Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. That's Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City, with an insight into today's message taken from Isaiah chapter 3. Here, the prophet foretells the desolations that were coming upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sins, which they boldly boasted about.
They called good evil, and they called evil good. But Carter will also teach us about another group of people found in the scriptures who have another type of boldness to display, the one only God can give. Here's Carter with today's message. Father, I thank you for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. God, I thank you, Lord, that when you move in conjunction with your word, we need to move. God, it's something that has to happen in the hearts of your people. People that are listening, it has to happen in my heart.
Nobody escapes this. God, you don't move apart from your people and apart from moving within the hearts and lives of your people. And so, Lord, as it was in the beginning, you spoke and the Spirit moved and things were created. We ask again, God, that you would speak to us from your word and your Holy Spirit would move upon us. And, Lord, we'd be taken out of weakness and into strength, out of confusion and into clear thinking, out of purposelessness into the divine purpose that you have for each of our lives at this time on the earth. God, thank you for the touch of heaven. As we pray, as we open your word, give me the ability to speak this the way that you would have it to be spoken and give our hearts the ability to receive it in the way that you would have us to receive it. None of us escape your great grace and we ask it in Jesus' name.
Amen. Isaiah chapter 3 is where I'm going to start and then I'm going to 2 Timothy chapter 3 shortly after that. And I want to talk about boldness in the last days. Isaiah chapter 3 beginning at verse 8. For Jerusalem stumbled and Judah is fallen because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord. Think about this, a society that is in its speech and in the arrogance of its heart turning against God, not realizing that they are bringing about their own destruction and their own downfall in doing so, somehow boldly believing that though they say things that are against the revealed word and the revealed will of God, that somehow there are no consequences that are going to be incurred because of this. But their tongue and their doings are against the Lord to provoke the eyes of his glory. The look on their countenance witnesses against them and they declare their sin as Sodom. In other words, they are involved in sin that the Bible calls evil. And not only do they boast of it, but they actually parade it in the streets as Sodom once did.
They do not hide it. Woe to their soul, for they have brought evil upon themselves. But verse 10 says, say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
So we're talking about the last days. The last days when sinners are going to become exceedingly bold in their sinning. They're going to stand against the ways and the word of God and they're going to declare their sin publicly. They're going to have pride in their sin as it is. They're going to stand against everything good, godly and holy.
And they're going to do it as if they're standing on the side of virtue and truth. Even though the word of God clearly warns that even though hand joined in hand, it actually says in the Proverbs, even though hand joined in hand, hell has opened wide its mouth to receive them. There is only one righteousness. There is only one way to eternal life. There's only one name given unto men whereby we might be saved.
There's only one pathway to follow that Jesus will lead us on if we will allow him to do so. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul talks about the perilousness of the last days. Talks about men being lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. In other words, they're standing boldly with a false assurance and a false confidence against all that God's word warns them about. They're unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Always learning, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And then verse 8 talks about a false ministry that will boldly misrepresent the ministry of Christ in the last days. They will stand and actually resist the ministry that was represented by Moses when God sent him into Egypt to bring the people of God out of captivity and into a place of liberty and freedom where Christ, where God himself would become their God and they would become his people. So there would be a ministry that actually resists this freedom and they propagate another gospel. They propagate some other forms of truth. They stand, Paul warns Timothy, as two sorcerers actually once did, who had some kind of a faux spirituality and they were drawn to power and they wanted access to power.
They wanted access to admiration and the peoples being spoken well of in front of the people. But when a man shows up with his brother to bring the people into freedom, they'll actually resist it. They resist the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
May I put it that way? And they propagate another gospel in the earth, as Paul says earlier, with a form of godliness. But the real purpose and power of God is denied by them.
And of course that purpose, we know, is to bring men, women and children out of the darkness of sin and into eternal life through Jesus Christ and to have the purpose of God for their lives out laid before them so that they might grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and because of Christ in them become everything that God intended them to be, bringing the name of Christ to reputation in the earth and ultimately bringing other people into freedom through the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the ministry of the cross. Now, this is an era we're living in today where that boldness is on full display. They display their sin as Sodom. They boast of their evil.
They call evil good and they call good evil. The people of God are now being vilified as haters and dividers. And it's getting more, the vitriol against God's people is getting more severe all the time. And we know historically where that could lead and it could become a very, very difficult time for many of the people of God who want to stand up and live for truth that not going along with this evil agenda, we will be called dividers and haters and ultimately considered unworthy of even being partakers of this new formed and newfound world order. But Hebrews chapter 4 tells us there'll be another group of people that have another type of boldness in this last day.
