Mark 16:16                     A Soothing Lullaby for the People of the World               1/5/2014

Š      A Comforting Message (Mark 16:16, Eph 2:8-9, Acts 9, John 1:13)

 

 

 

Š      Examples of Sinners who became Saints (Luke 23:39-43, Mark 16:16)

 

 

 

Š      The Prize that Christ worked for (Luke 17:26, Mark 16:16, 1John 4:19, Mat 12:36)

 

 

 

Š      Idolaters (Prov 28:9, Luke 18:8, 17:26-30)

 

 

 

Š      The Law (Gen 18:32, Luke 17:30, Lev 18:22,29, 20:13, Rom 1:26-32, Eph 1:3-7)

 

 

 

Š      Chosen and Placed in Christ (Luke 10:20, Rom 9:13-16, John 1:13, 6:44, Mat 21:23)

 

 

 

Š      The Pharisees (Mat 11:25-26, 1Cor 2:11-13)

 

 

 

Š      Accountable (Rev 22:11-12, 3:21)

 

 

 

Š      The Fruits of the Spirit (Luke 17:28-30)

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Mark, Mark 16:16 (2X).

Š      A Comforting Message (Mark 16:16, Eph 2:8-9, Acts 9, John 1:13)

You remember that the previous two sermons were sermons on baptism. These two sermons were primed to make the present one understandable. One was on John the Baptizer, and the second was on how many baptisms are there in the Bible? What baptism had God intended for the people of the world? What did we conclude? Even though John the Baptizer made quite a splash with the baptism that he introduced, no pun intended, the baptism of John was actually quite insignificant compared to the other baptisms that the Lord Jesus introduced, for the baptism of John could not take away any sin. And so, what did we conclude? We concluded that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, whereby a man or a woman became born again is actually the most important baptism we can have. Baptism means washing. When God bestows on a person the privilege of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, this person is changed for life; his sins are washed away from his soul, that is why it is called baptism; he has undergone a transformation from sinner to saint; he has been taken out of the kingdom of Satan and has been translated into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so on, and so on.

The Lord Jesus speaks here in Mark 16:16 about a baptism. We read here,

Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Well, is that not a very comforting message? Churches are filled with people who believe, and that is why they are there in the churches. Churches are filled with people who say that they have believed, and that is why they have been baptized in water. That is why they are there in the church. And so, everyone in the church feels very comfortable; they are there among the brethren, they are among the saints, they are among friends whom they can trust. Look to your right and to your left. Does God say here in Mark 16:16 that all these are your friends and are your brothers and sisters in Christ? Well, not so fast now. Is this really what Mark 16:16 says? We have to harmonize this with other verses that we find in the Bible. Was the Lord speaking about baptism in water, or another baptism?

And how many conditions are required for a man to be saved? We read in Eph 2:8-9,

Eph 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

What is God saying here? You are saved by God’s grace and not of (your) works. You are saved by God’s unmerited favor, and nothing else. None of your good works and none of your bad works enter into the conditions for your salvation. None of your good qualifications or your bad qualifications enter the conditions of your salvation. None of your good dispositions or your bad dispositions enter the act of God to save you, God says in John 1:13, “Which were born (Which were born again) not of blood, (your bloodline does not matter,) nor of the will of the flesh (your desire to be saved or not saved does not matter,) nor of the will of man (your father’s desire or your preacher’s desire for your spiritual health does not matter, your love for God or your hatred of God does not matter) but of God (only God’s desire matters.)”

Š      Examples of Sinners who became Saints (Luke 23:39-43, Mark 16:16)

Think of the thief on the cross next to the Lord Jesus. He was a grievous sinner, an enemy of God and an enemy of society until he ended up to be crucified next to the Lord Jesus, and then he recognized that he was a sinner and became saved. The Lord Jesus said that he would be with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43). The Lord Jesus must have paid for all his sins on the cross. But this thief was never baptized; and so baptism does not seem to be an additional requirement to be saved. Only the grace of God, God’s unmerited favor in what Christ has done seem to matter.

