Unpacking the riches of Psalm 14, Dr. Michael Youssef cites three examples of the proceedings of heaven’s courts—offering a reminder that on the day of judgment the only thing that will save us is Jesus.
I wanted to visualize the proceedings in the heavenly courts, the judges sitting on the bench that they’re being accused is the human race. They are accused of depravity and the accusation sticks. The evidences are overwhelmed, but in the courts of heaven, there’s only one who can speak for you, only jesus can pronounce us guiltless and with him there is hope, there is eternal life up next. Yeah, yeah. Immediately prior to a coming judgment, you find a huge increase in the perversion in the corruption, in hostility toward the Lord and his followers. All these things tend to reach a fever pitch immediately prior to a coming judgment. You’re going to find this in the scripture, the case, it was just immediately prior to Noah’s flood. This is the case immediately prior to the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah. You found that this was the case immediately before the judgment on pharaoh and you find that this is the case immediately prior to the babylonian exile in Israel. Now I know some dear friends and people, I really look up to theologians and pastors who are saying that we are living in such a time. Now there are some that are saying that we already actually under judgment now that the judgment has already begun and nothing can be done to stop it or delay it. They say, look at the evidence, there is a global hatred toward christ and his followers, there is a rampant corruption and perversion in many historic christian denominations, greed and covetousness is now sanctified as something that we must demand from God and they call it faith, millions of churchgoers believe that there are many ways to God. The pure gospel of jesus christ has been replaced by the gospel of tolerance and the gospel of accepting of all religions as equal to the christian faith. Entertainment has now replaced true genuine devotion and worship in many a church. I want you to turn with me please to psalm 14. When the word of God says something once, it demands our attention, anything that God says twice in his word, it demands our most attention. Anything God says three times in his word, As in Psalm 14 is then it demands are absolute application to our lives and live by Psalm 14 is repeated several times. As a matter of fact, psalm 53 is almost a replica, with the exception of two verses Both Romans, Chapter one and Romans Chapter three are really an expounding and explanation of Psalm 14. And so the word of God is in this storm has been repeated many, many times and therefore we need to stop and take notice of it here. The psalmist has been inspired by the holy spirit of God, not only to write these words, but he was given the privilege of peering into the proceedings in the heavenly courts. This armor’s gets a glimpse of the, in a sanctum of God’s courts in Heaven. And then he turns around And he gives us three things of the proceedings of the courts of heaven. First of all, he gives us the summons, he tells us what the summon is, verses 1-3 and secondly he tells us the courts summation, verse four. Thirdly, he tells us the court’s sentencing vs five and 6, easy to remember summon summation and sentence. Then at the end of the messages, a surprise, a big surprise. And so I wanted to stay tuned focus with me until we get to the very end of the song and then I’m going to explain something that the average reader when you read through it so quickly, you miss it first, he gives us the court summons. I wanted to visualize this. It’s a court. The judges sitting on the bench, they’re at the dock. Being accused is the human race, all of humanity. And the accusation is they are accused of depravity. The height of depravity is the denial Of the one and Only True God. The height of that depravity is a human race. That wanting to create variety of gods of whom they approve or they want to think of as God hear me ride on this. The deepest desire on the part of those who do not know the one true god, is this the deepest desire is that he doesn’t exist. Are you with me? And that desire? It’s so strong in them is so strong that it becomes a religion, you know, people like that and that’s what the bible said, The fool says in his heart, there is no one true god Romans, which as I told you a reality is a commentary on Psalm 14 puts it this way, The one who does not want to believe and worship the only one true God is a fool. The one who does not want to believe and worship that. Only one true god is foolish. Why? Because he knows or she knows that there is only one true god. They really do deep down. They do and yet they choose to live in denial of the true god. So how come? Well paul said the better creation itself Proves that one true God not only that he exists, but demonstrates his power in his creation, but sadly they choose to ignore him or deny him. You cannot understand who the fool is without understanding who God is because the psalmist deliberately here does not use the term Yahweh or translated into english Jehovah, but he uses the word L E L from which we get Emmanuel El and Beth El, you said, why is that a big deal? Why is a big deal with that? He uses you or else is a big deal. Trust me, when I explain it to you because the name, Yahweh or Jehovah communicates a different side of God’s character than the word L the name of God. Yahweh or Jehovah communicates the covenant making God the provider God the giver God the sustainer of God, the gracious and and generous god, but L speaks of the God who revealed himself in the word of God. It speaks of the God with moral absolutes. It speaks