Rescuing the Gospel in America – Dr. Erwin Lutzer


Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque. We pursue the God
who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another
through worship, by the word, to the world. Thank you. Thank you. I want to echo what
Michael Pitts has said about us having a great
privilege of being here. To be able to connect with
your pastor, your staff– what a wonderful ministry
God has given you. And thank you so much for
being out tonight on a Sunday evening. Chicago gets cold. I don’t know if it
gets cold here or not, but in Chicago it
gets mighty cold. One day last winter,
according to the media– and if it’s in the media,
you know that it’s true– apparently, it was so cold
that some of our politicians were actually seeing with their
hands in their own pockets. It gets cold in Chicago. In Chicago, there
was a couple that was out for their 40th
wedding anniversary. Each was 60 years old. An angel appeared to them
and said, what would you like for your 40th anniversary? The wife said, I’ve
never traveled. The angel flashed his sword,
and instantly in her hand were two tickets
for a world cruise. It was the husband’s turn. He took the angel
aside and said, you know I’d really like to
be married to somebody who’s 30 years younger than I am. The angel flashed his
sword, and instantly the man was 90 years old. Be careful what you ask for. I want to say, also, regarding
this church– thank you so much for the music ministry. And those of you who are in
music, Stephen and others, you’d have never known that
one of my favorite hymns is “Just As I Am
Without One Plea.” And to have sung it that way
blended with another song– of course, you know. Many of you are old
enough to associate it with a certain
evangelist, weren’t you? Remember Billy
Graham, Just As I Am? How many of you remember that? Just As I Am. Look at that. And you remember
how Billy Graham used to give an invitation? In a moment, I’m going to ask
you to come, hundreds of you. You simply get up out of your
seats, and I want you to come. And for those of you who
have joined us tonight by television, we’d like to
send you some literature. We’d like to send
you a book that has been a blessing to
tens of thousands of people around the world,
written by Pastor Lutzer. Just write to me, Billy
Graham, Minneapolis, Minnesota. That’s all the address you need. Just Billy Graham,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now until the same time
next week, goodbye, and may the Lord
bless you real good. Well tonight, we’re
going to speak about a very serious subject. If you were here this morning or
one of the sessions last night, you know I spoke on rescuing
the gospel, 16th century reformation. And by the way,
following this service, I’m going to be
at the book table. Hopefully take out
some time to greet you, to autograph some books, but
tonight– rescuing the gospel in America. You have your bulletin
in front of you. And if you don’t have one,
I hope that you share it with someone else. Helmut Thielicke was
a German theologian. And he said that one time he
was cycling through Europe as a college student. And he was so hungry
in the morning– he had skipped
breakfast– and he saw a sign on what he thought
was a bakery or a coffee shop that said hot rolls. He said that as he got
off of his bicycle, he was so excited to
eat the saliva already began to come into his mouth. You have had that experience. He went in and discovered
that it was not a coffee shop at all. It was actually a print shop. They had put that out there just
to show the kind of printing they are able to do. And you know, I think that many
of our churches are that way. People anticipate this
is the place where I’m going to come to know God,
and they get into the church, and they discover that
it’s really something else, and it might actually
be junk food. If your bulletin is open
tonight, your insert that we prepared for
you, you’ll notice that the Book of
Jude– and you have Jude on one side, my outline
on the other– he says, “I’m a servant of Jesus Christ
and the brother of James.” Let’s pause there for a moment. Jude was actually the
half brother of Jesus. But you notice that
he doesn’t say that. He doesn’t say,
now I just want you to know that we grew up
with him– though he did. He came to the conclusion
that his other brothers also came to, that their
half brother was indeed the Messiah, the King,
the Lord of Lords. And so he humbly says, a
servant of Jesus Christ. And he is a brother
of James, which was another brother of Jesus. And that’s the way he begins. What Jude wants
to do is to begin writing a very positive letter
regarding our common gospel. But there is something
even more urgent. And that is that false teachers
have come into the church. You’ll notice it
says in verse 3, it says, “Beloved,
although I was very eager to write to you
about our common salvation, I found it necessary to
write, appealing to you to contend for the
faith once for all delivered for the saints.” By the way, as you
