What is the great proof of your true faith in God?
Listen to Adrian Rogers. Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring insightful lessons and messages from pastor and teacher Adrian Rogers. If you have your Bible, turn there now as Adrian Rogers shares the profound conclusion of the testing of your faith. Let's find out what happened here when the Bible says that God put Abraham to the test. I'm going to read 14 verses in a row, so just open your Bible and look along with me and hang on.
Genesis 22, 1 through 14. And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham. Now remember, God's not trying to get Abraham to sin, but to stand.
The Bible says God tempteth no man with evil, neither can he be tempted. God is testing Abraham and said unto him, Abraham. And he said, behold, here I am. And he, God said, take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest. By the way, this is the first time the word love is found in the Bible, right here. Whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him therefore a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is an incredible story. God had never before commanded human sacrifice, and now he has commanded Abraham to take the son of promise, the beloved son, and put him to death. Now, God is going to test your faith by asking you to do something that may surprise you. Here's the question that I'm going to ask you and that I've had to wrestle with before I preached this message. Are you able to give your blessings back to God? Not are you willing to give up your sins for God. Are you willing to give your blessings back to God?
That's what Abraham was asked to do. I want to lay three questions on your heart today, and let's see if your faith can pass the test. Number one, can I trust God with the possessions he has given to me?
Can I trust God with the possessions he has given to me? Now, back to Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 17. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Now, the test was over a gift that God had given to him.
Why the test? Could it be that Abraham is coming to love Isaac more than he is loving God? Could it be that he is coming to love the gift more than the giver? God will never take second place in your life to anything or to anyone. Now, many of us like to have God in our lives.
But how many of us say, God, I love you supremely? You see, we have to be very careful that our blessings don't become curses. Let me give you a significant verse.
Put it in your margin. Malachi chapter 2 and verse 2. But if ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, listen, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you. Now, listen to this next phrase, and I will curse your blessings.
Did you hear that? I will curse your blessings. Blessings can become a curse. God goes on to say, yea, I have cursed them already because you do not lay it to heart.
You will not listen. Now, it was not wrong for Abraham to love Isaac. I love my children with all of my heart. As a matter of fact, no one can truly love his son until he loves God as he ought. God is not asking Abraham, do you love Isaac?
He knew he loved Isaac. What God wants to know is Abraham, do you love me more than you love Isaac? The test of faith is not primarily between love and hate, but between two loves. Those things we love dearly and that which we must love supremely. May I ask you a question? Is there anything God has given to you that you would not willingly give back to him if he asked you for it?
Now, listen to me carefully. Anything God has given you, you can trust him with. And anything God has not given to you, you don't need.
Does that make sense? Anything God has given to you, you can trust him with. Anything God has not given to you, you don't need. Yes, I gave you Isaac. Now, take him up to the mountain and sacrifice him to me. We're talking about the testing of your faith.
Second question I want to ask you. Can I trust God with the purpose he has for me? We've talked about the possessions he's given to us. What about the purpose he has for us? Again, Hebrews chapter 11 verses 17 through 18. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac.
That's the possession. And he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Now, here's the plan. Here's the purpose. God had given Abraham a purpose and Abraham said, okay, I'm tracking along. Now I know what's going to happen.
I'm going to have a son and this son's going to have sons and sons and I'm going to have a great descendancy, people of faith. And now God says, put it to death. You know, that didn't make sense.
That did not make sense. Faith is not primarily believing God in spite of the evidence. It is obeying God in spite of the consequences. In spite of the consequences. Not knowing why. Not having to know why. Obedience is the great proof of our trust and our faith.
When we know that we know that we know we have a word from God, we don't pass it past the judgment bar of our understanding. We just simply obey. There's one alternative to obedience.
You know what it is? Disobedience. We are to obey God. Now, let me tell you what kind of obedience it must be. It must be informed obedience. Don't go out there now and just make some sort of sacrifice to show God how much you love Him.
