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Summary: This message describes God’s will as an actual will and testament.

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God’s Last Will and Testament

Rev. Sean D. Lester

August 17, 2003

Text: Hebrews 9:15-28

Introduction

A. A will is the declaration of how a person’s belongings are to be disposed of upon death.

1. It is generally a written document and witnessed by people without an interest in the estate.

2. It names an executor, or mediator, who is to determine how the will is to be enforced.

3. It names heirs and gives instructions about who is to receive what part of the estate.

B. A will never goes into effect until death.

1. Death is separation. Natural death is the separation of spirit from body. The Bible never defines death as inaction or unconsciousness.

2. God never dies, so He has no need to leave anything to anyone. So in His case, His will goes into effect when you die.

Proposition: God’s Last Will and Testament concerns the disposition of your soul upon our death.

Interrogative: What is God’s will for my life?

Transition: This passage tells us about God’s will.

I. God’s Will Names an Executor and Heirs.

A. Jesus Christ was named the executor of the estate.

1. He has the responsibility of determining who qualifies to receive the inheritance of eternal life.

2. He has the authorization to deliver eternal life to the heirs.

B. The Heirs are defined.

1. Sometimes a will defines by name who will receive the inheritance, but at other times it will give qualifications.

2. Illustration: A will may name a “charity dedicated and effective in saving ducks.” The executor must decide which organization or organizations best fit that description.

3. In the case of this will, all whose lives are brought into conformity with the teaching of Jesus Christ are heirs.

4. Sometimes the will declares who will be excluded from the will by qualification.

5. Illustration: The following are excluded from God’s will: 1 Cor. 6:9-10

1 Cor. 6:9-10

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [10] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

C. The question facing us all is: “Are you in God’s will?”

1. How would Jesus judge? It is based upon your confession of faith as evidenced by works of your life.

3. How do you know? The same way you know if someone loves you. If a spouse professes love, then his or her actions will demonstrate it by their faithfulness to the marriage. If you love Christ, your faithfulness will communicate it.

Transition: You may ask, “I want to be in God’s will, but how do I find out to be written into it?”

II. God declared His will with a Legal Testament

A. First, He gave a written covenant.

1. The rules of righteous living were written in stone with God’s own finger. Anyone who kept the commands could be included in the inheritance.

2. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke through Moses to write down rules that would allow anyone who unintentionally broke the commands to be forgiven.

3. Illustration: In premarital counseling, there are rules established that determine how love is to be demonstrated. Everything from physical affection to taking out the trash is discussed. Sometimes, in the process, the couple discovers that they are not in love. Sometimes, they learn better how to love.

B. Then, God affirmed the covenant in front of witnesses.

1. A contract is binding even if given orally.

2. Illustration: In a marriage, the parties do not sign the marriage covenant. The witnesses sign it. Typically, the best man signs as a representative of the groom, and the maid of honor signs as a representative of the bride.

3. With the first covenant, the priests signed as the representative of God, sprinkling the tabernacle, the furnishings, and the people with the blood.

C. When the first covenant was proven ineffective for purifying people from sin, a new covenant was given.

1. Jesus, God become a man, declared that righteousness was based on lifestyle of faith in God. Not dead religious practices, but living service to God.

2. Instead of signing this covenant in the blood of animals as a symbol, Jesus Christ signed it with his own blood.

3. In so doing, sin was done away with. Whenever the commandment comes, so does the desire to break it.

4. Illustration: At camp, whenever a rule is given not to fraternize with the opposite six, the desire to do that rises, and they find ways to do it. I have the practice of encouraging the search for a mate, in fact, I make suggestions about who would be right together. I never have a problem with inappropriate sexual behavior among my youth.

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