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We Are Called To A Living Hope–Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2024 1:00 am

We Are Called To A Living Hope–Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 30, 2024 1:00 am

All of us have had trials or will soon have one kind or another. The difficulties we face often reveal who we really are. In this message, Pastor Lutzer offers three transforming truths about the necessary trials we face. Where can we find the kind of lasting faith that withstands trouble?

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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. The Apostle Peter wrote of the believer's living hope, a hope that becomes reality when Jesus appears, the one we love despite having never seen. The result, joy unspeakable and full of glory. Today, our faith becomes fact.

Please stay with us. 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, the Bible refers to those who say, where is the promise of His coming? How do we carry on when millennia have already passed? Well, Dave, the way we carry on is the way the saints in the past have carried on, even though they did not live to see the return of Jesus Christ.

You know, whether or not we live when Christ returns or not, the fact is He is going to return, and we are going to be with Him, and so we are going to be faithful whether or not we see His coming. There is so much more I could say about that, but I am holding in my hands a book entitled Living with Your Passions, and what makes this so critical is that today is the last day that we are making this resource available to our listeners. This book deals with the matters of sexuality, which of course receives a great deal of attention in our culture. For a gift of any amount, we are making it available to you. Here is what you do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, because this is the last day, and it is so critical that you receive this resource, I will be giving you this contact info again at the end of this message, but let us remember, time is short, eternity is long. Well the truth is that not only does God determine our salvation and He determines and preserves our inheritance, but we honor Him.

We honor Him by faith. And here, what we are going to do is to see four purposes or four things, I should say, about trials. Now, how many of you say, Pastor Lutzer, I have never had a single trial?

Could I see your hands, please? I am looking in the balcony, particularly for those of you who perhaps came late and you did not have an opportunity to know all the good things that are going on here. And the answer to that question is that all of us have had trials. And if you are not having a trial now, you are going to write this down because it is common.

It is coming. You will notice that it says that while we are waiting, it tells us what we should do. But first of all, four things about trials, though now I'm in the middle of verse six, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. First of all, they are temporal.

It's just a little while. Somewhere I remember reading a story and I wasn't able to track it down, but it was of what would it be like if you were going to a mansion, let's say the Biltmore mansion, which is out in the Carolinas, which Rebecca and I have driven past many times, but we've never gone in. But let us suppose that you knew that you inherited it. You had the papers, but you had to get there by horse and buggy and it's cold and it's rainy and in the mud there's a wheel that comes off of the buggy and the horse gets sick and you're 10 miles from the place and you're weary and you're tired. Wouldn't you be inspired though, knowing that you can endure that because not too far down the road there is this mansion that's prepared. There is this inheritance.

Listen, that's the way life is. It is short. Think of how long eternity is. Think of all of the flakes of snow that have fallen in Chicago and in New York and all of the United States of America or the world for that matter, all of the flakes of snow that have fallen during a winter, billions upon billions upon billions.

And let's suppose that every flake were a year. That's a long time. Eternity will scarcely have begun when we've lived that long in heaven. And now we're spending our life complaining. And some of you I know are going through terrible trials and I'll talk about that in a moment, but we just think that life is tough.

Yes, life is tough, but think of what is coming. There is a place that is reserved in heaven for us, kept by the power of God and we're guarded from point A to point B by God's power. Now what about trials? First of all, they are temporary.

Secondly, they are necessary if needful. Listen, how would God solicit faith from you if he didn't bring trials your way? They are needful because God's got a different agenda than we have. Our happiness is not nearly as important to God.

Have you ever noticed this? Our happiness is not nearly as important to God as it is to us. Because there are times when he doesn't seem to be making us very happy at all when with a little bit of help from heaven, things could go much better.

God has a different agenda. So they're necessary. And you'll notice it says also they are varied. There's a variety of them. They are multicolored. They come in different sizes, different shapes.

They last longer. There are health issues, economic issues, relational issues, all kinds of issues. Pain, fear, suffering comes in many, many different ways. And for a little while now you are if necessary and it is involved in these trials.

And you'll notice that they are painful. It says that you are grieved by various trials. Well might you be grieved? I got an email the other day from a relative.

I mean I can't believe this. His wife is so sick that she screams because painkillers won't help her. She needs surgery but he's postponing it so that he can take care of her. And they don't have any money.

They don't know where the rent is coming from. So Rebecca and I try to help them. But the point is this.

I mean I read that and I thought where does it stop for some people? You're grieved by various trials. They are painful, these trials are. And so what he says is that they are short, they are needful, they are painful, they are varied but they're very revealing.

