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Finding Purpose-Romans with Russ Andrews episode 18

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2024 12:28 pm

Finding Purpose-Romans with Russ Andrews episode 18

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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March 13, 2024 12:28 pm

Today, Russ Andrews brings our eighteenth lesson from the book of Romans.

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Hi, I'm Joanne Dikner, Memaw with It's Storytime Memaw, an answered prayer for stories that point children to God on the Truth Network for kids. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. 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, 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 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. Good evening. Let's give the Lord in prayer. Jimmy, Father, we just come before you tonight and thank you, Lord, for a beautiful day that you've given us, that we can actually see the glory of you in creation.

And Lord, we thank you for approaching springtime when everything is coming alive again, being born again, so to speak. Lord, I thank you for the message you've given me for tonight. I pray, Lord, that you would be glorified, that the men would see you, that I would decrease, that they would not even see me up here. And I pray, Lord, that your Word will accomplish the purpose for which you intend. In your name I pray.

Amen. Okay, I've entitled tonight's message, The Case Against Religion. We're going to be looking at Romans chapter 10, verses 1 through 13. What I'm going to do tonight is I'm going to put religion on trial, and I'm going to prosecute this case as if we're in God's courtroom.

And you will serve as witnesses, and Jesus is going to be the judge. And so the charge that I bring against religion is that religion has committed high treason and grand theft. Disguised is the way to God. Religion has actually worked to steal people away from Him. Using deception, religion has betrayed the gospel of grace and replaced it with a gospel of works, masquerading as the true way to God. Religion is actually the wide gate that leads to destruction. And religious leaders, under the influence of Satan, have blinded men and women so that they cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. Now I could make this case not as well because I'm not familiar with all the religions of the world.

It's the one I'm going to talk about tonight. But I could make this case given time against Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Judaism, all of which are based on works. Every religion in the world is based on works except for Christianity.

But I don't want to focus on them. Instead, I want to turn your attention to Western Christianity or as I prefer to call it, Churchism. You heard that term before? Churchism is a form of man-made religion. Then prosecuting this case, I'm going to point to several key witnesses and we'll use their testimony as well as the testimony of Scripture to prove the charge that I bring against organized religion, Churchism. And the first witness I want to point to is Nicodemus. If you want to, turn to John chapter 3. John chapter 3 says, Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who's come from God, for no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him. In reply, Jesus declared, I tell you the truth.

When he says that, what shall you do? Listen, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he's what? Born again. And then Nicodemus asked, how can a man be born again when he's old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born. And Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he's born of water and the Spirit.

By the way, the and in a sentence is the same thing as a plus sign in an equation. Flesh gives birth to flesh, and or plus, the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases.

You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it's going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. And Nicodemus said, how can this be? And Jesus said, you are Israel's teacher and you do not understand these things?

Just so Neil feels good. We find that, we discover later that Nicodemus does finally come around and he believes. But right now I'm talking about him as purely as he is on this night when he comes to see Jesus. Nicodemus is the perfect example, man, of someone who is very religious and very lost. And this is the problem with religion.

Religion makes you feel like you're okay with God when in fact you're not. And this has always been Satan's strategy, to make people think that they are God's children when they are not, to make them feel secure when they shouldn't feel secure. Nicodemus knew the Hebrew Bible, which is our Old Testament, like the back of his hand, probably had it memorized. His role as a Pharisee was actually to teach the Word of God to the people of Israel. And he was a great teacher, one of the greatest teachers in Israel. And Jesus said to him, you are Israel's teacher and you do not understand these things. Mark DeHaan, who was the founder of the Moody Radio Ministry in Chicago, he says, Nicodemus was not a hypocrite. In addition to being religious, moral, refined, and cultured, he was also an honest man.

He was sincere, but he was sincerely wrong. Nicodemus made the mistake of thinking that these fine qualities were sufficient without the new birth. And then he asked this question, how many today label under the same delusion and snare of religion? They do not have the new birth as a real definite experience in their lives. They believe that going to church, saying their prayers, reading their Bibles, even studying the Bible, practicing the golden rule is enough. Yet they neglect the necessity of the new birth through personal faith in Jesus Christ. And our Savior Jesus brushes all this aside when he says to this moral, religious, law abiding, Bible studying, praying, sincere religious, religionist, you must be what? Born again.

