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May 19, 2022 4:00 am
Moral compromise our lives.
Churches like a poisonous weed quickly and thoroughly messes up everyone and everything it touches today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg explains how to deal with temptations to compromise in a way that protects your reputation and your testimony were in Revelation chapter 2. Looking at verses 12 through 19, 40 miles southeast of the longest letter is written to their lease politically influential city of the group.
Part of the opportunistic entrepreneurial environment.if I had tied it was seen in its manufacturing base, which are then matched with a marketing ability.
So much so that it drew people from all around folks would be going there for a good day shopping and was here in the midst of all of this exhibit C that Jesus had said this church in an environment that was peculiarly challenging is about to see Jesus and prayed to his father would not be removed from the world. We can't from the evil one. These believers whereas we this morning at both in Christ and entire time. We are placed in Christ, but we also live in plea thoughts are in Christ, and we also live in Bolton one day out in Christ. This will be caught up as we had in heaven with Christ.
But for the time being, our experience of being in Christ is also mitigated and impinged upon by the fact that we're living in this very real world with all of the challenges and changes that it represents Jesus identifies himself as in every other message here, interestingly, is the son of God.
The only place in the whole book that I've been able to find the phrase you can check for your homework. If you're that kind of person Jesus says I am the son of God.
My eyes are like blazing fire. Nobody can escape my gaze.
My feet are burnished bronze. I am powerful I am able to come in crutch to powder all stand against me. Let me give you your report card. Verse 19 I know your deeds, the courses that you've taken love.
They service, perseverance.
I want you to know that I'm giving you a in every course. Not only that I want to add to your report card. This PS this added commendation so that others may know, when you take this home for others to see that you're not working harder than when you began the course and so there were signs among them of definite clear and wonderful progress, but verse 20. We've grown used to coming to this and sadly here we are again, but why would we be surprised because if you think about Jesus taking the lid off our local churches and finding things that he can say that accommodate three. No matter how long the list might be or how long we may imagine it to be. It would only be a relatively short period of time before he introduce the word nevertheless however but yet he would have to lay his finger on the things that we are confronting here. I trust in none of our circumstances, the particular issues that we see here in five-time. All of the qualities of all the areas in which they have received any have now been marred by one thing by moral compromise among all these lovely flowers of love and faith and service and perseverance, poisonous weed has been allowed to establish a base and it is begun to wrap itself around absolutely everything. Unlike Ephesus, where you will recall, we had no toleration or tall for wicked men. Verse two of chapter 2 fire tire apparently was prepared to pussyfoot around with idolatry and with immorality, and the leader of this plan was none other than a woman designated Jezebel who had strong ties back to a thousand years before her existence in her model for activity. If you like the Jezebel of King Ahab who was involved in disastrous activities of which you can read in first and second Kings again for your homework you start your back to discover that she contaminated Israel with a system of thought that divorced religion from morality that divorced belief from behavior and she suggested to the people of our time that it was okay to live with that dichotomy. Indeed, that was really the way ahead they could still maintain spiritual progress despite the fact that they were embracing this dreadful immorality, Ahab, you will find when you do your homework at night of the moral backbone nor the stamina to stand against her and even fire tire. Nothing much was different.
This woman claimed to speak with inspired authority. They always do what this woman and fire tire was saying is this that you can indulge in immorality while still maintaining your spiritual life and it won't damage your souls, which obviously was a welcome message to those who wanted somehow or another to live a compromise like the guilds were all over the place and fire tire more discomfort archaeologically than in other cities, even of a larger size. These guilds operated apparently a bit like a Masonic Lodge, and you had to be initiated into certain things if you were going to be able to trade and do business. The tragedy of it was that their association meeting were directly tied to idolatry and to the dreadful light, sensuous immorality that was parked on. It is apparently impossible to be involved in this way, without somehow or another being contaminated by this influence, and so the average young man sitting out in business trying to figure out where his lines of demarcation line where he is able to go with whom he is able to associate thus holding to the testimony of Christ holding firm to his work is just the same issues that confront men and women today. The exact same issues that involve men in the in the golf club I have participated as an relatively normal man and listen to the conversation across the other side of the lockers as they come to an end. Some of the most influential and financially well-heeled businessman talking about some of the worst rubbish ever had in your life and preparing to spend the evening apart from all that represents moral fortitude and rectitude and that which would be pleasing to their children. And here comes the young Christian businessman into the middle of this one thing to get on wanting to make progress in finding themselves sucked into this vortex. Are you prepared to stand see how important it is that we pray for one another in our fellowship and that we have prayer partners and with hundreds in the faith, and we have those who are standing with those undergirding us and calling cousins and I would go and how will it go and how can I help because the downward pool of this kind of thing is real sin, says Poythress of Westminster seminary can always come up with excuses to do what it wants to do what is convenient to do what is comfortable. The Christians of fire tire either had a very poor conscience or they had a very feeble courage, but they were as weak and spineless towards the new Jezebel is a habit. Been to the old as you find when you do your: one is never search hard to recognize that already. In these days we are confronted again and again and again by the fact that spiritual maturity and effectiveness in the idolatry, which worships cell and guards that are no guards and the immorality that accompanies it. Do not go hand in hand. The devil would you think about it 2000 years on really has no more bullets in his gun. He is still applying the same message, he is still sorting the same poisonous weeds in the hearts and minds of people suggesting to us that we don't have to take seriously. All these things that the Bible says about moral purity.
