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The Light Shines In Jerusalem

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2022 1:00 am

The Light Shines In Jerusalem

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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November 6, 2022 1:00 am

What are we willing to do because of our passion for God? Paul’s determination to settle a church split in Jerusalem drove him into hardship, and eventually, to be on trial in Rome. In this message, we consider Paul’s dilemma and defense. We too are called to give our lives to carry out God’s desires.

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Have you ever felt a compulsion within you to do something out of the box, so to speak? Maybe you're impressed to speak to a stranger about Jesus, or perhaps you feel a need to give to someone in distress something you don't normally do. The Holy Spirit can move believers in unusual ways.

Sometimes that moving can cause concern on the part of our friends and relatives. Today you'll hear the story of the Apostle Paul's compulsion to go to Jerusalem, a move he was advised not to make. 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 an eight-part series on Light, Shining and Darkness, how the gospel impacts culture.

Later in our broadcast, we'll hear guest guitarist Rodrigo Rodriguez, and then Erwin Lutzer will take us back to a time when the light shined in Jerusalem. Pastor Lutzer comes now to open today's service. We're glad that you have come to worship with us today. In a moment we're going to stand to sing, O the deep, deep love of Jesus.

I think that's 352. But before we stand to sing, would you join me as we pray? Father, through the power of Jesus, we set aside all of the thoughts that we bring with us today. We have entered into the sacred place. Bless us, we pray. Open our hearts today. Give us a passion that will honor your name. And even as we sing of the love of Jesus, with his birth in our heart, greater love for him, we ask in his blessed name.

Amen. O the deep, deep love of Jesus. As the measure of the stream. O in the song of mighty ocean, in its fullness over me. Under me, all around me, is a friend, all at home. Be onward, be onward, to my glorious rest hour. O the deep love of Jesus, spread his praise from shore to shore. O the deep love of Jesus, spread his praise from shore to shore. O the deep love of Jesus, spread his praise from shore to shore. O the deep love of Jesus, spread his praise from shore to shore. O the deep love of Jesus, love of every one of us.

This e'er ocean, as the question, is a haven, sweet of hands. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, is a heaven, heaven to me. O the deep love of Jesus, spread his praise from shore to shore. Please follow along in your bulletins as we read from Psalm 103 and join me on the bold print.

Hear the word of the Lord. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame, he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field, for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word. Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers who do his will. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the prince of glory died, I rich escape, I count the calls, and for content, I long my time. Truly, Lord, that I should know, saving the death of Christ, I bow, from the paintings that John be holds, I sacrifice them to his power, for the wonderful cross, between my time and time that I truly live. O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross, O who gathered me, I praise you, O dear, bless you, O dear.

Sleep from his head, his hands his knees. O now, dear, such love and sorrow, please, for thorns come out, so rich, I bow, O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross, gives me content, I find that I may truly live. O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross, O who gathered me, I praise you, O dear, bless you, O dear. O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross, gives me content, I find that I truly live. O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross, O who gathered me, I praise you, O dear, bless you, O dear.

O the wonderful cross, O dear, bless you, O dear. Ever a present God who's won, now so amazing, someday life, deep as my soul, my life, my soul. I will serve thee because I love thee, you have given life to me, and thus found me, for you found me, you have given life to me. Hark, ladies, open these hands, to the light of mine, guide one now, bring your touch to my love's home, you have given life to me, but I will serve thee because I love thee, you have given life to me, time was nothing before you found me, you have given life to me. Hark, ladies, open these hands, to the light of mine, guide one now, bring your touch to my love's home, you have given life to me, your touch was what I longed for, you have given life to me. You have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, you have given life to me, thank you.

