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Conflicts Of Conscience Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2022 1:00 am

Conflicts Of Conscience Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 15, 2022 1:00 am

When authorities tell us to do one thing, and the Bible tells us to do the opposite, what do we do? Whenever possible, we should be in the culture, just like Daniel and his friends in Babylon who worked for the king who had destroyed their homeland. But sometimes, we must resolve to take a stand and draw a line in the sand. In this message, we’ll contemplate biblical principles when we face conflicts of conscience. Let’s prepare to face any consequences from a hostile world. 

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Rain forests looking to Jesus when the government says one thing the Bible says the opposite. What do we do.

The answers are not always clear. Since we are called to obey those who rule over us.

All four men handling this in ancient Babylon can give us guidance from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win when books are clear teaching sauce make it across the finish line. Today we continue a series on the church in Babylon unleashing the power of the spirit filled witness estimates are where are we headed today as we learn from Daniel chapter 1 again. Even as I have read the book of Daniel throughout the years. I am still so impressed with the fact that these four young men found themselves in a pagan culture serving an evil king and yet knowing that they had to draw a line in the sand and say we can do this but we can't do that and we are going to be faithful to God and take the consequences. What a lesson for us and this of course is based on a series of messages as you have already mentioned the church in Babylon. I've written a book entitled the church in Babel and it contains a lot of information that is not in the sermon series. But what I want to do is to try to help people think through what's happening in the culture and were we also find ourselves and how we can be faithful and take the consequences and accept those consequences as a badge of honor for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours, simply go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Now let's listen to God's word.

God is not absent from his people and it's times like this, we have to remind ourselves of the promises of Scripture.

I shall never leave the nor forsake Hebrews chapter 13 I think it is verse five has actually five negatives in the verse in Greek if I could just have roughly translated, I will know not leave you, I will know never say you five times God says never, never, never, never, never, he is with us no matter the trial that we are going through. God is there, thank you for those man's God is there with us. Rejoice in his sovereignty. We are where we are by a divine will, even if we're here because of our disobedience that that's exactly what the text teaches here. God was with them know they were there because of their disobedience.

Second, we must rely on the wisdom of God the wisdom of God. Nothing for a moment.

These four boys and were gonna be talking about three of them in the next message Daniel was exempt from that experience. There may be reasons for that is prominence.

That's the next message when I speak about the state becoming God, but please know that God gave them the wisdom to know how to navigate this issue of conscience. For one thing, what they did is they suggested to the Chief of Staff that there was an alternative. Why might they not be able to test the fact that vegetables work better than them eating the Kings food not so sure whether or not this is a great argument for a vegetarian diet, though some people have taken it that way so what Daniel did as he got the intention of this Chief of Staff and after getting his intention explained to him that he can't eat the food, but he came up with an alternative and the Chief of Staff bought it. Sometimes when we are confronted with a conflict of conscience.

What we have to do is to ask ourselves is there an alternative can we discuss with the person to whom we owe this allegiance or who has brought this conflict upon us. Can we discuss with him the rationale of our own convictions and to do so with respect for his convictions, or may the lack of them, and for respect for our own convictions, Stuart Briscoe, who many of you know, because he was and that a great pastor and he and his wife Jill do missionary work all over them world. I really do admire them. Stuart Briscoe said that when he was back in England.

He was working in a bank, and the chief officer of the bank wanted him to do something that was really thievery.

He basically wanted to steal from the customers and stored.

Of course, would have nothing to do with that.

But he said this to his superior if you want me to steal for you. What makes you think that I would not steal from you if I had the opportunity that bank official began to think you know may be eroding the character of those who work with me is not the best idea because it has ramifications. It has implications when it comes to some things, even, such as whether or not you should attend this wedding or that wedding there may not be an immediate answer. And by the way there made the differences of opinion among Christians know the apostle Paul in the book of Corinthians. Basically devoted a chapter to the fact that some people have a conscience whereby they can eat meat offered to idols and others can and what he saying is give the people some space because some people have a different view of viewing things than others but listen carefully. We have to say to this generation that love and conscience are not in conflict is a sometimes we have people say well you know if you are really loving you would do ABCD where is your love well. Love is great, but it should never be opposed to my conscience no matter what my personal conviction should be love should always abound. Understanding insight. The ability to be able to to think clearly on this issue is so critical and and there may be a difference of opinion, but just because you're under pressure does not mean that you should ever violate your conscience because the Bible says whatever is not of faith is sin. So for you. It may be sin to do one thing, it may not be sin for the other because he thinks that he can do it in faith and talking now about issues that may not be entirely absolute. The absolutes we must obey. But exactly how we show love where we go, who we connect with God may give us some space and some freedom. Just knowing that whatever is not of faith is sin. And then of course the bottom line. I say that all of these good-looking young people who are here today on the platform, not to mention all of the others that are out there don't want to leave anybody out there comes a time when you draw a line in the sand and then you simply take your lumps.

