Ten Lies About God

Informal Perspectives on Lies 6-10

Pastor Lutzer | None

Summary

Discussion on the Ten Lies about God.

Selected highlights from this sermon

Sitting down with producer, Dave McCallister, Pastor Lutzer discusses the last five lies in the series “Ten Lies About God.” Discussing questions we all have on the topics presented, they look at how today’s culture, not the Bible, influences what we think about God.

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This is Dave McAllister. All of us have been challenged by Pastor Lutzer’s series on Ten Lies About God (and why you might already be deceived). This time of conversation will help us remember the key lessons from the last five of those lies. You might not know it, but you might already be very deceived about who God really is. The God you worship may be a figment of your imagination. That’s the bottom line of Pastor Erwin Lutzer’s series, Ten Lies About God (and why you might already be deceived). Right now we are looking at number six in the list of lies that you might already be believing, and that is that God takes no responsibility for natural disasters.

It wasn’t long ago that Western Turkey was rocked by a huge earthquake in which 17,000 people passed away, and scores of villages were leveled to rubble. And one has to wonder why, and some would say, “Well, God is impersonal, but forces of nature just are whatever they are.” What’s your view of that, Pastor?


Pastor Lutzer:
Well one of the points I like to make is that the Bible is filled with direct teaching as well as examples of God who is in charge of nature. Now the thing is that many people say, “Well, nature is fallen,” and that sure is true. Nature is fallen, and we see it all over. In fact, it says in the book of Genesis that God says to Abraham, “Cursed is the ground for your sake, and you are going to have weeds, and so forth.” And what God was saying there is, “I will not allow a fallen man to walk in an unfallen paradise. If man is a sinner, he’s going to be in an environment that is less that perfect.” And so sin cursed this whole planet and the whole universe. And that’s why Paul said in Romans 8 that the creation also eagerly awaits for the coming of the Savior, and that when we are redeemed, creation shall also be redeemed.

So, yes, nature is fallen, but here’s the $64 question. Does that mean that God is nothing but an interested observer? You know, you take that earthquake that you referred to there in Turkey. I mean, the devastation is beyond all belief. I wish I had it with me (I don’t.) the report of the news correspondent who talked about the people who were left behind and the rats and the smell of dead bodies, and the rain that they experienced out in the forest when they tried to flee. And the people are basically dazed almost. And Dave, you know, long after the television cameras have left, and you and I have forgotten about the earthquake, those people continue to live with it, and you think of orphans and widows and widowers, and families that have been split in two. It is beyond all comprehension.

But the question still is, is this of the devil? Well, you remember Job. It’s true that the wind and the lightning were sent by the devil to kill his sons, but God is the one who prescribed the parameters. It was God who said you could do thus and so, and not that.

And then you think of all of the illustrations in the Scripture directly where God did things. And then who sent the rain during the time of Noah, for example? Who said, “Peace be still,” on the Sea of Galilee, and the great storm became a great calm? Who was it that sent (Oh, what shall we say?) the great wind during the time of Jonah? It says expressly, “The Lord hurled a great wind unto the sea.” And when you think of it logically, you realize that God permits these things – yes! But He could choose to not permit these things as well. So at the end of the day, it is indeed in His sovereign hand, and we need to be able to accept that.

Dave McAllister:
How far do you take that? Does that mean that every lightning bolt that hits the earth He is throwing down from the heaven?

Pastor Lutzer:
Dave, yes! That’s a very direct question, and I’m giving you a very direct answer. But God chooses where the lightning goes. As I say, at least indirectly, He’s the one who set everything up. He’s the one who created everything. He knows where there is that disparity between electrons and neutrons and protons, and whatever else causes the lightning to jump from the sky to the earth or the earth to the sky. And by the way, it does jump both ways sometimes. And so God is the one. And do you know what? That’s what gives me hope.

Dave, if that weren’t true, do you know what that could mean? I could be walking along and struck by a bolt of lightning that was not ordered by God, that kind of was random and haphazard because of this impersonal force of nature, and I would actually die, and maybe God would still have work for me to do. And it wasn’t my time to die but this nature is out of control, and therefore, because nature is out of control it willy-nilly does whatever it pleases. That’s not my God. That’s not the Bible’s teaching. It’s not the way in which He set up the universe.

David McAllister:
It’s amazing that when (quote – unquote) Mother Nature does something, no one is ever mad at her for doing it.

