Assurance  - Message 1 - Part 1 

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Tune in to listen to Pastor Mike give his messages on Assurance, in Tennessee at the Deeply Rooted Conference.

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Assurance  - Message 1 - Part 2 

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry. My name is Mike Abendroth, and today is a special message.
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I know, I know special messages. In the past, when I was on different radio shows or conferences,
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I just was on radio shows or conferences. Now what we do, especially to give me a break as I'm having some medical treatment, we play some of those conferences here on No Compromise Radio.
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So the next several shows probably that you're going to hear, I'm speaking at Deeply Rooted Conference.
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It was in 2023. The topic was assurance, and it was in Kingsport, Tennessee.
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And there were a variety of speakers there, Sean Morris and others, and Justin Bice, an elder at Bass Chapel, put the whole thing together.
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And there were six, oh, I did three messages.
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We're going to split them into two, so that makes six. It does say prices may vary on their website.
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So today is part one of my first message on assurance.
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Welcome. I'm Jeremiah Rauner, and this is the Deeply Rooted Podcast. Hey there, and welcome to the beginning of some special episodes that we've got lined up for you for the
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Deeply Rooted Podcast. We were fortunate enough to host the Deeply Rooted Conference just a few weeks ago here in Kingsport, Tennessee, and graciously, we've been able to record those sessions for you.
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And so what we'd like to do is publish those in shortened formats, obviously with some editing being done around the music and different aspects of the conference.
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That being said, this is our first session. Brother Mike Abendroth, who was kind enough to join us all the way from Massachusetts.
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We actually had Mike on a previous episode, so make sure you go back and listen to that if you'd like more information about Mike's life and his ministry.
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He spoke on the importance of assurance. Brother Mike was able to give us three sessions, and this is the first one.
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So we hope you enjoy what he's got to say on the doctrine of assurance. Well, greetings from Massachusetts.
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If you hear my accent a little bit come through tonight, the Massachusetts accent, no worries. I remember when
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I first moved there 30 years ago, someone got up and they were quoting the Lord Jesus from Revelation 1, and they said,
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I am the Alpha and Omega. And everybody laughed. No, just I laughed.
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And so once in a while, I have a good idea, but that's about it. Thank you for praying for me.
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I didn't know if I'd make it to the conference or not, but praise the Lord. Things are going well. So I really appreciate your prayers.
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And I appreciate Justin's hospitality. I have been taken by Justin and his son
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Gentry to Bucky's. I have been taken to the
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Smokey's, and I have been tasting Cheese Curdy's.
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So I feel like I'm from the South. It was about two years ago, my friend
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Raymond was in the hospital dying of cancer. He had about two days to go, my age, and he was dying and on morphine, his family all around.
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And I went up to Raymond and I said, Raymond, it's Pastor Mike. I love you. And I said, do you know you're going to die?
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And he shook his head. And I said, are you afraid? And I could still see him shake his head. And I said, why aren't you afraid?
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And he said, because the Lord Jesus has forgiven all my sins. When I went to visit him, do you think
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I should have asked questions like this? Raymond, how's your prayer life? Lots of nurses here, they need prayer.
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How's your evangelism? Are you preaching the gospel to doctors? Those are probably fine things to ask in an appropriate context.
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But what I wanted to say to Raymond was, and I did say, do you know what, Raymond? There's no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
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God has loved you with an everlasting love. What God has promised, he's faithful to accomplish.
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When I was in the hospital, thought I was going to die of COVID. I think it was day 14 in the hospital.
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I wanted to pray. I wanted to evangelize. I wanted to read my Bible. But the most touching words that I heard from people, and of course, this was back in COVID days, so no one could actually come into the hospital.
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Somebody called me and said, Mike, God loves you. He sent his son to die for you, and you can trust him.
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Here's my question tonight, dear congregation. If those are good words on the deathbed, why aren't they good words while we're alive?
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Why aren't they good words while we're alive? I feel like I've got some halo. Are we okay for speaking?
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I'll just keep preaching. All right. And so I've got the topic tonight, gospel assurance.
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And I'm happy to have the topic. Heidelberg Catechism asked this question, what is your only comfort in life and death?
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I think you probably know the answer. If not, it's a wonderful answer. That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has satisfied fully for all my sins and redeem me from the power of the devil, and so preserves me that without the will of my
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Father in heaven, not a hair can fall from my head. Indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.
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Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, he assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.
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So my question tonight is, do you have assurance? Do you know that when you die, you'll wake up in the presence of God?
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Are you dreading judgment day? Are you looking at it from the words of the Lord Jesus through comfort?
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I've done a radio show for quite a while. The number one question I used to get was, how do I find a good Bible teaching church?
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The number one question I get now is, how do I find a Christ -centered Bible teaching church? With a close second question,
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I don't have assurance. How can I have assurance of my salvation? Does God really love me?
