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The Death of Worldly Thinking #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 12:00 am

The Death of Worldly Thinking #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright. Thanks for joining us as we continue teaching God's people God's Word. Don begins a new message today, so without further delay, let's join him right now in The Truth Pulpit. As I begin this morning, I'm going to read Genesis 1, but as I'm doing that—Genesis 1, verse 1, not the whole chapter—as I do that, I just want to encourage you parents with young children that are with you today to rustle them up to pay particular attention to me here in the first couple of minutes, because I have something that I sense that the Lord would have me to say to them that applies directly to the topic that we are considering today.

And so I'll make that plain in just a moment. We are continuing our study how to know that God rules over all, and we're at a point where we are considering the doctrine of creation, and in Genesis 1, it says, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God made the heavens and the earth, and as I've been preparing to speak here at this time, I don't speak this way often for good reason, and I don't often do what I'm about to do in speaking directly to children, but I do feel like this is what the Lord would have me to do to speak to the children today as I begin.

The whole message isn't for them, but there's just some things on my heart that I want to say to children that are not barely toddlers or in elementary school, that age group, and it pertains to the fact that God made the heaven and the earth. We need to consider that and think about what that means and how that can help you as a little boy, as a little girl, to have a good attitude and to deal with some of the things maybe that scare you as you walk through the world, even in your loving family. And part of what makes me think about this is that I remember when I was a boy. I was afraid of certain things, and I was particularly afraid of really bad storms. I was afraid of tornadoes, so much so that I thought that our family should appoint someone every night to stay awake and look out the window and to be watching for tornadoes so that we could run to the basement if a tornado was coming. That fear really gripped me, and it kept me awake at night, and I did not know God at that time. I was not a Christian, and I did not know that, and I wasn't mindful of all that it meant that God was the creator of heaven and earth. Maybe you have things, little boy, little girl, that frighten you and things that you fear.

Maybe you've never even told anyone about that because you're a little bit ashamed or you just don't know what to say. I just want to say something to you about this God who made heaven and earth. Jesus said, let the children come to me. In Luke chapter 18 verse 16, he stopped his disciples who wanted to drive the children away, the children they thought were a distraction and that they shouldn't bother Jesus with the things that they had to say or the things that were on their heart.

And Jesus said, stop that. Let those children come to me. Let them feel free to approach me. I want to know them. I want to bless them.

I want to be with them. And one of the things that you see as you read about Jesus in the Gospels, and one of the things that's so wonderful about him, is that he takes care of everyone who trusts in him. And because he is the creator, he's able to do that. He has the power to help you and to deal with the things that frighten you. In Psalm 121 verse 2, it says that my help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

And little one, I just want to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ can help you in the things that frighten you, that he loves you, that he cares about you and he invites you to come to him. He can help you when in those times where you've been naughty, he can help you and forgive you and give you power as you put your trust in him. And the things that scare you and whatever it might be, he's able to help you because he made everything that we see.

He made the heaven and the earth. And the one who made the world and put you in it is able to help you so that you don't have to be afraid. And so Jesus says, come to me. If you're a little one, he says, come to me and you will find that he will bless you and keep you and give you peace if you do. Come to Jesus today little one and enter into that sense of security that I now know that I did not know when I was a boy. And that's what I want to commend to you.

And you can talk to your parents and they will be happy to help you, won't you parents? They will be happy to help you think through these things and see how good Christ is and how you can trust him with everything that's on your heart. And that's true for us as adults as well, isn't it? Well, having said that, how to know God rules over all, I want to pivot to these things and with that reassurance of the love of Christ as we come to his word, I want to just remind you of what we looked at last time. We considered creation and the Christian mind.

And what I want to step into today as we rehearse some of that, we review some of that, to see some of the implications of that. And today's message is titled, The Death of Worldly Thinking. The Death of Worldly Thinking. And this is, as you meditate on the doctrine of creation and what Scripture means by that, you can see that there is a stark choice that is laid before every man, woman, boy, and girl in terms of how they are going to think about the world. We have the dominant majority viewpoint in the world in which we live that everything just kind of exploded into existence, and man, you know, evolved from prior organisms, prior creatures, and there's no real purpose to it all.

