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When The Answer Is Delayed

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2022 1:00 am

When The Answer Is Delayed

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer

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May 1, 2022 1:00 am

When we pray, we hope for a quick response from God. But God has His own timeline which is not always in sync with ours. God gave Abraham promises that would not come to pass for hundreds of years. How do we handle prayers that are time-critical for us, when God’s answers seem to never come? 

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We're all used to having instant coffee, instant internet, and in general, instant gratification of our desires. When it comes to prayer, though, instant is not usually part of the equation. Many times, years pass before we see an answer to an oft-repeated request before God. How do we come to grips with the need to wait and wait and then wait some more?

Stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Today, we continue a series on the triumph of unanswered prayer, and our focus on this broadcast will be handling our circumstances when the answer is delayed.

The Moody Choir comes now to open today's service. Yes, the Lord, O my soul, and forget not of His benefits, who forgiv'th all thine iniquities, who healeth all my diseases, who redeemeth thine eye from destruction, who come in deep with loving kindness and faith and mercy. Yes, the Lord, O my soul, and forget not of His benefits, who redeemeth thine eye from destruction, who redeemeth thine eye from destruction. Yes, the Lord, O my soul, and forget not of His benefits, who redeemeth thine eye from destruction. Yes, the Lord, O my soul, and forget not of His benefits, who redeemeth thine eye from destruction. The choir has just given us the reason why we are here today, to bless the name of the Lord, to bring honor to God, to proclaim the supremacy of God over all things, to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

It takes time to be holy, to meditate, to prepare ourselves. Would you join me as we open our lives to the Lord in prayer, and then we shall stand to sing together. Our Father, how good you are to us that you have given us mouths and minds by which we can glorify you. Direct us, O Lord God, we pray, even as we sing, use the joy in our hearts that we are promised through your Holy Word, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen. Hallelujah, amen. Hallelujah, amen.

Bless your love in the street. Hallelujah, amen. All heaven's gifts for sure, His goodness will atone, Singing forever, Hallelujah, amen. As we continue to worship, I want to draw your attention to the scripture reading in our bulletin from Hebrews chapter 4 verses 14 through 16.

Please join me on the bold print. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. Let us hold fast our confession, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Great high priest whose name is God, Whoever lives and breathes glory, My name is written on his hand, My name is written on his heart, I know that while in death he stands, Your tongue can be justly bought, Your tongue can be justly bought. Oh, Satan tempts me to despair, And tells me of the guilt within, The word I look and see him bear, Made an end to all my sin, He clouds the sin-lasting or die, My sinful soul is proud and free, For God the justice stands by, To look on him and pardon me, Behold him there, the risen Lamb, By perfect smallest righteousness, The grave unchanged of all I am, The King of glory and of grace, One with himself I cannot die, My soul is purged and with his blood, My life is paid with Christ on high, With Christ my Savior and my God, With Christ my Savior and my God, One with himself I cannot die, My soul is purged and with his blood, My life is paid with Christ on high, With Christ my Savior and my God, With Christ my Savior and my God. Like of the Lord, he heard my cry, And within him we fly, God as I live, when troubles rise, I'll listen to his call, Like of the Lord, he heard my cry, And within him we call, long as I live, When troubles rise, I'll listen to his call, I'll listen to his call, I'll listen to his call, I'll listen to his call, Like of the Lord, he heard my cry, And within him we call, long as I live, When troubles rise, I'll listen to his call, Like of the Lord, he heard my cry, When troubles rise, I'll listen to his call, To thee, receive their prayers too, that they may be forgiven, And spend much time at Thy throne. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Amen. I'd like to begin today by two quotations from Word of Faith preachers. One says, using Philippians Chapter 2, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, speaking of Christ. Now, if I'm to take what is said here and put it on, then my whole attitude should be that I have equality with God. Now, somebody says, well, that's hard to think that way. Well, keep saying it.

Talk yourself into it. You have equality with God. Here's another. But it was not in Christ's mouth that God Bartimaeus healed. The power was in Bartimaeus' mouth. He could have whatever he said. Jesus was saying, my hands are tied because I can't do anything for you other than what you say.

And then he goes on to say, God now has your attention and he's looking at you saying, what do you want? What do you want? Name it, baby. Name it. Declare it. Speak it. Confess it.

Get your list out. Millions of people are buying into that. We need to rethink the whole business of what the Bible says about the promises of God and what can be claimed and what can't be claimed and why it can't be claimed. And today I need to say that the faith healers and those who speak this way, they are not wrong in urging us to have faith. Indeed, the purpose of this message is to increase your faith.

