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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Part 3 - Holding on to a Clear Conscience

Dick Bullock

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A study of practical Biblical principles that give victory in common everyday struggles.

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Conference

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  • June 20, 2018
    3:30 PM
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Our Father and our God we thank you for another day of life and all the little things you have packaged into this day for our pleasure our success our instruction so that we can be complete in you as we open our Bibles and study this topic of the conscience and guilt. Lord I ask for your Holy Spirit to come close to us and speak to our hearts I ask not only for speaking to our hearts Lord I ask for victories because there are some of us that have been plagued with guilt for a long time and we just remind you what your word tells us that you sent your son that we might know the truth and the truth would satisfy. Give us freedom today we ask in Jesus' name amen. Guilt is a burden that we've all carried at some point or another and have you noticed that when you're carrying the burden of guilt it just kind of saps the life out of you spiritually emotionally and physically the Bible tells us that and Psalms 383 through 10 David writes of his experience with guilt he said there is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger nor any health in my bones because of what. My sin I mean this goes down to the bones now what do you find in the bones that David would mention the bones of Mara what is the morrow do have produces a red blood cells right. This burden of guilt goes deep but it doesn't stop there in verse 6 he says I am troubled I am bowed down greatly I go mourning all the day long how many can identify with that guilt you just don't have the same room for the day do you he goes on in verse 10 my heart pants my strength fails me as for the light of my eyes it also has gone from me this is some pretty heavy duty stuff to be carrying around. In Psalms $32.00 we reads blessed that is he whose transgression is forgiven whose sin is covered bless it is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity and then whose spirit is no deceit and then he tells his own experience before he experienced blessedness he said when I kept silence what happened my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long for day and night your hand was heavy upon me my vitality turned into what. The drought of summer it saps life's vitality he says I acknowledge my sin to you in my iniquity I have not hidden I said I will confess my transgression to the Lord and what was the Lord's response he forgives you forgave the iniquity of my sin now just looking at that passage there when our sins are forgiven and we know that and except that what physical benefits do we receive Well our bones get young again. Right our vitality comes back. These are things that God once was to experience and we can experience that if we let go of guilt we've all experienced that weight and this is not the life that God designed for us to live he wants us to live continually in the freedom that comes from being in harmony with him. The Christian life is summarised in one word what would that word be love that's right that's what God designed us for love for God 1st and greatest commandment love for each other the 2nd commandment but where does love come from what's the source 1st John chapter 4 verse 7 tells us love is what's of God he's the source of all love now here's a question if love is of God I'm assuming that we are all Christians. How many of us experience that abundant joyful life of love on a consistent basis even fairly consistent. If we don't what does that tell us it doesn't tell us God doesn't love us what does it tell us. Our love for him isn't strong enough why wouldn't our love be strong full of vitality why wouldn't we be connected because often of guilt right love comes from God and guilt is the thing that separates us from gaunt What does the Bible say your sins have separated you from God right. So he is the source of all love and we cannot experience the fullness of that love without 3 things I hope you've noticed something in the seminar. You never get past 5 fingers right let's keep it simple. 3 things and they're found in 1st Timothy $15.00 It says Now the purpose of this come and meant is what is love where does love come from number one comes from what a pure heart what's a pure heart one that's in harmony with God right what's the 2nd thing it comes from. According to Timothy a good conscience what's a good conscience one that's void of often speak for God and man and the 3rd thing that love comes from sincere faith. This statement ought to give us some serious thought because God wants us to wage a good warfare here the purpose of this command is love let's look at what he says in 1st Timothy 118 and 19 in relation to this he says wage the good warfare having what faith and what else a good conscience which some have rejected concerning the faith and what's been the result they suffer what. Ship or wreck. So you you look at these 2 verses here and 1st hymn of the love comes from that pure heart a good conscious and sincere faith and if we don't have that faith and we don't have that clear conscience are we going to be able to wage a good warfare no instead of waging a good for warfare what's going to happen to us we're going to ship wreck our favor. That's not a good position to be in now to wage this good warfare we need to hold on to 2 things as as the 2nd verse there tells us hold on to faith hold on to a good conscience so where does faith come from let's look at those 2 items briefly where does faith come from the Word of God Where do you get THAT idea what the Scripture. There you go face comes by hearing and hearing comes from the Word of God How many of you wish you had greater faith All right I'm going to give you an assignment I want you to keep track of all that you do every day I want you to write down do it for a week I had to do this one time I worked as a system publishing director in the Kansas Nebraska conference years ago. And the folks at the Union I guess decided we had nothing better to do with our time and they sent us a packet of information and we had to keep track of how much time we spent in every activity all day long for a whole week how long did it take us to shower you know brush your teeth and so forth how long did we spend eating how long in reading how long and Recreation how long and listening to the radio or the telephone I mean we had to keep track it was a nightmare we turned it in and then they gave us our code and and when we came to the union meetings they had us all printed al with our code so no one knew who we were cept us I am so grateful they did that. I learned a whole lot about my life things that I hadn't given much thought to now with faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God Here's your challenge I want you to keep track of how many minutes a day you spend listening to the Word of