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October 4, 2022 12:00 am
The Apostle Paul makes is clear that we are all running toward eternity. The question is… are you running in the right direction?
Sanford Mills of Judah came to faith in Christ Israel wanted to be the captain of her own soul, the master of her own ship, but Israel lost both her rudder and her compass what would save her from being drawn into the vortex of how goes on to give the answer, of course, according to the Bible answers not more speed. It is in a better boat. It is in better sailors around you saying our doing the right thing. None of that matters. When you are sailing toward Niagara Falls today on wisdom from the heart.
He continues his series entitled how to get to heaven from Earth. Today he examines the sad reality that many people in this world are moving full speed but in the wrong direction pierced Marsha and I were headed to Pennsylvania to take our twin boys to college couple of hours into our trip and I got a call on my cell phone. My daughter charity her 10-year-old who asked me if I would give a message to the guys and I said sure honey what was the message she said well tell them to make sure they leave a suitcase in my room and I said what she said tell and make sure the leaves suitcase in my room. I trust guys elect a suitcase in a room I asked you to check before he left and then I heard a no-no daddy tell him to leave a suitcase in my when I finally got it. I said honey I remember what I preached even as today's my well touching moment.
After a couple of days in Pennsylvania. Marsha and I headed back took us longer than usual part of the reason for that was that I was temporarily turned around, which is a nice way of saying I was lost I never use a map.
I just use MapQuest and the map somewhere in the back underneath suitcases and was long before I knew I was supposed to pick up 83 off 81 never or maybe was 81 off of 83. I can't remember but somewhere in there I was in a pick that up and just wasn't happening. I knew I was in the vicinity. And so I knew I was lost and immediately pull off test for directions. Eventually I turned off to ask for direction and you know Marsha woke up. Of course I was up, check the tires. No.
I told her law studying and asked for directions that I really did want her to this, the joy this moment and so we pulled over. The odds of getting ahead back this way you're going right the first time he just had gone far enough. In fact, if I just gone in the original direction one more exit.
I would've seen the big signs that say Interstate 83 so you know one of those things I thought some study for this message.
Everything happens alive.
Preachers got me an illustration somewhere. So here comes. Imagine for a moment if Marsha had awakened in the night was wrong.
I would've said well you were lost but don't worry about it. I got the solution. What's that, well, I'm going to go faster. I'm just going to apply a little more gas here going to stay alert and be more determined and I'm convinced will get how she would say honey will switch places you need the net more than I do. That's probably probably would be true in the truth is speed when you're lost isn't the solution.
No matter how determined you are the charming people don't necessarily make their destination right and if you're lost, going faster to simply mean you're going to go further away from your destination that much faster. You have to get off that road and find your way back and I'm sure you're aware of the fact is I am that all roads do not lead to Raleigh. That's true in the physical world. It would be foolish for me to say honey it doesn't matter whether it's 83 S. 81 N. 58 W.*E*64 determined I'm convinced I'm passionate about driving were going to make it would matter. Are you aware that there are millions of well-intentioned people who are driving as it were.
There spiritual SUVs believing that no matter what road they are on if they are passionate if they are committed if they are dedicated they will make it to God. They are determined travelers.
We live around them. Our mission is to share the gospel with them and it's not a new problem intact. In Romans chapter 10. If you look there again Paul is writing about very disciplined, passionate, lost travelers, he says in verse one brother and my hearts desire and my prayer to God for them. That is, Israel is for their salvation. That's my burden and my passion for them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, right up all his own dad. In verse two. I bear them witness, I testify on their behalf. What Paul they have is the old for God, you know, we could stop right here. Preach this is a wonderful text for every one of us who believe in Christ. When this be a wonderful attribute for those of us who follow him. The people would look at us and say they have zeal for God, they do the rights of Israel. They have zeal for God, but he goes on, but not in accordance with knowledge for not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God for characteristics certainly illustrated by Israel but illustrated in the lives of those who disbelieve those who refused about her knee. As we go out and share the gospel with those of yet to come to faith. We pray they will care for characteristics of the unbeliever who refuse Christ as their Messiah. It was true. In Paul's day. It is true in our day, not only of Jew or Gentile. I hope this will help you as you repair yourself and your life and your testimony in reaching the lost with the gospel. Number one the unbelieving are unwavering in their religious passion. If you go back to verse two. You notice their solid conviction. Paul says they have zeal for God, they are defenders of God mentioned God, and they will defend him, passionate and dedicated about God and the law of God, that they are so committed to him that even his name is something they will not honor absolute respect. Now you need to understand that when we say they were zealous for God that were also finding within that phrase. The implication, of course, being zealous for the things of God, the law of God. The people of God the place of got the temple of got all that was bound up in the passion of the Jew. Interesting that the word zealous Zeo loss in the original language means passionate commitment, enthusiasm, dedication, they were zealous. They were enthusiastic they were dedicated to God and the law in the temple, and all of their tradition, all bound up in one fact, the word was used to refer to a fanatical group of Jews that grows up among the Israelites who believe that the only way to handle Roman was to cut their throat.
