Sardis

You Can Be Immersed In Good Works Yet Still Be Dead In Sin.

Tim Lundy
Feb 14, 2021    41m
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Examining Jesus' message to the church in Sardis, we learn the eternal risks of being dead in sin. Yet, we also learn that if you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you are alive, and your salvation secure. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:01 Well Venture, happy Valentine's day, I hope for you, it's a great day. In fact, I wore this in light of the occasion. For those of you romantics out there, I wanted to wear some red for you. And maybe you're those a little more skeptical of the holiday, you think it's just a manufactured holiday to spend more money, in which case, again, I remind you, I hope you don't go into the red spending too much. And for those of you that hate Valentine's day, just this day, you don't want to think about other couples and their happiness in it, even for you, maybe you're seeing red today. See I'm an equal opportunity pastor, I've got something for everyone.

Tim Lundy: 00:42 Now, for some of you husbands and boyfriends, who about 60 seconds ago, you went, oh crud, it's Valentine's day. I don't have much for you, it might be why she's not happy with you right now. Here's what I'd encourage you, it's not too late, you can rally. It's probably too late to do something meaningful, which means you're probably going to need to do something expensive. You get one or the other, meaningful or expensive, this late in the game, I'd go for expensive and you can still save the day. But I hope it's a great day for you.

Tim Lundy: 01:16 In fact, I thought on today, it would be great to just pray for marriages, pray for families, this has been a tough season for a lot of people. And while I don't know about Valentine's day and all the different things with the holiday, I know that I want to pray and focus on the fact, just for a minute, that God would bless our homes and maybe bless your relationship as well. Will you pray with me? Father, I do come before you. I lift up the marriages of Venture, I lift up homes, I lift up families, I just pray, would you bless those relationships. We can get caught up in a lot of the ways the world tells us it's supposed to work, and we are sold a lot of images of what romance is supposed to be, but we know you designed marriage. And so I pray, would you bless the homes and the relationships of Venture? Lord, I pray for those today that maybe they are feeling lonely, maybe this is a day that their heart longs for that kind of relationship, I pray that they'd feel loved by you. Again, that we wouldn't get so caught up in how the world presents different things, that we lose sight of the fact of what it really means to be loved by Christ. Lord, thanks for your church, thank you that you love us, you call your church, your bread. And even as we look at these different churches, I pray that we would listen to your words, because they come directly from one who loves us the most. And we pray this in Christ' name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: 02:56 Well, we do want to continue on in this series where Jesus wrote letters to specific churches. And I'll remind you again, these are seven churches in history, real churches, with real people, and real problems. And in it we've seen as Jesus addresses these churches that a lot of times the situation of the church matches what went on in that city, and we'll certainly see that today. If you got your Bibles, you can turn to Revelation chapter 3, where Jesus is writing a letter, it's a short letter, it's a direct letter, to the church of Sardis. The church of Sardis, it starts in Revelation chapter 3 starting in verse 1. And Sardis, again, all of these cities, they're right there in what is now modern day Turkey. Sardis was a city with a rich history, it was a city that had a great reputation, it had a reputation for the many famous people that came from Sardis or who were there. The first Greek philosopher, Thales, he was from Sardis. The great politician who came from Sardis, Solon, and we know a lot about his law, he was a legislator. Xerxes the general was from Sardis. And maybe the most famous ,if you ever read Aesop's fables, Aesop was from Sardis. So it's this city, this town, that had this, this history of all these famous people.

