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Bright Lights in Dark World | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2021 8:00 am

Bright Lights in Dark World | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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June 23, 2021 8:00 am

Adrian Rogers shares six things to keep in mind as we shine bright for Jesus in these dark days.

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From the Love Word Finding studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love Word Finding. Kerry, today Adrian Rogers' message, Part 1, Bright Lights in a Dark World.

Yes, let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. We know the first century Christians were accused of subversion, of being an economic threat, and also condemning others. Does that sound familiar?

It does. It sounds like today, to be honest with you. Well, these accounts are a clear warning of the days ahead. First Peter says, We are instructed to be real, to be ready, and to be those bright lights in a dark world. You know, you're right, Byron, and what better time to take a look at this and say, We need to be a reflection of the Savior in a dark world. But saying that and doing that are two different things.

It really is. And I think some of this is really twofold. First, we need to repent and present ourselves, holy and humble, so God can shine through us, right? And then secondly, we must be transformed. We don't need to look like the world.

We need to look different from the world. And I think that is up to us every single day to be set apart, right? To pull away, to be set apart from the world and to be the bright light in a dark place. Well it reminds me what Adrian Rogers says, you're not saved by the plan of salvation, you're saved by the man of salvation, and his name is Jesus. Amen, right. I mean we know that God has made all things new, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new, we are a new creature in Christ.

That doesn't happen by anything else but the man of salvation. You know we must hold on to, Kerry, to our only hope. Living in dark times it's easy to have our vision blurred and think, you know, there's no hope. But we have hope in Christ and Jesus has met the deepest needs of our heart, therefore we have incredible hope.

We have incredible hope and I would say this too that when we suffer, we suffer for righteousness sake and we are to chalk it up that we've been blessed. What's during these dark days are some of the greatest days to share the gospel. You know this is the time for the Church of Jesus Christ to shine.

In light of our current climate around the world, we should be those bright lights. Well this is the time that people are willing, they're open, they're available to listen, right, and we have the chance to earn the right to point them to the cross. Oh that's such a good word there. Well Kerry, we always love hearing from our Love Worth Finding listeners and I believe you have a listener from Maryland who's responded. I do and it says this, I cannot tell you what Pastor Rogers means to me. I live in a resort town and can't find a good Bible preaching church, so Pastor Rogers became my pastor via Love Worth Finding. He is the greatest preacher. You can see the love of Jesus in Pastor Rogers. He genuinely cared about souls and wanted people to know the truth no matter what. And you don't find many preachers that will do that in this day and age. I just thank God that Pastor Rogers obeyed God's calling. You know Byron, I want to obey God's calling. I want our listeners to obey God's calling.

And I think the best time to do that is fiscal year end. I mean we're wrapping up one year, we're taking, you know, we're tipping the hats off to the past, we're taking the coats off to the future, we're segueing into a new year, and we're looking back seeing what God has done, but now is the time to come alongside this ministry and just give. I mean it's that simple, you just give.

And you give for two reasons. Number one, to introduce people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And number two, to mature them in their faith.

I mean that's our core value, that's our mission. And so you have the opportunity to say, I want to be a part of this ministry in a financial way, so I'm gonna give. And so I just want to encourage, if you're listening today, you've been blessed by this ministry or you've been impacted by this ministry, the best thing you can do is give back to love worth finding.

Well now here with today's message, Bright Lights in a Dark World Part 1, here's Adrian Rogers. Would you take God's Word and turn to 1 Peter chapter 3. We're thinking today on this subject, Bright Lights in a Dark World. Now the first century world was very dark.

When Peter wrote the scripture that I'm about to read to you, friend, I want to tell you something. It was open season on Christians. They despised Christians. Number one, they accused them of insurrection and subversion because they would not bow down and call Caesar Lord. Number two, they looked upon Christians as an economic threat because there was a great business in idolatry and so forth and they saw them somehow as a roadblock and impediment to progress. And number three, their lifestyle condemned others and they accused them of all kinds of things.

