Lord Of Your Heart
There’s a real battle in the human heart: Is the Lord Jesus going to be Lord or is He not?
And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? Thank God you don’t have to be tarred with the devil’s brush just because you live in a dirty world. “You and I can be kept”, says Peter, “”kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation”. Oh God can keep you today, let Him do it. Every day of my life I have to look up and say, ‘Father keep me, keep me from my own stupidity and sin. Keep me from the temptations that surround me. Keep me in Your will’. And He does. God answers prayer, hallelujah. Aren’t you glad you can be kept? You trust Him today.
Well, you and I were talking about heresy. Matthew 15:9, “Teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men”. Acts15:24, you have to become Jewish in the fact that you have been circumcised and you keep all the Mosaic law, that’s another form of heresy, and then 1 Timothy 4:1, Christ plus something else.
The last time we got together, we were talking about Christ plus the idea of the occult, other spirits and other experiences. A valid, personal experience they talk about. Christ plus the occult, and then of course going on in that passage in Timothy, he talks about people who speak lies in hypocrisy, speaking lies in hypocrisy. That whole matter of hypocrisy is rarely viewed as a form of heresy, but it is. Do you want to think about that for yourself? You see what we’re after, is to nail down that which goes counter to the pure gospel of the Lord Jesus, and our Savior, you’ll find the passage in Luke 12, our Savior warned against hypocrisy. He said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy”. He used word leaven, our word yeast, He said, it’s like yeast, you put a little bit of it in the stuff of life and pretty soon it’s all through, it’s just like yeast spores, penetrate a batch of bread dough causing it to rise. He said; watch out for hypocrisy, it’s like yeast.
Whenever I think of that my mind goes back to the first time I was going to bake bread. Did I ever tell you about that? I was going to bake some bread, so I got the flour and the milk and the yeast and the sugar the salt and the salt, and I got the dough mixture mixed up, you know, with the shortening in it and all of that, then I was going to put in the yeast. Well, I’d been to the corner store and gotten three cakes of Fleishman’s compressed yeast, and I mixed up one cake of it in a half a couple of warm water, and I looked at and thought, well I don’t know if that’s enough, and so I took another cake and added it and stirred it up till it was mixed up in the warm water, and I thought, oh well I’ll make sure that the stuff will rise, I’ll put in another cake of yeast, so three cakes of Fleishman’s compressed yeast went into that batch of bread dough, which was you know maybe four or six cups of flour, something like that, whatever it was, wasn’t very much, but I put it all in. And then I thought, well you got to let it rise; I’ll go out and play a little ball. So, I went out in the alley and played stickball with the kids and came back to find to my dismay that that yeast had caused the bread dough to rise and it rose, up over the top of the bowl, and onto the table and on down onto the floor, and the floor in that little rented room in Toledo, Ohio sloped toward the doorway, so it was a river of dough, running toward the door. Yea it rose alright. Yeast.
“Oh hypocrisy”, he said, watch out for hypocrisy. Have you ever thought of hypocrisy as being a form of heresy? Well, it is. Because you see, what you’re doing is you’re claiming to be something that you’re not, and you are presenting that something, that false something, as being true to your blessed Lord. See, there’s the hitch. We tend to pass by the guiltiness of hypocrisy. It is a guilty business, it’s a sinful business, it’s a heretical business because when you pawn yourself off on somebody else as something that you really are not, what you’re saying is Jesus is like this, but in reality you’re not the real thing. You see the point? Heresy, speaking lies in hypocrisy.
You want to check up on your own self? No one can do that but you and God. Are there any areas, any phony areas in our lives that we ought to check up on? This is heresy, we want to get rid of it, alright? And then another mark of heresy is easy disobedience to God’s Word and God’s will, “Having their conscience seared”, he said, “as with a hot iron”. A seared conscience, a conscience that is no longer sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God. Easy disobedience to God’s commands, that’s a the form of heresy. Why? Because you are teaching by your life. The ancient fallacy that the Devil propounded in the Garden of Eden which was, you can better yourself, you can enjoy yourself more by disobeying God. That’s the lie that the Devil spoke in the Garden of Eden, and when you and I become the victims of easy disobedience to God, what we are saying to people around us is, see you can disobey God, you can get away with it, you can better yourself and enjoy yourself more. That my friend is the ancient heresy of the devil himself. It puts a different construction, doesn’t it, upon our sometimes thoughtless disobedience of God.
