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God and Truth: In That Order #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2024 12:00 am

God and Truth: In That Order #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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May 24, 2024 12:00 am

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

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. Somewhere recently, I don't remember where, I read what I thought was a very insightful comment by someone like a Spurgeon or a J.C. Ryle, someone like that, a Martyn Lloyd-Jones, someone of that caliber that said what I'm about to paraphrase. But they said that if we spent as much time preaching the warnings of Scripture as we do the promises of Scripture, the church would be in a much healthier state. If we preach the judgment of God, now I'm expanding, if we preach the judgment of God as clearly and regularly as we preach the grace of God, there would be a far more balanced perspective and the church of Jesus Christ would be far healthier if it was warned about sin, if it was warned about judgment, if it was called to repent, if it was told as often as it was the promises that everyone likes to hear that there is a judgment prevailing and awaiting us, then maybe there would be something of the fear of God that would come in and cause us to treat all of these things with far greater earnestness than what we do. People get so casual, and I'm even speaking to people that have cycled through here, people get so casual in their handling and in their response to truth, so earthbound in their thinking, so earthbound in their motives, on the presuming on God that either He hasn't really warned us in Scripture or He's not really serious and earnest about the warnings about judgment and wrath that are found so often in the pages of the Word of God. And whoever said that, I agree with him. And we have to, look, if we're going to be Christians under the authority of the Word of God, if we're going to have a Christian mind, if we're going to respect God and fear God, give Him the honor that He deserves, we need to give an equal measure of attention and reverence to His warnings of judgment as we do to our encouragement in the promises of grace that He makes to us. Because it's all His revelation. If He's our God, and if Christ is the one, and He is the one who spoke most in Scripture about hell and judgment, how can we claim to love Christ and then cut out a significant portion of His message and just pick and choose that which we want?

I have a friend who well said, and I told him I was going to use his little phrase one day, and here I am doing it. You know, there's so many people that want to say, yeah, I believe in God and I believe in His commandments, but the truth of the matter is that we're just a law unto ourselves and we borrow from God's commandments and God's words when it suits our purposes. We borrow from what God says rather than submitting ourselves to it completely.

We pick and choose that which appeals to us, we set aside and ignore the things that do not appeal to us. That ain't on God. That ain't on God. If we neglect the warnings, then we're without excuse. Men are without excuse. And so what has God said, beloved?

Here we go. What has God said about the implications of the revelation that He has made? The implications of the revelation that He has made is the fact that there is judgment attached to the way that we respond to it. So, for example, it says in Psalm 14 verse 1 and Psalm 53 verse 1, the fool says in his heart, there is no God. Scripture judges the one who denies all of this revelation or ignores it and comes up with what he thinks is his, you know, his lofty, clever approach to life. If I say there's no God, Scripture looks at him and judges him and says, you're a fool.

In Romans chapter 1 verse 20, we read, For his invisible attributes, namely God's eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made, so that they are without excuse. That verse comes just two verses after in verse 18 where it says the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. All the revelation is there, but they won't acknowledge it, they won't submit it, they just with all of their effort try to suppress it, suppress what's outside speaking to them, what's inside speaking to them, suppress it, suppress it, close their ears, and the Scripture says they're without excuse and the wrath of God is upon them. This is the implication of the reality of revelation. There is judgment for rejecting it. We read from Romans chapter 2.

They show the work of the law written on their hearts. Their conflicting thoughts accuse or accuse them when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. By creation alone, beloved, just on these matters of creation alone, men are without excuse. And that's the implication of the reality of revelation.

There's a reality of judgment. But going further in biblical revelation, going beyond the principle of creation and the revelation of God in a general way to all men, the gospel itself leaves men without excuse. Look at Matthew chapter 12 with me. Matthew chapter 12, what Jesus says to the cities of his day extends and applies to us as well.

Matthew chapter 12, the last two, well, not the last two verses of the chapter, verses 41 and 42. We read, and Jesus here is making the point that there were men in the past who were judged or that experienced and knew the revelation of God. And now Jesus is here preaching to crowds that rejected him. And Jesus says these men who responded to God's truth in the past are going to have a role of judgment in those who heard his words and refused to heed. They heard, but they did not heed. And so we read in verse 41, the men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The point of the passage is that these people who had lesser revelation in the prophet Jonah and in King Solomon, these people that you can read about in the Old Testament, they responded in repentance and obedience and with a receptive heart to lesser revelation in the person of Jonah and Solomon. And yet here these cities in the New Testament are, these men of the contemporaries of Christ heard his preaching and rejected it and refused to respond and refused to repent. They had greater revelation. They had Christ himself. They had a superior one in front of them, even superior words to what Jonah and Solomon gave. And yet they rejected it. And God says the ones who received lesser revelation and responded in faith, they're going to judge those who had greater revelation and yet rejected it.

There's no excuse is the point here. As you're turning in your Bibles, go to Luke chapter 16. In Luke chapter 16, the story of a rich man in Lazarus.

