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MTD and the Only Way to Heaven #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2022 8:00 am

MTD and the Only Way to Heaven #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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June 6, 2022 8:00 am

Do all good people go to heaven- That's actually a trick question because, according to the Bible, there are no good people, only sinners- And on this edition of The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green will contrast the truth of Scripture with the lies of the false philosophy known as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. --TheTruthPulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Moralistic therapeutic deism is not Christianity. This is not biblical teaching. It is a false religion. MTD is the false religion of those who attend church occasionally and yet live any way that they want to. Do all good people go to heaven?

Well, that's actually a trick question because according to the Bible, there are no good people, only sinners. And on this edition of the Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green will contrast the truth of Scripture with the lies of the false philosophy known as moralistic therapeutic deism. Hello again, I'm Bill Wright.

We're continuing our series, Deception Close to Home. And Don, this particular lie of MTD is another one that really gets to you, isn't it? Well, you know, Bill, I guess the problem with this philosophy that we've been examining over the course of this series is that the lies of it are so seductive and so prevalent that it's a joy to be able to spend some time on the program to be able to expose them to those of you that we love in our listening audience.

If you could be good enough to go to heaven, as many people believe, Scripture has no meaning and Christ died in vain. Stay with us as we explore these thoughts today on the Truth Pulpit. Okay, Don. And friend, let's join our teacher now as he continues teaching God's people God's Word in the Truth Pulpit. What are the principles that guide moralistic therapeutic deism?

Just very quickly, because we've covered this so many times. Number one, a God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth. We said that sounds fine, but the fact of the matter is it's too vague. This is the whole problem with the spirit of our age is that it is content with a vague spirituality that has no substance, that never goes beneath the surface. You could say this about a million different gods that exist only in the minds of those who hold to it. No, what we said was what we need to talk about when it comes to who God is is that we must speak of the sovereign, triune God who is revealed uniquely in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. It's not enough to talk about some vague higher power or that I have a belief in God.

I'm confident that those of you that are an ongoing part of our church understand that you don't have to be a Christian to say something like that. And if that's all a person says about God, I believe in God, I believe in a creator being, I believe in a higher power, and they stop there, your mind should immediately say I need to pray immediately for this person because they are not saved. If that is all that they can talk about God is in those vague terms, they have not gotten to the point yet of a saving knowledge of Christ.

Secondly, the second presupposition of this spirit of our age is that God wants people to be nice, good, and fair to each other as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. Now, the ending clause there taught by the Bible and by most world religions should immediately clue you in that there's something seriously wrong here. If a person thinks that they can talk about the Bible on a level playing field with other world religions like Mormonism or Islam or Catholicism or Hinduism or whatever other ism you want to talk about, you immediately know that there's something greatly fundamentally wrong.

You are missing the message of the Bible if you think it can be equated with anything else because the Bible points uniquely to the Lord Jesus Christ. And the truth of the matter is that over against this idea that God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other is the reality that Scripture condemns all men because they are not good, they are not fair, they are not loving to each other, and all men are sinners who need to be born again. Jesus said, unless a man is born again, he will not see the kingdom of heaven, he will not enter the kingdom of heaven, John chapter 3 verse 3.

Unless a man, unless a woman has been born again by the Spirit of God in a way that has brought them to repentance and faith in Christ, they are lost. And God, therefore, God is not simply concerned about the horizontal relationships of men between men, God demands vertical allegiance. God demands not more than just mere human morals, he calls people to worship him. And if you do not worship the true God, you are the worst of sinners. And so this is very sobering to think through these things.

Number three, we've spoken about this one already, I'll just kind of run through it very quickly. The central goal of life, according to moralistic therapeutic deism, is to be happy and to feel good about yourself. Well, we saw that for centuries the church has been asking and answering the question, what is the chief end of man? First question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Man's chief end, the answer is, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Your chief purpose in life, the reason man exists, the reason any individual exists, is to glorify God with your life.

We looked at that. I won't dwell on the point any longer. Point number four, God does not need to be particularly involved in your life except when you need him to resolve a problem for you. And what we said is this, it's hard to imagine anything more insulting against the glory and majesty of God than to describe him in those terms. That he is somehow a dispensable part of your existence to take or leave as you wish, and that you can just whistle for him like you would whistle for a cheap dog to come running to you at your command and at your beck and call to fix what you want and then send the puppy off to do its thing someplace else.

