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The Door to the Kingdom Is Framed in Faith

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The Door to the Kingdom Is Framed in Faith

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The Door to the Kingdom Is Framed in Faith

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Faith is central to all of God's plans. Faith is central to God having a family. Faith is central to there being a Savior. Faith is central to one being in the Kingdom of God.

Transcript

 For six days we have pictured the coming wonderful world tomorrow and the Kingdom of God. As this Feast that we’re in right now draws to a conclusion at sunset today – which actually begins another Feast, the Eighth Day -- and you’ll hear more about that tomorrow – I have a very significant and critically important subject to cover with us – these nine words: The Door to the Kingdom Is Framed in Faith. That’s the title and that’s the subject. Nine words that are critically important, because faith is central to God’s plan, faith is central to God having a family, faith is central to there being a Savior, and faith is central to anyone being in the Kingdom of God. The door to the Kingdom is framed in faith.

What these words convey is intrinsic and indispensable for there being a Kingdom, a Savior, and an entrance into it with Them. All of this – a Kingdom, a Savior, and entrance – is a work of faith – faith exercised from the very beginning of God, by God – not of God in the sense of existence – He’s always existed – but from the very beginning exercised by God.

See, faith built a family. When you say the word father, you’re talking about family. When you say the word son, you’re talking about family – father and son. God became a Family – Father and Son. And it’s faith that adds to that family. Faith plays a central role in there being a Kingdom of God and also, our being a part of it.

I heard a definition long ago of the Kingdom of God, and I’ve never heard a better, as far as being very succinct and very thorough. And it went like this – and I think most of us in here will recognize this definition: The Kingdom of God is the Family of God administering the government of God.

God the Greater – that is, in authority – God the Greater and God the Word wanted a family. And They were willing to pay the price in order to have one. So, God purposed a Kingdom. He purposed an eternal Family. And to carry out that purpose required faith – faith on His part.

See, God is a being of love. We know that – John defined Him. If you could take one word and define God – L-O-V-E – agape. One word would define Him. But He is a being of love who steps out on faith. See, love steps out in faith. Faith exercises and expresses love – His love. God’s core, which is agape, which is love, is wrapped, or clothed, in faith. The God of love is also the God of faith. What they were going to do, there would be no going back. The reality of the relationship, the reality of their existence would be forever changed. And they, at some point said to themselves – to each other – “We can do this. We can do this.”

God the Greater and God the Word had implicit trust in each other and in their power – the Holy Spirit – their power to pull it off. If you notice in Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
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…in Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
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, it says:

Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
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“…how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit” – through the eternal Spirit – “offered Himself without spot” – or that is, fault – “to God”) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Now, working out the plan, working out the details – and They certainly had to do that – it had to have gone something like this – you know, the plans as we know them now from Scripture, and the fruits, and all of that – we know that, at some point, as they worked out the plans and details, it had to go something like this: God the Word had to have said something like, “I will become flesh and blood. You will give Me the Spirit without measure. I will finish the work, die, and You will resurrect Me.” And God the Greater would have said, “Yes, I will.” And so the Father/Son, which is parent/child, family pattern – because that’s exactly what it is – family pattern was set in place and put into action when Mary became pregnant. They planned it, the detailed it, and they started it – put it into action. It went into action when Mary became pregnant with the Son of God.

At that point, God the Word was no longer of spirit composition with God the Supreme. He became of matter composition at that time. He did have God’s Spirit from the womb without measure. We do know that. But at that time, He was no longer of spirit composition with God the Supreme. Now think about it. This was a tremendous leap of faith. This is the greatest exercise of faith that has ever been, is, or ever can be. Christ is the epitome of faith. He is the epitome of faith.

See, when Jesus Christ voluntarily – there was no forcing Him to do it – when He voluntarily gave up the powers of Godhead – now He was still God in the flesh, but He gave up the powers of Godhead and He gave up spirit composition – when He entered the realm of matter to become mortal for a time, when He gave up inhabiting eternity to become a limited being locked into time and space, He was totally – one hundred percent – dependent on the Father. He was showing absolute, total, unwavering, implicit faith and trust in the Father. Because see, without the Father resurrecting Him, He could not return. Without the Father resurrecting Him, He could not re-enter eternity. He knew He could not bring Himself back from the dead. He knew the Father would have to resurrect Him. He was totally – as we might put it in the vernacular – at the mercy of the Father.

