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Doing Things Right in the Sight of Men - Life of Paul Part 68

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2021 7:00 am

Doing Things Right in the Sight of Men - Life of Paul Part 68

So What? / Lon Solomon

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February 17, 2021 7:00 am

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Good morning, how are you hey we want you to take a Bible.

Let's open it together to ask chapter 20 were to be continuing our study the life of a great man.

The apostle Paul welcomed all you guys down and overflow. We love you for being here. Thanks for coming. Well you know the Cubs almost bit it almost 10 days ago. The Cubs were five out a way from the first World Series appearance for them since 1945, an appearance which by the way they lost the Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908, but a week ago Wednesday night October 15 the Cubs with boys to end all this pain. They were leading three to nothing in the top of the eighth inning, 1 ounce. They were already leading three games to two in the NL CS.

They were five outs away and then all of a sudden disaster struck as leftfielder Moises a Lou of the Cubs jumped up to capture Marlins by employers of flyball right at the left-field wall by overzealous Band-Aid Steve Bartman reached over the wall and interfered with the Lou blocking him from making the catch in the sure route and the play then triggered a cataclysmic collapse on the part of the Cubs that allow the Mormons to boarding score 8 runs in that inning, defeating them 8 to 3 in game six. They also defeated them in game seven.

The Cubs hopes of the World Series were over.

Now as the horrific implications of what Bartman had done sunk into the crowd suddenly people started throwing beer cans adding debris adding people threatened it.

One guy came over the stands and actually try to physically assault him from behind and so the police came into the stadium and escorted him out for his own safety and the only place they could find reporting temporarily worry, be safe is a putting in a sanitation truck outside of the stadium and lock the men until they could get them off the ground.

Things got really bad for Bartman.

He couldn't go to work get disconnected telephone. Things got so bad in Chicago for the Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered him asylum in Florida is thorough knowledge of the true he offered to fly them down there free giving three months on the ocean in Miami pay for all of his meals send them on a cruise in appreciation for what you done for the Marla's now Bartman, what's interesting here is the Bartman is actually an avid club. In fact, he said, and apologizing to Cubs fans everywhere, and I quote he said Maha had my eyes glued to the approaching ball. The entire time and I did not even see Moises a Lou, much less that he might have a play that I thought for one second that the ball was playable or had I seen a Lou approaching I would've done whatever I could to get out of the way and give Lou a chance to make the catch. I am truly sorry from the bottom of this scope stands broken hearts." One of his friends said. Steve loves the Cubs whatever may happen. I know his heart was in the right place will focus see Bartman's heart by a bit in the right place, but his hands were definitely in the wrong place and it was what he did with his hand that made him the most vilified man in Chicago even to this day. Now this is what we want to talk about today. They want to talk about the Cubs more know we want to talk about with this whole issue of where our heart is versus where our hands are where our heart is versus where where our actions are because this is a biblical principle growing out of our passage today where we find the apostle Paul. So let's look at the passage then will bring all of this into the 21st century little bit of background. Remember, the apostle Paul here in acts chapter 20 is on his third missionary journey. He is spent almost 3 years in the city of Ephesus, and the result of that has been that the entire western half of modern-day Turkey will show you a map the entire Roman province of Asia. What you see in green on the map was saturated with the message of Jesus Christ. Now there was a ride in town aimed at Paul. He is survived that and now is getting ready to leave town and that's where we pick up the story.

Verse one and when the uproar the riot had ended. Paul sent for the disciples and after encouraging them.

He said goodbye now it is the summer of 56 A.D. and Paul has a plan. He's leaving Ephesus to go back to all the churches in Greece that he had started and he asked these churches what is planning to do is he's planning to collect an offering for the Saints for the believers in Jerusalem and then he's planning to take that offering to Jerusalem to give it to the poor believers who were living there.

So that's what he's up to, and verse one continues and says so. Paul set out for Macedonia.

He traveled through that area.

Speaking many words of encouragement to the people and finally he arrived in Acadia now. The Paul was in Macedonia for the summer in the fall of 56 A.D. Let's show you a map Macedonia's what you see an orange on the map and he went to the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea during these months collecting money. These were all churches of Paul. It started on his second missionary journey. Acts chapter 16 and then the Bible says he went down into a tale.

