"HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO"
1. How many people do you think there are in our Church who have never, not one time, talked to me about their conversion? Not once have they ever asked me to listen to their testimony of how they got converted.
2. Don't you find that strange? I find that very strange. Parents place their children under my teaching and preaching, yet seem not to have the slightest interest in whether or not you and I are agreed about your own relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. Why do you suppose this is? Why do you think a mom or a dad won't consider asking the pastor, "Will you listen to my testimony and tell me your honest opinion about it? I'd like to know if you think my understanding of how a sinner gets saved, specifically me, agrees with what you understand from the Bible."
4. Do you think such a person has a problem with me? A bit of a problem, perhaps. But not much of a problem, or else they would stop attending Calvary Road Baptist Church and go somewhere else.
5. And the same is true of a number of teens here at our Church. I am quite convinced that a number of our teens have no greater problem with me than they do anyone else my age, but they still will not talk to me about their own relationship with Christ, even though they make no pretense about being converted.
6. What's back of this somewhat unusual behavior? I think, with both the adults and the kids, the problem is not with the pastor, but with the Savior. Listen to Isaiah 53.2-3: "there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
7. These two verses explain perfectly why folks who regularly attend our Church will not speak to me about their spiritual condition. It is a passive, seemingly benign, socially acceptable way of despising Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, and of hiding your face from Jesus.
8. Turn in your Bible to Hebrews chapter 4, where we will begin reading at verse 11. When you find that portion of Scripture, please stand: "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
9. Are you one of those people who mistakenly thinks that if you ignore something long enough it will go away? Are you that way with the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ? This passage we have just read has for its subjects the Bible, in verse 12, the Lord Jesus Christ, in verses 13-15, Who is our basis for coming boldly to the throne of grace in prayer, verse 16.
10. My text for this morning is verse 13: "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Before my sermon I would like to take a few minutes pointing out and explaining some issues raised by the writer of Hebrews here in verse 13.
11. There are four contrasting relationships suggested by this single verse.
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest"
1B. What Does The Use Of The Word "Creature" Show Us? Correct. For There To Be A Creature, Which Is You And Me, There Must, Of Necessity, Be A Creator.
2B. But Who Is The Creator? The Context Of Our Passage Shows It To Be The Lord Jesus Christ, But We All Remember Genesis 1.1, Which Reads, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." So, Who Is The Creator, Jesus Or God?
1C. Colossians 1.16-17 clearly declares Jesus Christ to be the Creator and Sustainer of all things: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
2C. Lest you be confused, Colossians 2.9 and John 1.1-3 show Jesus to be God: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
3B. So, Jesus, Who Is God Come In The Flesh And Is Now Seated At The Father's Right Hand On High, Is That Person Of The Truine Godhead Who Actually Created And Who Actually Sustains All Things. This One With Whom We Have To Do Is Personally Responsible For Each Breath You Take And Each Beat Of Your Heart. That Means, You Are Utterly Dependent Upon Him, Jesus, For The Continuance Of Your Physical Life.
4B. And Since He Created You, You Are His Possession. He Is The Potter And You Are The Clay. And Doesn't The Potter Have A Right To Do With The Clay What He Chooses, Romans 9.21 Asks?
"all things are naked and opened unto" His eyes.
1B. Does This Mean The Things You Have Done Are Naked And Opened To Him? Does This Mean Those Private Things You Don't Want Anyone To See? Does This Mean What You Look At? Does This Mean Where You Go When You Think No One Knows Or Is Watching? All Things.
2B. Does This Mean The Things You Have Said And Thought Are Naked And Opened To Him? The Dirty Jokes? The Lewd Remarks? The Mumbling Under Your Breath As You Walk Away From Your Mom Or Dad? The Swearing? The Profanity? The Blasphemy? The Cruel Things You've Said? And Even Those Things You've Been Careful Not To Say, But Have Nevertheless Thought? All Things.
3B. My Friends, All Things Means All Things. Romans 2.16 Declares: "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." You Do Things. You Do All Sorts Of Things. Some Things You Do With Your Eyes. Some Things You Do With Your Hands. Other Things You Do With Your Mouth. Finally, There Are Those Things You Do With Your Mind, Your Thoughts. Understand, For Everything You Do There Is One Who Sees, Who Sees All Of It. His Name Is Jesus. You Are The Doer And He Is The Seer.