They're not wrong in telling us to do that, but they're asking us to believe things that God hasn't promised and to claim things that God doesn't want to give us. And we need to understand what's going on. Yes, indeed, the purpose of this message is to increase faith and to begin to help us to understand what God is up to in our prayer life. So that we pray more, so that we believe more, so that we trust more and we honor more and we submit more.

That's the agenda for the next little while. Thank you for taking this trip with me. In order to do this, I want you to take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews chapter 11, Hebrews chapter 11. Many of us have been in London and we have seen Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey basically is a cemetery filled with all the heroes of the past in England. The 11th chapter of Hebrews basically is the Westminster Abbey of the Bible. Here are the heroes of faith, not in the Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Faith. And this mighty chapter begins with these startling words. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Those two phrases, the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, basically are parallel expressions. And the word faith is the assurance.

That's the word hoopostasis. And it can be translated in many ways. Many of us who memorize the King James, we remember faith is the substance of things hoped for.

That's, that's good. It can be assurance, it can be conviction, it can be essence. It is the firm conviction that what we have hoped for and what we believe for is true and shall come to pass. He goes on to say, for by it, that is by faith, the people of old received their commendation. We think of the fact that God gave a promise, didn't he, that Jesus was going to be born way back in the Garden of Eden. God promised that and centuries went by. But people kept believing the promise.

And eventually the promise happened. A good example of that is Noah. For example, in verse seven, it says, by faith, Noah being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen in reverent fear constructed the ark. Do you realize that when Noah built that ark, it had never rained yet on the earth.

The earth was actually watered by a subterranean phenomenon. And so God says, I'm going to send rain and he hasn't even seen the rain and he begins to build the ark. You talk about a man of faith.

And then you have various others. And the scripture also says, if we may go to verse three, by faith, we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God. So that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. In other words, we believe it by faith. Is it a rational faith? Of course, it's a rational faith. Atheistic evolution cannot account for the world as it is.

If reason means anything, if two plus two is equal to four, you cannot be an atheist and be rational because you cannot account for the world as it is. You can't get from chemistry to biology to human consciousness and to thought. All that because some molecules, some dumb molecules were messing around in some slime.

And they decided without any outside help to get together and become very complicated. You can believe that. No wonder a French journal said many years ago that evolution is a fairytale for adults. And it was Huxley who said, the reason that we believe in evolution without proof is because we don't want God to interfere with our sexual mores, he said many years ago. Of course, we can't prove that the universe was made ex nihilo, by the command of God.

But that's reasonable, it's rational, and it accounts for what we have in the world today. Psalm 33 verse 6, by the word of the Lord was the heavens made and the host of them by the breath of his mouth. I won't even tell you today about the stars.

Number of years ago, some of us went to visit an astronomer and he showed us pictures of the stars, absolutely mind boggling, millions of light years between them. And God says he calls them all by name. He's got that one named and that one named, and they're all different names. Why does the Bible tell us that? Because God wants us on our faces. God wants to show that he is absolutely almighty and by his word, the heavens were made out of something that did not exist, nothing, and he spoke and it happened.

Wow. By faith, we believe that. Now with that introduction, you'll notice though in verse 6, one of the most important verses in the Bible. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. Now we're not going to emphasize that today because that's going to be part of the message next time. But what I'd like to do today is to give you an example of someone who believed God and how he believed God, and why he is known in the Bible as a man of faith and an example of faith and his name is Abraham. And then we'll connect it with the promises of God, the word of faith movement, and the whole bit. It's all going to come together in the end.

Trust me. I know where I'm going, even though you don't know yet where you're going. And that's perfectly biblical. Abraham, the Bible says, went out not knowing whether he went. Now notice it says in verse 8, by faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance.

And he went out not knowing whether he went. You'll notice that in the life of Abraham, what he did is he believed, he believed in the future against the present. Abraham was living in Ur of Chaldees.

It was a very culturally astute city for those times. And here God says, Abraham leave Ur of Chaldees and go into a land that I will tell you about. He went from culture, high culture to no culture, went from a city to an agricultural lifestyle, wandered around and the Bible says that when he left Ur, he knew not where he was going. Can you imagine the discussions that he had with Sarah? Sarah is saying, Abraham, I love you, but I do have to ask you again, how do you know that that was the voice of God? How do you know where we are going? Well, we really don't.