That is repulsive to me, and it should be repulsive to you. The true God is a God of majesty, a God of glory, a God of great, great worth, who not only demands our praise but deserves it. And as such, the idea of neglecting him is just foreign to any concept of biblical thought whatsoever. Rather than ignoring this God, Scripture calls us to continually rejoice in him and to give thanks to him. 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 16, you don't need to turn there for now. 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 16 through 18 says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. And so over against this idea that God doesn't need to be particularly involved in your life are clear commands of Scripture that says your life should be oriented toward a prayerful attitude toward God at all times. That your heart should be full of thanksgiving at all times, giving thanks to him for the grace and mercy that he shows in his common grace in the way that he orders life and society, and even more for the way that he has shown saving grace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And Scripture says that is God's will for you. That the disposition of your mind would be ordered toward praising God and thanking him without ceasing. That there would be a settled principle in your mind that orders vertical gratitude and thanks to him. Ultimately that defines the reason that you exist more than your spouse does, more than your family does, more than your job does, more than anything else. The reason you exist is to give thanks to the God who gave you physical life and in Christ has given you spiritual life. Beloved, it could be no other way.

It can't be any other way. If our existence and our security and the forgiveness of our sins are all derivative of the grace of God as shown to us in Christ, then it's obvious that that is the central focus of our lives and everything else falls beneath that in priority in our thinking. And so what we've said is that this spirit of moralistic therapeutic deism conditions people and it affirms them in their sinful autonomy against God. It affirms them in their self-centered life. It affirms them in their preoccupation with things that are only temporal in nature and blinds them to the glory of God. It blinds them to the nature of eternity. It blinds them to the need to think beyond this life. For this life is just a brief closing window that will usher us into eternity for better or for worse.

And so I'm grateful to the Lord that we've had opportunity to spend so much time on all of these things and I'm grateful to you for sharing in it with me. Now the fifth and final principle, fifth and final presupposition that we'll address of MTD as we've abbreviated it, is this, good people go to heaven when they die. Good people go to heaven when they die. And there's a sense in which everyone would like to believe this because if that's the case then we can live any way that we want and we go to heaven when we die just as long as we've been nice to people along the way. And of course those who espouse this kind of view number themselves among the good people, right? I mean is anybody anywhere teaching that all you good folks are going to go to heaven but I'm a bad person and I'm going to hell? Does anyone evangelize that way? No, this is just a backhanded way for a person to congratulate themselves on their own self-righteousness.

It's deplorable. It's an awful way to think and ultimately this is the culminating lie of it all. This is the culminating lie of the spirit of our age. Moralistic therapeutic deism and many pulpits throughout our land and throughout the world are telling people to assume that they are good and acceptable to God. Why else, beloved, would they fall so silent on telling people about the wrath of God?

Why else would they fall so silent in declaring to men and women like you that you are sinners who have broken God's law and you fall short of his glory every day? Why would they fall short of warning people about the dangers of hell except that they are communicating perhaps sometimes an unspoken presupposition oftentimes more verbally expressed that everything is fine, peace, peace be with you. God loves you, God will take you to heaven and you see this reflected back in the mirror when you go to most funerals who talk about the departed.

I speak as though there were an imaginary casket in front of me, I guess, the way I'm waving my hands that oh, he's in a better place. Now he's in someplace green and it's peaceful and you know we'll all be together one day and just this vapid sense of uninformed spirituality, things pronounced over a man or a woman who had no regard for God in their lives and at the funeral the lie is repeated so many times and so the ongoing or the working presupposition is that basically men are good and acceptable to God and that even if it's not said that way, that's the controlling disposition of a heart and you're good and I'm good, we're going to be in heaven together. You know, why God would want us never crosses their mind. Why would God want someone who gave no regard to him in their lives, who had no regard for his word? Why would heaven suddenly be open to continual rebels who have no regard for him?

And so the prevailing spirit of our age totally lacks any sense of sin, totally lacks any sense of the poverty of spirit of which Jesus spoke in Matthew chapter 5 verses 3 and 4. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

And the reality in this way of thinking is, is that heaven simply becomes an extension of MTD on earth. And it grieves me. It grieves me for the sake of the truth of God, to see the truth of God denied and hidden, that grieves me. It grieves me for the sense of the false teachers who are promulgating this, who know that this kind of teaching attracts bigger crowds, because everybody likes to be told how good they are. Everybody likes to be flattered. Everybody likes to have the world and to have God center around them.

This is just great, so to speak. It grieves me over that. It grieves me for the sake of the souls who assume things are fine and will wake up with the rich man in Hades crying out for someone to go and warn those they left behind, lest they come to this place of torment as well. And so we realize that this prevailing spirit conditions men to avoid thoughts of sin or heaven and hell. Now think with me as we think about this, and I'm quite confident that you have family members, neighbors, coworkers that you're thinking about as we hear this, and you can just hear echoes of what people have said to you.

And so I trust that as we wrap these things up, that it burdens your heart as well, and that perhaps the burden of this would motivate us, including myself, to pray even more earnestly for the Spirit of God to open their eyes and to lead them out of darkness into light. But this spirit, this way of thinking, teaches men, conditions men not to think about sin and hell, and in light of everything that we've said in the prior four messages about the prior four principles, beloved, think with me, why would they even have a thought of being afraid of those things? God exists to make them happy.

