FOUR GREAT CERTAINTIES

 

            There are many things that shall always remain uncertain, that mankind will never be able to know.  For example:  "Which of the twelve apostles was tallest?"  "What did Jesus look like?"  Concerning these and a thousand other such things in this old world, we can at best only speculate.

However, within the realm of the religion of the Redeemer, there are at least four great certainties.  There are four foundational particulars that you can believe without fear whatsoever of ever being found mistaken or proven wrong.

Modernists and unbelievers say that Christianity is a gigantic myth, an unholy hoax--a silly superstition.  But honest and fair-minded investigation will reveal that the contrary is true.  But Christianity is not anchored in feeling, emotion, abstract theological theories, but in solid factual evidence, in the rock of faith that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 16:18.  This is not to say that our minds can completely and fully understand everything of a spiritual nature.  There are things that are beyond our comprehension such as how God’s providence works.

 

"THE secret things BELONG UNTO THE LORD OUR GOD: BUT THOSE things which are REVEALED belong UNTO US AND TO OUR CHILDREN FOR EVER, THAT WE MAY DO ALL THE WORDS OF THE LAW."  Deuteronomy 29:29

 

But these secret things are not matters that would affect man's eternal destiny.  Let us consider.

 

The First Certainty:  There is A God

 

            Men refer to God such terms as "Supreme Being," “The Creator”, “The Heavenly Father” and many more.  From the every first verse in the revelation of sacred scripture:

 

"IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH." Genesis 1:1

 

And all the way through the remaining 31,173 verses, the existence of God is assured.  In that wonderful day of creation God gave us human beings enough common sense, if we but exercise it, to conclude that if there is a painting there is a painter; if there is a building there is a builder and if there is a world, there is a World Maker.

This God in the Bible is seen as a personal deity not an abstract "Force" or "Almighty Somebody" or some "Great Unknown."  God is not merely an influence, myth or fairy tale.  He is living,


 Exodus 3:14 "AND GOD SAID UNTO MOSES, I AM THAT I AM: AND HE SAID, THUS SHALT THOU SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU."

 

Deuteronomy 32:40  "FOR I LIFT UP MY HAND TO HEAVEN, AND SAY, I LIVE FOR EVER."

 

Isaiah 44:6  "THUS SAITH THE LORD THE KING OF ISRAEL, AND HIS REDEEMER THE LORD OF HOSTS; I am THE FIRST, AND I am THE LAST; AND BESIDE ME there is NO GOD."

 

Jeremiah 10:10 "BUT THE LORD IS THE TRUE GOD, HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND AN EVERLASTING KING:"

 

John 5:26 "FOR AS THE FATHER HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF; SO HATH HE GIVEN TO THE SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF;"

 

God is loving:

 

Abraham "I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THEE AND THY SEED AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATIONS FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, TO BE A GOD UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE."  Genesis 17:7

 

The children of Israel  "YE HAVE SEEN WHAT I DID UNTO THE EGYPTIANS, AND how I BARE YOU ON EAGLES' WINGS, AND BROUGHT YOU UNTO MYSELF.  NOW THEREFORE, IF YE WILL OBEY MY VOICE INDEED, AND KEEP MY COVENANT, THEN YE SHALL BE A PECULIAR TREASURE UNTO ME ABOVE ALL PEOPLE: FOR ALL THE EARTH is MINE. YE SHALL BE UNTO ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, AND AN HOLY NATION…"  Exodus 19:4-6

 

I Peter 2:99But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

 

The Psalmist  "WE HAVE THOUGHT OF THY LOVINGKINDNESS, O GOD, IN THE MIDST OF THY TEMPLE."  Psalms 48:9

 

"WHO REDEEMETH THY LIFE FROM DESTRUCTION; WHO CROWNETH THEE WITH LOVINGKINDNESS AND TENDER MERCIES"   Psalms 103:4 


 And because of His love extending to us today as well; redemption is available to us as his children through his Son Jesus Christ.

 

The prophets wrote of it:  "SING, O HEAVENS; AND BE JOYFUL, O EARTH; AND BREAK FORTH INTO SINGING, O MOUNTAINS: FOR THE LORD HATH COMFORTED HIS PEOPLE, AND WILL HAVE MERCY UPON HIS AFFLICTED."  Isaiah 49:13

 

"THE LORD HATH APPEARED OF OLD UNTO ME, saying, YEA, I HAVE LOVED THEE WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE: THEREFORE WITH LOVINGKINDNESS HAVE I DRAWN THEE."  Jeremiah 31:3

 

A love that reaches beyond all limits understood by man; a love extended to all mankind even as they crucified His only begotten.  He prepared an escape for you and I, an escape from the spiritual death of eternal separation from Him, an escape from eternal damnation, an escape from eternal punishment, a promise much like that of a young man to the one whom he loves above and beyond any other on earth. 

