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Best Of Finding Purpose

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2023 12:30 am

Best Of Finding Purpose

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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August 30, 2023 12:30 am

Today's episode is a "Best Of" for Finding Purpose.

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick live podcast where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill? Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations?

I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious.

This is part two of a special two-part episode. And so the question is, how did we lose sight of God? How did we as a nation that began with a Christian foundation lose its way?

Well, the answer to that question points to what I believe is the number one problem we face as a nation, and that is this. We as a nation have lost our spiritual mooring. Do you know what a mooring is? A mooring refers to the cables by which a ship is secured or anchored.

You know, when a sailboat pulls up into a harbor, you're looking for a mooring that you can tie up to so that you won't drift away by the currents and the wind. We as a nation have lost our mooring, and thus we are tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Paul points to the problem in verse five when he says, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

What does he mean by this? Paul is informing us that the last days people will be religious and lost. We will have a form of religion that is no longer a religion, a form of religion that is no longer more to anchor to the gospel or to the truths that are given to us in the Bible.

It will be a form of religion that has no spirit and thus no power. Do you know how you define a Christian? A Christian is simply somebody who possesses the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with church. It has nothing to do with being baptized. It has nothing to do with going through confirmation.

It has nothing to do with trying to be a good person. Now all those things are good, but that's not what makes you a Christian. You become a Christian when you place your trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit comes in and dwells you. Romans 8 and 9 states, and if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. And so what determines if a person is a true believer? The presence of the spirit of Christ. In the same way, what determines if a church is a true church?

The presence of the spirit of Christ. This explains why Jesus told the woman at the weild in John chapter 4, yet a time is coming, he said to her, and has now come when the true worshipers, which implies that they're what? False worshipers. When the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

This is coming from Jesus. He says God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. Today there are churches and even whole denominations that are full of people and even ministers who are not indwelt by the spirit of Christ. They are religious and lost. These people in these churches have a form of godliness, but denying its power because they do not worship in spirit and in truth. Isaiah 29 13 is an indictment against the modern church. The Lord says these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their mouth and honor me with their and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Personally, I believe that religiosity or churchism became the number one strategy on the part of Satan to ensure that the church in America would become impotent and remain impotent, just like it is in Europe today. Decades ago, Satan called for a meeting of his chief demons who were commanded to come up with a scheme. Satan expressed his concern to this demonic horde as they gathered before him.

He said to them, America is a new nation. It's dangerous. It is a dangerous nation because its founders have established it as a Christian nation. Churches are being built everywhere and Christianity is spreading.

We must stop this. Satan looked at his lieutenants and said, we must come up with a plan. A plan that will lead to the moral implosion of this new country. And so Satan demanded that his lieutenants laid a plan on how they would cause America to become unmoored from its Christian heritage and biblical foundation. One by one, these demons put forth their plans. One demon said, let's make America the wealthiest nation in the world. Then they will love money more than God. And Satan thought about that for a minute.

He said, that's a good idea, but it's not good enough. There must be a better plan. And so another demon suggested, let's take away America's wealth.

The other people will blame God and turn away from him. Again, Satan said that was a good idea, but he still insisted that there had to be a more effective strategy. Finally, the most hideous demon, the one whom they all feared and who was the most diabolical, stood to speak.

His name was Abaddon. Satan knew that he was the most cunning of all of his lieutenants. As he spoke and began to lay out his strategy, all of the other demons began to nod in agreement. His plan was clearly the best.

It would work. What was his plan? Abaddon began to lay out a strategy to infiltrate the church. His plan would begin to unfold in the seminaries. He said, we must be patient.

This will not be easy, and it will take time. We must begin to fill the seminaries with professors who question the word of God, men who really don't have a relationship with God. We must fill the seminaries with skeptics and agnostics. And then over the course of time, these professors will cast doubt into the minds of the thousands of naive students who will enroll. Once we gain control of the seminaries, it will just be a matter of time before we have the churches.

Over the course of time, the church will be filled with men and women who receive their degrees from these liberal seminaries, men and women who doubt the word of God, men and women who wear clerical colors but don't know Christ, men and women who will lead the people down the wide road. Satan was beside himself. This was the perfect plan. Satan declared in that moment that this plan would be put into effect, and he named it Operation Infiltration. And then Satan commanded his legions to put his plan into effect immediately. That plan went into effect decades ago, and today we are reaping the whirlwind. That's obviously a fictitious story, but it is filled with truth.