That's really what I want to focus on. We know the wicked are bold, but I want to say to you it's time for the people of God to become bold. It's time for you and I. It's time to knock and it's time to seek and it's time to ask. It's time to drop all timidity and go into the presence of God for whatever it is that we need. If it's freedom, if it's, as Paul once said to Timothy, God's not given us his spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Whatever it is that we need, the time for boldness in the people of God.
We can't just let the evil parade their boldness. It's time for the people of God to ask God, give me a holy boldness. Give me the ability, as scripture says, to go boldly into the throne of grace to find help in my time of need. In spite of my struggles, in spite of my trial, to get out of our seats and go to that altar of grace. And if our prayer is just only God help me, then let that be our prayer. Because God will answer that prayer. And then God use me and then God take me and then God make me and then God send me and then God empower me and then God give me.
Everything I need to bring your name to reputation. It can't be just the evil that are parading in the streets. There have to be a people through whom the glory of God is made known in the earth one more time. A people who are not just an argument about the existence of God. Having knowledge but denying the power, as Paul says. But a people who know the power of God. A people who can say to this generation, let me tell you what God has done for me. A people who stand not in the strength of their natural abilities. Or cower under the voices of those who are parading their sins. But a people who stand up in the strength of God.
And even though they might be facing tremendous opposition. Remember the scripture records when Stephen stood on that day and gave defense for what he believed. Just before his life was going to be taken. It says even the sinners there they beheld his face as if he looked like an angel. The glory of God was upon him.
And I have to believe because there was a young man there called Saul who was holding the coats of those who were about to kill Stephen. I have to believe that was the moment where the prods of God, the conscience of God began to touch him. Because later on on the Damascus road the Lord said to him after he had began to speak to him. He said it's hard for you to push against these prods of God that are trying to move you in a different direction. And I believe that seeing the countenance of Stephen was maybe the first pang of conscience in this enraged lunatic.
That was out to kill everything else unlike him and his world view that he possessed at the time. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 14 says seeing then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus the son of God let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace. I see in this last hour of time that we're now living in, I see the addicted, I see the afflicted, I see the marginalized, the depressed, the nobodies and nothings of this society suddenly rising up and boldly coming into the throne of grace. Not groveling, not coming in with our heads hanging down in shame but coming into the throne of grace as invited sons and daughters of God.
That's where the boldness comes from. We are family. We are called children of God. We have the right to go to the throne of God. He says come in, it really infers coming into the throne of grace with confidence in our heart that we're coming to a God who wants to bless us, who wants to enable us, who wants to empower us. As Isaiah once said or the Lord said through Isaiah, come all ye lame, come ye maim, come ye blind, come and buy milk and wine and sustenance without money and without price.
Stop trying to procure your own future and your own strength. Come to me and I will give you the things that you need and you require to live for me in this and every other generation. Come boldly to the throne of grace. I want to challenge those that are living for God.
It's not just the marginalized, the addicted, but those that are already living for God. It would be a fallacy to say we've come as far as we can go. There's no limit to what God can do through my life or your life. And the only limit is the limit we choose to place on God or the limit we put in our hearts. And part of the boldness is saying, God, you said that the latter part of our life should be greater than the former. You showed us in scripture that whatever we ask for believing, we shall receive. You didn't put an age limit on moving mountains and seeing them cast into the sea. You told us we could tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing would by any means hurt us.
And there was no little asterisk at the bottom of the page and said, I'm only speaking to people between the ages of 18 and 49. You didn't do that. You said whosoever will. It's a whosoever will call to this or any other generation. So, God, I'm asking you for the courage to come boldly to the throne of grace. I'm asking you to make me more than I am today. I'm asking you to make me far more than I could ever be in any amount of my own strength.
Give me more words than I have in my own vocabulary. Give me thoughts that I've never even thought about thinking before. God, do things in my life that are so far beyond me that when I get to the end of the race, all I could do is jump up and down and say, only God could have done this.
Only God could have done this. Give me a voice that stands out in this confused marketplace where the wicked are boasting of their wickedness. And give me a voice to stand up and say, let me tell you what God has done in my life. Let me tell you who God is.
Let me tell you what God could do for you. In the book of Acts, when threats were being made against this early church and they got together and they began to pray. And they said, Lord, now consider their threatenings and grant to us that with all boldness, we may speak your word by stretching out your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done in the name of your holy child, Jesus. And the scripture says when they prayed, when they finished praying, the place where they were gathered was shaken.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak the word of God with boldness. It doesn't mean arrogance. It doesn't mean being argumentative. It means confidence. They spoke the word with confidence.