go through this, I want you to know that the
yellow underlining might not always be exact as to where
I’m going to be coming from, so keep this open before you. And if you can find the verses
that I allude to– because much of what I’m going to share
today comes from this book. The Book of Jude is a
very difficult book, because he makes two
appeals to books that were not a part of the canon. One was the book regarding
Moses, the testimony of Moses. And the other was the book
of Enoch, which are not part of the New Testament. But even though he
quotes them, that does not mean he
gives legitimacy to them as a book that should
be in the New Testament. The book of Enoch
particularly was known, but everybody has, throughout
history, rejected it, because it is not scripture. But he does refer to
something in it that is true. And when you read the Book of
Jude, you’ll come across that. Now here’s what we’re
going to do tonight. Since Jude talks
about false teachers, we are going to talk about
false teachers as well. And what I’d like to
do is very quickly introduce you to five
false gospels taking place in America today. Now I need to emphasize that
there are more than five, actually. And as I sat down to write
this, I thought of five, but yes, there are
more than five. But let’s look at five
prominent false gospels, and then let’s talk
especially about what we have to do as
individual Christians and as families to stand
against the darkness. That’s where we are going
tonight– false gospels. Number one– the gospel
of perverted grace. Several of these gospels
are referred to in Jude. I added some that are not
specifically referred to, but you’ll notice the gospel
of perverted grace, verse 4– “For certain people have crept
in unnoticed, who long ago were designated for this
condemnation, ungodly people who pervert the grace of
our God into sensuality and deny the only master
and Lord Jesus Christ.” Now my dear brothers
and sisters, there is nothing as beautiful
as the grace of God. In fact, the common
salvation that Jude wants to speak to us
about in the common faith is the fact that Jesus is God,
he is God, a very God, that he came to die for our
sins, that salvation is a free gift
through Jesus Christ and can be received by anyone
as we emphasized this morning. That is the grace of God. And we offer grace to
the vilest of sinners. How wonderful it is that we
can do that with authenticity. As a pastor who has seen
a lot of sin in his life, in members of the congregation
as well as struggles in our own life, I love to be
able to tell people, my dear friend, there is more
grace in God’s heart than there is sin in your past. Do I have an Amen
tonight for that? Amen. But there’s also
such a thing creeping into evangelical churches that
I would call perverted grace. Perverted grace is
the kind of grace that is offered to
people before they even know they really need it. You see, it used to be
we’d preach against sin, and when people
couldn’t handle it, because they were
under conviction, we pointed them to grace. Today grace is offered
to people even up front before they know they need it. Even such a phrase as God
loves you unconditionally may be true, but it
has a certain context. But if we offer that out
there, somebody says, well, even though I’m
sleeping with my girlfriend, God loves me unconditionally. God loves me just as I am. What’s the big hassle about sin? And Jude says here, it is
perverting the grace of God into sensuality. Maybe I can put it this way. Biblical grace
stands against sin. It fights against sin. Paul says that the grace of
God that brings salvation teaches us to deny
ungodliness and worldly lusts. Today there’s a
kind of grace that embraces sin, that
in effect says, let us celebrate
all of our sins. Because we’re all sins and
God’s grace forgives us. Biblical grace
leads us ultimately to fear God as the New
Testament tells us we should. Just read 1 Peter, chapter 1. But perverted grace says
there is nothing to fear. It is safe to sin, because
we are under grace. We’re not under law. And then, in its extreme
form– a friend of mine asked somebody on a plane
one time, what would you say to God if God
were to say to you why should I let
you into heaven? And he said, well I just
expect him to forgive me because that’s his job. That’s perverted grace that
embraces sensuality rather than fighting against it. And we see that
today in the church oftentimes, especially
in those churches that deny the accuracy
of the word of God. Let’s go on to a second. And we don’t have much time to
go into all of these issues. But let’s look at
the second kind of gospel– health and wealth. The health and wealth gospel–
you see this particularly on television. Not everybody on television
is a heretic, but believe me, there are plenty of false
teachers on television. And they generally
lean into the camera and tell you this– first
of all, God showed me. God spoke to me, and
this is what he said. Do you know what Jude refers
