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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1086

Though You Are Evil

July 28, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1086 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Though you are evil, God has reached out His hand of mercy. Do you want to be a candidate for that mercy?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Then, it’s not here I am, Jesus, I’m a good person, You need me in Your kingdom, think of all I can do for You. It’s ‘just as I am.’

( congregational amens ).

‘Without one plea!’ What does that mean? That means I’m not coming, and I’m not supposing that You’re gonna receive me because of something that’s in me. You’re not drawing me, again, because You found something commendable in me. There is nothing commendable. I’m coming just as I am. All of the ugly is there. I’m not gonna come and try to clean myself up.

How can you clean yourself up? My mind goes back to that illustration. I suppose it was a story that really happened. I think I mentioned it a while back, about the man who was trying to have his septic tank repaired. Do you remember that story? And the man who was going to fix his tank or pump it out, whatever they did, wanted him to go ahead and uncover it because he was coming first thing in the morning and was gonna…you know, so basically, he uncovered it, went to bed, got up and heard some strange sounds.

And he went over to the tank and, lo and behold, I don’t remember if it was his dog, but a dog had fallen in there, was floundering around in all that filth and totally unable to help himself. And so the man began to try to reach down and try to pull him out, try to help him out, and all he would do is bite. He saw it as a threat.

And finally he realized the only way he was gonna be able to do something about that was to get down in there with him and take hold of him and lift him out. And that’s what happened. By that time, the dog had just run out of steam. I pray to God that there’s somebody here who doesn’t know the Lord who’s run out of steam.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Kristen, you know what that’s about, don’t you? You tried and struggled, and tried and struggled, and tried and struggled for years. I believe God saw that there was something in your heart that He put there that was reaching out.

( congregational amens ).

But until you stopped trying and gave Him the job of saving you, nothing happened. But what is it that causes us to try? We suppose that we can. We suppose that there is some strength in us, some quality. We don’t want to come with all the filth. We want to clean ourselves up.

Well, that poor dog had no choice but to surrender. And think what it took on the part of the one doing the rescuing to actually get down in the filth. That’s what our Savior has done for us.

( congregational amens ).

He didn’t just…He got down there, got filthy with our filth. He didn’t have any of His own. What do think He went to the cross for? He took everything, all the evil that has ever flowed from this wicked heart, He bore it as if He had done it. He felt the wickedness. He felt this evil that He was telling the disciples about. All the things that had been wrong with them, He took their evil upon Himself, received the full penalty of everything you and I ever deserved. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Man, if you’re here today and you don’t know Him that’s what He’s looking for, to open your heart when He comes knocking and convicting, and showing you what the real problem is…. The real problem is not your circumstances. The real problem is not what somebody did, or this, or blaming God. The real problem is what’s in you, and that is so broken you can’t fix it.

And the only answer is to reach a point where you say, all right, Lord. I surrender. I let go. I give You my life. I can’t do anything with it, but I’m gonna come just the way You’ve called me. But You sent a Savior. You gave me a promise that if I’d give You my heart and put my faith in You, You would come in and You would blot my sins out. I don’t have to carry the guilt of what I am.

Oh, I tell you. When you really see, you’re gonna feel some guilt. You’re gonna feel the weight of your sins. You need to feel them. But I’ll tell you, God allows that so that when you He cleanses your heart, that guilt is gone.

( congregational amens ).

You don’t have to wallow in that. You don’t have to carry what Jesus has already carried to the Cross. Praise God! Praise the Lord for what He’s done for us, folks! But I hope you can see how critical getting what we are down and truly understanding and facing it, how critical that is, how foundational. There’s no such thing as salvation until you’re lost. And there’s no such thing as the ongoing process of salvation so long as we rise up in pride and suppose that we can handle it.

You can’t handle it. I’ve got to do like Peter and stretch forth my hand, let Him do it, let Him change me, because He has the power. Praise God! Most of you have heard at one point or another, what the Lord had to do to Paul to get him to this point. Do you think Paul could have helped somebody with the mentality of a Pharisee? No way! There’s no way that he could understand, no way he could convince somebody of what their real need was.

