Robinson Crusoe's Text
December 03, 2006 | Andrew Davis
Exalting Christ, Humility
Pastor Andy Davis preaches a verse-by-verse expository sermon on Psalm 50:15. The main subject of the sermon is God's tendency to free people so that they will give Him glory.
- SERMON TRANSCRIPT -
I am so excited to be able to bring this message to you today. This is somewhat unexpected. I didn't plan on preaching twice from Psalm 50, but I'm going to share with you, in essence, a sermon that was preached back in 1885 by Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers that ever lived. I first learned of the sermon when I read John Piper's book, Desiring God. And in the chapter on prayer, there was a sub-section in which he talked about Robinson Crusoe's text. And a couple of weeks ago, as I was preparing for Psalm 50, I came across the sermon and I read it to my daughter, Jenny, and we had an incredible time. It was very moving and very powerful. However, I couldn't bring myself just to preach his sermon, somewhat like David, not able to wear Saul's armor. That just wouldn't have been me, and you would have thought it strange, I assure you. So what I did was just drink it in and let it kinda work its way through my heart and my pores, and some of what you hear today were ideas that he voiced in his own way and in his own time, but some of them are new ideas, that have come to me, and if you wanna discern which is which, then you'll have to read his sermon and lay it next to mine, and then you'll find out. But I pray that God would take the power and the strength of these ideas and specifically of this text and press it home to our hearts today.
Now, Robinson Crusoe, of course, is a novel written in the 18th century in 1719 by a Presbyterian minister named Daniel Defoe. It's based on a true story, a Scotsman named Alexander Selkirk, who is marooned on an island, San Fernandez, 400 miles off the coast of Chile. This is a true story and was sensational in his time, and so Daniel Defoe took it and changed it somewhat and turned it into the novel that we know as Robinson Crusoe. Now the text Psalm 50:15 comes up in the novel when Robinson has discovered a footprint in the sand and it shakes him to his core. He thinks he's alone on this deserted island, and he's afraid, furthermore, he's sick. He's in bed with a fever, and he is utterly helpless, completely alone. He's alone with his fears and alone with his fever and no one can help him. And he had been an irreligious person up to that point with the common sins of a seafaring man, but he knew at that point he had reached the end of what he could do. And he found in a sea chest, a Bible that he had neglected reading. But he opened up to Psalm 50, verse 15, and there he read, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
And the truth of that came through. He couldn't deliver himself. He was shut up to God alone, and only God could help him. Only God could save him. And in the novel, it says, “from that point forward, a heavenly life entered him and he was never the same again.” Now, that's a powerful text, isn't it, how one text of scripture can so radically transform our whole lives and from that point forward never the same? Well, what is it for us today? How does this text, Robinson Crusoe's text, how does it speak to us? It could be that someone is listening to me today, and you may feel a little bit like Robinson Crusoe, shipwrecked somewhat in life, shut up into yourself. You have no resources to meet the challenges. You have no way to get off the island of trouble that you're on, and God speaks to you today through this sermon, through this text, a word of comfort and consolation and exhortation, "Call upon me in the day of your trouble; I will deliver you and you will glorify me." Perhaps you came in here struggling with a problem, a burden. Maybe nobody even knows about it. Maybe you're a Christian, but you're struggling with some kind of secret besetting sin. Nobody knows about it. But you know about it, and it's such a big issue that nothing else is in the front of you at this moment. You're thinking about it even now as I speak.
Could be that your marriage is struggling, or you know a marriage that's struggling, maybe that of a son or daughter. It could be that you've got parenting problems. You're struggling with issues with your children or with your parents. Maybe they're not saved. It could be that that's the issue for you today. You came in today and you know you're not saved. You know that you have a problem, a problem of sinning, and you've never come to a place in your life where you've given yourself to Christ. And so you feel the sentence of God against you, the wrath of God, and that's what's on your mind right now, but you don't know what to do. Or maybe you're a teenager and you wonder if anybody could ever really love you the way you are, or for what your future holds and what you're gonna be when you grow up. And you've got all kinds of intense feelings and nobody seems to understand. It doesn't matter what your day of trouble is. It could be as many as 400 different versions of a day of trouble, listening to me today, but whatever your day of trouble is, this text is speaking to you, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify me."
