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Houston, We Have a Problem, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2020 9:00 am

Houston, We Have a Problem, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 10, 2020 9:00 am

Have you ever wondered what happens to people who have never heard the name of Jesus? In this message, Pastor J.D. turns to Romans, where the Apostle Paul shows us that God has revealed truth to us in creation and in us through a longing for meaning and eternity. Learn why those longings are no cruel joke; they are, as C.S. Lewis said, evidence that we were made for another world.

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With JD. If you become convinced that Jesus is in me says he is. Are you willing to follow him wherever he leads you because if not, you probably never know the truth because a prerequisite for knowing the truth is a willingness to follow the truth and were talking like it's a head problem when Scripture says is usually our problem. The problem is not of the evidence is not clear enough that your heart is not in capacity to receive your listening with rear dress down and wondered what happens to people who have never heard the name of Jesus. He turned again. The Romans were the apostle Paul shows us that God's revealed truth to us in creation and interest through a longing for meaning in eternity and why those longings are no cruiseship they are. As CS Lewis had evidence that we are made for another world.

Let's join Pastor Katie for his final message from Romans chapter 1, the fact that we all have feelings of guilt going to the fact that you and are stamped with the image of some divine lawgiver who has implanted into our hearts is a sense of right and truth and love. And even if we stop believing in God. You can't shake this idea that you're going to be held accountable. One day you and I are going to report to a divine lawgiver who stamped his image and his requirements on our hearts what may be known about God is evident to us from creation is evident in us from our consciences. But but we suppress the truth we push that beach ball down we know but we didn't know because we didn't want to know, for although Paul says they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they show gratitude wouldn't want to embrace the truth about a glorious all-powerful holy ruling God. We don't want that to be true.

Why, because we wanted to make the rules we wanted.

We wanted to take God's glory for ourselves. We wanted to use our lives to direct attention toward us not toward him wanted to use the resources of our lives to serve our agenda not is so we became plagiarize her plagiarize a people who take credit for what somebody else is done. We claim God's work for ourselves. We didn't want to acknowledge all of our talents, our brains brainpower every bit of energy we have. That was all different God. We don't even like to acknowledge how much we owe to the circumstances of our time in birth, and what we've accomplished. I see that all the time.

You're the driver. This was a go on a self-made man I everything I've done I've accomplished, I pulled muscle Obama Butrans I guess you were born a poor kid in an Indian village somewhere in Southeast Asia you think that there that you were born in him in a village in a remote part in.

You think that you will accomplish anything that your company now you'll realize how much you owe, to the place you were born, the opportunities that were available to you. The way that your parents raised you.

Even the talent they gave you were something that came from choices you need to make for yourself. We plagiarize and we we assume that we were the ones who are responsible for all these things to use a term from that great theologian Brian Regan. We became gigantic me monsters you know me monsters got a party that somehow figures out how to turn every single conversation back toward himself. What you don't. He's on some better so you will. This is what I've got.

Maybe I'm tired of talking about me while you talk about me for a while now three weeks. Bright bright red regions as I wish I could walk on the moon.

I could just be a national model to not have the ultimate come back to me monster because nothing beats walking on the moon right. I walked on the moon. What you do right me monsters not you and I may have better social manners and the me monster, but in our heart. We all have something in common with the me monster.

We want to be the center of our story. We want to make the rules will appoint our comfort is the priority we know best. Our way is better. Our will is supreme and so and so our thinking became worthless or senseless hearts were darkened claiming to be wise, we became fools humanity's suppression of truth. Paul explains manifests itself in two forms. There was an irreligious form of suppression. There was a religious form of irreligious suppression is atheism or agnosticism. Listen, I'm not saying they're not people that are genuinely committed to their atheist.

There are, what I'm saying is that according to Romans one atheism is driven by a subconscious desire not to know.

We know but we don't know because we don't want to know you will more illustration of this. Imagine a man whose wife dies. She's like has been his whole world that one that one child together, a son man's career is not going very well, so his whole life begins to be about this son to put this on in the best possible school you get them into it after son is there for a year to the teacher comes to the dad and says hey we are really really strong evidence that your son routinely cheats and he steals from the other kids so was extended all the dad goes back and he comes up with another theory that explains the evidence and that theory goes more like well the teachers at the school just have it out for my son. They don't understand them and they don't like us to report to son out of school and put them in a new school. Six months later same situation arises right and again. It's what the teachers of the school not go to the teachers of the by the way, you probably think of of situations like this right poets and teachers in the school where the problem in this pattern just repeats itself over and over and over again with this guy always coming up with reasons why it's not his son's fault. It's the teachers fault, he knows he knows but he doesn't know because he doesn't want to know because to admit that would see to admit something that would go to the core of what he's based his life on the same thing Paul says happens with us and God.