But God put him in a place where he was, in Romans 7, where he was convinced. Man, I really see what you want, Lord. I’m gonna go for it with all of my heart. I’m gonna engage all of my strength to be what You want me to be. And what happened? Utter, complete failure! Why? God had to show him the source of the failure. There is something in here. Even if I reach a point where my mind and my will are in agreement, there’s something in here that will not let me be what You want me to be. It absolutely is more powerful than I am. I cannot beat it. I just throw my hands up. What a wretched man I am.

You talk about being a wretch? That’s the word Paul used. What a wretched man I am! Oh God! Now, I get it, Lord! Now I see why I need a Savior…why just telling me what to do is not enough! I’ve got to have a Savior! Oh, help me, Lord!

That’s an awesome place to come to. But it will destroy your pride to do it. But your pride will keep you on a road to hell. And I’ll tell you, there’s a God who reaches out in mercy. He taught Paul the hard lessons. Has God ever taught you lessons like that? Yeah. Where He’s had to show you what you really were. Maybe after you knew the Lord? You thought that things were pretty good. You thought you were a pretty good person. Then you realized where that goodness comes from.

You think about what happened when the rich young ruler came to Jesus. This was a guy who really seemed to be very sincere about his religion, his desire to be right with God. He’d heard about this business of having everlasting life. Jesus, tell me about this. What do I got to do—what do I have to do? Let’s get my grammar a little straighter. What must I do? But he came, and he asked Jesus the question.

But you remember how he addressed Jesus? Good Master. Well, what a teaching opportunity. What a teaching moment that was. Jesus said, why do you call Me good? See, this man had a concept that goodness was a state of being whereby we did what was right, thereby we were good. Folks, we are not sinners because we commit sin. We commit sin because we ‘are’ sinners.

That was the point Jesus was dropping in there. He didn’t say, though you do evil,
“Though you are evil.” (NIV). That must have been a shock. I really would love to have climbed inside the minds of some of those disciples and said, what in the world was He saying? Why did He call me evil? Oh my. It’s because He wanted to bring them to a place where He could change that. Praise the Lord!

And that’s what He did for Paul. Paul realized that serving God is not trying, not anything that I can look to in me. It’s entirely looking to Him. All right Lord, I’m done. I give up. I cannot do what You want me to do. You’re gonna have to come in and do it in me. Give me a brand new life. Live Your life in me. Change me, change my heart…don’t just fix the one I’ve got, give me a new one. Don’t sort of purify the spirit I’ve got, give me a brand new one. Let’s put this other one to death. Let’s bring in a brand new life, and absolutely make me Your child supernaturally! I just surrender to Your saving power! You have the power to save me completely! I have no power whatsoever!

And Christian, that means you today. You don’t have any power in yourself. That means, today, I need Christ’s saving power to fix the things that are wrong with me right now that He’s reached out and put His finger on. But oh, what a blessed thing it is to just surrender to that light and say yes, Lord. Oh, Praise God!

I think about what’s recorded in Matthew 15, I think it is, a familiar scripture when Jesus was looking for a place to rest for a while. He’d been busy ministering, and he went over to the region of Tyre and Sidon. This is verse 21 of Matthew 15. This was outside of Israel over on the coast. “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

Well, you’ve got a lot of folks today that would have just rushed right in. I’ve got the power, I can fix this. Well, Jesus was led by the Spirit, wasn’t He, in what he did? And His response was rather unusual. “Jesus did not answer a word.” Well, now right there, that would have offended most people. What kind of a stuck up, self-righteous, supposed prophet is this? I come with a real need. I’m crying out for help. He won’t even talk to me.

I believe Jesus was setting up a real demonstration here of what He’s looking for in us. My God, if there’s something in you that can be offended, you’re gonna get offended. Because where does offense come from, but pride? And pride is sin! That’s the root of what we’re born with! And you can’t come to God and just name your terms. You’re gonna have to come and just say, Lord, I surrender unconditionally.

