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A Discerning Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2022 1:00 am

A Discerning Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 30, 2022 1:00 am

The gate to hell is right next to the gate that leads to heaven. How did Judas, who followed Christ for three years, not go through the gate to heaven? Judas’ covetous heart, determined will, and deceitful mind led him to the wrong door. Then when Judas had the chance, he rejected God’s grace. Is it possible that we could be so near, and yet so far, just like Judas? 

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Run with endurance the race is looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our today was to ponder the mystery man whose heart was so black that he could look Jesus in the and still betray him to his enemies is possible I could being so near and yet so far, ponder this and then stay with us from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Erwin Moser is clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are the capacity for great evil lies within every heart, tell us where were going in today's message will, of course, today's messages about Judas and Dave. I need to tell you that many years ago Rebecca and I were in Germany and we saw the passion play and when it came to the soliloquy that Judas gave. It was difficult to hold back the tears, the wailing, the weeping, that regrets this is a very sobering message. It's a message that ought to strike our hearts because all of us are capable of huge deception. I've written a book entitled the church in Babel and then this is one of the last days, we are making it available but just opening it, I noticed that one of the chapters is entitled Jesus at the church door prayerless pulpit satisfied saints and spiritual blindness that could be true of us all. For a gift of any amount.

This book can be yours.

Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let us listen to a man whose heart was clearly in the Babylon of his day's first name is Judas and the word Judas derived from Judah means praise his last name is Iscariot, which means a man from carry off a little town in southern Judah. We think of Judas Iscariot is the man who betrayed Jesus. What we sometimes forget is that he was at one time, a teenager, all of the idealism, the hopes and the dreams of youth. We also forget that at one time he was a little baby in his mother's arm sent apparently she and her husband had high hopes for him, naming him Judas praise, possibly after Judas Maccabees 1 of the great heroes of Israel.

We don't know exactly when Judas and Jesus met but we can imagine that Jesus, after a night of prayer shows Judas as one of his disciples. Somehow, within Judas, his boyhood dreams of grandeur may have come to the surface. We can imagine almost in contemporary terms how Judas might have said to himself.

This will look good in the college alumni newspaper.

Jesus chooses Judas. But the problem was that there were some character flaws in Judas, which were not immediately discernible, but which became clear later. The experts tell us that when you have a blowout along the expressway attire blows out that actually the small cracks that cause did probably are months old, if not years old, but the cracks are microscopic. They can't be clearly seen and then suddenly when you have a blog you say will now look what happened.

Attire became weak, but it was a weakness that was developing over a period of years in the very same way as we take the lands and look into Judas's life and heart as we shall do today, we discover that the blowout the eventual decision to betray Christ was actually long in coming because of those character laws. Many of you will know that this is a series of messages titled the wind. Jesus has your heart and today's message is a discerning heart. It's the kind of heart I might add that Judas did not have. It's the heart that the 11 disciples had but Judas did not. When Jesus captures our hearts. We do have discerning hearts, but Jesus never did capture the heart of Judas. Let's look at the context of the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John. John chapter 13 Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples, and he washed the feet of all the disciples, the feet of Judas were as clean as the feet of Peter, but unfortunately Judas is heart was foul for evil had penetrated even the inner circle of Jesus Christ's disciples, and what are those character flaws that led to Judas betrayal of Jesus.

First of all, he had a covetous heart a covetous heart. If you were to take your Bibles at the 13th chapter of John and turned back just a page as it is in my Bible to the 12th chapter you find in verse two there was a dinner that was given in Jesus honor Martha served while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.

Verse three.

Then Mary took up kind of pure nard and expensive perfume. She reported on Jesus feet and wiped his feet with her hair.

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him.

John is writing this letter after the event so that he understands now what he did not understand at the time Judas objected. Why was this perfume not sold and the money given to the poor.

It was worth a year's wages. John adds he did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief in the keeper of the money bag and he is to help himself to what was put into it.

How did Judas pilfer money did he just put his hand in the bag and take it. Maybe that's what he did. Maybe when he was sent to buy $50 worth of food we could say he actually used 45 but said that he use the full 50 and pocketed the rest.

One thing we do know about Judas is that he loved money. There's another statement of that found in the Gospel of Matthew that I showed read it says this then one of the 12 one. Colder, Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and asked what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you so they counted out for him a 30 silver coins and then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Now mind you, this covetous heart was cloaked with a great deal of religiosity and ask chapter 1 Peter is talking about what happened in the need to fill the vacancy that Judas created, and he says he had a part in this ministry a remember the disciples did not know that Judas was a deceiver. You know what that means when the disciples healed the sick, Judas healed the sick. When the disciples cast out demons that at least appeared as if Judas was casting out demons when the disciples evangelized Judas evangelized.