of the God who has clear moral standards, speaks of the God who demands something from us and therefore therefore understanding why the psalmist uses L and not Yahweh makes anyone anyone, anyone who rejects that one true god to be a fool. This includes the practical atheists, it includes the agnostic and I hope there are some practical atheists and agnostics here today because you are going to move like so many of us from being fools to being wise, but it also includes those who worship of God of their own creation. They want a god whom they want to imagine what they want for. A god beloved, this is the god of many professing christians today. A god who does not change them, A god who does not challenge them, A god who does not challenge their assumptions, A god who does not demand righteousness. A god who does not demand moral absolutes. A god who does not judge the immorality or their lifestyle. A god who does not condemn their corruption, A god who does not demand exclusive allegiance. All of these folks According to Psalm 14 are foolish and we all were fools at once, right, I was a fool, trust me, I shook my fist at God, not proud of it, but I, it gives me sympathy with those who are still in the foolish stage have not come to the light of jesus christ amen and we need to be very patient with them and we need to be thoughtful and we need to be compassionate instead of being mad at, we need to be very compassionate because paul keeps saying we once were. Now, I come to something very important, which is the hebrew word for fool. That is mentioned here in this passage in this particular song, the word the hebrew word for fool. Here is the word noble which does not mean listen very carefully. Listen very carefully, does not mean intellectual weakness, it does not mean that. And if you think so, please don’t. But it means moral perversion. No one can ever accuse some of the non believers particularly as being dumb or stupid. No, no, no, no, no, no don’t, don’t fall for that. Many of them are intellectually brilliant. Many of them are intellectually intelligent, but when it comes to the most important thing in life they are foolish. But there’s something else here. I don’t want you to miss in this song, in the earthly court. All of your lawyers know this all of you. Judges know this in the earthly court. They judge a person on the basis of what he or she did. Did you do it or didn’t you do it? That’s all the evidence has to be proven. Did they do this? They know they know, but in the courts of heaven. They judge on the basis of thought scary thought, isn’t it? The courts of Heaven judge our thoughts and that’s why it’s so clear here, beloved listen to me, God does not grade on the curve. We would like him to don’t you? But he doesn’t and that is why none and no one will make it to heaven other than by the grace of the Lord jesus christ amen verse two For by Nature No one seeks after God. God looks down from heaven And he sees no one seeking after him. Even all of us who came to believe in jesus, the bible said that we were dead in our trespasses. Dead people do not seek after anything that is good, they’re dead. We were dead in our trespasses until he came and breathed life in us. We did not even know how to come to God. Thus the accusation sticks, the summons has been vindicated. The witnesses are impeccable and the evidences are overwhelming. Those who have depraved minds have depraved minds because they want to have depraved minds. In fact Paul Answers these questions in Romans, chapters one and 3 that the evidence of God is everywhere present in creation, but a man refuses to believe that evidence, let alone obey and worship God alone. The first thing that you see here is the summons secondly the summation. Now don’t miss this. Don’t miss this please the judges grief here is unmistakably. The judges, sorrow is very evident here. The judges brokenhearted cannot be missed. Have all of the workers of iniquity have no knowledge. You feel the the bleeding of his heart and the word inequity here is the same word that was used many times in the old testament to describe Israel when they kept running after other gods, when they kept worshiping Yahweh when they kept on worshiping idols and when they worshiped yahweh on saturday and then for the rest of the week they’re worshiping bail. That’s the word inequity, Hear me right. God’s summation against the apostate church is abundantly clear. God has been exercised over the fact that so many professing church is used the name of his son, but it also denied the claim of his son as the only way to heaven. So many professing churches have bibles in the pews, but they also have sayings of Confucius and Mohammed and krishna in those same pews, so many who name the name of jesus, also name other religions. Recently in an opening of an Episcopal school, an Episcopal bishop prayed from the Koran and he prayed from the new testament beloved, the summation of the courts of heaven is given. Could the judgment be far behind? Could my friends be right and this is the prejudgment time. The summons. The summation. Thirdly, the sentence verse five, what is that sentence here? Fear and dread is going to be the life’s companion. The last companion. How come since no one can save themselves. Since no one has an excuse since no one can placate themselves from God’s judgment and since no one can stand in another’s defense, therefore the verdict and the sentence is a life of restlessness, a life of fear, a life of terror. Now I come to that big surprise that in store for us here And you see it in verse seven, beloved you know, the bible is always clear. The bible always call sin sin. Now we modify it. It doesn’t matter what we do is is really in materials. The