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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1075

The Need for Deep Conviction

May 12, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1075 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Lord, we need something that can absolutely challenge the strongholds of Satan in hearts and lives, and take the blinders off so people can see. But yet it’s not the argument, it’s not the words. We need God to challenge hearts, and I sense that there’s people here, this morning, that God loves enough to want to challenge.

( congregational amens ).

Now what does he say here? What was the evidence to Paul that this was God’s work? It was the presence of God working! He saw the evidence of a supernatural work! Paul knew that he could not simply go out and recruit followers based upon his ability as a orator, which he evidently didn’t have. He was not an impressive speaker by all the testimony of the New Testament.

But I’ll tell you what, Paul was not looking for personal followers based upon him! All he did was give out the Word of God and say, God, it’s up to You! You’re gonna have to convince and convict and call! I don’t know who this is for! He would go into an area and give it out and God would work in hearts.

You read the accounts in Acts and it will say, he went to such and such a place and he preached, and God opened somebody’s heart, and they became a believer…this one and that one, and God was at work. I’ll tell you, the evidence that I have that God is concerned this morning, is the fact that I sense His presence and I sense His burden. That means there’s somebody here this morning that He loves.

( congregational amens ).

This is not His condemnation. This is His love and compassion reaching out to somebody to say you’re on the road to hell, and I love you and I don’t want you to go there. I sent My Son to die for you. Oh, we need that conviction because, without that what is there? That’s the problem with the shallowness of what is called Christianity in our day. There’s no real conviction.

In the first place, there are so many false gospels out there…just like that brother was saying in that letter. They present a God who just wants to make everybody happy”make them feel good, give them success, promise them heaven at the end of the way. That’s the broad way, folks. People who were saved on the day of Pentecost, there was a deep conviction.

What is a conviction? A conviction is a truth, something you know deep down in your soul to be true! You can’t escape it! You know it’s so! It’s something that even bypasses all of the questions you might raise in your mind! It just goes right straight to the core of your being and you know it’s so!

And I’ll tell you, people on the day of Pentecost, they knew that Jesus was the Son of God! How did they know that? Because of the great argument? No! Because the Spirit of God was present, working right straight in the heart and confronting them, and opening the blinder”taking the blinders off their eyes, and just instilling in them the knowledge, Jesus is Lord. And you are his enemy at this moment.

I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of”I mean, you can argue with people. You can convince them that they’re sinners. I mean, you can intellectually know that. We all know we’re not perfect. But there’s so much that has stopped short of what he’s talking about here. People are convinced that they’ve got to do something. Okay, I know I’ve got problems. I know I’m not what You want me to be. I’ll…and the result of that sort of shallow conviction is that people will become religious! You know, Brother Thomas used to say that he got more people to join churches than anybody. He’d preach, and they’d get under conviction and they go join some other church!

( laughter ).

What are they trying to do? They’re just trying to salve their conscience. They’re trying to remain in control of their own lives and bargain with God, and figure, okay, I need to be a Christian. Well, what’s a Christian? A Christian goes to church, and they’re nice, and they’re this and that and the other. I need to be that. I need to do something so that God will accept me. Such a person is on the road to hell and does not know it.

I’ll tell you what, that’s not conviction. If a conviction of God comes to your heart, it’s not going to get you to do something to get God to accept you. The conviction that needs to take root in your heart is not only that you are a sinner, but it is that your cause, so far as self-effort is concerned, is completely hopeless. There is nothing you can do to rescue yourself.

There is not one ounce of goodness that God will accept. There’s not one iota of ability you have to free yourself from the dominion of sin, from the guilt of your sins, from the power of Satan that rules over you. You are a prisoner. You are a slave rower in chains in a Roman galley headed for certain destruction. And you can’t escape because you’re in chains.

I’ll tell you, until that conviction takes root in your heart, you don’t know what this is about. And, my prayer is that God will just take the blinders off and help somebody to see. Because, when you see it, then it makes sense. Then the Cross begins to make sense. It’s foolishness to those who perish! They don’t get it! Jesus died for our sins. Everybody knows that.

Oh Lord, I’ll tell you what, there’s so many people running around who’ve had false conversions. They’ve believed in Jesus, they’re Christians…until we don’t know what a Christian is anymore. But I’ll tell you, God knows. The Lord knows those that are His.

But this is a pretty good picture to measure by, isn’t it? Because this is a picture of what it means when God works, when God comes in and supernaturally changes a heart. I’ll tell you, conviction of the Holy Spirit, real conviction, if it is responded to from the heart, it results in somebody who just throws up their hands and says, my cause is hopeless, but oh God, I need to be rescued.

( congregational response ).