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, and it is called an act of God. You know, you have acts of God, and people recognize it as such, and yet, yes, there’s a sense in which people realize it. By the way, you know, you said that no one is upset. I quoted in my message that in Turkey, since you referred to that earthquake, after it happened apparently a cab driver was talking with a lady journalist, and they were having this discussion. They both agreed because they were Muslims (and Muslims have a very strong sense of God’s sovereignty) that indeed the earthquake was caused by God. But then they were discussing the question of what made Him so mad. And the cab driver said it was because of women like her who refused to be veiled. And she said, apparently, that it was because of boorish, self-righteous judgmental men. (chuckles) Fortunately the Bible does give us a little better insight as to what’s going on.

Dave McAllister:
Now some natural disasters are certainly affected greatly by human choices; in other words, the poor quality of building construction in Turkey, and perhaps in the flooding in North Carolina, building homes in areas that are in flood plains. Now in some cases people will not experience a flood like that in 500 years, but once in a while it will come, so we build along the seashore and hurricanes hit and we’re horrified by great destruction. But some would say, “Well, don’t build there, that God had no intention that mankind should occupy very dangerous places to live in.” So to what degree do we, in a sense, make things worse?

Pastor Lutzer:
Not only that but we even could progress this to simply say that all of the natural disasters on Planet Earth, all of the buckets of tears and the pain in no way are equal to all of the disasters that mankind has brought upon himself. I mean, you think of fifty million people dying in World War II – more than fifty million. Fifty million died under the purges of Stalin. Sixty million under Communism, under Mao in China! You go on and on and on. The suffering that man has brought upon himself is much greater than any suffering that has ever come through natural disasters.

The simple fact is that there is human responsibility and we can’t deny it. You know, you go through a red light, or you build in a place where it’s dangerous to build, and you know, you become a victim of certain forces that you might have been able to predict, so we need to add that into the equation. But there are some events that are very far removed from any human will. They are simply the forces of nature.

Dave McAllister:
Now, if someone is afflicted by a natural disaster, is there any sense in which he could accuse God of being evil and having sent that disaster?

 

Pastor Lutzer:
You know, that, of course, is something that all of us wrestle with, and the answer is no because God plays by an entirely different set of rules. For example, if you were in a swimming pool, Dave, and a little child (a two year old) falls into the pool, and you are standing right there, and you let the little boy drown because, after all, he hopped in of his own free will, you would be charged with manslaughter. It would be close to murder because you could have picked the child up. Now obviously those kinds of rules don’t apply to God because if they did, He’d always be picking people up and nobody would ever drown. Nobody would ever die.

We believe that you should be kept alive as long as possible. God doesn’t operate by that or else no one would die. He’d just keep us living. The simple fact is this: He is the giver of life, and because He gives it He has the right to take. We are not the giver. Therefore we do not have the right to take. That’s number one.

Number two, God looks at things from an eternal perspective. We don’t know all the purposes of God in that earthquake in Turkey. There could be, as John Piper said in an article, perhaps thousands of purposes or millions of purposes that we might never know. At the end of the day, we have to trust Him.

You know, there’s that awesome quote that just boggles the mind. It goes like this: “If I had God’s power for 24 hours, what changes I would make on this planet! But if I also had His wisdom, I would leave things as they are.”

You know, I quoted in the message the words of the professor in Notre Dame, apparently in a movie that somebody told me about. He was discussing something with one of the kids who wanted to enter into his sports program and he said, “After 30 years of lecturing I have come to two incontrovertible truths. The first is there is a God, and the second is I’m not Him. And that’s worth 30 years of lecturing. At the end of the day we have to bow before the Almighty.

Dave McAllister:
Let’s move on to lie number seven, an interesting one, that God does not know our decisions ahead of time. He has somehow limited Himself to wait to see what we will choose to do. Now are there evangelical theologians who deny that God knows all things?

Pastor Lutzer:
Yes, men like Clark Pinnock, who teaches up in Canada, and Greg Boyd who was a professor in Bethel College up in Minneapolis, and a number of others. And let’s understand their reasoning. What they want to do is to say this. They argue for radical Arminianism, a radical view of freedom. And they say, “If God knows the future, then the future is fixed. It’s going to turn out the way God knows it’s going to turn out.” So they want to keep the future indefinite. In fact, their view is sometimes referred to as an open view of God. And therefore, in keeping the future indefinite, they think that they are making more room for freedom. And as a result of that, also, they think that this will remove God from the problem, for example, of evil and so forth. God is this interested bystander, but He has a policy of hands-off when it comes to some of the things of the world, and especially the problem of evil and the decisions of men. And therefore men have (quote) genuine freedom because not even God knows how they are going to decide. I think it’s heresy.

