Pr Edi Giudetti
YES Salvation is the first in a five-part series of messages that seeks to demonstrate the five areas of prayer in which we enquire where the Lord always answers YES. These Five prayer items that fall in perfect line with Gods nature and his will and are specifically identified in scripture. These the Bible indicates always have a YES response from the Lord.
The five prayer requests we might see are;
In the coming weeks we will be going through these five specific items in a series I have simply entitled as YES.
Beloved we are not speaking to the air when we pray, we are not hanging coloured prayer flags on a line or spinning prayer jars or rubbing the belly of an idol. When a Christian prays he does so to only one who can answer.
We are seeking the answers of our petitions to the personal, living, holy, just and powerful creator of all things. God is personal, not arbitrary, he inclines his ear to hear our prayers. He does not accidentally catch wind of them, but specifically notes every word.
This is true only if you have a relationship with him.
There will be four foundational points to which each sermon will follow. They are, in my own view, four of the most important questions to consider to confirm if it is true that God will answer YES to these items of prayer.
- Is Yes Articulated….. For Salvation/Forgiveness/Faith/Peace/Wisdom?
In other words, is YES for Salvation specifically stated in the Bible, is it articulated by God, is it given to us that we may know and not guess?
- Is Yes Accomplishable for Salvation/Forgiveness/Faith/Peace/Wisdom?
In other words, can God perform that to which he affirms? There is little point trusting the affirmation if we doubt the affirmer.To most of us this seems a moot point because we believe God when he says it, but knowing he is well able to perform that which he affirms gives to us greater confidence in other items we pray for.
- Is Yes Anticipated for Salvation/Forgiveness/Faith/Peace/Wisdom?
In other words, is there a purpose in God for which we could be confident to anticipate a YES answer to our prayer?
- Is There a Cost for Salvation/Forgiveness/Faith/Peace/Wisdom?
In other words, is the subject of our prayer contingent or conditional on something from ourselves before the Lord would affirm our request? Anything we need to contribute?
Does that all make sense? You see if the Lord has not articulated he would say yes, if it is not stated in the bible that God would affirm such a request, we could be asking in vain.
If God is not able to perform our request, if it is not Accomplishable, we again ask in vain.
If there is not good purpose in God for the answer, we also might anticipate a YES response in vain.
And finally, if there is something in us that withholds the effect of the request, if, for example, our motives are wrong or attitude not genuine, we might again be asking in vain.
This essentially is the way each message will go that we might be provided with confidence in our request of the Lord, particularly relating to these items.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
IS YES ARTICULATED FOR SALVATION?
Many years ago I had a close friend by the name of Peter. Peter loved fishing and he used to have me come with him. One evening we headed down to Lorne for an overnight fish.
We sat there with our lines in the water, hooks well baited with what the fish like in that area, expecting to catch all that was there.
The night was long.
It was wet, and it was cold and the conversation on that old wooden pier (now replaced) began to die off with the last drop of coffee from the thermos.
We watched the sun come up without a single bite on the line.
You know it doesn’t matter how experienced a fisherman you are, how good your gear is, the bait you use, it doesn’t matter how motivated you are to catch fish, if there are no fish in the water, you won’t catch any.
If the Bible does not say that all who ask to be saved will be saved, whatever we might otherwise believe is likely false.
With the most famous passage in the Bible before us,we can be sure that to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the request for salvation is affirmed as YES in the Bible.
We could move on, but because John 3:16 has become largely cliché for many today, we should go deeper.
Verse 15 says;
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
This word, “whosoever” is the most important word in the passage for you and me.
It tells us that salvation is not limited to a type of person, a nationality, a skin color, a lifestyle or class. “Whosoever” means anybody. There is no limit to “Whosoever”, there is not a person that is excluded from this opportunity, no matter how low his state or high his stature, this single word excludes no onefrom the opportunity of eternal life.
Turn forward to John 6:40
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Go down to John 6:47
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
We will come back to this passage shortly in the next point; but note that “Every one” and “He that believeth” are limitless indicators. All who “see” or ‘Understand’ that Jesus is the Christ, and believe on him, hath everlasting life!
Turn to John chapter 11:25-26
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Here we have a combination of “He that believeth” and “Whosoever liveth and believeth”. Clearly the only limitation introducedis that only those who are alive are qualified to believe. Again, we see the answer as Yes to all who believe.
It does not matter if you are a King or a high official in this world;
Phillip was asked by an official from the Queen of Ethiopia “What doth hinder me to be baptized”, Phillips response was simple “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:36-37).
And it does not matter if you are a lowly prison Guard working for the government;
The night a great Earthquake hit and the prison Paul and Silas were is was rocked hard enough to free the Prisoners from their bonds open the bars, a prison guard prepared to kill himself thinking the prisoners escaped, while he was sleeping at the time and knowing his responsibility before the Law;
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:25-31).
In Acts 10:34 it was the Apostle Peter who confirmed “34 …and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him”.
All who come to him for Salvation, he says YES.
