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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Peter Tan-Chi » Peter Tan-Chi - Be Sure of Your Salvation

Peter Tan-Chi - Be Sure of Your Salvation

Peter Tan-Chi - Be Sure of Your Salvation
TOPICS: Legit, Salvation, Decisions

Today I want to share with you the importance of making choices. Tell me, make good choices. The truth is, whether you like it or not, we make thousands of decisions every day. I was shocked. You Google the internet and you'll find out. In fact, they say, the older you get, the more choices you have to make. Let's think about food. Okay, what are you thinking about now? Where will you eat today? Look, you have a lot of options. What do you want to eat? What are you thinking about now? Well, these are all options. You all know I love fish, so when you say fish, I have to think, what kind of fish, sea bass, sea bass, black cod, banmous, what kind of fish. And then, tilapia, and then you wonder, how to cook it, steam it, fry it, bake it, sweet and sour. Do you understand what I'm saying? Variety.

Now, you want to order coffee. What would you like, cappuccino, Americano, espresso, cafe latte? It's an amazing decision-making process. Coke, if you order Coke, they will ask you, what kind? There are so many choices. There's Diet Coke, Diet Coke, Classic Coke, and others I can't even name. There are also Coke Lime and Coke Orange. An uncle or grandpa was shocked because he didn't expect there were so many kinds of cola. So he said: "Oh, it's really troublesome, son, just give me water". "Mineral water, distilled water? Add soda"? You see, choice, choice.

Now, some choices are simple and have no major consequences. But there are more important choices in life. For example, what occupation, where will you live, will you get married or not, who will you marry. These are important decisions. But Jesus is telling us today that you need to think carefully about the most important decision of your life. What was that decision? Everyone read it. Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate. For broad is the gate and broad is the way, which leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it. Before I explain this verse, I want you to know that this is the theme of this series of verses from Matthew 7:13 to 23. Read: Matthew 7:21 Whoever calls me Lord, Not everyone who belongs to the Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only he who does the will of my Father in heaven can enter. In other words, Jesus wants all of us to think carefully about a very important decision.

My topic today is this, please read: Be Sure of Your Salvation! Why is this important? Do you know why this is important? Because Jesus tells us that one day many of us will be shocked. Because in your mind, you think you're going to heaven. In your mind, you may consider yourself a Christian. So, I'm going to share with you some of the most important overlooked passages of the Bible that Jesus taught. That's what we're going to discuss this morning. Why is this important? The Bible tells us, everyone read: 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Also experiment on your own. Don't test others, don't judge others. Always examine yourself to see if you have faith. Examine yourself to see if you are truly a follower of Jesus. Examine yourself. Be careful not to look at other people.

This is not for you to judge other people. Today's message is for you to examine your own life. Do you not know that if you are not reprobate, you have Jesus Christ in you? So there is nothing wrong with being convinced that you are a follower of Jesus. What's today's topic? "Be sure of your salvation". Why is this important? Let me repeat, some choices are trivial, some choices are crucial, some choices have short-term consequences, and some choices have long-term consequences. This passage talks about eternal consequences, make no mistake. What do I mean? Ladies and gentlemen, assuming Jesus is not true, assuming the Bible is not true, what do you have to lose by following Jesus? Nothing to lose. You will experience joy and a wonderful family.

However, if the Bible is true, and Jesus is true, and you go on with your life, live the life you want, choose your own lifestyle, if Jesus is true, if you don't end up with Him in eternity, But to endure the curse in hell, do you think it's worth it? You see, I tell people, I'm not going to force anyone to believe, I'm not going to force anyone to follow Jesus, I'm just going to tell you what Jesus is saying. I'm going to tell you something that may be the most important information you'll ever hear in your life. Be sure of your salvation. Okay, let's understand these verses together. Let's read Matthew 7:13 together. Enter through the narrow gate. For broad is the gate and broad is the way, which leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it. He gives you a command now. The command is: Enter (the narrow gate). Why? Because Jesus never assumes that His people must be His.

So, He's saying, now that you've heard about the true Christian lifestyle, make sure you're one of them, so enter through this door. He now tells them that there are two gates, the narrow gate and the broad gate. There are two types of doors. There are two roads, the broad road, the easy road, and the narrow road. "Narrow" comes from the Greek word "stenos". The same root word is "stenography", because this is really not easy. Then He tells us that a great way leads to destruction. What does it mean? I'll explain it to you in a moment. Then He compares another kind of door, "Small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life". This again involves the word "steno", Matthew 7:14 Narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life. Yes, there are few people looking for it.

