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Ensnared By Images Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2020 1:00 am

Ensnared By Images Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 9, 2020 1:00 am

“I am the Lord, that is My name. My glory I will not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.” There is no ambiguity here. It’s clear that God will not tolerate the worship of images. But does that include crosses, crucifixes, or icons? Some people find these objects very meaningful. Do they violate God’s commandment?

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number for I that is my name my glory. I will not give to another, neither Mike Gray's graven images.

No ambiguity there. It's clear God will not tolerate worship of images, but do crosses crucifixes icons violate God's commandment to find out. Stay with the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Erwin lutes or whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.

Master lutes or some denominations make images central in their forms of will you be clarifying what is and is not okay in terms of visual representations of day. That's a very interesting question and I hope that the answer is yes. I hope that I will be able to shed some clarity on this.

One of the things that happens in our hearts and in our lives as we always want some physical representation of God. It's in human nature.

But the Bible forbids it, because God knows it becomes a distraction. It actually leads us astray, and it takes our focus from him and it puts it on an object so I want people to listen carefully, but I also want to remind people who are listening that I've written a book entitled why holiness matters.

The 10 Commandments Jesus and you let me ask you a question.

Do you think it is safer to sin in the New Testament era than it was in the old those the kinds of questions I answer in this book.

Why holiness matters that 10 Commandments Jesus and you for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours.

Go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let us listen carefully as God himself speaks about how we worship. Now I told you that I was prepared to get some shrapnel today, so we'll just keep moving ahead through the minefield back in 1968. I spent 10 days in Rome and up when I was in Rome all night. You'd be surprised as to what my two eyes have seen in my short life I for example I saw the chains that were used for Peter and John when they were placed in prison. The chains were there in Rome under a glass case.

I saw part of a garment that was worn by Jesus Christ I saw. Actually, in 1968 because we were part of an archaeological group. We had a a dignity that is an archaeological dig in the bottom of the Vatican. We put on our old clothes and we were taken to the various tunnels in the Vatican two hour lecture to those of us who were involved in archaeology regarding the finding of the bones of St. Peter. They were found.

That summer, by the way, and I saw them with my own two eyes and little white debacles you saw.

For example, pieces of the true cross found in many, many of the churches in Rome and all the way through the city. You see people bowing down before these things I saw people line up hundreds of that, many of them American tourists with cameras slung over their shoulders standing in line to kiss statues that exist there in the city of Rome.

Now I know what you're saying you're saying pastor give us a break. Okay, give us a break.

Since Vatican II people don't believe these superstitions anymore. People don't do that kind of thing we are enlightened, you are not understanding the tremendous changes that have taken place in the last 15 well, I want to say this.

First of all, it is not true that people no longer believe in these things because you can see that in Rome we were back as three years after that and saw the very same thing and a number of years ago I was in the shrine of the Guadalupe and Mexico and that there were young women going on their knees on concrete for perhaps 1/4 of a mile, at least with little babies in their arms, knees, bleeding as they on their knees slowly over a period of hours made their way to the shrine of the virgin shrine of the Guadalupe there in Mexico.

All the while somehow believing that intrinsically there is something that that shrine represents that enables them to get to the true God.

Text of Scripture says thou shall not bow down to them. Thou shall not serve them but you see in the minds of many people today that is still happening.

The attachment that people have just certain images and certain icons by which they think that God's blessing will be received and that God is approachable, so a second reason is there is distorted concepts of God. Secondly, distorted allegiance were people begin to become associated with various artifacts that they think are important, and believe that through this means the blessing of God comes about. There's 1/3 reason and that is distorted worship itself now. For this we have to go back to Exodus chapter 20 the passage that gives us the commandment and I'm going to read again the verse five it says you shall not worship them or serve them. For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments, as is a passage of Scripture. I'm so often asked about.

I want to make certain observations regarding it by first of all, a notice that it says that to God judges those who hate him and who is he talking about those who hate me. He's talking about idolaters to see how idolatry gets people confused in their minds because they think they love God. They think that they are doing this to serve God, but the text says that God judges those who hate him and he is leaking about idolatry. If there's anything that God hates. I mean you look at the sins of the Old Testament you find out that the Israelites committed every sin known to man, but the one sin that God judge them for the most severely the one he hated the most was idolatry, bowing before images somehow trying to represent daughter, thinking that God can be localized in some way because of some representation and so it says that those who do these things actually hate to God.

That's his interpretation now what about this though I am a jealous God and I visit the iniquity of the fathers, the text says on the children to the third and the fourth generation. Listen to me very carefully. You fathers did you know that you represent God, to your family. The earliest conception that your children will have of God is is derived from you directly from that's why fathers pack such a tremendous amount of power in their families. I can imagine there's some woman who are here who, saying, oh, not my husband. He doesn't have anything to do with God or church. My friend let me say it again your earliest conceptions of God are derived from your father. And that's true of your children even if they have an absentee father, a rebellious father, a godless father and atheistic father a a sinful father who is involved in various adulterous relationships. The father image in the life of a child is overwhelmingly powerful.