All that we know is we're supposed to go and maybe it'll get clear later. I'm reminded of when Rebecca and I came to America. This was 1970. We crossed the border with, I think about $100 and an old 1965 Buick packed with stuff. That's everything that we own to fit into the backseat. And we were on our way actually to the East Coast.

I was supposed to do some graduate work there and we got stopped in Chicago. We came and we often thought we're going wither, we do not know. Had no idea what God had planned for us.

And in the very same way, you and I sometimes have really no idea. Now, when it comes to the land, Abraham learned the guidance of God. God guides you to the land. When it comes to the tents, you'll notice that the next verse says that he was in a tent by faith. He went into the live in the land of promise as a foreign land living in tents with Isaac and Jacob. Now he became a nomad and he learned about the provision of God.

And then if you look at the life of Abraham in the book of Genesis, you'll notice he often built an altar and it was the altar that taught him the presence of God. But when God came to Abraham, Abraham believed in the future over against the present. He said to himself, the present is more rational. It is better for me.

It is more comfortable. But Abraham believed in a future and he says, belief in God and the future is more important than believing in what is best for you in the present. There are some of you to whom I'm speaking today and God is leading you.

And you're not sure exactly where you are going, but you're on your way. And when you get there, God will clarify the issues. And so Abraham believed, he believed in the future against the present. Secondly, notice that he believed in the invisible. He believed in the invisible over against the visible.

I'm looking now at verse 10. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose designer and builder is God. Now remember that Abraham was a city dweller in Ur. God plucked him up and said, I'm bringing you to this land and God gave him the dimensions of the land. God says, I'm giving this to you and to your descendants as an everlasting possession. Abraham wanders in the land.

What does the text say as a foreigner? He wanders there as an alien. He really doesn't belong even in the land that God gave him. But why was Abraham so motivated? Why was he so willing to do it? It's because he looked beyond the present. He looked beyond that which you could see, and he could see a city whose designer and builder was God. That is amazing to me because Abraham did not have the benefit of Revelation Chapter 21 and I saw the holy city descending from God as a bride adorned for her husband. And a great voice came saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and he will walk with them and they shall be his people and he shall be their God.

Then you go into that marvelous description of a heavenly city. Abraham didn't have as much revelation as we did, but he looked for the city. And there were two things about the city that he knew that he loved.

First of all, that it was designed by God whom he had come to trust and to love. And secondly, he loved the fact that it was in the world to come and that the chief dwelling place of this city, the person who dwelt in it would be the God that Abraham loved. And that's what makes the eternal city so beautiful and so filled with anticipation in the heart of every single Christian. You look forward to the city built by God. By the way, it's this expression, you know, that gave birth to Augustine's title of that famous book, entitled The City of God. Because Augustine said that really in this world, there are two cities. There's the city of man with its hopes and dreams and disappointments. And when Rome was sacked, the people who belong to the city of man lost everything because this is all they live for.

No wonder they feel so violated. But to the people who belong to the city of God, they lost nothing important because they belong to that eternal city. And they have treasures in heaven where neither wrath nor dust doth corrupt, and were Alaric the Goth, who sacked Rome cannot steal. So Augustine said, let's look forward to the heavenly city. So here's Abraham who believes in the future against the present. He believes in the invisible over against the visible.

And he knew that the world, that world was not his home. I don't want to be an obnoxious Christian, so you should pray for me that I not become too obnoxious at times. But I've done it on at least two occasions, maybe more. I prefer to forget to some of them. But you know how it is you're at an airport and the woman behind the counter says, well, Mr. Luther, is Dallas your final destination?

No. Dallas isn't my final destination. Heaven is my final destination.

But for today, I'm stopping in Dallas. You're right, you got that right. Folks, we belong to another world. We're headed to somewhere else. And Abraham is saying that he can believe in the invisible over against the visible, which is exactly what faith is. By faith, we believe in the unseen because we've heard a word from God. By faith, we believe that we're headed to heaven because God has birthed faith in our heart and God has given us the confidence.

But we belong to him. Abraham also believed, he also believed in the reward over against the suffering, the reward over against the suffering. Because I can imagine that Abraham often thought about the decision that he made to leave Ur of Chaldees.

He often thought about the discussions that he had with Sarah and with other members of his family about his decision. And it seemed so silly. Why give up a good culture and a safer environment with all of your friends and go to a place where you don't know anybody and you're a nomad and you're with a bunch of pagans who all that they know really is violence.

