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Turning Tears into Telescopes

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2024 4:00 am

Turning Tears into Telescopes

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 9, 2024 4:00 am

We do all we can to keep from feeling pain. But Jesus, Himself, was a man of sorrows; He is the one who teaches us how to turn our tears into telescopes. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals the guilt, grief, and grace behind Jesus’ declaration in Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

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Known for his unique ability to simplify profound truth so that it can be applied to everyday life, Adrian Rogers was one of the most effective preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. We're in a series of messages on the Sermon on the Mount. These are wonderful, wonderful passages of Scripture. We call them the Beatitudes. They are not platitudes.

They are so contrary to what the world would say. And the one that we have today is perhaps one of the strangest sentences in all of the Bible. I'll read them all and then come back to our beatitude for today. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain. And when he was set, his disciples came unto him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

But note especially now verse 4. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Now, may I say that the world would never say this. The world would never say, Blessed are they that mourn.

The world would say just the opposite. Blessed are those who never have to cry. Blessed are those who never mourn.

We have an idea that if we could go through life without ever crying, without any sorrow, without any pain, without any heartache, without any moan and groan, it would be wonderful, but not so. I walked a mile with pleasure. She chattered all the way, but left me none the wiser, for all she had to say. I walked a mile with sorrow. Not a word, said she, but oh, the things I learned from sorrow, when sorrow walked with me. Blessed, blessed, Jesus says, are they that mourn. Now, again, I want to say the people of this world would say if we could just arrange conditions where we never have any sorrow, never have any pain, never have any hurt, then we could just change men.

If we can change conditions, we can change character. But that isn't what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches just the opposite. And I want to remind you that man fell in a perfect environment. It was the Garden of Eden.

You couldn't have a better environment than that that man fell in. But the world gets it so backward. The world puts the emphasis on condition. God puts the emphasis on character.

Someone as well said you can't purify the water by painting the pump. And yet that's what we try to do. We just think that somehow if we can change the exterior, then somehow if we can make conditions such that we never have any hurts, we never have any pains, then we're going to be just right. But you see, Jesus was a strange teacher. And he put the emphasis upon character, on what you are, not what you have. Now he doesn't say blessed are those that have popularity, those who have position, those who have personality, those who have possessions, those who have power.

I can show you people who have all of these things and are perfectly, exquisitely miserable. Jesus doesn't say blessed are those who have certain things, but blessed are those who are certain things. And here, second in the list, blessed are they that mourn.

Now, I want to make something clear here, however. Jesus is not talking about the moaners. He's not talking about the miserable, the melancholy, the sad sacks, the cry babies of this world. He's not talking about the moaners.

We all know those. They are drinking constantly from the intoxicating cup of self-pity. Their favorite hymn is, Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen, and the only pleasure they get in life is singing it to you. You don't dare ask them how they feel because you'll get an organ recital.

They will tell you exactly how they feel. Now, that's not what Jesus Christ is talking about here. He's not talking about the sadnesses of life and the sorrows of life per se. The word here, blessed are they that mourn, is the deepest word for sorrow. It's the word for the grief that you feel at the graveside of a loved one. It's a strong word, a word for lament. I think it's described in Psalm 34 and verse 18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, of a broken heart, and he saves such that be of a contrite spirit. That's what he's talking about, my dear friend. May I put it to you bluntly?

May I ask you a question? Jesus was a man of sorrows. The most poignant verse in all of the Bible, I think, the shortest in our English Bible is this, Jesus wept. Do the things that break the heart of Jesus break yours?

That's the question. Do the things that break the heart of Jesus, do they break yours? Blessed are they that mourn. We have a dry-eyed church in a hell-bent world. One of the things that we have learned not to do is to mourn. Our church services are filled with cheerleader enthusiasm.

I'm not talking against joy. My dear friend, the Bible says there's a time to laugh and there is a time to weep. So far as our nation is concerned, I believe it's time for America to be on her face before God. This, my dear friend, is a time to weep. And the best thing you can say about the mourners to begin with is at least they have the sensitivity to feel that the hearts are touched. It's out of vogue to mourn.

