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Description: Ernest O'Neill in his talk what causes anxiety explains why our conscience bothers us and why we face fear, tension and strain.
DOES YOUR CONSCIENCE BOTHER YOU?
Video clip transcript extracted from the talk: What Causes Anxiety? (Romans 5:8)by Rev. Ernest
I think that many of us here this morning even have a way at the back of our heart somewhere, a kind
of fear, a fear of the oblivion, which we feel will face us at the end of this life. And we do
often, as he says, “conjure up enemies” because we are not at peace with ourselves. I think many of
us in our day are not at peace with ourselves and we do have a fear of an oblivion. Loved ones, I
just felt God prompting me very strongly this morning to make it plain just once more very clearly,
instead of preaching the sermon that I prepared, to make it clear very plainly to each of us why we
feel like that.
If there is some fear in us or if there’s some sense in which we’re not at peace with ourselves
today, right now, deep down where we live, then I want to point out to you once more, why that is.
This dear book is very clear, you know. It says the basic reason why many of us have a kind of knot
just about there. Or sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s there, but it’s a
knot in our stomachs or a tension or a strain inside or an apprehension or an angst it’s because we
are not settled with our God. We’re not settled with our Creator. We haven’t settled accounts with
Him and we are all in the situation that this book describes.
This Bible says that there isn’t one of us here who is good enough to be God’s friend. There isn’t
one of us who is good enough in our own lives to be at home with God. There isn’t one of us here
that God could actually receive to himself at the end of this life. There isn’t one of us who is
good enough for that because all of us here, every one of us have sinned and we’ve fallen far short
of His glory. We’ve fallen short of what he meant us to be and we’re aware of that, deep down you
and I are conscious of that.
After we’ve engaged in all the arguments about situation ethics, after we’ve justified jumping into
bed with this woman or into bed with that man, after we’ve justified trying the marijuana or trying
the heroin or trying the cocaine, after we justified our little bits of dishonesty, our little bits
of lies, our little bits of stealing, after we have tried to rationalize all those things away, you
can’t get away from what you are. You have inside you a gyrocompass that is absolutely reliable. It
keeps pointing one way and it keeps pointing back to the one that made you and it keeps telling you
through your conscience that that’s not right and even if you had never read this book, even if you
had never had anybody who told you stealing was wrong or dishonesty was wrong or extramarital sex is
wrong or dirty thoughts are wrong, there is inside you a conscience that makes you uneasy with what
you are and with what you’re doing.
Loved ones, that’s the heart of that sense of not being at peace with yourself inside. That’s what
causes that feeling of strain deep down. I mean we’re running around wildly talking to all kinds of
counselors. Oh, if I could settle my career, if I could settle my profession, or if I could settle
this relationship with my girl or this relationship with my guy, or this relationship with my
parents or this relationship with my grandmother or with my pet dog or with the sunshine or with my
vacation…. It’s madness.
That’s not the problem! All those things are bluff. They’re bluff. We’ve all had trouble with our
pet dogs, we’ve all had trouble with our parents, we’ve all been offended, we’ve all had complexes
but that’s not what causes the strain. What causes the strain is we’re not right with the Creator
who made us. And this thing inside, this conscience that is even more real than your heart that
keeps you alive, this conscience keeps making you aware of that. And makes you feel you’re not at
home, either in this world, nor will you be at home with the new world that will exist after this
one. And that you have sinned and you have fallen short of God’s glory. And there’s no way in which
he can be at home with you and actually your own experience confirms that because you haven’t spoken
to God for years and you haven’t heard him speak to you for years.
Every time you hear God being talked about and other people mentioning how he talks to them, you
know it’s kind of like another nail in your own casket. It convinces you of course, “I know I am not
right with God. Of course, I have no relationship with God. I’ve never heard him talk. I don’t know
what kind of thing he wants me to do.”
Full Sermon: What Causes Anxiety? (Romans 5:8)by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
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