God and I wouldn't really count to have a lay maybe you'd get credit for half time listening to some preacher talk about the Word of God once in a while I'm talking about the Word of God are you with me. We can read it we can listen to what some people some people will listen or Dakin in various ways but friends if I'm only spending of a few moments in the Word of God and I'm spending hours a day on television social media radio or whatever in my Am I going to have much strong faith know so this is important faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and if we don't have that faith we're going to shipwreck our Christian experience so to hold on to faith is to hold on to the truth of God's word now let me just say something about the Word of God It's not the quantity that you take in it's the quality that you digest from what you take in you may spend a long time just meditating on a few verses or a passage but digest it until you know what it says no to hold on to a good conscience The other thing we're supposed to hold on to is to live in harmony with God's word right when we part ways with God's word what do we experience. What's the topic today guilt right so what is guilt how would you describe guilt feeling but thank you for that answer we're going to have it modified by the time you leave but that's where most of us go I feel bad about something but guilt friends is the liability to punishment for breaking the Holy Law gone guilt is tied to what 3 letter word sin what is sin transcription of the law now some of you ought to be feeling a whole lot lighter just with that thought if you're thinking this through and the complete right here because if guilt is what I feel is wrong. Then I might be carrying a whole lot of a load that I don't need to carry it's it's not real guilt guilt is punish liability to punishment for breaking the law of God It's the warning system of God to call us to repentance when we have violated his words now where does guilt come from it is a function of the Holy Spirit it is not a function of the mind. Hang on to that one will come back to it a little more Jesus said and John $168.00 when he that is the Holy Spirit comes he will do what convict the world of sin of their sin and of righteousness whose righteousness Jesus righteousness and of what else judgment to come if you don't except that righteousness you don't deal with that sin or that guilt. Now I just want to say a few words here about modern psychology and guilt. We could spend a couple sessions on this one but we don't have time modern psychology has a hard time with guilt you know why because it sees only the facts of or feelings of guilt it does not see the guilt itself it also has a hard time because it does not recognize the source of guilt as the cause of guilt as an offended God that we have violated God many I'm don't even believe there's a God so all they can see are the effects and I can't solve the problem by focusing on the effects I've got to go where to the root That's right. And so what they do is they they can only deal with the feelings of guilt not the cause and they do this in one of 2 ways and I'm just simplifying it here they explain it away oh listen sister tone it's not your fault society did it to you. So you don't have to feel bad society really owes you an apology blame it on someone else it's your parents it's whatever it's your kids. Or they say it well it's a sickness it's not your fault however they do if they try to explain it away so that we feel like it's not really our burden and that's not going to solve real guilt is it the 2nd thing they do is desensitize the conscience they say well you feel guilty for beating up on somebody well you know I tell you what that guy really deserved it from what you tell me so why don't you just continue beating up on him until you no longer feel guilty about that affair you feel guilty and just keep having affairs until you no longer feel guilty about desensitize the conscience mass or 2nd mask over with chemicals that doesn't solve the problem. Now again I'm simplifying it but I'm trying to hit you know the core issues of how they deal with that there are 2 types of guilt. Anyone want to hazard a guess what those are how there you go true guilt and false guilt what is true guilt true guilt is when the Holy Spirit convicts me for what violating the law of go on a principle of God's word that is true guilt guilt comes from where the Holy Spirit it's God's warning message to us what's the foundation of true guilt What's the foundation. Thank you the foundation is a word of God the Word of God is truth right anything outside of truth is full to and that leads to guilt and bondage and all the rough so true guilt is always based on the Word of God All right the 2nd type of guilt is false guilt feeling bad for something I thought was wrong or hurtful to others. Feelings are involved they're right but is there guilt because I feel guilty not necessarily not necessarily what's the foundation of false guilt. Is the opinions of myself or of others right for example. You've got a good friend you've been friends for years and they have a chance to go on a cruise or take some vacation over in Europe and and they're going to be gone for about a month and and they're having a farewell party getting all the friends together to wish them off you know and you're not going to see them for a while and and you're not feeling very well that evening so you decide not to go you saw her just yesterday or hamlet whoever and. And while they're on vacation tragedy strikes and they lose their life. How are you going to feel for what true guilt or false guilt are you with me that's an example of false guilt. Well. You tell the devil to get lost he's just lying to you. Or you might feel bad but can you feel guilty you can say I feel guilty because I wasn't there but you are telling the interpretation of life according to who that other counselor who entered the garden of Eden as our that we talked about yesterday right he's changing God's interpretation and we've bought into it. That's false guilt the expectation of others or even expectations of myself that are not in harmony with scripture shake your shoulders a little bit are you feeling a little lighter I mean when you start really process some of these things that have plagued you and see if ask God to take you back to the scripture if it's found in there and then you can deal with the but if it's not let it go you have been holding on to a lie and that lie has been impacting your life and hindering you from a relationship with God that will set you free. Here. No they can't we have to give them permission. I mean. But I get this right. They can try but if your mind is fortified with the scripture where you accept what they try to give you. I Here take my notes and finish the lecture for me. It's all it's all there. Now why are you going to tell me you're not going to take what I'm trying to lay on you but you'll accept what kids try to lay on you that's. The highest you know. But it's a sure thing. And there you go and I'm glad you asked the question and I'm glad you're a good sport and at me dialoguing with you but you see what's going on here we don't