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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1254

No More Sacrifice
Part One

October 16, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1254 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise the Lord! Good morning!

( congregational response ).

You know, one of the joys of preaching the Gospel is that we get to talk about the goodness of God and the love of God and the compassion of God and all those awesome characteristics that we find so appealing, and in which we have so much rejoicing. And I’m glad that they’re true. But I feel like…I sort of wrestled with the Lord about all this this morning, so I’m just gonna trust Him and step out in faith…we need to get a more complete picture of God.

You know, there was a time in many Christian churches where it was…popular is maybe not the word, I don’t know…but it was common to hear messages about the wrath of God, the Holiness of God, and all of those kinds of subjects, so we get a balanced picture of God. We don’t just think of Him as a kind of touchy-feely, friendly version of ourselves, that just sort of almost gets to be where He’s tolerant of sin. He’s soft on all those kinds of things and, yeah, He doesn’t like it but…you get the picture. We get a one-sided picture of God. And the scripture definitely does not portray Him that way, does it?

( congregational response ).

It portrays a God who is immeasurably lovable but at the same time is immeasurably Holy. And you know, we’ve often talked about the Gospel and the contrast of men’s destinies and how utterly opposite they are. And, I don’t know, some of the scripture that I was drawn to this morning kind of highlights that in a very clear way, because there really are only two options. One of them is incredible, immeasurable, eternal bliss. The other one is catastrophe. There is no middle ground. There is no door ‘three.’

And you don’t see the Bible writers just simply highlighting only the good side, the nice side that makes you go away feeling all warm and fuzzy about God. We have to balance that out with the sense that God is a Holy God who judges sin, and who is not going to compromise with it. It will absolutely be dealt with and it will be dealt with eternally. There will be a world to come in which it will not exist.

So anyway, the passage is in Hebrews chapter 10 and, just to kind of set it up a little bit, I’ll refresh our minds that the book of Hebrews was written to Jews who had come to a knowledge of Christ, at least up to a point. And the writer was concerned lest they stop short of really entering in fully to what God had provided through the New Covenant.

They were familiar with the Old Covenant. They knew about the sacrifices. They knew about Moses’ law. They knew about all of the things that they were required to do. And, you know, it’s not easy when you’ve grown up in something and that’s your whole way of looking at the world, to suddenly be set free from that.

And so, the writer was concerned that they understand completely that all that had gone before was meant to be a type, a picture, a work of preparation for something. And that something was the coming of Christ, and a work of fulfillment of sacrifice on the Cross that would forever do away with everything the Old Testament stood for. He completely fulfilled the Law in Himself. He died for the penalty of the Law. He offers the gift of life, not through what we do but through what He did. And so, there was no way to mix the two.

You can’t say, oh, we…like so many did in the New Testament era…there were people who said, yes, we have this wonderful religion that we got from Moses, that God gave originally, but now we need to add Jesus to that. No! Jesus did not come to add to the Law of Moses. It was a replacement. And so, there was a concern for some reason. And thank God there was, because of the truth that’s unfolded in this book that really makes it so clear, that there’s such an utter contrast between God’s way and any other way!

So anyway, he begins chapter 10 by talking about the priesthood of the Old Testament and how they had to offer sacrifices and it never did the job, because they kept having to do it every year. There would always be more sins to take care of and so they had to keep on doing it. And if it had been right, they would have…they wouldn’t have had any more conscience of their sins. It would have cleansed, not only the guilt of it, but even the consciousness of it. Man, isn’t that awesome what Christ offers?

( congregational amens ).

You know, we can…the worst murderer can come to Christ, in genuine faith and surrender, and give Him the job of saving them and their conscience is clear! It’s not they don’t look back in regret, but I mean, I’m saying that there’s no sense of guilt. There’s no sense of distance between them and God, because of what Jesus did! And that’s what the Covenant offers. It’s what Jesus offers.

So anyway, then he comes to the contrast of what Christ did, that it was by one offering. He offered it once. That was good enough! That took care of it all! And what struck me, as I read some of this, was that there are two groups of people for whom there is no more sacrifice. Two groups—two very different groups of people represented in this passage. And there’s no more sacrifice for either one.

( congregational response ).

Now for those of us who have put our trust in Christ and really surrendered, there is no more sacrifice that’s necessary because what He did took care of it all, didn’t it? Thank God! That gives you and me the right to come before a Holy God!

And you think about what it was like under the Old Covenant, how God taught them about His Holiness and His separateness and how different He was from them. They had this…not only did they have a Temple, then they had a courtyard, then they had an inner…they had a curtain inside that, then there was a special curtain, called the Holy of Holies. Nobody went in there except once a year and only with very carefully prescribed rituals. And only the High Priest. And if anybody went in there, what happened?

( congregational response ).

They were dead! I mean, you just don’t bring human sin into contact with God! It’s…God is gonna win! It’s absolutely…His very being will obliterate that awful evil! You know, we live in a culture that is so compromised in its way of thinking and looking at things, that it’s awfully easy, even for believers, to begin to lose their sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, that there really is a standard!

