TV Transcripts

“Examine Yourself” Conclusion
Broadcast #1636
February 11, 2024

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1636 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

Phil: What Jesus, what Paul said at the end of 2 Corinthians 13 is kinda what came to me. And I’m just gonna read it and I don’t know how the Lord’s gonna develop it, but, but Paul is concerned. I mean, he’s gone through all the truth about how God used him, what God did to verify the message and how he preached it with all that he had. And yet, all these deceiving voices would come in and all these issues.

And it raised a question in his mind. And so in verse five, he says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you unless of course you fail to test?” Examine yourselves. So there is a responsibility on the part of an individual to say, am I really a Christian?

How easy is it to come along and come in and sort of try to be a Christian? There’s something, there’s some effort, and yet, you never quite get in. Jesus speaks of passing from death to life. It’s like going through a door. And you literally, at one moment, you are in the realm of death headed for destruction. But then there is a work of God and there is an agreement, a surrender to that work of God. And suddenly, you’re stepping over here and you have passed from death to life.

But every person is responsible for themselves before God. There will be no secondhand Christians in the kingdom. You can’t say, My parents knew the Lord and I went along with them. I’m good. Every individual is going to have to have that divine encounter with Jesus Christ where they pass from death to life. There’s no way around it.

Now you think about the example that Jesus gave, the Parable of a Sower. And how simple that picture is, but how profound, where you see, on the one hand, a sower going out to scatter seed. And of course, he scatters some on, on hard paths where people have walked and naturally, it doesn’t grow. But then there are three other kinds, three other places where he sows seed.

One of them is on rocky soil where there’s a little bit of soil on the surface, but down underneath, it’s hard. And then he goes to another place and he sows it. But along with the stuff that sprouts up, there’s thorns that come up and you don’t get any kinda crop. And it’s only on the fourth kind, the good soil where there’s a crop that’s produced.

And Jesus explains it. There are people who hear the message of the gospel and they respond quickly. Oh wow, that’s great. But what happens is Jesus said, when trouble comes, when you start having to pay the price, you start realizing what really is in involved. Paul said, to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.’

How is Satan gonna be overcome? By the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony and what? Love not their lives so much as to shrink from death. Oh, I didn’t know about that. You see what’s going on with hard places down under there where the roots can’t go out and get any moisture? You got places down in people’s hearts and wills that will not yield.

What they’re doing is serving self. And what’s going on when they hear this message of eternal life, praise God, that’s wonderful. And what they’re thinking about is, I’ve got a chance to live forever. It’s self, saying, My prospects are not limited to what I can get out this world. I believe this message and I’ll be a little bit religious and I’ll be a good person and I’ll get to go to heaven and self will get to gratify itself forever and ever. And it’s complete blindness and hardness of heart.

I’ll tell you, there’s gonna have to be a surrender. I mean, we’ve said these things many times, but I sense the Lord wanting to challenge people. Have you ever surrendered? I’m glad for everyone that comes. I’m glad for everyone that hears. But here’s Paul writing to a Christian Church and saying, Examine yourselves. Is that wrong to say that?

What a tragedy would it would be for someone to come here and go along and say, I’m trying, I’m trying to live a better life. I’m trying to do this. I’m trying to do that. But have you ever... Have you ever really entered in? Has Christ become your Lord?

So many examples in scripture, but one of them of course is so-called rich young ruler. Here was a man who was much blessed in the world and yet, there was something about him that wanted to please God. And he had obeyed God as much as he knew. And so he comes to Jesus and said, What do I lack? I’ve heard you talk about this eternal life. What do I lack to have that?

And of course Jesus told him about the commandments. He said, I’ve observed all those from the time I was a boy. What else, what do I lack? It was only one thing. Sell what you have, give it to the poor. Come take up your cross and follow me. So what was the problem? That was his God.

Folks, for those who hear the message of Christ that demands that we surrender our lives to him and they’ll go along up to a point, what’s really happening is there is an area that is your real God. There is an area where you are going to do your own will. And what you’re saying is, I know that Jesus died because of this, but I’m gonna clinging to this. This is more important than Jesus.

Folks, if there is anything in your life that’s more important than serving Jesus, than you are lost and you need him. And it’s not just, I don’t believe the Lord is giving out this to scare people in a negative, in the wrong sense. He’s not giving it out to cause somebody who’s a believer, who’s struggling to suddenly say, Oh my God, mayby, I’m not really.

I’ll tell you, if there is something in you that wants to serve God and you’re struggling, God’s put that want in you, and you look to him, yes, we are works in progress. Yes, we need the Lord. Yes, salvation is an ongoing thing, but there is a difference between somebody who has surrendered their life into God’s hands and His Spirit has come to reside on the inside and someone who is trying to be a Christian.