like to accept guilt doing we don't like it if we like to find someone else's fault someone else to blame that is not a Scriptural response I am what I am by the grace of God and if you don't like what I am I'm sorry you don't but you have to deal with God on that I need to acknowledge whatever mistakes I've made as a parent that the Lord has convicted me of her and he may use our kids to convict us at times but I don't have to accept that fault guilt I'm sorry you feel bad that I'm not taking your burden but that's not a burden the Lord has given me I know if I were to eat my heart out I'd break a tooth but friends there's freedom in knowing the truth the truth will set you that was very weak The Truth Will Set You Free guilt is the weight of wrongdoing that softens the voice of the Holy Spirit or shuts it down altogether if not dealt with in a Biblical manner. Let's see how guilt starts and where it leads us and I'm going to draw all these steps of guilt from Genesis Chapter 3 we're not going to open the Bible there go through that but you'll recognize the story all right where does guilt begin what's the beginning step 1st step of guilt it starts with a natural curiosity now God created us to be curious he wants us to be curious about everything but evil he created the garden told Adam and Eve to roll over and I mean man you've got this wonderful garden you don't want to go and find out what's over that hill and everything else that curiosity drives you to explore life. But he doesn't want us to be curious about evil and you know what happened Eve got curious about that forbidden tree right and what did that lead to as he standing there at leads to an awakening of the conscience and that conscience is awakened by the Word of God. You shall not eat of this tree but it's getting there and a K I hear that but I'm curious and I began to reason with the Word of God. I don't think it's too bad and I mean God wouldn't mind me just trying a by Woody you know that reasoning don't you that step number 2 and that leads to a central focus and I'm talking about our 5 senses she saw that the tree was good for food she was listening to the to the enemy and so it leads Well it looks good it feels good and others seem to be enjoying it that sensual focus Step number 3 and then that leads to what at this point we're getting dangerous. Questioning God's Word Did God really say that. Is that really what he meant. You know what I'm talking about the word speaks and we start wrestling right questioning God's word and then what happened as Eve questioned is God's word what happened violation of conscience disobeying God's command now we can do this sincerely as he did but it's going to produce guilt nonetheless doesn't matter whether it's deliberately or sincerely sincere or if he doesn't count anywhere here now does it because we've already passed what God is said. And then what happens when we violate the conscience what comes the awakening of guilt a sense of shame a sense of fear shouldn't of done that now Step Number 7 guilt is one of those things that demands a response in fact you could say that guilt is pain is to the nervous system what guilt is to the conscience if I don't want to feel pain in my hand any more what's one way to get rid of it cut the nerves and I won't feel it anymore. Well that's one of the benefits I guess I have to put up with. And the same is true with guilt fear the conscience and you won't feel guilty any more guilt demands. A response and there's 2 responses we can have we can split ways right here and we can have genuine repentance we're going to talk about that in a moment but I want to go to Step number 8 which is the most common step we take we can seek to remove guilt without genuine repentance So step number 8 would be in complete repentance I'm sorry for the consequences rather than the actions of rejecting God and setting self up in place of God that is in this complete repentance story I heard one time about a pastor a godly man understood the principles of scripture and he had 2 teenage girls come to him in high school one time he worked with young people and asked him some Bible questions neither one of them had made a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and of course he appealed for them to do that and one of the gals surrendered her life to the Lord and that was the beginning of our Christian walk the other one said I'm not sure yet I'm not ready for this one year later that 2nd girl came back to this pastor loaded with guilt during that year she had gotten involved in immorality got pregnant had an abortion. And was just eaten up with guilt. Now this may sound harsh but I appreciate this pastor when she came to him and said I need help and I feel so terrible and told him what had happened he said I have a question for you are you feeling guilty because you rejected Christ a year ago remember when we were sitting in my office or do you feel guilty because you had an abortion got pregnant had an abortion she said because I got pregnant had an abortion he said then there's nothing I can do to help you you're feeling guilty about the wrong thing or the right. That was incomplete repentance she was feeling guilty about the wrong thing what she should have felt guilty about as she had shut down the voice of God and had rejected him now this is an important point I know it can be a sticky point and I don't want to make light of it but friends we need to be sorry for the right things not the consequences of our rebellion but for the rebellion itself. Then God can work to bring restoration Now let's say that we have followed step number 8 in complete repentance what happens next guilt is still eating us up what happens you know the answer to this one. Religious compensation I'll start going to church fact is I think I'll find out one per meeting is and I'm going to go to permanent I haven't been the subject go for a long time I'll go to prayer meeting and Sabbath school and church right we start doing religious thing I'm going to join the choir I'm going to join the R.H. group we start doing all these religious things trying to make our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds so we won't feel guilty how many of you have ever found that to work I haven't either and I've tried so what do we do where does that lead. That leads to frustration over carnal desires here I'm I'm spending an hour the day in the Bible and I'm going to church and permitting and Sabbath school and and I'm witnessing and and I still have these carnal desires that I cannot gain the victory over I came to that moment of crisis not the 1st major one when I was. In Indonesia 180 and one there for years a student missionary was December. And ever since I was young I knew that God had called me to the minister I never had any questions of what I was going to do no one in my family had been in the ministry I don't know where that come from except from God and I did all the right things for all the wrong reasons but God caught up with me in Indonesia I'll never forget the night I was chaplain of the English conversation school to Bible classes did the preaching on weekends of Angeles 6 series once a quarter prison ministries I was