Summary: The sermon looks at the legacy of truth and the modern culture that attempts to deny it.
Living a Legacy
Today, each of us lives in the legacy of others while at the same time we are leaving our legacy for those who will come after us. There are those who have gone before that have surrendered all to God and He has used them to pave the road we now walk on. These are the spiritual giants on whose shoulders we now stand. Our Christian heritage came at a great cost and the personal sacrifices of many men and women.
There is also a legacy of sin that has laid a path before us. This path has been crafted to draw attention to self-gratification rather than giving of ourselves to a purpose greater than ourselves. The empty promises of vanity line the wide path. Solomon explored this path for most of his life. At the end of his life, King Solomon said, “I did not deny myself anything but pursued every pleasure my heart desired.” At the end, he said it was all vanity, like someone grasping for the wind. Jesus made it clear that two gates lay before us. In Matthew 7 He said,
13 " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Even to the Christian, there lays two paths. One inherits a promise, the other shame. Look at these two passages:
3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
19 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
These are the legacies that everyone will choose. We will either shine like the stars for eternity, or we will be called the shame of heaven. In our modern culture, we are being taught by our very churches that the path of shame is a noble legacy. Those who buy into this lie are placing themselves under the condemnation Jesus warned us about. Also in Matthew 7, Jesus stated, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”.
There will be smooth talking teachers who claim to be prophets that will encourage others to turn from the path of righteousness and abandon the legacy God has intended for us to live out. “Beware of false prophets”. The will come and are here. They teach that sin is not sin and God’s law is subject to your feelings. They preach a false gospel that appeals to human sinful nature knowing that they are forfeiting truth to do so. Truth has been redefined to mean feelings. Feelings are a weak measure for truth because they are fickle and unreliable. I always feel good when I am getting what I want and what thief doesn’t feel like he is exercising some right in stealing? What murderer doesn’t feel justified in his actions? What adulterer isn’t following his or her feelings? It feels good when we want gratification, but when we feel like we don’t want consequences, our feelings have proven to be an enemy.
Legacy of Shame
Misery loves company. When someone is living contrary to God, they always try to draw someone else into their world. It gives false comfort to people knowing that they are not alone in their sins. The Bible teaches that God is an immovable, eternal rock that does not change. Modern theology teaches that God is ever changing, soft on sin and has no standard. The book, ‘Conversations with God for Teens’ provides an accurate view of this modern theology. The author, Neale Donald Walsch, puts himself in God’s place and then answers questions asked of God. Teenagers ask questions and the God (aka Neale Walsch) answers them. Here are some quotes from this book:
Q) Who are you? Brigit, 13
A)…There is no one and nothing that I am not.
Q) Even bad people and bad things?
A) There are no “bad” people and no “bad” things, only people and things that you have called “bad”.
It means that we have different values. It means that we have different understandings. It means that you have made judgments, and I don’t make judgments.
Q) God doesn’t make judgments? I thought that is what God did.
A) The human race has been thinking that for a long time, but it is not true. It’s one of those misunderstandings I’ve been talking about. It’s an illusion. The illusion of judgment. Followed by the illusion of condemnation. It has been written: Judge not, and neither condemn.