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Playing By The Rules Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2020 1:00 am

Playing By The Rules Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 24, 2020 1:00 am

Stealing is on the rise as people say, “what’s yours is mine.” It’s more than burglary. People steal from their employers with hardly a second thought. We forget that stealing of any kind violates one of the Ten Commandments. 

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Dealing is on the rise as people say what's yours is mine more than burglary.

People steal from their employers, with hardly a second thought. We forget that stealing any kind of private property violates one of the 10 Commandments from the Moody Church in Chicago this is going to win one, sir. Teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are most of us would never steal someone's car, but not think twice about pilfering a pen or pencil from the office.

Will you know Dave, that certainly is true and I suppose all of us at times. It ended up at home with a pen or pencil from the office, but I'm more concerned about is Christians who cheat on their income tax. That also is a form of stealing and no and there other ways that we can also steal and by the way, this commandment from God shows that he believed that there was such a thing as private property, something that actually belongs to you and not the state. Let me ask you this question does holiness really matter will just ask who's a member.

His story in the Old Testament where he reached out his hand and steadied the ark. The ark was supposed to only be touched by priests and there were other ways that God said it should be carried and he violated one of those and touch the ark struck down by God and that's the God that we serve today. That's why I've written a book entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you. I wrote the book to help us to recapture our understanding of holiness to see the relevance of the 10 Commandments in the scene. God is holy and in this way, we are not only blessed but challenged and hopefully brought to repentance. Why holiness matters for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours. Go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Now let us go once again to Sinai to hear the voice of God. Karl Marx was born on the Rhineland in Germany baptized as a Christian at the age of 60 born into a Jewish home. The teenager said some very beautiful things about Jesus Christ and then later in life, med angles and wrote the Communist manifesto the continent. Then Marx went over to Great Britain and spent a great deal of time in the British Museum and it is there that he wrote capital or in German dust, tall. Today he rules more than one half of the world from his grave, but was Marx who believed that the root of all evil was ownership.

The possession of property. He believed that if there was ever a time when people would give all their property and all that they possess to the state by then. Indeed, the state would be in a position to bring about equality and justice and equity in a world that seem to be so diverse economically. Marx of course was quite right in saying that economics plays a great part in the history of nations. He was wrong in believing that it was actually the pivotal point upon which all nations in the class struggles are built, and he was very na´ve to think that somehow one's property was in the hands of the state that from then on justice and equity in utopia would be brought about.

Karl Marx believed that the possession of private property was indeed the root of all evil.

But it's interesting that the Bible says in the words of God, thou shalt not steal. By implication God is giving his sanction to private property as a matter fact in Exodus chapter 22. The passage that we read together.

Remember, the Lord is talking about. If someone steals your ox, or steals your sheep. This is what should happen because God is not opposed to people owning something and of course Marx didn't see that when ownership was in the hands of the state.

The repression that would follow and the seizure of land to forcibly the revolution that would bring it about would be bloodied and awful and would eventually destroy the very fabric of society and whole countries, but it is God that says thou shalt not steal. Now there are four ways that you can legitimately get you can get rich by work at that incidentally is the best way the Bible says he who doesn't work, don't let them eat one of the greatest blessings that you can have is to work and if you can work do it.

Try it you'll like it. Second, you can also receive money by a gift. If you have someone who loves you enough to give you money. Why, then, indeed, consider yourself fortunate receive it with gratitude and get it give half because it is legitimate to receive money by a gift and all of us sometimes wish that we had wealthy friends who would remember us in times of need. Thirdly, inheritance. There may be some problems there regarding those who inherit an awful lot of money. It is a curse that comes upon children who are born into wealthy families where they never had to do any work, where everything is simply given to them.

That is not a healthy situation but it is legitimate to receive money buying inheritance and then forcefully buying investment.

You know what to do with your money in such a way that you can legitimately put it into a bank put it into some kind of an investment that will give you money. That too is a way to acquire property to acquire money, but one way that is illegitimate is thou shalt not steal. Stealing is not a way to get rich and like to do today is to delineate for us the various ways that this commandment can be broken and incidentally, you might like to turn to it there in Exodus chapter 20, even though my message, they will be topical will be asking you to turn to. If you pass after, but in Exodus chapter 20, where God is giving the 10 Commandments he says in verse 15 enlisting then that is the eighth in order. Thou shalt not steal. God says there in Exodus chapter 20 verse 15 what are the various ways that we can break this commandment. How can this commandment be broken.

First of all, it can be broken by what you take by what you take care were thinking of someone who has the intention of actually taking something that belongs to somebody else and I just going ahead and being a burglar and doing whatever is necessary to get it in his own possession. There is such a thing as grand theft.