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And so I have three messages on assurance. We have a lot of messages throughout the weekend on assurance, but my three are simple.
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I have an introductory message, that's tonight. I have a message on the objective side of assurance, who the
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Lord Jesus is, and then the subjective side of assurance, the ministry of the
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Holy Spirit, bearing witness to our spirits, and also having evidences in our life as Christians.
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And every session, I will quote what's on the back of the, what color shirts are those? Orange? Seriously, it's like on sale, cheap ones, they just, they're not
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Texas Longhorns orange, burnt orange. What kind is it? Does anybody know? Oh, salmon.
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Okay, excuse me. High in omega lipids, good. When I look to myself,
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I don't know how I could be saved, but Martin Luther said, when I look to the Lord Jesus, I don't know how
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I can be lost. And that will be the theme of the conference. So this first session,
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I don't have a lot of verse -by -verse teaching. We'll look at the Bible, of course, but it's an introduction. It's an introduction to my messages, and it's an introduction to all the conference.
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Introductory questions about assurance, and then my second question, second session, we'll get into who the
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Lord Jesus on the objective side. So tonight, super simple, nine introductory questions. If you want to take notes, nine introductory questions about assurance to frame the conference a little bit.
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So we're all thinking with the same definitions and the same vocabulary, nine questions.
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Question number one, what is assurance? That's probably where we should start off, right? What is assurance?
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I mean, if you look at the English word, what's the root word found in the middle of the word assurance? And it's the
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English word, sure. Are you sure? Are you certain that when you die, you'll wake up in the presence of God?
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Are you sure you're a Christian? Are you sure you're forgiven? Maybe my favorite definition is
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Bruce Deremes' definition. The confidence of believers in Christ, that notwithstanding their mortal, sinful condition, they are irrevocably children of God and heirs of heaven.
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What a good definition. The confidence of believers in Christ, that notwithstanding their mortal, sinful condition, they are irrevocably children of God and heirs of heaven.
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It's the conviction that you know you're a child of God and you're a joint heir with Christ. It's the conviction that every one of your sins has been paid for.
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There's no double jeopardy. You'll never have to answer for another sin. Jesus, in fact, paid it all. And he said, it is finished.
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It's that confidence that Paul had. Remember in Galatians chapter two, verse 20, that the son of God loved me and gave himself for me.
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Write the personal pronouns that Luther often talked about, that it wasn't just Jesus dying, but Jesus died for me.
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The Bible calls it full assurance of understanding, full assurance of hope, full assurance of faith.
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I mean, if we boil the assurance down, it's probably the assurance that Jesus has you and you have him by faith, that you have the
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Lord Jesus and you have the hope of heaven. That's question number one. What is gospel assurance?
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Number two, is there a difference between security and assurance, security of salvation and assurance?
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And the answer is yes, there is. What's the difference? Security, we have in Christ Jesus and he has lived a life that we should have lived.
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Adam should have lived. Israel should have lived. But Jesus lived that life, right, perpetually under the law, personally under the law, entirely under the law, exactly under the law.
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And he has lived for us and that he has also paid for our sins and that we are in Christ.
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We're secure. God's eyes, we're secure. Assurance, on the other hand, is the confident realization of those promises, of the fact that it's true that Jesus did live for us, die for us and was raised for us.
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Security is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Security is John chapter 10.
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I give them eternal life and they will what? Never perish. Security is
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John 6. All the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out.
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And assurance is a sense of that, an understanding of those promises that you know they apply to you.
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Number three, by the way, just between us, the first ones go fast, the last questions go really long.
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That was, by the way, the opposite of James Montgomery Boyce when he preached. If he had three points, he always made the first one the longest, the last two the shortest, because he thought the congregation might not have an attention span for a lot, so he did it the opposite way.
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But I know you're out here on a Friday night and you want to know the Bible. By the way, one of the reasons why I know I'm a Christian is because I love what
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I used to hate and I hate what I used to love. Would you pay for a Bible conference on a
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Friday night when you were an unbeliever? That doesn't make you a Christian now that you want to do it, but certainly now
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God has given you an appetite. And so to come out and hear Bible teaching, I commend you. Can believers have assurance?
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Question three. And the answer is, of course. Take your Bibles and turn to 1 John chapter 5, verse 13, probably one of the most famous verses on assurance.
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A whole book written about assurance. This is not a book about saving faith tests.
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This is a book granting you assurance. 1 John 5, 13, asking the question and answering it, can you have assurance of your salvation?
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Can you know for sure if you're saved beyond a reasonable doubt? And of course, you know
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John is writing and he says in chapter 5, verse 13, I happen to have the King James translation here in front of me.
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These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life and that you may believe on the name of the
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Son of God. I have a variety of translations, but you can know. When you die, God will accept you into holy heaven.
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The judgment day is not to be dreaded by the Christian, as Turretin would say. Number four.
