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Cardboard Christians

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
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May 26, 2022 8:00 am

Cardboard Christians

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 26, 2022 8:00 am

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Are you a true Christian through and through?

Listen to Adrian Rogers. The worst form of human badness is human goodness when that human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth. Jesus called it iniquity. Depart from ye that work iniquity.

I never knew you. No reality. A cardboard Christian. Welcome to Love Worth Finding, featuring the powerful truth of the gospel found in the practical messages of Adrian Rogers. The great hunger of every human heart is to know Jesus in a real way.

The world is tired of hypocrisy and games. The only way we'll reach the world with the gospel is if we're real, if we live out what we say we believe. We need to be careful not to become cardboard Christians. If you have your Bible, turn to Proverbs chapter 21. We'll begin in verse 22 as Adrian Rogers shares the sad reality of cardboard Christians. I want you to take your Bibles today and turn to the book of Proverbs chapter 21 and look at one verse. Now, we've been in the book of Proverbs for quite some time, and the difficulty and the joy of studying the book of Proverbs is that there is so much compacted in one verse. You're going to see that as we study this verse today. And the more I looked at this verse, the more remarkable it became in my eyes. When I first looked at it, I said, well, that's an ordinary verse. Then, you know, the more I dwelt on it, I discovered that there are no ordinary verses.

Everyone is extraordinary. Listen to this. Proverbs chapter 21 verse 28. A false witness shall perish, but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

A false witness shall perish, but the man that heareth speaketh constantly. Art Linkletter had a tragedy in his life, and it literally drove him to his knees. Art Linkletter told that after this tragedy, he was with some young people in the lobby of a hotel in San Francisco, a dozen or so young people. He said they got down on their knees to pray, and he got down on his knees with them to pray. He said, I looked around, and I hoped no one would recognize me down on my knees. But he said I was not down on my knees but just a second when I did no longer care what anyone else thought, because Art Linkletter said in this discussion of his life, he said, up until that time, I was very self-sufficient. I didn't feel that I needed anybody.

And here's a man that for 40 years on television and screen and stage had entertained millions. He said I didn't think I needed anybody. And he said I thought of myself as being a good person. But he said I was, and I want you to listen to this phrase, a cardboard Christian. He says I was a cardboard Christian. That is, I was all fa├žade.

There was nothing real on the inside. And then he said I found reality. I want to speak to you today about reality, because if there's anything this world is hungering for, it is reality. And the great hunger of every man's heart, every woman's heart, every boy, every girl, is to know Jesus Christ, not know about him, but to know him and to have reality, right? Not only that, but the need of reaching people. Not only is it the hunger, but it is the basic need of the church in order to evangelize we must have this bright, shining, living reality.

No longer cardboard Christians. Now a text today speaks to that subject. Proverbs chapter 21 verse 28. A false witness shall perish, but the man that heareth speaketh constantly. It deals with a false witness and it deals with a faithful witness. It deals with the fatality of a false witness. It deals with the reality of a faithful witness. Now look at the fatality of a false witness. The fatality of a false witness. A false witness shall perish.

That is, it's fatal not to have reality, to be false, to be a phony. to be a cardboard Christian, a false witness shall perish. Now put your bookmark there in Proverbs chapter 21 and go with me to Matthew chapter 7 in verse 21. These are the words of the Savior. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. That is, everybody talking about heaven's not going there, as the old song says. Not everybody who says, Lord, Lord, is saved.

Not everybody is born again. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. And then notice these amazing verses. Many will say unto me in that day, he's talking about the judgment day. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works, and then will I profess unto them, apart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you.

Now look at this. There's false praying. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord. These are people who knew to pray.

They didn't know how to pray, but they knew to pray. And they are seemingly orthodox in their praying because they call him Lord. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord.

But not only false praying. It's compounded false preaching. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? Now the word prophesy means to stand up and preach with authority. But the tragedy in our day and in our land is that many are standing behind the sacred desk who have never been born again. Judas was a preacher.