We have seen it now articulated by the scripturesthat none are excluded from salvation request, and there are far more passages in the scripture to confirm this same truth.
Those who seek salvation will find it in the Lord, those who ask in prayer to be saved, he says YES.
It is the Bible that testifies to this truth.
IS YES ACCOMPLISHABLE FOR SALVATION?
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
I had many ambitions in life, but it would be true to say that no matter how strong my desire might be to stop the sun from setting on a busy day, I am unable to accomplish it. I could say anything, but if I don’t have the ability to perform it, I speak in vain.
We all have limitations. To attain eternal life in our own effort is one of them.
Here, in this incredible passage is the key; Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
All who come unto God by Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ is ABLE to save to the “Uttermost”.
He is able to perform the work that is required to save a soul from death, eternal death.
Turn to 2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keepthat which I have committed unto him against that day.
Paul is writing here; what he committed to the Lord is his soul and he is certainly persuaded the Lord is able to keep it against that day(Which we might consider, the day of Judgement)
Turn back to John 6:37-39
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
In John 17, where Jesus prayed to the Father, verse 12, is a confirmation of that which is above. Turn there with me.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
It’s not only those who were with our Lord that he says this, in verse 20 he states;
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them alsowhich shall believe on me through their word; And the purpose?21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
John Chapter 10 is a precious passage in the Bible where the Lord shows not only the preservation by the father but also the Son.
Responding to the question from the Jews asking Jesus whether or not he truly is the Christ, Jesus gave answer saying;
25 … I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and my Father are one.
Not only is God able to save, but he is perfectly able to keep those he has saved and they shall never perish.
Sadly however, there are some who believe they themselves are beyond redemption.Too far gone, too evil in their doings, their hearts and minds too corrupt to save.
Beloved there are many today who think this way, the guilt they have over all they have done fill their hearts with grief and even malice toward the Lord.
It’s not that they don’t know they are sinners, on the contrary, they know all too well.
They grieve their sinfulness, they are burdened by every wrong thing they say and do. They know they do wrong immediately after they do it and they don’t know what it was that led them to do that which is wrong in the first place.
The greatest grief they have is that they have tried again and again and againto do that which is good, but it is beyond them. They are near giving up ‘trying to be good’.
They say to the preacher of the Gospel, “it’s no use, I am beyond help. Don’t you know how long I have tried to do the right thing? Don’t you know that I am just hopeless? God would not, could not save me!”
They think that they will first try to be good, try to change for Jesus and then come to him. They think he will more likely accept them if they have put in some effort to be good.
But the Bible calls all such effort “filthy rags”.
You need to see the passage, turn to Isaiah 64:6
Isaiah relates to the Jews and how they have turned from the Lord and he gives an example of their efforts in their own righteousness to him saying in verse 6
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Romans tells us that there are none that doeth good, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Rom 3:11-18).
Paul places all people in the same category, no matter how good they might appear outwardly,God looks on the heart.
In fact, the more they try to be good in their own strength the more God despises them.
Jesus said They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:31-32)
Contrary to the thoughts of those who think themselves too bad to be saved, Jesus says the ones least likely to be saved are the ones who think they are not bad enough. He did not come “to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”.
The transformation of a Life from sin to righteousness can only be done by Jesus Christ. Only Christ can change a man.
There is an account of a man who had heard the Gospel of Christ but would not believe. And as he lived his life he made one poor decision in front of another and finally came to the end of himself.
He tried to take his own life and could not even get that right.
One night he remembered the Gospel and the preacher saying to give your life to God.
That night he simply said to God that he does not want his life anymore, and if God wanted to take it for himself, he could have it, he had had enough.
That night he slept the deepest sleep in many years, when he awoke he knew something had changed. He did not yet know that God had taken him up on the offer.
The man was no longer his own but was bought with the Blood of Christ. He gave up on life and gave it to Christ.
This is literally what Jesus meant when he said; “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt 10:39).
IS YES ANTICIPATED FOR SALVATION?
The text that comes to my mind is that found in the Gospel of Luke 19
The account is given when Jesus dined in the house of Zacchaeus, the famed thieving publican of the Jews, Zacchaeus recognised the Lord and repented and in verse 10, Jesus rejoiced saying;
This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Lk 19:9-10)
Anticipation naturally stems from purpose.
The purpose of a compass is at least to help ensure you don’t get lost, The Son of man is come to seek and to say those which are lost.
If that is the very purpose of his coming, then it is safe to say that Salvation can be anticipated for all those who ask for it.
We see that purpose again found in the passage we began with in John 3
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Threaded through the passage are purpose points. Jesus gave a parallel example of what Moses did in the wilderness for Israel, Jesus would do for all who believe in him.
The reason the Son of Man would be lifted up (On a cross to the death), is that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
In demonstration of how much God loved the world, he gave the world his only begotten Son, and he did this for the specific purpose that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Please understand what is meant by “God sent” or by “God gave his Son”, it means he sent and gave his Son to the world to die for it, he became the living sacrifice of God for the world. His death provided the substitutionary atonement for the world and all who believe it should not perish, but have everlasting life.