Tim Lundy: 04:25 It was also known at one point as the capital of the richest kingdom of the world. And this was hundreds of centuries before, there was a king named Croesus, and he was known to be extravagantly wealthy. In fact, when I was growing up, my mother used to say that that saying, she would say, oh, he's as rich as Croesus. I don't know that people say that anymore, I had no clue what she was talking about, I just knew it meant somebody who was really rich. Well, she was referring to this character in history. Croesus was very wealthy, he funded a big army with it. He actually took on Cyrus of Persia, they went to war, even though he was advised not to. And the thing that the city was known for the most is, it was built on top of an Acropolis, on top of this mountain side, and so it had a walled city that was 1500 feet up. And Croesus would do what they often did when they get into battle, if they were losing, they'd go back into the city. And because they were 1500 feet up with the walled city, nobody could penetrate it, and he assumed he was safe. Except, Cyrus sent some climbers, and they climbed and scaled the 1500 feet, and they were able to get into the city and then open the Gates and let the army in. Historians have said that a single child could have defended the city, if he was watching. You literally could have just dropped rocks on anybody coming up and defended the city, but they were so sure that they were impenetrable, that they let down their guard and they were overrun. Now, if that's not amazing enough, the exact same thing happened about 400 years later. When Antiochus, the Greek general came, and there was another battle and it was set at Sardis. And Antiochus just read the history books, and he sent climbers and they climbed the wall and they let him in. I mean, this city never learned its lesson with it.

Tim Lundy: 06:30 So keep that in mind, because you've got a city that's got a history, a great history, great reputation in some ways. But again and again, they let down the guard. And of all the cities, you know, you can go to Turkey today, you can't find this city anymore. You can find some of the ancient ruins, it's right outside of a little goat village, there's just nothing left of it. Now I say that because this letter, and this church, reminds me a lot of the city. In fact, in this letter, Jesus, it's one of the most direct that he will write it. We've been looking at the form of the letter, Jesus always starts with the description of himself that gives us a clue of what's to come, he describes himself in a way that speaks into the issue of that church.

Tim Lundy: 07:19 And notice how Jesus describes himself, he says, “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: (two things) The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars." Now this phrase here, the seven Spirits of God, we know if you read through the Bible, there's one Holy Spirit, there's not seven. We serve a God who's a triune God, he's three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, they're all persons. And so when you see this phrase, the seven Spirits, what is he talking about? Commentators, you know, debate about it. Sometimes the word seven is used as to show the completeness, so he can be talking about the completeness of the Spirit. A lot of people think he's referring back, Isaiah chapter 11.

Tim Lundy: 08:07 Isaiah chapter 11, speaks of the Spirit of God, and it speaks about the sevenfold Spirit of God. There was seven characteristics, he's the Spirit of fear, he's the Spirit of understanding, he's the Spirit of wisdom. and it goes through these characteristics. And so many commentators believe Jesus, he's referring to the Holy Spirit, but he's talking about the full ministry, the full manifestation of the Spirit. And so what we take from that, if you look at it, as Jesus describes himself, he's saying I'm the one that empowers the church, he empowers his church. And how does he do it? It's through the Holy Spirit, he's the one that sent the Spirit forth.

Tim Lundy: 08:42 Remember he told the church in Acts, when he launched the church, this is a spiritual enterprise. In fact, he says, I don't want you to go anywhere, don't leave Jerusalem yet, you're not ready. Even thought they had seen that Jesus was resurrected, even though they now are starting to connect the truth of the gospel, until you have the Spirit you can't be a church, there is no church without the spirit. So he says, I want you to wait in Jerusalem, and when my Spirit comes upon you, you'll receive power and then you'll be my witnesses. So Jesus is reminding them of this, that he's the one that empowers the church, and he does it through the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Spirit.

Tim Lundy: 09:27 The second thing he reminds them, he says, I'm the one that holds the stars, the stars refers to the leadership. So he directs the church through the leaders who answer him, to the pastors, to the elders, to the spiritual leaders, he's put in place. And again, this is really important, because the church isn't like any other institution, it's not like any other organization that just kind of gathered. He says, no, this is a spiritual enterprise, and I've put a structure in place, and there's an accountability to those who are in leadership that ultimately you will answer to me on that.