We are glad that you are here today, and we are here for one purpose during the next few moments, and that is to ask God to birth in us a passion for him. Because the question that is before us is this, God able to do through a person who is God-intoxicated, for whom only love for God really matters and doing God's will? It's the story of the Apostle Paul, and it's in the 21st chapter of the book of Acts. Acts 21—please turn to it in your Bibles, because you've got to follow along the progression. And in the process, we're going to be discussing such issues as God's will. How do you determine God's will? Not in detail, of course, but sometimes overriding compulsion by the Spirit enables us to do things we wouldn't normally do. And also, we're going to get right into the thick of the question of what is the relationship of Christianity and Judaism?

How far is it that we should go in being a witness to those who perhaps come from a different tradition, a different religion, or a different culture? All that in the next few moments. Acts 21 opens, and the Apostle Paul is finished all of his missionary journeys. He has only one desire left—actually two desires, if we could put it that way. And that is for him to visit the city of Jerusalem one last time and then go to Rome.

And he's going to do both, despite the fact that there are those who advised him against it. So what we're going to do is to take some cameo shots today of the Apostle Paul's heart. You know, there are many people who are interested in the Apostle Paul's theology, but the problem is that these people who have his theology don't necessarily have his heart.

Today we're going to see a glimmer into his passion and what made him tick. So in order to get the context, he's on his way to Jerusalem, and we're going to notice first of all his determination, his absolute determination to go even against—catch this now—even against good advice. Actually I never tell anyone to go against good advice, but the Apostle Paul did. But then, on the other hand, I've never spoken to the Apostle Paul either. Notice in chapter 21 we had come close to Cyprus and then we sailed to Tyre, verse 4, and having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days, and through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

Through the Spirit Paul don't go. Alright, with that as a background, let's look at verse 8. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied, especially during the times of the New Testament. The gift of prophecy was evident, and it was not limited to men. And so we're not sure of what their prophecies were, but they were prophesying, these young ladies were, and a prophet by the name of Agabus, who shows up earlier in the book of Acts. He came, at verse 11, he took Paul's belt, bound his own feet and hands, and says, Thus says the Holy Spirit. This is how the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the man who owns the belt and deliver him to the hands of the Gentiles. Old Testament prophets frequently acted out their prophecies.

And to make it vivid, that's just exactly what he did. When we heard this, verse 12, and who's the we, remember the book of Acts was written by Luke, Timothy was there, seven or eight other people mentioned in the previous chapter are there as well. Paul is taking them as a delegation to Jerusalem, and he's determined to go to Jerusalem. And you'll notice it says, When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, Well, let the will of the Lord be done. Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem because the church was about to split. Furthermore, he had an offering that he was bringing from other churches that he wanted to bring to Jerusalem, and he thought that this would heal the rift between Jew and Gentile. From the Gentiles, he received money to give to the Jews who were going through a time of poverty in Jerusalem because of a famine. And so what he thought was, I want to go there personally.

Time out. Did Paul do what was right or not? Many commentators say no, he was just stubborn. Through the Spirit told, Don't go, then Ageba says, This is going to happen to you. All of the good advice was, Don't do it, and Paul did it anyway. I'm going to argue that Paul did do the right thing, even though when he got to Jerusalem it was like a spark in a can of kerosene.

Everything blew up. But Paul was determined, I think, that the warnings should be interpreted as warnings and not necessarily as prohibitions. Because in chapter 22, when he's speaking to the elders at Ephesus, he says this. It says verse 22 of chapter 20, And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and affliction awaits me. Well, does the Holy Spirit contradict himself? And one message to these people in the Spirit, and then another message to Paul?

I don't think so. I think that they prophesied in the Spirit in the sense that they were warning Paul, not necessarily prohibiting him. I'm going to give the Apostle Paul the benefit of the doubt, even though there are some people who think he did the wrong thing, but we're going to assume that he did the right thing, and I think it will become evident as we go through the text. But talk about determination. You're warning me that I'm going to Jerusalem? I am willing to be imprisoned and to die in Jerusalem for the sake of the faith, with that we had a thousand Apostle Pauls.

That's his determination. What is his dilemma? What happens when he gets there to the city of Jerusalem? Well, he meets with James.

