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The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
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May 22, 2022 8:00 am


The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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God has many Christians who are on their way to heaven who are AWOL on earth. Dr. Tony Evans says the Lord finds little use for followers who won't stand up for the gospel.

And I can't use it, because they want to satisfy the populace, not represent me. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. When we've done something wrong, the right thing to do is apologize. But when we've done something right, like confessing our allegiance to Christ, Dr. Evans says it's a different story. Today he explains what it means to be an unapologetic Christian, loyal to Christ even when it cuts across the grain of our culture.

Let's turn to Matthew 10 as he begins. You and I are living in a day of no shame. Evil is being publicly paraded, and it should be clear today that Christians have lost the home field advantage.

We are the visiting team. The culture no longer assumes, as we have said, a Judeo-Christian ethic as normative. It has been rejected in all the systems of the culture at varying degrees. There's no place to run and no place to hide. There was a time when you could hide around your religion or in church. But today you and I are being called out because the standards have been rejected across the board. It has become crystal clear that whatever remnants of a Christian nation that we had no longer exist.

And now we're at the stage where the one entity that was designed to hold the line crumbles too. And so I want to call on me, you, and us to make the decision to be unapologetic Christians, because that is what's needed today. This is not a day for Christianity to light. Jesus says in verse 32, Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. He brings up the issue of confession. He's not talking to non-Christians when he talks about confession and denial.

He's talking to his so-called followers. To confess means to publicly identify with. We live in a day of no shame. You see things on television you would never have thought. You would see on television, you hear language that you never thought. You would hear, you see parades that you would never thought you would have seen, because there is no shame.

And I don't hear anybody apologizing. In other words, what they're saying to everybody else is a just, because this is the way it is. Jesus says, I want you to confess Me before men, in the same way that a married person wears a wedding ring, to give visual identification of a relationship and of a committee. He's saying don't take off your Christian ring when you go to work. Don't take off your Christian ring when you're in the neighborhood. Don't take off your Christian ring when you're around non-Christians to placate their rejection. If you confess Me before men, why won't we do that, so many of us? Because we're like the folks spoken about in Saint John chapter 12 verse 42 and 43.

Look at what it says. Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him. They became Christians. But because of the Pharisees, they were not confessing Him for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

He says, don't let your fear of people outpace your fear of the Lord. It says they believed on Him, they got saved, but they didn't want to be rejected by people. They didn't want to lose their popularity.

They didn't want to lose their public acceptance. Today we live in a world of political Christians, Christians who use politics and wrap their Christianity in the flag. We live in a day of cultural Christians who wrap their Christianity in the subject of race rather than in the primacy of Christ.

We live in a day of convenient Christians who want to use God for their blessing, but who don't want to represent Him in the culture unless they're in church. Jesus says, unless you confess Me before men, He's talking about public identification. Notice, you must confess Him, not just His Father.

In other words, saying God won't cut it. That's vague Christianity. It says you must confess Him, Jesus Christ.

Why? Because Jesus Christ has been assigned by the Trinity to represent the Godhead on earth in history. You become a Christian by faith alone and Christ alone, apart from works. But once you become a Christian, you have now entered into the realm of discipleship. The whole idea of following Christ is to be like Him.

Attitudes and actions, character and conduct. It means that you are reflecting how He thinks, reflecting what He says, reflecting how He feels, because you're becoming like Him, a disciple to become like His teacher. Jesus sets the standard.

We emulate that standard in the culture. In the same way He reflected the standard of His Father, we are to reflect the standard of our Savior. So, are you a confessing Christian, meaning publicly identifiable, before men, He says? What's the issue here of confession?

The unsettled issue is the issue of lordship, the issue of lordship. Let me show you what I mean from Romans chapter 10. He says in verse 9, If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, but with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. So guess what?

He's talking about you opening your mouth. Notice, when you believe you are made righteous, that is, you get saved in the way we use it. You're on your way to heaven. But He says with your mouth, that is, public identification, is where you get deliverance.