You must be born again. I listened to a minister in this town who would go nameless, who was preaching a sermon on John chapter 3. My son actually listened to it first. He said, Dad, have you heard this? And so I listened to it. I took five pages of notes of it.

I could not believe what I was hearing. He was given a sermon on John chapter 3 about Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus. And he said several things in that sermon. He said many things. I'm just going to share three with you that I consider gross heresy. It's the worst heresy I've ever come out of a church in Raleigh that I've listened to. The first red flag was raised when he said that Jesus and Nicodemus when they met each other were like, he said, have you ever seen two people at a cocktail party when they talk past each other, they don't really understand each other?

What's wrong with that? Jesus is God. He understands more about us than we understand about ourselves. The most glaring red flag, and I don't have time to go into detail about it, was when he said that the Greek word nothing, n-o-u-t-h-e-n is how you spell it in English. Nothing.

Excuse me, un-nothing. It does not mean born again. It means born from above.

And he said that what it's pointing to is the top of the temple. Well, it can mean born above, which means it comes from above heaven because it's spiritual, but it also means born again. How do we know it means born again or born a second time?

Because look at what Nicodemus asked. How can a man be born again when he's old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born. So how many births did Nicodemus think that Jesus was talking about?

Two. He also told his congregation that what Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus on that night was that he was already born again. That's what he was trying to explain to him. And then he looked at the congregation. I mean, I didn't see a video I saw.

I listened to an audio. He told the congregation grace is when you discover, he told this to the entire congregation, grace is when you discover that God has already made you born again, implying that everybody in that church is born again. Do you all have a problem with that? So my first charge against religion is this.

Religion offers false hope to millions and millions of people who attend church in this country and in Europe and England every single Sunday. Now I want you to take a look, we want to look at my next witness, the Apostle Paul. And this brings us to Romans chapter 10. I am going to show you how I weave Romans 10 all throughout this trial, okay? But look at verses 1 through 3. Paul testifies, brothers, who's he talking to? Well, he's really talking to who?

You're right. Well, he's talking to his brothers, but they're primarily Jews. He says, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but the zeal is not based on what?

Knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and they sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Listen, the main problem that has existed in our world from the very beginning of time has to do with truth. What is the truth?

Remember Pilate asked Jesus what is truth? In the garden when Satan, who was disguised as a serpent, approached Eve, he said, did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden? Is that what he said? Is that what God said?

No. You see how Satan twisted God's Word? What did God say?

He said you must not eat from one tree, which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan has always been a liar and meant he works deceptively and he's very good at deception. And it is Satan who's been behind all of these false religions in the world, all of them, including churchism. Satan is behind it.

I know this is going to sound harsh, but it is the truth. Religion lies. And I would go so far as to say that God hates religion.

Why? Because it leads so many people astray. In John 8, 44, Jesus is speaking to the religious Jews and He says, listen to this now, if you think Jesus was polite all the time, He says, He's talking to the religious leaders of Israel, the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the scribes. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there's no truth in him.

When he lies, he speaks his native tongue, for he's a liar and the father of lies. And Jeremiah, by the way, what we talked about has been going on since the Garden of Eden. It's the battle of God against man-made religion. In Jeremiah 23, the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, and I think He had him actually stand at the entrance to the tabernacle or the temple at that time. And he was pointing his finger at the priest and the prophets as they walked in. It would be like me going to a church that I think is not preaching the gospel on Sunday morning and standing there while some of my friends walk through and then the preachers walk through and I go and I point my finger at them. What do you think they do to me?

Say what? Well, in Jeremiah 23, God gives Jeremiah this assignment. He says, go there and say to them this, I, talking about God, I am against those who prophesy thoughts dreams. They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least, declares the Lord. Listen, there are tens of thousands of preachers, Sunday school teachers and seminary professors in our country who were not sent by God and they teach reckless lies and offer false hope to millions of people, just like that minister who said that grace is simply knowing that you were already born again.

That fills a person with false hope, false security, and it's a lie. The Jews of Paul's day were zealous for God, yet they were pursuing God on their own terms. Paul had done the same thing, which is why he recognized what his fellow brethren Jewish friends were doing. If you don't know this, Paul grew up in Tarsus, which is in southern Turkey, but he went to Jerusalem to study under the greatest teacher in Israel, which was Gamaliel.