Absolutely determinative. Often times in the life of a child now. That's why it says that God visits the iniquity of the father upon the children to the third and the fourth generation. It's because the children pick up the father image and if they see father bowing to idols if they see father involved in idolatrous worship that image is carried with children.

They are almost imprinted with it and it's a very difficult thing to get rid of now having said that, let me say that of course there are exceptions.

I mean, I don't think that this means for example that did the God visits the iniquity of the fathers on every single one of the children of there may be several children in a family and only one that has that imprinted that is so erasable that the child feels the effects of his father's idolatry.

But God is saying that the sin of idolatry is usually communicated from generations to generations and that's why it's so desperately important that we be free of it now, even in the Bible. I might say that there are exceptions to this rule.

For example, the text says that Ahaz was in idolater he has Hezekiah was one of his sons Hezekiah is the man that we referred to who is getting rid of all the idols and then of course Hezekiah though has a son by the name of Manasseh.

Manasseh was the most wicked king the Bible says that ever lived. He ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years and he went back and he reestablished all the shrines that his father had torn down. You can see here the imprint and the impact of a father upon his children and so what the Lord is saying here is, he says I am so jealous I want absolutely no representations.

I don't want you to bow down before any images. I don't want you to make anything to represent me your to worship me in spirit and in truth. And if not, I will judge future generations and if you think that God is unusually harsh. Notice verse six, but I show lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments. So even in rest, God remembers mercy want to emphasize again, of course, that if you're from a family which you were taught wrongly. You don't have to say that you are victimized by your circumstances and your heritage. God is able to deliver you from it, but I want you to notice that the, the deliverance often times is very difficult, very difficult, because it says in first Corinthians chapter 10 that pagans who offer sacrifices to idols, do not do so to God as they claim, but they do it to demons. That's what it says in first Corinthians 10 and oftentimes therefore because Satan is very concerned that God not receive a pure worship. Sometimes he uses idols as stumbling blocks in people's lives.

But of course God is in the business of delivering his people from their sins. Now what I said to you today is that any artifact any physical representation of God causes first of all distortion in our concepts of God, because it's very incomplete distortion in our allegiance because people began to gravitate towards the object as a focus of their attention. It also distorts our worship of God. But I want to make a secondary application of this passage of Scripture. Its primary emphasis has to do with the physical representations of God. Idolatry I think that there is another way that it can be applied in which it applies to every single one of us in a more special way. If we have within our minds. Concepts of God that are wrong. That, too, can become idolatry. Because if we have concepts of God. The Dean mean him or that are unworthy of him or that are wrong concepts of God in a sense we can set up a little idle in her mind. Even if we do not bow before his statue. That's why think it's so important for us to realize this is that when you begin to think about God in your own way. You tend to fashion him according to your image that you turn to many passages today but let me ask you to turn to one more Psalm 50 very interesting song's talking about idolaters here.

Actually, not idolaters, idolaters of the mind, not physical, idolaters, and God says in verse 16 of the Psalm 50 it says, but to the wicked. God says what right have you to tell of my statues and to take my covenant in your mouth for you, hate, discipline, and you cast my words behind you when you see if the if you are pleased with him and you associate with adulterers you let your mouth loose in evil and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother and you slander your own mother's son. Verse 21 these things you have done and I kept silence God doesn't judge sin. Sometimes immediately but he does judge it.

Now notice this because God was silent, you thought that I was just like you. Isn't that interesting.

These people here.

They put up with all kinds of sins. And because God wasn't slapping their wrist immediately. They thought that God was winking at sin, just like they were winking at sin.

God says you thought I was like you. And ever since that time, man has always thought about fashioning God after his own image, after his own likeness after the kind of God that we want. So someone who is living perhaps a morally or someone living with all kinds of deceit in his business says to himself. Surely God is allowing me to get by with this God must approve of cutting corners. He isn't the harsh God that pastor Luther sometimes talks about him as being he's actually very lenient God.

So a person like that may save you know, my God, why I just am so amused this though, say my God would never judge anyone and alone to go to hell.

Hope you get it you gone and I've got this thing going in my God, and that's probably true. His God wouldn't, but he doesn't have the right, God in his mind whenever I travel on the plane almost always not always, but almost always I like to witness to the person next to me about Christ and I get this so often that it's just remarkable people will save things like this to me well. I believe first of all that God will never allow anyone to go to hell.

It's what they'll say in the safe. You know, I think that all the religions of the world are right, and it really doesn't matter so much what you believe as long as your sins that when anybody says that to me. I have a routine. I go through.