When the apostle Paul was preaching in the synagogue at Antioch – and you don’t have to turn here – but there’s just a succinct little statement that kind of says it all, in one sense, in Acts 13:30 Acts 13:30But God raised him from the dead:
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– there when Paul was preaching in the synagogue at Antioch. In the message he said:

Acts 13:30 Acts 13:30But God raised him from the dead:
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“But God raised Him from the dead.”

That’s how Christ came back from the realm of matter into the spirit realm and became of spirit composition again – because God raised Him from the dead. I want you to think about something, because God has made us and given us minds. We can think and we can weigh and we can consider. And there are things we can relate to. It crosses your mind, obviously – certainly did mine – if there had been even the slightest doubt – I mean, even the tiniest doubt in Christ’s mind that the Father wouldn’t resurrect Him and bring Him back – He wouldn’t have volunteered to go. But see, there was no doubt. There was full trust. There was full faith. And there was unwavering trust – unwavering trust – in the Father’s integrity and faithfulness. There was total faith in the Father’s support.

Think of another aspect that many times we talk about in the springtime, to some degree, when we talk about the sacrifice of Christ. For Jesus Christ to put Himself within potential reach of Satan required tremendous faith in the Father and also in the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. Again, in Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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, it says:

Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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– “
For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points” – in all points – “tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

If you were to step into Satan’s perspective – and you sure don’t want to be there very long – but if you were to step into his perspective, to him it was almost too good to be true – that the One who created him, the One whose throne, along with the Father’s that he coveted, and he wanted, and he tried to take in his insanity, that that Being had come to earth and become flesh and blood, and he had the opportunity to tempt Him – to get to Him – the potential. That had to be too good to be true to Satan. Because, see, if he could just get Christ to sin – just one little sin – doesn’t have to be a big one – just one sin of thought, or one sin of word, or one sin of action or deed – just one little sin, then he could prevent Christ from returning to eternity and God having a family, and leave God – the Greater God the Father – alone forever.

Now this takes us back also to the planning long ago. So again, we go back to long ago, and there had to be a conversation, or conversations, along the line of – with God the Greater and God the Word: “We want a family. We’re going to have a family. That’s the end game. That’s the goal. But We’re going to hit a wall. We’re going to hit a barrier. And that’s going to the wall, that’s going to be the barrier of sin and death. It’s going to block us. And how do We get through it? We have to get through it. We have to make a way through it.” That’s when the Word volunteered to come and die as the sacrifice for sin.

I’ve always found it interesting – if you want to notice with me in John 10 – I’ve always found it interesting what this section of scripture is really talking about in John 10:15 John 10:15As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
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– Christ said – and John recorded it later:

John 10:15 John 10:15As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
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– “
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father. And I lay down My life” – I lay down My life – voluntary, willingly – “I lay down My life for the sheep.” And then, if you go to verse 17 and 18, it says in verse 17:

V-17-18 – “Therefore does My Father love Me, because I lay down My life that I might take it again. No man takes it from Me….” Now, it’s interesting. They took Him. They scourged Him. They beat Him. He was bruised, battered and torn – just no broken bones. And, in that whole process – being crucified – it was humans that did that to Him – their hands upon Him. And there was a human hand upon the spear that drove into Him – His side – spilled out the remainder of His blood and fluid. So what does He mean, “No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down. I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father?”

The main thing that He’s talking about, it was voluntary. It was willingly. He submitted to it voluntarily, willingly. That’s when the Word volunteered to be the Way – the way through that wall. That’s when the Word volunteered to be the Door. And it’s interesting in that same chapter of John there – John 10:7 John 10:7Then said Jesus to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
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:

V-7 – “Then said Jesus to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you’ ” – that’s what verily, verily means. “ ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, “I am the Door – I am the Door of the sheep.” ’ ” And in verse 9, He says:

V-9 – “I am the Door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.”

Now, one of the most famous accounts in the Bible – especially in the New Testament – is John 11, about Lazarus. Of course, we know the account, so there’s no need really to go back through it per se, but as Christ was coming upon the scene, knowing that Lazarus had died and been dead four days, as He came upon the scene in John 11:25 John 11:25Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
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, to Martha – Jesus said to her:

John 11:25 John 11:25Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
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“I am the Resurrection and the Life….”

