The Only Hope for Rebels
By Pastor Alan Davis
Imagine a good king who is asked to forgive a rebel who has rebelled against his kingdom. The king asks if the rebel has a desire to quit his rebellion and pledge allegiance to the king. The answer is no; the rebel wants a pardon for his crimes but will not quit the crimes nor pledge allegiance to the king. It would be unthinkable for the king to give mercy and grace to the rebel since he has no desire to quit his crimes and rebellion against the king and pledge allegiance to the king and the king’s laws.
The Scriptures declare that God is the author, creator and sovereign ruler over all that is. The Scriptures proclaim God the Father has declared God the Son, Jesus Christ, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords worthy of complete obedience. God the Father has granted to God the Son the absolute right to reign, rule and judge their creation, particularly mankind.
Exo 20:3,5 You shall have no other gods before me…You shall not bow down to them, or serve them:
Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Php 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth
As our sovereign ruler, what does God have to say about mankind and his condition? First, God says mankind has a problem and that problem is our sin, or rather, our rebellion against God.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God
1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Jas 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
God’s Word says none of us escape this problem. ALL have sinned. Have you ever told a lie of any kind? Have you ever stolen something, even something small? Have you ever even thought a lustful thought about another person that is not your spouse? Have you ever had hatred in your heart even for a moment? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word or a by-word? Do you see now how that ALL have sinned? We all stand before God in our sin, our rebellion against Him as our sovereign ruler. We are guilty of rebelling against God with our sin. God has given His perfect law to us in the Ten Commandments. Mankind has broken these laws, no one has kept them perfectly and Jesus said if you have broken one you are guilty of breaking all of them. WE ARE GUILTY BEFORE GOD.
Due to our guilt, mankind will receive judgment and punishment by our just Creator and King.
This rebellion against God, the King of glory, will be judged. Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment“. God will judge us and punish us with a just and righteous penalty; separation and alienation from Him in a place called hell for all of eternity.
Isa. 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
James 1:15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Rev. 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
This can and should bring fear to our hearts and minds. The Bible says:
Prov.1:7 the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom
Heb.10:31 it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Our position, guilty before God and deserving of God’s judgment and penalty, should concern us greatly. Because of our rebellion and guilt we stand as enemies of God. This is not a position to take lightly. Our eternity is at stake here and we are guilty of rebelling against the God of glory. We can do nothing about our position in and of ourselves. The Scriptures declare the most righteous man as guilty before God deserving of God’s righteous judgment and condemnation.
In God’s love and for His glory He has made a provision for those who will hear and heed. The Bible says that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. Mankind has broken Gods law over and over; therefore, we cannot offer a perfect sacrifice for our own sins. Only God can do that and He did that through His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.
Rom. 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Cor. 15:3-4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
Jesus Christ bore all the sins of all who will fully trust in Him as Savior and Lord. At the cross, Jesus who never once sinned became our sin. Our sin was imputed to the perfect Son of God. Because He took on our sin God’s wrath was poured out upon the Son at the cross. All of God’s wrath and condemnation due upon us was poured out on the Son at the cross. According the God’s Word in Isaiah this pleased the Father to pour His wrath on the Son who became sin for all who would repent and believe. The Scriptures declare Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This Provision of Jesus Christ as our perfect sacrifice taking the judgment, condemnation and wrath of God for our sins giving us mercy, grace and forgiveness, is a beautiful picture of God’s love for mankind and His perfect justice.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
However, God’s forgiveness is not automatic to mankind. Even the demons and the Devil believe Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus said that on judgment day many will say to Him they had done ministry in His name and He said He will cast them away. It is not enough to just simply believe with a head-knowledge of Jesus or with a mere mental assent to who Jesus is. One can easily agree with the demons of hell on who Jesus is and still not possess a saving faith which is an active and live faith. This forgiveness is only available to those who come on a Scriptural basis for salvation.
