#219, OBSTACLES TO COMING TO CHRIST BY FAITH
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, ROM 8:7-8.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," MAT 11:28. Think of the obstacles in coming to Christ; our text reveals the greatest one of all. We must come unto Him by faith. However, the carnal mind is at enmity with God; it is not and cannot be subject to God's law. There is no way we can come to God while we are in such a state of enmity.
Natural man, who has never learned the depravity of the human heart as a result of the fall, does not understand what Jesus said in JOH 6:44. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." In this study we will examine why you and I cannot come unto Christ except that the Father draw us. This is the essential truth in natural man, but even as we grow in grace and make progress in the way of faith, we find over and over that we still need the drawing power of God or we will drift away. That verse begins with "No man..." It means every man, every person. It does not say Natural man or man in a fallen state. Every person is dependent upon the drawing power of the Father. Therefore, we must pray every day, "Draw me, we will run after thee," SON 1:4.
What natural man fails to see is why, as our text says, "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Why is there such enmity? Ask the average person why he is an enemy of God, and he will ask what you mean. They have nothing against God and consider God a friend. Many people who are total strangers to God will tell you they have no enmity against God. However, as the Lord begins to work grace in our heart, we begin to understand the enmity that is in our hearts. We are not subject to His law; we cannot become subject to His law by nature. We can follow the letter of the law; we can do the do's and don'ts, by the numbers, and still be at enmity with the spirit of the law.
Natural man does not understand that coming to Christ means coming to the light. He does not understand that his heart is a cage of unclean birds or the depravity of the heart. Read Psalm 51 to see how David mourns over the glimpse God gave him into his own heart after he fell with Bathsheba. In Verses 3-4 David says, "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." Later David goes on to recognize his sin against Uriah in Verse 14; "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness."
David came to the light; Nathan the prophet came to him saying, "...Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul," 2SA 12:7. Now David is naked and open before the Lord because the light went into his soul. David was a man after God's own heart. That is not just natural man, it is man by nature. It is you and I. The natural effect of our sin is to avoid the light. David was hiding a secret sin, but it was naked before the Lord. We must understand this principle. One of the greatest obstacles is coming to the light. The discovering light of the gospel unclothes our sins and lays us open before the Lord.
JOH 1:4 says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." The life of Christ is such a light to you and I, and it is a condemnation to us. When He was reviled, He didn't revile again. The prophesies foretold that Christ's coming was to give light. LUK 1:78-79 says, "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
David loved the Lord, but it was when Christ gave him light that David was able to cry out to the Lord with a broken and contrite heart. PSA 51:15-17 reveals the condition of David's heart; "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
When did David come to understand that? It wasn't when he went in unto Bathsheba, or when he wrote the letter to have Uriah slain, or even when he took Bathsheba to be his wife. All during that time he did not have a broken and contrite heart. It occurred when the light came into his heart.
Coming to Christ is coming to the light, and that Light of His Word is such an obstacle to our natural tendencies. David would have never returned to the Lord if God the Father had not drawn him. The Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to bring light into his soul.
Simeon came to the light "...by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law," LUK 2:27. When the eyes of man are opened by the Spirit to see beauty in Christ, they long for the light. It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ, and when he saw that light, his heart was filled with joy.
Look what we see in LUK 2:28-32, "Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."
The Lord Jesus Christ came to be a light to the Gentiles; that light is to enlighten the darkness of our hearts. It comes so we might see the sinfulness of sin and see sin as sin. As it happened with David, when light comes in the soul, our true identity is revealed. The light shows how we have sinned and separated ourselves from the Lord. This light is our obstacle to coming unto Christ.
The reason no man can come unto Jesus Christ except the Father draw him is because he cannot come to the light "lest his deeds should be reproved." By nature you and I will flee from that light. That is where the enmity lays; we do not want our heart laid open and naked before the Lord.
JOH 3:19-21 says, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." It isn't until the Lord has worked in us the work of regeneration and purification that we have new desires and affections. Until then the discovering light of the gospel is our greatest enemy.