involved. But I couldn't find the victory over carnal desires and so one night I came home and I knelt down and my bed and I started to pray and I stopped and I said Lord just said Morgan I can imagine how you feel every time I pray oh brother it's Bullock again just put Did Oh you can say the same thing tonight that he did last night and I said I've tried to read your book I loved to read had a hard time read the Bible I said if you want to I love the Reader's Digest I could set down in one setting from the back and I said Lord if you want me to read this book why don't you make it interesting like the Reader's Digest I'm not getting anything out of it and the longer I talked the angrier I became etting and I finally said I'm done I'm never gonna talk to you again I'm finished if you want me for a friend you're gonna have to do it and I'm not going to give you a damn thing to do a damn thing to help you out I'm saying that not because I like to swear but that's where I was then I was angry at God I said Good Night and Good bye and I crawled into bed. The frustration over those carnal desires is a heavy load now looking back on that day I can see God saying oh brother Hezbollah you know recording I just put that off but when I started getting real with it. I can see him scooting up on the edge of his throne and when I said Lord I'm done and there's not a thing I'm going to do to help you out I can see God just jump up the Bible says and rejoices over a thing you're right and I can hear him say how Lois that stubborn Bullock finally gave up and he gave us permission and that night while I slept. The Lord did a heart transplant. I woke up earlier than usual the next morning and I'll never forget it. When I woke up I had a strong desire to slide out of my bed on to my knees in the Lord and I had a talk like we hadn't had for a long time. And I picked up that little Bible that was so boring and it was the 1st time I remember in my life that I was late to breakfast because I couldn't stop reading that little Bible not was wonderful for about a week you know has I'd go through life issues a big why God tapped me on the shoulder and say he bought a spend a few moments together and he knew what he had given me to do and it wasn't that he demanded all my time but it might be a connection it might be remembering a little verse or something it might be just talking to him because he knew what was around the corner or should I say who was around the corner and when I'd round the corner and the devil would jump out. It didn't do any good he would end up in the mud puddle but you know how does I know you do as time went on you get that little tap on the shoulder and and you say I would love to but. 15 minutes on each of them right and I'd round the corner and guess who would be there and guess who would end up in the mud puddle it was me and I wish I could say that ended it all and I learned my lesson but I've been to that point more than once it's a point that God loves forth to come to and he will do. But these frustration over carnal desires I can't gain the victory over sin I can't find peace of mind no matter how much I do for the Lord you know what that leads to re-examining the scripture Maybe I am just being too legal istic on that matter and we're under grace now and them of the law I mean there's all kind you you know what I'm talking about here right we come up with new interpretations and reexamining things and we hear some new voice out there is a high you know I really like that that relate to why oftentimes because it excuses our guilt that leads to justifying sinful behavior so if you find people running around boasting of this brother I found some new freedom in the largest right it's just wonderful no change of life but they have new freedom and they begin to justify their sinful behavior and when you talk with them you know what happens it leads to argumentation. And I want to say something here and in many cases the issue behind the argumentative person is unresolved guilt in the life not wanting to let go of some sin and they desperately argue to justify it's most cases it's not ignorance most of it is just the Holy Spirit been working and if you can find that issue and deal with it the argument Taishan is gone and they'll find freedom Now let's look at the conscience for a moment see how it works what is a conscience Titus Chapter one Verse 15 makes it clear that the conscience of the mind are not the same thing to the pure all things are pure but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure but even the mind and the what conscience are defiled are they the same thing you know they're 2 different things 2 different things. The mind is the seat of thought emotion reasoning intellect in the Holy Spirit uses speaks to us with the mind but the conscience friends is the moral compass that God has set in the soul that's the place where the Holy Spirit speaks to us bearing witness to our moral conduct. The conscience has 2 functions according to Romans chapter 2 for when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature do the things in the law these although not having the law are law to themselves who show the work of the law all right in their hearts their conscience also bearing witness and between themselves their thoughts doing what to actions accusing or exc using So their conscience to functions on the negative side it warns us against wrong behavior and accuses us when we violate it you know what it's like you're in a hurry it's Friday afternoon you're racing the sun and you had to get some last minute shopping done and you grab the cart and you go with your all your stuff to the car and the cart Ben is about 8 cars down and the spot the side is empty what are you going to do what do you want to do you're just going to leave your car there that's why they hire those folks I don't want to take their job away right but. There's that little voice you know what I'm tired of don't just put it where it goes if you don't hear that voice see me afterwards we need to do this and. That's that's the conscience warning us accusing us and if we say OK and we take the extra what 40 seconds maybe put the car back it's like that big hand comes down and says good girl you did the right thing it's. Affirms our good behavior on the positive side it prompts us to do what's right and affirms us when we heed that prompting this applies not only to avoiding that which is sinful but also doing that which is good you see something that needs to be done like when you're walking around the campus. And you see where some thoughtless person has just peeled the candy bar and left the wrapper there on the grass you don't have to feel bad about them their conscience is already working but now your conscience comes along and tells you what. Pick it up and when you do it there's that hand comes back you know patch on the shoulder you know the things I mean this I'm just simple it's examples but it can happen in many different ways someone may ask well if the conscience is the voice of the Holy Spirit bearing witness to our moral conduct seeking to direct our lives in the way of holiness and here's the big question why is there such a big difference