Faith Chapel

How The Universe Was Won

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike Leno


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000039

00:30 Tombstone, Arizona
00:32 in the late 1800s, Law and Order.
00:36 What was it like?
00:38 I take you to tombstone
00:39 and we notice first the Bird Cage Theatre.
00:42 The Bird Cage Theatre was probably
00:45 the most famous landmark in this little Arizona town.
00:50 The New York Times referred to it in 1882
00:52 as the wildest, wickedest nightspot
00:54 between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.
00:57 During the 9 years of its lusty career,
01:00 it never closed its doors.
01:03 It was site of 16 gunfights and suffered a 140 bullet holes.
01:08 The Bird Cage was named
01:09 for the 14 bird cage crib compartments
01:12 that are suspended from the ceiling
01:14 overlooking the gambling casino and dance hall.
01:16 In these compartments,
01:18 the ladies of the evening plied their trade.
01:22 Quite a strange place.
01:24 A lot of wild things went on in that Wild West.
01:27 We often tell stories and even watch movies
01:31 about the taming of the Wild West,
01:33 but it wasn't the west that needed to be tamed as much,
01:36 as it was the people that were trying to do the taming.
01:40 The symbol of Law and Order
01:42 in the Wild West was a gunslinger with the badge.
01:49 Enter Wyatt Earp.
01:52 Wyatt Earp was a compulsive gambler.
01:54 He was opportunistic.
01:56 He left his wife for another woman.
01:58 There were few things that he wouldn't do
02:00 if it meant a profit.
02:02 And his best friend was a notorious killer
02:04 whom he may have lied to protect.
02:07 He was a hard man living in hard times.
02:11 But he was on the side of the law.
02:16 The most famous scene outside of the Bird Cage Theatre
02:22 of course is the O.K. Corral.
02:26 The O.K. Corral was not a structure really,
02:28 it was really just a empty lot or a space
02:32 between a couple of buildings, but it became famous
02:36 when Wyatt Earp and his brothers confronted the cowboys.
02:40 Most witnesses seem to agree
02:42 that the firing started almost simultaneously
02:47 and then the shooting became general
02:49 and lasted all of 30 seconds.
02:52 As you see in the picture, this is actually how close
02:55 the cowboys and the Earps were to each other.
02:58 After the firing stopped three cowboys lay dead or dying.
03:04 Virgil Earp had been shot through the leg,
03:07 Morgan in the back,
03:08 and Doc Holliday had been grazed on the hip.
03:11 Only Wyatt Earp himself was completely unscathed.
03:16 In this Wild West environment,
03:21 the law was whatever could be enforced
03:24 by a gun slinging Marshall or a sheriff.
03:27 The west was won by whoever had the most firepower
03:31 and luck on their side.
03:35 But what about God's law?
03:38 How does God win the universe?
03:41 Is God some kind of cosmic gunslinger
03:44 who comes into the earth guns blazing
03:46 and subdues all of His enemies
03:48 and then rides of into the sunset.
03:51 How does God enforce His law?
03:57 We're going to take a new look at the law today,
04:00 maybe the kind of look that you've never taken before.
04:04 So let me begin by asking you a question.
04:07 Which of God's Ten Commandments
04:11 would you chose to omit if God allowed you too?
04:16 All right, just think in your mind.
04:17 Now the rules of these games are follows.
04:21 You can chose one commandment out of any of the ten,
04:25 any commandment you want.
04:27 And let's say that you would like God
04:30 to give your free pass on that one, okay?
04:33 Now we know God doesn't actually do that,
04:34 but this is just a hypothetical game, okay?
04:37 Whatever it is let's just say
04:39 you get to chose one commandment out of the ten.
04:42 And, you just, you have a free pass.
04:44 God is not going to punish you for it.
04:47 Everything is gonna be okay.
04:48 You can have that one commandment to break.
04:51 But according to the rules of this game
04:53 you have to break it continually
04:57 and to its full extent the rest of your life.
05:02 Now with that in mind let's go through the Ten Commandments.
