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The Danger of Worldliness and the Duty of Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 15, 2022 9:00 am

The Danger of Worldliness and the Duty of Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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August 15, 2022 9:00 am

The constant battle of what the heart loves reveals to us our desperate need for prayer. In our own battle, will we be like Lot, captured by the wonders of the world? Or like Abraham, interceding on behalf of the Lots God has placed in our lives?

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. Hey newsflash okay the message is radical. Judgment is coming. What's going on with Sodom and Gomorrah is not altogether different from what God says the end of time is like and only those he says found in Christ can be saved will be saved.

How could you say you believe that and not tell somebody you say you care about it. Hey welcome back to another week of teaching here on Summit Life with Pastor J.D. Greer of the Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As always I'm your host Molly Bittovitch. Today Pastor J.D. continues with the story of Lot, Abraham's nephew.

And like many of us Lot was allured by the world and its fast-paced attractive life but it didn't happen overnight. The constant battle of what the heart desires and then pursuing it actually reveals to us our desperate need for prayer. In our own battle will we be like Lot captured by the wonders of the world or like Abraham interceding on behalf of the lots that God has placed in our lives.

If you missed the beginning of this sermon I just wanted to remind you that you can always hear previous broadcasts at our website but right now let's return to our teaching titled the danger of worldliness and the duty of prayer. Proverbs 13 20 he who walks with wise men will be wise but a companion of fools will be destroyed. A friend of mine says it this way you show me your friends and I'll show you your future because if you hang out with wise people you become wise but if you're a companion of fools then you become like them and you will be destroyed. He says you will become the average of your five closest friends. Take your five closest friends right now average them together and that's what you will be in the next few years.

You show me your friends and I'll show you your future. You say but pastor are you saying we shouldn't have any non-christian friends? No I'm not saying that but there's a difference between core community and those that you're trying to reach. The point is you got to decide who you want to be. You got to decide where you want to go and then you have to pitch your tents there. You have to surround yourself with that community. Where do you want to belong and is your choice of community going to lead you there?

How long are you going to go back and forth between two worlds? I'll say it again the most miserable person in the world is the half-committed Christian. Just enough in the world that they're miserable in God and just enough into God that they're miserable in the world. Their soul is salty.

Their soul is salty, dry, famished, miserable. You got to choose the side of the road and Jesus by the way does not look very kindly on favorably on the half-committed either. He says in Revelation I wish you were cold or hot lukewarm tepid makes me want to spit you out of my mouth.

Listen he loves you but he wants you to be one way or the other. It starts by moving along that journey. Number two, number two Lot teaches us that the coming judgment is real. Coming judgment is real for years. For years God had warned Sodom and Gomorrah about the coming judgment but everybody brushed it off as unreal and went back to partying. But God makes no empty promises.

One day it came. God tells us that he is slow in executing judgment in order to give people space to repent but do not confuse his slowness with his absence or his sluggishness on fulfilling a promise. Hebrews 9 27 says it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. It is appointed. There's a day that has been chosen for each of us to die and that day is coming.

It happens sometimes way premature based on our calendar. One of the defining moments in my spiritual journey happened when I was about 15 and one of the kids that I'd grown up with whose name was Jamie and he's really popular. He was hilarious. He was smart.

He had everything going for him. He had no thought at all about God. We were at a Christian school and he just didn't he just not somebody walking with Jesus and right after he got his license he was 16.

I was 15. He got in a car wreck and and was his life just tragically taken away and I remember standing there at his funeral looking at this task and God was at work in my life and thinking he is now in eternity. He is in eternity and the only thing that matters right now is where he stood with God. It was appointed to him to die and after that the judgment and it's beginning to think about did I ever talk to him? Did I ever tell him I knew what was right and what was wrong and maybe he maybe in these last few weeks maybe he came to know Jesus.

I don't know but the point was at that point that's all that matters. Every person that you know is going to spend eternity in one of two places. Every person you know is going to spend eternity in one of two places. Did you know? Did you know that Jesus talked more about hell than heaven?

Have you ever thought about what that must be like if it's true? If Jesus was being straight with us you think well Jesus didn't talk about that. He did. Go back and read it. Jonathan Edwards the 18th century American theologian. He said this regarding Jesus teaching on hell.

Listen to this. Imagine he says if you take what he says seriously imagine yourself cast into a fiery oven glowing with heat. Imagine that your body was going to lie there for about a quarter of an hour full of fire inside and out feeling every fiber of it the whole time. What horror would you feel when you entered such a furnace? How long would that quarter of an hour seem to drag on?