 

"I WILL BETROTH THEE UNTO ME FOR EVER; YEA, I WILL BETROTH THEE UNTO ME IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND IN JUDGMENT, AND IN LOVINGKINDNESS, AND IN MERCIES.  I WILL EVEN BETROTH THEE UNTO ME IN FAITHFULNESS: AND THOU SHALT KNOW THE LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20; v.23 “AND I WILL SOW HER UNTO ME IN THE EARTH; AND I WILL HAVE MERCY UPON HER THAT HAD NOT OBTAINED MERCY, I WILL SAY TO them which were NOT MY PEOPLE, THOU art MY PEOPLE; AND THEY SHALL SAY, thou art MY GOD."

 

Christ also assures us through the pen of the Apostle John: John 14:21 "HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME: AND HE THAT LOVETH ME SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, AND I WILL LOVE HIM, AND WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM."  v.23 "IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, AND WE WILL COME UNTO HIM, AND MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM."

 

and our final reference in this study to God's everlasting love and his plan for mankind from the very beginning as written by Paul to the Ephesian brethren:

 

"BLESSED be THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO HATH BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY places IN CHRIST:  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.  HAVING PREDESTINATED US UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIMSELF, ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL, TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE, WHEREIN HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED."  Ephesians 1:3-6

 

God lifts us up from the mire of daily troubles and trials.  He did so first for the Israelites:

 

"WHEREFORE SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I am THE LORD, AND I WILL BRING YOU OUT FROM UNDER THE BURDENS OF THE EGYPTIANS, AND I WILL RID YOU OUT OF THEIR BONDAGE, AND I WILL REDEEM YOU WITH A STRETCHED OUT ARM, AND WITH GREAT JUDGMENTS: AND I WILL TAKE YOU TO ME FOR A PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE TO YOU A GOD: AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I am THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHICH BRINGETH YOU OUT FROM UNDER THE BURDENS OF THE EGYPTIANS."  Exodus 6:6-7

 

God likewise brings freedom to us today, freedom from the bondage of sin and evil:  "BUT THE LORD IS FAITHFUL, WHO SHALL STABLISH YOU, AND KEEP you FROM EVIL."  II Thessalonians 3:3

 

We have the assurance that God is watching over and taking care of us: "THE EYES OF THE LORD are OVER THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS are open UNTO THEIR PRAYERS: BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD is AGAINST THEM THAT DO EVIL. AND WHO is HE THAT WILL HARM YOU, IF YE BE FOLLOWERS OF THAT WHICH IS GOOD?"  I Peter 3:12-13

 

God is ever-abiding; He will always be there for us, we have the first example in Abraham:

 

Abraham had answered the call of the Lord to leave his homeland, his family and go to a country prepared for him and God was there with him throughout his life:  "AND Abraham PLANTED A GROVE IN BEERSHEBA, AND CALLED THERE ON THE NAME OF THE LORD, THE EVERLASTING GOD."  Genesis 21:33

 

We find great comfort in the words of the Psalmist: Psalms 90:1-2, 4 “LORD, THOU HAST BEEN OUR DWELLING PLACE IN ALL GENERATIONS.  BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS WERE BROUGHT FORTH, OR EVER THOU HADST FORMED THE EARTH AND THE WORLD, EVEN FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING, THAT art GOD.” v.4  “A THOUSAND YEARS IN THY SIGHT ARE BUT AS YESTERDAY WHEN IT IS PAST, AND AS A WATCH IN THE NIGHT."

 

His power and authority: "THE INVISIBLE THINGS OF HIM FORM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD ARE CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, even HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD; SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE."  Romans 1:20

 

Creator and Ruler.  Although man has increased in learning and advanced in higher education, yet, when it comes to knowing and understanding Jehovah God, modern man has hung out a "Do Not Disturb" sign over his heart.  In Romans 1:28, Paul wrote of those who did not like to retain God in their knowledge, and that God gave them over to a reprobate mind.  We see the evidence of just how far man has departed from God in the world around us every day.

    Other philosophies and systems of belief may wander and waver on this point but the Christian religion is emphatic in saying, "THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN" (Daniel 2:28).  There is a God in heaven who framed the worlds; who set the stars in their place, who molded the great mountains; and who shaped the amazing seas.  This is the same God, who made us in His own image; who loves man with an undying love; who cares for His creation with deep compassion; who is ever merciful to the penitent and now offers salvation to you and I.