05:06 And let's do it in reverse order
05:08 because as you'll notice
05:10 it creates a rather interesting progression of thought
05:13 as we get down to number one.
05:15 So let's start at number 10.
05:17 "Thou shalt not covet," okay?
05:20 Let's say that you chose "Thou shalt not covet"
05:23 as your free pass.
05:24 God's not gonna punish you for breaking that commandment.
05:27 You can--You have to break that commandment
05:31 now and for the rest of your life.
05:33 What will happen to you?
05:34 Well, I'll tell you what will happen.
05:36 You will not value what you have only what others have.
05:41 You will never be satisfied or content.
05:44 And for you, life will be unfair
05:47 because of what others have.
05:50 See that is the natural result
05:53 of breaking the Tenth Commandments.
05:56 Well, you might think,
05:58 that doesn't really sound too attractive.
06:00 Life doesn't sound all that attractive anymore,
06:03 if I keep on breaking
06:05 the "Thou shalt not covet" commandment.
06:06 So, well, let's go to number 9,
06:09 "Thou shalt not bear false witness."
06:10 What is the natural result of bearing false witness?
06:14 Well, first of all, you will get ahead
06:16 by destroying the reputation of others.
06:20 Secondly, you will have trouble dealing with reality
06:23 because you live in a world built on lies.
06:28 And third, you will live in the fear
06:31 that someone will destroy your reputation.
06:36 So what are the natural results
06:37 of breaking the ninth commandment,
06:39 "Bearing false witness?"
06:42 Maybe that doesn't seem so attractive.
06:44 Maybe I'll pass on "Thou shalt not covet."
06:47 "Bearing false witness" doesn't sound so good either
06:50 because after all if I destroy somebody else's reputation,
06:53 I have to live the rest of my life in fear
06:54 that somebody is gonna do the same thing to me.
06:57 Well, let's move on to number 8,.
06:59 This is the commandment against stealing.
07:03 If you continually break the eighth commandment
07:07 the rest of your life,
07:08 you will take whatever you can get away with.
07:11 You cannot value what you have
07:14 because after all you did not earn it.
07:17 Third, you will be afraid of what will be taken from you.
07:21 And finally, you will never know
07:24 the joy of accomplishment, just the pain of loss.
07:30 Well, that doesn't sound so attractive either.
07:33 Stealing the rest of your life
07:35 just doesn't have the attraction that maybe it did,
07:40 once you realize the full extent of the natural results
07:43 of breaking that commandment.
07:46 Well, here is the popular one.
07:47 Number 7, "committing adultery."
07:49 Let's take a free pass on that one, shall we?
07:52 What are the natural results of committing adultery?
07:55 First of all, your most intimate relationships
07:58 will never be permanent.
08:00 Secondly, you will live without real love or acceptance.
08:04 Why? Because you're unfaithful to everyone.
08:07 And finally, you will be lonely and betrayed.
08:13 It's funny how what you give
08:16 has a tendency to come back on you.
08:18 The natural results of committing adultery,
08:22 well, maybe that's not so attractive either.
08:24 Let's go on to number 6.
08:27 "Thou shalt not kill."
08:29 The commandment against murder.
08:34 The results of being a murderer are,
08:36 you will be a predator.
08:38 By cheapening the lives of others
08:40 you will cheapen your own.
08:43 You, the hunter, will also become the hunted.
08:49 And the result of all that is, you will live in terror.
08:54 Well, I certainly,
08:57 I don't want to take a free pass on
08:59 "Thou shalt not kill."
09:00 So let's move back to number 5,
09:03 "Honor Your Parents,"
09:05 honor your father and your mother.
09:07 By the way this is the one commandment
09:09 that includes within it
09:11 the description of the natural results
09:15 of keeping that commandment.
09:18 So what's the natural result of not honoring your parents?
09:21 You will cut yourself off from those who gave your life.
09:24 You will grow bitter and lonely
09:27 and as a result die prematurely.
09:30 And finally, having given no honor,
09:33 your children will not know how to give you honor.
09:38 Interesting isn't it, how the next generation
09:41 always continues and sometimes even makes worse
09:46 the sins of the previous generation?