Paul was pursuing righteousness with more zealousness than anyone else. But like nearly every other Jew, he stumbled over the stumbling stone. Who was the stumbling stone? Jesus.

Why was he a stumbling stone? Because he was crucified. Remember, the Jews believed that anyone who was nailed to a tree was under God's what? Cursed.

And they were actually correct. Jesus wasn't under God's curse because he bore his wrath down upon him because of our sins. And listen, the Jews were offended by the cross, and many people today are offended by the cross. This explains why so many churches… The reason we sang those two hymns tonight is because I wanted to hear those hymns, but you won't hear them in a lot of churches.

Do you know why? Because most progressive, liberal, mainline denominations have removed any hymns that have anything to do with blood or the cross. When is the last time you heard nothing but the blood sung in your church? This past Sunday, our church sang the hymn, There's a Fountain Filled with Blood, but you will not find that hymn in most of your mainline denominational hymn books. All you do, if you go into one of these churches, check your hymn book and see if I'm right.

If I'm wrong, I'll apologize to you. So why is the cross so offensive? What's it a reminder of? That we're all sinners who need to repent, and nobody wants to hear any mention of sin or the need to repent. And so the minister don't talk about sin or repentance. Most people go to churches where they are made to feel good about themselves. That's why they love… we have the nicest minister many centuries ago.

Do you all think I'm being too hard? Thank you. Many centuries ago, Paul warned that one day people… Listen to this. Paul saw this coming.

It happened thousands of years ago. After Paul died, this happened all throughout the church. Paul warned that one day people would not want to hear sound teaching. They wouldn't want to hear the truth from Scripture. And so he warned Timothy, 2 Timothy 4 says, For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to what?

Myths. Do you all see how the Scripture just lines up with itself, Jeremiah? You know who warned more about false teachers was Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John. I mean, just read about every other page that's warned about the Pharisees and the false teachers. So what was Paul's problem?

Which was the same problem with most of the religious Jews of his day. His zeal for God was not based on what? Knowledge. The Greek word is in your outline for knowledge is epignosis, which means full understanding of spiritual truth.

Did you hear that? It's the full understanding, the comprehension of spiritual truths. The problem with Paul and the other Jews is they were spiritually blind. Just like most Jews and Gentiles are today, they're spiritually blind. Why are they blind?

Because they have an enemy working against them. I told you Satan is deceptive. 2 Corinthians 4 says, the God of this age, who is that? Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel. They don't understand the gospel. They can't see it.

All the glory of Christ who is the image of God. Most people that you see every day, many of them very, very nice people, are walking around blind spiritually. And they have no clue. So what knowledge or truth do the Jews fail to see? They fail to see that righteousness comes from who? God, not from who?

Not from us. They were trying to make themselves righteous by their assumed obedience to the law. They assumed they were obeying the law. I remember Paul said that he was very righteous.

Remember the rich young ruler? I've kept all the law since I was born. And the reason they thought they kept the law perfectly was because they didn't look in the mirror of Scripture and see how sinful they were. Just like most religious people today, they didn't see how sinful they really were. One of the things when you become a believer and God gives you spiritual eyes to see and understand, the more you read Scripture, the more intimate you come to Christ, the more you see what in yourself? Sin.

The closer you get to the light, the more you see the dirt. Romans 3.20 says, Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his own sight by observing the law. If you've ever read this kind of testimony of Martin Luther who lived back in the 1500s, he was zealous for God. But he pursued righteousness by trying to follow all the guidelines of his church. He followed all their rules, all their rituals, and all their traditions. But he grew more and more frustrated.

Do you know why? Apparently he repented over and over and over again. Every thought, every sinful thing that he could think of, he would ask God for forgiveness over and over again. But he got frustrated because the more he tried to pursue righteousness, the more he saw the sin in his heart.

Until one day, he finally got some relief when he was in Romans 1.17, and the light dawned in his heart. For in the gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed. A righteousness that is by what? Faith.

He saw the light. Righteousness men come from God. Righteousness can never come from us. Why? Because we're so sinful.

It's just impossible. The good news of the gospel is that we can take on the righteousness of Christ by what? Faith.

