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Sermon 150 – GOOD?

I asked a group of practicing Christians a range of questions to challenge their spirits to expose to themselves as to whether they were on the broad-way to hell, or the narrow way to heaven.

Of course, as professing Christians they were all offended that I would suggest that they may not be on the path to heaven, but I persisted that they should not be so proud as to know for sure without at least checking.

What’s the use of being blind to who you really are if it leads you to destruction? Surely, it makes sense to find the truth about what path you are really travelling on, otherwise the journey is all in vain. Sadly, most Christians are too stubborn to be told they may be going the wrong way.

Modernism

Modernism teaches this generation that they have the freedom to choose whatever way they like and no one has the right to tell you what is right or that you’re wrong; and the modern church has adopted this belief under the pretext that love is not offending anyone’s feelings.

Judge by how you make me feel

Modernism is just the old humanism which teaches that I am my own judge and my own god and the way you make me feel tells me whether you are good or bad. If you say nice things and do nice things to make me feel good, then you are good; and if you say or do things that make me feel bad, then you are bad. Humanism bases what is right and wrong on how you make me feel.

The problem

The problem is, righteous correction makes me feel bad, so a humanist Christian can’t get saved because they feel correction as a put-down instead of what they’re doing is wrong and a need to change direction.

Here’s the questions. I suggest you face them honestly yourself, for your own spirit’s sake.

Q.1  What’s the personal evidence that you are a good person?

Q.2  What’s the personal evidence that you are a faith person?

Q.3  What is truth?

Q.4  What is Faith?

Q. 5  What is love?

Q.6  What is a Christian?

I received a range of replies, the core of which are summarised here. I suspect most Christians would agree with their thoughts. Check where you stand.

I’m good

Every person I speak with believes they are good. Humanism teaches this. God’s Word teaches the opposite (Romans 3: 9-12).

They justify their good by their obedience, or niceness, friendliness, hard work, or not having any issues with people, being thought well of, getting something right, helping, or putting yourself out for someone else. The problem is, in almost 100% of cases, all these actions are false good.

The reason I know they are false good is because of their answers to the following questions …

Q.1  Do you think you are good?  Routinely, the answer is always, yes.

Q2.  Do you think you are No.1?  More often than not, the answer is always, yes.

Q.3  Do you look down your nose at your neighbour?  If they’re honest, the answer is always, yes.

Q4.  Do you tell your neighbor how to behave because you know?  If they’re honest, the answer is always, yes.

Q.5  Are you jealous of your neighbour?  If they’re honest, the answer is always, yes.

Q6.  Do you think you are special?  If they’re honest, the answer is always, yes.

Q7.  Do you have a mood if you don’t get what you want, or if people don’t treat you the way you want?  If they’re honest, the answer is always, yes.

Good?

I then asked, ‘are these things good?’, and invariably I get the answer, no.

So, I then challenged their thinking by asking how come you think you are good when the above evidence confirms otherwise? From here on, I usually get dishonesty and not truth. Selfishness doesn’t like to look bad, so obviously, it’s not going to include bad in its list of good because that would make one look bad. False good likes to live in its comfortable lie; to do otherwise makes me feel too embarrassed and self-conscious.

If you think you’re good, then you confirm that you are your own god, because only God is good. So, you’re really doing good for your own selfish self-value. As soon as someone thinks they’re good they confirm they’re controlled by a lying spirit, because the truth is, only God Himself is good. Anyone who thinks they are good is only doing the good so people will think you are good. This is humanism, and the broad-way to hell. It’s certainly not faith; it’s just fake love.

You can’t be No.1 and say God is No.1 too. That’s a lie of self-deception.

You can’t say you love God and say you are good, yet envy your neighbour; that’s a lie of self-deception.

False good vs True good

False good = doing those things that please others and myself for my self-value.

False good is driven by what others think of me. It is measured by how others make me feel and it walks in the fear of what others think about me.

False good lives in the fear of looking bad to others, or being wrong, or getting into trouble, or failing. This false good is always generated by envy towards others who are more favoured or popular, or who can do things better, or the reverse of believing I can do it better than you.

False good either always looks down on one’s neighbour, or feels threatened by one’s neighbour’s status. It contradicts the law of ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’.

False good does good things, but always for self, even if it’s for God.

False good is just plain self-righteousness.

Wise in own eyes

King Saul was wise in his own eyes. David was wise in the eyes of God. Korah was wise in his own eyes, but Moses was wise in the eyes of God. When you’re wise in your own eyes you’ll only see what you do is good and justify your bad as the fault of others. This is the broad-way to hell.

Calling your evil, good

What Christians don’t realise when they practice false good is that they’re actually calling their selfishness, good. This folly exposes you to a curse (Isaiah 5:20,21) and ultimate destruction (Deut.29:19,20) unless you face your selfishness and repent.

