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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1202

Examine Yourselves
Part One

October 18, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1202 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I don’t know…I’ve had thoughts. It’s a challenge to organize and that’s not always the thing you want to do anyway. But, I guess the burden I have is for people, in our midst, under the sound of the Word here, who have really never entered in, never really come to Christ.

And there’s such a danger in every…it doesn’t matter what church you’re talking about. There’s such a danger that our religion, if you want to call it that, will somehow wind up as a bunch of externals.

And you see that, in a powerful way, in the religious people of Jesus’ day. Their religion had all been distilled down to things that they could do on the outside. It was a religion of doing this and not doing that, and ritual and in observance and looking righteous, appearing righteous in front of people.

And, do you remember how Jesus’ assessment of that was, that they were like beautiful graves? They’d been polished up to look great on the outside, but inside they were just full of corruption, dead men’s bones and all of that. What God is looking for is always the heart.

But you know, there’s nobody immune to that. It’s the same principle operating. Because you know, over time, a group like ours, any group, but a group like ours will evolve ways of doing things. This is how we do church. These are the things that we believe, doctrinally, and we can expound them, and talk about them, and get excited. And people that have some sense of it get excited about that.

And others learn, oh, that’s what’s important, and they come along, and learn how to be Christians. And the burden is that, especially our young people growing up, will get this. Because, if all you ever do is grow up and learn how to be a good Bible Tabernacle person, at best, you will have nothing and the church will die!

( congregational amens ).

Because there is nothing to any group of people, who, no matter how they do it or don’t do it, if Christ is not in it. If Christ is not the heart, if the Word is not living, if it’s not bringing forth real believers in Christ, who have had a living encounter with the Savior and been transformed on the inside…nothing short of that is worth anything!

There are churches filled with people this morning, and among them many, Jesus said, are those who say, Lord, Lord, and who are busily engaged in their particular form of church and religion. And they’re just…man they can spit it out, they know the doctrines, they know the words, and they sing the songs…they sing “Amazing Grace” and they sing a lot of the songs that we would sing and with great emotion.

And yet, there are countless scores of people who will actually arrive on that day, at the end of their journey and find out, “…depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (KJV). “…I never knew you….” Because the ‘Lord, Lord’ part was simply a learned religion. It was all on the outside. And I’ll tell you, unless God gets a hold of the heart and makes these truths real, then we have nothing!

And I don’t even know hardly where to begin. But I’m gonna go ahead and just read from the beginning of Romans, just as a jumping off point, and ask the Lord to kind of breathe life into this. That’s my burden. I don’t want to stand up here and give you my words. They’re worthless. I just pray that God will somehow breathe life into words that will somehow penetrate somebody’s heart.

It’s not my job to save people. It’s not my job to explain it perfectly. It’s my job to sow seed. And seed has a way of growing, not because of the farmer’s skill, but because there’s life in it. And wherever that seed, and the seed of the Word, wherever that finds soil that’s been prepared to receive it, it will bring forth!

And so I pray…you know, we need, as a people, to pray that God will do what only He can do! That He will break up fallow ground in people’s hearts! That He will reach down into those deep places and cause people to come to a place where they know they need something! They need a Savior! Praise God! I’m getting ahead of myself, but that’s all right.

Paul goes in great depth, in the early part of Romans, to expound the Gospel. I’m not gonna try to go through all of that. But anyway, he begins in verse 16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” (NIV).

You know, there are a lot of words that get bandied about in churches and a lot of times the meaning is kind of lost. That’s one of the Devil’s great tactics. He wants to use the same language but change the meaning of the language. And ‘gospel’ is one of those words. Now, I think, most people here have probably heard and know the fact that the word ‘gospel’ simply means good news.

But if you go to different groups and you ask them what the gospel is, some of them will say the right words but if you listen and you’d hang around them long enough, the gospel is God’s good news. He wants to be your friend. He wants to give you a more successful life here. That’s really what it’s about. It’s yes, you go to Heaven one day, but God is mostly interested in fulfilling your dreams, and it’s all about you.

And I’ll tell you, you can build…we’ve said all these things, but I just pray…I don’t know, I have the same burden and I don’t care that we’ve said it before. Things need to be said until they penetrate where they need to be.

( congregational amens ).

God has his own plan and His own purpose. The very reason that the world is in the shape that it’s in today is because, in the beginning, we decided we were going to be our own god. We were going to decide what was right or wrong. We were going to choose what pleased us. We were going to individually live for what satisfied and gratified whatever desires arose from within. That’s what my life is about. I want to get something for me. I want to find my place. You know, it’s all about me.

And it’s the absolute polar opposite of the very nature of God. And that’s really what the heart of sin is all about. It’s simply an expression of a life that is in utter rebellion against Him. And it’s a principle that operates in every human being that’s born into this world. And the inevitable result of that is death!

( congregational amens ).