And of course, a little bit later on, in the chronological flow of the book, in John 14 – again another familiar statement in John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
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, when He said this to Thomas:

John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
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“Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Me.”

He is the Door. He is the Way. He is the Life. And you put it all together – way, truth, life, resurrection, door. It’s all synonymous.

Ephesians 3:11 Ephesians 3:11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
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, says:

Ephesians 3:11 Ephesians 3:11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
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“According to the eternal purpose – the eternal purpose – which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord….”

Christ came to be the Door to the Kingdom. And that process started in the womb of Mary – as far as being carried out – it started in the womb of Mary and finished on the rough wood of the stake.  

There’s a statement that Christ made – if you want to read it with me, it’s in John 19:30 John 19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
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. But in John 19:30 John 19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
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, there’s a statement made there that some people try to say that it says something it doesn’t say. And what they usually try to say is, “Christ has done everything, so you don’t have to do anything. Since Christ did everything, you don’t have to do anything.” And that’s not what the statement is saying. And that’s not what He’s speaking to. In John 19:30 John 19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
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, as He hung there, breathing His last, it says:

John 19:30 John 19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
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“When Jesus had therefore received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished!’ ” Remember, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord? (Ephesians 3:11 Ephesians 3:11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
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) And here, as He breathes His last breath, as He dies, He says, “It is finished!” “And He bowed His head and gave up the spirit,” what was finished – what was completed – was now a door through the wall of sin and death into the Kingdom of God. That’s what was finished.

What He had come, as the prime reason – not the only reason – but the prime reason that had to be done – because if it wasn’t accomplished, nothing else would matter. Nothing else would matter. If He could not successfully do this, through the eternal Spirit supplied by the Father, then there would be no holy day plan, there would be no plan of salvation, there would be no Family, and there would be no return. He knew that. And what His mind was focused on more than any other single thing was providing that Way, that Door. What was finished and completed was now a door through the wall of sin and death and the Kingdom of God. So, again in Hebrews – Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 10:12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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– that’s why this is said in Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 10:12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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:

Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 10:12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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– “
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God….” It’s accomplished. It is forever accomplished – that there is a way through that wall of sin and death.

And of course, obviously, corresponding to that would be that famous scripture in Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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:

Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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“Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

One of the things that’s going on in Christianity now – greater Christianity – and has been for some time – and I understand some of the reasoning behind it that drives it – there are more and more and more “Christians” who are accepting the idea that there could be another way to salvation other than just Jesus. That’s heresy! But it also speaks to the tremendous continual deception that is going on, and how deceptions will grow more and more as we get closer to the end of the age, and how that Christ, the very first thing He warned the disciples of in Matthew 24 – the very first thing He mentioned – was deception.

Anyway, Christ, as the Door through the wall of sin and death and to the Kingdom of God is established forever. See, that eternal Door is a door of faith – framed in faith. That eternal Door is a door of faith that hangs on a framework of faith. It took faith to create the Door. It takes faith to access or use the Door. The Door to the Kingdom is framed in faith. God the Greater, God the Word wanted a family. They purposed it, they planned it, and they set the pattern. They exercised total faith in their power to accomplish such. Active, living faith on their part was a necessity. It was indispensable. Their plan was formulated and framed in faith.

God the Word became flesh. The Word became the Door, the Way, the Life, the Resurrection to their Family. Faith was illustrated and exercised by both the Father and the Son in the successful accomplishment. Active, living faith was a necessity. It was indispensable. Faith framed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Personally accessing and utilizing the Door – Jesus Christ – requires active, living faith. Faith is a necessity for entering through the Door into the Kingdom. Faith is indispensable. Our obedient walk with God is framed in faith.

Now, Christ is a strong Door. He’s a strong framework. There is no kicking in the Door. There is no battering it down. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these bouncers contests, where these bouncers have this contest to see who can knock the door down. They’ll run at it and hit with their shoulder with their full power and bounce off, in some cases, and sometimes the door will crash inward. Or, we’ve seen the police take a battering ram and batter a door in. Well, there’s no kicking in this Door. There’s no battering it down. Faith created the Door. Faith utilizes the Door. Faith swings that Door.