The blue section of the map down. Of course, to the city of Corinth and he used Corinth as his headquarters for the next few months in order to spread out in southern Greece and collect this offering. That's why verse three says. Paul stayed here in Acadia for three months.

He basically spent the winter of 56 A.D. here in Coren verse three continues, and as Paul was about to set sail for Jerusalem. He heard about a plot that was formed against him by the Jews, so he decided to go back through Macedonia.

Now remember the Jewish community in Corinth did not really like Paul.

Remember, they tried killing the last time he was there. Remember, they organize the riot that ended up running them out of town and so what Paul did is after he collected this offering. He booked passage on a ship sailing that show your map from Coren directly across the Mediterranean to Jerusalem, but the Jewish people found out about it and apparently hired a couple of assassins to get on the ship and while the ship was sailing. Their intent was that Paul had an unfortunate accident on board.

Paul found out about it. We don't exactly how and said you know what I will think I'll take that ship up on second thought, any decided instead to go north as you see on the map and by land to go back to Philippi and then he would take a ship from there and sailed to Jerusalem. Verse four and Paul was accompanied by soap a tour of Berea, Aristarchus and Strickland us from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derby Tyco cousin trophoblast from the province of Asia and Timothy also use a long was a deal you're wise, Paul. Traveling with a cast of thousands of you sound like one of those junkets the Congress goes on will know there's a good reason why Paul was traveling with all these people and if you look carefully at the verse and you look at the cities for each one of these men was from, you'll see the reason. First of all, the Bible says that so perturbed was from Berea. The real you remember was one of the churches from which Paul had collected money for this offering.

Then the Bible says that Aristarchus and Strickland does they were from Thessalonica. Again, one of the churches from which Paula collected this offering and then there's Gaius and Tyco cousin trophoblast all from the province of Asia were Paul had collected money before he ever left Ephesus. This offering and finally there was Timothy, who was along representing the church of Corinth and folks here is the point that the apostle Paul was carrying money from each one of these cities from the churches in each one of these cities and so what Paul did is he asked those churches to each choose a representative or two who could travel along with him as he carried the offering.

These men were to be witnesses. These men were to be auditors if you will, who would then be able to come back to their home churches and certify that Paulette handled this offering. In a righteous and godly manner you I think we all remember a few years ago with the highlight of the headlines were big and the papers here about an investigation that went on into a lot of very prominent nonprofit organizations. I won't name them and what was discovered is that these organizations were using. In some cases, over 90% of the money that was given to them for administrative expenses and less than 10% of the money people were giving was actually going to what people thought they were given to and you remember that that the flap about all of that because that's just wrong. More Paul wanted to do was to make sure that there was no kind of flap about the way this offering was handled that there was ever any doubt that is that he got chewed up and administrative expenses.

He wanted to make sure that there was never any question as to whether he pilfered some of this money skimmed off the top whether he had bought a château in Switzerland or had an offshore account Grand Cayman that all of this was not done. He and that's why he took these men with them so that they could report back and say we saw what he did with the money we were there for every piece of the travel and we can certify to you that money was handled in the way you intended it to be handled it was handled righteously, and God then that's as far as we want to go in our passage because his son ask a question and y'all don't know, our question sews her body ready and ready.

Okay nice deep breath through there we go ready 123 right salon. So what say I've never been to Switzerland or Grand Cayman. What difference does any of this make in my life.

Well, there's a biblical principle here.

I want to extract for us and let me show you what it is because it's really important principle question when the apostle Paul took all this money and headed off for Jerusalem.

Here's the question.

Was there any real chance that the apostle Paul was going to use this money for personal gain was really real chance that he was going to skim these this money or he was going to pilfer this money will friends knowing the character of the apostle Paul.

There was no chance he was going to do that. Couldn't he have looked at the leaders of every one of these churches and said look, God knows my heart. God knows my my intent and I'm going to use this money honorably and you can count on me and you don't have a thing to worry about.

Couldn't have done that and it would've been true, it would've been true several on if that's the case, and why the world of Paul go to the trouble to put his big traveling team together. I mean, Lonnie must've been a logistical nightmare moving all these people around in those days try to get them from Greece to Jerusalem together.

