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The Tragedy Of Misplaced Faith Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2022 1:00 am

The Tragedy Of Misplaced Faith Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 14, 2022 1:00 am

How do you avoid self-deception in your relationship with God? Many try to gain heaven through their own efforts. They think that if their good deeds outweigh their bad, they’ll make it. Let’s take another look at those who are shocked they won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You’ll hear three explanations ofhow anyone could be self-deceived. You’re invited to come to the only One qualified to save you: Jesus.  

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Reason for looking to Jesus when he tried to gain heaven through their own efforts they think their good deeds outweighed their bed will make it. Others hope keeping the sacraments will ensure their eternal future.

So what's the truth to find out. Stay with us from the church in Chicago. This is wanting to win sir is teaching us across the finish line in a series on how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God as their loser. Many people feel that the sacraments are means of grace. Is this biblical Dave, I really do believe that the sacraments as we might call them are actually quite symbolic and they are not the means by which grace comes to us grace comes directly into the human heart. As a result of faith and those who believe that salvation or grace is communicated to them through the sacraments discovered that they have no assurance that they have been fully set right by God. And the reason is you never know if you've done enough. By the way, aren't you glad that the thief on the cross did not have to take the sacraments, he said, remember me when you come into your kingdom and instantly Jesus gave him the promise today you shall be with me in paradise. That's why this series of messages how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God is so incredibly important. And by the way, at the end of this broadcast. I'm going to mention a special resource that we are making available to you, but right now let us listen carefully as we continue this series of messages.

Problem was very evident to those who are think is the difficulty even if you participated in the sacraments, even if you avail yourself of all the means of grace that were available in those days, you still could not be absolutely sure that you had grace for God to accept. There was always that sense of uncertainty.

In fact, that sense of uncertainty was so strong that it became canonized. It became part of church doctrine and that's why in 1546, the Council of Trent said explicitly.

He who believes he has assurance of salvation, let him be anathema, let him be accursed. Those who believe that they have assurance of salvation are only adding to their sins because now they are also committing the sin of resumption who can be sure that he has enough grace for a holy God. If we know exactly how high God's standards were, then we could measure the amount of grace, that we have received but how do we know how much God expects not only did this view lead to uncertainty and it allowed people to be worshipers without a changed heart, but it really transferred the work of God from within the human heart to those who claim to represent God. Human nature being what it is. People no longer cared whether or not they had a personal relationship with God. In fact, many of them didn't even know that that was possible what they can were concerned about is their relationship to the church and they said if I'm rightly related to the church.

The church will take care of my relationship with God. For me, and so they sought the requirements of the church rather than a personal relationship with God you can understand that I have very quickly delineated three false paths on that Broadway that leads to destruction, and I have by no means listed them all.

I've talked about the achievers who believe that it is through good works. I talked about those mystics who believe that it was through their efforts to purify their souls and I've spoken about those who believe the grace comes through the sacraments, but there are so many other foals, ways of salvation that appeared to be right. What about all those who go forward in evangelistic services. What about those who may go forward in a Billy Graham service as the choir sings just as I am, without one plea, and years later, they look back and say I must be a Christian because I went forward in a in a service. I prayed this prayer well. Perhaps they have been genuinely believe but then again, perhaps they have not because there is no magic in going forward in a meeting and yet there are those who somehow think because they made a decision way back when. That is proof of eternal life. It may be and then again it may simply be cyanide in a Tylenol Without those were brought up in Christian homes who pray to accept Christ at the age of four, led by mother and father and then as they grow up. The children have doubts and they say to themselves, you know, I don't know whether I'm really saved or not in their parents say to them. Hey, you know you don't remember this but at the age of four. You accepted Christ as your Savior I would say to you parents. Parenthetically, if your child doubts your salvation his or her salvation. Take that very seriously and assume that they may have a good reason to doubt it. But there those you see who grow up in this environment and they go through life assuming that they are on the narrow way which has, by the way, only one lane and they don't understand that they are on the Broadway which has many different lanes, all of which leading to the same place, namely destruction of people were really honest if they were absolutely dead honest in their souls, they would look within and wonder whether they have a right to be so sure that they belong to God. For example those folks whom I called the achievers in the depths of their soul. They should know that they are unable to climb a ladder to God as a matter of fact they should know that everything they do is tainted and God is holy and rather than climbing the ladder wrong by wrong they should admit as one. The politician did. He said I tried to climb the ladder of success wrong by wrong and eventually he discovered that his ladder was leaning against the wrong. In moments of honesty. They should recognize that in Mona's moments of honesty.

