20-Beyond Ransom-BH Clendennen
The Pathway To An Overcoming Life Series
The end is always contained in the beginning, that's the law of physics. It always returns there. That first generation of the church was the only one to reach their generation for Christ. Here we are, the final generation, and we must repeat what that first generation did. God has miraculously enabled and supplied the need as we've gone across this world with the School of Christ. We encourage you to look on the web and see who we are. We don't have jet airplanes, I live in the same house I bought 36 years ago. I drive my car for 7 or 8 or 9 years long, have no need of nothing on this planet, because I don't desire it, owe no man nothing, so need very little money, the only goal is to tell men that Christ died, rose and lives, that they can be saved. I'd like to invite you to be a part of us. If you believe this is a message that ought to be heard, we covet your prayers. 95 cents out of every dollar sent in goes back out into the mission field. We have very low overhead, and we are here to reach the world.
God says My sheep know My voice. You know, having a sermon doesn't make you the voice of God. God said to the preacher, if you will separate the clean from the unclean, and that means separate the flesh from the spirit, you can be My voice and you will be heard by My sheep. I've operated around the world on that. That if I stayed true to God, and waited upon God, preached His message, then the elect of God will hear what I'm saying. If you are going to make it you have got to know what it is going to take. God wants His elect to hear these messages.
Once you have heard truth, not to do that truth makes you foolish. We are going to talk about being beyond ransom.
Job 36:18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
We are talking about the unpardonable sin. This may be one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible. You see, the unpardonable sin is not a special act or deed of the soul, but a condition of the heart. It's a fact in all spiritual and physical things, if you refuse to do a thing long enough, the time will come when you cannot. Those Pharisees of the New Testament followed Christ, miracle after miracle. They saw the proof of His divinity as He raised the dead to life. The demon possessed were set free. The miracles that happened, they watched, they saw. Yet, they walked away and sought to kill Him. But there come this time, when He delivered that child from a terrible condition, and they walked away, and He made this declaration, therefore they could not believe. Up to that point, the possibility of believing was always there. But at that moment, that heart became and brought to it, a place impossible to believe. Think of the horror of coming to the place you can't believe.
When you hear the Gospel, when God is dealing with you, like He has all through these lessons, He is dealing with us about our spiritual conditioning. Opening ourselves up to see ourselves as He sees us, and tells us the remedy of coming back and being right with God. As a sinner, the first time you hear the Gospel, you have to make a choice. Your first reaction to that Gospel is to say no. So you did. That no was registered in your brain. The next time that opportunity comes, your first reaction is to give the same answer you gave the first time, so you've said no a thousand times. And the time comes when all you can do is say no. It's a condition of the heart. Our lesson talks about a man beyond ransom, where it's impossible to deliver them.
Trouble makes some men mad. It was so with Job. He lost everything, and the losses led to exasperation instead of spiritual profit for the moment. He was in the condition that many of you are in. Things have not gone well, you've lost much, and you feel disgusted and impatient with God and the world around you. You are now in the condition Job was when the words of my text accosted him.
Beware lest he take you away with his stroke, then a ransom cannot deliver you. I propose to show you in this message that sometimes God suddenly removes from us our Gospel opportunity and when He has done that, we are beyond ransom.
For the past month, I've brought you a message that for the most part is rejected by the Pentecostal church, but this was the message they birthed in 1906. This is the message that came to life and made them and us the greatest force of the last century. If Jesus tarries, and history is allowed to give the record, there has been no revival since Pentecost that brought the Gospel so far. But today, we have denied the very truth of the Gospel that has brought us this far. The baptism of the Holy Spirit that made us the power that we were now has become optional or absolutely denied.
Sometimes the stroke comes with the taking of the mind, the intellect. God just takes the mind. There are those who have been in mental wards for years who once had as good a mind as any of you. While they had their mind, they neglected God, and when their intellect went, with it went their last opportunity for God's salvation. They aren't now responsible, but they once were and in that day, they'll give account for wasted opportunities. This is one of the most frightening messages, but it has to be preached. You that put off your day of grace are walking over hell on a rotten covering. Consider what an uncertain possession the mind is. Today we have Alzheimer's. Millions are affected by it. They lose all consciousness of things and time. The possibility of repentance then is gone forever. There are so many things around to destroy the mind.
I've stood by the bedside of the dying trying to speak to them concerning Christ, but from the glare of the eye, I knew they couldn't comprehend what I was saying. Their day of redemption had passed. I have no doubt there are many who repented on their deathbed, but I think it's an exception. You can't neglect this salvation for a lifetime and think in the last moments of your life that you'll be able to get through to God. There may be exceptions, but for the most part it never happens.
Albert Barnes gave these statistics. In nearly half a century of ministry, he'd known a great many people who said they repented on their dying bed but unexpectedly got well and not one of them lived for God. Don't wait for that moment. That moment, you probably are beyond ransom. Again, that opportunity may be lost with the withdrawal of God's Spirit. I know people who 20 or 30 years ago were serious about their soul, but today you cannot talk to them about this great God. No man, the Bible said, can come to Me, except My Father draw Him. These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. As long as God's Spirit can deal with a man, then the possibility of coming is there.
