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Faith and Culture

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2019 11:00 am

Faith and Culture

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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December 29, 2019 11:00 am

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Have your Bibles with you today I'll ask you to stand with me and respect toward God turned Revelation chapter 18 will be looking at verses once a late and Donna, thank you for exalting Christ. The way you do this morning. Revelation chapter 18, after this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority and the earth was made bright with his glory. He called out the mighty voice following following is Babylon the great, she has become a dwelling place for demons to halt for every unclean spirit home for every unclean bird a halt for unclean and double leased for all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her and purchase of the earth a grown rich from the power of her luxurious living that I heard another voice from heaven saying come out of her my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues first sander heat highest heaven God has remembered her iniquities pay her back. She herself is paid back, others repair double for her deeds mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed as she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a light measure of torment in morning, since in her heart she says I see it as a queen.

I am no widow, and morning. I shall never see for this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine. She will be burned up with fire for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her spray heavenly father we come before your throne to data. If you praise your worthy of our praise. We thank you that you are a great God, a sovereign God loving and merciful God, for if it were not for that we would all be headed in the wrong direction headed for judgment but because of your grace. We been lifted up out of the muck in the mire this world seated in heavenly places and have a relationship with the living God so we can rejoice this morning even though we we know that is as these things come upon us as judgment comes. Lord, we can look to you for our safety Apple Store that we might do that this morning and that we might treasure you more deeply than we ever had.

We love you Lord, thank you and praise you for your goodness and love to us, and we assess prayer in Jesus name, amen. You may be seated. The 1951.

Richard Niebuhr wrote a book entitled Christ and culture. He stated in his book that one of the greatest issues that we as Christians have to deal with is the issue of how the Christian relates to the world and he says this is been true of every generation that is ever layout that it will continue to be true and what he did was he listed four different options.

Option one was Christ against culture and what was that mere Christianity opposes the culture and tries to avoid worldly influences. Option number two was Christ of culture, Christianity adapts to societal demands and in standards option three Christ above the culture Christians partner with the world for his so-called betterment in the number four Christ transforms culture. Believers strive to Christianize society by being the salt of the earth and the light of the world as you go through all the way through church history, you will see different groups of Christians that have tried each one of these different options and you'll see how it works and how it did not work and is very interesting to look through that.

I want you to keep that in mind now as we get into this text and the three points that I want to share with you this morning. One is this our attitude toward the world.

Look at verses 133 after this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority and the earth was made bright with his glory. He called out with a mighty voice following following is Babylon the great, she has become a dwelling place for demons a halt for every unclean spirit home for every unclean bird a halt for every unclean and detestable beast for all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality in the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living neighbor leaves that John the apostle John wrote this book of Revelation is one of the great proponents of Christ against the culture. It was this John who wrote first John chapter 2 verse 15 and 16. We said love not the world leader things in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not of the father, but are of the world. Revelation filled with warnings against babbling, babbling is a picture of the culture here in this passage. The Scripture tells us that the angel came down that was so bright that he just shown in his glory. Just what was displayed throughout the world. And when that happened, there was old mighty voice that came from this angel and he said Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and went on to say that babbling is the dwelling place of demons and that all the nations have drunk from the wine of her sexual immorality.

John gives great warning to us about the of the world. Let me ask you something. Is there a balance or the things in the world that we as Christians are supposed to enjoy and then get into and be part of and I think there is a balance. Paul said in an Philippians chapter 4 verse eight finally brothers whatsoever. Truth whatsoever is honorable whatsoever is just what service pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there's anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Christians should enjoy the good things of this world we ought to be able to enjoy the music of Mozart, who was I a rabid Catholic. Are we all to be able to enjoy pagan artwork. If it's beautiful pagan artwork that's that's healthy and pure. We ought to be able to enjoy a touchdown from a football team that wins the game we all to be able to enjoy a good mystery novel. Angel hostility is directed here not to the physical world, but to the sinful worldly culture. The angel cried out.

Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that's an Old Testament quote straight from Isaiah chapter 21 verse nine, Isaiah is told by the Holy Spirit that something is coming.

The Babylonians are going to invade Judah they are going to take the people of Judah out of their homeland. Take them back to babbling there going to make slaves out of them for 70 years that the people end of Judah in babbling organ to be slaves under the thumb of the Babylonians, but then after that 70 years babbling is going to be defeated the children of a Judah organ to be able to go home.

