Sermon #1475 Miscellaneous Sermons
Text: Matthew 19:26
Subject: Some Things That Are Impossible
Date: Sunday Morning –
Tape # W-59b
When I was a teenager there was a program on television called Mission Impossible. I understand there has been a movie made by the same title in recent years. I have not seen the movie; but in the television series super agents were regularly given what appeared to be impossible assignments, which they successfully carried out every week. Obviously, the missions were not impossible. Today, I want to tell you some things that really are impossible.
As I prepared this message, I was really surprised at how sparingly the word “impossible” is used in Holy Scripture. But it is used.
Proposition: This Book tells us plainly that some things are utterly impossible.
Let me show you what these impossible things are. We will begin in Matthew 19:26.
I. First, in Matthew our Lord Jesus Christ declares that with men salvation is an utter impossibility.
Matthew "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
You know the context in which this is found. Our Lord has just finished his discourse with the rich young ruler. When the disciples saw this fine specimen of humanity walk away from the Master and heard our Savior’s comments as he walked away, they said, “Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:16-26) "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, (19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (23) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (24) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (25) When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? (26) But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
This event is also recorded in detail by Mark and Luke. Its lessons are very important. But I want us to focus on that which is obviously the primary lesson to be drawn from it. No man left to himself can ever enter into the kingdom of God. The Scriptures give us many reasons for this. Let me remind you of just five.
A. The enmity of man’s heart against God will not allow him to bow to Christ as his Lord.
B. The depravity of our nature means that we have no ability to come to Christ.
C. The bondage of our will prevents us from coming to Christ.
D. Man’s love of the world will not permit him to come to Christ.
E. Men who are rich, in their own eyes, in righteousness will never trust Christ for righteousness.
F. But, blessed be God, our Savior adds these words: -- “With God all things are possible!”
II. Second, in Luke 17:1 our Lord tells us that it is impossible for his disciples to avoid offense.
Luke 17:1 "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!"
The simple fact is, all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The cause of persecution is not the way we live, but the gospel by which we live.
(Galatians 5:11) "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased."
The gospel of Christ is offensive to men, riles them, stirs up their anger, and inspires persecution. The gospel offends …
· Man’s pride because it comes by divine revelation.
· Man’s love of self because it demands surrender.
· Man’s sense of self worth and self-esteem because it reveals his depravity.
· Man’s dignity because it declares salvation by the merits of a Substitute.
III. Third, turn to Acts 2:24, and understand this. – It was impossible for the Lord Jesus Christ to remain in the tomb.
Acts 2:24 "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."
(Acts 2:22-32) "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (23) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: (24) Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (25) For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: (26) Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: (27) Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (28) Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. (29) Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. (30) Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; (31) He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (32) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
It was impossible for death to hold him for one very great reason. – Though he was made to be sin for us, our Lord Jesus has by the sacrifice of himself put away our sins!
(Romans 4:25) "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
(Romans 5:1) "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
(Romans 8:33-34) "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
(Hebrews 10:10-14) "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
(1 Peter 4:1) "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;.”
IV. Fourth, in Hebrews 6:4 the Holy Spirit tells us that it is impossible for apostates to recover.
Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
When men and women depart from Christ and the worship of God, and go back to walk no more with the Master, like those described in John 6, they will never return to him. They cannot be recovered.
(2 Peter 2:20-22) "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
(1 John 2:19) "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
VI. Fifth, skip down to Hebrews 6:18, and rejoice in this. – It is impossible for God to lie!
Hebrews 6:18 "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
Let me tell you what that means.
· Every sinner who trust Christ is saved!
· Those to whom he gives eternal life shall never perish!
· He will not remember our sins!
· He will never leave you nor forsake you!
· He makes all things to work together for your good! – God will never turn away from you to do you good!
· He will keep you by his grace, make you to triumph over all your enemies, and give you glory!
VI. Sixth, in Hebrews 10:4, the Holy Spirit tells us that it is impossible for sin to be put away, but by the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 10:4 "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
A. No man can, by any means, redeem his own soul.
· Not by Legal Ceremonies!
· Not by Moral Reformation!
· Not by Religious Rituals!
· Not by Sacrifice and Self-denial!
· Not by Works of Righteousness!
B. But, blessed be God, the Lord Jesus Christ can and has put away sin!
VII. Seventh, turn to Hebrews 11, and let me show you that without faith it is impossible to please God!
Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
No sinner can ever muster anything in himself, or by himself that God will accept. But sinners can and do please God.
A. The Lord Jesus Christ has fully and completely pleased God for his people by his obedience and blood. – “In whom I am well pleased!”
B. Believing sinners please God by trusting Christ!
Here is the great wonder of grace: -- God almighty accepts, smiles upon, approves of, and is pleased with such sinful wretches as we are for Christ’s sake!