It's out of vogue to weep. We've done all that we can do to keep ourselves from feeling any pain. We have our psychologists who will numb our neuroses. We have our counselors who will absolve us of all guilt. We have our doctors to sedate our pain.

We have our insurance agents to take away our worries. And even at death, we have the mortuary to somehow try to beautify death for us. And he says, blessed. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Now, we can talk about different kinds of mourning, but I believe as I study the passage of Scripture, Jesus here is talking about those who primarily mourn over sin.

That's an old-fashioned word, too, isn't it? Those who mourn over sin, theirs, and the sin of humanity. Because, you see, Jesus began this way. Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who see that morally, spiritually, they are bankrupt on the side of a righteous and a holy God. And when a person sees that, what follows that?

Ipso facto, what follows that? When we see our bankruptcy, then it brings our brokenness. Bankruptcy and brokenness. When we see that we are spiritually bankrupt, in our hands we have nothing to offer to God, but that even our righteousness is as filthy rags on the side of a righteous and a holy God. It is then that we mourn. So, with that in mind, I want us to think of three basic things that I find here in verse 4. First of all, I want you to see the guilt, the guilt that convicts us, the guilt that causes us to mourn. Many of us come to church quite satisfied with ourselves. As a matter of fact, some of us have the idea that we've done God a wild favor by getting here.

One of the hardest things for us to do is to really see that we have anything to weep over, that we have anything to mourn over. And these beatitudes, these attitudes that ought to be, are really the text for the sermon. And so you find the sermon illustrated in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus gives the beatitudes.

And I want you to see some illustrations of what he's talking about. What is it that convicts us? Well, first of all, there's the deceiving power of sin.

Look in chapter 5, verses 21 and 22. You have heard that it hath been said of them of old time, thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Now, most of us have a little list of dos and don'ts. I do this and I do this and I don't do this and I don't do that. And you know, that little list of dos and don'ts can just lead to abominable pride in our lives. I have some don'ts that you don't have.

There's some things that you do that I don't do. But you see, what Jesus does is just to rip the veneer off of all of that and Jesus gets down to the heart of the matter. And when Jesus sees anger in God's ledger, he writes down murder.

Because, you see, is that reservoir of rage that is there that nobody else can see but God sees. Look, if you will, in chapter 5 and verse 27. He goes on to say here, you have heard that it hath been said of them of old time, thou shall not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. God doesn't see as man sees.

Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart. You're reading one of those lascivious magazines, lusting. God writes down adultery. You say, I've never committed adultery. God says, maybe not in your mind.

But you've got a lot to mourn over, my dear friend. You know, rules and regulations, do's and don'ts, won't make you one whit more like the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul was a proud Pharisee. He kept all of the Ten Commandments outwardly, except one of them. He said, I was doing fine. I had my little list of commandments.

He said, I was checking them off. Thou shall have no other gods before me. I've never done that. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. I wouldn't think of it. Don't make any graven images.

No, sir, not me. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. I always do. Honor your father and mother.

Oh, indeed, I have done that. Don't commit adultery. Wouldn't dream of committing adultery. No, sirree. Don't steal. Not me. Don't kill. Oh, no. He said, I was doing fine. I was sailing along. But he said, then I came to one commandment, and it wiped me out.

Do you know which one it was? It was the one commandment I've never heard anybody else ever confess they were guilty of. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet. Let me give it to you.

Put it in your margin. Romans chapter 7 and verse 7. What shall I say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Yea, I had not known sin, but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shall not covet. The word lust here means desire. Paul said, yes, I've never stolen anything. Yes, I've never killed anybody. Yes, I've never committed adultery. But I can never say I never wanted to.

I can not say I never wanted to. He said, I had not known this, except the law had said, thou shall not covet. What do we have to weep over, my dear friend? First of all, there is the deceptive power of sin. Many of us dare realize how deceitfully wicked our hearts are.

Our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. That's what God's word says. But not only the deceptive power of sin, but, my dear friend, the defiling power of sin.