to people in verse 8 of people relying on their dreams? In fact, a few
years ago, there was one of these false teachers
who even said, you know, I’m having a revelation. There are actually nine
members of the Trinity. They purport to have
information about God that he tells them personally. And especially, God showed me
that if you send me seed faith, if you send me money,
you’re going to be blessed. I remember a man
on television who actually said that if
they sent him money– if they sent him money,
their mortgage would be miraculously paid. Wow, isn’t that wonderful? About six months after I saw
that, I flew into the city where he was from. And I said to a
pastor, what happened? He said, all these
people sent in money, and none of the mortgages
were miraculously paid. But the false teacher
got lots of money. You’ll notice what Jude says,
for example, in verses 11, 12, and 13. He says, “Woe to them, for they
have walked the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the
sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in
Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs
in your love feasts, as they feast with you
without fear– shepherds feeding themselves,
waterless clouds.” What’s a waterless cloud? You think you’re going to
get rain, but you don’t. All of these false promises. I often want to ask these
false teachers a question. Why should I send my
seed money to you? Why should I not give it to
Calvary Church, for example? That might be one place
to sow some seed money. Oh no, it has to
be sent to them. And if you send it to
them, you’ll be blessed, and you’ll be healed. And we have power
to touch you and you are slain in the spirit. One time I read a
study that was done by one of their own number
who said that he proved, after studying all the
people slain in the spirit, that their experience did not
help them at all in their walk with God. And lots of false
promises– “swept along by the wind, fruitless trees
in the autumn, twice dead, uprooted, wild waves
of the sea casting up the foam of their
own shame, wandering stars for whom the gloom
of darkness is reserved.” Wow, what condemnation
of false teachers. I wish that some of
those false teachers would lean into
the camera and say, it’s more important that you be
holy than that you be healed. Wouldn’t it be nice if one
of them said that some time? But sin is not talked
about unless it’s the sin of not sending me money. Now that’s a sin, because
it’s the sin of unbelief. So there is the health and
wealth gospel– no room for suffering in their theology,
no room for persecution. Third, I’m including here
an ecumenical gospel– an ecumenical gospel. People think, well, just
because others believe in Jesus, we should unite with
them in mission. And they don’t
realize something. Listen to me carefully. In 2 Corinthians, chapter
11, Paul said this. He said, “I fear that you
were so soon moved away toward another Jesus. Which is not another,” he
says, “because there are those who pervert the gospel.” Did you know that we
don’t know exactly what that other Jesus was? But listen carefully. It was so much
like the real Jesus that Paul thought they might not
be able to tell the difference. Brothers and sisters,
there are all kinds of Jesuses in the world
that can save anybody. There’s the Mormon Jesus. There is the Santa Claus
Jesus that we talked about. There is the Islamic Jesus. And people say, well you know
they believe in Jesus too. Yes, they believe in
Jesus who is not divine. They believe in Jesus
who is only a prophet. I want to speak about
Islam for a little bit. In 2009, Rebecca and
I were in Turkey, which is the site of the
Seven Churches of Revelation, and we visited all those cities. And there is no church in
those cities that can be seen. Maybe a hidden church. Only mosques. Earlier I had been
in Istanbul, and I had a very devout
Muslim guide with whom I got along very well. He told me in effect
that Islam’s ability to crush the church is proof of
its superiority as a religion. So if you want to know
whether or not Islam is right, go to Egypt, where there are
2,000 to 3,000 churches that are mosques today. This troubled me because
it made Jesus look weak, and I asked God for
wisdom as to what these nonexistent churches have
to say to the American church. And just in a matter
of about an hour, I wrote down seven or
eight or nine lessons. And that became a small
seed from which a book grew, entitled The Cross in the
Shadow of the Crescent. I believe very
deeply in the need for the American church for
that particular book on Islam. But you know what Islam
does is it cuts out the heart of Christianity. It says that Jesus did
not die on the cross. He was not buried. He didn’t have to
be raised again. He was taken
directly into heaven. And yet you have
people who claim to be evangelical who
believe in Chrislam. Chrislam is the
unity of the Quran and the Bible, the unity
of Islam and Christianity. Did you know that there
are churches in America that, in the pews, have
