Sermon #1387 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: DO YOU KNOW
WHO YOU WORSHIP?
Text: John 4:19-22
Reading: 2 Kings 17:1-41
Subject: False Religion and True
Date: Sunday Morning -- January 2, 2000
Tape # V-62b
Illustration: The Campbellite Preacher in My Office --
"We cannot both be saved."
This woman was now thoroughly confused. She perceived that the Lord Jesus was a prophet; but she did not understand what he was saying to her. She knew that the Jews' religion excluded the possibility of her being saved, because she worshipped a different god, in a different place, and in a different way, than the Jews. Yet, the Lord Jesus was talking to her about salvation, eternal life, and acceptance with God. Yet, with the same breath, he told her that her religion was a religion of uselessness, ignorance, and idolatry.
Since he never went to Bible college or seminary, and since he was not trained as either a politician or a preacher, our Master never learned the art of compromise or the trick of talking out of both sides of his mouth. These days, when preachers are confronted with such plain, stark contrasts in religions and religious opinions, they appeal to a vague spirit of ecumenism, and attempt to point to areas of agreement between mutually opposing ideas. Our Lord Jesus Christ was not such a man.
In fact, by the standards of modern religion and political correctness, he would be considered a rude, uncouth, bigot. Instead of dodging the issue, instead of attempting to be polite, the Lord Jesus seems to have stopped this Samaritan woman right in the middle of her words to drive the truth of God home to her heart. He shoots a straight arrow at the very core of her hope. He lays the ax to the root of the tree under which she was hiding. He rips down the veneer walls of her refuge of lies, and tears up the very foundation of her religious house. He says to her, as she was attempting to defend her religion, "Ye worship ye know not what!" In other words, he said, "Woman, what I am telling you is this. -- You don't know God or anything about God, his worship, his people, or his salvation." Then, he proceeded to tell her that…
Proposition: All who truly worship God and obtain his salvation know who he is. -- True worship is worship based upon and arising from revealed knowledge, the revealed knowledge of God himself!
Now, I have a question, which I want you to answer, and answer honestly, for your own soul's sake. -- Do you know who you worship? Is your religion nothing more than that which has been passed along to you by flesh and blood, by human tradition, and religious ceremony, or do you know the living God? Is your religion the result of you being taught of a man, or the result of you being taught of God?
I. There are many false religions by which the souls of men are deceived and damned.
This woman's religion was the religion of the world. The Samaritans were a mongrel race with a mongrel religion. You can see this in the passage we read at the beginning of our service (2 Kings 17).
About 750 years before our Lord's conversation with this woman, the ten northern tribes of the Jewish nation, Israel, were taken captive by the Assyrians.
When the original inhabitants of Samaria were exiled from their land by the Assyrian king, people from five different places, each with their own gods, were brought in from Babylon to inhabit the land of Samaria. The Jews who were left in Samaria intermarried with these people and incorporated the worship of their gods into the worship of the Lord. While they continued to claim that they feared and worshipped the Lord, and convinced themselves that they did, they became base idolaters and forsook the worship of God altogether. Look at 2 Kings 17:29-33.
These five gods, like the five husbands this Samaritan woman had had, were all false gods of whoredom. As those men were not this woman's husbands, (They took everything from her and gave her nothing!), so the gods of the heathen were not God and were not husbands to her needy soul.
After a while, the southern tribes of the nation, Judah, were taken captive and carried away into Babylon for seventy years. But they never lost their distinct identity as Jews, and stoutly refused to worship the gods of Babylon.
When Judah was delivered from Babylon and began to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (about 450 BC), the mongrel Samaritans offered to help them; but the faithful men of Judah refused their help. The Samaritans, in anger, built their own temple in Mount Gerizim; and the Jews and the Samaritans had no dealings with one another from that day forward. With the Samaritans, this was a matter of offended pride. The Jews would not accept them as the people of God. (Nothing more enrages a man thaN TO BE TOLD PLAINLY THAT HE IS LOST, THAT HIS RELIGION, THE RELIGION OF HIS FATHERS IS A FALSE RELIGION, AND THAT HIS GOD IS AN IDOL.)With the Jews, at least when the rift occurred, this rift with the Samaritans was a matter of spiritual integrity. They could not embrace the Samaritans and their gods without becoming idolaters themselves
A. The Samaritans, like the people of this world, had many gods, many religious ceremonies, and many different names for their religion.
B. Yet, like the many religions of the world today, all the Samaritans embraced one another as brethren and worshippers of Jehovah, though they refused to worship in the temple of God, at the altar of God, with the people of God.
C. Though they wore many names and had different religious symbols and ceremonies, the religions of the Samaritans, were all essentially the same, just like the many religions of the world today (Pro. 14:12; 16:25).
1. Every man worshipped as he chose.
2. The religions of Samaria, like the religions of Danville, KY, were religions based upon human merit, not divine mercy.
3. Being of human origin, all the religions of Samaria, like the religions of this world, were man centered, designed to please, entertain, and indulge the lusts of men.
4. Just in case you are missing my point, let me state the matter plainly. -- All free will, works religion is idolatrous and damning.
The adherents of such religion may claim to fear the Lord, walk in moral integrity, and talk incessantly about Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, blood redemption, and salvation by grace, but all who make salvation to be dependent upon or in any way determined by the will, works, and worth of man, rather than the will, worth, and work of Christ alone, are base idolaters.
All who seek to establish righteousness by something they do are ignorant of God, ignorant of the righteousness of God in Christ. Refusing to be saved by Christ alone, through grace alone, refusing to count their personal righteousness dung and their religion idolatry, they grope about in darkness, superstition, and ignorance on their way to hell, not knowing what they worship. They go to their high places Sunday after Sunday, observe their holy days, burn their incense, and make great sacrifices to their gods. But they are totally ignorant of the true and living God, totally ignorant of who Christ is and what he has done as the sinners' Substitute.