Tim Lundy: 09:58 Now, one of the reasons he's bringing out both these things, the spiritual enterprise and the leadership, is there's been a failure in this church directly in these areas. In fact of the churches we've looked at so far, you know, usually there's a compliment at this point in the letter, usually Jesus says, hey, let me tell you something you're doing right, ,not in this letter. In fact, before you even get to the second half of the first verse, he's already criticizing, and it's a pretty direct and blunt one, look at the criticism. He says, “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but..." That's never a good sign, you'd hate for somebody to come up to you and go, you know, you had the reputation of being smart, but...You'd go, wait, but? That means, no matter what your reputation is, there's something coming. And look what he says, "But you're dead." You have the reputation of being really alive, and you actually are active. So when he talks about being dead, it doesn't mean this dormant, you walked in and nothing's going on, it's just the wrong things are going on.

Tim Lundy: 11:13 And so the criticism here, look at the direct points on it, the first is they're active and they have the reputation of being alive, they've been an active church. At some point, they were probably vibrant, at some point, he points out in this, that you did things in the past. But despite that, just like the city of Sardis that was living on its reputation, the church in Sardis, you guys have been living too long on what was and you've deluded yourself in it. And so Jesus very directly tells him in the second point, the reality are they are a dead church, and what he means in that is there's no spiritual life. He didn't mean there wasn't activity, he already said, I know your works, but it's dead., there's no spiritual life here and you don't even realize it. You know, I'm reminded, astronomers will tell you, that you know, if you go up and look in the night sky, and some of the stars that you see out there, even though the light is still traveling Earth, that star died already. Sometimes the stars can be dead over 30 years, and that light from a [inaudible] star is coming to us. Now you looked at it and you go, man, it looks alive, but the reality is it's dead.

Tim Lundy: 12:38 That's exactly how Jesus looks at this church, that you have this reputation, you have this look about you, man, I see through you, I know what's really going on here. And when he uses that term dead, in scripture, dead is speaking specifically, it's spiritual death. Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 2, look how he puts it. He says, "You were dead." He's talking about every single one of us, he's talking about those of us who are Christian. He said, "You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world." And not only that, "You're following the prince of the power of the air." He's talking about Satan, the one who rules this domain, "The spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience."

Tim Lundy: 13:27 See the reality is there's only two types of people in all the world, you're either alive or you're dead. I'm not talking about your physical life, I'm talking about your spiritual life, you're either spiritually alive in Christ or you're spiritually dead in your own sin. And if you are, you're trapped by the course of this world, you're trapped by the ruler of this world, you're stuck in that. And so everybody in the world falls into one of those two categories, and as Jesus looks at this church and remember, he's talking to the leaders of the church specifically, that you guys need to realize that your church is full of dead people. Your church, even though it has a reputation, it has activity, man, it's full of people who are not actually followers of Jesus. And you look at that, and that's got to be pretty sobering for us, that a church could be described in this way.

Tim Lundy: 14:26 Now, why would he say that? Well, he says that so that they can do something about it. You might ask yourself, well, how does that happen? How does a church go from at one point like a star, having that light. at one point having that vibrancy, at one point being people who loved Jesus and they followed him, to becoming a church that Jesus would look at and he'd go, the reality is this church is filled with people who are still trapped in darkness, man, they're still in their sin? They've never experienced real life in me, and because of that, that spiritual life is not happening. And you can look at churches, churches can become kind of like a charitable institution. And that's when a church, man, they're doing a lot of good things, and they're helping a lot of people, but there's no spiritual life behind it. They're really no different than any other secular charity, because it just became about the good works they were doing, not the reason behind the good works.

Tim Lundy: 15:30 Now as a church, do we want to do good works? Absolutely. but the reason we do that is to bring the good news of Jesus, they always have to go hand in hand. A church can become an institution that's a social institution, where people love coming to a church because I love that my friends are there, I have connections there, I have relationships there. And so if you look at it, really, the draw is just to hang out with people that I know and I love. Now again, would you go, is that a bad thing? No, as a church, we want to be like that, it's one of the things I miss. I miss seeing my friends here every week, I miss the relationships that come out of that. But when it just becomes about that, when it's just about relationships, it can become no different than a social club if that's all it is, if at the core of those relationships, there's not the good news about Jesus.