They are going to go home and Judas can be reinstated as a nation once again. But as John gets to the 18th chapter here in the book of Revelation babbling doesn't even exist anymore. There is no more physical country of Babel. At that point in time when he is writing this so John is not telling us about the physical country of babbling. He is using babbling as a picture of a demonized culture now will go back to Revelation 2 for just a minute where Jesus is speaking of the church. If I tire you probably remember that. Listen to what Jesus said of the church about tolerating Jezebel that Jesus uses Jezebel as a picture of the wicked culture.

John uses babbling as a picture of the wicked culture babbling and Jezebel are one and the same. Revelation 2 verse 20 through 21 says this, but I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and his teaching is seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality, don't you think back from moment to the original Jezebel who was she. She was the wife of King Ahab. What was her what what did she do. She single-handedly changed the culture of Israel.

What was her greatest attribute.

Her greatest attribute was dominance. She was totally domineering. Her husband was Ahab.

When she told I had to jump.

He said how high he was the king but she had the power she was a radical feminist and it was her way or the highway. When she came in Israel, she brought with her 450 prophets of Vail. She was known for unabashed idolatry in the idolatry of bail is was different than some religions bring was totally based on sexual immorality.

They it was based on the it just some bizarre terrible sexual immorality. There were there was pedophilia and prostitution, sexuality, and the more wild and bizarre.

It was they looked at that as being better. She was known as her sorcery another word.

She was heavily involved in the occult. She was also known for child sacrifices, the killing of little children not go on and on but you see the connection. Do you see the connection of Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab and the Jezebel. The picture of the culture in America in 2019, a culture that applauds abortion that cowers before radical feminism that is enamored by pornography in every form of sexual morality, a culture that is sold out to the occult to generalize it in America today there are more witches or weekends than there are Presbyterians.

I was shocked when I heard that and what does Jesus say about the church in Thyatira.

He condemns them for their tolerant of Jott Jezebel I will take a moment and read you something Michael Brown said about the need to not tolerate the Jezebel culture. He said this what God's people say to the tree prophets in Isaiah's day. Don't tell us what is right tell us nice things tell us lies forget all this gloom, get off your narrow path. Stop telling us about your holy one of Israel today are pulpits, there is often so little sobriety so little fear of God so little conviction.

The preacher must entertain the people must leave smiling always only a strong loving challenge might turn congregants away order carrying rebuke might scare off the big givers a sobering talk on the judgment to come might be too disturbing the people might complain pastor when you talk like that don't feel safe. So instead of confronting we coddle in the world a message of repentance is branded, hateful, and the prophetic word dismissed as bigoted Christians are expected to be nice and is not nice to warn sinners about hail or to call them to turn from their wicked ways. We will have none of your judgmental message shouts the world to God's prophets. Sadly, many preachers have gladly accommodated either retreated into the closet for fear of the consequences or selling out for profit and popularity shades of Jezebel.

Once again she killed and intimidated the tree, prophets, and seduced and supported the false prophets.

Only men like Elijah and Michalak had the gall to stand in her way.

During an interview with conservative journalist Ben Shapiro Pastor John MacArthur made this simple but penetrating statement. If you try to develop a kind of Christianity that's inoffensive.

It's not Christianity will said Leonard Raven healed one of the foremost authorities on revival said this, the prophet is violated during his ministry, but he is vindicated by history. He is the villain of today of the hero tomorrow. He is excommunicated while alive and exalted. When did he is dishonored with epitaphs when breathing and honored with epitaphs when dead, he is friendless while living in famous when dead, he is against the establishment and ministry than he is established as a saint by posterity own read you one more thing, by Richard Phillips Phillips believes is a that that when a society suppresses the truth that God gives them. Then God takes his hand off of them.

His restraining hand of grace and let set society. Just do what is with its wicked heart wants to do.

And in that vacuum.

Satan rushes in to fill the vacuum. Listen carefully to this. Imagine a society turn its back on God and outlawing the public influence of his word. Imagine further that in the generation afterward. The following trends resulted births to unmarried girls increased 500% reported child abuse increased 2300%.

The divorce rate rose by 350% illegal drug use among use increased by 6000% teenage suicide rose by 450% and 25% of viable pregnancies.

The babies were surgically killed the mother's request would not be fair to suggest that such a society, haven't publicly rejected God's rule and experiencing such a complete breakdown of moral order and become a dwelling place for demons and a halt for unclean spirits would not further be fair to suggest according to our passage that such a society had fallen under the just judgment of God would soon fall to his wrath unless it repented that situation is not imaginary. Of course the statistics over the United States of America.