Everybody in their heart knows the truth but we don't want to admit to ourselves, and we've convinced ourselves that there is no God. Because we just don't like the thought of an all-powerful ruling God so we suppress the truth, which is why a lot of the great atheist intellects of the last hundred years who have become Christians like T.S. Eliot, W.

H. Altman CEM Joad CS Lewis Etienne Wilson the way you've noticed that all the smart people in the world by their initials. We think of a man have said I'll quote one of them, but they've all said something like this. What brought me to faith was not some new argument or some new evidence. I just finally admitted to myself and always knew there was a God from the beach ball kept trying to come to the surface eventuality, had to let it come or to leave the world of academia for a minute you take a group like the Alta Indians who were that remote tribe in Ecuador that had zero content with the outside world for as long as they been people when the missionaries in the 1950s finally brought the gospel to them. Years later, one of the older men in that tribe said this, he said you you you you people. The Western world. You talk about us like we were out there running around the jungle naked and brutalizing people and killing our neighbors.

We did that because we didn't know any better.

Is it we is it we knew that there was some kind of divine for some kind of power we know what to call it what to call him, but we knew that he was there. We knew that whatever it was was very displeased with who we were and we were offensive or weird it was offensive to him. The beach ball is there under the surface is a sense in which we've always known, even if we deny we know what we don't know you want to know.

By the way when I'm sharing Christ with somebody often will ask them.

I will say listen, if you come to see that these things are true. If you become committed to Jesus instantly says he is.

Are you willing to follow him wherever he leads you because if not, you probably never know the truth because a prerequisite for knowing the truth is a willingness to follow the truth and were talking like it's ahead problem when Scripture says is usually our problem. The problem is not of the evidence is not clear enough is that your heart is not in capacity to receive it. Are you willing to follow the truth wherever it goes.

If you're not willing please surrender to follow the truth, you probably never know the truth. Jesus said in John 717. The reason you don't recognize me is true is because your heart doesn't desire to do the will of God right you understand. That's the rear religious form of suppression the religious form of suppression is idolatry. Verse 23 they exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds four-footed animals and reptiles we change the object of our worship into something that we could control the false gods that humanity is worshiped throughout time have been very varied by culture and time. But they've all had one thing in common. Even the gods we worship today we don't bow down in a have God like they used to have that damn but we have God's will show you in a second gods that we devote our lives to all these gods from all peoples in all places at all times are very varied, but they have one thing in common, and that one thing is they exist to serve us. I told you that when it comes to worship were like the pre-Copernican astronomers who assume that the earth is at the center of the universe and everything else in the universe just revolves around us. That's how we approach God we worship.

But our main question when we approach worship was how do I get God into the right place so that he is orbiting my life correctly so that I can benefit from the blessings that he can bring you even hear that in our prayers were at the center God.

This is what I mean God is what I want this I want you to fix this God, you need to smite her for what she said about me and got if you don't do it the way that I want you to do it, but I'll just be mad at you and I'll pay you back by not believing in you that will teach you not to not to put my needs first and foremost know the most basic truth of creation is that God doesn't exist for you. You were created for God and for his glory. He's at the center. You and I want a God who would serve us a God. It would be our divine Butler to what we did what Paul say we did is we reimagine God in that form where he would exist to serve us. By the way that persistent unstoppable habit of the human race to worship that in itself is the result of the knowledge of God that he put inside of us that evidence about beach ball anthropologist told us that all peoples in all places at all times worship all the it's not something you need to want all of them do it. Mankind is incurably religious, even if you're not religious here you live on the religious you can no more turn off your your capacity for worship by not being religious and you can turn off your sex drive by choosing to remain single.

That's not how it works. Anthropologist say we are compelling creatures that were again taught me purpose. We are purposed people we have to live for something. One of them said to be something that captures will always be something that captures her imagination and her allegiance, something which is the resting place of our deepest hopes, something that will look to to calm our deepest fears, whatever that thing is whatever is most essential you you worship it might be money to be the approval of people might be your talents. It might be your family but you worship it, and you pursue it if the one thing you feel like you cannot live without. One thing that gives life meaning. The one thing that defines and validates everything we do and if it's not God.