 

The Second Certainty -- There is a Saviour

 

It is not enough to speak of Jesus as a good teacher or a great prophet.  Islam allows that Jesus was a prophet but not the Son of God.  But neither Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius nor any other founder of any of the world's recognized religions ever offered to humanity what Jesus offered.  Jesus came for a different purpose.  A purpose so unique and strange to the mind of man that without the revelation of God he could not comprehend it; He came to offer himself as a sacrifice for us:

 

We first find that purpose in God’s promise to Eve in Genesis 3:15 then later from prophecy by God himself in his promise to Abram:

"AND I WILL THEM THAT BLESS THEE, AND CURSE HIM THAT CURSETH THEE: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED."  Genesis 12:3

 

To the Psalmist's declaration that God has chosen One out of his people for this special purpose:  "THEN THOU SPAKEST IN VISION TO THY HOLY ONE, AND SAIDST, I HAVE LAID HELP UPON one that is MIGHTY: I HAVE EXALTED one CHOSEN OUT OF THE PEOPLE."  Psalms 89:19

 

We find him in the prophecy of Isaiah as that one who will bear the iniquities of all mankind:  "IT PLEASED THE LORD TO BRUISE HIM; HE HATH PUT him TO GRIEF: WHEN THOU SHALT MAKE HIS SOUL AN OFFERING FOR SIN, HE SHALL SEE his SEED, HE SHALL PROLONG his DAYS, AND THE PLEASURE OF THE LORD SHALL PROSPER IN HIS HAND.  HE SHALL SEE OF THE TRAVAIL OF HIS, and SHALL BE SATISFIED: BY HIS KNOWLEDGE SHALL MY RIGHTEOUS SERVANT JUSTIFY MANY; FOR HE SHALL BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES."  Isaiah 53:10-11

 

The record of the words of Jesus himself as he taught his disciples:  "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST."  Luke 19:10

 

To the record provided by John in Revelation; that apostle that Christ allowed to peek into the heavenly realm and write words of encouragement to a world that was going crazy with their attempts to destroy the people of God.  He provides us the means to become such as:  "….THESE ARE THEY WHICH FOLLOW THE LAMB WHITHERSOEVER HE GOETH.  THESE WERE REDEEMED FROM AMONG MEN, BEING THE FIRSTFRUITS UNTO GOD AND TO THE LAMB.  AND IN THEIR MOUTH WAS FOUND NO GUILE: FOR THEY WERE WITHOUT FAULT BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD."  Revelation 14:4-5

 

In John 14 :6, Jesus said that he is the way, without Him there is no one going to that heavenly place he has gone to prepare.  He is the truth, without Him there is no knowing the truth that will set us free from the condemnation of sin.  He is the Life, without Him there is no living, but all would be spiritually dead at the judgment seat of God.  Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Hope brought the one and only solution to the world's problems.  Man manipulated schemes can never cleanse the sinful sores of this world's sickness.  Digression not progression is what results when man tries to live successfully apart from God:

 

Jesus tells us "I AM THE VINE, YE are THE BRANCHES: HE THAT ABIDETH IN ME, AND I IN HIM, THE SAME BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT: FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING."  John 15:5

 

We again are reminded how helpless we would be without him as we turn to the prophets “O LORD, I KNOW THAT THE WAY OF MAN IS NOT IN HIMSELF: IT IS NOT IN MAN THAT WALKETH TO DIRECT HIS STEPS."  Jeremiah 10:23

 

Colossians 1:14 declares, “IN WHOM (Christ) WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS."

To say Jesus our Saviour has come; is to say we have hope and help, peace and pardon, redemption and refreshment, satisfaction and salvation, assurance and ability to go to a heavenly home with our Father eternally.

 

The Third Certainty:  Salvation

 

Paul wrote “THEREFORE I ENDURE ALL THINGS FOR THE ELECT'S SAKES, THAT THEY MAY ALSO OBTAIN THE SALVATION WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS WITH ETERNAL GLORY."  II Timothy 2:10

 

Saul of Tarsus was once a man who persecuted the Christian way and its followers unto death.  Yet through the grace of God, the process of salvation, he became a preacher of the very way he had at one time sought to destroy just as he tells us in Galatians 1:23.  Paul, as he later became known, became an eye witness that Jesus Christ was the Son of God on that Damascus road.  He also was sorry of the efforts he put forth to destroy the devoted disciples of Jesus.  Ananias, a disciple, told him "AND NOW WHY TARRIEST THOU?  ARISE, AND BE BAPTIZED, AND WASH AWAY THY SINS, CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD" Acts 22:16 and the deadliest enemy of the way of Christ became what was probably its most prolific and dedicated preacher.