When we’re counseling with folks for baptism, there are a couple of things that we usually make sure that we do mention. I mean, there are a number of things we need to cover, but heart and core – center stage, so to speak – is like, number one, repentance toward God, and number two, faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Repentance towards God and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ – faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

In Romans 3:25 Romans 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
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, it says this – and again, a familiar scripture – Romans 3:25 Romans 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
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:

Romans 3:25 Romans 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
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“…whom God set forth to be a propitiation” – or a stand-in – how? – “through faith in His blood” – faith in His blood – “to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

And then, going on to a later time, in the words of John, in 1 John 1:7 1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
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, John said this:

1 John 1:7 1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
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“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ” – His Son – “cleanses us from all sin” – the blood of faith. It took faith for Christ to provide that blood and we have to have faith in that blood.

Now, you don’t need to turn back with me to Exodus. I just want to make a point or two regarding the physical Passover lamb – its blood, which represented the supreme sacrifice – Passover sacrifice to come in the blood of Christ – because there is a parallel because it was picturing the coming Passover – the supreme Passover and His blood – the atoning blood of Christ. Again, you don’t need to turn back there with me, but in Exodus 12:7 Exodus 12:7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
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, the instruction was:

Exodus 12:7 Exodus 12:7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
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“And they shall take the blood and strike it on the two side-posts and on the upper door-post of the house” – or the lintel – “wherein they shall eat it.” That was the blood of faith on the door frame. The door frame of the door had the blood of faith on it. Verse 22 says:

V-22 – “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel” – the cross piece at the top – “and strike the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin, and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.” The blood of faith on the door frame created a door of physical salvation from death.

Their faith in the physical Passover lamb’s blood was a door of life for them. To put that blood on the door frame in faith, and to go through that door inside was security and safety. Their faith in the physical Passover lamb’s blood was a door of life for them.

Have you noticed in that account? There was no blood on the threshold. There was no blood on the threshold. They were not going to step over or step on it. It was not going to be trampled underfoot in any sense or any way.

The blood of faith – full faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. When John, the apostle – the last man standing of the original apostles – when he wrote what he did in 1 John 1:7 1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
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– that we read – when he wrote that, from what we can gather, he was in his 90s AD. He was writing in the 90s AD. He had seen about six decades or so of the church, and all that occurred with the church and the people of God – all the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and all of that. In writing what he did, remember what he said in verse 7, that we read? He says:

1 John 1:7 1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
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“…and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”

I baptized a young lady before the Feast this year, and made it clear to her – which it had been at a previous time too, for that matter – that whatever sin of thought, whatever sin of word, whatever sin of deed – it was on the record – that, in the blood of Jesus Christ, as pictured by the watery grave – being baptized into Him – buried into Him – that His blood just completely cleanses the record of all sin. No matter what’s in the past, if you’ve repented of it, if you’re sorry for it and you have repented, and you have intentions never to do it again, and you make those kind of efforts – you’ve repented of it – the blood of Christ washes your record completely clean.

But what about trampling on the blood of Christ? What about walking on it, in one sense? What about lack of faith? What about diminishment? What about cheapening? What about treating lightly? What about trampling underfoot? What about not counting it as having the value that it does?

I’ve had a few conversations over the years with some members – a few, not many, but a few – where it’s gone something like this. “Mr. Beam, God can’t forgive me. My sins are too great for God to forgive me. If you knew what I had done long ago….” “Well, have you done it again?” “No, but I did it twenty years ago” – five years ago, forty years ago, whatever. “My sins are too great. My sin is too great for God to forgive me. Yes, yes, yes, I’ve repented, but God can’t forgive me of the sins I’ve committed” – or of “the sin I’ve committed.” “If you only knew….” “Well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to know. I don’t need to know.” God knows.

Here’s what this lack of faith in the blood of Christ translates into. “My sins, as a human being, are greater than the life-blood of the Creator.” I want you to stop and think about something. Christ became flesh and blood. His life – just like the Bible says, that the life is in the blood – His life was in His blood. That’s why, when He poured out his life as a sacrifice – poured out his blood – He was pouring out His life. But the blood of a flesh and blood being – human being – it’s life-blood. And His life was in His blood. Now, again, He had the Spirit power of God from the womb without measure, but His composition was flesh and blood. And so a person is saying – they don’t mean to be saying this, I realize it, but they’re saying – “The life-blood of the Eternal God is not worth enough to cover my sin, or my sins. My sins are bigger than God. The life-blood of Jesus Christ is not as big as my sins. The Creator, who created all, and who created us, and who came to earth, and His life was in His blood, and He poured it out for us, it’s not valuable enough, worth enough, precious enough to cover my sin as a little finite human being, who’s repented of it.” When you put it in that perspective – and usually when I put it in that perspective with someone where that is the issue – “Oh, I get it. Yeah, and I realize the way I’ve been thinking, I’m sinning. And I repent.” And there’s also a great measure of relief for them.