True good

True good = doing what pleases God without any thought of gaining self-favour

The good of God is measured by your attitude to your neighbour and your respect of God’s ten commandments, and only works when God is first in your life, and not yourself or others. But, God can’t be first if you haven’t sacrificed the pride of looking good in the eyes of others.

The good of God is walking in the fear of the Lord, and not the fear of others. This requires the sacrifice of one’s pride to look good in the eyes of others. Until that sacrifice is made because you love God first, you’re on the broad-way to hell and not the narrow way to the eternal city.

The two great commandments are … love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself. As soon as you look down on your neighbour, think you’re better than your neighbour, wish you could do what your neighbour can do, or do things to get value from your neighbour, then all your good is false.

False good is just a lying spirit

Most people agree that Truth is God’s Word. Now, if God’s Word is The Truth and you don’t follow it literally but rather follow it at your own discretion and convenience, even though you’ve convinced yourself that you do follow it right, then obviously you are lying to yourself. But, false good can never accept that. It hurts their feelings too much.

Conclusion

Most people think they’re good, but the truth is, they do everything in order to make themselves feel good. Everyone lives in the fear of what others think. Everyone thinks they are special and have a mood if they’re not treated as such. The truth is, they worship their own image and hate others for being higher ranked. This is what has to be put to death. God may temporarily be in their lives, but, like King Saul, they’re not saved; their Jesus is just a figment of their imagination.

Jesus said you can’t be a disciple until you give up the need to be valued by your fellowman, your parents (Luke 14:26-33), your friends, your employer etc. You actually have to hate self-value, plus you have to be willing to be hated as Christ was (Matthew 10:22-25). Self-love can’t do this. There’s no such thing as trusting God if you like the favour of others’ opinion. Few believe this pathway is valid. Their goodness deduces that they are good and God is good so God wouldn’t make it too hard to get to heaven, so they choose the easy way of just believing they are good. But, if God’s Word is the Truth, and that Word states that death-to-self is the pathway to heaven, then this good person is lying about respecting God’s way of Truth. If one lives in their goodness they won’t want the truth about the hard way.

Good is God. Truth is God. Faith is God. Love is God. If self thinks it’s good, then it doesn’t know God’s truth, or God’s faith, or God’s Love. It just walks in the imagination of its selfish heart.

Gratitude vs Attitude

If you’re truly grateful for what Christ has done for you on the cross, you may make errors, but you won’t allow yourself the right to look down on your neighbour. Under true good, you’ll judge your neighbour righteously, and not from a self-righteous position, because God is the only entity you live for. You’ll know where you stand because false good and bad will hate you for His sake.

May God strengthen His remnant to live the crucified life for His sake.

Pastor Anthony McNaughton

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Sermon 145 – FRIENDS?

I was counselling a young man who was struggling with the unfair behaviour of his friend. I confirmed that he was right that his so-called friend was behaving badly, but I then suggested he was having a mood because his ‘friend’ box was humanly defined to suit his selfishness. Seeing he was able to hear the truth, I went on to say, that if you’re a friend of God, friends might hurt your feelings, but they won’t drive you into a mood. There’s something wrong with your friendship with God.

What’s a friend?

I’ve asked this question on many occasions, and the general response is … ‘someone who is kind to me’, ‘someone who listens to me’, and ‘someone who makes me feel good’.

All humans are designed to want and need friends. It’s normal and it’s natural. But, there’s a problem. Our definitions and expectations are all about what someone should do for ME.

Jesus said … you are my friends if you do what I command you, John 15:14. This is the opposite to the human definition above. God expects you to keep Him happy and do what He wants; not the other way around. It’s pretty clear that the other way around is just a Satanic plot to trap humans in the fairness argument and divert them from doing it the way God says.

Jesus didn’t accumulate friends. He didn’t do good deeds to give Himself self-value and followers. More often than not, He lost friends (John 6). That’s because He was only interested in doing the will of his Father. If God is your friend, you won’t need friends to prop up your self-value, so if a friend does wrong by you, it might hurt your feelings but it won’t hurt your spirit.

Why do we have to do it God’s way?

The issue is spirit. God’s way usually doesn’t make sense, but If you don’t do it the way God says, and you do it the way of fairness, Satan will take power over your thinking. Satan will control your will and manoeuvre you away from God. This is confirmed in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV.

Friendly vs friend

There’s a vast difference between being friendly with God, and being a friend of God. Friendly infers an expectation that God will look after me and care for me. That’s the human expectation of friendship and it’s contaminated by selfishness. On the other hand, if you want to be a friend of God, you have to give up your human right of fairness and trust His judgment and do what He wants; that is, not expect Him to serve your needs and wants, or be obligated to keep you happy.