He had apart all this ministry and in a one level was one with those disciples is a matter of fact it is not only true that his covetousness was cloaked with religion. It was also cloaked with deep friendship. Your Bible is now open to the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John. You'll notice it says in verse 18 Jesus is saying I'm not referring to all of you. I know whom I have chosen and is talking about someone among them who is unclean and then he says this is to fulfill the Scripture.

He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me and Jesus is quoting Psalm 41 verse nine it's a reference to a man by the name of the fellow who was a close friend of David and Batman ended up betraying David and going over to the side of the enemy now.

What's remarkable is the integrity of Scripture because the quotation in the Psalm says he who ate the bread with me. My friend whom I trusted, has lifted up his heel against me. You'll notice when Jesus quotes that passage, he leaves out that phrase whom I trusted, because Jesus never did trust Judas. Jesus knew what was in his heart, but Jesus said, my friend, my friend, with whom I have eaten has lifted up his heel against me has now betrayed to me. Have you ever experienced such betrayal of someone with whom you ate and someone whom you trust it because we are all frail and cannot see the human heart. Judas had a covetous heart loved money if you were to say now what is that crack that cause the eventual blowout. It began with that fixation on money. When Mary gave Jesus, that great gift. John says Judas objected, not because he cared for the poor was a cloak his covetous heart but because he was a thief and had the bag and Berwick was put therein and pilfered from it. The love of money was the beginning of his downfall as a second character flaw. He had a covetous heart, but he also had notice it now a deceitful mind.

Did you know that our minds tend to rationalize what our desires really want.

We are basically desired driven.

We are not mine, driven we are driven by our desires and the mind comes along and makes those desires plausible and gives us a reason to believe that it's okay to follow those desires. Judas reveals to us what is there. I mentioned that he had a covetous heart. How do we know that he had a deceitful mind. The mind now is going to have to justify that which is in the heart and we pick up the text of Scripture. John 13 Jesus is speaking in verse 21 and after he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and testified, I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me. I want you to just hear the pathos in the heart and mind and the voice of Jesus. One of you is going to betray me to the everlasting credit of the disciples, they did not point fingers.

They didn't say what you know. I've often wondered about Nathaniel and Thomas didn't say to himself, you know that loudmouth Peter he's probably the guy according to the book of Matthew, where we have a similar account. Each one of the disciples in effect went around the table and asked this question, surely not.

I Lord and then we read in Matthew chapter 26, this question Judas would betray him, said notice the difference.

Now, surely not.

I Rabbi he did not call Christ, Lord, I want you to know how he played the game. They are all asking is it not I am Judas asks Shirley it is and I Rabbi and the disciples don't know what is lurking behind his mother, his heart and his mind smooth as oil now trust Peter to want to know who it is, whom Jesus is speaking so Peter says the disciples. The Scripture says stared at one another at a loss to know who of them might meant one of them. The disciple whom Jesus loved, that was John was reclining next to him.

So Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, in effect, John, your closest to Jesus as they were sitting around is a low table. Actually not sitting on chairs at the 16th-century portrait, the one that we are use to but reclining on the floor and so Peter says to John asking who it is.

And Jesus answered and said, it is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish and then dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon Jesus said he is the one. But Jesus talked so silently, but the rest of the disciples did not catch what is being said. John points that out in the very next I want you to know what happens. Jesus is sitting there giving Judas the place of honor Judas is to the left of Jesus.

John is in the bosom of Jesus as they reclined in one another's bosoms is at work around this table and there's no doubt that the reason Judas was at the place of honor is because Jesus invited him to come there and said, in effect, Judas sit next to me. Today I honor you, but if you do not honor me.

Someday I shall have to condemn you, Judas, is this really what you want to do is this really the desire of your heart and notice what happened. Judas takes the saw.

It was customary to take a bit of mutton and to put it in the dish and to hand it to the honored guest and Jesus honors him by giving it to him and Judas receives it and it says in verse 27.

As soon as he took the bread Satan entered into him.

Time for a pause in this message is time that we just talked. I taught I heart to heart life to life, truth to truth. You notice it is not necessary to invite Satan in in order for him to come in. Judas did not have to say.

Satan please enter me, Satan entered because as long as Judas was going to do the work of the devil. The devil who does not play by rules who is not a gentleman who comes in uninvited simply began to take over and said you stand on my territory.