God, I don’t deserve it, but You’ve showed me your love in Christ. I need to be rescued, Lord! I need You to do something that I am powerless to do in myself! Come and change my heart, Lord. There’s no leaf I can turn over that’s gonna make any difference at all. That’s what happens in religion. People get a little concerned about their soul, and this and that and the other in a very superficial way. And they think oh, I need to be a Christian. That means I need to start going to church. That means I need to quit a little of this, and quit a little of that, and moderate my behavior and just kind of be nice, and then I’m a Christian.

No. “…If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (NIV). Unless a person is born again of the Spirit of God, they’re not a Christian. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” And there’s another Scripture in John 3, I think it is, later on somewhere where he talks about the wrath of God abiding on such a one. I’ll tell you, that just means God steps back.

And that’s what happens. That’s why the world is in the shape it’s in, because of the number of people who have been confronted by light at some point in their life and they have said, no. They’ve tried to bargain with God. They’ve tried to sidestep the Gospel and tried to find a way to hang on to their own life, their own will, and still claim to be a Christian because they do right…they play the part of being a Christian.

I’ll tell you, until the Gospel arrests a sinner and shows them in some…it’s not like everybody has exactly the same experience, I understand that. We are everyone unique. But until God conquers our will and we throw up our hands in surrender, we’re not a Christian. I don’t care what you do.

And I appreciate these that wrote in, that commended us for telling the truth. I want to do that. God…you know, there’s so many people out there that would say you’re being narrow. You’re being…what’s the word they like to use? Intolerant. Well, I’ll tell you what, that janitor that ran through that school hollering to people to get out of the way, was he being intolerant to gun people, to the gunman? I mean, doesn’t the gunman have as much right as anybody else to his beliefs? No. He was telling the truth in a desperate situation.

Well, God has called us to do the same thing. This is not a matter of your church against my church. This is a matter of Christ. This is a matter of people bowing the knee to Jesus Christ and actually being born of His Spirit. You’ll see a difference in their lives. It will be obvious. You won’t have to tell people, I was saved. They’ll know it!

They’ll know you are a different person! It will change your outlook about everything! Your own life and what it’s about in the world…you’ll see the world…you’ll begin to see it, at least, for what it is. Yeah, there’s a lot of work, but it is a process of becoming like Him. But there is a fundamental turnabout that happens in the heart when Christ comes in and takes over. Short of that, you’re still on the road to hell!

My prayer is that where that is the case, God will confront your heart and will just turn you every way but loose! Not because He’s mad with you, because He loves you enough to reach out. It’s His love. He says, “…We know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.” Is that possible that that could apply to you, this morning? Is this happening because God loves you and has chosen you? What are you going to do about it? Think about that.

Think about his description of what this work of God produced. You back up into verse 3. What was the result? “…Your work produced by faith…” See, this is where we go wrong…so many. You look at the work and you say, that person is a moral upright person. They’re kind to strangers, they’re charitable, they give, they’re nice people to be around, they’re enjoyable and they believe in Jesus. They’re a Christian. Hogwash! The world is full of people like that.

But, what is going on in 99 percent of the cases…well, I don’t know the percentage…a lot of the cases, it’s self-driven! It’s people who have been…maybe they’ve been taught to behave that way, but for whatever reason, it’s a result of a natural effort. And how many people are there who trust in their efforts when it comes to God?

Think about those who got to the end of the broad way. What did they say? They said, Lord, Lord, have we not ‘done’? What did they point to? They pointed to what they did. Oh my God, I can’t point to a single reason”a single thing that I have ever done that would cause God to accept me. I’m either trusting in what I do or I’m trusting in what He did! No way to mix it. It’s one or the other.

I’ll tell you, the conviction of God will absolutely strip you of any notion that you have the ability to do good, except by trusting in Him. That’s what the faith part is about. See you’ve got some people like James said, they say they have faith, but you don’t see the evidence of it. That kind of faith doesn’t save. The devils believe like that.

But you’ve got other people who are trying to work their way into God’s favor and that doesn’t work either. But faith, if faith in Christ draws His life into us and there is a work, there is a change in the way we do, that’s a faith…that’s a work that’s produced by faith. That’s the engine behind it. That’s the life behind it.

The question is not what you do. It’s what’s behind it. You can have a rebel, a self-willed rebel that learns how to behave and says, I’m a Christian. You’re not if you’re not surrendered to Jesus Christ. It’s that simple. And we’ve got to tell the truth. My God, what a horrible thing it would be just to give people a false hope.

I don’t know where this will go, but I pray for anyone who hears it, that God will cause you to look into your heart and examine yourself. Where do you fit into this kind of a picture? Look at what God did when He did the work. There was a difference in their life and it was not motivating people to change their behavior. It was God coming in and imparting divine life that resulted in a change in the way they did. It was drawing in His life. Oh, praise God!