Now James is the half-brother of Jesus, and James, on the following day—I'm now in verse 18 of chapter 21—he went with us, and the elders were present. After greeting them, Paul related one by one the things God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry, and when they heard it, they glorified God. I love that, because clearly Paul was not honoring himself here. What Paul was doing is talking about what God had done, and when the report was over, they glorified God. That's the way it should be after every missionary report. After we find out what happened in Africa, with Mary being there and she comes back, we should end up giving God glory, because it's not about us how clear God makes it. It is always about him. So they give God the glory.

But then, here it is now, the split that's about to happen, and Paul is about to exacerbate it. You'll notice it says, "'When they heard it, they glorified God. They said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law.'"

Wow! 3,000 people converted on the day of Pentecost, they believed, a couple thousand later mentioned in the book of Acts, and then you begin to ask yourself, think now, 20 years after Pentecost, think of the thousands and the thousands of Jews that were converted in Jerusalem. But there was a problem that could have split the church and seemed as if it would.

Here it was. Now, put yourself in the sandals of a first century Jew. You have been taught that you should honor the feast days.

You should honor the dietary laws. You should restrict your travel on the Sabbath day. All of this is in the Old Testament. You should bring sacrifices to the temple in accordance with God's prescriptions.

You have all of these commands, and you're an observant Jew, and you want to keep all of them in honor of God. And that's what many of the Jews were doing. Now, along comes a man by the name of the Apostle Paul who says, you know, you don't have to do that because salvation is free through Jesus, and the law has been done away.

And what are they saying? They're saying, wait a moment now, and who are you to tell us that the law has been done away? So you have two groups of Jews. You have those who dig in their heels and say, we will not change our view because God gave us these laws, and only God can take them away. You have another group who's convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, and they say, yeah, God gave us these laws. That's true, but Jesus is God, and Jesus did do away with them, and taught us that the Old Testament laws were but a shadow of what was to come. And they believed in Jesus, but they were still zealous for the law. That's what the Bible says.

The Bible says thousands believed, but they're still zealous for the law. Now, how does Paul get wrapped up in this? Notice it says, and verse 21, and they've been told about you, he's speaking to Paul, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to their customs.

What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. We're going to stir up a riot here in Jerusalem, Paul.

Now, we have to pause here. We have to stop all the way along the line and say, is this a correct representation of what Paul taught? Don't keep the law of Moses.

Don't circumcise your children. All that is history. That's Old Testament.

A new dispensation, a new era has come. Is that really true to Paul? Not really, but you can understand how this rumor would get started and how it would be perpetuated. Because it's very clear that Paul taught salvation by faith alone, not the works of the law. And so you don't have to keep the laws of Moses, all those intricate laws regarding travel, regarding what you can eat.

Everything now is clean. And so you can understand that people would say, Paul, you're teaching this. But it's close to what Paul is teaching, but not quite, not quite. Because what the Apostle Paul taught is this, that now that he is a believer, now that he believes in Jesus, you can still keep some of the customs of the Old Testament. You can still circumcise your children.

As a matter of fact, he had Timothy circumcised. If you want to take a Nazarite vow, you can, because Paul says that he did it, he did it, but it has an entirely different meaning. Bottom line, you can still keep some of these customs if you do not think that they save you. But if you were to think that the salvation comes through here, then you are wrong.

That's where Paul drew the line. By the way, today there are observant Jews. And there are observant Jews who want to keep the law, and we should respect them for that. Did you know that in Israel, there are certain elevators in hotels—I've seen them—that on the Sabbath day, they automatically stop at every floor so that no Jew has to press a button?

That might seem strange to us, but I'm telling you the truth, because they feel that if they have to press the button, they are crossing a line and having to do some work. A number of years ago, Rebekah and I bought a refrigerator from an observant Jew, and we went there on a Saturday to pick it up. I'm not sure—I can't remember whether he helped us put it in our truck, but I do remember when I gave him the check, he said, I can't touch it today—it's the Shabbat.