Dave McAllister:
Is there not offense though that God does place Himself, for some reason, to some degree at the behest of the choices we make?

Pastor Lutzer:
Yes, and that’s their argument – that God interacts with people, and God adjusts with what we do. Let me give you a good image as to what they think. If you were playing chess with someone, and let’s suppose that you were a good chess player and the person that you were playing with was poor and new at the game, you could not know what they were going to do, what move they were going to make. But if you were smart and understood chess, you’d know that for every move they made, you could have a counter-move. Therefore you could have in your mind any number of options, saying that if they move here, I’ll do this; and if they move here, I’ll do that. And that’s the way in which these men view God. He’s got all of these moves that He can make, but He can’t ever influence the human will. And He has this hands-off policy that I referred to, but He’s got all these options up His sleeve, and therefore He doesn’t know what you’re going to decide. But bless you, in a sense he can eventually somehow checkmate you.
Dave McAllister:
Does it not make human decision making of no account then if there is no real sense in which God says, for example, “Choose you this day who you will serve?” You know, it’s like what difference does it make? He already knows what you’re going to do.

Pastor Lutzer:
Oh, you’re arguing from that standpoint. Well, you are arguing in their favor then in your question. In other words, you are saying that if God knows the future then it’s kind of a done deal?

Dave McAllister:
I’m just playing the devil’s advocate here, trying to understand better where you’re going with this.

Pastor Lutzer:
Yes. Well, the simple fact is this, that if God doesn’t know the future, there are several consequences that are very serious. You know, if you were to have a missile that would leave a silo in Colorado for Moscow, it might be off by just one degree when it leaves, but by the time it lands it would be hundreds of miles off the target. In the very same way, it seems like a rather innocuous idea that God doesn’t know our choices. But He’s still God. He’s the creator, and so forth. But when you stop to think of it, its implications are overwhelming.

Let’s take, for example, the matter of prophecy. According to this theory, there is no way that God knew infallibly that Judas would actually betray Jesus, and that Jesus Himself, as they were sitting around the table there, said, “One of you shall betray me.” Strictly speaking He could not have known that infallibly, because Judas might have changed his mind and said, “You know what? I’m not going to go through with this.” And that’s very serious because it says in the book of Matthew regarding Judas, “Thus it must be.” So you have the whole business of prophecy.

How could Jesus Christ have been crucified at the very time that the Passover lambs were being slain? Well, it says in the book of Acts that He was delivered by the predetermined council of God, and that these men gathered together to do “what Thy hand predestined to occur.” Now, according to this theory that God doesn’t even know the future, and we’re not even talking about predestination yet (we’re just talking about knowledge), God could have, theoretically, sent Christ to this earth and discovered, much to His surprise, that nobody would crucify Him.

Dave McAllister:
It seems patently obvious this view doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, given the Scriptural evidence. What’s the motivation of people to hold this view?

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, the motivation, again, is this radical Arminianism, this desire to make sure that we are radically free. And as a result of that they are willing to actually sacrifice the knowledge of God to exalt man to a position where not even God knows what he’s going to do. Now, think about this again. We talked a moment ago about me being struck by lightning, you know, because nature is random. Just visualize a drunken driver going along the street at 70 miles an hour. God has no idea what this guy is going to do, whether he is going to turn to the right or to the left, or stay on the road because he has free will, and these people say, “God does not know what choices he’s going to make.” And especially a drunk! I mean, who on earth (chuckles) knows how he’s going to choose? So God doesn’t know.

Wouldn’t you know it? I’m coming the other way and this guy rams me, and I die. And God is surprised. God might say, “I still had work for Pastor Lutzer to do but I had no idea that this drunk was going to do this at this time.” Boy, that’s terrifying, but that means that any one of us can be the victim of all kinds of these forces, and God doesn’t even know it, much less plan it. And that’s scary. I could die tomorrow without God knowing that I was going to die. The implications are really quite distressing.

