Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. So many people in our generation are in the house of God searching for something for themselves, searching for a nicer job, a better reputation. It's a self-indulgent seeking, and that's what America has become in its churches.
There's still some good places that preach the Word of God, but they're becoming less and less as time progresses. Welcome to this week's edition of A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. Psalm 66 reads, If we regard iniquity in our heart, the Lord will not hear us. And as Carter will explain today, it refers to giving place to wrong in the heart, opening the door to something that should not be in our life. And if we let it dwell there unchallenged by truth, God does not hear your prayers.
So is there something that can be done to reverse this? Let's find out as we join Carter now with a message titled The Compromised Religion in a Corrupted Time. Psalm 50, beginning at verse 15. Call upon me in the day of trouble.
I will deliver you and you shall glorify me. Now keep in mind in the context of 2 Chronicles 7.14, it doesn't mean that the people he's speaking to are completely wicked. It means that they have embraced something of wickedness in their heart.
In 2 Chronicles 7.14, he actually calls them my people, but it's possible for the people of God to begin to embrace something that is hindering his work. But to the wicked, God says, what right have you to declare my statutes or take my covenant in your mouth? Seeing you hate instruction and cast my words behind you.
When you saw a thief, you consented with him and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother. You slander your own mother's son.
These things have you done and I kept silent. You thought I was altogether like you, but I will rebuke you and set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver.
Whoever offers praise glorifies me and to him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God. Not even debatable anymore that we are today in a perilous time, perhaps more perilous than any one of us care to admit. It's a difficult hour. It's a dark hour. It's an hour when things around us are beginning to so rapidly change that I believe is going to culminate in what Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapter 24, where men's hearts are going to begin to fail for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth.
Not just the cosmic signs that the Bible speaks about in the last day, but just this radical departure from everything that represents God and goodness and the embracing of evil as good. It's something that's causing, it has to begin causing some kind of concern in every heart of everyone is concerned about the honor of God. It is incumbent now that you and I pray.
For in verse 15, the Lord says, and you can find this all through the scriptures, the pattern, the principle is the same. Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will glorify that. That means your life will bring glory to my name again.
Call on me. This is the incredible promise of scripture. I believe the church of Jesus Christ has more power than all governments, all military powers, the church. Now, so what could it be that hinders us from prayer? What could be holding back the power of God, especially in a moment like this where the Lord says, I want you to call upon me.
I want you to search for me. I want you to cry for me to do what only I can do. Now, it's true that in a time of crisis, most everyone will cry out for divine help. And we saw that here in 9-11, we saw this church packed with people night after night, even kneeling in the aisles to the back of the sanctuary. But it isn't true that everyone's prayers will be answered. People will cry out in a time of crisis.
People will cry out because there's a measure of them that knows that it's the right thing to do. But not all prayer will be answered. The psalmist in Psalm 66 verses 17 and 18, he says, I cried to him. That's to the Lord with my mouth. And he was extolled with my tongue. In other words, I cried out to God and I pleaded with God. I took the promises of God. I held them up to him and said, Lord, this is what you have said.
This is your promise to us in this generation. But the psalmist goes on in verse 18 to say, if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. If I regard iniquity, it doesn't mean if I'm struggling, doesn't mean if I want to get free from a practice in my life that I'm not free from yet. That's not what it refers to. It refers to giving place to wrong in the heart. It refers to opening the door to that which we know should not be in our lives.
It should not be part of our conversation. And we sit it down, we offer a dinner, we invited into our heart and into our home, and we let it dwell there unchallenged by truth. It's then that my profession of loyalty to God and my prayers, both of them are in vain. If I regard iniquity in my heart, go to every prayer meeting you want to go, get up at four in the morning and pray till eight o'clock, God will not hear you. If you regard iniquity, in other words, you give place to wrong, God can't speak to you about something in your life.
