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Living Godly in an Ungodly Age - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 12:00 am

Living Godly in an Ungodly Age - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 19, 2023 12:00 am

Although living righteously isn't easy, we can still serve God without wavering.

Anchored In Truth
Jeff Noblit
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, January nineteenth. Even the most faithful Jesus follower can slowly begin to talk, act, and think like those who don't know the Lord. But there's good news. Today we'll hear about the way to live godly in an ungodly age. If someone looks at your life, listens to your conversation, watches how you live, watch how you relate to other people, watch how you dress, whatever it might be. Would they say, there's a real Christian? Well, let's face it, most people who sit in church week after week after week look so much like the world, you can't tell the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. And so, when you think about the society in which we live, it is a society that is drifting, not toward God but away from God. It is a society in which generation after generation has drifted away from the principles of the Word of God and the customs and the ideas that were based on biblical principles.

And so, the question is, what's the answer to this drift? What's the answer to being godly in a godless age? Well, I want you to turn to a little book in the New Testament, Titus.

Give you a little background. Paul wrote to Titus giving him some admonitions about the church in Crete. He sent him to a very difficult place to pastor a church.

And when you see the description of Crete here, you say, well, that sounds exactly like the society in which we live. And so, he gave him some very strong warnings. And so, I want us to begin reading in verse five because what he says in this passage, he's saying, look, the men you choose to give guidance and to help you and to pastor the churches there ought to be men like this because this is the kind of society we're facing. So, he begins, verse five in chapter one.

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and upon elders in every city as I directed you. Namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion, for the overseer must be above reproach as God stood, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious as a fighter, not fond of sordid gain, not motivated by money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching so that he'll be able to both exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict that sound doctrine. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers, deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they're upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of money, sordid gain. One of themselves, that is one of these persons there who's a Cretan, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. This testimony is true, for this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. Now, how does that sound like Crete?

It sounds like not only Crete, but the United States and every nation in the world around us. We're living in a degeneration of society, moving further and further away from God, more opposition, more unbelief, more drifting from things that you and I know to be true. So, with that in mind, what I want to talk about is this. And that is, how do you live a godly life in a society that is becoming darker and darker, more and more ungodly, more prevalent in the opposition, disbelief, and rebellion toward a God who is holy? So, let's think about it for a moment.

Let's think about the character of our society in certain words, just so you can jot them down and think about them. And the first one is this, that it's a secular society we live in. That is, there is no, listen, there is no place for God in the lives of many people. It's all secular.

It's what I believe, what I want to believe, what I want. And the whole idea of secularism is get rid of God, spiritual things, church, none of that matters. A second word is materialism. What drives most people today is money.

Money drives them because the desire for money and pleasure is greed oftentimes. Listen, when you drift away from spiritual things, when you drift away from Almighty God, here's what happens. Leaves a void in your life. How do you fill that void? You fill that void, at least you attempt to do so, by relationships. Most people, it's by things, have enough money, enough places, enough this, enough pleasure. If I have enough money, that seems to be the end of all of my needs, if I have enough.

A very materialistic age. A third word is immoral. We live in a society that is saturated with all kinds of sex. Sex should be motivated by love in the way that God intended it. If you want to look at our society, look how often and how in every way sex is used to advertise all kind of things. That's where we are because it's man and woman's desire to have fulfillment. And that seems in their sordid mind, in their unbelief, in their darkness, in their erroneous, inaccurate way of looking at love.

Sex isn't love. And so what's happened? When you drift from the Word of God, that is exactly what happens. It's the kind of society we become. A society that is degenerating all the way. A society full of empty philosophy.

There are all kinds of things, movies, radio, television, magazines, books. All kinds of thought that have nothing to do with what truly satisfies, truly brings you peace. And all of it is, listen, the figment of man's fallen nature. Why? Because man's heart is empty of God and so what does he do?

What does she do? You've got to find something to fill this void. Every void cries to be filled. Only God can fill the human heart. When you turn away from the one legitimate, absolutely legitimate thing that can fill the human heart, it is God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Eliminate Him, what do you do? Then you've got to have things, relationships, experiences, and you've got to find something to fill it. You're not going to have a void in your life.