Dave McAllister:
You know, this really takes us into the next lie real directly, that being that the fall of man ruined God’s plan. It seems like a classic case of “Boy, my plans were all set, and man, you guys messed them up.”

Pastor Lutzer:
(chuckles) We have moved from omniscience, God knowing all things, to predestination. You are absolutely right. We have. You know, the question, Dave, and of course this is the most controversial message of the series because it involves issues of free will. It involves issues of the will of God because if there’s anything that the Bible would seem to indicate… Well, let me ask you this question. Let’s turn tables here. I’m tired of talking. Dave, is God’s will being done on earth, or isn’t it?

Dave McAllister:
The Lord’s Prayer would certainly suggest that we should pray for that. Well, it would seem like in some cases it is not if His children are disobedient and don’t do what He tells them to do. Then in some sense His will is being circumvented or short-circuited by that disobedience.

Pastor Lutzer:
Yes, He says: “This is the will of God. In everything give thanks.” Do you think that’s always being fulfilled?

Dave McAllister:
Certainly not.

Pastor Lutzer:
“This is the will of God – even your sanctification.” Do you think that’s always being fulfilled?

Dave McAllister:
Not by a great number of us.

Pastor Lutzer:
No. So that’s the blind spot that people sometimes have. They say, “Well, it’s clear that the will of God is not being done.” That’s why Luther and others see very clearly in Scriptures that we must distinguish between the revealed will of God and the hidden purposes and will of God, the decree of God.

For example, God said to Abraham, “Sacrifice your son.” That was His revealed will, but His hidden will was that Isaac would not die. God said to Pharaoh through Moses, “Let the people go.” That was His revealed will, but earlier He told Moses he would not let them go because He would harden his heart that he won’t. See, that was His hidden will.

In the very same way His revealed will is not being done on earth because there are many, many times we disobey it, and others do too. But if you are talking about His will in the secret sense, it says in the book of Ephesians, “He worketh all things after the council of His own will.” That will, that eternal plan, is always being done. And so when I have this lie, the lie that the fall of man ruined God’s plan, what I want to do is to try to show that God’s hidden purpose involved the fall. How else would we be the elect from before the foundation of the world?

Dave McAllister:
Isn’t there a sense, though, that God had Plan A, a perfect humanity, living in perfect harmony, and a perfect creation? Man elected to disobey. Thus, God had to pull out Plan B and make the best of it.

Pastor Lutzer:
Very good! Very good! The point that I want to contend with you is that God pulled out Plan B as if to say that it was not a part of the total plan from the beginning because if, as I mentioned, we are elect from before the foundation of the world (It says in Timothy that He loved us from all eternity in Christ.), then, of course, it isn’t as if Plan A was ruined and God says, “I’m going to make the best of it.” The best of what He made was actually His original intention and plan.

Dave McAllister:
So why would He be upset because man sinned? That’s what He wanted to happen. Right?
Pastor Lutzer:
(chuckles) Dave, you’re asking questions that are far too good.

Dave McAllister:
I’m sorry. I’ll retract…

Pastor Lutzer:
No, that’s fine. All that I can say is this: God chose to be in a situation where He would be angry. God chose to be in a situation where He would suffer. There were certain circumstances set up that He obviously knew ahead of time. I would even want to say “planned ahead of time,” whereby that would be His choice. And so, again, if you look at it narrowly (and I got this from Piper who helped me understand this), in a narrow lens, yes God is upset and He is angry. If you look at it from the standpoint of eternity-to-eternity, “He has done whatsoever He has pleased,” and He’s very pleased with where things are going.

Dave McAllister:
I think we’re in deep water here.

Pastor Lutzer:
We are.

Dave McAllister:
I think we’ll leave the resolution of these really deep waters for another time. Moving on to our ninth lie of the ten lies about God that you might already be believing is that we must choose between our pleasures and God’s pleasures. I think that a lot of people assume that what they want deep down inside is really a life of ease. They’d like sexual choices to be totally their own. They would like to have a life without a lot of responsibility but a lot of provision for them in terms of material desires, all those kinds of things. And they would tend to assume that is antithetical to what God, and their concept of God, would ever want them to have. Therefore this dichotomy!
So what do you make of that lie?