Whatever happens, happens.

You want me to bow down to worship. I refused to do it. I've drawn the line in the sand here to stay at Ishii Cundiff on this, all of you should know that don't you not Romanian. Here I stand I can do no other to go against conscience is neither right nor safe, and you take your lumps and Luther fought that he would be put to death because of the decree of Charles V, two said anyone who finds them and killing but there are times when you simply take your stand. Whether you get thrown in the den of lions. When Rebecca and I were in Germany we been both in what is known as the West and the East and of course now it's unified, but there was a time when the East was under communism. We were there talking to a pastor in the actually the church were Luther preached his last sermon. As a matter of fact, and it so happened that I had his last sermon there and they actually allowed me to go on to the pulpit and preach a summary of it. But here's what he told us he said when communism came the communist said if you go to church. Your kids can't go to university, you won't get the best job, you'll have to just be a laborer and so what did people do they basically buckle said if that's the price of living in getting my kids a good education will surrender and will go along with the state, but there were some people who draw the line in the sand and said we will not stop associating ourselves as Christians, we will not give up our faith. We will not go with the communist line and many of them were marginalized. Perhaps some of them were put to death, and so forth.

But I may ask you something thousand years from now fact a lot less than a thousand years from now, who made the best decision we made the best decision is not those whose children were promoted who were given a good education, though I understand that as a father and a grand mother the best decision were those who stood and said we refused to surrender our rights to the state and we will live for Christ and take the consequences. They were the wisest. So what we must do is to seek God for wisdom. Draw a line in the sand and say here we stand even at great personal cost. Young people in universities, colleges, you must draw that line in the sand.

You must resolve like Daniel and say I refused to be defiled refused to be defiled. What Daniel said and he lived up to it.

Finally, it's important for us to understand the purposes of God in all of this. What was God's purpose in taking the Israelites to Babylon well. His purpose actually had two purposes. One for them and one for the Babylonians. The purpose for them. The Israelites was that God says I'm not here to destroy you. Remember chapter 29 verse 11. If you were here last time for God says I am not here to destroy you. I am here to bless you and to give you a future and a hope. I'm here not to destroy you, but I am here to refine you because of your idolatry and turning away from me, but my intention toward you survived here is good. I want to humble you not destroy you, but humble.

Did you know that that is God's agenda for the church today, we look around and everything that is been nailed down is being torn up every day on the news. Some new Domino falls. The question is what do we do what is God saying God is saying I am humbling. I'm bringing you down to give you a future and a hope.

That's his goal for the church.

As for the culture at large is our responsibility to witness to them. Tim Keller said some very interesting things about the exile that were speaking about here. What does this mean for Christians the fact that we are losing so many battles, he says, Christian should be humbled before the new pagan literalistic situation. Just as with the exiles of the situation is due in large part to our own failings.

The church did not lose its position of privilege simply because it evil enemies of the faith we lost our position as part of God's judgment on our pride are hypoxia. See our love of power are prejudice our bigotry and failure to hold on to the truth and so God said, he says that this is the way in which God gets people's attention and then he says and what a rebuke.

This is what we need to hear it. We must be far harder on ourselves in gracious, humble repentance, then we are on the unbelieving culture around us.

That was a major lesson for the exiles and for us.

Our first report response should be repentance.

We should be very understanding toward people catch this now toward people who have failed to believe in Christ because of the weakness of the churches testimony a lot more of what is happening in our culture today may be our fault that we are willing to admit. I want to talk and end in just a moment by reminding you that Jesus was crucified in weakness during a whole lot of people on his side when he died on the cross and yet Jesus in being crucified in weakness and imagine that seed falling into the ground and the marvelous fruit that brought forth in the very same way we are today as a church culturally weak.

Few people pay attention to us.

Often times we are despised, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not. The question is are we willing to be weak for the sake of the gospel and if you're here today and you're not quite sure how Jesus Christ in his weakness brought about the great victory of his redemption. Remember that when he died on the cross. His death was a sacrifice for sinners and some of you are listening to this have to hear that because you came with a troubled conscience in your conscience is troubled because of your sin. Jesus has a good cure for sin in substituting himself in our place. He died that we might have eternal life and all that we have to do is to receive that eternal life by faith, and when we do we become his children and suddenly we realize we are children of our father in heaven.

