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Rescued From Religious Self-Deception Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 1:00 am

Rescued From Religious Self-Deception Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 30, 2021 1:00 am

Religion can prevent people from understanding the truth about themselves. Religion can breed the pride that says, “I’m okay.” In Romans chapter two, Paul addresses the religious elite of his day, and shows how ceremony and ritual had insulated them from God’s analysis of their hearts. Self-deception is especially deep when expressed in religious terms. In this message we discover why we need rescuing so badly.

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Reason for us to Jesus in Romans chapter 2 Paul addresses just delete this day's morning insulated them from God's analysis of their hearts. Self-deception is especially deep when expressed in religious terms. Today more and why we need rescuing so badly from the Moody Church in Chicago this with Dr. Erwin Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the line Esther Luther fermenting rituals give them a sense that they are okay with God yesterday and this is one of the deceptions that we find widely believed today there are people who say to themselves while I've been to church I participated in this ritual and I must be right with God. Well, you may not be right with God. The Bible teaches that God works directly in the human heart in response to saving faith. So even as we open the book of Romans and consider what the apostle Paul says this is very crucial for our development in our spiritual walk. I believe that understanding our culture is important. That's why I've written a book entitled, we will not be silenced responding courageously to our culture's assault on Christianity in the book ideal with a host of issues that are coming against the church. For example, the sexualization of children. The nature of propaganda. All of these things are issues that we must address for a gift of any amount.

This book can be yours. And by the way, this is one of the last opportunities that we are making this offer available for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's open our Bibles once again going to the book of Romans and understanding the gospel that is so desperately needed in a sinful culture. We as human beings are very interesting.

As a result of the fall. We have two maladies that all of us have the first is this, we are unable to see our own faults very clearly we are born to rationalize to deny to tweak to make ourselves look so much better than we really are that you and I can't really look into our own hearts and know what is there. We had such a filter that we put everything through not only is it true that we don't see our own hearts very clearly at all, but the other malady that we have as we see other people's faults with a great deal of clarity and not only that we tend to blame them for our faults. If we quote happen to have any. We see this most clearly in the marriage relationship. Back in the days when I did marriage counseling. I sometimes asked the partners to write out the pulse of the other and they were glad to do that. They just wondered whether or not I'd have enough notepaper for them. But then when you turn it around and say now what would your partner say about you and your faults. Well, now there staring at the ceiling in trying to think of something.

Well, maybe. On occasion I've done boss and so and so we are today were going to take a look into the human heart, and for a while at least.

It's not going to be a pretty picture. When we open that door that many of us were listening would rather close, but the Bible invites us to look into the human heart and it does so that we might better understand grace.

That's what the point is you see most people know that as Christians we been rescued by Jesus but we don't know what we been rescued from and all the deceptions that lie coiled within our hearts.

Somebody asked me one time. What's the difference between a psychoanalyst and a coalminer will the answer is, the psychoanalyst goes down deeper stays down longer and comes up dirtier than the coalminer and so it is if we are honest, so as we take this tour of the human heart is going to be uncomfortable at times, but let's accept that uncomfortableness because the intention is to lead us to grace. I'm not gonna leave you in despair the end of the message will indicate grace gospel, which is what the book of Romans is all about. Take your Bibles and turn to chapter 2 of the book of Romans.

If you're with us as we spoke about chapter 1 you'll notice that the apostle Paul was speaking primarily about the pagans and the sins that they commit all he talked about such things as homosexuality, adultery, murder, God haters, and he makes a list of 22 different sins as he gets to the end of the chapter in which you and I have all been involved in one way or another. And now he comes to chapter 2 and he knows that the folks who are reading this, the religious people. The Jewish people of his day, but of course, today we are thinking about ourselves as religious people and so this passage applies to us, but they would say preacher Paul we think you've got a great sermon. We only wish that you would preach it harder and better because those people need to hear what you've got to say. Maybe last week there was somebody here like that, is that while it lasts somebody's telling it the way it is about them. Those people out there. Paul knows the human heart and so he says okay what were going to do is to look now at the religious heart and all of its deceptions and its deceptions are more difficult to uncover because religion enables us to have a false sense of who we are. So if you're here today in your religious and you wouldn't be listening if you weren't listening carefully because this is about you and it's about me. In order to look at this passage. What I've done is I've isolated six assumptions that we as religious people tend to make and these assumptions are hidden. It's not as if you know, we verbalize them or we think about them and say will I believe thus and so we operate on this basis and these assumptions are very false and yet they blind us to our own sins. Let's go through them quickly. First of all, the idea that somehow I can condemn others without condemning myself. You see, when the apostle Paul says therefore you have no excuse old man every one of you judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge practice the very same things we know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things, but do you suppose old man, you who judge those who do such things and you do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God. We assume here that we can judge others and we really don't have to judge ourselves because were not exactly guilty of their sins. We may be guilty of similar sins, but somehow we are exempt. It is the law of the grand exception. We see this in the life of Saul, the Bible says Saul, the Old Testament king took all of the witches out of the land and yet when he was desperate, he went to a which what applies to you doesn't apply to me. It's people who live with two different standards one for you and one for myself. You say that we should not be a moral good. Hey, are you a moral are you totally pure in thought, word and deed. You say that you shouldn't steel wonderful.