both a Bible and a Quran? I was in Martin Luther’s
church in Germany, which of course, as
you know, has become a very liberal continent. And there, Martin Luther is
buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg. And the pastor said,
during a short service– he read from the Old
Testament, the New Testament, and the Quran. He said, in this church,
we honor all three of the world’s great religions. What confusion. And yet people are
confused today. I saw a letter recently
by a woman who said, I’m a Christian, but I also
believe that all Muslims go to heaven as well. My dear friend,
what we need to do is to defend and
contend for the gospel just as Jude said they
had to do in his day. The ecumenical
gospel is dangerous. And we should not associate
with any group, any religion, or any denomination
that has left behind the uniqueness of Christ
as the only way to the Father and salvation
through Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone. That is the gospel, and
we must hang on to it. Now let me give you a fourth. I wrote down love wins. This past summer, I read the
book by Rob Bell, entitled Love Wins, in which this very
well written and influential book teaches [AUDIO OUT]
What Rob Bell does is very interesting, and
all false teachers do this. The health and wealth people
do it, and others as well. They will pick and choose
certain passages of scripture. They cherry-pick these passages. And then they build an
argument to say, see, Jesus died for everybody, so
everybody’s going to be saved. And they cut out the
heart of the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment. That’s a false teacher. It is the doctrine
of “love wins.” Yes, love wins. But I’m here to tell you tonight
that justice wins as well. And young people, truth
and love are not enemies. We must hold on to
both truth and love. And how essential that
absolutely is in today’s very confused world. By the way, let me give you
a little bit of apologetics. What do you say to
somebody who says I no longer believe in God? I don’t believe in
God, because look at all the evil in the world. Look at the tornadoes,
look at the Holocaust. And because of that, I
can’t believe in God. So let me clarify something. The existence of evil
is not an argument against God’s existence. What it does do is it calls
into question the kind of God that actually exists. What kind of a god would
allow the Holocaust? What kind of God
allows the evil that is taking place in the world. What is He like? So this is what I say to people. You have an option. You can either disbelieve
in God and go your own way, or you can look at what
is happening in the world. And you can see that God must
have a side to Him of justice and, if I might say, of terror. And therefore, the best
decision that you can make is to flee to Jesus Christ, who
is the refuge from the anger and the wrath of
a righteous God. You come to Jesus. That’s the answer to your
unbelief and to your struggles. Jesus is the one. The Bible says it
is a fearful thing to fall into the hands
of the living God. I, for one, don’t want to fall
into his hands unprepared. You rush to Jesus, who protects
us from the wrath to come. We don’t understand
everything about God. The older I get,
in many respects, God is more
mysterious than ever. But this we know– we cleave to
the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we go on believing
no matter what. So there is the
love wins gospel. Now there’s another gospel
I need to comment on, and that is the gospel
of my sexual preference. The gospel of my
sexual preference is found in evangelical
circles today. You may know, perhaps you
saw it on the internet, or you read about it, that
there are some churches that are wanting to be called
evangelical who now are condoning same-sex marriage. Also what you find is– there
was a publishing house that was rather Christian
in years gone by. And it has published a book
entitled Gay and Christian, in which it argues–
the book argues– that one can be gay in
practice, in practice, and still be a good
committed Christian. Now when I talk about this, I
want to speak very sensitively. Because I’m sure that there
is some here this evening who perhaps struggle with
same-sex attraction. So I want to be sympathetic
to where you are at, and I want to simply say
this– that if you struggle with same-sex attraction,
if you are not attracted to the opposite sex– let’s
suppose you’re a young man, and you’re not attracted
to young women. That doesn’t mean that
you’re a homosexual. It means that God is calling
you to a high and holy calling of celibacy. In fact, it’s referred
to in the New Testament. Jesus talks about
a eunuch, and he says there are some
who are born that way. They have no natural attraction. There are those who are
made that way by men, and there are others who
are committed that way for the sake of the kingdom. So what we need to do is to help
people to see that singleness can be a tremendous blessing,
and God may be calling you to that kind of a lifestyle. And certainly, he is calling