So, “Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him.…” They drew a conclusion from what His lack of action that she was bothering Him and needed to go away. “…Urged him, send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” So now He at least comments on the subject. He says, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

So Jesus is just stating a fact. It wasn’t anything, you know, angry at the woman. It was just a statement of fact. This is my mission. God sent me to the world. There’s gonna come a time when I’m done working with the lost sheep of the house of Israel. I’ve gathered them. They’re gonna be my flock, and from them, I’m going to spread out the message throughout the entire world. It’s gonna go to everybody. But this isn’t that time. I’ve been right now on a particular mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

“The woman came and knelt before him. Lord, help me! she said.” So she’s not giving up. She’s crying out. She’s just laying it all out. Lord, I’m really in desperate need. Boy, up to this point, you would really conclude that He doesn’t care about me. Why do I keep bothering this guy? He’s just a fraud. If He was who He says He was He’d care about me.

“He replied, it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Oh! Now how would you have reacted under those circumstances? And don’t look at me all pious.

( laughter ).

You’re made of the same stuff I am. That would have been major ‘tick me off’ kind of…how dare you call me a dog! Wow! But what a faith this woman had, and what a humility had been somehow worked in her heart, that that wasn’t even an issue. My God, like I say if there’s an issue in your life that just causes you to rise up in resistance and protestation. You better look at that and see if that isn’t the thing that’s really keeping you from God’s mercy and God’s grace.

So what is she saying? “Yes, Lord…” Yes, Lord—yes, Lord! That’s an awful good thing to be saying. Yes, Lord, whatever you say, Lord. You call me a dog? Yes, Lord! You say I’m evil. Yes, Lord! “…But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Wow. Genuine…this was not acting. This was a genuine humility, just imploring Him to help. “Then Jesus answered, Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” See it wasn’t that Jesus was trying to get rid of her, and hoping she’d go away so He wouldn’t be bothered. He was drawing something out of her. This otherwise…well, she’s nameless, she is a nameless woman. But this nameless woman from a foreign country has been known around the world because of a simple place where she took the place of humility! This simple little event, it was recorded in God’s Word, and people from that day to this have been able to go back to her example and see what real humility looks like. How did you react when I called you evil this morning? Think about it. I want to take the place this lady took.

( congregational amens ).

I want to get it. I want to know why I need a Savior. I just want to put my trust in Him. Let’s look at a scripture in Titus, I believe, Titus chapter 3. This is where Paul was writing to a younger minister. You know, he wrote to Timothy, but he also wrote to Titus. He’s trying to exhort and instruct Titus as to how to help the people to whom he’s ministering.

He says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” Oh, we’re good at that. Oh, how quick we are to take offence, and to rise up and be angry. What’s the matter with them! Well, the matter with them is what’s the matter with you, if you really look into your heart.

And that’s really what he says in verse 3. This is the part I didn’t have underlined, and I probably should. “At one time we too…” Now Paul didn’t say, ‘you too.’ He didn’t tell Titus to say, you too. He says, we too. You see, Paul had gotten it. Paul understood what he was.

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived…” Are you deceived this morning? “…And enslaved…” That’s a pretty serious condition. But what he’s talking about is, you Christians, look what God’s done for you! But you need to remember you were just like them! You need to have a heart of compassion and understanding! My God, you’ve had your eyes opened! They haven’t! What are you expecting? Are you expecting sinners to act like saints? We have a position of being lights in the world, but it’s not light that just absolutely looks down their nose at somebody as though we’re something. We are nothing! We are sinners saved by the grace of God!

“…Enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy being hated and hating one another.” That’s just kind of a very encapsulated view of humanity, but that’s pretty accurate, isn’t it? Blind, slaves…slaves to what? Slaves to our earthly desires and passions. They rule. Oh, if I could just gratify this, everything would be great, scratch this itch. You’re gonna find a deeper itch under that one, and a deeper itch under that one. You’re never gonna get to the bottom of your itches. God has a different way. It’s to set us free from all of that.

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Now emotionally sometimes it’s hard to get that. We still want to cling to some notion of our own goodness, but I believe God wants us to see deeper than that and be able to be honest before Him.

“He saved us through the washing of rebirth.…” Man, that’s what happens. When He comes in, there is a cleansing. All the junk, all the ugly, as far as He’s concerned we are as clean as if it had never happened. And His life is able to come in and begin to work and begin to change. Has that happened to you? Or are you at a stage in your life with the Lord where you need some more of that, you need to experience more of His life and not yours?

