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May 5, 2022 1:00 am
One choice can cloud the conscience. To save his skin, Abraham bent the truth, telling Egypt’s Pharaoh that his wife was his sister. He tried to out-maneuver the Egyptians rather than trust in God. In this message, we identify four lessons at the junction of trusting or backsliding. God beckons us to return with a clear conscience to fellowship with Him.
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Run with endurance the race is before us, looking to Jesus phoned her to save his skin. Abraham tells Egypt's Pharaoh that his wife is his sister is journey of faith is earliest. As he tries to outmaneuver the Egyptians rather than trust God. The result stay with us and find out from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Sir teaching sauce make it across the finish line vasculature you've been telling us about ally Abraham told and its aftermath. I imagine there are lessons we can all take home from this account. There certainly is one important lesson we can learn and that is this when we choose to sin. Yes, we can choose to send, but we cannot choose the consequences of our sin. Those consequences are out of our hands, as Abraham learned, you know, I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent. I wrote this book so that we might be able to understand Islam better. As a matter fact as I look through the chapters I see here. Number one that we cannot take our own future for granted. When you think of Islam's expansion throughout the Middle East and North Africa. We need to ask ourselves the question what does Islam really believe we know of course, here in America.
There are many secularized Muslims and this book is also an encouragement that we might witness to them about our faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them are open to our testimony and to our witness for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the cross in the shadow of the crescent. There are four life transforming lessons from this passage for lessons that if they became a part of our lives in the fabric of our lives we might live differently when we are tempted to backslide when were tempted to wander away from God. When we begin to learn that backsliding always has more burdens than it has blessings. The first lesson is this the sin of unbelief. The sin of unbelief leads to other sins wrote at root, all sin has as its new Gillis unbelief because unbelief says I know better than God. If I follow him. I'm not can have the pleasures that I know I should have. I'm not going to have the advantage that I know that I should have I not going to have what I think should be coming to me.
I'm going to be treated unfairly. Following God is not as profitable as following my own way.
So we do our own thing and at root, is unbelief. Luther said it is not possible to deliberately sin unless one first things wrongly about God what he meant was, we sin because we don't think God is good and has our best interest in mind.
That's what happened with Adam and Eve in the garden. If you are good you let me eat of the fruit of the tree that you're not good so I'm going to go do it anyway and then I'll be like God take you on. That's what lies at the root of our sin.
Notice also that Abraham had the faith to go but not the faith to stay.
You and I can have faith for the call of God and then lack faith for the care of God. God can lead us to salvation and we trust Christ for our salvation, but we don't have enough faith to trust Christ for our sanctification, namely our being shaped as holy persons and yet the Bible says and you have received Christ Jesus the Lord. So walking in him the faith by which you are saved is the faith by which you live the faith that took Abraham into the land should've been the faith to sustain Abraham in the land. Same faith same God. Now, as a result of this unbelief and his subsequent sin. What you notice about this passage. One thing that we notice is there's no altar in Egypt, no altar.
Abraham built altars we learned in the first part of the 12th chapter basically went to Bethel and he builds in all three comes to she come first of all, and builds an altar. No altar in Egypt. No fellowship with God. There is talking to a man one time who got involved in a series of sins that kind of spiraled out of control and he said you know during that period of time. He said I never read my Bible. I never prayed, the altars gone. It's pretty hard.
You know to be a hypocrite can be done but why read the words the fellowship is gone and I may still belong to God, but the fellowship is gone. The sweetness of communion is there is no altar in Egypt. There's also no witness in Egypt when he was being escorted out of the land. Could you imagine Abraham turning around saying old Pharaoh, by the way, Jehovah is the true God. What you believe on him excuse me sparer may some of you don't witness because your colleagues know you too well and you say because they know me and because of what I've done, my witness is compromise because I'm living in Egypt and doing as the Egyptians do so to speak. You know that you could make that right. You know that you could go and you could confess and you could own up and you could even ask your colleagues to forgive you because of what you've done so that you can regain the kind of credibility that you and I need in order to witness, but at root's unbelief, will God take care of me, or multi-I do what is right is he going to sustain me or is he gonna leave me hanging. That's the question all has to do with faith or lack thereof. The second lesson is that you never backslide alone.
