Life Discovery Series

Surviving The Final Crisis

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jim Reinking


Series Code: LDS

Program Code: LDS000009

00:33 You and I know that the Bible predicts
00:36 that there is gonna be a worldwide crisis
00:38 just before the coming of Jesus
00:41 and tonight we are concerned about the issue of
00:44 how can we survive that final crisis?
00:48 And let me say from the very beginning
00:50 that the Bible makes it absolutely clear
00:54 that there is only one possible way
00:55 that we are going to survive
00:57 and that is through a personal living relationship with Jesus.
01:03 Amen.
01:04 Nobody is gonna get through on their own.
01:08 Nobody is gonna get through apart from Jesus.
01:11 We are going to get through
01:13 because of the personal relationship
01:15 we've established by faith in Jesus Christ.
01:18 Indeed unless we've the right connections
01:21 we will not survive.
01:24 And so I'm gonna focus in on the relationship
01:26 that is so vital to everyone of us
01:29 and I know we've been talking about it
01:30 all through this series.
01:32 But as very specifically tonight
01:35 I'm gonna get into some specific issues
01:37 about that relationship that are so important to us.
01:40 And I want to begin with the series of questions
01:43 that will help us to get really focused
01:45 on the issue that is at hand.
01:47 The first question I want to share with you is,
01:50 on what basis, on what basis does God accept us?
01:56 Now think about that.
01:58 Number two, how good does a person need to be,
02:02 before God will accept him or her?
02:05 How good do you have to be
02:07 before God will accept you?
02:10 And number three, can anyone become
02:12 good enough for God to accept?
02:15 Which is an important question, don't you agree?
02:19 You know, our salvation is directly dependent up on
02:23 how we answer those questions.
02:26 And I'm so grateful tonight again to know that the Bible
02:29 gives us some very specific answers to those questions.
02:34 Now, our study tonight
02:36 is broken down into two major parts
02:40 and the first part of what we are gonna be studying is
02:42 what I call the bad news.
02:45 The bad news, which will be followed by the good news.
02:50 Now we will get to the good news,
02:52 I don't want you to get discouraged
02:54 as we're going through the bad news.
02:56 But we have to understand and appreciate the bad news
02:59 to be able to really, fully appreciate the good news.
03:03 That makes some sense, doesn't it?
03:06 And the bad news, we must understand,
03:08 we must really understand something about the human heart.
03:10 We must understand something about ourselves.
03:14 It's the ugly truth again what sin has done to us,
03:18 that what the knowledge of evil has done to us.
03:22 I begin
03:25 where the Bible tells us
03:26 "But we are all like an unclean thing,
03:29 and all our righteousness are like" what?
03:33 "A filthy rag."
03:34 Now there's a word that is a mouthful, isn't it?
03:38 Righteousness is, its talking about basically comes down
03:43 to you know, how good really are we
03:45 and the saying our goodness or righteousness
03:49 is as filthy rags and that is a truth
03:54 that is based upon the fact that we have been tainted,
03:57 we have been deeply affected by sin.
04:02 And it goes so deep that I don't know
04:04 that any of us can fully appreciate
04:07 how this has affected us.
04:09 This is the way we have always been,
04:11 you know, its down into the roots of our thinking,
04:14 our motivations.
04:16 It just plays out and sometimes
04:18 in very subtle ways in our life
04:20 this thing of sin, doesn't it.
04:22 It does.
04:24 I take you to Romans 3 the New Testament page 120.
04:29 Romans 3 and we'll be looking at verse 10
04:32 and then we'll drop down to verse 20.
04:34 And Paul speaks about this issue very clearly here in this letter
04:38 written to the Romans again its Romans 3:10.
04:43 He is quoting from the Old Testament when he says,
04:46 "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one.'"
04:52 Boy, that's pretty universal, isn't it?
04:55 None that are righteous.
04:58 Now I don't know about your parents but in my--
05:02 when I was growing up my father was,
05:06 again my father wasn't a Christian,
05:09 he was a lovely man, he loved his kids we loved him,
05:13 he was a very loving affectionate.
05:14 I never heard the words I love you from the lips of
05:17 my parents until I was well into my adult years.
05:22 That's just not the way that generation
05:24 express their affection but I knew that they loved me
05:26 because they were very affectionate.
05:28 My dad expected even into my adult years
05:31 that when I was home when I retired for the night
05:35 that if he was still up
05:37 I would go over and I would lean over
05:39 and I will give him a kiss on the cheek
05:42 and I did that right up into my 40's.
05:44 It just was something I had always done
05:46 even as a child and I still did it as an adult.
05:50 And even though he was not really a spiritual man
05:55 he had that deep affection and I would add to it
06:00 that he was indeed the preacher in the household.
06:05 My dad loved to preach.
06:07 He didn't preach un-theology his big thing was safety.
06:12 He just had, you know,
06:13 he had been a Washington State patrolman
06:15 so he saw the worse of what could possibly happen,
06:18 you know, and so he had all of these sayings,
06:20 you know, I'm trying to remember some of them
06:23 because there's one, there's several of them
06:24 that had just stuck with me.
06:27 He would talk about risky behavior
06:29 and when he would talk about risky behavior
06:32 he would tell me Jim, it only has to go wrong once,
06:39 only once.
06:42 Another one of his sayings that I remember his saying
06:44 often you know Jim,
06:46 there is always an exception to the rule.
06:50 And you know what I found in light that, that is often true.
06:54 And certainly its true about this particular statement
06:56 there is an exception, but there is only one
07:00 and who would that exception be? Jesus.
07:04 He is the only exception, He is the only one
07:06 that ever walked upon this planet
07:09 that was free of sin not even by a thought
07:14 did Jesus ever sin.
07:17 None of us can say, you know, that's me,
07:21 because that is not us.
07:23 Verse 23 where Paul says
07:25 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
07:29 All others have sinned.
07:32 Even the Pope has sinned by the way
07:34 I don't know if that startles anybody.
07:37 We are all sinners, we are all lost.