I. God prefers reality to ritual
Now, from this, I want to get four points, and we'll look at the first one right away, and that is that God prefers reality to ritual. He prefers reality to ritual. Now, the context of verse 15, verses 8-15, which you heard Dick just read a moment ago, and we went through it carefully last week, but we see the Israelites given over to ritualism. Let's look again at verses 8-15. He says there, "I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Sacrifice, thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify me." So here are the Israelites deeply steeped in ritualism, and we don't need to belabor it. We talked about it last time. But there are some reasons why God prefers reality to ritualism. Let's think about it together.
First of all, there is a reason why in, that there is meaning in reality. There is a meaning in that prayer, there's a meaning in that worship that comes out of a day of trouble. God delights in one simple prayer uttered in a moment of great suffering, far more than a religious ritualism, because there is meaning, there's significance in that prayer. Prayers and worship offered by ritual is more likely to be somewhat like a play offered by inmates of an insane asylum. Like Shakespeare said, “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Perhaps you've seen these kind of religious worship services, maybe in this country or in another country. You've seen perhaps a priest dressed out in some ornate garb and he's leading a big procession of other people dressed in a different kind of garb, and they come to some kind of place, a sacred place, and they do these rituals and there's bowing and there's bending, and there's words muttered, and they're not for you and no one can understand them anyway, and there is symbols and incense and all kinds of stuff.
"God delights in one simple prayer uttered in a moment of great suffering, far more than a religious ritualism, because there is meaning, there's significance in that prayer. "
I saw it in Shintoism in Japan. I saw it in Buddhism, there as well. But sadly, we even see it in some Christian traditions. And the thing you're thinking the whole time as you're watching this grand production of spiritual ritualism is, “How can God possibly be honored by this, when the worshiper is so distant from it, just observing and not even understanding the significance of all these rituals?” But I tell you this, a simple prayer offered by a child, or by a woman, or man, or an elderly person in the midst of a heartbreaking trial, now there's reality in that. There's a sense of urgency and realism there, and God greatly prefers it to ritualism.
Secondly, the reason he prefers reality to ritualism is that the cry of a troubled heart is in essence spiritual worship. God has told us that he prefers spiritual worship. As a matter of fact, it's the kind of worship that he's seeking all over the world. In John chapter four verse 23 and 24, it says, "…the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth. Your worship every week, every day must come from your own spirit. There must be passion in it. There must be truth in it, but there must be passion. It must be truth on fire. It must be mingled with your own heart or it's not real worship.
I suppose I stood in front of you this morning and I read every word of the most Orthodox and perfect creed that had ever been written, and I read all of those words to you, and yet I didn't believe a word of it, and neither did you. Would worship be happening in this room today? It would not, any more than if I just recited the alphabet, 26 letters and called that worship. There has to be a spirit in it. There has to be a passion in it. It has to be for us personally, real and alive. God has abolished the sacrificial system. He's abolished ritualistic worship. He set it up. It had its purpose, and now he's done away with it. There is no longer that one altar at Jerusalem. There's no longer the ironic priesthood. There's no longer any of those ritual sacrifices. It's done. Jesus fulfilled it all.Why would we set up something in its place that does not have the sanction of God?
Thirdly, God prefers reality to ritualism, because God himself becomes very real to people who are in trouble, a person crying out to God in the midst of some heart-wrenching circumstance. They're crying out to the living God. They're crying out to a God who is not an idol. They want a God who can be alive in their circumstance, in their situation. They're done with all the rest. And so God himself has become very real to that individual. Oh, how real God becomes to those who are perishing, and they cry out, out of that trial, and God is real to them.