Those mystics bless them they should have known that no matter how much they try to purify their souls.

There is still always a part of them that seems to love sin and of them said need proper sorrow for sin, but nobody really knew how much sorrow was needed to do the trick.

And very few actually believe that they had performed a perfect act of contrition and those sacramental lists in the depths of their soul as they thought about it, they should have known that there's got to be more to the gospel. There's got to be something. How can we simply assume that receiving a ritual that God can be satisfied with that, they should've known that if you commit a sin. After you have received the ritual that then what happens or if you commit a mortal sin. What is your hope, then the problem with the three ways that I've outlined is none of them really can hold out hope to a Ted Bundy, who died many years ago on the electric chair because of the murdering something like 17 or 20 young women if you were in a cell with him these three ways would not work his execution.

You need something more than that. Now let's go back to the text with which we began. Let's take another look at these folks who are so shocked that they can't enter the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name. These are the mystics. They have found God in the soul.

They are those special folks who really walk with God then know what God's will is and they will even tell you about it because they claimed the gift of prophecy and I have met people like that and in some instances have confronted them and said I don't believe that your gift is from God at all. It comes from somewhere else did we not prophesy in your name in your name we have cast out demons you civil how did these people do that only three explanations we have to choose one of them number one this to say that they didn't it all.

They only thought they were or they were deceivers and knew it.

I don't think they'd stand in front of Christ and try to fool him. I think they sincerely believe that they cast out demons and maybe they did. That's possibility number one possibility number two is that they did it in the strength of God, the true God. That's unlikely because Jesus said these are works of lawlessness. The other possibility is that they did all these miracles in satanic power using the name of Jesus.

When the miracles were happening and if you say well how did they cast out demons and Satan doesn't cast out Satan, it could well be that the devil cooperated with their miracles and pretended to leave so that more people would be deceived. More people would come to their meetings. More people would hear what they had to say and all while though they use the name of Christ and called him Lord, when they stand before the judge who knows all things.

Who peers into their eyes and knows the depths of their souls. He says you are workers of lawlessness lawlessness.

Can you imagine I'm startled at this passage because I have met people I've asked many people if you were to die today, and God were to say to you, why should I let you into heaven, I received all kinds of replies of good works all the way from giving up potato chips during Lent to two people telling me that they have given money to the church. One woman says.

I earned $1200 for in a bake sale and I gave it all to the church that was her answer.

I never heard anybody say spectacular things like these never been on a plane and summonses will live cast out demons in the name of Christ and in the name of Christ. I've done many wonderful work what they tell me is much less than what these people performed and yet these miracles for all of their all their wonder, Jesus said, are works of iniquity by never knew you. What a shock? Now you know George Barna who does a lot of surveys tells us that 99% of Americans. Isn't this just typical American just typical American 99% of Americans believe they're good enough to go into heaven.

That's what Barna says he just can't find somebody who thinks he is not good enough to enter. Maybe Jesus was wrong. Maybe he should have said that the gate is why he did that leads to life, and everybody's on only the gate is small and you have to work to find the gate that leads to destruction Jesus was wrong or the other possibility is that all of the people who were surveyed here in the United States may not be too well theologically grounded. That's another possibility. Now you see there are people who believe that but in a crunch. I doubt if they believe it, but these people I think were genuinely deceived me. This is a case of genuine deception. I actually believed it. Some may not.

But these people can't you see her credentials. Look at the miracles we've done and they set themselves up as people who were to be admired because of their religiosity and they really connected with God there lost forever lost forever. You say well what is the narrow way let's whine preaching this series of messages. The next message I preach in the series is going to be entitled why grace is so amazing and then another message entitled the gift we cannot live without another message. The miracle we need.

I hope that you will be here and invite your friends because because were going to find that the narrow path is fraught with beauty and glory and under. I can't leave you here, I Pronounce the benediction now so I need to give you a little bit of insight as to where were going one day Jesus told a parable and he said you know there were two people who went into the temple to pray, there's one man who said Lord I thank the but I'm not like other men, adulterers, extortioners pieces I'm not like that I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess. Thank God. But for the grace of God I be like others, but you've been good to me and I'm here in the temple to thank you for your goodness. There was another man.

Jesus said, who came to the very same temple. He was a publican and he didn't have the nerve to raise his eyes toward heaven when he prayed because somehow in raising his eyes. It was as if he would look into the face of God than he knew that God was holy and he knew what was in his own heart, so he never prayed that way.

He just smote his breast and said the merciful to me, the center and Jesus said that that man who was a much greater sinner than the other man standing over there that man Jesus said went away was home justified.