you to celibacy and not to same-sex
relationships, no matter how they might be constituted. Here’s what bothers me
about modern society. Today, if you are not in
favor of same-sex marriage, you are a hater. You are called names. You’re a hater,
you’re homophobic. Oh, you’re bigoted. Keep your bigotry to yourself. Really? You mean there are
no good arguments against same-sex marriage? What about, even
apart from the Bible, what about natural marriage as
opposed to unnatural marriage? If you know anything
about anatomy, you know exactly what
I’m talking about. And are you really
seriously telling me that a baby that is
adopted by two men– that they can take care of
it as well as a mother can? Are you really telling me that? But today there can
be no debate about it, because the homosexual
movement has tremendous power. And it is denying us
freedoms that we always thought we had as Americans. I think I may comment
on that in a moment. But then along with that, you
have the whole transgender phenomenon. You have the Bruce Jenner. Now we should be sympathetic
to Bruce Jenner, who always thought that he was actually
a girl in a wrong body, ever since the age of 9. But there is a doctor by
the name of Dr. McHugh. In fact, you might want
to write this down. His last name is capital M, of
course, C-H-U-G-H. Paul McHugh, a Johns Hopkins
University psychiatrist. You should read what he says
about transgender reassignment surgery. In Chicago there’s a doctor
who does it beginning at age 4. He gives four-year-olds
a certain hormone therapy to prepare them for surgery. He is destroying them,
according to Dr. McHugh. Dr. McHugh says that if you
have transgender surgery, you have 20 times
more likely– you will be– to commit suicide. He said we are not doing
any favors to anybody by emphasizing this,
rather than dealing with the psychological order. Did you know that Bruce
Jenner today is still a man? I could go through the
details and point out that he is a man neurologically
and in every way. But we’re living in
an age of confusion. And by the way, parents, if your
teenager comes to you and says, I think I’m transgender. What you need to
say to them is you need some help psychologically. But also, be encouraged. Because according to
Dr. McHugh, 70% to 80% of all teenagers who think
that they are transgender grow out of it. It’s a passing fad. And we can expect more of
it, because in our schools, there is deliberate
rebellion against God and gender confusion. There is a war against God as
creator of male and female. So kids in Chicago and some
of the schools are taught that the teacher cannot
say, now boys, you go to one part of the
room, and girls on the other. I read an article that said
that doctors should not tell the mother whether she has
given birth to a boy or a girl. She should wait to see what
choice the child wants to make. Folks, we have lost our minds. We have lost our minds. And I want to tell you this. We’re living in a day and age
in which absurdity is no longer an argument against anything. Used to be that
if it was absurd. We rejected it. Not anymore. The whole bathroom
controversy– you should actually go
to the bathroom that corresponds to your anatomy. Now there may be
some exceptions, because some people
are born, perhaps, with both genders so to speak. But those are exceptions
that can be dealt with. But to think that
we are now having this emphasis on
the fact that men can go into women’s bathrooms,
if they identify as a woman. We are headed for absolute total
sexual confusion and absurdity. And unfortunately
that’s where we are. Now enough of that. What I would like to
do is to talk to you about rescuing the gospel
in the midst of this. How do we live in a generation
that has lost its way? Let me give you some
hopeful suggestions. First of all, prepare
for opposition. Look at what Jude
writes in verse 18. Now you can flip your
bulletin over, your insert. He says in verse 17, “But
you must remember, beloved, the prediction of the apostles
of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you
in the last time, there will be scoffers following
their own ungodly passions. It is these who cause
divisions, worldly people devoid of the spirit.” Let’s stop there for a moment. Number one, prepare
for opposition. Prepare for opposition. If you think that times
are dark, they are. But they’re going to get
darker unless there’s a major reversal in America. They are going to get very dark. I read an article some time ago
about the psychological problem of intolerance. What if intolerance turns out
to be a psychological problem, a mental problem,
that disqualifies you from being a parent? And therefore, the Child
Protective Services comes into your home,
takes your children because you are an unfit parent,
because you are intolerant? You say, well that’s absurd. Yeah, but there are lots
of absurd things happening. So I want to speak directly
to you now as a family, you and your family. Mothers, fathers, grandparents