Why would you do that? It makes no sense. But Abraham knew something about the call of God. He knew about the reward. It's the Old Testament version of the New Testament statement that the suffering of this present world is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. Now you look for example of Moses. It says about Moses in verse 26, he considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt. What a sermon that is about Moses. For he was looking to the reward.

And if you know anything about King Tut's tomb, you know something about the treasures of Egypt. And Moses said that. He's willing to say no to all that.

Why? Because he looks forward to an even greater reward. And so Moses and Abraham and all of the other saints listed in this hall of fame, the 11th chapter of Hebrews, they believed in the eternal reward over against present suffering, present questions, present hardship. For them, there was this faith that reminded them that this world was not their home.

They were just a passing through, as the old song tells us. Now I can imagine that when Abraham was there in the land, there were discussions that took place from time to time. In fact, the Bible tells us about all of the discussions with the Hittites and what have you. And the scripture is clear that Abraham interacted with the people of this world. And I can imagine they'd say to him, Abraham, what do you own? Well, how is Abraham supposed to answer that? God had told him as soon as he got there, walk the length and breadth of the land. All that you can see I've given you from this river to this sea from there. And God gives him the dimensions and says, this is yours and your seed. I'm giving it to you as an everlasting possession. But now a Hittite says to Abraham, how much do you own? And Abraham has to say nothing. I own nothing. As a matter of fact, when Sarah dies, he buys the Caleb McPhela.

McPhela, I think is the correct pronunciation depending on where you put the emphasis. He buys this cave for Sarah. And he gives the Hittites, I read the story yesterday, it's near Hebron. He gives the Hittites 400 shekels. They say, Abraham, we like it.

The fact you're a good guy, we'll give it to you, please. Abraham says, no, I'm not going to take a dime from you. And he counts out 400 shekels.

The Bible says it was weighed out, 400 shekels of silver. So he buys it. And then later on when he dies, he gets put into the same cave because he bought the cave, he could be buried there too. So that's the way in which Abraham dies.

Well, isn't that interesting? Now notice what the text says. I'm in verse 13. These all died in faith, not having received what was promised.

Well, that's interesting, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. They died, verse 16, but that is they desire a better country that is a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared for them a city. Verse 39, and all these though commended through their faith did not receive what was promised since God had provided something better for us that apart from us, they should not be made perfect. The idea there is they did not receive the benefits, they did not receive the experience of the promise of the coming Messiah, for example, but they could not be perfected until Messiah came. So they all died in faith. And Abraham dies not seeing the promise. Now I can imagine if he had lived in our day, a word of faith preacher would have come to him and said, Abraham, what's the deal?

What's the deal? Claim the land God has given you. God even gave you the boundaries. Simply claim it, talk yourself into it if you have to because the word of faith means that whatever you speak is yours and most assuredly you can speak over what God has given you and it'll be yours, but Abraham doesn't do that. He dies, the Bible says, not having received what was promised, why?

Because he believed in another world. Want to give you three conclusions, three important statements that will help us tie all this together and help us to sort out what's happening and also provoke us in a proper way to pray more. First of all, let me suggest to you that our promised inheritance is yet future. Our promised inheritance is yet future.

Oh, sure, sure, we see glimmers of it here. Like I pointed out last time, we get the flower here, but the flower is proof that the garden is coming. But we do not enter into the fullness of the inheritance. Jesus says that if you're an overcomer, you shall inherit all things and you shall sit on my throne.

That's in the eternal city. That is in the coming world. And if you believe that, you have to believe in the invisible over against the visible.

You need to believe in the future over against the present. You need to believe in the reward over against the suffering and the heartache that you are going through, but that is biblical. Let me take as an example, the sensitive and the most difficult area, namely faith healing. Is healing in the atonement, is it our promise? Absolutely, Jesus died for us, body, soul, and spirit. You see, the Bible says that Jesus died to put away all sin. Well, entailed in sin is sickness. And furthermore, there are passage of scripture that say that with his stripes, we are healed. And of course, Jesus came and did healings.

Now, here's the fundamental question. Does that mean that we can insist on healing whenever we want it? Can we demand it from God because we say this is part of my inheritance? Listen to a word of faith preacher. Words control the body.

Oh, glory be to God. And regardless of what's going on in your physical body, you got to talk to it. I'm telling you, I talk to my major organs. I speak words to it.