A rich man's in Hades. He tells Abraham, send them Lazarus and warn my brother so that they won't come to this place of torment. Warn them, warn them, he says, I wish I had had warnings that I had heeded before I came to this awful place. Verse 27, I'm presuming that you know the story. Verse 27, the rich man said to Abraham, then I beg you, father, to send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers so that he may warn them lest they also come into this place of torment. But Abraham said, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said, no, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.

False, not true, not true. A resurrected man could walk into a room full of unregenerate people and it would have no effect on them if, as Abraham said in response, verse 31. He said, if they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead. They have the Scriptures.

That's sufficient. And if they won't receive the direct revelation and authority of God as manifested in Scripture, they're not going to be persuaded by signs and wonders. Signs and wonders evangelism is directly refuted by this passage. If they won't hear the word of God, judgment is on them.

And it's not going to help to send lesser forms of revelation if they won't receive the greater form of revelation. Now move on to Hebrews chapter 10. Hebrews chapter 10.

Here we go. Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 26. We're talking about how do we know that truth exists. And we have said that God has made Himself known in many ways, including in Christ, which means in the fullness of the gospel proclamation, God has made Himself known. And there's consequence. There's consequence for not receiving and repenting at the sound of the gospel. Scripture has told us in advance. Verse 26, Hebrews 10. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone, here it is again, principal of Moses, anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified and has outraged the Spirit of grace? In other words, you die if you reject the testimony of Moses, and in Christ there has been presented to you one who is greater than Moses. And if you die in rejection of Moses, how much worse is it going to be if you reject the greater than Moses, the fulfillment of Moses, the prophet who is like Moses that was promised to come, who is God Himself in human flesh. If you reject God Himself, how much more severe punishment do you think you're going to deserve?

It's a matter of an infinite difference of magnitude. You see, beloved, you see, beloved, what we do week by week as we open the Word of God together is something of momentous eternal consequence. And day by day, week by week, you are shaping in your heart either a tender, responsive heart to it, which God promises to bless, or you are hardening yourself in indifference and in a critical spirit and setting yourself up for a judgment that you have no excuse for not seeing it come. These are matters of great eternal consequence.

That's just what Scripture says. And the ultimate climax of it all is found in Revelation 20, if you would turn there with me. Revelation chapter 20, where we read, looking forward to a time still future to us, God gave this revelation to Christ. Christ gave it to an angel who gave it to John, who gave it to the churches, and here we are receiving it here today. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.

From his presence, earth and sky fled away and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books according to what they had done.

Okay? There we go. How you live and respond to truth in this life has eternal consequences. It's laid out plainly in Scripture.

No one can claim after today that's in this room or hears it on subsequent media, no one can claim that no one told you. They were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.

This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire with the devil and all of his demons to be their eternal abode for time without end. The reality of creation, the reality of the gospel carries with it an implicit warning of judgment based on how you do or do not respond. And that brings us to our third and final point here this morning, the response to revelation and judgment.

The response to revelation and judgment. And here's my point. I said that, you know, we were going to plod along to make one major point. Here's that major point that we are making. We, speaking as humanity in general, let's say, speaking as humanity in general, we must believe in the revelation of God under pain of wrath and judgment for failure to do so.

We must believe in the revelation of God under pain of wrath and judgment for failure to do so. You see, this isn't just some kind of simple multiple choice test that has no real consequence. This isn't one of those games, forgive me please for the very modest illustration that I'm about to give. This isn't one of those games where a guy with quick hands has three cups in front of you and one of them has a ball and he mixes them up really fast and then you're supposed to choose which one has the ball under it. This isn't that kind of game where there's no real consequence to the outcome except maybe you put a dollar down and you're trying to win five or something. It's not like that.

This is not a game. This is what every man, woman, boy, and girl must respond to and to neglect it or to reject it is to leave yourself with no outcome but eternal judgment and the abiding wrath of God for your failure to believe. There's no excuse. That's the whole point of all of those passages of judgment.

There is no excuse for this. Now if you go to Acts chapter 17, Acts chapter 17, the apostle Paul speaking to unbelievers in Athens who were religious but who did not know God. He says in verse 22, we're going to read an extended stretch here. So Paul standing in the midst of the era of Pagas said, Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription to the unknown God. But therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

See, their own conscience testified to them that there was a God that they were responsible to. Verse 24, the God who made the world and everything in it, there he is, the God of creation, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man. Nor is he served by human hands as though he needed anything since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. We live in his realm, Paul is saying. This is his realm and he permeates it. And he gives us everything pertaining to life, breath and everything that's necessary for it. Verse 26, and he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.

He decreed it in advance. He's working it out by his providence. Verse 27, here you go, that they should seek God in the hope that they might find their way toward him and find him. Yet he's actually not far from each one of us. He says, God's done all of this. You're in his realm. And the point of being in his realm is that you might seek him and find him. That is your responsibility, even if you in your own depraved, unregenerate heart don't have the power to do it. You are responsible to seek him in light of all of the revelation that he has given.