Look, if you will, in verses 29 and 30 of this same chapter. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. For it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Now, folks, you're going to have to admit that stout preaching. What's he saying? What does the eye speak of? What with our eye we're able to behold beauty? The eyes speak of the pleasurable things of life. What does the hand speak of? With the hand we grasp and hold things. That speaks of the profitable things of life.

That's what he's talking about here, I believe. The pleasurable things and the precious things. The things that we can see and the things that we can hold. Do you know what sin does? Sin takes these things and it perverts them. The beautiful things, the precious things.

The things that we behold and the things that we hold. Sin has a way of perverting these things. And may I tell you, the devil is a pervert. The devil has no raw materials. He takes the good things of God and he perverts them.

But now watch. There is the deceiving power of sin. There's the defiling power of sin. There's the destroying power of sin. Look at it.

Continue to read. Look in verse 30 here. And he said, If thy right hand defend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Now what is Jesus Christ teaching? Is Jesus Christ telling you, my dear friend? Is he telling you that if you want to go to heaven, cut off your right hand, pluck out your right eye? Well, that's not what he's saying. What is Jesus Christ saying? He's saying, my dear friend, it is better to be a maimed saint on your way to heaven than to be a healthy sinner on your way to hell.

That's what he's saying. He's not saying that cutting off your hand is going to get you to heaven. Plucking out your eye is not going to get you to heaven. Christ died for those sins. But I'm telling you, my dear friend, it would be better for you to go limping into heaven than it would be for you to go dancing into hell.

Sin destroys. And I want to say that Jesus Christ is the one who taught more about hell than any other person in the Bible. Never lampoon a preacher as a hellfire preacher because what you're doing is ridiculing the Son of God. Jesus Christ had more to say about hell than any other preacher in the Word of God, Jesus Christ, who was infinite love. There is a hell.

Hell is real. Jesus was compassionate. It was the compassionate Christ cutting off your hand and plucking out your eye. It was Jesus Christ who spoke here in the Sermon on the Mount. He spoke, dear friend, of the deceiving power of sin. It's in the heart of the defiling power of the sin, of the destroying power of sin. And when you really see that, and I can't make you see it, all I can do is preach it.

I pray, God, the Holy Spirit of God will make you see it. But when that touches your heart and when that gets out of your head down into your heart, when you realize it was your sin that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross, your sin's the nails that held him there, your hard heart, the hammer that drove those nails, when you see that sin is an affront to a righteous and a holy God, when you see that sin deceives, it defiles, it destroys, then you'll understand why Jesus said, blessed are they that mourn. But I want you to see the second thing, not only the guilt that convicts us, but I want you to see the grief, the grief that consumes us. Again, I want you to know that the word here for grief is not an ordinary word. There are many words for sorrow in the Bible. This is the deepest, the most poignant word for sorrow.

It means to lament, to be consumed with grief. And again, I want to say this is the missing note in the modern church. Many people are baptized pagans.

They have united with churches like they join country clubs, but they have never been broken over their sin. Let me give you a verse that you need to ponder on. It's a verse that perhaps you need to read over and over again. It's found in 2 Corinthians 7 in verse 10. 2 Corinthians 7 in verse 10, for godly sorrow worketh repentance.

That's the missing note. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death. There are two kinds of sorrow, my dear friend, and Jesus here is talking about godly sorrow. Blessed are they that mourn. Now, what's the difference between godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world? Listen to the verse again. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of. That is, once you get saved, you don't repent of that.

You're glad. But the sorrow of the world worketh death. Now, what is godly sorrow? It is not mere regret. Many of us have done things that we regret, and we are sorry. I mean, when I was a child, I did many things I regretted when my dad found out about it. We had a pump room. He took me out there, and he never whipped me on an empty stomach.

He always turned me over, and that's where he whipped me. I regretted it, sorely regretted it. But that's not godly sorrow. It's not regret or not remorse. Now, regret is primarily in the mind. Remorse goes past the mind to the heart.

But that, my dear friend, is not godly sorrow. Remorse. As a matter of fact, remorse without repentance can be a dangerous, dangerous thing.