You must believe. When this light dawned on in the heart of Luther, the Protestant Reformation was born, and the rest is history. Today, many people who attend church appear to be zealous for God, at least outwardly. Yet their zeal is not based on knowledge.

Why? For the very same reasons that the Jews failed to discern the truth. They were misinformed by their spiritual leaders, the Pharisees, who kept telling them, you've got to obey the law.

You've got to obey the law. Ministers who pronounced their congregation, let's all stand up and recite the Apostles' Creed because we're all children of God or not telling the truth. How can they, if they're speaking to 500 people, know that everybody in there is a child of God?

They don't. Most church members, whether or not they are aware of it, are being taught to pursue righteousness by their own efforts. And this is not true knowledge.

What it is is false teaching. How do we know that that is false? Because of what the Bible says. Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 2, verse 8 and 9. For it is by grace you've been saved through what? Faith. And it's not from yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not by what?

Works. So that no one can bless you. Aren't you glad it's not by works?

You would never know if you've done enough. And you'd be trying to, you'd be comparing yourself to everybody else and you'd have pride if you thought you were doing better than everybody else. But when it's not by works, we're all on the same, you know, level at the foot of the cross. We're all sinners who need a Savior. The true knowledge of the gospel is that faith comes, that salvation comes by faith. And that's how faith should rest upon that knowledge. My second charge against religion is that it is guilty of preaching the fault or teaching the false message that salvation comes by works, which we just made clear.

And now I want to point to my third witness who is Fritz Reinhauer. And that's the book that most of you got this year, which you probably haven't read because we didn't have many questions that, you know, pointed back to it. But it's a great book. I've got my copy of it from when I was like 15 that the Billy Graham Association was given out. And at that time it sold about five million copies. But anyway, it's entitled How to Be a Christian Without Being Religious.

Don't you all love that title? Because see, a lot of people are turned off by religion. But when they discover that Christianity is not about religion, they actually get interested. Christianity is more than a religion because every religion has one basic characteristic. Its followers are trying to reach God, find God, and please God through their own efforts. Christianity claims that men have not found God, but that God has found them. And to some this is a crushing blow. Why? Because they actually prefer religious effort, dealing with God on their own terms, and that puts them in control.

Can you see that? They feel good about being religious. Christianity, however, is not about religious striving. To practice Christianity is to respond to what God has done for you. The Christian life is a relationship with God, not a religious treadmill. However, with form, ritual, rules, systems, and formulas, we attempt to reduce Christianity to religion, a system of some kind where works are really substituted for faith and trust. Can you all see that in churchism? Paul came to realize over the course of time that he had been pursuing God based on misinformation. He was trying to earn God's favor by his own self ever rather than trusting Christ. Again, I charge religion of preaching a false gospel that saves no one but traps it in a state of false security.

And that's exactly where Satan wants us, in a state of false security. And that's where he has millions of so-called Christians in America. Now I want to point to three final witnesses in my case against religion. Samuel Shoemaker, who probably none of you have heard of. Billy Graham, you've heard of him. And then finally, Scripture. Shoemaker was considered one of the greatest preachers of the early 19th century, excuse me, 20th century. He said, religion that is merely ritual and ceremonial can never satisfy.

Neither can would be satisfied by religion that is merely humanitarian or serviceable to mankind. Man's craving is for the what? Spiritual.

Do you know why? Because we were made in the image of God and He is what? Spirit. Therefore, we have this natural craving for spiritual life. And the problem with so many churches today is that they offer only tradition, ceremony, ritual, social service, and now social what?

Justice. And because they offer nothing that is spiritual, they are dead. And that's why so many people are leaving the church. And if you want to see how dead they are, then just when you go to Europe or England, just visit some of those beautiful cathedrals and church buildings on Sunday morning and you'll find them what? Empty. Empty.

Just go to New York and visit some of the beautiful chapels and churches in New York and on Sunday morning, what will you find them? Empty. Empty.

Empty. These empty churches stand as memorials to days gone by when the true gospel was being preached in nearly every church in our nation. That's how we began. Did you know this? It was even preached in many of our universities that some of them started out as seminaries like Harvard and Yale and Princeton. You know, their mission to begin with was to send missionaries all over the world. What in the heck happened?