Think of Saul of Tarsus before God smacked him to the ground. He did not want Christ. He did not want a Savior for he thought that he was not a sinner. He did not love Christ; he hated Christ and he wanted to stamp out this new religion that was called “The Way.” But God drew him irresistibly against his will, and Saul became saved (Acts 9). And so, how many conditions are there to get a man saved? Only one: The grace of God, which means the unmerited favor of God, which means the choice that God made before the foundation of the world to place your name in Christ, which means it was the decision of God to make you a member of the Bride of Christ and give you faith, and so on, and so on. All these subtitles are synonyms of the same thing: The grace of God. For those who are the elect of God, you are in Christ from before the foundation of the world, and when He was crucified you were crucified with Him and in Him, and when He died you died with Christ and in Christ, and when Christ was raised you were raised with Him and in Him, and all your sins were paid in full on Friday April 3 in the year AD 33 when Christ died on the cross. And so, there is no more space, or time, or opportunity for a second condition to enter into the picture. Christ crucified is the only condition. Christ only is our righteousness before the throne of God. God declares us just or righteous in His sight because of what Christ has done for us, and not for anything that we might have done or contributed to His glory. And thus, there cannot be a second condition, for that will be an insult to God. Again, Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Are these three acts of God? First the act of God to make the person believe, and secondly the act of God to wash the person’s sins from his soul when he is dunked under in water, and thirdly the act of God to save this individual? No, there can be only one act of God. God saves those who already have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, who have been born again as an act of God, and who have been given faith because they have been born again. And thus, when we read in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” we are reading about the one condition for the salvation of souls: You must be one in Christ. He alone is our righteousness. This is the Gospel, this is the Good News. The Good News is that Christ died for the ungodly, of whom I am chief.

Š      The Prize that Christ worked for (Luke 17:26, Mark 16:16, 1John 4:19, Mat 12:36)

Why is it important to recognize this and to believe this in these days when we are so close to the end? Well on the Last Day Christ will show His prize, His eternal reward, His people, the people for whom He died, to the Father and they all will be called righteous, meaning “NOT Guilty,” and free from sin. You know that you are guilty of many sins, but because the Lord Jesus suffered and died in your place for the guilt of your sins, God the Judge declares you are “Not Guilty.” Everyone else is declared guilty and is cast into the lake of fire, but if you are declared “Not Guilty” you are saved and you go with Christ into the New Jerusalem which He has already prepared.

Now let us raise another subject matter: The Last Day. Please turn to Luke 17:26 (2X).

Who are the lucky ones who will escape the torment of the lake of fire? God says in Mark 16:16,

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” and everyone here prides themselves so lucky that they are believers and that they have already been baptized. Is that not wonderful? God will take us all into the New Heaven and the New Earth. Is this an unconditional promise of God? Indeed this is so. Since this is a promise from God we cannot mess it up. Our sins are not strong enough to undo this promise to get ourselves unsaved. Our sins are not strong enough to undo what God has done. But we have to understand precisely what the Lord Jesus said

The Lord Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” The Lord was not referring to those who believed because they want to buy fire insurance. The Lord spoke here of those who believed because they have been “born again” and they received this faith from God because they were “born again.” These people did not conjure up this faith of their own volition, just to make sure they had fire insurance. This faith came to them because it pleased God to give them a love for the Lord Jesus (1John 4:19), and it pleased God to give them this faith. All this we should keep in mind when we read in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth.” Then we read in Mark 16:16, “And is baptized.” Surely we do not believe that God is washing away our sins with plain water. I do not see any water there in this passage. This water refers to the words of the Gospel and the accompaniment of God the Holy Spirit in our soul to make us “born again,” so that the words of the Gospel will convert our soul. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the washing of the Holy Spirit, which is identical to making us “born again”. Paraphrased Mark 16:16 tells us: “He that is born again shall be saved.” Saved from what?” The answer: Saved from the judgment to come on the Last Day.

