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When The Son Is Crowned Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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August 22, 2022 1:00 am

When The Son Is Crowned Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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August 22, 2022 1:00 am

Everywhere we look in our nation, the Christian faith is under attack. Many ask, “Is God really in charge or is He indifferent?” In this message, Pastor Lutzer traces some blatant attacks on Christians, showing four distinct voices within Psalm 2 which reveal God’s plan for the world. Though the nations are rebellious, God is on His throne. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Everywhere you look, the Christian faith is under attack.

Many ask, is God really in charge? Today, Erwin Lutzer traces some blatant attacks on Christians, but then takes us to the Bible for the assurance that despite all we see, God is still in control. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, tell us about the series you're beginning today. Dave, this series actually is focused on the book of Psalms.

All of us love the Psalms because they are devotionals. They connect us with God. They talk about human grief. They speak about circumstances that bring about fear. And in the midst of all of this, they always lead us to God. So I say to all those who are listening, if you want to be blessed, if you want to be encouraged, if you want some realistic understanding of your situation and the application of God's power to you and his presence, I hope that you listen.

The series is entitled When God Shows Himself. Well, did you know that there is a war going on even in America against Christianity? Are you aware that groups like the ACLU want to criminalize all public expressions of Christianity, wherever it is found?

I read a book just about that recently, in fact, within the last three weeks. One example of hundreds that could be given, a man in a workplace, there was a poster advertising gay rights events and homosexual activities. So in his workplace, in his cubicle, he put some verses of scripture and for that he was fired. This was not China. This was not Canada or Sweden. This was Boise, Idaho. The Ninth Circuit of Appeals said an employer need not accommodate an employee's religious beliefs if doing so would result in discrimination against his coworkers or deprive them of contractual or other statutory rights.

Goodbye. Dozens of examples of that. And then you think of Montana.

Ain't much going on in Montana, huh? A man who owned a convenience store sold all kinds of awful pornography and then he was gloriously converted and he took out all the pornography and he put up Bibles for sale and gave out tracts to anyone who wanted them. The Human Rights Commission filed a complaint that he had a hostile work environment because of the Bibles. Somebody would have complained about the pornography, that's just his First Amendment rights. Canada, remember that good country of Canada.

How well do I remember Canada? Pastor by the name of Mark Harding objected to the school in his district giving out copies of the Quran to all the students and giving the Muslims their own room to pray in during school hours. He objected because he said if you're going to do that for them, you should at least give out Bibles too so that we're fair here. For that, he was indicted.

The Supreme Court of Canada did not defend him. He was given two years of probation, 340 hours of community service that he has to perform in a Muslim center. And all that because he thought that there should be equality. And furthermore, he received 3,000 letters and emails, many of them death threats. And when he went to trial, he needed police protection because an angry group of Muslims was shouting, you rebels will burn in hell. So he needed protection. But that was not hate speech. His was, and that was the consequence.

And that's the great dominion of Canada. There's so much that I could tell you about this that you wouldn't even want to hear. Maybe in a different context, I'll get an opportunity to do that. Anthony Brown, who's an atheist. Sometimes we don't expect support from atheists, but sometimes it comes our way even from them. He has done research on the whole business of persecution.

And he wrote an article that was really eye catching. He says that 300 million Christians are threatened with violence and discriminated against throughout the whole world, especially in places like Saudi Arabia and in Indonesia. 10,000 Christians, he says, have been killed by radical Muslims. 10,000 Christians. And the interesting part of the article, he says that no other religion is being persecuted like Christianity. It is the one religion that is being attacked all over the world. That's what comes from the research of an atheist.

Well, I need to ask you this question. Is God indifferent to all of this? Is God saying to himself, you know, I've created a world and these human beings and they're out of control and I don't know what to do about them.

No, God's not indifferent as a result of what is happening on this planet. The text today is Psalm 2, Psalm 2. It's a marvelous Psalm that reminds us of the fact that God is in control. Actually, this Psalm can be divided into four different paragraphs or four different sections. And really what you have is four different voices that are speaking in this Psalm.

And we're going to look at those voices one by one and we're going to see what God is doing about his world. First of all, in verses 1 to 3, you have the voice of the nations. It is a voice of rebellion. The question is asked, why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed saying, let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us. The voice of the nations rebellion, they're plotting, they rage, and they're raging against God.

First of all, they are plotting together. You'll notice the text there in verse 2. They take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed. Now this was really fulfilled when Jesus was here on earth because the Herodians, the followers of Herod and Pilate, they did not get along well. The Sadducees and the Pharisees, these various groups all had their individual differences and they had their wars between each other. But when it came to crucifying Christ, they said, let us get together to do it. That's what the book of Acts says. They conspired together to have Jesus crucified. I'm not saying that there's a gigantic wide world conspiracy against Christianity, but it is fed from an underground stream. And the underground stream is in the spirit world where there is a being called Satan who hates Jesus, who hates Christians.

