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December 27, 2020 12:01 am
Welcome to this 2021 New Year's special with Carter Conlin of Times Square Church in New York City.
We somehow felt to this incredible trap that we are as smart as God is, and we can chart our own course. We can develop our own sense of what is right and what is wrong and what is going to bring us to a utopian and even though history proves it doesn't isn't that amazing.
In America we are a people that have a great history. The history that was founded on Christian principles and direction from a holy God. But over time we have lost our foundational beliefs. We have begun to speak like the rest of the world falling into the same trap of thinking we can chart a new course to some kind of imagined utopian future but is Carter will explain nothing's going to change.
It's all been tried before.
History does repeat itself. The euphoria will eventually die down.
After that ball is dropped on New Year's Day because Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life. Let's join Carter, now with his message titled, searching for mold truth in a new view. No one read to you the words of the Lord when he spoke to the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter 6 verses 16 and 17 years what he said thus says the Lord, stand in the ways and see and ask for the old paths with a good way he is and walk in. Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk in. Also, I set watchmen over you saying listen to the sound of the trumpet, but they said we will not listen.
Now, God never leaves a people in a situation where there is no witness of his voice.
There's there's no warning in the sense of this or what he was talking about his own people is really set I've I've set watchmen over you and they are sounding the trumpet that you're going into a place of defeat. You're going into a place where much of what you've known throughout your history that the greatness of what God did among you is all about to be lost. It's about to be overpowered by an enemy.
And so these watchmen sent there by God or are sounding this alarm, but the people become so hardened in their own understanding of things of their own expounding of what they found was truth that they said no we won't listen to that old voice anymore. Can you mention that can imagine people getting to the place where we won't listen to the voice of God our Creator. The maker of heaven and earth. As the Scripture says, the one who created the universe by the words of his mouth and we we get so so smart in ourselves that we said no we don't need to listen to God anymore.
We don't need to listen to the one of form data my forefather out of the dust and breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living soul.
We don't need to look back at history and learn how other societies have failed in their understanding of God and suffered for it. So because we're much smarter than that is not something in humanity that we feel that we can pursue the same pass that others have done throughout history, and still somehow convince ourselves that were not going to suffer the consequence of that, I mean this is an amazing thing when you begin to think about how we can become so degenerate really in our thinking that we think that we can do anything we want, we can do it our own way and somehow were going to end up with a different result. Listen to what Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes is in chapter 1 beginning in verse nine that which has been is what will be that which is done is what will be done. There is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, see, this is new. It is already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after and so technically it just says this, we are prone to repeating the same mistakes and never or rarely learning from the past. What is it about human nature that we are prone to do these things and it's just absolutely stunning. When you begin to you begin to believe that our understand now want to use Solomon the writer of Ecclesiastes said there's there's nothing new, nothing, nothing is said is going to show itself that has not been already tested or proven in previous times. Now Solomon himself. He knew the effects of wine, for example, this is just an example he had written earlier in Proverbs chapter 20 verse one. The said wine is a marker and those who are deceived by it are not wise. In other words, there's a deceptive quality to drinking alcohol that it alters the minded altars reality it it never, ever, under any circumstance leads people into wisdom. It doesn't lead them into his strength of truth and you know even myself as an ex-police officer I have I have lived long enough to see the effects of drink. I've been in the broken homes at five. Seeing the battered bodies of I've been there to see the effects of drink and so there's there's nothing to be gained from this and Solomon knew this yet in Ecclesiastes chapter 2 as he started on the road which was eventually going to be a huge decline in his life. Now some say that Solomon lost out on eternal life with God. I'll leave that to eternity to decide that. But he certainly went down the degenerate trajectory. And here's where it all started.
This is amazing. In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes. In verse three said I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine while guiding my heart with wisdom and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. So Solomon is essentially saying I'm experimenting him to searching for something.