Are you dishonest in your business dealings. So what Paul is saying is if you sit in judgment on others and don't judge yourself. You are deceived that the first assumption that people make. The second is that God's kindness and tolerance means God's approval. God is so good to me.

I have held five strength I have money in comparison to the other people in the world.

This must mean that I'm really pleasing to God may be a deception verse or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

But because of your hard impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

You are saying to yourself because I'm blessed. Somehow I've got this corner on God and so I can cut corners with God.

After all, he's tolerant and the Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes, because God does not execute the sentence against sin immediately. People think it's okay to do wrong. So we think to ourselves, it must be safe to sin, because I've been doing it for a while and there's been no repercussions. I've suffered no consequences, and we think that the goodness and the kindness of God is granting us favor where is the text says that it should be leading us to repentance. The very fact that you and I are alive today and got up this morning and were able to exist for a couple of hours should be reason for us to fall on our faces and say God why are you so good to me. I don't deserve this. I really do repent of my in gratitude and my hard impenitent heart that takes all of your blessings for granted as if I deserve them.

Watch that because pulses you are actually storing yourself up wrath for the day of wrath, just like you can make an investment.

Hopefully that will pay dividends in the future in terms of your retirement so you can make investments in the wrath of God and you are storing it up for a future time because the goodness of God, should lead us to kindness and broken hearts, not self satisfied in an attempt hearts. Now there is 1/3 assumption that people make and it becomes a little tricky but it does help us answer questions. People are always asking. The third is that God's justice entails partiality.

God's justice entails partiality what's going on there in the text. Is this you see the religious people. The religious Jews were reading this were thinking we really got in on God we have a special dibs with the Almighty because we have the law and the pagans don't so we are superior to them. So Paul deals with that attitude and what he does is he helps us understand the nature of God's judgment and he says that there are two principles by which God is going to judge the world and one is works and he's not going to be partial toward you. Just because you have special privileges as a matter fact special privileges means special responsibility.

Let's look at the text verse six he will render to each one according to his works. To those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. There will be wrath and fury. While there will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also to the Greek glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also for the Greek for surprisingly God shows no partiality.

Paul is saying here that when it comes to the judgment of God, he will judge everyone in accordance with what they did. The judgment of God will be according to works. That's why at the great white throne judgment when the unbelievers of all ages gather there at that awesome unbelievable event in which there will be no exceptions.

No attorney to help them make themselves look better at that moment all of their works. The Bible says will be judged and they will be judged in accordance with those works.

Those who did well will not be saved but Bill be much better than those who did evil and so works will determine the degree of their punishment as Christians were going to be judged according to our works. Bible says that at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ will give an account for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad were all going to be judged according to our works now in the case of Christians. The good news is that those sins will be represented to us as forgiven because that is not a time of condemnation. There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, but our lives will be evaluated. Know what I need to underscores this that when Paul writes what I just read. He is not speaking about the doctrine of salvation later on in chapter 3 verse 20. He's going to say by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin, salvation is not a matter of works.

Paul is talking about the principles of judgment. He is not talking about the way of salvation, which he is leading to and explains in chapter 3, but nonetheless will be judged on the basis of our works number one and then number two. What about those who don't have God's revelation.

Well, what you find is this pulses there's a second way that God is going to judge people. Verse 12 for all who have sinned without the law will perish without the law, all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law, for it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified when the Gentiles who don't have the law, by nature do what the law requires. They are a law unto themselves even though they don't have the law, they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. While their conscience also bears witness, and their conflict thing thoughts accuse or excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ very important principle, God will judge everyone on the basis of what they did with what they knew.

Paul is saying that God isn't going to say to the pagans.