There's no excuse not to do that, not to make that the burning, surpassing first priority of the entirety of your life. It's time for the games to stop and all of the excuses and all of the selfish, personally oriented other priorities to take the subordinate right place underneath this surpassing responsibility. Verse 28, for in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your poets have said, for we are indeed his offspring. Verse 29, being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance, God overlooked. But now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed. And of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. A fixed day of judgment decreed from before the beginning of time is coming, at which time we will all be judged for what we have done in response to this revelation, in creation, in the canon, in conscience, in Christ, and in conversion.

Now, beloved, let me wrap all of this up for you and kind of set the stage for the next time we come back to this theme in two or three weeks. This is the drop dead issue for our age, and it is the drop dead issue for your own soul. How do we know truth exists? How do we know truth exists? My beloved friends, the first word from your mouth in response to that question is of vast eternal significance, and it exposes what's real in your heart as you sit here today. The first word out of your mouth is of eternal significance.

How do we know truth exists? The first word out of your mouth exposes what you hold as the authority. The first word out of your mouth in response to the question, how do we know truth exists, exposes your entire view of authority. If someone says, well, I think they've just exposed themselves as saying I'm the authority here. I think, and then they just go on and fulminate and ruminate about whatever they cogitate. Someone that says, that starts from that point that what I think determines the matter, they've strayed.

How does the Christian mind answer that question? How do we know truth exists? We start with a different word. We start with an independent word.

We start with a word that has nothing to do with us. How do we know truth exists? God. God has spoken. God has made himself known. And so, you see, beloved, the fact that we are in his realm means that we have to live in submission to his realm and that our mind has to realize that we are not independent agents.

We live in a realm where God has spoken. And thus the title of today's message, God and Truth, in that order. We start with God and then we know the existence of truth from the being and the existence and the revelation of God himself. In other words, we believe and we know truth in response to him, not apart from him. We believe and we know truth exists in response to God in whose realm we live, not apart from him. And so, you know, you go back into all of the so-called great thinkers of the world and since the development of rationalism and all of those philosophers that have directed human thought without reference to God, understand, beloved, that everything that they say, that the thrust of their position when they start from a position other than the revelation of God, understand that their whole position is false by definition. It is rebellious by definition because knowing truth begins with submitting to the revelation of God, the prior revelation of God, the revelation of God, then the response comes and there's no escape from that and there's no excuse for not doing it that way. And those who say, that's not the way I'm going to do it, are retreating further and further into darkness as the revelation of God and as the servants of God plead with them and call on them, come to the truth, come to Christ.

As men harden their hearts against that, they retreat deeper and deeper into darkness and ever-increasing judgment. Scripture lays before us the crossroads of our existence at a time like this. In 2 Thessalonians, you don't need to turn there, I'll just read it for the sake of time. In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 9 through 12, we read, The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders and with all the wicked deception for those who are perishing. Mark this because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion so that they may believe what is false in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. It's really stunning to grasp something of the implications of what we're saying here. God has made Himself known. He judges those who reject it. And here we are faced with our own hearts and lives laid open. Beloved, how do you know truth exists? Beloved, those of you that have resisted up until now, maybe young people growing up in Christian families, that happens a lot, doesn't it? Will you ignore the warning signs, the warning texts of Scripture to your own destruction? Why would you do that?

Why would you possibly do that? Why would you save your pride and sacrifice your soul? Let me encourage you to humble your heart, to ask the Spirit of God for help, and to receive the truth in Christ so that you may be saved.

How do you know truth exists? Answer well, my friends. Answer very, very well because God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world. Let's pray together. Gracious Father, may you send your Spirit to enlighten many eyes in this dark age of sin. Father, may you enlighten the eyes and minds of the unbelieving in our midst, especially, Father, those born and raised in Christian homes, perhaps playing the part of the hypocrite. Father, may your Spirit shake them to the core, humble them out of their pride and hypocrisy, that they might turn to Christ and be saved. For all of us, Father, may you grant us complete, unqualified submission and trust in Christ and to all your revealed truth, to the honor and glory of your holy name we pray.

Amen. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit. And here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, thank you for joining us here on today's broadcast of The Truth Pulpit where we love to be teaching God's people God's Word.

And I just want to send a special invitation to you. If you're ever in the Midwest area, come to see us at Truth Community Church. We're on the east side of Cincinnati, Ohio. We're easy to find, easy to get to. We have services at 9 a.m. on Sunday and 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday evening for our midweek study. You can also find us on our live stream at thetruthpulpit.com.

That's thetruthpulpit.com. But we would love to see you. And if you do happen to be able to visit us in person, do this if you would. Come and introduce yourself to me personally. Fight your way through the people and tell me that you listen on The Truth Pulpit and that you're here visiting. I would love to give you a word of personal greeting. So hopefully we'll see you one day in person at Truth Community Church.

You can find our location and service times at thetruthpulpit.com. 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 / 2024-05-24 05:02:31 / 2024-05-24 05:12:41 / 10

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