Father we ask in Jesus name that in a confused culture. Help us to live wisely.

May we not defile ourselves and give us wisdom as we make decisions regarding conflicts of conscience both to be lenient when we should be and yet at the same time to draw a line in the sand and delightfully and joyfully pay the consequences. We love you. May there be people today who believe on Christ that they might be children of the most high pray in his name. Amen this is Pastor Luther.

As you know, I deeply believe that it is our responsibility to be involved in the world not of the world, but in the world even as Jesus prayed. It's also my deep belief that we are best equipped, if we understand the culture. That's why I've written a book entitled the church in Babylon. Now the book contains many different topics.

For example, the subject of technology, the church technology and purity is one of the chapters transgender is him sexuality and the church, Islam and immigration. All of these issues are covered because I want us to better understand the culture that we might know our responsibility in the midst of it now.

This book can be yours for a gift of any amount and thank you so much for helping us running to win is in 20 different countries in three different languages and we seek to expand this ministry for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours.

Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 now let me give you that contact info again and thanks in advance for helping us ask for the book the church in Babylon. You can go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The New Testament has 27 books but some people wonder why there aren't more piggy was instrumental in MW YFG in Ashland, Virginia. She has this question.

What are your feelings about the Gospels. According to Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Judas. Why were these books not added to the New Testament. I'm so glad that you asked that question, Peggy, and I am ready with an answer. You know during the days when the da Vinci code was news. I wrote a book entitled the da Vinci deception and the da Vinci code as you will remember, is basically based on this Gnostic Bible. Now I have a copy of the Gnostic Bible and it is just as thick as our regular Bible and it has all of these Gnostic books you mentioned only a very few of them. So why is it that these aren't in the Bible. Let me give you a couple of reasons. First of all, they are so furious, that is to say they are false writings for a couple of reasons. First of all, when you read them you notice how different they are from the New Testament, you know, the New Testament has names of places of people in relationship to Jesus.

It also has set references to the Sea of Galilee in the mountains and so forth when you will find is that these books refer to known historical events of these books actually were written by gnostics. Now that word Gnostic comes from the word knowledge. They believed that they had hidden knowledge and much of this knowledge was derived from a mystical view of the world. Many of them were followers of Plato.

So what they tried to do is to harmonize the New Testament with platonic writings and that's basically what the Gnostic Gospels really are. One thing that we know and every scholar admits, for example, is that their authorship is not genuine. That is to say nobody believes that Thomas actually wrote the book of Thomas and nobody believes these sorts of references what scholars generally say is that they attributed their Gospels to somebody who was famous so that people would read them. Of course when the New Testament says I Paul am writing this, we believe very deeply that it is authentic that Paul wrote these books you have no such assurance in the Gnostic Gospels and the bottom line is this the late date.

You know that the New Testament, by and large, is a reference to eyewitness accounts, you know, John was there when Jesus was crucified and when he was raised and so forth. The Gnostic Gospels occurred about 150 to 200 years after our regular Gospels were written so as a result, you find a lot of speculation, but you have no historical verification. Let me put it to you this way whose account of the say George Washington, would you want to believe somebody who knew George Washington who saw him who interacted with him or somebody who speculated about Washington hundred and 50 years after he lived and tried to combine his beliefs with some philosophy that meant something to somebody so that's what we are really confronted with. You may be aware of the fact that recently.

It is been said that Jesus might've been married because there was some kind of a reference to Jesus and Mary Magdalene in a small scrap of manuscript that existed and that manuscript also goes back to about the third or fourth centuries.

So of course it is furious that we do not have any assurance that it is based on historical fact we have Matthew Mark Luke and John with some rather detailed accounts of Christ and yet of course there is no reference to Jesus marrying anyone, and most of us would believe that that would've been impossible because of who Jesus was and all of the theological implications. The 27 books that we have been the New Testament, they were accepted by the church over a period of time and as since that time, no book has had a serious claim to the canon. Yes, there have been those who have wanted to add to the New Testament, but when you read the books that they want to add even when you read them you don't get the sense of divine inspiration, and furthermore many of these books contradict the 27 books of the New Testament, so we need to believe that God preserved his word and most assuredly the Gnostic Gospels are not the word of God. If you don't believe me just pick up a Gnostic Bible and begin to read them and you'll see that they are filled with many foolish ideas and they simply do not have the earmarks of authenticity. Thank you Peggy for your question. Thank you Dr. Luther for helping us understand which books belong in the New Testament.

If you'd like to hear your question answered no 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 have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 every day government pressure mounts on the Christian faith. How should believers react next time I'm running to win. Don't miss what happens when the state becomes God running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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