We prophesied in thy name, but Judas was lost. But not only false praying, and not only false preaching, but false power. This verse goes on to say, and in thy name cast out devils. Now every time in the Bible when you see the word devils, plural, it means demons. There's one devil, many demons. And this may be translated demons. In thy name we have exorcised demons. We have cast out demons in your name. Well, did they cast out demons?

No. They said they did. They said they did.

They thought they did. Do you know demons are so clever, demons are so diabolical, demons are so scheming that they will allow you to think that you have cast them out when you've not? Do you remember reading in the Bible the story of a man who had an unclean house, and the Bible says that he swept and cleaned and garnished his house? And there was a demon, an unclean spirit, and that unclean spirit went out of the house.

The house, of course, was the temple of the body. And this demon, this man was demonized, and the demon went out. And then the Bible says that that demon went out and got seven more other deadly demons than himself and came back in, and Jesus said the last state of that man was worse than the former state. Now, many times a demon will appear to cooperate. Many times he will let someone have some semblance of false power that he might get a false following and deceive many. How many people are deceived by false power? Not everything you see coming through television and not everything you see that seems to be miraculous is miraculous, and pay attention to that. Not everyone who seems to have power over the devil has power over the devil.

Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, false praying, have we not prophesied in thy name, false preaching, and in thy name cast out demons, false power, and in thy name done many wonderful works, false performance. They sang in the choir. They were in the orchestra. They took up the offering. They worked in the nursery. They ran the television.

They were on the church staff. Lord, we did all of these things. We tithed. We did it all.

We were there every time the church doors were open. But a false witness shall perish. Jesus said, and then will I profess unto them, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. I never knew you. Now, not that I knew you and then you lost it.

They never had it. They were never saved. And notice what Jesus said. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Now, that's very important that you understand that because they were saying, Lord, look at all of these things we've done. Do you know what Jesus called all of those things? Iniquity. Iniquity. They didn't say we robbed banks, we raped, we abused little children.

No, they said we were preaching, praying, working. Jesus said iniquity. You see, the Bible teaches that even your righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight. I've said it before and I want to say it again.

You pay attention. The worst form of human badness is human goodness. When that human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth. Jesus called it iniquity. Ye that work iniquity.

A false witness shall perish. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. I never knew you. I never knew you. I never knew you.

No reality. A cardboard Christian. A cardboard Christian. The fatality of a false witness. Now let's look at the other side of that text.

Go back again, if you will, and look at our text. Proverbs 21, 28. A false witness shall perish, but the man that heareth speaketh constantly. The reality of a fateful witness. What are the three marks of a fateful witness? What are the three marks of reality in this thing called religion?

I want you to know it's real. First of all, there must be a listening worship. A listening worship. He that heareth. No man knows God.

No man is real. No man is prepared to serve the Lord until he's first heard the Lord. One of the marks of all true Christians, all reality in spiritual matters is that you have heard the Lord. He that heareth. He that heareth. He that heareth. Now notice he's putting he that heareth in opposition to the ones who are false witnesses. The Lord Jesus said in John 10, verse 27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them. The Lord doesn't know anyone unless they've heard his voice. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them. You cannot be a Christian without hearing the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don't mean audibly, but you must hear God, and I'll tell you how to hear God in just a moment, but you must hear him. Jesus stood before that rascal Pilate, and Pilate tried to engage Jesus in a conversation and in a banter, in an argument. He wanted Jesus Christ to defend himself, but Jesus Christ would not defend himself to Pilate. But here's what Jesus said to Pilate.

It's very interesting, in John chapter 18, verse 37, Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, now listen, pay attention, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.

That's one of the greatest statements in all of the Bible. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. A faithful witness hears.

And what is it that you hear? His voice. And what is his voice? His word. These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. This whole book from Genesis to Revelation is the voice of the Son of God. And you must hear him, you must hear him. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. You want to hear God?