Our text says, "...the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Now let's look at the distinction between the carnal mind and those who come to the light. If you look up the word carnal it comes from an original word meaning unregenerate. The carnal mind has not been renewed; it is still serving the flesh. We cannot serve two masters; we cannot serve Christ and Satan; we cannot serve Christ and ourselves. When the light comes into our hearts, it reveals who we are; that is condemnation to the natural man. In a person the Lord has worked grace, there is a desire to come to the light. David had fallen, but his heart had not departed from the Lord. When the light came into his soul, he came before the Lord saying, "Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart," PSA 26:2. Now David comes to the light to have his heart searched for any evil way in him. That is the work of regeneration. Now we want sin revealed so we can repent of it and turn from it because we love the Lord. We have new affections and desires and the enmity has been broken. This enmity is the obstacle that prohibits anyone from coming to the Son except the Father draw them.
This enmity against Christ becomes revealed with the honest preaching of the gospel. This is why we must measure where we are being led. Is it the gospel of Christ or is it the gospel of Satan. Is it a revealing gospel? Do we preach light or darkness? Do we reveal the sins of the heart to lay them open? If it is the honest preaching of the gospel of Christ, it reveals the heart. It begins where Jesus began with the preaching of repentance. The sins of our heart will be revealed if it is preaching repentance for how else will people know where they need to repent?
MAT 4:16-17 says, "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Seeing the great light is having the heart revealed. The preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ revealed the heart; He showed the scribes and Pharisees what hypocrites they were. They hated Him for it; they crucified Him. The enmity spoken of in our text broke out in open wrath to the crucifixion of Christ. They were sitting in darkness; the light revealed what was in their hearts.
"From that time Jesus began to preach," refers to the fact that Jesus had just come out from forty days of temptation in the wilderness. Jesus had just experienced every fiery trial and every diabolical temptation. John the Baptist had just been thrown in prison for preaching repentance. Right then the light began to shine. The Lord began to reveal who we are by nature. He began by preaching repentance.
This light is the greatest obstacle to coming to Christ because there is nothing hidden from that light. Now, see why no man can come to that light, to the Son, except the Father draw them. Nothing is hidden. Turn to LUK 12:2-5; "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
Do you see what the light does? Those secret thoughts and dark secrets will be laid open and naked before the world. That is the reason people do not willingly go to the light. It is the obstacle that keeps us from coming to Christ. There will not be one secret sin. Oh, how we shudder when the Holy Spirit reveals the sinfulness of our secret sins. Sometimes things go through our heart that we would never speak to a human being. Now the Holy Spirit comes to open our understanding to realize how naked those sins are. Then we become such a wretch. How can we come to that light? It is only if the Father draws us with the Holy Spirit to show us the blessedness of His dear Son who stepped into His Father's wrath to pay the penalty for those sins. The goodness of God leads people to repentance.
If the Lord only showed us our sins before the light of His law, it would drive us away in fear, but the Father draws with the power of His love. We see that the most secret sins are open before Him, and we can only come when He draws us with His love. If we see those sins in the light of the law, we would be drenched with fear.
We are not to fear those who can only kill the body. We must fear, stand in holy awe and reverence of Him, that is able to kill both body and soul. We must realize that every evil thought is naked and open before His eyes.
This revelation of the inner secrets of the heart is what makes it impossible for the natural man to come to Christ. JOH 8:9 tells us, "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last." The Pharisees and scribes had brought a woman taken in adultery to Jesus so He could pass condemnation upon her. However, He gave them just a glimpse of their own heart. JOH 8:7 says, "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." That light drove them away, " . . . and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," JOH 8:9b-12.
Do you see what that light does? It uncovers, unveils, convicts, and convinces people of their sin. Unless there is a drawing by the Father, it drives us away. That is why no man can come unto the Son except the Father draws him. The woman saw her sin, but the condemnation was gone. The light also puts our condemnation to flight when we do the truth and come to the light that our deeds may be made manifest, Cf. JOH 3:19-21.
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," JOH 8:12. What is the Lord Jesus teaching us in this verse? Every thought, word, and deed is as in the presence of God. I have often told my children that when one goes to pay their taxes, you present the same figures as you do in a financial statement to get a loan. Why? You must do it as before the Lord. You don't live under a double standard. We shall not walk in darkness, as though no one understands or sees. We walk as before the light; we walk as before God. Every decision, thought, and every thing we do is to be done in the light. It is fully known and understood by the Lord, and so also by men.
