September 13, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Years ago, my friend, evangelist Bob Boyd preached a sermon entitled Sealed From Beneath! during revival meetings in my first church, First Baptist of Johnsonburg, PA. I was so impressed with that sermon that several years later as he was holding another week of meetings in my fourth church in Oxford, PA, I asked Bob to preach that message again. He said, “It has been years since I used that one! I will have to dig it out of my files.” And he did! And it was just as effective as the first time!
Sealed From Beneath! is based on Proverbs 1:20 through 33, part of which I will reproduce here – verses 20, 22 through 24, 26, 28 and 29, 31 and 32:
Wisdom calls aloud…How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?…
Turn at my reproof; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my
words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched
out my hand, and no one regarded…I also will laugh at your calamity; I will
mock when your terror comes….Then they will call on me, but I will not
answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they
hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD…therefore they
shall eat the fruit of their own way….For the turning away of the simple will
slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them….
The title Sealed From Beneath! is a take-off on the phrase evangelicals sometimes use, “Saved from above!” The idea is that Wisdom in the Old Testament is often synonymous with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. In this Proverbs scripture, replacing the word wisdom with the Holy Spirit makes a lot of sense. You see, the Holy Spirit – the third Person of the Trinity – is the One who draws us to Jesus. And it is Jesus who saves us by His death on the cross and reconciles us to the Father. So it becomes apparent that the unforgivable sin is “…blasphemy against the Spirit…” (Matthew 12:31). If you reject the wooing of the Holy Spirit, you will not come to Jesus, and if you don’t come to Jesus, there is no way to be forgiven! So, that is the unforgivable sin!
Proverbs 1 portrays the Spirit calling out to people to come and be saved. But there is danger in rejecting this call! The more the Holy Spirit calls – from the open squares, the chief concourses (a concourse is an open street), the gates in the city (Proverbs 1:20, 21) – and the more that call is rejected, apparently there is an increasing hardening of the heart to accept that call! There comes a time, according to Proverbs 1:26 through 28, that the Spirit will not answer a call from such a one to be saved! He will even laugh at such a crying out to God for deliverance. Now that is a dangerous position to be in! It results in one being Sealed From Beneath! They are then destined to go to hell with no hope of deliverance!
Paul implies this same danger when he discusses the consequences of sin in the last days in I Timothy 4:1 and 2:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the
faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in
hypocrisy; having their own conscience seared with a hot iron….
There is here an idea of continual searing, as they continue to reject the true faith in favor of deceitful and demonic doctrine. And if something is burned over and over again, the scar tissue builds up, nerves are permanently damaged, and feeling is lost. Many people have experienced loss of feeling in injured and damaged areas of their bodies
So the more one rejects the call of the Holy Spirit upon their lives, and the more one continues in sin and rebellion against God, the more danger develops that that one will come to a place where he or she can no longer feel or heed the call of God through the Spirit to come to Jesus and be saved! That one becomes Sealed From Beneath!
Don’t let yourself become Sealed From Beneath! Don’t reject the call of the Holy Spirit a moment longer! It can put you in a place of mortal – and immortal – danger!
In the next blog I will relate the story of Fred. It happened on the very night Bob preached that sermon for the second time – Sealed From Beneath!