Why did he do this well because Paul was living out a biblical principle and let me let him tell you what it is. Second Corinthians chapter 8 Paul is talking about one of these men that had been chosen to be a representative to go with him and here's what he says. He says in verse 19 he is representative was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry this offering.

We are doing things this way.

That is were taking this group of representatives along in order to take precautions so that no one might discredit us in our handling of this generous offer. Here comes a biblical principle for we are concerned. Paul says about what is honorable, not only in the sight of God but also in the sight of men.

Let me repeat that for we are concerned. Paul says about not only what is honorable in God's sight, but also what is honorable in people's sight. Now, folks, this is an incredibly important biblical principle. Listen to what Paul says Paul says it's not good enough for us to just be able to say will in the sight of God. He knows everything's okay in the sight of God. He knows we've done everything right.

God knows my heart does not good enough pulses. It's good, it's important we ought to do things were God can look at our heart and say now that was honorable.

That's important, but Paul said that's only one half the pancake friends. The other side of the pancake is doing things in a way, setting up systems, setting up boundaries, setting up accountability points whereby people around us can see that we've done what's honorable whereby they can certify that we've done what's honorable and that's why he took these people along because it was a system that Paul set up. It was an accountability point that Paul deliberately set up, not because it was any real danger he was going to take the money he wasn't going to take the money. But he said I don't just care about what God knows about my heart I care what people can see and that's why I'm taking all these people with me now as followers of Jesus Christ today. I think there's never been a more important moment in time for us to take heed to this biblical principle as followers of Christ. We all know that the televangelist and scandals of damaged our financial credibility with the average American. We all know that the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church have damaged our moral credibility with many people in America. We all know that the inauthentic lifestyle that many people who claim to be Christians live in this country that that is damaged our believability. With so many Americans and let me just stop for a moment say maybe you're here today and you never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way and this is your hangup you you you watch the televangelist of nonsense and you seen people around you claim to be followers of Christ do things that were just dishonorable and you've extrapolated that disabled a whole Christianity thing is, is dishonorable and I'm here to tell you. Wait a minute, wait a minute, listen biblical Christianity doesn't rise and fall based on the integrity of its followers. We want to be people of integrity. We try to be people of integrity, but biblical Christianity rises and falls with the integrity of Jesus Christ and as long as he's got integrity and as long as he is impeccable, and as long as he's perfect biblical Christianity stands just fine post this on the problem if we needed if we were perfect. This is followers, we would need a Savior to start with, and we do so, yes. I'm not trying to justify that with that what you know our wrongdoing in certain cases understand.

Don't judge the validity of the Christian faith taught us because we are not the right people for you to be judging it on you judge it on Jesus Christ and until you find something wrong with him. Trust me, the Christian faith is honorable and it's right now for those of us who are followers of Christ ago, let's be reminded that our credibility as followers of Christ our reputation and our moral authority is running at an all-time low.

Here in America and the reason primarily is because we have failed to take heed of this biblical principle many times you've heard the evangelical leaders trying to justify their behavior say things like, God knows my heart will all right but that's not the point. The point is, people can see your heart. People can only see what you and I do. They can only see the actions you and I take that's what they're going to judge. That's what they're going to evaluate and if we don't make sure we set systems up to ensure that we match up with what we do with what we say is in our heart than that. That's how we create the problem we have in America today. Here McLean Bible church. We have really tried to take serious stock of this biblical principle. We work hard as the leaders of this church to implement this principle and the reason is we know that we cannot speak to secular people in Washington DC about Jesus Christ unless they regard us as a church that has integrity and authenticity, and moral uprightness. And so here are some of the things I just want to give you a few of them that we have gone here together as a church family to ensure that were doing what's honorable not only in the sight of God but also the sight of men.