In the years between 1962 in 2003 after the Supreme Court band prayer and Bible teaching in public school establishing an official list officially secularist national religion.

How could that happen.

It happened because the church sat back in silence.

It happened because the. The church did nothing and refused to push back and refused Harold truth and didn't do it because they didn't want the criticism. Verse three again for all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality in the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living. What benefits in this present time when a society gives itself over to the rampant sexual immorality.

Who benefits from that well to groups. He says one is the kings of the earth, which are politicians and to are the merchants which are businessman how many politicians they have been elected into office because they take a pro-abortion stance or a pro-transgender stance or are they are just blatantly immoral attend any immoral society. What immoral leaders so that they will feel comfortable and affirmed in their lifestyle. What about the businessman convinces men get rich off him or her OU that you will will ask why is abortion push so much in our society because people are getting wealthy off of it. Doctors are getting wealthy off killing babies Planned Parenthood organizations their people getting wealthy over killing innocent babies happening over and over again. The porn industry originally saw that over 37% of the data that comes across the Internet all across our world is pornographic. 37%. The money that is spent on pornography merchandising prostitution and clubs is a multi trillion dollar industry. The one to Revelation 19 describes role as being so horribly upset over this over the fall of Babylon, the world's entertainment the world's economic standing in the world's political hierarchy is being pulled out from under them point to the call for separation. Look at verses four and five. Then I heard another voice from heaven saying come out of her my people list you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues for seals or heat highs. Heaven and God has remembered her iniquities adult. Think of this is just last days futuristic injunction. It is much more than that John is speaking not just to some future generation. He is speaking to his generation. He spake and I are generation PSP to every generation of Christians and folks Jesus does not come back for the next 10,000 years, then we need to know that this injunction. This command is for us and it's for us right now and what is the command come out of her my people. It is simple and it is urgent. This is the same thing that God said to Abraham when God said to Abraham, leave your your home, your your living quarters in the early Chaldees in Mesopotamia and can leave your people leave your family leave all your neighbors and come out from among them, to a land that I will show you is exactly what policy in the New Testament what went when he said come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and what is that point us to a monastery, are we supposed to be Munson hermits and avoid all contact with the world are we to take our cue from the Amish community and associate holiness with abstaining from modern technology think the answer that is no the Munson Amish fail to realize that staying away from these things. It is not going to protect you from sin because our problem is sin is in the heart and that's what needs to be dealt with their some fundamentalists who don't understand this either, and that he believes that if they can just avoid certain cultural activities, then that's holiness heard them say it. We don't smoke, we don't chew we don't dance and we don't go out with girls who do and they think that's holiness limitation.

That's not holiness. I got to dioxins at home. I don't do that either. That's not holiness, but this is not a call here for us to bury our heads in the sand and refused to speak to unbelievers at what we are being called to is to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world that necessitates engaging with people and and and and letting our light shine. Excuse me for quoting again, but Richard Phillips was spot on when he said this. The question that is being asked is this how we come out of her I would come out and be separate how we come out in verse for the Scripture says come out for this purpose, lest you partake of her sins. Phillips said separation from sin can be achieved only by both a note to the world and a yes to God's word. Christians who imbibed the ideas the images in the dreams of the pagan world are likely to walk down the worldly path is what David was in Psalm one when he said, Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly standards in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful of his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his will, alike is a AAA and in his loudness he meditate day and night, and if in Romans chapter 12 verse 22 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in the God which is reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Jesus was speaking of this very thing in Luke chapter 17 verse 32, when he said, remember lots wife. I remember back in 1989 we were going to the the convention of the Gen. assembly of the PCA's in La Mirada, California.

We flew into the LAX airport week got into a car. Wayne Allen, me and you are in the same car we were riding over to to La Mirada.

We're going down interstate and I noticed as we were were going. Wayne was driving and the right on this road. There was a beautiful white church and had a neon sign on the top of it and was a scripture verse that was shining on and off Luke 1732.

I did not recognize that right off. So when I got back to the motel opened up our book satchel got my Bible Outlook Outlook said the 32 and what did it say but remember lots wife. We were coming back down is that street is an adult bookstore.

There was a bar there was a nightclub right in the center of it was that little church with@, blinking on and off Luke 1732 remember lots wife. Lots wife had been pulled by an angel out of them and Gomorrah. She had been warned to not look back at Sodom and Gomorrah because God was going to judge it.

