Dr. Ed Young - Keeping Secrets
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And our little phrase today is "God will what? Judge what? Secrets". Whoo... "God will judge secrets". Let's see if we can do that in sign. Remember God, do we not? "God..." good. "Will" is just this... everybody do it. Judge is this. "Judge..." secrets is taking your thumb and put it on your, on your lip. "Secrets...secrets...secrets..." All right. Let's try this. "God will judge secrets, secrets..." You just sort of hit on your... Does that worry you a little bit? Let's pray:
Father, how we need Your truth; how we need Your life; how we need Your light; how we need Your wisdom. Lord, we come before Thee today hungry for Your Word to explode in our hearts and our minds and change us. Equip us for the living of these days. You speak, O' Lord. Let me get out of the way, is our prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
You may be seated. We discovered that the whole Book of Romans tells us about the Gospel, and the Gospel is Jesus Himself. It's His pre-existence; His virgin birth; His perfect life. It is the teachings that He offers. It is His substitutionary death on the Cross. It is His Resurrection. It His Ascension. It is His coming again. That is all encompassed in the Gospel. And now Paul is writing this letter to the church in Rome, saying "We want to be sure, those of us in apostolic authority of the church, that you Roman Christians get it. You understand. You are founded on true Biblical faith". And in that church, there were two groups. There were the Jews, those who had the Book. They had the Torah. They had the Law. And there were the Gentiles, and that's everybody else. The Greeks, the Romans, anybody who's not a Jew is a Gentile, and that is what the church was composed of.
And then we come to our Chapter today! Whoah! Hold on! Look what happens. Look at Chapter 2, beginning with Verse 1. Here's all this discretion. Paul says, "Therefore, you have no excuse..." You know, I like "them" and "they" better than "you" don't you? Them and they, third person, sort of gets it out away from you and me. We're all religious people. They and them-boy, I like that. But he says, "You have no excuse. Every one of you who passes judgment, for in-oh, in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you, you who judge practice the same things, and we know that judgment of God falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this? O' man, O' woman? When you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same thing yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God"?
What's he saying? He's saying you know, we talk about homosexuality. Most of us say, "I, I'm not one of them...why that just, it makes me sick at my stomach! I mean, God is going judge... Ohh me"! And then, we read Chapter 2. He, we talk about them in Chapter 2. He said, "Well what about you and your pornography"? Ohhh... oh, wait, wait... "Well, I'm a man, I mean, you know? Uh, this is a... I, my glands are working, and my wife or my husband, they don't.... eh, eh, eh, eh.... Let's talk about them and they! Let's don't talk about me and you..." He's saying you will be judged with the same kind of judgment you mete out to others. Wheww! Let's go back to them and they again. This "you" that are involved here... You see how we try to elevate sin and put sin in categories? Do you see how hypocritical we are when we pick out those sins?
Let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, all of your sin and my sin makes God equally sick! Equally sick... So we can do pious and holier-than-thou, and Paul is saying, "You Jews are a bunch of hypocrites! You religious people are a bunch of hypocrites"! You're pointing the finger out at them and they, but what about your sin? Whooo....how do you and I determine, you know, what's right and what's wrong? What-we say, what, what kind of moral life are you and I living? Well, I, I'm not-you know, I'm not living a moral life. I'm not as high as Billy Graham, and, man, Mother Theresa, and St. John of the Cross... Oh, I, I'm not like Fénelon, I'm not like these great, godly people! Oh, no, no, no! I'm not like them; but I'm not like Madoff, or Adolph, or Mao... I'm not like those bad horrible... Well, where are you and I? Where are we? "Well, I'm somewhere in the middle..." see? You're somewhere in the middle.
You know, we're driving down the highway. Here's somebody driving, you know, ten miles an hour on a major thoroughfare. Uuhhhhhhhhhh! Blocking everybody in that lane! Maa! I say, "Jo Beth, I want you", that's the kind of person that gets killed everybody. I mean, look at-draggin' around there! Look! Eh, eh, eh, eh.! On the highway, here's somebody flying! Shoooooom! Shooooom! In and out of cars-shoooom! I say, you know, where is a patrolman when you need him? I mean-that guy! What is the right speed to go? We say the speed limit.
Do you and I always go the speed limit? "Well, you know, eh, heh, eh....unless I'm in a hurry. Unless I'm running late. Uh, unless it's a straight stretch and there's nobody... you know... What is the right standard that we have there? For example, the right standard, how do we measure it? It's about you and me, isn't it? We say, if we vote today, would we like for God to take out all the evil in the world? We'd get a vote of uni, unanimity, wouldn't we? 'Well, how much evil are you going to take out'? Well, just right up to the evil that's in you and me! Don't take us out"!