Here some systems. Some boundaries, some accountability points that we've set up. For example, financially, did you know that I cannot sign a check here McLean Bible Church, not one of the authorized signatories and never have been 24 years you get me to sign the check and you take to the bank. They won't cash it because I'm not allowed to sign it, who I have no access to petty cash, even in this church. If you bought a can of coffee and bought it in here and you and you said hey could you reimburse me from petty cash. The answer is no, I don't even know where it is. Honestly, if I did I don't have access to go in there anyway. He said while why do you do that because we know the people out in our city are always wondering if if I'm just helping myself to a few offering bags in orbit week here and we want to set systems up so they can come and see that that can't possibly happen. And that's why we have those boundaries, you know, I don't even know the combination of the Savior. McLean Bible Church. In fact, for years, not in the know we had one. I relate this true lady come to me a few years ago until I got this envelope I need. We know we are one of the doors being sly things right safe. She said I gotta go slide this and can you tell me where it is, as it will have sick GCS. You do. I said no no I been the pastor here 20 years ma'am.

Trust me, we don't have say she's I know you do. They told me to put this in closet come with me. We went down the finance department.

I said we have a Satanism because we have say really I didn't know that. Where is it. I know I did you say why could you be the passive church and I know what to say. Why would I even care. I can go into someone I care where it is the combination I want to know that you said to me today.

I don't even know where it is in this building. If you said to me lawn. I will give you $1 million coal cash.

If you take me right now, show me where the safe is I could learn that money not your serious I'll find out. But I don't know where it is and why is that because of I don't know the combination of the safe I tingle in the say and take anything out you know I've never seen the financial giving records of anybody in this church 24 years I've no idea what you give, and let me tell you why because I want to shake everybody's hand the same when you come walking in this church and we want to make decisions here at this church that are based upon righteousness and the biblical teachings of God and what's fair and good and we don't want to be influenced by what so-and-so gives this much, you know, we gotta be careful.

You know they get a lot out of you want to know that, nonsense. We want to make decisions based on principle and therefore I don't have any idea what you give a never have known and never will know these are boundaries. Our elders have set up to protect McLean Bible church and to make sure that not only are we doing what is honorable in the sight of God. God knows all this, but there are also systems in place so a man could walk in, or a woman could walk in and look and see that on her ability reflected in the way we act and say what I'm saying we done that morally you know I'm not allowed to meet with any of a member of the opposite sex in my office doors. Any member of my staff, male or female. Without 1/3 person in the room so I got have third person roof that lady show up and say I want 1/3 person in the room.

I just wanted to talk to you so I'm sorry you can't do that.

I said you need to talk to somebody privately. I'll arrange for you to see a woman staff member, but you can't do that with me. We have a system we have a boundary here is that why is it acting like a dumb rule know in what if some woman comes walking out of a counseling session with me and says you know what lawn did you know what he said to me you know what he said about my body. Do you know what some of the lewd and awful things that he asked me about, then I say no I didn't know that I didn't know it and it's my word against her word and she goes to the papers. You don't think that would damage his church and who do you think people are going to believe in our world. So we set up a system so I can have there's always somebody in the room you'll hear McLean Bible church. No member of our staff was married can ride alone in the car with a member of the other sex.

There has to be 1/3 person in the automobile saying that all coordinated and that did not logistically talk that is but you know what I don't want to see. So I want somebody to see a member of our staff riding down the road. Some married man with a young beautiful young lady in the car and start saying you know what are you it's going to. So we made sure can have no I don't hug ladies to your lady you want to hug me in the lobby and not doing it is they want and want to hug it anyway. Well that's good because it were not going to let and when I shake ladies hands. None of this. You know will you know it is not in the give me my hand I'm a married man is my hand. You give me my hand back. Don't be doing after my hand is not.

I'm a married man at any single why do you do that because people are standing there watching in the lobby of our church and friends. All of these are systems that we have established because this biblical principle is so important.

We want people to be able to look and see what we say is happening in our heart that were really trying to honor God in our heart so we set up systems so that it shows and that's why Paul took all these people along so he set up a system so it showed he was honoring God.

Now let's go for McLean Bible church to talk about you and me privately.

Can we let's go from preaching the Medlin I. Because you know if you're here today in your follower of Christ. I hope that in your heart you got a clearly established determination that you want to honor God with your life that you want to do those things that please Jesus Christ in your life and that's wonderful. But remember, this principle the friends that's only half the pancake the other half the pancake, which in some senses is the more important have because it's the only half people can see is how we go out the system. We set up to go out and live that out in front of people's eyes disable what you talk about what I'm talking about the fact that there are folks out there who want to discredit you and want to tarnish her testimony as an excuse for their own unbelief as a way of justifying their own refusal to come to Christ and the only way to stop them is by setting up systems where they can go there is a like what will men like not staring at women like as though you're undressing them with every step disable that that's not what's in my heart Justin I'm just thanking God for the awesome power that he could make such beauty.