Incest because they called one another brother and sister and number two, even people they were married to, they thought of as a sister or brother. They accused them of cannibalism because at the Lord's Supper they said they were eating and drinking the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and they would take anything and twist it and they use it against these early Christians. And so Peter wrote this scripture and I want you to read it now. First Peter chapter 3 beginning in verse 13. He asked this question, and who is he that will harm you if you be followers of that which is good? And the word followers is the word we get our word zealot from. If you, you be zealous of that which is good. But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye and be not afraid of their terror.

I just underscore that. Be not afraid of their terror, neither be ye troubled. That's God's word for you this morning. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear having a good conscience that where as they speak evil of you as evildoers they may be ashamed that falsely accused your good conversation in Christ. Now what do we do in a time where there are those who want to terrorize us? Do we just hunker down? Do we close up shop, put our head between our knees and pray Lord keep us safe till the storm passes over?

Not at all. There has never been a greater day, a greater age, a greater time to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ than this day and this age and we don't need to sing hold the fort. Friend we need to sing on with Christian soldiers. Not, not armed with bullets, not armed with bombs, but armed with the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with a mighty, mighty, mighty demonstration of love.

But we cannot be silent. Back in Hitler's time when Hitler was trying to rule the world there was a pastor named Martin Neimüller. Martin Neimüller began to preach and as a result of it Hitler had him put in the concentration camp and then finally in solitaire.

But finally Martin Neimüller was released and he began to preach and he always ended his messages with his statement. First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews but I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for anyone. Now the time has come for us to speak and Peter tells us in this passage that number one we need to be real. We need to be followers of that which is good.

We don't need a card, some sort of a plastic cardboard mentality in Christianity and number two we need to be ready. Verse 15 he says you be ready to give an answer to anyone that asks you of the hope that's in you. By the way when's the last time anybody asks you of your faith?

When's the last time anybody ever asked you say what makes you different? There was a cynic named Nietzsche. Hitler learned much from Nietzsche.

Nietzsche didn't believe in Jesus Christ and he loved to look in Christians face and sneer at them and say if you want me to believe in your Redeemer you're going to have to look a little more redeemed. Well do you look redeemed? I mean when's the last time somebody's ever said hey what makes you tick? What puts that smile on your face? What gives you peace in the midst of the storm? What motivates you? What drives you? How do you have this hope?

Would you be able to give an answer? Would you shine as a bright light in a dark place? I want to mention six things that Peter mentions right here. Things that we need to be in this dark day. Number one we must enthrone Christ as Lord. Look in verse 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.

The word sanctify means to set him aside as special above all as reigning Lord. May I ask you a personal question? Don't say yes because I'm going to ask it anyway. Is Jesus Christ Lord in your life? Now I didn't say do you admit that he is Lord in the generic sense. Have you ever bowed the knee to him?

Have you ever taken the crown off your head and put it upon his head? There was a preacher of yesteryear his name was Charles Spurgeon. Most preachers agree together that Charles Spurgeon was probably the greatest preacher outside the Apostle Paul that ever lived. I've copied down something that Charles Haddon Spurgeon said. I want you to listen to it carefully. I'm going to read it carefully.

Here's what he said. If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will, that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumptions, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. If a man says, well I know what God wants me to do but I'm not going to do it.

Spurgeon just says, mister you need to be saved. Do not suppose that the gospel is magnified or God glorified by pandering to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior while they are still wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin. It is interesting to note that the Apostles preached the lordship of Christ. The word Savior occurs only twice in the acts of the Apostles.

On the other hand, it is amazing to notice that the title Lord is mentioned 92 times. Now often we hear people say, well you need to accept Christ as your Savior. Well friend, you cannot have what he gives unless you accept who he is and he is Lord.

He is Lord. Now I'm not asking are you baptized. I'm not asking you do you know the plan of salvation. You're not saved by the plan of salvation. You're saved by the man of salvation. His name is Jesus.

