difference between righteousness and holiness?” The one is a matter of legal standing. the other is a matter of personal experience. All men without Christ are in a state of being unjust, a state of men-justification, condemnation, and guilt before the law of God. that is man’s standing before God. But 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 righteous, right in the eyes of the law, because Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us. We were made righteous by Christ’s obedience. 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.
Now, let me show you three things about this holiness.
A. Holiness is that new nature given to every believer whom he is born of God (I John 3:9; II Pet. 1;4; I Cor. 3:17).
B. Though God has given us a new, holy nature by the new birth, we still have the old nature of sin (Rom. 7:14-25).
The believer is not two persons, but one, one person with two natures.
(Illustration: Christ is one person with two natures).
2. These two natures, so long as we are in this world, must be at war with one another (Gal. 5:17).
The Spirit rules but never conquers the flesh in this world. Flesh will not submit to the Spirit, agree with the Spirit, or be at peace with the Spirit for a moment.
C. 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.
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 al our hearts to be, totally free from all sin. But death will make no changes. There will be no changes in eternity.
“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 in this world is of any real consequence, because only one thing in this world is of any eternal consequence, and that is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ - Faith in Christ is the one urgent, eternal necessity of your soul - “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. ”