God, through Christ, will only join you in history if you're not ashamed of Him, if you're not apologetic about Him, if you hide behind the word God so you don't have to deal with the inconvenience of Jesus. When a person joins the army, it's free. You don't have to pay to join the army. But once you're in the army, that's a whole other way of operating. You're not a civilian anymore. First of all, you're easily identifiable based on the branch of service you're in. We can look at your attire and know you're in the Navy, the Army, the Air Force. We can look at because you have publicly displayed where you are.

It's visible. They have the rights over your life. Send you here, tell you you got to go there.

They got to relocate here because they have become Lord of your existence. You got in there free, but once you get in there, they become Lord. And when you don't allow the armed services to become Lord, you AWOL.

You're operating against the program. God has many Christians who are on their way to heaven who are AWOL on earth because they don't want to put on the uniform. They want to be in the army of the Lord functioning like a civilian. As Ephesians 1 22 and 23 declares that all things have been placed under Christ. He is to be confessed. Romans 14 8 to 9 says, For if we live, we live for the Lord. And if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

For to this end, Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord, both of the dead and of the living. I think I told you about the soldier who went to, who asked for permission from his superior to go to a wedding. The superior said, yes, but you got to be back by 10. He said, but sir, the wedding doesn't begin till eight. He said, I heard you, but you got to be back by 10. The soldier said, well, I'm in the wedding.

The superior said, no, you in the Navy. I know the culture is pulling us this way and that way. And we come up with excuses for why we don't take our stand for Jesus Christ. And Christ is saying, no, you in the kingdom. You belong to me now.

Yes, you are in the world. And I don't expect you to be a hermit somewhere. I expect you to use your time, your talents and your treasures in this world, but under my authority and with full confession of me.

The Lordship of Jesus Christ is over all of life. It is not a buffet. You know, you go to a buffet and you choose, I want this. I don't want that.

I want this. I don't want that. No, he says, no, I'm Lord of all.

There is no such thing as secular. When you change jobs, you're under new management. What you did in that old company was when you belong to them. You're under new management now. We were transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

You and I are under new management now. So we don't allow our sympathy to adjust God's standards. We don't allow our political allegiances to adjust God's standards.

We're not committed ultimately to a person or a party or a system. We're committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2 10 and 11 makes it clear every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus is Lord.

You can do it voluntarily now or mandatorily later, but everybody is going to do that. And his Lordship recognizes his deity. Titus chapter 2 verse 13 says he is savior and God. John 20 verse 28, the apostle says, My Lord, my God. It is the recognition that Jesus is not just some nice human figure that ought to be respected.

He is the Son of the living God who ought to be worshiped. So where do we go from here? Well, Dr. Evans will be back with the answer for us when he continues our message shortly.

Stay with us. There's lots of exclusive content from Dr. Evans to keep you interested and motivated, and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students. The more you learn, the more you'll want to learn.

Give it a try. The Tony Evans Training Center. A world of discovery, anytime, anywhere. Get information on the Tony Evans Training Center at Today's message, simply titled Unapologetic, comes from Tony's brand new teaching series, Bold Belief. The Bible has a lot to say about boldness, and in this engaging series, Dr. Evans unpacks those biblical truths, helping you learn how to respond to God's call, be filled with his peace and power, and live a life free from fear, empowered by his Spirit living inside you. For a limited time, we're making available a special double offer that includes his entire 10-lesson Bold Belief series on CD or digital download, along with a copy of Tony's uplifting book, God is Up to Something Great. This bundle is our gift to you, and thanks for your donation to help support the Ministry of the Alternative.

It's our way of showing appreciation for the continued support of listeners like you who make this program possible. Get all the details online at, or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, and let one of our team members help you. That number again, 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information for you after Part 2 of today's lesson.

Here's Tony. Our position to Christ must be reflected by our rule under Christ as we grow in our relationship with Christ. So how do you know whether you have made the lordship decision? How do you know that?

How do you measure that? Because anybody can say, Oh, Jesus is Lord in my life. That sounds evangelically accurate.