Pray all you want, God's not going to hear it. That's why he says, if my people are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and I'll heal their land. In Luke chapter six, verse 46, Jesus Christ himself is speaking to people who have the privilege of being in the same room with him. They have the privilege of hearing the actual Son of God speak to them.
Think about that for a moment. Who could resist that if Jesus was standing here? Could you resist him today? Would you resist him today? But look at the words he says in this portion of scripture. He says, why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Why do you profess to know me, but yet still willfully will not follow where I'm leading you? Think about for a moment, the Gospel of John chapter six talks about a crowd in the hundreds and possibly in the thousands who crossed a sea to seek Jesus. The day before, they'd seen him take a small boy's lunch and they had watched him multiply it and feed thousands, including themselves with it. And when they saw that he had disappeared from among them, the scripture says they took in boats to the sea and a great personal effort, I have no doubt. They crossed that sea and they finally found him on the other side and their pursuit obviously looked pure. They had put personal effort into seeking him just like many today put a personal effort into being in the house of God.
It's cost you. I mean, there are people here can say, Pastor, if you know what it cost me to get here today, and they could say that they had rolled and they'd wrote in great length to get to the other side. But their pursuit of Christ was outwardly fundamentally flawed. And Jesus was about to reveal it. In John chapter 26, he spends most of the chapter or chapter six, rather, he spends most of the chapter recording how he tried to correct their error, but they would not hear him. He says to them in verses 26 and 27, Jesus answered them and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you because God the Father has set his seal on them. Now, when he began to reprove them to speak to them this incredible spiritual truths to reveal the true purpose of his life and how it could affect theirs. They began the Bible when you follow through in John chapter six, they began to complain against him. And many turned back in verse 66 and walked no more with him.
They began to complain. They're speaking to the Son of God. They've seen him do miracles. They know who he is and what he can do, at least in the natural. And they've rode all night to get to where he is. And the only reason they're coming to him is because they want to fill their bellies.
It's not really that they want to walk with him. It's not really that they want to find out. There's no real deep seated curiosity about who are you? What have you been sent to do? And how does that apply to my life?
And what is it that I really need? Nobody even asks the questions. They just keep asking them through the whole chapter for bread, more bread, and more bread. All they want to do is have the power to make free bread. They want the power of God, but for the wrong reason.
May I put it that way? You look in the chapter, read John chapter six when you get a chance, and you'll see it so clearly. They want the power of God.
They're willing to row a great distance to get there, to meet with him face to face. But it's really all just to make bread for themselves. It's all about me, in other words. But on the mountain side, on the other side, they had seen Jesus multiply the bread and forgot that the life and the power that God gives is for the sake of others. It's for the benefit of others.
It's not for oneself. Yes, we will benefit. We will be provided for. We will be saved. We will be delivered. We will be given a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit. But ultimately, there's a purpose for it that's birthed inside of us in God. And when he told them, you need to partake of me, it has to be my strength, not physical bread.
Coming into my presence just looking for things is not going to satisfy you. There's a deeper satisfaction. There's a deeper calling than all of what you're putting into your walk with me up to the stage. He was trying to tell them. And when he told them that they had to partake of him, his sacrifice, his body, his shed blood. We know that today at the communion table. We know what he was trying to get across, but nobody even asked the question. Nobody even wanted to know what it meant because they were completely entrenched in the viewpoint of what living for God really looks like. And when he told them, you have to partake of something greater than yourself for a purpose greater than what you can think about in your own heart. It says many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more.
Incredible, isn't it? Many. As a matter of fact, it was the majority walked away. 12 were left and he turned to them and said, will you go away as well? Will you walk away because I won't give you the bread that you want? And that was when Peter said, where do we go?
You alone have the words of everlasting life, eternal life. Paul said in Philippians chapter three verses 18 and 19, he said, many walk of whom I've told you often. And I tell you, even weeping, they're the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things. You see, it doesn't say they're the enemies of Christ. They're the enemies of the cross of Christ and ultimately the purpose of Christ himself. It does lead to the savior, but so many people in our generation are in the house of God searching for something for themselves, searching for a nicer job, a better reputation for just, it's a self-indulgent seeking and that's what America has become in its churches.