07:41 And then we need to tie into a Roman 6:23 where it says
07:44 "For the wage of sin is death."
07:47 My friend, God is not being arbitrary about it
07:49 as we've already know that on number of occasions
07:51 in the end there is going to be no place for sin
07:55 and I say Thank you, Jesus.
07:59 The horrible mess that we've had to live with
08:02 and the problems of difficulties that sin
08:04 had brought into our lives,
08:06 I don't know about you, I'm fed up of it.
08:09 And I, when it's done
08:11 I want it to be done, I want it to be over.
08:15 And will preach us a sad chapter of the history of the universe
08:21 when it's over.
08:23 That's why the wages of sin is death
08:25 in the final analysis it will be destroyed.
08:28 But again, we have this you know,
08:30 I'm talking about the bad news
08:31 but I keep slipping into you'll find into the good news.
08:35 But this is a tribute to the depths of God's love
08:40 that He has paid the ultimate prize
08:43 so that we might be redeemed.
08:46 My friend, He doesn't want one of us here to die.
08:49 He does not want one individual in this community
08:53 or the state or in this world to perish.
08:59 But we have a choice.
09:02 We have a choice, right?
09:03 And choices do carry consequences.
09:06 And so the wages of sin is death.
09:08 Because the wages of sin is death
09:10 and all of us have sinned
09:11 therefore we are all deserving of death
09:13 because the Bible says that is the outcome of sin.
09:18 And then I take you to Jeremiah 13:23 on the screen.
09:22 We had asked the question
09:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?
09:28 Then you also can do good who are accustomed to do evil."
09:32 Now what is this really talking about, do you know?
09:34 An Ethiopian-- by the way, lets settle it.
09:37 What kind of skin does an Ethiopian have?
09:40 Light, dark, medium what do you think?
09:43 Have you ever met an Ethiopian?
09:46 Very dark skin.
09:47 I've been in Ethiopia.
09:49 Very dark skin people and it talks about here,
09:55 God is talking about leopards.
09:58 Well, you know leopards, leopards have spots.
10:01 So what's the point, what's the point here?
10:05 Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin?
10:08 Can a leopard change its spots?
10:12 My friend, there is a deep spiritual lesson
10:13 that is in all of this.
10:15 No, an Ethiopian cannot change the color of his skin
10:19 or her skin because an Ethiopian by nature has dark skin
10:25 and so it is with the leopard.
10:27 A leopard cannot change his spots because by nature
10:30 a leopard has spots and the spiritual lesson is this,
10:35 nor can we who have been tainted and deeply affected
10:38 by evil change our hearts.
10:42 We cannot change what we are by nature
10:45 and by nature we are fallen, by nature we are sinners, right.
10:52 I know, I told you this is gonna be the bad news of it.
10:55 Okay. And that is fundamental.
10:58 We got to get that clearly into out thinking we, you, me,
11:03 we cannot change what we are by nature.
11:07 Education's not gonna do it, culture is not gonna do it,
11:10 none of those things are gonna do it
11:12 is what the Bible tells us.
11:13 Now return to Matthew 5, the New Testament page 3.
11:16 Page 3, Matthew 5:20, actually chapter's 5-7
11:22 is a record of what we call the Sermon on the Mount
11:25 where Jesus is laying down the principles of His kingdom
11:29 and this all took place up there by the Sea of Galilee.
11:32 You remember the setting by the thousands
11:34 they have come to Jesus,
11:36 they have been spending a long day with Jesus
11:39 the time had just really sped by.
11:41 They just love the teachings of Jesus
11:43 but Jesus said something that to the average person
11:46 I can well imagine on that day that just must have,
11:49 absolutely just astounded them
11:52 because Jesus said here Matthew 5:20,
11:55 He said "For I say to you that unless your righteousness
12:00 surpasses that of the Scribes and the Pharisees
12:04 you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
12:09 Now again, just consider,
12:11 you know, again what the average individual
12:13 must have been thinking.
12:14 They knew something about the Scribes and the Pharisees.
12:16 They knew lot about Scribes and the Pharisees.
12:19 They were quiet in the religiosity,
12:24 I mean, they were very demonstrative
12:27 at least of the claims that they made.
12:29 I mean, they were rigid more or less,
12:31 they were meticulous in the pursuit of purity
12:36 and that's what must have,
12:37 we would say in the modern vernacular
12:39 that must have blown them away
12:43 that Jesus would say of the Scribes in the Pharisees,
12:46 you know, your righteousness must exceed that of these
12:52 well, self righteousness man
12:54 that's what it really comes down to.
12:57 That must have just absolutely astounded them
13:00 that Jesus would say it.
13:01 And my friend, it is actually well,
13:04 it is true because Jesus said it was true, right.
13:07 All righteousness must exceed far exceed
13:10 that of the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees.
13:13 What God requires on this is not 99.9% perfection
13:20 He requires of us absolute perfection.
13:27 Anybody again discouraged at this point?
13:29 Just hang on, just hang on. The standard is high.
13:35 And, my friend, let me tell you the plan of salvation
13:39 does not encompass the lowering of the standard.
13:44 This would be against the very character of God
13:47 and what He stands for to lower the standard for our salvation.
13:52 I knew it would be at affect when I and you sinned God say
13:56 its all right, I know you didn't really--
13:57 you didn't really mean to do this,
14:00 let's just forget it I forgive you.
14:03 No, no sin is much more serious than that.
14:06 It was so serious God could not do that
14:08 and be consistent with, with His principles
14:11 what He stood for and who He was in all of it.
14:16 This was of such a nature that required
14:18 the death of Jesus Christ to deal with this matter of sin.
14:22 It is never God saying, its all right, just forget it,
14:25 just, just you know.
14:27 God never lowers the standard in seeking to save us.
14:33 Now just hang in there,
14:34 I know that can be some kind of discouraging
14:37 to know that the standard is so high the problem.
14:40 The difficulty of that is we've already know that,
14:43 we are sinners we've been corrupted by evil
14:45 all of us have sinned
14:48 and we cannot possibly measure up to these requirements of God.