You know, Sue and I were listening to the radio yesterday, at one point in the morning, and we heard a man who was talking about the culture and about things that are going on. I wish I could remember all the things he said, but the one thing he mentioned was this. In the first place, there’s a standard that comes from God. We didn’t invent it. You and I didn’t make it up. There is right and there is wrong! There is sin, there is righteousness! God has established a standard! And those who recognize His authority and that standard, we conform, or we ought to—we conform our behavior to the standard.

But what has happened in our society is the exact reverse. You have people who insist on their behavior taking first place so that instead of conforming their behavior to a standard, they conform their standard to their behavior. And so, they declare things that are evil to be good, and God help you if you don’t agree with them! You have instantly become a hater. You’ve instantly become intolerant, never mind that they’re intolerant of anybody who disagrees with them!

But that’s what’s going on. We have a world that is absolutely so sold out to their own desires, to what they want to do, that they’re gonna throw out any standard that exists! And you know, you talk to…I don’t want to absolutely…make an absolute statement about all atheists…but many, if not most atheists, would fall into this category: that they are not atheists because of some honest inability to believe that there’s a God. Rather, they don’t want there to be a God!

God help us! We’re gonna do what we want to do and the easiest way to deal with that, intellectually, is to look around and to come up with all the reasons why there’s no God, therefore, I’m free to do as I please. I am my own god! Nobody tells me what to do! That’s the essence of sin!

( congregational response ).

It’s man becoming his own god and those are the only two alternatives that exist in the world! Now Satan has ways of dressing it up so that there are people who are religious as all get out, but yet the principle that governs their life is the same one that governs people who do atrocious things in this world! And all you have to do is look at the Cross to see it. The very heirs of a religion…the possessors of a religion, the practitioners of a religion, that they felt was handed down to them from something that God originally gave through Moses, they were the people who killed the Son of God!

( congregational amens ).

You know, I forget where I heard this, where I read it. It might have been part of what this man said yesterday, but it seemed like he was talking…or some atheist was saying, well, if there’s really a God, why doesn’t He come down and talk to us and show us? And the answer was, He did and they killed Him.

When somebody becomes that married to their earthly, their old nature desires, there’s no argument. It’s not about explaining. It’s about the will. And that’s what the whole ball…that’s what everything comes down to, is the question of the will!

And so, as I said, there are two people for whom there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. Praise God that we can proclaim and we can lay hold of something this morning that is everything! It’s life!

And so, that’s why, in verse 19, he begins, after he’s saying there’s no longer any sacrifice for sins, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart…” (NIV). Notice that word ‘sincere’. “…A sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…” Praise God! “…And having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Now, there are references back to some of the cleansing ceremonies that they did under the Law that they would have been familiar with. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess…” Why should we do that? What hope do we have of succeeding, taking that path in life? Why should I commit myself to that? “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess…” Why? “…For he who promised is faithful.” How many discover, who know the Lord, and as you go along, how many of you discover the depth of your own faithfulness?

( laughter ).

( laughing ).

Oh, my! If we’re honest, we discover our weakness the more we go!

( congregational amens ).

We discover more and more, if we are honest, how desperately we need a Savior!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, I thank God that there’s One that does not change, because our feelings go up and down, our experiences go up and down! But there is One that doesn’t change! My hope is not in me! My hope isn’t even in my ability to do all this, to trust unswervingly! I lean upon Him!

( congregational amens ).

I have to have hope and help from Heaven itself if I’m going to—if I’m going to continue to trust in Him! Man, He gives me the whole package! I don’t deserve it! I didn’t earn it! He did it! Boy, what a radical gift this is! That God would take such a stand against something that is so evil and so wicked! What an amazing—amazing message the Gospel is! Praise God!

So that’s the first thing. Hold unswervingly! Because this is one of the recurring themes of the Book of Hebrews! Man, you better…you need to stand, you need to persevere, you need to keep…don’t quit!

That’s a principle even the world recognizes. How many successful people will go around and tell you, you know the one thing that distinguishes me from others? I didn’t quit. I failed 20 times but the 21st time I hit it rich! I made riches, or something. Well, I’ll tell you what, there is an eternal reward for a commitment that says, God, come Hell or high water, I’m yours. It doesn’t matter what happens, doesn’t matter what the cost is, what I have to go through. There is one thing that matters and that is You and Your kingdom. Everything else can go by the board.

You see how radical a choice that becomes, when you go forward and you look through chapter 11 and you see what it cost people to serve the Lord? That’s what we talked about last week, Are you a Christian? When you start measuring what a Christian is, beside what the Bible teaches, it’s radical! It may cost you your life, in this world.

Anyway, but here he is. He’s talking to these people and he’s encouraging them, don’t swerve, don’t quit! What God has called you to, there is a certainty in it! It does not rest upon you and your ability! It rests upon Him and what Jesus did! So you can trust that and you know that He will carry you all the way! That is a certain, solid hope!

But now, it becomes a ‘we’ thing, doesn’t it? It’s not just you and me on the Jericho road alone with Jesus. It says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” So there’s this recognition that we’re responsible one to another to encourage.