If the first lesson is the sin of unbelief leads to other sins. The second sin is that you never backslide alone. You always take someone with you. Often those who are closest to you. When Abraham decided to lie he got his wife involved in lying with him and for him. But that wasn't the end of it. Abraham recovered from his backsliding but his nephew Lot didn't were looking into the next message already were anticipating it in chapter 13. But you'll notice that when they have this discussion about the land and the disagreement it says in chapter 13 verse 10 and Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar. There was some Egypt the lot into the blood of Lot and he ended up jeopardizing his own life and his own testimony in Sodom and Kamara because Abraham escape the effects of Egypt, but his nephew never got Egypt and its sins out of his heart and then of course it was there when they were in Egypt that they acquired Hagar Hagar, the Egyptian, with whom Abraham is going to have a relationship. Ishmael is going to be born and that's why it's so important that you listen to all of these messages and be here for them because were going to discuss Ishmael versus Isaac were going to discuss the way in which the Muslims view Ishmael and Isaac, and the whole bit. But that's still in the future but for now just know that the Egyptian made Hagar was almost assuredly acquired when they were in Egypt and all that he problems and the challenges that are going to be brought about because of that.
Also, his kids ended up doing essentially the same thing. Abraham had a son by the name of Isaac as we know, Isaac ended up telling essentially the very same lie when he was in trouble. Jacob Van who is a son now of Isaac ends up being a deceiver and it seems as if the sin that Abraham perpetuated did not stay with him but was passed on to his son.
Now that's not necessary to happen if you had an alcoholic father. You don't have to be an alcoholic if you had a lying father you can be a person of truth by God's grace, but you'd be surprised at how often the faults of the father are passed on to his children, and so I remember when we were in the farm and sometimes we have Sunday school picnics. I don't know how many of you enjoy Sunday school picnics. I think there primarily for kids. We as adults stand around and talk seems to me, but we is to have a three legged race. You know, tie your leg to somebody else's leg to somebody else's and whenever one person would go down. He'd always drag the others with him because you never go down alone.
Sin is never secret. It always has consequences beyond you and beyond the secret. It's always ends up somehow having public impact. So the third lesson or the second, rather, is that you never backslide alone. The third is this that it's better to stay in fellowship with God in Canaan in a famine than it is to backslide into a land of plenty. Maybe I should say that again. It is much better to be in a famine in the land of promise than to have plenty in the land of backsliding would've been better for Abraham to simply stick it out, disable what would've happened, may I say it candidly, God would've had to provide for him because God says Abraham is to you and to your descendents that I'm giving this land and the purposes of God are irrevocable, it will happen. God would've taken care of them. But Abraham didn't wait to give God a chance but did his own thing.
Backsliding has its rewards Abraham had received well from Pharaoh when he backslid it has its perks but it always has more burden than blessings is always a bad idea. It is always better to suffer even if it means suffering in a famine than to turn your back on God to do your own thing. There's a final lesson and that is that God is with us even when we backslide.
God is with us even when we backslide God could've said to himself. Will Abraham since you're going into Egypt without asking me, and since I intended you to stay in the land which I had given you, and trust me there I'm not here to do your own thing. What's God doing is crossing the border into Egypt course God being everywhere but at the same time we speak this way.
He goes with him into Egypt. He is there he gives Pharaoh some play is so that he will be delivered.
God is ruling, Abraham, God is moving Abraham and then he has Pharaoh shoved Abraham out of the land that and God is bringing him back and notice what it says in chapter 13. Now he goes into the negative, which is the desert.
As far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been keyword now verse three of chapter 13 in the beginning, between Bethel and AI to the place where he had made the altar at first, there is the altars back church is back. God is back. Most importantly, fellowship is back.
My conscience is clear before the Lord, all the issues of sin that clouded my conscience had been taken care of by now I'm back in the fellowship with God and the detour of the Egypt's of our life waste our time waste our energy and furthermore they impact others negatively and are always a bad idea but God's there God there. Some of you have known that received some information recently regarding a young woman Christian young woman quick relationship with a man pregnant God. There, God's there, God is there to help, God is there to minister God is there to cause repentance and restoration and healing and health.