 

The coming of salvation was so certain that the Holy Spirit through the writer of the 106th Psalm expresses the certainty of that salvation hundreds of years before Jesus came; in a record written in the past tense as though it had already happened “NEVERTHELESS HE SAVED THEM FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE, THAT HE MIGHT MAKE HIS MIGHTY POWER TO BE KNOWN."  Psalms 106:8

 

The Prophet wrote later “THUS SAITH THE LORD, KEEP YE JUDGMENT, AND DO JUSTICE: FOR MY SALVATION is NEAR TO COME, AND MY RIGHTEOUSNESS TO BE REVEALED."  Isaiah 56:1


And only a short time later, as God counts time, the angel told Joseph in a dream that the one he is to

marry "…SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS; FOR HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS."  Matthew 1:21

 

Luke says simply "AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD."  Luke 3:6

 

This promise of salvation is sealed with the warranty given us by the fact of his resurrection: "BLESSED be THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHICH ACCORDING TO HIS ABUNDANT MERCY HATH BEGOTTEN US AGAIN UNTO A LIVING HOPE BY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD.  TO AN INHERTANCE INCORRUPTIBLE, AND UNDEFILED, AND THAT FADETH NOT AWAY, RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU, WHO ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH UNTO SALVATION READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME."  I Peter 1:3-5

 

Only as we believe and obey and continue and conclude in a life of obedience to the will of God can we also be partakers of the salvation that Jesus brought.

 

The Fourth Certainty:  The Immortality of the Soul

 

As an old song says, "The soul of man never dies."  As creatures fashioned in the image of God, we were not meant to stay here on earth forever.  There is another world, a place "…A BUILDING OF GOD, AN HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS." II Corinthians 5:1.

 

We turn again to the Psalmist.  In Psalms 22:26 we are assured that:  "THE MEEK SHALL EAT AND BE SATISFIED: THEY SHALL PRAISE THE LORD THAT SEEK HIM: YOUR HEART SHALL LIVE FOR EVER."

 

And again in Psalms 36:9 "FOR WITH THEE IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE: IN THY LIGHT SHALL WE SEE LIGHT."

 

And one of the most comforting passages of scripture in the Bible for those who are faced with the fact that the mortal bodies of all mankind decay and die:  "SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE: AND I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOR EVER."  Psalms 23:6

 

The Apostle John records Jesus’ promise for us: "AND I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE; AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, NEITHER SHALL ANY man PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND."  John 10:28

 

The writer to the Hebrew Christians gives us this assurance:  "AND FOR THIS CAUSE HE IS THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, THAT BY MEANS OF DEATH, FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE TRANSGRESSIONS that were UNDER THE FIRST TESTAMENT, THEY WHICH ARE CALLED MIGHT RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL INHERITANCE."  Hebrews 9:15

 

John seals that declaration of the promise of eternal inheritance in I John 2:17 “AND THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY, AND THE LUST THEREOF: BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER."  And in verse 25.  "AND THIS IS THE PROMISE THAT HE HATH PROMISED US, even ETERNAL LIFE."

 

There is something else, something different, something more, something better than this world with its troubles, temptations, trials, and tragedies.  There is a happy summer land of bliss in the words of the old song “Sinless Summerland.”

            Let your heart reflect on these "Four Certainties" and take courage. Set your heart on things above, not on the things of the earth as Paul tells us in Colossians 3:1-3.  This life has no purpose, no meaning, and no value but to serve God and prepare ourselves through his grace for that wonderful life that is to follow.  Live in faith and die in faith and in that judgment day we can go home to be with the Father and Son and all His holy angels in the courts of glory.

 

But only if we are true children of his through our obedience to His commandments.  In order to become children of God we must first hear the word of God taught and generate that faith, that belief that will move us to come to him Romans 10:17; then we must repent of our past sins or perish in a devils hell as Jesus tells us in Luke 13:3, confess before men that we believe that He is the Son of God as Jesus also tells us in Matthew 10:32; and be baptized to wash away our sins as Saul did in Acts 22:16; that we might be added to that great congregation of his called out, the church of the Living God, as those were in Jerusalem in Acts 2:47.

Or if we have already done all of that and then abandoned our God, turned our back upon his truth, his commandments or committed public sin bring that to his feet and leave it there, repenting and praying with us for your forgiveness and the strength to face a new day tomorrow as his humble obedient child.  If you have need, won’t you come new as we stand and sing selected for this purpose??