That’s the only resource I have, folks. The only resource you have available to you. There’s life that comes from heaven. There are wells of salvation upon which we can draw, and we can draw His life into us and it can make a difference in what we do and how we do it.

“…Your labor prompted by love…” So now you’ve got…see, one thing is what’s the engine behind what you do, the other is, what’s the motivation? Your labor prompted by love! That’s the essence of God’s nature! Why do we do what we do? You probe most people in this world”you probe the people of this world, let me say it in general. You will find self at the center somewhere, somehow. It’s not about what I can do for somebody else, it’s what I wind up getting out of it.

I’ll tell you, when Christ comes in, we begin to partake of His nature and that begins to change. Granted, there’s a process. Like I say, it doesn’t all happen overnight, but there is something basic that changes down here. Outside of that, you don’t have the capacity for love. You might call it love. You might be self-sacrificial, and be doing it for self!

What do you think those people in Matthew 7 did? They were sacrificial in what they did! But it was all for self. It was so I could build up a righteousness in which I can have confidence. Well, I don’t have any confidence in mine. There’s nothing…but I’ve got full confidence in Him.

( congregational amens ).

And that’s it! Add nothing to it! Take nothing away from it. That’s the message of hope. I’ll tell you, “…your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is it that gives you the power to stand? It’s that Jesus Christ has revealed to your heart that if you will trust in Him with all of your heart, He has the power, as Carl quoted the Scripture this morning in our meeting…He has the power to save completely those who…come to God by Christ…because He ever lives to pray. I’ll tell you, there is a support that carries you all the way to the end of the road.

( congregational amens ).

You’re not alone on this road. You’re a product of God’s supernatural transforming power, and until we come to a revelation of that, until God convicts by His power, and there’s a conviction in you about your own need, your true state…where you don’t sort of pretty it up and put a bow, and say, it’s not quite like that. I’m not that bad. I can do this. I can do…you can’t do anything to help yourself except surrender, and call upon the name of Jesus, and give your heart and life to Him and let Him do the saving. Oh, praise God!

Kristen, when did God help you?

— Kristen: When I let go.

— Brother Phil Enlow: When you let go, when you quit trying to help yourself, trying to do it yourself. See, God gives us testimonies. There’s others. God gives us demonstrations of what salvation means. And you don’t have to have some big obvious problem for this to apply to you. You can be somebody who’s never…who’s grown up in the church and you’re the goody-two-shoes…you’re a goody-two-shoes in the eyes of the world. But you’re a sinner as much as anybody in this world.

( congregational amens ).

You cannot go into the gutter and look at some poor sinner down there whose life is wrecked and say, I’m any better than they are. You’re not. You need salvation as much as anybody. And you may be in worse shape because you don’t know it. See, that’s what the conviction of God’s Spirit is about.

You think Paul thought he was unrighteous? Paul thought he was one of the most righteous people on the planet! It took a revelation of Jesus Christ for him to see the utter corruption of his own heart and nature, and to say, oh God, I need a Savior! I need a deliverer!

I don’t know what the Lord’s wants to do, but I know there’s people here that He’s concerned about. All I know to do is to give you the Word and trust Him to work. And if He’s calling, and He’s convicting you, and He’s building in you the knowledge of who He is, the knowledge of your need, and that if something doesn’t change you’re gonna wind up in hell, then I just pray that you will surrender to that knowledge. Because otherwise, there will come a time when He will take His hands off.

I started to say this a while ago. That’s what’s going on in the world. There’s so many people that have resisted the Light that God is more and more stepping back and saying, all right, I will let you have what you have chosen. Oh, don’t be like that. When God speaks, don’t harden your heart, but humble…oh, I’ll tell you what, it’s His love that reaches out to you. All He has to do is step back and let you perish. But He cares. He’s done everything necessary for you to live with Him forever and to be set free from yourself, from your sin and the world.

I can’t open your eyes if you can’t see that. But I know Somebody who can. And we need to pray that God will absolutely take this Word and convict, and not let people sleep, if that’s what it takes…until they face the reality of their own need, and they quit ducking and quit hiding, quit excusing and explaining and blaming, and every other thing that causes people to not hear this, until you come to the point where you say, yes, Lord. I’m a hopeless sinner, but I call upon the name of Jesus, based upon Your promise. You have the power to save me, and I’m crying out to You. I call upon you, Father, in the name that you’ve given”that Name that’s above every name, the name of Jesus. He is the One who has the power to set me free, and I want to be free. There is Somebody who will hear that prayer.

( congregational amens ).

So, if you’re one that God is talking to this morning, you do whatever it takes to reach out to Him and call upon that Name. And I promise you He will change your life and your heart, and you will be able to sing the old song. I was blind. “I once was lost, now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” God wants to open your eyes and wrap His arms around you. But He can’t do it while you cling to yourself. Let Him open your eyes. Let Him change you. Praise God!