Oh I'll tell you what trials won't do for you. Notice what the text says. It says in this you rejoice though now for a little while if necessary you've been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that perishes. What do you mean gold that perishes? Gold's been the standard that people have used throughout the centuries. I mean the minute there's some economic twitters people are going to gold and the price shoots up.

I don't quite understand this. I realize that investing in gold might be a good idea but have you ever thought of the absurdity of it? I mean you buy this little ounce for god knows how much and it can't help you, can't feed you, can't do anything but gold is the standard and it is known to be imperishable. He says gold perishes though it be tried with fire. He wants to make a point here that this is pure gold you know point nine nine nine nine nine percent gold and the way they used to do it is to take gold ore and throw it into a bucket into a furnace that was of course the pot they put it in a pot and then they heated it very very hot and the gold began to basically boil and all the impurities came to the surface and they would siphon it off and they knew that they had pure gold when they could see their face in it when it was like a mirror. By the way did you know that that's what god is doing in you?

Why these trials? He's siphoning off the soot because he wants something that is more precious than gold that perishes and someday it will all perish and that is your faith which is going to outlast gold and then the phrase that he uses here that it might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ can be interpreted in two ways and I'm going to interpret it both ways today. You get all that and heaven thrown in. It could be that our faith and I think that this is probably the primary meaning is that our faith is found to bring praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. What happens is this Jesus returns to earth and the question is what do we have to give him and the answer is our faith and through that he receives glory and honor because of our faith because without faith it is impossible to please god and so we give Jesus something when he returns.

Say Jesus I don't have anything to give you but you know you did take me through all those trials and I sometimes doubted you sometimes I was angry with you sometimes I didn't even go to church because I didn't like your people but I hung in and Jesus will say through that you give me praise and honor and glory but there's another way to interpret it. It could be that it's a reference to what Jesus will give to us because of our faith. He gives us back praise and honor and glory because remember when we have our inheritance God makes no distinction between how much Jesus inherits and how much we inherit because we are found in him and we are his brothers and sisters he wrote us right into the will heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We participate in the new covenant and because of that God says your place in heaven is assured and the fact that we kept on believing him he says thank you Peter and Joe and Frank and Mary and Ruth because I put you through the pressure cooker and even amid many doubts you kept believing that I was good when you looked around and there was really no reason to believe it except my bare word and you honored me and I want to honor you give you praise and glory and honor.

Now follow this carefully where does our faith come from anyway? It's really a gift of God you know the ability to believe on Jesus is a divine gift as we grow in the word and we continue to believe him he keeps giving us grace and he keeps giving us faith think of it the faith that honors him is actually the faith that he gave us and here he's going to honor us as if our faith were our own when in point of fact he gave it to us in the first place. We're astounded at his generosity we can't take it in he gives me the faith to believe he saves me he chooses me he washes me with his blood he gives me the faith to hang in when times are tough and then he says thank you very much you gave me praise and honor and glory because you wouldn't abandon your faith no matter what I put you through and so he honors us and we can't believe it. No wonder the Bible says you know though you have not seen him in verse 8 you love him if you've been to prayer meeting at Moody Church you know that often not always but often I tell people in the prayer meeting to speak out loud to Jesus simultaneously because I have this view that God is able to hear us all simultaneously no matter how many prayers are being offered to him at the same time he doesn't have the same problem as AT&T where the lines get jammed after a certain number and so what happens is people talk out loud to Jesus and tell him why they love him. I've not seen him heard Charles Swindoll say that it's like a mother who's blind does she love that child yeah she loves that child has ever seen him no she's not seen him but she loves him. One of the greatest proofs that you belong to God if you're wondering you know am I saved am I not the question is do you love Jesus because the moment you are saved and you begin to understand the gospel God implants within you a love of God and a love of Jesus whom having not seen you love so I'm going to ask you today do you love him you love him. If I were to go by the clapping I'd say 25% of you are saved and the rest of you aren't.

Whom having not seen you love I hope that you go on record saying I love him. Whom having not seen you love and you believe on him and you rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory you say that's not true of my life I can tell you why it's not true of your life. It's one of two reasons one is that you have succumbed to cynicism and unbelief that'll do it for you. The other thing that'll do it for you is sin. Depending on where you were last night what you did last night what you saw last night that'll affect whether or not you can worship God here today with joy inexpressible and full of glory because if we can think of a cup of joy or a pail of joy sin is like taking a nail and pounding it into the bottom of the pail and the joy just runs out and then you say where's the joy ah yeah yeah yeah but for those who are obedient and when we are cleansed even in the midst of trials we can rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory because we know where we are headed. A couple of transforming thoughts as we conclude first of all did you know that when you were born again onto the living hope that we talked about in verse three are you aware of the fact that you were actually born into a family I mean you know we all have the same father if we're born again and that it was God's intention that this family exist in community. We'll be talking more about that in the future but you know what we have to offer you here at Moody Church in addition to some good music and the ministry of the word we have something to offer you that you can't get at home listening to a computer though we are glad for all those who are listening today thank you for listening. The fact is community commitment to one another commitment to our TMC communities commitment to each other it isn't simply enough to come Sunday morning. You are a part of something that is much greater and we are born again and and the fact is we're going to share all of eternity together in our inheritance.