Tim Lundy: 16:27 You know, what I see the most is a church becomes a cultural expression, it's just kind of what you do, what you grew up with. You know, I grew up in the South, and that part of the United States, there's a name for it, they call it The Bible Belt, the stretch across America, where the Bible and church. I mean where I grew up, just everybody, you love Jesus, you love your mama, and you love college football, and it's not always in that order by the way, either. But that's just part of the culture, and everybody went to church, it's just what you do. Now, it's a little bit different here in California. But the reality is, and there's a lot of people that they've been around church, maybe it's that social expression, maybe it's a, you know, charitable good thing, maybe it's just kind of what you do in life. Now notice none of those things are bad things, all those things are aspects of why we're here. But if they become the core reason that we're here, if we just make it about social, or charity, or culture, man, you can look up and if it's not about Jesus, and the fact that we were dead people that he brought to life, and that spiritual life is here, and we're here to rally around him, and we're here to learn about him, and we're here to grow in him, when he's a part of that, you know what happens? It makes all those other things better. It makes those good deeds that you're doing have purpose out there. It makes those social relationships in your life groups and those connections, they get that much stronger. It makes the culture of your life and home have meaning and vibrancy. At the very core of it it's life, but you take that out of it, and I don't care how good the other things are, Jesus looks at it and says, man, this is death, this isn't working.

Tim Lundy: 18:33 So he looks to the leaders, look at the call to action that he tells them. He says, "I want you to wake up, wake up, strengthen what remains." What little you have there, "It is about to die, I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you have received and heard. Keep it and repent. If you do not wake up, I'll come like a thief, and you'll not know at what hour I will come against you." Man, this is strong, man, he's looking at these leaders. And look at kind of three parts that stand out to me in this.

Tim Lundy: 19:13 One, wake up to the reality of what's really going on in the church. Wake up to what's really here, because you're getting deluded by your own reputation. You don't realize how close you are, I've got to wake you up. It's like this alarm clock where he's just going, hey, come on, wake up. And he's very direct with them, because guys, this is a serious situation. And the reality is this has happened with churches all over this planet, churches that have died. There may be some activity there, but there's not spiritual life there. And so Jesus, he says, hey, remember, I'm the one that empowers with the spirit, I'm the one that leads the leaders of this church. And so for those of you that are there, hey, you need to wake up to the reality of what's really happening on your watch.

Tim Lundy: 20:06 And as you do that, look at the second thing he says, remember the truth of God's word and obey it. He says, I want you to remember, and he used that one line, he says, "What you have heard and received." Now that's a line in scripture, it's talking about the authoritative truth that you've heard, what you heard the apostles teach, what you heard about Jesus, what's been handed down to you. And so for us, I mean, we have the advantage, we have the [inaudible], we have the scripture, that was heard and received and given. And he says, specifically, you've got to remember what God said. And then I love that line with it, don't just remember it, you've got to keep too. Jesus said, if you love me, you keep my commandments. And so he said, I'm going to wake the church up. You know how you wake up the church? With His truth. He says, guys, start teaching the Bible, start remembering what he said, start keeping it, being obeyers not just hearers of the word. James, put it that way, he says, don't just hear the word, but be a doer be somebody that obeys the word. Because here's the reality within the cultural expression of church, I know some people, they love preaching, they almost love preaching as entertainment, and they follow this one, and that one, and that one. I mean, I can get caught up in that where, you know, oh man, that was good. Here's the reality, it doesn't matter how good it is if I don't walk out, and I'm not going to obey, what God said in his word.

