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A Costly Faith Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 1:38 am

A Costly Faith Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 9, 2022 1:38 am

“Respectable sins” are often the most dangerous in families. Abraham let his nephew, Lot, pick the land he wanted while agreeing to take what was remaining. Lot’s pursuit of prestige and position would result in terrible consequences, affecting his testimony, his family, and his character. God gives His best to those who entrust their future and legacy to Him. 

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Him what's his nephew Lot the land he wants and agrees what's left over when Lee chooses the best, even though it would lead to ruin today we learned that God gives his best to those who leave the choice with him church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Sir clear teaching sauce make it across vasculature was wrong in choosing what he thought was the best land for himself. I find this to be a fascinating story simply because it gives us an insight nature. We know that when there was a famine in the land, Abraham, Sarah, and Lot went into Egypt and now when Abraham gives lot the opportunity to choose whatever land he wishes. The Bible says that Lot chose the best land because it reminded him of Egypt. My point lot. Never God Egypt, out of his heart.

And of course it's a great reminder that we can make a decision that we think is good and I can have terrible consequences. You know, I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent and I wrote the book to help us to understand some of the choices that we have to make regarding freedom of religion regarding our friendship with our Muslim neighbors. I think it will be a great blessing to you for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you can do.

Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. We think of some of the bad business arrangements and the bad business ethics that people have said to because they would choose for themselves. We think of the entertainment that some people get into and the addictions that come as a result of that because somebody said I'm going to choose for myself, and their Lot experience, the law of unintended consequences. Suppose we were to interview lot in with a lot tell us why you made the decision he say well number one opportunity. What a great opportunity. My uncle is giving me and furthermore I don't feel guilty because you know he told me to make a choice opportunity. Secondly, prestige and position because later on. He's going to be there in Sodom and he's going to have a position in Sodom is not to live in a tent anymore is not going to be able to sing this world is not my home, I'm just a passing through. He's no longer a pilgrim.

He now lives with in the city he's a city dweller.

Nothing wrong with being a city dweller, but he was content in Sodom and received prestige in Sodom but unintended consequences were on the way there is the story of the president of a large company who is going to build a series of buildings and so he farmed it out to various letters to various contract and that you know how the process works, the contractor that submits the best bid. Probably the lowest cost with proof that he will do the best job usually wins, so one of the contractors was going to submit his bid.

It was the last day for bids and he walks into the president's office and no one is there. The room is so he thinks to himself. I don't know where the president is any looks on the desk and there on the desk of all things of the president is an open bid from his most interesting and greatest competitor and he thinks to himself, if I could just see the number that he came in on. And if I come in just a little less than that.

Almost assuredly will get the big business problem was that right on that number on the application was a can of soda pop, he thought to himself, what am I going to do nobody's around. He walks the hallways looks in the office again. The president is nowhere to be found in his thinking, should I or shouldn't I should I or shouldn't I say decided that he would he decide that what he would do is to lift the can of pop really fast. Look at the number and then put it down and he does that and when he does that hundreds of BBs spill out onto the table and drop onto the floor.

That is the law of unintended consequences when the Bible says that Locke lifted up his eyes and saw and shows for himself. Lot did not realize that entailed in that decision were some terrible terrible terrible consequences. Let's look at them first of all lot lost his testimony in Sodom is there is a judge at the gate he's being honored and when the man us around this house.

He's willing to actually give them his daughters for this terrible terrible kind of perverted sexuality is willing to give them his daughters and when he told his son-in-law, God is going to judge this city. The Bible says they thought he was joking while no testimony, no altar in Sodom and Gomorrah. He lost his testimony, he lost his family. He lost his wife who turned back into a pillar of salt and in the end he lost his character.

He ends up in a cave committing incest with his two daughters. He did not know that all of those things would happen because he chose for himself, opportunity, prestige, but at what price.

Now it's interesting that Locke succumbed to a very respect double sin. There are some sins that are not respectable. For example, sins of the flesh are generally regarded as not respectable but sins of the spirit are oftentimes extolled.

They are, they are honored. Greed is good. Greed makes capitalism work. Nothing wrong with covetousness because actually if you see your neighbor have something what's wrong with wanting the same thing and working until you get it. Those are sins of the spirit, respect, double sin back in the days of the Reformation, when Martin Luther was complaining about some of the abuses of the church. A Cardinal was sent to him to buy him often and the Cardinal was told tell Luther to shut up and in order to encourage them to do that will give them some gold use money to bribe Cardinal road back to the Pope and said the fool doesn't love gold.