This book is the way you're going to hear God. There's power in his word. Power for conversion, being born again, not by corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God. Power for completion, as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby. Power for cleansing, wherewithal shall a young man transcend his way by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Power for claiming, if you abide in me and my word abides in you, then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. Power for conquest, take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Power in this book. Power for counseling, it is profitable for doctrine, for rebuke, for reproof, for correction.

You want to know what's right, what's wrong, how to get right and how to stay right. There's power in the word of God. Power for communion, if you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. You see, the mark of reality is that you're hearing God, that you're hearing God.

You cannot be a real Christian until you hear from God. You must hear God speak. Now, he may speak through a preacher, but it will not be the preacher speaking. It's God speaking.

And because there's listening worship, there is living witness. Now listen, look at the verse again. Look at the verse again. He that heareth speaketh.

Did you hear that? He that heareth speaketh. Now we dare not speak for God until we've heard God, but if we've heard God we dare not be silent. We dare not speak for God until we've heard God, but if we've heard God, we dare not be silent. He that heareth speaketh. We're not to speak for the Lord because we've heard the Lord, but we're not to speak for the Lord until we've heard the Lord. And again, that's what's wrong with so many preachers today.

They are speaking when they've not been listening. And so what you have is that they're giving things out of their own heart rather than what the Holy Spirit has said. And again, I'm not trying to hold myself up as some grand example, but I do not want to stand before you and simply be dredging from my own well. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, verse 3, tremendous statement, For I have delivered unto you that which first of all I received.

I have delivered unto you that which first of all I have received. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the example of this. Listen to what Jesus said in John chapter 8 and verse 26, I have many things to say and to judge of you, but he that sent me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. Jesus said, What I hear I speak.

Paul said, What I hear I speak. You see, this is the difference between a lawyer and a witness. Jesus didn't say, You shall be my lawyers.

Jesus said, Ye shall be witnesses unto me. Do you know what a lawyer does? A lawyer argues a case. Do you know what a witness does? He tells what he's seen and heard.

Isn't that right? How can you be a witness if you haven't seen anything, if you haven't heard anything? God has not called you to be a lawyer. He's called you to be a witness, and you can't be a witness unless you've heard. He that heareth speaketh.

Now, we're talking about reality. Let me tell you why I know that so many people are phony Christians, because they never speak. They never speak. Do you know what R.A. Torrey had to say? Listen to this. He said, I would like to know what right any man has to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he's not a soul winner.

Did you hear that? I would like to know what right anybody has to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul winner. How can we claim to follow if his purpose is not our purpose? Jesus said, Follow me, and I'll make you to become fishers of men. If you're not fishing, you're not following, or else I don't know how to read.

Follow me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. How can any man claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ if the purpose of Christ is not his purpose? Friend, a false witness shall perish. But he that heareth speaketh, to hear is to speak, to know him is to say, I cannot be silent. Lee Scarborough, who was one time president of Southwestern Seminary said, To refuse to witness the saving gospel to a lost world day by day is nothing short of high treason. High treason, it's not just simply that you're missing a blessing. It's a clenched fist in the face of God.

It is a rebellion against heaven's commander in chief, the Lord Jesus Christ, who told us to go into all the world and bear witness to him. A false witness shall perish, but he that heareth speaketh. You cannot speak until you hear. You cannot be silent when you hear.

You must speak. You must share the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the hallmark of a born again person. Years ago in the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, Dr. W.A.

Truitt was pastor before the illustrious Dr. Criswell came. There was a little girl who came forward in the services, tender little girl, just very young, wanting to be a Christian and wanting to be baptized and be a part of that church. And the counselors dealt with her. And because she was so young, they really felt that the little girl was sincere, but they recommended she not be baptized right away, that they wait a little while because they wanted to be certain. And so they explained to her, now, honey, we're glad that you've come to give your heart to Jesus.

But we want you to wait a little while before you're baptized. And they watched her, and a little chin began to quiver. Tears were coming down her cheeks. They said, now, darling, don't cry.

It's all right. After a while, you can be baptized and be a member of the church. She said, that's not why I'm crying, not because I can't be baptized.