between Christians as to what they believe is right or wrong if it all comes from the Holy Spirit why is there such wide discrepancy among Christians as to right or wrong you ever wonder that. Why do I feel guilty over things that others seem to have no guilt about does God have different standards for different people you know and that's a good question to ask in the Bible has the answers if right and wrong are relative to each one of us fine let every man do what seems right his own eyes and all get to heaven right but. If they are as Jesus says that he said I am the Way the Truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me then we must live by the standard of his life if we want to see God right. I suggest there's 3 reasons why such wide discrepancy as to why people feel guilty over different things Number one there are different levels to which the constants have been trained there are different kinds of consciences and there are different types of guilt let's look at the training issue 1st picture the conscience as a huge moral warehouse and this warehouse is just lined with empty shelves row after row of shelves actually they're not completely empty because of courting to Romans chapter $215.00 God gives all of us a jump start the Gentiles who do not have a law our lawn to themselves God puts the basic sense of right and wrong in all of us and so we get a little jump start there but the rest of the shelves are empty and it's our job. To fill those shelves. And as we go through life we see here in Gage do things constantly filling those shelves with standards or principles to live by through the things we touch smell hear taste or see through our 5 senses these things that we engage in goes into that warehouse sits on the shelf and they govern our attitude our words our actions so when faced with a situation our conscience sends a little robot into that warehouse and it scans those shelves you know what's a situation that's been put in here that I can pull out and bring to the consciousness to let them know how to respond doesn't make sense. Now. Here's what we need to understand that robots can only pull off the shelves what we have put on those shelves. The Bible is clear on this relation $67.00 and $8.00 Do not be what. Now why would Paul start out things out like that because there's a natural tendency for us to bait a seed to listen to the voice of the other counselor right there not be deceived God is not mocked for whatever man so that will he also reap he who sews to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption and he who sews to the spirit of the Spirit will reap everlasting life now there are 4 Laws of harvest we need to understand here we reap what we sow right if I sow potatoes how many carrots I'm going to get none we reap where we sow right if I plant my corn in the front yard how much am I going to harvest in the backyard we reap in the same fields that we sow when we reap in a different season than we sow so your wild oats and use you're liable to get a harvest later on in life and we know what that's like too and then this one we don't often think of we reap in per portion to what we sow that works on everything but zucchini All right does it just lay over what we sow one plants enough for the neighborhood. Those 4 Laws of harvest we tend to forget and so some of these things may take us back a few years but we reap what we sow the other verse Jesus said a good man out of the good traders of his heart bring forth good and evil man out of the evil traitors of his heart bring forth evil for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks now friends I like these 2 verses who is the only person that can put stuff on the shelves in my warehouse yes yourself but who's the only person then responsible for what's on your shelves in the warehouse that's right I can't blame anyone else. Notice it says a good man or the last part of the verse for out of the what of the heart the abundance of the heart not out of the few things of the heart. And I'm going to step on some toes here maybe if I spend 5 hours a day on T.V. or social media or Facebook and only 15 minutes in the Word of God will the 15 minutes direct my life or will the 5 hours direct my life and then we sat back and say wow I wonder where that come from I'm not like that don't lie to yourself you're exactly like that because you've made yourself like that. From what you watch what you hear what you see what you do we bring out these things the devil knew what he was doing when he created Hollywood and Facebook and all the other stuff and I know all the good stuff you can keep up with friends and all of that but we still spend far too much time keeping up with drivel as I call it and not enough with keeping up with God. Again the robot can only pull off the shelves the principles we've put on them and this is where Psalms 119 birth 11 comes into your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you now let's do the what when where why questions with this OK who is doing this I am that's right what am I doing I'm hiding what am I hiding what am I hiding. What are you hiding you don't have to say this out loud but what I want it what are you hiding in your heart where are you hiding it in your heart and why. That either might not sin against God or that I might sin against God more easily depending on what we're hiding but according to Psalms $119.00 verse 11 this is action that we need to do on a regular bases training our conscience takes discipline and we tend to be mentally lazy it's easier to come home from a busy day of work and do what. Turn on that little one eyed monster in the corner right and let it fill our warehouse with values of the world rather than setting at the feet of Jesus and letting him fill our warehouse with the values of heaven. We need to rethink what we do then we wonder why the Christian life is so hard for us why that's a constant battle it's because we're letting the world's fill our warehouse we need to understand that we will respond to a situation according to the principles that we've stored there and the conscience the mind and we better take it seriously because many a man many a woman has found themselves doing things they thought they would never do how did they get there why did it happen because they thought it was jus innocence entertainments instead of serious life and death struggle. And they were hiding the wrong things and sooner or later it's going to come out that's why Proverbs 3 is so important keep your heart with what I said 3 Proverbs 423 Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life some of you may be thinking I'm in trouble I've already filled my warehouse with the standards of the world I muzzle quit don't Hebrews 914 is a wonderful verse how much more. Shall the blood of Christ 2 through the turtle spirit offered himself without spot to God do what cleanse your conscience from what dead works to serve a living go on in that a beautiful verse cleanse that he can take those things off the shelf I love the way William Cowper says it is him there is a fountain filled with bloods drawn from the manuals things and sinners plunged neat that floods but the rest of it say lose all