There’s no such thing as trying to be a Christian. The only way you and I can become followers of God is to let him do a supernatural work in our hearts.

And we all know the scripture that talks about Nicodemus. He was an important man, a ruler among the Jews. In fact, he helped bury Jesus. So I believe the Lord touched him, don’t you? After Jesus had died on the cross, he was one of the ones that helped bury him. But he came to Jesus, snuck in at night and Jesus said, Unless you are born again, you can’t see. You can’t enter the kingdom of God. You can’t see the kingdom of God. He made two different statements.

And of course, he had no idea what Jesus was talking about. Can a man enter his mother’s womb again and be born? It’s not the number of births in that sense. Folks, every one of us was born with a life that animates these physical beings. We are living beings who happen to live in these bodies. We already have been born.

But the reality is flesh and blood, what we were born in Adam can never be a part of that kingdom. Following Jesus is not a matter of coming in and conforming your life to a religious culture, embracing beliefs, all of those things. It’s absolutely a birth that comes from above where we present ourselves and we are His and we surrender all of our needs, all of our sins, all of our inabilities, every issue of our lives, and say, My life no longer belongs to me. I hand it over to you for you to do in me the only thing that will enable me to be a part of that one day. You’re going to have to plant your Spirit, your life in my heart. It’s gonna have to be there.

And I’ll tell you, that’s the key. If God has done that to you, there’s gonna be something in you that even when things, even when you’re struggling, even when you’re going through a period of time, there’s something there that won’t let you just keep on going forever. There’s something in you that will respond when God shines his light.

Doesn’t the Word go on and talk about how, those who do evil do what? In John 3. What does somebody whose heart is still attached to this world and to their life and their earthly desires, they love light, right? No, they hate the light. They won’t come to it. But those who are the Lord’s, even though we have needs, we’re gonna see things we don’t like. But yet, there’s something in us. What is that? God has put something. It’s not just information in the mind, not just human willpower. It’s God has planted His divine life in the heart. And there is something that holds those who have given their hearts to him.

Have you? Has that transaction ever taken place? Folks, we need the Lord. I don’t even know how to preach this except to put it out there and say, if there is anything in you that wants the Lord, but you’re not sure... Well, in the first place, if there is something, if there’s a genuine desire in you for the Lord, you need to take heart. ‘Cause you wouldn’t have that if God hadn’t put it there. And that’s an awfully good indication that God loves you and wants you to come to Him.

I’ll tell you people who hardened their hearts, I remember Brother Thomas talking about a man that he talked to one time and tried to witness to him and the man told him about an incident in his youth where he had just run up on some philosophy that was atheistic, whatever it was. And something had happened. He had embraced that. And he had embraced it in such a way that from that moment on, he had no desire, whatever. You could talk to him, there was nothing in here that reached out, nothing that wanted the Lord.

Folks, if there’s something in anybody here who is unsure, who doesn’t know how to answer Paul’s question, if there is something in you, God is calling your name and our destiny rests upon our response when God reaches out.

Is this the truth? Your destiny rests upon that response. God’s not gonna just pick you up and plunk you in the kingdom. He wants a heart that reaches out and says, God, I need you. I acknowledge my sin. I acknowledge my need. I don’t come because I’m trying hard. I don’t come because of this or because of that. I come as a broken lost sinner who has no power to help himself or herself. I come as somebody who is unworthy. I need one thing and that one thing is mercy. But I’ve heard the good news that you come, that Jesus, Jesus won it all.

He won it all, didn’t he? He did everything that was necessary for me to become Your child and live with You forever. And so I hand my life over to You.

So see, it’s one thing for us to wrestle and for us to look to God for power to overcome areas of our lives. But where’s your heart? Which side is your heart on? Are you one that comes to the light that says, Oh God, I want you to show me?

You know, you read the whole book of 1 John, I’m not gonna go through it, obviously. I think we’ve said just about enough of what we need to say. But the whole book of 1 John was written so people could know that they knew, they could know that they were the Lord’s.

And one of the first things he talks about is coming into the light, walking in the light, those who don’t walk in the light, those who are trying to skirt around and trying to protect self in some secret way and hanging onto their own goodness and their own efforts and never really letting go. They’re never willing to come to the light and say, God, show me the truth.

And I’ll tell you, if you’ve got a heart that wants the truth, that’s a pretty good sign. If you’ve got a heart that has a heart level loving connection with others who have been born of his Spirit, that’s a pretty good indicator too, isn’t it?

And you go through and you will see all these things, but you see, you come into chapter three, I believe it is, and you’ll find out there’s somebody who just continues to live a life that’s indistinguishable from the world. They claim to be Christians that come in here and yet they’ll go out and they’ll go, they’ll run with the same people, they will do the same things, they will go to the same places and their life just continues to serve their flesh, their self. And all you see is somebody that’s part of the world.