They see God as someone who simply wants to solve their problems, and so they run inside a church building when their back hurts to cash in on this nature of God, and then they can get back to their lives. Beloved, if God exists simply to solve your problems and to make you happy, there is no possible way that sin could be a problem to you before God. There's no possible way that hell could be a problem. Why would God send anybody to hell for eternity if the presupposition is true that he's just such a guy that wants people to be happy, and all of a sudden you have added to the blindness that leads people to destruction? Yes, you can fill a large stadium in Houston talking about these things and making people feel better for the moment.

You can do that. There's living proof of it, but it leaves sinners exposed to hell and condemnation from a holy God. And sooner or later, beloved, that weighs on a godly heart, and if not genuine physical tears in the literal eyes, that brings tears to the heart of the true believer. Moralistic therapeutic deism is premised on a false assumption that most men are good, and I want to just say this plainly, that this spirit, this kind of teaching that is embodied in what we are saying here, beloved, let me say it just as plainly and directly as I possibly can in a simple sentence. Moralistic therapeutic deism is not Christianity. This is not biblical teaching. It is a false religion. It is a false hope.

It is a false security. It is the false religion of those who are satisfied that they have prayed a prayer to Jesus to come into their heart without any sense of remorse over sin, without any true repentance, without any love for Christ, without any desire to follow him. That is false religion. It is not Christianity. MTD is the false religion of those who attend church occasionally and yet live any way that they want to.

MTD is the false religion of those who may pay lip service to the Bible but have no desire to read it, to understand it, to study it, or to hear it taught. You could not possibly read the Bible, start with the Bible, and read it cover to cover, read the New Testament consecutively, and come out with this kind of deformity that passes for the religion of our age. You see, the Bible tells an entirely different story about this idea that good people go to heaven when they die. Turn in your Bible to Isaiah chapter 64. Isaiah chapter 64 verse 6 says, For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind take us away. And look at this in verse 7. There is no one who calls on your name, who arouses himself to take hold of you, for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities. The prophet looks on things. This is the same prophet who in chapter 6 cried out woe upon himself because he had seen God and he realized he was a man of unclean lips and he lived among a people of unclean lips.

That is the reality that we are living in today as well. And beloved, we just need to be clear that the punishment for sin against this holy God is eternal destruction. We looked at this just a week ago when we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, it's not the question, it's not the issue that good people go to heaven when they die. The problem is that hell is for bad people. We might get people to nod in the general direction of that, but where moralistic therapeutic deism has to stop nodding is when you go the next biblical step further and say, and friend, we're all bad.

We're all bad. Hell is for bad people and we're all bad. And so A plus B equals C. And the C stands for condemnation. Even though we've turned there many times, let's turn there again to Romans chapter 3.

A plus B equals condemnation. We'll go a little further than what we often do when we look at this passage. In verse 9 it says, are we better than they? Not at all, for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin. Let me state just for the record that as I say these things, I fall under the umbrella of condemnation of which I speak myself.

I speak down to no one as we talk about these things. This is the condition of humanity and I am included in what I am saying here. Verse 10, there is none righteous, not even one. There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become useless.

There is none who does good, there is not even one. Keep going. Their throat is an open grave. With their tongues they keep deceiving. The poison of asps is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their paths and the path of peace they have not known. And Paul gathers up these Old Testament quotations and says this in verse 18, there is no fear of God before their eyes. Now, beloved, he says that in a statement condemning the entire human race. And as we have seen, as we have gone through this phenomenon that marks the spirit of our age, known as moralistic therapeutic deism, we have said over and over again what Paul summarizes as being the pinnacle of the condemnation, the righteous condemnation of the human race.

It's that there is no fear of God before their eyes. It may be painful for people to realize that far from being the reasonably good human beings they think they are, they are in fact abject sinners deserving of judgment. But as you've heard, the truth hurts. Thankfully, there is the gospel, but repentance is a mandatory part of it. Pastor Don Green will conclude both his message, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and the Only Way to Heaven, and our series, Deception Close to Home, next time on The Truth Pulpit.

Be sure to join us then. Right now, though, here's Don with some exciting ministry news. Well, my friend, it's always meaningful for me to be able to preach God's Word to God's people and to share it with you here on the radio.

Recently, I completed a series that is one of my all-time favorites. It's called The Bible in Roman Catholicism. It was several messages designed to test Catholic teaching by what Scripture says. We'd like to share a copy of that with you, a full, complete CD album of 10 messages.

Just go to our website and request it, or you'll find the downloads. We just want you to have this material at no cost as our gift and ministry to you. Just visit us at and click on Radio Offers to learn more. That's I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-08 17:53:07 / 2023-04-08 18:01:55 / 9

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