The gospel of Christ does not teach that we can serve two masters. We cannot have a double standard. We cannot do things which are evil and come to Christ. See this in 1JO 1:5-7, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
If you tell me you have fellowship with God, then in the next breath tell about some cute prank you've pulled without anyone's knowledge, I will tell you that you have not come to the light. I just read that to you out of the Bible. If you are walking in darkness, under cover, pulling secret things, deceiving others and being a trickster you cannot claim fellowship with God. To think so is being deceived. If we walk in the light where every thing before and about us is naked and open before the Lord, we are living a single standard. It is being able to say the same things to a person's face as you said behind their back.
We may not say anything about a person we would not say to the person. In fact, if it is something that reflects his character, or his honor, that person must be present when it is said. Then he can defend himself. If there is something not right, he can correct it. I should never bring an accusation against a person unless I have confronted him about it firstand/or he is listening. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with each other. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. If we are walking in the light, not in the darkness, we have fellowship. When I learn to know myself, I become a little bit like the Pharisee; I do not have one stone left to throw. When I can show mercy and be forgiving, I will receive mercy and forgiveness.
Any faithful preaching of the gospel is clearly defined in the calling and commission received by the Apostle Paul. Any person who claims he has a calling to preach the gospel should understand that the Apostle Pauls calling is an example of how the Holy Spirit calls a man into the ministry of the gospel. The Word preached must open the eyes to reveal the sinfulness of sin, and turn people from darkness to light. Follow the ministry of Paul throughout the entire Scriptures. See how the apostle reveals the wretchedness of the heart and the fruits of the Spirit. Paul had a blessed ministry; it was very balanced, showed much courage, and proclaimed the fruits of the Spirit. He proclaimed the salvation there is in Christ and in His blood, but also revealed the wretchedness of the heart and what we must turn from. The faithful preaching of the gospel turns people from darkness to the light; revealing what is in the heart. It turns on the light, and draws the heart from under the power of Satan unto God.
Stop and ponder the mission Paul had. These things are necessary; they are essential elements of the gospel. If they are missing, the people will never receive forgiveness of sins. See the chronology in the following verse. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me," ACT 26:18.
My walk of life must correspond to the message I bring from the pulpit. The example of Christ in His walk and attitude was as essential as the Words He spoke. That is what the apostle is saying in that verse. It requires the obedience of faith; that is one's walk of life. If I preach to you against a certain sin -- but indulge in it myself -- then my example nullifies what I have said, and that brings reproach upon the cause of Christ.
Natural man's inability to come to Christ is not due to any physical or mental deficiency. We must understand spiritual death. What happened in Paradise caused Adam's spiritual death. Now take notice of the following points:
1. Natural man's same feet that take him to the places of worldly entertainment will also take him to the place where the gospel is preached. We cannot blame an inability to walk. That faculty is still there.
2. Our same eyes which are used to watch TV. or read the daily newspaper will serve to search the Scriptures. We did not lose the ability to see in Paradise.
3. The same lips and voice used for idle talk, or to sing rock music can be used to call upon God for mercy and to sing His songs of praise. Those faculties are still there.
4. The same mental faculties which you and I use to calculate business can be used to ponder and meditate on God's will and the things of eternity. We can use the same mental faculties that the Prodigal Son used to come with a planned repentance. We can sit down and intellectually analyze the things we must correct. We can plan our repentance in the same manner as we plan our dollars and cents.
These faculties are not missing, neither are they hampered in any way. That is not our problem. These faculties were not destroyed in the fall, but the desires of the heart and the will of man were corrupted by rebellion and sin. That is wherein our spiritual death lays. We no longer desire the things of God and His rule over us. That is where spiritual death took place -- in the will of man. Man no longer desires to serve God. That is the problem; that is the obstacle in coming to Christ.
The great invitation of the gospel is to "whosoever will" come unto Jesus Christ, i.e., unto the light! Now do you see the problem and the obstacles? The will and the heart have been corrupted. Who is it that will come to the light? That invitation can go out and be calculated in every human mind. Almost every person can calculate that; hell is on one side and life is on the other side. I should come to Christ, but the will is corrupted. The desire is missing.
