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In Competition With God Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2020 1:00 am

In Competition With God Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 7, 2020 1:00 am

It’s in the nature of man to worship something, even deities made of wood and stone—or money, technology, and power. But God makes it clear that we humans have a Creator who will not tolerate any idols, even when the idol is ourselves. In this message we learn why the first commandment requires that nothing replace God in our allegiance.

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Morris is in the nature of man to worship something is made of wood and stone. God makes it clear that he will not tolerate any idle today.

Like the first commandment requires nothing replaces God in all religions church in Chicago.

This is going to win sir whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line after the didn't someone say a man's mind is an idol factory date. The answer to that question is yes. As a matter fact I think I quoted it in our last broadcast that statement is actually attributed to John Calvin and how right he was. We all tend to make idols in our mind, it may be an idol of materialism it could be an idol of sexuality we can hold up ourselves as idols.

We love to make idols and in today's church. What we need to do is to be reminded of the fact that holiness I'm talking about biblical holiness really matters. That's why I've written a book and it is entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you are a gift of any amount.

It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now we go to the pulpit of Moody Church in here once again what God himself has said regarding our relationship with him and how he always must be first and if not, judgment follows. Listen carefully, Julian Huxley, for example, on a television program some time ago made this astounding statement. He said the reason that we accepted Darwinism without a lot of proof is because we did not want God to interfere with our sexual mores. All that's interesting. So that's why Darwinism was accepted without a whole lot of proof. In other words, at root man was saying, I will not have the Lord God to rule over me now in the history of the Jewish nation. You know they were so prone to idolatry, always turning to whatever God they happened to to be with and whatever pagan God was there because there's something within man that says I want the God who can. I can control and at least he is in harmony with some of my aspirations and desires. As for the true God. We are not sure about him is an amazing passage in the first chapter of Habakkuk. It says that the wicked Chaldeans they go out and they take a nap and they catch fish. Actually, it's referring to the armies of other nations, but then it says that they burn incense to their nets.

See, that's the way man is instead of giving the glory to God who gave you the ability to create the net or thanking God for the fish that you are able to catch it is just like the man to stop short of giving glory to God and even burn incense to his own nap and so you have people today who are willing to thank the sweat of their own right hand. They are willing to think the government they are willing to think their parents. They are willing to think their employer they're willing to thank anybody except God from whom all blessings flow the nature of man to be in rebellion against God is 1/3 reason why God gave this command and that is the nature of idolatry, the nature of God that he is exclusive. There is none other.

Like in the nature of man he is in rebellion seeking idols. But what is the nature of idolatry, the nature of idolatry is always to debase.

First of all, idolatry is a tremendous insult to God turn your Bibles to the 115th Psalm for just a moment. Psalm 115. Here's a discussion of idols and what they are like and that can you think of how insulting it is to God for people to pray to idols. It begins in Psalm 115 by talking about the true God. In verse three. Our God is in the heavens. He does whatever he pleases. Now notice what it says about the idols. Speaking of the he then there idols are silver and gold.

The work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak. They advised that they cannot see bail didn't see us that day. By the way, he didn't say hi and say will greet all the folks in Chicago. It says they have ears but they cannot hear they have noses. Obviously they need a nose but I can smell they have hands but they can feel they have feeds but they can walk they cannot make a sound with their throat and those who make them will become like them. You imagine the insult that was to God, to have Israel running around worshiping these kinds of idols turning away from the true God.

Notice what God says in chapter 20 of the book of Exodus.

He says I am the Lord God that brought the out of out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery and of the Lord says I'm the one that did all that and the people turn around and give credit to a God that can't see, speak, smell, walker act, what an insult but you know there's something about idolatry. That's even worse than that. It is not only insulting to God.

It always ensnares man is always ensnares man and I'll tell you why, because there is no such thing as a God that does not demand sacrifice is no such thing as a God that does not demand sacrifice you find that when the Israelites worshiped Dale and Moloch at all these other gods. They ended up doing all sorts of sacrificial things it says in the book of Kings, that the Israelites, because their children to walk through the fire in admiration and in devotion to Moloch and to bail because even when you serve a false God that God will demand obedience and sacrifice, and he will always ensnare he will always degrade he will always try.