The fool doesn't love gold couldn't be bought off.

It is sometimes those respectable sins that cause trim men.

This problems in family. Families have been split over inheritance says they been split because of money you way big money in somebody's face and even a rational Christian can become un-realistic and can become the greedy and manipulative money has that power. It has the power to seduce because it makes all of the same promises that God does, I'll be with you in sickness and in health.

I'll be with you. If the economy collapses. I'll be with you and so what you have here is locked, choosing in the direction of wealth and power and look at where he ended the consequences of lots choice. What about the consequences of Abraham's choice. Notice that the text says in verse 14 the Lord said to Abraham after Lot had separated from him. He remembered chapter 12 verse 1.does Abraham leave your family and your kin.

He didn't leave his dad behind. He brought his dad as far as her land and then his dad dies and he comes into the land with a lot and now lot.

Strictly speaking, should not have been a part of his entourage, but now that lot Has Gone His Own Way, God and Abraham are alone and notice what the text has to say about what God gave him.

God says to him, verse 14. Lift up your eyes. You say will pester Luther, that's exactly what lot did you notice it says in verse 10 a lot lifted up his eyes, both of them lifted up their eyes. What's the difference. Big difference.

The difference is this one of the man lifted up his eyes and saw what he wanted and took it. The other lifted up his eyes and he saw what God gave him what a difference. There is between what you change and what God gives you. So Abraham lifts up his eyes.

God's is Abraham member that promise.

I gave you when you first came into the land. I'm going to expand upon that promise the Lord says to him, lift up your eyes look from the place where you are northward and southward eastward westward for all the land that you see. I will give it to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth. Your offspring can be counted arise and walk in the land and what does Abraham end up doing. He builds an altar unto the Lord, what a different ending to a story. Notice that God now expands the promise geographically. He says as far as you can see it as far as you can walk the land is going to be yours. Got expands the promise numerically.

He says you can't count the dust of the earth in the very same way no one is going to be able to count your seed. He even expands the promise duration ole not sure if there's a word like that, but there is now God says I'm going to get you for ever allow him in Hebrew were going to have to discuss that at some thoughts as I'm giving it to you as a possession I'm going to even expand the promise experientially go ahead and walk along the length and the bread of the land in joy at it's going to be yours. Abraham is going to die without a single square foot longing to him, except that which he purchases to bury himself and his wife and his family but he dies in faith. He lives with delayed promises. Let's talk about our decision. First of all let me remind you of this that the choice that you and I make today determines the kind of person we will be in the future. The choice that you make today determines the kind of person that you will be in the future how important those choices are many of us know Larry Polin, who works in Hollywood trying to get executives befriending them Hollywood producers befriending them and sharing the gospel with them and he told us the story of a man who was converted out of it difficult lifestyle very well known in the Hollywood he was having lunch with Larry one day and he said you know Larry says I can understand it is that I accepted Christ as my Savior.

Maybe it was six months ago and he says I tell people for what Jesus has done for me.

I tell them what he's done for me and they'll say you're crazy you're crazy now. He said for years I lived went through three marriages.

My kids were on drugs. I was an alcoholic and nobody looked at me and said hey you know you're crazy he said now he said I'm finally loving my wife for the first time I'm off of alcohol and I'm connecting with my kids and I know that my sins are forgiven before God, and now I'm being told I'm crazy see the kind of decisions that you make determine the character that you're going to be if you want to be a character with deceit in your life and run values in your life and you make those decisions, you will end up either like Abraham following God or you and I could end up like lot doing our own thing. Choosing for herself and living with tragic, tragic consequences not just for us but for others to is a matter of fact, the decision that you make today determines where you will spend eternity because Jesus made it very clear that if you trust me as Savior. Your eternity is assured, whereas if you neglect that if you reject what Jesus wants to do for you or can do for you if you reject that in eternity you're on your own, and eternity is a very very long time. Watch your choices because the choice that you make today determines the kind of person that you will be tomorrow. Second lesson when we believe God. We please God when we believe God. We please God. Abraham and the Scripture is spoken of two times as the friend of God. That be awesome to have on your tombstone. A friend of God. While most of us would never think of asking that that the owner tombstone because we know right well that that's that's more than we really are that you want to be thinking about what you want on your tombstone if you're over 50, you should be thinking about it. You say will Pastor do you know what you want on your tombstone. I'm not 50 yet you say, look to the mirror the other day and I said to Rebecca, honey I don't look 63 do I know you sure don't. But you use but I've often thought about my tombstone. Imagine being called a friend of God. And this is what the Bible says he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he rewards those who diligently seek him out without faith it is impossible to please God. The reason that Abraham could say to lot you choose, and I'll take the leftovers, is because Abraham could turn his back on wealth he could turn his back on prestige and he could turn his back on opportunity because he trusted God and did not dare to choose for himself. He allowed God to make the choice, and so he couldn't do it in faith you say will Pastor Luther how much faith do we really need well faith even as a grain of mustard seed. Jesus said, and even the faith that we have is really a gift of God. That's why Abraham receives no praise in all of this got God even granted him the faith. But if you find within your heart.