09:48 It's the natural results of sin.
09:52 Okay, the "Sabbath commandment."
09:54 Certainly we could take a free pass on that, couldn't we?
09:59 What are the natural results of completely and continually
10:04 breaking the Sabbath commandment not just in letter
10:08 but in spirit the rest of your life?
10:11 Now first of all, you will never truly rest
10:14 even when on vacation.
10:16 Secondly, you will always be anxious about doing enough,
10:19 getting enough, and being good enough
10:21 for everyone especially God.
10:25 And finally, success will lose its meaning
10:28 because of continual unrest.
10:33 Well, this seems to be getting worst not better.
10:38 So let's move on to commandment number 3,
10:41 "The prohibition against taking the Lord's name in vain."
10:45 What's the result of that?
10:47 First of all, you will make God's name a common
10:51 and even a filthy thing.
10:53 Secondly, you will have no sense of awe
10:56 or holiness in God's presence.
10:58 Third, you will fear and loathe anything
11:02 having to do with God's holiness and love.
11:06 So the results of breaking the third commandment
11:10 are not all that attractive either.
11:11 So let's go to number 2,
11:13 "The prohibition against graven images."
11:15 Now this seems like a small thing
11:17 but have ever really examined this commandment
11:19 to discover its depth also?
11:23 The natural results of breaking commandment number 2
11:26 are that you will try to create God in your own image.
11:31 Secondly, you will serve but at the same time
11:34 hate this inferior God because he is like yourself.
11:39 And finally, you will sink to the level of your Gods
11:43 of superstition, pride, vanity and lust.
11:49 And all of these is leading up to the very first commandment,
11:54 the commandment that says,
11:56 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
12:00 What are the natural results of breaking that commandment?
12:04 First of all, you will make things or people
12:09 your gods instead of God himself.
12:12 Secondly, the Gods you have chosen will disappoint you.
12:18 Third, you will have no savior
12:21 because you will have to be your own
12:24 and you will fail and you will die.
12:31 It's a terrible thing when you realize
12:35 what is really in these commandments.
12:38 What is God trying to protect His people from?
12:43 What are the natural results of ignoring God's commandments?
12:46 If we put all of that together,
12:48 what are the natural results of ignoring God's commandments?
12:52 Discontent, fear, pain, betrayal, terror, dishonor,
12:59 unrest, loathing, degradation, and finally death.
13:05 I submit to you, that the natural results
13:11 of breaking God's law is God's punishment.
13:17 Psalm 81:11-12 said,
13:20 "But my people would not listen to me,
13:22 Israel would not submit to me.
13:24 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
13:27 to follow their own devices."
13:32 Does God become a super natural gunslinger?
13:35 Does He come in with guns blazing to try to keep us from
13:39 doing some things that we'd like to do?
13:43 Is the universe one because God is simply stronger
13:46 than everybody else and has more firepower?
13:49 Is that how God's law keeping works?
13:53 Is that the law of the universe,
13:56 that God is the biggest bully around,
13:58 the biggest gunslinger, he has the most firepower?
14:03 I submit that it is exactly the opposite.
14:07 That God rather than trying to force
14:10 His law on us is trying to protect us
14:14 from the natural results of our own inclinations.
14:18 And He is trying to put a hedge around us.
14:21 Now I can hear some people objecting,
14:23 "Oh, yeah, but what about
14:25 the destruction of the wicked at the very end of time?
14:28 Isn't that finally when God becomes the big gunslinger?"
14:33 Is the universe one because God is stronger?
14:37 Does the second death finally violate God's character?
14:41 Does the loving Jesus finally get mean in the end?
14:47 I invite you to look at the cross.
14:50 You see there's only one time in all of human history
14:53 where the second death was demonstrated,
14:55 the sinner's death.
14:57 That is the second death.
14:58 There has only been one sinner's death in all of history
15:02 and that is Jesus' death on the cross.
15:05 Mark 15:34 quotes Jesus as crying out on the cross.
