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The Church Confronts the World (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2021 4:00 am

The Church Confronts the World (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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October 29, 2021 4:00 am

Paul spoke with passionate conviction about the Bible’s truth—even at the risk of his own life. His bold approach in proclaiming God’s Word sets a high standard. So how can today’s church leaders measure up? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The when the apostle Paul claimed the gospel you spoke with passion with authoritative conviction to the point where he risked his own life's bold approach to proclaiming God's word and set a high standard for how can we were part of today's measure. Alastair Ben continues his message today on Truth for Life. In acts chapter 24 verse 25 three point number one he starts into it. Righteousness. Righteousness.

Secondly, why no doubt about his second point. He then dealt with the issue of self-control and then thirdly, he went on to address the issue of judgment. Now don't forget what I said is a thesis in the beginning what I'm suggesting anywhere in these verses is that we have in this a paradigm not the paradigm, not the exclusive model but a model as to how the church is to confront the world.

Therefore, if you like a model as to how we are to preach the model a model I might add a very necessary model in the current climate, so you spoke of judgment maybe went back to someone. Verse five. The wicked will not stand in the judgment. Felix, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous maybe to some nine the Lord reigns forever. He has established his throne for judgment.

Mr. happy you think you're on the phone.

Mr. happy you think you're going to decide my case I got news for you Mr. happy it's time you got sad if I you never going to be what your name is, until you realize that you're not what your name is, here is my message about faith in Jesus Christ. This was not common to Jesus Christ. This was not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. This was the best was to the heart and the will through the mind, we can ask people to come to Christ.

So first we tell them who Christ is and why they need to come to and that's what he was doing. You see, we can have these clever little messages about faith in Jesus Christ.

Nothing happens because we are not penetrating the armor of a secular world asking questions that were not even setting safe. So when he addresses them very clear. My first point is right. Just my second way to self-control.

My third point is a coming judgment. What a sermon. What a jolly sermon. They now if we see Paul when did you learn to preach like that model this to you. I was thinking this myself as this argument with this line of reasoning do I think he would've said you said well I had burned into my soul in the desert but the first time I ever remember being encountered by this was on the day I played the role of the cloakroom attendance on the day that I played the role of seeing guys your coats here will be here when you come back when I said men drop their jackets here.

You want to be able to get a full back swing when you unleash those great it was on that day. Paul would've said that for the first time with clarity. I have a man speak powerfully of righteousness, the unfolding purpose of God in all of history.

I saw a man who in himself displaying manifestly the evidences of self-control, which was frankly beyond human understanding. I so I kneel down and lift his eyes up to heaven and he said that he saw the Son of Man in heaven, and he let me lend himself to the blows which follow, and I had them before they beat him to bits saying use for net generation. You're just like your forefathers, that's what I learned to preach like that. He says Stephen while I sit on a ball. You sure you really want that model they didn't really like it may, Paul. I mean, I didn't go over very invited by, you're not going to inside little records for us and listen to this.

When Stephen finished his message quote find this annex and ask 87. Thanks. Now I stayed in my Bible.

I love these verses you know this. What is this they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices. They all rushed at him, drag him out of the city and began to stone him. I don't know about you, but having some bad sundaes but I am come close to this. Now here that's all the backdrop here we go with this fresh in our minds.

Here is the question I want to pose. If this is a justifiable paradigm and model since it is apostolic practice and preset question. Is this the approach of the church. The answer to that. If we are honest is this. But I am large.

What we're doing is so far removed from this model has to be downright shameful. I go through it. Motivation methodology and message and just see if there is any truth in this notion. First of all, motivation. What is our motivation isn't. Two Corinthians 511 knowing the fear of the Lord we persuade men in other words we know ourselves to be given up to the task of persuasion or unequivocal about being persuaders, we are shut out to it we would not choose. We do not think ourselves equipped.

We shone at every opportunity.

We are driven back to it.