If it was measured by an hourglass how slowly would the time seem to go? And after you had endured it for one minute how overbearing would it be for you to think that you had another 14 minutes left? But what if you knew that you must lie there enduring that torment in its fullness for 24 hours? How much greater even if you knew you must endure it for a whole year? How much greater still if you knew you must endure it for a thousand years? Wouldn't your heart sink if you knew you must bear it forever and ever that there would be no end? That after millions and millions of ages your torment would be no nearer to an end than before and that you should never ever be rescued? But your torment in hell will be immeasurably greater than this if Jesus was telling the truth.

How utterly inexpressible and inconceivable how your heart and soul would sink in such a case. The question you ask yourself if you believe this is how do you call somebody your friend if you believe this but you've never warned them? What will your friends say to you at the judgment day if you just never told them? I mean can you imagine them looking at you and saying what you you you knew this and you never even spoke up. I've told you before about a girl that I was sharing Christ with her young lady I was sharing Christ with she'd never heard the gospel I'm walking through and and we were back and forth he was asking all these questions and she'd been educated at some ivy league school and we were and she says she says you actually believe this and I said well yeah she said because you don't act like you believe it I said what do you mean I'm trying to explain it to you I'm trying to persuade you of it she said no no you act like you're trying to win a debate you act like there's a scorecard and you're trying to get more points than I than on your side than I have on my side she said if I believe what you say that you believe that there is a real heaven and a real hell and only Jesus makes the difference she said I don't know how I'd make it through the day she says I know I would go to every person that I know and I would plead with them but they had to pay attention and you you're just talking about it as if it's something you're trying to win a debate you're trying to to finish what will your friends say to you on the day of judgment they would they say how could you call me friend and just stay silent and not speak lots life shows us that coming judgment is real and it's coming for those that are around us and the greatest hypocrisy of all time is saying that you believe in heaven and hell and not doing everything you can to keep those you care about from going there number three number three lots life shows you that you cannot drift into godliness you can't drift into godliness again lot did not make a deliberate choice to make Sodom his home he just drifted there listen I need you to understand this living for Jesus in this world is always going to feel to you like an uphill battle because you are going against the current of the entire world and everything in the world is going to pull you in the other direction which means if you're not actively fighting means you're being pulled the wrong way there's no such thing as drifting into the right areas have you ever been at the beach and gotten pulled way down shore by the current you didn't even know what was happening you're just out riding your raft or body surfing and jumping in the waves and you look up and somehow you're now 15 houses down the coast they don't know where your family is anymore that's like the pull of our world if you're not actively fighting you're drifting away to go with Jesus means you have to swim against the stream that takes effort Jesus said it this way in the gospel of Matthew he says the highway to hell is broad its gate is wide for the many who choose that way but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult and only a few ever find it it's broad it's easy it's the default if you're not actively choosing the difficult way you're just being pulled along the broad way so again I'll say it you cannot drift into godliness you'll never drift into spiritual maturity or into leadership that takes daily focused effort to become what no one else is becoming you got to do what nobody else is doing you got to be different in student camp I mentioned a couple of ways I see some of our teenagers that are tempted to drift not intending to get to Sodom but just just drifting places where they're drifting when they ought to be fighting I would say these apply just as much to the rest of us especially us as parents drifting drifting is not actively seeking to know god and his word I look around at our students it's not that you reject the bible you just give all your time to snapchat tick tock instagram reels netflix binging video games and comparatively none to spiritual growth you don't do a daily quiet time you're you're not in the leadership cohorts we offer or take advantage of the discipleship and mission opportunities we have you spend all your time on snapchat staring at life in Sodom broad is the gate that leads to destruction and easy is that way and so many just drift along that way parents your family's not going to drift into godliness you know that right the current of the world will always take them quickly away from god listen I'm always disturbed by the stats on high school students who grew up in churches like ours and and then leave it behind and I know you're disturbed by that too and I know these are listen complex questions we never affix blame I mean god created only two humans directly and they both walked away so I'm not at all trying to if you've had a kid walk away I'm not saying it's your fault but I will say that for many Christian teenagers the transition out of church is not that difficult because the families they grew up in were not that much different from the world sure you were regular in church but you basically lived by the same values you spent your money like the world spends their money you allocated your time like the world allocates their time the only major difference in your life is that you added church attendance on the weekend so when the kid goes off to college it's pretty easy to discard that habit they felt more at home inside them anyway that was where they built their entire community listen parents you know that church is a really difficult habit to maintain if god is not a passion for you I mean you got to get up on sunday morning and you got to get dressed and you got to find a parking space and sit with a