REFUGES OF LIES

Isaiah 28:17

 

I.Intro.

A.every man needs a refuge from four things

1.from the accusations of his own conscience

2.from the power of sin within

3.from the power of Satan

4.from the wrath to come

B.almost every man has a refuge; he has something in which he has put his trust to comfort him

1.the difficulty with most people is not that they do not have a refuge, but rather they have a false refuge, a refuge that will fail them in the hour of crisis and need

2.our text characterizes them as a "refuge of lies"

C.the men of Israel knew there was a coming day of judgment, and that they needed a hiding place from that coming judgment of God

1.they made lies their refuge

2.Isaiah, God's messenger, proclaimed that the hail would sweep away their false refuge of lies

3.people today that comfort themselves with a refuge of lies, will find that one day they will be all sweep away

II.how can we detect a refuge of lies

A.is there any way in which we can tell a true refuge from a false one; a refuge that will stand the test of the coming day of God, from a refuge that the hail shall sweep away

1.there are several tests that will commend themselves to the reason and common-sense of every intelligent and honest person here today

2.by these we may tell a true refuge, from a false one; a refuge that will save, from a refuge that will ruin; a refuge of truth, from a refuge of lies

B.the test

1.a true refuge is one that meets the highest demands of our own conscience

a)if what we are trusting does not meet the highest demands of our own conscience, it certainly is not a hiding place from the accusations of the conscience

b)for this reason it is not a hiding-place from the wrath of God; if our own hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things - 1 John 3:20

2.every true refuge is one that is making us a better man or woman today

a)if we are trusting in something which is not making us a better man or woman today, it is not a hiding-place from the power of sin within

(1)it is not a hiding-place from the power of Satan

(2)it is not a hiding-place from the wrath to come

b)a refuge that does not save us from the power of sin here on earth, will certainly never save us from the consequences of sin hereafter

3.a true refuge is one that will stand the test of the dying hour

a)if we are trusting in something that brings us comfort when we are well and strong, but will fail us in that great hour when we lie face to face with death and eternity, it is absolutely worthless

4.a true refuge is one that will stand the test of the Judgment Day

a)if we are trusting in something that will not stand the test of that great Judgment Day, when we stand before the judgment bar of God to give an account, it is absolutely worthless

b)what good is it, if our answer satisfies us, if it will not satisfy the judge before whom we are tried

c)the question is not whether our hope satisfies us; but will it satisfy God

5.a true refuge must stand the test of God’s Word

III.refuges of lies examined and exposed

A.we are going to apply these tests to the things which men are trusting in

B.their own morality

1.many people believe they will enter heaven because they are good enough

2.they are trusting in their own life and character to gain acceptance before God

3.they may go to church, but they do not follow Christ, and they have never made Him their Saviour

4.let us apply the tests

a)does our own goodness meet the highest demands of our own conscience

(1)is there anyone here that will say, "My life and character are such that they meet the highest demands of my own conscience"

(2)if we can say that, we must have a remarkably poor consciences

b)does trust in our goodness making us a better person

(1)as we live from year to year, do we find that we are growing more kind, more gentle, more self-sacrificing, more thoughtful of others, more considerate, more tender, more humble

(2)many people trust in their own goodness, but none of them ever grew better while trusting in their own goodness

(3)experience shows that these grow hard, grow critical, grow harsh, grow selfish, grow more inconsiderate of others, grow more proud, and more bitter

c)will our own goodness stand the test of the dying hour

(1)many people have gone through life boasting of their morality, and trusting in their morality to save them in the life to come

(2)when that dread hour comes, when they lie upon their dying bed face to face with God and eternity, all their trust in their morality leaves them

(3)as eternity draws nigh, there is a great illumination that comes to the soul

d)will our own goodness stand the test of the Judgment Day

(1)when we stand face to face with an infinitely holy God, who knows us through and through, will we look up into His face and say, " I stand here on my merits, my character and my life”

(2)when we stand face to face with the God who knows our every secret thought and act, will we still be proud of your morality

e)will our goodness stand the test of God's Word - Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:10