15:11 "And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
15:14 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'
15:16 Which mean, 'My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
15:23 The symbol of Christ victory is not a badge
15:28 and a weapon rather it is a lamb and a cross.
15:35 Revelation 13:8 refers to
15:37 "The lamb that was slain from the creation of the world."
15:43 Just as Jesus died
15:44 from the natural results of separation
15:46 from God due to sin,
15:48 so the wicked in the end
15:50 will suffer the natural results of sin.
15:54 Now before you object and say,
15:55 "Oh yeah, but what about all the fire and brimstone."
15:57 Oh, yeah, it will be there. It's real.
15:59 Revelation talks about it. The cross was real too.
16:04 Jesus really did hang on the cross
16:07 but the cross did not kill him.
16:10 The weight of sins, not his own,
16:13 but the sins of the whole world are what killed him.
16:16 And what does sin cause?
16:18 It causes an eternal separation
16:22 between God and the person and the sinner.
16:26 And in Jesus case He felt
16:29 the actual real awful separation
16:32 between him and his father and that's why he cried out,
16:35 "My god, my God why have you forsaken Me?"
16:37 It was not the cross the kill Jesus Christ,
16:39 it was the weight of sin and the ensuing
16:43 separation from his father.
16:47 In contrast, notice
16:50 the words of Revelation 22 versus 12-17.
16:57 "Behold, I'm coming soon my reward is with me,
17:04 and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
17:08 I'm the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
17:11 the beginning and the end.
17:13 Blessed are those who wash their robes,
17:15 that they may have the right to tree of life
17:17 and may go through the gates into the city.
17:20 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts,
17:24 the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters
17:27 and everyone who loves and practice falsehood.
17:30 I, Jesus, have sent My angel
17:33 to give you this testimony for the churches.
17:35 I am the Root and the Offspring of David,
17:38 and the bright Morning star.
17:40 The spirit and the bride say, "Come!"
17:42 And let him who hears say, "Come!"
17:44 Whoever is thirsty let him come, and whoever wishes,
17:47 let him take the free gift of the water of life.
17:53 You see, in this scene out of the very end of time,
18:00 when Christ comes there will be two groups,
18:06 only two groups, no middle ground.
18:10 On one side are the lovers of falsehood.
18:14 On the other side those who answered
18:17 the invitation of the spirit and the bride.
18:22 It's not about God becoming a cosmic gunslinger
18:29 and finally winning the universe by force.
18:34 It's about giving His children choices.
18:41 What kind of choices? The choice for or against God.
18:48 Is God the kind of person we can trust?
18:52 Is God the kind of person that I would trust with my life
18:56 not only in this life but in the life to come?
19:00 It's one thing to trust someone for a year,
19:05 it's another thing to trust someone
19:07 for all of this life as we do
19:09 and we promise to love in church each other and marriage.
19:12 It's quite another thing to trust someone for eternity.
19:18 Is God trust worthy?
19:20 The issue in the great war
19:22 between Christ and Satan is over trust,
19:28 which is also translated faith.
19:32 Who do you trust? Who do have faith in?
19:35 How do we know that we can trust God?
19:39 Remember the result of violating those Ten Commandments?
19:44 You remember the awful consequences of going
19:51 against the principles of God's government?
19:56 You notice that when people break the commandments
20:00 they suffer the consequences not because God shoots them
20:05 or zaps them or takes revenge on them.
20:11 People suffer those consequences because that's a natural law.
20:17 The moral law of the universe is just
20:20 as real as the physical laws of the universe.
20:24 If you were to go outside and say,
20:26 "Well, today I want to break the law of gravity."
20:30 And you climb up on a tall building and you say,
20:34 "You know, for today anyway I'm just gonna forget
20:37 about the law of gravity,
20:38 I'll obey the law of gravity tomorrow."
20:41 And you jump out of the window.
20:43 And there is a sense of freedom
20:45 for a while until you hit bottom.
20:51 When we break God's moral law
20:54 there's also a sense of hitting bottom.
20:59 But just as there are-- just as there are the results,
21:04 the natural results of breaking those commandments,
21:07 there is on the other side
21:08 a positive description of what God's law really means.