14:53 We've fallen short, haven't we? We have failed.
14:59 And, my friend, salvation does not encompass us pulling
15:03 ourselves up by the boot straps trying just hard enough
15:07 and if we try hard enough we will attain to the goal.
15:12 That is absolutely goal is at actually.
15:15 It's self made religion.
15:19 It's like reminds me of and I think I share this with you
15:22 once before in my last series down Thousand Oak, California
15:25 had a Muslim woman, 35 years of age coming
15:28 she was trying straight work this all out you know,
15:32 she want a meaning in her life, she was looking for it.
15:35 And she didn't know where to find it.
15:36 She was studying on the internet
15:38 through all of this world religions,
15:40 you may remember I shared this with you
15:42 and I told to Mona, I said Mona, you will spend a whole lifetime
15:47 and you still wont be able to study them all out.
15:50 And I said the one major difference between Christianity
15:54 and all other religions is that of a Savior.
16:01 And you have to decide whether and you know she understood sin
16:06 she did understand sin and the question I said Mona,
16:09 is do you need a Savior to help you deal with your sins?
16:16 And, my friend, that's the crucial issue.
16:19 All other religions are about self improvement.
16:24 Just follow the system, just follow the program
16:29 and you'll come out on the other side.
16:32 Well, that is not the way the Christianity works
16:35 but someone just thinking does creep in
16:37 because there we often think there just has to be something
16:40 that we do something we must do.
16:43 Look at Romans 9 the New Testament page 125,
16:47 Romans 9:31, 32.
16:50 This was the fundamental problem among God's people
16:55 when Jesus walked on the earth.
16:57 That is among His people the Jews
17:00 and Paul addresses that issue here on Romans 9
17:03 and beginning with verse 31.
17:06 Where He says
17:07 "But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness"
17:13 they pursued it, they believed in it,
17:16 they taught it, so they persuaded
17:19 but it says sadly "did not arrive at that law."
17:22 In other words they did not,
17:24 they were not successful in fulfilling that
17:27 which was required of them.
17:29 And then the questions asked verse 32, "Why,"
17:32 why would that be?
17:34 They believed in the law,
17:35 as I said already they taught it,
17:38 they had all of these rules about
17:40 how you were to keep the law.
17:42 All the rules were multiplied.
17:46 Well, here comes the answer,
17:47 "Because they did not pursue it by faith
17:51 but as though it were by works."
17:54 Now look at this carefully,
17:56 was Paul faulting them for pursuing a law?
17:59 Was that the fundamental problem?
18:02 No, that was not the problem.
18:04 The problem was in how they were seeking fulfill the law.
18:08 And how were they seeking to fulfill it?
18:11 Through their own works
18:13 that is through their own efforts.
18:17 And, my friend, we can fall into that deadly type of thinking
18:23 that somehow we must make ourselves good enough.
18:28 If I'm just obedient then God will smile upon me
18:33 and you know, the doors of salvation
18:36 will be opened to me and eternal life will be mine.
18:40 My friend, eternal life will not be granted to one of us
18:44 who have depended upon ourselves in anyway
18:48 when it comes to the matter of salvation.
18:51 I tell you, you are not the savior,
18:53 I'm not the savior He is the Savior from sin.
18:59 Think that over, we got to be sure we got this down.
19:02 So, how are we to seek to fulfill
19:05 the righteous demands of the law?
19:07 What's the answer? No word.
19:09 Would I pursue it by faith and no more talking about faith,
19:12 we are talking about relationship
19:15 for faith does not stand alone faith is always connected
19:19 to our commitment in Jesus Christ, isn't it.
19:24 It's our commitment to Jesus
19:27 and so it's out of our faith experience
19:30 out of our relationship to Jesus that the law is fulfilled.
19:34 I'm gonna get more specific about it
19:36 and I'm getting, I know I'm slipping into good news,
19:38 I guess there is no way to talk about the bad news
19:41 without getting a little bit of good news
19:42 in to the whole process
19:44 but the Scribe and the Pharisees are Jesus,
19:47 you know if Jesus had any frustration
19:55 it was with these self made,
19:58 self righteous individuals.
20:03 It was coming to the end of this ministry
20:04 as we come to Matthew 23:27 on the screen.
20:08 Coming to end of this ministry
20:09 after three and half years and steadily they had been
20:14 hardening their hearts against Jesus.
20:18 They put themselves on a course
20:19 where they were not going to believe.
20:22 They didn't a feel a need,
20:23 now notice they did not feel a need of Him.
20:26 They saw Him as a threat,
20:29 a threat that needed to be eliminated.
20:33 And He knew what was going on.
20:36 He is-- Jesus loved them right?
20:40 Be clear on this Jesus does love the Pharisee, the legalist.
20:46 But He knows that you know,
20:49 something fundamental has to change in their thinking
20:52 and so Jesus coming to the end of His ministry here
20:56 and He is seeking someway to get the point across.
21:00 This may sound harsh but Jesus was trying to,
21:04 trying to get them to really listen.
21:06 To really see themselves for what they really were.
21:09 They were so pretentious about this,
21:11 they had sold themselves a bill of goods,
21:13 they were self deceived,
21:16 they thought they were righteous.
21:17 But Jesus said to them in verse 27 of Matthew 23
21:21 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
21:24 Can you imagine how they must've felt
21:26 hearing Jesus say that.
21:27 I can imagine the adrenaline
21:29 and that the anger welling up within them.
21:33 The self righteous men that Jesus would presume
21:37 and publicly to do so to call them a hypocrite.
21:46 He goes on to say, "For you are like whitewashed tombs
21:49 which on the outside appear beautiful,
21:51 but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
21:55 Even so you too outwardly appear,
21:59 appear righteous to men
22:01 but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy"
22:05 and notice the word "lawlessness."
22:09 In spite of all their pretentiousness
22:14 Jesus was trying to get them
22:16 to really see themselves for what they really were.