There is a testimony of a man who had sinned his day of grace away. He wanted prayer, not for salvation, he knew he was past feeling. He wanted prayer that he might be kept from suicide. Think of that. The unpardonable sin is not a special act or deed of the soul, but is a condition of the heart. Refuse to do anything long enough and the time will come when you cannot do it. I say with great trepidation to some of you, beware, lest you grieve the Holy Ghost and He leave you never, never to return. The Holy Spirit has dealt with your heart, and you said no, you've offered excuse after excuse. The Holy Ghost stands in your heart this morning with His hand on the door of your soul, ready to come out. Will you let Him depart? Will you accept Him or will you let Him depart? One more time could lead to His departure and sentence of Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him be alone. (Hos 4:17) One more rejection and that could be said of you. Should that happen, you may live another 50 years in this world, but your fate would be as certain as though you were in hell already.
There is a line by us that's unseen that crosses every single path, the hidden boundary between God's patience and God's wrath. Some of you have come to that line. You've lifted your foot, when you put it down, it will be on the other side. The story of Napoleon, his army had been in battle. The tide had come back and forth. Impossible to know the outcome. But then come a runner to Napoleon. He finally had news of victory. He never even looked up but said one more such victory will cost me my kingdom. Sometimes the fatal stroke comes with your exit from this world. There is no purgatory. You hear older people say they can't live much older. The fact is there are a hundred young and middle age people who die to every old person, for the simple reason there are not as many aged persons. A man's death is never in the way he expects or the time he expects. Suddenly, the event will be upon you and you'll be gone to grapple with the verities of eternity. The Gospel call stops outside the door of the sepulcher. The sleeper cannot hear God. I know there are those who teach of purgatory where a lost man may go down into the world of the lost and stay there until he's purged and reformed. That seems a most unreasonable doctrine. Is there anything in the society of the lost, the abandoned, the wretched of God's universe that can reform a soul? Can you go into the company of the Neros, the Herods, the Hitlers, and spend a number of years there and by that society be purified and lifted up? Is that the kind of society that prepares a man for heaven? Would you subject yourself to aids to regain your health? Common sense tells you no. What your common sense tells you, your Bible confirms. They shall go away into everlasting punishment.
Here, men are sentenced to life in prison. There is a change in politics and he's set free after a few years. There will be no change of politics in hell. There will be no new judge or governor of that dreadful place. If in one hundred years, a soul might come out of it, would it not be so bad? If in a thousand years, a soul could come out, then there would be hope. But if the Bible is true, it's a state of unending duration. Far on in the ages, one lost soul shall cry out to another lost soul, how long have you been here? That soul will cry, the years of my ruin are countless. No medicine to cure the miasmas1 of the soul. No hammer to strike off the handcuff of the awful incarnation. No insufferable pains of hell. The lost soul will cry out in that awful void where the echo never stops. Is there no way out? And the echo will answer back, no, no way out. The soul will cry, is it forever, and the echo will answer, forever.
Many years ago, I watched a man lift his foot and put it on the other side of that line unseen. I can hear his wretched groan today. I was called to go pray with this man. He lived in a small trailer house with his wife. He was dying of cancer. I went in, just a door and there was a little couch. He was lying on the couch. I began to talk to him about Christ. He said true religion and undefiled, is to honor the widows and the fatherless. He quoted it properly. I said, that's what I've come to tell you about, that true and undefiled religion. He said, I'm too sick today, would you come back tomorrow? I pressed on him for a moment, but his wife said no, please, go, she knew who he was. Come back tomorrow. I left there a very, very sad man. I saw something there. I just felt terrible in leaving that place but came back the next day. As they said open the door, and the door opened, and there was the chair that he'd set in, and the couch. When I opened that door, he began to curse me. He lifted that foot yesterday and put it down on the wrong side of that line. There was no hope. Three days later, he went to hell.
My God, are you listening? You've heard this Gospel. You said no to God. One more no may put that foot on the other side of that line. My son in law, who is a great preacher of the gospel, took the church when I resigned to teach this School of Christ. He'd began a revival in Tennessee. A great conviction was on the crowd. Many in the altar. There was a man standing in front of him, gripping the pew, and Robert, my son in law went to talk to him. He said 'Sir, I can see you're disturbed, why don't you come? He said, I can't come sir. What do you mean? He said Look, I was a preacher, like you, ordained, of the Assemblies of God. But I had an affair with a woman in that church, and it had been going on. One morning I was going to that woman's house. And the Spirit of God said to me, if you cross that threshold this morning, I will leave you, never, never again will I deal with you. I drove on, but I knocked on that door, and that woman opened that door. And the Holy Spirit said to me, Son, if you cross that threshold, it's over. He said to me, in spite of that warning, I crossed that threshold. I'm a dead man while I live.
Do you know Christ? Buddha can't save you. Hinduism can't save you. Muhammadanism can't save you. Only Christ can save you. He sent me to tell you. I've talked to you, Christian, about getting right with God, and renewing those vows. You can say no and it may never be said again. And you, lost man, may put that foot down on the wrong side of that line by saying no now. Kneel where you are now, ask Him to come in to your heart, and forgive you. He's faithful and just to cleanse you and make you His own.
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