If we would be married to Christ, we must be made to see that the gods of this world are false gods and the religion of this world is wicked, abominable, and adulterous. There is no salvation for any sinner who refuses to repent of his dead works, whose conscience is not purged from the dead works human religion by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14). No Pharisee can ever be saved until he is made to see, as Paul declares (Phil. 3:1-9), that his righteousnesses are filthy rags, obnoxious to God, and his religion is nothing but dung. That is right, dung! False religion is not just gutter religion. It is outhouse religion!
D. This Samaritan woman, this poor sinner could not be married to Christ (spiritually) until she acknowledged that her Samaritan religion was adultery (whoredom), that her former gods were her adulterous lovers (whoremongers), and that her preachers were prostitutes. The same is true of all idolaters. -- She had five husbands; but she had no husband. The same is true of the religious people of this world.
You may think I am stretching the allusion just a little. I am not stretching it at all. Let’s see if this is not exactly what the Scriptures tell us about all free will, works religion.
1. Does not the Holy Spirit call the preachers of works dogs (male prostitutes)? “Beware of dogs,” Paul said. Then he identified the dogs as those who mix works and grace in the business of salvation -- "the concision."
2. Does not the Lord command us to abandon the adultery of false religion, to come out of Babylon, lest we be partaker of her sins and of her judgment? (See Rev. 18:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1.)
II. The fact is, there is only one true and living God, one true religion, and one true salvation.
Our Lord spoke as plainly to this Samaritan woman as I am speaking to you, both about her spiritual ignorance, and about God's salvation.
Let me wrap this message up by speaking as plainly as I know how about this matter. Oh, may God speak to your hearts by his Spirit through his Word, for Christ's sake. The world in which we live is under the delusion of antichrist! Are you listening to me? Arminianism, free willism, works religion, it matters not whether it wears the name Protestant or Papist, Baptist or Buddhist, is damning religion.
If this Samaritan woman would drink from the Fountain of living water, she must give up her broken cistern and its polluted waters. If she would have Christ and his salvation, she must abandon her former husbands. If she found acceptance with God, she must disown the gods, the temple, and people of Samaria. And you and I must do the same. If you would be saved…
A. The Lord himself must come to you and make himself known to you.
B. You must worship God alone in his true character, as he has revealed himself in this Book, in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. You must worship God in Christ -- THE ONLY TRUE CHRIST!
1. By His Priest -- Christ!
2. At His Mercy-Seat -- Christ!
3. On His Altar -- Christ!
4. By His Sacrifice -- The Lamb of God!
5. In His Temple!
6. At His Throne!
7. In His Way!
· CHRIST ALONE (1 Cor. 1:30-31)
· GRACE ALONE (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9)
· FAITH ALONE (Rom. 4:16)
D. And I'll tell you something else. -- If you would be saved, like this Samaritan woman, you are going to have to identify yourself with Christ, his gospel, his worship, and his people.
This identification is made initially in believer's baptism; but it is a constant, life long thing. Believer's baptism, like good works, has nothing to do with salvation. And our identifying ourselves with Christ does not contribute one iota to our salvation. Yet, those who refuse to make such an identification with Christ are not saved (Matt. 10:32-33).
As in the Old Testament men and women found acceptance with God and had a Scriptural basis for claiming refuge and salvation in him, only when they became Jews, so today, no sinner has a biblical basis for assurance, a biblical basis for claiming grace and salvation in Christ, except those who come into God's kingdom, circumcised in heart, and are numbered among God's Israel.
1. Ruth the Moabite became Ruth the Jew (Ruth 1:16).
2. Naaman the Syrian idolater became Naaman the worshipper of Jehovah, once the Lord poured out his grace upon him (2 Kings 5:17).
Elisha sent him to wash in Jordan. The act meant he had to heed God's Word by his prophet and disown the far more physically attractive rivers of his own land, as well as the fake healers who had tried (in the names of their gods) to heal him. The great Naaman had to stoop to be healed God's way, in God's land, among God's people, or perish in his leprosy. The same is true of you!
Once the healing was done, when Naaman went back to Syria, he carried in his great caravan, as much of the dirt of Israel as two mules could carry back to Syria, because he had become a Jewish convert, a worshipper of God.
Though he lived and died in Syria, Naaman knelt to pray in Syria on Jewish soil, bowing toward the altar of God and the mercy-seat in the temple of God at Jerusalem, as a Jew, a sinner saved by grace alone, through the merits of that Savior of whom the altar, mercy-seat, temple, and the sacrifices were types!
3. In the days of Esther, after Haman was hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai, many of the Persians became Jews, because the fear of God fell upon them (Esther 8:17).
Application: Do you know who you worship? I do. I worship him who is the Salvation of the Jews, the Seed of Abraham, the Covenant of the people, the Christ of God, the Savior of the world!
1. I have no righteousness but Christ.
2. I have no atonement but Christ.
3. I have no access to God but Christ.
4. I have no hope but Christ.
5. CHRIST IS ENOUGH!
 Succothbenoth was a god worshipped under the image of chickens, or Pleiades (the seven stars). For whom the women of Babylon and Assyria prostituted themselves at least once during their lives to any man who asked them to do so, in the temple of Venus.
 Nergal was the image of a great dog, the god of hunting and of war among the Cuthites.
 Ashima was the god of Hamath, worshipped under the image of an ape or a goat with no fur.
 Nibhaz was a dog, representing a demon. Tartak a jackass, representing the prince of darkness. Both were probably made of gold.
 Adrammelech was the sun god, in the form of a man. Anammelech moon god with the representation of a woman. They were images of Molech, to whom men and women offered their own children as sacrifices in fire.