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When Darkness Is Called Light, And Light, Darkness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2022 1:00 am

When Darkness Is Called Light, And Light, Darkness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 24, 2022 1:00 am

Misconceptions about God have consequences. God isn’t endlessly tolerant, putting up with any attitude or behavior. God had Babylon take Israel captive after Israel had endlessly deceived itself through idolatry. But neither does He impulsively condemn. We as Christians offer His hope, forgiveness, and help today. In this message, we’ll isolate four lies about a nation’s sins. What is it about our concept of God that needs adjustment?  

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Log Babylon to Israel After Israel deceived himself into idolatry. You will not tolerate endless disobedience from his people did not then and will not today. The story is in the early chapters of Jeremiah from the church in Chicago this morning to when one looks clear.

Teaching helps us make it cross the finish line. Today we continue a series on the church in Babylon unleashing the power of a spiritual witness estimates are living in crazy times times describing very well in today's message. When darkness is called light and light darkness what so important for listeners to understand is this that as we think about the sexual revolution in America. It is not enough to simply take that which is evil and call it good.

That's only half of the equation. It's not finished until you take that which is good and call it evil. And that's what we are experiencing in this world, and we experience it through what I call propaganda where you tell people what they want to hear but then you give them what you want them to have.

I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. It's because we have so many people holding our hands, figuratively speaking, that we are able to continue this ministry and even expand it. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and of course the amount that you give is totally your decision but you need more info.

Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 because of people like you this ministry, as I've already mentioned continues to expand and we want to help as many people as possible to make it all the way to the finish line. Now we go to the pulpit of Moody church to continue our discussion of the church in Babylon was the prophet Isaiah who said woe to those who called darkness to light and light darkness. The prophet Jeremiah would've certainly agreed were living at a time of the inverted values where light is darkness and dark is light numbered years ago in the legislature in Kansas.

A man by the name of Joe Wright prayed a prayer.

Now everybody in the Senate was expecting the usual attitude that don't mean anything, but he tried to shed some light on our nation and in part this is what he prayed. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word and called it pluralism we have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism we have endorsed perversion and called it an alternate lifestyle. We've exploited the poor and called that the lottery we have killed her unborn and called the choice we have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition, we have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed time-honored values of our forefathers and we have called it enlightenment you can understand that the reaction was immediate.

Some walked out of the Senate immediately. Later on he received many phone calls, most of which by the way, overwhelmingly were in favor of his prayer, but the opposition continued for weeks after that prayer in the Senate trying to shed some light on a nation that calls light darkness and darkness, light, and we see this today morally. I mean we can refer to what is happening as a result of same-sex marriage, and that legislation now. Of course the boys can enter into girls washrooms if they are transgender and that if the girls complain they have no argument because all of the rights belong to the transgender people and not to them, and then the governor of California signing a law that says now in California. Children can have more than two parents they can have three or four or whatever the total destruction of the family is called progress.

We are actually moving down a very progressive way and a progressive road light is being called darkness and darkness is being called light.

We should look religiously and what we find is because of a misinterpretation of the separation of church and state is a nation. Now we have said that all public expressions of Christianity in the so-called public sphere are to be criminalized so freedom of speech is constantly being marginalized and challenged and we call that progress now. If you're thinking that this message is only going to be reiterating the sins of our nation.

I want to let you know that there is going to also be hope.

Most assuredly, as we begun this series of messages on the book of Jeremiah hope will be given, and I certainly don't want to give the impression as some people have that all of you Christians do is condemn people and that's all that you really are able to do. As if that is Christianity. Last week I found myself at an airport two hours longer than I intended. Because the plane is late so I struck up a conversation with a woman there and done, of course, immediately within three or four questions I was talking to her about God and religion all those things she said long ago I gave up on Christianity because in my church it was obeying a list of rules and if you didn't oh they those rules you went to hell and I smiled at her. I said can you imagine that if that's your view of Christianity, how the world can that be good news. When the gospel is some very good news. Your church has misled you. If that is Christianity. So we're going to be able to offer hope and forgiveness and help. But we have to paint the picture as it exists before we can do that we have to see the darkness before we come to the light, and certainly no profit enables us to see that darkness as well is Jeremiah. It is a difficult book. It's difficult because chapter after chapter God is angry at sin and God is judging his people, but the parallels between that and today are really endless and very applicable.