Do you know what happened? Beginning in the early 1900s, something called liberal theology, which replaced faith with reason, came out of the German Enlightenment. It began to spread throughout seminaries and churches until it infiltrated all the mainline denominations. And so those, the mainline denominations in America had been in decline since the early 1900s. I did a study of this in seminary and I researched what happened to the membership of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Southern Baptist Church. And three of those have lost more than 50 percent of their members since the 1950s. The only one that has not is the Southern Baptist Church, but it too is losing members today. The Southern Baptist Church is not perfect, okay?

I don't mean to imply that. And I'm sorry if I'm picking on your church, but I figure you come here for a reason. I think you know that you're hearing the truth, not that I'm, you know, anything to… I don't want to pat on my back, but what do I stick to when I talk up here?

If I get too far from this, I get uncomfortable. And I tell you this, I've told this to Tuesday night guys for almost 18 years, if you hear me say something that you think does not line up with this, don't interrupt me, but come up after and say, Russ, I don't think the Bible says that, shouldn't know what it does. And if I can't, if I can't show you the book, the chapter, the verse, I'll get up to the fall of Tuesday night and correct it. That's how, that's how much I want to make sure that I do not get away from the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. It's the truth that our early founders stood upon and it was through… it was in all the churches and in most of our educational system. They were still giving out new testaments, I believe, when I was in the first grade and we had prayer in school until about the third grade. Back then, you know what the problems were in school?

Throwing spitballs and, you know, pulling on a girl's hair. Now we have to have metal detectors for guns. You know why? You take God out of something and it collapses. Religion says, do. Jesus says, what?

Done. Religious people want to do all these works that have to do with ritual, rules, systems and formatives. Do you know why? Because it makes them feel good about themselves, because they are doing something. They're in control. But see… and they also like something that's complicated. But God made the gospel, what? So simple. You see, it's too simple for intellectuals.

He made it so simple that even a child can understand it. In Matthew 18, 3, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. So what does Scripture say about this simple gospel? Look at verses 4 and 5. Verse 4 says, Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who what?

believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law. The man who does these things will live by them.

So let me tell you something. If you want to… if you want to live by the law, you better be perfect. That's what Moses is saying there. The man who does these things will have to live by them if he wants to get into heaven perfectly. When Jesus died on the cross, was buried and then arose, He brought an end to the law in this sense. He did fulfill the law, but this… another aspect of this. He brought an end to the law by revealing that He was the only way, the only end to imputed righteousness. No longer could you come by the law. He set us free from the law. That's why it says He brought the law to an end.

He was the end of the law. Impeded righteousness means that He… that Christ's righteousness can be… will be transferred to you as if it was yours. You'll be treated as if righteousness were yours, and that happens when?

When you place your trust in Jesus' death on the cross, there's a great exchange. He gets our sins, they're imputed to Him, and we get His righteousness. That's what impeded righteousness means.

Do you see that? It's that when God looks at you through the blood of the cross, what does He see? He sees His… He sees a reflection of His Son in you. He sees faith in you, and He sees that you are holy and righteous in His sight because your sins have been all wiped away. That's what it means to be… to have righteousness imputed to your account. MacArthur says the belief in Christ as saving Lord brings to an end the sinner's futile quest for righteousness through his own attempts to fulfill the law. When a sinner… when a sinner receives Christ, he also receives the gift of Christ on righteousness. I mean, the simplicity of the gospel calls for only one work to be done.

Do you know what that work is? Jesus gives us the answer. They came and asked Him, what must we do to do the works God requires? And Jesus answered, the work of God is this. There's only one work, to believe in the one He sent.

It's that simple. Moreover, the gospel… the message of the gospel is within everyone's grasp. You don't have to do… you don't have to go to heaven to find it, you don't have to go to hell to find it. It's near you.

The Word is near you. Look at what it says in verses 6 through 8. But the righteousness that is by faith says, do not say in your heart, who will ascend into heaven? That is to bring Christ down.

Well, who will descend into the deep? That is to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? The Word is near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart. That is the Word of faith we are proclaiming. Paul was saying this to his fellow Jews that the Word was near them.

And think about this. The message of the gospel can be seen all through the Old Testament. And the prophets were preaching the gospel in advance, just like Abraham believed the gospel in advance. And it was according to him as righteousness, they were sharing the gospel from the Old Testament to the Israelites of that day. And then John the Baptist came along and he shared the gospel of repentance, did he not? And then who else did that? Jesus.