You can’t be friend of God and a friend of the world at the same time, James 4:4. They are opposites. And you can only be a friend of God if you aren’t a friend of the world. The world is friendly with God, and therefore, the world expects to go to heaven if they’ve been good. But, they are not friends of God, and they won’t go to heaven. It’s the direct opposite for a true Christian; if you’re a friend of God you can be friendly with the world, but you can’t befriend the world. As soon as you try to collect worldly friends you threaten your friendship with God.

Irony

Under human friendship rules, no one has real friends. The reality is, everyone is just using and collecting other people for their own self-value status. However, if you’re a friend of God, you can have friends, because it doesn’t matter if they’re using you. All that matters is what God wants. However, if that friend opposes or challenges your friendship with God, you are required to separate. They should no longer be counted as a friend.

Example

Because God is my friend, and because my wife supports that friendship, then my wife is my friend, too. In fact, she’s my best-friend. It’s my friendship with God that sustains and uniquely blesses my relationship with my wife. If she opposed my friendship with God, how could we be friends?

How do you keep the laws of God?

This question may not sound related to’ friends’, but it is. Most people, even non-Christians, recognise that it’s good to try and keep the Ten Commandments. Everyone tries to do what’s right by the commandments, but it’s humanly impossible. God, Himself, has given us a simple instruction that doesn’t require you to be ruled by rules.

It’s found in Matthew 7:12 and it’s simply … treat others as you would like to be treated, because this fulfils all the law and the prophets, and it’s re-confirmed in Matthew 22:37-40. This means you don’t keep the laws of God by trying to be good and obey the rules, but rather, you can only keep the laws of God by first, being a friend of God and, second, by obeying his two directions towards other people. Those two instructions are … treat others as you would yourself, and hold no grievance against your friend or enemy, but instead trust His plan and purpose. Impossible to do unless you’re a friend of God.

If you walk in His love, you automatically keep the rules. If it’s not His love, the rules will give you a boundary of safety from the suction of worldly evil, but they won’t save you.

From God’s perspective, everything is measured by your relationship with your fellowman. Love is measured by relationship, not by rules. If you practice love to your neighbour with the secret expectation that ‘you get back more than what you give up’, it’s breaking the commandments of God. Be as nice as you like to your fellowman and then have a mood and hold a grievance when he hurts your feelings or attacks you without justification, and it simply means you are running by the friend rule, not the God rule.

God doesn’t say … hold a grievance when your friend hurts your feelings and turns against you. On the contrary, He actually commands us to pray for our enemies, Matthew 5:44. That takes faith and trust.

You can’t practice this strategy unless you’re a friend of God. You can try but it won’t work.

What’s LOVE?

Love = giving up something for someone else. The opposite to love is pride. Therefore, PRIDE = expecting someone to give up something for ME. This definition is confirmed in Matthew 7:12, John 6:38 & 8:29. Good friendship may look like love, but If love is motivated by pride, then it’s not love, it’s pride, no matter how it looks.

Contamination

You wouldn’t serve an omelette with 5 good eggs and one rotten egg. The omelette would be rotten. When you do a good deed for someone, that’s love, but as soon as you expect a good deed back, that’s pride. Counting up your good deeds and ignoring your pride deeds and ignoring your secret selfish motivation, does not equal love, but selfish usury. You can argue with God about your good deeds, but He’s measuring your love by the contamination.

Example

Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13). That’s love, but it’s not love if it’s contaminated by self-value. This is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 13, where the Word of God also states that you can give your body to be burned but it will profit you nothing if it isn’t love. These statements seem contradictory but they’re really saying the same thing. That is, nothing’s genuine uncontaminated love unless you’re a friend of God, because if you’re a friend of God, then it’s His love that flows, and His love is not contaminated by pride.

Gratitude or attitude

Jesus proved Himself as love by dying for the human race. He did lay down His life for His friends and it worked because He didn’t do it for Himself but for His Heavenly Father. He did it the Father’s way, and rejected the ‘self’ way. Have you responded with a gratitude of commitment of being His friend, or like the selfish majority, are you friendly with God so that He’ll be friendly with you? One is death to self, the other is get for self.

If you have a mood or hold a grievance because someone hasn’t done right by you, you’ve got a friendship with God issue.

There’s a price to pay to be a friend of God. A Christian cannot accumulate worldly friends for their own status and self-value. A genuine Christian is someone who is a friend of God and not a friend of the world, James 4:4.

 

May God open our eyes to our selfish fairness that believes we’re Godly when it’s really just living for our own image, instead of for God’s.

 

Pastor Samuel Abbel

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2020 in friends

 

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