They became known as Ceylon so passionate word today that would kill to uphold what they believe to be the name of God. Trouble was, they turned God into somebody he wasn't the added regulation upon regulation so that the law meant what it was never intended to mean it became a wearisome burden. Paul said the law to the Galatian believers was a tutor to lead you to Christ, a private instructor to show you that you needed savings so that he writes that we might be justified by faith.
The law is something that shows us our depravity, our sinfulness and their need for someone outside of ourselves. Someone perfect who is able to keep all of God's law who can rescue us you want to know how zealous they were, for the way they believed away. They believe would take them directly into the presence of God. There zeal for the law there zeal for their tradition. The minutia of the law, the prohibition they'd added the God in reference number of things.
The Israelite was not to do overturning them in the New Testament in this new covenant. They were so passionate they felt that even some of the minutia was worth dying for.
Listen to this one.
Illustration Dr. Barclay provided a historical incident about a Jewish priest and Eliezer are Eliezer R was brought before Antiochus epiphanies Antiochus epiphanies was second century out of Hitler. He hated the Julie wanted to exterminate them from the earth. He despised Judaism. He he installed a statue of Zeus inside the temple. He desecrated the temple and now he brought according to this historical record, an old priest before him and ordered him to eat a piece of pork. The old priest.
Of course, refused and said these words. Quote if you were to pluck out my eyes. We live under the law will die rather than violated.
He went on to say this, which is insightful. He said if he was put to death the fathers would receive him.
Holy and pure because he did violate the law.
He was ordered to be beaten in history recorded. His flesh was torn by the whips he streamed down the blood. He fell and soldiers kicked them.
However, near the end of his life a soldier so pity them that they brought him dressed meet which was not pork and told him to eat it and say that he and Eden Park. He refused even that was finally killed as he died he said I am dying for the sake of the law.
If you listen carefully. There you might've caught Eliezer's comment that by not violating the law. He believed he would be received into eternity. As a holy man holy and pure.
What unbelievable zeal so much of it is admirable what passion what great commitment in the wrong direction fact that's Paul's next statement is he is the comment about the zeal of the unbeliever. Not only are they unwavering the religious passion there. Secondly, unteachable of her spiritual position notice for student I bear them witness that they have zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge not knowing about God's righteousness. Does this mean the Jews were ignorant of God.
The righteousness of God, the attributes of God.
Does this mean they were ignorant of the law of God. Now they knew much about God. They knew much about the word of God. They revered the law. They revered the tour.
They revered those Old Testament writings factors scribes who'd given and dedicated their lives to commenting and writing and teaching the law work the most venerated men within their culture and factor graves were were held with superstitious all one author noted, the scribes were given the prestigious titles of rabbi and master. They always sat in the places of highest honor and banquets and religious feasts in the synagogues, which was the place of education, they would sit with their backs to the cupboards that contain the scrolls of the Torah, indicating their unique positions as its sole interpreter. The people were almost completely rely on these leaders ready knowledge of God's word is a people for the most part involves a smoker make scriptures written in Hebrew, they relied on these men to teach them and then they simply added upon the word of God. They keep the potted prohibitions they heaped upon regulation it was to these leaders of Jesus Christ, of course, gave his strongest words he said whoa to you for you have taken away the key of knowledge you've taken away the key of knowledge which would of course be the person of Jesus Christ to another group of these leaders. He said you are in error. Not understanding the Scriptures or the power of God.