And as a result of that, Christianity is being uniquely targeted. We shouldn't complain. I'm not complaining.

I'm only reporting today and there is a difference. So all of these people are getting together and what are they doing? They're plotting an overthrow. Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. Let's get rid of this God who is interfering with the lives that we really want to live. A God that will allow pornography and call it free speech, but a God who will tear down the verses of scriptures in somebody's cubicle and have him fired. Let us break their bands asunder.

Let us cast away their cords from us. They might not even know that they're taking on the God of the universe, but that's what lies behind their rebellion. Let's take, for example, the issue of evolution, atheistic evolution. Have you ever thought of how difficult it is to believe in atheistic evolution? Edward Tyrone, who was a physicist, says that he thinks that the world's created themselves, the earth created itself out of nothing.

Excuse me? That at one time there was nothing and then suddenly with no personality involved, with no God, there was something and you have this whole order of arrangement and you have the stars and the planets that run with such incredible precision that we set our watches by them and it all came from nothing when we all know that from nothing, nothing comes unless God speaks. Are you telling me that nothing times nobody equals everything?

Is that what you're really saying? Wasn't it Carl Sagan who said that the entire universe was all in one single atom, in fact a particle smaller than an atom, and then it broke apart and in one millionth of a second you have all of the elements coming together in a way that is so peculiar that one evolutionist said there is only one chance in a trillion that it would happen, but it did happen. You know what he's saying, there's only one chance in a trillion that what I believe is right. The other possibility is that God intervened.

Why is it that intelligent design, which is so powerful and which has demonstrated that atheistic evolution is not only improbable but absolutely totally impossible, why can't it even be taught in schools? Well, I think Julian Huxley really let the cat out of the bag. Some time ago in an interview he said the reason we accepted Darwinism even without proof is because we didn't want God to interfere with our sexual mores. That's the reason we don't want God, we do our own thing. Let us break his bands asunder, let us cast his cords from us, and let us be really, truly, radically free to commit any sin that we want and to live any way that we do.

We don't want God. That's the voice of the nations. It's a voice of rebellion. Well, in the next three verses you have the voice of God the Father.

He's got something to say. It says in verse four, he who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord holds them in derision. Then will he speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury, saying, as for me, I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.

Oh, God's done something. First of all, God laughs. It's not the only time in the Bible where it says that God laughs. It says in Psalm 59, 38, but thou, O Lord, dost laugh at them thou dost scoff at all the nations. There's no evidence in the Bible that God ever laughs at something funny. But there's plenty of evidence that he laughs at something stupid. And this is stupidity. He who sits in the heavens laughs.

I mean, it is funny. Ants in a field saying we're going to band together and not allow the farmer and his plow and his tractor to disturb our nest. Give me a break.

Fish in the ocean saying we own these waters and we are going to band together and prevent an aircraft carrier from coming into our waters. Excuse me. He who sits in the heavens laughs. You're going to take on God and win? Laugh.

That is funny. God laughs and God says, not only am I laughing, I'm also installing. He says, I am putting a king on my holy hill of Zion.

In fact, he says, I've already done it. Zion is Jerusalem. We sing glorious things of the earth spoken Zion city of our God. Zion was one of the hills of Jerusalem. You can go to Jerusalem today and you can see Mount Zion, but actually Zion in the scriptures has come to represent all of Jerusalem. And God says, I put my king on the holy hill of Zion. Jesus has been installed as king.

You read it and you say, wait a moment. This was written 3000 years ago. And where is Jesus in Jerusalem today?

Answer. He's not ruling there. Chaos is, but Jesus isn't.

But I love this text. First of all, because it's in the past tense, God says, I have installed my king. As far as God is concerned, the Bible says he calls those things that are not as if they are. And he's speaking about the return of Jesus. And he's saying that there is a time when Jesus is going to come back to earth and Jesus is going to install his kingdom there on Mount Zion. And he's going to rule from Jerusalem and Isaiah, the prophet, his prophecy will have been fulfilled when he says the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.

Neither shall they learn war anymore. Jesus installed in Jerusalem. He's coming back to the Mount of Olives. The Bible says when he does, it's going to split in two north to south. He's going to establish his kingdom.

He's going to rule as king. That's God's answer to man's rebellion. You say, well, where are we going to be at that point? You're going to have a heavenly body already.

