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Perishing 7

What we are doing is making sure that there is no question that Christians can lose their life for the coming Kingdom.  We can’t lose our salvation, but we can perish, and the Scriptures warn us over and over.  [2 Peter 3:9; should be that any of us; the Greek warrants that]  We repeat this so we will at least remember this one verse.  Promise is singular; it has to do with life for the coming age.  1 John 2:25 tells us this.

The repentance is from dead works and sin.  The wages of sin is death.  The wages of sin in a Christian’s life will bring forth perishing as far as the coming Kingdom is concerned.  But here, the Lord is not willing that any of us should perish, but he is long suffering toward us.  He is patient.  He waits.  He sends this one; that one; puts you in circumstances in life that make you think about him.  He wants us to repent that we might have life for the coming age.

Now, we’ve already looked at passages all the way up through [1 Corinthians 10].  I want you to keep in mind these passages that we’ve already touched on, and I want to remind you to whom this is speaking.  [1 Corinthians10:1]  Before we go on, I want you to think of [1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 24-talking about a prize; castaway - disapproved] in connection with this.  “Moreover…”  Here’s an illustration of those who were disapproved.  [1 Corinthians 10:1]  Faithfulness; obedience; they left Egypt and they were baptized.  [1 Corinthians 10:2-3]  They were growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord.  They were feeding upon God’s Word.  [1 Corinthians 10:4]  They were drinking the same spiritual drink.  They were partakers of the Holy Spirit.  When we think of water in type, we think of the Holy Spirit.  They were made partakers of the Holy Spirit.  This is a parallel to Hebrews 6.  [1 Corinthians 10:5]  They were disapproved.  That’s what Paul was afraid of and that’s what happened to some of them.  Here’s what happened.  [1 Corinthians 10:6]  Paul said, “I keep my body under subjection”.  It was the bodily lusts that caused the children of Israel to fail and complain.  Paul says, “I keep my body under subjection”, because it is my body that can cause me to fail.  Remember, we battle the world, the flesh, and the devil, and any one of those can cause us to perish.

[1 Corinthians 10:7-9]  Here, we find the word “perish”.  “Destroyed” is “perished”.  [1 Corinthians 10:10; destroyed – perished]  Serpents came through and perished or caused those people to lose their life and because they lost their life, they did not enter into the land flowing with milk and honey, which in type is the Kingdom of the Heavens.  You have to remember, that even though they were in the desert, they were in the land that God had promised as an inheritance to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It was from the Nile to the Euphrates, and the entire Sinai Peninsula was God’s gift to the nation of Israel.

I want you to think about this:  In the land of Goshen, they were in the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because the land of Goshen was to the east of the Nile River.  They were already in the land of promise.  They could have stayed in Egypt and perished and still had the inheritance that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Even though they were in their inheritance, they were not serving God, and that was the point.  God wanted them to quit serving the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to come out into the desert to serve him.  He wanted them to offer feasts unto him.  And he wanted to try them and put them on probation to see if they would qualify to enter into the land flowing with milk and honey.

We have two inheritances offered to us.  We can have a heavenly inheritance with heavenly blessings and heavenly positions of authority, or we can expect a worldly inheritance.  Denial of entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens is what that amounts to.  It’s the same as the children of Israel had.  They could inherit just like Dan, Reuben, and Gad.  Where was their inheritance?  It was east of the Jordan River.  Their inheritance was in the desert.  Their inheritance was not in the land flowing with milk and honey.  They were satisfied with second best.

It’s just like Esau.  Esau got a blessing.  Esau got an inheritance.  A lot of people think Esau didn’t get one; they think he lost everything.  But Isaac divided his goods into three portions and gave Jacob two of them, plus all the honor and responsibility that goes with the double portion and he gave the rest to Esau.

[Hebrews 11:20]  They both got blessings, and those blessing concerned things to come.  We can lose our inheritance as Esau, or we can get our inheritance by faithfulness.  Although Jacob didn’t quite get his by faithfulness, he did repent; he let God have control.  We need to do that and have that experience with the Lord.

God’s children perished in the wilderness and they did not enter into the better inheritance, which was in the land flowing with milk and honey.

[1 Corinthians 15:10a]  Paul used the grace of God for profit.  He put the grace of God into the things he did, so that his works would be works of gold, silver, and precious stones.  He wanted his service to be acceptable to God, and so God bestowed grace upon him, and it was not in vain.  Why?  [1 Corinthians 15:10b]  “But I labored more abundantly.”  The more grace that he gives, the more abundantly we can labor.

2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;”  Why? “That ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

“Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”  The grace of God did the laboring.  [1 Corinthians 15:11-14; preaching vain – has to do with labor, and your faith vain.]  This faith here is not salvation faith, but the faith the just live by.  The just shall live by faith.  Those who will stand justified at the Judgment Seat of Christ and thus entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens, are those who live by faith.  In fact, there is the definite article “the” with faith.  “The faith of you is empty.”