That's the kind of stuff that you get from legalists. We hear people say you don't have to do that.
Listen, my dear friends the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Titus 211. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our God and Savior Jesus Christ the grace of God that is appeared to us in Jesus's teaching grace. It is an empowering grace.
It is a law-abiding law frame great. Don't fall foul of the nonsense that tells you that once you come to Christ to set you free to do whatever you feel now he doesn't set you free to do exactly what he demands no in verses 21 to 23 and I'll give you the outline of this and were done he provides a word of judgment. The word of judgment, despite the fight, the Jezebel has been given time and opportunity to repent.
Don't know exactly how that is happened but we take it is absolutely dear she had the opportunity to repent.
The word is at the end of verse 21. She doesn't want to repent. She shows contempt for the kindness and tolerance of God.
So verse 22 is a staggering dreadful awesome verse, the punishment is made to fit the crime. He says you have profaned the bed of love, so you will be pinned to a bed of sickness, apparently Jezebel you and your followers like to spend a lot of time in bed. Good because you're going to and it won't be any fun at all sure that is dramatic is its concurrent with what we find posting to the Corinthians concerning the immorality that is in tied to the Corinthian believers. Some of you we set our week in Summerhill and some of you have dying.
What a staggering thing to say that your children I will strike dead recoil from that is this expressive of her actual physical children. I think probably not.
I think that your children is synonymous with those who commit adultery with her in other words, your team, the product of your own spiritual adultery.
The children of illegal practices. Those who share your defiance commitment to go on your own way and resist every evidence of God's kindness and goodness to those who have so unreservedly embraced this antinomian doctrine which is been given to them by their spiritual mother… It right in accord with the impact that took place on the church says that then the church is a wake-up he says if they won't listen to my word as I bring it to them, then I'm sure they will be awakened by the drama of this judgment. Remember Ananias and Sapphire and how that made a staggering impact on the church there in acts chapter 5 the word of judgment and a word of encouragement. Look at verse 24. Now I say to the rest of you. Not everyone in fire tire had gone down Jezebel's road that resisted the temptation to get sucked into the vortex of Satan's so-called deep secrets. I may tell you every time someone he wants to take you aside, especially if you're a young person with a zeal for God, they wanted to go outside until you know I can take you into the deep things said that this is a nice place and I know you been enjoying coming here, and so on. But if you would just listen to me. I continue into the deep places. Be careful lest the deep place.
They're taking you the cavern of Satan's evil domain of encouragement is that when they came to them and they said come on we can take you into the deep secrets they decided that they were going to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight and encourages them is another ask you to do anything else other than simply to hold on to what you have. Verse 25 only hold on to what you have until I come as a cue for a song with a refrain. Hold on to what you've got. Leave that aside, what we have. What are they happy had the life that was truly life you see the great danger in resisting immorality is that we introduce into our thinking and perhaps into our practices and then offer it to those who come behind us some form of weird asceticism to the extreme of immorality is met by the extreme of asceticism is nowhere were supposed to go when there is no new burden that is being placed on us. No new rules and regulations. No preparedness to listen to those who come to us are suggesting that they would forbid managing so on. Because the marriage bed is is a wonderful place and it is undefiled and the gift of sex along with the gifts that God has given us in life are given as all things richly to enjoy when we take them at the right time and in the right proportion urinary Screwtape letters, Screwtape sends one of them and he says what we need to do is to get our enemy to take the good gifts that our enemy has given to them in at the wrong time and in the wrong want the answer to that is not in the gifts of tall but it is to take them and to use them as God has provided.
Therefore, we are to be able to lead the world when it comes to the issue of enjoyment.
We are to lead the world when it comes to the maximum content we are to be able to speak with great clarity and power when it comes to the issues of sexual purity before marriage and fidelity within marriage but to the degree that we are prepared to tolerate this Jezebel within our minds or within our actions or within our fellowships are voice of commanding power is totally silence.
That's the issue, so be encouraged. Even though you feel you're the last voice even though you feel you're the last version in your university.