Tim Lundy: 21:36 Jesus is real direct here, he says, you guys got to wake up, you've got to turn back to the word, and then look at the third part of it, repent. Repent, just turn your life around, hear this and respond while there's time. He says, "I'm going to come like a thief in the night." And here's the thing about a thief in the night, he never calls ahead. He never sends you a text, hey, you might want to be aware, 2 o'clock in the morning, I'm coming. No, that's the whole point, the thief in the night, you never saw coming. And then in the same way he says, I'm warning this church, that it's about to be over, I'm done with it, Jesus pulls the plug on churches. Now, let me be real clear, he never pulls the plug on his universal church. He's always doing his work, he's always doing his expression, he's always spreading the good news, he's always bringing people out of that darkness into light, he'll never stop doing that and nothing will overcome it. In fact, he says the gates of hell, can't stand against it. But a local expression of it, that organization, that group, that building, that meeting together there, he looks at it at some point and he goes, man, if you guys are not about the good news, if you're not about the gospel, if you're not about a spiritual enterprise, you may call it a church, you may keep doing stuff, I'm done. It's a sober warning.

Tim Lundy: 23:06 And as you look at that, you know, in some ways, I pray for the American church. There's so many things that God has done through the American church, our history, missions, and movement out of that, the freedoms that we've had, but there's a lot of unhealthy things in the American church. And as I look at that, sometimes we kind of get in this point of panic that we go, whatever's happening in the American church, that's really what's happening in the church. Here's a reality, God's moving all over this planet. Man, he is busting out in new ways, he's moving in places. It's interesting to me, because this church here, there's no word that they're being persecuted at all. In fact, it's a pretty wealthy city, life's pretty good for them, but somewhere along the way they went to sleep.

Tim Lundy: 23:53 And in the same way, I look at our planet, you know, we're some of the most blessed people on the planet. Do you know where God's moving, he's moving in some of the places where it's hardest to be a Christian. Unbelievable revival that's happening in China of people coming to him. Unbelievable revival that's happening in the Middle East of people coming to him. Movements across Africa, and other places. And I look at that, and again, I'm just reminded, I'm like, oh thank you, Jesus, nothing stops your church. But I'm also reminded, Jesus, where do we need to wake up? Where do we need to repent? Where do we need to align our lives according to your word. Now, I don't say that in fear because I think this is what Jesus would write to Venture, I really don't. But I also don't want to live off reputation, I don't want to live off assumption, I want to live off the reality of his Spirit, with his people, alive and active today.

Tim Lundy: 24:52 And one of the things I love about this, is the promise he gives even to this church. Look at the promise that he gives at the end of it, the commitment he makes to overcomers. He says, "Yet you have a few names in Sardis." There's a few people left there, "People who have not soiled their garments." And look what he promises, "They will walk with me in white for they're worthy. The one who conquers, the one who overcomes, will be clothed thus in white garments. I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." I love this from him, he says, there's not many left there, but there are some, let me make two promises to you.

Tim Lundy: 25:39 Look at the first promise that he makes to him, he says we will live blameless and faultless lives with him forever. He says, I'm literally going to close them in white. Anytime you see that clothing and white in scripture, that's representation of holiness, of purity. And so scripture describes us when we were dead, it says the best of our deeds were like filthy rags, it's like we're covered in filth. But when you come to Christ, he promises, I will wash them whiter than snow, and so when you come to Christ, you get clean. And I love that promise, because we need it. And you not only get clean, you stay clean. That promise of what eternity is going to be like, when you're in eternity, there your clothed in white forever. That's not saying that literally that's what our clothing looks like, we don't know on that part. What he's saying is though, you'll be in that purity forever, you'll be faultless forever, you'll be blameless forever.

Tim Lundy: 26:43 See, that's why it's so important, when people ask, they say, why can't God just let people in like they are? I mean, you know, if I was God, I would just let everybody in. Well, here's the reality, how many sins do you let in heaven before heaven becomes exactly like this place? Guys, all it took was one here, it was one sin on this created planet that was good, and look what's come from it. And so the reality in that eternity there, God says, you know, I'm protecting this forever, and I don't let one in, not in. And I can't pretend like people didn't sin, and I can't pretend like the injustices of the things that were done wrong here, I can't just pretend like that didn't exist, because that would make him unjust. And I don't think we'd like it either that we just go, oh, people are allowed to do whatever they wanted, and treat people however they want, you don't want a God like that. So only he could come up with this solution, that he comes to us here and he says, yeah, you're dirty, you're sinful. but because of Christ, because of his death, I can wash your clean, but you have to make the choice now. You choose now to receive that cleansing, or you're choosing to stay in that death and that sin, I can't let that in eternity, I can't let that into heaven, or it'll be no different than here. So that's why it's so important to make that choice now, so that you know you can be clean. And not just be clean, stay clean, I love that part of the promise. Guys, the person whose sin I get tired of the most, is me. I get tired of the things I do. I get tired of the people I hurt. I get tired of the things that I'll act out in. I get tired of it, and the thought that one day, man, it's gone, and I won't do that, and I won't hurt anybody, and I won't struggle with it. And I'll be right, and blameless, faultless, forever, man, what a promise.

