If You Hear His Voice
Tension: What will happen if believers have truly come to share in Christ?
Resolution: They will listen to God’s warning through Scripture, self-examination, and the exhortations of other believers.
Exegetical Idea: Believers who have truly come to share in Christ will listen to God’s warning through Scripture, self-examination, and the exhortations of other believers
Theological Idea: The truly saved will listen to God’s warnings in Scripture, self-examination, and the exhortations of other believers.
Homiletical Idea: If I have truly shared in Christ, I will persevere by listening to God’s warning through Scripture, self-examination, and the exhortations of other believers
Introduction: In the news there are often high profile Christians who have abandoned the faith. And the news likes to make a big deal out of what htey have called de-conversions or deconstruction. And maybe, if you’re like me, you wonder, ‘Man, if that could happen to them, couldn’t that happen to me?’
And today my goal is to show you how to keep yourself from coming to that shipwreck or destruction, and perhaps, to light a fire under you. Because as we’ll see any of us can fall away from teh living God.
Note: Application will be sprinkled throughout the sermon
If I have truly shared in Christ
vs. 14 - “we have come to share in Christ” - Christ makes us sharers in himself. WE don’t disappear and meld into Christ, but rather, Christ gives us all that is his.
vs. 1 - We who share in a heavenly calling - We have the same “upward” calling
To understand this passage we have to start with this grace. In Christ, God has given us everything.
These are true for every person who has faith in Jesus Christ.
As the hymn says, “Oh what the joy of htis glorious thought! My Sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise hte Lord, praise the Lord oh my soul!”
I will persevere
“if indeed we hold our original confidence to the end”
Just as the peopel of Israel looked forward to a “rest” so you and I look forward to eternity, to the day when our faith becomes sight, to the day we have a resurrection, to the day when we become new, when this striving and this fighting are over.
If Jesus is infinitely greater than Moses, the punishment for deserting him is also infinitely greater
This is not “Once-Saved-Always-Saved” in the sense that once I’m saved I can just go out and do whatever I want
Yet, neither is this a kind of, “Oh, you better live in constant fear that you might lose your salvation.”
Rather, there is a strict connection between whether or not we persevere and whether or not we are true believers. (Phil 1:6)
Or as the warning goes in vs. 12, look to see if there is an unbelieving heart. What might cause someone to lose their salvaiton? Well, not having it in teh first place. Not really having faith, not really believing, not really trusting in God. That’s what vs. 8, 10, 15 says, they “go astray in the heart.”
This is the exact same reason that the people fell in the wilderness in vs. 16-18, because they were disobedient and did not believe. (vs. 19). True faith perseveres. False faith reveals itself because it does not last.
1 John 2:19
Parable of the sowers
by listening to God’s warning
God uses warnings to help us endure.
Notice how true faith listens to these warnings (vs. 7, 15)
Where do we hear those warnings?
Scripture - Look at vs. 7-11. Back in teh Old Testament, God warned the people of Israel through the words of Scripture. They were supposed to listen to them, and the author to the Hebrews says, that same Scripture is here now. So often when we read Scriptures we gloss over them and we think they’re for someone else. But they are for us. Christian, if you believe in Jesus, listen to these warnings. Don’t be like sturbborn Israel. Don’t be like stubborn Pharaoh. Don’t be stubborn, hard hearted, and rebellious. Be humble. Be a listener. Be a reader of God’s Word.
Self-Examination - Look at vs. 12. It says, “take care,” or “see to it” that there is not. Examine your soul. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says that everyone should examine themselves to see whether or not they are in teh faith. Are you in teh faith? Hvae you believed? Have you really trusted in Christ? Or are you like the seed that falls on shallow ground. Listen, I think there are many who deceive themselves into thinking they are a Christian because they don’t want to deal with the awful reality that they’re not. So listen, here’s how you do this. You go home and you pray. You ask God to show you. Then you take the fruit of the SPirit, love, joy, peace… and you examine yourself. And ask, is tehre really growth in my life in these areas? And be honest. Because if you are not more loving, more joyful, more peaceful… than you were yesterday, then chances are that you do have an evil, unbelieving heart, and there is no reward for you.
Exhortation of other believers - Finally, look at vs. 13. l want to say, one of the best ways that you can listen to God’s voice, is by the exhortations of other Christians. By hearing htem, and listening to them. When they tell you about Jesus, are you paying attention? Are you listening to this? Does teh churhc play a pivotal role in your life? Let me put it this way as bluntly as I can. You will never stay and remain a Christian, you will never persevere without teh church. The degree to which you treat the church lackadasically, and you don’t take it seriously, and you don’t prioritize it, you are putting your eternity into jeapardy. Because God has put us in your life to challenge you and to exhort you. And you are deliberately choosing to ignore this? How in teh world can someone who persistently rejects the voice of God, who is persistently disobedient, who refuses to take the church seriously really hope to stay a Christian? They are putting their soul into eternal jeapardy.
Here’s what I want to end with. I have put a burden on you today. Which is this: persevere. LIsten to God’s voice. Obey. Pay attention. Don’t drift. Dont’ fall away. But the reality is that you can’t do that on your own. Rather, you can only do that becuase you have been made a sharer of CHrist. Becuase CHrist has shared forgiveness wiht you, and he’s shared life with you, and he’s shared his Father with you. So if you are concerned that you don’ thave it in you-good, come to the cross. Matt 11:28-30