All this talk of wickedness. Are we done yet? Not quite.
NOVEMBER 5, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
All this talk of wickedness. Are we done yet? Not quite. Let’s talk on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We are here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Zach Van Dyke is the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando. And he’s been teaching us all this week. If you’ve discovered that just trying harder, doesn’t make you better. Welcome to the party.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thank you Matthew. And if you are still with us after this week, I’m so glad. I’m so glad you’ve stuck with me all week. I’m thankful for this opportunity. And remember you’re in the future. You are in a totally different place than me. I shared at the beginning of the week, a little bit behind the scenes and how we pre-record some of these teachings and this teaching for this week is being prerecorded way ahead of when it’s airing. And so. It’s airing during this week that you’ve voted for a president. Hopefully by this point, you know who our president’s going to be going into the new year. And so you are in a very different vantage point than I am. I’m still kind of in the dark. I don’t know. Right now, it doesn’t, you can’t tell who’s going to win. But, wherever you find yourself, however you find yourself, if you’re really excited about who our next president is, or you’re really upset about who our next president is, I hope this week has been a reminder that our hope has never been in a political party. It’s never been in a government. It’s never been in a social service organization. The hope that we have always had is Jesus. And in fact when Jesus came to earth, you remember so many people wanted him to bring a new political party. They wanted him to set up a new government. But he didn’t do that ,right? Instead he brought the church. He says the hope of the world is the church. It’s my followers, you and I, as people who are following Jesus, we are his hands and feet in the world. Jesus said, this is the way I’m going to bring about the kingdom of God. I’m not going to bring about the kingdom of God through some new form of politics. I’m going to bring about the kingdom of God through my people. And so we started the week by looking at, alright, well, what did Jesus say about the kingdom of God? How did he begin his ministry? And we talked about how, your first sermon, the first thing you choose to preach on is pretty important. How you start something is important. And Jesus started by quoting Isaiah 61, and talking about good news for the poor and sight for the blind and freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. So then we went and talked a little bit about, well, what does it mean to be about setting the oppressed free and how justice is so important. And what is the thing that keeps us from experiencing justice? And it’s wickedness. And so we spent most of the week kind of looking at Psalm 10, because it’s such a powerful and specific picture of what wickedness is, and we got through most of that description of wickedness yesterday. So I know, we don’t want to go back there, we went through it yesterday. You know, the fact that you tuned in again today, you’re thinking there’s gotta be good news, cause Key Life’s all about grace. And Zach just spent an entire day talking about wickedness and telling me I need to look at myself with wickedness. But I gotta read verse 11 because it’s the gut punch. All right, so prepare yourself for this, verse 11, the wicked,
He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”
That is the theology of the wicked, a theology that says, God doesn’t care. God doesn’t see, if you aren’t empower, if you are weak, if you are afflicted, if you are poor, if you are oppressed. God doesn’t care about you. You are getting what you deserve. David Chappelle, the comedian, put out a comedy special, kind of shortly after the killing of George Floyd. And I know I’m, I’m probably, you know, you’re probably thinking, Oh no, where’s he going to go with this? But I know many of you watched it, because it’s got like a billion views. So I’m not the only one who watched it, even with all the salty language. But what I found so fascinating about this comedy special, cause he goes on to do comedy, but he gets real kind of personal at the beginning when he talks about what watching the video, what it did to him personally. And he talks about how it wasn’t so much, even though it was horrific, the, the, the officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, that was most disturbing to him. It was the other officers standing around with their hands in their pocket. And he said this, he says, who are you talking to? What are you signifying? That you can kneel on the neck of a man for eight minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God. It’s like, he was crying out Psalm 10, a wicked theology that reinforces the lie of the serpent. God doesn’t love you. You are less than, God doesn’t care about what happens to you. So who is the wicked? As we spent all day yesterday, going through that description of wickedness, who kept coming to mind? As I was working on it, as I was working on what I was going to say. Y’all lots of people came to my mind, different times, different verses. I like, Oh, yep. That’s, you know, I thought of a lot of people, but nothing changed in my heart until it was me. Until I came to mind, when I read those verses. Now, listen, I know some of you are the oppressed, and you can read this Psalm from the vantage point of the Psalmist. You can and should cry out, why Lord do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? But I would also say, none of us should be too quick to dismiss the opportunity of examining ourselves before God’s word. Like C.S. Lewis says
It’s common sense really, good people know about both good and evil, bad people do not know about either.
We’re living in a time where it seems like there’s a reckoning happening in our country, and it’s not just over race issues, but issues of abuse of power, issues of sexism, issues of sexual abuse. I know to a lot of people, this election, that again, you know, the outcome of, I don’t, a lot of people are putting so much hope in however this election turns out, but listen, the church should have been and should be the leading voice when it comes to these issues that break the heart of God, but not just because they break God’s heart, but because they’re issues that God will judge. We go back to Psalm 10, there’s the turning point in verse 14, it says,
But you, God see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
Jesus knew all of this, when he preached his first sermon. And what’s fascinating is he ends the reading of Isaiah 61 in the middle of verse two. Verse two says this. If you go back to Isaiah 61, it says
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.
Jesus doesn’t talk about the vengeance. Why? Because he knew God will judge. He knew that God does in fact hear the cries of the oppressed. That God does see, that in fact, God would pour out his wrath against our injustices, that they would be poured out on him. Jesus, when he preached that first sermon knew, that one day he would absorb the day of vengeance so that you and I could live in the Lord’s favor. If that’s true, we as Christians, we’re free to confess our wickedness, not just free, we are called to confess our wickedness. We can look at every thought, every action, every system, every government, every way in which we have worked against the kingdom of God. If we don’t do this, who are we talking to? Do we not believe in the wrath of God that sent our savior to the cross? Listen, this isn’t a political thing, this is a kingdom of God thing. I don’t know where you’re at today. Again, I don’t know the outcome of this election. I don’t know where we are as a country right now, because again, you’re in the future, I’m in the past, but I do know that as Christians, we are called to look at everything we’ve built and been a part of, knowing there is a God of justice and that there has only ever been one righteous person, only one who never engaged in any sort of wickedness. God in his grace gave us one worthy of a statue and then told us don’t build it. Instead, build a kingdom of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. Psalm 10 ends with these words,
The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You Lord hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals, will never again strike terror.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a trustworthy saying deserving full acceptance, Christ died for the wickedness. And if that’s true, you and I can confess the part we have played in wickedness, while still fighting to build a more perfect union, a union that knows at the heart it’s all about grace.
Thanks Zach. Pastor Zach Van Dyke there, wrapping up this thought provoking series on justice. And the problem of wickedness. Steve will resume his teaching from Galatians next week, but tomorrow it’s Friday Q & A. One question on tap for tomorrow. Do I have to ask Jesus into my heart? That is a great question. Make sure you join us tomorrow for the answer. So we’ve now chosen our next president. Next order of business, choose to join the Key Life CD family. As you may know, the Key Life CD family is what we call the folks who get two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. These CDs are from talks at various events where Steve speaks throughout the year. And it’s free. If you call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for those CDs. By mail send your request to
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