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Redeemed to Live Forever


 

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11292015RedeemedToLiveForeverDonRuhl


 

Redeemed to Live Forever 

Why did the Lord buy you back from Satan and hell?

Revelation 22.1–2

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 29, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – Redeemed (Either 543 or 544 or both), We Shall Assemble (982)

Prelude

  1. God Does Not Want Us to Live on Spiritual Skid Row 
    1. Think of the beauty of Earth when God first created it.
      1. We think the Earth is beautiful now.
      2. However, a global flood
        1. did extensive damage and
        2. restructured the surface and the weather.
          1. How much greater was Earth’s beauty before the Flood!
          2. Before the Flood, God cursed the Earth because of Adam’s sin.
            1. What was Earth like before thorns and thistles?
            2. What was it like before man had to eat his bread by the sweat of his face?
      3. All of creation must have been exceedingly beautiful before Adam’s sin.
        1. Genesis 2 says God planted a garden.
          1. It must have been greater than the rest of the Earth,

            8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed (Gen 2.8).
          2. God planted a garden!
            1. God created Earth in beauty that we can only imagine.
            2. This statement shows that the Garden of Eden special.
      4. Verse 16 reveals that God gave almost total freedom to Adam.
        1. He could eat of any tree, with the exception of one.
        2. That exception was not the tree of life,

          16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat” (Gen 2.16).
    2. My point in mentioning these things is this.
      1. God intended from the beginning that we live forever, but not on Skid Row.
      2. He intended that the place in which we live would be capable of:
        1. Giving us eternal life; and
        2. that we would truly live,
          1. not on skid row, but
          2. in paradise.
  2. Things Changed 
    1. Adam and Eve sinned, ruining the chances of living forever on Earth.
    2. God loves us and still wants us to live forever.
    3. Therefore, He redeemed us from sin and death, enabling us to live forever.

Persuasion

  1. God Created Us to Live Forever 
    1. Man ruined eternal life on Earth by his sin.
      1. God then cut man off from access to the tree of life.
      2. At least He cut it off on the Earth.
    2. Man wrecks things, but God does something about it.

      “When we say, ‘Something should be done about Skid Row,’ God is saying the same thing about us. That is why He sent His Son to help us” (J. Vernon McGee, Sourcebook for Speakers, p. 306).

      1. Hebrews 9 reveals the wonders of God in Christ.
        1. Here the writer causes us to appreciate the price of our redemption,

          12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (Heb 9.12).
      2. God has infinite mercy.
        1. He showed mercy to the adulterous and murderous David.
          1. He showed mercy to the crowds demanding the death of His Son.
          2. He showed mercy to a man who killed Christians in God’s name.
            1. He can show mercy to you,
            2. regardless of what you have done.
        2. He shows mercy toward you when you are like:
          1. David who said,

            3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
            And my sin is always before me.
            (Psa 51.3)
          2. The Jews who cried out in desperation,

            37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2.37).
          3. Paul who wondered,

            24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom 7.24).
      3. His mercy set in motion a plan to redeem us.
        1. Do you know what it means to be redeemed?
          1. It means that we no longer belong to the devil.
          2. It means that we can no longer live in sin.
          3. It means that our destination is not the lake of fire.
          4. It means that our destination is where the water of life flows freely.
          5. It means that we are no longer dead, but are full of life now.
      4. By redeeming us, God wants us to be able to fulfill
        1. mankind’s original purpose for being created.
        2. We will not live on this Earth forever, but
        3. we will live forever in a new heavens and a new Earth.
    3. Come to cherish what this all means, as Hebrews 12 shows.
      1. The writer shows what magnificent blessings we have in Christ.
      2. We have no reason to fear rejection,

        18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” {Exodus 19:12, 13} 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” {Deuteronomy 9:19} ) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Heb 12.18–24).

        1. Brethren, how does that affect you?
        2. Does that affect the way you live?
        3. Do these things not fill you with exceeding gladness and joy?
  2. God Redeemed Us that We Might Truly Live Now 
    1. Redemption has given me life.
      1. Previously I was dead.
      2. Let us be alive with Christianity!
    2. Someone has said that to die means that a person once was alive.
      1. Are you alive?
        1. I mean are you truly living?
        2. Before you answer that question, do not think of it in an Earthly sense.
          1. Are you full of the life of the Spirit?
          2. When you die,
            1. will people say of you that you truly died, because
            2. you had truly lived?
          3. Are you making the most of every moment?
      2. Henry David Thoreau said of John Brown before his execution,

        “…in order to die you must first have lived.”

        1. John Brown had a cause for which he lived and died.
        2. Why do you live?
    3. Do you know what Jesus meant in John 10.10
      1. when He spoke of the life that He brings?
        1. I fear that many Christians know the life, but
        2. that they do not live the life.
      2. What did He mean by abundant life,

        10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10.10).
    4. Titus 2 makes a connection between our redemption and our living.
      1. From the time God redeems us
      2. to the time when we can live forever,
        1. God wants us to live a rich life.
        2. This passage shows how we enrich our lives,

          11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Tts 2.11–14).
    5. Do not forget Ephesians 2,

      8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2.8–10).
  3. Philippians 3.12–14 
    1. In light of all the Lord has done for us, how then shall we live?

      12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phi 3.12–14).
    2. Paul knew his imperfections, but
      1. he neither used that as an excuse to remain in them, nor
      2. to give up.
        1. He pressed on to lay hold of that
        2. for which Christ had laid hold of him.
    3. He did something with his time on Earth.
      1. He made the most of life now that he would have eternal life later.
      2. His redemption from sin moved him to live life abundantly.

Exhortation

  1. Revelation 22 shows a marvelous picture. 
    1. We can have access to the tree of life.
    2. However, it is no longer on the Earth,

      1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Rev 22.1–2).

      1. Adam and Eve only saw a copy of the true tree of life.
      2. Through Christ Jesus, we have access to the real tree of life in heaven.
  2. Therefore, so live that you keep eternity always before your eyes. 
    1. Through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
    2. we can be forgiven and
    3. gain access to the tree of life.
  3. You will also live a full life now. 
    1. Enjoy the promises of God.
    2. Enjoy God.
      1. Worship God in truth, but also
      2. worship Him in spirit,
        1. with your heart, soul, and mind.
        2. Put your whole self into it.
    3. Be with your brethren.
    4. Stand up for a cause that is greater than your self.