If you want yourself in the unworthy column for all eternity, just refuse Christ. If we want to be made worthy - just accept Christ - He is the one who is worthy and through Him we have eternal life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello friends, How are you? Doing alright today? I certainly trust so. And as we open the Word of God, I trust that He will open his truth to your heart, and your heart to His truth. Well, Paul and Barnabas have been preaching at Antioch and they’ve been doing a rundown of the history of God’s chosen people, tracing that history from the choice that God made of Abraham and on through the period of the judges and King Saul and then King David. And God’s promise to David that He would raise up the Messiah from his descendants, the forerunner John the Baptist, the coming of the Lord Jesus, His death on Calvary, His resurrection. And then this final statement, “Be it known unto you therefore Men and brethren, that through this man, through the Lord Jesus is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. And by Him, all that believe are justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Well, people were thrilled with the message, they went away talking about it. The Gentiles that were in the crowd, or the hangers-on on the edges of the crowd, they said, “Oh we’d like to hear more about this.” The word spread, and the following Sunday it said almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God and immediately somebody got envious because someone else had a bigger crowd. We talked about that, you and I. You remember? It’s hard to pray for somebody who’s doing better than you are in terms of the attendance at his meetings. But this is the acid test. And they were moved with envy, filled with envy, and so they had to get a religious reason to justify their envy. Watch out for religious reasons to justify your own meanness. You can find them if you wish. Anybody can find a biblical or a religious reason for justifying his own meanness and his own envy and malice. Watch out for that.
It’s a very subtle temptation. And you can be… I tell you, I’ve seen people who were so righteous about their meanness. They were justifying their own envious actions and attitudes and they could prove it to you from the Bible. My that’s pitiful. Watch out for it, Will you? Because the only person who’s fooled by it is yourself. Really self-deception is all that eventuates because everybody else can see right through it. Just as the writer here said, when these people saw the multitudes they were filled with envy. Here are these visitors they’ve got a bigger crowd than we had. Everybody’s coming to listen to them, nobody’s listening to us nobody’s giving in our offering plate. Our church isn’t being prospered and they were envious. And so they had to find a religious reason to oppose their competition, so they spake against those things which were spoken by Paul contradicting and blaspheming.
Well, what happened? Under that kind of opposition, what would you have done? Well, I don’t know really, I can’t say, but I think it’s entirely possible that I might have said, “Well now I better watch out here I better go a little easy here. I better let up a little here and not bear down quite so hard.” Or I may have said, “I better put some of these people on my sponsoring committee so they’ll feel that they have a piece of the action.”
There’s a lot of different ways to compromise if you want to, isn’t that true? If you’re so disposed that you wanna compromise There’s a lot of different ways to do it. If you wanna back down and back off from the will of God, you can find lots of different reasons for compromise. So I don’t know what I might have done, but I know what Paul and Barnabas did. It said, Paul and Barnabas became bold and said it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you, but seeing you put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we’re gonna turn to the Gentiles. Because this is exactly what the scripture says, “The Lord commanded us saying I have set thee to be a light of the gentiles that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” And they quoted scripture of course, in saying that from Isaiah 42 and 49, and Luke chapter 2 as well.
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the Word of the Lord, and as many were ordained to eternal life, believed, and the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region but the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women and the chief men of the city and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. Well now that’s quite a story, isn’t it? What of it? Well, number one, if you’re sure you’re in the will of God you can afford to be bold under persecution. The only answer to persecution is holy boldness. I don’t know of any situation that has been bettered or any problem that has been solved by cowardice.
Now you remember Chamberlain when he came back from the Munich meeting, and he said, “Well we have purchased peace in our time.” You remember that? And it was only a matter of months before all of Europe was sunk in war and only a matter of a few more months until the world was involved in war. You remember that? Some of you do, some of you’re too young. But every place that evil has been appeased all it has resulted in is more evil. Now the same thing is true in your own life. Under the force of temptation don’t give in or you’ll have worse temptations, under the force of opposition, the pressures of persecution, don’t give in, don’t back down, don’t compromise, or you’ll simply have worse. Here’s a guide rule for you, my dear friend, whenever the devil puts pressure on your life, the answer is more boldness. Whenever you have trials, the answer is more faith. Whenever you have temptation, the answer is more holiness. And whenever where you feel discouraged and are downcast the answer is more prayer, more boldness, more faith, more holiness, more prayer, but never compromise. Okay?