Fourthly, there is sincerity in those kinds of prayers. I'm afraid that many of the prayers we offer during times of ease and prosperity, during times of comfort, are hypocritical to their core. We offer them by wrote. We have our own rituals. We have our own ceremonies. It could be as simple as a prayer offered before a meal, or your thanksgiving prayer a couple of weeks ago. Oh, that it would not have been hypocritical, but it may be that it was hypocritical. But you know when you're in the middle of a difficult trial, when you're suffering and hurting, and you go to God with that trial? Now, there's some sincerity in that prayer. It's a real prayer. It could be you prayed many prayers up to that point and cared little whether God listen to them or not, but you care whether he hears this one. It matters intensely to you. It's a real prayer, and so God prefers it. Consider a man who's lost his job and has been looking for nine months. He's got four children. His bank account’s just about gone, credit cards are maxed out. If he prays in that situation, it's likely to be a real prayer. Or you take another situation that I know about, a woman whose husband became very strange, acted strangely. She wondered if there was another woman involved. He separated himself from her and from their three children and lived in his own apartment and never came around to see the children who went to bed crying every night for their daddy. "Where is daddy?" And he wouldn't come. Now, when she has put the kids to bed again for another night and she goes down and just weeps in the den, and she cries out to God, bring him back, there's some reality in that prayer. You know what I'm talking about. It's a real prayer. There's no hypocrisy in it. She wants God to move in their marriage and save it.
People speak disparagingly of foxhole conversions, and I know why because sometimes they're not genuine, but I wonder if anybody gets converted except that they're in a foxhole. I'm talking about foxhole means you're in a battle, and there's bombs blowing up all around you, and you think, “I'm not gonna survive this night. I'm not gonna get through it. I've got to have something from God.” And they don't feel ready to meet their maker and so they cry out and they ask for salvation. And I wonder if anybody ever gets to the point where they get shaken of that good works religion, and I'm basically a good person, and all that stuff that we always think about, except that we go through a foxhole experience and then at last, we realize, “I'm not ready to face my maker.” God send us more foxholes then, if that's what it takes, that we might be genuinely converted.
You know when you're on the airplane and it's making sounds. I mean, the structural members are making sounds you've never heard before, it's creaking and groaning, and there's an electrical storm and there's this intense turbulence and the airplane is purposing like this, and there's an off-duty pilot who is just trying to go to his home city and he's sitting there next to you and he's sweating bullets, and he's like this, and he gets up to offer his help to the pulpit, I mean to the cockpit and go back. He probably needs to go to the pulpit at that moment. And he's desperate. You're looking at him and you realize you are in deep trouble. It could be at a time like that, that there's some people on that plane that are gonna cry out to God, and there's reality in that prayer. It's not hypocritical.
Fifthly, there is humility in those kinds of prayers. When we make a big show of religion, when our religious duties are exceptional and note worthy, we have the temptation to become arrogant about it and think about it, don't we? A soloist who's giving special music on Sunday morning might be thinking more about his or her performance and the technicalities of it, and any praise they might be getting afterwards, than about whether God's people are worshipping, or God is honored in it. It's so easy to do. A pastor in the middle of a sermon might be thinking, "Hey, this is going pretty well, which it wasn't a moment ago, but it's going better now," okay. But you can begin thinking like that, and the focus isn't on God anymore. It's not real. It's hypocritical, and it's arrogant actually. You're at a prayer meeting, brother and sisters at a prayer meeting and saying, "Hey, my prayer is the best one so far. Well, I really captured it there, didn't I?” That's not humble. But when this happens, God becomes greatly dishonored by our worship at that point.