I'm just going to look. What are the effects of wine and why does it seem to make people outside the kingdom of God as he sought so happy and you know he claims that wisdom is leading him into this study, this thing that he already knew was a mocker and he already had declared that who are deceived by it are not wise yet. He convinces himself that he can move in this direction and somehow some good will come out of this is an amazing, we can look at the history books. For example, we can see what's happened. Other nations are doing the things that were doing the headed in the direction that were heading in who had certain philosophies they allowed to germinate in the society that led them into poverty in bankruptcy and heartache and destroying homes and families in taking away the sensibility of the people leaving in a sense Stephen Civil War in the streets.
We can look at the history of these things. But what is it in humanity. The causes to go back down the same path. Even though we know from history what the results are going to be.
Remember Solomon said there is nothing that we can do that will produce a different result than what is already been done. And so my question again for those that are listening today.
What is it about humanity that we think we're smarter than God that we can go back and do the same thing over and over again and somehow hoping to obtain a a new or a a different result from it, which is folly, because it simply not going to happen. Now here's the key. In Romans chapter 1 beginning in verse 21. The apostle Paul really defines the problem is is because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools of them think about that for a moment. Many of come before us in our nation, our time if we look back in history we have to admit it was somberly given to us by God.
We can obtain it by ourselves. He brought us together this this this incredible and great experiment called America where there was freedom of conscience and freedom of religion and freedom to worship God according to his word and we know that he made us into more than we could ever hope to be in ourselves so we have this inherent knowledge of God.
That which was the cornerstone and it was found everywhere in our society.
It was founded at one time in our schools. It was found in our homes. It was found in our communities was found on every corner with all of the churches that sprang up throughout the nation and even though we didn't know God. We did not glorify him as God, which means that we didn't give them the place of prominence in our hearts that he deserves. We somehow felt of this incredible trap. The people of fallen into all throughout society in history that we are as smart as God is, and we can chart our own course.
We can develop our own sense of what is right and what is wrong and what is going to bring us to a utopian end. Even though history proves it doesn't isn't that amazing there's there's a history of certain types of government, even throughout the world that have led to heartache, imprisonment, disaster, and even genocide. And yet in in the foolishness of humanity.
We will still move in these directions there still be a great portion of society that said, let's let's try one more time. Maybe it will come out better this time than it is done for the thousands of years.
What has been tried and it has failed and it is been proven to be nothing but creator of heartache in our societies so we knew God would not glorify him as God, nor were thankful nor were thankful you know if you ever given a gift to somebody in the division just did not. Thankful for it and how attentive can you wound your heart when they don't know the sacrifice that you made to maybe sell something or worked extra hours so you could buy this for them to give it to them in and it's like you didn't do anything for them. Think about this for a moment, the God sent his his only begotten son into this world to die on the cross and suffer a an inhumane and horrible death so that you and I might be forgiven our sins and we might know him in living relationship and that was of course the bedrock of of our society in America but something happened to us. Maybe we just got enamored with her blessing on it now, but we ceased to be thankful, which is evident by the lack of attendance into the house of God in so many places and they became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.
You know, but God never leaves himself without a witness of his goodness for those who can hear yelp not only warns us, as he has done, but he leaves us a witness of his goodness. I set my watchmen over you. We said to Jeremiah listen to the sound of the trumpet, but they said we will not listen. No trumpet is twofold. One part of the trumpet was to warn the people about an encroaching enemy threat to their freedom to their their very existence to their health to their well-being. That was a trumpet that was calling the people to to action to to pick up your your your weaponry as it is, it was formally fashioned to defend yourselves to tenant to re-sharpen your skills to prepare to fight for the society that you been given the truth and you been given and the others side of the trumpet was it was really at a trumpet called Jubilee it was that the trumpet was blown to let people know that there's there's this incredible moment of mercy that God is willing to give us if we will call out to him if we will come to the place of saying, oh God, what have we done with what you gave us how unthankful we have become what we let get into our society.