This is not the spirit of a Pharisee that’s constantly pounding on somebody, ‘straighten up and fly right’! This is somebody who is encouraging! If you’re on to somebody, what’s the matter with you, why don’t you do right? What you’re basically doing is demanding something of them! You’re taking the position of a law giver.

We’re not under law, we’re under grace. Instead of lifting their eyes and saying, there is your help! There is forgiveness! There is all that you need but you need to lift your eyes! Don’t get discouraged by what you’re experiencing right now. Don’t quit!

So there’s that sense that we walk together, because there are times when every one of us is weak and we need someone else to lift our hearts and our spirits. We run out of gas, but the Lord has somebody right there to pray, to speak that word and together we go forward. Thank God!

And it’s in this context, he says, “…Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I know I’ve said this before, but this world has no idea what’s coming. Satan has a way of blinding men’s eyes to see the reality of the catastrophe that is coming upon this world! I don’t know when. It’s not my job.

You know, I think I’ve said this, too. Part of me says, Lord, hurry up. This is a weary, ugly world. But I believe what the Lord would rather us say is, oh God, hold on as long as you can.

Isn’t there something about this world that…I mean, when you really begin to see a glimpse of the real character, the real spirit of this world, doesn’t it make you angry? You imagine how that makes God feel? You know, some poor woman out in…and I don’t exonerate her in any sense. But she has an online date and she winds up in a dumpster…parts of her.

And then you watch some of these terrorists attacks. People that have no…they’ve lost all consciousness, think they’re serving God by killing people randomly. Let’s do it as…let’s do as much damage as we can. Let’s kill as many as we can. The more the better. Or put somebody that you don’t agree with in a cage, douse them with gasoline and set them on fire.

Folks, can you imagine—can you even begin to imagine what God sees? The mercy that says, I’ve got to judge this but not yet, not yet, not yet. He doesn’t just see these things that come and make the news. He sees every heart. He sees the hearts of people who sit in churches…and they know how to be religious but don’t have anything on the inside. They’ve never, never given up the throne of their hearts, never let go.

And He sees the corruption in politics and business and you name it. Every aspect of this world…if human nature were totally let loose, what do you think this world would be like? You know, I mentioned before, you’ve got preppers in this world, and I’m not sure they’re totally wrong. I’m not gonna spend my life prepping and all that stuff, but…I mean that’s not gonna be number one. Serving the Lord is number one.

But I mean, what would happen if there were, for example, the electrical grid in this country were destroyed suddenly? What would life be like inside of 24 hours? Think it’d be nice and peaceful and all the neighbors will just help each other and be sweet and friendly? God, help us! It would be chaos. There would be armed gangs. There would be…everybody would be out for themselves.

That’s the very nature of human nature. It is so relentlessly selfish. And we don’t realize the depth of the evil that God has to put up with every single moment of every single day, billions of people! And seeing it and sensing it and knowing where it’s going.

And here’s where he’s going with this next group. He starts here. I’m kind of jumping ahead of myself. He’s talked to the believers here. But listen to this. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.”

So, here’s the deal. No more sacrifice for this group either. There comes a point where someone is so deliberate, their choice is so set…God, I reject what You have done for me through the Cross! I reject everything You stand for! I reject Your authority over me! I will do what I want to do! I will be my own god! They may not say it that way, but that’s what it comes down to.

That man who walked away sadly from Jesus took that stance, didn’t he? He wasn’t defiant, shaking his fist in God’s eyes, God’s face, but he made a choice, didn’t he? He said, I have lots of possessions and I love them. My heart is wrapped up in those things. I cannot let that go. You give me a choice between serving God and having that, I choose this.

That is a defiance of everything that God stands for. To love something like that is to be its slave. And I don’t care what human desire you elevate, what thing that you think is so captivating, so important, your will, your way. I’ll tell you, it puts you in this category. You might as well have gone to the Cross and spit on Jesus, mocked Him along with the others!

You know, we were practicing the song this morning, how…what was the name of it? “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” Well, one of the lines in that had to do with the shame. I heard my mocking voice, or heard my voice among the mockers. You know, to the extent we are still in our sins and under the control of that, that’s the side we’re on.

There’s only two sides and they are so far apart, you can’t even imagine. Right now it’s all muddled in people’s minds, outwardly. It’s not muddled in God’s eyes. There is a divide that is happening that is frightening. And if we’re not…if we preach the Gospel, we’re gonna have to preach the whole thing. We can’t just preach the pretty parts where Jesus wants you to come, and He wants to be your friend, and help you through life, and forgive your sins, and take you to Heaven one day. We’re gonna have to preach the other part, too. Because He is a Holy God who absolutely hates sin.

You know, I remember a while back, we talked about what sin really is. We love to project our humanity onto God and imagine that He’s just a bigger version of us. And so, if He’s up there and He’s giving laws and rules, that’s kind of what it is. He’s a big bully. And because He’s bigger and stronger than we are, He makes up rules and makes us bow down to them. Oh, my God! Sin is a violation of the very nature of God, the very nature of the universe.