I'm going to live next door to Rebecca and then our kids are going to be up there but you know across the hallway there's all the deacons and the elders and maybe the pastoral staff maybe the pastoral staff I'll tell you we're going to live there all eternity let's get used to it now. Secondly a faith that cannot be tested cannot really be trusted that's why faith is so important to God we don't know all the reasons why faith is important to God. Notice what the text says it talks about testing the genuineness of our faith are you a true believer well one of the ways to test that is can you go on believing when times are hard or is it just a religion of convenience you accept Jesus and then we don't see you again. My friend today if I may speak metaphorically for a moment will you remember that over there your wounds will become crowns will you remember that your tears will become jewels on that crown and will you remember that your sorrows and your pain will be turned into joy. When Paul says elsewhere the trial of our faith is precious and he says that the suffering of this present age is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. What he really was saying is of course not just that throughout all of eternity God will be able to make up to us what we experienced but he hints at something else the more trials here the more glory there. Do I have an amen or am I all alone up here today? The more trials here the more glory there don't become cynical and angry at God. He is there for you even when the rug is pulled out from under you.

God is there. Finally faith is not only the way in which we live the Christian life but most importantly faith is the way you begin the Christian life. You remember I began this message by saying that God chooses those who would be saved and some of you winced a little bit at that and now I'm talking to those of you who a have never received Christ as savior and know it and be those of you who think you have but haven't because there's really no love in your heart for Jesus no matter how much you admire him. You don't understand the gospel. So let me speak to you now very specifically.

Here's the way you find out whether or not you're chosen. Would you come to Christ today? Would you say Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner and I long for your salvation. I want your blood to cleanse me. I want to belong to God. I know that I have kidded myself and I fooled myself into thinking that I'm a believer.

I've talked myself into it but there's been no heart transformation. I want Christ as my savior today. Now if you come to him the assurance is he'll never cast you out and that's the only way you can know whether or not you're really chosen and by the way if you don't come to Christ do you have a right to complain about the fact that maybe you aren't chosen?

Apparently you don't want to be chosen. So I urge you today trust Christ as your savior and when you do for you there'll be an inheritance undefiled unfading fades not a way reserved for you with your name on it. Preserved throughout all of eternity. Meanwhile from point A to point B while we wait for our inheritance we can trust God for tomorrow. Yep let's pray. Father we ask in Jesus name that you might invigorate us with the great joy of knowing that we are saved to something more than attending church. We are saved to something in all of eternity that is great and wonderful and meanwhile there's a job to do and there are promises to believe and we ask in the name of Jesus that you might give us great faith. For those who are going through trials we ask that they shall be cleansed. We confess unbelief as sin and we ask today that you'll help us to believe and to prove the genuineness of our faith and for those father who've never trusted Christ as savior would you create within them a sense of conviction a sense of need that they might come to Christ at this moment even where they are that they might pray and say Jesus today I receive you as mine. Now let's take a moment just to pray and you pray to God.

Amen. Yes my friend this is Pastor Lutzer how important it is for us to take moments and pray. We have to live in such a way that we are motivated by the fact that we have an inheritance that is waiting for us. Meanwhile we want to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and there is no issue in our culture as great that we need to confront as the issue of sexuality. As a matter of fact you and I know that we are being inundated by all kinds of sexual images and messages. Your children understand that and we all do. That's why I've written a book entitled Living With Your Passions. I wrote this book because I not only discuss how we rationalize our passions and often obey our passions that lead us into sin but also trying to answer the question how do we give help and hope to those who have fallen into sexual sins.

I think that this book will be of help to young people. So I'd like to emphasize today is the last day we're making it available for you. Here's what you can do. Go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Once again go to RTWOffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. The title of the book Living With Your Passions and I want to thank you in advance for helping us as we get the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Thanks for being a part of this ministry.

You can write to us at Running to Win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. It's easy to let the world press us into its mold but God has a higher calling for his own. They are to enjoy the fruits of holy living. God did say be ye holy for I am holy. Next time on Running to Win dispelling common myths about holiness. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 02:08:58 / 2024-04-30 02:17:26 / 8

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