Let us now switch to the Last Day. As you all know: The penalties for our sins are either paid at the cross in AD 33, or if they are not paid at the cross they will be paid in the Judgment on the Last Day. The Lord Jesus said in Mat 12:36 that even the smallest sins, as small as uttering an idle word, shall be accounted for in the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. And who will escape the Judgment on the Last Day? Only those who are in Christ from before the foundation of the world shall escape this fearful Judgment of the Last Day. These are the people who are righteous in God’s sight, who have been declared “Not Guilty”, and who have been born again because Christ has paid for all their sins at the cross.

Š      Idolaters (Prov 28:9, Luke 18:8, 17:26-30)

Let us now come to the most fearful point of this sermon: Did Christ pay for the sins of idolaters? If there are idolaters who worship other gods than the God of the Bible, will God hear their prayers, or will God answer their pleadings? (Prov 28:9) The answer is a straight NO, because they were pleading with another god, who is not the God of the Bible. God will not answer their prayers. According to Prov 28;9 even their prayers shall be abomination in God’s sight. And so, it is of the utmost importance that we know who Christ is, and that we know who the Father and the Holy Spirit are. Christ is God the Son in the flesh, and this makes the Triune God complete. If there are idolaters in this church, would we not want to know who they are? If there is idolatry in our doctrines would we not want to know where these errors are hiding? Is idolatry spread through our churches to a great extent? If this is so, would we not want to know if this is so? Let us consider this thorny item.

The Lord Jesus said in Luke 18:8, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” It is a rhetorical question. The answer is: No, He shall find very little faith on the earth. Then where have all the believers gone? Have we misinterpreted the presence of all the believers in the churches? Let us look at two other passages. Please turn to Luke 17:26. We read here in,

Luke 17:26, And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Luke 17:27,  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Did you see this before? “As it was in the days of Noah before the flood, so shall it be also in the days when the Son of man cometh.” Just like it was in the days of Noah before the flood, when the majority of mankind was considered “unrighteous” in the eyes of God, so shall it be also in the days when Christ comes again. The majority of mankind will remain unsaved until Christ comes again. How is this possible, pastor, when so many people go to church, and pray to God and worship Christ, and yet remain unsaved? Well, who are they worshipping? Obviously, if it was the true God of the Bible whom they were worshipping, they would be saved. But if so many remained unsaved, is it not logical to interpret this as if not many have really heard the true Gospel. They were unsaved. The Judgment of God was waiting to be executed. First God took His people out, those whom God chose from before the foundation of the world, and the great remnant of mankind God destroyed them ALL. We read in Luke 17:28-30,

Luke 17:28, Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luke 17:29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Did you see this before? As it was in the days of Lot, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In other words, in the days of Lot homosexuality reigned supreme and approval of these homosexual acts was common. It means that the majority of mankind was unsaved.

Š      The Law (Gen 18:32, Luke 17:30, Lev 18:22,29, 20:13, Rom 1:26-32, Eph 1:3-7)

God promised Abraham: If I can find 10 righteous in the city of Sodom I will not destroy the city for the sake of the ten righteous. (Gen 18:32) What God did not tell Abraham is that even if there is one righteous person in the city, God will not destroy the city for the sake of the one righteous. And so, after God took out of the city this one righteous person, Lot, He destroyed the city. It is a picture of the end of the world, first the rapture of all the saints on the Last Day, and then the Judgment on all the rest of mankind. But look now at the ominous connotations of the words of Christ in Luke 17:30, “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” The majority of mankind sees no evil in committing acts of homosexuality. The acts of raping a large fraction of altar boys by the priests in the Roman Catholic Church, thereby scarring them for life, are dismissed as a misdemeanor. But did you know that the Law of Moses demanded the death penalty for sodomy (Lev 18:22,29, 20:13), and especially the death penalty for rape of the fatherless and the widows (Rom 1:26-32)? What we are seeing today is nothing less than the outworking of prophecies concerning the end times.