I have read books by authors engaged in a great controversy between Calvinists and Armenians. The argument of the Armenian was tremendous. The Calvinist presented his argument. One says they believe "Whosoever will." The other believes one cannot come unto Christ. Which one is wrong? The gospel tells of both. Our problem is finding the harmony between the two arguments instead of taking sides. The gospel does teach "whosoever will," but it also teaches that no man can come. That is what I believe is being revealed when we understand that coming to Christ is coming to the light. Who will come is the question. It is only those the Father draws. There is perfect harmony. It isn't a matter of being in the Calvinist or Armenian camp. The Scriptures teach both. We need to ask why we cannot come; we cannot come to the light because we are at enmity with God. Whosoever will is only those the Father draws.
REV 22:16-17 says, "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 [the light]. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. [Can any person deny that is an invitation?] 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." It is a most blessed invitation to whosoever will, but who will come to the bright and morning star? Who will come to the light? Do you see the obstacle? That is why we need that drawing power of the Father else no man will come; no man can come, but that does not mean that the gospel invitation is not there.
It is certainly there, and it is to every person. But who will come? Now, look closer at the invitation. "And let him that is athirst come." Those who are thirsty for righteousness will come; they are the ones who have a hunger and thirst after righteousness. They have been quickened and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and they will come. Those who will come are those who have been made willing in the day of His power, Cf. PHI 2:13. They are those who have had a new will and new desires planted in their heart by grace, they, and they only will come. In today's preaching of the gospel will all those who have accepted Jesus come to Christ? Are they truly coming to Christ? Do they even understand what light it is. I fear that in many cases the answer is no. The faithful preaching of the gospel is not being brought forth because the truth of Christ's light is not being preached.
Jesus clearly revealed the obstacle which keeps natural man from coming to Him in MAR 8:34-35; notice the "whosoever will," for it is beautiful and precious. "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."
Do you see that the "whosoever will" refers to those who will take up their cross and follow Jesus; only those who are drawn by the Father will come because the cross of self-denial requires that we do the crucifixion of our own self. The light shines in the heart to reveal the ugly monster, "I." We see "I" must be denied, crucified, and that takes grace. That is why the Lord Jesus is not contradicting Himself when He says, "Whosoever will come after me." Consider all the uses of the phrase "Whosoever will" in that verse. Jesus is telling us we must be able to put everything of self on the altar, sacrifice it, to follow Him.
Jesus said in JOH 12:46-48, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." The unfruitful works of darkness and trying to hide anything from the eyes of the Lord must be uprooted if we claim to believe in Christ.
The call of the gospel is "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof," ROM 13:12-14.
The armour of light means we should be able to wash every decision with the water of the Word. That means we should be able to weigh every action by the Lord's Word. We must guard every action, every deed, every thought with the Word. That is putting on the armour of light and putting off the works of darkness. If it will not stand the light of the Word, we do not do it.
Now, let's see how putting on this armour reflects in our walk of life. We are to walk honestly, as in daylight where others see our actions, not in evil ways. Every decision in our walk of life must be as in the light of the Word of God.
When the Holy Spirit calls His people, light becomes their delight, and the king of darkness becomes their dread. The thought that we would displease the Lord should become our biggest dread of our life. We see this in 1PE 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
In the eyes of the world, the church of God is a peculiar people. They do not strive for themselves; they are not striving for their own honor. They are peculiar. They walk as children of light who walk in the light of the Word. They do not gainsay the Word to justify what they are doing.
In the newspapers I read of the Presbyterian Church proclaiming they are going to become more adult. They are going to put off the childish notions. Some want to sanction any two consenting people having sex, whether it is homosexual, heterosexual, in marriage or without marriage. They are not walking in the light of the Word of God. It is walking in darkness. ROM 1:25 tells us so clearly that those "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." They worshiped the creature more than the Creator. The authority of God's Word is not the light they want. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet," ROM 1:26-27. The list of evils continues to the end of the chapter.