We are put in the position of persuaders, but the fact is, persuasion is unfashionable. You shouldn't persuade people at this point in history.

After all, we are told everyone has their ideas. Everyone is there space. I know we need to invade their space core seems perfectly reasonable. You listen to that for long enough, you begin to believe that.

So what then will make us persuaders in a world that does not remotely interested in persuasion. The fear of the Lord, we don't persuade because we don't know the fear of the easy John Knox go head-to-head with Mary Queen of Scots eventually got her head jumped up because it was said of John Knox that he feared God so much fear the face of any man. He was from inside now we have to go back to the reformers into the Puritans to understand the fear of God which we don't have time to do this morning but let me pique your interest and send you a bit of homework.

One of the members of your congregation comes to you and says pastor. Can you tell me the difference between servile and filial fear. What you say because if you and I don't know the difference between servile and filial fear we may want to go in and change the hymn books the way others have done to get rid of any notion of the fear of God because we have been Saul swatted into the idea that this is nowhere in the life of the Christian when in point of fact is the beginning of wisdom.

It's a motivating factor in evangelism. It drove Paul and the question is the driver methodology.

What was is what was his motivation on the fear the Lord. I persuade men what was his methodology preached Sangster the end of the century in Britain, the great Methodist preacher said preaching is in the shadows. The world does not believe in it and in the 20th century. I think we ought to change that is a preaching is in the shadows. The church does not believe in it, he will see you surely don't expect people who live in a world of mass communications to sit and listen to proclamation you believe anymore that through the authoritative proclamation of the word of God life we change families will be restored. Communities will be transformed. Societies will be energized for the always that only the 18th-century revival you cannot find an outpouring of the Spirit of God at any point in the history of the church that is not directly related to authoritative preaching of the word of God and the methodology of the apostles is the methodology for all time. Irrespective of changing circumstances and the nuances of public life.

But I put it to you this morning meant that sounds so crazy that were not sure why is it what if we have time to camp on it. We could talk about the fact that there is a loss of belief in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, liberal scholarship now or talk about conservative evangelical scholars who have lost their confidence in the Bible, and you can tell we've lost our confidence in the Bible because we don't rely upon the Bible to be the sword of the Spirit appears the armor of the sinner and to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ. Okay alongside of that preaching is in the shadows, not simply, I believe because of the loss of authority in the sufficiency of Scripture, but also because a shift in the believe me, the problem of man, that the method the notion is out from pillar to post from seminary to pool bit from pew to couch the word is out. Man's real dye llama is that he is lacking self-esteem, and therefore follows that what is required is not the preaching of the law to bring them to conviction of sin, but is a kind of preaching that tells them okay. The kind of preaching that allows us to produce a book on the 10 Commandments which hits the stores under the title believe in a God who believes in you when you get that out of the 10 Commandments I tell you how you can get by growing soft on the authority of Scripture and growing hot on the spirits belief in the condition of bread and ICT.

I put it to you this morning that there will not be in many of our communities church is a decade from now there will not be a quarter-century from now Jesus Christ does not return unless God calms and lights a fire in the hearts and minds of men like you and I concerning the authority and the sufficiency of God's holy word is that tax on every front, and so subtly that most of us are blinded to the implications of what's going on.

So, consequently, our preaching creates passivity in the minds of our congregations. Negations don't come expecting to hear from God.

They don't come largely into our buildings to sit down and to pay attention to listen for God's word. They come into sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. If there's something that rang the bell and that's good. And if there is none to get always move to another church. But the expectation level is so low. We are partly responsible for that because we don't stay on our bottoms long enough during the week are on our knees long enough during the week of something that is worth saying to people who got hungry so Neil postman in his book amusing ourselves to death speaking. Admittedly, a television evangelism preaching. He says there are certain laws that you cannot violate if you want to speak to 20th century audience law number one shall have no prerequisites. People don't like to be told that are supposed to do stuff to do that to them.