Not all, thank God. There's still some good places that preach the word of God, but they're becoming less and less as time progresses. Paul calls them enemies of the cross of Christ, enemies of the calling of God, enemies of the willingness to be given for the sake of others. The willingness to say, God, my life is not my own, but it belongs to you to use it as you will for the sake of the lost, for the sake of those. That is the mission of God, folks. That is the purpose of the church of Jesus Christ on the earth. That is the mission of the cross, to save those that were lost.
I mean, you wouldn't have any hope of eternity were it not for the cross. And my question is, who came to you? Who went to you in the midst of your losses and are we willing to do the same for others around us in our generation? What kind of a church are we going to be?
What kind of a people will we be? Especially at this moment where the Lord saying, call to me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will glorify me. In verse 23 says, whoever offers praise glorifies me and to him who orders his conduct.
And the original King James says conversation, right? I will show him the salvation of God. Jesus was trying to show them in John chapter six, but they refused to see and but what they refuse to seek and still be clearly and compellingly revealed to us today.
Would you be surprised to know that for many of us here, there's so much more that God has for us than what we've laid hold of so far. It takes a humility. If my people are called by my name will humble it takes a humility for you and I to say, well, maybe my ways are not right in the sight of God, but some are, but maybe all are not right. It takes humility and say, maybe I'm not on the pathway that God has for my life fully. Maybe my heart is not what it's supposed to be. Maybe my conversation is not as clean as I think it is.
Maybe the motives of my heart is not as pure as I think they are. It takes humility. David, the King, a man after God's heart, he was already the King of Israel. He already had it all. He already had the presence of God.
He already had one victories that you and I can only dream about. Yet in the midst of all of that, he went to God and said, search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, Lord, and see if there be in me any wicked way and lead me in the way of life everlasting. That's what made him a man after God's heart. Folks, an admission of failure is not the end of anything but you.
It's the beginning of God. When we get to the point of saying, Lord, I'm not what I should be. I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. I don't speak the way you called me to speak.
I don't think the way a man or woman of God is called to think. But, O God, I know that you died on that cross to break the penalty, the power, the chains of all that would hold me down, and you rose again from the dead promising to give me a new and an everlasting life. And you say that when I praise you, I'm going to praise you because my life has brought glory to your name, because you've taken me from weakness into your strength. You've taken me from confusion into your knowledge. You've taken me from hatred into the love that's in your heart for all of humanity. You've taken me from powerlessness, and you've released inside my life your power. You've made me what I could never hope to be.
You've brought me where I could never hope to go. You've given me what I could never hope to possess, and so I come to praise you and give you glory. And to this man, to this woman, God says, you called me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you. I'll bring deliverance even beyond you, and you will glorify me.
Your prayers will glorify me. Your presence in the workplace, your presence in your home, those who make the choice to be godly, those who make the choice to do things God's way by God's power will make a difference. That's the way it's always been throughout history.
It is no different in this generation than the way it's been for 2,000 and plus years. I've warned you for years from this pulpit that if you don't immerse yourself in the word of God, that there's going to be such a strong pull of division, a strong pull of hatred, a strong pull of evil that many who profess Christ will be drawn down that river with it. You have to have a strength. You have to have a value system that comes from the word of God. You and I must find ourselves in agreement with the word of God in all that we do, in all that we speak. You see, disagreement comes because we're not finding our unity at the cross of Jesus Christ. Once we meet at the cross, once God's word has brought us to that place where his thoughts become ours and his ways become ours, we'll find ourselves suddenly coming into agreement on all things.
Folks, don't let yourself be part of any division. Don't let division into the house of God. Don't find yourself speaking against your brother or sister in Christ, whether they're right or whether they're wrong.