However, when a humble, trembling heart brings their crushing burden to God. What they're saying is, “I have come to the end of my resources. I have nothing I can do about this.” It's incredibly humble at that moment. You really have nothing else. You know that if he doesn't step in, you're lost. At that point, humility is right in the midst of your prayer. It's the very thing you are praying out of because you know you can't do it. And finally, God prefers reality to ritualism because there is a measure of faith in those kinds of prayers. God knows faith when he sees it, you know why? Because he's the Father of it. He sends it as a gift, and so therefore he recognizes even a flicker of faith. He sees it in the middle of that trial and he is moved by that. What is happening with you right now? What are you going through? What's happening in your life? What happened this week? What's happening these months? What is your day of trouble? What's going on for you? This isn't just a sermon. This is God speaking to you saying, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." What is happening for you today?
"God prefers reality to ritualism because there is a measure of faith in those kinds of prayers. "
II. Adversity turned to advantage
Secondly, we see in this text, adversity turned to advantage. Now I say this with all reverence concerning Almighty God, but even Almighty God cannot deliver someone who's not in trouble. I'll say it again, even Almighty God who created heaven and earth in six days by the word of his power, even God cannot deliver somebody who's not in trouble. Think of Jesus. He's the greatest physician that ever lived. He is so great that all he needed to do with a man born blind is spit on the ground and make some mud and smear it on the man's eyes. And that man went off and washed and he could see, he is the greatest physician that ever lived, but even Jesus said this. Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." He cannot heal healthy people. And so therefore, it is somewhat to our advantage to be in adversity. Now, Spurgeon, when he preached the sermon, said something I wouldn't dare to say. But I'll quote it so that he can say it and you will hear it, but I'm not gonna say it. And when you hear him say, you'll know why I don't wanna say it.
But he said this, I do not feel today as if the text I'm preaching on encourages me half so much as it might encourage some of you, because I'm actually not going through trouble right now, praise God. Things are going well for me right now, but I might wanna patch up a little difficulty so that this text could become even more real to me. Well, I won't say that, But Spurgeon did. I don't wanna patch up any difficulty. I don't wanna go try to find some trouble. It's going to come soon enough. Isn't it brothers and sisters? It's coming. So it may be that you're here today and things are comfortable and at ease, and you're not in a day of trouble and that does happen. God doesn't just send us days of trouble. He does give us days of refreshment, but days of trouble are coming, and so therefore, it is somewhat to our advantage to be in a time of adversity. But it takes a certain amount of skill to turn adversity to advantage. It isn’t automatic. Sometimes adversity can just lay you low and depress you and hurt your faith and make you murmur hard things against God. So therefore, we need a certain amount of skill. And what we can do is look at Psalm 50:15, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." We can take certain things from that and bring them to God, and in this way, our adversity turns to our advantage.
First of all, we can plead the time. We can say something like this, "Oh Lord, you said, 'Call upon me in the day of trouble.' Well, if ever there was a day of trouble, it's right now," and then tell him what your problem is. Tell him about your sick wife, or your dying child, or your job situation, or your struggle with besetting sin, or you're sinking business, your rebellious son and daughter, your own failing health, whatever it is, but say, this is the time. Now is the needed time. You spoke about a day of trouble. This is the day of trouble. Secondly, you can plead the trouble itself, you can say, "I've been through a lot of things, but I've never been through anything like this. This trouble is so great that I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. The anxiety is churning. I have no answer for these things," and so you can plead the trouble.
Thirdly, you can plead the command, "O Lord, you commanded me to call upon you in the day of trouble. Now, I may be evil, I may be wicked, but I would never command anyone who reports to me or is under my authority to do something and then rebuke them for doing the thing I commanded. Even I who am evil wouldn't do that, but you have commanded me to bring my trouble to you. Now, I'm in trouble. Oh, Lord." And furthermore, not just will he not rebuke us, but he actually will help us. Imagine a homeless person came to you and they needed some assistance, financial assistance, and you weren't in a position to help them then, but you said, "Please come to such and such a place tomorrow, that's where I work, I can help you tomorrow." Suppose they did it, did the thing you told them to do. Would you refuse to help them? Would you not find yourself bound to help them, having made that promise or pledge? If we although we are evil know that kind of a loyalty to something that we've said, how much more our almighty God?