Regret is primarily in the mind. Remorse is in the mind and in the heart. But remorse, my dear friend, compared to repentance, remorse is a dead-end street. Repentance is a highway. Remorse looks at the sin and its consequences. Repentance looks beyond the sin to Calvary. A person filled with remorse is one who loves his sins and hates himself at the same time.

You ever seen anyone like that? He loves the sin, but he hates himself because he can't quit. That's remorse. A person who has repented is a person who hates his sin because he loves his Savior.

That's the difference. Know we have many people who've waltzed down our churches with regret, and others have come with remorse. But, oh, thank God for those who have come with repentance.

What is the difference? The Bible teaches that Judas, when he learned that he had betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ and saw all that was happening, or when he became aware of the consequences of his betrayal, the Bible says with trembling fingers, he made a noose, put it around his neck, and hanged himself. And he stepped from the hell that was within him to the hell that was beyond him, and he's in hell tonight, so filled with remorse that he threw the 30 pieces of silver on the floor and went out and hanged himself. But, my dear friend, there was a man remorseful, but he never repented. Simon Peter, on the other hand, cursed and swore and denied the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible says he went out and wept bitterly. And Simon Peter was filled not with remorse, but with repentance. When Simon Peter saw the Lord Jesus Christ, Simon Peter knew that not only have I broken his law, I have broken his heart, and that breaks my heart, and he wept bitterly, and Simon Peter was the great preacher of Pentecost because there was a godly sorrow that worketh repentance unto salvation.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. True repentance. True repentance, my dear friend, and faith are heads and tails of the same coin. And David said in Psalm 51 in verse 4, Psalm 51 is the record of his repentance after he had committed adultery, against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest and clear when thou judgest. David said, God, I didn't just sin against my wife and against my children and against my body and against the kingdom, even against your law, but, God, I sinned against you.

I hurt you, my God. I sinned against you. And then David said in Psalm 51 in verse 17, the sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite spirit. A broken and a contrite spirit thou wilt not despise, O God.

Have you come to that place? I don't mean just broken over your sin. I mean broken from your sin. I don't mean just what your sin has done to you, what your sin has done to God. I don't mean regret. I don't mean remorse. I mean repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance not to be repented of. The sorrow of the world worketh death. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Now, what we've seen, my dear friend, is the guilt that convicts us.

Remember that? Then the grief that is to consume us and then the God who is to comfort us, for they shall be comforted. That's what Jesus says, and that's the only way to know the comfort of our dear Lord. They shall be comforted.

Now, let's look at this. They shall be comforted. Once you see the guilt and feel the grief, then you know the grace. What does it mean to be comforted?

What is that? Well, it's not a sympathetic pat on the back. There, there. That's not what it means. The word comfort is not a word filled with sympathy. It's a word filled with strength. Do you know what the word comfort means?

Our English word is very much like the Bible word. Come, meaning with, and fort, meaning strength. With strength. Think of the word fortress. Think of the word fortification.

Think of the word fortify. God says, I will put my strength in you. I will be your strength. I will give you comfort. You will be comforted.

Now, what does that mean? It means God's going to give you strength. Psalm 138 in verse 3, in the day when I cried, notice this, when I cried, blessed are they that mourn, thou answereth me and strengthen me with strength in my soul. And how does God do this? Well, bless God through the Holy Spirit, through the Holy Spirit. Let me give you a verse for your margin. John 14 verses 16 and 17, Jesus Christ gave us this incredible and wonderful promise. Jesus said, and I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter. Isn't that what we're talking about, comfort? I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.

What's he talking about? Oh, my dear friend, there's one who lives in my heart today. He is the Holy Spirit of God. He gives me that comfort.

He speaks peace to my soul. Adrian, have you ever wept over your sin? I have. I wept as a teenage boy. As a teenage boy, I never got into the kind of sins that people get into today.

I thank God for that. I've never been a cigarette smoker. I don't know what it is to be drunk.

I haven't got the foggiest notion of what drugs are like. I don't want to find out. I went to the marriage altar a virgin, and I married a virgin. I thank God for that.