Oftentimes Jesus would say that the religious leaders. Have you never what have you never read. Have you never read the Scriptures. Of course they'd read it. They had the books of the prophets memorized. They'd missed the key. Paul writes they had zeal for God, but not according to knowledge the word uses a significant it is in the usual word for knowledge, gnosis refers to we could call intellectual facts had knowledge instead of Edward Paul use the compound word pig gnosis, which means recognition, spiritual insight, perception. That's why Paul wrote to Timothy, saying they all are always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth that memorized a set of rules, but they had no relationship with God through Christ. They chosen facts over fellowship activity over authentic personal relationship with God. Jesus Christ however said this, if you abide in my word.
If you do well in my word.
If you live in my word.
If you're surrounded, as it were by the truth of my word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you what free. You know the message of the church is is the truth of God's liberating word. Jesus said that the truth would set people free and the religious scholars and leaders and rabbis would not however be taught and they let the people who then picked up either on human nature depravity. Surely the way that we God must be our own way. Let's do it ourselves.
Let's keep the law that makes sense. I've told people so often look if I told you there are 10 things you have to do to get a huge sale doing all know for me to say this for you just have to receive this gift. You can't do that so much harder going full speed in the wrong direction. I was in the store and I was some reason the only person being dealt with by this one young man.
Nobody else was around and so I inquired if he ever was able to get away for the weekend and go to church. He responded all I've got major problems with organized religion and I said well I can't stand it either and I can't know what I mean. He said he I got I got philosophical problems with organized religion and I said well what just what do you believe I said well it's kinda complicated, but I have developed my own religion.
Whether that bright young man knew it or not, happen to believe in his own organize thoughts born out of his own philosophical opinion that he had created his own organize what religion he was God. He was confident he was bright, he was committed. He was unmovable and unteachable. God says there is a way seems right to a man but the end thereof is what death have different from that story of unbelief was a note I received 23 days ago from a young woman that I had shared Christ with sometime earlier at the time she didn't accept Christ.
I'd left her with the challenge to just read God's word. For those of us who believe, we believe, and take seriously the words of David who under inspiration of the Holy Spirit said in Psalm 119, 130. The entrance byword giveth light, it's the truth of God's word.
The Holy Spirit uses anyway so it was such a great delight to just a couple of days ago I got back in Pennsylvania I look over all of the my email and find this particular note and she wrote this kind note which included these words. In fact they so clearly apply to this textured probably going to think I'm making it up is what she wrote. I've always thought that seeking out literature was the best way to find a solution to be prepared and knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects to feel good about knowing the facts. But guess what the best source of knowledge was right there in front of me all along in the Scriptures how wrong I have been and I have and she capitalized every letter I have accepted the gift of salvation from God. Three! It is an gnosis that isn't head knowledge isn't more facts.
It is epic gnosis which God's spirit brings to hair which turns on the light and there is understanding and teachability.
Paul is agonizing here over his fellow kinsman because they are unwavering in their religious passion they are unteachable in their spiritual position.
Let me give you 1/3, they are uninhibited in their spiritual performance notice. Further along in verse three. They are seeking to establish their own righteousness. That's what they want to do. They refuse to acknowledge their sin and refuse to acknowledge their need of a Savior. They refused to accept God who might judge sin and condemn sinners, so were left with nothing to believe in, but ourselves. We believe in us, so we establish our own righteousness isn't that the message of our culture. I don't if I can take one more those little Disney movies where they give you that same theme to the little kids just believe in yourself. I believe in myself. I have nothing to offer me. I did offer me no security, no hope. Paul will sign the layers of my heart and you find the same error but they were trying to establish their own righteousness they were seeking the verb tense indicates, they were constantly persistently continually seeking another way to make themselves feel better about themselves why they had to get a believe in something worth believing in Matthew six of course catalogs their public performances before men prayed in public and they made sure that they reached an intersection at the point when the call to prayer will be given in the holy city so they can be seen praying at all for direction or from all for direction when they fasted, they put dust on their heads in a mournful look on their faces until somebody said wow you know something wrong while I'm fasting you found in your own life that when you're praying you want somebody to know about it when you fast you want to make sure somebody knows it is our nature to want to perform.
They built a religion out of their performances. They gave money as well. In Matthew six and such of an ostentatious manner. They sounded the trumpet, the Lord referred to the sounding of the trumpet. This trumpet shaped trumpet flared receptacles in the temple and they would drop their money in it and make it climbing and people would love and hello and wow pedestal would just get higher. They were seeking to establish their own righteousness.