You just find something else to latch onto something else replaced him with one of my favorite on expirations of this I'm sure this but I think it's been a while was from a Jewish atheist name Ernst Becker wrote a book called the denial of death. He himself as an atheist city said, here's what I've known about myself and watching the society around when we quit believing in God. It seems like our culture replaced God with a romantic partner. So we began he he he noted to talk about romance in ways that nobody else in history. Talk about romance. Nobody, we begin to talk about it in divine apocalyptic terms you back 100 years people to talk about romance is way but now he says we talk about them as if they are our saviors. We want to know from them that her existence hasn't been in vain that we are justified.

We want redemption, nothing less is the best part is it in case we are inclined to forget how deified the romantic love object has become to us well just turn on the radio to turn on the radio listen to the popular songs to our priestesses like Taylor Swift or Zane Malik. I want to live forever because I know without you. I'll be living in vain for Justin Bieber and I know you can serious about his faith now, but early Justin Bieber Justin Bieber baby baby without you.

I can't even face life John legend your mind and in my beginning I give my all you was a religion hear the religious, worship overtones, and that Nonno is not glancing at the Promenade at newfangled music. They just idolatry.

When like that when I was a kid, you're the meaning in my life you're the inspiration you give freely to my life you're the inspiration right late 80s Chicago classifieds listen to country music. It is about God's country I come Alabama. There's no way I could make it without you there is no way that I even try. If I had to survive without you in my life. I know I wouldn't even last the day all baby. There is no way that is a great line for worship song is about romance write what we've done is we've deified the manna got by the way, I can do that. All that is name your genre mangers on I can do it okay. We deified a romantic object. We worship it we have to we can no more turnover instinct for worship, but not being religious and we can turn off our sex drive by remaining single pole trying to say that the knowledge is there, the beach ball.

Is there right and we try to keep her to the surface. What comes out religiously comes out here religiously, but we we suppress it. The point is you say when you say what about those are never heard Paul's answer is everybody's heard everybody's heard God showed it all to us and revealed it in us that's been true of every person the Civil War the face of the earth, but we suppress that knowledge, when all ruling, all sovereign God is.

We didn't wanted to be true. That is the shape of all of our hearts, and for that reason, all humanity. Paul's and explain stands condemned always going to stand condemned. Therefore, Paul says, verse 24 God delivered them over and the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. The first wave of God's judgment was just to give us what we wanted.

That's what the phrase delivered us over men that is capable wanted to give us what we want to save the earth decide you want to rebel against the sun miss you in this is, I'm so sick and tired, I'm sick and tired of you always have the center of everything or around you every day my wife and I just hate that I'm to be the center for now. Now the earth is 30,000 times smaller than the sun, the earth would never have a gravitational ability to keep anything in order but the sign as you win if they wanted to punish the earth it could say right about it. It would have to send out a flash of nuclear energy and scorch the earth to get his back right where you want to happen is that when the earth establish itself the center all of creation will begin to unravel the earth itself would begin to die. That's essentially what God did with us is let us hammer away.

He was let us hammer away throughout the rest of the passage when you read it in Greek and I know most of you reading in Greek. There's a lot of there's a lot of there's a lot of tit for tat. You'll pick it up in English.

I was like a really great don't pick it up and here's what it does ease the same words agree.

They exchange the glory of God for images verse 23 verse 26 of God exchange them over disgraceful passions think we did heated one when they dishonor God for 24 so God let them dishonor themselves for 28 they did not see fit to acknowledge God so God gave them up to an unfit nine is a parallel structure in Greek number.

Paul said it purpose in this book was to reveal to you the righteousness of God. What he is reviewing is a God's righteousness was simply to give us what we asked for.

We can look at God say this is unfair because God say what I just gave you what you asked for. You asked to be the center you asked to call the shots you asked to be in the middle. This is what happened next week we'll talk about how this manifests in society how humanity's hearts begin to darken our desires began to corrupt how our souls begin to unravel, manifesting in things like skewed sexual passions. Men will look at how as societies, we set about societies to justify the license in specifically next week I'll show you how we in our own society have done it historically for things like racial discrimination. How we continue to do it today for things like prejudice or double standards in the legal system as well as licensed abortion were even though the wrongness of these things is pretty obvious we come up with ways of society to ignore or marginalize or justify or even institutionalize those things.

But more on that next week. I just wanted in this week on too much despair.

I was church today.

While we are lecture on eternal damnation, and why we all deserve it to let me leave off at this okay go backwards real quick member Paul said in Romans 116. The key verse in this opening Romans one 1670 God in this book was going to reveal his righteousness, and remember explain the. The greatest insight into the righteousness of God in Romans listen to the righteousness of God is not a standard by which he judges and condemns you as much as it is a gift that he gives to you when you receive what Christ has done in your place by faith that the righteousness of God.