The other man didn't. I don't miss my point even though the other man gave God for the good works that he did even those works that he did because God gave them the grace to do it. Those works were works of lawlessness and damn forever, you realize it's possible that someday people will stand in the presence of God and say, oh God, I was a member of Moody Church. Oh God I sang in the choir all got I taught Sunday school. Oh, I got a record for perfect attendance.

I read my Bible through every year old God, God will say all that you did were works of lawlessness.

I never knew you doors slammed shut forever and that's it.

What is it that you need to do my friend today to give up once and for all.

All attempts to think that you are going to help God in the process of salvation is to see yourself as a center that is helpless and needy in the presence of a God whose holiness is so ablaze that if we were to see him for a moment, we would disintegrate.

It is to look upon God would be far more difficult than it ever would be for us to look upon the sun for the brightness and the glory and the wonder of God would exclude all that. And here we stand helplessly where it not for his grace in Christ, we would be damn forever. He would say to all of us, even those of us who are in religious work. Do kind of thing. They are works of lawlessness owes the tragedy of misplaced faith, genuine, genuine deception, I urge you today to come to the only one qualified to save you throw all pretense see yourself and cast yourself upon the mercy of God in Christ. Apart from that, the door will be close to you to let us pray for father. We are frightened when we read this passage because it causes all of us to look within and to say have I really believed have I really believe what is it that I have trusted did I trust all the good works that I trust my own commitment to decency at this moment. I pray that your Holy Spirit would enable everyone who is listen to this message.

To examine his or her heart to know whether or not they have saving really believed, have mercy on us father because we are creatures who love deception love it.

We are not creatures who want to admit our sinfulness show us who we are and shows who you are now before I close this prayer. Where are you in your relationship with God the Broadway with all of its options. The narrow way which leads to life, you talk to God right now you tell them where you're at, you tell right now. Father, have mercy on those who are deceived, pray in Jesus name) pastoral concern at this moment, my heart extends to your heart. I need to ask you the question have you saving really believed on Christ. Take out time now and make sure that that is indeed something that you have done to receive the free gift of eternal life. You've just heard a message that really encompasses the ministry of running to win getting the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.

Meanwhile, I hold in my hands a book entitled, when a good man falls. If you ever asked yourself the question why it is that good people do bad things well in this book I discussed many of the characters of the Bible and one of them is Solomon.

Solomon was a man with two hearts. He had a heart for God.

He also had a heart for this world and you know in one sense, that actually is a description of all of us. Isn't it I wrote this book to give people hope it's the story of Moses, of Joan of know Gideon and others who served God but then who fell, but God nevertheless use them.

This is the last day, we are making this resource available and by the way the last chapter is entitled restoring the fallen.

As I mentioned, for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. And today, again I mentioned that it is the last opportunity that you have to get this resource hope that you have a pencil ready go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book when a good man falls and let me thank you in advance for helping us financially as we get the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. I know for another chance for you to ask investor looks or question about the Bible or the Christian life interpreting the Bible correctly involves understanding the context in which a given verse appears this may be at the heart of Marlene's question who asks some 82 six says we are all children of the most high. What does that mean since many in the New Age movement. Quote this saying Marlene thank you so much for your question and that yes the Bible does have some phrases like the one that you quoted that we are children of the most high, and so forth. But always you have to look at these verses in context as a matter fact there in the Psalms. I think it's referring to the judges whom God appointed and there are verses in the New Testament to talk about. We are all children of God by faith in Christ, etc., etc., and the impression can be given that indeed the word all means every last individual when really it can't because it is very clear that not all of us as human beings are children of the most high. In fact all that you need to do is to read the New Testament and discover that Jesus said you are of your father the devil, and on and on. The Bible makes a great distinction between those who really do belong to God and those who belong to God because they were created by him in that sense, they are his children, but they are not sons and daughters of the Almighty purchased by the blood of Christ. There is no evidence in the New Testament or the old for new age thought that everybody is a son of God, or that all of us are gods in all that we have to do is to realize our godhood that is heresy. It is demonic and it's not true to the Scriptures. Thank you Marlene.

Thank you Dr. Luther for that perceptive answer if you'd 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 that running to when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. We've all heard the well-known song now. Let's answer the question why is grace amazing. Once people understand what the Bible teaches about salvation. They know that Grace is unmerited favor and they think God every day for the grace that made it possible for them to become citizens of heaven. Next time I'm running to win will discover what grace is and why that grace is truly indispensable. Running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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