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Watch 2022 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Choosing Another King - Part 2

Allen Jackson - Choosing Another King - Part 2

Allen Jackson - Choosing Another King - Part 2
TOPICS: Truth To Be Told

It's an honor to be with you again. We're continuing our study on "Truth Be Told," looking at aspects of God's truth that will bring freedom to our lives. And one of the challenges for the contemporary church is compromise. You know, there's a fancy biblical word for it, it's syncretism, and it means that we don't stop acknowledging God, or worshiping God. We just rolled some other things into the equation. Well, compromise is debilitating the church in our earth today. You know, we haven't rejected God. We've just put so many other priorities around him.

Once upon a time, we protected Sunday as the Sabbath, as a day of worship, a day of reflection, and now we're fortunate if we can squeeze time for a livestream worship service into the midst of our Sabbath. The lesson isn't about Sabbath rules. I'm not looking for another set of rules, but I do want to ask you to invite the Holy Spirit to help you see any place where compromise is robbing you of God's best in your life. It's not that we've rejected God. We're just a little fuzzy around the edges, and we think, well, maybe God will grade on the curve. He won't. Holiness is his standard, and righteousness, and purity, and holiness, those are still components of the people of God. Grab your Bible and a notepad. Let's see what God has for each of us today.

The church of Jesus Christ, in our culture at least, is crippled by guilt. We haven't understand the Scripture. We haven't understood the character of God. And we have enough failures in all of our lives. We all do, all of us, that if we don't understand the forgiveness, and the mercy, and the grace of God, the guilt is debilitating. God does not intend us to be bound with guilt. And then the enemy adds to that a far more disastrous, emotional weapon, and that's shame. See, when the Spirit of God convicts you and makes you uncomfortable with something you said, or something you've done, or a way you've lived, or a chapter of your life, when the Spirit of God convicts you, he shows you a pathway through that to acknowledge your sin in humility, to say I've been wrong in the way I thought, in the way I've behaved, but I choose another pattern and I ask you to forgive me. And through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven.

That's a healthy guilt. You don't want your conscience to become so calloused. You don't want to ignore those pleadings of God, those prompts of God to change. You don't want to ignore them until you become so calloused that you no longer recognize them. It's a very dangerous place to live. But beyond guilt, there's something even more toxic, and it's shame. See, God's conviction shows you a way out. Shame says you're bad and there is no way out. You're bad to the core. You've always been bad. In fact, you probably come from a family tree of bad folks. And you can paint up, and spray up, and sit up for a few minutes, but you're not fooling anybody. Shame is toxic, it's destructive, and it comes from the pit of hell. It's a lousy motivator for your life. Don't use it. Don't use shame on other people. Understand its roots and how destructive it is.

And right along with guilt and shame comes another companion, and that's compromise. Again, not rejecting God, just incorporating some other things. Well, it's just for a season, or it's just for this particular assignment, or it's just in this particular arena of my life. I wouldn't dream of doing that at church. I'm amazed how we have such clarity about what should happen at church or how a Christian should behave, but we don't imagine those behaviors should influence our lives 24/7. Have you noticed that even the ungodly know how Christians should behave? We've been amongst them. Again, compromise is not a new thing. Solomon, one of the great kings of Israel, David's son, David was his dad. He got to play with the slingshot that took Goliath down. God selected him, anointed him to be king over his people.

Listen to what happened to him, 1 Kings 11. "He had 700 wives of royal birth". Whoo, the man had 700 wives and they had papers that said they were a princess, just saying. I'm gonna move on, it'll get worse from there. "And his wives led him astray, and as Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God". It's not about his wives. "His heart was not devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of David his father had been". Now, he's still devoted to God, there's a temple there that he built. He's got his handprint in the concrete right out there in front of it. Very opulent place, the walls are lined with gold, that's Solomon's temple. It's referred to that until today. He's got a resume that's most impressive.

