Checks to Unconditional Covenants 14
Checks to Unconditional Covenants 14
Jesus invited a publican named Levi, who is also called Matthew, to be his disciple. The invitation is found in three gospels.
The following account is in Luke:
Luke 5:27-28 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
The invitation was simple, “Follow Me.”
This was not the first time Matthew (Levi) had come in contact with Jesus and had heard Jesus preach.
Had known him from the start
He had to have had knowledge of Jesus’ life from the beginning of His ministry for Acts tells us all that the apostles had to have knowledge of Jesus’ life from the time of John the Baptist.
Known from the beginning
This was the criteria for choosing Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot
Acts 1:21-22 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Knew the Implications
So Matthew knew well the implication of Jesus’ invitation. This was not a call to follow for an hour or a month.
When Jesus invited Matthew to “Follow Me,” it was a total dedication to become one of Jesus’ followers.
Invitation to Salvation
Jesus invited Matthew to be saved and be one of His disciples. Jesus was inviting Matthew to be “born again.”
We all receive the same invitation
This is the same invitation that each child of God has received and accepted.
This is what salvation is all about.
It is not merely an invitation to be baptized, or join a church, or to work for Christ.
This is an invitation to total dedication of one’s life to Jesus Christ.
The parameters of this invitation
It is an invitation to follow Jesus from the time of the initial salvation experience to the the end of one’s life
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
1. Called to completely follow
Jesus calls people to choose him above everything and everybody else.
Matthew 8:21-22 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Matthew 10:37-39 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
2. Called to invite others to follow
Jesus calls people to win others to Him.
Matthew 4:18-20 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Jesus calls people to give up their way of life for Him.
Matthew 16:24-27 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 16:24-27 Cont. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
4. Called to faithfully follow
Jesus calls people to be faithful even unto death
John 21:18-19 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
4. Called to faithfully follow Cont.
Luke 9:61-62 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
This invitation is weighty
It is a call to total surrender to Jesus Christ.
It is a call to give up the way of life a person has practiced and to become a spiritual person.
It is a call to follow Jesus all the way to the end. It is a call to live according to God’s Word until Jesus comes for His church.
It is not a call to follow for a period of time or until something else seems to be so very important.
A CALL to be a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus’ invitation to eternal life is not to be taken lightly.
Those who follow Jesus and remain faithful to Him; for these there are strong promises.
Those who give their life to Christ and live in obedience to His word.
Those who live a holy life for Christ and who have the Holy Spirit do not live a life of sin.
People who ‘abide’ in Christ
Such verses as I John 3:9 describe people who love the LORD and live faithfully for him.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Nevertheless, there are those who are actually in Christ who backslide and eventually commit the sin of falling away.
People Who Draw Back
Those people who have drawn back to perdition
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Make no mistake here;
the writer of Hebrews was saying there are some who have been saved, but draw back and are lost; but we are not like them.
We go on to live for Jesus all the way to the end.
If there are those who would say:
That these who draw back were never in Christ, let them read Jesus’ own statement,
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Regardless of Any Fable
No matter what men may teach or what even whole churches may teach, Jesus’ invitation is the same today as it was in Biblical times, “Follow Me”.
Those who are in heaven are not people who follow Jesus for a while, then fall away and bring no fruit to perfection:
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Another Point is in order.
Those who are saved, are saved. Let all of God’s people understand that God is the judge.
It is not for anyone to judge a true child of God:
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Romans 8:33-39 Cont.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Romans 8:33-39 Cont.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
There is a mountain of evidence, and the warnings are so serious that no child of God should ignore the possibility of falling back into the world and suffering the eternal consequences.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
A Serious Warning
Matthew 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This series is undertaken NOT so that men may fall away and be lost, but that men may be warned of the deceitfulness of sin and believe unto the saving of their everlasting salvation:
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:12-19 Cont.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
There Are Those:
There are those who say that they follow Jesus and have never been saved.
There are those who have been saved but are backslidden who will repent and will renew their covenant with God,
There are those who have been saved, but have backslidden and then fallen away and have gone back to the world and have blasphemed the precious Holy Spirit who are fit only for the flames of eternal fire.
Let Each Child of God
Let each child of God make his calling and election sure.
Let each child of God “take heed lest he fall”
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
The Plan of Salvation
The writer of Hebrews summed up the plan of salvation in one verse:
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
Surely you will take this invitation to follow the Lord Jesus for ever;
Yes, so help me God!