It's just every animal fending for himself. You have that view, which you know so well, and then you have the biblical view of things that God, who is an eternal spirit who had no beginning and will have no end, by the sheer power of the exercise of his will, by the sheer power of his spoken word, spoke everything into existence when beforehand there was nothing whatsoever. That all that we see comes from a holy God who decided to create a universe and then place man within it. Now, those two worldviews cannot be reconciled with one another no matter how some people may try to merge them together. They are mutually exclusive, and you must understand that. And one of the reasons that they are mutually exclusive is because those outlooks derive from different sources of authority. The worldly viewpoint derives from the opinions and the conjectures of man. The biblical viewpoint derives and has its authority in the revealed word of God. And whether you feel comfortable debating these matters or not doesn't matter.

What you have to resolve is an answer for yourself is this question. What is the authority for truth? How do I know what is true?

What do I use to measure truth claims so that I can compare what is said, compare what I think, to what an unchanging standard is? Now, as we've said many times, and I'm just comfortably getting into these things here this morning, as we've said many times, we live in a world that despises what I just said, the bare assertion that there is absolute truth by which all other truth claims is to be measured. That statement itself is anathema in the world in which we live.

You know that. Everybody thinks their opinion is the most important thing, that you have your truth and I have my truth, and we really shouldn't argue and get too fussed up about it all. Well, that's not the biblical viewpoint at all, and we gladly embrace the opportunity and the responsibility to assert the biblical view of these things over against the world without trying to curry the favor of what people who disagree might say. Our concern is a vertical concern to be faithful to what God has revealed and to be a mouthpiece for what God has said in his word.

That is the only thing that matters. And at some point, sooner rather than later, every one of you has to decide what's going to be the authority here. Is it going to be my opinion? Am I going to pick and choose from the world around me and piece together my own worldview? Or am I going to submit to the authority of scripture, believe that God has spoken, and endeavor to conform my thoughts to what he has revealed in his word? As others have put it, our responsibility is to think God's thoughts after him. And to discern the mind of God from scripture and to conform the way we think to that as the Spirit of God helps us and moves in our hearts and illuminates us and gives us the ability to understand. I want to be absolutely clear even to the risk of multiple repetitions of what I've said already this morning, as well as in this whole series, is that we are asserting a direct collision with the way that the world thinks.

We're not trying to accommodate it. We are challenging the worldview around us. And we are saying that the way the world thinks needs to die and to be born again by the Spirit of God and renewed in the image of God and to replace worldly dead demonic thinking with the way that God thinks as he's revealed it in scripture.

We're not trying to find a comfortable compromise because there is no compromise to be had. You either think like the world based on the world's authority or you are growing in the thinking of God based on his authority. It's that stark and that distinct. Now, as we said last time, we have covered multiple things already in our long series how to develop a Christian mind, how to build a Christian mind. How do we know that God exists? We've covered that. Multiple messages. There is a God and he has made himself known and he has spoken in so many different ways that scripture says man is without excuse if he denies or ignores the existence of God.

No excuse for that whatsoever. We have considered how we know that the Bible is true. We know the Bible is true because the highest authority in the universe has told us so and that's the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we know that Jesus is Lord? The prophets in the Old Testament laid the foundation for his coming ministry.

They predicted that he would come. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of over 1500 years of prophetic foreshadowing that laid the groundwork for his coming so that when he came there was no excuse for anybody to miss him. And since the life, death and resurrection of Christ, the apostles spoke, interpreted his life, interpreted his ministry, founded the church of Jesus Christ and God by the Holy Spirit recorded their teaching in an inerrant, infallible, inspired word so that we can know the exact truth of what we've been taught. In fact, I want to call your attention to a particular verse in the opening of Luke.

Turn to Luke chapter 1. Turn to Luke chapter 1 and what Luke says about his gospel is true of the entire Bible as well. As we live in a world that thrives on uncertainty, that markets and cultivates uncertainty, understand that Scripture speaks to the exact opposite and a true pulpit will have a note of authority and certainty to it because it's speaking from a Word of God. A shifting, frightened, insufficient, waffling pulpit is not one that is accurately representing the Word of God to you. There should be a note of authority and preaching in all biblical preaching because it's preaching that's based on the authoritative Word of God. Now look at the gospel of Luke here.

We're quite a far ways from the announced topic but that's alright. In Luke, Luke opens his gospel with an introductory statement to the one to whom he dedicated his gospel in a human form. And he says in Luke 1, verse 1, in as much as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things that you have been taught. Luke says there's been a lot of people talking and teaching about what just happened in his contemporary situation, referring obviously to the ministry and the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says there's many reports circulating and he writes to this man named Theophilus, whose name means lover of God, and he says Theophilus, I want you to know that I have taken painstaking efforts to pull together an account that you can rely on.