Notice, men, choices, two gates, two roads, the narrow and the broad, two destinations, eternal life and destruction. Is this important? Let me tell you why you need to hear this. "Perish" in the Bible does not mean extinction. For example, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 they will be punished with everlasting destruction, so the word "perish" doesn't mean that you lose feeling, you just disappear. The word "perish" simply means the loss of a perfect state. For example, it describes a beautiful piece of cloth, torn. You lose the original design, you lose the integrity. The Bible says, depart from the presence of the Lord. You were designed by God and for God, but because you chose to do it your own way, the Bible says you are forever lost, lost in your integrity, and separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.

Let me give you a biblical example of the loss of integrity. The Bible gives us many examples of Jesus teaching, After death, listen to me, life goes on after death. As you know, in CCF church, we hold many funerals every week. You may not believe it, because we have thousands of people, family members die, and I visit, and it's almost impossible to attend all the funerals, so I praise God for the discipleship groups, I praise God for the pastors, Because that's how we help each other. But listen to me, when you see someone in a coffin, you think that person is finished. His life is not over. Jesus tells us a story about a rich man and a poor man. The rich man died. Guess what happened? The story goes like this. When the rich man died, the Bible tells us that he went to a certain place. Luke 16:23 And when he was in torment in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham in the distance, and Lazarus in his bosom. The word "Sheol" does not yet refer to hell, but one can also fall into hell from this place. But I don't want to talk about this now.

What I want to talk about is that after you die, it is not the end. You know why? Please see, everyone, read, this dead man can speak. Luke 16:24 And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send him Lazarus, (for he knew Lazarus, and knew him well), and dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue. Because I am in great pain in this flame. In other words, you still have feelings after death. The Bible talks about two places, being with God or being away from God's presence. This is leaving the presence of God. The Bible tells us that the answer from heaven is: Luke 16:26 Not only this, but there is a great chasm between you and me, so that anyone who wants to pass from this side to you cannot, but he who wants to pass from the other side cannot We can't do that either.

In other words, Jesus said that after you die your eternal destiny is locked. Don't be deceived into thinking that there will be another chance after you die. Never be fooled. Because God loves you. Do you understand Jesus' message? Jesus wants you to be with Him. That's why He said, "Enter through the narrow gate". You have to look at the heart of God. He loves you and He says, "I want you to think about life". Make a decision today because when you die, you won't have the chance. So, ladies and gentlemen, death does not mean extinction. Life goes on. That's why He told us, Matthew 7:14 "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it".

Why is this door so narrow? Why is the road to eternal life so small? Have you ever thought about this? In your life, realize that there are two gates, two roads: the broad road, which ultimately leads to destruction, and the narrow road. Why is this road so narrow? I'll give you three reasons why it's so narrow? Why is this important to know? Number one, the reason it's so narrow is because there's only one way to heaven, only one way. You know, all over the world, people say, "Don't be so narrow-minded, don't be so dogmatic, there are many roads to heaven, just like all roads lead to Rome". You know, we have a saying, "Don't be so dogmatic. Too narrow, don't be too subjective".

Ladies and gentlemen, that's not what I said. Jesus said, let us read this scripture, it is so narrow, John 14:6 Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Why is it so narrow? The answer is, Jesus said, "I am the way". He didn't say, "I am one of the ways". He said, "I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life". No one... notice, no one can Come to the Father except through me. Now, this statement is either true or it is false. Let me repeat, you can never say that all religions are the same because they contradict each other because Jesus said, "I am the way". So either He is telling the truth or He is not telling the truth.. But never say that all religions are the same. You need to make a choice. Either He is the only way, or He is not. Because truth is very exclusive, truth is very narrow. My favorite example to use, folks, is the 4X4. Excuse me, do you know mathematics? 4X4=? are you sure? Why not 15? Why not 15.5? Why not 16.1? Why does it have to be 4X4=16? There are infinitely many digits, why do you insist it must be 16? Because truth is narrow and exclusive.