He said, you leave it on the kitchen counter and I'll pick it up tomorrow. So there are certain rules here that some of us don't quite get and understand, but it's an attempt to continue the rules of the Old Testament. What Paul was saying is that if you want to do these rules, that's fine, as long as you don't think that they are salvific.

What I mean by that is, as long as you don't think they save you. Now, here's what they do. They tell Paul something. I mean, James is speaking here. Verse 23, Do therefore what we tell you. I'm thinking, boy, that's a little strong for the apostle Paul. If he came here to Moody Church, I wouldn't say, well, Paul, I'm here to tell you what you should do, so do what I'm going to tell you.

I think I'd couch it a little more diplomatically. But then it says, verse 24, We have four men who are under a vow—it must be a Nazarite vow—take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they might shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we've sent a letter that they don't have to keep the law, but they should, of course, abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from immorality, and so forth. There is no question about that, the Gentiles. In Acts chapter 15, there was a conference where they agreed Gentiles do not have to keep the law.

They do not have to be circumcised or anything in order to be saved. The question was, what do we do with the Jews who are struggling with this issue? And here they say, why don't you join them in their vow, pay their expenses? This probably came about because Paul did bring an offering, and it was customary in those days for a richer person to help a poorer person to fulfill his vow with all the sacrifices that attended to it. You go through that, Paul, and that will show people that you're also observing the law. Do you understand now where there are some people who think that Paul compromised here?

I don't think so. In 1 Corinthians he says this, To the Jews I became as a Jew that I might win the Jews. To those who were under the law I became like those who were under a law, to win those who were under the law, and those who were outside the law I became like they that I might be able to win those that are outside the law. All I think is saying, I can do all this as long as it's correctly interpreted and not a matter of compromising salvation. So that was Paul's stance.

So we've looked at his determination, we've also looked at his dilemma, and what is his defense? Well, he doesn't fulfill the vow because a riot breaks out. And you'll notice it says, for example, in verse 27, When the seven days were almost completed, God kept Paul from having to offer sacrifices, which were part of the Nazarite vow. When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd. They laid hands on him.

They arrested him. They accused him of bringing Gentiles into the temple area. Paul would never have done that. He had some Gentiles with him, but he would have never brought them into the temple area because he understood. If you go to Jerusalem today—it's been a long time since I've been there ten years—but I remember going to the temple mound, and there still is a sign there that says, Do not enter upon the pain of death owing to the sacredness of the place. Gentiles were not supposed to go where they were in the inner temple area. So there's a warning sign there, which all of us respectfully, of course, ignore. And we go in anyway, and the Dome of the Rock today, of course, is a Muslim shrine.

But the point is this, my friend. The Apostle Paul would not have brought people, a Gentile, into the inner sanctum because in those days that was a crime that resulted in death. Bottom line, Paul is arrested. He gives his defense, and you can go on and you can read what he has to say, and these events are actually going to turn out now in such a way that he does end up going to Rome.

But I won't tell you that story. That will become more evident in the next message in this series. So Paul gets to Jerusalem, and he also gets to Rome.

Here's my point today. Think of what a man is willing to do when he has a passion for God. First of all, if you have a passion for God, you are committed to obedience. Obedience transcends everything.

Hear the Apostle Paul against good advice, and hear me when I say that I never tell people to ignore good advice. But Paul did, constrained by the Spirit, and the reason I think he did right is not only because of that phrase in chapter 20, but also because later on he says that when he was there in Jerusalem he had a vision from Jesus to give him courage to do what he needed to do. But sometimes God lays it on the hearts of people to do things that appear to be irrational, but they are operating in obedience to God. And obedience to God takes precedence over all human emotion. Remember what the Apostle Paul said in chapter 21. It says, I am willing to die in Jerusalem. Now they were urging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Verse 13, Paul answered, What are you doing weeping and breaking my heart?