Because God never abandons his people even when they go to Egypt is there to bring them back. Robin Robinson wrote a wonderful him that we often sing and then he himself fell into sin, and when he was living in sin, he met a woman who said you know I've come across a poem that is meant a great deal to me and the woman quoted the poem and Robinson began to cry because he said I am the author of the words that you just quoted 02 grace how great a debtor daily. I'm constrained to be left by goodness like a fat herb buying my wandering hard. The prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, O take and sealant ceiling for those courts above you identify with him. God sends plagues to Pharaoh. What does that connect in our minds.
Later on, the seed of Abraham is going to be in the land of Egypt 400 years God is going to get them out how by sending Pharaoh some plagues and this is a picture already here of how God is going to get his own people out of Egypt until the Pharaoh who sent Abraham out a different Pharaoh was going to send the children of Israel out and say get out a in the last plague is going to be the Lamb that was slain on the doorpost to keep them from the final plague today, God has his arms outstretched and says oh backsliders. I will heal your backsliding. Behold, we come to be for thou art our goddesses in my some of you have wandered far away from God. Some of you have never come to Christ as Savior who died, who is our connection with God without whom we cannot be born again, without whom we cannot come into God's presence and even as I'm speaking to you today.
The Holy Spirit is moving you to saying come to me come to me, receive my gift of salvation receive my son and others of you. He's saying to you come back come back are you doing your own thing leaving Egypt back to the altar get back to fellowship. Get back to me.
You that's what he saying let us pray father in our need come to us. We can all say prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love doing our own thing, make their own decision dating whom we want to date going where we want to be choosing our entertainment to our vacation without any reference to you bring us to that point of submission, we pray, and now forgot his talk to you. Would you talk to God. Whatever it is that is brought to your attention you've never received Christ say Jesus today.
I am bracing is mine. If you know him come back to father doing our hearts. All that is pleasing to you to come back in Jesus name we pray. Amen. Will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and when we come back to God.
We always come back to the cross. Let me ask you a question.
Is it possible for the crescent, which of course is a symbol of Islam. Is it possible for it to destroy the cross.
Muslims say it is not possible for them to worship or to pray in the presence of across we think for example of Islam's advances throughout the Middle East throughout north Africa, we have to ask ourselves such questions. The relationship of Islam with Christianity. I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent. We have to understand also Islam in America, and we cannot paint with the same brush.
All the Muslims who are among us, but I do need to say that many of them are open to discussing their faith and our faith and we should take advantage of their presence, but at the same time we have to know what is happening in America and their long-term intentions. The book is entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent now for a gift of any amount.
It can be yours.
I believe very deeply.
This will be helpful. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the cross in the shadow of the crescent. The subtitle is an informed response to Islam's war with Christianity.
You and I live in a very important moment of history, God has placed us here and we must understand our relationship to other religions. It's time again for you to ask Pastor Luther a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. Saturday or Sunday worship. The issue has divided Christians for centuries, one running to win listener, a man named Brandon asks the question like this, why does mainstream Christianity keep Sunday holy even though the seventh day Saturday was the only day called holy and blessed by God in Genesis and in the 10 Commandments.
Good question Brandon and I have a lot of friends who believe that we should keep Saturday rather than Sunday. As a matter fact, many of these friends write me letters and encourage me to look at the matter again to try to understand their viewpoint.
Now of course hear on the radio.
I can only give a very very short answer, but the early church evidently did keep Sunday they met the first day of the week.
Furthermore, in Romans chapter 14 pulses some esteem one day above another others esteem every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind seems to say very clearly that the Sabbath laws no longer apply. If you do keep the Sabbath, by the way, you have to keep all of the laws that go along with the Sabbath, such as don't go a Sabbath day's journey, or beyond the Sabbath day's journey. There were certain laws as to what you could eat and what you couldn't eat all of those should be kept because they are all a part of the Sabbath observance seems to some of us that under grace what God has done is to set aside the Sabbath is the day for worship and give a Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. And that day then became the day that the early Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ.
And when you stop to think of it, you realize that that is indeed a much better picture of grace than the Old Testament where you have these detail laws as they relate to the Sabbath. So continue to study it. There been many books written on the subject. It is controversial, but just want you to know that we believe that Sunday is the day that we should set aside for the Lord in worship, prayer and service.
Thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to have your question answered. You can just go to our email@example.com and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Those having faith mean you always get the best deal next time. Join us as we see what happened when Abraham allowed his nephew Lot to take the best plan choice with serious consequences will see why we as believers don't have to manipulate circumstances. Since God has our lives is. Thanks for listening, running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church