If Manila is the capital of the Philippines, it cannot be Quezon City, it cannot be Baguio, it cannot be Davao, because truth is exclusive. If Jesus is the only way, it is exclusive, because He said so, so don't have any vague ideas. "Why is He the only way"? Because the Bible says we are all sinners. There is no other way to atone for sin except the death and resurrection of Jesus. Note, Acts 4:12 Everyone, please read: There is salvation in no one else. (Everyone read) For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Notice, "There is salvation in no one else". So please know that when you read the Bible, you always have two choices: believe it, or interpret it in your own way. That's why Jesus tells us, "Enter through the narrow gate". Why? Because the door is so narrow, so narrow, you can't bring one more piece of luggage. Why? Because you have to enter through Christ.

When we say "narrow," we really mean narrow, not wide. The wide road is easy. You can believe whatever you want to believe, and that's OK. You don't have to change, as long as you are sincere, you can go to heaven. This is the broad road. The narrow road is different. Why? The narrow road requires humility. For example, let's read this scripture together: Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. not of works, lest any man should boast. Have you noticed? The Bible tells us that the only way to heaven is through Jesus and that salvation is by grace. "For by grace you have been saved through faith". You need humility, because if you want to go to heaven, it can't be your way, it has to be God's way. It is by grace. But this is where people have problems.

The reason the road is so narrow is because grace changes your heart. Grace will change your life. Salvation is free. But once you come to Christ, grace changes you dramatically. What is my evidence? In the same book, in Ephesians 2:8-9, it says salvation is by grace. In the same book of Ephesians, it tells you why it's a narrow way, because grace requires repentance. Let me read this scripture to you. Ephesians 5:5 For you know for sure that neither the sexually immoral nor the impure nor the covetous have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Note, it is by grace that we are saved. But then He said grace never stands alone, it changes you. Then He warns you, Ephesians 5:6 Don't be deceived by empty words. Because of these things God's wrath will come on the sons of disobedience. So the Bible tells us that this is a narrow road. Why? For salvation comes from Christ alone and is by grace, but grace requires repentance.

Look at what the Bible teaches us. This is the gospel taught in the Scriptures, taught by the apostle Paul, Acts 20:21 and to both Jews and Greeks, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. You see, you have to understand that repentance means very simply, that is, you have to change your direction, you have to change your thoughts about yourself and sin, you have to change, and you have to start following Jesus. It doesn't mean you'll never sin again, it doesn't say that. The Bible knows that when you start following Jesus, you can fall into sin. So the Bible doesn't say that. The Bible talks about the direction of your life. I'll show you some scriptures and that's why it's a narrow road. The road is narrow, so it requires repentance and a change of life. What do I mean? Let's read it together. Titus 2:11-12 For God's grace has been revealed that brings salvation to all people… OK, so God's grace comes from Jesus.

Look, please read on, teaching us to turn away from ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age. It is God's grace that gives you the desire and the strength to live a righteous life. Let me repeat that. God's grace means I cannot earn salvation. I am a sinner. I praise God for Jesus. He died for me. Now He is in my heart, in my life, and He now gives me a new desire. He now gives me a new strength. This is why Christianity is so amazing. The road is so narrow that it can only go through Jesus. The road is so narrow because of what it takes? It requires complete surrender to Jesus. ah! You're starting to understand now. You must be separate from your sin, or you and your God will never meet.

Did you know that salvation is free, but it will cost you everything? Let me repeat, the way is so narrow that it can only go through Jesus. The way is so narrow because you need to surrender everything. Many of us want to come to God on our own terms. Let me share with you what it means to follow Jesus. Let's read it together. Luke 9:23 Jesus also said to the crowd, (Please read together) If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. This door is very narrow. You have to deny yourself and follow Jesus. Beware of false teachers who will tell you, "When you come to Christ, it doesn't matter how you live. No matter what, you are saved". You will never find this in the Bible. In fact, Jesus warned us and gave us these lessons. I think of many Christians who have been deceived just like the Israelites.

Look, the Bible tells us, Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel, (read it everyone) everyone did as he pleased. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes, and this is what happens today. Today, we make our own gods. We build our own religion. This is why people don't like to read the Bible. How do you know God's will? People don't care, they follow their own will. Can you imagine? You want to follow Jesus and at the same time you want to follow yourself, you make yourself king and then you call yourself, I call myself a Christian, is that logical if you don't want to follow Jesus? That's why Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate," which is a command. Don't envy the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. Don't envy this door. Don't just look at this door. He says: Go in! Don't just honor Jesus, don't just admire His teachings. To enter. Follow Jesus.