You'll make a horrible mistake. Be in tune with God. Listen to God. Abraham heard God speaking. Many Christians are endeavoring to do things for God that God doesn't want done.
And God has not promised to bless any endeavor He has not commanded. We must hear God in order to obey God. It must be informed obedience. Number two, it must be intentional obedience.
You say, well, I'm not informed. May I ask you a question? Are you listening? Do you report to God for duty? Real obedience is not mere absence from doing wrong. It is actively seeking the will of God for your life.
Ignorance of God's will is not an excuse if you don't have obedience, informed, intentional, and immediate. You know, back in Genesis chapter 2, verse 23, God gave the command and the Bible says, and in the morning He rose up. There's no wait. There's no delay. As soon as possible, He got on the road to do exactly what God told Him to do. Be quick, my soul, to answer Him.
Be jubilant, my feet. Procrastination. Procrastination is a form of disobedience. Has God told you to say something, give something, do something? And you're waiting?
Don't wait. Real obedience is immediate obedience. Ours is not to reason why. Ours is not to make reply. Ours is to do or die.
Sometimes the test will come and if you don't obey right away, you may get into serious trouble. When I was in college, I pastored a little church. On a big Sunday morning, we may have 40 present. On a big Sunday morning. And I love those people.
They love me. When I graduated from seminary, I was offered the pastorate of a couple of small churches in Florida. I got the letter out of the post office box the same day, one on top of the other. Both of them said, Mr. Rogers, we feel that you'd be our pastor. We prayed over it. Well, I knew that one of them had to be wrong.
I felt most likely then both of them were wrong. And I wrote back and said thank you, but no thanks. The little church in Fort Pierce wrote me back. They were running a little less than 100 in Sunday school. They said, no, we believe you're God's man.
I couldn't get that out of my heart because frankly, after eight years of study, I was hoping for something a little more than 100 in Sunday school. But I said, all right, I'll come. And I told my little church there in Waveland, Mississippi. I said, folks, God is called and I must go. And I knew that some of them would want to argue with me about it, so I tried to be a little poetic. I said, a nail-pierced hand has pointed to Florida and I must follow.
I thought, who could argue with a nail-pierced hand? And that was the rhetoric I used that morning. Yet I had not told the church in Fort Pierce that I would come, but I already had the offer. No sooner had I walked out of that pulpit, went home even before our lunch, I got a phone call from a man on a pulpit committee from the First Baptist Church of one of the biggest, if not the biggest city in Florida. He said, we've heard about you. We want you to come and be our pastor.
He told me about the staff and about the budget and about the amenities. And I had just told that little church that I was going to this other little church. I'm telling you, if God had written it from the ceiling of that room that I was in, in boxcar letters, it could have been no plainer. Adrian, this is a test.
Don't fail it. I said to that man, Mr. Wayne, I have made up my mind that I am going to thus and such a church. God has called me. I cannot talk with you anymore.
Hung up the phone. I don't say that to pat myself on the back, but I say it to testify to God that when those tests come, you must obey God immediately. If not, you can get into serious trouble, serious trouble.
And I want to say that I had one of the happiest times of my life in that precious church there in Florida that God sent me to. It must be informed obedience. It must be intentional obedience. It must be immediate obedience. And it must be impassioned obedience.
Not reluctant, not pouting, not dragging. We need to serve Jesus Christ in these days in which we live with a burning, blazing, passionate, emotional love for Jesus Christ. Oh, to obey Him, not moderately, not carelessly. I'm sure it was a struggle to Abraham, but thank God he passed the test.
Now, here's the third question. Can I trust Him not only with the possessions and the program that He has given me, but can I trust Him with the promises He has made to me? Hebrews 11, verses 17 through 19, By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten Son. That's antithetical to the promise, because the promise said, In this son you're going to be blessed, of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
How did he do it? Well, thank God verse 19 is there, accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure. Abraham had already learned that God is the God of the impossible, because God had given him a son when he was 100 years of age. Didn't you see him coming out on a cane out of the maternity ward?