You're going to fill it with something. Some of the God, some of the pleasure, some of the thing, whatever it might be. That's where we are. We are becoming more and more desperate as a society to fill the emptiness, the longing, and the cry of our heart. The cry deep down inside is for God, but we've eliminated Him. So therefore, it's got to be something else. So when you look at all these words, and then the whole idea of being deceived, the deception that is rampant today is almost unbelievable.

People of intellect, depending upon their intellect rather than true reason, all kinds of empty, vain philosophies that are floating around, and that's why the most bizarre things become popular. Oh, here's something new. This must be it. I tried that. I tried this.

I tried that. Must be something new. People are deceived. And so when you look at our society and look where we are and look what's happened, and then what's the reason? Part of the reason is false doctrine. And if you go back to Second Timothy, for example, and look in chapter four, look in verse three, this is exactly where we are. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickle, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. Not, listen, not teachers who are teaching the Word of God, but teachers who will teach things that match what their desire is. So ask yourself the question, do you choose a church on the basis of what you desire to believe so that you can defend your way of living, which is not godly?

It's just that simple in the minds of many people. We're talking about living a godly life. We're talking about living a life that is separate, not, listen, not separating the life that we don't have in a relationship, but a different kind of life. A godly life is a different kind of life than you see around you. And what makes our living so important is this. The first thing many people must see before they open the Word of God is to see a genuine, true, godly Christian who says one thing and does the same.

Who says, here's what I believe, and then they act like it. But the society in which you and I live, that's not the kind of society we're living in. This is why it's more important than ever before. The darker things get, the brighter the true godly person begins to light those around them. The more impact we have. And the reason we're where we are is because our impact is lessened, we've become weakened as a church, and it's time for the people who claim to be Christians that live a godly life, a holy life, in order not to impress somebody but to impact them to live the kind of life this book talks about. And so, when you think about, when you think about our society and you look to see what He said about Crete, not a lot of difference.

Now, the question is this, what is the key to living a godly life? Well, let's go back to this, let's go back to this ninth verse and listen to what He says. He's told him what to do.

He's getting ready to say, now look at the society you're in. Here's what He says, ninth verse, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching so that he'll be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. What do you mean hold fast?

Hold fast means to grip it tight. Hold it close. Apply it to your life.

Don't allow it to drift away. What He's saying is this, the key to living a godly life is right here in this book. Why do we come and not lay it aside? Why do I ask you to bring a book, bring the Word of God?

Why do I ask you if you're in your home or wherever you are listening or watching to get your Bible out, to get you a pad and a pencil out and to write? Because what we're talking about is what God says in His Word is absolutely essential to living a godly life. And so the question is, what does it mean to hold fast to the Word of God? It means, listen, to believe it, to cling to it, to hold to it, it's to make a difference in our life. And not only listen to cling to it, but to apply it to our life. I could own a hundred Bibles and put them in my house, put them in my study, if I don't, listen, if I don't get it in my mind and beyond that.

And I don't get it in my heart to believe it. And listen, and I don't get it into my conduct and my behavior, a hundred Bibles won't do me any good. And so this is exactly what He's saying here to Titus. He says, cling to the Word of God, take it in hand, hold it firmly.

And why? What did Paul have in mind when he said to him, cling to it, hold it fast. Here's what he was saying, lest you drift from the truth. Anybody can drift from the truth. In a darkened society that's drifting further and further away from God, you don't drift toward holiness.

You have to make a decision whether you believe this Book or not, whether you're going to live with this Book or not. And so the question is, why all this emphasis from Paul's viewpoint to Titus as he led the church in the midst of a very darkened generation of his day. So why the emphasis?

Well, I think there are three reasons primarily. And one of them is this. And that is because of the nature of this Book. If somebody said to you, what is the Bible?

Let me give you an answer. This Book is the mind of God on a printed page. It is the eternal Word of God. The Scripture says, the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever. This Book, in essence, is the story of God's redeeming love for mankind.

From all the way from the Garden of Eden, from the creation, all the way to the last chapter and the last verse of the Bible. This Book is all about God's redeeming love for mankind and all the things that hinder that and the things that contribute to it. This Book is the mind of God. This is God's textbook. It's God's guidebook. It's God's eternal book.

It has been criticized. It has been burned. It has been cut to shreds.

Everything in the world has happened to it. What did God say? He says, the Word of God will stand forever.