Let me give you an example of what that looks like. Jesus can set you free. That's speaking with boldness. Jesus will set you free. If you will turn to him, he will save you. He will give you his Holy Spirit. He will transform your life. You will become a new creation. Your life will have meaning and value and purpose so far beyond anything you could have ever imagined it could be.
That's called speaking the word of God with boldness, an open declaration of who God is and what God does. I remember one time I was coming home. I had taken my middle son to a hockey game or tournament. I forget what it was, and I was coming home with a couple of other players in the car.
And back in those days, you know, there was a small church, small salary, small car, the whole thing. It was a miracle we could fit all four of these guys in the car. And we're heading home and we stopped at a hamburger place and everybody at this, we're in line at a Burger King or whatever it was, and everybody's counting their pennies. And my son, Jared, I was at the back of the line. He was at the front. And he turns around to his friends and says, put your money away, guys.
My dad will pay. Now, that was a boldness. There was a confidence in it.
I wish he would have talked to me about it before he said it. But I would not dream, I would not dream of embarrassing my son. I don't care if it's next week's gas money. It didn't matter what I had to pull out, where I had to find the money and where it was going to come from or what budget it was going to be taken from. I would not dream of embarrassing my son in front of his friends.
How much more? When we stand, he stood with confidence. My dad will pay. It was a fait accompli, as they say in French. It was done. It was going to happen. And I did. And all these hockey players suddenly were supersizing everything. And one hamburger turned into two or three. And it was just like it took everything I had. But I would never have dreamed of embarrassing my son.
How much more? When we stand with confidence and we just tell somebody, Jesus will save you. Jesus will change you. Jesus will give you a reason to live. Jesus will heal your family. Jesus will restore your marriage.
Jesus will give you a sound mind. And we stand with confidence. You see, this is the boldness I'm focusing on in the last days. I'm not focusing on the boldness of the sinner. Sinners will do what sinners always do. They're forming a parade and hell has opened wide its mouth.
For the whole lot, though hand joined in hand. But I still can with boldness warn even the deepest sinner that there's room in heaven. There's room at the cross. There's mercy with God.
There can be a reason and a purpose to live. And you can find something in Christ that no amount or measure of sin will ever put into your life. Thank you, Lord. So we may boldly say, Hebrews 13 six, the Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me that we can boldly say?
And so I want to challenge anybody that's listening online and everybody that's here in the main sanctuary. Be bold in this generation. Be bold with God.
That that means confidence. Come into the presence of God with confidence. Come into the presence of God, knowing we have a high priest who is touched with our weaknesses. He struggled with the things that we struggle with.
Yet the scripture says he was tested or tried with them, but yet without sin. He understands our struggles and he's touched with the feelings of our weaknesses and invites us to come in with confidence. Come to me, I'll help you. Come to me, you who labor and are heavy laden and I'll give you rest.
Come learn of me. I'm meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. Come and find the strength you need to be the person that God's calling you to be. Find the healing for your mind, the healing for your body, the healing for your marriage, the healing for your children. The healing for your family, the strength to be everything that God's called you to be. Father, I pray, I pray for those that are listening.
Every man, every woman, every child, every age, every background, every situation. In Jesus' name, Father, I ask you to go and invade whatever place everyone is in and touch every heart and touch every life and raise men and women and children up out of the place of weakness and into your strength. I'm asking you, Jesus, to be glorified. To be glorified. Let faith arise in every heart.
Let every man, every woman, in every situation just say, God, I'm in. I'm yours. Jesus, I belong to you. Do with me whatever you choose to do.
I will not put limitations on you. You can use me. You can take me through any door you want to take me through.
You can use my life for any purpose. I will not say no to you. I will go. As they used to say in the church years and years ago, where you lead me, I will follow. God, I want to thank you in Jesus' name for what you're doing. Now, everyone online, pray this simple prayer with me. And everyone in this room, would you pray with me, please, as well? Lord Jesus Christ, I trust you.
I believe you. I believe that you can use my life for your glory. That you can do something through me.
So much bigger than anything that I could think about for my own life. And so I yield to you. I'm asking you, lift me out of where I am and take me where you want me to go.
And give me a message for other people. Use my life in such a way that I will shout glory to you everywhere that I go. I thank you for hearing me. You are going to take me out of my present weakness and into your strength. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Thou changeth not Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hath been, Thou forever will be.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Saluting stars in their courses abound. Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. The message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Times Square Church. For more information, log on to tsc.nyc. That's tsc.nyc. Plan to be with us next week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 01:17:42 / 2023-05-23 01:26:44 / 9