She said, I was thinking about my brother. I want him to be saved, too. Well, that Eacon said, I believe we'd better receive her today. Amen. That's the mark. That's the mark of a Christian.

That's the mark of reality. Not how well you sing, but that you have a burden for souls. What right does anybody have to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he's not a soul winner?

What right? A false witness shall perish, but he that heareth speaketh, he that heareth speaketh, he that heareth speaketh. You must hear him. And when you hear him, you cannot keep silent. From the very time I knew I was saved to this time, there's been a burning desire in my heart to share Jesus Christ. One of the ways I know that it's real to me, because I want you to know what's in my heart. Third thing, not only a listening worship, that's one mark of reality. Not only a living witness, that's another mark of reality.

But a lasting walk, a lasting walk. He that heareth speaketh constantly, constantly. That is, he stays with it.

He doesn't start and give it up. There's a consistency. That's the hallmark of reality. Somebody says, well, I know somebody who was once a Christian and lost to salvation.

No, you don't. Dear friend, if you've got reality, then reality is going to last. And these people that go away never were saved. We have a little saying around here.

I don't know who was original with it. The faith that fizzles before the finish had a flaw from the first. They went out from us, but they were not others. For had they been others, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out that it might be made manifest.

But they were not others. There was a man named Cox. He was a church member, and he had the assurance of his salvation. And he got tired of playing church, and he got saved, I mean sure enough saved, born again.

He wrote a song, I've Heard You and Others, saying, oh, how well do I remember how I doubted day by day, for I did not know for certain that my sins were washed away. When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the truth receive. I endeavored to be happy and to make myself believe. Then I prayed to God in earnest, not caring what folks said. I was hungry for the blessing. My poor soul, it must be fed. Then at last by faith I touched Him, and like sparks from smitten steel, just so quick, salvation reached me.

Oh, bless God. I know it's real. Oh, it's real, it's real, I know it's real. Praise God, the doubts are settled, and I know, I know it's real. Do you know it's real? Is it that reality? Are you an exclamation point or a question mark?

Which? Are you a cardboard Christian? Then you're gonna perish. And Jesus will say, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I never knew you. Well, maybe as you've listened today, there are questions surfacing about your faith in Jesus. We'd love to offer an insightful resource on our website, the Find Answers page. There you'll find resources and materials that will answer questions you may have about your relationship with God, how to begin that through Christ. We'd love to invite you to check out our Grow Your Faith page as well.

That's where you can get grounded and dig deeper into the Scriptures. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click on the tab that says Grow Your Faith or Find Answers. We can't wait to hear from you today. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call 1-877-LOVEGOD. Mention the title Cardboard Christians. This message is also part of the insightful series A Word to the Wise for that complete six message collection call 1-877-LOVEGOD or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio or write us to order at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. You can also purchase our new Bible studies much like this message in our online store.

For information, go to the website lwf.org slash radio. Are you a faithful witness, having heard from God and now a desire to share Him with others? Consider your walk with Christ today. Be sure that you're rooted in a real faith. And join us next time for more profound truth simply stated by Adrian Rogers right here on Love Worth Finding.

Here's a note someone shared on our Facebook wall recently. Dr. Rogers' teaching has helped us think more deeply about what I'm reading in the Bible. I no longer skim or scan, I sink deep in the Word. Thank you for your ministry. Well, at Love Worth Finding, we are passionate about doing that, helping you sink deeply into the Word and study Scripture through the timeless messages of Pastor Rogers. That's why when you donate to the ministry right now, we would love to send you a copy of Tapestry, Promised by the Lord. Here's a copy of Tapestry, Promises and Prophecy. In this journal, there are insightful articles from Pastor Rogers' messages regarding the book of Revelation and there's space to write your own thoughts and take notes as well. Request this journal, Tapestry, Promises and Prophecy, when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD or give online at lwf.org slash radio. And thank you for your generous support for a love worth finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-13 23:57:20 / 2023-04-14 00:08:46 / 11

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