Is he the Lord of your life? Imagine this scene. The wedding, the marriage has taken place. The cake has been cut. The gifts have been exchanged and Susan and John now are in the car driving away.

They've just been married. Susan says, John, would you please take me home? He says, well now Susan, we're going on a honeymoon. You know that our home is not going to be ready for several weeks. I'll take you there when we get there, when the contractors finish building a house. He said, no, I don't mean that home. Would you please take me to my mother's house?

I want to go back to my mother's house. Now John, I want you to understand something. You and I are married and John, I appreciate your love for me and John, if you have any love for me, don't fail to give it. I'm most grateful for it and John, if I have a need, if I get sick, I'll call on you and if I need money for expenses, because you're my husband, I expect you to supply my every need. But don't think that I'm going to change my lifestyle just because I'm married to you. John, take me home and keep your hands off of my life. Now what kind of a marriage would that be? That's the same kind of salvation that some people think they have.

They call upon the Lord Jesus Christ and say, now Lord Jesus, thank you that you're going to take care of me. But I'm going back to my old lifestyle. I'm going back to my old ways. Take your hands off my life. Friend, you can't have it that way.

You can't have it that way. Has there been a radical change in your life? Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Number two, not only must you sanctify the Lord, but number two, we must be ready with an answer. Look in verse 15.

But sanctify the Lord in your hearts. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you of the reason of the hope that is in you. Are you ready for an answer? I mean, suppose somebody came to you and said, what is the reason for your hope?

And they will come to you if you have a changed life. They're going to ask you, as they did on the day of Pentecost, what meaneth this? What meaneth this? Now, the problem is that, and then they ask, what must we do? The reason that many people don't ask, what must we do?

They haven't seen anything that is different. They can't say, what means this? On the day of Pentecost, there was something that was not explainable. Is there something about you that is not explainable? Can you explain my life apart from Jesus Christ?

Friend, has anybody ever asked you a question? What is the reason for your hope? Suppose somebody today, maybe in an automobile accident, would ask you, what is the reason for your hope? Help me. You'd say, just stay right there.

Don't die. I'm going to go get Pastor Rogers. No, you are to sanctify the Lord in your heart, and you are to be ready. I'm appalled at how little the average Baptist knows about what he's supposed to believe. One man asked a woman, what do you believe? She said, I believe what my church believes. What does your church believe? Well, my church believes what I believe. Well, what do you both believe? Oh, we believe the same thing.

Are you ready? Do you have an answer? Friend, there are some good answers. The word to give an answer is the word that we get our word apologetics from. Doesn't mean that we're saying, oh, I'm so sorry. It's a word that is used in a courtroom, apologia. It means to give a defense of your faith, just as a lawyer would defend a client.

Can you defend your faith? I want to tell you something, friend. The people out there have some big questions. Right now, our world is swimming in questions. And somebody says, how can you have faith in God?

Are you ready to give an answer to the person who asked you? Well, there's an answer in the Word of God. Let me give you some scripture. Matthew chapter 22, beginning in verse 36. There was a lawyer asked Jesus, master, what is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said, thou shalt love, underscore this, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Friend, that is it. That's the bottom line. By the way, the faith of Jesus Christ is built on love, not hate, life, not death. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy being. This is the first commandment.

This sums it all up. Now, when God made man, God made man a free creature. Why did God make man a free creature? Because God wanted man to love, to love him and to love one another. Forced love is a contradiction in terms.

For a person to be able to love, he has to be able not to love. If we were created where we could only love and do nothing else, it wouldn't be love at all. We would be automatons.

We would just simply be machines. God gave man the freedom of choice. We cannot choose to be disloyal unless we can choose to be loyal. We cannot choose to love unless we can choose not to love.

What is love? Love is the highest good. For God to take away choice would be for God to destroy the highest good. If he did that, if God were to destroy evil, that is to give man a choice, then that act itself would be evil. No, God allows evil in this world. God does not destroy evil.