"all things are naked . . . unto" His eyes.
1B. Let's Consider Nakedness. You're Naked When You've Got Nothing On, Right? You're Naked When You Not Clothed. You're Naked When You Are Completely Without Concealment.
1C. When Adam and Eve fell into sin God clothed their nakedness with coats of animal skins, Genesis 3.21.
2C. Since man became a sinner God's desire has been for man to be clothed and to hide his nakedness. And why is this? Because the sinfulness of man and the wickedness of man preys upon the nakedness of others to lust and scheme and think evil thoughts.
3C. So, while it is not proper for people to go naked in society, and while it very wicked for parents to show their nakedness to their children, even fathers to their sons, all things are naked to the Son of God.
4C. With the eyes of omniscience He sees down into the deepest depths of sinful hearts. He is the
2B. But Contrasted To Man's Nakedness Is The Lord Jesus Christ's Glory
1C. In John 1.14 and Second Peter 1.17 the apostle John and the apostle Peter speak of the Lord Jesus Christ's glory on the mount of Transfiguration.
2C. John 12.41 declares that even the prophet Isaiah beheld the Lord Jesus Christ's glory in Isaiah chapter 6, which took place centuries before the Savior's virgin birth in Bethlehem.
3C. When Jesus comes again it will be in clouds of great glory, and He will sit upon His throne of glory, and the whole earth will be filled with His glory, as too many verses to look at this morning attest to.
4C. But imagine it. You in your humiliated nakedness before the One Who is clothed in majestic glory and regal splendor. Yet you refuse to consider Him in your thoughts. You do not like to retain God in your knowledge, Romans 1.28, and so you put His Son from your thoughts also.
Notice a portion of our text again: "all things are . . . opened"
1B. I Want You To Take Special Notice Of That Word "opened." The Greek Word It Translates Appears In The New Testament Only Here. Though It Was Not Used Frequently Enough In Those Days To Get A Concrete Idea Of All It's Implications, The Word Means "to lay bear, to expose."
2B. It Has Been Suggested That What Is Meant Is The Bending Back Of The Neck Of A Sacrificial Animal To Make It Ready For The Final Stroke, Or Even The Act Of A Wrestler To Overpower His Adversary By Seizing Him Around The Neck And Rendering Him Limp And Powerless.
3B. But The Most Compelling Evidence Is A Reference To The Execution Of A Criminal Whose Neck Is Exposed In Preparation For His Death By Being Beheaded. Thus, The Final Contrast Suggested By Our Text Is One In Which The Creature Is Portrayed As The Criminal Awaiting Execution, The Implication Being That The Lord Jesus Christ Is The Judge, Which He Is Clearly Shown In Many Passages To Be. In Jude Verse 15 We See That The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ Is, In Part, So That The Lord Jesus Christ Might Come To Personally Execute Judgment Upon The Ungodly.
1. Are you a person who faces up to issues that are important to your well-being? I certainly hope you are, since there are a number of important relationships suggested by this verse that you need to consider.
2. First, the creature and the Creator. Second, the doer (that's you) and the One Who sees all that you do (that's the Lord Jesus Christ). Third, you are the one who is naked before Jesus, and He is the one Who is coming again in regal splendor and clothed in glory. And finally, there is the contrast between the criminal awaiting execution and the righteous Judge Who comes again specifically to execute judgment on the ungodly.
3. This all may seem like an awful lot for you to think about this morning, but after brother Isenberger leads us in a song I will lay before you the single thought I want you to focus all your attention on. Let's stand to sing, shall we, and then I will bring this morning's sermon.
1. Many things are implied by our text for this morning. And each implication could be developed into a separate sermon. But I want you to confine your thoughts right now to the declaration that's found at the end of the verse.
2. "Him with whom we have to do." Notice that this phrase does not refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as One with Whom you necessarily want to do, or One with Whom you will even choose to do, for the want and the choosing are not up to you.
3. My friend, deny reality all you want. Play the ostrich to your heart's content. But Jesus Christ is the One with Whom you have to do. Engage in all the self-propaganda you can muster to convince yourself otherwise, you must have dealings with the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. This is what I want you to focus all of your attention on this morning. Jesus is the One with Whom you have to do. No if's, and's or but's; you have to do with Him. Now, in view of the fact of, the certainty of, your destiny to do with Him, there are some things I need to say to you.