listen to my heart today, not just to my words. There are two thieves that
want to destroy your children, capture their hearts,
and lead them away from everything that
is decent, everything you have tried to
teach them, and God. There are two things. Number one, there is a
school system out there– and I’m not saying that’s
true of all schools– but many schools try to
sexualize your child. Don’t you dare allow the school
system to sexualize your child. The intention is
to introduce them to various forms of
sexuality, in some instances, to confuse them. And at an early age cause
desires and aptitudes that are very destructive. Don’t allow the school
system to do that. And perhaps your school system
isn’t doing that, but parents, you have a direct
responsibility for the children that God has given you. And you had better be very
careful as to what they are taught in school and
what’s happening there. Do I have an Amen? So that’s the first thief. Let me give you
the second thief. I’d like to preach an entire
message on this alone, and that is technology. What if you had thieves
that came into your house and stole your kids? Well, you’d call the
police and so forth, and you would block the doors
later on when they were found. What if I told you
that there are thieves that are in your
home right now that want to steal the
heart of your child? And those thieves are
computers, iPhones, iPads, and all of these
technologies that we use to spread the gospel. But they are also being
used for very evil, fenarius– oh, there’s
a word like fenarius? If not, there is now– purposes. Watch technology. Protect your children. There is so much
stuff out there. I could tell you stories about
boys who got onto a computer and were introduced
to pornography and horrible,
horrible experiences. And the computers out
there, and the people who run that
technology, tonight, while we’re meeting here,
they are meeting together to think of new ways
to snare your child. So prepare for
opposition as families. In the workplace, you’re
going to receive opposition. Churches– the
first bill that was written in Illinois
regarding same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court OKed
it– I read it in its entirety. And it said that any
church that has weddings, and it rents out its
facilities for weddings, has to have same-sex weddings. If not, they will be in
violation of the law. I said to someone who
is sponsoring it– I was sitting
beside him– I said, now let’s suppose
a secretary were to say that she is
going to go home, and this weekend, she’s going
to marry her same-sex lover. If she were terminated,
because of that, in the church, what would happen? He said, instant lawsuit. So we’re living at a time in
which churches must prepare as far as they legally can be. At Moody Church, we
rewrote our constitution a couple of years ago
with some attorneys, trying to build in
some safeguards that may work for a few years. But we are headed at a time
when our freedoms that we used to take for granted are being
gobbled up in ways that we could have never predicted. So prepare for the future. Times are going to be dark. Teach your children to
stand for the faith. Read them biographies of some
of the great saints of the past, who have been willing
to give their lives, and who are role models
for us, so that we know that the church has always
been an island of righteousness in a sea of paganism. And God has been faithful
in the midst of it. So number one, prepare
for opposition, because it is already here. Second, let me talk to you
about the spiritual disciplines. You’ll notice that
this comes from Jude. “But keep yourselves
in the love of God–” verse 20– “waiting for the
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” That should not be
interpreted to mean we have to live in such a
way that God keeps loving us, because we know God
will keep loving us. It means we live
consistently with the fact that God loves you,
and stay there. And I see the spiritual
disciplines as absolutely critical, because the
Bible says that Satan goes about roaring like a lion,
seeking whom he may devour. If you see the animal channel
on TV– and I like the animal channel. You say, well there are
several channels that could be dubbed as
animal channels, but that’s a separate subject. You’ll notice this, that
lions roar when they are claiming ground and territory. When they’re actually
running after that poor deer, they are not roaring
at that time. And the enemy says,
I rule technology. I rule in this area. I rule in that area. And the Bible says,
watch, because he is there to devour you. You and I and your children
have a target on our back. So I think the
only way we can do that is to keep up our
spiritual life in terms of our yieldedness, in
terms of our own repentance, our own commitment
to the scriptures, so that we can stand
against the kind of inroads that Satan wants to make into
our lives and in our families. He says keep yourself
in the love of God. Put on the armor of God. And let us as a church