She couldn't help herself. She turned around and cheat longingly knew she was going to miss Sodom and Gomorrah and she looked back with a longing heart and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Folks, this is serious illness come out from among them and be separate. Remember lots wife Richard Phillips gave this illustration some years ago an elder of the church where I served attended a meeting at a luxury hotel in South Florida when he arrived, he found a convention of pornographers was meeting their. He called me to express his revulsion at their boastful smiles and the super luxurious limousines. I parked outside was particularly galling was his awareness that some of the money fueling the dirty enterprise was being provided by Christians who imbibed their filthy wires.

This should not be come out of her my people, God commands .3 our highest calling verse six through eight pay her back as she herself is payback others repay are double for her deeds mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed and she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her like a measure of torment morning since in her heart.

She says I see it is a clean I am no widow in the morning.

I shall never see for this reason. Her place will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine and she will be burned up with fire for mighty is the Lord has judged her when I read verse eight I couldn't hit the Berlin wall. Berlin wall was built in 1961. It was built by Russian communist. They put that wall up to be sure that people on in East Germany could not freedom into West Germany and so they built the wall. It separated families is separated friends, separated neighbors, and it was a symbol of bondage to the people and in East Germany had no real freedom that communism was their God and they were under communism's phone. I put the wall up. They put soldiers on that wall people and try to get across.

They would shoot to death and it looked like a forever situation. It did not look like the cop would ever back off from their stance. It did not look like they could ever be a breach in that wall 18 89.

There were a few handful just a handful of Christians from the little city of Leipzig in East Germany who went to the wall and they did. They made a commitment to pray that God would give them freedom from communism. They were there for a short period of time within a week there were 8000 more 8000 people that were praying that God would free them from communism within a month there were 300,000 people.

Christians praying that God would set them free. Now the communist got upset and they decided they had to do substance like beefed up security. They called in more soldiers like a arsenal of weapons and they called and doctors and medical people because they believed it was going to be of the bloodbath. Then something very strange happened. The dictator of these of East Germany. Just quit and Ruth and and I put out proclamation you in East Germany are free to come and go as you want to and those 300,000 took their hammers and chisels and they went and they tore down that wall and absolutely obliterated that wall that which seemed impossible had taken place and it happened so quickly. Everybody's head was spinning.

Abraham Kuyper who is a Christian Dutch prime minister.

At that time came to the wall and wept as he looked at the walls debris laying on the ground and he made his famous statement. There is not a square inch of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all does not cry out. It is my it is my is beautiful. He describes will take place in the last day, the things of this world, it permeated the culture and seduce the nations and made rock. The multitudes in just a matter of moments are going to be destroyed. Noticed the attitude of the Christ rejecting world in verse seven I see it as a queen. I'm not aware any morning. I shall never see you see that arrogance you see that know what all had achieved. You see these people were just totally oblivious to the fact that judgment is coming and what of the people of the earth. The delay rejoiced for what God is done no delay repent. No, they wail and they cry don't take away our pornography. Don't take away our materialism. Don't take away bondage to drugs and alcohol don't take away our right to kill babies we want to do what we wanted to.

That's God's message to the world. All that you love is going to be taken away. It will happen so quickly that your head will spin. What about us. What about the tree Christians as their message for us in the midst of the world's judgment over the others. A huge message. It is this the world promises are nothing but lies the temporary buzz is not worth it. It's all going down.

We need to remember the us, do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves can steal, but Leah pierced for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Let me ask you something. Where is your heart you cite how I know where my heart is ask yourself what you think about in your idle moments. What is your heart dwell on what excites you is Jesus Christ your treasure or your chief interest bound up in the kingdom of heaven. Why should you live differently than the world we give you three quick reasons. Number one for Jesus sake. He died for you. Number two for your sake for how you live is going to determine your eternal reward, and number three because there's a world that desperately needs the right gospel. What is the right gospel.

Jesus gave to us, go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And here's the promise load I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth spray heavenly father put up powerful passage we had to deal with today, and father, help us to realize that the truth of Revelation 18 are applicable to our world today and there applicable to the church father, help us, that we might not tolerate Jezebel any longer.

Help us heavenly father that we might be heralds of truth, that we might push back heavenly father, help us, that we might be of people who bring honor and glory to your name no matter what the cost is only father, help us, that we might realize that you've called us to be different to come out from among them and be separate and there is a reason for that. First of all it is for your sake because you died for us. As for our sake. Lord, because how we live on this earth is going to reflect our eternal reward for all of eternity and heavenly father we have responsibility to a lost and dying world to share with them the truth of the gospel. We love you Lord, thank you and praise you for your goodness and love to us, and we assess prayer in Jesus name, amen

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