Anybody can say that. So let me tell you how Jesus says you can know whether the lordship issue has been addressed in your life. In Luke 646, he says this, How do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?

How do you use the term and you call me Lord and then you're telling me you're doing something opposite to what I say? I say this about a man, you saying something else. I say this about a woman, you say something else. I say this about marriage, you say something else.

I say this about finances, you say something else. Yeah, I keep saying what I say and you keep coming up with all this stuff you say and then you gonna call me Lord? He says, how do you call me Lord, Lord and don't do what I say? If I'm Lord, that means you're adjusted. We live in a world where Christians are asking God to adjust so we can make folks happy in the culture. Sure, we ought to be sensitive.

Sure, we ought to be kind, compassionate, loving. To not do that is also not to do what he says but you do not do that by jettisoning truth to placate a society that has already rejected your savior. Now what you must understand is a simple principle. It's pointed out in Saint John chapter 2 verses 24 to 25. It says, Jesus knew what was in man and he would not commit himself to them. And he's talking about those who believed on him. It says, they believed in him, so they became Christians but he wouldn't commit himself to them because he knew what was in him.

And let me put it another way. Jesus doesn't have the same commitment equally to every Christian. We're all equal children but he's not equally committed to every child because if you are ashamed of him, it says he would not commit himself to them even though they believed. We understood that our failure to confess Christ keeps him in a long distance relationship with us.

Like in a marriage where they're legally together but they're not connected. You can be legally connected to Christ but not be together. Romans 10, 13 says, you know, you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord.

It says a couple, two things. It says you will be delivered and by delivered there he's not talking about going to heaven because he says you get that by your righteousness. He's talking about God's involvement with you on earth. You can see that in Romans chapter five verses eight to 10. God demonstrated love toward us that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. But then he says, having been justified by faith, you're saved. He says we shall be saved or delivered by his life. So you're already saved but his involvement with you in history is tied to your confession of him. And then he says in Romans 10, 13, it says anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The problem is, or what people don't know is, the only time that phrase is used in the New Testament of calling on the name of the Lord is by Christians, not non-Christians. In other words, you can't call if you can't confess. If you can't confess, don't bother to pray. First Corinthians one verse two talks about the saints in Corinth who call upon the name of the Lord.

Acts chapter seven verse 59, it says when Stephen was ready to die, he called on the name of the Lord and saw Jesus standing on the right-hand side of the heavens. If you won't confess, don't bother to call because he has no obligation to folks who deny him. Now I have to tell you the whole story because Matthew 10 makes it inextricably clear about the price tag, about the price tag of confession.

So I know you hear about blessing and bless this and bless that and I got my blessing, want my blessing. And that's true, that's true because he says you can call, but he also wants you to know verse 34, do not think that I've come to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace for the sword, but I set a man against his father, a daughter against his mother, a daughter-in-law against a mother-in-law, a man's enemies will be the enemies of his household. And he explains what he means in verse 37. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, okay?

So let's talk about the sword of confession. Once you are willing to appropriately, lovingly, compassionately, all that, but clearly identify Jesus Christ, it will create a divide because there is the public denial of him. And it will even happen, he says, in your own family because when you are clear, those who reject me will reject you. It'll happen at work.

It'll happen in the neighborhood. It'll happen in the pulpit because to take your stand on God's word, to take your stand on Jesus's perspective on the issues of our day, and there's so many of them, to take your stand there will create a conflict. And so he's not just talking noise. He's saying, I'm telling you up front, it's going to create a conflict. Not because you're trying to, it's just you're confessing what they're denying.

And that's a problem. But then he goes on to say, he who found his life, verse 39, will lose it, and who has lost his life for my sake will find it. He says, when you lose because of your confession, you win. When you lose, there's a division, there's a rejection because you have been publicly identified with me, you lose in terms of what the deniers are saying with them, but you just won with me. And the life you lost, you find.