The tongue in your mouth will control every inch of your physical body. Do not tolerate sickness and disease as long as you've got a working tongue that can speak the established word of God. Oh, that's so good, he says. Interestingly, this particular word of faith preacher wears glasses. My parents knew a family. God bless them. They were wonderful Christians. But they believed that because healing was in the atonement, because Jesus had provided it, that we could have it all now. And they said that they intended to not die. That they would just moment by moment, as they became sick, they would continually appropriate the work that Jesus did on the cross and resurrection, and it would be theirs. And they intended to live until he returned. That's what they told my mom and dad.

Well, I'm here to simply bring you the news. They died about 40 years ago, just like all other faith healers die. Yes, of course, it is true that Jesus died body, soul, and spirit for us, and that our resurrection body was included in the work of the cross. But we don't inherit that. We pray for the sick, but we cannot demand it and say, you must heal because of this verse.

As some people say, we should say. You know, there's another Word of Faith preacher who said this. He said, as long as Jesus was talking on the cross, he couldn't die.

The reason that he died is because he quit talking, because there's so much power in your mouth that if he had just kept talking, he wouldn't have died. Sometimes I weep because there are so many of God's dear saints who can't tell the difference between grass and AstroTurf. The sheep, the sheep.

And you look at those rallies, and they're filled with poor people. Why? Because they're saying, I want what my guru has. If I have enough faith, I can drive the kind of car he does.

I can live in the kind of homes in which he lives. And on and on it goes, and on and on it goes. And my dear beloved friend, this is just between you and me and nobody else listening.

Things in that department are out of control, making promises. I remember somebody coming to me absolutely weeping and saying, God has forsaken me. I claimed my healing, and it hasn't come. No, that's no proof that God has forsaken you.

The Bible says very clearly that if you suffer according to the will of God, and sometimes the will of God involves suffering, that that indicates great reward. There's a member of our church here who recently had knee surgery. And he said that that one knee was so painful, these are his words, I'll never have the other knee repaired until I'm in the presence of Jesus.

Well, he has, my dear friend, in the presence of Jesus, you get two brand new good knees. You get some good hips. You get some, you get a good body. You get a good mind.

You get some good feet. You get it all over. And the Bible says that when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Until that time, there's sickness, there's heartache. It is mean.

It is cruel. For a person to go into a hospital room, as I have seen, telling the person that you are sick because you don't have enough faith, if you had more faith, God would heal you and lay that guilt on. I remember one person telling me that people brought him books with all kinds of things marked about how, if he had the faith, that he could walk out of this hospital. No, my dear friend, some of the best and the most godly people have suffered physically and died.

But my dear friend, this isn't the end. The inheritance, the full inheritance is coming. Abraham saw some things. He saw the fulfillment of the promise regarding Isaac, but he didn't see the land of promise. Abraham is still waiting. Some of us think that the promises that God made to Abraham have still not been fully fulfilled to him and to his seed.

He's still waiting, but he dies in faith, believing in a city built by God. Second, it's very important for us to realize that faith is needed. Faith is needed for endurance, for endurance, not just miracles. Sometimes we just need to endure. Sometimes I've had to say to people regarding circumstances that simply will not change, I have said that what you're doing is right.

All that I can tell you to do is to keep doing what you are doing, to trust and to believe and to be patient and to trust. How else can God develop faith in our hearts except that we look at circumstances that we think God should change and he doesn't? And we keep on believing anyway.

You say, well, Pastor Lutzer, this message is throwing a bucket of water on people's faith. Don't you want us to believe God for great things? Yes, I want us to believe God for great things, preferably the things that God wants us to believe him for. Should we pray more?

Yes. Next week I'm going to present, God willing, one of the most important messages I think I've ever given, certainly the most important I've ever given on prayer. Because we're going to take that verse that he rewards those who diligently seek him out.

And we're going to find out, we're going to have a whole new paradigm for prayer, a whole new way of praying. So you be here, you say, well, we can't be because we're visiting from Atlanta. Well, listen, the same plane that brought you from Atlanta to Chicago this week, the same schedule can bring you back next week, OK? So you be here. You be here. Let death be the only reason why you don't show next Sunday and bring some other people with you. And if you die, it'll be proof that all of our inheritance isn't in this life.

There's another world coming. But endurance, this is going to be explained in the second, not next week, but the following week. What endurance means to God. Young man came to a pastor and says, you know, I don't have patience. And the pastor said, let me pray for you. God, I pray that you'll bring trouble and sorrow to this young man.

Excuse me. Good prayer, Romans chapter 5, verse 3. It is suffering, the Bible says, that brings about patience. And patience brings about hope. And hope brings about faith.