Uh uh. That person doesn’t know the Lord. And my prayer today, and I don’t believe it’s my prayer. I say I fought some of this. But I believe it’s the prayer of Jesus himself, even if he doesn’t come today or doesn’t come in the next little bit and we live on our lives and we die, this question is still a 100% relevant. There is no purpose in this world existing except for you to surrender your life and be made into a new creature, be born of his Spirit and changed so that we become like him.

Understand that’s a process. But if you fall short of that, you have missed everything. What’s it worth to have Jesus? Everything. If there is one thing in your life for that one man, it was his riches. You remember what Peter said, Who then can be saved? And what, what was Jesus answer? With man, it’s impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

And if what’s holding you back is looking at your own inability in your own life, Jesus didn’t come for righteous people, he came for sinners. You qualify. If you are in need, God has the power through Christ to save you from the uttermost. Don’t you look in the mirror and say, That’s a reason for me to hold back. I just can’t really believe he could save somebody like me. Look at what I’ve done. Look at what I am. You are the one who came to save.

Oh, praise God! There’s something, there’s a joy that fills his heart to be able to reach down to the lowest of the low and pull him out. If he can save Saul, the Jew, he can save you.

But I just pray today that God will touch somebody’s heart and His promise, there are promises in the word about seeking Him. Folks, if there is something that He has put in your heart, that’s a feeling of need, a desire, whatever it is, that’s Him drawing you, Him working in you to bring you to that place. You have every right to seek Him from your heart, to help you, to bring you through, to do whatever it’s needed, whatever’s needed, You will seek me and find me when? When you search for me with all your heart, God has promised to meet a seeking heart.

If this question is not one you can answer, then I would say before God, you seek Him from your heart until He brings you to that place. Think of the one who wrote these words and his testimony was, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day. That’s the kind of confidence that God wants. It’s not a confidence in me. I’m a good person and I’m good enough and I’ve earned my way. It’s, I have let go and he has saved me, and to him be all of the glory.

That’s what he wants for every person who hears his word. Don’t you dare stop short. If you can’t answer the question that Paul asked, I would call on you in the name of Jesus, he would call upon you, seek him with the depths of your heart until God bears witness. What does the word say? The Spirit bears witness with our hearts, with our spirits that we are children of God.

That’s not feeling of euphoria. But I’ll tell you, there’s something that’s down here that’s real. When we have peace with God, when the war is over and we stop fighting for self, we lay down our arms and we give Him our lives and He comes in and he sits on the throne that’s in your life and in your heart. There’s something that happens. There’s a peace that comes in that’s real.

And there’s a witness in our own hearts that we have let go and we belong to Him. And there’s a witness on His part when He gives us His Spirit, that’s the witness that we are His. And his promise is He will never leave you, never forsake you, never stop working. All the things that you see that are wrong, He is well able. He is able to save completely those who come to God by him. Why? Because he ever lives to pray for you.

We have an awesome Savior, but I’ve got to come back to this thing. You have the right. Examine yourselves whether you were in the faith. If that raises a fear and a concern in your heart, I would call upon you to seek Him with all of your heart today. There is nothing more important. I believe there’s somebody, I don’t know, this is in God’s hands.

But if you have never entered in, if you’ve never crossed that divide, if you’ve never been born of His Spirit, you need to cry out to Him until He answers. He will give you the faith you need. He’ll give you the ability to repent. You’re gonna have to respond. You have a part to play, and if it’s not in your heart to do it, and you’re holding back on something that’s the real God of your life, you’re gonna have to come to a place where you’re willing to let that, let all of it go and put your hope in Him. And I’ll tell you, when you do, He will make you His child.

I just pray for anyone who hears this and doesn’t have a good answer to Paul’s question, that God will just do whatever it takes to bring you to that place where you let go and let God have your life. There’s so many things that people value and they seek in this world. Could anything possibly be more important? It’s appointed to men, once to die. And after this, the judgment.

I wonder how many people are gonna be standing there looking back and realizing there was a time when God spoke and they held back. They were trying to hold onto this. It was something that held them back. That’s the devil’s business, manufacture a reason for you to not step forward. But I’m gonna listen to my Savior. I’m gonna put my hope and trust in one who loved me enough to die for me unworthy though I am. It’s worth everything to be born again.

And I just pray that God will just take this word. You have the right to call upon Him, and the moment you call upon Him in heart, faith with God’s power helping you, I’m not talking about some big experience necessarily, but there’s gonna be a transaction that happens between you and God.

Being born is an event, isn’t it? Passing from death to life is an event. We need to make sure that we have made that transaction. We have crossed that divide, and I just pray that anyone who hears this and is struggling to answer that, as I say, you call upon God until He answers, until He gives you peace of the witness in your heart that you belong to Him. You’re in God’s hands. Praise God!

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