22:20 And my friend, that is essential to our spiritual welfare,
22:26 for us to really see ourselves for what we really are.
22:32 This is part of what the spirit--
22:34 and this is the painful part of it.
22:37 The Spirit of God is working on our hearts
22:40 and God wants to get this whole ugly thing out in the open.
22:44 We can't hide it, it's not good for us to hide it.
22:49 We've got to get it out in the open.
22:52 Acknowledge and to understand
22:54 something of the nature of the problem
22:57 which reminds me and Gayle probably will relate to this
23:01 because remember Gayle and I,
23:03 Gayle was pastoring a district up in North Central Washington
23:07 and I took over that district, they moved out of that house,
23:10 that parsonage and we could do whatever was we were moving in.
23:15 We are talking about that house up there
23:18 and after two years of being there
23:21 I had Dick Renfrew come in to do
23:23 a series of meetings in Tonasket.
23:26 I don't know if you know the Okanogan country up there,
23:30 Dick and Rose we had a great time together
23:32 and we had a number people quiet a number of people
23:35 that were coming
23:36 and I remember that Alvin Doyle remember Doyle's.
23:41 Alvin and his wife were coming.
23:44 Now Alvin had been in orchid business
23:46 but now is in retirement and they had sold off place
23:51 and so they had this beautiful home
23:53 that they built in Auroville, about 1500 in population.
24:00 Alvin and his wife had been coming.
24:01 Alvin's wife was a Christian,
24:03 Alvin had never professed to be a Christian.
24:05 He just was really one of the nicest guys
24:07 you could ever expect to meet, really a nice kind gentleman.
24:13 And he had been coming as I said with his wife
24:15 and so once on the afternoon
24:17 Dick and I stopped by to visit with the Doyle's
24:19 and they graciously invited us into their front room
24:23 and we sat down we just had
24:24 some really pleasant conversation together
24:26 but we were talking to--
24:28 began to talk a little bit about spiritual things
24:30 and some of the things we had been studying in the meetings
24:33 and I will never forget what Alvin said is
24:35 we were talking about our relationship to Jesus
24:38 the pine salvation and that commitment,
24:41 you know, to Jesus as our Savior.
24:44 Alvin said to Dick and to me,
24:47 he said that he felt that he was
24:48 as good as any Christian he'd ever met.
24:52 Now think about this for a minute.
24:54 You know, actually from a human standpoint
24:56 he probably was correct. Probably was correct.
25:02 And then he went on to say that he was a good man
25:06 and surely God would accept him.
25:10 Now he wasn't going through all the religiosity
25:13 of the scribes and the Pharisees
25:14 and all the pretentiousness of the scribes and the Pharisees,
25:18 but notice really what he was saying.
25:21 He was saying that he really didn't need
25:24 a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
25:27 because he felt that he was good enough
25:31 and that is a fatal deception.
25:34 I find that, you know, it's a temptation for many of us.
25:38 You know, I'm not a drunkard,
25:39 I've never behaved drug addict,
25:41 I haven't been living in immoral life,
25:43 you know, I'm a responsible person,
25:45 I provide for my family you know, I'm a good citizen,
25:50 I haven't done anything particularly bad.
25:52 Oh yeah, I lied once when I was a kid
25:54 or something like that
25:55 you know, people think that way.
25:59 I'm not like the guy in skid row,
26:02 the drunk, the drunkard, you know the drunk.
26:05 I'm not that and there is no sense of need.
26:10 But my friend, bless his heart
26:16 Alvin was depended up on how good he was
26:21 and what have we read from the Bible is that gonna cut it ever.
26:25 No, it's not gonna cut it.
26:28 It's not going to save us,
26:30 it's not going to get us through.
26:32 And so what's the answer to all of this?
26:37 What is the answer?
26:38 Well, I think you have some idea
26:40 where I'm going with all of this.
26:42 But its very clear the Pharisees
26:44 as we can be we're concerned
26:46 about the exterior things of life,
26:48 the outward things of life.
26:50 Remember, Jesus said it
26:51 of them they appeared to be righteous.
26:58 But you see God reads the heart.
27:02 God sees us for what we really are.
27:04 We could be self deceived
27:05 but God sees us for what we really are.
27:09 There is no hiding from it
27:11 but I just remind you as God the searcher of our hearts,
27:17 we must be reminded
27:19 that He is a God of love
27:25 who's not seeking to condemn us
27:29 and to destroy us.
27:31 He is seeking to help us, to save us.
27:35 Look at Matthew 15:19 the New Testament page 13.
27:39 Jesus again spoke of this whole matter
27:41 and He is really getting into the heart of the whole problem.
27:44 Now we have to come to turns with Matthew 15:19.
27:51 And he makes a very, very vital point,
27:54 a very vital statement right here.
27:56 He said, "For out of the heart," out of the heart
27:59 "come evil thoughts murders, adulteries, fornications,
28:02 thefts, false witness, slanders,"
28:05 and the list could go on and on.
28:07 My friend, it is a heart problem
28:09 and you know we are not talking about this organ
28:11 that beats and provides blood for the body.
28:14 We are talking about the core of what we are,
28:16 what we are at the very core of our being.
28:20 Again, we have been corrupted by evil.
28:23 And it's out of the heart that all of this follows
28:26 and my friend, you cannot deal with exterior things of the life
28:30 to deal with the problem
28:31 they are just symptomatic of the problem.
28:35 They are symptomatic of a heart problem,
28:37 we need a heart transplant that's what we need.
28:43 And only God can do that as in divine position by the way.
28:47 There needs to be change of the heart
28:49 that's what it is, it's fundamental.
28:51 Absolutely that's why in Proverbs 23: 26
28:54 the Lord says, "Give Me your heart, My son."
28:58 And I'm going to tell you this is something
29:00 some of us struggle with this to gear myself,
29:03 to yield myself fully and completely to Jesus
29:06 unreservedly and particularly again those of us
29:11 who are strong willed.
29:14 You know, at some point
29:15 we have to wave the white flag
29:17 and say, I surrender. I surrender.