See, unless you believe that, unless you believe that you're going to find it, you'll be more concerned about losing them than losing him. You take your stand for Jesus Christ, relationships are affected. I love the way Luke 14 puts it. Verse 25, Now a large crowd was going along with Jesus, with him. And he turned and said to them, anyone who comes after me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Now you're not talking about going to heaven. You're talking about being his disciple on earth. And he says, anybody who trumps me, you lose me.

And I don't care how much you love them. A woman's first commitment is not to her husband, it's to her Christ. A man's first commitment is not to his wife, it's to his Christ. Parents' first commitment is to the Christ. Children's commitment is to the Christ. And he says, and if you don't do that, you can't have me. You cannot be my disciple.

So we have a lot of Christians, in fact, the majority of Christians, I would dare to say, who are not disciples because Jesus keeps losing. If you want to build a tower, verse 28, you count the cost, verse 29. You lay the foundation of a building.

You want to calculate so you can finish it. Verse 30, this man began to build and was not able to finish. A king goes into battle. He sets out to meet another one in battle, verse 31.

Is he strong enough? You consider the cost when you're building a building. You consider the cost when you're going to battle. And the question you're asking is, can I finish what I just got started? We have a lot of Christians who are bailing out on Jesus. And you know why we're bailing out?

Because we haven't told the whole story. So when folks hit suffering or difficulty or problems, they bail. There's the blessing part, yes.

But there's the loss part too. And then it comes with this concluding thought in Luke 14. Therefore, verse 34, salt is good, but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be salted or seasoned? It is useless, either for the soil or for the manure pile. It's thrown out.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. He talks about salt that's no longer salty. It's lost its taste.

Guess what? That's useless salt. Salt is not salty you don't have time for because you can't do anything with it. You don't taste it.

It's lost its seasoning power. You know what he's talking about? He's talking about people. He's saying, I got a lot of useless Christians. They go to church, but when push comes to shove, they deny me. They get so compromised by the world and want to make the world happy, they do it at my expense and I can't use them because they want to satisfy the populace, not represent me. With love, with clarity, with compassion, but with sincere confession.

He says, they're useless to me. So the question is, for me, for you, is are you ready to confess? And are we not talking about your belief in God? We're talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. If you need a reminder of what Jesus Christ did for you or have never fully heard about or understood his sacrifice on your behalf, we encourage you to visit and click on the link that simply says Jesus. There, Dr. Tony Evans lays out the essence of the good news God has given to the world and what it means for you when you accept and embrace it. That's the Jesus link on the homepage of Tony will come back with a closing comment for today's message in just a moment. But first, what we've been listening to today is part of his brand new series called Bold Belief. And for a limited time, we're offering the full-length version of all ten lessons in this series on CD or digital download.

Along with Tony's popular book, God is Up to Something Great. They're yours with our thanks when you make a donation to help us continue this ministry to a world desperately in need of the good news of Jesus Christ. Call us right away at 1-800-800-3222. Our resource request line is always open, so don't wait.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Or visit to make the arrangements. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for Tony's free weekly e-mail devotional. That's Well, Dr. Evans believes there's a desperate need to reclaim civility in our culture today, and he encourages each of us to find ways to demonstrate kindness to every person we encounter through the course of our day. Our acts of kindness change the atmosphere of our communities for good and for God. Well, coming up next time, Dr. Evans will take a close look at God's unshakable kingdom.

Right now, though, he's back to wrap up today's message. Now, roller coasters are designed to be scary. It's the nature of the ride. But they're also designed to give you the thrill of a lifetime. So you may be a little scared about becoming a disciple and confessing Jesus Christ.

Oh, but once you get on the ride, it's a thrill because the life you thought you'd lose, you get. So it's time to cast your vote. Where do you take your stand so that God can do a divine reset in our culture of Christ be not come? Because without a divine reset, this nation is going to hell.

And that divine reset must start with his church. We're not perfect. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. We have flaws. That's why he created repentance so that we could get realigned and cast our vote. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 17:51:28 / 2023-04-15 18:01:58 / 11

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