What why did we think that serving you or being grateful to you, or just recognizing and acknowledging the truth. Where did we ever start to get the thoughts that this was somehow deficient or that we were smarter than this.
Why did we experience is blessing in our society.
Then suddenly decide that the casted often to raise our children without you and to even go so far as to telling them you don't exist, forbidding them to talk to you in our high schools and then radicalizing them against you in our colleges in our profession of wisdom is not true that we became fools but yet not only do you warn us, but you sound the trumpet and you tell us that there still a way to life. If we will turn to you know recently.
We were in Plymouth Massachusetts where we had an opportunity to pray in the houses built on the foundation of the very first house in America in the Scripture that God gave us many, many of us are familiar with. Second Chronicles 714 if my people are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. And the Lord said to Solomon. Now my eyes are open, and my ears are listening for the prayer that will be prayed in this place in my heart will be there perpetually and so God was saying to the people you may distance yourself from me an indent distancing from me, you may find yourself in a fearful place, a place of captivity, a place where you say, oh God in heaven. What we done with what you gave us is a parable in the Scripture of the sun that left his father's thousand and finally living literally in a in a field with pigs he got to the point of saying God what am I doing here. I have an inheritance. My father has a house.
I had a place there.
What did I do. How did I how to vacate that house is a part of the trumpet call of God is that invitation to come back come back to what you left behind. It's it's it's like the depleting spouse for a husband or wife that's packed a suitcase and there there heading up the front door, down the steps and into the driveway and that the marriage partner St. please consider your ways you're going to bring heartache to our children at all of the. The thanksgivings all of the Christmas times all of the birthday celebrations from here on in will be marred and what should be happy times will be filled with heartache. Won't you consider your ways would you turn around, can't we just talk together. Can't we work this situation out.
You know, we see that her on the cross. Recent father forgive them.
They don't know what we do.
II see him as the as that jilted spouses. It is a standing on the front porch saying consider your ways come back to me there's still hope you're still a chance. There still a future, and this is what the Lord is put on my heart if I am such a thing as a watchmen. I'll let you determine that I don't give myself a title but if I am, it's on my heart to speak on God's behalf and see America come back to Jesus Christ. Come back to what made you a nation that was the envy of the world come back to this place where I was your God and you were my people, but now you have so hardened your resolve that even though II set watchmen to call you back. You you say in your heart I will not listen but get the trumpet of God is still sounding the words of Jesus still ring member Thomas said to him, Lord, how do we know you're going. We don't even know the way. And Jesus said to him, I am the way, I am the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father except through me. So for anybody out there today. You're looking for this utopian future you're hoping that a glass ball is going to drop in New York City and somehow your life is going to be transformed. May I just suggest to you that you really are living in delusion I said kindly.
Nothing is going to change. It's all been tried before, I've been there several times New York City when the ball comes down everybody's euphoric and they're all happy and suddenly that euphoria just a few minutes after the ball comes down just turns to a disappointment. Ofttimes anger and depression because they were looking to a glass ball to somehow make their lives what they were hoping it's going to be.
But Jesus said I am the way, I am the truth I am the life that you're looking from the arm and the life that you're seeking with it the place that you think is going to give you happiness in the future is all found in me and no one can come to the father which is God himself. No one can get there except through me. Chart your own course.
If you want do like Solomon say well I'm just going to try this and see if it makes me happy. Go go and do these things.