You play my game and I have come to take charge Satan enters into him to give him the strength of the ability and the rationalizations to do what he needs to do because sitting there in the presence of the disciples, he did not even blush. Jesus said to him what you're going to do to quickly disciples don't know what Jesus is saying there still thinking that he's asking Judas to go and buy something what the text says verse 30 soon as Judas had taken the bread he went out and it was night.

John wants us to understand is that he who was now night goes into the blackness into the darkness because all of the night of that fateful evening in Jerusalem was now wrapped up in the heart of Judas whose heart tainted by Satan. The behavior of a saint heart of the devil. What was it that caused Judas to betray Christ hit a covetous heart get that money. Whether you live forever. Whether you steal about it, whether you betray for it at all costs get.

Then he had a deceitful mind that came along and said I'm going to go through the charade. I'm going to go through the game and play it in such a way that the other disciples will not even know who I really am. Jesus knows they won't is 1/3 character flaw on that is a very determined, will very determined will he has such a hard heart. Now at this point that he's determined to do several things. First of all he's determined to betray Jesus at all costs and the cost for him was hell. But at all cost.

He will betray Jesus. We read in the book of Matthew how it went. While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the 12 arrived with him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them. Notice this, the one I kiss is the man arrest him going at once to Jesus, Judas said, greetings Rabbi and kissed him.

Jesus ever the gentleman replies friend friend do what you've come to do.

I'm so sobered by those words. I'm so sobered by the deception of the human heart in my book entitled the church in Babel and I tell a story of a friend of mine in Germany who said that he was in a church where handbills were being played. Someone who was inebriated, walked to the front took the tablecloth and shook it to, and of course all of the handbells went in different directions, but the music kept playing, you've heard of lip-synch will this was handbell sink is that the way your life is just a charade you're playing but you're not real I wrote this book entitled the church in Babel and by the way, this is one of the last times we are making it available to you. I wrote the book to help us to understand what is happening in the culture but also to understand the deception of the human heart, and how this is not a time for us to play church for gift of any amount. This book can be yours.

Here's what you can do.

Go to RTW and let me pause and thank you in advance for helping us running to win exists because of the friendship and the support of thousands of people just like you go to RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. As a matter fact you can call right now.

Let me give you that number again 1-888-218-9337. Meanwhile let us search our hearts that we might not be a Judas but that we like the other disciples might follow Jesus Christ all the way to the and it's time again for you to ask Master lutes or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. How do you handle a boss who has it out for you. Sherry from North Carolina asks I'm an African-American woman who teaches at a small college. The Lord has given me a great opportunity to help build their music department by starting their first instrumental music division while any enterprise like this is both exciting and challenging.

There've been many ups and downs but the Lord has granted grace through these times my department chair who claims to be a Christian has become my spear thrower as you describe in your book.

When you've been wronged you advice about getting away from the spear thrower is good but what about when I cannot get away from a career standpoint I need to build my level of performance and build my student base to have any credibility in my field. What should I do Sherry. First of all, my sister let me say that my heart goes out to you and I know it must be very difficult to work with someone and for someone who is not on your side. But having said that, there is very little that you can do about your predicament.

Unless of course you feel confident enough that you can discuss the predicament with him.

I pray that you will be able to.

And maybe if you share your heart with your boss and say you know in these instances, it appears as if you really not been on my side and there things that are happening here that inhibit my ability to serve you well, it could well be that if you humble yourself you'll be willing to come through and to say yes I see what you are saying and some resolution can happen now if that doesn't happen. However, then the only thing that you can do is to bear it. And remember this. This is been a great encouragement to me. God would never have allowed the pain that you are going through unless he intended that it bear fruit you member when I discussed spear throwers and that of course is a reference to solve who tried to pin David to the wall sold was the spear thrower God preserved David for 10 long years before Saul died and I don't know how long you been in your position, but just know that God will preserve you. You're working in an environment that is not conducive to all of your abilities and your desires. But God will use you where you are, I suggest that you stay that you pray that you commit and that you communicate and God will help you all the way to the end.

Thank you Sherry for sharing your story and when the music department does its first CD you send one depressed elixir. If you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our 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 it's good to pause in the race of life long enough to examine our hearts and find out what really motivates us.

Judas shows us how far away we can all from Christ. Even though all observers, we seem to be children of God. Next time I'm running to win more details on the tragic fall, Judas and the lessons we must learn from it. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored. The church

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