Maintain a tender conscience, will you? Maintain a tender conscience, and I don’t mean that you should be a slave to your conscience and that you should go around examining every action to see whether was right or wrong. The Spirit of God will guide you and if you’re living every day in the Word of God, you can be sure that God’s faithful Holy Spirit will apply it to your life, so you’ll know whether what you’re doing is right or wrong. You don’t have to be a spiritual hypochondriac, constantly examining yourself and being under a kind of slavery that way. That’s not what I mean, you know that, but a wholesome conscience, “Maintaining”, he said, “we do our best”, Paul says, “to maintain a good conscience toward God and toward men”. What’s he saying? We want to be right. We want to do right toward our blessed Lord and toward people around us. Seared conscience, easy disobedience is a form of heresy. And then of course added regulations for the daily life, “Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth”. Denying the Lord, adding regulations, regulations having to do with personal life and regulations having today with diet.
Now, rules are all right. We have a number of them at the college and we see to it that they are obeyed. Rules are all right if you’re building an organization or a community of people, you have to have some guidelines by which to go. The problem arises when you make those guidelines or those regulations, something that is necessary for salvation, then it becomes heresy. During the years that I served as president of the college I often spoke to the young people in these terms, keeping the rules does not make you a better Christian. You can keep all rules and still be unsaved and be a hypocrite. You know, we’re nondrinking, non-smoking, non-gambling, non-dancing, and so on. We’ve got some house rules that we try to keep pretty well enforced. That gives us a certain kind of community. So, there’s nothing against rules, per se. You understand me? But when you take the rules and make them of means of salvation, then it becomes heresy. So, I said to the young people, “You can keep all rules still be a fine hypocrite and be unsaved. However”, I said, “your attitude toward the rules gives me a very accurate index of your spiritual life at any given time”. There’s the other side of it. Your attitude toward the rules of a godly community gives me a pretty accurate index of your spiritual condition at any given time.
No, keeping the rules is not a means of salvation, and let’s get it all clear. We have certain things generally accepted among Christians. Christians generally are nondrinkers. I deplore the increase of social drinking among professing Christians. I think it’s a mistake, I think it always leads to tragedy and I deplore it myself. I’m against it. You may want to argue about that, but that’s alright. My father used to say, “We’ll be in heaven someday and you’ll know I was right”, but generally Christians are nondrinkers, let us say. Does that mean that if you don’t drink, you’re good Christian? Not at all, not at all. Keeping the rules doesn’t make you a better Christian. They’re good rules. The one I just mentioned is a very good rule, but oh, the thing that relates you properly to Jesus Christ is the surrender of yourself to Him by faith, so that the Holy Spirit of God who in dwells the believer, can work and live the life of Christ through you. That makes a difference. So, added regulations, the moment they become considered as a means of salvation, are heresy. Rules are all right. We need them and we ought to observe them, but if you try to make them a means of salvation that’s heresy. Got that?
Then over in 2 Peter 2:1, Peter talks about people who deny the only Lord that bought them, denying the Lord. This, I think, is one of the things that you run up against in our day, where people say, well Jesus was a good teacher, He was a prophet, He was ahead of His time, He was a great man, but they shy off away from the idea of acknowledging Him as God and Lord, all in all. See, there’s the real battle in the human heart. Is the Lord Jesus going to be Lord or is He not? You can find people everywhere who are willing to talk with you about Jesus Christ, but when you insist that they make Him their Lord, they’ll either change the subject or downright oppose you.
Hubert Mitchell and Dick Riley spent all night in the airport at Calcutta Dum Dum Airport in Calcutta, back in 1948, when Merrill Dunlop and I came around to India for a series of meetings that would last about three weeks, something like that. My dear friend Hubert Mitchell and brother Dick Riley, who was then head of the missionary endeavor over there, realized that the buses stopped running at 10 o’clock and they wouldn’t start running until about six and our plane was due in at four the morning, so these faithful brothers, bless them, went out and spent all night in the airport waiting. While they were waiting of course, they preach the gospel to anyone who would listen. To the porters, and the hangers on, and the officials and what not. Well, one person to whom they spoke seemed interested in the gospel and they were speaking with him about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally he looked at them and he said, “If you say that Jesus Christ was a prophet and a good man I will be your friend, but if you insist on saying that He is Lord of all, I will fight you and fight Him until you’re both out of India”. I have remembered that statement across the years. This, I think, is the essence of the attitude of the unsaved heart. Make the Lord Jesus Lord of all and keep Him there in His proper place in your life.
Dear Father today, may our hearts be right with Thee and made Jesus our Lord, be Lord of all, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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