29:24 And we have to understand that
29:26 only He is the one that can resolve it.
29:28 Romans 3, the New Testament page 121, 121, Romans 3:28.
29:35 Romans 3, oh, yes we're gonna be in and out of Romans.
29:38 We've already been in and out of Romans for Paul deals
29:41 with these fundamental issues
29:42 and he makes this really vital statement
29:44 when he says, "For we maintain that a man is justified."
29:49 Justified means to be accepted,
29:51 acceptance is the essence of salvation.
29:56 "For we maintain that a man is justified,
29:58 he is saved, she is saved by faith."
30:02 Getting back to the relationship
30:03 "apart from works of the law."
30:07 My friend, we are not saved,
30:10 we are not justified we are not accepted
30:13 because we made ourselves good enough
30:16 because guess what, we can never ourselves
30:18 good enough to be saved, right.
30:25 We cannot make ourselves good enough.
30:27 So we are saved by faith apart from the words
30:31 of the law again is what the Bible clearly says.
30:34 So its not, it's by faith
30:38 that we come, not by our works.
30:40 It is our utter helplessness,
30:43 it is in the nakedness of our soul
30:46 that we come to Him and yet there are those
30:49 who believe that somehow they must change their lives
30:52 when they think about coming to Jesus
30:53 they must change their lives,
30:54 they must stop their bad habits and start doing good,
30:57 establishing good habits before they can come to Jesus.
31:01 My friend, listen to me that is a deception
31:03 it is one of Satan's lies.
31:08 We do not seek the change ourselves
31:11 to make it somehow good enough,
31:12 at least on some minimal level so that we can come to Jesus.
31:18 It's backwards if we could fix the problem before we came
31:23 we wouldn't have to come in the first place, right.
31:27 We wouldn't have to come in the first place.
31:29 No, we come just as we are.
31:31 And my friend, that is the beauty of the plan
31:33 of salvation that is also absolutely free
31:37 to know that God knows me better then I know myself,
31:39 my life is open to Him and yet He loves me
31:42 and He longs for me and He invites me
31:44 to come just as I am.
31:45 Yes, me with my temper, me with all of the problems
31:48 and all of the issues that I have with my life.
31:53 I can come us as I am
31:55 and I know that He will receive me,
31:57 I know that because He loves me
32:01 and then it puts aside when we really grab a whole
32:04 of this personally it puts aside all of the game play
32:09 that we can get into as professing Christians.
32:13 It gets us away from wearing the mask that we could do
32:17 you know, that we are so good at wearing in church,
32:21 going through the appearance
32:24 when at heart there may be issues
32:26 that are just burning within us,
32:28 conflicts within, conflicts without.
32:32 And my friend, I tell you again its free,
32:35 I've been there
32:37 it's just freeing to be able to come to Jesus
32:39 and to know that He loves me,
32:41 He loves me sinner than I am.
32:44 And again comes just as I am
32:46 and He will accept me and He will forgive me
32:49 and He doesn't say, change your life
32:51 and then you come.
32:52 He doesn't say change your life and then I'll forgive you,
32:54 no come as you are that was one of the songs
32:57 that was being sung at the very beginning if you remember.
33:02 Yes, its all-- it's wonderful
33:04 to know that there is a God that loves us so fully like that.
33:08 All right just can't get out, keep from the good news can I?
33:13 Ephesians 2:8, 9 says,
33:15 "For by grace you have been saved through faith
33:18 and that not of yourselves,"
33:20 it is never of us it's always at Him.
33:24 If it was about us then you know
33:25 we are on the wrong track you know that.
33:28 We are on the wrong track.
33:30 "It is the gift of God." Oh, no, it can't be that simple.
33:35 It's a gift. Really it's a gift, yes it is.
33:42 "Not as a result of works" which means again it's not
33:48 because we have made ourselves worthy enough, good enough.
33:56 My friend, we got to get this out of thinking.
34:00 We are never worthy.
34:05 If you feel that God can only accept you
34:09 when you are worthy my friend,
34:12 you'll never get there and it remains so.
34:19 I don't care if you've been in the way for 40 years
34:23 you are not gonna be saved
34:24 because you ever come to the point that you are worthy.
34:28 Never, never, ever.
34:31 My friend, the point is there is only one
34:33 that is worthy and that's Jesus.
34:35 I've got to-- you know,
34:38 get that connection tonight very clearly.
34:40 Look at Romans 5:8 the New Testament page 122,
34:44 122 Romans 5:8 where it says,
34:47 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us,"
34:49 His own personal love, His own commitment to us
34:52 "in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
34:55 There it is clearly indicated that God loves us as sinners.
35:01 And since it is a sinners that Christ died for
35:03 and that God loves us
35:04 it is as sinners that we must come to Him, right.
35:08 It is as sinner that we come to Him.
35:11 That's how it works.
35:12 And Luke 15 the New Testament page 60.
35:16 Luke 15 and looking at verses 1 and 2.
35:19 Here again we see the scribes
35:21 and the Pharisees struggling with this.
35:23 I mean again they were self made man
35:26 they were self righteous,
35:28 you know, they thought they had attained it.
35:31 What deception.
35:33 And my friend, that deception must not be ours.
35:36 Here it is Luke 15 began with verse 1,
35:38 "Now all the tax collectors
35:39 and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him."
35:42 That was just something about Jesus the way
35:44 that He talked that these sinners,
35:47 tax collectors are they were kind of the outcast
35:49 they represent the hatred Romans
35:52 there was something about Jesus
35:53 that made them feel comfortable coming near Him.
35:57 They were coming right up close to Him.
35:59 They wanted to be right there in the front seats.
36:02 They didn't want to miss one word
36:04 that was coming from the lips of Jesus,
36:06 they were listening intently.
36:08 There was just something about the way that He spoke.
36:11 Then we-- here they come verse 2,
36:13 "Both the Pharisees and the scribes
36:15 began to grumble, saying,
36:16 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.'"
36:19 How can He do that?
36:22 Doesn't He know what kind of people
36:24 He is associating with?