Now, if you've already felt offended and I'm scarcely into the message I want you to hang on because at the end of the day will have something to say to you that might be very helpful in transforming the matter what your response so far to this message has been when we open the book of Jeremiah, and I certainly hope that you were here last time because this happens to be the second in a series of messages entitled the church in Babylon and were really not yet in Babel and in this series that's coming up in a number of different messages, but that we already see the influence of babbling in the nation of Judah and the book of Jeremiah opens with the call of Jeremiah and all that we covered last time, but that it goes on to speak about the fact that God is filing for divorce. God files for divorce with the people of Judah, you know, he says in chapter 2 I remember the devotion of your youth. Your love as a bride how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown, Israel was holy to the Lord. The first fruits of his harvest, and so he talks about the time when he courted the nation and now the nation has left him and God says them. I'm about to divorce. You know whether or not God goes through with the divorce or not you're going to have to wait until the end of the message. But God did divorce the northern kingdom explained last time that after the time of Solomon.

You had the northern kingdom which is called Israel.

That's confusing for us today is in it because today we call the entire land of Israel. But that was Israel that you capital was Samaria and the southern kingdom was called Judah, and the capital, of course, was Jerusalem, so you'll notice in chapter 3 the Lord says in verse eight, she saw that for all the adulteries of that faith was one Israel God is talking about Judah now she saw the faithless one. Israel I sent her away with the decree of divorce yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she went and played the horror as well.

So what God is saying is I sent as Syria that captured the northern kingdom 721 and all of the Jews were taken captive to Assyria and you didn't learn and now you're doing the very same things. So I'm filing for divorce with you as well. And the Lord talks about that and says I will contend with you when I got to go into all the evidence as to why God had a right to divorce his people, except to say that there was a time when I was taking care of you. I was with you there in Egypt, I led you across the Red Sea and now you've turned to other God. I know that America is not Israel but sometimes there are interesting parallels. It is true that in our history as a country. The Judeo-Christian influence was huge and now we've turned away from all that consciously. So is this message will point out. Here's what I'd like to do and thank you for giving me permission to do it, though, as I frequently say I do it whether I had your permission or not and that is I'm going to give you for a lie is that a nation gladly believes in the process of turning light into darkness and darkness into light nations cast about saying I want these lies where can I find them wide isolated four of them were only going to look at a few verses from the book of Jeremiah. Obviously I'm not going to be going through verse by verse or chapter by chapter. You can read that on your own, but here are the lies number one.

The consequences of our rebellion can be managed isn't that serious.

If we leave the Lord because we can handle whatever happens as a result of our rebellion.

They said we can handle it politically.

God says you see Babel and is going to come and is going to destroy all of you, and eventually that happens. That's why this series is so important were going to weep with Jeremiah when that happens, but you'll notice what the Lord says in verse 17. Now I'm in chapter 2 verse 17 have you.

You brought this upon yourself. God says by forsaking the Lord your God, and know what you gain by going to Egypt and later on he's is going to Assyria. Assyria was a world power, but was diminishing so the folks of Judah thought we can actually become allies with Assyria against Babel in order Egypt they'll help us so they turn to politics to deliver them. And I have to say that politics is very important.

I was in Washington about two weeks ago and one of our congressman said this to a few of us. He said you know you expect us to enact righteous laws and value driven laws here in Washington. How can we do that unless you send us with those kinds of values. I thought you know he really has a point here, wow, yeah.

How can we expect righteousness, and righteous laws to come from Washington.

In light of who we send to Washington politics is important but it isn't all important. When God wants to judge and nation. No political party can keep off that judgment. That's what God is saying here as he tells the people you think you can handle it by depending upon another country so they thought that they could handle the consequences of their disobedience politically but also individually. You'll notice he says in verse 22 though your will wash yourself with a lie and use much soap the state of your guilt is still before me. They thought we can take care of our sin by some home remedies all that we need to do is to look at it externally and think to ourselves, we can take care of our own consciences. We can take care of this staying that is in our hearts we can do all that on our own because we know that we can wash our own hearts with the water that is figuratively speaking within our own hearts and today. Of course we have many different ways that people try to handle their sand and mitigate the consequences whether it's through drugs or alcohol. Whether it's through pleasure in some way or another. The consequences of our individual disobedience.

Those consequences are masked and we want to believe the lie that sin isn't nearly as serious and its consequences. As God clearly says it is lie number one we can handle the consequences lie number two if we follow our rebellious desires. If we leave the living God.

We achieve freedom.

In fact that's what it says in verse 31 chapter 2 and you will generation. Behold, the word of the Lord have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of thick darkness. Why then do my people say we are free we won't comment to you anymore. We don't need God being need freedom so they thought to themselves, it was freedom but wasn't really freedom, no it was a kind of bondage that you don't notice at the beginning but as you go along that road you discover that all of the results begin to come in for example in chapter 2. I'm actually now backing up in verse 25 where it says keep your feet from going on. Shot in your throat from first but you said it is hopeless scribe loved foreigners that his foreign gods and will go after them. Problem is, now they are driven by these foreign gods they become the heavy users and they discover that these foreign gods.