If you've ever read This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, it's the same kind of, you know, novel that he writes. Listen, I had my sister-in-law, my sister-in-law, I'm going to name an institution here, which I don't normally do, but I'm going to name it. My sister-in-law went to Duke Divinity School. Now, I know Duke B. Caroline last night.

That's got nothing to do with this. And she had an atheist for her first professor, one of my best friends growing up in Bethel. We played football together. Brian Sexton, his father was my pastor.

I was the quarterback, and Brian was the running back. He's a Methodist minister today. He went to Duke Divinity School.

He told me, and I'm quoting him, he said, Russ, those were the worst three years of my life. One day, I walked out of class because the professor was using so much profanity. I grew up Methodist. I used to go to a Pentecostal church.

My wife's one of the same story I've heard before. I went to a Pentecostal church on Sunday nights. I went to an Episcopal prep school. I joined a Presbyterian church when I first came to Raleigh.

The last thing I was thinking about was becoming a Baptist. Francis Schaeffer called up Dr. Page Patterson when he was the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Do you know who Francis Schaeffer is? He's one of the greatest minds of the 20th century in terms of Christianity. He told Dr. Patterson, and I heard this from Dr. Patterson's lips. He said, save your denomination because we've lost ours.

Paul won the Ephesians church in Acts chapter 20 verses 29 through 31. He said, I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spread the flock. Even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

So be on your guard. Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. I'm no Paul, but I've been warning about this for 20 years.

Do you know when this passion began in me? It was when I was about 14 years old and I found out that some people in the church were getting rid of Mr. Sexton, who was the man who led me to Christ. Why were they getting rid of him? Because he'd gotten too evangelical. He was actually having altar calls at 11 o'clock service at this Methodist church. And it's the first time I realized, you mean there's some people in the church who could actually be against an evangelical minister.

How could that be? And I could tell you story after story that where I've experienced liberal theologians who question God's word, they deny that there's a hell. They deny the virgin birth. They deny the inerrancy of scripture. Listen, if the Bible has got arrows in it, then we might as well throw this thing in the trash can, because how are you going to decide what's right and what's wrong? If the virgin birth was not real and true, then Jesus would be only human.

And if there's no hell, there was no reason for Jesus to go to the cross. The church in America is full of false teachers. They don't look false, but they are. They are pure false because they are masquerading as someone they are not.

And they're very dangerous because they're leading so many people astray. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11, for such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. As a what? As an angel of light, which means it is not surprising then if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.

Their end will be what their actions deserve. What does it mean that they masquerade as servants of righteousness and as an angel of light? It means that they look good.

They sound good. They seem so sincere and so genuine and they do some caring and they do some good things. But you've got to look at them carefully. A counterfeit dollar bill that's really good looks like the real dollar bill. The only way you can discern between the two is if you know what a real dollar bill looks like.

You've got to know a real dollar bill every square centimeter so that you can detect the faults, the counterfeit. You've got to know the Bible, folks. So that when you're riding down the street and you're listening to somebody on the radio saying something as simple as, well God wants you to be healthy, wealthy and wise, you know that's not what the Bible says. That's right. If you hear somebody on the radio say there are many ways to God, that's not true. That's right. There's only one way.

Those are the simple things. I heard a minister one time say, and this is where you have to know the Bible. I heard this on a radio right here in church, right here in Raleigh. He was teaching through 1 Corinthians and he said, remember 1 Corinthians 13, it's the great chapter on love.

It's the love chapter. Well, 1 Corinthians 5 talks about church discipline where you cast the immoral believer from you and so this minister had the audacity to say that Paul is repenting at the end of his letter from what he said in the first part because this pastor has a problem with hard truth like church discipline. 2 Peter 2, Peter writes, but there were also false prophets among the people just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

In their greed, these teachers will exploit you with stories they've made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping. Jesus, John, Peter, and Paul all warn repeatedly about this. In Matthew 7, Jesus said, watch out for false prophets. They come to you in what? Sheep's clothing, but inwardly they're ferocious wolves.