“…Renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified.…” That means made righteous. That’s a legal declaration that you are innocent. You could stand before the court of Heaven one day, in spite of everything that you were and have done in your life, and you will be declared wholly innocent.

( congregational praise ).

Because when you put your faith in Him, that that Jesus did for you, becomes yours, the sacrifice of His taking your sins upon Himself becomes yours. And those sins do not have to be paid for twice. Praise God!

“…So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Praise God! But you see what Paul is getting at here? Paul understands that if we’re going to help people, if we’re gonna relate, if we’re gonna a light to this world, we’ve got to understand what we are. We cannot look down on anybody. We’ve got to say, literally, as the saying is, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Do we really get that? Do we really believe that? Do you believe that what’s in you, could do what you see anybody doing under the right circumstances? We shake our heads and say, yeah. We know what we’re supposed to say, but it needs to be a revelation, folks. I believe God can make that truth real to us to the point where we know. We can walk with humility and gratitude before the Lord. It’s not that He wants us to grovel, but He does want us to be honest. We can rest in His love and know that that’s how we stand.

You know, there’s just one scripture that I’ll refer to briefly, because it’s one we know. Romans chapter 12. This comes at the end of Paul laying out the facts of the Gospel…what it is that God’s done for us, the amazing grace that He’s shown. He’s literally brought everybody into the same boat. We all have the same need. It doesn’t matter who you are, high, low, middle, whatever, Jew, Gentile. It doesn’t matter. We are all made of the same stuff.

We have the same need and God has made the same provision in Christ. He has come down and given us a Savior. He has declared a purpose. He’s declared a hope that reaches into eternity to come! And He has the power to make us like Jesus Christ and for us to be able to stand there in glory one day. He has the power to do that!

Okay, so that being the case, what should our response be? Well, I think virtually every time I have ever thought of this, I have thought in terms of, well, Christians. Therefore, we need to give ourselves to Him and cooperate with the process. Well, that’s true. This is not just for Christians. This is everybody. I’ll tell you, the moment God reveals in any measure His Truth, His Gospel to your heart, what is the proper response?

Is it God, I’ll try harder? God, I’ll be faithful in church and I’ll be a Christian. No! It’s just surrender. Just present yourselves a living sacrifice. That means you die, but you remain alive in Him because of His Life in you. That means you surrender into His hands and say, all right, Lord. Because of my condition, and in view of Your mercy that you have shown, and the amazing love that you’ve shown to me, the only reasonable response is for me just to surrender and say, all right, take over. Make me what You want me to be.

( congregational amens ).

That’s it. And if you don’t know Him today, that is your reasonable response to the Gospel. And if pride keeps you, oh, God help you. If pride holds you, you will not yield and bow to the reality of your need. Oh I’ll tell you, there’s a…I don’t want to tell you what’s coming. But there is mercy. God does not look upon the one who would humble themselves to this truth and doesn’t look down His nose and despise. He reaches down. There is something in His heart that is drawn with amazing love and mercy. That’s what His heart is drawn to!

What repels Him is self-righteousness! What draws His heart is the heart that says, oh God, I need You. Like the Pharisee who prayed and talked about all his good stuff that he’d done…and the other one said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. That was the one God heard. God will hear your cry.

You don’t have to…well, I guess we heard something the other night Brother Jim Cymbala was saying. You don’t have to come to an altar. There’s no outward magical formula. If God talks to your heart and convicts you of your need, and shows you a Savior, you say, yes! Lord, come and take my heart and take my life. I give it over to You. The moment you do that from your heart, God will respond to you.

Believer, are you on your high horse a little bit? Does God need to take you down a notch? Let Him take you down so He can lift you up. That’s what He wants. He loves every one of us, but He wants us to live with the ongoing reality of what we are in ourselves, and what we can be in Him, and only by His grace and only for His glory. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Though you are evil, God has sent a Savior. Though you are evil, you can be the very righteousness of God because of the salvation that He has opened for us. Though you are dirty and evil today, God can clean you today! You can walk out of here with a lightness in your step, with a freedom in your soul and know that you are forgiven and loved of God.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! What a Gospel we have! What a Savior we have! And how amazing it is that though you are evil, though I am evil, we have One who reaches down in love to us and gives us hope.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Glory to God!