This MP3 is part of a three part series. It is part 1 called Gospel Realizing. Here is an outline of sorts I made from the MP3 lecture.
a. In the mid-late 20th century, D James Kennedy’s “Evangelism Explosion” talked about sin we’d say “you have to be perfect to please God” but people would look at him “like a cow stares at a new gate”. When he began to talk about sin in terms of idolatry he began to get traction.
b. Before we use idolatry with others we first have to use it on ourselves. We have to be something before we can do something.
a. Always looked at the book of Jonah as a book about evangelism
b. The next time he saw how the book was about idolatry
i. Jonah has been sent to preach to people about pagan idolatry
ii. Before he can preach to them about their idolatry he has to be confronted about his own.
iii. Though he’s a Bible believing prophet his problem with idolatry is as bad as the Ninevites problems with idolatry. See Romans 1, 2, 3
3. Jonah as a book is similar to the movie the Sixth Sense. You don’t understand the book until the end.
a. Jonah is told to go to Nineveh but he goes the other way and immediately we all assume he’s afraid of persecution, death or failure. So we read the whole book that way.
b. He repents, goes to Nineveh, preaches and people respond and repent and then God had compassion on them. If our assumptions are right then the book would end differently.
c. Chapter 4 reveals the truth about why Jonah went the other way. He wasn’t afraid of failure, his motive was hate.
d. The commentators all attribute Jonah’s hatred to patriotism which would be natural. But what lies below it is deeper
i. He would rather see all these people die rather than saved because it will be better for Israel. It is an inordinate national and racial pride that leads to cruelty and an embrace of genocide.
ii. Jonah cannot evangelize properly because of the idols of his own heart.
4. How to find your idols and deal with your own idols
a. Jonah says “if these people are alive, I don’t want to live.” this is a sign of idolatry in your life.
b. It’s hard to find out about what you are really living for. The way to find out is nightmares, your biggest fears. What if you lost it would make you lose the desire to live.
c. Anything that if you lose it causes you to not go on with your life, has made you lose meaning in your life is your real justification for living. It justifies your day to day life.
i. Romantic relationship. If it’s a good thing and you lose it, you will be devastated. If you’ve turned it into an ultimate thing and you lose it then you want to kill yourself.
ii. Illustration of the 2 women who were angry with their husbands. The second woman, functionally it was being a mother that was her justification for living. The happiness of her son and her love for him was her reality. “If my son loves me then my life is worthwhile.” She couldn’t overcome the sin of bitterness because there was a sin underneath the sin.
iii. You can’t break any other commandment unless you break the first commandment “you shall have no other gods before me”. Underneath there is something more important to you than Jesus Christ at that time.
iv. All idolatry is a disbelief of the gospel. Idols are always self-salvation projects, ways of justifying myself. But basically THIS is what makes me feel like a worthwhile person.
v. We are trying to preach grace to people yet in our own lives we’re angry, bitter, scared, addictions, problems because we don’t understand grace ourselves. We’re still believing in justification by works (whatever stuff we’ve set our hearts on.)
5. Salvation is of the LORD
a. We do know it but we don’t know it.
i. The money in the coke machine. You pound the machine until you hear the pennies drop. Almost all Christians are like that. The pennies haven’t really dropped. We’re still anxious, driven, as a none Christian. Your job as a preacher is to pound them on the side of the head until it gets into the heart and then comes out graciousness.
ii. Then you don’t look at people like you did before. You see that there is no difference between us.
iii. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit their own grace.
iv. Knowing that deep down I’m not different from the pagan idolaters helps me love them and want the best for them. You’re humbler, kinder, less judgmental and that helps make you an evangelist.
6. How do you pound your own head so the gospel coins get into your heart?
a. The expulsive replacement rejoicing in Jesus in the face of your own idols
b. Expulsive rejoicing: Thomas Chalmers “The expulsive power of a new affection”
i. You need an over-mastering positive passion to throw out fear and addiction
(1) Jacob’s labor for Rachel
(2) Two guys in a room doing a tedious job with two different promises of reward, one great, one small. They will work in two completely different ways.
ii. It is seldom that any of our tastes are made to disappear by a mere process of natural extinction. What cannot be thus destroy may be dispossessed. One passion displaces another as we grow older. There is not one of these transformations in which the heart is left without an object. The heart’s desire for one particular object may be conquered, but as to its desire for some supreme object that is unconquerable.
c. Replacement rejoicing: When you see yourself moving into fear or moving into anger because some idol has gotten ascendancy you have to look at Jesus on the spot and think of what he’s done for you.
i. Why did Jesus come and suffer? The only thing he didn’t have in the whole universe was us. The overmastering passion that enabled Jesus to actually face hell was us. There is a sense in which we were his Rachel. When you see him making us his Rachel, that makes him our Rachel. His loss of everything for us makes him so beautiful that you can turn away from these other things.
ii. You have to do it as you see your heart moving towards the wrong thing.
iii. Illustration of the woman with serial criminal boyfriends but she had to have a man. “If a man doesn’t love me I’m worthless.” The counselor wanted her to substitute a career for men. “Get rid of a typical female idol and go get a male idol.” Colossians 3: Your life is hid with Christ in God. Under my breath I say “you are not my life.” She’s doing replacement rejoicing in the face of her idols.