You see the problem we have? See the hypocrisy we're in engaged in? "Oh, I want to tell you about them, and boy, they, and they.... it's them and they. Them and they..." And look how God handles this. That's this fourth Verse. He handles you, he handles me, the religious folks same way. Look at Verse 4: "Or, do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness (God's kindness) and tolerance and patience, and knowing that the kindness of God leads you-you to repentance". What lead us to repentance? You know my story at the University of Alabama. I went in the room of a friend, and in the conversation, he says, "Edwin, do you believe there's a God"? I said, "Sure, I believe there's a God, Walter..." He says, "I don't. I'm an atheist". He said, "But the problem you should have is, you believe there's a God, and you live just like I do, and I don't believe there's a God..." He said, "Don't you know..."?
And he had real passion in his voice. I remember it like-he said, "Don't you know, if there is a God and you could know Him and live for Him, that's the most important thing about anybody's life"? You see it was his gentleness-an atheist that God used to preach the strongest sermon I'd ever heard. It wasn't that I went to the next-door-neighbor in my neighborhood and she came out with a Bible and says, "Edwin Young, if you don't get right and quit living the life you're living and start going to church, you're gonna go to Hell! It says right here..." and she picked up this... That doesn't lead us to repentance. That's how God operates, folks. You think that because we can continue to have all these secret sins and all this backwardness, all this duplicity, that God is not giving us rope and slack and time by His love and by His concern; His brokenness for you and me so we can repent, we can turn around and go that 180 degrees and get right with Him? You see the judgment of God because it's based on truth! Truth!
What's your motivation? Why? How? What? God knows all that. It's based on truth. Therefore, when we stand before Him, we'll have no excuse because the judgment of God is fair and equal, and all the other fiddle faddle that we'll throw out there won't mean a thing in the world because he knows the bottom line about you and the bottom line about me, and we can't be in the business of judging others because its waaay above our pay scale, ladies and gentlemen....way above. And then he moves down. He says, "By the way, this judgment, there'll be no partiality in it". Look at Verse 5: "But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God".
In other words, God is patient with us in our sin, and, but He's just-that sin is just dropping down little drops there, and there's a dam that's there that's holding back the judgment of God from your life and from my life. He hasn't given up on us, thank God for that. And that, that is holding back all the wrath that will one day come, and all accounts will be settled in full-in full. Then he says, "Good, bad, bad, good..." in the next four Verses, and, and he talks about this. He said, "To those, who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality..." Verse 6 says, "Who will render to each person according to their deeds". We'll be judged according to our works. We're not saved by our works; but we will be judged by our deeds and our works. What is this saying? "The Bible knows nothing about I have faith in Jesus Christ, and I pretty much live the way I want to because He's going to forgive me".
That is not taught anywhere in the Bible! If you and I have faith in Jesus Christ, it means that God has picked us up, and we've received Christ and we're on a different path and we're going in a different direction. And in this path, because I'm a Christian and you're a Christian, there will be deeds and works and obedience and righteousness. That's proof of who we are. The Bible knows nothing about faith without works, and knows nothing about works that has any validity apart from faith in Jesus Christ. We need to understand that. Somebody says, "Well, I've always been told..." It doesn't matter what you've always, always been told. This is what the Bible tells you and tells me, and that's authoritative. Then he says, "Good, good, bad..." He talks about those who are bad and those who are good in the next Verses, and then he moves, and this wrath is not over with. He moves on to Verse 12. He said, "The wrath, the judgment of God is universal", 12 following, He says, "for all who have sinned without the Law..."
Who sinned without the Law? Gentiles. They didn't have the Law, right? "...will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law". Who is that? It's the Jews. It's the religious people. That's us. "For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God", just before God, righteous before God, "but the doers of the Law will be justified". We're on a new path with a new lifestyle, new path, new lifestyle. "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these not having the Law are a law to themselves". Verse 15: "In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing them and defending them".
One minute I'm being accused; the next minute I'm being defended by my own conscience. So what is he saying? This judgment will be for the religious and the irreligious. It will be for everybody. We will have a day of accountability. Now, this is frightening to me. It's frightening to you, it should be. Are you looking forward to that day we'll all be there, say, "All of our secrets are gonna be uncovered, folks! There's a little tape recorder and a little film there been built in, and I can't wait to see you deserve my whole life! Aren't you excited? Here I am! Oh ho"! Anybody excited about that day? Any volunteers? That is gonna be there. You can just-it's, it's more confident in that day than that the sun will come up in the morning.
You see, we don't like this. We want to run our own lives, and we think, "Well, maybe this, you know, maybe I won't have a day of accountability, a day of reckoning..." Listen-if justice is not established beyond time, we have a horrible, horrible God that we worship. We all cry out for justice. God will see in Christ, in judgment, there will be true, unmitigated, clear justice based on truth. John Paul Sartre, if you're a Frenchman, famous philosopher; he had the idea that to be human, to be a man, to be a woman, you had to be the subject and not the object.
You say, "Well, you're getting a little too philosophical..." Watch it. It's powerful... He said to be human, you had to be the subject and act on an object. To be human, you can't be an object that is acted upon. He said that takes away your humanity if you're an object that is acted upon, and he illustrates this. He said, "Imagine" said Sartre, "that I'm looking through a keyhole at another person that doesn't know I'm watching them". And he says, "I'm looking through that keyhole, and I am the subject, and I'm in control, and they don't know that I'm watching what they are doing. They are the object of that which I am looking at. I'm in control... But..." said Sartre, "If there was a man up the hall who was watching me look through that keyhole, then I would be the object and he would be the subject" and he said, "It would be embarrassing. I'd feel ashamed. He'd want to know what I was looking at; why I was looking through that keyhole".