The door to the Kingdom is framed in faith. And that includes and involves our – and this is a key word – personal – personal, personal, personal – faith. Remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 1:24 2 Corinthians 1:24Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.
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? And, of course, what we take out of this a lot of times – and rightly so – is that we, as the ministry, are not to be overlords. We’re not to try to dominate your faith. We’re not to be overlords. We’re to be servants, as was so well covered by Mr. Kubik. We’re to be servants. And we’re to be helpers of your joy. And so, we read that verse, and Paul said:

2 Corinthians 1:24 2 Corinthians 1:24Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.
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“Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy.” But then he makes a point to the Corinthians, which stands with true Christians at all times. “For by faith you” – personally – “stand.” I will not stand by your faith. I’ll stand by mine. You will not stand by my faith. You will stand by yours. We each stand by our personal faith.

Now, can our personal faith – the way we exercise it – be a strength to others? Yes. Can it be a positive influence? Yes. Can it help strengthen? Yes, it can. But the bottom line is, our faith has to be very personal. One cannot and will not stand based upon another’s faith. Faith, by its very nature cannot be transferred from one to another. It’s one’s personal faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s one’s personal faith in God’s integrity and faithfulness. It’s one’s personal faith in God’s goodness that makes successful use of that door. And the end result of personal faith is personal salvation.

Notice with me in the two books of Peter. First, 1 Peter 1:9 1 Peter 1:9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
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. Peter wrote:

1 Peter 1:9 1 Peter 1:9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
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“Receiving the end”that is, the end result – “of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

In verse 5, he says:

V-5 – “…who are kept by the power of God” – there’s that Eternal Spirit – His Holy Spirit – “who are kept by the power of God through faith” – it’s exercised through faith – “unto the result of salvation” – who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation – “ready to be revealed in the last time.”

And then, if we went to the second book of Peter, chapter 1, and verse 11 – and just kind of break into the context, but still it makes the point:

2 Peter 1:11 2 Peter 1:11For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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“…for so, an entrance”an entrance – a way, a door – “an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

So, again, we come back to faith is key! Without faith, there is no salvation. Without faith, there is no true or lasting obedience. We live in a faith trying, faith dying, faith killing, faith busting time – age. Is it any wonder what Christ says about our time. Without you turning there, you’ll recognize the statement. It’s a pretty famous statement – Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
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– where Christ said:

Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
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“Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on earth?”

Now, He knows He’ll faith, because the faithful will be protected in a place of safety during the final three and half years of great tribulation. And the two witnesses will be faithful men. And there will be others caught out in the great tribulation who will be repenting and turning to God, and be doing faithfully before Him, and obedience – some will – to the point their martyrdom death. So, He knows He will find faith, so why does He ask it? Simply because it’s a rhetorical question with a purpose. It’s a rhetorical question to focus attention on a great concern and a great need. Because again, the end of the age is a faith trying, faith killing, faith busting, faith dying type of age that we’re in.

Why is faith so key? Why is faith the hallmark of the truly called and converted? Probably, if you were going to just give a basic solid sermon on faith – any kind of sermon on faith – you couldn’t leave out Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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, could you? That is key. And it expresses why that faith is so key, why faith is the hallmark of the truly called and converted. Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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– oh, how this rings our bell, so to speak! Or, maybe I should say not “rings our bell,” but “rings the bell.” Let’s put it that way.

Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” Do we really absorb that? Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. “Because he that comes to God must believe that He is” – that He exists – that’s the first part – and that’s one of the easiest things in the world, truly, to prove. The creation itself bears testimony to a God. “…and that” – number two, and what really is some ways, is more crucial – “He is rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” A rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We will only obey and live God’s way of life to the degree that we personally believe that – that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We will only obey and live God’s way of life to the degree that we personally believe that.

And, of course, in this book of Hebrews – if you just look, probably, right across the page – just look up a few verses really – Hebrews 10:38 Hebrews 10:38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
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– again, an admonition that’s mentioned four times in the Bible:

Hebrews 10:38 Hebrews 10:38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
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“Now the just shall live by faith.” The just can’t live any other way or you lose your justness. You’re not going to be classified just. If you quit living by faith, you lose your righteousness in God. You’re not considered just. And we’re just. We want to be just. We want to be considered just. “Now the just shall live by faith.”