You know, today's examples are all about the rich. I don't know why that's the case, but that's how God organized today's information, OK? What does it mean to follow Jesus? Do you still remember the story of this young official? He was quite wealthy; at the same time, he wanted to live forever. So, he came to Jesus. Luke 18:18, 20 A certain ruler (the Bible says he was rich) asked Jesus, "Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life"? Do you understand his question? Then Jesus answered… Now everyone is looking at me. It's a good question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life? What must I do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven"? So Jesus was a master educator. So Jesus told him, "Okay". Remember, Jesus was a master educator, and He knew this man's heart, and He knew this man was rich. He knew this man was proud and self-righteous.

So Jesus tests him, "You know all the commandments, don't you"? So Jesus uses the Ten Commandments as an example. Among the Ten Commandments, the first few are related to God, and the last few are about human relationships. Jesus first talks about the next few commandments related to relationships. So Jesus said: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your parents. Do you know what this man said? I obeyed all this. I obeyed all this. What else do I need to do? So Jesus begins with the first commandment. What is the first commandment? "You shall have no other gods before me". Love God, remember? Put God first. So when Jesus wanted to teach this man a lesson, He never lowered his standards. Do you understand? The entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is very narrow. He will not lower his standards.

So, He told the man, Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, He said, You still lack one thing, (read together) Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. You still have to come and follow me. Sell ​​everything and still come and follow me. Luke 18:23 When the rich man heard this, he was very sad, because he was extremely rich. You see, Jesus knew that this man's god was money. Because his god is money, this hinders him. Remember, when you enter the narrow gate, you have to give up everything. You can't take another god with you. If money is your god, if sin is your god, whatever baggage you have, you have to throw it away. You have to enter the narrow gate. So there is something wrong with this person. He was very sad. Why? He chose money over Jesus.

Now I also give you another story, almost in the same chapter, with another rich man, but this time, the ending is completely different. It is also a story about the super rich. It's the story of Zacchaeus. Luke 19:1-2 There was a man named Zacchaeus... "Zacchaeus" means "pure, innocent". His father wanted him to be pure. Everyone read: He was a chief tax collector and a rich man. Oh my god, this guy is rich. But there's a problem. Zacchaeus, although he was rich, Luke 19:3 wanted to see what kind of person Jesus was. Because there were so many people and he was short, he couldn't be seen. You see, Zacchaeus had a desire. He wanted to see Jesus. You need to understand Zacchaeus' dilemma. He was a rich man, but he felt empty. He knew something was wrong and he wanted to see Jesus. Can you imagine?

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. But he had a problem, he couldn't see Jesus. Why? Because of the crowd. You know, many times you cannot see Jesus because of the crowd. There is a Chinese proverb that looks at people and makes them trip. In Tagalog, look at people and you will fall. In English, you fall because of people. Many of us cannot see Jesus. Do you know why? Many of you, when you see a Christian, say, "Ah! Christian! No, I don't like it". Don't stumble because of people. Zacchaeus couldn't see Jesus. Why? Because of the crowd. Have you ever fallen because of a crowd? I remembered my father, years ago he said, "I don't like Christianity". I said why? "Because they always ask me for money, and they borrow it and don't pay it back".

Wow, when I heard this from my dad... So you have to remember, your actions reflect who you are. So I pray, and you pray too, that we must bring honor to the Lord. So Zacchaeus had a question. Luke 19:4 So he ran ahead and climbed up the sycamore tree to see Jesus... Can you imagine this rich man running? Have you ever seen a rich man running? Wearing a bow tie and wearing a suit, you know, I mean, this guy doesn't care. He longed for Jesus. Luke 19:5 When Jesus came there, he looked up and said to him... Now, this was a startling moment in Zacchaeus' life. He was shocked. Do you know why? For when Jesus came to the tree, He looked up and said, Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for I will stay in your house today.

