Sermon #1727 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: No Changes in Eternity
Text: Revelation 22:11
Subject: The Urgent Necessity of Faith in Christ
Date: Thursday Morning — December 27, 2007
Funeral Message for Dorothy K. Murphy
Reading: Revelation 20:11-21:27
(Revelation 20:11-15) “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
(Revelation 21:1-11) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (9) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (11) Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”
(Revelation 21:22-27) “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (24) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (25) And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (26) And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. (27) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
It is always difficult for me to know how to do what I am here to do today, to conduct a funeral service for someone I never knew. Because I never knew her, I will have nothing to say about Mrs. Murphy. Her body lies before us in that box, cold and dead. In just a few minutes, we will bury it beneath the ground in anticipation of the resurrection. As surely as I stand here today, — “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 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). What I have to say today might have been helpful to her a week ago; but she chose not to hear the gospel when she could have done so. Now, she is gone, gone forever into eternity! “ETERNITY!” — What a heavy, heavy word that is! — “Eternity!” I have come here today to speak 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 every one 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 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 for Christ’s sake!
· Everything in this world is temporal and passing away.
· In that world to which we are going everything is eternal. — Heaven, all its blessedness and glory is eternal. And hell, whatever that horrible place and condition of darkness and torment is, is eternal!
· 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.
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: 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 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.” 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!
I will give you my message in four unalterable, inflexible, unbending statements arising directly from the Book of God. These four statements about the justice of God 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 things.
1. If you die without Christ, 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. 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).
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” (Rom. 6:23; Psa. 51:1-5).
· You were born in sin, in a state of guilt and condemnation (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3).
· 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).
· 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 (Pro. 1:23-33; 1 John 5:10).
· 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.
· 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.
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.
2. If you die without Christ, you will die in your sins, unclean and filthy before god; and you will remain unclean 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 (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 we are filthy.
· Our hearts are filthy (Mk. 7:21-23).
· Our best deeds are filthy (Isa. 64:6).
· Our consciences are filthy and must be purged (Heb. 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 conscience in this world.
The only one who can purge you from your filth is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s blood has purged away the filth of every believer from the book of justice. Christ’s blood, if you believe, will purge away the guilt of your filth from your conscience. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be clean. He is a Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness (Zech. 13:1).
Illustration: The Missionary in India and the Leper, crying, “Help! Somebody, please, help me.”
3. If 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.
· You cannot make yourself righteous, no matter what you do (Gal. 2:21).
· The only way any sinner can be made righteous is by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ the sinners’ Substitute (Rom. 5:19).
· 3rd, The only way you can obtain the righteousness of God in Christ is by faith (Rom. 9:31-33).
· If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are perfectly righteous in him (1 Cor. 1:30; Jer. 23:6; 33:16; Col. 2:10). — Immutably righteous! — Completely righteous! — Eternally righteous!
· 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). — “Well done!” — “Come ye blessed!”
4. If 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 - 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 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 non-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 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. 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 whom he is born of God (1 John 3:9; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 5:17).
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 all 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 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 every one 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 Spirit grant you life and faith in my Savior! — “In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be!”
(2 Corinthians 5) “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. (10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
(14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
(17) 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.”
(2 Corinthians 6:1-2) “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
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