There’s no other way to describe it. It’s absolutely the principle of sin in operation and it brings every human being down to an absolute place of death. And so, anything that doesn’t…I mean, the very idea of good news suggests that there is some really bad news. The situation is terrible, it’s awful.

And until we see the Good News of the Gospel against the blackness of the real situation in this world, we haven’t really seen it. I mean, we can sing Amazing Grace and oh, what a wonderful thing the Cross is, praise God! But until we see that, in the light, not just of the situation in the world, but the situation in here, we have never seen it.

( congregational amens ).

And we’ll never appreciate what it’s really about. And I’ll tell you, you will have kids that will grow up in the church and they will learn it but somehow it never really gets…it never becomes very personal down in the depths of their hearts. And I’ll tell you, it’s got to become that.

Because you know, Paul goes into the real problem right after this. He talks about the wrath of God. You know, I mentioned this recently, we’ve heard a lot about the love of God. Thank God for his love! But you can’t really see the love of God without seeing the other side of it. Because a God who loves, a God who loves what is right, what is good, what is life-giving, cannot help but hate what is evil.

If you pay any attention to the news it’s an ugly, ugly, ugly world out there. And there is a blackness of violence and all kinds of things we see. But anyway, we see the root of all of this is men who know there’s a God, they know it deep within. They cannot help but look at the stars and know that it just didn’t happen.

I realize that people embrace philosophies that are other than that. But I’ll tell you, if any person is honest, they know deep in the depths of their soul, there’s a God. And I’ll tell you, there are atheists who’ve been honest enough to tell us that the reason they embrace atheism is because they want to do what they please, and feel like there’s not going to be any consequence to what they do.

And yet, they know! They know in the depths of their heart. And yet, they resist and they rebel and they choose what is evil. That’s the foundation of the judgment of God, is that when men know, they know what’s right, they know that what they’re doing is against God, they know there’s judgment coming, and they say, no, I’m gonna choose my way! I will not yield! God, get out of my face! I don’t want to hear what You’ve got to say! I’m gonna do what I want to do! It’s my life!

That’s the ultimate spirit. It may not come out that brazenly. But I’ll tell you, any person that embraces a life of self-will, is doing so in the face of your Creator, and judgment is coming, and it will be everything the Word of God declares that it will be!

And I just pray that everyone who hears this will realize that this is not just religious dogma. This is not just somebody’s idea. This is not a way to scare people into a religion. There is a message from God that judgment is coming upon an unprepared world! There’s gonna come a day, where we’re warned in the scriptures, when fire is going to fall upon this world, and it will be burned up and everything you see—everything that you can see with your natural eyes will be consumed!

And we see the picture of what Jesus warned, in the beginning, in Noah’s day. Men just…from the original knowledge of God that they had, even though Adam sinned, he knew. And one of his sons began to worship God and serve God. And there were a handful of people, down through the generations, that retained the knowledge of God and they served Him and they were faithful.

But most men turned away from Him. They turned to lying and murder and every form of evil that you can imagine. And it just got worse and worse until…and the thing is, if you embrace…if you go down that road, if you persist in going down that road, anybody, there will come a day when you will not be able to hear the voice of God. Your heart will be so hardened to that. You’ll be like the people that Jesus described when he said, the sower goes forth to sow and some of that seed fell upon, what?

( congregational response ).

Hard ground. It was like a path where people had walked on it. You walk on the truth long enough and trample it under your feet, find a way to side-step it, find a way to preserve self and self-will, there will come a day when you will not be able to hear the voice of God!

You know, in all of our reckoning, we need to reckon on the whole truth. I praise God for His love! Man, it’s my only hope that He’s a God of love and mercy and compassion and patience! ‘Cause I need…Lord, does He needs patience with me! Oh, praise God!

But I’ll tell you, if we don’t recognize and preach plainly that this world absolutely has an expiration date…your life, the life you were born into this world with, has an expiration date! Every one of us, the Word says, “…it is appointed unto men once to die…” (KJV). It’s appointed. We don’t get to choose that. There’s a divine appointment. God, our Creator, has appointed that we’re gonna die.

And, “…after this the judgment.” It says that even death is not the end, is it? Every one of us is gonna stand before that God and give an account. Oh, Praise God! For a lot of us, that’s a day we’re looking forward to.

( congregational amens ).

But I’ll guarantee, there’s people…there’s got to be, in a crowd this size—there’s got to be people who are not prepared for that day. I started to talk about Noah’s day. And so the generations passed and we find God coming to a point where He looks down and there’s nobody, but Noah, who’s even thinking about God anymore!

No one cares. Everybody is so bent on doing whatever it is to gratify the desires of their own nature, that they have no knowledge of God, no interest! You can’t talk to them anymore. They will not listen! They will laugh, they will scorn, they will do everything wrong and violence filled the world! What happens when a strong man has that kind of a spirit? Man, he’s gonna trample on anybody that gets in his way, to have what he wants. Isn’t that the world we live in?

( congregational response ).