And I say, “Okay, by what faith? Faith in what?” Well, we’ve covered part of that. Yes, but let me spell it out a little bit more. Faith in what? Ironclad belief that God is faithful. That’s crucial. Ironclad belief that God is faithful – absolute trust in His integrity. Absolute trust in His integrity – full assurance of His goodness and support. Our special music – about God always being there with us – good times, bad times, ups and downs. Ironclad belief in God’s faithfulness.

Again, in the book of Hebrews here – Hebrews 10:23 Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
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. It says:

V-23 – “Let hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful that promised.”

And, of course, Peter spoke of Him as the faithful Creator in 1 Peter 4:19 1 Peter 4:19Why let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
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. When you get hammered and pounded, especially for obeying God, and for seeking to obey God, and striving to obey God, and trying to obey God, and for doing His will, and you get hammered and pounded, and you suffer, heart and core in the midst of that must be our belief in God – that He is a faithful Creator. So, Peter simply said there, in 1 Peter 4:19 1 Peter 4:19Why let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
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:

1 Peter 4:19 1 Peter 4:19Why let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
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“Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls in well-doing as unto a faithful Creator.”

Probably no book in the Bible is more a favorite with me than the book of Philippians. I love Philippians, because, as has already been said in one or two of the messages here, Philippians is a book of encouragement. And sometimes when I’m talking with someone who’s despondent and down and depressed, I’ll say, “Just read Philippians. Read Philippians. And don’t blow through it. Just take your time, and read it, and think on it.” And, of course, the Bible study by Mr. Kellers the other night was on Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
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, about the positivity to think on. But one of the reasons that the book of Philippians is such a book of encouragement is because it speaks of God’s faithfulness, doesn’t it?

Let me illustrate that. You can follow with me, if you want to. But I’m just going to read five verses from Philippians that flow from the beginning to the end, basically. And this is why it’s such a book of encouragement – because it speaks of God’s faithfulness – like chapter 1, and verse 6:

Philippians 1:6 Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
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“Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it” will finish it – “until the day of Jesus Christ.” He’s not going to get tired of us and just back out on us eternally. No. He’s in it until the end. Being confident – having confidence in this – because He’s faithful – that He will stick with it, that He will be there.

And in verse 19, of that chapter 1, Paul said:

V-19 – “For I know that this shall turn” – or result in – “my salvation, through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit” – the supply of that eternal Spirit – “of Jesus Christ.”

And then, of course, chapter 2, verse 13 – verse 13 of chapter 2:

Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
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“For it is God, which works in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

And you go on to chapter 4, and verse 13:

Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
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“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

And then, finally, the fifth one in chapter 4, verse 19:

V-19 – “But my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus.”

That’s the tenor of the book. It’s encouraging. It speaks of God’s faithfulness. See, if God can create a door, He can help you to get through it. And if God can go through what God went through to create a door and to have a door, He’s definitely going to help us to get through it.

How big was Abraham? Have you ever wondered? Well, someday, we’ll know. But was he 5’2”? Was he 6’2”? Doesn’t really matter, does it? That’s not the size that counts. The size that mattered and made a difference was the size of his faith! The statement was made about Abraham: He believed in the Lord and He counted it to him for righteousness. We know the account, don’t we? God told Abraham, “Take your son, Isaac, whom you so dearly love, whom you are so bound to, and whom you would rather die for than him die – you would be willing to lay yourself, Abraham….” We know Abraham would have been willing to lay himself…”God, can I lay on the altar and die instead of my son?” He would have given his life for his son. But that wasn’t what God told him to do. “Take your son and sacrifice him.” He didn’t argue. He didn’t balk. And he had three days to be meditating and thinking on it as he went to the place where he was going to do it. And he went so far, that if God hadn’t stopped him – as we say, in the knick of time – Isaac would have been sacrificed. God saw that Abraham would do it.