bunch of strangers they're going to tell you church is a terrible habit if god is not a passion for you that is an easy habit to drop if a child doesn't see Jesus as the center and the passion of your life church is altogether easy to just drop out of when you get to college and beyond again your family parents your family will not drift into godliness to become what nobody else in our world is becoming you got to do what nobody's doing we'll return to our teaching in just a moment but I wanted to remind you about our featured resource this month it includes a bundle of three short books on prayer that are designed to boost your prayer life by providing both solid teaching as well as fresh ideas each chapter takes a passage of scripture and it looks at how it can influence how we pray for three specific areas in our life praying for our parents praying for our kids and praying for our community learn what it means to intercede on a whole new level and build this discipline in a fresh and powerful way this resource comes with your gift to the ministry right now so give us a call at 866-335-5220 or check it out at now let's get back to the conclusion of today's teaching here's pastor jd i told our students at camp we need a generation committed to go against the flow i challenge them to be that group that goes against the current together to get on a text stream with their friends and say let's be the group of friends that's different let's check on each other about how our quiet times are let's pray for each other let's hold each other accountable on things like sexual purity or sharing christ with our friends let's pray for our friends hold each other accountable on reading the bible let's prioritize being a small group and serving in student ministry and doing it even when it's lazier and easier to stay at home students why not do that parents why not make the same commitment in how we lead our families that jesus will come first and that he will be the living breathing center of all that we do so see that's one way i see christian teenagers drifting when they ought to be fighting here's the other drifting drifting would be not warning your friends about coming judgment not only like lot are you becoming more more indistinguishable from sodom you never warn the people in your sodom about the judgment you believe you say you believe is coming he's too embarrassed or you don't want to be seen as too extreme or a radical hey news flash okay the message is radical judgment is coming what's going on with sodom and gomorrah is not altogether different from what god says the end of time is like and only those he says found in christ can be saved will be saved how could you say you believe that and not tell somebody you say you care about how could you call them a friend and not have your heart broken and say what is it how it's going to pray for you and i can't force it on you i know that but i don't want you showing up on judgment day and i've never even spoken to you to warn you how much you have to hate somebody not to even warn them god puts you in their lives to be a warning to be his messenger to them to tell them about that coming judgment and that day of salvation and jesus that's offered to them how could we let an unwillingness to be seen as different or let a unwillingness to be seen as a little weird keep us from warning them which leads me to the last lesson from lot here number four becoming abraham to the lots in your life i mentioned that when it was time for lot to flee sodom when judgment was just moments away lot hesitated and when he did verse 16 tells us the angel seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and and pulled them to safety outside the city because it says verse 16 the lord was merciful here's a question why did god have the angels do this for lot i mean by this point lot seems to be as bad as everybody else in sodom in fact you could argue that he's worse because he should have known better he he'd been warned continuously about the wickedness of sodom but he ignored it so in a way he's more guilty than everybody else right not less why do the angels grab his hands and drag him and his family and only them to safety why verse 29 tells you the answer but god had listened to abraham's request and kept lot safe removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plane friends listen this is a life changer there was one reason one that god saved lot and his family abraham had prayed for them lot did not deserve rescue but somewhere back there there was a man who loved him and prayed for him and for his sake abraham's sake god saved lot he sent his angels to literally pull him out of sodom to safety now eventually lot would come to understand this and lot would turn in repentance toward god that's what the book of jude tells us in the new testament but the point is that began because god sent angels in response to abraham's prayer and pulled literally pulled him out when when they begin to pull him out he hesitates and when he hesitates the angels pull even harder why because abraham prayed you know if abraham hadn't prayed it seems a lot would have perished along with everybody else in sodom could we get a clearer picture of the power of prayer yo i know that i'm here i'm here before you today because i had a mom who prayed for me i've told you before i um another one of the defining moments in my life was a car wreck that took place when i was i actually was it was just in the process of becoming a christian and my friends and i had taken a um an all weekend ski trip and we were coming back trying to make it back to church on sunday morning and about 5 a.m and you said why were you driving at 5 a.m that's a great question we should not have been so all right i'll just go and acknowledge that but um i was in the back seat of this um mustang asleep because my friend was driving and everybody in the car was asleep including the guy that was driving and that became the problem and uh coming down highway 421 and um next thing i woke up and remember feeling like man it's really cold in here my friend had the window down and for some reason just switched my head from one side of the car to the other they had no reason just felt more comfortable and um just in a few moments i was 5 16 when that happened at 5 18 my friend went 75 miles an hour hit a mattress on the side of the road i have no idea how there was a mattress on the side of the road but he had a mattress on the side of the road skidded for about 200 yards and then went off in a ravine and the car rolled and it crushed