their guilty Sting did William caliber have it right all their guilty sting really all their guilty stings I'm going to push you on this one how many of you still feel things feel guilt about things that you've gone to the fountain over. Did William Tell her have it right what's the problem then we're not believing the word of God are we cleanse the conscience there is power in the blood friends and when we invite Jesus into our life he will clean our warehouse from top to bottom in fact the Fijian scepter 526 tells us exactly how he does it that he may sanctify and cleanse her God speaking about his church's bride cleanse her with what washing all of us and doesn't say water washing of what washing of water by the oh we're ards the Bible that is a tremendous cleansing agent. And how clean Can you get it the next verse 27 says not having what. Spots or wrinkle or any such thing but that we should be holy and without blemish. Somebody only get excited without spot or blemish really maybe when I told God to go take a hike. Really friends that's true if you are willing and obedient if you if you want to spend time with Jesus and His Word He will not only cleanse all the garbage of the world off the shelves but guess what else he will do he will replace it he'll restock those shelves with the principles of heaven he will fulfill the terms of that new covenant putting his law where in your heart and writing it upon your mind the heart so that you will desire them the mind so that you will know them so why is your conscience more or less active in condemning or defending you in a particular area than someone else's conscience has to do with training Bible speaks of 4 types of consciences number one an untrained conscience it has never been taught by biblical criteria there is no guilt feelings but he's still guilty is just not aware of his guilt he just doesn't know much about God we find an example of this in Leviticus for now the whole congregation of Israel if the whole congregation of Israel sends unintentionally and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly Do they know they've done wrong you know and they have done something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which should not be done and are guilty when the sin which they've committed becomes known and then the assembly shall offer a young bull for the scent and bring it before the tabernacle they didn't know it was wrong were they guilty or not. Yes they were they just didn't know what but when it comes to their attention they still need to deal with it right they can't say oh I didn't know about that so there's nothing I need to do an untrained conscience then you have a weak conscience a weak conscience is activated by our own beliefs or expectations or the beliefs and expectations of others perhaps someone is new in the face they have in the experience gained you know experience in the ways of God and and often such a person when they come in they look you know the ad been a strict is always filled with Saints to a new believer Wow I could never live out you know they always feel like their way back here and so they watch this and they see what we did my daughter lived in principle school teacher at the little church school in Jellicoe Tennessee anyone you know where that is right on the border Kentucky Tennessee right through 75 that little church has been workin that hillbilly town for a long time and. Somebody told an Adventist I'm telling you the truth they said oh we could never I could never become an Adventist I said why not so because all you Adventists live up on the Hill and I don't live on the Hill it's a very hilly part of the country now where they got that idea I don't know but that's that they really thought that to be an advantage you had to live in a house on top of a hill or up a hill somewhere and that's a silly little example but friends out happens all the time in other areas and so they they don't know they're looking to us and they they say oh now we're here little things here and there we need to be careful not only how we live but how we instruct them for example how many of you have felt guilty because you didn't have all the laundry done laundry done in your house thoroughly cleaned on Friday before Sabbath again. All right for those of you raise your hands would you tell me the verse that tells you you need all your laundry done in your house clean before sundown on Friday night. Bachelor Chapter one Verse 2 I'm going to say Doug. Now ladies you ought to like me for that one there's no verse in the Bible right that says we have to have all that done and what do we do we're racing the clock you know and running and running and. Well don't be afforded all we can save and you know why does it have to be all on Friday why can't you make Sabbath dinner on Wednesday I eat leftovers 3 days later don't you of course you do. We must retrain that conscience with biblical truth Paul gives an example of we conscience I'm going to skip that you can read it in your notes. A seared conscience number 3 2nd Timothy now the spirit expressly says that in the latter time some will depart from the faith giving aid to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons speaking lies and hypocrisy having their own conscience seared us with a hot iron forbidding to marry commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who believe in KNOW THE TRUTH seared conscience what is a seared conscience they know the truth once walked in it's light but they've turned away to follow the deceiving doctrines of demons some new theology comes along and the conscience becomes seared by continual rejection of truth over and over again God appeals to us and we say no no Each time that conscience is being seared a little deeper and a little deeper. Until there is no guilt feelings not because they aren't guilty but because they harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit and no longer hear his voice this is a very dangerous thing to play with. What's. The unpardonable sin if I can hear the Holy Spirit then you know now I'm that doesn't happen overnight let's not beat ourselves up and one way you can tell is if you're still feeling guilty about it the Holy Spirit still speaking All right you haven't crossed the line and then there's the biblical conscience trained activated by biblical truth all Scripture given by inspiration of God it's profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction instruction and righteousness That's the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for what every good behavior God's answer for guilt confess your sin actions and attitudes to God in those we're Braun's you know John 19 1st John 19 to confess means to agree with God about our behavior and about ourselves none of this hogwash that says I didn't mean to I'm not really that way I'm not that kind of a person it was just a set of bad circumstances that is not confession that's excuses and I won't get you any freedom from guilt the right way is I recognize God that I failed of your Grace I followed an idol in my own heart and I chose sin above Jesus forgive me based Pacific be honest every time you find an example in the Bible of genuine repentance you