It's interesting the Greek word translated to establish is a word that actually referred in Paul's date of the building of a monument so good because that's what they were doing seeking the build shrine, not to the glory of God, but to themselves. Hey look everybody like a magnificent what I have established looks. Isn't this wonderful I saw illustration after illustration of the Hopi people would put her own shrine in England and Scotland this past summer we entered one cathedral after another saw the shrines. The elaborate tombs inside the cathedral walls. In fact, massive cathedrals were nothing more than miserly. We visited the most famous indoor graveyard known as Westminster Abbey and were struck by its beautiful corridors.
It's famous halls.
It's massive arches and of course as we walked along every stone just about we stepped on was marked with the name of someone who was fortunate for well-connected enough for wealthy to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
If you know enough of church history as you walk along you would see names of people who hated the gospel people who denied Christ, people are put believers to death.
People who oppose the Reformation people live immoral lives to the Maryann people who spent their lives supposing God. What irony it was to walk across one large stone carved into it was the name Charles Darwin thought.
Imagine spending your life shaking your fist in the face of the creator God.
But then we were told by the guy. The families paid enough money and was well-connected enough to make sure that his gray was in the church now supposedly acknowledges the existence of God, the creator, not matter how I've lived at that point.
Just get my bones inside the sanctuary that will help me as I traveled along the path that I am convinced will lead to God I tell you one grave that I so that'll never forget how bones of John Knox reformer who led the Reformation in Scotland who thundered the truth of God's word for years at St. Giles Cathedral fact to so carefully lead and taught the followers of that Reformation that even to this day a churches Presbyterian is not even part of the Church of England refused to join if you want to see his grave as I asked to see it. You gotta go outside and walk around the back of the church and there it is an asphalt parking lot and you're directed to parking space number 23 and there's a little yellow block of paint marking no name, nothing. Just a little splash of yellow paint marking the graves of John Knox but he doesn't care.
It hasn't bothered him for one moment because he has been established in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and all of the shrines with her statues fashioned to show the likenesses of people buried beneath with her hands clasped and Bibles on their chest even though they denied God. We got our hands folded were buried in church, God will let us in here this great Christian leader who is enjoying the magnificence of heaven is buried in parking lot space number 23 for the unbeliever is unwavering in his passion, apart from the illuminating redemptive work of God is unteachable in his spiritual position, uninhibited in his spiritual performance. One more thing the unbelieving are unyielding in their spiritual pride. But in the last part of verse three Paul says they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. That means is they did not they were unwilling to place themselves under the order of God.
They didn't subject themselves to post office. They didn't yield to the sovereign righteousness of God through Christ. They like their own better. They like thereon.
Cathedral better is it where they like to run monument their own shrine would rather have this in the righteousness of God. Sanford Mills of Judah came to faith in Christ wrote Israel wanted to be the captain of her own soul, the master of her own ship, but Israel lost both her writer and her compass what would save her from being drawn into the vortex of hell goes on to give the answer, of course, according to the Bible answers not more speed. It is and more wind and the sales it is in the better boats. It is in better sailors around you saying our doing the right thing. None of that matters. When you are sailing toward Niagara Falls get the boat get out of that annoying solution is humbling but much simpler than any shrine we could ever build all the best efforts.
Nothing was best put in the email from this new believer who said I was wrong wasn't about finding my own solution. Feeling good about knowing certain facts even she'd written earlier feeling worthy to approach God. I have simply accepted the gift of salvation comes from God that sent if you're going at full speed in the wrong direction. I invite you to stop. The further you race down the path of your own making further away from home going to travel.
Perhaps today's the day, you simply humbling except the word of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who even now might be moving in your heart except the gift of salvation comes freely from God friend if you're one of those whose life right now is moving in the wrong direction change directions today and respond in faith to Jesus Christ.
Stephen's message is entitled full speed in the wrong direction. When we come back next time. Stephen will continue through this series, but for now, we'd love to hear from you. Take a moment and introduce yourself to us. We have a gift that we send whenever someone makes their first contact with our ministry will send you the next three issues of Stephen's magazine heart to heart. Call us today at 86 648 Bible and then join us tomorrow for more stuff for the heart