I want you to imagine now, here is this man who wants to see Jesus, and he goes through the shock of his life that it's Jesus who wants to see him. "Zacchaeus"! The man was thinking, "How does he know my name? I'm a sinner". Then He said, "Come down quickly! I want to go to your house and eat with you". That's the context. "I want to eat with you". What happened next? I praise God. Luke 19:6 "He came down quickly and received Jesus with joy". This man was a rich man. Luke 19:7 When the people saw him, they began to murmur among themselves, saying, "He has gone to stay in a sinner's house". Do you see what's wrong with the Pharisees? Judge others. I remember, many years ago, there was a woman who came to CCF church. She came from the upper class. She came to worship wearing a bare-back costume, you know... I mean, it was her first time.

I saw people whispering, "Why did Pastor Peter let that girl in"? Sorry, this place is for sinners, right? So why are you banning people from coming? She is a young person, just beginning to know the Lord, but today, I tell you, when you see her, she looks like a nun, you know, she dresses like a nun. An extreme contrast to the past. However, I never made a fuss about it. You know, some people are going to come here, OK? That was their first time here. They don't understand. Listen to me, if you are our guest, we love you and we welcome you. Do not worry about it. We're just asking, OK, we're just asking you, guys, when you see someone, all of you, I know that all of you like to sit in a certain place, I know, I know where you sit., I know, I know, I know where you are all sitting.

My suggestion is: it's not yours, OK? So, if you see a stranger sitting next to you and you don't recognize them, what must you do? You are now the official usher and greeter of CCF. You say, "Welcome"! You look around at the people around you, okay? So, wherever you sit, that's fine, but every time you see a new face, what do you have to do? "Welcome! This is my name (business card). What is your name? Welcome! How can I pray for you"? "Yes, are you willing to know the Lord? What do you think about today's message? What do you think? Does it make sense"? Do you understand? So now this is your official appointment. You are the official greeter, amen? So, you can protect that seat. If someone is sitting there, just sit next to it. Do you understand? Just welcome them.

Having said that, Zacchaeus was shocked, notice, we don't know exactly what happened, had a friendly conversation with Jesus, and now Zacchaeus is talking to Jesus, you have no idea what they were discussing. Luke 19:8 Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Lord, half of all I have I give to the poor. If I have blackmailed anyone, I will repay him fourfold. You have to understand that as tax collectors, generally speaking, except maybe in the Philippines, generally speaking in Jesus' day, they taxed more. This is how they make money. The portion exceeding the tax amount is theirs. Do you know what Zacchaeus said? I would give the money back, four times as much. I give half of everything to the poor. Do you know what Jesus said? Luke 19:9 Jesus said, Today salvation has come to this house.

You see, my friend, the way is narrow when you come to Jesus. There is transformation and repentance. You cannot come to Christ and have your life unchanged. Jesus never asked Zacchaeus to "sell everything"! No, because Jesus knew Zacchaeus' heart. Zacchaeus was determined to follow Jesus, even if others made fun of him. What many people don't know is that Zacchaeus later became a bishop. He later became a servant of the Lord. What can change a person? Today, I want you to listen to a story about a Yuan CCF member who came to know the Lord and see how his life was changed. We welcome Mark.

Ever since I was a kid, I watched my parents work hard to not make ends meet. We were crowded into a small rented house of 20 square meters, and we later moved from Tacloban to Davao. As the eldest son, I was responsible for washing, ironing, and cooking for my younger siblings. My parents were away working at that time. My mom would take the bus from Davao to Tacloban to sell packaged sausages, and my dad would go to another city for work. I was a typical eldest son who dreamed of helping my family. As I got older, influenced by my peers, I started drinking, smoking, and getting into group fights because it made me feel cool. But despite these influences from my peers, I never failed in my classes.

In November 2002, I passed the Civil Engineering Directorate exam. In my first job as a structural engineer, one of our suppliers invited us to Manila for a product demonstration. The next day, the client invited us to St. Francis Church of CCF. This was my first time going to a Christian church. During that service, I felt like the middle-aged Chinese pastor was speaking directly to me. His message pierced my heart. At the end of the service, he asked us to stand up and pray, and before I knew it, tears welled up in my eyes. Once back home in Davao, I started attending the CCF church there and volunteered my engineering skills. However, my relationship with God was not growing any deeper. At the age of 25, I was appointed by a large company as a project manager on a multi-billion dollar project and supervised the construction site.