Jesus came preaching saying, “Repent and believe in the gospel” Mark 1:15; Jesus also said “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3. Repent means to turn away from; to have a complete change of mind and outlook. One who will not turn from their sin and turn to Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, believing on Him for salvation from sin and eternal life, cannot be saved. The rich young ruler in Matt. 19 came asking Jesus how to have eternal life. He seemed very sincere and very moral. Jesus did not ask him to pray a quick prayer and rush the young man into membership class. He used God’s laws to search out the young man’s heart. The young man was unwilling to give up a certain sin to follow Jesus. Jesus asked the young man to give up his covetousness and THEN follow Him. The young man would have none of it. He loved his sin of covetousness and he went away sorrowful but NOT repentant. He would not turn from his sin and follow Jesus. Some practices of modern day evangelism would have run after him and begged him to say the sinner’s prayer and tell him we can deal with his sin later. Not Jesus. Jesus demanded the sinner turn from his sin and follow Him. It would do us well in this day and age to make sure to tell sinners unless they will turn from their sin and to Jesus they cannot be saved. Repentance is not just a one time “I’m sorry” and then back to the sinning business. Many who enter our churches today stay a little and then are right back into sin because in our fervor to grow rolls we neglect in one way or another being clear of the demands of Jesus for true Salvation.
2 Cor.7:9 -10 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. (10) For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Mat 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
To repent of our sin means more than just being sorry we got caught. Biblical repentance means we are sorry we have sinned against our holy God. We have a broken heart for rebelling against God and we are willing to turn our backs on sin against God. This means we are willing to let go of all known sin and confess this to God and trust in Jesus as our Savior from our sins and as Lord over our lives. Certainly to “deny” one’s self would be to turn on our indulgent and lustful sins that are a rebellion against God. We must repent of our sins, let them go, and trust in Jesus and His sacrifice at the cross to receive forgiveness and God’s offer of salvation. A just King cannot forgive a rebel who will not give up his rebellion against the King.
- All of mankind, and thus you, have sinned against God. Sin is the breaking of God’s law in anyway. Our sin is rebellion against a holy God and you are guilty of that.
- Our sin, particularly your sin, has alienated you from God and you will be judged when you die. The penalty for your sin is to be cast away from God forever in a place called hell which is a place of eternal torment and the wrath of God.
- God made a just and merciful provision of a sacrifice for sin by offering His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross and take the wrath, condemnation and judgment for sin. This provision is only available to those who will…
- Repent and believe the gospel. Turn from your sins (letting them go) and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Jesus said to count the cost of following Him. He also said that if you follow Him the world may hate you and persecute you and that you must be willing to forsake your sins to follow Him. But He also reminded us that unless we follow Him we will not see God and we will not know true peace and joy. The only way to experience forgiveness and the true love of God is to come to Him by repenting of your sins and believing on Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and resurrection.
So is there hope for you as a rebel against God? Absolutely; IF you will turn from your sin and trust in Christ. If God has confirmed these truths in your heart and mind, the Scriptures give us clear direction of how to make this plea for salvation to our God.
Is. 55:6-7 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; (7) let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Rom.10: 9-11 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
If God has placed this desire in your heart then cry out to God in prayer, repenting and confessing your sin, seeking His forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ His Son. It may well be you have been a “church member for years or that you were led in a prayer at some point but there has never really been any change in your heart. You may have had some religious pressure to be a more moral person. You may even be “religious”, attending church and even reading the Bible. However, all these trappings of religious morality still have left you empty and void of real heart-change. You may even still be involved with a particular sin or sins with no willingness or desire to really give them up. Then you need a real heart change by God. There is but one way, repent of your sins and trust fully in the work of Jesus at the cross for your sins.
1John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Rom 5:1,9 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Mark 1:15“The Kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the gospel” ~Jesus Christ
This is the only true hope for the Rebel !
Now if you have sought God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace, the words of Jesus remind us that those who are in his family not only hear His words but DO THEM. Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brothers are those which hear the word of God, and do it.
The evidence of our salvation in Christ is a life that is lived seeking to follow Jesus. You are not saved by following Christ but because you are saved you WILL follow Him. 1John 1:6-7 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Come out of the darkness of your sin and live in the light of Jesus by submitting to His commands in His Word, the Bible. Read your Bible daily and pray to God for the power to live it out. Follow Christ in obedience in believer’s Baptism and becoming a part of a Gospel-centered church. Continually seek God through His Word and prayer and being around other believers. Open your mouth and tell others of this same gospel message that God used to save you. Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 1:8. Daily remind yourself of the gospel and that you stand in it and live for Christ. Remember if Jesus is our Savior He is our Lord and we will be willing to forsake all and follow Him. When Christ saves us from our sins we will follow no other. Christ will have no rivals. NO KING BUT CHRIST!
Pastor Alan Davis
Woodland Baptist Church
July 14, 2013