A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
This is a weekly overview of Pastor Richard's Illustrated Messages from our Sunday services. If you're in our area, please come and join us to participate, as we each play roles in the scripts.
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Based on Jonathan Edwards sermon, "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God"
Click on the PDF below to read the original message from July 8th, 1741
Click on the video link below to listen to the audio version of the message.
This is the audio of the message read by Max McLean. There are images that may not be appropriate for young children.
In praying for direction for a new message series, the Holy Spirit led Pastor Richard to this message by Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was an American revivalist, preacher, philosopher and one of the most well-known theologians. This message was first preached in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. The message is as relevant for today as it was when he preached it. We’d encourage you to listen to the audio version multiple times and print out a copy of the PDF message, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you to bring repentance to those areas in your life that are not holy before God and to also to fan into flame a desire to reach the lost for Jesus Christ.
This week, we listened to the audio video up to the 6:30 minute mark, or if you’re reading the message, up to the end of point #4.
When the sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God was preached, it was solely directed at those who were not born again and those who portrayed to be a Christian and religiously served God without having been born again.
However, I believe that the following Bible scriptures make it clear that also born again Christians, who practice the following sins of the flesh and do not repent, will not enter the kingdom of heaven but are under Gods wrath.
In Galatians 5:19-21 we read about the works of the flesh; “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Paul was talking to the church of Galatia. He wasn’t talking to sinners, although there may have been sinners in the congregation at that time. One of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:14 reads; “14 You shall not commit adultery.”
But Jesus raised the bar on this scripture where He says in Matthew 5:27-28; “27 You have heard that it was said [a]to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Paul the Apostle, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, talks about overcoming these fleshly temptations; “13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [a]bear it.”
In other words, there is no excuse for the Christian to willfully sin, for Jesus will always make a way of escape. But it’s still up to you to take or not to take the way of escape. The way of escape is to quote the Bible scriptures that would apply to the temptation, just like Jesus did when he was tempted by satan for 40 days in the wilderness. It’s quite incredible that satan, who was created by Jesus in the very beginning, would have the audacity to tempt the creator, but he did.
We read about three particular temptations in Matthew 4:1-11; “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not [a]tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, [b]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
Just like Jesus, we use the word of God, the Bible, to resist the temptations with. What are the temptations that the devil is throwing across your path today? What reckless things of the flesh or some physical feat to prove that God will save you is the devil tempting you with? How often do we see in the music and entertainment world, the political arena and all over the temptations of the devil to get people to just bow down and worship him with the promise of power and glory? Satan’s schemes and tactics have not changed.
Some Christians will say that they are weak in this area of their lives and pull the grace card, rather than take the way of escape found in the Bible that would apply to their weakness. Rather than taking God’s word and apply it to the area of temptation, they lay claim to the fact that they’re too weak to withstand the temptation.
Paul talks about a thorn in the flesh, however it’s not clear what it is, and all we know is that God allowed this thorn. Paul experienced Gods grace that was sufficient to strengthen him in times of weakness. We read about it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [a]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
No matter with what and how much satan is tempting you to throw in the towel; whether it’s in ministry, or your job, your marriage, your children, no matter what he’s using, the Bible says God’s grace will strengthen you in your time of weakness. No matter how weak you feel, God is strong in you. No matter what the devil throws at you, he cannot overcome you, so there is no excuse to fall into the flesh. You can come up with excuse after excuse after excuse to not do the will of the Lord because of your weakness. Once again we can see that being weak in an area of temptation is no excuse to sin, for it says; “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
It’s a lie for the Christian to believe the devil made them do it, to fall into temptation and the deeds of the flesh. He may present a temptation to you, but you have to make the decision to fall or to resist. Rebuke the devil with the word of God. Like Jesus said; ‘it is written satan’.
The Apostle Paul says this in Ephesians 2:1-10; “2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the 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 in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
This scripture has primarily been interpreted that grace is what saves you through faith, and not your works. But what it is saying is grace is the power that God gives you to say no to the works of the flesh, and that is what saves you through faith. It’s not your works of self-righteousness, but rather the grace is given you to say no to the flesh and yes to the Holy Spirit, yes to Jesus, and yes to God. Therefore, grace is not a card that you play to cover your sin, but rather is the power given to you to live holy. Again, Jesus knows your weakness and has already made a way of escape from temptations. When you’re weak, that’s when He works the best in your life and His power and glory is revealed.
If works are not a part of obtaining salvation, then why does he say to work out your salvation with fear and trembling? It says in Philippians 2:12-13; “12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
So, if you are a Christian that is presently acting out in either heart or literally participating in an adulterous relationship, you need to repent and receive forgiveness of your sin and not continue in it. If you have committed adultery in the past and have not been caught and have not repented of it, now is the time to repent. Until then, you are living under the judgement of God and if you were to die in it you will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven but rather be separated from God for eternity in hell fire, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. So, is the adulterous affair really worth spending and eternity separated from God in hell for? Is it worth it to continue in adultery in your mind and thoughts, to fantasize about it, when Jesus says that this thought process is the same as the action, is it worth loosing out in the end?