He went all over Israel proclaiming the good news of the gospel. And most of them rejected it. You see how the Word though was near them. Furthermore, when it says near you, it means that it's within your grasp. It means that you can actually understand it. You don't have to be… have a PhD degree. It's so simple. It's within your grasp, even if you went to NC State.

Well how about today? Is the Word near us? What are you holding? A Bible. Since the foundation of this country, there have always been faithful preachers of the gospel. And right here in Raleigh, I've said before, I feel like we have more Bible studies per capita than any city in the world. Let me ask you this. Do you think anybody from Raleigh can go to heaven and say, I didn't have a chance, I never heard the gospel?

No. The gospel is near us. And listen to how simple the gospel is. Look at verses 9 through 12, that if you confess with your mouth to Jesus Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be what?

Saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified. It's with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.

For there's no difference between Jew and Gentile. The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be what?

Saved. Remember last week, you know, we were talking about being foreknown, predestined, and called. So if you want to know if you've been called, remember we talked about an effectual calling that you can't, it's irresistible when you hear the call of the Holy Spirit, you can't resist it and you come. So if you want to know that you've been called, what should you do?

Look at what it says right here. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be what? Saved. So if you don't understand being foreknown, being predestined, being effectually called, you can understand this. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

So here's the deal. If you want to know that you're saved, two things must happen. First you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. I believe this points to mental assent. It means that you know with your mind that Jesus is who you claim to be. But mental assent must be accompanied by what? In the heart. In fact, only a man who believes in his heart can generally make a true confession. They go hand in hand.

In fact, I think the order of verse 10 is, excuse me, yeah, 10 is the correct order. You believe in your heart and then you're able to make this confession, but they go hand in hand. John MacArthur says, the Hebrews consider the heart to be the core of personhood and the resonance of the soul, the deepest, innermost part of man, with thought, will and love in your heart. And God sees your heart.

He sees your heart. Now He makes… I'm back and done here. He makes two promises here at the end.

What are they? To those who are God's true children, if you're a believer in Christ, He says anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to what? Shame. And to the whole world, God promises that whether Jew or Gentile, everyone who calls in the name of the Lord will be saved.

It's that simple. And now, in my closing argument, again we're back in the courtroom, I charge that religion is guilty of three things, offering false hope, teaching a false gospel, which gives a false sense of hope and security. So what is the verdict of this court?

This is where Jesus comes into the picture. In your outline I've got it wrong. I changed my mind after I wrote that outline. You're not the judge.

Who is? You're not the jury. Jesus is the judge. And here's what He says in Matthew 23, 14. He's talking about religious leaders.

Okay, you ready? "'Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites.'" He sent this to their face. "'You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces.

You do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.'" I mean, that's what's happening in many churches in our country. So if you're going to a church and you look through the hymnal and there's not a single hymn in there about the blood of Jesus, and you – that's a red flag. If you never hear the minister say anything – he never mentions the phrase, born again ever, do you think that's important?

That's a huge red flag. And if he stands up and says, we've all got children, you know what you need to do? Get out. And find a church – listen, if you've got a family that's following you, it's just a wife. Who's the head of your family?

You are. And as a believer, do you know what God's going to – when you stand before the Lord, He's going to look and He's going to judge you based on how you led your family. So you have a responsibility. Do you want your children sitting at Sunday school class where they're never taught the Bible, they just play little games, pin the donkey? That's all they're doing in some churches, just entertaining the kids while the parents go sit in a church where they don't hear the truth. I declare that religion is guilty as charged. Case closed. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank You for this day. Lord, thank You for Your Word. Sometimes, Lord, Your Word is hard hitting, but it's the truth. It's like when we go to a doctor if we have cancer. We need to hear the truth even though it's the hard truth.

And You have an answer, a remedy for the problem, and You're the remedy. Lord, I pray that these men would really consider seriously where they're sitting on Sunday mornings and is what they're hearing, is what they're hearing, does it line up with Scripture? That's the real test. It needs to line up with Scripture. Lord, I pray that they'll, after hearing this message, come back next Tuesday night. I thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings. In Jesus' name. Amen.

I do hope you come back next Tuesday. 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, 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, 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 men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 14:16:08 / 2024-03-13 14:32:02 / 16

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