Matthew 8:11, 12 – And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Today I will be looking at what Jesus said when the centurion met him in great faith beeseching him to heal his servant. This blog is about salvation and the importance of being truly saved. The Bible says in 2 Peter to make your calling and your election sure. Matthew chapter 8 is the chapter immediately following the conclusion of what is commonly referred to as the sermon on the Mount. After this the Bible records in Matthew 8 that a leper met Jesus, worshipping him and asking Jesus to make him clean. Jesus made him clean, it is Jesus alone that can make us clean. If you feel dirty, unclean, guilty, dark, hopeless, lost, know that it is Jesus alone that can cleanse you from the guilt, the shame, the penalty, the power, the darkness of sin in our lives. Jesus then healed the centurion’s servant. The centurion was a Roman, they were considered heathen, uncircumcised dogs to the Jews. They were ruling the Jews, who were looking for the coming of a King who would deliver them from Roman rule and restore them to the head of the nations. They didn’t see that the prince of this world, the devil, and the sin of the world, had to be dealt with first. Like the Romans, lepers also were held in low esteem by the Jews, they were outcasts, they were unwelcome, they lived lonely, separate, desperate lives. The gospel was sent to the Jews, but they didn’t value it, they didn’t see a need to be saved, they did not see their sin, they did not receive Jesus. The Bible says in John 1 that Jesus came unto his own, and his own received him not. Jesus was a Jew. Israel was and is such a highly privileged nation. They are his nation, not because they are special and better than any other nation, but because God chose them. God chose them for his name’s sake, for his glory. The Jews themselves are not deserving just like all the other nations, they are not superior, but they were chosen by God because they were few in number. They brought nothing to the covenant that God made with them. Yet they were so proud and felt so much better and more righteous and entitled than everyone else, instead of being humbled and in awe of the amazing bestowment of the grace of God towards them. Grace which they were meant to receive and shed forth to the other nations by bearing witness of God. But they did not do that, instead they were hypocrites, condemning others while guilty themselves, elevating themselves in pride rather than serving in humility. They blasphemed God before all the other nations, they were not a light in a dark world. The Bible says that to whom much is given, much is required. Romans says that unto them (the Jews) were committed the oracles of God. Yet all this, and they did not believe, they did not receive the Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord Jesus Christ.
What Jesus said and says is so applicable for us today. We can be in the same position as the children of the kingdom were. The children of the kingdom are Jews, but unsaved Jews. Romans 9:4,5 – Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.It was not enough just to be a Jew. You still have to be individually saved, each one. Noone will slip through unnoticed into heaven. Noone unworthy will go to heaven. Each one of us has to receive the Lord Jesus Christ personally as our sacrifice, our Saviour, our substitute, he is our worthiness and righteousness. But the children of kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is scary. The realization of eternal doom. The howls heralding too late. The cries of lives forever wasted. The mist and blackness of eternal darkness. A chance lost. An opportunity burned. Grace and mercy freely given but rejected needlessly, and hopelessly irretrievable. You may be living a comfortable life thinking you are going to heaven, but you are not truly and sincerely saved. You may have grown up in a Christian home, you may have immersed yourself in Christian culture which has given you a false sense of security. You may just live as a good person living by good morals. But you are not saved, not born again. I cannot save or unsave you, your salvation is between you and God. But the Bible says to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Israel had everything. They had the law, the prophets, the word of God, they had seen his power, they were without excuse. They saw the Red Sea part, yet they did not believe. God delivered them from bondage in Egypt, he delivered them from Pharaoh and his pursuing army, God gave them water to drink from the rock in the desert, he gave them manna from heaven to eat. We probably think that if we were in their shoes we would believe. We want a sign from God, a miracle, some proof which will convince us. Something that will resonate with us, a crystallizing, confirming moment. But we never see anything, we think if only we had what they had. Yet no matter what God does, we will not believe.In Luke 16:31, Abraham said to the rich man who was and is in hell, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. If you have a dark, unbelieving heart you will not believe, no matter what God does for you. Can you not already see the hand of God in your life, his grace, his longsuffering, his mercy, his goodness? What more do you require? Hebrews says that the word preached did not profit them not being mixed with faith. They did not receive the word of God, they hardened their hearts, and rejected the life saving gospel.
Are you a child of the kingdom? You can live a privileged life. You may be rich. You may be set for life. You may have convinced yourself you’re saved, worthy of going to heaven. You may be anything. If the children of the kingdom can go to hell, how much more can we? The Jews were God’s chosen nation, and yet if they weren’t saved, they went to hell just like anyone else. If you lose your salvation, its because you were not truly saved and did not have salvation to begin with. Because once we are saved, we cannot be unsaved. To think so is to fail to understand the principles of salvation. At conversion a new creature is born in us of God who cannot sin. That cannot be unborn. Ephesians says we are sealed by the holy Spirit of promise. It is Christ in us, he lives in our hearts by faith. But were you truly saved to begin with? Do you receive the truth of God’s word? Do you believe you are a sinner? Do you need saving? Do you need a Saviour? Do you come to God by God’s appointed way, the Lord Jesus Christ? God gives every human being a more than fair chance to be saved. The Word of God is freely available. Nature bears witness. Our consciences bear witness. God’s law is written in our hearts. We know good and evil. The truth is available. The Spirit of God will move on the deep of your heart convicting you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. Yet will you resist and reject? Will you harden your heart? Will you, like Cain, try coming to God your way? Will you do what’s right in your own eyes, or what’s right in God’s eyes? You may outwardly be a Christian, just like the children of the kingdom were outwardly Jews, seemingly doing all the right things, ticking all the religious boxes. You may like the Christian lifestyle and culture, they way Christendom does things, the seemingly beautiful balance that it strikes between religion and the world. The warm fuzzy loving everyone feeling that it gives you. The glow of happiness, contentment, peace. Feel good Christianity which is false and leading you to hell. True Christianity is being born again, it is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in him and him alone. You must be born again. You must be saved.
There is a time coming when the children of the kingdom will be cast out. These will be many of the children born during the millennial reign of Christ. Because although Jesus Christ will return and rule for a thousand years, the heart of man will still remain desperately wicked. Children will be born in sin. Everyone needs to be saved. Children will be born that do not believe, that do not receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They will live in a much different time to what we have lived, and you may think if you were born then you would definitely be saved. But they will have hardened hearts that do not believe. They will unwillingly serve God, they may look saved, but they will be waiting for their chance to rebel. And when Satan is loosed after a thousand years, they will rebel against God. Revelation 20:7 – And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And this will be the end of the world. This will be the story of the world for all time. The complete and utter sinfulness of man, and the supreme, eternal righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The next stop will be the Great White Throne Judgement where all unbelievers are judged and cast to an eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels. We each need to be born again. It is by faith, it is by God’s faith. His grace. His mercy. His love. Only Jesus can transform our sinful, depraved, deceitful wicked hearts. You cannot change yourself. It is God that looks on the inside, you never fool God, although you may fool man. It doesn’t matter whether you look the part, you are either a sheep or a goat. And it is Jesus that divides the sheep from the goats. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, many will come from the east and the west, it’s what you do with the Lord Jesus Christ in this life time. It is faith in him, what he has done, that truly matters. Do not have faith in yourself. Will you be cast out forever? Will you weep and gnash your teeth for eternity? It doesn’t have to be your story.