repent of our own sins. Third, you’ll
notice that he says we don’t treat everyone alike. What’s very interesting
is Jude does not to speak about the
fact that we should attack the false teachers. And you and I
probably shouldn’t, because they’re out there,
they have the money, and they have the technology. And they are doing
what they’re doing. But Jude is saying
minister to those who are being affected
by the false teachers. I’m picking it up
now in verse 22. “Have mercy on those who doubt.” If somebody is going
through a time of doubt, a time of deception, a
hard time, have mercy. Don’t cast them out. Don’t be hard on them. Remember that all
of us have gone through times of doubt,
of struggle, of heartache. So have mercy on those. “Save others by snatching
them out of the fire.” There are those who are
going the wrong way, the wrong direction,
they’ve bought into the various
teachings of the world. You know what happens
if you have a violin, and the lead string
is out of tune, and you use it as the string
to tune the other strings? All the other strings
are out of tune. What you find today
is that in our culture we are often tuning our lives
in accordance with the culture. So if you see someone being
led astray because of what is happening in the world,
snatch him out of the fire. Go to him lovingly. Help him to see that he’s
going in a wrong direction, and that the way of the
transgressor is hard. Snatch them out of
the fire, and another, show mercy with fear, hating
even the garments stained by the flesh. There’s some things that
you and I know about that we should definitely
stay away from. And we should encourage others
to stay away from it also. Try to minister to people
who are being led astray in this world in which we live. Number four– Jude does
not refer to this directly, but he would certainly
agree with it. Let us learn to love
those who hate us. Learn to love those who hate us. What this broken world
really needs is love. It needs the expression
of people reaching out. We are not called to
be waving our fingers in the eyes of the world and
telling them how evil they are. They are simply acting on
the basis of their passions, their lusts, their desires,
and in many instances, of their perversions. And what they need to do is
to find out what love is. The world can outentertain
us, the world outnumber us, the world can outfinance
us, but my friend, let it never be said that
the world can outlove us. Because the love of God is
shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit
that is given unto us. Let us love well. Jesus said love your enemies. You say, but the enemies
out there, they hate us. They may. Today I spoke about
Islam very briefly. I did want to add something
else that, in addition to Islam having special dibs
here in America– and it is very, very
special– no matter how many attacks are done
in the name of Allah, somehow people
continue to believe that it is a religion
of truth, no matter how many passages in
the Quran or the Hadif there are to justify it. But you and I are
called to love. And by the way, hundreds
of thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ, I’m
told, in Muslim countries today. Isn’t that wonderful? But Jesus said this in Luke 6. He said, “Blessed are
you when men cast out your name as being evil.” That’s the literal Greek. “Blessed are you when
men cast out your name as being evil for my sake. Great is your reward in heaven.” Love your enemies. And we have the
privilege of doing that. I want to say a word also,
since I’m up here and talking, about the present situation in
America regarding immigration issues and controversies. We as a Church have the
privilege and opportunity of loving absolutely
everyone that we come in contact with, no
matter their origin, no matter how they got here. We have the privilege
of reaching out to them. But it is not the government’s
first responsibility to be compassionate. We have that privilege
as believers, but the government has
the first responsibility to protect its citizens. It cannot be governed
by compassion. If it can be
compassionate, fine. But that’s not a policy. The government has
one responsibility. We as Christians have another. And that is to love everyone and
be compassionate to everyone. And even if people
purport to be our enemies, let us go on loving them and
representing Jesus Christ and doing it well. We must love those who hate us. Number five– we
must be a witness. People are praying for revival
in America, and we all are. But I want to tell you
this tonight, my friend. Sometimes we use prayers
for revival as a cop-out. We want revival to do what
God has called us to do. And what God has called us to do
is to witness to our neighbors, to our friends, to our
associates at work, to our relatives, and to
do it lovingly and help them to see the beauty of
the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our calling. What I want you to do
this week is meet someone. Perhaps it’s somebody whom