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, I believe that God set up the universe in such a way that the pleasures that people seek normally when you talk about pleasure, that those pleasures actually are lesser pleasures. They are fleeting pleasures. Who was it that said this?
But pleasures are like poppies spread.
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed,
And like a snowflake on a river,
A moment white, then gone forever.

So the fact is that we seek pleasures. In fact we have to seek pleasures. You and I are both constructed like that by God. God has His pleasures. You know John Piper wrote that wonderful book called The Pleasures of God where he talks about all of the pleasures that God has. He took a concordance, looked through the Bible, found the word pleasure as it relates to God, and made up a sermon series, and then wrote a book that is absolutely mind-boggling.
So God has pleasure. How can He be critical of us if we seek pleasure? So the problem is not the pleasure. The problem is the wrong pleasures because the pleasures of this world, for example, are fleeting. The Bible talks about pleasure in sin for a short time. So the point that I try to make here is this: If we were to seek the highest pleasures, the ones that are most enjoyable, the ones where there is no aftertaste, those would be the pleasures of God, and what we would discover is that our happiness and God’s happiness really do converge and become one and the same. So we’re not set up with this difficulty of figuring out whether we’re going to please ourselves or please the Lord. If we really please the Lord, we will be pleasing ourselves in the best possible way.

Dave McAllister:
Don’t we get the sense in the New Testament, though, that we are to live, you know, quiet somber lives, very reverent lives, not out looking for all the gusto we can enjoy?

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, you know, again I’m going to quote Piper once more and say that he would say, “Definitely go for all the gusto. Go for the most pleasure that you can possibly find, and if you understand it correctly you’ll go for God.” “At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Let me quote the whole verse: “In Thy presence there is fullness of joy. At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He will give thee the desires of thy heart.”

The Scripture says in the Psalms, “I delight more than they who delight in the harvest and the new wine.” There is a sense of knowing God that gives us this great sense of pleasure and a sense of fulfillment, and if we don’t have it we’re going to choose sin because, you see, remember that sin makes the same promises that God makes. Sin promises us certain pleasures. God promises us certain pleasures. And if we have the faith to believe it, we will choose God’s pleasures, knowing that they are best, actually experiencing the fact that they are best. “They who know Thy Law will be glad.” There is a joy that comes through knowing the Almighty.

Dave McAllister:
So how does a believer who may right now see a dichotomy between the pleasures he or she would like to enjoy and the pleasures of God’s right hand you mentioned - how does he or she transition from being obsessed with the one toward the higher pleasures of God?

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, the people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits, the Bible says. And you know, your question I don’t think has an answer that can be given in a single sentence because I believe that what God does is He weans us from the pleasures of this world. Now we shouldn’t wait until we are weaned, you know, but God brings circumstances into our lives to discipline us and show us that these pleasures aren’t what they appear to be. They are false in their advertising. Their label is a misused label. And then as we get to know God better, we become more and more absorbed in whom He is through the Word, through hymns and spiritual songs as we walk with Him, through the circumstances of life and through understanding grace so that our sin is not a barrier in our fellowship with Him. And there is something that gives us true joy and confidence in God.

You know, I don’t want to hold myself up as an example. I can’t because actually I struggle with sin just like everybody else, and it’s a daily struggle. But I remember one time lying on the floor (This was a Saturday night before I was to preach the next day.) and just meditating in the Word and meditating on God’s promises. And Dave, it seemed as if God filled me with so much joy and such a sense of His Holy Spirit that there was no pleasure of sin that I could think of at that moment that could possibly touch that experience.

Now, I wish I could say that my whole life is lived that way, and it isn’t. Let me be quick to confess. But I think that all of us, yourself included, would agree that there are some moments of fellowship with God that are so precious, that are so beautiful, that are so pure, that are so fulfilling that we could not possibly trade that for some fleeting pleasure of sin. And that, I think, is a matter of spiritual growth and development as we begin to love God that much.

Dave McAllister:
That sure sounds a lot like D. L. Moody’s experience where he asked God to stay His hand because he just couldn’t take any more of it.

Pastor Lutzer:
Yes. Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to put myself in the same boat as D. L. Moody. I mean he was such a remarkable man in terms of his devotion to God and his fervent love for God. I wish that I had that sense and that overwhelming experience with God. I think maybe I’ve just seen a little glimmer of it.

Dave McAllister:
Do you think you just simply were given a foretaste of what you’ll have for eternity?