bible always called Sina Sina. The bible speaks the truth. The bible always confronts us. And the bible then invites us and says, there’s hope, once you’re convicted of sin, that’s why this cheap repentance of you know, take jesus along the way with your journey without repentance without acknowledging the fact that you have sinned and offended a holy God as a cheap gospel. It’s cheap grace. The bible immediately goes in to offer us hope. Always gonna give us good news, always gives us a way out. Always gives us an answer to the dilemma that we’re facing. Always, Always, always. And the good news comes in the middle of this hopeless situation. Without Verse seven, it would have been depressing. But the good news comes in screaming after the courts of heaven have been adjourned after the sentence had been pronounced after the verdicts have been given after the accused has been escorted out of the court All of a sudden, all of a sudden in verse seven, the court reconvenes re convenience. Why new evidence came to light, New facts have been injected into the trial. New hope to overturn the sentence is found. Oh that salvation would come from Zion Amen. Where did our jesus come from Zion? And he is our salvation without him. It’s hopeless without him is dark. But with him there is hope that his life, there is eternal life. Oh that salvation might come from Zion. Instead he offers us this hope. He comes from Zion. What’s going on here. Uh huh. The judge, he suspended the sentence for a time. Why? Because the judge wanted to see if any of the accused would avail themselves to the new found hope. The judge want to give the accused one more opportunity for reprieve. The judge for a time ordered a stay of execution. The judge will wait and see if anyone would accept his pardon. Amen, beloved. Most of you know what I’m going to tell you. On the day of judgment, whether it be near or far it doesn’t matter really makes no difference in the day of judgment. Open mindedness will not save tolerance will not save indifference to the truth will not save ambiguity, which is the gospel of the emerging church ambiguity toward christ will not save denominational church membership will not say none will save, but jesus amen. There’s only one who can speak for you and for me. And he offers an opportunity for everyone, whether you’re watching around the world, whether you’re here in this sanctuary, he offers the opportunity for everyone for pardon for only jesus can defend us, only Jesus can pardon us, only Jesus can pronounce us guiltless. Only jesus can lift up the sentence and he did that on the cross. Hey man, give him price. Give him praise. Yeah. For without him, not only that could not stand here, I’ll be totally unworthy to stand here. He and he alone and he’s got his arms wide open, coming to me, coming to me, comment to me for his word already said. Therefore there is no condemnation upon those who are what in christ, jesus? No condemnation. The sentence is reversed. Now, if there’s someone here who has never availed themselves upon this incredible opportunity to confess and receive his pardon today, you can do that, but there’s something I want to say to the vast majority of you who have already received a pardon from the hand of God! Those of you who know jesus, those who even loved jesus, I want to have a challenge for you? What are you doing with this? Good news? Are you sitting on it? Are you doing nothing with it? Who are you sharing it with others. You’ve seen the summons, the summation in the sentence, But you and you and you and you and me have the opportunity to tell people that they can be set free. Mhm. Using every available means to reach every available person at every available opportunity. Leading the way presses on Through our Vision 2025 campaign. We are witnessing dramatic impact around the world as well as here in the United States. 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The thing is I tell people all the time when my kids were little and they will come and they ask for all sorts of things, what do I do as a loving father and I’m an earthly father, not as perfect in knowledge as my heavenly father, I will listen to them, but then I give them what is best for them and that’s what our heavenly father does, He knows what’s best for us. And then he gives it gives us that best. Now I can tell you something very important in my walk with God and we’re all different God deals with us all differently. Sometimes God burdens me to pray for someone or pray for some things and when I feel the burden of the holy spirit, I pray and every time I do that I see an answer to prayer. Sometimes he gives me a faith for some, on behalf of another person or faith to believe that he’s going to do something for his glory or whatever it may be, it is an intimacy and walk with God that will help you understand God and understand your prayer life. And so you don’t say, well, you know, how can I entice God? How can I persuade God I want this business deal? Or I want this person in my life and I want God to agree with me. Now, that’s the wrong way to go about it. I would go to God, I said God, you know my desire, I would like this thing or I wanted this matter to be, but I want you glory first, and when you want his glory first, he’s gonna give you what’s best for you. Do you have questions about the christian faith, visit us online at L T W dot org slash asked here. You can find answers to questions other believers have asked as well as submit your own questions to dr Yousef, you can also find additional free resources to help you along your walk of faith. Don’t let your relationship with jesus get bogged down with doubt and worry. 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