In days gone by there were preachers and evangelists who were highly skilled at dangling everybody over hell.  Painting vivid pictures of the flames of Divine Judgment.  Scaring the folks to death….and then inviting them to come and get saved, "while there's still time."


            "What if you died tonight?  Where would you be?" they would shout.


There is only one thing worse than manipulating souls through terror:

making them feel secure, when they're not.  Promising peace, where there is no peace.  Giving them Jesus' wonderful words of mercy --- and forgetting all about his words of scathing judgment.


So let's begin by thinking about Eternal Security.  You know --- the teaching that once you're saved, you're saved.  You can never be lost.  You are one of the elect.  You are "in" forever.   Because even those of us who do not subscribe to the doctrine of eternal security have our own version of the same thing --- and live by it.  It's called Eternal Complacency.


Now it's true that, from God's side, every believer has Eternal Security. 


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand."                            John 10:27-28


But what if the sheep get complacent?  What if they start putting their trust, not in the Master and his faithfulness, but in something else,

            …like a doctrine that makes them feel secure,

            …or a particular church that makes them feel safe,

            …or some wonderful spiritual experience that we once had,

            …or a special holy place, where we can always go for refuge, like the Temple?


The disciples loved Jesus.

But they also loved that temple.  And why shouldn't they?  It's the dwelling-place of God on earth, where the glory of the God of Israel shines day and night behind the veil in the Holy of Holies. 


One thing have I desired of the Lord,

That will I seek after.

That I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life,

To behold the beauty of the Lord,

And to inquire in his Temple.


The Temple was the sign of God's presence among us, proof that he is with us, that he will never leave us.


Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.  But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not?  Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."                     Matthew 24:1-2


In other words, "This temple is already under judgment.  It has been condemned to destruction by the living God.   Soon there will be nothing here but rubble.  It's time to focus on the new Temple, the real Temple, that can never be destroyed.


The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business.  And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.  And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."…..The Jewish leaders then said to him, "What sign have you to show us for doing this?"  Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."  The Jewish leaders then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?"  But he spoke of the temple of his body.                                               John 2:13-21


There is only one Temple that stands forever, that can never be destroyed, that will keep secure all who dwell there:  Jesus.  He is the Temple.  He alone is our security.


But nowhere does Jesus promise to keep us safe, if we fail to dwell in this Temple --- if we keep living our lives outside the temple in eternal complacency.


This new Temple can keep you safe, only if you desire to dwell there, only if you continuously, with an act of your will, choose to dwell there.


One thing have I desired of the Lord. 

That will I seek after.

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

And how do we dwell in the Temple of the crucified and risen Lord Jesus?


                        By staying in union with him.


                        By walking in obedience to him, in the power of the Holy Spirit.


                                    ---And nobody, not even God, can do that for you.

                                    ---You have to do it!


"Every one then, who hears these words of mine, and does them, will be like a wise man who was predestined to build his house upon the rock.


Every one then, who hears these words of mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who was predestined to build his house upon the sand."


Jesus never said it that way.  Jesus insists that you make up your own mind.

            If you choose to build your house on the rock,


if you choose to act on his word --- immediately his Spirit becomes your power.  And you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.


But all the power of the Lord Jesus himself cannot help us, so long as we choose to remain asleep in our complacency.


            "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them…."
Nobody can do that for you.

                        You have to do it.


            "I was hungry and you gave me food.

            I was thirsty and you gave me drink.

            I was a stranger, and you welcomed me."


That's your security in a world already in violent upheaval.

                                    It's the only security you will ever know.


"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.  And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another.  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come."

                                                            Matthew 24:9-14


"Oh," you say, "but Jesus is talking there about the End Time."


What kind of time do you think you're living in?  It's already here!  There is no security out there.  The only security in this world is Jeshua, Jesus, the New Temple!


"I will keep you through all the upheaval and danger and temptation out there," says the Master, "so long as you don't go complacent on me.  You have to stay connected."

"He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit --- she it is who bears much fruit --- for apart from me you can do nothing."

"If a man or woman does not abide in me, He/she is cast forth as a branch and withers.  And the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned."

                                                                        John 15


"Your job is to abide in me with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.  To connect with me daily in prayer….to act on the things I tell you to do….to stay faithful to brothers and sisters in whatever part of my Body I place you.


Your job is to abide in me. 


My job is to keep you --- and I will."


But Jesus does not end his discourse on Eternal Complacency in Matthew 24 by merely warning us of events which will occur as the End unfolds.  Jesus winds up his discourse on Eternal Complacency in Matthew 25 with three parables which have to do with right now.  Warning us to note the difference between being complacent, and being secure in him.


Ten Virgins go forth to meet the Bridegroom.  They all have brightly burning lamps of faith.  They are all beautiful.  You can't tell them apart.  But five of them are complacent.

"Who needs extra oil?  We're saved.  We're secure.  We're the elect!" 


Five of them take no chances.  They bring oil in the vessels with their lamps.  Big surprise, the Bridegroom delays his coming.  By the time he arrives, the only ones who get into the marriage with him are those who took no chances.


Three servants are given money by the Master, as he leaves on a long trip.  The servant who is given $5,000, goes out and works with it, and turns it into $10,000.   The servant who is given $2,000, goes out and works with it, and turns it into $4,000.   But the servant who is given $1,000 is complacent.  "This is my salvation.  This is my ticket to heaven.  I’m not looking for rewards.  I'll be happy just to get in.  So I'll wrap this money up and bury it until the Master returns.   This $1,000 is my eternal security. 


What a shock is waiting for this deluded servant.


But Jesus' third parable is the one that the Eternal Complacency folks love to tinker with.  "Oh, this parable doesn't even apply to us!  This is about the nations that are left after the Rapture.  We'll be in glory by then!"  It's a popular teaching.  But where do you find Jesus even hinting at such nonsense?  Read the parable below carefully, and keep in mind that Jesus is talking to disciples, people like you and me --- because this is a warning that applies to us.  We need to pay close attention.


"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 


Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 


Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?  And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'  And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 


Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me,' 


Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'  Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'


And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


"But Lord, I was active in church all my life.  I served on five committees!"


            "I was hungry and you gave me no food."


"Wait a minute, Lord!  You're making a mistake.  I'm a Bible student.  I know the New Testament by heart.  And I know what it means to be saved by grace!"

            "I was thirsty and you gave me no drink."


"Hold it, Lord!  I can tell you the exact day and hour when I got saved."


            "I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me."


"Excuse me, Lord, but are you sure you know what you're doing?  Look at me.  I'm one of the elect!"


            "I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me."


When we're complacent, we don't get it.  We never see it until it's too late. 


"My sheep hear my voice

And I know them

And they follow me".


They follow me!

They obey me!

They walk with me!


"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me you evildoers."

                                                                        Matthew 7:21-23


May God deliver us from the complacency which blinds us to his glory.


May God inspire us to step down, humble ourselves, and enter the only security there is in this crumbling world:

A life lived under the yoke with the crucified and risen Lamb of God…


            …with eyes to see those forgotten ones out there


            …and hearts to reach out to them in his name.


            My sheep hear my voice

And I know them

And they follow me

And I give them eternal life

And they shall never perish.

And no one shall snatch them out of my hand.


            My sheep are not complacent.