Men who burned them died. Men who persecuted those who believed it, they're gone. And if you look back down through history, this Book has survived every kind of opposition and attack and persecution imaginable.

It is as strong today as it's ever been. There are more translations today. The Word of God is going all over this world and God has mixed the Word of God with the technology of the world.

What's He done? He's making it possible for us to reach the entire world with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And one of the primary reasons He gave us this Book is for the salvation of mankind.

That's the reason He gave it. So, it's the very nature of the Word of God. It's, listen, you can stack all the other books in the world in one pile. There would be millions of them, for example. You could put all that knowledge together on this side. Can't even begin to equal one book. You see, this is a mind of God.

Listen to this. Man would not have written this if he could. He wouldn't because it condemns him.

And he couldn't if he wanted to. And he wouldn't if he could, for the simple reason, because if you choose to live in sin, you don't want to be reading this Book. If you've decided that you're going to live your life the way you want to live it, you don't have any interest in God's spiritual things, you don't care about what happens as far as you're concerned, there is no God, you probably wouldn't be interested in reading several chapters in this Book which condemns you to eternal separation from God.

But then you have to ask yourself the question, do I want the truth or do I want to live in deception? There are consequences from not reading the Word of God. It's the story of God's, you see, it's not a condemnation Book.

He says, I didn't come into the world, Jesus said, I didn't come into the world to condemn the world, but that through me the world might be saved. This isn't a Book of condemnation. It is a Book of love that God could reach down to sinful man and forgive us and make us righteous and hold in His sight.

That in spite of our failures, in spite of our weaknesses, in spite of our sins, He is so loving and so forgiving, He's sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to die on the cross, pay your sin debt in full, make it possible for you to be forgiven, make it possible for you to live a godly, holy life, and if you spurn that, choose not to believe that, then you are responsible and you stand before God to give an account for rejecting the living, eternal Word of God, which is a sin of unbelief, and you will pay a price. That is the truth of God's Word. And so what's this Book?

This is an awesome Book. And not only because of the nature of the Bible, but a second reason that, as Paul wrote, that he certainly wrote had in mind here, and that's this. As we said, and we said it in different ways, because their fourfold purpose is, and simply is this, that we might understand salvation be saved. We might understand a godly life and live it.

We might be equipped to serve God and we might be, listen, equipped to defend what we believe. There's no book like it. He said cling to it, hold to it, don't depart from it.

Why? Because this is the guidebook. In fact, I don't believe you can come up with a single question in your life that relates to you personally for which there's not an answer in God's Word, because it's complete. And this is why it's so important we cling to it. That is, not only should it be in your house, in your mind, in your heart, but in your conduct, in the way you and I live. That separates us from the ungodly. It makes, he says, you to be the light of the world. What makes us light, listen, what makes us shine before this darkened world is Christ living on the inside of us and living through us the life of Jesus. That's what the Christian life's all about. The Christian life is all about the Holy Spirit living through us, expressing through us the life of Christ, because He says, I will abide in you, you abide in me. The Christian life is an expression of the life of Jesus lived out through these human bodies of ours, these minds, these hearts, these emotions, these wills of ours, in our weakness, in our frailties, in our asking for forgiveness, in our walking godly before Him. God has chosen to demonstrate, listen, to demonstrate in a darkened society what light's really like. True, genuine light is Jesus lived out in your life and mind. And the unbelieving world has a right for us to expect us to live out what we say. And so therefore, when you look at the reasons, Paul says, because the nature of the Word, that's why you should cling to it. And so you see, when you and I think about witnessing to somebody else, oftentimes we get all caught up, listen to this, we get all caught up in ourselves. Now I'm going to be sure I say this right and I hope they'll accept to me.

In other words, forget it. All you've got to do is to give them the Word of God, the Holy Spirit takes your Word, uses it to penetrate their heart and transforms their life. And if you just listen to some, read some of these letters out of prisons, for example. When men say, I'm in prison for life, but I'm the freest I've ever been. The Word of God has transformed my life. What can make a man who's going to look at life through bars for the next thirty or forty years say, I'm a free man? Only the power of God's Word. Cling to it, he said.

Don't drift away from it. Thank you for listening to Living Godly in an Ungodly Age. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 22:57:47 / 2023-01-21 23:06:16 / 8

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