Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
March 27, 2019
One of those times when I was prepared to teach in one direction and God led me into a totally different direction.
Seven times in the book of Revelation our Lord says; “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The book of Revelation contains seven different churches who receive seven different warnings from our Lord if they do not [metanoeo] repent.
- Some believe that the seven churches represent just the seven literal churches that are mentioned for that day only; Rev 2 & 3.
Only the churches in those days were given warnings and encouragement = the Church at Ephesus; Smyrna; Pergamum; Thyatira; Sardis; Philadelphia; and Laodicea.
It was just for those seven different churches in the Roman Empire.
- The seven different churches in Rev 2 and 3 represent the seven different “TYPES” of believers who live in one of the generations in the Church-age under the principle of the “Doctrine of Dispensations” of the Church-age.
In every generation of the Church-age, there are certain individuals who are represented by certain types of believers who would fit in one of those generations or in the combination of one church with another.
- Others believe that the seven different churches represent seven different periods that the church goes through.
We may start out with loving our first love, our Lord Jesus Christ who is our first real love which is revealed by those who are in the church of Ephesus in Rev 2:1.
Warnings and encouragement are needed as believers go through the different manifestations of the churches during the Church-age.
Certain believers go through the different manifestations of the Church-age, they go from Ephesus to Smyrna to Pergamum to Thyatira to Sardis to Philadelphia to Laodicea.
What does the door standing open in heaven refer to?
The door refers to our Lord opening up a way for those at the end of the Tribulation Period and the beginning of the Second Advent or the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
MAR 13:29 “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening [the signs of the end], recognize that He is near, right at the door.
JAM 5:9 “Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”
The door refers to the opening up of a believer who recognizes the importance of the volition or the free-will of man.
The “open door” refers to man’s free will choosing what our Lord has set before them.
In REV 3:20, the open door refers to our Lord’s invitation to the free-will of man.
The open door refers to our Lord inviting those believers to participate in the Rapture of the Church.
There are a lot of individuals who are Christians who make commitments and then they could care less if they keep with the commitment.
This is one of the major problems that believers need to face head-on and not deny the existence of the vows, the promises, and the commitments that they made to God before God.
They keep commitments but that is commitments to themselves.
They lack the motivation that believers should live by because motivation is what gets you started whereas commitment leads to action.
Commitment = a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in and promise to do something that inspires you to be committed to making your dreams a reality.
“Commitment leads to action.”
“While action brings your dreams closer.”
In life, we will always have two vital and important choices: your commitment versus your fear.”
Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment.” Vince Lombardi.
When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
“Commitment is the little choices every day that lead to the final results we’re striving for.”
When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.”
“There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.”
“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”
They will make vows and commitments and then not keep them and the sad thing is they don’t even try to keep them.
Before we leave him in the empty grave, we need to remember that Judas made a commitment to Jesus Christ our Lord.
Like the rest of the disciples, he left everything to follow our Lord.
Judas was actively involved in the ministry, and he was given remarkable spiritual gifts for that dispensation.
Jesus called “the twelve” and gave them ALL power and authority over ALL demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal to ALL who would listen.
Judas Iscariot was a gospel preacher.
Judas was also a teacher of doctrine.
Judas Iscariot was given the gift of healing for that dispensation which meant a specialize priesthood where only a few could have the power of the Spirit, and the Spirit was not in them but upon them.
Judas exercised authority over demons and in a few days after that the demons were gone, Judas went back to join the twelve.
Prin: Active involvement in ministry is a good and wonderful thing; but it is not, in itself, a guarantee of spiritual life or health.
I am going to read a few verses here that will reveal to us the principle of concerning how Judas was used in the plan of God.
The word many is the Greek adjective polloi which means “the majority.”
1SA 16:7 God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
And their heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; in Jer 17:9.
Jer 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
Here they are = the sneaky little snakes at work with sheep’s clothing because they want to give the impression that they are holy and pure.
The Lord did not say anything about the works that one does but He said that He never knew them although they prophesied in His name, and in His name they cast out demons and performed many miracles?’
Judas walked with our Lord for three years.
Judas saw the greatest life ever lived up close and personal.
You can’t have a better model of faith than the Lord Jesus or a better environment for forming faith than Judas had in walking with the Savior.
Judas directly witnessed the miracles.
When Jesus fed the 5,000, Judas was there.
He took the bread and distributed it along with the other disciples.
When our Lord calmed the storm, Judas was there.
And Judas also was there when our Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
You can’t have better evidence for faith than Judas had.
Judas heard all the teaching of Jesus our Lord, too.
Judas heard the Sermon on the Mount, so he knew there is a narrow road that leads to life and a broad road that leads to destruction.
Judas heard the warnings Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, so he knew there is a hell to reject and a heaven to gain.
Judas heard the parable of the prodigal son, so he knew God is ready to welcome and forgive those who have wasted themselves in many sins….however, none like Judas.
With Judas’s own eyes, he saw the clearest evidence.
With his own ears, he heard the finest teaching.
With his own feet, he followed the greatest example.
And yet this man still betrayed Jesus, our Lord.
The human heart is beyond understanding; Jer 17:9 and there is something incomprehensible about a person who abandons the faith they once professed.
Judas’s story contains an important lesson for parents, leaders, and friends who grieve over someone they love who has abandoned the faith.
Where did we go wrong?
What more could we have done?
Did we fail in our teaching?
Did we fail in our example?
Judas teaches = the best example, the most compelling evidence, and the finest teaching, the ultimate environment for unconditional faith—cannot change the human heart.
Satan made a relentless assault on Judas’s soul, as he makes a relentless assault on everyone who chooses to follow Christ.
The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Joh 13:2.
This evaluation overlooks the fact that Judas opened the door to Satan.
Prin: Once we open the door to things that are demonic, then we must be prepared for anything.
Judas had been stealing from the collective money bag, and when he kept this sin secret, Satan entered into him.
Unconfessed sin always opens the door to Satan’s power.
Satan doesn’t gain a foothold in the lives of people who are walking in the light with our Lord Jesus, He only gains access when we open the door.
Judas — The Outcome He Embraced
When you get close to our Lord, one of two things will happen: either you will become wholly his, or you will end up more alienated from him.
The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.
Only those who have never known our Lord can remain indifferent to Him.
For those who get close, the only outcomes are full devotion or eventual antagonism; and every day, each of us is heading in one direction or the other.
In an age when many are abandoning the faith they once professed, the story of Judas warns us to guard our hearts, lest we drift away.
The story of Judas also equips us to reach out to those who may be close to walking away from the faith themselves.
Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to “be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire.”
The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.
If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will never be able to live up to what a fish is, what a fish does, and what the real purpose of a fish are when it comes to the creation of man.
GEN 1:26 Then God [Elohim] in Three persons known for being One in essence not one in personalities]
Gen 1:27 “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The word “our” which speaks of more than one; However, they are one in essence but three distinct personalities which makes our God so unique.
What does or how does the fish serve as far as the creation of God is concerned and as well as what the fish does for mankind?