God defeats evil by putting his Son upon a cross and taking that sin into his own heart and his own life and there are answers to these things. The Bible says in John chapter 15 verse 13, greater love hath no man than this that a man laid down his life for his friends. Now thirdly, listen friend, if we would be a bright light in a dark world, we must practice genuine humility.

This is no time to strut in arrogance. Notice again what Peter says in 1 Peter chapter 3 verse 15, but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you of a reason of the hope that is in you. Now notice this, with meekness and fear. With meekness and fear. Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control. Fear is not being trembling at what is happening around us. It speaks of a holy reverence for Almighty God.

Now you can have the reasons, but America is not going to be won by arguments alone, not by the ballot box, not by organization and there's so many people who think of those of us who are Bible believers as people of arrogance and they'll say that about us. They'll think of us as hate mongers. They will think of us as intolerant and we must be very careful that we do not use angry rhetoric when we respond to them. Listen to the scripture, put it in your margin, James 1 verses 19 through 20. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Your anger, your wrath does not bring about God's righteousness. Now Jesus showed anger against those who were persecuting helpless people. He showed anger toward the religious hypocrites of his day, but to those who were victims of sin, the prostitutes, the thieves, the tax gatherers who in that day were guilty of extortion, he showed them love. He was a friend of sinners.

That's why they crucified him. Do you know what we need in this day in this age? We, dear friend, need a full heart and a bright head, both together.

Be ready to give an answer, but also show love in genuine humility. Now when Nero, when this was written, Nero was the emperor. You say, well, they had it easier in those days.

Oh no, they didn't. Nero wanted to remodel Rome so he had the slums burned. The people rose up because their homes were destroyed. He had to have a scapegoat. Somebody said, why don't you blame it on those Christians? They're always talking about setting the world on fire. And so they blamed it on the Christians. And again, it was, as I said, it was open season on the Christians. They would take Christians in that day, nail them to crosses, cover them with boiling oil, and set them on fire to light the gardens for the banquets.

Can you imagine such thing? These are people, these are people who love the Lord Jesus Christ. They read in the mouths of lions with their own blood. They had to fight with gladiators in the Colosseum. Many of them would not fight. They would just simply give their lives.

I wonder what would happen to some of us if we had to make those kind of choices. These early Christians, friend, they had to make those kinds of choices. And I want to say that they had meekness and fear and their humility. Their humility, their ability to suffer for Christ brought that Roman Empire crashing down. There was an uprising in China.

A Chinese student wrote these words, lies written in ink cannot obscure truth written in blood. Now folks, it's possible for us to be so arrogant that we'll win the argument and lose the audience. I'm calling upon you to have genuine meekness, genuine reverence in this day and in this age. This is not the time to go pointing fingers at everybody else. The Bible says the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God.

And I tell you folks, all that's happened in America today has happened on our watch. And we need to confess the sins of the church. We need to confess our indolence, our laziness, our selfishness, our pride, our refusal to live a separated life and to share the gospel, the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Number four, we must live, if we would be a bright light in the dark world, we must live a superior lifestyle, a superior lifestyle. Notice the next verse. We've been in verse 15. Look in verse 16, having a good conscience, whereas they that speak evil of you as evildoers may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. You're going to be falsely accused, but it's going to become evident. It's going to be to their shame because your lifestyle will be superior. You will be blameless. I didn't say sinless, but you will be blameless. You see verse 15 says, they're going to be asking us questions of the hope that's in us. Why?

Because they can see something different about us. And we'll hear part two of this message coming up tomorrow on the broadcast. Maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is, about what he means to you, how to begin a relationship with him. Go to our Discover Jesus page at lwf.org slash radio. You'll find resources and materials that will answer questions you may have about your faith. Again, go to lwf.org slash radio and click Discover Jesus. We're so glad you joined us for today's study in God's Word. If you'd like to start receiving daily devotions and links to our program, sign up for our daily heartbeat emails at lwf.org. And join us tomorrow for the conclusion of Bright Lights in a Dark World, right here on Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-30 10:57:02 / 2023-10-30 11:07:40 / 11

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