C.some trust in other people's badness

1.when you talk with them about Christ, they say, "I am just as good as other folks. I am just as good as many professing Christians"

2.while it may be true that there are many hypocrites in the church; these make a boast of, and put their trust in, other people's badness

3.let us apply the tests

a)does this meet the highest demands of our own conscience

(1)when our conscience comes to us with its lofty demands, does it satisfy our conscience to say, "I am just as good as many professing Christians"

(2)if it does, we have a conscience of a very low order

b)is trust in other people's badness making us a better person

(1)we have all known people who constantly talk about the badness of other people, but none of them ever grew better in the process

(2)those who continually dwell upon the badness of other people, are bad themselves

c)will trusting in other people’s badness stand the test of the dying hour

(1)when we are lying on our dying bed, will it give us the comfort we need, to be thinking about the faults of others

d)will trusting in other people’s badness stand the test of the Judgment Day

(1)when we enter the presence of God, will we look up into His face with confidence and say, "O God, I was just as good as a great many in the churches"

(2)the Bible tells us that we will give an account of ourselves, and not anyone else - Rom 14:12

(3)in the judgment day, we will forget everybody but our self

(4)in the judgment day, all other sin will vanish but our sin

D.that all people will eventually be saved

1.some believe in a God of Love; and believe God is too good to condemn anybody

2.they believe that they do not need to forsake sin in order to take Christ; after all God is good, and there is not a hell

3.let us apply the tests

a)does the belief that all people will eventually be saved meet the highest demands of our conscience

(1)when our conscience points out our sin, does it satisfy our conscience to say, "I am doing wrong, but God is so good I can just go on sinning, and He will not punish me”

(2)does it satisfy the conscience to say, “since He gave His Son to die for me; I can go on sinning as I please"

(3)if it does satisfy, we have a mighty mean conscience

(4)what would we think of a child that disobeyed his parents, and said that he did it because he knew they loved him, and would never punish him

(5)what should we think of the person who boast of the love of God, and make it his excuse for sin

(6)to make God's love an excuse for rebellion reveals contemptible ingratitude and the black heartedness of that individual

b)does the belief that all people will eventually be saved making us a better person

(1)many people have grown careless, worldly, sinful, and indifferent, because somebody has infected them with the deadly error of eternal hope

(2)the doctrine of eternal hope, is an demonic lie

c)does the belief that all people will eventually be saved stand the test of the dying hour

(1)this doctrine contradicts the teaching of the Son of God, and it deceives men by rocking them to sleep in sin – Matthew 7:13-14

(2)they are building upon a false hope; death will tear away the veil that blinds their eyes today

(3)one day they will curse their teacher, for having taught them this doctrine

d)does the belief that all people will eventually be saved stand the test of the judgment day

(1)when God asks us about our sin, will we answer, "Yes Father, I did sin; I did trample Thy laws under foot; but I knew you were a God of love, and gave your Son to die for me on Calvary"

(2)will you do that; if you do, it will not help your case

IV.is there any sure place of refuge - Isaiah 28:16

A.the foundation stone is Jesus Christ – 1 Corinthians 3:11

1.He is a secure place of refuge, because He is a sure foundation, that can never be moved

2.if our trust is in Christ it will stand the test, it will meet the highest demands of our conscience

a)when our conscience accuses us of sin, we can say, “Jesus paid my debt, All the debt I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

b)he who had no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him

c)He bore our sin in His own body on the Cross; and that satisfies the conscience

d)the blood of Jesus Christ gives the guilty conscience peace

3.trust in Jesus Christ makes us a better person; it completely transforms our life, both outwardly and inwardly

4.a living faith in Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Saviour, will stand the test of the dying hour

5.it will stand the test of the judgment day

a)when we meet Him at the judgment bar to give an account of our sin, they will not be found, for Jesus has washed us white as snow with His blood

b)Jesus has satisfied all of God’s demands for our sins, if we will only put our trust in Him

B.throw away your refuges of lies today, or else the hail will soon come and sweep them away

C.throw away your refuge of lies, and take the only sure and true refuge, Jesus Christ