No doubt then, if the very purpose of his coming was to “seek and to save that which is lost”, we are right to anticipate ‘YES’ to our prayer for Salvation.
IS THERE A COST FOR SALVATION?
Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 19:16-22
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
The answer is YES, Yes, there is a cost for salvation. It is the giving up that which holds you back from following Christ. Whatever it is that prevents you from turning to the Lord, you must give up.
Not everybody is the same.
The Rich young man had gained security from his wealth and was unwilling to have that confidence replaced by Christ.
To some others it may be their friends and a fear of what they might think of them. They desire more the praises of Men than God. Naturally, if that is what prevents them from coming to Christ, it will be that which they will need to give up.
To some others is might be pride. They have ridiculed Christians before, or they have taught against Christianity before, or they have been atheists before and would feel foolish to suddenly submit to that which they once condemned.
Friends, whatever it is that keeps you from coming to Christ, it will be that which you will need to forsake. That is the cost!
It stands simply to reason that anytime your desire is to go from point A to point B, obstacles need to be removed that would prevent you getting to your destination. For the Rich man it was his wealth, to others it might be friends, or pride, or jobs or even their entire family.
Muslims would not only lose their families, but Sharia law holds Apostasy from Islam a Capital Offence. Many have given their lives to follow Christ
All that comes between you and Christ will prevent everlasting life, the attainment of which will only be gained when they are forsaken for Jesus.
The words are best given by Jesus himself, turn with me to our last passage in Luke 14:25-33
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If anymancome to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he havesufficientto finishit? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finishit, all that beholditbegin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Salvation is the pearl of Great price, it is worth forsaking all to attain.
Friends, Jobs, riches, pride, even family and life, is all temporary. If you knew you lived in the City of Destruction and that at any moment its desolation would occur, would you not flee? Would you not rather have LIFE than Death.
We all have a Will to Live, what is holding you back from it?
The story is told of a great noble woman who, while standing at her window she was taking in the wonderful breeze coming from the Italian Bay of Naples. It was a warm summers day in August 79AD and she looked out and thought to herself that ‘no City named after the great General Pompey could ever be at risk of destruction.’
Several strong shudders shook the ground under her opulent home and equally began to shake her confidence. But the calm lasted longer than the shaking and her confidence that she was safe lifted a little more.
She lived in the Jewel of the Mediterranean Sea, the holiday destination of the wealthy of Italy and even the world. But this day the beaches were barren, Mount Vesuvius seemed to make sure of that. The mountain was about 8km away but the rumblings and the smoke was clearly visible and caused many to flee and take shelter, to get as far away as possible to ensure they had life.
Cowards!She thought, As a little girl, she had survived the quake of 63. This would be no different. And so she, along with the remaining 2,000 out of the regular 20,000 residents the town once held, remained defiant and unafraid.
Many were the warning signs of impending doom, but the hope that it was false and the motivation she had for wanting to believe it was false, dominated her heart.
Another shudder, this time much stronger, but this again was followed by a calm more silent that the one before. Again, she talked herself into thinking that all was goodand began to wonder what she might be doing tomorrow.
Next a deafening sonic boom knocked her to the floor, and she turned and looked out the window to see what can only be described as a nightmare.
Vesuvius finally erupted, millions of tons of super-heated lava and scorching hot grey ash spewed out from the mountain 20 klm into the sky, more than twice the height of the tallest mountain on Earth. Even the sun itself was blotted out.
Whatever confidence she once had was now completely lost, she screamed in absolute terror of what was coming.
The next 24 hours dropped ash like snow and gave her a temporary calm and had the effect of slowing down her escape. She had to grab as many things as she could salvage to take with her, without her wealth she was nothing she thought.
Her slaves outran her, looking for life alone, they took nothing with them in order to escape the city gates.
As she ran, she lost her footing and dropped a bag of pearls, with death quickly racing upon her.
She was discovered by archeologists over a thousand years later, her perfectly preserved skeleton lay exactly where it was buried under 4 meters of volcanic debris, she had turned back and was found reaching for her bag of pearls.
An historian wrote of her saying “Though death was hard at her heels, and life was beckoning to her beyond the city gates, she could not shake off their spell. She had turned to pick them up, with death as her reward . . . frozen in an attitude of greed.”
Salvation is YES from God, of this we have absolute confidence.
It is Articulated clearly in the Bible
It is Accomplishable by God, and
It is Anticipated in the very purpose Jesus died.
But it is the cost that hinder most from asking to be saved. Even while the mountain of this world is rumbling around them, even as they see the plume of smoke rise through the growing sin of a lost world, they still think their city is not at risk and they have laid their plans well, thinking of tomorrow.
The answer for Salvation? YES.
The cost? Only you can answer.
James, Terry. Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers & Their Last Days Deception (p. 185). New Leaf Press. Kindle Edition.