November 2, 2010
I have been preaching through the Book of Matthew for the past two years and we are about to wrap up the study. The past several weeks we have dug in and witnessed how Jesus over and over again, said to the religious people, “it is not about the letter of the law,” but rather, it is about Grace, it is about the fact that Jesus Himself came into this world to be the ultimate sacrifice for the whole world.
I am so tired of the fact so many people today are condemning people for so many things. DID YOU KNOW THAT SMOKING WILL NOT SEND YOU TO HELL? DID YOU KNOW THAT COMMITTING ADULTERY WILL NOT SEND YOU TO HELL? DID YOU KNOW THAT HAVING A DIVORCE IN YOUR LIFE WILL NOT SEND YOU TO HELL? DID YOU KNOW THAT EVEN COMMITTING MURDER WILL NOT SEND YOU TO HELL?
BY THE WAY – YOUR ANGRY ATTITUDE, YOUR UNFORGIVING SPIRIT, YOUR JUDGMENTAL WAYS, YOUR HOLIER THAN THOU MENTALITY, YOUR BELIEVING THAT GOD HAS SENT YOU WITH ALL TRUTH AND ALL KNOWLEDGE ON AN ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE WORLD, NONE OF THESE THINGS WILL SEND YOU TO HELL EITHER!
I apologize for the shouting above (CAPS) but I am burdened that in 2010 we don’t get it. I believe with all my heart that as Christians we are to live lives above reproach as much as possible, humanly and Spirit Filled. You have never met anyone who wants to serve God more than I do but I still get it wrong. But I have news for you, even when we get it wrong, God still loves us.
As a Christian I would never sing the old hymn, “I am sinking deep in sin. YAY” No that would be a farce and that wouldn’t be the heart of a Christian who wants to please God. But I do say YAY to the fact that God loves me in spite of my weaknesses and God loves you in spite of your weaknesses also.
Here is what God says to us in Matthew 23 for this week (Well part of what He says, don’t know if we can stand it all)
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.
5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6 And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’
8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
13 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.
15 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!
I dare you to come to church Sunday night with a plaque around your neck that lists YOUR 3 Greatest Sins!
I double dog dare you!