During this time I learned to compromise. Contractors would take me to bars, bribe me to give them projects, and quickly process their bills. Money and power tempted me. I easily made my first million at a very young age. Knowing I had enough savings and experience, I quit my job to pursue my dream of building a design and construction business. That same year, I married my girlfriend and a year later I became a father. In our third year in the construction industry, my partners and I started working on government projects. We engage in all kinds of cheating, corner-cutting, and bribery. We evade taxes. We would lie about the quantity of materials needed for a project. We can then easily bribe the inspector to sign without having to come to the site for inspection. We were able to obtain contracts through relationships without going through proper bidding procedures and certifications. Bribery and compromise become normal because everyone is doing it. Because of these deals, our business started to become more and more profitable. Despite all the success I experienced, I never had inner peace. I can barely sleep at night because of the heavy burden I have as a CEO. I rarely have time to spend with my family because all I think about is our business and money.

In October 2015, my wife and I attended CCF's couples camp at the invitation of one of our clients. I didn't want to attend because I didn't think I could make the time. But the couple who invited us were very sincere, and eventually, we agreed to attend. My eyes were opened listening to the testimonies and the preaching of the pastors. After that camp, I began to pray seriously and spent time reading the Bible and meditating on God's words. I wanted to understand God's guidance for me. During one of my devotions, I was convicted in my heart because I read the message of Proverbs 16:8: It is better to have a lot of wealth and act unrighteously than to have a little wealth and act righteously. I sincerely asked God to forgive me. I prayed to Him, "Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not living your way. I know I am bringing unclean food home. Please come into my heart and lead. I follow the path you have prepared for me".

Afterwards, I called my partners to end all illegal business. He was filled with doubts, but by God's grace he did not resist. It was hard at first because I knew our expenses would be high and I knew our income would be reduced. This process has been difficult and humbling for me. During my journey as a Christian, one of my clients even said to me: There are no Christians in business. This breaks my heart. I knew that man was also a Christian. This experience taught me that not all people who call themselves Christians are serious about their faith, and some live double lives. But God proved His faithfulness and provided enough cash flow to cover the business's expenses. During that time, I learned what it meant to obey His word and learned to trust Him no matter what. Walking with God is such an amazing journey. I communicate with Him often. I start and end every day of my life with a date with Him. I now know that God has given me the gift of being a builder and that my career is a platform for His glory.

So I'm trying to build the best building I can, holding on to His word in Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as to the Lord, not to men. He has given us a large believing family and encourages us in our journey. By the Lord's grace, I am used by the Lord to lead others to forgiveness and love. The more I pursue to know Christ, the more I trust Him. The more I love God, the more faithful I will be to Him. Because I am faithful to Christ, I am faithful to my wife, to my children, to my business partners, to my job, to my friends.

I am not yet complete in my walk with the Lord. I am still a work in progress, and I rely on God's promises to carry me through this process. I realized again and again that God would put me in the furnace like a potter, hammering the sword until all the impurities fell away, until He could see His reflection in the sword, and that was me. The Lord is always examining my heart, my character. When the time comes, I will finally stand before the mercy seat. I hope the Lord will say to me, "Well done, my good and faithful servant". I am Mark Sid Ferras, a steward, husband, father, follower of Christ, and who happens to be a builder. May all glory be given to God!

As you know, Jesus gives us warnings. The warning is: Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inside they are ruthless wolves. The apostle Paul also warned us, Paul said: After my departure some of you will become false prophets. So how do you know if these prophets are true or false? Friends, you have to look at their lives. The Bible tells us to check. Jude, verse 4, Jude, the brother of Jesus, wrote: For some have crept in, of whom men were destined to be punished long ago, being ungodly and exchanging the grace of our God for lasciviousness opportunity, and deny the only Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ. When you take the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, salvation by grace, not salvation by works, and you take that as a license to sin, my friend, you're walking the broad road. That's not the narrow road. So don't fool yourself into thinking: Because I have Jesus, I have my hands raised, therefore, I'm going to heaven, it doesn't matter how I live. This is simply wrong.

I remember a friend of mine who was a pastor told me a story about his son. He said his son came back from college one time... now you understand, in America, when people reach college age, they leave home. I don't agree with this, but what can I do? They are Americans and what they follow is their culture. Then one Christmas, he came home and he said, Dad, I really like college life. Why? Well, you know, drinking, partying, hanging out with girls. When my father heard this, he asked, "Are you a Christian"? His son looked at him, "Of course, Dad, I'm a Christian". The father said, "How do you know you're a Christian"? "Dad, when I was 12 years old, I raised my hand, and I walked up and I Baptized". The father said, "That's the wrong answer. You can't tell if you're a Christian based on that". You see, many people think, "If I raise my hand and I step forward, if I stand up, I'm a Christian. Yes".