By their fruit, you'll recognize them. Our nation is filled with seminaries and churches that have a form of godliness, but denying its power. Whisby writes, having a form of godliness suggests an outward appearance of religion, but not true Christian faith, for they never experienced the power of God in their lives.

Form without force, religion without reality. If we don't get this turned around, church attendance in America is going to be like it is in England. Do you know how many people go to church in England? About two percent of the population.

What happened? Those churches got overtaken, too, by liberal theologians who doubt the word of God and they just die. Thank goodness we've got some true churches in America that are growing.

I'm firmly convinced that if a man of God will stand in the pulpit and proclaim the word of God, it will drive some people away, but it will pack the house, because people, particularly young people, want to hear the truth. They are drawn to the truth. One of the main reasons I went to seminary was so that I would be prepared to confront liberal theology, which is a nice way to say false theology.

Whenever you hear me say liberal, I actually mean false. And the main reason I founded Finding Purpose of Ministry to Men was for the purpose of rescuing men who are trapped in the grip of liberal theologians. This year, in our men's study, this young man, word got back to me. He didn't come tell me, but his group leader did. This young man said something that I wasn't surprised to hear about what he was learning in our Bible study. This is the first Bible study he's ever been to.

He's in his mid to late 20s. He told us, he asked his group leader, how come we don't ever hear this in church? Good question. The reason is because Satan has done a masterful job in carrying out operation infiltration. Satan has lured hundreds of thousands, if not millions of men and women into churches where they never really hear the gospel.

Churches which have a form of godliness, but denying its power. This is the world we live in. A world of rising violence and evil in a world that is religious and lost. And the only hope that we have is Jesus Christ.

Come Lord Jesus. Paul has given us a warning. Paul has provided us with a revelation. And now Paul gives us a command. What is the command?

Here it is. Have nothing to do with false teachers or false preachers. Look at verse 5. Paul writes, have nothing to do with them. This is strong language.

So first let me just say this. This does not mean that we'd have nothing to do with lost people. Without us, without us, we who possess the light of the gospel, they are doomed to walk in darkness.

We are to go out into the world and live among them and be salt and light. So what does Paul mean when he says have nothing to do with them? We need to understand who Paul's referring to when he says them.

He's specifically talking about these false teachers. If a person is of their influence, then they're to get away from them. Run. Paul writes in Romans 16, 17, I urge you brothers to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you've learned. Keep away from them. I've had friends of mine that I care deeply about drop out of my Bible studies and leave.

In fact, I've actually seen men in the middle of electric get up and walk out because they've had enough. And I don't think that what I say is really that, what's the word? It's not that, I don't think it's really in your face. I'm just presenting the truth. I'm just teaching the Bible.

And where these men go when they drop out of, and there's nothing, there's nothing special about my studies. There are lots of great Bible studies in this town. We probably have more Bible studies per capita than any other city in the world. But I've noticed that some of these men leave and they run to these churches where the ministers will tell them, God loves you and everything's okay.

God does love them, but everything is not okay. John MacArthur writes, true believers are given a standing order to avoid such men as these. That is the false teachers. And reject the false doctrines they teach and false standards they live by.

And because this verb here is in the middle voice, the idea is to make yourself turn away, regardless of how convincing a false idea may appear, what a sincere a false teacher may seem to be, we should take ourselves by the scruff of the neck and make ourselves avoid such men of these. Why is Paul so adamant about this? Why can't a believer just remain in a church like that as a missionary? Or just sit up camp and be a Sunday school teacher? Why can't a believer just remain in a church?

Well here's why. Look at verses six through nine again. They, false teachers, are the kind who warm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sin and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Janas and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers opposed the truth.

Men of depraved minds, who as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. Here are two ways to avoid churches like this. First, false teachers prevent people from coming to Jesus.

They actually close the gate to the narrow road. They block the path to the cross. People who need to hear the gospel message of hope never get to hear the true gospel from these teachers, and thus they stand the way of God's saving grace.

Secondly, false teachers are actually opposed to the truth, and their opposition can be fierce. They prevent people from hearing the truth because they don't really proclaim the truth, and they don't proclaim the truth because they don't really possess the truth, and because they don't possess the truth, they have no light to share with those who walk in darkness. And this is why no child of God should have any association with a church like this. Paul commands us to avoid them.