you’ve known for a long time. And ask them this
question– where are you on your spiritual journey? Just ask them that. Let them talk. Ask questions. God may, in his grace,
give you an opportunity then to share the
gospel of Jesus Christ. And when we do that we
discover that if we do it well, we are actually
building friendships, and we’re helping
Jesus Christ look good to a world that
desperately needs to know that there is a Savior
to save us from our sins. And we need to do that. And what a privilege
it is to do that. And so we as a church
go out, we fan out, all throughout Albuquerque
tomorrow morning representing Jesus. And we’re doing it with
love, and integrity, and with an interest in
others, and with brokenness. I’m going to share
something with you now. I hope I’m wrong, but
I don’t think I am. I believe that the time is
going to come in America when we will find no support
beyond the church. In America, we used to have
presidents who supported us. We had laws and law givers that
supported freedom of religion and what have you. I think all of that
is going to disappear. Why do I say that? Believe it or not, do
you know who someone was who really praised
the Church in Germany during the Hitler era? Oftentimes we say, where was the
Church during the Hitler era? It was not there. And it’s true. You know that I’ve
written a book entitled Hitler’s Cross where I
discuss the Church in Germany, and its failures, and
what we learned from that. But at the same time,
the Church– part of it– did stand against Hitler. Einstein said this about
the Church in Germany. He said, I used to despise
the Church, but now, he said, I have nothing but
praise for the Church. Why did Einstein say that? Einstein said,
when Nazism came, I looked to the universities,
those great bastions of freedom, and
they were silent. Because remember, where there
is fear, there is silence. He said, I looked
to the newspapers with their flaming editorials
about their need for freedom. He said, they too were silent. Everybody became silent. But he said only the Church
stood against Hitler’s path. Well the Church didn’t
do all that it should, but the Church did
have this opposition. 700 pastors and
priests were thrown into concentration camps. That at least is some
opposition to Nazism. And for that, the great
scientist Einstein praised the Church. The day may come when we
cannot look to the newspapers. We cannot look to our judges. We cannot look to
our politicians. We cannot look around us,
certainly, to our universities. The day will come when it
will be us and God alone. But at that moment,
what we will discover is that God is
faithful to his people. My dear friend,
tonight, we’re entering an era in which us as
Americans– we’ve never been there before, have we? We have to trust
God in new ways. But God was even with
believers in Nazi Germany, marvelous stories of deliverance
and faith and courage. God has been with his
people in every single era, and he is not going
abandon us in the midst of our political confusion
and our moral consternation and foolishness. God is going to walk with
us in the days ahead. And I want to encourage
you and let you know that. And Jude, if he listens
to this sermon– I think he has
better things to do in heaven than to listen to
what I’m saying tonight– he would agree. “Now unto Him, who is able to
keep us from falling,” he says, “and to present you
faultless before the presence of his glory with
exceeding great joy, to the only wise
God in our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion
and power, forever and ever. Amen.” I’ve used that benediction
at Moody Church probably hundreds of times, and you
probably have heard it as well. That no matter how bad the fiery
furnace is, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the
three asbestos kids who refused to burn–
known to some as shake the bed, make the
bed, and into bed you go– they said, oh king, we
don’t know whether or not God will deliver us, but
whether he will or not, just get this straight– we will
not abandon our faith in God. And no matter how dark
it gets, no matter how bad the situation becomes,
let it be known tonight. We will not abandon
our faith in God. Whether he delivers
us from the furnace, or whether we die in
it, God is with us. Let’s all stand for the
benediction, shall we? And now, I give you God’s
most holy word prayed upon you and put upon you right now. And now unto Him who is able
to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless
before the presence of His glory with
exceeding great joy, to the only wise
God and our Savior be glory and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. God bless you, and good night. Thank you. Thank you. What binds us
together is devotion to worshiping our Heavenly
Father, dedication to studying his word, and determination
to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ. For more teachings from Calvary
Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org

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