Can you see compromise is insidious? We'll point at those chapters, and seasons, and places where we honor the Lord, completely ignoring how far we have drifted from really caring about who he is. He followed the Canaanite fertility gods: Asherah, Molek, they list them. But the last verse is the sobering. "So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and he didn't follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done". I don't know if we'll see Solomon in heaven or not. The biblical record doesn't give us a record of his restoration. The biblical record tells us that when he looked at the outcomes of his life because of his compromise, he thought his life was an expression of futility.

You see, what promises you fulfillment, and contentment, and satisfaction is an empty promise. Align yourself with God. I promise he'll bring better things to you. Compromise will not do that. I can give you an example from our own lives, from the own run we're on. We're walking through a season where our health and our wellbeing is of pre-eminent discussion in the public square. We've changed everything about our lives. How we gather, how we meet, how we work or we don't. Tremendous debate, enormous resources poured into that in the last 20 months or so. Since the early 1970s, we have offered our children on the altar of convenience. Sixty million, more than sixty million lives have been terminated. It's made its way back to the Supreme Court, but there's enormous tension in the nation, all kinds of threats.

It's not really an ambiguous issue. We have neonatal intensive care units all over this nation caring for children in hospitals where on another floor in that same hospital, you can terminate those lives. Three-thousand children a day, just about, not quite, but almost 3.000 children a day, on average, lose their lives to abortion. And for the most part, we've been like those people on Mount Carmel. We've just been quiet about it. We have other priorities. There are other things more important to us. Yeah, we know that's probably not great, but there's other things that we lead with in our discussions or in the selections of authority over us. We've tolerated that, but we're frightened of the outcome if the truth were told. Maybe we could say in the '70s when that started we didn't have the technological sophistication to understand the degree to which those children were viable, but technology's improved and we understand very well those are human lives.

Now, God told us, he said he knew us in our mother's womb. It was just inconvenient for us to believe our Bibles. So, we don't have to go far. Now, here's the challenge with that. The reality of abortion is so pervasive, it's touched every one of us. Maybe not directly, but it's touched every one of us indirectly. And in the overwhelming majority of the cases, it wasn't a matter of life or death. It was a matter of convenience, or fear, or embarrassment, or humility. And so when the topic comes up. It triggers those things we're talking about. Because of our compromises, because we've engaged in too much immorality, there's a healthy sense of guilt, and there's an abundance of shame, and those result in some things.

See, the outcome of guilt, and shame, and compromise is silence, a deafening silence. We won't say anything, because we know if something was said. Our story should be told and we don't want our story told, or there's somebody we care about and we don't want their story told. And there were circumstances, and so we're silent, just like those people on Mount Carmel. Or it makes us immobile, it's like we're frozen in place. Yeah, we should do something, but if we do something we feel guilty because of our own sin, so we're immobilized, and we don't have any courage, and we can't meet the assertive responses of the adversaries of the truth because we're immobilized by guilt and shame. Or our wrong priorities just enable us to continue to be distracted.

Well, yeah, we probably should pay attention to that, but I'm really busy doing this, so let's go. We can get pretty enthusiastic about our distractions, so we ramp up our commitments to those things, and when we talk about our faith, we say, "Yeah, I'm saved, I said the sinner's prayer, I was baptized. Look, there's a picture, that's me, I was a kid, I got baptized," and we don't really talk about the influence of our Christian life or what's happened on our watch of our faith while we were overseeing it. What's gonna be said of our generation? Are we gonna allow guilt, and shame, and our own willingness to compromise to diminish the testimony of Christ in our generation?

I don't want to willingly be a part of a generation where we saw our faith seen small because we didn't have the willingness to come to the cross and confess our sin and to believe in the power of God to deliver us from the shame and to choose not to compromise at the altar of another gospel. The outcome of guilt, and shame, and compromise is anger and violence. We see plenty of that. Don't tell me I'm wrong, I know what I want, but I'm going to get it through the force of my will or the violence of my actions. And the church is mute, and we've been immobilized. So, what's the resolution? How do we get through this? Well, in Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 2, it says we can fix our eyes on Jesus. He's the author and the perfector of our faith.