[1 Corinthians 15:15-17]  If Christ be not raised from the dead.  I want to remind you of what verses 1-4 says.

[1 Corinthians 15:1-4; “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory…”  This gospel that Paul preached is conditional.  It’s conditional upon the fact that if you keep it in memory, then you’re going to be saved.  And if we keep it in memory, this is associated with “he that hath his hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure”.  This keeping in memory is the same thing Peter said in his epistles, which was, “I stir up your memories”.  “I stir you up about the Kingdom.  That you won’t be forgetful.  That you will remember to prepare yourself for entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens.”

This salvation is conditional, because it’s based on, “If ye keep in memory”.  Actually, “Keep in memory” could be translated as “hold fast” or “retain”.

Hold fast what?  Hold fast, “what I preached unto you [Paul’s gospel], unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all [before I preached this gospel unto you; which is associated with salvation of the soul and entrance into the Kingdom] (I gave you first) that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins [the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was for the entire world; the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ was sufficient for the sins of the whole world.] (he died for our sins) according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”]  Now, why did God raise him from the dead?  That our faith be not vain.  That our life of faith be not empty or wasted or of no value.

[1 Corinthians 15:17]  He is talking to those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world and for us to be yet in our sins means that we are yet under the subjection and servitude and authority of sin in our life.  Sin would be ruling in our lives if Jesus Christ be not raised from the dead.

[Romans 6; hold your place]  I want to show you something that brings this out vividly.  This is what it means to be yet in your sins.  [Romans 6:11,12,14,16]  This is the righteousness of faith that Noah preached.  That we might have an entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens.

If Christ be not raised from the dead, then sin still has dominion over us.  Why?  Because Jesus Christ is our high priest.  He is the one that ministers grace and power.  Remember, it’s his power; his might; his wisdom; his righteousness; his faith.  It’s his grace.  That’s why the Lord Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the father, and that’s the reason he’s the high priest today.  That we might have hope of entrance into the coming Kingdom.

[1 Corinthians 15:17]  The faith.  It’s not just “faith”, it’s a particular faith.  There’s the definite article before it.  “The faith of you is in vain and ye are yet in your sins.”

[1 Corinthians 15:18a; Then they also which are fallen asleep.]  This is the good sense of having fallen asleep.  This is the sleep that is passive.  This is the sleep that the Lord Jesus Christ puts his believers into when it’s time to come home.  When it’s time to go home, as far as your life is concerned, it’s passive.  Jesus Christ is the one who puts his children to sleep.  Even if we struggle, just as our babies did when they didn’t want to go to sleep and their eyes would roll up and they would fight it.  We may struggle, but when it’s time to go home, the Lord acts upon us actively and we are passive.

[1 Corinthians 15:18]  In other words, those believers who have already gone on, they have perished.  They have lost their lives.  They will not have entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Because, if Christ be not raised, then they did not (or could not) appropriate the high priestly office of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t want to leave you in a cliffhanger, so I’ll give away the story here, but Christ was raised from the dead.  Don’t have any doubts.  He is risen!  Hallelujah!

[1 Corinthians 15:19; If in this life only we have hope in Christ [if he be not raised], we are of all men most miserable.]  All this faithfulness; denying one’s self; taking up of our cross; what a miserable life it would be, if there was no hope of ruling and reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ.  It would be a waste!  Why?  Because there would be no grace involved in it.  And if there were not grace involved in it, there would be no acceptable service involved in it.  That’s the reason Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.  He is in the heavenlies; in the tabernacle; ministering for us.  His blood is on the Mercy Seat for our deliverance and he is providing grace for acceptable service.  [1 Corinthians 15:20]  Then, he goes right on in and talks about this resurrection of firstfruits.

Now, here is the exhortation:  [1 Corinthians 15:34]  Awake to righteousness!  This is the righteousness, which is by faith.  This righteousness, which is by faith, is the righteousness that Noah preached.  This is the righteousness which is associated with the message that Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 5:20, which says, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

“Awake to righteousness and sin not.”  This awaking to righteousness is associated with the knowledge (deeper knowledge) of God.

[Ephesians 5:13-14; dead – dead ones]  Arise!  Wake up!  Arise from among those Christians who have no entrance in ruling and reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ.  They are perishing.  For the preaching of the cross to them is foolishness.

That’s in 1 Corinthians 1:18, which says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God [unto salvation]”, and those verbs are passive.  I think I said they were active last week, but they are passive.  They are being perished or they are being saved.

We need to listen to what we’re told here in the Scriptures.  We are given these exhortations that we might be warned of the fact that we can perish or lose our life and not realize the blessings that God has for us.  Blessings that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, man’s tongue has not spoken.  These are the things God has prepared for us who love him, and those who love him, keep his commandments.  They are obedient.  And, they will rule and reign in righteousness and shine as the stars in the firmament in the Kingdom of our Father.