For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but to die in Jerusalem. Sometimes you have to just ignore the tears. The tears are fine, but you can't go that way. I have two sisters, both of whom were missionaries, one in Africa for about 30 years and one in Mexico for 20-some years. Every time we said goodbye to them, we always cried as a family.

It always seemed so long and so many years, and we never knew whether we would meet again. But you know, there are times doing the will of God you just need to say. I have to set all that aside. Dry your eyes out, but be obedient to God if you have passion. Paul had that passion. I am willing to die.

I am willing to be imprisoned. I wish I had that passion. I prayed yesterday that I would. This passion for God that no matter what he asks me to do, no matter what he asks me to go through, I might say I love him so much that I don't even count my life dear to myself, but I am willing to die for the faith. Would God birth a passion like that in the hearts of all those in the family of Moody Church?

Could you imagine what we could do in the city of Chicago with that kind of passion and love for God? So the first thing is obedience. A second thing I notice in the Apostle Paul as we have this window into his heart is his humility.

Here he is. He is being told what to do, and he does it. Maybe he had some misgivings, but you see, he was interested in the unity of the Church. The Church was about to split, and he would have been the cause of it because they were saying that you no longer just tell people to disregard Moses, and he needed to show that in certain areas it was okay, as I mentioned earlier, as long as it didn't confuse the issues of the gospel. And that's a reminder of the fact that when you go to the mission field, there is much in the culture where you find yourself that you can appreciate and that you can incorporate.

But when it comes to the issue of the gospel, the line must always be clear—salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, alone. But I marvel at Paul's humility. You know, he was sailing on a ship, and having traversed some of the areas that the Apostle Paul traversed as we did when we were on that tour, I marveled at how long he had to travel. You know, I mean, Caesarea to Jerusalem—what are we talking about, 35, 40 miles?

You walk it, take several days, horseback, a few less days, difficult travel. It didn't matter. God was to be glorified.

As he said in the book of Philippians, whether it is by life or by death, God must be glorified. Yesterday I just happened to take from my shelf a book I've perused before, as you might guess. It's entitled Just As I Am by Billy Graham, and I just happened to reread the chapter on his London crusade. Now many of you weren't born during that time.

That was 1954. Billy is 35 years old—my goodness, he's just come in from the barn. He was a farm boy, and he goes to London, and because of a misunderstanding he gets all of the press. I won't even tell you the story, but there is such a crush on him when he arrives in Waterloo Station that he needs help to proceed. They go to Haringey Arena—yeah, it only holds 12,000 to 14,000, but imagine this.

They rent it for three months, and as the weeks go by, the crowds get bigger and bigger until there are more people outside of the arena than there are in the arena, to hear Billy preach. One of the most remarkable crusades. No wonder when he was finished he was 15 pounds lighter—almost killed him. But imagine his humility. Billy Graham today is one of the most humble, unassuming men you'll ever meet. Passion for God, always humility. Lorne Sanney asks the question, how do you know whether or not you have the heart of a servant?

The answer is, by the way in which you react when you are treated like one. That's how you know whether you have the heart of a servant. All God-intoxicated people do, because it doesn't matter, it's not about us, it's a God-thing. Finally, there's clarity. By clarity I mean the ability to be able to see exactly what the purpose of life is. And if you don't have something that you are willing to die for, you aren't fit to live. Paul says, I'm willing to die for the gospel and to go for Jerusalem. Can you imagine living a life like that with something to die for that you know is eternal, and it has to do with the eternal God? God grant us that passion. Now as I was thinking about this, I was reminded of a man in whom I have more than just a passing interest. His name was Martin Luther, who had a similar zeal and passion for God.

He can't give the background for lack of time, but he's on his way to Vohrms, Germany. W in German is pronounced like a V. It is Vohrms, it is the diet of worms, is the way in which some English people talk about it. By the way, it's a diet that works. That's been proven.