They waxed bold, it says. They really spoke up at that point when the pressure was on. Today my dear friend use this rule, will you? I was speaking with our brother Epp, Theodore Epp, who you know as the founder and Director of Back to the Bible Broadcast. Precious man of God he is. And I was talking with him some years ago, and we’re just started opening our hearts to each other and sharing some things, and I said, “Tell me something of the secret of your ministry and the growth of your work.” “Well”, he said, “Brother, I have a certain rule that whenever things get tough I take on something more for the Lord Whenever things begin to get rough and difficult I take on something more. I go forward.” He said, “Whenever things are very difficult, that to me is the signal that God is asking me to advance by faith.” What a tremendous perspective that is. Whenever things become difficult, I take that as the signal that God is asking me to advance by faith. Well, I don’t know if I can measure up to that I don’t know if I always have, but I believe it.
I believe that God would enable us to be bold in the face of threats, enable us to exercise faith in the face of difficulty, enable us to pray with power in the face of almost despair, enable us to claim by faith the holiness of Jesus Christ in the face of great temptation. You can take a step ahead whenever things get tough. Isn’t that great? Well, when opposition came, we’re going back now to Acts chapter 13:46. When opposition came, Paul and Barnabas got even more bold than before. And they told these people, “Look, we’re fulfilling scripture in bringing the gospel to you first. But in rejecting the Gospel, you have actually rejected everlasting life. You have judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life. This is an interesting phrasing. He said, “In rejecting the Gospel, you have judged yourself.” Do you know something? In what’s called Judgement Day, you won’t have to be judged by God, you’ll be judged by your own record. Yes, you will.
The God who made it possible for man to imprison a symphony concert in a thin strip of tape with a little ion oxide on it, or in a steel wire, certainly has enough ability to play back for you the record of your life using the universe as a vast tape recorder. You know of course that no energy is ever lost, no sound or action is ever lost, and God can collect from the tape recorder, so to speak, of the universe, your whole life and play it back to you. You’ll be judged by your own actions. Paul and Barnabas said to these people, “When you’ve rejected Christ, you’ve judged yourselves. And that judgment is that you’re unworthy of everlasting life. You have placed yourselves in the unworthy column by your rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ.” This strikes at the very heart of human pride because one of the things that’s hardest for the unsaved person to face is the idea that he isn’t worthy. He thinks pretty well of himself.
I remember a man in Los Angeles saying in reply to my question… He had just decided he was not going to trust Christ the Savior and I said to him, “Ira, would you tell me what it is that made you decide? Would I be correct if I guessed that you said to yourself Why should I get on my knees and humble myself before God and pray in the presence of these fellows when I’m such a nice guy?” He thought a minute and he let out an oath and he said, “You know? That’s right. I am a mighty nice guy.” I cleaned up his language a little bit for your benefit, but that’s the general impression. He thought well of himself. It’s awfully hard for human nature, you and I, to classify ourselves as unworthy. The problem is in refusing to admit that we need a savior, we thoroughly identify ourselves as unworthy of everlasting life. That’s a tremendous concept.
If you want yourself to be in the unworthy column for all eternity, just refuse Christ. If you want to be made worthy, just accept Christ because He’s the worthy one. Of him they say, in the glory, they sing about him and to him and they sing, “Thou art worthy. For thou was slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and tribe and nation and made us kings and priests unto our God, and we shall rain on the earth. Thou art worthy”, they say to the Lord Jesus. And the Bible says that we are complete in Him, and that we are accepted in the beloved one, the Lord Jesus. And that as he is so are we in this world. And he said to his disciples, “As my Father has sent me, even so, send I you.” “So that we’re raised”, Paul says in Ephesians, “And seated in the heavenlies with the Lord Jesus. Everything that is true of Him is true of us.” Oh, well, you’re worthy in Christ, your worthiness is in Christ. If you wanna classify yourself as worthy, receive Christ, if you want to perpetuate yourself through all eternity as being unworthy of everlasting life then reject Christ. That’s what they’re saying there. You’ve judged yourselves. Isn’t that tremendous?
They told me that in a court case in which our brother Jim Voss was a technician and a witness many years ago, there was a gangster on trial and our brother Voss, the electronics genius that he is, he had set up a tape recorder that recorded certain conversations that this gangster thought were entirely secret. And he was very cocky as he sat in the witness chair, this gangster was, but as Mr. Voss turned on the recording this gangster heard his own voice saying some very damaging things and he became crimson with embarrassment and finally I’m told that he said, “Shut that thing off, I’m guilty.” And that’s what’s gonna happen to every Christ-rejecting person, my dear friend, judged by their own lives and records. Aren’t you glad that your past is under the blood? Aren’t you glad that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin? Hallelujah for that. Well enjoy your Savior today, and walk with him every step of the way. Let’s pray.
Dear Father, we’re thankful for the Lord Jesus and we’re glad that we can be worthy in Him. We put all our trust today in the Lord Jesus Christ in whose name I pray, Amen. Amen, God bless you, dear friend, all the way.
That’s all for now till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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