Excuse me if I butcher the English language just a bit to make my comments memorable to you, but there are some things about Jesus that you must be warned about and you must pay attention to:
1B. First, He Remembers
1C. You cross your dad and he sometimes forgets what you have done. Cross your mother and she may even more frequently forget or just pass over what you've done. But the Lord Jesus Christ never forgets. He always remembers what the unsaved do.
2C. And what does He remember, chiefly? He chiefly remembers whether or not you have ever come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing, whether or not you've ever trusted Him to save you from your sins.
3C. Matthew 7.22-23: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
4C. So you see, Jesus will remember who are His and who are not His, who came to Him and who did not, who believed on Him and who did not, who got saved and who only got religious.
2B. Second, He Revenges
1C. He suffered and He bled and He died. He endured unspeakable agonies at the hands of sinners and on the cross. He was despised and rejected and had accusations hurled at Him. He was publicly humiliated, and His nakedness was exposed to all the world.
2C. Knowing that Jesus remembers, be sure you recognize that He will remember those indignities, as well. He will remember the insults and the rejections. He will remember the choices you've made to play instead of turning to Him for forgiveness, to play your little games instead of seeking Him while He may be found, to enjoy your sins rather than seeking His forgiveness.
3C. Just as surely as Simon Peter could truthfully tell those assembled on the day of Pentecost that they had crucified and slain the Savior, so I assuredly stand before you today and accuse you in like fashion. For it was your sin that hammered the nails into His hands and feet. It was your wickedness that thrust the spear into His side. He will remember that. Throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity, He will remember.
4C. And that will cause Him to revenge. Ever wonder why Paul admonished Christians to never try to get even when people have done them wrong? It's because Jesus remembers all the wrongs done to Him and to His Own by you who are lost, and He exacts revenge. Oh, yes!
5C. Romans 12.19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Paul is saying, "Beloved, you don't need to get revenge against those who do you wrong. Remember, the Lord has already said that He would take out His revenge on them Himself."
6C. So, sit there as glib and as nonchalantly as you can, but you've been warned. Jesus remembers your premarital sex, your pornography, your swearing, your false religion, your refusal to turn to Him for salvation. And He will seek revenge against you for it.
3B. How? That's The Last Portion Of The Warning. He Wraths.
1C. Please forgive me for going even farther afield in making a verb out of a noun than with the
2C. My friend, Jesus will be wrathful. He remembers now, but He does not seek revenge now. As well, He does not pour out wrath now, but sooner than you think He will. Oh, yes. There is coming a time when Jesus, Who is not now angry with sinners, Who does not now exact retribution against sinners, someday will.
3C. He will come from heaven in clouds of great glory. His eyes will be as flames of fire. He will go forth conquering and to conquer. Not as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world will He come, but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah to smite His enemies. Yes, this King of kings and Lord of lords will smite the nations, and will tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God, Revelation 19.
4C. Remember this day, June 25, 2000. I warned you. When you stand at the Great White Throne judgment, remember that I warned you. When you are called up from the grave to give an accounting of your sins, I warned you. And throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity in that black and boiling cauldron of torment called the lake of fire, I want you to remember . . . I warned you about the One with Whom you have to do.
When I warned you about Jesus I was warning you about how He will deal with you when He is finished saving sinners. But He is not finished saving sinners yet, so let me tell you some things about my Savior that I pray the Holy Spirit will use to attract you to Him.
1B. First, Let Me Tell You What He Did For You
1C. If you are one of those who will come to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing, there are some things you need to know about the Lord Jesus Christ. But if you never come to Christ, but die in your sins, what I am about to say will only increase the wrath He will pour upon you come judgment day.
2C. He left heaven's glory to come and fetch you. He left heaven's glory to rescue you from your slavery to sin. He left heaven's glory and all of His riches behind so that He might be born into the family of a poor man by an impoverished young virgin.
3C. He did that because He is the Lamb of God, Who came to take away the sin of the world, John 1.29. You see, God is holy and righteous and just, and your sin against Him is a crime of infinite magnitude, demanding eternal damnation as the only just and proper punishment.