That's where you steal a lot of money. Perhaps a burglary or embezzlement. As you know, Wall Street has been shaken recently by a man who is high up in its organization who embezzled $12 million, and if he had not been found out. Would've gone for more because there's something in the human heart that is incurably greedy and the more you get, the more you want grand theft. That's one way to do it another way, of course, is petty theft. This is what takes place in offices. If you work in a garage.

It means taking oil home that belongs to the service station or if you're in an office. It means using the Xerox machine without paying for a tour doing other things on company time. If you work in a factory perhaps taking some things home with you that don't belong to you that you're going to use for a few weeks but then you never return. That of course also comes under the prohibition here of what you take theft a hotel in New York City said that in one years time it lost 38,000 spoons, 355 silver coffee pots 15,000 finger bowls and 100 Bibles and you know it all in one single year. 75% of all insurance claim are at least in some way fraudulent when it comes time to fill out one of those forms. There's something within people that just snaps and says this is my chance to make a buck. Everybody ought to have at least one opportunity in life to get something and this is mine. So 75% of all claims may not be totally fraudulent, but at least in some sense, they are the damage or whatever is overdrawn because everybody wants to make money on insurance companies. Some of you know for many years I attended a local university here in the Chicago area and here, of course, this is the best of the nation right attending university becoming responsible members of society.

You wouldn't believe the problem that we had, or that the University had with books that were being stolen from the library. They had to figure out all kinds of ways because an honor student who was one who studied philosophy in the morning in the evening and all the time during the day, who was one of the brightest students they had stole more than 70 books. They found the books on a shelf. Isn't it interesting that education is supposed to make you better listen unless education is also combined by the regeneration of the heart. It only makes you more crafty. It makes you to be a smarter devil, that's all that education really does is makes you to be brilliant in your ability you.

You don't get caught is easily after your educated so one way that you can of course break the commandment is by what you take.

It means taking that which belongs to someone else and there are numerous ways that can be done but there's a second way that this commandment can be broken and that is by what you do by what you do. I'm thinking for example of employers here who do not pay an adequate wage to their employees. They are misusing labor. Turn with me in your Bibles to James.

James chapter 5.

He has a very harsh word to say to those who get people to work for them and then don't pay James chapter 5 and if it seems as if I'm giving you lots of time to turn to it. It's because I can't seem to find it in my own Bible James chapter 5 you'll notice what he says in verse four he speaking to the rich. Now don't think that stealing just pertains to the poor. It also pertains to the rich. He says in chapter 5, verse one. Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you, and he says your gold and your rust is actually your gold and your silver are rotting. It's a figure of speech to show that even though those things that seemingly last forever, such as gold and silver. God is causing these to become decayed notice verse four behold the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields and which has been withheld by you. Some translations they defrauded really cries out against you and the outcry over those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. Here are some rich people who hire others to work in the field for them and then when evening comes, they don't pay them, and God says I'm taking note of that and keeping record cry of those that did the mowing and the harvesting is reached my ears, but you find today that employers are sometimes interested in making a lot of money and that we should be thankful for the labor movement in the United States, which is helped laborers get a fair hearing in terms of the responsibility of employers to pay employees well.

I know. Having said that, somebody's gonna come up to me afterwards and say don't you listen to the news. Aren't you acquainted with what's happening to the Teamsters these days.

Yes, I listen to the news, but the point still is that labor have a right to a decent wage and so God says that if you're an employee and you withhold money and you don't pay adequately. God's design, taking note of that because that basically is that now those of you who are employees you are about to shout a net. Now it's your turn you employees.

You can steal from your boss, not only because of what you take home at night but you can steal from your boss because you are not getting a good day's work for what you expect at the end of the day, namely a good day's pay that stealing to notice said that you're supposed to work eight hours and you're supposed to sleep eight hours. The problem is for some people is the same eight hours.

That's the difficulty you say well I'm not being paid adequately.

That does not justify it.

It does not justify you to cheat your employers simply because he is in fair with you because actually you are working for Jesus Christ who is going to give an account to whom you're going to give an account for all of the hours that you have worked.

He is your employer and if your employer who is paying you on earth is being dishonest with you.

God is going to have to rectify that in the day of judgment. The text says in James that he is taking note of it and the outcry of those who have been misused has reached his ears. James chapter 5 verse four. There's so much that could be said I must hurry on you can steal by what you do. Employer employee relations, and while I minute and it is let me also say a word about customers the way you treat customers. I think for example of going into a garage these days.

If you're from outside of the state of Illinois. I suggest that you try to get home with the car that you've God rather than have it fixed here in the state because I'm told that when you drive into a garage. One of the first things they do is look at the license if you're from out of state. It's a great opportunity to fleece the person who comes in and we help all have stories to tell about how we took our car to the garage for one minor thing and discover that there was so much wrong for it and ended up with bills of fiber hundred dollars that stealing that stealing that's that's literally highway robbery. Well, I'll try better next time. But can you imagine what would happen here in the United States. If God simply took the lid off and all of the cheating and the stealing in business across the line and all of the aspects of the larceny whether it has to do with payoffs or whatever were suddenly all exposed, would be incredible.

