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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 29, 2007

  • 2007 Jan 29
  • COMMENTS


Be Sure You're Anchored to Christ
Revelation 7

Satan knows that God has plans to save "a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands…” (Revelation 7:9).  

So to try to thwart God's harvest of precious souls and to prevent the world from coming to Christ, Satan has deployed legions of liars. False sign posts—all pointing people away from Christ. False teachers have been a part of Satan’s plan from the start.  

The World Detached from Truth--Shipwrecks 

Love of the truth as we saw earlier in II Thessalonians 2, is the proof of salvation. Lost ones never receive a love of the truth so they never seek out and find Christ's offer of salvation.

To not love the truth leads to “ship wreck”; it meant that the ship you trusted to take you across the dangerous waters had failed you and you were not going to make it. If you lose your ship in the midst of the sea there is usually no hope, no place to go—and certain death. 

Think of the implications of being in a doomed boat. Not believing the truth about God means that all who count on a lie to get them safely to the other shore—are lost forever! 

Remember that Paul uses this word to describe those who thrust away sound doctrine and try to sail on their own and without Christ's way, truth and life.  

1 Timothy 1:19-20 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. 

What can cause a soul to be shipwrecked? False teachers and belief in a false Christ. That was one of Christ's constant warnings.  

The most dangerous shipwreck is not the one that merely endangers your body. Jesus warns that false teaching can sink your soul as well. 

So how do we stay safe as these dark days cast their shadow across society, media, culture, and every other realm of daily life? Only one way—check the anchor of your soul. 

When the world darkens, culture crumbles, and truth dies—you know the end of the world is near.   

It is then that Jesus warned that the church would fill up with fruitless counterfeits.

 When that happens it is time for believers to brace for the storm that we know is coming. The waves will only increase. Spiritual darkness will only deepen as deceptions grow. 

These are days when we who know and love the Lord Jesus should reach into our hearts and grab onto our anchor line and feel it strongly holding us securely—tugging us homeward. Please open again with me to Hebrews 6. 

Jesus is our Anchor  

Hebrews 6:11-12, 18-20 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance (plerophoreo - to overflowingly wear or hold or possess or have)  of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. NKJV   

  1. Flee to Christ as your Refuge. v. 18b  
  2. Trust Christ as the anchor of your soul. v. 19a  
  3. Know that Christ anchors your soul in Heaven. v. 19b  
  4. Invite Christ to pull your soul towards Heaven. v. 20a  
  5. Rest in Christ's endless care for your soul.  v. 20b
  6. Understand that God sees us already safely in Heaven.  
  7. Worship Christ who anchors your soul!

Flee to Christ as your Refuge. v. 18b “we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” Salvation is laying hold of Jesus. Just like the disciples knelt at His feet and held on for joy when they saw Him risen (Matthew 28:9); and just as the lame man clung for joy to Peter and John after they healed him (Acts 3:11)—so we who believe and are stricken with our sinfulness, flee to Jesus as the only refuge from sin. When Paul knew they were planning to stone him (Acts 14:6) he fled to escape. So we believe Christ's promise and flee to Him our Refuge, to escape the dread consequences of our sins.  

Trust Christ as the anchor of your soul. v. 19a This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…  We have continual access to God’s presence, not just once a year through a fallen mortal man, but always—at every moment—through our Divine and Immortal Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.  

Know that Christ anchors your soul in Heaven. v. 19b This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil”. We are fastened to a rock that cannot be moved. Let the storms tear our sails to shreds; let the floors creak; let the gusts of wind attempt to blow us off course; let the tides overwhelm us; we shall arrive safely into the port.As our High Priest, Jesus serves as our anchor, who forever keeps our souls from drifting away from God—and becoming shipwrecked.

Invite Christ to pull your soul towards Heaven. v. 20a “where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”.  Jesus is our prodromos who has gone to prepare a place for us. Philip Mauro suggests that the picture here is that of the forerunner used in ancient times to help a vessel enter the harbor safely. He would jump from the ship, swim into the harbor, wade ashore, and fasten the strong rope of the ship to a rock along the shore. Then, by means of a winch, the vessel was brought in.  

Rest in Christ's endless care for your soul.  v. 20b “where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”. Just so, Jesus our forerunner has gone to heaven, where He stands ready to guide us safely into the Holy of Holies. Each day we are pulled a notch closer to the harbor by the One who proved He is more powerful than death. Each day we can feel the security of that anchor. Each day we can listen to the voice of our Savior and know through His Word that He holds us, He guides us, and He will stay with us until we reach our home safe at last. 

Understand that God sees us already safely in Heaven.   Hebrews 1:3 “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”.    As believers, our relationship with Christ anchors us to God. The most sacred spot in the temple that God had the Jews construct was called the holy of holies. This room was separated by a curtain from the rest of the temple. Inside this inner room stood a box called the ark of the covenant, signifying the very presence of God. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest of Israel entered the Holy of Holies and made an annual atonement for the sins of his people. But on the cross, Christ made atonement once for all time and for all people by His sacrifice. As believers God sees us as already secured forever by Christ and placed in the Holy of Holies in Heaven. 

“Once Jesus entered the heavenly holy of holies, He did not leave, as did the Jewish high priests. Rather, “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3). And Jesus remains there forever as the Guardian of our souls. Such absolute security is almost incomprehensible. Not only are our souls anchored within the impregnable, inviolable heavenly sanctuary, but our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, stands guard over them as well! How can the Christian’s security be described as anything but eternal? Truly we can entrust our souls with God and the Savior He provided.” [1] 

Worship Christ who anchors your soul! The Christian life at the end of days is so much like navigating a typhoon in and old wooden boat. Trying to enter a rocky coastal harbor during that type of storm would be hopelessly impossible. The waves would be raging, the rocks would be obscured by the darkness and foam of the seas, the tides would be tugging and the waves swirling our boat all around. But through the dark storm we would see the light of the safe harbor and on the boat we would feel the strong tug of the rope that held us safely to shore and tugged us bit by bit into that safe haven in spite of the fury of the storm!  

A century ago, this passage in Hebrews 6 prompted a song. That song captures what Christ's work for us has done. Let me read you these words. Examine your heart this morning. Is this what you have? Is Jesus Christ your soul’s anchor? 

"Will Your Anchor Hold?"[2]

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

Refrain: We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
Fastened to the rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviours love.

Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rave and the wild winds blow,
Shall the angry waves then your bark o'erflow?.

Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
While your anchor holds within the veil.

It is safely moored, 'twill the storm withstand,
For 'tis well secured by the Savio's hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro' strength divine.

Refrain:

Will your eyes behold through the morning light,
The city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore
When life's storms are past for evermore? 


[1] John MacArthur, Saved Without A Doubt, (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books) 1992.

[2]  Words: Priscilla Jane Owens, 1882 (at age 53). Born in July, 1829 Priscilla Jane Owens, American public school teacher, was born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 5 December 1907, Baltimore, Maryland). She spent here entire life in Baltimore, where she taught for forty-nine years. A member of the Union Square Methodist Episcopal Church, she had particular interest in the work of the Sunday school. She published several articles and poems during her lifetime, including the hymn texts "We Have an Anchor" and "Jesus Saves" (a.k.a. "We Have Heard the Joyful Sound").

 

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