4C. But, putting His abundant grace on display, God laid on His Son Jesus my sins, and He then punished Jesus on the cross of Calvary in place of punishing me. "The Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God," is how Peter put it. But though He was put to death and buried, He rose again on the third day in complete victory over sin, death, Hell and the grave.
5C. And His victory and life is offered to those sinners who will turn from their sins and come to Him, Jesus, by faith. And it must be so since no sinner can come to God, John 14.6. It was for this reason God sent His only begotten Son, to be our Mediator, to lay the groundwork and make possible our reconciliation to God.
6C. So, what kind of Savior would Jesus be to sinners? Angry? Haughty? Unapproachable? Fierce? Ask the woman at the well, who'd been married five times and was living with a man she'd not married. Ask the woman taken in adultery. Ask the man filled with a legion of demons. Ask the little boy whose five loaves and two fishes were used by the Master to feed 5000. They would say that He is wonderful and kind and generous, and so tender to sinners.
7C. This One Who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not," died on a cruel Roman cross, a death of unspeakable agonies, to pay the penalty for your sins. This One, Who described Himself as meek and lowly, invites you to come, also.
8C. Come to Him for forgiveness, for cleansing, for salvation from your sins, for life eternal.
2B. I'll Close By Telling You What He Will Do With You
It's very important to understand that when Jesus died and rose again He was doing something for you, on your behalf. And by His doing and dying He made it possible for a sinner such as you to be reconciled to God, to become a child of God, to have your sins forgiven. But that's not all. If you are converted, if you are born again of the Spirit of God by coming to Jesus, after you receive the benefit of what He has done for you there are some things He will do with you.
1C. First, He'll walk with you through the fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not alone in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. In the fire with them was the Lord Jesus Christ. As well, Daniel was not alone in the lion's den. And the same is true for any child of God. Understand, the Lord Jesus may very well allow the fires of persecution to consume you, as the three Hebrews admitted to the king. But Jesus did promise to never leave you nor forsake you. And He meant it. When you walk through the fire for Jesus Christ He'll walk through it with you, in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, His personal representative in your life.
2C. Second, He'll stand with you when you are alone. I promise you, there will be times when you will be called upon to stand alone for Jesus Christ. That's not the Christian's normal stance, since it's God's will for us to serve alongside others in our Church. But there are times when you will need to stand, and having done all, to stand. But are you really standing alone when you are alone? Physically? Yes. Emotionally? Probably. But what about in your spirit, in your mind, in your soul? Again, "there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." And that friend is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. As the Shulamite maiden said, "I am my beloved's and He is mine." First Peter 1.8 recognizes that having not seen Him, we still love Him. And we know Him to be faithful and true. As Stephen wasn't alone when he was martyred, and as Peter and Paul were not alone when they were martyred, so no Christian is really alone when he is called upon to stand up for Jesus Christ all by himself.
3C. Finally, He'll welcome you into glory with open arms. Did you know that Jesus is the Bridegroom and believers, genuinely converted people, comprise His bride? It's a mystery, but it's true. So, how do you think He will welcome you at the time of your home going? Jesus did say, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." And what about those who go on before His second coming? How do you think He will welcome them? In Ecclesiastes 3.5 we are told that there is a time to embrace. And in the Song of Solomon, that wonderful picture of the romance of His bride by the Lord Jesus Christ, we are twice told "his right hand doth embrace me." Yes, my friend, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints," Psalm 116.15, because in death you are united with the One Who you love, having never seen, never to be taken from His side again.
2. How I would like to imitate Abraham's unnamed servant who went to a foreign land to find for his master's son a bride. Oh, how that servant of Abraham's told of the beauty of Isaac and of his virtues, so that Rebekah would love a bride groom she had never seen. That's what I would do with you, if only I could.
3. Because if you are not wooed to Him you must be warned of Him. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Savior is He. But He's a terrible Judge; oh, so harsh and punishing. Always just and never unjust, but very severe.
4. Consider, then, and ponder this One with Whom we have to do. You will deal with Him someday. You will stand before Him and give an account someday. So, flee from sin to Him now. Come to Him for salvation and forgiveness now. He won't turn you away. He won't cast you off. He'll receive you to be His Own.