And he said, "Whoo! I want to be the subject who's looking and observing and acting. I don't want to be the object of someone looking and bringing shame and judging my life. And therefore" Sartre said, "I'm gonna banish God! I'm just gonna live as if there's no God. I'm gonna throw God out of my life because I can never be the subject in control, because with God, I'll always be an object who God what? God is omnipotent-all powerful. God is omnipresent; He's always there. God is omniscient. He knows everything..." That's the reason when we pray, and I'm guilty of this-we pray, "Lord, come and meet with us today". The Lord was there before you got there. He'll be there while you're there. He'll be there after you leave.
We don't have to invite, "Oh, I invite the sweet Holy Spirit to come"! That sounds good, but the Holy Spirit is already there, and you're surrounded and covered with Him all the time, all the way, you see... And so we don't like being the object. We want to be the subject, but because God looks upon your life and looks upon my life, He sees the bottom line of you and the bottom line of me 24/7! Therefore, when we realize that, we won't be pointing so many fingers at "they" and "them" because it comes to us. How, what does all this idea that we want to be the subject come from?
Go all the way back to Genesis again. All the way back.... Read the last Verse in-don't do it now-in, in Genesis, Chapter Number 2, and it says simply that Adam and Eve, male and female, were naked and there was no shame. That's all it says. And then, God said to Adam and Eve, "You can run, you're in charge of this whole world. It's all yours. You can just do whatever. You have complete freedom..." but He said, "There's one thing, you can't eat of that one tree. Just one commandment, one simple act, just that one tree". We know the story. God said, "If you eat of that tree, you're gonna die". But boy, that tree and the temptation of Satan, of the snake, and Adam and Eve goes and just picks something off that tree and bites it.
Said, "It's delicious". She said, "Look-I didn't die". She says, "Adam, come and try this". He said, "I've always wanted to". He takes a bite. Oh... he didn't die. And then the Bible says they went and made out of themselves fig leaves for a covering. By the way, you hear people say, "Prostitution is the oldest business in the world". No it's not! It's the making of clothes, is the oldest business in the world, obviously! You correct anybody who says that. So they made out of themselves fig leaves to kind of, you know, kind of appear to be righteous when they were unrighteous.
Then the Bible says that God came and was walking in the cool of the evening to meet with Adam and Eve, and God says, "Adam, Eve! Where are you"? Adam says, he says, "I was afraid. I was afraid...oh...and, and, and, I, and, and I, and I am naked! So I went and hid myself". Afraid? Naked? Hid himself? God says, "Who told you you were naked"? Adam didn't answer. Eve didn't answer. Then God says, "You didn't eat of that tree, did you"? You see, just a few Verses before, there was no shame. Why is there shame now? Why was there no shame when they were naked before? It's because they had nothing to be ashamed of! Now they had something to be ashamed of, and they were afraid.
Isn't that the way it works? And they covered themselves and they hid from the Almighty. But the interesting thing here, they were naked inside and outside. Inside and outside. That's what happens when we decide to run our own lives and put ourselves on the throne and to say, "I can handle this Lord. I'll, if You, if I need You, I'll call You. Til' then, I'll run the show"! But they didn't die. Ohhh... they didn't die. But they were naked, and they hid themselves. They were afraid. Then the judgment of God was pronounced on their life, but they're still living. The Bible says that God went and killed an animal and skinned the animal and covered Adam and Eve with skins of that animal.
Now Adam and Eve had never seen anything die; never seen death. Totally unacquainted with death, and can you imagine how horrific it must have seemed when they saw God take and kill the animal, skin the animal and cover them with the skins of that animal? Can you imagine their emotions, their feelings? What does this teach us? It teaches us when God sees you and sees me and we are afraid and we know we're naked before Him, when all the truth comes out about you and me and we hide, He comes and He has taken Him who is innocent as a substitute for you and a substitute for me, Him who is innocent. So what are we to do? We are to go to the Cross of Jesus Christ because it's absolutely level down there. We have no excuse because judgment will be, judgment will be on the basis of truth.
"Well, there were no preferences..." "Well Lord, I did this. Lord, I went..." Oh no, no, no preferences will be there, and judgment will be universal. It'll be universal. So we go to the Cross and we understand at the Cross of Jesus Christ, only One Person is righteous, only One at the Cross is righteous. It is the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus! The Christ! All the rest of us are unrighteous, but thanks be unto God when we say, "God, be merciful to me a sinner"! God takes us and covers us with the innocent blood of His Son that takes away the sin of the world and declares that at this time of judgment and shame, when all is revealed, He has covered us up with His righteousness! That's the Gospel, and that's the thrill we have of knowing in that judgment day, our sins have already been judged by Jesus on that Cross! Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable, inexpressible gift of His boundless grace!