So plead the command. God didn't give this command so that he could increase your torture and your torment, in your day of trouble, He gave you this command so that he could deliver you. That's why he gave it, so plead the command. And finally, plead God's character. What kind of being is he? If your neighbor had said, "Look, if you're ever in trouble, give me a call. I would wanna help," then the trouble comes, you don't wanna call them 'cause maybe he didn't really mean it. Maybe he was just saying that and wants to be a good neighbor, or maybe you think your trouble is too great for his resources, so you're not gonna burden him even though it is a very great trouble for you, and you think he might be able to help. But you need to think about who it is that made this command. This is Almighty God. He has all power, all resources. He's the one owns the cattle on a thousand hills and everything else. He has everything in his store houses, and he has the resources you need to handle all of the problems you're facing. Furthermore, he's made promises and he will keep them. Plead his character, "God, you're the faithful God, the merciful God. You're the all powerful God. You are the all-wise God. You are the God of Scripture. I come to you now and I plead with you in my day of trouble."
Jesus Christ came to the earth. It says in first Timothy, it is a trustworthy saying, he came into the world to save sinners. Could there be a greater day of trouble than to feel yourself condemned by Almighty God eternally? That's a great day of trouble, Jesus came to save us from that one above all other days of trouble. Judgment Day is coming, and if you come here today and you have not trusted in Christ, you're not ready for that day. You're not ready to stand in front of him when you will have to give an account for every careless word that you've spoken. You're not ready for that day of trouble. I wish that you would feel the day of trouble now by faith, and know that Jesus entered the world to save people from that day of trouble. Call upon him and he will save you. He shed his blood on the cross for sinners like you and me. And don't leave this place without calling upon him. Do it right now. You don't need to wait for the end of the service. You don't need to wait to the rest of the acts of Jesus. Just humble yourself and ask him to save you from your sins and he will.
III. We have free grace
The third point, is we see here, grace, voluntarily freely submitted to a kind of bondage. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, look what it says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…" This is what's known as a promise. This is a promise from Almighty God. Now, there is nothing freer in all God's universe than grace. It's free. He gives it. But here, he has placed himself somewhat under voluntary bondage. It's really interesting and encouraging and amazing to meditate on what God can do. Think about it. I mentioned earlier in this message how God created heaven and earth in six days, by the Word of his power. He spoke and billions of galaxies simply sprang into being. He spoke again, and the solar system with its great planets, Jupiter and Neptune and Saturn, these Great balls of gas just sprang into being and the sun to give light to the earth. He spoke and these things came into being. In six days he created heaven and earth.
Or again, consider this, even more significantly for us, in one afternoon in a backwater area, 2,000 years ago in Palestine, a Jewish carpenter in one afternoon really in three hours, shed his blood, sufficient for the sins of our entire human race, for the whole world, sufficient for all of their sins in one afternoon provided a fountain of redemption that is responsible for that multitude of people from every tribe and language and people and nation. In one afternoon, he can do that. Oh, it's wonderful to think of the things that God can do. But you know, it can be almost as amazing to think about the things that God cannot do. You may think there's nothing he cannot do. In one sense, that's true, depending on what you mean. But there are some things he cannot do. The Bible says God cannot look on evil or tolerate evil, or be tempted by evil, nor himself tempt anyone with evil, James 1:13. The Bible says that God cannot tolerate wrong, Habakkuk 1:13. The Bible says that God cannot lie, Titus 1:2. The Bible says that God cannot change, Malachi 3:6. The Bible says that God cannot repent for he is not a man that he should repent or change his mind, 1 Samuel 15:26-29. The Bible says that God cannot stop being faithful, for he cannot deny himself, 2 Timothy 1:13.