And so, we need to ask, “Where are those people who are under the condemnation of God?” Have we not read in Mark 16:16 that all those who believe and are baptized will be saved? That is true, except if we misunderstand who the baptized are. The baptized are those who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Can a person who is an idolater be baptized by the Holy Ghost, or can a person who is an idolater be born again? NO! A person who is an idolater is speaking to another god, a god who does not really exist. And so, where are those idolaters? They are in the churches, worshipping other gods, and the idolaters do not realize that they are worshipping other gods. Nobody is that stupid to condemn themselves to Hell. But there, in the churches, is where we should find all those who will come under judgment. For example, people love the man-made gospel of salvation by your own free will. It strokes their pride that God needs man to be the king-maker. But what do they do with Eph 1:3-7, which says exactly the opposite? We read in Eph 1:3-7,

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:   Eph 1:5   Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.   Eph 1:7   In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Š      Chosen and Placed in Christ (Luke 10:20, Rom 9:13-16, John 1:13, 6:44, Mat 21:23)

It tells us plainly in verse 4 that the elect were chosen and placed in Christ before the foundation of the world. Of course from Luke 10:20 we understand that only our names were chosen and placed in Christ, in God the Son, before the foundation of the world. This information helps us to understand why God says in Rom 9:13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Rom 9:14  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Rom 9:15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Rom 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” We find that this is in complete agreement with John 1:13, where God says,

John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” And it is also in agreement with John 6:44, where we read,

John 6:44, “No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Indeed, no man CAN come to me except the Father draw him.

And so, what do people do with verses like these which clearly say that it is not our will but God’s will that is important, and God has decided our destiny already before the foundation of the world. What do people do with verses like these? Do they ignore them? Do they ignore what God said? I will tell you exactly what is going on here. Their first step is: “Let me ask our pastor about this.” That is as stupid as asking the fox if I should buy a big German shepherd to guard the hen-house so that the fox cannot steal one of my chickens. What would the fox say? The fox would say, “Relax. You do not need to buy a big dog, for I will not come to steal your chickens.” Do you trust the fox? Of course you do not trust him. And so, people say to their pastor, “You say that I can relax, because I am saved already, but Pastor Alfred Chompff tells us to examine ourselves if we really are in the faith.” What does their pastor say? “He will say, Relax. Do not waste your time listening to Alfred Chompff. That man is generating a new cult with the sovereignty of God as a first requirement to be saved. All his teachings are wrong, because he has the wrong hermeneutics.” That usually ends the discussion, because people do not know what the hermeneutics are. It seems something serious, like I do not believe in the triune God like all the churches do. I know that something like this is floating around. They will say, “He is not a real pastor, for he has not visited our cemeteries.” Was that a slip of the tongue? I guess that was a Freudian slip. The common question is, “From what college have you graduated, and in which seminary were you trained? This is what they asked the Lord Jesus in

Matt 21:23, “And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” But contrary to public opinion there is no requirement for people to attend a formal seminary to qualify to be a Pastor. The closest example in Scripture to a seminary education is the Pharisees’ education system. They really believed that they loved God, but in actuality they hated God, because God did not fit the theology they had been taught in their schools.

Š      The Pharisees (Mat 11:25-26, 1Cor 2:11-13)

What did God say about them? The Lord Jesus said in Mat 11:25, At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.  Matt 11:26  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. And so, I will be grateful that I have not been brainwashed in a popular cemetery these days. The real question to ask is not “Who gave you the authority to preach? Or from which seminary have you graduated” but “Is your preaching in agreement with God’s Word?” The Pharisees’ education system was a failed education system, and yet the churches’ seminary education system is very similar to it.