Now, the Presbyterian Church has publicly announced the ordination of women, some actively living as lesbians. Scripture says in1CO 14:33-35, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." Therefore, women are forbidden in the pulpit, and yet homosexual women are ordained. See how far they have fallen from the light of Gods Word! Normally I do not name a church, but this was in the newspapers under their name, so I am able to publicly comment. They publicly proclaimed their stand. How is it possible for Satan to deceive a person with a normal intellect into believing that can be the gospel? They have a problem; they have forsaken the light.
If you understand what it is to walk in the light, then you delight in the light. To know the will of God is your chief joy. Walking in the light is serving the Lord, and the King of Darkness becomes your dread. Walking under the leadership of Satan is the most dreadful thing you can think of. Think of being deceived into hell because you followed something you thought was gospel. However, if we are of Gods chosen generation, a royal priesthood, i.e., we can take everything of the flesh and put it on the altar of sacrifice.
David cried after the armour of light; see how he used all his faculties for God's honor in PSA 119:49-56. "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law. Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law. This I had, because I kept thy precepts." We have joy because we walk in the way of the Lord; not that we earn salvation by keeping His law, but the Lord is so pleased by it that He gives us His nearness.
Man's inability to come to Christ comes from the corrupt desires to serve self and sin, and a lack of desire to serve under the yoke of Christ. 1JO 5:3-4 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." The Lord's commandments are not oppressive; that is the love of God, and it is our desire to do His will.
When our enmity against God is broken, we can begin to understand the language of David, the man after God's own heart in PSA 51:5- 7, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Coming unto Christ is through the renewing of the whole heart and soul. It is not only the duty, but it is the desire of our heart to come under the yoke of Christ. PSA 1:1-3 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
For the renewed and regenerated heart, the law of God becomes our chiefest delight, but the obstacle of enmity against God and His will cannot be overcome in our own strength. JOH 6:44 says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." The drawing power of the Father is not an outer force, but it is a powerful, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit that changes the affections. The enmity is broken, and we come with new desires.
EPH 4:14-16 tells us, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." The new desire is to speak the truth in love.
Oh, beloved, what a revelation it will be in the Day of Judgment when every living soul will be summoned to the gates of heaven. Think about this, every soul that ever lived in this world will go to heaven, but not all of them will enter! That same light that Christ says is the condemnation of the world in JOH 3:19-21 is the Light of Heaven, so how shall they enter?
REV 21:22-24 says, "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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. 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."
Do you see what will happen on that great Judgment Day ? The Light, the Lord Jesus Christ, that is the condemnation of the world is the light of heaven. All those who are saved will walk in that light eternally. How shall we enter that realm of light if we have never learned to come and enjoy that light in this life? If, in this lifetime, the light of the Word of God remains a condemnation to us, we will call on the rocks to fall on us to hide us from the face of that Light -- who sits upon the throne! Cf. REV 6:14-17.
What will it be for those who have never come to the light in this life? JOH 3:19-21 says, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
They will approach the gate of heaven in the Judgment Day to stand trial based upon the Word of God; the Word shall judge us, which is the light. Christ is the light. That will be an awful time to first find what we read in HEB 4:12-13; "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
There we will stand before the Light of the Word. The Word of God will judge us. We will come to stand before the judgment seat to be judged by Christ for Christ is the Word. Everything will be naked and open before Him. If this is the first time we have ever come before the Lord Jesus Christ whose NAME is called "THE WORD OF GOD" REV 19:13b, to be examined to see if there be an evil way within us, that will a dreadful day. Think of the deception of preaching a gospel that will bring people before the bar of judgment to be judged by the Word, not knowing the Word will reveal the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I do not personally care to hear a person's testimony; I want to see it. Their walk of life is their testimony. Those whose lifetime testifies that the Light is their condemnation are described in REV 6:15-17; "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
There are many heaven seekers; the only reason they want to go to heaven is to escape hell. Heaven itself will be the greatest hell that ever could exist because they will come face to face with Christ. The light is the condemnation that will reveal everything that is in their heart. What a day it will be for all the heaven seekers who have never learned what it is to walk in the light.
The gospel invitation is extended to all men to come to "the bright and morning star." Today is the day of grace, and the gospel invitation goes out to every man. REV 22:16-17 says, "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. 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." The invitation of the gospel is there to "whosoever will;" only those who have understood what it is to come to the light in this lifetime will come because our text says, "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God," ROM 8:7-8. Amen.
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