See, Abraham had total – not partial – he had total trust in God’s faithfulness and integrity. He knew that God cannot lie. The Bible tells us that God cannot lie. And God can’t. And guess what? Abraham knew. God had said to Abraham, “Abraham, it’s through Isaac that your descendants will come. He’s the son of promise. And the promises of your descendants will come through him.” He knew that God would resurrect Isaac. He didn’t think. He was going to go through with it and he was going to sacrifice him. There was no doubt – no hesitancy. But he knew that God was going to resurrect him.

Notice in Hebrews 11:17-19 Hebrews 11:17-19 [17] By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called: [19] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
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– Hebrews 11 again, the Faith Chapter. Verse 17:

Hebrews 11:17-19 Hebrews 11:17-19 [17] By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called: [19] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
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“By faith Abraham, when he tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said” – and here was the promise – “that in Isaac shall your seed be called – accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from whence also he did receive him in a figure.”

See, Abraham knew, because God is faithful. He didn’t know whether He would resurrect him immediately after he was sacrificed, or the next day, or the next week, or the next month. He didn’t know when, but he knew that God was going to during this lifetime, because God cannot lie.

See, Hebrews 11 is faith’s row. It’s the Hall of Faith. It’s the heroes of faith. What’s the way that leads into that hall – to get your name in the hall, so to speak? Faith. The main point of Hebrews 11 is that faith leads the way to the Kingdom of God. The door to the Kingdom is framed in faith – faith that is ironclad belief in God’s faithfulness, absolute trust in His integrity, and full assurance of His goodness and support.

What about His goodness? Atheists deny His existence? Now, most of them do know in their heart of hearts He exists. They’re just mad at God and that’s how they take it out on Him. They just say, “Oh, You’re not there.” I mean there are very few true – true – atheists. But anyway, they deny His existence. Satan and his demons deny His goodness. And both are false. See, Satan could never convince the fallen angels that God doesn’t exist, could he? They know better. James speaks to that. They know better. But he busted their faith in God’s goodness. He’s a faith buster – always has been and will be, as long as he is running around trying to do whatever he can do. He busted their faith in God’s goodness. And he’s still busting people’s faith in God’s goodness. He’s an expert at it.

How does a person trust God when they doubt His goodness? I want you to think about an example in the Old Testament – again, very familiar – the ten spies. Now there were twelve, but I’m focusing on the ten, because they brought up the evil report – the ten spies at the door of Canaan, their Promised Land. It says this in Hebrews 3:19 Hebrews 3:19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
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. He says in Hebrews 3:19 Hebrews 3:19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
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:

Hebrews 3:19 Hebrews 3:19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
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“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” lack of faith. In what way was it a lack of faith? In what particular arena, you might say – or aspect?

Now, there’s a psalm – again, no need to turn back to that – in Psalms 78:41 Psalms 78:41Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
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that says:

Psalms 78:41 Psalms 78:41Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
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“They limited the Holy One of Israel” – limited Him. But in what way?

See, where was the real problem? Where was the breakdown of their faith? In their eyes, it was God’s integrity and goodness. It was not in regards to His power to deliver. It was in regards to His power. It was in regards to His integrity and His goodness. They didn’t doubt His power. They had seen His power on full display. These are the people that walked out of Egypt, seeing Egypt as a broken, smashed, ruined, war-torn country the way it looked. These were the people that were at Sinai and saw the power and might of God on the mountain. These were the people who had walked through the Red Sea with towering walls of water on both sides above them, and they walked through on dry ground on the sea bed. They knew God’s power. They had seen God’s power on full display. And that was fresh in their minds. What they doubted was His motivation. They had no faith in His integrity and His goodness. He really didn’t care about them. He didn’t have their welfare at heart. Well, you couldn’t count on Him.

Think about the ten spies report. “Yeah, folks. We were told…hey, it’s true. It is a land of milk and honey. Oh, it’s a wonderful land. Look at the fruit. We brought proof that it’s a land that flows with milk and honey. Oh yeah. We were told that. This is the way it is. But you know what, God hasn’t fully leveled with us. He hasn’t really dealt straight forward. He hasn’t dealt honestly with us. He’s kind of held out on us, and you know, the land is full of people. Everywhere! The valleys, the mountains, the hills, the coast. It’s full of people. It’s occupied. And boy, are some them strong! And on top of that, some of them are giants! And their cities have walls. God has brought us here for our children and our little ones to be a prey. We have been dealt with in a very dubious way.” It wasn’t God’s power. Their lack of faith was in His goodness, His integrity, His faithfulness. And so, they gave into fear. Fear. And they drew back. They withdrew from going forward. And they – that generation – 20 and above – they lost the Promised Land. Over the next forty years, they died in the wilderness.