Friends, look at what Jesus told us. Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. How can one pick grapes from thorns? How can you gather figs from thistles? Tribulus is a flowering plant. He's saying, they're not grapes. They look like grapes, but are not grapes. Everyone read: Matthew 7:17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Jesus is telling us to use your common sense. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 7:20 Therefore you will know them by their fruits. A year later, the son came back from college. He was very angry because his father said, "You are not a Christian". He was very angry with his father. But a year later, he came back. "Dad, I now understand what you are saying. I am a follower of Jesus now". His life changed. He understood what it meant to be a Christian. You have to follow Jesus. He was changed.

I believe many of you are here today because God wants you to hear this message. Coming to Jesus is a matter of grace, you do not earn it. But, through grace, your life begins to change, just like Mark's. Slowly but surely Mark's life underwent transformation and he reached a point where he was willing to give up material blessings to put God first. God is amazing. He looks at your heart. So, what do we mean? "You will know them by their fruits". Look at what the Bible says and read it. 1 John 2:3 By this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. So, how can you be sure that your salvation is certain? How can you be sure that you are saved? First, come to Jesus. How do you know for sure? There must be repentance. This does not mean you will never sin. Surrender, surrender, and then your lifestyle.

How is your lifestyle? Look at the scripture: We know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. So, do you live in obedience to His commandments? 1 John 2:4 If anyone says, "I know Him..." Grammatically speaking, anyone who always says, "I know Jesus, I know Jesus, I am a Christian" but does not keep His commandments is lying. of. The truth is no longer in his heart. I said, I don't judge people, you judge yourself. 1 John 3:10 From this it is revealed who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. (Everyone read) Anyone who does not do righteousness is not of God. The same is true for those who do not love their brothers. In other words, look at your life, that's the credentials.

How is your lifestyle? Are you walking toward God? Are you doing your best to obey God? That doesn't mean you won't fail, but if you fail, will you get up or say, "You know what? I'm saved. Now that I'm saved, it doesn't matter how I live my life". Me I remember my wife counseled this woman and she told my wife, "I'm leaving my husband and I'm going to be with this man". My wife said, "I'm sorry, why did you leave your husband"? "I'm not going to leave your husband anymore? Happiness". My wife said, "Why do you want to do this"? "Well, you know, God understands me. God wants me to be happy, but I'm not happy right now". You see, this girl invented a own god. In her mind, her God is in line with her ideas.

My friend, Jesus is saying: Enter through the narrow gate. The door is narrow and you can only enter by grace. The door is narrow, so God must change your heart. The door is narrow, so you have to obey Him. There is no life transformation, my friend, I don't guarantee that, I don't guarantee to anyone that they know the Lord, you know why? Look what Jesus said as He concluded this lesson. Let's read: Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven. (Not everyone. Many people will go to heaven, but not everyone.) Everyone read: Only he who does the will of my Father in heaven will enter. So the test of salvation is obedience. Obedience and salvation are inseparable. The two go together. Grace and obedience go together.

I did not say that you will never make a mistake or commit a crime. What I am saying is that your life should be characterized by obedience. That's how you should be. That's not to say you never lose your temper, but when you do, you know it's wrong. Just say, "Lord Jesus, I know that is wrong. I want to follow you". Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, we are not preaching in your name; In your name do I drive out demons, and in your name do many miracles? Have you noticed how narrow this road is? Just relying on your mouth does not guarantee you. Jesus said, "Many will say to me in that day," I call this the greatest disappointment a person can experience. The greatest tragedy you can experience is one day when you stand before the Lord and the Lord says, "You keep mentioning my name," this man can even do miracles, this man can even talk about Jesus, this man. People can even cast out demons.

Do you know what Jesus said? Matthew 7:23 Then I tell them plainly, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of evil. These people are living a double life, preaching on Sunday, but from Monday to Saturday, you do evil. Friends, that statement, "I never knew you," pay attention to the grammar. The word "knowledge" comes from "sexual intimacy". Jesus is saying, "We never had a relationship. You don't really know me. All you have is religion". That's why your life hasn't changed. What happened to Mark? He had felt so bad. When you sin as a child of God, I can guarantee something. You're going to feel bad, you're going to lose your joy, you're going to lose your joy, you're going to want to change. I've been through this. When I rebelled against the Lord, I lost my joy. I said, "Lord, I don't want this life".