find humiliation and the spirit of confession in which there is no excuse for sins made there is brokenness sorrow over there iniquity make restitution. As easy kill 33 says again when I say to the wicked you will surely die what's restitution it's a good list here if it turns from a send does what is lawful if they restore the pledge if it gives back what he stole and if he walks in the statutes of life without committing an iniquity he shall surely live and he shall not die none of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him he has done what is lawful and right for restitution what if you can't find the person you're wrong what if it's been years ago and it comes back to your mind don't say Well that was so long ago and it must not be a big thing if it's not a big thing then why do you still remember it years later because the Holy Spirit is working on. Or you can say Lord forgive me for this and if you see fit give me an opportunity to meet that person and the 1st time I meet him I'll make it right with him too if you pray that be prepared for someone usually working because it's not only you that needs release it's them as well and then you have changed the sinful behavior. To change requires 2 things we must believe that we are if you don't believe you're forgiven friends if God is lying to you you're not going to have much motivation for change do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and such were what tense is that in English past tense some of you but you were washed you were sanctified you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ the 2nd thing we need is a change of sinful behavior and that comes by putting off the old man and putting on the new man put off put on principle that you find throughout the Scriptures and then number 4 we talked about this a little yesterday thank God for allowing the situation to happen so that you could grow right. In everything give thanks for this is God's will concerning you in Christ Jesus the psalm a said before I was afflicted I went astray but now i keep your word it is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn your statutes how many if you've prayed that prayer. That's a good turn to pray thank God for it right let me tell you the story of Terry and Amanda I want to just do that with this flood though this is one of the most powerful verses you'll ever find Proverbs 2813 he who covers his sin What's the promise of God. Will not want or how many of you don't want to prosper that's what I thought but whoever confesses him for thanks them the what 2 promises 2 promises one negative you won't prosper the other one you will have mercy and forgiveness tearing Amanda I was pastoring in Arkansas southeast corner I had 3 churches Benton Pine Bluff and clear down in the corner southeast corner Monticello I had a hard time I moved to Arkansas from California. Where everything is live and let live but in the south it's not quite like that and it was a church it really bugged me because it was the only one only I'd been to church in that area and the Blacks sat on one side and the whites set on the other there were towns there and that was back in 80 the late eighty's early ninety's there were towns that if you were black you had to be out of town by dark we could go for a drive through some of these towns and we'd see motels say no vacancy all of us here would pull in and know that we could get 2345 rooms but if we were black we would be told and you see the sign there's no vacancy. I know it's hard for us to understand up here in the south or north but that's the way it was. Carrying Amanda lives on the other side of the tracks as we would say a report series dad had been it was retired as a deputy sheriff for the town county and so had some standing in the community Jerry had been hurt on the job and was expecting a large settlement $25000.00 and I knew that for their income and their lifestyle that was huge. And so they had asked the church to pray for this you know working through the hoops and and I was concerned so I said I'm with them I said Do you have any plans for that I said that's a lot of money you need some help dealing with that and I think we got it and anyway I knew when it had come because they stopped coming to churches regularly missed a week here Mr week there couple weeks here a couple weeks there I'd call him I'd talk to him I'd stop by and visit now Pastor things are you know I just haven't been feeling well all that and one day I lived in Benton that's 110 miles away and I got a call and it was Amanda he says Pastor I'm just calling you to let you know I'm kicking Terri out of the house I'm done I've had enough and I said what's going on she said you know that settlement we had said Yeah so he's gone through $12000.00 of crack cocaine in the last month party and wine women song the whole 9 yards and I'm finished with it and I had feared that something was off so I said let me talk to him he won't talk to you and I said put him on the line so he answered and said Hello I said Terri the pastor sounds like you're in trouble Yep do you want out do you want help I do I said I'll be down there at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon to pick you up you're coming to live with me for a few days wife must have been hearing it put it on speaker phone or some she said Pastor don't waste your gas those days I drove a little Geo Metro got 50 miles a gallon you know. Because it was such a distance and and I said I'm coming down I think you'll be there I'll tell you he won't I showed up at 2 o'clock his bags and he was settin on the front porch running home and I said down at the table and I said All right how serious are you in wanting this change and he says faster I'll do anything I said I'll take it your word I took him to this verse right here and I read it I said you want to prosper then you can't cover your sin took out a piece of paper and I said You tell me everybody you send and what you done specific that you've done to him we're going to make a list of it and then we're going to go and make it right he said well I've sinned against God what you do and he said well you know and he explained and I asked him to be specific I sinned against my parents I said what you did to them Well you know the embarrassment and besides we things have been tied I've asked them for money in the past and I use a not for medicine but for marijuana and now OK And and who else well my kids my wife and and who else oh I don't know I said What do you mean you don't know as I want to about the church he said church what I do with your and I said You claim to be an advantage when you run around town living like a scoundrel and you don't think that affects me in the church you've drunk at your church well how do I make that right I says Sabbath you can to ask and tell him what you've done and ask for forgiveness how well he couldn't think of anyone else I said what about the state of the state I said yes it is illegal to $12000.00 of crack OK he says Well no I said all right you need to make a right with the state he says How do I do that I said I'll call up the chief of police and you can go telling I'll get thrown in jail I said I don't care you