Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Ed Young » Dr. Ed Young - The Idol of Christianity

Dr. Ed Young - The Idol of Christianity

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Buy this sermon
  • Donate
  • Go to Store
    Dr. Ed Young - The Idol of Christianity
    Dr. Ed Young - The Idol of Christianity
TOPICS: One Way: From Guilt to Grace, Christianity, Hypocrisy

How do you add 1/2 and 1/3? Oh, come, we've got one literate mathematician in the group. You get a common denominator. The common denominator, the lowest would be 6. So 1/2, we'd turn it into 3/6, and 2/6. You'd have 5/6, right. Not goin', excuse me, Keith, I forgot. We're not, so here we are. You have 1/2 is different from 1/3, get a common denominator, and you could add them, and you get 5/6. How in the world does a holy God do business with sinners like you and me? How in the world? Some people have the idea, "I can just talk to God any time, any place. I go to God, and he", nonsense. The only way the holy God can do business with a sinner like you and me, you have to have a common denominator. Jesus Christ was totally God. He was totally man. He was a common denominator so you and I can have an entrée to the Almighty. That's who Jesus is. Incarnate, God in flesh. And he say, "Now, here is my kingdom". Now he's telling us how to live in the kingdom.

You say, "Well, I've got the Sermon on the Mount". Oh yeah. But see, he goes even further than that because so much of the teaching and so much we hear is abstract. Know the word "abstract"? "Abstract" is just a word that's, I'll say, hangin' out there with, on its own, you know? Abstract, for example, I say the word "beautiful". Abstract. Well, what is beauty? Oh, it's in the eyes of, just say, "Beautiful". I like a friend of mine, said he'd married a lot of people. He's a pastor. He said he'd never married a bride that wasn't beautiful. But he said two of 'em barely made it. You see, when you say the word "beautiful," it's an abstract word until you connect something with it in a picture, see, in a story.

So Jesus begins to take his teaching from Matthew 13. And it says there, "All the rest of his teaching was in parable". It virtually was. And he tells stories. We remember these stories, don't we? Remember what it is. "Parable," it means to "lay down beside and to throw down". "Parable". You throw down. You lay it aside. You throw it down. Here is a parable, a story, that'll help us understand the kingdom of God, see? The kingdom of God is many-faceted. The kingdom of God is wide, broad, just almost beyond understanding. It is so otherness, otherness. But see, these little parables tells us what the kingdom of God is like, or the kingdom of God is. And sometimes they're allegories, these parables. But not too many. Be careful with that.

So he tells this story, agricultural story: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, the enemy came and the tares among the wheat, and went away. And when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? But how does it have tares?' And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to get up and gather them up?' He said, 'No, no, no, no; for while you're gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat from them. Allow both to grow up together until the harvest; in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares, bind them in bundles to burn them up; and you gather the wheat into my barn."'"

Now, allergy. Probably nobody has a bad cold anymore. It's totally an anachronism. We have allergies. What is this teaching? What is that? That's just an agricultural story. Didn't have a lot of religious stuff in it, did it? No, it said this, "The kingdom is like". But it's not very religious. Well, what is it? Well, what is a tare? A tare is a bearded darnel. A tare was a deadly, intoxicating kind of seed. In fact, if you would eat, or chew some tares that they're talking about here, that's mixed in with the wheat, the little black seed that would be there, you would perhaps hallucinate. Some of the tares, you eat enough, it would kill you. It'd be like a poison. In fact, if you take seven granules of tares and ground them up and eat them, it would probably cause an abortion in that day. So it was a deadly, deadly thing to be added to the wheat, this bearded darnel.

And by the way, they're roots are entangled with one another. You pull out the tare, you destroy the wheat. See, you're gonna go in there, and, "I'mma pull out the tares and leave the wheat". "No, no, no, no, no," said the farmer. What you do, you can't make the distinction. Look at this in a field. "Now, go in there. I want you to go in there and pull out all the tares and leave the wheat". My goodness, you just can't do it. So in this agricultural story, the wise farmer said, "Let them grow up together. And when you're ready for the harvest, you can tell the difference". You know how you'll tell the difference? The wheat is, I love this, the wheat will be heavy with the grain and will have a bowed head. And the tare will be growing up straight. Bowed toward the sun would be the wheat.