Now I'm going to judge you because you didn't have the law know if they didn't hear of God's law, his Revelation on Sinai that will not be the standard of judgment that would be unfair. God is never going to say to somebody, well, you know you never heard about Jesus, but I'm going to send you to hell because you didn't believe on Jesus. How could that possibly be fair. What Paul is saying is that those who have the law will be judged by the higher standard, but those who don't are going to be judged by natural law by the consciences that they have now their conscience is going to should be showing that to everybody violates his conscience.

This does not mean that anyone is innocent, it only means that God's judgment is going to be in accordance with what people did on the basis of what they knew.

Salvation will still be through Jesus Christ alone, but Paul is saying that God's judgment is going to be fair because it will be based on what people knew and the opportunities they had to learn more conscience then becomes the standard of judgment so I will remember Paul's point. Just because you received the law. Just because you had the privilege of knowing that your grandparents were at Mount Sinai that does not give you some house, some special relationship with God where you can avoid the issues of sin and the need of salvation God's judgment is impartial in that sense you can look back and say well look at my pedigree look at who I am connected with. That's not going to is not going to work with God I'm Everyman saying you know when I stand before God.

All have no trouble and I said why he said that my brother is a priest and my sister is a nun who hello, I'm sorry about that, but that's not the basis of judgment. There's another assumption that people make that the apostle Paul gives here and I'll go over it quickly and that is that hearing, the law is somehow doing it. You'll notice it says them, not the hearers of the law of verse 13.

The doers are righteous before God.

Just because you know a lot just because you studied the Bible just because you hear hear hear hear. That will not help you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you stand before God someday he'll say he will not say all right will welcome you into heaven.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. For thou hast listened to 3214 messages that is not the way it's going to be. It is good doers of the law that are justified but now we come to the big all this is prologue. There's another assumption that people make and that is that God's judgment is basically going to be external because after all, the text does say that we are going to be judged according to our works, but now are you ready for this. The assumption is that it's only external but did you notice when I read a moment ago, perhaps too quickly and we didn't get it. You'll notice it says in the last part of verse 16 in the day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of man by Jesus Christ, and I want to say while the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. There is about all of us. All of us to some extent have a false self that we put on in society and our families and in our relationships. On the one hand this false self makes us friendly and kind and thoughtful and generous and we get along well with others, but then like the moon that has a dark side there's another part of us over here and that's the the dark side.

That's the secrets that's the place where we put our garbage. That's the place where we think about such things as deceit and in the and strife. It's the place where we have judgmental thoughts.

Somehow we look down on others. That's the place where we have thoughts about racism or for thoughts about how we are so much better than the people beneath us and and we become so critical of everybody else around us and we don't know that the problem is ourselves. That's the place you see where we put all of our shame and all the things that all of us have done that. We don't want anyone ever ever ever to know about and we guard that plays with all that we are the moment somebody wants to pry into it.

We are there with 100 different arguments as to why we did what we and there it is now.

Can you even imagine even imagine it standing say at the great white throne judgment and God now takes all of the secrets and finally who you and I really are is revealed because you're not what you think you are what you think you are unbelievable. My decision has students and I certainly do want to clarify that if you're a believer in Jesus Christ. You will not be of the great white throne judgment but the Bible does tell us that we shall be at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.

That's why it is so important for the way in which we live. It's very important that we not compromise with the culture we have to be loving absolutely.

We need to speak the truth in love, but we need to speak the truth I've written a new book entitled, we will not be silenced responding courageously to our culture's assault on Christianity in the intro I wrote these words, I want to inspire us to have the courage to walk toward the fire and not away from the flames. God is brought us to this cultural moment and our future cannot be taken for granted. As has been said in a time of universal deception telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We all need to tell the truth.

This is one of the last times where making this resource available entitled, we will not be silenced.

It deals with a host of issues that are very prevalent in our culture today. Love for you to have a copy. I believe that it will help you in your spiritual life, you're going to want also others to read it for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.

Here's what you do go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let us not be shamed into silence. And as I frequently say it is better to speak the truth, even if thought hateful and to speak lies with compassionate tones. The name of the book, we will not be silenced.

RTW you can go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 one of the last times where making this resource available.

Let me thank you in advance for the many who pray for us who stand with us, with their prayers and their gifts because together we are making a difference and were telling the truth or telling the truth in love, and compassion.

But the truth must be told you can write to us running to win 1635 LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. When we adopt an aura of religious respectability.

It's amazing what dark secrets lie beneath the surface. Next time more about identifying our deception. This is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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