want to be a free man behind bars when you want to be a man in bondage outside of bars How serious do you want it he said all right I called up chief and I said I'm the pastor got a man here needs talk to you when can we meet next day about 2 o'clock I said we'll be there we went through the whole list I said anyone else who wealthy says I don't know I said what about the drug dealers. Is it right for you to keep them in business and encourage them in an unlawful to write he said No I said OK we need to go to them too I said you know of any money he said I do how much about 3000 people disappear down there for that kind of money I said we'll go to them says Pastor I don't want you to go I said I'll go with you he says No please don't and I said OK I tell you what I'm willing to go but promise me that you go all do I pay him the money I said Of course not. Add to your sin by giving him the money tell him if they want to collect take you to small claims court and. I'm serious true story every bit so the next morning we got a Geo Metro now Terry is a heavy set about my height black guy and he said in the passenger side I thought maybe much higher was out of balance that car was shaken all the way down that little old Metro you know pulled out and we went up the outside steps into the office a lady says all the sheriff expecting you just go into the office there and we sat down and and on the way he said pass on I'm going to tell my sources I said Terry I'm not going to push that but I will tell you that the cleaner you become with them the cleaner you'll become with the Lord I'll leave that one to you but I encourage you. So we set there man and pretty soon an even bigger white guy big jolt Big Guy company said down on his desk but doubles on the desk as we're going to do for you and I introduce myself and introduce Terence's he has something need tell you and I told Terry how you'd do a proper confession I have sinned against you and against gone. And state what you've done and said I want to be right with God and man will you please forgive me. And he said. I've sinned against you and against God's. And that old guy he had never heard like that in his office before. Is I've got kind of bigness of what you do and he told him 12000 crack cocaine The guy's a lean back and he says Who's your sources there was a pause Terry threw out a name he says we know about him who else threw out another name we know about him who else threw out a 3rd name as we know about him and Terry came back to his topic because it asked for forgiveness and he hadn't got an answer he said I I want. A new life I'm willing to go to jail whatever it takes I want to clear conscience What do you want me to do and not all chief he sat back in his chair and leaned back and he thought a few moments and he says son. Now you one young man he was had teenage kids probably about my advice said son you just keep doing what your preacher tells you to do and we'll call it all good. Kerry says what do you want me to do with the paraphernalia he said just bring it back leave it with the lady at the desk we'll call it good I walked down the steps he didn't he just kind of floated and we spent the rest of the afternoon going to his parents going to his wife going to his children I tell you what friends forgive me if I get emotional here but that next Sabbath I have never experienced a Sabbath like that my life he stayed with me that week went to church with me and he says Pastor how my going to say this I said well you know when we have per time and anyone have some to share just raise your hand I'll call on you and he raised his hand right away and I said what's up Terry and he said I need to say something to the church I've sinned against God and against you I claim to be a Christian and you know that settlement you've been praying for and he told them what he had done and he said Would you please forgive me I want to clear conscience. He set down and as soon as he set down it was like something just shot his wife right up out of her seat she said I too have something to say I've been smoking marijuana and cigarettes with my husband all these years I've been their whole mind studying with my hands they were expert to cover all that up I'm very dense probably the latter but might be a combination I was surprised she said I want to clean heart would you forgive May she said down on her son popped up and I thought to myself Lord have mercy and a son confessed he said down and then someone over on the white side jumped up I tell you one after another stood and asked for forgiveness to the church because they wanted a clear conscience and when we were done I called tearing Amanda to the front and I stood there with my arms around them and I said look they've asked for forgiveness What's your response and to a person they all came forward and black and white mingled tears together they never sat on the separate sides of the church after. I got a call to Arkansas to. Utah about 6 months later and I was sent home and it was nominating committee time and I got a phone call that was tearing says Pastor I told Terry keep in touch with me because you know sometimes it can be a while between pastors I said keep in touch he said Pastor the nominating committee has met and and they've asked me to serve as head elder What do you think and I said Terry that's a big responsibility but I'll walk you through that if you keep in touch he served as head elder of that church for about 4 years and did a great job. As he got older he has feeble he had to go out for a walk and a couple teenagers in a car been drinking and they hitting. They found him dead in the ditch but he died a free man. There is power in this for her. And I don't know what you're dealing with now but I plead with you if you want to experience that kind of freedom take it seriously he who covers his sin will not prosper that's God saying that and don't be stupid to challenge whether God means it or not. But whoever comes fesses and for sakes them finds mercy and you'll have a freedom that you have never felt before that's the kind of life God wants us to live I will never forget Terry and Amanda and I've used their story many many times since friends and if there's somebody that struggling with something you want some set down one on one feel free to holler you'll find me in the when I'm not here but don't let this go by Don't rationalize. Get that conscience clear and experience the power the joy of the freedom that only God can bring Let's pray Father in heaven thank you so much for your amazing grace. That saved a wretch like me Father forgive us for our stubbornness our lack of belief but we ask Lord I ask for my life and for each one of these here that you will pour out your Holy Spirit with a conviction upon us that we cannot run away from until we fall on our knees and say OK Lord forgive me. And teach me show me give me the courage to make the wrongs right wherever it takes us. Not just for our freedom but it will offer freedom for many others as well. Thank you Father. In Jesus Name we. This media was brought to you by audio produce a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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