They promise like a god, but in the end they pay like the devil they discover that they are deceived.

So the idea that if we cast off God's restraints is that citizens will let us cast aside their restraints are restraints, well you know what the next verse says in Psalm two he who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision and today we are being told that the real path to freedom is the path to do our own thing, apart from God's law and the result is an addictive society and the people also said that we can be free religiously.

We don't need God anymore look at what it says there in verse 27 there saying to the idols. You are my father and to a stone you gave me birth, for they have turned their back to me and not their face. While that phrase in itself is worthy of an entire message but in time of trouble they will say, arise and save us though say we can rebel against God. But in the end, when things are really bad will just crap to God and will expect them to come through for us and God says them. No, not necessarily because you see your heart still isn't right.

You think that the path to freedom is to be away from God and to do your thing. But the path to true freedom is to relate to the truth of God. You shall know the truth. Jesus said, and the truth shall set you free. There is nobody is free as a person who is not bound by his sin, and so God says to the people.

The path to freedom that you think exists leads to bondage. There's 1/3 lie in for this were going to actually turn to chapter 6 and that is that the new paths are better than the ancient paths the ancient paths have to be left behind. By the way so many great verses were skipping here in chapter 4.

For example, it says in verse two and following that the Lord lives, and I'm now actually in verse three for thus says the Lord, to the men and of Judah and Jerusalem break up your fallow ground. Not that word means. It means the unplowed ground. God describes in Jeremiah the different ways that people have hard hearts so he saying if you want good to see to fall into the soil, you're gonna have to break up that unplowed ground that you've allowed to go to seed with weeds, but it does not bear the right fruit. What a lesson for us today, but you'll notice in chapter 6 it says this thus says the Lord. I'm in verse 16. Are you able to keep up with me. I keep giving you the reference.

I hope that you are chapter 6, verse 16. Thus says the Lord, stand by the roads and look and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is, and walk in it and find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk and it gods as I set watchmen over you saying pay attention to the sound of the trumpet, but they say will not pay attention.

Therefore, hero nations, and no congregation. What will happen to them here on earth. Behold, I bring disaster upon this people.

I wonder if our nation United States of America hears these words last night I was meditating on this message as I do every Saturday evening.

It's amazing how things come together on Saturday evening when you have to preach on Sunday and it just dawned on me. I thought where are those points in time when America was at the crossroads when America had two rows that it could choose from and at crossroads. It made the wrong choice. A number came to me and again don't be offended. Just accept the truth. First of all, I think, in 1973 when the Supreme Court said that abortion could be performed before any reason or no reason at all and I know that there are many, to whom I'm speaking here today. I'm sure there are those of you mothers who had an abortion and I understand I understand the grief and the anguish I remember a young woman who said I don't want to kill my baby, but I get pressure from my boyfriend. I get pressure from my parents. It's a very, very complex thing, but when the Supreme Court said that pre-born infants may be killed either in the womb and oftentimes outside of the womb.

Can you even imagine what the says men to our country in terms of the value and of course we offer to all forgiveness, the grace and the cleansing of Christ, but we were at a crossroad and we took the wrong path, not the ancient path, not the biblical path we took a different path and the results are catastrophic, my friend.

Today, this is Pastor Luther and once again I want to connect with you heart to heart and tell you that no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, no matter your past.

I may be speaking to those who had an abortion. Remember that there is cleansing and there is forgiveness the ministry of running to win exists to encourage people, especially to lead them to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I have before me a letter from someone who says I'm a single mom of a teenage daughter. Sometimes I fear for the future but your preaching of God's word keeps me grounded.

I pass these messages along to my daughter, who's also uncertain about the future and then they go on to say that they are encouraged because I emphasize the sovereignty of God, and the fact that we can believe God even in the midst of a nation that has lost its way. You my friend have a part in testimonies just like this. It's because of people like you that we receive these encouraging reports would you consider becoming an endurance partner and endurance partner is someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course, the amount that you give is entirely your decision. Would you check out the info. Here is what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. As a matter fact went to pick up the phone right now and call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago. I 60614 a great deception took hold in ancient Israel leading to idolatry and judgment. The same deception infects our thinking today. Next time I'm running to win more on the destructive mindset that caused God to halt Israel into Babylon plan to listen, this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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