I always I tried almost drop whatever it is that I'm reading. I know let it fall on the floor and I'll say to that person as I look in the eyes. You know what you said is just incredible. Absolutely incredible. Do you realize that you are saying things that are so important that the entire world to hear them. In fact, it's almost a sin that I should enjoy these conversation so much but I was even said to a person you know I'm an author, I write books I said if you're right we have to get this message out all right. It will publish it will send it throughout the United States. So people know that there is no hell, and that all the religions of the world aright because because that's that's dynamite minutes. Dynamite. But then I say to them, but only two questions that I have to ask you the first question is how do you know this had you received it as a revelation from God.

I assume you have because only God would know as to whether or not there's a hell and whether or not he sends people there and whether not all the religions of the world aright any obviously you are privy to knowledge that is not accessible to the average human being. So tell me. First of all, please. Is this a revelation from God that you've received has he told you this, and secondly, if he has.

Can you prove to me that indeed it was God who showed this to we know that point the guys what is this guy go outside and take a walk see what he's done as he set up a conception of God in his own mind and he is bowed before and says my God doesn't allow people to go to help my God isn't harsh, my God allows all the people in the world to go to heaven.

My God, my God, what, where is he getting this information so idolatry and sinful and goddesses I he idolatry for you to think that I'm like unto you. You think that I was just like you. You thought because you wouldn't allow anyone to go to help, because you would allow all the religions of the world to be right. You have made me into your in that to his idolatry. I want to read enclosing a poem not a poem.

It's a prayer by toes or a W toes are said these words, old Lord God Almighty, not the God of the philosophers and the wise, but the God of the prophets and the apostles and better than all the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They that know the not to may call upon the as other than thou art, and so worship cannot be but a creation of their own fancy therefore enlighten our minds that we may know the as thou art so we may perfectly love the and worthily praise the say what about that guy on the plane. Do you have a special revelation from God. He usually says to me know. No special revelation from God it all will then how do you know that God sends people to help.

How do you know that all the religions are right, it's because there is a person who had a special revelation from God and had the credentials to prove it, who spoke with unquestioned authority about these matters in his name was Jesus Christ and this is what he said about eternity, heaven, hell, and the weight of heaven.

That's the answer. Anything less than receiving that revelation from God.

Anything less than understanding that we must be submissive to what God has said anything less than that is idolatry and rebellion with rebel before a statue or not, shall we pray of father we ask that in these moments that you might purify our minds so that we might have a right conception of you.

We pray that we might be willing to worship you in spirit and in truth and ask the Lord that you shall give us the freedom to do so with confidence because we come in the name of Jesus and we come through the prescribed way of his sacrifice for us on the cross and there may be those who are here today who have never received you a Savior.

People with wrong conceptions of God.

They had made him into their own image. All we ask that you will enable them to receive in faith today Christ to acknowledge their need to depend upon him, and that they might believe you and you alone. We pray in Jesus name, amen. My friend, this is Pastor Luther and I need to say that the older I get, the more I tremble in the presence of God. I've walked with God for many years, but I find God to be a very complex, the thankfully Jesus has revealed him to us. But my we know only a little bit of who God is. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win. Have you been encouraged instructed rebuked it's because of people like you that we can continue. We are so glad for those who partner with us.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

For more information. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW Click on the endurance partner button and there you will receive the information that you need or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. I'll be giving you that phone number again but let me thank you in advance for your generosity for your prayers because messages like the one that you have just heard those kinds of messages are going out to thousands upon thousands of people. The number to call is 1-888-218-9337 now for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Another running to win listener is trying to keep Pastor lutes or on the theological straight and narrow joy contacted us to ask the other day you talked about God being at his best.

Since God's ultimate and Almighty.

How can he have a blessed moment joy. That's an excellent question, and I need to tell you that that phrase God.

It is best. I actually borrowed that phrase from the famous African-American preacher EV Hill who talked about God being at his best, and in my mind and heart when I use the expression I was really putting it in quotation marks because obviously I agree with you. God is always at his best. I think the way in which I meant. It is likely the way in which EV Hill lamented namely that there are times when we see God manifesting himself in a very wonderful way, and certainly we see that at the cross. Certainly, we see that when God redeems us. So, although God is always at his best.

There times when we see him more clearly. There times when he intervenes and we are so certain of that intervention for us from our standpoint, we say that that was God. It is best, but of course you're right, God is always at his very best. Some wise counsel from Dr. Irwin lutes or who today was it is best thank you Dr. lutes or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614.

We know the name of God is holding is not to be misused by swearing, cursing or improper oath taking next time I'm going to win why keeping his name and set apart was so important to God that he wrote a command about with his finger on the tablet of stone. Plan to join us as we hear a message on the third commandment the misuse of God's name running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Thanks for listening for Dr. Irwin lutes or this is Dave Hollister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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