Well, now let's talk for a few moments about some of our God's remember that any God that is put in your mind and heart above the living and the true God is an idol. It doesn't have to be made out of wood and stone. So let's choose some of the gods of today's society, just for a moment let's take sensuality as a God sexual looseness as we have it in our society there. Some people say I will elevate that above God, because I will violate what God has said in order to fulfill certain desires.

That is my God that stands in competition to the living of the true God.

I define the true God. God says one thing but I'm going to do another. That's idolatry. But if you ever thought of the sacrifice that God asks people to make that God will immediately take people and make them liars. I have yet to know someone who is into sensuality who is not also a liar. He will take and he will degrade their character. People degraded their reputation and then on top of that he will demand whenever he can. The sacrifice of human beings and we see that today in the great abortion movement where people are saying we will hang onto sexual looseness at any cost and we will kill children in order to mop up our sins because we will serve the God of sensuality, no matter the cost. Matter the sacrifice you take for example the God of money. What a deceptive God that is. People say I will serve that God I will hold onto that God and you find that God begins to erode character. He begins to cause people to trample on one another and to hurt one another and to ignore other, more essential needs because the God of money comes not just to participate with us in life, but he always comes to take over every God you serve desires domination pride. The other God, I'll serve myself.

I'll do my own thing. I'll find my own way. I will hang onto my own rights and you find out that you were driven by all kinds of forces within you and all kinds of unhappiness and anxiety and first ration and problems and your selfishness will get in the way of other people and you become insensitive. Why because you say all I will serve that God and he will demand and he will want to take over and control and dominate every God wants to. So the Lord says thou shalt have no other God before me. You shall have nothing that you shall elevate above me in your thinking or your imagination or your allegiance. You shall have no other God before me. Let me summarize all this in three statements that are connected to one another that logically follow one another. Here the three statements statement number one. Every person has a God every person has a God.

Everyone you say will pastor. I'm not sure about that but I am not sure that I have a God let me help you do a little research to find out who your God is okay very simple little test here is first of all, what is it that you think about most often in your free time test number one test number two is who do you really wish to please in life. That's it was not simple harmless, but you answer those two questions and you will find out who your God really is and you'll soon find out whether or not there is something in your life whether it's your job or whether it's another person, or whether it is it is earning money or whether it is your future or whatever you'll find out whether or not you have elevated something above the living and the true God.

Every person has a God, no question about that and it's what we think about and whom we wish to please. Whether ourselves or others. That is our God. Every person is a God that statement number one statement number two. Every God demands allegiance every God demands allegiance.

That's true of the living of the true God, as well as all the false gods that people chase around in today's world. Every single God becomes to take over.

There's no such thing as a God saying I will participate with you in the process of running your life. Every God becomes to say, I will dominate. I will come to control and in the third statement that every domination means slavery means slavery that's true of the true God is also true of the falls, God's, for example, the apostle Paul says in Romans. He said that he is a slave to God. He says I am a bondslave of Jesus Christ as though he is a slave to I am a slave to you are a slave to the question is not whether or not you will be a slave because you are. The question is who is slave or will you be because every God is expecting domination and control. I want you to know this, but there is a world of difference in absolute light years in difference between being a slave of the living and the true God and being a slave to an idol because when you are a slave to an idol, you become the slave of sin, always, inevitably, necessarily, it must be so.

And when you are a slave to the living and the true God you serve, yes, but you do not serve under the domination of sin. You serve in willing obedience to God who has captured you en masse you because he has given his life. You difference is overwhelming. Let me illustrate it to what the Bible says in Romans one, I would ask you to turn to it but I'm going to quote for you going to begin in verse 21, when speaking of the heathen. It says who, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and they changed the glory of the corrupt double God into an image made like unto corruptible man to birds to four-footed beasts and creeping things are. You have the idolatry. It says wherefore God also gave them over to dishonor their own bodies among themselves.

In other words, if you're going to serve an idol. You're gonna be a slave to sin and sensuality and then it says in verse 25 who exchanged the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the creator. And in verse 26 it says again and therefore God gave them over to degrading passions and then lest we should miss it in the middle of verse 28 it says it again, God gave them over and then follows just an ugly unbeaten believable catalog of sins is one of the longest list of sins in all the Bible and it covers the waterfront.