Okay, you can break this commandment by what you take, you can break the commandment by what you do now hang on to your seatbelts. You can also break the commandment by what you win by what you win.

And here I'm speaking about the lottery and other forms of gambling.

Shall I quickly go on a number for the fourth way, my dear folks, once our society has come to the point where they must sustain their educational programs by a state lottery.

The people that are bearing the burden of that expense are the least able people to do so.

Has to do with poor people somehow thinking that by buying these tickets they're going to get rich and that this is going to be there.

Hope and you have people taking money that should be spent for clothing and for children and for food and they are giving it to the lottery, hoping that they will be able to win someone else's money. That's thievery. Slavery and, furthermore, seldom of course do they witness someone else's money but that money even though legalized, even though protected by the law is not yours and it is not mine. It is a legal means by which people are trying to take someone else's money and of course it has state sanction.

Now of course I know someone is going to say to me, will all of life is a gamble. Well, there's a certain way in which we can say that certain risks are involved in all investments but the problem with gambling.

The problem with the lottery is. It is totally dependent upon blind chance. Blind chance is nothing to do with sensible investments with the possibility of receiving a return based on what we might call reasonable risk and, incidentally, if you read the newspapers you notice that there are some churches here in the Chicago area that make their money by gambling and that that's a reminder of the fact that sometimes Christendom can actually sink to the point where people are so desperate to prop up what is called God's work, that they must have these kinds of forms of fundraising even within the confines of the church. Well I told you I should hurry on so I will. You can break it by what you take by what you do by what you win, but also by what you keep by what you keep here I want to speak about three areas in which we may keep money that legitimately belongs to someone else and God would say that is stealing. For example, your relationship to friends money that you borrow from them, but you don't give the money back. The Bible says in Psalm 37 verse 21 the wicked borrows but does not return again. The wicked is the person who says I need the money you give it to them.

You lend it to them and even after he has money whereby he could pay the debt he still doesn't do it because he thinks he needs it worse than his neighbor's friend. The Bible says that if you do that you are wicked your withholding that which belongs to someone else and that is stealing and don't tell me about the fact that it happened 20 years ago. Just because a debt is 20 years old. That doesn't mean it isn't still a debt. It doesn't make it right.

Just because a lot of time has passed, and nor does it make it right because the person to whom you owe the money has more than you do. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. The Bible says that thou shalt not steal, and it is the wicked borrow and do not return, so you can keep that which belongs to a friend and that stealing to you can keep that which belongs to the government to the government. I guess it's true to say that none of us enjoys paying taxes seen the little sign that says they told me to pay taxes with a smile when I tried it but they wanted my money anyway. Very difficult sometimes said to my wife one time after you fill out your income tax form.

You have a good feeling as to what you know then how account must feel after she's been milked and we know that we don't necessarily delight in paying money to our government. But I want to say this to you. If you are dishonest on your income tax form, you are being dishonest in the presence of God who says thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not steal, and God holds us accountable for our accuracy and our honesty when it comes to the government. If not, were thieves will my friend that's a very sobering thought, isn't it especially for those who live in countries where the government always itself continues to steal the real issue, but what we must do is to recognize that everything that we have belongs to God and everything that we do is seen by God. That's why I've written the book entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you and I wrote this book so that we might recapture the whole idea of holiness that we might recognize that God holds us to a standard and the kind of compromises that are being made today. We can the church for gift of any amount. This book can be yours.

Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 why holiness matters right now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life keeping relationships in their proper place.

That's Deb's concern today.

She asks, is it possible to be too close of a friend with your pastor, while the short answer, Deb is yes. The question is why is a particular person, a close friend of the pastor now pastor needs close friends, but he also needs to be very careful in terms of his relationship with the opposite sex.

So these friendships that are wrong but perhaps her upon a wrong foundation can eventually lead to something that is disastrous.

Obviously, I don't know the details that lie behind your question but I would simply say that what we need to do is to be very cautious is not just pastors often times who have been wrongly befriended, but other Christian leaders, or any Christian, and therefore the whole business of who is our friend and how close they are to us in terms of that friendship. We need a great deal of discernment. Thank you Deb and thank you Dr. lutes or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our website@rtwoffer.com and click on ask Pastor lutes or 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 three Victorino's and wife's race. We need to lose the baggage of guilt we carry from both large and small. That's how far we've come in our study of the commandment. Next time I'm running to win some closing thoughts on stealing and the many ways people steal almost without thinking.

Also will look at why the eighth commandment underlines God's view of the sanctity of private property running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Thanks for listening. This is running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church


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