There's the cub diet that works, you eat only when the cubs win, but there's also the diet of worms, both work. He's told not to go. He's told, you go to worms, you're going to be killed, to Vohrms. Luther says, I will go to Vohrms even if there are as many devils there as there are tiles on the roofs.

And I've been to Vohrms many times, and I've pointed that out to people and said, let's look at the tiles on the roofs. He's asked to recant his writings. The first day he says, give me time to think about it. They say, okay, come back the next day. It was good that it happened that way. Because the next day, this was a big diet, the next day the emperor, Charles V, is there, the head of the Holy Roman Empire.

All of the German princes, both the religious and the civil rulers of Europe, show up. Luther is asked to recant. Remember the famous line that I'm sure I've mentioned to you many times, my conscience is taken captive by the word of God.

I cannot and I will not recant, so help me God. But before he says that, he prays this prayer the evening before. When you hear it prayed, think of Paul praying as he goes to Jerusalem. Luther said, because he expected to die.

It was just a done deal. It didn't happen because of some reasons, but it was like saying, here I am, kill me. This is what he prays. O almighty and everlasting God, how terrible is this world! Behold, it opens its mouth to swallow me up, and I have so little trust in thee. How weak is the flesh! Satan, how strong! If it is only in the strength of this world that I might put my trust, all is over.

My last hour has come. My condemnation has been pronounced, O God, O God, do thou help me against all the wisdom of this world? Do this. Thou shouldest do this. Thine I have nothing to do here, nothing to contend with for these great ones of the world. I should desire to see my days flow on peacefully and happily, but the cause is thine, and it is a righteous and eternal cause.

O Lord, help me. All an unchangeable God, in no man do I place my trust. It would be vain. All that is of man is uncertain. All that cometh of man fails. O God, my God, here is thou me not. My God, art thou dead.

No thou canst not die. Thou only hidest thyself. Thou hast chosen me for this work, and I know it well. Act then, O God, stand at my side for the sake of thy well-beloved Jesus Christ, who is my defense, my shield, and my tower. Lord, where stayest thou? O my God, where art thou?

Come, I am ready. I am ready to lay down my life for truth, patient as a lamb. For it is a cause that is just. It is thy cause. I will never separate myself from thee, neither now or through eternity. And though all the worlds should be filled with devils, though my body, which is still the work of thy hand, should be slain, stretched out upon the pavement, be cut in pieces, reduced to ashes. My soul is thine. Yes, thy word is my assurance of it.

My soul belongs to thee, which shall abide with thee forever. Amen. Amen. God help me.

God help me. Amen. Let us pray. Father, we are so full of self, so filled with our aches and pains and our own desires and our own attempts to be successful, that we have lost the vision of what it means to be holy and totally passionate for thee. Whatever that means, Lord, in our vocations, in our families, in our futures, would you grant that to us, Lord? Thank you for Paul, who said, I am willing to be imprisoned to die in Jerusalem. Give us, Father God, a double measure of that passion, a passion of Luther, who is willing to give his life for a just cause. Grant that, O God, today, and for those who have never trusted Christ as Savior, may they see today that when they believe on him, he cleanses them, receives them, and welcomes them into everlasting habitations.

We thank you. In Jesus' name, amen. As we sing, let this be your prayer. And as we sing, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The world behind me, the cross before me, the world behind me, the cross before me, the world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow, though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back. Will you decide now to follow Jesus? Will you decide now to follow Jesus?

Will you decide now to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back? On today's Moody Church Hour, Pastor Lutzer brought the fifth of eight messages on Light Shining in Darkness, How the Gospel Impacts Culture. We saw the light shine in Jerusalem as Paul was arrested.

Next week, we'll trace Paul's time in a Caesarea prison while on his way to Rome. Erwin Lutzer's entire series on the Gospel's impact in the ancient world can be yours on CD, as our thank you for your 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. When you call, mention the series on Light Shining in Darkness. 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: small.en / 2022-11-06 07:16:15 / 2022-11-06 07:25:23 / 9

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