Tim Lundy: 29:05 And then not only that, look what he promises as well. He says, we know our salvation is secure, and he'll claim us as His own. We know that once you've been cleaned by him, you're always clean, he doesn't go back on it, you're his forever. Now why do I say that? Go back to the verse. If you look at it, Jesus described it this way, he says, "The overcomer there'll be clothed in white.", we talked about that. "I'll never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and I'll confess his name before my Father and before the angels." I'll never blot his name out. The scripture talks about this Book of Life. What the Book of Life represents, is if you're follower of Jesus Christ, your name is written in the Book of Life. It means that you're part of the land of the living, you're no longer part of death, your name is listed there. And he says, in this promise, he says, I'll never blot that name out for the overcomer.

Tim Lundy: 30:00 Now, as I say that though, it's interesting, people have used this verse in this passage, a lot of people live in fear of this. He says, if the overcomers name never gets blotted out, but what about me, what if I'm not one of those overcomers? And some people actually teach, man, you can lose your salvation if you don't live up to it. In fact, years ago, friend of mine, I'm not going to give his real name, his name's, I'll use the name Tom. And Tom and I, we were close friends, and Tom grew up in a very strict tradition that taught that if you didn't live up to it enough, if you weren't the right kind of overcomer, you could lose your salvation. They'd use this verse in fact, to go, yep, see if you're not that, he says he won't erase it if you're that, but you could get your name erased. And Tom struggled, and Tom went through a lot of struggles in his own life. He struggled with homosexuality for one part of his life. He struggled with different parts. But he had made a commitment, despite all those struggles to really pursue Christ, no matter what it costs. And so at this point in his story, in his journey, he was pursuing Christ. He wasn't perfect in it, he was part of our worship team. And I was preaching through these churches and these letters. And Tom told me later, I didn't know it at the time, he was absolutely dreading that I was going to preach on this passage because this verse had been hammered in him. And he was going to skip that week, except he was part of the worship team. So I'm up here preaching, we're going through it, and he's sitting on the front row right there, I still remember it. And I got to this verse and described this, I said, the overcomer, your name is never blotted out of the Book of Life. And he's sitting there kind of wincing, because he's like, here it comes. And then I said these words, I said, who is the overcomer? And at that moment he told himself, well, I'm not, I'm not good enough.

Tim Lundy: 32:06 So here's what I love about the Bible, if you let scripture answer scripture, instead of us inserting the answers, we think if you let that Bible actually answer it, you get truth that sets you free. Because I said that day, and I'll say to you today, who is the overcomer? How do you know if you're that conquer? How do you know if you've done enough? We know John who received this revelation from Jesus, he also wrote other books of the Bible. And if you let John answer, John, you know what he says in First John 5, I love this. He says in First John 5:1, he says, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, you've been clean, you're born again, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him." So that part of it, and Tom would have said at that point, he said, well, I know I'm born of God, but I don't know if I'm this overcomer that will keep it. Yet, John answers though, a few verses later. Look at verses 4 and 5 of First John 5, I love these verses, "For everyone who's been born of God. (if you've received that) overcomes the world." Wait, wait a second, everyone who's been born of God overcomes the world? And this is the victory that has overcome, so how do we do it? How do we conquer? "Our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world?" You don't get any clearer than this. "Who is the overcomer, except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God."