Okay, well then it's absolutely vital for us to look at this text and consider what God cannot do. He cannot make a promise and then break it. And so therefore, God has voluntarily bound himself with a chain here, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you...” We say this with all reverence, God can make a chain that even God cannot break. And that is the chain of his promise. Now, I say to you, it's not just Psalm 50:15. I'm saying it's as many as there are promises in the Bible. Will he break any of them? I tell you, he will not. Now, we should not think of this wrongly as though it's a lack of power or anything like this. God cannot break these promises and still be the faithful covenant-keeping God that he is. He will cease being that God. And we should not think that he's reluctant saying, "Oh, I wish I could break these chains." He did it himself. Any more than a godly loving husband desires to be free from the promise that he made to his wife so many years ago, to be faithful to her and to be her husband and to love her. He's not desiring to be free from that commitment that he made. And so we see grace put under voluntary bondage.
Now, this promise is unconditional. Any one of you listening to me today and I myself as well, we can cash it in. It doesn't matter what you've done up to this point, it doesn't matter how sinful. "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you...." The “you” that calls gets delivered, even these Jews who are into ritualism and all this kind of thing, they get delivered if they call upon God, so don't leave yourself out. It's like a check from a good firm or from government or something, that's definitely good for it, in the amount of however much you need for your day of trouble and paid to the order or is left blank and God will move you by his grace to sign your own name in there when he moves you to obey this text. "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…" the one that calls. He's good for it.
And “I will” means that he will supply everything needed. Everything needed. Now, notice that God has promised that he will deliver us, but he has not promised how he will work his deliverance. Let him work in his own way. Don't tell him his business. Don't tell him how to deliver you from your day of trouble. Did Abraham know how God would deliver him and Sarah from childless-ness? Could he have ever imagined how he would do it? Or how Joseph would be delivered when his master's wife slandered him so deceitful and wickedly, how God would deliver him out to be second in command of all of Egypt? Did he know? He did not. Did Daniel know how God would deliver him from the lion’s den? He did not. It's not our business to tell God how to deliver us from the day of trouble.
Neither is it our business to tell him when we are to be delivered from the day of trouble. I will deliver you is clear enough. What is not clear is when the deliverance will come. Now you want it today, I know it. You'd like it right now while you're listening to the sermon, “It's gone and won't that be sweet?” You are in a great hurry, but God may not be in as much of a hurry as you are to deliver you from your day of trouble. Think of it like refiners fire and you are the gold ore. And he is the goldsmith. And you are screaming out in the pain of the refining process, and you're saying, "Take me out. It's hot in here. It's unpleasant, I don't like this." And the skilled craftsman, the goldsmith says, "There's still more dross floating to the surface, you gotta stay in there longer." He knows how long to keep you in the fire.
"You are in a great hurry, but God may not be in as much of a hurry as you are to deliver you from your day of trouble. Think of it like refiners fire and you are the gold ore."
Alright, probably none of you have ever refined gold before, but I myself at least have made chocolate chip cookies. It's true. And I have mixed up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and I have spooned out the appropriate amount with the right spacing, I learned that early on, you gotta separate them enough, so they won't run together. One big cookie isn't good. Maybe it is, but anyway, it's just chocolate chip cookies and you put them in. And I've put them in the oven and forgot to set the timer. And about 16 minutes later or so, I start to smell something. It's that distinctive odor of burnt cookies, and I take them out and that batch at least is ruined because I forgot to set the timer. God doesn't need an external timer. He has an internal timer on how long every one of his children, however many millions of them there are around the world, need to stay in their trials. His wisdom has set the time, and you're crying out about the time will not change it a bit, but he will deliver you when the work on your soul is done. So you just need to trust him and say, "Lord, I don't wanna be delivered a moment before your wisdom is set the time. Then, deliver me. Take me out before I burn." And he will.
