September 18th 2022: Thomas Kitchen

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Hebrews 12:18-29

A Kingdom that cannot be shaken

Bad things happen. After previous challenges, people thought 2020 would be a better year. Then Covid struck! It seems every couple of years there is something public that affects us in our personal lives. There is something going on, a trail for us. We think things will get worse. People are lovers of money, self and arrogant. What happens when something unforeseen happens? We need encouragement in these times.

There are a few things which cannot be shaken, And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24). We have Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant. Abel died for nothing because Cain was jealous. But Jesus’ death brought in a new covenant, a huge development for the whole world.

What is unshakeable?

  1. The Throne of God
  2. The Word of God
  3. The Church of God
  4. The Child of God
  5. The Cross of Christ

We have things that change, “26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:26-27). This indicates the removal of things that have been made. Are we trusting in man-made things?

The Throne of God cannot be shaken.

God is on the throne. The Psalms have a great deal to say about God’s sovereignty (e.g. Psalm 103:19, 47:8). God’s throne is unshakeable. Perhaps an anxious Christian or a sceptical non-Christian would say these verses just refer to the Old Testament. There is a difference between then and now, but humanity is exactly the same – exceedingly sinful. The main thing that hasn’t changed is God is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are not the same as we were yesterday, or we will be tomorrow. God is the same. He was on the throne in the Psalms and He is on the throne now. Revelation talks of some things happening now and some things in the future, At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.” (Revelation 4:2). The One on the throne is the One seated on the throne before existence. All the horrors of the world can come crashing down on us, but God will laugh. He and His throne are unshakeable. What if Covid strikes again and gets worse, or another disease comes? If it does, then we can rest in the joy and the fact that the Lord God is sovereign.

  • The Word of God cannot be shaken.

There are three ways to talk of the Word of God:
              Jesus is the Word,
              the Word speaks of God’s promises, which are unshakeable,
              God’s Word – the Bible.

All 66 books of the Bible were written by God. No man who wrote a book in the bible was the same as another man. There are different styles of writing but all the books are written by God Himself. We have the very words of God. I’m not sure we, as Christians, appreciate that today. When we open the Bible, God is literally speaking to us. When it is preached, God preaches. When a preacher says, ‘Today is the day of salvation,’ that is God speaking. You are hearing God Himself.  1 Peter 1 underlines this truth. God’s Word will never fail or falter. We weren’t saved by hearing a human bit of good news, but by hearing the divine news, the heavenly news, spoken straight from the mouth of God. People may feel Christianity is on the way out, but these are feelings against the Word of God itself. We can tell people with confidence about Jesus, our Saviour. His Word will accomplish what it set out to do – to save souls.

  • The Church of God cannot be shaken.

The Church is not a literal building. The real Church of God is His people. If we are believers, we are Christ’s Bride and He is our Bridegroom (Revelation 19). We will be united to Him at the marriage supper. Stunning! We will be blessed to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb. If you’re a Christian and leaning on the finished work of Christ, you’re a member of heaven. We’ve been given access now.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28). We are meant to be grateful because we’re blessed now. We’ve entered the Kingdom. We’re joint heirs with Jesus Christ. That’s where our status lies. We are joint firstborn sons. We’re with Him and we’ll get to fully enjoy that one day in heaven. On earth, we’re just as much His church here. People in heaven are not more secure than us. There is no difference, except those in heaven see more of the eternal glory.

We may question if Christianity is really growing, but God promised, ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail.’ The Church of God will not be shaken. We are the elect people of God, chosen from before the foundation of the world. Pray that God will continue to add to the local church.

  • The Child of God cannot be shaken.

We, as individuals, are so insignificant. We could crumble if there’s enough pressure. You may see a godly preacher and think you’ll never reach that point. You might compare yourself to other Christians who have been a Christian for the same amount of time as you, but they are further along in their spiritual journey. But the humble child of God cannot be shaken. When you’re in Christ you can never be lost (John 10:28-30). Whether you’ve been saved 30 seconds or thirty years, if you’re in Christ, you can never be lost.

Christ is the sinner’s surety. We’ve been given His righteousness. God takes our unrighteousness and gives us Jesus’ righteousness. We stand before God as if we’re Jesus. Jesus stood in our place so that we can stand in is place i.e. before God. We will still sin after we’ve been saved; until God gives us new bodies we’ll continue to sin. But because we’re in Christ we stand before God as if we were Jesus Himself. We still sin, badly, but it will never mean that we will ever be lost. If you’re genuinely trusting in Christ – not genuinely coming to church, genuinely singing each song, no – genuinely trusting in Christ – then you have nothing to fear. When you pray on your knees in your bedroom, He will hear you, just as He will hear every other single person praying, and He will devote all His attention to you. We don’t understand it, but it’s true.

People laughed and jeered at Jesus as He died on the cross. For those trusting in Him, His death placed you safely in God’s hands. You’ll never be shaken because you’re held safe in His unshakeable hands.

  • The Cross of Christ cannot be shaken.

If we’re not in Christ, we can and will be shaken (Hebrews 12:25). Don’t think you’ll escape Jesus because He’s in heaven and you can’t see Him! If you’re not in Christ, of course you can be shaken. You have no great work that cannot be shaken. If you’re trust isn’t in Christ, you’re in sinking sand – straight to the depths of hell.

If you’re a saved person, know this: you will never be unsaved. You have been saved through the cross, through Jesus’ sacrifice. The work of the cross still stands. When Jesus hung on the cross and said, “It is finished,” it was to say with certainty, His work of salvation was done. He has saved people. If you’re one of His people, you are saved and always will be saved. You’ve been bought and paid for by the blood of your Saviour. This is how you have been brought into the Kingdom. If you’re a Christian, that should be a great encouragement. God is unshakeable, so we are unshakeable.

If you are not trusting in Christ, what are you trusting in? Sport? Money? Family? Are these unshakeable to you? If it’s not Christ, you will lose it and lose your soul. You need to trust in Christ now. Right now. Trust on Jesus’ cry of, “It is finished.” Trust His Word that He goes to prepare a place for you and will come back for you, so you will be where He is.