I want you to know, and Luke here is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Luke is speaking the mind of God revealed about this gospel in which God tells his people, God tells everyone who would take and read, that I want you to have certainty concerning the things that you've been taught. We are not meant to be in a continual state of doubt. We are not meant to be in a state of continual questions. We are not meant to continually open up questions about things that have been settled in Christian theology for millennia.

It is not a virtue to doubt God, it is not a virtue to question his word, it is not a virtue to have no convictions and say I rule out certain teachings, I rule them out because they contradict the word of God and there's no reason to even discuss them. We are to have certainty, beloved, and this is so essential to having a Christian mind is to understand that God intends for us to develop convictions by which we live and convictions that we assert and convictions that we do not compromise on. That's essential to having a Christian mind.

These are things that transcend politics, these are things that transcend our individual lives, these are things that transcend the ebb and flow of everything else. We are considering and contemplating eternal truth from eternal God who does not change, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, as James chapter one says. And so that's what God calls us to, is a Christian mind like that. And to have a Christian mind like that, we reject the idea that doubt, that perpetual uncertainty is a virtue. We call that what it is, it's sinful unbelief. And we realize that we have a responsibility to read the word of God for ourselves individually and corporately and to come to convictions that we uphold in our hearts and that we assert to others without fear or favor of man.

And so all of those prior studies are key. We have established, beloved, over the past six months, we have established the foundation of the presupposition from which I speak here this morning, and it is simply this, that the Bible is the authority for truth, period, full stop, end of sentence, end of paragraph, end of chapter, end of book, end of discussion. The Bible is the authority, as John MacArthur said long ago, when the Bible speaks, the argument is over. And that's true when we come to the matter of creation, when we come to the matters pertaining to Genesis, when it comes to considering matters of science and history, where the Bible speaks to the degree of specificity that it intends, what the Bible affirms is true. And everything else must come into submission to that.

And everything that contradicts that is to be rejected out of hand as mistaken, as wrong. And this places a high priority on the study and interpretation of the Bible as the supreme goal of the church and the supreme goal of the Christian life. Now one of the implications of that for us is this, is that when it comes to matters of science and creation, we interpret science through the history found in Genesis. We do not interpret Genesis by the current state of modern philosophical and scientific speculations about origins.

Genesis interprets science, not vice versa. That is absolutely fundamental. And that's the perspective from which I'll be speaking here today.

Even if you don't like it, even if you disagree, at least you know where I'm coming from. That's a starting point. Now what we've considered over the past three or four weeks is we've looked at the source of everything and we're looking to place creation in a theological context. The theological place of creation was our first point last time. And what we said is that before the world began, God formed a purpose in His mind, and we say formed, it was ever present in His eternal mind, God established what would happen throughout all of the universe in all of its details before Genesis 1-1 even occurred. God planned it all and we call that the divine decree. God determined beforehand everything that would happen in the universe. And then based on that foundation of the determinant purpose of God, creation took place at His spoken word. And creation, we said, was that act of God's will by which He gave existence to everything that was eternally in His counsel, so that what exists is the product of the will of God, the mind of God, and yet it is distinct from God, contrary to those that think everything is just all going to be absorbed into God in some kind of mystical way. God is distinct from His creation. Creation owes its existence to God. It does not share in the eternal existence of God, you could say. That's the theological place of creation.

You can review last week's message to go further with that. Secondly, we moved to the biblical teaching on creation. We got halfway through and had to cut it off for the sake of time, but we said the biblical teaching on creation is this. The revelation of God, in other words, God's self-disclosure, God's manifestation of His mind begins at the very beginning with His act of creation. That's what we read in Genesis 1-1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the beginning, the first thing that happened was that God, who existed before time began, God did something.

He created the heavens and the earth. And what we looked at last time is that the teaching of the Bible as a creation was recent. It's a fallacy to say that the earth is billions and billions of years old. That's a fallacy.

That's not true. It can be scientifically refuted if you consult with Dr. Snelling's work, the Genesis flood revisited. You can consult there for all of the scientific discussion of that. But just going strictly to Scripture, Scripture gives us an idea of a recent creation within the past five to 10,000 years. We know that as we look at the genealogies and go back to Adam, who was the first man created. There's not room for hundreds of thousands of years, let alone millions or billions of years.