Whatever you know about if you believe that all sell you a bridge to you say, but even if it's true then look at women like that you said what you say you Simon I will demonstrate you cannot look at women there.

There all right friends is not the first look at the problem is the second book, the sprawl we have systems in place like Job set I made a covenant with my eyes that I will not look on a woman in an ungodly way, we have a system of boundary place in our life. So somebody watching us walk down the street would look at us and see the intent in our heart lived out in our lives. We do that to what about gossiping head and back biting other people. You say why God knows my heart. I'm just concerned I believe your all that concern wanted to stop talking about people and go do some practically to help about being people of full disclosure at work in your relationships not spinning people.

We live in spin town USA but being a person that what you see is what you get when you tell people something they're not always wondering you know what you're not telling him that the going end up finding out about later. This is a way that we outwardly can demonstrate the integrity that we say were trying to live out for Jesus Christ. Inwardly about respecting our boss or respecting our teacher at school honoring our parents about that we do that on the outside so people can see that's really in our heart on the inside about living at home in front of our children in a way that matches up with the faith that we say lives in our heart they can't see our heart, they can only see the way we live in our home in one of the greatest problems we have with teenagers today trying to reach them for Christ is they come to us and say I live in a home where my parents claim to be followers of Christ, but they're so hypocritical and they're so inconsistent and they're so inauthentic that I question whether this whole Jesus thing is even got any validity to it all, I'm not home. What is that all about you asking you to the lie for you.

And how about you know.

So would the way we live with selfishness in our home, and verbal abuse in our home and ungodly anger in our home and stop we watch on television that I can see is watching a soap week places we go on the computer that we got no business going. I mean about sentencing systems in our home where we live out what we say is in our and finally I knew we could get going, but just one more thought men about Kanagawa, how we treat our wives with kindness and with gentleness and with the respect that we say we feel for them in our heart you civil and God knows my heart long, you know I love my wife. I told her that the day we got married, if it ever changes. I'll let her know know that's not good enough folks on the ask if a bystander were watching you and your wife walk down the street together or interactive someplace would they know what was in your heart. Is that obvious in the way you speak to your wife and the way you treat your wife and the way you respect your wife would they figure out that that was really in your heart.

The point is here and I could go on but I think the points clear. The point is do I look at women in a way that's God honoring in the side of people. Do I speak about others in a way that's God honoring in the side of people to I give full disclosure on issues in a way that's God honoring in the side of people to honor my boss, my teacher, my parents in a way that's God honoring in the side of people do. I do. I live before my children and do I treat my wife or my husband in a way that's honoring in the side of people because that's how they're going to evaluate what's in your heart and this is the biblical principle. Paul says we gotta think about that. We gotta go the extra mile.

We gotta be concerned about building those boundaries and systems in because if were not we leave ourselves wide open to be discredited by a critically looking world and that's how we got to where we are today is the Church of Jesus Christ of America that we need to turn that around. Personally, we need to turn it around and as a church family.

We need to make sure we turn that around because we don't will never go to speak to people in this town about Jesus Christ. We gotta get the platform of moral authority before we can speak about Christ.

So this is our principal.

As Peter said keep your behavior. Excellent in the sight of all men for this is God's will that by acting properly. We may silence the ignorance of foolish men and friends.

I want to invite you to take a hard look at your life and asking hard questions and say my really doing and I hope you will. Let's pray together for thanks for talking to us today about real life.

Write down where we live, because you know that indeed so many times we justify ourselves by saying will. God knows my heart. Thanks for reminding us today that that's not the whole pancake the other side is building systems that show to people that were really trying to honor God in the way we act so they can see father I pray that you would help us to really take a hard look at our lifestyles today. All of us. And if there's a need for some course correction. I pray that you would give us the courage, with your help to make those corrections God change the very way we live because we were here today and we interacted with your spirit in your word and we ask this in Jesus name, amen

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