on the side that my head had been on just a few moments before i remember as we got out of this car and we get up there and looking up there i just was overwhelmed standing on this thing and how close i'd come to dying the next morning i got to church and told my mom was like hey we were in this terrible wreck last night and she said what time that happened i said well it happened at 5 18 i remember that because i'd woken up and look at the clock just a couple moments before it happened she said you know she said it's really interesting she said i i wasn't quite sure where you were i trusted you but i didn't know where you were she said at five o'clock this morning she said i just woke up and i had this burden to pray for you and she said i just got up and she said i prayed for about 30 minutes pray for about 30 minutes then i went back to sleep i share that for two reasons number one if god ever wakes you up at like five in the morning with a burden to pray for me i'd really appreciate it if you would do it okay the number two is to tell you that god god uses people who pray to pull people out of safety you see that was part of a longer prayer journey that my mom had been on for two or three years praying that god would open my eyes because she said everything she knew how to say to me they'd done everything they knew how to do at the end of the day she said i can't pull my son out of this attraction he has to the world she prayed me into the kingdom of god i had a mother who prayed for me and pulled me out of sidon and one of the books that veronica my wife and i used to pray for our kids it's called praying for your children the author tells a story of a lady in his church a lady in his church who was named sarah who got a phone call one evening listen to this the voice on the other end of the line when she answered the phone said mom the good news is i've become a christian sarah the mother said and what's the bad news the story that followed was one no parent ever hopes to hear sarah's son had been caught smuggling drugs in the trunk of his car across straight state lines there was little doubt he would be found guilty and it looked like robert the son would go to prison for years sarah had had done her best to raise her son to believe in jesus every sunday of his young life found them at church but the lure of wealth of the lure of wealth and the world pulled him into a place sarah never imagined still she placed robert in god's hands day by day and loved him through her prayers after he repented after he'd been caught in sin and sarah still grieved the mistakes he'd made but she was grateful to see a sincere new faith in him and thought that would be better even if he has to go to prison when the case against robert was dismissed on a technicality nobody was more surprised than sarah and no one was more pleased as her son continued steadfastly in following jesus it was four day decades later this pastor writes that i've met robert sarah was celebrating her 81st birthday and her children and grandchildren had gathered around her to reminisce the air was full of laughter as one by one they shared their stories when robert stood to speak he was doing his best to hold it together he talked with profound tenderness about his mom speaking of her like somebody who literally saved his life you might have noticed from their shared glances that there was a special understanding between mom and son like two people who had returned from a long and difficult journey with a story known only to each other robert wrapped up his eulogy of his mother with the words of a well-known poem you may have tangible wealth untold caskets of jewels and coffers of gold richer than i you can never be because i had a mother who prayed for me that's our role and i've got even more good news for you you and i can pray for others with even more power than abraham did remember abraham's prayer we ran through it it was like a negotiation lord spare for 50 45 about 30 20 finally he gets it's handy he just gives up because he can't even find 10 righteous here's the good news you and i need look no farther than one you and i can pray for lost friends in the name of one righteous there is one righteous and he is so supremely righteous so altogether perfect and lovely that god says we can pray for the lost of the lost prodigal and the lost of the lost sinner and for his sake that one righteous man's sake jesus god hears our prayers and delivers our friends or our siblings or our parents or whomever we have set our love on i can come say that one righteous that is so supremely righteous is enough to move god to say i'll spare him for his sake if you pray friend jesus did this for us he prayed for us right he came after us now it's our turn to do that for our friends so here's the question are you ready is this church ready to become an abraham to the lots in your life each of you have lots god says through your prayers you pull them out of that city are you ready to grow in prayer we're confident that today's teaching along with our monthly resource will lead you in the right direction you're listening to summit life with jd greer did you know pastor jd is on social media like his page and receive encouragement every day right on facebook just search for pastor jd greer before we go i wanted to remind you about the five things to pray bundle that we're offering this month this series of short books on prayer is designed to boost your prayer life by giving you fresh teaching and ideas each chapter takes a passage of scripture and it looks at how it can influence how we pray in three specific areas praying for your city praying for your kids and for your parents when you give 35 dollars or more today we'll send you this bundle of books as our way of saying thanks for your generous support you can also request the study when you make your first donation as a gospel partner gospel partners commit to regular monthly giving they're the real backbone of this ministry if you've been growing through this program it's because of the faithfulness of our gospel partner family so please join with us today you can find more information about becoming a gospel partner on our website or you can give us a call at 866-335-5220 that number again is 866-335-5220 we hope to hear from you today i'm molly vidovich inviting you to join us tuesday as we continue this brand new teaching series on prayer right here on summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-11 21:44:21 / 2023-03-11 21:54:41 / 10

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