Secondly he says thou shalt induce no perplexity by.

They don't want to be troubled by you that income you to feel bad and thirdly he says thou shalt avoid exposition like the 10 plagues of Egypt. So whatever you do don't interest perplexity.

Whatever you do don't tell people that there are demands. Whatever you do don't fall into the file trap of believing that Dakin is broken going through verse by verse in chapter by chapter, is the power of God unto salvation that transforms people, builds up the church and sets it on his feet evangelism. What about the message. The motivation the methodology preaching the message.

Let me ask when's the last time you heard a three point sermon on righteousness, self-control in the coming judgment being serious when the last time your I preached one. When's the last thing we can even Evan considered preaching so much of what passes for biblical preaching appeals to man's natural affections that offers the benefits of the gospel without ever showing man is need of a Savior. Consequently, I kind of preaching demands no conviction of sin in order to be responded to. Therefore all you do is you hold it out Jesus Christ as the real thing.

Coca-Cola's the real thing and something else is the real thing and we like you to have the real thing. And after all don't you need the real thing yet give me the real thing baby than they can go out and go. I got the really the right one baby okay, but they never were confronted by Satan or the need for repentance and faith and trust in else they just came in and the somebody said that there's a way you to fill out the gaps in your life. I ask you meant is that the preaching is that the apostolic preaching of the cross is at the proclamation of the gospel. Paul's approach was Peter's approach. I did an interesting thing in preparation of this message, I went to the accident parcels are put to call him down on a sheet of paper. One column I wrote miracles and signs in the top of the other poem I wrote preaching.

I wrote down the reaction to everything America was done and every time somebody preached direction to the miracles is words like wonder and amazement, interest, etc. the reaction to preaching is real bad stuff that reaches his high point with them rushing Stephen down the hill and beating his brains out and since you and I live in the success syndrome. We got to go home and eat lunch every Sunday we love mechanic uterus that comes from people saying on that was lovely on my lovely might be lovely for a generation in our churches might be a carpet sale Jesus at the same approach, yet started with a glass of water right we don't want to gainsay that you have a glass of water please grab a drink of water. Who are you asking me for a woman for what's right you asking the Samaritan.

Where was he heading his head into verse 18 skews me five husbands in the manual and with your husband. I believe that the great Lankenau day is the lack of a prophetic voice. I'm not speaking in charismatic terms and talking about the raising of man within the pool. Bits of this great nation who will bring the word of God to bear upon the lives of men and women with passionate authoritative conviction who will be prepared to stand up in the midst of a world of business people and say, let not the rich man boast in his riches, or the strong man boast in his strength or the wise man boast in his wisdom.

Using your bodies in your brains in your box are the key to your life. Let me tell you something. Let him who boasts boast of this that he knows him the living God. We gotta check our weaponry without the commanding officer Jesus. He gave all the weapons who said we could lay them down.

He gave the weapons were supposed to use the right.

You don't choose your own stuff get the uniform he gives that you get the marching orders he gives them he's the captain he's the commander. He says what we do. He gave the weapons.

The weapons of Paul was referring to in two Corinthians 10 he says, for though we live in the world. We do not wage war as the world's I don't leave the church consider the weapons we fight with another weapons of the world.

I don't believe the church can say that on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. I believe we can sing or not doing it. So when we lay down weapons recognizing that we still have to fight to take up other weapons. The church today is politicized. Psychology eyes privatized and trivialized where sites show where an absolute sideshow as the world goes by I don't forget.

I don't care how they are churches essential and in a quest for professionalization and actualization were in great danger. I am in great danger of giving up the one thing that gives me a raison d'tre.

This book and the Christ of this book. I said nothing else not see this in conclusion some of your sitting there. You say you know what this guy should've stayed in Scotland.

