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Three Deceptions that will Keep You From Eternal Life

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Title: Three deceptions that will keep you from eternal life
Text:

Fake Injury

F. E. Smith was a capable lawyer with a quick wit who served as the British attorney general from 1915 until 1919. On one occasion he cross-examined a young man claiming damages for an arm injury caused by the negligence of a bus driver. “Will you please show us how high you can lift your arm now?” asked Smith. The young man gingerly raised his arm to shoulder level, his face distorted with pain.

“Thank you,” said Smith. “And now, could you show us how high you could lift it before the accident?” The young man eagerly shot his arm up above his head.

He lost the case.

Today in the Word, July 1995, p. 27

Introduction:

The gospel of John is entirely written with on express purpose -
John 20:31 KJV 1900
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Eternal life is NOT that you get to live in Heaven forever. That is one of the by-products of eternal life.
John 17:3 KJV 1900
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Explanation:
God is the Source of eternal life
Because of our sinfulness we have been severed relationally from the Source of eternal life.
The punishment is called “death”, which is a separation. As the soul/spirit separates from the body at death, there is a separation that exists between men and the Source of life.
If men and women die physically, while they are separated from the Source of eternal life, they will be eternally separated from God.

Special Weapons

Deception has been a part of warfare since the Trojan horse. During WWII, it became high art. Members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used special “weapons” like dummy planes, tanks, antiaircraft guns, and amplified recordings that created war sounds to fool the German high command. To enable a combat unit to change positions or even attack when the Germans thought it hadn’t moved at all, the 1800 men of the 23rd impersonated entire divisions. They would move in at night, change insignias, and inflate their rubber decoys. Meanwhile, the troops they were replacing sneaked away. Such deception was a major factor in the success of the Allies’ D-Day invasion, as the German 15th Army waited elsewhere for an assault that never came.

Today in the Word, November 10, 1991

There are various things that can keep us from receiving eternal life. Some are very obvious like: willing rejection of the Lord. The most dangerous hurdles to eternal life though are NOT so obvious. They are the things we are blinded to.
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 KJV 1900
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Jesus called Satan a liar in
John 8:44 KJV 1900
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Revelation 20:10 KJV 1900
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Special Weapons

Deception has been a part of warfare since the Trojan horse. During WWII, it became high art. Members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops used special “weapons” like dummy planes, tanks, antiaircraft guns, and amplified recordings that created war sounds to fool the German high command. To enable a combat unit to change positions or even attack when the Germans thought it hadn’t moved at all, the 1800 men of the 23rd impersonated entire divisions. They would move in at night, change insignias, and inflate their rubber decoys. Meanwhile, the troops they were replacing sneaked away. Such deception was a major factor in the success of the Allies’ D-Day invasion, as the German 15th Army waited elsewhere for an assault that never came.

Today in the Word, November 10, 1991

Proposition:

Proposition:

There are deceptions that will keep you from eternal life, and I want you to be aware of them. Don’t fall prey to these deceptions. Today, cast off the blindness of these deceptions that receive the eternal life, where you are TRULY reunited with God.
You see, that’s the real trick. The real trickery of Satan is to cause people to think they are united to God when they are NOT. So, the scriptures gives to us accounts, like this, where deception is exposed.

(1) The deception of a religious (moral) upbringing can keep you from eternal life (v. 1 - 3)

(a) the implication of Nicodemus’ statement: the miracles have given me glimpses of something glorious, and I want to see it. (v. 2)

A Pharisee, A ruler, of the Jews
A ruler
of the Jews

(b) the implication of Jesus’ response: a religious upbringing, a righteous standing in the eyes of men — do not allow you to even see the kingdom of God (v. 3)

(Application):

If such a man, like Nicodemus, would have to come to Jesus, what does that say for many of us?
This means that (i) a religious upbringing (ii) conservative political standings (iii) good dietary habits (iv) a good family life (v) good religious works — ALL cannot bring eternal life to me.
This then alerts me to the first deception that no matter how good I live, none of my goodness can deliver me from being separated from eternal life.
Illustration: The night I believed on Jesus Christ....I was not a horrible person…, but my best friend was forced to think about his eternity. He went home and believed...

(2) The deception of self-sufficiency (self-dependency) can keep you from eternal life (v. 4 - 8)

(a) The implication of Nicodemus’ question: can I do this? (v. 4)

This must have been tremendously difficult for a man who was able to make himself feel sufficient by a life of doing good deeds.
ILLUSTRATION / Pharisee and Publican in the Temple [TELL IT IN MODERN TERMS AS A STORY].
Luke 18:9–12 KJV 1900
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
[NIV]
Luke 18:9–12 NIV84
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

(b) The implication of Jesus’ response: full dependency upon the Lord is required (v. 5 - 8)

Spiritual cleansing is required (v. 5 - 6)
Spiritual cleansing comes only by the work / will of God (v. 7 - 8) ()
Ezekiel 36:25–27 KJV 1900
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

(Application:)

The deception of self-dependency is quite common among those who have had some measure of human success. It is quite common among those who: have graduated high school, gone to higher education, have careers, have families, have steady flows of incomeWHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TEMPORALLY, WE CAN EASILY BE DECEIVED INTO THINKING THAT WE WILL BE OK ETERNALLY.

(3) The deception of sufficient knowledge can keep you from eternal life (v. 9 - 15)

(a) The implication of Nicodemus’ question: I need to know more in order to believe

(b) The implication of Jesus’ response: you have exercise faith in what you do know

(v. 13) The Son of Man has come from Heaven
(v. 14) The Son of Man will be lifted up -
Numbers 21:8–9 KJV 1900
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
...
Jesus insisted that he would be “lifted up,” a word used elsewhere for crucifixion (8:28; 12:32–34).
Tenney, M. C. (1981). John. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: John and Acts (Vol. 9, p. 49). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
(v. 15) The Son fo Man believed brings eternal life
“eternal life” - life of the age to come; resurrection life
- This life is in Jesus Christ
John 5:26 KJV 1900
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
perish” - loss, ruin, not extinction, destruction

(Application:)

The deception of sufficient knowledge is not uncommon in an age of information. Some believe that if they just knew a little more, then they would believe; but the truth is that if you would know more, then you must believe what is plainly, already in front of you.
You must know that God has come in the flesh to bring eternal life to people who are sinfully separated from him and:
(1) No religious, moral life will make you right with God...
(2) No amount of self-dependency will make you to have eternal life...
(3) No amount of sufficient knowledge will allow you to avoid eternally perishing...
These are all as “Mother Goose” Tales that are deceptive, and they blind people from the truth THAT YOU MUST:
believe the worthiness of God
realize your own sinfulness
fully depend upon Jesus Christ - for eternal life
Netanyahu blasts world's 'self-deception' on Iran as intercepted weapons unveiled - http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/10/israel-says-confiscated-gaza-bound-rockets-had-100-mile-range.html, 2014 Article accessed 2018

Question(s):

(1) Has your interest been peaked? Don’t ignore it.
(2) Have you been made aware of possible deceptions that have allured you away from eternal life?
(3) What is worth walking away from eternal life?
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