So you can easily identify the wheat from the tares. Now, that's the background. And like Jesus did in the last parable we looked at, this was told to all the crowd. He told all of them this story. And then when they got home, the apostles said, "What were you talkin' about"? You ever go home from church and your wife says, "What was he talkin' about? What did that mean"? Sometimes I ask Jo Beth what I was talkin' about. But my point is, Jesus explained to them what the crowd could not perceive. But in the middle of this parable, you have two little bitty parables that I really probably have mistaught for a lot of years.

Verse 31, 13, all the way through verse 33. It's a parable of the mustard seed and the parable of leaven. Instead of reading, I'm gonna tell you about them. In all probability, I have used these positively. You've heard it all of your life, "Little faith, a little faith, the grain of a mustard seed, remove a mountain. And this is the illustration. You put a mustard seed down, and it'll grow and become a mighty tree, and birds will land in it". We've used that positively. And it can be interpreted like that. And we've used the parable of the leaven positively. It can be interpreted like that. You read all your commentators, do a linguistic study, and they're almost divided as to what's negative or positive. The leaven, it permeates the whole and fills the whole thing, and it rises up. And we use that positively.

But I think there's a strong chance these are used negatively. Why? It's because the kingdom is like. And he's saying, "Even that which is identified as the kingdom of God, as a field of wheat in the kingdom of God, there are unbelievers mixed in with believers. There's wheat mixed in with the tares". And the mustard would be a little kernel of evil the size of a mustard seed. It would grow into a tree. And what do you have in those trees? Birds. What have the birds done in the parable before this? They were the birds that consumed the Word of God that will land on the hard ground, remember? Ho, ho, ho, see, you gotta change figures here, which certainly, you could. And then in the Bible, most of the time, leaven is used as an evil thing.

In the Passover, all the Jews had to get all the leaven out of their house. Paul warns about the leaven of the Pharisees, see? But it can be used positively. So, you can take either one. I think both work, tell you the truth. I think a little evil will spread and do great harm. A little good, a little faith, will spread and move mountains. And I think leaven is the same way. But these are put in there to further elaborate, I think, this particular parable. Now, they're used in the Gospel of Luke independently, these two little small parables, mustard seed and leaven. And that leads me to believe perhaps they are indeed positive. But for another day. Jesus then interprets this very clearly.

Look at verse 36: "And then he left the crowds and went into the house. The disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares in the field.' And Jesus said, 'The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,'" Jesus, "and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is at the end of the age; and so the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all the stumbling blocks," in his kingdom, looked they were kingdom, looked like they were wheat, but they were tares, "and those who commit lawlessness," those who are immoral, they looked like they were okay, but they were tares.

Verse 42: "'And throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" And I'm gonna save verse 43. Whoa, do you get what's going on? Jesus now is scattering the good wheat. And the good wheat are men and women who have received Christ. They are good moral Christian people. The devil is mixing among all the good wheat these tares that are artificial Christians. They are not genuine. They're not real. They're the bad seed. There are bad seeds everywhere. Oh, here's a little business that going, and everything's going fine. We get along with one another. You got somebody over there, born in a negative case, bad seed. What happens? Here's a family, we get along here fine. "But oh, you've got a bad seed over there. Oh".

You can take any group, any church, any big, any orchestra, anything in the world. You get somebody that's a bad seed in there, it'll affect everything there. And they'll lose when they should win. This is what Jesus is telling us, saying, "In the kingdom, there're tares. They look like wheat right now. They haven't grown. And there's wheat, and it looks like a tare". You say, "Well, that's a strange thing". Remember the apostles? Jesus said, "One of you are gonna betray me, one of you 12". And then they all say, "I'll bet it's gonna be Judas. I know that rat". No, no, no, that didn't, "Lord, am I the one? Shh, Lord, don't say, but could I be the one that's gonna..."? They all saw it in them, the potential to being a tare or being a Judas.

