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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Deuteronomy 12:8,28

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A. They say that history moves in cycles. A good example of that can be found in the book of Judges. They sought the Lord and God blessed them. In their blessings they forgot to seek the Lord and they went into bondage. In their bondage they sought the Lord and He delivered them and blessed them. In their blessings they forgot the Lord.
1. You have heard it said, "Don't throw away your old clothes because they have gone out of style, just save them and that style will come back."
2. In the days of Noah people were doing that which was right in their own sight, things got so bad, God had to destroy them.
3. Here in the text, God warns them that when they come into the land of promise do not do as they had been doing, each man that which was right in his own sight.
4. We have left the modern age, also called the age of enlightenment, and entered into what is being called the post modern age.
a. When we entered the modern age,the age of science and industrial development, it promised to bring man into utopia.
b. Science promised to solve all of man's problems.
c. Man looked to science to bring us into the golden age.
d. The scientist Darwin told man that God was not necessary to explain his existence, that we all evolved from a simple cell into the complex organism that we are today.
e. Other scientist came along and sought to confirm his theory.
f. If God is only a figment of man's imagination, then the laws that God set forth are not valid.
g. The social scientists told us that the guilt complex was the evil cause of man's psychological disorders, and we must be freed from the guilt complex to be a whole person.
h. No one therefore has the right to tell you something is right or wrong. That there are no absolutes, others are trying to impose their values on you, and they are sure that, that is absolutely wrong.
i. The philosophers said that everything is relative, so you must determine what is right in each situation, and act according to how you feel in that given situation.
5. Modernism failed to keep it's promise. Science did not solve all of the problems in our society. Science brought us the atomic bomb, science brought us giant ICBM missiles. Science brought us the capacity to kill man in more sophisticated ways. We still have wars, we still have disease, we still have social disorder, and we have the aftermath of the philosophy.
a. As a result, we have gangs doing what is right in their own sight, killing people in drive by shootings in order to be accepted into the gang.
b. We have the Colombine High School massacre and other assaults on the campuses so that now it is necessary for schools to hire security guards to patrol the school campus.
c. And what right have you to say that these things are wrong, you are only trying to impose your values on others.
d. As the prophet Hosea said: "They have sown the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind."
6. In this post modern age, facts mean nothing, feeling is everything. The facts of the story are not important, how do you feel about the story?
7. Man is not governed by facts but by feelings, or as God said, "Each man was doing that which was right in his own sight."
8. This is the final movement of the cycle, and has always been followed by judgment.
B. When everyone is doing what is right in his own sight it leads to anarchy.
1. Anarchy.
a. Imagine trying to live in a culture that had no rules.
b. A community where anything goes.
c. No laws governing the behavior or mutually consenting adults.
d. No laws against pornography.
e. No laws against stealing.
f. No laws against murder.
g. That community would soon sink into such a state of moral depravity that it would cease to exist.
2. Chaos.
a. Imagine trying to drive home from church today if there were no traffic laws.
b. No boulevard stop signs.
c. No signals.
d. No speed limits.
e. No traffic cops.
f. If we would just say, "Everyone just do what is right in your own eyes."
g. Who would rule the streets?
3. Confusion.
a. Each person would be a law unto himself.
b. You might think that something is all right, while I think it is totally wrong.
c. Who would establish what was right or wrong?
d. What right would you have to tell me what was wrong?
4. A classic example of post modern thinking can be found in our past President, who to save himself from prosecution admitted to lying to the court. Then immediately afterwards have his attorney announce to the world that he really didn't lie. Of looking America straight into the face and pointing his finger for emphasis, declare, "I never had sex with that woman." You see, that was not a lie, for in his mind he was thinking of some other woman who had rebuffed his advances, or he had created his own definition of sex.
A. People are touting their new so called freedoms.
1. Freedom of speech has been interpreted as the freedom to say any filthy rotten thing you desire.
2. Any suggestion that the use of profane four letter words in public, on radio, T.V. or the movies should be prohibited is met with cries of censorship.
a. What is wrong with censorship?
b. There are many things that should be censored.
c. Unless we have certain rules, the lowest segment of our society will be given the opportunity to promote their language and life styles on everyone else.
d. Have you ever wondered where they get their guests for some of these T.V. shows? Jerry Springer must scrape the bottom dregs of our society to find the lowest kind of living to shock and thus entertain people who must be voyeurs at heart.
B. We are living at an interesting time when people speak of the need for tolerance and accuse anyone of speaking out against evil as being intolerant.
1. It is amazing how totally intolerant these same people are against those who dare to say that what they are doing is wrong.
2. To the world today, good is being able to say any filthy thing you desire. Evil is to say that that is wrong.
3. Good is to be able to flaunt your homosexuality. Evil is to say that homosexuality is abnormal and sin in the sight of God.
4. Our governor has signed a bill that declares in essence that we must start teaching our kindergarteners in the public schools that living as a homosexual is an accepted alternative life style. It is evil to suggest that it is wrong.
5. All I can say is that we are living in a society that was described by the prophet Isaiah who said: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
A. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived said: When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rules, the people mourn. He also said: Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.
B. In the psalm that we read this morning, David said, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."
C. The purpose of law is to keep evil men in check.
1. Paul declared that laws are made for the lawless.
2. A man of high principles needs no laws.
A. The results of doing that which is right in His sight.
1. That it might go well with you.
a. God's laws are for your own good.
b. God has not forbidden one good thing. Tell me one good thing that God has prohibited you from doing.
c. God has only forbidden that which is harmful and destroys.
d. As the prophet said: "He has shown you Oh man, what is good."
2. And with your children after you.
a. I am deeply concerned for what kind of world I am leaving for my children and my grandchildren.
b. I desire that things are well for me, but I have even a greater desire that it is even better for them.
c. As I see the restraints being thrown off by evil men, I wonder just how long this society can last, and what then will happen to my children and grandchildren.
3. Listen to the heart of God as he spoke to them in psalm 81.
PSA 81:11 But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would have nothing to do with Me.
PSA 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: [and] they walked in their own counsels.
PSA 81:13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways!
PSA 81:14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
PSA 81:15 The haters of the LORD would have submitted themselves unto them and they would have endured for ever.
PSA 81:16 I would have fed them with the finest wheat: and satisfied them with honey out of the rock.
V. Today what about you? It is always easy to point our fingers at others, but what about ourselves?
A. Are you doing that which is right in your own sight, or seeking to do that which is right in His sight?
1. Are you singing, "I'll do it my way."
2. Or "I'll do it His way."
3. Are you living to please yourself, or are you living to please Him?
a. The truth is, you were created for His pleasure, and if you live to please Him, you will come to the ultimate experience of life.
b. To live to please yourself will bring you to utter emptiness and frustration. As Solomon you will end up cynical and declaring "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."
4. When facing a decision do you ask, "What do I want to do?" or "What would He have me to do?"
a. Left to your own ways you will destroy yourself and everything else that is truly worthwhile.
b. Doing it His way will lead to a life of joy, peace, and fulfillment.
Sermon Notes for Deuteronomy 11:27-28 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Deuteronomy 15:12-17 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Numbers 6:2 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Joshua 1 Next Book →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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