Cedarville Magazine Fall 2019

CHAPEL NOTES THE FOURTH CHAIR The following is an excerpt from an August 21, 2019, chapel presentation by Dean Inserra. Inserra was this year’s speaker for the Fall Bible Conference. Listen to his full remarks and other conference messages at cedarville.edu/chapel . Join the University family in chapel each day via the livestream broadcast ( cedarville.edu/chapellive ) or Facebook Live ( cedarville.edu/facebook ) . Past messages are also archived at cedarville.edu/chapel . Missions Conference January 7–9 Danny Akin President Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, North Carolina February 25–26 Kevin Jones Chair, School of Education and Human Development Kentucky State University Frankfort, Kentucky March 10–11 Ray Ortlund Pastor to Pastors, Immanuel Church President, Renewal Ministries Nashville, Tennessee March 17 Jim Hamilton Professor of Biblical Theology The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky We have four chairs up here tonight. Chair number one is the unbeliever. The next chair is the actual believer. The third chair is the fleshly believer. And chair number four is the falsely assured Christian. The most difficult person to reach in America is also the largest mission field in America: someone who believes himself to be a Christian, and he’s not. There are four barriers we must understand to reach these folks that Jesus loves. As we talk, you might realize this is you. The first barrier is belief. They have some beliefs that resemble the person in the second chair. They believe in God, so they aren’t atheist or agnostic. But is it the God of the Bible? The second barrier is morals. If you compare yourself with somebody else, you can always find somebody a little worse. But when we compare ourselves to God, we fall short every single time. The third barrier is heritage. Thank God for a passed-down faith, but Gospel belief, repentance, and faith must be your own. This kind of heritage falsely assures people they’re fine because they have this heritage. For a lot of you, that’s your story. You’ve never really had a faith of your own. Number four is ignorance. Growing up, if you would have asked me what made me a Christian, I would have said I believe in God, I’m not an atheist, and I’m from a Christian family. I had beliefs, morals, and a heritage. I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat when I was 13 years old. At that retreat, a pastor gave an old-fashioned Gospel presentation. He said there’s some of you who don’t need to go from being an unbeliever to a believer. You need to go from thinking you’re a believer to being a believer. I went forward and grabbed one of the coaches up front and said, “I don’t really know what I’m doing exactly but I’m the person he talked about.” He told me I had sinned against a holy God, and He will not let sin go unpunished. But that this same holy God was loving, compassionate, and merciful and had sent His only Son to die in my place as punishment for my sins. So that day in October 1993 , I became a believer in Jesus Christ. I had never believed the Gospel for myself. Paul said to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith ( 2 Cor. 13:5 ). I hope that we would examine our own hearts and see where we are in this. Make sure we are people who define our Christianity solely by the work of Christ. And second, for those who already know Christ, I hope you understand that most of your ministry will be to these people. Dean Inserra is Lead Pastor of CityChurch in Tallahassee, Florida. In response to Dean Inserra’s final Fall Bible Conference message, several hundred students took steps of obedience to Christ (pictured above), including 50 who trusted Christ for salvation. You need to go from thinking you’re a believer to being a believer. 20 | Cedarville Magazine