IV. God and the praying person take shares
The fourth and final section is that God and the praying person here take shares. This may be an odd way for us to end our meditation together, but let me explain myself. There is your share, and there is God's share. First, here's your share. "Call upon me in the day of trouble..." That's your share. Next comes God's share. "…I will deliver you." Now you get the next share. You are the one who is delivered. Then God gets his share. “…you will glorify me.” Now, here is a delightful and an eternal partnership. God gets the glory. We get the deliverance. God gets the glory and we get the joy. Now, this is a contract. God is sliding it across the table to you, “Will you sign it? Is this acceptable to you these terms?”
"Now, here is a delightful and an eternal partnership. God gets the glory. We get the deliverance. "
God says, "Sinners, I will forgive all of your sins based simply on faith in Christ, but I must have full glory for it." We answer, "Yes, Lord, we will glorify you forever and ever." God says, "I will justify you by faith, but I must get the glory." And you say, "Yes, where then is boasting? It is excluded on what principal on that of the works of the law, no, but on that of faith." God says, "I will adopt you into my family. You'll be an adopted son or daughter, but I must have the glory." And you say, "Yes, Lord. Behold, what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are.” God says, "I will sanctify you through and through. I will make you holy just like my son, Jesus Christ. You will be conformed to his image. But I must have full glory for all of it," and we say, "Yes, Lord, you will in heaven, we will sing, we have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb, therefore we will serve him day and night in his temple, giving him all the praise." And God says, "I will take you home to live with me forever in heaven. I'll wipe every tear from your eyes. I'll bring you into a place where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. I will give you a place, and an inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth. But for all of that, I must have the glory." And we say, "Yes, Lord, forever, we will magnify and exalt you and sing, blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits on the throne and to the lamb forever and ever."
Now, have you been robbing God? Have you been stealing his glory? Have you been ascribing to yourself those things God worked in you? Have you been taking credit for things you ought to be giving thanks for? How wicked is it for a person who's been saved from fornication or drug abuse or alcohol after they've cleaned themselves up, repented, brought forth fruit and keeping with repentance have become very respectable religious people, living good, solid, upright, moral lives, how wicked is it for them to forget what they were delivered from and to rob God of his glory. Some pastors and theologians rob God of his glory by speaking much about free will and, “Yes, but we needed to repent and all that.” That will all be finished when we get to heaven, I can tell you right now. There's not one of us who will be talking about those themes in Heaven, for we will realize that God must have the glory and he will.
By way of application, I don't know what I can say other than what I've already said to you. It's been kind of application-oriented all the way through. "Call upon me in the day of trouble..." What do you need to do? Call upon him. I don't know what your day of trouble is, but ask him. Pray. Say, "God help me. God save me from my day of trouble." We're gonna close in a minute, and we don't usually do this, but Eric's got all the chairs up here. There's room here at the front. You know that I'm against empty ritualism, and we don't encourage people to come forward and pray because you know what, God is no more God in the front of the sanctuary and he is right where you're sitting. But you know something, you may need to come forward and give him a burden that's been on your heart and just lay it down in front of him.
You may need to just come up and in about a minute or two of prayer, say, "God, this is what's been on my heart, you know it, but now I lay it before you and I'm calling upon you now to deliver me," and get up and walk away as Hannah did with a light heart, knowing that God will answer that prayer. I say one final word to those of you that are here who have never trusted in Christ. I urge you, don't walk out of here with the burden of the wrath of God, the just wrath of God for your sins. Free salvation and forgiveness is offered through faith in the blood of Christ. Trust in him, whether you're sitting in the pew or whether you come forward. It does not matter, but call on the name of Jesus, and if you do, talk to me about it afterwards. Say, "How can I follow? I want to follow Christ, and I've called on his name. Am I forgiven?" Talk to me about it, or someone. Close with me in prayer.