He is completely out to lunch if you if you wanted to be a raving prophet. He should've gone down to England or Sunday but he does need to come over here, Alister. You been reading far too many old books this this stuff that you're pronouncing this morning was okay for the apostle Paul in his day because after all, in Paul's day, people can cope with that kind of stuff you want me to believe that the you want to tell me that when Paul preached righteousness, self-control in the coming judgment to Felix and Priscilla. It was a real palatable message for them and they say give me more give me more give me more more, absolutely not.

Let me tell you why.

And with this I conclude do any historical research on this guy, Felix, Mr. happy, you find out that he was born a twin. His brother was called palace they were born born into a sleeve family historical writer say that the dragons themselves up from the door into the limelight and it was said by secular historians of Felix that with savagery and with lust. He exercise the powers of a king with the disposition of a slave admittedly had financial security had power. He had stages and he had a good looking woman on his arm.

However, the woman that he had on his arm.

He had seduced away from original has been with the help of a supreme magician called Simon and he was sending in an adulterous relationship when they call Paula to give his little sermon and Paul comes out and does a kind of Ray Stevens on and itemize the things you covet as you squander through your life better cars, bigger houses term insurance on your wife Tuesday evening with your heart and on Wednesdays is your charlatan, your analyst is high up on your list, you better take care of business. Mr. businessman. That's what he does to you. I was palatable you get your head chopped off, or stuff like that. And what about Priscilla the raving beauty me tell you this, her father killed the brother of Jesus James are great uncle killed John the Baptist and her great-grandfather was responsible for the slots of the innocents in Bethlehem of the time of the birth of Jesus Christ and to Drusilla. He preached self-control in the coming judgment as God's. Felix never became happy. According to the record never found the happiness that his name described in A.D. 79 secular history records that Drusilla went with her son to Pompeii fashionable resort at that time it was gala night banqueting dancing.

She was as you would imagine beautifully adorned with her son enjoying all the life I do offer no time now for that crazy little Jewish man without righteousness, self-control and judgment to come. Nonsense. This is Pompeii. This is living. This is now, and in a distant roar and in a moment.

Vesuvius swallowed Pompeii and Drusilla and in a moment she went from dancing to judgment the people to whom you and I preach will also in a moment go from dancing to judgment dear, we do anything other than the example were set. Small wonder that when Paul finally writes to Timothy in this one song. He says to me I want you to preach the word because we all this itching year syndrome going on and will drive you nuts. But to me this is what you should do four things. Write them down memorizing Timothy and don't deviate them from number one.

Keep your head.

Keep your head down keep your head down in the book. Keep your head down before the almighty power of keep your head down number two endure hardship number three do the work of an evangelist number for discharge all the duties of your ministry because there's only one life will soon be past and only what's done for Jesus will last. Thank you for your attention. Challenge rose from script to follow Paul's example we preached the truth of God was pinned Alister big Truth for Life with the final message in our series titled the pastor's study.

If you'd like to hear more from Alister on this topic.

You can own all eight volumes in this series is specifically geared for pastors from those in church leadership. It comes on a USB drive titled the pastor's study. Look for it on our mobile app or find it Also, registration is now open for basics 2022.

Basics is an annual conference. Alister hosts for pastors and church leaders. If you're in pastoral ministry. Mark your calendar for May 2 through the fourth of 2022. Alister will be joined by special guest Tony Marita John Woodhouse could register online at basics conference.and if you haven't already requested your copy of the book faithful leaders of the things that matter most want to do that today.

This is a brief book written by Rico Tice that comes highly recommended by Alister today is the last week they were mentioning this book so go to gift online and request your copy of the book or you can click in the mobile app Bob Lapine. Hope you enjoy your weekend and are able to worship together with your local church. The hope you can join us on Monday. Alister launches into one of the most popular series he's ever preached title pathway to freedom study in the 10 Commandments want to miss learning just how relevant these ancient laws are to our daily life Bible teaching of Alister big furnished by truth or lying where the Learning is for Living

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