A good question to ask yourself is, do I really believe that Galatians 5:19-21 is true and that the adulterous affair you are presently involved in will keep you from inheriting the kingdom of Heaven? If you really believed this scripture to be true, you would quote this Bible scripture and other scriptures that would apply to the sin of adultery and say to satan when tempted, it is written. You need to remind him what the word of God has to say.
You may need address the person who is tempting you to commit adultery with, and just say; get behind me satan, you’re a stumbling block to me. It’s true! They’re a person satan is trying to use to get you to commit adultery with. They might get offended and run off, but remember Jesus will ALWAYS make a way of escape for you.
I believe that the reason it is so easy most Christians to practice adultery in the heart or in action, is simply that they have bought into the lie of the Doctrine of Eternal Security, “Once saved always saved”, that stems from Free Grace Theology.
Eternal security, also known as "once saved, always saved", is the belief that from the moment anyone becomes a Christian, they will be saved from hell, and will not lose salvation.
This is an example of cheap grace because it does not cost you anything, in essence saying that even if a person would backslide and die, they’d still be saved. The works of the flesh are forgivable upon continual confession of sin from the time your born again till the day you die. You have to be accountable for sin in your life and Jesus has given grace to you to say no to the sins of the flesh.
John is writing to born again Christians in the following verses in 1 John 1:5-10; “5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
This Christian walk, according to John who received his teaching from Jesus, is conditional. He’s writing to born again, blood bought Christians who still need to be cleansed and forgiven when they sin even as a Christian. You need to walk in the light and be obedient to Jesus, but when you do fall, you repent and you’re cleansed from unrighteousness.
Adultery may not be the sin of choice for you, but any of the others listed below incur the same judgement of not inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s read them again from Galatians 5:19-21; “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Are you a Christian sinner walking on slippery ground, always exposed to fall and sudden unexpected destruction like we listened to in Jonathan Edwards message? It’s time to repent of your sins, be it adultery, or any of the others listed in Galatians 5:19-21, and use the Bible scriptures as a sword to fight off future temptations that the devil puts in your pathway. Like Jesus said when tempted; ‘it is written’, use the Bible when being tempted. You may sound like a parrot being so repetitive, but if that’s what it takes to flee temptation, do it.
1 John 1:8-9 again says; “8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you’ve yielded to adultery or any other sin, repent of it, flee it and you’ll be cleansed. Jesus told the adulteress in John 8:11; “…go and sin no more.” Use the sword of the Lord to resist temptations. Don’t be like a yoyo, falling into sin and then climbing out of the pit over and over again. Find out what the Bible says about your sin, see its serious consequences and then use it to flee temptation when it comes.
Prophetic Word by tongues and interpretation by Pastor Richard
August 18th, 2019
Yes, the Lord is lighting a fire today, a fire of revival in the church, lighting a fire today of awakening. He’s awaking the sinners and the saints side by side today. Yes, it’s a fire of the Holy Spirit that can’t be put out. No matter how hard they try to put it out, they can’t put it out. It’s a work of the Holy Spirit. They can’t extinguish it. When I start the fire, says the Lord, it’s going to burn. Yes, it’s going to start in My house, the church, it’s going to start in My house and it’s going to burn. Holy Ghost fire, Holy Ghost fire. Yes, My altars will be full, full of saints, full of sinners. I will pour out My Spirit on the saints, I’ll deal with the sin first, the sins of the flesh by the power of My Holy Spirit I will deal with the sins of the flesh.
I’ll raise up sinners to replace the saints that are disobedient, says the Lord. I’ll raise up sinners and I’ll fill them with My Holy Spirit and they’ll replace the ones who call themselves saints, that are disobeying My word, says the Lord.
Even under the Old Testament did I not do it with Saul, King Saul? Did I not remove him, did I not replace him, did I not put a man after My own heart in his place? I will do the same today, says the Lord. I’ll remove the false teachers out of the pulpit, says the Lord. I’ll replace them with teachers of truth. I’ll fill the sinner with the Holy Ghost, they’ll step into their shoes and preach the gospel under the anointing that’s going to break the yokes of bondage. They’ll be obedient to My word, says the Lord.
Oh yes, say to yourself; ‘I’m so indispensable, I’ve got too much authority in the church, I’ve got too much power, I’ve been positioned in high places.’
I will raise up, I’ll raise up the sinner to replace you, says the Lord. I’m going to lead him to repentance and he’s going to take over the revival in the future.
You can’t stop this fire, says the Lord. It’s a fire of My Spirit. I oppose the proud, I oppose the proud. But I give My grace unto the meek, unto the humble who obey My word.