36:27 Let me tell you this
36:28 and go on in the church shame on us.
36:32 If it goes on in the church and it does.
36:34 That's what in the series of meetings
36:36 that was years ago
36:37 and I had two young women who were coming.
36:40 They were known to the church,
36:41 they had been raised as Christians in that church,
36:44 had departed from God
36:46 but there was something that had drawn them
36:47 into the meetings and they were coming
36:50 and they were coming
36:51 and two to three weeks in the meetings
36:53 that was a board meeting.
36:55 I wasn't invited but there was some discussions
36:57 about these two young women that were attending the meetings
37:00 and the decision was taken by the board
37:02 and it was communicated to me that under no circumstances
37:07 were those two young ladies to ever be re-baptized.
37:12 I turned on the phone and I called up
37:16 my superior Ben Liebelt
37:20 and I said Ben, in all my years of ministry
37:23 I never had anybody tell me
37:25 who I can lead to Christ and who I could not.
37:27 I just could not believe it.
37:29 I thought to myself, don't they see any potential
37:31 what God could do in their lives
37:34 that they will take that kind of position.
37:38 And so being independent guy that I was I just kept working,
37:42 I kept preaching, I kept visiting,
37:44 I kept encouraging,
37:45 I guess I already said that didn't I
37:47 and one of them made a recommitment to Jesus Christ.
37:51 How could she be denied, you tell me.
37:55 Now the other didn't make that decision
37:58 but shame on the church
38:02 that would be so self righteous
38:05 that they'll take that position of Pharisee,
38:08 how dare he associate
38:11 with this lower class of people.
38:14 May that never be said of us
38:16 who have been saved by such marvelous grace
38:18 from our own sins.
38:21 Aren't we not to have some compassion
38:24 because we are in the same predicament
38:27 as every other sinner?
38:30 Should we not have compassion?
38:32 You know, I tell you sometimes we as professing Christians
38:36 actually can have so we can have hard, cold hearts.
38:42 I have to tell something, something's missing.
38:45 I'll tell you what it is in every case.
38:47 It's the love of Jesus that's missing
38:49 because when you have the love of Jesus in your heart
38:52 you cannot judge people that way.
38:55 You can't treat people that way.
38:58 Can you? No, I don't believe so.
39:03 You know, it's like the words of that all gospels song
39:07 "Just as I am, without one plea,
39:09 but that thy blood was shed for me,
39:12 and that thou bidd'st me come to thee,
39:13 Oh God. Lamb of God.
39:15 I come, I come."
39:20 Matthew 9, the New Testament page 7.
39:23 Matthew 9:10- 13.
39:25 I've got to keep moving here.
39:27 I'm dwelling too much on-- but these essential things
39:31 I just want to be sure that
39:32 they're really clear in our thinking.
39:34 It could be make such a tremendous difference
39:37 in our spiritual welfare
39:38 and in the joy that is ours in Jesus
39:41 when we realize it's not of us it is always of Him.
39:45 And here we have them again, Matthew 9:10.
39:49 It says "Then it happened that
39:50 as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house,
39:54 behold, many tax collectors and sinners came
39:57 and were dining with Jesus and His disciples."
39:59 Jesus had just called Matthew
40:00 a tax collector to be one of his closes disciples.
40:03 Matthew had invited
40:05 all of his tax collecting friends
40:08 and there were sinners among them,
40:10 they were all sinners weren't they?
40:12 And he invited Jesus to come to meet,
40:15 you know, with them.
40:16 You know, so he was already a missionary.
40:18 Wasn't He? Matthew was.
40:20 He's already showing the good news.
40:21 Verse 11, "When the Pharisee saw this,"
40:24 they were always close on hand with Jesus somehow,
40:27 "they said to His disciples, 'Why is your teacher eating
40:30 with the tax collectors and sinners?'"
40:32 They just couldn't get this.
40:34 "But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those
40:36 who are healthy who need a physician,
40:39 but those who are sick.
40:41 But go and learn what this means
40:44 'I desire'" and what is the next word
40:47 "'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,'
40:51 for I did not come to call the righteous,
40:54 but sinners."
40:57 And my friend, I'm one of those sinners
40:59 and Jesus came for me
41:03 and Jesus called me at some point in my life
41:06 and He still calls me.
41:09 And Jesus has come to many of you
41:12 and He has called you, as a sinner.
41:15 Praise His holy name.
41:19 What a wonderful thing. He took the first steps.
41:23 We are never the ones who take first steps
41:25 God is always the one that is reaching out
41:27 taking the first steps.
41:30 And my friend, there is a position,
41:32 there is a Balm in Gilead
41:34 as it says in the Old Testament
41:36 for the sin sick soul and my friend,
41:38 that balm is the love and the grace of Jesus Christ.
41:42 It is that.
41:43 Tell you a story about Elizabeth Barrack that illustrates this.
41:46 Elizabeth Barrack went through
41:47 some tragic experiences as a young,
41:49 as a little girl actually.
41:52 She had lost her mother in death,
41:55 her mother died
41:57 and as a very small girl she'd fallen off her horse
42:00 and had been left crippled.
42:02 And she writes about how her father had become embittered
42:05 because of the losses in his life
42:07 and she writes how often he would leave her
42:11 through the long hours of the day,
42:13 alone in her seclusion of her bedroom,
42:17 but she learned in those lonely hours
42:20 that she could write.
42:23 She wrote poetry and eventually through her poetry
42:26 she became acquainted
42:28 with the American poet Robert Browning
42:31 and that correspondence developed
42:33 all pre email of course.
42:35 Correspondence began to develop
42:37 between the two of them
42:38 and a relationship blossomed in time.
42:41 Love, they fell in love,
42:46 but Robert had a problem and so did Elizabeth
42:48 because her father was dead set against the relationship.
42:53 This is another generation.
42:55 You know, remember it used to be you go to mom
42:58 and dad to ask if you could be married to that man.
43:04 That's the kind of culture that was going on
43:06 then anyway, dad was dead set against it.