What about you? If you can sin and enjoy sin without feeling bad or feeling that you need to change, something is wrong. So we're almost done, what's the message for today? What's the news today? Be sure of your salvation. Are you convinced? Are you sure today where you want to go in the future? Where will you be after you die? I am reminded of the story of Einstein. How many of you have heard of Albert Einstein? Einstein, a great mathematician and scientist, wrote the famous formula E=MC2 (square). The atomic bomb was built based on this theory. Well, he had finished teaching at Princeton that day, and he was on a bus, no, on a train. Then the conductor came to him.

This may be apocryphal, but this story was shared by Billy Graham. The ticket inspector waited for him to take out the ticket. Therefore, Einstein was anxious to find his ticket. The ticket taker said, "Sir, it's okay, I know who you are. You're Dr. Einstein. No problem, I know you have the ticket. Don't worry". So the ticket taker went to the next person and wrote on each ticket Punch. When he looked back, he saw Einstein crawling on the floor, looking for the ticket. So he walked back, "Sir, sir, I've told you, we recognize you. Don't look for tickets". Einstein said, "I know you recognize me. I know who I am. But I don't know what I want. Where have you been"?

Friends, Billy Graham said, "One day, you will hear that I have passed away. I know who I am, and I know where I am going". Do you know where you are going? Don't be fooled by others, and don't fool yourself. Jesus told us, everyone read: John 10:9 I am the door. (Very narrow.) Whoever enters through me will be saved. Have you entered this gate? Some of you are envious, you look at this door. You like Jesus, but you have never committed your life to Him. You never repented of your pride, repented of your sinful nature, and you never wanted to turn away from your sin. You can't do this. The road is very narrow. You have to give up. This is called repentance.

The Bible tells us that the test of whether a person knows Jesus is simple. Jesus told us, John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them (intimacy), and they follow me. You have to follow Jesus. If you don't follow Jesus, don't lie to yourself. I don't know if you are following Jesus, but today could be the beginning of your entire life. You come to Jesus and tell Him, "Lord, I admit that I am a sinner. I need You". Look at His promises. "And I give them eternal life. They will never perish, and no one can snatch them out of my hand". You can be sure today that you have eternal life. You can be sure of your salvation. Because it is Jesus who wants to keep you. Hallelujah! It is He who wants to keep you. But have you entered through Jesus?

Please bow your head. If God has spoken to you and you are not sure, but today you want to be sure of your salvation, I want to pray for you, please raise your hands. If you want to feel certain about your eternal destiny, raise your hand. This is so important. It's possible that in the past you thought you were a Christian, but didn't know for sure. But today, you want to commit your life, and you want to be sure. Please raise your hand, raise it high. Actually, you know what? What I want you to do is between you and the Lord. You want to be convinced, stand up. Praise God, please stand up. Don't resist the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I want you to stand up and give your life to Jesus because you want to be sure. You want to admit that you need Him, you want to admit that you are a sinner. The rest of you, you can continue to bow your head and pray, but for those who are moved by God's love, God is saying, "I love you," God is saying, "I died for you, why don't you give your life to Me"? Today is your day. Who else? If God is speaking to you, do not resist Him, for today is the day of your salvation. Remember, Jesus will give you the strength and desire to follow Him, but you must understand that the door is narrow. There needs to be repentance, there needs to be a transformation. Don't confuse grace with repentance. Repentance is part of grace. Who else? Praise God. Now, those of you who are standing, please pray with me, like this:

Lord Jesus, I am not sure of my eternal destiny. I am not sure of my salvation. Today, I want to enter the narrow gate. Lord Jesus, I enter through you and through you alone. Please come into my life. You alone, Lord, please be my Master and be my Savior. Please help me, starting today, with a sincere desire Come follow you. Please help me to have not just a true desire, but the ability to do the things you love because I need you, Jesus. I accept your gift of forgiveness and I accept your gift of eternal life. Please help I share this good news with others this Christmas. Christmas is about your love for us. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen! Amen!

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