But you think about it. Fear fueled their failure. Fear fueled their failure. Faith always goes forward. Faith always goes forward. Luke 12:32 Luke 12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
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– wonderful little scripture – where Jesus, looking at His disciples simply said:

Luke 12:32 Luke 12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
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“Fear not” – don’t fear – “little flock.” And here’s the reason He gave for not fearing. “Don’t fear, little flock, for it is God’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”

It is God’s – it is our Father’s – good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. God will always do what is ultimately best for helping a person to be in His Kingdom. Do we truly believe that? Do we really believe He’s thoroughly involved in our lives to facilitate that happening? Do we really believe in His goodness? And His support? His motivation toward us? Do we believe Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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– that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? That we can step out in faith – not fearing – looking at His commands, obeying Him, taking on His way of life, having active living faith – which is what you need to have pleasing obedience before Him – that He’s backing us, that He’s there, and even if we suffer, as Peter said, we’re looked after by a faithful Creator. God is love. Do we really believe that? Well, hopefully, we all – each and every one – do, and to the depth that we need to, and if we do, then we’ll truly trust Him, because we know we can trust Him. God can lead and develop the believer.

These are important questions because…question: How can God put into His eternal family – into His Kingdom – someone who doesn’t have total faith in His integrity and goodness. Can God fully trust someone who doesn’t fully trust Him? Will God say, “He doesn’t trust Me. I am not pleased with that, but I’ll give him the Kingdom anyway?” I hate to impart this sad news, folks, but God will not resurrect any question marks. The question marks have to be removed while we’re flesh and blood. God will put into His Kingdom those who have come to truly trust in Him, because He can trust them. A faithful Creator wants and needs a faithful creation. That’s a family that He can trust and count on. That’s a family that He doesn’t have to worry about turning His back on. Revelation 19:11 Revelation 19:11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
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:

Revelation 19:11 Revelation 19:11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
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“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True” – Faithful and True – “and in righteousness He does judge and make war.”

That’s one of His names. I guess you could say two of His names, if you want to – Faithful and True, listed as a name, or both as names – but Faithful. And then in that chronological inset of Revelation 17:14 Revelation 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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– and this was covered very well the other day in a message by, I believe, Joshua Creech, if I remember correctly who gave it. And I believe it was Joshua. But verse 14 – Revelation 17:14 Revelation 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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, says:

Revelation 17:14 Revelation 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and they that are with Him” – remember? – “they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

God will have a loyal faithful Family of free moral agents – free moral agents who have chosen to live by faith – to submit to God, to obey Him, to walk in faith, to live by faith.

In closing, I’ll touch upon one final aspect of faith, because I run into this occasionally. And sometimes, I don’t run into it more, because sometimes people who wonder this don’t voice it. But some have been bold enough to voice it. And it goes something like this: “What if I get bored in eternity?” Now, if you’re going to be in heaven, floating on a cloud, playing a harp, I’d rather have a guitar, if that had to be the situation. I could imagine getting bored. And I guess, in one sense, it’s a natural question. But one of God’s names is Yahweh – or Jehovah – Jireh. And it means The Lord will See or Provide. Simply put, the Lord will always look ahead and provide. The Lord is the Eternal Provider. Once again, it comes down to the issue of faith – faith in a faithful God, who will always provide plans and purposes for us. Eternity will never ever be boring. God is faithful now and forever.

Two scriptures that I will close with. The first one is a scripture that I dearly love. It’s Isaiah 9:7 Isaiah 9:7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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. I love His government. I love His peace. I love the fact that it will never pass – that when it’s set in place fully, it’ll never pass. But I also love the word that precedes those words of government and peace. It says:

Isaiah 9:7 Isaiah 9:7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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– “Of the increase” – the growth, the expansion – “the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end.”

And the last scripture: Psalms 16:11 Psalms 16:11You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
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– the psalmist wrote:

Psalms 16:11 Psalms 16:11You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
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“You will show me the path of life in Your presence” – in God’s presence for eternity! – in eternity with Him and inhabiting eternity with Him, as His glorified, spirit-composed sons and daughters and younger brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ: “in your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forever more.”

The Kingdom of God is the Family of God administering the government of God. And the door to that Kingdom is framed in faith.