43:09 They had to marry in secret.
43:11 And secretly Robert had to come
43:14 and he had to move her out of that house.
43:16 They took a ship, made their way to Italy.
43:21 And within a year of being married,
43:23 Elizabeth who had been this ill
43:25 with through most of her childhood
43:28 began to take her first steps
43:31 as Robert was encouraging and helping.
43:35 And she came to the point, she even climbed a mountain.
43:41 Tell me what made the difference?
43:44 Love. Love always makes a difference.
43:46 You see we are crippled by nature
43:49 and its the love of God that'll make the difference
43:54 and does make the difference in our lives, right.
43:57 And then 2 Corinthians 5:21,
44:02 this is really the point I'm working for.
44:03 Remember, remember Jesus said,
44:05 it all righteousness must exceed far exceed
44:07 that of the scribes and the Pharisees
44:08 and this is how it all works.
44:11 Second Corinthians-- are you awake out there?
44:13 Don't you fall asleep at this point.
44:15 This is the punch line that we've been working towards.
44:18 Here in 2 Corinthians 5:21speaking of God,
44:20 "He," god "made Him" Jesus "who knew no sin."
44:26 The innocent one. "To be sin on our behalf."
44:32 Now usually we think of Jesus burying our sins
44:35 but it says here that Jesus identity with us
44:39 as a sin bearer on the Cross of Calvary
44:41 is so complete that He became sin itself.
44:47 Notice it says, on our behalf or for us,
44:51 that's the substitution that's taking place.
44:55 And He experiences the separation
44:57 and abandonment because of sin.
45:00 And He experience the death
45:02 that is the wages of sin on the Cross of Calvary for us
45:06 "on our behalf, so that we might become
45:10 the righteousness of God," how?
45:15 "In Him," in Jesus.
45:17 And my friend, that's how it works.
45:19 That's why I said that-- as we got--
45:21 we got started in this, our righteousness must exceed,
45:24 far exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees
45:26 and 99.9% is not gonna do,
45:28 it is absolute 100% perfection
45:34 which is an impossibility for us of ourselves
45:37 but when we accept Jesus who is absolutely,
45:42 fully and completely perfect
45:47 we receive perfection, don't we.
45:54 Receiving Jesus and the life of Jesus we receive
45:57 the perfect life of Jesus and that starts substitution,
46:02 He takes our sins by faith,
46:04 we embrace Him as our Savior.
46:06 We embrace His perfect life and God looks upon us
46:12 as if we were perfect through Jesus.
46:15 That's how it works. That's how it works.
46:19 That's an interesting phrase. That is how it works.
46:23 And the only way that it works.
46:25 So, it's never you know, try harder,
46:27 try be a little bit better, try to improve here,
46:29 try to improve this over here in your life.
46:32 Of course we want, you know,
46:33 if we were happy about our lives of sin
46:35 we wouldn't be motivated to come to Jesus,
46:37 it's not that we want to remain there,
46:40 but we know that it's not by trying to change it
46:43 which we cannot do that we get to the end point
46:46 which is our salvation.
46:48 It's not by our changing, it's by allowing Jesus
46:54 as we give ourselves to Him to take control of our lives
46:58 and for Him to work it out in us
47:01 and it's that process by which we become like Him.
47:05 I know I'm throwing a lot at you, but you can handle it.
47:10 Got to get this right.
47:14 You can understand this I know this,
47:16 you can understand this intellectually
47:18 and yet consciously or sub more,
47:21 more often subconsciously yet be relying on something
47:25 that we must do.
47:29 It's important to get it our understanding right,
47:33 because it can reach down into your subconscious.
47:35 So we are never relying upon us,
47:38 we're not relying upon us, who are we relying on,
47:43 we don't rely upon us we rely upon Jesus.
47:47 That's the point that we are getting at.
47:49 So, are you following me?
47:50 Are you with me at this point?
47:52 Second Corinthians 5:21 it is a marvelous thing,
47:55 it takes the burden of the law from us
47:59 and Jesus has assured us that He is gonna take care of it all.
48:02 Romans 5:17 the New Testament page 122,
48:06 122 Revelation-- Romans 5:17.
48:10 I've been in Revelation too much in recent nights.
48:14 Romans 5:17.
48:18 Notice again, how many times have we been into Romans?
48:23 It's really one of-- it's probably my favorite book.
48:27 It's actually in a ladder and we miss little but,
48:29 anyway here it is Romans 5:17, it says,
48:32 "For if by the transgression of the one,
48:34 death reigned through the one,"
48:37 talking about Adam as the head of the race
48:39 "much more those who receive the abundance of grace"
48:42 receive the abundance of grace
48:44 "and of the gift of righteousness
48:48 will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."
48:51 That which God requires of us
48:53 again that absolute perfection, that absolute, you know,
48:56 100% purity and righteousness
48:59 that which God requires of us,
49:02 He gives to us as a gift in His son
49:07 and when we receive Jesus Christ by faith
49:10 we are embracing that absolute perfect life, right.
49:16 That's how it works.
49:17 We call this theologically righteousness by faith
49:22 and the opposite is legalism righteousness by my works.
49:29 Don't go there because it never works
49:32 and those who do go there find themselves
49:35 soon or later they realize how frustrating that experience
49:38 really is when you are trying to measure up
49:42 and that's part of what we give up.
49:44 And then Romans 3 the New Testament page 121.
49:49 Romans 3:21, 22.
49:52 Oh, we might as well read the whole book, right.
49:57 Because it does, it deals with these issues.
49:59 Right on through particularly chapter eight
50:02 and sometimes just read from Romans one through chapter eight
50:05 it just really puts a lot of things together.
50:07 Romans 3:21, 22 where it says,
50:11 "But now apart from the Law
50:14 the righteousness of God has been manifested,
50:17 being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets."
50:20 And that manifestation of the righteousness of God
50:23 apart from the Law is the manifestation
50:25 of the righteousness in the person of Jesus
50:29 and He lived out that perfect life
50:31 upon this planet, down on our level.