So this is where we are. You have the wheat, and you have the tares. The wheat, and you have the tares. How do you tell what is genuine, what is authentic, what is the real deal against what is phony, what is inauthentic, and what is pretend time? How do you know the difference between wheat and a tare, wheat and a tare? In the middle '50s, up until the early '60s, White Sands, New Mexico, they were testing the atomic bomb. I remember it. You read your history. You know about that. You know the dropping of the atomic bombs at the end of the Second World War. And from that little period of time, about 8 or 10 years, guess what happened. In the atmosphere doubled, double, the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere. Doubled it.

Everything that was alive had the double the amount of carbon-14 before the testing and the explosion of those nuclear weapons, those nuclear testing, everything. Everything that was alive, every animal, every human being, every plant, everything, had double the amount of carbon-14. Right till this day, double the amount of carbon-14 prior to the '50s. Now, what does that mean? Good illustration. The collection of art there in Venice has a painting painted by a famous artist worth millions and millions of dollars. It had been examined by art critics, by curators, by those who are in authority on saying whether or not this art was real or valuable or not. And they had affirmed, "This is the genuine thing. This is a genuine, very expensive, famous piece of art". And it was hanging there in that art collection in Venice for years. But they began to use the carbon-14 testing method, and they tested this painting to see if it were painted, as it supposedly was, in 1910.

If it were painted in 1910, what would that tell us? It tells us they would have a little bit of carbon-14. But if it was painted after 1910, after the 1950s, they would have double the amount of carbon-14, give or take a little bit. And they examined the canvas. Linen, usually made out of flax, I think. And the paints that come from cotton. And they could see that this had been painted not in the 1910 era, but it had been painted after the 1950s because of all the carbon-14 there was in those materials. So they looked at this painting and said, "Pfft, it's not real. It's a forgery". And all of a sudden, somebody lost millions of dollars. I thought about that. And I said, "You know, how can anyone tell whether they're real or phony? Whether they're a tare or wheat? Whether we are of God, in the kingdom of God, or we're tares, phonies, imitations? What kinda test would have to take place"?

Now, in the great Judgment Day at the end of time, there's not gonna be any problem. And we'll get to that next week. No problem. But right now, how could you, how could I tell if I'm a tare or a wheat? How could you tell? Some of us look pretty wheaty, but we may be tarey. How do you tell? How do you tell? A lot of ways. Two basic, I think, simple ways. Number one, you can tell if you're a wheat and you're a kingdom citizen if Jesus is your King. That's not tough. Jesus is your King. Not just verbiage, "Oh, yes, King Jesus". Not just the singing, "Oh, King". Jesus, in other words, everything in your life and my life, we run it by Jesus. We seek to take his principles, his concepts, his ideas. We don't make 100, but we run it by him. We know he's the Commander in Chief, the King, the Lord of our lives.

That's how you can tell. Jesus is really your King. That's a pretty good sign you're wheat, that you're a kingdom citizen, right, if he's really your King. And by the way, I'll just throw this out. If you can find anybody, and if you're here, I want you to come forward immediately. If you can find anybody on the planet, I've been sayin' this forever, forever, and forever, and I'm gonna say it again. And they can stand up and say, "I have been living and seeking by the Holy Spirit. I have been seeking to live by the principles of Jesus as my King, and my life is messed up. I've got all", if you can find anybody like that, would you bring them to me immediately? I'm a pragmatist. When Jesus is your King, he's really your King, doesn't mean you dot every I, cross every T, but you know he is Lord and Savior and King, guess what? Your life works. Guess what? You're able to do, when he is King, what Job was looking for.