I've never gotten into those kind of things, and I'm so grateful to God I haven't, but I don't brag. It's only by the grace of God. But, oh, I was a sinner.

I knew it. All those dishonest things in my life, all those mean things in my life, those profane things in my life, and I can remember going out as a teenage boy and taking my bicycle and going out into the country. I didn't even know how to be saved, but sit down and weep over my sin. If somebody had pointed me to Jesus earlier, I would have been saved. I knew I was a sinner, and that sin broke my heart, and I know I still failed God, but, oh, my dear friend, there is one in me. His name is the Holy Spirit who gives me comfort today that those sins are nailed to the cross. My sin!

Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought. My sin, not in part, but the whole is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, oh, my soul. That's the comfort the Holy Spirit gives.

Have you ever known that comfort? I mean to be clean and clear. The Holy Spirit of God is the one to those with a broken heart, those who confess their sin. He comes with strength to say, you're forgiven. You're clean.

You're pure. You say, well, yes, but what if you sin after that? Well, I'm glad you asked, because, my dear friend, listen, the Bible says in 1 John chapter 2 and verse 1, if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous, and here's the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. An advocate. 1 John 2, 1, an advocate. Did you know that the word advocate is exactly the same word that Jesus used in John chapter 14 when he said, I'll send you another comforter?

It's the Greek word parakleitos, and it's from two words para, meaning alongside of, like parallel lines, and kleitos, kaleo, which means to call. It's someone called alongside of you. If you go into a courtroom, you get a lawyer. He comes and stands alongside of you. He says, now, you let me handle this. You just be quiet. You just let me handle this. I am your lawyer.

The word comforter and the word advocate are the same word. Now, friend, that's the strength that you have. You know who the devil is? The devil is the prosecuting attorney. The Bible calls the devil, listen, the accuser of the brethren.

There's somebody who follows you around, dogs your footsteps. He fights down everything you do, my dear friend, and he sends it to heaven as a testimony against you. The devil says to God the Father, how can you let Adrian Rogers preach?

How can you let him claim to be your child? The devil says to me, that's right, you miserable failure. You've sinned. Deny it. You know what I say to him? See my lawyer.

See my lawyer. He'll handle this for me. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, a comforter with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Friend, listen, let me tell you something. When you come to an honest brokenness over your sin, when you come to that place, the Holy Spirit of God gives you such comfort that your sin is forgiven, and then when you need help, when you're in jeopardy, when you fail, the Holy Spirit of God stands nigh to the broken. He is of a help. He is strength, and I know that strength day by day.

Do you? Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. He'll turn every hurt to a hallelujah.

He'll turn every tear to a telescope. It all begins when you see yourself as poor in spirit, bankrupt. When you say, oh, God, it is not just what I have done, it is what I am, not just what sin has done to me, but it's what it's done to you, and, oh, God, with a broken heart, I repent. I just regret, not only remorse, not just the mind, not just the heart, but the spirit, God, I repent, and God says, I forgive, and God sends the Holy Spirit, the Comforter into your heart to give you peace and to be your advocate. My precious friend today, if you want the Lord Jesus, I tell you that He died and paid for your sin on the cross. With His own blood, He atoned for your sin. All the weeping in the mourning in the world cannot take away your sin. Only the blood of Jesus can do that, but He did die for you, and the Bible says that if you'll turn from sin to Jesus, if you'll trust Him, He'll save you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that word believe doesn't mean mere intellectual belief.

It's a word that means commitment and trust. Trust Him enough to commit your life to Him, and He'll save you. Your sin will be forgiven. The Holy Spirit of God will enter you to give you comfort.

Heaven will be your home. Would you pray like this? Oh, God, I'm a sinner, and I'm lost, and I need to be saved, and I want to be saved, and Jesus, You died to save me, and You promised to save me.

If I would trust You, I do trust You, Jesus. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Lord Jesus, and, Lord Jesus, help me not to be ashamed of You. Give me the courage to make it public. In Your name I pray. Amen. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org, or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-09 06:46:34 / 2024-05-09 07:00:12 / 14

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