Here's a boy. 100 years old. Sarah, 90 years of age. Her womb dead, dried up. He knew that God is a God of miracle, and his faith was steadfast to believe God. Abraham did not know how God would do it. He just simply knew that God would do it, and God did it. God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac.
Why? Listen to me. It wasn't Isaac that God wanted.
It was Abraham. And he said, Now I know that you love me more than you love anything else. What is the heart of the message? Listen.
Here it is. If you love it, let it go. If it is yours, you'll get it back. And if not, you will be saved from a fate worse than death, and that is holding onto something that would be an impairment to your spiritual life. Jesus said, If you love your life, you'll lose it. If you lose it for my sake in the gospels, you'll find it. When we were children, we used to have a little saying, Finders, keepers, losers, weepers. Did you ever say that? God says keepers, weepers, losers, finders.
Lose your life for mine, and you will find it. The Bible says in Hebrews 11, verse 19, He was accounting that God was able to raise Him up even from the dead. The word here, accounting, it literally means considered. It literally means to reckon. It literally means to calculate.
It's the Greek word that we get our word logistics from, that we get our word logic from. Abraham is calculating. He's saying, God, look, look, God, you gave me this boy, I can trust you with him. Lord God, you have a purpose. I can trust you with it. Lord God, you made a promise.
Then I reckon on it. God, you're going to keep your word. You cannot lie. I don't have to understand.
I don't have to parade it past the judgment bar of my knowledge. And God gave him back his son, and Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh. God will provide.
There was a ram there to take Isaac's place. He was there no sooner nor later than he was needed, for God is always on time. Now, look at your pastor and let me ask you this question. And I want to tell you, God, I have had to ask myself this question before I can preach this message. Is there any good gift that you're unwilling to surrender? I'm not talking about the bad things. I'm talking about the blessings. It may be your finances. It may be your health.
It may be your grandchildren. Is there any obedience that you're not willing to perform even though it seems contradictory to what you think is God's way for you? Is there any promise that you cannot trust God with even when it doesn't make sense?
Remember, we don't live by explanations. We live by promises. You didn't like today's sermon.
I didn't like it. Oh, no, God, I don't want those kind of tests. The faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. God wants you to be strong in faith.
For without faith, it's impossible to please God. You know what the Bible says about Abraham? Jesus said, Abraham saw my day and was glad. He saw the coming Messiah. The Messiah that Abraham trusted is the one I want you to trust today. He's the one who wants to save you today. He is the one who will save you. I promise on the authority of the Word of God, He will forgive every sin. He will come into your heart and life with a peace and a presence and a power that is supernatural. And when you die or when He comes again, He will take you home to heaven.
If you would like to be saved, I want to guide you in this prayer. Now, you may already be religious. You may already be moral. You may already be a church member and baptized. But you've never really settled this matter of salvation. You've never really had that absolute assurance that if you die at this moment, you'd go straight to heaven.
It's time to get it settled. I want you to pray this prayer, dear God. I'm a sinner.
I'm lost. I need to be saved. I want to be saved. Jesus, you died to save me and promised to save me if I would trust you. I do trust you.
Tell Him that. Right now, I trust you. I receive you into my life by faith. Jesus, I believe you're the Son of God. I believe you shed your blood on the cross to save me.
I believe God raised you from the dead. And I receive you into my life now as my Lord and Savior. Forgive my sin.
Cleanse me. Save me, Jesus. Precious friend, pray that. Save me, Lord Jesus.
Did you ask Him? Then pray this way. Thank you for doing it. I stand on your word.
I don't look for a sign or ask for a feeling. And I will make it public. I will not be ashamed of you if you will only give me the strength. In your name I pray. Amen.
Amen. If you prayed to receive Jesus just now, we would love to celebrate with you and invite you to our Find God's Love page on our website. There you'll find answers you may need about your newfound faith. Simply go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab that says Find God's Love.
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