Even though you feel you're the last guy is going to stay true to his wife when everybody finds some secretary whose body has not yet been ravaged by 50 years of gravity when you feel yourself tempted, then get on your bike and get up the street like Joseph ran out of the house when you killed behind leave whatever is going on behind get up and out the role deal with it immediately, deal with it ruthlessly deal with it consistently deal with it on up quickly, for we are marginalized and neutralized by the impurity of our own sorted Sally Christian testimony and that is what makes this message so powerful that Christ who comes and judgment comes.
Also, encouragement. I know you live I know is that you have. I know the temptations that you feel you may feel that no one understands you, but standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Jesus because he is the only one who cares and understands in standing somewhere in the shadows you will find them and you know him by the nail prints in his stolen anybody lay upon you the burdens the Pharisees gave just go with the royal law of God, keep your eyes on the top and work restraining word of judgment. A word of encouragement.
Finally, word of promise, look there just in a phrase to those who overcome do so by doing his will to the end. You will notice the ground of our salvation is the atoning work of Christ, the evidence of our salvation is our continuance.
The perseverance of the saints is really the perseverance of God, perseveres with eyes, thereby enabling us to continue to the end, he bring it to completion. The work which he has begun to rain water comes, I will give authority over the nations. What afforded American resident being read out in the congregation and fire tire. These little people are sitting there will and merchants and leather workers and their fingers. All four needles in the lungs and stuff sitting over in his wife's hand and wrapping his son over the back of her head. Try to keep control over the operation. The normal kind of setting the experience wondering if you don't have enough to make ends meet. Wondering if you can continue to function despite all of the challenges of the guilds that are represented by all of this immorality and idolatry, thinking to himself, you know, I am beleaguered and hopeless and helpless in the world is read out and if you continue and you are in overcome her. You will rule the nation.
It's time to ask of me and I will be in the nations for your inheritance. Those who have died with Christ will also reign with and I will also give him the morning star. What is that was not a newspaper writing. I for sure. And you can get a PhD finding out what it is I don't think we need to go further than staying in the book of Revelation, Jesus described himself as the bright and morning star in Revelation 2216. After all, what more could he say for is in heaven himself when the older you get what you want for your birthday my wife bugging me all the time what you want for your birthday.
I said I know I said nothing. I don't know why a book you created us and I like books so we have this big dialogue going on since I hit on to give me a picture of you and each of my children said that said citizen really on Arthur's nothing. I desire more than after Christ and have he'll be our case we cousins the wife of the Presbyterian minister who is a colleague of Samuel Rutherford to Rutherford's memoir, and wrote a big long coil which became a five stanza she made this point with clarity a little bit. Victoria Leavitt RK slightly sentimental, but good. This is the end. Remember, she wrote, thinking of the idea of being given the morning Star being given Christ himself. She says the bright eyes, not her garment, but her dear brightens face, and I will not gaze on glory but on the king of Greece not on the crown he given, but on his nail pierced for the last is all the glory in the manuals and our journey along the way under the vision of the exalted Christ is to get us ready for the park when he comes over slips, as we Whitestone and whispers our new name in our ears takes her hand and walks off down one of those Big Golden Ave., Smithers do not be weary in well doing this keep on keep clean this. Keep watching this keep helping.
It is impossible. Spiritual maturity and effective Christian living. To go hand-in-hand with soap, idolatry and immorality listing to Truth for Life with Alister Bragg. Alister will be back in just a minute to close today's program in order to persevere in our faith. We have to deal ruthlessly with temptation is Alister just talked and to do that we need to be able to recognize false teaching.
That's why it's our pattern of Truth for Life to teach the Bible verse by verse.
We trust when God's word is faithfully proclaimed God's spirit will work through this teaching to convert unbelievers to deepen the relationship between Jesus and those who already believe in the strength of local churches.
When you donate to Truth for Life. That's the mission you're supporting now in addition to the daily teaching you here on Truth for Life. We also recommend books to you to help you and your family grow in your faith and today were recommending a book called mere evangelism. 10 insights from CS Lewis to help you share your faith, I think most of us feel inadequate when it comes to the task of evangelism. This is a book that helps equip us to talk about our faith with confidence you can request the book mere evangelism.
When you make a donation of any amount. Click the image you see on the mobile app or visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate now, here's Alister to close with prayer father in a multitude of words were fearful. I hear my own voice. It unsettles so many ways. I pray that because you love to honor above all things your name in your work to our hearts and minds with clarity, conviction, judgment, warning, encouragement, everything that is necessary in order that we might become the people you desire for the rest of the way. A strong and powerful name of Jesus. Amen. I'm bumping thanks for listing tomorrow will find out how God produces usefulness out of weakness how he brings riches out of poverty Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is pulling