Today a drawing towards Christ pursue it. God may be pursuing you so that you come to him in faith and you can come as the words of the hymn say just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict. Many a down findings within fears without the Lamb of God, I, I, come with your doubts come with your on answered questions and then having come we can all sing with authority. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The world behind me, the cross before making because were going to follow him every step of the way.

Think of what Abraham got when he followed God when he went to her ran God waited for him when he got messed up in Egypt. God restored him when he walked in obedience, God blessed him because he believed he believed that there were some things more important than site.

That was the I of faith, we come in humility. But we come in faith and we invite God to be a part of all of our decisions and the most important one that you could possibly make to transfer your trust in Jesus. Some people will say when you know you're crazy.

It's the most important decision that you could ever make and then we say with all of our hearts.

We follow Jesus when you join me as we pray our father we ask in the name of Jesus draw all of us into your presence right now. We pray those who have never trusted Christ as Savior. Help them to see that because they are sinners they need a Savior made a draw near to him and for those father in the throes of decisions. Oh, we pray, help us not to choose for ourselves. May we choose you. We ask for those father were living now with regrets and pain, show yourself mighty, bless them, restore them and make us a transforming people before I close this prayer going to give you just a few seconds to talk to God wherever you are seated. What you need to say to him doing us that which is well pleasing in your psycho father in Jesus name, amen. A that my friend, I add another amen many of you are aware that the three great religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all trace their background and their history to Abraham.

I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent.

The subtitle is an informed response to Islam's war with Christianity. Perhaps you heard me say that the reason for this book. The occasion of it is when I was visiting Turkey and discovered that there are no churches in the seven churches of Revelation only mosques I asked myself the question, what lessons do these nonexistent churches have for the American church and on the back of an envelope. I wrote down seven or eight lessons and that was the small seed from which this book grew we have so much to learn from the Scriptures, yes, but also from history and I feel so deeply that Islam is continuing to expand in ways that we do not fully understand for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. You can go to RTW or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that info again give you time to get a pencil. Remember the title of the book the cross in the shadow of the crescent and informed response to Islam's war with Christianity. Go to RTW or you can call us right now: 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us.

It's time again for another opportunity for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life Dr. Blitzer. Today's question comes from Gary was serving time in a Texas prison.

He writes I'm a new Christian, so I seek all the Christian help I can find from the radio, but sometimes I hear things that are very disturbing.

I don't want to judge my brother but I hear that some of the teachers I listen to have millions of dollars with private jets and several cars I know Jesus taught us to follow, not with leaders teach follow the way they live, how can I know whether a teacher is really of God or not.

Will Gary you've asked a very important question and I suppose it deserves a long answer but I need to be briefed. First of all, keep listening to their teaching and see if it is biblical.

It's very important. Listen to their attitude did they exalt themselves and only number three. Should you listen to others.

Some of the rumors that you have heard may be right. Some of them may be wrong. So what you need to do is to simply say Lord I don't know but I'm going to continue to sift when I'm listening to and judge it on the basis of Scripture.

Remember this gossip is a great curse. So we must watch what we say about God's people, God will reveal the truth in his own good time and really at the end of the day it's not our responsibility to do that God has his timing and we need to trust that keep listening to the word of God over the radio.

Gary and God will lead you. Thank you Dr. Blitzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to RTW and click on ask Pastor lutes or or you can 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. Next time I'm running to win, we turn to Genesis chapter 14 here Abraham rescues walked from captivity and then some man named Melchizedek in reaching this mysterious man will watch as Abraham develops a generous fate. This is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored church

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