The strong prey upon the weak. Oh, what this does to the heart of God! And we’re not…we don’t have to guess what it does. He looked and He saw that, and God’s, “…heart was filled with pain.” There was a sadness, there was a sorrow. He said He was sorry He’d made man, at that point. I mean, just a deep emotion.

Can you imagine somebody that knows everything that’s going on all at once? We see the few things that rise to the level of news or people that we know. We see the surface of things. We do not see the blackness of people’s hearts, and what’s really there.

And so, they reached a point where God said, I’m gonna judge. Even then He waited! Even then He waited! Noah proclaimed the warning. He said, you’d better get ready, there’s judgment coming! There’s judgment coming! And they laughed at him, rejected his message!

But there was a day when judgment came. Can you imagine what it would have felt like on that day, to realize that Noah’s message was right and you weren’t ready? And you had no hope and you were outside. That’s how serious this is! This is not, are you part of this church or that church or whatever? This is a matter of life—the Gospel is a matter of life and death!

( congregational amens ).

People are either in Christ, and they’re connected to Him, and they’ve really been…they’ve entered into New Birth, they’ve been born into His Kingdom, they have His life on the inside, or they’re part of this world and they will perish. Which side…where are you in all of this? But Jesus warned and said, be ready, didn’t He?

So, here are people…they’re just in that kind of condition. And you look over in chapter 2 and you see the righteousness of God’s judgment. Verse 4, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness…” (NIV). Now, if somebody comes in here and they hear about the love of God and what He’s done for them at the Cross and they go out and they just say…basically they say, I’m gonna do what I want to do, is that not showing contempt for a God who has actually come down, and made a personal appeal to a heart, only to have that heart say, no, I’m gonna do what I want? That’s contempt. We wouldn’t call it that. But I mean, to hold the Living God, your Creator, who doesn’t have to bother with you at all, to actually hold Him in contempt. Oh, my!

“...Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance…” He’s put up with a lot in us, hasn’t He? “…And patience, not realizing…” You don’t get it! “…That God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” You know, repentance is another word that we don’t get. It’s like, I’m sorry God, sorry for my mistakes.

You know, I heard about one church that they had this prayer that was printed in their bulletin and it was supposed to lead to salvation. And somebody would read the prayer, ‘sorry for all my mistakes, God, thanks for salvation.’ And that was supposed to…good Lord! People have reduced the Gospel to a formula. There is no formula! There has got to be a divine encounter between every individual and Christ. And until that line is…until that encounter happens and until there is a surrender of the heart, there’s nothing but judgment ahead.

And I believe with all my heart, there’s a younger generation here…I thank God for every one of them! I thank God for those who see this, who really have entered in. Thank God for every one! But oh, if we ever get beyond the point where people are born into the Kingdom and really become a part, a partaker of what we’re singing about and what we talk about—if we ever get beyond that point, just write Ichabod over the door.

And I believe with all my heart, God is reaching out in special ways. I’m so thankful for things I see! Praise God! Praise God! There’s a freedom that I’m sensing in so many. But oh, God wants everyone to enter into that and to see the glory of what Christ has done! Not just as something where you come and you talk about on Sunday, then you go live your life. Oh, God! It’s got to be more than that!

Repentance is a word, like I say, that’s so superficially referred to. I mean, every one of us is born…let’s suppose this is the direction of self-will. Every one of us is born on this track and if God does not intervene, we will walk that way ‘til we die. To us, it’s right. To us, it seems like this is the way I was made! If I didn’t have all these desires, God…what does God expect? He allowed these desires to happen, it must be okay, if you even think about God. But I’m gonna go this way.

And I’ll tell you, if anybody ever turns to Christ, you’re not gonna just keep on walking that way and say, I believe in Christ. There is going to be a total turnaround.

( congregational amens ).

There’s going to be a total change of direction. There’s gonna have to come a personal conviction that brings us to the point where we suddenly see the problem is not out there. It’s not, ‘it’s bad experiences that I’ve had.’ It’s not, ‘things that people have done to me.’ It’s not, ‘all my pain and all those things.’ It’s me!

( congregational amens ).

I am a sinner before a Holy God! There is not one good, righteous thing in me! I have no claim upon Him! Oh! Have you ever felt…have you ever come to a point where you have felt your ‘lost-ness’? Some of you know what I’m talking about. You realize if something doesn’t change, you’re lost! If Christ were to come today, where would you be?

Because the truth is, we don’t know. We have no promise. Even if He doesn’t come, we have no promise of tomorrow. Folks, every one of us here is a heartbeat away from our eternal destiny being fixed.

Oh, I’ll tell you…how do you…you know, when we talk about these things, how does it make you feel on the inside? That’s a good question. Now, it makes me feel a burden and a concern for people who aren’t ready. And I believe that’s true of many here. But if it makes you really, really uncomfortable on the inside, you’d rather talk about something else, you’d rather not think about this, I’m gonna tell you, you’d better think about it.

( congregational amens ).