Tim Lundy: 33:42 See, here's what scripture teaches, here's what I said that day, and I'll say it to you today. Who's the overcomer? It's the people that put their faith in Jesus. It's not based on what we did, it's not based on what we didn't do, it's not based on how good we are, or how good our life is. It's not based on the fact that we don't cross some magic line, that if you go over that, you sinned too much. It's not based on that, it's based on the fact that Jesus died on the cross, that Jesus overcame. And as I said at that day, I said, you know who the overcomer is? If you've put your faith in Jesus Christ, you're the overcomer. My friend, Tom sat there sobbing on the front row, because it was freedom in his life, there is freedom in the truth. There's freedom from this fear he had lived under, that he was never going to be good enough, that he might still struggle, that he was going to cross some line with God, and his name got erased, and his salvation wasn't secure. And to be able to preach God's word, to see him set free. He came up to sing the closing song, he could barely sing. And he was crying so much. And when he told me the story behind it, you know, the next time I saw him, he had this tattoo on his arm. He had tattooed the verse in Greek about the overcomers. He said, man, I don't want to look down every day and know this is true. I want to look down and know this truth about me because of what Jesus has done.

Tim Lundy: 35:25 And, guys, some of you need to hear that, our security is not based in our goodness, our security is not based on the that we won't sin again, our security is not based on the fact that we're so powerful to overcome. Our security is based on the fact that Jesus is good, that Jesus didn't sin and overcame sin. Our security is based in the fact of the power of the gospel that changes your life forever. And I love that line that Jesus promises, he says, "I will claim them before my Father and the angels." Man, I just have this picture of there is the Book of Life, and names are being read. And one name gets called out, and Jesus goes, yeah, he's mine. Another name gets called out and he goes, oh, she's with me. And at some point they're going to call it the name, Tim Lundy, and Jesus will speak up for me, and he will declare he's mine. Guys, I don't deserve that, I didn't earn it, I can't overcome anything, but I believe in him, and he earned it and he overcame. And I stand before you today, that I have the absolute security that one day he will claim me because I trust him and I trust his word. I hope that's true about you. I hope today that if you're someone who's put your faith in Jesus Christ, you could embrace what he declares about you, you are an overcomer, you don't have to live in fear anymore.

Tim Lundy: 37:50 You know my friend, Tom, that was 15 years ago, and I'm telling you, you know what he did with that freedom? He went out and he loved Jesus more, and he pursues Jesus more. And he still has struggles, life is not perfect, he's not being cured of everything, but he is absolutely committed to walking in the one who loves him that much. I pray you'd have that freedom too. And if you don't know today that your name's in the Book of Life. If you don't know today that you've been washed clean. If the reality today is Jesus would look at your life and go your dead because you're stuck in your sins, guys, today is the day of salvation. Receive his forgiveness, know that your name is written there, know for a fact today that when that day comes and your name is called, Jesus will stick his hand up and go, yes, she's mine, he's mine, they're with me.

Tim Lundy: 39:03 If you don't know that, I'm going to invite you to pray with me right now, so that you can, so that you can experience that security. In fact, I'd just ask wherever you are, wherever you're watching this, just bow your head. And if you don't know that you have that life in him, would you just tell him that? Would you say, Dear Jesus, I'm dead, I can't get there on my own. I know that I have sin, and I don't want to stay this way. So I believe, I believe you're God, I believe he died on a cross, I believe that you'll forgive me right now, and I believe in You I am an overcomer.

Tim Lundy: 40:00 Lord, I pray for everyone who prayed that prayer. I pray they would know that in their heart, that because of what you did, we have this truth. Lord, I pray, they'd take next steps in you, I pray they'd reach out, I pray they'd be a part of your church and your body. We pray this place would be filled with that kind of life. Lord, I pray for anyone out there that maybe for years they've known you, but they've lived in the fear that somehow you're going to kick them out of that relationship, they've lived in the fear that someday you'd erase their name. Lord, I pray they'd take you at your word today, that they would live in that freedom, and experience life in the one who one day will claim us, experience life in the one that we pray today in his name. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600