That is a glorified body. Because whether you believe that the church goes through the tribulation or is spared from the tribulation, you do believe that at the glorious return of Jesus, which is spoken of here, at that point, most assuredly, we will have been translated. We will have met the Lord in the air and we will be like him or we shall see him as he is. And we shall actually rule with him in the kingdom. He's going to have a place for us to rule. And all of you who have cleaned up so well here for Sunday morning today and look so good, you're going to look so much better in your glorified state.

Isn't that wonderful? And as for those who have died, who have rebelled against God and will have died before those events, they will be raised at the end of this period to give an account because God says every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. And my answer to man's rebellion is my anointed king. That's what God says his answer is. And it's coming. It's coming. It's going to all turn out all right. Did you know that?

I'll take four claps today. You know, what excites me is the fact that the Bible is so filled with promises. We are asked to live by promises, not explanations.

And as a result of that, we need to hold on to what God has said about himself and what he has said about his son and what he has said about the future. Our future, our eternal future is bright. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win.

And I have some very good news. We have some partners who during the month of August have said that they are willing to match every gift given to Running to Win dollar for dollar. Well, you can do the math. Twenty-five becomes fifty, fifty becomes a hundred.

If you contribute a hundred dollars, it becomes two hundred dollars, all the way up to ninety thousand dollars. Would you help us? As a result of your ministry, and perhaps you've heard me say this before, as a result of your help, your partnership, Running to Win is in twenty different countries in four different languages. When I think of how this ministry has expanded, my heart is filled with gratitude. But that gratitude is not just because of the ministry, it's because of people just like you, and God has called you, and God has gifted you, and he has led you to be a part of this ministry. Of course, we know in this world we receive so many different opportunities to give to worthy causes.

But at the same time, we must always remember that those that share the gospel of Jesus Christ, in my opinion, are the most important. Thanks in advance for helping us. Remember that your gift will double during the month of August. Here is what you do. Go to That's, and I realize you may not have a pencil in your hand.

I'm giving you time to get one. I'm going to be repeating that. Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's or 1-888-218-9337. It's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. Which sexual relationships does God approve of, and which ones create what you call alien bonds? Diane has contacted us with an interesting analysis.

She writes, currently I'm listening to you on Running to Win. You're talking about alien bonds being any sexual relations outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage relationship. You talk about how offensive to God alien bonds are. In the life of David, we see God take action against David's alien bond with Bathsheba through the prophet Nathan. Can you help me understand why or how the Bible is silent on so many other situations of alien bonds? I'm thinking of David's eight wives and many concubines. I don't see God showing disapproval of these bonds. How do you understand God's perspective on these sexual practices? Well Diane, the easy and quick answer is to say the reason that David didn't have alien bonds with his eight wives is because these eight women, all of them, were his wives.

You see, it was when he committed adultery with another man's wife, that's when the alien bond was formed. In other words, God was giving approval to these marriages. And of course we know in New Testament times that this changed, but let me talk very briefly about the whole matter of polygamy. In the Old Testament, God did allow for different kinds of circumstances. God did allow a man to have more than one wife.

I mean this goes back even during the time of Abraham, and we can see this throughout the Old Testament times. And of course Solomon. Solomon is the quintessential example of a man who had lots of wives.

Now here's what I want to propose to you. Nowhere in the Old Testament is there ever explicit approval for polygamy. God nowhere commands that we should have or can have more than one wife. That's debated by some Bible scholars but I remember reading up on this and there's no explicit place where God approves it.

Also of course there's no place where God explicitly condemns it. In the case of David, David was pleasing to the Lord even though he took upon himself responsibility for a number of different wives. Now when you come to the New Testament, it is clear that the Apostle Paul, for example, in Corinthians speaks about, let each man have his own wife and every wife her own husband.

And obviously it is singular. In New Testament times there is a great deal of emphasis on going back to the Garden of Eden because it was in Eden that God married Eve and Adam. And that undoubtedly is the ideal for marriage, the fact that Adam and Eve were married. One man, one woman. But there is no doubt that God accommodated himself to the cultural situation of the time and permitted more than one wife.

But when you get to the New Testament all of the writers stress the Genesis story and the need for us to hold a high view of marriage, one man, one woman. Thank you, Diane, for your question. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer, for that analysis. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer. Or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Sometimes politicians talk about vast conspiracies against their points of view. But the real conspiracy is that of the nations of the world in revolt against God. Psalm 2 tells us that God sits in heaven laughing at man's attempt to remove him from society. On our next Running to Win, you'll hear more from Psalm 2 about the futility of setting yourself against God. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 12:05:26 / 2023-03-07 12:13:43 / 8

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