By the way, Janas and Jambres are not mentioned in the Old Testament, but according to Jewish tradition, these were two of the magicians who counterfeited Moses' early miracles that he did before Pharaoh. They stood in opposition to Moses, so they stood in opposition to the truth, and that's what false teachers do today. They stand in opposition to the truth. We see this opposition today when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the covenant of marriage. In their opposition, they lead the church they lead the church astray.

Dr. David Jeremiah, who's one of the most respected ministers in America, said this, quote, he said, the church in America is leading the masses down the wide road. Paul commands us to avoid them, and I want you to know this, false teachers have been and will be ultimately rejected by God. Jeremiah writes in Jeremiah chapter 23, and this was written about 2,700 years ago, and you think about what he said for today. This is what the Lord Almighty says, do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you. And that word prophet is basically a preacher, someone who proclaims the truth.

They fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, the Lord says you will have peace. And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts, they say no harm will come to you. But which of them has stood in the counsel of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message. I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. I can't speak for them, but I want you to know this, I take preaching very seriously.

I consider it a great privilege, but it's a huge responsibility. And before, and I say this, I don't say this with any pride, but I want you to know this, before I come here to stand before you, I spend hours upon hours with my nose in this book to see what God has to say, so that when I to see what God has to say, so that when I come before you, you're not hearing from me, you're hearing from God. What you've got to decide is do you believe that what I'm saying comes from me or from God? One day, perhaps in the not too distant future, all of these false preachers and teachers will stand before Jesus Christ at the great white throne judgment, and they will have to give an account for why they led millions and millions away from Him. And all those who have followed them will see how blind they were and how blind they are because they followed them. See, when a man becomes a minister and he's got people following him, his accountability before God goes way up. He will have to answer to God for what he taught them and how he led them. I know this has been a tough message.

I told my wife I wasn't really looking forward to giving it, but it's the truth, and I believe it's a message that our nation needs to hear. If we don't, as a nation, turn around soon, then the same thing that happened to the Roman Empire is going to happen to us. The Roman Empire collapsed from within as all moral restraint was removed, and that's where our country is. Can you imagine what would happen to the country if every preacher in America, in the millions of pulpits there are across this land, if they were preaching the Word of God?

It would bring a revival. And so what are we to do? Do we go in our homes and lock our doors and get our guns out and wait for the end?

Absolutely not. Here's what we need to do. We need to decide right now as God's children, as God's children, if we are really in it to the end. We have to decide if we're all in. Are we fully committed? Are we willing to say, Lord, here I am, send me?

And if we are, then we have to do one thing in the days ahead. We have to cling to God's Word. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3, but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of because you know those from whom you learned it and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures. We must cling to the Word of God. We must let God use us because what we want to do, we know we're headed for heaven.

We want to take as many people with us as we can. Amen? Secondly, we as God's children, we need to repent. We need to acknowledge and confess our own sins. Only then can we look for God to send revival to our land.

I believe that we can still have revival, but that revival begins in the house of God, the true house of God. Second Chronicles 7, 14 and 15 state, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Verse 15 ends like this, God has sinned, now my eyes will be opened and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. Would you pray with me? Heavenly Father, we just want to take a moment right now of silence to confess our sins. And so right now, if you've got something in your heart you want to confess, just silently confess it. I just pray that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind anything that you need to confess. Men, if you've looked at something you shouldn't have looked at, confess that. Men and women, if you've coveted something that you don't have, confess that.

If you've said something about someone which is known as gossip, confess that. If you've harbored hatred in your heart or jealousy towards someone, confess that. If you've been living for the world and not for God, confess that. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Lord, I pray that you would bring revival. I pray to God that it would start in those churches that are worshiping you in spirit and truth, that you would move in those churches, that they would grow, that you would bless them, and that your word would go forth and penetrate the hearts of those who are lost, that we might see revival in this land once again. Lord, we love you and we need you.

Help us, dear God, to be strong and to remain strong until your return is in Jesus' name that I pray, amen. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, a local Triangle ministry glorifying God by helping the Triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local Triangle men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-30 02:53:50 / 2023-08-30 03:04:45 / 11

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