Believe me, now here's the point when man abandons the living and the true God and begins to create idols either in the imagination, or of wood and stone, and he exalts something above God. He always ends up in slavery, debauchery, and he becomes subservient to another God who drives and who pushes him and shoves him and controls them. The only way out of that slavery is to turn to the living and the true God. You know if we may put this commandment positively, we find that Jesus said in the New Testament. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength in the bottom line of what I want to say to you today is simply this, that God desires that there be within us a love for him. That has no competition. He wants to ask us that we might take down every idol everything that we have exulted above him and that we might in the sanctuary and the shrine of our hearts have a place only for him and love him supremely without any rivalry at all.

All of us know that if there's anything that causes under fulfillment in a wife that is when she lives with her husband whose attention and whose loyalty is divided and in whose heart there is rivalry God feels that to. By the way, thou shalt love him with all my heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind with all thy strength and I have to ask you what is standing in the way in your life that prevents you from loving God. That way, whatever it is it's an idol that must be forsaken.

Let's pray together.

Our father today. We thank you that your word is so clear. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. We confess idolatry. Father, we confess that to be a part of our experience exulting imaginations and desires and ways above what you have said all father.

Today we pray that you might help us to just clean out our lives. There may be some people about in your presence whose whole lives are filled with idols. We pray that you might help us to cast those out and we ask you to do that in the name of Jesus, our Savior. All father we pray that you might enable us to love you with a pure undivided attention body soul and spirit, love you with our hearts and minds and souls teach us father to do that we ask in Jesus name, amen.

What this is Pastor Luther I need to ask you, are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win. Have you often been challenged. You know, it is because of the faithfulness of God's people that we are able to continue this ministry, and perhaps you've heard me say before that running to win is now heard in more than 20 different countries. It's because of people who support this ministry as a matter fact I don't think of US supporters.

I think of you as partners in this ministry, would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are those who connect with us regularly and they support this ministry with their gifts and their prayers. Here's how you can find out more go to RTW that's RTW and click on the endurance partner button. There you will receive information on how you can help us and I want to thank you in advance for your prayers for your gifts because together we are making a difference. Here's what you do go to RTW Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. As I've mentioned before. Thanks in advance for helping us.

You are our partners in this ministry is time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We know that God expects us to keep our promises listener name Greg is concerned about one promise made in the Bible that he fears led to murder.

He says I heard a sermon by Pastor Luther concerning Olds. He mentioned Jephthah a great warrior who made a horrible oath to God saying he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house. Unfortunately, it was his daughter. My question is, since he sacrificed his daughter, why would he be listed among the great heroes of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. I'm so thankful for this question because it helps us bring out something about God's grace, but first of all let me talk to you about Jephthah's vow you know if you're new to the Bible, you may not know that there is this amazing story in the 11th chapter of the book of Judges, Jephthah is fighting battles and he tells the Lord that whatever comes out of his house.

He will sacrifice and so as he's going toward the house, having won a victory. His daughter comes out of the house and the Scripture tells us that he sent her away for two months.

She departed and at the end of two months. She returned to her father who did with her according to his bow. Scholars are actually divided over what happened. Some people believe that Jephthah did not sacrifice his daughter. It talks about her being a virgin and the virgins of Israel morning her, etc. etc. so some people think that he just consigned her to virginity for the rest of her life, but there are others, and I happen to fall into this camp myself, who believe that in point of fact, he did sacrifice his daughter. What a terrible thing. The story has much mystery to it. Why would he say whatever comes out of his house. He will sacrifice what was he expecting to come out of his house, a pig, we would expect that it would be his daughter. Now here's the bottom line. Despite what happened. Jephthah is mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11. For this reason God uses imperfect people. It is truly amazing. It's not just Jephthah who made the 11th chapter of Hebrews, but also Sampson and we know all about his sin.

The point is that these men and women that are listed there in the 11th chapter of Hebrews all put their confidence and faith in Jehovah. They believed God. It was credited to them for righteousness. They are all I believe saved people, but my are they imperfect. So the bottom line is we can derive strength from the fact that God uses people like us sometimes with flaws that are visible, sometimes with flaws that are invisible, but the hand of God is there nonetheless. So I would simply say that Greg great question. Just be encouraged and know that God's grace can cover even great sins. Thank you Greg for that tough question.

Thank you Dr. Luther for your answer. If you like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 is a picture ever wrong. We need to understand God's commands that prohibit images meant to represent him. People disobeying this commandment failing giving worship to a vast array of idols carvings pictures and icons are they sending next time I'm running to win. Join us for a look at commandment number two why God prohibits are using any images of him in our worship, running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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