But it's all been done in the past is all recorded history tells us that none of these things have ever worked for anybody else might I suggest and I can work for you either. It's it's all there. Nothing is new nothing. Nothing, nothing that's been tried before in this world is ever going to produce any kind of different result in John chapter 10 verses nine and 10 Jesus that I am the door and others of you. If you're looking for some way into stability into a place of happiness or fulfillment or eternal life. Jesus said I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. In other words, if you come to me. I will bring you to a place of abundance that you have long for you and I can find it in wine elected to find it by going to embracing old philosophies and systems that have proven themselves to be deficient throughout history. I am the door. You see that the one beautiful thing about Jesus Christ is is that he has been proven. Everyone comes to him the same thing happens people are saved is forgiven of their sin and they enter into this place of abundance in God is the Scripture promises a place where you receive a new heart, you're given a new mind, you're given a new future place for the change of your pastor broken that the hopelessness of your situation gives way to the dawn of life that can only come from God and he goes on to say in John 1010 the thief, which is the devil himself and everything that he infuses into this world does not come except for to steal, and to kill and to destroy another. It's try what you will establish your own form of what you think is happiness govern yourself does do it your own way.
But I'm telling you it's always going to end up in theft and violence and destruction. But he said I have come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly and others I've come to give you a purpose I've come to give you as America wants new as a nation. I'll make you more than you are. I'll take you farther than you can go. I'll give you more than you could ever possess, in any amount of your own ingenuity or strength or intelligence. I will make you a people to be wondered at, I am the one who gives a purpose in life.
I give abundance Psalm 119 verse one of five. The psalmist says my word. The word of God. My word is a lamp in the light, the word of God gives us a direction gives us stability gives us boundaries gives us hope gives us right thinking in a very very very very confused world and then lastly one of my favorite scriptures for this new year is second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 God says to the apostle Paul. If anyone be in Christ he is a new creation. Behold the old things are passed away and all things are become new. That was the one Scripture that really gripped my heart in the days before I knew Jesus Christ as my own Lord and Savior. I remember thinking is it possible is it true can this old truth. Can it do it it's always done for other people and an old truth that we would be wise to search for in a new here, but if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. Old things are passed away behold all things are become new. Old habits old patterns old bondage is old selfishness, old struggles, whatever it is this new year. The best thing you can do for yourself and for your family is go back into the word of God and say, God, your your truth is old but it always produces new life. It always does the same thing.
It's always done you will cleanse them of the stain of the wrong that they've done in their lives that have separated them from God.
You will bring them into right relationship with God and by the spirit of God. They will be changed from what they used to be, to the person that you have destined them to be. This is a wonderful old truth that we need again in this new year America mass say it this way. Messick clearly and simply, we have to turn back to God. There is no other solution for everything that were facing today. We have to go back into the place of prayer and to say Lord God forgive me for searching for something new when you have proven yourself over the centuries you you shown yourself to be faithful and there are so many testimonies around me of people's lives that have been transformed and changed in town. Why would I believe that why would I do what the Roman church didn't just try to hear this and just walk away from it and treat it casually and just go my own way professing that I'm learning on this journey and I'm just becoming a full why would I do like Solomon when he had the truth and he left the answer to pursue the question.
What a foolish man, he became little did he know the heartache it was going to bring into his his home in his life and his family just this is one foolish thing taking what he knew to be wrong and trying to make it right when you can't because history proves any new that you could not take wrong and turn it into right you can't change the outcome. If you throw a rock up in the air and you stand under it is going to hit you on the head. No matter how much you try to convince yourself the gravity doesn't exist in the same way if you walk away from God. There are certain things of the Scripture warns are going to become part of your life your mind your home, your family, your neighborhood, your society even your country. History has proven it over and over and over and over again. You know, we would be a wise people to learn from the mistakes of those who come before us in the past and learn from the successes of those who've gone before us. So I'm sitting at this table today talking to you and I am one of the successes God has touched my life.
He taught me how to be a husband you taught me how to be a father. He took with selfishness out of my life.
He delivered me from fear.
He just gave me a new a full and wonderful life. And this is my hope and my prayer for you this new year that you will find this old truth in this faithful God who has no cannot and will not ever fail God loves, and I pray for you with all my heart that this new year you will rediscover this whole thanks for joining us today for this 2021 new year special with Carter Conley of Times Square Church in New York City. For more information log onto TSC.NYC that's TSC.NYC