I was reading in Job, 'member Job? The bottom fell out of his life. Man, he lost his family, he lost his friends, they accused him of everything in the world. And they just, he was nothing. He was sick, he was dying, terminally ill, thrown away into the trash heap of that day. And Job, in answering one of his critics, he says, by the way, 'member, he was tryin' to get a court date with God. 'Member that Job said, "Boy, God, I wanna go to court with you"? But he said, "Who in the word is gonna be the judge if I go to court with God? I mean, boy, that's not gonna be fair". So Job makes this cry. He says, "Oh, if I could find my Creator God and he could teach me how to sing songs in the night".

Boy, I love that. Job was as bottomed out as anybody you could ever find in any situation on this planet, every way you could measure it. And he was saying, "Oh, if I could find the Creator God who gives me the ability to sing songs in the night". It's easy to sing when everything's comin' out roses. But boy, to sing those songs in the night. Some of you've been able to do that. God, when he is King, he enables us to sing songs in the daylight and songs in the night because he's King. That's the first thing, first thing, Jesus King. The second thing to test whether or not you're a wheat or a tare, if you're wheat, you've been planted. You've been planted. You've lost your life. You've died to self. You're living for God. You're no longer king. He is King over your life. And you have been planted.

A seed dies in the ground. It dies so it can come again and live. And when you have been planted, you seen that commercial, a little comment by Eric Dickerson on television? He's talkin' about Walter Payton. And he talks, well, Walter Payton, the famous, famous great running back. Back before Walter Payton died, and then he says, "Walter, are you afraid to die"? He said, "Yes, I'm afraid because I've never died before". Have you seen that on TV? It's right there. It's right there, a commercial for the NFL. "I've never died before". Let me tell you something. In Jesus Christ, guess what? We can die right now. We can die to our self right now. And we've already died. It'll make it a lot easier when we graduate to go be with God. You know, I've already died. I don't, I've already died to self, and I'm living for God, and I'm counting on Jesus to be my King.

That's when we've been planted. To get a Scripture to back it up, one very familiar, Psalm chapter number 1: "Blessed is the man," blessed is the woman, "who," what? "Walks not in the counsel of the ungodly". Do you walk around with some ungodly folks? Do ya? You're not gonna be blessed. "Blessed" means "to be congratulated". It means "happiness". "Blessed is the man or the woman who does not walk around with ungodly folks". He also says, to be congratulated, to be blessed, "The person doesn't stand around with sinners," garbage collectors, sinners. Don't stand around with 'em. "And you don't sit down with those who are scornful, those who are skeptical," those who are always cutting and biting and laughing at holy and say, you don't sit down with 'em.

So what are we to do? "Blessed is the man," woman, "walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, stands around with sinners, sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight," what we do delight in, "is in the law," the principles, the teaching, "of God Almighty," about his kingdom. Man, that's a thrilling thing. We delight in that. "And we'll be like a tree planted," there's our word. Took me a while to get there, didn't it? "Planted in the ground". Planted where? "By the rivers of water". You ever see a tree on the bank of a river? Look at 'em. Boy, they're greener. They flourish more. Plenty of water. Plenty of light. Plenty of air.

"We'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters, that bears fruit," fruit: love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, patience, and longsuffering. Fruit, fruit, fruit, comin' of our lives. Man, it's amazing. "And our leaf doesn't wither". It's fresh. And then the final phrase, "Everything you do will prosper". There is your prosperity gospel, right there. Planted, rivers of water, bearing fruit in our season. Leaf not withering. Man, everything you do will have prosperity about it. It'll be a prosperity that will last forever because we are kingdom kids. See it? It's beautiful. And then, you know that little verse I saved? Oh, I wanted to use it earlier, but you gotta kinda hold back up here.

Look at verse 43 of this parable. Jesus says: "'Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" Not because we're righteous, because of his righteousness. Oh, yes. But we'll shine forth like the sun, the wheat, bowing our head to the sun, bowing our head to him. Jesus is our King, and we have been planted by the rivers of water, and then we'll shine forth. You say, "Oh, I'll never shine forth with righteousness". That's right, I will never shine forth, but he that is within you, and he that is within me, will shine forth when he is our King, our King.
Are you Human?:*