Pastor Lutzer:
I think so. The other thing is I’ve discovered that really that kind of intimacy with God can be had more often. More and more, the older I get, the less I’m praying in the sense of asking God for things, and the more time I am spending just enjoying God.

You know, the Bible says in the book of Ephesians that we are to be filled with all the fullness of God. Boy, I wish that were true of me. You know, you ask the question, “How do you get an ocean into a thimble?” How can we, as people, be filled up to the fullness of God? And of course, the answer again is it’s a matter of growth, and it’s a matter of coming to know God, to loving Him. And there is such a thing as rest. You know there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest near to the heart of God, and that’s part of our development and our spiritual growth and walk with Him.

Dave McAllister:
I think if a lot of us were able to shed this lie we might be, in one sense, a lot happier people.

Pastor Lutzer:
Oh, we would be, and much more satisfied.

Dave McAllister:
And our final lie in your series is kind of a motto we’ve all heard from our youth. God helps those that help themselves. Now where are we going with that one?

Pastor Lutzer:
Well, you know Barna, who does all the statistics, says that (what is it?) something like 80% of the people in America think that that has come from the Bible – God helps those that help themselves.

Dave McAllister:
Philistine 7:12!

Pastor Lutzer:
(chuckles) Right! It’s something like that! The simple fact is that there is some truth in the statement. You know, there are things that we should do. You know, we say, “I want God to give me a job.” Well, part of the way He may do that is for you to look in the Yellow Pages, or get a newspaper, or ask some questions, or apply. So looked at from one standpoint, yes, God does help those who help themselves. But looked at in another way, you realize that if it were true we’d all be damned.

Thankfully grace says that God is willing to help those who cannot help themselves. Ephesians 2 talks about us being dead in trespasses and sins, and because we are dead in trespasses and sins, we’re not in a position where we can help ourselves. Lazarus was not in a position where he could help himself. He couldn’t say, “Well, now God, you do part of it and I do part of it. We cooperate in this business of resurrection.” All that he could do was helplessly lie there until Jesus would come along and do for Lazarus what Lazarus could not do – mainly raising.

Again, this fall, I did take my students to a cemetery, and I tried to get them to preach to the dead. And it was difficult because they didn’t think I was serious. And I shouted at these people who were in the tombs. Fortunately none of them arose (chuckles). But then I said to the students, “How do you think that made me feel?” I felt very stupid, and that’s how stupid we are every time we preach the Gospel. We are asking dead men to walk. We are asking the blind to see. We are asking the deaf to hear. It’s an impossible, a totally impossible task except for one fact, and that is that God in His grace and providence might create a resurrection, and if He does, we will be raised to newness of life, and somebody will be saved.

Okay, God helps those who help themselves. That was really the philosophy of the man who went into the Temple to pray. He said, “I thank Thee, God, that I am not like other men, adulterers and fornicators, but I tithe (and so forth).” But you think of the contrast of the man who never even lifted his eyes to heaven and said, “God, I cannot help myself and yet You help me.” And he smote his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner,” and he went home justified. So I’m glad that at least as it pertains to salvation it is not true that God helps those who help themselves. He helps those who cannot help themselves.

Dave McAllister:
We’ve considered ten lies about God that you might already be believing. I am glad that we can look to the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” as One who can give us a way out of those ten lies, and give us the way to truth and to the abundant life that God promises.

Pastor Lutzer:
Dave, I’d like to just conclude with Augustine. You know, he was thinking about God, and of course, he loved God, and he derived his joy from God. And speaking of that, let me give one more illustration. Jonathan Edwards, when he was sent from his church (kicked out of his church), his biographer said that his joy in God was beyond the reach of his enemies. Isn’t that beautiful? His joy in God was beyond the reach of his enemies, so there is that joy in God that we talked about.

But Augustine – I think of him. He said, “Oh Lord, Thou has said, ‘No man can see me and live.’ Let me die that I might behold Thy face.” And that, at the end of the day, is what I desire for myself, and for the congregation and for all who have heard these messages, that their thirst for God might have been stirred, that their desire to know Him might be inflamed, that they might become passionately in love with the One who created us and desires to fill that raging thirst that is in every one of us, the desire for Himself. And I conclude with the famous words: “As a deer pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after Thee, oh God.”

Dave McAllister:
Thanks, Pastor Lutzer.

Pastor Lutzer:
Thanks, Dave.

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