And so, what is the hermeneutic that they accuse me off? A hermeneutic is a set of rules to interpret the Bible. This is a man-made set of rules; it is a theory of how to interpret the Bible which is actually not at all based on the Bible. And thus it must be fallible like any other invention of man. But what does God say about how to interpret the Bible? Please turn to the Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 2:11 (2X). We can be very brief about this, for God does not waste any words.

1Cor 2:11,  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1Cor 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Cor 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

In other words, “The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God”. Therefore, “the things that are freely given to us of God are obtained by comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” We must be comparing Scripture with Scripture. This is the hermeneutic that God ordained to interpret what He has dictated to His servants the prophets. This is the hermeneutic that I follow, for this is what God prescribes me to do. And so, the pastors are telling their people, “Do not listen to Alfred Chompff,” for they are actually afraid of me. And most people follow their pastors, for this makes their life easier. They have relieved themselves from making weighty decisions. This is OK with me. People are entitled to listen to who they want to listen. It makes my life easier. They are not hurting me. They are hurting themselves much more than me. But God still holds them accountable for the decisions they make.

Š      Accountable (Rev 22:11-12, 3:21)

God says in Rev 22:11,

Rev 22:11, He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Rev 22:12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

What are these works of man? Are they good works or are they bad works? Every work of man is tainted with bad works, which mean that all our works are bad. If God gives every man according as his work shall be, then every man will end up in Hell. Only if Christ shall cleanse all our bad works, shall only our good works remain. But all this will only serve the commendation of the Lord: “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the inheritance I have prepared for you.” What is our inheritance then? Our good works shall have no influence on the blessedness of our eternal inheritance. Everyone who is saved shall inherit the same inheritance, which is sitting in the throne of Christ. We read in Rev 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. This is an amazingly rich inheritance, which we will have to experience for all eternity to figure out what it all entails.

And so, what have we seen today? We have seen that the people of the world prefer to go to sleep on a lullaby that all is well, when really all is not well. People really like to believe that they have done all they could, and they cannot do anything more. When the Lord Jesus said that it will be like the days of Noah, it means that 99.9% of the people are primed for Hell. When the Lord Jesus said that it will be like the days of Lot, it also means that 99.9% of the people are primed for Hell. Two times does the Lord give this warning. Are people finally going to listen? The answer is NO! They will bring up one excuse after another why they do not want to listen, because Alfred Chompff has the wrong hermeneutic, or because Alfred Chompff focusses on the sovereignty of God, which is not popular in most churches, or because the sermons of Alfred Chompff are too long, or because of any other lame excuse. But God will not listen to all those excuses.

It really comes down to only one thing: What have you done with Christ? Is the work of Christ for your soul so great that you are rejoicing over it every day? Or is it something that you want to believe but it does not do anything for your soul. It is not so exciting to me; it does not change my soul. Is that how it feels? God inspired the apostle Paul to write in 1Cor 13:13,

1Cor 13:13, And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Š      The Fruits of the Spirit (Luke 17:28-30)

Let me tell you about these three: They are all outworkings of the same thing: It is the grace of God in placing us in Christ from before the foundation of the world. This was the reason why Christ came. This is the Gospel; this is the Good News that Christ came for sinners, requiring nothing from us. But when He came and touched our heart, He cleansed our soul and made us whole. It is the work of Christ alone that made us whole.

But this is not the lullaby that the people of the world like to sing. They want to bring up that they all have been baptized. They want to claim that they are all believers. In fact, if you compare what they claim, it turns out that they declared God a liar in Luke 17:28-30. How can God condemn them if they have done such wonderful works for God and have served Him in the churches for centuries? How can God condemn them if they all have been baptized? How can God condemn them if they all have contributed so much money for His cause?

And so you see that their focus is on what they have done for Christ, rather than what Christ has done for them. But the Bible declares that none of our works, no matter how noble they seem to be, are of any value in the matter of salvation. The work of Christ is of infinitely greater value than all the works that we have done. And really, it is only the work of Christ that is sufficient to appease the wrath of God on all our sins. No other work would be sufficient. This is what we need.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.