50:33 It's been manifested in the living example of Jesus.
50:38 It says verse 22, "Even the righteousness of God
50:43 through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believed."
50:49 Okay.
50:51 So, the law bears testimony
50:55 to this righteousness, it is codified.
50:59 But again the point here
51:00 is it has been manifested in the person of Jesus.
51:06 He is the embodiment of the righteousness,
51:12 that is required of us and then that comes to us as a gift.
51:16 And so we attain true righteousness
51:19 by accepting Jesus who is again
51:21 the manifestation of God's righteousness in human flesh.
51:24 Our standing with God is not dependent
51:27 or based on how good we are but on how good He is.
51:32 And that would be something
51:34 we're really getting again into our thinking.
51:37 Philippians 3, there was a Pharisees
51:39 who did get any bold witness of it.
51:41 The New Testament page 155, Philippians 3:4.
51:50 You know, he had been there,
51:51 he had been in this self made, self righteousness
51:55 that was so typical of the scribes and the Pharisees
51:58 and telling the Damascus rode in that blinding light,
52:01 He saw one that was beyond words
52:06 afterward transformed his life.
52:09 And here it is beginning with verse 4,
52:10 "Although I myself"
52:12 Paul says, "might have confidence even in the flesh.
52:15 If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh,
52:18 I far more," and notice what he is talking about
52:21 when he talks about putting confidence in the flesh.
52:23 He's talking actually about some very religious things
52:26 as you look at verse 5, "Circumcised the eight day."
52:29 That was a sign of the communal relationship.
52:32 That's what that circumcision was.
52:35 "Of the nation of Israel,"
52:36 man, he has the right spiritual pedigree,
52:40 "of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews,
52:42 as to the Law, a Pharisee."
52:44 He had made it.
52:46 So he thought.
52:50 Verse 6 "As to zeal, a persecutor of the church,
52:53 as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless."
52:57 So He thought but, notice that word contrast.
53:02 "But whatever things were gain to me,
53:05 those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ."
53:09 And when he saw Jesus he began to gain a total new perspective
53:14 as well happened in as it does happen to us.
53:18 We began to see things as it really are.
53:25 "More than that," verse 8,
53:26 "I count all things to be loss in view
53:28 of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
53:33 for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
53:36 and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ."
53:40 Everything just seems in comparison to be rubbish.
53:44 And it was.
53:46 Those games that scribes and Pharisees were playing
53:49 my friend, they were just a bunch of rubbish.
53:51 It wasn't really, when we come down to it,
53:54 it was really nonsense.
53:57 And not of one of them would be in the kingdom
53:58 unless they went through the experience of this Pharisee
54:02 and not one of us will be there in the kingdom
54:05 unless we have a similar experience
54:07 as Paul found in Jesus Christ
54:10 and the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus.
54:17 Verse 9 "And may be found in Him,
54:19 not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law,"
54:22 that is from keeping the commandments
54:24 "but that which is through faith in Christ,
54:26 the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
54:31 There it says it.
54:33 I now we've been talking about the Ten Commandments
54:35 in this series of, haven't we.
54:37 We talked about the fourth commandment the Sabbath
54:39 but my friend, there is a reason why
54:42 in the midst of all of the subjects we've been looking at
54:45 but I come in this one and in part it is to say,
54:48 yes, the commandments are important.
54:49 We have transgressed the law, that's why we are sinners,
54:52 that's why Jesus had to come and die for us.
54:56 But I also want to make it clear biblically
54:58 we do not establish our standing with God
55:02 through keeping the commandments.
55:04 Remember, I spoke about this keeping the commandments
55:07 is never the means of our salvation,
55:11 it's the evidence of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
55:15 Keeping the commandments it says, it's always the evidence.
55:19 Because I tell you only the one
55:21 that knows Jesus can keep His commands.
55:23 So, it's not that we don't believe in the commandments
55:26 and that we don't believe in keeping them
55:28 we just know that if us it is impossible,
55:31 so never go beyond that.
55:32 That's impossible, forget it.
55:35 Yeah, it's impossible but in the relationship
55:39 Jesus, remember Philippians 2:13,
55:42 it is God who is at work in you, both to real
55:46 and to do according to His good pleasure.
55:50 And remember we are talking about the deeds,
55:52 well just by our deeds the deeds reveal who possess the heart
55:58 and the obedience follows.
56:01 It is the fruitage of the relationship, it's that.
56:09 That's why 1 John 2:3,
56:12 it's one of my favorite passages in this regard where it says,
56:15 "By this we know that we have come to know Him,
56:17 if we keep His commandments."
56:20 And again it's the evidence that we come to know Jesus,
56:23 it's not the means of our salvation.
56:26 There is an old Indian Chief, I'm Indian but destroyed.
56:28 There is a old Indian Chief that constantly was talking about
56:32 how much he loved Jesus, how much Jesus meant to him.
56:35 And finally somebody asked him,
56:37 you know, why you always talking about Jesus?
56:41 And at that he stood down and gathered up some sticks
56:44 and some little bit of grass
56:46 and he made a little circle out of it
56:48 and he found a little caterpillar near by
56:51 and he put it into the middle of that
56:54 you know, that round
56:56 you know, with all of the sticks and grass stuff
56:58 and he lit it on fire.
57:01 And that little caterpillar as that fire began to grow,
57:05 that caterpillar was trying to find the way out.
57:08 He went from one side to the other looking desperately
57:11 for a way out as the fire was increasing.
57:15 And finally in desperation that would found itself
57:18 in the middle of this that little caterpillar
57:22 just reached up as high as it could, the heat,
57:26 it was feeling the intensity of the heat.
57:29 And at that point that Indian Chief reached out
57:33 and brought that caterpillar out of the fire
57:36 and he said, that's what Jesus did for me.
57:41 That's why I talk about Jesus all the time.
57:45 And my friend, that is what Jesus has done for you
57:49 and that's what Jesus has done for me.
57:54 He is the center point of all truth, isn't He.


Revised 2014-12-17