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Number four. Is it rare to meet someone who's never struggled with assurance?
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Is it rare to meet someone who's never struggled with assurance? What I'm getting at is probably everyone here has struggled with assurance.
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And I'm trying to tell you this evening that you're not strange, that you're not odd, that you're not weird.
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I don't know if I've ever said weirdo from the pulpit, but I'll say it tonight. You're not a weirdo if you've ever struggled with assurance.
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By the way, what on earth is perfect, by the way? Is anything perfect? Could our assurance be perfect?
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It was Thomas Brooks, the Puritan, that wrote, our knowledge of God, of Christ, and ourselves, and of the blessed scripture is imperfect in this life.
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And how then can our assurance be perfect? When I share with people,
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I've written some books on assurance, and that I've struggled with assurance before. In an odd way, they're very, very happy that I'm struggling with assurance at times.
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Why? Because they realize they have struggled, and they're not the one who's the odd person out.
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And the same thing happened with me. When I found out one of my favorite theologians had struggled with assurance, it kind of made me happy.
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It kind of gave me some relief. And years ago, I thought, Sinclair Ferguson said, if you ever find the 16 -volume
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Banner of Truth green John Owens set, buy it because it will be unmarked.
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Every theologian wants to have that set in his library, but no one reads it. And so I thought,
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I'm going to read those books. And so I'm up to about seven volumes read. I did meet a man once in my life, and he said,
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I've read all 16 volumes. I said, where in the world do you have the time to do that? He said, prison. So, okay, good.
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I commend you, sir. Would you like to be my bodyguard? Owens said,
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John Owens said, I preached Christ for some years, but I had very little, if any, experimental acquaintance with access to God through Christ.
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He said he had horror and darkness sometimes in his walk. And there's a psalm that really, really helped him.
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Turn to that psalm, Psalm 130, please. And when Owen read this psalm and reflected, he said
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God graciously relieved his spirit. Psalm 130. I think we have a modern
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Christian song of Psalm 130. My point really is, not does everybody struggle with assurance, but here's something very helpful when it comes to assurance.
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Psalm 130. This is the ESV. Of course, when you see all caps for Lord, that's his personal covenant keeping name.
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And you'll see in verse two, smaller letters of O -R -D in the word Lord. That's Adonai, our
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King. So both are used here. Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. O Lord, hear my voice.
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Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy. If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
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O Lord, who could stand? But with you, there is forgiveness that you may be feared.
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I wait for the Lord. My soul waits. And in his word, I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman for the morning.
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More than watchman for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord. For with the
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Lord, there is steadfast love. And with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem
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Israel from all his iniquities. And that was balm for the soul of John Owen.
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And I hope it's a balm for your soul as well. Some Christians just struggle more than others, but it is not odd to struggle with assurance.
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Number five, question five. Can people have false assurance? Can people have false assurance?
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And again, we'll get into some verse -by -verse studies soon enough, but right now I'm just trying to set the table with these introductory questions.
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Can people have false assurance? And the answer is yes. There is something as a temporary faith, a false faith, a demon faith.
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Of course, we want to be careful. People say there are Christians and there's no fruit or no evidence. There is a false assurance.
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I mean, isn't that the worst lie maybe in the world of the father of lies, Satan, making you think you're going to go to heaven when you die, but you end up not going?
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Was it not John Bunyan in Pilgrim's Progress? When coming to the gates of heaven in Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan said, at the gates of heaven, there was a porthole to hell for people not trusting in the
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Lord Jesus. That's a diabolical strategy, right?
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Both to convince lost people they're saved and convince saved people they're lost. There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
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The spiritual is true when they say everybody talking about heaven ain't going there. If you take your
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Bibles and turn to 1 Corinthians 6, there's a list of people here that have been changed, of course, but Paul tries to make sure that these
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Corinthians understand something. 1 Corinthians 6, kind of in a different epistle.
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There's lots of questions being asked and answered. And I don't know if you've ever tried to teach somebody that thinks they know everything.
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When I was growing up, I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. How many people are old enough to admit it? Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris and Natasha, they were in there too.
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And they had a guy that knew everything. He was called Mr. What? He's called Mr. Know -It -All. And that was the
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Corinthian church. Over and over and over, Paul would say to them, don't you know, don't you know, don't you know, don't you know?
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Sounds like the Bill Withers song. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. Remember that song? This is a rough crowd, by the way.
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Ain't no sunshine when I'm gone, right? I know, I know, I know, I know. They thought they knew everything, but they didn't know.
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What's something that they should have known, but they don't know? Found right here, verse nine of chapter six in 1
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Corinthians. Do you not know? By the way, you should know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.
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Do not be deceived. Why does he say that? Because it's easy to be deceived. Your heart can trick you.
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You have friends, you have relatives that are like this list here, and you don't want the doom over their head.
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Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, two
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Greek words there, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.