When we read into the lens of the gospel we see yes we are unrighteous. Yes, God is holy, but God when he saw us in our unrighteousness. Love this so much that he pursued us anyway.

The gospel shows you that even though all of us alike have turned away from God and our hearts have grown selfish and wicked and corrupt God Coming after you. The gospel shows you something creation never could show you and it shows you that God is a pursuing father or even after you had rejected him and spidered him and made it all about you. God said, I won't let you choose to get me out forever. I'm good. Come in on the put myself back in the middle. If you will receive me when it came time for him to pour out his righteous judgment on our sin deported outburst on himself so that he could satisfy his own demands of justice so that we could be saved. You can know the power of God and creation. You can know the justice of God from your conscience but you will only know the love of God from across what Paul said.

Romans 58 God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us in the cross I see. Yes, God is powerful. Yes, he is holy. Yes, some unrighteousness, but he's a pursuing father when he came after me. When I went looking for many did it to make it rescue me and I began to say with mother saints throughout history and can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood died he for me because his pain for me who him to death pursued amazing love how can it be thou my God would die for me, never hear another maple just before remember you're one of the most famous theologians of the previous generation. Charles Riley Charlie before he passed away. I was in the class of the toilet. I don't know how he only was it time for you like 150 years old thinking from his late 80s, but it made little you every hit I get some of you, your parents, in a study Bible, Riley study Bible. His name was on the Bible.

Charles Robbie was going to teach us of the gospel of Matthew. He knew everything about everything. We got to the part of Matthew were Jesus is on his way to the cross are numerous couple rows back members he's going through this.

All the stops like 30 seconds is just silent what's what's happening, what's wrong and I can swim as a look about them and I see this late 80s man. I see this big tears out of his eyes and is rolling out a space just answer silent for a minute to minute. Just eventually this joke. I said God dying man who can understand this out there for another minute or two in any got his composure. We went on what I saw in that moment. What it was that there was a time when the greatest theologian comes to where the theology stops in the philosophy stop suddenly just begin to worship and you begin to say amazing love how can it be thou my God would die for me, this gospel is so deep and beautiful and complex that it baffles even the wisest theologians, yet it is so simple that even a child can understand and receive because this gospel tells you that when you the unrighteous and spitting God's face and turned your back on him.

He would not let you go to demonstrate his love for you all the way to the cross.

Here's the question of the book of Romans.

Have you received God heavenly father. This way you received his offer of salvation you accepted Jesus as your Savior. And he wants to save you became safe but you gotta choose to be redeemed by him and then would ensure you want to let you do that it starts to show you the pathway out of sin if it was false corrupted worship pulses of lettuce in the sand. It was not glorifying God and putting ourselves in the center of the lettuce in the sand. Then it is beginning to glorify God and to get ourselves out of the center that will release us from sin.

If you worship your way into sin you worship your way out for the rest of the book of Romans is about. It's not about filling your head with theology is about feeling your heart and your eyes with wonder that you say what a mighty God and you start to say amazing life and you begin to worship year's theme Jesus as your Savior. If not, we would love to help you take that next step.

Give us a call at 866-335-5220. You can always find more resources on our well or just a little over a week.

Interest studying the book of Romans, and there's a lot more ahead. We just finished chapter 1 today is the last day to get one of my favorite resources of the year 2020 Second Life day planner, which was such a huge hit. Last year we brought it back and I recently sat down with Katie and asked him to tell us more about the stable resource now courses of the matter about the new year but using the Martyn Lloyd Jones said it provides a natural moment with people begin to rethink they are there priorities whether were you what they're doing and so are you willing to take advantage of that. Because several times years good to stop and think I know what I say, my priorities are, but what does my calendar say my priorities are great and look through and this planner can be a tool and that they help you analyze what you believe what you're how you organize your life because as it has been said how you spend your time is ultimately arrangement your life if you reach out to us in and just let us know less than how this this ministry is impacting you would love to put this in your hands and really be even more importantly this time he was part of this ministry, investing and praying for and seen seen the power of the gospel change lives for a copy of the pleading when you get in touch today. A great tool to help me stay organized interim I need to tune into the plan is a way of saying thank you and you getting today to support this ministry. Life is funded by listeners like you and we are so grateful to consider you are partners in ministry, you can request this planner when you make a single gift of $25 or more. When you commit to monthly giving the gospel partner easy to sign it. Just call eight 663-3520.

But today's Alaska native planers available to me.

She thought, in case you missed it the number again is 866-335-5220 or you can give and request the planar online Katie address. So glad you joined us today and make sure to tune in again next week as we continue our study simply called on Senate life with Katie Greer

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