21:13 The opposite of that is what God intends for His children.
21:17 The law then becomes a description of God himself.
21:21 His commands are a description of what He is like.
21:26 He is the one who brings
21:29 and notice this list of ten things
21:31 that are the positive opposites of the natural
21:34 results of breaking the commandments.
21:35 He brings contentment, security, safety, love, peace,
21:42 honor, rest, praise, glory, and eternal life.
21:48 That is what God wants.
21:51 So how do we know that we can trust God?
21:54 Because this is a person
21:58 who is described by those ten things.
22:01 This is a person who rather than
22:04 being without us for eternity
22:05 went to the cross and validated those ten things.
22:11 This is a person we can trust with why?
22:14 Because he does not want all of the bad things for us
22:18 described by the natural results of breaking
22:20 those Ten Commandments,
22:22 he wants to give us the contentment,
22:23 the security, the safety, love, peace, honor,
22:25 rest, praise, glory, and eternal life,
22:29 which are the blessings of the Ten Commandments.
22:32 Now do we achieve goodness or do we inherit eternal life
22:38 because we follow those Ten Commandments?
22:41 Well, to a certain extent, we will receive good natural
22:45 results in this life by obeying those Ten Commandments
22:50 but our salvation is not dependent
22:52 on our law keeping.
22:54 Rather our salvation is dependent on the law giver.
22:59 He is the one who saves us not the law.
23:02 The law describes at least in a very feeble way,
23:07 what kind of person God is, but it can't save.
23:11 We are only saved by being attracted to the one
23:15 that we know that we can trust.
23:18 You see those who would rather choose God over anything
23:21 even their own lives
23:23 will inherit all of these things.
23:25 No wonder sin will never rise again,
23:27 the universe will have been won for all of eternity.
23:30 You see it's not taking the town by force as Wyatt Earp
23:35 and his brother and Doc Holliday had to do.
23:38 It's not subduing evil by putting all bad guys in jail
23:44 although sometimes God has had to do things sort of like that.
23:49 What really wins the universe
23:52 for all of eternity is the universe trusting God.
23:58 God wins the war by being winsome.
24:02 And finally the end of time, when there is that lack of fire.
24:10 God is not being the cosmic gunslinger.
24:14 God is being the eternal lover of the universe
24:17 who will weep over the loss of His children
24:21 who willingly and knowingly and continually and rebelliously
24:27 chose to go against His principles of government,
24:30 who willingly would rather die then follow His government,
24:35 who would rather
24:38 have eternal death than serve God.
24:45 If we agree with God's principles of government
24:49 then we ought to start heaven now, don't you think?
24:54 And this is not a way of earning merit for salvation,
25:00 it's simply accepting the free gift of God
25:03 the salvation that he wants to give us
25:05 and then being so attracted to him that we start taking on
25:09 the characteristics of this eternal lover of the universe.
25:14 If we're going to do that,
25:17 where there is hatred let us sow love.
25:22 Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.
25:29 Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, love.
25:37 Where there is sadness, joy.
25:40 You see those are the things
25:42 that will really keep the universe safe for eternity.
25:48 I turn again to the Book of Revelation
25:52 where Jesus says, "Behold, I'm coming soon."
25:55 Do you look forward to that time?
25:57 Do you yearn for that time when God will cleanse
26:02 the universe of sin and suffering?
26:06 He says, my reward is with me
26:08 and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
26:10 That's not a legalistic sentence to say that
26:15 He's going to give to you
26:17 because you've given something to Him.
26:20 What that means is, if you chosen Him,
26:23 if you've given your life to Him,
26:26 there will be evidence.
26:28 If you are won by him to such an extent
26:31 that you want the principles of love
26:34 that describe His character
26:37 then you will want to be with Him forever for eternity.
26:42 And that's what He means by
26:43 "Blessed are those who wash their robes
26:46 that they may have the right to the tree of life
26:49 and may go through the gates into the city.
26:52 The spirit and the bride say
26:53 come let him take the free gift of the water of life."


Revised 2014-12-17