Full text of Zac Poonen’s sermon titled “Sixteen Truths That I Have Learnt” (Part 3) — September 10, 2022.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Zac Poonen – Bible Teacher
Praise the Lord! I’m glad to be back again.
In India, for many years, the most common way we greet other believers is praise the Lord. In the olden days, the Christians used to meet each other and say, “peace be with you” to show that they were in fellowship. Both are good greetings.
Yeah, I want to just repeat what we’ve just covered. This is our third session. You remember in the first session, we mentioned some truths I learned. Number one: God loves Jesus’ disciples as much as He loved Jesus. And secondly, God delights in honest people. Third, God delights in cheerful givers. And we must treat every human being with dignity.
And then in the next session, we considered holiness comes by looking unto Jesus. And number six, the way of the cross is the way of life. Number seven, the world’s opinions about us are fit only for the trash can. And number eight, we must be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
So now we want to go to number nine… truths that I’ve learned through these years.
Number nine, THIS WORLD’S VALUES ARE THE OPPOSITE OF GOD’S. This world’s values are the opposite of God’s.
1 John chapter 2 and verse 15 to 17.
1 John 2:15-17: ‘Do not love the world, nor the things in the world.’ And here is a very serious statement. ‘If anyone loves the world’ — he cannot say that he loves God… ‘the love of the Father is not in him.’ He’s fooling himself. And what is the world? ‘All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh…’, which is various lusts in our flesh, which includes sexual lust, pride and… not pride but other lusts… ‘and the lust of the eyes’ which is the lust to possess everything we see, money, for example… ‘and the boastful pride of life.’ These are the three things that characterize the world… and none of these are from the Father. All this is from the world. And the world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
I want to show you another verse in Luke 16. Luke 16, where Jesus said in verse 15, the last part, ‘that which men esteem very highly is detestable in the sight of God.’ So these are opposites. What men value highly, God detests them. Do you believe that? You look around and see what are the things that the world values very highly. Do you believe the word of Jesus? That not that they are bad, but God detests them.
You know the meaning of detest? In another translation, it says it’s an abomination in God’s eyes. And when I read that long ago, I thought of a verse in the book of Deuteronomy, where God told the Israelites, when you’re camped in a place and you’re going outside to the toilet, take a spade with you. Because they had to use the open ground there. Dig a hole and when you’re finished, cover it up. Because God does not want to see any abomination in your camp. And that’s when a man went to the toilet and he didn’t cover it up. Like it’s like an unflushed, in today’s language, an unflushed toilet.
So what it says here is that all that this world esteems and values very highly is like an unflushed toilet in God’s eyes. Do you see it as an unflushed toilet? All that the world values very highly. An unflushed toilet, I say worse than an unflushed toilet, where the toilet goes into a sewer. Imagine jumping into that sewer, where all the toilets in the town are being flushed out. And you go in there and you value something there. Do you really believe that?
You know what the world values highly. You really believe that God looks at it like a sewer, where all the toilets are flushed. We have to use many things in the world. But if you get absorbed in them, invariably it takes you away from God. You have to learn to use them without getting absorbed in them. Because it’ll carry you away. And that is what has taken many people away from a simple devotion to Christ. It’s taken many people away from being useful in God’s kingdom.
We need to learn how to manage these things without them sticking to us. It’s very easy for things in the world to stick to us. You’ve got to handle them with loose hands so that if the Lord takes them away, take it away. It’s fine.
So in this context, I want you to see it’s not just money, worldly honor. There are three things. Let me show you those first.
In 2 Timothy and chapter 3… it says ‘in the last days difficult times will come.’ 2 Timothy 3 verse 1. And when we think of difficult times, we think of not enough food in the stores, cost of living going up, inflation, stock market is down. These are things the world thinks of. And difficult hardships or some people think of persecution of Christians. But that’s not what it’s talking about at all. That’s not even mentioned here.
It’s difficult because men will be three types of lovers. Number one, they’ll be lovers of self. Number two, they’ll be lovers of money. And verse 4, they’ll be lovers of pleasure. Lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure. Instead of being, verse 4, lovers of God.
There are four lovers mentioned here. Lovers of self, verse 2. Lovers of money, verse 2. Lovers of pleasure, verse 4. Lovers of God. So instead of being a lover of God, the opposite of that is those who love money, those who love pleasure, and those who love self, and those who love pleasure. Self means their own honor and position, title, respect for men. Lovers of money, of course, you know.
Lovers of pleasure, entertainment, love to watch TV endlessly, which is very often corrupting their minds also. You know, if you watch a good movie with five seconds of some indecent sexual scene, only five seconds in a two-hour movie with a lovely story, with five seconds of, you know, how Hollywood puts that in, a little bit of sexual stimulation, even if it’s not very dirty, some suggestive picture, many years later, you would have forgotten the story. But that five seconds that you saw will be in your mind.
You men, tell me if that is not true of the past movies that you watched. Be honest. Haven’t you forgotten the story? But that five, ten seconds or 15 seconds of some sexually stimulating scene, even if it is not very dirty, that remains. Because the force of sex is so strong in men. I don’t know how it is with women, perhaps not so much, that sticks. That’s why you got to be very, very careful about the type of even so-called clean movies are not so clean. And nowadays I hear that even the so-called children’s movies made by Disney are not clean. They got transgender stuff and all that type of stuff coming up, I believe.
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