Such an important statement. Jesus is the author of your story and mine, and he's also the perfector of your story and mine. You know, an author has license. It's the author's story, and he can tell the story however they see fit. And Jesus is the author of our faith journey. It was made possible by his willingness to take an earth suit. It was made possible by his suffering on the cross. It was made possible by him being raised from the dead, and in an expression of his love for you, he said I will author a God story for you. That's our Lord. That's why we serve him. He said, no, no, I paid the price for this. We're not paying a price to earn our way. We offer our lives to him out of gratitude because he delivered us from the pit of guilt, and shame, and darkness. He deserves our allegiance and our loyalty.

"Let's fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross". The cross was not pleasant. Don't be confused. He was beaten almost beyond recognition. It says he endured that because there was something before him that he considered more worthwhile. See, if our only objective is what we can get in time. We won't serve the Lord with much enthusiasm. His kingdom is coming, folks. There's a point ahead of us when the will of God will be fully expressed in the earth, and you want to be aligned with him at that point in time. You don't want to be on the outside of that discussion.

Now, between here and there it may require some endurance of us, because there's a battle raging in the earth between good and evil, right and wrong, holy and unholy. And Jesus, it says, "For the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame". To scorn something is to resist it, to reject it, to not accept it. On the cross, Jesus, the Son of God, the water-walking, dead-raising, eye-opening, storm-stilling Son of God, hung beaten in a horrible way. He was tortured to death, naked in front of a public audience, and he said I'll choose that path to help my friends. He said there's no shame in that. There's an outcome for that. I'll take that path.

So, my my resolution is really simple. In every way possible, begin to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of your life. Identify with him. Let everybody that knows you know your onboard with Jesus. You say, "They'll know how inconsistent I am". So, start to change. Consider how to align more fully with the truth you know. If you'll start to give thought to that, God will give you insight and revelation to more of his character. Learn from others who know Jesus. Spend time with them. If you want to play golf, you hang out with guys or people who golf better than you do. If you want a fish, you hang out with people that know how to fish. If you want to grow in your faith, you need to spend your discretionary time with people that have a meaningful faith.

You say, "Well, I'm an evangelist". Continue to align your priorities with him. Celebrate the goodness of God. Stop complaining about what he hasn't done and thank him for the good things he's done. Think about the honor of serving the Lord. It's an honor to serve him. It's not a burden, it's not an intrusion. Practice learning to live generously, and I don't just mean with your money. I mean, it's a part of it, it's a small part, a generous life. You have time to listen. You think about somebody else. You practice hospitality. You open your life to them.

Well, I know there's risks involved, and it's awkward and uncomfortable, but folks, our story is centered, it's rooted in Jesus. We've diminished him. We've diminished him with our indifference. We've diminished him with our real lack of concern for him. We've wanted the approval of so many other things and places. We've wanted to validate our journey through time by so many things other than the fact that Jesus is Lord of our lives. What compares to that? And again, I enjoy life. I enjoy everything about it. I've earned degrees, and I have worked, and you know, I'm grateful for all of those things, but none of those things compare with Jesus being Lord of my life. There's nothing that distinguishes my life like that one fact. He is Lord of my life.

Do I follow him perfectly? No, but I'm working on it. It's my intent. I want to pray for you. I wanna pray particularly for those that have struggled with guilt, that have carried a burden of shame. It's evil, it's from the pit. You're not a failure. You're not second class. You're not beyond redemption. It's a lie. I've had those things said to me. There have been enough public failures in my life. People have lined up to tell me that I was irredeemable, and I can tell you it's a burden until you give it to the Lord, and by the blood of Jesus, you know you've been set free. And some of you have tolerated compromise for too long, stop it. "Well, I like it". That's a good place to start.

