A Message of Comfort and a Word of Warning
by Pastor Don Fortner
Sermon #16 Series: Isaiah Title: A Message of Comfort and a Word of Warning Text: Isaiah 3:10-11 Subject: God's Word to the Righteous and the Wicked
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Today I stand before you with a word from God for every person within the sound of my voice. I come to you with A Message Of Comfort And A Word Of Warning. Here is a message of comfort, a word from God to all his righteous people - "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat of the fruit of their doings." Here is a word of warning, a word from God to every wicked rebel, every unbeliever - "Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him."
Are you righteous? Then it shall be well with you. Are you wicked? Then I cry, woe unto you! Because you shall receive your just reward. You will surely die.
There are but two classes mentioned in our text, because there are but two classes of men in the world - the righteous and the wicked. All of us fit into one of these two classes. There is no middle class before God. You are either righteous, or you are wicked. It has always been this way. Some are of "the seed of the woman" and some are of the "seed of the serpent." In the first family there was a righteous man, named Abel, and a wicked man, called Cain. In the flood God destroyed the wicked in his wrath; but Noah, the representative of the righteous was preserved in the ark. Abraham had two sons: the child of the flesh, wicked Ishmael and the child of promise whom the Lord made righteous, Isaac. Isaac had two sons: wicked Esau whom the Lord hated, and Jacob whom the Lord loved and made righteous in his sight. Throughout the ages of history God has separated the precious from the vile, the righteous from the wicked. It is not God's intention that the two should ever be mixed.
The flood came upon the earth because the sons of God married the daughters of men. An unholy alliance was made between the church and the world; and that alliance provoked God to anger in the highest degree. The Lord God says to all his people "Come out from among them and be ye separate." "Be not conformed to this world." Children of God, we must not, we dare not form alliances with men and women who hate our God! We must not choose our companions from among those who are enemies to Christ and the gospel of his grace. God would have us to maintain a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked, the precious and the vile. God divided the light from the darkness. The light he called day and the darkness he called night; and he would not have us to call light darkness nor darkness light. The Jews of old were forbidden by God to sow corn and beans together. They were not allowed to plow with an ox and an ass together. They were not allowed to wear garments of linen and wool together. These things were forbidden in the law, because God, typically, was forbidding any unhallowed mixture of righteousness and wickedness, truth and error, or light and darkness. God will have a seed to serve him and fear him. They shall come without the camp bearing the reproach of his son. And they shall be distinct from the seed of the serpent.
The crimson line which runs between the righteous and the wicked is the precious blood of Christ. It is the blood of Christ that distinguishes the one from the other. Faith in Christ is the great mark of distinction. As that faith grows, the distinction becomes more and more apparent and necessary for both the righteous and the wicked.
Which are you? Are you among the righteous, those who believe on Christ, being washed in his blood and robed in his righteousness? Or, are you among the wicked, those who believe not, those who feel that the blood and righteousness of Christ are useless things? May God make you to know your own condition before him.
Proposition: If you are among the righteous, I have a message of comfort for you. If you are among the wicked, I have a word of warning for you.
I. Here is a message of comfort for the righteous.
I have this word from God, he commands me to deliver it to you - "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat of the fruit of their doings." Right in the middle of this message of doom, God carefully words a message of mercy. God is about to bring great calamities upon the nation: famine, war, and pestilence. But he says to his righteous ones among this wicked nation, "It shall be well. No evil shall happen to the just."
A. Who are these men and women that God calls "the righteous"?
1. We have been made righteous in the sight of God by the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us.
The Lord Jesus Christ is made of God unto us righteousness and we are the righteousness of God in him - (I Cor. 1:30-31; II Cor. 5:21).
The gospel of Christ reveals three distinct and separate acts of imputation.
Children of God, our righteousness in the sight of God is an unalterable point of law and justice. The law of God cannot reverse itself. The justice of God cannot declare us guilty - (Rom. 3:24-26; 8:1, 32).
2. We have been made righteous by God in regeneration (I John 3:1-10).
In regeneration the Holy Spirit imparts to us the righteousness of Christ. He implants within us a new heart of righteousness and a righteous nature.
B. What does God here promise to the righteous?
"It shall be well with him." You may read the statement as broadly as your heart's imagination will allow. There are no limitations to the promise. There are no conditions to the promise. There are no qualifications in the promise. To the righteous God simply says - "It shall be well with him."
God, who cannot lie, made the promise - Rom. 8:28). Our hearts respond, "Well, if God be for us, who can be against us. It shall be well with the righteous." It shall be well with the righteous always, and at all times, and in all circumstances.
My friends, God promises that it shall be well with the righteous; and he wants you to believe and know it and enjoy the fact of it. It shall be well with the righteous.
C. What is the basis of this promise?
Perhaps you are saying to yourself, "Pastor, I know that this promise is written in the Bible, but how can I be sure that it shall be well with me?" If you are righteous, if you are a believer, if you are washed in the blood, born of God, and robed in the righteousness of Christ, it shall be well with you.
Let me give you seven solid pillars to support this promise which ought to greatly encourage your faith. It shall be well with the righteous, because -
Children of God, can you get hold of this blessed, comforting promise of good? - "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him." We are
II. But there is a dark side to our text. I will be brief in declaring it, but honesty compels me to tell you the truth. Here is a word of warning to the wicked.
"Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him."
"Woe unto the wicked!" The curse of the law and the judgment of God is upon you.
A. It shall be ill to you who are wicked.
Always, at all times, in all circumstances, it shall be ill to the wicked.
B. And your eternal woe will be a just retribution upon you - "For the reward of his hands shall be given him." "The wages of sin is death."
If you go to hell it will be your own fault. It will be the work of your own hands.
Application: Righteousness is set before you in the Lord Jesus Christ. It can be had most freely and easily, if you desire - (Isa. 1:18-20).
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email email@example.com