There's a higher wrong. It's to speak against one another as Christian people. I think we need to spend less time arguing and more time praying now. When we begin to pray, when we're walking in unity, when we know that there is no wicked thing that we've given access and the right to live in our hearts, we can pray and God will show us the victory that Christ won for us and how it applies to our lives. That's what he was trying to show the people in John chapter six, but they couldn't hear it because they were on a pursuit that was incomplete. It was about themselves. It was about nourishing their own desires. It was not about the kingdom of God, but when you and I make a choice, God in heaven, we need an awakening in this generation. It's more important to me. There will always be kings and queens and they will come and go and the Bible says they are in the heart, in the hand of God.
He can turn them any way he wants to turn them. That's what the word of God says. I'm not as concerned about that as I am about the 300 million people in this country who are headed for hell without a savior. That's what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned about the house of God, the prayerlessness in God's house, the testimony in God's house that needs to be reignited again. I'm concerned about New York City where the multitude of the people in the city don't spiritually know their left hand from the right hand and are headed into a Christless eternity.
That concerns my heart. The Bible doesn't say elected Democrat or Republican, a libertarian, a green party person and the nation will turn back to me again. No, it says it's my people. If my people, if my people are called by my name. The power is in the church.
It always has been folks. That's where the power of God, that's where the future of the nation is. It's in the hands of the people of God. We are desperate in America for a spiritual awakening. It is the only thing that will save this nation.
You have to understand that. It's the only thing that will save this nation in the days ahead. A spiritual awakening in this country. May God help us to understand. May God help us to walk together as one body. May God help us to be servants to the whole body of Christ.
May God help us to be kind in our speech one to another. May God help us. May God help us to put away things that are wrong and stop calling them right. May God help us to be clean in our practices throughout the day, throughout the week. May God help us. May God give us grace because the future now depends on it.
The future of this country is in your hands now, but not the hand that clicks on a voting machine. It's the hands go like this in the presence of God. That's what the Lord gave me to speak. I'm going to give a simple altar call. Lord, I just want to be a clean vessel.
I just want to be clean, God. I don't want to call evil good. I don't want to call wrong right. I don't want to be a cause of powerlessness or division in your house.
I don't want to start resenting people because they have another viewpoint than my own. You see because it was something much bigger at stake now, much, much bigger than what you and I can realize. Let's do it God's way folks. Let's do it God's way. Let's go God's way. Let's choose to walk in truth and now the choice is yours. Can God speak to you? Can you trust him for the power to put this away?
Everything from practice to relationship to speech to all these things that hinder us and divide us and will ultimately conquer the testimony of God in your life. Do we have the courage to put it away? Do we have the courage to say, God, your ways are right and my ways are wrong. I want to be a vessel that makes a difference in the future. I want to be a man. I want to be a woman that can move the hand of God again in our time. Now Father, I just thank you Lord for you speaking to us today to my heart first before anybody else here and helping me Lord through this season and guiding me back again to what is right and true, lasting, eternal and really matters in the long run. Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for unity in this church, a love that cannot be sawed through by any of the power of the devil, a unity that cannot be broken because we are unified in the purposes of Christ. Father, I thank you God for protecting this church, protecting this house, protecting this testimony. And when we pray, God Almighty that heaven come down in this house, that we can pray with fervency and with faith and with thankfulness. Father, I thank you for it in Jesus name. It will be I think almost impossible for in a secular sense to unite people who are so divided in the nation today, but it's not impossible to the church of Jesus Christ, not impossible to God to bring about a unity. And so you and I, we have to guard, we have to protect this. We have to understand that there's a much higher calling in the church of Jesus Christ than we may have yet realized. We have to determine in our hearts that we will not be divided so that when we come to prayer, God can answer our prayer and he can actually heal our land, which is exactly what he says he will do all through the scriptures.
You see it when a righteous people in right relationship with God and with one another call out to him. The message today has been brought to you by Carter Conlon from Time 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 / 2023-03-05 02:25:14 / 2023-03-05 02:34:55 / 10