And in that, God is glorified. So my dear friends, there are some of you who are hanging on. And you are tempted to give up in your faith. Keep on believing. Keep trusting. Keep committing.

And we'll talk about what that means in a future message. Keep committing in such a way that you draw near to God. And he grants you the ability to endure. Yes, we do pray for healing. And here at The Moody Church, we anoint people with oil when they come to us. And we've had a couple of instances where people would say, yes, there is definitely a healing that took place.

Many instances where we can't say that. But there's still a purpose in that anyway that will become clearer next week. Finally, it's so important to realize that faith for our future, which is what we were talking about today. Faith for our future is actually based on faith that looks backward. Today we talked about the faith that looks forward. But you need to look to the faith that looks backward. In the writings of the Apostle Paul, faith is seen as something that we look back toward. Because you're looking at the work of Jesus Christ.

You are looking at what he did on the cross for you and the completeness of the redemption. And that's where our faith begins. And then we commit to God for the future. And we trust God for whatever lies ahead, knowing that eternity is coming. Let me put it to you this way. There's some of you who are listening to this message who do not yet belong to the city of God.

You belong to the city of man. I don't mean to say by that you don't mean or you don't believe that Jesus is a savior. Because I think you probably believe that.

Or you wouldn't be listening to this message. What you cannot say, though, with assurance, and notice the Bible talks here about the assurance of faith. It is the assurance of things hoped for. It is the assurance that we have met God all the way through this text. What you cannot say with assurance, you say that Jesus is a savior. What you cannot say with assurance is Jesus is my savior. I have personally trusted him as mine, which you must do to be translated from the city of man to the city of God.

Here's another way in which you know whether or not that translation has taken place. Augustine said in his book, he said this, that when we belong to the city of man, we have in our hearts such a love for this world almost to the contempt or the neglect of God. Because we're this world absorbed. But once we belong to the city of God, once God does that miracle in our hearts and our desires are transformed and we've been given new hearts, then we love God so much that we have contempt or very little regard for the things of this world.

Because the love of God swallows up all other loves. So the question that I need to ask you today, which I end with, is simply this. Have you trusted Christ as savior so that you become a member of the city of God? And once you're a member of the city of God, like Abraham, like Noah, like Moses, you begin to look and live in light of the city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God, the eternal city. And that's your hope and that's your motivation and that's why you can put up with what you put up within this world. And all the while, believing, trusting, all the way to the end.

Let us pray. Father, we thank you for Abraham because even though he had lapses in his journey, spiritually speaking, on the whole, he really did believe you. And I don't know how much you showed him, but the fact that he had confidence in a city that was designed by you. I think of all the architects who are listening here today.

They've done some wonderful things, but imagine a city whose architect is God. And we thank you for that eternal hope that has been birthed in our hearts through your word and by your spirit. And we ask, oh Lord, that those of us who are members of the city of God that we may go on our way with joy, accepting whatever you give us. And for those who are members of the city of man, turn their heart today toward Jesus. And now before I close this prayer, it is time for you to talk to God if God has talked to you.

You tell him whatever you believe you must. Our Father, would you accept the cry of our hearts? Make that cry acceptable through Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we come into your presence. And we ask today that you will grant us the grace to be great men and women of faith, to keep believing even if we don't see all the promises in this life. Grant that, oh God, we ask in Jesus' blessed name. Amen. Amen.

I think it would be appropriate if at the end we sang again the song that we sang earlier. You can check it out there in your bulletin. 695, lead me, Lord. Lead me, Lord. Lead me in thy righteousness. Make thy way plain before my face, for it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord, only that makest me dwell in safety.

Lead us, please, Tim, if you would. On today's Moody Church Hour, Pastor Lutzer opened the Bible to give us counsel in our praying. Counsel for those times when the answer is delayed. The second of six messages on the triumph of unanswered prayer.

Next week, Dr. Lutzer turns to Hebrews chapter one to probe what happens when the answer is disguised. Don't miss our next broadcast. Our six-part series on the triumph of unanswered prayer can be yours on CD for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church Hour. Call 1-800-215-5001. Let us know you'd like to support Moody Church's ministry.

Our thank you to you will be a set of messages you can hear and then pass on to others. Call 1-800-215-5001, or you can write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Online, go to That's Join us next time for another Moody Church Hour with Pastor Erwin Lutzer and the Congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-24 12:43:57 / 2023-04-24 13:01:14 / 17

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