Tell the Lord you like it. I mean that. You quietly sit before the Lord, and say, "Lord, the honest truth is I have liked ungodliness. I wasn't deceived, I wasn't confused, I wasn't perplexed, I didn't give in to peer pressure, I enjoyed it and I'm sorry. I would prefer to honor you, will you help me"? We've got to stop the deception within us. I wanna pray for you, but I just quickly put together a list of the titles and the names of Jesus. I've got a whole 'nother list, I'll share with you another time, more extensive. I just want to read these to you. I want you to hear them. They're biblical titles, or names, that are given directly to Jesus. You're going to see him one day.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine? In Revelation, listen to the list. He's the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Bright and Morning Star, the image of the invisible God, our Savior, Healer, Lord Rabbi, Teacher, Friend, Messiah, Redeemer, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Good Shepherd, the Living Word, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Judge of all, Chief Cornerstone, the author and perfecter of our faith. He's the door, the miracle worker, Emmanuel, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, the head of the church. Alpha and the Omega, the Almighty, the Bread of Life, the Holy one of Israel, the only begotten of God, and on and on it goes. Why don't you stand with me? And he's present with us today.

Now, we've got some business to do. It's not about pretense, or you know, just be patient for a minute and you can go eat. There's some stuff we need to leave here. We need to leave it at the foot of the cross. We came in stained by some things, and we want to walk out of this place clean, because we need God's help. You ready to pray?

Hallelujah, Father, I thank you for these men and women. I thank you for your truth in our lives. And Lord, we come this morning to acknowledge our need for a Savior. Lord, we can't save ourselves, not through our good works, not through our efforts, not through our own holiness. Lord, we can't do it. Trying is no longer adequate, and we come this morning to acknowledge that. Forgive us when we have chosen other gospels, when we've wanted other kings but you. When we've given ourselves to pleasure, or accumulation, or whatever it may have been, when we've trusted others for justice, or freedom, or liberty. Forgive us, Father. Forgive us for the hardness of our hearts. Forgive us for our wrong priorities, the idolatry of our lives, when we've put so many things before you. We didn't throw you out, we just put you down the list.

Lord, we come today to say we're sorry, to repent. Lord, we choose a new path. Holy Spirit, we ask you to help us. Help us choose friends and help us to choose things to do with our time that will bring godly momentum to our lives and hope to us. We thank you for it. For those who have been beset by shame, in the name of Jesus today, I thank you that you have made us clean. That we have failed, but we're not failures. That we've made mistakes, but we're not mistakes. That we have stumbled, but that you have lifted us up again. I praise you for it, Father. I thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in your image. That you're not ashamed to call us your children, and we praise you for it today. That even though we may have walked through some shadowed valleys and some difficult seasons, that you're our Redeemer, and our strength, and our Lord.

We praise you for it today, that our names are written in the Lamb's book of Life. That we are children of the King, that we're longing for a better kingdom than the present order in which we are travelling. We praise you for it today. Teach us to encourage one another and to strengthen one another. Lord, for those places where we have tolerated and accepted compromise, forgive us. For our divided hearts, Father, forgive us. We acknowledge that nothing's hidden from you, no thought, no motive, no intent. Forgive us, and I thank you now that through the blood of Jesus, we are clean. We've been redeemed and forgiven. We've been justified, and sanctified, and made holy. We are children of the King and that we'll leave this space today and leave this time together today with a new future, and a new hope, with a new Lord of our lives.

May the power of God be made evident in the midst of your people as we've never seen it before. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on the earth. Let the name of Jesus be exalted. Let it be exalted in our schools, in our universities, in our courtrooms, in the corridors of our hospitals. May the name of Jesus be exalted in the halls of Congress and our state legislatures. Forgive us when we've been embarrassed or ashamed. Protect our children. Let the evil that we have tolerated be turned back, in Jesus's name. We thank you for what you're doing in our midst, for it's in Jesus's name we pray and we believe, amen, hallelujah.

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