It's nonsense. And the early teachers of good Christian men who were first responding to Darwin and some of these things, they didn't necessarily see all of these implications at the time when this was first coming on the scene that in subsequent study as we stand on the studies of others, we better understand these things than when they were first challenged some 150 years ago or so. Now, so creation was recent. We saw also last time that God created in six 24-hour days, six literal 24-hour days, consecutive days, not separated by long day ages in between. And we established that that's the teaching of Scripture by looking at Genesis 1. There was morning and evening, first day, morning and evening, second day, morning and evening, third day, morning and evening, fourth day. You might say, well, you know, why the repetition?

Well, first of all, that's the way it happened. But don't you see that men deny that in the face of six repetitions of God that this is the way that it took place, six, seven repetitions, morning and evening, morning and evening. And God repeats it so many times and man still contradicts it and says that it was something other than it was. We looked at that from Genesis 1. Then we looked at Exodus 20 and Exodus 31, where we see that God commanded the nation of Israel to structure their life around six literal 24-hour days and a day of rest. And he said, do that because this is the way that I did it in creation.

Now, it's obvious nonsense to say that God commanded them to live by what we still know today is the daily seven-day week and that simultaneously what the week was is something that is completely different from the way that God actually created. That's nonsense. That is theologically and biblically incoherent. You cannot join those two things together.

You cannot mix oil and water. Belief and unbelief cannot come together anymore than clay and iron can come together as well as Scripture speaks in other places. A six-day week with a day of rest makes absolutely no sense if those things aren't tied to a 24-hour day as Scripture plainly indicates that they do. Now, last time we also saw that Jesus Christ spoke in a like manner.

You're in, I first had you turn to Luke. Turn to Matthew chapter 19 because I want to repeat this point before we move on to new material. Matthew chapter 19. You'll remember that the Pharisees were asking Jesus technical questions about the reality of divorce. In verse 3, they came up to Him and tested Him by asking. Matthew 19 verse 3 is where we're at. The Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him. They were not, tested tells you there was something insincere going on here, which is always the case when Scripture is being challenged. The Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?

And so they're asking a practical matter about the institution of marriage and divorce that calls for a practical authoritative answer. And notice what Jesus says in verse 4. He says, have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Now, beloved, understand that when Jesus uses the term beginning, He's referring back to the six-day creation account found in Genesis. That makes absolutely no sense if those days were indeterminate long ages of millions of years each or thousands of years each because the creation of man didn't come until the sixth day. And so if you're going to say that, well, it's just all long ages and there's millions of years there that things have been going on when, you know, before man came up and, you know, whatever they believe the origin of Adam was, understand that that kind of teaching makes our Lord look like a moron.

It makes Him look like a moron. What does the word beginning mean if not the very start of things? Now, if from the beginning you mean in the first week of creation God created man and woman, that makes perfect sense.

That fits with Genesis 1, Exodus 20, Exodus 31, and fits perfectly well with the ordinary meaning of the word beginning. To say that God did this after things had already been in existence for millions and millions of years is nonsense. And I'll say it again, and I say it reverently, it makes the Lord look like a moron if you try to join those two things together. Don't you think, beloved, that we should choose an interpretation? Don't you think, beloved, that we should choose a worldview that does not immediately impute to Jesus Christ that he's a moron in the way that he spoke in the controversies of his day? You see, one of the things as you read contradictory theological accounts that try to accommodate science into things is that they fail, in my judgment, they fail to take seriously the implications of everything that they say. If you follow through what they say to its logical conclusion, you're left not only with denying a recent creation, you're left with denying the authority and omniscience of Christ himself. Understand that these things are interrelated in a way, and you cannot consider the doctrine of creation apart from where its implications lead you in the rest of scripture.

Jesus ties the beginning to the sixth day of creation, and that's nonsense if the first five days were long ages. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit, and here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, thank you, Bill. My friend, I want to let you know of a special ministry that we have at thetruthpulpit.com that's very near to my heart. We have a ministry to those who are in prison, and in the nature of life, sometimes we have loved ones that go astray and find themselves behind bars and spending significant time in incarceration. Well, we have a ministry to them. We send them transcripts of messages that I've preached from The Pulpit of Truth Community Church. We do it on a weekly basis.

They get mail every week. If you have a loved one in prison that you would like to have us reach out to in that way, do me a favor. Go to our website, thetruthpulpit.com. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Click on the link that says About, and you'll see a drop-down menu that will take you to our prison ministry. You can fill out the form, and we'll be happy to respond and join in with you in ministering to that one who is outside the normal course of society. So that's thetruthpulpit.com, the About link for our prison ministry.

That will do it for today. We'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us next time for more as we continue teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 04:50:32 / 2024-05-01 05:01:16 / 11

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